Sometimes when I look down while running, I get this weird feeling–it’s hard to describe it–but I’m surprised that it’s really my feet that are doing the running!
I’ve never been a runner. As a kid, if you had asked me what my least favorite thing to do was, running would have likely been the answer. Short distances? Nope. Long distances? Are you kidding me? No way!
So what makes a 43 year old version of me start running for pleasure? Let’s start with that. Initially, I wasn’t doing it for pleasure.
In December of 2019, I topped out at 271lbs when I visited my regular doctor. I had just quit my job at McLeod and started a new job at Accenture Federal Services working from home. That meant I was about to be eating out a lot less and the endless sodas I enjoyed for years at McLeod were no more.
Around July of 2020, I consistently weighed in at 256lbs. We went on a fantastic road trip taking the Blue Ridge Parkway from its beginning in Cherokee, North Carolina, all the way up to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. All along this trip, Janie made us get out every hour or so and go on a hike. (I had started exercising on my elliptical again before this trip, but only about four times per week. Janie had told us we’d be hiking and I thought I’d try to do something so I wouldn’t absolutely dread it when she pulled over.). Before I knew it, I was closing my rings every day. Soon after the trip finished, I continued exercising, but I still occasionally missed a day here or there.
On August 1, 2020, for some reason I remembered a story my boss at McLeod told me. He smoked for years and years and one day decided to not smoke that day. On the second day, he decided, well, maybe I can go another day. The next thing you know, he had not smoked a cigarette in years and hasn’t since. Inspired by that, I decided to close my rings and get the green dot (exercise) every single day, no exceptions.
So to this very day, August 28, 2022, I still have not missed even one single day. That’s 756 uninterrupted days of exercising for at least 30 minutes each day. It might not be the elliptical every day, but I’ve done something. Some days, it’s just a brisk walk.
However, I wasn’t making any progress on my weight. I had some serious tone in my legs but the scale wasn’t budging. So in January 2022, I finally asked my doctor to refer me to the UAB Weight Loss Clinic. I got an appointment for about a month later and they asked me to start a food journal. I installed the Lose It app and began tracking. On the day of my appointment, I had already lost 8lbs.
I got down to 230lbs and just could not break that barrier. I talked to my diet doctor and she recommended that I change something up. Maybe I could shake something loose and my weight loss would continue. She asked me if I had tried running. HORRIFIED, I said no.
Well, I thought about it pretty hard that day and decided, I could try one of those couch to 5K apps. The goal wouldn’t be to actually go run a 5K, but to see if it could teach me to run. I downloaded 5K Runner, bought the subscription and gave it a try. It started me at week three and the five remaining weeks went by quickly with me able to run 35 minutes nonstop at the end, earning my own 5K achievement and making it to 220lbs.
Because that was so successful, I upgraded to the 10K Runner app, bought the subscription and canceled the 5K subscription. I’m now on week 14 with this morning’s run a nonstop 50 minutes. I’m not fast, but I’m definitely doing it.
Now I find myself looking forward to my run days. They’re currently every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Every other day, I’m either taking one (or two!) of those brisk walks or exercising on the elliptical.
On top of that, I’ve agreed to run the Head Over Teal 5K as part of a team called “The Gump Runners”.
My goal weight is 200lbs. I’m so looking forward to making it. Today I weighed in at 211lbs! 🙂