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Week Three Summary


Week Two Stats

Total Distance: 9.40 miles

Total Time: 1h 40m 36s

Average Pace: 10:42/mile

Longest Run: 3.15 miles

Best Pace: 10:10/mile

I got a little off-schedule last week, which ultimately resulted in not performing the scheduled Sunday walk (for the third week in a row). I took an extra rest day on Tuesday for no good reason at all. Laziness isn’t a reason, it’s an excuse, so we’ll just leave it at that. I simply shifted my scheduled runs for the week by one day and eliminated the 40-minute walk.

I ran 1.5 miles on Wednesday and Friday and 3 miles on Thursday and Sunday, resting Friday. On Sunday, I enjoyed a change of scenery, as I was in Indiana briefly for a funeral, staying overnight with family in South Bend, so I ran around Notre Dame’s campus for the first time in over a year. It was after sunset, and the lit paths on campus were safe and traffic-free.

Both 3-mile runs this week were non-stop, meaning I did not walk at any point. Makes me feel good, no matter what the pace. Progress. Looking forward to seeing how the 4-mile “long” run goes next weekend.

Despite what the map shows, I did not run through the stadium, but security is still looking for the guy who did.

Despite what the map shows, I did not run through the stadium, but security is still looking for the guy who did.


Week Two Summary


Week Two Stats

Total Distance: 9.39 miles

Total Time: 1h 41m 34s

Average Pace: 10:49/mile

Longest Run: 3.19 miles

Best Pace: 10:07/mile

Everything was going well last week up until the Saturday “long” run of 3.5 miles. As you can see by the stats above, I never made it that distance. I stopped short. My legs didn’t have it in them, and I’m not quite sure why. I could not force my legs to keep it up. I walked at least a mile of the 3.19 I did complete that day. I suppose there’s good days and bad days, and I didn’t curse myself for it.

I also failed to complete, once again, Sunday’s timed walk. I was scheduled for a 35 minute walk, but I kept putting it off throughout the day, and eventually, it was too late. I failed to walk the previous Sunday, as well.

I have not lost weight in the last two weeks. A pound or so up, actually. I attribute that to diet. I haven’t changed my eating habits yet, though I know I will have to. The more miles I put in, the more important diet and nutrition will become. I will need to feed my body the types of fuel that will support the running. Eating (and drinking) whatever is nearby will no longer suffice.


What to carry when running in my hood


I try to run with as little as possible: shorts, shirt (for now, until I lose weight, bulk up and start shaving my body), Vibram FiveFingers on the feet, and my iPhone (and occasionally headphones). I do not own an expensive Garmin watch, as the iPhone not only serves as a phone in case of emergency – yes, it actually makes calls! – I use the Runmeter app to track my runs. If I drive to my running spot or leave the house unattended, then a key. That’s it.

If I head to one of the Metro Parks around Columbus to hit the trails, which I love doing, I need nothing more than that. The trails offer nice views and fewer distractions than running through my neighborhood, and its those urban distractions that require me to be more prepared. Below is a list of just a few things I should take with me running in my hood:

A cigarette lighter. I don’t smoke, but yesterday, a man waiting at a bus stop a few blocks from my house asked for a lighter, a cigarette dangling from his lips. I said, “Sorry, I don’t smoke when I run,” to which he replied, “Yeah, that’s right, that’s right, smokin’ and runnin’ don’t mix.” I wish I could have helped him out. But I kept running.

50 cent(s). Not the rap artist, he’s not even on my playlist, but 2 quarters. For the woman outside the corner bodega who just wants to buy a can of cold pop on a hot day. “I don’t drink liquor, I just like to enjoy a cold pop from time to time.” I wish I could have helped her out, too. But I kept running.

$20 and my ID. Because running past the Grass Skirt Tiki Lounge downtown is too tempting. Slushy, iced drinks have been proven beneficial to runners on hot days because they cool core body temperature. The alcohol is a bonus, despite its dehydrating effects and ability to slow lactic acid breakdown. Additionally, alcohol has a habit of rendering its user clumsy, a problem I suffer without being inebriated.  I crave cold tropical rum drinks on hot days. But I keep running.

Dog biscuits. For the chained up pit bulls and rottweilers I  pass every third house. If I toss them treats as I run by, maybe they’ll begin to recognize me enough so that one day, if they come unchained, they will lick me instead of chewing my leg off. I am uncertain whether a thin chain can adequately restrain violent and mentally unstable canine breeds for long. I’d feel safer if they were in steel, electrified cages. (The same applies to violent and mentally unstable humans – steel, electrified cages.) I prefer not to be forced into achieving a world record pace while being chased by a frothing Doberman. They pull against their chains and snarl at me. But I keep running. A little faster.

One more thing. 

Week One Summary

Week One Routes

Week One Routes

Week One of my new job, er, training plan went very well. I ran all the distances I was meant to run on the days I was supposed to run them, even with the out-of-town wedding over the weekend. I must admit, though, the 30-minute walk I was scheduled for Sunday did not take place, as I was in the car most of the day driving from northwest Indiana back to Columbus. Missing a walk, I decided, was not as bad as missing a run. And now I’m back to Monday, rest day, though this morning I got out of bed and just stepped out the door, thinking I had a 1.5 mile run ahead, when I turned on my running app to find “Rest Day” listed for today’s workout. So back to bed I went.

Saturday was my best day. Though the distance was barely longer than Wednesday’s 3-mile jaunt, the pace improved from 10:57/mile to 10:07 Saturday. This surprised me because I went to bed Friday night, after overeating at an Italian restaurant in Chicago for the wedding  rehearsal dinner, dreading the 3 miles I’d have to run the next morning. And I woke up dreading it. But I got out there.

For first half mile, I cautiously navigated an overgrown dirt path that skirted the west side of a pond behind the hotel, and I was happy (due to my severe sensitivity to poison ivy) when I finally came out of the bush to a paved bike path which I followed most of the remainder of the run. Before getting out there, I was expecting to walk at least half the distance, but I took my time and fell into a rhythm and kept at it. Thinking back, I now attribute that successful run to my gorging on pasta, bruschetta, and calamari the night before.

I now believe in the Power of Pasta. My theories on the Power of Beer as it pertains to pre-run carb-loading have yet to be tested.

Week One Stats:

Total Distance: 9.25 miles

Total Time: 1h 3m 49s

Average Pace: 10:28/mile

Longest Run: 3.04 miles (Saturday)

Best Pace: 10:07/mile (Saturday)

Running Inspiration


I first saw this video about a year ago. I find myself watching it every few months to inspire me to run when I’ve taken too long a break. It’s one of those “If this guy can get motivated to transform himself through running, then I can too” videos. And the Coldplay song nails it.

And on the First Day, he rested.


Today is Week 1, Day 1. The beginning.

I hate sounding dramatic, but…I’m about to embark on a personal journey that will change my life.

Was that too much? Maybe, but I’ve decided to start training to run my first marathon. And that’s only the beginning. My next goal after the marathon is to complete a 50-mile ultramarathon.

BwaHAHAHA! No, really.

And so, according to several marathon training plans I’ve found online, the weeks start on Mondays, and Mondays are designated Rest Days, even the first day of the entire plan. I have decided to follow Hal Higdon’s Novice Supreme plan. Though I have run a couple 10Ks in the past and once even ran a half marathon (years ago), I consider myself a novice. Excuse me, I mean, Novice Supreme. A 30-week routine, this plan is meant to be the lightest, easiest training on the planet, maybe. Perfect.

Since I’m resting today (after a brisk 5.5-mile walk yesterday), it seems an adequate time to list some beginning stats:

Current weight: 226.2 pounds

Current height: 5’11.5″ (does running marathons change a person’s height?)

Current waist: 38″ (OK, so that’s the waist size of the pants I just bought, not MY actual waist)

Distance ran so far in 2013: 83.5 miles

Best month in 2013 so far: March (30.5 miles)

Calories gained from beer consumption in 2013: Incalculable.

See, now, that’s my big obstacle, my appreciation of good, craft beer. If I can surmount that, I can do anything. I used to run as a way to curb the calories gained from beer. I allowed myself a couple beers per mile. At least that’s what I told myself, but truth be told, the beer calories and calories burned from running never balanced out. Who can guess which way the scales tipped on that one?

Speaking of scales…I just noticed something about the weight I listed above. 226.2 pounds. That’s what the scale read this morning when I woke up and stumbled into the bathroom. 226.2. Those last three digits. It’s a sign from the gods. I am destined to do this!

But today, the first day, I rest. Tomorrow, I run.

Summer is just another season.


I’m not going to lie to you and tell you “I love summer!” Not anymore, I don’t. I like it, yes-I would click that “like” button on Summer’s Facebook page, but the excitement I once had for summer has faded with age.


The present.

I sit here at this moment, typing on an iPhone, writing a post on a long neglected blog, hoping autocorrect doesn’t twist my words unknowingly, while I watch my 4- and 7-year-old daughters swim joyously in a lake that I’ve been coming to since I was less than a year old. I instantly recognize in them the sheer carefree happiness they have-to be swimming, enjoying the sun and warmer temperatures after being holed up indoors for the last 6 months. It’s what I always used to look forward to when I was a kid, going to my grandparents’ lake cottage in the summer.

The drive here only takes 45 minutes (or less). This is a quick drive, in my view. But 20 minutes into it, the girls were whining in the back seat: “Dad, are we almost there yet?” They’re lucky I don’t drive as slow as MY parents did when I was their age. Or at least it was my perception that my parents were slow drivers. (I swear they will NEVER go more that 1 mph over the posted limit.)

Summer meant no school, no homework, no responsibilities. Sun, bare feet, swimming, playing, spending days at a time at the lake, being a kid. In some ways, it’s strange seeing my own kids here, doing everything I used to do, and with the same attitude: “But I don’t WANT to get put of the water!”

Summer now, as an adult with a job and numerous other responsibilities in the balance, is just another season. I don’t get three months off from work (maybe I should have followed in my father’s footsteps and become a teacher). I still work every day during the week and have one week off during the summer around July 4th. The weekends are the only time I have to take off to the lake with the girls, if I don’t have other things going on, and those weekends dissipate in a flash. Before I know it, the leaves are changing and that pungent aroma of decay is in the air.

What used to be my least favorite season, fall, because it meant summer was over and school was starting, is now my favorite. Fall is a transitional season, like spring, when everything around you is experiencing transformation, and nothing in life can be interesting if it never changes.

The past.