Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Hi again. Wanted to drop a post on you guys. Not sure if I will be able to post in the next week as the Bride and I are heading to a little vacation where its warm. One week of SP50. Hot, sunny.I will run much, and swim. If we can find access to blogland, then by all means, I will pop in. Who knows. They might have Commodore 64 computers where we are headed. Ha, the internet explorer might be "Lewis and Clark". Really. Two guys in a canoe.

Training update. Excellent. Been doing alot of interval work. My goal of an 8:00 pace for a 5 k is within reach, I think. I will do the 5k on April 13th at Hathaway Brown. On April 19th, there is a class for newby crew folks put on by the Western Reserve Rowing Association. The Bride was signed up but can't make it. I might fill in for her. Will be interesting.

Thanks to the gang at Ohio Sports and Fitness Magazine for having yours truly amoung a group of guys they featured in the March issue. At your store today. Haha. Heres the link. You scroll down to some old dude in a wetsuit..Ha. I look stoned, for goodness sakes, LOL. Thanks to Stacy, the magazines head honcho, and to Steve Schirra for writing the piece. You'll see a piece on Paul Martin. I remember doing a story on him for Fox 8. I am just here enjoying the gift the Lord gave me. Using my body to enjoy the sport, and hopefully inspire others to maximize their potential.

Someone once said, "Golf is a good walk spoiled" I'm not sure D.J. Gregory would agree to such a statement. D.J. might not know what a "good walk" is like. He has C.P.. Walking becomes a Herculean task. Agonizing. Not Pretty. While Tiger Woods has had his own kinda win streak going. D.J. has one of his own. He has walked every hole of every PGA tourney this year. Its a remarkable streak. He could cop out and demand a cart. Nope. Check out this YOU TUBE VIDEO and I am sure you'll see what an amazing thing he is doing. Want more??? Awesome article in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Props to D.J., another member of J.T's Motivation Nation.

In the meantime. Keep grinding away.. Keep blogging and reaching greater heights.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Some quick training notes before we wax philosophical.. Had a great week training. Perfect week actually, even though it began rather sluggishly. Doing some out of the box routines. Bouncing from one discipline to the next. Quick sample???

1. Intervals on the Concept 2 Rowing machine. Like, 10 x 500 meters, with 20 second rest in between. I shoot for 2:30 in each one. (Model below Not TriGuyJt)

2. Rope skipping. 8 x 2 minutes hard with 60 second rest.
3. Elliptical for 15 minutes at 80 percent of max heart rate
4. Bike 20 minutes, with intervals.
5. Cap it off with a treadmill run with pick me up tempos faster than my 5 k goal pace.

Most of these workouts come after I do strength training. I will admit, a little trip to that place that sells ground beans made into a liquid comes before the workout.
I will either race a 5 k April 13 at Hathaway Brown, or April 19 at a race suggested byTriEric and Monica.

Out of the box training reminds me of all the incredibly dedicated wrestlers whom I have had the pleasure of covering and or knowing over the years. I covered the legendary Dan Gable when he was the coach of the perennial champion Iowa Hawkeyes. Most intense person I have ever been around in sports. Period. I remember the first marathon I ran was in spring 1978. The Drake Relays Marathon. Out and back if I recall. I ran out, was making the turn, and at the moment, a car appeared and out piled a whole bunch of wrestlers. They were capping off an already gruelling session in the wrestling room with a half marathon. Dan Gable was leading them in the run. Legend has it that he used a pack of playing cards. He wrote something on each card. Like 50 crunches. or... 5 back and forth crab-walks, or 20 pullups.. 52 cards. Each had something. He would shuffle the deck and pick a card and do that exercise. He would go through the whole pack. And then do it again....and again. You could never out work that man.

The cards are a great trick. Switches things up.. Keeps it interesting.

Sorry to report that Bobby Martin did not get a spot on the Cleveland Gladiators Arena team. However, Bobby continues to inspire others.

Wheelchair marathoner will appear on a Wheaties Box that highlights military personnel. In the meantime, Holly will attack every race like its her last.

He is the soon to be 19 year old who will enter the Ironman in Nice, France this June. He continues to train and raise money for the V Foundation . Here is his donation page All this is in honor of his late Grampa, who died of cancer. My piece on him has yet to run on Fox 8. Its very touching to see baby Kaleb with grampa.

and..... speaking of the dreaded c word. This reminds me of a story about one young man's turn around. How he came to the proverbial fork in the road. Destructive path one way. Redemptive path the other.

December 2006 he was getting honored by his high school for earning a college football award. He was given a jersey from his high school. It was very touching. He balled like a baby.

Afterwards I asked him, what was going through his mind when he was getting the jersey, and the digntitaries were offering verbal bouquets in his honor.

He said, " I was remembering how my coach took me aside that summer before my senior year. He told me I was a cancer to the team. He told me my attitude was bad and that I was a destructive force. But, he told me all of this from a position of Love. I had never heard that before. No one had ever spoken to me like that and certainly no one had ever admonished me with so much love. I decided to change my ways".

The player changed his ways. There were bumps along the road. The player was suspended for taking money from a college booster. He had to work his way up from practice squad player, to second string and finally to being a starter. His senior year, his team was the best in America after beating its arch-rival.

The player won this trophy.

And now, today, Troy Smith is going into his second year with the Baltimore Ravens. He talks to kids in Cleveland and Baltimore about making the right choices. Its all because he came to a fork in the road, and he made the right choice.

We might not have choices that Troy was faced with. Maybe our choice is just how much we will swim today. Or whether or not we should volunteer at the Salvation Army, or how we will treat our bosses or friends. May you be guided to make the right choices.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hemingway and Holly

Trisaratops will be the one to blame. The Ironmom, who has a very popular blog zipped a comment my way. She suggested I shoot for a 1:50 in the Cleveland Half Marathon in mid May. Thats what she is pointing towards, and the more I think about it, the 1:50 will be the perfect Intermediate Goal for me. Thats about 8:30 per mile. With the St. Malachi race in the books, I have made a new, short term goal. 8:10pace for a 5k race, sometime in April. Know of any good races????? Shoot me an email, por favor. Thanks TriSaratops for giving me the Motivation. I also posted my (things could change, but lets get this down) Schedule for 08.

I have to say, Sara's blog was one of the first ones that I read when I ventured into the endurance blogosphere. Very entertaining stuff. Charlie'sTrifolk, I first checked out and Jodi's and DaisyDucs as well. All Cleveland area triathletes. All their links are in the margin to the right. I first starting reading blogs last summer. It was in early October, when I fired up this bad boy. Since then, I've come to read lots of great blogs from near and far.!!!


Ernest Hemingway has inspired many writers all over the world. In a way, we bloggers of the endurance kind are doing things the Hemingway. The bearded wonder always believed that a writer could treat a subject honestly only if the writer had participated or observed the subject closely. HELLO!!! Thats what we endurance bloggers do. We sweat, we grind, we suffer the agonies of the quest to expand our horizons. All the while, we peck at our keyboards and reach others with our accounts of the experience. Hemingway figured the work would be flawed because those reading would sense the lack of expertise. He ran with the Bulls, or went deep sea fishing and many other things and those experiences would find the printed page.

Hemingway wrote sparingly. He made every word count. How would he describe racing in a triathlon????? Heres my version of Old Man and the Sea. (or Triguyjt in a wetsuit.)


He gazed at the water. It invited his form. He dove in. The liquid taunted him. He stroked assuredly. The distance, 2.4 miles was covered in 1 hour and 20 minutes. He was tired and swallowed much seawater.

He left the sea and ran to his bike.

"How far will you bike?", asked the woman

"Not far"


"Yes, really"

"Good luck. Will I see you again?"

"Yes, but first I have many hills to climb".


"I would like a banana", he said. "The banana will sustain me".

"Would you like a ripened one, or should I climb that tree?".

"Climb the tree, and fetch me a Gatorade"

He conquered the hills and was very speedy on the bike. After 6 hours, he was back to put away his bike. He still had a marathon to run. He was sweating alot, and noticed the woman was gone. Where did she go?? Damn those women!!

(and so on, and so forth. Thats the essence of Hemingway....I think)


Thanks to the Cleveland Plain Dealer for an nice article today on wheelchair racer Holly Koestner. Holly has raced all over America and is bearing down on her goal of racing marathons in all 50 states. She is an inspiring example of dedication and determination. I poked around the web for more stuff on her. This piece written in 2005 was about her incredibly gutsy finish to the Marathon in the South Dakota Black Hills which began at Mt. Rushmore and finished at Crazy Horse Monument. South Dakota was where the Bride and I first lived in 76-77 as newlyweds when I worked at KEVN TV. I loved the Black Hills. However, the hills can be brutal and to push up those inclines in a wheelchair at the end of a marathon takes an amazing person. She belongs in the J.T. Motivation Nation Hall of Fame.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why do the FLATS have hills???

They call them the flats. The region along the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. Well...on Saturday at the St. Malachi 5 miler, I saw more hills than flats. Thats okay and it was not a shock to me. I have raced triathlons that have us dip down into the flats on the run portion, but its always a test when you face those inclines...without a car.

I met fellow blogger and triathlete Daisy Duc before the race and chatted a bit with her afterward. Hi Daisy. If you read her blog, you know that she is prepping for the Boston Marathon and that she likes to race alot. I have usually just raced in triathlons but Daisy pointed out that its good to run some road and or trail races to work on your tempo for the run. Good advice. Thanks!! She kicked my butt, but I am happy to report, I met my goal.

Goal was to average 9 minute miles. I hit a 8:28 per mile pace. First mile was 8:00, second split was 8:20..slowed a little on mile #3, held steady the next couple miles and then finished 42:20 chip time. Killer hill for last quarter mile to the finish. Finished 25th in my 50-54 age group of 65 guys. About 450th out of nearly 1,100. All in all a good effort.

I am looking for another race to run in the next month. The immediate goal would be to go sub 8:10 pace in a 5k. An earlier post had me setting a goal of sub 1:53 in the Cleveland Half Marathon in mid may. My effort yesterday convinces me that I should aim for a quicker time.

Thanks for all the comments about my recent post of inspiring football player Bobby Martin. I have been toying with the idea of having more motivational aspects to my blog, with stories like Bobby included. I can also quiz the athletes I cover on what inspires them. Whattya think??

Could call it "JT's Motivation Nation".
In the meantime, check out this video of Dustin Carter. He is as inspiring, if not more than Bobby Martin. His workout regime is insane!!!!!.

Props to hoops and fashion icon LeBron James for gracing the cover of Vogue Magazine. He is only the 3rd man to be featured thusly. I have to ask him if he will open up his own fashion line, seperate from Nike. Maybe he idolized Oscar De La Renta, instead of Oscar Robertson as a kid. Triathletes might know that he owns a piece of Cannondale Bike company and that biking is a big part of his training. Would love to see how he would do in a triathlon. Is he a good swimmer????

Finally, its called memory foam...and some mattress company touts it in their ads. I ask how can the foam remember your bodies setting, when I forgot what I had for breakfast.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Inspiring Young Man

Its been more than a week since my wife "fired me". I can't thank her enough. My workouts have been incredible. I am inspired. Her words to me about having a purpose when I workout really hit home. I was really moved to do my best...and then....I ..met a young man.

Bobby Martin of Dayton. He got a tryout with the Cleveland Gladiators Arena Football League team. My piece on him ran on our newscasts tonight. ( link to piece on our website) Perhaps you have heard about him. Bobby has no legs. He was born with causal regression syndrome. No Legs. His gramma wanted him to stay inside and shun the world. His mother told him to get outside and make it. That he has done.

Bobby played high school football in 2005. He was homecoming king. He has won an ESPY for his inspiration to others. He has a never" accept defeat" attitude. A book is in the works. Oprah wants him. Bobby is softspoken but packs a punch. I considered it a blessing to meet him and hope I can pass along a few of his words to make others "never accept defeat".

What inspires you??
"What inspires me is to go out and try to touch someones life. I tell them don't give up..make every day count. God put you here to do your job and never let anything bring you down or sadden you"
What is the message you try to bring to people.??
My message is to never accept defeat. If someone tells you that you can't do something, that should inspire you to try it. Accepting defeat in not a part of Gods plan for you.
Who inspired you?
"My mom, who never let me stay inside and avoid life. She made me go out and greet the world. If my gramma had her way, I would have never gone out. My mom let me go out and interact with the world. She is really my inspiration.
What is like to know you inspire so many people?
"Its a great feeling to know that every day when I get up I can impact someones life.
That I can give someone the courage to try to do something. It really inspires me. Its just a great feeling"

I know that some people will use less than flattering terms when describing Bobby. That its like a "freak" show when they have seen him . I don't buy that. Bobby is here for a reason. Whats yours????

Friday, March 7, 2008

You're Fired

"If you were one of my clients, I would fire you" Yep. Thats what the bride told me a few mornings ago. I was grousing about getting to the gym and getting in my workout. She had noticed lately how I was working out, but I was not really working out. The Bride is a personal trainer. Put both trainers, Jillian and Bob from the "Biggest Loser" together and you have my bride. Whats the country saying?? "You can't sneak a sunrise past a rooster". She knows when your committed and when your not. She called me out. Fired!!! I'd rather have Donald Trump. The Bride is a taskmaster. When she used to work me out, I really got alot out of the challenging sessions. But I came to a point where I said that I could "Handle it from here". In essence, I told her, I no longer needed her guidance. That was wrong. I need a quick kick in the fanny. So, her hypothetical firing was good medicine indeed.

This means, I put out there, short term, intermediate term and long term goals.
Short term..... sub 9:00 min a mile pace in the St. Malachi 5 miler next week.
Intermediate term... Mid May Cleveland Half-Marathon..sub 1:53. This goal is doable, and depending on my fitness level prior to the race, I just might adjust. We'll see.
Long Term.. Sub 6 hour in the Greater Cleveland Half Ironman in August. My pr for a Half-Ironman was in 2002 at Deer Creek. 5:47. This is a very challenging goal. I was 49 then, I will be 55 on race day. I really have to kick it in gear. "Hey my lovely Bride, I neeed ya baby!!!!"

I will also post my race schedule in the margins. Look for that to appear.


I am kidding of course. Who doesn't love the ageless wonder of weathermen??? Clevelanders have watched Dick for decades.....and....decades. I have worked with him for 28 years. I kid him that he gave Noah the first 8 day forecast.

"better hurry up building that ark, Noah"
"Building the ark is pain, enough, I can't find a mate for this mongoose"
"I checked the maps, its pretty much, rain, rain, rain for the next year."
"Figures... I ran out of Thompson Water Sealer. Can you run to "Lords" for another can?"

Anyway, Goddard comforts us when the wintery blasts hit and he is trying his darndest with the huge storm we are under. Easily a foot or more of snow everywhere. Its trying our patience. I love the snow...but even this is getting to me. It too shall pass.

Watching Survivor and I notice this really cut, super-built guy and remark to the Bride. "Wow, that guy is in fantastic shape". You know, a brilliant comment with lots of insight. Bride says, "He's a gravedigger". Get out!!! You mean, thats all thats standing in the way of a super body. Get me a shovel, dig me a grave,, show off my body, watch the ladies mis-behave!!!!!! Ha.
Every cemetery could sign up guys or gals to work on their deltoids and lats. , while Aunt Millie gets a proper burial. Everyone wins!!!!! Except Aunt Millie.
See you around

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Florida Buzz

Hi gang.. back from sunny Florida. Got in a couple of decent runs, 2 elliptical workouts and alot of ground covered walking all over the Indians complex in Winter Haven, Florida. Basically, you have an agenda. Interview 40 players. Get video of all of them. Blog for , chart all the interviews and then edit to the Tampa Fox affiliate and feed back to Cleveland. Its great fun. Saw several games, including a pair with the Tigers. Indians and Detroit should battle for the division title.
Shot a story in Clermont, Florida which reminded me that the Great Floridian Triathlon is contested there. By the way, its pretty hilly, which I had not figured. My swim buddies from Fairport Harbor, Karen, Eddie and Juan, competed at the Great Floridian. However, my reason for being there was much more sobering. 15 years ago, a tragic boat crash claimed the lives of 2 Indians pitchers. Steve Olin and Tim Crews. It was dusk, they were skimming quickly over the water and they never saw a boat dock. Horrific. It was eerie to walk on that dock and to revisit the scene. My story on that airs late March.

Caught up with an old colleague of mine, Vince Cellini.
He's an anchor with the Golf Channel. Talk about incredible gigs. Watch golf. Talk about it. Not that I'm not blessed to do what I do. Vince was the first intern I had at Channel 8, back in 1982. We have kept in touch all the years since he left the station for CNN back in 1989. When you get down to it, we are just two kids from Collinwood and Euclid, Ohio.

Saturday night at a famous steakhouse in Orlando. All of a sudden, the place is abuzz. Kids are getting up from their tables. Cellphone cameras pop out.

The Hulkster, Hulk Hogan was in the house. He paraded by with an entourage of 8. Could only imaging how big the porterhouse was that he ordered.

If you've followed this blog, you may be aware how I gave up coffee, only to fall back on my wicked ways. I am at bliss with one Grande cup of joe from the folks in Seattle. Joe Borowski, the relief pitcher for the Indians must not be human. He told me that this winter he was drinking 5 Venti cups of Starbucks a day. Thats 5 LARGE cups!!! Starbucks high-test coffee could make an elephant twitch. My heart races when I have more than one. With 5 cups, Joe's heart rate must be hummingbird-like. WOW. He says he quit cold turkey in mid January. Wasn't that when the Starbucks stock took a dip?? Coincidence, I think not.

Many of my interviews have little to do with baseball but more to do with an aspect of the players life. A quirk. Something a bit different. Travis Hafner, aka Pronk has a dry sense of humor. He's a North Dakota kid. Not many guys make the majors from that state. He's also a huge wrestling fan. He was jealous that the Hulkster came to that steakhouse when I was there and not him. Travis is also a big movie fan. He is getting plenty of ribbing from his teammates. He thinks he's a dead ringer for Javier Barden... IF..and this is big.. IF he wore a Prince Valiant hair cut. What do you think???
I don't make this stuff up.