I figured I could operate a treadmill so I went for it, and not knowing any better, I started out going as fast as I could run. 10 minutes later, I was throwing up in a giant garbage can on that same fitness floor.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of heading down to WPOC at The Rotunda to hang with avid runner & DJ Jeff St. Pierre, CCR owner Josh Levinson and BWC and Cancerve founder Laurie Amatucci. I was simply there to coordinate logistics and merely a fly on the wall while the other three chatted Mercy Baltimore Women's Classic 5K for Maryland Today which airs on WPOC, WZFT and WQSR.
I write this blog post having not been able run in over two weeks...
The short answer to the question is to be fit and healthy. However, I have suffered through some low back issues lately, and thus been forced to keep the Brooks in the closet.
The longer version has changed throughout the years but at the end of the day I think of running as a very selfish pursuit. It’s selfish in the sense that I am trying to accomplish something. I am trying to run a certain distance, I am trying to clear my head before or after a long day of work. It can mean so many different things to me, just depending on the day and time, but in the end, it’s all about me! Selfish, but I like to think of it as selfish in a good way.
While my pace and distance logged may have changed since I first started considering myself a "runner" years ago, running has always been a constant for me, a way of pushing thru life’s curveballs.
Upon graduating from college in 2010, a bright-eyed, optimistic post-grad ready to take on my first apartment and my first "real" job, I was also fortunate enough to experience my first real heartache! Fortunate in the sense that, rather than wallowing in self-pity, somehow I decided this setback was the perfect opportunity to put the "1/2 Marathon Training Guide" I'd flipped past in SELF magazine to the test. I signed up for my first half-marathon (the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon) and used training as a distraction to keep me focused on moving upward and onward.
As a Charm City Run Training coach, Charm City has asked me to contribute to their training website blog. So, this is the first of what I hope will be many installments. In my attempt to keep you reading, I think I have to tell you a little bit about myself. Most of this is not an attempt to brag about my running, but it is more an illustration of what training properly can do for you and to illustrate how personal running can and has to be. And, because I think blogging has to be somewhat personal, I will get to how running has changed my life. I have been a long distance runner since about 2005. I got into long distance running by accident, which is to say my wife (girlfriend at the time) invited me for a long run and, like most men, I figured it would be easy, so I went along. A few miles in, I threw up….several times. After several years of running sporadically, I reluctantly agreed to go for a 7-miler with a friend. At the conclusion of this run, I experienced the “runner’s high” for the first time in my life. Within a year of this run, I signed up for and completed my first half marathon and my first marathon. I’ve run races ranging in distance from 5k to 50k (31 miles). I’ve begun and finished five marathons, bettering my time by more than 35 minutes and now have a PR of 2:53:19. Like most runners, I know all of my PR’s…but, let’s face it, marathons are sexy and most people care about marathons, so I will spare you the boredom of my other race times.
The run is very personal. It is one of my best friends or better yet a family member. I rarely share it with anyone else. I was once reading a tri article (something I rarely do) and a professional tri-athlete was describing dreading a run and when he got back home he remembered a run is never a mistake and it always made the day better. Running is selfish because I do it all alone. It brings clarity to the day and makes a great day greater and more importantly a bad day much better. I will do long runs with other people and my summer running is done with my son Ben. That is pretty special. No cell phones. Sometimes we laugh. Mostly we are quiet. No matter what form it takes it is pretty great. I also enjoy the run meeting, not with randoms, but with my guys (my guys are guys and girls). It is a great way to catch up on one or two work things, but mostly catch up with them.