About Running

Back in 2012 or 2013, I decided to switch from bicycling to running. I remember my first effort at, well, let’s call it jogging instead of running. If I managed a mile in 20 minutes, I would consider myself lucky. It was an embarrassing affair, to say the least. I would plod along at a jog slower than I could walk. Well, that’s how it felt. At over 250 lbs and decidedly out of shape I was lucky to not have a coronary.

One of the things I adopted early on was measuring my heart rate. The miracle of modern technology allowed me to pace myself. My first heart rate monitor was a Runtasic device that seemed to fail after about 20 minutes, reading my heart rate in half the actual amount. Next came a Fitbit. It worked better than the Runtastic’s device. Unfortunately, it didn’t work with the Runtastic app. And I found the Fitbit app less than adequate. It’s map function, and ability to post to social media was both cumbersome and less than visually appealing.

I now own an Apple Watch. It works with the Runtasic app in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. The watch itself can control the app. So, now I can put my phone in a baggie on rainy days and start and stop Runtastic just with the watch.

Anyway, let me get back to the point I wanted to make. I set goals for myself when I started running. There were two things I wanted to accomplish. One, I wanted to lose weight. In my wildest dreams , I wanted to get back under 200 lbs. However, I thought that a bit extreme. So I set my sights on 220 lbs. I am currently fluctuating between 215 to 218. Late last fall, before the onset of the holiday seasons I managed to get down to 209 lbs.

As to pace; I set a goal of being able to run a sub-10-minute mile pace. I have done that on several occasions. It is yet to be consistent, but I’m getting there. Here is where the heart rate comes into play. Before I monitored my heart rate, I would push myself as hard as I could. I would be physically exhausted, and I couldn’t bring myself to exercise for several days. The Runtastic app educated me on the proper heart rate I should be maintaining while exercising. As a result, I started to ignore my pace and stick to the heart rate.

Today I am happy to say I have been able to keep myself from going over 160 beats per minute while running a sub-10-minute mile. As noted above, my weight has gone up due to the winter/holiday season. However, I’ve worked on setting up a simple gym of a treadmill and my bike downstairs and invested in winter running gear. My hope is not to lose any gains in both weight loss and running pace I make this summer. Indeed, I’ve set myself two new goals; to get below 200 lbs and to run a sub 9 minute mile. All while monitoring my heart rate.

And Keep Running!