Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Journey So Far: 2011 in Review

I know this is a day late, but I thought I'd post a bit on the last year. Two thousand eleven was host to a lot of changes for me (and Rachel). We bought our first house, got our first dog, and I put away another two semesters in my PhD program at Baylor, where I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to both learn and contribute to the scholarly discussion with the best people imaginable, both personally and professionally. I also started running again.

In June, I weighed about 190 pounds and (as a result) was starting to feel the effects my sedentary lifestyle. That led to my adopting a vegan diet and starting to first consistent physical activity in the last decade. That combo made the pounds fall off like water off a ducks back. (A few months back, I started incorporating some low fat dairy into my diet [full vegan is tough to manage in Waco].)

That was six months ago. Since then I've run 678 miles, lost ~35 pounds, and enjoyed countless smoothies. I've also officially begun training for the Lean Horse Hundred with the ever-present help of my friend and coach, Jason Ballard.

Over the last six months I've been consistently amazed at what the human body can do when put under stress, especially when one gives it the high quality whole food fuel it needs. Running has a been such a blessing to me this past year as life in grad school is particularly full stress and trail running offers a consistent release of pressure that can build and build until you crack.

Since this blog is about a formerly sedentary guy's journey into the utter insanity of ultrarunning, I thought I should end on a note about the enjoyment of running. I was looking back on my training log and was struck at how hellish it was when I began. Now, the fact that I started running in one of, if not the, hottest summers in Texas history definitely contributed to the misery, but—bottom line—coming off of a lifestyle that consisted of sitting at a desk and eating garbage for the past ten years isn't ever going to be pleasant. But... as weeks turned into months, I started to notice that I began to crave the sweltering heat out on the trails, where I could be alone with my thoughts and test my mettle against rugged trails of Cameron Park.

As we close the door on 2011, I can't imagine not trail running. I'm hooked!

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