Wednesday, March 6, 2013


There are only 45 more days until the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. As of today, I have officially been training for 32 days. I am worried that I am not doing enough or running enough in order to be ready for the race. I just read this yesterday, on the Salt Lake City Marathon website:

"we ask that our runners maintain a maximum 13 minute 45 second per mile pace. The finishing time at this pace is 3 hours. Should you fall below this pace, you may be asked to continue the run on the sidewalk adjacent to our course."

OMG! What if I am the guy they move to sidewalk. I think this is my worst fear. 

I have been religiously following a training schedule. Only running when I am supposed to. And running the distance that I need to run each day. I need to have faith that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing. 

I've been letting myself get easily discouraged though. Especially when I see other runners outside or at the gym. I instantly start comparing myself to them, thinking they are somehow better. I do not have a runners body. I do not have long runners legs. I am not lean like a runner. And I don't have the endurance of a marathon runner. Therefore, I think, I am not a runner.

Yet... on the other hand... I found out the hard way what "Jogger's Nipples" are. I have also learned that while short running-shorts are comfortable and look sexy, chaffing inner thighs are no fun. (Has anyone ever used "Body Glide"?)  I've had 4 blisters from trying to break in new shoes. My shins are so tender that even wearing pants can send me through the roof. And I hear that black toe nails are a badge of honor for runners, so I am looking forward to that ailment surfacing soon. So let's question the thought, "I am not a runner!" Is it true? Hell no! If I get to suffer like a runner, then by damn I get to call myself a runner!

In the coarse of only 4 1/2 weeks, I have tripled the distance that I used to be able to run. Which will now need to double in order for me to make it through a half marathon. But I know I can do it. This is the first time that I have ever, in my entire life, trained for anything athletic. My brother was the son who played all the sports. I was the son that enjoyed the quieter things in life, like painting and drawing.... and NOT running. I have opened myself up to a completely new side of life that I have never experienced. And it feels pretty damn amazing. This blog entry is my reminder to stop self doubting and remember...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pain is Temporary, Quitting is Forever

Last April, I went for a run outside. I only expected to run to the park which was just down the street. Possibly jog around the park once or twice and then head back home. I had forgotten that particular Saturday was the day of the Salt Lake City Marathon. My first thought was if I should even run on the street. I certainly didn't want to be in anyone's way. If I kept to the side, I figured it would be okay. As I ran down the street, I began passing the marathoners left and right. On lookers on either side of the street were even cheering me on. Granted the marathoners had already been running for several miles and they were more than likely pacing themselves. I felt a huge rush by being able to easily pass each one of these seasoned athletes! It is silly of me to have thought that I was actually "winning" them. I look back and feel pretty lame for even running on the same street. However, the experience pushed me to run further than I ever had before. When I mentioned this story to other people , I also said, "Maybe I will actually run as a participant in next years marathon?" This experience also inspired me to run my first half marathon.

Today, I have officially been training for the Salt Lake Half Marathon for almost five weeks. And more than just training my body for this race, my mind has gone through a rigorous training course of it's own. I had no idea that there was so much to the sport of running. There are so many do's and don't s. Do push yourself, but don't over do it. Keep your heart rate up, but don't let it get to high or you will poop out. Warm up before your run but don't stretch before your run. Get your weekly runs in but don't for get to cross train too. Eat this not that. Sleep exactly 7 hours, plus an extra minute for every mile you run that week. Tie your shoes tight at the top but loose at the bottom. Run on even numbered days unless its a Tuesday or Thursday, and only if the sun is out, and birds are flying in a South-Western direction and only if you are wearing red shoes.... or something like that.

Then there are the lessons I am teaching myself through this process. In the beginning of my training, I would beat my self up for not being able to run faster than my last run. Or I would discourage myself if I saw someone else at the gym running harder, faster or longer. I would curse at the runners who dared run outside at 10 o'clock at night in less than 30 degree weather. My belief was that MY best would never be good enough. I tried convincing myself that I was NOT a runner. Thank god I never once gave up. And I won't. This has become to important for me. I realized that I am already faster than the fat bastard still sitting on the couch. I may not be the best or the fastest.....yet. And as long as I continue to run, I can call myself a RUNNER! 

I've wanted to start writing and blogging again. Mostly so I can document this experience. (It's been over 625 days since my last blog, yikes!) Somehow I got it into my head that I couldn't start blogging until I had a Mantra. I needed a theme to inspire me to continue through this exciting new chapter of my life. For the past 2-3 weeks I have been reflecting on all the things that matter most to me. Who or what are the things that are going to be able to push me through and keep me on track! A few words came to mind. The "Present", ""Potential", and "Maximize". "Maximize my Present Potential". ehh, doesn't really have a good flow to it... And then, just the other night, while watching Biggest Loser. I heard it. A Mantra that felt just right for me. Gina, one of the Biggest Loser contestants, while competing in a challenge, began whispering something to her self. You couldn't really hear her, so there were subtitles to show what she was saying.

 I love this mantra. "Pain is temporary, quitting is forever". (originally from Lance Armstrong). This Mantra has already begun working for me. I've been able to push through those last, tough, strenuous 10 minutes of my runs. I've continued my run even when the aches and pains increase and consume my mind. And most of all, I continue to remind myself that this is the first time in my entire life that I have ever attempted to train for anything. I am not going to quit. I know that I will be in 7th-heaven after completing my first half marathon. Reaching a personal goal has never been this important. So here is to the many many more miles to go and hopefully many many more blogs.