Monday, March 31, 2008

Ready for April

The weather during march was was my performance in the Team Voice challenge. I had a decent month when it came to eating and weight loss, but I came up very short with my mileage and push-ups/sit-ups. With a new month comes a new chance to redeem myself.

I have several goals this month:

1) Log mileage every day...that's days off.
2) Put up huge numbers in the area of push-ups/sit-ups.
3) Complete a 5 mile run, outside, with a sub 15 min/mile pace.

The month is going to start with a major test of my dedication to these goals. Tomorrow (April 1st) and Wednesday (April 2nd) I have commitments immediately after work, which means pre-work workouts. With work beginning at 7:00 a.m., this means starting my workout at 6:00 a.m. at the latest. I'm fortunate, in that I have a gym where I work, which means I can workout, shower, and get ready for my day with realative ease. If I can get past the first two days of the challenge, then I find myself waking up at a hotel on day three (April 3rd). Ugh...what a month to start this type of challenge (thanks Jonathan!).

I'll try to post often so I can keep my team members updated on my progress. I hope others will do the same. Good luck everybody!!! Work hard and work safe!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Power of the Podcast

Yesterday, blogger DebWDW ( posted, "Am I the only one who is amazed that it's actually possible to build friendships via this amazing world of podcasting? Who knew?!!" and it got me to thinking about my next blog topic.

I would like to take a few minutes to discuss my observations about how powerful a simple podcast can be. For those who are unaware, a podcast is an audio broadcast that has been converted into an mp3 file or other audio file that is downloadable from the internet. I first stumbled across podcasts while searching around on i-tunes looking to see if there was any free stuff I could download. I was thinking music...I didn't realize that there was an entire other world out there.

So I begin by searching for something that may interest me...hmmmm, I'm looking to start a family in the very near future, maybe I should look in the "family" category? Then...there they were, staring at me...Disney themed podcasts. Wait a minute....I love Disney stuff...I wonder what this could be? Thus, the beginning of an addiction.

I now listen to 5 or 6 podcasts with quite a bit of regularity. All About The Mouse could be considered my "home" podcast. It is the first one that I make sure I get in each week. The hosts, Bryan and Jonathan, are couple of goofy guys who bring a lot of laughs to the show each week. You can feel their love for all things Disney and they really enjoy sharing the magic...oh yes...and the mayhem!! They also do a great job of interacting with their audience, aka the All About the Mouseketeers. Their website , has allowed the All About the Mouseketeers to voice their opinions on a variety of Disney themed topics. This has truly created a unique "community" of people.

Inside the All About the Mouseketeer community is a subgroup known as Team Voice, named after podcast host Jonathan "The Voice" Dichter. Team Voice is currently made up of approximately 30 people who have dedicated themselves to getting healthy and running in a Disney sponsored road race. As you've read in earlier blogs...I'm preparing for the 2009 Half-Marathon, along with at least 17 other Team Voice members. I can't believe how close Team Voice is growing as a group...and the amazing thing...most of us have never met!!

A few months ago I found out that, due to another obligation, my family will not be traveling with me to Disney World for the Half-Marathon. Right now it looks like I'll be making the trip myself. I had considered using this as an excuse to abandon the idea, but then I realized...I've worked too hard already for this...I can't give up now. My next concern was, "It's going to be weird, being by myself at WDW." But now I realize that I'm not going to be. I'm going to be down there with Team Voice!! And while I've never met any of these people...I know that when we all get together in January it's going to be like we are old friends.

Needless to say, without Team Voice and the AATM podcast, I never would have begun this journey of self-improvement and I certainly would have abandoned the effort by now. So to all the members of Team Voice....THANK YOU!! You guys are awesome!!

I know this blog was a bit longer than usuall, but I hope you all enjoyed it. I felt it was important to spell out exactly what the AATM community means to me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March Goal-Complete!

Ok, so if I didn't realize it before, I know it now...running outside is a LOT different than running on a treadmill or and eliptical. My legs are on fire!! The weather finally decided to cooperate and we got up into the low 50's today, which meant I was taking my training outside.

To measure my progress and move toward my goal of 13.1 miles in January, I've decided that if I can add 1 mile a month to my outside run, I'll be right on track. Last month was 3 miles, this month the goal was 4 miles at a pace of 14-15 minutes/mile. The kicker's got to be outside!

So with rain in the forecast for the next few days, I decided today was the day. I got out there and started off with a decent pace, maybe even a little too fast. After mile 1 I switched to an alternating run/walk kind of thing. At mile 2, I began to think, "maybe today isn't the day." Then I just decided, "I've come this far today...just get it done." When I finished 4.1 miles, my time was 53 minutes. That was a pace of just under 14 min/mile!! Needless to say, I'm pretty psyched!! Sore as hell, but happy.

This has helped to reinvigorate me. I've been watching other members of Team Voice posting great workouts, and I've been a little jealous. Well, now it's my turn and I'm loving it. In addition to the jealousy, I've been motivated to catch up to the others. I don't want to be crossing the finish line behind everyone else. I want to cross it with everyone else.

Go Team Voice!! "Many Voices, One Goal!!" (If you don't know what this means...more on it later.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday, Monday....

It's monday and the sun is shining, and I'm down 5 lbs. this week. I should be excited right? I am excited about the weight, but not so much about the weather. I know I said that the sun is shining, but it is freakin frigid. I know it's spring and I'm pretty sure we just celebrated Easter, but you would never know by walking outside. It can't be much warmer than 40 degrees. I really feel like I need to start getting outside to do some running, and that just isn't in the cards with this cold weather. At this point, I wish I was dealing with the hazy, hot, and humid days of August!!

I'm determined to get outside and get a 4 mile run in before the month is over. I know, I know, the clock is ticking. Deb from has inspired me to get my butt out there and get it done. My plan is to add 1 mile to my "long" run each month. That will put me at 13 miles by January. To get to that point, I first need to jump over this hurdle of 4 miles in March!!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to report on my Easter meal yesterday. I did end up at my parents home and my mother prepared a great ham. I avoided the rolls and mashed potatoes and instead opted for a sweet potato, carrots, and asparagus. I shoudl have passed on the strawberry shortcake, but it just looked too good. Feeling proud of myself for a pretty good week, I did indulge in a helping of that. As noted earlier, my monday morning weigh-in revealed a 5 pound loss from last week. 5 down...a whole bunch to go!! I'm determined not to let The Voice ( catch me!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Today is Easter and that means, off to Easter Morning Mass and then onto my parents home for Easter dinner. At mass I'll be praying for all those running the 2009 Half-Marathon, and wishing them a safe and successful path from now until January. I will also be praying that my parents finally realize that I'm an adult and they don't have an Easter basket w/peeps and cadbury eggs waiting for me. My hope is, being that it's my daughter's first Easter, they will focus all of their gifts toward her.

A major part of my training is weight loss. At my current weight, 13.1 miles would be a tremendous strain on my joints. Before I get to race day in January, I hope to lose about 85 lbs. !! I'm down 13 now and so obviously I have a long weigh to go. My hope for Easter dinner, is that my parents will have some healthy side dishes. I'm sure they are planning on baking a ham, which I can deal with. It's the mound of mashed potatoes, dripping with butter that usually puts me on a road to glutony.

Hopefully, I will have a positive review to post in the next couple of days. Until then...Happy Easter everyone!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

"The World"

I said that I would be talking about Disney. So why not start things off right and try to explaine why I'm such a "Disney Geek."

This is a question that many have tried to answer and few have been able to accurately put it into words. Here's my attempt:

My childhood was filled with plenty of Disney movies and Disney shows. The first movie I can remember watching was Peter Pan. I loved everything the Disney Channel offered. When I was a kid it was the Mickey Mouse Club (w/Brittany Spears & Justin Timberlake), Kids Incoporated, Mousercise, Ducktales, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, Tail Spin, etc. I also remember watching the Sunday Night Disney Movie every week, and begging my parents to let me stay up and watch it.

When I first had an opportunity to go to Walt Disney World, I was 13 years old. I remeber being in complete awe. I couldn't believe that there was such a perfect place on earth. All of those movies and shows I had grown up with, were now alive in front of me. I was truly enveloped by the Disney Magic. No other theme park can compete with the overall experience of Walt Disney World. I know some would argue that other theme parks may offer better rides, but when you look at the experience as a whole...Disney wins, hands down. The level of service, the attention to detail, and the ability to tell a story is where they truly excell.

I'm now closing in on my 30th birthday, and I still feel like a kid everytime I set foot in the parks. Working in a high-stress job, trying to pay bills, be a good husband and good father can limit the opportunities to act or feel like a kid again. Going to the parks makes that possible. In between trips I try to keep that magic alive by watching Disney movies or listening to my favorite Disney Podcasts.

Hopefully, that begins to explain how I feel about Disney and why I'm such a "Disney nut." Some people will read this and they "get it." Others may never understand the appeal....and for them, I feel sorry. I hope all of you feel the magic!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And it begins!!

My newest computer-based addiction begins. I've been reading several blogs for a while now, and I thought, "why not just jump in with both feet?" If you've read my "About Me" section, you already know that I'm going to be talking a lot about the 2009 Disney World Half-Marathon. While this seems like its become a full-time job, I do have other interests and there are other things I plan on talking/venting about.

I hope you'll decide to come along for the ride and join in the discussion. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think.