Just A (Running) Fool is dead, long live Unfinished Person

Honesty is such a lonely word. It was this phrase that awakened me at about 5:30 yesterday morning.

Just A (Running) Fool is dead.

Long live Unfinished Person.

In January of last year, I moved this blog to my main blog, an unfinished person (in an unfinished universe), and then later in the year, moved it back here with cross-postings there.

Now I’ve come to the realization (read: honesty) that it is time to lay this blog to rest. Further running-related posts from my life will be done at the unfinished person blog. Please update your readers to follow my journey ever toward becoming a more complete person than I am now. That struggle never ends, because the now is ever fleeting.

The reasons for the closing of this blog are many, and are magnified for me by the recent closure of Humor-Blogs.com, but come down to two main factors:

  • Time: When I began this blog, I was workinga full-time job as a newspaper editor. Later, I began work as a part-time newspaper correspondent. I recently have started two new part-time jobs: as a librarian assistant and as an online freelance writer.
  • Energy: I don’t have the energy to keep up this blog, a reading blog I had, the unfinished person blog, plus Unfinished Rambler.

Brief blog history (for those playing along at home):

Blog history (not including a brief experiment with Vox, unknown date, because I removed blog; others still exist in the backwaters of the Interwebs until… ):

  • October 2005: Just A (Running) Fool begins
  • Dec. 12, 2007: Journey with the Saints begins
  • March 13, 2008: Unfinished Person is born
  • April 24, 2008: Just A (Trail Running) Fool begins
  • April 25, 2008: Just A (Reading) Fool begins
  • April 28, 2008: Unfinished Rambling(s) begins
  • November 2008: Unfinished Rambler is born
  • March 17, 2009: An unfinished person II debuts on Tumblr, as supplement to Unfinished Person and Unfinished Rambler blogs.
  • Jan. 23, 2010: The journey continues

Please update your readers accordingly and follow me at unfinishedperson.com.


Everybody wants a rock to wind a piece of string around (yes, yet again)


I previously have written about this rock back last year on my running blog, then again in a reprint in July on this blog and referenced it in a post later that month. This morning, I found the rock underneath my desk and after I cleaned the cat hair off of it, I took the above photo.

Rather than repeat the unrealistic goals I set for myself, I will summarize: Get up way too early to

  1. Read the Liturgy of the Hours
  2. Exercise (run or gym) and
  3. Read books about running, specifically by George Sheehan, John Bingham and/or Jeff Galloway, to get motivated for rest of day.

Now the parts that are unrealistic are neither the exercise nor the reading, and maybe surprisingly not the early (well at least for me) either. The parts that are unrealistic are two-fold:

  1. “Too early,” with a goal of getting up by 5:30 a.m., which happens also to be the time my wife gets up.
  2. The order of the parts with starting with the Scripture readings, then the exercise, then the reading, also at specific times: 5:30, 6:30, then 7:30. As if I’m in the military and will get lashes if I don’t adhere to that schedule.

As to No. 1, because not to be too crude, one of the first things I need to do after I get up is visit the…um…lavatory, I’d rather not conflict with my wife’s…um…”lavatory time.” So 5:30 is out and also my wife likes to have time “to decompress” to start her day so I don’t want to conflict with that. So with that in mind, what’s more realistic?

I’m thinking 7 a.m. because then I should be able to get out the door to exercise whether gym (still need to renew membership, especially for the winter) or run by 7:30 a.m. (and with winter, 7:30 a.m. won’t be too hot).

As for No. 2 with the order, I’ll exercise first because I’m afraid if I start with reading, I’ll just be tempted to go back to bed or even lie down and…ahem…”mediate” while I’m reading. Then I can do the readings with breakfast and not lock in a time, because who knows how long I’ll be out on certain days. I am especially thinking of the days where I’m just beginning this and won’t be running, but walking. It might end up being an hour/hour and half of walking around town instead of a good solid half hour/hour of running.

Normally, I’m up by 8 a.m. anyway so an extra hour getting up is not going to hurt and I know in the past when I have gotten up earlier and exercised early, it gives me more energy through the day. So without further adieu, I begin tomorrow.

Here’s They Might Be Giants with “We Want A Rock,” part of the lyrics which I used as the title for this post:

This post also can be found on my main blog, an unfinished person (in an unfinished universe), where you can get a more complete picture of this unfinished person.

Watching my weight, Sparkin’ up (no, it’s not what you think) and heading to the beach

It’s been more than two months since my last Just A (Running) Fool post (and Motivation Monday post too). Today, hopefully I can begin a new streak of not only posting once a week for Just A (Running) Fool and Motivation Monday, but also exercising several times a week and continuing to motivate myself (and maybe, in turn, you).

How? A three-pronged approach:

It was the latter two, whom I met through Facebook, that helped re-motivate me to get back on track with a 90-day Fitness Challenge, starting today. I’ve committed to at least 30 minutes a day of exercise 6 days a week. That may change to 60 at some point, but I’m starting small so I won’t get too discouraged quickly.

However, in the past, I have had much success with both WeightWatchers and SparkPeople. First, WeightWatchers spurred me to my initial weight loss a few years ago (started by losing 50 pounds, and then with exercise, lost another 50, going from 280 to 180) and then SparkPeople kept me going when I didn’t want to go on with a great support system with teams there.

I’ve been paying for WeightWatchers Online since August (I believe, it’s been so long and I haven’t done that well yet with it), but am recommitting myself today to the program, because it’s the one thing that has helped me lose weight with diet. SparkPeople has helped me in the past with motivation, and I’m still friends on Facebook with many of the people I’ve met there even though I haven’t been active on the teams there for at least six months. As for Team Beachbody, we’ll see…but anything that can help get me going is a plus.

Now where’s the beach? I have a feeling I’m not going to find one too nearby in northcentral Pennsylvania.

This one’s for my wife, who really loves this group (okay, not so much):

This post also can be found on my main blog, an unfinished person (in an unfinished universe). If you are interested in getting a more complete picture of this incomplete person, you can subscribe to that blog.

Motivator #1: My father

My father is 65.

However, you’d never know it. In fact, he looks like Mark Martin, who is 15 years younger than he is.

For the past two Saturdays, he’s run in 5Ks. This past weekend, he finished second in his age group, 60 to 65, in about 28 minutes.

Me? My best time ever in a 5K was just over 28 minutes and that was when I was really trying. My dad? No, he wasn’t even trying. He hasn’t even been training. In Saturday’s race, he beat another runner who regularly beats him, but the runner told him that he still had the course record. My dad thinks he can beat that next year with some training, and knowing my dad, he will.

So all this said, this past Saturday night, I stayed over at my parents after watching the Sharpie’s 500 (Mark Martin came in second in the 1,000th race of his career) and then when I got up Sunday morning, I was motivated to run. I ran/walked (mostly walked) a short 3.42 miles at 9 a.m., which was too late in the morning, because the sun was beating down pretty well at that point. However, I did it, because I knew if my dad could run in a 5K at age 65, I certainly could run (ahem, walk) 3.42 miles at age 40.

Age knows no bounds.

This post also can be found on my main blog, an unfinished person (in an unfinished universe). If you interested in seeing what makes up a complete unfinished person, you can subscribe to that blog, if you so choose.

Motivation Monday: Assessing where I am

Should your resting pulse be in the 55-60 range, you are an out-of-shape athlete with great endurance potential. You are missing out on some particularly satisfying sports experience. A sedentary individual with a resting pulse in the 50s may well have remarkable talent for endurance events.

…this baseline pulse can tell nonathletes just how bad things are– and how good things can be. Individuals with a pulse in the 90s are cheating themselves of an active life. Those in the 70s are settling for less than they can get. If you are in the low 60s you could be living those dreams of glory.
— George Sheehan in “On Assessing” in his book How To Feel Great 24 Hours A Day

Tomorrow morning I am going to take my resting pulse and measure the circumference of my calves, thighs, hips, waist and chest using a tape measure as suggested by Sheehan in the chapter and book above (I would do it tonight, but I can’t find the tape measure and need to ask my wife when she returns home where it is). This morning, I already weighed myself as part of the WeightWatchers program I recently started. I weighed in at 213, the same weight where I began with WeightWatchers a few weeks ago. I had dropped three pounds, but then over the last few weeks, have regained that same amount.

One other part of the assessment involves testing how far I can go in 12 minutes. Sheehan suggests using a quarter-mile track, usually available at the local high school. I suppose even with sports practices beginning this week, if I get there earlier enough in the morning, I will have no problem doing that. Sheehan also has included aerobic tables from Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper to tell you how you rate on the fitness ladder using maximal oxygen consumption as a baseline.

I already took my resting pulse about half an hour ago and it was at about 60. So I feel encouraged by what Sheehan wrote, but know that I have a long way to go. Plus I know that from being able to complete the 25.9 mile Bald Eagle Mountain Megatransect in 2007 that I have endurance already. It’s just a matter of regaining it.

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This post is also being crossposted at my main blog, an unfinished person (in an unfinished universe).

Update reader: Inauguration of a new blog

Today is not only a historic day for our nation, but on a much, much, much (not enough muches here to show how infinitesimal on the scale) smaller scale, for me and my blogging.

Today I inaugurate a “new” blog, an unfinished person in an unfinished universe.

This blog, just a (running) fool along with two of my other blogs, has moved to an unfinished person (in an unfinished universe) to integrate the parts of my online personality. Over the next few months, the transition will be occurring as I plan to switch to WordPress.org, but in the meantime, archives for this blog before 2008 will be found here at this site. I will provide a link at the “new” blog.

Please update your readers accordingly after visiting the site and clicking on the Subscribe via Reader button in the top right corner. See you all over there.

New Year’s Resolutions 2009

In keeping with the breakdown of this blog into three themes, body, mind and soul, I give you my 10 New Year’s resolutions:


  1. Run at least three times a week and go to gym at least twice a week.
  2. Use WeightWatchers/SparkPeople to assist with weight loss.
  3. Run/walk God’s Country Marathon June 6, three days before 40th birthday.


  1. Send out books as promised on Just A (Reading) Fool
  2. Combine three existing blogs, Just A (Running) Fool, Just A (Reading) Fool, Journeying with the Saints into this blog, and for less serious blog entries, use Unfinished Rambler. So short version: Cut back to two blogs.
  3. Get a job. Now working two part-time jobs, as a newspaper correspondent and at a small town bookstore, but need a full-time job with benefits.


  1. Attend Mass regularly.
  2. Pray Morning and Evening Prayer.
  3. Become oblate for Mt. Saviour Monastery.

Overall: Spend more (quality) time with The Wife.