About 15 months ago, with my 40th birthday approaching and not happy with my looks in the mirror and many health issues, I made the decision I needed to get active to try and keep myself off insulin and maybe lose a few pounds in the process. I had always heard and seen photos of Pat’s run out here in Arizona and made that my goal. I gave myself just over a year to train to go the distance; it is 4.2 miles with a few inclines. I made a start date ofMarch 22nd and had a plan I measured out a route and figured out two miles was a good start. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Color run before

I had quit smoking 18 months earlier. So I was expecting to be able to run the whole two miles but age and laziness had taken their toll. I got about 100 yards in and was out of breath already. I finished the two miles but walked most of the way. I now realize my training plan was wrong but I went with it. I started out with two miles a couple times a week—the going was slow with little to no improvement. Shortly after I had started running a friend approached me and asked if I wanted to do a color run. I said yes and made a new goal to finish the race in under 45 minutes.

I had to push myself to train for my first actual race. It was a blast. I decided from that point on I needed to find more races to do so I searched and found a few that fit my schedule. With each race, I set a new goal—with my last 5k I had a goal of under 40 minutes and did it with 23 seconds to spare. As I continued to run and push myself, I found that come January I was starting to refer to myself as a runner. I was starting to enjoy the run and the benefits of running. I even ran a 10k 45 days before Pat’s Run. I say run, really I am still at a run/walk stage but have recently been able to go 1.5 miles before I even have to walk and it’s not from the legs, it’s due to the ex-smoker —34 months so far.Jesse run after

In January my wife started walking for exercise—she says I am her inspiration. As for the weight loss, I have gained pounds but know that it’s muscle due to the shrinking belly, and for now, all my medical issues are under control. What’s next for me? In the coming months, I am training for a few mud/obstacle races, one being the Spartan Run. That means cross-training, push-ups, and sit-ups. After that I know I want to run a half marathon and I do a sprinter triathlon. My family and friends have been my biggest supporters and it’s to them I dedicate this post. I don’t think I would have stuck with the running without your support.