Runner by Garry Knight

Earlier this week I did something that is either a humongous mistake or one of the best decisions I’ve made my in my entire life. The sad thing is there’s really not much wiggle room between them. I signed up for my first 10 km run. September. The thing that might make it a humongous mistake is the fact that I am massively overweight and very possibly in the worst shape of my entire life. This is not an exaggeration, this is knowing the fact that I can’t even walk for more than 30 minutes straight. Let alone finish an entire 10 km by foot or even by crawling.

But I have also started training. I’ve done a whole two sets of walking for 25 minutes. Right now my pace is such that it will take me just over two hours and ten minutes to finish the entire 10k. If I could keep the pace up for the entire time. Which I can’t. The goal is to be able to run, or more likely walk, the entire 10k in 80 minutes by September.

I’m going to at least try to be smart about this. I’ve looked up various workout plan. Most of the couch to 10k type training starts with the assumption that you are able to walk briskly for 30 to 40 minutes at a time. This is not my idea of “couch”, by the way. So I swallowed my pride and started looking for training programs for obese people. And I actually found one that seems like it would work.

I have this bad habit of deciding every spring that this is the year that I’m going to get in shape, this is the year that I start running again. I always start with one of these training programs that claim to help you get from flab to fab in a sensible way. And every year I inevitably injure myself. I pull a muscle or get a stress fracture or just plain overwork myself, trying to keep up with the program. As embarrassing as it is to even think about, I’m going to have to accept the fact that I need to train myself before I can even think about starting one of these training programs. I’m actually planning to finish this race. And I don’t want to injure myself doing it.

This is me, leaving for my first training session. The very epitome of your typical runner, eh?

This is me, leaving for my first training session. The very epitome of your typical runner, eh?

I started working for a new company in October. My current employer is very invested in workers feeling good in general. There’s lots of social activity for everyone and that includes exercise. On Tuesday, after lunch, we all got an email informing us, that the company is once more sponsoring people wanting to sign up for Helsinki Midnight Run. It arrived at a weak moment when I was already considering doing something along those lines. And I somehow found myself signing up for it.

I look nothing like a runner, and maybe I never will. That doesn’t stop me from doing it, though. I’m using RunKeeper to track my progress, mostly because I like their interface, but also a little bit because my friend Steve works at RunKeeper and I’m biased toward anything my friends are working on. I even got a month of their subscription service to see if there’s some benefit to that. Right now the app doesn’t have enough data for me to say one way or the other. At some point, I’ll most likely getting back to Zombies, Run! just to keep myself entertained. I’ve recently also gotten into using Dragon Naturally Speaking and they have a pretty good app for dictating while out and about, so no doubt quite a few blog posts and possibly some stories will get dictated while I’m doing the thing. In fact, most of this post was dictated while walking.

I’m doing this thing. Is there something you’ve been thinking about doing? What’s stopping you?