I am a formerly fat, hypertensive guy who loved burgers, fries and pizza more than he did his own health, and once ballooned to 261 pounds. One day doctors discovered “industrial strength” high blood pressure in my 250 pound body. Faced for the first time with my own mortality, I decided to start running. I lost a little weight, and ran a marathon in 2009, but my lifestyle of bad food and unhealthy choices remained.
Running the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2009 changed my life. It opened my eyes to what endurance sports could do for me. It showed me that lazy old me could accomplish things I had never allowed myself to consider. It introduced me to new friends. It made me feel like I could accomplish anything.
But I still needed to get control of my nutrition. In July 2009, having made up my mind to finally get control of my health. I weighed 231 then. I weigh 159 now. I have been off blood pressure medicine for three years. I am Vegan, and my running has improved exponentially. My first marathon took 6:10 to complete. In December, 2009, I ran a 5:33. With training and sound nutritional advice, I ran 3:48 in November 2010, 3:40 in January 2011 (dong the Goofy Challenge)!, and my current best time of 3:28 in February of 2011. Between January 2009 and February 2011, I shaved almost 2 hours from my marathon time. Marathons led to Triathlon, and then to Ultra and Trail running. Seeing how far I can take my generally lazy self is a motivation for me.
I am 49 and feel like I’m 18 again. My recovery from workouts is quick. I rarely have sore muscles, even after the most strenuous of exercise. My doctor and friends are taken aback at my transformation. I look younger! In short, I am finally physically, everything I’ve wanted to be. But I am also happier and more positive.
I’ve completed 15 marathons, a Half-Iron distance (70.3) Triathlon, 10 ultramarathons , some stage races, a 46 mile race, and a 100-miler. I am motivated by the desire to push my body to go farther and faster than I could ever have imagined just a few short years ago.
Since 2016, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. To be more precise, I’ve realized that I’ve struggled with this all my life. Work stress, my sons leaving the nest for college, and losing my father contributed to some weight regain, a fall off in my running, a decrease in motivation, and in November 2020, a heart attack.
Facing my mortality once more was a reminder to savor every moment and every mile. I found my love of running once again. I stepped down from a stressful academic department chair position, and I’m in a much better place. I’m determined to finish another 100, qualify for Western States, and run that race one day. I created a phone wallpaper that I see every time I pick up the phone. I will run across the track at Placer High one day.
Savor every day, every moment, every mile. Life is a gift.
I am, quite literally, a fraction of my former self. I have a wonderful family, a crazy dog. This blog chronicles “This Running Life” of mine. Thanks for stopping by.
At the finish of Lake Martin 100 in 2016. I did it.