Well folks, sorry about not making it in last night, but I think Sunday's run finally caught up to me. I pretty much had trouble keeping my eyes open after last afternoon, so I hit the sack early last night and had a good sleep.
So back to the topic at hand - you may be asking "What's with the title?" Well, let me explain. It all started about 2 years ago.... Oh sorry - that's a different movie. Actually, it really did start a couple of years ago. I was noticing that things had been fitting tight for a few years, but I was at the point that I was getting winded walking up the stairs to my office. I had always been an active type of person when younger. Never much of an athlete, but really found my peace strapping on a backpack and walking 20, maybe 30 miles a day.
Then came marriage, kids, and lo and behold, the professional lifestyle. Strapped to my chair in front of my computer, I literally went 20 years without any exercise or diet program. I had fallen into the entrapments of the good life. I went from my high school weight of 130, to my college weight of 160 to my high point at 260 lbs! I decided to do something about it. (Then, six months later finally did).
Now, I never really liked running. So guess what? My first step was not running. Instead, I had a daughter who was rowing in high school at the time and a son who was interested. So, I got him off his butt and started out on an Indoor Rowing machine at The Iron Oarsman, a Costa Mesa based indoor rowing studio run by Olympic Gold and Silver medalist Xeno Muller. If you live in Orange County and have never been to Xeno's, you don't know what you are missing. Xeno is truly one a of a kind motivator. He knows how to make exercise truly enjoyable. Slowly I started working my way back to physical fitness. But the best part was - I was enjoying the sweat! The pounds started coming off, muscle tone started appearing, and I was no longer huffing and puffing to walk up a flight of stairs. Slowly I started amassing the meters on the ergometer. First a million, then on to two million. Drop from 260 to 230 to 220. Wow! Feeling good again!
With all of the rowing, there was only one thing missing. A little competition. I have always been a competitive person - not so much against others, but against my own goals. So, I set out on my own competition - to climb Mt. Whitney and get back down in one day. I continued slogging through the hours and kilometers on the ergometer. But alas it was not to be. I was finding that my work and family schedule along with the unavailability of wilderness permits was working against me. So, I started looking for something that was doable, close to home that would be a physical and mental stretch. Say - what about a marathon!?!?! I started reading about the trials and tribulations of runners that had finished. About hitting the wall. About finding the port a potty before it found you. The more I read, the more I thought that I found that challenge that I was looking for. Besides - if I did a lot of running I would be able to buy one of those wrist sized GPS toys.....
But, baby steps first right? So I thought maybe I should try a half marathon. Living in Orange County, the OC Half looked like something that was close and challenging. So I decided that that was it. Off to train. By this point, my youngest son was busy becoming an elite junior rower, so I had some idea that you can't get to a high level of performance without a training program. I bought Hal Higdon's Half Marathon training program. I went to my local Road Runner sports and was fitted with a pair of shoes. My first steps on the running trail took place on July 11, 2007, my daughter's 19th birthday. Six miles, one hour and 18 minutes. I was unimpressed.
Now, while I was figuring out that this running stuff was for me, I unfortunately managed to put a few pounds back on. So, here I stand at the start of my program. 50 years old, 5' 11", 230 lbs. The running fat guy. But I continued and put my nose to the grindstone. And you know what? Last Sunday I finished the OC Half Marathon. I hope you didn't blink though, you may have passed me as you did. But you know what? I got my medal! I got my finish! And, I got my next goal. I am hopelessly hooked! That's my next story.....