Saturday, 01 January 2011 18:11

2011 - Just The Start

Today is 1/1/11 and the number 1 looks like a match stick to me so I am saying to all of you that follow this blog and those of you that have happened to stumble upon this blog....


Maybe you just started running/walking.  Maybe you are just getting started in triathlon.  Maybe you are just looking to lose some weight.  Maybe you are just tired of being tired.  I don't care what the reason you are blog hopping and looking for motivation, what I want you to do is light your fire to desire greatness.

You can be great.  You will be great.  It is achievable.  It is within reach and I am extending my hand to you so that I can help you along the way.  We cannot do this alone and we need all the help we can get so consider this my little piece to help you out.

This was my thought going to my first run of 2011.  I thought about lighting that fire and not letting that fire out throughout all of 2011.  I don't plan on letting my fire burn out and I don't want your fire to burn out either.

My thoughts after a great run this morning was I can do this.  I can do anything.  And just as I was thinking that the song 'Empire State of Mind' came on the radio.  Not familiar?  This is a song by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys about making it in New York.  I am a New Yorker who happens to live in Dallas now.  I have not let go of my New York roots and hearing the words of this song and I started bopping my head and dancing in my car.  I began feeling the words and not just hearing the words.

The words that touched me the most are:

From Jay-Z:  I Made It Here I Can Make It Anywhre
From Alicia Keys:  There's Nothing You Can't Do

Plenty of people will have made resolutions and some of them may already be gone.  That is fine, just pick yourself up if you dropped the ball and get going again.  Greatness doesn't just happen.  You have to work at it and work at it and work at it.  Sometimes it will seem impossible.  Sometimes it will feel like you are on top of the world.  Either way you will be working at it and you will reach that level of greatness.  There will be detractors but they will only make you stronger.  There will be naysayers but they will only motivate you to prove them wrong.  Be great one day at a time.  Be great one step at a time.  Be great.


On the ride to the run I saw this and took a picture and it led me to believe in a New Year, New Day, New You!!!!!

Published in Uncategorized
Yesterday another day on the calendar was crossed off but it was a special day for me.  It was my 37th birthday and I had a great day with my wife.  We trained, then got some coffee and walked around in the cold with the sun shining on us, then to a friend's house for dinner.  An absolutely perfect day.

After 37 years on this earth you have a lot of experiences,  but what you do with those is what matters.  Just taking them and filing them and doing nothing with those experiences doesn't help you get better with life.

Sitting in the sun and having conversation with my wife, exchanging emails with blogger friends, reading all the birthday wishes from old friends and new on Facebook (old) and Twitter (new) as well as my blog was tremendous.  All of the experiences you can have in life I had in one day.

All of these led me to thinking about a book I just finished reading and truly loved.  I read this book in 2 days and that is only because I had to train and sleep otherwise it would have been done in one day.

The book is titled 'The Runner's Guide To The Meaning of Life' by Amby Burfoot (winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon.)

This book touched every nerve I have.  It made me smile, it made me emotional (another word for cry), it motivated me, it inspired me, it forced me to think, it made me relate to others.  This was a tremendous book about what Mr Burfoot has experienced in 35 years of running.  He has been running for as long as I have been alive basically.  That is a lot of time to be out on the road with your own thoughts and feelings and he captured those35 years perfectly.

I came across the first series of "Insights" as they are referred to in the book.  These are essentially outtakes in the book, but they provide so much more.  This is not a blooper reel, but in fact an inspirational/motivational section.

In the first of this series I came across the word STOTANISM.  I had never heard of this word and immediately thought to myself do I need my dictionary.  Sure enough I wouldn't as the word was defined for me and it was very eye opening.

The definition, according to Mr  Burfoot, is that stotanism is about toughness, though it doesn't imply an insensitive, superman approach.  The stotan must be willing to stand on his own, to resist pain, to stick to his ideals.  A stotan is quietly self-sufficient.  He accepts the challenges of training, injuries, races, and disappointments without complaining, because he understands that simply by keeping on, by sticking to the path he has chosen, he will get stronger and better.

I read this definition a minimum of 5 times and each time it sunk deeper and deeper into my mind.  It sunk in to the point that I have decided that I am a Stotan Machine.  I have referred to myself in the past as a machine.  One that is willing to work through anything, where pain does not exists.  Machines do not experience pain but will shutdown without proper attention, such as oil (food) and turning them off (rest) when not in use.

By combining these two words I am still viewing my training and racing through the Machine prism, but also through the mindset of being Stotan.  My training is tough, racing is tough and sometimes there will be results that are not what I want but with the idea that I will keeping doing those things to continually get better because this is my chosen lifestyle.

In my email exchanges I was talking with an experienced runner who did not hit their goal time and a new runner who was dealing with the guilt of the time away from family.  Both had different perspectives on their situation but really the answer was the same.  You are doing these things to better yourself, and some days will be awesome and some days not.  Learning from both of those types of days and keeping on to push yourself turns you into a winner.  Both of my email buddies thanked me for the responses but the thanks goes from me to them.  They trusted me to open up and let me know their thoughts and feelings and that made me feel special.  I hope that my words to them will truly sink in and allow them to keep on keeping on.

If you have never read this book try to get it as it is a quick read and will open up your mind to life, not just running.  If you have read this book may I suggest you go back and read it again as we all need a refresher in the game of life.


Do not forget about the Pay It Forward giveway that ends on Friday.  The entry is simple.  Just be a follower and let me know you'll pay it forward after you get the books.  They are great reads, even though it does not include this latest book.  Hey you never know though as you may get one anyway.

To enter go here.


Today Karen and I will  be starting our modified version of a vegetarian diet.  We will still incorporate milk, eggs and fish but will eliminate turkey, chicken, beef and other meat products.

Looking to get lean and fast for 70.3 IMCA in April and Karen is ready to rock another marathon.  This one will be on Feb 27th in Fort Worth, Texas.  I will post her race report from the White Rock Marathon tomorrow.
Published in Uncategorized
Friday, 10 December 2010 15:00

Pay It Forward Friday


Ever ask yourself why you live the lifestyle of an endurance athlete?  We all have our reasons.  Some of us started because we wanted to lose weight, or we were not happy with our lives.  We may have just gone through a divorce and wanted to relieve some stress so we got out there.  We may have been former all-Americans in some sport in high school but that body left when the responsibility of life came.  Maybe you were born to be an athlete, but chances are you weren't born to run 26.2 or compete for 140.6 miles.  You found this sport for whatever reason and it has given you so much.  Let's list out some of the things it has given you:
  1. Health
  2. Mental strength as well as physical strength
  3. Lots of smiles and also lots of crying
  4. The thought that nothing is impossible
  5. Friends, whether they be bloggie, tweetie, facebookie, EAP friends they are your friends
  6. You are a role-model to your kids and to other members of your family
This list can go on and on and on.

I got into this lifestyle because of my ex-wife.  She wanted me to run with her and I did.  Then she left and well running became a vice for me.  I met Karen and she was a runner and she has never held me back from my dreams.  I told her I wanted to do a sprint Tri and run a marathon.  She encouraged me.  I did both, then the bug took over and here I am.  I eat/breathe/dream of 70.3 in April and June, 140.6 in 2012, Boston qualifying in 2011 so I can run Boston in 2012, Man v Horse w/EMZ, Running the mountains with Johann....the possibilities are endless.

With that in mind I started Marathon Makeover North Dallas.  My way of bringing all the joy I have had with this endurance lifestyle to others.  I want to see them smile when they accomplish what was once perceived as impossible.  I have had a person register this week, and 4 other inquiries into joining the program.  I have already touched 5 people....that is amazing to me and I hope that continues to grow.

All that being said I am going to pay it forward today with a giveaway.  I referred to this giveaway last week and spent that time thinking of the best way to do this giveaway.  I finally came up with the idea after my good friend Juan was in a bike accident.

Juan broke his shoulder and really crushed his legs on the aerobars to terrible bleeding and bruising.  He had been planning to compete at IMTX in May and I was going to go with him.  I am hoping that he heals quickly and we can still head down there.

So, the giveaway is this:

I am giving away two books that have provided motivation and inspiration to me.  I want to share these books with you so that you get motivated and inspired to get out there and do things you once thought impossible.

The Long Run by Matt Long is very close to my heart.  See Matt Long and I share a lot of experiences.  He went to Iona College as did I.  He lived in mid-town NYC about 2 blocks from where I once worked.  He and I ate at Smith and Wollensky's....and probably at the same time.  I was living in New York when he was run over by the bus.  I followed his story and it was great then, and it is even better now in his words.  GO GAELS!!!!!

17 Hours to Glory is just pure gold when it comes to motivation.  17 stories of incredible feats at Kona.  The stories never get old.  You realize that these are just people who have done something amazing and it makes you (well at least me) get out there and push myself to those levels.

So here are the rules for entry.....very simple:
1- Be a follower
2- Promise to pay it forward that once you are done reading these books you will have a giveaway as well to send these on to the next person
3- Promise to notify me at jbaha [at] gmail [dot] com that you put the giveaway up so I can follow where the books are travelling.
4- Promise that if you get the book and there is no more room to put something motivating that after you read it you will mail it back to me (I will pay for the shipping) so that I can see where these books have travelled and all the motivating words in them.

5- Promise to write something motivating in the books, doesn't matter where
6- Wish my boy Juan a healthy and speedy recovery (I will forward him the link)
7- Promote it on your Facebook, Twitter, blog, write it in the dust on your car or kitchen table, talk about it at the PTA get the point.

Do it all in one comment.  There will only be 1 entry per person (not everybody is socially media inclined..EMZ!! and shouldn't be penalized for it)

The giveaway will end next Friday at 12pm CST.......

Good luck to all.....PAY IT FORWARD!!!!!

Published in Uncategorized
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 16:04

Are You A Role Model?

Before I post the article that I wrote regarding role models for our children I wanted to point out that tomorrow is the day of the drawing for the SBR Sports Giveaway.  The rules for entry are right here:
You get one entry for each of the following. Please comment separately so that I know each of these items has been done.
1- Be a follower of my blog. This is mandatory since I want to give back to those that faithfully come to my blog to be either wow'd or bored. Either way thank you for following.
2- Like SBR Sports Inc on Facebook. Just click here to do so.
3- Follow SBR Sports Inc on Twitter. Just click here to do so.
4- Post on your blog / Tweet about it / Announce on FB this giveaway. 1 entry for each of these.
5- Like Marathon Makeover North Dallas on Facebook. Just click here to do so.
6- Follow Marathon Makeover North Dallas on Twitter. Just click here to do so.

That is 8 different chances to enter to win this great product. Giveaway will end on 11/17/2010 at 12pm CST.

Are You A Role Model?

By Jason Bahamundi

A number of years ago an ad campaign featuring Charles Barkley famously made the claim that he, Charles Barkley, was not a role model. Most recently LeBron James is seen mocking that ad campaign from Sir Charles and caused me to think. Who are today’s role models? Is it LeBron and Kobe? Is it Tom Brady? Maybe Albert Pujols? I don’t know the answer but what I think is that these might not be the best role models for our children.

Shouldn’t the role models to our children be us: the parents, aunt/uncles, nieces/nephews? I think about all that can happen in life and trying to explain the exploits of a Kobe Bryant in Colorado or Barry Bonds and BALCO seems so daunting. Wouldn’t it be easier to point out your own mistakes to your children and have them learn from you rather than trying to figure out what Big Ben was doing in a college town bar? We have no idea what the athletes and movie stars are thinking as they live in worlds outside of what most of us live in. If I get into a car accident it will be easier for me to explain to my step-son what happened then trying to explain why Marion Jones used HGH to improve her speed on the track.

With this rationale bouncing around in my head I thought about my goal of finishing a second marathon and competing for the first time in a half-ironman event within 6 months of each other. I want my step-son to look at me and my training and say that he wants to be me like me and not like Mike. I get up every morning and go out for a run, a ride or a swim. I can be seen in an activity that benefits my life and lives up to my lifestyle 6 days a week and on the 7th day I am resting so that I am fresh for the upcoming week.

In my daily life I run into people who live their lives the same way and it is these people that I want my step-son to idolize, be it through their blog or through actually meeting them. The regular Joe provides so much inspiration and motivation that if we just opened our mind and our hearts we would see it everywhere we went. Two people that have truly inspired me in the past couple of weeks are Jennifer Roe and Claudia Spooner. Jen is a blogger who is looking to lose weight and run her first marathon. Claudia is my coach and she just competed at the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in Clearwater, Florida. Opposite ends of the spectrum you might say, but they are closer to each other than one would initially think.

I ‘met’ Jen via the comments section of our blogs and was immediately drawn to her story. Jen at one point in her life weighed 230 pounds. Tired of it all she decided it was time to lose weight. At that point in my reading I was already inspired because she put herself out into the public eye and would undoubtedly face public ridicule for being overweight. It didn’t matter to her what ‘they’ might say, because what mattered to her was living a healthy life. She began a marathon training program and to date has lost 81.8 lbs. She told me about this weight loss and referenced it by saying that the weight loss has been a 3 year marathon. Isn’t this the person that we want our children to look up to? The person who stared adversity in the face and decided to not blink. The person who put their mind to it and went for it and is achieving it on a daily basis. The person who could easily quit because that would be easier then getting up and going for an 8 mile run or even take just 8 steps.

Jen will be proudly running her first marathon in June at the Rock N Roll San Diego. Just recently she set a personal best in a 5K run. I am proud to say that Jen is my friend and I will be following her journey toward June and beyond.

While Jen’s journey is starting, Claudia’s journey came to an end this weekend in Clearwater. Claudia isn’t done racing by any means, but her season is done and what a season it was. I have followed her accomplishments as she won trail races and finished just outside of qualifying for Kona at Buffalo Springs.

All this time I knew how tough she was, as she has accomplished incredible feats and you have to have mental toughness to race the way she does. What I am most impressed about though is that she raced in Clearwater with a broken hand and an injured quadriceps and never gave up. Claudia injured herself prior to the World Championships while in a trail race by tripping over a tree root and breaking her hand and injuring her leg.

The amazing part is that after taking inventory of her limbs she pushed herself across the finish line when most people would have stopped racing. In addition to that race, others would have chosen to not race in Clearwater and been severely distraught by that decision. Claudia decided she was racing and would need a cast that would allow her to swim, bike and run for 70.3 miles. Mental toughness would also be required.

Claudia had an amazing race on Saturday, November 13th, 2010 and finished under 5 hours. Swimming for 1.2 miles, then riding a bike for 56 miles and finishing up with a ½ marathon must have inflicted pain in her hand and leg but through it all she pushed on. She accomplished something that most people don’t dream of doing and she did it against some of the best athletes in the world.

The commonality between Jen and Claudia is easy to see if you open your eyes to it. Jen competes in endurance events as does Claudia. Jen has pushed herself and had to use mental toughness to overcome fears. Claudia has pushed herself and had to use mental toughness to overcome injury. These are the people that inspire me and I use both of them during training when I think that I just can’t go any further.

When my step-son asks me why I run or bike I tell him because I am motivated by people like Jennifer Roe and Claudia Spooner, those who have faced obstacles and over come them. We can watch ESPN and see the Top Ten plays being made by the best athletes in the world but should they be the role models our children look up to? For me the role models I want for myself and my step-son are those everyday people who live regular lives but do extraordinary things, like losing 80+ pounds or racing by putting injuries in the back of their minds.

There are stories to be told and if we start to pay attention to them then Charles Barkley will be right. He won’t be a role model because we will be.
Published in Uncategorized
It is Friday and that means it is a rest day for me, but that doesn't mean I won't find inspiration and motivation in this world to help keep moving.

So with that being we go.

Interview with Ironman and ultra-marathoner Jennifer Huffman-Swift is posted in the interviews tab.  She is running the Javelina Jundred this week so go to her blog or better yet her twitter account and wish her good luck.

Jennifer is not the only person racing this weekend.  Another blogger is doing the 140.6 this weekend.  Go over to KC's blog or Twitter and wish her good luck as well.

If that isn't inspiring enough for you.....100 mile run and a 140.6 Iron-distance event.....well here is more:

Caratunk Girl describes her early morning runs and how getting out of bed is difficult at first but then you get out there and as she says 'My breath comes out in little white puffs as I run through town.....'
     --> Very powerful stuff and makes you happy to know others are out there doing the same thing as you

Sometimes feel as if all you do is eat, s/b/r, eat, s/b/r, work, s/b/r, sleep.....and might be missing out on things in your life and need to stop and look around.  Take a look at EMZ's blog post from yesterday (Thursday 10/20/2010) and think about what you may have been missing and get it back in your life.

Lastly, Rock Star Tri was given the Versatile Blogger Award and essentially this is a chain letter but it is a way for those that come to your blog after the first month of you posting a chance to learn about who you are.  You are to link back to them (see link above) and then share 7 things about yourself and so I am going to do that for the readers of my blog who didn't start reading until about a month ago.

1- In the most ironic twists of my youth and my adult life my favorite super hero was Aquaman.  Today the hardest part of the triathlon for me is the swim and not because I can't swim but because I have a fear of not making the distance.  Where is that Aquaman gene now?  My step-son loves Batman

2- I am originally from New York and lived there for 34 years before moving to Dallas 3 years ago.  I miss fall in New York but I love the idea that I can run in shorts in January here in Dallas.  If I had my choice now as far as places to live I would choose San Francisco or Boston over both.

3- I love to cook.  I enjoy being in the kitchen and chopping/dicing/mincing/tasting and coming up with new dishes.  It is a trial and error process and if you ever look at the Athlete's Plate on my blog you can tell which are my recipes and which I have found on the Internet and not just because of the link to the other site.  You can tell because my recipes don't have exact ingredients.  I figure if it comes out horrible (has happened quite a few times) that you can just order pizza that night.  My wife is great to cook for because even if it is horrible and I know its horrible she still eats it....what a trooper.

4- I love competition no matter what the situation.  I am unemployed and love the idea of putting my resume up against somebody else.  I love racing to try to beat the person in front of me as well as trying to beat my previous performance.  I have been known to watch double dutch on ESPN.  Last night America watched Grey's Anatomy and I watched the USAT Championships on my DVR.

5- Coffee is my friend.  The best coffee I ever had was in Maui and of course it was Kona and it didn't matter where I drank it.  My 2nd favorite is Texas Pecan at Le Peep here in Flower Mound, Texas and while it tastes good it is so much better because I am sharing it 99.9% of the time with my wife.

6- I met my wife while going through the process of divorce.  She was a pillar of strength then and she is still a pillar of strength now and for that I am grateful.  She lifts me up when I am down and deals with my mood swings of bad training sessions or long fruitless days of job searching.

7- My best friend growing up was a red head named Peter.  My best friend in my adult life is a red head named Michael.  Both are saints in my book.  When I talk to those two guys we laugh as if we are 12 which is when I met Pete.  I met Mike when I was 23 but still laugh as if we knew each other when we were 12.

So the rules state that I'm supposed to pass this challenge/award forward.  Since so many new people are following my blog now I will leave it up to you to do this on your own.  If you have one done already just post a comment and let me know so that I can go and read it.

For great stories on Ironman Kona let your eyes go the right and click on the link for 17 Hours To Glory.  17 extraordinary stories of great feats in Kona.

Motivational Videos For You
What Makes A Triathlete

Check out the 1:00 and 1:45 marks --- I still have goosebumps

Ironman Triathlon Motivation

1:44 mark shows the heart of a champion

Have a great Friday.  If you are racing this weekend let me know so that I can be on the lookout for race reports as those are some of the most motivational and inspiration stories.

Thank you for reading
Published in Uncategorized
Friday, 04 February 2011 15:48

Digging Deep for Motivation

Yesterday I read a post on the Marathon Makeover site asking about getting motivated.  I left a comment on the site regarding how I get motivated but it got me thinking about maintaining that motivation.  Some people can get motivated to do a workout, but how about being motivated to do a series of workouts that last a week, then a month, then a year and have it then become a lifestyle? I am a high energy person that enjoys being on the move.  As your mom might say 'That boy has ants in his pants.'  I do have a fire under me and love moving around.  I am a self-motivated person but that does not mean that I always have that motivation to go to the gym for a swim workout or a long bike ride.  I need to dig deep and find that motivation just like anybody else. I look forward to the future and how I want to remember these days.  Did I waste them sitting in front of the TV doing nothing for myself.  Essentially allowing myself to fall apart and then be useless to my family when they need me most.  I look forward to accomplishing great things like racing in half-Ironman and Ironman distance events.  I look forward to leading others to get into this lifestyle by motivating and inspiring them.  That they do have somebody who believes in them. [caption id="attachment_578" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="pic courtesy of"][/caption] Challenges to me are nothing more than tests, similar to what you did in school.  You studied and learned and then the test questioned what you learned.  Challenging myself is the same thing.  Have I trained enough, have I eaten the right foods, have I tested my skill.  This is also why I race.  To compare myself to myself. I am always looking to get better whether it be as a husband, step-father or athlete.  That motivates me to continue doing what I do.  I also generate motivation from the personal emails I exchange with friends, family, my coach, and blogger buddies who have become invaluable to me. It is approximately 3-4x per week that I share an email with a person across the country that I have never met.  We discuss motivation and inspiration.  I ask for advice and they ask me for help as well.  It has become a friendship and one that I highly value.  It has allowed me to gain perspective on my life as well as others.  It has given me the opportunity to express my passions about cooking and training but more importantly about helping others. Having surrounded myself with like minded people is what motivates me.  I have listened to Jen's words in my head as I'm running intervals.  I have heard Jennifer's words in my head as I swim lap after lap.  I have used Jeff and Jon's tips in the pool as well.  Riding the trainer for hours and Patrick and BDD come to mind.  Looking for that personal goal to reach Boston and EMZ and SUAR poop pop into my head.  If I need a laugh I can go to Kovas, Julie, Craig, Adena, Lindsay or so many others I won't have room in this post to finish my thoughts. [caption id="attachment_579" align="aligncenter" width="357" caption="pic courtesy of"][/caption] My point is that motivation is all around us.  It is a ball that you will push up a hill for a long, long time.  But every hill has a peak and eventually that motivation will be going downhill and gaining momentum.  Yes there will be bumps in the road and you will have to push again, but this time the hill won't be as steep or long.  It will be short and with your experience you will know where to turn.

It is all a mind game.  Who wins?  You or your mind?  Your future as an awesome person or your past as a person who held pity parties everyday?  Do you pay it forward and help others and gain motivation from them along the way?  Do you reflect on what you have done instead of what needs to be done?  How do you motivate yourself?


I am going to leave you with this.  My coach sent me a text message yesterday regarding getting certified as a coach and it is something that I want to pursue with reckless abandon, but then she threw this out there:

What about getting certified as a nutritionist?  You have such a passion for it.

So now I am going to look into this more than the coaching certification.  My coach motivated me to move toward my passions and this is a perfect example of surrounding yourself with those that will push you and help.

Published in Race
Page 6 of 6