Hello, thank you for joining me along my journey of becoming a Runner! I've always been an active guy, played sports in high school and continued into adult recreation sports after high school. As I started my family and found a career, the activity level slowly decreased. Well my Fiance had enough of our lazy ways and started on the Weight Watchers program and completely overhauled our daily meals. Step 2 was getting more active, so we decided to JOG our annual Juvenile Diabetes charity walk and actually enjoyed the activity. The month following the charity walk, we signed up for our first official 5K and had an absolute blast. From that point forward I have officially been BIT by the running bug and this is my journey to becoming a RUNNER!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Seriously Reconsidering My Fitness Level

Bear with me as I explain this one...

So yesterday I had this great idea of hitting my trail run before work and posting the run completely in pictures.  That's how the run started and my phone is filled with about 10-15 great pictures from the run.  What happened mid way through my run completely threw that out the window.

A little background.  I have been feeling really good about my fitness level.  I have 2 double digit mile trail runs under my belt in the last two weeks.  I finally hit the summit of the mountain by work and you have to be happy with 1300 feet of elevation gain.  And finally I have been forcing myself to train in 100* heat as additional endurance training.  I thought things were going great.

I hit the trail at 4:45am, a little bit later than I wanted to but I figured if the run was reasonably close to when I hit the summit two weeks ago, I would make it to work on time.  The trail was rough but I hit the summit 5 minutes faster than I did two weeks ago.  AGAIN, fitness level is really improving.

Well once I hit the summit, sitting on top of the highest point was an older gentleman eating a granola bar or trail mix.  Said good morning to him, very nice man, and we exchanged comments about the beautiful view.  Then it happened.....

This older gentleman proceeded to tell me that he rides his bike to the trailhead from south Tempe.  THAT IS 15 MILES AWAY!!!  Then he hikes the 1.3 mile trail with 1300 feet of elevation gain.  After relaxing on the summit, he heads down and rides his bike to his local YMCA to get some swimming done.  WHAT?????

This absolutely blew my mind for the entire day.  Four major things I took away from this encounter:

1) This old guy was an absolute badass lol
2) What freakin time does this guy get started to hit the summit by 530 am
3) I highly doubt my fitness is anywhere near this guys, causing me to rethink my fitness level
4) I truly hope that at the age of 70 or 80 I'm still able to ride/hike/swim just like this old guy

As for my run, here are a few pictures and I finally attempted a couple videos on the downhill sections of the trail.

Base of the mountain and the start of the trail:

Summit, just before the old guy killed my confidence lol

**Disclaimer - Severe turbulence on these videos, I was running and trying to keep my phone steady**
Flat runnable section

Rough downhill section
Ever have a moment where you look at another average Joe and they make you tell yourself, "I have a lot more work to do"???


  1. YES! There is a 70 something year old marathoner in my area who runs several marathons a year and doesn't even look tired! He's also super fast at 5k races and he always makes me feel that way, lol.

    1. Oh man, that is awesome. Most average joes cant even run several marathons a year.

  2. ALL THE TIME! I feel that after reading blog posts sometimes--"what, they ran 14 miles before breakfast?? Where's the part where they wanted to take a nap at work???"

    Be proud of what you do, and the fact that you are always striving forward, and gain inspiration from others!

    I hope I am still physically active when I am 70...

    1. Ah your right lol, I always get that way reading blogs.

      I hope I'm still moving around at 70 as well.

  3. That guy hardly sounds like the average Joe! I bet he has YEARS (a lifetime) of experience where he has built up his endurance. When we are 80 we will be badasses like him too :) I'm always in awe of people like him, but in that situation I would make myself feel better by telling myself I am about to go work a 9 to 5 after this run, and he's going to go home, eat breakfast and maybe take a nap lol.

    You have been killing it since you started running and have made improvements SO FAST!

    1. You know he did mention that the old guy are relying on us young guys to keep up their retirement lol

      That is something I often overlook, I am still a running NEWB and need to make sure I keep that in mind.

  4. i feel like this happens to me at every single marathon. there is always some one older and heavier than me that basically sprints by my seemingly effortlessly. it's both humbling and inspiring.

    don't be hard on yourself, just take it as another amazing person in this awesome running community. then keep plugging away towards your goal :)

    1. Ah I've had that feeling at races as well. Especially when I got dominated by moms pushing strollers lol.

      Definitely an amazing person, I take it for what it is and really hope I can be in that shape when I am older.

  5. I agree, this happens all the time! As soon as we get nearer to our own goals (which are far beyond what we may have ever planned in the past) we inevitably meet someone who is routinely going way further and beyond our own goals/capabilities and makes us think, what the?!

    For example, at my first ultra the other day, here I am feeling pretty awesome for having run the furthest I ever have before (50 fricken kms!) and then there are people casually chatting about their 100kms challenges or back-to-back 3 day marathons etc, like they're a breeze! D'oh...

    I think it's important to try not to compare ourselves to others and their goals and habits, although this is hard not to do!

    Congrats on your awesome trail run. What a beautiful (hard) way to start the day. :)

    1. No way, you should totally feel like a bada$$ for completing your first ultra. We have to start someplace.

      It definitely makes work tough but I feel so good after those runs.

  6. Don't let something like that bother you. Everyone's journey is different and you need to be proud of your own path and journey! I have a friend who has been a runner since we were in high school, ran cross country, etc. and she is SUPER competitive. She's much faster than me and I'm sure always will be, but I have to keep in mind she's been running A LOT longer than I have! (My point being that old guy has maybe been doing this for 50 years!)

    I never thought I'd run for "fun" ever and here I am 4 marathons later...I've come a long way and I'm proud of that no matter what anyone else is doing!

    Just stop and think of how far you've come!

    1. I agree 100%, I really didn't look at in a jealous way, totally envious and hopeful lol.

  7. Ha ha! What a great story It reminds me of something that happened to me as a new mom. I had a girlfriend I used to ride with when we both raced mountain bikes. After we both had our first kids we went out on a little ride and on the way home on a paved road got passed by an "old guy" on a junky ten speed. It was so hilarious that we had to stop, bent over with laughter ! We concluded that 1) he didn't have babies 2) he had great genetics and 3) we needed to pick up the pace! It was great for perspective! Sounds and looks like an interesting morning for you!! Thanks for sharing it~ (100 degree heat and running in the wee hrs? You rock!)

  8. Ha that is a great story. That is also a great perspective to take in the situation.

  9. That guy sounds like a beast! But so do you for making it to the summit 5 minutes faster than last time! Don't let that guy's fitness bring you down... let it be motivation for you. Strive to be that much of a badass when you're 70! :)

    1. He was definitely a beast. I was more in awe than anything. You are exactly right, strive to be that fit when I am that age.


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