Monday, December 31, 2012

Feeling Like A Kid - New Adventures In 2013

A few days ago, Tani and I took our kids to the Big Apple Circus. It was a first for our daughter who is nearly 3 and the experience was a wonderful reminder for me. The expression of awe and sheer joy on her face reminded me once again how raw and special it can be to try something new. I know every year when I set a new goal the excitement of that endeavour keeps me motivated. When the moment is upon me like this past year and I am standing at over 6,000 feet on the edge of the Grand Canyon or 263 feet below sea level at the start of the Badwater Ultramarathon, I feel like a little kid again. It's a sensation that never grows old and I can't find a reason we should ever lose that. It's called living no?

On that note, I am looking forward to many new and exciting challenges this year. Some that I am aware of and hopefully some that will just come along and surprise me. While I will be running several races I have run before, because I love them, I have also decided to step way out of my comfort zone and push myself harder in 2013.

First, My goal is to complete an Ironman in 2014 and to that end, I will be competing in my first two triathlons this summer.  Beginning in July with an Olympic distance in NYC and then a Half Ironman in New Hampshire the following month. With no real swimming experience other than a few workouts way back in my sophomore year in high school and zero road bike experience this will be interesting.

On the running front, I will run several 50 milers in the spring and a new 100 miler up in Massachusetts in June. The "Big Dog" however will come in September. The longest continuous run I have completed is 155 miles and it took me 45.5 hours in August 2011 (The Catskill 155). I have decided with Tani's support of course, that I am going to run 48 hours straight in an attempt to cover 200 miles. Like the Catskill 155 this will be a solo effort and not a formal race. There will be more to come on this in the coming months as the planning takes shape. One thing I can say with great certainty, this challenge will push me beyond all limits I perceive and make me feel like a kid again. Or maybe it will just make me cry like a baby:)

As always, all of my runs (and triathlons) will be in support of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation raising money and awareness for much needed research to find new treatments and a cure for Multiple Myeloma.

I hope everyone finds a way to feel like a kid again this year. Let me know what you have planned. Peace and Have A Great Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 - Success, Pride, Tragedy and Hope!

I could not possibly cover all the events and people that have impacted my life this year. There is no question the year was incredible from a running standpoint for me. The most memorable of these moments would have to be the Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim adventure with my friend Matt, and of course the Badwater Ultramarathon which I completed in July while raising more than $45,000 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Here are all the links for the numerous posts I wrote about each.

Badwater: Training, Letter From My Son, Thanks, Video, Sats, The Journey

The Grand Canyon, Rim2Rim2Rim

More importantly however, were the accomplishments of those closest to me, my wife and children. I love running and all the benefits it brings to my life. In fact as I have said many times, running has changed my entire family's life in immeasurable ways. But what I enjoy most is standing on the sidelines watching the ones I love accomplish their goals and make their dreams come true. Here are some of the highlights from 2012.

Jared is our 13 year old son and we have watched as he has grown into a caring, intelligent and committed young man. In March he became a Bar-Mitzvah, which in the Jewish religion is the time when young men ceremoniously and hopefully realistically become accountable, being morally and ethically responsible for their own decisions and actions. Don't worry, he won't be leaving home anytime soon but this was a very special day.

Nothing like a good Hora!
Kyle is our 11 year old son and he too is an amazing boy. As if I would say anything else about this sweet, bright and strong child of ours. This past May, Kyle decided he wanted to run his first 10k. Not just any 10k, but TNF Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain which is hands down one of the most demanding and technical trail race series you can run. The full story is posted here in a narrative about my inspirational boys. Below is one of my favorite pictures of Kyle with Tani by his side, giving it all in the home stretch with bloody knees and a 2nd place age group finish.
Even the dudes in the background are amazed!
My sweet sweet little girl Isla. Nearly three now, I have been pushing and carrying her across finish lines since she was born. This year she ran across her very first finish line by my side at the MMRF Race For Research. And if that wasn't enough, she started pre-school in the Fall and went potty all by herself. Wooohooo!
"Not only do I make on the potty, I am really freaking cute"
And you know I always have something to say about my amazing wife Tani. Over the years I have watched her gain confidence through yoga, boot camp and being a Mom. She has also methodically been ramping up her running, a sport she never felt comfortable with and in fact a number of years ago said she could never do because of bad knees from soccer. Well, once again proof that you should never give up on something if you have a dream. This year Tani completed her first half marathon at The North Face Endurance Challenge in DC. I know she was not thrilled with her time on a very muddy single track course. In my eyes, she won the whole damn thing as she picked up our daughter and sloshed her way to the finish line. You totally rock babe and I always knew you could do it.
That's right!!!

There are a few other events from the year that stand out and I know we will never forget. Many if not all of us were impacted/affected in one way or another by Super Storm Sandy and the murders in Newtown, CT. Despite the devastation and loss of life what I have seen in the aftermath has been nothing short of inspirational. I know it's not perfect, but I am truly moved as our communities have come together in the ultimate sign of strength to support each other and find ways to recover. It gives me hope and makes me want to do something to make our communities better! I think Ann Curry of NBC got it right. In support of the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Ann proposed performing 26 acts of kindness. Think about the impact if we all do that. 26 acts which will benefit someone else without regard to what that can do for you. Our family is in and will commit to this during 2013!

We were so very fortunate to have Anita in our lives until her passing on May 30, 2012 after a long battle with Multiple Myeloma. Those who follow this blog know how amazing and strong she was. She always had a smile on her face and never had a bad word to say about anything or anyone. Anita was positive energy at its best and is of course one of the primary inspirations behind Just A Mile To Go. She enjoyed every day and believed that all days, even the tough ones, were great.

In that spirit, my family and I wish everyone years and years of Great Days.

Peace, Love and Happiness,
Tani, Eric, Jared, Kyle and Isla

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Get Ready....The Challenge - Tani vs Eric II

Some may recall, some may not and others might not give a shit. This past January Tani and I competed in our own little biggest loser competition, The Challenge: Tani vs Eric. Although a natural result of The Challenge, the intent wasn't to lose weight. The purpose was to cleanse, recoup and get back on track after a fun filled holiday season that lasted nearly 2 months. Basically, after a lapse in exercise diligence fueled by our pursuit of drinking endurance and eating indulgence it was time to have a different kind of fun. So we decided to use a loosely based diet program and our own exercise plans while engaging in a little friendly competition. Tani kicked my ass by the way and you can see the results of season 1 here!

With just a couple of weeks until 2013 we have decided to do it again. Beginning on January 2 we will once again step into the ring and do battle. Nothing better than a public display of Husband vs Wife in a winner take all competition. If, or rather when I win, I will be dubbed King of the World for 1 year. Tani is still thinking about what she wants to play for so please send suggestions (although it doesn't matter because this year belongs me). By the way right now Tani is rolling her eyes and calling me a dork.

The Competition
Our diet will again be based in part on the Diet Solutions Program. This is not a binge diet, although we kind of use it that way, but it is a way of life, promoting moderation, control, organic health and fitness (key components no alcohol, no sugar, no dairy and no wheat). We will also get back into our various work out routines.

Rules
There are none. Each combatant can make up his or her own as they go but we do encourage each other along the way to "stick to the plan".

Results
We will post what we eat and drink as well as our workouts each day. We will also describe how we are feeling (energized, tired, cranky, etc). When the competition begins we will take our vitals so to speak (weight, percentage body fat, inches from several places). At the end of each week we will again take our measurements and post the results for comparison. At the end of the month we will tally the final results and declare a winner (me:)

On a side note, and to be fair. I hate being fair. Tani has manged to maintain through the entire year and as of now is at exactly the same weight she was at the end of the first competition. I on the other hand have taken full advantage of my time off and anticipate ballooning to and beyond my weight from last year. That is, my weight before the competition:) Is that an unfair advantage in a competition with no rules? I think not.

Looking forward to sharing our experience with everyone again.

Peace and Have A Great Day!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Recharging My Batteries Sucks!

I have been thinking way too hard lately about what to write and have struggled to come up with anything I find relevant or entertaining. No races, big runs or great fundraising to talk about either. I have however been busy planning, plotting and purchasing for next year.  Once again I have decided to take the last 7 or 8 weeks of the year off. Not from being active, but training. As much as I despise this I feel it is necessary to recharge my brain and body for another great year.

If I feel like running, well then I run.

If I feel like eating, I heat up a brownie and put some vanilla ice cream on top of it.

If I feel like sleeping in, I hit snooze over and over again.

If I feel like swimming, I wear my Speedo (my wife loves when I wear my Speedo).

If I feel like drinking, I get drunk (my wife loves this too).

Point is, this is the time of year when I live my life with little regard for the specific challenges that lay ahead. Basically a free for all. If my brain says it, I do it without the usual self motivating pressure that keeps me pushing towards that next goal. It seems like it should be relaxing right? Enjoy the holiday season with not a care in the world. Just let it all happen and whatever will be will be. Should be easy! Well shit, if that's the case why am I so anxious, tense, frustrated and uneasy. I know I need this but I fucking hate it.

OK now that I got that off my chest I am going to go get a beer because I feel I like it:)

Tomorrow I am going to run, because I feel like that too.

Peace and Have A Great Day!
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