A Rough Start: Overweight and Out of Shape

author : BARitzenthaler
comments : 8

How quickly I have fallen from the ranks of the quasi-fit. Up until my retirement from the U.S. Navy at the age of 41, I was fairly fit - not in great shape but able to do pretty much whatever I wanted physically. During my last physical fitness test my weight was 213 lbs., I ran 1.5 miles in 10 minutes 54 seconds, did 70 pushups in two minutes, and performed 100 situps in two minutes. It was a respectable score for an aging sailor. Last week, after four years of being a couch potato, the stats were not so good:

  • Weight: 264
  • 1.5-mile run: did not complete
  • Pushups: 18
  • Sit ups: 25 '

I was nearly ready to pass out when I finished.

Enough is enough. I decided to train for a sprint triathlon for two reasons: First, my brother-in-law just finished his first sprint and loved training for it. Second, I get bored easily with just one type of exercise.

So I joined BT and the local YMCA (for the swimming pool), fixed up my old mountain bike (a road bike would be a reward for completing three sprint triathlons), dusted off my running shoes, and bought a Bowflex from the neighbor.

I have always been a swimmer, so that came more easily to me than the other two parts. I am still short of breath after only 100 - 150 meters, so I switch between freestyle and breast stroke.

The biking is great. I've measured out a few courses and have been making steady improvements. I've knocked nearly 15 minutes off of the five-mile course. Looks like I'm going to have to start doing two laps.

The running is horrible. I live in a mildly hilly area, and four minutes is all I can do before I have to walk. After alternating between running and walking for another two cycles, I am done. I feel terrible for at least an hour after running. I know it’s not my heart because I had a complete physical before starting on the first day. This is an area where I can't wait for the improvements to come.

I feel that the improvements will come as the weight comes off. In just two weeks I have lost 10 lbs. Other than the running, I feel pretty good while training.

Logging my nutrition and exercise on BT has been very motivational. I look forward to writing about the incremental improvements in my training.

Until next time...



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date: January 14, 2008



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