Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mr. Spin

Its the word of this post. On Sunday I took in my first spin class in a couple of years. Fitworks in Willoughby. I used to take in Dr. Heather Petroff's at Peak Performance in Broadview Heights. Heather has been a consistent, strong triathlete over the years. Her classes were always fun and with purpose. But Broadview Heights is a long drive and Heather had a baby and is really ramping up her dental practice. On Sunday, Molly took us through a 40 min workout. It was nice to be back in that kinda enviroment. So, I will spin again.

I saw lots of those on Tuesday morning as we got a good deal of snow. Gorgeous at Euclid Creek Reservation where I often run. Just me and a couple of walkers and an occasional car. Helped push one car back on the road after a spin-out. More snow today but colder. March is coming.
Political Spin

Cleveland hosted the Democratic Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. CSU did a great job hosting. There was alot of give and take, and they spent a good deal of time on health care. Barack appeared to me, to win the debate. But we'll be hearing political spin right through November.
Head Spin
Flipped over once in a while to check on the Cavs-Bucks. Often LeBron James does things that make your head spin. He hit a layup with about 5 or 6 seconds left, but Michael Redd one-upped him by hitting a long three pointer with Wally Szczerbiak draped all over him for the win. Amazing shot..and amazing that I no longer think twice in spelling Wally's last name.

Spinning globe.
With each spin, 24 hours and each day, the daylight grows. We are slowly climbing out of winter hibernation. Soon, we'll be into spring, and then getting closer to triathlons in this northern climate. More anxious for it this year than before.
Spinning baseball.
I zip down to Winter Haven, Fla today for 3 days of shooting spring training. I hope to check in on this blog, and will mostly be doing interviews and stories for our website. . Many of the interviews I do will run in short snippets on Fox 8 throughout March. Mainly, I hope to get in a couple of long runs. Indians p.r. chief Bart Swain is a fellow triathlete. If he's not looking, I might sneak out on his bike for guessed it............spin
So, thats my spin, hope you all have some great workouts wherever you are.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tag, Your It

Got Tagged by Mary-IronMatron. So you know what that means??? I have to write about 7 things that are weird/random about me. Then, I tag 7 more people who will silently curse my existence and on and on it goes. Its a progressive dinner of the web and everyone brought macaroni and cheese... Think I'm kidding.???? I just got 3 death threats ;-)

Weird/Random TriGuyJt Things

1. I met my bride on a blind date. She came over to my fraternity house with a few friends. I was such a idiot in those days. "Summon the women to my lair", I barked, or words to that affect, considering I was already hammered. The date went poorly. I tried the next year to go out with her. She finally agreed. We dated. She dumped me. I longed for her and even wrote her mother a letter expressing my love. What a sap!!! We eventually got back together. Got married in the summer of 76. I loved my beer in those days. Why she agreed to marry me is a mystery because every time I mentioned matrimony, I was drunk...which leads me to....

2. I don't drink. Quit about 25 years ago. I was one of those guys where one beer was too many and 30 were not enough. Life is cool without the fermented yeast killing my brain cells.

3. I grew up in Cleveland. Was a big sports fans. My real hero was my dad. He was a champion discus thrower. He is still my hero. My football hero was Jim Brown. Which makes for weird happenings every so often, because I interview him for my job as a sportscaster. As a sports fan, I witnessed the last Cleveland major championship. Browns 1964. The next one I witness will be as a professional. Came close a few times. My job affords me the chance to talk to many of the greats, past and present. Sometimes things go wacky. 1980 in Buffalo, I interviewed Muhammad Ali. On the air, I summed up his personality. "Muhammad Ali is an enigma"...
Many viewers thought I said something else. You can imagine the phone calls.

4. Have been a triathlete since 1985, but didn't get a wetsuit till 1998. Didn't get clipless pedals on my bike until 2000. My best discipline is swimming. Grew up on Lake Erie. Still live near it. As a kid, we used to raft waaaaaay out from shore..and I usually was one to swim to shore.

5. My best friend, Gordie went to BW. I went to Ashland. I visited Gordie alot. I was in a crazy fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. Gordies fraternity at BW had as one of its members, the football coaches son. You might have heard of him. Jim Tressel, Ohio State Coach, whom I have known personally and obviously professionally since those college days. He calls me little "J.T." and refers to himself as the "Big J.T." When I started at Channel 8 in 1980, one of the first interviews I did was with the dying coach of BW football...yep..Jim's father, Lee Tressel. Lee died not long after.

6. Love to read all kinds of books. Not surprising. My Nana was a librarian. I love to go to schools and talk to kids about my love of reading. Euclid. Ohio's library is one of the best anywhere.

7. Family is huge to me. I live 12 blocks from my parents. I am the middle kid of 5 children. I feel blessed to have had grand parents who lived long lives. Two lived into their early 90's. One into the late 80"s. The bride and I have 3 kids..all grown up and gone...for the most part.

Alright, now the tagging. I tag these folks.
1. Charlie
2. Tracies Tri-Adventures
3. Monica
4. Mr. Skin
5. B-bop
6. IronG2015
7. Trisaratops
I was told to mention some rules. 1. Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog which is what I'm doing. Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog# Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.Finally, leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

I apologize in advance. And finally, for those who curse the winter, I leave you with this picture, courtesy of a blogger I have just discovered. Give it up for Jahowie!!! Good night everybody.
Tip your waiters and waitresses

How about that. Winters' Number One!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lets go to the Stability Ball

Stability Balls are amazing tools for core performance. You can take it to this level. I wonder if Robin Hood used a stability ball before he went out to rob from the rich and give to the poor....

I always use a stability ball. I am not at the level of say...surfer Laird Hamilton. I saw a video of him standing on a ball, on a sloping terrain..and curling 40 pound weights. Thats balance. So is surfing 80 foot waves!!! What a freak!!!
I am here to announce I am taking a break from the stability ball. I could stand on the ball, like Laird but for 10 seconds at a time. But, kneel on the ball?? I could do that for real long periods. To make it tough, I would move 4 pound medicine balls from right hand to left hand. Other times, the Bride would toss the balls at me. I felt this was great to engage the core. I felt I had some pretty good balance, for a mid 50's guy. But a few times too many, I would kneel and my butt would go back on my heels and that would take the knee action too far. So, my left knee, which I injured more than 6 years ago, has some tracking issues. How did I injure the knee???
PINEMAN IRONMAN 2001 Mile 13 of the marathon
"you're favoring your left knee, You look in pain"!!!!
"I am. Its killing me. I've got the stride of Quasimodo"
"So....why don't you quit. You've already done 2 Iron's"
"Are you INSANE!!! I am not quitting"!!!!!!

I ran through the pain and the knee hasn't fully returned to normal just yet.
So, until my knee calms down from the stability ball fiasco, running will take a back seat.
Expect to see me in the pool more and lifting more weights for awhile.

Kaleb Kaschalk.

Interviewed Kaleb at a personal training business called Gemini Quest in Broadview Heights, Ohio. Kaleb is the 18 year old who is tackling Ironman France in June. He is raising funds for the V-Foundation for Cancer Research in honor of his deceased grandfather.. I hope to put the piece on the air soon. Will let you know. Kaleb is doing 3 big things at once. Taking 18 hours, more than a full load at school. Soliciting business and people for donations and for an Ironman. He is near $1,000 and has a goal of ten-thousand. Donation page link
(Kaleb and Grampa pictured above)

Got Tagged by Mary:IronMatron.. I am to supply you, dear bloggers, 7 random/weird things about me. Plus, I have to tag 7 others. Be forwarned. I will be tagging real soon. Run for the hills.
And finally, may the Pot at the end of your rainbow be riches and not....

a Porta-Pot

Friday, February 15, 2008


One of my blogging buddies, Tracie had a recent post where she pondered just how some people had found her blog. She has that tracking service that breaks all the visits down. I find it amazing that technology is such that we can do such a thing. I have yet to subscribe as does Tracie, but I am tempted. However, I work at a t.v. station and we live and die by the ratings. And we break those ratings down into demographics. For much of my career I have not worried about how these things are rated, figuring if I just do my job, everything will take care day of itself.
Believe me, if our ratings tanked, I would certainly feel the heat. But I have been fortunate to have worked 28 years now in one place. I know thats not common, and if I sweated the ratings, I think it would affect my work. I also think if I knew where or how people were finding my blog, I would write differently. Perhaps. Maybe. No, most likely. But I can have some fun.
So in the event people need any help in searching the internet for something to read, I give you a dream I may, or may not have had last night.

As the result of hives I got from a bee STING, I missed a workout. I told my bride I was stung, and she said "U2"?? I said yes, so she told me of a remedy. "Fix some asparagus SPEARS. They will be a good medicinal weapon, but if the bee STING starts swelling, then you should LANCE it" The SPEARS didn't work so she tried to LANCE it. The pain was so intense, I jumped like I was shot out of a CANON. After awhile, I felt fine and was very hungry, so went to a new restaurant in town, the KOBE Steak SHAQ. There two of these in world. One in Cleveland, and the other in PARIS, next to the HILTON hotel. They serve steaks with crushed MACCA-damian nuts in them. The waiter told me if I ordered rare "THERE WILL BE BLOOD". I said no problem. All in all a great dinner but the bride , then wanted to go shopping. MACYS had a sale on dresses, but the bride LOST her mind and bought 27 DRESSES.

I woke up in a cold sweat.
The sporting world lost a great man this week. Longtime Cleveland Plain dealer sportswriter Chuck Heaton died at age 90. He was the most professional, courteous, and nicest of people any owner or athlete or fan would ever want to know. He was placed in 9 different Halls of Fame. More than 50 years, he wrote about the Browns, Indians, Cavs, college, high school and much more. He even wrote about my dad, a champion discus thrower in the 19040's and then wrote about yours truly when I began at Channel 8 many moons ago. Many will know him as the father of actress Patty Heaton (Everyone Loves Raymond) and columnist Michael Heaton (Plain Dealer). I knew him as a warm, fair minded reporter who always knew the story was king. Today, many in the business aren't wired that way.

May you all have a great day with excellent workouts.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Vertically Challenged

Okay, so the cartoon is a little graphic, but imagine how charged up the bull would be once the match is applied to the sensitive part..
Thats how I charged out of the blocks to begin the Tackle the Tower on Saturday Am. Let me set this up quickly. 37 floors. The Galleria downtown Cleveland. More than 700 people were entered. Every ten seconds another racer would go off. The Bull just has to go crazy for 10-20 seconds. He throws off a cowboy, gets chased by clowns. Stair-climbers have to sustain in a theatre of anerobic agony.

I took off and flew up the first 4-5 floors. Then the lungs started screaming. My insides were calling out insults every few seconds. The legs were fine. I used the handrails to help propel me upward. It was kinda tight in there and I would pass someone, every 30 or 40 seconds. I only looked at the stairs in front of me. Never looked up. Never looked down. Wanted to get out of my mind, that I was in this claustrophobic arena. That claustrophobia started when I flew with the Blue Angels 3 years ago. It picked up even more when I was strapped into a Indy 2-seater race car with Sebastian Bourdais 2 years ago. Those are posts for some other day..

I had no idea what floor I was on. I tried to block all that out. Just go hard and die trying. I heard sounds bouncing off the concrete walls. It was disorienting.

Soon I heard cheering and figured I was close. Next thing you know. 7 minutes, 11 seconds, I was done... I could feel the blood coming up my throat. The searing pain of the lungs on fire. Ended up coughing the rest of the day. Hard. Sunday my ribs hurt from all the coughing.

Hermes had the results posted pretty quickly on Saturday night. Check em out I wore bib #583. 50-54 Men. 255th out of 711 racers. My hero is Paul Tepley. He's a firefighter. He beat me by 11 seconds........wearing 70 pounds of firefighter gear. WOW. Mentor, Hudson, Willoughby, and several other communities had their finest racing. Props to the firefighters.

Clue to those thinking of racing next year. Sign up early. I had to wait almost 2 hours because I signed up the last week. My son Pat ran over from his apartment, and we hung out in the Galleria...ran about 30-minutes to keep loose and pass the time. He couldn't afford to wait more than 2 hours to race, so he decided not to sign up. I believe the winning time was about 5 minutes. Amazing.
5 Degrees of Seperation

Monday morning. 5 degrees outside. Windchill put it way below zero. How cold??? See the picture of the slushy at the local gas station. Thats windshield wiper fluid. Frozen Tundra weather. So naturally, I went out for a 40 minute run. Wouldn't you??? Of course. Perfect way to begin the week. I was bundled up just fine. Had extra protection for the "boys" . Thats no small concern. Just ask Speedo Steve. This was one of the funniest posts I have read in awhile. Sorry that Steve had to pay the price for my amusement.
I have figured out how to celebrate my 55th birthday. I will fill you in later... Adios

Thursday, February 7, 2008

True Confession

Hi gang..

Training is going well. Saturday is the Tackle the Tower event in downtown Cleveland. 37 flights up the Tower at Galleria. I am ready. Firefighters I know want to know if I could do the event, wearing full firefighter gear?? I am not sure, I want to do that. Thats 70 pounds of gear.!!! However, I will be there and will race. I saw that Speedo Steve in Minnesota won his race. Props to him. But he is a greyhound. I am a bulldog. We'll see. Good luck to anyone racing.

Moonshine and Motorsports
This has nothing to do with triathlons, but I just think its a hoot. Stock Car racing got its origins around illegal moonshine many years ago and now, it looks like its gone full circle. No pun intended. This year in the 50th running of the Daytona 500, Jeremy Mayfield will have a partial sponsorship......Moonshine. How bout that??? Its all legal now and its legitimate. Peruse this story if this floats your boat.

True Confession
Now my confession. I have sinned. I fell off the wagon. Before I toppled, it hit a pothole on the good road to life without beans. Coffee beans. My self professed ban on drinking coffee died a horrible, yet glorious death. I have gone to the dark side. The Dark Roast side, it you will. I enjoyed the tea, but I guess a part of me missed the buzz that high test stuff gives you. So, here we are. There were no dreams of Mrs. Folgers, or Juan Valdez. No covert agents from Seattle hypnotized me, and chanted sweet nothings into my ears. Actually, I had my first cup of coffee at a cafe of the famed Seattle outfit that wants to OWN THE WORLD, and it was across the mall from a store called Teavana. Ahh the ironies of life.

It wasn't even like the whole Bill Clinton-- Monica affair.

Special Prosecutor
Did you, J.T. knowingly have sip with the Kenya Dark Roast??

"It depends what your definition of "sip" is, Mr. Prosecutor".

I have read studies about how caffeine will help offset signs of Alzheimers, so I feel good about that. But all, in all its nice now enjoying a steaming cup, before, or even after a workout.

I hope no one thinks I am a cowardly man, that I wilted under pressure. I have a latte...errr.. alot invested in my health and would not do anything to screw it up, save for a donut or two , or three.

I feel so much better having unburdened myself. I knew that you, friends of the blogosphere would understand.

MyBride Jane
"I don't even know you anymore"

Wives are another story.!!!!

Finally, I have gotten alot of reaction to Kaleb Kaschalk, who is doing Ironman France at barely 19 years of age. Check my previous post and his donation page and email are there. Any help will be appreciated.

Barista, A grande to go, please!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Steelman and Iron-grandson

Above, a serene moment. A Grampa and his grandson. For more on that, continue reading please. but first, I have some unfinished business to attend to.

No Lie, I Tri

Hello there, rap artist/sportscaster/triathlete/father of 3 here. Thanks for checking out my silly little triathlon rap. I appreciate all the comments. Miss the post?, just scroll down, its the most previous post. Many think I should blow it up..put it to video. Some want me to bling it out...get women in the background. Charlie says "don't go gangsta" on us. I put a call into Russell Simmons, but Richard Simmons called back. So I tried Jay Z. No luck, must have been busy with Beyonce. Ask LeBron to hook you up, you say??? I say no thanks, I still have to cover the guy for my job. Maybe I could get Norman Stadler to rap in German, or how about Macca ???? Hummm!!!!

Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent were linked to steriod use. Maybe they could relate to the physical torture we endurance athletes go through. Its a thought. But for now, the No Lie I Tri verse is.....just that....verse. We will see. Wheres Vanilla Ice when you need him most???

My "Bucket List" post got lots of people to think outside the box. I promised to list an "Endurance" related Bucket here goes.

1. Race the Ironman at Kona
2. Run Mohican 100 miler
3. Swim across Lake Erie.
4. Bike across America to fund raise.
5. Do Western States 100
6. Swim Escape from Alcatraz
7. Swim around Manhattan Island
8. Get my Olympic Distance under 2:40
9. Climb up Empire State Building
10. Run from Cleveland to Columbus for chartity

Race For Gramps

Many of our triathlon community race to raise money. Its commendable. TriBoomer, CurlySu. Kona Shelley is helping a triathlete from Cuba get the right gear, etc. There are so many more.

Then, there is Kaleb Kaschalk. He is racing at Ironman Nice, France in June to raise money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. He will be racing to honor his grampa, who died of cancer in 2006. Thats Kaleb on Gramps chest for a double-snooze fest about 18 years ago. Kaleb saw his gramp, a longtime worker at LTV Steel, shrink from the disease and wanted to do anything physically to help him fight the horrible cancer. Still, Gramp passed and Kaleb has taken up the cause. Kaleb is unique because on June 22, 2008 he will only be 2 months past his 19th birthday. Many have told him he is too young to try an Ironman. He makes this point. In France, the minimum age to attempt an Ironman is 19, yet you can drink at 16 and vote at 18. We have exchanged e-mails and I am looking into doing a story on him for our local news. Any encouragement you can give Kaleb would be appreciated. I think its very admirable what he is doing. An Ironman is a tremendous undertaking and he does not take this lightly. Want to chat up Kaleb??? heres his email. Kaleb is a freshman at Youngstown State U. majoring in criminal justice. He wants to become a police officer in Cleveland.

Here is Kaleb's donation page link Any donations would be greatly appreciated

So, there you have it, my friends of cyberspace. Check back here.. I have a huge confession to make in my next post.