The Walk into the Future blog went back home to Negril, Jamaica over Spring break last week. Decided I wanted to get back down for some sun, fun, rum, and reggae. Mission accomplished.
Spent most of my time relaxing but got some good reading in while making time to break out my snorkel gear. Not much into the tourist activities but enjoy hanging with the locals and seeing the island from their perspective.
Documented this trip with pictures instead of my usual word play:
This was a good trip for me. Love to explore and get great pictures while in Jamaica. Looking at traveling to the Dominican Republic or the Turks and Caicos on my next adventure.
Goals continue to be a huge difference maker as my Walk into the Future extends into the fifth year of existence.
I never make New Year’s Resolution but discovered creating a set of yearly goals allows me to track my progress and see personal and professional growth. This process has been working well for me so no need to adjust it for 2023.
My goals are broken up into several categories to ensure I display a level of depth and growth throughout the year. I don’t make this process overly complicated; it’s worked in the past and don’t see a need to adjust now.
Interestingly, I hit every 2022 goal marker I wrote down except for one. Several friends asked me about my goals in January and I simply stated 2022 went so well that I was going to run back most of the same goals in 2023. Small tweaks but want to continue to move forward with my growth.
I started reading Proverbs daily when I lived in Warner Robins, Georgia. I got the concept when I read a book written by Steven K. Scott: The Richest Man Who Ever Lived. I thought it was a get rich quick book but quickly learned that reading Proverbs provides wisdom in life. I read Proverbs daily before work and look for ways to level that wisdom in my day. My other reading goal is to read one book (minimum) each month. I love learning leadership principles so most of my reading is done to help me grow as a leader. Currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Always looking for new places to explore so I want to visit some new spots this year. My running tourist role has me booked to return to Clearwater, Nashville, and Orlando. My new race destination for 2023 will be the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon. I’ve been to San Diego before but have never raced that far west—should be a great week for me in San Diego. I will return to Negril, Jamaica this year and want to make it down to the Turks and Caicos as a new adventure. Weekend travel will revolve around Orlando, Melbourne, Jacksonville, and Palm Beach Gardens.
My Authentic Leadership consulting program extends into 2023 with new contracts and clients. My work in this space was a happy addition to my 2022 goals and it looks like it will continue to grow in 2023. I have already signed contracts with two different groups to bring the Authentic Leadership platform to staff members. This side gig allows me to branch out into areas of professional interest for me and hone my organizational development skills. My goal is to consult with additional organizations in this space.
My writing was steady in 2022 but one area I didn’t complete was publishing my Authentic Leadership eBook. This is a carryover from 2022 so I will need to get this done in 2023. Poems, blog posts and LinkedIn articles were writing goals I was able to meet last year. I will continue to progress in 2023 with an eye towards more content on LinkedIn to share the Walk into the Future content with a larger audience.
Well, everyone that reads this blog knows running a full marathon was a highlight for me. It was written down as a 2022 goal and I put the work in to meet that goal. I will continue to lift weights twice a week and get 4 weekly runs in. My long runs will be done on the weekends with 25 – 30 weekly miles. I have a full racing schedule for 2023 and this keeps me motivated to log training miles.
This is a new category I want to explore in 2023. I do a ton at work but need to branch out into the local community and help there as well. The Salvation Army and Treasure Coast Food Bank are two organizations I plan to help this year. I did volunteer work with the Salvation Army in Tallahassee and enjoyed my time with them. Will reach out to both organizations this month to see what I can help them with.
Goals have been huge for my success. What goals do you have for 2023?
“I wouldn’t say running solves problems, but it prevents me from causing them”.
(Funny Running Quotes)
My Walk into the Future allows me to find/adjust my adventures depending on what’s happening in my world.
I spent a lot of 2022 getting myself physically and mentally prepared to tackle a full marathon. One thing I discovered during this process was signing up and completing races was a more enjoyable way to log miles. Example: I used the 2022 OUC Half Marathon as my last long run prior to the full marathon. Not sure other folks do this, but it makes for a more exciting training format for me.
Decided to tackle the 2023 Bridge Busters 5k in Fort Pierce for the third time. My first attempt occurred in 2021 when we were coming out of the COVID-19 era when races were being postponed. I did not know much about this race prior, but it was enjoyable even though I had to make it up and over the Seaway Drive bridge twice to complete the 5k. This concept was daunting back in 2021 but does not generate doubts for me now—guess my running program has matured. LOL.
This is a smaller race and attracts around 150 local runners. The host organization uses the registration fees to donate to local education programs. The money goes to a good cause, and I get a chance to test my endurance—everyone wins in this scenario.
Selected this as my first post full marathon run because it is a hometown race, and most of the course is on Seaway Drive which I train on quite a bit—minus the bridges.
The weather was cool at the start, so this was an ideal way to launch into the 5k.
I did not have a set finish time in mind when the race started but wanted to run a better time than last year if possible. The double bridge crossing makes this a bit daunting considering the inclines we face going up and over. The downhill portion is always easier, but you must maintain a controlled pace on the first pass to ensure there’s something left in the tank for the last mile of the race.
This was an improvement of 45 seconds over my 2022 race time. Not bad considering I completed the full marathon less than 4 weeks prior. Happy with my recovery from the marathon and excited to get back out running again.
Not sure how fast 2023 will be for my racing times but happy with my first race of the year. Looking forward to getting more miles and races in this year.
What are you looking forward to in 2023?
“Runner’s logic: I’m tired. I think I’ll got for a run”.
“If you are on the treadmill next to me, the answer is yes…we are racing”.
My Walk into the Future allows me to experiment with multiple forms of exercise with running being my focus for the past 4 years. Weightlifting was my primary form of exercise prior to starting my Walk into the Future. Decided to adjust and make running the focal point and mix in other forms of exercise to supplement.
I went from lifting weights 5 days and running 2 days to a complete flip. I currently run 4 days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday) and lift weights around my running schedule. I recently joined Planet Fitness to ensure I had a good mix of weightlifting options. Invested in an exercise bike back in 2021 so I could continue to get cardio in even when the weather is bad.
Fun fact: I got a free 3-day pass to LA Fitness in September of 2020 that never expired. My paper pass finally got so worn downed that it stopped working two years later. Hence, my joining Planet Fitness because it’s only $9.99 a month—I love a deal! 😊
2022 saw me increase my exercise volume and my total steps for the year. The following stats come directly from my Fitbit 2022 Year in Review:
Total Exercise Days: 257
Top Exercise: Run
Total Steps: 5,101,022
Total Miles: 2,551
Best Step Month: November
Best Step Day: December 11, 2022
Average Hours of Sleep: 8.2 hours
I increased my total steps by 400,000+ for the year and total mileage by 350+. Again, these numbers account for every time I exercised: bike, run, treadmill, walk.
I’m concentrating on ensuring I get the proper amount of sleep and plan to continue to positive progress in 2023.
I’m on pace for 125+ training miles in January and will continue to log miles as I prepare for additional half marathons this year.
2023 will be busy with training, racing and Walking into the Future!
“If only opening a Vitamin Water could be classified as working out”.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you will probably end up somewhere else”.
(Lawrence J. Peter)
I start each year by creating a set of goals for myself to ensure I continue to Walk into the Future.
Past years I created a goal to run a set number of miles during the year (example: 1,000 miles) but decided to eliminate this practice and concentrate on run quality instead of quantity.
My 2022 run goals centered around 3 quality runs weekly without the shadow of a set number of miles as the goal. I always found myself singularly focused on the end number instead of the impact each run had towards my goal and fitness level. Mentally I was always chasing a number I made up in January and that was not always a fun activity.
Fast forward and the 1,312 training miles I completed in 2022 is the most yearly mileage I have ever completed. Launching my full marathon training program in July helped me clock miles but I was well on my way toward a mileage personal record (PR). The marathon training process highlighted I needed to add training sessions and mileage to fully embrace the run challenge of a full marathon.
I routinely ran 3 days a week prior to my marathon training program and needed a 4th day to continue to build my mileage base. I also needed to create a true run plan to identify the targeted mileage for each session.
Prior to 2022 I would just go out for a run and then determine how far I wanted to go during that session. Running in 2022 forced me to lay out a detailed weekly training program to identify how far I would run during each session. I know this sounds simple and I’m sure most folks do this, but my running program had structure but needed more focus to get me to the start line for the Palm Beaches marathon. I discovered putting a number on the training session (3 miles on Tuesday, 5 miles on Wednesday, 8 miles on Thursday, 10 miles on Saturday) made me hit my mile markers each session. Anything less than what I projected left me looking for ways to get my miles in. Weekly mileage numbers were critical to my running success in 2022.
Mile by mile, day by day allowed me to top 1,300 miles in 2022. I’m sure I could have surpassed that number if I put more focus on the mileage for each session prior to July 2022.
My 2023 run goal is to run 4 days weekly (25 – 30 miles total) with one day dedicated to speed work. I am registered for 10 races for 2023 with a combination of 5ks, 10ks and half marathons. I don’t know if I will tackle another full marathon in 2023 or ever but never say never. I will let my weekly running sessions determine how many total miles I run in 2023. Excited to track my progress and growth as I expand my running base and test myself with road work.
What goals do you have for 2023?
FYI: Clocked 127 miles in January 2023! 😊
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time”.
I did not make this rate go up much but happy to join the folks who have toed the line and completed a full marathon.
I have documented my goal to complete a marathon in 2022 and provided updates on my training progress since July. I selected an 18-week training program to prepare me for the journey. The training plan was precise on when to run and how far to run to build a base to start and complete a marathon—mission accomplished.
Thanks to my friends and family for the encouragement during the training—it meant a lot to get positive shout outs while I was on this journey.
Made my way down to West Palm Beach the day prior to the marathon to get acclimated to the area and attend the Gardens of Life Palm Beaches Marathon EXPO. I was expecting this to be a large venue like the Rock N Roll events, but it was much smaller than I imagined and completely outside. The EXPO was a series of tents in front of the Meyers Amphitheater close to the water. There were only a handful of vendors at the EXPO so not much to browse or purchase. Check-in was simple considering the size of the venue. Got my race bib, t-shirt, goody bag and headed across the street to get food.
Made my way to the ER Bradley’s Saloon which had a funky vibe, great atmosphere and was still serving brunch when I arrived. The World Cup was playing on all the TVs and they had a DJ spinning tunes in the middle of the afternoon. Seems like a great place to hang out when I’m back in West Palm Beach.
Headed back to the hotel to get off my feet, rest and mentally prepare for what was coming in the morning. Got to bed early since I needed to be up around 4:30 am to prepare and make it to the start line for the 6 am race time.
Leveraged my hotel proximity to the start line and used the 1-mile distance as part of my warmup before the race. Yes, I used this distance to run/walk my way to the race start—wanted my legs to be warm for the race.
This race did not have corrals so found a nice spot in the middle of the other runners and waited for the race to start. We got delayed for 10 minutes which had a few folks upset since they were ready to challenge themselves and the course. We never heard why we got delayed but the horn went off and runners surged towards the start/finish line.
I decided the day before to keep my pace as even as possible and focused on mile splits within the 10:30 – 10:50 range. This would allow me to gauge my fitness and mental capacity over the first half of the race to determine what I had left in the tank.
The first few miles went by, and I realized I had a big smile on my face. This was because the months of training, early mornings and sacrifice was being played out in a real marathon. Looking back, I was smiling at this point because we started around 6 am and the sun was still not out—didn’t realize it at the time but the coolness of the morning was going to go away very soon.
Fast forward and I kept the 10:30 – 10:50 pace range through the first 16 miles of the race. I crossed the half marathon (13.1 mile) point at 2:26:32 which may have been too fast, but I felt good. This is where my lack of marathon experience showed. I was able to maintain my run form and kept moving forward with this pace.
The sun came out in full force at the 16-mile mark, and I noticed my pace start to slow. At first it was a gradual slow down then the pace slowed more. I felt great mentally, took water/Gatorade and gels at every station. A lot of folks talk about hitting a wall in the marathon, but I won’t completely say that’s what I did. I never thought about quitting just was upset with myself because my legs did not respond when I wanted them to.
Decided at this point that I didn’t care what the clock said I was finishing this race.
Amazing thing that happens during marathons is you get to see other folks experiencing the same mental struggle, pain, and doubts. We even talked to each other as an impromptu support group to keep moving forward. Even funnier is when you see another runner talking to their legs to keep them going, I didn’t do this because I didn’t think it would work. LOL.
The last 10 miles of the race was just me putting one foot in front of the other and showing the most grit I’ve ever displayed in my life. I set a goal to complete a full marathon and I got it done. Can’t say it was slower than I imagined because it’s the fastest marathon of my life (yes, the first one too) so I’m proud of the effort to make it from start to finish.
Official clock time was 5:48:28 (five hours, forty-eight minutes, and twenty-eight seconds).
I’m going to bask in this accomplishment, take some time off from running and sleep in for a few weeks. My Walk into the Future has a busy 2023 race calendar so will enjoy some downtime before cranking up the training.
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you spend your life running up and down the field and never score”.
My 2022 Walk into the Future became focused on completing my first full marathon in December.
The 2022 Palm Beaches Marathon provided me with a new goal and a physical challenge to work towards. The 18-week training program provided me with flexibility with my runs, so I continued to look for ways to make training as exciting as possible. This included signing up for 5ks and half marathons to help me break up the training sessions.
My last long run before the Palm Beaches Marathon was scheduled to be an 8-miler. I graduated from the super long runs (18, 19, 20) a couple weeks earlier but wanted to test my fitness one more time before the marathon.
I signed up for the 2022 Orlando Utility Commission (OUC) half marathon back in December 2021 and decided to fulfill that commitment since I needed the miles. I also enjoy being back in Orlando to see my friends and the culture the Orlando area provides.
Rode over to Orlando the day prior to the race to pick up my race packet at Track Shack. Always love visiting the Track Shack running store since they are a one stop run store where I can pick up running gear and supplements. Started purchasing CBD gems (gels) at Track Shack because they have a huge selection with the best prices. Bib pickup was uneventful—I got there before the big rush and purchased a new running shirt.
Left Track Shack and headed back to Oviedo to check into my hotel. I stay in the same place since I’m a creature of habit and it allows me to spend more time in Oviedo. Headed to my favorite Italian restaurant, Café Panuzzos. Love the food and atmosphere there and always come back when I’m back in town: https://cafepanuzzos.com/
Got back to the hotel to relax and mentally prepare for the race coming up. I was still deciding how I wanted to attack the race from a strategic standpoint—do I go out for a specific time or just clock miles as part of the training plan? Decided to completely test my fitness to see what my training program accomplished.
Made my way downtown the next morning to toe the line for the 9th time for the OUC Half Marathon—guess you can say this is my hometown race now.
Things were going as scheduled until I got downtown Orlando. Normally it is easy to get downtown to park prior to the race. This year the Orlando police changed the traffic patterns and had cars lined up for miles. I finally got out of my normal parking garage line and found a surface lot two blocks down. This put me closer to the start line, but I lost about 45 minutes trying to get parked—never experienced this before.
Made it to the start line in time to hear the national anthem and the starter encouraging runners to have a good race. I was able to get a light stretch in and got into the back of the race corral behind the walkers and parents with strollers. Never been this far back so figured I was in for an experience during the race. Fun fact—I have never passed so many people in a race. I guess starting in the back does have some benefits. 😊
Made my way through the other runners from the back of the pack and started to get comfortable with my pace. Could not go out much faster since I had so many runners to navigate my way through. The weather was great—nice cool central Florida morning so put a smile on my face and then kept pressing forward.
Ran Mile 1 in 10:01 and did not feel pressed even though I had to weave my way through strollers and walkers. Felt good after the first water stop and decided to see if I could run negative splits (faster times) for each mile. Here’s what I got accomplished:
I laughed at myself when I saw my Mile 12 split because I got caught up looking around and sightseeing a bit too much and did not realize I slowed down that much. Had nothing to do with fitness or pain, I simply drifted off looking at Orlando scenario when I should have been bearing down to finish this race. Lesson learned. Completed the OUC Half in 2:12:52 which was my second fastest half of 2022—should have been my fastest but Mile 12 took care of that. LOL.
Crossed the finish line feeling the best I’ve ever felt while running a half marathon. The full marathon training really helped me manage the lactic acid and pain. Felt fresh and ready to run more if it was needed.
I’m ready to tackle the 2022 Palm Beaches Marathon—let’s make it happen! 😊
“A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at”.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
My Walk into the Future allows me to discover adventures large and small. There are some weeks when I lay low and stay local and others when I get the urge to just get up and go.
Well, needed a bit of adventure in my life so decided to get up and go and make a circuitous route back to one of my favorite places Oviedo, Florida. I spent 4 years in Oviedo when I worked at the University of Central Florida and still enjoy getting back over there when possible. It has grown from a sleepy little town east of Orlando into a traffic heavy little town. The urban spawl is real there.
I did not have a dedicated plan when I headed over, just wanted to see a few sights and enjoy being back in Oviedo. I knew I could take advantage of the running trails as I continue to work towards my first full marathon.
The Orlando outlet malls are not close to Oviedo so that’s why I described my adventure as circuitous. Most folks know I love outlet mall shopping and will stop anytime I can get close. The Orlando outlets are huge and provide access to name brand companies with the idea of good prices. Some of the outlet stores are running sales and clearance specials, so the prices are even better now.
I focus on Nike, Timberland, GAP, and Columbia stores when I’m in Orlando. I added the Cole Haan outlet store to my rotation on this trip. I have been in the store in the past but never really took the time to see everything they offered. There were a lot of shoes marked down and these prices got better by joining the Cole Haan club (it’s free). Just needed to provide my cell number and I was signed up to receive additional discounts while shopping. Picked up a new pair of Cole Haan shoes on this trip and look forward to getting back for more deals soon.
Made my way down to the Nike and Columbia stores to find additional bargains. My hope was to upgrade my hiking boots prior to my trip to Asheville but could not find anything I liked on this trip. I have enough sneakers, so my Nike visit was to look for new running gear. I picked up a few items in Nike and made my way over to Oviedo.
Seminole Cross Trail
I was able to leverage the Seminole Cross Trail again to complete one of my long training runs. The trail provides 20+ miles of multi-purpose access for runners, bikers, and walkers. This trail makes my long run process easier since I don’t have to figure out where and how I will hit a specific mile number (5 miles, 10 miles, etc.) since the trail is well maintained with mile markers easy to spot. Needed to get a 10-mile run in while in Oviedo and was able to hit my mileage with plenty of shade to cover me during the run.
Bob Marley’s at Universal Orlando City Walk has been a favorite stop for me over the years.
It’s a unique venue to listen to live reggae music and catch an irie vibe. Some of the bands I have heard there over the years rival some of the best reggae artists in Negril. Always thought that was amazing considering the musical talent that resides in Jamaica. COVID-19 still influences the venue—it is mostly a dining place with a live band playing while patrons are eating. Prior to COVID-19 this was the spot in Orlando to listen and dance to reggae music. People came from all over the country to experience this venue and hear some world class musicians.
The music during my recent visit was still outstanding but most of the folks just sat at the dinner table and rocked their heads from time to time. No dancing or excitement from the patrons but they appeared to enjoy the food while there.
I stayed for an hour or so and decided to call it a night—happy to get a chance to listen to live reggae again.
Finish off the adventure the next day at the local Costco to stock up on household items. Made my way back down to Fort Pierce to get ready for the work week.
Quick little getaway but made sure to maximize my time while away. LOL.
Where do you go for a quick getaway?
“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet”.