Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And so it begins...

My name is Jim Balcom and I have decided to create a blog that talks about my running and all things related to it. I'm 40 years old and live in New York City. When I run, it is almost always in Central Park.

I am no expert. I am an average runner. I think that exercise, in any form, is important to stay healthy. I believe that exercise should be fun. I love how I feel after I exercise, even if I dread getting up early in the morning to do it. Without fail, after I get done exercising, I feel great, making my early dread disappear. Regarding running, I have learned that each one of us is different, and that different things work for different people. I have learned that listening to my body is critically important. If I feel like I am getting hurt, I take a day off (which is much harder for me to do than exercising is). I have learned to drop the "I have to run fast everyday" macho mentality. Running smart today means that I can be healthy enough to run tomorrow. I use the foam roller every day. I have learned that some days I "have it" and some days "I definitely don't" and have learned to accept that some workouts are going to be great and others are not. When it comes to my fitness, I have adopted the cliché "it's a marathon, not a sprint". I have learned that the shoes and socks I wear are critically important to staying healthy, particularly for my knees. I schedule my workouts (with two young girls, 3.5 and 1.5 years old, and a wife that works full time, this is a must!) I write down and track ALL of my workouts. I believe that almost everybody can run regularly without pain if done right (until I got the right shoes my knees always hurt when I ran and therefore I never ran regularly - now I run 40-50 miles per week with no pain). I believe that anybody can run and finish a marathon with the proper training, shoes, motivation, and attitude. I will elaborate on these points in my future blog posts.

In my blogs, I will cover a wide array of topics, including but not limited to: why I run, my approach to running, how I stay healthy despite logging a lot of miles, how and why I keep track of my workouts, my Garmin Forerunner 405 watch and how this watch motivates me to run (often slower instead of faster), my heart rate monitor, the foam roller and my IT bands, my view on listening to music while running and racing, my shoes, my socks, chaffing, my 2010 goals, my training schedule, why I decided to run a marathon, my Crohn's disease and how it impacts my running, vitamins, health stats, and many other topics.

My hope is that my blog will be informative and that it will encourage others to get out there and exercise and/or run. Without question, running has changed my life for the better. When I started running last July (8 months ago), I was over 220 pounds (I'm 6'1") and was frequently tired in the afternoon, feeling fatigued and out of sorts. Today, I am 192 pounds and no longer get tired during the day (despite sleeping less). I feel like I am 20 again. My energy level is high and I walk around all day with a runner's high on the days I run (I run 5-6 days per week in the morning). There is no doubt in my mind that running outside is the best possible exercise (both physically and mentally). My blog will discuss how I ended up becoming an obsessed, running addict. My friends and family are sick of hearing me talk about it, so I thought that I would write it instead.

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