June 30th – WHWL (What Have We Learned?)

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Today I was reminded of the strength of the human spirit. I ran the New York Road Runners Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 mile race in Central Park…and it truly is my annual reminder that a person can accomplish any goal as long as you never give up hope. I try to run this race every year – and I never shoot for a PR (a Personal Record). Why? Because I’d rather go slower and legnthen the amount of time that I am surrounded by this incredible athletes.

I cheered a female wheelchair athlete on as she slowly made her way up Cat Hill. You could see that the hill was giving her all she could handle – yet she fought back and continued to edge her way to the top. Many runners, myself included, yelled constant cheers of support as she traded blows with the hill. There was grin from ear to ear plastered on her face while she was locked in battle – you could tell that she actually embraced the challenge. Eventually, she dealt the hill a knockout blow, and reached the top. The cheers she received from everyone around her were INCREDIBLE. It was one of those moments where you realize just how strong people can be on the inside.

I ran alongside a gentleman that was the recipient of a heart transplant. I ran with Marines that were wounded in Iraq. I ran with a man that used two crutches to get himself around the 5 mile course.

So what have I learned today? I was once again reminded that there are two types of people out there: those who say I can’t, and those who say I CAN. When you surround yourself with people – even total strangers – that embody the I CAN mentality, it makes you a better person.

Now I need to embody that I CAN attitude more effectively. Being around those courageous athletes gave me the mental kick in the rear-end that I needed.

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June 28th – What Have We Learned?

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So what have we learned today? I, for one, have learned the following:

I figured out what separates humans from all other animals and mammals on earth. It’s NOT opposable thumbs. It’s air conditioning.

I learned that, in running, there is a gadget for everything. I found a sock that keeps your toes bent at an incline while you sleep, so that you wake up without much pain from plantar fasciitis. It looks like something made in the labs within the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot by Dr. Nigel Channing.

I discovered that I should not be allowed to associate with other humans in a decaffinated state.

My dog is smarter than me. At least she knows to stretch before doing anything remotely active. I, on the other hand, I will only be able to touch my toes if someone does me the favor of chopping them off and handing then to me. I am an inflexible tool.

Tomorrow: the Pride Run in Central Park.

It’s a Numbers Game

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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.

 

 

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Sub 7.

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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.

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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

Another Big Goal For 2013

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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.

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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!

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…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…

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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…

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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

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Time To Roll Out Some New Goals for 2013…

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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!

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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

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