Friday, April 22, 2005

Dragging out the Friday Sack (self adulation edition)

It's Friday. You don't got no job (okay, well maybe you do.). You don't got poop to do. I'm going to get you reading... the fat Friday sack.

This week, people wrote with compliments and good luck. I just want to share the sunshine. So let the sun shine in. It is, truly, the dawning of the Age of Aquariums.

Without further delay, here's the mail:

Dear Jon:

I found your blog through "running chick with the orange hat" last Thursday, and today I caught up with the final installments. I am training for a half marathon, and can't run over 4 miles without thinking I might just die a horrible wheezing side of the road death. I use peas on the pain, I pop Advil like it's my job.

I spend most of the time thinking about excuses to not run, or reasons why running is the answer to all of life's problems. I know if I just put the spandex on, the motivation will be there, I hope, but instead of jumping into them (another story, involving baby powder and olive oil) I validate a reason to not run. Then, on Thursday, I read your blog. I ran 3 miles Thursday, 2.5 on Friday and 4 on Saturday, because if you can run 26.2, I can run 13.1.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you, and my eyes closed, just in case you do that weird shirt thing you did on the Carlsbad 1/2 marathon!

(is it weird to email someone whose blog you've been reading? I feel a little voyeuristic)

Portland, Maine


I've been enjoying your blogs over the last few months. As a fellow Minnesotan I can't help but hope you do well (BTW - I consider finishing as my definition of “doing well). I'll be flying in on Friday to run the big race with you (my 2nd time doing BS) -- then it's off to Esalen for a few days of RnR.

Kick some ass and make us all proud back here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Good Luck,

Chris Krull

P.S. Maybe you should come home and run Twin Cities in the fall, especially since after running Big Sur you will be a man among men -- Women will throw themselves at you -- children will ask for your autograph -- people will clear the way when you enter a room. Seriously, Big Sur is not a race for the weak -- it takes a lot of guts to do it as your first marathon. It’s admirable.

To Kenny and Jon:

I have been training for the Big Sur race since I ran the Big Sur Half Marathon in October of 2004. It has been a long and sometimes painful haul. One of the things that has kept me going is your blog. It is pretty funny and I can relate to many of your pains. Every time I feel tired or lazy, I would boot up the web and read about your trials and tribulations.
This would give me the incentive I needed to complete my scheduled runs. It was amazing to see your transformation from coach potatoes to marathon runners. I know you can both complete it.
Big Sur was going to be my first and only marathon, but last month I ran the Napa marathon just to see if I was able to make it. I did and it was an amazing feeling to achieve that goal. When it gets tough out there, and it will, just hang in there and you will finish it.
Ken, no matter what, you have got to finish. The last thing you need if for Jonathan to "hog the blog" and be the only one with bragging rights. And Jon, please, please, please, no more photos please :-).
Hopefully I will see you folks out there. Take care and good luck,



Just wanted to say good luck for Sunday. I ran London last Sunday and I won’t pretend it was anything but incredibly hard for the last 5 miles or so. I hated those miles and I just felt drained afterwards. And that's a flat course. But you know what pain and extreme effort are like, to have come this far. Four days later, my legs are almost recovered and I'm basking in a warm glow that will last for even longer. So I just hope on Sunday that you are able to enjoy the good bits, survive the bad bits, and make it to the other side.

All the best


Hi Jon,

Yes, I'm ready for the marathon. Can't bear the suspense of waiting any longer. Let's get this torture over with!!

I actually just got back today from driving the marathon course. I found myself so curious about it, and had to drive down and take a look.

Wow, it's a loooong ways!! Eeeek!

I'd visualized the climb up to Hurricane Point pretty accurately, but I did GASP at one of the long hills further along. I'm feeling a bit psyched out about that one because I'll be getting so tired by that point. Loud whimpering will be heard for sure. But I'm really glad I went to take a look, so I know better what to expect.

Have found your writing so entertaining. As a fellow masochist going through it too, I can really identify.

Reading about your longest 21-24 mile run ended up having an influence on my longest run, and I really THANK YOU! I started to come down with a cold when you did that run. For me, the last long one seems so critical (mentally) to complete. Once done, the training pressure is over. But I couldn't risk doing the 20 miles, because I’d likely end up with a hideous full blown cold. Had to give up on it. I was feeling so ENVIOUS of you that you'd completed your longest one.

Anyway, 3 days later the cold symptoms had receded enough, and I decided to go for it. It went just fine. Fortunately the cold did not come back on me. I really needed the confidence of doing it, so I was really happy. My envy of your success egged me on. Many thanks!

Warm wishes for a great experience,


Hi Jon -

I just wanted to tell you that I have been reading your blog for months and I've loved every minute of it. I especially loved your 10 reasons for running a marathon. Fabulous.

I've finished four marathons (I am a total snail) and let me tell you -- there is nothing so fabulous as the feeling you get when you cross the finish line for the first time. The other three were awesome too, but the first one was magical. All the pain will be worth it, I promise.

I've coached for Team In Training and they've been warning us for years about the dangers of hyponatremia. Here are a couple tips:

*Don't take Advil/Motrin 24 hours before or during the marathon. Switch to Tylenol 8-hour or something similar which is less likely to interfere with your electrolyte balance. I am a big fan of 8-hour and tend to take it right at the halfway point of the marathon, it eases some of the aches right away and holds off the worst pain towards the end.

*Go to a fast food joint and snag some little salt packets. They are easy to carry with you on race day and you can eat them during your run to boost your salt intake. The best method is to lick your hand, sprinkle it with the salt packet and then lick it off. Yeah, it's gross, but it works. If you start to feel water sloshing around in your stomach while you run, your salt may be off --- so eat the packet.

*As soon as you can after crossing the finish line eat some protein. Like Power Bar Plus or some kind of protein gel. (Carb-boom makes it and you can probably get it at the expo) 10g at least in the first 1/2 hour after your finish and then another shot of about that much an hour later. It'll make your legs feel a lot better the next day. Seriously, load up on the protein ASAP.

I can't wait to hear how everything goes, but I'm sure you'll do great!

Best of luck to you and to Ken-


Hi there,

I just wanted to thank you both for your entertaining blogs over the last few months....I've enjoyed reading them and comparing training highs and lows! I'm also running the marathon Sunday (Yikes!) - I've done it before in my youth but that was 15 years ago and I am a bit nervous to say the least. It has not been the ideal training program - working shift work, a few lousy colds and the flu, minor injuries, but I plan to be there at the back of the pack Sunday with the goal of just finishing! I'm running with a much younger and stronger coworker of mine who has never done a marathon so it should be fun!

Best of luck to you both....Ken, my only advice would be to think positive and start slow, walk a few hills if you need to...I took short walking breaks at the aid stations in all 4 of the previous BSIM's I ran and it seemed to help. Jonathan, can't wait to see the hair! Thanks for the witty blogs!


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