Sunday, March 28, 2010

Off and Running!

I've finally started running again and I feel great! Well, physically, I feel pretty good, but mentally I feel great, because I love running. And I've missed it for the last fews years.

I started running when I moved to Seattle in 1995 or '96, shortly after I left the Navy and I still think Seattle must be one of the best cities for running. Great running stores like Super Jock n Jill, an excellent regional running mag called Northwest Runner, and beautiful places to run like Green Lake Park.

The Bay Area is a great place for running, too, of course. I just feel sentimental about Seattle. Where else but SF can you go out for a run and see American Bison, a Dutch windmill and a Japanese tea garden all in the same day! I just need to get out there and start exploring.

The last real running I did was the San Francisco Half-Marathon in July of 2005. It was a great run for me. It wasn't a spectacular performance, but I ran most of the 13.1 miles and finished in 2:36:29! It really was a milestone in my life and I fully intended it to be just a step on my way to finishing a marathon...something I've been wanting to do for years. After the half-marathon, I was planning to take a week off to let my legs recover and just never went back to it, at least not with any real dedication. I've had a few starts and stops, but mostly I just stopped and gained 70 pounds.

I've thought a lot about why I quit running and why I let myself go. It's all emotional, of course, and I'm writing about this mostly for the friends and families of runners out there. If you know and care about someone who is a runner, please get out there and support them. Pick a spot on the route if you can and cheer for them, yell their name. It makes a difference. Most importantly, if you can do nothing else, be at the finish line to meet them and celebrate with them. It's important. When I finished the half-marathon, it was just me. I was in the middle of a crowd of people, with my shiny new medal and my legs getting stiffer by the second, and I felt really lonely because nobody was there to meet me and celebrate with me. It's maybe a little unreasonable to expect that anyone would have been there considering that my family lives 2000 miles away. I know Max would have been there if he could have and I didn't really tell many of my friends I was running, but I didn't realize how much I needed to have someone there. Lesson learned: tell everyone and ask them to come out to the race!

So, back to my current running! I just finished my first full week of training and I finished it with a 5K! This past weekend was the Inaugural Oakland Running Festival. I was so excited to see that Oakland was going to have a marathon that I immediately signed up for the 5K (with plans to run the marathon in a year...fingers crossed) and signed up to be a volunteer at the festival and marathon. I finished the 5K in 39:40, not too shabby for a weeks worth of walking and running (mostly walking) and the best part, my next race is almost guaranteed to be a PR!

Speaking of my next race, I'm already registered. I signed Max and myself up for the SF Giants Plate to Plate 5K on June 12th. It finishes at home plate in AT&T Park. If anyone wants to join us, please sign up! Or come out and cheer us on and join us at the after-run tailgate party.

Current weight: 205 lbs
Total lost: 4 lbs
Goal weight: 155 lb