I've always been more of the "sofa athlete" than actual athlete, but beginning in my mid-30's, I realized that not only had I retained all of my high school fat, but over the years, those fat cells had made many friends, and they were all beginning to congregate in the most unappealing places.
Whatever meager metabolic magic that had worked to keep me toggling between a size 8 and 10 through my 20's, had apparently felt a little "crowded" by all the new fat cells, so it moved elsewhere, and left no forwarding address.
So, here I am, getting fatter and fatter … Well, I've always known running was a great way to stay in shape (have you EVER seen a fat marathon runner … NO!), But I just knew that it was not for me. It was too hard, and the constant pounding on the pavement made my bobs hurt. Luckily, I had the incredible good fortune to acquire a friend that was a runner, and she showed me the light …
For instance, did you know that to be a runner does not mean you have to sprint the entire time? I had no clue … no wonder I could not run more than 100 yards without wanting to throw up. Also, taking short walk breaks was not only permitted, but even encouraged by professional marathoners (check out Jeff Galloway on amazon.com).
We started out nice and slow … we would run (slow jog, is more like it) for 2 minutes, then walk for 1 minute. We kept this up for over 2 miles, and I did not puke or collapse once! Prior to this, I had never even run 1 mile … the closest I came in 7th grade PE class when I did almost 1 complete lap around the track (that's only 1/4 mile). Currently, I am doing a 5 minute run with a 1 minute walk break, and I run between 10 and 13 miles per week (3 days).
When I finally participated in my first 5K, I found that the excitement of being in a foot race with hundreds upon hundreds of other people gave me the energy to run even faster than my usual times. I completed the 5K in 42 minutes or so, which is just under a 14 minute mile. My fastest 5K time is only 36 minutes, but that's a terrific improvement over the non-running couch potato that I used to be.