I have never really been a runner. If I had to list my least-favorite exercises, running would probably be pretty high up there. My disdain for running is directly correlated with my weight. Not being able to run a block without getting winded is kind of embarrassing and kills your motivation. However, something changed this past September.
I can walk like nobody’s business. Even at 300+ pounds, I could walk 4 miles in less than an hour. The problem was that, between the bad eating and my body being used to a walking routine, neither the scale nor my fitness level changed much. When I really started to push myself last summer, I started taking on new exercise challenges. One fateful September day (dramatic enough for you?), when I was on the treadmill, I got bored with walking and went from my normal 4-mph pace to a 5mph pace and ran for about 3 minutes. I was winded but, I caught my breath and, a few minutes later, did it again. I repeated this cycle once more and, once I didn’t keel over, something clicked in my head.
About a week later, bit the bullet and was determined that I would run a full mile. It wasn’t pretty but, I did it. This was a big deal because the last time I had run a full mile without stopping was probably my second year of college, which was over 20 years prior.
Two weeks later, I ran 2 miles without stopping. I was then able to go from 5 mph to 5.2 mph. A week-and-a-half later, I did 3 miles. Now, along with the other exercise I was doing and my eating changes, running was a less-scary prospect. I then started to bring the treadmill to an incline of 2 (out of 12), which is still my normal running incline. After doing this for a while, I moved the speed up to 5.5 mph. In December, I was just about to wrap up my 3-mile run when a voice popped in my head and said, “go ahead and do 4 miles.” I did it! After a couple of weeks, I took the speed up to 6 mph.
However, last month, I really took it up a notch. After I hit another first-time goal, I stopped the treadmill to take this picture:
I broke the 5-mile mark!
I still don’t consider myself a runner by any stretch of the imagination but, to go from not running to running 5 miles in the span of less than 4 months, is a blessing I don’t take lightly. Right now, I am not running for enjoyment, I am running for life. This is one race I aim to win.