commit

Going for Two

Click HERE to learn more about Nationwide Children’s Hospital and to support me as 2015 Columbus Marathon Children’s Champion.


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been debating what I want to do next in regard to my running. Should I stick to the 5k circuit? What about a marathon? I can tell you now that I hope to run a few more 5k’s this year and maybe even move up a few more spots in the Wayne Healthcare Challenge. However – and as I’m sure you may have guessed by now – I have also answered the question about taking on a marathon as I have officially registered for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon this upcoming October.

So let’s be honest – the headline for this post should read more like “Going for (26point)Two“.

Anyhow, before I touch on this year’s endeavor, here’s some backstory for you:

***

In the spring of 2004, I lost my father to a very severe form of brain cancer (more on that here) and I was struggling pretty bad. I was struggling with my academics, I was struggling socially, I was struggling emotionally. At any given point in 2004, one could say that I was a first-class passenger on (or potentially the captain of) the Hot Mess Express. The only places or times that I felt I had control and where I wasn’t struggling (as much) was when I was playing music or running.

By the time fall of 2004 came around, I had changed my major to one with a sports focus. This meant I needed physical education credits. Thankfully, BGSU offered both Jogging which was taught by an experienced coach, runner, and all around great person. Running – exactly what I needed. She and I figured out very quickly that “jogging” wasn’t going to cut it for me – I needed more “running” – and we made it work quite well. As a result, my instructor nudged me to take on a greater running challenge. Her intent was not for me to specifically go after the marathon, but hey – go big or go home, right?

So, I that it would be cool to sign up and participate in the 2004 Columbus Marathon – my first marathon ever. What a day that was. My training wasn’t great and my performance wasn’t much better. There was quite a bit of both running and walking throughout the day, but I am proud to say that I did, in fact, run approximately 20 of the 26.2 miles and finished in 4:49:55. It wasn’t pretty and I was pretty well useless for the next 36 hours, but damnit I finished.

***

Running is my sport. It has helped me connect with new people, taught me discipline, and (obviously) has helped me cope with some of the not-so-pleasant parts of life. Running has helped me to remain healthy and able to participate in a wide range of activities, including collegiate marching band. Running is my sport and it is high time for me to get back to it.

So, I’m going to run the Columbus Marathon for the second time. The difference is that this time around I want to do MUCH better. I have my 18-week training schedule (Thanks, Hal Higdon) plotted out along with some supplemental workouts. My wife, Tammi, and I do what we can to cook at home and eat healthy, but let’s face it – cheat days happen. Ultimately, I would love to run a sub 4-hour marathon. Hell, I’d love to run well enough to qualify for Boston. Honestly though, I just want to do three things: run all 26.2 miles and beat my previous time.

The third thing I want to accomplish is meeting my fundraising goal as a Children’s Champion. Nationwide Children’s Hospital works day in and day out to cure, mend, comfort and save an estimated one million children who will walk through the hospital doors this year. I am seeking to raise $1000 to help support Nationwide Children’s Hospital and simply ask for your support in working to meet that goal. Your contribution will help children everywhere through the life-saving research and care done right here in Columbus.

Click HERE to learn more about Nationwide Children’s Hospital and to support me as 2015 Columbus Marathon Children’s Champion.

90 Miles in 90 Days: Update 2

With my upcoming wedding to Tammi now only 33 days away and since I haven’t updated in a while, I figured it would be a good time to post an update on my personal challenge of running 90 miles in 90 days.

Since the last update, I was able to stay on pace fairly well. Every day or every other day, I’d get out there and run maybe 2 miles at minimum just to stay on pace. However, then I took a personal vacation across the country and while I fully intended to run during this time, I slacked. I dropped off pace and it’s been a gradual up-hill climb to cut down the, at one time, almost 10 miles that I was off pace.

So, here’s the update: I’m officially back on pace.

Tonight, I completed a two mile run that puts me at 57 miles over 57 days (or 63% complete). My average distance is hovering around 2.5 to 3 miles per run, with my average pace per is right around 9:45/mile. Running a little further per run as of late and just a hint faster on average. I’d say that’s progress, even if it’s slow going.

Keep in mind, I had said the following in my last update:

“…this goal could be completed by running one mile, every day, for 90 days. Personally, I would much rather get ahead and stay ahead.”

So yeah, I dropped off pace and fell behind, but I’m right back in it and set to get ahead again. Lesson here? Simple. Just because you fall behind, doesn’t mean your goal is out of reachit just means playing catch up will suck. And catching up DOES suck, but it’s not impossible.

Going for 90 miles in 90 days might not be the biggest goal in the world, but it’s MY goal. And with just over 30 days left to go, I can’t wait to crush it in the next few weeks.

Sidenote / reminder: if you need motivation to start running or to keep running, get on Twitter (or Instagram) and search #nikeplus and keep up with my journey to 90 by searching #90in90. 

90 Miles in 90 Days: Update #1

Two weeks ago, as a result of being inspired – or kind of freaked out – by being 3 months out from my upcoming wedding and not really in the shape I want to be, I set a personal goal to complete 90 miles in 90 days. That’s it. Whatever else comes with it – changes in diet, workout routine, etc – is secondary. I’ve made many attempts over the last year or so to re-establish my running routine and this (so far) is working. With that said, and since today is 14 days in, I thought it would be a good time for an initial progress update.

Keep in mind, this goal could be completed by running one mile, every day, for 90 days. Personally, I would much rather get ahead and stay ahead.

With that said, I’ve completed 18 miles over the last two weeks, which means I’m 20% of the way to my goal and 4 miles ahead of schedule. What helps make that stat even better is that I’ve only run 8 times over 14 days with an average distance of 2.25 miles/run with an average pace of 9:50/mile. Any run around 2 miles has been completed in under 20 minutes, and any run around 3 miles right at the 30 minute mark. All good things that can only get better.

Thank you to those who have cheered me on in person or online. It’s always great to get that cheering noise from the Nike+ app! In addition to tracking via Nike & RunKeeper, I also upload progress after every run to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram – usually with the standard “#dropNgimme20” that I borrowed from the amazing Malinda Matney as well as from my wife-to-be, Tammi.

Sidenote: if you need motivation to start running or to keep running, get on Twitter (or Instagram) and search #nikeplus. There is an amazing community of runners out there. 

I’m not going to be winning any 5K’s any time soon. However, I am rebuilding my endurance and running on a more regular basis. While it would be great to crank out a sub-20 minute 3 mile like I used to, that’s not the primary goal.

The goal is 90 in 90 – and I’m on my way.

COMMIT to Wellness

Let me be clear from the onset – never in my life have I ever been overly concerned with the idea of wellness. Sure, I’ve focused here and there on losing some weight, got back into running, and even ate a few carrots rather than a few cookies. However, I have never put a significant amount of effort into my own personal wellness. 

Now that I am in the field of student affairs (and have been for a few years), I find myself often wanting to make healthier choices when it comes to my personal well-being. I find myself encouraging students (and often other colleagues) to do the same. Ed Cabellon hit the nail on the head – asking how can we serve our students when we are not well? Truth is, we probably can, but not nearly to the capacity we could if were well…not even close.

So, as part of my #oneword2013 to commit this year, I am throwing down the gauntlet and making a solid commitment to my personal health. My two big focal points? Smarter food choices and giving myself the kick in the rear I’ve been needing to put the running shoes back on.

Nutrition

With the new year comes a new outlook toward my dietary habits, which – to be honest – have been kind of hit or miss as of late. However, I have noticed that I haven’t been eating out nearly as much over the last few months. It also helps to know that that I haven’t been going overboard with sweets and snacks. All that aside though, I still have some work to do when it comes to how/what I eat. So, a few bullets of my commitment to nutrition in 2013 look something like this:

  • Logging what I eat/drink using the Lose It! app

I began using Lose It! at some point in the early fall last year with not much success initially. However, I re-discovered it later and it proved to be pretty useful. It not only tracks meals and snacks throughout the day, but it lets you set a specific weight loss goal and track calorie intake/output so you can reach that goal. I will say that last year I did lose a good 10 lbs, which was tracked using this app. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I gained it all back over the holidays…ugh.

  • Cook at Home / Pack my Lunch

Speaking of putting on pounds through food – I grew up as a child of the fast-food nation. And while that statement sounds like a great beginning to a novel, it still remains the truth. In the past, I would eat fast-food once or twice a day – almost every day like clockwork Just thinking about that makes me want to vomit. Now, I’ll swing by McD’s or Subway every now and again at work, but not nearly as often. With Tammi here now (and for the past 4 months) we cook much more often and even though there’s only two of us, we seem to cook for four. And yes – I do cook…just not as often as Tammi. Still though, we hardly ever have a shortage of leftovers, which means I rarely ever have to go “out” for lunch.

Running

Though it sounds cliche, 2013 is my year. I have spent far too long not running consistently like I used to. I’ve run more so far this month alone than I did in all of the last three months of last year combined – and for me, that’s saying something. But I’ve fallen back in love with the one sport that I’m relatively decent at and have begun to make a habit of it again. So, again, 2013 is my year for running and I plan to commit to it by:

  • Running at least 1000 miles before the end of the year
  • Entering and finishing no less than 12 5k races – preferably one per month
  • Participating in at least one Warrior Dash/Spartan Race event in 2013
  • Entering and finishing a half-marathon in the fall
  • Tracking my progress with RunKeeper and Nike+ apps

The first of those goals (1000 miles in 2013) is probably the one I am focusing on the most. In 2012, Tammi and I challenged each other to 366 miles in 366 days. Neither of us “won” because neither of us got close. I plan to not only smash through that mark this year, but blast past it completely and I’m already on my way. Tracking progress towards that goal has gotten much easier as well – utilizing the apps above and the various features within them.

Stay on Course…

Like all “good resolutions”, none of this means anything if it isn’t put into action. Being specific in my goals helps immensely, but I am also thankful to have the support of an amazing significant other, co-workers/friends, and an online student affairs wellness pledge group who have helped keep me accountable thus far. I’m already keeping track of my progress, running consistently, and already eating much better. I’m not planning to go overboard on the wellness idea, but it feels good to know that it is a significant item in my world now where it wasn’t so much in the past.

How are you planning to commit to your personal wellness this year? 

One Word 2013: COMMIT

Let’s start with the obvious – it’s been a few days *cough* almost a year *cough* since I updated last. Funny enough, that provides a fantastic segway into this post. 2012 is behind us and now 2013 presents us all with yet another opportunity to set resolutions…and likely give up on half to all of them. Case in point, I thought 2012 was going to bring me back into the blogging fold a little more often. Oops.

Last year, I joined Mallory Bower and Becca Obergefell as well as many others in student affairs and elsewhere to set what would be my one word resolution  (#oneword2012 or #oneword365), which was focused on the idea of PUSHThis idea behind choosing push was not to push back, but to push forward. In some areas, I feel I was successful, but not nearly to the extent I could have been. This year, as cliche as it sounds, things are going to be a little (a lot) different. Reflecting back on the highs and lows of the past year, and evaluating how push impacted it, my #oneword2013 is COMMIT. 

This seems fitting not just for me, but I think for many others out there as well. We all make choices and too often, those choices lead us into projects, challenges, resolutions, etc that we just cannot finish for one reason or another. In 2012, I wanted to push myself and but came up short. Maybe it was because I didn’t set a clear strategy of how to do that ahead of time. Maybe it was because I got complacent at times. Regardless, there are things to be done this year that I not only want to do, but are things I feel that I need to do.

My strategy to commit in 2013 initially focuses on four areas:

  1. Professional Development
  2. Running / Fitness
  3. Family
  4. Other* (this has potential to expand outward a lot I think…)

Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll go into more detail as to what each of these areas consist of and how I plan to commit to each one and how I will push myself towards the overall end goals. I’ll also explore the potential challenges associated with this goal. But today, I will end with a quote from Chris Esparza, a very energetic and inspiring individual who I met last May through my experience with the LeaderShape Institute. Chris was offering up lessons that he learned throughout the week and his lesson #4 hit home with me the strongest. He said:

LESSON 4: Stay on Course.
“There is meaning in everything we do. Stay with what lights you up.”

This statement is, at least to me, very poignant. There is meaning in everything we do.  Even the most trivial, most mundane, most spontaneous, or the most planned out activity has some meaning behind it. Stay on course, commit to what you love and have fun.

I’m on a mission to commit this year- how will you commit in 2013? Feel free to share through comments and/or via email

P.S. – I’ve been trying (nay, pushing) to find an opportunity to utilize that quote for months.