Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Few Things About this #CLEMarathon Blogger

2012-01-12 17.33.53Taking a cue from fellow Cleveland Marathon Blogger, Beal, I thought I’d introduce myself. 

My name is Mark and yes, I’m addicted to running.  All you’d have to do is my ask my wife, kids, or coworkers, and they’d tell ya!  I wasn’t always like this… I actually hated running!  Gasp!  Yes, I was one of those disbelievers that running could actually be fun and enjoyable.

First of all, I was born in Cleveland.  I lived there for 5 years until we moved out into the suburbs… North Ridgeville.  I was never really active in high school sports with the exception of bowling.  Then again, there’s not really any running in bowling.  As well, the cardio isn’t popping off the charts with bowling.  After high school, I served 8 years in the Air Force.  Once a year we had to take a fitness test to show how healthy we were or weren’t.  During that test, we had to run a mile and a half.  I thought I was going to die every year!  Did I ever train for it?  Nope and of course, by not training for it, I dreaded running.  I did enjoy racquetball because it just short spurts of running.

Post Air Force, I moved to Dallas, TX, in which I did normal things, but never really went out of my way to exercise.  Fast forward to December of 2007 when my sister Denise came to visit me for the Dallas White Rock Marathon.  The marathon was such an inspiration.  It was awesome to see the excitement of the marathon environment. 

It’s so cool to read old blog posts when I was a non-runner.  It’s fascinating to see the evolution of I cannot to I can! 

Denise was a huge inspiration to me to get me started on running.  At the same time I knew that I’d need to lose weight, but more importantly change my lifestyle to be healthier.  As well the company that I was working at (and still working at) had a Biggest Loser contest.  I won that contest by dropping 25 pounds.  That was a crazy time that I experienced a huge paradigm shift of living healthier. 

Since the healthier lifestyle, I really took up running.  I trained with groups, trained on my own, and then back to training with a group.  I have ran 50+ races.  I love the race environment!  I train for the race environment!  Over the last 3 years, I ran 13 Half Marathons and 6 full Marathons.  The Marathon is by far the most challenging thing that I’ve ever done.  Each time that I run it, it’s brand new!

Out of the 6 marathons, Cleveland has been my most well executed marathon.  I’m so looking forward to a strong repeat experience.

My ultimate goal is to run a Sub 4 Hour Marathon.  I trained really well for the Dallas White Rock Marathon, but the weather did me in.  Yes, I’ll blame the weather.  I honestly pushed my training, but listened to my coaches and didn’t overdo it.

I have a very supportive family.  I’ve been married for 21 years and have 2 awesome teenagers in high school.  I’m blessed to have them in my life!

0053-knock outI enjoy pushing myself to get stronger and faster, but I also enjoy encouraging others to take up running.  One of my greatest joys of running has been to see my son getting the running bug.  We have grown closer in sharing this bond.  As well, he’s learned the value of commitment and determination.  He has only been running about a year and has pretty much past me up.  Here’s a knock out picture from his first Half Marathon where he beat me by 20 seconds.  Being a teenager, he’s not always crazy about the training.  But, again, he’s learning the value of commitment!

I hope this gives a little more insight to this Cleveland Marathon Blogger.  Also, a little more of a difference is that I’m used to running in the opposite extreme weather conditions.  Yes, I’ve run in 90-100+ days… I try not to, but it can be done.  Hydate, hydrate, hydrate!  I’ve run in a 25K race at midnight in the middle of the summer.  You know the race is going to be crazy hot when it’s called El Scorcho!

It does snow a couple of days a year here and I always get out and run in it.  It’s such a novelty for us here in Texas.  Of course, I love getting strange looks when running when it’s snowing.


Cruz said...

Hi Mark!! Good to "hear" from you again. From reading your "running history" I see very similarities between us. Keep up the training. Hopefully we'll get to share a run together one day. Enjoy!!

Elaine Hillis said...

Love reading your posts....keep em coming! Racquetball and bowling, wonderful sports to play. I love em! Looking forward to the next post. :)