In which, I discover Texas is freaking hot…

So Thursday is a run day, but I also had to work and travel and had an evening event. I couldn’t run early because I was up and on the road before 5am. This meant my best opportunity was a lunchtime run in 95 degree heat.

I would normally work to avoid running in the hottest part of the day. Little did I know, I had avoided that. I would later find out upon leaving to go to my evening event that the afternoon high was 105.

I didn’t set any pace or distance records as I ran from my hotel and passed the Ballpark at Arlington toward Cowboys Stadium. I am not being paid to use their official, sponsored names. I ran away from my hotel to a mile and a half secretly hoping that someone would pull along with an air conditioned vehicle and rescue me with a lecture on the stupidity of midday running in August in Texas.

I reached the home of the Dallas Cowboys and even though I had the same distance back to the hotel as I had just ran, it seemed much further. I stopped a few times to take pictures and to question my life but trudged onward.

As I said, the run/walk did not set any pace records but it was completed and my plan remains intact as I work toward December’s half marathon. Anyone have a name for that distance yet? I’ll have to come up with one.

Get up and go!

3.42 mi
15′ 35″ / mi

See you Saturday!

In which, I run in the rain but it’s not too hot…

In which, I run in the rain but it’s not too hot…

Full disclosure: I failed to do any cross training on Monday as planned. I was going to ride bike in the evening, but the Florida evening rain had other ideas. I know that I could have done something else, but I wimped out.

As I headed out Tuesday evening to get the planned run done, the weather was gloomy and threatening. I had no sooner started tracking my run with the house extremely close, and dry, when big fat rain drops began pounding the pavement.

I should also point out something that I forgot to mention in the last post about what is slightly different with this training plan. I am running without headphones or music. I have always tried to distract myself from the discomfort of running with motivating music. At the very least, I could interval run/walk with every other song. I have now taken to praying in the beginning of my run, counting out strides and trying to correlate count with pace in the middle, and thinking of all that I need to do toward the end.

The rain stayed consistent but never came down so hard that I was uncomfortable. If given the choice between blazing heat and pouring rain, I’ll take the rain.

I tried to pickup the pace and run longer without stopping. When I eventually stopped to walk, I began run/walk intervals at every streetlight with the run being at a much faster pace than I was maintaining earlier. It was hard but I felt great.

Have you signed up for the OUC Half Marathon yet? Do you have a race or challenge in mind? What are you waiting for? Comment below and we can help each other.

3.15 mi

Next run is scheduled for Thursday. It will be tough as I am traveling to Texas and have an evening event. Stay tuned.

In which, I sign up and begin training…

So, last Thursday was the last day to register and save $10 for this December’s OUC Half Marathon.

I am nearing the end of another 24 Day Challenge and having lost another 15 pounds so far and dropping another couple inches in my waist has me motivated. Buying shorts in a store yesterday with my kids on this tax-free weekend that doesn’t sell my previous size was motivating. Not being completely disappointed when passing a mirror is motivating.

I had been challenged a few weeks back by Jeff Boddiford, who will either be credited or blamed throughout this process, to run the OUC Half Marathon.

I have two problems with a half marathon. First, it needs its own name. I don’t want to brag about doing half of something. Let’s come up with a name for the distance. Second is the distance. I have no memory of ever running more than a mile and a half at a time. I played soccer and football growing up and regularly ran more than that in a game, but never without any stops to walk or rest.

I am registered, so I need a plan. I did some research and have a plan to get to 13.1 miles by December. Now it’s about execution. I want to know that I can do it. I want to be comfortable and have a pace that I own.

Today, I ran/walked a little more than three miles. The longest sustained run within was a little more than a mile and a half at about a 12 minute pace. I really look forward to seeing how this progresses and how I will feel throughout. I was in Clermont for the kids’ swimming and found myself running hills of all things.

3.13 mi

Tomorrow may include some biking if I can get Mickey out or some other form of cross training before running again on Tuesday.

What are you doing? I need some teammates. Get off your ass and make it happen. Hit me up on the social media of your choosing and let’s help each other achieve our goals.


Early this Sunday morning, Mickey and I were up to join a group for bike ride from Oviedo Aquatic Center out to Fort Christmas and back. Full disclosure, I do not yet keep up or ever make it to the full length as these guys can easily knock out 50 miles in the time it takes me to do half that. I do, however, love being up and out. I secretly hope to make a “brick” of it. A brick is the combination of two sports. I have never been able to transition from the bike to a run as my legs come off the bike feeling like concrete or bricks. I can only assume that’s where the name came from, but I will have to check into that. I hope to add a mile run after a 10 mile bike this morning.

As the group took off and headed East along 419, I jumped into the middle of the pack and enjoyed the first mile or two with the group as they stretched their legs and added speed. I am fine with the consistent building of speed. Where they lose me is when we slow for a stop sign or for some debris in the road and then they take back off with serious acceleration and I am dropped. By mile three, I am off the back. Before mile 4, I can no longer even see them ahead.

After mile 5, I decide that if I have any chance of pulling off this brick, I had better turn back. I make a casual u-turn. Enter wind.

The first 5 miles had some false flats with slight climbs and a couple of long sloping downhills where I was able to pour speed into the bike. I was completely unaware of any breeze at all. After making my turn to head back, I became bluntly aware of what I would later learn was a 14 mph wind that had been at my back all along. I don’t know if you are all aware of what a 14 mph headwind does to the pace of an overweight bicyclist, but take my word that it took longer to get back than it did to go out.

Simultaneous to the wind hitting me in the chest was the epiphany of this metaphor in my brain. I had many thoughts as I lumbered my bike into the wind for the 5 mile slog to the car to transition into my running shoes.

I was unaware of the wind when it was supporting and pushing me in the direction that I wanted to go. I took all the credit for my athleticism and strength as I rode along the highway. I did not consider the wind at all. I certainly was not thankful to have it. I was blissfully ignorant. The birds were singing. The sun was shining. The trees were green. The cars were happy to pass me leaving plenty of room.

When the wind literally hit me in the face, my bike slowed. I immediately felt as though I was much too far from my car. Where had this wind come from? Why is it just appearing now? The smallest uphill became mountainous. The birds fell quiet. The sun was beating down on me. The trees were swaying. The cars were impatient and dangerously close.

The ride back was harder, but I enjoyed it for what it was. The resistance of the wind made me work harder. I became immediately grateful for the tailwind I had received for the first 5 miles. Now here is the part, you need to get your head around. I was also grateful for the headwind on the way back as a chance to grow. The resistance would reward my efforts with added strength in the future. I was not the victim of some evil force. I was the benefactor of an empowering force. I had an opportunity to face the wind with grace or to quit and curse it.

I can’t see wind, but I can surely feel it. I can’t see wind, but I can surely see the impact it has on people and the world. I don’t know the word for wind in every language, but I am sure that they are describing the same thing. I can’t see wind, but I know that whether everyone believes in it or not, it’s there.

Remember that I said it was a metaphor?

What Happened?

Last night’s events did not make the news anywhere.  I assume that every scholastic athletic team has a similar event every year.  This event, however, marked an emotional and impactful inevitability for me.  Oviedo High School Water Polo had its “Senior Night” last night. My baby girl is a senior in high school nearing the end of her high school career.  She is just weeks from graduating and turning 18 years old.  I did not cry, although it was touch and go for a bit.  She knows when and where she will be heading to college in the fall.  I know that it must happen this way for everyone.  Image

The last 18 years are a blur of activity, growth, milestones, challenges and love.  I knew the heartbreak of dropping a little girl at preschool and watching her run off into the classroom without a look back.  Then seemingly five minutes later she was heading into the mall to watch a movie with a boy without us.  What happened?

I had a cute little 6 year old girl promise to stay 6 forever.  Then, with a wry smile, she kept right on growing and became a beautiful woman.  What happened?

I knew the magic of being woke on a Saturday morning by being pounced on.  Seconds later, I was teaching her to drive and when I woke on Saturday mornings she was gone to practice before I was awake.  What happened?

Each day is a microcosm of our lives.  Today is the only Saturday, March 29, 2014, that any of us will ever get.  I had a time when they needed to be carried. I had a time when I could teach the alphabet.  I had a time when we could sit on the floor and play legos.  I had a time when I could drive them to and from school.  I had a time when we could talk about their friends and classwork.  I had a time where they thought I knew everything.  This high school senior year is the only one that I can share with her.  Next year we will be relating to her as a freshman in college.  It is a constantly changing dynamic.

I have recognized for some time that I must live in and enjoy the present.  I also know that life prepares you for what lies ahead.  If I had never dropped her at preschool or the mall or woke on a Saturday to her being gone to an activity, I would never be able to let her go to college.  Thousands of small heartbreaks and emotional opportunities to grow will make taking her to college this fall just one more heartbreak in a long line of them giving us all another chance to grow and expand our relationships.

I have loved every minute of it and look forward to all the pure potential of the future.  

Below is the picture of that cute little 6 year old.  What happened?


Lifeguard vs Swim Instructor

Last night, Ana and I went out to our first Winter Springs Wednesday Night Mixer.  It happens every Wednesday night.  We should have been before but life keeps us busy.  We would not have made it to this one either if it had not been that Mark McCoy was going to be there.  We even got our kids to go and listen.  We had seen and shared many of Mark’s videos.  You can see them on Tomorrow’s Champion website.  I learned so much that I should have known.  So much of what we think we know about health and fitness is wrong.

Before Mark got up to talk, Ted Jones shared his story of body and financial transformation that is so powerful.  He then called on Ana to come up and share her product, body transformation and opportunity story.  If you have not talked to or heard my wife talk in the last 6 months, you may not know how accomplished she has become at sharing and inspiring and helping others.  If you have only just met her in the last 6 months, you may not appreciate how much of a change she has made in the last 6 months in giving of her time and energy to help so many others achieve their goals.  She is truly an inspiration.

Then Mark McCoy was onstage.  One of the very first things that he shared that I cannot get out of my head over 24 hours later is:

Feed the body you want. Hydrate the body you have.”

Mark gave me a new goal.  I can be as efficient as an 18 year old regardless of age.

We all know that our metabolism slows with age. What we don’t do is take that to its logical conclusion. Our metabolism slows. Our body is less efficient.  So we give the body less food, or “diet” and the body shuts down our metabolism even further to store more fat because it thinks that we are starving.  Diet = accelerated aging.  Everyone says “weight loss” and what is meant is “fat loss”.

Health and Fitness requires three steps in a process in order to reach your potential.  Health has step 1 “Balance” and step 2 “Feed”.  While Fitness is step 3 “Move”.

Homework assignment: Google and gain understanding of the history of USDA Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA).

Balance starts with oxygen and moving it through your body.  This requires vitamin B.  Next, is water.  Drink half your body weight in ounces every day and increase twenty percent based on activity and/or weather conditions. Finally, balance includes micronutrients.  This means enzymes, vitamins and minerals. In 90 days, you can have the metabolism of an 18 year old.

Food includes proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  There are good and bad of each.  Learn more about the food that you put in your body.  Eat within one hour of waking and until one hour of going to bed.  Feed the body that you want.  Mark has created some sample plans for various goals from strength to endurance or just fat loss.

Move. You know that you need to do more.  Let’s go.

Mark opened a lot of eyes and left us with a bit of wisdom.  He said that doctors were serving as lifeguards at the pool, ready to help in an emergency.  With the knowledge of balance, food and move, we can serve as swim coaches and stop the emergency from ever happening.

He shared that 71% of every healthcare dollar in the US is spent to treat a preventable issue while only 3% is spent on prevention.

Mark hung around and answered lots of specific questions.  It changed the way that I ate today.  It changed the way that I packed lunches and snacks for the kids.  I ordered some more supplements to achieve our various goals.  Let me share with you what we are doing.


Screenshot 2014-03-27 23.37.08

Key Largo Mixer (or No Arms Were Twisted)

Let’s go change some lives in Key Largo!


Hold up. Key Largo? You want us to spend a few of our precious Spring Break days on a small sliver of land between the Atlantic and Florida Bay as Winter turns into Spring? Okay. Nobody had to have their arm twisted for this trip. Team Make It Happen went to Key Largo this weekend.

Well over a month ago invitations were sent out and phone calls were made. Our friends, Ted and Meghan Jones, and their wonderful kids we’re going to join us and come talk to our friends and family and their guests in Key Largo. We were so excited to see what was going on in Key Largo, where people wanted to go and how we could help them get there.

We shared and connected with so many locals. We sat on the back dock on the canal that looked right out to the Bay. Pam and Sarah made so many healthy snacks and had quite a spread. It was amazing to hear some of the results that many have already had and heart wrenching to hear what so many have tried and how desperate many are for results. There were some that needed energy and others that wanted to lose weight. There were some that wanted to achieve fitness goals and a few that wanted a plan b income opportunity.

It was inspiring to see the passion and community in Key Largo. Also, I will never tire of hearing Meghan share her story or seeing her empathy for others. We are pairing up some current champions with some future champions to coach them along the way.

We spent a lot of time in the ocean or very near it. We went to state parks, marinas and some local haunts. We went to Bahia Honda State Park and Anne’s Beach. We ate some great seafood and kept hydrated. We visited Islamorada Fish Company for a beautiful sunset and Chad’s for the Keys best sandwiches. Island Grill at Mandalay delivered their famous tuna nachos. There was fishing and snorkeling and the property value on the hammock skyrocketed. All kinds of bait were tried and a few fish were caught.

We will be coming to a city near you soon. Make it happen sooner by reaching out to us at our site.

There may not have been any twisted arms but there was some twisted tea.

In an unrelated story, stay tuned for the tale of Caleb Jones and the Magical Sea Urchin.