A Marathon or a Sprint (or both)?

I’m four months into my training for the Maryland Ironman in September and I have to say, it’s going very well so far! Here are the accomplishments to date:

April 6 – I ran 6 miles of a Marathon for RunAPalooza. I averaged 7:46/mile, which was my fastest race in probably 10 years. And most importantly, I personally raised $2,015 for Special Olympics and our team raised over $5,200 total! Thank you to everybody who contributed. Even though this is just one event of the overall season, it’s the one that I commit to raise funds for each year and it started my Ironman 2019 journey.

April 14 – I ran the Rutgers Half-Marathon for the third time. My goal was to beat 1:50 and I did it in flying colors! I averaged an 8:05/mile pace, which was a PR for a Half Marathon. And I felt great crossing the finish line, as opposed to previous years when I was pretty spent at the end of the race. Naomi ran with me this year and we had really good weather and some awesome support!

May 12 – Another first as we ran Run The Hook – a 5K/10K race where proceeds go to the Clean Ocean Action. What was awesome is that Andrea ran with Naomi and I for the first time! What was not so awesome is that is poured all day long. It was windy, cold and miserable on Sandy Hook. But we plowed through and did it! Naomi and Andrea did the 5K (Naomi won it!) and I did the 10K. Even with the crappy weather, I averaged 7:43 for the 10K, reducing my time from RunAPalooza. And I had a nasty cold that weekend too. After the race we had a wonderful Mother’s Day Brunch in Pier Village, Long Branch. Since we’re soaking wet in all the race pictures, I’ll leave you with one post-race picture at the restaurant

Happy Mothers Day – Turning Point, Pier Village, Long Branch, NJ

As I mentioned in the first blog post of my 2019 journey, I might decide to blog about business/startup ideas, and I have had a few things rattling around in my head that I wanted to share.

  1. Hire a Coach!

    For any of you that read popular Venture Capitalist blogs like Fred Wilson, Brad Feld and Hunter Walk, they all talk about how important it is for Entrepreneurs that are leading companies to have a coach. I embraced this idea when I started/ran companies, but I never did for endurance events…. until now. I have found that no matter how much I read, I was still not preparing and executing the way I hoped to in my important races. So, I finally “broke down” and hired a coach for my 2019 Ironman journey. Adam has been great, especially dealing with all my craziness. But most importantly, he’s somebody I can talk to… bounce ideas off of… and generally learn from, since he’s got the experience and has coached and performed himself. I should have done this long ago. Thanks Adam!

  2. A startup isn’t “marathon vs. sprint” – it’s LOTS of marathons!

    I’ve told anybody who cared to listen that a startup is a marathon and not a sprint. I thought a lot about this during the Rutgers Half Marathon (yes, this is what I do when I run). The thing is, I knew that after the race I would feel a sense of accomplishment and I could “relax.” And that didn’t seem to mimic how I felt about my startups. We were never done, we were always running, and the finish line seemed quite far away.

    So here’s my new thought – a startup is (or should be) a series of marathons. Instead of having just one goal (e.g. going public, selling your company), you should identify many sub-goals and “train” for each of them. In addition, you should celebrate each “event” and rest up a bit from it before continuing. So, in this mode, a startup isn’t really a single marathon – it’s a series of events, large and small, that lead up to some cultivating event. Just like Ironman. I can choose to stop after this Ironman in September, or continue. But that’s the milestone I’m working toward for now. And if I ever do another startup, I’m going to look at discrete events that the team can work toward vs. the final goal/event.

  3. Embrace the mistakes

    Training in 2019 has been primarily AWESOME. Everything has felt good. Times are improving. People are commenting on how good I look (BTW, that feels great, you can mention that anytime!) BUT – there will always be bad days. I had a really bad day this past Sunday. I was supposed to do a 12 mile run, and I bonked around Mile 7. There were several reasons for this (I biked for 4:30 on Saturday instead of the 3:30 I was supposed to do…. it was quite hot on Sunday and I got a late start so it was already over 80 degrees…. I didn’t wear sunscreen Saturday and had a slight burn on my arms…. I didn’t bring enough liquid nutrition with me on the run). But I talked it over with Adam, and as a great Coach he brought up probably the most important item – I’m going too hard on my “recovery” sessions earlier in the week, so my legs were too tired to perform at the level we wanted on Sunday. Instead of being bummed, I’m actually really happy now because I learned an important lesson and I (hopefully!) don’t repeat these mistakes again. Instead of ignoring or sweeping mistakes under the rug, embrace and learn from them.

If I get any other ideas while exercising, I’ll continue to blog about them. Would love to hear your thoughts on these two items. In the meantime, the training is really heating up! Here is what’s next for the races (with a couple of busy weeks coming up:

5/25/2019 – Spring Lake 5 (5 mile run – with Naomi (and Andrea for the first time!) 
5/26/2019 – Navesink or Swim (2.4 miles, with Naomi) 
6/9/2019 – Eagleman Half-Ironman (Maryland) – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run (with Naomi)
7/21/2019 – NJ Olympic Triathlon (1500 yard swim, 25 mile bike, 10K run) – with Naomi. And Andrea is doing the Sprint on Saturday! 
9/28/2019 – Maryland Ironman (Maryland) – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run