The journey of an old Marine who went from unfit to being a runner
Former active duty Marine who went from 170 lbs to 312 lbs and decided that he had to change his life or die. He lost 110 lbs in 1 year through Whole30 and adopting the Paleo Diet without doing any exercise at all. Since starting running, he's lost an additional 40 lbs and is comfortably back in the 160 lbs range. He is currently writing a book about his journey and strives to help others lose weight and get healthy without the use of pills, patches, powders, paid programs, or medical procedures.
I have the flu. Despite the fact that I got a flu shot, I came down with it late last week, and I’m only now starting to feel better. So much for trying to get my 3x runs in last week. I am not sure I’ll be able to do more than 1 or 2 this week; that’ll depend on how quickly I can feel better.
I hate this. I really want to get back into my running full-time with my 3x+ runs a week, but it just hasn’t been happening yet.
Oh well. I know that as soon as I’m better, I will hit the pavement and make my runs a priority over everything else. I will make it happen. I will not give up.
I had to do a stress test as part of my annual physical, and part of that was running on a treadmill on an incline. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal at all, but I ran hard yesterday, and while my legs weren’t sore when I went into the run, they certainly were when I got done.
I passed the test with flying colors; the doctor was very impressed with my heart’s performance during the test. I had to take an extended test because my heart rate stayed very low when most other people’s heart rates would have reached their max. The funny part for me is that I never felt out of breath or tired, but my legs began to burn something fierce. Were it not for that, I could have easily gone 30 minutes.
So, I will take tomorrow off from my scheduled run and catch back up later this week. I need to let these old legs rest a bit.
It’s been an entire week since I last ran, and I feel badly about that. I had planned on running my minimum three times, but life and weather got in the way and it just didn’t work out.
When I hit the ground for my push-ups, I was expecting some difficulty, but to my surprise (and great pleasure) I was able to whip out 65 push ups without much effort. This is good for a 100 score out of 100 on my coming APFT in February.
Then, came the run. I started with a good pace just barely pushing it, and I ended up really happy with the results: 8:19/mile average for 3.1 miles. It’s not my fastest, but it’s definitely on-par with my better times. The best part is that I felt great afterward.
Well, after running only once again last week due to weather and being busy, I finally had a chance to get out and run another three miles. What I didn’t expect was for it to go so well! It turned out to be a great run with a sub-8 minute first mile pace! I ended up with an 8:31/mile average pace, which is good. My pace was faster overall than last week, and the run felt good. There were a few times I pushed past some desire to slow down, and it felt wonderful.
I did 55 push ups before the run which helped warm me up a bit, since it was pretty windy and about 64 degrees. I don’t know if I’ll be running over the next few days due to the weather being really cold again, but at least I’m not worried about my APFT coming up in February. I can already pass it easily.
It’s January 9th, and this is only my second post-run report. I need to pick things up a lot!!! I just found out TODAY that my Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) is going to be held in February instead of April. That makes running and push ups a top priority for me. I was expecting to be able to slide into faster times on my runs and more push ups over the course of the next three months, but now, I have four weeks to prepare. The good news is that it looks like I’m already where I need to be; I just need to maintain where I’m at now and make any incremental increases I can to pad my score.
Today’s run had low expectations. After running last week for the first time in four weeks, my legs were sore and I had to take a few extra days off from running to allow them to heal. I was going to run Monday night, but life once again got in the way, and I wasn’t able to run until tonight. The good news is that I really think that extra day of rest helped my legs a lot.
My first mile was a blazing 8:18/mile. I say blazing, because it’s only my second run in a month. It was blazing because not only was I quick, but I felt good doing it. I wasn’t pushing myself beyond comfort, and my breathing was good and my legs felt great. The following two miles were both at 8:41/mile pace. This is significant because I wasn’t trying to set a pace, yet I was hoping for sub-9 minute miles. I did it! And I felt good afterward!!! This bodes well for the APFT in February.
As for push ups, I easily knocked out 50. I could have upped it by 10, but I am going with the method I used to get up to 120 push ups without any arm pain: I do as many push ups as I can without straining, and rest for a day and then do them again. Using this plan, I got up to 120 push ups in two minutes within three months with NO muscle soreness or pain. Since I’m already near the max points for my age in push ups, I don’t need to go crazy and push to failure each time I do push ups. Again, I feel comfortable and I’ll be good for the APFT in February.
The only thing I don’t build on are sit ups. These hurt my lower back, and I find that as long as I’m doing proper push ups with my runs, my core strength is good enough to get me a passing score in sit ups once a year.
For the past few weeks, I was worried that when I finally got back to running, it would be a painful, slow, and emotionally difficult thing. I was also stressing about getting back to doing my push ups. I shouldn’t have been so worried. I finally got back on the road last night for a run, and it went far better than I expected in more than a few ways.
First, my pace was decent. I ran a sub-9 minute average over the three+ miles. The second and third miles were over 9 minutes/mile, but the first mile was an 8:21/mile, and I’m pleased with that.
Second, I actually felt good on the run. Sure, there were times I was pushing it and I was winded, but I never really felt like quitting. Not once. It was actually a very nice run, and my legs felt great.
Finally, I was able to get my push ups in. I did 50. It was a bit of a push to get past 40, but 50 is good. I could have made the last 10 to 60, but that would have left me with sore arms today, I stopped at 50. I’ll be at 60 or more by the end of the month for sure, and 60 is my max for score on my Army PFT’s.
Since it’s the day after, I expected to wake up with sore legs, but they aren’t any more sore than they normally are after a run. Heck, my legs hurt me more when I was walking in NYC than they do this morning. That’s a great thing. I will run again either Saturday or Sunday, depending on how much I have going on. Then, Monday it’s back to my regular running schedule.
It’s funny; I felt GREAT after I ran. There was a little trepidation before the run, but afterward? Nothing but GREAT. Sure, I had a little soreness in my right calf and my right knee, but that was all gone by this morning. It’s great to be back to it. I’ve missed it.