Monthly Archives: September 2011

blogs

Open Letter to Runner’s World Magazine

by Jason Stone

I will always know where I was when I realized that I am a runner.
It happened making a right turn at Reems and Mountain View roads about a mile into my run. I reached down at my watch to hit the lap timer button like I always do when turning that bend.
It was then I realized, it was the first moment of the entire run that I had THOUGHT about running.
Tonight I was on auto pilot. Tonight my legs did not hurt. Tonight my mind was not cluttered and fighting me. Tonight my body did not feel over-heated. Tonight I could breathe steady. Tonight my running stride was smooth, if not the fastest. Tonight I could have gone many, many, many more miles but only stopped because of my training.
Tonight I felt like a real runner.
I now see no end to what I can accomplish with this. There is a different drive in me now. I have been feeling so much love and support that it carried me through my run tonight. I was happy. I was at peace. I was content. I was GIDDY! When I pulled up to my house I think I may have laughed out loud in the dark with nobody around.
Here is what I have accomplished in three short months of running:
  • JULY: Walked the treadmill 5 times a week to help with weight loss. I have reached my original goal weight and set the bar higher (or lower in this case). Unofficially my loss is at 30 pounds with today’s weigh in but it was at night and my “official” weigh in comes in the morning, so we’ll confirm it tomorrow.
  • AUGUST: Interval training on treadmill. I listened to music and would do one song running, one song walking for 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week.
  • SEPTEMBER:Hit the road for the first time Sept. 1. In almost one month I have gone from doing 2-mile walk/run intervals to 3-mile runs with a walk in the middle, to 3-miles nonstop, to 3.5-miles nonstop, to 4-miles nonstop tonight!!
My body feels great. But more importantly my MIND has never felt fitter. It feels more confident. It feels smarter. It feels more balanced. It feels the love.
For all my running MFP friends, I have envisions of being at the finish line or crossing it with you for some major race, and just the thought of that is inspirational to keep me going.
Thanks for supporting me and help picking me up and I promise to spread the love back because we all deserve to be the best we can!

blogs

The Makeup of MyFitnessPal.com Users

by Jason Stone

After three months on MFP, I have determined there are three kinds of people who use this site.

CATEGORY 1:

People who know what they’re doing but like to have the comraderie of the social network experience and different things to break up their routines. These are people we can really learn from because for the most part they have already done it!

CATEGORY 2:

People who need gentle nudging in the right direction but are still on the path to their goals.

CATEGORY 3:

People who need life changes, whether it be physical, mental or emotional or a package of everything. There might be some depression issues or some self-esteem problem that needs to be worked on
Unfortunately when I started, I was probably closest to Category 3. I am slowly moving into Category 2 though, and I am striving to get to Category 1 one day soon.
Soon every small milestone I reach won’t be a big deal and I won’t even have to mention them unless I’m asked about them or helping somebody. That is still a long way off but that’s why they’re called goals, right?
But I appreciate all my MFP friends in all categories because we need them all to make this a true community because it’s just like real life.
And I appreciate being on the path with all of you!

blogs

Anyone for Tennis?

by Jason Stone

First Adult Tennis University class is now history! And it was awesome!
Nothing better than being a group where every last person is at the same skill level.  It’s nice that we were all hitting balls all over the place, we all apologized profusely to our teammates when screwing up and everybody got yelled at equally! I’d say we’re doing OK!
The best part of the night was I felt totally in shape to do it. I wasn’t struggling to keep my breath or getting tired or too weak to do anything! All my training the last few months has already paid off. I even burned almost 1,000 calories doing it.
The best surprise of the night: I can backhand! Who knew? Forehand is still inconsistent, and I can serve a little it appears, but backhand just felt natural and that was the one I was worried about. But as one MFP friend pointed out to me, the backhand is supposed to be the easy shot … I never knew that. it certainly isn’t for me in racquetball.
I am meeting the classmates (our “team”) tonight for another round of drills, this time without the coach. As part of the classes, we get free court time to practice and use of the ball machine.  The best part is it’s only a mile away from my house and its an official USTA center.
In October, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Chris Evert and others will be there for a two-day tournament. I’m getting a media pass to cover it and I cannot wait!!!
So I ask again, anyone for tennis???

For information about the Surprise tennis program, click here.

blogs

My Mental Olympics

by Jason Stone

I am not mentally strong.
I have quit most things in my life. I have never kept up with any team sport, although I tried just about them all. I did not make it through my marriage. I even feel like I quit on my career by being underachieving and not really caring about ambition or success to the detriment of my overall happiness.  There is more, but why be so negative…
I am not mentally strong….or am I?
I have never felt a three-month change in my mind like I have since making the decision to be better. Things are not perfect. There are still ups and downs, but I seem to be able to deal with them more confidently now. I no longer deal with anxiety by freaking out when their are major setbacks.
Here is what I have learned about my mind:
  • It is the only thing that stops me from doing anything. It tells me NO all the time when running and I say fuck you and just keep running.
  • When I’m tired after work and don’t want my exercise, I tell my mind I’m doing it anyway and…..that….is…..that.
  • My mind has always told me habits are bad. My mind was wrong. I have some good habits now. I have such a routine some of my good habits are on auto pilot even. It’s amazing.
  • It is clear in my head when I am exercising and I run. I can calmly plan out my day or consider important things.
  • Without using headphones on my run I have been able to sharpen my mind even more because it FORCES me to think. And when I have the oxygen flowing in my head, it’s never something bad to think about. Even unpleasant thoughts are dealt with in a proactive and postive way in my head.
This website also helps make me mentally strong. I think just knowing I’m not alone, even though I’m physically on the journey alone gives my mind extra motivation. My mind thanks you!

blogs

Run, Forrest, Run

by Jason Stone

Because I haven’t blogged in a while, I needed to copy something I wrote in a forum that I wanted to save because it is a snapshot of my thoughts on running from last week…
I have been running for about a month now, training for my first 5K on October 1st. In my training, I felt I was accelerating greatly with the C25K program so one day I just decided to run as long as I could mentally take it before stopping.
I went to the track at the nearby high school before school one day so I could have an accurate measurement of time and distance and figure out my pace. After about two laps I was already hating it and wanted to stop, figuring maybe a half-mile is my limit.
But I started playing games in my head and distracting myself with math of all things since I was on a school campus. I kept thinking what fraction of a 5K I would have completed after I finished each lap.
Unbelievably I did AN ENTIRE 5K!!
And since then I have done it all four times I have tried it! I still have two weeks to go before my race and I am ready to go. My goal was also to break 30 minutes for the first one and I’m doing it in about 28 minutes during the training. I hope the adrenaline of race day and actually running along other humans will make it faster…..
Really I have FAR exceeded any of my own expectations. I’m doing it for myself too, which is the most amazing part. Nobody is making me run. Nobody is putting me on that track at 6 a.m. And I HATE IT so much when I’m running, but it feels so AMAZING afterward that I just imagine that feeling in my head as I’m running!