I have been a runner for most of my life. My earliest running memory is from 4th grade, the school had everyone running laps to raise money and I ran more than anyone else at the school. It wasn’t a surprise to me that I could run because most days I ran home from school so I could watch my favorite cartoon (ninja turtles). In middle school I loved running the mile in gym class. So I went to high school knowing that wanted to run Cross Country and Track. By the time I was a senior I was captain of both the Cross Country and Track teams. I wasn’t good enough to get a scholarship but I did make it onto a college team. I ran 1 year at the college level which was a wonderful experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Here are some of my best times between college and High School: 2 miles – 10:07, 5K – 17:42, 5 miles – 29:30.
Midway through that first year at college my wife had our first kid and my priorities changed. At 19 I went straight into being a full time dad and full time worker. Of course I never gave up on college it just took me 6 more years to finish. During this time we had more children, 2 by the time I graduated and all 3 by the time my wife graduated (took here a few more yrs). Tack on buying a house and other responsibilities and it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Over this time I packed on 60 lbs to get to my max weight of 220 lbs. I stayed at this weight for about 2 years and I was also starting to have medical problems. I was put on medication to lower my blood pressure and I was still in my 20’s. I was depressed because of how far I had fallen. I cut ties my friends, I couldn’t let them see what I had become. I was once the healthiest of all my friends and family and now I was fat and lazy.
Once I finished college I had a little free time I decided to fill it with running. Starting off was painful and slow, I could only manage 3 miles in about 36 min. After being a really good runner it’s hard to go back to this level, I had to block out all that history and just start over as beginner. I set my sights on the marathon because that was something my younger self never achieved. Surprisingly my running ability came back pretty quickly although the weight was being stubborn. Later that year at 215lbs (only lost 5) I ran a marathon. In the year before joining lose it I had lost 12lbs. This community was a catalyst for my weight loss and my running gains. In 5 months I reached my goal weight of 180 (28lbs more lbs lost). Also in this 5 month I made huge strides in my running and for the first time in over 10 years I feel like an athlete again. I have been on maintenance for about 9 month now during which I have had great success running. Earlier this year I ran 3 marathons in as span of 65 days! Most importantly I am the happiest I have been in years and that has made me a better father and husband. I feel like I am now the role model they need.
Before (218 -222 lbs) Left: Christmas 2009, Right: Company picnic summer 2009
After (178 lbs) Left: May 2011, Finish line of a marathon - Right: March 2011, on my birthday.