Saturday, February 12, 2011

Run for (rather than from) God.

In February 2010 or somewhere in that vicinity I set a goal to lose 100 lbs in two years. After an onset of rheumatoid arthritis and a pathetic attempt at Weight Watchers I found myself in August where I started in February.  Since the Tuesday after Labor Day 2010, I have been on a weight loss plan popular in NW Georgia called "Thrive". I have stuck to it with good results and in just a little over 4 months I have lost 50 lbs. Knowing that the first 50 lbs would be the easiest and the fastest, this time I told myself that I would start running/exercising after I lost 50 lbs. I knew I would pound my arthritis ridden skeleton into a pulp carrying that much weight. So, I hit the 50 lb mark and it's time to hit the pavement.

Motivation hasn't been easy since I am still a good 50-60 lbs over weight. Somehow I have to do this. Besides, when my awesome wife offered to buy me running shoes rather than video games, it was a good sign that my loved ones were in favor of me finding the motivation. Besides the obvious benefits to my health, I found the extra motivation I needed in Christ.

I have begun a Christian based "Couch to 5K" program called Run for God.  It basically takes your typical Lazy-boy Ogre like myself through a slow progression of running to a 5K in about 12 weeks. In addition, it is an awesome time for Christian fellowship and/or time with God himself through prayer and meditation. The author also happens to be a local fellow from Dalton, Georgia. Week one workout goes like this:
  • Stretch well.
  • Start with 5 minutes of brisk walking.
  • JOG for 1 minute(not run).
  • walk for 1.5 minutes and then run 1 minute repeating this for a duration of 20 minutes, ending a 30 minute workout with a cool down brisk walk.
My group met our first Monday this week and I am accountable for this workout 3 times before we meet this coming Monday. With a busy week including a very sick wife and kids activities I didn't find time to run walkish run, until Friday. Running 3 days in a row isn't the optimum way to start and I think it's frowned upon quite frankly. Nevertheless I want to fill my obligation and I feel a bit determined.

So Friday I took a vacation day because a kid was home sick. As she napped, I decided to give it a go right before noon. I have felt pretty darn good recently having shed 50 lbs. However, when I hit the first 1 minute stride of jogging the ugly reality of gravity grabbed me, squeezed my cheeks and called me chubby. I am  not a gazelle. The minute although humbling was not horrible and I made it no problem through the first three regiments of alternating paces. It was about 34 degrees that morning and this is about the time asthma ran out from under a house like a doberman and bit me right in the chest. The cool air hitting my lungs suddenly made it impossible to draw a full breath and it felt like my chest was expanding about 33% capacity. For the next 10 minutes it was all I could do to continue walking. I certainly wasn't prepared and didn't bring my inhaler. I started praying as I remembered why I was doing this and slowly began to get by breath back. I stretched the workout to 45 minutes and finished with the alternating paces I started with. My ankles and feet were killing me particularly in the arches of my feet. It was time to cash in on that birthday gift and go get fitted for some decent running shoes. My foundation really took a beating.

Today my wife Alisha and I, along with our 3 year old terror Carter, loaded up and drove to Chattanooga to one of the only reputable "running" stores where you can actually get fitted with a shoe that is right for you. I got a pair of Nike running shoes and the difference from my old shoes is amazing. Click here to see my new shoes.

I stayed up till 3-4 AM Friday night playing PS3 with some buddies and after waking up around 8:30 Saturday morning, I had a busy day of cleaning house with Alisha, shopping and cooking dinner. After dinner I was still determined to get my run in and this time with new shoes! In addition, I dosed up with Albuterol to prevent any asthma attacks. I listened to my favorite contemporary Christian group Gungor on my Blackberry as I set out. WOW what a difference a good pair of shoes and some asthma medicine can make. I did the workout as recommended with ease and felt as though I could have done more. I didn't because it isn't recommended and I could still feel the pain in my feet from the beating they took the day before. Praise God it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to do it again. That will be tomorrow I hope.

I have another year to lose another 50 lbs. I can do this. God and Nike willing, I can do this. God can do this.

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