Of course LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” was on my training playlist

[Sorry if you are looking for a new exercising-in-denim picture today. I need a place to talk about my first half marathon.]

Short version of my race recap:

My ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon today (my first) in 2:09:40. I gave it everything I had in me. It was awesome. Of course I didn’t wear jeans, Silly.

Long version of my race recap:

I’m a weight lifter. Serious running along with serious weight lifting, in principle, are counter-intuitive. I’ve said it before: even though I run, I don’t consider myself a runner. I run because I know it is good for me. I don’t love it. I have no burning passion for it. I don’t identify with it. I’m not fast. My form is terrible. My face turns tomato red. I feel all sorts of terrible when I’m doing it. And I’m sure I do serious damage to my lung tissue with all the coughing that occurs (I have asthma).

But there is something about turning 40 that makes you want to punch that “4” and that “0” right in its old-lady, sun-spotted, fine-lined-and-wrinkled face. So I signed up for my first half marathon, trained for four months,* and then today…

…I caught 40 square in the jaw with a right hook, landed a spinning back kick, and then submitted that bitch with a rear-naked choke. It wasn’t the fastest “win” by any means – I did it in a shocking (for me) 2:09:40 – but a win is a win, right?

RandyCouture

Notable things on race day:

  • I cried twice. Neither tear-fest occurred at the finish line or because of pain. At one point, early in the race, I was overwhelmed with how blessed I am – that I am able and healthy enough to run 13.1 miles. The second time I cried was when I saw all the military service men, in full gear, on the railings of one of the bridges cheering us on. Runners were yelling “thanks” back at them, drowning out their cheers for us. It was moving in a way that I can’t put into words. And the tears? Full on sobs.
  • My performance. I followed all the advice from my running friends (and sister) and, if it was possible to re-do today’s race, I would not do one thing differently. I had a negative split and gave it EVERYTHING I had in me – 100% was left on that course. I remember thinking when I hit the 13 mile marker that I DID NOT have another tenth of a mile in me, but somehow I was able to focus on the spectators’ cheers and that was enough to carry me across the finish line.
  • The concerned volunteer. A lady, when I crossed the finish line, asked me, “Medic?” as she grabbed my arm and nodded her head up and down. I must have REALLY looked bad. I was, and am, fine.
  • Spectators. I’ve written before that I could not have trained for this race without the support of my running group, Steel City Road Runners Club; their support and company has been vital in the success of my training runs. Today, the spectators were my support. The cheering, the positive energy, the cowbells, the bands, the signs were out in full force! I beamed with Pittsburgh Pride the entire race.
  • The weather. Beautiful. Perfect.
  • Miscellaneous. 1) The kid drummer for the band Chess Club and a Chick that was playing on the North Side. He was awesome. 2) The people handing out gummy worms on Carson Street. I so needed them right at the moment they appeared before me. 3) I didn’t see anyone running in jeans. :(

Start

And the weekend as a whole:

  • Meeting and hanging out with bloggers Charla (Running Haiku) and Tracey/Andrew (Stride and Joy) made for a memorable weekend that surpassed all expectations. Our time together was fun and comfortable and will be cherished forever. I’m looking forward to when I can get together again with my new friends.
  • I have an old man stalker. The full story is almost unbelievable (in a very fun way). For another time…

NewFriends

* I came up with a training plan on my own and it consisted of one day of running each week [yep, that is all the running I did – 128.5 training miles to be exact]. I’m still deciding on the title of the book that will bring in royalties matching Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway:

BookTitles

The power of jorts. Go Team WWJD!

I was at work yesterday and had just gotten back to my desk from the vending machines with cherry Pop-Tarts in my hand. At that moment, I couldn’t imagine being any happier. Then, as I’m shoving them into my Pop-Tart hole, I get an email that completely obliterated any Pop-Tart joy I was feeling – it was THAT great.

Reader Mike wrote about running a team 5K at the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge in Towson, Maryland. The team ran in jorts. The team’s name was WWJD, as in ‘What Would Jorts Do?’ And he sent us pictures! Meet boyfriends #7-10: Pat, Mike, Brian, and Brian.

And even though Brian #1 didn’t wear jorts, he made up for it by giving us some almost-nakedness. So, uh, yeah, forgiven:

And then their action shots. Don’t legs look so much better in jorts?

More from Mike’s email:

“…placed 2nd with an average 5k time of 22:40ish. Slightly inexact due to chip time error – Who knew denim blocks the chip timer if you wear it in your pocket?! :)

Probably the highlight of the race for each of us was passing the serious, veteran runners over the last 1-2 kilometers while rocking the jorts.  Hopefully, we’ll add a few more runners to Team WWJD for the next 5k.

Thanks, and we look forward to sending some more pictures in the future!”

So lets review the power of jorts. They can help rock a 2nd place finish, make a Pop-Tart seem not all that awesome, make your legs look so much better, shame snob runners, and bring joy to me and oodles of JoggingJeans.com viewers. Go Team WWJD!

Runners, I promise that you will love this…

…article published by Guernica Magazine.

Unfortunately, despite crediting and linking to the source, they just sent me a nasty, threatening email so I took it down. So much for trying to save my dear readers a click.

Regardless, I still think you’ll like it, so go have a read.

Josher, IN JEANS and a denim vest, playing the part of rockstar

It seems like just yesterday when I introduced you all to Josher. This past weekend was the Salt Lake City Half Marathon that he ran IN JEANS and A DENIM VEST thanks to the generous donations from YOU. Once again, I hope you enjoy his recap as much as I did.

My Day Spent Running ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’

Josher Hansen

“Why are you running in long pants?”

No, that wasn’t my subconscious challenging me out of my race in denim. That was about every other runner who took the time to scan my attire as they passed me by. Not to mention the number of spectators, volunteers, and police officers that realized what I was wearing.

I figured I would get many of those comments during the race. That’s why people do crazy things…like running a half marathon in FULL-DENIM. The attention to ‘Denim for a Cure’ in its efforts to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute through Huntsman Hometown Heros is invaluable. Plus, cancer sucks and the faster we find a cure the better society will be off in the long run.

Like my 10K race in blue jeans last month I decided to take some notes of my experience running the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in not just blue jeans, but FULL-DENIM! It was quite an experience (and challenge).

Enjoy.

4:46am – My alarm sounds. I lay in bed trying to remember why I am getting up this early. (This happens before every race that starts before 9am.)

4:52am – I put on my “running” gear. Compression shorts, socks, pants, denim vest, pink bandana and pink shoes.

4:53am – I realize I forgot to apply my anti-chaffing cream so have to painstakingly remove my shoes and pants to properly lather myself up. I am not chaffing today!

4:54am – The pants and shoes go back on and I am…FINALLY…dressed.

5:02am – [Go into my brother’s room to wake him up and the following conversation ensues]

Me: Free (His middle name is Freedom), it’s time to wake up! It’s a little past 5 now.

Brother: Why are we getting up this early?!

Me: To run!

Brother: Exactly.

5:10am – I prepare my breakfast of champions of oatmeal, a banana and Red Bull while Free stumbles together a concoction of Raisin Bran, Captain n’ Crunch and I think…Fiber One?! I question his selection, he just tells me to shut up. I can’t blame him, it is 5am.

5:18am – I creep into my Mom’s room. Noticing she is still sound asleep I just silently whisper a ‘goodbye’ and ‘I love you.’

5:24am – Free and I hop in the car and head for Downtown Salt Lake.

5:26am – We turn around after I notice that I left my phone on the kitchen counter.

5:28am – Free and I hop in the car and head for Downtown Salt Lake.

5:53am – We meet up with a friend who is running with me and take the train up to the starting line near the University of Utah Hospital.

6:45am – It’s decided we need to use the restrooms along with thousands of other runners.

6:52am – Still waiting for an open Honey Bucket.

6:55am – I start contemplating who’s idea it was to name a port-a-potty ‘Honey Bucket.’ No matter what you call it, it’s still going to smell like…

6:58am – Two minutes to gun time. Still waiting.

7:00am – Gun goes off and the race begins…still waiting for a Honey Bucket.

7:01am – Still waiting.

7:02am – Still waiting.

7:03am – Still waiting.

7:04am – Still waiting.

7:05am – Success!

7:08am – A quick stretch and we’re off! We might be pushing up the rear, but at least we’re not weaving through countless other runners. I might try this again?!

7:12am – My first comment from a runner comes as I chat with my friend.

7:17am – My friend Joe, who’s Mom is battling her own battle with breast cancer is on the side of the road (in full-denim mind you) yelling at me, “GO DENIM MAN! GO!” This made my day. He wasn’t even done.

7:23am – I quickly tire answering the question, “Are you seriously running in long pants?” All I can think is, “Well, I’m here running next to you in the race wearing long pants. What do you think?”

7:38am – Three miles into my run and I notice that I probably started my race a bit too fast. The legs are yelling at me.

7:46am – I hear someone singing “Rock it like a Hurricane” a couple runners behind me. I throw ‘em the horns.

7:47am – I start singing “Rock it like a Hurricane”…this is the curse of not running with an iPod.

8:04am – I get to Sugarhouse Park and I hear the following conversation between two women happening somewhere behind me.

Woman #1: Oh, my gosh! He’s an idiot! He’s running in long pants!

Woman #2: He’s going to die! There’s no way I could do that!

Woman #1: I’d be burning up by now.

Woman #2: But, that’d be a great way to lose weight, kind of like how wrestlers run in garbage bags.

Woman #1: Maybe I should start running in long pants!

[BOTH LAUGH]

8:16am – In my attempt to get ‘Rock it like a Hurricane’ out of my head. I start singing Forever in Blue Jeans.

8:32am – I run into my friend Joe again as he yells to the top of lungs for “DENIM MAN!” I stop to get my picture with him.

8:38am – Just minutes after rendezvousing up with Joe, I meet a 77 year old woman running the half marathon. Her name is Elfie, she’s from Germany and claims to never have trained for a race in her life, she just walks fast everywhere. I’m marveled at her persistence and also question her definition of “running” and “walking fast.”

9:16am – I reach ‘Mile 9’ with my legs completely exhausted and take a break at the aid station with Gatorade and Clif Bars. I’m a bit anxious and worried that I might be overheating a bit. Temperatures are starting to reach 60-65 degrees.

9:21am – I get rejuvenating at one of the picture points when the two photographers react to my appearance like I am a rock star. I oblige by showing off my ‘Denim for a Cure’ shirt, a huge smile and…again…throw them the horns.

9:33am – As I cross an intersection I hear one cop observe to another officer, “Oh brother, that’s the wrong kind of running gear.”

9:42am – I turn onto State Street and start my climb towards downtown.

9:47am – I pass the Downtown Sears store where there’s usually a taco stand. It must too early for them, which is too bad, because I could really use a Horchata right about now.

9:52am – I pass Elfie and am relieved that I will finish before her.

9:57am – I take my last turn and head towards the finish line. As I pass the new City Creek Center and Temple Square I get out my phone and call my Mom. Tired and exhausted; I breathlessly tell her we are crossing the finish line together.

10:00am – That crazy guy on his phone who ran in denim crosses the finish line as my brother and friends cheer my accomplishment.

10:01am – I tell my Mom this race is more for her than anything, because I never would have tried something this crazy if she didn’t mean so much to me. I tell her I love her and hang up.

10:06am – I stumble around the finish line taking all the free offerings of  ice cream, Red Bulls, and water.

10:09am – I get my photo taken with my finisher’s medal in my denim. The photographer can’t believe I ran all 13.1 miles in denim. I take a moment and can’t believe it either. All I can do is smile and thank God for the experience.

I have levels of love for others. Dan is in the highest echelon.

I have much love for the viewers of my blog that visit sporadically.

If you 1) visit regularly, 2) are an email follower, and/or 3) leave comments, my love for you is doubled.

If you think of me when you see people jogging or exercising in jeans, you get triple love from me.

You instantly reach a super-high level and get quadruple love if you send me a picture of someone running or exercising in jeans.

If you tell me you are “infatuated” with JoggingJeans.com and decide to run a marathon IN JEANS because of it and then afterwards you provide me with all the details and send me pictures, then your name is Dan and you reached the highest echelon of my love. That is love multiplied times a bazillion for those of you who are keeping track.

Dan…oh Dan. Where do I begin talking about Dan? He starts his first email to me by saying, “Saw this guy at the Ocean Drive Marathon in New Jersey this weekend…Oh wait, I was this guy!!!”

And then there were these pictures of his GORGEOUS self:

Ladies, don’t look too long. He is mine. Well, as “mine” as he can possibly be given that I am happily married and he is (seemingly) happily married (yeah, I cyber-stalked him…shhh). I don’t care. Okay, you looked at him long enough. Step off.

The three fingers are because this was the third marathon that Dan and his buddy ran in their quest to run 12 marathons in 12 months in 2012. Who does that?! Awesome people like Dan, that’s who. Of course, I then asked him for details about the race. His response was priceless, and I read it more times than I will admit because it makes me so happy. I couldn’t bear to edit one word of it, so here it is in its entirety:

As you’ll see, I wore the jeans, but I went for a whole look too. I’ve been growing the mustache the whole month just to add to the look!

Before the marathon, I had sooooo many people give me the “head to toe” look, and then a quick look-away, but no one said a word to me about the jeans, and we were all in a hotel lobby, in tight quarters, keeping out of the cold. Not sure if people were afraid of my crazy look or if they couldn’t believe that I was going to wear them for the race. 
 
Then when we started, as I was passing people, a dozen times I heard them saying, “Is that guy really wearing jeans?” My buddy who I am running with would yell out, “Yes, he’s nuts.” 
 
It was a very small marathon, so not many spectators. But the few who were out in small groups, would be clapping, then I would start coming by and a hush would fall over them, because they’d be looking at me and pointing me out. It was hilarious. By the end though, people started yelling out to me, “Go jeans guy!”  And a guy said he saw me at the beginning, and was waiting to see if I made it all the way with the jeans on. I better had, I purposely didn’t wear running shorts underneath so I wasn’t tempted to take them off, no matter what happened. One older woman yelled out, “Wow, Dungarees!” I think that was my favorite, so old school!
 
A couple runners asked about chafing issues on the run, but luckily, I was chafe-free!!!  The miracles of denim!  As I went through the corral at the end of the race, the smiles on people’s faces made it totally worth it, they loved it. One spectator ran up to me and said, “No way you ran that whole thing in jeans.”  
 
Aside from the jeans, it was a pretty forgettable marathon, temperature was cold and there was a brutal wind dead into our face the whole time. However, it will forever be one of my most memorable, all because of you and the jeans!  Thanks!
.
The bottom line is that I love Dan more than I love you. He grew a mustache and ran IN JEANS, a camo shirt, and a belt with a freakin’ kick-ass belt buckle for ME! So step off. Seriously.
____________________________________________________________________________________

.
ALL $1000 was raised!! [hugs to all] We WILL be seeing Josher run the Salt Lake City Marathon in head-to-toe denim!!
.
A big big BIG thanks to the following JoggingJeans.com readers who have contributed their hard-earned money to support Denim for a Cure:
Mary Long, Sellersville, PA
Minka Misangyi, San Antonio, TX. Author of MoreThanRunning
Jill Whitaker, Las Vegas, NV. Author of JillWillRun and theRUNiverse
Tracey Lazos, Boston, MA. Author of StrideAndJoy
Marcie, Dallas, TX
Charla Neuman, Seattle, WA. Author of RunningHaiku
Amy Ambler, Salt Lake City, UT
And all the others!
(You can be on this list by donating and then sending me an email telling me that you did – JoggingJeans@gmail.com)
.
Read more about the campaign here. Read more about Josher Hanson, the guy who will be running in head-to-toe denim, here.
And if you would still like to donate, please do so by clicking here.

Our first jean-wearing race recap!!

As I’ve said before, I am most grateful for the Runner’s World mention because it has introduced me to a bunch of great people who I otherwise would never have known. Case in point: Josher. He wrote to me saying that he would like to try running a race in jeans, picked the Leprechaun Lope 10K in Salt Lake City on March 17, 2012 to do it,  and would try to get me a picture. I asked if he would like to write a race recap of the experience and he said, “Sure.” I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Leprechaun Lope 10K in Denim

Josher Hansen

Runners are crazy. I really think JoggingJeans.com validates that. Each runner has their own way of doing things. We are all different in the shoes, shorts, and gear we wear. When I run, I wear what’s comfortable to me. That’s the beauty of the sport.

But, while there is this spirit of individualism there seems to be a few lines you don’t cross. One of those seems to be that you don’t wear jeans while running. My only guess is that this was indoctrinated in us during gym class in the 7th grade.

There was always that one kid who wore long pants to gym class. They almost always happened to be the ones that flunked gym class too, because they got docked points for not wearing the proper gym apparel (I may or may not have been this kid). Who says you can’t work out in long pants, right?

Being a Sociology major, I find the reasons why we find it so taboo very interesting. In the past couple of years since I’ve started running religiously, I’ve noticed others that run in denim. I will be the first to admit that I judged them as “non-runners.”

How I have been mistaken since finding this website!

I decided that the only way I could truly understand those runners who run in denim was to run in them myself. So I decided to run a local St. Patrick’s Day 10K race here in Salt Lake City in my denim pants; it was a plan that my running partner, trainer, and family laughed at. Why would I do such a thing?

Why not?

Anyways, I decided to share my experience with those that would understand. That’s why I am sharing my running journal from my race this past Saturday. Needless to say it was quite the experience that with a few adjusts (namely more anti-chafe cream) I would probably do again.

Enjoy my journal. Maybe it will convert you to a denim runner? If not, perhaps it will convert you to a Neil Diamond fan.

7:32am – As I am eating my pre-race meal of oatmeal and a Red Bull. My Mom comes into the kitchen and asks if I am running today. I show her my bib number on my jeans and all she can do is roll her eyes and muster a “oh yeah, it’s your run in jeans.”

7:34am – My mom starts singing Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans.”

7:38am – After getting a pre-race pep talk from my Mom, I’m out the door in route to the race.

7:47am – I start singing “Forever in Blue Jeans” in my car. Needless to say, it will be stuck in my head the rest of the day.

8:06am – I get to my race and text my running partner and cousin while sitting in my car, “OMG! Am I really doing this? Am I this crazy?

8:07am – Response text, “You’re crazier”…she does have a point.

8:11am – I walk around the starting line looking for a friend I am running with. I’m easily looked over because of my casualness. But, I notice the glances as some runners see my race bib pinned on my pants.

8:16am – I get my first comment from a fellow runner, “Are you running in those?” Me, “I am!” Runner, “Do you want me to buy you some running shorts?” I decline the offer with a laugh and thank him for the offer.

8:17am – I reconsider the fellow runner’s offer and wish I had taken him up on it.

8:25am – Five minutes to race time. My friend and I talk near the starting line and notice more people in denim pants, especially Moms with strollers. But they are all running the 5K. Others are probably thinking I’m doing the same. I’m no fun runner!

8:29am – The thought of chaffing suddenly haunts me. I rolled on some Sports Shield, but now I wonder if it was enough?!

8:30am – No time to wonder any longer…the RACE BEGINS!

8:33am – The race begins on a steep incline up hill. I save my energy back with all the Fun Runners and Stroller Moms. Little do they know I don’t belong there with them. As soon as I hit the apex of the starting hill, I take off!

8:36am – As soon as others notice that I am not a Fun Runner, I hear some comments and laughter about the guy in jeans.

8:41am – I pass the majority of the Fun Runners and now have joined most of the 10K crowd. I pass most of them with ease.

8:42am – As I pass those that have starting walking I notice they starting running. I can only think what’s going on in their mind, “Oh man! I can’t let the guy in long pants pass me! I’m more of a runner than he is!”

8:46am – The 10K and 5K/Fun Run route splits and the 10K runners head up a hill in the canyon.

8:49am – A husband and wife with their dog who are running the 10K ask me if I’m in the right race. I respond, “This is the Half Marathon, right?”

8:51am – I’m starting to feel the burn of the uphill course. The sweat starts to build up around my legs looking for an escape.  This is a feeling I’ve never experienced while running because I’m always in shorts.

8:53am – The course gets hillier and tougher.

8:55am – As I am sweating even more around my legs, I started singing “Forever in Blue Jeans” to myself.  Neil always knows how to make things better.

9:01am – I reach the turnaround point. I stop at the aid station for water and roll up my pant legs for a minute. The volunteer holds out a cup of water and tries to offer me advice, “You should wear shorts.” He’s obviously not a runner who’s lost his mind…he just doesn’t understand.

9:02am – I start my downhill descent by picking up the pace. Running downhil is my favorite thing about running.

9:06am – As I book it down the canyon, I start passing other runners. I again notice them picking up the pace after I pass them. If I’m their motivation, so be it. Who wants “That Guy in Jeans” to beat you? It’s a thing of pride.

9:11am – My worst nightmare is a reality. No, I’m not being chased by a pack of midgets with baseball bats and nunchucks. I begin to feel the onslaught of chaffing.

9:13am – I continue booking it downhill, but know that I’m going to be chaffing in places I’ve never chaffed before. There is a burning sensation around my knees and by the calves. I figure I’ve built up too much sweat from my run uphill.

9:14am – I keep running.

9:17am – I run past two officers directing traffic as I exit the canyon. The thought comes to me that if I didn’t have my race bib on I could potentially look suspicious running down an isolated canyon at top speed in a long sleeved shirt and jeans.

9:21am – I try to forget the annoying chaffing feeling on my calves and knees by losing myself in some Neil Diamond. “Forever in Blue Jeans” takes a back seat to “Sweet Caroline.” This is what happens when your parents raise you listening to Neil Diamond cassettes. Yes, cassettes.

9:23am – “Touching one! Reaching out! Touching me! Touching you!”

9:27am – I officially accept the fact I won’t be moving much the rest of the day after the race.

9:31am – The cheering crowds start to gather on the course. I hear one man yell, “GO JEANS MAN! YOU’RE ALMOST THERE”…I think I just got my superhero name?!

9:32am – I make the decision that my sidekick would be none of other than Captain Underpants.

9:34am – I realize that Captain Underpants can’t be second in command since he’s a Captain and all so I accept the fact that “Jeans Man” will be the sidekick.

9:37am – Exhausted and sore I finally see the finish line, but it looks so far away!

9:40am – I. CROSS. THE. FINISH. LINE.

9:46am – I walk around the finish line in my post race daze. My knees and calves begin to itch. I can only imagine how fun the rest of the day will be. I find solace in the oranges and bread.

9:52am – I wait around for my friend to finish and stumble over to my car. I roll up my pants legs and drive home in my makeshift capris.

10:18am – I arrive home to my parents’ karaoking to “Forever in Blue Jeans.” I laugh and realize where my crazy comes from.

%d bloggers like this: