Outie Like 5k’s!

Guess who has two thumbs, no shoes, and finished his first 5k last weekend? Well, a few people, but more importantly:

THIS GUY! (And this guy’s wife, too!)

I will admit, I was hesitant to sign up for a 5k.  I have been running 3 miles for a few months now, but it has always been so tough for me. Being a geek, I have a perfection complex about the things I commit to. If I was going to run the race, I wanted to be as prepared as possible, running 5k at warp 9 without breaking a sweat.

The problem: I really haven’t committed to running. I do it because I know I should, but I go for weeks at a time without a run, and I’m quick to cut a run short if I’m “not into it”, i.e. LAZY.

But, I went ahead and signed up for this race, and it rocked my balls off (figuratively)!

It was a beautiful day. Sunny and about 50 degrees at the start of the race. I met up with my buddies Greg and Jeremy who were also running the race. Both of those guys are also in the 30+ pounds lost in 2010 club.

Nerds 2^2 Ever!

Jeremy (on the right) was rocking his Vibram Five Fingers as well. We were the only ones wearing VFFs as far as I saw.

And before I knew it, the race had started. I loved running with friends (I have never done that before). Especially friends that run just a little bit faster than I do. I ended up and pushed myself a little harder to keep up with them. I didn’t stay with them the entire time, but just that little extra bit of chase improved my best time by 3 minutes. Which leads me to the finish:

I think I won!

I came through at 28:51, rocking my VFF Bikilas, and feeling good (Much better than the guy who came through vomiting about a minute before). I was really happy about my time. I could have gone faster if I pushed myself harder, but being my first race, I was more worried about finishing it without walking than how long it took me.

I was even more proud of my wife who finished in 34 minutes (and had only run 3 miles once a few months ago, and that was on the treadmill). Go Titsworth family! Yeah my last name is Titsworth… you got a problem with that?

I know everyone told me this, but it didn’t sink in until I jogged across the finish line: RACES ARE ADDICTIVE!

I can’t wait to sign up for more and keep running, improving my time, and going longer distances. I missed the sign-up for the trail race that was this upcoming weekend, but there are 10+ races coming up between now and Christmas. The one I’m most exciting about is the Krispie Kreme challenge, where you have to run 2 miles to the donut store, eat a dozen donuts, and then run 2 miles back within an hour. Sounds gloriously painful :)

I wanted to give a quick shout out to a few of the people who pushed me to keep running (even though they might not know it):

  • Jess over at Half of Jess for talking me into getting VFFs and for killin a half marathon in hers.
  • Brandon over at A Healthy Dad for making me realize I can run faster (that guy runs fast for someone who weighed 290 just 10 months ago)
  • Steve at Nerd Fitness for reminding me that nerds can have a six pack other than Mt. Dew.

Thanks guys! I suggest everyone follow them on twitter and check out their blogs. Good stuff, fo sho!

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of my running journey, and I’m sure I’ll keep you updated as I keep at it.

I’ll leave you with a few more images from the event:

VFF buddies

The running fam

After the Race (and a sleepy baby)

Road Kill


Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon

Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon

The scariest thing for me so far while running has been car traffic.  Part of my route around the house is on a narrow two-lane with no shoulder.  More often than not, people will move over into the other lane to give me some space or will slow down as they drive by.  Some nice people will even stop and wait if traffic is coming from the other direction.


Yesterday I had 2 cars whiz by me in this narrow area.  This bothers me in a major way.  I mean, I’m out here trying to be healthy.  I sure can’t do that if I get jacked by a car.  We all have to share the road.  Everyone has to be considerate of those around us.  So, if you happen to see a runner out on the road please slow down and take caution.

Podrunner: Intervals

I’m back into running and I kicked it off by getting ready for a local 5K.  One of the tools I’ve been using lately are the mixes from DJ BeatsmithPodrunner: Intervals.

There are 3 different sets of mp3 files for your consumption: 5K, 8K, and 10K.  Each set builds upon the previous and gradually works you up to running the full distance non-stop.  The 5K complements the very popular Couch to 5K program.  Each set contains a collection of mp3 files to progress you through the weeks of training.

I’m really enjoying training with these mixes because they do a few things in my brain.  First, they have a good beat per minute (bpm) that helps keep pace for the distance you are training for.  Second, the techo music is very trance like for me.  It’s very easy for my mind to slip into oblivion and forget what I’m doing and what is happening in the world around me.

I’m not a techo guy at all.  You wouldn’t catch me listening to this stuff for entertainment.  I’m very much a hard rock fellow, so please don’t knock it before you try it.  All you have to do is forget everything you know for a little bit and run to the beat.  There are audio queues in the mix to let you know when to slow down and when to speed up.  The bpm will change after the audio queue to keep you on track.  It’s that easy!

2008 Franklin Classic 5K

I spent the morning of this Labor Day holiday laboring through a 5K run.  This is the 2nd 5K I’ve run in my life, but it’s the first in recent years.  I managed to jog the whole thing which thrills me immensely.  I was shooting for a time under 32:00, but that didn’t happen.  I managed to complete it in 33:06 which is a respectable time when you look at my runs over the past 2 weeks.

The hardest thing about running in a race instead alone is the other people.  When other people are involved, it made me want to run faster to keep up.  It was also hard at the beginning because I was having to move around to pass people.  When I’m by myself it’s really easy to zone out and ignore everything around me.  

I’m happy that I managed to make a short term goal and make it happen.  It’s always a boost to the ol’ ego when you can set out to do something and then actually do it.  Now I have a baseline time that I can try to beat on the next race.

10 Mile Week

Last week I told you that I was hitting the training hard for the Franklin Classic 5K on Labor Day.  Keeping to my word, I managed to run a total of 10 miles this week.

Monday I decided to try a new route I had never run around work.  It was a 3.2 mile route that took me around the mall.  I started with 5 minutes of walking and set off to jog the entire thing.  I didn’t quite manage to jog the rest of the way that day.  It was 92 degrees out with 73% humidity and once I got on the pavement I just got too hot.  I ran about 2 miles before I had to walk.  I ended up finishing in around 40 minutes.

Wednesday was my normal 3 mile route from home.  Since I sucked it up so bad in the heat on Monday, I was determined to jog the entire run following my 5-minute warm up walk.  The sun was setting, but ut was still damn hot: 90 degrees with 60% humidity.  I managed to complete the entire route jogging and finished 3.1 miles in 35:45.

Today I wanted to extend what I did on Wednesday just to prove to myself that a) it wasn’t a fluke and b) I could actually jog 3.1 miles non-stop after my warm-up walk.  I woke up early to get out before things heated up and it was a comfortable 76 degrees with 63% humidity. Starting with my 5-minute walk again, I finished the route jogging for a total of 3.8 miles.  It took me 44:34 to finish up this morning.

I’m feeling very satisfied with my progress this week.  I was able to overcome the mental barrier of jogging the entire 5K.  My body is feeling good now that I’m down about 20 lbs compared to when I tried to get into running a few years ago.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it is to run at this lower weight.  Hopefully that will keep me injury free.