Sunday, May 4, 2008

I Am Not Going To Run The 2009 Twin Cities Marathon In Under Four Hours

Hello and welcome to the brand new blog from Memphis Evans called "I Am Not Going To Run The 2009 Twin Cities Marathon In Under Four Hours". What is it about? Well. It's exactly what I said. I am not going to run the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon in under four hours. There is simply no chance of this happening. What is it they say?

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Well, what if you HAVE a plan, but your plan IS to fail? Where does that leave you? Or what about the following far more open-to-interpretation quote?

"She says there's no success like failure/and that failure's no success at all."

(Bob Dylan, "She Belongs To Me")

Yes, my plan is that I will fail to run the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon in under four hours. There is no chance of that happening, so put it out of your mind and I will do the same. In the meantime, I am going to try to exercise and become more healthy. Why?

I am aging. I know, for a long time it didn't seem, at least to me, like I was, but now it most certainly does. My hairline is receding. My hair is graying. I sometimes (okay often) have to stop and think of the exact word I know I want to use. I take pride in my large vocabulary, inherited from my father, who used what we kids called "large language" with me from an early age, and I want to maintain it. Also, my voice is changing. When I sing sometimes the range seems smaller and pitch less reliable. Compared to my old recordings it sounds, frankly, somewhat old and fat.

Speaking of which, my weight is higher than it has ever been. I'm a big guy, about 6'2", maybe 6'3", and sometimes when people would ask how tall I was I would say I was 6 foot 4, 220 pounds as a joke to see whether anyone would call me on it. Well guess what. It's not a joke anymore. I have actually seen the evil, red, digital 220 staring back at me on the scale. My bones ache. My back aches. When I DO run I feel like there's a lead weight strapped to my stomach. Hell, when I play MINIATURE GOLF I chafe my elbows on my gut, for god's sake.

I look at pictures of myself from 2002 and I look young, thin, vibrant. I look at pictures of myself from 2008 and I look old, double-chinned, overweight, and exhausted.

So blah, blah, blah. It happens to everybody, or at least most people, and like my dad always says about aging, "It's better than the alternative!" True. But so that's where I'm at.

"What are you going to do about it? That's what I'd like to know!"

(Paul Simon, "Gumboots")

Well, what I'm going to do about it is four things.

One. I'm going to write this blog, probably around once a week. It's not a new idea. In fact, it's an idea that a very close friend of mine has had radical, life altering, highly inspiring success with in the last couple years. Visit when you're done here. His story is amazing. You could consider this, if I'm successful, a "cover" blog in the same way that when I sing "Suspcious Minds" it is a "cover" song. Like Chazz, I welcome your comments, encouragement, and stories of your own. (I will not, however, post anonymous comments. They always strike me as lazy.)

Two. I'm going to weigh myself every day, or close to it. And I made a graph of weight over time that I've hung on my bedroom wall. It's not elegant, but it's right above the scale. I can't miss it on my way out to go running.

Three. I'm going to go running and/or do yoga. I won't say I'll do it every day because I won't. I think I'll set an initial goal of three times a week. Yeah, that sounds good.

Four. I'm going to try to make good decisions about food. I LOVE eating chips, popcorn, bacon, bratwurst, etc. Especially while I watch tv. Every day I face food decisions and I usually go to the dark side. If chips are served with a sandwich I HATE leaving them on the plate. I feel like they will be sad chips and "go to waste" if I just throw them out. Perhaps I will put a gold star on the wall graph if I make good decisions about food or something.

So that's it. That's where we're at. Let's see where we go. And remember: I'm not going to run the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon in under four hours. There is just absolutely no way, so just leave it alone!

What's that? Yes, it's true, I finished the 1996 Twin Cities Marathon. I have the official "finishers only" t-shirt and the medal is around here somewhere. But I was only 24 years old! My metabolism was, I now realize, jaw droppingly fast or high or however the very, very easy end of that continuum is described. I probably weighed about 160 and didn't even own a scale. I could eat Chinese Buffet four times a week, and often tacked on one or two entire frozen pizzas at night while watching two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation on a tv that was not only not High-Def, but was actually not In Color! It was that long ago.

Yes, I was behind the times. I mean, there WERE color televisions, I just didn't have one. Didn't even HAVE the black and white one, just borrowed it for a few years. And anyway, even then, with the race horsey/greyhound metabolism, the 24 year old body, and all the time in the world to train, I still finished just barely under FIVE hours and I was crying in pain when I finished. So let's be clear. I think I will be able to get healthier, maybe even get below 200 pounds, maybe live longer so I maximize my time on earth with my family, but I'll say this one more time:

There is no way I will finish the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon in under four hours.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I'm going on the "piss off a gypsy" diet plan from Stephen King's "Thinner". I hear it's very effective.

And while I can't legitimately take issue with how you yourself hear your voice, I think it sounds better than it did ten years ago - there's more in there. Ten years ago your voice was delicious chili. Today it's a satisfying gumbo.