Al is a freelance writer and author of the Wildwood 365 blog. He is based out of Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife, Angie, and seven-year-old son, Lucas. A devoted red meat eater and devourer of all things “sugary,” he openly weeps at the thought of the absence of these pleasures in his life. But, what must be done, must be done…
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I’ve had this date circled on my calendar for some time now.
As of today, there are 100 days standing between us and the Wild Half. It may sound like a lot, but that’s precious little time left to reach some of the personal goals I set to accomplish before taking part in my first marathon of any kind.
Quite honestly, I’m not exactly where I’d like to be with regard to weight, overall fitness level, and… well, lets call it my resolve not to fall back on poor dietary habits.
But, that’s OK, because when I made the decision to sign up for this event back in January, I accepted that this entire process was going to be one big challenge. And as I inch ever closer to the start of a 14-week training program that I’ve mapped out for myself, I know that I’m going to have to push myself; probably harder than I ever have before.
I don’t think I’ll ever be confused for an athlete (unless the “ability” to down Fried Oreos like they’re going out of style can be considered a sport), much less a runner. But, late last year, the stars aligned for me to understand that this was something worth working toward.
After what, thankfully, turned out to be a minor health scare, I realized that I had to start making some serious changes. Often, the hardest part of trying something new is getting started. And it took me a while to adjust to some of the lifestyle changes I deemed necessary.
Heck, I’m still trying to adjust to some of them, with admittedly mixed results.
My interest in participating in the Wild Half began on a lark and became something of a running inside joke between my wife, Angie, and I. Slowly, as I read up on the event, I began to consider the many potential benefits of the experience. We talked about it, and I ultimately decided to go for it and sign up.
That the half-marathon will take place on my 33rd birthday, which I had planned to celebrate in the Wildwoods as it was and that sealed the deal for me.
But, I can’t say that I took on this challenge without hesitation. There are still times I think to myself, “Can I really do this? Am I just going to embarrass myself in public (more than usual!)?”
Hey, there’s only one way to find out, right?
Will I be “in it to win it,” as the expression goes? No, that’s not the goal. My objective is to put my best effort forth, to run the 13.1 mile course and finish with a big smile on my face, knowing that I accomplished something I never previously envisioned doing. For this year, at least, that measure of satisfaction is all I’m gunning for. Anything else will be icing on the… um, er… yeah. Old obsessions die hard.
So, anyway, here we are. Just 100 days out.
My “main” training regimen begins in two days, and I’m actually looking forward to getting started. My “pre” training preparation over the past few months has consisted mostly of morning walks, two-three days of light cardio per week (usually treadmill or stationary bike), and doing my “best” to make better dietary decisions.
I know I have to up my game, especially with regard to the latter. And I will.
Eyes on the prize… and away we go. Runnin’ Wild!