I often joke before the start of a run, that I am probably the biggest person at the starting line. Actually, that’s not really a joke, it’s probably true. I am 6-foot-5, and a shade under 260 pounds and I am a marathoner. In that world, most people who surround me are not even close to 200 pounds. I have at least 100 pounds on 70% of the folks nervously twitching around me. Yet, since 2014, I have been a runner. I have been a long distance runner. Remarkable because while I have always been pretty good at running distances, I didn’t like running and yet, if I don’t run more than four miles, I feel like I didn’t accomplish anything.
In 2014, I ran the annual 10 mile Pear Blossom Run. I signed up in January for the April run, plenty of time to train, and started slowly preparing. I remember stepping on the scale that winter, pre training, and seeing my weight was 296 pounds. My blood pressure was high and in general, I was only moderately healthy. The first time I ran two miles, I felt terrible. I was breathless and achy. I was also slow. I recall some guy passing me and literally disappearing. Not good. I continued to train and continued to push. I remember when I broke 11 minutes on a mile and was excited about that accomplishment. About two weeks before the run, I trained on a treadmill and tweaked my hip. I could barely walk let alone run. I pushed through the pain and ran the Pear Blossom. I finished, but it was terrible. TERRIBLE. I finished in two hours. I couldn’t run for nearly a month after that, yet, I signed up for a half marathon in September that year. I don’t know, I guess I was addicted.
I have completed three marathons, six half marathons and recently saw I have run close to 4,000 miles in three years. I am currently training for a fourth marathon in October. And yes, I will be the largest fellow on the route. But that’s ok, we runners come in all shapes and sizes.
Avenue of the Giants Marathon - This is the one I am currently training for. Originally slated for May 2, COVID-19 pushed it out to the fall. I was trained up for it, but now I will really train up for it over the course of the next four months. I have incorporated biking into my training regime and really have hopes to break 5:20. Of course there are no guarantees that the marathon will even happen, but I will train like it will.