Monday, August 31, 2009

Shake, Rattle, and Run

I realized over the weekend that I am less than a week away from my next marathon. Yes, those 26.2 Miles are staring me right in the face ... however, it’s not the distance nor the possibility of disgracing The King in his birthplace that is most threatening.

As part of my quest to do a marathon a month for my 26th birthday year, I signed up to run the Tupelo Marathon in Mississippi on Sunday, September 6th. While any marathon is a daunting endeavor, the heat and humidity is something I have yet to face in any such endurance event. Training in New Orleans for the summer probably gave me some of the stamina needed to complete the task at hand, but I have yet to run a long distance in such grueling weather.

Over this past weekend, I ran two 8 Mile routes as part of my last days of training. (I am now referring to myself in the third person as 'Slim Shady.') The track in Audubon Park and the streetcar tracks along St. Charles Avenue were sweltering to say the least, but I completed each loop without incident. Hopefully the 5am start time this Sunday in Tupelo will afford me enough of a lead in front of the heat so that I can get a chunk of the race done before the iced tea glasses begin to sweat (southern enough for you?).

Obviously, a race whose motto is 'Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead,' isn't playing around ... I just hope to make it home to New Orleans Sunday afternoon without footprints on the back of my head ... and some bling around my neck.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Challenge: Committed or Crazy?

I can't exactly pinpoint one catalyst that made me decide that I wanted to start running as a hobby. It was probably a combination of wanting to loose weight, needing an outlet to de-stress, and a yearning to achieve some physical feat before I became too old to do so. However, in October when I made the commitment and printed out the training schedule for my first marathon, I knew that it was something that I was going to commit myself to execute.

That first marathon was supposed to be the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans on February 1, 2009 ... and that was a daunting date to see at the beginning of October. I started following the online training regimen religiously, and was on-track to make my goal. However, in mid-November I realized I didn't want to make a complete ass of myself on my home turf in my home city. As a result, I signed up for the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon on December 6th, 2008 and actually completed it (in 4 and a half hours) very successfully... two full months ahead of schedule. I proceeded to complete the Mardi Gras Marathon in February and then the Georgia Marathon in late March. Three full marathons (26.2 Miles) in 4 months, but I wasn't satisfied.

As summer concluded, and I was offered a position with a local professional sports team, I wanted to set another goal to achieve before I became completely obsessed with work. Since I was turning 26 on my August birthday (and a marathon is 26.2 miles long), I decided to commit to a marathon a month during my 26th birthday year. That would be 12 Marathons in 12 Months. Healthy? Maybe not. More healthy that eating an extra slice of birthday cake and sitting on my butt... definitely.

To kick things off right, I traveled to and completed the San Francisco Marathon on July 26th ... 3 days before I started my job. Sure, it wasn't in August ... but neither are any decent marathons (due to heat) and I would be consumed by my job as soon as I started. Having that first notch on my board was a great feeling, and primed me for the coming months. Here's a list of the planned marathons for the next several months:

September 6th - Tupelo (Mississippi) Marathon
October 11th - Chicago Marathon
November 1st - New York City Marathon (Still Trying to get in)
December - Up for Debate (Either Baton Rouge or Vegas, depends on work)
January 9th & 10th - Walt Disneyworld's Goofy Challenge (Half and Full Marathon)
February 28th - Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon

We'll see how things progress, and if you stay tuned ... you'll see along with me.

On Your Marks. Get Set...

In the era of Twitter, I am not sure if the Blog is still on peoples' radar for communication with the online community. Has the attention span of the average adult shortened so much that we have to get our thoughts across is 160 characters or less? If so, starting my blog will be for my own personal enjoyment ... but hopefully others take pleasure in getting to delve in to the crevices of my mind.

As for a brief introduction to get this puppy started, I am (now) a 26 year old guy that was born and raised in New Orleans (Metairie, actually), Louisiana and continues to enjoy all that the city has to offer. In the past year, I have undergone numerous changes in my life that include a career redirect and a lifestyle altering. I now work in professional sports marketing, and have gone from being a lazy office employee who occasionally works up a sweat by eating a 6 course meal ... to a guy that doesn't rest until he gets his daily fix of endorphins from a 6 mile run (followed by a 6 course meal). Trust me, drastic changes indeed.

This blog will hopefully be about my daily trials, tribulations, successes, and failures as I run through life ... both on and off the training course. My goal is to keep the detours to a minimum, but I am making no promises. If necessary, please feel free to use the starting gun to get me back on track.