From numerous firsts (first time to run a 5k, first time to run a marathon, etc.) to new personal records, and even recovery from injury, it seems like I’ve done it all now.

However, with each new first, I also see new possibilities!

It was a big change.

To me, it’s amazing I’ve been an athlete for almost a decade, after more than 20 years of sedentary weight gain.

Other than a few attempts at team sports like basketball, baseball, and soccer, I was always a swimmer from grade school through high school, so being a runner and cyclist as a middle-aged adult is quite a change of pace for me!

In adulthood, heading toward middle age, I finally got my bell rung as grandparents repeatedly died of chronic illness. It was time to finally take control of my health and fitness, once and for all.

I got diet help and cut fat. Now I eat better than ever before. In fact, when I eat out, I often order 2 entrees, just so I can have protein, carbs AND vegetables! Sometimes I’m amazed by a waiter who mentions how well I eat.

How it began.

Over a decade ago, I took up triathlon training — which meant I’d have to become a runner — and 3 years later was able to run a 5k (I did not train much in the winters then, and I took time off whenever I experienced shin splints, which was often in my early days of running). Thanks to a free entry from Jack and Adams Bicycles (now Bicycle World), I did my first 5k at the end of a triathlon!

A couple weeks later, I ran my first 5k, and almost immediately, my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to train with her. Just 6 months later, I was toeing the line, ready to run a marathon.

Since then, I’ve completed numerous other running and obstacle course races, and several more triathlons, in distances including sprint, olympic, and half Ironman.

Athletic Schedule and History

Here’s a brief history of my notable athletic achievements since I began my journey into middle-aged athleticism.

It ends with my next planned athletic events.

I got diet help and cut fat. Now I eat better. I also took up triathlon training.


Theme: After just a few months of riding my bike for health and fitness, I knew I would die young and overweight if that was all there was to it. I resolved to compete in a triathlon, which meant I’d need to become a runner: I began run training.


Theme: Rode my bike and continued run training near my house at Lake Pflugerville.


Theme: Rode my bike in various cycling events around Central Texas and continued run training.


Theme: Beginning Competition

  • First Sprint Triathlon: Jack’s Generic — Age Group 3rd Place Swim
  • First 5k: 5k for Clay — Age Group 4th Place
  • Avia Austin Triathlon — Age Group 4th Place Swim
  • First Splash n Dash: Pure Austin
  • First 10 Mile race: Run For The Water
  • First Half Marathon, on a trail — Age Group 3rd Place


Theme: Going Longer in Competition

  • First Half Marathon, on a road (3M Half Marathon)
  • First Marathon: Austin Marathon (it was horrible)
  • P Five 55 Series Triathlon:
    • Age Group 2nd Place Swim
    • Age Group 5th Place
  • Jack’s Generic Triathlon: Age Group 2nd Place Swim
  • First Olympic Triathlon: Capitol of Texas Triathlon


Theme: More and Longer

  • First 30k: Rogue Distance Festival
  • Second Marathon: Austin Marathon (like a nice, easy, long run)
  • First OCR: Spartan Sprint
  • First hilly half marathon: Decker Challenge


Theme: Professional Coaching and More Volume

  • First Marathon training with Rogue Running (time improves 21 minutes)
  • First 8k: Run Free Texas 80s 8k — Top 14% Overall
  • Completed Spartan Trifecta


Theme: Reaching the Age Group Podium

  • 3M Half Marathon: Top 9% Overall
  • 2nd Marathon with Rogue Running: time improved 19 minutes. current personal record 3:44.59
  • Silicon Labs Sunshine Run
    • 2nd Place, Age Group
    • Top 20 Overall
    • Top 9% Men
  • Statesman Capitol 10k, Top 7% Age Group

Spent the latter half of the year struggling with over-training symptoms including frequent nagging injuries and illnesses, repetitive ankle rolls and twists.


Theme: Overtrained

First Houston Marathon. I was badly undertrained. What was supposed to be an “easy” marathon running Lori to her own PR had me walking by mile 14 and literally re-learning to run in order to finish the marathon. While I was not able to run with her as intended, Lori DID achieve her PR, thanks to the help of Natasha and other Rogue Running teammates.

First Half Ironman; Austin 70.3. Again, I was badly undertrained.

  • Swim canceled: zero visibility on the water due to fog that morning, wreaked havoc on many athletes’ nutrition plans.
  • I cramped going uphill a few miles from the bike course finish, had to dismount the bike to recover.
  • Walked the majority of the run course.


Theme: Injury Recovery and Strength Training

Spent the year recovering from severe ankle sprain December 2016. Trained foot, ankle, glutei, core strength and stability pretty much the entire year.


Theme: Surgery Recovery and Aerobic Training

After a brief attempt to return to full-time training, spent the year recovering from hernia surgery and walking, training Maffetone 180 – HR Method.


Theme: Return to Performance

  • Lake Pflugerville Triathlon, 1st place, Age Group Swim
  • Jack’s Generic Triathlon, 1st place, Age Group Swim
  • October Color Run 5k
  • October Run For The Water
Dylan Cornelius begins the 5k run leg of the Lake Pflugerville Triathlon, June 16, 2019.
Dylan Cornelius begins the 5k run leg of the Lake Pflugerville Triathlon, June 16, 2019.

More Information

For a more complete athletic schedule, including some of my not so great results, see Athlinks