A journey of 5,000 miles begins with one mile.

1,189 days ago, on April 24,2006, I began a quest that was doomed to fail like so many times before.

I weighed over 220 lbs.

At some point during the preceding winter, I weighed over 230 lbs (at just under 5’8″).  That’s a BMI of 35.5–obese.

Something was different this time.  My 20-month-old daughter might have had something to do with it.  I bought a Timex Speed+Distance GPS watch on woot.com, and started walking, usually with my daughter accompanying me in the stroller.  By June, I had run my first full mile, for the first time in my life.  For my 30th birthday in August, I ran my first 5k race–33:44, 10:52/mile.  By that December, I ran my first half-marathon in 2:08:13.  By then, I started entertaining the idea of running a marathon, and in the Spring of 2007, started trying out 16-20 mile long runs.  They were horrible and painful.

I continued on, and on November 11, 2007, I ran my first marathon.  I went out way too fast–my 10 mile split beat my 10 mile race personal record.  By mile 18, I had no legs left, and walked up the bridge at mile 22 in complete agony in my ankles and knees–despite rubbing as much biofreeze on them as I could get my hands on.  My final time was a 4:34:06.

I ran a pretty solid half marathon in Memphis a month later, and then nailed my next marathon in May 3:39:45 (despite the course being re-routed for an extra 1/4 mile).  Despite my success in that marathon, I crashed and burned in the Hatfield McCoy Marathon–4:42:33.  From that point, I fought hard to train, pushing myself too far, too fast, and just plain running too fast.

I broke down in August of last year, right at the time my son was born.  I spent 2 months in physical therapy from the injuries sustained, and made a slow comeback to run a painful Flying Monkey marathon in 4:30:36 (the course was painful, and so was my performance).

I made my way back to the “magical” 60 mile per week mileage in January of this year, only to once again have come too far, too fast.  My base speed had improved, but I couldn’t take my runs easy or my mileage increases easy, either.  Adding 5 miles per week every week without pause and trying to cram your runs guarantees injury.  I took another 2 months off running during physical therapy (again), and this time injured my back and other parts of me while trying to keep my fitness level up.

I think I’m back now.  I’m getting back down around 170 pounds.  I’ve been running for 120 days straight.  I’ve kept the increases to about 2-3 miles per week, and took an 80% mileage week last week.

I’ve just completed two 60+ mile weeks in the last three weeks.  Wish me luck.  I’m hoping and training for the marathon of a lifetime this fall/winter, but more importantly, I hope to see my family waiting for me at the finish line no matter how I do.


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