by staff contributor Preston Ranton

As I awoke this morning, from yesterday's carbohydrate binge , I thought to myself "Man...I think it is time to get back in the game."

I had ended 2014 on a pretty strong note. I participated in the Sea Leg's Shuffle 10 Mile Road Race (my first race over 5 miles), my first half (Hartford Half Marathon) and finished the year with a handful of PR's in some smaller road races. I began 2015 really strong also. I ran 23 days straight in January, participating in our Winter Warrior Challenge and then was laid out by the plague or so it seemed.

My son, Cooper, spent the better end of January and the beginning of February absent from school and passed on his illness to his good old papa. I was able to make it out for at least a walk the first 2 days of sickness, but that third day there was nothing that could get me out of bed. It was then that my month long hibernation began.

This winter has been the worst for most outdoor activity...I am sure you all agree. I wish I could say that I am the type of person to get myself on the treadmill when the elements don't suit me, but I am not...I just can't do it. Every morning I would wake up and say to myself, "I really should get up and get my butt out the door." But that was quickly followed by a, "Nah, I can start later."

During this hibernation I have been running roughly 1 day a week and indulging in all of the great restaurants that Branford has to offer. It is not helping my bank account nor my growing stomach. I would like to take a moment here to thank Jared from Home for somehow knowing what type of special to entice me with whenever I visit. 

Three weeks ago I was offered an opportunity to raise money for a great charity, OutRUN 38! They have asked me to run the New York City Marathon! Wow! The New York City Marathon!  It is such an honor to even be offered such an opportunity. For a few days I said, "Thanks, but no." Who has time to do that? Who wants to run longer than 3 hours at a time? Well...I guess a lot of people, but I didn't think I was one of those people. A few more days passed and a few conversations happened and guess what?! I changed my mind. Looking back 8 years, I said I would never run more than 5 miles. Last year I ran my first 10 mile race and half marathon, this year it looks like I am doing a full marathon. This is an event that will change my life and will be a true test of my organization and time management skills. Being a dad, a husband, community member, and the GM for a couple running stores definitely does not allow for much time to run. It's funny, you would think because I work at a running store, I would have more time to RUN!

So, back to how I felt this morning! After a day of carbo loading and not using the carbs effectively, I have decided it is time to roll. I am not beginning my "training" yet, but it is time to get out of the rut and at least get consistent. I am going away this weekend for a mini vacation and plan to start back on Monday! I am going to let the nasty weather pass this weekend before I start my routine...I think starting on a good weather note is the thing to do. 

I am excited for this new chapter and to see how it changes me. I am also nervous...26.2 miles is a long run!

In the coming months I plan to update you on my progress. I will also share my running schedule and invite all of you to join me on my runs. I will need the encouragement to get me through this and sharing my schedule will hold me accountable.

I look forward to sharing with you.  See you on the road!