Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The post about running, running and more running

Around 230 pounds                               Around 165 pounds


  • Besides what I eat day to day and whether or not I've had weight loss/skin removal surgery, the next most common question I get asked is about running. I have answered this in the past, but it's been a while since I dedicated a post to running, so for those of you wondering, here is my running history, in abbreviated form.
  • I started my weight loss journey at around 300 pounds. Two hundred and ninety-seven to be exact. I lost 67 pounds in 7 months and my weight loss began to slow. I knew I had to start doing some form of exercise to kick start things again. Enter the Learn to Run program through the Running Room. That is how I started running. I ran 3x per week for 10 weeks and started by running for 1 minute and walking for 2 minutes. The next week we ran for 1 minute and walked for 1 minute, then ran for 2 minutes and walked for 1 minute. The running time increased each week, the minute walk always stayed the same. By the end of the 10 weeks, I could run for 10 minutes straight and run 5K. Honest to God, I could barely run for a whole minute without feeling like I was going to expire when I first started running. I'm not going to sugar coat things. Learning to run was one of the hardest things I've ever done. 
  • If it wasn't for the constant encouragement of my clinic instructor Carol, I likely would have given up. But Carol believed in me which made me believe in myself. Prior to taking the LTR clinic, I never did any kind of physical activity. I lived the majority of my life morbidly obese and avoided exercise at all costs. Building up the cardio to run was uncomfortable and challenging. But I promised myself I'd see the LTR clinic to fruition. I told myself that if running wasn't my thing once the 10 weeks was over, I'd move onto something else.
  • By the end of the 10 weeks I lost 25 pounds and was hooked on running. I joined the 5K clinic and by the time that clinic was done, I lost another 25 pounds. So my weight loss certainly kick started again and I had the running bug. Even though it was hard to begin with, I became more confident as a runner and started setting all kinds of running goals for myself. I even started teaching other new runners the Learn to Run Clinic. 
  • Running has not come without it's challenges. I have been running for 2.5 years now. During that time, I have never run pain free. I noticed discomfort in my feet about 3 months in. After ignoring it for a spell, I finally got assessed by a podiatrist. I was referred to many specialists, and I was eventually diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma. This condition makes it painful for me to run long distance (10k+). And I have been told that there is no treatment for my condition. The steroid shots and surgery would put an end my running. So I choose to run with pain. I've gotten used to it. And you likely think I'm nuts, unless you are a runner. And just to clarify, running does not make the condition worse. It's just painful.
  • Running has also changed my body in a way that surprised me. It firmed me up in a way I wasn't expecting. I still have my problem areas, but my legs are strong and I have little loose skin on my stomach. You actually use 4 stomach muscles when you run. Who knew? I will perpetually have a weak ass though unless I work my glutes at the gym. Runners are known for their weak asses.
  • I am a distance runner. I run half marathons (21.1K). My furthest distance was 30K last March in a local road race. I start training for that again next month. I'd like to run a marathon one day, but may not be able to run the whole thing due to the Morton's Neuroma. I have to try though. I'd like to say I did at least one marathon.
  • Right now I am not my healthiest. I am dealing with a lot of injuries. Aside from the Morton's Neuroma which is chronic, I also have an old hamstring injury that is nagging me again, neck and back pain from weight training at the gym, and just a week ago I was diagnosed with the early stages of Plantar Fasciitis on my right foot. On Halloween morning, I fell down the stairs and twisted my left ankle. The swelling is almost gone and it caused me to rest for 4 days in a row. Today I run though. I need to. I'm feeling no worse at this moment than I usually do when I run, but emotionally, I need to run. It's been too long. 
  • Running is not for everyone. I didn't know it would be for me until I tried. And now that I'm running 5 days a week (when I'm not injured), it has become part of me and my daily routine. I plan my days around running. I'm a morning runner which means that I get up early to run when the streets are still empty and quiet. It's my time and something I actually look forward to. I am also blessed because I have a team of professionals that keep me running. A physiotherapist, chiropodist, and massage therapist all make it possible for me to run, as do great work benefits. 
  • Why so much effort you ask? Because I'm a runner and it's something I'm passionate about. It's a part of my identity and it's an important addition to my lifestyle and my maintenance plan. You don't have to be a runner, but it's worth your while to find an activity you enjoy. The endorphins I get from a good workout is more addictive than anything I could eat. That's the honest to God truth and why I run outdoors all year round. Even when it's -25C. So find your sport. Any physical activity is good for the heart and I promise, you'll never feel bad after a work out. But the turmoil I feel from missing runs can be soul breaking. And that is why I make running a priority in my life.

3 comments:

  1. I always love reading your running posts...it always motivates me to get out for a run :)

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  2. My biggest concern for anyone who relies on exercise to maintain weight, or feel good is ... what would you do if you simply COULD NOT run again due to injury?
    Would you switch to something else?
    I couldn't exercise AT ALL for months and months about 2 years after I lost my weight, and I couldn't go to the gym or walk, swim ... NOTHING.
    So... the inevitable happened, and the weight crept back on ... and now I find it almost impossible to find the motivation to go through it all again.

    That is what I worry about for you and others like you... have a back up plan Chick.

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  3. An instructive post. People to really know who they want to reach and why or else, they'll have no way to know what they're trying to achieve. People need to hear this and have it drilled in their brains..
    Moreover it is very importance that we are taking or just doing excise or running we should kept in mind that we take water in between it. proper water and healthy food boost our body.this is very interesting and useful blog.by this post i got very useful tips .i really would to thanks you for giving us useful information.
    Thanks for sharing this great article.

    ReplyDelete