OK, a dramatic title and maybe misleading, but I do have the parenthetical addition there to hedge it a bit.

Now that I’m publicly talking about my TTD that I’m reversing, the question must be at the forefront of my mind: “how will this time be different?” I have to keep finding new answers to that question. I don’t have them all now, but there are a few things I know not to do.

In the wisdom of breaking patterns to expect new results, I’m trying to be as honest with myself about what those patterns have been. One of the easiest to spot is pretty obvious to anyone who knows me even a little: I try to take on too much at once. This inevitably fails. No one can be shocked by this, least of all me.

To deal with that problem, I am focusing my energy on focus itself. What that means to me is this: I am only adding one thing at a time to my health/fitness schedule, and not adding the next until the step before it is well ingrained enough. The old way of change for me was the typical all-or-nothing bombastic plan: schedule a full week of S/B/R workouts, cut food, promise myself I’d lift and do yoga…. you know, change everything immediately. And I could muscle through that for a week or so of excitement, then it all came crashing down. Missing one run meant I’d be done for the week, and more importantly, I’d fall back into crap eating habits. Until the “next time.”

So even though I’ve barely run in the last year as it is, now I am not running on purpose. I know, that sounds about as legit as the Music Man’s “think method.” But in my case, the instruments will arrive on the Wells Fargo wagon eventually. (If the last two sentences make no sense, you might consider beefing up your American musical theater knowledge. )

I have one priority: lower blood sugars.  Triathlon will be part of that. Weight training will be part of that. But not right now.

Right now I need to focus on eating to lower BG levels. And I am doing really well at it. It is my biggest challenge. I need to get it stable and consistent before moving on to add new numbers to obsess over. I’ve been walking 2 miles each day, extremely slowly. That by itself is more than I was doing as a lasped runner. I get that urge to start jogging, and I resist it. Part of the discipline is not just committing to go hard when it’s time, it’s knowing when it’s not time yet, and committing to stick to the plan as it is. I have no idea whether I’ll even go for a jog before the end of the year. But since my primary concern is not filling up my training calendar with miles for miles’ sake, it’s OK. I’m starting with the really important thing: not eating sugar, not eating grains, getting my body fat adapted.

On that front, it is going well. I have seen AM sugar down to 92. I’ve seen mid day readings in the 70s and 80s. I’m seeing post-meal peaks around 115-120 tops. It’s still higher than I want it, but it’s a heck of a good bit of progress for a guy who had an A1C of 8.4 two weeks ago. If these numbers stay steady, I should have an A1c around 5.5 in three months. Maybe that’s a more reasonable goal, with a goal of sub-5 in six months.

I believe the next addition will be weight training. I am less concerned with running miles and more concerned with overall health. I need to focus on weights before I get back to swim-bike-run, because I’ve never done it justice when trying to add it to SBR as an afterthought.

All of this will be discussed and directed with the help of a coach. He may have try some short sprinting before I get back into long slow runs. I’d be fine with that. I think I’ll ask if that’s the best way. The paleo approach. I’m not going to be a mileage junkie just to feel better about bigger numbers. I have one number I care about: 5.0. Weight matters, but it’s secondary to A1C. Training numbers kind of matter, but only as support to the main number.

Chris Rock says fathers of daughters have one job: keep her off the pole.

I’ve got one health job right now: drop that blood sugar. I’m doing it. I just have to keep from getting in my own way. I know how I’ve done that before. I’m putting this all out there so I can avoid doing it again.

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve done this without taking any metformin.

I like running, and I like the people I know through running. When I get back to it, it has to be done right. I’m going to be faster than before, which will not be done by training like I used to. It will come back. Just not right now. And I’m OK with that.

One job. I’m on it.



2 thoughts on “Why I Am Quitting Running (For Now)

  1. Great post Andy! I too am going to change up the direction of my training to more HR training ( which means walking not running for now) to build aerobic base and adding in a real weight training program. Actually when I was weight training is when I took off my first 60 pounds. I am curious about my BG levels myself and have no idea how to start monitoring or what they should be. I look forward to your new journey Andy. Thanks for sharing the real stuff.

  2. Good for you! I have to be on the meds(my surgery last year caused my A1c to jump over 11), but with the meds and walking as well as watching what I eat within reason, it has dropped to 6.4 and I’ve lost about 60 lbs. I have a way to go, but my goal is to stay off insulin as long as I can. Right now it’s my LDL that’s giving me problems…the things we inherit!

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