Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What I've Been Up To

So what have I been up to lately? I haven't been blogging but I have been running. Quite a bit.

Here are some of the highlights from the last six weeks (this is just a quick-hit post, I'll come back and post about each in detail separately at some point):

* I ran the LA Marathon. On March 17 I completed my ninth marathon. I finished in 4:44:15. It's not a great time and I faded badly down the stretch but I finished. I think what I will be most proud of will be pacing a first-timer to his first marathon finish and a second-timer to his second-marathon finish. I loved the experience though. I enjoyed LA immensely in 2012 and the experience was the same this year, despite me fading down the stretch.

* On March 30 I ran my first trail half marathon. Oh yeah, this was hard. Super hard. In terms of level of difficulty, none of the other half marathons comes anywhere near how tough this was. The race was small, like 25 runners small, and the course was a four-mile loop which we did three times, then a mile out-and-back to complete the distance. The first loop was tough but it just got progressively more difficult. My legs were dead the rest of the day.

* On Sunday I ran the Run Through Redlands half marathon. I was a little disappointed in my finish time of 2:03. I was gunning for a sub-2 and really wasn't that close to the time. Sigh. Just a few years ago I blazed through the course in a time of 1:56:58. Oh well. There's always next year.

* As I mentioned on Monday, I ran a solo 20-miler. Oh my goodness this was tough. I ran this on April 15 when the horrible events at the Boston Marathon took place. I didn't find out about that until I was done with my run. I was pretty shaken up the rest of the day, because of what happened over there and because of how I felt physically.

* I have the OC Marathon coming up in two weeks. Actually less than that. And actually actually, I'm not sure if I'm running the full. I mean, I registered for the full but I don't know. I will have to seriously think about what my options are for that race. Not to get too much into my next blog post but I have two options - run the full, go through with it, get my 10th marathon medal but prepare myself to run a slower marathon or - drop down to the half, see it not as a setback or an opportunity lost but a chance to test myself at the half marathon distance once more and help me stay mentallly fresh for the San Francisco Marathon. Ugh. Tough choice!

Anyway, that's a small sampling of what has transpired during my quiet period.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Is this thing on?

Is there anyone out there still.

I dropped the ball. I've just been not as motivated to write here, not as motivated to run like I was before if I'm being honest. I don't know what's going on. I mean, I'm not done done done with anything or close to it, but on a scale of 1 to going-through-the-motions, I'm probably at a 7.

So I'm hoping to come out of my funk. I always felt energized to write here, to share my thoughts and goals, my successes and accomplishments. It's noticeable now that I haven't done that. I don't get that rush of excitement when piecing together what I know will be a good blog post. I don't snatch details and store them for recounting them later. Those creative juices aren't flowing.

And that's the case all around. The juices aren't flowing and that spills over into running.

Now, I want to be clear. I still enjoy running. I have an active run streak of 111 days. I've run one marathon and three half marathons this year and my next race is May 5 (half or full I haven't quite decided). I ran 20 miles alone a week ago today and made plans to run with friends next Sunday. I very much am still running and running strong.

But that extra oomph, that part of running that made me salivate, that part has lost a bit of its luster. And I know it's me. 100 percent it's me.

And I think I've done the damage by not having updated my blog. That's the only logical conclusion. It makes sense. I started this blog to chronicle my training for the 2008 Camp Pendleton Mud Run and it evolved into something much more than that. Here, I shared my greatest fears and my triumphant successes. I shared my goals which I accomplished and wrote about my failures which didn't seem too bad once they were out in print... or type... or whatever... I changed a lot from early 2008 to now and all along the way this blog was there to help me note the change.

So I'm going to reinvest in this blog. I have to. I owe it to myself. But more importantly, I owe it to you. I owe it to my readers.

See, I've always believed that I went through my transformation from 300-pounder to marathoner for a reason greater than myself. I'm the ultimate if-I-can-do-it-anyone-can story. I had ZERO motivation to do anything physical and since 2006 all I've done is lose 120 pounds, run 12 half marathons and nine full marathons. It's been hard as hell, depressing at times, massively challenging and difficult but immensely rewarding. What I feel when I finish a race is like a drug and I want to keep feeling that. I never though I'd get to this point, never desired anything near this but here I am.

Let's be real here. If someone with a decent amount of athletic ability (which is more than I possess) and a modicum of desire (more than I had before 2006) sets out to accomplish something whether it's running related or not, imagine the places they can go. I started with nothing and look where I got. If you start with something more, you will go further. And if you doubt yourself, all you have to do is look at me because surely you are more motivated than me, than LB circa 2005 if nothing else.

But because this blog petered out, I stopped providing you a place to look. I took that away from you. And that's not fair.

So I'm back, for you dear reader. Together we'll get to some interesting places here in the coming weeks and months.