Welcome to Getting Fit at Fifty

My name is Art Davis and I started running in 2007 to lose weight. Check out my before and after photos at the bottom of the page. I ran my first 5K and 10K in 2007 I went on to run my first half Marathon and full Marathon in 2008.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

First 10k

First 10k

My first 10k was the Thanksgiving Day Race 11/22/2007 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  During the training I was having to stop and walk during my long runs. My longest run was three weeks before the race and it was 7 miles.
At the beginning of the race a few people cramped up during the first steep hill and had to stop and walk. Close to end of the race I was beginning to run out of steam, but was able to suck it up and finish the 10k without walking. I finished the 10k (6.2 miles) in 1:07:24 with a pace of 10:52.

Sporting my T-shirt before the race.

It was cold the morning of the race, everyone was bundled up and trying to keep warm.

The starting line for the race.

The race finished in the Paul Brown Stadium.

Getting close to the end!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

10 Mile Run

The body is an amazing thing.The way it can bounce back from sickness and injury is incredible. I finished the Disney Marathon with a nasty blister on my right little toe, that was several layers of skin deep. That is finding out the hard way that you are running in the wrong size of shoe. The blister was caused by my little toe rubbing against the side of the shoe for 26.2 miles, After we flew home from vacation I went to the Doctor with a sinus infection. Between both the blister and sinus infection I was unable to run for a little over two weeks. Today with very little time back at running I went outside and ran 10 miles without having to stop and walk. Needless to say I am a little pleased with myself so come with me on a 10 mile run.

Heading out the door the goal is to do an LSD (Long Slow Distance) to gauge my recovery. Heading into the first mile it felt really good, running into the wind and not getting winded at all. I remember thinking in the back of my mind "just go for 10 miles". About 4 miles into the run I cut through the parking lot of a Doctor's Office and the wind was starting to pick up. The office's flag looked pretty blowing in the wind so I stopped and took a picture of it.

The ground in this area is flat and open so the wind really picks up and forces me to slow down my pace, telling myself "This is good training". 8 miles into the run I start getting tired and am thinking "maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all." Then I turn a corner and the wind is at my back and I keep running. Getting close to the end the wind again is in my face and I am telling myself "You can either walk home or run home, it is going to take less time if you run." The run finishes in front of the clubhouse at our apartment building. Their flag is blowing straight out in the wind, this is a picture of it

Remember, just keep running!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Approximately 50,000 runners participated in at least one of the 4 Run Disney events. The Marathon alone attracted approximately 20,000 runners. The marathon weaved through all 4 parks, down service roads that connect the parks and the ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex.

Welcome to the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon. Join me for the fun!

After picking up your packet it is recommended that you try on your shirt to make sure that it fits.

Presenters at the expo included John Bingham, aka "The Penguin", Dave McGillvray,  the Race Director of the Boston Marathon, and actor Sean Astin.

Mickey and Minnie are wearing their Run Disney costumes.

The Pasta in the Park was held in Epcot, the night before the Marathon.

Sporting my marathon shirt passing Spaceship Earth on the way to the Pasta in the Park (carb loading event).

For dessert none other than a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar.

Since the Disney Marathon starts at 5:30am, we had to get up around 2:30 in order to catch a 4am shuttle to Epcot.

Disney used technology, fireworks and fanfare to kick off the marathon.

As each group of runners are released fireworks are set off.

The finish line is in Epcot near Spaceship Earth.

The winners are showered with confetti as they cross the finish line.

Here I am heading towards the finish line.

Getting a high five from Donald Duck.

Welcomed to the finish line by Mickey Mouse.

I am celebrating finishing a 26.2 mile run.

Here I am with my medal immediately after the race.

What do you do after you run the Disney Marathon?
You go to Disney World!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Beginning

Every journey has a first step, mine started in 2006 when my weight ballooned to 240 pounds. I wore size 44 slacks and they getting tight ready to go into 46’s. My triglycerides were over 400 and my blood pressure was high, I was already on Lipitor and the doctor was threatening to start me on hyper-tension medicine. I remember climbing a flight of stairs completely winded me. I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Below is a picture of me at close to my peak weight.
I started walking, watching what I eat, and even hired a personal trainer. My weight loss was going well and eventually I was able to lose close to 40 pounds. I felt better. I was capable of walking 4.5 miles in an hour on the treadmill, I was doing sit ups, push-ups, planks and crunches. No longer did climbing a flight of stairs wind me, I was down to size 40’s in slacks.

This picture was taken in late 2006.

In 2007 I plateaued at 200 pounds and could not break through it. I researched online and learned one way to break through a plateau was to increase the intensity of my exercising. I started walking briskly then running short bursts and back to walking. My girlfriend/cheerleader challenged me to train for the Komen Race for the Cure 5k in Evansville.  I found a C25k (couch to 5k) plan on the Internet and trained for and successfully completed my first race. I remember the elation that I felt at being able to run 3.1 miles without having to stop and walk. Here is a picture of me taken at the Komen 5k in 2007.

Coming off the elation I felt at completing my first 5k another friend challenged me to run a slightly longer distance, the Cincinnati Flying Pig, a full marathon. On 9/16/2007, I had just run the longest distance of my life 3.1 miles and by 5/4/2008, I had to be ready to run 26.2 miles. Eventually I will tell you about my first 10k,  then my first ½ marathon, and finally the full marathon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The 2015 Walt Disney Marathon

The 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon
On January 11, 2015, I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon in 4 hours and 38 minutes, which was a PR for me. The Disney Marathon is a very well organized race, if the runner chooses to stay on grounds Disney has buses dedicated to transport runners to the packet pick-up as well as to the race and back to the hotel.
The expo is first rate, the presenters are all very good, and offer excellent advice especially for the first time marathoner. Several major companies have booths at the expo and offer their products for sale.
I got the opportunity to purchase a book from Jeff Galloway, have it autographed, and get my picture taken with him.

Among the presenters were John Bingham, “The Penguin”, Dave McGillivray, Race Director of the Boston Marathon and the actor Sean Astin.

The Pasta in the Park was held in Epcot on Saturday night. They had a DJ and a speaker who was comical and included the audience in her routines. A few Disney characters including Mickey and Goofy were on hand to have their pictures taken. Below is a picture that was taken as we walked back to the Pasta Dinner.

There are some Mickey Mouse themed desserts.

All you need is a rally good pair of running shoes and a great cheerleader!

The Disney Marathon starts at 5:30 am and the buses start running at 3:00 am with the last bus leaving at 4:30am. We were on a bus before 4am and that was plenty late given the traffic. The traffic is backed up bumper to bumper heading to the starting line.
The morning of race enjoying my coffee.

Below is a picture that was taken as my corral was inching closer to the starting line.

You can chose to run the Disney Marathon for fun or for time. My goal was to PR so I chose time, but that is hard to do. There are plenty of Disney Characters along the way that you can stop and have your picture taken with, also some rides are running and you can stop and jump on those. I noticed several people stopping and taking selfies in front of attractions.
There are plenty of water stations along the way and Cliff Shots are handed out at few of them. There are times when the path narrows and you are cramped together and it is hard to pass slower runners. I found myself stopping and walking through most water stations by necessity to keep from running into people.
This is a picture of me high fiving Mickey close to the finish line.

Here is a picture of me with my medal right after the race.

Running the Disney Marathon had been on my bucket list for the last several years. It finally worked out for me to accomplish this goal. I look forward to talking to you again soon.