Monday, June 27, 2011


Well, one week and one day has passed since I completed the Perth Marathon. Every so often I have to stop and pinch myself to realize that it wasn't a dream, that I really did it. Then I walk and my still blistered feet tell me how real it was. Every step I take reminds me of every step I took, I feel more than ready to start training again, but my feet are saying let's have a few more days.
And what to train for, I have a vague idea that I might like to do a half.... Marathon later in the year, but how soon I'm not sure.
As for the future of this blog, well I'm not sure there either, it's served me well, a great way to get my thoughts out about my journey to become a marathon runner, now that I'm there I'm not sure of it's usefulness. I'm sure I'll think of something.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Broken Bricks

Well I said I'd post last night but one thing and another and here we are it's Monday.Of course it's Monday I'm in pain,tired and have blisters as big as Gary Ablett's wallet, but I have a couple of other things, I have a medal that says I've finished a marathon and I have a massive sense of achievement.
I also have a huge amount of gratitude for the people who helped me and encouraged me. Clearly Tracy has been 100% with me, it's just not possible to do these sorts of things without your family onside. Abbey has also been a huge support.
On the day I cannot go past the massive support that Adam Crawley gave, riding along with me carrying drinks & gels and constantly encouraging. My only criticism is that he tried to talk me into a half ironman next, no way mate, no way. Adam also provided awesome assistance to one of my fellow marathoners,Julie McDonald, who was struggling towards the end of the freeway leg, with Adam's encouragement she beat me by 23 seconds in what has to be the worlds slowest photo finish. I just had no energy to catch her, let alone pass her, though if anyone asks I did the right thing and let the lady go first.
Colin Prior, Jeremy Savage & Kelly Underwood all joined me in the last vital stages and all made me feel pretty good on the last few k's(other than the fact that I felt like crap they did a top job)
My fitness journey has introduced me to so many great people and yesterday they where out in force. Kudos to you all.
Those of you who have followed my blog know that I often use White Stripes songs as blog titles, this blog was very nearly called "I just don't know what to do with myself" (it's on elephant by the way) just for the fact that I really don't know what to do next. I know for the next few days I'll recover but after that who knows. But for the record, no half iron mans

Friday, June 17, 2011

When I hear my name

It's less than 48 hours until the start of the marathon(and less than 48 to the finish) and I've now reached the point where besides eating,drinking & sleeping I can do no more to prepare. I had a small run tonight, felt really good just turning the legs over. Now of course I start to wonder if I've done enough, but if I have or I haven't I can't change anything now.
One thing I can do is thank everyone who has pumped up my tires over the last 6 months, everybody who has posted a comment, pressed like on facebook or yelled at me from a passing car(though maybe the guys shouting the other day weren't really encouraging).
So I say thanks to everyone, I'll post again on Sunday night to let you know how I went, Tracy will also post on my facebook through the race(well that's the plan)
If you come down, don't forget to shout at the Fatboy

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Better value than Usain Bolt

Chances are you have heard of Usain Bolt, the stupendously fast runner who can cover 100 meters in mere seconds. I am not nearly as fast as Usain Bolt, not even close. But there is one area where I think I've got Usain covered, and that is value for money. Allow me to explain, an Olympic games ticket to see the Mens 100 metre final must cost what $100? Maybe more, and that is of course if you could get one. All this for less than 10 seconds entertainment. Whatever you do, don't sneeze or answer your phone, you might miss it. Sure you'll see the worlds fastest man but only for a few fleeting seconds.
Or on the other hand you could come and watch me participate in the Perth Marathon, with my expected finish time of up to 6 hours there is no danger of sneezing and missing the event, it also represents $216,000 of Usain value(@$100 per 10 seconds). Sure it won't be raw speed but I will guarantee that there will be(almost) constant movement. Also, whether you are there to cheer or not, Usain wont notice, but if you cheer me on, I'll definitely notice. I may even wave.
So you see I am better value than Usain Bolt.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Final days

Yesterday was two weeks to go until the Perth Marathon. As part of my training I ran a half marathon distance. It was possibly one of the best learning experiences I could have had ahead of the actual event. Some of the things I learnt for certain are:
* it's time for new shoes
* 3 slices of toast isn't enough for a big run
* water fountains around the river are a little too far apart
* my iPhone battery is not up to marathon pace
* my wife is an awesome runner
* Don't eat Vietnamese meals the night before a big run.

So a couple of lessons to be taken out of it. Mainly, make sure my kit is right, nutrition is right and my pre race hydration is up to scratch.
A bit to do, but I think I can work it all out in time,time will tell

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One month to go

For those who don't own a calendar tomorrow is the 19th of May, which means that as of now I have 1 month until the Perth Marathon. When I started on the idea in January, June seemed so far away. As it gets closer, I'll start to worry if I done enough training, whether I'm up to it and a whole bunch of other things. That said I've had the same worries with every single event I've ever done, is it normal? I don't know, I can't imagine ever being 100% confident, so maybe that's the driver.
I'll try to post a bit more in this final month, and also a bit after the event. Hopefully I'll be considering my next challenge.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Start Me Up(with apologies to Mick & Keef)

One of the hardest things I find with all my training is getting started, climbing out of bed early or going out after work getting started is the hardest part. The bizarre part of this is that once I'm going the rush is fantastic, the flow of endorphins is better than any drug I've ever taken. That drug is even stronger on competitive days, that final run down the chute at a triathalon, crossing the line at a time trial, finishing a run. If somebody could bottle that stuff it would put every drug dealer in the world out of business. But as I say as good as it is, some days it's just too hard to get started.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Measuring Progress

I had a run on Sunday that turned into possibly the toughest I'd ever done, why so? Well for starters I forgot something I've learned on the bike many times: know where the wind is. It's all very well feeling like your flying along and all courtesy of your powerful legs,lungs & heart only to turn around and find it was all courtesy of a howling easterly and now you have to get the head down and pedal home. And so it went on Sunday, I ran from home down to East Perth and headed round the river, I still felt pretty good by the time I passed the belltower and it was decision time, I'd already passed half way on my 15kms, should I turn back and head for home or should I carry on and go round the south Perth side of the river. Feeling good and fast I decided to carry on, I had another opportunity to stop at the 9k mark but decided to push on again.
Once I had crossed the narrows I realized just how much help the wind had been giving me and within a few minutes I knew it was not going to help me any more today.
So for the 8km going home I must have looked like the fat guy who bit off more than he could chew and was struggling to run, lots of stopping to walk.
All up it was a good lesson, but a little depressing because I'd arrived home completely smashed, and feeling like I'd made no progress at all.
That was when Tracy told me to remember the times when I wouldn't walk at all, not even around the block. So sometimes when you feel like your not making progress you have to look back a little further, just to see how far you've come.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sign posts

If we consider fitness a journey, then ultimately we come up against roadblocks, things that prevent us getting fitter, stop us working out or whatever. But what about the sign posts, the things that help us get where we are going. In the main, for me these are people, who have helped and encouraged me to get fitter, and in doing that they have helped change my life. Hopefully what I write on this blog will make me a signpost for others but in the meantime I'm going to acknowledge these people here on my blog:
My wife Tracy: from the day my wife said she was going to join a gym and did I want to have a look to my latest achievement, Tracy has given me encouragement and support, my biggest booster.
Stuart: my first personal trainer at the gym, Stuart encouraged me to not worry about how I looked but to focus on my results, pretty important when you are a self conscious 170kg man.
Emma Towler: Emma was the first RPM instructor who's class I took at Vic Park Zest, she took an interest, always had heaps of encouragement and always made sure I was working hard. Got me hooked on RPM, defintely a good thing.
Dave Enwright: another group fitness instructor who's interest in his participants goes above & beyond. I first went to one of David's pump classes a few years back and must have looked pretty ordinary because he got me to stay back and work on my technique, since that day every time I saw him he was super encouraging.
Andrew Paterson: after seeing how much I liked RPM Andrew asked me if I had a bike and did I ever ride outside, I had a bike but didn't ride it much. I decided to give it a try and liked it, since then I've bought new bikes and had some awesome riding experiences, Thanks Andrew.
Mickey Boulton: sold me my first bike, and my second and my third. He encouraged me to join the shops group rides, to try out triathlon and encourage me in everything I've had a shot at. Never ask Mickey if you should try something unless you want the answer to be Yes.
I've had so much support & encouragement from so many people sometimes it's hard to keep track, if I've missed anyone my apologies, if I've inspired anyone to do anything, that's fantastic. If I can inspire anyone to be a sign post in someone elses life thats even better.
Thanks everyone for reading, encouraging and humoring this fatboy

Back at it

First run tonight after a week off recovering from the half marathon. Although it's been nice to have the break, it really felt good to be back out there. Tonight I did intervals over a fairly short distance(3km). With less than 3 months to go until the big day I've got a truckload to do, but I'm determined to keep doing it.
Keep the comments and the support coming, it means a lot to me!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

1st goal down

I fully expected that doing a half marathon in the hills would be tough, and guess what, I was right, it was tough. But funnily enough, I never felt that it had me beaten, in fact by about the 7 or 8 km mark I started to realize that I would make it and I would be OK. Not quite sure why it was then that I realized, but it was. Just this feeling that the course had thrown everything at me, but hadn't beaten me.
Now that I sit back & relax, I can honestly say what a great experience it was, the number of other runners who cheered me on, gave a thumbs up or just a smile was awesome. The number of people clapping & cheering as I ran down the finish chute and just the overwhelming sense of achieving something.
Time now for a little rest, and then back into training for the full marathon in June.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taper time

Tonight I went for my last run before Sundays half marathon, unlike Tuesday's run I didn't feel any nerves or caution and actually got into a reasonable rythym for the 5 km. This is by far the hardest bit, in every event I've ever trained for I've never felt like I've done enough(probably because I haven't) but the time always arrives when you can do no more. The temptation is there to go for a run again tommorow but everyone tells me I should taper.
Anyway by mid morning on Sunday I will well & truly know whether or not I did enough.
Think of me as you sleep in on Sunday Morning

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I can't wait

Tonights run was my most nervous run in a long time. Why the nerves? Well I ran big on Sunday, 14 kilometers in the morning, followed by 5.5 in the evening at the marathon club twilight run. It was a big day but I felt I pulled up pretty well on Monday and started to plan my week to lead up to the half marathon ottis Sunday. With a light week in mind I set off for a 5 km run, thinking that it should be easy. Not so. Every time I felt a little tiredness in my leg, particularly the left one, I wanted to stop.The concern of pushing too hard stopped me pushing at all.
I expect the next few days will be very much like this, constant nerves and doubt, constantly thinking whether that normal ache in my leg is the beginning of a new injury. That said I'm quite excited that a big testing event has finally arrived, something that will test me like nothing before.
I can't wait

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Mongerel

The weekend after next I'm going to attempt my first half marathon, 21.3 kilometres. I'm a bit nervous for a couple of reasons, one it's a long way and secondly the first half is uphill. Usually before competing in an event I'd like to attempt the distance in training, but with the interruption to training caused by my calf injury I reckon the longest run I'll manage is between 12 & 15kms. I have read that with distance running, it's not necessary to have done the distance, I hope that's right.
One thing I'll be relying is what my mate Mickey calls the mongerel, I was complaining one day to him that I'd agreed to ride with a group to Mandurah but I hadn't been on the bike much and was a bit worried that I'd struggle to keep up or make the distance(it's about 80kms. He just said to me you'll make it, you've got the Mongerel in you. It was one of the nicest things anybody has ever said to me and it's something I think about every time I go for a run or conTemplate doing something hard.
It's often said that a lot of physical achievement is largely mental, and I guess this is what the Mongerel is about, another word for mental toughness. I don't for a minute think that I'm any tougher than anyone else who gets out there, but I'm pleased to say that when the going gets tough next Sunday, I'll be drawing on every bit of the Mongerel to get me home.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More from the Fatboy

So the physio has given me the all clear, and running has resumed. Must say I'm enjoying it more than ever. So much so that yesterday I got out of bed at 6am to go running.I've also noticed that some of the weight I put on while injured has started to come back off, won't be the Fatboy forever. Today it's off to the gym for some weights and possibly a swim. The next step will be to up my distances, but slowly because I don't want a trip back to the physio any time soon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I can't wait

Haven't posted for a bit as I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself with this injury. On Wednesday the physio said I could ease back into things with a walk then a short run, then to see how I went. So I ran and walked on Friday afternoon and managed about 3k's, probably a bit further than I was supposed to, but it didn't feel too bad. took a day off on Saturday, then hit it again this morning. Pleased to say 5k's pain free, no problems. In fact how I feel right now I think I could resume full training. So as things stand, I think I'm about 50/50 for the half marathon in March but I'm confident I can get my training back on track for the full in June. Can't wait for the next run.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A trip to the physio

After spending a fair amount of time panicking(particurlarly with help from a work colleague who's diagnosis was scary) I went off to the physio this afternoon. The good news is it's fairly minor and it's more fatigue related. So with some rest, massage and some excercises I should be back running fairly soon. It means this weekends run is out of the question, and I think the pressure will be on for the half marathon in March but I should be able to stay on track for the full in June. Look's like the bike might come out this weekend. Nice.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Girl, You have no faith in medicine

Well, tonights run brought an unwelcome friend along:injury. For a big, relatively unfit man who attempts stupid tests of my physical ability I have had very few injuries. In fact other than general soreness post an event and the odd lingering pain from a cramp I've had a pretty good run. Tonight I experienced pain and an odd sensation, fear. I've seen it before but never really understood it on the faces of injured sportspeople,that initial thought that what if this injury lasts long enough to ensure I miss a major goal, the next match in a world cup, the finals in football, a start in the Tour. For me my next major goal is a 16km marathon club run on Sunday followed by a half marathon in 5 weeks. I was running along pretty well tonight, no pain and very even breathing when I felt a ping or a pop or something indescribable explode in my calf, nano seconds later pain. I walked a few steps and tried to run on it again, more pain, then fear.For the first time ever on a training run I had to admit defeat and phone my wife, now I sit with my leg on ice and I'm pretty downcast. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Hardest Button to Button

fter running 5k's on Thursday, I tried the same distance and loop on Saturdy morning and lo & behold a PB. I'm obviously getting faster and the 5k loop is not presenting an issue. So I thought today I'dd ahve a crack at going a bit further, after all if I'm going to become a marathon man, further will need to be my motto. So I set out with a view to running for an hour, this is almost harder than running k's because you just don't know how far you will get. As it turned out I managed to run 45minuts and about 5.5kn without any stop, then I managed another 2.5km over the next 15 minutes. All up pretty happy to manage about 8ks an hour, now the only thing is to do that for 42 km's. OH. So it's clear I need to a lot more and quickly, first thing I'm back off the booze, second I'm determined to run 25k's this week. Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Seven Nation Army counldn't hold me back

Today was pretty tough work was hard, I was tired and I'd ran 6+ k's yesterday and to top it all off my favourite band announced that they were finsihed. That's right, the White Stripes have announced it's all over. Sad news indeed. Still I decided to get out and run, and I'm happy that I did, 5k's in hot weather and an OK time and I feel like I'm right back on target. Another few K's tommorow and things should be right on target.
I'll post again tommorow and to honour Jack & Meg, my next few posts will be titled with White Stripes songs, I may even write a post or two about the profound effect there music has had on my life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One month down

It's hard to believe January is already gone, which means I now have only 5 and a half months to marathon day. Even more scary, I have about 6 weeks to my half marathon attempt.
Although I ran today and was pretty happy with it, there is a constant feeling that I'm not doing enough and that I won't be ready in time.
I guess only time will tell, but I really have to make every day count from here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Try Try Again

Wasn't happy with falling 50 metres short of 5km on Saturday, nor with my GPS not measuring while on the run so I had another crack this evening with a slight detour to get the extra 50 metres and a bit of testing on the GPS. Success on both counts 5.11km all fully tracked and under 40 minutes. Even got a pep talk from Lance Armstrong at the end, no offer of drugs though. Time now to start cranking the distance, 10 plus k's on Australia day followed by something similar on the weekend. Can't wait.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Missed by that much

Ran today with my new shoes and had another crack at working out the Nike GPS, unfortunately I didn't figure it out to till the end of my run.When I checked out the distances on line I found out that I had run 4.95km, missing the 5km mark by 50m. DOH, never mind another chance will come at tommorows Matilda Bay run.Pleased to report the new shoes where fantastic.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Shoes

Today, Tracy and I went to Runners world and got some new shoes. Just going to a shop called Runners world made me feel like a runner. I even took my old running shows so they could check wear patterns. I was really worried that the lady would take one look at my shoes, conclude that I run like a spastic and kick me to KMart for some KT26's, but she was really encouraging and let us try on heaps of pairs till we found the right ones.
Of course the downside to having new shoes is one less excuse to run further and faster. I haven't tested them on the road yet, but after work tommorow, watch out for the Fatboy pounding the mean streets of Lathlain.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Training Day

This afternoon I went down to a training session at the marathon club, effectively this is a matter of going for a run with a bunch of people over a set course. For me this basically involved running on my own as I couldn't keep up with the group I went out with. No matter to me though as I quite enjoy the solitude of a run. Completed 6.5 km in about 48 minutes so I was pretty happy with my ru, less happy with my new GPS program on my iPhone which didn't record any distance, further testing required I think.
Rest day tommorow(and hopefully a new pair of shoes) then back to it on Friday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Turning Point?

Tonight was the first time I've run for a while where it all actually felt pretty good, I did 4.5km around the streets of my neighbourhood and just felt right. Still not fast, but with energy to burn, I went back down my hill twice more just to run up it again. I'd like to think this is maybe a turning point, when the endorphins kick in and running becomes that addictive must do it again soon thing. I think I had that feeling when I was doing my city to surf training, and fingers crossed here it comes again.
Training with the marathon club tommorrow night, as the Violent Femmes sung: Good feeling, won't you stay with me just a little longer.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Event Number 2: Twilight Run

Another Sunday, and another marathon club event. This time a twilight run starting at 6pm and running along the river near Burswood Golf Course. Finished my five kilometres in just under 42 minutes so it would appear I'm getting slower, but once again no excuses(I'm tempted to blog a list of excuses).
Once again though the moral of the story is more running to be done.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's a sign

After a massively long work day yesterday, I crawled into bed to watch a bit of telly before drifting off. Flicking through the channels I noticed the film, Run Fatboy Run was on. Despite nicking the title for my blog, I've never actually seen this film. Sad to see I haven't seen much more of it, because i fell asleep fairly quickly. Well I'm taking it as a sign that its meant to be, and I'm off to the shops to get the DVD.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Running Tracks

Last night I stupidly left my iPhone in the car and as a result this morning, had no music on my run.It didn't go so bad(other than having to listen to my own heavy breathing)but it got me thinking of my favorite tracks to run to. I've created a top 10 but I'd like anyone who has a favorite to pop it into the comments, after all with all the running I'm going to be doing I reckon I'm gonna need a whole bunch of songs.
1. Seven Nation Army-The White Stripes: This is at the top for some pretty simple reasons, a killer riff, driving beat and the lyric"A Seven Nation Army couldn't hold me back", nuff said really.There's also a bunch of other White Stripes tunes that I like running to, Black Math, Fell in Love with a girl, Blue Orchid.
2.Broken Bones-Birds of Tokyo: Like Seven Nation Army, the lyrics make this a fantastic running track but it needs to come on when your on struggle street. Should be a Metallica song though and done real heavy.
3.In my arms-Mylo: There's a bunch of Mylo tunes that could make the cut but I choose this one because it was recomended in Women's Health(Tracy's copy, I swear) and it's great for settling into a steady rythym.
4.Ragoo-Kings of Leon: This was originally in my run play list as the first track when I started training for the city to surf, and has never been out since. Can't explain why it works for me, just does.
5.Fucking in the Bushes-Oasis:This is a good song in it's own right mainly because it doesn't sound much like an Oasis tune, once again driving beats and a pretty decent riff.
6.Born to Run-Bruce Springsteen:OK I know this is super cliched or maybe just a bd pun, but for me the song works as a running track, small confession though, I have a live version recorded by Something for Kate that I prefer to listen to when I'm running, just guitar & vocals. And by the way if you saaw me running, definitely not Born to Run.
7.Something Good-Utah Saints: something about this song makes we want to run along with my hands in the air, maybe it's the shouting of the bands name all through the intro, gotta love the ego of giving yourself a shout out in your own song. So far I've resisted the temptation to wave my hands in the air like I just don't care. In case your wondering 92 version, not the 08 remix. And in case you thought I didn't know, it's a Kate Bush sample. There I've said it I listen to Kate Bush(sort of)
8.Little Lion Man-Mumford & Sons:Starts quite slow and builds, so once again fairly good as a pick me up track. Bit of gratioutous swearing never goes astray when your running on struggle street either.
9.White Trash-Professor Ratbaggy: Pretty much instrumental track by one of Paul Kelly's side projects, mainly just a great riff. Not too much to think about.
10.Start Me Up-The Rolling Stones: Certainly not the Stones best song but good as a track one(you guessed it)

Best Interval track: My mate Karl reckons Store Bought Bones by the Racounteours, I'll have to take his word for it because I barely ever run intervals, but it's a top track.

Best Warm Down track: I can't go past Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones, dunno why, but it's a song that slows me down every time.

So there it is, I've bared my musical soul and let the world know about my favourite running tracks, well now I want to hear about yours, post them in the comments and give us a reason.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Event number one

Today was my first event with the WA marathon club, an enthusiastic bunch of runners who organize runs pretty much weekly, all year round.
5 kilometers seemed like a bit of a doddle on paper and I've ran the distance before so I thought I'd be pretty good to do it in about 35 minutes. Well I could post a bunch of reasons as to why I didn't do it in 35 but the truth is I just need to do more work, 40 minutes for me.
That said everybody was super encouraging and I didn't finish last. Tracy ran really well too, so maybe she should be doing the marathon.

Welcome to Run Fatboy Run

Recently I decided that running a marathon might be a good idea, How exactly I came to this decision is not clear even to me but a decision has been made. It's not the first time that I've decided to do something that appeared to be a bit of a stretch, I've been on long bike rides, done triathlons and last year ran the city to surf. No big deal for most people really, so this is not a blog to say how good I am, no this is about keeping me accountable to my goals. I started my journey from sloth to marathon man 4 years ago when my wife suggested join a gym and get a bit more active. On my first visit to the gym I weighed 170kgs and could barely keep up with the treadmill. 4 years later I've lost 40 kilos, but I've still got a long way to go.
So here I am, still looking to lose some weight, and also wanting to take on distance runnings ultimate challenge. Join me on the journey as I work up to the Perth Marathon on the 19/6/2011. Leave your comments, encouraging or not, and if you see me running the streets don't forget to shout Run Fatboy Run.