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Week in Review (WiR): You Mean I Have to Do This Twice?

May 7, 2012

April 30 – May 6

What’s in a Name: As I try and put my recent running accomplishments into perspective, I find myself separating my 3-year running adventure into three distinct parts. Paul 1.0 (Part 1) began on May 12, 2009 with a nice little 1.94 mile run. Paul 1.0 was my shining achievement. 550 miles run between May 12 and Nov. 5; 50 pounds lost; a 5k time of 24:26; a 10k of 51:21. Those were the glory days, before the ITBS (no, not IBS) derailed me for nearly 4 months. I still believe that if my plan was to run the 2009 MCM instead of the 2010 MCM, I would have succeeded.

Paul 2.0 seemed like a success when you look at the numbers (415 miles, 70 hours of running between March and Sept.) but in reality, it was kind of a failure. I never really got back into a groove. I broke 100 miles in a month just once. I ran just twice in August, six times in September. I failed to get myself in shape for the Marathon.

I’m not going to mention 2011 – great year for me personally becoming a father and all, bad year for running.

Which brings me to Paul 3.0, which started on Feb. 9, 2012. So, anyways, now when you hear me mention Paul 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, you’ll know what I’m talking about… or not, whatever.

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Hello Again, Naturally

March 21, 2012

I just went back and checked. I wanted to be completely sure. I haven’t posted on this blog – a blog I co-founded with Mike – since Nov. 17, 2010. Said blog post, which you can read here if you are so inclined, talks about my failure at running the 2010 Marine Corp Marathon. Don’t worry, though, I said, because, and I quote: “2011, here I come.” Yeah, about that.

Let’s step back for a second. For those just joining us, the Running Jerks – Mike and myself – started this blog in July 2009 with the hopes of chronicling our journey to run the 2010 MCM (failure), then the 2011 MCM (double failure). I hope you can see where this is going.

I totally swear that we’re gonna run the 2012 Marine Corp Marathon.

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Wasn’t I Supposed to Do Something?

November 17, 2010

To quote Homer Simpson: “You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is: Never try.”

Yeah, about that.

I’m sure many of you aren’t surprised by the fact that Mike and I failed to run in the Marine Corps Marathon late last month. You know us. We talk a big game but when it’s time back up all that talk, we’re usually napping, eating, playing with Lightsabers, or planning our next move in our decades-long war against cats. We stink. Those of you that believed in us, let that be a lesson to you – Never believe in anything.

Seriously though, Mike and I missed the mark. There came a moment midway through October where I said to myself, “Paul, you are not in shape. You haven’t run consistently in months. You COULD still attempt to run this marathon and you COULD even finish. You also COULD die.”

After all this hype, I wasn’t going to go out there and turn in a 6 hour time. No chance. Not worth it.

Okay, what you are about to read is a list of excuses. Let me be clear on this – I take full responsibility for my failure. My failure is my own fault. That said….

Dude, it totally wasn’t my fault.

Over the last six months, I have had no less than four major MAJOR life milestones happen:

1). I got a new job. A big boy job. A 9-to-5 job. Not one of these work-25-hours-per-week-on-your-own-schedule journalism jobs. A REAL job. A leave-your-house-by-7:30-and-get-back-at-5:30 job. For most people, this is not a big deal. For me, it is a huge deal. Before June, I hadn’t consistently gotten up to an alarm clock since high school. Let me tell you, it sucked. I was constantly tired. Wanna know the first thing I did when I got home? That’s right, I took a nap. I’d wake up at 8 p.m. putz around for 3 hours and then go back to bed at 11:00 p.m. This was my schedule for like four months. I know what you are saying, “Hey, you still had time to run between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.” Yeah well…..

2). I got married. Marriage is a beautiful thing. Sharing lives. Two become one. Establishing a lifetime bond with your soulmate. Wonderful stuff. Planning a wedding is than worse than crippled puppies. You wanna know what Satan does when he’s feeling down? He watches couples plan their wedding. I real pick-me-up for the Prince of Darkness. It’s a lot of work. That took up a poop-load of my time, especially during that last moth. Not to mention the Honeymoon. Who’s gonna think about running when there’s a $50 breakfast buffet waiting? Skinny people, thats who.

3). I bought a house. I know right. Little Paulie is getting all grown up. Moving and settling in to a new place takes time and energy. Not much time, but again, I was napping a lot.

4). Not ready to talk about #4. But let me give you a hint. It involves a surely monkey, an elaborate bait-and-switch, mistaken identity, and being banned for life from Canada.

Again, all these things on their own, not that time consuming. All these things crammed into a four-month period – very time consuming. Those are my excuses, couple that with the fact the Mike really did injure his ankle pretty good and I felt like we needed to raise the white flag and regroup.

That’s right, regroup. This isn’t over. Good thing about the Marine Corp Marathon? It happens every year.

2011 Marine Corp Marathon? You know it.

On Monday, I got back on the horse. No more pesky life changes to get in my way (except maybe some fallout from #4). I’ve had two productive 4-milers the past few days, bout a 10 min per mile pace. They were tough, but remember, I started this in May 2009 not being able to run more than 1/2 a mile without walking. All is not lost.

So here’s the deal. I’m fat again. Not FAT fat, but probably around 215 pounds. I don’t know for sure because I really don’t wanna step on a scale. I’m working on building up the courage. So there’s incentive in this – getting back to 185. That’s the key. When the weight starts coming off, I get obsessed. It’s all a very flimsy house of cards. When I run, I eat better. When I eat better, I lose weight. When I lose wait, I wanna run more. And so on.

To summarize. I sucked for not running the 2010 Marine Corp Marathon. I know this. I really am sorry to those that follow this blog and believed in Mike and I. I really am. But hey, this is going to happen. I will run a marathon.

2011, here I come.

“The Battle for the Bulge…”

July 28, 2010

About a week ago, I get a text from Mike.
“ummm, we had 760 page views today,” it said. “did u take out an ad or something.”
“Wow,” I replied. “I did nothing. Probably a photo you posted.”
“I dunna, alot of ur old post are getting a poo load of hits.” (He really talks like that).
Let me pull back the curtain for a second. We don’t get many hits on our site. We usually top out at about 100 hits on days that we post something. That’s fine. We aren’t trying to be famous or anything, we’re really just amusing ourselves. It’s pretty standard to get about 10-20 hits per day. The thing is, 99% of those visitors aren’t interested in the Running Jerks. Most likely, they were searching for funny dog pictures and Google sent them our way. I’m not joking. This picture alone is responsible for about 75% of our web hits.

How do I know this, you ask? The internet is a wonderful thing. Mike and I don’t know who is visiting our site, but we can find out why. We know that our links on Facebook are responsible for all of our legit hits. We know that the most common searches that lead people to our site are “happy puppy, funny llama, berner puppy, etc.” That’s why I just assumed that one of the stupid animal pictures that Mike posts were responsible for our sudden spike in readership. Hell, I could title my next blog post “MEGAN FOX NUDE LESBIAN WHIP CREAM BANANA SPLIT” and it’ll triple our readership. Again, the internet is a wonderful thing.

I didn’t really think anything of it. The next day, though, we got almost 1,000 hits.

Something else was interesting about the spike: the most popular page was this post. Go ahead, click on the link. Don’t read the post, just check out the pictures. I’ll wait… You back? Good. Notice anything? Don’t say it yet, just keep it in the back of your mind, this will all make sense in a second.

Obviously, I needed to do some good ole’ fashioned Batman detective work. It seems the top referrer to our site was no longer Facebook, it was a message board called “BellyBuilders”. Intriguing. Want to know what’s up with BellyBuilders?

“BellyBuilders” is all about guys with guts – the battle for the bulge and the appreciation thereof. Gainers, encouragers, BHMs (Big Husky/Hunky Males) and their admirers are welcome be they straight, bisexual, gay or unwilling to put themselves in a box in this regard, with the focus being on the growing male form. Here small guys on their way, big guys, and the big guys going further all come together to talk about their endeavours with one another and those who appreciate their efforts. Occasionally discussion will go into inflation and other waistline enhancing pursuits… Whilst this site is intended for an adult audience, generally genital nudity is frowned upon where it’s the clear primary focus of an image. Where a photo has artistic merit or a person just happens to be naked as opposed to their nakedness being the primary focus of the image, the image may be allowed to remain at the sole discretion of the moderation team.”

For those who don’t like reading, here’s the cliff notes: 1). It’s a site for fat guys who like being fat and would like to be even fatter , i.e. BHM, or  Big Husky/Hunky Males; 2). It’s not necessarily gay site (wink); 3). Genital nudity is frowned upon, but not prohibited (double wink); 4). Nakedness is okay, as long as being naked isn’t the point — being FAT and naked is the point.

Remember my post that was receiving the most traffic? The one that featured pictures of me at my absolute fattest? Yup. Ladies and gentlemen, I am (or was, rather) a BHM! I dared not venture deeper into the message board to find out exactly how our site was mentioned, but I got the basic idea. Somehow, someone found our site and said to himself, “That Paul is one hunky/husky male. I bet my buddies at BellyBuilders.com would love to take a gander.”

Some people will say, “Wow, that’s really creepy.” Those people would be wrong. It’s not creepy at all. It’s awesome. I spend quite a bit of time worrying about getting fat again. For what? I have no need to worry. If the draw of sitting on the couch and eating Taco Bell all day becomes too strong, I know I’ll have a place that I’ll be accepted. I wish I knew about BellyBuilders sooner.

There is a problem though — one that needs to be addressed. Our hits have gone way down. No longer is this site sucking on the teet of BellyBuilders (hows that for some BHM imagery). No, we need to get back on their radar. Problem is, I used my best Fat Paul pictures. Wait, what’s this?

It’s post-quiting smoking / pre-weight loss Mike! That should do the trick.

WiR: Let’s Beat Some Celebrities

April 20, 2010

28 weeks and counting: When I want to feel attractive, I hang around with these guys. When I want to feel strong, I go to the park and push around toddlers. When I want to feel accomplished, I find a way to be better than people I see in movies, which is why it’s 12:25 a.m. on a Monday night and I’m researching celebrity marathon times.

Let’s look at this list together, shall we?

Sean Astin, Los Angeles Marathon 2010 (5:16:12): Rudy clocking in at over 5 hours? Come’on man, what Charles S. Dutton think? That’s why you only got in for one play, you have zero endurance.

Will Ferrell, Boston Marathon 2003 (3:56:12): That’s a lie. I’ve seen his pasty-white stomach.

Katie Holmes, New York City Marathon 2007 (5:29:58): New insult amongst distance runners: “You run as fast as Katie Holmes.”

Shia LaBeouf, Los Angeles Marathon 2010 (4:35:31): Bet you’re thinking I’m gonna make fun of Shia? Nope, love the guy. His time ain’t too good, but let’s be honest, if I hung around with robots that turn into cars, why would I need to run anywhere?

Mario López, Saved by the Bell, Boston Marathon 2002 (5:41:41): Seriously A.C.? I really hope that’s a typo. Remember when the gang got drunk and crashed Dr. Turtle’s car and Slater hurt his shoulder and couldn’t play in the big football game? Good episode? Good episode.

Ryan Reynolds, New York City Marathon 2008 (3:50:22): Which brings us to my arch-rival: Ryan Reynolds. Six-pack abs, chiseled chest, ruggedly handsome face, eyes you could get lost in… wait, where was I going with this?

Peter Weller, New York City Marathon 1988 (3:51:26): For those that don’t know, Peter Weller was RoboCop. “Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.” Awesome.

Sean Combs, New York City Marathon 2002 (4:14:54): I may not beat P. Diddy, but I sure as hell can beat The Notorious B.I.G. What, too soon?

Oprah Winfrey, Marine Corps Marathon 1994 (4:29:20): The gold standard. The time everybody wants to beat. Hey, did you hear she allegedly used to be a prostitute? Yup, I went there Oprah. Bring it.

Okay, here’s the stats for last week:

April 11th to April 17th:

Sunday: Off
Monday: Off
Tuesday: 6.05 miles, 9’44” per mile
Wednesday: 6.2 miles, 9’43 per mile
Thursday: 3.1 miles, 9’05” per mile
Friday: 6.2 miles, 10’05” per mile
Saturday: Off
Totals: 21.58 miles, 3:30:06, 9’44” per mile

It should be noted that Friday’s run was in the middle of the afternoon and it was very hot. I almost died. Doesn’t that make you feel sorry for me?

As promised, here is my gameplan – as dictated by my Nike+ “coach” for this week.

Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 2 miles
Thursday: 4 miles

That’s Week #1 of my official marathon training. I’m probably gonna run more than that because I still have some weight to take off from my four months of inactivity this past winter. You can play along at home if you want, or not. What am I, your mother?