Wednesday, March 9

5 Miles In 52 Days.

(Note from Ryan: If you'd rather hear what my picks are for American Idol tonight than a story about me getting back into shape, just scroll down to the part that says "IDOL". Then come back and read this story, because it's really interesting.)

Back in High School, I was quite the physical specimen.

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Apparently, I was also gay.

The point is, I could sprint. When it came to the mile run, I always had one of the top 10 times in the school year after year. I didn't train and I didn't work out, I was just skinny and had strong legs. I never signed up for things like track and cross country, because I hated High School sports, and was already hanging with the Student Congress crowd. Besides, I didn't like anyone that participated in sports, and there were more girls in Forensics. The concept of acting out a scene with friends was always more appealing to me than getting tackled by dudes night after night. It was all the same blurb in the yearbook, as far as I was concerned.

Shortly after graduation from High School, I began the slow process of gaining 40 extra pounds. Granted, I only weighed a shade over 100 lbs. When I was a Senior, but when you suddenly increase your weight mass by 40% in a couple years, you tend to notice. I owed this body change to a few factors:

1. I stopped consuming caffeine, which put my OCD back to a more tolerable level. My twitching and nail-chewing were reduced to the level of "moderately annoying".

2. I changed my diet, and my metabolism screeched to a halt. I became a vegetarian, and I put on weight. What the hell is that all about? Well, I replaced all the meat I used to eat with pasta and carbs, which funneled millions of extra calories into my system.

3. By 2001, I was 100% heroin free.

At the very least, I looked better. I went from a brittle looking boy, to a more filled-out, sexy looking man. No girl likes guys that are that frail looking, no matter how much emo they listen to. My love for mayonnaise increased to almost deadly levels, and the weight kept coming.

Oh yeah, I also stopped running for 5 years. When you reach a certain age, you have no reason to run anymore. After the age of 21, unless you're being chased by a mugger or a runaway bus, there's no reason whatsoever to sprint. Besides my morning and afternoon walk from the parking lot to the office (appx. 12 feet), I don't even go outside anymore.

I wasn't healthy anymore, and I was desperately looking for an excuse to get back into shape. For a while, I was just going to wait until I had a heart attack, but I found out that those hurt like hell, and I don't like the hospital. I needed to do something rash to whip myself back into running mode.

So I signed up for a 5-mile run.

It's on the last day of April, so I have a little over 50 days to shake off 5 years of dust and Subway wrappers. For the last 3 weeks, I've been slowly getting myself into a routine. Mainly, I've been running a mile or so on the treadmill after work. Some days I don't, but most days I do. As soon as the weather gets better, I'll take my training outside, and finally have an excuse to buy an I-Pod.

So, here's my goal. First and foremost, I want to complete the race. I'm sure there's a lot of people reading this who run 5 miles every day or week, but this is a huge change for me, so screw you! Secondly, I'd like to complete the race in under an hour. So far, so good. I ran 2.5 miles in 30 minutes last week, and I have nothing but time to expand on my endurance and shave off some more precious seconds. Once I get something like this in my head, I won't be happy until I've completed it. That's a little of that OCD that the caffeine didn't take with it.

I'll keep you abreast of my progress as the weeks...well...progress. Keep in mind, all I want to do is run this race. I'm not headed towards any sort of lifestyle change. No weight lifting, no Pilates, no health food. I just want to make sure that the best shape of my life isn't already behind me. Once I find out that it's not, I'll make sure that it IS. It's literally the best I care to do.

IDOL! Tonight on American Idol, the top 12 will be decided, which means that 4 people are going to get cut. So far, my male and female favorites are holding strong, and the people who I picked to get cut have been cut. I'm batting 1.000 so far, and here are my picks for tonight, in case you're making any bets:

Janay Castine: Cut for sure.
Travis Tucker: Cut for sure.
Amanda Avila: Probable.
Mikalah Gordon: Possible.
Constantine Maroulis: Probable.
Scott Savol: Possible, although it would piss off a lot of people, including myself.

So, who's going to win? It's still early to make predictions, but it should be a guy. The guys are so much better than the girls this year, it's almost embarrassing. When the top 12 start to perform together, I think the first 3 cuts will be women. Again, I'm not gay. I could go on, but I've already damaged my heterosexuality enough already.

I'm running 5 miles! Whaddya think?

Oh, you've got something against people who do Pilates???
You should invest in a juice tiger. Not only will you be able to breeze through the 5 mile, you could also swim that with 50 sailboats shackeled to your ankles. Not to mention sporouting eyebrows that would put John Madden to shame...... POW!
I don't mind Pilates, I just couldn't do it personally. I don't have the ambition.

"Warning: Recreational use of the Juice Tiger may cause abnormal eyebrow growth."

"He'll remember that number!"

Finally, the comments work again.
Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum! It's go time.
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