Thoughts on fitness, health, good nutrition ... and running.

Welcome to Bald Man Running, a blog launched by Frank Murphy on January 1, 2015.

In March, 2013 I was selected as a contestant for the sixth season of Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner. Through this amazing program, I learned about good nutrition, sound exercise and accountability. By October, I would lose over 88 pounds (almost 37% of my original weight)! One of the many things I acquired through FWSW was a love for running. You can retrace my weight loss journey and discover how I became a runner by reading those entries labeled "fwsw" ...

Note: Many of the blog entries on this website predate 1/1/2015. Prior to launching BMR, I had written articles for various projects, and I have imported many of them into this blog (labeled "retro").

Saturday, April 26, 2014

18 Mile redux

Two weeks ago, I ran my first 18 miler. I repeated that distance today.

2:54:10 (9:40/mi) ... that's 36 minutes faster than last time!

This is one of the cool things about running ... you can track your improvement. As you get faster and stronger, it shows up in measurable ways.

On my last 18 miler, it was about finishing. Today it was about dominating. I felt that I did that.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tough run

Today is my daughter's birthday. She would be fifteen years old if she were still with us. I know that this day is always my most difficult day of the year. In the past, I've isolated myself and tried to just make it through 24 hours without completely falling apart.

Last year, I ran a 5k on her birthday, and that was a miserable experience. I was still horribly out of shape and part of the run went through a cemetery. I would not have signed up for the race had I know that ahead of time.

This year, I'm in the middle of my marathon training plan. This weekend called for an 18 mile run. I've never ran that far before. My wife decided to do it with me, so we both took the day off work (a Monday) and planned to do the weekend run on this day. She would ride a bike while I ran.

The weather was cold, rainy and windy. I was unsure of how to fuel for this run, and was still ignorant about many other things related to distance training. Strangely, this run wasn't as bad as it could have been. With Rose by my side, we talked and were able to get each other through the day. It wasn't easy or fun, but it was a victory.

As far as my pace goes, well ... I struggled with that too. It took 3:32:47 (11:49 average pace). It wasn't about the pace, it was about imposing my will on an obstacle and conquering it.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sweet Sixteen

I ran sixteen miles this weekend! It was the farthest I've ever ran.

I hooked up with some folks through the Fort Wayne Track Club. They have a page on Facebook where people post their running plans and ask if anyone wants to join them. I saw a group of folks planning on a 16 miler, and I decided to join them. I didn't realize just how much hill work was involved, but I did it.

Running with new friends was really cool. It kept me on pace. The really cool thing was that at mile 15, I ran my fastest mile of the whole run. I still had something in the tank after 14 miles. That felt good to discover that, and it helped build my confidence that I just might be able to finish a marathon.

Of course, I was really sore into the next day. That kind of eroded my confidence that I might be able to finish a marathon.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Two words

Today, I had an opportunity to play a small part in our company chapel service.

(Note: I work at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company where we have an employee-led chapel service once a week. How cool is that?)

The coworker in charge of today's chapel service asked if I would be willing to help her illustrate the meaning of transformation. She was going to share some of her personal transformation journey, and then another coworker would share as well. To conclude the chapel service, she was going to show a music video. It was during the video that I had my opportunity to play a small part. Before chapel, she had asked several folks to stand up and hold a large sign describing their own personal transformations. Each sign was two sided and carried a simple message on each side. We were to hold up our signs to first show our "before" issue and then after a brief pause turn the sign around to show our "after" term of transformation.

Because my health journey has been so public, she asked if I would hold a sign. I was flattered and readily agreed. She wanted to know what words I would like written on each side of my sign. I thought, "how can I best summarize my transformation in only two words?"

My first idea was "fat" and "healthy." I didn't think that would be appropriate, so I kept looking for a better set of terms. "Unfit" and "fit" seemed too narrow. Eventually, I found a word pair that felt nearly perfect. I choose "apathy" and "zeal."

A little over a year ago, I was living an unhealthy lifestyle. My problem wasn't simply being unhealthy … it was that I didn't care. I knew what I was doing. I knew it was dangerous and would have lasting consequences, but between willful ignorance and apathy, I had made peace with it. While my physical transformation is far more visually obvious, the true transformation took place once I cared enough to seek the help I needed. That's where God came in and used Smallest Winner to continue my transformation.

I really do want others to benefit as I have and I am committed to helping people discover a solution for apathy towards their health. When someone starts caring, they start changing.

Where to start? How do you replace apathy with zeal? I'd start with prayer. Ask God to do two things: 1) help you want to change, and 2) help you act upon that newly acquired "want to."

Philippians 2:13 "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose."