JOPAPGH   56,086
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Love Letter to Myself

Friday, February 14, 2014

While I find this really silly, 100 points on a BLC weekend Challenge is still 100 points...


emoticon Today's a great day to throw some love my way! emoticon

At 53, my body is still cooperating well and I am on no ongoing meds. emoticon I try to treat my body well, watch what I put into and as a result my body allows me to push it to its limits. I have done things since I started this journey that I never imagined: I have run multiple races emoticon , including 10 half marathons emoticon and four marathons. emoticon I also rode a 100 mile cycling century. emoticon My nutrition continues to be a challenge, but I refuse to beat myself up when I have setbacks.

I am lucky enough to still be married to my first wife after 27+ years. emoticon We continue to work together on our ongoing collective bargain. We also share the love around our two children, both who continue to grow in exciting ways.

Love and kisses, emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLALEX70 2/21/2014 4:40AM

    Well said. We all could stand to love our bodies more.

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BOBBYD31 2/16/2014 9:37PM

    well done

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POSITIVE41 2/15/2014 8:34AM

    Great letter! very brave of you to share it too! Thank you.

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JILLIANPRNCSS 2/15/2014 7:55AM

    Married that long is something to be proud of

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GUNNSGIRL91303 2/14/2014 8:58PM

    It's awesome to love yourself!

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    Silly or not it is something we all should do.

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CODEMAULER 2/14/2014 3:49PM

    We should never take our loved ones for granted... and that includes ourselves!

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COOLMAMA11 2/14/2014 2:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 2/14/2014 1:22PM

    Awww, I love this! Very positive!! BTW, I didn't realize you had run FOUR marathons! WOWZA!


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HILLSLUG98239 2/14/2014 12:46PM

    Good! I'm so thankful for my healthy body and what it allows me to do. I have an "inner coach" who both challenges and encourages me. She replaced the meanie who used to tell me what a loser I was everytime things didn't go well.

There's something wonderful about being comfortable in our own skins.

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2WHEELER 2/14/2014 11:23AM

    Nice blog! I'd feel silly, too, but it's a good exercise in getting to know our "good" side--something that would benefit us all if we did it more often.

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RHOOK20047 2/14/2014 11:11AM

    Great blog! Have a great weekend and share some love with your wife today! emoticon

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Wicked SMAHT goals

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

So, I'll be on SparkPeople five year is May. By now, I know what works and what doesn't.

I need to note my goals for BLC 24. As fearless leader Penny says, this round is about participation not perfection. I agree.

My primary goal this round is to be more consistent, to even out the peaks and valleys.

The following is where I will focus:

I will log my food and stay in range a minimum of five times a week.

I will strength train three times a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays (once we get back from next week's vacation.)

I will run less in this marathon training cycle. I am taking a conservative approach to avoid injury, running just four times a week and not adding more than 12% to my mileage week to week.

That is all. Good luck to everyone this round.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLMITCH 1/22/2014 9:15AM

    Sounds like a great set of goals. I especially like the one where you are trying to avoid injury. It is something I am working on as well.

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BILL60 1/22/2014 8:53AM

    The very best to you on your plan.

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BOBBYD31 1/21/2014 9:28PM

    go get em jopa! have a great vacation, can i jump in you bag?

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    Looks great.

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GREENGENES 1/21/2014 4:22PM

    Great plan. Good luck!

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PKCTTS 1/21/2014 3:08PM

    Good job keeping Penny happy!

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DOCTATITO 1/21/2014 2:56PM

    Love it JoPa! Good luck!

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WATERMELLEN 1/21/2014 1:20PM

    Good goals, and glad to see you're here!! Avoiding injury is always a great idea . . .

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SEABREEZE64 1/21/2014 12:39PM

    You can do it! Good luck with your goals. 4X per week sounds like a good plan!!! Enjoy!!

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RUNNINGWILD 1/21/2014 11:04AM


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NKING1982 1/21/2014 11:02AM

    Great plan, You can do it!

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MBSHAZZER 1/21/2014 11:01AM

    Enjoy your vacation!!

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2WHEELER 1/21/2014 10:50AM

    Plan your work, then work your plan. Good luck! And have a great vacation.

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Marathon journey #4 starts tomorrow

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Just finalized my plan for the Outer Banks marathon on November 1oth.

North Carolina will be a good friend's last state to complete a marathon in, so a group of us are going down to share the fun. We a renting a 14 bedroom house of the beach.

I've had increasingly faster finish times in my three marathons to date, cutting 36 minutes from my first to third. A new PR will not be my focus for OBX. I plan to focus on avoiding injuries, enjoying the process and improving my running form.

Come 2014, my goal is to qualify for Boston in the fall.

I have been competing in BLC 22 as a proud member of the Onyx Outlaws (yeehaw!) This coming Wednesday will mark the midpoint. So far, I'm down 7.2 lbs. I just need to continue to stay focused for the second half.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOCTATITO 7/18/2013 6:42AM

    That sounds like so much fun! Have fun with your friends. I ran my first marathon in NC at that time last year--perfect time weather-wise! emoticon

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PKCTTS 7/18/2013 12:40AM

    No doubt it will be a success! You seem to do whatever you put your mind to. The Outer Bank are great too - I love that area.

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    Congrats on your finalized plans for your marathon. You will find a new PR I am sure of it.

You are doing awesome in BLC

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MBSHAZZER 7/15/2013 10:26AM

    Sounds like marathon #4 will be a blast! Enjoy it!

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GOING-STRONG 7/14/2013 11:44PM

    Wow.. I'm impressed with your weight loss so far and your commitment to run another Marathon. I'm doing my 1st full marathon this Fall (Portland, OR) and nervous as heck as I haven't been getting in enough training runs. Good luck with your event.


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TKAYSMILES 7/14/2013 10:12PM

    Awesome job JoPa!! Sounds like a great time!

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PHEBESS 7/14/2013 7:32PM

    Wow, I am impressed!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 7/14/2013 7:22PM

    You'll do it: the BQ AND the weight loss . . . yeah!!

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RUNNINGWILD 7/14/2013 6:56PM

    Write the plan, follow the plan = SUCCESS!

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TWINZMOM7 7/14/2013 5:41PM

  Best of luck on your quest for a BQ!!!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 7/14/2013 5:29PM

    Good luck with the training and qualifying for Boston. This year has been slower for me compared to other years. I am signed up for a half in October.

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CARIOLA 7/14/2013 4:54PM

    You've been doing great on the BLC Challenge! The Outer Banks should be lovely in November--and certainly a bit warmer than home.

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COOP9002 7/14/2013 3:51PM

    Sounds like a great plan. Blessings to you on your journey.

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MYUTMOST4HIM 7/14/2013 2:44PM


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BLC 22 starts tomorrow & my 10 gallon hat sized goals

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I have not been the Sparkiest lately. I haven't been tracking my exercise or food or doing much interacting will fellow Sparkers outside of a small group on Facebook.

I plan to use The Biggest Loser Challenge to rectify this. As part my first BLC since the mid teens, I'll be an Onyx Outlaw, the rootin, tootenist hombre from the Southwesternest part of Pennsylvania (as long as there are sidewalks, streetlights and decent restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance. Oh, and coffeshops.)

I have rustled up some stretch goals for the next 12 weeks that I want to share with ya varmints on accounta me keeping all accountable like.

* Run 375 miles during the 12 week challenge. I am not on a formal training plan for any race, so this should give me a goal to shoot for. I'll pick up at least 20 at Ragnar Ontario, the weekend after next. (Oops!! The original blog post said 500, but was shooting for 125 a month, so I corrected it. Part of why I was a liberal arts major...)

* At least 5 days in all ranges (calories, carbs, fat & protein) each week for the duration of BLC. My running can play havoc with my calorie intake. I need to focus on enough calories to fuel my long runs and also waching what I eat on my easy run and rest days.

* Drop 10 pounds. This should be a logical outcome of staying focused on the two goals above. I have been at this weigh before and know it is reasonable for me if I am tracking and exercising.

I do believe that dropping the weight and keeping it off will help with my long term goal: qualifying in Fall, 2014 for the 2016 Boston Marathon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JO88BAKO 6/7/2013 8:49PM

    emoticon JoPa. Great goals! You will keep us on our toes, or spurs, or whatever we need. Have a great weekend. You also have a great plan for the WE challenge

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CARILOUIE 6/6/2013 10:55AM


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TWNOMWE 6/5/2013 4:53PM

    Glad to be an Outlaw with you. Great goals.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 6/4/2013 10:32PM

    Welcome to the outlaws. Loved your blog. Too cool that you can run marathons. My longest run was 7 miles. Ultimately I'd like to do a half but my mind is not there yet. emoticon

Hope you have a blast with this team. They are emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 6/4/2013 8:55PM

    Great goals, lotsa fun and I am sure: impressive results!

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PKCTTS 6/4/2013 5:58PM

    Great goals - having Outlaws like you around will push us all to do a little bit more. Love it!

Comment edited on: 6/4/2013 6:02:33 PM

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DOCTATITO 6/4/2013 5:39PM

    Yeehaw! Great goals, JoPa! Looking forward to cheering you on and also hearing about Ragnar Ontario since I'm thinking of doing Ragnar Washington.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/4/2013 4:51PM

    Great plan! 500 miles in 12 weeks? WOW! emoticon

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    You will succeed this from a team member of the CAMO Crew. We will do this - 12 weeks is a piece of cake.

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RUNNINGWILD 6/4/2013 3:10PM

    Yippee-ki-yay!! (Or however the heck you spell that) I'm glad to have you in my posse for this round of BLC.
Here's hoping we both kick a little butt and achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

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MBSHAZZER 6/4/2013 1:21PM

    Excellent goals, John! And written in a most amusing manner! :D

Have fun with your Ragnar relay!

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Four Year Sparkiversary Yesterday

Sunday, May 12, 2013

So yesterday marked four years on Spark.

Four years ago, on May 10th, 2009, I biked to the end of the Pittsburgh marathon and watched the last runners cross before the course was opened again to traffic. It was so inspiring; the next day I went looking for a place to track what I was eating and joined SparkPeople.

Last Sunday, I finished my third marathon, and first hometown Pittsburgh, with a time of 3:53;43. So what is different after four years? Four years ago, I did not have the belief in myself to consider finishing a half marathon, never mind a full. In my early Spark days, I was focused on weight loss above everything else.

Today I only weigh a few pounds less than when I started on Spark but my body composition is different. Exercise is a regular part of my like now and I seek new challenges to keep things fresh. In addition to the marathons, I've biked a century, run 5Ks, 10 milers, nine half marathons, a 15 mile race and a 223 mile team relay with other Sparkers.

Other things are bittersweet. I miss the energy of the early days on Spark, but like all relationships, things mature. I am not as active blogging and on the forums as I once was, but still keep the Spark with other like minded folk on Facebook.

So what's next? Near term, I'm running the Ragnar Ontario relay in mid June. Longer term, I still need to learn swim. I move in to a new running age category in Fall, 2014. If I can cut 14 minutes off my marathon time I'll qualify for Boston.

So, it's time to refocus on nutrition. I think I'll be a better runner if I am more conscious of what I am eating. Time to fire up the tracker again...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 5/14/2013 9:39PM

    Happy 4th right back at ya! You've taken Spark in a very strong fitness direction and it's worked for you big time. No question you're happier, healthier and enjoying life more than when you started here. Me too!

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BOBBYD31 5/13/2013 6:59PM

    Happy Sparkaversary my friend! you have come a long way in such a short time keep up the good work, it has been great to be a part of a few of your firsts. now lets get swimming so i can be part of that first TRI

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MBSHAZZER 5/13/2013 2:06PM

    John, what an amazing journey in just 4 short years! I am always awed by those folks like you who have come to running later in life but with such enthusiasm and motivation to keep at it!

I have no doubt you will BQ right on schedule!

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SEABREEZE64 5/13/2013 12:22PM

    BQ would be such a big goal!!!

You have done so great.
Congratulations on all your successes!

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    You are a true inspiration and I am pleased to call you a emoticon

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PLMITCH 5/13/2013 7:43AM

    Yep, the tracker is a key ingredient to an overall healthy lifestyle. Happy anniversary!

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EHLIFESSHORT 5/13/2013 12:00AM


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NICE_ASPHALT 5/12/2013 10:30PM

    Happy 4 years of the New You! It's amazing what inspires us and keeps us working towards our goals! I'm with you on the "learning to swim". That's on my bucket list too. Boston qualifying is very much within your reach! I believe you can do it!!!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 5/12/2013 7:55PM

    Happy Sparkaversary. Great stuff. Great goals.

I echo what you are saying "I miss the energy of the early days on Spark, but like all relationships, things mature." You are right there is a maturity process for people who spark and what happens on Spark may not work for all after a while, and with the explosions of the use of social media - it is not surprising some people move in other directions.

So, when you learn to swim - does that mean you will do a triathlon?

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KLMEIRING 5/12/2013 7:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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