13.1 - I begin the journey to a half marathon.

13.1 miles.  Even typing it seems daunting.  Yet, here I am in my fourth week of training for a half marathon.  My all-time record for a run is just south of 7 miles.  In many ways, I can't believe that I've done this.

But I had to do something.

My weight loss has completely stalled.  I've been in a holding pattern for a couple of months.  I had to take off running for six weeks due to some gnarly inflammation in my Achilles tendons.  I lost some conditioning in the time off, and I've also been told to avoid sprints at all costs by an honest-to-goodness medical professional.

It seems like so many beginner runners I caught the bug and went too hard, too fast.  I've made some great gains this year, but the fact remains that I'm in my 30s, overweight and I have a life of completely sedentary nerdery.  While my heart, lungs and leg muscles have adapted heartily and readily my bones, tendons and ligaments will take longer to strengthen.

So, I am training for this half marathon and focusing on endureance, with little or no concern for pace.  I'll finish when I finish and be happy about it.

My race of choice is the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.  I picked this race because I have a bunch of friends at church who are running the half or the full marathon.  I'm using Jeff Galloway's training program to prepare.  I like Jeff's focus on healthy running and avoiding injury.  Jeff prescribes a run-walk system that reduces injury and boosts recovery.  I've read up on it and it seems like a really great way to approach distance running.

So of course, I'm not doing it.  I'm running without walk breaks.  What can I say? An addict is an addict.  My plan is to switch to the walk-run system if the longer distance runs become too touch or if my heels start barking too loudly.

C25K style, I'm going to start posting after every run again.  It helps keep me motivated, and it's fun to go back and read my older entries as well.

I'm 33, 220 pounds and I'm running a half marathon.  You can run too.