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Display Name Post: A Dumb Idea        (Topic#37501)
NSmith
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Total Posts: 146
12-17-20 04:30 PM - Post#905792    



In the face of impending first time fatherhood (due date Jan 2nd), I've decided to turn December into one last "Nic tries to do something stupid" before baby arrives. I am dubbing it Dadcember and the goal is to run the mileage of the date each day until the end of the month, or until baby arrives, or until my legs fall off (this option seems most likely).

The first nine days of the month I ran singles, and since then I have gone:

10th: 7 + 3
11th: 8 + 3
12th: 8 + 4
13th: 13
14th: 10 + 4
15th: 15
16th: 8 + 8
17th: 12 + 5

The biggest mileage week I've ever done prior to this was about 80 during the peak of quarantine in April, and I promptly had to take about 8 weeks off for what I thought was a stress fracture in my foot but ended up being arthritis/tendonitis (did I mention this is a dumb idea?). A normal week of training for me is more like 40 miles. Legs are holding up okay so far, definitely a bit of tenderness in the foot that was hurt before (though in a different spot).

Anyway, this forum is a place of such sane, reasonable training ideas that I thought I'd spice it up with some pure idiocy.

Merry Christmas!
vincit qui se vincit


 
Neil W.
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Total Posts: 22
12-17-20 05:13 PM - Post#905793    



If the assumption is that caring for your first newborn will be a physically recuperative time, then ya - that's not the smartest idea.

People told me as my first was approaching, "Sleep! Sleep now! Why are you even standing here listening to me?!" I thought it was a good joke, but it was straight truth.
 
Dan John
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Total Posts: 11824
12-17-20 05:28 PM - Post#905794    



Now, that made me laugh out loud.
Daniel John
Just handing down what I was handed down...


Make a Difference.
Live. Love. Laugh.
Balance work, rest, play and pray (enjoy beauty and solitude)
Sleep soundly. Drink Water. Eat veggies and protein. Walk.
Wear your seat belt. Don’t smoke. Floss your teeth.
Put weights overhead. Pick weights off the floor. Carry weights.
Reread great books. Say thank you


 
Pontyclun
*
Total Posts: 2158
12-17-20 07:10 PM - Post#905796    



The absolute torture of months of sleep deprivation cannot be exaggerated. The baby will break you, but it will be worth it.

I suggest any free time before baby is spent filling your freezer with batch cooked meals, and learning how all the baby stuff works before arrival. You don’t want to be reading the instructions of a steriliser at 3AM for the first time.
Owen Brown, a Biomedical Scientist from Pontyclun, Wales.


 
Neander
*
Total Posts: 7651
A Dumb Idea
12-17-20 08:13 PM - Post#905798    



Go for it! Go nuts before baby arrives. And really, having kids ain't the MASSIVE DEAL and ABSOLUTE END OF ENERGY FOR FUN STUFF some people might see it as. That's one view, sure, but to me it's garbage. Working, training and having little ones can show you a lot about yourself, just like going beyond what you "normally" do in just training can. Forget what the learned and life's tiresome safety seekers say . . .

Don't make freakin' sense for a while, just have at 'er for a spell and have fun with it.

Torture of sleep deprivation after having a newborn? What the hell is that. I really didn't notice it much. All three of those times were some of the most energetic periods in my life. Good Grief. I shudder to think how "organized" the average "same" person's life must be. YAWN. A lot of planning, yawning, and then death. Oh wait, did I forget worrying?

Sure, it's easy for me to laugh now, but just wait. I'll be on my deathbed saying, "I shoulda worried more and been happy less. Shoulda saved more, paid them bills right away and kept outta debt."
Reminds me of a quote . . . The day you die is just like any other
only shorter.

Hahaha . . . but what really surprised me the last while what with yer Covid is the overwhelming need folks carry around with them. You know, that need for there to be permanence and security in unchanging measure forever, even if there's not and never was. Really surprised me! I figured it would be a fine time to fess up to the oh-so-scary truth that there's no net and we're all waltzing about blind on a tightrope over a bottomless pit of, well, for want of a better word, nothing, all the while yammering on about the right way to brush our teeth and what to eat. 1 LOVE THE MADNESS IN THAT! And the way it's passed off as sane so easily! Reminds me of another quote . . . There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment.

Yikes!

Anyhows, what's the deal with saying Merry Christmas? When is it too soon?
I believe in my all knowing soul and, kaff-kaff. heart of hearts that it's an appropriate and generally accepted time right here and now, so

Merry Christmas!
If you're not sweating you need to find another gear.





Edited by Neander on 12-17-20 08:47 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
tom6112
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Total Posts: 707
12-17-20 11:27 PM - Post#905801    



My biggest week was 60 and month 210.
The rest of the month I would run twice a day and 3 times a day if possible.
I would think joint pain would be a big issue.
Are you running any on grass or dirt?
Be careful I am sure your wife will be mad if you are on crutches in January
 
RupertC
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Total Posts: 1419
A Dumb Idea
12-18-20 02:09 AM - Post#905803    



  • Neil W. Said:
People told me as my first was approaching, "Sleep! Sleep now! Why are you even standing here listening to me?!" I thought it was a good joke, but it was straight truth.



This advice is gold! Also, congratulations!
Check out my critical-thinking blog at sharpenyouraxe.substack.com




Edited by RupertC on 12-18-20 02:10 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
BrianBinVA
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Total Posts: 4263
12-18-20 09:03 AM - Post#905806    



Great post, Dale.

NSmith, it honestly is not as "bad" as all that.

This depends greatly on your setup and your baby, of course, and it will be made more challenging by COVID (hard for people to come help, etc), but truly, don't fear the newborn. It's a wonderful time -- enjoy it.
"You are not good enough to be disappointed."

-- Dan John

"I play real sports, not trying to be the best at exercising."

-- Kenny Powers


 
vegpedlr
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Total Posts: 1135
12-18-20 11:50 AM - Post#905810    



It’s good to tilt at windmills every now and then. As a practitioner of stupid ideas out in the forest, I can relate. My only worry would be injury. It would be extra fun if that final day could be a 50k trail race.

Best of luck, and if your legs fall off, just ice them and taper them back on.
 
AusDaz
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Total Posts: 3504
A Dumb Idea
12-18-20 04:46 PM - Post#905824    



I spend most of my time telling people not to do dumb stuff and the rest of my time doing dumb stuff to remind me why it’s better not to do dumb stuff.

I’m sure somewhere out there is someone who can learn from other people doing dumb stuff why its better not to do dumb stuff. I’m not that someone.

And sometimes dumb stuff is good. Suffering is cathartic and it sounds like you need some time out on the road to reconcile yourself to your changed circumstances.

So go for it. I wish you well with it all.

Edited by AusDaz on 12-18-20 04:47 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
NSmith
*
Total Posts: 146
Re: A Dumb Idea
12-19-20 01:39 PM - Post#905840    



Thanks all for the kind words. I'm definitely not deluded enough to think the first months with a newborn will be an opportunity for physical recuperation, but I do anticipate a time of forced reduction in my running. Sorta doubling up now while I can.

Made it through the 18th with a 10 and an 8. Today I did 6 early and will get out for 13 later on. Starting to get a little rough.

  • Neander Said:
Hahaha . . . but what really surprised me the last while what with yer Covid is the overwhelming need folks carry around with them. You know, that need for there to be permanence and security in unchanging measure forever, even if there's not and never was. Really surprised me! I figured it would be a fine time to fess up to the oh-so-scary truth that there's no net and we're all waltzing about blind on a tightrope over a bottomless pit of, well, for want of a better word, nothing, all the while yammering on about the right way to brush our teeth and what to eat. 1 LOVE THE MADNESS IN THAT! And the way it's passed off as sane so easily! Reminds me of another quote . . . There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment.




Neander, this pinged in my memory something I wrote years ago in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. Hope it's not being too indulgent to post it here (its loosely athletics based):

"The Fear of Living"

Whether I have ever outright told him so or not, my older brother is one of my heroes. Undoubtedly this stems partly from some genetic hardwiring as old as time, a predilection of the younger to take an upward gaze toward the elder, but it would be an undervaluing of his quality as a man to leave it at that. He has always had a natural ability to feel out the goodness in others, an ease of going that makes him pleasant, honest company in any setting. That he is also the most ferocious competitor I have ever met might seem at odds in comparison, but somehow works to complement his good nature. His simple, straightforward way of treating people transfers into the athletic realm: the gun goes off, and he is going to win or damn it all trying.

I always knew, and admired, this competitive quality about him as we grew up together. Three years his junior, though just two years behind him in school, I would watch his athletic prowess on the soccer fields or around the track, while using his accomplishments as the measuring stick against which I inevitably fell short. It was not until his senior year of high school, however, that this sibling adulation crystallized into something lasting.

It was the county championship track meet, and I watched from the stands, sidelined by a hospitalization from the previous summer that ultimately put an end to my competitive running career. From this perch I witnessed his come into full blossom. The race was the mile, and he was among a handful of competitors who might win, though the favorite was a boy with a personal best time several seconds faster than the rest, and proven superior closing speed. Likely with this closing speed in mind, my brother went to the lead around five hundred yards to go, more than a lap from the finish. A gap materialized, but the favorite responded, slowly eliminating it until he came up on my brother’s shoulder with half a lap remaining. Choosing smartly to sit behind for the final turn, he then emerged wide with one hundred yards to go and surged past my brother, who was clearly spent.

Only he wasn’t.

Where by all rights he should have folded, he instead countered, closing back down on the boy ahead until they bounded stride for stride toward the finish. I can still remember the stubborn tilt of his chin, the belligerent pumping of his arms as he churned defiantly through those final yards. A fold-away tent housing the finish-line camera blocked our view from the opposite side of the track, so as they crossed the line almost in unison, no one could immediately determine who was victorious. When my brother’s name rang out over the PA system there was an explosion of cheering from our team’s slice of the bleachers. Afterward our cantankerous coach took him aside and said simply, “Scotty, what you did that last hundred, that’s something I can’t coach,” and hugged him. I felt an unfamiliar urge to do the same, but abstained. The Smith brothers have never been much for hugging.

***
He parlayed his high school talents into a decorated career at a small Division I program at a large beachside university, attaining decoration enough, in fact, to catch the attention of well-to-do German athletics brand, who upon graduation offered him a monthly rent stipend, annual travel budget, and head-to-foot outfitting in all things three-striped. He signed on the dotted line and has been a “professional runner” ever since. Incidentals like food, cell phone plans, and gas are covered by whatever winnings he can muster at road races across the country. He’s not building a nest egg, and there’s an inherent uncertainty to his income stream, but he’s cognizant of the time limit on his current career trajectory and is making the most of it while his legs and lungs allow.

In the course of his professional career he’s contested races as short as the 800 meter and as long as the half marathon, and just about every distance in between, across hill and dale, ‘round track oval and city street. Racing has taken him to every corner of this country and beyond, to Japan and Bulgaria and back again, all in pursuit of paydays and PRs and ever elusive personal satisfaction.

Most recently his vocation took him east for the Boston Athletic Association 5k road race, contested the day before the marathon as the first leg of the BAA Distance Medley, a three race series made up of a 5k, 10k and half-marathon, spread throughout the year. Boasting a $100,000 grand prize for the overall winner, the series draws a stable of world class road-racing talent, so my brother arrived this year with the modest, but realistic goal of a top ten finish, and with it at least a small share of the winnings. On off day resulted in a less than stellar time, but more unsavory than that, an 11th place finish, just outside the money. (I imagine that business-people and lawyers and all manners of other professionals experience similar anti-climax: a promising deal unexpectedly falls through, a case months in the planning is dismissed, or what have you. I have a harder time imagining these parallel let-downs involve nearly as much lactate production or elevation of heart rates, but as I am neither lawyer nor businessman, I can’t be sure.)

I didn’t call or text him that day, figuring he was probably stewing a bit from the lackluster result. Knowing he planned to stick around the next day to take in the marathon, I texted him after the elite fields had finished, something stupid about the apparent giganticness of the top American male relative to the east Africans ahead of him, along with something even more immature about the attractiveness of our top two female finishers. He was at the finish line area in a special section for the elite participants of the weekend’s races, and confirmed the size of the top American man (he had been dubbed “The Tight End”), while remaining more noncommittal in regard to my appraisal of his female counterparts. We exchanged a few more immaterial texts and then I got back to my work day, having squandered a good part of it already surreptitiously watching the internet feed of the race.

***
As I arrived home from my part-time job later that day, I got a call from one of my roommates regarding a matter that has since slipped from memory. The part of the call that remains lodged firmly in my recollection of the day is the closing of the conversation, when he asked a simple question:

“Did you hear about Boston?”

From that moment commenced a dream like period of time, indistinguishable in the usual way of minutes or seconds or hours. Instead it was a miasma of shortened breath and heightened pulse and shivers down the spine and back up again as web pages scrolled and loaded and fingers reached frantically for numbers on a phone to reach people who weren’t answering and texts messages with no responses and rising stress threatening hysteria and images on the television replaying again and again and “have you heard from him?” and please answer oh God please answer where are you where are you please no.

Until finally (had it been days, weeks, years?) a text from his girlfriend that he was ok, and then confirmation in the form of a text message from my brother a few minutes later. Three families had been torn asunder, scores of lives permanently altered, and a city scarred, but not my family, not his life, not this day, so I allowed myself a shallow breath of relief.

But then the images kept replaying on the television and the men with their microphones and instantaneous internet reporting kept saying there might be more bombs, there was confusion and nothing was certain and a fear remained. The fear of knowing my brother, my hero, was blocks away from the blood on the ground and the uncertainty of not knowing if more was to be shed, maybe this time his. I felt the burn of tears in the corners of my eyes, and didn’t feel silly but instead lost and small, a fleck of cosmic dust caught in a storm beyond control or comprehension.

I saw the lens of my life tumbling unceremoniously from its place and felt the murky darkness of the malevolence it had filtered come crashing violently into shape, and was conscious that the shock came not so much from awareness of this evil’s existence, but from realization of the precariousness of the arrangement. This was a fear of living that had visited me on so rare an occasion that meeting it now was like taking a physical blow, and I couldn’t be sure my tears weren’t a reaction to a corporeal injury. I closed my eyes and let it run its course. (This is what you made me think of Neander)

My brother flew home safely that night and more lives were lost that week and they shut down a city but finally Neil Diamond sang again and the fear receded.

***
I understand now that what was on display around that track on that spring morning so many years ago was a conquest of this fear, played out with a drama that only physical conflict can provide. There was the initial engagement of it with his preliminary move to the front. This was a conscious, calculated courage. A rare thing in its own right, but something that can be cultivated over time to be called on with something approaching regularity by those with strength enough to do so.

It was in that second moment, on the homestretch, with the race slipping away, that the lens must have begun tumbling down and the fear roaring in. But where I could only sit paralyzed with eyes clenched shut, my brother was able to meet it with a force of will and certainty that sent it back into the depths of oblivion.

While at times I have been able to muster that first reserve of strength in the face of fear or difficulty, the second, fundamental form has eluded me, so I can’t profess to know what true conquest of the fear must feel like, that moment of victory flying across the line. I like to think it must be a sort of guarded euphoria, a deep, but not desperate draught of chilled water after near death in a desert. The satisfaction comes from acknowledgement of the strength of the defeated adversary, and knowledge that the scales might tip the other way with the next meeting. Wild celebration rings hollow in such moments.

I can’t know when next it will visit, when I’ll be served startling reminder of the frailty of my assumed self-determination. A speck of dust in the storm I remain. But when the storm brews again I’ll think of my brother, of others like him, and hope to meet it with open eyes.

The homestretch beckons.
vincit qui se vincit


 
Jordan D
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Total Posts: 414
12-19-20 03:54 PM - Post#905846    



I don't know what you do, NSmith, but as a writer myself, I can confidently say that this is as remarkable a piece of creative nonfiction (and sports journalism) as I've ever seen in any of the prestige literary magazines.

Thank you for posting that. It was a wonderful and timely read.

This forum proves better and better.
 
WxHerk
*
Total Posts: 201
12-19-20 07:52 PM - Post#905847    



  • Jordan D Said:
I don't know what you do, NSmith, but as a writer myself, I can confidently say that this is as remarkable a piece of creative nonfiction (and sports journalism) as I've ever seen in any of the prestige literary magazines.

Thank you for posting that. It was a wonderful and timely read.

This forum proves better and better.



Here, here!! May I please second that. NSmith, your writing is surpassed only by your choice of heroes...
Just my 2¢


 
Laree
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12-20-20 11:52 AM - Post#905852    



That was a great piece of writing, Nic! Thank you.

(not sure I can say as much for your programming ideas, lol)


 
The Finn
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Total Posts: 401
12-22-20 07:47 AM - Post#905878    



The idea is dumb, but sometimes you "have to" do things like that to break into some new territory.

Just be wise and stop if you start developing an overuse injury or something like it. It can take months or years to get rid of one of those.

Also, having a baby is not the end of the world.

The challenge is not how you find time to exercise. The real problem is that you quit exercising altogether and never get back into it.

Just relax and don't try to hang into your old running or workout schedule. Just do something when you can, without a strict structure. One thing less to stress about. Oh, and don't let your diet slip too much.
"My grandma Olga, a famous Finnish Powerlifter, once told me,
'Little one, take care of your gastrointestinal tract
and it'll take care of you.'
Then she struck me with some salted herring."

- TC Luoma


 
NSmith
*
Total Posts: 146
Re: A Dumb Idea
01-06-21 02:53 PM - Post#906425    



  • NSmith Said:
In the face of impending first time fatherhood (due date Jan 2nd), I've decided to turn December into one last "Nic tries to do something stupid" before baby arrives. I am dubbing it Dadcember and the goal is to run the mileage of the date each day until the end of the month, or until baby arrives, or until my legs fall off (this option seems most likely).

The first nine days of the month I ran singles, and since then I have gone:

10th: 7 + 3
11th: 8 + 3
12th: 8 + 4
13th: 13
14th: 10 + 4
15th: 15
16th: 8 + 8
17th: 12 + 5

The biggest mileage week I've ever done prior to this was about 80 during the peak of quarantine in April, and I promptly had to take about 8 weeks off for what I thought was a stress fracture in my foot but ended up being arthritis/tendonitis (did I mention this is a dumb idea?). A normal week of training for me is more like 40 miles. Legs are holding up okay so far, definitely a bit of tenderness in the foot that was hurt before (though in a different spot).

Anyway, this forum is a place of such sane, reasonable training ideas that I thought I'd spice it up with some pure idiocy.

Merry Christmas!




Update:

18th: 10 + 8
19th: 6 + 13
20th: 20
21st: 14 + 7
22nd: 7 + 9 + 6
23rd: 4 + 12 + 7
24th: Water breaks 2:30am
25th: Daughter arrives approximately 12:15 pm

The wheels came off hard on the 21st, was supposed to be a single and then my legs just stopped working about 8 miles in. The 22nd was also rough, was starting to feel okay again on the 23rd. I think I could have made it through Christmas day, but baby girl got me off the hook.

All in all a pretty good experience, ran 140 miles the last 7 days which is almost twice as much as my previous weekly high.

With baby here been living on a steady diet of humane burpees and walking with mama and kiddo. Hoping to start working in some shorter runs by the end of the week.

And thank you for the kind words about the writing. At one time I fancied myself something of a budding creative writer (and had more time to pursue it). These days I teach high school math and coach. The subject of that piece recently joined a pretty exclusive club (for Americans anyway), breaking 2:10 for the marathon.
vincit qui se vincit


 
Old Miler
*
Total Posts: 1536
Re: A Dumb Idea
01-06-21 03:49 PM - Post#906426    



I missed this thread when it started as I was on a 'computer-free vacation', but....wow...and...

1. Congratulations on fatherhood
2. Congratulations on a brilliant piece of writing
3. Congratulations on an insane months of training

My biggest ever month of mileage was about 300-310 miles, and that was using all 30 days. What you did was incredible.

One tip: about half the guys and girls in my running club (most of whom I knew since college and now have kids at high school, uni or work) "disappeared into baby-world" completely and forgot to keep any space for themselves; they emerged years later. I was one of them. The other half - usually the running couples - decided they were each going to take turns to get out for an hour at least 3x/week, see friends, go training, whatever. They stayed in better shape, and strangely, the babies never really noticed the difference.

So, try to make sure each of you get the odd hour away from parenthood, as soon as you can - it will all help.
 
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