Friday, June 29, 2012

My First Official Book Review is In!

Woohoo! My reviewer was very fair and balanced, exposing some stylistic demerits and highlighting my breadth-of-topic merits. He considers the writing style engaging and said "the words flow rather nicely." This, as you may have surmised, pleased me greatly. Woohoo yay! Book review!:

Monday, June 25, 2012

My New Book is Still Out!

My new book is doing well in many different sorts of ways:

1) It's ranked 1,071st on
2) It ranked as high as #4 in the Religion & Spirituality section.
3) It's averaged more than 1 sale per day since its launch 3 weeks ago.
4) Some blogs have accepted it for official review.
5) It's gotten an excellent testimonial:

"The book blew my crammed with so much useful tidbits of information that I'm learning so much...Unfortunately, I showed it to a friend in shul who kidnapped the book and refused to give it back to me. By the time I got it back, davening was almost over."

So it seems like this has the potential to be the bestselling book of the three I've written. Needless to say, I am very, very excited.

Right now, I'm dying to get into the top 1,000, so I'm offering the book at a 40% discount (plus you can use the coupon JUNEBOOKS12 for an additional 20% off) and will be thrilled to sign it for you at the next opportunity (I've not yet signed the book for anyone, you could me my first!).

Please note that this will be cheaper than what I could offer you in person out of my front hallway, because that 20% off is a hit that lulu takes, not me. I can't afford to give the book away for more than 50%, or I'll take a loss. Also, now is the time to take advantage of the deep discount because I have no idea if a JULYBOOKS12 coupon will be available.

Thank you all, as always, for your business, interest, assistance, votes of confidence and encouragement.

Here's the link to the book:

-Martin Bodek

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Unsanctioned JRunners Half-Marathon Results

It was officially titled The 2nd Multi-annual Unsanctioned JRunners Half-marathon in Prospect Park Sponsored by Blue Crayola Sidewalk Chalk, and it was awesome.

On a day that featured Prospect Park's engorgement with every JRunner who ever lived (as proudly enumerated by Cub Reporter Mordechai Ovits), six of them toed the line for the half marathon, along the way were joined for several segments, loops, arcs and portions by the other JRunners in the park - including Chesky "Wrong Way" Rosenblum who clockwised high fives for two trips around - and finished at The Coliseum in the following order:

Moshe "Some Like it Hot" Gamss 1:30:56
Steven "Hot Blooded" Weber 1:34:20
Mordechai "Drop it Like it's Hot" Ovits 1:37:54
Mutty "Hot Legs" Katz 1:47:40
Sruly "Red Hot" Friedman 1:50:50
Martin "Feeling Hot Hot Hot" Bodek 1:54:13

As you might have surmised, the conditions were sweltering; blistering even. My thesaurus tells me it was also positively swiveting. Yet we all pushed on through and survived, some of us even thrived.

Some notes:

Gamss: Ran a negative split. A NEGATIVE split!!! That sounds like it hurts. Yes it does, for mortals - which clearly Moshe is not. And by the way? He PRed by 5 seconds.

Weber: ganvehed water from the abandoned water table from the "Get Your Rear in Gear" race (results for the curious: Nice coup. He also medalled again at the JRunners 2012 Olympics. His tally: 10 races, 7 golds, 1 silver, 2 bronzes.

Ovits: Had to drop Bodek after mile 4, and cranked out 7:16s all the way to finish. He claims he wouldn't have taken Weber had he done that pace for the first 4. I beg to differ. Not only did he earn his 1 placement point, but this was piled on after a morning in which he already biked 723 miles and swam 87. I tell you, this guy is tough.

Katz: Nobody with a do-rag in the park that day looked sexier than Mutty, including the one guy in the 25-pack peloton who seemed to insist his had the same protective power of a helmet.

Friedman: He pushed hard, and was shvitzing like the Banya at the foot of Coney Island (that thing still there?), but he never gave in. Great show.

Bodek: I do not do well in heat (yet I have Badwater fantasies, what's the matter with me?), was not feeling it after mile 1.2 and had thoughts of quitting. I've been running for 17 years, before Jews ever found Prospect Park, much less completely inhabit it. This was my 19th half and 165th race, and I'd be darned if this was going to be the first time I was going to quit. I'm very happy with my last place finish.

Looking forward to the 3rd Multiannual Unsanctioned JRunners Half-marathon! Jersey maybe?

Martin Bodek,
Beat Reporter,

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

My New Book is Out!

Friends, nobles, countrymen, family, running buddies, hockey guys, colleagues, subordinates, superiors, acquaintances, readers, writers, supporters, well-wishers, dreamers, loyalists and all other people of earth; I have finally published my third book!

After 1.5 months of writing, 2.5 months of rewriting, 2 months of submitting to agents and publishers (and getting some very interesting feedback), 45 minutes of converting the manuscript into book format, 1 week of struggling through attempting to create my own cover art, 2 weeks of working with a professional on said art, 1 week of OCDing over the minutest of details, 15 minutes of
hovering my finger over the mouse button before finally clicking "Buy Proof Now", 5 days of antsiness while waiting for the book to arrive, 15 seconds of jumping for joy when I saw it in my mailbox, and 5 minutes of swooning over how beautiful the final product is, and completely in line with how I envisioned everything, I present to you the fruits of my labor:

Nice cover, eh? Dena Szpilzinger of Dena Graphix rocks!

What's the book about? Well, I'm hoping the partially abstract cover might illuminate what it might be about, and that the small synopsis would indicate what it could be about, and that the 20-page preview I provided should elucidate what it is indeed all about, but if you'd like me to give it to you plainly, I'll describe it as follows:

I shvitzed away at it, I'm proud of it, I think you'll enjoy it, and if you buy it, I'll be eternally grateful for your interest and support.

But don't take my word for it. Here's a great, unsolicited testimonial I received from one of my "beta readers" ( when he was done reading the book:

"Bodie, I finished reading A Conversation on the Way. I enjoyed it immensely, and, if I may add, it is your best book to date-by far. There is immense thought put into it...By the way, you forgot to capitalize "He" when referring to God a few more times. Lol...On a similar note, seashells found on mountain tops would seem to be proof of The Mabel, wouldn't it?...It's cute how I had, and still have, so many of the questions you bring up in the book."

In response to each thought separated by the ellipses:

It's my best book by far, as you can see...I think I've successfully capitalized all the relevant "He"s...not necessarily...grown men should not use the word "cute."

So I hope I've successfully piqued your curiosity. Discounts are available upon request. I thank you again for your interest, support, constructive criticism, guidance, assistance, advice, conversations on the way and love.

-Martin Bodek

While I have your attention:

My blog: <--- please keep apprised! I update this pretty often!
My site: <--- got to launch a new issue!
My column: <--- got to write a new column!
My finest: <--- still my favorite, but I can surpass it.
My books:  <--- three books now on my shelf!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

JRunners Celebrates Israel, Britain and the 1%

JRunners finished the month of May and started the month of June with a bang. At possibly the last Thursday organized race until the relay, Mordechai Ovits pulled off so many superlatives, it would be impossible to list them all. So naturally, I'm going to try. First of all, his PR progression is nothing short of astonishing. Check this out:

2009: 23:41
2010: 20:58
2011: 18:39
2012: 18:24

Secondly, he placed 78th out of 5,540 runners. Do y'all realize how ironic it is - wait, stop me if you've heard this one. I've repeated it a bit because I'm so full of myself, I fell in love with my own line - that in a Wall Street run, he placed among the top 1(.4)%? Okay, last time I use that. Just had to milk it one more time.

And yes, there were other runners as well, enough to daven Mincha if they so chose! Steven Weber wasn't available, so baby brother slotted into the standard near-the-top position. Michael, what's Steven been feeding you? Mark Sanders continued to RULE the Masters division (calling Yossi Pancer for some competition!), Eli Friedman set another PR. Michael Wilhelm and Chaim Tepler ran again. These guys must be done with their 9+1 by now, no?

Here are the results:

Mordechai Ovits 18:25 6:09 PR by 0:15
Michael Weber 21:16 7:05 Baby bro moving up
Mark Sanders 21:44 7:15
Eli Friedman 21:50 7:17 PR
Joe Herman 22:09 7:23
Michael Wilhelm 22:27 7:29
Chaim Tepler 22:57 7:39
Chesky Rosenblum 23:59 8:00
David Balassiano 26:07 8:43
Jacob Granek 29:00 9:40

Meanwhile, back home, Martin Bodek was seething that he missed the deadline for race signup. He'll be more diligent next year.

Over in Central Park at the same exact time, Ariel Kohane was honoring Her Majesty's Jubilee (I thought Yovel was 50 years, what gives?) at The Great British Run 6k. We can only assume he ran because he did sign up, but The Queen is apparently keeping the results a secret, so they are as follows:

Ariel Kohane ? ?

At the Celebrate Israel Run, 20 - count 'em 20! A near Non-JRunners race record! (The record is 36 at last year's Israel Race, according to the Bodek Sports Bureau) - JRunners showed up. Two JMaidelech were among them plus two father-son teams. Mordechai Ovits was out biking 75 miles, so Jason Lowe took the gold and Yossi Pancer - perhaps because I called him out - showed up to begin efforts towards retaking his Masters mastery. Steven Weber earned points yet again. In 9 races this year, he's earned 7 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze. Whoa. Brother Michael actually bested his per-mile performance at Wall Street, Sanders was solid yet again, Pupko got more apples, Friedman PRed twice in the weekend, must be that farmer's tan. Michael Wilhelm is now the first JRunner to run 10 races in 2012. He's on pace for 24. Yowza. Jonathan Pittinsky clobberified his PR by 2:16. The man is on a mission.

Here are the results, including all bib-switching that I know of:

Jason Lowe 25:49 6:28
Joseph Pancer 26:06 6:32
Steven Weber 26:12 6:33
Michael Weber 28:05 7:02 PR by :03
Mark Sanders 28:13 7:04
Yisroel Pupko 29:08 7:17 Apple of our eye
Eli Friedman 29:23 7:21 2nd PR of weekend
Chaim Tepler 29:39 7:25
Michael Wilhelm 30:08 7:32 1st to 10 races
Mark Izhak 31:57 8:00
Zacharia Sanders 32:43 8:11
Jonathan Pittinsky 32:50 8:13 PR by 2:16
Chesky Rosenblum 33:01 8:16
Miriam Wielgus 34:50 8:43
Chanan Feldman 35:41 8:56
Joseph Balassiano 38:21 9:36 Way to go, son!
David Balassiano 38:21 9:36 Way to go, dad!
Mark Lewis 38:39 9:40
Jacob Granek 38:55 9:44
Elaine Agassi 56:48 14:12

Meanwhile, back home, Martin Bodek has been freed of the shackles of the 9+1 program and is piling up mileage so he can score his first sub-4:00 marathon. He did 13.3 near home. He's giving up JOTY points to focus on that. Some sacrifices must be made.

Great job everyone! Next week, I'm doing 14-15 miles Sunday morning. What are you doing?

Martin Bodek,
Beat Reporter,