In August of 2007, I went to a Chiropractor to get my neck and back adjusted... unfortunately the only thing that happened was my C6-7 disk was blown into my spinal column. I got extremely lucky and was able to get the necessary surgery to repair the problem within a couple of weeks. That was just the beginning, I gained 40 pounds over the next year topping out at 245 lbs. I WAS FAT.
When I went to the Chiropractor in 2007 I was in the process of applying for a commission in the National Guard JAG Corps. After my surgery, I was PDQ'd (permanently disqualified). I set out on August 1, 2008 to get in shape and lose the weight so that I could reapply for a commission. I started going to the gym five days a week, doing cardio, lifting weights... (I started with the three pound weights, my muscles had atrophied after my injury) and walking on the elliptical.
I have friends who run every Saturday and Sunday morning and the joke always was, you'll never see me out there... Well, I started, the first time I "ran" with them I ran four blocks and walked the rest of the way. I kept at it and in October, 2008 I ran my first 5k race... my goal was to finish without stopping to walk. I did it. I finished in 38:15 and was thrilled. My running partner said the Mardi Gras half marathon was on Feb. 1, 2009 and would I like to train for it with him... I laughed and said why not, knowing in the back of my mind that they also had a 5k run...
Along the way I had runners knee in my right knee, I had my left knee lock up at the ten mile mark of an eleven mile run, I had illio-tibial band syndrome on my left leg and spent EVERY day the week before the race in a physical therapist's office having treatment so that I could run.
On race day, I ran with a pace group and was amazed at how much fun and how exhilarating running a long distance race could be, my family and friends all had "Team Ed" shirts along the course (my running partner and I are both Ed) I got a runners high at mile 7 and literally sprinted for four and 1/2 miles until I then felt the other end of the spectrum and hit the proverbial wall at mile 12. Luckily, there was a water station and I drank and rested for a minute and then plodded my way to the finish. I was not going to be denied! It was amazing as I rounded the curve to the finish line... I remember feeling absolutely spent and amazed and exhilarated all at the same time...
My wife took a picture of me from the rear as I was crossing the finish line... and I continually am reminded of just how exhausted I was when I finished. But the key word is finished.
I am running the same race this year, running has helped me lose 50 pounds and I never want to find it again. And by the way, I was commissioned in October of 2009 in the National Guard!
iPhone with the RunKeeper App
I found it helped with my own personal accountability to myself to ensure I did the miles I was supposed to. It also provides feedback along the way as to pace, distance, etc.
Southern Runner Shoe Store
They really treat each customer as an individual and helped me find the proper shoes to help me succeed.
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GU Energy Gel
Gotta hydrate and get energy on those long run so that you don't fail in your quest.