Lunchtime walks also became more frequent and more intense. I would walk from work to the footbridge and around Elizabethtown every day I was working out of the office. There were even days where I would take the dog for a third walk when I went home for lunch.
As those walks progressed and the scale numbers started with a 2 instead of 3, one walk a day turned into a run. Not too far at first, but gradually building.
There was the classic setback known as the holidays, where the scales tipped the wrong way for about a month, which is why, as I was walking past the Essex County Public Health Department building one day, I decided that I needed a new goal, a big one, and the idea was born to participate in the Run For Hope.
So little one mile runs became three mile runs. Then four. Then five. Times also started to go down. On my treadmill, I got to where I could do five miles in an hour (I’ll let you figure out the speed - I told my daughter this equation once and she gave me a blank stare for about one minute until it sunk in). I then kept that pace for six and seven miles.
After my treadmill decided to have “issues,” and the weather started to be above single digits, I got back outside where I learned a few things like running north on Camp Dudley Road stinks with constant uphills but running south on it always means a 20-mph head wind. However, that also meant a 20-mph tailwind on Stevenson Road. I also learned that I could do that nine-mile loop in less than two hours, another time that kept getting lower.
Then came the big day last Saturday. I really had two main goals. The first was to always be jogging, while the second was to cross the finish line in less that two hours and 40 minutes. I never changed my pace (although it did get slower on the hill) and finished in a time of 2:27:23 (check the results page! Top 10 in my age division! I know it was out of 10, just give me this moment). My pace was under 12 minutes per mile, quicker than my goal pace on the treadmill. Mission accomplished.
So now, my family is getting ready to go back to Utah in three months. I will again hardly be able to breathe in the lighter air, but this time it will be while I am running The Timp half marathon in Lehi or working out with my daughter as she prepares for BYU soccer camp.
For those other activities, I plan to breathe a little easier.
Oh, and if we were to leave today, I would also be doing it at 240.