I USED TO BE REAL FAT ROAD RUNNER
I started running in 2002. A co-worker of mine bet me that I couldn't finish a half marathon. At the time I was a pack or more a day smoker and I weighed around 240 pounds. I completed my first half marathon (what is now known as the Chicago Half Marathon) and quickly caught the running bug. From 2002 to 2010 I ran many 5K's, 10K's, half and full marathons. I was always at the back of the pack. I ran with Fleet Feet Chicago and CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) as a "Clysdale." I even got a chance to participate on the Nike Marathon Team - Southside v. Northside - which took me to many interesting events. Our team even threw out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game.
I ran a lot. I trained a lot. But I STILL ate and smoked a lot. And I was still really fat. Eventually balooning up to 260 pounds.
You can run a lot and be fat. You do a lot of "Carbo-loading" and you eat WAY too many gells and power bars. And after a long run you deserve to treat yourself, right? I particularly remember my training partner and I doing a 20 mile run and then immediately going to Wendy's to try to replace the calories we burned. With junk food of course.
I enjoyed my time as a fat road runner. I met a lot of great people. Fleet Feet Chicago, Nike and CARA helped me a lot. Most of the people seemed to encourage me because it was nice just to see me out there trying. I did become more "fit." I ran 12 marathons, one 50k and many, many smaller races.
Eventually I started to do less running because I wasn't getting better or having that much fun anymore. I ddn't like looking at my watch. I didn't like feeling like I wasn't as important as the guys in the front. I liked being slow....but I didn't like being thought of as slow. I learned a lot in those years. I am grateful to all those that helped me learn about running and life aong the way.