HUMBLED: Running The Cap City Half Marathon

Immediately following my completion of the Nationwide Half Marathon in October of last year, I was hooked. I never thought I could run 13.1 miles non stop, but that day I did the unthinkable and I was ready to push myself forward and sign up for the next race, with the intention of training harder and running faster the next time. That was 6 months ago, and since then I’ve gained over 50 pounds, my running pace slowed by about 4 minutes a mile, and needless to say I struggled through training leading up to the Cap City Half Marathon and during the race. However, in the struggle I learned a valuable lesson about focus and restraint.

If you ask anybody that knows, running 13 miles at 331 pounds is a bad idea. That much weight will cause joint and muscle pain over time when you’re constantly pounding the pavement. How did we get here? I was 285 pounds when I ran my first half marathon, which is far away from my 400 pound max weight but not exactly the 200 pounds I want to be at my goal weight. I gained about 20 pounds last summer as I was training for the first race, so I knew what to do and not to do to avoid gaining weight this time. When training started in January all of that planning and discipline went out of the window!

I’m not really one to make excuses as to why something didn’t happen for me. Life is all about choices, and I just kept making the wrong ones. After running 5 miles and burning 1000 calories I was quick to use that as an excuse to eat fast food. The more I ran, the more unhealthy choices I made. The stress from finishing my last semester in school and other personal battles led me to eat more greasy sweet or salty food, but it was really a lack of dedication. I always thought I could start over next week, and I had 14 more weeks to go until the race. As weeks passed I found myself gaining weight and losing time, until the race was a week away and I was the biggest I had been in the last 4 years.

Unlike the first race, I didn’t make it through this race without stopping. In fact, I stopped after the first mile when pain from tightness in both of my shins became unbearable. This was expected though, as I’ve experienced this pain over the past few weeks of training whenever I ran outside. I knew from training that if I just made it through the first 3 miles the pain would subside, and I could run the rest of the race at a slow pace. Unfortunately the rain and lightning picked up heavy around mile 6 and I was finally stopped completely at mile 7.

Who knows if I would’ve made it the whole 13 miles but maybe the race being stopped was a good thing. I feel like this whole training experience was a sign that I need to be more disciplined and humble when it comes to working out and eating right. I need to remember the mission, and remember it takes both diet and exercise to get where I want to be. I need to remember that I can’t lose all of this weight in one day, and it takes consistent maintenance to chip away at my goals.

Today is May 1st, and with the thought of my shin pains in the back of my mind, I’m back on track and focused on the goal. Lose enough weight and train hard enough to finish a full marathon soon. Good decisions will lead me down the right path!

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