Since I started Weight Watchers back in October 2014, I have lost over 45 pounds. After meeting my goal weight, fitness has been my next challenge to take on. With my weight loss journey I added a lot of walking to my fitness regimen but I have always enjoyed running as a physical activity. I think it goes back to my childhood when I would run home from school just for fun. That was a good half mile. In high school I ran cross country and track and in the off season I took up running 10k’s and half marathons. I even got into doing triathlons for several years.
That was my first running incarnation. After meeting and dating my future wife, my priorities shifted to less exercise and more time with my honey. Exercise wasn’t totally out of the picture, but it was sporadic. My second running incarnation was after I joined the Army – I joined later in life, thinking it might open some opportunities in the long term. By age 30, I was fitter than most people my age, running 10 miles on a weekly basis by the end of my Basic Training/AIT. However, once I settled into my weekend warrior status, I slowly backslid on my level of fitness. By the time my contract with the Army was over, I was in a sedentary job with pretty much no activity in the off hours. I ate a lot and my weight soared. When I hit the over 200lbs. mark on the scale, I decided it was time to make some changes with my priorities and start treating myself better.
So before Weight Watchers, and also during, I tried getting back into running, but my Achilles tendon would flare up after a few weeks, resulting with me being barely able to walk. I tried all sorts of programs to no avail. Even the Couch to 5k program was too much for me. So I decided to wait until I lost my weight to start running again. Since I had many years experience designing my own running programs in the past, I decided to do just that in order to get back in running shape, but at my own pace. I started slowly running only 10 minutes a day for twice a week with lots of walking on non-running days. That is much less than what the experts say to do, but it was what worked for me. I increased the length of my time running on a monthly basis, not weekly or bi-weekly like many of the experts say. Instead of several weeks it has taken me several months to be able to now run over 30 minutes without getting injured. My thinking is what’s the hurry. I’m at a healthy weight. I’m already exercising and eating well. Improving on my running is just an extra thing that I get to do, and so I have the rest of my life to work on it. I’m blessed to be able to do it.
So now that I have reached a certain level of running fitness, I decided that I want to run my first 5k since losing the weigh - it’s been many years! I thought it would be neat to pick a day of significance, so I thought my birthday would give me a good amount of time to condition myself for the challenge. Plus, this year’s birthday falls on Friday the 13th so I thought that would be extra fun. I thought I would save a little money and hold a fun run in my own neighborhood. I also didn’t want to travel to a running event because it can be a bit stressful and I wanted my run to be as low key as possible. It’s just going to be me running, although my wife said she would also walk the course. Of course every run has to have a t-shirt, so I designed and printed off some shirts for me and my wife to wear during the 5k. After I finish the 5k maybe I can consider myself a “real” runner again.