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Runners Roost Runner of the Month: Racing made a difference for Kim Phillips

It was one thing to look in the mirror, but when Kim Phillips saw photos of herself taken at her daughter's birthday party, she knew she had to do something.
She began walking to lose weight. And the walking became running, which became racing.
She has now lost a total of 70 pounds and has 15 more to go to reach her goal weight.
"When you have a little girl, you need to set an example for her," Phillips said. "I needed to change the way I was living for her, for my family and for myself.
Phillips, who has charted her progress on her blog"Kim's Journey to a Healthier Life," has been named the Runners Roost Runner of the Month for July. She earns bragging rights and a new pair of Mizuno shoes. The Runner of the Month program is a combined effort of Runners Roost, Mizuno Shoes and PikesPeakSports.us.
It's never easy for a new runner, but Phillips, 37, and the mother of three, took it on with a smart walking/running combination. She stayed close to home, working out on a 5-mile route in the Stetson Hills neighborhood.
"At first, I'd run for three to five minutes and walk for two or three," she said. "For me, it felt great."
She was hooked, but she really fell in love with running when she completed her first race, the 2012 5K on St. Patrick's Day, in March.
"A friend of mine (Stephanie Johnson, a new runner) told me you have to race," Phillips said. "I told her that as long as it wasn't icy out I'd do the race with her."
The experience left an impression.
"It was exhilarating to be a part of the race. It was just exciting to participate. And I shocked myself. I ran the whole three miles."
She followed that fist race with the Take 5 in the Garden 5K, the Bolder Boulder and the Classic 10K. Next up: The American Discovery Trail Half Marathon on Sept. 3.
Although most of her miles come on the streets and trails of northeast Colorado Springs, she has a new favorite place to run: The Pikes Peak Greenway Trail.
"I've lived here 20 years and I didn't know about that trail," Phillips said. "I ran on it a couple of times (before the Classic 10K) and I fell in love with it."
Her discovery of running and its benefits have lead her to share that information in the hope that others will benefit.
"I tell people that I never saw myself as a runner," Phillips said. "I think the races really kicked it in for me. I love the way it tones your legs and body and the way it makes me feel. I know I'll never stop running."

You can see Kim's new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Stronger4Life, and Twitter account at www.twitter.com/stronger4_life

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