On My Way To 42.2: The Game Plan

Yesterday I posted the results to my first official week of training that I am doing in order to try to accomplish the goals that I have set out for myself for 2012. You know, the goals that involve me running three separate marathons (two in one month), biking 160km as part of my first ever century bike ride, and spending some 20 thousand or so odd minutes actively bending and stretching for yoga.

Anyway, while yesterday’s post wasn’t all that exciting in the grand scheme of blog posts, it does serve a few purposes.

  • I keeps me on track. Without the goals and the scheduled runs, bikes, walks, and yoga, I’d probably find an excuse to slack off. Because we all know there is chocolate that won’t eat itself. And because we definitely know that scotch loves being in my belly.
  • It helps me reflect. This is essential to training, in my humble opinion. There are days – everyone has them I assume – where I think to myself

Sweet flying crapshark, you are a lazy ass and haven’t done anything about anything. Why can’t you run 42.2km already? You should be able to do this by now. How pathetic.Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

These are the days where it’s absolutely necessary for me to look back and realize that no, I’m not a lazy ass, and I’ve come a long way. It helps me remember the days when my asthma was so bad, and my bulk so immense that running for a few steps was completely out of the question.

  • It gives me a sense of accomplishment (or perhaps a necessary kick in the ass). While you might think this is similar to the previous bullet (which it is), this is more of a short-term sense of accomplishment (or kick in the ass) versus the previous bullet’s long-term sense of reflection.

At any rate, the blog posts help me and keep me focused on what I need to do.

But why am I posting about this again? Well, yesterday’s post brought about a number of comments on the Twitter and on Facebook. Comments which mentioned some sense of motivation that these posts bring to other people. And that is amazing to me. I hope these posts do help others to find what it is they love to do, and that they help some of you stay motivated to achieve your goals. Because you can do it.

Before (left) and after (right). More accurately - the before photo is an after photo, because there was a time when I was much larger. We're talking a BMI above 36.

Trust me, if you knew the Dan of yesteryear, you’d know that if I can run a marathon, anyone can. Or you could take part in some crazy long Guinness world record-setting hockey game for Cystic Fibrosis research like Dr. Beth. Or you could do 4 rounds of P90X, hike multiple mountains, and run a half marathon like Rick. Or run so many different races last year I can’t even count them – like Carolyn.

Point is – whatever you think you can’t do, or aren’t sure if you can – you totally can. You just have to start.

I was also asked about my daily schedule. That is, when/how I manage to fit in all that I want to do. For me, my major goal is simply to run 3 to 4 times per week, bike 3 to 4 times per week (usually when I’m not running), walk to and from the office daily, and hopefully do at least some stretching/yoga in the morning.

Typically – at least when I’m training – my weekdays are as follows:

  • Wake around 6 or 6:30. Eat breakfast then stretch, or stretch and then eat breakfast. Sometimes both at once. Stretching lasts at least 15 minutes, but might go for an hour depending on what I need to do that particular day.
  • Walk to school – about 25 minutes on a slow day, 20 minutes on a solidly paced day. In the summer, this might be replaced by a bike. Usually get to the office around 9.
  • Me - on the right - circa 2008. PUT DOWN THE SAMOSAS GILLIS!


  • Snack around 10
  • Work
  • Lunch around noon
  • Work
  • Snack around 2
  • Work
  • Snack around 4
  • Work
  • Walk or bike home (around 5 or 5:30)
  • Run, or bike – depending on the day – or perhaps do nothing as it might be a rest day.
  • Snack
  • Yoga (depending on the day). In the non-winter months, I’ll actually bike to yoga. In some cases, I’ll bike first to a track to do sprint training, then bike to yoga, go to yoga, then bike home. Those days are killer, but they are awesome.
  • Dinner (sometimes as late as 10, which I know is not usually advised, but I have to eat at some point. Also, I don’t normally go to bed until 12:30 or later, so it’s not like I’m eating right before bed).

Anyway, there you have it. My typical day. Exciting n’est-ce pas? I should also add that somewhere near the end of some of these days, I may or may not include a very healthy, very nutritionally dense, very muscle rebuilding and energy restoring scotch. And chocolate. Can’t forget the chocolate. Because let’s be serious here – I love being healthy, but rewards are always fantastic.

And with that being said, I’m going to go pour myself a scotch. But for real this time, because when I wrote that the other night, I actually decided to skip it and go to bed.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    “Put down the samosas Gillis!” That made me laugh out loud. Your typical day sounds crazy awesome- you’ve got this Gills. Your lazy ass will be running a marathon in no time :). And thanks for the shout-out. Soon you can add 30-day yoga challenge, one round of P90X2, and another half marathon or two. W00t!

    1. dangillis says:

      Yes, my lazy ass will be running a marathon in no time. As will your lazy ass (hint, hint). But not before we go ice climbing and bobsledding. STOKED!

  2. Carolyn says:

    I love your chub photos. And I believe it was…nine races? I like medals. They bolster my fragile ego. I noticed that you’re still clocking some pretty fast runs despite months of post-surgical sloth. It’s appalling, really.

    1. dangillis says:

      Nine? Nine? Is that it? Why not 10? Clearly you were slacking. LOL. As for your fragile ego – we both can work on that. I’ll start: you are AWESOME!

      Fast runs? Maybe. But not fast enough to get that stupid 5k in under 20 minutes thing crossed off my list. Regardless, I’m trying to train all my pace runs at 5 min 20 sec. Saturday was a bit faster than pace for the first bit – just for the fun of it. But trust me, most of the longer runs will be 5:20 or higher. Must. Crush. Four. Hours.

      Also – “Post-Surgical Sloth” – that should be the name of a post or something.

      1. Carolyn says:

        Agree – nine is a terrible number. Ummm under 20 minutes is very fast (to me!). You’ll sub-4 for sure this year (but you’ll at least want to go under 4:00:42). 😉

        1. dangillis says:

          I hope I’ll be under the 4 mark. If not, I might punch myself in the face for being such a suckbag.

  3. Becky says:

    I need your determination!!! I have the same intentions but instead of turning to the treadmill I turn to food!
    I’m turning into a bad diet “before” picture! Eek!

    1. dangillis says:

      I would say you have a pretty good excuse to be too tired to not want to jump on that treadmill. However, I doubt you are going to turn into the bad diet before photo. Especially not since you realize that you could do that (remember how much of a sloth I was after my surgery). How about this: after every run I post, you jump on the treadmill for 20 minutes of fast walking? Or a run? Whatever – ladies choice. Tell the kids you need them to make you motivational signs while you are doing it. And perhaps they should put together a cheer (they’ll clearly have to get dressed up to cheer appropriately). This might keep them busy for a bit, and will provide them the needed practice for when you go out on the road and run a 10km or half marathon with me. Because I expect my nieces out there cheering us on.

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