One of the things that I struggle with is how much running to do. Right now I have two, sometimes opposing, reasons to run. First – you may not realize this, but I have a lot of running to do on back-to-back-to-back-to-back days. 😉 So I need to get my body used to the concept of doing long (or longish) runs and then getting up the next day and doing longer ones. Easy enough. The second reason is I have a ton of weight to lose. Ok, not really a ton, but sometimes it feels like it. Let me go back a bit….
About 4 years ago, I decided to get in shape. It was around June of 2010 that I said to myself, “Self, you gotta change things here.” So, I started running and eating many fewer calories. I started off slow on the run side of things. I had periodically run in the past and always enjoyed it, but it had been a while so I ran 10 slow minutes the first day. Then, 11 slow minutes the second day. I added a minute each day (2 on Saturdays because Sunday was a day off) until I was running for 30 minutes. Then, I worked on running faster. I ran my first 5K on July 11. Holy crap, I’m running with a thousand other people and damn, some of them are in shape. I ran it in a blistering 34:33. But, I ran it. So, I ran more. I did two more 5K’s, two 5 milers, two 10K’s, two very hilly 10 milers and then 3 half marathons. When I had run in the past, 30 minutes was pretty much my high water mark. I never really did a whole lot more than that. In February of the following year, I completed the Tobacco Road Half Marathon (what would be my 4th half at that point) in 1:52:17. Not a blistering time, but man was I stoked. That was the best I felt, the fittest I had been in too many years. A month later, I ran the Little Rock Marathon. What would still be my best marathon time – 4:31:39. I’ve done 4 more since then, but haven’t beaten that smoking time.
Fast forward to now…no now…I’ve still been running. According to dailymile.com, I’ve run 5,527 miles as of today. That’s not quite all of the miles. Probably short by a few hundred, but you get the picture. So, yeah, I’ve been running. Unfortunately, I’ve also been eating. You get to the point where you do a long run – say 10 or more miles. And you think, “Hell, I just ran a half marathon, I can eat whatever I want” To some degree that’s true. But, the next day when you don’t run at all, you can’t say, “Hell, I ran a half marathon yesterday, I can eat whatever I want.” Doesn’t work.
So, over the past 3 years, I’ve put on a little over half of what I lost. Yikes! I guess handfuls of M&M’s, large orders of fries and Coke aren’t the best thing. Who knew?
Now, it’s time to get serious about this again. There’s the saying “don’t call it a diet, call it a lifestyle change”. And you know what? It’s right. If you think, we’ll I can just diet for a few months, lose what I need and then all will be right with the world. You’ll be the yo-yo that I am. So, I’m back to counting calories, weighing/measuring food and eliminating easy stuff (good bye Coke). It’s only been a couple of days, but 3 pounds are gone and hopefully will not return. Blogging and tracking online (myfitnesspal.com) are two of the methods I’ve used in the past and will hopefully help now.
I sometimes look at myself or at the scale and wonder how I let it get back to this point. I was looking good. Ok, I was looking in shape. I had to buy some new clothes, I sent other stuff to Goodwill. I was getting definition in my abs. No six pack, but no keg there either. Here’s a pic at about my lightest weight…
So, right now, I’m somewhere in between the two. My plan, at this point, is to get close to the weight I was at by the middle of October. It’s pretty aggressive, but when I lost the weight a few years ago, it practically melted off. I think what feels different now, then over the past couple of years as I said over and over again, I have to do something about this, is that I’m pretty psyched for it. I feel very positive about the whole thing – which is how I was in 2010 when this all started.
Hopefully, by the end of August there will be a noticeable difference in how I look and I’ll be running faster and longer. Which is good. Remember the first point? yeah, I have a lot of miles to do. The hard part will be those days when I do run long distances, not coming home and eating, well, everything. And, more importantly, not eating everything the next day…or the next.
My goal, as I said, is to be very close to my low weight by mid October. That will give me about 6 weeks until the St. Jude Marathon and then about 10 weeks until Disney – just enough time to get some seriously long runs in and the weather will be cooler so it will be easier.
That’s the plan, Stan.