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Wideguy's Blog

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Awesome, Awesome, AWESOME day!

Posted by Wideguy Apr 16, 2011

  Went for my fun run in Boston today with the barefoot kooks and these two guys, and about 50 other runners in everything from Bare skin to Vibrams to full trainers.


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That's  me and my son Tim with Ultra Running Superhuman Scott Jurek and Author  of Born to Run, Chris McDougall.  Two of the nicest, most friendly  people you will ever meet in this world.  They made sure to drift back  and forth in our group of 50 or 60 and ran along with everyone, chatting  and answering questions.  It was truly amazing. And I  did 4.5 miles,   my longest run yet. And Full Barefoot the whole way


Just fantastic day. I highly recommend if  Chris' remaining "Naked Tour 2011" dates

  come anywhere near you, make a point to attend. And go on the runs, even in shoes. I promise you will not regret it .

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I'm confused....

Posted by Wideguy Apr 15, 2011

I had a good run Wednesday... but had a little twinge in my ankle   that  I decided I should really take a couple days off  and rest so I can do this run tomorrow with a bunch of big names. So I rested yesterday  and I;'m resting today...  but I've got this weird unfamiliar urge to run.  


Ankle feels fine, no twinge,  but I still want to take today off just in case...


Just never had this arguement with myself before.

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Posted by Wideguy Apr 13, 2011

Man, I have either got a really out of whack treadmill or I really  just do so much better outside! Just finished 40 minutes on the  belt-o-hell and 4.4 mph seemed like 5+ outside. Can't believe it took 40  minutes running plus 13 walking to do a 5k when outside I can run one,  up and down hills, in under 35.  But whatever, day off yesteday, got  back at it today so I guess that is the key.  Little twinge in my  ankle... might think of a couple days off here so I'm in top form for my  run with the big boys Saturday.


Still struggling with the whole issue of distance and time.  I feel like i can manage two or three  5K distances a week but at the end of those I am completely spent and I don't feel like there is any more distance in me.  Have to find that extra gas somehow to push those extra miles or half miles even.  Work in progress but open to any brilliance.


Have a great night everyone!

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Rough mornings

Posted by Wideguy Apr 12, 2011

I dunno what it is...  maybe running two nights in a row is bad? Maybe my diet is poor the last couple days? Whatever it is, despite a solid 7.5 hours sleep, I feel completly wiped the last two days.  I mean, even on the best day, I am not what you call your "morning person"... more of a "Don't even bother talking to me until my second cup of coffee" person.  But the last two days are even more so than usual.


But tonight I am giving myself a forced "off" night, or maybe just a long walk.  See how I feel tomorrow.


Oh and still psyched for saturday... 4/16 at the Boston Public Library, the Chris McDougall "Naked Tour"  ... book signing and cabaret and the best part, a  Fun Run  through Boston with Chris McDougall, the great barefoot coach Lee Saxby, Dr. Irene Davis and  Dr. Daniel Leiberman , two of the leading researchers in forefoot running and injury prevention and recovery, and  Ultra running god and Superhuman running machine Scott Jurek!


Plus about 30 other kooky Barefoot and minimalist runners.  I'm sure I won't be able to hang for the full 5 miles with these people but hoping to hang for a mile or two and soak up some info and tips and meet some cool peoples. Can't wait!


Till next time.

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Wow I suck at this

Posted by Wideguy Apr 11, 2011

Blogging... I really really do.   Which is funny because really in the last month there is a lot of stuff I'm happy about and should be talking about .


First, my oldest son started Spring Track. He's still got the running bug which is awesome.


Second, I'm back up to managing 5K on my good runs. So far my best time is 34:23  , so still pretty slow but I've managed sub 36's seven times this month. So that is kinda cool.


And I've started watching my calories on and it's done the trick on weight loss. Turns out I was just flat out eating too much, even when I thought I was being "careful." But the good news is I'm down to 249 today.  First time under 250 in at least a couple, maybe 3 years.   So pretty cool.


So why is it that the thing that drove me to come post was tonight's absolutely HORRIBLE run?  I mean, last night was 5K... tonight was barely 1.35 before I gave up.  Just no "oomph" tonight.  When will the day come when a reasonable run a day is "normal?"


I don't know but I'm looking forward to it.  In the meantime, just keep running I guess.  Have a great run everyone

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It's all good.

Posted by Wideguy Mar 8, 2011

So yesterday was kind of a rough day.  Was in a foul mood for a lot of it, nothing seemed to go right, everything I said seemed to come out wrong and end up pissing somebody off. I got home and really didn't want to run. But after spending all day Sunday cleaning my exercise room, trying to build a good motivational space,  I took a deep breath, got dressed and went downstairs. I tried to focus and rediscover that feeling of ease and happiness I got sometimes after a good run.  I looked up at my whiteboard with the date of my Warrior Dash written bold and forced myself onto the treadmill.


Boy it took a bit to find that groove... buit I pushed and kept looking at that whiteboard. It was the first time I can say I really pushed myself for "training"  for something.  Like I see so many friends do, I reminded myself that it was something I wanted and 40 minutes on the Dreadmill was just part of the game.  And it worked. I got a 34 minute run in plus brisk 5 minute warmup and cooldown walks.  I'm still slow. Penguin slow. Turtle Slow. But that will come, I know. And at the end of it all, I felt that satisfaction I was seeking and my foul mood was better.


Funny how that works, huh?


Task for today is to decide on a program... "One Hour Runner" or "Gateway to 8K" probably. 


So thanks to all my friends who reminded me to just get out there. Many of you don't  know I'm running yet, or that I'm watching you, but I am. And you inspire me.

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Damn... I'm 40. And still fat

Posted by Wideguy Mar 4, 2011

Hello all.... if anyone is still subscribed.  I'm back.  If you've been reading my other posts you know  how this all started, with wishful thinking and high ideas.  Exactly 1 year ago I wrote ...


"I have 10 months until my 40th Birthday... 1/5/2011.  10 months, 100  pounds.  10 months to get in the best shape of my life and start the  second half of it as a healthy, active person so I can enjoy my kids  and  grand kids and retirement and all those things."


Well... that didn't quite happen. Starts and stops, life, work, kids, injury sickness... laziness.  All conspired against me. Especially lazy. Lazy was a big one. But also running barefoot became hard when the weather got cold and iIdidn't have a treadmill until December. ( Thank you Keith and Laura! )  Then Pneumonia... then a cracked rib...


So where I stand now, after my year?  265 pounds.  23 pounds less than a year ago. Which is a positive. Not huge, not impressive, but solid and sustained. I'm still running on my treadmill, waiting for warm weather to let me out to play . So I am not in the best shape of my life at 40. I've spent a fair bit of time kicking myself along the way for things missed and not done, but I'm trying my best to leave that behind and focus on forward. I've had three real good runs this week, 2 over a half hour long. Slow but still moving.


On the fun side, or masochistic sside, depending on yoru opinion... My wife and I have picked 4 runs this spring that we are actively training for.


June 4th - The Boston Ruckus

June 27th  - The Warrior Dash

August 13th - The Bold R Dash Exeter RI

August 27th - The Spartan Sprint


So wish me luck!  More to come.

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So yesterday I got lots of encouraging words from friends and I  went back to some of my favorite websites and by the time I got home I was itching to run.  So I did!

I felt GREAT... listening to a podcast about the Mutiny on the Bounty.   And then suddenly, *WHAM*  ... right at 15 minutes I suddenly lost everything. Legs didn't hurt but suddenly wouldn't move. Brain went all fuzzy, and I just had to stop.   I had eaten before I left, was feeling strong... and it just left me.


I guess that's what I get for taking almost a month off, can't expect to run as long as before.  But I did get out and do it. By the time I finished walking the mile home I felt fine. Legs were spent but not painful, just tired. When I mapped it out I had don 1.3 miles in 15 minutes... 11:30 m/m and 5.3 MPH average... right about what I was managing for 5k before, just didn't have the stamina for that distance.   But was good to get back out at least.


And on the positive continuing story of my son , yesterday after practice his coach told him he wants him to run in the meet Saturday  and not just attend to cheer on teammates.  My son knows he won't be competitive  but as a Freshman he's pretty proud that the coach thinks he is ready for a full meet race . We're pretty proud too! I'll let you know how he does.

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A few websites and some great demonstration videas about forefoot/barefoot running benefits and techniques. - Barefoot Ken Bob's website. especially the getting started section. - a great study by the Harvard  Skeletal Biology lab - Good demostration video of the stride by the New Jersey Sports medicine Clinic - Made By the manufacturers of Newton Running shoes. I haven't tried  the shoes but reports are they work as advertised and really are truly  built for the forefoot strike - Another video by Newton. - Pay stepcial attention to Step 1 ;-) - A great video.  He's maintaining a steady 5 Min mile pace - Ken Bob is basically the Godfather of barefoot running. he would  cringe at the inclusion of his site in any discussion  including shoes.  But his  tip on starting barefoot, training and  his sheer enthusiasm  translate well to minimalist shoes and forefoot form discussions.

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Well here I am again, finally writing another blog post. Haven't really seen much reason to write one before now since I haven't really done anything since 9/2/2010. There are a lot of things that contributed to this, a couple even semi-legitimate but the fact is it got hard and it was easier to slip into bad habits. As an exercise in  cleansing, let me write the reasons and hopefully I can shake the cobwebs off and see past them.


     My last 5K was back on 9/2, just before Labor Day weekend.  Was a great run and could have marked my completion of C25K  but in my mind I wanted to see 9 consecutive  25+ minute runs  like week 7, 8, and 9 should be.  But that Sunday I stepped on a rusty Nail in my foot  and that  wiped out a whole week.  I could barely walk normally for most of it but on Saturday 9/11/2010 I did manage a 4.5 mile hike up Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire.  So my foot must have been healthy by then. I remember still feeling the sore spot but it was OK. That hike, combined with another lapse in meds that week, left me really sore and I didn't do anything Sunday or Monday.

     I planned to resume running Tuesday but my wife was going in for Surgery on Wednesday the 15th so  I spent the night trying to help make sure the morning was ready for her.  The rest of that week and weekend she was pretty looped on Percocet so I let myself have the excuse of  "I need to hang out to take care of her."  But I could have found time to run.  Probably a week I could have used a run more than ever.  But I never made it happen.  That was the beginning of all the old excuses rolling back.

     Finally  got a nudge from some friends on the 200+ pound trhead and got out for a run  Last Monday, the 20th.  Only did a mile and a half, with all the best plans of  it being a gentle warmup and going back to full runs  Tuesday.  I can't even tell you where the rest of last week went.  Just... wasted.



     So here I am,  more than 6 months into this grand scheme of " Re-Inventing myself by my 40th Birthday"... so far I have lost a whopping  18 pounds  and managed to ALMOST complete a 9 week training plan in  28 weeks. ALMOST complete, but not even. The 5K I was shooting for was cancelled and I never booked another,  my goal of being really fit by that mountain hike failed and I was still  the last one up the hill. I have about 13 weeks till my 40th... enough for... what?  How do I break this cycle and get to that 40th with some sort of  satisfaction at all... How?  All my grand plans and  positive thinking and I've let myself slip right back to old habits.


     Hopefully I'll post tomorrow or the next day with some spectatular  inspiration. or at least some small clue.  But right now, I don't see it.


EDIT: On the big plus side, the one  shining light, my introduction to running has stuck with my son. He  joined the Cross country team and so far in 3 weeks has lowed his 5K  time from 47 minutes  to 36+/-. At his meet yesterday afternoon  he  ran  2.2 miles in 20 , tied for 3rd among freshmen and  35 out of 48 total.   He had never run before he started with me.  So that much I can be, and  am, immensely proud of.

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9/2/10- still plugging away

Posted by Wideguy Sep 2, 2010

So I had a great run a week ago tonight,  did my first full 5k and then my life exploded again. Dunno what it is but I keep finding excuses.... my running workshop last  Saturday was canceled and I worked that night. I helped friends move Sunday,  Had meetings  till 9:30 Monday night and didn't get home till 10:30,  my wife's computer  blew up Tuesday morning so spent the night  trying to fix that. Last night we did get out for a two mile  walk and I did three 1/3 mile sprints just to get my legs moving and get  the blood pumping.


Then finally got out tonight, and after a week off my expectations weren't high . Early part of the run felt.... like I hadn't run in a week.  Felt  slow and was definitely hot, 80 degrees. The whole run I was just kind  of "hanging in" , determined to make 30 minutes plus. Near the end I was  gassed and saw my watch at about 33 minutes so decided to try and hang  in for 35:00...and finished at the next closest cross street.  Looked at  my watch and it was officially 35:38.  So pretty happy I stuck it out  and  got the my forth 30+minute run.


Got home and mapped it and was happily surprised to see 3.13 miles...  My second full 5K and happily comes out to 11:24 per mile, only 6  seconds a mile slower than last time,  so pretty happy.  Next run will  be Saturday  after Hurricane Earl blows through and cools us down.  Looking  forward to that!


My son is doing really well on his HS cross country team.  He did 2.75 miles today  plus, as he said "Sprints, pushups, sprints, planks, sprints, ...puke... sprints , pushups... " LOL


Gotta love the dedication!

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8/26/10 - A good night

Posted by Wideguy Aug 26, 2010

Sky was clear, stars were out, roads were dry and I was feeling pretty good.


Set out with a route mapped out that was pretty close to 5K, but couldn't remember the specifics. Ran through the podcast, hit halfway and spent some time running trying to think of my route and how I was on distance vs. time  but realized I couldn't really figure it.  But I was feeling good, so I kept running.


"Congratulations you're in your last minute.. Push it!.... OK that's your 28 minute run,  now your cool down " at which point I switched to my play list  and just kept running.  I was feeling pretty good. and thought I could finish my route.  I tried to push a little but had no idea how I was doing...  I wanted to do a 5K in under 40 minutes  , was REALLY hoping to be around 12 minute miles but knew that was pushing it...  but didn't know anyway so kept running


Last stretch nice long downhill, haven't looked at my watch, lost track of how long since I switched off the podcast. Doesn't matter I'm 99.9 % sure this run will get me a 5K. I turn the corner and give everything left for the last two blocks and turn the last corner and stop my watch but don't look down right away.


Take a minute, catch my breath, walk...  finally turn on the flashlight and look..... 37:13!  I look twice and the number is still there.  I'm grinning like the Cheshire cat as I walk home, cool down.  I have it, I gotta have it... maybe not my 12 minutes but we'll verify the miles.


Map it on  careully avoiding looking at the cummulative numbers till I click the last marker..... peek with one eye .... 3.3 Miles.


3.3 miles in 37:13.... Under 40 minutes ... UNDER 12 minute miles...  Everything I wanted when I started this.


Done quietly in the dark LOL


Was a good night.


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8/25/10 - Rain Rain Go away!

Posted by Wideguy Aug 25, 2010

So we have been in the midst of 4 days of straight rain , strong winds and 50° evening temps... all adds up to making it REALLY hard to find the motivation to run. I kept telling myself I didn't need real "gear" to run... so what if I have to take an occasional day off in  bad weather but here I sit, 5 days since my last run, and that one was a less than optimal run to begin with. The desire to get out ther and have a "Good" one is lurking there but the desire to go run in a windy cold rain at night  is really NOT there.   I guess I've come pretty far in terms of  my mentality, at least I feel  guilty about it but I haven't gotten to the "Run no matter what" mentality yet.  Rain is supposed to break this afternoon/evening.. so hopefully I can get out then.


Still not finding any luck with getting control of my diet. Been trying to do little things, smaller protions, less snacking, not eating at night etc. but so far  just haven't found that motivation to start tracking and handling the diet aggressively. I know it has to come and i kick myself every day it doesn't but so far just haven't.


On the plus side, my son had his sports orientation  for his new high school last night and decided to give cross country a shot. Coach seems really good, encouraging, and requires all his runners to attend homework club at least three days a week. Several of the kids on the team are apparently  in the top of the class academically  and provide tutoring and mentoring for the younger kids on the team. All in all it sounds like exactly what my son could use and hopefully in the next two weeks he makes gets to know some kids on the team so when school starts he won't be quite so  lost.


I'm off to try and be productive at work.  Hope you all have a great day

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8/22/10 - Ugh

Posted by Wideguy Aug 22, 2010

So Friday night was a major flop.... got out too late, day before my next dose of meds, ... who knows maybe it was just solar flares ro something but I went out to try W8D1 and got slapped back into reality. My calves were tight, every step hurt and it never got better.  Kept trying to plug away at a snail's pace, varying stride, trying to push and hope I could power through it and nothing helped. The pain in my calves got worse and  my ankles started to tighten up .


I finallt had to conceed at 1.5 miles and only 18 minute of running.  My pace was consistant, around 12 minutes so i guess that is "Something"  but I'm pretty bummed.  The last two runs before that were 35 and 36 minutes...  to get so thoroughly trounced on Friday is not sitting well with me. And to add insult to injury, I felt fine yesterday, lose and free but was too booked all day to run.. and today it is raining buckets. So any attempt at redemption will have to wait till tomorrow.


Not a happy camper in Wideland

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8/20/10 -  Who are you all?

Posted by Wideguy Aug 20, 2010

OK, so the clueless wonder that I am, I only recently realized  that my blog manager page shows me how many people read these little ramblings of mine. My first thought was "Seriously?!? What could I possibly say that is of interest to anyone?"


The second was "Huh, I wonder who they are? " So do me a favor, say Hi. That'd be really cool.  Maybe I know you already  but maybe I'll meet someone new. I like meeting people.


     So off to run tonight, Week 8 Day 1 sorta. My last two runs have both been more than 30 minutes, 35:12 and 36:22 to be exact, so I'm already past the 28 minute runs  of week 8. My plan is to keep going till I have strung together 9 nights of 30+ then I'll consider myself a C25K graduate.   And little side note..  Ran wed Night, had an AWESOME run... was absolutely dead sure I had passed 3.1 miles and had my first 5K...  Looked at my watch and it was  36:22.. I was  ecstatic!! 

     Then I mapped it. Then I realized that my on the fly course change, the one I was SOOOO sure was "no problem" with the overall distance... and when I finally looked up the milage was 2.99 miles!!! GRRRRR

     So off tonight to see if I can finish that for real. Cross your fingers.

Next up on my battle is  food. I've been kind of watching my diet, taking smaller portions etc... no more drinking and  only a couple candy bars.  But I'm stuck here at 275  for the last month.  I know that my half hour 3X a week isn't going to be enough to make any huge strides but  damn it feels like I should have lost at least a pound in a Month!  And of course everyone says all the right things, all very supportive. But I'm still pissed!  Not in the budget for Weight Watchers or anything formal so time to hunt out an online food tracker and start trying to figure  where I'm hiding calories, or not eating enough or what the heck is going on.... Still have 19 weeks till my 40's birthday  still time for some meaningful weight loss. Time to step it up.

     On a positive note, even if I don't lose a pound, I'm no doubt healthier, my pants fit better and   the gut is not hanging quite so heavy.... don't know what the scale is doing but the body does seem to be responding slowly. So I guess I'll take that.


     Separate note, a few friends in the 200+ pound club have been talking about comments from people as they run in public.  I myself got a carload of teenagers yelling "RUN FATTIE RUN!!"  one night.   I hope that kid's parents are proud.   But for the most part, people tend to be pretty supportive.   But do all us big folks a favor, pass the word to your skinny friends, a smile and a supportive words would be great. 

     And if you're one of those people debating trying a run,  wanting to start but worried about people's opinions.  We all need to remember  that we are doing this for ourselves and our families and our personal happiness.  It's not about whether anyone else looks at you sideways or "gets " why you are doing it. It should be for us.  So don't be afraid to leave the treadmill in your bedroom and go outside for a run. the fresh air feels great and sunshine is good for your skin. Try to find a  way to enjoy the fact that you are doing it and enjoy the ride!


And as for the jerks, the best quote came from a user named middie26:  

" Yes, there will be people who scoff at you and think you'll never be  able to do it.  The real question is, do you want them to be right?"



Thanks Middie.

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