Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Dumb Running Ideas

Yeah buddy, those are homemade arm warmers, and a Blue Steel stare
Having a blog is kind of a funny thing sometimes.  When people meet you, they sometimes respond as if they're meeting a celebrity. Which I am of course ... and I'll be happy to autograph anything besides body parts or shoes.  But mostly I'm pretty much just an average income Midwestern salesman who likes to write and run.  Oh, and pictures with me are fine too, but please don't interrupt my dinner, or touch me.

But another interesting thing about having a blog is sometimes readers think just because my info is on the "internets", I think it's some sort of training guide to great marathons.  And I've tried to be really clear about the fact that the information I post are simply ideas that have worked for me.  But for every, "Huh Jim, I never thought of it that way!", I've had some real clunkers too.  So instead of posting more little "secrets" to my training, I thought I post my 5 really dumb running and training things I've done.  Enjoy!

1.  Homemade Arm Warmers ... I like arm warmers.  I own about three pair.  Yes, I think they look dorky on guys, but I wear them anyway.  Sorry.  And the first time I ever put them on was at my first marathon in Little Rock.  They were homemade out of an old dry-fit shirt that I stitched together.  Yes, I stitched them together myself - impressive, I know.  But I got them a little too tight and they squeezed the circulation out of my arms ... AT MY  FIRST MARATHON!!!  Like I didn't have enough to worry about already that day.  I vividly remember thinking during the race, "Man, these things are killing my arms!"  But for some dumb reason, I left them on until about mile 22.  In the following days after the race, my legs of course hurt - but I distinctly remember my biceps and forearms aching for almost two weeks.

Exhausted at Wichita, my funniest race photo ever
2. 100 Mile Weeks ... Two years ago I got the bright idea that I was going to train like an elite marathoner.  Not at their speeds of course, but at the same mileage they log.  So for the first time, at age 43, I began running 85, 90, 95, & 100 mile weeks ... in one of the hottest summers we had in Kansas City in a while.  Brilliant!  So from June-September, I ran 85 or more weekly miles 12 different times in about 16 weeks.  Did it make me tougher, stronger, meaner, and ready for my Fall marathon?  Nope!  It just wore me out.  I was exhausted.  And to date, the Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon that year was still my biggest "fail" to date, partly because I went into it tired from training.  Lesson learned.

3. No Water During A Marathon ... At the 2009 Kansas City Marathon, I decided that I was going to save time by, get this ... not stopping for water!  Note to self - water is very important component in the human body. I was trying for my first Boston Qualifier and thought that I'd surely seen Olympic Marathons pass by the water tables without indulging, so I was going to give a whirl.  Well, that lasted until about Mile 20 when I began walking, and cramping.  Note to self - dehydration causes cramping.  I finished the race, dry to the bone, and about 26 minutes short of a BQ.  But I still contend to this day that if I'd stopped for water, I would have missed it by 27 minutes.

4. Ran A 5K In Costume ... I really don't care for Halloween.  For the most part I'm a self-proclaimed stick-in-the-mud grouchy old man who thinks adults that dress up are somewhat pathetic.  (Although this includes myself on several occasions, and my wife every year)  I think I've shared this story before, but one year,  Michael somehow talked me into dressing up with her as Bert & Ernie at a Halloween 5K.  And of course, she went all out and bought these huge foam heads.  We looked like friggin' Sesame Street On Ice ... with no skates or ice.  Sometimes I still just sit and shake my head with disgust and shame in myself when I think about it.  We didn't even win anything for the humiliation.  However, we did spend a large portion of the day acting somewhat obscene, kissing and making out all over the course with the costumes on, which of course was a
pretty funny visual.  I'm sure it confused some of the little kids who where there.  But it was probably time we forced their parents to get real about some things ... like why life-size puppets kiss.  But seriously, I still have substantial scarring from that day.

5. Pizza Before Every Long Run ... Pizza is simply the best food in the history of the world.  Fresh soft doughy delicious bread on the inside, crispy crust on the outside ... melted cheese running down your arm ... ground beef and pepperoni piled high ... with no sauce!  I could eat that every day of my life.  The problem is, I used to eat that before every single long run, and race.  Literally!  And while it seemed to supply somewhat adequate energy, it also really seemed to bog me down and make me feel sluggish.  Plus, I seemed to gain quite a bit of extra weight from downing a whole pizza by myself every Friday night.  Today I eat a lot better.  I'm probably what most people would consider a border-line health nut.  And while my running has reaped the benefits of a much lower fat diet, I sure do miss pizza all the time!

So there are a few of my really dumb running ideas.  Luckily, I seem to be self-aware enough that if it doesn't work after a while, I change it up and find something that does work.  So what about you?  Are there any really bad ideas in your past (related to running) that at the time, you thought were genius?  Have a great weekend!
... be great today!

28 comments:

  1. Thanx for this post. I've added these points to the list of mistakes not to make as I progress as a runner. Now if I could just train the way you do -- I might make something of myself.

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    1. Paul, I think the key is to never dress up like Bert. Never. PS, I I'm the one that could take a few tips - from your writing, you're a really good author.

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  2. So this post had me literally laughing out loud on several of the points. Your biceps sore from your arm warmers?! Yes, it's good to look back and think about some of the things we used to do in our early runner phases. I distinctly remember an entire training cycle- the first time I tried to BQ when I NEVER warmed up or cooled down. I didn't think I had time for any of the "extra, unnecessary" stuff. I would jump straight into a tempo or marathon paced workout or an 800 repeat workout at the track. This makes me cringe thinking about it now!

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    1. Well, you're a great runner - so maybe you're methods are the key! But yeah, that makes me hurt just thinking about it.

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  3. Oh, just that one time when I wanted to run a 3:10 marathon at some point during the winter...so I ran four marathons in as many months, and cut out strength training (ALL OF IT) that whole time to "make time for running". Did I go under 3:10? Yes. Did I start a years-long injury cycle I'm still in? YES.
    P.S. Your arm warmer story is funny, and sounds like something I'd do.

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    1. Yeah, I'm probably pretty lucky I haven't injured myself with some of my ideas - I probably over-train a little

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  4. Hilarious!!! My husbands finds it hysterical when I talk about my blog friends :)...he keeps saying...you have never met these people you are calling friends...I know, but I know I would like them in person! I have done Kansas City twice....hills!!! The 2nd time my stomach was funny so I didn't take any gels....BONK!

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    1. I love the KC marathon Jen, but yeah, the hills are a little tough. My wife, Michael, and I always talk about our blogger "friends" too - kinda funny.

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  5. Okay, so I just found your blog from Tia and I LOVE it! Such fun ideas and great goals! Way to be awesome!

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  6. I shared your last blog post "5 Reasons I'm Getting Faster At 45" with my running group and got some great feedback on it. There was some great advise there and we all know that its not a "one size fits all". We take what we need from it.

    As far as dumb things, we all have our stories :)

    Having a blog is like being a celebrity. Get the "hey I read your blog" and the "can I take a picture" all the time!!... I wish!! Ha! But If I saw you out and about I would definitely stop you and at least talk to you.... Ok maybe some picture taking too :)

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    1. Thanks José, I really appreciate the feedback and you sharing it with your running group! But you're way more of a celebrity than I am ... You're THE BEARD, man!

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  7. You should add, "Never wear black, white, or grey shoes. Brighten it up like me, and you are sure to run a PR." (No, I will not let this go... Only because you are self conscious about it.)

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    1. Hahaha, very funny - and yes, I am self-conscious about those UGLY things ... but man, they're comfortable.

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  8. I love that she talked you into those awful costumes and you still had so much fun with it. That is a great race picture and I can't imagine trying to run a marathon and not drink any water. Live and learn!

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  9. I'd never have guessed that you'd run in costume. Not in a million years. You're just too hard core. Goes to show that that wife of yours has you wrapped around her little finger.

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  10. lol on trying to run a marathon with no water!

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  11. NO WATER? LOL!! You are a rock star, and of course a celebrity!

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    1. Ha, of course I was kidding about that Michelle!

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  12. After a few months in stasis from the blog world, this is my very first comment, in which I hope more will follow. Sorry I have been a little occupied. 6 month olds seem to do that to a new daddy. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. I have missed reading your blog. So a comment on your writings on the 5 don'ts. 1. Arent you suppose to wear what you are going to wear on race day so nothing is new? Okay, Im sure you probably got enough of that. As for the rest I would not agree more. Especially the 100000 miles a week strategy. Iv'e learned its like a tip and balance type thing. Be great too!!,

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    1. Hey Kenley, thanks for stopping by - you're right, taking care of a little one takes all your time, but well worth it!

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  13. Hilarious! I definitely need to add this to my ideas for blogging. I have plenty!

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    1. Believe me Allison, there are many more where those came from - ha!

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    1. Haha, yeah Michael - it's one of my favorites

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Thanks for stopping by ... your comment's always welcome!