Tuesday, April 14, 2009

So much to do, so little time

Isn't that the truth? Sitting here typing this at the good old age of 42. In many ways, seems like I'm in my early twenties...at least until I go to stand up and the aches/pains set in.

I started this blog to share my stories...the success, the injuries, the trials and tribulations...that I have encountered along the way as I've gone from a back of the pack beginner to a solid mid pack runner who with any luck, will qualify for Boston this year.

Many people ask me why I run marathons or how in the world do I do it. I've gotten that question enough now that I decided to share my story on how I got back into running. Hopefully this will motivate you or someone you know to start running too.

Looking back, I had a long history of being extremely active growing up, but my life became consumed with work when I founded a high tech startup called IP3. At the end of 2007, I reflected on the past year and decided it was time to get back in shape and come hell or high water, I was going to run the Rock N' Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 1, 2008. I did it in 1999 so knew my body could go the distance. I just had to start training and make it happen.

A little background on my recent running experience, I really didn’t do any running in 2007 and could not do any exercise in January 2008 due to sinus surgery. When I did my first training run February 10th, 2008 I weighed in at 205 pounds and about 25% body fat. On that first run, I could only run about a mile before I had to stop and walk. I had pains in my lower legs and feet plus lots of thoughts going through my head about how this was crazy. Good news was I had already committed to running the marathon and knew I had no choice except to figure out how to get my body in shape. A big goal like running a marathon is what I needed to stay focused.

Over the next month I changed many things. For starters, I did some pretty radical changes to my diet like cut out pasta, bread and other processed foods so I could regain control of my insulin level and fuel my body correctly. I also read many books on nutrition and running, which lead me to Omega-3 fish oil, which is now something I take on a regular basis due to how it aides the recovery process and reduces inflammation similar to Advil, but naturally. I spent time with a running coach and a sports medicine doctor to get my running technique perfected and tried out a variety of shoes. I also found a very, very good sports massage therapist who worked magic to fix my aching legs and all the knots in my calf muscles.

The whole process was an amazing experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Each step of the way, I was tweaking things and improving things to run more efficiently, reduce risk of injury, get stronger, run faster, run farther, etc. I had a lot of challenges, but also a lot of victories along the way. It was both amazing and exhilarating to push through mental barriers and physical barriers. Another huge side benefit is that my cholesterol and triglyceride levels dropped like a rock to a point where they are so good that my doctor just about fell out of his chair the last time I was tested saying something like “I can’t believe it. Whatever you are doing, don’t stop”.

Over the past year, my weight has dropped to 180 and my body fat is now about 12%. I’m able to wear clothes that I hadn’t been able to fit in for many years and I just feel so much better. Best of all, I did finish the Rock N' Roll Marathon and did so pain free! Went on to complete the Chicago Marathon in October and set a PR in Phoenix at the Rock N Roll Arizona running 3:52.

I've learned a ton along the way. Many people ask me for advice so figure best next step is start brain dumping into the blog. Hope you like it and please add comments. Thanks and may you too have many more days of happy running!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mike, I am catching up on your blog 'essence',and finding the contents very informative and well thought out.
    It appears you write like you run: focused,intelligent and with a modicum(I've been wanting to use that word :) ) of humor.

    Can't wait to read/comment more.

    Power on!!
    ~David R

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