The Night Before…


Pasta: eaten.

Water: consumed.

Clothes: laid out.

Nerves: doing the backflip in my stomach. Oy joy. Something tells me I’m not going to sleep much this evening.

My route will start at 72nd and west side highway. Travel down and around the tip of Manhattan, up the east side to 42nd Street. Hang a left at 42nd, then a right on First avenue. Take first avenue until I cross over into the Bronx via the Willis Avenue Bridge. Cross back into Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge. Down Fifth Avenue to Marcus Garvey Park. Around the park, then down fifth avenue to 90th street. Once in the park, head down to the 72nd street transverse to the west side, hang a right and then to a full loop of the park. The finish is just past Taven on the Green, at the 72nd Street Entrance to the park on the west side.

It’s going to be a fantastic run for some picture-taking!

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/103733945

Turtle 2.0


After taking two straight days off from running in preparation for this weekend, I was up and out of the apartment early this morning to join my team for its weekly long run.  I know I have 26.2 coming up tomorrow morning – but I also realize that it’s early in the marathon preparation season, and beginner who never ran more than 5-6 miles in their lives might get a little discouraged as the mileage increases.  So I don’t want to miss the weekly long runs, because I just want to do my part to help these nuggets complete the goal in November.

 

I remember how I felt in 2007.  It was the first time I ever ran with a team, and I was even slower than I currently am (which is extremely difficult to believe, yet true nonetheless).  When I began running with the group, I realized that almost all of them were faster than me.  They could run longer and harder.  When they stretched, they could actually touch their toes, while I simply had to wave hello to mine from an embarrassing distance.  I felt discouraged.  I didn’t feel ready.  I didn’t feel like a true part of the team because I felt like I held the team back in some odd way.  So….I stopped showing up.  I didn’t quit – I just stopped showing up.  By the time Marathon Week arrived, I was not physically or mentally prepared for the challenge ahead, and I suffered all day long.  Fifth Avenue felt like a death march.  The 59th Street Bridge looked like Everest.  It was a wonderful experience from a macro perspective; however, it was my third ING New York City Marathon and I was still making DUMB mistakes.  Things had to change.

 

So here I am, five years later.  My sixth year with this Team For Kids and my second with The WDW Radio Running Team.  I have qualified to be a Marathon Maniac, and I’m almost half way there to running a dozen marathons in a year.  All of this would not have been possible if I gave up completely in 2007.

 

And – like I said – I was REEEEEEALLY close.

 

Heaven knows I am NOT a talented runner.  Someday, when I grow up, I aspire to be.  However, presently I remain a work in progress.  If my running life were a technology company, I’d be spending a ton of money on research and development in an aggressive attempt to develop Turtle 2.0.  The battery life would be MUCH improved.  Response times would be much faster. And…yes…the product would weigh less and be a bit easier on the eyes.

 

I know how important this aspiration for personal evolution is to me.  And, for me, running is at the core of this process.  If I had quit in 2007 – this evolution would not even be a consideration.  I’d still be running Turtle 1.0…and trust me: that would NOT be a product that many people would find much use with.

 

Maybe there are other runners that just joined Team For Kids this year.  Maybe they are already feeling like I did in 2007.  Maybe they are looking at this marathon training process as the challenge that kickstarts their evolution into Marathoner 2.0.  And maybe…just maybe…this might be the practice where one of them decides to quit.  Well – I don’t want that to happen.  I want to make sure that I do my part to help these nuggets to stay motivated and positively focused on the challenges ahead.  MAYBE – just maybe – I’ll make them laugh a few times and they leave practice feeling in a slightly better mood than when they began their 5 miler.  That could make the difference between them showing up next week – or not.

 

That’s why I run.  That’s why I love being a mentor.  Sure, I enjoy getting in shape and helping my own evolution along.  But the feeling of getting someone through a long run that they never thought they could handle – yet they did – is the good stuff.

 

So today’s 5 miler was fun.  I got a couple of beginners around the 5 mile loop of the park, and we had a few laughs all along the way.  A good way to start the day.

 

Now that that’s over, I need to focus on tomorrow.  26.2 alone, around Manhattan.  I’ve decided to risk it and use the hydration pack – chaffing be damned (my skin wasn’t silky smooth to begin with).  I figured I’d head out my door at 5am, and start near 72nd and the west side drive.  I’ll take pictures throughout the run, and share them with you tomorrow evening.  My time won’t be great because I’ll be left standing at MANY a red light in the morning, that’s for sure.  But I won’t shut down until I hit my goal.

 

Tomorrow will be interesting.  Yet another step toward a turtle upgrade.

______________________________________

 

If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website:  www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for.  It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thanks!

 

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409

Double Duty


Wednesday morning began with a relaxing five mile run that doubled as a test run for my newest running gadget, the Salomon hydration pack. As I mentioned in my prior blog post, I was thrilled at the outcome.

Wednesday evening found me back in Central Park, mentoring marathon hopefuls for the New York Road Runners’ Team For Kids. A relaxed four miler around the bridal path with the beginner’s group was a fantastic way to end my day.

Each time I run with this group of soon-to-be first time marathoners, I get to hear more of their reasons for taking on this challenge. To one runner, it’s a goal that she had set for herself that meant a lot to her. Another runner was so motivated by the scene on Fifth Avenue last year, watching marathoners fight their way through the last ten kilometers of the race, that he resigned himself to stepping off of the sidelines and putting himself through the hazard the following year. Yet another runner wanted to help New York City children live a healthier lifestyle.

Everyone has a story. And that’s what motivates me to keep coming to each practice. It’s feels great to get a moment to ask each nugget (ok – truth be told I’m a Battlestar Galactica nerd – and, for the uninitiated, on the show they use the term “nugget” to represent new fighter pilots. It’s not a derogatory term – it’s just a real nerdy way of saying “rookie”) (doesn’t it sound cool? Say it with me – using a slight Bronx accent – NUGGET. Now remember to curl your top lip juuuust a bit like Elvis whenever he said “The King luvs ya, baby”. Perfect. OK – let’s move on…) “so tell me – what motivated you to take on the New York City Marathon?” I watch their eyes get a bit wider. A smile cracks each newbie’s face as they eagerly share their motivation for this tough endeavor. I get to see how fired up each of them are to attempt this. It’s fantastic to witness.

BUT, even better than witnessing their excitement throughout this training program is the feeling of satisfaction I get as a Team For Kids mentor. Being able to tell them all about my dumb mistakes made during prior marathons in the hopes that they’ll learn from my errors provides me with a true feeling of satisfaction. There’s nothing better than helping someone else achieve a true life goal.

Some days don’t suck at all.

_____________________________________________________________

If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website: www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for. It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. Thanks!

If you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409

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Wild About Wednesdays!


Wednesdays.  Oh how I love Wednesdays. 

 

(OK that sounds like a…well…dumb way to open a blog entry.  I know this.  You know this.  But work with me – it gets better.)

 

Why do I love Wednesdays?  Well I’m glad you asked. Let me explain.

 

I’m the kind of person that is – for like of a more eloquent term – not-very-bright.  When God was passing out brains I thought He said “trains”, and asked for a really long one.  My rather meek level of intelligence is very clearly illustrated in the way I run.  Whether the training schedule calls for a five mile tempo run, hill work, or the weekly long run…I run every day at the same exact pace. 

 

Seriously.  The same exact pace.  And that is SLOW.

 

I began getting impatient with myself and my lack of progress.  The way I was looking at it, I felt like my inner Kenyan would be released at any moment.  However, he never has shown his really, really fast face.  This has been the case – I’m not kidding – for YEARS.

 

Nope.  That’s not a typo.  I said YEARS.

 

So just recently I actually stopped expecting this transition to a fast runner to simply happen, and I began researching HOW to MAKE it happen.  So I cracked open a book – an actual book with pages, words, and wisdom contained within – and began to research how a runner actually gets quicker over time.  What I learned made me knock my head against the wall repeatedly until Baci (that’s my awesome puppy) (and the name is Italian for Kisses) (they tell me she’s a poodle / shitz-tsu mix…but I say that’s bullshit because her attitude and feistiness screams paisan at me) (I am digressing – see: not the brightest bulb on Broadway) began to growl her very clear disapproval at my rather juvenile behavior.

 

According to what I’ve read, advanced / elite runner run 70-80% of the time at a pace that is 60-90 seconds per mile slower than their race pace.  That other 20-30% of the time, they do speed work that really makes them push themselves to the limit.

 

WOW.  I am doing this all wrong.

 

Whenever I go to practice with Team For Kids, I always feel the pressure of trying to show my coaches and team mates that I can clip off 5-6-7-8 miles at a 9 minute pace.  When I’m done, I feel great…for about an hour and a half.  The next day, I feel like my legs have no juice in them.  So I begin running slower, I watch others fly by me, I get self-conscious and off I go like a bat out of hell.  And so the cycle continued, with me always running as hard as  could.

 

According to what I read – that was a mistake.  I need to shut out the nonsense and the pseudo peer pressure and just stick to a smart game plan.  Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: I’m running 60-90 seconds slower than what I want my race pace to be.  That should result in my legs being able to recover quicker.  Saturdays are my usual weekly long runs – so I’ll run close to my race pace (10 minutes per mile – I want a 4 hour 20 minute finish in NYC in November) and get myself used to the right rhythm.  And Wednesdays – oh baby Wednesdays – THAT is my speed work day.  That is when I can run like a lunatic and push myself hard. 

 

And that’s why I LOVE WEDNESDAYS.

 

Steve Prefontaine – a famous runner from the 1970’s which all runners simply refer to as “Pre” – once said that “My only pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die.”  I think I took Pre’s words a bit too seriously.  I need to run SMARTER – not harder.

 

Oh yeah – P.S.: I tried out my new Salomon hydration pack this morning along the bridal path for about 5 miles.  I’ve got to share my thoughts on this one.  So check back in a bit for a quick review!

 

Until next time!  Great long-term habits begin with a simple decision at the outset: the decision to get out there and get in motion.  I don’t care if it’s down the block for a walk or a 10k run in the woods.  Motion creates emotion.  You don’t get today back – so back it count.

_______________________________________________________

 

If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website:  www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for.  It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thanks!

 

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409

 

Oh Yeah – I Feel Like Elvis


So I come home from work Tuesday evening…and there it was.  Sitting at my front down.  A small cardboard box.  Oh yeah – my new toy had arrived, right on time.  I had been looking forward to this all…day…long.  CHRISTMAS.

I ordered the Salomon Advanced Skin 5 S-Lab Pack for my Sunday run around Manhattan.  It looked so darn cool in the pictures, I was betting that I’d feel like a rock star in this thing.  I pulled the box apart.  Quickly.  Grabbed the contents and began to examine it.

It….looked….cool.  Small – but cool.  This pack comes in 2 sizes: extra small / small and medium / large.  OK, so I’m usually an XL.  I was worried about this thing arriving and looking like it would only fit one of the Lollipop Kids.  I threw on a technical shirt and put the pack on over it.  It felt snug.  Not tight – just snug.  There were no buckles or latches in areas where serious chaffing could result during a long distance run.  There were several zipper pockets in easy to reach areas, which were big enough to store GU packets.  There were two sleeves on the shoulder straps which could hold 16 ounce water bottles (or an Iphone and/or other small crap I want to lug with me), and the reservoir held 50 ounces of water (or Captain Morgan – depends on my mood).  The design maximizes the available space.  The material is incredibly soft yet it appears durable.  The water reservoir is housed in a very light material which is designed to keep the water cold for a longer period of time.  And there were two small elastic straps that go across the chest to minimize the bouncing motion of the pack while I run.

All that….and it looked cool.  Just really…really cool.

This morning I couldn’t wait to find out how the pack felt while I ran in the park.  So I threw it on and went out for a light five miler.  It didn’t feel like the fabric would irritate my neck as I ran.  The pack was designed to fit snug on the runner’s body so that the water and contents did not bounce around.  After five miles in this thing – I can confirm that Salomon hit a home run with this thing.  It was EXTREMELY comfortable.  The shoulder straps did not screw with the way I swing my arms as I run.  By the time I finished my workout, I felt like buying this product was money well spent.

This damn thing made me feel like Elvis.  I was rockin’ and rollin’ along the bridal path.  One note, however: I only ran 5 miles in it.  I need to put in 26.2 on Sunday, and I cannot be distracted by chaffing under my arms or along my neck from this thing.  So I am worried about trusting this product without first truly training in it.  I am 90% sure I’ll use it Sunday.  90%…not 100%.

I’m sharing this for one simple reason: I highly recommend only going on long distance runs in clothing and equipment that you’ve trained in.  One of my mottos that I really believe in: train it and THEN trust it.

Until next time!  Great long-term habits begin with a simple decision at the outset: the decision to get out there and get in motion.  I don’t care if it’s down the block for a walk or a 10k run in the woods.  Motion creates emotion.  You don’t get today back – so make it count.

_______________________________________________________

If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website:  www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for.  It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thanks!

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409

“Are you SERIOUS?”


OK – I couldn’t wait to share this one.  So I was listening to a conference call slightly past lunchtime today.  I hadn’t eaten anything, so I was sort of cranky.  The topic that required a group pow-wow was quickly and efficiently handled by the participants, and all that remained was sharing common pleasantries prior to disconnecting and continuing my normal work day…and, of course, the basic question that stems from this is “…so what’s everyone doing this coming weekend?”

Whenever I hear this question, I refrain from detailed responses whenever I have a full marathon planned for that coming Saturday or Sunday.  Why do I bite my lip?  I have absolutely no idea.  I guess I suddenly hear my little Irish grandmother’s voice echo in my head, “don’t let anybody know your business!”  (to which I always replied to her whilst she was in her 90’s: “Grandma – what POSSIBLE business would you have that you need to keep a secret?”)

I guess part of me is a bit embarrassed about trying something like this.  Twelve marathons in a calendar year is a bit much – I know this.  But I really believe in the mission of the charity that I am trying to generate additional interest and funding for, so it’s worth the bumps and bruises that comes with the challenge.  And what if I fail?  I think that’s the elephant in my head.  What…if…I…fail.  So I find myself biting my toungue in public when leading questions such as “so what’s everyone doing this coming weekend?” are posed.

So, of course, the basic responses were provided by several people on the call.  “I’m going to the beach with my kids”, “I’m having a BBQ at my place”, “I’m visiting family”, blah, blah blah.  I kept quiet.  Inevitably, the question gets bounced to me, but the tone changes.  The following is a transcript…

“…and Joe – what about you?  What are you up to this weekend?”

“Well, I’m going to spend time with my daughter, do some running, and …”

I get cut off immediately…

“….OOOOHHH.  Joe’s running this weekend.  What else is new.  Pray tell – how many miles are you putting in?  Because it can’t be another marathon.  No way.  Not one that’s twenty something miles long.  I mean – maybe he’s running one of those shorter marathons – but not one of the longish ones.  No way.”

See that last paragraph?  That was really said.  By an actual person. In public.  I cannot make that up – I’m not that clever or creative.

OK folks.  I am uncomfortable about talking about what I’m trying to accomplish because I know it sounds pretty…well…OUT THERE (to borrow an old 1960’s term – and FYI, The Fonz rules).  And I know I need to be able to talk about this attempt at 12 marathons in a year because I want to help The Dream Team Project.  But when someone uses the term “pray tell” embedded within a statement that drips with even the slightest amount of sarcasm….well….all I can say is IT’S ON.

OH IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG.

IT’S ON ‘TIL THE BREAK OF DAWN.

You know how each of us has a switch within us that, when flipped, we go from zero to pissed in 2.3 seconds?  Well whenever someone mixes together a witches brew of sarcasm and nonsensical jibberish, tosses in a dash of “pray tell”, lets it simmer on a low flame for a couple of seconds and then attempts to serve it to me with a side of fries, a siren goes off in my head.  This siren, of course, awoke The Tool (who only works on odd weekends – so he now wants time and a half), who quickly appeared on my left shoulder…with a crap-eating grin on his face and a small cord of rope in his hand.

The Tool prceeded to tie one end of the rope to the top button of my dress shirt, and tied the other end around his waist.  He then began to repel down my back until he got to about my mid-spine area.  Apparently, that’s where my switch was located.  He hung there, the tiny 4 inch schmuck, waiting for the person on the phone to attempt to serve up a dessert of chocolate-covered wise cracks topped with added stupidity.

He didn’t have to wait for long.

“Well…I’m running with my team on Saturday, and then I have a race on Sunday.”

“What kind of race?  On of those longish marathons, or the shorter, 4-5 mile ones?”

….The Tool reached for the switch.  I could feel him about to throw it. 

“well…no.  I am running a full marathon on Sunday.  That would be one of the longer ones that you referred to.”

That one just came out naturally.  Crap.  If that tiny schmuck flips the switch, it’s gonna get ugly.

“YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!  OH PLEASE.  WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?”

Her voice actually got loud.  People must have been wondering why the heck this person actually cared so much about what type of race I was running on Sunday.  I know I did!

She continued.  That was a mistake.

“YOU JUST RAN ONE LAST MONTH.  THERE’S NO WAY YOU CAN RUN ANOTHER SO SOON.  NO…WAY.”

That last short sentence was said with added penache.  That last sentence was also the cue for The Tool.  Flip.

“Well you’re right. Sunday isn’t a race.  I’m actually running a marathon by myself.  That would be 26.2 miles.  Around Manhattan.  It’ll take a while, but I’ll get it done – the traffic lights will screw with me a bit, so my time will not be too great.  However, I’ll finish.”

“ARE YOU SERIOUS???”

“Yup. And I appreciate your unfliching support.  When I hear commentary like you just spewed, I use it as fuel.  So thanks for filling my tank for Sunday.  I have to ask: whenever you’re in a restaurant, does the waiter come over to your table after the main course has been served and say ‘Is anything alright?’”

Ahhh.  That felt good.  The Tool climbed up the rope, hopped back on my shoulder, and I actually gave the little bastard a not-so-high five.  Today he wasn’t my enemy – he was simply my adversary.

The call concluded with the sound of several loud chuckles and gaffahs ringing the background.  Leave ‘em laughing.  George Burns taught me that one.

On a serious note: I am a little nervous about Sunday morning.  I mean, other races have turned my stomach a bit before the gun went off.  This one, however, has my stomach in knots.  I am afraid of shutting down.  I’m afraid of not completing it.  I’m afraid of failing.  I know I can do this – but that fear of not giving my absolute best simply because I’m not running in a pack is what’s unique about Sunday.  But believe me – the cause is worth the effort.  The Dream Team Project is very special – it helps bring joy to kids suffering from life-threatening illnesses, and a brief reprieve for their families.  If you’re reading this, please take a moment to click on the link below.  It’ll provide more details on the charity and its mission. 

Well, I just needed to vent – so thanks for listening (I mean, reading).  Have a fantastic evening!  You don’t get today back – so make it count.

_______________________________________________________

If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website:  www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for.  It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thanks!

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409

The picture is of Fred Lebow – the man to helped found the New York Road Runners and the New York City Marathon.  I need to pass this statue twice during the last 10k of my marathon on Sunday.

It’s Like Christmas…Only Different


So here I am, clicking away on my laptop late on a Monday night, looking forward to tomorrow.  Why, you ask?  Well, not only am I planning to shoot out of bed and get my miles in…but my order from an on-line running store is due to be delivered.  A new Salomon hydration pack.  80 ounces of water.  Pockets for everything.  A snug fit, yet a coooool look.  OH YEAH.  I am the running equivalent of Tim the Tool Man Taylor.

 

I’m hoping that you remember Tim Allen’s TV show from the 1990’s, Home Improvement.  He played Tim The Tool Man Taylor – a Bob Villa wannabe that could do no right on his set when it came to things that were sharp, gas-powered or otherwise remotely hazardous.  He would let out several funny-sounding grunts which sounded like a Santa Claus hopped up on biscotti and Kahlua as he spoke of such manly things as a turbo charger, muscle cars and really loud motorcycles that go 180 miles per hour.  He loved the concept of “More POWER!”  For instance: he once figured that if a tractor mower that was powered by a small 2 cylinder gas engine was cool, just imagine how awesome a V-8, turbo-charged model would be!  So…..he builds one…..then tries it out…..only to lose control and go motoring through the garages, living rooms…and ultimately a neighbor’s swimming pool.

 

Well folks…I am the running equivalent of Tim The Tool Man Taylor.  Right after I decided to run a marathon this Sunday morning solo, I went on-line in search for gadgets that would make me feel like an alpha runner as I waddled around Manhattan.  I found…

 

…a headlamp with a halogen light on it that was so strong I could signal passing ships on the Hudson River at 5am.  HO HO HO!!!

 

…I identified running shorts with a secret zipper pocket just big enough to store a VISA card.  Too bad that by the time I get finished with all this shopping, I won’t need the secret pocket because the VISA won’t have enough credit left on it to pay for a cab home from Battery Park.  (ho ho ho, though, out of respect for the James Bond-looking shorts).

 

…I found tablets that turn a bottle of water into a healthy, electrolyte drink that tastes like Pepsi.  HO…HO…HO!!!

 

…there were cool looking technical shirts that were specifically designed to protect against raw nipples, HO HO HO HO HO!!!!!  (Yes, ladies, we get raw nipples from long distance runs too – this is a G-rated blog so work with me here), water bottles that are so eco-friendly that they actually help heal the ozone layer, and energy gels that taste like tiramisu from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx….say it with me….HO HO HO HO HO!!!!!

 

My computer provided me with the distance runner’s version of soft core porn.  And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better…..there was the Salomon hydration pack.  It was the Ferrari of hydration packs.  It would make me faster just by adding to my alpha-maleness.  It was black, with cool lettering.  Pockets everywhere.  A water bladder that not only keeps water cold, but it magically flavors it to taste like Captain Morgan.  It even enhances the reception on my cell phone, it comes with one month of free cable TV, and it can read me bedtime stories (if I ever had trouble sleeping).  THIS….WAS….A….NECESSITY.  Within minutes, one was purchased via the magic of wireless internet and available credit (those fools at the bank will never learn…hehehe).

 

If Elvis were a marathon runner (and he is, folks – I have run with The King several times), and he was planning a run like mine next Sunday, he would buy this hydration pack…and I bet it would make Teddy Bear sound even better.

 

So this magical product will arrive at my doorstep tomorrow.  I keep clicking on the link provided on my confirmation email, which bounces me to FedEx’s website.  It shows me exactly where my beloved hydration pack currently resides.  Somewhere in Tennessee as of 10:02pm.  For some reason, I think that if I keep clicking on this link every 15 minutes, the hydration pack will be drawn to my laptop like some sort of runner’s magnet.  For some reason, this concept….well….sucks.  It doesn’t work.

 

So now my evening turned into Christmas Eve.  I have to go to sleep and wait for the Jolly Ol’ Fed Ex to show up and ask for my electronic signature tomorrow morning.  Don’t kid yourself: I’m leaving cookies out, along with a glass of Soy milk (because, if you believe some of the websites out there, Saint Nick is lactose intolerant).

 

Oh crap…I am working all day tomorrow.  What if they indeed require a signature?  Something tells me I’m screwed…..

 

Until tomorrow, friends!  Here’s hoping that your Tuesday is fun and productive.  Get out there and get into motion.  Get in some exercise.  I don’t care what form of exertion you choose – just break a sweat at some point today.

 

You don’t get today back – so make it count.

 

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If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website:  www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for.  It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thanks!

 

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409

 

Some Monday Morning Motivation


While sitting on the train this morning heading to my office, I began to think about how particularly unmotivated I was to get out of bed. I didn’t want to place my feet on the floor, because that would officially break the current illusion running through my head (I was sitting in a category 4 suite on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship, out on the veranda, looking out onto the Caribbean while drinking a glass of Ridge Montebello). So….I resisted the urge to begin my day at 4:45. I’ll give myself 15 minutes. 5am turned into 6am. And just like that, my Monday morning run was just like French & Indian War – history.

So here I am, sitting on a New Jersey Transit train heading to work, feeling a bit blah. Oh sure, the sights and sounds on this train are enough to provide slight amusement – there’s a dude walking around wearing a cape (that’s not a mis-print – he’s actually wearing a CAPE), another guy chowing down on a sausage & peppers hero at 7:30am, and a couple chatting about their raucous Saturday night – out loud – for us all to enjoy (I learned that stiletto heels do not work incredibly well with overly-long bell-bottom jeans…apparently this combination, when mixed with grain alcohol, can result in a trip to the ER at 3:30am). Be that as it may, I sit here feeling…well…blah.

I’m not sure how many of you deal with a lack of motivation on Monday mornings. I hope I am not solo in this experience. So what I’m going to try to do each Monday morning is to send out a very simple blog entry that I’ll refer to as Monday Morning Motivation. I hope it puts a smile on your face…and I also hope that it helps you put your feet on the floor and kick off your week by getting a bit of simple exercise in. I don’t care whether it’s a 5 mile run or a couple of sit ups and push ups. All that matters is the motion – because motion creates emotion.

So I’ll kick off my Monday Morning Motivation with a simple quote from one of my favorite people in the whole wide world: Mary Darcy.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you are probably right.”

Pretty simple idea, right? The ability to accomplish anything is a matter of commitment, effort, and the right mindset. I hope today and this week bring you success in whatever you are doing!

…oh yeah. You are probably wondering who Mary Darcy is. Well – she was my grandmother. A 4’10” wiry Irish lass that was sweet as sugar…but took crap from no one. You’ll find that I quote her a lot, because she was a font of useful information. She lived in a time period that included the invention of the automobile to a time where the Hubble Telescope showed us what our Milky Way galaxy looked like. Pretty wild, huh?

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A Father’s Day Run in Central Park


So I made a very unorthodox decision yesterday.  Since I was too sick to run the Lake Placid Marathon last Sunday, and I really want to keep my promise and run one full marathon a month to benefit The Dream Team Project, I decided to run a full marathon by myself early next Sunday morning, June 24th.  There are some pros and cons to this endeavor:

 

Pros:

  • I keep my streak, and my      promise, going
  • I get my long run in for      the week (ha…ha…ha)
  • Since I’m getting my long      run in for the week, and I’m probably going to burn 4,000 calories, I CAN      EAT WHATEVER I WANT WHEN I COME HOME AS A TREAT!  Oh yeah – a double chocolate cookie from      Levain Bakery on 74th and Amsterdam (that, folks, it chocolate      HEAVEN)
  • Running this solo means      that I will need some new gear.  Oh      yeah.  Break out the VISA and      purchase a new hydration pack.  I      just ordered one from Salomon, and it’s gonna make me really look like I      know what I’m going.
  • I’m psyched about playing      the part of a “running tourist”.       During my run I will take pictures from all around town and share      them in this blog and on my other social networking outlets.  Hoping to spin by the Intrepid, the      space shuttle, Ground Zero (I want to pay my respects), The Statue of      Liberty, Battery Park, The Staten Island Ferry, South Street Seaport, The      Brooklyn Bridge, and lots more!
  • Part of my route will take      me along the last 10 miles of November’s ING New York City Marathon      course.

 

Cons:

  • Since I am running solo,      there won’t be any peer pressure to keep moving forward.  As a result, the ability to shut it down      and begin walking at any point is much easier.  I cannot allow that to happen.  I need to give my absolute best.  But – I know me – I lack focus.  This will be a challenge.
  • Another issue stems from      the fact that I’ll need to provide all of my own fluids and fuel.  That means I’m carrying it with me for      26.2.  I am not used to that.  The closest I’ve come to this is when I      ran the marathon in February in sweat pants and a huge sweatshirt.  The bulkiness was hard to deal      with.  I hope I can deal with the      distraction that comes with wearing a hydration pack.
  • There are no mile markers      to use as targets as motivation to keep moving forward.
  • Lots of traffic lights      will make this long run a very slow go.
  • Possible heat and humidity      – oh joy.

 

The way I’m looking at this challenge is that it will be another pure running test.  Me versus myself.  Me against The Tool.  May the best man win.

 

So before I sign off today, I wanted to share something that I noticed whilst running in the park this morning.  The benches all through the park are dedicated to people from friends and family that wanted to memorialize them.  As I came around the lower loop, I usually go really slow and read a few of them – and they never disappoint.  I had to take a picture of the one I have attached to this blog entry.  Louise Buckley.  I have no idea who she was – but she lived to the ripe old age of 93, had 9 children and 30 grandchildren.  Talk about being surrounded by love. Let’s face it: I’m betting she lived a very full and interesting life.  So – here’s to you, Louise.  I know it’s Father’s Day…but every day is Mother’s Day.

 

Yet another reason why, in my opinion, Central Park is a truly special place to run.

 

Well, I have to sign off for now, since my daughter’s dance recital is scheduled to begin in just a couple of hours.  For all of you out there: double knot your shoe laces, throw on some shorts and a t shirt, and enjoy your day.  Sweat a little bit.  Try to log a run today – I don’t care whether it’s a marathon or to your corner and back.  All that matters is the effort.  You don’t get this day back – so make the most of it.

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If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website:  www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for.  It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thanks!

 

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409