It is Sunday January 15th, and I have finally finished my first run of the year. Why the 2 week wait? A crooked person would claim that it was because I didn’t want to go to the gym with all the New Year Resolution people using it. However, I use the gym at my apartment and therefore it was unlikely to be busy. In reality, it is just plain old laziness that meant I hadn’t ran before now in 2017.

I wasn’t looking forward to this one, as I feared all the work I had done getting fitter last year was wasted over the last few months. I had entered a 15k race in December, but sickness in the weeks leading up to it meant that I didn’t think I was ready to run that far and therefore stayed at home. Well maybe I stayed at home…..

Something else that you should know about me, and you may have guessed already, I enjoy beer. Beer is great, and Untappd is my favourite app to use. I enjoy not only the taste of beer, but just the fact that in New York you have such a diverse selection of beers to try that you can always find a beer you haven’t had and give it a taste, or many. Obviously beer is something that is an enemy of being fit due to the calories you consume. You also have to add in the fact a new brewery opened in Rahway next to the train station (Wet Ticket Brewing) and my beer drinking arm was the only thing exercised over the last 4 weeks.

Another piece of information for you is that I work for a Swiss company where one of the advantages is that I get more holidays than many in America (don’t hate me for that please). This led to almost two weeks of sitting at home watching TV, eating more than I usually do. Taken together with my beer drinking, I probably put a fair bit of weight on. A trouser button popping amount in fact (although at least it was when at home that the button did not do an Hodor like job and failed, going flying across the room).

Anyway, enough of the waffling (I warned you). The gym as I expected was empty, and I did 2.5 miles on the treadmill just to get back into the swing of things. Surprisingly, It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It certainly gives me some hope that it won’t be a complete disaster come November. Now to figure out the best training schedule to use and stick to it. I’m going to run a few races before the marathon so I’ll use those to help get in marathon running shape.

The 2.5 miles I did today were certainly far better than the last “first training session” I had. Instead of 4 weeks of unhealthy living, back in 2015 I had gone since 2007 without really doing any form of exercise. I registered for the Philadelphia Union 5k walk/run and started to prepare. It was tough – and I couldn’t go more than half a mile on the treadmill before having to walk, and it was getting close to the race (oops, preparation….). However, race day came, and surprisingly in December in Chester PA it was a nice day for it. They had everyone line up in their approximate time and I thought I’ll stick back with the rest of those that won’t be fast. That way I could take it easy.

That sounded like a great plan, and I started of at a nice jog. However, the first part of the race was to go around the Philadelphia Union’s stadium. Unfortunately, instead of going next to the stadium you had to go around a path a little further away. When the leaders found out, they had to double back (including professional soccer player Sebastien Toux, a guy who can run non stop for 90 minutes). Guess who was just getting to that point when they had doubled back? Yup, you guessed right, I was there.  I then spent the rest of that first mile running with the fastest folks, and did it in just under 8 minutes, which is close to sprinting for a guy as slow as I am. To say the rest of the race I suffered is an understatement. However, I finished in around 34 minutes and my road to the marathon had started.

So what is the morale of today’s blog post? There’s probably a few.

  1. Even unhealthy people can get into running. All it takes is a little effort, and maybe the right amount of shame/guilt.
  2. If you are running a race, make sure that you know where you are running, and then don’t get stuck running with people who are way to fast.
  3. Don’t put starting to run off, it may not be as bad as you think. It may certainly save a trouser button from popping off!!!

Thanks, and hopefully you at least got a giggle out of this one.

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