Monday, November 26, 2012

A Change of Pace

Hello again, everybody (or whoever's left, anyway).

As you probably don't recall, since I haven't written anything here in about two months, I've been in the process of dropping weight and increasing my fitness.  As of this writing, mission is mostly accomplished.  I've dropped from 295 pounds to 190, and . . . get ready for this . . . have begun training to run in my first marathon.

I know.

Up until now, my only experience with marathons was the Marathon candy bar.  Remember those?  Twisty chocolate and caramel, good for increasing your blood sugar and ripping out fillings at the same time.  But now, we're talking about running 26.2 miles in under the race time limit of seven hours.  After the time expires, apparently, you're on your own to fight traffic and miss out on the post-race medal and free snacks.

Since this whole idea undoubtedly seems absurd to all of you (as it kind of does to me as well), I'm going to try to document the experience as either a glowing testimony to a man who accomplished something he believed to be impossible, or (more likely) as a posthumous warning to others about the dangers of embarking on a really stupid endeavor that's far beyond one's capacity.  Either way, I hope it'll be fun reading.  I'll try to provide updates every week or so, right up to the marathon date.

To fill you in on what you've missed, I am currently signed up for three official events which are as follows:

January 19, 2013: Ontario Mills 10K,  Ontario, California
March 10, 2013: San Diego Half Marathon,  San Diego, California
May 5, 2013:  Orange County Marathon,  Newport Beach, California

Just so you don't think I'm completely out of my mind (not that you'd be wrong, but go with me here), I am in fact training for these events.  Back in September, I began a running program that basically consists of four runs per week.  Three of these are relatively short runs (3-6 miles), and Sundays are reserved for a "long run."  The idea of the long run, according to various online resources, is to increase the distance by a mile or so every week until you get to 20 miles.  The idea here, I suppose, is that once you can run 20 miles, the last 6.2 in a marathon is a matter of will and survival.  Sounds great, doesn't it?

Three months into the program, I'm up to 15 miles for the long run, the most recent of which was yesterday morning.  It's getting easier, but I'm usually sore for a day or so afterward.

So thus begins my weekly (or so) journal of a former fat guy preparing to run a marathon.  This, of course, should not be seen as a "how-to" guide or anything remotely resembling advice on fitness or running (aside from research from more credible sources that I may add along the way).

And as a refresher, here's a reminder of the sorry state I was in less than a year ago, along with a more current shot:

January, 2012
October, 2012

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Candice said...

Holy shit! Kudos to you!

I bet you feel great!

So. Cal. Gal said...

You're going to rock all 3 races, I just know it. And you look fantastic!

But 3-6 miles, a 'relatively short' run? In who's twisted thinking? I did a 10k in the w/c once. Needless to say, I was grateful for the downhill sections.

Whatever said...

Wow! Excellent job! That weight loss really made a difference :D Best of luck with the marathon, I'm looking forward to future updates :)

Suldog said...

Holy crap! You look fantastic!

I do a similar regimen each spring in order to get ready for softball. I start out by walking to first base. The next practice, I walk all the way to second base. Then I stretch it out to third base on the next Sunday (that's my "long run", and I don't go home because I know damn well I'm never going to hit another home run in my life.) After that, I stand at the plate all season and accumulate bases on balls.

Uncle Skip, said...

I saw Sully hit a double.

Then they gave him a courtesy runner.

Congratulations on the shaping up. Oh that someday I can get back to 190 or less.
Enjoy your running experience.

Jamie said...

You're rocking it, dude.

I've been running for almost 2 years now. I got a stress fracture in my foot last year while training for a marathon. That meant 4 months off and starting over. I'm back up to about 8 miles for the long run. I'm taking it slow this time, but I hope to qualify for Boston at the age of 46.

You've made incredible progress. I applaud you for your work. As a runner, I know you've earned it.

Eva Gallant said...

Wow! That is awesome and impressive! You look great! I admire your courage and determination!

Juli said...

Very impressive. We have smaller sized ambitions over here... we (the whole family myself, Tony, and both kids, 10 and 11) just started 5Ks in September. Our last for the season is On the 7th. Then they stop until March. I'm thinking by next September I may be ready for a 10K.



Random Girl said...

Congratulations on your outstanding progress!! So inspirational!
I can do a turbokick class for an hour and hardly breathe hard but running?? I can't get my head around it, or at least I haven't yet in the many attempts I have made to be a runner. I admire the marathon mentality, let me know the secret!

Amanda said...

Look at you -- nicely done! My knees have declared me "too old" to run (at the whopping age of 42) so I live vicariously through the blogs of those of you who are able. Enjoy :D

Mary Long said...

You look great! I look forward to reading more about your journey. I have no doubt that you will finish each marathone with time to spare - no dodging cars or red lights! LOL good luck!

Cashier said...

Wow, that's a big difference and you look great. Keep it up. :-)

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