Today we have a guest blogger! This post comes to us from Constance, who is affiliated with Recovery Well. Take a few minutes to read her words, visit the Recovery Well site, and please leave your comments below!


“Getting sober was not an easy thing to do. It took a lot of effort from you, your loved ones, and professionals. While you probably hit a rough patch along your addiction recovery journey, you finally got sober — and you want to stay that way so you can be healthier and remain in control.

Besides getting better friends and avoiding places that enabled your addition, you can support your sobriety by getting physically fit. Working on your diet and exercise routines can help you stay strong and make the right decisions. Before you start heading on long hikes or buying gym memberships, why does fitness matter for your sobriety?

Why Your Fitness Matters

As you have already learned, addiction is a disease. It’s not simply a matter of willpower or making better choices. That’s why fitness works for any people in addiction recovery — they effectively replace the bad addiction with one to exercise and the endorphins it releases. In other words, you can avoid relapses by getting “addicted” to physical activity. It’s not a true addiction, of course, but it can do wonders for your health.

In fact, explains that studies show physical activity increases your resistance to addiction. Some of that is a form of “reverse” peer pressure where the friends you make playing sports and being active support your sobriety. But there is evidence that the exercise itself helps protect you from a relapse.

Exercise Tips That Help

But what kind of exercise should you focus on? To some extent, that depends on what you like to do. If you love watching NBA games, go out and play some basketball. If meditation is fun for you, explore a more active version with tai chi or yoga.

However, Blackmores shows that some exercises are particularly good at helping your mind as well as your body. And when your mental state is good, you are more likely to stay sober. Swimming is particularly good because it works both muscles and cardiovascular health. Cycling, tennis, and yoga all improve your health while not hurting your joints. Running and weightlifting might be very different, but they are both excellent for supporting your health and addiction recovery.


Gym memberships are also good, but there’s often a less-expensive option: Getting outdoors.

Getting Outside Is Worth It

Remember that people evolved in nature. Taking time to get some exercise outdoors can be very enjoyable, never mind good for your addiction recovery efforts. In Pennsylvania, there are a wide variety of places to enjoy.

Two great examples are the Phipps Conservatory and Hickory Run State Park. At the Phipps Conservatory, you can try your hand at yoga in a stimulating environment. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a fun hike at Hickory Run State Park. And studies show that returning to nature can help lift your spirits and improve your physical health.

There are plenty of other options for Pennsylvanians as well. The nearby Pocono Mountains are great for hiking, whereas the beaches at Lake Erie offer swimming and family fun.

Stay Fit To Stay Sober

Addiction recovery is not an event. It’s a journey that requires help and support. That’s why you need to focus on your own fitness. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can support your sobriety, so go outdoors for a nice hike, bike ride, and more. You’re in control of your life again, so make the right decisions for your long-term health.”


I finished my first 50 miler.

I FINISHED MY FIRST 50 MILER!!! To say that I am ecstatic about this accomplishment would be understating my excitement!

Let’s take a step back. Mount Penn, located in Reading, Pennsylvania, was basically in my backyard growing up. I ran there a handful of times, but I never got to know the area incredibly well. My wife, a group of our running buddies, and I decided in late 2016 that we would all run the Labor Pains 12 Hour Endurance Trail Run out on by Pretzel City Sports ( the following year. We all started discussing goal distances (since it is a timed event) and I blurted out “I’m going for 50!” without thinking about what that meant.

Fast forward to Labor Day Weekend 2017. Race day comes and training has not gone the way I wanted/was hoping/it should have. We toe the line, the gun goes off, and we are off to run in the woods for as many 5 miles laps as we can in 12 hours. I went out way too quickly. I was running with a woman who I later found out was shooting for the 100k. Oh boy, this could hurt later! The first two laps went well, then on lap 3, my body started to react to the fast start to the day. I worked into a more comfortable pace and settled in for what I knew would be a long day!

Laps 4-7 were all over the place, but mostly from “My legs don’t feel well” to “How soon is this over?”. It was a bit of a roller-coaster that I had not previously experienced to this extent in an ultra before. I kept putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes faster than others, but always in a forward motion. By the time I got to lap 8 my legs felt fried and I started to worry that the last 3 laps were going to be brutal. About a half mile into lap 8 my legs loosened up and I was able to start running with some purpose again! Lap 9 wasn’t as good as lap 8, but I kept moving decently well and got through it. I came in to the aid station and took an extra minute to get ready for the last lap. One of the members of our running group, Nick, asked if I wanted a pacer and I blurted out “That would be awesome!”. He offered to fill my bottle and meet me shortly after the start of the lap. Having him with me for the first mile of this lap was huge. Nick was a fantastic mental help, allowing me to focus on talking to him and not how my legs were feeling. We progressed through lap 10 quite well. I had some surges of energy and power that surprised both myself and Nick. We came off the long downhill to the road section and I looked at my watch to see how we were doing on time for my goal and my watch died with less than .5 miles to go!!! I instantly yelled out in frustration. We laughed at the humor of the situation as we continued into the finish, which was up what most would consider the sickest joke of a finishing hill in the history of all humanity (thank you Ron!)!!

I crossed the finish line and felt an instantaneous amount of both relief and joy. Relief that I wasn’t heading back out for another lap (or two+) and joy that I had completed the longest distance run I’d ever attempted! Immediately after crossing the finish line (and multiple times through the harder moments of the race) I told myself I would not be doing anything longer than a 50 mile run in my life. Two days later, I began looking at 100 mile runs.

If you have never done this race, I recommend it! It is a perfect way to go for a distance that seems just out of reach because of the setup. Who knows, maybe next year I will shoot for that 100k!

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that we recently completed the Sugarloaf Marathon. We have taken the last two to three weeks as recovery from the race and we are now getting back into the swing of running and training. My first good weekend training session was Sunday. I set out for a brick workout; 9 miles on foot and 21 on wheels. The day went well. My legs were quite tired from the bike workout as I have not been riding much through the first half of the year. All in all it was a quality workout day!

The next logical question is, “What’s next?”. The Marlette 50k in beautiful Lake Tahoe, NV! This race looks truly awesome. I know the scenery out there is phenomenal from racing Lake Tahoe 70.3 in 2015, but now we get to hit the trails and have some REAL fun! Training is going to consist of a ton of trail running, looking for a good amount of elevation gain on some of the longer runs to get my legs accustomed to going up for a long time while fatigued. The elevation gain is approximately 5400′, which is not an insane amount of climbing for the distance, but it also can’t be snickered at. The course should prove for great views and some serious challenges!

I am excited for August to get here!

If you will be at the Marlette 50k, or if you have raced it in the past, definitely drop a comment here and let us know what you thought!

My push to Sugarloaf 2016 was a great training cycle that culminated in my PR of 3:07. I fear this year will not result in such a time. My training has been lacking motivation until recently and sporadic at best until recently as well. I have been able to get multiple 14-16 mile runs in with a 20 miler later in the cycle, but the weekly mileage has not been where I was hoping to be this year. As I have been reviewing the push towards Sugarloaf 2017 I have done some soul-searching, so to speak, and found that while the times I run aren’t always what I hope for, I am learning more and more to enjoy the journey of each run. I look around more noticing the environment I am in, the people around me who are sharing in the joy of one of my favorite hobbies, and the fact that I am very privileged to be able to engage in a hobby that I love on a very regular basis.

I may not qualify for Boston this year and that is OK. I will enjoy the trip, the run, and the company. Boston doesn’t define me, it is simply a goal; one which I will definitely achieve some day. One thing the past few years have shown me is that the elusive Boston Qualifying time I once thought was out of my reach is well within my grasp.

The Boston Marathon. Since I first decided to give this whole marathon thing a shot, The Boston Marathon has been my goal. It may not be the hardest race to qualify for when considering the time requirements, but it is without a doubt the holy grail of the major marathon circuit. I have wanted to qualify and run this majestic race since day 1.

This week was the first on the schedule for solid training. If you read about my push for Boston last year (read about the failed second attempt here) you know that I had a great training cycle for the Sugarloaf Marathon last year, but fell short of qualifying for Boston by approximately two minutes even though I ran a PR of 3:07:18. The feeling after the race was majority elation for having run such a great race, but slight disappointment for having come so close.

This year I am back at it and heading back to Sugarloaf with my wife and her father to shoot for a BQ once again. This year I aged up and will need to run 3:10:00 (actually something around a 3:07:30 to solidly lock in my chance) to make it to the big stage for the marathon. My training is just slightly behind last year’s, but my fitness base is better this year coming into the training cycle so I feel I will catch up to last year’s results in a shorter amount of time. My big hurdle this year has been motivation and making time to get out and train. The “run to work, run home from work” cycle has started, which helps immensely with getting mileage in both fresh and fatigued, which I feel is a massively beneficial addition to a long-distance training regimen. This is just week 1. There is plenty of of time to make gains and move toward my goal!

Come back weekly for updates on how training is going for Sugarloaf and my BQ push!

I love to hear your thoughts and comments about blog, so please comment and share what you’re thinking!

Ahoy Mateys!
Pace:Junky will be heading to the @Gasparilla Distance Classic 2017 at the end of February to start the season off with a fun, flat, fast 13.1. I will be running along with my wife and her father. To make this race even more fun and add a little Pace:Junky flair, we came up with some AWESOME pirate themed singlets for the event. The event is going to be HUGE and looks like it will be a blast! Check out the digs we will be sportin’! If you will be in the Tampa Bay area, come join Pace:Junky for a fun race!


Recently I spent just over two hours with some very friendly mud, rocks, cliffs, trees, and a gurgling stream. Why is this worth writing about, you may be asking yourself. Over the month of December, my wife and I normally take time away from running and cycling to let our bodies recover from the training of the previous year and allow ourselves to relax and enjoy other aspects of our life. This year, that break was especially needed and lasted slightly longer than usual. This past weekend I got out for my first long run of the year, a glorious 15.8 mile trail run in the amazing Wissahickon Park (TOTALLY worth checking out when you are in the Philly area!). This run reminded me why I love running, beyond the superficial things like being competitive, racing myself and the clock, and wanting to always be faster. My run among the trees refreshed my love for just being out there. When I run, I do not have to worry about politics, work, money, or anything outside of what I am doing and where I am. Being out on the trail allowed me to focus on how absolutely beautiful the trails were. I could watch the stream rise and fall below me as I gained and lost elevation. The birds scurried about as I came by. I was truly in the moment and loving it. For a lasting moment, reality fell away and the world around me became a playland of sorts, where I was able to lose myself as a child does when they are playing.

This is why I run.

A whole new year is upon us! Where did 2016 go? What does 2017 have in store for us? We have NO idea, but we are certain we are going to everything to make it an awesome, fun-filled year here at Pace:Junky.

What fun things are YOU getting into this year? Have you signed up for that big race you have been eyeing up for years? Or, have you decided to finally take the plunge and tackle your first triathlon? Maybe you don’t have a race in mind this year, but you are eyeing up a new mileage goal? We would love to hear your goals and aspirations for 2017 in the comments below! LET’S HEAR IT!!!

Tomorrow, November 26th, Pace:Junky will be having an absolute BLOWOUT of a sale. If you shop on Saturday November 26th and use the coupon code smallbiz16 you will receive 40% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER! That’s right… not 20%, not 30%, 40%!!!! This sale is only on IN-STOCK items and is only valid Saturday November 26th from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The quantities are limited, so get shopping while your size is still available!