Sunday, March 2, 2014

Run Forrest Run

So I'm a runner now. I run. I own three pair of dedicated running shoes, more performance wear than I care to admit, and I'll be pouncing on a GPS watch as soon as REI releases yearly dividends. It's gotten bad. Minutes per mile means more to me than miles per hour. I've joined two running organizations and subscribed to two new magazines. I've learned exciting new terms like lactate threshold and plantar fasciitis. I actually worry about how many road miles my shoes have. My smart phone is filled with apps like RunKeeper, mapmyrun, and Strava, and I have five apps devoted solely to the weather.  If push comes to shove, I will slog out miles in a downpour. Stride matters.

The whole thing started last July when I looked at some vacation photos and didn't recognize the fat guy next to my children. About the same time, one of my co-workers started doing a pretty good imitation of the incredible shrinking man, and I thought, "I really need some of whatever he's on." Turns out he was on, a food logging platform that encourages calorie counting and a healthier lifestyle. The site results in a lot of success stories, but the method ain't exactly rocket science. Burn more than you take in. Don't overeat or undereat. Be consistent.

I decided running offers the best ratio of calorie burn to time investment, and to motivate myself, I signed up for a 5K. With only eight weeks to "train" (apparently I train now too), I engaged the help of my trusty iPhone and the Zen Labs "Couch to 5K" app. And it worked. Back in October, I ran my first race, and surprisingly, I won the Master's division. Granted, my time in that 5K would barely get me an "attaboy" in most middle-Tennessee races, but hey, a gift horse is a gift horse. Since then, I've run a 5-miler and signed up for a 10K, and a half-marathon seems imminently doable. Who knows where it will end?  I'm not sure, but I know that I don't miss those 60+ pounds, and I will enjoy finding out where this latest obsession leads. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to squeeze into my tights and don an anorak. It's raining today.