Hi, my name is Drew. Days after Christmas in 2009 I had a combination of a breakdown and epiphany, where I finally looked at my life and admitted that not only did I hate who I was, but that I didn't think there was much lower I could go. From that moment I have slowly, but steadily been working on defining who it is that I want to be.
This blog is about being honest with myself as I attempt to take an objective look at my life. It chronicles the ups and downs, in an attempt to find the median line of my life and redefine it. All in an effort to invent a newer, happier, and more fulfilled version of myself.
This blog isn't about finding who I'm supposed to be, it is about taking action and making myself into who I want to be. It is about finally finding the gumption to live a purposeful existence, instead of floating through the one that I was given. It is about tearing down the wall of excuses and taking responsibility.
When I began my journey to fitness two years ago, it was out of necessity to change my life. I was at the bottom of what I imagined to be the deepest hole possible and hated myself not only for being fat, lazy and out of shape, but most of all for settling for it. When I began down that road I knew that I had to do something different if I was ever going to find some semblance of happiness.
I knew to do this, I needed start from the ground up, as the base I had built for myself previously was decprit. You can’t take an old abandoned building, that is falling apart and rotting at the core and build a skyscraper from it. That would just ensure that it fall apart at some point. Instead, you tear down the old structure and start from scratch.
Thus was born Inventing A New Me. My attempt to reinvent my life. To find a brand new person that could do the things that the old me could barely even dream of doing. Those things that appeared impossible. At the time I termed it as “trying to live a life a little more extraordinary.” This to me was the best abstraction I could come up with as to why I was doing what I was doing.
On that list I had many points of reinvention. Weight-loss was of course key amongst them, but there were also many other fitness related goals. Chief amongst them was to run a marathon. In fact, most of my fitness goals were directed at this point. This act was to me the ultimate test. The one thing that seemed so ultimately impossible, that if I could do that, I could truly say I had changed. And two weeks ago, I completed that marathon.
Sure, I was slightly disappointed in my overall performance and wish that I had trained properly for the race (something never change it seems). However, in the end, I did complete that goal. I completed the one thing “fat Drew” never could have done. I really cannot truly express how proud I am of this achievement.
Now it is time to move on though. My re-invention has grown from weight-loss, to fitness, to lifestyle and perhaps one day to my professional life. In the beginning this journey was largely about learning to embrace change. To be a force of change. To accept that I had a role to play in my own life. That I had a say in who and what I was to become. Most of all, that if I truly wanted something, that no one else was ever going to make them happen for me. That I have to be the one to reach out and make it reality.
I truly believe that every good story has an end to complete its continuity. Not only that, but that each ending leads to another new beginning. Inventing A New Me represents perhaps the most important thing I have ever done in my life, but it no longer represents my journey going forward. I’ve invented the new person that I intended to. I have built that base that I was so afraid I would never have and now it is time to reach for the stars.
Going forward I am going to allow this blog to fade into the Internet archives. Perhaps the journey I had and the lessons I learned can be helpful to another lost soul in the future. For me, I’ll be continuing my journey in a new place, Running 2 EPOC.
Feel free to follow along with me in my new adventures, where I’ll explore the journey–and strategies I learn along the way–as I keep training for the next big thing.
I came to Arkansas with a little trepidation. The race itself doesn’t really make me nervous, as at this point, I’ve learn that the Half-Marathon is nothing to fear. The truth is, it has really been months since I’ve been participating in the Tumblr community and here I was, going to a meetup half a country away. Honestly, had the hotel not been bought and paid for months ago (not refundable), I very well may have never got on that plane Thursday morning.
However, I sucked it up and flew anyway.
So far it has been a great experience. I’ve met several new people that have been absolutely a blast to hang out with. It is always great to hear similar stories from people from all around. Some of the stories are even scarily similar.
Tomorrow we all embark on a half-marathon together. No longer just blogging about our individual races from disparate places on the map, but instead coming together and running and cheering each other on. A few have run several halves, others have done one or two and for some it is their first. It is going to be great to be able to share the experience of everyone reaching for their own separate goals, whether it be distance or time. The shared sense of achievement is going to be awesome.
Personally, I’m hoping to reach the 2:15 half-marathon point. Based on my performance at the Detroit marathon a couple weeks ago, I have no doubt I’ll be able to do it (if I can pace myself). If I can do this, then I’ll be well on my way to my January goal of running a 2-hour half-marathon.
No matter your goals for tomorrow, I hope everyone has a great time. Enjoying the experience is really what this is all about.
Was adequate in the bacon front. My waitress dropped one strip of my bacon on the floor and brought me an entire second order to make up for it. This was indeed acceptable reciprocation for her transgression (okay, this was awesome). The “side salad” was nothing but diced iceberg lettuce with radishes and carrots. This was not acceptable.
Lucky for her the omelet was good. That and it was cheap!
And I have to be up in three hours to head to Newark Airport. The Soaring Wings Half Marathon is On the other side o a very sleep deprived flight.
This is going to be an interesting weekend. Not sure what I’m going to do with myself in Conway, Arkansas, but I’ll figure something out.
On a different note, today is my one-year anniversary of living in New York. What better way to celebrate than by fleeing the state? Actually, celebrations will occur on Sunday in the form of pizza and bacon-baked goods from baconery.com
Also, I have an announcement coming after the race, on either Saturday or Sunday.
Note to self. Next time don’t run the first half of a marathon for a record half marathon time. It only makes the next 13.1 miles impossibly hard. I hit the wall and almost shattered against it at mile 15. My calves burned so badly I could barely walk, but walk I did. In fact, having run the first half in almost record time, I turned it around and walked the second half in a crushingly defeating time. I just didn’t have it in me.
I blame this on the fact that I was naive enough to believe that not only did I not need to train properly to run a marathon, but that trying to keep up with the 8:55 pace group in the beginning was not only a good thing, but was also going to lead to a 4-4:20 marathon. The fact is, what it really led to was a 5:35 marathon. How green I was.
The reality sunk in around mile 20 that there was no way I was going to make my original goal of a faster than 5 hour marathon and any effort I made to do so was increasing the chances that I would burn out and not be able to continue. So I decided to stop focusing on time and just focus on finishing. And guess what? It worked.
Sure, I walked for many miles and ran for very little, but I made it. In fact, because I rested myself for a few miles at the end, I was able to push myself a little harder, the further along I got. By mile 24 I started running again, albeit slow, but running nonetheless. When I hit mile 26 I turned a corner (literally and figuratively) and saw the finish line just 0.2 miles away.
And I sprinted. Not my fastest sprint ever, but pretty good for post 26-miles.
And I finished strong.
Somewhere between 15 and 25 (actually, for most of that time) I was convinced that I would NEVER run farther than a half marathon ever again. That the hell just was not worth it. Something about running across that finish line though.
Over the next few minutes as I walked with my medal around my neck, it occurred to me that the problem wasn’t the race. My problem was that I didn’t train. Even though I had done 22 miles, that was the only time I really went much beyond 13.1 miles. I didn’t know how to pace myself. And thus I ran too fast in the beginning. Between this and my legs just not being conditioned well enough, my first marathon was not the marathon I wanted it to be.
But I finished. And that is enough for me.
Given my neglect to train properly, I actually did fairly well and I’m happy to say that I am now a marathoner. I also have plan forming for my next steps.
No more long runs this year. If it is greater than 10-miles, I’m not doing it. I need to focus on intervals and pacing for a little while.
I need to train properly for the Manhattan Half-Marathon that is coming early next year. My goal is to train my way to a sub 2-hour half. Honestly, I was strong today in the first 13.1. In fact, it struck me that I can actually pretty easily run that distance now, but I just need to train myself to be able to run it faster.
No more marathons till at least the DC marathon in March. My goal is to start with half-marathon training and transition that into full-marathon training.
My goal is to legitimately be close to running that 4:15 marathon next spring. If not at DC in March, then in Kalamazoo in May.
I’m so happy to have completed my first real goal (3 years later). I’m even happier that I honestly feel close to 90% physically. No crashing and minimal residual pain (nothing more than a tough bootcamp might give me). I’ve come so far just in the last few months, but I still have so far to go.
One of the biggest lessons I need to learn from this is to recognize that training is important. Sure I finished the marathon this time, but next time, I want to finish it knowing that I did everything I could to make it as successful a run as possible.