Saturday, April 10, 2010

1st Entry, but not the beginning

After nearly 5 years away from being a consistent jogger, I am getting back into it. Over my break away from it, I've tried a few comebacks. It's been one thing after another: Bad ankles, bad knees, shin splints, you name it. At 30, I've made a comeback.

The main problem was this injury (see below), a 2005 trampoline incident where I turned my ankle at the edge of the trampoline one way to stop myself from falling off, and still flew off, landing on it and turning it the other way. Lots of damage, and I still went to Chicago for Lollapalooza and had food, socks (promotional giveaway), and drink thrown at me at U.S. Cellular Field the next week (the most visitor unfriendly place ever). However, it did essentially kill my running regimen, and I have gained nearly 100 pounds since then.

Last year, I wanted to train enough to do a 5K in the Crim Festival of Races, here in my hometown of Flint, MI. After starting to train way too late (just a month before the race), I figured there was no way it would happen. I kept going out to run and having to cut off at about half that distance. About a week before the race, I finally pushed out a full 5K. Then I did the exact race route yet again 3 days before. When the Crim came around, I ran it. I felt good about it, and felt like I could have went another 3K. My final time was 35:28 (about 11.5 minute mile). I had done it, and was finally part of one of the biggest events in Flint for the first time.

Then came the long winter. Every winter, I gain a LOT of weight. Running outside wasn't really an option with the ice and snow, and too much chance for injury. So, the best I could do is some indoor workouts, Wii Fit and Wii Sports etc., and a little bit of outdoor walking. I whole-heartedly admit it wasn't much, but it kept my weight stable.

In February, I decided to keep thing rolling, and ran when the street was without ice. I signed up for the Al Kayner St. Patrick's Day Races for another 5K. The winter, despite keeping the weight steady, had taken its toll of my wind, and my shape. I pretty much decided I was delusional for signing up for the race. Three days before, on my last training day, I still hadn't made it up to 5K running around here, which is much less hilly than the old apartment where I trained for the Crim. I was screwed.

The night before racing, I went out bowling with my friend Nick, and stayed out way too late. I pulled in about 1:30AM, and the garage door opener broke. I couldn't fix it, the door wouldn't open manually, and I had a nervous breakdown. The tantrum with the door ended up waking my girlfriend and making her think a burglar was in our garage. So not only was I not sure I'd get my car out in the morning, I had an unnecessary tantrum, and frightened the person I loved at 2am. I couldn't do anything about it. I went to bed.

I got up early, and made some adjustments to the door. I could get it up manually, but that was about it. I moved her car out as well, as we've already had garage issues before when I'm away. After waking her up the night before, it wouldn't be fair if she couldn't get out and get to work. That would just be a double dose of a-hole on my part. I moved out my car, and shut the door. Then I began the drive to Bay City.

I got there, and parked. I found the registration place, and picked up my packet. It was freezing. I looked at the ticker on one of the buildings 35 degrees. I had to keep running, walking, stretching for the hour before the race to not completely lock up. By race time it was still only 39 degrees, but at least I was loose. It was time to go, and I wasn't even sure I could do it. I kept trying to coax myself into some positive thoughts, and I threw up The Ramones on the mp3 player. We were off.

As the race started, unlike the Crim where I felt good and ready, I was a little bit afraid. Just before the race a lady took one look at me and my 5K bib and scoffed a "yeah right" at me. That didn't help very much. Within the first half mile, I have to admit, I was dying. There was no way this was going to happen. I told myself to just keep going until the turn and then you can walk. The turn couldn't come quick enough. I kept running and running wondering where the hell it was. By the time I got to it, I felt better. I finished the rest of race without walking. My time was even better than The Crim, 34:15. I picked up my St. Patty's Catholic Federal Medal like I won the gold, downed a water and scarfed a banana down. I was ecstatic. The free Powerade on the way home in the car tasted like victory, and I hadn't even seen my time yet.

This morning I was going to go run the Martian Meteor 5K in Dearborn. Too bad last night I got some horrible lower abdominal pain. I figured it would pass, and I'd feel fine in the morning, so I got all my race things together. I woke up at 6am this morning, and it wasn't going to happen. I felt awful. Good thing I hadn't pre-registered. Hopefully it wasn't the eggplant parmesan, as I just killed the last two squares of it before writing this. I guess I will find out.

Anyway, I did go out and run later today, and all was fine. I did some housework, went to lunch with my girlfriend and her father, and trimmed the bushes around our house. I'm completely exhausted. I'm really glad I went back to sleep this morning. Sometimes you just have to punt, they say.

I still plan to do a race every month, so I will keep going, and get ready for the Spring Into Nature race on Belle Isle (April 24th), and follow that up quick with Heart of a Spartan (May 2nd). The latter will fulfill my dream of setting foot on Spartan Stadium, which I haven't ever done. I never was part of a rush onto the field. I did however, rush the court at Breslin after watching the National Championship win on the big screen. Anyway, for that race, you get to run out of the tunnel and finish at the 50 yard line. I love it!

As far as goals. I want to run at least one race a month, and get up to an 8K race at The Crim. In addition, I'm trying to lose about 5 pounds a month until I feel it's enough. I've lost almost 20 already, and am finally south of 3-bills. Yep, you heard it. I am a runner, and I'm just recently under 300 lbs.

This blog will cover the running, the weight loss (or gain), the struggles, the doubts, the inane, and any lapses in diet or working out that come with it. It may not be pretty but what do you expect from a runner of my size? In an ideal world, I'll be back down to my college weight of 225 and run a 5K easily at 23-25 minutes. I'm not going to even try to get down to my 2004/05 weight, because that was just all alcohol calories, smoking, and depression, and well, screw that. Wish me luck. Now back to watching Britney videos on Fuse for absolutely no reason.

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