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, September 20, 2014

Crazy and insane

A few weeks ago, I registered for the Columbus marathon. At the time, I had seven weeks to train for it. Fortunately, I had been maintaining an aggressive running schedule since completing the Sunburst Marathon in May.

I felt that my training plan for Sunburst worked for me. While I bonked badly, I knew it wasn't due to poor training. When I registered for Columbus, I simply chose to resume my Sunburst training plan.

Today, I needed 20 miles. I'd ran my previous 20+ milers on my own, but this time I felt like I needed something extra, so I posted a request on the local running group's Facebook page. I said, "I need 20 miles at an 9:50/mi pace ... that's my target pace for Columbus." I got one response from someone named Maureen.

I was terrified. Maureen is a local legend. I'd followed her on Facebook, and knew that she regularly ran ultras, mudders, Spartans, ragnars, 200 mile relays, and even crazier events. She had recently completed a training goal of 300 miles in one month! I was not even close to being in her league. Maureen said, "we can run 9:50. That'll be a good pace for 20 miles." What had I gotten myself into?

I wished that I had a good excuse to back out of running with Maureen. I was more scared of running with her than I was running 20 miles. Unfortunately, she showed up at the right place at the right time ... and with more than a little fear and no idea of how I would do it, I started that 20 miler with Maureen.

We ran a few "slow" miles to warm up (all under 9:30/mi), and then we averaged a sub 9:00/mi for 16 miles! I'd never ran that far at that pace. It was ridiculous! We finished the 20 miles in 3:03:58 (final pace of 9:11/mi).

Maureen did something amazing for me that day ... she showed me that I was much further along in my training than I thought I was. I've been training solo for so long that I hadn't truly pushed myself. I still don't think I was slacking off when I ran by myself, but I was capable of so much more. I had this run in me all along, but I had no idea it was in there. It took a gifted and patient runner to show me the way.

It turns out Maureen and I have a lot in common. I've got a lot of training runs ahead of me as I get ready for Columbus and she has offered to continue training with me so that I can run the best race possible. I'm thankful for her encouragement, insight and willingness to help me.

Today's run was hard. I was completely spent afterwards. I also feel incredibly satisfied ... not just with my performance, but in making a new friend.

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