Are You Going to #GoTheDist in 2013?

All Runners To Start

If you know me at all, you know I love a spreadsheet. There’s just something about sorting data into rows and columns that appeals to me. And a spreadsheet that tracks my personal progress toward a goal is just irresistible. So, naturally, I was drawn to #GoTheDist when I read it about it over at I Go Through Life in Inches and Pounds. (Detailed instructions on how to join are available there.)

I love the simplicity of it. Pick a quantifiable fitness goal. Break it down into quarterly increments. Then, chip away at it, a day a time, while the spreadsheet does the math and lets you know where you are. And you can see who else has joined and support each other.

My goal for 2013 is to run/walk 365 miles. This was also my goal in 2012, and I was on track until November, when I was sidelined first by the Endless Cough and then by gallbladder surgery. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013.


It’s T-14 days to the Half-Marathon, but I don’t have much of a taper in my plan. Next week’s run is the longest, at 10 miles, and today’s was supposed to be 9 miles.

“Supposed to be”? Oh, yes. I got to 7.5, and then I did this:


I tripped over nothing at all. One moment, I was running along, doing mile splits between 11:50 and 12:40, and the next, I was flying through the air, watching the asphalt move toward me with alarming speed. I landed hard on my hands and rolled to right, banging the heck out of my right leg. My hat flew off. My glasses flew off. I saw blood dripping on the ground and took a few seconds to realize it was coming from my forehead. I scooped up my things and moved to the grass along the bike path.

“Oh, my god, your eye!” exclaimed a guy walking past.

“No, no,” I said. “It’s my forehead. I’m fine.”

He offered to call someone for me, but I waved him off. I walked the 3/4 (or so) of a mile home. It wasn’t until I got home and sat down that I started to feel really lousy. There was blood all over my favorite running shirt. I had scrapes and bruises all over. My glasses were out of alignment. And I hadn’t managed to finish my run.

On the other hand, unlike the ill-fated 11-miler in 2002, this run didn’t end with a sprained ankle. Tomorrow, I rest. Later in the week, some treadmill running. Next Sunday, 10 miles. And I’ll be carrying my cell phone.

K has suggested that I take up cycling instead. At least I’d be wearing a helmet.

It’s Good to Have a Plan

A while back, I started an entry about my half-marathon training plan. I talked about how I had started out with the Couch-to-5K podcasts, then abandoned those in the last couple of weeks in favor of running for 30 minutes while listening to old episodes of Phedippidations (I’m up to somewhere in early 2007 now).  I had been planning to transition to Hal Higdon’s Novice Half-Marathon Plan, but I had chucked that training plan in favor of one built by the Runner’s World site.

But then I fell off that wagon and decided to go back to my friend Hal.

So, here I am. Week 2 of the Novice plan, although I slept in this morning instead of doing my cross-training.  And I’m registered for a 10-K race on the day it says to do a 5-K race.


I joined a gym.

It’s a tiny little gym, not part of a chain. I tried them out with a 3-day pass early in the week, then took them up on their $20/month membership offer. They’ve got your basic cardio machines and a few fitness classes. They offer Spinning and Yoga, but those cost extra. Still, I have a place to do the shorter runs on a treadmill and to put in some time on the stationary bike for cross-training.

If I can get myself out of bed, anyway.


Being a round sort of person, I’ve long had a fear of one day becoming simply too heavy to do something I wanted to do. Banks Lee is living out that fear. But instead of letting it get the better of him and diving headlong into a pint of Cherry Garcia, or getting angry and demanding that Universal make the ride accommodate him, he is taking the incident as a kick directly to the seat of the pants and getting himself in better shape. How will he know he has met his goal? He will be able to get past the test seat and ride “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”.  As Mr. Lee records his own journey, I’ll be following his inspiring blog in my feed-reader.

Speaking of inspiration, my buddy Mike ran the Seattle Rock n Roll Half-Marathon yesterday.  He does some amazing athletic events to raise money for Livestrong. I met Mike in high school, and he was a big guy back then, but – like so many of us – he got much bigger over the years. And then, he lost 138 pounds. He’s still going strong, so think about sponsoring his next challenge.