Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pushing The Wall - Blog Tour

What kind of idiot would run a marathon without training for it first? Me. 

Sure, I’d heard all the horror stories. Endurance athletes always fear “hitting the wall,” that point where the body runs out of energy and, BAM! Roadkill. With no conditioning, I feared smashing into this wall hard enough to leave a dent.

I wanted to train for the 2010 St. George Marathon, but after breaking my foot, the only marathon I could handle was on Netflix. When the race came, I just wanted to pick up the shirt I paid for, but peer pressure and the energy of the other 7,000 runners convinced me to go for it. My plan? Push the wall past the finish line. Then I could grab some ice cream, crawl into my truck, and drive home.

This memoir details my love/hate affair with running, why I didn’t prepare, and how I survived 26.2 grueling miles that I had no business attempting. This book also includes running tips for anybody looking to maximize their training experience, covering topics like:

  • Finding the right running pace
  • Speed workouts
  • Running safely at night
  • Tapering and carb-loading before a race
  • Basic first aid for runners
  • Injury prevention
  • And more!
It’s whimsical, yet educational. It’s whimsucational!

Foreward by Aaron Metler, winner of the 2010 and 2014 St. George Marathons.

Author Bio

James loves to write, but he doesn't like to brag. Just kidding, he totally loves to brag. And refer to himself in the third person. Because both those things are cool. Right?


James Duckett is a founder and Chief Technology Officer of the Authors' Think Tank Facebook Group and Podcast. He wrote his first story in the 2nd grade and has been excited about writing ever since. He wrote his first book when he was 14, but one of his friends did the world a favor and accidentally threw it away.

“Pushing the Wall: A Memoir” is his first book. A contemporary romance (yeah, you read that right) novella will appear in an anthology on March 31st, 2015. He's introverted, geeky, funny looking, unpredictable, and easily distracted by the latest gadgets.




My top ten favorite things:

1) Socks. Seriously, I love socks! When people ask what I want for my birthday or for Christmas, the answer is always socks.

2) Scriptures. I read them and life just feels better.

3) Dogs. Cats barely register as "tolerable", but then, that's how they think about humans.

4) Running, which might be a duh. But really, anything that gets my heart racing. Racquetball is a favorite.

5) High fives and fist bumps. Much more sanitary than a handshake. I'm saddened by the decreasing use of the high five, it just says so much about a person and I think society is worse off for abandoning its use. Fist bumps kind of make up for it, but you can't do it with a ton of excitement like you can a high five.

6) Foods: Italian pastas. Brownies. Combinations of peanut butter and chocolate (Reese's are my favorite). 

7) Movies: A Few Good Men, Dan in Real Life, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Wedding Singer are the first that come to mind. Not in that order.

8) Actor: Robin Williams will always be king to me. I wept when I got news of his passing. I still haven't brought my self to be able to watch one of his movies. Actress: Ummmmm..... nobody comes to mind. As a teenager I seriously crushed all over Alyssa Milano, but I'm over that. She isn't yet, but I keep telling her to give it time. Otherwise... sorry, nobody comes to mind. WAIT! Mrs. Doubtfire. Whoever played her was BRILLIANT!

9) My Kindle. I love reading, but I hated lugging around books by my favorite authors. Stephen King and Brandon Sanderson have teamed up to give me back problems. But I love my Kindle Paperwhite. Tons of battery, no eye strain, and it doesn't way a ton to copy around.  

10) Friends and family. Though I'm an introvert, I'm still grateful to those who have been there to enrich my life. 

Buy Links:

Story Excerpt #1
Setup: So, you may have noticed a pattern with the prizes. I broke my foot while running in the dark, which is one reason I couldn't train for the marathon. This was the first year I signed up for a marathon. I never healed from this and ended up not running or even attempting the marathon. Here's that story.

[After signing up for the marathon].. I did my first practice run. Because it was extremely hot outside, I thought I’d wait until it got dark and then officially begin my training. I was going to shoot for four miles, figuring that wouldn’t be a bad start. 

When it cooled off enough, I grabbed a flashlight and hit the road. I’d considered bringing my cell phone, but I didn’t want to deal with carrying too much equipment. The last thing I needed to do was drop and destroy my cell phone on a run.

About a mile from my house, everything was great. I enjoyed the relatively cool air and envisioned myself running my first marathon. I could do this race—I was pumped! I decided to turn off my flashlight for a few meters so I could enjoy the peace, quiet, and serenity of the night.

Then I rolled my foot.

It was one of the most painful experiences I’d ever felt in my life, and I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff to my body. I screamed at the top of my lungs and fell to the ground, cradling my foot and wondering what had just happened. After spending a couple of minutes regaining my composure, I realized my run was over. I hobbled over to the place where I had rolled my foot, confused as to what had happened. It turned out that the side of the road had curved sharply and I didn’t see it. I landed with my left foot half on the road and half off, causing it to roll. Hard. 

I regretted leaving my cell phone at home. The road I was running on normally had a decent amount of cars, but Murphy’s law dictated that nobody drove by that night. So I headed home. It was a horrible, painful mile as I limped back to my house.

Movie Casting

Who should play me in a movie? If Chris Farley wasn't dead, he'd be perfect. We both have such amazing bodies and energy! The skit where he's giving advice to some troubled youth after drinking 20 cups of coffee, yeah... I get like that now and then. But, alas, he's not around anymore. So let's give it to Leonardo DiCaprio, because it might be his chance to get an Oscar!

And, you are going to love this, the foreward to my book was written by Aaron "McLovin" Metler. His nickname is McLovin because he looks totally like an actor named Christopher Mintz-Plasse. He did some movie where he got a fake ID that read McLovin, and Aaron and him could be twins. I haven't seen the movie so I can't comment on mannerisms or anything, but he's got a poster of him hanging in the office and it is hilarious!

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