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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Profiles of Inspirational Women: Chanice Jones

There are people in my life that just make me happy. Chanice Jones is one of those people. She is funny, honest, and unreservedly excited about running.

To date, she has lost over 65 lbs and regularly runs with two of her three children in a jogging stroller. She has overhauled her family's diet and lives to shop for and eat real, healthy food. She is an inspiration to any woman who fears that she can not make monumental changes in her life. 

Chanice has also been pivotal in the creation of Crown Chasers of North East Georgia, a local Christian based running club, that seeks to provide encouragement for others to do what she has done; to grow stronger physically and spiritually, focusing on improving the whole person. 

What is your story and why did you decide to start running?
I began running in 2010 after watching two youth members of our church cross the finish line at a local 5k. I had been walking regularly and made a vow that day to run a 30 minute 5k the next year. I went home that day and walk/ran my fastest 5k distance at a pace of 13:38. All I could think was that I would never be able to run any faster than that! I ran my first continuous mile in January of 2011. After working diligently over the next few months, I was eventually able to run 5 miles in 50 minutes. Exactly 1 week later, I found out I was pregnant with our third child. I continued to run and in October was able to run a 5k in 36 minutes. A year later, in October of 2012, I reached my goal and ran a sub 30 minute 5k!

How has running changed your life?
RUNNING HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR ME!!! Running has given me the confidence to live out God’s will for my life and given me a newfound sense of purpose. At almost 38 years old, I honestly feel like the only limits are the ones that I place on myself. All things through Christ are possible! I have a passion for encouraging others to grow stronger physically and spiritually. I would love the opportunity to speak to various groups about what God has taught me through running. I also have plans to write a devotional book with a running training plan for beginners.

What obstacles have you faced?
The only obstacles I have faced is the tendency to over train and becoming injured as a result. 

What advice would you give someone who is where you were?
I would advise any beginner to take it slowly and to not over train. It takes time for your body to adjust to the demands of running, so listen to your body and rest when you need to. It also takes time for your muscles to build the strength needed to run, so ask someone with experience to help write a training plan that works for you. You are more likely to succeed if you have a plan to follow and you set a goal.  

One other piece of advice for newbies, especially for those trying to lose weight- tell as many people as you can about what you are doing. Let them know what your goals are and when you work out. Posting my runs and my progress on Facebook has been one of the biggest motivators for me. It has helped me to know that other people knew whether I ran or not!  

Lastly, don’t be afraid to sweat and push yourself beyond what you believe is possible. One of my proudest running moments was not at the finish of a race, but on a run by myself when I just really felt like I couldn’t finish. My muscles ached and burned, but I pushed through and kept going. I realized then that, even when it hurts, there is victory at the top of that hill! This lesson has been transposed into every area of my life. No matter what I may face on any given day, I know I have the strength to carry on!!!

What are some of your goals?
As for personal goals, I would like to lose 35 more pounds, bringing my weight loss total to 100 lbs!

I am currently training to run my first half marathon in October and would love to complete a triathlon.

I am also excited to work with Crown Chasers and to bring my love and excitement of running to the larger community.  

Chanice at her biggest  (photo courtesy of Chanice Jones)

Winter 2010, Spring 2011, June 2013 (photos courtesy of Chanice  Jones)
To learn more about Crown Chasers please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crownchasers or follow the club on Twitter @Crownchasersrun.

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