Wise Running

Train smart, eat well, and enjoy the run.

Muna’s Fitness Forum: Sharing My Journey

Happy Monday to everyone!

I am Muna Rodriguez.  P. Mark has asked me to share a few blogs here and there, mainly because he thinks I have a lot to say… and I do!

Before I begin my blog posts, however, I think I need to share a little bit of my journey with you.

The Beginning of My Journey

I have come a long way since my journey began when I first ventured into a gym in 1998.  At a height of 5’3″, I was 230 lbs and smoking a pack a day of Marlboro REDS.  My diet included mayonnaise, fried foods, and anything I could get in my body.  I was depressed as it turned out, and had no self esteem or self worth.

As I began exercising at Bally’s and started back to school, this began to rise.  I was feeling a little better about myself.  Then in 2001 I left an abusive marriage, and became a new person.  I dropped 100 lbs by 2003 and my eating habits had changed more than drastically.  I stopped drinking sodas all day, and did not eat fried foods OR mayonnaise.

I was exercising regularly, and then “BAM!”…  I was in an accident and broke my pelvis in 5 places. Ouch.  But here’s how I knew I was in the right direction: My hips didn’t require surgery because the muscles had held the bones in tact! Within 3 months I was teaching again and on the road to recovery.  In 2008, I gave birth to Amelia Grace, the most sassy, precious child in the world, my mini-me.  75 pounds gained and lost by 10 months.  Now I know what our bodies are capable of and have taken it to the next level.

The Next Stage of the Journey 

In June of 2003, I started teaching step aerobics at Bally Total Fitness in Knoxville, TN.  My first love…that’s right, STEP!  So many doors this cardio exercise opened up for me.   Since I am an extremist, teaching a few step classes was not enough for me.  Over my 10+ years in the fitness industry, I have become certified in:

  • Personal Training
  • PowerFlex
  • Cycle
  • Spin
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • BodyPump
  • RPM
  • Body Combat
  • Body Jam
  • Body Attack
  • Group Power
  • Personal Training,
  • B Fit Kid Fitness
  • Aqua
  • Group Ride

So where does running or anything else fit into that?

In 2005, I decided to run a 5K.  My first race was the Fireball Classic hosted by our local running club, the Knoxville Track Club.  I was nervous, and felt like I had something to prove.  I ran it and felt triumphant, but it was not enough!  In my extremist fashion, I decided to do more racing.  I began participating regularly in 5Ks and 10Ks.  Then in 2006 ran my first half marathon, The Country Music Half Marathon.  As the years have passed, I ran my first marathon, then my second and a third. My current personal record in the marathon is 4:01:56muna running.  I’ve run 10+ half marathons, handfuls of 10Ks, and many 5Ks.  In each race I would often pick up an age group award and even on one occasion the overall female award.

In 2010, one of my students asked me to do a triathlon with her.  Sure, I can run! Gulp.  So for the first time in 20 years I got on a bike, and in the pool.  To carry on with my theme of extremism, I’m on my third year of sprint triathlons and I just finished my second Olympic distance triathlon. This is all in training for the Half Ironman at the end of September, and eventually a Full Ironman in 2014.

For years, however, I never trained for any of these competitions.  I taught classes, lots of classes, which left me no time to train.  I would get a long run in on Sunday mornings, maybe a 15 minute swim, and almost never got on the bike except for race day.  I was winning, however, and enjoyed being able to bring home trophies and medals with little effort in the training department. As I began to increase my distances, I saw my peers getting better, and winning, and I was left behind.  So I began training for the specific sports, and guess what?  I improved!  Thanks to P. Mark Taylor and Wise Running, my runs are now faster and I feel more successful at the end of a race than ever before.  P. Mark is one of the most awesome runners I know, and has amazed me from the time I met him.  His training has brought me to the next level in running.

Currently, I teach GX classes at 4 area gyms specializing in Step, Cycle, and Pilates.  I also teach Group Power, Body Pump, and RPM.  I own my own personal training business, Body Language Personal Training, which primarily consists of small group training sessions.  All of my clients set goals and, with my advice and encouragement, they will meet them.  I focus on core training, from the inside out.  Your core is the most important muscle group that will keep you healthy.  A healthy core will also help you meet your goals in your sport of choice, whether it be running, triathlon, or any other sport.

Continuing the Journey

I look forward to sharing more with you as I continue my journey to becoming the Ironwoman that I’ve always dreamed of being.  I will also be sharing important ideas and tips to help you along your fitness journey as well.

Happy training!



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