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Michael Given
Works at Cruise Planners / Dad, Marketing/Social/Tech Geek, Sports/Music Fan, New to Exercise/Running/Dieting
Attended North Carolina State University
Lived in Millburn, NJ
264 followers|90,559 views


Michael Given

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The 1st 24 hours NYC Marathon fundraising went well and I truly appreciate it! The biggest questions have been 1) What is Fred's Team? This great video will answer that...and (Thankfully!)... 2) How can I help? Follow the link below to my donation page and see how you can help in my run to fight cancer. THANK YOU!

#fredsteam   #nycmarathon   #newyorkmarathon   #running   #run   #runner   #charityrunning   #cancer   #pediatriccaner  
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Michael Given

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Memorial Day Ceremony #seasidepark #memorialday
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Michael Given

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Haven't been around G+ much in a few months but the engagement seems, well, less engaging. Same amount of people have me in circles, but the activity isn't there like it was in the beginning. Did everyone comment on everything while this was new and now filters, searches and #hashtags making it more narrow? The content is probably still the most important driver of engagement, but does anyone with a similar level of quality content see a drop off in public response? Just wondering.
Jean Liss's profile photoRebecca Blaisure's profile photo
There's just nothing of interest. Visited for the first time in months and my stream is full of quotes and photos from a bunch of people that i don't know. Spam and more spam.
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Michael Given

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Haven't really played around with the new interface until today or revisited the circles I set up when G+ first came out in beta. I'm finding more and more though that I'm ignoring my circles, and instead gravitating to topic based saved searches. I guess that means I'm using G+ like Twitter. I wonder if that's because I'm used to that or if I'd rather see things by subject and not by author. hmmmm.

#savedsearch #savedsearches #circles #twitter
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Michael Given

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Rutgers Unite Half-Marathon - 4/22/2012 (Race Report):

Fun race at the Rutgers Half-Marathon and the rain held out until the very end. My main goal was finishing my first half, so that was accomplished. The next goal was to do so in one piece, without tweaking a back or knee, which I always a possibility with me. Happy to report the knee that sometimes isn’t happy didn’t even flinch once, which surprised me. Maybe the preventative knee sleeve and IT band strap helped in a placebo effect kind of way :)

As far as the racing and pacing part goes, I finished 549 out of almost 3,000 but some room for improvement. I didn’t go out too fast since the amount of racers blocked you in for the first mile. I eased in with 8:00/mile pace team pretty much the whole race, but they were going more like 7:45 to 7:50 minute miles. I guess they wanted to have some time in the bank to make sure they hit their mark. Was still feeling strong so hung there for awhile and in retrospect it might have been a tiny bit fast for a hilly course. I did get through 11 miles at a 7:58.8/mile average pace.

Then things got interesting as my HR shot up a bit high for my comfort, not always reliable and not crazy territory, but not great for a half either. I did feel a little spent and didn’t think today was the day to push it, so I decided to ease up…always better to pick your spots and live to race another day :) I slowed the pace to around a 9:00/mile and walked through the last 3 water stops. I kept thinking that Coach Jeff Galloway would have been proud to incorporate some of his method here. Sure, your pace drops , but it’s much more enjoyable. The time isn’t posted yet, but my Garmin has me at 13.2483 miles in 1:48.31 and an average pace of 8:11/mile.

In the end, fun was had by all, mostly dry, lots of cookies eaten, many children high-fived, and my favorite part … hanging around and cheering all the other runners in.

Quirky observation for the day: lots of bands on the course, but this one scene was notable. As we’re approaching the 10 mile mark where people are feeling sluggish and right at the time where most forecasters predicted the skies would open up…I hear THIS from the band in the distance:

“Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we’re in for nasty weather”

Great song and I love CCR as much as the next guy, but C’MON! Show some mercy with your song selections given the situation :)


Avg. HR 171 (92.4% max)
High HR 185 (100% max…a new high on my Garmin!)
Calories: 1605
Avg. Cadence: 178 (180 when you throw out the walking breaks)
Training Effect (TE): 5.0
EPOC Peak: 620 ml/kg
VO2 Peak: 45 ml/kg/min
Avg. Respiration rate: 38 breaths/min

If anyone is reading this far (doubt it!) then I’ll throw in my shameless charity plug (get used to it after big races!) I am running the 2012 ING NYC MARATHON (and ALL My 2012 races!) to support critical cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Please consider donating to support my run(s) and THANK YOU! Linky:

#halfmarathon #running #run #runchat #runner
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Michael Given

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I took the first steps towards fulfilling my main two 2012 goals in one effort by signing up to run the NYC Marathon to support cancer research. The journey begins! I'm going to REALLY try not to hit up my Google+ friends too often, but this is a big deal for me and I need all the help I can get! :) THANKS!

#mskcc #cancerresearch #pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer #marathon #nycmarathon #fredsteam #mskcc #memorialsloan #sloankettering #aubreyfund
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Michael Given

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 I received my NYC Marathon Bib#, wave, corral and start time and it’s feeling a LOT more real. With Fall approaching this week it seems like a good time to really kick off my fundraising for cancer research…I will be running the marathon with Fred’s Team of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 

PLEASE consider donating to my run! I’ve been training for THREE MONTHS and have six weeks to go until the big race and need ALL the help and support I can get. Here are my donation benefit levels and suggested donation amounts, but EVERY bit helps and I REALLY appreciate it.

Here are my DONATION BENEFITS - I hope they will make your contribution more personal.

• $25 - I will highlight a person of your choice in my blog and on my charity running Facebook Page. The whole world can see who you support/remember and who I will be running for!

• $50 - I will write the initials of a person of your choice on my wrist pace band to carry with me along the route to remember who I am running for. That wrist will be raised around 21,510 times over the duration of the marathon, so I’ll be reminded a lot! Plus, I will also highlight the person in my blog and Facebook Page. 

• $100 - I will write the name of a person of your choice on the back of my race day shirt and show the world who I am running for. This will be visible to 48,000+ runners, 2 million spectators, and the race will be broadcast live on ESPN. I will also highlight the person in my blog and Facebook Page. 

• $150 - I will dedicate a mile of the NYC Marathon to a person of your choice. You choose the mile and I will set up a special website highlighting my mile sponsors and dedicate one day over the next month where I will also publish their story or remembrance (text or video) IF you’d like to submit one and show the world who I’m running for. I will also write their initials next to their sponsored mile on the front of my race day pace band and send you that part of my band, mounted with my mile split chart for you to keep. You’ll have a keepsake that shows how I ran in your sponsored mile AND have a piece of my journey through the five boroughs. I will also write their name on my race shirt and highlight the person in my blog and Facebook Page. 

• $250 - I will take a picture at the Fred Lebow statue at the finish line in Central Park with the name of the person of your choosing and provide you with the photo. In addition, I will dedicate a mile of the race to them (see above), write their name on my race day shirt and highlight the person in my blog and Facebook Page. 

• $500 - I will take a picture at ANY New York City Landmark (your choice!) with the name of the person of your choosing and provide you with the photo. In addition, you will receive a gift bag with some great New York City Marathon keepsakes. I will also dedicate a mile of the race to your honoree (see above), write their name on my race day shirt and highlight the person in my blog and Facebook Page. 

• $1,000 – Wow! Tell ME what you’d like and I’m all ears! I’ll try to accommodate your wish, plus you’ll get everything at the $500 level. The ONLY thing off limits is sponsoring mile 26…I’m going to push as hard as I can towards the finish line and the last mile is dedicated to my Dad. Anything else though…let me know! 

If you would rather stay anonymous, that’s great as well. You can choose to contribute however you’d like. One way is to pledge a certain dollar amount per mile that I will be running in the marathon.

Corresponding Donations to Miles

• $1 per Mile = $26

• $2 per Mile = $52

• $5 per Mile = $130

• $10 per Mile = $262

• $20 per Mile = $524

THANK YOU and here is the link to my donation page!

#run   #running   #runner   #marathon   #nycmarathon   #newyorkcitymarathon   #charityrunning   #cancerresearch   #fredsteam   #mskcc   #memorialsloan   #sloankettering   #pediatriccancer  
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Michael Given

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Pretty cool to see Abraham Lincoln as the #1 trending topic yesterday, but bummed that he didn't really invent Facebook :)
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Michael Given

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I don't use my circles much anymore, but instead tend to favor saved searches. Here is my wish list for saved searches:

* Quicker access (NOT under trending OR replacing trending on right)
* Be able to reorder how they display in my saved list
* Be able to check more than one to display results in my stream
* Be able to dump ALL my saved searches in one results stream
* Have a number displayed that shows how many new since I last logged

That's about it...for now :)

#savedsearches #savedsearch
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Michael Given

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Whoooooo! NYC Marathon Lottery success :)

#run #runner #running #marathon #nycmarathon #runchat
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Michael Given

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Here is my bib# and race shirt for tomorrow's Rutgers Unite Half-Marathon. I JUST missed the year Rutgers University was founded (1766), but close enough!

I am running all my races in 2012 as a member of Fred’s Team of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to raise much needed funds for cancer research. I’m starting with this race and ending my campaign with the New York City Marathon in November. Please consider donating to my run, sharing this post, or following this page for updates (or all of the above!).

I appreciate all the support I’ve received in the four months I’ve trained for this half-marathon, and look forward to the same encouragement as I tackle 26.2 miles for cancer research this Fall.

Here is the link for donations and THANK YOU!

#run #runner #running #halfmarathon #runchat #pediatriccancer #cancerresearch #childhoodcancer #mskcc
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Michael Given

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My Fitness "Annual Report" (next one then comes in 2016!)

My weight-loss, nutrition and fitness journey started at the end of February last year, so this is my personal annual report. Lots of people have encouraged and motivated me along the way and have asked how much I’ve lost or why I started or what I did differently. I didn’t really answer many questions because I didn’t feel I was “done” yet or the answers sounded self-important. It’s been a year, so I decided to write about everything ONCE to share and get it out of my system, and then not bug anyone about it again (or at least for awhile!)

I decided to change my diet and begin exercising the day after the Superbowl last year. I remember the greasy/queasy feeling in my stomach the next morning following a predictable big-event food and beerfest. I stepped on the scale, which mocked me by displaying a new lifetime high weight. So I did some research on general nutrition and exercise, made a shopping list of better foods and vowed to join the local gym. That was pretty much it, though it sounds kinda boring as a motivation. No sob story…no life-changing event, no doctor’s orders, no nightmare or strange dreams, no trip to the desert to find my life or connect with my inner soul, and no jarring epiphany. Sorry!

By the end of February I had started eating better and less. I finally did join the gym and I dragged myself there every day and left huffing and puffing, but still ticking. The goals of my “diet” were to lose around a ½ to 1 pound a week with a balanced diet and anything more could come from exercise. The nutrition breakdown I shot for was 55% carbs, 25% fat and 20% protein, which was well within the guidelines of the government, all health organizations, and most sane nutrition “experts” on the interwebs. I also tried to add enough fiber to be within the 28-34g per day recommended for men and stay under 2300g of sodium. I started exercising with VERY slow cardio on the treadmill and told myself that I’d graduate to the elliptical if the treadmill didn’t kill me first. I also planned to add weight lifting if the elliptical didn’t do me in (and if the treadmill take me before the elliptical!)

Fast forward six months to the end of July. The nutrition part of the diet went exactly as planned. I ate well and balanced and less. I still indulged in “bad” foods when I felt like it, but made better choices overall. I became a gym/cardio slave and pretty much went 7-days a week from the end of February to the end of July. I dropped the treadmill out of boredom and took up the Elliptical machine. Sticking with the gym was a shock, but direct tv and flat panel monitors on every piece of equipment aided in the process. My daily exercise during that period averaged a 980 calorie expenditure. This activity combined with my nutritional changes resulted in weight loss of around 90 lbs by the end of July. The good news is that I’ve kept up the loss and nutrition and have only gone up and down by 2-3 lbs since then. Still fascinated by my newfound fitness and energy, I decided to take up running since the Elliptical was getting boring.

On July 27th, a few days after my 44th birthday, my then 11-year old daughter and I headed out the door for the first walk/run in our couch-to-5K training program. This seemed like a nice slow start to my new running adventure, it involved geeky gadgetry (C25K phone app), and she was intrigued enough to come along for the journey. There were a few road bumps of slight pains, cramps, huffs, puffs and general blahs, but we made it through every single workout in the 8-week program.

We entered and completed our first 5K in September and then went on to do five more of them together. Our favorite was the Girls on the Run 5K. My daughter’s school didn’t have a fall program (they do it in the spring), but we ended up training and running ourselves, complete with pink spray-painted hair with yellow highlights and neon eye-blocking tape :-) I went on to finish a 10-week 10K training program and raced in my first 10K race in October. I then started a 12-week half-marathon training program and will race a 20K next week and a half-marathon in April.

If you’re still reading this far (and I completely understand why most wouldn’t have made it to this point!) then you probably know that my borderline obsessive/compulsive personality loves stats and over-analysis. So the following is the “data” section of my annual report. Lots-o-numbers but hey…that’s what I do :)

Over the last 12 months I ….

* Went from 240 or so lbs to 150 or so lbs.
* Logged EVERY food and exercise in LoseIt! phone app and website
* Averaged 980 calories in exercise per day from Feb through July
* Averaged 420 calories in exercise per day from August through today.
* Nutrition breakdown: 55.1% carbs, 26.1% fat, 18.8% protein.
* TOTAL calories burned: 244,448 or around 70 lbs!!!!!
* Went out walking 378 times
* Strapped myself to the elliptical machine 186 times
* Ran 131 times for a total of 420 miles
* Coached softball 37 times and coached wrestling 15 times
* Favorite foods … coffee on 392 days (obviously didn’t give that up!)
* Ate fat-free or 2% Greek yogurt on 330 days. My #1 “new diet” staple
* Had butter on 204 days (didn’t give up either, but usually fat-free)
* Ate Fiber One cereal on 198 days (another new food item)
* Had some sort of protein or fiber bar (Clif/Nature Valley/Kashi) 444 times.
* Ate a slice of wheat/higher fiber/protein bread with breakfast 148 times.
* Enjoyed bagels 48 times, potato chips 31 & pretzels 27 times (weaknesses!)
* Pigged out on my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years & SuperBowl!
* Weekly running mileage up to around 30 miles & long runs are up to 14 miles
* Resting heart rate dropped from 81 beats per minute to 40 beats per minute!

So what’s next? I have always had one far-fetched athletic goal in the back of my head that seemed impossible, and especially from the couch or behind a computer, but still a nice distant fantasy. I also want to do more in local community volunteerism and charity in general. I might as well combine the two and dedicate 2012 to running further and raising money for charity along the way. I am starting the year by volunteering and helping to organize a few local charity races and have plans to organize a few more in the summer and fall. Oh….the “far fetched” goal? I registered this morning for the 2012 New York City Marathon (11/4/12) and will run the race for cancer charities.

Thanks for reading (if there is anyone out there who stuck with this drivel) and I couldn’t have done it without the support of family and friends, including the hundreds of new ones from online communities like LoseIt! and DailyMile. The good news is that since I posted this today you are spared another overly-long annual report until the next leap day in 2016 :-)

#michaelgiven #diet #fitness #exercise #runner #running #elliptical #chobani #nycmarathon #retrofitness #cardio #goals #nutrition #dailymile #loseit!
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Have him in circles
264 people
Cruise Travel Agency Owner
  • Cruise Planners / Dad, Marketing/Social/Tech Geek, Sports/Music Fan, New to Exercise/Running/Dieting
    Owner/Cruise Specialist, 2002 - present
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Millburn, NJ - Raleigh, NC - Springfield, NJ - Iselin, NJ - North Plainfield, NJ
Travel agency owner, marketing/tech geek, Stay-at-home Dad extraoidinare, music & sports fan. I recently lost weight, got in shape, and started to run. Now I'm giving back by running for some great charities.
Award winning Cruise agency owner and Certified Cruise Specialist, stay-at-home Dad extraordinaire,  online marketing/social media consultant, music and Yankee/Jets/Rangers/NC State fan.

Business: (800) 753-7057
Mobile: (908) 546-2714
  • North Carolina State University
    Political Science, 1985 - 1989
  • North Carolina State University
    Communications, 1986 - 1990
  • University of Phoenix
    MBA e-Business, 2000 - 2003
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Michael Given's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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