Category Archives: Motivation

11 Random Things About Philip Ciccarello

Marathon Brian or Brian Adkins (pictured below), a Chicago-bases road racer, marathoner, endurance athlete, writer,  and independed scholar, “tagged” me and 10 others with a series of questions and a mandate to do the same with 11 others.

The Rules:

1)  Post these rules.
2)  You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3)  Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4)  Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5)  Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6)  No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.” You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 Random Things about Philip Ciccarello:

  1. I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia
  2. Ran my first race at the age of 12 (Virginia 10 Miler)
  3. Avid Snowboarder
  4. Dislike Mayonnaise
  5. Avoid running on treadmills
  6. Narrowly avoided dying in a car crash at the age of 15 (was not driving)
  7. Home-schooled for just the 7th grade
  8. Grew up on an Apple Orchard Farm
  9. Met my wife at Sweet Briar College (all girls school)
  10. Gave up running with music in 2006
  11. Built a working telephone at the age of 10

Marathon Brian’s Questions to Philip Ciccarello

  1. Favorite event? Our 2009 Wedding in Bermuda
  2. What’s your favorite Ryan Gosling movie? Drive 2011 
  3. What’s your favorite post-race celebration food? Protein shake or a big juicy turkey burger with fries
  4. Who manufactures your favorite race day shirt or singlet? Rarely wear a shirt on race day – when I do it’s random
  5. What’s your second favorite Ryan Gosling movie? Fracture 2007
  6. Gatorade or Powerade? Gatorade..preferably, water
  7. Favorite newspaper? Financial Times
  8. You’ve just won a race/event, what’s your initial action or reaction? Smile for the camera…turn around and cheer for 2nd and 3rd place
  9. Would you rather be taller or smarter? Smarter; you could design a formula to enhance your height
  10. Which historical figure would you like to have a 2-hour dinner with? Thomas Jefferson
  11. Favorite holiday? The first day of Spring (not a holiday)


Philip’s Questions to the Tagged:

  1. Preferred running shoes?
  2. Ranch or blue cheese?
  3. What’s your favorite Samuel L. Jackson movie?
  4. Would you rather be able to fly or breath under water?
  5. Favorite fruit?
  6. If you could change one world problem, what would it be?
  7. If you had 10 hours to live, what would you do?
  8. Seafood or land meat?
  9. Best thing about living in the United States?
  10. What gets you of of bed in the morning (not the alarm)?
  11. Favorite Superhero?


Philip’s Tagged People:





Thad (Runner Dude) – Twitter





Genevieve Twitter



Stay Fit Through the Holidays!

Christmas is a challenging time of the year for physical activity. Not only is the cold weather a motivation killer, parties, food, fellowship and shopping deflate any extra free time. Should we put our feet up until New Years, or try to maintain a base through the holidays?

Don’t be lazy, here are a couple tips to help you maintain a base-

1. Partner in crime
Schedule a morning workout, afternoon run, or mid-day walk with a friend. Don’t break the commitment, rely on one another to get some physical activity in together.

2. Pack the right gear
Traveling for the holidays? Pack running/athletic shoes and proper exercise clothing. It’s hard to exercise without the right attire.

3. Be realistic
Instead of setting a certain number of miles, try to run twice a week. Gym closed for the holidays? Use YouTube to find some at home exercises, you may even learn something new…

4. Offer to be the DD (Designated Driver)
How great does it feel to wake up refreshed and hydrated? Instead of boozing, offer to drive someone else, this guarantees a good night sleep and a fresh start.

When the going gets though, think about the edge you will have on the competition come January 1st!

Photo credit: hvhe1

Running with your slow friend

Mike Baird photos

Your friend asks if you want to go on a run…you balk with some excuse, when the true reason is they are just a slower runner. Here are three approaches to help you deal:




Let’s start out with the easiest, the truth. Be perfectly honest, explain that you are training for a race. This will take the pressure off, as your friend will understand that you are a stronger runner, going for fast mile splits or a quick tempo runs. Or, if they do not get the hint, just tell them you plan on running at a fast pace today and you do not want to make them uncomfortable- a good friend will understand.

Why lie to your friend? Not only is lying to your friend not cool, but it could create a bad relationship plus invoke some bad-karma, like an injury in your future.

My favorite, the compromise. Ok, you plan on doing 10 miles, your friend asks you to do 3 miles (at a slower pace), what do you do? Run 10 miles, then do a nice and easy recovery run with your friend. Miles accomplished, plus you ran with a friend, and gained a few miles. Another solution is to schedule your slower friend runs on your recovery days. Slower pace + miles + friend = great run!!


Morning Motivation Starts With Sleep

The hardest part about any task or exercise is starting. This is especially true when waking up to exercise. When the alarm clock goes off, what is your first thought? It should always be optimistic, think of mentally preparing your body for exercise. Second you should determine if your body is ready for exercise- are you sore, do you have any injuries, do you have a race coming up? Third, set your goals and get out of the bed. The longer you lay there, the less likely you will even get up and get started.

Of course the key to starting the morning right is ensuring you get enough sleep.

This seems like a simple task, yet so many athletes get this wrong, or have a misconception of sound sleep. It is critical to achieve between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep per night. Experts challenge study linking sleep, life span.

3 things that help get a good night sleep

  1. No eating 2 hours before bedtime. A full stomach can result in discomfort, causing a restless night. Avoid stimulates 4-6 hours before bed, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine just to name a few.
  2. When you are tired go to bed. If you start falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 go to bed- don’t try to get to sleep at a certain time, just go when your body tells you.
  3. No interruptions. This is difficult if you have children or something else that will awaken you during the night. Turn off all light sources in the room, close the blinds and enjoy the darkness.