I’m publishing my Year in Review a couple days early this year since I’m going to be busy this weekend through New Years and may not get a chance to publish before then. 2012 was an amazing year as I grabbed the bull by the horns with both my running and my weight loss and made some dramatic changes in my life. It will be a year I won’t soon forget.
2012 was certainly the year of the race. This year I completed 15 races including 6 5Ks (3.1 miles), 1 trail 5K, 2 8Ks (5 miles), 3 10Ks (6.2 miles) and my first 3 half marathons (13.1 miles). If you want to check out the recaps of these races with pictures you can click the Races tab at the top of the page which will take you to the race recap page. Here’s the list in Chronological order of what I accomplished this year on the race circuit.
Jan 1 (Midnight) – Running the Lights 5K -Clemmons, NC
Feb 4 – Winter Flight 8K – Salisbury, NC (First race longer than 5K)
Feb 18 – Fitness, Friendship and Fun 5K – Kannapolis, NC
March 4 – Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon – NO, LA (First Half Marathon)
March 17 – St. Leo’s 10K – Winston Salem, NC
April 28 – Law Enforcement Memorial 5K – Winston Salem, NC
May 12 – Shelton Vineyards Running the Vines 10K – Dobson, NC
May 26 – Spring Folly 5K – Kernersville, NC
June 16 – Rhythm and Run 5K – Kannapolis, NC
July 21 – Beat the Heat 5K – Winston Salem, NC
Aug 4 – Vineyard Stomp Trail 5K – Stoney Knoll Vineyards – Dobson, NC
Sept 15 – Run 4 the Greenway 8K – Greensboro, NC
Oct 20 – RHABA Fast and Flat 10K – Rural Hall, NC
Nov 4 – Rex Healthcare (City of Oaks) Half Marathon – Raleigh, NC
Dec 1 – Mistletoe Half Marathon – Winston Salem, NC
All this came on the heels of only running one race (a 5K) in 2011. The race bug bit me and bit me hard.
Along with all these races was a whole lot of training mileage. I logged about 100 miles of training for each of my three half marathons, as well as maintenance mileage to just keep me going. Keeping a new race on the horizon, even a short one like a 5K, made sure that I could not stop what I was doing and to push me onward. I set a goal for myself this year of 732 miles (2 miles per day X 366 days). I’m not going to reach that, my injury riddled December knocking my mileage down to almost zero, but I’m going to get pretty damn close. Depending on what kind of mileage I get this weekend, I should hit somewhere between 690-700 miles. This is an astonishing increase after only logging 115 miles in 2011 (Granted, it was only from Aug-Dec). I don’t know what my goal for 2013 will be, probably not a number/mile goal. Maybe a race goal. 3 more Half Marathons. More than 3? We’ll have to see.
Of course the purpose of all this running was to lose weight. Although, I got to the point where I enjoyed it and it was no longer a chore. I also had to adjust my eating habits, which I began in the later part of 2011 when I joined MyFitnessPal in October.
On Jan 6, 2012, my first weigh-in of the new year, I weighed 282.2 pounds. This matched the weight I had achieved before joining MFP and before gaining back 20 pounds to 302. This, at that time, was my lowest adult weight. I had been over 300 pounds dating all the way back to High School.
This past Sunday (Dec 23rd) I weighed in at 237.4 pounds. That’s a loss (for the year) of 44.8 pounds. That’s an average of 0.86 pounds a week. This is much less than the “2 pounds a week” MFP proclaims you can lose using their calorie counting system, but it’s also nothing to sneeze at.
From my highest weight of 355 pounds in the fall/winter of 2009, I have lost a mind boggling 118 pounds. This continues to astonish me.
Along with running I’ve picked up a few other fitness related items based on the availability at the YMCA of which I am a member.
I started practicing Yoga in December of last year at the insistence of several of my running friends (notably, all female) who swore by it for the stretching which is vital for preventing injuries. I’ve now been practicing for a year, and I’ve noticed huge differences in my flexability, but Yoga has also been an amazing stress release and taught me to control my thoughts, control my breath and calm myself when things get crazy. The deep breathing exercises (similar to the ones we used to do in marching band) has also greatly increased my lung capacity and endurance. I barely breath heavy at all when I run anymore, much less the frantic huffing and puffing I used to do when I first started.
If Yoga exposed a weakness, so to speak, it was a lack of upper body strength. I struggled with what are supposed to be some of the easier poses like Downward Facing Dog, and Plank. I don’t remember exactly when I started, but I began a once a week, light weight lifting routine using the weight machines at the Y. I’ve noticed a marked change in my arms, shoulders, neck and chest. I’ve also noticed recently, that while it did take a while to see a result, I now can hold poses like Down Dog longer than I used to be able to, so definite progress there!
One of my friends from Yoga class nagged me for a while (in a good way) and convinced me to finally come to a spin class with her. I had done spinning once at my old Y and absolutely hated it, and was hesitant to try it again. I finally gave in and started it around April, after my first half marathon training was complete and I had time for some cross-training. The spin class at my new Y is the Les Miles RPM class which uses an enthusiastic instructor and loud music to rev you up and give you a “beat” to follow. I fell in love right away, and even though the class completely whipped me, I loved every minute of it and have continued to come back for more “punishment” weekly.
After getting over the nervousness of group exercise classes and embracing the social aspect of gym life, as well as the social aspect of fitness websites DailyMile and MyFitnessPal, I’ve been able to break out of my shell and become much more social than I’ve ever been in my life, including joining the local running club, the Twin City Track Club. A large part of this shift is also the increased confidence in myself from losing weight and becoming more physically (and mentally) fit.
Big shout out to my old friends Tim and Amanda (who got me into running and got me on MFP), and to my new friends Jen (my first running buddy), Cathy (who dragged me from Yoga to spin), Heather (who cheered me on in New Orleans), The running family of Landis’s Kathi, Brian, Briana and Caramia (who are always open for dinner and a run anytime I’m in Kannapolis), Lisa (who shares my love of running and all things Disney) Rob, Robert, Jill, Emily, Steve, Carmen, Lesha, Hernan and everyone else in the Twin City Track Club.
And thank you to all you out there who read my blog, whether I know you or not, have met you or not, you keep me going with your encouragement!
I was hesitant to mention this on the blog, but it is relevant. Some of you who have read my blog for a while know I was married, with several references to my wife, her family and particularly the painful death of my father-in-law that marred my 2010 year in review. My wife and I are no longer together having separated in September of 2011 and after the required one year waiting period our divorce was finalized in November of this year.
I mention this for two reasons… the first is that her leaving me (she literally walked out, came home from work one day and she was gone, despite the fact that I knew she was leaving, it was still sudden) was the spark that started this whole snowball rolling. I realized after years of trying to help and “fix” other people I had neglected myself to the point of serious unhealthiness. I decided to take care of ME before I started worrying about others. I joined MFP, took up my running again which had fallen by the wayside, and started this journey to where I am now. I’m not ashamed to say that a little bit of “How do you like me now?” is the flame that burns for my motivation to keep going.
The second reason is that for those of you who did know I was married, or thought perhaps I still was, I didn’t want there to be any confusion or scandal when in the next couple of days I introduce you all to my new girlfriend. She’s coming to visit me and run a race with me on New Years (same midnight race as last year) so I’m sure she will be making her blog debut shortly.
2013 looks to get started the same was 2012 did with the midnight New Years race, so hopefully that will be a sign of good things to come as I follow on the heels of this amazing 2012. I still have some work to do, and a little bit of weight still to lose. I’m also going to be running my 4th Half Marathon, in Disney in January which I’m very excited. There’s also another fairly exciting adventure in the works for 2013 but you’ll just have to stay tuned for that.
Happy New Year!