How I got here

I have never been a runner… or a traditional athlete for that matter.  As I mentioned before, I rode horses for nearly 30 years.  I consider that an intense sport, but that was as far as it went for me.

I hated gym class.

I never once joined a sports team in school.

Bowling and miniature golf were the extent of me playing sports.

Then I decided to become a police officer in 1999.  In order to get into and pass the academy, I needed to be able to run the mile and a half in under 15:00 minutes or so.  I also had to meet push up, sit-up, flexibility and bench press standards.  I trained by mucking 26 stalls a day, working horses and jogging around the neighborhood.  At 21, that was all I needed to do.  I got hired and got into the academy without any issues.  At the time, I HATED running.  It was uncomfortable, made my legs hurt and it sucked to breathe.  I made it through 12 weeks of the academy, completed runs as long as 7 miles and suffered with nasty shin splints and blisters.  I was in pain literally every step of the way.

Fast forward 13 years and I have only dabbled with running on occasion, only to quit  a few weeks later.  Shin splints would take over and I would “rest” only to never return to it again.  In July of 2011, I was officially as heavy as I had ever been.  I was up 17 pounds over the course of 13 years, had no endurance, no muscle tone and felt terrible.  It was time for a change.

Motivated by co-workers and my best friend, I started a work out program that included both weight training and treadmill work.  BORING!!!!  I did want to run in the Footrace for the Fallen (October ’11) and kept at it.  Shin splints returned and I completed the last month of training before my first 5K on an arc machine.  My time was 29:19.  I even surprised myself.  Couldn’t walk right for days after that.

I met with a PT at Access, got some valuable information about my stride (midfoot striker naturally!) and invested in a pair of Saucony Triumphs.  I also joined Seacoast Sports Clubs and began participating in Les Mills BodyPump and Body Combat (November ’11).  I began running 2 days a week 1.5-2 miles each time without pain.  I gradually increased my mileage over the mild winter and took classes 2-3 days a week.

Today, I have lost 13 of those 17 pounds!  I have gained muscle tone and endurance and now run 3 miles without giving it another thought!  I still struggle with aches and pains, but I am learning new ways to care for my body and have more goals than ever.  The only regret I have is not taking before photos and measurements!  So stay tuned for regular updates about my training and adventures while I learn to run!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: I qualified!!! | Learning to Run

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