Posts Tagged running
On July 27th, 2011 I decided to take a jog. It was exactly .52 of a mile before I nearly passed out. It’s chronicled on Run Keeper. Since then, I have pushed past that mileage and strived to be better. In the beginning it was hard because the temperature was unbearable some days. This summer in St. Louis, we saw temps surpassing 110°. To get around that, you’d have to run very early or very late. I wouldn’t recommend anyone starting an endeavor like this during such hellacious weather, however, when the motivation strikes, you can’t turn away. If you wait until the perfect time, you’ll never do it.
For several years now, my friend and coworker Michelle (@love2run8 on Twitter) has tried to get me running. Other friends like @jenn_if_er and @meggartland and @meghoulihan have also tried to encourage me…but I’m stubborn. In the end, no one person got me to start. I was tired of being fat I guess. I had no energy and I couldn’t even play with my kids w/o getting tired. That needed to change. For those of you who read my prior post entitled My First Fitness Blog Post, you might remember that I spoke of a Nike+ GPS watch that I thought was really cool (because of the geek factor). I ended up getting that watch and love it! In discussing that watch, it lead me to have a discussion with Maddie Marshall (@maddie_em on Twitter). At this point, I was already committed to running, but she encouraged me and pushed me to do more. I won’t say I wouldn’t be where I’m at without her, but…she pushed me pretty hard and encouraged the crap out of me. I will forever be thankful to her.
On September 18th, I completed my first 5K race. I didn’t come in 1st Place, but I won for me. Maddie was there, along with @therobertprice and @hannahviolin. They didn’t wait for me (but as I’ve found out, no one really waits for anyone) but I pushed through just fine without them – it rained most of that race too. Once I crossed the finish line, I was hooked.
On October 16th, I completed my first 10K race. It was the go! St. Louis Halloween 10K. Again, I didn’t come in 1st Place (or anywhere close) but it was a win for me. I conquered something I had never done before. In fact, I had even gone to a winery the day before so really wasn’t feeling up for it and went anyways. I knew if I didn’t…I’d likely be chastised by my friends for not showing up.
I was perfectly content with being done at this point (at least for the rest of the year). I felt like I accomplished a lot in just 2.5 short months. About a month prior to that, many of my friends were preparing for their full or half marathon in the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series in St. Louis on October 23rd. In my mind, I told myself I could be ready and sort of wanted to do this. However, the cost was $105 at this point (because of registering so late). That factor helped me make my decision not to do it because in reality, I wasn’t ready. The most I had ever run at that point was 5.5 miles. Even the 10K on the 16th…that was the furthest distance I had ever run. On Thursday, October 20th, Jennifer tweeted that she had a friend that couldn’t use her bib for the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. She purposely included me on that tweet…within 5 minutes I was committing to taking the bib and running a half marathon. WAS I NUTS!!?? But then I thought back to the story of Maddie’s brother, David, who on a whim, drove to Iowa to do a full marathon one weekend, without EVER training. This was it…no guts, no glory. Suck it up Dave. Rub some dirt on it. BE A MAN!!
And so, today, I completed my first half marathon ever. I finished in an amazing 2:41:41, which for me, again, is a win! I’m proud of myself. Somewhere around mile 11 (when I felt like I was gonna throw up and literally started to tear up and cry a little), I saw a girl holding a sign that said “Pain is temporary, Pride is permanent”. That little girl will probably never know what that sign meant to me. I had to walk quite a bit those last 2 miles, but I made it across the finish line, and once again, beat all odds.
If you ever wanted to know if you could run a marathon, the answer is simple. Yes. You can. I’m not a coach. I’m not a trainer. But if you need someone to run with you for your long runs, then you let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to accomodate schedules to make it happen.
Chase your dreams and don’t be afraid to go through a little bit of pain. The rewards are permanent.
I’m not a fitness blogger. Or a runner, but I almost decided to add a new category about fitness just to have somewhere to add this post. Then it dawned on me. All those years of listening to my in-shape friends and watching countless wasted hours of informercials with Chuck Norris and that one guy from the Disney Channel that had really big man boobs and now only has little man boobs, taught me that it’s not about having an exercise regiment or a diet. It’s about changing your life. Being in shape, eating right, taking care of yourself…those are decisions that you make for the rest of your life so that you can live happily ever after. <<now I sound like the man boobs guy>> I proudly add this post to the “Versa Life” category.
There aren’t enough fingers and toes on this body to tell you how many times someone has told me that I just need to start running. Sure, I don’t hear very well, but I also don’t listen either. I could name at least 10 people right off the bat that are good friends of mine that run constantly and even enjoy the likes of marathons and other crazy runner events. Let’s face it…I’m surrounded by crazy runner people. They always talk about “the runner’s high”; they say there’s no other feeling like it in the world.
Last week, my good friend Meg Gartland pointed me to an app on the iPhone call myfitnesspal. She claimed it helped her to do all the things that traditional fitness record keeping methods couldn’t. I downloaded it, but didn’t really do anything with it. Over the weekend, I was at the mall with another good friend Amanda Quast, when I came across some really cool GPS watches by Nike and Garmin. I really wanted to get one, but not because of the fitness aspect…because of the geek factor. I mean really, how cool of a watch to have, but without the lackluster of telling people “Yeah, I’m a runner” it was merely just another geek purchase. Finally, Sunday night, I dusted off the ole Runkeeper app that I had downloaded for free months ago (you know, because it was free). I setup my new myfitnesspal account and set my alarm to wake up at 6:30am.
Monday morning 6:30am….came and went.
Tuesday morning 6:30am…came and went.
Wednesday morning 6:30am…WE’RE OFF AND RUNNING!! Here’s the deal…it sucked. I ran half a mile and I about puked on 2nd Street. As I walked, attempting to capture the last remaining breaths my body had, I half expected some sort of dancing purple elephant to come out from behind the light pole, or some cute little chubby angels playing harps to fly over my head. Where was this “runner’s high”? Did Meg and Jenn and the other Meg and Jodi and Cort and Angela all lie to me? Was this a scam!??
Turns out, you don’t get the high until about mile 4. Dang it!
A funny thing happened though on Wednesday night. I had the urge to go running again. I don’t like running though. I never have. It’s tedious and boring. There’s nothing remotely fun about it. I’d rather watch golf for 4 hours on TV…and I hate watching golf on TV. So I ran on Thursday morning…all of about .70 mile. Then guess what happened…I almost puked again on 2nd Street. And then, ooh ooh…guess what happened…I had the urge to run Thursday night! So I did pushups instead. And then this morning, Friday, I went and ran. FOR A WHOLE MILE!! Can you believe it!!?? What the heck happened to me? It’s like I swallowed a Tony Little video and now I can’t stop!!
Here’s the thing…I hope I don’t stop. I need this kind of daily exercise in my life. I’m not looking to become a fitness blogger. I’m not looking to get ripped and look like Hercules. I do however want to be around long enough for my kids to get married one day and for me to play with my grandkids the way my Dad plays with his. I’m not getting younger and I don’t have the fountain of youth. As big of a game as I might talk, I don’t want to grow old alone. There’s no joy in that. Grumpy old men might be cute on TV but when they tuck themselves in at night, they’re still alone and grumpy old men. I’m not going to allow myself to die a grumpy old fat man.
Now get off my lawn!!