As the alarm went off at 6:30, I sprang out of bed..ready to face the morning full of vim and viger. Birds were singing, the sun was shining, unicorns were farting rainbows…it was glorious.
 

Glorious…

 
So…what really happened? I staggered out of bed, mumbling something about cutting the first person I run into. Like badly. My head felt like I’d chased bleach with drain cleaner (uh…so I hear). Stunbling my way to the bathroom for the baseline weigh in…

267 lbs. Not too bad for a 7 foot 9 man, but since I’m not Manute Bol, I’ve got some work ahead of me.

Still shaking the cobwebs out, I get changed for the morning run, which I am REALLY excited about today. Oh well, at least I’ll feel a little more ready to go once I grab my pre-run Vega. Oh. Thats got sugar in it…won’t really do to cheat on the first day, so maybe I’ll switch to the….nope…nope thats got sugar too. In fact, every running drink or energy chew I have, lists sugar somewhere in the ingredients. Oh, for the love of…

 

Nat captured…the open sobbing following right afterwards

 
Screw it…I’ll just have some water. How much difference could it make anyways?

So, after limping off the treadmill at about 3 miles at a pace I could have log rolled to, I made a mental note to look up sugar free alternatives for the morning run. Also, I need to make sure I’m getting close to 3 liters of water throughout the day, as I remember dehydration playing a key part in energy levels. Check and check..

So I showered up, grabbed my Vega (the meal stuff is sugar free and has seemed historically to do well for me  for aftter run breakfasts) and headed off to work. I then made an important discovery, one which will affect the way this all plays out for the next 30 days..Tim Hortons without sugar is the stuff nightmares are made of. Holy Dinah, someone needs to spread the word about this! We’re all just drinking sweetened battery acid, and loving it!!

 

Need to spread the word…one Tim Hortons at a time

 
So after making it through the 1st day, (with hardly killing anybody at all)..I realized a few things. I need a LOT more protein in my diet, or my blood sugar dips I’m not artificially medicating with the sweet stuff are going to result in me appearing on the news an AWFUL lot more.  I’m also going to need to ask for some snacking ideas from family (Hi Jen!), as eating the same threee snack food is going to drive me insane..and lastly

I’ve got a pretty patient and loving family. Sorry guys, this’ll get better here soon guys, and will be worth it in the long run. A couple of long weeks now might lead to some changes that will mean both my girls will have a Daddy to walk them down the aisle, and my son will have someone to teach him all the important guy things…like how to belch the alphabet 😉

And sweet sweet Google money aside, that’ll make this all worth it 😀

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With my 40th birthday looming in just over a year, I’ve been starting training for my second full length marathon…after the first one darn near killed me a couple of years ago, I promised I’d do just one more for the 40th.  I’ve had a really slow start with the training, little or no energy and zero motivation. Now part of that is to blame on my 3 children, who love nothing more than to use me as a jungle gym…and part is to blame on my side job fighting crime…
 

My secret weapon is cuddling

 
But far more important, and hard to accept, is the fact I’m an addict. Not meth, heroin, or Bon Jovi albums…but sugar. Sweet, sweet sugar. I’m a junkie, and Mr Christie is my pusher….

Now, being an addict to the sweet stuff has been made even more comical by the fact that I am surrounded on all sides by health experts..my lovely wife has been making healthy, nutritious meals for me all 15 years of our marriage. My sister is a Holistic Nutritionist, one brother in law reviews fitness videos professionally..and my other brother in law is a freaking personal trainer who lost over a hundred pounds by eating a healthy diet and exercise.

So, making a rash weekend decision (the best kind, historically) I’m announcing that starting Monday, this guy is going sugar free for 30 days! 

I originally thought of this, because just maybe all these people who have been doing this for a while and have changed their lives might know what they are talking about..but then I came back to my senses with some ice cream. 
THEN I thought that if I actually went through with this, I’d have some easy blog material and might drum up some views..and make some of that sweet, sweet Google money 😀

So join me, won’t you, for the next 30 days. Because if this fluffy, pale sugar junkie can do it…then maybe we all have some hope. And at the very least, you’ll get some enjoyment out of my misery!

Some things never change…I’m convinced that whoever penned those words many years ago had to have been in his early 20’s, tops. They certainly couldn’t have been my age! I catch myself quite a bit lately, talking like an old man…something I swore I’d never, ever do. I was going to stay cool forever, drinking slurpees and eating pop rocks until the day I took the eternal dirt nap. But more and more now, I catch myself dropping gems like this:

Who’s killing those cats, and why are they doing it with a sack of dying cats? Back in MY day, band members could actually play their instruments! (Granted, all 6 of them were playing synthesizers, but that’s besides the point).

You know what the problem with Google is? They know too much about you..I spent an hour in the bathroom one evening, and when I came out, the Google ads were all for Metamucil and Weetabix.

6 dollars for a cup of coffee?! Back in my day, you got all the coffee you could drink for 50 cents, and they brought it to you! (Now granted, that coffee wasn’t a low fat, low sodium, Mocha Frappachino with extra Soy whip and sprinkles, but its the principal!)

What am I doing tonight? Chiropractors going to pop the ‘ol hip back into place…than a nice long bath. Going to be great!

Yeah, that Camaro’s alright…but I’d really love a Prius. That sweet rides gets 100 miles to the gallon!

How do I play this stupid game? I just don’t get all these controls…all you really ever need is two buttons, shoot and jump.

When did they start making the print on these newspapers so freaking small? (The real problem of course, being that my arms just aren’t long enough anymore…)

It 10:30 already?? I’d better call it a night, I have to work tomorrow…

Get off my lawn!! (OK, haven’t said that one yet, but that day can’t be far off)

 

 

The worst part of any race prep has to be the last 24 hours. Should I have done 1 more tempo run? Should I have done that last speed run? Should REO Speedwagon have taken it on the run?

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Just have to trust in the training at that point, eat your carbs (my favorite part of the whole thing) and go run the race! So, tomorrow at 7:30, off to go run same as I’ve done a thousand times before….just with a few hundred other runners ; )

It’s been a long, draining summer…but finally down to the last few days of training. August 19th, I’ll be running in the Northlands Derby marathon, my first full length marathon. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t see myself running anything…(unless it was a fever, or with Dexy’s Midnight Runners) Bam…first obscure 80’s reference of the article…self high five!

This training cycle has been a real eye opener for me. With my half marathon, I could slack off on the nutrition side of things and still power my way through the run…when I tried to do that the first time with a 20 mile run, I quickly learned that I didn’t know JACK SQUAT about hitting the wall before…my brain said go, but my body said “Flacons de Maise” and abandoned me..my body had decided to insult me in poor high school French.

I’ve since learned the importance of carb loading, the realities of proper hydration, and the importance of 8 hours of sleep the night before. It’s been a real journey, and once again with my loving families support I think I’m ready…so stay tuned fattyholics (WHATCHA GONNA DO!!) anyway it goes, it should be exciting!

For those who have been following the blog since the beginning (aside from you probably being directly related to me), there has been a constant throughout my time as a runner…a horrible, festering (and quite possible molding) constant…my Weslo Cadence Treadmill..or as it became known, the widowmaker (mostly by my knees)

I never really felt like I was getting anywhere…

But it hadn’t always been bad…when we first brought home that treadmill from our Canadian Tire, running on it during the cold winter months (where we were, between Septemeber and June!) was a dream!

And we had the best views out the front window..

But as the years went by, and we moved 2 or 3 (or 5!) times, what had been a dream had become slightly more nightmarish..the motor could no longer keep up, and the belts were constantly slipping. For the first 3 or so minutes, every time you stepped on the belt, it stopped. If you could make it through that without flying off the stupid thing, you could get a decent, albeit hip jarring workout in…..unless you blew the breaker.  Then you got to see one of the laws of physics firsthand (Science!!)

An object in motion tends to stay in motion

So, when my wife and I came into a little it of money recently, we decided it was time to take the plunge and get his and her tattoos! No, no that wasn’t it at all…just wanted to give my mother a heart attack! (Hi Mom!) We picked up a Nordictrack 1750, or the Cloudmaster Unicorn 3000 as I have taken to calling it!

Wood paneling not included…

3.5 CHP (meaning it can haul my big butt comfortably up to 12 MPH without breaking a sweat!), 10 – -3 % incline (meaning it simulates a downhill slope) and iFit live, which has become my new favorite thing! I can draw out a map on google maps, and run it…including seeing street view and the treadmill matches the appropriate incline as well!

Well, ALMOST anywhere..

All in all, it was a hard initial pill to swallow at first (had to beat the single income mindset out of my head) but I’m glad we did this. Running just became a little easier to keep up with on those rainy or snowy days…which is good, because on a side note, my Marathon is on August 19th, right here in Edmonton! Stay tuned….

First off, if you got the Star Wars reference…congratulations!  You are my kind of people….

 

After the success of the half marathon last year (meaning A – Ran the race and lived to tell it and B – My wife didn’t pack up the kids and leave me) I decided to push the envelope, ride the Highway to the danger zone and gleam the cube….and signed up for a full marathon right here in Edmonton.  Aug 19th, 2012 I will line up with hundreds of people, wearing very fashionable and functional clothing, most likely not bearing the name of an 80’s heavy metal band and attempt to not make a fool of myself yet again!

 

So as all my loyal followers of the blog no doubt remember (Hi Jen!), last year I attempted to record for posterity (and my eulogy) the training ups and downs of my quest to go from couch potato to real type runner…with abs you could grate cheese on.  Well that never happened, but I did go from gasping for breath opening a bag of Cheetos to someone who could run 13.1 miles in just the span of 6 months.  Along the way I hope I inspired other pasty 30 somethings to try running out…and not just because I own stock in a company that manufactures artificial knees…

 

So welcome back, and I hope you find some enjoyment at my expense…