Fat Girls Don’t Run…or Maybe We Do!

Let me just start off by stating this…I am a data tracker.  I love seeing the various statistics from my tracking devices/apps that I use.  It pushes me, it makes me want to do more, even when I can’t.  Seeing those miles build up makes me want to get out and run.  If I am behind on water intake or not sleeping well, I adjust, because the stats are what drive me.

I have been tracking my data with my Note 4 and my Neo 2 watch since October 2014 and I have been tracking my running since May 2011. December 2nd I hit 1000 miles tracked in my Nike+ running app.  That was a HUGE milestone for me.

In 2011 I ran a total of 70.20 miles for the year.  I had an overall average pace of 12 minutes and 14 seconds.  I ran a total of 14 hours:50 minutes:41 seconds that year in 49 runs.  I started in May and never looked back.

My stats the following years are as follows:

2012:  Distance 78.20 miles,  Pace 12mins 44 secs, Duration 16 hours:36 mins: 48 secs in 37 runs.

2013:  Distance 298.50 miles, Pace 12mins 39 secs, Duration 62 hours, 58 mins, 7 secs in 140 runs.

2014:  Distance 231.70 miles, Pace 13mins 14 secs, Duration 51 hours, 04 mins, 54 secs in 111 runs.

2015: Distance 321.30 miles, Pace 13mins 37 secs, Duration 72 hours, 54 mins, 37 secs in 102 runs. (So far, I still have the rest of December to add).

So as you can see I have increased almost every year, in 2013 I started training for full contact medieval combat and pushed my running far more than I probably should have.  I have since gotten a more balanced workout going that isn’t ALL about cardio, although that is still a vital part of what I do.

This year has been especially hard on me, since June I have been plagued by one form of injury or another.  I can tell this sport is taking a toll on my body and I can no longer just bullhead my way through it.  I have to assess the damage that occurs and evaluate how to heal properly. This is something that requires patience, which is something I have a very limited supply of hehe.

I am currently healing from an IT Band tear that happened during my first half marathon earlier this year in October.  Recovery is going great but it takes time and happily it has given me some insight into why I hurt myself in the first place.

I was morbidly obese most of my life, I was never the small girl who suddenly put on too much weight.  I was always big.  My bone structure is built more like a man, thick bones, broad shoulders, flat hips and I was able to carry over 450 pounds fairly easily.  However, it affected me much more negatively than I ever thought.

When I first started running I never really thought about how I was doing it.  I assumed you just moved your legs faster and that was all that was to it.  Over those first few months my legs constantly hurt and I always felt needles in my legs after a run.  This led me to try out the Five Finger toe shoes during my run.  The pain went away, and while I eventually moved to a minimalist running shoe (Merrill Bare Access), I never went back to a typical running shoe again.

I found out today, after using an anti-gravity treadmill, that I have a cross-over gait and I over compensate with my left leg, and that is what most likely led to my ITB tear.  While I have lost most of my weight, I still carry 30-40 pounds of excess skin and fat my body has forgotten about around my middle section.  I am an apple on a stick body type and I carried all my weight in my tummy.  How my body deals with that extra weight is part of my problem.

My body is over compensating for various reasons, and various issues from my past.  I go in for a full gait analysis next week and I get to find out exactly how much I need to relearn about my running.  I know its the key to making sure I am not hurting myself further by simply not knowing what my body is really doing to itself.

I was explaining this to a friend of mine and his reply was “Wow, Science!” and its true!  Running is something we learn as soon as we have mastered walking as a toddler.  Its the next logical progression.  Yet for some of us, that progression never really fully formed.  I never liked to run as a fat kid.  I did everything I could to get out of gym class.  I wanted to stay wrapped up in my books, or daydream the afternoon away.  In my high school and college days I was in band and marching band season was hell, I only did it because I loved to play music.  But all in all, I was never athletic until now.

Becoming an athlete in your late 40’s is not impossible, I am living RUNNING proof of that, but I do recommend you learn as you go and if you have issues, like shin splints or muscle tears, you figure out why.  When I tore my gastroc several years ago, I probably should have delved deeper into why…because it was also on my left, over-compensating leg of destruction =)

Live and learn…key word being LIVE!!!

No matter what, I enjoy what I am doing with my body, my life is amazing and I would not go back to the sedentary life I had before, ever again.  But it’s good to know the right way to do things to help stave off future injuries and more wear and tear on my body.  I turn 49 in 4 days, and it promises to be one hell of a year.  I don’t want to deal with more and more injuries as I get older…I’d much rather simply get wiser!




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