Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Five Miler

I'm into the last week of this recovery program. Which is nice, becuase I am looking forward to running for a reason.

When I started the whole fitness thing (about a year and a half ago), it was becuase I had a "shelf" on top of my stomach. On weekend mornings, I could actually sit in a chair and rest my cup of coffee and muffin quite conveniently. I was pushing 260 pounds and was leading a pretty sedentary lifestyle. My daughter, who was trying to secure an athletic scholarship, is the one who really got me off my butt and motivated me to start indoor rowing. I decided at the time that my goal would be to get back in shape to start hiking and backpacking again.

As I started working out three to five days a week, I started feeling a lot better. I found that my focus started shifting from my original goal to weight loss. I brought in another website that helped me track my calorie intake, and the weight started coming off! Great! I dropped from 260 to 220 in a matter of a few months. Of course, those were the easy pounds.

As I started getting fit and saw the weight come off, my goals once again changed from weight loss to fitness and competition. When I started looking at the opportunities for 50 year old overweight guys, it seemed that running might be a good fit. I knew that I would never be an elite runner, but the challenge and the competition was there in finishing. That's right - just finishing. I never thought that I could finish a 10K, much less anything longer. I mean - that's like 6 miles! True - I was rowing 15 kilometers a day at that point, but the whole idea of running that far was a bit of a stretch.

So I started running. At first it was 10 miles here, 10 miles there. No plan. I saw that I could run a 10K, but that it was going to take me an hour and a half to do so. In my latter stages of rowing, I had been exposed to training plans. I thought that that may be what I needed here. I had purchased a Forerunner 305 to track heart rate and distance. Some of the materials that came with the GPS pointed me in the direction of Training Peaks. There I found that training plans were readily available and integrted into their web site! Sounded like an opportunity for me!

I've now been running since last September. The 5Ks are anticlimatic. 10Ks are still a challenge, but are doable. I've run a Half Marathon. My running goal is now to complete a Marathon. The best thing about running at this point in my life is that it leads to a whole set of goals that I can now see as achievable: Lose 20 more pounds, Boston by the age of 60, PR in 5Ks, 10Ks, Halfs and Marathons. The list is only limited by me.

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