35. beginning at the end.

Rather than celebrating the successful completion of NaBloPoMo (Woooo 35 posts in 30 days!), I’m going observe this end by starting something new.

Something that’s going to make me insane, and is possibly stupid, but still.

Y’all are accustomed to hearing me grumble about being the old guy. It’s mostly something I like to joke about, but there are times — like the two days following Yinz Bowl and the accompanying aches and pains — when it’s pretty apparent to me that I am an old guy, trying to keep up with friends who are, in general, much, much younger.

For a fat old guy, I’m fairly healthy. But I’ve got all kinds of fun things in my family history — diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease among them — that tell me I need to take some steps to ensure I’m going to be around for a while. I’ve been lucky, because that stuff hasn’t been a problem for me yet, but as I’m carrying around 50 or 60 more pound than I need to be, it’s probably just a matter of time before it does.

So. I’m going to run. Specifically, I’m going to run in — and finish — the half-marathon portion of the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 2.

(Oh, god, I can’t believe I just typed that.)

I won’t be alone. Mrs. Crappy, who used to run in several 5Ks a year, is going to join me; half veterans Fred and Ethel are going to run Pittsburgh as well, and HP and DD — who have finished all kinds of crazy shit like century bike rides and triathalons as part of a Cleveland-based Team In Training group — are going to do the same in the Cleveland Marathon two weeks later (slackers).

I was, at one time, good at this. As part of the Army’s physical training tests, each soldier is required to complete a two-mile run within an age-based time frame. I was 23 when I finished basic training, and was required to finish the run in 16:36; I don’t recall the exact time, but I know it just over 13 minutes. And while I’ve never been a fan of running, at that point it wasn’t hard — and almost enjoyable.

Of course, this time I don’t have a drill sergeant screaming at me. And my hips, knees and ankles are all 20 years older than they were during that idyllic summer at Fort Knox. But I do have a goal, and I definitely have a reason to not only train for a single event but make some changes that will sustain me for years to come.

Uncle Crappy (the blog) will not turn into a running blog, and I won’t be starting a separate site to chronicle all the stuff that happens between now and May 2. But, once a week or so, I’ll be sure to bitch about update yinz guys on our progress as we work towards being able to run 13.1 miles without dying.

That last thing seems like a reasonable goal, right? Right?

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23 thoughts on “35. beginning at the end.”

  1. 1. Congrats on the NaBloPoMo thing.

    2. I am totally going to sound like your mom on this one, and I’m sure Mrs. Crappy has had her say, but because I like hanging out with you (I too fall on the older side of this social media thing) AND I want you to be able to run a 1/2 marathon (which is 1/2 more of a marathon than I have ever run): you’ve cleared this with your doc, right?

    Okay, cool!

    I aspire to start running (again) this spring. With my chiropractor’s blessing. (Nothing makes you feel older than a bad back.)

    ciao,
    rpm

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  2. Woy: Some kind of divine intervention may be required.

    RPM: I suspect my doc thinks I’m nuts, but he didn’t give me any reasons not to do this.

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  3. “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” -John Bingham, running speaker and writer

    other than doing my own training, let me know if there is anything i can do to help…

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  4. DD: As if I’m not impressed enough with what you two have done … two halfs in two weeks would be astounding. Or stupid. But we’d love to have you join us.

    Mystery Michelle: Or, you could be rooting from the actual sideline. Just sayin’…

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  5. Hold on… Army? how did i not know this before.

    I was all ready to post tonight about how badly my knee is throbbing because I’m a slug and here you are getting ready to run a 1/2 marathon. I suck.

    I used to be a runner and a decent one also. I did cross country in high school (back when i was a whopping 155lbs) and my fastest for a 3.1 was 18:30 i think (its been a while) and my best at the Great Race 6.2 one is 42 something.

    I’d like to know more about the training cuz lord knows my svelt physique could use some touch up.

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  6. I find it funny that you called me a half marathon “veteran.” But I guess there is some sort of truth in that statement, in that I have finished one, in a running motion, though I was behind some of the walkers… And then I swore off running after that… :-) However, I like this goal.

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  7. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    You’ll have a fairly long jog to do when you’re down here!!! My sisterly advice, 1) Day before long jogs…drink LOTS of water. 2) Eveyone’s going to tell you to eat this, don’t eat that before you run, all sorts of advice – just listen to your body and develp a routine that works for you.

    I’m very excited for you two – what a fabulous goal.

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  8. UC: LOL…are you trying to reveal the mystery?!??! ;) We really should try and meet up one of these days, eh?

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  9. More advice…..go to a running store and get fitted for some shoes. 40 something year old feet and other parts need the right cushioning. 13.1 miles is a long way. Race day will be the easy part compared to all of the training ahead. It might be difficult to keep it up in the Chuck Taylors. Hey, shouldn’t you be running right now…GO!

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  10. sooper dooper rupper cool! best of luck training – my advice is to write down a training schedule and then do it – it’s written down, you have to do it – say no to the internal nay sayers who want to roll over and sleep / don’t want to go out because it’s cold / raining – and as soon as you get 5 minutes into the run – you actually enjoy it!

    Oh yeah – friends to let friends drink bad beer – say no to light

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  11. okay – so the end of the last comment is ‘friends don’t let friends drink bad beer’ – what can I say – I’m 42, had a beer, and was distracted by my 8 year old – I just can’t type

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  12. Sorry I haven’t been in a while, but it’s great to hear you’re shooting for a big run. It’s been a while since I’ve hit a half-marathon … and probably high time to start thinking about it.

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