The Whole Cost of a Half

Greetings everyone!  Linda and I recently returned from a day of shopping small.  If you are unaware, there was a movement to shop small local businesses today (11/26).  I caught wind of it due to a local commercial and thought I’d participate in it … it was either that or Occupy Wall Street (hehe besides, I prefer to put my energy into something that has a tangible point).   Anyway, we ran around today (in the rain) and gave some love to some of our favorite local stores – Bushwhacker, Running Central, My Dog’s Bakery, Abe’s, Spotted Cow, Le Peeps and even Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  The latter was a slight reach, but it is owned by a local owner and surprisingly they actually had a sign reminding everyone of the day.

In the midst of all this we made a quick trip to our local Goodwill store to drop off some clothes.  While tending that task, it occurred to me that this would be a quick topic to cover for my blog… not so much the trip itself, but for the reasons behind it.  First, let’s start with a quick quiz.  What do the following numbers represent?  (hint, they start in 1985 and in 2011)

  • 124
  • 155
  • 165
  • 175
  • 185
  • 155

Hit the jump to see the answers

How about another hint, think about the recent checks on the Life List.  Give up?  No worries, I really didn’t expect you to get it unless you happen to be around me at some key milestones in my life.  In short, they represent my body weight at various times since entering college.  Here is a breakdown of the timings

  • 124 – The day I started at the U of I – about as lean as you can get
  • 155 – The day I left college thankful for some results from a 3 inch growth spurt, starchy foods, hitting the weights and a steady diet of martial arts and racquetball
  • 165 – My weight the day I got married (yeah, I know it is a little odd to bother checking this in the midst of all the other chaos that goes with a wedding)
  • 175 – Probably the pinnacle of my martial arts involvement – 2nd Dan (degree) black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido and rock solid
  • 185 – At the end of my martial arts involvement trying to put on a few extra pounds to compensate for all the sparring partners on Creatine.  I was also dealing with some serious injuries including a rebuilt shoulder and some major tears in both my knees which were keeping me from badly needed time in the dojo.  This was to be the high water mark and from there I drifted back down to 175 and held there for a number of years
  • 155 – The summer of 2010 I was once again in therapy (this time to resolve a badly damaged hamstring).  By October I was starting to turn the corner and decided to set a goal to once again try and complete a 1/2 marathon (previous attempts had failed due to injuries as well).   It was obvious that I needed to retool the body to complete it and it was apparent that carrying the martial arts weight through the hills was not beneficial.  So from 10/2010 to 11/11/2011 I shed the weight to get down to 155.

I already blogged about successfully completing the half (link here) and I contribute a lot of that success to the training regimen.  The inevitable question soon followed – “Am I going to continue running that distance?”  What that really translates to internally is “Are you going to keep up the training?” which in turn means “Are you going to stay at the current weight?”  I really didn’t think about it much (even after my mother asking me when I was going to put weight back on)  until it hit home on November 4th, one day before my nephew’s wedding.  That is the day I decided to try my suit on.  Houston, we have a problem.  Turns out there was actually a dramatic change in my sizing which didn’t seem that apparent while tracking the small increments every day.  As a result, an emergency dash to the store was in order to get something that fit before noon the next day.  Big thanks to Men’s Warehouse for hooking me up and rushing some alterations on a new suit!  Based on their measurements I had dropped two coat sizes (again, there was muscle loss involved) and 1.5 size change in pants.  Two new suits (thanks to their buy one get on free sale), two shirts, a new belt and some added ties to go with the outfit and I was all set for the wedding day.  Last week I broke down and went through my entire closet to see what impact the training had on my overall wardrobe.  Unbelievable, shirt after shirt, pants after pants were thrown into the discard pile.  4 hours later I was staring at a much sparser closet and a pile of clothes up to my knees.

The question at hand is “What is the real cost of reaching my half marathon goal” but in truth, what is the general cost of losing weight?  The emergency run for the suit(s) was in the thousand dollar range and a few clothes purchases since then is probably close to a quarter of that already.  Depending on a given person’s financial situation, it may be discouraged by this unexpected cost especially since they are likely already paying a premium to eat healthy.  Clearly there are MANY benefits of getting healthier and getting to a healthy weight so I am not in any way trying to discourage that activity, but be aware that there is some additional investment at the end of the rainbow you might not be planning for.  The good news is I was able to find good homes for my old suit and a few of my shirts (some right out of the package) and someone out there will hopefully be able to put the clothes to good use thanks to Goodwill.

In case you are wondering, the answer to my question is YES.  I’ve decided to continue training for the half’s and will likely try for at least two in 2012 – if the thrill of the run isn’t enough motivation me, the fear of  replacing my wardrobe will definitely keep me on the road (ha!).  Now to work off that Thanksgiving feast.

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