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 started my weightlifting last week. In that time, I’ve increased my squats weight every time. On the StrongLifts 5×5 program, you actually increase weights every single workout. It sounds intense, and aside from the DOMS pain I had the first week, so far, it’s been completely manageable. Sure, at some point it’ll become impossible to progress, but that day is far off for me. I started with the starter weight amounts, and while they feel easy in the beginning, by the last set of each exercise, I feel mostly pretty tired. I’ve not yet noticed it getting really hard yet, but again, after just a week, it’s more about learning the proper form and movements of each exercise. There are a few that still feel awkward to me; I need to work more on my form for those.
In related news, I received a new set of weights, a new bar, and a new bench. Much like any hobby or endeavor, you learn what works best for you by doing. The weights I bought to start with were acceptable but the attachment system for the weights was annoying and used up a lot of time. Also, the bar wasn’t weighted and was throwing off all my calculations for weights. I needed to get a bar and weights that were standard, so I did that. It wasn’t cheap, but I figured that an investment in my health and fitness was worth the expense. It does feel good to be using high-quality weights and a very nice bar.
So, the graph on the weights I am lifting are on the climb. It looks great (I love data!), and I feel great. I look forward to five weeks in the future to see where I’ll be then!
This site’s current URL is running.paleomarine.com. I think that’s going to change to fitness.paleomarine.com, or maybe exercise.paleomarine.com. Not sure which yet. But the reason for that is that I don’t just run anymore. Heck, right now, I’m not running regularly because I’m doing StrongLifts 5×5. I need to increase my strength much more than I need to get fast. I know that within 6 weeks, I can get my run times to where I need them to be to pass an APFT with a 70 or better in the running event. My push ups and sit ups will be just fine with the weight lifting (and the fact that I’ll continue to do push ups after my weightlifting). What is NOT okay is my upper body strength right now (and that is unacceptable).
So, it’s all up to weightlifting for me now.
I have purchased my own free weights, squat rack, and bench. I have a gym in the house that I can use anytime to get my workouts in. I’m actually excited and motivated in a way I don’t remember myself being in a long time. I actually look forward to working out and getting stronger.
So, you may see more from me here in this space, but it won’t just be about running. It’ll be about just about anything I do to get stronger, faster, and leaner.
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.