So I did a thing the other night. I registered for the One America Mini Marathon. My wife is ecstatic. She has run it twice and while I doubt she’d run it again because of some knee issues she’s had, it is something she carries with great pride. She should because to me, running 13.1 is pretty remarkable and like I said, she’s done this twice and I’m just in awe.
For me, this still feels like a stretch but maybe it is the anxiety of it all. It feels huge to me. The last four, going on five years, I’ve run as a part of Runnin’ Not Walken, and the running, at least for me, has been secondary. Running has brought a lot to my doorstep. I have been healthier when I’ve stayed active as I’ve trimmed my weight down, felt better overall, and gotten myself outside which has been great. It has also given me great opportunties to share the crazy Ragnar Relay experience with friends. It really has been something unlike I’ve ever experienced and as long as it continues to be such a great experience and the team is making its mark, I’m good with it. Running has been the focus of the TEAM and all I need to do was be good enough to not throw a wrench in things. This is much different.
My favorite sport has always been baseball and Runnin’ Not Walken has been a lot like baseball to me. It is a team sport where you have your individual moments where the focus is on you but it passes and whether you get a hit or not, it’s not long and someone else is up to bat. A long distance really is really like that. You run your leg of the race and hand off and get to watch and cheer the next guy on for awhile.
So how did I arrive at this? I used to be in the 190 range when I had been more active prior to kids arriving and I hit 220 for the first time in 2011. Nothing was worse than Christmas 2011 when I walked into your In-Law’s house and have your Mother-in-law get that twinkle in her eye and she goes, what do you have under your coat? Is it a gift for me? Folks…she was really excited. I told her I didn’t have anything under it and she kept pressing me on what I was hiding. Finally, I started laughing and opened my coat declaring, “I’m fat!” She looked a bit stunned and we all started laughing. I was laughing too but I knew I was at a spot where something needed to change and I went on and lost about 15 lbs in the New Year.
Since that time, it’s been a yo-yo between 205 and 215. I’ve never seen 220 again, although 215 isn’t far of that. Then all of this Ragnar madness began and I started to routinely see the scale hit 205 and creep under. I started running and kept up with it under the race was over at which my will power because like an bulging dam and it would burst. Every year since 2015, I’ve gotten more and more consistent with my running and then the Ragnar would hit and then I’d quit for 4+ weeks and I’d eat like the world was going to end. I think the stress of training, organizing the team, and fundraising just overtaxed me.
I really and truly want to get better and more consistent so that I can get back to at least 190 and before I left for Ragnar Michigan at the end of September, I was 202. I stepped on the scale 2 days ago and I was 213. It’s not where I wanted to be and I’ve been having these thoughts about running a half marathon anyways before I turn 40. My 38th is in a few days so I figured I’d bump that timeline up a bit.
I’m very much committed to this as I see it as a more active and healthy choice than stuffing my face all winter but here’s the thing, there’s a part of me that’s intimidated like hell by this thing. My longest run ever was a shade over 7.5 which would get me from the start line to somewhere around Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I’d still need to get back!
I have run 4 Ragnars and picked up extra mileage this past time to the point where I ran nearly 20 miles in 33 hours. Some of my 13 different Ragnar legs were in extreme heat and some were in the 40’s with 15 mph winds, like this year. Some were starting my day at 5:30 and others were finishing my second run at 4:30 a.m. the day after we started with just a couple hours of sleep and I have felt great on many of them and lousy on a couple and through all I’ve experienced in all of those different conditions, I feel like I could get back in the van and do it again.
I feel like I’m out of my league on this but I’m going to give it a shot. Anyone else ever feel that way on a big challenge? Anyone else running the Indy Mini?
Check back periodically and I’ll update you all on how I’m doing.