Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcome 2014

Another Year is over.  

Wow, I cannot believe its been a year since I have written on this blog.  Lots of changes this year for me.  Where do I start.  2013 is an odd number year and I always have my mind set that those years are not always good luck for me.  But this year was different in a lot of ways.  I am hoping that 2014 will be an even better year for me. 

This year was definitely the year of changes.  I broke up with my girlfriend of 4 years in March and I feel pretty good about that.  It makes it easier when the love just disappears and fades away.

I finally purchased a house after several months of looking.  I got really lucky to have bought a very near perfect rehab house totally remodeled in a semi-decent neighborhood.  I say semi-decent neighborhood because it is still in Chicago but in a better NW side of the city.  It is a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with lots of room, for just me. 

My happiness level was even this year.  Not a lot of ups and downs.  

Health wise, I had a lot of migraines and sinus infection more then usual.  My running was almost not there at all.  The biggest issue I struggle this year was motivation.  The biggest part in pushing yourself to do something is motivation.  I realized what a huge impact motivation has on your goals.  
It is beyond me to understand why I lack such motivation to run and workout.  I did have some motivation for cycling and did a few trips.

I have been fighting the lack of motivation for the last 2 years now and feel very stuck and not able to push myself like I used to.

This year will be a different year.  This is the year where I am going to get my motivation back.  I am going to start running marathons and doing more adventure traveling.
My first goal is to run the Rock and Roll Half marathon in DC in March.  After that, I am planning to run several other marathons.  I figured I just need to jump right in and not look back.  I need to kick start my motivation and just DO IT.

So how was your New Year?  Any plans and goals for 2014?


Monday, January 7, 2013

What happened in 2012?

It has been a long time since I updated this blog.  This year has gone so quickly and has had a lot of ups and downs.  Moving forward to 2013 that is all going to change.  

2012 was a very challenging year for me.  I had plans in finally buying a house in the far northwest side of Chicago or the suburbs but that was not to be.  I got laid off from my job of 5 years as a Front office developer and saw myself unemployed.  I did get a nice package but did not want it waste it.  I quickly found a job at TTX as a database consultant.  The contract ended up being only 4 months.  I was back out in the job market again.  I am lucky I am in the right field where there are a lot of opportunities opening up.  There are more IT job then there are people looking for.  I would get tons of emails and phone calls on IT opportunities.  After about 3 month I landed a contract job in November working as a Application developer for US Cellular for about 6 months.

While my job situation was swinging up and down, I tried to get myself re-motivated to run again.  I ran a couple of times and I even participated in the RAGNAR Midwest Relay, but my performance was lacking.  The more I thought about running and trying to get motivated the less I felt like running.  

The one thing that I was more active was cycling.  I did participate in the Bike ride across Iowa (RAGBRAI) this past July with my girlfriend and her teenage kids.  My 11th time in the event and the 1st time with my girl friend.  It was a very interesting adventure to say the least.  Let's just say that cycling in 101 degrees under the sun and camping out for 7 days was not want my girlfriend had in mind for vacation.  I marked that one in my books of things NOT to do with my girlfriend.  

I continue cycling during the year until it started to get cold.  I could have done more running or participated in some races, but my mind was pre-occupied with finding a job.  The not knowing when I was going to find a job was stressing me out.  That stress should have motivated me to get out there and release it.  That just did not happen.  No matter how hard I tried, I just could not get that run in.  Overall, I spend the entire 2012 without running any marathons at all.  This is the first time since 2004 that I have not ran a marathon race. 

I am glad 2012 is over with.  Stay tune for more ...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Life Changing

Its been awhile since I have updated my blog.  So many changes have recently occurred.  On March 30th, I got laid from my job of 5 years.  It took me by surprised and was totally unexpected.   My position went to Singapore.  At first, I was in shock, but after that, I started to think that this could be a blessing in disguised.  There is nothing I can do about it.  I have no control over the situation.
I took this as an opportunity as to take a break from work and travel and relax for 1 or 2 months.
I put out my resume out there and started getting tons of emails and calls for jobs.  Within 2 weeks I got an offer of an opportunity I could not let down.  Contract job for 4 to 6 months.  So I took it.  I start this coming Monday, April 30th.

Things happen for a reason and sometimes you don't know why.

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's 2012

Well, its finally 2012.  A new year for contemplating our coming year.  What do we want to get out of this year?  Where do we want to go?  How are we going to do it?  What kind of challenge will be put on your path? Where are we now and where we come from.  
Looking back to 2011, I can only say nothing significant comes at me.  That in itself is saying a lot.  Nothing significant.  That's right, 2011 was quiet insignificant.  How do I change that?  
Change only requires 1 step.  That step towards your goal.  The motivation of starting it up is what makes it hard to begin with.  Once you start, and continue doing what you want is when  you will see change. 

I have a lot of goals for this coming year.  Some are physical challenges that I would like to continue.  Others are personal challenge that requires to take the necessary steps to towards gaining my own personal goals.  

One common thread that links all of my goals is "Happiness".  It is what everyone strives for.  The main goal for me to stop procrastinating and living the life I should be living.  I have been in a rut for over a year now.  It is time for me to get out of my hole and come up and face all the challenges that comes my way.  A lot of them will be challenges that I do not want to face, but will need to deal with it in order to move forward.  
I have 365 days to do what I need to do. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Marathon Plan - 2012

Leadville, CO 2009 Marathon

It is hard to believe that this year is just about over.  Marathon season in a lot of places are over and winter is beginning to set in.  It going to become colder and colder as I begin my new quest for what I like to call "The new Revival of Marathoning Part 2"

This blog has slipped away from its initial purpose which is to document my adventures in hiking, camping and marathoning.  Now i am back 

What happened?  I decided that after 21 marathons that have taken me to places like Rome, Italy, Vancouver, Anchorage, Honolulu, Grand Canyon and other great places that 6 years of running was starting to burn out my mind.  Yes, my mind, not my body, but my motivation to run.  This was a huge surprise to me that something like your motivation, your spirit would actually stand in your way of running.  It was time to take a break.  So I did.  

Last Maraton I ran was the Goofy Challenge in January 2011 Orlando, FL.  It was not my best time at all, probably my worse time, since I really only got about 6 miles of training in before the Disney marathon.  I ran the Half Marathon on Saturday and then the Full Marathon on Sunday. I was slow as I can be. However, i was not sore at all.  

Part 2:  After coaching the Fall team for the Chicago Marathon and starting to get re- motivated, I mind and spirit started to feel the energy again.  Seeing so many of my runners accomplish what only less then 1% of the world population do, started to spark something within myself.   Since I coach for Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society I started to remember the reasons of running.  It is not why but its because I CAN.  Like one of my runner and Friend Jenna would say, I RUN BECAUSE I CAN.  Jenna became an tremendous inspiration to not only myself but to our whole team.  Jenna just coming out of a very rare form of Leukemia, started to train for the Chicago Half and Finished it.  

Coaching has given me a new spark and fire for running again.  It brings me great joy to see a runner just off the coach train for months and then finishing a marathon.  This is a life changing event.  Running a marathon will change your life.  It just shows you that you are more capable of what you think you can do.  You are your only limit.  

The excitement is back.  I have BIG PLANS for 2012.  So far the plans are 
1.  ING Miami Full Marathon in January
2.  Suntrust Washington DC Marathon in March.
3.  Madison, WI Marathon in May

1.  Dance with Dirt Ultra 50 miles in Baraboo, Wi - which includes obstacle, river crossing...etc

2.  The North Face Endurance challenge 50 mile Madison, Wi in September

So far that is what I am aiming for.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What's Next....Life?

Question mark by Marco Bellucci

As I sit here in my computer room here at home, I wonder what I have done this year?  Where have I gone this year?  What awesome place have I gone to?  The answer, absolutely nowhere and nothing.  For a lot of you who knows me this is very unlike me.  I am usually out somewhere in the world either running a marathon, cycling to somewhere or hiking, camping somewhere.   None of that happened this year.  I ask myself, why? What is going on?  

The answer is still unknown.  Have I lost the motivation?  Where has my adventure spirit gone?  Have I done, gone and seen too much?  

There seems to be some sort of negative energy that is sucking on my soul that I need to expunge.   This is the only thing I can think of.  

My only satisfaction I have had this year is Coaching for Team in Training/ Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  It has given me a different perspective in running and coaching.  I truly enjoy seeing my runners each week reach their goals.  Running farther then they have ever dreamed about.  After running 20 marathon, 15 Half marathon, and 18 century rides, it has brought me back to the basics. Coaching has allowed me to remember how it used to feel about running.  

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was coaching TNT runners at the Chicago Half Marathon and was at mile 5, 6 and 11,12.  I had a sprain ankle that I was trying to recover from, but seeing everyone running.. pushing their way to the finish line gave me a new sense of excitement.  I wanted to be out there running again.  I felt again that drive, that fun of running.  Every time I saw one of my runners, I would jump in and throw some positive words and reinforcement off encouragements.  It brought me great joy to see how happy they were to see me and run and help them continue on.  I had no idea the satisfaction I would get out of it. 

So, moving forward, what am I going to do?  I thought and thought of what I can do next year.  I know my body has asked over and over for a break from running.  The pivoting point of when I got burned out was right after the 2nd toughest marathon in the Nation.  Leadville, Colorado Marathon.  Running at 10,000 feet to 13,500 feet and back over rocky terrain and at some parts impossible to run.... was extremely taunting.  With only about 130 runners and about 25% of them quitting I kept on going.  I did not see any end to it.  Talking to some of the other runners it seemed like I was the only marathoner there among all the ultra marathoners.  Normally at my peak I would run a full marathon at 4:10.  This one took me 8 hours.  I just kept on going and going... no matter what. Quitting and giving up was never an option to me.  

I dont believe in the words "I CAN'T"  I just dont say these words.  They do not exist to me. I can and I will, no matter what. 

So this coming years, things will start moving up with new adventure and new races.  I am going to step it up.  The plan will be to run 1 or 2 marathon then 1 50 miler and 1 100 miler ultra.  See how I feel.  The itch will hit me again.  I can feel it.  

My annual bike ride across Iowa will be on next year.  It will be my 11th year crossing the state of Iowa, 500 miles in 7 days.  Via bicycle of course. 

There will be some hikes and camping among my goals for next year.  I have hiked the Grand Canyon Five times.  All in the south rim.  I think it is time to do a Rim to RIm to Rim hike from South to North back to south.  

No more messing around next year.  The new adventures begin.  A new chapter of living life to the fullest with no regret.  Do it now before you cant.  

What I want people to say when I turn 98 years old is "Wow, he really lived life to the fullest... he has lived"  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good to be alive no matter what

Life! What is it? It sounds like a strange question. Through out history man has been contemplating on this question. It is the ultimate question. But no mater what is life, we have it. We are living, breathing beings on this planet. There are no 2 people alike, physically, mentally, emotionally.
In our life we have to try to make the most of it. In comparison to the time of the universe we only live for a tiny fraction of a time. Life is a quick fleeting moment. This is why we need to find within ourselves what is really important for you. Be true to yourself. This is another strange statement to say. Be True to yourself. You can be not true to others but who are you fooling if you are not true to yourself. You really have no where to hide from yourself. Believe me people have tried, pursuing drugs, alcohol and other means. If you just accept who you are, you would be much more happy with ourselves.
We don't have time for drama or getting frustrating over petty things. Is it really worth it.
If you always want to do something, what is really stopping you. Go for it. Live your life to the fullest with no regret. No one will live your life for you. You have the power to control yourself and determine your path in life.
Absorb all you can in life. Experience all you can. Learn all you can. Be happy and don't get angry at the little things. Express yourself freely. Don't be afraid of what others think. It is your life. Live it. Live it the way you want.
To many people misplace their priority and live a miserable life. Its those around you who care and love you that makes a big difference in your life. We are what I call "sensual" people. By this I mean we all react based on our sense and feelings. We are emotional beings. All life and all of our actions are based on our own feelings. The emotions that we feel determines what we do. We are need senses. We use music and art to escape and to feel.
This is not bad, if focused right.
So get out there and enjoy your life. Enjoy your presences on this planet. Be aware of your breathing, your body, your essences. You are a unique person that does not exist anywhere.
Do it.. let go out there and live life..