Thursday, October 30, 2008



World Series in the bag...Congrats to the Phils. Joe Maddon, the Rays manager made an interesting comment when asked what his young players learned from the World Series experience. "Experience...just the fact that a mind once stretched has a difficult time going back to its original form. I've always like that. Our minds have been stretched. Everything about us has been stretched. I don't think our guys are ever going to be satisfied going home in October again"

I thought that was a great comment. Think back to your journey to a stronger, leaner, faster racing machine. When you started, what did the prospect of a short little sprint triathlon seem like to you??? You did it. Then, you set your sights on a bigger goal. Its unlikely you would ever be satisfied with simply swimming a short distance, biking a bit and maybe running a 5k to finish up. But you have stretched your mind... you have lengthen the possibilities.
I remember my first long race, 1976, living in the Black Hills of South Dakota. There was an 8 mile race on fire trails in the Black Hills. Might as well have been 100 miles, it seemed so long. But that race gave way to Half full marathons... to 1985 when I began the point of doing multiple Ironman Distance races. Doesn't seem impossible. The mind stretched.

Gotta tip my hat to Joe Maddon for that statement. Gotta love that guy, looking like Buddy Holly with those horn rimmed glasses and calling guys "dude". I like his style.

This week, one of our blogging buds, Wes is doing Ironman Florida. I know when he got into the sport, he experienced the trepidations that come with tackling a sport. Can I do this??? How much will I have to train??? Will I drown swimming in open water??? Those kinda fears... ...and now we fast forward to Wes tackling an Ironman. And when he crosses the finish line he will rejoice and take it all in... But he built up the belief in his mind that he could do it by stretching the seeing the possibilities where others might see a brick wall. Good Luck Wes!!

A few months back I wrote of Cleveland Area legendary triathlete Darryl Kollai's sudden death due to a heart attack. You might recall his son, Dr. Eric Kollai also raced tris. Here is an article from the Honolulu Advertiser about Eric prepping to get back into racing to honor his dad. It wasn't just any race too... It was XTERRA!!!! Thanks to Michael Tsai of the Advertiser.

Dr. Eric Kollai, an emergency physician at Kaiser Hospital in Moanalua, is one of 550 competitors expected to descend on Maui for the prestigious (and punishing) off-road event.
Considered the toughest of the 17 XTERRA Championship races, the event is composed of a 1-mile open-ocean swim, a 20-mile mountain bike leg that climbs 3,000 feet up and down Haleakala volcano, and a 7.5-mile trail run over rock, forest trails and beach.
It will be Kollai's first race since his father, Darryl, died of a heart attack on Aug. 30 at the age of 53.
Darryl Kollai was a esteemed figure in Cleveland's triathlon community, known as much for his patient, generous mentorship of young athletes as for the high level of athletic accomplishment he maintained until his death.
"He was just a go-get-'em kind of guy," Eric Kollai said. "From 6 a.m. until he went to bed at night, he was on the go nonstop. He loved triathlons and he loved bringing people in to the sport."
Darryl Kollai, a construction inspector for the Cleveland Water Department, completed his first triathlon in the 1970s after watching coverage of the Kona Ironman on TV. He helped pioneer the sport in his home state and neighboring areas, watching it as it moved from the fringe to the recreational mainstream.
He competed internationally as a member of Team USA, and remained a staunch competitor, routinely placing in the top third of races into his 50s.
Just three weeks before he died, he posted the fastest bike time in the Cleveland Triathlon, besting competitive riders more than half his age.
Darryl Kollai was finishing a 50-mile ride, a training session for yet another young triathlete, when he suffered his heart attack.
News of his death rocked not just his family, but the extended network of Midwest triathletes he had befriended in his 27 years in the sport. Within days, triathlon chat boards were filled with messages of condolence and fond memories of the fallen racer.
At his funeral, Kollai was dressed in the Team USA outfit he proudly wore for years and one of the country's pre-eminent multi-sport athletes.
Eric Kollai, who had devoted months of rigorous training in preparation for XTERRA, initially planned to withdraw from the competition. His body was ready, even after a 3 1/2-week layoff to return to Ohio, but his spirit was deeply wounded.
"It was definitely a question whether I would go through with it or not, but I think it's the best way to pay tribute to him since he had devoted so much of his life to the sport," Kollai said.
In fact, it was his father's passion for the sport that tilled the soil for Kollai's own athletic development.
"Every weekend was a vacation," Kollai said, recalling the family road trips that attended each of his father's out-of-state races.
Kollai was himself an athlete born and bred. He ran cross country and track in high school and later at Mt. Union College in Ohio. He also swam competitively for local master's clubs. Kollai's triathlon career began shortly after high school and he briefly flirted with the idea of turning pro before deciding — on his father's advice — to attend medical school instead.
Father and son competed together on several teams, and the two often talked of their respective adventures in the sport. Kollai's last conversation with his father came two days before he died. Kollai was on his bicycle, lost somewhere on the North Shore, when he reached his father back in Ohio. They talked briefly about the upcoming XTERRA race, just the second off-roader event of his career.
Kollai schedules his training session around his overnight work schedule. He'll often train before going to sleep in the morning, then again before he heads back to work.
"My dad used to run to and from work, so I knew from an early age that you have to just make time for it," Kollai said.
In memory and celebration of his father, Kollai will do his best tomorrow to abide by a legacy of lessons bequeathed to him.
"The thing I've learned from all of this is that you've got to enjoy every moment that you have," Kollai said. "I think about my dad every day and it makes me cry. But I also think about the way he lived his life, and it's like that old saying: 'It's not the years in your life, it's the life in your years.' That was my dad."
Reach Michael Tsai at

Eric finished 8th in the 30--34 age group. 3 hours and 18 minutes. It had to be emotional for him..but what a way to honor your dad!!! Remember Erics quote "Its not the years in your life, its the life in your years"

My training has been going well...hope yours has also.

Life's a Blast

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Muddy Meaning of Life

Hi... training has been just going along...kinda meandering like a river with no idea where its going. I have tried to add more time but I have to admit that is a slow process... I know that in roughly 2 months and three weeks, I will have to pay the piper.. the ultra piper...50K.... and I had better be ready.
With the weather getting a little colder and wetter, the trails are getting muddy..but I am good with all of that. I continue to contemplate life. I joked recently about that on my facebook page. But there is truth to it. I have been reading (actually holding a book, not listening on mp3) a book called "One Month to Live" It is exactly what you think. How would you live if you knew you had one month to live? Would you attack that bucket list thats gathered cobwebs on your shelf?? Would you reach out to someone with whom you had a tough relationship??? The best quote I can remember from the book is that "everyone dies but not everyone lives". Man, that one hits home to me. One of our closest friends got the word about pancreatic cancer a few months ago and it doesn't look good. In some way, it could be one reason why I have not attacked my training with the usual zeal.

I want to thank the folks a United Cerebral Palsy of Cleveland for asking me to be the honorary chairman for next summers Cleveland Triathlon. UCP WEBSITE You may remember a post in early August on how I swam for a family whose son, Dawud has cerebral palsy. His pic in on my sidebar. That was so inspiring to me, I am happy to be involved for next year. Then, they hope to have staff members of UCP take part in the race. This August, it was families for the most part. Its sobering to note that its unlikely our close friend won't even be around next summer to hear about our Triathlon.

The hearing aids came and its hilarious...its like I am hearing things for the first time. I hear the fans in the ceilling. I hear my fingers clicking the keyboard. I hear the tires of cars on the road, and many, many things. Its startling and I think I have to have them adjusted. I was visiting my friend at hospice and I hear a loud rumble noise and loud "CREEEAKKK" it was just my weight shifting on the bed I was sitting on the edge of and the creak of the springs!!! When I used to wear just one, I could hear some natural sound with the open ear...Now with two, its hard to tell just how loud my voice is in conversations. In the newsroom today, I was hearing guys talking at the assignment desk, which is 50 feet away!!!! Ohh...and Breaking News!!! An aid purchased in 2003 for one ear was 2700 bucks. This year I have two aids, which have more technology, and are a little bit smaller and both of them together cost 2800$$. Best of all, its better for The Bride, who has had to put up with me having no aids for almost 2 months. She deserved better.

Finally, a tip of the hat to Brian Moorman, punter of the Buffalo Bills. He raced in the Pittsford New York Triathlon this summer and even got some coaches and a couple teammates to take part. Good to see the big boys trying to tackle our sport. He raised thousands and thousands for his Foundation. Love that stuff. (click here)
Hey..Life's a Blast!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

TRIGUY PLAYS WISEGUY has been somewhat generic in nature..but a couple different workouts mixed in to keep the bordedom at bay..
One workout featured a rope skipping routine after about a 50 minute elliptical session. I skipped 15 x 60 seconds hard with 30 seconds recovery.
I am still refraining from heavy lifting due to my shoulder. Its getting better but not dramatically. I am being patient, but if its not showing near normal function in another 2 weeks, then I will have it looked at.

I have gotten into listening to books with mp3 players. Our Euclid, Ohio library (Voted #3 in the country) now gives out the mp3 players with the book already loaded.. Its great. You can save places.. go ahead or go back..

I am listening to the book "Walking the Bible" and its fascinating.

Been thinking about how triathletes like to announce to complete strangers just how much experience they have with that particular race. How its normal for some people to answer the simple question..."Did you do this race last year"? with

"Ahhh yeah, I P.R.'d here last year, which was my 8th time racing this one. I lowered my swim times dramatically and need to drop another 10 minutes off my time this year if I am gonna have any chance of going under 13 hours at Kona. Of course you've heard of Kona. Yeah, I did that 3 times and so while I want a good time today, I am just probably gonna use it as a long workout to prep me for Kona, and if I run well enough in the 13 mile portion, I'm gonna enter another Half Iron in a month...... yep..gonna do the "Half Assed Half" in Poughkeepsie....ahhh How about You"?
So as a public service, I offer you some things you can say to the veterans at a triathlon that just might make them wonder...and maybe even...avoid you at all costs!!!! LOL!!

"Ahh is it possible for you to write the number on my arm long hand???? You know like.... "Two Forty Nine"

Wouldn't it be cool if this race gave us those thingy's to put on our ankles?? Then when we cross certain spots, the device could record what time we came by?? Wouldn't that be cool??"

"I bought a suit made out of neophrene and its supposed to make you more buoyant in the water...but crap, I see alot of other people have those too!! So much for my little secret"!!!!

"Hey, where are the lanes out in the Lake?? I wanted to be able to swim in a lane"!!

'I heard that some people eat bananas and drink Gatorade...sound likes wusses to me. We're only gonna be out there 5 hours"??

"Hey didn't triathlons start in Maine in the 1950's"?

"I hope nobody tries to pee in this would be unsanitary"

"Can I ask someone else to break the wind for me on my bike?? Its okay to do that, right"???

I'm sure I would get some weird reactions...ohh yeah about the birth of triathlons....I know, I know...I know the sport really began in Cleveland in the 30's. (wink)

On a work note, I want to thank the Universe Bulleltin for writing a great article on our stations Friday Night Touchdown coverage of high school football. We do 20 minutes, using our helicopter...hilights of 20 games... blogs on our website and chats, and posted highlights. Its fun stuff. The pic is of me on the right, Danny Coughlin in the middle and Tony Rizzo on the left. We have a blast. Article link here

Life's a Blast

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I appreciate commitment to a task. Its the worker bee in me, I think. I love to hear about how some people give everything they have to prepare to be the best they can be.

Triathlons are filled with these kinds of people. The reasons are varied. Maybe you started to lose weight and used a race as incentive. Maybe you got in deeper and then decided an Ironman was the next logical (I know, insane) step.

Whatever you choose, its usually for the best reasons and then it is consuming.

Ray Lewis is a future Hall of Fame linebacker with the Ravens. He is supposed to be the enemy in Cleveland, but to be frank, I don't hate this guy. What I respect is the intensity on how he prepares. Its full speed ahead for him. This article in Mens Fitness describes a little bit about how he trains. I imagine if you bought the magazine you would get alittle more than what is offered on line.

I have been down on the NFL sidelines and seen this guy up close. I have been outside his lockeroom as he comes out and gets ready to take the field. I have seen how he riles up his he expects them to be he elevates their game. Its amazing to watch and what he has done is lead a defense that over the course of his career has been pretty darn good.

He might breath fire and he is successful. I don't however think everyone can prepare and compete like Ray.

So, why is Ray the way he is and why are you the way that you are?? Elementary question but it might take a team of psychologists to come up with an answer.

I have seen people in triathlon show that intensity and I have seen great results from those folks.. I have seen others who seem quiet and low key and then they hit the water and they are transformed.. On a real personal level, its a case of someone becoming more of what they really are by tackling a tough endurance event. Aches and pains are little obstacles. The plan is being executed and no one can stop them.

Training for the 50 k Winter Buckeye Trail is going well...Hope yours is going well too!!!
Life's a Blast

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Hi folks. Its an insanely busy time of the year for me on the professional side while the training and racing is in a little lull. At work, we have the Cavs in training camp, the Browns playing the Giants Monday night...Ohio State in full scale mode..and the high school football season is just 2 weeks from the playoffs. (Above photo courtesy Akron Beacon Journal......Brazilian Anderson Varejao on the right with a "I'm with stupid" tee shirt. Lebron James on left)
When its crazy at work, I can always count on the workouts to help me recharge... Our area is gorgeous this time of the year. Our weatherman Dick Goddard likes to refer to the pretty colors of the trees as "flaming foliage". I kid him by saying that sounds like "flamboyant trees"......but suffice to say Northeast Ohio is awesome this time of year. So, I penned a little short ditty below to celebrate the seasonal change.

The sky was an azure blue as he left his car in the parking lot and stretched.
Soon he began running, his movement slow, his breaths coming a little quicker than usual.
The caffeine from the robust coffee was coursing around his body, hopefully igniting a passion for improved fitness.
It wasn't coming easy. The goal was just to run 30 minutes and maybe, just maybe the moment would overtake him and the time would slide by effortlessly.
With each step, the soft dirt and small stones greeted his shoes, inviting the next step, and the next.
The brook was gurgling, its soft sound blending in with the crunch of the foot falls and the breathing of the man.
He became lost in his own thoughts.
The minutes slipped by, the body warmed up and the breathing became easier.
Under the blue canopy were the trees in the process of splashing vivid color to the park, all the while knowing the reds and yellows and oranges would soon be voted off the maples or oaks and that soon the branches would be barren.
The man didn't involve himself in the drama of the changing of the seasons, he was lost in the moment.
The 30 minutes flew by and he kept moving, the sweat trickling down his back, his breaths painting the air with little clouds of vapor, a mini choo choo training chugging up a hill. Several others passed by on the less travelled trail. A couple with their dog and a woman jogging, as her german shepard led the way.
Before long an hour had passed, but an hour he can go back to in his mind.
Days will get cold, winds will be fierce and the snow will come... but the thoughts of a near perfect October run will stay with him and keep him coming back for more.

Best to all who are racing this weekend....for more "top of my head thoughts" drop by my Facebook page. Code word "Triguyjt" haha!!

Life's a Blast

Monday, October 6, 2008


Have you seen those wedding cake houses in New Orleans on St. Charles Street.???

Turns out, one of those homes played a part in the reason for this post.

You could also call this post. Streetcar Named Desire.

Training update first. The past week, I ran for a total of 5 hours and did 2 weight training sessions on upper body but very easy because of the shoulder I tweaked while swimming and then swinging a golf club too hard. I did one leg workout . Longest run was 2 hours at Chagrin River Park with a unique twist. One hour into the run, I did repeat hill sprints. There is a 52 step sledding hill with the steps 8 inches high and about 2 and a half feet deep. So....I did 20 straight sprints up the hill on the 60"s. Sprint took about 17 seconds and then I would have the rest of the minute to easily jog back down to the start. It was a solid effort. My goal this week is to get in a 2 and a half hour run as I prepare for the 50 K in January.

Okay...the Streetcar. THE BRIDE, and I were in the Big Easy for the wedding of our niece. It was gonna be one of the big events on the calendar and it did not disappoint. THE BRIDE was in New Orleans since last Monday, helping put the finishing touches on all the preps for the wedding. I flew in on Friday with our 3 kids.

After a fabulous rehearshal dinner at an amazing restaurant in New Orleans on Friday night, we had to swing over to the House on St. Charles late Saturday morning. Its in the Garden District...... in fact its only 3 houses from Audobon Park. One of those wedding cake homes and thats where the wedding reception took place. THE BRIDE had some last minute things to attend we took the Streetcar over from the Westin. The distance is not that far...About 4 miles or so... I figured, I would just jog back to the hotel.

It was hot, but breezy and the city was alive. Primary elections were going on and every 10 blocks there were dozens of people out shouting for you to vote for their candidate. Yep, I'll get back to you!!!!.. The run was about 40 minutes to the hotel, but I slid over to the French Quarter for a little zip through and then back. Nice run. One hour total.
Next April, New Orleans will host an Ironman Half. 70.3 and the swim will be in Lake Ponchartrain and the biking around there as well. I believe the run will take racers south into the city with the finish in Jackson Square in the French Quarter. That will be cool, but I think they should have steered the run through the Garden District too. Most of it is shady and the scenery is awesome.

Ohh, yeah...the wedding. Amazing. John and Colleen spared no expense.. One touch they had was to have a second wedding cake built just for the groom, Allan. He's a huge Cubs fan. There was a cake 3 feet wide by 2 feet high built in the image of Wrigley Field. On that same night as champagne flowed in New Orleans for Jackie and Allan, the Cubs fizzled and were eliminated from the playoffs. Sure, the timing could have been better, but perhaps Allan will have a Cubs title to brag about......when his kids get married. LOL l!!!!!!

Marriage can be of a variety of distances if you want to make the endurance analogy. For me and THE BRIDE, its a marathon...32 years and counting. Make that an ultra marathon. For others, its a Sprint!!!!
Life's a Blast!!!!