New Movement Sports Magazine Article

Here is my newest segment of Mindful Chatter written for Movement Sports Magazine. Enjoy.

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Welcome Legend Compression Wear

Legend Compression Wear delivers a full line of everyday and performance based compression products and they’ve invited me to join their team as a Brand Ambassador representing their line. This is another good fit as Legend is very philanthropically minded and gives back to and supports many global organizations and causes.

Stay tuned for more including great family and friends discounts.

Legend

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Checking In

Hello out there. It’s been a little while since I’ve checked in. My apologies for not posting some kind of a Thanksgiving greeting but I hope yours was just as wonderful as ours was. We stayed local and remained pretty low key but thoroughly enjoyed our time and everyone is doing very well. I have a few things to update you all on…

On my health front…I am still on a high (but gradually reducing) dose of steroids to tame my enlarged lymph nodes and related swallowing problems but I’m happy to report that the treatments are working well. Steroids are not a long term solution however so now begins the delicate slow dance of tapering me off at just the right rate and making the decision on whether to remain on any dose at all just for maintenance purposes. I see my doc again on Friday and my hunch is that we will reduce the current daily dose to 20 MGs and remain there for a couple of weeks before deciding. More to come, stay tuned.

I can’t believe the next Team in Training triathlon season is just weeks away from kicking off. We will hold some informal fun runs in December and then officially start in January. This team will be training for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in Florida in late April. A GREAT, GREAT race. Don’t hesitate to reach out if anyone has any interest.

My own 2018 racing calendar is starting to take shape. Some of the events that I have confirmed or penciled in thus far are as follows:

  • Big Climb Philly
  • Escape the Cape Triathlon
  • TRI AC – Atlantic City Triathlon
  • Tri the Wildwoods – Wildwood Triathlon
  • Ironman Lake Placid 70.3
  • Creek to River Relay
  • NYC Marathon
  • Philly Half Marathon

This is a partial list and there are still a few holes to fill but this is a good start. I’m also looking to add a 50k to the mix which will likely be The Dirty German in May in Philly. And I have some volunteering to sign up for but I should have everything finalized shortly.

I’ve added another new partner to the corral as I will be serving as a Brand Ambassador for AMO Advanced Multisport Optics representing their awesome line of performance sunglasses. AMO joins Heart Zones Inc, Pacific Health Labs, and DelMoSPorts in the Brand Ambassador department. More to come there!

And lastly, I wanted to let folks know that I’m sitting for another coaching certification in February. This is the RRCA Coaching Certification held by the Road Runners Club of America and is a comprehensive certification covering all aspects of run coaching. Luckily they are coming to my home town this year so I won’t even need to travel and this is one that I’ve always wanted to have.

That’s about it for the moment! Happy Holidays and we’ll talk soon!

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Heart Zones Blink 3.0 Heart Rate, Step, and Cadence Sensor Product Review

I recently took the Heart Zones Blink 3.0 Heart Rate Sensor out for a spin and have now added it to my training arsenal. The Blink 3.0 brings a practical, accurate,, and easy to use solution to wearable feedback. This has proven to be a very effective way to monitor and track my workouts.

Product-Image-health-club-hrmThe Blink 3.0 sensor attaches to a wrist band and fits comfortably on your forearm which means, no chest strap is required. I had always been accustomed to wearing the binding chest strap with other monitors so I was initially a little suspect at how accurate the Blink 3.0 would be without one. I was amazed that the result was spot on accurate even when worn on a couple of different positions on the forearm.

This product allows for programmable heart rate zones and syncs via Bluetooth with several popular training apps including their proprietary Heart Zones Training app, as well as Runkeeper, MapMyFitness, Strava, and others.

Simply put, this is an affordable, accurate and valuable addition to anyone’s training toolbox. I’ve found it most useful in keeping me honest during some high intensity interval training because it provides the feedback I need to monitor and track time spent in my various training zones.

This is worth a look. Check them out at www.heartzones.com

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DelMoSports Ambassador Bio

I’m honored to join DelMoSports in a more official capacity in 2018. While I’ve always supported and promoted their events, I’ll be a little more visible this year as an athlete ambassador. Click HERE to read the bios of the ambassadors.

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NYC Marathon Recap

I don’t want to bore people with a long winded race recap. But I do want to say THANK YOU for everyone’s well wishes and congratulations at the NYC Marathon. As some of you know, I went into this one with a small health blip on the radar which was being treated and monitored. I can happily say that this blip had zero impact on my day or how I felt. I felt strong. I felt “normal”. And today, I’m almost ready to run again. Almost. Below are just a few brief lessons and observations from this year’s race.

  1. I have the most loving and supportive family on the planet.
  2. I also have an amazing supporting cast of friends and I value and appreciate every one of you.
  3. The NYC Marathon is an incredible event  that should be experienced at least once (or seven times).
  4. Not even an all-day drizzle can dampen the excitement and spirit of the Five Boroughs.
  5. Racing for causes bigger than yourself is gratifying beyond words.
  6. Not all New York City spectating residents appreciate the value of a rousing Philadelphia E-A-G-L-E-S cheer.
  7. Anytime you see an aid station offering leg massages with Icy Hot and The Stick… GET IN LINE without hesitation. It’s worth the few extra minutes.
  8. Even Budweiser is refreshing at mile 17. Thank you whoever you were.
  9. While I’m a firm believer that virtually anybody can do virtually anything they put their mind to, I strongly discourage anyone from running a marathon with a long training run of 8 miles. It hurts.
  10. Take a few seconds to high five some spectators along the way, especially the little ones. They will remember it much longer than you will.
  11. And if one of those little spectators offers you a piece of their Halloween candy – take it.
  12. See #1
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The Color of My Shirt

So, I’ll share this….

One of the hassles about living with a chronic form of leukemia is that it’s always there. It may lie quietly in remission showing no clinical evidence of being there…. but it is there.  You may feel strong and fit and like your old pre-cancerous self, but the monster is in there…lurking.

This time last year I was finishing up my 4th and last round of chemo in response to a relapse that had gained momentum over the better part of 2016.  I assumed that after 4 rounds of some hard core drugs, that we wouldn’t be thinking about this for a little while. Or a long while. Yet last week I found myself sitting in the office of my favorite oncolodoc talking about the fact that my lymph nodes are again swelling and I’m having difficulty swallowing. The good news is that my blood work is great. But we now need to go through the exercise of conducting some additional testing to figure out what the rest of my lymphatic system looks like and to determine if any additional treatments step might be needed.

So 75% of me is excited to race the NYC marathon this weekend. But there’s a piece of me that’s a little bummed that we are having these conversations again. I had a CT scan last Friday and am seeing an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist tomorrow for more talking and probing. I’ll keep ya’ll posted when I get some of these results. In the meantime, NYC… here I come for the 7th time. (and 27th marathon overall).

I have cancer. It doesn’t have me and it never will.

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The Courage to Succeed

How do you define success in a race? For some, success equals winning. But “winning” itself may also take on different meanings for different people. Does finishing with a PR define your success? Or does simply finishing the race determine that your day was successful? Such that your finisher medal is your living proof of a successful day. Then by default does that mean that a result which is anything short of your determined point of success, is a failure? Maybe. I personally don’t believe that to be the case but a lot of that depends on one’s perspective and expectations. No matter what the result I try not to consider any race a failure.

The reality is that success isn’t a fixed measure of outcome. In 30 years of racing, I’ve defined success a number of different ways. When you first start out I think the measure of success for many people is simply to finish what you started. Crossing the finish line as an official finisher means your day was successful. As you gain a little more experience your point of success may then become besting your previous time. With a little more experience, maybe that success point becomes to finish in the middle of the pack, or the top third, or top 10, or to place in your age group. The definition of success changes over time.

Apost mirror lakeI’ve also defined success a number of different ways in any given race.  I may register for a race with a goal of finishing in the top 3 of my age group. But as we all know, despite our best efforts and plans, things don’t always go our way.  And Mother Nature isn’t always our friend. Any number of things can unravel and prevent you from reaching your original “success” goal. So then what? That’s a simple answer. Give yourself a tiered if-then series of success points  in a race. Missing the mark on your initial target goal doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Be open to having a “Plan B” that you can quickly adjust to while remaining positive.  And if Plan B implodes, you move on to Plan C. And you do so with optimism and positivity and do whatever it takes to get across that finish line.

Apost medalsBut what if you run out of plans? What if you exhaust your arsenal of fail-safes and do everything in your power to succeed and in spite of all of that are forced to end your day early?  That’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m speaking from experience and I’ve choked on that pill a few times. The first reaction is to hang your head and curl up into a fetal position and reflect (obsess) on all of the things that went wrong. But the reality is, even with a DNF, a lot of things go right. So, sure, maybe you need to go dark for a brief period to fully reconcile any emotional or physical bruising. But keep that period brief, very brief. Pick yourself up, assess your day, make any necessary adjustments, and move on.

Celebrate the fact that you had the motivation to commit, the courage to start, and have the ability to try again another day.

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Sunsets

The thing about racing sunsets is that in time the sunset will ultimately always win. In spite of our best efforts, and all the hope and belief we can muster, the sunset is going to win. But if we’re lucky, that sun can set with breathtaking beauty. The key is being able to enjoy that beauty while in the middle of the race’s chaotic intensity. The key is to find that balance. The key is to find that quiet. The key is to find calm. The key is to develop keen senses of both resilience and appreciation.  And with that, we not only get to run our race, and appreciate that sunset, but we also get to witness the rising of a new sun. Bringing a new day. And bringing a new race.

(The motivation behind this post came from the book Racing the Sunset by my buddy Scott Tinley)

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Blood Cancer Heroes

Check out this video on some of the ground breaking blood cancer advancements coming out of Penn Medicine. Dr. David Porter is one of my docs and I’m grateful to be associated with this organization. Watch Dr. Carl June talk about his unprecedented immunotherapy treatment which received FDA approval in August. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society invested more than $20 million in Dr. June’s research which pioneered this treatment.

Click to watch.

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