Sunday, December 25, 2011

How it began...

Welcome to my initial post...I've wanted to get started for a while now, but had just been putting it off, so no time like the present to get started.

At 52 years of age, I found that I had really let myself go and wasn't happy with what I saw. I had a 40 inch waist (at 5 foot 8), weighed 186.2 pounds, and had a body fat percentage of 26.9%. I had lost a good bit of weight five or six years earlier, but had managed to simply gain it all back.

Of course, at the level of fitness I found myself, I couldn't just "hit the gym" as I had previously (I've had a love for the sport of running for nearly all my life, and although I was never really good at it, had enjoyed running 25 years ago). So at the end of April, 2011, I started just by walking the dogs around the neighborhood, taking progressively longer and longer walks. Let's just say it wasn't pretty.

This quote is just SO true..."If you're sick of starting over, you have to stop quitting". Let's just say that I hope this is the last time I quit being healthy.
 I also ditched the "See Food" diet I was on. I started eating breakfast, and stopped eating all sweets. I also ate ONE plate of food for the evening meal, and tried to make it primarily protein-based, with good carbohydrates and low in fat.

So that was how I got started chipping away at all the fat to see what I could find underneath (although I didn't look anywhere near this good from the waist up :-)

At the end of May, I bought a bicycle (a hybrid between a road bike and a mountain bike) and started riding it regularly around my neighborhood. It was at that time that I also started using an app called RunKeeper on my iPhone to track distance, pace, calories, etc.  My first attempt at running again was not pretty. I made it about a mile and half before I was walking back home.

I very gradually started to introduce running into the mix during June and July (I was still walking, and cycling regularly), and had managed to build up to running 7 miles (@ a 9:56 pace, 1:09:41) by the end of July...before I severely twisted my right ankle on a morning run about a mile and 3/4's into the run. I hobbled the 1.2 miles home in the pre-dawn darkness.

For the next 4+ weeks I cycled (I could ride "carefully" in a couple of days), and swam in the pool at the gym. After about a week I found that I could add back some walking, and did my first run after the injury about a month to the day afterwards. Just a couple of miles, but I could do it.

During this time, I had also picked up a pretty decent (very bright) headlamp that I was using for cycling and walking since most of my workouts were accomplished in the pre-dawn hours. Part of the reason I twisted the ankle was because I didn't see the uneven pavement ahead of me in the dark. So from that point forward, all my "darkness" runs would be with the headlamp, which was surprisingly easy to get used to. I tried it on my waist, but the light bounced around too much, so around the headband was the best place.

With an initial target of 155 lbs. (and size 32 jeans), I reached that goal at the end of September and have managed to maintain my weight between 150 and 155 since then. Currently (from the starting point), I've lost nearly 34 pounds, dropped 7.25 inches from my waistline, and my body fat is at 16.1%. Over the course of the year thus far, I've cycled 1548 miles, walked 267 miles, swam 24 miles, and run 338 miles.

I've also run two half-marathons, and I'm signed up for the Cowtown Marathon on February 26th. I've started this blog to log my continuing journey to complete a marathon, and just maintain my weight and health. I've certainly learned that getting in shape (both losing weight and building mileage) is a tight-rope balancing act at my age and ability, between slow progress and injury.

Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to stop by and check on my journey whenever you like. Also, please feel free to share any wisdom, comments, or suggestions you might have...I can use all the help I can get.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your link!!!! I love hearing how we all started! Amazing!