Off and Running into 2019

With January comes my annual tradition of trying to work myself back into some semblance of shape.  At 48, battling Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA), and giving myself Humira injections every other week, it gets a touch more difficult each year.  But, I will not give up.

My family did their part in inspiring me, as they do each Christmas.  My daughter bought me some training gear and signed me up for the 2019 Monument Avenue 10K (April 13, 2019).
Billed as the "Biggest Block Party"in Richmond it expects to have about 25,000 runners for this, the 20th Anniversary Edition.    The highwater mark was about 35,000 runners.    My daughter also signed me up for the YMCA 10K Training team which will begin on February 2nd and will consist of group runs each Saturday, and individual runs throughout each week up until the week prior to the 10K.   She has done this for me for several years....and yes, each year is like starting over :)

My wife bought me a new pair of #Saucony Pro-Grid Guide 10 running shoes, which are my favorite stability shoe on the market.   She also gave me the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier SmartWatch that I will use to track my progress throughout training.    With Christmas came excitement, inspiration, and motivation.   My plan is to run an easy three times each week up until the start of the 10K training ream, while gradually increasing distance and speed.   Further, I will post a weekly update to hold myself accountable and hopefully provide an outline and inspiration for someone else out there that may be considering giving this sport a go.    

I began my running on 12/31/2018.   I will be an open book and report that on that morning my weight was 208.7 pounds.  I generally fluctuate between 200 and 213 depending on how clean I eat, how much travel I am doing, and how my RA is behaving.    My goal is to try to crack the 200 mark before the start of the training team in February in hopes of taking some of the weight and compression off of my joints.    

My first three runs consisted of:

 Yes, these are slow.   Yes, I am blasphemous in calling these runs...but this is my starting point and I aim to improve each week.    Run 1 was on 12/31 at 7:13 AM for 2.23 miles at 26 mins and 24 seconds.  Run 2 was on 1/2/19 at 6:10 AM for 2.19 miles at 26 mins and 4 seconds.  Finally, run 3 for this week was 2.65 miles at 30 mins and 57 seconds.     Slow, but steady.  My aim is to drop pounds, increase speed and increase mileage up through April.   If I am able to do the 10K (6.2 Miles) while maintaining a pace below 10 mins per mile, I have resolved to then train for and run the half marathon in the fall of this year.     My son joked that I would intentionally sandbag on the day of the 10K to miss my mark.   

Further, I will work to consistently clean up my eating, and continue my practice of mindfulness/meditation throughout the year to see how that impacts this training.  

And with that, We...Are...Off.   Each week I will do a summary of my activity, post my weight and my speed.   Together, we can see how this goes and measure my progress.    If I can answer questions or if you have any advice for me or other readers, please take a moment to drop a comment.    As always, thank you for reading.


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