Three Years and Counting

Three years ago, I stepped out on to the rubberized track at Robert E. Lee High School and ran 200 meters – then walked 200 meters – one full lap.  Then we did it three more times.

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!

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