Chris: Born and raised in the Detroit area, which I still call home.
RD: Share a little about yourself. What do you do for a living? Hobbies?
Chris: I’m a 36-year old dad to three great kids and have been married to my wife for 10 years. Our youngest is not quite 2 years old and together, they keep us very busy. As a software sales executive, I work out of a home office and find myself on the road visiting customers almost every week. When I’m on the road, big business meals and bar time with co-workers isn’t uncommon at all.
RD: How long have you been running?
Chris: Less than a year. In the fall of 2009, I got an email from Rodale for a promotion for their Biggest Loser book, 30 Day Jump Start. My wife and I love the show, and thought that we’d give it a try in 2010. I started walking/running on January, 9th, 2010. At first, I could only go a ½ mile on the treadmill at 4.5-5.0 mph before I’d have to get off, out of breath and with lots of pain in my legs. I wanted to just give up and tell my wife “I’m just not a runner….let’s find something else.” But my wife and I promised ourselves that we’d stick with exercising and a better diet for THIRTY DAYS….no matter what. I’m a grown man! I can stick with something for 30 days, right? On days when I was too sore to run, I’d climb on the treadmill and walk instead. Sometimes for 20 minutes, sometimes for 2 hours while I watched a ballgame. Sometimes 3mph and flat, sometimes 4mph with incline. It dawned on me that if I was sweating, no matter if I was walking or jogging, it was good. I was tracking all running/walking activities at www.nikerunning.com. Looking back on my workout history, I was able to jog my first non-stop mile on day 10 (Jan. 19th). I did this mile in 10:57 and remember collapsing on the couch a sweaty, sore, PROUD mess! I did a mile! After a few more days of recovery walking, I tried again at the mile and failed! I gave up after ¼ mile! I was so frustrated and again wanted to quit. On Jan 27th, though, I completed my second 1-mile run, this time a slower 11:19. Then more walking, more jogging, more, more more. Through these first few weeks, I was beginning to learn that jumping off the belt was a conscience DECISION I was making! This realization allowed me to stay on longer. On Feb 1st (22 days after climbing on the treadmill) I finally completed my first non-stop, 5k jog, in 36:44. I was SO proud (sore and sweaty, too). From there, the confidence and determination was INFECTIOUS! Now that I knew that I could do this (seemingly) ridiculous distance, there’s no stopping me! I did another 5k the very next day in 36:30 (a new PR!). A few days off, then another 5k. I now had a base. A 3.1-mile run was my new standard! In just a month! WOOOOHOO!!! When our 30 day commitment was over, I was HOOKED! On days that I couldn't get in a run and a good sweat felt miserable, like something was missing. So we stuck with it. My wife and I signed up for a 5k in April. Having a date on the calendar allowed us to stay focused on making sure we were getting in our 4-5 runs per week. I ran my first 5k in 25:31! Since I was hooked, I needed my next event, Chicago’s Rock and Roll Half Marathon! The mileage increased and I was getting stronger and stronger. I finished my first half marathon on August 1st in 2:02 (9:18/pace). I had to put on my sunglasses as I crossed the finish line because I didn’t want my finish photos to show me crying! A September 5k was next and I came in at 22:04 (7:06/pace). Finally, in October, we ran the Detroit Half Marathon and finished in 1:50. Next Event: We’re heading to New Orleans to run the Rock and Roll Mardi Gras FULL MARATHON on February 13, 2011!
RD: You’ve lost a great deal of weight. Did the running drive the weight loss, or did the weight loss drive the running?
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