Making my miles count

One of the podcasts I regularly listen to is the Mickey Miles Podcast.

Back in December 2013 there were a couple of episodes (episodes 129 and 130) where they had guests talking about overcoming personal obstacles to train and achieve their running goals. These episodes were definitely an inspiration to me and show what can be achieved by people that I decided to see how I can take all the benefits that running has given me and pay it forward.

Over the weekend I wrote an email to them to say thank you and today they published this as an open letter on their blog. Although there have been a couple of minor edits to the email so it reads as a blog post this essentially shares my thoughts on how I can make my miles count for something.

Here is the link to the blog posting on their site.

I hope that after listening to these shows you are similarly inspired.

January 2014 – month in review

Janaury 2014 - Nike+ Summary

Janaury 2014 –
Nike+ Summary

Wow. What an incredible month. I cannot believe it is over so quickly. I’m actually sad to see it go as I had some of my best memories since I began running this month.

As you will probably know if you follow this blog or have read any of the recent race recap posts my big event this month was the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend and namely the Inaugural Dopey Challenge. What an amazing time I had down in Orlando. Although my family was not able to make the trip with me I met up with so many wonderful old and new friends and fellow bloggers. I had the most incredible 5 days from the Expo to the Marathon. Even with the 4 days of early wake ups I was feeling great and even at the end I felt I could have gone on for another day. All the training I had put in paid off and I felt fresh a couple of days after the race.

You can read the recaps here (Expo, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon). You can also check out the following episodes of the Mickey Miles Podcast (Episodes 138 and 139) where Kimberly Markey and I shared our experiences with Michelle and Mike.

Showing off the hardware

Showing off the hardware

From the event I raised $3,805 (so far) for Autism Speaks. I hope they will have me back next year as I aim to take my three year fundraising total to $10,000 (2013 through 2015).

I also signed up for a running team, the ‘Mickey Milers‘, set up by Michelle and Mike of the Mickey Miles Podcast with a goal of raising funds for the ‘Give Kids The World Village‘ in Orlando, Florida. Please take a look and consider joining whether you are a runDisney fan or not.  Thanks.

So what is next for me? Well, I’m back in training for the New Jersey Marathon coming up at the end of April. I ran this last year and had a bit of a disappointment as I missed my goal. This is a revisit of sorts but also they hope to have the course back to the pre-Hurricane Sandy route. I look forward to that. I also have the Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon at the end of March and the Hot Chocolate 15K in early April so a lot to look forward to. I am considering another couple of local races, the Bucks County Half Marathon in April (which I ran in 2011 and 2012) and Chasing the Unicorn Marathon in August, but I have yet to make the decision (giving my Visa card a rest for a few weeks).

Also looking ahead I plan to become more involved where I can with the local chapter of the Achilles Foundation. I hope to be able to run as a guide for some upcoming events. I met with the chapter in Philadelphia just before New Year and I will be taking my first training run as a guide this weekend. I will keep you posted on that as I am very much looking forward to sharing the run experience with some new running friends.

It’s been a busy month and a great way to start the year. Now the only thing to deal with is the weather. I have taken most of my runs indoors over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully it will not be an extreme winter but whatever happens we know that Spring is just around the corner.

Looking forward to February. Thank you for reading.

2013 – Looking back and forward

Today marks the last day of 2013 and the first full year keeping this blog up to date. It has been a most enjoyable experience writing my recaps, my thoughts and communicating with folks from all over through the comments and on Facebook. Thank you for your support.

2013 was a very busy year running wise with approximately 1,744 miles run (and a few chasing my kids which didn’t get recorded).

2013 Summary - Nike+

2013 Summary – Nike+

I started this blog at the beginning of the year to recap on the Walt Disney World ‘Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge’ and finished this year writing about my training for the 2014 Walt Disney World ‘Dopey Challenge’. That’s a great start and end to my year. You can read all my race recaps here. The year included 3 full marathons and 5 half marathons. Most of these I had the pleasure of running with my wife (she ran 2 full marathons and 5 half marathons). It wasn’t a big year for PR’s but I did squeeze a fast 10K run (fast for me) in the fall. Overall I just enjoyed running with family and friends and staying fit and healthy which is what counts the most. PR’s will come I have no doubt.

2013 took me running across the country to San Francisco where my wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary by running the 2013 San Francisco Half Marathon. That was such a great trip. We ran everyday to sightsee and walked all over the City. A great place to visit.

So now I am planning for 2014 and some upcoming races. On the slate for now (confirmed and paid up) are:

January – Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge (4 race, 4 days, 48.6 miles)

March – The Love Run, Philadelphia (Half Marathon)

April – Hot Chocolate 15K (Philadelphia)

April – New Jersey Marathon

My wife and I also entered our names into the lottery for the 2014 New York City Marathon and we will find out if we get in around the end of March. We do have a couple of other races in the hopper should we not get in, but we will wait and see.

Distance running is individual sport (no one else can put the miles in for you) but there are ways to use it to good effect. Back in January I raised a total of $3,406 for Autism Speaks running the Goofy Challenge. In 2014 I will be running the Dopey Challenge again to raise funds for Autism Speaks and as at the time of writing I have raised a total of $3,555. I was also inspired by watching a friend guide a blind athlete during the Trenton Half Marathon to look into becoming a guide for future events. This week I ran with the local chapter of the Achilles Foundation and in doing so introduced myself to the group and hope to be involved in some capacity working with them to volunteer as a guide during some races in 2014. I look forward to the opportunity.

Again, I would like to thank you all for taking time over the year to read my posts and wish you all the very best for the New Year.

Thank you.