From 314 pounds to 314 miles: David Pharr’s story

By June 14, 2016Spotlight

Post by: David Pharr

Seven years ago, I weighed 314 pounds, and I decided to start running to lose weight. This July, in honor of my journey, I will attempt to run 314 miles across the state of Tennessee in the Last Annual Vol State 500k.

My dad always ran when I was growing up and was a regular “weekend warrior” at the local 5ks and 10ks, but I hated the idea of running. He did sign me up for a 5k when I was 12 years old, but that was the last 5k I did until nearly 12 years later.

My dad would take me to the track to run workouts, especially for summer football and basketball conditioning. I had to run two miles- a two whole miles! It was hard, and at the time running was just something I did because I had to or because I was being punished by a coach for too many turnovers or not tackling correctly. Needless to say, I didn’t like running.

David after his first marathon in 2010

In June 2009, I became fed up with my weight and scared that if I didn’t change something, I wouldn’t be able to see my then-6-month-old daughter grow up. I joined a gym and started running on the treadmill. I could go about half a mile before I had to walk. But I kept at it because I wanted to lose weight and get healthy.

By the time that October rolled around, I could run ten miles. That November, I set a goal to run 100 miles in a month. I ran 106 miles before December—granted my mile tracking technology wasn’t as true as it is today. December 1st rolled around, and I set a brand new goal—run two miles a day for 100 days. At this point, I had gone from 315 pounds the previous June to 275 pounds. The last thing I wanted was to let the holidays keep me from continuing my goal of losing weight. This goal was set to keep myself consistent. At the end of the 100 days, I had lost another 15 pounds, and I decided to keep running every day.

David pushes through mile 17 of a trail race in 2016

I have since made running my passion, completing multiple marathons and ultramarathons. I’ve also continued my running streak that will turn seven years old December 1st, 2016. Now I’m pushing myself to a new goal, a new challenge, a new adventure—running 314 miles along the roads of Tennessee in the middle of July.

Follow David in his adventure to run 314 miles on his blog!

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