thomasallen63 I am an artist, award-winning illustrator and secular homeschooler. I live with my family on a 4.5 acre farm in SW Michigan where I run. I enjoy beekeeping, maple sugaring and soap making. I am a member of SW Michigan Racers, American Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Tell us a little about yourself.I am an artist and an award-winning illustrator. I live on a 4.5 acre farm in SW Michigan where I run. I enjoy beekeeping, maple sugaring and soap making. I ran my first half marathon in 2016 (two of them to be exact).
What inspires you to reach your goals?Now that I'm 35lbs lighter, I look and feel better. My asthma is under control and my obstructive sleep apnea is nearly non-existent. I never want to go back to that!
How would you motivate someone who wants to start to improve their health?Find an activity that you enjoy doing, start gradually and set realistic, reachable goals. You will have good days and bad. The good days will motivate you. The bad days will drag you down, but don't let them defeat you. Let others inspire you, but NEVER compare yourself to them.
What is your personal motto when it comes to being fit?BE YOUR OWN HERO. I ran over 800 miles in 2016. That might not seem like much to some runners, but for, it's a huge accomplishment.
Tell us something you have learned about nutrition.Poor nutrition can (and will) have a negative effect on your health. I developed a chronic, digestive disorder that could have been prevented if I had been more active and made better food choices when I was younger.
What sports or activities do you participate in?Running
Why did you get involved with this activity?To lose weight, be fit and to prevent flare ups stemming from a chronic illness. So far, so good!

Author Archives: thomasallen63


Some people experience health scares and refuse to change while others see the situation as a wakeup call and decide to do something about it. I am the latter. Two years ago, after an illness triggered a dramatic loss of weight, I promised myself that I would become active to improve my health and to keep the weight off. So far, so good! […]

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On Sunday, May 7th, I ran the Kalamazoo Marathon – my first full marathon. After 18 weeks of training, I was ready. The race started with a full field of participants until the route split. Half marathon runners continued north and marathon racers headed east. Suddenly, the open road became very lonely! As you can imagine, […]

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    While training for my first full marathon, I’ve learned that it is both physically AND mentally challenging. While one stresses the limits of your body, the other triggers doubt and tries to keep you from focusing on the task at hand.   “It’s too cold.” “It looks like it might rain.” “It’s too late in the […]

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After my life-changing illness (brought on by years of eating poorly) there’s no such thing as a ‘cheat meal’ for me because I have to watch what I eat every day or risk triggering a painful recurrence. Foods high in fat make me feel miserable. Mind you, I’m no saint. Social situations are always challenging because […]

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2017 Fitness Goals

My goal for 2017 is both manageable and achievable: 18 weeks of training (Hansons Marathon Method) for the Kalamazoo Marathon in May and another 18 weeks of training for the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank International Marathon in Detroit in October. A few speed/strength workouts will be substituted with a few local races (like the Sarett […]

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While training for the Priority Health International Half Marathon in Detroit last year, all of my speed work was completed on a local, middle school track with members of my running group. While it’s always great to run with others, I’m accustomed to running on open roads. Going around in circles drove me crazy! A few weeks ago, I […]

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I officially began training for the Kalamazoo Marathon (Sunday May 7th) today with a 6-mile easy run. My new crampons (with cleats running along the outside edges of my shoes only) kept me upright on the ice and snow. I’m following the Hansons Marathon Method 6-day, advanced schedule. Just 17 weeks and 3 days to […]

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Numbers Game

At the start of the year, I had no set distance goals. I was running simply for the health benefit. I overcame an illness and went from couch potato to distance runner in little over a year. I never anticipated that even though my doctor predicted it! This year included 7 races with 5 medals – 2 […]

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It was 17 degrees here last Thursday afternoon. The roads were covered in solid ice and the last thing I wanted to do was run. However, I once read that when you don’t feel motivated, get dressed anyway. So I did and, sure enough, that did the trick! With crampons on my feet and multiple layers to […]

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I ran the Allegan Ugly Sweater 5K on December 3rd. While most of the runners chose to wear new, ‘ugly’ fashions, I went with a repurposed sweater that I found at the Salvation Army store in Holland last month. Total cost: $1.54. Since I’m an artist, I couldn’t stop there, so I added LED lights and […]

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