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Eyes on races, the journey continues

March 31, 2016 - Andy Flynn
It’s highly unlikely I’ll be able to compete in this year’s Lake Placid Half-Marathon in June, as expected, yet the carrot of returning for a race in Lake Placid is so overwhelming that I’m not ruling it out.

In fact, it’s the main reason I’ve been able to crawl out of the depressive pit I recently hurled myself into. It’s my No. 1 motivation to get back on track.

In early February, I began another round of Fit Revolution weight-loss classes at the Fitness Revolution gym, but I had to drop out within a few weeks because I had taken a side job — teaching an Adirondack history course at North Country Community College — and it was more time consuming than I realized. It was a unique opportunity to teach a subject I am passionate about; however, I quickly found it was contributing to my weight gain with the added stress and lack of exercise. I had become a workaholic again, something I vowed two years ago I would never do again.

During the first year of the Lake Placid Diet in 2014, I lost 88 pounds at my peak, ending the year at a respectable 80 pounds, down from 470 to 390. I also finished my first Lake Placid Half-Marathon that year. Since then, I’ve been battling demons and trying to figure out why I can’t lose any more weight. Even last year, when I beat my half-marathon time by one hour, I was 10 pounds heavier than the year before. Now I’ve hit rock bottom again, this time at 445 pounds.

While the prospect of a comeback story — losing enough weight and successfully training for the half-marathon in the final 11 weeks — is appealing, I’d be better off focusing on the realistic goal of walking the Lake Placid Classic Half-Marathon in September. That would be the smart thing to do. But if you know me, you know I haven’t always done the smart things in life. I like to push myself.

Either way, a Lake Placid race is calling to me.

Once I began walking in these races, I got hooked. It started with the Biggest Loser 5k in Plattsburgh, then the Lake Placid Half-Marathon and the Lake Placid Classic 10k, and now I can’t stop.

I enjoy the challenge of setting a goal and meeting it. I enjoy the camaraderie of the running community and the encouragement from spectators and volunteers. I enjoy the energy of the day. It hits all my senses at the start line: the early morning chill, the taste of peanut butter on a cinnamon raisin bagel for breakfast, the smell of runners’ freshly washed clothes while they line up, the sound of music blasting from the loud speakers and the inspirational voice of the emcee, and the sight of hundreds of runners moving like a wave up Main Street from the Olympic Speedskating Oval toward the Lake Placid Conference Center. It’s a rush.

Through its highs and lows, my weight-loss journey continues. And whether I share my struggles in the newspaper or not, you should know that I will never give up. Even on my darkest days, I cling on to the hope that I will eventually reach my goals.

For now, my goal is to get to the start line of a half-marathon in Lake Placid, whether it’s in June or September. I’ve done it in the past, and I’m confident I can do it again. I hope to see you there.


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Blog Photos

Runners make their way up Main Street past the post office during the 2015 Lake Placid Marathon and Half. (News photo — Lou Reuter)