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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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.  

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