Thursday, November 5, 2015

2015-16 ASICS Ambassador - But Really For A Decade Now

ASICS is a way of life for me, ever since I traded a box of KOOLS for a box of ASICS and became a Central Park runner on Dec. 1, 2006. Now that I am about to start a year-long celebration leading up to my 10th runnerversary (!!!), I am PSYCHED to announce that my friends at ASICS have chosen me as one of 16 #TeamASICS Ambassadors for 2015-16.

What it will mean for you and friends who follow me here and @Marathoner on Twitter is...

Monday, October 19, 2015

"You Better Run" to the Runners World Half Marathon

That's me in the Pat Benatar concert shirt with runner friends Larisa, Karla and Kristin, and crossing the finish line. Below, that's my #FlatBenatar from midnight the night before. Here is what happened at the legendary 2015 Runners World Half Marathon & Festival..

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

One Year With No Diet Sodas

By Mark | One year ago today I stopped drinking diet sodas for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Extreme Heat or Extreme Cold?

By Mark | After doing this @Marathoner stuff for nearly a decade, I decided to list as many pros as I could for running in the most extreme heat and the most extreme cold.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Did you think you could stop the future? Meet QUANTUM-MAN!

"This is your become the hero."

"The suit has power."

"Did you think you could stop the future?"

"I need you to be...the QUANTUM-MAN!"

By Mark
| Thanks to ASICS for sending me a pair of the brand-new GEL-Quantum 360 running shoes to review. At first, I had to "marvel" at their appearance. They are part of an action-hero costume, with thick individual gel "teeth" that offer spring for bouncing up to the top of our New York City buildings, and a secret power that shall be revealed below.

Monday, July 20, 2015

NYC Marathon Long Training Runs

My 2014 #LongTrainingRun #1 used bib
Update: I ran 15 miles in 3:05:37 on 7/25/15.

By Mark 
@marathoner | I have been a member of New York Road Runners since December 2006, and one of my go-to events on their calendar is a race that is not technically scored. It is the New York City Marathon #LongTrainingRun #1 coming this Saturday at Central Park, followed a month later by New York City Marathon Long Training Run #2. Even in years when I have not run the NYCM, I have entered one or both of these events because they are such awesome preparation for any races on your schedule. Such is the case this time, as I am entered in the NYCM but will not be able to run due to work obligations. We are starting the World Series later than usual this year, so Game 4 is Marathon Eve and I'll be immersed in the national pastime.

My 2012 #LongTrainingRun #1 bib.
I thought other runners might appreciate seeing with graphics how the LTRs are conducted, and you can see why these always sell out. Below are four versions of the Central Park map. The park's running path is 6 miles around. As you can see on the NYRR event page, LTR1 is listed as "6 to 20 miles." It is entirely up to the individual runner, based on his or her training progress. Pace teams are provided from 7 minutes to 11 minutes. I have no expectations for this one, since I am in reboot mode following All-Star work and a personal life project in recent months.

There is no timing tag, although there will be clocks on the course, pace groups, volunteers and fluid stations, plus gels. Here's how it works:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Meet my new friend.

Thanks to my brother-in-law Joe for hooking me up with one of his trusty rides, a Schwinn Circuit. It has everything I need and I just need to do a tape job on the handlebars. The benefit for me is going to be big, a way not only to cross-train heading toward upcoming marathons, but also just to keep it fresh as I zoom toward my 10th runnerversary in 2016. You gotta mix things up.

Sweet ride, nice to meet you. It's been a long time since I actually rode a bike, believe it or not. Here we go! Follow me @Marathoner on Twitter and @Marath0ner on Instagram.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sports Medicine PT Stefanie Bourassa #runHMF Chat Transcript

The Hartford Marathon Foundation just ran a helpful #askHMF Twitter chat at @RunHMF with senior sports med physical therapist Stefanie Bourassa. Learn about Stefanie and her team at Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network on their blog.

Idiots rock

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thank you, Mary - a true leader in the field

By Mark | Last Sunday, I finished the Japan Run 4-miler at Central Park, and it was a familiar scene toward the end. I was in my fourth mile, running down West Drive past the Shakespeare Garden...and a woman was running by me and all runners in the opposite direction, shouting "Good job!" as she ran.

That was Mary Wittenberg as I will always remember her.

It was my 116th race. The first one was in December of 2006, when I was a quitting smoker wondering how I would do in a Joe Kleinerman 10K around the park. The race director said to us runners over the loudspeakers as she completed her pre-race remarks, "Start easy and finish hard."

That was Mary Wittenberg as I will always remember her.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Training for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half

By Rachel | Hi, everyone! As you may know I'm running the Airbnb BrooklynHalf on May 16 with Mark (@marathoner). I ran my first half marathon in The Hamptons last September (right) and the Staten Island Half two weeks later!

I originally had really big goals (for me) for this race and planned on following my New York Road Runners training plan religiously. I really wanted a sub-2-hour half. Unfortunately, right before my training plan started, I increased my mileage way too fast. Next thing I knew I had a plantar fascia strain and couldn't run for two weeks. After that I jumped right back into my plan like nothing happened. I then pulled my gluteus medius. I shouldn't have been so surprised, considering I was increasing my mileage way, way too fast!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New: ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17

Thanks to #TeamASICS for sending me these ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17s! Looking forward to breaking in these new rides as we train toward the Airbnb Brooklyn Half on May 16.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Race of the New Emoji

Green is the start line. Race of the Emoji from iOS 8.3. Ready, set, go.

We run together.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Andreas Lubitz Story: The Son, The Father, The Drive

In the interest of helping investigators discover the who and why after a tragedy and correcting a lot of mistakes I am finding in the media coverage, I started researching the running history of Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who crashed the Germanwings airliner, and found a wealth of telling information about him. Running played a key and timely role in what reportedly became an ultimately fatal battle with mental health. I believe we can learn a lot about what made this overpronating, 7-pace enigma from Germany tick by looking at what he loved, and I hope that this research may prove useful in some way. I learned that he stopped running races for at least the past year, and per a runner comment below I think that could be telling; a person diagnosed with depression who sees running as an outlet might be greatly affected by no longer utilizing that outlet that had served him so well during the past half-decade. Based on feedback from other runners, I also feel this shines a light on the fact that a fair number of runners use this individual sport -- which is all about personal discovery, goal-setting, self-improvement, ambition and hopefulness -- to deal with depression and anxiety, and to a larger degree just the stress of everyday life.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

United Airlines NYC Half Recap

By Mark | Sunday's United Airlines NYC Half was my 22nd half-marathon and 111th overall race since I traded a box of KOOLS for a box of ASICS on Dec. 1, 2006. I finished this one with a net time of 2:40:10, compared to 2:26:01 in 2007, 2:46:51 in 2009 and 2:27:45 in 2012. It was perfect running weather in the 40s and a great event. Here's my recap of the weekend, and really it all comes down to that unmatched thrill of taking over Times Square:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gear Review: Yaktrax and Deer Tracks

Years ago, an outdoor adventurer was exploring the Himalayas and encountered a seasoned Sherpa striding confidently across the slick and icy surface. What was seen on the Sherpa's feet sparked a revolutionary invention -- the Yaktrax patented coil traction device.

That is how the company began, modeled after the Tibetan Yak. I decided to give their Yaktrax Pro slip-ons a try, with deer rather than yak as companions. The company reached out and sent a pair to me and Rachel for review. We have been inundated with snow and ice in 2015 here in the New York City area, but I have the United NYC Half in less than two weeks and need to get off the dreadmill and be accustomed to elements.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hospital for Special Surgery Chat Transcript

The United NYC Half is coming up on March 15, and while training for that I followed this helpful Facebook chat conducted today by physical therapist Mike Silverman of the Hospital for Special Surgery. Here is an edited transcript of that chat, which I think will be beneficial to all runners. I recommend following @HSpecialSurgery on Twitter like I do. - Mark

Friday, February 13, 2015

Gear Review: ASICS Abby Tank & Tiger Capri

By Rachel | First, I want to thank ASICS for letting me choose any outfit I wanted from their ASICS Meatpacking District Store! I chose this Abby Tank and the Tiger Capri instead of clothes for FREEZING weather. To be honest, I can't stand running in weather this cold. It has been in the teens almost every morning. It is just so hard for me to motivate myself to get outside for a run.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Countdown to 2015 TCS New York City Marathon

This includes updated info below on the 50% increase in lottery entries in 2015!

So there I was at the doctor's office, dealing with a deep cough, and continuously reloading the TCS New York City Marathon signup page as the clock hit high noon. I had my credit card ready, already had a tweet composed, and was determined to be the very first runner to claim guaranteed entry for the November 1, 2015, race. I would be the first signup. That, of course, is when the good doctor walked into my room and began the checkup.

Alas, I had to wait 15 minutes before entering, but it's DONE. I'm in. That's how I excited I get when it comes time to claim that guaranteed entry. It's something I and many others work so hard for during the course of a year, running at least nine scored New York Road Runners races and volunteering for another so we can get that all-important 9+1 exemption. It guarantees entry for the following year's NYC Marathon. I will always do 9+1 as long as I'm able in life.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

An Evening With ASICS Teammates

Thanks to NYC Marathon veteran runner Noelle from ASICS America HQ in Southern California for treating a batch of us ASICS bloggers in New York to an awesome night on the town! Left to right are Erika @bgg2wl, Gregg @nycsweat, Famous ASICS Mannequin, Noelle @run_noelle_run, Megan @runlikeagrl, Grace @leangirlsclub and yours truly @Marathoner.

We met tonight at the ASICS Meatpacking District Store next to my MLB HQ, and first there was a 4-mile run along the Financial District path to World Trade Center area and back. One of the best runs I've had in a long time, solid pace in the 9s. Then it was back to #ASICSMeatpacking for some shopping, courtesy of ASICS. "Pick out an outfit" are some of the coolest words I hear, and I asked if it was OK to do my random shopping for Rachel, our 19-year-old runner who is a contributor on this blog. (I'll let Rachmo show you the outfit in her upcoming gear review of it!)