Why take up running at age 36? I had been an athlete in high school, and continued to lift weights into my twenties, but after getting married and having kids I found myself overweight and out of shape in my thirties.
It didn’t help that I had a desk job by day and blogged at night. I probably averaged a pathetic 2,000 steps a day. I wasn’t obese by any means but I had given up on physical fitness and it began to show.
A straight-talking doctor told me to get my act together and start a regular exercise program. I took it to heart. My wife was already an avid runner and fitness junkie. It was time for me to get moving.
Couch to 5K
I downloaded the Runkeeper app and started a ‘learn to run’ 5K plan. I cancelled my parking pass and started walking to work from a free parking lot 10 minutes away. It wasn’t long before my average daily step count hit 10,000 and my weight – which had reached upwards of 225 lbs – dipped below 205 for the first time in more than a decade.
The Runkeeper plan kept me on track. I loved completing the activities 3-4 times a week. Then I hit a snag. About two months into my training I went out for a 7K run when my lower back seized up and I had to cut the run short.
I sucked it up and went out again three days later for an easy 4K run. But something didn’t feel right. My bad back put me out of commission for two weeks, and then it seemed like I’d go two weeks on, two weeks off for the rest of the year. I couldn’t shake it.
Then in January 2017 I developed crippling sciatica nerve pain and could barely get out of bed, let alone continue training for my first ever race. It meant about a month of rest and rehab before I finally felt strong enough to start running again regularly.
The good thing was that I had committed to doing more core exercises and strengthening my lower back. I wasn’t going to let a bad back slow me down again.
I picked the training plan back up in mid-February and tried to get into shape for my first race – a 6K in March called the Moonlight Run. It was the most popular road race in Lethbridge and included a gruelling, 1K steep hill climb.
Finally healthy, I cruised through my training and managed to finish the race in 35 minutes. I was hooked on running!
Fast forward to today and I’ve completed two more races; a 10K at the Calgary Marathon where I finished in 52 minutes; and a 10K at the Lethbridge Police Half-Marathon where I finished in 49:39 – a personal record!
Why running? I love the feeling I get during and after a run. I love completing each of the activities within a training plan. I love competing in a race – not so much against other runners, but to test myself and achieve a personal best. I love sharing this hobby with my wife. And I love that I’ve turned my health around and lost weight.
So what’s next? This year I want to complete a half-marathon in Calgary this May. I’ll also enter the Moonlight Run 10K in March, and enter the Lethbridge Police Half-Marathon in September. Long-term I’d love to travel with my wife and do a half-marathon in a different city every year.
Running has become a big part of my life and I hope through this blog I can share my passion with others and hold myself accountable to achieving my running and fitness goals.
See you in health!