Season of Change

My blog, 278toBoston.com is named for a reason that most of you understand.  To be honest, it has really helped keep me in line and give me motivation over the past year or two.

I struggle in two main areas.

  1. Weight
  2. Goals

When I weighted 278 lbs, I never thought I could lose that weight.  I honestly thought I’d die of some heart related disease and everyone who got on to me about my weight would say, “See I told you so.”   I had a hard time with long term goals.  Losing 100 lbs wasn’t possible.  Running a marathon as my dad had, wasn’t possible.  Living a normal healthy life after 50 wasn’t possible.  After all, not only was I obese, but I had hip and leg problems.  In fact my legs and ankles were beginning to swell and just walking up the steps was a difficult task.

One day, on an 11 hour drive home from visiting Chicago (the “fat” pic on the side of this blog was taken that weekend), I had to drive the whole way home and couldn’t stay awake.  I almost couldn’t make it home.  I had to stop twice to sleep.  Ends up I had severe apnea.  At my sleep study I was told that I stopped breathing 110 times in an hour.

Things were not going well.

Seasons of change come and go.  I’ve learned over the years that when a season of change (a good change) comes, I need to take it and run with it or it will pass me by.  In a season of change, I went to a Dr. appointment with my Lovely Wife and that doctor helped me.  I lost weight, I began running, I lost more weight, I began racing, and finally ran a marathon last September.

To be honest, I still struggle with weight and goals.  My weight is consistent, but is about 10 – 15 lbs over where I should be.  My goal (in my blog name) of making it to Boston one day seems but a dream.  It can get so overwhelming.

Sometimes you need a sign.

As I was running a few weeks ago, I was in a new neighborhood and ran past a house with a teen boy kicking a soccer ball.  As I ran past, he waved and said hi and I returned the greeting.  I thought, “How nice! Most kids look down and ignore me as I run, but he said hi and smiled”.

A few days later I was running by the same house.  That boy has not been out since, but as I ran by I noticed his mailbox.

A sign?  I hope.  Maybe I can do this.  I just need to go with the season of change and believe:

Do I believe?

Do I believe?

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Mile 25 of my 5 mile run

I had a mile to go to finish my run.

I was beat.  Totally beat.  I told myself that I would quit a half mile early.

  • It was hot – not as hot as in the middle of summer, but a hotter day then we have had lately.
  • I forgot to take my Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) before my run.  My legs were so tired and heavy.  Was this the reason?
  • I increased my mileage from 4 to 5 miles a day just this week.  Was that why I was beat?
  • I am running a hillier area and one hill is huge.  Am I just worn out?

These are the thoughts of a runner perplexed at 4 miles as to why his run is going badly.  Pace?  What pace?  I threw pace out of the window a couple miles ago.  Actually all summer I have kept my love for speed away and just tried to be consistent on the run.

I tripped.  Sort of tripped.  I literally stubbed the top of the front of my new running shoes.  I’ve never done that before, I thought to myself.  Maybe I should walk home.  I don’t want to hurt myself on a basic run.  I don’t want to be stupid.  I don’t… I can’t… I won’t…

Then the thought occurred to me.  Just a year ago I ran a marathon.  I felt worse at mile 25 of that marathon then I did now at mile 4 of my 5 mile run.  My body needs to learn.  I need to master my body.  It must submit to me if I ever want to run a marathon again, let alone qualify for Boston.  This feeling… The feeling of being spent, exhausted, tired, hot and having nothing left inside… Maybe this feeling is a gift.  Maybe this is training for mile 25.  Only a little over a mile to go and I’ll be done.  My body will learn that it has to comply with what I am doing.  Not to the point of getting hurt, but I need to teach my body, my mind and my spirit that I can run through this feeling.  I can complete the race.  I can run up that last hill and finish what I set out to do.

5.01 miles after I started, I finished.  I literally had nothing left.  It was hard to walk the rest of the way home (about 100 yards).

I finished. What a great feeling.  I had the worst run of the summer and I felt like I just completed a marathon.  I didn’t give up.  I didn’t give in.  I didn’t walk until I met my goal.

Today… who knows, maybe I’ll run 6 miles just for fun!

Have a great weekend.

Tom

New running shoes to the rescue!

So much going on here and the blog is screaming for me to write, so here I am, putting all else behind and writing finally.

Last week, my son got the flu, I got a small version of the flu – to be honest I was over it in just a day or two.  My son is back to normal now and we continue on with life.

I finally broke down and bought me a pair of Brooks PureFlow 3 on Saturday.  I was starting to have pains where I never have pains and my heel spur was getting angry, so I thought I should buy another pair, even though my shoes had less then 200 miles on them.  I’m glad I did.

As soon as I put on my new shoes, I could feel support in the exact areas I was hurting.  Looking at my old shoes, I didn’t really see much wear, but all my hill running had taken a toll on them.  What goes up, must come down, and running down steep hills at times means a lot of pressure on my shoes.

So I ran this weekend some.  Saturday was my off day, but I wanted to try these shoes out.  I put them on and ran a quick 2 miles.  They felt great.  My last mile was at 5K pace and it was over 90 outside.

Sunday I wanted to run a long run or my mountain run, but my body wasn’t over the pain inflicted by my shoes that were wearing out.  I chose to run 5 miles in my neighborhood.  The first three were lousy.  I felt weak, my legs felt heavy and it was very humid outside.  Then at mile 4 I began to come to life.  My legs finally decided to wake up and I had a great ending to my run.  I still kept it at 5 miles for the reasons stated above, but I was satisfied with my run.

Back to work today and then my hill run this afternoon if my body feels up to it.  Looking at the weather, we will be in the 90’s until a week from wednesday when the temps finally plunge into the 70’s.  Of course that is 10 days out and there are no guarantees.

I’m still debating on the marathon in December.  I have a lot going on right now and I remember the huge amount of time and effort goes into training.  So, decisions, decisions.  I have to make my mind up soon though.  Really soon.  It was exactly a year ago I ran my first marathon with TJ.  I must say it was a rewarding experience.

Tom