*Caution: If you squirm at the intricacies of exercise, running, or the blathering of an old man, you might as well skip this post.
I've finally decided to "officially" let the cat out of the bag. What's the big news? I'm running in a race Saturday. I know, boring stuff, but it's big for me. So sit back, while I regale you with my sad story.
In high school I ran cross country and track. In track my even was the 400. I have no idea why I chose to run that race other than I thought I could sprint. I couldn't. Cross country was much easier for me once I got into shape. It didn't take long to do that as I was young and thin. I topped out around 160 to 180 pounds and maybe 5'10" to 6'0".
I had long legs and a long stride but I wasn't the fastest on the team. And that didn't bother me. There were taller kids and shorter kids and even girls that were faster than me. But I wasn't the slowest, so I was fine with that.
Anyway, our coach (who ran and looked like a dwarf - as in the fantasy kind, not the little people kind) had a good routine for our training, stretching, etc. Part of that still sticks with me to this day. The memory, not the practice.
Fast forward 14 years. I haven't run on a regular basis since high school. I'm now 32, married, and the father of two. And while my height hasn't changed much (still 6'0"), my waist has grown considerably as I now weigh in around 230. I know that's big, and I want to get smaller. But I also know that it could be worse. A good friend lives in pain from his weight and I don't know how he does it. I think I'd become overly depressed and eat more. Instead, he's working out.
So taking some inspiration from him (and a few others), I finally realized I had hit the bottom of my barrel. I was tired of being tubby and wanted to move closer toward chubby (yes, there's a difference in my mind). So in searching around the various interwebz, I discovered there was a 5k (that's 3.1 miles) race this weekend (the same distance we'd run in cross country).
So for the past month and a half, I've been training. Yes, training. My goal? Several. First, to finish this race. Second, if I finish it, I want to finish it in less than 45 minutes. The long-term/overall goal, was to generally increase my level of fitness and hopefully drop some weight. Nothing specific, but if I have to buy a new wardrobe because my pants are too large, then I'll be super-happy.
My training has also been aided by the motivation that I'm paying for it. We recently got a YMCA in the county, so it takes me all of a few minutes to drive there and back. With doing you-know-what at home now, I have the time to workout, shower, and get back home with time to spare.
Now, for the motivational part for those looking to start a workout regime. So, how have I done in my training so far? In late August, I could barely run a few laps around my yard. Since then, I've been able to run for a mile in under 10 minutes. And most important to me, I ran the old cross country course this past weekend. My time? 39 minutes.
Not too bad considering my age, weight, and overall fitness level. I'll bore you all next week with how the race goes.