Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Adding to my web-design skills has proven enjoyable and informative.  I've now added links of blogs that I visit broken into 2 groups:  "Inspirational" blogs from other crazy people/runners and "Un-Spirational" blogs from non-runners/normal people.  I'm not much of a computer guy, so there probably won't ever be thousands of links listed...  just a few, here and there.

So, you know a marathon involves running, right?

Duh.  Of course a marathon involves running.  Just because I hate running doesn't mean I don't know what a marathon is.  Generally, when I tell someone I'm running the marathon the conversation starts like this:
"I've got to run this weekend because I'm training for the marathon in January."
"The marathon?  Wow.  Are you running a lot?"
"Only as much as I have to.  I hate to run.  I'd rather be hit by a bus."
"If you hate running, why are you running a marathon?"
Well, here's the answer.
I'm running a marathon BECAUSE I hate running.
It's one thing to do something you love doing.  It's one thing to EXCEL at something you love to do.  For example, I like riding my bike.  I can go out and ride 30, 50, 100 miles in a day.  I can take 2 day tours crossing state lines and camping out and having a grand old time.  I get a ton of pleasure out of being back in the saddle.  I'll never be a professional cyclist.  The best I can hope for is an average to slightly above average pedal pusher.  Maybe I can compete in the back of the amateur ranks.  For me, waking up and jumping on the bike is an easy, easy thing to do.
But I hate running.  Don't like to do it at all.  It's not easy to get up at 5:00am and get ready to run.  I'm beginning to despise it less, but that's like saying the Atlantic Ocean is less deep than the Pacific.  They're both pretty freakin' deep!
So that's why I'm doing it.  I'm doing it for the challenge.  It's doubly hard because it's not really something I'm built to do or particularly inclined to do.  But if I can run a marathon, then you can {insert challenge here}.  If I can run a marathon, then nothing is too big.
Plus you add the opportunity to take action for a good cause in the community.  I don't WANT to run a marathon, but then again, the kids Child Advocates serves don't WANT to be abused.  I have a choice to not run.  The kids I'm running for don't have a choice.  Often times they don't even have a voice.  That's where the Advocate comes in.  The Advocate gives them a voice and a hope for a better tomorrow.
That's why I'm running a marathon.
I'm not a runner.  I'm just a normal guy.  Just someone who decided to do something.

Another day, another pound

So, a few weeks back I swam 800m and that was a big deal for me.  It took every bit of 45minutes to swim that distance.  A week later I swam it with no problem and plenty of time to spare.  Last night I swam 1100m in the same amount of time.  That's over a kilometer!  And since those are metric units they mean nothing to me at all.
Anyway, it's the end of August.  I've got one more weekend before the "real" training begins.  We're having barbeque on Labor Day, so I may actually give back some of the weight I've lost, but if all goes well I should be around 197 or 196 by the end of the weekend, which is pretty close to where I wanted to be.
At the very least, all the weight I'm losing will make me look pretty good in a dress in the off chance I fail to finish this year.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Technical Update thingie!!!

Thank you Marshall.
If you look over there to the left, you'll see ways you can "Do Something, Too". There are 3 links. 1 for info, 1 for volunteer opportunities, and 1 for the contributions page. Yes, I am collecting contributions. Yes, I am running for charity--I wouldn't be putting myself through this for nothing.
So, go check out the site. Check out the people I work with. Check out the volunteer opportunities. Check out the great work they do. And then unload all of your money.

Monday, August 29, 2005

*Forehead Slap*

Sometimes, you have one of those "duh" moments.
I've said I'm running for Child Advocates, but I've never posted this link

What's that link to, you ask? Why, it's the secure link to the Child Advocates online donation site. You, too, can take a stand to end child abuse. Please do.

Running sucks

Any budding love affair I was developing with running was shattered in the stark light of "this sucks" on Saturday.
Last week it was 8 miles.  It was 8 good miles, with hills.  I actually enjoyed it a little.  Actually, I enjoyed cresting the hills and the adrenaline pumping as I was scaling the walls of Buffalo Bayou without breaking cadence.
Saturday, though, just plain sucked.  It was supposed to be an encore day of 8 miles.  It wasn't.  About 2 miles in I started feeling a little sick.  I guess I can scratch milk off my list of pre-run beverages.  I never had these kinds of issues while cycling.
Right before the 5 mile turnaround point, the sick "feeling" becomes actual sick "being".  So, I make the decision to push to the turnaround point and make a decision for 8 miles or 5 miles there.  I turn for the 8, try and run a few blocks, get that queasy feeling, and decide to detour back to the 5 mile route.  I was laboring and wasn't keeping the time I needed to, so it was right to cut it short.  So, I ran 5 miles in 15 minutes less time than it took to run 8 the week before.  This was not a good week.
In better news, I dropped another pound.  It looks like I'm going to end the month only 3 #s off my target.  Not bad, not bad at all.
Today or tomorrow I'm going to hit the roads with my bike for a good, solid 15 or 30 mile ride, depending on the amount of daylight.  Wednesday or Thursday will feature another swim, then LABOR DAY WEEKEND, BABY!  I'll get in a run on Saturday and that will conclude the prelude to my marathon training.  The official schedule will begin with 4 runs a week, 1 rest day, and 2 cross training days.  The 4 runs will be 1 long run, 1 less long run, 2 days of interval or other strength training days. 
This year the marathon doesn't stand a chance.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Another great workout

Continuous, incremental progress.  That's what they call it.  Last week I swam 800m for the first time and it was a big deal.  Last night I busted out 800m in 10 minutes less time and I was FAR less winded at the end of it all.  This week it wasn't quite so big a deal.  I guess that's why training for a marathon is a several month process, not a several week process.  At first, the marathon is a BIG DEAL.  But with each progressive week, it's less and less of a big deal, until eventually it's just the next thing to do. 
I mean, really, running 26.2 miles is just like walking to the mailbox after work.  You know, no big deal.  Just something to do on a Sunday.
Alright, now that my delusion is over I'll snap back to reality.  This weekend is 8 miles. September 5 marks about 100 days to the marathon.  At that point I'll start really pumping the miles and speed work (interval sprints, etc).
This is going to be hard, without a doubt.  But by the end of this, I'll be harder (and hopefully a lot leaner, too).

Thursday, August 25, 2005

New Toys!

I finally did it.  I went out and bought my first fona fide running toy.  Sure, I have a stop watch, but that can be used for just about anything.  I pretty much use it for running, but me and my brothers have had some pretty stupid competitions with a simple stop watch before.
Anyway, I got a water bottle belt.  6 bottles, 6 ounces each.  Should be enough to get me through a half marathon easy.  Maybe even 3/4 of a marathon...  18 or 20 miles.
This Saturday will be the first time I use "running equipment".  This marathon may just make a runner out of me yet!

Back on track

Tonight I'll be back on track.  I'll either get in 30 miles on the bike or hit the pool.
Saturday was going to be the Run the Woodlands 5k, but due to issues on the homeside I'm going to just run in Memorial.  The Houston FIT folks are running an 8 mile course (the same course that was canceled last week, the same course I ran anyway) so I'll be hooking up with a couple of folks I know in that gang and following behind them.
You know, I'm actually getting into this whole running thing.  I may have to change the name of this blog to "".  Maybe...  probably not.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


If ever I need something to help me keep picking them up and putting them down, there's this story:
This woman's boyfriend (and her) abused this child.  This "man" raped the child.  The child was less than a year and a half old.  How do you rape a 17 month old baby?  What kind of monster does that?  What kind of monster lets that happen?
My niece just turned 2.  I have a nephew about to turn 2.  I look at those children and think of the kiddos who have to live their childhoods in absolute hell.  That's just wrong.  It needs to stop.
Child Advocates says it stops here, with us.  They put grownups into these children's lives that these kids can believe in.  Often times it's the first grownup they've ever met who isn't destroying their lives.  Often times it's the first grownup who actually shows love and care to these kids and pays attention to them.
Child Advocates says "no more abuse".  Their volunteers stand in the breach between the children and the abusers.  Their volunteers spend hours in court and researching relatives' homes and foster homes and they pour out their time to help these kids gain new footing in a safe, loving, caring environment.  These volunteers say "no more" to the abuse so that these children can grow up and learn how to give that same safe, loving, caring environment to their own children and not pass on the legacy of abuse to the next generation.
I'm running, because in the shadow of these volunteers who do so much, I have to do something.
Help me support these volunteers.  Visit and donate.  I'll figure out what the online donation process is through the HP Houston Marathon site and give details there later.


That's right, I hit my weight target.  For one brief shining moment over the weekend I hit 199.5, but then I spent almost an entire afternoon at a pool and had to work out dehydration issues (by the way, don't spend an entire afternoon in a pool without drinking plenty of water, it's a very dumb thing to do).  Consequently, the weight shot back up with all the water I had to chug to get right again.  But this morning, BAM!  That's right, back down to where it should be.  That's 3.5# in 3 weeks since I signed up for the marathon, and a little over 10# since June.  If I drop another 2# or so this month I'll be satisfied.  The rest can come off as I start the real endurance training stuff.
Got a letter from a buddy in Iraq today.  He's done with his tour in about 4 months.  I don't think he'll make it back for the marathon, but if he does that'll be pretty cool.
Diet and training are, as expected, a little whack this week.  I'm not too motivated to do much of anything thanks to a little heavy-heartedness at home, but I'll at least try and hit it once this week, and certainly over the weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

8 miles, no sweat

Actually, there was a bunch of sweat.  Bunches and bunches.  But the 8 miles dropped behind me like nothing.  So, last week there was a 3 mile run, 800m swim, and 8 mile run.  The short run was in the evening, the long run was in the morning.  Maybe that's the difference between the short one being brutal and the long one being a piece of cake.
This week's schedule promises to be a little whacked out.  Real life is interfering with the make-believe world of running a marathon, so it might have to be a rest week.  I'm going to do a bit of swimming, and at least a short run.  Maybe I'll actually run a 5k race/fun run.  Depends on how the week shapes up from here on out.
Oh yea, I need to get a water belt.  8 miles is too far for me to make a camel-run (juice up before you go and take no water with you).  I can do it for 6, but 8 is just a step too far.  I will soon buy my first running toy!  Whee!

Friday, August 19, 2005

That's right, it was me

Sure, I ate at Double Dave's buffet for lunch today. What's it to ya? I'm still on target for weight loss, it's not like I had a chair up at the buffet chowing down, I brought a plate back to the table. And I only had 2 pieces of pizza... normal sized pieces at that. So there.

Splish splash

Got back into the groove yesterday with the swimming. That felt really, really, really good. Now I'm all amped up for Saturday's run. Something like 8 miles.
Yesterday, over the course of 45 minutes, I swam 800m (a little over 800 yards for you non-metric folks... 2400 feet, 28800 inches). Basically, that amounts to the first leg of a triathlon. I rock. I had to resort to rank trickery in the last 100m, though. I'd swim the length of the pool, drop off my goggles, then swim back without eye-wear. Then I'd HAVE to swim back to the other end to get the goggles before I could quit. Sneaky sneaky, but it worked. Maybe next year I'll do a triathlon, too.

Today I rest. Tomorrow I run.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

New Look!

Yup. Changed the template. I think it's purdy.
I'll probably change it again soon... just 'cause.

Was that a wall?

I'm going to complain a bit...
I don't like running in the evening. Today, for the first time this year, I hurt a little. I can whip off 6 miles easy at crazy early hours on Saturday, but 3 miles yesterday just about killed me. What's up with that? Ok, that's enough complaining.

My hunch is that I've hit a wall. I'm not sure, but that's the hunch. I need to get back into the pool and the gym because my August schedule is all off. My weight loss is going just fine--everything's on schedule there--but physically I don't feel right. So, tonight I hit the pool. Saturday I run. Tuesday I'll run, Wednesday I'll ride, Thursday I'll swim. Then I'll be a lean, mean, triathloning machine... or at least a slightly less flabby guy fired up about RUNNING A FREAKIN' MARATHON, BABY!
That's right, this marathon is nothing but a punk, and I'm going to put it in its place. It can take that wall and just give it to someone else, 'cause ain't no wall going to stop me this year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Somebody really is out there!

I just got a message from WalkSports (John Walk, or This is pretty cool because it's the first message I've received from someone who I didn't say "Hey, go check this out" to. So, people really are out there. And not just people I'm related or married to.

Today I run another 10k. It's been rainy lately, so no swimming. I've also been lazy lately, so no weightlifting. All of my bike jerseys and riding shorts are covered in some kind of sweaty stench, so no biking until after I do a load of laundry... and since I've been lazy, no laundry.

I'm still on track to drop the anticipated LBs for August. I should be down in the mid- to low-190s, putting me on perfect track for the low 180s by January. This marathon is MINE BABY!!!! It'll be much easier not dragging around an extra 35lbs of fatgut.

Next Saturday is a Run the Woodlands 5k and Houston Bloggers 5k. There's an outside chance I'll make that run. I may bring my bike for an added workout... or just run it twice (as sick as that sounds).

Monday, August 15, 2005

Back in the groove

Ok, so I didn't run over the weekend. My sleep schedule was all thrown off. The good news is that I didn't get sick or anything dumb like that.
Today I get back to work. I'm 5lbs away from my weight target for August. If the pool's open, I go swimming. Otherwise I'll hit the gym for a light workout. Wednesday or Thursday I'll go riding, and the day that I don't I'll go swimming. Saturday I run... run like the wind. Some pasty, slow, sweaty, fat wind, but wind nonetheless.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Wow, yesterday's run was a bit harder than anticipated. It was about 1000 degrees and the humidity was somewhere near 150%. The good news is that last year at this time I hadn't really even begun to run... much less whip off 6 miles in an evening. The bad news is that I was just exhausted out there last night. About 1/2 way through lap 2 (4.5 miles or so) my legs got all rubbery and I was a bit light headed... but quitting is for girls, and I'm no girl (with 30+ females in the office, that should elicit at least 1 "ahem" visit or e-mail). Plus, my car was another 1.5 miles away, so I couldn't really quit.
So, the basic rule I took away from yesterday's run is this: if you go out and ride your bike for 13 miles, be sure to get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast before you go run 6 more miles the next evening.

About mile 5 the gatorade started to kick in and I was able to kick it back a notch and preserve my time--lap 1 was 0:33, lap 2 was 0:40, not bad for being wiped out. Not good, but not bad. I'm going to have to learn to pace myself much, much better.

Mad props to you, Carolyn. You're running strong and should be able to knock this marathon thing off with no problem.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Went to the running store (yea, it was hard to catch, yuk, yuk). Cycling shops have all kinds of cool toys for bikers. Bags, computers, helments, mirrors, tools, gear, gear and more gear. Running shops have... shoes. Shorts. Water bottles. Those little heart monitor thingies. The toys for runners kinda blow.
Swimming or weight lifting tonight (probably swimming). Tomorrow evening I run. Saturday afternoon I'll probably run again. We'll see. That might be a long bike ride.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Rain, rain, go away

It rained last night. So technically I didn't skip a workout, it was rained out.
Tonight the Astros play the Nationals (Expos). I've got tickets, so there's no workout tonight, either. But Tuesdays are usually off days.
Tomorrow is cross training--swimming for an hour.
Thursday is a good, long 7 mile run.
Friday is more swimming, and the Saturday morning run is being preempted by an event with the kiddos (the ChildSpree). I may run later in the evening or hit the gym.

I'm feeling better running than I ever have before. If I feel good after this 7 miler, and still feel good next weekend after the long run on Saturday AM, then I may just go out and fire off a half marathon on the 27th. It'll be 2 months ahead of schedule, and I'll probably have to walk a good chunk of it, but it'll be pushing the envelope to help me go farther and faster. Maybe I'll come to my senses before then. We shall see.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Pushing the Envelope

Last year I ran my first 10k in November. Saturday (the 6th) I ran my first 10k this year. I'm fully 3 months ahead of last year.
I also went home and rode another 13miles. That was the first time in a long time I've felt really, really, really tired getting off the bike. It was a really, really, really good feeling. The physical exertion (about 2 hours worth) was equivalent to a half marathon... or maybe closer to 10 miles. Either way, a good, physically strong, tireing workout.
2 cool things happened while running:

Cool Thing 1.: I started 10 minutes behind the "slow" running group with the Houston Fit running club and about 10 minutes ahead of the next fastest group. It's a pretty lonely feeling when you're on the road all alone passing the occasional person (that was pretty cool, passing people). But in the last running of the marathon there were good, long stretches of just me and the pavement, so I guess it was good training.
The cool thing that happened was the second group never caught me. Even cooler was that I caught the first group! That's right, I'm running stronger than I was last year and I'm actually running faster than I was last year.

Cool Thing 2.: I had my first endorphine rush while running. Last week I felt a little something after I ran, but figured it was just oxygen returning into my system. This week there was an actual rush right around the mid point! That was pretty cool.

I still hate running, but it's definately ticking its way up the list of things I'd rather not be doing. For example, I'd rather run than, say, get hit by a bus.

Maybe in a few days I'll write about the thing I did Saturday that was the coolest thing I've ever done on a bike. I'm pretty sure it's something even Lance Armstrong hasn't done.

Tonight was supposed to be swimming, but I've got a guy coming over to give estimates on new windows for my house. Tomorrow I'm going to a ball game. So, Wednesday is either biking or swimming.
This is officially my first skipped workout.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Another early morning

Last night I did weight training. Tomorrow morning I'm running 6 miles at 6:00 IN THE FREAKIN' MORNING!!! Why don't these people do stuff in the evenings?
No bother. I'll roll out, run my bit, and if there's still gas in the tank I'll hit the road on my bike. I've got about 12lbs to drop and 25 days to drop them. This weekend should be a good one for slimming down. I've got no real plans and I've primed my pump for riding.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Ok, so to add a little incentive to the pot for this running of the marathon there will be a little bet.
Jay has given me plenty of crap for quitting last year and incentivized this year's running.
I fail to finish and he and my brother-in-law will drag me around town and polute my body with all kinds of brewed spirits.
Plus I have to wear a dress (I say kilt) to work.

I finish and I get my pride back, plus 2 beers--but I get to pick the size.

So, the game is on. Call the glass shop, they'll need to make a big mug.


It's Thursday, and I haven't been slacking. I've been dilligently working the plan. Sunday was swimming. Monday had an evening meeting. Tuesday it rained. Yesterday I went out and rode my bike 15 miles. SO THERE!
August is going to shape up like this:
The main focus will be weight loss. I'll run on weekends and some during the week, but I'm going to be intensively cardio and weight loss training. My goal is to drop another 10lbs to get me down to the 190 range.
September will feature longer runs and some weight training to increase strength and endurance.
October, November, and December will be months of half marathons every other week and 5 to 10 mile runs during the week and weekends.
See, I have a plan. I expect I'll run upwards of 100 to 150 miles in training for this thing. I will finish.

Monday, August 01, 2005

New header

Ok, the original header was:
"This is my training journal for the 2005 HP Houston Marathon on January 16, 2005. I am running on behalf of Child Advocates, an organization that speaks up for abused children and fights to break the cycle of child abuse. Also, I hate running."

Since the 2005 marathon came and went and I am now running another marathon, the new header has been properly adjusted.

"This is my online marathon training journal. I, like most people, am very very lazy when it comes to running, which I hate to do. I am running the HP Houston Marathon on behalf of Child Advocates. If you read that I've actually admitted to skipping workouts (or that I've just not bothered to mention it) feel free to e-mail me and call me a fat and lazy quitter. That'll get me back running."