Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well where have you been

Man, I find it hard to believe that is have been over a month since my last entry.  Okay, I am going back to keeping track of life as I move through it and try to pack as much "life" as I can in my short time on this earth.

Some housekeeping.  My last Marathon, Chicago, was miserable, happy to have participated and really enjoyed my time in Chicago with friends, however my inconsistent training showed in a poor time and significant cramping along the way. 

Following Chicago, the next race started... launching the inaugural Worlds Hoppiest 5k Road Race. The race a huge success and we are already making plans for next year.

I have more to catch up on, but this is a start.  I will close the blog entry with a recent painting for a client.

Same time tomorrow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fooling myself

Last night was our first scrimmage for the AYFA Black Eagle… what a blast. I had a great time and the players did really well. I love coaching, the only way it could be better is if I could suit up and play. I do not think anyone would know, most of the players are taller than I am anyway. Jack did great, a few errant throws, but he hit 3 out of 6 passes, no interceptions and 2 passes should have been caught. The kids all played well.

At the end of the scrimmage, I was exhausted, but knew that an 11 mile tempo run was the start of my day tomorrow. Lately my running has been erratic and poor. As well as I did training for Hunstville and qualifying for Boston, I am 180 degrees in the other direction.

As my plan is not working, I have mixed things up… I slept in until 6:10, this gave me over 7 hours of sleep, I need more by my schedule would not permit more. I did wake feeling refreshed, but my leg was already hurting in anticipation of the upcoming 11 miles. Knowing that half my battle lately has been mental, I broke my run into two sections in an attempt to fool myself, a 6 mile out and back and a 5 mile out and back, that provided an area for refueling. My left leg hurt from step one and is still hurting. That’s is life, mentally, I was stronger, but not where I need to be yet.

I felt better on the last 5 and found myself enjoying the run a couple of time, (I know, that’s the idea right), at the turn a runner went by and I click on his heals with about a 25 yard gap. He must have known I was there as he dropped his pace the last couple of miles and I followed, at least I kept myself from running him down as I would in the past, that said, I did not let the gap increase.

Pace target was 7:38 I ran 7:31, mostly because I hit a 7:08 on the last mile with my rabbit in front. That part, of the run, I liked!

Sunday I will run 15 miles. Let’s see what the day brings.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Busy Signal

Busy… that in a word is describing my life right now. With work, football, the boys, school activities and my other commitments, I am busy. Oh and I did not mention training! As for training, typically it is my salvation, that point where I can work off the stress of the days. However my training, specifically my running is in the crapper. I am out running thinking about the 2 million things I could/should be doing.

I need to keep myself organized and be judicious with my use of time.

Monday, August 9, 2010

weight up... speed down... uh not good.

As bad as my last long run was, this was better. Great no, I was still fighting some running demons. My body and mind were fighting me the whole time. I just kept pushing on. I felt if I could get to the halfway point, all would be well. By 6.5 I was feeling good about heading back and knowing that every step took me closer to being done. Corey who was running behind me caught me with about 5 to go. I could have stayed with him, but knew that was not the order of the day. I kept my pace and moved along. My legs were getting tired but my mind knew I was nearly done. Interestingly I was running a 7:43 pace and that is slower than what I will need to run in Chicago.

With a good weekend, I enjoyed waking up today after a full 8 hours of sleep. The tempo run looked to be easy, but the reality is I struggled. All said, I got the work done and put the day in the books. Tomorrow is a swim, I will hit about 2,500 meters and try to pay attention to my nutrition. My weight is out of the park, 181.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

who me... I'm just a little lost

It has been so many days since my last journal entry that I have lost track of the number of days I have been training for Chicago. I think that alone tells you that I am missing something this time around. My last three long runs have gone from bad, to worse to awful. How bad… fell off pace with Corey, next, I did not hold pace for 18, last, my 20 miler was a disaster, with me stopping at mile 5 and walking. I salvaged the run but just barely and ended up adding 8 more the next day to achieve a cumulative mile total.

The tempo runs have been good, my track work is erratic, I am one, off or slow… anything but consistent. My weight is up, down, up, and I am tired all the time.

On a good note, football started this week and the range of talent means there will be a lot of coaching. I am enjoying the summer with the boys, the days are rocketing past.

This Friday I have a 13 mile run with Corey. It will be fast. Good.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Out on my Feet

My run on Friday was a disaster. Though I was anxious about the run, I was also excited as Corey and I had an opportunity to run with Calvin and Evan I knew it would help time pass. Everything seemed to feel okay in the beginning. I stayed on pace and did not try to rush off, rather I cruised along never going too fast or too slow. As we neared the 10 mile mark, I was not feeling that great. My body seemed to lack any energy and my legs felt tired, weak. At the halfway point we dropped off Evan and picked up Hokan. I took time to eat part of a banana and a gel, a gulp of Gatorade and we were off. Calvin was only hanging for about 2.5 more miles and he’d be turning back. I struggled from the parking lot and felt myself really grinding to get up the first hill. Topping the hill, we had a brief downhill run and I was assessing my condition and trying to encourage myself to re-group. I needed to pull things together quick, the next 2 miles were all up hill, not steep, but a constant raising grade. My mind was really battling me as we ran. I hooked on Corey’s heels and locked in. Calvin dropped off, everyone said their goodbyes as he left the group. I was already in survival mode, I did not turn or wave, I just grunted. Things were looking dark for me and we were only at mile 12. What is going on.

At mile 13 I was done, out on my feet and completely wasted. I told Corey and Hokan, I am out. I may be stopping and shutting it down. It was just that bad, fatigue, lack of energy, weakness, I was in a fight and I was losing… badly.

Corey encouraged me to keep on going, I stayed the course, mostly due to pride. Mile 13 and 14 were difficult at best. The fluids at mile 14 did little to revive me and the gel was useless. I needed a jolt, and decide I would run into the Corner Deli for a coke. Corey and Hokan slowed the pace for me to catch up, but I never did recapture thedistance. Rather I watched as the distance grew. I had five more miles and no idea how I was going to finish the run. I thought how strong I had been the week before averaging 8:12 for 17 miles and here I was struggling at 8:23. Damn, pull it together. I gave myself a goal, it was less than a mile and I did this again. My 20 mile run was reduced to a series of 1 mile runs from mile 15 on. I did not stop, other than to replenish my fluids. My last fluid break a Holiday Inn breakfast bar, I ran in grabbed three glasses of mango juice and raced back out. I was on the home stretch, passing mile 18 and with 2 to go, I found renewed energy. My pace picked up and I felt confident I would finish. Corey and Hokan were already out of site, my goal was to get as close to pace as I could. I did not think it would be possible, as miles 15-17 were so bad. I was delirious and had no idea how fast or slow I was running during that time. Now however, each step now drew me closer to my finish and with a half mile to go, I began to sprint. I wanted this run done. Rounding the corner to my imaginary finish line, I saw Corey and Hokan, looking strong and fresh, they looked to have been done for a while.

I looked at my watch but had no idea if my time was slow or fast. My initial thought was too slow. Later I would learn that I was actually fast, 20 at an 8:23 pace. Good enough. The run really damaged me physically and mentally. But it also made me stronger, physically and mentally. I pushed for 8 miles when my body said not one more step. I ran when I could barely stand and I stood when my body wanted to fall. A good way to end week 4, I am glad it is over.

The weekend went quickly and on two occasions I lost track of the day. After affects of a taxing run. The highlight of the weekend was tubing with the family in North Georgia and going to the movies with Jack.

Monday brought the start of week 5 and the first time I had seen Jay in 2 weeks. He looked very thin and a bit frail from his bacterial illness. He ran strong as he Corey and I all started the weeks training together. Corey and I were running a 2 – 3 – 1 workout, 2 EZ, 3 at 6:14 and 1 EZ. Jay was easing back into the training with 4 x 1200. A good run and he was solid the entire time.

I felt challenged and sometimes at ease during my tempo workout. While driving home I realized I just ran 3 miles at a pace faster than my best 5K. Not bad. I hope to take this same strong run into Fridays 18 mile run at 8:11. I will be tested!

Weight 182.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How long you in for...

Wednesday. Monday I hit a good tempo run on the treadmill to start Week 4. The run was tough and I felt labored, but once I passed the halfway mark it seemed to get a bit easier. It felt good to run next to one of my buddies and see someone else that was grinding away at their workout, misery they say loves company, though I think I was the only one that was truly miserable as he seemed to glide effortlessly along the belt. Tuesday was a good solid day, for everything. I seemed to eat better and my workout was a good, tough swim, only 2500 meters. I will likely start to cap the workouts between 2500-3000 meters. Faster days on Tuesday and longer days on Thursday. I swam with Rebecca though she was typically 10-30 seconds ahead depending on the length we were swimming in the set. I felt bad that I was unable to give her a challenge and push her, but good that she was pushing me on every set. Our last set was a nice 2 x 200 with a speed pick up in the middle. We both commented on how much form we lost during the speed portion but as we reverted back to form for the last 50, our split did not drop. Swimming is so much technique and body position in the water, this was clearly proof. The remainder of the day was consumed with work, I did not move off my chair for the next 6 hours and it felt good to be so productive. The evening was uneventful and I was looking forward to a good night’s rest.

This morning I woke 5 minute before the alarm rang so I grabbed my gear and headed to the gym. The crowd was huge for our track workout, there must have been 10 people. Nice to see the dedication by so many. I went into today’s workout with a little bit of fear, at least concern. I had decided for the next few weeks I would try to hit the workouts for a projected marathon time of 3:15. This meant that I would be running the 5 x 1000 today at 3:44. Basically 45 seconds per 200 meters with the last one being 44 seconds.

My legs felt tired and stiff as we jogged down to the track. As we neared, I quickened the pace a bit just to better warm up. As everyone was mulling around I decide, it was time to go, clearing my watch, I was off. The first lap is always a little more difficult as the lungs have not completely opened and the muscle are still warming up. I kept my pace in check and hit my 200 time right on. My next 200 was a bit slow and from there I ran negative splits. The rest was a 400 jog/walk, that I did fairly quickly. Of the 5 X 1000, I hit my 3:44 mark on all but one, that one was fast, 3:42. Overall I was happy with my performance, the last 1000 was dead on hitting every split consistently, 45, 45, 45, 45 and 44. Perfect. Afterwards we all went for a bagel, and some friendly chatter.

The rest of my morning was consumed with work and a brief meeting with Jack’s orthodontist. Jack will be getting braces beginning July 27 & 28th. It will not be fun, but they will be off before he enters high school. The thought of him entering high school made me feel proud and slightly older all at the same time. Glad I am spending as much time with he and Wil as I can. The time goes by way too quickly.

Weight… 179.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

10 to 7

Wrapping up week 3. Building off a good day at the track, I wanted to continue to build on my fitness. Thursday was a strong day of cross training with Rebecca as we continued to inch the number of meters up by another 200. We have no interest in swimming 4500 meters, but 2500 – 3200 meters is good and provides the off day fitness that is important for our marathon conditioning. The day kept me busy, but my mind was really set on the next run, 17 miles. It seems once you get past 15 miles, you know you have serious work ahead.

Knowing the run was going to be a challenge, I made certain my body would be well rested. I put back-to-back nights of 7 plus hours of sleep. Though Jay was out for the week, I was happy to have Corey, Hokan and Calvin all join me for the first 10 miles of the 17 mile run. The pacing was a bit up and down and I know it was not my smartest run, but I enjoyed the company and did not mind that we goofed around with one another.

With 10 down and everyone off to stretch I was on my own. Part of me was missing the group, the miles just fly by, but a part of me was looking forward to the 7 solo miles. Not because I knew it would be easy, but because I knew it was going to be hard, physically and mentally and I needed to steel my mind to the pain and to the demons that creep in and tell you it is okay to stop. Not today.

I did give myself a small advantage, knowing I would be alone I wanted to run somewhere I could measure my pace, a weak link in my running make up, yep, and I know it. To that point I chose the Greenway, a simple downhill mile to the Greenway 2.5 out and back. The Greenway provides half-mile markers, and it is easy for me to keep my pace. The other advantage, it is flat and fast. On my run down, I cruised, leaning forward I let gravity take control my legs just rolled down the hill. Hitting the entrance of the Greenway, I felt rested, time to lock it in pace, focus on stride and keep my body relaxed. A quick mental check and everything seemed loose. I was looking forward to my next Gatorade stop, when I thought, hmmm, “I’m hungry”. The Gatorade will help, the miles are ticking by I have no gels, and I made a note to make certain I had fuel on the 20 mile run next week.

A quick glance and I can see that my pace is fast, certainly not a good way to run, but I am thinking about the last mile, a climb back to the gym and a cushion would be nice. Though I am fast, my pace is consistent and I take that as a positive during the last 6 miles. I finish on the hill weaker than I would like but I finish. I know next week I will need to feed better.

Running into Corey, I try with no success to do some math to see how I finished. I expected to be close or just a little over. I eventually quit trying to do the math, I am exhausted mentally and physically.

Later as I am working I see an email from Corey 8:12. Too fast. We talk about looking at adjusting my target time for Chicago… is that really what I am looking for? I like the idea, but decide to give it further consideration over the weekend.

Could I do it… I don’t know. Am I ready for the commitment that would be required, the reality is I am over committed already, something to consider.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mental mistakes will cost you

Day 17 – Chicago Marathon Training. Last night I went to watch my neighbor and his son as well as many boys I have coached in football play in the Dizzy Dean Baseball State Finals. They were in the winners bracket and needed only a single win to take the title as repeat champions. They jumped out to an early 4 run lead and things looked good… however the wheels came off in the second to the last inning. Mental errors, mistakes that should not have been made cost them the game and eventually the state title. They went on to lose the next game as well and ended up in second place, not bad, but frustrating. A good group of boys.

This morning, I woke up just before I was about to fall out of bed. I was literally right on the edge. I could sense it in my sleep and it woke me before the alarm went off. I laughed to myself thinking that I have not fallen out of bed in 20 plus years, but I nearly did today.

Getting dressed and feeling rested, I made my way to meet my friends for our track workout. I had a descending ladder workout, 1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400, I was fast on all of them. No discipline, mental mistakes, just like the boys last night. I was consistent, but my goal is to be consistent and on target, follow the plan and stay healthy. Mental mistakes are costly. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Day - 16 Chicago Marathon Training. I woke this morning and felt rested. Amazing what happens when you get to bed a reasonable hour. It was a peaceful sleep too, no wild dreams and no waking up in the middle of the night. It is possible that I did not move once my eyes shut until the time I woke up.

With the start of Week 3 delayed due to Jay being sick, today I hit the treadmill for the tempo workout alone. I considered a run out in the cool morning air, but the reality is, I need the treadmill to keep pace and not cheat by going too fast.

The workout was straight forward, 1 mile warm-up, 5 at 7:24 pace and a mile cool down. I hit the treadmill with a bit of caution, the last time I felt labored during this workout. Today I felt better rested, and by the second mile, I knew today’s run would be a breeze. I was sweating, but my breathing and legs felt good and breathing was well under control, a very positive start to Week 3. After running I put a concentrated effort into stretching and my core workout.  I have been neglecting both lately.

To stay on track, later today I will hit the pool. A nice 2000 meter lunch time swim with another training friend, Rebecca, who is also training for Chicago. Hoping Jay feels better soon.

Weight… I did not look too many ribs, chips, beer and junk over the holiday weekend. I’ll look on Friday.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Where is my spirit... have you seen my spirit

Day - ?... 15 Chicago Marathon Training. I have not yet fallen in the groove. I seem to be going through the motions, but I have not found myself fully committed. I have made all the runs so far, but my diet, well, way off. I have hit all my extra workouts, but not all my lifting or core. Week 2 ended strong, the 15 mile run was a few seconds better than pace, but I was weak in the middle miles. I did pick it up at the end, but again it was not a great run. I think the best part was the fact that it rained, it made the temperatures drop and brought a little fun to the run.

I need to find my running spirit.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ah... Rested.

Day 9 – Chicago Marathon Training. Sleeping in can be a good thing when your body is trying to recover from strenuous training, this is especially true as you grow older and are at greater risk to injury. After a tough run yesterday, I knew I needed sleep. I set my alarm for 6:00 AM with a goal of hitting the water by 7:00 AM. Waking after 7 hours of sleep, I felt good, my body was recharged and ready for a good workout.

In the water, I felt charged with energy and the swim felt easy, though it was only a mile. I will target another good night sleep and watch my nutrition as I start removing the “junk” from my diet. Hopefully these changes will result in a better Week 2 of training.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Only 19 more miles!

Day 8 Training for Chicago Marathon – Well the first week is done, and today was the first day of Week 2. Last week started off just as I thought it would. I felt strong and I was prepared to enter marathon training with a great base of fitness. The first two runs of the week were good. The tempo was very easy and the track workout, though tough was not harder than I expected. However Friday’s run was difficult. It was only a 13 mile run, and the pace a simple 8:08 per mile. The run however was terrible. I hit the distance and the pace was held at 8:04, but I felt like garbage. Every part of me was tired. It was not the running the wore me down rather, it was totality of this thing we call life, work, running, volunteering, the play, family and kids, I was over committed and I knew it. My commitments pushed me to cut the number of hours I could sleep, that results in a lack of recovery and by Friday I was done, completely fatigued. I finished the run on fumes.

Last night I went to bed early with the resolve today would be better. It was not. My legs were dead again today. As for my conditioning, I felt good, though it was hot and I was sweating like a sprinkler on high, my breathing was good. The legs, just felt lifeless. The concerning part is today’s 7 mile tempo was at marathon race pace. I ran at 7:35, which should have felt easy, but it did not… and to think in 15 weeks I need to run that pace for 19 more miles!

Though I am struggling right now, I know that it will get better, and that this is a part of the work to prepare my body. I also know that Friday’s long run that was so bad, was a great test mentally, to teach myself how to run when there is nothing in the tank, to fight back the demons that want you to quit and to keep on pushing when everything says stop. These are negatives that I can turn into positives.

A busy day of work and several meetings today. My weight is starting to drop… 179, goal 172 for Chicago.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chicago training Day 1

Day 1 Training Chicago Marathon – My first thought when I woke up was “Day 1”. Yep this is the first day of training for the Chicago Marathon on October 10th. The workout today a simple tempo, 2 EZ, 2 @ 6:54 and 2 EZ, 6 miles total. I must admit, I was excited to get started with the 16 week training program.

Meeting Jay at LFT, I laced up the new shoes I bought myself for Fathers day. Nothing better than a new pair of shoes. The warm up was ez as it should be, the 2 at pace were fairly easy as well. A couple miles of warm down and I was done.

The day ahead will present other challenges, plenty to do at work and a list of other task. The day will end with my first rehearsal for Fame. Likely this is be my biggest challenge of the day.

Weight… Corey talked me out of checking my weight until Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I did not see that coming

Well I thought the most difficult part of my day would be my run this morning, I was wrong. I felt good and my conditioning and leg strength was okay. Even my weight was better, 181, heading back down to the 170’s. I had a stack of business calls and meetings that needed to be addressed and contracts signed. Again more difficulty. But again, challenge met and passed. Good business was accomplished today.

Next, I had an interesting little opportunity that presented itself; this appointment would be just after lunch. For anyone that knows me I enjoy acting, however business travel and life in general has kept me away from the stage, since college the only real acting I had done was a stage play of Treasure Island, on a bit of dare from the family and an exercise to demonstrate to my children the importance of challenging yourself I auditioned and ended up landing a lead role as Long John Silver, a summer series for 13 shows. I had a blast. I was even asked to stay on as part of a traveling group doing skits, but time and business travel dictated otherwise and I essential hung up the acting while I buried myself in business.

Well an opportunity was knocking again, a part in the stage play of Fame. Specifically Mr. Myers, the Drama Teacher. Having never seen the play or movie and only knowing a bit about the premise, off I went with no expectations other than an opportunity to challenge myself once again. I think it is great to put myself out there from time to time just to remember I am still alive.

Showing up, I had little direction on what to expect, as I entered the building the place was buzzing with 20-30 theater students, it presented a palpable energy. Weaving my way through the energetic students I find my contact and pleasantries are exchanged. She is the theater director, an outgoing energetic person with great enthusiasm.

No time was lost, she knew what she wanted, and quickly said, “let’s see what you have”, “Can you sing? Dance? Where have you acted?“ Sing! Dance! Of course this was Fame… certainly there would be singing and dancing. My mind is racing as I am recalling my abilities… Looking back I am not sure how this happened but I said, Yes, with all the confidence in the world. Great, follow me.

I followed behind her and the Movement Director as we made our way through a maze of rooms and hallways, stopping at small room next to a piano. Once again, I have put myself in a place to see if I can meet the challenge. The instructions were brief and simple, I am going to “sing” and I want you to follow along with the piano. Ready. There was only one answer, “yep.” And so it went. I expected that it might be a crash and burn right there, yet as she provide a tone and pitch, I followed, up and down a scale repeating, lower still, repeat , lower still, repeat… While I am mimicking the tones and pitch, they are both shaking their head approvingly. Now back up… the scale. Still good. Finally I said, that is as high as I can go. Surprisingly singing got an overall approval. Great, not likely, but serviceable, sure.

Next came the read. Hey, no sweat, this is what I love. The acting… I was so confident in this area I felt it would be a slam dunk. Just the opposite. For reasons I cannot begin to understand and what will likely bother me for years, I just could not nail this one line, the rest were good and I feel I took the direction well too. My best… not even close, but okay. I am not sure why, I just was not hitting my best.

Let’s keep moving… we move to a dance studio. I am thinking I may have survived my train wreck on the acting, and I know I can do better and I am still feeling confident. Now the Director of Movement/Dance, takes the lead. Follow me she says. We stand in the center of a dance studio and she begins to show me some simple moves and asks that I shadow her as the music played.

After watching and practicing a couple of moves, it was my turn. A swagger up, 2, 3, 4 pose, arm in air, and drifting down to the side, saunter to the left, pose, and swagger back 8 steps. Inside my mind is racing until I finally said to myself, listen to the music and think loose hips.

We do the number about 3-4 times and we are done. The Movement Instructor places her hand on my shoulder and says “he can move” and nods to the Theater Director. I smile to myself and tell her that I appreciate the gracious comment.

Unfortuantley I still have the bad read that is sitting over my head like a dark rain cloud. They ask to for me to try it again, not all the lines were bad, but one, an important one I just blew. I try again, this time… no better. I just did not hit it. Rats.

They take my number and I am given the “we’ll give you a call” Oh well.

I really thought the singing and dancing would be my downfall. That I ended up being okay. Great, no let’s not be ridiculous, but again, serviceable. However my acting, the thing I felt I would do so well, I blew it. Could I do this part, yes! I think I would be great. But today.. ugh.

It reminded me of a bad race or a bad wrestling match. You know you are better but you cannot find it that day or that match. I thank them and head to the car pleased that I had the guts to stand there where others might have said, what… no way.

Sitting in the car, I pretty much knew I blew an opportunity and it was my fault. That stings. I must have repeated the line 20 more times since, but that is easy, I did not hit it when it counted. Grrrrr. I am not a big fan of failing, I can accept others making mistakes but I have real difficulties with my errors.

I do not tell anyone about my lunch “appointment” and I finish the rest of my work day. Tonight I’ll make something on the grill, drink a beer and think about the possibility as I lay down to drift off to sleep.

I know I will be frustrated and the most difficult part of this day will be accepting my failure. I’ll tell myself, "hey you tried" in an attempt to find solace and eventually I will drift off to sleep.

Tomorrow will be another day.

UPDATE: The next day I was called... I got the part!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


June 16, 2010

Ambush… I was coming home from a great workout during lunch. I had met Jay for a cross-training swim workout, the distance was not too long, but it was tough, especially the 10 x 50’s we both held pace. Most surprising from the workout was the 100 all out, I had expected to hit a 1:44 – 1:50, I was hoping for a 1:40, but I deal in reality not fantasy. I had a plan for this 100 all out, but after swimming my arms off with the previous sets, I figured I was worn out, and really needed to focus on stroke and form for the first 50 and the second 50 would just be a gut-busting, lung crushing push. It rolled out as I had planned but to my surprise, I hit the wall and my watch said 1:29!!! Nice. I’ll take it. Anyway, back home I cut through the backyard and Kim is standing there with Wil. She ask me if I have my phone and keys. Uh, yeah, sure. She takes them. Wallet? Yeah. She takes that and ducks. Wham, Splash, Wap… I am being nailed by water balloons. Wil unloads, Kim scurries up the stairs and she joins in the fun. Clearly Wil has been planning this all morning. I stand there and take it all in good fun. Once drenched, I take the offensive and grab the hose. Superior fire power always wins. I know better than to dowse Kim, but Wil is fair game and the tide quickly turns. A cease fire is reached and we both change into dryer clothes.

The afternoon is filled with work and is productive. I look forward to my upcoming double header in softball. Though the expectation is killed by the reality. I start the game off with a fielding error and end up with two fielding errors for the night. My bat is not much better. Grrrr. The only saving grace of the evening is a hard hit triple that opens up a scoring barrage by our team, and turning a double play.

A few beers afterwards with my teammates ease the pain. Progress is also being made on a new project. The Worlds Hoppiest 5K. More to come.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wearing next to nothing, it was hot as an oven

Well I made it out the door for my run today, nothing too terrible as far as distance, but man was it hot. Jay and I both had early commitments which pushed us to a lunch time run, high noon. Better yet, hot noon! The temperature could easily have been 100 degrees; I don’t know for sure, I did not want to look.

Dressed and ready to go, we started off, it took only a few short steps for my body to bead up in sweat. Before I was through with the first mile, my running clothes were drenched. It looked like I ran through a car wash; it felt like I was running inside my oven. The only difference was my oven did not have the humidity, so running in the oven would have been a bit more comfortable. The pace was supposed to be slow… we hit an easy 7:30 per mile I think the burning pavement may have prompted a faster leg turnover.

Getting closer to the start of training for Chicago 6 more days!

Monday, June 14, 2010

All good things come to an end

Monday… whew. The last few days have been a tornado of activity, I‘ve had a number of good workouts and a couple I’d like to forget. There is not much that I can take away from the training other than, I was getting it done and that counts for something, not much but something. I have managed to keep myself in the pool, that makes nearly a month now and I could feel the conditioning coming back as my times are dropping. My last long run was miserable, after prolonging a trip to the doc, I need to go check on my leg, typically it breakdown in a couple of miles, hurt like hell and eventually numb up. My last run it hurt from the first step and days afterward.

The better part of the past couple of weeks is having my family visit, the days speed by filled with too many laughs and several heated games of spades. Nothing more fun than setting your sibling in a game of spades, bragging rights feel soo good.

Next week starts the official training for Chicago… I have a week to sort out my leg issue and drop a few pounds.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ah Morning!

I woke this morning and I felt good… I had no urgent items that need to be done, I had no workout to rush off to, I would hit the pool at lunch. The bed felt comfortable, the sheets felt cool and crisp as I stretched and took in a deep breath. Ah morning.

Once down at the office I plowed through a stack of work with an early morning energy, my sharp from a good night rest. The clock neared the lunch hour and I actually was looking forward to the pool. I have been steadily increasing my distance in the pool, while maintaining my pace. Today I would do my warm up and a series of 100’s, 50’s and 25’s with the intent of mixing some speed into the drill. Thursday I will go longer again. I am happy to report that my pool conditioning is getting better and I have now hit the pool for 3 straight weeks.

Late in the evening the boys and I played a serious game of kickball, and I must admit, I love that game as much now as I did as a child. Tomorrow is track as we draw days closer to the beginning of training for Chicago. Really need to work on my weight. Track workout will be pushed to noon at Jay’s request. No problem, I’ll watch the NBA finals with our guest tonight.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sir William

Monday. Wow what a weekend. It was nice to ease into the weekend with a few vacation days. There was so much to do leading up to Wil’s birthday, that coupled with the fact that Diane and Harry were visiting, I really enjoyed being able to spend time with my sister while not being hurried by work to get ready for the party.

Wil’s Birthday on Friday went off without a hitch, mostly due to the planning and hard work of Kim and the extra help from Diane and Harry. The party itself was fun, the water slide a big hit only to be followed by the “warrior dash” like competition held in the back yard for Wil and all his guest. The inner athlete came out of Wil as he blew by the competition to take the overall competition. Kim’s parents also came up for the party and that made it even more special. The night was capped with Wil’s friend Jimmy sleeping over.

It was an early night for Jack and I though, we had a race the next morning, well at least Jack did, I was still deciding if I was going to run or pace Jack. I really wanted him to run alone, but I thought I would see how he and I both felt in the morning. Race morning came early, we woke at 5:45 AM and we were at the race site by 6:30. This gave us plenty of time to register and warm up. Diane and Harry joined us to cheer on Jack. Warmed up and ready to go, the race started. I felt better than expected as the adrenaline rushed through my body. The first mile was too fast, 6:06, but I felt good, mile two I was hitting 12:28, so I was back on pace and by the end of 3rd mile, I had dispatched all but one runner in my age group, the other guy was a clear minute ahead. Not much I could do there I finished with a 19:52.

A few comments to the other racers I headed back to see Jack, good timing too. He was nearing the 3 mile mark and had a runner in his age group running slightly ahead of him. I yelled “time to lower the hammer” He did at the same time I was saying it, clearly he had the same thoughts. Opening lead, I yelled hit the corner and sprint, he did. The other runner tried to answer, but Jack just picked the pace up further to widen the margin. Jack and I both took home second AG, a good Saturday morning.

Sunday came and we ended the celebratory birthday weekend with dinner at Medieval Times, Wil’s requests. I spent the few extra bucks to have him knighted. He took the whole process very seriously. Totally worth it as he beamed, with his robe, tunic and wooden sword the King presented the proclamation of knighthood upon William. Sure is fun being a dad.

This morning it was back to work. A 4:45 AM wake up I was in the pool swimming by 5:15, only 1,500 meters, I chased the swim down with a nice 4 mile tempo run. It felt difficult, more so than I expected, but I was happy to run along side Corey and Jay, it has been a while.

Weight… Let’s not discuss.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Don't Blink...

How is it possible that a week has nearly passed since my last entry. I can tell you it feels like I have only blinked my eyes. A good run on Monday with Jay combined with a swim seemed to have set the mood for a week of fitness.

Tuesday was a wash, but I knew that would happen and thus the reason for the swim on Monday.

Wednesday was track day and I had a guest join me, Jack! He woke early with me and we made our way to the track. I was running 5 x 800 at a sub 3:00 pace. It was not really pretty. Last week I ripped them off with my slowest being 2:58 and an average of 2:56. Not the case on Wednesday, I did not exceed the 3:00 mark, but I came close, times were 2:57, :58, :57, :59, :59. My legs were just tired. The best part of the morning was having Jack there. He ran the straights and walk/jogged the curve. He did well and ran about a mile and a half of track work including the warm-up and cool down he ran 3.5 miles. Good work. The funny part of the morning was when the “boot-camp” trainer who was there working with a group saw Jack and told him it was nice to see a young athlete at the track rather than sleeping, playing Playstation and drinking Juicy Juice. Too funny, I'll use that all summer.

Today I was able to get my swim in that is now 4 in a row… I am picking up my distance through I am still struggling.

Weight… way too high, 183.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Beer, Wings and Chips... oh my!

Friday. Oh wonderful Friday. I went to bed last night dreading the run this morning. Dreading might not be the right word, it seems that with every long run, I have a bit of anxiety, not because I am worried about the distance, rather it is how I will feel. Besides, this 10 mile run is half the distance of the runs I will have coming up in the next two months. Perhaps it was the fact that I would be running solo. I used to love running solo, but recently I have come to enjoy running with my friends. As I typically do, I woke up minutes before my alarm went off.

Grabbing my gear I was out the door. As much as I thought I would be running solo, the moon was big and bright this morning. Nearly full, the moon was smiling down on me as I trekked off into the night.

The pace felt good, I expected that I would hit about an 8 minute pace, though I had hoped it would be better, especially as my target for Chicago is 7:32 for 26 miles. But Chicago is months away and right now it is all about fitness. I check my breathing, and I felt good. My legs, not too bad considering the workout I had on Wednesday. All systems go… Somewhere between the second and third mile my calf knotted up, sharp and painful. What was that? I kept running and in flared up two more time, a bit of a nuisance, and it hurt, but no stopping, I just ran through the pain and it went away.

Running solo gives you time to think, there is peacefulness running solo and your mind is able to clear out the clutter. This is especially true on a longer slower run, the faster runs, tempo and track, my mind is like a siren going off the whole time, but long runs I get some great thinking done. Today was fitness. I have been sitting on three (possibly two) legs of a four legged stool when it comes to fitness. I am getting all my runs in, my head is in the game, but my cross training has been weak lately and my nutrition has been garbage. Almost literally garbage. Wings, chips and beer the night before a long run, really? I’m smarter than this. I felt great during my marathon training for Huntsville because I was aware of my food intake, however, lately I just intake food, any food. My weight is up to 181 again and I feel it, it is like wearing a fat suit of lethargy. This week has been better as I am cross training again, but the next month I need to make a conscious effort to better my food choices, not diet, not starve myself, but just eat better.

With my mind clear, I focus back on my running. Six miles have passed and I feel pretty good, The toxins are working their way out of my body and I am going through my checklist on form, breathing, good, upper body, relaxed, good, left leg is a little sloppy, rather than a smooth transition, I am heal striking and slowing my pace, I correct my stride and the pace smooths out, it almost seems easy.

After a while I look at my watch, I’m nearly done, an ascent up Mount Westside crest that hill and it is nearly downhill for the last two miles. The hill is more labor than I anticipated, but I chalk that up to my lack of cross training and keep on pushing up.

The finishing miles are uneventful, done, 10.1 miles, 1:15:25 for a surprising 7:24/mile pace. Somewhere I must have picked up some speed while exercising out my food demons. Not a bad way to start the morning.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Getting My Groove On

Thursday. Yet another few days have passed. We are well into first week in summer. The simple joy of a water balloon fight, playing “punch buggy”, summer movies and hanging at the pool. We’ve done it all so far. I am still relishing my Age Group win at the Warrior Dash, though a good part of it may have been luck, I’ll take it.

Coming off that event, I am trying to string together a good month or workouts that will have me ready to start the marathon training in less than a month.

I started swimming again on Tuesday as a cross-training exercise, and track yesterday was great, 6 X 800 all under 3:00 minutes, 2:53, :54, :56, :57, :58, :57. Not bad. But I still think there is more left inside. I hit the pool again today but never found my grove in the water, but I kept going and finished my work.

My weight is good not great at 181’ish, I really need to be trending down this month to a more reasonable 175. I think hitting 168 for the marathon would make it possible to go sub 3:20, my goal for Chicago.

I finally have some traction with my script. Though the last time I read it I did like it as much as when I first finished writing it, but that is typical and important. I will edit and change the areas that are weak and put a little more edge to it as well. I think the dialogue needs some work as well. Happy that I having a shot for a development read.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Warriors, come out and play...


Yesterday was the Warrior Dash. I woke early and headed over to Corey’s house. I knew I was excited as I woke long before the alarm went off. Picking up Corey at 7:00 we hit the road.

Corey and I have both raced more times than we could possible count, but today was going to be different, we were not racing, but rather, heading to our first Warrior Dash. Neither of us knew what to expect, at least I did not. It can be best described as a 5K meets and obstacle course. But as we had never done that before we were treading into a new area. We had hoped that Jeff and Jay might join us and have it be a real guys event, but they had passed. Too bad.

Immediately upon arriving we knew that the days was going to be a blast. We had missed one part of the description, 5K, check, obstacle course, check, and party! Wha-hoo. The place was packed and it was still early. Typical runners Corey and I checked out the course and had a few people give us the run-down of what to expect.

Just prior to the first wave going off, we warmed up and made our way over to the start line. For the next 6 hours, runners’… better, Warriors would be launching in groups of 500 every 30 minutes. That is 6,000 people and this was the second day, it had sold out on Saturday! Corey and I figured they raked in about $1 million over the two day weekend.

It was determined that this was going to be just for fun, no pressure, no racing and do not get hurt, in less than a month we would start training for Chicago. Lining up, warmed up we fell just behind some very eager runner, with a blast of fire and cannon shot we were off, I should say Corey was off… I quickly caught up and thought, ah.. too fast. But rather than voicing my concern I fell in nicely behind him as he cut a path for the first mile.

After the first mile the fun began… the obstacles upon reaching water’s edge, we traversed 2 x 10 planks submerged in the water for 25 yards, hoping back on land briefly before jumping into waist deep water and trudging, diving, swimming for the next 50 yards. Exiting onto the beach, we rounded a corner and ahead lay waiting 40 yards of tires, rather than stepping in each tire hole, I ran the side walls… much faster. A series of three walls came next and each were quickly dispatched, EZ-PZ.

A short run was interrupted by a 15 foot wall and to be climbed by rope and foot, think Batman and Robin style. A dash to the cargo nets and another 15 foot climb, first up and then down, again not too bad. A quick sprint over some junked cars, Corey had the perfect “Starsky and Hutch” slide as I leaped up and over.

Next came the ascent, not a nice even footpath, but rather an ever narrowing path, with branches and roots and rocks and mud, each of them trying to grab your ankle and throw you to the ground, if the climb did not have your heart racing, the treacherous footing did. High knees and loose ankles were in order as you bound from footing to footing. Reaching the top most people stopped and took a breather. No time for that... ahead were 20 yards of small dark tubing and the only way through was on your hands and knees, this was fitting because at this point, you were out of breath and heading into that postion anyway.

Exiting the tubes it was a now a downhill dash, speed versus safety, legs seemed to fly wildly as you ran down the hill. Racing down a narrow muddy, root and rock covered trail. Just as you gained speed you would hit a felled tree or logs to impede your path. Calculating jumps and looking downhill for safe landing were paramount to eliminating a major face plant. Too fast came to mind on several precarious jumps while trying to maintain downhill speed.

In the near distance you could hear the roar of the crowd, further calling you to throw caution to the wind. The crowd noise came at the same time you had to make a sharp left turn over a creek with a slime covered rock that begged you to take a chance and use it as a place to land, no way.... over the rock.

Emerging from the downhill run, a quick left was followed by a quick right and a 15 foot drop down an embankment. I recall looking ahead and seeing a guy hosing down the slick muddy surface as I was running at top speed. I thought briefly, “I got a bad feeling about this” smiling to myself I picked a path and made like a goat, hop – hop – hop – splash, right into 3-4 feet of mud, soupy-gooey mud. It was in my mouth, ears, everywhere, I would find a lot of it later in the shower, I was covered. No time to worry about that, there were 400 people behind me and I did not feel like being at the bottom of a dog pile in the mud.

Wading through the mud while ducking under 4 sets of barbed-wire that were progressively lower as you went forward. The first three were easy, the last one left its mark on my back like racing stripes, I did not feel it at the time, though I did hear the crowd gasp when it happened. Good thing I was not wearing a shirt, true Warrior Style!

The next 100 feet looked easy enough, mostly a muddy surface. The reality was you were running on grease. It was slick and a mis-step would put you on your ass or your face. Clearing the mud another beach and 4 lumber-jack log sitting in waist deep in water, up-over, up-over, four times. By this time you were with the crowds as they cheered you on, a quick assault of a wood and 2 x 4 wall, it was time to sprint. The cheering fueled the fire… ahead you could see the flames. Real flames, about 3 feet high, too high to hurdle completely you cleared the burning logs (Duraflame) and went right through the fire. 25 feet later, done. Warrior.

What a blast. I had a great time, Corey and I grabbed our free beers and ate turkey legs like we were, well, Warriors.

Sitting down we later hooked up with two other great athletes who had also completed the Warrior Dash earlier. Now fueled by a few beers, and having a good time, it was casually thrown out that we should run it again… a consensus was reached and we did, though this time at friendly pace, it was much more fun as we cheered and jeered each other on.

The great part about being an athlete is the cool people you meet and great things you get to do, strangers hours before and now Warriors together. Best part of running... see great places, do great things and meet great people.

More beer, music, and fun we raced one more time as the day came to a close for us Weekend Warriors. Gathering our gear we headed our separate ways each committing to race again next year or consider an adventure race some time later this year. Perhaps the Red Speedo Dash in December or the Fig Leaf 5000 next April.

The end to a great day was briefly hampered by me losing my keys, but they were eventually found and the ride home was filled with memorable stories of the day. A big thanks to Corey for hanging with me to collect first place AG and also helping me track down my keys. I’ll not live that down for a while and to our new friends, thanks for the fun time!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Up in the air

Friday… Wow this week has flown by. Literally, as the majority of it was spent on planes and travel. The east coast to west coast trip is always a good time, but coming back it rough. As always I try very hard to keep myself on east coast time, but getting up at 2:00 AM to run really does not work, especially when so many of my work obligations take me into the late hours. Overall I put a couple small runs together and hit the weights a few times.

It was good to connect with a number of colleagues, “talk shop” and share some good stories. Hooked with up a running friend that used to run with Steve Prefontaine. Later at the same party I met two ends of the musical spectrum, Merrill Osmond (yes Donny and Marie’s brother from the Osmond Brothers) and the guitarist from the Talking Heads. Cool night.

Had my first Randy’s Donut at Randy’s Donuts while driving to LAX. It was great and warm, met the owners, they talked about Ironman 2 and how the shop was in the movie.

As fun and successful as the trip was, I hated not being home for the boys on the last day of school today. Looking forward to getting home and kicking off summer on Saturday and the Warriors Dash on Sunday!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Can you keep a secret

Saturday. Well yesterday I got up early to meet Jay for our Friday run. We had talked about this run on Thursday while having beers with our buds, Jay and I agreed to meet at 5:45. As we both knew we were running on Saturday, but did not want to let others know we had decided to run. Jay thought the conversation was just a front. So there I stood Friday morning at 5:30 waiting. Jay did not show. Funny.

This morning was different. Jay called at 6:10… where are you. On the way. With Jack in the car, we arrived at the race site. A local 5k/10K… a few hundred people. I have had a bad cold that started Monday and I am just now as I am typing this feeling better.

Connecting with Jay, I said I would likely pace him for two miles and fade back and run with Jack. This was to be Jack’s 2nd 5K. Warm up rituals done, I felt my breathing was restricted from the congestion. Standing at the starting line, I looked around there were horses on the course, a good number of strong runners. Starting near the front, there was the typical burst of speed. Jay looked like he was gliding. A very confident runner with strong legs and conditioning. As we neared the first half mile, I shared that we were going out too fast… there was no response from Jay and I did not want to affect his race, so I tried to keep myself quiet. As we neared the first mile, I could see the lead runner, a young high school runner, he was hitting the mile marker. I looked at my watch, 4:25, WOW! I said Jay we are too close to the front and need to slow down. However, we were hitting a downhill and the pace stayed as we crossed the first mile at 6:18. Too fast.

The next mile started with an uphill, though gradual, it was a consistent grade that lead to a brief flat and a sharp downhill. I took advantage of the downhill to lengthen my stride, I leaned forward and let gravity takeover while I took a bit of a breather. It was short lived but allowed me to catch a couple of runners. Next came a sharp uphill, I kept my pace and picked off another runner. I knew at this time the race was half over, though I did not want to look at my watch, that fact did give me a boost of energy that I carried to the 2 mile mark. I heard them yell out 12:45, too fast again, but this time on pace, with a little less than a 6:30 mile. I took an assessment of how I felt. Breathing. Not good, very restricted. Legs, tired… yep just as it should be, after all I’m running hard. Laughing to myself, the entertainment is interrupted. I hear bikers Chris and Brian who just happened to be out for a 50 mile bike ride. They call out Jay and my name. Go figure. SO much for a secret race! Secret blown and now two friends cheering us on, I decided that stopping was not an option besides; nothing fuels you more than being cheered on by those you know. I put my head down, grit my teeth and ran on.

Hitting Main Street Alpharetta, I knew I had a good long downhill followed by a tough uphill. Time to catch some more people. I set my sights on the next target and was able to pass several on the downhill and two on the uphill. Cresting the hill and now getting ready to press the pace, I saw one more person ahead, I thought they may be too far ahead and nearly decide to settle as they were considerably younger, yeah right. I looked at my watch it read 17:23, I figured 2-3 minutes more, go hard. I picked it up. The distance was closing but so was his lead. I broke into a hard sprint and narrowed the gap to 10-15 yards. My legs were now moving independent of my body as I sprinted past the other runner with 100 yards to go… turning the corner I saw the finish line… 19:50 is my PR. The clock read 19:43… I knew I could not break it, but I did not want it to be 19:51… :47, :48, 49….:50 crossed… Done! 19:50. Not bad.

Grabbing my card I felt that I might have perhaps won my age group… I was 7th over all so… perhaps. Dropping my card in the box, it was 2nd in the age group. The winner was 18:50 (yikes) the masters winner was 18:28 (double yikes).

Jay came in right behind me and we swept the bottom of the podium for 2nd and 3rd place. It was a good run. Congratulating Jay, I went back and watched as Jack came in strong. He finished in 27:14, that is 30 seconds faster than his last race. We thought for sure he would have some hardware but was just off the podium with a 4th place. It is a tough age group 10 - 14 for Jack who is 12, but he did really well.

Later I took the boys to see Ironman. But not before a call from Corey asking about the secret run. Good friends and a good laugh.

Friday, May 14, 2010

One small sip for man, one giant chug for mankind

Yesterday an accomplishment was achieved, a goal obtained, a place of recognition awarded. In life it is important to mark those moments in time that help define you as a person.

Perseverance, determination, conditioning, sacrifice… I have used all the words on my little journey as I travel through life. On July 15,th 2006, I stepped up and made a commitment, in writing knowing full well that it would not be won in days, weeks, months, but in years. Yes years. For anyone who reads these random thoughts you already know I tend to fixate on achieving my goals; being a good father and husband, doing an Ironman, qualifying for the Boston Marathon… all of these are worthy and a true test of those words above, though none require the span of years to achieve such singularity and a place of prominence.

Last night, at 7:35 PM, May 13, 2010, I completed the odyssey I began Saturday, July 15, 2006 at 5:47:06 PM, 1398 days, 1 hour, 48 minutes and 17 seconds later, on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:35:23 PM, an entire 3 years, 9 months, 28 days, 1 hour, 48 minutes, 17 seconds. I drank my 125th unique beer at Taco Mac and was officially recognized and honored with my Bachelors Degree in Brewniversity at Taco Mac.

The selection was perfect and fitting GD Hercules IPA. A very heavy aroma of Hops and the distinct grapefruit smell that makes your mouth water before your lips hit the mug. Served in the well earned 20 oz mug, the flavor seem enriched as I shared a toast with my fellow friends. My name will forever hang in honor as a member of the Taco Mac Brewniversity, I will hold my degree with great pride and use this knowledge gained from enjoying the variety of flavors around this great world to enlighten other beyond their simple Mich Ultra or Coor’s Light, to expand their horizons to the delight of their taste buds.

For those who have supported me, my wife, children, family and friends, I thank you. To my stomach, that distended when one more was called for and to my well muscled liver I again say thank you.

Robert C. Marinich

Monday, May 10, 2010

Slow, slow... s-l-o-w.

Woke up early, my arm seemed to move independent of my body to hit the snooze alarm… twice!! Finally my mind took over and I was out of bed and off to the gym. Today was an EZ day, 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at 6:54 and 1 cool down.

I figured this would be a piece of cake, after all I was hitting 6:23 on my last 5K. As I started running my quads we barking, immediately. What?

The first mile went by and I picked up the pace, Things were feeling good and I was working hard to keep from going too fast. I did too good a job. I ended up at 7:09 for the second mile, too slow. I hammered it a little more and ran a 6:47, for the second cum total of 13:56. Worse, it was not good, I labored. Dang. Likely there are half a dozen reasons, all I know is I was very angry with these results.

Off to the airport, and I’ll get to see my brother tonight, that is cool.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Show Time

Well, I woke up this morning and hit the streets running. Jay and I had not run together for a while and it was good to know we had a 10 mile run to catch-up. Jay has been training pretty hard so I was concerned with how I would hold up. My legs are just beat up these days though I am not doing much cross training, I am fighting fatigue. Sure enough, my left leg “quad” went down immediately. It hurt the entire run. I think Jay was in a similar state though. He had been pounding the bike and the Tuesday ride burnt is legs too. So there we were two aging athletes getting it done.

The last few days I have been getting ready for an art show, I have several new pieces that I am hanging and I am happy I signed up for the show as it has forced me to start painting again. I miss painting and enjoyed getting paint on my hands again. I hung the show yesterday and it will open tonight. A one night show, complete with music and nude body painting. This will be neat. It cost about $60 to hang the paintings, so I hope to at least break even, though honestly I do not expect to sell anything.

I have full day of work as I prepare for meetings next week. However I am really thinking ahead, after work, I am taking the boys to IronMan II. After that dinner and down to the show.

Carl 12 x 12

Moe 20 x 12

Zelda 20 x 20

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Uh... Cow!

Well the month of Aprils is over and May is already in full swing. I have been lacking in my journal writing and keeping my page up to date. Let’s face it, life is busy. There is too much to provide a long winded update, though I could do it, trust me I could do it in great detail, so rather I will hit some high-lights.

The boys are doing great, Wil’s soccer has been amazing and he is averaging about 2+ goals a game. Jack is doing well and over the past three weeks he participated in the spring AYFA football combine. He ended up taking first in 4 of the timed events and second in the fourth. As good as that is, he knocked it out of the park with his first 5k, running a 27:50, for a sub 9:00 minute 5K. Nice Job Jack. Kim continued to amaze us all by balancing everything, life, family, chores, wife, mother, friend and daughter.

I had a few highlight too, I picked up the head coaching job for AYFA, 7/8 graders, closed some good business deals, welded in my first patch panel on the Mustang, tied a PR for a 5K with a 19:50, (note: I thought my best 5K was a 19:21... wrong I looked at my bibs, yes I save the bibs from my races and write the times on the bib, the best time… 19:50, in 2005), so I tied my best ever.

Last but not least, I have an art show coming up. I did this for two reasons, one, it is nice to make some extra money, and two I have not painted in about 18 months. I needed to get back into it. Last night I painted this cow for the show. It felt good to be painting again. This is a little loose compared to my previous paintings, but I wanted it to be more spontaneous. His name is Mick and he will be at the show on Friday night. Come tot he show Friday and say hello to Mick.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Take me home country roads, er' air

Friday. I just spent the last several days in Denver Colorado. All work related, but I always try to make sure I have some fun. This time though the fun was limited. The days were filled with business meetings and doing the “grip and grin”. I felt the show was successful and it is always good when you get to spend time with your clients.

I really wanted to make certain I took any free time and put that to training. The Wednesday track workout was limited to the treadmill running mile repeats. The first mile was interesting as the treadmill said I was exceeding the speed limit, funny. I had to keep pushing the button to speed up. It did make the first mile pass quickly. Between the 1st and 2nd mile I switched treadmill. It was better and did not have a speed limit. I was doing 3 x 6:15, with a ¼ mile RI between. The second mile seemed to require some effort, but the third mile… tough. Halfway through I thought what is going on, why am I so winded.

I fought my body telling me to slow down or stop and held the pace. I was frustrated. It was not until I looked out the window and saw the Rocky Mountains and remembered, oh yeah… no O2 up here. I felt a lot better after that realization.

The next day I knew that I wanted to put some work in, I hit the stationary bike in the early morning until I had worked up a good sweat, at which point I hit the weights and did my core work. This was followed by a quick shower and shave and way too many meetings.

After the meetings ended I considered the chance of me actually making my 8-10 mile run happen on Friday with more work and a long flight home. I realized the chances were slim. Waiting for a Tornado (yeah a tornado) warning to pass, I grabbed my shoes and headed outside to trial. I was filled with exuberance, I like running in new places and Denver has great trails that run along creeks and rivers. There was a head to one of the trails near my hotel, lucky.

I knew this time my location so I told myself to keep the pace in check. Nope. It did not happen. I went out too fast. Within a mile I was dealing with leg pain, and it felt like I was breathing through a straw!

I kept running and cut the distance to 5-6 miles. Not exactly the workout I was looking for, but I did get a run in and I was working hard. All things considered, I’ll take it and move to the next week.

Heading home today… really looking forward to seeing Kim and the boys.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life good... Menchies EVIL

I find myself on a plane yet again. The price of doing business, I do not mind the travel, I do mind being away from the family. I knew today would be a long day, starting at 5:00 AM in Atlanta, and ending late in Denver. That did not keep me from wanting to have a good run, especially after an inspiring run by my good friend Corey in Boston, a smoking 3:11:29 is impressive, even better he dropped 6 minutes off last year’s time. With thoughts of next year’s race in mind, it was easy to get out of bed and put on the running shoes.

I would be running alone this morning, thus I would not have the benefit of Jay’s Garmin. With the energy from hearing about Corey’s race, I knew I would have to temper my enthusiasm during the run. I planned on five miles at tempo with the first mile being just under 8. Sure enough I hit it just under 8 minutes, not bad, not fully warmed up I had a hill in front of me that would take care of that. I found myself breathing hard and more than warmed up at the top of the hill, my pace quickened and I averaged at about 7:30, basically I went too fast on the second mile. Mile three was mostly downhill, Mile 4 rollers and mile five trended downhill the last mile was run at 6:40, clearly too fast. My average was 7:17 for 5.38 miles. I was up and down on speed, but was happy that I was outside running and enjoying a great morning. I thought about the fact that Corey ran this for 26.2 miles… Nuff said. Humbling.

I will miss Wil’s soccer practice tonight, as well as a game of basketball with Jack. I have not spent much time on my journal in the last 30 days, but I have spent a considerable amount of time with Kim and the boys, I'll take that trade off. Though wish I had posted Wil’s game on Saturday, 4 goals! He is a very good soccer player, he knows where to be and understands passing and finding the goal. Fun Stuff.

This past Sunday I dragged Jack to the AYFA Combine, I only did it as I knew he would enjoy the experience, I was right. He was very excited to tell me how he was the top athlete in his group for the speed and agility drills, and top three in the 40 yard dash. He thanked me for working with him on speed and weight training. Good kid.

The family discovered a ice cream place call Menchies… we have already been twice, this could be trouble for my weight.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my Mom’s birthday, she would have been 84 years old. She is deeply missed. A great Mom, she had a wonderful sense of humor. She and my father were great parents and I am one of the lucky one’s to have grown up in such a caring family. By the time I came around, my parents were well into their forties, I do not remember my dad being young, he was always older, though vibrant and active.

I know that as a father, and as parents, Kim and I started later in life, that has driven me to stay active, to play with the boys and much as possible and to keep myself healthy and in good shape.

This morning when I woke I almost forgot it was track day, I did the unthinkable and hit my snooze alarm, when suddenly it hit me, track! I bolted out of bed and made my way to the gym. Part of staying in shape is my time spent at the track. Today was 6 x 800 @ 3:07… at times it felt too easy at others, it felt difficult. I was right on pace today, 3:07, 3:07 and 3:06. Jay hit, 3:01, 3:03 and 3:04. Not bad, but really I want to do better. I want to this drop down to the sub 3:00 mark before I start training for Chicago and later Boston.

A full day of work will keep me busy, but the reward is softball tonight. I hope to do better than last week, I was in a funk, I’ll also remember my “cup” this time, the line drive I caught in my “personality” was rather painful.

Before the night ends, I’ll toast my Mom’s memory with my brother over a shot of Southern Comfort, her drink. I remember the warm wonderful moments and say thank you for all she gave.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A difficult month

The month of March has nearly passed, this month brought tragedy and left us with heavy hearts and a mind full of questions and “what if’s?” We walk through life so casually, barely stopping to notice how precious and how fragile a gift we are given. However the suddenness when our moment is over is as cold and hard as a slap in the face, it shakes you to the core and forces you to take notice and account.

As you grapple to bring understanding many things are put into perspective, the so urgent items that must be done are no longer that pressing, the great frustrations become only an inconvenience, and worrisome not an issue. Opposite of that smaller gestures increase in magnitude, hugging your child, telling your wife you love her, the pleasure of a good rain, or just being with those you love, are insatiable.

You reflect on the good parts of a person’s life, and you help those who grew with that person, raised them and guided them, as they struggle with the reality of a terrible loss and the tremendous void in their life and their hearts. The voice that they will never heard again becomes an echo, the person they will never see again, fades away only captured by photographs, flash points in their lives. You share memories and you know that the memories that are so painful and sharp right now in their abrupt absence will bring warmth as time passes.

Life is a gift, it can end quickly and without warning, live every moment and love your friends and family.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Health Network, Social Network... Just Network

Tuesday. Day 57.

Frustration. I cancel the early morning swim so I can make a breakfast meeting. As I walk outside the rain I had listened to during the night has turned to snow. There is a mix of rain and the biggest snowflakes I have ever seen. Cool, odd and a bit eerie, but cool. Arriving downtown, my breakfast meeting is late. An email lets me know how late… he is in NY! Rats! I could have put my swim in, a swim I really need. Oh well. I take the time to get some extra work done.

The show I am attending is huge. It perhaps the largest healthcare show, the booths and time spent preparing for this show for many companies is easily in the millions. I stop and wonder, if this much time and energy was put into interoperability and transparency in healthcare cost, the administration of healthcare in the country would be a lot better. The fact is our healthcare is second to none, but a third party system of payment has created a payment and reimbursement mess that distracts healthcare providers from their true mission. The clinical mission.

It is getting better, technology and a push toward greater patient responsibility, re-introduce consumerism to the healthcare market will help. We have already seen as banks become increasingly more important as the insurance companies look for ways to reduce their liability to our well being.

At the end of the day, the insurance company's best customer is the one that pays their entire lifetime and drops dead immediately with no prolonged complication or artificial support to exist, essentially we are better off dead to them, at least by the ledger.

No time for deep thought today, heading out of the show I am searching for a place to connect… inside the building for too many hours I am ready for some fresh air… it is cold air, but it feels good. I head to a coffee house that is on my new favorite part of Atlanta, the West Side!

Entering the coffee house 9 of 10 people are on their laptops. Social networking. I have to laugh, uh, turn to the guy next to you and say hello. I am not a coffee guy, but the hot chocolate is yummy with a cool whipped cream design on top. I find a couch and am lucky that Monica, Ross, Phoebe, Rachel, Chandler and Joey have just left, plenty of room for me.

I hit the emails and settle in for a few good hours of work. I’ll sit here a while longer than it is off to yet another evening of meetings and entertainment.

Shhhh... I'm rabbit huntting

Monday. Day 56.

I sleep in, a bit of recovery from a late business meeting. I know there are more in my near future. I am scheduled with business meeting for the next three nights. I know that my run today will be important and provide me a good feeling of overall fitness.

Meeting Jay at the gym, we select our treadmills. Corey is also there as he is hitting the weights and getting his “pins” back under him from the 20 miles run he had on Sunday. The first mile is EZ as we warm up for a 3 mile 7:03 pace. Hitting the first mile at 7:03 takes some adjustment. I am really not as warmed up as I would like, but by the time I hit the back half of the first mile, I am feeling fine. Lungs working, legs working… my breathing normal and controlled. I consider briefly speeding it up, but know that is not the best idea, not yet at least. I enjoy the run, even though it is a TM. My ipod is keeping me company with a random selection of tunes that each seem to put me in a better mood. All too soon the run is over. Put it in the books, done.

At home I put on my “shiny” clothes and head for another afternoon of business calls and an evening dinner meeting. It goes long into the night. We hit a new restaurant, I am a bit concerned when I see rabbit on the menu, I typically do not eat anything I can hunt in my back yard. The meal is good, I pass on the rabbit but thoroughly enjoy a wide pasta noodle and turkey leg meat in a wine and Cajun sauce. I end the evening with a chocolate cake and at my suggestion have them top it with a ginger ice cream. Yummy. The Chef compliments me on the idea of pairing the ice cream with cake… uh really. Guess he has never been to a birthday party.

I had expected to swim in the morning, though an email dictates otherwise. I now have a breakfast meeting, downtown. Work calls… conditioning will wait another day.

Comb your hair, stand up straight

Sunday. Day 55. As much as I would like to work on the Mustang today, I need a kid fix. When I started my restoration project, I made commitment to work on the ‘Stang every day even if I did no more than clean a bolt. So… I clean a bolt, and twist a few more. Objective met, it is kid time. We play, inside, outside… even just hanging around. The time is well spent and it is my hope that these investments in time pay dividends to their future well being. It is my hope to never look back ans say, I wish I spent more time with the boys. I do it as much as possible.

Plays turns to work as evening draws near. Once again, I dress up again speed off toward downtown for a meeting. Arriving at my destination early I catch the last of the USA versus Canada Hockey Game for the Gold Medal. Very cool with the US tying the game with 24 seconds to go, only to lose in overtime, but what a game. The crowd goes crazy when the US ties and the bar passes around shots of vodka on the house to celebrate the US silver. Cool.

As my work colleagues gather the conversation is a mix of business and pleasure, though underpinnings for a business transaction is laid out. The meeting is good and new business opportunities are built. Success. Run in the AM is pushed to the mid-day. Good thing, the night runs long.

Why You Fifthly *astard

Saturday. Day 54.

Fifthly. I am just filthy. I spent the morning scraping the “gunk” off the Mustang. After too many hours working on an area of the car that likely no one will ever see, I am done, not with that part of the project, I just need a break.

I go inside and spend a few minutes playing with the boys. The afternoon runs by quickly and soon I have to head to the charity event. I shower, scrub myself down and dress myself up. If you put me next to myself an hour before I would not look like the same guy.

The event is well attended, clearly over 200 people and it is in a hip, trendy section of Atlanta, what I would call the “New West Side” I like the vibe.

The evening moves along as I do the "grip and grin" smiling and talking art. I stay for 2 hours, but they still had not started the live auction and I am tired. I head home and wish the event coordinator the best success for the evening and the charity. I later learn that they raised $45,000. A success and more than last year.

At home the there is a party next door. I head over, share a beer and a few conversations. The night ends quickly and the pillow feels really good.

Friday, February 26, 2010

water equals conditioning

Friday. Day 53. The alarm yanks me right out of the middle of a dream. I am startled and it takes me while to figure out what is going on. There is a big difference between waking up at 5:00 versus waking up at 4:40. No wonder I am startled when the alarm rings.

Grabbing my gear I am dreading the run. I like this run, but I know that my conditioning is slipping. The time I have taken away from the pool during the month of February is taking a toll and it is this run where it really shows up.

At the gym, I layer up, the temperature is a very brisk 25 degrees, but he wind is dropping it down to 18. It just feels cold. The run is not long, an easy 8 at a 7:33 pace. Starting, the first mile is not too bad, I am having difficulty with my breathing, but mostly due to the cold air, it is preventing me from taking in a deep breath of air. The next mile is a gradual uphill climb, the legs and lungs are warming up but he extra effort is evident. Mile 2-3 is just ridiculous. It is up and down, with a big uphill net gain and rather than pace this part of the run, we were hitting it. Well jay was hitting it, I was hanging on thinking this one is tough. My other thought was an immediate understanding of just how much conditioning that swimming twice a week was providing. At the end of January, I was killing this course and this run was far easier. A month ago I ran our 8 mile LT run at a 7:16 pace. Today we ran the 8 miles in 7:22, but it felt much, much harder.

March is coming next week and I will be back in the pool.

Okay let's try that again

Thursday. Day 52. Work calls. I make it to the gym at lunch and for the second straight day in a row, I have to cut the workout short, yesterday I did not make it out of the locker room before I needed to head back for an unexpected meeting. Today I made it through two stations of weights and had to head back to the take care of work issues. No work out again. This is not going to help.

The day ends well as the boys and I watch the Olympics on the couch. Tomorrow will be a tough workout.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wil's Spirit

Wednesday. Day 51. Track day. I feel sluggish. I woke up several times during the night, I also know that I am feeling heavy, I ate far too much yesterday. Arriving at the gym, I sit waiting for the gang. My usual exuberance for track is not with me today. Today I will just get it done.

Typically, I am wanting to push the speed, not today, I just do not feel right. Perhaps the lack of sleep, perhaps my bad eating habit yesterday, the cause is unknown. The workout is 6 x 800 at 3:07. A ridiculously easy pace, that would usually leave me wanting to go faster. Not today. My problem might be the reduced condition from not swimming. Who am I kidding; I know that is the cause. I need to get back to the pool.

As we were running back from the track this morning I thought I would share an interesting little story. We Marinich’s as a family we have been watching the Olympics every night. It has been great as we talk about the athletes, the competition and all the positive things that go along with athletic competition. At dinner, Wil asked, “Dad, why are we watching the Olympics.” I told him it is our opportunity to see the power of the “human spirit”. He paused, thought about that for while then said, “Wow, I like that.” “Let’s keep watching.” Pretty cool.

As we sat at the gym stretching post run, I realized I see the human spirit around me every day; my friends, the other athletes, as each of us take time to improve ourselves, physically and mentally. This morning was a small example, each of us this morning could have easily said, no, not today, Corey’s banged up toe, Jay and I suffering from lack of a good night sleep, or Susan’s desire to not run in the cold. We all had a choice, but really in the end there was no choice, we were all going to do our workout, it is ingrained in our spirits, our desire to be better, not just better athletes, but people.

The frustration from the run slips away as I consider these ideas. I did the workout, It was actually faster than prescribed. Though I was not ripping it up today, I won the day. My “spirit” persevered, and though it did not land me on the medal stand, I will walk with a greater pride having won a small victory.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Spotlight

Tuesday. Day 50. No workout today, however… Spotlight Artist of the week, “nuff said.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cramps, a Busted Toe and no Water...

Monday. Day 49. I stayed up too late watching Canada versus USA in hockey. I watch about one hockey game every 4 years. I must admit, this one was a good one to watch. Waking up I am beat, I turn on the Blackberry hoping that Jay might want to push the workout time to later… a long shot, but I am really tired. Checking my messages… yep. Jay is not feeling well, done in again by a turkey burger, I told him not to eat those things, but this time it worked in my favor, sorry Jay. I rolled over and gabbed some much needed Zzzz’s.

I grind out the morning at work and hit the gym at lunch. Unexpectedly, I run into Corey who in the locker, he is looking a bit rough. I ask him if he ran on Sunday. One word answer, “nope”. Something is up. Down might be the better a description. Corey goes on to tell me while at Lowes, he had a board of MDF land square on his big toe, the “captain of the toes”.

Looking at the toe, he will lose that nail. With all the work he is doing to prepare for Boston, I hope it falls off soon. It would be better if it does. The only other option would have been to drill the toenail, but he would have had to do it yesterday when it happened. I’ve done it myself, it hurts, and sounds really gory, but it works.

Jay is feeling better and we need to knock out a tough workout. 1 EZ, 1 (7:03), 1 EZ, 2 fast, 1 EZ, 1 fast, 1 EZ. A tough workout indeed. Jay guts through the cramps and pains, hard to do, but he did it. Corey even with the wrecked big toe grinds out his workout, clearly internalizing the pain.

I forgot my water bottle, however with Jay running through cramps and Corey running with a broken toe, I did not want to complain. Sure enough, Corey bails me out with his water bottle. Thanks bud, I was getting pretty dry.

Weight, well I have been reluctant to step on the scale. However I drum up the courage and am rewarded with a pleasant surprise 178. Yeah.

Getting better

Sunday. Day 48. Breakfast, groceries, errands… Check, check and check. Back at Home, Kim knows I am on a quest to get the car done for late spring. She tells me to go play. The results…

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Let the sunshine in

Saturday. Day 47. Even as a grown man, I wake up every Saturday like I am a little kid, with thoughts of Spanky from the Little Rascals singing, “Oh it’s Saturday, it's Saturday”. Nothing but fun for me today.

Hopping out of bed, I head down the stairs and start making breakfast for the family. Family fueled for the morning, I head to the garage, the Mustang is waiting.

It is my goal to have the floors done this weekend. I have been spending the last few weeks cutting, grinding and welding, replacing the cancerous rusted metal with nice clean new steel.

My goal is to restore the Mustang to a nice “driver” condition, nice enough to turn heads, but not so nice that if I want to take it for ice cream, I don’t worry about the boys dropping it on the floor.

Here is what the floors looked like what I started.

This is progress... Looking forward to cruising in sunshine this spring.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Well he only ran 40 miles

Friday. Day 46. 4:40 AM up early, I am feeling the effects of a few beers and staying up too late, but worked called I also like this client, I consider her a friend and really enjoy her company, a great spirit.

This morning I am inspired, earlier this morning, a gym friend started a personal journey, a person challenge consisting of a forty mile run. Before joining him for his last 4 miles, Jay and Corey and I had a 10 mile run at 7:30. Corey was doing more than that, he too started the day early and was hooking up with us after he warmed up with an 8.2 mile run.

Together Jay, Corey and I started at 5:15 AM. The pace was consistent, ranging from 7:28 – 7:30. Corey hung towards the back, he was simply in cruise control mode. He knew what he need to do and was locked in for the workout. Jay seemed to hold back the first five miles but clearly had the back half in mind. I struggled. My left quad went down early, and was hurting by the third mile. I knew it was going to be a tough run for me today. Ah yes, another character building run. Just finishing the fifth mile Jay turned it on and I played catch up for the next 5 miles. The weaker I got, the stronger he became. I was holding on for the last mile, the run was finished, the time was met, but the difference was Jay ran strong from start to finish, I ran well from 1-5 and was on the edge for the last 5 miles.

The lack of swimming in the past few weeks has taken its toll and my conditioning has slipped as my weight has increased.

Arriving back at the gym, there is a group of runners waiting for our friend to arrive as he finishes his 36th mile! We see him enter the parking lot escorted by a group that joined him at mile 22 and more again at mile 30. High fives all around, and cheers of support, a few chants of 4 more, 4 more, and the group of now nearly 20 runners take off as he finishes his 40 mile personal challenge.

Way cool. I had planned on running the last four but looking at the clock and the large pack of runners, knew it was time for me to go… he had the support of many and one more would not be noticed.

I thought about the human spirit and the positive energy that he brought to so many with the courage of his personal 40 mile challenge, all I can say is wow!

One more for the road...

Thursday. Day 45. Life is about finding a balance… I lost my balance today, work started early and ended late. Meeting a client over cocktails until late in the night, this will make getting up at 4:40 much more difficult.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Go ahead... make me mad, see what happens

Wednesday. Day 44. Track day. Nothing puts me in the right frame of mind like starting the day at the track. Better, it is cold and windy. The weather is mean, too bad… I’m in a bad mood and that just make me more angry, meaner. The warm up to the track is faster than normal, I am anxious to get it started.

At the track the wind is picking up, it will hit us right in the face while we run. With a lap to clear the track I can feel the wind pushing as I round the first curve, literally trying to push me off the track. Too bad, I’m here and I am not leaving.

I suck in the cold air, pulling it deep into my lungs. I am ready. 10 x 400 @ 1:31, I am the aggressor, my first 200 I am fast, 41 seconds. I want to keep the pace, but know there is more to come. The wind is strong but it really does not both me, I find myself wanting to yell as the winds howls down the track. The harder it blows the faster I want to run. I am tired of the pulling back the reigns. The times are not consistent, and range from 1:24 – 1:30. I want to let the horses go… a few more weeks of restraint and that is going to change.

At the gym during lunch, I can feel my body getting stronger, a couple more weeks and I will start pulling off the weight.

February 16, 2010

Tuesday. Lost... just lost. Today the bear won. Tomorrow I fight, bring it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lost Identity

My computer lost it's identity yesterday. Last night I did something unusual, I completely shut down my computer. Little did I know that this little box that helps me make my living would get lost, not physically, but it forgot who it was. When I went to log on in the morning, I gave my Microsoft three finger salute, typed in my user ID and password... nothing. Huh? Thinking I mis-typed, I repeated the process. Same result. I felt like Rocky in the first movie, looking in his hat to make sure he had remembered the locker combination. I remove my cheat sheet of passwords and sure enough... same results. After 40 minutes with support trying every backdoor combination to allow me entry, it was decided... nothing could be done.

When I asked our tech guy what happened he shared that, "my computer forgot who it was". He said the only thing I could do was to send it back to Dallas, that plugging it back into the main network, rather than VPN, would ground the system and help it remember who it was.

I thought about that, for a moment and have to admit, I too am feeling a bit like my computer every once in a while. I forget who I am, what I am doing and why I am doing it. I expect that all of us have desires of not being just ordinary, but extraordinary. Each night during the Olympics I see the extraordinary, those who's dedication and drive propel them to the elite in their sport. But it exist beyond sport, we see it in business, entertainment, government, those who are truly extraordinary. There are days I can find that drive inside myself, but lately I feel ordinary. There are those that say ordinary is good, I'm not sure that I would agree, at least not for myself.

During my workout I struggle, it was not too hard, 1 mile EZ, 3 miles at 7:03 (I did 6:58, due to the treadmill) and 1 mile EZ, but my mind kept thinking about being extraordinary. Done, I was more frustrated than when I started my run.

I was now in a foul mood. Is this it. Is this me, not what I pictured, who am I really. With my computer losing it's way, it seemed to be a mirror held up to my face. I too have lost my way.

Back home I see the boys and we hang out, playing a few games and running a few errands. my bad mood starts to dispel and I begin to remember, who I am, I begin to understand that though I may not have reached Olympian levels, I am extraordinary to those that matter most to me, my family.

My mood brightens, though I do have lingering thoughts about the unfinished dreams. I have not lost my identity, but I believe there is more I am capable of being.