Who was the we? Me and the lead pastor where I serve as Worship Arts and Student Ministries Pastor. Somehow – and I’m still not sure how – he talked me into going running with him. It took us 20 minutes to complete those 4 lap – one mile. It was a very humble beginning.
At the time I weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 265 pounds. I really looked like I was pregnant. In fact, there’s a picture of me and when I look at it, Pam asks me “when were you due?”
There’s a great little quote placed on a plaque in the park where I run. “If you add a little to a little and do it often, soon the little will become great.” – Hesiod. That really has described the journey over the past three years. It really is hard to believe that it’s been three years since that August day – the day I thought I might never see my next birthday.
I remember how it felt. Sure, I was sore and tired and yet there was something in me that wanted to do it again. And I did – the very next day. I have no idea how it went. I didn’t think to blog about it then. As time went on, I did start doing those things. Those are some great reads – at least for me. Then finally about two years ago, I started logging my runs at http://www.mapmyrun.com. This has really allowed me to track my progress.
The last year has really been amazing. I checked my anniversary post last year and a year ago I weighed 220 pounds. This morning, I checked in at 177 (which is where I’ve been for about the last six or seven weeks.) That is by far the largest jump I have had from year to year. I was hoping to be at my goal of 169 pounds by today, but that’s ok and I’m alright with that. I have begun to realize that these last 5 to 7 pounds are going to be the hardest pounds to lose. My weight has decreased so much that my body doesn’t burn fat the way it used to — even the way it did three or four months ago.
While my weight has changed and I am much lighter, that is not the only transformation. This year was a big year for me. I ran in some incredibly difficult weather – I really transitioned from a casual runner to an avid (some would say crazy) runner – running in all kinds of weather – including rain and some pretty frigid temps. I have seen my 5K time go from 31 minutes and some change to 24 minutes. My pace per mile has decreased greatly from about a 10 minute mile to (depending on the day) 9 minutes (on a long run) to 8:15 (on a short, fast run.) I continue to make progress and what’s even more amazing is that I had surgery to go through during the summer, so I wasn’t able to slog through the summer this year.
This was a transformational year in that my blood pressure for the first time in many years is normal – without taking medication. This is huge. I feel so much better physically than I did – even from a year ago, but even more so when you consider all three years. I feel about 10 years younger.
The other thing that happened this year is that I ran my first 1/2 marathon. That was truly exciting and I am looking forward to running my second this fall. If all goes well (and so far it has) I should easily be able to break the 2 hour mark – that would be cool. As you can tell, I am excited to reach this milestone. It has been a matter of pressing on. That really has been my mantra and my running verse is
I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12b-14)
Happy running anniversary – Pressing On!