I love to run, or at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
I didn’t really start to “run” until a few years ago. Before that I used to exercise, mountain bike, play basketball, even go for the occasional jaunt on the treadmill, but it was always seasonal. I never found something that became habitual to me.
How about diets? Sure, I’ve tried them all. Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, low-carb, low-fat, shakes for lunch. I even tried taking “metabolism boosting pills” before I got married. Some of them worked. At one point I lost almost 40 pounds with the South Beach Diet (218 lbs to 179 lbs), which I was psyched about. But inevitably, I gained most of it back. My wife would complain because I’d be super strict for two months, lose a ton of weight, and then for the next three months I’d fall back into my old ways (bagels for breakfast and D’Angelo #9s for lunch). It was a constant struggle.
Then I started RUNNING, and it changed everything.
When I did the South Beach Diet, I used to try and run on the treadmill (and by run I mean 1.5 miles at 5.5 MPH) almost every day. I would take my awkward strides and stare at the wall and chug along just long enough to break a sweat. And I hated it. I dreaded it. It became a job, or more like a punishment. It was almost as bad as forcing myself to eat a eggs, fried in olive oil, with turkey bacon and Crystal Light Orange every morning for a month (thanks Phase 1). So once I lost the weight… I quit.
When I found myself evaluating my health several years ago (two daughters will do that to you), I decided I would become more aggressive with my biking. I started stretching my normal 10 mile rides into 20, or 30 miles. I felt good. I was outside. It was amazing and refreshing. Then October came, in New England. The weather starting getting colder, the days getting shorter, and taking long bike rides became it’s own form of torture. So I put my bike in the garage and waited for spring. I enjoyed the holidays, with all the food, drink, and merriment one would expect. When spring finally came around, I stepped back on the scale. It was then that I realized I needed to find away to keep myself healthy, all year round, without going through the ups and downs of fad diets or putting myself through constant torture.
I needed to find away to keep myself healthy, all year round, without going through the ups and downs of fad diets
That spring I decided to go for a run outside. Surprisingly, it was something I had rarely considered. I wasn’t a runner. Running on the treadmill was bad enough, I mean, at least you can stop when you’re tired. When you run outside, you need to run back. To be honest, that sounded terrible. The good news was that I lived in a small development that had a looped road, relatively flat, and was only about 0.2 miles around. So I figured I could quit at anytime, and I’d never be more than a tenth of a mile from home. So I ran… and it was amazing.
From that moment I realized how much I loved to run, and I’ve been loving it ever since. But the best part of all this is that running has helped me regulate my weight and stay healthy.
But I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here. I’ve had my share of running struggles. I developed shin splints a number of times, and overcame them by changing technique. I realized I was being held back by “exercise induced asthma” (sure that’s a thing), and with the help of my doctor have been dealing with that. I’ve fallen off the horse a few times and gotten…lazy. I want to run, and I love it once I’m out there, but motivating myself to get up early and get moving is still a battle for me.
So it’s time to get serious. I set a goal to run my first 5k (which I did) last year. That was a good start and kept me motivated to train. So now I needed something bigger, but still achievable. So this year I’ve set a goal to run 500 miles by the end of 2015. I’d like to do more, maybe run a 10k or more, but for now I need to stay motivated.
This is what I hope to do here. I may be a lazy runner, but I still love to run. I just got to keep motivated.