Archive for January 23rd, 2013

Still working on it…

This is the evolving story of how an out of shape, NJ born & raised, somewhat normal guy living in Tampa, FL, got off the couch, became a casual runner, and is now preparing for his 4th marathon in just over 2 years. Early in 2010, a good friend asked me if I had any interest in running a marathon in Baltimore. Originally, the idea was crazy to me & kinda still is, “lets run a few hundred miles over 18 weeks to train, then pay money so we can run 26.2 miles for a t-shirt & medal? What?” At this point, I was 230 lbs, did little exercise outside of playing golf almost every weekend & saw no value in walking, jogging, or running, let alone doing it for miles & miles at a time. For some reason, I agreed to the marathon and started training. My first run, I couldn’t go 2 blocks without keeling over and resting, it was a painful wake-up call. However, after a few weeks, I started to feel really good, I had more energy, my pants were getting looser, I was running faster and smoother and I found myself enjoying the 6 a.m. runs through my local park as it was mentally refreshing.

I’d end up dropping 38 lbs & finishing the Baltimore Marathon that October in 5:17, swearing off marathons for the rest of my life immediately after crossing the finish line. The last 9 miles were a nightmare, I didn’t wanna quit during the race, I wanted an ambulance to come get me. But after recovering, I felt unsatisfied with my time and knew I could do better, I had enjoyed the event aspect, the crowds cheering, the satisfaction of crossing the finish line, running alongside so many people with their own story of how they got there, blowing kisses to the lady spectators, it was all so much fun. So I decided to just keep running, it didn’t matter how often, how far, or how fast, just had to keep running.

Now, I don’t have a gps watch, I tend to run in whatever sneakers are on sale, I don’t eat any of the right things, (I LOVE McRibs, pizza, hot dogs & pork roll), I struggle to get out of bed each morning to put on my sneakers, and prioritize too much in front of my running but love when I reach race day, so if any of this sound familiar and you want to get better, this is the spot to join my struggle & get better together. I look forward to sharing my struggles and achievements with you as we all try to get up & go to reach our goals.

-Vinbob

My Journey to the Finish Line

I started running on the high school cross country team, not because I was good or fast, but because my friend convinced me that was how I should spend my evenings and weekends; running. She went on to be the top runner in the state for a number of years, while I was finishing in the bottom 10% of races most of the time.

I started running again around the holidays two years ago to ward off the extra pounds and to clear my head after a long day of studying and working. I found that running gave me another sense of accomplishment, but I never took it further than the local 5K.

That all seemed to change a few weeks ago. I found inspiration in becoming a better me in every aspect of my life. Over the years I have challenged myself mentally through school, I have challenged myself emotionally through relationships, and I have challenged myself spiritually through religion. But what about the physical challenge?

I decided on a half marathon. That seemed to be the next logical step. However, what I have learned is that people think distance runners are crazy. If I am crazy, might as well go all out and be really crazy and run a full marathon. Right after I made that decision, I found the next warmest marathon I could run and set my mind to it: the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.

I have been telling everyone I know. I am so excited! I look forward to running every day and it makes “rest days” tough, I feel like something is missing. I feel like my beloved running shoes get lonely on my rest days. But then again, they will get over it.

For me, the most enjoyable part of marathon training is the confidence I am building in myself every single day. Every run gives me a chance to be a better, faster, more seasoned runner. Every time I hit   the-longest-run-of-my-life distance, I feel that I can do anything. Walk over hot coals? Absolutely, I just ran the longest distance of my life! Swallow glass? Psh, that’s child’s play; I just ran the longest distance of my life! Arms wrestle Chuck Norris? Well, let’s not get carried away…

As a rule for myself for the first marathon of my life, I am not going to stress about time. I am going to cross the finish line, regardless if it’s running or crawling. It will be the longest distance of my life, but it will be run with a smile. And after the race, who knows, maybe I will be juggling swords!

See you at the finish line,

Samantha Van Dehy


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January 2013
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