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Fat People Don't Run Marthons

As the sound of soft rubber on a nice New Balance shoe hits the pavement, ok… treadmill, my body perks up and I envision myself running briskly like that gazelle people so often talk about when talking about long lanky runners. I imagine my arms and my legs in perfect sync and my lungs pushing and pulling in air seamlessly. A long line of sweat runs off my brow, down my neck, and creates that perfect line of upper chest glisten I see in the movies. However, none of this is ever what occurs. Though every part of my “mind” wants me to be a runner, my body doesn’t seem to ever want to follow suit.
The problem here is the fact that I am an overweight woman with dreams of running marathons.
I have been “training” to run for quite a while, but the other fact is that when you see those “from couch to 5k” manuals they aren’t really speaking to the overweight masses. These guides are actually for the girl or guy that has maybe a few extra pounds but still hasn’t yet mangled their body with years of pizza and Doritos that show in creamy cinnamon rolls over their pants. Yeah… that’s me, though my rolls are looking more like dinner rolls these days, which is to say, a little smaller.
I jogged about two miles today and by the end my lungs were a little tight and so I got on the elliptical to finish out my workout. What I did have was tons of not so glistening sweat crafting unflattering lines along my stomach and under my boobs. I consistently have to get over the fact that my mind can run marathons, but my body can’t seem to. I consistently want to set longer goals but then find myself psyching myself out and not actually completing the running goal I have set.
I decided to google, not bing, a search for “running guides for overweight people.” What did I come up with? Not surprisingly, not much. Running is actually not an ideal exercise for overweight people because running is already strenuous enough for a fit person’s body. Having extra weight on the joints is just not really a sound practice, so why am I looking for an overweight runners guide? Because I love running! I’ve tried just walking, briskly, up hills, down hills, sideways, upways, and downways and I absolutely hate it. Walking, unless it’s on a beach with a romantic partner is one of the most boring forms of exercise I have ever tried. I absolutely can’t get into just walking this and that block. However, the moment I jiggled my 230lb thighs, felt them rubbing together and probably creating a static storm on the treadmill, I was in love with running or at least jogging.
I remember the first day I jogged and I slowly moved the treadmill speed up from my usual 4mph up to 5. My body felt like it was flying and I was sure that I would be crossing some sort of finish line soon thereafter. From my view in the back of the gym, all the runner’s bodies looked strong and purposeful. All I knew is that I wanted that and here I was running and I was going to have one of those bodies. I had that thought for approximately two minutes. Two minutes in and I was almost dry heaving from full body exhaustion. Needless to say, after that two minutes I realized it was going to take more than a good imagination to get where I wanted to be.
Anyone that works out really hard knows what that feels like at some point in his or her life. Here’s a short little article on how to avoid exercise induced nausea
Recently I decided to test and see how my fitness level is doing and push myself to this point once again. I seem to be doing pretty well overall. I can comfortably run at 6mph per hour now and pushed myself to 7mph at which what do you think happened? Yes, nausea, but for some reason I was proud of my sickness and wore it like a badge. I thought to myself, Nicole, do you remember when you probably would have literally flown off the treadmill at that speed and gave myself a pat on the back.
Well… I’m guessing a fat running guide may not be coming out anytime soon so I am going to continue my interval training and give myself the goal of jogging 2.5 miles consecutively, which for some may seem small, but for my otherwise weighty self will be a milestone. Maybe one day I’ll be able to write that running guide, but until that day I urge anyone who is overweight to start jogging slowly and make sure to look up proper running technique.***
I’m still looking a marathon in the back of the head and am hoping to one day look it in the eye. Until then, I’ll see you on the treadmill.

*** Make sure to talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

Other note: This is not intended to assume that overweight people do not run marathons because I know some do and I hope to be one, it's just what a google search tells me people think. When I did that search of overweight runners, a lot of them were people making fun of overweight people running. It was mostly just sad.


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