I've Gotta Become a Runner Before I Become a Copper

Image credit: Microsoft Clipart
Yesterday marked 500 days of my healthier lifestyle. It's not often I post personal posts but I felt it was time to update you all on my on weight loss story

Currently, I'm just a few pounds away from my original goal of 136lb. I'm a UK size 10 and my body fat percentage is around 28.9% so I'm not feeling the same level of pressure to lose weight as I once did. Just as well, as little more has changed in the last few months. 

By no means is this a result of discontinued healthy habits - In fact, I carry them on because they make me feel strong and healthy, regardless of their impact (or lack of) on the scale. These last few months I've been focusing more on strength training rather than weight loss. You see, I've been on a personal mission to become one of them women I've always envied: those that eat loads and loads of food, and never gain a pound. A vital feature for any food lover to have! I can confirm that I've since achieved this. By steadily increasing my daily calories and increasing the intensity of my strength training routine I've managed to maintain my weight loss, thanks to an increased metabolism. Check out the Facebook group of Eat More 2 Weigh Less or read the book New Rules of Lifting for Women for more info on this.

It doesn't end here though. Whilst I'm pretty healthy in terms of anything a doctor would measure, I'm not quite up to Police standard. As some of you will know, I've recently applied to the police force - what not many people will realise is that I've always wanted to go into the police force, I just never admitted it and distracted myself with other career options (Retail, ICT, Teaching) because I never thought for a minute I'd be of a reasonable weight and level of fitness to join. I still have the crushing memory of being turned away from the police recruitment stall at the careers fair during my first year of university. The guy at the stand simply pointed to the BMI poster next to him and stated that I'd "have trouble with that". Obese (but optimistic even then), I replied with a smile "I'm working on it" and I really, really meant it. Being the stubborn woman I've always been, if I'm told I can't do something, I will go well out of my way to prove everyone wrong!

So, back to present day. I've passed all of the interviews, I've lost the 4 stone I needed to and now I'm awaiting a fitness test date. The fitness test involves a strength test, which I'm not too worried about, given the strength training I've put in each week at the gym. But here's the problem: The bleep test. Basically a shuttle run, timed by bleeps, between two cones spread 15m apart. It gets progressively difficult meaning you end up sprinting your ass off!

Yep... running! The one activity that has evaded my workout schedule for good reason. I'm ashamed to admit that, despite being able to swim 100 lengths non-stop, walk briskly for 8 miles without breaking a sweat, endure Combat, weights and yoga in one afternoon session and survive 3 hours of non-stop Zumba - I can't actually run. Seriously. A few minutes of a sprint and I'll have a coughing fit. Do I have exercised-induced asthma? I've no idea, I've never been diagnosed with it and because I never run, it's never a problem... until now. If I do have it, then running is supposed to help it, ironically. I can't even run fast, I've been practising the bleep test at home and get to level 3 at best. I need to reach a minimum of 5.4 to pass the test so this has to change. 

What am I going to do about all this? Well, as the post title suggests, I'm going to become a runner. I've equipped myself with various gadgets and accessories, in true Karen-esque style and I'm going to begin running in the mornings, 3 days a week, before my masters degree lectures. Just like everything else I've done for my health in the previous 500 days, I'm going to commit whole-heartedly to it. If the weather gets too bad, I'll take to the treadmill - either way, I'm doing this. I have to, for the sake of my career ambitions. I may even lose them last few pounds in the process and reach my goal weight!

So what accessories have I bought? In addition to my trusty New Balance trainers, I've equipped a runner's pack to keep my iPhone and keys in, a 500ml hand-held water bottle and some really clever little clips for my iPhone earphones to keep them from falling out mid-sprint. I've of course kitted my iPhone out with a few running apps (more on that later) and my Kindle has a really good running book on it (more on this later too!) to advice me on how best to begin running and avoid injuries. As it's coming up to winter, and the dark mornings mean I need to be visible (despite wanting to hide myself when running) I've also got a pink hi-vis top by Karrimor! 

Notice it's all pink? No it's not my favourite colour, they just haven't bought out hi-vis purple items! Besides, a woman has to co-ordinate and match her active-wear, it makes exercise more pleasurable.   

So wish me luck everyone, I've got 8 weeks of the C25K program to get through before I set about conquering the police fitness test. 

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