Monday, September 12, 2011

I Believe It's Jogging. Or Yogging. It Might Be a Soft J.*

I thought about writing a post about September 11. However, I'm not sure there's anything else I can add to the body of work that already exists about that terrible day, and so I won't try.

But today is September 12. All we can do is keep on moving forward, which is what we had to do on September 12, 2001.

To that end, I'm taking on a new challenge.

Today I start training for the Richmond half-marathon on November 12.

I have a bizarre relationship with exercise. I've had constant battles with it all my adult life, although I've been much more diligent in the last 18 months or so, ever since I did the P90X program in 2010. I'm a small guy, barely 5-foot-3, but on the day I started P90X, my weight had ticked up to about 152 pounds (about 30 pounds heavier than the day I graduated from high school). When you weigh 152 pounds, it's easy to convince yourself that you're not overweight, as long as you put aside the teensy fact that you're not much taller than a Smurf.

I was, indeed, Chubby Smurf.

Four months later, I was down to 132 pounds. I've more or less kept the weight off, although I've lost some of the muscle mass I built up through P90X. Can't win'em all. By the way, if you've ever been tempted to try P90X, let me assure you that it works. It's hard, it's miserable, and it's very time-consuming, but in 3-4 months, you will actually look as good as you probably think you do. And it will make everything else in your life easier. I cut a good two minutes from my average pace for the mile.

Anyway, exercise is a lot easier when you have a fixed goal in mind, and so I've decided to take on this half-marathon. I've found a nine-week training program for beginners, one that will slowly but steadily increase my weekly mileage until the race. My goal is to finish the race in 2:15, although that might be pushing it. It's a four-day a week program, with the longer runs on the weekends, so it seems manageable, given my job, my family, writing fiction, and hitting the sauce pretty heavily.

If you've been thinking about taking on some similar "I hate this, but I know I need to do it" challenge, chime in in the comments, get on that, and we can suffer together. I'll post updates on how the training is going.

And let's see if we can serve the Grim Reaper a big old shitburger (to borrow a line from Major League), shall we?

*If you don't know the movie that today's blog title comes from, I don't EVEN KNOW YOU ANYMORE. 


  1. Bravo to you, David! I'm working on the old losing weight, getting into shape thing, too. My hubby and I are about 7 weeks in and loving it, hitting the gym about 5 times a week. We're not as ambitious as you are to take on a marathon, but we're thinking about doing some organized 5K walks while the runners run... sounds wussy now that I type it. : ) At least we're up off the sofa. : )

  2. Good luck to you! I hate running.. tried it and I can't do it. I'm more of a weight-training gym rat.. when I'm not stuffing my face with mini-muffins and brownie bites.

    That's awesome about the marathon. Will be cheering you on!

  3. Good luck with training! I'll let you know how tough the Grim Reaper is. He and I are gonna tussel on Sept. 24 in Nashville when I also will run my first half marathon sans the 8 week program. I'm expecting quite a fight, but I still plan to kick his ass.

  4. thanks everyone.

    @Natalie - 5x/week sounds pretty ambitious to me! that's great.

    @Sheri -- do the mini-muffins double as weights?

    @Marissa - you're my running idol now. I can't run as fast as you. the circle is complete. Now you are the master.

  5. Good for you! I also signed up for a 5K "trauma run" fundraiser with 15 scary obstacles such as crawling through muck and clambering over walls. It's (ulp) this Sunday. It has interfered a bit with my martini imbibing, but well worth it. I'm excited!

  6. David. What up? After my post today, my boy Paul Joseph suggested I make sure I was following your blog. I wasn't, so I took care of that right now.

    Nice to meet you, homes. I look forward to getting to know each other.

  7. Jenny -- hope your race went well. And now you can get back to martinis!

    Matthew -- thanks for stopping by. Good to meet you as well. Paul's a great guy, I've enjoyed getting to know him these last few months.

  8. great work on the half marathon training - great way to get in shape and have a significant (yet doable) goal as the end game.

    as a veteran of the three 10 mile plus races in the past nine months (including two half marathons) can definitely attest that while the training can be brutal, the races themselves are awesome!!!

    good luck!