Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bad news....

It's been a while since I posted and that's because several weeks ago I hurt my foot. I'm not sure that it was while I was running or not, but it was while I was running that I first got the shot of pain that extended from my left heel directly up my body to the tip top of my head.

If I could map what a branching bolt of lightening would look like if that were inside my body, that is what this felt like. I can walk and it's OK with just a tad bit of discomfort, but if I try to run, by the 20th step it's like I'm stepping onto a shard of glass.

While it heals, I'm going to be out of training so long that someone as un-trained as me couldn't get back into it. SO, I'm out until next year.

BIG thanks to those folks who donated to my cause! I'll be able to count that next year so your gifts won't go un-noted.

Thanks to everyone who was such a great support!

See you all next year

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Flash Forward

Like my regular blog, this one has been neglected over the past few weeks! Sorry about that.

Training hit a small snag when I bashed my knee and wasn't able to run one weekend. It's fine now, but as far as I had progressed over a few weeks, I quickly lost and feel like I'm rebuilding my stamina.

This morning, however, was a good run. On my solo maintenance runs I will pick a spot to run to when I first feel fatigue, run there, then walk to the next spot I see, and start running at the next spot I pick. This morning my mind was elsewhere and before I knew it I had ran without stopping nearly half of my track. Again... my mind is my biggest enemy.

My last group run was our timed run and I was placed in my pace group. I had been out briefly the night before, eaten crap and had 2 glasses of wine. Not a terrible meal, but I ran for $hite that day and was in a slower pace group than I may have. Not a bad thing, don't get me wrong. I think it's better to be in a slower group that I can pace out of than to be in a faster group that I can't keep up with.

However, the week following I got a call from sweet Beth at the marathon training office trying her best to be nice about essentially saying "you know, you're a slowpoke and Amsterdam has a time requirement so what's your plan? Chicago or Hawaii?" Neither of these options were viable for me. Hawaii is only a full marathon and that's RIGHT out. Besides.. have you been to Honolulu? It should be called "Hill"alulu. I couldn't run a full marathon on flat land much less hilly land. And Chicago? Please. I do love my hometown, but I'm not going through all this pain of training and begging for bucks and run a half marathon in Chicago. I do that trying to catch the X80 bus on Irving Park when I'm late for work!

I assured Beth that my time would improve and I'd be OK for Amsterdam. And if they have to come sweep me up because I'm too slow for their pace in Amsterdam... don't forget... I'm IN Amsterdam!

Back when I worked for AIDS Foundation of Chicago I was trying to get my friend Stephen Rader to form an AIDS Run/Walk team with his Season of Concern folks. He was hemming and hawing and I knew why. People want to raise money, but not all of them want to be physical for it. I told him in a nice, but slightly conspiratorial voice "just raise money... I don't need you to actually run..." I know, that sounds like you're defeating the purpose. But, he had such a laugh about it that he used the same tack with his people and each year their team gets bigger and raises more and more money.

SO, Emily... I'm going to do my damnedest to improve my running time, and I really really really want to cross that finish line in Amsterdam... but... I don't need to actually run....

Kidding of course... it's the humor side of me

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Quickie Update

Wow! How fast time flies when you're busy as crap with work.
Today I have passed $500! $500 down... $3,700 to go. I'm starting to plan my fundraising event which will be on July 12. I'm working on a KILLER raffle prize which I hope will be a trip (airfare and hotel)

I've been keeping up (90%) with the running and finally start to believe that I can truly do this. I'll be doing my next maintenance run in Ft. Worth, TX while I'm there on a site visit. Here's hoping!

Thanks to all my donors so far!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Training, Day 1

I had my first training run/session yesterday. It was more informational than anything, but it was nice to get started, meet some people including my carpool buddy Emily! Super nice person and while she says she's not a morning person, she pulled off the morning chipper pretty well!

This past week I went to Fleet Feet to get my new ACTUAL running shoes. I say actual because my usual M.O. for buying sneakers is as follows.

- Find any size 14
- Of the 14s find a shoe that doesn't look like I'm trying to be in the NBA or a 14 year old boy trying to show his props in the hood.

How they fit is so secondary to finding my actual size.

Enter Kristin at Fleet Feet. She had me run a little on the treadmill while I was being video recorded from behind at foot level. She showed me on the monitor 'how' I ran and took time to explain what she was looking for and how it affected her choice of shoes.

Long story short, The shoes feel fantastic and I can actually tell a big difference in the support. Granted, I'll be eating spaghetti and other cheap pasta dishes for the next two weeks to make up for what I had to pay for the shoes, but it will be cheaper than trying to train to run and damaging my feet. See my pretty new possessions?
Training on Saturday begins at 7am right now which meant Emily was going to pick me up around 6:15. (We train on the south side of Chicago...ugh) Sadly, that's not a bad time for me. I'm not really able to sleep late because my internal clock is so strong. Besides, with this sunrise waiting on you

how could you NOT want to get up and run?

(Yes, you're right, I'm deluding myself to make myself get up and at 'em)

I was successful for a Saturday morning having not done anything remotely athletic in so long my last 'running' shoes could be carbon dated. I ran the warm up mile without stopping. I'd like to say it was due to my drive and perseverance, but mostly it was because I was with other people and didn't want to look bad.

I was surprised with two things. 1. I finished the first mile. 2. How many times have I discounted myself in my life thinking I couldn't do something.

I often pshaw trite sayings like "When you fall off the horse you just have to get right back up again". I think you should shoot the horse for throwing you in the first place! However, I did see a girl with a shirt that said something to the effect of "You must make yourself do what you think you cannot" I think her shirt said it better, but memory, a long day and time are clouding the actual words. I like the saying though.

Off to more!

Friday, May 2, 2008


So today was my first day in the gym with my initial trainer period (included in membership Thank God) We'll call him "Trainer Boy" or TBoy for short.

It was really just a physical assessment, not terribly taxing except for the fast paced mile walk on the treadmill. Not so much taxing as it was early, my first day, and I had on my regular sneakers, not my nice new fangled ones (more on those gems later)

The reason this post was listed as OUCH! was the slip of the tongue that my friendly and well meaning TBoy let come out of his mouth. It was time to measure body fat composition (can you see where this is going?)

I was happy to see that we were going to use the electronic version

and not the "pinch an inch" calipers that I detest.

I don't so much pinch an inch as much as I grab a slab. Anyway, you set in the parameters into this electronic fat-o-meter like height, weight, etc. and grab the metal handles like a steering wheel and it does it's calculations.

With all the future NBA star kids growing taller than me (at 6'7") it's odd when height ranges stop at 6'6". TBoy was calibrating the device and noticed that it would not measure me correctly

"This thing only goes up to 6'6" tall so it's going to skew your results. It's going to tell you that you're fatter than you actually are."

I love you TBoy. And no, I'm not mad at what you said... why don't you just... go to sleep.

He didn't mean anything by it, but after the assessment was over, I had scientific proof of what I already knew. It's time to get this lard ass off the couch and run me a marathon!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday... T-Minus 4 days

I joined a gym last night.

They saw me coming! I hope it helps. They seem very friendly and I know a couple of guys who go there and really like it. They're open 24 hours during the week and I'm a big early bird. That gets it done for the day for me and I avoid all (at least most) of the factors about gyms that I try to stay away from. Crowds, the beautiful people, the grunters/yellers and the old folks who do a circuit so fast I feel like I can hear the song "Flight of the Bumblebee" playing in the background.

I go in for a fitness profile Friday morning. It was free with membership or else I wouldn't worry about it. I'm not going to pay for a guy to say "yeah, you're fat, go workout!" I get that for free walking down the street at market days. (ba dum bum!)

Wish me luck! I am going to go in tomorrow morning to use the treadmill since it's friggin' 36 degrees in Chicago right now!

Monday, April 28, 2008

T-Minus 5 days

I start training this coming Saturday. I thought I should not allow Saturday to be my first active day so I'm going to get up earlier (!) than usual this week to start running/walking so:
a. I get in the habit of getting up earlier to make those solo runs
b. like cleaning the house before the maid comes, I don't want to make too poor a showing this Saturday.

I'm an early bird anyway, but if there's one thing harder to do than getting up to go to work on a cold Monday morning (Chicago was 45 this morning) it's getting up to go outside and do anything remotely athletic.

Baby steps. That's going to be my mantra while getting started in this training. As I said before, I don't know how long a half marathon is (I've forgotten already CB! HA!) but I will need to think of training as a little bit, then increase it by a little. I don't want to get intimidated into excuses.

This morning was actually nice. The crisp air woke me up quickly. I live just off the lake so it was easy to get to the path that runs the lake front from WAY down south Chicago where the lakefront nearly turns in to Indiana all the way north to Hollywood Ave. Now I just did a mile down and back and that was it. I don't have all day! But maybe one day I'll find out what it's like to run the whole thing.... BWAH HA HA HA! I actually managed to say that with a straight face!

OK, off to work, energized and awake. Let's see how I am around 10am.