It’s been just over two years since I posted here, and quite a bit has taken place in my life since then. Around the time of that last blog post, I had recently completed my first Ironman in Cozumel, Mexico. In the year that followed, I completed a term as president of the L.A.Leggers, I made significant progress on a book project for the organization I was working for, and I trained for and completed a second Ironman event (this time in Louisville, Kentucky).
Right around the time I did that second Ironman, I had recently started spending time with an awesome woman, Aisha. She called and left me a voicemail the night before the Ironman, and out on the course, whenever my willingness waned, I simply thought of her voice on that message.
A couple months later, we were on the road to becoming parents together. My book project was finished, I was in the process of applying for a full-time teaching gig, and we were trying to figure out how long we would be able to make her one-bedroom condo work for the two of us and the baby on the way. That was December of last year.
Fast forward another year. Baby Eugene is almost 19 weeks old and passed the 19 lb mark sometime last week. Aisha and I have been married since April. I’ve got one semester under my belt as a full-time, tenure-track English professor, and we’ve been living in a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house in Reseda since early November. A reality tv personality is headed to the white house. I’m running 2-3 times a week, sometimes pushing Gene Bean in a running stroller, and I’m signed up to do the LA Marathon again in March 2017.
And I’m blogging again.
Overall, life is good. Stay tuned.
You can watch a video of my limping across the finish line here.
I showed up to Dodger stadium nervous but determined. I didn’t know how my ankle was going to feel once I started going, but I was willing to try it out. For about 14 miles, it was good and so was I. I was on pace for a personal record and beating up the LA course the way I wanted to last year.
But then the adrenaline wore off, and I began feeling the discomfort in my calf. Continue reading
I did it! I made my 1000 miles in 2013 goal, in spite of the late-year bout of plantar fasciitis, which nearly knocked me out of the running. (groan) A few of the miles were on a treadmill, and a few were on an elliptical machine, but every mile counts in my book.
Here are some other accomplishments from the year:
- Ran my first marathon. Then a second in my goal time of under 5 hours.
- Raised over $2000 for Camp Kesem by harassing my facebook friends endlessly.
- Ran my first half marathon. Then a second in my goal time of under 2 hours.
- Bought a condo.
- Was elected to the board of my running club.
- Ran every single day in August, including some Rocky-inspired running on the streets of Philadelphia.
- Went to Europe, crossed the Mediterranean on a ferry (with my passport), and went to Africa.
- Started teaching English at my local community college.
I suppose that’s enough for one year, don’t you?
August was a long month.
And it wasn’t just because I decided, at the suggestion of a running buddy, to run every single day in August.
Or, having announced to the Facebook world that I made a commitment to run every day in August, I was coerced into setting a goal for myself of running 1000 total miles in 2013. (And by coerced, what I mean is that someone made a casual suggestion and I jumped right in…)
No, in August my workdays were growing longer as each day brought us closer to a convention of roughly 20,000 members in Philadelphia, PA. And, back in April or May (before I’d made my first mortgage payment), I’d purchased a ticket from Philly to Spain, where another smaller convention would take place afterward. One of the selling points for that trip was my friend from Spain telling me, “Chris, you can take a nearby ferry from where I live in Spain over to Morocco. You will have a chance to visit Europe and Africa in a single trip!” How could I argue with that?
So in early August, I was preparing for our convention, and preparing for my vacation, and running every single day.
I was certain I had made a mistake by signing up for the OC Marathon.
And I felt that doing so was just the first of a series of bad decisions related to running. And other fitness.
I purchased my OC Marathon registration shortly after my previous blog post (about running the Hollywood Half, joining the Leggers board, and buying a condo), mostly because a few other runners from my pace group said they were going and that I should come along, too. Some small voice in the back of my mind said, “You know, you didn’t really run the LA Marathon, since you walked the last 9 miles of it. Running this one could be a great way to redeem yourself.”
Of course, every single person with whom I’ve discussed my LA Marathon experience has simply looked at me funny when I described my experience in such a way that might suggest any need for redemption. But, you know, they just don’t understand.
Signing up for OC was only the first mistake. Continue reading
I’m officially a race junkie. I actually had to talk myself out of signing up for a half marathon that’s taking place on May 5th because I’m already running a 10k on May 19th. The only other races I’m signed up for after that 10k are both half marathons in 2014, so I can wait until later this year to sign up for something sooner. I may have to work up a running allowance of some type—something like six 10Ks, three half marathons, and one or two marathons per year. We’ll see. (Those numbers are just off the top of my head; you can’t hold me to them.)
The pic here is of me crossing the finish line at the Hollywood Half Marathon, which took place on April 6th. It was a really good race experience for me; I finished in 2:13:08.9, which works out to a pace of about 10 minutes and 10 seconds per mile. I felt strong and energetic nearly all of the way through, with just a minor decline of energy around mile 7 or 8. All in all, it was a far better experience than I had at the LA Marathon.
Just after that race ended, I went on to mark an enormous life milestone: Continue reading