RUNNER12COM's SparkPeople Blog RUNNER12COM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Making The Choice I am as happy as I choose to be. It's that simple. <BR> <BR> I've been thinking a lot about my life lately. I think it's the new year, turning 44, and feeling like a different person physically. Whatever the reason, I've been more mindful of my mood and my attitude. And I've come to the conclusion that at heart, I'm a happy person. <BR> <BR> That may not sound surprising to most of my Spark Buddies. I think I tend to be consistently positive and upbeat here on SP. But the truth is, I'm not ... Thu, 27 Jan 2011 11:44:31 EST A SparkOprah Call for Help - DEBORANN There is so much stress and anxiety out there, and so many people struggling to find even a glimmer of hope to keep going on. Fortunately, there is Spark People and our overwhelming amount of support. <BR> <BR> Today I'm calling everyone's attention to my Spark Buddy, DEBORANN. <BR> <BR> Her latest blog is titled, "Just Kill Me Now." And she wrote this: <BR> <BR> "I've made bad food choices this week, I'm angry with my husband for so many things and I am just plain in a deep hole where the... Thu, 27 Jan 2011 10:59:42 EST A SparkOprah Call for Help - MomNGuitarMan I read this today from my Spark Buddy, MOMNGUITARMAN: <BR> <BR> "I worked really hard at keeping everyone at arms length. No one ever bothered to try to figure out why. If they had maybe they would have figured out that I was afraid of being hurt. I am the only person in my family who is overweight. I have been fat since I was 6 yrs old. My mom constantly tried to force me on diets (unsuccessfully, no one can do this for me). She never hid the fact that she was ashamed of my appearance. It d... Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:45:27 EST A SparkOprah Call for Help - New_Nick Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you my newest Spark Buddy, New_Nick. His status and blog today have me a bit concerned. <BR> <BR> This is his status: <BR> "NEW_NICK is feeling so depressed and sad I feel ill" <BR> <BR> And this is part of his blog: <BR> "I just dont know how I'll manage work tomorrow, its becoming painful having customers make fun of me, be rude to me, as well as employees, Im just such a fucking joke and I have no one to talk to, at all. I havent felt this upset since I felt ... Mon, 24 Jan 2011 10:48:57 EST Photo Blog - Saturday, Jan 22nd My husband took a few photos of me Saturday as I headed out to the gym. I'm gonna be honest here... I LOVE them! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've worked very hard this past year, and it's so motivating to see my effo... Mon, 24 Jan 2011 09:44:40 EST Beach Running, San Diego Winter Style I ran my 8 miles along the Coronado Strand this morning, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Here's a few pictures. <BR> <BR> This is the park at Coronado, where I stopped for a quick drink of water before I started my run. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And here's the view from Silver Stand State Beach, where I began running. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And here I am, enoying the early mo... Sun, 23 Jan 2011 15:47:24 EST Flashback - The Voice Rises This is what I wrote a year ago, on January 20th, 2010: <BR> __________________ <BR> <BR> My tasks are simple. <BR> * Get to the gym. <BR> * Eat healthy. <BR> * Repeat. <BR> <BR> It isn't complex and it certainly isn't something I can't do. I mean, it's an hour of cardio, not an Iron Man. The physical is not the struggle. <BR> <BR> It's mental. It's the old tapes that play in my head telling me I'm a quitter. It's the years of self-doubt and the voices of criticism and the sometimes o... Sun, 23 Jan 2011 15:45:53 EST "I'm Discouraged" Alert! My friend, Sharrie, posted a blog called "Discouraged." And we all know what that means. It means SparkOprah is calling on his Spark Buddies to give her a little encouragement. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3946807 </link> <BR> <BR> Sharrie is the real-world friend who first introduced me to Spark People. As you can imagine, I owe her a debt of gratitude I doubt I can ever repay. My life has turned around so completely since finding... Fri, 21 Jan 2011 13:03:21 EST On Timing and Being Worthy of Imitation This was in my email yesterday from Spark People: <BR> ___________________ <BR> Healthy Reflections <BR> <BR> Be worthy of imitation <BR> <BR> They say imitation is the greatest compliment, but are your actions worthy of imitation? We are all in some setting of leadership. Whether it be as a parent, boss, or friend we should constantly examine the example we are setting for those around us. Are you being a positive role model? <BR> ___________________ <BR> <BR> And a little while later, ... Fri, 21 Jan 2011 12:02:43 EST Tough Starts and Rest Days If you're following along with my Spark Journey, you know two things about me. One, I am usually a positive, upbeat guy. Things just tend to work out for me. And two, I'm not perfect, and I go through cycles where I struggle to stay motivated. Yesterday, both sides of me came out to play. <BR> <BR> Right now, I'm training for two half-marathons (Safari and Rock & Roll) and a full marathon (Marine Corps). That means I'm doing a lot more consistent running now than I have over the past year. Y... Thu, 20 Jan 2011 12:12:54 EST Celebrating FANGLE Wow. You all know that I love reading about the successes of others. If you do, too, take a moment to read Fangle's blog entry. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3941561 </link> <BR> <BR> It's a textbook example of (a) identifying problems, (b) setting goals, and (c) making those dreams a reality. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am SO proud of him. His success deserves to be sh... Wed, 19 Jan 2011 17:25:34 EST Please welcome my friend, JUST_REE. Spark Buddies, the "one man recruiting machine" is at it again. I have convinced my friend, Ree, to join us here at Spark People. She had a serious car accident last April and has been on the mend ever since. She is in a tough place right now, dealing with a lot of "big as life" issues and trying to find her way. <BR> <BR> And since no one does "welcome and get after it!" encouragement like my Spark Buddies, I am turning to you and asking that you welcome her aboard. She's good people and ne... Wed, 19 Jan 2011 12:13:20 EST I Love It When A Plan Comes Together I just decided this week that I am going to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I posted a note about it today on Facebook letting my friends know. One of my Marine Corps buddies let me know that (a) we would be staying with him at his apartment, (b) his apartment is a convenient 3 miles away from Reagan Airport and (c) his apartment is only a mile from the Start/Finish Line. <BR> <BR> How sweet is that? It is going to be so convenient to be that close. I can get a good night's sleep, ... Tue, 18 Jan 2011 20:31:45 EST My Mantra and a Challenge Happy Tuesday, Spark Buddies! <BR> <BR> I was back on the treadmill this morning for a five mile run. Yesterday was a rest day, so this morning’s run was my first after Sunday’s seven miles. Surprisingly, I felt great. I ran five miles at a 10:00 mile pace and felt strong the whole way. I set the treadmill course to include hills, so from time to time, I felt the incline and had to dig in. When that happened, I started chanting my new mantra: <BR> <BR> This is why I’m awesome. <BR> This is ... Tue, 18 Jan 2011 11:38:56 EST Please Welcome My Favorite Aunt, GoodTimeSue Hey Spark Friends, <BR> <BR> Please welcome my Aunt Sue. She has just joined Spark People and needs a few Spark Buddies to make her feel at home. <BR> <BR> Here's the link to her page: <link><BR>ODTIMESUE </link> <BR> <BR> And here we are last week on the beach in San Diego. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm really happy that she is here at SP. I think she'll love it! <BR> <BR> SDJ Mon, 17 Jan 2011 21:51:49 EST Marine Corps Marathon? Yes, please. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to ... Mon, 17 Jan 2011 16:15:47 EST How Big Can I Dream? I have a buddy serving in Ramadi right now. He is a certified Bad A$$ who inspires me to dig deeper, go harder, and reach higher. <BR> <BR> I got a message from him asking if I am interested in running the Marine Corps Marathon with him on October 30, 2011. I don't know what to say. I'm focused on my two Half Marathons right now, and I don't know if I can even RUN a whole marathon. <BR> <BR> But this journey is all about dreaming big, right? And who am I to tell a buddy fighting a war halfw... Mon, 17 Jan 2011 12:18:04 EST Sunday, Fun Day, My Long Run Day I think I'm becoming seriously unhinged about this running thing. Today was my Long Run Day, 7 miles, and absolutely loved it. I struggled a bit early on, but it was a bit cool and I was running on the road instead of the treadmill. <BR> <BR> I had thought about running at the gym, but really, how could I? It's San Diego. It's gorgeous weather. And I live near Balboa Park. Running inside would have been shameful. <BR> <BR> Here's the sunrise on my way to the park: <BR> <img src="http://pho... Sun, 16 Jan 2011 13:58:54 EST Outdoors, Indoors and a Personal Best This morning started with the Strasburg 5K Run through the campus at San Diego State University. It was absolutely gorgeous outside and the perfect weather for a run. <BR> <BR> Here I am, before the run. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After the run, I decided to hit the gym for a little strength training. And afterwards, I felt rock star enough to take a picture without my shirt on. Yep, it's true. <BR> <BR> Here I am, flashing a glimpse ... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 14:58:01 EST Flashback Blog - A New Year, A New Me This is what I posted one year ago: <BR> __________________ <BR> Thursday, January 14, 2010 <BR> <BR> I'm 43 years old as of yesterday. I am blessed with a great life, a wonderful husband, and fantastic friends. So why am I not doing everything I can to extend that life? <BR> <BR> Small steps. Consistent choices. Patience. Those are my tools right now. <BR> <BR> I can do this. <BR> __________________ <BR> <BR> Turns out, I was on to something. Small steps have led me to where I am toda... Fri, 14 Jan 2011 11:28:44 EST Another call for help, Friends. Please take a moment to send encouraging words to my Spark Buddy RebekahJohnson. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>BEKAHJOHNSON </link> <BR> <BR> Her new blog entry is called "Single isn't so bad." Here's the link: <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3921076 </link> <BR> <BR> And I share this line that sent my own blood pressure through the roof: "He threatens to beat her." <BR> <BR> Oh, hell no. She left. Like any sane ... Thu, 13 Jan 2011 14:49:58 EST A Year Older, A Decade Younger I turned 44 years old today, and I feel absolutely fantastic. This time last year, I weighed 220 pounds, wore 38" dress pants, and felt terrible about myself. I put on a brave face and kept on laughing, but truthfully, I was fighting depression and struggling to get through each day. <BR> <BR> Me, last January, "celebrating" my birthday. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What a difference a year makes. I'm now 185 pounds and wearing 32" jeans.... Thu, 13 Jan 2011 12:00:05 EST Spark Friends, A Request for KIMROID Hey there, Spark Buddies, <BR> <BR> One of my buddies, KIMROID, is in a bit of a funk today and could use a little boost. And since my Spark Buddies are the world's greatest source of encouragement, motivation and inspiration, I'm asking each of you to take a moment and give her a little shout-out. <BR> <BR> This is the link to her Spark Page: <link><BR>MROID </link> <BR> <BR> And this is her picture. Beautiful, isn't she? <BR> <img src="http://photo... Wed, 12 Jan 2011 13:37:34 EST Gay Men Sparking I logged on to find that I have been picked as a "Gay Men Sparking" spotlighted team member. I love it! <BR> <BR> I'm a huge fan of Spark People and the teams make such a difference in keeping me motivated and inspired. I love that others think I motivate them the same way. <BR> <BR> Thanks, GMS. I'm happy to be aboard the team! <BR> <BR> SDJ Mon, 10 Jan 2011 11:53:26 EST 6.25 miles? Pfft, no sweat. Okay, that's not true. It was a lot of sweat. Here you can see I'm still covered in it. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> But I did it. Today was my long run - 6 miles - and I hoped to complete it in 60 minutes. As it turns out, I had plenty of strength and endurance and actually ran 6.25 miles in the hour. At the end, I was cranking the treadmill up another click every minute and ended running at 7.5mph/ <BR> <BR> Yeah, baby. I'm already co... Sun, 9 Jan 2011 13:08:11 EST A short video of me, pedaling away at the gym. Nothing big or important, just me being me. <BR> <BR> SDJ Sat, 8 Jan 2011 12:00:36 EST Sparkaholism Hello, my name is SanDiegoJohn and I'm a Sparkaholic. <BR> <BR> *clap* *clap* <BR> Hi, John. <BR> Welcome, John. <BR> <BR> It's been less than an hour since I Sparked. And I know I'll Spark again soon. And I have no intention of quitting. <BR> <BR> *clap* *clap* <BR> Hooray, John! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> (Yeah, it's like that.) Sat, 8 Jan 2011 10:01:07 EST The Real Secret to Becoming Healthy <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We all know the basics of weight loss. Eat fewer calories than we burn, drop pounds. There are several variables, of course, but that’s the simple formula. And it’s working for me. But my journey to better health is about more than pounds. I need to add stretching, flexibility, balance, and distance training. <BR> <BR> Here’s my plan: <BR> <BR> Stretching – I’ve stopped challenging myself mentally. I don’t read b... Fri, 7 Jan 2011 14:45:44 EST Heartbreaking Words - A long, painful blog. I read this elsewhere and feel like I need to bring it here to my Spark Family. <BR> <BR> These are horrific, painful words to read. And I don't know yet how this all makes me feel, other than horribly sad. My heart breaks for this man. And recently I expressed anger and judgment over someone else who chose to take their own life. Was he in this much pain, too? Was I wrong to react as I did? I'm not sure now. I just know this letter resonates with me far more than I would have expected. <BR... Thu, 6 Jan 2011 15:29:36 EST From Extra Large to Medium Here I am this time last year, wearing an Extra Large shirt. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And here I am this morning, wearing a Medium shirt. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's been a long year, but it's been worth every minute of it. And this year is going to be even better. <BR> <BR> Results rock! <BR> <BR> SDJ Thu, 6 Jan 2011 10:48:49 EST One Decision What does it take to reach your goals? One decision. It can be that simple. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My alarm clock is set for 5am, but I’m always awake before it goes off. I lay in bed for a few minutes, torn between my scheduled trip to the gym or remaining in my warm and comfortable bed. And in those moments, the same battle rages every morning. <BR> <BR> Me - I need to get to the gym. <BR> Other Me - Sleep in and go to the ... Wed, 5 Jan 2011 16:01:22 EST Training for the Half Marathon(s) Thanks to a "spark" push by Coach Nancy, I am now signed up to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon in June. It's a long way off, but these things have a way of sneaking up on you if you don't start preparing early. With that in mind, I found a training program that lasts 12 weeks. <BR> <BR> But... that only takes me to mid-March. And what is in March? The 1st Safari Park Half Marathon. So yep, I'm going to run that one first. My training has to start right away, but I can do it. <... Tue, 4 Jan 2011 11:19:29 EST Yep, it's another blog you should be reading. This one: <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3851561 </link> <BR> <BR> Read it. Love it. And "like" it so it gets a little more attention. It's fantastic! <BR> <BR> SDJ Tue, 4 Jan 2011 01:11:25 EST Darn you, Monday. I slept terribly last night. I'm blaming all the ice tea I drank at dinner. I woke up nearly every hour on the hour and struggled to get back to sleep. Ugh. <BR> <BR> So this morning, I just got up and headed to the gym early. And once there, I discovered I left my water bottle and my iPhone earplugs at the house. <BR> <BR> It was a new experience, running without my own music. But I did it. I tuned in to the rhythm of my steps and found the "music" there. I still prefer music, but it was a... Mon, 3 Jan 2011 11:18:02 EST Sweat is sexy. Sweat is sexy. I keep telling myself that. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 2 Jan 2011 19:01:47 EST Running a Half Marathon. (What?!) I'm going to make 2011 my greatest year ever. That means I need to push myself harder, reach higher, and dream bigger. <BR> <BR> I just signed up for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in June. It's a big challenge, but I have plenty of time to train and I will definitely be ready. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 2011, you and me are going to have an amazing year! <BR> <BR> SDJ Fri, 31 Dec 2010 09:06:00 EST 11 Beginner's Steps to Making 2011 the Year That You Lose Weight! I was thinking of writing a blog entry about this, and then I discovered VirgoGurl4's amazing list. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3873350 </link> <BR> <BR> This list is helpful for all of us, not just beginners. So click on over, read, "like," comment. It's worth it! <BR> <BR> SDJ Fri, 31 Dec 2010 07:58:48 EST Great Blog Alert - Read this! I read this blog from _DASH_, and I LOVE it! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3870938 </link> <BR> <BR> If you love it, too, (and why wouldn't you?!), please take a moment to "like" it and comment. Good stuff deserves to be recognized and celebrated. <BR> <BR> SDJ Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:05:58 EST 182, 193, 186 – Pounds Gone Wild When are eleven pounds not eleven pounds? And when are seven pounds not seven pounds? <BR> <BR> Several weeks ago, I weighed in at a record low of 182 pounds. Then I struggled for most of November and December. I hit a few big events – 5k runs, Mud Run – but I wasn’t exercising consistently. And my eating was equally as erratic. I made it through most of the days making healthy food choices, but I opted for fast food meals more times than not. Not surprisingly, my weight started to go up. At... Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:03:54 EST New Gym, Fresh Start My membership at 24 Hour Fitness is up for annual renewal in two weeks, so I decided now is the time to explore other options. I checked out a locally owned and managed gym, Boulevard Fitness. It's a mile from my house, only a few dollars more each month, and way more personal than the McGym. <BR> <BR> After a tour and a couple of days on a free trial pass, I have decided to switch. And just like that, a new burst of energy has found its way to my workouts. I started this morning with a 45 m... Wed, 29 Dec 2010 01:03:39 EST Dec 31, 2011 - A Letter To My Future Self This is the letter I intend to write to myself this time next year. Until then, it will be my motivation to stay on track this year. I can do this. <BR> ________________________ <BR> <BR> Dear SDJ, <BR> <BR> Well, 2011 has been quite a year, hasn’t it? So many ups and downs. Just when we thought we knew what was happening, something else came right out of left field. Crazy, right? But I’m not writing this to rehash all of that. I’m writing this to congratulate you on an amazing year. <BR> ... Mon, 27 Dec 2010 17:31:06 EST SDJ's Christmas Wish My Christmas wish this year is that all who have more than me are grateful, all who have as much as me are satisfied, and all who have less than me at least have their needs met. <BR> <BR> Merry Christmas, my wonderful Spark Family! <BR> <BR> SDJ Sat, 25 Dec 2010 01:20:10 EST And Now, Good Stuff. I've had just about enough of the bad. Today is the start of the good stuff and the official turn-around of tidings. <BR> <BR> First up? My replacement car. I found an amazing deal on a 2008 Jeep Compass with a 35k mile bumper to bumper full coverage warranty. It's costing me nothing out of pocket and the insurance payoff paid for it all. <BR> <BR> Here I am with my new toy: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I appreciate each of you and your... Thu, 23 Dec 2010 16:05:42 EST All I can do is laugh. At this point, all I can do is laugh. <BR> <BR> My Grandfather? Still in the hospital, prognosis unknown. <BR> My business? Crashing down around me. <BR> My car? Declared a total loss by the insurance company. <BR> Its replacement? Tough to find with the cash I will have available. <BR> My weekend houseguest? Still here for the next week, because she is afraid to drive back to Los Angeles after the car accident. She'll likely fly out of San Diego, instead. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to work from ... Tue, 21 Dec 2010 17:15:59 EST One thing at a time... I can't let myself be so overwhelmed by everything that is going on. I need to take a breath, pick a single action item, and complete it. And then another. And another. <BR> <BR> So, one thing at a time. First up, post this blog and finish my "Spark People Routine." After that, a shower and some breakfast. And the rest of the day will unfold one item at a time. <BR> <BR> I can do this. I can get through anything. <BR> <BR> SDJ Mon, 20 Dec 2010 09:24:29 EST As Requested, SDJ's Greatest Hits... so far I mentioned that I have been fortunate enough to have four of my blogs voted as "Popular Member Blogs." So by request, here are the links to each of the four of them: <BR> <BR> Seriously, what is with the attitude? <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3451081 </link> <BR> <BR> Things I Wish Someone Had Said To Me <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3739842 </link> <BR> <BR> National Coming Out D... Wed, 15 Dec 2010 23:38:11 EST Inspired I used to write often. Then I just quit. I don't even remember why. But being active here at Spark People has inspired me to write again. And four "popular member blogs" later, I'm feeling passionate again about my writing. <BR> <BR> So thank you, Spark People, for one more gift. This really is the site (and community) that keeps on giving. <BR> <BR> SDJ Tue, 14 Dec 2010 01:33:33 EST Jingle Bell 5k, or How I Got My Groove Back I decided yesterday that I was done dragging around and moping and whining. And today, I set myself back on my path. <BR> <BR> Here I am before the run this morning, still looking a bit sleepy. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here I am after the run, looking a little haggard but feeling great. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here I am with my friend and Marine Corps buddy, Brian. <BR> <img s... Sat, 11 Dec 2010 14:11:02 EST Attitude Adjustment? Check! I knew that I was the solution to my own bad attitude. Yep, it's true. <BR> <BR> I woke up this morning to find my earlier blog is a Popular Member Blog, I'm awake and ready for my 5k run, and as soon as I arrived at Balboa Park, I saw my friend and his twin boys... so I'm not running alone. <BR> <BR> Life is good, indeed. <BR> <BR> SDJ Sat, 11 Dec 2010 10:29:19 EST Struggling, but I have the solution. Over the last few weeks, my motivation level has been super low. Part of it is the time of year, part of it is the stress of work, and part of it is just that I'm feeling down. I haven't been working out, I have been eating terribly, and my attitude stinks. <BR> <BR> I'm struggling. I need to turn it around. And the solution is obvious. I need to take action and the only thing keeping me from doing it is me. Nothing stands in my way except me. <BR> <BR> First up, the Jingle Bell 5k Run tomo... Fri, 10 Dec 2010 14:03:10 EST