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What Am I Thinking?!

I have had a daily presence on MFP for 1600 days. I first logged on 1722 days ago (4 years, 8 months, 20 days to be exact.) I broke my streak while I was laying in ICU with congestive heart failure.

I know. Sorry for being a slacker.

Once I knocked off a few dozen pounds and learned to get moving, I decided to try running. It was a dumb idea. Really dumb. I mean, everyone knows that it's supposed to be bad for your knees.

It also appears that there are many "running will kill you" studies by non-running doctor's then there are water cups at a marathon.

Studies use the following ratings: "light," "moderate," or "vigorous" jogger. It's obviously biased because I was a "heavy" jogger; a "very heavy" jogger. And the truth is this; calling a runner a jogger is as offensive as calling your coworker the "B" word. And I don't mean beautiful. ;)

I already tried having heart failure in 2011. I am done with that crap. My favorite "running is the new smoking" study showed that there were 2 deaths over a period of 10 years.

Are you kidding me? More people die in a year from choking on chocolate cake!

My cardiologist says my heart is in great shape. My once 20% ejection fraction is great, resting pulse is at 48 and my BP is about the same as when I was a teenager. My max heart rate is 171 which is better than average for my age.

I had knee surgery and foot surgery and rotator cuff surgery and heart surgery and cancer surgery and needed a bag of frozen peas for my nuts and a ton of other procedures that included sticking things in my &$$.

I still run.

This weekend I will be running the NYC marathon. It will be my third World Major and 7th marathon. I missed a couple of marathons due to surgery. #cancersucks

Want to know the real reasons that running is bad for you? It's addictive. According to MediLexicon International, these are the symptoms of addiction. I am adapting them to running.

The person cannot stop - because it will kill your race time. DUH!
Increased appetite
– I finally got my movement to equal my intake. I have to run 50 miles a week.
Taking an initial large dose - Starting the race too fast. Running without a warm up.
Insomnia - a common symptom of addiction also known as pre-race jitters. The bigger the race, the sooner it starts.
Continues despite health problems - taking a cast off to run 5 miles, not listening to all sorts of pain etc.
Social and/or recreational sacrifices - You don't run, you don't understand.
Maintaining a good supply - Fortunately there is plenty right outside the front door. The higher quality stuff is at races.
Risky behavior - the addicted individual take risks to make sure they can obtain their substance, by stealing or trading sex for money or running shoes.
Risks while under the influence - the addict may engage in risky activities, such as hugging people they don't know at the finish line or taking runs with people they have never met from Facebook groups.
Dealing with problems - an addicted person commonly feels they need their drug to deal with their problems. Running cures everything.
Obsession - an addicted person may spend more and more time and energy focusing on ways to make time for running, travel for running and to improve their performance.
Secrecy and solitude - in many cases the addict may hide new shoes from their significant other or register for races on their anniversary weekend. Run alone without music.
Denial - actually, no runner has a problem. Not even a little one.
Withdrawal symptoms - one word: marathon tapering! OK, two. Anger, resentment, food. Did I mention food?
Excess consumption - run streaks, marathons, ultras, back-to-back half marathons, 3- and 4-way challenges, there is just not enough running.
Blackouts - cannot remember chunks of time. In particular, how you felt after the marathon when signing up for the next one.
Having stashes - GUs, Stingers, protein bars, and shoes. It seems hoarding is a side-effect of running.
Having problems with the law - this is a symptom of impaired judgment. Not stopping for crossing signals, running on the wrong side of the road during races, indecent exposure while relieving yourself in public - the list goes on.
Financial difficulties - shoes, race fees, travel expenses, RnR memberships. The cost of running is daunting.
Relationship problems - they just don't understand. I’ll find a runner.
Dropping hobbies and activities - progressive addiction may stop doing things he/she used to enjoy such as running for fun.

How My Half Marathon Went to $hi1

Sunday, October 18th, I ran my 64th sanctioned road race. It was the 'Gansette Fall Half Marathon. I even got my shorts on pointing in the right direction - it did take 2 tries. I even wore an extra pair of underwear. My friend Sandy said that after she had 2 kids, she leaks when she runs.

I have 3 kids, so I didn't want to take any chances.

For those of you who were around for my first 5K, my first half marathon, and my first marathon, you know this has been a tough but rewarding journey. I have completed 6 full marathons of the 26.2 variety and about a dozen half marathons. Heck, I even ran two half marathons in one weekend. The rest were 5K to 15K distances plus a few odd distances, like the famous Falmouth Road Race, which is 7.02 miles.

You would think I'd be good at this racing thing. Well, I learned something new on Sunday!

I have a routine for races. It starts 2 days before. What I eat, what I drink, and how I preload my electrolytes makes a huge difference in my performance. I make sure I get a good night's sleep 2 days before the race as well. That way, if I get amped up the night before, I am still pretty well rested.

I could probably be called OCD. (which should be CDO if you think about it)

Everything went as planned. I slept well two nights before. I took my electrolytes (to prevent muscle cramps). I ate a blend of protein and carbs and on the first day, and more carbohydrate heavy blend the night before. You know, a bottle of non-alcoholic beer and a burger. I had to be up at o'dark-thirty (5:30 AM) and leave my house 6:15 for a 7:30 starting gun.

I set the coffeemaker and went to bed, falling asleep watching the Bruins crush Colorado.

I awoke and had my customary 2 cups of coffee, one egg, a small amount of corned beef hash and a banana. I have done this dozens of times before. Heck, I have even eaten a Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit from McDonald's on the way to a race. Then I double checked my laminated check list. I made a last trip to drop the kids off at the pool and put in my contact lenses. Success all the way around.

You can probably see where this is going. But if you can't, read on.

I arrived 30 minutes early for the race, got my bib and made a stop at the port-potty. I forgot that hot poop smokes in cold weather. I was glad for a clean bathroom and enough toilet tissue to paper my noisy neighbor's house.

Having gone not once, but twice gave me more confidence.

I went back and sat in my warm car. It was 36 degrees Fahrenheit - just above zero Centigrade. I listened to the news. I was happy about the cool temps. It meant I could run faster than I have all summer without sweating like two pigs and a pregnant elephant.

I met a couple of buddies from the Pathetic Runners Group on Facebook.

Our customary greeting is to look down and see if one of us has an untied running shoe. We talked for a few minutes and then it was time for the Star Spangled Banner and the starting cannon!

I got off to a great start. I was averaging 8:45 per minute miles. The first 6 were great. There were a family sitting roadside drinking coffee. I apologized for waking them up. We laughed. I made some jokes about a Santa statue which was out before Halloween. At mile 6 I passed a water stop and thought about using the porta-potty. My insides were talking to me.

I was having a record race, so I thought I would press on.

The rumblings continued and even I could smell myself. At mile 7 I was looking for a place in the woods. I cursed myself for not stopping a mile before.

The following is pretty graphic, but if you watch crime scene shows, you can probably handle it. If not, read on at your own risk.

I found an opening in the barbed wire fence and dashed into a tree lined field. I felt comfortable next to the abandon manure spreader. The rest is too shocking for words. I found a large oak leaf and tried not to look. I did.

Back onto the pavement I went.

I lost about 4 minutes and a little bit of enthusiasm for the personal record I had hoped to set. It took me a couple of miles to get back on pace. Even so, I finished in 2 hours.

I guess I am going to need to add this story to my new book: The Pathetic Runner's Guide.

Honestly, RUFKM?

Is it me, or just the posts that I happen to read? I have read some pretty creative excuses for falling off the wagon, overeating and not succeeding at learning to eat healthy and exercise 3 times a week.

Here are some of my favorites – and oh yeah, I’ve used ‘em too!

I Have Slow Metabolism: Right, and if your body was a car, it would be in reverse. Personally, mine hit a speed bump at age 40 and broke the steering column.

My Parents didn’t Teach me How to Eat: Are you kidding, have you looked in the mirror? You are probably good at eating, in fact very good! For God’s sake, birds manage to get south.

It’s the Holidays! The Bermuda Triangle: Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years. (Or Memorial Day, the 4th and Labor Day.) Flag Day, the dog’s birthday. There are lots of holidays!

It’s Vacation: One of my personal favorites, lots of eating out, and lying around (actually that sounds more like work too). Staying in the hospital is not a vacation.

I Don’t Like Healthy Food: Let me know when the pity party is over. Trust me, you are not going to like heart failure either.

It’s Emotional: WTH? It’s food, nothing else.

I Can Eat Anything I Want! Apparently.

I’ll Start Over Tomorrow: Yesterday's tomorrow is here, now what?

Water Makes Me Gag! Well, it’s a good thing you are not a dolphin - I guess.

I Have Bad Knees (bad ankles, bad hips, bad a$$): From here it looks like they can get you back and forth from the store, the bathroom and the refrigerator.

How about you, can you share some your most creative excuses for staying the way you were?

Disclaimer: Look, there are people who have legitimate medical reasons for being where they are. However, if you can get out of bed, you can probably begin to exercise. Seeing as diet is probably 90% of weight loss, you can make better food choices.
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