Friday, January 29, 2010

Weclome to Hell

Friday. Day 25.

Yesterday is gone, there is nothing I can do about the abysmal workout from the day before.

Today, meeting Jay and Corey at LTF, it was time. A tempo run on the treadmill. I am not much for being a mouse on the wheel, but, it teaches leg turn-over, pace and forces the body to respond, the alternative is to fly off the back end of the treadmill that would not be good.

This morning was not going to be easy, another 9 mile run to bookend the 9 mile run that started the week. Monday’s 9 miles were run at a 7:17 pace, today would be different, but equally or more difficult. The run was 1 mile EZ, 2 miles @ 7:03, 1 EZ, 1 @ 7:30, 1 EZ, 2 @ 7:30, 1 EZ. When you first look at it, not so difficult, wrong!, The first mile was slow, but hard as my body was not quick to respond. The temperature at the gym was also high and the sweat started pouring in the first quarter mile. The next two miles the speed increased and work was being done. Clearly this is going to be tough run. At the end of the 2nd fast mile, I was ready for 1 at an EZ pace. My breathing recovered nicely, though my legs were feeling sluggish from a hard training week. The next fast miles was not too bad. Based on the speed, it went really quick and was very manageable. The next mile EZ the breathing again returned to normal, but the legs were having trouble keeping up. I knew the next 2 fast would be a test, mentally and physically. I was not let down. My heart rate soared, my breathing quickened and my legs burned. Welcome to Hell. I typically try not to think about a “count down” until I am almost done with a run. With these last two miles, I started counting the tenths of a mile from the first foot strike…20/10 to go…

My mind was fighting the fatigue of my body and over-riding any protest by my legs, lungs to slow down. Sorry were going to finish this and be stronger for doing so. I dug deep and with each passing 10th of a mile I was getting closer to my way out of this personal Hell. I steeled my resolve and continued on and eventually the miles passed. During the last 1 mile EZ, I checked my heart rate, 176! I would not be surprised if I was in the mid 190’s during parts of this run. I would say there were a few moments that my breathing was controlled and my pace controlled, but there were an equal number of times I was on the ragged edge.

Finishing, Jay said it best, “that was a hard run, but it will pay-off somewhere down the road” I agree!

I enjoyed running next to Jay, sharing the agony, and Corey who ran so smooth and relaxed, it was inspirational. Corey I appreciate the extra water, I went to the well often and it was dry when I was done. Thanks!

Weight 179 – Better!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today I Was a Rock

Thursday. Day 24.

Some days you just rock… That was not today. Today I was a the rock. I woke feeling out of sorts. Tired, drained, not sure if it was fatigue or lethargy. Either way, I briefly considered not going to swim and taking the few extra hours to rest my body and perhaps my mind. The little voice in side me said “No… get up” so I was up. Everything took a little longer this morning and I was fighting my common sense that said… you need rest.

I knew I had to get home early to get the boys off, my goal was just get in as much of the workout as possible. Standing on the pool deck I was in the water. It was warmer than usual and I expected as the first few hundred meters went by that I would “snap-out of it” and my body would start responding. Nope. It was not working. My workout up until today had been good, great in fact, but this day was a struggle. I knew that my judgment this morning was like clouded by my pride. I needed rest and my body was telling right now loud and clear.

Frustrated. I finished one more set and hopped out of the pool. Nothing good was going to be accomplished in the pool this morning. I need to cut my losses and get some rest.

Tonight I will go to bed earlier and tomorrows run will be filled with anger. It is a tough run tomorrow and I am going to be ready to give it hell.

Weight 181 (Grrrr)

Ready... Wrestle

Wednesday. Day 24. Track for me is a day of cleansing. I put all my frustration, all my angst, self-doubt and any other garbage that is festering inside my mind or body and I run it the hell out of me. Track days are singularly focused. It is perhaps not as pure as a long run, but I find it jumps starts me and puts me in good spirits the rest of the day.

Meeting Jay and Corey at LTF we were off. Corey was running 3 x 1600 @ a 5:50 clip. Jay and I had a ladder workout, it looked like this:

1 x 200 @ 0:44
200 RI
1 x 400 @1:31
400 RI
1 x 600 @ 2:19
400 RI
1 x 800 @ 3:07
400 RI and

This was repeated going back down for a total of about 3.75 miles. We were fast on all of the intervals, but not overly so, except the first one that I ran in 40 seconds, (sorry Jay) but the rest were within 5-6 seconds. A couple were, hard and a couple were easy.

The remainder of the day was uneventful, though filled with a day of work, meetings, calls and deadlines. After dinner the boys and I went to a wrestling meet. It was great and the wrestling was pretty good too. It brought back a lot of memories. I had great success wrestling though really never appreciated it until well after my wrestling career in college was over. The boys liked watching, but clearly the Marinich wrestling linage will end with me as they had no interest. Wrestling is a sport that you must love, or forget, it is not a casual sport.

The night ends quietly, as it should

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Motor Boat, Motor Boat

Day 23.

I did not move the whole night. I woke in the exact same position that I went to sleep in last night. I do not remember making in through the first sentence of my prayers. I briefly wonder if the roast beef dinner has some type of sleeping powers.

I feel rested considering it is 5:00. At the end of my street, I see Melissa’s car I decided not to cut her off and I follow her in to LTF.

The work out is strong, lots of warm up, and a main set that is focused on endurance with speed pick ups. The work out is 5 x 100, EZ followed by 100 Fast, 4 x 100 EZ, followed by 100 fast, you get the idea. Shane, in our lane (nice rhyme) does the majority of the work this morning. I take one turn at the 100 fast. It kicks my butt and I barley make our time. I felt like a windmill and all I could think of the whole time as “Motor Boat Motor Boat” but I could not remember the rest of the song we chanted in the pool as kids. I still can not remember the rest of the song.

Overall, I felt weak in the pool today, likely due to the big run on Monday. Hope to have better success on Thursday.

Work, lots to do. Several errands to run and I hope to finish the floor board on the Mustang this evening. Tomorrow is track and all will be right with the world again.

Weight 180.

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Day 22. As the Giants are not in the playoffs, I had essentially adopted the Vikings. The game was way too close, the Vikings were outplaying the Saints, but would blow great gains with dumb turnovers. The turnovers would eventually cost them the game. I woke feeling as if I had a hangover. Thinking if I could only turn back time, I could whisper in their ear, take care of the football and you’ll win the game. Oh well. Tough to watch.

With the night lasting longer than expected and the weather forecasted to be miserable for the early morning, I decided before I went to bed that I would sleep in and run at lunch. The bad part about running at lunch is it gives you all morning to think about it. This was not easy run, but a tough solo 9 mile run. I had a lot to think about.

At the gym I met Corey, we both had our work to do. Pulling out my iPod, it had accidentally turned on in my gym bag and was now out of power. No music. Just me… okay, I know how to do this. Stepping outside I was off.

After the run, I had an email from Corey asking , “How was it?” This is what I shared with Corey in an email.

BRUTAL. I felt good starting out, I really had a controlled pace. Running down Marta, I could feel the wind pushing me, sometimes when the wind is at our back, you do not know it until you turn around, today, I could feel the push, so I just rolled down the road. At the first mile I was 6:52, a good 41 seconds fast. Uh oh. No worries, besides, I had the wind to my back easily explaining the faster time. However, as soon as I passed the first mile I was stood up by a gust of wind that did not let up for the next 3 miles. It was like being smacked in the face with a shovel. I felt like I was running with a bungee cord attached to my back. By the time I was at the turn at Hwy 9 my legs were cooked, not only that my back hurt! WTF??? I thought why, why does the small of my back hurt, that has never hurt, never. It hit me, I realized, I was leaning into the wind for the last mile and half.

I finally found shelter from the wind and surprisingly, my time was right on, I had held the 7:30 pace for the last 3.5 miles. The only problem, I was parched, my mouth was full of cotton, I could not spit and I was cold from the whipping wind. With a 30 second cushion, I stepped into the Corner Deli and grabbed a fountain drink, slammed it in and kept running. I used my cushion and a little bit more.

At mile 5, I was now 10 seconds behind. Okay, that was the stop. Keep pace. The next mile I ran even telling myself to not make it up in one mile. At mile 6, I was only 7 seconds behind, so I ran a 7:30 and had picked up 3 seconds. Good for me, smart running. Feeling good I knew I had only 3 miles to go, I felt my stride lengthen as spirits brightened. I locked in my pace and was lucky to catch all the lights at every intersection.

Closing on the 7th mile I looked at my projected time… 52:51, I hit my landmark, looked at my watch it read 51:41, huh.. that can not be right, I just ran a 6:30… no, must have the wrong landmark.

I know without a doubt that the church on Academy is mile 8. Somehow I must have screwed up, I did not increase my pace, no way, not that much. I keep myself even and for the last couple of miles I actually feel good. With the church approaching I look at my target time, 1:00:24. As I run by the church I glance at my watch, the reality… 58:35, really? Really? I am nearly two full minutes ahead.

The last mile I cruise in though the last ¼ mile is difficult. Finish time… 1:07:57… my time 1:05:55.

Actually it was better than that as I over ran my end point, but considering the start of the run, I’ll take it. Overall pace, 7:17 per mile. Way too fast.

The wind really screwed me up, my pace erratic plus I was freezing for the first 4.5 and too hot for the last 4.5.

Overall… I knew it would be tough. I have not built such character since the single digit ice run prior to Huntsville. Glad it is done.

A tough run like that make the rest of the day go easy, work is easier, homework is easier, everything was easier.

At night I made a great roast beef dinner, with mashed potato, gravy, carrots, it was yummy. Not as good as my mom would make, Kim reminded me, but pretty darn close.

I had hoped to work on the Mustang, but Jack wanted to check on a new phone, so off we went. Jack is hitting that age where he is transitioning from boy to young man. Wow.

Back at home, the evening is slipping away fast. Wil is heading to bed. I look at the guitar, no time to practice, rather I run upstairs and read him “Ten Apples Up On Top” a classic.

With Wil off to sleep, Jack and I watch Myth Busters until we are both chased to bed by Kim. Sleep comes quickly.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Who Will Win?

Sunday. Day 21. Championship Sunday. Colts versus Jets is the first game and Vikings versus the Saints in the evening game. I really do not have a “horse in the race” but I hope for good games.

Breakfast is early, a great 3 egg omelet and roasted home fries. We all enjoy our Sunday routine.
The morning and early afternoon is spent working on the Mustang. I have half the floor in but will not have it completed today. I did manage to take an hour and help Jack finish his “prop” for acting class. He needed to make a pair of pants. He did a nice job.

The afternoon and evening will be spent sucking up the last few hours of football. Soon enough the season will be over. Not to much beer though... I have a 9 mile run in the morning.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 20. Saturday… I love Saturday. No where to go and nothing we have to do. I spend the morning working on the Mustang. Man that project is taking longer than expected. I thought welding the floors in would be a snap, maybe take the weekend of perhaps a week. The reality is that is going to take me over a month! I have to admit this process is forcing me to practice my patience. I managed to burn myself with the welder from “popping” slag. It burned through my sneaker right on my foot, ouch!

Later in the evening I pick up a couple of Jack’s friends and we go to see The Blind Side. Wow what a movie. It made me wonder, in the same situation, would I have taken in a stranger. Would I have held out my hand to help another. I like to think that I would, but that said, how many time have I missed an opportunity to make someone's life better.

At home late, we are all tired. I fall asleep on the couch watching the Jackson Barrett Auto Auction.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Come on

Day 19.

Wide awake. It is 3:01 and I am absolutely wide awake. So much for going to bed early last night. I guess my body only wanted 6 hours of sleep. I laid there, but no success. Finally, 4:00 AM hits and I decide my opportunity was missed. Time to run. It is early and colder than I expected.

At the gym, I meet Jay, watches set we are off. The first few miles are tough, very tough. My breathing is erratic, my stride is uneven. My left leg breaks down like it did when I was training for the marathon. Though this should be an easy pace, I am struggling. I push forward. I keep telling myself that it will get better and it does, but not until mile 5.

The last three miles are uneventful, likely because it is mostly downhill. The goal was 7:33 per mile, and ended with 7:29.

Weight 180. Come on.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Blew a Gasket

Thursday. Day 18.

Swim day. I take comfort knowing on Thursday the swim is not as long, though it is typically more violent. I do not mind that as much, I typically excel when required to go all out for a short distance. Like a bottle rocket, I shoot off accelerating, explode all my fuel and than have nothing left.

I arrive at the pool deck a little late, but jump right in and put the warm up behind me. As expected the main set is a series of short, though intense swims, 9 x 200 with the last 50 held as a race between the 1 & 2 swimmer in the line, and rotate. We all push. The first 150 are controlled pace, but the last 50 is an all out gut buster. I felt like I blew a gasket. When it was my turn to lead my arms were barely moving, though I was able to dig deep for the final 50, and so it went until we had all gone twice. This was followed by 8 x 100. I was able to put in half the number, but had to hop out of the pool to put Wil on the bus for school.

The day will be busy with meetings from the moment I put my butt in my seat and will not likely stop until Kim flickers the lights for dinner.

I hope to have more progress on the Mustang this evening. Really want the area cleaned up and ready for the floor pan this weekend. I will work on measuring and cutting tomorrow. It is my expectation/hope that the next one will be easier.

Weigh 180 even. Rats.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 17. I actually hit the snooze alarm with the idea that I would get 5 more minutes sleep. Not a bad thing and I am not meeting anyone today for my run. Solo. As much as I thought 5 more minutes would help, likely I would have been better to just get up the first time.

Arriving at the gym, I pick a different treadmill than I usually run on, I thought I would change up the scenery. iPod on, I am ready to go. The first mile is clumsy as I am trying to get my pace and breathing. Just about the time I have it evened out, it is time to pick up the pace.

Today is 1 @ 8:34, 4 @ 7:18 and 1 @ 8:34. I increase my speed, the TM only has 7:19 or 7:13. I decide to do the first 3 at 7:19 and the last at 7:13 to even the pace to a planned 7:18.

As in the first mile, it takes me a bit of time to adjust. By the second mile I am finding my groove. Once I have passed halfway mark, my mind is thinking the worst is over and at that point, the run almost seams effortless. My cadence is good, my breathing controlled and the miles are ticking by quickly. During the third mile I think it is time for me to change my music rotation on the ipod. The last mile I increase the speed to 7:13 and I feel great, I feel like I am flying, and I am still in control of my stride and breathing.

Finishing, I hit the cool down and decrease to an 8:34. It feels clumsy and my legs seem to fall with a heavy thud. Speed is so much more fun!

With the workout over, I spend a bit more time than usual stretching, eventually finishing with my core.

At home the day is filled with meeting, meeting and more meetings. By the time evening rolls around I am whipped. We have a nice dinner with the family and sit around the table telling joke and sharing highlights of the day. Both the boys are obsessed with getting a "six-pack" The other night Jack and will each did 60 sit-ups and 100 push-ups. Wil said I have a "seven-pack".

As the kids shower, I spend an hour working on the Mustang. Progress is going slow. Removing the floor pan is taking more time than expected, but me practicing patience will help, the last thing I need to do is rush this part.

Tomorrow I hope to have the area cleaned up and start measuring to drop in the new floor pan. This will give me time to weld in the new piece this weekend. That is the plan.

Weight 179. Better

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hey, can you light the grill

Tuesday. Day 16.

Rolling over is easy, getting up and swimming is hard. Character is built on sometimes the simplest decisions, off to swim. Standing on the pool deck looking at the main set of 6 x 400, I thought to myself, I must be building a lot of character today.

I worked on the Mustang after dinner… I had plans to drop the fuel line and clean up the spot for the rear floor plan. However, the once pliable 43 year old hose is now brittle and cracks as soon as I move the line one millimeter. Gas begins pouring all over the garage floor and me!

Curse words were flying, well in my mind. Thankfully, I had a back up plan, smart! I had made a couple of plugs, I quickly move into action and find that my back up plan is not going to work.

The plug causes the hose to crack more and gas is pouring out like I turned on a faucet… Not to worry, I had a back up plan to the back up plan. I direct the waterfall of gas into the lawn mower gas can.

Gas collected, I head off to the auto store and pick up new fuel line, a few 3/8 bolts and clamps, the problem solved.

Perhaps the funniest part of the evening was when standing there soaked with gas, Kim thought is best if I started the grill. Okay… Everybody Stand BACK!

Weight… still on the plus side of 180.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 15.

Ah… Track day. After a rough start on the track last week, Jay is a bit concerned about holding a steady pace and ask to go first.

We hit the first 1600 meters, the laps are consistent and run in negative splits. Clockwork. An easy 400 RI and we are lined up for the next mile. Target, 6:30, I am right on the pace the first 1200… I am feeling a bit twisted but keep the pace for the next 200. The last 200 I open it up just a bit and we finish fast. Another 400 RI and we are off for an 800. It goes by without much effort. We finish and head back to the gym. With the kids off for the day, I take the time to do a quick circuit on the weights. It feels good to lift.

My weight… Heavy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Good Guys Lose... Rats!

Day 14.

Sunday. Oh no, good guys lose. A tough loss. The boys had great plays and terrible plays. We were being blanked until the I turned over the play calling to Jack and let him call the plays in the huddle. Jack did great and made some key plays culminating in a TD pass.

He was able to drive the team down the field and score. It was great. Though we were dealt our first loss, the game was close, 6 – 14, but really we did not play that well up front and our blocking was lacking to say the least.

Following the game we went with some friends to watch the Vikings dismantle the Cowboys. It was great. We went to a noted Cowboy “establishment,” the silence was defining was the Viking score grew, that did not stop us from cheering on the Vikings. I would like to see Brett Favre push on to the next level and hopeful the Super Bowl.

I was able to get a considerable amount done on the Mustang this morning, but ran across an area while cutting out the floors that I will need to figure out.

The evening will be no work just hanging with the family, watch the afternoon Jet’s versus Chargers game and perhaps watch a movie at night.

Tomorrow we hit the track. A tough one. 2 x 1600 and 1 X 800 with a 400 RI.

Time to man up.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

David versus Goliath


Day 13. I am sitting on the couch, Jack is lying next to me asleep. Kim and Wil abandoned Jack and I as we watch the Colt versus the Ravens. It is no secret, I am pulling for Peyton and the Colts. I just do not like the Ravens. Maybe it is the fact they beat the Giants in the Superbowl years ago.

Sitting here, I can hear Kim is getting Wil ready for bed. We have had a pretty busy day.

I woke early this morning unable to sleep. I went down to my office to catch up on a few emails. After working for about an hour, I went back up the stairs to the kitchen and made some chocolate chip muffins for the family. Whipping up the muffins and sticking them in the oven I went outside to work on the car. I also pull my Miter saw out for Jay. He is prompt meeting me right at 7:30. I take this time to show him the work I am doing on the car. I point out a few areas that I might need his assistance. Who would have ever guessed that Jay would have an Associates Degree in Auto body Maintenance! That is another story. We talk about the car for a few minutes and I hand over the saw before Jay drives off.

Heading back inside, the muffins are done, they are just coming out of the oven as the family is finding their way downstairs. We all enjoy a warm breakfast.

I spend a couple of hours working on the car and even take the dogs for a walk. The time is starting to click by and soon enough it is time. Game time.

Arriving at the field we are short handed today. I have five boys out for the game, they are at baseball tryouts. That leaves me with nine players.

As we are huddled up the opposing team arrives. They are huge! The smallest guy on their team is the same size as our biggest guy! This is not lost on the players. Worse, I watch as the opposing team is pointing and laughing. I can hear them say hey, “look how small they are were going to kill these guys.”

Now I’m pissed. I gather the boys and I tell them what was said. I tell them what I have always said, football is played with your heart (courage/toughness) and head (being smart). I tell them we are going to play these guys tough we are going to hit them hard and not stop for the next 60 minutes.

We lose the coin toss, rats. We hold them on the first two downs, but on the third play, it comes. The bomb. A long pass for a touch down. A few players hang their heads. I tell them there is no time for that, forget it and go make a play.

The extra point is made and the score is 0 – 7. We get the ball and we march down the field. The boys are looking great and playing tough. We score! A great play with several key blocks and a fantastic run.

I decide to go for two point on the conversion. Jack make a great pass and Greg our end makes the perfect catch! 8 – 7.

The kick-off is good and we hold them on the next series. The play goes back and forth and we get the ball back and score again 14 - 7 on a touchdown run by Jack.

The game is hard hitting. There are good plays on both sides. The game is getting tight. I call the Statue of Liberty play and we score again, only to have a “late” flag come in. It was a bad call, that was not near the play. Oh well that happens.

The opposing team drive the ball down the field, however we stop them with 4 and long to go. Somehow the QB, break free and runs 30 yards for a touch down. No one needs to know how loug I yelled on that play. The score is now 14 – 13. The opposing coach goes for a 1 point conversion to tie the game. The play is up the middle their biggest guys against our smallest guys, a true David versus Goliath. The boys penetrate the line and pull the flag. YES!

We get the ball back and march down the field. Time expires and we win the day. What a game. I am so proud of this team. I consider it one of the best wins I have seen.

The rest of the day is spent working on the Mustang and I weld in my first patch panel on the floor. Ippolitos take out for dinner puts me in good favor with Kim.

Time for bed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 12.

Thursday Jay, Jeff, Corey and I all agreed to the Cracker Barrel Run. Basically, we are all going to run our “run”, coordinating starting times so that we could all finish at roughly the same time.

Great idea, however, somehow Jay missed the time and shows 10 minutes late. No worries. Jay and I see Jeff and coordinate times.

Jay and I hit it. Falling back to my old habit, I start us off too fast. The temps are far better than last weeks single digit ice run, but still cool enough that it takes time to warm up. The first few miles are difficult. I need to listen to Jay, my pacing is erratic. I am fast and I’m slow. Jay however, plays it smart, he lets me go ahead and reels me back in. We finally find pace and settle in on the back half of the run. We had a target of 7:33 and finish with 7:27. Not bad, but the run was not a smart run. I need to hold it back in the beginning and finish strong.

The run complete, we all hook up for a stretch, though my thoughts quickly run to breakfast. Cracker Barrel is calling. Corey, Jay, Jeff and I spend about an hour catching up, talking about everything and nothing as only good friends can. We all agree that Chicago Marathon can not be a run and done, but we’ll stay an extra day and enjoy the city, the food and the company.

I have a nice date with Kim at lunch and the boys have a great practice to end the day. We resume our football games on Saturday.

Practice was not without drama. The last play of practice, I am testing the defense. I roll left and throw back to the right. Our corner back, Jared, plays it perfect and jumps the route. A great heads up play. The bad part, he and Sean the receiver, hit. It is a collision. I run over and Jared is on the ground, I look at him and his nose if shifted to his right. It is broken! I ask him if he where he was hit. He points to his nose. Glad it is not his head. I look at the nose and it is a judgment call. He either has to go to the hospital or I need to put in back in place. I can feel the bone, it is movable. I put my thumbs on both sides of his nose and push it back in place. You can hear the bones and cartilage as I move it back to the center and I can feel it as I put it back in place. Tough kid.

Back home, the week is over. I am looking forward to the weekend.

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Day 11.

I missed the Tuesday swim, so here I am Thursday morning on the swim deck. Besides, Mike said this day would be fun when I saw him yesterday. I am interested in what Mike considers fun.

I found out quickly, a good strong warm up followed by 10 x 3:00 minute fast. We have 6 in the lane and split the duty. The first 3:00 minutes we hit 1:75. Pretty good, this equals the guys in lane 3. Not bad. We stay pretty even with them as a group, but I am wearing out fast. I pull twice and I am nearly spent.

We do a quick 100 EZ to bring our heart rate back down and it is off to the next set. 5 x 100, and here is the deal. We need to do one of our 100’s as fast as we can. All out campaign to go first. I know if I do not go now, I may not have anything left.

A consensus is met and off we go with me in the lead. I throw out all caution, I start hard, my stroke is good and strong, I am pulling the water hard and my legs are turning. Hitting the turn I get a great kick of the wall, I go deep and pop up past the flags, my arms are turning the water, my legs are kicking while I concentrate on keeping my knees together. At this point my heart is already beating so hard I briefly think to myself, well this will either kill me or I will know that I have a pretty strong heart… keep swimming. The wall is coming, and I take a quick gulp of air and turn. This one hurts as I am running out of air, I still have a decent turn and length underwater. I have created a small gap between the swimmers behind me. I kick in another gear. At this point I am having difficulty getting enough air. I am fighting and keep telling myself that can put in a strong 100. I am looking for the wall, my breathing is erratic. The wall approaches and I have terrible turn. I have a short breath before I go under, my turn is shallow and I am out of air. I pop out of the water looking for oxygen. The poor turn disrupts my stroke, my stroke is gone, I bury my head in the water and increase my arm turn over to re-gain speed. My heart is about to explode, I can not pull in enough air to feed my lungs, I decide to forgo breathing with 15 meters to go I am pushing the water. My head is getting light and my sight is narrowing. I am giving everything I have. I have lost sense of where I am in the pool and I crash into the edge. I turn quickly to see my time as I am gasping for air, chest heaving, head pounding. Time 1:35! This is my best 100 in years. I feel great. Stacie comes in right behind me at 1:36.

I am feeling pretty good about myself, though I can barely stand. I think to myself, ha… top that. I gave everything I had.

My brief ego trip quickly turns to humble pie as over the next 4 x 100’s I watch everyone in my lane beat my time. My lane companions hit the following times, 1:34, 1:33, 1:28, and 1:25. Good for them. I believe the best time in the pool is a 1:01. Wow.

The bad part is that 100 left me useless for the last 4 x 100. I remind myself, I am stronger for this day.

Weight… 183!!!! F*%#

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 10.

I decide to keep my journal short this week. I have so much going on right now, work, family, training and life in general.

This morning I take comfort in the familiar track workout. Jeff joins Jay and I, on deck for this morning is 5 x 800 @ 3:03. I start off and I hit the first 200 perfect, the next 200 is slow, I am having difficulty finding the pace. I speed up and slow back down. The last 400 is bad and we end with a 3:10. I feel bad. I can tell that Jay is also frustrated. This is the first time that I have been slow on a target track day. Now I am mad. Jay is too!, He take the next 800 as the lead and we knock out a 2:54. I’m next, and equal the 2:54. Jay delivers a 2:56 on the fourth 800 and I pull a 2:57.

Jeff also looks strong as he is circling the track. It is good to have him there and I am excited about the idea of all of us running the Chicago Marathon together.

The run back to LTF is uneventful, but seemed difficult. My mind is drifting. I am a bit miffed that I did not hit that first time. It was not that I could not find the speed, I just could not find the pace. I was fast, slow, fast, I could never find it.

Weight, arrgh. I need to get my head together.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

School House Rock

Day 9.

This is typically Swim day, however, as I am in Dallas and there is an opportunity to run with my running mentor Bobalu, I take the opportunity for a great conversation and a great run. I am not let down Bobalu is in great form, dealing running advice mixed with good humor. The evening before, I invited a colleague from my office to join us for the run. He is a past marathon runner, looking to get back in running shape. Sitting in my car I arrive early and wait as the runners begin to show. I am happily surprised my workmate shows, after all the hour is early, 5:15, so good for him.

The new guy introduced to the group and we are off... The pace is reasonable so I will not worry about the extra day of running rather than swimming this morning. We cover an east 6 miles running just under 9 minute miles, basically a conversational pace.

The miles fly as Bobalu and I catch up. Chad is treated to the entertainment and knowledge of the 4 best things about running. Bobalu starts his running sermon about 2 miles out. I chuckle to myself and add commentary when appropriate. Always entertaining and educational while running with Bobalu, he's better than School House Rock!

After the run we stop at Starbucks with the gang, before I head back to the hotel. A quick shower, shave and breakfast and I am at the office.

I catch a flight home tonight, and hope to be in bed by 11:00. Morning with come quickly and find me standing with Jay, Corey, Jeff and a perhaps few others in the dark of the early morning at the Alpharetta High School track. The workout, 5 x 800 @ 3:03, with a 400 RI.

Only gone one night, but still I miss the family.

Weight… unknown.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 8.

I am happy that I went to bed early last night, though I did not close my eyes until after 10:00 PM. I wake with my running gear ready to go. Today is tempo day and an interesting one at that. The run is 1 ez at 8:30 pace, 2 at 7:03, 1 ez, 2 at 7:03 and 1 ez. The run was done on the treadmill. I am not a fan of being the mouse on a wheel, however I also know the winter I ran treadmill was the year I had my greatest increase in speed. It is also a good way to “keep honest” with the pace.

I have to admit, I thought about the last run and worried, am I going to be okay. I chased away the negative thoughts reminding myself, I am faster than this pace. Sure enough, the pace is easier than expected. I feel good and truthfully felt like I should have been going faster. But that would not be the plan.

After a quick stretch and shower I stand before the scale. Here we go. I feel fat, I did not get the exercise I wanted during the weekend. One step is followed by the other…. Weight 179! Better.

At home I get Wil on the bus with a hug and one for Jack too before he walks out the door making certain it is not seen by his friends, it is tough to be a 12 year old in middle school.
Work keeps me busy, a nice lunch date with Kim and I am packing for my trip to Dallas. My evening will be full as we entertain incoming partners. I will not sleep before midnight eastern time.

Before hoping on the plane I arrange a run with Bobalu while in Dallas. I look forward to seeing him at 5:15 AM

Flight to Dallas is uneventful... my favorite kind.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 7.

I slowly wake the family after putting out the dogs. This is the first Sunday in 17 weeks where I did not put on a Giants shirt, the season is over for the Gmen. With the family up and rummaging for warm cloths, I walk outside to let the car warm up. It is warmer that than the past few days, but still cold for Georgia.

Piling in the car we head to Mels’ for a good breakfast. I enjoy the routine, it is the only routine that we have, but it is a time to relax, read the paper, chat about the week that was and the week that will be.

Afterwards we run errands and head back home. I am working on setting up the air compressor and think I have finally solved the issue of where to mount the moisture trap and regulator. I had hoped to start working on the car, but one project at a time. Later Kim heads to lunch with a friend as the boys and I hang on the couch watching the last couple of games for wild card weekend. Wil whips up a batch of “Wil Nachos” his specialty. The hit the spot with out being too filling.

The patriots game is a waste, they just do not show up for the game and are outplayed by Baltimore. It is easy to turn off the TV and head outside and play. Jack and Wil versus me in basketball. It is fun as the hoop is only 7 feet high (so Wil can play) thus I instantly have become a fantastic basketball player, proportionally I am as big as Shaq. I take it easy on them, but as they like to rough me up, I can not help to keep the score close.

The evening comes and we hope that the afternoon game is more competitive. We are not let down. It is a barn burner, it started off all Arizona, but ends with a tight game in overtime won by Arizona. The score was 51 – 48 over Green bay. The game was all offense and Arizona could have won it in regulation but for a yanked field goal attempt by Rackers. Ironically the game is won n a defensive play on the second play of OT.

I’d like to see Kurt Warner win… he seems to be one of the good guys. The day is not spent just hanging on the couch, thought that would be easy, rather, I use this down time to enter the descriptions of the photo album and classifying each of the photos. I have about 8 hours of work on this so far and I am only a 8th the way through.

Diner is light, we are all still full from the holidays. Sleep comes easy.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Not Much Really

Day 5

Saturday. I slept in… well at least for me. I was up and at it by 7:00 AM. I woke up the first time at 3:00 and was wide awake. I woke up again at 5 and 6. Each time, I knew enough to roll over and go back to bed. Eventually I could take it no longer and headed down stairs to make everyone breakfast. Pancakes, hashbrowns, juice and assorted breakfast items.

After breakfast we all headed out for errands. It was my goal to start working on the Mustang today, however, I needed to run lines for the air compressor. Somehow I was fortunate enough to forget a couple of key components and will have to go back to Home Depot tomorrow to find what I need.

The afternoon was spent working on the photo album, chores, watching football and hanging with the boys. I make everyone dinner and I settle on the coach to just relax. Unusual but true. I was busy all day and an evening of relaxation was in order.

Last year at this time my brother and I had completed the first part of the Goofey Challenge, the half-marathon the next morning we woke and ran the full marathon, now that is goofey! The reality is I should not have been running at all, I was in bad shape, but committed to running with my brother for his first marathon. So there we were a year ago today. It was great to do that race with him. He did really well running his first marathon the day after a half marathon.

I hope all the runners have a great day tomorrow.

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Day 5.

It snowed last night and everything outside looks like a glazed donut. The schools are closed. The temperature is 12 degrees, the wind chill is single digit, it feels like 2 degrees. The run today is 6 miles at a 7:29 pace. I know this run and the speed should not be difficult. However, I have not been running this speed for the last several months. For the last 4 months I have been controlling my speed. Today will be different.

I know it is cold, but I am dressed for the cold. Jeff and Corey will be meeting up with Jay an I. This is our Cracker Barrel Run.

Meeting at LTF, no Jeff. Still nursing a cold. Corey, is upstairs, he will be doing his 15 mile run on the treadmill. Jay arrives and ask, outside or treadmill? Outside. No question. This one will count. Sure it is cold, bitter cold. Bitter freezing cold, but that is not the biggest issue. The snow from last night has glazed the roads in areas with ice, we will need to be careful where we step.

Some (Corey and Jeff) would say we were crazy for running outside, too slippery, actually it was not as bad as it looked. The slick areas were visible and we would adjust our stride and pace to accommodate the surface conditions. When we start the cold is felt deep in the core of the body. Breathing is abbreviated as my lungs involuntary prohibit me from pulling in enough air.

Typically after the first miles I am good, but not this morning. It is bone chilling cold. The pace is okay, but I know I am running. Just as I think, okay, I am starting to find the groove, Jay and I turn onto Windward and are faced with a strong freezing wind that rips through the body and makes you feel as if you are running naked. Worse the wind is strong and the effort to maintain pace is increased significantly.

Legs are pushing hard as we climb up the gradual hill on Windward. I am still breathing too fast trying without success to fill my lungs. Jay and I dance across the intersections and “fly” as we hit the snow covered sidewalks. This is a bigger effort than I thought it would be… damn.

I am hoping that when we turn onto Hwy 9 that the wind will stop… minutes later I would find that to NOT be the case. It is discouraging, I think to myself. That word causes me to pause. Courage is a big part of discourage. Toughen up. This is when you build character, this is when you build grit, a toughness. I become single minded. I do not care how cold it is, I do not care how windy it is, I do not care if the road is slippery, I adjust my mind and attitude. This helps. It does not make it easier, but my thoughts are about finishing and doing well.

Soon the wind is at our back, there is a slight down hill and Jay an I open up our stride. We are gaining time. Good.

Turning on Academy, we have made up time. I do not take my foot of the gas, holding pace. My breathing is better, though that maybe due to the fact we are running downhill.

Jay and I finish with a 44:55 for 6 miles. The reality is that is slow. I have run a 40:21, 10K (6.2 miles) and Jay faster than that, but considering the elements, and the fact this is the first time that I have purposely tried to add some speed to a run, I am okay with the effort.

Back at LTF, i head up stairs to check on Corey. He is on mile 11 of 15 on the treadmill. He looks good, his pace is 7:47. Despite being drenched in sweat he looks effortless in his run. Asking how he feels he replies with one word, "chaffed". Ouch... how bad I ask. "Nipples to crotch" Need anything... I he pauses and says no. I know the feeling. It is too late. I encourage him and hang there until he has less than 3 miles. No Cracker Barrel for Corey.

Weight. Too much. I let the “F” word slip out when I stepped on the scale.

Work was intense all day and did not end until nearly 7:00 PM. The kids though had a great day, they spent the entire day sledding and playing games with their buddies, a great no-school day. Too bad I could not have joined them.

The night comes swiftly and Wil crawls into bed with Kim and I, I do not blame him, it is warm and cozy. Unfortunately between Wil and I, the wigglers, Kim will not sleep. I challenge Wil to “Rock, Paper, Scissors” for the right to sleep in the bed. I win, but give up my spot anyway. I head to Jack’s room and take up residence on the bottom bunk.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 4.

It was the last thing I thought of before I fall a sleep and the first thing I thought of when I woke up. Swim practice. I have tried everything to change my negative position on my swim days. That fact is, it is the Rock I must strap on my back and carry up the hill. That thought alone, forces me out of bed. At least on Tuesday the water was warm.

Arriving on the LTF pool deck I see the gang. No Corey and no Jeff though. Jay is ready, as is Ann Marie, Stacie, Rebbecca, Susan and the rest. Mulling around waiting for the days workout.
A quick announcement on the rules of LTF Masters Swim Payment Process and it is time. I hit the water and it is notably colder than Tuesday. It is a full 150 meters before I stop feeling the water temp.

Warm ups are good, I work with my strap binding my legs together in an effort to fix my lower body in the water. It will help, I am just not there yet. We have a series of 100’s and 300’s. The 100’s go fast, the 300's are tough. I am building character this morning. An hour and thirty minutes after we start, we are done. As always, I feel better for doing the work than if I had missed the workout. Swim is great for building core, strength, flexibility and conditioning. One drill we did today was “knock-out”, you swim 50 meters and each 50 you reduce the number of breaths you take. I started at 17, my next was 10 and my last was 5. It was an effort. One person did it in 1 breath, and Susan, the Olympian, did it without breathing. Impressive.

I remember seeing a special on marine training, they would be forced to swim, in gear, with boots, 50 meters underwater without breathing, to make it worse, they made you jump in, do a somersault underwater and than start. Two divers would follow you to keep you underwater if you tried to pop up for air. Maybe in my youth, but today, uh… no thanks.

Jack was a car rider today, he has started drama and is enjoying his new semester. Wil and he both have small colds, all a part of Georgia winter and rapidly changing temperatures.

Work keeps me very busy today. The evening comes quick, and Jack needs help with homework. We spend about 2.5 hours on history and math. I am reacquainted with 9th grade algebra, (except Jack is in 6th grade). I have to admit, I am stuck on one problem and call my brother-in-law Harry for help. It is nice to have an ex-math teacher in the family.

Off to bed as the snow is falling, the kids are hoping for a snow day. A long run tomorrow and it is supposed to be fast. Bring it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 3.

Cold. That is the best way to describe how I felt when I woke up. It was track day, though I had a little concern. Not about the cold, but the prescribed speed for today.

Over the past few months I have been training to hold my speed in check. Today I would have an opportunity to crack open the valve a little. Not an all out, and certainly not the 1:07 -1:10 I once ripped off in a quarter mile, but a 1:31 or roughly 10 seconds faster than I had trained for the marathon. It was my hope that it would not feel too hard.

Arriving at LTF, it was Jay, Corey (training for Boston), but no Jeff who is fighting a nagging cold. Corey had already put in two miles on the Treadmill, and darted off to the track, of all things I had to tell him, hey, I’m not warmed up yet slow down. I’m either learning of getting soft. I’ll go with wisdom for now.

At the track it seemed a little colder as there was nothing to block a wind that swept the back half of the track. Cold weather is tolerable if you are appropriately dressed. The sky was wide open, no clouds to capture the earths radiant heat, a nice winter morning, the stars made it seem peaceful, much like the quiet before the storm. After a quick two laps, we stripped to our track gear, mine, an Under Amour shirt, a long sleeve tech shirt, wind breaker and tights. Gloves and a hat an absolute necessity. We were ready to go. While Jay and I were setting our watches, Corey was off… He was on his plan, Jay and I are on ours. Watches ready, off we went. Rounding the second curve you ran into the wind, strong, but not unbearable.

As this was a new pace, it was difficult to find the cadence necessary for the targeted 1:31 time. At the two hundred I was fast, 0:40 and backed it off hitting the first lap at 1:24, Jay did better, 1:26. We never hit our goal time of 1:31, I hit a 1:30 on my last try. The other times were 1:28, 1:29. Not bad, the workout was 8 x 400 with a 400 RI. Work was done, but it was not too difficult. It felt good to add a little extra speed, but I was pleased that there was more in the tank. How much more, I do not know yet.

Running back to the gym, I started to feel the workout a little more, also the cold was setting in as my body temperature dropped from the reduced effort on the cool down run. A quick stretch and I was off to put Wil on the bus.

The day was filled with work and family. All good things. My weight. I refuse to mark it down. I am gaining weight. I feel like I am a bear getting ready for hibernation, everything I put in my body is turning directly into fat.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Fifth Chinese Brother

Day 2

Did not make it to bed before 10:20 last night… I felt it when I woke up, tired. Briefly considered that it was too cold to swim, with all the cold weather I would not have been surprised if the pool was covered with ice. Considering I paid for the month in advance, I was committed in reality that is the reason I paid in advance.

Arriving there was a good crowd and a lot of positive energy. I felt fairly good considering my lack of pool time these past several weeks. Mike was very gracious or sadistic, he purchased a restraining strap for my legs in an effort to reduce my scissor kick. It worked really well especially for the first 50 meters. Clearly this will help. It was obvious with that I was straining against the straps as I swam, to one point Mike quipped, “ …try not to get so angry Dr. Banner.” A good laugh. Very thoughtful and clearly he is doing his best to make us all better swimmers. Ann Marie has taken charge as the gate keeper, a good thing this allows Mike to coach without have to be the “bad cop".

The swim was good, though today I swallowed more of the pool than I have in my collective swimming lifetime. I felt like the First Chinese Brother swallowing the sea, I need to be the Fifth Chinese Brother. I tried not to think of the nastiness of that water. The bulk of the workout was a 1000 meter time trial. my time a dismal 19:50. The good part, lots of room for improvement.

The work morning flew by, and I had a great lunch with my favorite South Africa, Walter! It was good to catch up and talk about the future together.

The afternoon dragged, but that was good as I was able to accomplish a great deal. Evening passed by too fast and now it is time for showers, homework and bed.

Tomorrow is track, 8 x 400 @ a 1:31 pace. It will be faster than I have run in the last several months, but I am looking forward to the challenge. The temp is forecast at 19 degrees, but with the wind and moisture in the air it will feel like 10 degrees. Layers! Lots of layers!

Weight today 180.9 DAMN!!!! I am trending in the wrong direction. Time to toughen up.

Monday, January 4, 2010

1, 2... no 3..., 1

Day 1

Though I went to bed much later than I had planned the time was well spent playing cards with Kim and boys. My head eventually found the pillows at 10:00 PM, so waking up was not too tough. Though I will have to do better tonight, if I am going to have a good swim tomorrow.

Rolling out of bed I was eager to get started. Today marks the first day back to training. Nothing better than a goal to provide a purpose to a workout. Making my way to the gym, it was a cold morning, I was actually glad that we would be hitting the Treadmill for this first run.

The plan today, 1 ez, 3 @ 7:00 minute miles, and 1 ez. Interestingly, I thought it was to be 1, 2, 1… so after the second mile, I felt good and it was over, however as I was pressing the down button on the pace, Jay let me know, “hey, one more mile.” Huh… rats. I cranked it back up and to catch back up I had to take it up an extra notch or two… it took me ¾ a mile to catch back up to Jay. By the time I finished my 3 miles at pace, I was beat. The mile cool down was good and I worked on my stride. I felt my stride was a bit erratic during this workout. I will need to work on this during the next few weeks.

A good stretch and some core workout, I was heading back to the showers and the dreaded scale. I was not looking forward to the scale. I have spent the last two weeks eating without thought. I expect to weigh between 184 – 186. With the moment of truth upon me, I step cautiously onto the scale… 180.5! I am pleasantly surprised. With my weight now in, I am focused on pushing for 175 for the 5K and 172 for the marathon in October.

The day is busy as I take two weeks and squeeze it into one day, but it is good to be back to work. At lunch I head to the furniture bank to deliver my painting for the upcoming charity event, on February 27th. The painting exceeded their expectations. I am pleased that they like the painting and more that it will help them raise money for a worthy goal.

The remaining day is spent working and hanging with the family. My goal is to be sleeping by 9:45 for my swim tomorrow at 5:30.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The day before the first day


Well So often we take a vacation and it seems to go by quickly, this one actually seemed to neither go by quickly or slowly, but seemed just right. I am ready to get back to work tomorrow.

The day starts well, Wil sleeps in late, though we still make it to Mel’s for breakfast. I was hoping that we might play a game of football, parents and kids, but it is too cold, freezing actually. The temperature was 19 degrees and never seemed to get much above the mid 20’s.

at the house the day is filled with miscellaneous chores. I finally set up the guest bedroom to tackle my last project. I fully understand that this project will 1) not be finished in one day and 2) be a bit tedious. My last project is to catalogue an old photo album with hundreds of original photographs ranging form 1917 – 1959. The photos range in categories of historical figures, military, architecture, and historical days. Of those that are captured in these photos includes multiple presidents, Wilson Truman, Franklin, and more. Other historical figures include; Eddie Rickenbacker, Richard Bong, “Wrong Way” Corrigan, William Bendix, Marlene Dietrich, Lou Costello, Fred MacMurry, Will Rogers, Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bobby Feller, Mel Ott, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Red Grange, Hitler, Mussolini, Bobby Jones, Joe Louis, and many more. It is my hope to have this catalogued in the next several weeks. As I complete the project I will likely post a few of my more favorite photos.

Jack and I head out to watch the Giants play their last game of the season. It is terrible. They Giants started with so much hope roared with a 5 – 0 record only to fizzle and whimper to a 8 – 8 season. Poor showing, a poor showing.

It is my goal to hit the bed early tonight. I have a lot to do tomorrow for work and personally. Also, after almost two weeks of resting and recovery from the marathon, I am itching to get started with training. So it starts. Tomorrow I will be at the gym, ready for the first day of training. This goal is about speed. I want to build additional speed, power and strength. I have targeted a 10K in March I use that race as a bench for a goal time at the Chicago 2010 Marathon. I will likely look at a few other races and perhaps a few sprints that I can participate in this spring.

I am not looking forward to stepping on the scale, I really did not practice any restraint with my eating during the holidays and it is going to be ugly. Oh well, I have to start someplace, so tomorrow I will step on the scale and mark my weight and day one of training will begin.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Okay, how about now...


Well my intentions were good, with one last task on my holiday “to-do” list, I was ready to get busy. However, promises were made that were going to prevent me from tackling and completing my last project. It will have to wait.

The boys were hungry for breakfast. Pancakes and bacon to be specific. I had not pancake mix, so decided to make them from scratch like my Mom used to make. I pulled out a recipe, (I do not have hers), and put all the ingredients in a bowl, mixed well and poured out the first four. The consistency was correct, the taste, not so much. I have decided that my pancakes tasted a lot like paste. Considering the ingredients for paste are flour and water, I was pretty darn close. Time to take liberties with the recipe, first I added more sugar, some melted butter, and chocolate chips. Better but not great. The boys ate them, we all did, but they were only tolerable. I have resolved to finding a good pancake recipe and perfecting it for the next time.

Around mid morning we run to Home Depot so the boys can make their kid craft they have the first week of every Saturday. Their skills with a hammer are improving and I no longer need to build or even help them build the project, they do a good job by themselves. So this gave me time to observe the other parents. Comical, one parent was building the entire thing not letting their child touch the project. One Mom was telling her daughter she was doing it all wrong, another parent was helping their child, but both were helplessly fumbling around and managed to put many pieces on backwards or upside down. One parent work diligently on the project paying no attention to their daughter of no more than 4 who had a put the blunt part of the hammer in her mouth and was sucking away. That one I had to let know her daughter my not like gumming her food until her permanent teeth arrive. The last set of parents to arrive must have been new to the game, they had dad, the grand parents and mom all there to help. Mom was taking photos by the second, not willing to give up on one potential "Kodak moment". By the time I finished evaluating and humoring myself the boys were done and we were heading back home.

At home I was ready to dig into the project when it occurred to me, the tree needs to come down and be stripped of its lights. I went right to the task. It was freezing outside and I laughed as my nose ran uncontrollably from the cold. But finally the tree was denuded of its lights and I was heading inside to get warm, clean the needles and finally get to my project.

Once inside, Kim reminded me to the fact I promised Wil we would hit a movie this weekend, specifically today. Off we went to go see the Fantastic Mr. Fox. A stop motion animation by director Wes Anderson. It was good. I really enjoyed the story, clearly it was aimed more towards the adults than kids, but the boys still enjoyed the movie.

Back home I once again prepared to ready my project, but Kim had been busy and stacked up the Christmas stuff. Through we had agreed to wait and put is all in the attic at one time, the stack called to me and I decided to just get stared.

The remained of the day was odds and ends of putting things away, making dinner and hanging with the boys. The project will have to wait.

Kim and I will watch a movie later tonight downstairs after the boys go to bed, an at home date night.

Friday, January 1, 2010

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!!!!!!

Friday. Well my first attempt and writing the year 2010 and I double tapped the “0”, old habits take a while to be undone. At least I need not worry about hitting “00” again while typing a date, unless I defy the aging process and live and additional 90 years.

At one point during the night I woke and just laid there thinking how fortunate I am. I rolled back over and felt the weight of the extra comforter on the bed, it just felt good. Enjoy it while it last I tell myself, the workouts start again on Monday.

I wake easily a couple hours later. I can hear Jack in the bonus room playing Madden 10, a ritual, Kim sleeps and I do my best not to wake her, though that is a near impossibility, she is a light sleeper. I walk carefully into Wil’s room, he is still asleep. He needs the sleep too much activity for him the past couple of weeks. I watch to see his chest move as he breaths. I expect every parent does this.

A quick shower and I am down the stairs, my goal today, seal the granite in the kitchen. Twice a year I spend a part of the day giving it a thorough cleaning, sealing and polish. I plan it well so the wait time is filled with Jack football practice. He and the boys look good. I so enjoy coaching. We hold a self scrimmage and as bad as Jack was on Wednesday, he is right on target today. I see several opportunities to introduce plays into a game. I also see a some great catches. I only wish I could be playing too, oh well.

Back home I finish the granite, and play a quick game of basketball with Jack, Wil and the neighbor kids, it is fun, for now, or at least until they grow taller than I am in trouble.

The evening comes quick, Jack and I join a few friends to see Sherlock Holmes. It is well done and light hearted.

Tomorrow I will start my last task, I doubt I will have in completed by this coming Monday, but it will be a good start.

Off to bed, not a bad start to 2010.

Great, Cut Print

December 31, 2009

Thursday. The last day of 2009. It went way too fast. Certainly I will not be the only person to pen those words. Last year I had a few goals, one goal and most important, be a better father/husband. Being a better father husband is a continual goal not something that can be measured by a distance or a time. That makes it harder, there were plenty of opportunities and I like to think that most of the time I rose to the occasion. There are a few times I would like to have had a “do over”, perhaps push an invisible reset button that I could try again. The failings of man, however, overall I did a better job this year than last.

I had other goals as well, to qualify for the Boston Marathon, check (finally) and put more money in savings, not enough (rats).

Last goal, to finish writing my script before my birthday in April. I had the idea over a year ago last October while running at track St. Marks in Dallas. I had pieced the whole thing together in a couple of weeks. The outline was written well before December, but I needed to tie up the remain parts and finish. By April 12th, it was done. Next I had a few people review the script, good, check. But there it stopped. Life got busy and I paused. But what really stopped me, perhaps I feared failure or rejection and just sat on it. I kept pushing it back… too busy to give it a final review. Finally with the holiday break I pushed my resolve to finish and provide the final read/edit. It may not be Chinatown, but it is good in my estimation.

I needed to register the script with the Screenwriters guild, done today and the US Copyright office, also completed today. I was on my way to holding that Oscar. Next step to find an agent and roll the dice.

these past couple of weeks I have been busy knocking things off my to do list. With the script ownership now secure and the wheels in motion to find an agent, I have only a few more boxes to check before the holiday break is over.

The remaining to-do's will have to wait, tonight we celebrate the passing of another year and the birth of new decade. I could list many things that have happened during the course of the year and the previous decade, but most have been captured in this journal and my blog and i far more enjoy looking forward.

Dinner with family and friends, fireworks to bring in the new year with a literal “bang” and libations to liven the spirit. Best the last few moments of 2009 spent with Kim and the boys close and well wishes in the coming year and decade. Onward!