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Ever since my new job helped me to join the “One Percent”, I had lot of time to think. On a long drive unless you are on the phone all the time or listening to music from your iPod and singing loud in the middle of the Interstate, you are really on your own with your thoughts. At least that is how I am.

The more time I spend on the road, the wider the scale of the topics I start thinking about. Sometimes, to keep my mind fresh, I start memorizing things: like milestones I have to hit on the way home or on the way back to Michigan: exit 59 is Gas City, how many miles still until the state line, etc. At other times, I just start thinking about how it is that in Indiana the Interstate is usually the overpass when crossing smaller roads, while in Michigan it seems to be the opposite: smaller roads are the overpass, while the Interstate keeps stretching undisturbed. At others times I just keep looking around, checking the scenery for details I missed through my past three months of commute. It is more like watching a movie for the 20th times: you do not focus on the story too much anymore, but observe the smallest details.

Yes, I know, these are weird things to think about. But this is how I dreamed up this post, but first an old joke, fine tuned to be acceptable for all ages:

The oldest man in a village (in a galaxy far-far away…) walks to a house and knocks on the door. When the owner opens the door the oldest man starts talking very fast, it is clear that he is very excited:

– I just have had sex with a beautiful young woman (of course older than 21…)!!!

And just as the oldest man is getting ready to “run away” the owner is able to stop him and ask:

– OK, but why are you telling me this?

Then the oldest man:

– Why am I telling to you? I am telling this to everyone…

So here I am, telling everyone, that since I picked up running with a more serious and more focused attitude, I just passed 300 miles. For many it might not be a big deal, but for me it is. Especially, that now I accumulate miles at a continuously increasing pace, currently at a rate somewhere between 15-20 miles per week. Last week I actually run 24.3 miles in total.

Running these 300 miles would get me home from Michigan as during my commute I drive almost exactly 300 miles. During my training I use a special App on my iPhone: it is called Sports Tracker. The home page of this App has an overall summary, where the numbers look better every day. Here is a screenshot from the big day, when I passed the 300 miles OR in other words: the day I run home from Michigan.

Running home = 300 miles

It also means that I burnt 38375 calories through this “trip”. That is the equivalent of approximately 71.064814814814814814814814814815 …… wait a second: rounding down: 71 Big Macs. Here are two links for the calorie-counters:

McDonald’s nutrition information

Fast food calorie comparison

Big Mac

Calorie bomb

So if I would not have had the great plan of losing weight at the same time, I could have just eat all these 71 Big Macs and still be fine. I guess… 🙂

Although I ate through lot of calories in the process that I probably should have skipped, I still managed to lose more than 20 pounds as well.

Weight loss progress after 4 months

You might ask what and/or who got me going. The person who gave me the first push to start running was my wife. We always talked about me to start running, but I never actually did it until she happened to be at home on one day (I was working from home at that time) and she grabbed me and we went jogging together. That was about two years ago. That push was sufficient for me to get started, but I could not keep that momentum going and had been off and back on and off again with running up until beginning of December 2011. That is when I had what I think is called midlife crisis or maybe something else, but one thing for sure: I knew that I definitely have to make some very serious positive changes in my life. And so I started reading a lot about running and started to pick it up again. Despite of the previous attempts, when I started again in December 2011 I could barely finish a mile. That first run went terrible. But as I started to make some progress the Holiday season came and I was ready to drop the ball again, but this time two things happened at the same time:

    • A great friend of mine from Hungary (ST) asked what the real reason is when I skip running: and I just did not have an answer. Actually I had: I was weak mentally to keep going. Just as I admitted the honest reason (and not blaming it on work schedule or other things), this kept bothering me and whenever I was ready to skip running I remembered for this conversation. This has been the second time ST had a life changing impact on me. (the first one I will save for a later time)
    • At Christmas a good friend of ours invited us for a dinner where they had a few other friends as well. One of the guys (Aaron) was trying to lose weight and talked about started running and talked about his ambitious goals of running a 5k and then later in the year run a half marathon. My first thought was: that is a real ambitious goal. At that time my first thought was for me it would be impossible. Right now as I type these words, I actually think I can do that. Today was my first training day through a plan that would help me getting into shape for the 16th Annual Half Marathon in Chicago in September.

You just never know when you get into a conversation, when you see something or meet with someone that will motivate you. Something that would kick start your engine. In my case: my mental engine. As soon as my mental engine was up and running soon I saw the progress I was lacking through any of my previous attempts before December 2011.

Mental engine running

I even prepared a Toastmasters presentation about the (relatively – by my standards) great progress I made within as short of a time frame as two months.

Now I reached the point that during my commute, when I pack my luggage the very first thing I pack is the running gear. I run in snowstorm, cold, rain, sunshine, early morning, late evening, middle of the day, does not matter.

I hope you will find your own motivation quickly, but if you would need extra boost, here are a couple of things that you can try: