Today I am going a few easy miles with runner, husband, and father, AJ Scarlato.
AJ has recently come back into the sport after injuries and life forced running to take a back seat.
He recently started a blog and a podcast to help hold him accountable and chronicle his journey for others.
A Shift In Priorities
AJ began running cross country in high school and had a 5k PR of sub 20 minutes.
Almost two decades later he is now working to break 30 minutes.
Quite a bit has happened during that time and knowing he has the potential to improve is what drives AJ.
Responsibilities ranging from work to family shifted his priorities away from his health.
AJ found himself the heaviest he has ever been and decided to make a change.
He resumed running in 2009 and slowly progressed from 5ks up to a marathon.
Training was often not ideal and sometimes almost non-existent.
While training for his first marathon he was hit with a trifecta of life events- a child was born, a new job, and moving.
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26.2 to Injured
AJ completed his first marathon in the spring of 2012.
In the months leading up to the race, AJ’s running was sparse having done about 9 runs total.
Sheer determination and stubbornness got AJ to the finish line, but it was not without significant pain.
AJ had difficulty walking in the days following the race due to knee pain.
Feelings of disappointment followed the race knowing he could have prepared properly.
Along with a range of emotions, his knee continued to worsen.
The end result was surgery on his knee which delayed running for 8 months.
It was this year that thoughts of training properly for a marathon entered his mind.
Accountability Through Social Media
AJ knew that he needed to drastically change the way he previously approached training.
He needed a way to be able to hold himself accountable.
As a result, he started a blog and a podcast as a way to document his journey.
A self-described, “Average Joe,” AJ wanted to share his pitfalls as well as his successes.
Marathon training now is much slower and methodical for AJ.
AJ is fascinated with the battle that occurs in the mind while running.
Every runner regardless of ability has ups and downs during most runs and must learn to overcome the challenges they are faced with.
Learning to successfully manage those down moments help to deal with other parts of life as well.
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