In Response to Chad Stafko’s “Get Over It” Diatribe

2013/11/14 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, Life, lifestyle change, Running, weight loss, weight loss blog | 2 Comments
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A few days ago, Chad Stafko wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal entitled “OK, You’re A Runner. Get Over It” and since then, runners from all over the world have chimed in on what Stafko had to say, much less wonder what the act of running had to do with WSJ.

If you don’t want to read the article, he basically doesn’t get why runners insist on “patting themselves on the back” by showing the world what they’ve done. This can be in the form of wearing a shirt from a recently run event or, in some cases, a 13.1 or 26.2 sticker on their car. He only quotes those two because 70.3 or 140.6 probably would have blown his mind.

But that’s the extent of belittling I’ll do here. In fact I probably shouldn’t have even gone that far because running is something not everybody “gets” and Stafko definitely falls into that category despite how many running friends he says he has.

I’ll quote one part of his article, prove my point, and the game will be over. It really will be that simple.

Why would someone want to get up at 5 a.m. and run 10 miles adorned with fluorescent tape to avoid being struck by someone who has the good sense to use a car for a 10-mile journey?

Easy. Because I can guarantee that this dad (2004)…

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…had a better chance of dying from something health-related than this dad (2013)…

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…who now runs events with his son and will continue to do so until he drops dead.

(By the way, those are indeed the same two people in both pictures: me and my son.)

He will also continue to be the person Stafko despises in the article: he’ll wear shirts from events, put [insert appropriate distance here] stickers on his car, wake up on any given Sunday at 5 a.m. to go for a 10-mile run, and even wear medals the entire day after competing in an event. And it will be done with pride.

Running any distance is indeed an accomplishment and therefore, I believe is worth bragging about. Running has also changed, and possibly saved or extended, my life.

Game over, Chad.

And no, I won’t get over it.

2013 Hollywood Half Marathon and 5k/10k

2013/04/09 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health | Comments Off on 2013 Hollywood Half Marathon and 5k/10k
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On Saturday, April 6, I took part in the second annual Hollywood Half Marathon event and no, I didn’t do the half marathon. But I’ll get into that a bit later.

In last year’s inaugural event, I ran in the 5k and set my current PR of 31:51. It’s not hard to do when you consider that most of the first half is going downhill. And I figured since I already ran 5k, I’ll make this year the year in which I make it my first 10k.

But we all know how that went.

At any rate, Hollywood was indeed my second 10k of the year and it was much more memorable than last year’s event. For one, there were water stations in abundance along the route. This was a huge upgrade from last year’s event in which large bottles of water were randomly placed on the roadside. Also, the start time was bumped to 6 am and the finish line was moved down the street. All that aside, I still rode the train to the event to avoid 1) driving and 2) paying for parking.

And the results:

  • Gun: 1:25:54.9
  • Chip: 1:10:48.1
  • Pace: 11:25

It’s definitely slower than the Coaster Run:

  • Gun – 1:15:14.5
  • Chip – 1:05:48.5
  • Pace – 10:37

However, it seems there’s a little discrepancy. For the Coaster Run, I logged 6.16 miles on Sports Tracker but for Hollywood, I logged 6.33 miles.

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So if you take those two things into consideration, one could say that since I ran .17 miles longer and since it took only 5 minutes longer to finish, my time at Hollywood of 1:10:48.1 is a new 10k PR. And I’m totally fine with that!

A few of the highlights:

  • Passing a runner dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz who was carrying a basket with a stuffed Toto inside
  • Being passed by three runners in Marilyn Monroe dresses
  • Being cheered on by every LAPD officer working the event
  • Strolling Hollywood Boulevard and the Chinese Theater before either got crowded with tourists
  • The horrible cramp I got while walking back to the train station
  • The poor woman in front of me who stopped to take a picture of the Mile 5 sign – and twisted her ankle in the process
  • Seeing runners stray off-course to stop at McDonald’s or Starbucks

Yes, there are pictures. Allow me to show them to you.

As for that thing I’ll get into later, well, here it is.

  • 2012: Hollywood 5k
  • 2013: Hollywood 10k
  • 2014: Hollywood Half

Yes indeed, folks, I’ve made my decision. In 2014, the year I turn 45, I will be running 13.1 miles through Hollywood and beyond and the training has already begun. The plan is to get down to a weight of around 190 and build up my stamina so that I’ll be able to run most if not all of it without much difficulty. In case you couldn’t tell in some of the pictures, I’ve gained a little back – I’m at about 220 now and I need to get myself back into a solid program of eating right and exercising regularly. I have a year to do it. I will get there.

And as of now, this is my last event for a while. In fact, it might be the last one until October rolls around since the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour and 5k are the only ones I have registered for. We’ll see; there are few more that I want to tackle but you know, these events are not free and I’ve got a family to look after.

Well, that’s all I have for now. We’ll see how my latest weight loss plan progresses!

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