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    JOPAPGH   56,592
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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...
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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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SEABREEZE65 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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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 5/13/2013 10:29AM

    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

    emoticon

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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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