In this blog:
- Self Image – i.e., incoherent rambling
- Moonlight Marathon Recap!
- This Weekend – a Full Marathon and a Half Marathon – Back to Back
- Week 20 Weigh-In
I guess we all (speaking only about myself actually but it seems less like i’m opening myself up if i say “we all”…) have a picture in our mind of what we like to look like whether we look like it or not. For me, at 300 lbs, 320 or 254 ….i still have this same image of myself that doesn’t look like any of those body weights. This latest truth comes from the fact that I signed up for another 1 month diet bet to lose another 4% by June 9th. In those bets, like all others, we need a shot of the scale with some key word on an index card along with a full body shot of us standing on that scale. I don’t normally take full body shots of myself so every new weigh in or weigh out tends to be an ever humbling experience.
An ideal selfie is taken from the chest up, smile and …if you angle the camera just right… volia! no double chin! :) …and why bother sucking a stomach in when you can avoid the matter all together? :)
However, all these full body shots has allowed me to do something I’ve never been able to do before. I was able to put pictures side by side from Feb 3rd, my first diet bet and May 1, three months later as kind of a transformation duo picture. There’s quite a difference and even though neither picture looks the way I’d like to see myself there is considerable change in the right direction. I have another slot open in that picture collage to the right for a 6 month progress picture. I’m very curious to see what that is going to look like. reality is so slow when it’s happening…
Moonlight Marathon Recap!
This was a very interesting race. From 5 p.m. (ish) to nearly 1 a.m. there was a total of 7 different races held at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois this past Saturday night.
- Ultra Marathon – 5 laps or 32.75 miles
- Marathon – 4 laps, start anytime from 5ish to 9 p.m.
- Daylight 5K
- Dark 5K
- Single lap 6.55 miles (a bit more than a 10K)
- Half Marathon – 2 laps
- Marathon Relay
Mentally, it’s a bit like the weight I mentioned above. In my mind, I’m a 4 hour 22 minute marathon runner – that equates to 10 minutes per mile. Even though it’s been 20+ years since I’ve even run close to my weight, that’s what has always stayed in my head. 4:22:00 and capable of much more. I have a lot of reality to interject with my ideal thoughts. The first reality is the training I did last year for the Southwest Championship Marathon race that was held in Wynne, Arkansas on October 31st last year. That’s one race on my list that I paid for but – DNS – Did Not Show. The magnitude of the marathon, in my mind, simply exceeded what I thought I was trained for at that time. I suppose I was still holding tightly to that 4:22 or so time and thought I was capable of getting to that level during last years training but that was not the case.
So, a slight shift in mental attitude had me thinking more along the lines of “let’s just see if I can cover the distance” and that I did. :)
The course at the Oak Ridge Cemetery is a crazy 6.55 mile loop.
with about 600 blue reflectors along the 6.5 mile path. As runners, our mantra was to keep the blue reflectors on our left which, at times was easier said than done. As a marathoner in the race, we were not allowed to have watches or any timing devices so, my exact start time is unknown but I know it was sometime after 5 p.m. maybe 5:15ish when I started with the Ultra Runners. The first lap was a bit like sightseeing and seemed very long since the entire path was new. I alternated walking and jogging and then jogged in the last couple miles of the path. When I came back around to the start I saw a guy named Kevin that I had become friends with before the race sitting on the knoll and asked him when he was going to start and he responded by jumping into the race at that time and running alongside me. Since I’d already been running a couple miles nonstop I only made it another 2 miles or so with him at my side but it was very nice having someone to talk with during the run. Along the way we both made another friend with a guy named Jesper Christensen who was from Denmark and had been up in Chicago the preceding week for Microsoft conferences. He has a personal goal to run a half marathon every month of 2015. He said he had never seen an American cemetery before and thought this run looked interesting. This was his 2nd full marathon. Kevin was an arborist from Decatur, IL and this was his first marathon.
When the second lap was coming to an end I remembered thinking that I would be sad if my race would have been over at that time and was glad I opted for doing more.
The third lap was kind of exciting because soon after starting that lap I knew I only had one more full lap to do and simply had to complete the remaining fraction of that third lap to hit the final lap then I would be able to claim my third full marathon. It was dark by the third lap and during one of the inner loops of the race I came upon a young lady who was distraught with tears, pleading for help and had totally lost her way. Apparently her mom had yelled at her for not training enough and took off without her. I did my best to console her situation and told her to stick with me and we’d get her back on the right path. She was a half marathoner and only had one previous lap in the daylight and the darkness tricked her up a bit. Eventually she calmed down and took off at her previous pace. About an hour later she came up behind me again confessing that she had, once again, gotten lost…. She only had about 4 or 5 miles left when I first came upon her but I had well over 10 and knew my hardest miles were ahead.
Finishing that third lap was awesome as I knew I only had one more lap to go to achieve my marathon goal. However, the vast excitement I had during the beginning of lap 3 no longer existed. It became more of a mental game to keep moving from miles 20 to 26.2. Overall though, it wasn’t that bad. I had paced myself within my limits. I knew I had another full marathon to complete the following Saturday and had to be judicious with my efforts to make sure I’d still be in working order the next week.
In that last lap, the last 6.2 miles, the last 10K, it’s like every single step takes the same effort as 10 steps in the preceding 20 miles. My toes felt like they were being smashed forward in the toe box of my shoes but, I had taped my feet up pretty well before hand to help avoid blisters and, in the end, there was only a small cut on the top of my left foot.
I have a lot of pictures to share from this race but, I think putting them in a facebook album might be the way to go so I can add captions and most easily review them :)
This Weekend – a Full Marathon and a Half Marathon – Back to Back
I don’t have a lot of time now but, there is another full marathon this Saturday morning in Ottawa, IL which is a place I used to live back in the early ’70s then another half marathon in Chicago that I have to be at starting at 5 a.m. It’s been very interesting to get a glimpse behind the scenes as a volunteer for that race as well as a runner. My job will be to help get and keep the starting corrals in order then jump in at the end as a back of the pack pacer. I think the allowed time for that half may be as long as 4 hours which, is even slow for me but having done a full mary the day before I’ll be lucky if my legs are still working. I think I should be fine though and I don’t get to visit Chicago all that often so it should be an enjoyable time :)
Week 20 Weigh-In
I had an interesting series of weigh ins before and after that last half. I ate plenty leading up to the race. Before I left my house for Springfield, I weighed 249.0 and when I got back home I weighed 245.8 and the next morning I was 243.8 :) This morning I was 247.4 :)
I had another pasta meal last night and am looking to duplicate last week’s results. For now, I’ve completed a marathon in my late 20s, 30s and 40s and I do believe my mind is much better now. Much more readily able to handle the mental rigors of the marathon. I remember clearly after my first marathon telling myself that once every 10 years was good enough but, perhaps I was selling myself short – mentally, in my 20s though, that’s what I thought.
The very best weapon I have in my arsenal as a great ally is calm. Simply staying calm. Kind of reminds me of those Stay Calm sayings which have become so popular over the past few years. I did see one of those as a poster during the race this past Saturday that I really liked.