Friday, May 26, 2006

To the faithful departed

This blog is now dead. Thanks for reading.

I've launched a new blog at There's nothing on it yet, but there should be real soon.


Monday, May 22, 2006

And finally ...

Jeremy and I made the front page today of The Olympian, Olympia's newspaper. We're in the center left. I'm in white, and Jeremy's in the blue.

Thanks to Kristina for cropping the photo.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Against All Odds: I Ran a Marathon Today Edition

So, I ran the marathon. My right knee hurt so badly that I can barely walk stairs today, but I made it.

My time was 5:10. Jeremy and I started really strong, running 9:30-10 minute miles for the first 10 miles or so. But then the wheels came off. At mile 15-16, it felt like someone was stabbing my knee with a knife. And Jeremy became dehydrated. The next 10 miles were hard fought, but we made it. We walked a lot, and took our time. And we finished.

My family ran with us around mile 22, and my sister, Angie, came with us all the way to the finish line. I'm really appreciated that.

I got a FINISHER shirt, a medal and a bum knee. Now, I'm a marathoner.

Thanks to everyone for reading, and posting comments and sending me postive emails. Now it's your turn to run a marathon or do something that you think you can't do.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Against All Odds: I am number 262 Edition

Less Than 12 hours Until Start -- I picked up my race number today. It's 262. It was part of my race packet, which included a little black piece of plastic that my dad attached to my shoe. It will record my official start time and finish time. Way more high tech than I ever expected.

My parents and sister flew in yesterday morning, and we've been taking in Tacoma and Olympia. It's been great to have them here, and the weather's cooperated, for the most part.

I'm feeling fairly nervous about the race. My knee is feeling a bit better, but my right leg still aches. Only one more day until I can rest it for a good long while. That's what it needs to repair it for the long haul.

I'm glad the training group required me to run 22 miles a few weeks back. It makes running 26.2 miles seem doable. A while ago, a friend told me the longest she ran was 18 miles before she attempted the big race. She said it was a big mistake.

So, by the time many of you read this, I will be running in Olympia, finished and holding my medal or laying in the back of a racing ambulance. Just kidding on that last one. Well, maybe.

Today: Walk
Tomorrow: I will run a marathon.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Against All Odds: Soul Asylum Edition

Three Days Out -- It's the sound of a band back from the brink.

The two songs posted on Soul Asylum's MySpace page are great, but they reek of survival, in a good way.

I guess that's what happens when one of your founding members dies of cancer after he lays down his tracks for your first album in eight years.

And everyone counts your band out, even though you've been going strong for 25 years, and could still beat the pants off any new "it" band.

And you're the one of the best Minnesota bands of all time, but all most people can talk about is Runaway Train and Winona Ryder.

If they have to play clubs instead of stadiums, they will. They already made their money, played Bubba's presidential inaugural ball and dated starlets.

Nothing can stop this band, and that is awesome beyond words.

Today: icing my leg
Tommorow: short walk

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Against All Odds: Oprah Interview Edition

Four Days Out --

HARPO Productions, Inc. transcript from Show #36,237, Air date 5/17/2006


(Oprah enters to thunderous, sustained applause. She takes her seat on a tastefully decorated set.)

Oprah: My guest today is a Washington man who decided to turn his
ambition of running a marathon into a blog. One year ago, he was a
dough-y Midwesterner, who never packed his own lunch and drank Jack
and Cokes every chance he could. Now, in less than a week, he'll
run 26.2 miles and try to beat *my* marathon time of 4:29:16 -- but
who's counting right?

(Thunderous laughter, sustained applause)

O: Please welcome Paaaaaaaullllllllllllllllllll.

(Wild clapping, women leaping up to get a glimpse of Paul)

(Paul walks triumphantly onto the stage. He is dressed in a blue
sportcoat, casual striped shirt, jeans and beat-up New Balance
sneakers, displaying the last remnants of his indie rock

Paul: Thanks for having me on the show, Oprah.

O: You're welcome. Tell me. How do you feel?

P: I feel good, both physically and mentally. It's actually kind of
hard to believe, considering I've been exercising harder and more
often than ever before for the past six months.

O: You wrote a sarcastic FAQ for your blog as your introductory post.
In it you wrote that you wanted to run a marathon because you were
bored. Is that true?

P: Yes, at least partially. I mean, I could have just taken up reading
more books, or collecting insects, or keeping my apartment constantly
clean. I wanted something deeper though. Something more. I wanted to
do something physical, because, at that point, it seemed unthinkable
to do something really monumental that had to do with physical strength and mental toughness.

The part that I left out of the FAQ is that I really like to do stuff
that people think I can't do. I sort of get off on it. Well, at first
I get really pissed, and then I figure out how I'm going to do it. And
then I figure out how I'll subtlely rub their faces in it.

The other thing is, I wasn't really happy with how I looked and I
thought about how your body only goes downhill, if you don't do
something about it. I had a vision of myself in my late 30s with a
beergut and a double chin on my Charlie Brown-like head, and it made
me shiver.

O: Oh, my God. You poor thing.

P: Thanks, Oprah. Anyway, I also just wanted to get some good exercise
habits going. Or, at the very least, someday when I am overweight, I
can think about the times that I wasn't overweight. Plus, I'll have a
sweet marathon medal and FINISHER shirt.

O: So, you've said you feel great. What's changed since you started training?

P: It'd be a shorter list to compile what hasn't changed, Oprah.

(Audible smattering of laughs and clapping)

First, all the obvious stuff: my diet has completely changed for the
better. I actually cook now, and spend more and more time at the
grocery store. I worry about my sleep now. I exercise five to six
times a week.

There's lots of less obvious consequences from training for this race.
I feel much more confident. I feel like I can do almost anything, and
that many things are possibly.

I feel like a legitimate athelete for the first time in my life, and
it's kind of weird. Beyond that, people are treating me like an
athlete. A runner. *A marathoner.* I don't know how to react when
people are in awe of the distances that I run. I feel like a brand new
person -- I better person in some respects.

My dad's heart attack in January scared the shit out of me -- can I
say shit on syndicated afternoon TV, Oprah?

O: No, I'm sorry we'll have to bleep it out.

P: Sorry, anyway, it scared me and reminded me of how tenuous and
short life really is. You've got to head towards your goals sooner
rather than later because you don't know what's going to happen to you
or someone important to you five minutes from now or tomorrow or next
week. I'm certainly not advocating recklessness or rash decisions, but you've got to be honest with yourself and take some chances and live your life in a way you won't regret someday.

O: Mm-hmm.

P: Back to my point about proving everyone wrong -- I also wanted to
prove that an out-of-shape former slacker could run a marathon, and
that it isn't out of reach for many, if not most, people. Not to sound
like a Hallmark card, but I thought maybe I could inspire other people
to greatness, or at least goodness or betterness. Whether it was
running a marathon, or just walking a little bit every day. I wanted
to prove it was possible, even though I had no idea if it would
actually work out, or if it even was possible. It's odd, I know.

O: So, what about the blog? Will it continue after the race? Will you
recast it's focus, or will you dump it and never blog again?

P: The marathon blog will end shortly after the race, May 21. It was
just an experiment. I never meant for it to stay beyond the marathon.
I'll likely keep it up for a while, but then delete it.

Will I ever blog again? Probably, but I'm just not sure how. I think
it's easier to have a blog that's centered around a specific theme,
idea, etc. It leads to more focused writing and urgency. Plus, it's
not so damn boring and meandering.

Maybe I'll try to guest blog, or I'll just write short essays about
rock records that saved my life and email them to a couple of friends.
I'm not sure.

O: Well, thank you for being here! Paauulllll!!!!!!!

(Ridiculous, ear-splitting applause)


Today: 20-minute run
Tomorrow: nothing

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Against All Odds: Gu v. Powerbar Edition

Five Days Out -- Several months ago I pledged allegiance on this blog to Gu, the odd protein-packed gelatinous goop that runners eat during long runs. Recently, however, I tried the more solid Powerbar, and it's replaced my beloved Gu. For the most part.

The bar felt like it stayed with me longer than the a Gu packet, which I could eat one after another during a run if I had to.

My plan for the marathon is to bring two Powerbars and three Gu packets. The race map says there'll be a couple of Gu stations along the way, but I want to make sure I've got enough to get through it all.

I favor the vanilla bean flavor for the Gu's, and the banana-flavor Powerbars. They actually taste like banana bread. I'm no dummy though; I know both scents/flavors were cooked up in a laboratory somewhere in New Jersey.

Today: icing my knee
Tomorrow: 20-minute run