I started running about 4 or 5 years ago, after I decided to get healthy. A couple of years previously, I had quit smoking ("phase 1"), so now it was time to get "phase 2" underway, which was to start exercising.
In March 2005, I did my first organized run, which was the Asics Reading Half Marathon in Reading England. Wow, I was hooked.
A few half marathons, 10K's, 5K's later, I competed my first full marathon in March 2007 (Shamrock in Virginia Beach), and later the same year, I did the inaugural City of Oaks Marathon in Raleigh NC. I have done one other marathon - the OBX (Outer Banks NC) in November 2008. My marathon times have ranged between 4:26 and 5:22.
Over these 4 years, I have lost about 35-40lbs, and in the last 18 months, ("phase 3" was get a physical) got my blood pressure into normal range, and dropped my total cholesterol from 238 (high) to 154 (optimal) without medication.
Early in 2008, I stumbled upon Dean Karnazes' first book, Ultramarathon Man, Confessions of an all Night Runner. I was enthralled with Dean's description of his first 100 mile run, the Western States 100. "I would love to try one of those", I thought. Idiot.
I discovered there is a 100 mile race fairly close to home, the Umstead 100. Fortunately, the good folks at the North Carolina Ultra Running Association won't let me enter the 100 mile race, without having done at least a 50 miler before. So I entered the 50. Idiot.
So, I have a lot of running, training, and learning to do before April 4th. Here is where you can follow my journey leading up to the Umstead 50 and beyond (hopefully not TO the beyond).
In short, what started off as a way to get fit, has turned into a fully fledged mid-life crisis - however, one that is cheaper than a Porsche or Harley, and easier to manage than a 'fling' ;-).