Reflections on Running My First 5K

I don’t normally post on weekends any more but today I thought I would make an exception since this is a personal note. If someone had told me six months ago that I would be running a 5k I would have said, “You don’t know me very well, do you?” The last time I ran was when I was in the Air Force (that was a long time ago) and I hated it then. I had problems with shin splints and only did the minimum that was expected. But today I ran a 5k. What changed? A lot actually.

In early May my doctor told me I had Type 1 Diabetes. My A1C was 11.5 (it’s supposed to be under 7!). My weight was 191. He gave me three tasks: lose 20 pounds, go on medication, go to diabetes classes. I went to the classes which gave me insight into my new life-long diet. I was not going to try any fad diets. This was going to be the way I eat from that day forward. I also started walking at night. I gradually started running part of the way and then I found myself running more and more. No problem with shin splints and I was starting to enjoy it. Go figure! When I followed up with my doctor I had lost 25 pounds and my A1C was 5.8! He was stunned and said he had never seen anyone lower their A1C by half in just 4 months time. I was happy that he was happy. A couple of my coworkers started challenging me to run a 5k. I thought they were crazy but I eventually surrendered to their pleas and today was the result. It was a 5k sponsored by Cornerstone University and it was fun. It was cold as we started (around 45 degrees) and it has been a while since I’ve run outside. I could immediately feel the difference between running on cement as opposed to the treadmill. But I originally started running outside so it just took some adjusting. I quickly warmed up and was glad I opted for short sleeves and shorts. Before you know it I was approaching the finish line. I thought I would give a burst of speed at the end but the course was harder than I anticipated and I was not out to set any records–just finish. My unofficial time was about 32 minutes which is really good since my goal was 35 minutes. [Update: My official time was 28:49.0! Way past my wildest expectations.] My daughter (Bethany) met me at the finish line. She ran to me and gave me a big hug saying, “I’m so proud of you.” It is a moment I will cherish forever.

My total weight loss to date has been 37 pounds! I can’t believe it myself. I started with a 40 inch waste and now I’m down to a 32. The biggest downside (if you can call it that) has been I’ve spent a lot more time away from reading (which explains some of the gaps in my blogging). I cook more, run more, and had classes to attend which occupied several of my nights.

I did title this post as running my first 5k. Yes, I think I’ll do another. You guessed it–those same coworkers are starting to talk about a 10k. Where does it end? Only a few of you knew of my diagnosis and I’ve appreciated your encouragement and prayers as I’ve walked/run this new path.

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8 thoughts on “Reflections on Running My First 5K

  1. Great job! We were there this morning too.

  2. I’m so thankful to God for His movement in you and this area of your life! For more than 30 years now you’ve been such a hero of mine and inspired me in so many ways and now I just have yet another “way” in which to praise you, my friend and dearest brother in Christ. May God’s great goodness to you continue!

    • Paul,
      You’ve always been there for me. From our early Air Force days to today. I draw just as much inspiration from you. I cherish our friendship. Peace to you and your family.

  3. Way to go, Louis! This is an excellent testimony of you caring for the body God gave you so that you can faithfully serve him and his people.

  4. Louis – It was so great seeing you today. I’m so glad to get the background on what led you here. Thanks for this wonderful post. It’s always good to celebrate the accomplishments we’ve worked hard for. I started training around 6 months ago as well, and I realized about a month ago that I probably wouldn’t make that 35 min. mark, but was so happy to be under 40. You were amazing! You have to be thrilled! 28:49 is quite below 35! I always hope to remember that we do it for our health, and the daily contentment running gives, rather than a finish time, but working toward these personal bests are a nice second. And races are fun, aren’t they? You can lap me anytime — see you at a future race!!

  5. Congratulations, Louis. That is excellent. I hope you are able to keep up with the new life style and that you’ll enjoy great benefits.

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