Down By the River – My Journey to the Gate River Run – Week 5

I turned 36 yesterday.  I also woke up with a painfully sore throat and severe congestion.  I dragged myself out of the bed and spent a wonderful day with my wife, my daughters, my mom, and my nephew (who also shares the same birthday – Happy Birthday, Mike!).  After a pleasant day and a filling dinner at the Cracker Barrel, I finally stepped on the treadmill at 9:07 PM and ran for 2.5 hard fought miles.  If anyone out there has ever run with a sore throat and a head cold, you know what I’m talking about.  Each labored breath in the frigid air of my garage felt like needles jabbing me in my chest and head.  But, you know what?  I did it and feel good that I did.  If I want to complete my journey to the River Run, I have to run on a consistent schedule.   I’m not saying that you should run if you have a fever or if you are feeling week.  Just don’t let the little things hold you back.  Even if you don’t run your scheduled distance that day, it’s much better than doing nothing at all.

Running Log

December 28, 2009 – Ran 2.5 miles

January 2, 2010 – Ran 2.29 miles

Down By the River – My Journey to the Gate River Run – Week 4

Baby, it’s cold outside

On Sunday I ran outside for the first time.  No not for the first time in my life, just the first time since I started training for the River Run.  What’s even more amazing –well at least to me it is– I ran for a new personal record distance of 4 miles.  It’s weird, but the run was harder and easier than I though it would be.  Easier because I ran the 4 miles without discomfort.  Harder because after running on a treadmill with easy to select speed, I found myself running much faster than I should have for the first 3/4 mile.  Once I figured out my comfortable pace, the rest was academic.  That is if you consider running outside into a stiff breeze on a morning in the mid 40’s as academic.  Doesn’t matter though, I’m proud of everything I have accomplished thus far.  I set a goal and I have been consistent in my progress.  This is a big step for me when it comes to exercise.

Running Log

December 20 – Ran 4 miles

December 23 – Ran 2.5 miles

December 25 -Ran 3 miles – I’m really proud of this one.  Who runs on Christmas Day?

Down By the River – My Journey to the Gate River Run – Week 3

Personal Best

Today I set a personal record. During today’s running session as I prepare for the Gate River Run 15K, I ran for a record time of 42:22. Yes, I know what you’re saying, in the annals of the Gate River Run 42:22 is a pretty sacred number. But for me it’s a lot more personal. Today I set two records: one for duration and the other for distance. I ran non-stop for forty-two minutes and twenty-two seconds for a distance of 3.2 miles.

What I’ve learned since I started running with an actual purpose, is that you have to set goals that are realistic and attainable for yourself. Now I know that I am not a professional runner, and I only hope to begin a lifestyle change that will keep me healthy for years to come. This is important to me because no matter how long it takes me to finish the Gate River Run; I know that it will be personal record. Not only will I have run in an actually race, I will have run for a further distance and for a longer duration then I ever have in my life. I know that a personal best it just that; personal.

Running Log

  1. Decemember 13 – Ran 3.2 Miles
  2. December 15 – Ran 1.8 Miles
  3. Decemember 17 – Ran 2.5 Miles

Down By the River – My Journey to the Gate River Run – Week 2

Here I am in my second week of preparing for the race and I feel good.  The hardest part–so far–is actually making the time to run.  Once I start running, it seems easy.  Of course the longest time I have run is for 34 minutes straight and the longest distance has been 2.2 miles.  But, they say that every journey starts with a single step, so I can take heart in the fact that I’ve taken a lot of little steps.

Before I started writing this entry for week number 2, I was geeking out over the neat web capable features built into my Polar (r) heart monitor  (model F6).  After working out, I run a small application on my computer, press send on my Polar watch, hold it up to my microphone, and voila! — my workout has now uploaded to my personal trainer account.  For even more geekery (my blog, my word) I found a 10 K running 10 week running program that I can follow.  Although I’m sure that my buddy 8-Mile can come with something specifically tailored to my finishing the 15 K Gate River Run.

Running Journal – Week 2

  1. December 8, 2009 – Ran 2 miles while listening to Natalie Imbruglia Smart DJ mix on my Zune 120

Down By the River – My Journey to the Gate River Run

I was sitting with a good friend a couple of weekends ago watching football and throwing back a couple of brews, when I came to a life changing decision: I am going to get into running shape over the next four months so that I can start and finish the Gate River Run ®! Yeah, I know. I must be crazy. Here I am at 35 years old (36 on December 28th), 5 feet 8 inches (5’9″ on my driver’s license or if I grow out my afro), and somewhere between 195 and 205 pounds (you can decide for yourself whether I am in between or somewhere near one of the ends). Other than playing Flag Football every winter in a 30 and over recreational league, I haven’t participated in any regular exercise regiment in almost 10 years.

So I guess it begs the question, why am I doing this? I can answer this in three simple words: vanity, sanity, health.

  1. Vanity – This one’s easy. My daughters (7 and 4) called me fat. Not phat in the hip-hop vernacular. Just plain FAT.
    Now I know that kids can tease and can be cruel as a normal course of their daily routine, but that’s usually with other kids. And unless your kid is a bully, they don’t mean anything by it. No, my girls were speaking the unedited, insensitive truth of children. Let’s face it; kids call it like they see it. I know my kids see other dads outside running, or exercising and playing sports on TV. Plain and simple I want my girls to look at their dad and not see some old fat dude


  2. Sanity – Work and life are stressful enough. The economy has been in the tank for the past couple of years and is only now starting to slowing climb out of it. Exercise is a proven stress relief and the only thing it really costs is time.


  1. Health – 10 years ago I weighed 170 pounds. That means I have been gaining and average of 3.5 pounds per year. And that is no bueno. There is a history of heart disease in my family. Both my paternal grandfather and aunt died of heart attacks in their mid 40’s. That’s only about 10 years from now and it really does have me terrified. If this adventure starts me down the path of consistent exercise leading to good health, then my greatest years of my life are still ahead.


Below is my running journal thus far:

Running Journal

    November 30, 2009

  1. Rode my bike 3 miles (apprx 1.5 each way) to the fitness center.
  2. Ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill

   December 2, 2009

  1. Ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill at 1.5 incine while listening to Trey Songz album Ready 


December 4, 2009

  1.              Ran for 31.23 minutes on the treadmill for a distance of 2.4 miles        

So there you have it. This is part one of what I envision to be a weekly journal leading up to running the Gate River Run on March 13, 2010. I look forward to sharing my story along the way. Here’s to sanity, vanity, and health.