Pain is NOT Just Weakness – Part II: The Race

04.19.2012 | 12:01 am

A Note from Fatty to Winners in the Weight Loss Challenge: If you beat me in the weight loss challenge (i.e., you lost more than 3.47% of your body weight during the challenge), click here to fill in the form to claim your 100 Miles of Nowhere prize.

Note that I need to order the t-shirts by Friday, so you must take care of this by Noon MT Friday.

Another Note from Fatty: I had posted a while back that I would be posting a review of Bike Snob NYC’s new book today, as well as doing a live Q&A with him here on the blog. BSNYC had schedule conflicts, however, so we’re going to do the review and Q&A another day. I’ll keep you posted.

One Last Note from Fatty: You’ll find Part I of today’s story here.

I could tell the day was going to be hot, right from the beginning of the race. Here’s how — and try to follow my logic, because it’s pretty complex: the day was hot when we began the race.

But heat wasn’t my first concern when we started running. I can tell, right from the first few steps, whether I’m going to be OK during any given run. If my back’s going to hurt, it hurts immediately. If my knee’s going to hurt, it starts hurting within the first two or three steps.

But neither happened. The half-tube or so of Ben-Gay I had rubbed into my lower back, hip, and right knee seemed to have done the trick.

I felt OK.


So we started running faster.

I actually felt good.

We did the first few miles in the sub-9’s, which was definitely a best-case scenario for me.


“If we can keep this pace, we’re going to have a great race,” The Hammer noted.

Aloud, I agreed. But I also knew that I didn’t have the endurance to hang on at that speed for the whole race.

Aid Station Salvation

Because of the unusual heat, starting at mile 2, there was an aid station every single mile, on both sides of the road, staggered by 0.2 miles. So, in effect, there were close to 50 aid stations on this course.

Which means that the race organizers had to do some scrambling before the race, and the racers owe the organizers a very big “thank you.”

My racing strategy settled in pretty quickly. Slow to a walk at the left-side aid station (I chose left because fewer people seemed to go to them, since they came after the right-side stations), drink the offered cup of Gatorade, drop the cup, take the offered cup of water, and pour it over my head.

I tell you, on a hot day, a cup of cold water over your head feels fantastic.

Now, because I have no hair to speak of, the water would quickly make its way down my shirt and shorts, so I ran soaked for a good chunk of the day.

But — amazingly — by the time I’d get to the next aid station, I’d be about dried off and ready for another good dunking.

Which leads to an interesting little side fact: During this race, I drank 24 cups of gatorade and about 10 cups of water, as well as a full can of Coke (more on that in a bit). And I did not pee (or feel the need to pee) even once.

Yeah, it was that hot. around ninety degrees, it felt like.

Slow Down, No Sound

At around mile 10 or so, The Hammer turned to me and said, “We just ran a 10:20 mile.”

“I’m sorry, Hon,” I replied. “I’m giving what I got, when I have to give it.”

I decided maybe it was time to turn on my iPod, which I had clipped to the back of my shirt collar.

As it turns out, ten or so dunkings with water hadn’t done the electronics much good at all. My iPod was dead.

I’d be running this marathon a cappella.

The Pain Begins

By mile 12 or so, I was slowing down. A lot. I could feel it. Taking shorter steps. Taking slower steps. Barely lifting my feet.


The Hammer was having a very hard time staying with me. My pace was uneven and slow; her pace was rock solid and fast.

Slowly, but surely, she kept pulling ahead.

I tried to make a joke. “You never ever get to complain again about me half wheeling you,” I said.

It didn’t come out funny. It came out whiny.

“I’m sorry,” The Hammer said, feeling bad that she kept dropping me, but wishing I could keep up.

“It’s OK,” I said, also wishing I could keep up, and thinking that there’s probably a valuable lesson to be learned from being the slow guy. But at the moment, I couldn’t figure out what that lesson might be, unless maybe it was, “Try to stop being the slow guy.”

My soaked shorts started chafing (I walk funny today — I mean, funnier than usual).

My feet were blistering.

I saw a guy run by with a shirt that said, “Pain is just weakness leaving the body,” and I started thinking about what a stupid slogan that is.

I revised it, mentally, to this:

Pain is just your nerve endings telling your brain that your body’s doing something stupid.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to ask the Twin Six guys to put that on a t-shirt for me.

Countdown from 10

I made it to mile 16, which was significant to me, because it meant I could stop counting up in miles, and start counting down from ten.

The crowds kept me going. Awesome crowds. I gave high-fives to countless people. A little kid gave me an Otter Pop — the most delicious Otter Pop in the history of the world, by the way.

And then, at mile 20 — another important milestone, because it meant that all I had left to run was the distance of a normal training run — I got to the bottom of the famous “Heartbreak Hill.”

“I want to run this,” said The Hammer, and took off.

“I suppose I should run it too,” I thought, and took off at a much slower pace.

And there, at the top, was Team Fatty, with a heaven-sent Coke (for me) and a Mountain Dew (for Lisa).

More important than the cold drinks, though (and the cold drinks were very important indeed), was seeing friends again.


Thank you for being there, guys. That gave me an indescribable boost.


At around mile 21, I had a new problem: cramps. My calves started cramping, pretty much non-stop. Here I am, trying to stretch out of them:


Coincidentally, the cramps struck hard right at a medical tent, and one of the workers there asked me if I wanted to sit down for a minute.

“There’s no possible way I’ll get back up if I sit down,” I answered, completely truthfully.


Aaah. Sweet relief. For a moment, anyway.

A Farewell to The Hammer

At around mile 22, The Hammer broke the news to me. “I just can’t stay at your pace. I’m going to go on ahead for a bit, then I’ll walk and see you at the next aid station.”

“That’s fine,” I said. Actually, it was better than fine. I already felt bad about holding her up; this way she’d at least be able to get a little bit of a workout in that day.

And then somewhere in that mile, she ducked into a restroom. When she came out, she assumed that I’d have passed her by then, and took off running to catch me.

Of course, I had not caught her by then.

The nice thing is, though, this meant that — finally — The Hammer would be taking a few pictures of herself that day.

Here she is, at the one mile to go mark:


She looks astonishingly fresh-faced and well-rested, no?

And here she is with the finish line right behind her:



As The Hammer cruised to the finish line, I struggled on. From mile 23 — just three miles to go! — I resolved to take shorter walks and do my best to finish strong.

All things considered, I didn’t do too badly at this. This was due, in large part, to the increasingly enormous crowds shouting and cheering. Energy is incredibly contagious, and I found myself able to start running, where before I felt only barely able to walk.

I got to the finish line, and stopped my watch. 4:49. I beat the 5 hour mark.

So let’s call it a victory.


I found The Hammer, and we walked — oh so slowly — back to our hotel. I was glad to hear her say that she was sore and tired too.

I peeled off my shoes. My feet were wrinkly from running through so many misting tunnels, getting hosed down by spectators, and dumping water over my head (some of which would inevitably make it to my shoes).

Oh, and there were blisters, too:


We spent the evening talking about the run, and we agreed: in spite of the fact that I’ve now done several marathons with The Hammer (Death Valley, Ironman, NYC, Ogden, Boston), I’m just not ready for marathons. They crack me. They break me.

I’m going to keep doing some running — partially for bone density, partially to mix things up, and mostly because I like to do stuff with The Hammer — but for the next few years at least, my target events are going to be half-marathons.

Or at least, that’s my plan ’til The Hammer starts getting the itch to check off another item on her bucket list.


SOLD OUT: 5th Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere!

04.17.2012 | 11:07 pm


I am now disconnecting the links to the registration pages.

An 8:45am (MT) Update: The 100 Miles of Nowhere is now 3/4 full. I’m going to go out on a limb and project it will sell out within the hour. In other words, register now or you may not get the chance.

A 7:40am (MT) Update: I’m astonished to say that half the entries have already sold! If you don’t sign up within the next couple hours, chances are this will sell out before you get a chance to register.

M_100M_win.jpgI have never ever ever (ever!) been so excited for The 100 Miles of Nowhere. For one thing, I think this year has the most awesome event t-shirt ever.

For another thing, I love how we’re getting ultra-specific about who we’re fundraising for — LiveStrong’s support of Camp Kesem (more on that in a minute).

And for one more thing, I’m excited about the cool swag you’ll get as part of registering — along with a very interesting new way you might be surprised with something surprisingly valuable in your swag box.

So let’s get started with what you can expect this year in the 100 Miles of Nowhere.

What Is The 100 Miles of Nowhere?

The 100 Miles of Nowhere is a race without a place. It’s an event in which hundreds of people participate . . . all by ourselves. (Or with a friend. Or with 20 friends.)

It’s a very strange thing where you pay $89.95 (plus shipping) for the privilege of riding your rollers, trainer, or a very small course (like around the block or up and down a hill) for 100 miles. And then the profits from your entry (i.e., $70 per entry) go to LiveStrong, which will turn around and give that same amount to Camp Kesem — camps all across the U.S. dedicated to giving kids of parents with cancer a week of carefree fun, at no cost to them.

I did the first 100 Miles of Nowhere by myself, back before I knew it would be annual at all. The second one a bunch of us — from all around the world — did together, and people sent in their stories, many of which I published here.

In the third and fourth years, the 500 available spots sold out in no time, and for a few days, I posted a new story from a reader every couple of hours. I plan to carry on that tradition this year, as well.

This year, the “official” date of the race is Saturday, June 2. It used to be more of a winter-y event, but nowadays it’s in late Spring, due to the fact that more and more people are taking the 100 Miles of Nowhere outside and making it a fun, strange thing to do with friends, rather than a solitary form of torture you inflict upon yourself and the time is whenever is convenient for you.

And, thanks to the flexibility of the event — i.e., it’s just you, really — if June doesn’t work for you, you can do it another day.

Like in October, if you feel like it. Or later this afternoon if you just don’t have anything else to do. It’s your call, really.

And also, the “100 Miles” part is more of a guideline than a rule. For example, if you would rather ride 50 miles, that’s fine with me. So is 25. One person wrote me asking if he she could walk 100K — and of course the answer was, “You bet, and please take pictures and send me a writeup of your story.”

Or if you’re a runner and you want to do a marathon on the treadmill, that would be awesome. If you’re a swimmer, swim five miles. I’m not picky.

And of course, the very best thing about the 100 Miles of Nowhere is that you are going to win your division. You just need to make sure your division is specific enough that there’s no chance anyone else is in it.

And once you’ve won your division, send me the story of what your 100 Miles of Nowhere was like. I pick my favorite write-ups and publish them here in the blog. In fact, for a week or so after the event, I generally put up several stories per day.

Weirdly, the 100 Miles of Nowhere has become an odd community event, even though we all do it alone.

What You Get

One of the great things about the 100 Miles of Nowhere is that you’re not just making a donation. Nosirree. When preparing for this fundraiser, I bring my superpower of asking people for stuff to full force, and then I include that stuff in the swag box registered racers get.

And this year, the swag box is almost tragically wonderful.

Twin 6: The Shirt

I’ve already shown you the most important part of the swag box — the Twin Six-designed t-shirt, but let’s take a closer, bigger look, just because I love it so much:


I love that the rider’s riding a trainer with the wheels made of the zeroes. I love that he’s wearing the Fat Cyclist kit. I love that the roads go all over the place and wind up . . . nowhere.

I just love this shirt (which would retail for $24). Love it.

Twin Six: $16 Gift Certificate

As if the shirt and fulfillment weren’t enough, Twin Six is stepping up their game this year by including a $16 gift certificate in the swag box. Yep, $16 to spend just like cash on any Twin Six item in the online store, at any time. That’ll be enough to buy a small or sale item outright, or to make another item even more affordable.

Those Twin Six guys: could they be any more awesome? (answer: no)

201204171519.jpgSpecialized: 26oz Purist Bottles with Watergate Cap (Two of ‘Em!)

I used to sell and use Camelbak bottles. And then I tried the new Specialized Purist bottles, with the Watergate caps.

And since then, those are the only bottles I use (or sell). They are simply, without question, the best bottles I have ever used. So easy to open and close. So easy to get water out of them. They squeeze so easily.

And for this year’s 100 Miles of Nowhere, registered racers will get two of the big (26oz) version of the Purist bottle with the Watergate cap. The bottles will be white, and the caps will be black, just like you see at right. However, the 100 Miles of Nowhere logo will be on the bottles, making them much less plain, and much more awesome.

So why two of these bottles? Well, because two is twice as good as one, for one thing.

For another thing, I have this thing about using mismatched bottles when I ride (especially on the road). I like the bottles to match — it just looks better. Like Garanimals for your bike.

For a third thing, I originally did ask Specialized for just one bottle per registered racer. But then I found out that Specialized really likes doing kid-centered charity work. And as it turns out, this is a kid-centered fundraiser. So I called them back and asked them to double up.

And they said yes. Because they’re awesome. And probably a little bit because I told them how much I love their bottles, and I can be just adorable when I get all effusive.

Plus, when once you see and use these bottles, you’re not going to want to use any other bottles, ever again.

These bottles retail at $12.00 each, so this is a $24 value, if my math is correct (and it is).

201204171533.jpgHoney Stinger Waffles + Discount

It’s possible that I’ve mentioned — once or twice before, in passing — how much I love Honey Stinger Waffles, and how I would eat nothing but them, ever, if left to my own devices.

Perhaps you have tried them, in which case perhaps your opinion doesn’t vary that much from mine.

Or perhaps you haven’t tried them, and kind of wish you could, so that you could get an idea of what it is I’m going on about.

So here’s your chance.

Each registered user will get two (count ‘em, two) Honey Stinger Waffles in their swag box.

You’re going to get a mix of the original Honey flavor, the Vanilla flavor (my favorite), and the Strawberry flavor (The Hammer’s favorite).

Which two flavors will you get? You won’t know ’til you open your swag box. But that’s cool, because all three flavors are great.

Oh, and to sweeten the deal, registered participants will get a super-secret exclusive discount code for a 25% discount on any Honey Stinger products you buy from the Honey Stinger shop between now and June 10.

That’s a pretty incredible deal on its own. For example, if you bought $100,000 worth of Honey Stinger products, it would have a value of $25,000.

Wow. It makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

201204171554.jpgBike Monkey: Magazine, Subscription Offer, and Race Plate

Bike Monkey, the remarkable race promoters and magazine publisher responsible for Levi’s Gran Fondo are back for an encore with this year’s 100 Miles of Nowhere.

Like last year, they’ll be providing the oversized official race plate. Like last year, they’ll be including a sample issue of their incredibly readable Bike Monkey magazine.

And like year, they’ll be providing a killer discount subscription deal to registered riders of the 100 Miles of Nowhere.

As someone who has recently contributed to Bike Monkey and hopes to be invited back, I recommend it strongly.

An issue of BikeMonkey sells for about $1.50, but frankly I think it’s worth a bunch more, entertainment value-wise.

[Interesting Bonus BikeMonkey Fact: The art director for BikeMonkey did the cover design and layout for my first book, Comedian Mastermind. The editorial director edited it.]

201204171626.jpgBanjo Brothers: A Variety of Awesome Things to 50 People

This year, I’m conducting a little experiment with the 100 Miles of Nowhere Swag Box. While everyone gets a whole bunch of cool swag, 20% of the people — every fifth registered person, to be exact — will get something of higher value.

This year, half of the lucky 20% will get something cool from my longest-running sponsors: Banjo Brothers, who have been with me before pretty much anyone knew this blog exists.

Here’s the 50 things that Banjo Brothers has given me to hand out, along with their retail value:

  • 5 Large Backpacks (waterproof) ($90 ea)
  • 5 Medium Waterproof Backpacks ($80 ea)
  • 5 Canvas and Leather Shoulder Bags (Minnehaha) ($70 ea)
  • 5 Waterproof Saddle Trunks ($50 ea)
  • 10 Top Tub Bags ($15 ea)
  • 10 Deluxe Mini Seat Bags ($16 ea)
  • 10 03010 Deluxe Small Bags ($18 ea)

Not too shabby, eh? You’ve got a one-in-ten chance of getting one of these, which are better odds than you’ll get in Vegas. I think (I don’t actually know anything about odds or gambling).

In addition to this, you’ll get a coupon for a great deal on Banjo Brothers gear, and they’ll donate the profits for the sale to LiveStrong.

The Banjo Brothers rock.

201204171634.jpgO2 Rainwear: The Original Cycling Jacket

You know, I should really visit Minneapolis sometime, because with O2 Rainwear joining fellow Minneapolisians Twin Six and Banjo Brothers, a full three of the companies sponsoring the 100 Miles of Nowhere this year are HQ’d in in Minn.

I can’t help but imagine Minneapolis is just chock full of great people who like bikes and doing the right thing.


The O2 Rainwear is donating 50 of their Original Cycling Jacket (retail $34.95) for the 100 Miles of Nowhere. Which means that between O2 Rainwear and Banjo Brothers, your chances of getting a cool higher-value item is 1 in 5. Not shabby at all.

And the jacket is great to have on hand, too. It’s waterproof, breathable, extremely lightweight and compact, and stuffs small into a pack it comes with. It’s an awesome emergency rain jacket for any cyclist, and especially for commuters to keep in their pack.

201204171648.jpgDZ-Nuts : Samples of DZ Nuts and DZ Nuts Bliss

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you’re either a man or a woman.

Whichever you are, DZ Nuts has got you covered, chamois cream-wise.

The original — DZ Nuts — is formulated more for guys, while DZ Nuts Bliss is for women.

It doesnt matter which you are when you do the 100 Miles of Nowhere, though, because you get a sample pack of both.

And you know what? Maybe you should try both. Because — who knows — just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you won’t like the zestiness of the original DZ Nuts. And if you’re a guy, you may still prefer DZ Nuts Bliss.

Or if you are into predefined stereotypes and whatnot, you can just give the non-matching gender sample to someone else.

It’s your call.

Either way, Dave Zabriskie won’t judge you. That’s not his way.

And after 100 miles, I think you’re going to be mighty glad that you put one of the two on your chamois.

Or both, if that’s the way you like it.

As I have mentioned, we don’t judge.

Seriously, if you’re going to be riding your bike for 100 miles and not going anywhere while doing it, you should at least be protecting your junk. And as I have noted in my review, this is good stuff.

201204171658.jpgMusette Bakery : Bike-Ready Baked Goods

Musette Bakery recently contacted me, asking if I’d be interested in trying the region-inspired baked goods it creates specifically for cyclists, with each of their creations named after a famous cyclist from the region that inspired the product.

There’s the Lance. The Eddy. And the Bernie.

And they’re all good. Although the Lance — which is a little bit like a Pop-Tart, but homemade and about fifty times more delicious — is my favorite.

I should also go ahead and say that another reason I like the idea of Musette Bakery is because it’s a tiny startup business, and they’re doing good stuff, and I’d like to see them succeed.

I think once you try what they include in the 100 Miles of Nowhere Swag Box, you’ll be rooting for them too.

Camp Kesem

Check out these two dapper young men (one is Doug Ulman, CEO of LiveStrong, the other a beloved, award-winning blogger; I’ll let you figure out which is which) in the photo below:


What makes them so handsome? So distinguished-looking? So downright attractive? Could it be their fuzzy terry-cloth headbands that say “Camp Kesem?”

Why as a matter of fact, I think it just might be.

Since all of the profits from this 100 Miles of Nowhere is going to LiveStrong, and then shipped off to Camp Kesem in order to launch a new camp in Southern Utah and then pay for kids across the U.S. to be able to go to Camp Kesem (thus getting some much-needed catch-up time from the cares of being a kid with a parent who has cancer), it’s only fitting that registered racers for the 100 Miles of Nowhere get a Camp Kesem headband (I plan to proudly wear mine for the duration of my 100-mile ride, and you should too).

Hey, guess what? The above was the longest sentence in the history of this blog! Yay!

The fact is, I’ve seen firsthand that kids who have a parent with cancer tend to miss out on normal, fun childhood things. And Camp Kesem is a place where these kids can have a great time around other kids who understand what it’s like to have been through the “my mom / dad has cancer” experience.

I’m sending my twin 10-year-old girls to this new Southern Utah camp, so this 100 Miles of Nowhere feels kind of personal.

What You Should Do Now


OK, so by now I’ve either convinced you to sign up for the 100 Miles of Nowhere, or I haven’t. If I haven’t, well, you can’t say I haven’t tried.

If, on the other hand, you’re ready to be one of the 500+ of us who go nowhere fast (or slow) on June 2 (or some other day), here’s what you’ve got to do:

  1. Sign up for the 100 Miles of Nowhere by pre-ordering your 100 Miles of Nowhere kit (this year’s kit is $89.95 + shipping).
  2. Start thinking about where you’re going to ride. And when if June 2 doesn’t work for you.
  3. If you’ve got an awesome idea of how you’re going to do your 100 Miles of Nowhere and want to share it, post a comment. Maybe you’ll inspire someone else. Crazier things have happened, right?

And if, by chance, you want to come to my neck of the woods to ride the 100 Miles of Nowhere this year, let me know by email; I’d love to have you along (a word of warning: my 100 Miles of Nowhere route is going to be kinda vertical).

Start getting ready to ride!

PS: For those of you who lost more than 3.47% of your weight as part of the weight loss challenge, I’ll be providing information on how to claim your entry tomorrow.

Pain Is NOT Just Weakness — Part I: Before the Run

04.17.2012 | 4:09 am

It’s early Tuesday morning. My legs have awakened me to let me know that they have elected to secede from my body. My flight back is not for a couple hours. So this seems like a fantastic time for me to write the story of running the Boston Marathon yesterday.

I kinda doubt many people are reading it this early, but I still think I’ll post it liveblog-style, as proof against a flaky computer and a weak internet connection, more than anything else.

Auspicious Beginning

The Hammer and I got to the airport two hours early; we are both very cautious travelers, and she knows that — for some reason — I am more productive in airports than anywhere else.

We were supposed to each get a free bag checked in with Delta, but weren’t able to when I tried to check in online, so we went to the counter, where the counter entity was happy to waive the $25 fee for us.

She was not so happy, however, when she saw The Hammer’s drivers license, however — The Hammer’s expired drivers license. See, The Hammer had a birthday earlier this week, and unbeknownst to us — because we don’t spend a ton of time inspecting our drivers licenses — her license had expired that day.

The counter entity called her manager. “I’m going to let this one go,” the uber-counter-entity said of the license that had expired ten hours ago. “But good luck with the TSA.”

We gulped and left, making plans as we walked up to the security line of how we could — if necessary — haul back home, grab The Hammer’s passport, and get back here in time for the flight.

The TSA didn’t give the license a second glance.

Also, oddly, when packing, The Hammer had accidentally included two avocados from her grocery shopping the previous day in her carry-on bag. These were OK as far as the TSA is concerned, too. Which opens up all kinds of new possibilities for in-flight snacks.

From the airport, I called my oldest son and asked him to overnight The Hammer’s passport to the hotel we’re going through, so I wouldn’t have to worry about abandoning my wife in Boston on the return trip.

Because I’m very gallant.


The race wasn’t ’til Monday AM, but we had given ourselves a couple extra days in Boston because neither of us had ever been here before (I’ve been through Boston and have stayed in towns near Boston, but have never stayed in Boston itself).

This was a wonderful idea.

We slepped in ’til about eleven — something I didn’t realize we were even capable of — then went and got our numbers and drop bags. The Hammer got a number with a white background, meaning she had qualified for the race by being fast.

I got a number with a blue background, meaning I had qualified for the race by raising money for a charity (LiveStrong).

We then walked around the expo, and I noticed something amazing: the fitness and trimness level of everyone there. By far, most of the people in the race qualified with a fast running time, so there weren’t a lot of folks who looked even trivially pudgy. All wire and muscle.

“I’ve never seen so women who are your kind of hot in one place,” I whispered to The Hammer. “Her kind of hot,” by the way, is my favorite kind of hot: very trim, casual clothes, ponytails, not a lot of makeup, and athletic as hell.

Also, people were taking pictures of everything. For example, when I saw a group of strangers posing with a mannequin at some random clothing display, I had to get a photo of it:


Back at the hotel, I opened my swag bag. Along with the usual junk mail, here’s what it included:


The (very nice) long-sleeved running shirt, a small poster, a bottle of water, and sample packs of uncooked rice, natural peanut butter and fruit chews.

I combined them all together in the hotel coffee pot the next morning and made a delicious breakfast porridge.

Not really.

Fenway Park

As part of Team LiveStrong, we then got to go see a baseball game at Fenway Park — my first-ever professional baseball game.


Now, I genuinely don’t follow baseball (or football or basketball or anything but cycling). This isn’t cycling snobbery; up until I followed cycling, I didn’t follow any sports at all.

Still, though, being in a stand with thousands of fans is pretty awesome. And helpfully, at the end of the game, we were given some important and clarifying information:


Sunday: We Get All Historical

The next morning — the day before the race — we slept in again. I believe I could get used to this “sleeping in” thing.

Then we spent the day with a guidebook and following the “Freedom Trail” — a red line that leads you on a walking tour of some of the most famous historical sites in the city.

The weather was perfect, the day was free, and in general The Hammer and I learned a bunch of important things about U.S. history we should have already known, but didn’t.



Sunday Night: Team Fatty

My favorite part of any race is the traditional cargo-load dinner the night before the race. Not that I eat any different any other night, but the night before a race, I’m able to do it without the slight pang of guilt I normally feel when I eat twice my weight in starch.

Jeff D and Philly Jen had organized a Team Fatty get together at a fantastic Italian restaurant.


I got the Gnocchi Spezzatino; The Hammer had tortellini. I liked my meal well enough that I completely killed it (as opposed to Philly Jen, who ordered the same thing but was unable to finish even half her meal).

Also, I finished the last third of The Hammer’s tortellini. If you ever get a chance to witness me using my most obvious superpower — near infinite consumption capabilities — you really should. And also, bring a camera, because I think it’d be a YouTube sensation.

Interesting fact: of the nine people there, five work in the health care industry.

Oh, and apropos of nothing, here’s a picture of Jeff, The Hammer, me, and Philly Jen, posing together for another photo.


As you can see, Jen is making a shark with her hands, or urging me to live long and prosper or something. And I look a little bit concerned by whichever it is.

Monday: The Marathon

I’m used to having to get up at ridiculously early times of the morning to do big races. But my start time (i.e., the very last corral in the very last wave of the race) wasn’t slated to start ’til close to 11am.

There are both good news and bad news aspects to this.

The good news is we were able to sleep in ’til around 6:00am.

The bad news is that we’d be starting a marathon at 11am on what was predicted to be the warmest Boston Marathon in history.

Earlier, for example, I had gotten a helpful and encouraging email from the race organizers:


It’s like they were talking to me. But I wasn’t listening.

Before the Run

The Boston Marathon organization is about as perfect as it could be. We stood in a very short line to get on our bus, had a very short line to go use the restroom, and then just hung out on the line, waiting for our turn to run.


The Hammer had chosen to run with me, starting with my wave, rather than going on with her own group. Her claimed rationale was that she wasn’t interested in doing this race fast, she wanted to share the experience of a famous historical race with me.

But I think the real reason is she knew that I might turn around and leave if she weren’t there.

Then we got ushered into our corral, which was really more of just a funnel. Keep walking, slowly, ’til you get to the starting line, and then start running.

“I just hope I can deal with all my running issues,” I told The Hammer, for the mistifillionth time. Because, in fact, I’ve had an incredibly bad time with running lately. My back hurts. My right knee hurts. My left hip hurts. My right achilles tendon hurts. I’ve stopped many runs within just a few miles lately, and it’s been a couple months since I’ve made it more than 15 miles.

“Let’s just make a goal of finishing in under five hours, OK?” The Hammer asked.

“I can’t commit to that,” I said.

But in my head, I had already committed to it.

PS: Part II of this (two-part) story will go up on Thursday.

PPS: The reason Part II won’t go up tomorrow is because tomorrow I’ll be announcing registration for the 100 Miles of Nowhere. My guess is it will sell out in one day, so I recommend you do not delay.

In line for the race

04.16.2012 | 5:19 am

In line for the race

Originally uploaded by Fat Cyclist.

We’re waiting for our bus. You can see I look very excited.

We’ll be tweeting photos along the way. Follow me @fatcyclist.

Final Weigh In, a Tease for the 100MoN, and A Fun “Thanks” from LiveStrong

04.14.2012 | 8:28 am

I know, I don’t usually post on Saturday, but I kinda need to today.


First off, it’s time for people who are doing the weight loss challenge to do your final weigh-ins. Click here for instructions.

A Thanks from LiveStrong

Next, a couple days ago the folks at LiveStrong sent me a video saying “Thanks” for the work Team Fatty has done. It came on a day that had otherwise been pretty darned crappy, so was incredibly welcome.

And since the reality is that Team Fatty does a lot more than I do for the fight against cancer, it seems to me that this video should really be considered a “thank you” to all of us:

100 Miles of Nowhere

And finally, a quick tease on the 100 Miles of Nowhere. I spent most of my flight to Boston yesterday firming up sponsors and I have to say I’m pretty darned excited about what I’m going to be able to give to folks doing the 100 Miles of Nowhere this year.

And the new t-shirt design . . . well, honestly, I just love it.

Registration should start this Wednesday, and are limited to 500 entries (except for people who won an entry by beating me in the weight loss challenge; they’ll get instructions on registering soon).

Mark your calendars, because between the awesome swag, the ridiculous event, and the chance to launch a new Camp Kesem and help kids who have some making up in the fun department, you’re definitely going to want to be a part of this!

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