I admitted before that when I first started out running I was self-concious. I wanted to train, I wanted to run a Disney race, I wanted to improve my times. But after signing up for and running my first race (San Francisco Giants 10k), what was next? The next Disney Race I signed up for was the Star Wars 10K but that was 6 months away. How could I keep myself challenged, stay motivated, earn more bling?
Now one thing I learned early on was that the racing addiction and quest for bling can be expensive. I found a ton of races in my area by searching online, and seriously wanted to sign up for every one. The one issue I found is that I work most weekends and of course that's when most of the races are. Ok if that wasn't going to benefit my schedule I would have to find a way to stay motivated but have a goal so shoot for. And that's how I discovered the Virtual Race.
What is a Virtual Race? A virtual race is one that you sign up for online and race on your own terms. You chose the time, location and distance. Once you hit your goal you can submit your times and they send you your bling. Most of the virtual race sites even connect to your fitness tracker letting them know once you've hit your goal. Now most of the sites have no clue when you "start" or "finish" so you have to use the honor system.
You can run virtual races on the treadmill or outside, morning or night, beach or country road, it's your choice! And since the virtual races are not a huge organized event the pricing on them compared to regular races are considerably cheaper. The popularity of virtual racing has exploded in the past few years, mostly because of its flexibility, so the options of cool medals has grown.
Now in all honesty you can make your own medals with cardboard, ribbon and tinfoil at home and create your own crazy races with crazy names, but we chose to break the virtual race rules a little and use them to our training advantage. That way we are earning a medal every month and training and running on our free time. Less stress, less craziness, and certainly cheaper.
We set our own training program up and practiced every time we found an awesome medal. It was a cool way build up endurance. It's also an easy way to practice our hydration and race day nutrition. Basically it allowed us to become better runners.
I never ran cross country, and truth be told in high school hated competition based running sports. I was a geek. Now mind you I always wanted to be in with the cool kids playing the same reindeer games, but growing up in Louisiana I had some coaches that pretty much ruined my love of anything team based. However I am very competitive and even though I got picked last quite a bit I never gave up. I wanted to be a part of something, part of a team and especially part of a winning team. I guess where I'm going with this is that running seemed lonely to me. I mean theres no team celebration. Where is the joyous fun in that? Of course looking back now I realize that the running team is a team, there to support each other from beginning to end of the course and the relay race is a team effort. The fifteen year old me was a little too narrow minded to see the bigger picture.
I'm not even sure what qualifies me to write a running blog. To be honest, with as many exercise blogs that are out there, and as many fitness experts and personal trainers that exist on the internet, my childhood dream of becoming internet fit and famous was over before it started. I'm not in the best shape of my life. I used to be, but not now. But thats the story of everyone. Everyone has or will have their teenage metabolism almost kick in reverse at some point. It's easier to find excuses to not put that foot out the door, to not take the first steps, to not head to the gym, and to snuggle just another hour.
I have my vices. I'm a stress eater. I like my drink. I love churros. Easily put, I enjoy life! I was working out every day. I did have a personal trainer at the gym. I was on my way to that six pack and starting my modeling/acting career again. At some point I got complacent. I got comfortable. I got lazy. The more pounds I added, the more my attitude changed. A whole bunch of could of, would of, should of's. Cue the depression. I had thought it was gone, but I realize I've been living with it for the past few years. It's somehow crawled its way back into my life one pound at a time.
This is hard to admit this, all of it. If you know me you know that I'm always happy. I'm great at facading, putting on a fake face and pretending it doesn't bother me. That its no big deal that my clothes don't fit, or that I run a little slower than I used to, or that my legs hurt after just doing the Cha Cha Slide one time. I mean seriously! OK and while I'm putting it out there, the Adventurers Outpost family just ran the Avengers race 10k and half marathon. Well, for the first time in a long time I hurt after running. I don't know how much I really hurt physically and how much I hurt mentally. It was exhausting. For the week after the race I was asking myself do I stop running? Am I kidding myself, do I just give in? I had to think long and hard about it and had to do it on my own.
My answer....NO! I'm not ready to give up. After all that. After writing some of this down and reading and re-reading it over I've come to a conclusion. I AM qualified to write this. I'm not perfect and will stumble...probably quite a bit, but I'm determined. I want to be there for my wife and son, to be a great example. I want to be there for anyone who is like me. Who has someone with whom they want to be a better person for, whether it's a loved one or themselves. Hopefully through me and my fellow adventurers we can inspire, we can lead, we can give just that one reason to make a difference. Let's all cross our fingers and get ready to jump, and if you need a hand to hold let us know. And yes, this is another Adventure.
Where are we?