Monday, June 30, 2008


Fabulous time spent in lovely West Virginia for the Spirit of Morgantown Half Ironman and Olympic races. Note lonely runner above (Blush)

About the Fountain of Youth I spoke of on the last post. Looked at the hfpracing site before leaving for the 3.5 hour ride there and I noticed..They had this old bird, registered in....dahh dahh... the 35-39 year age group. A mistake perhaps???Hummm...or was it a little teaser to me that things were going to be very interesting in the hills of West Virginia. Could I pull this off?? , I mean if I was really 35 ..not 55, then I had to erase everything in my life from 1953- to 1973. Good..No Dick Nixon, no Watergate, no Vietnam. Bad... no Beatles coming to Browns NFL championship in 64'. Good, no getting my head dunked in a toilet in 7th grade in 1966. Bad...,no JFK, Bobby , or Martin Luther King Jr. The possibilities were endless.

Patrick and I drove to the city and checked into the race expo to get our stuff. (Memo to HFP...expo???? really...) It was there that I reluctantly ended the whole "I'm 35 years old charade". However, even though they corrected my age , they still gave me a number that put me in with the 35-39 age group. So I racked my bike with the "kids" in the garage. and hung out a little with TriEric and his wife Aimee. We only met in person Saturday. Great guy and man, can the dude swim-ride-and run. Patrick and I met Karen Ruth, and Eddie Police for a bite in the Boathouse Bistro, which is right above the swim section of the course. Gorgeous setting. Karen's friend Jennifer joined us and regaled us with tales of the Triple T weekend competition from late May in Portsmouth. Karen and Eddie are multiple Ironman finishers. Karen is recovering from a bike crash-shouler injury.

Race morning , the garage was buzzing at 6am with the first wave of the Half Iron swimset for 7:30.

Met up again with Aimee and Eric for a pic...(J.T--Aimee--Eric--Patrick). Met a few other Cleveland Tri Club members and readied for the swim portion. They shut off the Dam on the river and suspend the current for a few hours. Very Cool. My wave, 50 plus and teams was the last of the Half's to go at 7:54am.

I stationed myself up front and started strong. I noticed other white swim caps with me for awhile..but I was moving very well. Next thing I know, I am catching caps in the group ahead of me. Then they started the first wave of the Olympic at 8am, and as we had to got out a little further for the 1.2 miles, the Olympic guys almost magically appeared with us as we were coming back towards the Boathouse. It wasn't that congested. Things thinned out. I had a strong stroke the whole swim. Stayed on line.. Finished in 38 minutes. Gave me a good bit of adrenaline. Next, a roughly 300 yard jog up the incline to the River path and to the garage.

Got out on the bike and, having done the race in 07, felt pretty comfortable with it. We had heavy humidity and early in the bike, we got a good downpour, but nothing that troubled fact it was refreshing. First 10 miles are not demanding, but towards the middle of each of the two laps we did there is some climbing, but nothing that busts you. My nutrition plan was to ingest a Hammer Gel every 50 minutes. I had two big bottles of gatorade on the bike and I took water from each aid station. After the turnaround on lap one, there is a long, gradual, somewhat demanding climb, followed by a dip and then a little more intense but short climb. After that, you are home free. You can really get going,..but just watch out for the road imperfections. They can rise up and bite you if not careful. I heard several racers took spills. Finished the two laps and averaged just under 17 miles an hour. (Note to improvement or race times will not change much). We had mostly cloud cover and some rains, but the weather was not adverse at all. Things were fine.

Got on the run path, which takes you south along the river to a point of about 2 miles...some of which is on a dirt-cinder path and shaded. I loved that part of the run, but its too short. You turn back, run past the swim area, the garage and the real cool amphitheatre by the river which is where the race ends, but you keep heading north along the river to 6th street. Thats where the famous Devils Hill is. Its 3 seperate inclines..the steepest about 18 degrees. You walk it. You curse it. You just get past it. There is an aid station at the top, but your not done. you turn right theres another incline, but not as bad. Through the city, there are some rolling ups and downs but nothing is as bad as the Devils Hill, complete with a kid dressed as the Devil.
Nutrition was fine. Never taken as many Gels as I did Sunday and even took 2 salt pills. Felt good, but the legs were starting to get trashed. Early on, I was going about 10:30 per mile and started to realize the goal of 6:15 was in jeopardy. Then, I began to think that last years time of 6:50 would be possible. While I had several walking segments, I started playing games in my head. Count to 100 and run strong. Run easy for a count of 25...Repeat. I met up with a young woman, who was really suffering. She was in tears and she was in big time pain. She did not want to give up. I encouraged her awhile and then I moved along ahead.
Patrick had finished his Olympic Race in a fantastic 2:43 good enough for 46th place out of about 180 or so. Wow. Unreal.

He had the cam and took some shots as I ran past the start finish area on each lap.
By the time, I got to Devils Hill on lap 2, I was leaking oil. Did I have enough to get in under time in 2007??. Note to HFP. Keep the nice senior citizen ladies at the last aid station on the run. They are wonderful. A treat to see. I asked them each lap. "Which one of you wants to be my girlfriend"?? Haha. Plus, their water is "ice water" Yeahh baby!!!!

I tried to run hard to the end of the race and beat the time, but I missed by a minute and change. 6 hours, 51 minutes..54 seconds. I was toast. However, I got age group hardware. Second place. Whee hee. (bloggers note: only 3 men in 55-59, but hey, I'll take it).
Enjoyed rehashing the race with many of the CTC members. I still have not met all of them. Rob Reddy was awesome. Eric Gibb ripped off a great race. His bride, Aimee, rocked!! I met Tim, (Walsh??) who, if I recall, had a 5:09. Jack Carney raced well, as did Charlie Mosbrook. Jack gets the award for Ironman. Right after the race, he drove to Florida. What the Hey!!! My swim buddy Eddie Police did a 6:07 and spent time in the medical tent.
Closing thoughts. Not sure if the nutritional plan had a huge effect or not. Will still experiment. Better biking will mean a huge difference, but I have to really get with it. More detailed plans and which races I will attack will follow on future posts.

And finally, yes Rainmaker, its possible that the Fountain of Youth is in West Virginia. Maybe its the ice water from the ladies, or the views from the tops of hills, or maybe its from the encouragement you get from your fellow racers , or the Chicken Penne Pasta I had on Saturday night. In this sport, the possibilities are endless.
Life's a Blast!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I FOUND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH happened. How can a man lose 20 years off his life????? Enquiring minds want to know. I will give you that scoop, plus word on the Spirit of Morgantown Half Ironman..and I will answer the question...

Why is this man so alone while running????

A. Obviously he is dusting the competition

B. Its an optical Illlusion.

C. Its a Seinfeld Bizarro episode where J.T. wins the race without breaking a sweat

D. He has been lapped on the run by an aged Black Labrador with only 3 legs

E. All of the Above

Back with you shortly with word on a near PR. The Son's solid Olympic performance and great showing by the Cleveland Triathlon Club in West Virginia

I think the answer might be D. But I could be wrong.

Life's a blast

Thursday, June 26, 2008


The hay is in the barn. The ball is in motion. The scene is set. Come Saturday, this old bird and son Patrick will be heading to Morgantown, W.VA for the Half Ironman on Sunday. Patrick is doing the Olympic distance. Its just his 4th ever race and he will rock it!!! Got a nice tune-up swim at Wildwood Park this am with , Elizabeth (nice to finally meet you), Matt, Brandon, and Allison. We covered about a mile. All is good. Tapered nicely the past week and now its time to see if I can reach my goal. 6 hours, 10 minutes.

Whats with the sandals??? Some call them Jesus Joggers. I actually enjoy wearing them because they put me in the Gladiator frame of mind. Yep.. Russell Crowe..Yessir.

Silly huh??? But I remember sitting in a motel on the eve of one of my previous Ironman's and watching the flick. I don't advocate beating the hell out of someone, or bludgeoning them to death... Of course not. But this just fired me up..Don't know any other way to describe it. So I am getting into that..."Let the battle begin" frame of mind. Sure, I will enjoy the atmosphere and try to have fun, but when I am racing I expect to be all business.
I know what its like to prepare so long for a race, but I have never had an event cancelled. One Pineman Ironman was altered due to excessive fog. Never swim in a lake in a fog!!!. But I have never had an event go bye bye and I really feel for the contestants at this years Western States 100. Due to fires out west, its been scrapped. That is really tough and I feel for all those who worked so hard to compete.

I interviewed Dr. Jack Andrish, a surgeon with the Cleveland Clinic as he was preparing to leave for Squaw Valley. He is amazing as are his son and daughter, who are both excellent runners. Dr. Jack was talking about the other-worldly feeling of battling Western States all day long and then for it to be somewhat of a mystical experience to be running alone all through the night. Great stuff. He had attempted 4 Western States 100's. He finished this one, just minutes under the cut-off and he finished another 9 minutes over the cut-off of 30 hours. 9 minutes over???
No buckle for you. Wow. Thats cold. Dr. Jack also had 2 DNF's. He is so passionate about ultra-running. I find myself leaning more and more toward trying an ultra. I will likely put a story on the air about him next week. Just fascinating talking to him.
Shout out to one of the best blogger and endurance athletes around.. Donald. Sorry WS100 did not happen. Best wishes on tackling the next big challenge. Keep writing that thoughtful, and entertaining blog. (CHECK OUT HIS BLOG HERE)

Finally, I propped 19 year old Kaleb Kaschalk for tackling Ironman France at such a young age and finishing it, as well. Kaleb sent me this pic from Paris. Not sure what that structure is behind him... Bah dah boom!! Everyone..Best of luck racing and training.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Last week training before Morgantown went very well. Sorry things did not workout for me to race at Maumee. I missed seeing a new friend, Ann, from the Akron area, do very well in the Olympic, her first triathlon. She has a compelling story, which I hope to share with you in the months to come. Rob Reddy placed 6th. Congrats Kenny Bodnar, who is truly stud of all 50-54 studs came in 9th. Way to kick the kids butts, Kenny. I am not in the same solar system as Kenny. I see race director Shannon Kurek was 2nd in his final year before he hits 40 .

Tonight, I am beaming with pride. Remember Kaleb Kaschalk, the 19 year old, policeman in the making who was the youngest competitor at Ironman France???? Kaleb got it done!!!!! Yeah!!!!!! 15 hours 17 minutes. I am extremely proud of that young man. Awesome.!! he raised lots of money for cancer research in honor of his late grampa. An incredible young man. Way to go Kaleb.!!! I know the marathon had to be was about 6 hours alone.

I know many bloggers tackled Cda..and I was following Bigun and a few others. Congrats to all who went up against the challenge. I look forward to reading about all your adventures. Of course Bree Wee was amazing in Japan. 9 hours, 37 minutes!! Fantastic.


You just have to know that if he were to sign up for one and to train for the Ironman that he would do very very well. We have already seen the signs. He is at heart a runner, and an athlete with speed, power and grace and..I forgot to mention..true grit. He has the strongest will of any athlete in his sport.. he simply will never allow himself to lose. He could be having a lousy week and by any one elses standards the thoughts would be "ohh well get em next week, but this guy keeps on grinding and grinding and finding a way to go one step better, to find a solution to the hell that he currently is in.

This man, would be a great Ironman, because he can withstand pain. In fact in his most recent competition, he had excruciating pain and continued. He bore the look of a man being beaten by palace guards. but while he acknowledged the pain, he never let it master him. He kept his focus and lived the words his father taught him. " never, never quit" ....and thats what he was doing.. But this candidate for the sport of triathlon sacrificed the health of a body part to try to win one of the biggest awards in his sport. For now he has been told to start from scratch after he has surgery. Its back to square one to try to regain his form. I never doubted for even one second that if Eldrick Woods wanted to, he could swim, bike and run and GET IT DONE.

He could crank up his workouts and one day don the wetsuit and tackle an Ironman.. He could oneday go to Kona and conquer the lava fields. I don't doubt it for a second.
In my second Ironman distance race, I had a left knee that was screaming at me in 6 languages.It was torture in some ways, but I was never going to allow the discomfort of a knee keep me from crossing that finish line, even if it was 15 hours and 30 minutes after I started. Tiger stood up to the intense pain while swinging a golf club and placing unbelievable torque on his left knee.He kept on trucking.
I don't know how good of a swimmer he is, but what do you think??? Could the worlds best golfer take on an Ironman and finish??? Would his knee hold up?? A penny for your thoughts.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Hey there...its been a couple of days and I wanted to tell you about part 2 of "55 FEST". My last post told of running 54 minutes at 11:06 on the eve of my turning 55..followed immediately at midnight with a run of 55 minutes to salute the new age of 55. Just a bottle of water and a gu packet accompanied me.

I then ran 11.5 miles on a high school track sandwiched between a hospital and a hospice. Hey, lets be honest, I am closer to the end, than the beginning, but why can't a man have his fun?? I went home, caught 6 hours of sleep and then headed to the gym for Part 2 of 55Fest

I drove 55 miles an hour to a Starbucks. I ordered a special, 55 ounce cup of their boldest, baddest brewed beans. Then I did the New York Times crossword puzzle in a startling 5.5 minutes...
Back up!!!!! forget that last paragraph. That was a dream.!!!!!
55 fest fitness frenzy
Alright...this did happen. At Fitworks, the theme was 55. It was a weights day with some twists.
I am a supersetter when I lift. I never rest, because I attack a push muscle, followed immediately by a pull muscle. Example. Bench press. Push. Bicep Curl Pull.

Stability balls are always used too. I began with 5.5 minutes..balanced on the ball. I even snapped a cellphone shot of this in the mirror. The photo would be down here but for some reason I can't drag the shots down through the post to this spot. (anyone else having this trouble?) Anyway the balancing on your knees activates the core.. Plus, they tell me as you age, you have a tougher time balancing. Not me, I hope.

I then did 55 crunches sitting on the ball, followed by 55 push ups with my feet up on the ball.
Then, it was time for the weights.
Every exercise was 5 sets of 11 reps. You do the math. 55 reps
Barbell Bench press--superset-Dumbell Bicep Curls
Shoulder press w/barbell --superset--seated Lat Pull
Dips for Triceps-superset--barbell wrist curls
*second phase*
Dumbell Flyes--superset--Barbell Bicep Curls
Shoulder Shrugs w/ Dumbells-superset-Wide Grip Pullups using weight Machine 120lbs
Strive Tricep Machine-superset-More barbell wrist curls.
Meters rowing on Concept 2 Machine 27 minutes
Elliptical..warm up and then 5.5 minutes at 160 heart rate
Treadmill..loosen up and then 5.5 minutes at 155 heart rate.
Stationary Bike ...5.5 minutes at 150 heart rate.
Finished with 5.5 more minutes kneeling on Stability ball, moving 4 pound medicine ball from arm to arm, working shoulder and keeping core activated and balancing...
Workout done.
Later, the kids prepared a great meal. Pork Tenderloin, Salad, Corn on the Cob and of course some cheesecake... Great way to hit the Big 55. I am energized and excited to be racing the Spirit of Morgantown Half Ironman..Can't wait. Good Luck to those racing Ironman CdA. Locals will race at Maumee Bay. Good Luck Steve in a Speedo at Grandmas Marathon and many many more.
My next post will deal with someone who I think would make a great Ironman!!
Life is a Blast!!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Its official. this old bird has hit the speed limit...the double nickle..the big 55. So to honor-insult-salute- or denigrate the age barrrier I hit, I put together an unique celebration. It was a celebration of one, which I figured was appropriate, seeing as how, it was me and me alone, who made my way down the birth canal from the womb. Just one exit from Womb was the "real world". Sure My mom was pushing real hard and the doctor was giving the pep talk and of course, my dad was where all dads were back in the day. In some waiting room, sucking on a cigarette and drinking nasty coffee.
My official first public spanking, not to be confused with school or sports happened right here. It is now called Euclid Hospital. 55 years ago, it was Euclid Glenville. Said spanking happened either before or after my dad stubbed out the cigarette. I snapped the picture of the hospital late night on June 16, just an hour before I was to turn the big 55.

I chose this location for the first part of the festivites. Its the track at Villa Angela St. Joes. Nice rubbery surface, the lines on the track reminding us that with life comes order. Stay in your lanes or all hell will break loose. The plan was I would begin running 54 minutes at 54 minute before midnight.. . at the crack of midnight, I would start another run, this one 55 minutes to honor the age. I had no real design to run any kinda pace..roughly 9:30 miles would be fine... I did have a Half Iron coming up in about 12 days. So, I ingested a gel before..kept one sitting on a table with my big bottle of water and took off runnng.

The wind was strong coming off the Lake. The waves crashing onto shore. The waves never cease. Time marches ahead. Birth--Vibrant life--and then death. I found it ironic that within about the span of 3 acres were a hospital, where life begins. A high school, where lives are shaped, and a hospice, where very ill people are ushered into the beyond with extreme love and care and grace.

With each lap, I just found my mind wandering.. Its GOOD TO BE ALIVE!!!!. So true. I thought of how blessed I have been. Great parents, ideal childhood , wonderful wife, kids and a job where I can still be a kid. I recalled how a 17 year old kid asked me if I would come to this same high school years ago.. He had a scoop for me. That kid, Desmond Howard wanted to tell me that he was going to Michigan to play football. The quarterback on his high school team also was gonna go to Michigan , Elvis Grbac. Now, Desmond and Elvis are approaching middle age and I just keep on trucking. By the way, the nice track surface was paid for by Elvis.

The laps piled up..the wind stayed strong and the clouds hovered, taunting me with rain, but never following through. I ran well. Sprinted the straightaways the final 10 laps. All told, I ran 11.5 miles. The Bride called this run "A Stunt". I call it an affirmation of climbing the chronological ladder. Yes, age is a number. We can accept it or deny it. Sure, I would like to be 30 again, but that boat left the dock 25 years ago. I have life experiences that I cherish. Memories galore. I have wrinkles, less hair, and I snore. I wear a hearing aid and I have a balky knee and sore hamstring. So what. Break out the violin and moan about the bad??? Hell no. Celebrate the good. And thats what I did. But, I wasn't done. I got 6 hours of sleep and then went to the gym for part two of the "Stunt" I will fill you in on the next post.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I wonder what it was like the day that Dr. James Naismith hung the peach basket up in Springfield mass. That was the birth of basketball. Or to be in Canton, Ohio when pro football was born. I was thinking along those same lines when I got the chance to meet an Ironman legend. Tom Knoll is one of the original group of 12 men who finished the first Ironman triathlon. It happened 30 years ago.

To be in on the start of something, to have the vision to conceive of a task so daunting was remarkable. In 1978, Knoll was a 45 year old military man. Marine. In the span of thirty, years the baby he helped conceive and birth has grown worldwide. It has given us Mark Allen, Paul Newby Fraser, Dave Scott, Scott Tinley, Sister Madonna, Macca, Dick and Ricky Hoyt and many, many more athletes and dreamers, including this multi-Ironman finisher.

Saturday, I met Tom Knoll. Mickey Ryzmek ,the gregarious Race Director hooked us up. Tom, and his son, Warren were in town and taking a little break from their Freedom Run across American.
They were near the end of a 3300 mile journey to raise funds for three charities. The Challenged Athletes Foundation, Sunshine Foundation, and Wounded Warriors. They were aiming for a July 4th finish in D.C. Patriotic?? You bet.

Tom is 75 but still is going around 30 miles a day. Also along for a chunk of the running was Hubie Krawczyk , who along with Warren puts out the US Multisports Guide. Its a great publication. Heres the Link and they are just Great Guys.
We met at the 5k run for the West Side Catholic Center in Cleveland. I signed up but wanted to run with Tom. This was no day to try to rip off a fast time, I was meeting a legend.. We had a blast. Tom goes about 13 minutes per mile. But he just goes and goes and goes. We ran together and chatted.

I asked Tom about what it was like 30 years ago at the birth of the Ironman
"We were just hoping to finish the task in about 24 hours. We had no idea!!!.
"What was your time, or did you really get all that technical with timing and stuff"?
"I think I did it in around 12 hours. I finished 6th. I had the third fastest marathon."
" What are your thoughts about the explosion of of Ironman??"
"I think its fantastic. I love being an ambassador for the sport. It hard to imagine Ironman has become a multi-million dollar corporation"
"What replacement fuel did you use in the first race??"
"I think I asked for a root beer. I also had a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, along with the water"
"Whats been the response from Americans during your Freedom Run"?
"Amazing. The town of Defiance, Ohio came out in full force. Raised about 5,000 for us. We still are way short of our One Million dollar goal, but its been fantastic. To see real Americans along the way has been wonderful."

Near the end of the run, I gave the US flag to Tom and when we ran towards the finish chute, everyone was clapping and cheering. I stepped back, away from Tom, Warren and Hubie and Pam, and ran after then to the line. I interviewed Tom and Warren. for FOX8....had a little pancake breakfast and parted company.

Tom was truly inspiring, unassuming and a pure pleasure to meet. Warren is amazing too. He was injured very badly a few years back, yet he is an Ironman, and in fact is biking the same mileage each day, so will concurrently run AND Bike across America.

To help the Freedom Run..go to . Also I have a LINK to a great t.v. piece about the run done by a Milwaukee Station. They are now heading to PA. and will dip down in 2 weeks to finish in the nations capital. Cleveland triathletes, note that Warren and Hubie will be back for the Greater Cleveland Triathlon at Mentor Headlands on Aug 10th. They would love to meet yah.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


See the cellphone picture?? looks like the Loch Ness Monster..its actually my son Pat, the second year triathlete as I shot right into the sunset.. Horrible image..but, first..allow me to set it up.

Since my 2 wacky workouts last week. Pilates Sandwich and the "Devil Made me Do It" Hill workouts. (see previous posts if curious), I figured it was just about time to scale back the training as the Half Ironman at Morgantown is coming...ohhhh baby, its coming all right.

I planned the past Tuesday to be an off day, so I hung out with The Bride as she taught classes, ran errands . I wanted Wednesday to be a "Half Pilates Sandwich" workout. I would run the almost 9 miles to the studio, do the Pilates hour and then chill at Starbucks while The Bride went to Fitworks to hit the weights. So I wasn't planning on doing anything Tuesday...until......Patrick showed up at about 6pm.
" Hey Dad, wanna have a swim"
"I don't know Pat, today is my day off"
"Come on, the waters great"
(not saying anything, but giving husband "The Look"
"Sure, Pat, let me go "human sausage" now and squeeze into my wetsuit"

So, we walked down to our Beach Club, which is just a few houses away.. (The last time I jumped in the water at our Beach Club was this past New Years day when I did my solo Polar Plunge). On this glorious June evening, we climbed into the water..It was crisp. 59 degrees, but perfect. Waves were less than 2 feet..current moving from West to East. We took off, swimming into the current, towards the Hospital. (Makes sense, swim to a hospital...ahhh sure, why not!!!") My strokes were sharp, I moved easy. Pat cut through the water like....." buttah" We did little over a mile... 35 minutes. Since Pat got into the sport, he has become a pretty good swimmer. I remember his first race last Summer when he had that look on his face before the swim. The trepidation. The uneasiness. He conquered all of those negatives and make a heck of a positive out of it. So, on this Tuesday night, we got in a good workout and we had a chance to share a passion. It was very cool. I even got the cellphone cam to work a little better on this shot.
Pat asking me to swim, recalled the classic line in "Field of Dreams". Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner magically saw his diseased father come to life on the field he constructed on his farm. Late in the flick, his father (as a young man) comes to life and it is at that time that Ray Kinsella asks his Dad.

" Hey Dad, wanna have a catch" (click here for movie version) Touching part is a bit into the video.

Its a touching scene. It always gets the tear ducts into full production. Its a spot where Boys and Dads connect, where they simplify things. Lets have a catch. Its bonding. It, is of course love. As a boy, my dad took me golfing. He watched me play sports. I am finding out now...things don't have to involve a ball and two gloves for young men to bond seemlessly with their Pops. I love to watch movies with our youngest Son, Joe as we share a passion for storytelling. My daughter, Courtney is a chef. I love to ask her about restaurants, and we kibitz about alot of sports.

So, in essence, my son was asking me to "have a catch"..only in this case the catch, was the slight cupping of our hands as we "caught" the water in the freestyle stroke and moved through the liquid.....our hearts beating strongly, enjoying life and testing our endurance for all its worth. A moment, frozen in time..significant in the living as in the re-living. Lets see Kevin Costner do that !!!. The Bride...a big thanks. She has a wonderful sense about moments that can be captured and not banked for later...about the times when "wanna have a catch" means alot more than wearing wetsuits, goggles and pride. Where a Freestyle of Dreams is an aqua version of "Field of Dreams"

And so, I want to wish all the Dads reading this, a Happy Fathers Day.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Greetings. Race season is upon us Ohio triathletes and its great to see some folks getting to finally hit the water, the bike and the trails.. Finished a very strong week of training. 6 hours, 30 minutes of running, swimming, rowing, and a little biking. 2 upper body sessions. One leg workout. In the week, the somewhat innovative Pilates Sandwich. See previous Post. I have one more week of similar distances and then I will taper for theSpirit of Morgantown Half Ironman. See the pretty college town. The football stadium. How serene!!!! I thought as much last summer when I arrived to compete in the Half Iron. But I was somewhat taken aback (my bad for not checking the run course) when I came upon the Devil himself. Actually its Devils Hill. A ridiculous incline devilishly placed that Half Iron racers had to tackle twice. Civil engineers can do all their theories and toss about angle percentages... (Here I am, an unsuspecting plodder in lap #1 of the run course) I just know that the hill made my right hamstring cry, caused me to call out for my Mommy!! .But worst part was some dude dressed as the Devil Himself..yelling as we sputtered up the hill. Devils Hill took a big chunk out of my morale and my estimate of a time in the lower 6 hours range, soon ballooned to a time of 6:50. I was not proud of that. My Half Iron pr is 5:43, although I admit I was 49....six years ago.

So, as I look ahead to the return, I choose to be proactive and hence, that is why I trudged to the Euclid Creek Reservation Saturday. It was hot..84 degrees, but in the upper picnic area is a concrete roadway, that goes up to Georgetown. Straight up. In honor of the slanted topography, I'll use italics!!!! The incline is about as wicked as Morgantown. although I don't have actual figures. Its shady, but its daunting. The Plan. 10 sprints up the hill to a distance approx 200 yards up. Turn around, jog easy down...repeat. Then 10 more sprints of 30 seconds up the hill..jog easy down and repeat. 20 total trips. I had my cooler with lots of water and Gatorade. I wanted to puke. Seriously. That was my goal. Push myself as hard as I could and maybe a little badge of honor would result. My effort was as strong as I can ever remember. I did all 20 sprints.. Drank lots of fluids..sweated buckets and all the while, I was thinking of Devils Hill.

Devils Hill.. I"m coming for yah...this step is for you, bro!!!!!!!
Easy buddy. You don't have to work so hard. Devils Hill is just that...a hill!
Stuff it, alter ego!!!!

I felt real good as I put that workout in the book. I can't guarantee that Devils Hill won't bite me again..but at least I will go in, eyes wide open. Okay, back to straight up and down letters!! Ohh yeah..I did not up-chuck


Claude Holland is one of the classiest high school coaches around. His Cleveland Heights Tigers won the State Div 1 Track Title Saturday. Congrats.

Thats Emily Infeld of Cleveland Heights Beaumont. She finished her career as one of Ohio best middle distance runners ever, as her team, coached by Jim Emery won another state girls title. Props to her and the rest of the team. Thanks to the Plain Dealer for the photos.

Been dreaming up different training routines and will soon drop those in this blog. I got a little inspiration on this front from Youngstowns own Kelly Pavlik, the boxing champ. He went through this Ironman Workout in Y-Town and the Youngstown Vindicator posted it on their sight. Click here for the Video. Ohh last night, he won his fight and remains one of the best stories in boxing.

Enjoy your training and racing. Lifes a blast!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This morning I had a Pilates Sandwich. Yep. Pilates. The Bride is an instructor.. So, with 2 Half-Ironman triathlons this summer, I concocted a wacky plan. The studio is in Willoughby. (Harmony Yoga Studios) The route I mapped out is 8.9 miles. I figured, I would rip off an 8.9 miler...arrive in time.. change into drier the one hour Pilates class, then put the shoes back on and run 8.9 miles back home. You know, the runs would be the slices of bread and pilates, the Meat!!! An 18 mile day..with body contortions!!! Exciting, huh!!!!!!!
Pitch black, foggy at 4:40am. Ran there with no problems. Got there 10 minutes before class. Legs a little sore because, darn, I hate concrete runs. When The Bride told the other ladies in class what I was doing, they , or course thought I was insane..
"We'll do alot of stretching after the core stuff"
"God Bless you my dear"
"It'll be hard enough"
"The story of my life"

We went thought all moves. The 100's. The rollups. The single legs stretches.. everything. The Bride threw in some nasty plank moves. Very good class. I had plenty of fluids. I had Gatorade and water and was all filled up as class ended. Kissed THE BRIDE goodbye, and took off running. It was misty, cool 7:30am ...just perfect. Legs really were feeling fine after alot of the stretching. But, I struggled on the second 8.9.. Whereas trip #1 was 1 hour 24 minutes,, trip #2 was a rumbling, stumbling 1 hour 34 minutes. Prepped the ice bath and cooled off for about 15 minutes and got ready for work. I will have one more 14-16 mile run before Half-Iron #1 at Morgantown, but on the running, I feel like I have put almost enough hay in the barn. As for biking, thats another story.

Speaking of Core work, like Pilates. The Bride found this link of some outrageous, and innovative ab work. I thought of Rocketpants in Cali who is big into Cross-fit. This might be up your alley. That guy has serious six pack abs. I still got the keg going.

Props to TriEric who is this months coverboy of Ohio Sports and Fitness magazine. Don't mess with That endurance athlete.!!!!!!
Remember my young friend, Kaleb , who will be doing Ironman France real soon at the tender age of 19. He leaves soon for the journey across the Atlantic. He has raised almost 4,000 dollars for cancer research in honor of his deceased grandpa, who succumbed to cancer about 2 years ago. His determination will get him to the finish line. He is an excellent young man.

Thanks to those who emailed ideas for using the Perfect Pushup (previous post). Tea had a good one. The perfect Pushup and the Perfect Pancake are related!!! Thanks..
Wish Monica "TryingtoTri" luck. She hammers her first triathlon in a few days.. Good Luck Monica.!!
Happy training.!!!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Hi guys.. Great week of training. Capped it off with a 50 minute spin class this am, followed by a 40 minute run off. . I got into my running rythmn very easily..felt great. For the week. 3 upper body workouts. One leg routine. One swim, 2600 yards. Two long runs, 1 hour, 50 minutes, and 1 hour 45. Two Treadmill interval speed workouts. One rowing workout of 5,000 meters. Weather has been pretty good for biking but need to get cranking there. My Half Iron is in one month. I did not do the Edinboro Triathlon on Saturday. Dropping the volume of races and concentrating on some key ones, especially the 2 Half Irons. Have also dropped a few pounds. Throwing a deck chair off the Titanic , you think???? Ha!! The few pounds are making a difference. I hope to race the Half Iron at 182 lbs. We'll see.

Have you seen the ads on t.v.?? "The Perfect Pushup". Its one of the things our oldest son, Pat (Mr. second year triathlete) wanted for his 29th b-day. There he is testing that sucker out. Who would have thunk it??? The design is very cool and doing a push up, you really feel the muscles getting the benefit. I recommend it. Of course, twisted me has other uses for it.

Put them together and then on some heart attack victums chest. . Yes, its a defibrillator!!.. Heat up of those paddles, and yes....its an iron!!!!! There is no limit to what the Perfect Pushup can do. Got any more suggestions???

Props to Lily on the Road for finishing the Ottawa marathon!!! You have come a long way, there. Her blog is always upbeat..positive.

One of my long time friends Sandi, is beaming. Her son in law, Eric Bizjack ripped off a time of 3 hours 13 minutes at the Boston Marathon. There he is at mile 15, looking like he could run 15 more. Way to go, Eric.

Dr. Jodi at the Triple T. If you get a chance, drop my her blog and read her accounts of the wild weekend of racing down in Southern Ohio. That event just looks like a killer but Jodi made it sound like such a cool event. Props to her and her training buddy Tony for the great job.

Maybe you have heard that phrase. But, if I were to be truthful, I would say I try to act like a kid everyday. Stupid for someone approaching 55??? Some would say yes. But what I mean is to have that youthful zest. That wide eyed wonder about whatever you seem to be doing. Recently, I got a reminder of what its like to have the enthusiasm. Jacob Liebler, a 7th grader came to the station and shadowed me a couple of days. He is all about sports and is a great student. He wants to become a sportscaster. It was so refreshing to chat with him and to see in his eyes, how excited he was to be at Fox 8. (Thats Jacob, anchor guy Lou Maglio in the middle and me. Notice my old school Timex Ironman watch??)) Jacob reminded me of how things were when I was his age. I lived and breathed sports. That love turned into a career and I can honestly say I haven't worked one day since I got into this business many moons ago. So, Jacob...thanks alot and best wishes. T.V. is a business for the young. Maybe I am just grooming my replacement.. Ohh and his dad is a triathlete-runner too!!!!

Finally, thanks to all who dropped comments on the blog and also sent e-mails about my most recent post on the Helping Hand. Life's a blast!! Happy training.