This turned into a short auto-biography so refill you coffee cup and strap in…
I’m you’re average 30 something year old, with a desk job, who is into running, triathlon and Crossfit. I’ve been running for 9 years, “racing” triathlons for 6 years and picked weightlifting back up, through Crossfit about 1 & 1/2 years ago.
I started weightlifting in middle school and continued lifting through high school with a powerlifting approach since I played offensive tackle. Back in the 90s this was mostly the way lifting was done for football. Plus, my football coach told us what to do and we didn’t have much say in the matter. Running and endurance training was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted to do was get as big and strong as possible.
During preseason football practice I started having an issue with my knee to where it wouldn’t bend about halfway through practice. We didn’t have a trainer, and physical therapy wasn’t nearly as big as it is now for sports, I saw a doctor in my general practitioner’s office who specialized in sports medicine. I never got a diagnosis but I was told to stop playing/practicing for two weeks. When I broke the news to my coach, he wasn’t very happy or nice about it. Being the generally quiet, soft-spoken person I was, I went on a loud, long and strongly worded tirade about the coaching staff’s lack of concern for everyone’s well-being, cruel comments when people were in distress (the worst was telling someone he better get up or he was going to shoot him like a horse with a broken leg) and discouragement toward, me personally, going to see a doctor. That was the last time I ever played football. He ended up getting himself fired that season…more on that at a later date.
I kept lifting, on and off, the only way I knew how, through college…Bench, Squats and accessory work. I started running in college at some point and maybe made it up to 3 miles. I’m not quite sure since GPS watches didn’t exist. Running stopped, weightlifting didn’t but I picked up running again sometime in 2007, ran a 5k, 10k, half marathon and then found a running group and “ran” a marathon.
Running was fun and I always wanted to get faster but I was still lifting and weighed about 260 with a 50 inch chest. I can’t imagine there are people this size who run marathons but I didn’t want to stop lifting weights.
While training for a second marathon the next year, I became bored with the monotonous long runs every Saturday morning so, I decided to add swimming and biking into the mix next year.
I bought a bike in the early spring, race my first triathlon, finished 3rd in the clydesdales (200+ at the time, now its 220+) and then did 3 more each of the following three weeks. I ended up doing a two half Ironmans the next year and at some point realized my size was not making it easy…I stopped lifting weights.
2013 came around and Ironman Wisconsin was on my calendar. After all the long runs, long bike rides and eating a little better, I was down to around 220 by the race. I finished the Ironman and set a half marathon PR by 15 minutes later in the year but I was quickly burnt out.
The next year I got into mountain biking, orienteering and adventure racing but still raced a few triathlons and even managed to win my age group once but, I still felt like training was a chore and slowly stopped doing it. Then I dislocated my shoulder, badly, that November and went to physical therapy for three months. The ironic part is I had just bought a Groupon to give Crossfit a try the day before I dislocated my shoulder.
Sadly the Groupon expired but I found another one at a much better place and started going when my shoulder felt up to it. I could not have been happier with that decision. I was lifting weights again but there was a heavy emphasis on strength work in addition to the olympic and gymnastics movements. The strength work is a structured schedule of front squats, deadlifts, overhead squats, back sqauts and jerks. This turned out the be exactly what I was looking for. Then I discovered Crossfit Endurance…
I didn’t swim, bike or run much that year (wedding planning) until about 2 months before my 6th? St Jude Half Marathon. I found a crossfit endurance training plan and picked up running again and didn’t l. Since then, I’ve been doing the interval workout on and off along with crossfit. I’m running St Jude again in December and I’ve decided to document my training and progress.