It’s been 74 Days since I started out on this Journey.
74 Days! That’s just a 5th of a year. Just over 2 months.
0.6% of my total life on Planet Earth. (I’m 33 if that helps)
If you had told me it would take 2 months to completely overhaul my life I’d have thought you mad. When I started out on this journey, I wanted to lose weight and be able to run a few times a week.
My biggest goal I had set myself was to be able to run to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and back again (around a 13K round trip) one day. It wasn’t by any means a goal I would expect to reach 9 weeks after starting a 5K plan. I wasn’t supposed to have even reached 5K by week 10!!
I want to look back at a few key moments over the past 74 days, where I started, where I’ve been….and ultimately where I want to see myself going.
The Start of the Journey – Day 1
My first ever run was the 24th January 2017. I started a Couch to 5K plan and the first intervals were 1 minute long and a mixture of running and walking 8 times over. I weighed 16 stone 10lbs and had no idea of the road ahead. I was doing this alone, did not really know where to look for help and advice and was just following the normal route that most people take. Find a plan, commit yourself to it and see where it goes. I wanted to stop being overweight. I wanted to change myself for the better.
I had an old pair of trainers, a bit of kit and that was enough to convince myself I had the tools to get out there.
The first run was hard, felt long and tougher than i felt it should have been. When I got home I felt proud I’d been out there, but my legs hurt, my lungs hurt, it all hurt!!
Recording that first video was tough. I wanted to document my journey so I could always see where I’d come from if it paid off. If it didn’t work, well, I could always delete them all and go back to pizzas and forget any of it ever happened!
As the second run loomed, a repeat of Day 1, I begrudgingly got changed and got out there. Starting the second run, and the third run was the turning points for that troublesome start. If you can keep getting out there, you’re already winning the battle!
My first 5K – Week 7
7 weeks later and the plan was going well. I’d been sticking to the plan, getting 3 runs in a week and progressing further and further. I was up to running 20-minute stretches in one go and really finding a pace I was comfortable with. I’d managed to work out my breathing also, trying to alternate every 4 steps and it was working well, almost calming perhaps.
The thought had started to seep in about hitting the distance, and honestly, I was getting impatient! One long sleepless night the thought had crept in that I should just give it a go. I had nothing to lose.
Saturday 11th March I set off to hit that 5K. I set myself some fail safes, If things got tough I’d walk for 30 seconds to 1 minute then carry on.
Turns out I didn’t need to. I made it in 48 minutes with a big hill climb right from the start. I was so happy! This was proof that the plan was working, the weight was dropping (by this point I was around 9 or 10 lbs lost) and I was far happier in life than I was at the start.
This was the beginning of the end of the 5K plan. I had been adamant on my blog and video at the time that I would see this to completion.
How wrong I was.
Running the Distance – Week 10
So 10 weeks prior I had set myself the goal of running to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from where I live. With a few more 5K’s and a Park Run under my belt (and one 8K after taking a wrong turn in the woods ) I felt like maybe it was time to give it a shot.
Now I know that Week 10 should have been the point that I had hit my first ever 5K and I was already 3 Weeks ahead in the plan. By this point, I had hit my first full stone weight loss (14lbs) and every run was getting more and more fun. This was the main thing. Fun. I was loving every run. I wanted to get out there as often I could to find new things and discover new routes.
I had planned to run a 5K but as I headed up towards the direction of the Sculpture Park that was it, I was going for it.
Running through the park was amazing. I’ve visited there a few times and walked there (usually taking around an hour and change) when we moved house. Being able to run there in half the time and explore was liberating.
I got home on the 27th of March, running just under 14Km in 1 hr 52 min.
I was so proud. I cried when I got home.
In 10 weeks I had gone from an overweight and lazy man to a chap 14lbs lighter running 14K. Literally running for every pound I lost. Furthermore, I had found and been accepted into an amazing online running community of which I know I will be forever grateful.
Since then I have been back there again and plan to keep going once every 2 weeks.
It’s now Friday 7th April, and it’s time to plan where to go from here. The end of 11 weeks has flown by. 74 days and counting.
I thought of starting on a 10K plan, but I’m already hitting those distances when I need to. Arguably not in a fantastic time but hey, it’s good enough for me.
It has crossed my mind to look at half marathon plans, but considering this goal is double the distance of the furthest I’ve been already, this may be pushing myself too far. So many people have mentioned that pushing and pushing leads to injury and that is the last thing I want.
So for now, I’m going to run 3 times a week. I’ll run between 5 and 10K depending on how I feel (and the weather ha) and go longer when I want a park visit. I’m going to focus on my healthy food kick, keeping it all clean and push that little harder on every run to feel the benefit. I still want to drop another 30lbs as I’m still overweight, but hey, not as much as when I started.
I will book a race and see how I fare. I will continue to attend ParkRuns when I can and volunteer to cheer others on. I want to run for charity and make others aware of the benefits of running.
I will continue on this Journey as far as it takes me, and I hope you’ll be there with me along the way. Together we can all promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and the positive mental wellbeing it can bring to yourself and others around you.
Now let’s see what the next 74 days bring.