Here's Christy Stillwell's fitness story: My journey to fitness began quite a few years ago, back in 1992. I was an overweight chain smoker who finally became fed up with feeling so bad, at such a young age.

I was in my early 20's but couldn't walk around the block without getting winded. I decided to start working out, first, and didn't make any plans at all, to change my diet, at that time. I had a friend who actually got me started and it was nice to have someone to walk with for accountability.

As time passed, I started dropping weight slowly, and my friend eventually stopped working out. Even though I was disappointed with that, walking had become a habit, so I stuck with it. I had a significant other at the time, who led an incredibly sedentary lifestyle and thought I was crazy for getting out everyday to break a sweat. Eventually, I gave up my significant other, as our lifestyles had become completely incompatible.

I knew I couldn't go back to smoking cigarettes and hanging out for endless hours on the couch..that just wasn't who I was, anymore. I was a runner...I just didn't know that, yet. I also gave up smoking..a two and half pack a day habit, and I had given up soda the year before.

I met my future husband around the time I had dropped about 60 pounds, and we married soon after. To make a long story short, I decided to start running with the encouragement of my stepdaughter, who was already a runner. I ran five miles the first time, and I was very sore the next day. I almost gave up at that point, but decided to stay with it, and told myself I'd give it a few weeks, and if it was still painful for me to run, I'd go back to walking.

I remember lacing up and getting ready to get out there..I told myself that day I'd go back to walking if it hurt to run on that particular day. It didn't, so I kept going. From that day on, I always felt fantastic when I finished, there was nothing like that little endorphin rush after getting your heart rate up for about an hour, or so from running.

I added weight lifting to the mix and have been doing that as well, for several years, a couple of days a week.

I hit several milestones this year, actually..having now been a runner for close to twenty years. 2013 was a very good year for me. I set a PR in the marathon, I ran several ultras, some unofficial, but one official one, on the Frisco Trail..in the rain. I set a distance PR also, having run 35 miles. I also did my first half Ironman distance triathlon this past summer, as well, and logged a total of 3,256 running miles for the year, the most miles I've ever run in a year..actually by far.

My goals for 2014 aren't to set anymore mileage PR's really..although, I'd love to finish a 50 mile ultra this year, instead of the 31 milers I've done. I'd also like to be able to do the MS 150, or at least, a century ride, at some point. I also plan to do a lot of hiking, as well..a hobby I recently picked up over this past summer. I'm also planning on traveling a little..seeing some of our great country! I'm very excited about that..

My journey has certainly been an adventure, so far, that's for sure..but, it's sure been fun!

Oh, I saw my ex..about six months ago, in the grocery store. He was carrying around an oxygen tank and looked awful. I felt sorry for him, but I was relieved I'd started my journey when I had, because I could very well picture myself in that same condition if I hadn't changed my lifestyle.