A bunch of folks from my town and the surrounding area run the annual Mount Washington Road Race in June and invited me to participate this year. It is 10K and it brings participants to the top of a mountain. For some reason I agreed. Go team Climb-Axe!
The closest I have ever come to running in a race was when a roommate asked me if I’d like to run a 5K in Portland nearly 10 years back. I agreed but got really drunk the night before the event and when he came to retrieve me before race time, I lied and said I’d sprained my foot while training the day before. I have felt pretty shitty about that ever since, but not enough to actually sign up for and carry through with actually showing up to a race.
After a decade of missing races and lying about sprains—metaphorically speaking—I stopped drinking back in August and my body was like, whoa, this is new, and dropped 30 pounds. Yay! Then I picked half of it back up a couple months down the line. Boo.
Weight isn’t of primary concern for me, but for my body in particular it is a pretty clear indicator of how I am doing regarding my measure of fitness and health. I put on pounds quickly and easily. A lot of people carry weight very well and it does not necessarily correlate to their measure of fitness. I, however, am very much my father’s son. Not long before he passed, the elder Steed was close to 350 pounds, a weight which was part in parcel of his ill health later in life.
So anyway, I started training for this race at the gym the second I entered the participant lottery a month back. I typically run outside and run on hiking trails during the Summer (okay, the hiking thing was new as of last year and introduced into my routine by my wife, but I liked it a lot), but this winter has been brutal and I have been inside for much of it. I began working with free weights and doing situps and that bench press machine because real weights and the early 20-somethings who know how to do all that intimidate me. I started running distances on the treadmill and steadily adding to that routine a rigorous incline.
I began re-focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables and beginning every morning with oatmeal. I have begun to see some pretty substantial changes in my body, which are welcome, and just this morning I downloaded an app that focuses on accounting for nutrition facts, which already has me rethinking some of my approaches to meals.
I have lost 14 pounds, and I am starting to show signs that I am shaping up to boot.
I excited that the weather is getting nicer and so regular outdoor runs will be back on my agenda soon. Out here in the country, there is literally no shoulder on the road during the Winter and in all honesty, I am not yet at a point where I feel devoted to buying a bunch of outdoor gear and freezing in sub-zero temperatures. Beyond that, my wife and I are heading out to Southern California on vacation in the second and third week of April and I am psyched to hike in the blazing hot sun.
IMAGE CREDIT: Bartlett NH dot Net