Guys and gals of the blogosphere, I have a message for you. If you are not currently already jogging, take it up. It is hard, it seems impossible at first. But if you are not physically limited by some malady, for realz yo, hit that trail. I can honestly say that even though I have lost 101 pounds, and I am super duper excited about that achievement, I really and truly marvel more at my ability to jog for extended periods of time. I went to the Van Buren Park yesterday at 6:45 in the morning, stretched out real good, and hopped on the sidewalk trail that is .75 miles long around the "lake" there (big pond is more accurate). As I got started, the sun came up over the earthen dam, and I never wished I had a camera more that I did at that moment. Oh well I prolly wouldn't have stopped to take a picture anyway. Once I start jogging, I am not likely to stop until I am done. As I have talked about before, I get these ideas in my head and they seem to get stuck in there and I can't get them out. Earlier in the week, I was stuck on going 4.5 miles for my long jog this week. My previous high was 3.75 miles. I knew before going that I would not be able to do any less that that. But the truth was, it was preordained that I would do 4.5, even if it killed me! What I did not expect it was unfolded. You know the melt down I had Friday evening? Yeah, I know it was dumb. But it may have opened my eyes to something I had heard about but never understood. Carb loading. It is going to sound like a load of rationalizing and I call bs on myself when needed, but the evidence was there that it may be a valid theory. I would obviously need to modify it, but still. I kid you not, I was in mile 4 before I ever felt any discomfort from running at all! I was breathing fine, my muscles were ambulating just fine, I was smooth and steady and no fatigue whatsoever! I cruised around the last lap, which was the first one that I felt any tiredness at all, with the thought that if I so chose, I could have gone another lap and maybe even two! But one thing I try to do, regardless of what I think I could do that day, I try to save room for later achievements if I can. I don't know if this is best, but it sure has seemed to work out for me so far, so I am gonna stick with it.
The other thing I have noticed is that I have taken up an old habit I had while I was walking. I get very introspective. Now that jogging is no longer an activity that really requires me to think about it anymore, I get to think a whole bunch while I do it. Yesterday, it dawned on me as I was doing my last lap, this jog was an impossible dream 7 months ago. In fact, I had tried to get here late summer early fall of last year. I convinced myself that my ankles couldn't take it and that i was relegated to walking at Wal Mart in the mornings for my exercise. But like I said, I get an idea in my head, it doesn't really seem to go away ever. I kept it in there and finally it got the best of me. I started jogging a little because of the speed of a workout program on my treadmill, then I had a nice day pop up in the winter and I just tried out jogging on that park trail I mentioned earlier, just because I wanted to know. That I can point to as the beginning of the beginning! I was hooked after that! I only jogged a mile and a half, my pace wasn't great, but I could see my potential! It has grown from there and I have to say, I would call that the single biggest identity changer I have ever experienced! I am now a jogger, up from that 297 pounder who walked around his block in late July and was shocked that he was winded, sweaty, and his back was killing him after a half mile. Just sitting here and soaking that last sentence in, I have to wonder how did I let it get that far? But more importantly, look how far I have come!! I have to admit something, my friend Dawne had me so jealous for so long when I would read her blog and see how far she had run that day. I kinda think that may have been my initial motivation to get started. She has said on more than one occasion she suspected that would become a runner one day and that I would do well at it. I am suspecting that Dawne was on to something.
I am signed up for a competitive 5k next week and I am so excited about it. But the reality is, I have my eyes on a 10k already after yesterday's success. I was halfway there already and I don't know that I couldn't have made it but for saving that achievement for another day. I just can't believe that I am thinking that way now. and the timing couldn't be better since it is turning off spring here in the Ozarks! I get to go out for another jog outside this morning and I am looking so forward to that again. I am shooting for another day that I make 4.5 miles, only this time, I am keeping it local and have mapped out a track around my neighborhood and the adjoining one. It is going to be epic I tell ya! And I know this may be premature, but I am now stuck on the idea of a half marathon. I know, I know. But it is up there and I really don't see me getting it out of there..... that is the nature of me. So stay tuned guys!