Obstacle Racing, Ultrarunning, Other Thangs…

I am a runner.

March 4, 2012

I am fast approaching 40 and have not run or worked out with weights since I was in the 8th grade. I enjoy playing flag football and softball recreationally but have had no running or exercise regiment in my adult life.

Around Christmas last year, some friends of mine decided that we wanted to compete in a *Tough Mudder, a 12 mile obstacle course, and so I began running to train for it.

In the 11 short weeks since, I have logged 211 miles on the road and trails, registered for a Spartan Sprint, The Publix Half Marathon and The WarEagle 50k.

It’s a bit intense, compulsive, and insane, but so are many other things in my life and it’s sort of how I do things.

On my first tracked run back in December, I ran 3 laps around the park and was exhausted. Running just 1 mile was a big challenge. The next few days, I ran 1-2 miles and still was not enjoying it. I was worried that I would not be in shape for the Mudder which was fast approaching.

Then, it happened.

I was supposed to run an easy 3 mile loop around our neighborhood with some friends. When I hit mile 3, my entire body felt something it had never felt before. As I ran my past my friends, I took off really fast and experienced that runners high I had always heard about. It felt like I could run forever. I decided that 4.25 was enough for the day and started to really look forward to my nightly runs.

I began to run 3 times a week with a long run on the weekends. I was told to “take it easy” as not to burn out or get injured. So, I slowly increased my weekly runs and added one mile to my long runs every Saturday. (You can see my detailed progress here.)

As I ran consistently, all aspects of my life got better. I started to eat better, sleep more, be less stressed, and was beginning to have more energy during the day. All of the promises that I heard my whole life about what regular exercise would do.

It was suggested that I read “Born to Run”, so I did, which fueled my new obsession even more. I loved running, reading about running, thinking about running and felt like I had discovered the fountain of youth.

I was and am a new person as a runner.

Instead of watching 2-3 hours of television every night, I crawl into bed to read books and blogs about ultrarunning and look up races I may want to run.

Instead of eating way past being full (plus dessert), I eat smaller portions as I am more conscious of how it will affect my daily runs.

Instead of drinking coffee or soda in the afternoon as a pick-me-up, I drink water knowing that sodas long term downs do not compare against the short term fix.

I am writing this blog in hopes to inspire and entertain others as I take this journey on what is becoming the 2nd half of my life. If not, it will be some enjoyable reading for my family as we track my progress.

*Lots more on my Tough Mudder experience on a future blog

PS I also reccommend my wife’s blog on the hilarious, joyous, and frightening side of parenting.
http://ihadalife.blogspot.com/

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