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When I announced to some friends and acquaintances, a little over a month ago, that I would be running in the NYC Marathon 2015 several thought that I must be joking. After all, I don't think there is anyone running this year's marathon who is 6' and 270+ lbs. Aside from visibly not being in good physical condition I was also unable to jog more than 1/6th of a mile without stopping and without feeling like I was going to die.

Inspiration

But I was inspired. Maybe it was the stuff that I ordered on Amazon and had started taking just a few days earlier which helps the body generate and activate stem cells. Maybe it was because a friend said she was going to run in the 2014 marathon and she couldn't run a mile either. Maybe it was just a sudden inspiration of health consciousness. Whatever it was I was inspired and there was no saying no to me. I calculated it this way - presently I can do a combo of jogging and walking (mainly walking) and do about 3 miles per hour. To run the marathon you have to be able to do 26 miles total and do 5 miles per hour. If I could just get up to being able to jog 3-4 miles at a decent clip without getting winded then maybe in a bit over a year's time I could run the marathon.

Training

And so, for the first time in my life I started a physical training regimen. It wasn't very complicated. I would just go to the gym every day and do a little bit more than I could comfortably do and a little bit more than the day before.

Ego

Nothing I have ever experienced did more to pi**-off my ego than deciding that I would get physically fit and actually going to the track and jogging. Every single thought, fear, emotion that it had been using to keep me from doing this any time in the last several decades it threw at me all at once and with each and every step that I would jog. “you look weird” “you can't jog” “you're going to have a heart attack” “you're going to get shin splints” “don't overdo it” “people are staring at you” etc etc all these kinds of thoughts sourced in fear were with me with each step. In spite of all of it I was making amazing progress. At the beginning of January I could walk all day long if I wanted to but I couldn't jog even 1/6th of a mile. By the end of January I was up to jogging two solid miles!!! I had never jogged one mile in my life to the best of my recollection. All I could say to myself was that I should have done this a long, long time ago and would have if I knew that I would make this much progress so quickly.

Turning Point

Once I got up to jogging a mile I would feel like I really pushed it and I would need to sit for about 5 minutes or so to restore my homeostasis after each session. But once I got closer to jogging two miles I would feel totally fine afterwards and wouldn't need to catch my breath or restore my homeostasis. I would just feel fine. Once I got up to jogging two miles not only did I feel fine but I started getting a bit of a runner's high for the first time in my life. Now I felt like I was getting an immediate reward and that this would keep me on this road to better health. This was something I hadn't even considered. Although anyone has heard the phrase “a runner's high” it never occurred to me that I would be experiencing some piece of that so soon in my training.

Runner's Wall

After running two miles I would stop because I felt like it was my limit but I also felt something else. I felt like I had gone through a runner's wall as they call it. I felt that after a short break I could have easily run a third or a fourth mile and this was amazing. I didn't want to push it so I would leave it at two miles but I am very excited about the prospects.

Off the track

About 11-12 days ago I got the flu. This is the first time I have had a fever since June of 2010. And it has knocked me off my training regimen. Over the last few days I have gotten back to walking and I am hoping to get back in the groove early next week. It is annoying to have had a set back but I know I will get right back to where I was before when I get back to jogging again in a few days. No silly flu is going to keep me from all the benefit and joy that I was starting to experience. Two weeks ago I turned 50. In the first 50 years I have never been in good physical condition. Now that I am half way through with the journey of this lifetime I am getting myself in shape for the next 50 years and I am very excited about it.


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