Tag Archives: Running

Who Made Who?

“Video games she play me
Face it on the level but it take you every time on a one on one
Feel it runnin’ down your spine
Nothin’ gonna save your one last dime
’cause it own you
Through and through”

In 1986, Stephen King adapted his short story, Trucks, into a B grade movie called Maximum Overdrive. It only rated 2 1/2 out of 5 star and it was one of the 7,000 movies Emilio Estevez starred in during the great 80’s.  Although it didn’t get great ratings, I loved it.  SPOILER ALERT:  How cool would it be to fight all our motorized and electric appliances that had been possessed by aliens?  It would make the zombie apocalypse look like a day at the spa.  What was even better than the movie was the hard rockin’ sound of AC/DC belting out a killer soundtrack.  Ahhh…the ’80s!  (I do NOT miss them…maybe the hair…)

IMDB labels the movie as American action-disaster-horror-science fiction film.  Note the word “FICTION”

“The data bank know my number
Says I gotta pay
’cause I made the grade last year
Feel it when I turn the screw
Kick you round the world
There ain’t a thing that it can’t do
Do to you, yeah”

I was at lunch yesterday with my step-son (after church boys day out), and was in the middle of sending a text to my daughter when our food arrived.  I said “just a sec” and kept on pecking away.  He cleared his throat, once, twice, then asked me politely to look at him.  He was waiting to say the blessing.  WOW…did I feel like a horses behind!  So I put my phone on airplane mode (easier that cycling off and on), and we prayed.  I spent the rest of lunch fully engaged with him and we laughed and cut up.  All my kids are AWESOME!

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As we left the restaurant, I really looked around.  It amazed me at the number of people with their heads down, completely absorbed in their smart phones.  Entire families were heads down stumbling through the shopping plaza.  

“Who made who, who made you
Who made who
Ain’t nobody told you
Who made who, who made you
If you made them and they made you
Who pick up the bill and who made who
Who made who
Who turned the screw
Yeah”

 

It’s not fiction, people.  Technology now OWNS us.  We really have built our own “prisons of the mind”.  Technology is a fabulous thing that was suppose to make our lives better. (I’m still waiting on the hover car).  Instead we’ve become a slave to convenience.  I’m the first one to admit I’m guilty of this.  Saturday night, I’m watching a movie with my wife, and I keep refreshing ESPN.com on my phone to get the latest score.  I “sacrificed” football to watch a movie with her, but did I really sacrifice?  

I’m carrying my phone in my hand 18 hours a day to make sure I don’t miss an email from my boss.  I can’t even have lunch with a 10 year old, uninterrupted by the call of instant access to everyone and EVERYTHING!

The question is, what do we do about it?

“Satellite send me picture
Get it in the eye
Take it to the wire
Spinnin’ like a dynamo
Feel it goin’ round and round
Runnin’ outta chips
You got no line in an eight bit town
So don’t look down, no”

It’s easy to say, just unplug!  It’s like telling an overweight person, just eat less, or an alcoholic, don’t drink any more.  It’s not simple.  The demon was insidious, slowly creeping on us over the last few years.  Invasion of the Body Snatchers has NOTHING on iOS!   If I even forget my phone, even for a quick run to the store to get gas for the mower, I get twitchy and start feeling phantom vibrations on my hip.  When I do a training run, I do it with my phone in my hand.  It’s flat out an addiction.  

“Who made who, who made you
Who made who
Ain’t nobody told you
Who made who, who made you
If you made them and they made you
Who pick up the bill and who made who
Ain’t nobody told you
Who made who
Who made you
Who made who
Who made who
Yeah
Nobody told you”

Getting emails 24/7 was suppose to HELP us, not dominate us.   And it’s getting worse.  Now we have smart glasses and smart watches.  Pretty soon I’ll be getting a pair of smart underwear with 25 distinctive notification sounds.  

My generation remembers a life without “smart” technology.  I got my first computer as a senior in high school…TRASH 80.  (who remembers that one?).  But my kids have never known a life without being connected to the information grid.  They’ve never touched an encyclopedia.  

But I have hope.

I asked my lunch partner yesterday, who has more than his share of gadgets, how he is able to avoid the temptation of his games while we are out.

He said he loves spending time with me more than playing Minecraft.  Ouch!

I think I’ll just take a(nother) lesson from a 10 year old.  

 

*Lyrics from AC/DC “Who Made Who” – Writer(s): Brian Johnson, Malcolm Mitchell Young, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Angus Mckinnon Young

Copyright: J Albert And Son Pty Ltd.

 

 

 

House Rules

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One of the hardest parts of parenting is being consistent.  After a tough day at work, one might find themselves either too exhausted to battle wills with or very short with a child.   I sat down early one Saturday morning and wrote out a list of House Rules that apply to everyone in the household, and made a copy for everyone and placed a copy on the fridge for everyone’s viewing pleasure.  I’ve had to add some addenda over time.

House-of-Holmes Rules

  1. Every person in the house will show respect to every other person in the house.  We take turns.  We are courteous.  We say please, excuse me, and thank you.
  2. Every person in the house will stand up and greet visitors to our home.  Hugs not required to be given to strangers (ADDENDUM –  or the UPS man.)
  3. No running in the house unless it is on fire or there is a need for a tourniquet.  (ADDENDUM – SPEED WALKING IS THE SAME AS RUNNING) (ADDENDUM – SKIPPING IS THE SAME AS RUNNING IN THE HOUSE)
  4. No more animals.  (ADDENDUM – Yes, a hamster counts as an animal) (ADDENDUM – I mean it!)
  5. Dirty dishes belong in the dishwasher (ADDENDUM – if the dishes in the dish washer are clean, please don’t put your dirty dish in.  Empty the dishwasher first).
  6. If you are going to be gone for more than one night, make your bed.
  7. Dirty clothes left in the bathroom will be donated to Goodwill.  (ADDENDUM – No, I will not replace your missing basketball shorts).
  8. Honesty is the ONLY policy.  Consequences for violating this rule triple that of anything else.  Once trust is lost, it’s hard to find.
  9. Indoor voices are for indoors.  Outdoor voices are for outdoors.  (ADDENDUM – use a headset when using any device that makes noise) (ADDENDUM – all noise making toys will be sent to the grandparent’s home that purchased them)
  10. You have no right to privacy when you live in this house or you are supported by my paycheck.  you will be given privacy out of courtesy in many cases, but never believe it is a right. I am ALWAYS watching you.
  11. Homework before TV (ADDENDUM – homework before everything)
  12. Kitchen closes at 9 PM (ADDENDUM – does not apply when having overnight guests)
  13. No negotiating on the rules after one has been broken.  If you want to talk about one, talk about it beforehand and never when there’s emotion involved.
  14. Do something nice whenever possible.
  15. Everyone in the house goes to church.
  16. You are required to laugh, love, hug, & communicate.

After implementing these, life in the house became much less stressful and I highly recommend parents (and children) come up with their own list of house expectations.

Be awesome!

Pushing Up Daisies

My childhood heroes were my paternal grandparents, Noble and Estelle Holmes.

Noble was born in 1911.  He was forced to quit school in the third grade to help support the family.  Can you imagine an 8 year old working in a saw mill?  I can’t fathom it, but that’s exactly what he had to do as the oldest of what would eventually be 8 children.  After various industrial jobs, he injured his back 1973 and was eliminated from the workforce.  He passed away at the age of 91 from complication of pneumonia in 2003, a few days before his 92nd birthday.

Estelle was born in 1919.  Finishing high school, her work life would be spent working in yarn mills that were, at one time, so prevalent in our hometown.  In October of 1998, she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  I watched one of my heroes suffer with grace and dignity, not once complaining, not once showing the pain.  She passed away in April the following year at the age of 79.

The both were my shelter, my “rocks”, and my escape from a home filled with violence and constant turmoil.

My love of cooking came from spending time with my grandmother on Sunday mornings before church, preparing the family meal.  I’m sure I was quite the annoyance, trying to help, but in the end, creating more work for her.  She was patient with me.  As I’ve gotten older, I find myself with much a much deeper well of patience and I believe that time spent with her is the source.

I inherited my grandfather’s sense of humor. He was always looking for a way to aggravate (in a good way) my grandmother and, as those of you who know me personally; I find myself doing that to my wife.  He also taught me how to fish, garden, train a dog, and the importance of waking up early.

If they could see me now, they’d tell me they were proud of me.  Knowing the conditions they grew up in almost makes me feel guilty for living a (slightly) above-middle-class lifestyle.  But they would be proud knowing they had a huge influence on me, preventing me from letting the circumstances in my home not become an excuse for drugs, alcohol, and/or criminal behavior.

One other thing they’d tell me would be to slow down.  My life goes 150 MPH some days with work, coaching soccer, grass cutting, clothes folding, cooking, cleaning, reading, writing, running, gardening, the list goes on.   Their meaning would be “edit your life.”  Spend more time with your family in the moment, and less time worrying about tomorrow.  Do what your heart tells you to do, not what your calendar does.  Love more.  Laugh more. Dream more.

They’d tell me that time is short and in a blink of an eye we find ourselves pushing up daises.

Eliminate the noise.  Focus on what matters.

Facing Your Hills

In middle school, we had field day once a year, usually in May, when students and teachers alike had pretty much wrapped the pretense of real work for the school year.  When my eighth grade year rolled around, I was deep in puberty.  My body was awkward and didn’t always respond the way I wanted to.  Luckily, that was wrapping up toward the end of the year.  When field day finally got here, I had mastered the use of my longer arms and legs.  We did the normal decathalon(ish) things we had never tried before…shot put…javelin (not the best of ideas).  At the end of the day, they grouped the boys together in pods for racing heats, 1/4 mile (1 lap) each.  They took the top boy, regardless of grade, from each heat, and moved him to the next round.  With over 1000 boys in my middle school, there were quite a few rounds.  I easily won my first two heats, but struggled with less than a 1 second win in the third.

In the final heat, to determine the winner, I found myself as the only white kid in the pack.  I got some ribbing by a couple of the other runners, but we had all grown up together, so it was all good natured.  We lined up and Coach Morgan blew his whistle and off we went.  Michael J. burst off the line and was 25 yards ahead of everyone before we hit the first turn.  So at this point, it was a race to 2nd.  Carl and I ran neck and neck through the final turn and he pulled a step ahead.  There was a well of strength I didn’t know existed, and I tapped into it and passed the finish line a fraction of a second before him.  Coach Morgan declared it a 0.1 second difference between us, but I think it was closer.   I was the 2nd fastest kid in my middle school.  Woohoo!  (I’m sure I’m the ONLY person that still remembers that)

Fast forward 32 years.  I’m 290, 75 pounds overweight, or more depending on which chart you use.  I started learning to run again a few months ago.  I fought multiple injuries because of my weight and non-use of any muscles not required for general living.  I was within a day of hanging up my shoes and going back to the couch, when I read Ben Dempsey’s story.  It inspired me to push through the frustration and pain.

I had registered for a 5K back in July when I started running and before all the injuries.  Saturday was the KALB Duck and Run 5K in Athens, Alabama, the first of my career.   The race was aptly named because it was POURING rain.  I run in Vibram Five Finger Bikila’s so I didn’t have to worry about soggy socks or blisters, thankfully.

I drove up feeling somewhat lost.  I had intentionally asked my wife not to go because I was afraid I wouldn’t make it and I didn’t want her to be there if I failed.  I walked to the pavilion where several people were already gathered.  Everyone was doing these strange moves.  I thought I had walked into a free style yoga class for a minute.  Apparently, I never learned how to stretch properly because these folks were in the most contorted positions I had ever seen.  I wasn’t aware a leg could maneuver behind someone’s head while standing on their tip toes.

The second thing I noticed right away was everyone was extremely thin, anorexic almost.  This tall guy walked by and I’m thinking one of my thighs is bigger than his waist.  Somebody get this dude a milkshake.

I felt very out of place.  What was I doing here?  Really, who did I think I was?  I’m at least 50 pounds heavier than the 2nd largest guy.  At 45 years old, I’m too old to start something new.  I tried to tune out the voices that were starting to amp up my fear.

Because of the rain, I decided to run in my Columbia rain jacket, more to protect my phone and wireless headset from getting wet.  I always run listening to something upbeat and didn’t want to change that during my first run.  Time was creeping closer and I zipped up my jacket.  The director made the announcements and herded everyone to the start line.

Everyone packed in relatively tight and the director “quacked” his toy duck (sounds kind of dirty doesn’t it?) and everyone took off…in a big hurry.  Where’s the fire?  What’s the rush?   The space in front of me cleared and I took off.  Pace pace… what’s my pace?  Because of the rain, I didn’t have my phone in my hand where I use an app to track my pace, distance, calories burned, etc.   I let the crowd rush by and found something that felt somewhat comfortable.

I reached in my pocket and started my music and tried to settle in.  The first turn was coming up and I glanced into the window of a parked car and luckily saw there were still people behind me.  Not that I planned on winning, but I just didn’t want to be last.  I passed someone walking…whew…good sign.  There were police at each turn in the race and I wondered if I cut any corners would I be shot in the back?  Crazy things go through your mind too, right?

About a minute after the turn a volunteer at the cross street keeping traffic blocked started clapping each time someone ran past.  I hope there’s a special place in Heaven for that lady because she has no clue what that small gesture meant to me because even though I had only gone half a mile, I was starting to feel the first of many walls.

I completed 95% of my training and running on a track around the soccer fields in the community I live…a FLAT track.  I had not prepared for the upcoming small hill and suddenly a little voice started whispering to me…”You’re not ready for this.”  I started up the hill, shortening my already short stride, something that I had read in a book.  I’m quite sure I looked ridiculous, but I didn’t get up at 4:45 AM and drive more than an hour to walk the race.  I pushed up the hill.  The next turn was at the top where a police officer stood, arms crossed.  I kept looking at him to give me some encouragement.  I just needed a little smile…SOMETHING.  I might as well have been looking at his car.  Nothing…he never met my gaze.

The music I normally let fuel my enthusiasm and energize my run was nothing but background noise.  My self-talk was like walking into a football stadium and trying to isolate individual conversations.  Where was my focus?

As I was coming down the hill, I crossed the one mile mark.  Several people passed me around this time because I refused to open up going down. I had heard that a lot of injuries happen on downhills.  As inexperienced as I am, someone could tell me most running injuries occur when putting on running shoes and I probably would believe it.

Things leveled out for the next portion of the run and I noticed the heat. Where was it coming from?    It wasn’t hot outside, but I was burning up.  Oh yes…I have my jacket zipped all the way up.  As I pulled the zipper down, vaporized sweat burst out, temporarily blinding me, and frizzing my hair.  I had been a moving sauna and didn’t know it.  My shirt was completely soaked.  The sudden coolness, however, gave me a (VERY) small burst of energy.

As I passed the two mile mark I found myself facing yet another hill.  I was able to catch up to a child, about 6 or 7 years old.  I couldn’t just pass him without offering him some encouragement.  I pulled out my headset and as I pulled even, I told him “Great job big man!”  I think there was a gasp between each word and it probably sounded like “Gra…GASP…ja…GASP…bi…GASP….ma…GASP!”  He looked over and said “I haven’t stopped.  Well, I did stop for a drink, but that’s all.  My legs feel heavy.  Do your legs feel heavy?”

I smiled and kept going.  That voice was back, whispering…”your legs feel heavy, don’t they?”

I came into the town square where a police officer immediately averted my gaze.  Dang it! Were they told it was poor etiquette to cheer?  I needed something, anything to keep me going.   I was fading quickly after that last hill.

After the square, thankfully, there was a nice downhill portion of about 300 yards.  I thought to myself…ok…I got this.  I saw the same clapping lady from the beginning of the race again and she was smiling big.  I read her lips…I think she said… “You can do this.”  I love that lady.

Then I turned left.  There is was.  The longest, steepest hill I had ever seen.  I almost stopped right there.  More voices joined the chorus… ”You didn’t train for hills”  “You can’t do this fat boy”  “Give it up old man”.  I heard recently if we had coffee with someone that talked to us, like we talk to ourselves, we’d get up and walk out.

Things became very surreal.  I can’t ever remember being this tired in my life.  The previous hills had taken their toll.  I kept moving, but took a moment to shut my eyes and clear the noise.  I pulled out my ear-buds.  When I opened my eyes, I glanced down at my feet and kept my focus right there.  Nowhere else.  I leaned into the hill.

I was only living in the moment and for the moment.  Not this hill.  Not this race.  Just this step.  Just this step.  Just this step.  Just this step.

In my head, I heard my late mom saying…”You can be anything.”  I heard my wife saying “I’m so proud of you” I heard my supporting friends scattered all over the country “You are AWESOME!” Those voices became louder and louder until I couldn’t hear the other ones that were trying to fuel fear.  Each voice gave me the strength for another step.

I crested the hill (felt like a MOUNTAIN) and staggered past the 3 mile mark.  I never looked back up until I crossed the line.  I glanced up at the clock and saw the time.  It was about a minute longer than my practice runs on a flat track.  I was in no way disappointed.

There were no ribbons or medals for the fattest guy running, nor was there any recognition for this being my first 5K.  I posted a post-race photo on Facebook and I got something much better than any award…awesome words of encouragement from my friends.  I wasn’t last.  My only regret was that I didn’t turn around and cheer for the 8 people that finished after me.  Next time.

By the way, I signed up for a 10K that night.  I can’t wait.

Go face your hills.

It Pays to Be Stubborn (Sometimes)

I’m stubborn.  Not about a lot of things, actually, very few things.  I compromise daily with my wife, 75% of the time yielding to what she wants instead of what I might want, if they happen to be different (she usually folds on what movie I want to see).  Stubbornness comes in handy when you are working toward a major goal.  I watched my ten year old step-son save up almost $1000 over a 6 month period of time to buy a touch screen laptop.  He was always doing chores for his grandparents, asked everyone for cash for Christmas and his birthday, delaying the instant gratification that the normal pile of loot would bring.  He went almost 7 months without spending a penny on anything to get what he wanted.  That is #awesomeness!

Just a little about me to preface the rest of this post.  At 45 years of age, and ~75 pounds overweight, I’m NOT the guy that’s suppose to take up running.  I’ve spent most of my adult life carrying around 50-100 pounds of extra fat, making every excuse in the book not to exercise.  “I’ll watch my eating first, THEN, I’ll start an exercise program” was my standard reply.  And, sure enough, I’d lose 25 pounds monitoring my intake, but I never took that next step.

In June of this year, my step-son had a soccer camp each evening at the local fields.  The field has a track around it, and on the first night, my wife started walking with one of the other moms.  I felt a little left out, so I walked a pretty fast lap to try and catch up.  Oh my gosh!  I had never felt the power of shin splints before.  I couldn’t even walk a single lap at a quick pace.  I shuffled the rest of the lap, feeling slightly embarrassed when a 70+ year old woman eased by me, asking if I needed help.  

That’s the day the change happened.  Not in my body, but in my mind.

The rest of the week, while soccer camp was going on, I would vary my pace and form, and I thought the shin splints were over as long as I went slow.  Oh, you innocent little boy!  

On the June 18th, the week following the camp, I decided I was going to tough it out and just run.  How hard can it be, right?  I’m seeing people almost as big as I am on the track running lap after lap.  My wife and I started out the first lap with a walk.  When we hit the starting line, we took off at a very slow pace.  At the 1/8th mile mark, I felt and heard a pop in my right calf and although I didn’t go down, I knew I was hurt.  I hobbled to the edge of the track and plopped down.  I started rubbing the area, but it was too sensitive to apply much pressure.  My wife helped me to the vehicle and I took a handful of Aleve (2) and put an ice pack on it.  

For the next 3 days, I kept ice on it around the clock.  My wife kept her walking/running up at my insistence.  On the 4th day after the accident, I began walking again…albeit VERY gingerly.  

It was at this point in time that I decided to give myself some encouragement.  I set a goal for myself by registering for a 5K in September and another in December.  I wasn’t going to quit.

A week later I was down again, this time because of extreme shin splints.  

I tried walking in my tennis shoes, my Crocks, a new pair of running shoes…I went to a running store in the city where I work and they analyzed my gait in slow motion and recommended yet another pair of shoes.  My shins AGONIZED me whenever I took more than a few steps at a fast pace.  

In frustration, I tossed off my shoes and tried walking barefoot.  What was this?  No pain?  You’re kidding me?  I began walking barefoot.  First a mile every other night, then two.  One night I looked a the bottom of my feet.  It looked like I had been walking on fire and glass mixed together.  To top it off, I had a blood blister about 3 inches long on my right sole. Something had to give.

I had toyed with a pair of Vibram Five Fingers several years ago as a novelty more than anything.  They rubbed my feet in an odd spot and I eventually gave them to my 16 year old son.  He loved them and ran in them during football conditioning.  

The selection of Five Fingers has really exploded and there are many more designs and styles than when I had looked before.  I tried on several other shoes, but kept coming back to the Vibrams.  They made my feet feel like they were singing! After I made the mistake of sharing a photo on Facebook of my new found treasures, I was promptly asked to turn in my man-card.  I took a lot of ribbing, but it was a small price to pay.

I began to run/walk a few more yards each time I went out, running for 20 seconds, walking for 20 seconds, and growing those numbers.  I was making slow steady progress.  Eventually, the doctor’s appointment I had set for my accident rolled around, and I was told I had ruptured a muscle in my calf that I can’t pronounce, much less spell.  And since I had already started walking/running again, it wasn’t a career ending injury.

The next evening, July 18th, the day after I turned 45, I started another run, and on the 2nd lap, SNAP!  I injured the OTHER calf in the exact spot.  You’ve GOT to be kidding me!!!  I hobbled over to my wife where she was talking to some friends and gruffly said you’ve got to get me home.

I took a full 2 weeks off running because this one felt much more serious.  I did some walking, but with very small steps.  The entire time all this is going on, I’m watching my wife progress with jealous pride.  I was very proud of how she was progressing, but felt sorry for myself at the same time because as her pace increased, I was stuck hobbling around.  

It never occurred to me that a 45 year old, obese man shouldn’t take up running.  My stubbornness had kicked in and I refused to quit.  Massaging my legs before each visit to the track seemed to let me go a little further each time.  We started going nightly instead of every other night.  I watched my fast walking time splits get better and better. 

A week ago, I started trying to run again.  On Sunday, I was able to run a complete lap around the track before I started walking.  Monday I pushed it up to a lap plus a quarter…Tuesday, a lap and a half.    I was drenched in sweat, gasping for air after those small runs.

Then yesterday, September 3rd rolled around.  I only slept 3 hours on Tuesday night, so I was really tired yesterday.  Several issues at work left me feeling drained.  I went to my in-laws for dinner, where I not only ate “non-clean” but I also ate too much.  When we got home and started getting our running clothes on, I told my wife I wasn’t expecting much because of all the above listed reasons.  She promptly told me to stop complaining, it wasn’t allowed.  She was right.

When we got to the fields, I spoke to a few people and made my way to the track.  I physically and mentally felt rough.  My only goal was to run 2 laps before I started walking.  I rearranged my play list to make sure I had the right music at the front to carry me through those two laps, started my RunKeeper App, and took off.  After 25 steps or so, I knew I wasn’t going to make it 2 laps.  Eating so close to run time was going to kill me.  I told myself that I was at least going to make it one lap.  

I made my way around and when I crossed the one lap mark, my inner voice told me not to wimp out, because my wife was running too and I didn’t want her to see me fade.  So I pressed forward.  

I travel on the outer lip of the track to get the most distance out of each lap.  It’s a mental trick, but it works best for me.  Unfortunately, it seemed like EVERYONE using the track was running in lane 7, meaning I was having to constantly go “excuse me” or “coming around”.  

I managed to get through the first lap without passing out, however the bloated feeling was taking it’s toll on me.  I kept running.  Slow pace.  Focused on the music.  I noticed I was passing the 2 lap mark and I asked myself if I could make it one more lap.  Boom.  Lap 3 was finished.

I made a new mental goal.  I was going to run 5 laps.  If I could do 3 then I could do 5.  I reset my music to start back over because I needed to hear those first songs again.  My wife passed me on the left and I gave her a little nod to let her know I was OK.  

Wait a minute… I lost count.  Was that 4 or 5 laps I just finished?  I’ll just think that it’s 4 and that way, if it were 5, I’ve got an extra one under my belt.  

I had a stretch with no other bodies on the track and while maintaining my snail’s pace, looked at my RunKeeper App.  WHAT THE CRAP?  I’d already gone 2.2 miles.  I wasn’t keeping up with the laps.  I was just running.  

New goal.  Run 5K.  3.1 Miles.  If I had come that far, I couldn’t stop.  Oh there’s someone I know on the track that look like they are going to speak to me.  I look down and keep going (sorry about that!!!).  I can’t stop.  If I do, I’ll never start back.  My wife is walking off the track to go sit down.  I gasp out to her that I haven’t stopped yet.  

I cross the 3 mile barrier.  I thought to myself, I’m actually going to make it.  That last 0.1 miles, my feet like they had concrete blocks tied to them.  I glanced at RunKeeper and it said 3.11 miles.  I stopped and thought I was going to pass out.  My head was very light, and my legs felt like Jello.  I managed to get to where my wife was sitting and I asked to borrow her chair.

I did a screen shot of my stats and posted on Facebook and the support was overwhelming.  I don’t think I’ve ever gotten as many likes on a post before.  That meant almost as much to me as actually accomplishing something I didn’t know if I would ever be able to do.

My first “OFFICIAL 5K” is 17 days from now, and I know I can do it.  Over the next 17 days, I’ll focus on shaving a minute or so off my time.  I have no illusions of winning or placing in this race, or any race in the future.

It doesn’t matter.  

I’ve already won.

Be awesome!

Chris