As I’ve worked for the last year to lose weight and get fitter, one of the hardest things to get my head around has been the fact that this is a race with no finish line. My initial goal was to lose 40 pounds. I accomplished that but, as tempting as it was, I knew I couldn’t return to my old lifestyle. Jon Ells, my trainer at GoodLife Park Lane, spent a lot of time in the last 14 months explaining to me the danger of returning to my old diet and eating habits. And, of course, he’s right. Living that way once got me fat. Living that way again will have the same results.

So my challenge, now that I’m more or less happy with my weight, has been to find a new goal to focus on. I’ve decided I want to get serious about running. The gym I go to is conveniently close to my work, but nowhere near my home. On weekends and holidays, that’s been a fairly consistent excuse to skip exercising. Running, which I can easily do in my neighbourhood, seems like a good way to nip that in the bud. Also fuelling the desire to run is the way I hear friends and colleagues talk about their Blue Nose Marathon experiences every year. Whether they run the 5K or the full marathon, they take tremendous pride in being part of the event. And I want to be part of that excitement too. So, this winter I’m getting serious about running.

While I’ve been running more in the last year, I haven’t been serious or organized about it—just going when the urge strikes me, and running until I feel like stopping. Over the next few months, as I prepare to run some portion (likely the 10K) of the Blue Nose, I have to figure out what I need to do. I have lots of concerns. Do I have the endurance? Will my finicky right knee hold up? Will I make a complete arse of myself on Blue Nose day? I’m trepidatious, and have a lot of work ahead of me. The first step is a meeting with Jon, to talk about my goals and develop a plan on how to train for this. Stay tuned for the results of that. In the meantime, if you’re an amateur runner, I desperately need your advice. What tips do you have for a newbie? Post a comment and share your advice.

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