For the first 38 and a half years of my life, I never ever thought I would be one of those people you see out there running for fun. For most of my adult life I've been overweight and almost never did any kind of exercise. I participated in one sport-bowling. Granted, I was pretty good at it, carrying a 196 average at my highest point, but still--bowling is not really a sport you need to be in shape for (for the most part). Then Hurricane Wilma came through South Florida, destroyed the bowling alley my league was at and I just stopped even doing that. I did eventually bowl again (2008-2009 season)...but wasn't really any good compared to before (average in the 160s which for me was frustrating after how well I used to do). During that time I started a lifestyle change using SparkPeople.com and began my weight loss journey. I started walking and eventually I was walking almost every day, gradually adding more and more miles. Then I heard about the Couch to 5K program and everything changed.
When I first heard about C25K I thought, hey, I could do that! Training for a 5K sounded like a great goal to shoot for and I knew that running would burn more calories than walking so I tried it. While I never made it past week 2 (week 3 just kicked my butt to the nth degree at the time), I started doing a 4 minute walk/1 minute run consistently. Set my sights on my first 5K (at Disney during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend) and had a successful outing which inspired me to keep it up. While at that event, seeing all the participants from the actual half marathon with their medals made me think, "Wow, I really would love one of those...I should try a half marathon!" And so the quest for the Disney Half Marathon for January 2010 began. I followed the walk/run plan in Marathoning for Mortals and with the support of all my new friends on the Running of the Ears forum, finished my first half marathon within the time requirements Disney set forth (my time was 3:22:13...slow, yes but hey, I finished and did it in the cold, snow and sleet---in Florida!).
Well, by then I was receiving emails from active.com about upcoming events in my area and had started looking at local running sites to see what other events I could find...and happened upon the A1A half marathon in Fort Lauderdale. That was last weekend and although I had a "wardrobe malfunction" that resulting in a nasty chafing issue that forced me to walk most of the last four miles, I still finished 2 minutes faster than Disney. And I discovered that I really like the half marathon distance.
That brings me to yesterday. When I realized, hey...if I do another half marathon by the first week of April, I would qualify to join the Half Fanatics. And so here I am, browsing the local race listings, searching for another half marathon. And to top it off, I have set a goal of the Disney FULL marathon for January 2011. 26.2 miles. All at one time. Yeah, this running thing sure is addicting. But I tell ya, it's the best addiction one could ever have.