From Couch to Half-Marathon

I have a confession to make - I'm so far from being a marathon runner that this almost seems an impossible task. In my case, it's more from the computer chair to a half-marathon and I have been sitting in this chair for far too long. It plainly shows.

I started this around a week ago, but I'm finally starting to blog about it. Maybe, if this one writer does not only will I lose the weight - and get there - but perhaps someone else might find my journey back into fitness helpful.

Last Sunday, I weighed myself.

The number I saw staggered me instantly.

Horrified me.

Back when I was in school, I was actually very fit. I was on a cross country ski team. I've always been stocky and somewhat muscular (think a high fantasy dwarf, like from Dragon Age) but short. My best weight and height at that pinnacle was 132lbs at 5'4 (60kg and 162.5cm, respectively). While some might say that's still on the stocky side... well... you'd be right but I also had very little fat to lose. I had no belly - just trim muscle - and barely a butt to speak off. As I said, think high fantasy dwarf with broader than usual shoulders, muscles, short but solid like a brick. I was a human Pit Bull. I wore a size 12, sometimes a 14. I looked great and I turned heads.

Now is a different story.

I'm still only 5'4.

The problem is that (as of last week when I started this) I'm 294lbs (133kg) and it shows.

Yeah, way too much sitting at the computer.

Why from Couch (Er, Computer Chair) to Half-Marathon?

First, it gives me a solid goal other than "Lost Weight". I've tried that, and I've failed. It's too ambiguous. Too nebulous.

Telling myself that I'd like to run a marathon, and eventually will if I work toward it. To get there will mean losing the weight as a side effect because once you start down that path you can't help but lose it.

Today I just managed to beat my weekly goal of 10,000 steps for my Sunday walk at 12000 steps and 8km. Now that I've got the distance without being too winded by the end of it, I just have to manage to do it without having to sit down except at the far end (the 4km mark) and again on the way back except for the end of it.

Once a week, I push the limit of the distance by a bit. Once I get the distance down, I start getting up to "without sitting down". Eventually, once I manage to walk one way without having to take a break, and then the other way, and pace myself so it's not too difficult (that's the key part - the pacing. Not too fast or you burn out, but you have to keep a pace to not be left behind).

This has been my schedule so far:

  • Sundays: The "training day" where I walk the distance I need to walk for the half marathon. No hurry, no rush, just aim to pace myself and get the distance. Each time, I will try to do less and less sitting down midway until I manage to speed up a bit, and then eventually jog a bit, walk a bit.

  • Monday: Rest day, but I will do some light stretching and yoga to keep limber. However, physically, it's more about recovery. Still take a walk, but a short and easy one (around 1km and at a nice easy pace on some even ground)

  • Tuesday: HIIT workout, modified because I can't do full HIIT yet. I can do modified and still feel a burn, although I still need to take breaks. Getting there, though. In the morning, walk around the "block" (around 1km).

  • Wednesday: Rest day, but still do that walk and some yoga.

  • Thursday: HIIT, and the 1km walk.

  • Friday: Weight training/walk

  • Saturdays: Yoga/walk.

Keep in mind, all of these have been heavily modified and is only half of the usual "load" because I'm so far out of shape that I can't do normal workouts yet. The point is to try my best, rest when I have to, and get used to the routine of it. Once I do that I'll be able to start increasing the intensities, skill levels, and speed.

Of course, this also means I have had to watch my diet a little better and drink more water. These two things are challenges for me as I have one massive sweet tooth, and I never remember to hydrate.

But, I'm getting there. Small steps.

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