Long time, no blog. Six weeks, to be exact, since my last fitness blog. Some of you were probably wondering if I’m off the wagon, indulging in fast food and setting up shop on our luxurious, albeit scratched-to-hell-by-our-cats couch.
The good news: I haven’t quit. I’m still plugging away on this “journey” from morbid obesity to optimal-weight bliss.
The bad news: Since my last blog, I’ve been fighting through injuries. One of those resulted in a two-week running ban. Those were two long weeks.
TO HEEL WITH THIS …
I suffered my first injury last September after a summer of running three miles in god-awful heat. The 100-plus degree temperatures didn’t get me … my shoes did.
Wearing my shoes well past their “expiration” date resulted in a painful case of plantar fasciitis. Over the next five months, walking was occasionally a struggle when I crawled out of bed in the morning. The first quarter-mile of my runs consistently sucked.
TOO MUCH IS TOO MUCH …
I pressed on, finally swapping out my old shoes for a pair I received for Christmas. I figured the new shoes would be fine, even though several people told me to buy a fitted pair.
The Christmas shoes were a little tight, never comfortable, but I kept running anyway, pushing myself to between five and six miles a day, with the occasional seven- or eight-mile run thrown in.
In mid-February, I set a goal or running 40 miles in a week. I got to 37. The next week, it was going to be 40 miles, no matter what.
STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES …
I noticed a tingle in the front of my right leg about four miles into a six-mile run three days into my hell-or-high-water 40-mile week, but I pressed on and got to six miles. I felt terrible. My legs ached. If felt like somebody was stabbing me in the left heel.
Naturally, 24 hours later, I was on the treadmill again, wearing my tight, uncomfortable shoes. About three miles in, I felt a sharp pain in my shin. Most people stop. I did not. I kept going, for another painful mile.
I barely made it back to my desk at work. The next day, I walked with a limp.
MOM, DAD: I HAVE SHIN SPLINTS …
I actually did try to jog the following day, shin splint and all. That lasted about three minutes. I limped for the next several days, no running.
The next two weeks consisted of a steady diet of elliptical machine, rowing machine, Tae Bo and weights. It wasn’t the workout or sweat I got running, but it kept me sane.
In the meantime, I finally broke down and bought fitted shoes. By the time I settled back into a running routine, in early March, I’d jogged one time in 16 days.
INSANE IN THE BRAIN (OR LEGS) …
I remember asking Shana right after the shin splint if she’d still love me if I couldn’t run for several months and got back up to 230 pounds (still 80 pounds from my highest weight).
I was more or less freaking out about not being able to run. In other words, I don’t hate running. I actually love it.
In the three weeks since getting back on track, I’m averaging about 25 miles a week. And, yes, it is the shoes.
CLOSING IN …
So, has there been progress? Absolutely. At the time of my late fitness blog, I weighed 208 pounds. Earlier this week, I checked in at 204.2. That’s five pounds shy of the high end of my optimal weight (188 to 199 pounds).
My heel, though sometimes painful, feels better, and the shin splint hasn’t hurt since I bought fitted shoes. I might as well go for 188 pounds. That’s about 16 more pounds. One-hundred-and-six pounds down, 16 to go.
It’s been a long journey. It’s also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’m proof anybody can do this if you want it badly enough. If I can do it, anybody can.