Friday, November 28, 2008

How it started

I actually hated running. Probably down deep, still do. Obsessed now after over 25 years. But in my mid-20’s weighing in at 225 lbs with a 42” waist and with health issues beginning to develop, I had to do something.

So I pulled out a pair of beat up sneakers. Found an old pair of sweat pants…wasn’t hard, that was my usual at-home look. Paired that with a hooded sweater over multiple t-shirts. Wasn’t cold, but with the hood up I didn’t want to be recognized as I plodded through the neighbourhood. At night.

With all the naïve optimism I could muster, I kissed the kids goodnight and headed out for my very first ‘long’ run.

Started well enough down the driveway. And thankfully the route I chose for that first run was downhill. This was not going to be so bad after all.

Until I ran out of breath. About 100 yards into my ‘long run’. Had to stop. Bent over. Gasping for breath. Dam!

Walked for a while. Breathing back to normal. Started running again. Shuffling actually. I was not going to be beaten.

Didn’t make it another 100 yards. Lungs about to explode out of my chest. Stopped again. Desperately wanted to sit down this time.

“This is a DUMB idea”.

Only kept going because if I quit then and returned home, it was going to be tough to explain this 5 minute ‘long run’.

With a combination of shuffling and walking I actually made it around my planned circle route back to the house. Sprinted…OK, shuffled faster…up the hill back to the house. Yes the one that I had so confidently headed down on the start of my first run.

Went straight to the basement to change out of the completely soaked sweats. In pain. Second day pain much worse. Didn’t go out again for a week.

Stuck with it though. Stop and start, days on, weeks off. Finally stuck when I went clothes shopping and realized I had dropped to a 38” waist. It was working!

After that it was 5 days on, 2 off.

And then the need to compete hit…

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