Success story: an interview with Conan

I am happy to present a new motivating and inspiring interview from one of our Bluefine app users. Conan had emailed us last week with his emotional testimonial of how the app has changed his life for the better. His fitness level has improved as well as his marriage.

After reading his email I had to respond with gratitude for sharing with me his good news. I couldn’t resist asking Conan to share his story so he graciously volunteered. Our hopes are that through our growing community of runners we can help motivate and influence each other through fitness and health awareness. By sharing our experiences with each other we can learn from our mistakes as well as our successes.

Conan has also been posting his progress on his blog http://lloydhouse.wordpress.com where you can visit and perhaps encourage him on his fitness journey.

In the Q&A section below Conan shares with us his running success story:

1. Question: How did you find out about our 5K program? When did you start the program?

Answer: I had been using a treadmill as an attempt to get healthy but wasn’t really serious about it. One day I was cruising the forums of another iPhone health app called LoseIt! and noticed several posts about it.  I replied to one of the posters and she pointed me to your app. I immediately liked how it eased me into running.  I did not expect to end up liking running itself or to be looking forward to the next run, but I now am. Best $$ I have spent at the App Store yet!

2. Question: Share a little bit about yourself? (i.e. age, gender)

Answer: I’m a 39 year old, (40 in August) IT geek with 3 wonderful kids and a beautiful wife.  I come from a line of men with heart issues but still allowed myself to get about 70 pounds overweight.  June 09 I had a minor heart attack and changed my diet for about a month before falling back into old habits.  I couldn’t seem to make myself stick with any exercise plan either.

 

What made it worse was that my wife felt that I didn’t care about my health and it would eventually kill me, probably sooner rather than later.  Since she lost both her parents due to their not taking care of themselves, she started pulling away from me. Since then, seeing me take up running and stick with it has helped us get over those issues and we are a stronger couple for it.  So I literally believe your app helped save my life & my marriage!

3. Question: Do you use any other gadgets during your runs?

Answer: I just started using Nike+ to better track my distance & speed when I run outside.  I also just purchased a heart rate monitor to keep better track of my heart rate & calorie burn.

4. Question: You said you ran your first 5K? How did you decide that you wanted
to run the race and what was your experience like?

Answer: I decided to run a 5K because that was the goal of the program and I needed a concrete goal to work toward.  I chose the particular one I did because it was reviewed as a fun run and good for beginners.

 

The race was fun.  Since it was a chip timed race, I wasn’t worried about my starting position and waited for the initial crowd to disperse before taking the road. I ended up having to switch to walking a few more times than I wanted to, so I started setting a goal to run to instead of a time. “OK, I’ll run to that light, then see how I feel” and the like.

 

Funny thing happened at the end of the race. My friend had previously told me to pick a person at the end that I wanted to pass as that would give me the final “umph” to finish well, so I picked my person and looked to pass them as we rounded into the last .1 mile. I realized I had picked a walker which would be no challenge to pass and that annoyed me, so I looked for the next person.

That person was quite a few strides ahead of me and I would not be able to catch them at my current pace. That’s when something weird happened. I suddenly found myself running full speed to the finish line. As I curved onto Market and could see the finish line ahead of me, I was running full out. In the back of my mind I realized that I had just heard Wee One scream “Go Daddy!” but I didn’t see her. I was focused on that guy I wanted to beat. I passed him just before the finish line and staggered to a halt right after the line. I had done it.  I got a bit teary when my kids & wife met up with me for hugs, but it was awesome.  Can’t wait for my next 5K, which I have already registered for in May.

Oh, and my time was 41:29

5. Question: Any big motivators during your workouts that have helped you to keep running?

Answer: Running the whole thing, not possible.  Running for 3 minutes, sure!  OK, I did 3 minutes, can I do 5? And so on.  More importantly, I now “own” my health. Your app helped ease me into running and I discovered that I like it.  I would not have been able to turn in my time at the 5K without the app and I would not have continued with running or even registered for another race.

6. Question: Have you lost any weight, if so how much?

Answer: I have lost about 15 pounds so far.  More importantly, all my clothes are looser and I have more stamina.  I can play with my kids without getting as winded.  My 12 year old son even goes out for runs with me when he’s at my house.

7. Question: Since you completed the 5K what are your future plans? 10K? 1/2 marathon?

Answer: I actually had 3 goals for the 5K:  1. Finish the darn thing, 2. Finish in under 50 minutes, & 3. Run the whole distance.  Due to weather & real life issues, I only got to Week 5 in the app before the race came so I was not able to check off that 3rd goal yet.  As a result I have already registered for another 5K.  My plan is to keep doing 5K races until I finish with ease, then start 10K races and do the same with them.  After that, who knows?  I’d like to do the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC just to say I did it and the idea of a triathalon intrigues me.  Have to get my shoulder fixed and some swim lessons before I tackle one of those though.

8. Question: Would you recommend the 5K to your family, friends, and co-workers? If so, Why?

Answer: I would absolutely recommend a 5K race to anyone.  Doesn’t matter if you run the whole thing or walk it.  Early on in the program I mentioned to my friend that I was afraid of coming in dead last.  She said something that has become my mantra since then.  “Even if you do, you still have come in ahead of all those people still at home.”

I can’t describe the feeling of finishing that race, everyone should feel like that sometime.  Your app made me feel like I could do it, so I did.

Another reason I would suggest it is that it’s fun to hear “You did what?  YOU ran a 5K?” from friends and then see the wheels turning in their head.  “Hmmm, if he can do it, maybe I could too”

———-

Thank you Conan for sharing your story with us.

If you have a success story and want to share it with us please email me at tanya@runhelper.com

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