Category Archives: Training runs

Running for (or away from) Tramp Stamps

In case you missed it over the last few weeks, Bob has become a runner.  Since coming clean about his current condition in one of this site’s most open and honest posts, Bob has turned a new leaf.  Sure he’s started over before and had ups and downs.  So have I.  Haven’t we all?  It’s called life, people.

But this time, Bob seems different.  He seems ready to make lasting change.  In mid-June he set a goal of running 50 miles by August 15th.  But that bar was set way too low.  He completely smashed it by hitting 50 miles on Monday, July 15th (congrats, Dude!).

Instead of celebrating his victory and going back to his old ways, though, Bob upped the ante by doubling down, so to speak.  He vowed to run a total of 100 miles by August 15h.

 Stretching before running

Bob stretching before his run. Who knew excessive running leads to hair loss?

Bob’s confidence must have been quite high when he wrote that post, because he said he was willing to take on a bet.  It probably comes as no surprise, but Bob and I have a hard time turning down bets like this.  And I’m sure you all know how our last bet turned out:

Gold Speedo

Kate looks creeped out, Bob looks terrified, and I look like I’m so happy I’m not wearing a gold Speedo.

I was truly happy that Bob was achieving so much success, and after reading about Bob’s new challenge,  I was very inspired as well.  And I knew exactly what I had to do.

So without thinking, I said I could double his mileage.

Between July 14th and August 15th, I will need to run twice as many miles as Bob does.  After agreeing to some rules (all runs have to be posted so the other person knows the total at all times being the main one), we were all set… Except we didn’t know what the stakes were.  So we turned to all the Virtusites on Facebook for some ideas (yet another reason to like us on facebook – you get to play choose your own adventure with idiots).

So right now, the loser of this bet will have to get a Henna Tattoo on his lower back.  The tattoo will contain the winner’s name worked into a design chosen by the winner.  That’s right, one of us will be sporting a temporarily permanent Tramp Stamp, and I can guarantee you there will be photos… And video.  So stay tuned for that.

And to add insult to injury, Bob didn’t think that was enough.  After throwing around some ideas (one of which would have been awesome but too offensive even for us), we settled on having the loser race in Pink Panties at the Thunder Rolls Adventure Race on August 24th.  You know, to show off the beautiful Tramp Stamp.

If you want to track our progress, you can follow along right here.  Bob is taking this shit very seriously, and I’m pretty sure I’m doomed.  But it will be great motivation for both of us, and it will help get me ready to pace my brother Zack at the Leadville 100 Trail Run on August 17th!!!  How cool is that?

So… Tell us who you think will win?  Me?  Or Bob?

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A New Quest and a New Accountability Tool

Last time we talked, I laid down some embarrassing truth about my  lifestyle. “Coming out” was like taking a massive emotional dump, and I’ve gotta say…I feel better now. And while this has all been very humbling, a lot of positive things have happened because of it.

It seems I’m not alone in this dietary fall from grace, as  I’ve gotten emails from several people in similar situations. As the people around them are rising to meet new challenges, they find  themselves  spiraling  into an isolating, sedentary existence. These email exchanges have gotten me really motivated.  Just knowing that other people are dealing with this same bullshit  has been very uplifting. In one man’s words, “Sometimes the easiest way to inspire people is to let them know they’re not alone.” 

So now that we’re all motivated, it’s time to set some goals, (mine is to run at least 50 miles by August 15th.), and with goal-setting comes the issue of accountability. How do we keep ourselves focused? Follow-through has always been a struggle of mine, so I was excited to hear from Silky about a website/app called Beeminder.  Beeminder is basically a way to break your long-term goals down into a more focused, daily “path” leading to success. Stay on the path and all is well..leave the path and they’ll start taking money from your checking account. Yeah, that’s serious motivation. They also collect your data and put it on a really cool graph that shows you how you’re doing. Check it out:

I'm totally kicking ass right now.

I’m totally kicking ass right now.

50 miles may not seem like a lofty goal to some people, but it’s a big deal to me. I’ve been at this for 13 days now and logged just over 18 miles. I’ve had LOTS of foot pain, knee pain, back pain, chapped butt cheeks and sweat in my eyes, but I can promise you that it’s getting just a little bit easier every day.

 

So..how about a 4th of July run tomorrow morning at Binder?

So Fun Soda Mile (and Trail Running)

First, I’d like to say happy New Year to all of you Virtusites out there!  I hope it’s the very best year for all of you.

We’ve been a little quiet here on the blog lately.  Well, we’re going to try to fix that.  I need to finish several race reports, and I need to write a couple of posts about upcoming events (like the SHITR on Saturday and the MLK2 Ride the Saturday after that).  But to whet your appetite, I thought I’d do a quick post on yesterday’s goings-on: The Soda Mile followed by some trail running.

Soda Popinksi

Obviously Soda Popinski would have won the race had he been there.

After yesterday, I can proudly say that I have surpassed Kage with the highest miles-driven-to-miles-raced ratio.  Her previous best was driving from Edwardsville, IL to Jefferson City, MO for the Kicks in the Sticks race.  That’s roughly a 150 mile drive to run 7.5 miles for a ratio of 20 to 1.  Well yesterday, I drove from Jefferson City to Edwardsville for a ONE mile race for a ratio of (for those of you who are mathematically challenged) 150 to 1.  That’s gonna be hard to beat.

Why would I drive that far for a one mile race?  To support a friend of course.  But also because it sounded like a blast.  It was a soda mile to benefit a friend’s son dealing with cancer.  I had never even heard of a soda mile, but once I understood what it was, I knew I had to go.

Here are the rules:

  1. Drink an entire can of soda.
  2. Run one lap around the track.
  3. Repeat 3 more times.
  4. Try not to barf but if you must, do NOT barf on the track.

I was up in the first heat, and there were some young, thin, fit high school runners in my heat.  Although I knew I wouldn’t be anywhere near the podium, seeing these young, fast dudes confirmed it.  But there was something else I could do better than these young whippersnappers.  I could out-chug them.  My only goal was to slam my diet 7-Up, get the hole shot, and be the leader through turn one – just like Bob does at every cross race.

Getting ready for the soda mile

This is how you should warm up for a Soda Mile. (Photo Credit: Diane Dudding)

Taking the early lead was so easy I almost felt bad for the young bucks.  I pounded the soda, smashed the can in my hand like a man, threw it down, and took off running.  For a brief second, I thought about trying to run the mile as hard as I could.  Then my right calf tightened up, and I reigned it back in.  Not that it would have mattered.  The other guys were much faster than I was.

As I was belching my way over to the straight-away on the track, I heard some monstrous burps behind me.  It was a young guy who went on to be the overall winner with a time of 7:48 or something like that.

I finished lap one, grabbed another soda, and chugged as much as I could.  It didn’t go down as easily as the first one, though.  The third and fourth sodas went down a little more slowly as well.  The first 100 yards after each soda was always the worst.  I tried to open up my gut and throat to let as many belches out as possible.  Every time I hit the straight-away on the other side of the track I would be burp-free, and I could actually run full-speed again (although I wasn’t exactly crushing it since I wanted to save my calf for the trail running later in the day).

I passed a couple of younger, faster guys on the side of the track barfing.  It was hilarious.  I finished in 10:49 or so.  It was one of the slower times in my heat, but that’s okay.  That’s not what this event was about.  It was about helping a friend and having fun.

Finishing the Soda Mile

This and other shots prove that my running form is improving. I have a LONG ways to go, but I’m no longer a heel-striker. (Photo Credit: Kage)

Kage was up next, and she was not really looking forward to drinking the soda and possibly barfing.  But would that stop her?  Absolutely not.  We all knew that Kage was going to step up and chug 4 sodas and run the fastest mile of the day.  And here’s a video to prove it:

Kage finished the first lap with no problems.  There was no barfing.  I know…  Disappointing.  Before Kage started her second lap, Patrick and I informed her that she had not actually finished the entire can.  Well, here’s what she thought about that:

Kage Middle Finger

I don’t think she cared about what Patrick and I thought.

Kage probably drank half of each can (if we’re being generous), and she finished her mile in 25 minutes.  Okay, that’s not true.  I actually don’t know what her time was, but I think it was around 9 and a half minutes or so.  And it didn’t really matter that she didn’t drink all the soda.  The spirit of a soda mile is all about fun.

Our friend Sara – who broke out of prison with us – was in the last heat of the day.  I think she actually drank all four of her sodas and successfully completed the mile without barfing.  She rocked it!

Sara at the Soda Mile

She’s WAY too happy to be on her fourth Orange Soda.

The soda mile was a lot of fun.  It was very laid back, and no one took it too seriously.  The top three runners received their awards: Six-packs of soda.  We later found out that the event raised $2,511.00 for our friend Lindsay’s family.  And that is very cool.

After the race, Kage and Patrick (of 100+ Project fame) were nice enough to take me running on their local trails.  The trail through the Big Woods was fantastic.  The other trail was great too, but I really enjoyed the Big Woods.  I won’t bore you with the details, but here is a synopsis followed by some photos:

  • The trails were great.
  • The company was even better.
  • The bridges were super slick.
  • Wild Running is way too much fun.
  • We spotted Sasquatch.
  • I learned about (and ran through the ruins of) the Mississippi River Festival from the ’70’s (Here’s a cool video that shows some of the trail and relics).
  • We had some great conversations and laughed a lot.
  • We covered 9.75 miles (with just a bit of walking at the end).

And now for the photos:

SIUE Trail Running

The beautiful trails were practically right on the SIUE campus.

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Remnants of the Mississippi River Festival at SIUE

Although it looks like I’m trying to poop, I was actually trying to lift an old cable left behind from the Mississippi River Festival.

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Patrick the Future Failure

The SIUE campus has lots of different sculptures to keep us entertained. Here we see Patrick the Future Failure.

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Kage in a cage

No, she wasn’t trying out for “Showgirls 2: Maw Maw in Vegas.” Patrick noticed this and said, “Hey, we should put Kage in a cage.” So we did.

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Sasquatch on SIUE campus

While Kage was taking care of bidness, Patrick and I spotted the elusive Lukesquatch.

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Don’t forget about the SHITR on Saturday and the MLK2 ride next Saturday!  I hope to see you there!

Kicks in the Sticks is this weekend

At long last, a competitive trail run has made its way to Jefferson City. This weekend, the Kicks in the Sticks is going to happen and I’ll be there with my super-hot feyoncee, (yes, I spelled it wrong on purpose), on a quest for trail running glory. I fully plan to dominate the 30-39 y/o male  260+lbs category….if there is one. If there isn’t, I think all of us fatties should throw $5 in a hat and let the winner take all.

Who else is going?

Rumor has it our man Brandon Lepage will be making his triumphant return to the race scene, and it’ll be nice to see that guy again.

Red shorts make you faster

If you live in Jeff City/Columbia, there’s really no reason to miss this event.  Come on out and support local racing; if we’re lucky this will be the first of many. I’ve heard rumors of free beer at this race..

Can’t get this thing to blow up any bigger for some reason.

In case you can’t read the flyer, info can be found at www.kicksinthesticks.com and www.jeffcityrotaract.com .

The Morning Runs

This is just a quick post for any one who might be interested.  In preparation for a slew of upcoming adventure races, we’re gonna be running every Tuesday morning from now through the end of summer. Specifics regarding times and location will be posted under the “Virtuesdays”, (pronounced Veertoozday), tab.

If you don’t see a run posted or you want to invite people to one of your own, do it. The more the merrier.

I’m sure there’ll be other stuff going on as well, but there will be a run every tuesday, weather permitting. And when I say weather permitting, I mean the run only gets canceled if the weather is so bad it would warrant a canceled adventure race. Like, say… a tornado or something.

As always, all skill levels are welcome and we hope to see you there.

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