100 Mile March: A Running Goal

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It’s true, the feeling that you get when you run, especially when you run well, is unmatched. It’s a combination of strength and fulfillment that are difficult to explain, but are immediately recognizable once you’ve felt them.

With that being said, the idea that every run changes you couldn’t be more accurate, which is why Paige and I are taking on the challenge: to run 100 miles in the month of March.

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We’ve started simple, with four mile intervals which would put us well beyond our goal if we run every day. But that’s where taking on the task is much larger than just a run. Like the quote above, every run changes you. Yes, fitness and health are great motivators, but the consistency and dedication that are necessary to reach 100 miles in that time provide the groundwork for the change that all distance running instills.

Who knows what our next race will be, there are options all over the city year-round, and stepping outside the comfort of runDisney might not be a terrible thing. But I guess we’ll see where the challenge goes, and before you know it, we’ll have 100 miles down and we’ll be working on the next goal.

If you want to connect with us, and others participating, connect on Twitter with #FFMarchMiles led by FitFluential.

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Which Wearable: A FitTech Poll

There are a ton of options out there in wearable technology, and that number is growing exponentially by the day. Aside from the fun things like Google Glass, FitTech is exploding too; from major brands with Nike+ to upcoming debuts like OMsignal, there are a ton of options out there.

That being said, the team at Third Wave Fashion wants to know which FitTech you’re using! Head over and take the poll on their blog and weigh in with your favorite device.

Find the Poll Here!
Find the Poll Here!

Connected Runners: Basno Digital Medals

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“Why do you run?”

That question alone is a pet peeve that nearly every runner faces on a constant basis. There are runners all over the world, from occasional joggers to elite runners that can run five minute miles for incredible distances, but the one thing they all have in common is the simple fact that they get out and do it; regardless of reason.

For many though, whether running is therapeutic or just another step toward a healthier lifestyle, there is little more that is as satisfying as a finisher’s medal at the end of the race that you trained months for. Despite blisters and lost toenails, heatstroke and hypothermia, the feeling you get as the medal is placed around your neck is unmatched.

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Unfortunately, the moment is typically short lived when it comes to sharing with friends and family. Newsfeeds fill with pictures of lunches and vacations, and within a day or two the moment disappears and the evidence of accomplishment is tucked away in a forgotten album labeled “Big Race ’13” or simply “Running.”

Luckily for the connected runners out there, Basno has developed race badges to harness the spirit of running and to share the passion for the sport that every runner has.

With digital personalization, times and names can be added to the finishing badge that every runner receives, offering a new way to connect the community and invite others in. Being in the midst of an emphasis on social engagement, the badges make it easier for runners to share their experiences and curate an online showcase of their accomplishments.

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Personally, I’m excited about the ability to store my accomplishments digitally in one place, especially considering that now just two months into 2014, I’ve already got seven finisher medals and no good way to display them online.

Ultimately, the running community is a strong one; a massive group of people that love being active and inviting outsiders to join them. In the digital world, I’m not sure what more could be done to bring such an offline community online than a way to join peers in accomplishments that nobody outside the community could ever understand.

So to answer the question of why we run, it’s because we’re runners. It’s what we do.

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Communities: They’re For Everyone

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Community.

To many people, that doesn’t mean a whole lot. Thanks to social media and “community-building” platforms, community is just a digital age buzzword for the people you’re reaching; ultimately in an attempt to make you and your company a little bit more money.

In a more classic sense though, and probably what our parents would agree a community is and should be, it’s a group of like-minded people focused on the common good for that group. If that’s what you accept a community to be, then you can see why every marketing pro jumps on the concept, especially in the everyone-gets-a-trophy society that we’ve created and come to accept.

It’s a brilliant strategy, but what I want to encourage you to do is to find a community that you can share your life with, without the profitable encouragement of an outside company.

I thought about it, ironically browsing “gymspiration” and “fitspiration” tags on Tumblr and Pinterest Pinboards, but as you search for solitude in this ever-connected world you have a beautiful plethora of options.

Considering my past, I thought about the two most physical aspects of my life and how the communities surrounding them is open to everyone.

The first is backpacking. Finding yourself as you search the backcountry for meaning to the things in your life is one of the most solitary things you can do. Days can be spent seeing nobody, miles of wondering and wandering without the distraction of your newsfeed or push notifications.

On the other hand though, the backpacking community is a gnarled and humble group of people, welcoming to every skill level from pro athletes to children exploring the woods.

The second community I feel closest to is that of the runners. Am I competitive? No. Will the strangers along the race route cheer you on like a champion? Absolutely.

The running community is a family, strangers share tips and tricks for getting in shape, taking care of your body, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle; all the while patting you on the back just for putting on your shoes. Like any family, there are bad apples, those people that turn their noses up at slow runners, or distance runners that pretend to be “too good” for something like a 5K. Hell, I’ve been that guy before, but in the end everyone watches out for each other, full of encouragement and always there, even if you’ve secluded yourself to your headphones and a pace found in your active state of alone-ness.

What I’m trying to say is, it’s easy to write off being a part of something because everyone says you need to be involved, but there are plenty of options that are perfect fits for you. Even the most solitary and secluded person can find a place of comfort among the runners and backpackers of the world, enhancing their individualism while they slowly strengthen their bonds with others doing the exact same thing.

In the digital age, communities are jaded, maybe even tainted, but at the core they’re what everyone needs.

No Excuse November: Marathon Monday

Yesterday was the 2013 ING New York Marathon, making today Marathon Monday.

A race dedicated to the runners and spectators of Boston, as well as the Sandy victims that are still recovering along the east coast, the marathon served as inspiration for where my life should be going.

If you ask any distance runner, there are moments of doubt, moments when you just don’t want to get up and workout, but there is something about racing that keeps them going. I like to call it marathon fever. Considering that the wedding and honeymoon basically translated to a month out of the gym, the hype around this marathon has been the catalyst to pushing us toward a more active lifestyle, but with a new twist.

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Photo Courtesy of Paige

On our run Saturday, I chose not to run with music, none of the greats do, so I why shouldn’t I give it a try. The run though provided an unexpected moment, when Paige’s phone stopped working and she was left without music as well.

As a person that doesn’t talk a whole lot during physical activities, even in team sports, it caught me off guard when we began a conversation and maintained our pace rather than zoning in on the tempo of a song and staying in our own little worlds.

Then it happened.

Paige looked over, and between breaths said that it was time for me to get personal trainer certified. To take the money we received from our wedding gifts and put it toward my certification.

First of all, who does that? Yeah, we’ve talked about it before, but she believes in me so much that she would rather invest that money in me, in yet another small round of education, than put it into savings.

Which brings me to my second point: This is now “No Excuse November.”

With the challenge to get certified before the new year, our workouts will intensify, we’ll push each other, and we’re going to blow through the holidays.

The month is focused on no excuses for not finding work, no excuses for not studying, and no excuses for not getting out and active.

I had talked about pushing myself to get to January’s race, but Paige is pushing me to rise beyond the occasion. Mediocrity will no longer be the standard, and from here on it’s all or nothing.

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Photo Courtesy of Paige

It’ll be tough, it’ll be interesting, but I want you guys to join me in the effort to make this an excuse-free month.

If those marathoners that I saw yesterday can elevate themselves to a higher standard, then we can too.

The Dopey: An Agonizing Countdown

Unfortunately it’s about that time of the year again.

While everyone else is looking for the perfect Halloween costume, or planning Thanksgiving and Christmas with their families; the countdown to race day has begun.

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At 75 days out from the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend the pressure is on to make up for the training that has been pretty non-existent since mid-September.

Paige and I had an agreement that we wouldn’t run on our honeymoon, mainly because we wanted to enjoy it, but having been back for a week now, finding the motivation to put on my running shoes has been an issue.

The worst part about it is that I know I have to get in miles and quality runs so I don’t injure myself like the last time Paige’s mom and I ran back-to-back races.

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In the 2012 Goofy Race and a Half, I set a half-marathon personal best at 1 hour 58 minutes, but developed awesome plantar fasciitis which slowed my marathon the next day to a crawling 5 hours…

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So, on the avenue of prevention Cross Cardio will be pushed to the side once we’re back to New York, and these final months of training are dedicated to watching the agonizing countdown to Disney. A phrase that nobody should ever have to say.

Enjoy your candy and your turkey, and I’ll go run away my holidays in preparation for January.