Only Idiots Run Marathons.

The title of this blog may be a lie.Run Forrest, Run.

I really have no idea because I’ve never ran a marathon.

26.2 miles seems like a long way.

I know when I’m in the city if a restaurant is over 5 blocks away, I take a cab.  Or I don’t go.

It has never ever occurred to me that I should run to the restaurant.  And it’s only 5 blocks (although city blocks seem rather long).

So the thought of running over 26 miles seems insane to me.

But the thought of running a half marathon seems like sheer genius.

Train hard.

Lift weights.

Waste my winter weekends traipsing around the ice and snow covered streets of small town America.

And then the big moment arrives.

Race day.

Time to run with 20,000 like-minded completely insane people.

People who wear trash bags as jackets.

People who use porta potties like oxygen (anyone who uses a porta potty has completely lost their marbles… or REALLY has to go).

People who get sick along side the road during the race.

People who collapse from the heat.

People who double-over with leg cramps and scream like they are giving birth.

Runners are an odd group.

And I’m not too embarrassed to say I’m one of them.

I just don’t know why.

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Society Has Gotten Too Fast.

I have a theory.Ferris is Cool.

Not because I’m smart, but because I’m old (two of the benefits of being old are you can say whatever you want… and eat dinner at 3:30 pm).

I think life is getting easier, but less enjoyable.

The interweb is great.  Stores being open 24/7 is wonderful.  Getting our news and weather whenever we want is nice.

Every day more and more things come along to make our existence more pleasant.

In theory.

Apps are nice.  Movies on demand are great.  Central air certainly has it perks.  Smartphones are cool.

There is no arguing technology is great.

But on the other side of the coin, everything happens all the time.

We’ve lost something.

And I think it’s free time.

Boredom is good because it makes you appreciate other experiences.

And in this day in age, I’m never bored.

Who has the time?

Between work and weekends that are busier than ever, there is no down time.

This weekend I ran (jogged… whatever) a half marathon.

I hadn’t trained nearly enough.  I had a bad foot (worse now).

Yet, I didn’t want to miss running (jogging… whatever… I get it).


Because I was so looking forward to the 2 hours with no phone.  Or email.  Or resposibilities.

Just running along with thousands of complete strangers who wouldn’t ask me a single question about anything important.

No responsibities other than putting one foot in front of the other (and not wetting myself… runners will understand).

This doesn’t happen often enough.

No, not running a half marathon.

Slowing down for two hours.  Or two minutes.

Maybe I need a skip day like Ferris.  Anyone want to go… Bueller, Bueller, Bueller… anyone?

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What a Long Strange Run It Was.

I’m alive.

The announcement of my impending doom turned out to be a little premature.

Although there were several times during my half marathon where I was praying to all that’s holy to grant me the precious gift of sweet sweet death.

But I survived.I'm Alive.  Barely.  But I'm Alive.

And you know, the half marathon wasn’t that bad.  It seemed more like 12.79 miles than 13.1.

Now that it’s over and I’ve had time to reflect (and ice my knees), I would like to share my thoughts.

There are a surprisingly large number of moronic people who like to put their aging bodies through massive amounts of pain on a Saturday morning and call it a sport.

They seemed okay with all the suffering as long as they got a medal.

And a free t-shirt.

It’s never been more clear to me than this very moment that people will do almost anything for a free t-shirt.

As the race started, I met two college boys who partied until 4:30 am and then stumbled to the starting line.  I’m not sure if they finished the race.

I’m guessing they got arrested somewhere along they way for RWI (running while intoxicated).

It’s never a good sign when you smell that bad BEFORE the race.

I found out that when you run long distances, sooner or later you will come upon a bad Elvis impersonator.

Of course, this assumes there are good Elvis impersonators.

I found out spectators along the race route LOVE to dress their dogs up in costumes.

After it was over, I found out I finished 2,136 out of 6,435 runners.

This means there are a lot of slow people running around (although not very quickly).

I shouldn’t poke fun because they did beat every other living human being who didn’t run (so they have that going for them).

And 2,135 beat me (all the training and over 2,000 people beat me… a little discouraging).

During my 2 hour adventure (and 21 seconds), I saw lots of strange stuff.

People along the race route were giving out free beer.  And hot dogs.

I almost got sick when I saw this.

Then I realized at about mile 9, I was both thirsty and hungry. 

Maybe these people weren’t as strange as I thought.  Maybe they were just being helpful.

I had no idea if you are running in a half-marathon this gives you a license to use the bathroom anywhere you choose.

All you have to do is send in the entry fee and you’ve evidently purchased the right to publicly defecate. 

Who knew?

I’m putting this in my “Things to Remember” file.  It could come in handy.

I saw moms pushing baby strollers.  I saw little kids running (and beating me).  I heard at least 5 people say “I can’t believe I did it!”

I saw thousand of total strangers cheering thousands of other total strangers.

I saw grandmothers and grandfathers.  People in good shape and bad.

Skinny people.  Not so skinny people.

Hundreds and hundreds of volunteers who wanted to be there just to help.

I saw a little bit of everything.

But there is one thing I will always remember.

And that’s the feeling you get when you are surrounded by thousands of people who have a goal.

Some want to win.  Some just want to finish.  Some want to run with their son, daughter, parent, or best friend.  Some want to simply not die.

But they all want something.

And everyone is pulling for everyone else to reach their goals.

You don’t find this in everyday life.

But there seems to be a special bond when you line up thousands of people, a guy with a microphone yells “Go!”, and total strangers head off on a 13 mile adventure.

People have asked me if it was worth it.

The answer is yes.

Hello, I got a free t-shirt.

Of course it was worth it.

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My Death is Near. Roughly 13.1 Miles Away.

A week from today I will run a half marathon.

Run is probably too strong of a word.

Crawl is probably far more appropriate (and I think you still get a medal).

As I’ve grown older, I have come to realize my time on Earth is limited.  Like all living creatures I am faced with my own mortality.

One day we are born.  One day we will die.

In between we deal with lots of crap at work.

So while it’s no surprise to me what the future holds, I have always assumed I would go out in a certain fashion.

A disease I can’t pronounce.

Being trampled in the hallway by a group of over-exuberant 1st graders.

Poisoned (I would name the possible suspects, but the list is far too long).

A victim of a beagle attack because I didn’t get him his precious bowl of dog food quickly enough (if I go out with paw prints on my throat… please have the FBI take a real hard look at Buddy the Dog).

Dying from shear boredom at a meeting (this may just be wishful thinking on my part).

Swimming lessons.

It’s hard to tell what will eventually get me, but it’s going to happen.

I just didn’t think it would come so soon.

But as fate would have it, my time here is coming to a close.

Seven short days from now I will line up with a group of strangers, a gun will go off, and about 2 hours and 30 minutes later I will die in a pool of my own sweat and tears.

Or at the very least I will wish I were dead  (please don’t judge me, there’s nothing wrong with a grown man sobbing as he tries to catch his breath as he lies face down in a gutter).

You may be asking, do I have any final thoughts?  Any last words of wisdom?  Some tidbit of guidance for new school administrators as I move on to nicer or hotter pastures.


I’ve got nothing, but troubles of my own.

But I do have a video that perfectly illustrates what I will be thinking as I run towards the bright light (jog… walk… crawl… limp… ride in a back of a medical golf cart… whatever).

My last hope is my pain brings the readers of this blog a moment or two of amusement.

Thank you for your support.  And please don’t feel sorry for me.

It’s been a good run (probably a bad choice of words).

I will see you at the finish line.  Or not.



My guess is runners will find this hilarious.  And non-runners will never take up running because of this.

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Resolution for 2011? Cheat Certain Death.

It’s time once again to make unrealistic unreachable personal health goals.

My past list of New Year’s Resolutions can best be described as an Idiot’s Guide to Self-improvement.

One year it was to sleep more. That was easy enough. 

One year it was to take up smoking.  Although this one didn’t last long, I am willing to try it again.

Another year had me eating fewer vegetables.  Like stealing candy from a baby.

A couple years ago it was to watch more television. I don’t mean to brag, but I nailed that one (got off to a fast start on January 1 and never looked back).That's Me.  Dead.  Or Very Tired.

Last year I set my goal at learning to swim.  The jury is still out on this one.

I can sort of swim, but I also sort of sink to the bottom (if you don’t believe me… just ask me to save you).

People tell me I could swim if it was an emergency.

This doesn’t make me feel good.

First, like they know.  There’s no way they can judge the sheer level of my fear and panic when thrown overboard off a cruise ship.

Secondly, this is a test I’m really hoping to never take.

But you have to give me credit, I at least attempted to complete this resolution.

I attended every swim lesson and completely creeped my instructor out (she was used to working with 3 year olds… not 43 year olds).

I even have a certificate (suitable for framing) that says I’m not the worst swimmer she ever saw (I think she was just being nice… and encouraging me to just go away).

I feel really good about this.

This brings me to 2011.

My resolution for the upcoming calendar year is… wait for it… wait… I’m going to attempt to drag my big fat behind through a half-marathon.

Yes, that’s right.

I’m going to “run” 13.1 miles for no apparent reason other than to receive a free t-shirt (I continue to be a sucker for the free stuff… and it’s only costing me $45).

Is this resolution/goal doable?


Will I actually complete the “running” of a half-marathon?

Probably not.

Can I run/walk it? 

Maybe.  If it’s not too hot.

Is it possible to finish by hitching a ride in some sort of medical transportation device (ambulance/golf cart/hearse)? 

Ding.  Ding.  Ding.Now That's a Lot of Water.

I don’t mean to brag, but this is very likely.

So there you have it.  I’m officially on record as saying I’m going to do what only millions and millions of other people have already accomplished.

Complete a half-marathon.

Maybe even on foot.

The race is at the end of April so I still have plenty of time to weasel out.

And if I do, I have a back-up resolution.

Drink more water.

So if you need me, you will either find my hyperventilating in the gutter of a street near you (passed out from too much exercise).

Or in the school hallway holding a mega gigantic bucket of water.

Either way, I’ve got a resolution.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.