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Inspiring Story about How to Make the Impossible Possible

A personal story of weight loss, finding self love, and running a marathon.

In this story we meet Kiah Twisselman, who you may recognize from her appearances in People Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, or on Good Morning America. Kiah believed that her goals were impossible, but with some very simple steps, she was able to overcome obstacles and make her wishes come to life.

This goal to make the impossible possible is that mindset that Kiah wishes to share with her story. She wants to teach people the mental tools she has used to create a life of joy from the inside out.

Now that Kiah has lost over 125 pounds she has a new goal in site, completing her first marathon. Kiah shares her story and invites you to follow her as she trains for the 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon on February 14, 2021.

 

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Frustrated and Ready for Change  

My name is Kiah and I’m a cattle rancher turned entrepreneur and life coach. I was raised on my family’s cattle ranch in rural California. I battled with my weight all through my childhood up to my mid-twenties. My mindset told me there was no way I could have a healthy lifestyle. I played the victim to my obesity for years, blaming my genetics for why I couldn’t lose the weight. My career was my excuse for why I didn’t invest in the gym. There wasn’t enough time and money.

In 2018, I was on a flight for work. For the first time in my life, I had to request a seatbelt extender. It felt like a new low for me. Coincidentally, just before the flight, I purchased “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. That book contained the words I needed to read at the exact time I needed to read them. Hollis’ book was my wake-up call. If I wanted to change anything about my life – my career, my health, my lifestyle – then I needed to take ownership of my life. I needed to start making better choices for myself.

I shifted my motivation for my weight loss. I went from a place of self-hate and desperation to a place of choosing to be one percent better each day because I LOVED myself enough to show up and do the hard work. Click To Tweet

5 Simple Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Later that year, October 1, 2018, I started my health journey (again) with five simple habits as part of Hollis’ Last 90 Days Challenge. 

  1. Wake up one hour earlier for yourself
  2. Give up one food that doesn’t bless your body
  3. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water
  4. Write down 10 things you’re grateful for
  5. Move your body for at least 30 minutes a day

After 90 days I lost 25 pounds. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I was making empty promises to myself every New Year. More importantly than the habits, I had really started to work on my mindset.

In one year, without any fad diets or a gym membership, I lost 103 pounds. What had seemed impossible was possible. To date, I have lost more than 125 pounds. 

 

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If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. I’m so proud of us for finishing our FIRST 5k race! We didn’t come in first, not even close, but you know what? We lapped everyone sitting on their couch and we FINISHED! I’m so thankful for these beautiful, encouraging people in my life. When the tide rises, all the ships rise together. When we are strong for ourselves, we lift up the ones around us. Don’t be afraid to get in the race. It will be hard, but it will be so worth it. Courage over comfort, always. And yes, you better believe this health journey is #FueledByBeef! ??? ••• #slo5k #raceslo #5k #beefit #sanluisobispo #beef #fueledbybeef #eatbeef #beefitswhatsfordinner #courageovercomfort #madeformore #phitnphat

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The Next Step: Run a Marathon

Earlier this year I had the incredible honor of being featured in People Magazine, Good Morning America, Access Hollywood, and Women’s Health for my weight loss transformation. Now I’m a full-time life coach and weight loss coach. My mission is to empower others around the world to love themselves through health and happiness, too.

I want to teach people the mental tools I learned that helped me create a life of joy from the inside out. Click To Tweet

My journey is far from over. I continuously challenge my own beliefs about what is possible. Running used to be my least favorite activity of all time. Yet here I am training for the 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, my very first marathon! Amazing things can happen when we start believing in ourselves. I look forward to seeing you on-course and at the finish line in February 2021!

Kiah’s bright personality and real love for life shine through in everything she does. We know that she will absolutely crush her goal of becoming a marathon finisher. Be sure to her journey and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Remember, you too can make the impossible possible, just believe in yourself. Looking for a supportive community? Join our Facebook Group and follow our blog for our latest advice and more inspirational stories. 

 

How these Experts Can Help You Get Better

Learn how the experts at Ascension Seton Sports Performance can help you get better as a runner

Runners are always looking for ways to improve while preventing injury. Whether you’re trying to shave a few seconds off your PR or qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials, runners want to get better. If you’re really looking to dive into your analytics, adjust your diet, and prevent injuries, add Ascension Seton Sports Performance to your training regimen. Dr. Jakob Allen and his team of dedicated professionals have access to state-of-the-art equipment to help you get better. Runners of all speeds and experience levels are welcome! Email them at sportssci@ascension.org to learn more about how they can help you get better as a runner.

Sports Performance Training

Image of Ascension Seton Sports Performance brochure. It breaks down all of their services and ways that can help you get better as a runner. Click on image to open the PDF version of the brochure.Ascension Seton Sports Performance believes everyone should have access to the same science-backed training services that professional athletes use. As one of their clients you will receive personalized 60-minute training designed to help you get better and improve:

  • cardiovascular fitness
  • proficiency with movement patterns fundamental to life and sport performance
  • explosive muscle strength
  • aerobic endurance
  • balance and coordination
  • reaction
  • and more

They also have Sports Science Testing Services that can identify VO2max, body composition, lactate threshold, sweat sodium analysis, and more. Click on the image to see all of their services and training opportunities.

Ascension Seton Sports Performance

Optimizing performance in athletics and daily life requires a team of dedicated and experienced individuals. These people focus their skills, energy, and passion on striving towards a common goal — excellence. Ascension Seton Sports Performance is a groundbreaking initiative that aims to deliver professional-level coaching, conditioning, and guidance to athletes of every background and experience level. With access to state-of-the-art physiological testing, clients receive unparalleled performance-enhancing strategies. These strategies can guide training, monitor progress, and prevent injuries.

In Central Texas, Ascension Seton has been at the forefront of innovation for more than a century. They have years of experience working with elite athletes. They also have access to medical expertise across multiple disciplines at a level unmatched in Central Texas. Their goal is to provide world-class services, care, and tools to promote performance in all aspects of sport and life. 

Of course, runners can see improvement on their own when they boost their hydration and gain strength. But taking your training plan to the next level with Ascension Seton Sports Performance can help you get better. Email sportssci@ascension.org for pricing or further information.

About Dr. Jakob Allen

Dr. Allen received his Doctoral training from the nationally ranked University of Texas at Austin. He was an 8x All-American collegiate swimmer at Stanford, American Record holder, NCAA and Pac-10 Champion, and 2x Olympic Trials qualifier. Dr. Allen is now an avid cyclist and triathlete, frequently placing in the top-5 overall amateurs in Central Texas triathlons. He is driven to bring about the greatest potential of all athletes whether you are a weekend warrior or an Olympian.

Dr. Allen currently serves as the Sports Scientist for the Austin Bold FC team in addition to his work in the clinic. He believes that exercise remains one of the best ways to improve every physiological system in the body throughout the lifespan. Whether it’s helping prevent changes in mental acuity, or improving muscle function, the benefits of exercise continue to be supported by scientific studies. Dr. Allen specializes in designing exercise training programs for improving muscle and cardiovascular health for aging wellness and masters athlete performance

Austin Marathon Joins AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings

2021 Austin Marathon participants can earn Age Group World Rankings points

The 30th annual Ascension Seton Austin Marathon has been selected as one of the qualifying marathons for the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings. The qualifying period of the 3rd edition of the rankings begins Oct. 12, 2020. The Austin Marathon will take place in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 14, 2021.

Compete against runners from around the world

The spread of the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group Qualifying Events creates a truly global series throughout the year. This gives runners across the world the chance to be part of a new era of age group marathon running. The 3rd edition features a 14-month cycle for participants to earn up to two qualifying times and a place at the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships in 2022.

“The interest and excitement around the series continues to build, and as the second edition is in full swing, we are busy working to expand into new locations for the third year, said Tim Hadzima, Executive Director of Abbott World Marathon Majors said. “With the increase in world ranking races, we hope to give even more runners the chance to find a qualifying event within reach and realize their dream of trying to make it to the world championships. Thank you to all our partners and race organizers who help us develop the opportunities for age group runners across the globe.”

Image of a male runner with his arms raised in triumph crossing the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon finish line. Credit to Scott Flathouse.

Credit – Scott Flathouse

World ranking’s details and information

  • Qualifying period runs from Oct. 12, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2021
  • The World Championships will take place in the spring/summer of 2022
  • The venue and details will be announced by mid-2021
  • Participants in an AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Ranking qualifying race will earn points according to their:
    • age
    • time
    • gender
    • age groups (men and women): 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+
  • Due to the extended length of the 3rd edition of the world rankings to take us through to the end of 2021, some marathons will have their 2020 and their 2021 events included in the same qualifying period
  • Where a race is featured twice in the one ranking period, runners can score points in both editions and use them as their two point-scoring races
  • Visit the AbbottWMM website for more information on the scoring system and world rankings visit 

Completing the 30th annual Austin Marathon will be a huge accomplishment! Make it an even bigger feat when you compete against runners from around the world. Participate in the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings and let the training begin!

Increase Your Mileage with this Helpful Advice

You’ve set a bigger goal, now it’s time to increase your mileage

It’s been said that running is addictive. First-timers will feel it. Veterans know to expect it. Naturally, we want to go further and further, push the boundaries. Testing ourselves is one way to build our self-esteem and learn about mental fortitude. Setting a bigger goal can be overwhelming when you look at the goal by itself. But we’re here to help every step of the way! Follow our guide below for the best way to increase your mileage. It’s the best way to grow as a runner, reduce the chance of injury, and work towards your big goal!

REST – (1-2 times per week)

Image of female runner smiling with her arms outstretched, crossing the 2020 Austin Half Marathon finish line. Read the advice in this blog and learn how to increase your mileage.If your training plan calls for a rest day, TAKE THE REST DAY. This allows your body the chance to recover from the previous run or workout. If you get the itch to do something, make it active recovery. Foam roll throughout the day. Set aside time for deep stretching. Take an online yoga class. Those three options will speed up the recovery process and get you ready to run your best the next day.

Build your running stamina – (2-3 times per week)

As you increase your mileage, you learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Summer running in Texas doesn’t mean long distances (>13.1 miles). This is your time to work on your speed and form. Incorporate track workouts and work on increasing speed while running shorter distances. These shorter, higher intensity workouts will work your muscles differently. They will also better your body’s ability to consume oxygen.

Increase body strength – (2-3 times per week)

You’ll need to prepare your body for completing your big goal, whether that’s 13.1 or 26.2 miles. Break up running workouts with weight workouts. You don’t need to become chiseled or gain muscle mass. Focus on lighter weights with higher repetitions. You want to push the body, burn fat, and build lean muscle. Working muscles differently than when you’re running is critical. It helps prevent the overuse of the same muscles. 

Set smaller goals – (1 time a week)

On a weekend morning, when it’s coolest, push yourself to run further than you did last weekend. When preparing to increase your mileage, you need to slowly teach your body that it’s capable of completing longer distances. You’ll eventually see that last week’s distance that was difficult is now easier. Over time, what was once thought impossible will become your warm-up. Slowly but surely increasing your mileage during the summer will put you in a prime position to really lock in your fall/winter half marathon or marathon training. This is when the weather gets cooler and you start feeling even better on your morning runs! Not a morning person? These 6 tips will help you get out of bed when the alarm goes off!

Do the work – (EVERY DAY)

This is self-explanatory! Whether it’s a rest day or your longest run ever, you have to do the work. You don’t need to set records or PR every time, but you do need to be consistent. That’s how you’ll build your running stamina and teach your body to run further and further. Pro tip: if there’s a day where you just can’t squeeze in a run or workout (because life happens), don’t stress. Don’t try to make it up the next day. Squeeze in a foam roll or stretch session if you can and keep moving forward with your plan!

There are many other factors that can impact how you increase your mileage: diet, hydration, nutrition, cross-training, injuries, etc. Those items can be built-in or dealt with as you progress. Just remember, you don’t just wake up and run these longer distances. This will take time, persistence, consistency. Do the work, set smaller goals, rest when you’re supposed to and you will achieve whatever goals are in front of you! Is there a tip or a trick you’ve used to increase your mileage? Let us know in the Austin Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter!