Friday, April 17, 2009

An introduction

Hi everyone! Thanks for checking into my blog... this is a grand experiment for me, and it will definitely be interesting to see how it evolves.

So what's the point of this blog? Well, first the title gives a hint at what the content is: the intersection of being an engineer and being an athlete. But I suspect it will be more than that - after all, life IS about more than work and running. First and foremost, I'm a husband and a father. My wife and I are coming up on our third anniversary, and we have two wonderful daughters (step-daughters in my case), 12 and 10 years old. And I have a crazy albeit wonderful family spread across the western US: a grandmother, mom and sister in Colorado, cousins in Colorado and Idaho, and a ton of in-laws just a few miles from home in Oregon (as well as a sister-in-law in New York and cousin-in-laws in various places). Since they're such a big part of my life, I'm sure you'll see them crop up occasionally as this blog progresses.

But why the focus on work and running? For those of you who are salaried, you know the challenge of balancing a job - which is almost never just 40 hours a week - with any sort of hobby, especially if it's endurance sports. And I am branching out (again) into endurance sports and not just running. I first started running around age 10 when I was introduced to the sport by my uncle, who at the time was a 5k & 10k runner, before his transition to marathons. And when he started spending more time cycling, I took up that sport as well... and by age 13 or 14, I had completed a metric century on the bike, a sprint triathlon and a number of 2 mile, 5k and 4 mile fun runs. In high school, I hung up the shoes in favor of swimming; but in college, a girlfriend encouraged me to lose some of the swimming "streamlining" and take up running again. At age 21, I completed my first half-marathon. But the transition from college to grad school took its toll, and I started running less (and the discovery of beer meant I started weighing more!). By the time I finished grad school, I was down to 3-6 miles a week, which eventually turned into 3-6 miles a month after I started working in the "real world" (think 50+ hours a week of grey cubicles and business trips). But marrying a wonderful woman who encourages and inspires me to stay healthy has allowed me to reintroduce running to my life. In 2006, I completed my "first" (since college) 10k, and in 2007, I completed by first (ever) marathon, the 2007 Portland Marathon. And this year, I have a couple of marathons and a half-Ironman circled on the calendar.

As you can see, the intersection of life and running has had both positive and negative moments. People have always been on the positive side: an amazing uncle who introduced me to the sport (and an amazing aunt who continues to inspire me) as well as a wonderful wife who gently encourages me to take better care of my health. But the rigors of school and career have often shown a negative impact on my exercise efforts: whether it be the "lack of time" to work out, lack of motivation after a long day (or week or month) or business travel where people insist on wining and dining every night. But as we all know, nothing puts the stress of life behind you like a good run or ride or swim - being an athlete and a professional should have positives, not just challenges.

This blog will attempt to capture some of the highs and lows as I experience them or reflect on times past. Hopefully some of it will inspire, perhaps some of it will allow you to commiserate. Some of it will probably invoke laughter at me (afterall, I'm an engineer attempting to write!), but maybe some of the laughter will be with me. I'll try to post something "significant" once a week: I've already got a list of topics I want to cover (like the challenges of training while traveling, whether it's better to use and iPod while running, or about my personal battles with pizza, burritos, Cadbury eggs and DQ Blizzards), but if you have an idea for a topic, I'm always open to suggestions. I'll also post the occasional training update - which might not be too inspiring, but maybe you can provide some encouragement, training suggestions or good-natured heckling.

So.... welcome aboard to this grand journey. Let's see how it goes when we start talking about Running and the Cube.

No comments:

Post a Comment