The first step leads to…

by Jimmy Ho

Three years ago I was at my heaviest.  I have been eating whatever I want with reckless abandon. When I started college, I gained the dreaded freshman 15. At the time, I would eat everything I could see in the dorm and drink as much as I could. The only exercise I got was weight training once a week and playing basketball 5 days a week for
an hour or 2 my first year of college. My weight would fluctuate over the next few years. I would eat out all the time and never exercised.

My girlfriend at the time wanted to do weight watchers. I wanted to be supportive and did the program with her. I have done it in the past with another girlfriend so I was familiar with it. This time, I decided to add some time at the gym as well.  I thought running would be a great cardio workout. It was tough. The farthest I had ever run was half a mile at that point. That took place many moons ago back in high school in physical education. They would make us run a mile so I would sprint the first 2 laps and walked the last 2. When I think about it, I am ashamed of myself.

It took a long time for me to build my distance. My knees did not like me trying to push myself. It took at least 5 months to get up to running 3 miles straight without stopping.  It took a long time because I kept adding elliptical workouts because I would be sore all over from running. I was not stretching at all. With a change in diet and a workout regime, I dropped 30 pounds.  With this new change in lifestyle, it has tremendously helped my heart. I used to have rapid heartbeats periodically where I would get exhausted by just doing laundry. It seems like it runs in my family, but cardiologists have never pinned it on anything, but stress. But with all of the cardio workout I do now, I do not get any of the heart racing episodes anymore.

One day when I was at the gym on the treadmill, I ran 7 miles. That was the farthest I have ever run up to that point and that was about a year and a half ago. I was hooked when I left the gym. I was on this high that I could not explain. It felt great. I told myself that day I was going to be running a half marathon very soon. I decided to run the 3M because it was a great beginner’s half to race. I made up a training plan and bumped up the mileage every week. I trained with a buddy who also had no previous racing experience. We somehow made it through uninjured. After finishing under 2 hours, I thought I would never run a marathon. Somewhere along the way I changed my mind and threw my name into the Houston marathon lottery.

I wanted to do Houston because it was flatter than Austin. I would think the hills would eat up my energy in the later miles. My wife thought it would be best if I trained with a running group so I would not get injured, plus there would be a structured plan to help me reach my goal. I heard great things about Rogue and gave it a try. My training did not start out great at all. I got strep throat within the first 2 weeks. The last time I was really sick was probably 7 years ago. It was terrible because I still wanted to run, but I could not. I tried a few times, but my body was weak. I lost 2 weeks of training, but I am up to speed now. I will write more about my training in a few weeks…

Until next time, Rogue, happy running.

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