Name: Sammi Goldsmith
Occupation: Graduate Student
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
How long have you been running?
I have been running for almost three years.
What prompted you to start?
My dad suffered his first of two heart attacks almost three years ago during the fall of my junior year. His near death experience was a wake up call for me. I started to research heart-health and decided to turn my life around. Changing my eating habits and implementing running into my workout routine were my main priorities. One of my college basketball teammates offered to run with me a few times a week, and soon enough I was addicted.
How often do you run?
I run three to four times per week.
What is your routine?
I run one easy run of three to five miles, one day of speed workouts on the treadmill, one longer tempo run of six to eight miles, and one long slow run of eight or more miles.
Do you race? If so, how often, and what kind of races?
I have completed two half marathons, a plethora of 5Ks, and hope to run a full marathon in 2018. I will be running my third half marathon and a 10-miler in September. I love racing and the amazing running community.
Do you engage in other sports or activities? If so, what and how often?
I played college basketball and am now the graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team at Virginia Tech. I am working toward earning my Master’s in Education and plan to pursue a career as a women’s college basketball coach. I also lift weights, go to spin class, and cook often.
What’s the most rewarding part of running for you?
There are two things that I love the most about running. The first is the feeling of accomplishment and pride when I run a distance I’ve never reached before, or PR in a race. It is a beautiful thing to discover that your body is capable of doing things that you once thought were impossible. The second thing I love about running is the amazing community it has brought into my life. I now have multiple running partners, and my long runs with them turn into amazing, in-depth conversations that bring us even closer together.
Please describe your weight loss journey, including your before and after weights.
My weight loss journey begins with me stepping on the scale at the doctor’s office only to feel shame and disappointment. The scale read 183.5 pounds. I started taking steps toward living a healthier lifestyle after my dad’s heart attack. I began to cook a lot more and stopped drinking soda. McDonald’s drive-thru breakfast was no longer a part of my morning routine. I was doing my basketball pre-season workouts as well as the additional runs with my teammate. After four months of little changes, I stepped on the scale to see a big surprise. I weighed 165 pounds. Now, three years after my journey began and now as a “runner-lover,” I weigh 153 pounds.
What is the secret to your weight loss success?
I would say the secret to my weight loss was making little changes and being consistent. For example, I gave up soda and haven’t had it since. I think not drinking my calories helped me lose weight by cutting down my caloric intake. I also only eat out once or twice per week and eat a lot less meat. Cutting down on my sugar and saturated fat intake was also key.
How do you stay motivated?
I started a fitness and wellness blog and Instagram in order to showcase the nutritious meals I cook. Friends and strangers alike ask for tips because they find my story inspiring. This, along with my relationship with my dad, keeps me motivated to continue to live a healthy lifestyle.
Do you have any favorite motivational quotes?
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” —Wayne Gretzky.
“Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.” —Hal Higdon
What are your current short and long-term goals?
My current short-term goals are to PR on my next half marathon and start training for a full marathon. My long-term goal is to run in the Boston Marathon eventually, as well as become a head women’s coach at the collegiate level within the next ten years.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I have truly fallen in love with running. It brought me friendships, happiness, and a new passion. I am forever grateful for that.
This article first appeared on Runner's World.