So, my first real post will give you all a little overview of how I got started. It has been a little over two years since I started this journey. For all intents and purposes, the journey technically started in 2015. Until June or July of 2015, I had been a smoker for roughly 20 years. It was then that I quit smoking and took up vaping. One of the things that I noticed almost immediately about vaping was that when I had to go without vaping for a while, the cravings were nowhere near as bad as they were with cigarettes. Another horrible addiction that I had was an addiction to Adderall. I have to say that this drug, while initially helpful, nearly ruined my life. I quit taking Adderall in April of 2018 and am glad that I did so. Around this time, I also stopped working myself to death. I was a software developer for a small company, and I would typically be in the office 60-70+ hours per week. I sacrificed so much time with my family that I will never get back. In June of 2018 I started walking around the lake behind the office that I worked in. I had an hour for lunch and would walk about 3 ½ to 4 miles per day, Monday through Friday. On August 17th, 2018, I was finally able to quit vaping. In hindsight, it was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. I quit cold turkey and have not touched a cigarette or vaping device since.
I was dieting and walking a fair amount, but I was not losing weight as fast as I wanted to. I decided in September that I would start running. The first month was not pretty at all. At first, I was only able to run about 100 yards at most and it hurt every step of the way. I would mix spurts of running into my walks hoping that the pain in my legs would go away. My first recorded run on Strava was 3.86 miles at a 12:19 per/mile pace. Even though I could not run a full mile, I registered for the J-Hawk Earlybird Triathlon in Whitewater. I could not swim very well, I could not run a full mile, and about the only thing I could do was ride a bike. I am kind of a jump in with both feet kind of guy.
I thought that since I was doing a triathlon, it would be a good idea to sign up for a 5k. The next race coming up was The North Face Endurance Challenge on September 16th, 2018. I registered for the 5k and kept walking/running on my lunch. I remember the first time I was able to run a full mile without stopping I sent my wife a text message. “I just ran a full mile without stopping!” When it came time for race day, I was able to run the first mile of the 5k but had to run/walk the last 2. My average pace 9:09 and I was extremely happy about that. I immediately registered for another 5k, the Discover Whitewater Series race on September 23rd, 2018. This one I was able to run the entire 5k and finished with an average pace of 8:30. I was hooked and will never forget how crossing the finish line for those first few races felt. At that time, the triathlon was the hardest event I had ever done. I remember finishing the bike with my lungs burning and my legs on fire. Right after I started the run, I passed my wife and daughter and was able to mutter, “I think I’m going to hurl” as I passed them. I finished the triathlon with a time of 1:27:37. My transitions were terrible, and still are, but I have been bitten by the triathlon bug and love doing them. When I first started walking around the lake on my lunch breaks, I weighed about 215 pounds. I have now dropped to about 180. I’m still not that great at sticking to a diet but that’s a work in progress.
While my pace has improved substantially over the past few years, I will never forget my humble beginnings. I have gone from barely being able to run a mile to consistently logging 30-50 miles per week depending on my training schedule. This blog will be an ongoing account of my running endeavors and I will also be throwing in some product reviews for shoes, clothing, and other running and fitness related products. Thanks for reading!