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…

The Big Day!

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Running

The morning of the 11th, I woke up before the kids in our Motel in Canmore (with a real honest to goodness Wall Bed!) It was a beautiful day, about 10 degrees, but was due to go up a bit.  I tried to calm myself, remember why I was there and what I was going to do.

09:15 rolled around, my brother in law and I were lined up with close to 600 other people, of all shapes and sizes.  I had my running list playing on the iPhone (copyright Apple industries, inventors of the internet) which consisted of everything from Thousand Foot Krutch to Honeymoon Suite, to Tommy Tutone…..(867-5309-9-9….now it will be stuck in your head dear reader…bwaa haa haa)

The gun went off, and armed with the prayers of my family, my training, and a couple of high fructose syrup powered gell packs, we went off. 

The first mile or so, I was just overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.  I’m glad I had the phone to track my pace, because it would have been very easy to get caught up in the pace of who was around me.  As the first couple of miles churned out, the crowd started to spread out.  I found a group of people doing approx my pace, and stuck with them…passing them if them slowed, tripping them if the tried to pass me…

I kept to my pace the whole track…I wasn’t going to be the fastest, but I wasn’t planning on walking up any hills either!  I passed quite a few people on the hills who were taking a breather, who would then have to pass me later on…probably grumbling something about having to pass the pasty Clydesdale runner (a term for those of us not built like a classical runner ie anyone who has ever looked at a pastry or chicken wing in their lifetime!) It’s supposed to be an endearing term, which is hard for me to imagine considering a large sweaty horse used to pull carts full of cheap beer is hardly an endearing image…but I digress.

I was doing really well until that home stretch.  The last turn, about 300 meters hit, and I was overcome with emotion.  The experiences of the last nine months came flooding over me.  As I crossed the finished line at 2:14:53 chipped time, I found myself tearing up.. I had finished what I had promised a dying friend I would, even though as I said it I doubted it..and I did it like he would have. Just put my head down, and be too stubborn to stop…thanks Bret.  We can talk about it over a latte someday in heaven (I have a hard time imagining a heaven without lattes!)

So what’s next?  I’m not too sure….over the last 9 months I’ve gone from someone doing this for a promise, to someone doing this because I love to run.  I’m going to keep running, without direction…(I kind of like it that way : ) ) I can always come up with another race, another time.  Either way, stay tuned… : )

It can’t be here already, can it??!!

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Running

Greeting Fattyholics!  It’s been a busy couple of months, I’ve been making some really great headway with the running (the diet…not so much?)  I’ve been faithfully posting to Facebook and have really been getting a lot of support, which has been awesome!

This Sunday is the big race, the big enchilada, the whole taco, the big…delicious…fluffy…wonderbread….

Ahem….

Pre race hunger aside, things have been going well the last few months.  I ran my first 13 mile run on May 23rd in 2 hours 27 minutes!  I’ve been following a run schedule I made up at Runners World website, and have just set my personal best last weekend, at 2 hours 12 minutes.  If I can make it under 2 hours 10 minutes on Sunday, that would put me at 6 miles an hour average, which has been my mental hurdle this whole time.  Well that and pastries…sweet delicious..

I’d like to thank my lovely family again, they have all been extremely patient and support and I couldn’t have ever got to this point without them 🙂 

And hey, this Sunday I’ll be wearing one of those (much less than, trust me) 100 dollars sausage shirts that I was so against before!  And if I don’t mind saying myself, I even look a little bit like a runner too!

Well, I did say a little ; )

Thanks everyone!  I’ll be posting more updates on the road here, including some action shots of the race! (And the finish line Gluten-rich celebratory supper!)

Homeless man jogging….

Posted: April 23, 2011 in Running

Well, I know its been a while since the last update and I’d like to say its been because I’m really a very busy gent what with all of the charity work and saving the people of Edmonton with my part time crime fighting gig….but that would be lying to you!  And I would never do anything to break that trust we have dear reader (come here and give me a hug, you big lug!)

The running has been going great (just completed a 10 mile run today!).  I’ve only had two hurdles so far… figuring out how to treat these darned chapped nipples (aren’t you glad we’re getting to know each other better!) and the fact that my jogging wardrobe consists of t-shirts I wore back in high school.  When I’m out jogging in my sweat shorts and my Journey concert T-shirt I feel the sad stares of those I go by, thinking to themselves “So sad he can’t get a job but at least he keeps busy!”

Fashion faux-paus aside, Prism t-shirts are not comfortable.  Which leads to the other problem…(please see above)  So… I’ve been looking at Sport-Check catalogs trying to figure out what appropriate jogging fashion entails. So far as I can tell, it involves spandex….and lots of it.  Great.  So for only a hundred dollars or so I could wear an aerodynamic, sweat wicking, sausage casing…

So, fashion be darned.  I’m going to go with my “More Cowbell” T-shirt….and maybe a box of band-aids for the other problem.  ; )

It’s cold out there!

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Running

Ventured off of the treadmill this week and decided that even though Edmonton is just a few degrees south of the Arctic Circle that I should get used to running outside.  So I piled on my t-shirt and shorts and then went outside…for approximately 1/10 of 1 second.  During that brief but memorable time I realized just how cold -3 is and that my non-teenage metabolism wasnt able to compensate for being that stupid anymore.  So 2 more shirts and a pair of beat up sweatpants later, I was ready to go.  As an added bonus, since I now looked like a homeless person, I was less likely to get stopped and mugged…although 3 people DID stop to give me change..

It’s been an overall great experience running outside, it’s nice breathing the fresh air in (unless the Esso refinery is flaring that day!) and to see the sun come up.  There is a municipal park down in the river valley here that has some great trails that I have been taking advantage of, and other joggers do seem to be a generally friendly people as a whole.  And as an added bonus, the municipal water treatment center is down there, so I have extra incentive to keep moving too..

Really starting to feel good after every run though, actually looking forward to them too.  If you’d like to track my runs (and not just to keep me honest!) you can add me as a friend  on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=668411055 where I post my runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then my longer one on Saturday mornings (Or remove one day if you are my Russian follower! Здравствуйте!) I’ve been using my Nike + app on my iPod to track my runs which I had not been able to do with the treadmill, seeing as you are doing more hopping then actual running, the readings were all really off….(that’s my excuse and I will be sticking with it)

Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to ice my shins… ; )

Life goes on…

Posted: April 5, 2011 in Running

I know, I know…it’s been a couple of weeks since my last update…disappointing my hundreds…maybe dozens…maybe half a dozen?…Ok, Ok…..that guy from Russia who found this page by accident.

I had a really rough couple of weeks here.  First off, my good friend with Leukemia passed away and working out was the last thing I had on my mind as we went up for the funeral.  And just before that we had some layoffs at work which got my survival instincts kicking into gear (namely lay my butt on the sofa, feeling sorry for myself and eating my weight in whoopie pies)

After some time to think and pray though, I have decided that I can’t quit now….the twinkies are thrown out (I’m allergic to most of the delicious cream filled ingredients in them anyways) and the treadmill has been folded back out.  The way I see it, I can’t control a lot of things in this life, I’m going to lose more good friends temporarily along the way and people are going to get laid off.  But I CAN control what I put in my pie hole and I can control what I’m doing in my spare time.  And last time I checked, I had a race to run for a good friend….

Milestone deux….

Posted: March 13, 2011 in Running

First mile under 10 minutes…always been a mental block on this, even when I did that sprint triathlon 7 years ago.  Maybe this race thing IS less far fetched than me losing my love of honey glazed pastries ! (Mmmn, fresh apple fritter….)

First 5 mile run…..(would post more, must vomit….)

A serious moment, if I may….

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Running

As I stumble, rumble and bumble my way through another set of intervals, I find myself occasionally playing a victim.  Wondering why my kids wouldn’t stop beating the tar out of each other until the wee hours of the morning, meaning my run was in the even more wee (wee-er?) hours of the morning.  Wondering why I work a job where I occasionally have to work an early morning shift (making the world a better place to mindlessly entertain yourselves…)  How can I keep this up???

Then reality kicks me in the groin.

I’ve got a good friend whose been going through an extremely rough time with leukemia.  Two lengthy stays here in Edmonton at the U of A, countless rounds of chemotherapy and drugs and always with a huge smile on his face.  Even after coming out of remission and having to start all over again with the chemo, he’d still tell me that “God has a plan for me yet” never once allowing himself or anyone else to show him pity.

We got a call this weekend that he’d taken a turn for the worse.  We arrive at the hospital, and are told that they are just trying to “make him comfortable” now.  His wife is doing her best to put on a brave face, doing predictably poorly at it… and he turns to his wife and tells her “Don’t worry, I’ll protect you”…..

And if anyone is going to prove those doctors wrong, it’ll be him.  The old adage “If I could be half the man…” is often overused, but I can’t think of a more true phrase to describe what his presence in my life has meant to me..his stubborn refusal to give up on life and more importantly living, has inspired everyone around him..

Time to get my chubby butt back on the treadmill, and to try being thankful for the things in life that irk me, because it means those little things in life are all I have to complain about..

This runs for you man

     Alright, things are starting to fall a little in place here.  I’ve set up 3 running days (negotiated might be a better word…thanks hun!) where I can slip away.  I’ve got a plan…1/2 hour intervals one day, 3 mile run the next and a 1 hour run on weekends to start, with weights on alternating days 3 days a week as well. I’ve got the Netflix set up on the ipod, with access to 15 or so seasons of SNL at my disposal (I have a simple sense of humour, I’ve been told). I’ve even got the tight spandex shorts and neon running fanny pack (No, no, no I don’t….but good luck erasing THAT out of your head today)

     Things are going better with the running too.  I’m actually starting to look forward to my runs..it’s nice to be able to shut out the world for a while and go….(although if anyone can tell me when that whole “running high” thing starts to work….)

     CAUSE has started to post more information on the race too….it really is a great cause if my vast legions of readers (Hi Jen!) want to check it out, it’s at www.cause.ca and the 2011 Canmore link on the left side….