OK – So Where Were We? And What Have We Learned Lately?

First, Let’s Catch You Up On Some Stuff….
It’s been a while since I’ve posted content on my blog, aside from daily motivational pictures and re-blogging some content that other authors put out here that I thought was interesting. There are several reasons for that, the primary being my absolutely laziness. However, other items do generate some consideration – and I’ll get in to them later.

But first, let’s catch up on where I stand as far as my 2013 goals are concerned:

• My primary goal for the year was to try to run more than 2,013 miles this year. As of today, I am WAAAAY behind on this goal. While there is still time left for me to hit this goal, it would require me to log 15 miles a day, every day, for the remainder of the year. I am still going to give it my best shot, and let the chips fall as they may.

• A secondary goal is to weigh 185 pounds by the end of the year. Progress has been almost non-existent throughout the year…until I actually decided to make an effort to lose some pounds by cutting out the stuff I love (cookies, ice cream and soda) and replacing it with stuff that I pretend that I love (asparagus, string beans and salad). I’m walking around in a constant state of pissed off (it’s a good thing that I haven’t been taking New Jersey Transit as of late, as that would have resulted in all sorts of ugliness). However, the effort has finally resulted in me breaking the 25 pounds to go barrier! 24 to go, and 78 days to do it in. I have a shot. (Not a good one- but a shot nonetheless…)

• Due to travel requirements, I wasn’t in New York City on the day of the New York Road Runners Fifth Avenue Mile. As a result, I’ll have to give this goal a shot in 2014.

• I’ll need to hold a 9:13 pace for 26.2 miles in 19 days, when I run the 2013 ING New York City Marathon in order to crack the four hour barrier. While I am in the best athletic condition of my life, I am not sure if I can hold 9:13 for the duration of the run. I just plan to keep my foot on the gas right from the start, and then hang on for dear life as long as I can. We’ll see if this goal is attainable on November 3rd.

• On November 16th, I’m scheduled to run the New York Road Runners NYC 60k. 37+ miles of loops around Central Park. Oh this one will be rather interesting. November is shaping up to be one heck of a month, with the Marathon on the 3rd, followed by the Wine & Dine Half Marathon the following weekend…and then my first ultra on the 16th.

• I staggered through my first triathlon in July, so I am able to say that I accomplished one of my 2013 goals thus far. That actually feels good to type.

If I were a professional sports team, my record would be 1-1, with the remainder of my season’s schedule to include the toughest teams in the league, one after the other. It’s going to take some pretty serious focus to come out with a winning record.

Now that the ugly facts have been vetted and my running State of the Union has been put to press, I can move on to more pleasant concepts…..

…Now Let’s Talk About 2014….
After pushing through the New York City Marathon, training will immediately transition to preparation for the 2014 Ironman Texas in mid-May. It will be an interesting few months of hard work, as I’ll have to figure out how to ride my bike in cold weather. In addition, the hours in the pool will need to be cranked up, big time. If I stick to the schedule I have prepared, and I eat right (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA), I will get through the long day alongside some good friends next May.

I will openly admit: the concept of attempting an IronMan used to scare the living bejesus out of me. But as a once told my buddy Al:

“Hey Al – remember: everything is relative. Now…..go brush your hair, because it looks like you just stuck your finger in a socket.”

As I began to take up triathlon training and I experienced those nightmarish stomach issues during the 2013 New York City Triathlon, I began to grow accustomed to the demands that tri training requires on your time as well as on your body. What began as a rough acclimation morphed into a routine that I crave. So if I can simply maintain some positive momentum, I know I will be ready on race day.

I have absolutely no idea how my body will react to a long day of pushing myself to an extreme. However what I do know is that, through some consistent work, I have begun to shake off the fear that next May dangles over me. And – go figure – this process began with the realization that behind each person’s fears lies the person that you WANT to be. The fear I was feeling – the fear of training as hard as I could and then exiting the water on race day in 2 hours and 20 minutes…and 1 second, being greeted by the grim reaper of the event and being told that my race day was over before I could even hop on my bike – was an emotional reaction which was purely self-imposed. I was the one that created this fear. I placed it in my own head (with a little help from NBC’s coverage of the annual Ironman World Championships). And since I was the one that placed it there, I can make the decision to remove it. The way I removed this fear was by committing myself to training harder than I have for anything in my life. No days off. No weekends. No holidays. No days off. I’ve made a promise to myself to do something every day between now and next May to gain the most sizable competitive edge I can against the course I am going to butt heads with. And if I can keep that promise – if I work as hard as I expect to – then I am comfortable letting the chips fall as they may on race day. And here’s why (I heard this somewhere and it always stuck with me):

“I failed” is 10 times better than saying “What if”. Why? Because “What if” never went to the arena. “What if” never took a shot at the dream. “What if” is saturated with regret.
You can only succeed if you make the commitment to try.

I urge anyone reading this to take a chance. Risk failing at something. Don’t be someone that looks at his / her life and says “…what if”. Try. Whatever it is that lights you up inside – go for it.

….But Wait: There’s More….
The other big reason why I haven’t been very active on this blog is an exciting venture I’ve chosen to pursue. In 2015, a small team of endurance athletes will attempt to run a marathon a day for 19 consecutive days, from the Presidio in San Francisco to the front gates of Disneyland in Anaheim, California. We’re banding together to attempt this in order to raise awareness and funding for a charity that means a lot to me: the Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (“FSMA”). The running team’s name is Do Away With SMA (but we just call it DAWS). Please take a moment to check us out on WordPress ( http://600k4fsma.wordpress.com/ ), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/doawaywithsma ), follow us on Twitter ( @dawsforsma ), or on Instagram ( dawsma )

FSMA is a charity that is very important to me, and this effort that the team will undergo will be the single most challenging effort I will ever endure. This is will assuredly push us to our absolute limits, and the journey will be a spectacular 3 weeks. Please join in the fun!

A Quick Statistical Snapshot of Where I Stand as of October 14th 2013:

Goal #1: Run at Least 2,013 Miles in 2013
Miles logged: 861.20
Miles to go: 1,152.80
In order to accomplish my goal, I need to average 15 miles per day through December 31st, 2013. There are 78 days left.

Goal #2: Drop to 185 Pounds
Starting weight: way too embarrassed to admit right now
Weight lost thus far: not enough to even warrant mentioning at this point
In order to accomplish this goal, I need to lose 24 pounds by December 31st, 2013.

Goal #3: Run the Fifth Avenue Mile in Less than 7 Minutes – DID NOT ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL
Quickest mile run: 7:05 (2011 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile)
Quickest mile run in 2013 thus far: 8:03 (accomplished on May 22nd).
In order to accomplish this goal, I needed to drop my speed for the 1 miler by 1:04.

Goal #4: Run a Sub 4 Hour Marathon
Fastest marathon run thus far: 5:07:36 (2011 ING New York City Marathon)
Fastest marathon pace maintained: 11:43 per mile
In order to accomplish this goal, I need to drop my average marathon pace per mile by 2:30 (shooting for a pace of 9:13 per mile) in order to drop 1:07:37 from my best marathon time.

Goal #5: Complete My First Ultra
Furthest I have ever run: 29.5 miles (not run during an official race)
Distance of my scheduled 2013 ultra: 37.28 miles
In order to accomplish this goal, I need to finish the NYRR 60k on November 16th 2013.

Goal #6: Complete My First Triathlon – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
Furthest swim distance: 2,000 meters (June 26th)
Furthest cycling distance: 15 miles (June 22nd)
In order to accomplish this goal, I need to complete the 2013 New York City Triathlon, scheduled for July 18th. 1 mile (1600 meters) swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run.

Swim – Bike – Run Totals for 2013 as of October 14th 2013
Swimming: 31,500 meters swam
Cycling: 320 miles logged
Running: 861.2 miles run

BY setting some pretty challenging goals for myself in 2013, I am trying to generate interest in / donations to The Dream Team Project. This charity’s mission is to raise 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 New York City 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.

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: http://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. 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


Author: backofthepacker

A slow running, wine slurping, Disney-loving, bourbon swilling triathlete that is simply looking to go from ordinary to extraordinary...and hopefully motivate others along the way.

2 thoughts on “OK – So Where Were We? And What Have We Learned Lately?”

  1. Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months now and always find your content interesting. I enjoy seeing whats going well with your running goals and plans and seeing you overcome struggles. I have been exactly where you are before (and some of our goals align!) and I know that all of your hard work and persistence WILL pay off. Anyway, I also wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Liebster Award (http://beckoningdaffodils.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/a-liebster-award-nomination/) as one of my favorite bloggers under 200 followers. So, keep up the great work and keep on, keepin on. 🙂

    1. I don’t know how to thank you for this honor!!!!!! Thank you so much!!!! It means a lot to me!!!

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