It’s a Numbers Game


After running the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend and logging 42.4 total miles, I slacked off for six weeks. There was no excuse that holds water. I was simply lazy. I lost my mojo.

 

1/14 – 1/20: 8.08 miles

1/21 – 1/27: 1.74 (seriously? Why even bother mentioning it???)

1/28 – 2/3: 7.84 miles

2/4 – 2/10: 25.72 (finally – a week that I am not 100% embarrassed about)

2/11 – 2/17: 9.56 miles

2/18 – 2/24: 12.99 miles

2/25: 1.63 miles

3/1: 7.21 miles (now we’re talking)

3/2: 8.18 miles (HE’S BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK)

3/3: 3.4 miles (ran the Coogan’s 5k and paced at 9:26. I’ll take it…)

 

So – I’m falling behind and as of today, I need to run an average of 10k each day from now until the end of the year. That’s one full loop of Central Park. Oy.

 

But…there are signs that I’m beginning to come around. I just hope to build momentum.

 

As far as my diet is concerned, I have not improved. I am a rudderless ship. Portion size has decreased – so that’s a good thing. I hardly ever have soda any more – another good point. But my diet is not measured and dialed in the way I need it to be. And I have been way too lazy about it. I need something to kick me in the ass and get me lazer focused on what to do regarding calorie intake and proper food selection when I go out. I know this. BUT: this is ME we are talking about.

 

 

20130304-211601.jpg

So Far, Not So Good…..


OK – I know I haven’t updated my blog in quite some time. So let me first give you a heads-up on what’s coming up this week. I’m going to share a review of the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, where I ran a 5k on Friday, a half marathonon Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday (this act of lunacy is lovingly referred to as doing “The Dopey”). Since it is already March 2nd, I’ll provide you with a summary of my lack-luster efforts to this point. But first, let me share with you a new goal that I decided on at the end of January….

So my New Year’s resolutions were made official:

· Drop my weight to 185 pounds, in order to be able to take my running to the next level,
· Log more than 2,013 miles in 2013 in an attempt to prepare for quicker distance event times,
· Run the 2013 New York Road Runners Fifth Avenue Mile in under 7 minutes, and
· Run a marathon in four hours or less (hopefully the 2013 ING New York City Marathon).

An added goal for the year is to complete my first Ultra event. An Ultra event is any race that requires the runner to cover more than 26.2 miles. The first one I am gunning for is a race called Worth the Hurt. It begins the night before the 2013 San Francisco Marathon, where a number of runners begin at the course’s Finish line and run the course to the Marathon’s official starting line. The runners try to reach the Starting Line before the gun goes off on Marathon Sunday so that they can turn around and run the course again from Start to Finish. 52.4 miles. Is it really worth the hurt? If I can raise some money for the Dream Team Project by doing this, then my answer is yes. If for some reason I cannot score a spot in Worth the Hurt, I’ll run the New York Road Runners annual Knickerbocker 60k in the late fall – that’s a marathon plus an additional 10 miles plus. This one is easier than Worth the Hurt (because it’s shorter)– but it’s also very uneventful, as it consists of laps around Central Park….over and over and over again.

So let’s throw that up on the board, officially. Goal number 5 for 2013:
· Complete my first ultra.

As I continue to re-read the goals that I’ve set for myself, I realize that my ability to achieve all of them revolves around one main concept: dropping weight. Losing weight has never been my strongest suit. I like food way too much. Tasty food. Chocolate. Wine. Pasta. So my personal goals for 2013, in my humble opinion, will be MUCH more difficult to attain. But if I begin to drop weight, putting in an average of 5.5-6 miles a day will feel like less of an overall effort on a day-in, day-out basis. My speed will increase. I’ll have a shot at a sub 7 minute mile. I will be able to hold a sub 9 minute pace for longer periods of time in an effort to drop my marathon time to sub 4 hours. It all comes down to dropping my weight. And I have a LOT of weight to remove. But before I can develop my plan of attack, I have to dig in and find some damn self-control. Just say no to cookies. I need to say nay-nay to foods that I know are no good for me – which will result in saying adios to loaded burritos, zai jian to General Tso and his delicious chicken, and auf wiedersehen to WMD’s (Waffles of Massive Deliciousness).

At this point, in order to attain my goal of logging more than 2,013 miles this year I will need to book at least 43-44 miles a week. This is going to be rough.

It’s 31 days into the New Year…and I’ve gone a crappy job with regard to adjusting my diet to this point. I need to kick this into gear, ASAP.
___________________________________________________________________________-

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

20130302-114515.jpg

Some New Year’s Thoughts…


Before the clock strikes midnight, I wanted to share a few quick thoughts with you all. So bear with me as I bounce from point to point. I’ll try to be brief, as we all have New Year’s Eve fiestas to grace with our presence…

Point #1: I want to say thank you to all of the people that supported me in my 2012 endeavors. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, following my story and taking an interest. Thank you also for any donations you’ve made to The Dream Team Project. Any donation for any amount is valued and appreciated. A special note of appreciation to Steve and Valerie Drew – your generosity is truly humbling. I also want to extend my thanks to Robyn Engel Couture – your assistance with the design of my blog and her technological creativity throughout the year kept my site looking rather dapper if I do say so myself. I truly appreciate your insights!

Point #2: 2012 was an interesting year. Full of highs and lows – like riding California Screaming. The highs were embraced, and the lows were used as learning experiences. I try to share my lows – my mistakes – with all of you so that other people don’t make the same running errors that I made. I will continue to share the highs and lows in 2013. So grab a fast pass for another ride on this roller coaster.

Point #3: 2013 provides each of us with a fresh opportunity to make some changes in our every day routines. Seise it. Make a decision to take action. Draft a plan to affect positive change in your life, and then make a daily commitment to attain a manageable goal. And be patient. Very patient. Rome was not built in a day. Fight and win a daily skirmish, and you’ll win the war.

Final Point: never forget that there is no limit to what you can accomplish. Set your bar high and then fight like hell to reach it. Let your goals scare the crap out of you – because if they don’t scare you, they are not big enough.

Attack 2013 with unbridled passion, unflappable focus and unyielding courage.
I want to wish all of you the happiest of new years. May 2013 bring you continued success and peace. And for all of you runners out there…may all of your hills be downhills.

Happy New Year!

______________________________________

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

20121231-220002.jpg

…And Last But Not Least…


So far I have shared three of my goals for 2013 with you. None of them has the panache of running 12 marathons in 2012 – “12 in ’12” – but, when grouped together, the challenges that I’ve established for myself in the upcoming year will be much more challenging than what I just completed. Why? Because completing 12 marathons in 2012 really required just a bit of tenacity and a high threshold for pain. The goals I’ve established in 2013 will require actual daily focus and discipline. And let’s face it: I lack discipline.

To quickly recap: in order to continue to raise money in 2013 for The Dream Team Project, I will chase the following goals for the year…
1) log over 2,013 miles in 2013
2) drop my weight to 185 pounds in order to improve my health and running performance
3) run The 2013 Fifth Avenue Mile in 6:45 or less

…and my fourth goal for this coming year is…..

4) run the 2013 ING New York City Marathon in a time of 4 hours or less.

This one is the one that scares me. My best marathon time – ever – is 4:59:36. If I fully dedicate myself to working on losing weight and maintaining a strict, daily focus on my training like never before, I hope to shave an hour off of my marathon time this year. The last ten miles of a marathon I normally take my foot off the gas and sputter to the finish line. Well that ends now.

The Tool will be back in 2013. There is no way to avoid him. As a matter of fact, he’s in the room with me right now as I type this. And he’ll probably be perched on my shoulder all year long, like a squawking parrot whose high-pitch screeches provide migraines in short order. Some days you’re the bird, and some days you’re the statue.

_____________________________________

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

20121230-205411.jpg

Sub 7.


Thus far, I’ve shared with you two of my goals for 2013:
1) log a minimum of 2,013 miles during the year, and
2) drop my weight to 185 pounds in order to improve my running performance.

My third goal for 2013 is one that will take a lot of work to accomplish, but only a single mile to fulfill. I will run the 2013 Fifth Avenue Mile in 6 minutes and forty five seconds or less.

That pace – 6:45 – is one that I have never hit before in my life. Ever. But this is the year that I will make it happen. The way I look at it, if I focus on my first two goals for the coming year, this third goal is very attainable.

For one day, I want to release my inner Kenyan.

______________________________________

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

Another Big Goal For 2013


As I mentioned yesterday, my big goal for 2013 is logging 2,013 miles for the year. 5.1 miles each day of the year will be a pretty difficult thing for me to accomplish. But it’s not my most difficult goal for the year. That dubious honor goes to my second goal for 2013.

So what is this nasty goal that I have set for myself for 2013? Well it deals with nutrition. And that is my biggest Achilles heal.

I love eating. Chocolate, diet coke, steak and wine are my four food groups. I am of the firm opinion that salads are not really food; instead, salads are promissory notes that assure that REAL food is on the way. I believe that everything tastes better on a waffle, that MSG should be a required ingredient in Moo Goo Gai Pan, and the only thing better than French fries from Nathan’s are French fries covered in melted cheese from Nathan’s. I think that vegetables have been out on this earth to simply garnish a heaping order of NY strip with a red wine reduction. Ice cream is great for you, because it has milk in it. (If you ever saw the movie Bull Durham, this was my attempt at Kevin Costner’s soliloquy outlining his core beliefs of baseball).

Oh: and coffee. Let’s not forget coffee. If I had the medical aptitude and technological efficiency, I would main line that sweet nectar directly into a major vein. The only thing thing better than water stops every mile during a marathon would be venti mocha frappes from Starbucks every 5 kilometers.

Now that you clearly comprehend the importance of unhealthy food in my life, let me clarify my second goal for 2013: as part of my running evolution from a back of the packer to a lean mean ultra marathon-running machine, I have decided to really focus on my diet and drop my weight to 185 pounds. I believe that’s what I weighed my senior year in high school. And I also believe that this is the weight I need to be in order to attain my longer-term running goals. This will NOT be easy. This will, most likely, also be pretty darn funny for you readers to follow on a day to day basis. For those of you following me on Facebook, you know how annoying my daily commute to work is already. Can you imagine dealing with a one hour and forty minute commute without so much as a single chocolate chip muffin from Tim Horton’s?

So there you have it: my second big goal of the year.

2,013 miles run in 2013, and
Drop my weight to 185 pounds.

There are other goals ahead – but these two are already enough to, in all probability, result in me retiring daily to a rubber room where I’ll sit next to some dude that’s crocheting something that isn’t there. Trust me – the blog entries should be hysterical.

Hopefully, dropping weight will make me faster and healthier. It will also help me be a better role model for my daughter…and that’s the huge deal for me. Lastly, I hope this daily effort will motivate others to give running (or any other form of exercise) a shot. Set some goals. Get out there and be your own instrument of change. And please know that my continued efforts are also being conducted in order to raise money for The Dream Team Project.

___________________________________

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

Preparing to Go Dopey…


So my first major hurdle of 2013 comes in approximately 2 weeks in Orlando, Florida. I’m scheduled to run what some runners refer to as “The Dopey” in Walt Disney World. What is “The Dopey”, you ask? Well I’m glad you inquired. The Dopey begins on the Friday of WDW Marathon Weekend, with a 5k family fun run. The following morning, the weekend continues with the WDW Half Marathon which takes runners through Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. Finally, on Sunday morning, runners take off on a 26.2 mile quest through all four theme parks during the WDW Marathon. By the time the weekend is complete, 42.4 miles of running will be in the books. I’m really looking forward to this one, as it presents a challenge that I’ve only attempted once before (I ran the Goofy Challenge – the Half and Full Marathons back to back – in 2009).

Knowing all of the mistakes I made during 2012’s marathons, I am going to really focus on my preparation for this weekend-long event. My meals, rest, and fluid intake will be planned out thoroughly. And then…I’ll figure out some new way to screw it up.

The Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is ripe with challenges, even though the races run through the Happiest Place on Earth. So for those of you that are planning to run a race in WDW in January, here are my suggestions for averting some pitfalls:

1) Plan out your sleep and fuel. In order to make the starting gun at 5:30am, runners need to begin heading to the starting areas at around 3am. In order to be ready for this race, you need to get a decent 7 hours of sleep and also give yourself time to eat a carbo-loaded breakfast. That means waking up at around 2am ato begin preparation for the event. This translates into hitting the sack at about 7pm. In Walt Disney World. NOT AN EASY TASK. So have a plan and stick to it to give you the best odds possible for success.

2) Let the Kenyans go! Know what your average pace is…and STICK TO IT. From the start. Run your race – not someone else’s. If you go out too fast, you’ll burn out early and you won’t be able to recover. There are tons of distractions all over the course in WDW – enjoy the sights…but stay focused on your pace.

3) Eat, Drink, and Be Merry. Fuel properly the night before the race. Eat well on marathon morning, and fuel consistently throughout the race. And don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start taking fluids. If you wait until you’re thirsty, it’s already too late.

4) Don’t try anything new on marathon day. Don’t buy your running shoes at the Expo the day before the race. Don’t eat some exotic meal for dinner the night before race day. Don’t wear brand new shorts or a brand new technical shirt for the race. Train in your race day gear so you can trust how it will feel during the 26.2 miles.

2013 is going to start of interesting…

______________________________________

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

20121226-211937.jpg

Time To Roll Out Some New Goals for 2013…


Well, my goal of completing 12 marathon during 2012 was a success. It feels weird to say that – I conducted a successful 2012 running campaign. I can almost hear my little Irish grandmother loud and clear: “You conducted a successful running campaign in 2012? Well WOW – I love me, do you? You know Joey – self praise stinks!” I have a hard time saying that I accomplished a goal, because attaining the goal means that there is no need to further the effort. As Ovid once said: the ending crowns the work. Personally, I enjoyed the ups and downs of this year. The lost tooth, running in freezing and hot / sticky times of the year, the blackened toenails, sprained ankles, and overall constant achiness – the juice was worth the squeeze.

I didn’t run 12 marathons in a year for the bling that comes with finishing an event – although the medals were cool. Instead, I ran to raise money for a really wonderful charity: The Dream Team Project. It’s almost the end of the year – so I would like to ask once more for your support. If you haven’t already done so, please consider a donation to this worthy cause. Any amount helps, and it goes toward fulfilling dreams for children that suffer from life-threatening illnesses and their families. As a former Wish Granter volunteer for the New York City chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can honestly tell you that fulfilling a sick child’s dream raises the kid’s spirits in an immeasurable way. Your generosity is so very much appreciated.

What I normally did after each marathon was allow myself 24 hours to enjoy the effort. No workouts, enjoy an extra chocolate chip cookie, and take some extra time to veg out in front of the TV. When those 24 hours were up, I placed whatever bling I earned on race day on a small shelf in my bedroom, and began preparing for the next race. One of the motivating factors that kept me going all year long were the kids that this charity helps. These boys and girls deal with their life-treatening illnesses day after day. For them, there is no 24 hour grace period where they get to forget their ailments. Their families deal with the constant stress without a pause. It’s that everyday grind that wears down the child’s hope – and you have to maintain hope in order to heal, in my opinion.

As I’m sitting here writing this on the day after Christmas, my thoughts go back to that concept – the daily grind. Now that my 2012 goals have been attained, I can’t just sit back and say I’m done. I need to role out some new goals for the coming year – and the first goal takes the concept of The Daily Grind and – quite literally – runs with it.

So – in order to continue to raise money for the Dream Team Project, I’m going to run 2,013 miles in 2013. In order to attain this goal, I’ll need to crank out 38.71 miles each week – roughly 5.51 miles a day, every day. Now I know what you’re thinking, and I pretty much agree: 12 in ’12 had a more interesting ring to it than 2,013 in 2013. However this goal has been given a lot of thought and, for me, this will be a bit tougher than 12 marathons in a year. It will need to be a daily grind. It will require me to develop a routine and maintain it all year long, regardless of what life throws at me. This is hard for me, because I have absolutely no ability to maintain a healthy routine for any duration of time. Diets last 48 hours. Swearing off chocolate? That lasts 4 hours at best. This year-long effort will require me to change some negative qualities I posses.

There will be tons of races thrown in all year long to make it interesting, beginning with WDW Marathon Weekend in January. I’m scheduled to run the “Dopey” for the first time, which is a 5k race on Friday, followed by a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. Lots of bling will be in store if I pull that one off…and lots to write about, I’m sure. I am also planning on running “Worth the Hurt” during the San Francisco Marathon (Worth the Hurt will be my first official ultra marathon race, where runners begin to run the San Francisco Marathon course in the middle of the night beginning at the finish line and end at the starting line…just in time to turn around and run the actual San Francisco Marathon with the masses), the Chicago Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathons in 2013, as well as a bunch of half marathons during the year. Hopefully these races will keep me honed in on my macro-goals and keep me moving in the right direction.

I need goals. I need those carrots in front of me to keep me moving or else I get lazy. So there are my 2013 goals…and I hope you’ll continue to follow this turtle’s journey. Thanks for continuing to read my entries – I hope to keep you all laughing at my antics!

______________________________________

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

20121226-143428.jpg

A Recap of My 12 in ’12 To Benefit The Dream Team Project


2012 was an interesting year, filled with ups and downs that resembed a ride on California Screamin’.  I figured that I’d look back real quick at the year’s running events and try to share one take-away from each adventure. 

 

January 2012: I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon.  THAT was a VERY fun way to kick off my year-long adventure.  WDW is never a fast race for me – I am too busy taking pictures and soaking in the atmosphere.  Visiting WDW allows me to remove myself from reality and immerse myself in levels of creativity that stimulate my own imagination.  I leave WDW each time with a bunch of new ideas and very decompressed.  LESSON LEARNED: January in Orlando can be cold.  When traveling for a marathon, plan for the unexpected.

 

February 2012: I ran 26.2 With Donna in Jacksonville, Florida.  It was 25 degrees and windy.  This was the only marathon I have ever completed wearing full running pants and three layers…and still felt frozen at the end.  LESSON LEARNED: Plan out your pre-race breakfast in the morning.  Don’t wing it. Not a good idea.  If you don’t eat well, your empty stomach makes any other obstacle (like 25 degree weather) that much more unbearable.  I also learned, during this race, that I am a bit tougher than I thought.

 

March 2012: I ran the Ocean Drive Marathon in New Jersey.  Lost a tooth at mile 8 by biting down on one of those chewy energy blocks.  There must have been somehting hard in the center of it, because I snapped the back of a molar and also had a crown fall out.  I put the crown in my pocket and kept going.  LESSON LEARNED: Running in a cold headwind makes 26.2 miles feel like 30.  I also was once more reminded of the importance of nutrition – this time, during the race itself.  Have a plan for taking in fuel during the race.  AND THEN STICK TO IT.

 

April 2012: I ran the Gettysburgh North-South Marathon.  16 miles of hills and very little shade.  LESSON LEARNED: Several, in actuality:

1) Pennsylvania may look flat on an ordinary map.  But….it’s not.

2) Focus on the hill in front of you – not the ones coming up in the future.  Tackle one obstacle at a time, or else the marathon can become mentally overwhelming.  FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND.

3) The sun is a real factor to consider on race day.  The sun can drain your energy pretty quick, so use sunblock as part of your pre-race procedure.

 

May 2012: I ran the New Jersey Marathon.  It was a very enjoyable race, but the amount of fans on the course were more scare than I originally anticipated.  LESSON LEARNED: As Sun Tsu said – “every battle is won before it’s ever fought”.  Prepare yourself mentally for the 26.2 miles.  Use some positive visualization to picture yourself running certain sections of the course that you may find challenging.  During the race – dial in to your effort.  Focus inward.  Don’t look for the fans to push you through the rough patches – do it yourself.

 

June 2012: I had planned to run the Lake Placid Marathon, but was unable to participate.  Life simply got in the way.  So I performed my first solo marathon around Manhattan.  LESSON LEARNED: Once more I say – planning is the key.  If you become really thirsty in the middle of the marathon, then you waiting too long to hydrate.  Drink water the day before the race, and then plan out your water intake during the marathon in the same way you planned to ingest your fuel.  I know – this sounds like planning overkill.  But trust me – IT ISN’T.

 

July 2012: I ran the San Francisco Marathon.  What a wonderful course.  Great weather.  Great organization.  Cannot wait to run this one again.  LESSON LEARNED: Sometimes the challenges you picture in your head based on the reputation of the course do not accurately portray the course you run.  I figured that San Francisco would be the most brutal course I’d run all year.  One of the race mottos even says that it’s “the race that marathoners fear”.  The reputation got into my head and played with it.  I got psyched out while toeing the line.  My nervousness became a distraction and took away from my execution.  So – HAVE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT.

 

August 2012: I ran the Self Trancendence Marathon in Rye, New York.  9 loops of a 3 mile course that circles a lake.  VERY hot and humid.  I did everything wrong.  Everything.  Plus – I was injured during the race.  LESSON LEARNED: when you mail in a race (you don’t prepare, you don’t plan and you don’t think), bad things happen.  I didn’t eat well the night before.  I didn’t track how much water I took in.  I didn’t eat breakfast.  I took in fluids every 3 miles – not every 2.  I became severely dehydrated, lost focused, and sprained my ankle.  The result: 30 minutes in a medical tent spent taping up my dumb ankle so I could get back out there.  There is no need to be a martyre.  If you are going to run a marathon and you spent months in training – take a few hours to plan for race day in detail.

 

(getting the message yet: HAVE….A….PLAN!)

 

September 2012: I was scheduled to run the Air Force Marathon in Ohio.  However, once more, like got in the way and I was unable to fly out for the race.  As a result, I ran my second solo marathon around Manhattan.  LESSON LEARNED: On marathon Sunday, leave the Ipod at home.  Tune out the Eminem and RUSH, and tune into yourself.  I have found that, when I listen to music while trying to really push myself, my mind is split between focusing on the task at hand and focusing on the tunes that are pumpin into my ears.  If I want to be the best runner I can be, I’ll need to be 100% focused on one thing at a time.

 

October 2012: I ran the Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Illinois.  Great course, great fans, and VERY fast.  LESSON LEARNED: Go out slow.  Let the Kenyans take off like bats out of hell.  Start your marathon so slow that your pace actually feels TOO easy.  If it does, then you are perfect.  If you go out too fast, you burn too much fuel too early in the race, and you won’t have enough to propel you 26.2 miles.  Pacing is key.  Again – when it comes to your marathon pace: HAVE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT.

 

November 2012: I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   Fun fans, Really well organized.  Great volunteer support.  Cannot wait to run this one again.  LESSON LEARNED: I run better in a huge crowd than in a small one.  I like the feeling of being part of a big event – it’s easier for me to get fired up, and I perform much better. 

 

December 2012: Since the ING New York City Marathon was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, I ran my third solo marathon of the year around Manhattan.  LESSON LEARNED: As much as I love running in the big “events”, it’s not why I push myself.  While running solo, it’s easy to quit.  No one would look at you and shake their heads, saying “I cannot believe he’s giving up”.  No one on the streets knew what I was attempting to accomplish, so it was just me versus my limitations.  That makes the distance even more personal.  Good marathoners have a mean streak in them somewhere.  One that comes out when the going gets tough, saying “hey – there is NO WAY I am quitting.  So push through this pain and get the damn job done”.  The mind wants to quit before the body – so you have to get pissed off and tell your mind to shove any idea of quitting up…..well, you get the idea.

 

So there you have it – some take aways from each marathon this year.  Don’t make the same mistakes I did.  Make new ones, and enjoy every step of the way.

 

One last comment before I switch gears and begin planning for 2013: whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you are probably right.  Regardless of your pace per mile or the shape you are currently in, you can accomplish great things.  All you need to do is believe in yourself, and fight.  Here’s a quote from Rocky Balboa to wrap this entry up – I think it says what’s on my mind:

 

“Let me tell you something – the world isn’t all sunshine and roses.  It’s a mean, cruel place and it will knock you down and keep you there if you let it.  No one – not me, not you – no one punches as hard as life.  But it’s not about how hard you hit.  It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.  It’s about how much you can take, and keep moving forward.  That’s how winning is done’.  Whatever you plan to do in 2013, dive into it.  Expect setbacks along the way.  Take whatever hits are thrown at you…and keep pressing forward.

 

Here’s another quote I’ll share from a movie I just saw with Mini Me this morning: “I have found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.  Small acts of kindness and love”.  Gandolf the Gray said this to Galadriel, in response to the question of why he chose a hobbit – a very small form of human with absolutely no desire for adventure – to become a key member of a very important journey.  I throw this quote out there for a reason: we’re all ordinary folk.  And it is the everyday deed of choosing a goal and working hard to attain it which keeps the darkness of giving up at bay.  You choose to get out there and run a mile…or 3…or 5 – whatever the day’s training plan calls for – and you don’t stop until you accomplish your goal.  Accomplish your small goals each day, and you’ll definitely attain your larger goal on Marathon Sunday.

___________________________________

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

Monday Morning Motivation


Begin with the end in mind. Start off with a goal It doesn’t matter how big or small the goal is – just have one and shoot for it. Once you attain it, assign a slightly bigger one for yourself. Hit those small goals each day and you know what you have? A winning streak. And there’s nothing better than a winning streak.

______________________________________

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

20121217-045850.jpg