Sometimes a Little Lombardi is Required…..


I haven’t posted in two weeks for a simple reason: I suffered a knee injury that required time to heal.  I had hoped and planned to run in the 2018 Sketchers LA Marathon, but was unable to travel marathon weekend to experience that 26.2 mile fiesta.  Since that race wasn’t in the cards, I tried my hand at the New York City Half Marathon.  I felt prepared for the distance, but the frigid temperature throughout the run was something that I knew would make me cranky.  What I was not prepared for was the very sharp pain that shot into the inside of my left knee about 7 miles into the race.  By the time I entered Central Park, I could not maintain a consistent running pace and I was forced to walk a significant portion of the last 5k.  I finished in severe pain, and brought home a medal that will only remind me now of the scare that this run put in me 8 weeks away from my first full Ironman.

Two weeks later, I am still favoring my left leg a bit, and I have missed out on significant training time.  This injury comes at a crucial point in my training schedule, so a ton of self doubt had soaked in to every pour over the past week…that was, until I went to the gym on Saturday to get in a long swim.

It felt awesome to get in the pool and do laps while having a full lane to myself for the entirety of the workout.  I was able to focus on my stroke, and try to become a bit more efficient so that I save energy for the 130+ miles that follow the swim portion of the triathlon.  After the workout and a hot shower, I changed as was about to head out of the gym and score a bagel from my favorite muffin shop, when a guy that maintains a locker close to my own walked in.  He just completed his workout, but it was obvious that the Endorphin Fairy hadn’t visited him and sprinkled the dose of daily positivity that a good workout usually provides.  I guess he noticed that my backpack has a small luggage tag on it that says that I’m a Certified Ironman Coach – so he decided to start a quick conversation.  He didn’t open up with “Hello” or “How was your workout?”; instead, he simply dove into his dialogue in such a manner that I wasn’t quite sure whether he was directing his words to me or simply going 21st century Shakespeare soliloquy.  He opened up with “….I hate it when a workout sucks.  You ever have to deal with that?”  When I failed to immediately respond, he followed up with “…I figured I’d ask a fellow gym rat…”.  Realizing that I was the target of his question, I replied that yes, I deal with lousy workout performance more often than I care to admit.  He shared the fact that he didn’t feel like he sees any benefit to working out any more.  His exact words were “…I’m not getting any stronger or any faster.  I’m not even losing any weight.  It’s frustrating.”  I don’t think we was prepared for my response.  Instead of saying “yeah, I am dealing with the same issues…”, I asked a simple question.  “So what’s your goal?”  He looked at me quizzically, and then said “what do you mean?”  That response initiated a conversation where I wound up unleashing a little inner Lombardi.

We spent the next 30 minutes talking about realistic goal-setting.  I had absolutely no idea I’d enjoy that type of discussion as much as I did, and I think he walked away with a bit of an enhanced perspective on his training practices…and sharing some thoughts / opinions with someone like this also fired me back up after 14 days of stressing over the pain emanating from my leg.

I’m back to the grind today, a bit more fired up and ready to go.  The saying is true: by helping others you help yourself.

I took the main points from the discussion I had and I posted them to my blog.  If you’d like, please check it out!  A Little Lombardi

 

 

 

 

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March 16th 2018


Today was a rest day for me.  Plain and simple.  It was one of those days where everything simply hurt.  You ever have one of those mornings where you wake up, slowly attempt to get out of bed, you place your foot on the floor, gently place a little weight on it, and all at once your hamstring, quadricep, and calf muscles collectively begin to curse at you like a bunch of drunken Irish sailors on a three day pass in some seedy bar in Singapore (and I’m not talking about the financial district here, I’m talking about those bars near the airport where the taxi drivers demand extra to take you there)?  (Wow – I just went back and re-read that last sentence, and Sr. Petrina – my third grade teacher – just mentally whacked upside the head with a ruler, yelling “that was a run-on sentence!)  That was me this morning.  My body sent me a message of “knock this pain thing off, or else I’m gonna hurt you.”

I was so sore this morning that even my kneecaps got into the act – and the kneecaps are the Wormtongue on the human body (and yes, I used a Lord of the Rings reference, simply because the moment truly called for it), because the knee is the part of the leg that always like to instigate conflict.  Think about that for a moment: it sits in between two of the largest bones in the human anatomy, acting like the DMZ between the pavement and your torso.  A few hours after a strong tempo run, while I’m sitting in my office in the middle of typing up some nastygram to someone who probably doesn’t deserve my wrath (but hey: I was hungry and the deli screwed up my breakfast order by throwing a slice cheese on my bacon & egg sandwich – and not just any cheese, mind you, but that awful no-name cheese you buy by the 10 pound block at some Cost Co in a strip mall that has a half-life like a Twinkie), my left knee sends an instant message to my brain…and the brain knows that the knee is just looking to stir up the drama:

JLK (The knee is a drama hound, so it goes with initials just to seem like a cooler part of the anatomy than it really is)  (the initials stand for Joe’s Left Knee, by the way….ok, moving on…):   “Yo.  Sup.  U up?”

Brain:  “I’m in the middle of dealing with work.  What’s the issue?”

JLK:  “U know that run we did this morning?  Well u need to chill with that.  U feelin me?”

Brain:  “If by ‘U feelin me’ you are asking whether I understand that we over-did it this morning a bit, yes I comprehend your message.  We’re going to rest for the remainder of the day.  ….and it’s “you”, not “U”.  We have a college degree – you know, because you were there.”

JLK:  “Stop hatin’ on me like that, yo.  And just for that English lesson, I’m gonna swell up a bit and tick you off.”

Stomach:  “….seriously?  cheese?  on our bacon & egg?  The chef is a neanderthal.”

Brain:  “Fine – swell up and I’ll make sure he puts in 10 miles before you wake up.  And stop leaving off letters on words – you’re not a Kardashian”.

JLK:  “OK then – consider your bluff called.  I’m swelling up as we text.  See how you like your walk home this evening.  Peace out.”

Stomach:  “ummmmmm……hello? What are we doing about this whole cheese fiasco?”

Brain:  “I’m lashing out meaninglessly in an email to one of my vendors.  You happy now?”

Stomach:  “ummmm….no….was kinda hoping for an Oreo as an apology….”

So this evening I’m heading to a charity event, and providing quality wine to my stomach to apologize for this morning’s horrid experience.  I’m also hoping that my knees will see a fine cabernet as an olive branch for over-working things this week.  And my brain….well….the wine will act like Tylenol.

I’m logging these miles and competing in these events this year in order to raise awareness and donations to fight Spinal Muscular Atrophy – the number one genetic killer of kids under the age of two in the world. If you’d like more information, or check out what our charity is all about, please go to our website at Do Away With SMA. We are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!!!

If you want to donate to our cause and help fight SMA, you can find our event on CrowdRise:

2018 Tri to Fight SMA

________________________________________________________________________________________

My Overall Numbers Since March 12th 2018

Strength Training:  1 hour

Swimming:

Yards:  2400

Time: 1 hour

Biking: 

 Miles:  57

Time:  2:45:00

Running:

Miles:  4.43

Time:  48:54

_______________________________________________________________________________________

If you’d like to follow my lunacy, here’s how you can do it:

Twitter: Twitter

Facebook:  Facebook

Instagram: JosephKolinsky

Website: Do Away With SMA

Linked In: Linked In

YouTube:  YouTube

Google +:  Google Plus

CrowdRise:  Do Away With SMA

March 14th 2018: Happy Pi Day!


As much as I was tempted to keep up my theme of over-training and risking injury weeks before my first full Ironman, today I simply kept to the plan that my coach laid out for me: an hour on the run.

Here’s what over-doing it looks like to a guy that trains for a triathlon in his spare time:

image1.png  So today is Pi Day (3.14…..), and it began on a rather somber note, as renowned  physicist Steven Hawking passed away at his home in England at the age of 76.  Back in 1963, he was given two years to live…..now THAT’s what I call telling the odds to go scratch.  I read his book “A Brief History of Time”, and it truly made me look at things a bit differently.  If you google him, he has an array of wonderful quotes…but this one has always been my favorite:

image2

This morning I woke up a bit more sore than usual.  Since I tend to overdo things when I feel energetic, a training season for me is like a roller coaster.  In the past, I’d continue to beat myself up until I reached a breaking point, and then all positive momentum would be crushed for a week as I decided that sleep was more important than working toward the goal.  This time, I’m not making that mistake.  Today called for a run, so that’s what I did.  I cannot burn all of the pounds I hope to drop in a single day – I need patience, persistence and positivity: the 3 P’s.  Rome was not built in a day….but when in Rome, do as the Romans do (…and try the Marchese Antinori, it’s a delight).  That’s today’s lesson: listen to the coach, and do the workouts as assigned…and if the day is designated as a REST DAY, enjoy it!  Let you body recover.

I’m logging these miles and competing in these events this year in order to raise awareness and donations to fight Spinal Muscular Atrophy – the number one genetic killer of kids under the age of two in the world. If you’d like more information, or check out what our charity is all about, please go to our website at Do Away With SMA. We are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!!!

If you want to donate to our cause and help fight SMA, you can find our event on CrowdRise:

2018 Tri to Fight SMA

________________________________________________________________________________________

My Overall Numbers Since March 12th 2018

Strength Training:  1:30:00

Swimming:

Yards:  2,200

Time: 00:49:00

Biking: 

 Miles:  57

Time:  2:45:00

Running:

Miles:  9.93

Time:  1:49:00

_______________________________________________________________________________________

If you’d like to follow my lunacy, here’s how you can do it:

Twitter: Twitter

Facebook:  Facebook

Instagram: JosephKolinsky

Website: Do Away With SMA

Linked In: Linked In

YouTube:  YouTube

Google +:  Google Plus

CrowdRise:  Do Away With SMA

March 13th 2018


This morning was rough.  I think I beat myself up a little too well yesterday evening, and I slept right through my alarm this morning.  I had to make up the time throughout the day, so I hit the gym for a quick 30 minute strength workout during lunch.  That felt awesome, because the limited time that I had available made me focus on what I was doing.  Get to the gym, change, get the work in, and get back to the office.

This evening, I needed to focus on the swim.  In an Ironman, you have two hours and twenty minutes to get through the 2.4 mile swim course and get into the first transition area – commonly referred to as “T-1”.  While I am a decent swimmer (I know this for a fact because my Mom told me so when I was five – feel free to go ask her and she’ll proudly confirm it), I now need to be sensitive to my pace and speed.  In order to finish the Ironman swim with some time budgeted as a fudge factor just in case I go off course or I cramp up, I really need to average 2:30 for every 100 yards covered.  The 2.4 mile Ironman swim course translates into 4,400 yards.  So this means that I have to be able to swim 88 laps in my gym’s pool in order to cover the required distance.  If I can average 2:30 per 100 yards, I will get to the transition before the cutoff time.  I used to swim in the pool without a care in the world – simply to work out muscles I didn’t even know I had.  Now, I hop in the pool and constantly check my watch.  I swim 100 yards, stop for a moment, look at my Garmin and proceed to stress about whether I can keep this pace up for almost 2 hours.  So much for the relaxation that comes with being in the water!

After my swim, I transitioned to the bike and took a 45 minute spin class.  This wasn’t on my training plan for the day, and I know I am over-doing it right now, but I threw this workout in for two reasons:

  • To burn calories and continue to drop weight, with the goal of carrying less of me for 140.6 miles than I currently lug around, and
  • Begin to simulate the feeling of climbing out of the water, changing quickly and hopping on the bike.

I finished up the evening at the gym with a relaxed run on the dreadmill.  Transitioning from the bike to the run (referred to as “T-2”) will be extremely difficult for me in May, so I’m trying to get used to the feeling of getting my legs to fire at the beginning of the run, after burning them out on the bike.  I’m shocked that I was not cranky at the end of all of this.

I’m logging these miles and competing in these events this year in order to raise awareness and donations to fight Spinal Muscular Atrophy – the number one genetic killer of kids under the age of two in the world. If you’d like more information, or check out what our charity is all about, please go to our website at Do Away With SMA. We are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!!!

If you want to donate to our cause and help fight SMA, you can find our event on CrowdRise:

2018 Tri to Fight SMA

________________________________________________________________________________________

My Overall Numbers Since March 12th 2018

Strength Training:  1 hour

Swimming:

Yards:  2,200

Time: 49 minutes

Biking: 

 Miles:  57

Time:  2:45:00

Running:

Miles:  4.43

Time:  48:54

_______________________________________________________________________________________

If you’d like to follow my lunacy, here’s how you can do it:

Twitter: Twitter

Facebook:  Facebook

Instagram: JosephKolinsky

Website: Do Away With SMA

Linked In: Linked In

YouTube:  YouTube

Google +:  Google Plus

CrowdRise:  Do Away With SMA

T-Minus 62 Days to Santa Rosa


Eight more weeks until I tow the line at my first full Ironman event….and I am absolutely freaking out.  The hours in the gym, on the bike, in the pool and on the road are beginning to add up, and the soreness now doesn’t go away.  I go to sleep: it’s there.  I wake up: it’s there.  I work out: it’s like Super Mario scoring one of those special glowing mushrooms – thanks for the additional power, you geek.

Training for my first Ironman has been a bit of challenge, between the cold and damp Northeast weather, my work schedule and other miscellaneous factors too numerous to summarize here.  The bottom line is that I have to get in the work whenever I have hours available.  Now this becomes even more difficult when my sleep is constantly interrupted by my own inability to shut off my brain for a few hours.  When I’m not actually busy juggling the various line items of my life, I’m thinking about what needs to be done next.  I’ll hit the pillow at 9:30am, and I’m up before 2am.  Now I’m staring at the clock until it’s time to head out to work out.  By the time I’m ready to crash at the end of the day, I’m fried….and even that doesn’t help.  So don’t be surprised if I begin writing a lot over these final weeks to Santa Rosa – I might as well do something proactive with my waking hours.

Today’s workout started with some strength training.  I noticed that I became fatigued during my swim last week – my shoulders were baked by the end.  So I want to begin building muscle in my shoulders, arms and back.  I’m going to need them in May.  I then transitioned to the bike.  Rode for about 3 hours, 45 minutes of which was a spin class that amped up my heart rate.  I finished the night off with a 20 minute BRick run.  What’s a BRick run?  It just means that I hopped off the bike and onto the dreadmill as quickly as possible in order to get my legs used to the rapid change in movement.  I also think BRick simply means Bike + Run = ICK….but that’s just me trying to levitate the situation.

I’m logging these miles and competing in these events this year in order to raise awareness and donations to fight Spinal Muscular Atrophy – the number one genetic killer of kids under the age of two in the world. If you’d like more information, or check out what our charity is all about, please go to our website at http://www.doawaywithsma.org. We are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!!!

If you want to donate to our cause and help fight SMA, you can find our event on CrowdRise:

2018 Tri To Fight SMA

____________________________________________________________________________________

This Week’s Numbers

Strength Training:  30 minutes

Swimming:

Yards:

Time:

Biking: 

 Miles:  41

Time:  2:00:00

Running:

Miles:  3.43

Time:  38:54

January 2nd 2018


Today I realized that 2018’s goals, while demanding, will also provide a level of fulfillment if accomplished.

While there will be a number of other races throughout the year, I’ve set three major challenges for myself this year: Ironman Santa Rosa in May, Ironman Mont-Tremblant in August, and the NYC 60k in November. When developing a training plan, some coaches refer to these selected challenges as his/her “A” races. These are the races that my training palm is geared toward preparing me to conquer. There are several races that I’ll use to weigh and measure my training progress throughout the year – these are commonly referred to as “B” races on a long training schedule. I’m developing my overall competitive schedule as I write this, so I haven’t targeted all of my “B” races as of yet. I’ll also throw in some additional races on the calendar just so have some fun and see how fast I can go at shorter distance after some serous work has been put in.

If I accomplish any of these goals at all, it will be because of some serious sweat poured into the daily routine. Let the fun begin.

The HSIC…..


OK folks, this one is quite simply a brief blog entry in response to a Facebook post I saw from an awesome charity runner and even awesomer friend, Ira.

Ira posted on his Facebook page this morning a brief description of an encounter he experienced with a fellow New York City runner, while in his gym.  This runner decided to take a verbal shot at my friend, saying basically that “….charity runners should not be allowed to run the Boston Marathon unless they qualify.  Period.” Based on his summary of the encounter, this comment was not meant to simply share his opinion with a fellow marathoner; instead, it was said with malice.  Ira is like me: a runner with a stubborn streak when it comes to pushing through injuries to keep on going, but not one that runs from the front of the pack looking to set the World Record in the marathon each time he tows the line.  Instead, he runs with an important purpose: to support the efforts of the New York Road Runners Team for Kids – a charity that helps fight childhood obesity through sponsoring free running programs in New York City schools.  Their programs helped over 200,000 kids this year alone.  Given the fact that schools have rolled back basic physical education classes while, at the same time, adding some vending machines to tons of school lunchrooms, this is an awesome effort to support.  So Ira goes out there and runs with Team for Kids (“TFK”), raising awareness and donations to support the cause.  I’ve run with him for a number of years now…and I couldn’t ask for a better teammate.  I’m sure he handled the situation with class…and for that, he is a better man than I, as the tirade that would have ensued if I were the target would have made a merchant marine blush.

So there I was at my desk a few hours after reading and commenting on this Facebook post, and I was actually still stewing a bit.  Why take a verbal jab at someone that a) didn’t do anything to warrant it, and b) is trying his best to become a better runner on a daily basis?  Unleashing my inner Vulcan, I think of these types of verbal jabs to be a combination of nouns and verbs uttered to elicit an emotional response.  One thing was left to pondor: why?  Why attempt to elicit this response from Ira, a guy that is as humble and friendly as a man can be, but looks like he could play Center for the New York Giants?  One side of the equation did not add up to the other.  So I abandoned my inner Vulcan and channeled my inner Bronx….and determined that the dude was a schmuck.

I had a similar shot taken at me several years ago.  While it did not specifically cover running / qualifying for Boston, it did cover the broader topic of “who should be permitted to run a marathon, and who should not”.

(I’ll pause for a moment for dramatic effect, as you go back and re-read that last sentence……. And yes – I can confirm – this was the exact topic of the short yet colorful discussion of which I was a participant.  OK……moving on…..)

I was on the dreadmill one morning a few years ago, putting in a tempo run of about 5-6 miles, when another runner came up to the human hamster wheel next to me.  He noticed that I was wearing a long sleeved technical shirt, and quickly decided to strike up a conversation with me as I kept running at about a 10 – 10:30 pace.  Since he couldn’t see the front of my shirt, he asked which race it was from.  I uttered “Chicago, 2012”.  This response to his question, for some odd reason, forced him to begin the following dialogue:

HSIC (Head Schmuck In Charge):  “Chicago? Nice.  What did you clock in at?”

(…I guess he saw that my pace was 10-10:30 – much slower than a pace needed to qualify for Boston for a man in is 40’s, so he felt like he had to throw that question out there to a total stranger because….well….he’s the HSIC….)

Me:  “I don’t know – 5 something I think…”

HSIC:  “Seriously?  God.  Another piano mover.”

(…while I was still trying focus on my running, it took a long 2-3 seconds for the verbal jab to register.  When it did, I understood that he was saying that I run like I am carrying a piano on my back.  Now I don’t know this guy, and don’t recall ever seeing him prior to this in the gym – so this dude had no clue that he was poking a bear sans caffeine at 6am.  That was his first mistake.)

Me:  “Piano mover?  As in I’m slow?  OK.  But you don’t know me….are you sure you want to ride this train?  Because the last thing you want right now is my complete and undivided f*&king attention.”

(I stopped my dreadmill.  The enemy has been engaged.)

HSIC:  (he should have given this more thought, because he chose to swipe his Metrocard and board the J train to Smackdown Boulevard)  “People like you should stick to halves – you should only be allowed to run a full when you are at a competitive speed.  Not before.”

Me:  “Hmmmmm.  OK.  And how fast should I need to run?”

HSIC:  “You should be able to qualify for Boston.  There are times based on your age…”

Me:  “…I know the BQ (Boston Qualifying) standards.  Thanks.  So what should qualifying times for New York be then?  Because those are the BAA standards – but I guess each race could set their own, right?  So what should qualifying times for New York be?”

(The best way to argue with a schmuck is to keep asking for details and enjoy the verbal 3 car pile-up)

HSIC:  “…I don’t know – there should just be a standard.”

Me:  “OK – so there should just be a standard.  And you have no idea what it really should be – because every course has its own level of difficulty – NYC is different than LA, which is different than Boston, which is different from some of the hillier courses like Big Sur.  But I see you have this all thought out.”

HSIC:  “Hey, don’t hate on me – you’re the one that runs like a duck.”

(Strike two.)

Me:  “That was a nice comeback.  And how many marathons have you done?”

HSIC:  “I’ve done lots of halves…”

Me:  “Excellent.  That’s cool.  But then why are you bashing me?  I’ve done nothing to you – and you have no full marathon experience to even make these statements.  So your opinion is not well thought out.  Quick history lesson: who was the first person to run a marathon?”

HSIC:  “It was a Greek guy – I know that.”

Me:  “Excellent.  A Greek guy.  Bingo.  He ran 25 miles and dropped dead at the feet of the king after delivering news of a Greek military victory.”

HSIC:  “Duh – everybody knows that.”

Me:  “Excellent comeback.  Well done.  Now focus please: let’s base all marathon qualifying standards on his finishing time.  Sound good?  So go home, crack open the old internet, and let me know what his finishing time was and his corresponding pace per mile, and we’ll go from there.  I’m sure you’ll be able to find his chip time on http://www.marathonguide.com.  ….and dude, before you run your mouth, know your audience.”

HSIC decided to use the rowing machine.  I finished my run.  And thus endeth the sermon.

I share that story because it’s a little funny, and also a little sad.  There are those in the running community that believe that the marathon should only be run by those whom the Clan of the Damn Cave Bear think are “worthy”.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with running to simply see how fast you can go for how long.  That’s awesome.  To the elite runners in the field, I say kuddos.  I wish I ran as fast.  I wish I could qualify for Boston right now.  But there are those of us in the running community that run for other, personal, deep reasons.  We may not be as fast as you – and we admire your speed without scornful the retorts thrown out in gyms – but we run with the same passion and effort.  We cover the same mileage as the speed demons – it just takes us a bit longer, that’s all.  Charity runners in the New York City Marathon alone raise on average more than $20 million in donations for great charitable causes.   And that’s just one race – so think about the impact that charity runners have globally each year, and then think about what percentage of them are elite runners that qualify for Boston.  A significant percentage of charity runners are NOT the elite speed demons – they are ordinary people trying to make a difference internally as well as externally.

It doesn’t matter what your pace is.  Just set a goal, work as hard as you can to achieve it, enjoy the journey that you experience preparing for race day, and the race itself is simply a victory lap….and as anyone that watches auto racing knows, the victory lap allows the driver to take in the general splendor of the achievement.  We all get a chance at a victory lap – just don’t hate on those who take it slower than you do.