Monday, April 12, 2010

New Year's resolutions to triathlete junkie...

So, when we last talked, I was gaining momentum on my New Year's resolutions from 2009. Part of the resolution by the way, was not just to make an effort with exercise, but to also cut down/quit drinking. I didn't drink much, but with a sedentary lifestyle a couple of glasses a wine a couple of nights a week were keeping the pounds on. Around March I was up to just under 25 miles a week when I discovered on my iPod Touch tried to sync up with a Nike+ pedometer sensor I had in my shoes from a Christmas present a couple of years before. When I figured out how to get it to work, I found new enthusiasm for running since I could run with my music (more podcasts frankly) and measure quite accurately what I was doing. Around this time, Kathy and I started going to a gym she had used previously for personal training 2x week.

Well, the snowball started to gain both momentum and volume. By July I was probably down about 20 pounds from my New Years weight and doing about 100 miles/month running. I was starting to get a little stale though and I was looking for something, perhaps a race to get me motivated toward a goal. I thought about the Marathon, but frankly, after doing a marathon 13 years earlier, I wasn't that keen on doing another one. Don't get me wrong, it's a great experience but my personality is such that I take the training VERY seriously. We'd just found out K was pregnant (due in December) so I didn't know how my training would be affected by this.

As an aside, a Marathon has special significance for me since my Father who died of cancer was an avid marathoner. He came to marathons the year he turned 50 and saw his pot belly as something alien to him. He took a training plan out of Runner's World magazine and started following it. What I didn't realize (until I recently discussed it with my Sister) is that he rarely complied with the plan more than about 75% of the proscribed mileage. He did do 5 marathons (4 of them NYC) always battling to beat 4 hours. He did it once in 3:57. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I think he was gearing up for another effort when he was diagnosed with his brain cancer in May, 93. He died in March 94. I regretted not having run one with him. When I ran my first marathon in Chicago in 1996, I did it as testimonial to my Dad. I got a surprising 3:48. My Dad is buried in the suburbs of Chicago. I took an extra finisher's medal and laid it on my dad's gravestone. A memorable moment in my life.

So, one weekend in mid-July, I'm debating what race or objective to have when our neighbor rushes over and says the registration for the Houston Marathon has just opened up and the slots are going like hot cakes. She was going to run the half, and her husband who pretty much runs something every year was going to run the full race. Kathy gets caught up with the excitement and looks at me and encourages me to do it. Well, if my pregnant wife is encouraging me to do this, this is about as good as it gets from the support perspective. I tried to warn her it would be a LOT of mileage, but she was keen, even knowing that it could become a pain.

It became a pain, but more on that next time.

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