Category Archives: III- General Musings

2014 Goal Check: 1 Month down & off to a good start

Now that we are little over a month into the year, this seems to be a perfect time to take a step back and look at my progress against my aggressive 2014 goals. overall, I’m happy with the progress that has been made thus far. There are some things that are not attainable in one month’s time, but like I said before: give me a list and I’ll start chipping away on it bit by bit. Speaking of which, here is “The List”:


Cover 1,000 miles total. Not there yet, obviously. But I have a solid training plan set for the better part of the year already that will carry me up to and past that mileage mark. All there is left to do is get after it. The official training starts on Sat, so it is getting to officially be “Go Time” again.

Get into coaching/ mentoring beginning runners. Done! I am officially a member of the planning committee for DetermiNation, the athletic fundraising arm of The American Cancer Society’s Philadelphia Branch. I have been assigned a group of runners and it’s my job to reach out and help them in any way possible to enjoy the training and race experience. One week in, and it’s so far , so good.


Record a video blog entry. Not quite there. I’ll get there but I just have not had the chance to sit down and figure out how to make it happen just yet.

Raise $10,000 for charity. Not there yet, but on my way. I know I’m already over $1,000 raised and I’m only a month into the year, so I’m off on the right foot but there is still a long way to go. I’m going to keep promoting the Sweet Cheeks Virtual 5K and see how much I can generate from that, and I have a few ideas bouncing around for other fundraisers later in the year as well.

Have the biggest DNation team for the Broad Street Run. Looks like I will have to scratch this one, as this is not going to happen. I can say this with 100% certainty because there is another team out there that is literally over 100 members strong at this point. While my 14 member team is solid and an amazing show of what a group of a motivated group of runners can do, our numbers are not going to be breaking into the triple digits any time soon.

Have my team be in the top 3 in fundraising for The Broad Street Run. Now this is still doable. The #1 slot is going to go to the 100+ member team, just based on the sheer volume of members, so that leaves me 2 more spots. We are currently sitting at #3 and the virtual is not accounted for yet (and still picking up steam as we close in on race weekend). Time will tell but I have my sights set on a top 3 finish.

Try out trail running. Since January has been the month of ice and snow I have not had a chance to run outside at all ( with a small number of exceptions) so no trail running yet. I have taken steps towards making this goal a reality, however. I am now in possession of a brand spankin’ new pair of Newton Running’s newest line of trail running shoes, the BoCo AT. They are aggressive, badass, and I can’t wait to give these bad boys the test run they deserve. Full review will be forthcoming.


Half Marathon PR. This will not come till the fall when I have 2 Halfs on the schedule. I’m hoping that all of the cross training that my triathlons are going to require will pay dividends when it comes time to get after it at the Runners World Half with my online running group ( The Sub-30 Club) and at The Philly Half (again with DetermiNation). If I train right, a sub-2 hour half marathon is attainable. I just have to be smart and want it bad enough.

Add muscle/ continue the ITBS routine all year. I have not been as on top of this as I would have liked to be all month, but now that the real training is about to begin a whole new emphasis will be placed on it, as I believe keeping up the regular routine will be instrumental in keeping me going injury free. So just suck it up and do it. Not too much more to say about that.

10,000 push-up challenge. 10K in one year. That breaks out to an average of 28/day. I have not done anywhere remotely close to this. But I am very slowly building up my strength and am banking on the theory that as I get stronger I will make up for missed opportunities and lower early totals with some big later months. I anticipate finishing the year on target with this goal.
And last but not least:

Run at least one race while pushing Tessa in the jogging stroller. Obviously not done yet, but I have targeted the race I’d like to do it in. A local 5K that is organized by one of the area YMCAs, which also happens to be me (and my families) gym.

So all in all some good progress. I’m chipping away and while the list is aggressive, it’s doable. Feeling good and ready to begin the training. I can’t wait for the chance to offer a real deal training report next week.

If you live in the Northeast corner of the US where I do, be safe out there. We have been getting hammered with some pretty consistent rounds of snow and ice and there is no end in sight for the immediate future. Hang in there, spring has got to get here soon, right? Well, here’s hoping anyway.

Till next time, take it easy.


Spartan Race Giveaway Winner!

This is so cool.
A huge thanks to everyone who participated in this contest, it got a great response and is easily one if the most fun things I’ve given away through the blog.

So without further delay:
The winner of the FREE Spartan Race entry is…

Paul Jorgensen!

Thanks Paul for both sharing and liking the post on Facebook.

Paul, please email me your contact info and I’ll be in touch.

For those who did not win…All is not lost! there is still hope! …Read this!


It’s going to go to one lucky (and randomly chosen) registrant of the virtual 5k/ charity fundraiser I have going on right now: the Sweet Cheeks Virtual 5K. All the info can be found on the race page right here on the blog! Just click the link above or click on the page in the menu that says (not surprisingly) “Sweet Cheeks Virtual 5K” and you will be taken to the race page with all the details and an option to register.

The deal is you register for the race, all participants get a medal with an awesome logo on it, and also get a shot at a TON of sweet prizes. One of those sweet prizes is another FREE RACE ENTRY for any 2014 US Spartan Race. 100% of the profits from the Sweet Cheeks are going directly to the American Cancer Society, so please consider participating. You do a little good for you, a lot of good for those who need it. Plus you get a shot at some badass prizes in the process.

Thanks again to everyone who participated and congrats to Paul. I appreciate it very much and look forward to the next giveaway.

Have a great day.

Spartan Race Post & Giveaway

I have a different kind of post for you today. A little deviation from the standard “here’s my training progress” post.

 I have been approached by the folks at the Reebok Spartan Race asking if I would put up a post about their races, and specifically talk about the February 8-9 Arizona and April 5 Vegas races coming up soon. (see links below for discount codes and to register)




 I’m getting much more selective about what products and services that I write about. I want to make sure that it stays consistent with my personal goals/ progress/ experiences and is also relevant to the blogs core group of readers. And while it’s true that I don’t have any mud runs/ obstacle races on the schedule this year, there is no denying their mass appeal and prevalence in the racing world. I did one last year and would not trade the experience for anything. As a matter of fact, I have talked to several runners now who have gotten their start into a more active lifestyle by training for and completing one of these races. Hell, my original “big goal” was a race like this. (That did change once I got started and I fell in love with road racing, but that does not change the fact that the initial push came from an obstacle challenge)

 With all that being said, I wanted to share some info on the Spartan Race.

 Kind of an “Obstacle Race 101 class” if you will.  So here is the deal with these races: they take place in an off-road setting, and while you are still covering the distance of the race, the path is filled with various military boot-camp style obstacles in most cases. This can include monkey bars, walls to jump over, big ass tires to flip, rock walls to climb, bales of hay (on fire, of course) to jump over, and then the infamous Mud Pit to crawl through.

 I’ll be honest, while the mud and the obligatory “before and after” pics are a draw for a lot of people, it didn’t really so it for me. It was cool and something that I’m glad I got to experience (plus it have me this great photo op with my badass sister who ran it with me)

Bro & Sis Mud

…but it was less the “dripping with mud” aspect and more of the “everyone working together as a team” aspect that really held the appeal for me.

 The real driving force behind this type of race is that it’s a group effort. Whether you bring a crew of 20 people along with you like I did, or fly solo you are probably going to need, and guaranteed you will receive help along the way at some point while you are out there. That’s what I took out of the experience. (That and also it’s surprising how difficult it is to run and climb a rock wall while dripping a head to toe coating of mud) of course it’s a huge physical challenge, but the comroderie is what really attracted me and will eventually make me want to do another one. I got help from my peeps, and then from total strangers. I in turn help them all as well, my team or not: everyone had each other’s backs and that was awesome.

 This is what the Spartan Race is all about: pushing yourself and helping others do the same. If you have not tried one, I highly recommend it.

 It’s a great goal and race to try, even if you are newer to the active lifestyle scene, because if you want to finish it and you train for it, you will finish it, and crossing that finish line will make you feel like a complete and total badass. I can guarantee that.


Now here’s the cool part: as part of the deal for my posting up this Obstacle Run/ Spartan Race post, the insanely generous people at the Spartan Race have agreed to give me a discount code for everybody who reads this to use for a discount when registering, and one lucky winner will get a free entry into any 2014 Spartan Race in the US.

 All you need to do to enter is:

  • Comment on this blog post
  • Like, share or comment on this post on the Big Andy’s Running Facebook page
  • Favorite or Retweet this post on the @bigandya twitter feed.

 Each comment, like, share, favorite, or retweet gets you an entry. I’ll pull the free race winner at noon EST on Tuesday, Jan 28th, 2014.

*For the discount code, click HERE and it will take you to a page and generate a 15% off discount code for race entry

 Good luck, and until next time: Take it easy