Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Still Running, Still Dreaming ***
***(if you're a Jimi Hendrix fan, you'll get this reference...)
Wow, it's been a long time since I wrote anything here! I've been so busy this summer with work, spending time with Kristie and the kids, and trying to enjoy the nice weather and get stuff done around the house (I've been failing on that front). Oh yeah, and RUNNING! In my last post, I mentioned how I've taken up running again. Well, I'm still running, getting out about 3 or 4 times a week. I'm comfortably doing 4 miles per run and have my pace down to around 10:10 min/mile on a regular basis. I've lost 48.8 lbs and feel great! I've run five 5k races around the area and have my best time down to 31 minutes...my goal is to get as close to my record time of 24:00, which I ran when I was 16. We'll see if that's possible, but it's something to shoot for!
There are only two drawbacks to losing all of this weight (and really, they aren't drawbacks, but things I'll need to adjust to): the first is that my clothes are getting too loose for me and it's very noticeable...I've had to punch two new holes in my belt, and it's getting close to needing another one. My pants waist is tightened so much that it bunches up in the front and my pants are looking too baggy. My shirts are much too baggy on me now. I'm trying to hold off buying all new clothes until I'm at my goal weight (another 35 lbs or so) but I'm going to have to buy something in the interim. The second drag is that my wedding band, which used to be nice and snug on my finger, is now MUCH too loose...it's constantly falling off my finger, even if I just let me hand hang down at my waist. Again, I don't want to get it re-sized until I'm at my target weight, so I need to find an interim solution in the meantime (I'm thinking of trying to find a ring "sizer" piece?).
What's funny is that people who I see on a regular basis have commented on how good I look and they can totally notice the weight loss. But when anyone asks what I do for exercise and I mention running, they give me a funny look as if to say "YOU?!?! A runner!?" Now, I understand this...I'm 6'5" and have a very large frame, broad shoulders, etc. You look at me and think "NFL Linebacker," not "runner." And when I was more active in my younger days and did sports, it was basketball and baseball I played a ton, although I did run cross country track for 3 years in high school. But what I've found is that running is not only great exercise for me, but it's fantastic therapy in a variety of ways. It's a great way to hone the mind-body connection, because running requires building up mental, physical, and cardiovascular strength and endurance. It's a fantastic stress-reliever...at the end of a long day of work, there's nothing better than going out for a long run. It is a great way to compete with yourself...everyone knows men are very competitive, generally, and I'm no exception. I love pushing myself to see if I can top my speed or distance, how many hills I can do, etc. And it just makes you feel *GOOD*, mentally and physically. After a long run and a hot shower, I'm exhausted but in a good way, and I haven't slept as well in years!
Obviously, health benefits are a big plus, too. At my previous physical exam in 2010, I was getting awfully close to having some risks...my blood pressure was a bit high, my blood sugar was just under the threshold for pre-diabetes, and my joints and back ached. At my latest physical a month ago, my blood pressure was perfect and all of my blood work came back and was fantastic...blood sugar and cholesterol, in particular, were right on the money where you'd want them to be. My doctor was very pleased and so was I, and that was 20 lbs ago! The only pain I have right now is Runner's Knee and a Baker's Cyst (which often go hand-in-hand), both in my left knee, but this is an issue I've had in that knee since I was 15, and it's totally manageable.
If this post seems a bit self-serving or self-indulgent, I apologize, but I just wanted to share my success (so far) and hopefully show that anyone can get healthy. All I've done is exercise on a regular basis (run 3-4 times a week, pushups and situps every night, and climbing stairs in my house 1-2 times a week) and tracked my calories (I 100% eat whatever I want, I just track the calories to monitor how MUCH of everything I eat). A bit of self-disciple and settling into a good routine have helped me out immensely, and if I can help other people in this way, it would make my day!
As a final thing, here's a pic of me, sort of a "Before and After", although the "After" is from late July 2011 and I'll hopefully look even better when I hit my goal weight. The "Before" pic is from June 12, the morning I ran my first 5k in 14 years!