Running For My Life (And Paying For It Too)

McDonalds Half Marathon Logo

no, the irony is not lost

Yesterday I did what no normal human being should do: I signed up to run a half-marathon.

It should be no secret to you all by now because I’ve talked about it, but I do that a lot: talk about stuff and then not really follow through. This time I have to follow through. Wasting $65 is not something I’d like to do!

I don’t hate running as much

The last thing you heard me say about running was how much I dislike it. Well, things have changed.

I don’t hate it. I don’t even dislike it. Sometimes I don’t like how I feel after I push myself, but I think that’s normal anyway. I never liked how my body felt like falling down and not getting back up after a hard workout at the gym. Fat people are generally stagnant; Newton’s First Law is pretty spot on.

My wife and I jog three times a week, and I actually look forward to it (aside from the tremendous heat we have had lately). Yesterday after our jog, she said “I just want you to be around for a long time.”

Two races down

You can see over in the sidebar the list of races I’ve done and what I’m registered for. I’ve officially done more races this year than any past year. Again, I use the term “race” very loosely, but I am competing with myself. Eventually it’ll be challenging for my wife as well. πŸ˜‰

I plan to sign up for more (I almost signed up for a 4 miler in a couple weeks but I am trying to keep the budget light this month) before then. I need to get a 10K in, and I like these little 5K short races to see how well I’m improving.

But why a half-marathon? Didn’t you know that’s a really, really long way?

Quite simply, I wanted the challenge. I’ve done a 10K already four or five times. I know I can do them. I know it takes me a while, but I know I can do them. Right now the idea of running 13.1 miles makes me almost want to cry, and I’m using it as motivation.

Maybe I could run a half-marathon as a fat guy, but I really would prefer not to. So it’s incentive to keep losing weight. By running it I will have accomplished a huge goal that not many guys like me have accomplished. The weight loss is almost the side-effect.

How I’ll train

Now this is where things might get a little non-traditional. I haven’t decided fully how I will train. Reading the endurance chapters of The 4-Hour Body I found ways to improve speed, but they seem to assume you can already run a 5K. I can run about a .5K before I have to start walking.

I’m following a few blogs by runners (GetFitSlowly and NoMeatAthlete), and I’m looking for a couple more. @fitmacdaddy said I should check out Brian Mackenzie, and when I did I realized he’s “The A**hole” Tim talks about in the book. I’ll be reading him as well.

I’m sure I’ll get more into specifics later, but I’m planning to do mostly the HIIT-type stuff that will reinforce the “suspension” of my running. I can tell that my feet and that muscle that pulls your foot up are not used to doing that. If I strengthen my legs, feet, glutes, and core then I’m certain my times will improve.

I also got new shoes

After Kathy and I finished the 5K this past Saturday (I’ll do a recap this week) we decided to get new shoes. I’ve been looking for an excuse since tossing my oldest pair, and she’s been running in casual sneakers that have been giving her blisters.

Side story: being relatively poor in Paraguay, she’s not used to buying good new shoes. We started in clearance at DSW and found a sweet pair of New Balance, but she had been looking for something darker. While I was trying on my shoes, she saw a grey pair of Saucony and said she wanted those if they fit. She didn’t know the price. My baby ended up saving me about $25 by going with the Saucony. πŸ˜‰

nike lunarfly+ 2Anyway, so my new shoes are awesome. I’m running in a pair of Nike Lunarfly+ 2. I had always been an Addidas man until I realized that what a toe box was and how important it is to have a comfortable one. At a real running store I had bought a pair of New Balance with a wider box and pronation control, but they are very clunky and heavy. These Nikes are a great balance of comfort, width, and weight. By far the best shoes I’ve run in.

Training started already

A guy at work asks me occasionally how my training is going, and I had been telling him it hadn’t started yet. Then I finally realized that it’s going pretty well. All of these small races and the jogging we do to train for them are part of this half-marathon training. I’m currently on the “jog 3 mins, walk 90 seconds, jog 5 mins, walk 2:30, repeat” week of the C25K training, and I imagine we’ll be there a couple more weeks. It’s hard to get past that second 5 minute jog.

But all in all, I’m happy. I feel stronger in the leg, and I believe it’s making me eat right. Getting a reminder 3 times a week how much it sucks being fat is good motivation to stop being fat!

Ask me how it’s going from time to time and tell me your experiences. I’d love to hear them! Running/training tips are always appreciated!


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  1. Good for you man! You’ve done what I’ve avoided for the longest time. Actually talking with my wallet. You’ll do awesome and can’t wait to hear how this goes!


    • Thanks, Ryan! I’m sure I’ll post about it fairly regularly here. πŸ™‚ Hey…if I’m lucky I can even develop an ebook or report around it!


  2. Did you read the stuff about shoes in the ultraendurance chapter? Or my posts about shoes?

    Ever try running barefoot in a field on grass or sand on a beach? Try it, it is pretty amazing feeling. Wearing VFFs is very close to that.

    Probably time to start increasing the intensity of your training too. I have started recommending and will start doing it myself soon, I think you could do it.

    How long are your runs that you do 3 times a week? Doing and sprinting during them yet?

    • I haven’t read the second endurance chapter completely yet, but I do vaguely remember your post. πŸ™‚ I’ve also read other blogs by runners who don’t like VFFs. I try pose stuff when I run, and it feels weird. I guess that means I’m starting to do it right. πŸ™‚ Not bad, just different. I am paying special attention to landing mid-foot and shortening my strides. These nike shoes actually make it way easier to do that than my NBs did. I’m doing some research on the types of training I can do that don’t involve long runs. Partially because I don’t have time for long runs, and partially because I buy into what TF says in the book!

      The runs are about 2 miles for now, because that’s how far we get based on the schedule. If I keep going with this plan, they’ll be around 3 miles. Haven’t done sprinting yet, except for on occasion. Right now a solid jog for me is high-intensity, and we’re changing pace every 3-5 minutes.


  3. It sounds like you got a plan. πŸ™‚ I like your focus on the goal and I’d go for the half marathon too (if I’d do any running at all, that is). I don’t see the point when people say “you can’t be serious to do X or Y” – that’s the reason we set goals, to have something to focus on.

    I say, go for it! πŸ™‚

  4. GREAT JOB on signing up for your first half marathon! Just getting the credit card warm and making that purchase is half the commitment! Really, it is! I promise! I’ve done several half marathons and one full marathon and I can tell you that you will feel SO proud of yourself once you are done. I highly suggest the Novice half marathon training program found on Hal Higdon’s is a well-respective running expert and his plans are do-able and build your mileage slowly. He has training plans for all distances and levels of experience! I really applaud you just diving right on in! It’ll be fun! I look forward to reading about your training progress!

    • Katie, thanks for the link and encouragement. πŸ™‚ I’ve heard of Hal Higdon before, and I believe his is the training plan they’re going to use for our training team at work.

      I’ve said for two years I was going to do this, and this is the first year that I actually made the commitment financially. It’s sort of scary, but honestly I’m pretty excited about it.


  5. Jason,

    This sounds awesome. I remember when I decided I was going to do a 10 miler. At that point I had never run more than 3 miles in my life.

    If you keep up the training, you will meet your goal.

    My only advice is to beware that little voice in your head which says “I ran 6 miles today, I can eat whatever I want.” That’s the sure path to weight gain even while under rigorous training.

    Best of luck!

    • Tom, that little voice is precisely why I’m fat today. πŸ™‚ I’m working on removing that one with the truth: I have plenty of energy stores that I’m trying to get rid of!


  6. I can’t remember if I mentioned this in the comments of on one of your posts, but you may want to look into the Galloway Method – basically an intentional run/walk plan for people running longer distances (eg half marathon or longer.)

    • Part of my brain thinks you had mentioned it to me before, but I appreciate you mentioning it again because I can’t remember. πŸ™‚ I’ll check it out!


  7. Good luck on your first half! I was 70 pounds heavier than I am now when I did my first half, running lighter is much more enjoyable, so good luck with continued weight loss!

    I too would advocate the Jeff Galloway plan – even 3 years later, I plan to use the run/walk method to complete my first full marathon next month.

    At some point, one day on a run everything will click, the endorphins will kick in, and you will experience the runners high. Then you’ll spend weeks and months trying to feel it again…. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for your well wishes and the recommendation, Kris. πŸ™‚ I never thought so many people would come over encouraging me. You all just might get me across that finish line! πŸ˜‰


  8. Congrats on signing up for your first half! I have no doubt that you will smash it as long as you put some decent mileage in before race day.

    How is you training coming along?


    • Ross, I have bad news! My training was interrupted by a pretty solid bit of back trouble. Completely unrelated, but I haven’t had enough training to get the half done in November.

      However, I have other plans and I’ll be posting about it fairly soon. I said I was going to complete a half this year, and dangit I’m completing a half. πŸ™‚


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