The night after my 5th and final entry, I went to the gym and went through three miles in 33 minutes on a treadmill. That's not a particularly fast time, nor is it anywhere near the same as running an outdoor 5K, but it's still rather remarkable for me.
I perhaps should have dedicated this project to a less-involved goal, as successfully completing a project involving physical fitness would have involved hours of exercise, meal-planning and meal preparation each week, as opposed to some other projects which may have only required a couple hours of development per week. I was doing good at the beginning of the project, but then I was dragged down by TPAs, unit planning and personal problems. In hindsight, I still feel that I could have done better and accomplished more than I did, but failing is part of the learning process and I strongly believe that prioritizing the needs of my students, my health, and the TPA over this project was the correct choice to make.
I still want to run an actual 5K in the near future, preferably sometime in June when my workload is reduced and I have the time to focus the physical and mental energy required for such a task. The only events near me during that timeframe are women's only or too far away (Huntington Beach, Fontana, Idyllwild). There is one 5K in Newport Beach on June 6th that may be doable if I am able to stay at a friend's place nearby the night before. Otherwise, driving over an hour in the morning before trying to run does not seem like the best idea.
What I've Learned:
Even though I did not accomplish the measurable goal which I established for myself, I still learned quite a bit... not just about the content I was studying, but also about myself and the learning process. My students may not always succeed in the way I'd like them to, but that does not mean that they are not learning in some way.
In terms of the content of the project, I've gotten better at preparing for running and planning meals to provide higher energy. I've found that the meals I prepared for my training runs not only provided me with better energy for running, but overall higher energy throughout the day, even in the classroom. The project spurred me to purchase new running shoes and sunglasses which will be useful far beyond the scope of this project, and invest in products to protect my body and skin.
I was able to address all of my initial inquiry questions over the course of the project, as well as identify and address additional challenges and questions that presented themselves as a result. My failure was not due to content-learning, but simply the physical stress on my body, that was just not conquerable under my current circumstances.
In the end, I've still lost 150 pounds in less than two years. Nobody can really criticize me for not working hard enough on physical fitness.