From a slug to a runner - your story! (Read 7478 times)


    I'm interested to see if anybody here had gone from being non-athletic whatsoever to say a sub 3:30 or even sub 3:00 marathoner...i mean those that didn't really run competitively in high school and college...just anybody who late in the game one day got off the couch and said 'i'm gonna start running and i'm gonna get fast and far'. How long did that journey take, etc...

      I'll give you the short version. I never ran competitively in high school, college or at any other time. Prior to 2006, I had run exactly one organized race -- a 5K -- and I had to take walk breaks to get through it. So I think I certainly qualify as "just anybody."


      September 2005: At age 38 (semi-late in the game Wink), height 5'9", I weigh 200 pounds. I'm wearing size 38 jeans and I'm at least 40 pounds overweight. I'm so out of shape that I don't even bother running for the first few weeks and ride the stationary bike instead. When I do run, I'm running maybe 15-20 miles per week, and I'm taking walk breaks every 6-7 minutes. My early running paces are in the 12:00/m to 13:00/m range.


      October 2006 (13 months later): At age 39, height 5'9", I weigh 156 pounds. I'm wearing size 32 jeans and my weight has been steady for over eight months. My recent training has been in the 50-60 miles per week range. On 10/22/06, I run my first marathon (Chicago) in a time of 3:29:40 and an average pace of 8:00/m.


      Admittedly, I'm no prodigy; there aren't any trophies or ribbons in my running future. I'm just an average joe who one day decided to get off the couch ... and ended up running a sub-3:30 marathon.




      Seeing as this thread gets bumped from time-to-time, I figured I would update my slug-to-runner tale...


      October 2008 (3 years later): At age 41, I'm healthier and fitter than I've been in my life. I have run over 2000 miles/year the last two years. In Summer 2008, I've been training an average of 80 miles/week, peaking at over 100 miles/week.  On 10/4/2008, I run my fourth marathon in a time of 3:14:37 and an average pace of 7:26/m. I have qualified for the Boston Marathon (with a six minute cushion).


      Its important to note that even though my first marathon was only 10 minutes away from a BQ, it took me two years and three more tries before I finally got it done. Progress comes in fits and starts, but it does eventually come if you stay persistent.


      Oh, and that part I wrote above in 2007 about "no trophies or ribbons in my running future"? A bit pessimistic, as it turns out. I've actually won two age-group medals, one in a race with over 1000 runners, the other in a race with over 500 runners.

      How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

        It's great hearing your story. It gives me a lot of hope. I too am 38. I was 230 lbs last July and I'm down to 178 lbs. I want to get to 160 lbs. I plan to run my first marathon in Dec 2007 and hearing about your success doesn't make my goal seem like an impossible task.



          Great job Berner! You're an inspiration! Smile
            Hey, I went from a slug to a sub-3:00 HM in under a year... Oh. Wait. He said marathon... Big grin

            Roads were made for journeys...

            Princess Cancer Pants

              Awesome thread! I hope to contribute to it someday. Smile k

              '17 Goals:

              • Chemo

              • Chemo-Radiation

              • Surgery

              • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


              She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

              ~ Unknown


                Suppose Im too new to contribute but to put it into perspective. When I first started 3 months ago I ran 1.5 miles in 23.5 minutes, taking walking break sall the time. Now 2 stone lighter, with still a lot more to go I ran a 50min 10K. A lot to look forward to this year with high expectations.

                "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

                  Hey, I'm with you! In high school our dance team would run around the hallway (a slow jog) for about 3-5 minutes and I DREADED it! I am still a beginner, about 1-2 years running with a short break, but it is inspirational knowing that as my pace improves slowly but surely there IS hope for 8 minute miles. Big grin
                  Kate ;) "The pain of regret is greater than the pain of self discipline."


                    nice one berner... i personally need to hear these success stories to keep myself motivated. I'm hoping that i'll be able to continue to progress and improve up to that level...whatever my upper limit is physiologicaly and then some Big grin . I didn't do any sports growing up...i had asthma really bad that didn't go away until high school and growing up in a 3rd world country there was no inhalers or any portable asthma medications (strictly steam and vicks vaporub stuffs). I still get bad allergies and get colds pretty easily. But i've gone from 11:00+ 3 mile runs with walk breaks to having average pace of about 9:20 - 9:30 in 7 months, bagging my first marathon (5 hrs 7 min) in the process. I'm a long ways away from my goal of one day doing a sub 3:30 marathon but good to know that it can be done.
                      I'm just an average joe who one day decided to get off the couch ... and ended up running a sub-3:30 marathon. Average joe? I don't think so - very impressive!

                      Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown)

                      Go With The Flow
                      Thyroid Support Group

                      Chicago 26.2 07

                        just so I know how much does a stone weigh? And I will add to this thread after the Chicago Marathon in Oct. Started running in Sept. Hoping to do the Chicago in 4:30 or better. I;m 46 and haven't run in 25 years.
                          1 Stone = 14 lbs Wink
                            I defintely don't/can't run a sub-3:30 marathon, but I was a slug 2 years ago. I've always been heavy, and 2 years ago I got tired of it. Unfortunately, I was also about 5 months pregnant, so I had to wait a while to do anything about it. As soon as I was able, I started the act of losing, and hit my goal of 90 pounds lost in October. While I was pregnant, I saw someone else train for and run a marathon, and was so impressed. I thought I could never do it (I have never been athletic, and quit every exercise program I ever started), but my husband comvicned me to try. I started the Couch to 5K program and started out running less than 5mph. I would walk 3 minutes, run 30 seconds, and think I was going to die. It took me 12 weeks tom complete the 9 week program and even longer to get down to a 10 minute mile. In September I ran my third race ever, and did 10K in 45:17. And 3 days ago I ran my first marathon in 3:59:18. I'm one of those people who says, "If I can do it, anyone can", because I cannot even begin to stress how out of shape I was. And it's not like I was athletic as a teen and then got lazy as an adult; I have ALWAYS been overweight and inactive. So trust me, you can and will get there.
                            "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' " - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian
                              I can't run a sub 3:30 marathon either but 4 years ago I was 236 lbs and my pant size was pushing 40 Cry. I started walking just to lose some weight but soon ended up running. My first marathon was 4:04:45, my last was 3:48:50. I still don't really consider myself an athlete but I can regularly run 15 - 20 miles now, something I thought was impossible just a few years ago. My pant size is now 33 or 24. Not bad for previously overweight person who spent most of the teens and 20's as a fat ass pot head Tongue. Dead
                                Well I think a marathon is 13.1 miles too far to run. Then again 2 years ago I was of the opinion that it was 26.2 miles too far to run, so maybe I am making progress. Early November 2004. 6’2” 285 lbs on high blood pressure medication that is just doing the job. My new doctor wants to switch my medication around and run blood tests for kidney function as high blood pressure can do unsavory things there as well as to other organs. We discuss my weight and I remark I know I need to loose 90 to 95 lbs. He tells me it is not going to happen or very rarely does, but 10 lbs would be good. Doc’s nurse calls, says my blood sugar is a little high and my A1c is 7.4, Ok what the hell is A1c, and what is that number in “regular” blood sugar? A1c is a 90 day average and 7.4 translates to 185. OH CRAP!!! Doc wants to run that again. 11/23/04 @ 11:20 am the nurse calls me at work and says it is official, Type 2 Diabetes. BTW at 11:30 am we had our Thanksgiving Day pitch in dinner at work………………She wouldn’t wait to call, for say an hour? May 2005. My wife and I are watching the live coverage of the Indy 500 Mini Marathon with a field of walkers. I remarked I thought I could walk that, and my wife said”Then go for it.” By this time I was walking regularly at work and had lost about 70 lbs. June 2005. I was down to 205 lbs. Then my gallbladder objected to the fast weight loss and resigned…painfully! This put a stop to my walking for a long time. Then in Dec 2005 I was temporarily promoted and that stopped my walking at break time all together. Brakes? What dat? May 2006. I walked the 13.1 miles in 3:40:05 and had a grand time and got to touch the Yard of Bricks at the Indy Speedway! My left knee hurt for weeks but that was due to cheap shoes and lack of training. Signed up for the 2007 race the next day and NOT to walk!!! June 2006. Doc took me off the blood pressure medication. And still no need for diabetes medication as the diet AND exercise was doing the job!! July 2006. Bought a good pair of running shoes, a knee brace and started running. I wanted to run a local 15k race at the end of Sept. My body promptly indicated in various ways that this distance was not a good first race and that 5k was better suited as a first goal. Sept 2006. 5k in 36:57, which for an old (52) STILL fat man was not too bad. Oct 2006. Kidney infection and back spasms side lined me for 26 days (diabetes makes it hard to fight infections). So my running suffered a LOT. More than I ever expected. But I am getting back and WILL be ready for the half marathon on May 5th! And I plan on that 15k in Sept

                                To paraphrase an old poster: Today is the first day of the rest of your training. It doesn’t matter where you started or how far you’ve come. Today is the day. Your training didn’t start 6 weeks ago. Your training started the last time you hit the road. John “the Penguin” Bingham Life is not tried, it is merely survived if you're standing outside the fire