Lal Karsanbhai

In the summer of 2010 my wife, Vija, and I attended an event at our local golf club. As part of the festivities a photographer was on hand to take pictures. We had our picture taken and when it was returned to us later in the evening, I couldn’t recognize myself. Was that me? I was 41 years old and weighed 190lbs…and quickly heading to 200+.

I had ignored everyone’s advice to eat better and exercise for years but that moment, that picture, was a big time wake-up call.

I had run in my teens and into my early twenties but for the past twenty years the only time I ran was when chased - which wasn’t very often! However, the next day, on a beautiful June day, I bought a pair of running shoes. To my dismay, I couldn’t run a single mile. Over a period of three months I worked myself into “mile” shape and was able to run a sub-7 mile and in the process had lost 30lbs. The next step was to increase mileage and enter a race - I was only running about 10-15 miles a week. I entered the Dallas Uptown 5M and ran it in 36:25. Now I was cooking and went on to train and run my first half marathon in 1:38:05 in March of 2011.

A co-worker of mine is friends with Chris and recommended that I contact him in April of 2011 to help me train for my first marathon - Chicago in October 2011. I met Chris in late April and was immediately taken by his openness, knowledge and respect for the sport and tremendously positive outlook - he had just returned from racing the Boston Marathon! I knew this was someone I wanted in my life. We started working together in May 2011 and as a result of Chris’ individualized training plans, excellent feedback and nursing advice on injuries I ran a 3:20:09 first marathon in Chicago.

Chris and I continue to work together, finding new boundaries and with hard work and patience breaking thru them. In March 2012 I ran the Dallas Rock & Roll Half in 1:26:43 and followed it up with a 3:02:57 at the Paris Marathon on April 15, 2012…which I ran at 138lbs! I owe Chris a tremendous amount for his coaching and friendship and with Vija have changed my life. Chris and I joke that the best is yet to come…but it is true. The next five years will be unbelievable.

With StraitSpeed
5K - 18:57
Half Marathon - 1:26:43
Marathon - 3:02:57