Thursday, November 15, 2007

Am I Crazy?

It's one of those things I thought I should do before I die - run a marathon. Easy? Oh sure, just pull my out-of-shape self up off the couch and go right? No. After always being the chubby kid growing up and continuing the trend into my early 20s, I decided to lose weight and get in shape. Over a year and a half I lost the weight, then I had surgery and put 10 pounds right back on.

The Biggest Loser must be the most inspiring and completely depressing show at the same time. It's great to watch all those people lose the weight, while you sit in front of the TV eating your carefully portioned dinner and weight watchers ice cream snack and realize that you haven't lost weight in months. Its a dichotamy I have a hard time reconciling to myself. I have a Y membership...I'm in a "healthy" weight for my height (the upper part of that scale)...I eat healthy...and yet, I can't get off my butt to the gym to get in shape and to feel good about myself. Thus, begins my journey for this blog.

I discovered about a week ago, that I have to have a goal to get me to go to the gym. Whether it be a specific competition, a team sport, or whatever, the thought of "I should go for me" has just never worked. This past Saturday was the Richmond SunTrust Marathon (figured I should get the sponsor plug in there). The night after the race I was at a party with Mr. E and we were talking to a woman who had run the race that day. As I stood there talking to her, I realized that although she hurt and hated almost every moment of the race, she had accomplished something that she sought to accomplish and that was something no one could take away from her. I looked at Mr. E and said "We should do it next year." It wasn't out of the blue that I decided the way to cure my soul was to run 26.2 miles, it's been something I've wanted to do in my life at some point. It just seems like it is the right time. So here I am, just a year shy of actually doing it.

Here's the problem - I hate running. It probably stems from always being in the back of the bunch during the 1 mile run tests in school, or perhaps because I'm almost as fast in the water (swimming I love) as I am running between point A and point B. Mr. E is the opposite - he LOVES to run, was a cross country runner and has this annoying ability to not workout for months while I do and still kick my ass at a moment's notice.

This week Mr. E and I started the "couch-to-5K" 9 week program ( It's supposed to get you from not working out at all to being able to complete a 5K in about 9 weeks. Not a bad way to make a slow start. In January a local group has a 10K training program for a race in late March/early April and not long after that the marathon training program starts. We figure we'll work our way up - baby steps right?

As I was on the treadmill on Monday doing my first workout, I realized that this whole process is going to be more than just a physical challenge for me. It's going to be a mental challenge - I'm going to have to find a way to convince myself I can do the things that my workouts are going to require of me. That was never a problem on swim team or softball teams growing up, there was always a coach to keep you on track and challenge you. But when it's me, my iPod and the treadmill, the urge to make things easy is stronger than ever.

So the purpose of this blog is to have a place to express my thoughts and a place to have a record of what I've done and how it's gone, my challenges and to track my process. I'd be surprised if anyone other than myself reads it, but that's ok. This is going to be part of my process.

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