Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Post Race Wrap Up: Neuse River Bridge Run Half Marathon

Following the Half Marathon on Saturday, I have had a lot to the think about.  I am pleased with my race overall, and there isn't much that I would do differently, other than an equipment check.  I am really proud that I followed my training plan and got myself to both the starting line and the finish line on my own.  It was really important to me that I did not enlist any direct assistance from anyone (other that the much appreciated moral support that many of you supplied).  Running in the Half Marathon was something that I wanted to do pretty much on my own, which is why I stop attending group runs and workout classes while I was training.  Good, bad, or ugly, it was going to be on me.  And I think that it all turned out for the good. 

However, notice that I said that I was pleased with my race.  I am not ecstatic or thrilled but pleased.  Since Saturday, I have had to face up to a few things that I have wanted to avoid for sometime now.  My weight is the great struggle of my life.  And, even though I ran an entire Half Marathon at 280+ pounds, I wish that I hadn't.  My time was good, but the punishment that I put my body through was really unnecessary when you think that it could have been reduced had I only lost weight before the race.  The fact that I didn't rests entirely at my feet.  I have made great strides in my exercise and improved the way I eat over the last few years, but I can and must do more.  Diets are not my thing, and I don't think that they work.  Lifestyle changes are much better than diets in my book, and I have been reluctant to committing myself to the type of lifestyle choices that I know are needed.  However, after the half Marathon, I have come to a crossroads: either commit myself to running and make the tough health choices need to support my running or go on the way I am, give up running and take up a sport that has less risk of injury.  These options may seem extreme, but let's face some cold hard facts, running at 6'1" 280 pounds at the end of your 30's is a major injury just waiting to happen.  Besides this is an easy choice when it comes down to it -- running makes me happy.  Weighing as much as I do -- doesn't.  I need to commit myself to eating right and losing weight.

I have no doubt that I could run the Marathon in Miami, and finish it, but the risk of injury is off the chart.  As it stands now, there is about 14 weeks to go before the marathon, and I will lose one week of training due to a wedding that I will be attending in LA come November (Irene, I am heading your way).  I don't like the odds, so I have decided to drop down to the Half Marathon in Miami.  I plan to dedicate myself to both training for the half and losing a substantial amount of weight before I reach the starting line.  These decisions are honestly way over due.  I know that exercise alone is not going to get me to where I want to be, so it is just time to commit myself to the healthy eating habits that are required.  I haven't given up on the idea of running a full marathon.  In fact, I am more committed to it than ever, but when I do run it.   I want to run the hell out of it, but if I ran it now, it would only be about sheer survival.  I want to thrive, not just survive!


  1. Do you follow Muddy Runner? L.B. weighed well over 300 pds and lost a significant amount of weight over the last few years all from lifestyle changes and running. You should hit him up for some advice, tell him Red sent you, I know he'd be happy and who better to consult for advice then someone, a dude even, that has been in your shoes. I have a feeling 2012 is going to be an amazing year for you, even better than 2011 and you've already come a long way this year! Congrats again on a great debut Half, looking forward to seeing you PR the shit out of Miami soon!

  2. Hey Greg, came over here after Morgan shared your blog with me. First off, congratulations on running a half marathon. That's an impressive feat. When I was in my high 200s the last thing on my mind was running any distance.

    As far as committing yourself to weight loss, I've been right there before. I was at 308 in March 06 when I started seeing a trainer, dropped down to 250 pounds by November but stayed there until the next March. I came to point you were at - either I commit myself to losing the rest of the weight on my own (my trainer had switched gyms and sessions ran out) or I put the rest of it back on. It was tough but I recommitted myself and was down to the high 180s by the end of the year. I took up running afterward.

    You're strong enough to run long distances now, so that mental strength and discipline necessary for weight loss is there within you.

    Losing weight is like a long run. It may not seem like you're going to get to your goal in Mile 2 of a 15-miler but if you keep your focus and just keep moving forward you'll get there.

    I look forward to reading and following your blog!

  3. Morgan & L.B., Thank you. It is nice to have people reading that offer solid advice rather than the token "you can do it." Not that, I don't appreciate those comments as well.

    I use to weigh in at 330 back in '03, when I moved to Japan I lost 50 lbs with next to no effort, but when I returned to the States in '06, I was quickly back up to 310. After about three years of sitting 310, I started to workout regularly, and in 2010 things began to click for me, and I created this blog as workout journal (hence the name having nothing to do with running). But, the more I worked out the more I discovered my passion for running. I got down to 270 by just working out and running, but with few changes to my eating habits. And, I got complacent, which is the great pitfall of my life. I know that I need to make choices now if I want to live the life that I dream of living or I'll continue the way I am.

    I started to follow your blog as well L.B. and look forward to reading up on all the things you're doing and have done. I really admire you ability to commit to living healthy!

  4. I'm so glad I was able to bring you two together, I just know it's going to bloom into a beautiful bromance! LOL! :)

    Greg - As I told L.B., hearing "you can do it" from someone like me that's never struggled with weight loss only goes so far for motivation, but connecting with L.B. is def going to help you put things in perspective and keep you motivated. I'm looking forward to following along on this next chapter of your fitness journey! So proud of both of you!!!

  5. In 2006, I was at 300-plus pounds, eating fast food or frozen dinners most every night, drinking soda, drinking beer, zero motivation to do anything. Today I just ran 8 miles for the third consecutive day. It never ceases to amaze me just how much I've changed, just how far I've come. The best thing I ever did for myself was to change my lifestyle, hell, change my thinking. I went from thinking that negatively (I can't do this, I can't do that) to just pushing myself a little harder than yesterday and not really setting any boundaries for myself, not really thinking about anything.

    I'll be writing more weight-loss posts here on my blog. A lot of my readers have been with me for a while so I don't want to bore them to tears about writing about the same thing but at the same time I always get new readers who haven't heard about my journey, so I guess it's just finding a way to engage those who have heard the stories before and getting the info to new readers. Anyway, glad to have you aboard.

    You can do it... oh wait, sorry, lemme try something else... if I can do it - BELIEVE ME - if a guy who had zero motivation to do *anything* can drop 120 pounds and run four marathons, you can achieve your goals. Nothing is impossible.

  6. Wohoo let me know when you all will be here! There's lots going on in Nov around here with all our temperate climate.

    Greg I was also 200lbs and lost 62. Gained a few back, but because I changed my lifestyle Instead if dieting I havent gained it all back. That and trying to be a better runner is what has kept the weight off. So for me one goes with the other. I need to make a better commitment to training but that is a separate issue.

    Only you know when you'll be ready to fully make your Commitment to lifestyle changes. I have no doubt that when you do, you will be unstoppable. You have already made a significant change with your dedication to running.

    I am pretty impatient and had a difficult time understanding that the changes take a long time to stick but one day you'll just comment out of the blue "I can't recall the last time I ate a cinnabon (fill in your personal fave). I used to love those things."

    Again, you killed thus half! Congrats and virtual hi-fives from la la land!

  7. You are a strong runner and have a strong mind. I know that you will do what you set your mind to. I have seen you grow and change in the short time that I've been reading your blog and it's an amazing thing. I know you will run a full someday and you will KILL that half in Miami!