Friday, October 19, 2012

Brilliant: I won a pair of $150 Mizunos

Look what just came in the mail today! Sincerest thanks to my friends at @MizunoRunning and their Mezamashii Run Project for the new Wave Creation 13 running shoes. "Mezamashii" is the Japanese word for "brilliant" or "eye-opening," and I entered their contest by posting a story early this summer about my "most brilliant run" -- running through rain all day and proposing to Lisa at the finish line of the 2009 New Jersey Marathon. Mizuno informed me last Friday that I had won shoes, so I was able to pick out a pair on their site, choose the color, call their customer service with my winning code and say which pair I wanted, and voila, they are here 16 days before I run the New York City Marathon. Think I have time to break them in enough to use them in that race? I am going to give it a shot. Read my winning post >

I am one of at least a couple of thousand winners of shoes in the Mezamashii Run Project, and unfortunately I was not emailed in time to have a chance to beat the Sept. 15 deadline to win a trip to run in the 2012 Osaka Marathon on Nov. 25. That would be brilliant! Thanks to my friend Michelle (@nycrunningmama, follow her) for telling me about the contest! Part of me wonders if this is karma, because last December I donated eight of the 11 pairs of my used running shoes to Soles 4 Souls, so that they could be worn by needy people around the world. Read that post here and see how you can do the same. Here is a look at the new Wave Creation 13s -- my first Mizunos. Even King Bingley gave them his immediate sniff of approval:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Turn any day into a great one

Yesterday I listened to my body, and it told me it was bored.

I drove down to Central Park in the morning and attempted to do a 20-mile long training run by myself, against the normal counterclockwise flow of runner/biker traffic. I had run a 3:47:07 NYC Marathon Tuneup 18-Miler the Sunday before and I figured I would run a similar route only reverse course, removing the steep Cat Hill incline, or maybe just do one loop and then run around the whole island of Manhattan. All I got was tedium, changing music along the way, trying to stay in the moment. I was only 34 days away from the Nov. 4 ING NYC Marathon, but I felt blah and unpushed. After 6 miles, I was at Columbus Circle and I just bailed, called it a 6-miler, kind of disappointed.

Two things happened after that.

I watched this premiere episode of "On The Run" from the New York Road Runners, who stage the NYC Marathon and all my regular weekend races. Look for the incredible story of the "One Spirit Runners" from the Lakota reservation of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and see how inspired you are as they prepare to send some of their own to the NYC Marathon as a once-in-a-lifetime event. It made me appreciate what am doing much more, as this will be my 10th marathon overall and third NYCM. I look forward to running with them. I needed that!

Secondly, my wife said, "Why don't you just go to the gym?" TWO A DAYS, I thought.

It went from a dismal training day to one of my best ones. NEVER GIVE UP.

Speedrope training, 8 sessions...

10 roundhouse kicks each side on big bags from taekwondo black belt routines, 3 sets...

As you can see, I tried to shake it up, introduce new (or old) wrinkles, confuse my muscles, have some fun, get my heartrate way up. Mostly I worked on my legs. I used the standing squat press with free weights for three sets. I hit all the leg machines and did 15 reps x 3 sets on each. In the gym I also did 100 crunches plus 50 leglifts, lots of stretching.

Instead of looking at my 20-mile long run as a failed 6-miler, I was able to look at my day as a lap around hilly Central Park, a great gym sessions, strength training plus running, and an inspiring video.

33 days to 5 boroughs. How do you turn a bad day into a good one?