Lets get down to business.
So why blog at all?
If you know me personally, then you know I spend way too much time on facebook. And if you've known me long enough then you know that I've been on a long journey these past few years and most of it is chronicled in little snippets of one liners and photos on facebook. My journey from overweight slacker, smoker, road dog to just about single digit body fat percentage athlete who also happens to travel a lot was a long one. And I never could have done it without all of the support from my network of friends on facebook who supported me throughout. But facebook limits me to one little sentence updates. And thats not enough for my fast typing long winded self. Hence this blog. I should also credit Nancy Gillooly from the TRI New England Club for giving me the push to start a blog after reading a long winded post of mine on their discussion boards. Thanks Nancy!
That said I think it only makes sense to start this journey with a recap of where I started.
In November of 2008 I weighed 212lbs. I was a 16 year smoker. I was overweight, eating very poorly, and spending way too many late nights on the road at hotel bars drinking beer and enjoying the fried appetizer du jour. Not good.
Heres a Before and After pic for comparisons sake. The after shot was taken at around the completion of the dieting phase.
When the market tanked and the economy took a dive much of work started to cancel. In fact I suddenly found myself with a four month vacation. So I had to make my money stretch and hope that the work would return. So I started looking at what I spent in a day. And the first thing that hit me was $7.00 per day on a pack of cigarettes. That adds up fast. And smoking is stupid. Every smoker knows it. Ok so its time to quit. But if I quit I'll put on another 20lbs on top of already being overweight and hating it. Ok so I need to quit smoking and start dieting. And I should probably stop drinking too. Ok... so off we go.
This bit is going to go fast... as I'll just stick to the highlights....
I started by just walking a friends dog and trying not to think about cigarettes. Then I started dieting as well. Then I bought an excercise bike. Then I joined a gym. Then I started working with a personal trainer. And then before I knew it I had lost 70lbs in six months, felt great and was loving every minute I spent at the gym. Ok... maybe not those minutes where my trainer said lets spend an hour on your core today.
So yeah... goal achieved! I was skinny, I was HEALTHY! and I was making great food choices. I had ENERGY! Those 14 hour workdays wizzed on by without feeling exhausted all day. My balance was amazing and I could easily monkey around lighting trusses in the air with no effort. The benefits were everywhere. But now what?
Time for a new challenge.
So I picked a day at the gym when it was almost empty and timidly stepped on a treadmill. Probably sometime around April of 2009. I tried to run one mile. At a quarter mile in I was sure the distance guage on the treadmill was broken. Surely I must have run a mile by now! I didn't make it. I made about a half mile until I was short of breath and dying... but I did walk that last 1/2 mile before getting off. A few weeks later I was up to two miles and feeling better about it. I told my dad who is a 60 year old marathon runner and triathlete (and quite an inspiration!) and he said great! Lets do a 5K together when you come and visit. So I said SURE! By this point I was up to about 10 miles as my longest run but I stopped the long stuff for a bit and focused on running 5Ks for practice. I went down to New Jersey to see my folks and spent the day before the 5K preparing for it like it was a full marathon. I ate carefully, I rested, I stayed off my feet. My dad found this quite funny. Now I know why!
Next day we head to the race. I was super nervous but excited. Gun goes off and I sped off. I started WAY too far back and had to fight through people for the first 1/2 mile. But once I was out in the open I went for it. I was either going to give it my all, or explode 3/4 of the way there. In the end I ran a 21:17. Which now seems slow to me but at the time I was thrilled. I've since run a 5 mile race in 34:04 with a BIG hill in the middle of it. So at some point I have to get around to slaughtering my best time in the 5K. I think I can now definitley manage a sub 20 minute time. Anyway... point is I had a HUGE grin on my face at the end of that race. And so did my Dad. He was thrilled that I did that with him and that I really trained hard for it. Not to mention he was very proud of me.