2011

Crossing the finish line of my first race

This was truly the introduction to high level fitness. I have a greyhound like fast metabolism and never really had to train to stay in shape. My only real training back in the day was weight lifting, because my “Butt did not exist” so I wanted to gain some mass. I trained hard lifting weights for about 5 years. Shortly after high school is when it began, I was making some money and decided that a gym membership was pretty cheap. Tall and skinny, I started at about 150 lbs. as a very lean ectomorph with the plan to change towards a mesomorph. Weight lifting was great for my self-esteem as it should be for everyone. I was making gains and really started to like the look of my body. At the peak of my training I was a lean 178 lbs. which was just 2 lbs. short of my goal. Illness seemed to always keep me away from that 180 mark. I would approach it, get sick and shed pounds. It was a very frustrating time.

Life goes on and soon weight lifting was not a priority. I ditched the membership and did almost nothing physical for the next few years. Of course this would have some negative effects. My natural six pack that I had always had, disappeared behind a layer of fat. Worse yet, I saw my weight slowly float up to my goal. Christmas of 2010 would be the heaviest moment of my life…181 pounds of NOT lean mass. I was pretty annoyed at myself for making my goal weight without it being lean muscle mass. So I decided it was time to shed the excess.

2011 would be the start of my weight loss plan, which was really just a side effect of the real goal. Competing with my brothers in various running races.

My training plan was simple, run 5km non stop by race day. Well, that proved harder than I first thought. My first attempt at the full distance put me in at about 36 minutes. I knew I needed to put in some real effort if I wanted to stand a chance against my brothers. I had no access to training equipment, so all my training had to be done outdoors. Unfortunately mother nature decided it was going to be a cold winter. I only logged a hand full of runs before the snow finally melted. Even then, the winter lasted longer than usual and I only managed to find time for 12 runs before race day.

I knew I was in bad shape. Finishing without walking became the goal, and I hoped that I could at least hold pace with my older and slower brother. That turned out to be a big mistake. Holding pace had me panting hard by the turn around point and I had to walk to catch my breathe. I watched him motor away from me and knew I had blown it. Finishing as fast as possible was the new goal. We had talked about an age group podium sweep, and it was possible if we all stayed close together. But today I was the weak link. I finished 4th :

 

25:38 was still a good time, I had cut 10 minutes off my first attempt, but I vowed never to be the weak link again. It was time to step up the training.

The next planned race was 3 months away, so I had plenty of time to try and get into the game. I was riding my bike to work as much as possible and running in the evenings. I was training hard…or at least it felt like I was. Now that I look back, I realize my level of training was quite low.

When race day came around the goal was simple, hold a steady pace, don’t stop. I knew that I could hold pace this time with my oldest brother, so I figured I would leave it for the final 50 meters and sprint in for the win. I was confident that my sprint was faster than his. But as it turned out, I didn’t need it. My brother had slacked off over the summer and ended up falling behind. I made it to the finish line with time to spare over him and a second place finish for my age group. Wow I was also tenth overall.

 

Crossing the line of my second 5km race

I was pretty happy with the results. I figure 4:44 per Km is a decent pace for a rookie with very little training under his belt. This race ended the season, so I began planning for the 2012 season. I knew that I wanted to get more training in over the winter. So the first thing on the list was a bike trainer for Christmas. Second item was a treadmill. Hopefully I can acquire the items in time to make a difference.

End of year totals

  • Bike 1460 km
  • Run ~ 100 km (was not keeping track)