Sunday, January 01, 2006


Well, this is it. I casually mentioned that I should start a blog to record my marathon training, and certain red-headed friend *insisted* that I do it. In order to save you time, I've created this frequently asked questions, or FAQ as the "kids" call it these days.

Find answers below to your burning questions like "Why the hell are you doing this?" And, "Don't your nipples bleed during marathons and long runs?"

Why are you doing this to yourself?
It started as a way to keep myself occupied when I moved to Washington last summer. Then I thought it would be a good goal to run a marathon. It's turning out to be equal parts of both.

When did you start this?
I began running last July. I could barely run a mile without stopping to catch my breath. As of today, I can manage 9-mile runs.

When and where will you attempt to run the 26.2 miles?
The Capital City Marathon will be held Sunday, May 21st in Olympia, Wash.

Wait, didn't you raise laziness to a whole new level when you lived in Minneapolis?I like to think so. Most of my college days were spent either drinking Hamms at the Turf Club in St. Paul or scotch ale at Town Hall in Minneapolis. I liked to follow that up with a late-night Roseanne marathon on Nick-At-Nite or a Tex-Mex omelette at the Dinkytowner. One thing: when I lived in Duluth in summer 2003 I was tricked into running on the lake walk several times by Emily (of Star Tribune fame). I couldn't even run a mile without panting and wanting to die. Emily, who ran the Twin Cities marathon last fall, was visibly disappointed, but never said so. This was the start of wanting to run a marathon, I think.

Why running and not biking or swimming or something less painful?
I like the simplicity of running. There's isn't much gear besides your shoes and quick-drying clothes and socks. You can just roll out of bed, get dressed and start moving. I really like that. It's almost completely dependent on you.

I'm confused: did you run competitively in high school?
No. In fact, I usually placed near last when we had to run "the mile" in ninth-grade physical education. I mocked people who ran competitively, then sulked off to play in my band, listen to Sonic Youth "Sister" or make snarky comments about my home town.

Won't your nipples bleed and your toenails fall off if you run the marathon?
It's possible. I've been told that you have to grease yourself with petroleum jelly to cut down on any friction. You also have to cut your toenails down to the nub. A good friend told me recently that her fiancee didn't do this and his toenails turned black and fell off. She forced him to wear socks until they were markedly less disgusting. It sounded like a completely reasonable request.

Alright wiseguy, how are you going to train for this marathon?
I'm joining a training group that begins on Jan. 14 in Olympia. It's every Saturday for 16 weeks. The group will do a long run together, then some instructors will talk about preparing for the marathon. I imagine it will be stuff like how to hydrate, stretch and make sure your nipples don't bleed on the big day. In addition to the training group, I'll be running three to four times a week on my own. I've purchased a book that includes a fairly simplistic training schedule that I feel should be easy to complete if I stay focused.

So, about this blog: didn't you try to blog when you lived in D.C.?
Yes, I did. Then I got lazy and stopped doing it. I'm pretty sure my readership was only three people, which made it pretty easy to quit. I've often thought that it would be easier to blog if I had something specific to talk about each day, i.e. the marathon training. Let's hope that's true. I won't post every day because that would be boring for you and me. I plan to post several times a week.


At 5:05 AM, Blogger Libby said...

Rock on - this is so exciting!

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Thomas Whisenand said...

awesome paul! good luck.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Brianna said...

heh heh. Wait, who is this red-headed friend? She sounds hot.

Oh, and THANK YOU for doing this!! Love the FAQs!

At 3:10 PM, Blogger LeeAnn said...

Paul, Angela shared your blog with me. I'm sorry we missed you by a day at Christmas, but I loved Angela's pictures she shared on the Kodak site. This is my first experience with a blog but I'll keep an eye on it for updates. As determined and flexible as you've been about your education and career, I know you can do this! LeeAnn (Angela, Paul's big sister's, mom-in-law!

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Toni said...

Keep up the good work Paul! Don't forget to grease up first.


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