Saturday, August 4, 2012
A Running Start
After winning the last weight-loss contest at work, the other less-successful folks in the contest decided that it would be a good idea to continue on with a second round. I was flush with cash, so I couldn't turn down the entry fee of $20. After taking everyone else's money the first time, I felt that I owed it, even if I didn't expect to be able to win the second go around. And I seemed to be right. My weight loss stalled completely. I hovered at 245 despite doing exactly the same things as I had previously done. Well, I wasn't doing exactly the same things. My weekends tended to be...how could I put it?...splurgy? Spluge-tastic? I would gain back all the weight that I lost during the week, and took the proverbial one step forward and two steps back. In early July, I decided it was time to change things up. I hadn't been exercising at all since I had that issue in April where my body was just aching all the time, and the doctor thought I might have a heart condition. Time had passed, and all the symptoms had subsided, so I decided to get back on the proverbial horse. I started running each morning. It was much easier to do than it had been in the past, I suppose because I wasn't carrying the proverbial millstone around my neck. I was forty pounds lighter than I was in March. Imagine running with a forty pound backpack on, then stopping, and taking the backpack off. How much easier would it be to run now? It was great! Of course, I'm not, and never have been, a runner. I've never run long distances. I played football in high school, where the whistle blows the play dead ever ten or fifteen seconds. You go real hard, then take a rest. You don't go and go and go and go...but that's what running is. So, it takes a lot of getting used to for me. I discovered that my iPod has a stopwatch on it, so I've been using it to clock my runs each day. Unfortunately, since it's not standard from colon to colon, time is hard to divide up. What is 17:19 divided by a mile and a half? I know if I ran today faster than yesterday, but I don't know how long a mile takes me. Eleven minutes and change is my fastest time for a mile, and fourteen minutes or so is my slower average (although, in my defense, that was on a longer three mile jog that I putted my way to that time). Some days are harder than others, but I'm steadily improving. And I'm improving in two ways, both speed and distance. Today I ran four miles. Cue triumphant music! To put that in perspective, that's the longest distance I've ever run in my entire life. And better yet, I didn't poke along at a sluggish pace of fourteen minutes-a-mile either. I did an even 12:30 per mile. I plan to keep pushing it, both in distance and speed. Maybe one day, I'll enter a 5K, and win it. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the running jumpstarted my weight loss. I've come down another 12 lbs. in the last month. And even on days that I go splurge-tastic, I still don't gain. So, I'll be out there running every day.