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").

Monday, October 20, 2014

Three goals

Note: I'm not sure where this "three goal" idea comes from, but I heard it from somebody else a long time ago. If you know the source, please let me know.

I go into a race with three goals ...
1) a "would be crushed if I didn't meet" goal,
2) a reasonable, yet challenging, "push myself and could hit it" goal, and
3) a "you've got to be crazy" goal ...

In turn, those goals for Columbus were 4:30, 4:15, and 4:00.

I thought I still had a shot at 4:00 around mile 16. I had about four minutes to make up at that point, and finally realized that if I did get it down to zero, I was unlikely to have enough left in the tank to finish strong. I didn't want to lose 4:15, so I tried adjusting my pace and expectations ...

The 4:15 pace group was breathing down our necks for the last 8 miles or so. We stayed just ahead of them, and I had enough for a strong kick at the end (my last 1/2 mile was a sub 8 pace).

(Incidentally, my three goals for my first marathon were finish, 4:30, 4:20.)

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Ok ... Today's been an incredible day, and normally I would have been all over Facebook, but I've been in self-imposed media blackout because I DVRed the Lions/Saints game and I didn't want any spoilers ...

First, I ran the Columbus full marathon with Maureen, and she came through in a big way. Without her help, I wouldn't have succeeded today. I had run my first full marathon in May 2014 and notched a 4:56:56. Today, I ran it in 4:11:14! Let that soak in for a second ... that's an improvement of 45:42!

My 2nd half was only 38 second slower than the first half. It was an awesome, exciting, fulfilling day. Thanks to my wife, Rose, and Maureen for getting me through it!

Second, my son Tim and I are on the same Ultimate team (at Brookside), and we won big. I love how well our team plays as a team. It's a privilege to play with these guys. Go Llamas!

I also got to watch the Lions after our Ultimate game. I won't give any spoilers here.

I'll cap the evening off with a little hot tub time ...

It's been an awesome weekend ... I will sleep soundly, I think.

Thank you to everyone for their support, encouragement, kind words, and prayers. When I finally got on Facebook, I had 47 notifications! What a blessing it was to read through so many neat comments!

I am definitely the sum of many parts ... My friends and family inspired me to get off the couch and take responsibility for my own health, equipped and encouraged me to live a healthy lifestyle, helped me find joy in exercise (especially running!), and dared me to dream that I could finish a marathon. My successes are simply the returns on the investments of so many people.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Show up

Not that anybody has asked, but if I were asked to summarize in just two words the secret to my success in getting fit over the last 18 months, here they are:

Show up.

When you don't want to get out of bed to make an early morning workout at the gym? Show up.

When you don't want to attend a nutrition class that's going to help you learn to eat right? Show up.

When you don't want to prepare a healthy meal because it's too time consuming/expensive/whatever? Show up.

When you don't want to do a scheduled training run because it's too hot/cold/early/late/whatever? Show up.

When you don't want to keep your food journal up to date? Show up.

When you don't want to step on the scale in front of your accountability group? Show up.

Getting fit is not complicated ... but just because it's simple, doesn't mean it's easy. Work out responsibly. Eat cleanly. Stay accountable. It's hard to do these things, and you won't succeed if you don't show up.

I've repeated these two words to myself at least a thousand times over the last 18 months, and it's helped me get off the couch, out of bed or away from the computer. What you do after you show up is also important, but that's a topic for another day.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

5k with Tim

I ran a small 5k with my oldest son, Tim, today. It was about a 40 minute drive, so I pulled out the old "you can drive" line, and he took the bait.

We ran together, and used the interval jog/walk method. It was a small field with a "down and back" course layout, so as we neared the halfway/turn around point, I could tell that there weren't very many folks Tim's age that were ahead of us. I told him that if we could push it a little harder the rest of the way, he would likely finish in the top 3 and "podium" ... i.e, get an award.

He finished 3rd in his age group, and they gave him a nice commemorative glass. He acted like it was no big deal, but I think it was a big deal. I also think that he privately thinks it was a big deal. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Another 20 miler

Ran a 20 miler today.

This was not my typical long run. Instead of Saturday morning, this was Friday evening after work.

I felt like Gilligan ... wrecked after a three hour tour ...

This was *not* a negative split. The second half was significantly slower than the first half. Running after work while less than optimally fueled is really rough. The weather was horrible (cold and rain). It was dark by the time we finished. It took 3:15:31 (9:46/mi).

Ben (a friend from the run group), Maureen and I ran together, and it was all I could do to keep them in my line of sight at times.

Sometimes it's not about crushing a goal ... sometimes it's just about simply finishing. All I can really say about tonight is "got 'er done."

The good news is that this is my last long run before Columbus.