In running terms I was born in the summer of 2002. My roommate and a friend of mine had been going for runs for a couple of months. Each time they’d goad me on to join them, I’d sit on the couch with the T.V. on with Dove bar in hand. Mike and Adnan finally got the better of me one day, much to their surprise and off we went. It was a 2 mile run I think, and my only surprise was I didn’t feel like I was going to die after the effort. My friends rightly thought that would be the end of it, so did I. My history of sticking with physical activity till that point was pathetic.
After this 2 mile run I must have lost my mind but I actually kept running. I decided to drive down to town lake and run. At this point I lived up off Wells Branch so this wasn’t a short drive but for three days a week for the next two weeks I drove down and ran around the 3 mile loop. Again, I didn’t die. That was the measure of my success. I shared this wonderful news with friends at work and heard the following from Carolyn, “Stephanie and I are going to train for a marathon do you want to run with us?”. Not know what the hell a marathon is I said “Sure, I’ll train with you, we’ll see what happens”. Oh to be young and naive again.
The three of us decided to try out a training group, Mixon Henry I think. We got there and it was all these fast looking people running 10 or 13 miles. Remember at this point I’ve run 3 miles at most, ever in my life, and very recently. This run was for us to see if we liked the group, it ended up being a 7 mile run for us through Scenic. I had no idea what I was doing. We get done with the run, Carolyn looks me up and down and informs me I need to get some better clothes (not cotton) and shoes (where my toes aren’t trying to pop out of the front). A trip to Academy was made. We didn’t quite mesh with this group so the three of us decided to find a program online (Hal Higdon) and worked through the beginner program. I remember during those days I drank a lot of gatorade and my recovery food was a big ass serving of Jamba Juice … sugar and more sugar. It’s a wonder I made it through my first marathon.
There was much running done on town lake, round and round we’d go. I think we usually ran 9 minute paces and I’d feel good towards the end. There was one run where it was pouring rain, I had a top on that weight 3 pounds that once it got soaked was closer to 7, it was 70 degrees so I don’t know what I was thinking. It was the longest run, close to 18 I think and we ran from town lake close to 183 along Shoal Creek and back.
The three of us decided to run the Chicago marathon. My first marathon, my first race. We were going to run together but around mile 3 we got split up, I was on the left side, Carolyn and Stephanie on the right. Stephanie tripped at this point and when I made it back to the right hand side I never found them. I kept going, didn’t know anything about taking Gus but managed to finish right under 4 hours. It was kind of shocking going from not running a mile to a marathon in 5 months.
At the finish we were supposed to meet at the “V”. I of course logically assumed it’s where the road forks into a “V”, what the hell is the runners meeting area. So here I am at the V, climbing on top of the statues to find them but nobody is around. I make my way to a cab and back to the hotel. Carolyn and Stephanie had a good laugh at my expense as I described my 20 minutes of waiting and searching at the “V”, asking the police man about the “V” and if I was at the right spot.
After the marathon I didn’t run for … well that was October 2002, the 3M marathon was January 2003. So for three months I didn’t run and then decided to run the 3M marathon. I was extremely sore after that stupid act, took another week off and then got back into running regularly. That is pretty much it for my first year running, expect a post on my career between my first and second running birthday soon.
0 to 12 Months PRs
- Marathon – 3:57:07 – Chicago Marathon
- 1/2 Marathon – 1:49:11 – 3M Half Marathon
0 to 12 Months Lessons Learned
- Cotton isn’t the best thing for running. Dri fit and moisture wicking material is totally worth the money.
- Don’t go cold turkey on exercise, it’s painful to get back into the grove.