Saturday, May 31, 2008

Week Six: Thursday

How’s this to mess with your mind?

I had a Happy Hour on Thursday. I know, if you read the letter from a week or two back you would think that that ship has sailed. However, Friday was my last day at Hot Dish and there is no way I was not going to do Happy Hour with those folks. I will really miss Hot Dish and everyone working there and although I am excited about my new job, it was really hard to say goodbye. Soooo, because I didn’t want to run on Thursday after drinking because it sounds kind of unholy plus I really wanted to see the Lost season finale, I am officially changing Thursday to Saturday, Saturday to Sunday and then I will be back on track.

Why didn’t I run on Friday? Well, because I had to rewatch Lost. Duh.

Please don’t use my training schedule as an excuse to not go in to work on Monday and tell your boss on Tuesday “Hey, Fat Guy said that Saturday was Sunday so Monday was Sunday dude. Deal with it.”

The Thursday/Saturday run was pretty good. I ran my 25 minutes. I don’t think I got quite as far as the last couple times. I think it might be due to the fact that I ran at like 10 am and it was getting hot out. It is hard to keep the pace I would like when you get exhausted from the heat. Speaking from exhausted from the heat, I need to get David Lee Roth’s “Crazy from the Heat”. That is some runnin’ music.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Week Six: Wednesday

As it gets nicer out my newest challenge is the increased traffic on my very convenient running trail. On this run alone I braved an altercation between two women over lilacs, a large family with a particularly menacing child on a big wheel, numerous Lance Armstrongs, and a rouge lap dog that may or may not have wanted to trip me.

There is a benefit to the increased traffic. At lease there is something to observe and I usually feel like I need to get past people walking before I hear an “On your left!” in a condescending-masked-as-a-concerned tone from some biker. Of course there is the increased self consciousness that comes from the belief that people are wondering if I am a man or a woman with my man boobs flopping around. I know that is a grotesque image. Imagine the poor souls that have to witness it. I’ll be damned if I am going to wear a sports bra. If they don’t like it they should stay off my trail.

I may be exaggerating the man boob thing a little. I guess the only way to find out is to do a man on the path interview with one of these people. If I run out of material to write about soon expect that.

I got in my 25 minutes and I think I made it as far as I did the last time. Since it is so inexact I think I will just measure the distances when I need to run actual miles instead of time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Week Six: Monday

I consider this run one of my biggest victories since I ran three minutes that first run. I have to up the time running this week to 25 minutes. That isn’t where the victory came in. I was hung-over after a night of hard drinking at my friend Ann’s birthday party that coincided with a visit from Brent and Lisa from L.A. Those two factors plus the fact that my wife is sober cab, err I mean pregnant, made it the perfect booze storm. I woke up with a headache so bad that I was pretty sure that I had pulled a muscle in my brain. The worst part was that I was stuck in this horrible cycle of look for aspirin/hurts too much to look for aspirin for about an hour.

Never found that aspirin but did find the fortitude to actually go running. It was much later in the day after God forgave me and cured me of my headache. Due to my missing Saturday and the poor treatment of my body the night before, I was determined to run my 25 minutes. I did it. I am not sure the distance but it was further than ever before. The reason I am so proud is because I really considered using the holiday weekend as an excuse not to run. I overcame my love of sitting in front of the TV. This time.

Week Five: Saturday

I am ashamed to admit that I did not run on Saturday. I will spare you the lame excuses. The only good from it was that my legs got a rest.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Week Five: Thursday

If someone ever say to you “Hey, you should come to a kindergarten graduation!” do not go under the impression that it is like a high school or college graduation. After my nephew’s graduation that I went to on Thursday I learned that there was going to be absolutely no booze afterwards. And since I am trying to avoid sweets and the only thing available were cookies, I suggest hitting the bar before the ceremony. I guess a flask would also suffice.

My inner Simon Cowell kept thinking that the musical performance was karaokeish and unoriginal. I did like the slides they had each of the kids holding up signs of what they wanted to be when they grew up. One kid said “worker”, which made me think he was in 1950’s Communist Russia and another’s said “Tow Truck driver” which I admired. You see some of the kids said “Superhero”, but I feel like when your car is stuck on the side of the freeway, a tow truck driver IS a super hero. My nephew said “Fire Fidr” and I thought he should team up with kid that said “Fire Truk Drivr”. I guess they have some time to work on that relationship.

After the graduation I had a nice run. I am getting a little sketchy on distances, but I ran the 20 minutes and I even reset the timer because I was going to keep going. I stopped after 20 seconds though because it is discouraging when I don’t improve so I want to make sure those times when I manage to keep going don’t make the times when I struggle seem like failures.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Week Five: Wednesday

It has been officially 4 weeks since I started this so I figure now is the time to update you on my weight.

233 lbs. That’s 8 pounds off for you folks keeping track.

Although I want to lose weight, the ultimate goal of this is to run a marathon. Any weight I shed along the way will just make it easier for me because I will be lugging around less.

Today was kind of a small victory. I ran for 12 minutes and was really hot and my leg started to cramp so I walked for a couple minutes and then ran the last 8. The small victory was that I actually ran the last 8. After stopping it is kind of hard to get going for any long period of time.

Although I feel like the heat was a problem I am going to have to get used to it. I will be doing a majority of my runs in the summer during the day. I may start trying to run right after work more often just to start to get used to it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Week Five: Monday

Alright. I am really not trying to turn this into some sort of clearinghouse for bizarre rants about birds and flying mammal’s alliances in an imagined bitter rivalry. However, I received a call today from a friend, Leslie, who was telling another friend, Brent, about being chased by wild turkeys while running in Coon Rapids and he mentioned my last entry.

First she said that she was chased for like 3 miles but then she took it down to a quarter mile. Knowing that Leslie exaggerates, it was 1/8 mile. That is still way too long to be chased by turkeys. I had a feeling in my gut about those turkeys and this just proves that I am correct:

Turkeys are against runners.

Ran my 20 minutes. Went probably a little less than 2 miles. The right knee started to get sore again so I am going to have to do something about that.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Week Four: Saturday

Over the last couple days I have learned some information regarding the loyalties of birds in the great Biker vs. Runners battle.

Turkeys are definitely on the side of the Bicyclists. They are mean and I am scared of them which is all the proof I need. There was a petting zoo in a parking lot by work (I have no idea either) and there were kids in the vicinity of the turkeys. I saw a turkey violently peck near a child and a dad had to come between the turkey and the kid. The two obvious questions are “Why the hell would you let a kid near a turkey?” and “What the hell is a turkey doing in a petting zoo?” The only answer I can come up with is “Because”

At first I thought that woodpeckers were on the side of the bicyclists as well. There is one in a tree outside our window that is driving me insane. I was to the point that I was angry that I had ever enjoyed a Woody Woodpecker cartoon. However, Saturday morning I was not in the mood to get up but that woodpecker was making it impossible to get back to sleep. It was exactly the motivation I needed to get up and run. The Lord and woodpeckers work in mysterious ways.

The run went well. I ran 20 minutes and about 2 miles. Not breaking any records. My legs were sore so I didn’t run on the back end and got home after 35 minutes.

This next week I need to run 20 minutes every session. I know that it is physically possible to do so I should be ok. I need to try and get the sore leg thing under control. My hope is to make sure that I am running at least 2 miles and try to tack on a minute or two towards the end of the week so that when it gets bumped up to 25 it is not such a shock.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Week Four: Thursday

I guess it was inevitable. My first disappointing post.

Only ran 12 minutes and a little over a mile. Although I did accomplish what the training program said to do, which is 35 minutes walk/run, this was kind of a setback. Here is my list of excuses:

1. I ate a plate of spaghetti for dinner
2. I drank a vodka coke with dinner. It was poured for me. If I would have been asked I would have turned it down but there was no way that when it was sitting in front of me I was going to reject that.
3. I helped my friend move furniture after dinner.
4. My right knee and thigh are a sore and I am kind of worried about doing long term damage.
5. I started to get a mild side ache.
6. I ran at like 8:50 and it was dark and scary and I saw a boatload of bats. They were 15 feet above my head, but they are still scary. I am pretty sure that they are in cahoots with the bicyclists. Eagles are on the side of the runners, Bats are on the side of the cyclists. Remember that.
7. There were high school kids playing volleyball in the dark at the park. That just didn’t sit right with me. They either really love volleyball or were up to no good. When I was in high school and went to that park I was always up to no good. I assumed they were as well.
8. Lost was on. How in the hell do you expect me to concentrate on running when I am thinking about Lost?

Now that B.S. excuse time is over, I am going to suck it up, buy a knee brace, and make you folks proud on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Week Four: Wednesday

Dear Happy Hour-

I will get straight to the point. Things have been different for us recently. It started a month ago when although we spent time together, you could tell that I was mentally somewhere else.

I owe you an explanation.

I gulped down my beer and was thinking if I was going to be able to pull off running after a can of Hamms, a can of Lone Star and a can of Fat Cat. Yes. I was thinking about running. There, I said it.

You don’t think it hurts me? The next day I found out that Mike dumped a full Bloody Mary on his lap after I left! I had been sitting right next to him! I would have had a front seat to that!

A week ago I had every intention of making it up to you by coming out after I ran. But I swear I lost my cell phone. It turned out to be in my car, but the damage was done.

I feel like I owe it to you to end this instead of dragging it out. I turned you down tonight to go running. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do.

I feel like we should take a break. I still want to see you, but just less. Right now the only day that works for me is Tuesday and that typically is not a good Happy Hour day. Thursdays and Fridays, yes. Tuesdays? Too much week to go and not enough behind you.

Here is my promise to you. While we are going through this rough patch I will make every effort to run in the morning once in a while. Then I can enjoy my time with you to the fullest. After October, everything will be back to normal.

Oh, that’s right. The baby is due in July. Sorry honey. We are through.

Thanks for the memories,

Fat Guy

Ran 21 minutes, only one minute more than Monday, but covered a lot more ground. Went about 2.25 miles. Walked a half mile and then ran back the .25 miles home.

Since pretty soon I will have to be running 3 miles pretty regularly, I feel like I am making progress. It is still difficult, but just breaking those barriers is very satisfying.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Week Four: Monday

I decided to google the blog and see if it comes up. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of fat guys and their involvement with marathons.

There are a couple sites out there by guys that have done this type of crap before. The one guy, Jacob at, seems to be the most dramatic and highly publicized. This dude was 438 pounds and trained to run the Boston Marathon in 9 hours and 40 minutes. He lost like 80 pounds in the process.

Here is a line from his website’s FAQ:

Q: Isn't losing that much weight so fast really unhealthy for you? (From My Heart)

A: No more unhealthy than cutting myself during a "My Super Sweet 16" Marathon.

Not only is this dude bigger than me, he is funnier than me.

His nickname is “The Bear” which is my also my alter-ego. “The Bear in the Cave in the Morning in the Afternoon during Happy Hour” is my wildly successful radio show. I have like an 80 share amongst the most coveted demo: Hot Dish employees.

Now, I never thought that this idea had never been attempted, but I didn’t know about this guy until I did this search. His site is really interesting; especially the people that wrote him to insult him. What a bunch of a-holes.

If anyone wants to tell me I can’t do it, feel free. It will just motivate me more. And I do not consider success just crossing the finish line. I need to finish in 6 hours, 14 minutes and 59 seconds.

The other thing that he did was add a charity element which I have been kicking around the idea of.

The Monday run was another success. I ran 20 minutes. I had hoped to achieve that by the end of the week. The total distance was 1.89 miles. This is a little less than the 10 minutes miles I had hoped, but it was both a distance and a length of time record. Walked .75 miles and then ran the last .25 miles back home. I was out for about 37 minutes. I am not only pleased with the front end progress, but that I was also able to pull it together to run the ¼ mile at the end.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Week Three: Saturday

Is this what I have been missing all these years? Woke up and ran at 8 am. Do you people know what happens at 8 am? There are roving bicyclist gangs all over the f’n place. I saw like 4 groups of more than 5. All shapes and sizes with one thing in common: spandex. And let me tell you in some cases it was not pretty. Why the hell do they feel the need to where such god-awful colors? It almost seems that when you buy the bike it must whisper to you “Buy clothes that make you look like you are the screen behind the band at a late 60’s Jefferson Airplane concert.” My hope is that it is so that they are seen by cars. My guess is that it is so they can be seen on Google Earth.

You may be able to tell there is some venom about bicyclists. Why? Well, I want the other runners to be my brethren and things are much more fun when you have an enemy. My chosen enemies are bicyclists. Their bikes do all the damn work, they wear ridiculous clothes and helmets, and they travel in packs.

I also saw an Eagle. That was cool. He/She is not my enemy and I am pretty sure the eagle hates the bicyclists as well.

I decided to run to music today. Turned out to be a great decision. Started with Never Aim to Please by Bash and Pop, Then Time for Livin’ by Beastie Boys, Jackson Cannery and then One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces by Ben Folds Five, Then a lovely little ditty by the Dwarves titled Back Seat of my Car, and then finally, and this was orchestrated, Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac since I always do whatever Christine McVie tells me to.

This ended at more than a mile and a half and 16 minutes running. Walked a little more than ¾ miles and ran another ¼ mile home for a total of 35 minutes. This renewed vigor was due to the most incredible logo that Chris on the creative team at work came up with. I hope to have it posted on Monday. Since no one will read this posting I am sure that no one will care.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Week Three: Thursday

Kind of a weird session. I started running and was at it for about 1 ½ minutes and my pants started falling down and I screwed up my ipod and stopped to fix both. Because I had stopped I decided to walk down to a specific point about ¾ miles further so I could somewhat accurately gauge my run distance. I got there and started running and ended up going about a mile and a ¼ in 12 minutes. This was both a distance and time record for me. Honestly, the only thing keeping me going was the idea of posting to this stupid blog a failure.

If I follow this strategy in the TCM I would walk the first 7 miles or so. That may be kind of weird. Or genius. But probably just weird.

I didn’t run on the back end because my legs were sore. Sorry excuse I know but I am improving, damn it. Saturday I need to run 15 minutes on the front end and any back end running is bonus.

I cannot figure out if I should be inspired when I see a 60+ year old out running or if I should be pissed. My gut response is to get pissed because I hate him/her for being in better shape than me. It is my gut responses that have gotten me in the physical condition in the first place. Being angry at physically fit people really doesn’t seem fair. I am going to try the “If they can do it, I can do it!” attitude.

Is that a poster already? Someone call Succesories.

Week Three: Wednesday

Well, the shoe paranoia got the best of me and I went to the Running Room in Maple Grove and explained to the saleswoman that I needed some shoes that would keep my knees from being ruined by my giant upper half. After a grueling test, knee bends, she determined that I did not pronate. Thank God. I tried a couple pairs on and ended up with the Mizuno Wave Rider 11s. I have no idea whether or not they are good but they were relatively expensive and they felt good. Thanks for helping me blonde woman with really light blue eyes. Sorry I forgot your name.

I daydreamed that the new shoes would be just the extra kick I needed. I was wrong. I only ran 7 minutes 45 seconds. It was .85 miles. I then felt pretty guilty so after walking a half mile I ran another 2 minutes then walked a little more than a ¼ mile and then ran a ¼ mile in 2.5 minutes.

All in all it was a little bit disappointing, but I ended up walking an extra 15 minutes with the dog after the initial 35 minutes for a total of 50 minutes.

I am going to have to really step it up tomorrow if I am going to be able to keep up with the program.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Week Three: Monday

At the aforementioned Cinco de Mayo menos tres dias party, I spoke with the good Dr. Dre at work. He is the better of the two Jasons at work. I can say this with confidence because I am the other Jason.

He will be running in the TCM (that’s what I imagine the runners call it because turning things into acronyms makes things seem cooler and more exclusive) and although I could not convince him to wait at the end for a couple hours for me to finish so we can cross the finish line together holding hands, he did give me some advice from the Grandmas Marathons that he has run in the past.

My concern was that right now my respiratory system is my greatest challenge. That seems to be improving. I need to make sure that once that is no longer the issue that I am prepared for whatever else may make this a challenge.

He mentioned that the knees can be a huge problem. This concerned me because I am built like a marshmallow on toothpicks and all that weight on the knees may be too much strain. I do not want to end up not being able to run this because I am physically unable to. If I fail at this I want it to be because I am lazy.

He mentioned that shoes are an important element to reducing knee injuries. This freaked me out even more because I am wearing a pair of 3 year old Asics with no support. I will need to get some shoes as soon as possible.

The running went pretty well. I ended up running 10 minutes on the front end which was a little more than a mile. Walked for about ¾ mile and then ran another ½ mile in 5 minutes. Walked a ¼ mile back home for a total of 35 minutes. The goal is still to run 15 minutes straight on Saturday, so I will have to kick it up to 12 minutes on Wednesday. The knees got a little sore at the end, which was probably in my head. The only way to cure imaginary ailments? Buy expensive shoes.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Week Two: Saturday

I was going to attempt to run before our All about Babies class that started at 9 am, but the Cinco de Mayo menos tres dias party at work resulted in me falling asleep very early on Friday, then waking up very early, then napping until baby class time.

All about Babies taught me 3 things.

1. Babies do not think and communicate with other babies in Bruce Willis’ voice unless both parents are prominent Scientologists

2. A baby is no better off if it is raised by 3 men, even if those 3 men are Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson and Tom Selleck. Oddly enough, a little lady DOES benefit from being raised by 3 men.

3. When the class you are in has two class clowns (neither of them was me. I bring a notebook and write down my smart ass comments for my own amusement and out of respect for others), pray that the unfunny one isn’t sitting directly behind you.

During the class, elsewhere in the same hospital, our good friends Chris and Mary welcomed their son Conrad Michael Higgins into this Godforsaken world. Congratulations and keep that son of yours away from my potential princess.

I ran around 4pm so that I would be prepared if we were able to visit young Higgins. This meant getting up from a near nap. Ended up screwing up the timing on the watch but figure that I ran about 8 minutes on the front end. It was ¾ miles. Walked for a ½ mile than ran a 1/4 mile and about 3 minutes and then walked another ½ mile.

This was a little disappointing because after the next 2 weeks I will be expected to run for 20 minutes straight and I really need to start working toward that. The next 2 weeks will be run/walk 35 minutes. By the end of next week I will need to be able to run 15 minutes uninterrupted and the end of the week after that be able to run 20.

Lord help me.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Week Two: Thursday

Due to some babymamadrama, I had to run out of work and visit the wife in the hospital. Everything turned out alright. She was having contractions which is cool when you are in labor, not cool when you are only 30 weeks along.

The contractions were not causing labor so we are cool for now.

I got back from the hospital and in my rush out of the office I realized that I did not grab my ipod. This means that I will have to run with only the voices in my head to entertain me. I really hope they don’t tell me to burn things. Again.

The no ipod situation is actually a blessing in disguise because it is clunky and helps along the process of my pants falling down. The gut makes it difficult to keep the running pants up.

I brought the dog along with me for the first time. My concern has been that she will be a pain in the ass and crap early and often, leaving me carrying a bag of crap for a half hour.
She didn’t disappoint. She crapped 1 minute into the run. Nothing like jogging in place watching a dog taking a crap to make you re-evaluate your life. I bagged it but, in a stroke of genius, left the bag on the ground, knowing that either I would pick it up on the way back, or some freak that is into dog crap would have a lucky day.

She crapped again on the way back and I did not have a bag for it. It was in tall grass, but I don’t want to be one of those dog owners so I laid some sticks down as a marker and remembered this pirate’s rhyme:

“Look for the sticks off the path that lead into the grass;
This is where you will find what came out of your dog’s ass.”

Ran damn near a mile and in almost 11 minutes. There was some pausing to put the dog on the lease when people were around, but I was overall pleased. Got past the hill that tripped me up last time. I was pretty proud of myself.

I didn’t run on the tail end for more than a minute. I justified it a bunch of different ways, and I think without the dog I would have ran another 4 minutes, but overall it was a good session.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Week Two: Wednesday

I tried a new route. It is on the same path that I was running on next to some railroad tracks. I just follow it across a street that I was hesitant to cross before because it is kind of a pain in the ass.

I ended up running for 5 ½ minutes. It was about .62 miles. I was kind of disappointed in myself. I also managed to get a new battery in my watch with a timer so these measurements will be more accurate than relying on how much of The American Life, The Savage Love podcast, SModcast, The Transmission or the Official Lost Podcast I had listen to on the ipod.

Part of my problem was that I had never actually faced an incline/decent before. I hit the downhill portion and had trouble managing my speed and could not handle the uphill portion.

On the way back since I was so disappointed in myself I mustered up the strength to run a half mile in 4.5 minutes. It was brutal, but I felt pretty good about running more than a mile and for 10 minutes during this session.

As I was walking back home I saw a dude that I have seen once before. He is walking down the tracks with a beer and a cigarette and his dog. I really want to do some sort of a Freaky Friday/18 again/Vice Versa with that dude.

Week Two: Monday

I came home and claimed to have run for 7 minutes on the front end of the run. I did get further than I previously had. I Google Earthed the path and it was like ¾ a mile. I feel like this is a pretty good step.

I also managed to run the 3 minute part at the end without wimping out. That last 3 minute part is ¼ mile, so all in all I ran a 10 minute mile. I just needed 16 minutes of walking in between running.

That’s how they do it in the Olympics, right?

I also thought it was a 25 minute walk/run week. So I did 26. Turns out it was a 30 minute week. I owe the program 4 extra minutes.

Week One: Saturday

I wake up in the morning at 6 am and decide to tackle the day right. I look out at the snow and go back to bed.

Wake up at 9:30 and decide to take another crack at it. I manage to push myself to 6 minutes this time. Although this is a vast improvement, I do not set myself up for doubling my time by the end of every week. I think that from 3 minutes to 6 is vastly different that 1 hour to 2. I also crap out during the last 3 minute run. I blame this on the snow and wind that has started again.

However, since I am the one trying to convince myself that is the reason, and I know that I am full of crap, I admit that it is because I am exhausted.

Week One: Thursday

I am going to run/walk the same route and try and push myself further. I manage to push myself 30 seconds further. By my calculations, I will be able to run about 20 minutes when it comes time to run this marathon. I do the last 3 minute run again.

Week One: Wednesday

Since I am a week into this, I will give you the titillating catch up of what has gone on so far:

Week one requires me to Run/Walk 25 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Since this started on a Wednesday I already inadvertently skipped the first day.

I set out from my house and ran down the street to the railroad tracks. There is a path that runs along the tracks that cuts between two somewhat major city streets. I head toward one of the streets, the goal being that I need to make it that far on day one. I succeed, however it feels like I am inhaling sand and exhaling fire.

I look at my ipod, which I need to use as a timepiece until I get a battery for the watch that would be perfect for this insane venture, and determine that I had run for 3 minutes.

I knew this was going to be hard. I may have underestimated just how hard.

I end up walking for about 20 more minutes among the city streets. I notice two separate groups of 3 guys in their driveways drinking beer. As I gasp for air I desperately want to be them.

I run the last 3 minutes back to the house. I try to watch a show, Human Giant, and every time I laugh I have a coughing fit.