One Year of Running!

I was on a cruise off the coast of Brazil in November 2004, and the boat had a treadmill. Although I had never gone on a treadmill before, I gave it a whirl. I started out slow, walking for quite some time, and started running at a slow pace. After less than 2 minutes, my heart was pounding, my lungs were begging for air, and my legs were sore. Little did I know that this excruciating experience was the beginning one of my most enjoyable pasttimes – running.

My apartment in Brazil resides 0n a lake whose circumference is 7500 meters or 4.67 miles. Two days ago, for the first time, I was able to run the entire circumference of the lake without stopping. Previously, I had gone the distance but I had always had a need to slow down and walk. This was the first time, I ran the lake. Afterwards, I walked for another 500 meters, making it a total of 8000 meters of exercise. One of my personal goals is to be able to run a 10K without stopping.

I feel great. I remember weighing myself in October 2004, and I weighed 164 pounds, which is the heaviest I have ever been in my life. At this point, I weigh 142 pounds, and it feels fantastic not carrying around the extra weight. I’ve come a long way. I smoked for a good part of my life. From about 17 years old to I was around 40 when I finally kicked the habit thanks to Xyban/Wellbutrin. I’ve also done my share of recreational drugs, and been on a few drinking binges. I am just amazed how God has given me a body that can recover the abuse I have given it.

I have learned in my year of running, that it is not an easy thing. After a few months, I had shin splints that hurt considerably when I ran. I had to work though that. Next came the stomach cramps. And man, they were bad. But eventually you work through that also. I also tore a tendon in my foot while running, which put me out of action for 3 weeks. But it has been so worth it.

They say that when your body is working hard the brain releases a chemical into your brain that soothes it. Whether you call it the “‘runner’s high”or what, I know that I am addicted to it. I think better, slower to anger, and I just feel happy. I also organize my day when I am running so I am more productive.

My body continues to change as I keep running. One thing about running is that everything needs to be in concert for a good run. It is almost a teamwork between your heart, head, lungs, stomach, and legs. When any one part breaks down, the run breaks down. At this point, I am learning to control my heart better. It is more difficult than it sounds, but once you start running at a good clip, it is very hard to run at a slower pace. But this simple act, allows you to learn how to control your heart rate. I am practicing this with good results.

In Rio, it is very easy to run. The weather is usually always ‘shorts’ weather, and I have a beautiful well-marked lake to run around. In Myrtle Beach, I have modified one of the bedrooms into a work out room. There is a surround sound system, with television mounted high. And of course a weight set and the treadmill. It’s been a great investment.

So this month, I celebrate one year of running. I am 46 years old, and I am in the best shape of my life. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

3 thoughts on “One Year of Running!

  1. Rob, I plan to start swimming. The new local gym has a pool. The weight just peeled off the last time I swam (6 months ago). Men’s Health says that swimming 2500 or 3500 meters (numbers ?) a day can hold off the aging process that starts @ 35 well into the 70’s.
    Cool Blog. Later
    Morgan

  2. Rob,
    It’s great to hear that you feel so great after taking up what is the simplest of all weight loss mechanisms. I started the same regimen in July 2005 and it lasted for about a week – a trip to Vegas saw to that! I switched gears and completely eliminated sugars / carbohydrates from my diet. I went from 214lbs to a trim 179lbs where I still sit today. My last trip to Vegas didn’t put a dent in the progress I made, just a dent in my wallet because of the Kobe beef and lobster binges – not to mention a new wardrobe. Bottom line: I turned 57 two weeks ago and haven’t felt as good in 20+ years. I’m still swinging the sticks and can do a full turn now, adding 20+ yards to my driver. I don’t play a lot now and my index has ballooned to 9.5 (LOL) – I did have my 2nd a hole-in-one in 2005. Life is good, Ilene is looking like a teenager and we’re grandparents.
    Cheers, Bill.

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