Pounds, times are dropping
I have mentioned several times over the past few years I have taken up running in an attempt to get healthy. Typically, I run for a few months and make great progress, and then life gets in the way and I stop. Then, when I start to feel unhealthy again, the cycle starts again.
Last December, it began with me trying to run on a treadmill in my office. After seven minutes, I was sweating, gasping for breath, gripping the handrails for support and praying the Lord would take me now. Right now.
But, over the winter, I stuck with my regimen. I would run for several minutes, then finish out 30 minutes by walking. I increased the amount of time I could run, and increased the amount of time on the treadmill. Slowly, Iwas able to run for 10 minutes, then 15, and, finally, 20.
Once I was able to run for nearly 30 minutes, I increased speed. It was the same process again. I was only able to accommodate the new speed for a few minutes before I had to slow down.
When the weather turned nicer, I began jogging the track at our high school during my daughter’s soccer practices.
There was an added element of fun. I wore funny pants or socks sometimes to see if people mentioned them to my mortified teenager. (A few times, she requested I burn a certain article of clothing, but it wasn’t too bad.)
At the track, I would use my phone’s stopwatch to keep track of my pace each lap, as well as the total number of laps. I worked up to running five miles, although I still had to walk the curves of the track on many laps.
I also began to lose weight. More than 30 pounds came off, and my pants no longer fit. My knees actually felt better, and my face lost one chin.
I felt better and more energetic than I did the day before.
This weekend, I put it all to the test when I ran the 5th Annual Tanger Fit For a Cure 5k Run/Walk at Tanger Outlets. A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, the run brought nearly 600 people out early Sunday morning, many of whom were survivors or running in memory of someone else.
I ran for most of the race, only walking for two, 30-second stints, and finished in the top 25 percent of participants.
While I understand some of those people were strictly walkers, I am still proud to say I beat my personal best time by nearly four minutes and shaved more than one-third of my time off since my first 5k in 2011.
Perhaps this time, the running for exercise and fun is going to stick. I hope so, because I have a new goal in mind for the next run, and plan to keep working toward it until I reach it, as well.
Laura Zoeller can be reached at email@example.com.