Sunday, January 31, 2016

GOOD RIDDANCE

Write it in the books.

 Log your final workout.

 January is gone.

Good riddance!

Now, to be fair, this time last year, and the year before, I was whining about the Polar Vortex, Arctic blasts, and an assortment of other meteorological terms that weather folks seem to attempt to impress us with these days, so, in the large scheme of things, January 2016 hasn't been that bad.

Until last Saturday, when two feet of snow buried us, temperatures had been relatively mild, and there was no snow...anywhere. My favorite local trails were dry and very runnable.

Since then, things have not been so good. Snow corridors have narrowed down the streets in my town, and trails are now the exclusive realm of the local deer population.

But, temperatures are supposed to reach the 50 degree mark in the next couple of days, snow piles will shrink, January is gone, the days are longer, sun higher in the sky, and there is hope.

Statistically, here in Pennsylvania, February brings the most snow, but March is not far behind.

If you survived this most brutal of months. If you were able to build a base with long winter miles, you are properly preparing yourself for a successful 2016 racing season.

January has passed, and now the calendar will work in your favor.

www.muldowneyrunning.net

Thursday, January 28, 2016

RUN ON A MISSION

It is often satisfying as well as beneficial to run for something (or someone) other than yourself.

Run On A Mission (ROAM LLC) RunOnAMission.com is a privately owned company that dedicates it time to helping those organizations and people needing to raise money for a cause and awareness. The focus of ROAM is people and it’s community. ROAM believes that relationships are important and a necessity. Their concept is to help and service you in any way they can. ROAM is truly a customer friendly company. So, if you wish to be part of the ROAM family, contact them. At ROAM they would love to hear from you and make you family. www.RunOnAMission.com

And, you can become a part of this mission by running a virtual race...for a cause.

A member of the ROAM team, Eli Brown, describes the mission:

"What fuel does your life RUN on? What drives you? What are you passionate about? What causes are worth investing in? What is YOUR MISSION? Those are just a handful of the questions I have been asking myself lately and I intend on figuring that out this year! It's time for less "wondering" and more focus, prayer, investment, and ... some running. I am working on a new blog and fundraising company called @RunOnAMission. We are just getting started, but stay tuned for more info to come! Our MISSION is to help raise money for organizations and people making a positive difference in their community and the world around them. We want to partner with others whose lives are fueled and Running On A Mission. If you are interested in following the journey, you can follow myself and my running partner Eddie at @RunOnAMission on IG, Twitter and Facebook. And if you have suggestions, connections, causes, resources or ideas, let me know. I am trusting my fam and friends to help me do this right! Check out the site at www.RunOnAMission.com ... We are at the starting block and this race is about to take off!" #RunOnAMission #Missions #Fundraising #CouchTo5k #StayTuned #MoreToCome."

I am proud to have been asked to contribute to this site and its worthy purpose, by writing a blog about my daughter, Kelly, and her personal running mission.

http://runonamission.com/whatsyourfuel-kelly-runs-for-team-in-training/



 
 
 



 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TODAY?

When I woke up this morning and checked my phone, and it had blown up. Local running friends all had a variation of the same question, "What are you doing today."

Here in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, the heart of the anthracite coal region and the home of the Yuengling Brewery, we are buried under 24 inches of snow, courtesy of the Blizzard of '16.

Yesterday, I carved lanes in the yard for my dogs, shoveled and plowed the driveway for three hours. In anticipation of the storm, I scheduled a day off from running, leaving my fitness to the hearty upper body workout of snow throwing.

My answer to my friends?

"I'm going to run a couple of very slow miles."

Oh, and it will be interesting.

"You should be doing this," I'll hear from folks, breathing hard, leaning on their shovels, pointing to their cars or recently cleared sidewalks.

"I already have. You should be doing THIS," will be my reply.

With glee, I'm sure I'll be spackled with brackish, salt riddled slush as vehicles rush by, in a hurry to go nowhere.

I'll come to a near, or perhaps a complete stop, as narrow streets pit me against large machines, a battle I can't win.

Heads will shake, fists will be clenched, individual fingers will be raised. (and, I'm sure the drivers will be angry as well)

Trails are buried, tracks are gone. I hate the treadmill.

So, what am I going to do?

I'm going to chill, run very slowly, relax, wave and smile. My heart rate may never rise above 90, but I don't care. There's nothing I can do about it. I want run. My legs probably need a rest, and I need to stave off cabin fever. My friend s and I will exchange "war stories" later in the week.

And, in three weeks I'll be in Myrtle Beach.

Maintain!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

HUNKERING DOWN

Well, the blizzard of '16 has, indeed hit, impacting over 80 million people, many of them runners, like us.

I'm currently hunkered down, taking the day off, pondering exactly when I plan to shovel and plow my driveway, relaxing with my dogs, and curled up with a good book. Currently, it's an autobiographical work from legendary talk show host, Dick Cavett.

There are two books I have written that I'd like you to consider (and hopefully purchase).

Personal Best and Running Shorts are written from the perspective of a runner who has experienced all the good and the bad of running that you've experienced. I love running and runners, and over the years, I have forged lasting friendships thanks to our sport.

If you're hunkered down and you need inspiration to get you through the winter doldrums, I promise you'll love these books.
 
Both of my books, Personal Best and Running Shorts are available now, for the lowest price yet, $7.99 each, plus $2.00 shipping and handling, at www.muldowneyrunning.net. Heck, that's about what we pay for a pair of socks today.
 
You can also go to Amazon, at: amazon.com/author/joemuldowney where you can find both books, reviews of them, and the Kindle version of Personal Best for $1.99. Try finding a pair of socks for that price these days!
 
The books are also available from my publisher's site: www.lulu.com
 
Fact is, if you plan to take you first running step, run your first marathon, or want to learn how to drop that marathon time, Personal Best will offer ways for you to achieve your goal.
 
If you want to be inspired, to laugh or cry, with stories from the road, read Running Shorts.
 
And, as my readers know, I pride myself as a "hands on" author. Having trouble with plantar fasciitis? Let me tell you about the 'donut' cure. Want to break 3 hours for the marathon? We can develop a training plan together to make that happen.
 
It's 2016. A new year, with new goals, hopes and aspirations.
 
Want to achieve your personal best?
 
Let me know.
 
I'll help you get there.

Stay safe out there!



 

Friday, January 22, 2016

REST DAY

As winters go, this has been a pretty good one for runners. As I gaze out my window in northeastern Pennsylvania, not a speck of white dots the ground. To date, our only snow has come in the form of a dusting, which quickly vanished.

But from the Carolinas to New England, that's about to change in the next 24 hours. Unless you've been tucked under your blankets the past week, you know that blizzard conditions will grip the eastern seaboard tomorrow.

In anticipation of the 'snowmageddon,' I've already planned a day off from running tomorrow, and if you're within the storm's "bull's eye," so should you.

Little good will come out of slogging out slow miles outside during tomorrow's storm. (If you have a treadmill, then knock yourself out) You will be a danger to yourself and others, your miles will be dreadfully slow, your chances of falling will be greatly increased, and the risk of tweaking a muscle or tendon just isn't worth it.

A day off will help, not hurt you. Enjoy the beauty of the snow, and feel comfort in knowing that your aerobic activity will be satisfied by shoveling, plowing, or playing outdoors with the kids or the grandkids.

Relax, take a deep breath, and accept the fact that it is winter, and many of us are still stuck here in the frozen north.

Be safe.

And take a rest.

Monday, January 18, 2016

GIFT CARD RAFFLE

I'm guessing that you, like me, were not one of the big winners in last week's Powerball drawing.

Let's face it, with the odds of winning standing at about one in 250 million, our chances of winning weren't too great.

Check out a new site, www.giftcardraffles.com, and the video below, where your chances of winning a free gift card are one in 25. That's a lot better than most lotteries.










video
 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

FIRSTS

We had our first snowfall of the season here in Pennsylvania yesterday.

In what has thus far been an unusually mild winter, caused by El Nino, according to the weather pundits, to receive less than an inch of the white stuff for the season's first snowfall on January 12 is pretty remarkable.

What followed the squall was a bitter cold front that cleared the air, dropped the temperature, and created the first winter scene we've experienced in these parts since last March.

Now, I hate winter. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures are not my ideas of fun. That said, I have often written about perspectives.

For example, few people appreciate good health until they no longer have it.

So, as I geared up to run on a snow-covered trail, with wind chills making it feel as though the temperatures were in the single digits, I actually looked forward to my outdoor workout today.

On an out-and-back route, our footprints left in the snow, the sun glaring off the pure whiteness, the run, with my running partner of over 35 years, Brian Tonitis, was magnificent.

With a gimpy knee, still feeling the effects of arthroscopic surgery, I was able to record 3-miles, for the first time since my meniscus decided to tear in mid-August.

Two firsts in the same day. Not a big deal in the big scheme of life, but if you're a runner, and you want to keep running for many years, it's necessary to adjust and adapt, to accept setbacks and appreciate what you have.

If you do, your "firsts" will always be significant to you.

www.muldowneyrunning.net


Saturday, January 9, 2016

'TIS THE SEASON

It's been a busy week.

Marathon season is upon us. March, April and May are ideal months to run a marathon, and although a bum knee will prevent me from running a marathon this spring, this week, with the Holiday season in the rear view mirror, requests for marathon training programs have flooded my desk. Well, you know what I mean, my laptop, not my desk.

I must confess, two of those requests shot to the top of my priority list.

My daughter, Kelly, an accomplished academic, (genetics she clearly did not receive from her father) never liked to sweat. In her mid-20s, she announced that she was going to run a marathon. To her father's delight and amazement, as she had never run a 5K. Well, she did, and to date, she's run six of them. She is running the Ottawa Marathon, with her husband, Mike in May. She wants to break 5 hours and Mike wants to crack the 4-hour barrier.

Father Chris Zelonis never ran much in his youth either, but he does now. At age 39, he qualified for the 2016 Boston Marathon and is flirting with breaking the coveted 3-hour mark. Barring unusual weather conditions, he will do so at Boston.

I'm working on their training programs for April and May as we speak.

The remarkable story of Kelly is told in my book, "Running Shorts;" while the extraordinary story of Father Chris is chronicled in my book, "Personal Best." www.muldowneyrunning.net

But let's talk about you.

Hey guys, I've been running for forty years now, and one thing I've come to know: as runners, we LOVE to talk about us!

Looking for a cheap, effective running plan for races from 5K to the marathon?

Get your order in now, and I'll get started.

Go to Fiverr, www.fiverr.com, type "running" in the search box, and find me. I'll design a running program for you, starting at $5.00. Oh, and also check out the reviews. It's fun to write programs for runners from Austria to Singapore.

The desk/laptop is filling up and marathon/racing is approaching.

I'll be happy to help you get across the finish line





Thursday, January 7, 2016

FIRST STEP


Following is an excerpt from my latest book, Personal Best.
 
"Your first step toward a personal best should begin right now.

There are over forty million reasons, in the United States alone, why folks have chosen running as a means of achieving personal bests. Their objectives range from weight loss to a shot at the Olympics.

It is the choice, however, not the reason, that matters. We live in a society that craves instant gratification; a drive-through world where the most exercise many people get in a given day is the movement of their thumbs and fingers over keyboards, Smartphones, and iPods. Overweight has led to obese; obese has ‘grown’ into morbidly obese. Americans are killing themselves in record numbers by mixing a lethal cocktail consisting of overeating, overindulgence, and lack of exercise."
 
Both of my books, Personal Best and Running Shorts are available now, for the lowest price yet, $7.99 each, plus $2.00 shipping and handling, at www.muldowneyrunning.net. Heck, that's about what we pay for a pair of socks today.
 
You can also go to Amazon, at: amazon.com/author/joemuldowney where you can find both books, reviews of them, and the Kindle version of Personal Best for $1.99. Try finding a pair of socks for that price these days!
 
The books are also available from my publisher's site: www.lulu.com
 
Fact is, if you plan to take you first running step, run your first marathon, or want to learn how to drop that marathon time, Personal Best will offer ways for you to achieve your goal.
 
If you want to be inspired, to laugh or cry, with stories from the road, read Running Shorts.
 
And, as my readers know, I pride myself as a "hands on" author. Having trouble with plantar fasciitis? Let me tell you about the 'donut' cure. Want to break 3 hours for the marathon? We can develop a training plan together to make that happen.
 
It's 2016. A new year, with new goals, hopes and aspirations.
 
Want to achieve your personal best?
 
Let me know.
 
I'll help you get there.
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

SIX FOR '16

Happy 2016 to all.

Here's hoping that you remain healthy and that personal bests dominate your year.

So, at the risk of sounding redundant, I'm going to offer what I think are six tips that will guide you toward a successful running year of 2016.

1. WRITE THIS DOWN-Fans of country music will recognize this phrase as the title of a George Strait song. First, my apologies to Mr. Strait for borrowing his title, but if you've followed my blog you already know that I believe it is essential to keep an accurate log of your workouts. I've done so for forty years. Write your workouts in a log/date book, on your computer, or on a calendar. Write a Russian novel, or keep it brief. However you choose to do it, writing it down allows you to study what works and what doesn't work for you, why you ran great or poorly, and any changes in workouts that may have caused you injury.

2. SPEED-We all love to get out there to take in the scenery, listen to music, or enjoy a workout with friends. But, once a week, on weeks when you're not racing, go to your local track or stay on the road, and run something fast. Intervals or tempo runs are fine, but if you want to race faster, speed work is a must.

3. GO LONG-Whether you are planning to run a 5K or a marathon, a weekly long run is essential. If you're running a 5K, your long run may be 6-8 miles; whereas for a marathon it could be 20 miles. (but not every week) Now here's the key. LSD, long, slow distance, is meaningless. Make your long runs count. If you are aiming to run a race at an 8:00 pace, run your long runs at an 8:30-8:45 pace. Long, slow distance makes long, slow runners.

4. PUMP IT UP-Running is great from the waist down. Too many runners, however, neglect their upper bodies. Two or three times a week, design a 20-30 minute upper body lifting regimen that features low weight and high repetitions. Build strength, not bulk, so when your legs tire, your upper body can carry the day.

5. SAVE YOUR MONEY-Stop racing so much!! Your body needs time to heal. If your goal is to run more races than anyone else, by all means, race every weekend. But if you like EARNING your hardware, by winning age group awards or more, then target and select your races and make them count. Quality, not quantity goes the distance.

6. ENJOY-Run a beer race, crawl under the barbed wire, dress in a tutu, do a zombie run. Keep it fun. Does this contradict the aforementioned Rule #5? Not at all. Select your races, but keep your running fun. Go to big races, but support small races. Both in training and racing, keep it fun, and you will enjoy this sport for a long, long time.

These are six general principals upon which I base my training and yours. If you desire a specific training plan, check out the service I provide on my website: www.muldowneyrunning.net, or check out Fiverr: www.fiverr.com, go to Lifestyle, and type in 'Running Shorts," and I can develop a plan just for you. Be sure to check out the reviews.

Make 2016 the year of your 'Personal Best.'

                                                          My 2016 Logbook

Saturday, January 2, 2016

TURNING FORTY

Well, I turn forty this year.

Ha, I wish!

Actually, as we begin 2016, I enter my fortieth year of competitive running.

It all begin in May 1976, in the small town of Jim Thorpe, a quaint hamlet, nestled in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. The town is named after the deceased Native American Olympic champion, who, peculiarly, resides there now. If you want to read that bizarre tale, read about it in my book, Running Shorts. www.runningshorts.net It has been a long, strange trip for the Indian from Oklahoma.

Although I ran competitively in both high school and college, turning in some unremarkable performances, there was something about the freedom and the dedication it took to train independently to run all distances that captivated me then, and still does, some forty years later.

Accumulating more th 123,000 miles over those forty years, enough to circle the globe more than four times, the thousands of races, a personal best marathon time of 2:22:54, sixteen appearances at the venerable Boston Marathon, all pale in comparison to the friendships I've made, the relationships I've forged, and the experiences I've enjoyed.

A torn hamstring, suffered three weeks after the 2013 Boston Marathon, and arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in November have forced me to reevaluate my training regimen, but have not diminished my love for the sport.

Through coaching, writing, and mentoring, I enjoy assisting others in reaching their running goals. My mantra remains that, while my best running days are behind me; yours, indeed, lie ahead.

I'm happy to be turning forty. Forty years doing something you love. Because, there is no retirement age in this sport. Just ask Ed Whitlock.

So, if you're beginning your first year of running, or if you're pushing forty, I'm with you. We are a brother/sisterhood of addicts to the most positive addiction.

Here's to another forty.

             Meeting running legend, Ed Whitlock, who is setting world records at age 83