Inspiration to run

I don’t like the heat.  I never have.

Long before I was a runner, even while a child, I hated the heat.

Now I am a runner and I have to endure the heat.  Last year wasn’t too bad.  I was running 2-3 miles a day.  This year I am running 7-9 miles a day and I would like to keep my pace up.  It is hard to get inspired to keep going outside to run when, to me anyway, it is torture.  This morning for instance.  5:00 AM.  77 degrees and at least 80% humidity.  Today and tomorrow the highs will be close to 100 and I imagine with the heat index, over 100.

So what do I do to keep myself going?  It would be easy to slow down for the summer.  Summer here lasts into October – that is a long time for someone who hates heat.

How do I keep myself inspired?

My goal.  I could wait another year to qualify for Boston, but I made a goal in March of this year to qualify – this year.  It really does drive me.  I wrote a couple of days ago that to go from obesity to a Boston qualifier in just over 2 years would be my largest achievement.  10 years from now no one may remember, but I will. I want to do this and I want to do it this year if possible.  That is my motivation.

This blog.  It amazes me how much this blog inspires me.  I write each day on running or running subjects.  I put my goals and dreams down for anyone to read.  I think as I run about what I will write the next day.  But the biggest inspiration are all the people who read and comment and like.  As I run in the heat wondering how I will keep one foot moving in front of another (as I did on Sunday), this blog keeps me inspired.

Other blogs. Reading others ups and downs and inspirational writings really helps.  It is all about keeping my mind in the game.  I have to keep focused, not on the present reality of tiredness, soreness and heat, but on my goal and other blogs and tweets keep me focused.  Thank you for writing and helping me keep inspired!

Inspirational movies.  The Spirit of the Marathon II comes to theaters tomorrow (June 12) at 7:00 for a one day showing.  When the first movie came out I wasn’t even close to running.  I had the desire, but no inspiration or motivation.   Tomorrow I am going with TJ and RS and can’t wait to sit in a cool theater and be inspired. I need a movie like this to keep my mind focused and my head clear.

I apologize for writing some of the same things I wrote a couple of days ago.  But as I said, I need to keep myself going and writing my blog does just that.  It keeps me inspired and accountable as I head outside into the heat of the afternoon to run.

We all need some inspiration these days.  Think sometime of what inspires you and then do that thing.  It makes all the difference!!!

Thank you note to my family, friends, bloggers, runners, etc…

Yesterday was my off day, so I just walked 2 miles and went home to rest.

I thought I would take a moment to say some things about my gratefulness to my family, friends and fellow bloggers who read this blog.  So this isn’t a running blog post for the most part.

I so appreciate the support of my family; my Lovely Wife, kids, mother and brothers.  They are all supportive and caring.

My Lovely Wife, as I have mentioned, has lost a lot of weight and is still working diligently to keep it off.  I know it is a constant battle that I don’t have to face as I can run and keep my weight down most of the time, but with her back problems, she has to do it all through diet and will power!  She has always been supportive of my running.  Even now that it takes about two hours a day to get ready to run, do my run and then cool down outside with the dog, she never complains or makes me feel like I am taking too much time away (I hope that is a good thing :)).  She always tells me to run fast, don’t get hurt and have a good run before I leave.  She comes to most of our races and sits and waits patiently as we prepare, then run and then cool down.  I can’t say enough how much she means to me and how much I appreciate her and her support.  I couldn’t get to where I am today without her.

My kids have been great also.  The ones who run, TJ and RS are always asking me how my runs go and how I am doing.  I really enjoy when we can run together, even though it isn’t often because we all run at different paces, but it is a great time when we can.  My kids who don’t run (yet) BL, JR and HM are also supportive and come to my races and ask me how my running is going.  I am so appreciative of them and their encouragement.

I also appreciate my Mom and brothers who read my blog and are excited as I pass new milestones.  Both my brothers run and though my mother can’t, she is familiar with the sacrifice as my late father and sister were both runners back years ago.  I guess I owe my running to my late father who started it all in his mid 50s.  He just one day got out there in his running shoes and started running.  My siblings followed after and they all ran the Marine Corps Marathon in DC each year.  I do wish my dad and sister could be here to see me run, but they do see I believe.  I couldn’t do it without their inspiration.

Finally, thank you to the blogging / tweeting community of runners and dieters and friends who follow my blog and twitter and encourage me.  I don’t have a Facebook and frankly didn’t tell many people about my blog.  I now have over 70 followers and have had views from over 45 countries.  Quite amazing to me.  I know I can get repetitive with my posts at times, but that is what running is about.  Doing the same thing day after day after day.  Anyway, thank you to all who read my blog, comment and like my posts.  It is very encouraging and give me motivation to improve and move forward.

Okay that is all for today.  I just wanted to take a post and give my gratitude and appreciation for all the support.  I could not be more thankful to have this blog.

Thank you!!!

Keeping a positive attitude after a negative run

Yesterday was another rough run!

It was hot, humid and I was tired.  But rather than going on and on about how difficult my run was, I decided to look to the positive and think of why I am thankful.  I learned from my mom over the years that being positive is always better than being negative.

So here I go…

  • I am thankful that I am able to run.
  • I am thankful that even on hot days, I can come home from work, put on my running shoes and head out the door.
  • I am thankful that my lovely wife and kids encourage me on this journey, even though it takes up more and more time.
  • I am thankful for my mother and brothers and friends who are excited to see my progress with my running and weight loss.
  • I am thankful that I have kids who also run and are excited about it with me.
  • I am thankful for TJ running who runs with me at times.  Without him today, I would have given up much earlier.
  • I am thankful that I have been running for over a year and never gotten hurt.
  • I am thankful that I have gotten a lot of people from work (with family and friends) to run the 5K with me in May.
  • I am thankful that I have lost 100 lbs since the height of my weight gain (and kept it off).
  • I am thankful that I am alive and healthier than I’ve been for most of my life.
  • I am thankful that I have gone from obese to (soon) running marathons in just a couple of years.

Yesterday’s run was hard.  In fact this week has been one hard run after another.  But looking beyond a difficult week,  I am thankful that I can run.  It has been a dream since I was 18 and now 32 years later it is a reality.  I am also thankful for this blog and the people who read it each day.  It has been so rewarding and has helped inspire me to run harder and work to excel in this sport.  I may or may not ever be known to the running community as anyone, but for now, I am thankful that I am a part of this community and for the support of my family, friends, and fellow bloggers and Tweeters.

What are you thankful for?

Think about it the next time you have a rough day at the very thing to which you look forward.  Running has taught me that every up hill I face, there is a down hill coming soon.  Don’t give up.  Just be thankful.

The Boston Marathon!

I think goals are important when trying to keep motivated to run each day.  Let’s face it, running could be boring if you have no motivation or goals.  Losing weight is a good goal.  Becoming healthier overall and doing what you can to live a long life for your spouse and kids are great goals.

Personally, I like to set goals for my races that seem “out there”.  By doing so, I have continually amazed myself after each race I’ve run.  For instance, my new goal for my next 5K in May is to run it under 20 minutes.  Is that possible?  I don’t know, but if I don’t try (and train) I’ll never find out.  Each 5K I’ve run in the past year, I have finished close to 2 minutes faster than the previous one.  My last I finished in 22:10.  So, why not have a goal to reach for and see what I can do.  It makes running more fun for me.

I decided on my biggest goal of my short career yesterday.  Boston.  Yup, I am no longer going to say that I hope to qualify for Boston in the Jacksonville Marathon in December.  My goal is to qualify for it.  Once TJ, RS and I qualify, we have to be “chosen” and then we will run it.

So, to make this a real goal and have a constant reminder, I am changing the tag line at the top of my blog from, “The journey is the destination” to “My Journey to Boston”.

I may not make it.  Who knows.  I may not get under 20 minutes in my next 5K.  But if I don’t try and if I don’t set a goal that seems beyond my reach, I’ll never fail because I’ll never try. I would rather try and fail then never try at all.

So here is to the Boston Marathon.  I hope to see you soon!

Best fall marathon? TJ wants to qualify for Boston!!!

First, yesterday was a great run. I mentioned in an earlier post that I tend to run faster after exerting myself in a 5K race. I started doing tempo runs this week with the input of TJ and it made a huge difference. I had a record 10K run yesterday in 50:55 total time. It really wasn’t much effort, except at the end when I was trying to get my 10K in under 51:00. I know it was the tempo run from Wednesday that made the difference.

The training continues for our half marathon. Today is a hill day (ugh) – my first. TJ says it helps a lot, but I’m not looking forward to it.

After our half marathon in February, we look for a marathon in the fall. TJ mentioned finding a fast marathon as he wants to qualify for Boston. He also wants me to qualify, but at this time I don’t see that happening.

Right now we are looking at Chicago or Jacksonville. Both are considered fast marathons. The advantage to Jacksonville is that I have a friend there we could stay with. The advantage to Chicago is that we also have friends there and we love to go to Ballydoyle’s Irish pub and also get some Giordano’s pizza. Another option that would mean a lot to me is the Marine Corp Marathon. The main reason for that is that this is the marathon my Dad and siblings always ran. It would be great to make my first marathon the same one my dad ran in years ago – also since <a href=”; he is the inspiration for my running.

I don’t know if anyone has any suggestions. It is still early, but I know that April is when sign up begins for the Marine Corps Marathon and last year they filled up quickly.

Why I run

I have a couple of reasons that I run.

To begin with, I always regretted not running with my Father and siblings back in the 80s and 90s. My dad began running around age 55 and ran upward of 15 marathons before he stopped around age 74. He eventually passed away due to lung cancer. My late sister and my brothers also ran and all ran marathons with him. I was in college when he started and then ended up 800 miles away raising my family later on. Well here I am now dad, 50 years old and running my first half marathon. Here I am now KT. You always encouraged me to at least get on a treadmill once a day as you saw me gaining weight and getting sick more often. Here I am. I run because of you. I wish you both were here to see.

Secondly, I run because it is the one competition I can enter that has a level playing field. Sure there are those like TJ that are naturals. But for the most part, I know that if I run 6 times a week and slowly increase my mileage, one day I can be good, at least for my age. I am not an athlete and never was. I was the last to be picked for teams when I was a kid. Really, sports didn’t interest me much. Now at 50, I run. I’ve run almost a thousand miles in the past 10 months and am one of the 10% of runners that get through the year without getting hurt. Each run I pray for God to keep me from getting hurt. He knows I have to run and why I am running.

Running, as I said, makes a level playing field. Thus I started running 10 months ago and this month came in 22nd out of 690 in my last 5K. I didn’t come in 22nd and 3rd in my age group because I am a natural. I did so because I run 6 days a week whether it is hot, cold, raining or snowing.

I cannot make an excuse.

I just run.