Thursday, October 23, 2008

5 months and 26.2 miles later….

So it has been 3 weeks since I ran the thing and my only post after the race was the result. That kind seems like the equivalent of watching however many years of ER and the last episode is just a still photo of the hospital on fire.

I will start from the evening before. I met my former co-worker Jason, his wife and sisters at the Runners Expo where you have to pick up your packets. It also serves a last minute scramble to buy the crap one needs. We had the Buca sponsored pasta dinner and it was a nice way to spend the prerace, relaxing and shoving copious amounts of pasta into my face. I would have made the effort to run with other Jason, but he was shooting for 7 minute miles and I was shooting for not dropping dead, so we weren’t exactly a good running pair.

I got home and got to bed before 10. I was a little nervous about the whole thing still. I felt like although I had done the 20 miler, that I was adding damn near a 1/3 of that distance on top of the 20 and that it was possible that my body would not be able to put up with the extra strain. Plus, for the week before, I had all of the sudden developed these weird phantom pains in various parts of my legs that I was sure would do me in. Oh, and to the jerkwad that called at 11:30 from an unlisted number; Thanks for the panic attack you caused when I woke up confused as hell.

I woke up before the alarm and got ready. I was more than prepared with everything set out and ready to go. Mrs. Fatguy dropped me off near the Metrodome and it was pretty damn cold. I went inside the dome, where it appeared that I may be the only person there that was not running with someone or associated with a group, because I stood there like a lonely idiot just waiting for the fun to begin. I moved with the crowds as they began to head toward the starting line. Since I was going to run with the pace group, I followed the balloons that were bobbing through the crowd that signified that a pace group leader was below. Standing around in the vicinity of the balloons, it was now waiting time. After about fifteen minutes, the crowd started moving forward. Was there a gun, a bell, a buzzer, or some other audible indicator that we should start? I have no idea. This is the point that things became a total blur.

Mile 1-3: At some point I struck up a conversation with a man named Jeff, who lived in Maple Grove and worked in Lauderdale. He was quite a bit taller than me and it was his first marathon. We were both new to the running strategy that the pace group was employing, which was run 5 minutes walk 1 minute. I also saw my Boss’ boss around this time.

Mile 3-7: Rain. Black Sheets of Rain to quote a Minnesota music legend. I was actually pretty happy about this. One of the struggles that I had training was getting overheated. That was not going to be a problem. I also saw my wife and our friends standing under an umbrella during this point. That was pretty cool. Thank God for the IKEA umbrella that stands out.

Mile 8-10: Catch-up. I got ahead a little bit from the group because they were slowing down at water stops and I did not need water because my face was full of it. I found a Port-a-Potty and by the time I got out, I was behind and needed to catch up.

Mile 10-12: Got ahead again and was making what I thought was good time. The problem was I needed to go to the bathroom again. Since I drank so much before the race I now needed to expel it. I skipped a couple bathrooms because I did not want to break my stride, but eventually I thought that I was far enough ahead that I could stop at a row of 2 port-a-potties. Huge mistake. It took forever. There was a group of women who came up behind me and ended up peeing in the bushes if that is any indication

Why did I not just pee in the bushes? Let me tell you. I was going to do nothing to give some overzealous race official an excuse to kick me out. I had worked too damn hard at this to get kicked out because I am not civilized enough to pee in a restroom. That being said, if I run another marathon I will be peeing wherever the hell I want, including tall people with brown pants if they look enough like a tree.

So now I was well behind the pace group. I also blew my chance at doing much better on the 13.1 mile time than I did earlier this year. I ended up crossing that at 2 hours 31 minutes. I swear it would have been 2:10 had I not waited for that stupid bathroom.

Mile 12-15: Catch-up. I think this is how long it took me to catch back up to the pace group. Since I knew they were walking and running, I figured that I would get them eventually. You start to fixate on the balloons as they come into view, and as they slow down and speed up you have to hope that they are running at a slower pace than you.

Mile 16- 24: This is the 8 miles that I spent bargaining with myself. If I could just make it to 18, then it is only 8 miles left and I do 8 miles fairly often. Just get to there and then deal with it. 20 miles is only 6 miles left and that is less than 8 miles. Just get to there and then deal with it. 22 miles is only 4 miles and I do that weekly. Just get to there and then deal with it. 24 miles is only a little over 2 miles away. No problem.

Mile 24: I knew that my wife and some friends would be on Grand and Victoria, but since St. Paul might as well be Belfast, Ireland when it comes to my knowledge of the streets, I was basically running street to street at this point until I found them. My stomach was upset from the gels I had eaten because they were so damn sugary. However, when I spotted my father in law and then realized that the group in front of them was all for me, I was ultra-inspired. They cheered and held up signs that said “Go Veronica’s dad” It was at this point that I had no doubt at all that I was going to pull this off.

Mile 25 – Success:
It was at this point that the pace group leader said that she was going to have to slow it down because we were a little ahead of pace. They need to finish within 2 minutes of the time they are running. She announced to the group that if we had legs, feel free to run ahead. At first, I decided that I had come this far with these folks, might as well see it through. Then I realized that I had more energy than I ever thought I would at this point and went ahead. The route has you round a corner at the Cathedral and you can see the finish line downhill from you about a half mile from the finish line. It was at this point that I took off. I saw my Mom screaming for me, so I was happy that she witnessed my effort. I was passing people left and right. At least that is how I remember it. I probably only passed 2 people. And they were probably all on my right. Regardless, I was running as fast as I could. I came close to trying to overtake the guy that finished right before me. I think I would have needed a couple more feet to pull that off.

First thing when I crossed the finish line? Fight back tears as I looked for a place to go to the bathroom. You see, the other challenge that I had for the last ten miles was that I was pretty sure that I was going to crap my pants. It took all the intestinal fortitude I had not to stop and not to make a huge, embarrassing mess in my pants. Thank God I was successful, because I would have kept going, believe that.

I found my mom, friend Ryan, mother and father in-law, wife and adorable daughter in the family meeting area. At that point I did not know my finish time, as the clock reflected the gun time which was 5:02.

We went to a lunch and for the first time in my life; I was unable to finish a hamburger. And in March of this year I ate a 2 pound hamburger in one sitting at Flameburger on Central Ave. They better have my picture up.

I went home and took an ice bath, totally hydrated myself and tried to stay off my feet. I had to work the next day and really did not want to be hobbling around. For the most part I was OK. It would be sore when I initially got up, but once I got going I was fine. I even walked to the bus stop a ¼ mile away the next morning.

I also weighed myself pre race and post race to give everyone the final weight loss.

Pre-race: 201
Post-race: 204

I almost stomped on the scale when I saw this, but then I realized that it would make me look even fatter if I did that. I realized that I had drunk a boatload of liquid and that it was afternoon weighing vs. morning so that may have caused the difference.

Please stick with me. It has been difficult to write this. I wish it was because I was going to miss the experience of running and blogging about it, but in truth it is because I am creatively drained and physically exhausted. I also needed to catch up with all the things in life that had been put on hold while I was doing this. I owe one more summary post to wrap things up and need a couple days.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Week Twenty-Four: Friday

So, this day is the “Walk 2” day. I have been looking forward to this day for the last 20 weeks. I know that I can walk 2. I headed out after work with Maizy, armed with an ipod playlist of inspirational songs gathered by my friend Mark. For nostalgia’s sake, I walked a hybrid of routes that I took when I first started this whole stupid plan. To the sounds of the likes of “Eye of the Tiger” and “Final Countdown”, I strolled by the place where I made the treasure map to Maizy’s poop, (I did go back and pick it up a couple days later if I never mentioned that), where I witnessed the deer mocking me (I actually saw her again and she ran like hell this time. Probably not the same deer, but I could see the terror it’s white tail.), was scared of the bats, learned the genius of gangsta running, was intimidated by the ultimate Frisbee gangs, and stopped running due to exhaustion more times than I would care to admit.

I am writing this Saturday morning. My plan is to go to the running expo at 5 with other Jason from old work, get my race packet and sign up for the Clif Bar pace team and get a spaghetti dinner. Then I am going to come some and try to sleep as early as possible.

My plan right now if to post the results immediately after the run on Sunday. Then write a more in depth analysis Monday or Tuesday.

Pray for me.

Week Twenty-Four: Thursday

At work we were doing community service projects, and I helped do some manual labor to build a playset at a women’s domestic abuse center. I figured this would be fine since it was Thursday and the race is Sunday. My only concern was dropping something on my foot. My upper body was a little sore so I figured that the work I did during the day can count as my three miles. Writing this after the fact I am glad I did, because the underside of my thighs were pretty sore the next day and running probably wouldn’t have helped. I think that hopefully using muscles that I don’t normally use will help my prevent a race-stopping injury. I may have to fight ninjas or something. You just never know.

Week Twenty-Four: Tuesday

I went out right when I got home to avoid being lazy to do my three miles. Since I am writing this on Saturday, if anything interesting happened on the run it has been long forgotten. I know I ran the 3 miles in 28:42. This is great and all, but I cannot keep up that pace for any real distance which reinforces my decision to run with a pace group.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Week Twenty Three: Sunday

I was up at the cabin this weekend and was planning on running 9 miles on the Soo Line trail from Isle to Onamia. The logistics of doing this were way to complicated so I just set off from the cabin and was going to run to Father Hennepin State Park. I started running and abandoned that plan when I realized I would have to run along the Highway. I think I traveled a total of 4 miles and walked somewhere around a mile. Not a great day, but I excuse myself because at this point I am spending most of my time trying not to get injured or sick. This means telling co-workers to stay away from me and not doing anything strenuous. I feel like the only thing keeping me from doing this at this point is some unforeseen variable. Oh, and the fact that I am still overweight and I only started running 4 months ago. That too.

Week Twenty-Three: Friday

So I didn’t run. I had an agency party followed by a previous agency party to attend and got home at around 10 pm. The second party had free booze so that was challenge enough.

Based on the poll results, I am going to run with the Clif Bar pace group as long as there is no problem getting signed up. To be honest I was actually going to say screw the poll and run by myself until I read an article about pace groups in Runner’s World magazine. I for some reason equated running with a group as cheating, but since I am still going to run the damn thing what does it matter if I am in a group.

Oh, and yes. I read Runner’s World. I am just a surprised as you are by this.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week Twenty-Three: Thursday

Today’s run was enlightening. I finally get it.

The whole catalyst for this experiment was that I would be driving, usually to a fast food restaurant, by people on the road and think “Why are they doing that? What the hell is wrong with them?”. Then I would go back to thinking about what I would do if I won the lottery. (First Thing: Buy island)

I get it now. I set out to run 5 miles and went out as soon as I got home from work so that I would not get distracted by that adorable little child of mine. I set out on my usual path and was getting miserable somewhere during mile one. I had been so down on myself that I felt that I had to power through because of this stupid blog that no one reads. So I suffered for the next two miles when I finally hit the zone. This has happened before, but I so appreciated it this time. The zone is when you are not really exhausted and you could run for another hour and it would be no big deal.

Not only did I finish my 5, but since there was a break in traffic where I cross the street I did another mile. I would have done another 4 except Mrs. Fat Guy was expecting me at the house. Not only did I run that extra mile, but I sprinted the last ¼ mile. Granted, my sprint is more a trot, but still.

The amazing thing about this is that I did 6 miles in 57 minutes. I ran at a sub 10 minute mile pace. On the one hand this is great because it proves that I can do it. On the other hand, I am going to have to really focus this last week on maintaining an 11 minute mile pace for the marathon so I don’t burn out.

So, I get it. I felt so damn good after that run. I won’t go so far as to say that it makes up for the fact that I have not had a drink in 3 months and am about ready to use an entire bottle of mouthwash in 20 minutes in order to get a liquor buzz. But after some crappy runs and skipping training it feels very good to be able to run 6 miles and still want to do more.

Week Twenty-Three: Tuesday


Week Twenty-Two: Sunday

Mrs. Fat Guy and I decided to try Lake Como for the she walks/ I run super combo action. The lake is 1.6 miles around. I was all jazzed to get back in the swing of things and wanted to run the 9 miles that I was supposed to that weekend.

Well, things didn’t go down quite like I planned. I caught up with her when she was like ¾ the way around the lake and I was on my second lap. I decided that was just about enough running for me. There were some factors like hydration and hunger that may have contributed to my horrible performance, but ultimately it was just a lack of willpower.

I always feel so damn crappy after those bad runs. It really made me get a little nervous about this whole thing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Week Twenty -Two: Friday

At this point I don’t remember my excuse. It was a B.S. one though. I have honestly have spent the last 5 minutes trying to remember what I did Friday night and nothing is coming to me. Keep in mind I am writing this on Monday.

This is really bothering me. My guess is that it was so mundane that I did not spend the effort to record what I was doing. I think what happened was that I was going to run after something and whatever it was ran late and it was dark by the time I was going to go. I guess.

Update: I was so bothered by my lack of memory that I called Mrs. Fat Guy. I didn't run because it was raining. To be more accurate, it HAD rained and that was enough for me to call it off.

Also, to be more accurate, the above is not an update because I did not post the post before I updated it.

Week Twenty-Two: Thursday

So I changed the schedule and now I can’t adhere to it. Typical.

I had to babysit on Thursday so I was unable to run. On Friday when I told co-workers this, they pointed out that I was not “babysitting” and rather parenting. That is still taking some getting used to. If I was babysitting, however, and have been doing it 24 hours a day for 10 weeks, that would be like $8,400 at $5 an hour.

Is $5 an hour too cheap? What do baby sitters make these days?

I guess I better figure that out before I get ripped off.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week Twenty-Two: Tuesday

What the hell Fat Guy? Tuesday? This should be the Monday post. Every other time you have run a day late you have posted under the heading of the day that you should have run? What gives?

- An angry imagined blog reader

Dear angry Imagined blog reader –

Let me start by saying that you seem like a very attractive, intelligent person. Let me explain. TCM is on a Sunday. The training program has me running my long runs on Saturdays. In an attempt to get into the groove of running on Sundays, I am going to adjust the program so that I run Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Fat Guy

So, in honor of screwing with my program, I decided to screw with my routine even more and run in some uncharted territory – The Lakes. Now, when one says “The Lakes” in the Twin Cities, no one questions what you are talking about. Calhoun, of the Isles, and Harriett. Mrs. Fat Guy picked me up from work and we went down to Harriett. My plan was to run around twice. On the second time around when I caught up with Mrs. Fat Guy I would walk with her and pride and joy. I made it around once without stopping, but I had to stop at about 27 minutes. I think that I was going pretty fast because I believe it is 2.6 miles once around. I walked for 3, and then since I was on my second lap I kept pushing myself because I thought Mrs. Fat Guy would be right around the corner. Not so.

I may have done 5 miles, it may have been less. I was out for 55 minutes. I was weaving in and out of people which increased my pace I think. I walked for a total of about 10 of those minutes. I am going to have to really monitor my pace for this marathon.

Week 90Twenty-One0 – Saturday

I didn’t run so that I could make sure that my foot problem was going to heal. Instead, I started to watch the new 90210. I say started because it actually took me 3 individual TV sessions to finish the first episode. This is because it was 2 hours long and the little angel is way too cute to ignore when she is awake.

I would do a really lengthy synopsis, but that would require people to actually watch it to know what I am talking about. I will give my top line impressions of the show from the perspective of a 33 year old man who still remembers reading about a new show that would be airing on Fox called Beverly Hills High and thinking to myself “I should check that out. I will be starting High School and so will they”. I was babysitting a kid at the time who now is about to face my wrath if he keeps driving down my street at 50 mph. I still haven’t forgiven him for throwing Nintendo controllers at my head.

Why I have such a clear recollection of reading that TV Guide is a mystery to me.

First off, it stars Rob Estes of Melrose Place and married to Josie Bissett fame. What happened to her is more of a mystery than why I remember reading magazines for 18 years. I loved Melrose Place and I ditched 90210 after my favorite character, David’s friend that was totally worthless and contributed nothing to the show except for accidentally killing himself fulfilled his story arch. I was more of a Dr. Michael Mansisi man when I watched Melrose, but since I had a run in with Rob Estes a couple years ago he has always held a special place in my heart. Mrs. Fat Guy, 2 friends and I were in Chinatown in San Francisco and we came upon a TV show being filmed. It was “The Evidence” and we saw that Orland Jones was tied to the show. Think the 7up guy. Well, since it really wasn’t that exciting Mrs. Fat Guy stepped into one of the 1000 Chinese junk shops. When I stepped in, I almost ran into Mr. Estes himself. He smiled and said excuse me. Most normal people are too rude to say excuse me so he is alright in my book.

Since I already wrote way more than I should about Rob Estes, I will only comment that Lori Loughlin, who plays the mother, has never said excuse me to me. In her defense, she has never had the opportunity.

All the kids at the school are played by impossibly thin women. I wouldn’t have noticed, but Mrs. Fat Guy commented on it 900 times.

Although Brenda and Kelly appear and interact, they have no really effect on the overall storyline. I think that Kelly should compete with one of the high school girls over a man or something. Kelly also has a child and there is no mention of the father. This is obviously to keep the old school fans coming back. I hope that it is Joe E. Tata’s kid.

The thing that struck me is the force feeding of technology on the show. The internet, blogs and cell phones are so integrated into the lives of young people at this point. Do real kids reference the fact that they are using technology in their day to day lives? Hell, I don’t know. Maybe every third word is blog up at Irondale these days. Erin Silver, the half sister of both David and Kelly, is the resident blogger and muckraker. I have seen at least one movie and there is a TV show centered around this very concept so it either has some basis in fact or it is how writers envision high school. Either way, my guess is the Myspace episode will be episode 7.

I could go on and on about this but since no one cares I will just say that the show is completely predictable and ridiculous the show is. It is no different than the original and I will probably end up watching every episode. If anything, it gives me a reason to talk about and say the name of my favorite part of the original – Joe E. Tata.

Well, if I don’t get ambushed by Chris Hansen after doing multiple web searches on “Irondale blog” and “Irondale High school blog” I am going to continue training for this marathon. Oh, and I couldn’t find one. Look for “Fat Guy blogs about the goings-on in the high school he graduated from in”

Friday, September 12, 2008

Week Twenty One: Thursday

Didn’t run. I have not felt any uncomfortableness with the foot since I ran on Tuesday. Oh, and yes. I know uncomfortableness ain’t a word.

I plan on taking another shot at it on Saturday. Nothing long, just a test run. For these last 3 weeks I am going to try and stick to the program religiously so I can make sure I am prepared for this. The pamphlet I need with all the information for the marathon came on Thursday and this marathon thing is really going to happen. I guess I never doubted that the marathon itself would never happen; I have doubted whether or not I would be a part of it.

My goal is to not have to get on the bus that picks up people who are not going fast enough. I didn’t pay $100 to ride a bus. Actually, I did, but that was to take the bus to work. I paid $100 to run from Minneapolis to St. Paul.

I am having a real dilemma as to whether or not I should utilize a free pace team thing they have. As I understand it, they have people that will run the marathon at a pace that you chose and then they lead a group to ensure they finish at this pace. That doesn’t make much sense probably. If you want to finish in 5 hours, for example, you sign up for the 5 hour group and a dude leads you and other to run at a pace that is ideal for finishing in 5 hours.

On the one hand I think this would be a good thing. I would be in a group and not have to worry about monitoring my own pacing.

On the other, it would kind of be like spending 4 months training, mostly alone, and then relying on someone else to help me finish.

I need you folks to help me decide. Please vote in the poll.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Week Twenty One: Wednesday

I made an attempt to go out on Tuesday because I knew that I would not have time on Wednesday. I was actually looking forward to getting out and clearing my mind of everything except how much I hate running. I was going to try and do Five to ease back into it. After a quarter mile it was obvious that the weird ankle pain that I developed during the 20 mile was not just a passing injury. It is not painful, just a dull ache. If I would have been running the marathon, I would have run with it. However, I am so close to finishing this thing that if I injure myself seriously I may lose my mind.

I have made the decision that I am going to take it easy for a little bit. I am not going to run the 20 mile on Saturday and hopefully pick up the training program next week. I cannot find anything online that explains the injury specifically. I have a feeling that it is not a big deal and if I don’t run on it a couple days that I should be fine.

I am a little disappointed not doing this last 20 mile. The training program was set up so that at the end of this week I would do the 20 mile and that is the longest run. I am very glad that I have the distance under my belt, but if I would have done it twice I would be all the more confident. Plus there is just something that is very satisfying about knowing that you had run 20 miles before 1pm that day. It is like the day is so much longer because everything that you do after that is bonus. Hell, I hadn’t run 20 miles total in my life up until May of this year. Wait. I guess you run around a lot as a kid. Let’s say from ages 13-33. That is an even 20 years.

I will still post, so sit by your computer to be entertained by the blog of a guy blogging about training for a marathon who isn’t actually training due to a minor injury.

Oh, you thought I forgot, didn’t you? I kind of wish I had. Weight Time!

I weighted in at 206. That is a 5 pound loss from last month. A little disappointing, but since I just started a new diet a week ago I am hoping that will help this along. I weighed myself after the 20 mile and I was 201. I was really jazzed about that. I was also really dehydrated. The total is now 35 pounds.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Week Twenty One: Monday

I didn't run. I was still a little sore and didn't want to push it. I may sign up for another 20 mile on Saturday but I need to make sure that I am not going to end up injuring myself.

Week Twenty: Saturday

Saturday was the big 20 mile extravaganza. I signed up with Brother of Fat Guy and was a little nervous about it. The Saturday before we did 18 miles slowly and painfully. This time I prepared like I had before other long runs: Spaghetti the night before, as much rest as possible, Clif Bar (I switched to a Power bar just to mix things up a bit) in the morning for breakfast and a 20 oz. Gatorade and some water.

We got there a little after 7am, which was when registration started. They were running a little late, so the race did not get started until 8:15is, which meant a lot of waiting around. Not a big deal, but at that point I just wanted to go.

We got off to a good start. We let the fast folks do there thing and there seemed to be the perfect amount of people so that in the middle everyone was spread out. I was very conscious not to run to fast, which was a lot easier because I was wearing my watch. The route had us running about 5 miles to Bald Eagle Lake and then twice around the lake. In the run up to the lake, we were very steady, keeping about a little less than 11 minute milt pace. We were passing people along the way, but when we hit the route around the lake, it opened up even more because the people that were running the 10K dropped off at that point.

Both Brother of Fat Guy and I had to go potty really bad at around this point. I wasn't paying attention to megaphone dude so I had no idea where to go pee. We finally came upon a porta potty and waited for that to open up. This screwed up our time a little bit but we were reinvigorated after that.

I finally was unable to run any more between mile 14 and 15 I think. We ended up walking for a while and then running. We ran almost all of mile 17 and then we picked up a little before mile 19 started. When we hit the last stretch I was able to muster up enough strength to start sprinting and taunting my brother at the same time.

When it was all said and done, we did 20 miles in 3 hours 47 minutes. This was 13 minutes faster than I had hoped to finish in and like 12 minutes faster than we did 18 miles. I managed to place 140 out of 157.

All in all a very good run, both physically and mentally. My confidence is back. I am a little concerned about how my feet started doing weird things at mile 15. Everything seems to be healed up for the most part.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Week Twenty: Thursday

Sister of Fat Guy moved about a mile from my house, so I ran there as it was getting dark. I think it is about a mile because it took me 10 minutes to run there. She ended up giving me a ride home because it was dark and I was wearing my invitation-to-hit-me-with-your-car black shirt and blue shorts combo.

I am getting a little nervous about the 20 mile. I am also looking forward to it. I will have the full report after the race.

Week Twenty: Wednesday

I should have run 8, only ran 5. I blame Mrs. Fat Guy, who wanted me to get home fast so we could walk the baby and the dog. I actually finished really strong because the dog ran with me for the last half mile. Turns out she is a lot faster than me. I would like to take her with me on these long runs, but there are a bunch of reasons why it isn’t practical. Instead, she gets to sit at the window and whine while I am gone. I like to think that whining is just as fun as running.

Hell, I like whining better.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Week Twenty: Monday

I really thought running on Monday would have been overkill after Sunday's death march. So instead I walked around the Fair for 3 hours eating. That is like the same thing as running, right?

I plan on doing my Wednesday and Thursday runs as scheduled to ensure that I will be able to handle this 20 mile on Saturday.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Week Nineteen: Saturday

Please Note: Saturday was on Sunday

I am glad that I waited to write up this week’s run until later in the day. Otherwise, it would have read something like “Why the F am I doing this to myself? I am miserable and any success I have is a fluke. I am not going to finish this stupid thing and it will all be a colossal waste of time.”

Now that I have had some time to recover, I can look at today a little more positively and be somewhat satisfied with today.

Brother of Fat Guy and I took off at 8 am and were doing pretty well. I started checking my watch around mile 10 and started to get discouraged because we were not on pace to do 13.1 in 2 hours 17 minutes, which didn’t make sense to me. It also started to get hot as we were almost two hours into the run. I finally crapped out between mile 10 and 11 and then was kind of spotty until between 12 and 13 when we made it to my house for Gatorade. Then we walked for ¾ miles, ran a half mile and then walked the rest of the 4 miles to make 18. I was just beat and could not muster up the strength to run any more. I decided that this would be a good time to gauge how fast I walk at the end of a long run to determine how much time I would have if I needed to walk the rest of the marathon. Frankly, after 2 miles walking, I would have liked to do a walk/run because I was sore, my feet hurt, and I wanted to be at home.

The end result with all the walking was 18 miles in 3 hours 58 minutes. This was a horrible backslide from the week before. My hope is that this disappointment will prompt a decent performance in the 20 mile run I am doing in White Bear Lake on Saturday. It will be my second organized run and I am hoping that I can make a better showing than today.

Oh, and it took an hour and seven minutes to walk 4 miles. I feel that if I can run 20 miles in 4 hours, if I have to walk the rest I should be able to finish in the 6 hour 15 minute time limit.

The upside of all this is that my recovery time was like a fifth of the time that it was the weekend before. I worried that I would get nothing done today and not be able to move. We actually took the wee one to Minnehaha Falls and walked around and it was no problem. Hell, I am going to go to the fair tomorrow morning. I am not sure if this is because of the walking at the end or that my body is more accustomed to the long distances. My guess is a little of both.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Week Nineteen: Thursday

Thursday run on Friday edition.

Bad day today. Got off work early and went out at 2 o’clock. It was hot which is going to be my biggest nemesis. I am really going to have to start running in the heat so if it is really hot on the day of the marathon I don’t just collapse.

I only did 4 and ¼ miles and I walked a good hunk of it. It only took me 48 minutes though. I really should have done the 8 miles. Since I am going to do 18 on Sunday I am going to forgive myself. I also mentally used the excuse that all I had eaten all day were 2 yogurts. Plus I had to go to the bathroom after 2 miles and that messes things up. Plus my iPod earphones failed on me. Plus it was hard running while making up excuses as to why I should stop running.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Week Nineteen: Wednesday

It's gettin', it's gettin', it's gettin' , kinda hectic.

I am going to run Wednesday Friday, skip Thursday and do 18 miles on Sunday. This is to prepare myself for an organized 20 mile. Feet don't fail me now.

Instead of my normal self involved drivel, enjoy the videos at:

They are very funny and have a good message; Love thy neighbor even if they hate you.

Plus they are created by the folks that I work with/for. So that makes them awesomer.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Week Nineteen: Monday

Brother of Fat Guy and I hit the road at about 8:30 to do 5 miles and I thought that if I had him with me that I would not be as terrified running through those woods as I was last time. I was very wrong. I start to imagine that the worst part of all the horror movies that I love so dearly are all going to transpire at once. This includes the scene in Friday the 13th with Kevin Bacon and since my brother is the only other person with me, the image is doubly horrifying.

It wasn't a great run, but any run is better than no run. At about the 2 ¼ mark my legs started to get a little weird and I had to go potty. I went potty and we walked for 10 minutes, or about a half mile, and then ran the rest of the route. I wish I wouldn’t have had to walk, but the running long distances after stopping is always encouraging. We finished in 59 minutes. This was roughly our half marathon pace.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Week Eighteen: Saturday

Put on a pot of coffee, put some cough syrup on the kid’s pacifier and take your phone off the hook. I had an eventful Saturday.

Due to my poor showing last weekend and during this week, I was very motivated to run 16 miles on Saturday. I tried to prepare for this run using some of the tips I have picked up. I ate a spaghetti dinner the night before, half hour before the run I ate a Clif bar, and super hydrated myself with water and Gatorade. I deicided that I would run my 4 mile route 3 times and then run 4 miles on a connected trail to mix things up as well as make it convenient to stop by the house to grab some Gatorade. I started a little after 8 am.

Mile 1: I needed to finish listening to the Bill Simmons podcast, the B.S. Report. I had 17 minutes left so I figured this would carry me into mile 2. I have mentioned in the past how podcasts can actually be a determent because the pace of someone talking usually isn’t a good running pace. However, I figured that I had a long run and using the music crutch right away would make it useless down the stretch.

Mile 3: Switched to listening to This American Life podcast. This pacing is usually even worse, but the shows are an hour and it means not f’ing with my Ipod constantly. The pants I am wearing have no pockets. They only have a pouch that fist the Ipod perfectly. However, it requires me digging in my pants to get the thing out. I worry that someone is going to call the cops on me one of these days.

Anywho, I was making my way between mile 3 and 4 and I saw a couple bicyclists really Lancin’ it up. Not that out of the ordinary. About a minute later, as I rounded a corner, I had 25 bikers coming at me. Now, if you have read this blog at all you would be aware that I have been pretty critical of bicyclists. So when I see a group of 25 coming at me, my mind goes to two things: the movie Better Off Dead, and that they are coming to silence me. My life flashed before my eyes. However, my mind has confused my life with the life of characters on Television. So I remembered the time that I played Neptune, King of the Sea, the time I got addicted to my sister’s friends weight loss medication, the time that my friend that left for a summer and came back wearing a cowboy hat shot himself playing with a gun, and the time that I shook hands with Wayne Newton (Wait, that one was real).

Despite my fear, they passed me with no incident. Once I reached the beach I realized that they were part of a triathlon.

Miles 4 – 12. I ended up running my 4 mile route 3 times. I would think that anyone who happened to drive by me three times was wondering why the hell I was running the same stretch of road over and over again. I would ask them why they were driving it over and over again.

Mile 12 – 13 I ran back to the house because I had to use the bathroom and get some fluid, as I had been at it for almost 2 hours with no hydration. I ran into the house, Mrs. Fat Guy grabbed me a Gatorade and a Gel while I was in the bathroom, and I ran back to the trail. It was a pretty seamless transition.

This was also the time when I ran into a new trail dweller that I hadn’t even thought of. A dude, wearing a helmet and a backpack, on a unicycle. The reason I reference the backpack and helmet is because it looked like this dude was going on a distance ride.

Now, ever since 5th grade when Kit Ward came cruisin’ up to Rusty Walbon’s house on a unicycle I have been fascinated by unicycles. Do I think they are cool? Hell no. They are like the dorkiest thing I can think of. However, when I have tired to ride one, I have always failed. This makes me want to master them all the more. Plus I can juggle so I would be a couple balloon animals away from being qualified for clowndom.

Before this sighting I thought that I had seen everything out there. But my guess is that the trail is hiding some more characters from me.

Mile 13.11 – At the time I was only guessing that I was at the 13.2 mark but I checked my distances after the fact and it turned out I was dead on. I ran 13.11 miles in 2 hours and 17 minutes. That is a half marathon in 16 minutes faster than 2 weeks ago. Not only did I finish it faster, I did not stop to walk at all. The only time I stopped was to go to the bathroom.

Mile 13.2-16 – This is where stuff gets a little hazy. I was starting to lose it a little At one point I was singing out loud along to the music I was listening to if that is any indication of my mental state at this point. Oh, and just so you know, Evan Dando sings “Rockin’ Stroll” 1000x times better than I do. . I think that I walked for about a half mile (13.5-14) and then ran and walked the remainder of the run.

During miles 15-16 tried a strategy that my friend Vik emailed me a couple weeks ago. He knew people that would run 2 minutes and then walk 1. This was a great strategy not only for keeping myself going when I am out of energy, but also as a way to get going again. Going from walk to run again is difficult. But if you know that you can stop in two minutes you can get through it. Then you extend the running time a little. Using this mentality, I was able to not only run the last half mile but for the last 1/10th mile I kicked it into high gear. When I finished, if there wouldn’t have been some people 30 feet behind me I would have dropped to my knees and ripped off my shirt.

I like to walk after the run is done to stretch out, but at this point I was ¾ miles away and my legs were in very bad shape. I actually started jogging back home towards the end because it felt better than walking.

My legs felt like I had been worked over with a bat. I laid in bed most of the day Saturday. I did take a bath to try and soothe my legs. It is Sunday and while I have not fully recovered, I feel pretty good.

The time for 16 miles, you ask? 2 hours 50 minutes. Oh, and when I double checked the route, it was actually 16.2 miles. So I added 3 miles and only 17 minutes. This was a very satisfying run and has gotten me motivated to make sure that I am not skipping the shorter runs.

Week Eighteen: Thursday

So, Mrs. Fat Guy and Veronica were still out of town. Again, intended to run in morning. If I was drinking, then my excuse for not running would have been an extended Happy Hour. Instead, I had 3 Non alcoholic beers. Fun.

If you read my last post in regards to running at night you would understand my excuse for not running after Happy Hour.

Fun Fact: There is a kissing room at the Local downtown. I witnessed a mother showing her 6 year old daughter the room. My guess is a 6 year old is too young to understand the depravity that must go on in there at around bar time.

Week Eighteen: Wednesday

Mrs. Fat Guy and Veronica are out of town. I had to represent the family at Baptism class at 7:30. I got home at 6 which made it very difficult to run 8 miles and shower. So I didn’t. I really intended to run in the morning but when Mrs. Fat Guy is not at home I have a really hard time waking up in the morning.

If you read the post that deals with running at night you would understand my excuse for not running after the meeting.

Fun Fact: Anyone can baptize a child in an emergency situation. All you have to do is pour water on the child’s forehead and say “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Baptize Away!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Week Eighteen: Monday

I was still up north on Monday, so it was a lot like Saturday except I gave up after 13 minutes and then kinda half-assed it by running and walking. Not a very proud day for me. I really just kept thinking that I am on vacation, I have a 3 and a half hour drive in front of me and that it is hot. My hope is that taking it easy will have helped my body recover from the half. But then I figure I have to do 16 this weekend and that is going to be brutal.

Plus, something interesting has to happen so I can actually write something entertaining instead of this boring stuff.

Week Seventeen: Saturday

I spent Saturday up north 20 miles south of Grand Rapids. I was supposed to run 16 miles, and when I originally cooked up this scheme I had plans to run from Hill City to Grand Rapids. Although that sounds cool, when it came right down to it I decided that I was on vacation and that I would only run a couple miles. So I ran a couple miles on Sunday morning. I don’t know the exact distance but I ran 25 minutes. I had hoped the fresh north woods air would motivate me to run longer. Instead I wanted to get back into air conditioning because it was hotter than hell.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Week Seventeen: Thursday

I was taking care of MABIW (Most adorable baby in world) Thursday so I couldn’t run. Well, I could’ve at 10 pm when Mrs. Fat Guy got home, but if you read the previous post you know why I didn’t do that. I am going to have to owe the program 4 miles.

Week Seventeen: Wednesday

Wednesday was a seven miler. I was trying to come up with excuses not to run, but in the end my poor performance on Monday made me realize that it was necessary. I took off at 8:30, which turned out to be the best/worst idea I have ever had.

It had rained and was still very overcast when I started, so it got very dark very quickly. My original plan was to run in the park only and avoid running along the road because it was dark and I was wearing a black shirt. Maybe the navy blue pants would have been bright enough to alert a car. Somehow I doubt it.

Well, when I got to the park it was a ghost town. There was one pickup truck that left as soon as I ran by it. I thought they were going to either kill or mock me. I lucked out and they did neither.

Then I had to run through the woods. A little background; I am pretty sure that a bunch of years ago they found a headless woman dumped in there, and I remember at least one other dude who died back in there. Plus there have been a roving band of teenagers beating people with baseball bats in St. Paul. All of this made me super paranoid and convinced that I was finally going to get serial killed.

This is important because at this point I was at the two mile mark and not only was I not going to walk, I was running pretty fast. I wanted to get the hell out of there. I also decided that I would rather get hit by a car than batted or stabbed so I took the route along the road the rest of the way. Since I am writing this, you can guess that I made it out alive….or did I? The only other moment that was touchy was when my super Ipod mix brought up “Wild Boys” by Duran Duran and the lyric: “There’s Murder (rder,rder,rder) by the roadside” came up and I thought I was going to get killed on Long Lake Road.

In the end, I ran the entire seven miles. I was extremely pleased with myself. It took me 1 hour 14 minutes. Somewhere between a 10 and 11 minute mile. I really tried to pace myself better and it paid off.

Here’s the payoff for the above rambling. Weight time! When we last left our hero, he hadn’t run for two weeks and weighed in at 224 lbs.

211 lbs. Ladies and Gents. That is 13 lbs for the math challenged. That is a lot of weight, but the most important thing is that it sends me into a whole new world; the world of Overweightness. At 181-214 lbs and under I am obese, and can now classify myself as simply overweight. This means that when the local news does their weekly story on how fat Americans are, they will have to subtract one from the statistics and when they roll the stock footage of large people from the neck down, guts hanging out of shirts and large backsides, if they show me I will sue their asses.

Granted, I still have a ways to go. I am concerned some of this is because of that diet that I quit the next 30 isn’t going to come off so quickly. I am really going to keep at the eating healthy, but this running makes you hungry.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Week Seventeen: Monday

Not sure if it was the sore legs or the lack of Brother of Fat guy, but Monday wasn’t great. Went out around 7 and it was overcast but a little humid. Ran 8 minutes and gave up and walked for 2. Ran 10 minutes then walked 10. Then ran the last 15 minutes for a total of 4 miles in 45 minutes. May have also been a big meal only and hour before running. I figured four miles would be a breeze. The fact that I did it in 45 minutes makes it obvious that I am running way faster than 10 minute miles and that is why I am getting worn out. I need to figure out how to pace myself better.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Week Sixteen: Saturday

The reaction I get from most people when I mention that I am doing this is “Why don’t you start with a half marathon?”

Well, I did a half marathon. Now I am gonna’ do a marathon.

I really did not know what to expect for an organized race. I had only run with one other person so I had no idea how I would respond to running in a large group. I also had decided to use some gels, which are essentially packets of nutrients and carbs that are the consistency of frosting.

Brother of Fat Guy and I got to Hudson, WI at a little before 7 am. We already had our numbers with us so we jumped on one of the school busses that were there to bring us from Hudson to Stillwater. We sat in the back, primarily because we are trouble making badasses, and had a nice conversation with a woman who had run Grandma’s and a half in St. Cloud earlier this summer. When I mentioned that I was training for the TCM, she said good luck in a non condescending manner. I keep waiting for these runner types to look down on me because they are so cool and wise about running but so far I have not been ridiculed.

We got to a local park that was serving as a starting line and waited in line with every single other runner for the bathroom. One guy was taking so long I was convinced he was doping but I cannot verify. I didn’t see a needle in the bathroom at least. The race started at 8 and we lined up near the back because I didn’t really think that I wanted to deal with 3 minutes of people running by me annoyed.

We started out what I thought was our normal pace. We spent a good portion of the first 2 miles behind a couple who didn’t know each other who agreed to run together. Since they didn’t know each other, we got to hear a little bit about there lives. I kind of liked this because I did not have an ipod. Since I am preparing for the TCM and you can’t have one on that run I wanted to prepare myself. I felt like the people with ipods were cheating and therefore I decree that I officially beat all of them. If I had music to listen to I argue that when I was going to stop I could pick a song that I simply had to run to.

On that note, we ran about 5.5 miles before I had to walk. There was a water stop every 2 miles and we walked to the water stop and then started running again. Unfortunately, this is where my ability to remember the pacing gets hazy. I tried to run, and then walk, then run, and then walk. It got harder as time went of course. I kept trying to not focus on the miles and use other runners as a pace. We would run in front of someone and then walk until they were ahead of us. My guess is that they were really annoyed by this strategy. But I need so frame of reference since I was not familiar with the course so I had not idea where the mile markers were. I also had forgotten my watch. I feel like this is a good thing because not knowing made me think that I was doing poorly all race.

We stepped it up for the last half mile and ended up finishing in 2 hours 33 minutes. That was 639 out of 685 runners. I was 125 out of 129 in my age bracket. I ran an 11:41 mile.

I didn’t exactly take the running world by storm, but here are the upsides:

I finished

Last Saturday I ran 12 miles in 2 hours 33 minutes. I added one mile with zero time in one week.

This race has made me aware of the importance of pacing. Since I had no watch I had no idea what was going on with our pacing. This lead to us running fast miles early and not being able to maintain. I also need to work on a ritual for the morning run.

All in all a very rewarding experience. I got a shirt.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Week Sixteen: Thursday

I didn’t run on Thursday. I am really trying to make sure that I can get though this Half without incident. I didn’t want to strain myself so I fell on my face during the race. Plus Brother of Fat Guy couldn’t get there until 9:15 and I didn’t want to be out that late. Plus I wanted to spend some time with the family. Plus I can do whatever I want and I don’t have to justify it to you people.

One of the benefits of working at an advertising agency is having a vast magazine library at your disposal. I used this resource to read Runners World this month, which was where I learned that I had better hydrate and carb-load or I am screwed. I felt really funny reading it on the bus looking the way I do. I thought the woman sitting next to me would be less perplexed if she saw me reading Teen Beat. Actually, I am kind of curious whether or not the Jonas Brothers are “Too Cute!” of if they have graduated to “So Hot!” status. Is “Hot” too racy for Teen Beat? These are questions that need to be answered.

I also decided that I had better grab a Bicycling magazine as well. Why, Fat Guy, you ask? Well, l let me tell you. It is very important to know your enemy. By reading Bicycling magazine I can get into the heads of all those lil’ Lances out there. I also wanted to make sure that they did not have articles calling for my head. I am a very powerful force in the Northwest New Brighton running community and I have no doubt they would silence me to guarantee that their suckiness is not spoken of. However, I will not be intimidated by the threats against me that I have made up.

I was also a little disappointed in the lack of coverage of tandem bicycles. Or the bicycles with a giant front wheel. I am going to give Bicycling Magazine a pass on this and assume that there are separate publications for these types of bikes.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Week Sixteen: Wednesday

I have been doing some research now that I am running for longer and longer runs. I also wanted to make sure that I was prepared for the race on Saturday. Everything I read made me realize that a low carb diet might be a really dumb idea right now and I am quitting. I am still going to cut all the bad carbs out, but I am not going to be militant about what I eat as long as it is healthy. I will still work out, just not on weeks when I am in an organize race. This is because I do not want to fall over dead or not be able to finish because my body gives out.

Now that I officially can reasonably consume carbs I drank a sports drink before I ran Wednesday and it may be the change that I needed. Brother of Fat Guy and I went 6 miles in 1 hour and 5 minutes. We did not stop. I actually think that I could have kept going. I joked about running another 4 when we were almost done and he called my bluff and said yes. I want to stick with the program and not overdo it so we stopped.

I am picking up my race packet tonight along with a bunch of garbage that I have been reading about that I am told that I will need. This little hobby is going to end up costing me a small fortune. Watch for the running $ total (that is a non-pun pun. Cool.) as soon as I get enough energy to post it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Week Sixteen: Monday

It was a four mile day and I was going to have to do it solo due to brother of Fat Guy’s prior engagements.

It had been a while since I had run alone and I was really looking forward to seeing if I could maintain all by myself. Not only did I, I finished the 4 miles in 43 minutes. That is less than an 11 minute mile for the math challenged out there.

In preparation for the Gopher to Badger Half Marathon on Saturday I have been reading running forums and the like. The one thing that I really hadn’t taken into consideration is hydrating myself during long runs. On the 11 and 12 mile runs I have done I have maybe stopped at a drinking fountain at the park but that is it. Turns out that may not be enough. I am going to try and start being better about this and getting used to drinking while on the run. I realize screwing with my routine may not be the best idea during the Half, but I would argue that if my body goes all screwy then at least there will be people around to point at me and laugh.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Week Fifteen: Saturday

After not posting on Saturday I had you worried, didn’t I?

Brother of Fat Guy and I hit the road at a little after 6pm. I had originally planned to run a route down by the U of M along the river I found on, but I didn’t want to lose the time driving down there. Eventually I would like to get out of my comfort zone and run some more interesting places, but for now I am just trying actually do this.

We ran about 3.5, walked .5, ran 3, walked 1, ran 2 walked 1 and the last mile we kind or ran/walked ran walked. We did this all in 2 hours, 33 minutes. The low points were not being able to run a full four miles and the poor showing towards the end. The high point was that I did manage to beat my 11 mile time by 2 minutes.

I should wait until it is over before I mention this, but since we are all so close I can’t keep anything from you folks. Brother of Fat Guy and I are registered for the Gopher to Badger Half Marathon on Saturday. I am actually supposed to do 14 miles that day, but 13.1 will have to do. This is very exciting because it will be my first actual running experience. I am very curious as to how it will be different.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Week Fifteen: Thursday

A quick follow up on the running interactions. We finally got our first shut out. Two 12-14 year olds were not interested in responding. They did not seem like the type that were to cool for school, but the type that may have thought that we would get violent if they responded with anything. We also got our first preemptive strike. A guy walking two dogs, the kind with beards and pointy ears, helloed us before my brother got a chance.

It was a 4 mile day today and in an attempt to try and get back to where I was before my hiatus, I was determined to run the whole 4. We did it in 45 minutes. It was not fun, but we did it.

This weekend is supposed to be really hot and I have to run 12 miles on Saturday. This may be my last post due to my untimely passing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Week Fifteen: Wednesday

Since I have run with my brother a couple times now, I have really noticed the extremes in interactions with people you meet on the trails. My philosophy is much like my philosophy at the mall, on the bus, at Easter dinner… don’t say anything and my God, whatever you do, don’t make eye contact. Every once in a while I will get a “Hey,” and respond. That is about all I have time for.

My brother, on the other hand, makes it a point to greet each person, couple, or family with a “How’s it going?” or a more formal “How are you?” Not only is this completely out of my comfort zone, it also makes me look like a complete a-hole because I am sticking with the NECOS (No eye contact or speech) Philosophy. When he does this, people seem genuinely excited and others are taken aback but not once has anyone just ignored him.

Tonight was a small victory. We ran more than 3 miles in about 35 minutes, walked 15 minutes, then ran what I believe was more probably more than two miles for a total time of 1 hour 10 minutes. It seems like when I went 11 miles I walked more than I ran and still was at around a 14 minute mile. I hope I was not mistaken on my 11 mile distance.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Week Fifteen: Monday

My eating choices are severely restricted due to this dumb diet. Since I had a salad for lunch, I really wanted something that is actually solid. Since we do not generally have thawed meat at the drop of a hat, I was forced to make due with cheddarwurst. I poked a couple holes in those badboys, nuked ‘em, laid down a huge pile of mustard and sat down for my feast. I split one in half and bit into the thing….. and got an eyeful of piping hot cheddar juice. My first response was to scream and reject the object attacking me, which meant throwing a plate full of mustard and bratwurst to the ground onto the rug. So I am screaming, the rug is ruined, and all I have to show for my meal is a burn scar above my left eye. The cool thing is that because it was made by a cheddarwursts, the scar is in the shape of Brett Favre. And that scar is wearing a Vikings jersey.

I went out with my bother again today and although I had ever intention of running further than 2 miles before walking for a little bit, I couldn’t. I am thinking that it is due to the heat and my change in diet. I ain’t giving up the diet just yet, but if this crap continues I may need more energy. The one thing that I know that I should do and haven’t is to make sure that I am well hydrated before the run.

We ended up running 2 miles in 21 minutes, then walking about a half mile, then running about a mile, then walking, then desperately running to try and finish in 48 minutes, then totally crashing and having to walk. All in all it took us 50 minutes to do the 4 miles.

There were encouraging parts, but this two mile wall I keep hitting sucks.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week Fourteen: Saturday

Saturday was a big day in Fat Guy training. I had to run 11 miles. Now, I knew full well that I was not going to actually RUN 11 miles, but I was going to do the best I could. The little one woke us up at a little before 7 and after tending to her I decided that I had better get this over with. I went on to the computer to Map My and looked for an 11 mile running route in the area. After about a half hour of searching I decided that I would just run the 4 mile route I know a couple times. I do not want to carry a map along with me when I run.

So, at about 7:45 I slapped band-aids over my nipples and headed out. I ran the first 2 miles and then quit which is really starting to bother me. I have gone 4 miles before so why it is so difficult to run even 3 these days is confusing me. I am hoping it is because I have been out of the game and that I can get back up to 4 soon. I then walked 2, ran 2, walked like 3 and walked/ran the last two. All in all the run took me 2 hours 35 minutes. This was ok, but it knocked me back down to reality about this whole thing. If I would have been running that marathon I don’t know how long I could have run for the remaining 15.2 miles. My guess is I would have had to walk most of it.

Week Fourteen: Thursday

I didn’t run this Thursday. I had started that workout program on Tuesday and that mixed with the running on Wednesday made my legs worthless. I was going to walk the four miles but I decided since I didn’t have to work on Friday that I would spend the night bonding with the family by going to the place that all newborns want to go. The Drive-in.

Now, I don’t know how often you folks have been to the drive in recently but it has changed from a seemingly family friendly atmosphere to an awesome post-apocalyptic party zone. The best thing I can compare it to is the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show. I am pretty sure there are as many drugs floating around the drive in as at a dead show.

Despite the rad party crowd, the wife and I enjoyed the new Batman movie. Veronica, on the other hand, thought it was a snooze-fest. She slept for the entire time. I guess when you aren’t facing the screen there isn’t much else to do.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Week Fourteen: Wednesday

Despite my fear of the bats conspiring against me, I ran at 8:30 tonight to try and manage the heat. It was better but it turns out that running makes you sweat no matter what time of day you do it. Weird, huh?

I was really sore from my new workout program yesterday. Particularly in my butt region. I say “in my butt region” because anyone who knows me knows that I DO NOT HAVE AN BUTT. I am one of those unfortunate individuals that were born without a butt. It was no good when I was skinny, but now that I am fat it is totally exaggerated. I have to wear pants that fit around my gut and there is a huge chasm where one’s butt would be. I really would have made a good drug mule with all that empty space back there. It also leads to my pants being pushed down in front when I am bending over resulting in a plumber’s crack despite my complete lack of butt.

Not sure where I was going with that. Just thought you might want to know. Oh, and to save you the trouble of checking me out.

The run was not all that successful. I still only could go about 2 miles before crapping out. I walked a mile, ran a mile, and then due to severe nipple chaffing I walked the last mile. I seriously thought that my Melrose Place shirt would serve me well, but alas, much like Kimberly when she blew up the compound, it was out to get me.

The 5 miles I traveled took me just shy of one hour. This was an improvement from Monday. I really want to get back to running 4 miles in straight but I may need to work back into that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Week Fourteen: Monday

I had my first running date today and much like my prom date it was a relative.

My brother decided to tag along with me. I was glad to have the extra motivation to actually start running again. He got to the house around 5 and took off. Unfortunately it was so hot around this time that I thought it was possible I was going to die.

My brother is in way better shape than me and has run in the past off and on so I felt bad that he had to trot along with me. He tried to make conversation at first but my monosyllabic answers deterred him from talking pretty quickly.

We ended up going 2 miles without stopping and I was so hot and winded I had to walk a mile. When it is that hot out the recovery time is so much longer. After a mile we started running again and I lasted another quarter mile before I had to stop again.

I forgot to start my watch, but we were gone almost exactly and hour. Not so bad considering the heat and that I hadn’t run in almost 2 weeks.

The important part is that I am writing this Tuesday after work and so far the foot has no sign of return pain. I am cautiously optimistic that maybe I am healed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Week Thirteen: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday

As you may have guessed from the lack of posts and the heading of this one that I am going to totally screw the readers of this blog by posting 3 training days at once and admit that I have done absolutely nothing.

Early in the week I had every intention of going on that stupid elliptical machine but I just have not had the time or energy. I knew that this would be a challenge with the new one in the house, but it is actually the foot problem that has kept me inactive. That being said, I was good about what I ate until the weekend came and I ate the worst crap I could shove in my body. Ice cream cake? Hell yes! Mountain Dew? Why not six!

I could use the excuse that it was Mrs. Fat Guy’s birthday so going out and cake are part of the equation but I do not want to make excuses even though by mentioning her birthday I actually was making an excuse.

The reason that I am motivated to get back on track is that although I did not run for a while and was eating really crappy food when Veronica was born I still lost some weight for the month. Wednesday’s post would have typically included my weight, which was 224. That is 4 pounds less than last time and a total of 17 pounds.

Monday I am going to hit the road and try and run 3 miles. The foot has been feeling great but I have been walking around barefoot and not doing the exercises so I may be in trouble. If the foot acts up again I will deal with that. I am also going to stick to that TNT diet/weight training program.

Thanks for sticking with this and I promise that I will be more attentive to it. Someone asked me what is different with the new roommate. My reply was that it is strange having something that is your entire focus. I think that I can manage my time/energy better because it is very important to me to finish that marathon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Week Thirteen: Monday

I went 3 miles on the elliptical machine and it took me like 20 minutes. I actually got a good sweat going from the thing but I know that it was a poor replacement for running.

I am also starting that stupid diet today. This is really inconvenient because there is still half a pizza in the fridge and it is seriously mocking me. Not to mention the rest of the 12 pack of Dr. Chill that is in there. I drank like 7 last night but I think Dr. Chill is just like a magic penny. Hold it tight and you won’t have any. Lend it spend it you’ll have so many they’ll roll all over the floor.

Is that song some sort of deviant way to associate love with mindless consumerism? Were only people that went to Pike Lake Elementary exposed to that song?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Week Twelve: Saturday

The sleep deprivation is really getting to me. If I hadn’t already decided to take of this week to allow my foot to recover I probably would have not run anyway. I am determined to start the diet and exercise program on Monday. I don’t go into work until Wednesday so I am going to try and use the exercise as a means of getting into a somewhat normal sleep pattern before I have to go back.

Week Twelve: Thursday

I am going to do everything in my power to not turn this into a blog about fatherhood, my child, parenting tips, or cute stories about a newborn soiling diapers a lot. It may be a little difficult since the only physical exercise I have done since Monday is taking a shower. And I guarantee that no one wants me to write about that. Even I am grossed out by that.

I am going to get back on track as best I can but the sporadic sleep may make things difficult. I have also been purposely over eating to enjoy this while I still can. I have a feeling that my monthly weight loss is not going to be a loss at all.

Week Twelve: Wednesday

Welcome Baby Veronica Carol!

Tuesday, July 8th, 6:07pm

6lbs, 9 ounces.

Sex: Female

Cuteness: 10 out of 10 (Absolutely Adorable)

Week Twelve: Monday

I had to leave work early because Mrs. Fat Guy called and the medical folks wanted to speed up the baby birthing process. Although I am posting this almost a week after the fact I will pretend as if I am posting this on Tuesday, so there is not baby as of Monday night. I did my foot fixing exercises in the hospital. I also made the conscious decision that I do not have the ability to care about any diet while all this is going on and I will eat whatever I want. Well, within reason, as the hospital staff was unwilling to serve me a stick of butter coated in sugar. Jerks.

Week Eleven: Saturday

Please Note: I really apologize for the backlog of postings. I have a valid excuse. This post was written on Monday but not posted because I did not make it home from work. No, I did not end up getting locked into an Old Country Buffet with Jennifer Connelly ala Frank Whaley in Career Opportunities. I couldn’t remember Frank Whaley’s name so I cheated and looked it up. I totally didn’t know that was a John Hughes film.

I really thought that everything was going to be ok with the foot, but Friday and for the rest of the weekend is was painful to walk on the thing. I did not run Saturday as a result and I am going to take it easy for the next 2 weeks.

I have self diagnosed myself with Plantar Fasciitis. It is a pretty common foot injury apparently. The recovery time can be months but with exercise and rest you can cut that time down to a couple weeks. I picked up some pads for my work shoes and I think I am going to start taking anti-inflammatory drugs for a little while.

I don’t feel like 2 weeks off is going to make this impossible. It will just be more difficult. In order to make sure that I am still working toward the goal I am going to make some adjustments to the schedule. I am going to go the same amount of miles as I would have running on an elliptical machine. While this is not an even trade I feel like it will be better for the foot while still providing me with a workout.

I am also going to start a new diet/exercise program called the “TNT diet”. I had hoped when I bought the book that it was just listening to TNT by AD/DC over and over again which I would probably have done anyway. Turns out it is a little Atkinsy mixed with upper body free-weight work and protein shakes. The workout program is pretty manageable, 3 days a week which I will do on my running days off.

I did Atkins a bunch of years ago and I did lose weight. For a while. The nice difference here is that I am not going to just eat meat and probably live on just vegetables for a while which I should be doing anyway.

Don’t fret. I will still blog. I have no idea what I will talk about. The elliptical machine is in a very small room in my basement and the chances that any animals or people will do something worth writing about is virtually nil. I may have to keep an eye on the spiders though. I have no idea where their allegiance is. They may like bicyclists because a bike’s spokes have got to be a great place for a lazy spider to spin a web. Half the work is already done! They may get a little pissed when the colorful giant comes and ruins all their work.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Week Eleven: Thursday

If you thought gangsta’ runnin’ was the ultimate in musical genre based marathon training, think again.

I tried out a radical new genre that adds a whole new element. Bluegrass.

I originally thought that it would be great because the tempo is like a 1000 bpm. Playing the banjo only has one speed with is second only to death metal. (Note to self: Run to Death Metal) This was great during the up-tempo songs. Plus, I run along railroad tracks and when listening to that music it is easy to imagine that you are being chased down by a posse of train engineers that are mad at you for hopping on their trains. The leader of the posse is particularly mad at you because you bedded his wife back in Gary, Indiana. This is only a portion of the elaborate tale I concocted.

The only downside is that when you hit a slow Bluegrass song it is sooooo slow. I like to slow it down for slow songs and all but I would have to walk backward for some of these. Plus then I look at things form that conductor’s point of view and I feel guilty for bedding his wife.

My foot was at like 99% and I felt like I should at least try run 3. I ran 2 in a little less than 20 minutes and then decided to walk one just in case. My foot was a little sore after I started walking but not so much that I could talk myself out of running the third mile. I figure I traveled more than 4 miles in 48 minutes, walking one mile. I feel like this was pretty good for the reintroduction.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Week Eleven: Wednesday

Didn't run. See previous post.

I am going to run tomorrow, but I may not go the full three miles. I am going to see how I feel. I think I need to ease back into it.

Week Eleven: Monday

Sorry for the radio silence. I actually would have posted last Thursday and Saturday on Sunday and the Monday post earlier but I hit a little snag in the program.

On Sunday I woke up and went to go to work around the house. I started to have a pain in the arch of my left foot. The longer I stood on it the more it irritated me. It got worse over the course of the day and was shooting up to my ankle.

I had hoped that Monday morning it would be fine and I would be able to run and when it wasn't I started to get really bummed. I am very motivated to run this stupid marathon. If I have to crawl the damn thing I will but I would like to be upright if possible. I was concerned that I had really screwed up my foot.

The other kicker is that I am only a month into my job and I didn't have insurance until July 2nd. I worried that if I posted about a foot problem that it would be considered an existing condition or something. This is important because I am pretty sure that every health care professional in Minnesota reads this blog. Has anyone considered making a special font for sarcasm?

Since I can't lie to you folks but I can lie to a doctor, I wanted to let you know that I did not run Monday because it would have possibly made things worse and I am probably not going to run Wednesday either. I am posting this on Wednesday and my foot is like 90% better. There is a little soreness but other than that I think I have recovered. I want to give it some time to make sure that I do not aggravate it again.

For those of you that are saying to yourselves "That fatass is just looking for and excuse to quit" you are half right.

I really want to give up on the not drinking pledge. I am looking for any excuse to quit that part.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Week Ten: Saturday

I managed to face a fear that has been haunting me for a while now. I ran down the sidewalk.

My main fear is that I know that people will be staring at me and possibly mocking me and throwing stuff at me from their car. But if I am going to run a marathon, there are going to be a whole heap of people standing along side the road and I need to start getting used to being on display.

One person did yell something but I cannot be sure if it was at me, a passenger, or a cell phone. Otherwise it went pretty well. I always hate the awkward interaction with drivers at cross streets and cross walks that street running ends up forcing. Are they going to stop? Should I run? If they keep going the at the same rate and I do too I can run behind them, but will they think that I am running in front of them and slam on their breaks? Did they mistake the hands up “Thanks for stopping wave” as the “I am my own traffic cop and you should stop right now?”

This was a real accomplishment. I managed to run 6 miles in 65 minutes. I actually think it was a little more than 6 miles. I ran the first 4 and extra and then walked/ran the last 2. Since my running route left me 2 miles from home I timed my trip back to see how long the 8 mile route would take me. A little more than 8 miles took me about 109 minutes.

Week Ten: Thursday

Since Thursday was my 4 year wedding anniversary, I took a mulligan on running. I actually was looking forward to using the hotel treadmill to run after work, but it was logistically not possible with our dinner plans. We ended up staying at Graves downtown and having dinner at Ruth Chris.
Not only did I not run, but I broke my no drinking pledge as well. When one is eating an opulent meal it is required that one order a scotch with the meal to appear sophisticated. Also, one really wanted a drink and one’s wife was saying that it was ok and that one should not feel guilty about it because it was a special occasion. All in all it was a very nice night.

4 years down, 50 more to go give or take a couple.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Week Ten: Wednesday

I wish I had more to write about, but these last couple runs have been uneventful. Lots of couples on bikes. Not the evil kind of bikes. The leisurely kind. They all kind of look at me funny but I know the guys, who are around my age or a little younger, are thinking “I may have put on a few and that is why she guilted me out here to ride around the neighborhood, but at least I ain’t as bad ad that guy.” The wives are thinking “At least he ain’t as bad as that guy.”

I have really been hoping to see the Sasquatch jogger again so I can tell his tale. If I have another boring post lined up I will explain his legend.

Managed to run for 27 minutes which was about 2.6 miles, walk for 3 minutes then run the rest of the 4 miles which ended up taking 43 minutes.

Although I did go the 4 miles, I really want to be able to run the full distance on these down days.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Week Ten: Monday

The Fat Guy announcement that is so shocking that most will not believe it.

I have sworn off alcohol until after the race. That is three months of booze free living.

This will not be really that difficult coming up because of the new one on the way. At least I thought. Mrs. Fat Guy picked me up from the bus stop and told me that our neighbor had offered us Saints tickets. Honestly I cannot think of another event that I associate with getting drunk more than a Saints game. I have spent more than a couple nights at that stadium drinking to ridiculous excess. I managed to maintain my composure and resist the urge. I guess that isn’t that difficult when you are with your pregnant wife, but still.

I may have solved the mystery of the 5 miles in 56 minutes. My running pace must have increased. I did 3 miles today, but I mixed in like 15 minutes of walking and did it in 36 minutes. That was around my 3 mile pace when I ran the entire distance. This means that I have drastically increased my pace inadvertently and I cannot sustain the pace and have to walk earlier as a result. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter how long I walk or run if I am going the same amount of distance in the same amount of time. However, I really want to run for as long as possible to start the marathon so I can get as much of the course behind me as quickly as possible. I am going to have to experiment with pacing a little bit. I was really disappointed in myself when I have run 4 miles in the past and now can only run 2.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Week Nine: Saturday

After 9 weeks of this I thought I had encountered every type of path dweller – Stroller Family, Stroller Family with kids on bikes, Rollerbladers, other runners, walkers including makeout walkers and not walking for leisure walkers and of course the hated enemy.

I encountered a new path dweller on two separate occasions today and it is really more confusing to me than anything else. Roller Cross Country skiers. Why on God’s green earth would one strap skis with wheels on them and flail down a path in the middle of summer? We have winter like 10 months out of the year when you can cross country ski.

The act of keeping yourself moving forward requires you to practically dominate the path which is why I welcome the RCCers into the fold. Why? Because it must be such a colossal pain in the ass to a bicyclist wanting to speed by them. Me I can just run off the path. Not Lance wannabe. Scream “On your left” all you want. They will not be able to make any sudden movements.

Today’s run was a little confusing. I travelled what I thought was 5 miles in 56 minutes. This would be a great time but I am starting to question that it was 5 miles. I ran for what I think was a couple miles and then walked for 10 minutes than ran and then walked for like 6 minutes and then ran and then walked. Considering the amount of walking I did, I either have increased my pace or I didn’t go 5 miles. Either way I couldn’t run the whole route, but I am going to have to train to run as far as possible and then take a break and run some more. These Saturdays will probably be how I train for the actual marathon and the other days will be attempting to run the complete distance.