Prologue – Before Training (for the Marathon) Part 1

As a former athlete competing at a high level in sport, many would argue that you are gifted athletically in some realm. I played hockey competitively till I was Seventeen when I walked away from the game because I lost my love and passion for the game. The same I guess you can say happened to me with running.

It was my second year of University when I started to lose interest in running. There were a number of factors. Time. Work. Relationships. Effort. I wouldn’t rediscover that love or passion for almost another twenty years, which brings us to last year. Good friends of ours, Dr. Deb and Dr. Rich Trenholm have competed competitively and successfully in triathlons of a variety of distances for about ten years and it was through their encouragement, along with my wife Ginny that I started to run again. It was a challenge that got me started. “Run a 10K with us” was the challenge. I viewed it at the time as a challenge, but in hindsight and after some reflection, i realized that challenge was a goal, and I am goal driven in my personal and professional life, so it made sense. So, I set my goal and went about training to meet my goal.

I really don’t love training. It is time consuming, inflexible, and haunts you if you don’t keep up. But I love running. So, it was hard to balance the two. The motivation was to meet or better than achieve the goal that I set. So, that is what really got me going.

First I ran a 10K on a very challenging and hilly course on a hot June day in Huntsville. I love hot and humid. I don’t life running in hot and humid. I did well enough that I impressed my wife, who was much more rigorous in her training and yes, I did achieve my goal but I wanted to do better.

That led to more running and more formal races. Ginny and I did a 10K race in Newcastle on Thanksgiving. I tried to be more regular in my training, progressing to interval training and running hills to build leg strength. I set a goal and did more than achieve it. I actually beat my wife, which stung a little bit for her because she always viewed my training as ‘part time’ due to my other commitments in life (work, the band (I play drums), work, family, did I mention work?). We also then did a 10 mile race with our friends and fellow runners Marcus and Meagan Olson in Newmarket. I met my goal (i finished) but struggled with some serious knee pain due to some seriously tight hip flexors. Training was more rigorous and planned. That gave me the encouragement and motivation to know that I can do the marathon distance. My thoughts at the time were, ‘now, if only I can keep up my fitness level when the weather turns cold outside!’ However, that is a story for next time!

Best wishes,

Andy

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