Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We Run to Remember.

I was a freshman in high school when the OKC Federal Building was bombed by a crazy guy with a truck full of fertilizer, at 9:01 A.M. on Wednesday, April 19, 1995. I was hundreds of miles away, in a classroom in Texas learning about, I don't know, probably geography with Mrs. Pfalz. By the time we moved on to English that morning, 168 lives had been snuffed out.


I got up at 4:20 a.m. on Sunday, April 25, 2010--early even for a raceday. My sister was still zonked out in the other bed. (Hampton Inn doesn't skimp on mattress quality, FYI.) She had agreed to take this road trip with me, a "gift" for her 21st birthday. She didn't know at the time that we'd be getting up this early.
We showered and dressed. I had intended to get some breakfast at 7-11 before heading toward downtown, but we didn't leave until after 5:30, so I didn't think we had time. After a few wrong turns, we got onto I-40 and joined the unusual (for the time of day) but unsurprising line of pre-dawn traffic exiting on Walker and heading north, into downtown Oklahoma City.

We parked in the parking garage and headed north on foot, covering the distance of about 10 blocks. There were searchlights swirling overhead, pointing toward the sky. We made our way toward them. Before getting to the memorial, we walked past the statue of the weeping Christ in front of St. Joseph's. My eyes got a little misty.

We crossed the street, walking along the side of the Memorial Museum. There was a chain-link fence erected, and there were countless notes, flowers, stuffed animals, and other personal trinkets tied to it. My eyes got a little more bleary.

My sister went on to find a place along the course, by the finish line. I waited with the other 5K runners on a side street. There was a fence ahead of us, separating us from the marathon, half-marathon, and marathon-relay folks, who would get a slightly earlier start than we would. Music blared from loudspeakers, followed by the announcer's calling of the final countdown (as in the act of counting down, not the awesome 80's track). Then the horn sounded, and the runners were off. And off. And off. And off. Ten minutes later, the last of the runners were still crossing the starting line. Meanwhile, the mob of people I found myself in the midst of were doing everything they could to brace against the 50-degree morning and its 25-mph winds. The loudspeakers were playing "Vertigo" by U2, followed by "I Gotta Feeling" by BEP. At the point of the song where the band starts jumping up and down in the video, no fewer than a dozen people around me started doing just that.

Finally, the fence was moved, the 5K walk-runners were allowed to approach the starting line, and then the horn sounded. I crossed the starting line at 6:50 a.m. Many weren't even out of the side street before we were on our way down the course. This was the largest crowd I've ever shared a course with (a total of 21,000, I heard later). I was pressed on every side. I had a nice even pace, and was still getting passed on both sides. It was thrilling. The sun was rising, and the sky was lightening to a soft blue.

Along the route, hanging from the side of every second or third streetlight, was a green triangular banner, point downward. The banners read, "Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon 10th Anniversary," followed by a name. 168 banners posted around downtown. I tried not to look at the names at first, but after a while, I made myself read each of them as I passed. I thought about their families and friends. I wiped my eyes periodically.

We walked down to the basketball arena and turned toward Bricktown. Underneath the overpass and into Bricktown, turning north at the ballpark. Then up the street that rose about fifty feet or more in elevation. Another turn east, away from the city, and another northward turn. I kept waiting for a mile marker to come up, and didn't see any. I started feeling a growing dread. My ankle was starting to wake up and complain, my back was a little tight, and I didn't know if I'd even made it to Mile #1 yet.

It was a great crowd. A nice mix of kids and adults of all ages and sizes. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. I only noticed a few people who looked like they were really struggling.
Another thing I noticed: the "in memory of" bibs. People wore an additional sign, the same size and shape as the race-bib, white with nothing but the words, "I run in memory of" and then the person's name. Some of them were personalized. "My nephew." "My cousin."

Finally, I saw a timer, and a sign. Mile 2! I then spent a few minutes trying to decide if the sign was signifying the end or the beginning of Mile 2. I reasoned that it wouldn't make sense to be the beginning of Mile 2, because there was no sign at the start declaring it to be "Mile 1." On the other hand, I may not have noticed it--logically, I didn't notice the "Mile 1" sign anyway.

[Nevermind the fact that I've participated in five races, three of them 5K's, and no one has ever posted a "Mile X" sign at the beginning of the mile, rather than the end. But logic starts to warp when you're walking 3 miles on an empty stomach at 6:50 in the morning.]

Finally, we made the final turn. I heard the crowd cheering. I saw that another course joined ours on the last stretch, divided by cones and ropes and flags. The "real" race shared our finish line--rather, we shared theirs. So I crossed the finish just a few seconds behind the third place half-marathoner, thank you very much.

One hour, ten minutes--a leisurely time, to be sure. I was just enjoying the walk, stopping periodically to take pictures with my phone (useless pictures, lousy camera-phone).
And the neat thing is, unlike so many other 5K events, OKCMM gives medals to every finisher, in every event. And they're pretty, too. (I got the blue one.)

(Above picture swiped from the OKC Marathon's FB page. Sorry, y'all, I couldn't find a better picture. Thanks for not suing me!)
The great thing about this race was that it wasn't about racing or times (though I know the finishers really did amazing). The overwhelming atmosphere was that this race is about the community celebrating life, remembering the fallen, and turning the tragedy into a motivation to be better people. That's what made this so much fun. And I'll definitely be back--no matter how early I have to wake up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What now?

It took me all of five days before I started looking at races again. I saw in an email that there's a marathon in OKC commemorating the victims of the OKC bombing. Sounds like fun. I have a lot of friends in OK, and could see some people. I tried to sneak a peek at the finisher's medal. That led to a little web-surfing, which led to this website. Oh boy.

I don't think of myself as a materialistic person, at least not in the "gotta go get this new thing immediately" sense (though Lord knows, I could stand to simplify my life quite a bit). I don't really covet things. But I coveted these medals. I craved them. I practically lusted after them. It was a little scary, man. ;- )

This got me thinking--Why am I doing all this? Why do I want to do another half so quickly, when my plan was to do this one, finish, then get healthier before I do the next? Why do I want to rush into it?

The first answer is, I want that medal. I've played team sports before, in high school mostly. I've never been a star athlete. I've never really been honored in any way for athletic achievement. But the finisher's medal--it's not elite, but it's something. There's an element of "I earned this!" that's very cool about it. But the thing is, there was something else driving the desire for a medal. Something darker. Pride. (Not "the kind that my mother has, but the kind in the Bible that turns you bad.")

I've realized that I soaked up all the attention I've gotten for this. I really drank it in. And I still want more. I want that medal and I want praise from dozens of my friends and family members.

There's a way to appreciate all these things that is appropriate and humble and good. I know there is. But in the past week and a half, I caught myself sliding past that point down into the depths of using a finisher's medal and the attention of those in my circle to find personal validation.

That's not the source of my validation. My worth, my purpose, my balance is found in Jesus Christ. I'm here on this spinnin' rock to make His name great, not my own. And running can be a part of that--as long as I don't co-opt my running to become an altar to the greatness of me.

That truth is a hard pill to swallow, kids. Because, like I've said before, these are all good things. The feeling of accomplishment, the feeling of cameraderie and family, the joy of activity and healthy pursuits. These are all gifts from God, and can and should be enjoyed as such.

The temptation, as it always is, is to take these good gifts from God and twist them into something that gives ME glory instead of Him. That's what I caught myself starting to do.

So I came to a decision, and I wanted to tell you about it.

For the rest of this year, I'm not going to participate in any race alone. I'm sharing these experiences with others.

Mi amigo Trevor has already agreed to take part in the OKC with me as part of a marathon relay team. We're looking for 3 more people to compete with us. When we celebrate the finish, it will be the joined celebration of friends accomplishing something together.

Any shorter races I do this summer, 5Ks or 10Ks, will be with other people, like my dad or my sister.

And hopefully, if I can register in time, I want to do another half-marathon in the fall, as part of Team WorldVision, or another such organization, so that my participation will be about bringing attention to a worthy cause, and particularly the work of God's church and God's people in the world.

And hopefully, through these experiences, I'll learn to appreciate running and racing in right proportion, and see past them to the gracious Father who gives us all good things.


So what now? Well, I have to tell you, I'm getting the itch to get back to the gym--which is something I've never thought I would say. I actually WANT TO work out. I want to jump on the elliptical and sweat out a half-hour or 45 minutes. I'm starting to make better food choices, eat cleaner foods, and get more sleep. It seems like the next logical step is to get back to pushing myself physically to accomplish more. Hopefully, as a result, I'll start shedding the 200+ pound fat-suit I've been carrying around for the last decade.

So I still need your encouragement, not to lose sight of my goals just because the first big race is past me. I love your comments. And I could use your prayers, as I start pursuing total health with a renewed vigor. So thanks for your support and friendship thusfar, and stick around, because this page will be my chronicle of the ups and downs of this crazy ride.

Have a great rest of your week. And waddle on, you thunderin' herd!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

5 hours, 31 minutes...

They say you don't sleep, the night before the big race. I guess "they" never slept on the heavenly bed at the Hampton Inn in Lake Jackson, TX. Seriously, most comfortable bed EVER. And I slept like a rock.

They say you should wake up when you wake up, even if it's early. I woke up at 3:30, and then went back to sleep for two hours.

But when 5:30 came around, I didn't want to get up. The bed was warm and didn't want to release me to the cold morning. But after hitting the alarm a few times, I finally got up and got ready.

Had breakfast with the folks in the hotel lobby. They were visible worried. It made me a little more nervous actually. I can't blame them at all--their nearly-quarter-ton son was about to go attempt a distance of 13.1 miles. My mother insisted that, if I felt I needed to stop, to prevent serious injury, I should do so--I wasn't there to impress them. I told her I understood. But it wasn't about them, not mainly. This has always been about me. What i needed to prove to myself.

Driving alone to the beach, I started panicking a little. What was I doing here? Why on earth did I sign up for this? Am I totally insane? The sky was starting to lighten up. Dawn, such as it was on this overcast, cold morning, was breaking.

I pulled into my parking space, walked up to the starting line and the tent, got my timing chip, and got in line. Talked to a Hispanic gentleman holding a large American flag. He's run 43 marathons. He carried the flag in most of them. I held the flag for him while he was in the portocan.

Met up with my friends John and Patrick, who signed up for this race with me. They introduced me to Cain, who was running with them. We shook out our cold limbs, jumped up and down. Stretched out. Waited. 15 minutes to go. I looked for my parents and couldn't find them. Stretched. The National anthem was sung. A prayer was prayed. I prayed. Then the countdown.

And we're off. I had my phone and keys with me, because i couldn't find my folks before the race to hand them off. I stuck them in the pockets of my hoodie. I was walking at a steady 3 mph pace, my comfort zone. Figured I wouldn't lose anything.

About a quarter mile in, I unzipped the hoodie to retie my sweatpants, and unwittingly lost my keys. I noticed this about five minutes later. I turned around, laughing to myself to keep from freaking out. After a couple minutes of walking backwards, scanning the ground, someone stopped me and said that a lady behind them had keys someone dropped. Retrieved my keys, and started heading the right direction again, trying to make up for lost time.

The first leg of the half was a down-and-back that totaled around 4 miles. The beach was pressed flat by the tide, strewn with rocks and shells and small debris, sand slightly rippled by the water. This made the surface a little easier on the joints, but uneven, so every step turned the surface of my soles a different angle. My ankles would be killing me by the time this was all over.

As I was still going "down" while almost all of the other runners were coming "back," I had a near-constant stream of "Yeah Dave! Keep it up! Looking great!" I had written "DAVE!" in bold letters on my shirt, for this reason. And once again, the running community proved how unbelievable nice they were. Throughout the entire race, I was being encouraged by other runners. Elites and novices alike. Everyone was supportive. That's the only way this thing works sometimes, for people like me. The feeling of cameraderie keeps you connected, makes you want to keep trying.

I hit the first turnaround, came back toward the start/finish line area. I cheered on the two or three who were still behind me, and charged ahead ("charged" at my prescribed pace, anyway). As I approached the tent area, I saw my friend Heather walking toward me. Four of my friends from church had driven down to cheer me on. Heather met me first, walked with me, checked up on me. She was an experienced runner, taking this season off, so she knew how i was feeling and what to ask. Then I saw Crissy, Leah, and Maranda with signs. Actually, I could hear them before i could see the signs. They were loud. It was great. They walked with me a little farther when my dad joined us for a few minutes. I saw my mom standing by the side of the "track." She encouraged me to keep going, told me I was doing great. My dad and the girls walked with me a ways farther as we passed the start/finished and continued up the beach, and then let me continue on alone.

After that, the miles started feeling much longer. I had ditched my coat and hat, stuck with a headband and just my yellow tech shirt and longsleeve cotton undershirt. I was getting warm, even under the cloudy canopy. And the miles continued to get longer and longer.

The girls showed up again around mile 6 1/2. Their enthusiasm was undimmed, even as my energy was starting to lag. They walked a bit and tried to cheer me up and keep me going. After a while though, I felt I needed to retreat into my head a bit. I asked them if it was okay if I listened to music, and they said yes, and then told me they'd see me later.

Miles 7 and 8 really took a toll on me. The water stops were few and far between, and in this second segment of the race, a four and a half mile stretch down the beach before a turnaround, it started getting lonely and disheartening. I still got encouraging words from other runners passing me on their way to the finish, but these runners were fighting their own personal battles. The strain was showing on their faces. I started cheering them on, because they needed it as much as I did. I saw Patrick and John and Cain pass me on their way to the end. A few runners cut 25 feet to their left to reach over and give me a high-five before moving back to continue on. But as the half-marathoners all passed me, there became fewer and fewer people on the beach. I started seeing the full-marathoners, fluid/fuel belts mostly emptied, straining and struggling.

The miles seemed infinite. I started cursing my foolhardy decision to do this stupid race. I mocked my own naive plans to do another one of these in the fall. I swore to myself I'd never sign up for a distance race again. My ankles and knees ached. My back tightened up. My stomach growled. My neck and shoulders ached. My feet seemed to turn into giant blisters. I finally approached the Mile 8 sign. Still no turnaround in sight. I prayed for strength. I listened to music. I realized that this, right here, was the furthest I'd ever gone in one setting. Every step past this was a victory. I thought that realization would be a motivator. Not really. I appreciated the personal milestone but was still five miles away from the finish line (and 4.5 miles from my car).

Finally, I saw a runner pass who looked at me and said, "The turnaround's just up ahead, you can do it!" And there it was. I was hoping there'd be a water table, maybe even a chair mercifully placed. Nope, just a couple of signs and an inverted "U" of cones. I made the left turn around the cones, bent over, gasped for air and stretched, and then started back.

Saw a girl in a green sweatshirt who had played "leapfrog" with me through the middle miles. I called out, "The turnaround's coming up, you can do it!" She replied, "I know, as soon as I saw you, i was relieved!" She would later pass me again and finish ahead of me. I was happy for her.

At some point during Mile 9, I realized I was actually doing this. I was 2/3 of the way through, less than 5 miles from finishing.

At Mile 10, I recognized that my "pace" had slowed to a trudge. I was starting to weave a bit to the left and right as I slowly progressed. Also, whenever I'm exhausted, I get hyperemotional (even for me). On my iPod shuffle, I loaded a bunch of songs that had to do with running, fighting, finishing, and not giving up. And as I heard certain lines or choruses, I started bursting into tears. I did my best not to gush, but I felt overwhelmed by the race, my hopes, the physical discomfort, and the thought of the finish line.

Even this song made me start to cry.

Halfway through Mile 10, I saw a familiar figure approaching me. My dad. I asked, "What are you doing here?" (I'm not sure why. I was really tired, and was feeling really alone, I guess.) He said, "I'm here to walk with you the rest of the way." I can't tell you how much that meant to me. My father, the man I want most to be proud of me in my life, walked 2.5 miles up the beach alone to meet me and walk with me the rest of the way. At one point, he turned to me and just said, "You're my hero, bud. You're really doing this." (Even as I type this, my eyes are filling.) As long as I live, this may be one of the best moments in my life.

John, Patrick, and Cain, who had already finished this race, came back and met us around Mile 11, and walked with us. At one point, I was hit with a wave of fatigue, turned to my dad, and chocked up. I said, "This is just really frigging hard." He nodded, "I know."

One we continued. Every 200 yards or so, I had to stop and bend down, stretching my back and hamstrings, dropping into a squat to bend my knees and ankles. I could see the white tent, but it keep sliding father and farther away, like a mirage. Suddenly, we passed the Mile 12 sign. Just over a mile to go! Cars were starting to pass, leaving the beach, but several rolled down their windows, and I recognized the same runners from earlier, sticking their heads out the windows and yelling, "Way to go Dave! You're doing it, man! You're a beast! Kick its butt!"

The last half-mile, the guys peeled away, and it was just my dad and I. Then he let me take the last 100 yards or so myself. I trudged, step after belaboured step, toward the "FINISH" banner. I had given my dad my iPod, so all I heard were the cheers of the girls from church, the guys, the PA announcer, dozens of strangers, my mom, my dad. I lifted up my arm and weakly slapped at the finish banner as I passed under it. And I was done.

I cried. Of course I did. Because I finished. The man who was afraid to let people down, and so was too often afraid to try. The man who felt imprisoned by his own body, a body of his own fearful making. I finished. Five hours and 31 minutes after I had started. I completed a half-marathon.

I thought that the most important word from this experience would be "finished." And it's obviously still important. But what I realize in retrospect, is that a more important word marks my first half-marathon: family. Because I didn't run this race alone. My mom, my dad, John, Patrick, Cain, Heather, Leah, Crissy, Maranda, Mr. Lugo and his American flag, the girl in the green hoodie, the countless runners of all skill levels who cheered me on during the race and congratulated me afterward, the dozens of friends who encouraged me, prayed for me, and cheered me on before and after this amazing Saturday. This great and glorious family. You. You all helped me do this. And I cannot, will not ever thank you enough for that.


What have I learned?

Maybe I couldn't have been ready for this race, but I know I should have been more prepared. I will not make that mistake again.

Because, yes, despite my exhausted vows never to sign up for another distance event, I'm going to do it again. Possibly in the fall. Definitely after I lose at least 80 pounds.

This type of challenge is not worth undertaking without support. So when I run another race, I'm counting on you to help me. To remind me to hit the gym or the track. To chide me when you see me eating junkfood. And to wish me well and pray for me when I suffer the temporary insanity of toe-ing another half-marathon starting line.

Finally, what I learned is that I can do this. I can set a crazy goal and achieve it. I can finish a half-marathon.

And so can you.

So can you.

Waddle on, friends.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ready or Not

I know, it's been a month since we last spoke. Here's what's happened since then...


Shoot, I was hoping the slow fade out and flashback montage would kick in there.

Okay, is too much, lemme sum up: My workouts faded out, to the point where I was just going to the gym once a week or so, and then doing a "long" day every Saturday. The longest distance I reached was 8 miles. (Actually, it was 7.5 miles. I can't lie to you, bloggy blog.) I also took part in the Christopher's Heart Charity 5K (for Team Curtis! W00t!), helped to raise a paltry $75 for research of childhood diseases, and succeeded in finishing a race--something I hadn't done since Halloween (remember the DNF? I do.). So seeing a finish line was a comfort.

And now here we are, WBB. I'm in a hotel room in Lake Jackson, TX, less than 12 hours away from the start of my first half-marathon (the first of many, I hope). I'm gonna nibble on a little chocolate, drink some milk, watch a half hour or so of a documentary on marathoners, and then spend 45 minutes stressing out on the exact angle my race number hangs, as i pin it to my shirt for tomorrow. Everything is laid out. Everything is ready. Except me, maybe.

People have been asking me for the last two weeks, "Are you ready?" Can I answer that? Dare I? Does anyone ever feel "ready" for their first long-distance race? It's like asking a first-time mom if she's ready to undergo childbirth. Ready or not, this baby is happening. "Ready" is running's version of the Loch Ness Monster. (No offense, Marshall.) People swear they've seen ready, but no one knows for sure.

Maybe this is just the pre-race nerves talking. Maybe I'll be "ready" for my next race. But I doubt it. "Ready" people aren't facing challenges they may not be able to handle. "Ready" people aren't pushing themselves to their limit and then a little bit beyond that. "Ready" people play it safe.

I'm not ready. But I'm doing this. Come hell or high tide (depending on how long I'm out there, heh).

John "The Penguin" Bingham's philosophy on his race-day goal is a simple one: "Finish the same day that you start." I love that. Because that's what it's about. I'm not out there to win any awards. The winners will be eating BBQ and on their way home by the time I come close to the tape. My small goal is just to finish the half in 5 hours or less, but if it takes more, that's okay. Because I'll be a finisher.

A finisher. That's something I've struggled with for a good part of my adult life. Finishing things well.

Tomorrow, I'm atoning for all the times I've given up and given in. The times I've sabotaged myself so that I wouldn't come close to greatness, lest I risk falling short and feeling pain or disappointment, or risk letting people down.

Tomorrow, a little piece of personal redemption hangs by a ribbon, waiting to be draped around my neck.

You can have your Olympics, your Super Bowls, your basketball championships. I just want to win the Battle of Stopping Short. I want to take hold of the prize that's due the man who finishes the race.

That's all the glory i need.

11 hours, 11 minutes away. Make a wish.

And as John the Penguin would say, "Waddle on, friends."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Still going, like a great big Energizer Bunny...

Saturday morning, I woke up an hour later than I wanted to, and then spent almost a half-hour with my shoes on, debating with myself whether or not I would actually get up and out the door. I made it to the gym, and hit the track just before 10:30 a.m.

I walked for the next 2.5 hours. I would stop for a few seconds to stretch out a tight muscle, or to grab a couple swigs of G2 (low-cal Gatorade) at every "mile" mark.

56 laps. 7 miles. Another milestone.

I listened to music on and off. Sometimes, if I just wanted time to think, I'd pause the music and just listen to my own breathing. I prayed some, but it seemed forced, like I was using it to distract myself instead of letting it flow naturally. I need to figure out how that will work.

I spent some time imagining ("visualizing" sounds too New Agey) the final 0.1 of the half. What music could be playing? Will I try to sprint the last 500 feet, or will i be too shredded to do more than trudge? Will I cry? (Of course, I'll cry. I'll be a basket-case. Just thinking about it gets me all verklempt.)

One of the songs on my Shuffle that I love running to is Johnny Cash's cover of Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage." It's got a great, quick tempo that keeps my pace up, and Johnny's singing about how he's gonna break his rusty cage and run. Then there's this transition, about 1:20 in--a pause, followed by a key change and shift in tempo. Every time I hear it, I can't help but start sprinting (or the closest thing I can do to sprinting). It's like my own personal "Chariots of Fire" anthem. I don't know why, but it just touches some primal part of me as an athlete.

Here, see what i mean:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trev's a Loser, God love him...

Hey there, WBB readers! (I have faith there's someone out there reading.)

Check out my friend Trevor's blog/vlog about weight loss in 2010! Cheer him on!

Trevor is a Loser!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Yadda Yadda Yadda...

Man, once I stopped blogging on PBB, I got super blog-lazy, didn't I? That's okay, no one is reading this one anyway (yet).

Happy new year, non-existent future readers of the WBB (Waddling Bison blog)! Here's a recap of what's gone on in the last three weeks:

--I attempted a six-miler a week after my last post. Unfortunately, the night before, I didn't eat like an athlete, or someone attempting six miles the next morning. There's a saying that the Penguin says in his books--the problem with carbo-loading the night before a race is that you may have to off-load during the race. So, when I had to stop for a restroom break halfway through Mile 3, I lost time and momentum, and finished Miles 3 and 4 before calling it a day.

--Then came Christmas Week. No workouts.

--Then came New Years week. No workouts still.

--Laziness and lack of sleep abounded.

--I went on a College and Single Adult retreat with my church to Mo Ranch over New Years, and spent three days walking up and down hills, participating in rec-time events, and generally being sore. My leg muscles, my joints, and my back were all bitterly angry at me all weekend. I mean, i was London-tired. You probably don't know what that is. Feel free to ask me sometime. But it's dang tired.

And here we are again. The first two evenings of this work-week were spent with the very important tasks of writing out my goals and action plan for personal growth in the next year (of which health, fitness, and marathon-training are a key part, to be sure), and creating my January budget (so that financial fitness can be part of my life, too). I wanted to make sure I stopped putting those things off, so I gave them first priority. With them done, it's back to the gym, Johnny. (Who's Johnny? I don't know.)

I'm going to the gym in about fifteen minutes, but before I do, I wanted to check in, say hi, and touch on one other issue.


This blog used to be the "Big Loser Dave" blog, during my past attempts to lose weight alone and to try to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser. When I discovered an appreciation (it's not quite love yet) for distance-"woggling," I revamped this space to become the WBB. But my weight issue has been the shadow hanging over all this. A wiiiide shadow.

I still want this blog to be about running, training, and eventually getting healthy. But I want it to also be an encouragement to other waddling runners out there. So I want to be real about this part of my training, too, ya dig?

So I'm going to keep you posted on the weight-loss thing. I'm starting back on Weight Watchers point-counting tomorrow, in addition to the training. Hopefully, I can drop a couple dozen pounds at least in the next month before the big race. I think I read earlier this week in Runners World that every five pounds lost is an extra two seconds off your mile pace. That's a heckuva deal, Brownie. (Brownie? Who's got a brownie?)

Time to be honest. Time to own it.

This here bison weighed in yesterday at 488.0 pounds. That's a big ol' boy.

Time to outrun that fat kid and find a new, faster me.