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.