I started running a long time ago. The first run I logged into Nike Run Club was in August of 2006. I think I started running a year or two before that.
The reason that I started running was that I was fat. Seriously. Looking back at the photos, it looks like I ate one of my kids. I weighed roughly 60lbs more than I do now. I think I used to wear size 38 or 40 jeans (loose fit).
I started by walking. That worked for a while, and then I decided that I wanted to run. I had never really run before this. But I decided that it was something I wanted to do. So one Saturday morning, I went to a local park (with a circular trail) and I ran one lap, and then walked a bit. Then I did it again. I think I did it three or four times before calling it a day.
Since that day, I have run miles and miles and miles. In Nike Run Club, I’ve logged over a thousand miles. I’ve also logged hundreds of miles in RunKeeper and hundreds of miles on my Apple Watch. This doesn’t include the miles and miles I’ve run without any sort of tracker.
I’ve run in countless 5k events. I used to sign up for a lot of these each year. My brother and I used to run these together all the time. At one point, I did well enough to finish in the top 5 (or 10) of my age group.
Then I started running in half-marathons. I think I ended up running in 3 or 4. I still have the medals for these in the basement somewhere. The best of these that I ran was under 2 hours for a half marathon. This was probably at my peak running. I loved running during this time and loved competing in half marathons.
Somewhere along the line, I got it in my head that I wanted to complete a full marathon. So my brother and I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon and started the training. I ran almost every day. It got to the point that if I was scheduled to run for less than 6 miles on a given day, it just wouldn’t feel worth it.
Finally, race day came and I felt great through about 13.1 miles. The halfway point was also the endpoint for the half marathon (duh). When I got there, I almost decided to end it there. But I continued.
We finished the race, I had to walk more than I wanted. I also finished slower than I wanted. I hated myself for the last 3 or 4 miles. But I finished, that’s the important point.
Life after the marathon
It’s funny. I loved running before the marathon. Since the marathon, I don’t really want to run to train for anything anymore.
I still run. Usually once or twice a week. I have a day where I’ll run for 10 minutes to finish my workout and another where the entire workout is a run. I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to, but it gives me time to listen to a book or catch up on podcasts.
I also run on vacation or while traveling. Running is an easy exercise to plan out. I don’t need to find a gym, or bring equipment, just a pair of running sneakers.
I have zero interest in ever attempting another (full) marathon again. A half-marathon was the sweet spot for me. There’s a part of me that wants to run another half-marathon, but I’m not sure if I have the conviction to see that through.