Monday, May 30, 2011

Rain, Rain, Please Stay for the Vermont City Marathon!

I hope everyone celebrated Memorial Day in memory of our troops and in good company in near a Weber Grill or a Smoker. Irene and I took the weekend to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary with about 7,000 runners (about 3,600 full marathoners and the rest being part of a relay team) in the 2011 KeyBank Vermont City Marathon, which started and ended in the city of Burlington.

The weekend was the first time we did not have one of the kids limbs such as a foot or arm smack us across the face and wake us up. While it was a strange feeling not having a small hand hold our hands, we enjoyed getting away from the kids. More like the kids really enjoyed their break from Mom and Dad!

JetBlue landed us in the Burlington International Airport early on Saturday. I think it has to be the smallest airport I have ever flown into, even smaller than our local Islip McArthur Airport. It was a quick transition from baggage claim to the road in our rental driving towards the Marathon Expo at the Sheraton Burlington.

After receiving my Bib, Shirt and Goody Bag, we walked the expo floor looking for some special deals that did not reveal themselves. Usually we skip the seminars, but this time I wanted to listen to a World Record Holder, Laura Skladzinski. She happens to be the youngest female to run a marathon in all 50 States. Her journey started at this Marathon 3 years ago! The most important thing she said was “Enjoy the race, it’s not about the PR, have fun.” Or something like that. Basically keep things in perspective.

Burlington is a really nice city with Church Street being its trendy pedestrian only Main Street. It is only 4 blocks long packed with quaint shops and eateries. Later that night we carbed up at the Famous Bove’s of Vermont, which is on its 3rd Generation. They are known for their sauce, and a few years back, Mark Bove’s Lasagna went head to head with Bobby Flay Lasagna Dish on Food Networks’s Throw Down. He actually lost, but we really enjoyed it, especially the prices for the amount of food we received!

The next morning, Irene left before I did and walked over to the Food Tent to volunteer handing out recovery food for the racers, which consisted of Pretzels, Raisins, Beef Jerky, Oranges, Cabot Cheddar, and Yogurt. I waited as long as I could to avoid the raindrops on my shoes.

The Hilton of Burlington was steps away from the start and finish, which was super convenient and allowed us a few minutes of extra ZZZ’s, if we so chose to take. However, it’s Marathon Morning and I was excited to run a new Personal Record!

I met up with Laura again, who was pacing the 4:30 group. I soaked up the energy and my shoes soaked up the rain. As long as it keeped raining, I would be fine. Around 7:55am, we all faced toward the starting gate, put our hands on our hearts and sang our National Anthem. We then shuffled forward, walked, jogged then trotted passed the start.

The consistent rain and drizzle keep the temperatures cooler, and my pace just ahead of the 4:30 pace. The rain kept a shroud on one of the “10 Most Scenic Marathons” by Runner's World magazine. As the Weather Channel forcasted, the Sun came out! I chanted, “Rain, Rain, Please Stay!” as I felt myself slowing down with the annoyance of a growing blister on my right arch and my pinky toe.

Then John Paul popped to my left, yes he has the same name as the Pope…Anyway, he said that Laura was a few steps behind. I encouraged him to keep going. At around the 13 mile mark, Laura with the 4:30 sign in her hand came up on my right, and the group proceeded with out looking backL By that time, my left groin and both calves were cramping up. Several minutes later, the 4:45 pace group, passed me by.

By this time, I slowed to a walk to minimize my cramping, and I looked at my watch to figure out how much time I had to get my time at least under 5:00. Suffice it to say, it did not look good. I started alternating running and walking method, but I was too far gone to make up the time.

The changing scenes during the race that included hills, city streets, suburban neighborhood streets, highways, trails and a park made the race unique. One outstanding feature included tiny puddles, large puddles, mud, plywood on top of mud, and more mud! Now about the hills, if you go up a hill, usually there is some kind of downhill. With this race, it seemed that I climbed up more uphills than I decended down?!?

One my coaches at Team for Kids suggested to dedicate the last few miles to some loved ones, and of course my 3 kids pop up into my mind, because that’s how all this running started. My thoughts of Elijah and Zachary pulling me and Emily pushing me through the last part of the course really helped me.

With the last mile ahead of me, I gave it my all, putting aside any cramping for what seemed to me a sprint (probably a Kenyan would call it a walk). The trailed opened up to Waterfront Park, and I stepped on the gas on the short Broadwalk along Lake Champlain. Irene yelled my name, as I focused on the finish gate ahead of me, passing a few runners along the way on the very soggy grass.

As I crossed the finish line, I was totally disenchanted with my time of 05:19:00, and swore that I will only sign up for races between November through April! Well it really was my fault for being unprepared to high than normal temps and humidity. In fact, all of my training runs for the year were in cool temps, at night and a few times in the rain. So my time relected my training went. You learn something different everytime you step out with a pair of running shoes. Preparation for my next race will be different!

I was so happy to see Irene with her smile and proud look, as she lead me to the tent where she handed out food to all the runners that finished before me. After refueling on cheese and oranges, the folks over at Ben and Jerry’s were nice enough to give out small cups of Vanilla and Chocolate Brownie Fudge. Surprising after months of no ice cream, I did not want any more than the sampling they provided. That’s a big difference from 3 years ago, when a pint of Hagen Daz Vanilla Swiss Almond would have been devoured as I sat in front of the television.

A couple days later as I recalled my story with my friend, Scott. He then emailed me, “You’re a winner just by showing up.” Getting off your butt and doing something to improve yourself is what it’s all about. It’s about the journey and congratulations for all the runners and thank you for all the volunteers for making the marathon work as smooth as possible. I wonder if they can recruit Mother Nature to volunteer to make the perfect running weather.

Come to think of it, everyday is a gift, regardless of how it goes. You always have a choice on how you are going to be at that moment.

Make Everyday count and Enjoy the Journey!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Briarcliffe College's Entrepreneurial Job Fair-6/14/2011 and 6/15/2011

For Briarcliffe College Students and Grads!

If you like a change in your career, please join me for a special Briarcliffe College's Entrepreneurial Job Fair Event for Briarcliffe Grads and Students. You will learn about different opportunities that will add income to your pocket or possibly lead you into a new and exciting career path!

I look forward to seeing you there at my table!

Tuesday 6/14 5:30-7:30pm
Briarcliffe College - Bethpage
1055 Stewart Avenue
Bethpage, NY 11714

Wednesday 6/15 5:30-7:30pm
Briarcliffe College - Patchogue
225 West Main Street
Patchogue, NY 11772

Email me if you would like more information about the coaching/business opportunity of a lifetime!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What to do with Skyrocketing Gas Prices, Save or Make More Money?

For my vehicle, the gas pump almost read three digits! I am so shocked that it might take over $100. Can you believe that gas prices may reach $6.00 this summer and possibly $7.00? The next few months will be a struggle to everyone and the economy. In addition to the hit to the gas tank, all prices for everything you purchase will be probably higher.

It’s a freighting time having dealt with all the hardships in the latest recession. This upcoming roadblock to the economy will put undue stresses on our recovery. This current gas price hike is going to put a damper on many of us. So what can you do?

Here are some suggestions to help save money.
· Car Pool with others at work or with other offices nearby
· Have the proper tire inflation
· Plan out your errands for a single trip rather than multiple trips

Here are some suggestions to make money.
· Time for spring-cleaning and have a garage sale or use Ebay, whatever is not sold, you can donate for a tax deduction.
· Get a better paying job
· Get a second job.
· Start your own business.

Starting your own business can be a daunting task, with a lot of thought and resources needed to get things off the ground. Approximately 95% of all businesses fail in 5 years. Those are rough odds. It’s quite scary to see all those empty stores in the strip malls around town

However, when you find the right opportunity that makes you feel great, and a game plan to help you succeed. Then chances are, you will be a winner!

One industry that is expanding is the health and fitness industry. With Healthcare Reform’s uncertain future and direction, we all need to take care of ourselves and be fit. So many people are turning to fitness and nutrition as the fountain of youth and stave off illness. Too many have not taken care of themselves, and now have decided to make the change for better health and fitness. It’s a growing trend.

Being in the medical supply industry, one thing I have noticed is that you want to delay the use of medical supplies. The products in this industry are necessity and you can avoid many of the products if you just take care of yourself.

Getting back to starting your own business. Here are some questions to consider:
· What kind of expertise do you need?
· What kind of capital do you require for the location and inventory?
· What kind of management skills are needed?
· Where can you set up?
· Can you over expand too fast?
· What about a website?
· What is your plan, for sales, marketing, operations, financial and etc…?

It takes a lot of thought and planning to open a business. So when I was introduced to a business that has no overhead, close to zero cost to start up, easily expandable, incredible support, and about $100 million worth of marketing (that I did not have to pay), I was excited to get my feet wet and jump right in to this incredible opportunity.

If you have heard about or done P90X, Insanity, Turbofire, TurboJam, or Power 90, then you are familiar with a company called Beachbody. Several years ago, with the incredible popularity of their fitness programs, the founders of Beachbody, Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon had a decision to make. Should they take their business to the mass marketers like Walmart or Target?

They recognized that their customers wanted more support than the minimum wage employee at the big box stores, and created an opportunity for their current Beachbody customers to pay it forward. They provided a way for their very loyal customers to be able to share the positive experiences and create an income just by sharing.

In addition to possibly making over 6 figures, you are creating a healthier world!

Email me now to learn more about this risk free opportunity and transform yourself and other loved ones!

Watch the following video for some motivation

Sign up now! And let me be your guide.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Don’t Go to the Bathroom and Don’t Fall on Your Face at the New Jersey Half Marathon

This past Sunday, I fumbled in the darkness to lift the ringing receiver and placing it back into its cradle as quickly as possible as to keep the kids in their sleep state at 4:15am. Most likely it disturbed their REM sleep, however none of them paid any attention to the wake up call commotion.

It seems that I have gotten use to prepping for race day, and the nervous butterflies that use to bounce around in my belly have been trained to stay calm. Unceremoniously, I put on my running gear donning my trusty Team for Kids Singlet, and new ASICS Nimbus Running Shoes. Pecked everyone one the cheek, except for Zachary who seemed to be tucked away on the other side of the bed, so I kissed my hand and transferred it to his cheek. Walked out the door and headed down to the lobby and waited for my brother in law, Raymond.

He pulled up in his rented Blue Honda Civic with his fiancĂ©, Frances. Since he did not have a GPS, I lead him in the wrong direction for the first 5 minutes of the trip to the Jersey Shore. Make a mental note, can’t not always rely on GPS to get to where you are going, need to remember past mental maps!  By the way, where is that seat belt!

We arrived at Seven President Park, which was about a ½ mile north from the Start, and did our best to get some additional shut eye, but that did not work. So we just relaxed. It turned out that we parked right next to Coach Vincent Corso from Team for Kids. This person is such an inspiration from weighing 310 in 2006 to running a new personal record in 3 hours and 12 minutes later that afternoon! What a great success story! I will be running that fast soon!

Finally, it was time for Ray and Vinny to depart for their New Jersey Marathon Start. I stayed behind and rested a little more with Frances who was trying to watch a movie of some sorts on her phone. About a half an hour later it was my turn to head to the start as the Full Marathon began heading my way. The lot was adjacent to part of the course, so I walked along and cheered on the runners as they ran towards me. I was fortunate to see Coach Vinny wave and acknowledge me with a thumbs up. I searched for Ray, but I think the crowd engulfed him. I’ll catch him at the end.

As I got closer to the starting line, I saw many people jogging to warm up, so I did the same. Usually the first 2 miles are miserable, because my legs need some warming up. Most races that I have participated in had corrals to separate the masses. With this race, it seemed that you can just jump right in, as long as you had enough space to hop over the fence and squeeze next to the other runners in this fenced off sardine can. Surprisingly, just another 20 feet stood the sandy Jersey Shore, however no spectators were able to cross to that side and cheer on the runners.

I looked for the 2:20 pace runner balloon and got in line where someone had separated the fence. Eventually we started to move forward, with Bruce Springsteen blaring away in the PA system and the Race Announcer did his best to rally this very subdue crowd.

Finally up to a slight jog across the start and off we go! The course wrapped its way around the suburban streets of Long Branch, simple homes with some neighbors out to cheer on the runners. Right before Mile 4, at the very shallow Port Au Peck Bridge, a girl said to her running mate, “I thought this race was suppose to flat.” I thought to myself, she has no idea what hills are. It was a joy to run on a “flat” course!

A little after mile 4, I noticed that I was getting closer to a pace runner. A few minutes later I was very close to be able to see the time 2:15. I was like, “WOW!” that was unexpected. I pulled up next to her and stepped on the gas to pass her. I wondered if I could keep this speed up. The only time I ran this fast previously was during much shorter 5k’s or 4 milers. It felt good and did not look back.

I kept on looking at my Timex Global Trainer, which helped keep my pace under 10:00, and when I notice it above 10:00, I accelerated. The whole time, I kept on saying “make up some time now incase I crash in the later miles”.

Also during this run, I held everything in. I past each porta potty and tree and also repeated, “Do not go, Do not go, Do not go!” Unlike the Disney Marathon, where there were trees everywhere and women would pop out the woods after taking a break and men just stopped and smelled the Orlando air, there were houses and neighbors everywhere.  I am pretty sure that they would not appreciate the extra watering.

At Mile 9, I was getting ready to give my kids some High 5’s and when I reached Mile 10, I kind of gave up looking for them and sped up. Then suddenly I hear, “Noah!” to my left. I looked over my shoulder for my blind spot and headed over. Only Zachary was close enough, and he jumped up like Michael Jordan and reached for my hand. A mother sighed, “Awwwwwww” in the background. I was so happy to see them!

At Mile 12, I started to see spots and the road seemed to be leaning, meaning that I was running on empty or bonking.  I said, "Just don't fall on your face before the finish line!"  and the finish line could not have come faster.  My thoughts about Irene and the kids helped me reach the final yards. I am so looking forward to all of us doing the same race!

As soon as I saw that Green Gate, it put a little more spring in the step and I sprinted to see if I could cross before the clock said 02:17:00. I stopped the looked at my watch showing 02:09:00. The New Jersey Half Marathon official time was 02:08:58.73, a 09:50 pace. My slowest was the last mile at 10:15 and at mile 6 where there was a slight incline from an overpass I wish I started running and doing P90X a lot sooner.  Well, I can say that about alot of things!

Now my next stop will be on my Wedding Anniversary weekend at the end of the month. We will be celebrating at the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, VT. I will be running and Irene volunteered to give out food to the finishers. I think we will be making a pit stop at Ben and Jerry’s while we are there!

Again I would have to say my favorite big race still goes to the NYC Marathon with its crowds. Just a reminder to everyone, if you want to run the New York City Marathon, run it with Team for Kids and help stop childhood obesity!

Also, if you or know someone that is interested in a running, walking, P90X, getting fit, lose weight, or eat better give me a call!

Bring it!