Monday, April 13, 2015

Starting from scratch

At one point in my life, I considered myself a pretty decent marathon runner. But I fell off that wagon hard in recent years and into a colossal puff of dust.

I long knew it was time for me to get back into shape and run again – or at the very least, seek some semblance of fitness after largely doing nothing for the better part of three years. So I decided to do something about it.

Instead of keeping it private (which, incidentally, is a fantastic way for it to NEVER happen), I made a public intention in a blog post that I was going to run the California International Marathon on December 6, 2015. I required accountability, and that’s the path I chose.

My reasons for choosing CIM:
  • It’s geographically close (relatively)
  • It’s fast
  • It’s familiar
  • I wanted to do a marathon in 2015, and, in spite being nearly a year away, CIM qualified

That last one was a biggie for me. I thought about tackling the Eugene Marathon. I have friends making the trek to Eugene (road trip!). I PR’d at Eugene. Hayward Field would be a memorable place to celebrate the end of my sedentary self.

If only Eugene would have been later in the year to give me more time. So I opted for CIM.

I'll lay out exactly what I mean when I say I'd been "largely doing nothing": After many years of integrating 60- to 70-mile weeks into my life, I probably averaged five or six runs a year over three years.

That’s not a lot. And I spent birthdays Nos. 40-43 lamenting my injuries, laziness and subsequent weight gain (and plummeting self-esteem). I allowed circumstances to control me, instead of me controlling my circumstances. And that was a crappy feeling.

So, how’s the training going? So far so good. A couple of weeks ago I strung together a week-plus consecutive days. I started at two miles a day and have moved up to three(-ish). Easter week was a bump in the road, and I’ve returned to the road/trail/dirt that I realized I missed so much. And I don't feel like I'm wearing a fat suit when I run, so there's that.

[It ain’t much, but I’m on Strava if you care to follow me. Even if you don’t care to, I’m still there.]

The training is getting easier (even if life isn’t, which continues to throw me curveballs), and I know I’ll soon push up against and through barriers (three miles, five, eight, 10, etc.). Because I was always running from a decent level of fitness, I took for granted just how difficult is to start from scratch.

I’m finding joy in running again – and it reminds me to care for myself, that those around me (namely my children) might actually benefit from seeing me do that. 

Instead of making excuses, I’m making the most of what I have, right now, in this life.


  1. I can definitely relate to your story And I'm excited to continue to follow your blog. Keep up the great work and thank you for the motivation :)

  2. I can definitely relate to your story And I'm excited to continue to follow your blog. Keep up the great work and thank you for the motivation :)

  3. Let me know when you want a running partner--I'm planning to do a lot more trail running after next week!

  4. And by the way, you were more than "a decent marathon runner": you broke 3 hours!

  5. Hmm. Don't know what happened to the first comment I thought I'd posted but I wrote that it was good to see you last Saturday in upper Bidwell Park. And I bet at the longer distances you'll experience some muscle memory kicking in. Good luck with the training!

  6. Thank you all for your support and kind words. It's fun getting back into it! (we'll see if I feel the same way after the 20-mile training runs)