Sunday, September 12, 2010

Progress, and Man Nipples

Days until Marathon: 231
Weight: 257.1 pounds
Distance: 5.51 miles (Walton Trail)
Total miles-to-date: 202

You have heard the famous saying that, "A watched pot never boils." But you may not have heard the slightly less famous saying that, "A watched scale rarely demonstrates the dramatic nature of weight loss or gain." I think the same person said both of them, but for some reason, the first one caught on better.

With that in mind, it has been 125 days since my last post. In that time, I have run 190 miles, and lost 15 pounds.

I was getting sort of discouraged about my weight lately, until typing that last line. 15 pounds is actually a lot, but 15 pounds in 125 days averages out to only .12 pounds per day. Plus, in all reality, my weight has been doing the cha cha around those numbers for the last 4 months.

It's really hard to get an idea of how "less fat" you are by watching the scale fluctuate every morning. Some days you're down a few pounds, and you're like, "Sweet! I should celebrate with some doughnuts!" Other days you're up a few pounds, and you're like, "Damnit. I might as well drown my sorrows with some doughnuts." Either way, you lose track of what "works" and what doesn't, and you start to feel as if there isn't really any point to it all.

Seeing it written as "15 pounds," while it could be better, is a nice reinforcer for the benefits of the last 200 miles.

Speaking of those 200 miles, I've learned 2 very important things about running:
  1. Form is everything
  2. Man nipples are not only completely useless, they are also a terrific deterrent to running for an extended amount of time
First a comment about form. I think I've finally found a comfort zone in the way I run. It's not very fast, and it sure ain't pretty, but I can maintain it for at least 6 miles at a time.

For me, whenever I start to wear down in a run, I remind myself of these three things: short strides, stand up straight, and keep it springy. Not real exciting, but it seems to keep me going.

Unfortunately, those techniques are probably way off base, and will eventually result in complete and total muscular failure in the middle of some high profile event in front of my children. However, if you're a running coach, please don't email me to tell me it's all wrong. Let me live in my deluded little dream world for now. It's warm in there.

As for man nipples, WHAT THE HECK?

As if all of the other running discomfort wasn't enough? We have to have these two things on our chest to make us feel even less macho? It only takes about 5 miles before it feels like someone is taking a metal file to each one.

I've tried bandaids, but it only takes one episode of my children seeing me "prepare" my nipples, before someone calls a government office to file a report. Besides, ripping out chest hair at the end of every run isn't my favorite way of celebrating my achievement.

My next move is to simply cut out the offending fabric on each side of my running shirt. That will eliminate the friction, and have the added benefit of improved ventilation. The shirt will look ridiculous to non-runners, but I think "our people" in the running world will surely understand.

If you have any other nipple saving techniques, I'd love to hear about them.


  1. If I remember my exercise physiology correctly, if a person is aiming for sustainable weight loss, then they should aim for between three and five pounds per month. Any more than that, and the body tends to rebound, adding lost weight back on quickly.

    So... if I do my math right, 125 days is a little over four months, and fifteen pounds lost in that time makes about three and a half pounds per month. That's a pretty healthy pace for weight loss.

    I math good. Keep it up!