A Necessary, Disappointing and Hopeful Update

So here it is: I’ve decided to forgo the marathon this year and defer until next year.

Believe me, this is not the outcome I expected when I announced my intentions to run this year and started a fund-raising campaign.

But life and health got in the way of much of my training, and lining up on Nov. 6 to run 26.2 miles would be a mistake in my current shape.

I got married this summer, as many of you know. and preparations and travel consumed more of my time and energy than I anticipated. And as a result of that and other factors, I took too many shortcuts on my summer training.

Then, in mid-September I caught a terrible cold. It lingered for three weeks, and even now I’m not quite over the heavy cough that came with it.

As a result of all that coughing, I injured my ribs. It sounds funny, but it’s true. I think it’s just a muscle strain, so I haven’t gone in for an X-ray. The pain is lessening daily.

To my donors and other supporters, thank you so much, and I’m sorry if I didn’t live up to my end of the bargain just yet. I may not be running this year, but your donations are still helping hundreds of kids. And, in fact, your generosity is what made it possible to defer until 2017 because you beat my goal. You have collectively donated $2,620 to these youth programs.

If this year was full of frustration and distractions, next year will be a different story, I predict. I’m going to start riding the stationary bike while I get healthy, then ease back into running, build up my mileage and reboot my routine. In June 2017, I’ll restart my marathon training in earnest.

The NYC marathon remains an accomplishment I’m passionate about notching. While I’m disappointed it didn’t work out this year, I’m very hopeful about 2017, and I anticipate it’s the year I run it.

Thanks for reading, for your support and for believing in me.

Fundraising Update

Thanks to generous friends and family, I’m now within $100 of being halfway to raising $2,100 for NYRR youth running programs.


Thank you to everyone who donated. Obviously, I couldn’t have made it this far without you.

I’ve still got some time before my pledge is due, so please consider helping me with a donation of any size. My pledge page is here. Thanks for considering!

Team for Kids Put Me in the Spotlight, and Other Notes

It’s been ages since I’ve shared any updates (more on that later), but here’s a good one: The Team for Kids blog shared my story, in which I talk about running and choosing to support TFK. Have a read!


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This Is (Mostly) Not a Running Post

I went on a short backpacking trip with friends last weekend to the Slide Mountain Wilderness Area in the Catskill Mountains near Phoenicia, N.Y.



Ascending and descending the trail with a too-heavy pack was humbling and a different kind of workout. I think we hiked about 4.5 miles on Saturday. The view in the photo at the top of the page was the payoff; that’s our trip leader on the right.

I only camped out one night before hiking 2.75 miles back to the car, mostly downhill except for a strenuous ascent of these stone stairs (they go on longer than it appears):


Stone stairs staring you in the face

A photo posted by Andrew (@azahler) on


I emerged from the outing unscathed and eager to go on another. In the meantime, I’ll have to content myself with the official start of marathon training. On Monday I did some strength and mobility exercises; today I return to the roads for a short run.


Help me help kids. I’ve got further to go in my Team for Kids fund-raising campaign, and I’d really appreciate your help. Read about why I’m doing this, and donate here. Thanks to everyone who has donated so far!

Running the Brooklyn Half



My feet barely touched the ground for 13.1 miles tbh.

I had a great time running 13.1 miles in Brooklyn on Saturday with 27,409 of my closest friends.

Well, O.K., perhaps not all of it was great. Some of the running was hard because I was pushing myself. The hill in Prospect Park, for instance, felt much steeper than it actually is. And miles nine and 10 were a bit of a grind. But I persevered, finished strong and enjoyed the overall experience even more than last year.

My unofficial results from my watch (I stopped it during a pit stop, and the watch is overly generous with distances):

My official finish time was 2:05:38, which gives me a 9:36 pace. And I’ll take that, because last year, with poorer training, I finished at 2:10:55.

I wore green for the Team for Kids spirit, even though I didn’t do this race with TFK. But my fund-raising is underway for the NYC Marathon (learn more and donate here), so I didn’t feel out of place showing the colors.


Race face. Going green for this year’s #airbnbbkhalf.

A photo posted by Andrew (@azahler) on


Got a nice medal, too, which will join others in a shoe box on my dresser. (I should really do something about that.)

It’s got a nice sheen. #airbnbbkhalf

A photo posted by Andrew (@azahler) on


I’ll now take a few days of rest before jumping into a 23-week Team for Kids training program for the NYC Marathon.

Help me help kids. I’ve got further to go in my Team for Kids fund-raising campaign, and I’d really appreciate your help. Read about why I’m doing this, and donate here. Thanks to everyone who has donated so far!