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.

 

___________________________________________________________________

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

 

Brooklyn? Forgetaboutit. The Basics of Running? I Forgot About Those Too…


 

 

After completing two marathons in a week, I needed some rest.  But I had another race to look forward to: The Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 19th.  I took two days off from training before getting back to work, logging miles in the park.

 

After two full marathons in such a short span, I felt like a half marathon would be the proverbial “walk in the park”.  Hindsight being 20-20: boy was I wrong.

 

My running schedule really took more out of me than I estimated.  On top of this, my work schedule was becoming more demanding.  I was burning the candle at both ends, and I knew it.  However, I was not accepting any excuses.  I began logging the miles early in the morning and more hours at work during the long days and evenings.  As May 19th approached, I felt a bit knackered – but still functional.

 

The morning of the Brooklyn Half Marathon arrived with little fanfare.  The race began near The Brooklyn Museum, and by mile one we already had conquered the first hill of the course.  By mile two: two hills in the record books.  Early on in this race, it felt like I was reliving Gettysburg.

 

By mile 4, we had entered Prospect Park and began to scale yet another long, steady incline.  As I made my way up to the crest of the latest and greatest hill, I realized just how important the proper rest was to the training process.  I began making mental notes in my head of all of the mistakes I’ve made over the past 3 weeks.  The list got longer by the time I exited the park and began waddling down Ocean Boulevard.

 

As the latter miles of the race passed by and I made my pace toward Coney Island’s boardwalk and the finish line, the list of mistakes I made became too long to keep straight in my head.  I knew that I needed to head home and basically perform an internal debrief.  So I doubled my efforts, pushed through to the finish, and headed home with a medal around my neck and some serious doubts in my head.  This was a half marathon.  Half of the distance of my prior two races.  My experiences in late April and early May should have made this race feel like a piece of cake.  However, I was ill prepared for the physical and mental lapses that I encountered during my waddle through Brooklyn.  Some of my mistakes were new.  Some were repeat offenders.  So what I figured I’d do is list some of the things that I need to work on so that anyone reading can learn from them.

 

  • During both marathons as      well as the Brooklyn Half, I went out too fast.  ROOKIE MISTAKE that I simply keep making      over and over.  When you go out too      fast, you pay for it later in the race.       I know this.  However, for      some stupid reason, I keep doing this simply because I want to stay with      the pack.  I worry too much about      running the pack’s pace, and not my own.       LESSON LEARNED: The pack doesn’t get you to the finish line – you      get yourself there.  SO – run your      own race.

 

  • Schedule rest days….and      then ACTUALLY REST!  You need to let      your legs heal.  Recover.  Reset for the next workout.  Rest is critical.  I haven’t given myself enough of a      chance to heal, and I’ve been paying for it.  ANOTHER ROOKIE MISTAKE.  I keep thinking that more work will make      me better.  I don’t need to work      harder – I need to work SMARTER.

 

  • I’m carrying more weight      than I need to.  I haven’t been good      enough with my diet, and that needs to change.  My need to work on losing more weight is      probably what causes me to ignore rest days.  I swear – I simply don’t do the basics      well.  AT ALL.

 

  • Water.  I need to drink more water instead of      all of the other crap that I consume.       Another basic concept that’s lost on me.  Why?       Because I’m….well….dense.

 

  • Have a plan.  Have a schedule.  And then STICK TO IT.  I’m baaaaaaad at this.  Some days I ignore the 5 miler that I      need to get done.  Others: I log 12      when the schedule called for 6.       What the heck am I thinking?

 

  • Eat properly before long      runs.  I know – this is basic.  And yet…I get an “F” for this one.  Smores Pop Tarts are NOT the breakfast      of champions.  Oy.

 

The work I had to get done in order to address these issues will take time. Of course it did not help when I got really sick within days of running the Brooklyn Half Marathon.

 

The chest cold I suffered from lasted for well over three full weeks.  I had a very hard time breathing and it resulted in me not being able to run well…or even at all.  By the time the weekend of June 9th and 10th came around, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to participate in my sixth scheduled marathon of the year: Lake Placid. I bit the bullet and resigned myself to focusing on the healing process.  I’m not good at that…at all.

 

So here I am, sitting on my couch after running in the park this morning, trying to figure out how to address the latest and greatest issue on my plate: finding a marathon in the month of June.  I checked www.marathonguide.com, and I slowly began to conclude that there were no local marathons to sign up for, and all of the open marathons for the month would require last-minute purchases of round trip flights and weekend hotel rates.  Oy.

 

Based on these facts, I made the decision to run two marathons in October (Chicago and Hartford) and two in November (NYC and Philly) to make sure that I run 12 official marathons within the year.  This plan covered the concept of running 12 in ’12.  Great.  Wonderful.  But my goal was to run one each calendar month.  I need to keep this promise.  My running schedule states that the New York Road Runners’ Team for Kids has a long run planned for next Saturday, June 23rd.  I really get a thrill out of helping the first time marathoners hit new distances each week – so I don’t want to miss that.  So in order to keep my promise and run one each calendar month, I’ll head out early in the morning on Sunday, June 24th and run 26.2 miles around Manhattan.  As of this moment, I haven’t figured out my running course – but I’ll post it as soon as I finalize it.

 

I’ll admit – this does get me nervous.  I look at myself and I don’t see someone with the discipline and focus to pull this off without some peer pressure surrounding me.  Usually, just when I feel like throwing in the towel, I notice other runners around me – or fans along the sidewalks – or another mile marker just within striking distance – that keeps me going.  Running 26.2 solo, however: I won’t have any of these things.  So before pressing the “publish” button on this blog entry, I really weighed my decision: don’t attempt this on the 24th, be happy with 2 marathons in October and the two in November – but miss out on the factor of running one each calendar month, OR…get over my nervousness, press the “publish” button on this blog entry, and commit to getting 26.2 done.

 

Deciding factor: I made a promise to myself, and to a charity that I really believe in – The Dream Team Project.  To me – promises are huge.  I teach my daughter that keeping your word is something that is key to success in life.  Well I talk the talk…now it’s time to waddle the waddle.

 

 

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

 

My Life With Chuckie D


So in yesterday’s episode, I took stock of my lack of progress and the possible rationale for my stagnancy.  I basically gave myself some tough love.  And that reeeeeeeally stunk.  Why?  Because I forced myself to look at the current state of “internal affairs” and concluded that enhancements needed to be made toot-sweet.  (I just used the phrase “toot-sweet” in a sentence – I should be given a time out for that moment of idiocy).  As a result of this analysis, one of the discoveries I made was that my diet was, in technical terms, well…….stupid.  Just dumb.  Moronic.  Here I am trying to stay healthy, injury-free and strong throughout what promises to be the most physically demanding year of my life (thus far), and I still take in enough Diet Coke a day to choke a horse.  Enough chocolate a day that I constantly walk around on a sugar kick.  And coffee?  Don’t even get me started!  If I had the medical credentials and the proper equipment, I’d simply mainline Dunkin Donuts French vanilla with cream & sugar. 

 

These harsh realizations resulted in what I am now defining as a self-intervention.  As my buddy Chuck once told me, “Joey my boy (he called me Joey and that pissed me off – but he was a bit smarter than me so I gave him a pass), for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.  To which I, of course, retorted “Chuckie D (I called him Chuckie D just to exact my revenge on a rather kindergarten level – and because he secretly adored Run DMC), you must be high”.  Well I was wrong.  He wasn’t high.  Instead, he wrote a few laws and got famous in the halls of science while I rumbled through a remote college ingloriously.

 

Ah those words still bounce around in my rather dense cranium: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Chuck was right, and I can prove it without some fancy-shmancy scientific theorem (“toot-sweet”….”fancy-shmancy”…see what happens when you take a schmuck like me off of my magic elixirs?).  Based on the action of my “self-intervention”, the reaction was me publicly swearing off of Diet Coke AND chocolate.  Why did Chuck need to be so darn smart? 

 

Well I am happy to report that it’s been approximately 24 hours since I made that promise to myself….and thus far I’ve managed to stick to it.  However, it has NOT been easy.  The action of taking away my soda and chocolate is like taking away Dr. House’s bottle of vicodin: the reaction is probably going to be messy.

 

….24 hours……that’s all….and I’m already a complete grouch.  This does not bode well.  And I’m a sourpuss to begin with.

 

On a lighter note, last night I sat down and developed my running schedule for the next couple of months.  I’ve now provided myself with some structure.  Hopefully this will help me improve my speed and stamina.  Time will tell.

 

So there you have it, sports fans.  I have a bunch of marathons coming up along with some other races in New York City, I’m about to step up the structure and intensity of my workouts…and I’m doing it without my of my favorite food groups: chocolate and Diet Coke.  Make sure your seatbelts are fastened, your trays are locked and your seats are in the upright position, because I’m betting there will be some turbulence up ahead.

 

 

 

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