I’m getting things going with fundraising for my Chicago Marathon team and I want to do something more than just ask for money. To that end, I’m going to offer a couple things a la Kickstarter-type premiums. One is an par-tay in the awesome Crawford-Langenberg Garage Darts and Beer Emporium, and the other is putting my mad DJ music curation skills to work for you.

Beer and Darty Party
The event is going to be a craft beer & darts party in our garage at our home in Oak Park on Saturday June 17th. This is a reprise of a fundraiser we hosted for Irving School a couple of summers ago that was super fun. I’ll provide a selection of beers and food (homemade bbq sliders and a nacho bar). We’ll play as much darts as we can manage before the beer drinking compromises safety.

If you would like to attend, please send me a donation of $25 per person (or more if you like❤️) by visiting my fundraising page at the link below:


Mix Tape
Okay. Not actually a Mix Tape. I’m just old and continue to call what are playlists mix tapes.

Two  levels here.

  1. Actual Mixed Playlist: For a contribution of $20, I will curate a playlist personalized for you and will make a 60 minute continuous play mix for you which I will deliver to you on a real live actual compact disc. I will also give you a link to the unmixed source Spotify playlist.
  2. Spotify Playlist: For a contribution of $10, I will curate ~60 minute Spotify playlist personalized for you.

If you want an idea of what I listen to, you can find me on Spotify at mattienodj. My most recent playlist is at https://play.spotify.com/user/mattienodj/playlist/2U6B14ZkjTBrbSivSelxa8

Just having a look at some of the heart rate charts from a few runs. Interesting to see the difference some time has made and what changes with pace.

This first is ~ 5K on a treadmill at just under 10 min/mi pace over. I usually have a 1% incline going at minimum for the whole run. This was a fairly casual run.

This below was a faster run. Just slightly over 9 min/mi pace.
And the yellow and red guy at the bottom here was an actual 5K race at just under 9 min/mi pace. The run above was 28m27s and the below was 28m10s. Close enough for comparison for me. The Race was at the beginning of December, the run above was mid-January.
I know I’ve gained a bit of cardio fitness back, but if I was a betting man, I’d say that the major difference between these to runs was the difference made by 16 pounds of body weight. While I had some spikes over 90% (the red), this was a comfortable run. For the race on the other hand, I was busting ass with the help of some good old fashioned race adrenaline. You can see I was at 80% of my max HR right away and just slowly crept up over time. In the run above, I was able to slow down and take a breather and still catch back up to nearly the same pace without overdoing my HR.
So, if there is a point to this post, I think it is that counting calories and dropping some pounds is a pretty solid way to improve your running. It’s good for me to recognize, because typically when I train for distance, I eat like a total asshole cause I figure I can just burn it off. I’ll be interested to see how I can progress with watching what I eat and training.
And here’s a couple more improving on pace. This is from Saturday, January 22nd. Getting on 2 months after the race above which again was a 28m10s 5K. The first 27m45 below is 5K at the beginning of an 8K run.
And this below is a 5K the day right after the above at 27m35s. So pushing the pace a bit and eschewing recovery. Monday was my rest day, so I’m interested to see what things look like when I run tonight. Looking at these charts now, I know for sure that I can push to pace more. I think my goal tonight will be to get things under 9min/mile for the whole run. At 5K, I want to keep pushing down to 8m30s at 5K and then push that distance and pace out to 10K. If I can keep that up over the next couple months, I’m feeling good about crushing my Shamrock Shuffle PR in April.

At the beginning of December, I decided I needed some goals. A marathon is a pretty good goal in and of itself, but I wanted to do fundraising this time around. Yes, partly to avoid the damn lottery, but mostly because I like adding fundraising goals on top of distance goals. Opportunity presented itself in the form of an invite to run with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ Team to End Homelessness.

So. Now not only do I have a running goal. I have a great charity to fundraise for, and I get to do it with friends and neighbors. This will be my 4th time training for the race and, body willing, my 3rd time running. It will be my first time ever running a marathon as part of a charity team.

I’m excited to be a part of the Team to End Homelessness, and to support the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH). They are the only non-profit in Illinois dedicated to advocating for public policies that effect positive change toward reducing homelessness in our city. Their organization leads strategic campaigns, community outreach, and public policy initiatives that target the lack of affordable housing in metropolitan Chicago and across Illinois.

There are over 100,000 people homeless in Chicago and over 18,000 are children. Of these children over 10,000 are on their own, alone. ALONE. I want to do something about that. If you do too, please consider supporting my fundraising effort by visiting my team page at http://chicagohomeless.donorpages.com/ChicagoMarathon2017/mattienodj/



I’ve been working my way back from injury over the last year. At the start, it was pretty disheartening to realize how much fitness I’ve lost. I went almost all of 2016 just kind of dragging ass and not working out nearly enough. At the beginning of December, I just kinda got pissed at myself and decided I needed to get serious. I stopped drinking beer, started counting 1500 calories a day and training in earnest. I’ve been doing a ton of heartrate training to really zero in on fat burning and building strength and endurance. The first 6 weeks have been really successful.

I’m loving heart rate training with my MYZONE monitor. It is really working well for me.

The chart below is 6 miles at just under an hour. I’ve been working up to this with a lot of interval training. Basically, running about 10min/mile pace on the treadmill and then speeding up til I get into 90% of my max HR, then backing off down to 65% and repeating. I’ll pause at 60 minutes now and try to get my speed up while maintaining this nice yellow graph and some runs at this pace trying to get more of the graph down into the green. I really like being my own science experiment. It’s fun.