Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My Plan for 2018

This weekend the family headed down to South Carolina to visit my grandma and aunt and uncle.  I had a lot of time to reflect on everything.

So I thought about my goals for 2018.  Instead of doing the traditional 18 for 2018 or whatever.  I decided to pick three simple goals.

Get Healthy

For the past few years I have struggled to stay healthy physically.  Partly because I put some weight back on (very hard to admit) and partly because I was worrying about others before me not taking care of me.  My goal is this.  Drop the weight I put back on.  Get stronger via strength training so that my body can handle the rigors of running, training or anything else life throws at you.  Having major glute/hip issues for over a year has taken a toll.  By doing all of these things, I should be back stronger.  My other goal is to get back to eating healthy.  Everyone tells you its easy to lose it but its hard to maintain.  This was my problem from the beginning and has taken me two years to finally realize it.  

Read More

Last year I actually read two books, and almost finished a third.  Which for some is a drop in the bucket.  but for me, this is huge.  I hated reading as a kid and I hated it more after grad school.  But I enjoy it.  It keeps my brain more active.  I know this is a boring goal but it is something that I think will help me be a better person.

Adventure More

I have noticed since I have put weight back on, I haven't tried as much to do new things.  I need to adventure more with my family.  Do things we haven't tried before.  I don't want to miss out on adventures nor do I want my kids to.

Enjoy the Now

My biggest goal for 2018 is to take a deep breathe and enjoy the present.  Quit worrying about the past.  Quit worrying about the future.  But enjoy what we have in front of us.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Guide to Running the Perfect New York Marathon

Here is my essential guide to running the perfect New York Marathon ever.  I have seven helpful tips for you to run your perfect New York City Marathon (Steve Lambert style).

1.  Raise Money for a Good Cause: The amount of people cheering us on this weekend because of our Team in Training race shirt was insane.  The funny part was not everyone even knew who Team in Training was (more weird than funny but still).  These were our top three team cheers: Go Purple Team, Go Team 30, and last but not least, Go Team!!!! 

2.  Run with Friends: Best decision I ever made was to run with Kristy and Karen (added Ryan Hatcher the day before race).  Ultimately running with your friends for 26.2 is way more enjoyable than running by yourself or pushing for a PR in New York.  New York is such a huge race that you don't really want to miss any of the sights and sounds (read next tip).  Between meeting famous people on course or the conversations we had, it was such a blast.  Marathons are never easy.  But after finishing the race the way we did, I actually would do it again in a heartbeat.  

3.  Check out the Sights and Sounds:  You run through all five boroughs, through millions of peoples and, well, why not.  Three helpful hints:  Follow the Ryan Hatcher guide to Marathoning and get super pumped at every puppy you see. Dance like no one is looking at every chance you get (New York had by far the best band and music support I've ever seen.  I highly recommend the Boogie Down Bronx when you cross into the borough and the Funk music in Harlem). And last but not least, take amazing pictures along the way (I mean, why not?).

4.  When you have a chance, high five as many of the crowd as possible.  They get louder and louder and way more fun the more you interact.  

5.  When nearing the race photographer always get ready for an epic photo opportunity.

6.  When getting ready for the finish line, line up with your teammates like you are synchronized swimmers.

7.  Last but not least.  Sign up for the race poncho over the dry bag.  Its amazing and it protects you from whatever weather is at the finish.  

New York was such an amazing experience.  I highly recommend it to anyone from wanting to run your first marathon to your last.  

As their motto says, "IT WILL CHANGE YOU".

More blogs to come about the whole New York Experience.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Bumps in the Road

Sometimes the world catches up to you.  And this week it finally did.  I woke up Friday morning feeling alright but by the time I got to work, I was groggy, stuffed up and had a headache.  I toughed through it, thinking it was just allergies.  Friday was also our five year anniversary.  I wasn't going to let a little cold ruin Lori and I's anniversary dinner.  Instead, Lori, myself and Avery went and got Sushi.  It was the perfect example of what our lives are made up of right now.  A cranky three year old, one sick parent, and exhaustion from a long week for all three of us.  It was a perfect anniversary meal.  Lori and I actually joked about how real it actually was.  Nothing special, just us, our family.  And it was perfect.

Saturday, I decided to call sick for probably one of the only times I have in six seasons as a pacer.  I hated myself but the reality was that there was no way I was going to get through 12 miles (or even my scheduled 20) on a cold in humid warm temperatures.  Instead, I would probably have to drop out and be sicker than I was originally for trying to push.  I didn't like missing it.  But I knew it was the best thing for myself.  The other part of me was pissed for missing the 20 miler.  For runners, this is a huge hurdle.  But its okay because I have another one in a few weeks.  

Sunday, Lori and I took the kids to Busch Gardens to enjoy some time together as a family.  We wanted to get their early so Avery could enjoy the park one last time before it got dark and scary for kids.  We had a blast.  We ran into the Mautes and hung out.  Avery and Chet played, rode together, and won stuffed animals.  Watching through their eyes of imagination is a lot of fun.  We also got to ride a few rides for us adults too.  The day was just what our family needed, some time way from work, school, and running.  Just us four enjoying the amazing weather and Busch Gardens.  

Lesson learned this week:  Listen to your body.  

Monday, September 11, 2017


The school year has begun, the temps have dropped (at least right now), and life is getting busier.  It must be September.

Friday, Lori and I dropped off our daughter to her first day of preschool.  The cliche that is how time flies is so true.  But I remember every little moment since she was born.  But she is excited and so are we.  We look forward to her learning, adapting, socializing, and growing.

At the same time, our son started his junior year in high school.

I think it's funny when people talk about running like it's every story or blog or conversation you have.  But the reality is that running is just my therapy.

The past two weeks have been insane.

My ATV needed to be worked on.

My son's truck broke down (aka the world is ending).

my car brakes went out.

So sometimes you punt, you buy a new car, you spend evenings fixing shit and you keep trucking.

But thank God for running and Evofit.  They keep me sane.

The cool part is that Cancer Better Run is halfway through our training cycle.  We definitely have some big hills to climb before we taper but we are closer than ever to our goal of running the New York Marathon for such a great cause.

I will be honest.  I am not excited to run a marathon.  But I am excited to run for this cause.  I am excited to run with three friends that are amazing people.  I am excited to see that hopefully our money we have raised will help save one person's life.

As we completed the first half of our training, we actually all got to run with each other on Saturday.  We haven't all run together in 8 weeks.

Onto next week.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Love Will Always Win

I was typing an update to my marathon training this weekend when I read the headlines on TV.  As much as I am excited to be done with the first quarter of my training, it all seemed very irrelevant with the headlines in our country.

I knew during this last presidential election that there would be mass chaos in this country.  I called out five years ago that the pendulum of politics was swinging ever further from the middle.  And it has.  It doesn't matter who I voted for or who you voted for.  But the truth is what matters is how we act.  How we treat each other as fellow citizens.

Technology has changed the way people educate themselves.  The term "Fake News" has masked the truth with a ton of what we read.  Our children get their news from Social Media.  Our own president terms every news channel or site that has been said anything negative about him as "Fake News".

Recently, I deleted Facebook from my phone.  I did this for many reasons.  The first is that Facebook was occupying way too much of my time.  Another reason is I couldn't stand reading the biased and rude comments people post on Social Media.  The last reason is that I couldn't stand the anger, hatred and bitterness in posts from everyone in the world today.  Today, it seems as though people have no filters, hiding behind social media comments as if they have a giant wall protecting them from reality.  But that is further then the truth.  You can't hide behind your comments.  They are forever etched into the world.

I will keep Facebook off my phone for now.

Last night I cried while watching Vice News on HBO.  They followed the Alt-Right "protest" in Charlottesville.  I cried for fear of the future for my children and every friend I have who is not a white male.  I was saddened by hearing these people spewing such anger and hatred to others.

This is what I saw in the videos for thirty minutes.......

Riot Gear

Automatic Rifles


Weapons to fight the opposition

Those items are not for protests.  Those items are for chaos.  They are for destruction.  They are to inflict pain.  They are for anger.

These people will not win with ANGER.

These people will not with HATRED.

Love will win.  Love will conquer all.  Because I will keep raising my children to be kind, educated, and tolerant for all people.

I will teach my children to love.

I will teach my kids to be open to all opinions.  Even if they don't agree upon them, they will learn to listen to others.

What happened in Charlottesville is just the beginning.  My heart goes out to the parents of the girl who was killed.  My heart also goes out to the parents of the guy who murdered this girl.  Both sets of parents have lost their child to anger and hatred.

So in honor of Heather Heyer, I will raise my children to love, be kind, and tolerant.  And hopefully, you all do too.

LOVE will conquer hatred.

LOVE will always win.

Monday, July 31, 2017

New York Marathon, J&A Training Team, and everything in between.....

Since I am back in the training cycle, I promised myself I would write more.  Sometimes I don't have much to write about and sometimes I have too much.

This is the first time in 3 years that I have started a training cycle with a blank slate.  I always had a goal in mind.  I had always been running non stop.  But after back to back marathons and too much running, my body and mind couldn't keep up.  As I wrote in one of my last posts, my goal is to run happy and run healthy.  So far into week 3, I have been able to accomplish this.  I have backed off the running 5 days a week but am concentrating on better runs and getting stronger doing EvoFit.

Monday kicked off the J&A Training Team.  This will be my sixth time pacing.  I think I now firmly hold the lead on that.  But more exciting is that we have over 50 new team members and a few old members coming back who haven't signed up in a while.  The dynamics and energy will completely be different but I have a feeling this will be the best training team yet and we will have the most amazing positive energy that we have ever had.  From top down, I think we have the best pacers and team leaders we have had yet.

Summer has been super busy.  Having a teenager driving, working and playing baseball and having a three year old to chase down has kept Lori and I busy.  We have enjoyed a few days at the beach here and there, Water Country USA once, and have traveled twice to Pittsburgh since June for family events.

Running, being a dad, and husband are always tough to juggle.  But I am very thankful I have a supportive wife in helping me stay healthy physically and mentally.  Part of my personal goals this fall is to be happy.  I never ran because I wanted to be fast.  I ran to be healthy and happy.  I may never BQ (Boston Qualify for you non-runners) but I know I will enjoy my life.  Between my amazing wife, two beautiful kids and amazing friends who surround me each and everyday, I don't need much more.

As each week approaches to the New York Marathon, I have to remind myself what the feeling was like when I got to first see my wife and daughter in Detroit when I was running my first marathon.  It was the greatest high I have ever had.  Just like it was when I finished Shamrock in 2016.  Finishing and being able to hug my family is what it is all about.  My time didn't matter.  It matter knowing who is around you.  I look forward standing side by side with my friends in New York when we finish.  I have never run a race with friends but I am pretty excited to have these three beside me finishing.

This past week hit the 100 day mark until the race.  100 days feels so close but 100 days feels so far away.  Time will creep up fast.  But for right now, I am going to enjoy the rest of the summer with my wife, my kids, and close friends.  Cheers!

Friday, July 14, 2017

November Project Hell Week

So Sunday my friend, Kristy, asked if someone would join her on Monday to November Project's first day of #hellweekvb.  I was hesitant because I didn't really know any of the people who typically go and I didn't want to feel like an outsider.  But I promised Kristy I would try Monday so I went.  Monday was bridge repeats and was a lot of fun.  It was refreshing running with new people and with such positive energy.  After I finished, I decided if I was going to wake up at 4 AM Monday, I might as well do the rest of the week.  So I better figure out where I was going to shower between the workout and work.

Tuesday was track work and it was a lot of fun.  Since I am still doing physical therapy, I am not allowed to do true speed work.  Instead, I ran a controlled quick pace.  It felt great, which has been rare in the past six months.

Wednesday was my first time at Mt. Trashmore.  We ate hills for breakfast.  Ran up the hill, ran down the stairs (three days later and my calves are still sore).  I still don't know how I have never ran at Mt. Trashmore (we need some team weekday runs here Ryan!).

Thursday was at Lake Smith Nature Area.  This was a fun workout, team building, Survivor (the show), Paper/Rock/Scissors for Burpees.  Just a fun overall experience.

And then the final day was the beach.  Everyone I talked to was nervous.  Should I run, should I swim.  The plan was to swim.  And as November Project's mottos is #justshowup, so I did.  And I decided to swim.  So did my crew.  It actually made me a little more confident that I can pull off a Sprint Triathlon.  We all had a blast and before you know it, #hellweekvb was over.

I earned my #novemberprojectvb #NP_VB #grassrootsgear and #hellweekvb.

Sadly, I am rarely able to attend the normal meet-ups but after feeling so awesome after this week, if I can, I will.  The people of our community are amazing and I am so thankful to my #evofit757 and #trainjanda crew for keeping me motivated to come out all week.

If you ever get a chance, step out of your zone and join a meet-up.  I promise you, you won't regret it.