After a 2012 that I look back on now and call a decent success, I spent December 2012 thinking about new goals for the new year. Of course, the concept of “13 in ’13” doesn’t have the same ring to it as my “12 in ’12” did last year. Besides – you don’t do the same gag over and over again…you go on to the next gag. So I sat down with a notepad, a pen and bottle of cabernet and scribbled some ideas down. Now that I showed myself that I could take a sustained beating throughout a one-year period, I needed to harness that realization that I have a high threshhold for pain and actually use it as the driving force to become what I joke internally as The Man of Brass (hey: The Man of Steel is already taken, and Brass sounds a lot like Ass….so I thought that would fit appropriately). (And crap – that joke is no longer internal. I’m as sharp as a bowling ball.)
The first thing I wrote down was that, whatever the goals turn out to be, I would have to push myself well past the limits I hit last year. The goals need to be bigger. The goals need to be tougher. Even more challenging. These goals need to scare me.
The second thing I scribbled was that, whatever these goals are, my efforts need to go toward helping continue to raise money for The Dream Team Project. A quote from the movie King Arthur continues to echo in my head: “deeds in themselves are menaingless unless they are for some higher purpose”. Since my daughter is my motivation to continue to set the bar higher to show her that there is no limit to what a person can achieve when his/her efforts are focused and pure, I want to continue to help kids.
Once glass number two was poured, the creativity began to flow. Hmmmm…..let’s see…..The Man of Brass…..he needs to become a better all-around athlete. He needs to take his old goal of simply finishing a marathon before they start deconstructing the finish line and throw it out the window. But just how far can I push it in less than a year? It was then I decided: I am going sub 4 hours in 2013. To a man whose fastest marathon time is 4:59:36, shaving an hour off of my marathon time in less then 12 months might be more than I could handle. But then I realized: it your dreams don’t scare you, they are NOT BIG ENOUGH. So screw it. I am running a sub 4 hour marathon in 2013, and I want it to be the 2013 ING New York City Marathon. I can going to smoke the five boroughs.
In order to hit that big goal, the one thing I knew I needed to do was to drop weight. I am embarrassed to say just how much I weigh currently, but it is over 200 pounds. Let’s just say that if I were on The Biggest Loser and they weighed me on that sick scale, I’d cry like I did when the Rangers won the Cup….and those were some big boy tears. I get a free pass for welling up when Mess skated around the Garden with the Stanley Cup. But the type of tears I’m talking about wouldn’t warrant that form of free pass. At all. So I knew that getting my weight down big would translate into the speed I need to hit my sub 4 hour goal. Just saying that “I’ll lose some weight” is not a measurable goal. So I needed to put a number on it. What I decided was that I needed to get to the weight I rowed at in college, when my novice heavyweight four at Iona College went to the finals at Dad Vails. That number: 185 pounds. That’s my real fighting weight. And goal number two was born: drop to 185 in 2013.
That second goal sucks, by the way. I’m drinking a bottle of cabernet while coming up with these challenges. That says it all right there. But, I digress….
As I train for a sub four hour marathon and drop this weight, my speed should increase. One thing I’ve wanted to do was run a mile in less than 7 minutes. I’ve hit sub 7 for very short spurts. Anyone who’s read my prior race recaps or Dailymile post-run posts knows that whenever I have hit sub 7 and tried to hold it, I normally crash and burn extremely quick (or else I need to find the nearest garbage can and heave-ho). Well, without the weight holding me back I should be able to crack that 7 minute mark. By how much? Who knows. So that became goal number three: run the Fifth Avenue Mile in less than 7 minutes.
So that’s three goals. One that requires me to break out of this marathon rut that I’ve been in and shatter my PR (Personal Record) by one hour. Another that will require a complete lifestyle change (dropping the weight). A third that is a smaller goal that will prove to myself that I have a little speed in my legs. Now I needed a goal that I could use to focus me on a day-in, day-out basis. My answer: run 2,013 miles in 2013. Bingo. Ooooohh…that one is catchy.
That’s four. Maybe it was the Chateau Montelena but as the saying goes, “In vino veritas” (in wine there is truth)…and the wine told me I needed one more goal. One that pushes my endurance limit. It’s time to run past the marathon distance into Ultraland. An ultra event is any race that requires the participants to run further than 26.2 miles. Knowing how beat up a marathon makes me feel by the time the medal dangles from my neck, an ultra should really push my absolute limits as far as my ability to take a beating. I am
I wrote down my goals. Typed them up. Looked at them long and hard. And then published them. No going back.
The first hurdle of the new year: The Walt Disney World Marathon in early January……….