Gotta… Beat… The Blerch…

July 7, 2015

HOLY S**T HE’S POSTING?!?!?!?!?!

blerch-oatmeal_hI know, I know… but it’s time. Time for me to start owning this process and start to trust that everything will work out for me… you could calling it Trusting The Process. :) See, I’m committed to completing a half-marathon in September. You maybe familiar with it – The Beat The Blerch 10K/ Half/ Full Marathon, put together by The Oatmeal creator Matt Inman. Gonna be a super fun race that in pretty much most cases I’d be REALLY excited for.

Most cases.

See, Im injured. Planar fasciitis. Been injured since late March. It’s killed my running and, to be completely honest, my spirit. IT JUST WON’T F**KIN’ HEAL. I am gaining weight again, my mood is really down… I couldn’t seem to get out of it. And, for me, it is really, REALLY tough to get out of my own head. I’m not mentally strong enough right now to just snap out of it and do a workout, because what I’d wanna do is run, or even walk. But since I can’t I just wanna sit down, start a binge watching series on Netflix and eat.

That was until my wife and I had a conversation.

18k2bq6i4btubjpgThat conversation centered around us. Not me, us. And what we need to do to be more healthy and smart all around. Just kind of owning our stuff. So this week it begins, and it’s a few things for me.  Things I wanna put out to the Universe so that I can be more accountable for what will be happening the next few months:

* HALF-MARATHON TRAINING – I’m using THIS program but I’ve modified it to using an elliptical instead of running for the next 5 weeks. I’m using a 2/3 ratio method I found online; if I am supposed to run for 40 minutes, I elliptical for 60. Obviously this isn’t perfect but it’s better than the alternative – which is doing pretty much absolutely nothing. I’ll also be adding in weight training a few days/ week on this as well. Definitely on the off days, plus 1 or 2 of the short running days.

* NUTRITIONAL CLEANSE – I’m beginning a nutritional cleanse to coincide with a similar plan my wife is doing. Although my program has much more flexibility than hers, doing it together makes it so much easier in the house. We’re gonna be doing this for 2 months, so basically from now through Labor Day.

* BLOGGING – It’s gonna be a weekly thing probably, hopefully more. But I’m gonna have more to blog about now that I am desperately trying to get back in the swing of things so I promise I’ll try to keep it (somewhat) entertaining.

COMMUNICATING – I need to reach out to people more. I need the support. Many of you already know who you are… we’ve probably talked about stuff like this in the past. At one time I motivated a lot of people… I’m hoping a few people won’t mind me touching base.

So that’s pretty much it for now. I’m back on the ol’ bloggity-blog, and on the Facebook page – and who knows how else. Anyhow, hope y’all are well… lemme know how you are!

(PS – wanna know where the name ‘Beat The Blerch’ came from? Take a few minutes and READ THIS. You’ll enjoy it – promise.)



The Next Right Thing

October 21, 2014

So let’s just lay it all out there… I’m a HOT MESS right now. I mean, straight up. As hot as hot can be. It has been a R O U G H few months for me. I just fell right off the wagon, back into some really terrible habits that have made me an extremely undesirable person*.

(* – and that’s to myself… can you imagine what people that are around me think?!?!)

swedishfish5lbbagI haven’t been eating right… not even close. I’ve been sneaking food any chance I get to help alleviate my stress levels. Sneaking = lying. And that shit is NO BUENO. You know you’ve hit bottom when you’re choosing to lie to people you love because hiding the fact you ate a pack of Swedish Fish is more important than just talking about what you did and why you did it. Lying = covering up.  And if you’ve ever had to cover up a lie you know damn well how stressful that can be. Stress = Eating. When I get stressed out, I am immediately comforted by something salty, something sweet and something carbonated. At the same time. Eaten within a half hour or so.

Yeah… so now do you see that cycle that happens with me? I’m literally powerless over food at times, and that is a VERY scary thought.

Now, my wife is a f**kin’ trooper… seriously. She probably should have given up on me a long time ago. But instead of giving up, she’s done everything in her power to get me refocused. It hasn’t worked 100% yet – I’ll get re-motivated, drop a ‘1st run in a long time!’ post on FB, then plop back on the couch for 2 weeks and do the same damn thing again. She sees in me what I am struggling to see in myself. What I used to have about a year and a half ago when I was posting 1-2 times/ week. She sees the potential to truly succeed at SOMETHING if I just believe I can do it.

IMG_0243But that’s a hard thing to do when I constantly see the failures I’ve had. My weights up and down like Freefall at Great Adventure. My mojo to workout comes and goes like the sun. My weight training, to me, is embarrassing to say the least. My runs? Man, my runs… they ain’t like they used to be. It is extremely difficult to get started up again… after starting up again 3 or 4 times already now. It make me feel like I CAN’T do it, even though the better half knows I CAN.

That’s when this popped up on my FB page:


Ironically enough… this was a post from my wife’s professional FB page where she posts daily motivation for her followers. She wasn’t directly saying it to me but it’s a message that, for some reason, I heard loud and clear. I spent all day wondering what my next great thing would be – a race? weight training? Something bigger? Something smaller? I don’t know yet. But what I do know that is that my mind starting working forward instead of in reverse. I finally started thinking about what I want to accomplish today, tomorrow, in a month, in the next year… I was looking ahead. AND IT FELT GREAT.

One of the things I realized I need to do more of… AGAIN… really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise:

(Here’s a hint – you’re reading it right now.)

I used to tell people all the time – JUST SHOW UP. At the time I was referring to races, workouts, etc. Well, it’s time that I start showing up for life in general. Because when I do that, I know that I’ll be able to, more and more, find the Next Right Thing.

Thanks for reading, everyone… I really do appreciate your time. :)

(PS – give my wife’s professional page a like by clicking HERE –  She’ll give you the warm fuzzies on a daily basis – it’s time you gave yourself some good things to look at on your Newsfeed instead of some of the crap you have to see!)


Thoughts From A Wild Half

May 23, 2014
Hangin' out in VA with Jeff & Mandy!

Hangin’ out in VA with Jeff & Mandy!

So I completed my 3rd half-marathon last weekend – The Wild Half in Wildwood, NJ. To be honest, it was kind of a crazy weekend. 24 hours before the race I found myself in Manassas, VA so I could be a part of my godson’s 1st Holy Communion! I headed down to VA from NJ on Friday and crashed with some friends (thanks again, Jeff & Mandy!) before heading to the Communion. Once the Communion was over, I headed straight back to NJ so I could get to packet pick-up in time early Saturday evening.

Now, the race itself had some ups, some downs as well as some learnings:

* I was all alone for this race – which was a first for me. My wife was across the country and Wildwood isn’t close enough for my peeps to just wake up and cheer me on… it’s a few hours from home. So I ended up flying solo on this one, which was one of the harder things I’ve had to do.

* I did not train as hard as I did in previous half-marathons, and honestly it showed. I did pretty good the last few weeks before the race itself but, overall, training alone I had slacked more than I would have liked.

IMG_20140518_115635* Worst time ever for a half for me but between a mid-race ‘nature break’ :), less than stellar training as well as bad, bad memories from the last time I did this race, I definitely can’t complain about my performance. I felt great when I was done (the following days were a slightly different story ie: DOMS.)

Now, there’s a common denominator in all of this… ALONE. I gotta be honest with you guys – training alone pretty much stunk. I didn’t enjoy it one bit. I missed my wife and my friends. And, because I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t push myself as hard as I should have (or have in the past.) I took more breaks, walked more, stopped more… I definitely noticed a difference.

And all of those feelings made me realize something – I don’t wanna do that anymore.

I didn’t enjoy training for a half-marathon alone. Those 2-3 hour training runs by myself were TOUGH, because I wanted to be anywhere BUT doing the run. So, it’s time to change some things up. My wife, brother AND brother-in-law all have told me the same thing – strength training will result in better weight loss, better physique, etc. I know they’re right… but I’m comfortable running, so I wanted to do it. As I’ve discussed before, I’m not comfortable in the gym. But, at this point, I have to embrace the change.

So, for now, I’m retiring my hydration belt and laying off of any distance running. I’m going to train smart, devote myself in the gym and try something, for me, that’s difficult and uncomfortable. I’m gonna try some shorter races… races that are different and fun. May even finally get that bike I keep putting off buying and do a duathlon with my wife. But, mostly, my time will be spent in the gym chiseling myself into a healthy, fit man.

I’ll keep you guys posted on how THAT goes… :)  For now, here’s me crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles (coincidentally, in those HORRIBLE shoes that you should NEVER wear.)



My Shoes Suck*!!!

May 8, 2014

Words out, people! Running barefoot SUCKS. Vibram just settled a huge lawsuit because they lied about their shoes!*


(* – they don’t suck… and just like the  fun, ‘shocking!’ Fittish headline that prompted this post, it’s intended strictly for shock value and has nothing to do with the actual meat and potatoes of the post.)

OK… let’s get past the BS and dive into what actually happened with Vibram, and how that will adversely affect me as I continue running.  In a nutshell, Vibram was sued for false advertising. They claimed that their shoes could “reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles” (their words, not mine) which, in fact, they can’t. They said something that was false, and they got caught.

And now they’ll pay customers – 3.75 million dollars to be exact – as part of their settlement on the suit.

Fittish also quoted a study done last year which said “This study showed that increases in bone marrow edema [the precursor to a stress fracture] are more common in subjects who were transitioning to the [Vibram FiveFingers]”

Now I wanna point out a few things:

IMG_20140508_174058* Fittish is a part of the Deadspin community, which is not only AMAZING (one of my daily reads) but is over-the-top on how they report stories. It’s part of the allure. That being said, here’s the actual report, without snarky opinion or judgement.

* The 2013 study talks about the injuries being most common when transitioning into Vibrams. I’m sure that’s true, because ANYONE transitioning into ANYTHING workout-related runs a higher risk of injury when transitioning into it. It’s simply common logic. They push too hard, aren’t using proper form, etc… there’s a bunch of reasons why that would be the case.  That being said, they’re all ‘user error’, not a fault with the product. I had just finished a half-marathon when I decided to start with barefoot running and I started with 2 weeks straight of 2 miles maximum. Did I think I could do more?  Of course – I just finished 13.1! But, the plan said 2 miles for 2 weeks, so that’s what I did. When I had longer runs? I carried my regular shoes with me in a backpack and literally changed shoes mid-run. It takes discipline to transition into barefoot shoes… and lack of discipline equals “…increases in bone marrow edema [the precursor to a stress fracture]… in subjects who were transitioning to the [Vibram FiveFingers]”

* I never started using them because they would “reduce injuries or strengthen foot muscles”… I used them because, for me and how I run, they are FANTASTIC. I’m by no means a speed demon, have a very wide foot and big toes that tear through the toe box on regular running shoes so everything about them is great for me.

* This type of thing is exactly why I never recommended them to anyone other than my best friend. I told people how much I liked them, how great they worked for me but, outside of Joe, not once did I say “it’s better than regular shoes, you’re an idiot if you don’t do it.” My go-to line is “if you’re comfortable when you run… don’t even need to try ’em.” So why did I recommend them to my best friend then?  Simple – the dude walks around barefoot/ in sandals more than anyone I know besides myself… maybe even more. And he was never comfortable running. So he gave them a shot – and he also likes them.

Now, I’m not gonna lie – that headline pissed me off. And having friends FB/ text/ e-mail me about it maybe feel like some of them were laughing at me for it. I know, for most of you, it was done to be courteous and let me know about what was going on… that’s my issue (and in turn my therapists responsibility :) ), so please don’t think I’m mad at ANYONE for sending me the link – I appreciate it! When I saw the story Wednesday afternoon I figured I’d hear about it – and boy, was I right!

But I’m not stupid. And I’m not a sucker. And that headline offended me, because I did A LOT of research before deciding to first try it, then stick with it.  So congrats to Fittish for the eye-catching headline… you accomplished exactly what you set out to do.

As for me? I’m gonna slip on my Komodosport L/S and do what I’ve done for 1 half-marathon (and a 2nd coming next weekend), 1 18-mile race and countless other miles in 5 and 10K’s… I’m gonna run in my Vibrams.

2014-04-06 13.26.47



2 Weeks To Go!

May 3, 2014

As I promised in my last blog, here’s my 2 week, consolidated half marathon training. Now, don’t forget – I’VE BEEN TRAINING FOR 2 1/2 MONTHS. I just haven’t been as happy with my focus during it, so I’m crunching an intense couple of weeks at the end to help me get right in enough time for the race!

Couple of points:

* ‘Short Run’ is between 3-4 miles, I’m just gonna go by how I feel, where I am, etc.

* ‘TM’?  Training Mask! (It’s baaaaaaaaaaack! :) )


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