There were a multitude of factors that led me to begin running (again). Firstly, I went through (at the time what I thought was) a bad break-up, which caused me to over-eat – I’m pretty sure I was eating two dinners a night. Secondly, I visited some old friends in Houston and when I got back from that trip and looked at the photos of myself, I was displeased with what I saw. Thirdly, I weighed the most I had ever weighed in recorded history. Fourthly, and most importantly, I had a savior. Kristin.
She underwent open-heart surgery to repair a congenital defect in one of her valves. There were some post-surgery complications, but miraculously she made it through, though I need to be clear that is a huge oversimplification. For whatever reason – because she now could – she began the ‘Couch to 5K’ running program. And before I knew it, she was running miles – with her dog – feeling better – the glowing picture of health. Did I mention she’s a little older than me?
I thought, ‘If she can do it, I can do it’ while simultaneously thinking, ‘Sean, you used to be a three-sport athlete, what the %*#& are you doing with yourself?’ And so I did. Do it…that is. Arduously, I set myself a schedule and stuck to it. It definitely helped that Kristin was still doing the program as well. We would talk at length at work about what we were running, how we were feeling, and more. Walking, jogging, walking, jogging – the intervals would change, with the running intervals gradually increasing in length of time. I can’t even tell you what the workouts are anymore…I just know that eventually I was running 30 minutes straight – about 3 miles – when I couldn’t even jog for 3 minutes before without getting winded. It was amazing. I was astounded.
Once I could do 30 minutes every run, I upped it 3-4 minutes per week until I was running for over an hour. However, this began to take its toll – it was both too much (at the time) and too boring (to do the same thing every workout). So, I did two things: bought Marathoning for Mortals and registered for the 2013 Disney Princess Half Marathon. I was going to run a half marathon. These gave me the varied workouts for which I was looking and the boost my training needed
Now when I run, I think about things I need to do – grocery lists, chores, travel plans, future races…but it was thinking of Kristin that kept me going when I first started back in 2012. And I will be forever grateful for what she did for me, and what that did for my future.