I’m fat. I’m not obese or anything like that, but I’m much larger than I was last year and much fatter than I should be.
The pictures you see above are pictures of the belly I’ve been carrying around for the better part of six months. Shocked? You shouldn’t be, because I’m not. I’ve been using every excuse in the book to help “explain” why I’ve been skipping going out for runs, riding the trainer, swimming, and strength training. It’s too cold, I’m tired, I’ll go tomorrow, it’s raining, I woke up late, work ran a bit late, we are traveling, it’s the holidays, and on, and on, and on.
The truth? I’m LAZY. Honestly. At the end of the day, I make every excuse I can to not exercise just so I can sit on my ass and watch TV. To top or off, my diet isn’t stellar either. All during the week I will eat healthy, not go out, and by Wednesday I will start having great workouts, but come Friday, I get LAZY again, and then a pizza is ordered. Now don’t get me wrong, pizza isn’t terrible for you as long as you eat it in moderation. I’m not doing that. I eat 4-5 slices without even thinking. Next thing I know, I’m craving more pizza or some other greasy, delicious, bad-for-you food and I think, well, I ran a few extra miles, I can eat an entire cheesesteak with fries and a soda because that all evens out, right?
Now I’ve eaten like shit for Friday-Sunday, most likely did some boozing on Saturday, and now on Monday I just can’t figure out why I feel like crap and my run or whatever is terrible. Hmmmmm, I wonder….
Look, I know what is wrong and I know what I need to do to fix it. I need to stop eating shitty and drinking on the weekends, I need to man up and stop skipping workouts. Those two adjustments will fix the protruding gut you see above.
So I’m writing this and posting these embarrassing pictures in an attempt to hold myself accountable for my actions. It’s time I get serious with what I want to accomplish this and next year. And it’s time I do something about it.
I do think I know why the excuses started. My thinking changed when I was training for the marathon last year. I started to think of running as something I HAD to do instead of as something I GET to do. I need to change my way of thinking and realize that running is a gift. It’s my play time. It’s the only time of the day when I don’t have to think about work or the wedding or the house or what I need to do that day or the next. It’s my escape, and I truly love to do it. Everything I do, swim, run, ride the bike, I should cherish, because I may not be able to do it tomorrow.
Lets hope this helps.
Thinking of my race this past Sunday, all things considered, I’m happy with my performance. I wasn’t going to do this race originally because it is in Northern Virginia and was a bit of a drive. Thankfully, my buddy Chris had already signed up for the race and since someone else was doing it, it was the push I needed to sign up and run.
I made it to the race site around 8am that morning for a 9am race. The weatherman said “Sunny and 60″ was the forecast, but when I stepped outside, it was FREEZING. Thankfully I brought extra clothes with me and was a kinda (but not really) warm while signing up.
This race had a 5 mile option and a 10 mile option as well. I signed up for the 10 mile option because I needed to get my long run in and I figured, if I’m paying $50 and driving 60 minutes, I might as well make it worth my time.
After a short warm-up run, I stripped down and headed to the start. After a short wait, we were off. We started off running on the street and the turned into the trails.
The first two or so miles of this race snaked along the river and were mostly flat. I stayed in a pack of people and we trotted along. Around the 2.5-3 mile mark, we started heading out of the valley and up the hill. Twisting and turning, twisting and turning, we eventually made it to the top.
After coming back around to the start, we went back out onto the trail. It was a rather interesting trail, it seems well suited to mountain bikers. We crossed multiple streams (and being the immature person I am, I jumped in each stream with both feet, splashing everyone around me), bridges, rock gardens, and muddy sections.
In my second lap, I was trailing a guy for about 3 miles, staying behind him, and not letting him out of my sight. Eventually either my lack of fitness or the fact that I did a hard ride on the trainer the day before caught up to me with two miles left. He accelerated up a hill and I just could not respond. I tried to keep him in sight until the finish and crossed the line in 1:11:17.
Overall I was quite pleased with this race. Very efficient, fun, and well run race. My fitness is nowhere near I would like it to be, but I am quite pleased with the effort. I’m making progress, I just need to stay consistent.
Where have I been? Good question. The past few months have been marred with inconsistent training and lots and lots of eating. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I needed a break after the marathon. I needed to rethink how I approach things. After this extended period of time off, I’m ready to get back out there.
So, I’ll start updating on a more regular basis and hopefully I can be more consistent and meet my goals for this year.
So yesterday I ran the NCR trail Marathon. The NCR trail is the on the old Northern Central Railroad. The Northern Central Railroad used to stretch from Baltimore through York, PA then to Harrisburg, PA. Now it is a crushed stone path that runs to the state line and then extends another twenty (20) miles until York, PA.
This was supposed to be my “make up” marathon, to make up for the fact that I didn’t finish the Chicago marathon. I signed up for this marathon the day after Chicago thinking that I could qualify for Boston using this marathon. As the days grew closer to the marathon, I thought that I was as prepared as I could be.
It was a chilly 35 degrees at the start as we lined up at the start. The race started at Sparks Elementary School and was almost all down hill until we hit the trail. After starting out downhill, it was hard to get into a good rhythm and into the 6:50/mile pace that I wanted to run. After a couple of miles I finally got into it. First five (5) miles were 6:15, 6:37, 6:52, 7:05, and 6:43.
As I went through Monkton and the water stop at 5 miles, I still felt fine. My legs were a bit tired, but nothing out of the ordinary. We headed back into the trail and I felt that I had a great pace setter in front of me and We were just cruising. I had never been that far up the trail, and after we ran past White Hall, it was all new territory. I didn’t know what to expect or where the turn-around was gonna be. I saw Molly and our dog Layla at Parkton which was about mile 11. She was jumping up and down and the dog was going nuts (which is typical for any other day). I felt good and told her that I was doing just fine and I kept going. The next few miles until the turn-around few past (6:43, 6:50, 6:44, 7:01, 7:16, 6:26, 7:06, 7:11, 7:06). After the turn around, my legs started to tire. I didn’t think anything of it, so I just kept pushing forward. Around mile 15 my legs started to talk to me. At first they were just saying, “Hey, we are sore, slow down.” By mile 16, it was, “No really, we are tired and sore, slow the fuck down.” I saw Molly just after 16 and told her that I was fading pretty fast, but I kept going. Around mile 18 or 19, my legs screamed, “THAT’S ENOUGH, TIME TO WALK.” And I did just that. I started taking walking breaks about every 20-30 seconds or so. This worked for a bit but I couldn’t keep my pace up and the Boston qualifying time started to look like a bleak possibility.
As I was run/walking my way down the trail, my legs were now chanting, “Stop now, rest, rest, stop now, rest, rest…” I really wanted to stop. It was cold, I was shivering at this point, and I was in considerable pain, but I kept yelling (yes, out loud), “Come on, come on! Fuck you legs!” and I pressed on. In miles 23, 24 and 25, everything fell apart.
We got off the trail around mile 24 and I just couldn’t do anything. I had to walk most of the time, only running on the down hills. Even at mile 25 I couldn’t muster up the strength to run because my legs were super sore and cramping with every step. I jogged it in the last 200 meters or so and crossed the finish line while being cheered on by Molly and the dog (who subsequently jumped up and hit me squarely in the nuts).
When I finished I thought that I would be disappointed but honestly I wasn’t. Not at all. My goals for this race was to 1) Finish; 2) Qualify for Boston; or 3) break 3 hours. I only accomplished #1. And I’m happy. I’m happy that I tried to do something that I probably wasn’t prepared to do. I’m happy that I tried to do something that, even though I started to doubt myself around mile 13, I still went for it. I left it all out on the trail. I gave it all that I had. It just wasn’t enough. But eventually it will be. More training, less bad eating, more dedication, less weight, blah, blah, blah, and I have it.
So was this a bust? I don’t think so. Did I qualify for Boston? No. But am I proud of what I did yesterday. Yes.