Today’s post was submitted by John Floyd.
Totally surprising and humbling, the call came in when I was at lunch. I told the reporter to call me at 2PM and I would talk to him. Why would they chose me? I am not running 4 minute miles or finishing 5K’s in 12 minutes. I am nothing special when I comes to running. My best 5K is 28:06.
There is a website that our tri-state area uses to sign up for a variety of races, TriStateRacer.com. When I spoke to the reporter again at 2PM he said that the owner of this site had told him I would be a good story. But why? I just started running in March 2012. I’ve run a total of four 5K’s since then. Again, nothing special here.
He then mentioned that the owner of the site said that I had referred to myself as a “mess” last year. Ah, ok, now things started to make sense, a little.
It was true that last year I was 52 lbs overweight. I ate too much of the wrong things and I drank way too much alcohol. I hated myself for hating myself and I saw no way out. I felt absolutely stuck in place.
Then my wife mentioned this new program through her insurance. You pick a gym and you get a trainer and dietitian. Cool! I’ll sign up for that (and probably fail and quit it, my negativity told me)!
I started it in August 2011. Cardio and strength training. The trainer helped me so much, but staying on task and focus. The dietitian, I didn’t see enough. He would tell me eat more protein and fruits and vegetables. Which I did and my diet improved somewhat.
After four months of the diet and exercise, I had shed 47 lbs. And today’s weigh-in showed me at 200.8 lbs. Nice!
But how’s this all tie in to running and this interview?
I hated the treadmill. I felt like a gerbil going round and round not really going anyway. I did my time and then I was happy to be off that horrid thing. I looked up at the indoor track above me. “It’s gotta be better than the gerbil wheel,” I said to myself. I started running the 1/7th of a mile track. It was a little better. At least the scenery would change.
Then a friend of mine who had been running for a year or so said I should take it outside. Meh, ok, I reluctantly went outside and ran.
“You know you can do better than that!”
That was the beginning of my love for running. Stepping outside and just running set all kind of awesome things in motion for me. Once I got to 3 miles, that same friend told me I should enter a 5K. Haha, yeah, right, what a way to crush an ego. Join a race where you will get destroyed by people running 5 minute miles. He told me that, yes, that would probably happen along with getting passed by elderly people, women with racing strollers, and little kids. He told me I was thinking about it the wrong way and I should just do it because at least when I have run it I could put one of those 5K stickers on my car. That would make me feel better!
So, I signed up for one and got hooked. I ran the race and got my first official time: 30:38. I looked at the time over and over after the race and said to myself, “I bet I can do better!” I signed up for another 5K a month away and began running. In fact, running started to overshadow the weight training. I just wanted to run all the time. That 5K I did in 29:15. Again, I looked at the time and said the same thing. And I signed up for another 5K a month out.
That 5K I met with adversity. The week before the race I got sick. Something just short of strep throat. 102 degree fever, aches, pains, the whole deal. I hunkered down and did everything I could to get well quick. Antibiotics, fluids, rest, I would have even enlisted the services of a witch doctor if it would have helped. I did start feeling better and by Friday my fever was gone, but I was wiped out. My wife told me I should not run. I told myself I should not run, but on Saturday morning there I was feeling horribly weak but ready to go. I finished in 29:29. I looked at that time and said, “You know you can do better than that!” And just like before I signed up for another 5K a month off.
I won’t bore you with the details of the recent one except to say I set a new PR of 28:06. That felt awesome! Now, I am racing in the biggest 5K event around here: The WV 5K Championship this Saturday. They expect well over 1,000 racers to run the race. Maybe even more. I’ve heard 1,500 thrown around.
I am still trying to figure out how the owner of that site knows about my struggle and eventual success over my weight and becoming healthy. Maybe it was the gym, maybe it was the trainer. Who knows. It’s a very humbling thing when someone asks you to share your story with them.
So, what can someone take away from this? I guess that you can do it. There is nothing holding you back and the things that are mostly illusions. Things you’ve told yourself, mental roadblocks you’ve put up. If you want to run, then get out there and put one foot in front of the other and see where it leads you. Pay no attention to those that want to put you down or make you feel inadequate. Sadly, it’s usually us doing that to our own self. Know that you are worth it and you deserve good things in you life. They are out there for the taking all you have to do is put for a little effort and achieve them.