Archive for November, 2013

The Clutter Of Life…

Posted: November 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

As a coach, my focus is to sort through the clutter of one’s life and identify the sources of motivation that inspire them to believe they can accomplish more than they can imagine.

Sources of motivation and inspiration can range from fulfilling a childhood dream, silencing a critic, confronting a fear, honoring a loved one’s memory or simply a desire to live beyond one’s comfort zone.

It is so easy to get bogged down in the quagmire of daily life.  Managing the daily demands of our time and energy can be overwhelming and keep us in survival mode.  When you break free from feeling overwhelmed by seemingly endless responsibilities, you are free to chase your dreams.  The feeling of liberation is accompanied by the realization that life is far more meaningful and purposeful when focused on significant accomplishments-particularly when they include providing hope and opportunity to others.

My greatest source of inspiration is the runners I coach.  I have witnessed immeasurable selflessness in the 18 years that I have coached charity runners.  Serving and empowering others through their running is a driving force in their lives… their beacon in the night.

My focus on helping as many people as possible embrace this same motivation isn’t a gift that I have…it’s a responsibility!

Practice Makes Perfect!

Posted: November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Runners tend not to practice!  I have strongly encouraged the runners that I coach to spend at least a portion of each run practicing their form.  This investment provides a significant return in the form of injury-free running and more efficient and enjoyable running.  It is counterintuitive to think you can run faster and longer with less energy…but that’s exactly what occurs when your form is dialed in and perfected.

The ideal time to focus on form is at the beginning of each run.  The first two miles of every run should be at a pace that’s 2 minutes slower than you expect to average for the remaining miles; excluding your cool down.  It’s important to begin each run with a structure or methodology.  For instance, I begin in the same position (i.e., feet shoulder width apart, chin straight ahead, lean forward from the ankles and begin with a brisk walk which transitions smoothly into a run in a matter of 10 steps).

I then go through a mental checklist that focuses on:

1. Landing with my feet directly beneath my body

2. Landing softly on my mid-foot

3. Leaning slightly forward from my ankles

4. Maintaining a slight bend in each knee to help in shock absorption

5. Maintaining a stride rate of 180 SPM (steps per minute)

6. Keeping my hands and shoulders relaxed

7. Breathing should also be relaxed and rhythmic

This process takes time to develop so patience is a virtue.  Form typically diminishes as one becomes tired so I strongly recommend taking regular walk breaks (i.e., 1 minute of brisk walking for every 9 minutes of running).  This provides a mental and physical break as well as allows your heart to pump large volumes of blood/oxygen to your major muscles.  You will be more likely to maintain proper and efficient running form throughout your runs.

Take the time to incorporate practice into every run and you will be richly rewarded!

So It Begins…

Posted: November 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Museum of Science Boston hosted the Marathon Coalition Kick-Off on Thursday evening.  Once again, we couldn’t have asked for more gracious and hospitable hosts.  I am extremely grateful for the relationship that I share with the MOS.

It was nice to be reunited with runners from the 2013 Marathon Coalition team, runners from previous Marathon Coalition teams and runners that I coached during my 12 year tenure with Team In Training.  It was equally exciting meeting all the new runners.  This is the largest team in our 6 year history and I’m confident we will raise over $1 million for the 15 charities comprising the Marathon Coalition.

The Marathon Coalition hosted the first training run of the 2014 Boston Marathon training season on Saturday.  I didn’t realize how much I needed to be back in this environment.

Photo courtesy of Sheree Dunwell.

Photo courtesy of Sheree Dunwell.

I wanted to be our initial training to be informative and inspirational for everyone.  As I stood before well over 100 runners, I had a million thoughts and feelings racing through me.  I observed the excitement of the new runners and I also witnessed so many runners from the 2013 Boston Marathon Team consoling one another.  I’ve never seen so many hugs, tears and gestures of comfort.

As soon as I arrived home I went straight to sleep.  I was emotionally spent…as though as I had just completed an intense 20 miler.  But we had only run 3 miles.  I had no idea how draining this initial kick-off was until I began falling asleep on the drive home.  I haven’t slept so soundly in  some time.  When I awoke, Lori, Macie and Rider were gone so I went for an 8 mile run.

This was one of the best runs I’ve had in quite some time.  I think I just needed to get over the first hurdle.  Now it’s time to heal, time to inspire, time to begin making a significant difference in the lives of so many.

Calm Before The Storm

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

I have intentionally taken an extended break from posting for several reasons.  My travel schedule has been quite extensive, I have focused on my training and private coaching, and I have been mentally preparing for the upcoming training season.

The 2014 Boston Marathon will undoubtedly be the most meaningful, empowering and inspirational event in its 118 year history.  I expect and hope the journey I will be sharing with several hundred Marathon Coalition runners will significantly impact my history with the Boston Marathon.

Our first meeting occurs Thursday evening at the Museum of Science in Boston.  It will be wonderful to reunite with so many Marathon Coalition runners from the past year and welcome so many new runners to the TEAM.  Additionally, I will be reminded that nothing significant is ever accomplished alone when I share the evening with the incredibly dedicated staff of the 16 charities representing the Marathon Coalition.  It promises to be an evening of healing, hope and promise.

We have much work to focus on in the aftermath of the tragedy that occurred this past April.  We will focus on far more than completing the requisite mileage to prepare ourselves for April 21, 2014.  I suspect weekly training will have significant meaning to everyone attending and that we will all be living in the moment far more and extracting more meaning out of the entire experience.  Reconciling ‘why’ something so horrific occurred during one of the greatest human accomplishments and celebrations is simply unfathomable.  However, I know the spirit of every marathoner will trump the reality of that day beyond measure.

I am extremely grateful to have a glimpse inside the heart and soul of the runners Greg, Paul, Grayson and I will be preparing for Boston.  This will be a chapter in my life as a coach and person that promises to change and define me in immeasurable ways.  I am confident the friendships that will be forged and the bonds we establish in the coming months will go unbroken for the balance of our lives and will inspire us to continue to believe in the importance of serving others.

I have always believed that Empowering Others Through Running is far more than the Marathon Coalition’s tag line…it is truly the driving force behind  all that we do to prepare for the Boston Marathon and beyond!

This is going to be one incredible storm of dedication, determination, commitment and celebration!