In the last post, I told you I am committing to running the Bix7 this year. Back in 2006, I ran Dam to Dam in the Des Moines metro. I think it was around my birthday in 2005 when I started running, just for the heck of it. A couple of road races in 2005, and I was hooked. A guy I went to church with was training for Dam to Dam in Des Moines, a 20k road race, and I said, "I'm in."
To that point, I had only run a couple of 5k races. Dam to Dam would 4 times the distance. (Math, right!) I started getting ready by running as far as I could given the time I had. At some point, I crossed the 5 mile mark. Then, it was the 7 mile mark...then 10 miles. I don't remember when it happened, but I just kept running and running and running. The next thing I know, I was at 15 miles 2 or 3 times a week. The freedom was amazing, and when you hear about endorphins, they aren't lying! I had turned into a running machine. Not fast, mind you, but I could just keep going and going.
I started looking at what I was putting into my body and decided to start using food as fuel and not as a reward. The old saying is, "garbage in, garbage out," so I started improving my selection of food and, more importantly, the quantities I ate. I tell this story on the air about the old days, when I was still in my 20s. In the wintertime, the local McDonalds' promotion was a buy one Big Mac and get one at the price of the temperature at noon the previous day. I would drive from McD's to McD's and consume 6 Macs for lunch. Not a good lifestyle, right? I knew lean protein and healthy, non-processed carbs had to become my friend, so I incorporated them into my diet, replacing most all of the junkI had been eating, The effect it had on my running was amazing.
Soon, I was running between 15 and 20 miles, 2-3 times a week with few negative effects. I had never taken water along on my runs because it was so cumbersome. And, I hated stopping for water, so that was a no go. As I was running one day, I figured two water bottles could serve as resistance and help tone my arms as I was running. The fatigue and slight "poison" feelings I had been having the day after long runs disappeared. I read little about distance running, so all of this was new to me and I was discovering things bit by bit.
The one piece of information I did seek out, though, was how to train down for race day. And that led me into another world of training and getting ready for Dam to Dam. Next time we visit, it'll be about June 2nd and 3rd of 2006; the day before and the day of the race. Even though I had trained well, I was terrified.