My windows desktop background image. Why did I choose this, when I was not a runner?
At the start of 2016 I set myself a simple main goal for this year. Eat less, move more.
I love to walk, I always have. I was never someone who enjoyed running. I saw the value in it, especially in short sprints to raise my heart rate during workouts. I did it, but I did not LOVE it. Nor did I think I ever would love it.
I began aqua jogging regularly and discovered that I quite enjoyed that. Though I find people look at one weird, when one is doing it. Or maybe that is just me and the way I do it, because I do sprints in the shallow end to get my heart rate where I want it, then I walk the pool for a lap, back to sprints, back to the walk.
As time went on, I got better at running. I could do it for longer. I began to feel STRONG when I did it. I watched my legs change the more I did it. The muscles started to stand out more.
One day, I ran for a full kilometre on the treadmill. It took somewhere around 7 minutes. This was amazing to me. How is it possible that I could do this, when I used to struggle running for just one minute?
After that, I began to increase my running time during workouts. I began to challenge myself, to watch my times, to note personal best times. I walked, then *ran* up and down beach stairs. I worked on my cardio at Aqua Aerobics. I got my 1km time down to 6 minutes.
My fitness level is the best it has ever been in my 41 years on this planet. I have lost over 20kg (44 pounds) now. My nutrition is the best it has ever been. I am drinking protein shakes daily, which I never expected I would do. The best part – I am actually enjoying all of this.
I still never thought I would want to – or be able to – run long distances like 5km or 10km. One week, I walked 75km and some of that – in fact quite a bit of that – was running.
Then August 21st happened. For weeks I had been seeing signs down at the my usual walk, telling me of running events due to happen on the 21st. HA, I thought. I won’t be down here that day, it will be crazy busy.
When the day happened, it was gorgeous out. Grumpy was due to have surgery that week and I knew this might be my last chance to get out for the next week, so I checked the times for events online and found it would all be over fairly early, but there was another run due in the afternoon. If I went right then, chances were I would have the path pretty much to myself. Within 20 minutes I was in the car and on my way.
I thought – I’ll just run a little bit, then walk, then run a little, then walk. It turned out more like Forrest Gump. I just kept running, pausing only 7 times to take photos.
(the blue line = pace, the red line = heart rate)
That is my personal best time for a 5km, ever. I did not stop there – I went on to walk/run another 5km that same day. The second 5km was slower and I did walk for more of it.. however the running in this case was sprints rather than an even pace. In total, I ran more that day than I ever have before. I expected to be in a world of pain the next day, but I was not. I did a recovery 5km walk, and the following day I ran 2.5km out of my 5km.
I have since run another full 5km with only 3 pauses for photos. I would not call them stops, because it was literally pause, take the shot, back to running. I am running 2.5km out of my treadmill 5kms, and that is only because my treadmill gets too hot if I run a full 5km.
I enjoy running.
I am as shocked to type those words as you likely are to read them. :)
5 thoughts on “It Turns Out, I Am A Runner.”
I never thought I would enjoy it either. It somehow opens up my mind and I also think it speeds up metabolism. I started running/jogging about 40 years ago to get in shape for skiing. I ended up giving up skiing, but kept the running. :)
Congratulations! I like weightlifting, but I’m miserable at running. I have scoliosis that impedes my right lung’s ability to expand fully when I’m doing cardio intense activities. Since the right lung is about 30% larger and expected to do more work, this is pretty detrimental! Running a 5k with 3 pauses is probably a lot better than I could do right now.
I am forever hopeful that one day the switch will flip and I too will be able to say “I enjoy running”.
Wow! Good for you. I will walk for miles and miles, but do not enjoy running at all.
I’m so glad you are enjoying running. I’d give it a try myself if I didn’t have this horrendous heel pain, even walking is a trial. I’ll keep at it though, because I now the more I do the better it will get. The problem is my achilles and hamstrings are so terribly tight after so long sitting and doing very little, about three years. I’m actually ashamed of myself after that.
So, 44 pounds? Wow. Well done.