Posts Tagged With: fitness
So I’m a couple of days late with this post, and I’ve been fortunate to be somehow associated with so many incredible achievements and cool things going on, I wasn’t quite sure where I’d go with this post.
There’s my best friend who, after over a year of training, has just logged his first 50 mile ultra marathon, qualifying him for the “Western States”….what he calls, “The Boston Marathon for Ultra-marathons”! And instead of giving himself a much deserved pat on the back, he deflected his success, crediting his wife and the community that supported him. Read his recap here. How incredibly awesome!
There’s my pending “sprint” triathlon this weekend (oh yeah, conveniently forgot to mention this), where I’ll be entering the open water for only the 2nd time in my life (suffice it to say that my last attempt, with 40+ degree air temps and no wet suit, and next to zero training, didn’t last long and I got the dreaded DNF). I’m a bit of a last minute entry, but figured it’d be a good test as I get ready for my first Olympic distance on 6/3. Probably the coolest part of this weekend is that I’ll be doing the race with two of my brothers, and good friend Chris. And although I’m thinking they’ll probably be so far ahead of me that they’ll be finishing when I’m just getting off my bike (or before)…beware gentlemen, if I see you on the run course, I’m not above tripping you just before the finish if I have to…ha, kidding of course!
There’s my two nieces, who have trained incredibly hard, and have been vying for their spot in the HS varsity chearleading line-up (with three high schools in our county alone placing nationally year after year, chearleading is quickly becoming one of the most competitive sports around), and while it only worked out as planned for one of the two….I’m confident that if each of them continue to truly desire greatness in the sport and stay focused, they have the love, support, and resources available to reach whatever they set out to achieve.
There’s my grandfather, a WW II veteran, who was just flown to DC by an incredible not-for-profit “Honor Flight“, to be recognized and honored along with two PLANES FULL of his fellow servicemen, for the extraordinarily selfless work they did for us overseas 65 years ago. I am eternally grateful, and humbled for the sacrifices these folks made so that we can live the life we do.
There’s my brother-in-law who just graduated from college….and for those of us who have been there, we know what a hugely impressive…and sometimes daunting next step this can be….after all, with the real world comes real responsibilities and accountability to self…..but not to worry Jeff….what also comes is the real chance of “freedom”….to live the life you want! Probably the best advice I ever received was to do what you love first, worry about money later….and even though I was too stubborn to listen right away (shocking, I know), after 4 months in a cubicle and some serious life changing events….I quickly realized that if there was ever a time to take a chance and follow your passion….the year(s) immediately post graduate were certainly it. I urge you to consider the same, and am confident that if you do….you’ll land happily on your feet!
And then, there’s the one day each year when we actually stop for a second, and honor the people that brought us into this world….those so instrumental in giving us our greatest gift…life! Mom’s may just be the most incredibly strong people in the world. Somehow, from the moment their feet hit the ground in the morning, they start sprinting with one main mission….to take care of the people they love. It’s pretty amazing really that they keep their sanity at all….and what may be even more impressive, it doesn’t seem as though they slow or stop as their children continue to age. And in that, they may be life’s all-time best endurance athletes!
I’ve been fortunate to have had so many “moms” in my life supporting me….from the sister’s and sister-in-law who’ve made sure I’ve always had what I needed (also known as “spoiling”) and do the same for their kids, the Mom’s of friends who have “adopted” me over the years, the clients-turned-friends who have been so incredibly care-taking and generous, a mother-in-law that has treated me as her own from the moment we met (and recently trekked to Boston just to watch her granddaughter and support me in the marathon), and now a wife, who in only 4 months as a mom, has shown me the most incredible demonstration of strength, will, and love that I’ve ever seen.
But of course, this blog wouldn’t be near complete without a testimonial to my Mom. This woman is nothing short of incredible. With six kids and 11 grandchildren, she has in some way figured out how to make each of us feel like her favorite. And it’s not just us…..having spent a career in education, I’m yet to meet someone more devoted to the lives and enrichment of children then her. She has a gift, an endless love, and I couldn’t be more thankful that God chose her for me.
Happy Mother’s Day all!
The “All-time Momma’s Boy”…Eric
Well, you guys did it…I’m totally flattered. The response from you all, my readers, to last week’s Boston Marathon recap blog was unbelievable, and it’s important that I publicly express my thanks and gratitude for your kind words, and positive feedback. From the facebook comments, tweets & retweets, those of you who went out of your way to make mention in passing, send email, or even make mention of me in your own blog…..to the individual who shared the blog with his sister’s running club, the college kid who sent his positive feedback home here via his mom, and to my father-in-law, a very well respected NJ athletic coach in his own right, and all of the colleagues he shared it with who said, “our North Hunterdon athletes should read this”…..I couldn’t be more honored to know that in some small way, my story may have inspired a few or shed a positive light on your day.
And while, if you’re like me and giving compliments & positive feedback doesn’t exactly come easy, please know that by doing so, you’ve helped me take one step further in fulfilling my personal mission: “To Live Each Day with: Uncompromising COMMITMENT to family and personal integrity, Relentless DRIVE to identified goals , a Sincere PASSION for bringing out the best in others, and the Courage to pursue EXCELLENCE, taking PRIDE in both work & play.”
So thank you to each and everyone of you who have taken an interest, shown support, and continue to follow along with me as I strive to live my mission. You should know that I will continue to give my best, and although I am so very happy to share inspiration when given the opportunity… I’m constantly pulling more than I could ever give from all of you, the amazing community that surrounds me….and for that, I am forever grateful!
Please take a moment to watch the video below of Libbie W. – a friend, client, and member of our “Family of Athletes” at Pro-Activity. Libbie, you inspire me! Thank you!
In April of 2011 I was ready to rock…had trained like a mad man and was so incredibly excited to run my first Boston Marathon. My physical fitness was in a great spot, and my mental fitness may have been even better. Each workout leading up to the race was another step forward toward my goal of a PR…and I rarely struggled to “bring it”. The results followed….a 3:04:45 performance and another “BQ” (Boston Qualifying time), and a 5 minute and 15 second PR, but still no sub 3 performance…which has been the lifelong running goal.
Shortly thereafter my sister-in-law(s) Lindsay and Stephanie and their excitement, maybe unknowingly, convinced me to run the Marine Corps marathon in October. More training….more workouts…more focus…more discipline…a professional runner as my coach and personal pacer for the day….another PR (3:02:00) but still no sub-3. By the time 2012 rolled around, and I added in some life changes (mainly an 8 lb. 5 oz addition), I was pretty burnt on this whole marathon thing, and even more so…the training to be prepared. I’d get through the workouts I had to, but only because I had to. I’d avoid the track whenever I could, and cut a mile off the warm-up here, a mile off the cool down there….anything I could do to just get it done. Needless to say it wasn’t exactly the most conducive training plan to a blistering marathon pace. And worse yet, I had lost my passion for running….and had forgotten why I got so hooked on the distance events in the first place.
In the weeks leading up to this past Monday, the 116th running of the Boston Marathon, I found myself almost wishing it was behind me….and then last Thursday it finally started to hit me…..it was as if my conscience swooped out of my head and gave me a much needed slap across the face….”Get over yourself, you idiot!….This is the freaking Boston Marathon we’re talking about…this is an honor and a privilege!” I quickly came to the realization that I was being a selfish, whiny, baby….I mean seriously….people train their entire life to get a chance to run in this race…and here I am doing it for my second year in a row. And after a great discussion with my brother Mike on Friday night, that wasn’t intended to be a pep talk but resulted in one for me…an inspirational “tweet” from my sister Amy….and countless emails, texts, facebook comments, etc. from my endurance club members, family and friends….I started to remember that I didn’t get into this marathon thing just for personal records and self accomplishment…but to embrace and model a lifestyle that represents health, fitness, discipline, and perseverance…..a lifestyle that embraces challenge as an opportunity for accomplishment….and maybe most importantly of all….a lifestyle that facilitates community and kinship with others via time shared together on the “road less traveled”….literally!
By the time I was on the bus to “Athlete’s Village” (the staging area where 26,000 marathoners hang out for 2 hours prior to the gun), I finally had my head in the right place. While Saucony has their athletes promoting a brilliant advertising campaign and “Finding Their Strong”….I was determined to instead, “Find My Fun”….something I had lost sometime between this year and last.
Now, knowing my training wasn’t what it’s been in the past, and my fitness had followed suit…my plan was to simply enjoy myself, control my heart rate so as to not get wrapped up in the adrenaline rush (who me? Imagine that!), and stay at a comfortable pace….my estimation was that this would be at heart rate of 165 and a pace somewhere in the low 7’s. But when developing this strategy and figuring these calculations I had failed to factor in one very important thing…..the weather forecast in Boston this past Monday was calling for record highs of 89 degrees throughout the race….yikes! Now I’ve run a marathon in decent temperature before…in the 70’s at West Palm Beach Marathon in 2010….but nothing like this. I knew the sun would take it’s toll, but wasn’t exactly sure just how much….so I promised myself that I’d keep my heart rate at 170 or less…knowing that this was probably a bit too high to run the whole race, but was still safe.
I guess I should have given the sun and heat more credit than I did since I was getting emails the day prior to Monday from the Boston Athletic Association encouraging participants to either defer to another year, or cut their pace by 2 minutes. Holy cow…would I really have to run a 9 minute pace…no way!…Or would I? We shall see…..
As I, and roughly 1,000 other runners, squeezed into corral #4 at the starting line at 10am, race officials were announcing it had already eclipsed 80 degrees…and you could feel it climbing quickly…and within a few minutes, we were off. Now, one of the draw backs of starting in a corral based on a time you ran at your peak fitness is that the people in there are likely going to run about the same pace and are targeting a 3 hr marathon (6:52 / mile pace). And while this group went cautiously slower out of the gates (by their standards) we were still running 7:15’s on the slight downhill out of Hopkinton without a ton of effort. I was actually feeling pretty good….but almost instantly (actually at .79 miles) my heart rate was at 173 beats. I cautiously continued on…..after all, had I slowed, I would have likely been trampled.
By the half marathon mark my pace continued to slow to a 7:33 average, and the heart rate maintaining around 173…at this point, I was in search of ice….it was hot… I was enjoying the spectators, looking forward to seeing my wife Amy and friend Wes (at mile 16), but my main focus was on finding shade (fail) and finding ice. By the Grace of God (as my Dad would say), a little boy was handing out ice bags from a cooler…and I gave him the biggest smile I could muster. It was like finding a freaking pot of gold…I couldn’t believe how thankful I was…and for the next couple of miles, I carried the ice in the palms of my hands (a trick I learned from my “Ironman” brother who completed Ironman St. George last year in 90-100 degree heat!).
Now as I was running, and keeping a close eye on things…both the external environment and what was going on in my internal world….I decided that as soon as I saw Amy and Wes, I was going to take a break….drink some gatorade, give Amy a sweaty hug and kiss, and hang a little…letting my heart rate come down substantially before tackling the dreaded hills in Newton Mass..that culminates with Heartbreak Hill. Unfortunately the damn Red Sox and all their fans (there is always a home game on Boston Marathon day) crowded the T-train so much that Amy and Wes couldn’t even get out to mile 16. It was a slight heart break prior to the hill…..and so at mile 17.5, just after the first of the three hills in Newton….I took a good long walk….4 minutes and 27 seconds to be exact (aren’t Garmin watches great!)…and my body thanked me….heart rate down to 129! It gave me a chance to think about all the people back home rooting for me, probably wondering why my pace had dropped so much, worrying about me in the heat, and hoping for the best. And then, as you might expect, I got a little prideful, and promised myself that no matter how many times I’d have to walk from then on…one thing was for sure, I’d be running each of the hills in Netwon including Heartbreak hill at Boston College as a tribute to those rooting from home.
But before I got to that…and while I was enjoying my little stroll…smiling and joking with spectators
quickly sat back down. Almost immediately Frank started moaning in pain, complaining that he thought he would vomit and I ordered a spectator to run back to the mile marker (about .5 miles back) for help, and I’d wait with him. My best guess is that Frank was suffering from heat exhaustion or possibly hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels) and we got a little gatorade in him while waiting for the med techs. And about 8 minutes later…they arrived (turns out Frank had recently been in the med tech tent and had left) and after a quick phone call to Amy to let her know I was fine, but had stopped to help someone…I was on my way.
6 days to the Boston Marathon and sometimes I have to remind myself why…
This is why…This is Fit2Be (a)Live.
“When you cross that finish line, no matter who slow or how fast, you will have changed your life forever” – Dick Beardsley, Boston Marathon Runner-up
You Can Do It Too!
So last week I recapped many of the highlights and wonderful fit2be(a)live moments in 2011, and in the weeks leading up…I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted 2012 to look like. What goals I’d set in each of the important aspects of my life. And as in years past I’ve set goals for myself in the following areas:
1. Family life & personal relationships
2. Spiritual / Faith based
3. Health & Fitness
5. Community Service & Philanthropy
I really try to put my heart into my goal setting. I take lots of time to think and reflect about what I want to achieve…what impact I want to have on this world in 2012…and what experiences I want to have and share with others.
And while I plan to not only share these with my readers and the world (did you know your much more likely to achieve when you share your goals publicly and with people you care about?? ..it’s true!)….you’ll have to wait till next week (please stay tuned) for the details, because priority #1 is finally here!!!
Amy and I are most elated to welcome our daughter, Emma Julieann Eisenhart to the world!