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Phil In The Blank


Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio


Thanks to runners



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November 27, 2013 - I have lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving 2013, the year I decided to get myself in decent shape for some reason.

Folks here at the office say I should have made some sort of campaign out of my weight loss (85 pounds so far!), with before and after pictures, stories, and such.

I didn't expect much of it to happen, though, over the last year. It started as a New Year's resolution. Eat less, get in shape, blah blah blah.

But I kept with it. Thanks to everyone who provided encouragement and positive comments!

I somehow became a runner, too, rather than the jog-walker I had been in previous weight-loss endeavors.

I ran the whole race in the Clarkston State Bank Half Marathon, with a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, and some seconds. I'm thankful to all the folks cheering us on, and fellow runners, especially one who was moving to pass me on the final stretch up Washington Street. She made me go faster, letting me come in a few seconds under 2:13, which in turn lets me cite the 2:12 time.

This is a great improvement on previous performances. It's more than an hour faster than my time in the 2008 Brooksie Way, and the pace is about 50 percent faster than any of the 10-mile Crim races I completed.

I'm also thankful for the Wolfpack running club, who let me train with them a couple times. That paid off big. When I got to the Dark Lake neighborhood hills near the end of the race, I was ready for them others weren't, I noticed.

I'm still running, which is also a first for me. I usually take a break from any kind of running after a big race, through the winter, into spring, sometimes into summer before I'd even consider hitting the track again.

It's a bit cold, but the Army taught me how to deal with that. Below freezing? Wear your track suit, hat and gloves and you'll be alright.

The half marathon isn't Clarkston's only running event, of course. Angel Place Race is set for the spring. I covered it before, but never took part. I plan to this time. Which event, the 5K or 10K? Ten, of course!

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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