How I Became A Runner

The day I decided to run was also the day I decided not to buy any more pants with a stretchy waistband in them.  Like most of us, I was getting larger by the day and I realized that without a serious exercise regimen I was doomed to a life of unbridled expansion.  I was at the point where I would get winded walking up a flight of stairs so knew the time had come.

Luckily for me this was about the same time that my part time job promoted me to the position of running specialist.  This entailed learning all about a sport I had never been interested in and learning all about the technology behind the primary piece of equipment, the shoes.  I was very interested in learning about technology, even if it had to do with shoes.  As it turned out, this was a major turning point in my life.

I had never understood why people would subject their bodies to such torture in order to start at one place, run for a distance and return to that place.  It always seemed like a silly thing to do but after the last year I now understand what all the fuss is about.

It all started with a pair of shoes.  I had never taken much interest in what shoes can do for you other than how they looked.  I was always a Nike fan and I bought them at local department stores so there was never really much to choose from.  Consequently, I used to always end up with a cheap pair of shoes.  I was at work and it was a slow night so I tried on every pair of shoes that we had in inventory.

It was then I came across a pair of Brooks Ghost 4’s on the clearance rack.  I had never spent more than $40 on a pair of “gym” shoes and here was a pair of $99 shoes that felt like they were made for my feet.  Luckily I got the company discount so I didn’t pay $99 but if I knew then what I know now, I would not have hesitated.

My Actual First Pair of Brooks!

I started out in mid December by running laps at the local health club.  The track is 11-1/2 laps per mile and for the first couple of weeks I was having a hard time running more than three laps without feeling like my lungs were going to explode.  I would walk for a lap or two until my breathing slowed down and then I would run again.  For the first two months my goal was to be able to run a mile without stopping.  I finally achieved that goal after about two months (it was the holidays and I was having a hard time running more than three days a week) and shortly after that because of boredom, I began to supplement my workouts with long stationary bike rides to help with my endurance.

I kept up with this regimen until the weather broke in March.  I began to run a two mile course outdoors and immediately noticed the difference of how my body reacted to a more interesting visual stimuli.  I was still alternating running with walking but the running distances were increasing and my exhaustion level was decreasing.  Within a week or two I was running the two miles without stopping.

The other benefit of all of this running was that I was losing a lot of weight.  Within six months I had managed to lose 1/4 of my body weight.  I went form a very plump 240 to a very healthy 180.  I also noticed my blood pressure returning to a normal level and I wasn’t no longer sweating from just standing still.  If that is not enough to keep a person motivated, I don’t know what is.

In the days to come I will talk about running in races and overcoming injuries and the various aches and pains I experienced in my journey, some of the equipment that I use and some of the tricks I have learned along the way.  Hopefully I will motive all of you to take a journey of your own or take your passion to the next level.

About Thomas Perkins

Running enthusiast and motivator.