2020 New Year’s Resolutions

My Running Year-end Review for 2019

It is hard to believe that 2020 is less than 15 minutes away. I’ve always liked New Year’s Eve. Turning the chapter in a book, unaware of what is written on the pages, is exciting. Being able to control the narrative on the pages is even better.

As I reflect on 2019, visions of all that I accomplished dance across my memories. In my world of running, I’ve done quite a bit. First, I survived the Gasparilla Distance Classic Challenge, which included a 15K and 5K on one day and a half-marathon and 8K on the next day – a total of 30.4 miles. Then, I was lucky enough to run the Skyway 10K for the second year in a row and the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K, of which I received a PR. I ran a few others during the year, which lead me to Chicago, my second Marathon Major. Chicago was the most challenging race by far, having started strong and locking up my calves around mile 16. I still managed a PR, of which I’m incredibly pleased.

So, what’s on tap for 2020? I’m going to focus on strength training. My biggest challenge has always been the time, or lack thereof, that I’ve put into pre- and post-injury work. That led me to end in a non-glamorously way and seeing a physical therapist for knee pains and shin splints, the latter being more painful. I made a commitment that I’m going to follow every instruction that my physical therapist prescribed me and will continue to put in the work. I’m also going to take it nice and slow with my mileage and speed build-up. Often, I tell myself I’m going to take it easy, and I don’t. Each of these resolutions will lead me to the BMW Berlin Marathon in September of 2020.

2019 was a fantastic year! I accomplished more than I could’ve anticipated at the end of 2018. In 2020, I’m looking forward to many more running adventures. For those who have supported me in my running endeavor, specifically, my wife, parents, in-laws, and many close friends, I thank you with all my heart.

I look forward to taking you along my journey in 2020! Happy New Year!

Sometimes you need to hit that ENTER button

There are two words that runners hate: DNF, referred to as “did not finish” and deferment. The former is awful and leads you to wish you had done the latter. Deferring can be as painful as the reasons you need to defer. It can feel as though you’re giving up and quitting. You sit, staring at your screen, hovering over the ENTER key waiting for a supreme force to take hold of your hand and to make the decision for you. Everything else is easy in comparison. Defer your favorite desert over the holidays? <ENTER> ; defer your company Christmas party? <ENTER>; defer a visit to see opinionated relatives? <ENTER, ENTER, ENTER>. The thought that 16-weeks of training has come to the ‘D’ word can be tough to accept.

I’ve deferred a marathon once; last year at this time after suffered a stress fracture. This year, I find myself in a similar situation; major interior shin splints or what doctors like to call medial tibial stress syndrome or the fancy term for ‘you’re running all wrong and have weak hip flexors.’ The cure, rest while doing strengthening exercises and work on weak areas that caused the shin splints in the first place. This advice is not conducive to training for a marathon, especially when the beginning of the year is as equally as busy as the last part of the year. So, the decision had to be made. Defer the Charleston Marathon again for the second year in a row.

It’s not all bad. The realization that healing could prevent future injuries, lead to a new PR, and prevent future deferments is what needs to be in anyone’s mind who is about to push that ENTER button. Am I upset by it? Of course, I am. However, this is what I signed up for when I decided to become a runner. I’m also excited about the possibilities ahead in 2020. That is something I’m not going to defer.

A Christmas Miracle

It was Thanksgiving day that I received word that I had been accepted to the Alzheimer’s Society Team for the 2020 BMW Berlin Marathon. I was also given an amount that I needed to raise in order to obtain a spot in this prestigeous World Marathon Major. That amount was 1,000 Euros or approximately $1,200 U.S. dollars. Even though this was a large goal, I knew it wasn’t impossible; especially, given my supportive family and friends.

After receiving many generous donations from my wonderful family and friends, I received the donation that helped me to reach the 100% mark on Monday. This very generous donation came from, no other than my brother Jason and his wife Marisa. I am extremely grateful to them and all of the other supporters who helped me reach this mark in such a short time.

I may have reached the 100% mark; however, it will take more than my goal to help reach a cure. My initial goal may have been $1,200 but I’d like to raise much more. If your heart moves you to support my cause, please donate. To those who already have; I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tinsel Run 5K with Elvis, the Doodle

After not attending last night’s Jingle Run 5K in Bradenton due to more shin pain, I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. I decided that my leg could handle the Run Tampa Tinsel Run 5K. I also decided, at my wife’s recommendation, to bring Elvis, my Goldendoodle. I’m glad I decided to take her advice since Elvis stole the show. Not only did he grab the attention of many from children to adults but he also ran extremely well. His pace was 8:52 per mile with a final time of 27:48! Oh, yeah, my Dood is a runner!

The Road to the 2020 BMW Berlin Marathon

I’m very excited to share my next running adventure in Berlin! Not only will I be running for my 3rd Star in the Marathon Majors circuit but I’ll be on the Alzheimer’s Society Team! It is a great organization that works to find a cure to a condition that is suffered by many, including my grandma who suffered from dementia and great-aunt who had Alzheimer’s. If you’ve lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s or Dementia, I’ll be running for your family. I’m almost 1/2 way to my goal, so if you’d like to help me and the Alzheimer’s Society get closer to the finish line of a cure, please click the link to the upper left. Thank you so much for your support!

Hot Chocolate 15K

Today, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If there’s one think I like more than running; it’s running for a charity that helps people.

Today’s run comes after four days of painful shin splints on my right leg. Instead of giving it my all and trying for a personal best, I decided to run at a leisurely pace with my dad who also has been dealing with a injury. All in all, we didn’t do too badly, finishing at 1:47:27 or at an average pace of 11:32. Frankly, better than I though either of us would be able to do.

Tonight, my leg is still sore but not worse than what is was before the race. Tomorrow, I’ll work on strength training and foam rolling. No running for the rest of the week as I tend to my injury. Two more 5Ks towards the end of the week, so time will tell as to how much effort I put towards them.