Monday, January 18, 2010

"Stupid is, as stupid does" AND The best shout out ever.

I guess I will start with the adressing the great quote above from one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump.
There are of course many others from the movie, but  this past Friday a business associate called me to go over some things and at then end of the conversation he said "hey; do you want to run the half marathon on Sunday? I'm one of the sponsors you know? " My Forrest Gump brain took over and I answered "yeah sure, that sounds like fun"  , (stupid is as stupid does). Great he said, I will sign you up and I will see you Sunday morning at 6 am. Race starts at 7. I hung up the phone and said to myself  "cool, I'm running a half marathon." My next thought was, are you freakin crazy?!!! You haven't ran a mile since the 5k December 12th. and youv'e never run more than 5 miles at a time. The more the day went on, the more I rationalized my decision. I was just going to do this. (thoughts on "random-ness" coming later in another post)
What's better than a little adventure? I think putting yourself on the line every now and then is important, it makes you feel alive!

I woke up early Sunday morning got dressed and when I got outisde it was a little breezy and raining. Thank goodness the local cold temps had left and it was a balmy 62. My car started this time when I left, and
I got there right at 6.  I was immediately blown away by how many people there were, it was just ELECTRIC. So much positive energy and excitement in the air, don't know about others, but I could sure feel it. My adrenaline started coursing.......
I found out after the race that this is a very popular half marathon and draws about 2000 people. That's a lot for our sleepy town. Lots of people from other parts of the country.  \Nice way to take a little trip I'm guessing.
I meet up with the rest of the gang, and the conversations around, started talking about training runs, last years half marathon, split times, know "runners talk". It was at this point that a little bit of self doubt crept into my dumb head, but like I said, the adrenaline was al ready coursing. At one point a gentlemen that I had met for the first time, said to me "when did you run your last long training run? I ran my 13 miles days ago and have been tapering down, so I'm ready today." I really must have looked like Forrest Gump at that point as I just stammered "uhhhh uhhhh uhh". I then made the mistake of telling the small crowd that I have never really run more then 5 miles. As much as I like being the center of attention ;-) , I didn't enjoy it right at that moment!!! Everyone looked at me like I had 3 heads. I told them I had no expectations and that I was running real slow today.
At 6:50 am all 2000 people were waiting at the starting line. The organiszers were playing some great music and just before 7 the star spangled banner came on.....although I'm not sure...I was so caught up in the excitement of the moment, that it could have been America the beautiful, or even something else, but I was just really enjoying it.

I decided to take it nice and slow, well, there was no chioce really, you had to because of the crowd.
At mile 1, my time (thanks to a guy with a watch next to me) was a 10 minute and 30 second pace.
There was a lot of nice conversation to be had with other runners and I picked 2 ladies from Wisconsin to pace me. They were running 10 minute miles. The gentlemen I had met earlier, was also running with us at that 10 minute pace.

At mile 3, I smiled to myself, because neither of my calfs had cramped and I took that to be a good omen.
At mile 4, I was surprised how fresh I was feeling. The course took us through Old Naples and a block from the beach. The setting was spectacular. When I saw the mile 5 marker, I got happy and said to myself "new personal record" and decided to listen to my ipod shuffle for a bit. My "pacers" seemed to be doing fine, but I was ready to start picking up the pace a tiny bit. So I left them and ventured on my own......into the unknown ;-)

I found a real nice stride and coupled with some great music I just enjoyed my little adventure. Around mile 9, I started looking at runners ahead and setting my sights on someone I thought I could catch up to. Once I did, I would look ahead again for the next one.

I did not run this race in my VFF's. I ran it in my Nike Free's

The reason I decided on my Nike's was two fold.
1. I never ran a really long distance in my VFF before
2. Don't laugh......I knew I would be the only person there in VFF. I was worried that if I didn't finish the race, or collapsed somewhere, people would say, "You know, that guy that collapsed with the funny shoes...."

At mile 8 and 9 my feet felt very very warm. It was really the only discomfort I felt all race. When I hit mile 11, I got very very excited. I felt like I had made it. But then.....that mile got tough. I turned up my music louder and started singing along. Might have not sounded great for others, but it fired me up and before I knew it, mile 12 was in sight. I ran the last mile trying to pick of as many runners as I had the energy for.
I made it through the finish line at 2:10 and 35 seconds.

I felt fantastic and I took my shoes off as fast as I could.  Some observations and thoughts: I wasn't surprised but yet I was grateful that I never felt winded. Hey, I sang out loud at mile 11. Short burst intense work outs do really work. The runners "high" really does exist, I felt it around mile 6. I KNOW most runners I talked too had been eating pasta for a few days prior. "carb loading" they called it. I dont have to tell you what I ate : )  In the morning around 6:30 I had a banana, I dont eat those too often, but I was hungry and there were only bagels and bananas. I also will share this with you, around mile 5, the volunteers handed out water and orange gatorade in cups. I had one of those little paper cups filled with orange gatorade. It just looked sooooo inviting. It tasted even better. I tried to "feel" my body actively after ingesting it..........but I noticed nothing.  Not even my saliva thickening....which I can feel if I eat sugar now. After the race I was amused that taking steps felt strange. I mean running for 2 hours and then taking normal steps is a sensation you dont feel often. I started getting a bit sore about 3 hours later. The nap in the afternoon felt FANTASTIC. The only sore part this morning are my knees. Interesting because I don't remember my knees ever hurting. Not from soccer, tennis tournaments or heavy sessions of box jumps. All in all I was really happy I did it. Like I said, it was like an adventure. I won't be running anytime soon...........I will give you my thoughts on that in my next post about "random-ness"

I got the best comment on Friday. Rusty from Fitnessblackbook , left me a comment that said "you're famous buddy" When I followed the link I saw this
When I saw what Rusty wrote about my little blog, I was so humbled. I can't thank him enough. I mean sometimes just getting affirmation that what you do is appreciated is so encouraging! And what he said is true, I really like connecting and sharing with all of you. It's what life is about isn't it?
Rusty, THANK YOU!!!! I look forward to the day when you visit Naples and I can show you around and we can have a beer on the beach together.

Follow your dreams, put yourself on the line every now and again, and remember that you can do anything you set your mind on.


Anonymous said...

This is exactly how I ruined my knees a couple of years ago. I somehow made it through the half marathon (or rather: through three of them; the feeling was just too great!) but my knees never really recovered. I was 21 back then, am 26 today and they still hurt. I wish you more luck than I had! :)

If they ever get better, I'm going to train for a marathon and ruin them again. I can already see it coming... ;-)

Mark said...

Wow, 13.1 and you never ran more than 5 miles before. Impressive. Congrats!

I've done one full marathon and one 1/2 marathon but I trained quite a bit for those - ended up with lots of leg injuries along the way. If I were to do another one (I get the urge every so often), I'd run very little and just keep doing what I am doing.

Did you run straight or take walk breaks? For my events, I did walk breaks every 5-10 min (based on a book I read by Galloway).

Race days are fun - it's pretty exciting.

One more comment - did Nike stop making those Frees? The last time I looked (was thinking of another pair), I couldn't find them on their website or the store I usually go.

AT22 said...

I love my Frees. Sometimes you can get them on random websites, but I think they still have them on the Nike site. I have two pairs - different "models" - and love them both :)

I'm impressed you could just pick up and run 13 miles! I'm not sure I'd be able to do that unless I actually trained for it. A 5K maybe but not a half-mar! I'm reading Born to Run right now - I hope to get some insight on running. Why are some people naturals while other slog through running?

Anyway, way to go!

AT22 said...

(Frees not on Nike site, but I see them other places (Eastbay, Nordstrom). I'm getting myself another pair while I can!!)

Anonymous said...

Glad you posted about the race, I was anxious to hear about it! Sounds like a beautiful morning. Congrats on your time!!

Marc said...


Please read my next post.
I think running all the time is just not good for you. But I will write my thoughts on it.
Thanks for checking in and leaving a comment. Hope you're knees recover.

Thank you ;-)

I have even more admiration for anyone that runs a full one. Certainly couldn't have done that....and don't think I ever want to.....

I think all that training is just not i said, post to follow on that subject.

I didn't take a single walk break. Not even to drink the water or gatorade ;-) Felt kinda cool spilling that all over myself. Never read the Galloway book. I agree it was very exciting.

Last I looked the Free's were still on the you got me curious. I will look.

Thank you.
Check my next post please. I think YOU COULD just pick up and run 13 miles. ;-)
I'm certainly not a natural...I'm a speed burster not an endurance guy at all....and i run pretty ugly ;-)
When you finish Born To might just go out for a's tyhat good and motivating ;-)

Thank you so much!
So......1:59 is my guess for you


Natalie said...

That is amazing and wonderful. Couldn't be happier you made it through unscathed, and isn't it marvelous that you can say you did it now? I mean, you can throw that little tidbit out in conversation whenever you like, i.e. "When I was running the Naples Half Marathon..." Fabulous.

PS found you via Zenhabits, congrats on those kudos too.

Jay C said...

Nice work, but 1/2 days are way over. I'm still planning on forwarding my 5K program, just need to get mileage up to that 30-35 per week.

Take care and nice PR that you're getting on some other sites.

Chris said...

Well done Marc. That was a good bit of writing too

Andy's Blog said...

Marc, that is impressive; congratulations. Well written and enjoyable recount of the events.

Marc said...

Welcome and Thank you ;-)
I took a looksee at your blog, great writing and wonderful pictures. I look forward to reading more.
It feels good to have done it...even 2 days later.

Thanks man! I speculate that even 35 miles a week is to much running my next post, and I look forward to your thoughts on it al ready.

Thanks for taking the time to read it. I appreciate it. Would love your thoughts on my next post....stay tuned.

pretty crazy right?? :-)
In hindsight it's almost surreal....I mean 13's quite a distance..but then could easily take a 13 mile walk..and running at a 10 minute pace is almost like walking speed.
Enjoying your Gainer posts.


Athena said...

Wow, congratulations on your race and what an inspiring way you tell it. I'm always preaching to my little boy "Attitude is Everything". You have a great attitude!

Anonymous said...

Ok smarty pants - tell me this please; I love tacos for dinner and I always use ground beef. I buy the super low fat kind but it seems like everyone now says how BAD it is to eat so I've stopped buying it. I'm not a fan of ground turkey but would be willing to give it another try (maybe). I wondered what your opinion of the ground meats are and how "healthy" they are. Or if you have suggestions on another way to make tacos! You can e-mail me if you want (email is on my blog page) or respond here...Thanks in advance! :)

and p.s. Yes, that time looks like something we could shoot for...freaks me out a little (ok, a LOT) but we'll give it our best shot!! :)

Yummy said...

WOOOHOOOO! Awesome story! :)

Chris said...

Shanna - why are you buying super low fat ground beef? What is wrong with fat?

Mark said...

As Chris said, around here we eat the beef (fat is good), but skip the taco shell and store brand seasoning (make your own).

Grok said...

*Grok pats Mark's back*

Hey good job Mark! Go big or go home right!

Primal Mama said...

Absolutely crazy! You are one brave soul. That said, good for you! I'm sure it was a great time.

Marc said...

Thank you ;-)
Keep up the great content on your blog!

Primal mama,
It was a blast. Can't wait to do it again next year.


TrailGrrl said...


How do you like the Nike Free shoes? I too have issues about wearing VFF's running in very public events, but also sometimes I am afraid they are not enough protection if there is an area with a lot of broken glass, etc. (e.g., parks in L.A. which I visit when there). I was thinking of getting a pair of the Nikes.


Marc said...


I have no problem wearing the VFF at very public events...I decided not to run in them, but I wear them out and about all the time (much to the dismay of my kids ;-))

I REALLY like the Nike Free's. It's a very very light shoe...I haven't checked the specifics, but they might be almost as light if not lighter then the VFF.

they are not on the website???
I'm going to check...


Mark said...

I wear my VFF out in public as well. Last year, I wore them at cub scout campout and I was quickly renamed "Aquaman" or "Tree Climber". It was amusing and I took it that can't take it too seriously.

Of course, it didn't help that I wouldn't eat the camp slop they served - that provoked more question (and abuse) than anything else. I don't mind being labeled the "health freak". I'd rather that than be on all the meds these people are on.

Mark said...

Nike Free's aren't dead! I saw them at the local running store and they said they just got a shipment in. I also checked and they have a bunch...including a sweet purple pair which I may just have to get.

Marc said...


I saw them on the Nike site too. No worries ;-)