What’s up? My name is Shaun. I’m 31 and I’m from South Bend, Indiana. Oh and I guess I should mention; I’m Courtney’s better looking (and more refined, oops!) older brother.

Since Courtney’s been bugging me to do a guest blog on my dating life, I figured I’d do one on the half marathon I just ran in Indianapolis! Because dude, I rather talk about that.

An out of shape, beer drinking 29-year old

All through high school I was an athlete. I played on two State Championship football teams and eventually went on to play college football.  After two years though, I decided I was done with football and transferred to Indiana University. Cue the beer drinking! And somewhere along the line, I lost my desire to work out and stay in shape. 

Fast forward a few years and I was an out of shape, beer drinking smoker at 29 years old.  Around this time, I was out at a bar one night and met an attractive girl who told me she was a marathon runner.  I thought; “Wow, I can’t imagine running that far.”  So one day in August, in an attempt to find more in common with this girl (and maybe impress her!), I went out for a run.  I can remember how hot it was and how bad it hurt.  I thought to myself; “Lord, I hope this girl is worth the pain.” I ended up running 1.2 miles and almost died!  A week later, I ran 1.3 miles.  I decided to set a New Year’s resolution and the goal was to run 3 miles by the end of February. And thankfully, I did it! 

In June, I ran the local Sunburst 5k, and amazingly, I finished in 26:57! At this point, I realized I was hooked. I went on to run a number of different 5Ks and even a 10K and then I decided I needed to run a half marathon!  I wanted to run the Indianapolis Mini because I knew a lot of people that ran it and I wanted a chance to run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  I got the Hal Higdon 1/2 marathon training calendar and stuck to it for 12 weeks, and made a goal to run it in under 2 hours.

The moment of truth

On the morning of the race it was cold, but I was pumped – the atmosphere was electric!  I started the race out with a friend, but it quickly became obvy that she couldn’t keep up with me – so I had to leave her in my dust (sorry, Cid!). I was really going at a good clip! And then the worst thing happened – my calf started getting tighter and tighter until I couldn’t run anymore! I don’t know if it was the cold weather, but at mile two I stopped and stretched my calf out (and said a little prayer!).  This couldn’t be happening to me; I’ve trained too hard and put in too many miles! Of course, this happened two or three more times within the first 3 or 4 miles. GEEZ!  I powered through the pain for the next 8 miles though, and then I was back in business.  I had a good playlist in my iPod that gave me lots of inspiration and motivation.  I was feeling pretty great when I started seeing the downtown skyline.  This added some pep to my step because I knew the race was almost over, but it also made me a bit melancholy because I knew all of that hard work was coming to an end. 

Proof: I'm awesome!!

I quickly reached for my iPod and cued up a little Joe Esposito “You’re the Best” (from “Karate Kid”, HA!) and I watched as the 3/4 and 1/2 mile signs came and went.  As I was nearing the finish line, I looked up at the camera and smiled – or maybe it was a grimace, but I was happy.  I was DONE!  And then it hit me.  I got a little emotional thinking about just how far I’d come from the beer drinking, cigarette smoking, out of shape Shaun – to the 1/2 marathon running veteran in tip top shape! And get this – I finished 1:59:00 on the dot! 

The race proved to be one of the most enjoyable times of my life.  The twelve week training program really prepared me for the race and that preparation also helped me to overcome adversity when I hurt myself in the beginning.  The mental toughness I’ve gained as a runner is immeasurable.  I definitely plan to run this race again!

As for the girl, well, we’re just friends now. But I give her a lot of credit for helping me to turn my life around. It’s funny, because in the beginning this whole thing was about a girl. But in the end I realized, it’s about me. I didn’t just grow as an athlete with this experience – I grew as a person. And that’s the best feeling of all.

Now, someone get me a cold beer! 

8 Comments on Introducing Shaun: my guest blogging brother!

  1. Shaun that was a great article – course I’m sure a little editing from the prof helped. But this may be something you enjoy – blogging about your running experiences, the passions you have in life. Think of all the cool running, jogging chicks you can connect with. haha. Listen to your sister – she can help you get set up.

    Great article and I am so proud of you for beginning and accomplishing the half-marathon. As a young boy I always told you if you started something – like a sport – you had to finish it! Great job!!

    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Don’t Make Your Pet Have To Take On An Armed Intruder! =-.

  2. Just so everyone knows, my original write-up went thru the editing ringer so if you think the writing sounds similar to Courtney’s, hmmm, there’s a reason behind it. I guess it didn’t sound ‘bloggy’ enough originally.

  3. Shaunny! That was such a good story! Cid even got a shout out! You made me emotional (the real emotional ha!).
    Love you and Congrats!!

  4. Shaun– I am so proud of you. Reading your article made me get a little emotional! I remember you telling me about your first runs and every time you made a new milestone! Your an awesome friend and person and I am so grateful for running that first 3 minutes with you in the mini..ha ha! Love you dubbz!! You kicked butt out there!!

    Xoxo cidney (ciddy poopoo as you like to say)

  5. Nice work Shaun! Now you are ready for a full one! Jase and I have been traveling around doing 5K’s, and now Jase is doing a half marathon (I’m not quite ready for that yet). But it’s fun to be active and travel around doing them. Also, maybe there should be a section on the site called “Dear Dubbz” where we all write in questions to Shaun! ha! Or WWDD? That would be awesome.

  6. I like this idea! What would Dubbz do? Shaun, get off your arse and start blogging dude! I’ll start working on him!! Erin, when are you going to guesty?

  7. Hey Shaun, loved your article. Guess you got the writing gene too! I am proud of you for working so hard. Maybe this will inspire me!

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