Meanderings of Z.

Location: United States

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Found a Runner Within

Once again there has been a huge gap in my writing.  I talked about obtaining the rank of Blank Belt back in April of 2011.  Since then I focused on learning how to be an instructor and became a certified instructor in September of 2011.  This past November I saw one of my first white belt students obtain the rank of Black Belt.  What a thrill; even more so than when I achieved it myself.

Back in 2013 I started running seriously again in preparation for testing for 2nd Dan.  The graduation requirements call for several physical challenges in addition to the curriculum.  One of these challenges is the ability to run 2 miles in 20 minutes.  Not a blazing pace, but a challenging one for anyone that doesn't train for it.  I found that I actually enjoyed it this time around and started to run far more than I was required.  Not only in terms of working on my time, but also my overall distance.

During the year I also changed the way I ate.  I focused on high protein combined with reasonable amounts of carbs and healthy fats.  I cut out junk food and empty carbs like chips and snacks, and really watched my sugar intake.  I didn't really drink anything but water so at least I didn't have to wane myself of sodas or other sweetened beverages.  As I ramped up my running and stuck with my new found food consumption I lost about 30 pounds.  My body shape completely changed.  I am in better shape now at 47 than I was when I left college.

By the time 2014 came to a close I had run 6 half marathons and multiple 5K and 10K races in between.  My half marathon time went from 2 hours and 32 minutes for the first race to 1 hour and 48 minutes on the last one.  Each half marathon race resulted in a new Personal Record (PR) throughout the year.

In the mean time, my wife (Trisha) has also started to run and to change the way she eats.  Being able to run together has really proven to be beneficial on many levels outside of simple physical fitness.  It is something we can share, plan and do together when we attend races.  We are awaiting our first Half Marathon together this March at the Biltmore house in Asheville, NC.  We are already talking about our first marathon next January 2016 in Disney World.  Trisha would like to do the 10K and the Marathon during that runDisney weekend, and I am targeting the Dopey challenge which is all four races over the four days (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon).  I am not sure if it is about seeing if I can simply do it, or getting the 6 medals that come with it.

As we continue on this journey I will try to continue to write about how our training and eating continues to evolve to adapt to our goals.