Runkeeper was the key motivating factor that inspired me to become a runner and a healthy person. It all started in 2011 when I was persuaded by my wife and son to run the 10K Ovarian Cancer Fundraiser. Initially, I thought it would just be a piece of cake or a walk in the park considering that it was only 6.2 miles but when I was already running the race I was huffing and puffing. I was gasping for air and could hardly breathe which forced me to stop and walk for a couple of minutes. Nonetheless, I still came in second in my age group which made me so ecstatic and proud of what I have accomplished considering that I have not even trained properly for the event.
The next day, I started to search for a running app online that will track down, analyze and compare my pace, speed, elevation, duration and splits during my runs. After carefully reading the reviews, I finally downloaded Runkeeper on my iphone. I was so excited I will be able to see my progress day in and day out by utilizing this particular app. It was so easy to use that I got so hooked up into running almost every day. It has been my constant companion every time I engaged myself in any outdoor sport activity. In short, it challenged me to exercise daily thereby achieving my short term and long term goals. It gradually bolstered my confidence and self esteem knowing that with hardwork and dedication, anything is possible.
I then followed one of the running programs (half marathon), which eventually made me an efficient runner. Then after weeks of training I decided to register and finally run my first official half marathon. My goal was to finish the race under two hours. It was so nerve racking at first since I was so overwhelmed with the thousands of people who registered to run this event. I was having butterflies in my stomach during race day but soon as the race started I slowly settled down to my race pace strategy.
During the run, I was constantly looking at my Runkeeper app on my iPhone to make sure I was on pace to finish under two hours. With almost one mile remaining before the finish line, I could feel my whole body getting energized by the hundreds of people cheering us on. It was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced for a long time. I could feel the adrenaline rush flowing into my body that made me run harder and faster closer into the finish line. I don’t know if it is the endorphins kicking in or the so called the runner’s high, or just simply the rungasm as some people would describe it. I really felt I was like Superman flying and floating in the air. It was that one moment in time when I realized I wanted to be a runner for the rest of my life. I crossed the finish line with a respectable time of 1:52:28. It was a fun and magical experience that will eventually turn my life around.
Currently, I have officially ran five 10K’s, seven half marathons with a personal best of 1:42:55 and four full marathons with a personal best of 4:00:01 hrs. I am also scheduled to run the Holywood Half and the Rock & Roll Los Angeles Half Marathons this year plus the Orange County and San Francisco Marathons. Registering for these races ahead of time gives me something to look forward to and simultaneously provides me an extra motivation and incentive to train and run continuously throughout the year. I have also subscribed to Runkeeper Go which serves as a live tracking by broadcasting it to your friends via Facebook. It is a pretty cool app since it can track and pinpoint your exact location through the use of GPS.
Aside from running, I also use the app when I go hiking, mountain biking, or even just walking. I have logged a total of 4,209 miles of which 3,423 miles comes from running. Most importantly, I have improved my overall physical fitness and I am currently in the best shape of my life. I have lost a total of 25 lbs and dropped five inches from my waistline which makes it much more realistic for me to reach my ultimate goal and dream which is to run the prestigious Boston Marathon someday. It may take me five, 10 or even 15 years to qualify but when I do, I will proudly run and dedicate it in honor of the 2013 Boston Marathon victims. As the saying goes, “Never give up on something you truly believe in, never let go of your dreams. Just stick with it, follow your heart and it will lead you to your destiny.”
Runkeeper has tremendously changed my personal outlook in life both physically and mentally. It provided me an alternative on what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It has actively transformed my lifestyle by bringing me so much joy, happiness and peace of mind whenever I go out for a run, which is simply priceless.