Wednesday, April 30, 2008


On the heels of the "Met my goal" on the Hermes 5k, I am putting in some long runs with one day of tempo this week as the Cleveland Half Marathons looms. That race is May 18th..and after that..the schedule will make me feel like a one armed paper hanger...
Edinboro on May 31st...The J.T. 55th Birthday Extravaganza Workout Celebration on June 17th.(Details to follow). The Maumee Bay Tri is June 22nd. I figure I will just do the sprint.. Mountaineer Morgantown Half Iron is June 29th. Devils Hill is just a very evil trick I have to negotiate twice. And the list goes on and on.
Tuesday, I ran 1 hour and 40 minutes very early at North Chagrin. 37 degrees when I started running at 6am. My running thoughts...random as can be. here goes!!

"Ahh theres the Crescent Moon"!!! Cool!!!
Wheres the Kid with the fishing pole??

Ohh yea, thats the Dreamworks it.
My hamstring is tight, it sounds like a deranged, out of tune, violin.!!!
"Watch out for that Horse Poop"..whew!! just missed it.
Thump, Thump, Thump,
Gosh, Roger Clemens has less credibility than PeeWee Herman
Man, its cool out...glad I wore sweat pants.
Thump, Thump,
Better call the guy who cuts my grass. No, better not. Afraid of what he'll charge this year!!!
Pant, Pant!!
I got this park to myself today... WhoooHoo!! Anyone here???
Heart rate is getting a little high, better slow down a bit.
"Thump, Thump, Thump,
When an agent leaves the CIA, who writes him a letter of recommendation??? Just wondering.
Wheres that Port-Pot?? Last nights spaghetti....Yikes!!!!!!! Too much garlic.
6 months from now, we will have a new President
Plod, Plod, Plod,
Ahh yes, the switchback hill..!!!! Go strong up it!!!
Better turn back...gotta get some hydration.
God, please take care of David Martins family!!..and give those San Diego triathletes peace of mind to continue doing that..they honor David.
Thump, Thump,Thump,
I feel guilty making money off energy stocks, but they make up for the other clunkers I have..its a wash.
Plod, Plod,Plod..
Trails give me so many choices, wish the political system did.
Why does LeBron James even acknowledge DeShawn Stevensons is alive??
Plod, Plod, Plod
Ohh, theres the car...almost done... glad I got this in early.
Alright, stretch....
Great run. I feel so alive!!!
Keys????? Where are those flipping keys???

A man came to the Indians ballpark this past Monday who is a true inspiration. Sean Swarner. This man has survived terminal cancer...not once..but twice and he recently climbed Mount Everest. Truly an amazing person. I did not get a chance to meet him, but he threw out the first pitch Monday before the Yankees game. He is another one of those beacons of light that cast a glow about the darkness that can envelope all of us. Just wanted you to hear about him. LINK TO STORY

Saturday, April 26, 2008


There was a rhino on the loose in downtown Cleveland today.

That was me. All 193 pounds of me, running in the Hermes 10-miler-5 k. I ran the 5k. It was one of those goal races, I had on the calendar. My news is good. The news on my son, Patrick is way, way better. Set it up. Warm overnight, but cooling just a bit before we raced. It even rained for the first 4-5 minutes of the race. No biggie. My goal was to average 8:10 per mile.

Mile #1, 7:33. Thats good. Patrick ran with me the first 200 yards and then, I said"Don'l let me drag you down". He agreed and was gone in a flash. I knew the 7:33 was a bit quick and I naturally slowed down in mile #2. Hit that mark in 15:57 total. Slowed down a little bit more in the third mile and finished in 25:06. My average ...8:06 per mile. I just beat my goal!!!! Good enough for a 43rd overall out of 175 runners. I was 4th in my age group, out of...4 guys..but hey, I would have won the womens 30-34!!!! Should I get that sex change operation???? Anyway, I felt I ran it as hard as I could have. There was not much left. Patrick, who only 2 and a half years ago, was a smoker and not much of an exercise guy, turned in a perfect average of 7:00 per mile. He was 10th overall and won his 25-29 age group.!!!!!! I am really proud of him. Last year, he got into triathlons, and finished 2 sprints and one oly. His oly was 2:35 at Portage Lakes. He is doing incredibly well.

Doctor Jodi ran the 10 miler, and I was unable to stick around and see how she finished. I checked her results online and I figure she will drop a post on the race, so if you are able...stop by her blog and see how she did. (Jodi Blog Link)

The past weeks training was as good as the one before. I had 3 long runs at North Chagrin. The longest of 1 hour 45 minutes. 2 Spin classes and one long weight session. The nicer the weather, the more, I head to the trails and I would rather hit the hills than a gym.

Next race??? Rite-Aid Half Marathon on May 18th. Goal. 1:53. We'll see. Soon, the triathlon season will be here.

You see Ali. You see Frazier. Those two were the perfect rivals in boxing in the heavyweight division. Rivals are the rocket fuel that propell the intensity of sports. In my neck of the woods, its the Browns vs the Steelers. Ohio State vs Michigan. I grew up in Euclid, Ohio. Back then, it was my Euclid Panthers vs the St. Joe Vikings.

Rivals have the ability to transcend sports. In triathlon, we hear of Macca vs Norman Stadler, but the battles between Mark Allen and Dave Scott were legendary. This link takes you to a video of the 1989 Ironman. There are 4 or 5 parts. That year, Mark Allen broke through and won. It was the first of his 6 titles. Scott also won 6 times. They had epic battles on the lava fields of Kona. Their rivalry overshadowed everything else in the sport.

Who do you recognize as your fierce rival??? What competitor brings out the best in you??? Or is it just the distance that you measure and strive against???

Tuesday, April 22, 2008



An update on our 15 year old friend, known as THE BAG, in a second, but first some training news and plaudits.

Coming off a fabulous week of training. My most recent post talked of hitting the trails and the wonderful spring weather has aided that a bit. Love it that we are getting what many other cities have..a real spring... Not any teases. Just nice warm- above average temps and sunny skies. Last week, I ran a total of 6 hours..mostly trails...very little tempo work. Got in two spinning classes. Not really swimming. Schedule conspiring against me hitting some sessions, such as HB.

Still have not raced my April 5 k. That could be this weekend. House of Blues has a 10 miler and a 5 k. NFL Draft and Cavs Playoffs might jeopardize.

Got even more inspiration recently by pulling out the DVD of the Ironman 04. Norman Stadler killed on the bike. Peter Reid couldn't make up the ground. Nina Kraft won, while Natasha Badman smiled her way to second....only to have Kraft disqualified for blood doping. Nothing like the sound of Al Trautwigs voice chronicling the personal stories of those elite racers and the every-day folks who give their hearts and souls to the 140 mile distance

Props to Carrie of Austin, Texas for a incredible rookie performance in Ironman Arizona. 12 hours and some change. Amazing. Her blog is Tri to be Funny and is listed in my margin. Visit it if you can. Great recap of the race. IMAZ had an incredible percentage of people that did not finish. Was brutal. Carrie kicked butt.

Also, fellow blogger and ultra-runner Bubba completed his first 100 miler. He smoked to a 4th place overall. Great recaps at his blog... Bubba is dah man!!!

I know Daisy and E-Speed ran Boston Monday. E-speed PR'd by over 4 minutes. Daisy treated it as a fun experience because she is pointing toward Cleveland in 4 weeks. She still posted a 4:17. Props to her and look out Cleveland!!!!.


Walked to the pier and was astonished to see THE BAG at the end and looking like he was gonna end it all. He was questioning the meaning of life when he learned I was thinking of dumping him for a new bag.

I told him I was sorry he was feeling this way and that...gosh darn is wonderful, and all that....even for a bag. I detected a sneer. He shot back at me that bags and jeans and caps and tee shirts are made nowadays to look like they are broken in and that he, THE BAG has 15 years of service.
The bag claims he got the distressed look because he worked his leather off. He said he would put his track record up against any bag anywhere. He didn't try to be cool...he was cool and he would out work any bag from Coach, Armani....etc. He began to win me over.

I remember all the great comments from my blogging buddies, about how THE BAG is a treasure and how he has served me well. I thought of my career. I am a mature guy (54yrs old) in a young business..(t.v.) and how would I like it if some kid with perfect hair and perfect teeth took my job?? I mean, its tough enough nowadays being on the tube with High Def. Thats not made for mid-fifites guys whose hair follicles have gone on vacation.

So, I decided its just not right to dump the TUMI. He and I will continue our working relationship. Its Batman and Robin all over again. J.T. and THE BAG will ride off into the sunset. Maybe a Cleveland team will even win a championship!!!!! Last night, we celebrated our renewed understanding before the Cavs-Wizards playoff game. Shucks, guys, I'm getting all emotional!!!!! Talk amoungst yourselves!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

JT Says "Bag it"

My previous post talked about going back to my roots and so I have been doing a bit more running on trails than in the past. I have written before about how much I love North Chagrin Reservation. The Bridle Paths. The Trails. So many ways to run. So little time.

Squires Castle might be the signature place in the Park, but its just a great place to explore. My love of the place goes back to days when I was about 5, and our family came here sometimes to skate on Strawberry Pond.

I have been hitting the Towpath more and more. Have to thank the Cavaliers for that. They built a state of the art training center on Route 21, about a half mile from my drop in point to the Towpath. The Trailhead near Lock 39. Until this season, the Cavs trained downtown at the "Q". My most recent run on the Towpath was an 8 mile, out and back. Averaged 9:00 per. Good workout. Have a Half Marathon in a month.

My first Triathlon this year will likely be the Edinboro Triathlon, (LINK) May 31st. Done it about 7 times...Just shy of a Olympic Distance. The run is a bugger. First 3 miles are uphill. You don't get your stride til your about to loop back. Its been touted in past years as one of the best Triathlons around. The water is usually pretty snappy. To think I did it 3 times before I got a wetsuit!!! Brrrrrr!!!!


Its me....yeah...the bag that you see. Heres a photo of me and J.T. when he was doing some work at the ballpark. I'm almost 15 years old. I'm tough. I'm made of leather. I was raised by the Tumi's. Anyway, I'm crushed. J.T. was telling his colleagues he's thinking of trading me in for a newer bag.. What an ungrateful lout he is. I have been with J.T. through thick and thin ever since the Bride gave me to J.T. for his 40th birthday. I mean, I lug around his notes, his laptop, credentials, cellphone, makeup. (Yeah, the goofball wears makeup for his job.) We have been like Batman and Robin all these years. I mean, sometimes he leaves me alone by the camera...... Sometimes he just puts me in the dugout, while he's out on the field yapping away with the players...or even the guys he works with...

Theres Photographer Dough Herrmann trying to save me from certain death... But no one cares about my plight.

Ohh the places we've been.,NBA playoffs, NBA finals...Lots of major league playoff games...2 World Series. The Dominican Republic where J.T. spent 2 weeks traveling the country to do baseball stories. A crooked Domincan cop pulled J.T. over and hit him with a bogus violation!!! The cop wanted ME as a bribe. J.T. said no!!! I don't know how he talked his way out of that one!!!!! We've been to BCS title games, OSU-Michigan tussles, Browns-Steelers games..High school football. High school basketball..even when that LeBron guy was a sophomore. JT left me out in the rain a few times!! Once he left me on the ground outside the press room at Firestone Country Club and some guy named Tiger almost tripped over me.!!!! Could you imagine the headlines. "Tiger Trips over Tumi, Breaks Ankle. Oh, its been a blast but J.T. obviously could care less. I hear my replacement is not even leather. Some canvas thing he got at the NBA Finals... Some Damn Bag with...get this...Wheels!!!! Can you believe it??!!! Sheeeesh!!! This is killing me.. Help!!! I don't want to go to the Goodwill Store!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Our friends in Seattle are trying to recapture the glory days of 1971 when the behemoth of beans began life as a little coffee shop.

So they rolled out a new-old look. This is the vintage logo from years ago. Yep, just like the sports teams that sell "throwback" jerseys or caps and stuff, the Seattle people are going back to their roots. Coffee. Pure and simple. Its daring strategy. Will it work??? many are wondering.

I just think they are returning to what they do best. Brew those beans and rake in the cash. Whattya think of the mermaid??? Little risque???? LOL.

In our training, sometimes we need to just go right back to what we are good at. Period. You began your endurance career as a swimmer. Hey get back in the pool and refine your stroke. You are Norman Stadler on the bike??? Try to shave even more time off your rides. I wish I had a penny for every ground ball I saw Omar Vizquel take as shortstop of the Indians for many years. A magician with the glove and he still, was taking thousands and thousands of grounders. 5 years after he takes his last grounder, he could be on the grounds of the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Those were his roots. He fielded balls with gloves made out of cardboard as a kid in Venezuela. He always thought he could improve.

I was a cross country runner in 8th and 9th grade, and ran as a sophomore and junior before I was cleared to play football, the sport I really loved. I had a bad back. Through it all, I came to love running in virgin wilderness..on trails not taken often. Free running, mind drifting, taking in the elements...breathing easy, sweating, pounding...Listening to the woodpeckers jackhammers, the birds choruses in the trees..the sound of the water in the creeks trickling past. I did that this morning...getting in an hour at North Chagrin. Brought the Silver Bullet Sebring. Took the top down, even though it was only 49 degrees. BUT IT WAS AWESOME.

As I ran, I thought of Americas poet, Robert Frost, and of one of his most famous poems. The Road Not Taken. I thought of how its just ME and the elements. How I make decisions on the fly. While I see the beauty and the incredible benefits to using Garmin while running, I could not resist the urge to take a gentle jab at the technology while in the Robert Frost State of Mind... so...with version of


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
I checked my garmin of where I stood
and I looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

My garmin gave no clue, that wasn't fair,
I took the other road just the same,
because it was grassy, but I hadn't a care
Though my lame garmin filled me with despair
both roads were worn really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no GPS would likely track
Oh, I kept the first for another day!!
Yet knowing how way leads leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a mournful sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
Used my Garmin and took the one less traveled by,
And ..... fell into a trench.

Happy Training

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pyramid Scheme

Welcome to Riviera Maya. I hope you enjoy the little excursion. Tips in pesos por favor. Gracias.
Since this is an endurance blog, here are the training routines I did while in Mexico. Run 5 times, no run longer than 45 minutes. Lift weights for upper body 3 times. Swim alot, snorkel alot. No monitoring of heart rates, or VO Max was done while on this vacation. Still, the workouts were all very good and it was nice to not lose sight of the big picture while enjoying the time with the Bride.

Now, the quick tour. This is the lost Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Its become an incredible tourist attraction. Named recently as one of the new, 7 wonders of the world, Chichen Itza is spellbinding, and compelling. Come here close to noon and its hotter than a habanero pepper in a kiln.

This is the Pyramid of the Kulkulcans. 365 steps, if you count the platform on top. The Mayans were very advanced. Everything here was built with a purpose. Legend has it that during the winter and summer equinox's the sun shadow creates the form of a serpent on the side of the pyramid.

I wanted this to be one of my workouts, but I was told, climbing the ruin is now frowned upon. Only on special occasions, I am told can visitors head up. So much for that workout!!!

The society had its classes. High Priests, elders, leaders on top, along with............. the ball players... Not much different than today. The ballplayers had more significance. Today ballplayers earn huge amounts and get featured on "Cribs". Back then, the ball players competed in the ball court, when occasions called. You see, if things were not right with the universe in the Mayans minds.(Drought, for instance) the ball court would be used for a game. The object was to get a rubber ball, about 6 pounds in weight, through the ring, 22 feet up.

The teams had 7 players, with one exceptional talent on each team trying to score. Think Kobe vs LeBron. The player who scored would be hailed by the thousands. Today, the player gets a spot on Oprah. Back then, the player was put to death, according to legend. It was a reward and was not thought as a bad thing. The next life was something to strive for. I'll take the spot on Oprah.

There are many sites around Chichen Itza to explore. Very fascinating. I want to go back to Mexico and see many more of the ruins around the country. It would be cool to do a running tour over a few weeks period and see the sights.

Could I pass up a trip to the Island of Women??? Isla Mujeres. Even with the Bride keeping a close eye on me???? Course not. Its 45 min ferry boat ride from Cancun. You can explore the rocky coasts, snorkel, swim, lay out..even walk all the way to the far eastern edge of the island and see more Mayan ruins. The one with flat top at end of island looks like an outdoor barbeque compared to Chichen Itza. The Brides analysis, not mine.

Be mindful of the iguanas. Hey its their island, not mine. There are even, Iguana Crossing Signs on the island. Hey, they look both ways.

Above the cliffs at Royal Garrafon are zip lines. Caught, the Bride taking off on her run.

If you have a weird sense of humor (Blush) you would think the zip line is only for pregnant women, or people that are drunk. At least thats how I interpreted it..Ha.!!
All, in all, Mexico was amazing. From Cancun, to Playa del Carmen, it was an incredible trip.


About a week ago, we ran the piece on the soon to be 19 year old Ironman, Kaleb Kaschalk. Hopefully, this LINK will get you there. Kaleb is at around 25-hundred dollars raised, all for cancer research as his grandfather died of cancer 2 years ago.


Props to one of my childhood buddies, Darrell Nagy and his son, Stephen. Dad and son have done some marathons together in Virginia. Dad nails his in the 3:50 range and son is right there with dad. Congrats!!! May your runs be long, and your lives, longer.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chicken Pizza

Dancing on clouds of cotton, 35-thousand feet above the caribbean. It certainly can't be a bad thing. The Bride and I are returning from a week in the sun of Mexico. The people here in the Yucatan Peninsula nicknamed this ancient Mayan ruin "Chicken Pizza" Its actually Chichen Itza, recently voted as one of the New 7 wonders of the world.

Incredible place.

I wanted to post while on vacation, but, I am afraid to say, the only use the laptop got was as a charger for my Brides Ipod. Getting internet was a little cumbersome, and frankly, we had things to see and much to do. I will collect my thoughts, gather just a few photos...(promise I won't bore you) and I will post ASAP.

In the meantime, I hope to catch up on some blogs as well. Be back with you folks, with training news and word on athletics to the death, the worlds most exotic stairmaster, and much more.