Column: Line Drives — Mini finish only the beginning

[This is the unabridged version of my column that appeared in the May 11 issue of The Commercial Review. For the abridged version, click here.]

Mentally and physically I was prepared.

I had a plan I was going to follow that I was sure would help me reach both of my goals — finish, and do so in under two and a half hours.

I was already in the area because of the Indiana Associated Press Media Editors awards banquet*, I stayed just north of Indianapolis in Fishers with my friend Eric, his wife Clorissa and their son Sawyer. (It’s my go-to spot to crash whenever I need a night in the donut.

I had an alarm set for 6 a.m. Saturday, knowing full well I was going to hit snooze a couple times. I got up, changed, and left Fishers about a half hour later.

I got to Indianapolis and the Indiana Parking Garage, where I had reserved a parking spot for myself, not knowing what the parking situation was going to be like with thousands of extra people in the area.

I parked and made my way to the starting area on Washington Street in Indianapolis.

Rain began to sprinkle from the sky through the 44-degree air. I found the gear check UPS trucks, and it was then I opted at the last minute to ditch a jacket,]. Instead, I decided leggings, shorts, a long sleeve shirt, T-shirt and ball cap would be sufficient attire for the next three hours.

Photo May 06, 7 35 45 AM

“GOOD MORNING IT’S RACE DAY”

I joined the thousands of runners who were herded like cattle between steel barriers with banners indicating the start of each of the five waves, with letters representing “corrals” within each wave.

I made my way to Wave 4 in Corral Q, trying my best to be near the front and not have to fight too much with any runners ahead of me that might be a little slower than my intended pace.

We started to make our way forward toward the starting line, with an approximate start time of 8 a.m. As I took each step, my anxiousness to run was subdued. The wind was gusting and at that moment I regretted my earlier decision to run without a jacket.

Wave 4 approached the starting line. The IndyCar zoomed west on Washington Street in the Wholesale District of Indianapolis. With the official time above my head, the emcee began to count down from 10 to signify the start of the race.

As I began the race, I left my strategy in the starting corral.

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New Me Journey — How to follow along

It’s here.

In less than 38 hours, my wave will begin.

I will approach the starting line with eight months of training behind me and 13.1 miles separating me from the finish line.

I’m ready.

I hope you are too.

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New Me Journey — Three to go

“You’ll have to let me know how you do,” she said, hours before I was set to take the longest run of my life.

“I’ll tell you right now: ‘It sucked, my legs hurt and the 13.1 is gonna be brutal,'” I replied.

Occasionally, I can be prophetic.

This was one of those times.

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New Me Journey — From a challenge to a lifestyle; the ultimate milestone

It started with a challenge.

It continues as a lifestyle.

As of this afternoon, 349 days after I weighed 282.4 pounds, 646 days since I weighed 301 pounds, I have reached the ultimate milestone.

My weight begins with the number 1.

In less than a year’s time, the New Me Journey is complete.

When I stepped on the scale today and saw what it said, I had to take a step back for a second. There’s no way it was right.

So I stepped on it once more. The number stayed the same.

I gave it another try, just to make sure it was accurate.

Third reading … no change at 199.2 pounds.

I’ve done it.

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New Me Journey — One more step

pic“Running from the past, toward a better future … one step at a time.” – me

On the last day of August, I wrote that I had reached a milestone of hitting the 60-pound mark for total weight lost.

Here I am, with 30 days later, with more good news:

Chalk up another 10 pounds.

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New Me Journey — Another milestone

I’m really not even sure how to start this.

There’s so many emotions going through my head right now.

It’s been eight months.

For eight long months, I’ve pushed myself to become a better person.

For eight long months, I’ve changed my eating habits.

For eight long months, I’ve challenged myself physically.

And for eight long months, I’ve been challenged mentally.

Eight months after I truly began this New Me Journey, I’ve passed many milestones along the way.

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New Me Journey — My first 10K

I had it in my mind for the better part of a month that I wanted to run a half marathon.

I just didn’t tell too many people.

A few days ago, though, I wrote a column about it, setting my goal for the Indy Mini on May 6 in Indianapolis.

I’m giving myself more than enough time to train for it, given the race is nine months away. I want to work my way up to being able to run 13.1 miles. I know physically it will be a challenge, but also mentally as well.

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