2015: The Year of Setbacks, Struggle, and Recovery ends now

This blog has been noticeably quiet this year.  The reason for this is complex, but in a nutshell I have been trying to recover from injury, feeling totally unmotivated to train (pain can do that), and being totally undisciplined with my eating habits (can you say 'comfort food'?).  This turned into a very depressing cycle of living that has led me to where I am today.

Since last Fall, I have allowed myself to gain back 50 pounds due mostly to poor eating habits, combined with a lack of consistent exercise.  Eating lots of fast food, enjoying too many treats around the house, and not paying attention to portion sizes all added up over the months.

As my weight gain continued, I became more disappointed with myself which led to even less motivation to set things back on track.  I couldn't really run due to the Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot.  For a while, I substituted running with cycling but I just did not have the focus or drive to make it a regular part of my weekly routine.

I started the year with good intentions.  I completed both the Goofy Challenge in Walt Disney World and completed the Rebel Challenge in Disneyland in January.  The races were fun (even though the WDW Full was almost derailed due to a serious allergy attack).  Doing those four races in the span of 9 days was pretty sweet.  But I knew I had to take a break and let my foot heal.  Since January, I have only run two local 5K races and completed a 75K Bike Ride to raise funds for Diabetes research.

Between my foot, the weight gain, and my lack of confidence/motivation, I canceled all my other races for 2015 except for the upcoming Space Coast Half Marathon in November (which I will likely be walking).  A far cry from the 20 races/year average I've been maintaining the past three years, right?

I felt like a failure, so the idea of posting to this blog was not a priority.  I kept telling myself "What can I possibly post that would be encouraging or interesting when I am not living the healthy, active, positive lifestyle that I have been maintaining since 2010."

Part of me still feels that way.  But after several recent conversations with friends, I have been convicted with several key points:

  1. Life is filled with ups and downs.  Real courage is in dealing with the down times
  2. Lose the pride; let people in and accept their help and support
  3. Take the first step and make some new goals

Last weekend, I went with two friends to volunteer at the Chicago Marathon.  For the last four years, races have been my happy place, and I haven't been to one in many months.  Serving Gatorade to thousands of runners has always been a fantastic experience for me, and this time was no exception.  It was exhilarating to be in that environment, and very fulfilling to be doing something that I know is so vital in helping runners cross that finish line.  I saw many friends there, and it reminded me of why I love this sport and the running community.

On the drive back home, I realized that my current circumstances cannot continue.  I cannot let myself continue this downward spiral.  I need to start climbing my way back.  So I decided that 2016 is going to be my "comeback year"!  I am going to lose the weight, get back into shape, and run the Chicago Marathon next fall (hopefully the lottery will cooperate in that regard).

One thing is key: I need to hold myself accountable to those goals.  So I am posting it right here on my blog.  I want to make this happen, and I will need the support of my friends to keep me on track.  No more hiding in the shadows, feeling sorry for myself.  That isn't getting me anywhere.

I have already updated my Race Schedule page with my plans for 2016.  I have a few races planned starting in May.  Only five for 2016 but they represent solid stepping stones towards a better 'me' next year.

The gauntlet has been thrown!  Let the trip down the Comeback Trail begin!  With your support, I know I am not heading down that trail alone.

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