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, May 31, 2014

Marathon Accomplished

I did it. 4:56:56 (11:18 / mi).

I may not have hit my target pace this morning, but as I crossed he finish line, I set another personal milestone ... 1000 total miles logged over the last year.

I started logging my miles run in June 2013. As I was working through my marathon training plan, I realized that I was really close to finishing the marathon and hitting exactly 1000 miles at the exact same moment. I really wanted that to happen.

So, I did it. I've ran 1000 miles in a year. Tomorrow, I'll post more thoughts about the actual marathon experience. For now, I'm going to watch a music video ...


Friday, May 30, 2014

Milestone Shirt

Tomorrow is the day! I run my first full marathon.

I had a special shirt made just for this occasion. Here's a picture of the back of my shirt ... 

It's a milestone shirt with 16 icons representing significant points in my life. I had a hard time figuring what I wanted to wear across the finish line, so I had a custom shirt made that included everything.

From the top left, they are ...
1- born in Alaska
2- became a born-again Christian
3- Lions drafted Billy Sims and made me a Lions fan
4- learned to "never stop loving Jesus" in ABT youth group
5- spent a summer in Liberia with New Tribes Mission
6- married a hottie who is way out of my league
7- became a youth pastor (ABT gets another shout out!)
8- became the father of an aspiring computer technician
9- Ellie, I miss you
10- became the father of an aspiring artist
11- earned my Master's degree (GRTS)
12- moved to Indiana and started teaching at Keystone Schools
13- in Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner, season 6
14- ran my first marathon
15, 16- I'm not done living an abundant life ... pressing onward because the possibilities are endless!

That's my story. Tomorrow, I wear it through the streets on South Bend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New toy

Got my new GPS watch today ...

It's a nice watch too ... a Garmin Forerunner 910XT. It's really nice. It's also quite expensive.

Rose and I have officially passed the one year anniversary of maintaining our weight loss. Our health insurer has a program that if you lose 10% of your weight, they will give you $500. We already got that. If you keep it off for a year, they'll give you another $1000. With that money, I decided to splurge on a deluxe, super nice watch. I've been running long enough that I think I'll definitely get good use from it.

And I haven't actually my watch yet ... it has arrived in the mail safely (I know this because of online package tracking). My watch is at home, but I'm at work ... I suspect the next 90 minutes will be agonizingly slow ...

Monday, May 19, 2014


With my taper starting this week, I knew this was my last shot for a while in getting a sub-seven mile ... after last week's debacle (miscounting of the laps involved), I got the lap count right.

Unfortunately, in the pic my watch is upside down ... still, the time is what matters. Now, I can stop chasing that goal for a little while and just focus on Sunburst ...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One year later

I was at SQLSaturday Detroit in 2013 when Tina Walters called me on the phone and told me that I had been accepted into season six of Fort Wayne Smallest Winner.

Here I am one year later at the same event ... 

What a difference a year makes, eh?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Failed mile

Every now and then I run a single mile as fast as I can to see how far I've come. My current record is 7:02. Today, I tried it again on the track at Spiece. I really wanted to get my time under 7:00.

Nine laps equals one mile. To get my goal, each lap would need to be 0:46 or better. That would even leave me a six second cushion.

I was flying around that track, and I was feeling good. I knew I was ahead of pace, and when I counted off my last lap, I stopped my watch and started walking a few cool down laps. When I looked at my watch to see my time, I saw a number that made me furious ... 6:05.

I knew that I wasn't THAT fast ... I'd probably only ran eight laps. I double checked my watch (which has a lap counting feature), and sure enough, that's exactly what I had done.

Losing count sucks, because I would have definitely nailed my first sub-seven mile ... Oh well, I guess I'll get it next time.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Goose poop and Bambi

My longest run before the full marathon ... felt much better than last week's 20 mile run. I tweaked my fueling strategy, and it paid off! Time: 3:39:25 (9:40 / mi)

I didn't see many running club buddies on the trail today, but I did see a lot of geese ... and they sure were a hissy bunch. You'd think I was the one who had pooped all over something that they valued instead of the other way around.

I also saw two deer that were kind of trapped on the trail. The river was pretty close on my left and there was a long, tall fence on my right. They were clearly spooked and they could only run towards me or away from me. I'm glad that chose to run from me! I kept thinking of that scene in Tommy Boy where the deer wakes up in the car and goes crazy ... I didn't want to be the victim of Bambi rage.

I ran behind them and tried not to get to close, but I was also worried about my pace. I was moving pretty good and didn't want to sacrifice time. I was actually paced by a couple of deer for a little over half mile! Eventually, the river peeled away from the path, and my wild running buddies were able to disappear into the woods.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

20 miles?

First time running 20 miles ... one of the most grueling physical challenges I've ever completed. I shudder to think that there's another 6.2 in a full marathon. Time? 3:22:25 (10:33 / mi)

Fortunately, I ran into several friends along the way. It keeps you honest, because you never know who you're going to see on the trails ... well, actually, I had a pretty good idea who I would see because I am a member of the local running club. We have a Facebook group where we can share our running plans and we might pick up a running buddy or two. There was a group doing 20 miles that day, and I would have preferred to join them, but I needed an earlier start, so I ran solo.

My particular route was a beautiful section of River Greenway that stretches between New Haven and Fort Wayne. I started fairly strong, but started to noticeably slow down after my first five miles. By the time I had finished ten miles, I had slowed down even more.

The last two miles were little more than a walk. I've heard a lot of folks talk about "hitting the wall" around 18 miles, and I felt it. Let's just say that if that wasn't the wall, then I'm in trouble.

I definitely need to reevaluate my in-run fueling. Physically, I did it without problems, but the lack of "juice in the tank" as the run wore on has left me a little worried. Can I do this marathon? It's less than a month away!