2013: The Year in Review

2013-year-in-review It's been an exciting year at IronPT and we feel incredibly blessed to have connected with so many people in our clinic, community and online.

As entrepreneurs, we usually go full speed ahead but the end of the year is the perfect time to pause and reflect on how far we've  come.

Here are some of the highlights of 2013:

We saw our practice double in size for the 2nd year in a row!

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We were quoted twice in Runner's World Magazine and recognized locally as one of the "Best PT Clinics"  in Essex County.

runner's world magazine quotes dr. Mayes on injury prevention

We added yoga classes to keep our community in tip top shape. Only one spot left in our 6-week series starting Jan. 7!

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We teamed up with Fleet Feet Montclair and Essex Running Club to directly support our local runners

Running Tips for Fleet Feet Montclair

We continued to support CWC Soccer and all things Chiefs!

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Hosted 1st "Iron Half Marathon" after Jersey Shore Half cancelled

Iron Physical Therapy Half Marathon

Dr. Mayes earned certifications in Active Release Technique and Selective Functional Movement Assessment

For the first time an "Iron Team" participated in the Fitzgerald's 5K

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We continued our efforts to stay connected with the many people who touch us through Facebook, Twitter, and the Blog. In case you missed them, here were the most popular blog posts in 2013

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Most importantly, we had the privilege to partner with our patients on their journey to get better and be better. They are what make this place and this work so special. Together we battled injury and setbacks and PAIN. We honor each person who walked through our doors and showed us what real courage and perseverance looks like.  

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Stay tuned for another exciting year in 2014! Lots of great things on the horizon... you'll be the first to know.

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Harrisburg, PA Marathon Recap

After learning the NYC Marathon was canceled, I took a few days off to "mourn" the loss, drink a few beers and enjoy the release of such a huge commitment. However, I quickly became anxious about "wasting" the precious time spent preparing and training. It was hard for me to think about running a marathon that was not NYC, but my four year old  daughter Callie gave me the inspiration I needed.

Callie was looking at a picture of me and my brother in our NYC marathon shirts and she said to my wife, "i'm so sad because I didn't get to see daddy run the race." As soon as I heard this, I was freakin' fired up! My wife reinforced her support for me to finish this commitment, and so I decided to run the Harrisburg, PA Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 11th, 2012.

It was a beautiful, sunny morning in Harrisburg with temperatures starting in the mid-40's and rising to the mid-60's. Just over 1500 runners lined up and took off at the 8:30 am start.

I felt great for the first half of the race and with the 3:35 pacer which was much faster than I had anticipated. Over 90% of the course was flat and "fast", but I hit a hurdle around mile 18 when there were a few steep hills as the course went around Wildwood Lake Park. My pace slowed and my quads burned like crazy as I navigated the hilly terrain.

When my body finally recovered from the shock of the hills, my left quad began cramping with no mercy around mile 22. I began questioning myself and thought I might need to walk, but gained inspiration as I read some signs of supporters cheering us on:

 "Pain is temporary, pride is forever"

"RUN LIKE HELL"

"My daddy runs faster than your daddy"

"Embrace the suck"

"You get stronger when you go longer"

"You trained longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage" - this wasn't really inspiring, but I thought it was funny.

So, with all the encouragement from supporters and thinking of my precious daughter's face,  I had to keep running.

After some gatorade, GU and mental toughness, the discomfort and cramping subsided. The serene view of the Susquehanna River was magnificent and made for nice company as I made surged to the finish.

So how did I do? My time was 3:40:23.37, average pace of 8:24 per mile. I was 417th out of 1514 finishers and 64th out of 138 in my age group.

I was extremely pleased with my result as this was a PR for me by more than 15 minutes,  yet a part of me wishes I could've broken into the 3:30's.....there's always something to shoot for.

There weren't exactly 40K runners with miles of screaming fans, but it was definitely a meaningful race I'll always remember.

Many thanks to my wonderful wife for encouragement, my father-in-law for coming to cheer me on and to my beautiful daughter who inspired me!!

NYC Marathon 2012 Weekend Recap

Well, it's been a wild and crazy week. Hurricane Sandy ravaged our NJ and NY coast causing damage to lives, homes, property and left us without power.I was fortunate to only lose power for 5 days and escaped without any personal damage.

I was still excited, yet with mixed emotions, after Mayor Bloomberg confirmed that the NYC Marathon would indeed be held. Over the next 24 hours, my brother along with thousands of other eager marathon participants, would fly in from all parts of the world only to learn that the marathon was cancelled after because too much controversy and negativity surrounded the race.

While I was in favor of running the marathon (after he initially said it would go on), I agreed with the decision to cancel it even though it should have happened  earlier. With the decision final, I was ready to use my energy for good.

After learning about a couple volunteer opportunities through New York Runners in Support of Staten Island and Renaissance Church, my brother and I packed up our supplies and went to Staten Island. Seeing the homes devastated by the storm, streets filled with garbage, boats blown inland, downed trees and people scrabbling for basic necessities was a true reality check.

It was humbling working alongside individuals who had lost practically everything. We met up with other NYC runners and pitched in where we could; unloading supplies off trucks; carrying supplies to people's homes; organizing relief items as they came in; cleaning garbage out of homes and just being there for those who had lost so much.

We were received with great appreciation and were thanked more than we deserved.  While volunteering, I was interviewed by ABC News:

View Video Clip of My ABC News Interview on Sunday 

But the true "marathoners" are the people who have lost everything and those who have been helping others clean and survive for the countless hours since the storm on Tuesday.

So, you might be wondering if I was disappointed about not running the marathon.....of course....and I think that's ok. I dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to training. So, yes it was disappointing not running.

However, what I witnessed in Staten Island is what life is really about: people coming together and helping each other regardless of their differences.

Here's to runners and our great state of NJ coming together!

Should We Run NYC Marathon 2012?

Thousands of us have trained for what feels like an eternity in preparation for the NYC Marathon....and then, nature strikes. Hurricane Sandy devastates the Jersey Shore and surrounding NYC area. As a resident of NJ in the NYC metro area, this is extremely saddening. I'm extremely blessed in that my family is safe and my home suffered no damage. Although my home is without power, I'm grateful to have an office which does, serving as a place of warmth, entertainment and recharging (literally).

There has been significant controversy on whether to have the NYC Marathon or not. I can understand the argument regarding the devastation the city has faced, the loss of the life that has occurred and any possible resources that may be taken away from the recovery process. I have a heavy heart for those who lost loved ones and  those whose homes were destroyed. There are no words to comfort these individuals, only time will heal. However, NYC is an amazingly resilient place filled with people who've persevered through times. So, should we participate in the marathon?

I say yes.

I say yes to lift the spirit of the Big Apple, even if only for a day.

I say yes because I believe bringing more people into the area will open up more hearts, more pockets and more motivation to help with the recovery process.

I say yes because new charitable opportunities are being created surrounding the continued life of the race, thus bringing more money to recovery efforts.

I say yes because saying no means Sandy got the best of us.

I say yes because as a runner and marathon participant, I feel impassioned and a sense of purpose to run this special race more than ever.

So I also ask you to support runners on Sunday. As individuals, we do NOT make decisions about this race and are saddened that people want to direct their anger towards us.

Say yes. See you Sunday.

Marathon Fever: One Week Before NYC

The official 1 week countdown until the NYC Marathon has begun! It's an exciting week of anticipation, racing jitters, tapering, rehabbing and last minute prep for  runners all over the world who come to run the most popular marathon on the planet.

Anxiety levels for travelers has just risen due to the impending wrath of Hurricane Sandy in the NYC metro area. God-willing, damage will be minimal and all planned events surrounding the marathon will  go according to plan.

So what should you focus on this week? NOT RUNNING.

What I mean by not running is that you should not spend this week trying to make up miles you didn't/weren't able to do previously. I tell all my runner patients that it's better to be undertrained and healthy vs. overtrained and injured. DON'T INJURE YOURSELF THIS WEEK!

By this point, you've done your training, your long 20 mile runs and have experienced the struggles and pains of going the distance, so enjoy this week. Take this week to heal your body, get some solid sleep, properly fuel & hydrate, increase your stretching and finalize your race day logistics.

More importantly, take this week to thank family and friends who've supported you throughout this marathon journey. I'd like to thank my beautiful, loving and amazing wife for all her support. Training for a marathon while juggling life with two kids (4 and 2) takes compromise and sacrifice. My wife has supported me throughout this training process, and I couldn't have done it with her. I'm grateful for her sacrifice, thank you love.

Get amped up! Marathon fever is upon us!

IRON PT WOD: 10/28/2012

Upper body and core workout at home: Push-ups, planks, leg lifts, crunches, stretching

IRON PT WOD: 10/27/2012

9 mile trail run....another Freedom Run - no GPS watch looking over my shoulder

Freedom Run: No GPS Watch

In training for the upcoming NYC Marathon, I've enjoyed using my GPS watch to track my progress and keep me honest, but today was a day of freedom. I turned on the GPS function this morning only to find that I was out of battery. I was momentarily frustrated that I hadn't charged my watch the night before, but I quickly changed my tune and just enjoyed the run.

It was as if I  had  a new found freedom and was allowed to run without any feedback. So, I cranked up the tunes and had a great 4 mile run combined with a quick pitstop at the pull-up bar for some upper body burn.

It was probably one of my fastest runs (go figure), and I'm curious as to what my time would've been, but that's exactly why I needed it.

Take your watch off today and enjoy a freedom run!

IRON PT WOD: 10/26/2012

  • Approx. 4 miles....freedom run. NO GPS!!
  • 30 pull-ups

Time for a Tune Up! Why Athletes Need a Good "Mechanic"

Our cars require periodic preventative maintenance (oil change, tire rotation, fluids flushed, etc.) to run optimally. When we neglect to do this simple vehicle upkeep, we pay for it...and it's usually not cheap. So just like our cars, we too require preventative maintenance. If you're very active, then you'll likely need even more frequent maintenance, similar to a car driven 100 miles/day versus 2 miles. OR if you're an older model, then you might also need a bit more TLC.

 

So where am I going with this? I'm encouraging you to find a trusted "Mechanic" to take care of YOU, just like you have for your car.

So who should it be? As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I'm responsible for being the "mechanic" who diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal problems  (muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, etc).  When it comes to overuse/repetitive sports injuries, it's especially important to find a PT who has expertise in soft tissue treatment. I'm a strong believer in Active Release Technique (ART), Graston and Kinesiotaping. You can find you're local provider by searching the above websites.

So when should you see someone? I encourage my patients, especially athletes, to come in for a few sessions if they have nagging discomfort that goes on longer than a week. Early intervention with hands-on treatment and corrective exercise can prevent being sidelined. Many of you are good with stretching, foam rolling and cross training, but may need a few joint mobilizations and tweaks to your program to get out of pain.

So why don't people, especially athletes, do maintenance? Athletes are extremely STUBBORN and like to ignore pain/discomfort. If you don't know the difference between"good" pain and "bad" pain, you'll want to speak with your local physical therapist. My patients can always call or email me to check in about something that has started to bother them.

When I feel a twinge, I often do preventative maintenance (taping, Graston, ART, etc.) to keep things at bay. A quick 30-minute treatment is much easier than running 20 miles in pain (or worse, not at all)

People also avoid seeing their PT because they think a prescription is needed. In most states (including NJ), you do not need any type of referral. You can just come in and see someone for a few visits and often your insurance will cover the cost or you can just pay cash.

So treat your body BETTER than your car! You can't just go out and buy a new one.

Train hard, train smart!

IRON PT WOD: 10/22/2012

  • 9 mi; 1hr 16 mins; avg. pace: 8'34"; 1058 calories

IRON PT WOD: 10/21/2012

  • Cross training: 15 miles on my bike trainer while watching the NY Giants beat the Redskins!

IRON PT WOD: 10/20/2012

  • 13.51 mi; 1hr 52 mins; avg. pace 8'27"; 1623 calories

IRON PT WOD: 10/17/2012

  • 6.39 mi; 52'18"; avg. pace 8'20"; 776 calories

IRON PT WOD: 10/15/2012

  • 2.57 mi; 21'26"; avg. pace 8'27"; 311 calories

The Last Mountain To Climb

The final mountain of my marathon training has been conquered, the last 20 miler. It was the coldest morning in NJ this fall, making it quite difficult to leave my comfy, warm bed at 5:30 AM on a Saturday morning. Training for a marathon represents the epitome of discipline and just doing what you gotta do.

So the last 20 miler is done, and I couldn't be more excited. While I have enjoyed the challenge of marathon training,  I'm looking forward to having the time and energy to get back to other physical activities I like.

With that being said, I can't wait for the NYC Marathon and all the excitement that comes with it!

Happy Training!

IRON PT WOD: 10/13/2012

  • 20 mi; 2hrs 52 mins; 8'49" avg pace; 2351 calories
  • Minutes/mile: 9'05", 8'15", 8'17", 8'13", 9'15", 8'35", 8'22", 8'47", 8'212", 8'03", 7'40", 7'45", 8'20", 8'50", 9'29", 9'32", 9'12", 8'22", 8'48", 9'06"

IRON PT WOD: 10/11/2012

  • 4.53 mi; 37'08"; 8'20" avg pace; 547 calories
  • Minutes/mile: 8:38, 7:54, 8:06, 8:16, 4:14

IRON PT WOD: 10/10/2012

  • 9.15 mi, 1hr 19min, 8'49" avg pace, 1068 calories
  • Minutes/mile: 9:01, 8:43, 8:25, 8:31, 8:45, 8:19, 8:44, 8:48, 9:00, 1:29