3 year anniversary – a special race (Too Hot to Handle)

Too Hot to Handle
July 15th, 2012
White Rock Lake, Dallas TX
Norbuck Park

This is a special race for me!  Three years ago today I ran my very first 5K road race, EVER!  I remember that day pretty well.  I met some special friends that day, I’d lost 88 pounds at the time and my time was 32:04.  This was an emotional day for me honestly.  The memories of the first race and every race since then were flooding my brain throughout the run.  I had my run meter connected to FaceBook so I could hear encouraging comments while I ran.  John (whom I’ve known for 14 years or so) posted on my status “Kill it my friend, Thanks for inspiring me to change”.  This was just past mile 1 that he posted that.  Those words had me in tears as I ran…..”Thanks for inspiring me to change”.  I remember thinking, he really gets it, and he understands the change.  I told ya it was an emotional day.  J (John has lost at least 40 pounds since I last saw him at a concert in March(I think)) 

Who would have ever thought that I would be running races and having so much fun, not me?  I’m grateful for the ability to do it though.  I’m grateful for the circle of runner friends I’ve developed while doing so.  I’ve developed great friends like Coach Nancy.  If you’ve met her, you know what I’m talking about when I say she is one of the most caring and inspiring people I’ve ever met.  I met Nancy three years ago at my first 5K and we’ve been friends ever since.   Nancy I appreciate you and your friendship.


Race time was 7:30am, but I knew parking at Norbuck Park would be a mess, so I’d asked my buddy David to pick me up around 5am.  I’ve always been an early arriver, part of that is just for the social aspect the other part is that I just don’t like traffic much.  I slept really well the night before, despite not getting a lot of rest the entire week. 

We arrived at White Rock Lake, Norbuck Park around 5:30ish and just really took our time getting around.  It was a beautiful morning and thankfully the humidity had dropped significantly overnight.  Brian Cooper showed up not long after we arrived.  Brian was also there for my first 5K so it was great to see him at the race as I hadn’t seen him in a while.  We met Nancy and Shawn(her husband) to simply catch up and chat a while.  Finally, after much anticipation and several text messages, Shelly arrived.   Of course there was a group photo taken to document the occasion.

 That is David, me, Brian, Nancy and Shelly.

Much discussion about race plans, in the photo Lord only KNOWS what was happening.  HA

I’m sure it was good, whatever it was.  Lol

The Welborns were there as well.  I’ve known this family for about a year and greatly appreciate their friendship!

This is Gary and Taylor pre-race.  (Taylor did manage to get her D-tag on her shoe)

My buddy David has run the last few races with me; today he ran the 5k while I conquered the 15k.

Time to line up and get ready to run.  This is a fairly large race which is always fun and a challenge at the same time.  I did to a very short run to get the blood going and stretch before the gun sounded.  It took several minutes to get to the start line since I like to start near the back.  Finally we were off and I was feeling pretty good.  The race ran my favorite side of the lake(the flat side) and had great cloud cover off and on.  I have a little chat with Shelly, Gary and Nancy as I ran past each of them during the run, love seeing people I know when doing these events.

My per mile times were as follows:

Mile 1-3 were 8:59, 9:06 and 8:55.  I wanted to start around a 9:15 pace, but the adrenaline took over I guess.  I felt good though.  There was lots of weaving at this point of the race passing other runners, walkers, etc.

Mile 4-6 were 8:55, 8:51 and 8:49.  All sub 9 min miles, not bad for a recovering fat guy, right.  LOL   At this point I was probably talking to those around me some, I usually do.

Mile 9-end were 8:42, 8:38 and 8:26 and the last bit was 8:06.  I started having some cramping in my right butt cheek down to my right knee at mile 7 which was annoying to say the least!  I looked at the guy next to me and said “Two miles left, let’s finish this”.  You can tell by my pace that I picked it up a little.  As I came to the corner right before the finish line, David was there yelling at me.  Not sure what he was saying as I had my music on, but he ran in with me encouraging me to kick it in gear.  I know better than to do this, but I did it anyway.  Gotta put on a show, right.  J  My final pace per mile on my Garmin was 8:49 to finish as my 2nd fastest 15K to date.  I am thrilled with the run and the way I felt.  My heart rate averaged 161 bpm, but did top out at 180 near the end, a tad higher than I like it for long term, but I’ll work on that.

Officially I was 331 place overall(3000 or so runners).  50th place in my age group (40-44), there were 91.  My splits were 5K 28:13, 10K 56:22 Time was 1:23:07.  I’ll TAKE IT!!

My friend Karen got a great picture near the finish.

That’s my buddy David next to me screaming at me.  LOL

Over all this was a fantastic day!





Track IT!

If you have been following along with my blog, you know this is the second in a series.  Last week we talked about WAKING UP and beginning to LIVE again.

How many calories do you eat in a day?

Did you stay within your recommended calorie range?

When did you last look at a label to know what is in the food you’re buying?

Do you know what your BMR calorie burn is for a typical day?

You aren’t sure about any of those answers?  I wasn’t either when I started but I am here to tell you it is all at your fingertips.

We are discussing my personal success factors and today we will be discussing success factor number 1.  This says: know WHAT/HOW much you eat daily (track it).

Here’s the deal, if we really want the outside of our body to look great, we must take care of what we put IN our bodies.  I’m sure we’ve all heard that saying ‘garbage in / garbage out’.  Well, it’s true.  If we put garbage in our bodies, then that’s what we’ll get out of our bodies.  Your body is a very meticulous machine put together by our amazing Creator.  He knew what He was doing.  Learning to FUEL your body is not easy however, you’ll notice a difference fairly quickly if you pay attention to what you put in it.  Yes, this means that if you give up a few things like fast food and soda alone, and replace them with a healthy snack and 6-8 glasses of water a day, you will see a huge difference. 

I have to give massive props to my wife for the idea of looking at the labels at the store.  She did the homework and realized that as a family changing our lifestyle we needed to start paying attention to the packaged products we buy.  If there are words on the ingredients list that we cannot pronounce, we simply don’t buy it.  There are other items that we no longer buy if the sugar content is too high, or the sodium is out of control.  We no longer buy something simply because it says it is fat free.  This can be deceiving unless you look thoroughly at the nutrition label and ingredient list.  Knowing WHAT you are putting in your body matters. 

Once you get a better understanding of what is going into your body, now you need to determine how many calories you are taking in during the course of one day? 

When we all signed up for SparkPeople, we completed a series of questions to establish our starting points and our goals.  We were then given a recommended range of calories to eat and calories to burn to accomplish those goals.   How cool was that?  We got this expert advice that comes from years of experience absolutely free!  Are you using this to your advantage?

SparkPeople’s Nutrition tracking is the most amazing tool to track this information.  This tool is very simple to use and doesn’t take more than about 5 minutes to complete each day’s meal tracking.  The main database is very extensive and I’d say that nine of ten items can probably be found there.  If you can’t find an item, look at the foods entered by other members.  That’s what makes SparkPeople so great; people helping people!  This database is massive but if you can’t find something, you have the opportunity to add an item and share for the next member.  How simple is that?  But there is more!  The ability to add foods to your favorites list OR create a food grouping if you eat the same foods for lunch daily all help in making the process speedy quick. 

Now that you have tracked your nutrition for the day, you KNOW how much you have eaten.  You can tell if you stayed within your calorie range or not.  Knowing this information is CRITICAL to your journey. Without this information, your success will be hindered, period.  Can you have success without tracking?  Probably, however I’d venture to say that most major success stories track everything. 

But wait, there’s even more!  The reports section contains amazing information about your nutrition, fitness and calorie differential; did you even know they exist?  Using these reports you can see your nutrition intake for a week or month.  This is crucial information.  The reports will hold you accountable to your daily calorie count of a given period of time.  These reports were crucial to my personal journey and I used them daily when I was in weight loss mode.  Knowing how my calorie intake was affected by my calorie burn thus giving my differential was absolutely amazing for my journey.

Get to know the nutrition tracker, learn about what you are eating.  Pay attention to what goes IN your body to enhance your daily performance.  Your performance might be as an athlete or simply to get through the daily grind we all face.  Whatever your needs are throughout your day, remember to fuel your body, not fill your body.

Tracking your food, knowing WHAT/HOW much you are eating daily is crucial to your journey.  I can’t stress this enough. 

Disclaimer: are there days that I fail, YES!  There are days that I go crazy with my calorie intake, some days it seems that my metabolism is raging and I simply can’t get enough to eat.  I don’t beat myself up over it.  I make every effort to learn from the mistake and move on, not stressing about it.

Men, I have a challenge for you.  I challenge every man who reads this blog to do two things.  1. Make a habit of tracking your food, you WILL see a difference.  2. Comment below; put it in writing your commitment to track it.  Let those who might read this blog after you, know that you are committed to your health.  Something you say might spark the next person into action, and there is nothing more rewarding than that!

TODAY …..is THAT DAY all over again

THIS is a very special day!

There has been much discussion about this day and we weren’t sure it would ever get here.  However, I’ve checked and I’ve double checked the calendar and TODAY is THAT DAY!  Oh sure, there will be some who aren’t as happy about this day as others.  I mean, if we really mean what we have said at different times, today should be an incredible day.  Today could quite possibly go down as THE highest productivity day ever in the history of the world. If this doesn’t excite you, I’m not sure what will!  Your life or the life of a loved one could very well be changed FOREVER, just because today happened.

 Not only is this July 4th, 2012, today is SOMEDAY!!

I know, I know, you NEVER thought this day would get here did you?  SOMEDAY finally arrived.  You know what day I’m talking about, right?  SOMEDAY is THAT DAY!  You know you’ve said something like this in the past:         

I’ll get healthy someday
I’ll stop eating junk food someday
I’ll take better care of myself someday
Someday I’m going to go for a walk
Someday I might try running
Someday maybe I’ll stop smoking
Someday we’ll go to the park and play
I’ll get serious about my diet someday

These are clearly just a few examples of things that could have been said about SOMEDAY.  The list could and probably does go on and on and on.  SOMEDAY, the word, could also be replaced with ‘MONDAY’ or ‘ONE DAY’ or maybe even ‘when hell freezes over’.  That’s right friends, TODAY is an incredible opportunity for you, a loved one, a friend, because SOMEBODY in your life will have their life changed forever.

Today is that day we get to own up to all those times we have said it in the past, right?!  I’m not talking about a New Year’s resolution sort of ‘own up to it’.  I’m talking about a life change.  This is about seriously owning up to this whole SOMEDAY mantra some of us have lived by for too long. 

This is the time to take COURAGE and own up to SOMEDAY.  Take time to own up to MONDAY or whatever day you called it.  It’s HERE, the TIME IS NOW.  You want to live a long life for your family, right?  You want to see your children grow old.  You want to keep up with the grandchildren, spoil them rotten and send them home, right?  Did you realize that you have to own up to SOMEDAY and take care of your health if ANY of that is going to happen?

You can do this!  You can take your health back!  You can make the little changes necessary to live a very long fulfilling life.  It’s not too late!  I’m willing to help you. I want to help you, because my “someday” came two years ago.  Over the next four weeks, I would love to share with you the steps that I took to regain my health.  These steps are very simple.  This is going to be so Awesome!   I look forward to meeting with you here each week to help your Someday, turn into My Day, My week, My life!

I’m looking for some WARRIORS to help END the TREND of obesity in the world.  TOGETHER we CAN DO THIS!  Message me to join my team and become a member of TEAM WARRIOR – we are Warriors for HEALTH!