Evaluation

Today I am attempted to run my first timed mile since High School. Sure, I have run a mile in other events from time to time, but never on a track with a stopwatch. I am going to be using this run as a baseline for my performance/improvement.

I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I finished my mile in 9:45:50! It is not that I think this is a great time, but considering the shape I am and how the run felt I was most certain it was going to be well over ten minutes. I was definitely in the hurt box, but I managed to finish it and I didn’t stop to walk at all. Regardless of the outcome I did it, and now I know where I am. I am happy that I don’t have as much ground to make up as I thought.

The bad part though, is my form. I recorded the ordeal and would like to share some of it. The entire video is over 10 minutes long and trust me it’s not that exciting. The video I’ve included is simply a ‘highlights’ reel. I will be using this footage to study my form; so often you think you might look a certain way when you exercise but when you can actually see yourself it’s an entirely different story (cough, cough, yoga). I can hardly watch the video without cringing. I suppose the upside is that it can only get better from here.

Considering my mile time is almost double what I want it to be I definitely have my work cut out for me, and the task is a bit daunting. I do have faith that I will be able to overcome the obstacles, both mental and physical. I wish I could say I planned this journey to coincide with this year’s 2016 Olympics, but I can’t. Even though I didn’t plan it I can still take this as a sign that I am doing the right thing. There is more motivating than watching the best in the world compete to make you want to get up and do something yourself!

Since I ran a timed mile today, I am going to use today as the official start of my ‘year’. I have been doing some strength training for about a month now. I have had some issues with my knee, which I will detail at some point, but before I attempted this I wanted to have prepared my body a little to prevent further injury. My knee still feels pretty weak (surprisingly it felt fine on the run) and I am a little worried about it, but I think with smart training I can strengthen it back up and put these concerns behind me. So there you have it. The clock is ticking and I had better get going. Please check out the video and if you have any helpful comments about form, pace, etc. I would love to hear them, but I already know I look terrible so please be kind.

 

Introduction

Hello, my name is Ron. I am 33 years old. In my life right now I am trying to learn how to navigate a great many new things. My wife and I just purchased our first home. The scope of my job has changed 180 degrees and it’s taking some adjustment, and there have been many speed bumps along the way. Most recently, my wife gave birth to the most amazing baby girl. My life today is dramatically different than it was at this time last year, and far different than I would have ever imagined.

With all of these recent changes to my life I thought perhaps it would be the right time to try to change one more, super important aspect of my life: My health. Once you crack 30 years old it does start to become apparent that your body is no longer the one you grew up with; things start to ache, things start to tighten up, and you joints begin popping and snapping with even the slightest movements. Well, at least this is what my experience after 30 has been thus far. Sometimes I see a candid photo of myself or I catch my reflection a certain way and for a moment I don’t even recognize myself. In fact, it’s quite alarming when in your reflection you see some large, meandering creep who has somehow sneaked up behind you. As I stand today I am 6’4″ (182.88cm) and right around 300lbs ( 136kg), the heaviest I’ve been in my entire life.

When I was younger I was a runner. I wasn’t ever quite good enough to look for any scholarships and I didn’t have any dreams of competing in the olympics, but I enjoyed it, and I wasn’t terrible at it. As I have aged I have found myself missing it more and more. Through the years I have competed in several races, mostly for nostalgia, and I have never performed up to my expectations. It’s difficult to not feel bad when you’re confronted with the fact that you’ve let yourself go so much. Regardless of the outcome though, it is still fun to compete. I do feel like I had more fun competing when I could perform better.This is what lands me here today.

When I was on my high school track team my fastest official mile time was a 6:01. I was a decent sprinter but I never had the stamina to keep moving fast for very long. My cross-country results can attest to that. My senior year of high school I had upped my miles and was seeing great results. So great in fact that one day in a practice 5K I reached the one mile mark and my coach read out the time: 5:58! I couldn’t believe it! Despite my disbelief tt was correct and I did manage to keep that first mile right around 6 minutes for the remainder of the season. I will outline my disappointment with the conclusion of my final cross country season in another post, but by the end of the season the extra miles had me pretty beat up. By my logic, at that stage if I was only running one mile instead of 3.1 I could have easily bested my PR of 6:01. If I were rested and attempted it I bet I would have been in the mid-low 5 minute range. Maybe even as low as a 5:15. Unfortunately, I’ll never know. I think that since I had improved my times much that year that if I had really pushed myself and hadn’t stopped running I could have broken the 5 minute mark for a single mile. And that, to me, is a pretty quick mile time. And so, I have it in my mind that I am going to return to that same level of fitness and surpass it. It is my goal to run a mile in under 5 minutes. It might be ambitious considering my current condition, but I am giving myself a year to complete it. This will help to keep me focused and driven. Hopefully some of you internet users stumble upon on this blog and cheer me on. I think I’m going to need all the help I can get!