About Me

My 'physique' on Labor Day 2009
In 2009, my wife looked at me with concern in her eyes and voiced (again) her opinion that I needed to reverse the slide towards obesity that I had been riding in the three years since our wedding. I had successfully lost 40 pounds in preparation for our nuptials by spending 2-3 hours at the gym five days a week, mindlessly spinning, trudging on an elliptical and weight training while watching basic cable or listening to an mp3 player.  We honeymooned in Greece, and I developed a soft spot in my belly for moussaka. I went from 180 lbs before the ceremony to 195 lbs by the end of the honeymoon, six weeks later. I did not return to the gym, and despite some active pursuits such as skiing/snowboarding and whitewater rafting, by Labor Day 2009 my weight had blossomed to 235 lbs, a body mass index of 30.2! I agreed with her assessment that something needed to be done. I was officially obese.

Returning to the gym and committing 10-15 hours a week did not sound appealing. What could I do to increase my fitness which would not require a gym membership and umpteen hours a week to be effective? Despite abhorring running in school, I decided that for the cost of a pair of running shoes, I could be out my front door and back in 30 minutes a day, three days a week. Much more attractive. I picked the "Couch to 5K" training plan and signed up for the Thanksgiving 5K in Grass Valley, CA. The Turkey Trot.

I credit the C25K training program with providing me a solid foundation that enabled me to ease into the activity. I worried about form and injury, as I had ACL replacement surgery in my late twenties. I read "Master the Art of Running" by Malcolm Balk and Andrew Shields, which helped me focus on posture and ridding my body of tension. I bought proper running shoes after putting 30 miles on the cheap pair of tennis shoes I had begun running in. Before I knew it, I was logging my miles with the Nike+ system and shopping for gadgets, gear and clothing like a man obsessed. If Runner's World thought it was cool, I wanted to try it (so much for running being more affordable!)

A strong background in hiking and backpacking meant the trails eventually called my name. I ran my first trail race on my 40th birthday, and really have not looked back. Trails offer more than roads, be it scenery or distance, so my endurance followed suit, and before I knew it, I was running ultra distances. I went so far as to run my first 50k two months prior to my one and only road marathon.

Today, I still struggle to stay near "race weight", I run an average of one race per month (I even have some age group medals), and I am trying to figure out how far I can push my body to run in one sitting. 2016 highlights include my third 100 mile run and a sponsorship agreement with Victory Sportdesign. 2017 sees my relationship with Victory Sportdesign continue, and includes a run at the PUSATF Ultra Grand Prix (40-49 AG.) Thus far, the sport of running has given me a surprising return on my investment. As a strong middle-of-the-pack runner, I hope to fill these pages with adventures, improvements and accomplishments for years to come.

3 comments:

  1. As someone that started running 18 months ago, your story is inspiring. Good luck to you. I'm still trying to break 22. Just have to run 2 1/2% faster! I plan to do it in 2013.

    Good luck!

    Tom Wander

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  2. Thanks for reading Tom!

    It took me about three years to break 22 in the 5K. It was very satisfying when I finally did, and I hope someday to get closer to 20.

    Have a great year!

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  3. Hi i just ran my 2nd race the CIM in under 5 hours. Happy 2 finish at all due 2 runners knee. Thanks 4 your story and info on Way Too Cool. I wanna run trails next!

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