On April 11, 2010, I weighed 323 pounds and couldn't make it up a flight of stairs without having to catch my breath at the top. Today I weigh 226 pounds and regularly run 3.5 miles with a fast, uphill kick at the end. On March 20, 2011, I'll be running the Georgia Half Marathon.
I have to thank my Tea for Duo duo partner, Lynnette, for planting the idea in my head. Not long after I met her, Lynnette completed a half marathon. I think it might have been her first one. She's running another half in November. Since I've started running again, she's encouraged me now and then to sign up for one. My running strength has increased significantly over the past few weeks, and I started thinking about a half marathon more and more often. I checked out the half marathon training schedule that Lynnette followed for her first one at www.halhigdon.com. After looking it over, I thought the schedule looked quite doable, and today I took the plunge and registered for the race.
The timing of this particular half marathon couldn't be better. It'll be only a couple weeks away from April 11, the day I finally decided to turn my health around for good. It'll be a celebration of a year well spent. Also, to time the 12-week training program to coincide with the race, I will have to start January 2. I can't think of better way to start off the new year than by starting a brand new training program.
One of my strengths (and sometimes it's a flaw) is that I don't do anything halfway. When I started playing guitar a few years ago, I almost immediately began to see it as a vehicle for restarting some sort of music performance career. The same goes with running. I'm not kidding myself that I'll ever be a top flight runner, but I can set my own personal goals. My first major goal is to complete the half marathon in March. After that, I plan on completing a marathon. If I feel good about my half marathon performance, I'll plan on training for the Georgia Marathon the following year. If it's a major struggle, I'll complete another half marathon or two before tackling the longer distance.
After I complete a marathon, who knows? I'm sure I'll think of something.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.