Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More looking forward and back

Interrupting the trip reports for a status update, if you will, on me and my blog. Its been a year since I started this blog, though it took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it. My post on doping in cycling is still my number one most read post, but my recent posts on our cruise have been pretty well read also, since I linked them on the Disboards. I started using the blog as an accountability tool in my quest to start running and getting fit. While I haven't been super regular, I am trying to keep this as up to date as possible. I plan to continue doing that over the next year and I'll probably expand my posting to additional areas of interest as they come up.

While I don't like to make it a habit of looking back, sometimes you have to see where you've come from to appreciate where you are. At the beginning of 2011 I weighed close to 320 lbs and was on the verge of being diagnosed with Diabetes. Of course, those who've read my other posts (and if you haven't, you should go back before you read this) know that I started to change my lifestyle after being diagnosed in March. I'm proud to say that on Saturday December 31st I weighed 263lbs. Even more exciting for me, on that morning I ran 5 miles. A year ago I was winded from walking up a flight of stairs and now I can run 5 miles. I've been reminded by many to make sure I take pride in those accomplishments and I do. More importantly, that pride is pushing me to achieve even more in the coming year.

I have a couple of goals that I will be working to achieve in 2012. First, I will work to lose 50 more pounds. These are not going to come off as easily as the first chunk, but I understand a lot more about my body now and about how I can lose that weight and keep my sanity. I have no doubt that I'll be able to continue my downward trajectory. I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. I started to workout and run because I wanted to help lose weight, but now I am going to focus on losing weight because its going to make my running that much better.

I never would have thought that I'd enjoy running the way that I do. Going back to Saturday's run, it was really a cathartic moment for me. I'd had a very stressful week and a very stressful night on Friday. Work had kept me up most of the night and I was frustrated. I got out on the greenway at around 10am and had already decided that my original plan of going for 3 miles wasn't going to be enough. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining and there were plenty of other people out there enjoying their runs. Somewhere around the 2 mile mark I started feeling happy. I mean really really happy. I certainly wasn't moving fast, but I felt like I was moving with ease. My legs felt strong, my heart felt strong, my lungs felt strong. I got to the 2 mile turnaround and decided I would go another half mile and then turn around. On the way back I suffered a bit, but still I kept going. As I got closer to the end I felt stronger and stronger. Not in my body, but in my mind. I wasn't thinking about work, or about the people at work that made me upset. I was just thinking about how glorious the day was and how I was doing something I'd never done before. My heart was filled with joy of being alive, of things bigger than work problems. I broke into a huge smile as I came up to the end of the trail. Fortunately nobody was watching or they would have thought I was nuts. I never would have imagined in August when I could barely run 200 yards that I'd be running 5 miles by the end of the year.

So from there I launch into 2012. I'm not foolish enough to believe that I can run 5 miles every time out, or even every week yet. But I plan to build my base mileage over the next 3 months to 15 a week and then build more. I want to run a 10K this spring and do the Peachtree in July. Ultimately, I'd like to run 700 miles this year which is about a 13.5 mpw average. After the spring, I'll assess how I feel and decide whether to go for a half marathon in the fall or wait until 2013. I'll have to see how fast I can get before I make that commitment.

All in all, I'm very excited for the coming year, and very happy about what I've been able to do in the past year. I want to thank all of those who have supported me, my family and friends near and far. I honestly never thought that anyone would read this stuff, maybe just my mother and my mother in law, but unless they are reading 30 times a week, someone else must be out there too. Most of all I want to thank my wife, who has supported me this year through all of the changes I've made and has inspired me to get healthy and be around a long long time.

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