Here's the skinny: I've been near 300 lbs. for years and need to lose weight. I'm married to a wonderful lady, and we have a family. One of our boys often asks if I'll run with him. I've always had to tell him, "No." In August of '09, my wife learned about a couch-to-5k running program, and I agreed to try it with her. This blog chronicles our progress on that training program. I hope I'll soon be able to surprise my son by telling him, "Yes, I'll go running with you!"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 54 (week 8) - A good run

First of all, I apologize for posting so late. After finishing the run and catching dinner, I sat down to get some of my assigned reading done. I yet have four chapters to go, and really need to finish it up tonight, so I guess I'm in for a late one.

Now, to the run.

Well, it took me a couple of attempts to get my home-made patellar stabilizer just right. Because of that, it took me almost 30 minutes to get dressed and ready. The weather outside was still brisk, in the 40s, and there was some wind, but I was ready and looking forward to the run.

We parked and walked to the trailhead. A little stretching, and we were off. Though I was looking forward to the run, I still had that initial internal conflict, as my legs started to take a pounding, that wanted me to give up.

I didn't think my pace was great. Although my stride felt good, I just didn't feel like I was moving fast. Mrs. F was able to pull ahead of me, and she circled back a couple of times. My breathing seemed more labored today, and I could not get into a regular pattern of breathing.

The first five minutes passed. My home-brew brace was doing its job. I could feel a little strain in the problem area, but nothing bad. The next five minutes were a little better, but I started to feel a strain in my neck, like a pulled muscle. Before the end of my third song, I was tired, but I was also at our turnaround point.

[I just checked my playlist--I completed the first mile in under 13:07! It just seems too good to be true!]

Since I knew Mrs. F was still running faster than me, I told her to go on ahead while I turned around toward our starting point. For the first time since we began, I was willingly running alone. Sure, I knew Mrs. F would catch up and overtake me eventually, but I made the choice to run without her immediate company.

Then it hit me--that, "Gosh darn it, I made it this far and I can do this" feeling. My stride was strong. My breathing regularized. I didn't bother looking at my feet, or even staring at the trail ahead. I was able to look to the left and the right, taking in the autumn views of our wonderful area. My neck strain was developing into a headache, but I didn't care. I was really running, and I was enjoying it.

I covered ground. I ran. I slowed. I sped. I covered ground. I ran. I slowed. It was definately harder now. I could feel the fatigue in my legs. The second to last song was coming to an end, and the final song was beginning. Something, however, did not seem right. As the final song began, I crossed a driveway. By the time the lyrics began... I could see the park-end of the trail!

Just moments before, I was concerned that I would run out of music (and time) before I ran out of trail. Now, a new reality was before me--I was going to run out of trail before I ran out of music!

Just then, that lazy part of me, the part that wanted to use my tiredness and fatigue as leverage, tried to convince me to simply end at the end of the trail. After all, it plied, you'll have covered your two miles--no one would know. But the voice was wrong--I would know.

I considered running past the end, and heading back toward the car, but then I remembered that Mrs. F had not caught up to me, and I purposed to turn around. The end of the trail came, and my music played on, so I did something I could not imagine myself doing, even on this past Monday--I turned around, and ran back the way I came!

I strained for any sign of Mrs. F, but I saw nothing. I kept moving. Then, there she was. Even at a distance, she looked tired. What a switcheroo--here I was, doubling back, to run with her. I covered at least a tenth of a mile, perhaps a little more, before the music ended. Mrs. F was close now, perhaps 20 meters. I announced the end of the song--the end of our run--and I turned around.

Yet, instead of slowing to a walk, I continued to run. I ran back to the end of the trail and across the street, and then I slowed to a walk. Mrs. F was still coming, reaching the end of the trail. She had not heard me when I called time, and since I was still running, she ran, too.

So, in the end, I ran at least 2.1 miles in 28 minutes, with the second half a bit slower than the first. Mrs. F must have covered at least 2.5 miles without including her two double-backs. No wonder why she was beat--she must have been flying to cover that distance in under 30 minutes!

I have no complaints (other than having at least two hours of reading ahead of me!)--it was a good run!


  1. What a great run - there is nothing better than seeing the progress being made. Whether it is speed, endurance, stamina or distance or all of those, they are all great indicators of getting stronger and better at running.


  2. The think that stood out to me was your confidence in running without your wife. You didn't need her in sight at much to keep going!

    It's awesome that you have taken this journey together. She's a force to be reckoned with when it comes to running and I think you're better, stronger and faster for it, but you've also shown that you can stand on your own. Good stuff! This will also get you more prepared for your 5k.

    Cheering you on!

  3. oops, I meant, the "thing"- not "think".

  4. Yeah, it would be nice if Google would give us the option of editing comments--even if only for the first 15 minutes after posting them.

  5. That is really fantastic--it's such a great feeling to see all the effort pay off and suddenly see yourself going faster and further!


Curious? Surprised? Have some good tips? Please leave a comment for us here. We especially would love to hear about your successes, or to hear your words of encouragement. Knowing you're out there will help us to keep at it!