Finally, you get to see Chia’s running history for a little background info. Ok, ok, I know I promised this a while ago but I’ve had a cold and who wants to write when you feel like crap?
Rewind a loooong time ago to elementary school. I was always running around the neighborhood, through the woods, etc. That’s what we did. We played outside. A lot.
In 4th and 5th grade we moved to the Atlanta area and did actual running in PE class. I was soooo annoyed because I was the SECOND fastest kid in class. I could never beat this one dude in our “warmup” run around the field. So frustrating. Nonetheless, I was a scrawny kid who ran fairly fast.
After that we moved to Vermont and the combination of living with my grandmother for a while (“hear, have some more cake”, “eat some ice cream”, “want a cheeseburger?”) along with the shorter summers led to some fairly rapid weight gain. Yup, I had become that chubby kid. Damnit all! I was in a bit of denial though and still viewed myself as fast. I joined Track and couldn’t figure out why everyone was faster than me. I just figured people in Vermont were healthier and faster…until I realized I was that chubby slow kid. Frustrating.
We moved back down to Georgia for high school and I just did whatever. Rock climbing, studying, no running really. Then off to college. I was in ROTC at the time and of course we had to do our PT tests. I came damn near close to failing the running part (1.5 mile runs under 12 minutes was the requirement at the time) many times. Still chubby…AND the freshman 15 on top of that. NOT a pretty sight. However throughout college I remained fairly active in intramural sports. The biggest influence I had though in becoming a runner was my roommate junior and senior year. He was also in ROTC (by this time I had quit because of a hernia and some other issues) and had run cross country in high school. He was a heavy runner and used to go running quite a bit. He’d nag and nag and nag to get me out running and I finally gave in just to shut him up. After a few runs however it became a fun tradition to go running with him before parties, a bonding time, and it was just nice to go running through the woods to clear our heads after some intense studying.
After college I moved back to the Atlanta area and kept running. Nothing serious, just running here and there. I’d been doing a few 10K runs here and there (usually hungover…hey, I was in college and post-college) and could usually do one without any training or prep. I’d usually log a 3 mile run each morning before work.
A friend got me into hashing. I loved the crew with Atlanta Hash House Harriers and Harrierettes. It’s “a drinking club with a running problem”. Very fun stuff! So now I was running even further distances, having fun, and getting totally addicted to running. Also at this time I had begun playing amateur soccer (and a very short stint with semi-pro…wow, THAT was a mistake) and wanted to keep my lungs and legs in shape for soccer.
Running to me was now something I had to do every day. Never ran further than a 10K (except in soccer games where I played midfielder and ran my ass off all over the place) but my short runs before work were a great way to start the day. I’d feel a bit off if I wasn’t able to get a run in.
Since then I’d run off and on depending where I lived. Health and nutrition have always been important to me so I try to make sure I eat right (except during football season when my body is filled with more beer and wings than it should probably take in) and live healthy. I’m constantly reading up on new training techniques, new health reports, etc. I just want to be the best I can be and help others with what I’ve learned…either from reading for from experience.
The bummer part of this whole story is the past couple years have been not-so-great on my running. A couple years ago I got Patellar Tendonitis, also known as Jumper’s Knee. That certainly kept me from running for a while but I was able to overcome all of that with some good rehab and stretching.
Next though…damn…a massive hyper-extension and slightly torn meniscus from soccer. I’m still working on this one. At one point I was up to three 4-mile runs each week but my knee still isn’t happy about that. It’s riding the bike for now to keep things moving, strengthening the muscles, getting my stretches in, and other recommendations of my physical therapist.
This is where I can be of some use. Whereas Sean is young and limber and just takes off on a 100 mile run, I’m not that guy. I’ve never run more than a half marathon (that I know of) and have had a few injuries to deal with. My experience over the years in health and nutrition, in coaching and motivating people that hate to run (hey, I was there) can help those in need.
I’m pretty excited about what we’ve got here. It’s just the beginning and I know it’s going to get a hell of a lot better.
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