It was in 2018 when the two of us just had quit smoking, a nasty about 40 years lasting habit of ours. Our success in quitting smoking on the other hand meant for me that my other habit of enjoying food made things worse. I already was a very big guy with a
weight of over 270 lbs at a height of 6’2” and within weeks ballooned to around 285lbs. Running was never a choice for me. As a smoker with Asthma, I was not even close to being able to “run” even just for 1 mile. Don’t get me wrong, even while smoking I was outdoorsy and enjoyed things like hiking, but running, no way. To counter my weight gain, I tried other exercise options such as swimming of which I thought were more conducive to my situation. One advantage of swimming, it is much easier on the joints. An important fact for people in my weight class. After a few weeks of trying to build up a regular training plan with swimming, I had to admit that I had failed. It is tough to create a regular swimming schedule with today’s busy life. I had to work around operation times of public pools, and the added commuting time took away from the time I had to exercise. In the end I did not get to a point where I was working effectively on my weight problem.
Solution, I got together with my wife, and she convinced me to take look at running. With lots of reluctance, but at the same time being desperate, I went on this journey called “running”. To my surprise, a new love was born. Over the next few months my wife and I, developed an addiction for running. We started slowly, building up a regular schedule over time. Recording our runs motivated us to do better the next time – going faster or longer. Our first race the: “2018 Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run 5K?
Our first race: "2018 Gourdy's Pumpkin Run 5k"
Over the time we got to a point where we were running about 600 miles per year, trying to keep a schedule which allows to at least run 50 miles per month. We know for many in the runner scene this seem little, but for us it’s a start. Over the last 5 years, we worked our way up to longer and longer routes. We started in the beginning of 2018 with short runs of about 1.5 miles and a pace of about 14:45 min/mile (my poor wife, I cannot imagine how frustrating slow that must have been for her) and worked our way up. Currently we have a routine with a 3.7-mile run “every” 2nd morning (or as often as our work schedule allows) and longer runs (up to 12 miles) on the weekends. Our personal best is around 9 min/mile for a 5k. This regularity and intensity had the positive effect, I was hoping for. Over time I could watch the pounds melding away. So far, I was able to drop my weight down to 235lbs.
Mammoth Cave 50/25k Trail Run 2022: our 1st trail run and we had to be late for the start. 🤪😒 But we finished the 25k distance and deserved some delicious funnel cake afterwards. 🤤🏃♀️🏃
By the end of 2018 we were so taken by running, we even started to participate in races. The first one was the 2018 Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run in Louisville. Back then it was a race on a farm outside Louisville with the course going through the fields. It was a lot of fun and helped to further get us hooked on running. That race was also the day we came up with the idea to call our “team” (my wife and I) the Late-Runners. It is a play on the fact that with being in our very late 40s at the time we started our running careers very late in life and were not the fastest. However, we still were having fun. At least enough to poke fun of ourselves. Ironically, our motto came even more alive on our first trail run. We signed up for the 25 K Mammoth Cave Trail run and my wife swore that the start is at 7:30am. It actually started at 7:00am, and here you go, this time we were really running late.
The Late Runners running in Florida (2018), and Theodor Roosevelt National Park (2019), our trophy/medal wall (2023).
Today running has become an integral part of our life. We are always planning for runs while on vacation and sometimes we even vacation to be able to attend a race. At home we even have a map of the US with locations marked where we already ran and where we are planning to run. We still have goals when it comes to running. Next is the attempt to finish a marathon (maybe in 2024 😉).
If you are interested in our running plans, feel free to check out our running schedule that you can find on our website at: https://www.2kyov.com/races. I myself hope to further drop weight and keep my fitness up always following our motto – “Running Late is our Cardio”. I also dream of one day running the Berlin Marathon. Will I ever make it? Who knows. But it is good to have dreams, even when in your 50th.
Recent pictures of us running – Morning run at the Cumberland Creek in Nashville (two on the right), St. Patrick’s Music City 10k 2023 (two on the left) .