How Did I Get Here?

Half Marathon

Six years ago, I was a fat 250 pounds.

I didn’t run. I didn’t jog. Heck, I didn’t ever even break into a trot.

At all.

In fact, I hated running.  However, my wonderful wife challenged me to get off the couch and to run a half-marathon. Knowing no better and acting on the same spirit that has me signed up for this Ironman, I said, “Sure, sign me up.”

And so on May 26, 2006, I found myself at the start line for the ING Ottawa Half-Marathon.

We had trained for the run. In fact, every week when I was dragged off the couch for our “long run” I would set my personal best. Longest run, fastest run. It was easy setting PBs when you start from zero. We thought about hydration, nutrition and even the life span of our running shoes. We ran a hill on most of our runs. In preparation for this first half-marathon, I suffered and solved my first case of shin splints. I was even convinced to regularly do yoga to keep flexible. Keeping flexible is all relative in my case. The time I was stretching at yoga and ripped the crotch out of my shorts is a perfect example of my incredible lack of flexibility. But I never learned to love running.

I remember telling Laura before the starting gun went off, “This is it. Your half-marathon. Then I can go back to never running.”

Then we raced. Ok, we didn’t really race. We participated.

Three hours later, in the sweltering heat (we were not prepared for this) we crossed the finish line. I was 6364th place.

I was done my endurance running career. Proud I wasn’t last place.

I would love to say that the experience made me fall in love with running, but it didn’t happen. I was done. My endurance running career was over.

Three years later in 2009, I had moved. I had started playing competitive Ultimate. In an attempt to stay active throughout the winter, I set a goal of running the Around the Bay 30k road race.  It would force me to run in the worst weather. Somewhere between January and March, running became easier. It became almost enjoyable.

I ran that Around the Bay thirty minutes slower than i wanted. I crossed the line at 3:30. At that, I knew I would run the next year. And when I missed my goal the second year, I knew I would run it the year after. I was committed.

In 2009, I also ran my first sprint triathlon. Surviving the ice-cold swim (who knew people wore wetsuits), the hillier-than-I-was-ready-for ride and the short run, I fell in love. Triathlon offered something running never could, variety. I could swim, ride or go for a run for training.

Some six years after my fit wife dragging me out of the house for my first run, I am now only 122 days from running a marathon, after all that swimming and biking.