Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In which I consider returning to running

I have a love-hate relationship with running.

I hate running, but I love the results.

When I lost 126 pounds from 2002-2003, I took up running about 10 months in. I was never an athlete and had never run before without getting side stitches (or course, I was going about it all wrong, but I had no one to tell me so).

But in my mind, and in the minds of many formerly unfit people, running is the ultimate achievement. It's the one thing you could never do successfully in your current condition. And what sport epitomizes health and fitness more than running?

So I started the famous 9-week Couch to 5K (C25K) program. I read John Bingham's great books. I finished the program and later ran a 5K (me, above right, May 2003. On the left, one of my best friends, Cara). It was a huge accomplishment and one of the best non-family-related days of my life. Sure, 3.2 miles may not sound like a big deal to you, but when you used to weigh 286 pounds, it is a Very Big Deal. I ran a few more races, but I failed to set more running goals and as I watched Lifetime status fade in the distance and felt the pounds return, my running shoes retreated to the back of my closet.

But now, I'm getting that itch again. I read a lot of weight-loss blogs and they're so amazingly inspiring. Like Ben or Sheryl, for instance. They were fat. They lost weight and began to run. They didn't think they could and, voila, like every Hollywood cliche, they did and did well.

So here I am, thinking about hitting the treadmill again and finding a race. Stick around, this should be fun. I think.

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