Action 460 – Choose Only One.

Argh. I hate not being able to have everything I want. Yes, I realize that I sound like a spoiled brat when I admit that. But there it is, anyway.

There are three things I want but I can really only afford one of them. They each cost about the same, so…

Action 460 – Choose Only One.

I can run the Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon on June 3rd.

Totally fun, another full marathon, and I love shiny medals.


I can run the Nanny Goat 24 Hour 100 Mile Challenge on May 26th.

It’s a huge challenge, the “medal” is fun, and it’s a brand new experience.


I can buy myself a new iPod Nano to use on the Pasadena Marathon.

I want to be able to switch playlists – from dance club to rock – and my Shuffle doesn’t do that. Plus, it would be a reward for finishing like my watch was for running the Marine Corps Marathon.

I can make a good argument for each of them. And I can afford one, but only one.

Fortunately, I don’t have to decide tonight. I can think on it over the weekend and make my decision early next week.


Action 459 – Don’t Confuse Travel With Holiday.

Tomorrow after work, I am flying out to Austin, Texas, for the weekend. It is my Grandfather’s 90th birthday and Sunday is Mother’s Day, so it’s the perfect time to see the whole family. The old me would see this trip as a vacation and not think at all about what is going on with my training. But I’m not the old me.

Action 459 – Don’t Confuse Travel With Holiday.

Yes, I get to see my family. And yes, I’m sure I’ll indulge a little in food and drink while I’m there. But I’m still in training. In fact, I’m in my last ten days before the marathon. That means I need to remain focused on the prize.

And I’m prepared for it. I have already packed my gym bag for the morning workout before I head to the office, and I have my suitcase packed with two other sets of running gear for Saturday and Sunday mornings runs. I will run bright and early and then have the rest of the day to focus my attention on the family.

I will prove to myself that I can have it all this weekend. I can enjoy my family, have a great trip, and still commit to my workout and my training.

Celebrating Grandpa’s birthday in 2009.

Action 457 – Tell It Like It Is.

Being the SparkPeople Success Story Manager and an active member of the site, I get my share of emails from new members asking questions. I know how much I appreciated encouragement early on, so I always take the time to reply with whatever help I can offer.

Action 457 – Tell It Like It Is.

Today, I received this email from a new member:

Do you have any weight loss tips?

And this was my reply:


Not being mean or dismissive, just I have never had any luck chasing weight loss goals. It wasn’t until I focused on the basics of being healthy that I was successful.

Eat healthy. Be active. Repeat consistently. That’s it. No tricks, no sneaky way around it. It’s all about the basics.

Start small with simple goals, like drinking enough water each day or taking a 15 minute walk each day at lunch. Whatever the goal, just start. Repeat. And when it becomes a habit, add another goal.

That’s what worked for me, at least.

I know what she was asking, and I could have certainly phrased my answer more as “weight loss tips.” But I went with what felt more authentic to me. Focusing on weight loss alone may be a good way to drop pounds, but I don’t think it is a way to keep those pounds off.

I don’t judge people who resort to extreme and restrictive diets or surgery to lose weight. I’m not in their shoes and it’s not for me to approve or disapprove. But speaking for me, I think that those solutions may help you lose weight, but once you return to your normal eating habits, the weight will come right back. To successfully keep weight off, you need to learn new and healthier habits for life.

So, I told it like it is, at least for me. There are no shortcuts to this.

Action 456 – Make The Motivation.

Being a person who is pretty open and upfront about my weight loss and fitness journey, I’m used to people asking me questions. No surprise, this is one of the most common.

How do you always stay motivated?

I think the answer surprises most people, but honestly, I don’t. I’m not always motivated. Some days, I don’t want to workout and I don’t want to think about what I’m eating. I want to sleep in and eat junk food and watch TV for hours. Some days, I’m just not feeling it. But those the days that I most need to do something good for myself, because doing right by my body also helps improve my mood.

Action 456 – Make The Motivation. If I don’t have it, I find ways to push myself in the right direction.

For example, today, I’m not really feeling it. I woke up this morning too late to go to the gym before work, so my reaction is to just skip today completely. But that doesn’t help me prepare for the marathon, it doesn’t help me burn calories, and it definitely doesn’t help me feel better.

My solution? I packed my gym bag and brought it with me to the office. I could have changed at home afterwards, but I know better. I would go home and not leave again for the gym. Bringing my bag means I don’t need to make a stop on the way. I have also brought my bag into the office with me. I don’t need to, since I am going to change into my workout gear at the gym. But leaving it in the car makes it easier for me to change my mind and not go. Out of sight, out of mind, you know?

Instead, my gym bag is right here at the end of my desk. It’s a constant reminder that I have a place to go and something to do right after work.

I’m still not really feeling all that motivated to go run and workout this afternoon, but I know that I am going to do it. And I also know that afterwards, I am going to be glad that I did. I have never worked out and thought, “pfft, that was a mistake.

If you don’t have the motivation, make it. Your mind will come around once your body starts doing all the work.


Action 455 – Practice Patience.

I’m not going to play coy here. I am not a patient person. When I decide I want something, I want it right now. And right now, I have decided that I want to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon or Half Marathon on June 3rd.

Crazy, right? There are so many reasons why I shouldn’t run it.

  1. I ran the event already last year.
  2. The course was not that beautiful.
  3. It’s expensive.
  4. I’m running a full marathon and a half marathon in the two weeks before.
So, why have I decided I want to run it? Because I can. Because I’m on a roll. Because I’m stepping up and pushing myself and challenging myself and… well.. and I suppose I’m on a runner’s high and I don’t want it to fade.

Action 455 – Practice Patience.

I checked the website, and the rates will not go up again until May 27th. That means I can wait until after I run the Pasadena Marathon to decide if I want to run San Diego. Maybe I won’t feel up to another full marathon and will only want to do the half. And sure, the event could sell out. But if so, that would just be a sign that I wasn’t meant to run it at all.

I hate waiting. I want to just sign up right now and be done with it. But no, I am not going to do that. The smart thing to do is wait, run what I have already committed to, and let the rest play itself out over the next two weeks.

Be patient. It’s good for me. Right?

*grumble* *grumble*

Action 454 – Find The Words To Explain It.

This afternoon, I was interviewed by a reporter for the Pasadena Weekly. She was looking for stories of runners to share with their readers, and the folks at the Pasadena Marathon gave her my contact information.

What an experience. She asked for fifteen minutes of my time, and I was happy to talk about the marathon, why I was running it, and all about the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.  I thought I knew what she was going to ask, what I was going to say, and how the entire interview would go.

I was wrong.

Once I started talking, it was like I opened a valve and everything inside my head just came rushing out. I talked about why I was running… this project to prepare me… and all that I have learned about myself along the way. And so much, more more. I’ll save all the details, as the reporter is writing the story and I’ll let her tell it as she chooses. But for me, one thing finally became clear. After an hour of talking, I was no longer unclear about what I was doing.

Action 454 – Find The Words To Explain It.

I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2011 for myself. It was my challenge, to show myself that I could do it. And I met that challenge head-on. I ran the marathon, stood in the shadow of the Iwo Jima Memorial, and proudly clung to my Finisher’s Medal as proof of what I had accomplished.

But this marathon is different. I am not running to prove something to myself. This time, I am running for others.

  • I am running as a way to say thank you to the Marines in my life, my brothers and sisters, who reminded me back in June 2010 that I am an amazing person who has every reason to be happy. They were the mirror that showed me I deserved better, I deserved to be better, and gave me the spark I needed to turn my life around. Their friendship led me out of the darkness and literally saved my life.
  • I am running to raise money for the Marines now served by the Semper Fi Fund. These are men and women who have sacrificed for this nation and now deserve all the assistance we can offer them as they return to a new life after the horrors of war.
  • I am running to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives in service to a nation that does not always make its gratitude known. For a brief moment, on the streets of Pasadena, each of these Marines will be remembered. What they have given will be acknowledged, appreciated, and honored.

This marathon is my one opportunity to give something back to all the Marines who have given so much to me and for me.

And thank you, Logan Pollard, for giving me the opportunity today to sort all of this out in my head. Finding the words to explain how I feel has made this experience that much more important to me.

Action 449 – Prepare For Incoming.

For all the juggling I felt I was already doing, my life is about to get much, much crazier.

Action 449 – Prepare For Incoming.

The movie project, From Fat To Finish Line, has kicked up a notch. I am the last runner to be introduced on the movie’s Facebook page, plus my photo and name have been added to the header cover photo.

I also got an email from someone at the Pasadena Weekly, and they would like to interview me tomorrow for a piece on the marathon. Add that to the television interview I have already agreed to, and my dance card is filling up.

I’ve already felt like I was in the spotlight, but it’s only going to ramp up quickly from here. Guess I better be ready for it!

(Image courtesy of