• Day 70/90 – Spontaneous Dinner Date

    Day 70 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? A friend called for a spontaneous dinner date.

    This is what I had - Chicken schwarma. It was quite tasty. (Photo from Yelp.)
    This is what I had – Chicken schwarma. It was quite tasty. (Photo from Yelp.)

    Around 6 o’clock tonight my friend and neighbor Chad messaged me and asked me to a spontaneous dinner. I said, “Sure” and off we went to Lebanese food at Mijana in Tempe. It was a perfect way to end the weekend – two friends hanging out and chatting over good food.

    Yes, I know I’ve done two blog posts in a row about Chad. Don’t look for any deeper meanings – you won’t find any. We’re just friends. Although we share a lot of common interests, we have several terminal incompatibilities from a romantic perspective. But I’m glad he’s my neighbor.

    In case you missed it: Day 69 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Chad made my day by giving me a big hug.

  • Day 69/90 – Hug from Chad

    Day 69 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I got a hug from my friend Chad.

    My favorite photo of Chad from his latest marathon
    My favorite photo of Chad from his latest marathon

    After an exceptionally busy week at work, I was grateful not to have many plans this weekend – mainly working out, errands, chores, and writing. This morning started out with a 4-mile run, and I was pleased to notice how much my endurance has improved in the last few weeks. My day was off to a good start; however, I got some bad news when I got home that took the wind out of my sails. (Don’t worry. It’s nothing earth-shattering and nobody died. It was just bad news for me.)

    My day continued with errands and chores, but by mid-day I was exhausted. I treated myself to a nap followed by 2 hours on the couch watching the movie Capote. I was still feeling down when I took Rosie out for her evening walk but I was instantly happy when I ran into my neighbor, friend, and fellow legal eagle and runner Chad Belville. He was on his way to the comic book store. He gave me a big hug and we chatted for a few minutes. That hug lifted my spirits. It’s always great to catch up with him.

    Hugs are a simple but critical part of my life and the relationships I have with people I care about. In college one of my friends often said that we needed 12 hugs a day for emotional growth. I don’t know if that’s true, but it works for me.

    In case you missed it: Day 68 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I took Rosie for an evening stroll on Mill Avenue.

  • Advice for First-Time Marathon Runners

    Photo by Rich Kenington
    Photo by Rich Kenington (Creative Commons License)

    I’m running my first marathon this weekend at Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona. I’ve done the half marathon four times, and now that I’ve fixed my shin splints and tweaked my running posture, I’m ready to go for the full.

    Luckily, I have several friends who have run a marathon as a stand-alone race and/or as part of an Ironman. I asked them to share some advice with me and anyone else who is running their first marathon.

    Absolutely nothing new on race day. No new shoes, no new clothes, no new foods, nothing.  Race day is not the time to find out those socks your friend recommended chafe and you don’t want to discover at mile 15 that orange flavored Gatorade makes you nauseous. If you didn’t train with it, don’t race with it. – Ben Schorr, Marathoner

    Put your name on the front of your shirt.  – Peter Shankman, Marathoner and Ironman
    (People will cheer for you by name if you do this.)

    I would say to trust the training that you’ve done so far. Don’t overdo it the week before, but also be sure not to shut down completely. For me, I did an easy paced 5 or 6 mile run the day before the race with a long cool down and stretch. Get a long night’s sleep and make sure to hydrate well the morning of the race.  – Marian Grucky, Marathoner

    If you look to the right, and you are standing next to a guy from Kenya, you are in the wrong corral. Okay, some more practical advice.  If you are feeling really good at mile, 5, 10, 15, or 20, DON’T speed up.  Just keep running your usual pace.  At mile 22 or 23, if you are feeling good, you can start to pick up your pace.  – Kolby Granville, Marathoner and Ironman

    My advice for a first marathon is to go to enjoy it.  Go to feel out the distance and to see how your body responds to going that far. Stay well within your physical limits in the moment. Relax.  If you want to push wait until the last 6 miles or so when you have a sense that you will make it. Run with someone who has done it before and is not bound to a time. – Debbie Rubel, Marathoner

    Assuming you have a target pace in mind, if the race has professional pace runners, stick with them or near them. Race day excitement usually makes me start too fast, and pacers keep you on track from the start, plus they put you in the starting pack at roughly the right place.  – Rick Ortmeyer, Marathoner

    Thank the volunteers. The race would be much different without them out there to help us.  – Ben Schorr, Marathoner

    Don’t worry about your time — your goal is to finish!  – Chad Belville, Marathoner

    If you are reading this because you are preparing for your first marathon, have a great race! I hope you feel awesome when you cross the finish line.