Exactly one year has passed since I began running. A lot has happened in that year, so bear with me while I relive some of it.
Here’s what I said one year ago about why I began running again.
Lately I’ve gotten so completely disgusted with myself, my laziness, but most importantly, the example I am setting for my family that I have (re)committed to running.
I ended that post with a promise. “This time, it’s for real. I promise.”
I then went out and start the Couch to 5K running program to help get me started. One of the big differences between previous attempts to start running and this one is that I consciously decided to take it slow and easy, and C25K really helped with that. The first day of C25K has you alternating between 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking. Here’s me after that first day:
And there I was wheezing my way around, wondering how 60 seconds could feel so damn long. Sixty seconds. Seconds.
That whole first week of running felt like hell, and I was only doing one minute at a time. Today, one year later, for the first time ever, I ran 20 miles and it took me about 3 hours to do it. Day one, one minute. Today, 182 minutes.
I’ve admitted it before, and I will again now. When I started, I was driven by many self-centered factors: I felt lazy, I felt (and was) grossly overweight. And honestly, I had been both for the better part of a decade. While those first days were mostly about my appearance, there was one other big factor: the example I was setting for my wife and my two young boys.
As for the physical changes, they’ve been pretty drastic. When I started, I weighed 218 pounds, which put me in the obese category according to BMI (I’m 6’0″). And while I never had my body composition measured, I can’t imagine that my fat percentage was any less than 30%. My resting heart rate was somewhere in the 80s and I was just generally unhealthy, getting pretty much every cold or sniffle my kids brought home from school. Today, I weigh 171 lbs., my resting heart rate is on the low 50s, and I had my body composition measured at the beginning of July and found that my fat percentage is just 7%. In the past year, I haven’t been sick at all, even with H1N1 having made its presence known in my family.
I’m proud of the changes I’ve made in my body. But what really makes me feel great is how proud my wife and boys are. Just this afternoon, my younger boy said, “Dad I’m so proud of you for your 20 mile run.” That alone felt like gold, but I asked him why he was proud and he said, unprompted, “You’ve been running for a whole year to be able run 20 miles!” I am not ashamed to tell you that I cried a bit when I heard that. For an eight year old to recognize that hard work has to be consistently practiced over a long time to get to goals is priceless. No amount of saying those words to him would have done it, but actually going out day after day regardless of how I was feeling allowed him to grasp a lesson that will serve him for his entire life. I feel like I earned a Dad badge today.
A few stats to wrap things up.
- 1237 total miles run.
- Longest run to date.: 20 miles, 3:02:30
- Mason Mini 5K: 11/8/09, 5K, 30:22
- St. Ursaline Run for the Lions: 11/15/09, 5K, 29:34
- Thanksgiving Day Race: 11/26/09, 10K, 1:04:24
- Flying Pig Half Marathon: 5/2/10, 13.1 miles, 1:56:14
- Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon: 8/29/10, 13.1 miles, 1:51:48
I still have about a month to go to reach the goal I’ve been thinking about since I was in high school: to run a marathon. On October 10, 2010 I’ll be running the Chicago Marathon.