The Short Version…
Approaching 42 years of age, I realised I was at a bit of a crossroads. I was 205 pounds and unfit, and my job as a writer consists of sitting behind a desk and, well, making stuff up. So in January of 2011 I decided to change things. This website charts the mud, blood, sweat and tears of my effort to try and get fit in my 40s. And stay fit.
The Longer Version…
On January 1st 2011 I weighed 14st 9lbs. For my American friends that’s 205 pounds. I’m 5′ 8″ tall, and by anyone’s reckoning, I was way overweight.
I now hover around 12st (168 pounds). I’ve lost almost 40 pounds, dropped from a 36 to a 32 inch waist, and gone from barely being able to run a mile to regularly running 10 miles or more, racing half-marathons and marathons, and I’m starting to enter triathlons. My aim for 2013 is Ironman Wales––that’s a 2.4 mile sea swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon, all within 17 hours (gulp!). And now that I feel better than I have in decades, I’m trying to shake the regrets that I didn’t do this years ago.
The trick was to find something I love, and it turns out that’s running. I’m exercising because I love it, not simply for the point of exercising. As I write this it’s pissing down with rain outside, but I’m still itching to lace on my trail shoes and get out there, running through the woods, across fields, along the canal towpath, getting muddy and wet and feeling bloody great!
Committing to something mad was the kickstarter. Early in 2011 I agreed to do the national Three Peaks Challenge with my friends Pete, Russ, Dave and Phil. This comprises climbing the tallest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours (including travel time between them). It’s something that a lot of people do every year, but it’s certainly not an easy undertaking. So that was a good target for which to improve my fitness. Any extra pound of flab you end up carrying 10,000 feet up and down those mountains!
After that, I didn’t want to let things slip, so I started running more and entering races. I’ve done several 10k races and half-marathons––including some stunning coastal trail runs––and in 2012 I have three marathons booked (so far). Check out the Race Reports section of this site to see which races I’ve done and what I thought of them.
As time goes on, I want to do more and more. A good friend of mine has run 5 miles twice per week for decades, and he hates it. Since I started I’ve enjoyed every minute, and I want to do more, go further, and push myself. Trying to find my limits. Haven’t found them yet!
Next it’s triathlons and Ironman. After that … who knows?
The me of 18 months ago wouldn’t recognise the me of today. Physically I feel better than I ever have. And mentally I’ve change too, from having an ‘I can’t’ attitude to a ‘Why can’t I?’ one. Maybe that’s dangerous. My recent ‘Why can’t I?’ is ‘Why can’t I run 154 miles along Cornwall’s South Coast Trail in 7 days?’
So that’s what RunWalkCrawl is all about. How I got fit in my 40s (fitter then I’ve ever been, at least … still plenty of room for improvement), and what I’m doing to stay there. I’ll post updates about my Training, Trail Things and Thoughts, Race Reports, and Gear, Gadgets and Books. It’s partly to keep myself motivated, but also hopefully share a bit in what I’ve done and how much I’ve enjoyed it.
It’s also to have a bit of a laugh in the process. Trips, falls, scrapes and bumps, mistakes, bloody injuries and piss-taking … I’ll share it all.