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Archive for February, 2013

Chasing fitness

So… Running? Good question. I have never considered myself a runner. I am one of those people who used to joke that I only ran if being chased. That’s not really far from the truth. My knees used to ache when I ran any distance, all the way back to middle school.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been interested in athletic endeavors. I marched in a top notch marching band and drum corps in high school, and we did plenty of laps and push-ups, and the field shows probably involved a couple of miles of marching each practice or show. I played basketball recreationally into college, and had little problem running 94 feet at a time. I love mountain biking, and was proud of the 10 mile bike commute that I made into the office every now and then.

Still… No real running. Definitely nothing close to a mile. So what got me started? Well, it started with a chance encounter with an article on barefoot running, describing the difference in stride between a fore- or mid- foot striking barefoot runner and a the stride of a heel-striking running shoe wearing running. I wondered, what if my shoes and my stride are why I’ve always hurt when I run? Maybe I’m just not built to strike heel first?

So I went out, took off my shoes, and ran to the corner and back. While my feet were a little sore and raw afterwards, my knees felt fine. I actually began to think that there may be something to this whole running thing besides just pain. However, life got super-busy in the form of the birth of my son, and the idea dropped to the back of my mind.

The idea of running came back full speed in November 2011 after getting on a scale. Wow!! I was 25 pounds heavier than I was when I finished grad school. I did a little more research and discovered the Couch To 5k training plan as a gentle way to start running, discovered the RunDouble C25K app for my phone, and decided to give it a shot, seeking fitness and the feeling I got that day when I ran barefoot.

That was December 2011. I wish I could say that it was easy. Finding 3 days a week to run was tough at first, and I had to get much of that running done at night after the baby went to sleep. I got sick 2 weeks into the program and put it all down, only to pick it up and start over again in April 2012. April Fools day, believe it or not, is my “birthday” as a runner. Since that day, I’ve logged close to 400 miles, completed three 5Ks and two 10k. I’ve evolved from a three run a week guy into a five run a week guy. But most importantly…

I’ve evolved into a guy who misses it if I don’t get my run in. When that thought started creeping into my head, I knew I had evolved from someone who was running, into someone who might just be a runner.

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