So first I'd be remiss if I didn't say Thank You to the companies that have helped me over the last 5 years...and hopefully the next 5+.
At 5' 10" and 225lbs (on a good day) I realize it's probably my larger than average runner size and ideal 9d shoe size that have gotten me wear tests from New Balance, Brooks, Puma, Saucony and Pearl Izumi, but it's well appreciated all the same.
Also, I've been lucky enough to win some things from Nathan Hydration, Mizuno and Power Balance.
The Active Network has been amazing and the chance to be an Active Ambassador for reGen and Aquaphor helped me meet so many amazing people/athletes. Also, two years as a member of the Timex Factory Team. There's no better feeling than representing and spreading the word of companies you believe in while doing something you love.
Thanks for the past, present...and God-willing...future support.
Another thought: I've noticed I have a running ego. Never thought I had an ego about anything! However, during this starting over I've noticed that it's been the most difficult, humbling part. I was never really fast, and certainly aren't now, but I used to be better than this. It makes it difficult and slightly embarrassing. I know with time I'll get back to where I was and beyond, but patience has always been my Achilles heel.
One more thing. Why are people so snooty about training? Can't be a "runner" and lift or can't be serious about lifting and run. Why can't people just accept that we're lucky to have and use these wonderful bodies as often and in as many ways as possible?
The best part of this experience (endurance training over the last 5 years) has been the challenge to let go of my preconceived notions and thoughts...just trying to keep an open mind and spirit.
Although the tester shoes and gear haven't been bad either! ;)