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I am Just Too Busy!

That's right, I have come to a point where I have a lot to do, and now I am starting to make choices. I liked being a kid better!

The problem? The 5 days after the weekend are the hardest.

Last week I didn't get out a single blog. I thought about skipping a workout, and I cut one short. Some days being an adult is not that much fun. Then there was the food. I had an extra cupcake and savored a Dunkin Donuts creme filled doughnut; the first time since I began the journey over 2 years ago.

Yeah, every day is a new day, but today is the only one that matters. I am not horrified, or feeling badly about it all - I just know where it leads. Even though I logged a loss for the first time in months, the junk always finds the trunk.

When I think of all the priorities I have in life - and some days it seems as if there are too many competing for first place - I get a little anxious. There is my faith, my family, my job, and my health which rotate for the number one spot in my day-to-day life. Emotionally there is my creative life which includes writing, music and art. Without time to create, I am little sullen.

I could list all the things that I am doing, but we all have lives with stuff to do.

Oh yes, then there is the new book which is zooming along!

I am trying to simplify the content organization, which for me; is like try to contain a fireworks display in my bedroom without burning down the house. I have found a person to produce the Kickstarter video, there are T-shirts in the design stage, website names have been purchased, and with the help of an MFP friend, I am re-purposing some of my blogs to a public site. Then there is making sponsorship inquires and the hiring of journalist to write the press releases. You can't sell a book if no one knows about it.

Although I can't release the title for the book until it's registered, I can tell you it's going to make you laugh a little. There is a chapter about sex (which also might make you laugh), an extensive glossary of fitness terms and definitions (which WILL make you laugh!), as well a couple of interviews with people who were there when I started. Finally, there will also be a cool runner's tchotchke/thingamabob.

What am I doing to stay on track?
- Fed all the leftovers from the birthday party to the dogs.
- Portioned lunches for the week.
- Committed to writing one blog a week until the book is done.
- I am keeping my running at 26 miles per week which is about 4 hours.
- Moved my 2 gym workouts to lunch time so I can create in the morning.
- Took one evening meeting and canceled it until...
- Made sure nothing conflicts with my date nights with my wife!

Thanks for your support - and yes, there will be a printed version and an eBook.

I started this project for very selfish reasons. It keeps me engaged with winning the war on heart disease. Then it was about accomplishing the runs, and feeling gratitude for what God has done - me, me, me. Finally, it's no longer about me, but it's about you. Helping others succeed is far more important to me today than what goes on in my little life.

One of the greatest joys in life today is seeing others succeed. I read a success stories on MFP almost every day. Recently, I received this message from a reader who is not even an MFP friend. It reflects the deeper purpose to my sharing my story in words.

I just wanted to send you a quick message because I have been following your blog, when I found it I read it from the beginning. Today I ran my first 5k. And part of that inspiration and motivation was from you and your words.

Please, keep sharing your successes! YOU CAN DO THIS!

Stick With the Program!

MFP is really an interesting community! I have been around for over a year and had some real and lasting success - if you consider sarcasm success.

My day job is working as a computer programmer, a web programmer in fact. I have become a useful tool for turning caffeine into unintelligible code. The rest of my time I spend screwing off on MFP, some of which includes the Community Forums.

All I can say is there is a lot more to the MFP than logging!

Today I would like to educate you on using a little programming logic when participating in the forums. It will make you a better communicator and MFP citizen - no really, I promise.

Please just one total nerd paragraph to explain.

Programmers use tags to specify how they want the computer to interpret whatever it is they have written. For example, the tag <p> simply means paragraph. <b> means bold and then they close the tag like this</b>.

With that in mind, here are some programming tags that will make your forum submissions shine for your virtual readers!

<rant> I am just running on pure emotion, my facts are cherry picked. </rant>

<ts> Too sensitive, please don't comment harshly. </ts>

<no clue> Save this for day 2 or 3 when you've seen no results. Some times there is no close tag for <no clue>.

<bs> I don't believe this is true - again, some times there is no close tag for <bs>. We call this an unterminated string.

<body> You look great! </body>

<nsv> The scale didn't budge, so I am going to focus on something else. </nsv>

<tmi> I have no boundaries. </tmi>

<tom>
Female rant. </tom>

<veg> I never eat anything with a face except animal crackers. </veg>

<wtg> Insincere support. </wtg>

<sodium> A form of <rant> </sodium>

<ds> Diary Sucks! </ds>

<runner> David </runner> :)

<nfd> Not a Freakin' Doctor.</nfd>

<stfu> No One Cares What You Think. </stfu>

<hs> You look great. Nice work! </hs>

Sometimes tags can have properties or attributes. For example:
<diet type="carnivore">
Whatever fad you are positing about </diet> Most diets usually end badly.

<body flirt="true"> You look great in a sexual way! </body> You'll see a lot of this.

<body fat="true"> Keep up the good work! </body>

<pic ripped="true"> That's how you include an image in your post. </pic>

<forum inflammatory="true"> Gay marriage, gun control, eating your exercise calories. </forum>

My favorite is this one: <success = "true"> If you stick with the program, there is no close tag for this one either.

<grateful>Thanks for the votes and comments.</grateful>

Inspired to Try, but Why?

Like most kids growing up, I played a couple of sports, none of which I really excelled in. I was a fast sprinter for the simple reason I needed to escape getting super wedgies from my older brothers.

I am a Boston Bruins fan - a pretty good one in fact - I hate the Habs, the Flyers and the Canucks for all the right reasons. My own hockey career never earned me any accolades. No trophies or playoffs in high school, I got cut from pro-am after 5 practices, and I played 1 year on a 0-17-1 college hockey team.

For some weird reason, I have a 1st place bowling trophy, a 3rd place NASTAR skiing medal and a couple of championship basketball trophies. Then there are the permanent scars of motocross wipeouts and the nice shiny crowns.

So what inspires a guy like me to do something I will never excel at?

I really have no freakin' idea. I just like running; it's 3rd on my list after that and hockey. It's ahead of skating, rollerblading, biking and riding the motorcycle.

2 years ago I was going to be happy if God let me run a half dozen 5Ks a year without injuries - well, under 30 minute 5Ks! Since then my addiction has landed me at the finish line of a number of 5Ks, a few 10Ks and a 1/2 marathon. 5Ks are a gateway drug. The only harder drug for me is a Marathon or possibly a Triathlon.

Running a marathon takes more than signing up, it takes inspiration and training - or does it?

Chucking perfection out the window, some times I think you just have to do something. I would like to say failure is not an option, but for me, it actually is. Giving up without trying, that's another story.

Here are three inspiring stories which I have come across in the last few months.

Eddie Izzard: He ran 43 marathons in 51 days! He was in his 40s. (MORE...)

What does Eddie think about his accomplishment? "I don't think what I did was amazing. Anyone can do it."

Fauja Singh: The man who ran The London Marathon at age 101! Heck, at age 89 he ran his first marathon - that's almost 40 years older than I am today! (MORE...) Video

Julie Weiss: Pushing the envelope, and turning grief into passion is also inspirational. Ms. Weiss is no youngster either, but she is a lot better looking than me, Eddie or Fauja. She is scheduled to run her 52nd marathon in 52 weeks on March 17, 2013!

Better known as The Marathon Goddess, Julie runs for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and so do I.

5K, 10K, over the hill, who knows what you are capable of until you try.

I am pretty happy with my race schedule for this year; it's posted on my profile if you want to join me. Most of the race dates are firm, but I am open to mixing it up.

Why do I run? I run races which support causes I believe in like cancer and cardiovascular research, as well as Boston Children's Hospital, and the local police association, to name a few. It's a way for me to give to my community. In return I meet great people and look forward to seeing those foundations touch lives.

And finally, you all inspire me. From my long time friends, some of whom I have met at races, to the new ones, I love yoursuccess stories!

Some of you have been after me to write a book about weight loss and fitness. I want to do that; it's on my bucket list. So is running a marathon. In my own mind, I see the marathon as one of my credentials for the book. I really don't know where to begin. If you want to help me get started, PM me.

Tell us, what inspires you?

Working from Home, the New Me

I just thought I would take a few minutes and be grateful for my new job, working from home, and the support I get from MFP.

Here are my favorite things about working from home:
- It's home, so I don't have to go there and back.
- I picked the furniture and the pets.
- I can use politically non-correct terms.
- I can run at lunch.
- I can run before work.
- I can run after work.
- I can take a shower when I want, or skip one all together.
- It's OK if I sit on the boss's lap, we're married.
- I don't need gas, or even a car; it's a good thing I don't have a bar.
- I can sit around naked because we still use phones and not Skype.
- No one leaves donuts in the break room.
- I can listen to loud music or watch TV as I work.
- I can have lunch with my wife without a big plan.
- I don't have a firewall for my PC.
- I can sleep in.
- I avoid traffic jams and security cams.
- I can wear footie jams.
- When I need to work from somewhere else, I can take my office with me. (Think, under an umbrella at the beach with a cool iced tea.)
- I can take the trash out while I am "muted" on a conference call.
- I get hugs from my little one when she is home from school, not when she is immersed in homework after dinner.

The only draw back I guess, is that I am close to the refrigerator and I have to buy my own coffee.

Thanks for all your support, prayers, job recommendations, passing my resume around at work and sending me links to job sites these past 7 months, I really appreciated it!

Surviving Outside Your Fitness World

Last week I took three trips. Number one was to Cape Cod to run my first half marathon, which; I completed in 2:16.29. The second was orientation for my new job in St. Louis Park, MN, and the last was a romantic getaway with my wife to an undisclosed location for which there are no photos available.

Today I have some tips on living outside your fitness world, eating out and traveling.

-1 When Airport Security says "empty everything out of your pockets," they mean everything sir!

-2 Chapstick can get you strip searched. (See #1)

-3 Before you eat out, read the nutritional menus online. All large restaurants have them, and in some states, even small restaurants need to give you a caloric heads up. Waiting to diddle with your SmartPhone during the order process at Hooters is not always a good strategy.

-4 If you are going to take your belt off for TSA, make sure your pants fit. True story.

-5 You can carry on a water filter and an empty water bottle. Drinking 4 bottles a day (you are drinking 8 cups, right!) at $3.00-$4.00 each, it will pay for itself quickly.

-6 Appetizers may be all you need. Some restaurants have a downsized portion of a their meals for an app. That and a large glass of water and you are all set.

-7 Exercise time can be tough to make on a vacation, a business trip, or even at work with long commutes. My first choice is a gym in the building. Even the worst ones have treadmills and some weights. Second choice is a run outside (yes, I prefer to be outside, it's just about time management and a shower) Then there is always calisthenics in the room and taking the stairs if there are some. Catching connections in another terminal after a delay is also good for your cardio.

-9 The break room at work can be a killer. Possibly you can avoid it by bringing your lunch to your desk in a cool pack. Waiting to go in until most of the goodies are gone helps too.

-10 Plan on controlling as much as you can. It could be business lunches, the in-laws on a holiday, or day trip. Try to be prepared with your own snacks and water. Cut calories at 2 meals so you can enjoy a larger one. I ate light breakfasts and dinners because I had business lunches every day.

-11 Education is the best tip. Learn how to order out. Double the veggies and skip the potatoes, eat more salad and less bread. Get things on the side so you can add an amount that works for you. Grilled is better than sauteed or fried. Watch out for sauces, mayonnaise, dressings and the like; they add up fast.

-12 If you can do it, order a kid's meal! This is great for delivery, take-out and curbside pick-up at chains like Olive Garden, Uno's, Betucci's Outback etc.

So when you are not in control, what do you do to manage your logging?

Thanks for the votes and comments (you can do both)!
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