Marathon Training Day: Victory and the 2014 Eugene Marathon

Today I ran nearly five miles. Yes… I ran five miles, walked two miles… and felt pretty good. I cannot run the full marathon on July 27th in Eugene. That is a fact I have reluctantly accepted. But the half marathon is still a possibility. Plus I ran the full Seattle Marathon in December… so it’s not like I need to prove to myself that I “can” do a full marathon.

However… I do not have plans to run the entire half marathon. I will run as much as I can… walk parts… and just try to enjoy it. My foot was injured not from running, but from two aggressive foster kids.

I still enjoy getting outside, and I paid for the Eugene Marathon long ago… so I will still do it. But at this point… I have accepted this will be my slowest time ever. I’m okay with that.

The fact that I can run at all at this point is impressive… I had nearly two months where just walking was uncomfortable during the spring of 2014. Sometimes victory is in the eye of the beholder. So just finishing the half marathon will be a victory.

Best wishes to you all.

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Marathon Training Day 601: Should I give up on the Eugene Marathon?

July 27th, 2014 is when the Eugene Marathon happens. That’s just over two months away. I was once excited about running this marathon, which would have been my second marathon. But 2014 has been a year of weird challenges. At this point I’m not even sure I could run over half of this marathon.

I was sick for the last week of February, and the entire month of March… then I was healthy for a few days in April… but then I was sick again for another week. Three colds and one sinus infection. So I did zero training during that time.

When I was healthy, our foster kids kicked stomped on my foot or kicked me in the knee. All of this adds up to me starting training approximately two weeks ago.

I ran four miles today… but clearly had nothing left in the tank. Finishing the Eugene Marathon (a mostly flat course) in under six hours will be a real challenge for me right now. I am frustrated… but trying to approach running as a way to burn off stress instead of a way to set a personal record. My wife suggested to not put pressure on myself for this marathon. I should just run and have fun.

I think that is good advice… especially considering that right now my body feels like a 1967 Ford Mustang. Not a fully restored Mustang… but a rusted Mustang with a leaky gas tank and peeling paint … that Godzilla stepped on.

So What’s on your Bucket List? — My 2014 Bucket List

shirt seattle cropped

As a person I like to live life to its fullest… like running my first marathon in 2013. As a college student my resources are limited. However I do not let my financial limitations limit my life dreams… it just means I cannot do everything that I want to do this month.With that said I have been able to accomplish quite a lot since I first constructed my 2012 Bucket List.

I have completed six of the fourteen items I had on my 2012 Bucket List, including:

Although I feel like I need to redo the Washington D.C. trip because I was there on a weekend when the government was shutdown.

Following is the 2014 version of my bucket list

  • Start a family: My wife and I have had challenges to getting pregnant. We thought it would be fun to have gotten pregnant in the Philippines. We joked about naming our kid Manny or maybe Philip. Although we did not get pregnant in the Philippines, we hope to be pregnant before the end of the year. Adoption is something we have talked about before. It is something we want to do even if we have biological kids. So if we are unable to get pregnant, adoption is something we are cool with.
  • Washington D.C.: This remains on my Bucket List even though I was in D.C. in 2013. The city was closed because of the shutdown which impacted the enjoyment. So… to clarify: I want to visit Washington D.C. and its museums/monuments during a time when access is available to the general public.
  • Start a free college: I began thinking about this a because of the wild tuition increases at colleges. I don’t want an internet college. I want a college with live professors and buildings and classrooms. It would be small (2000 or less), and probably use the Socratic teaching style. I think I need to finish my certificate in nonprofit management along with my PhD before I tackle this idea though. Originally I envisioned this college existing in America. But after visiting the Philippines and seeing so many high school graduates who could not afford college, maybe I will try to do something like that in the Philippines… and make it open to more than 2000 students. I do not have a name for the college yet… although I know it will NOT be named after me.
  • Finish my PhD in sociology: My dissertation will focus on poverty, healthcare, and food.
  • I want to write a fiction novel that gets published.
  • Have a decent size farm so that I can raise a lot of my own food… a couple cows, large gardens, chickens, a few pigs, etc. Yeah, I know that means I probably won’t be teaching at NYU or UCLA… but I’m cool with that.
  • Attend the Olympic Games… summer and winter. The 2016 summer Olympics will be right in the middle or end of my PhD process… but 2020 is a real possibility. The 2018 Winter Games are in South Korea, and that is a goal I think I could hit. It is hard to know what my work schedule will be like 6 years from now.
  • Have some grandkids.
  • Be an extra in a cheap monster movie (science-fiction/fantasy). I would prefer to be an alien or a zombie chasing people… and I don’t think I would want any lines. Maybe I could say ARRRRGGGHHHH!! There was a student film last year that I considered being an extra in… but grad school keeps me really busy. However, I am keeping my eye out for student filmmakers who are looking for extras ;-)
  • Go to Italy. Why? Because I love Italian food… and I have always wanted to go to Italy.  But will “Italian” Italian food be better than “American” Italian food? We’ll see. In addition I want to ride in a Gondola and see the art! Do I need to write a 1000 words to explain why I would want to visit Italy? Nope.
  • Visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia:
  • Snowboard. I was in Colorado for four years but I was BROKE broke when I lived in Colorado. So there was no snowboarding for me then. I’m fine being on the practically flat bunny slopes for my snowboarding. I don’t need to do anything crazy (like a 16-year-old).
  • Visit New York City again. I love New York. I don’t think I could live there. But I would love to take an extended vacation there. I think three weeks would be long enough. Broadway, museums, the Yankees. Yeah… New York is pretty cool.
  • Go watch the Super Bowl Live. I don’t need tickets on the 50-yard-line. But I want really good seats. I wish the bad seats weren’t ridiculously expensive.
  • Have a script I write made into a movie. For this I want either a good science fiction/fantasy movie, or a good romantic comedy. I write both of these screenplays. I can be an extra in a cheap sci-fi film but I don’t want to have MY screenplay turned into a cheap movie. At least not my bucket list film. Maybe I could write a cheapo sci-fi script for fun.

This list was inspired by Bucket List Publications. Do you have a Bucket List?

Marathon Training Day 524: The kids keep kicking me in the knee

Training for a marathon is a challenge. Tonight I accepted the challenge, officially, by registering for the Eugene marathon. Last December I had to walk a lot in the Seattle marathon because of the hills and my injured foot. Therefore I want another crack at a full marathon to see what I can really do. Thus… the mostly flat 2014 Eugene Marathon.

As if training for a marathon (and to finish under 4 hours) wasn’t a big enough challenge… I also deal with two foster kids who kick me in the knee. It is the right knee. Always the right knee. One of the kids is almost four, the other is a little over five. Both have anger issues which means they deal with their emotions in a physical manner. They don’t always intend to kick me. Sometimes they are angry and just kicking/flailing… and my right knee is unfortunate enough to be in the way of the tantrum. But other times they intentionally kick me. Whether it is on accident or on purpose they kick me in the right knee.

Does that mean I am not in a mentally healthy position when I wish someone would occasionally kick me in the left knee?

Anyway, the next price increase for registering for the Eugene Marathon is February 28th. That meant I had to figure out if I was committing to the marathon now… or waiting and paying a higher price later. The decision has been influenced by the right knee. I have not trained much because my right knee is normally a little tender from the kids’ kicking. My guess is most marathon runners do not factor kicks to the knee when they decide whether or not to run a marathon. Anyway, I did register for the race tonight.

And that is where I am. I am a foster parent… and a marathoner. It never occurred to me that I might not be able to do both. But it never occurred to me that someone in my home would kick me in the knee on weekly basis. Yes the kicks hurt… but not enough to cause serious damage. The knee is tender but not swollen.

I have also been mule kicked in the right ankle by one of the kids… and that hurt like #%!!

Anyway, overall things are going well in my world, and I hope you are not getting kicked in the knee! Thanks for reading!

Marathon Training Day 490: Recovering from a Foot Injury and the 2014 Eugene Marathon

Yesterday I tested out my injured foot for the first time since the Seattle Marathon (2013). Today that injured foot does not seem to be sore… so that’s a good sign!! The Seattle Marathon was my first time running a full marathon and I finished it.  The Seattle Marathon was very hilly, cold, and it had a lot of pavement. In fact I think the entire course was on pavement. The combination of the hills and pavement were not great for my right foot which had already been sore before running the Seattle Marathon. But… like I said I finished it.

I am still very happy to have finished the marathon. Finishing a marathon had been on my bucket list for a VERY long time. But now I want to finish a full marathon without stopping to walk. I do not have the marathon addiction bug that some people seem to get. But I had to walk a lot in the Seattle marathon because of the hills and my injured foot. Therefore I want another crack at a full marathon to see what I can really do. Thus… the mostly flat 2014 Eugene Marathon is on my radar.

The problem with the Eugene Marathon is that it has been moved to July… the end of July. You know… the hottest time of the year. So yes the course is flat. But I am not sure I want to tackle a FULL marathon in July. Yes it will start in the morning… but still. Who knows. It is Oregon so maybe it will rain ;-)

I started my marathon training a long time ago… and I had to work my way up to the Seattle Marathon. This time I have a lot of the physical and mental stuff under control but I need my foot to get better. If my foot proves to be better after a few more short test runs, then I will register for the Eugene Marathon. I have until February 28th to register before the “next” price increase.

So yes… there is a financial decision tied in with the physical decision. Sure… it is only a $10 increase. But that $10 can buy a large pizza… an important financial loss when someone is in college :-D