I’ve been an avid runner since my teens, and I was active and fit through my twenties. Grad school was good for that: due to my flexible schedule, I could run when I wanted, and my bicycle was my primary transportation around town.
But right after I turned thirty, that all changed: I was no longer a full-time student; I got my first sit-on-my-ass-all-day job in software development; we moved from sunny Austin to New Jersey; and, within a few months, we had our first child. As a result, I struggled with my running, and consequently, my fitness and weight. Moving back to Austin helped a little: I ran the half marathon in 1998 and 2001, but my running routine remained very up and down.
This situation improved somewhat when I took my current job last summer. Our office complex has a small gym with treadmills, so I started coming in early on Tuesdays and Thursdays to beat the traffic and run before work. And now that it’s spring, I’ve run at the Town Lake hike and bike trail a few times instead of on the treadmill.
Last fall, when I saw my family physician for my annual checkup, she noted that I had gained a couple of pounds a year for the past ten years–starting at about age thirty.
In November, Katie and I decided that we would try a low-carb diet and really try to improve our family’s eating habits. We already ate pretty well, but there was still room for improvement, we felt. We did some research and decided on the South Beach diet.
We started our new eating regimen at the first of the year. I weighed 235 pounds at the time. I’m 6 ft, 1/2 inch tall, so that gave me a body mass index of 31, which is technically obese. It was a struggle to run 3-4 miles at a time on the treadmill.
I’ve since lost between 25 and 30 pounds, and my usual treadmill run has increased to five or six miles. This morning, I ran one hour, four minutes on the hike and bike trail, which is between seven and eight miles.
After this morning’s run it hit me: I’m back! I feel like I’m in a good running routine for the first time in years.

Categories: Personal