Monday, November 24, 2008


Hi again.... Training is going well.. Last week, I hit the 30 mile mark and will boost the total to 33 this Turkey week. Most of my runs were on the treadmill and I am getting a little faster, pace wise... Lifted twice for upper body and hit the legs real hard in one workout.

Been reading Tiki Barbers workout book. Barber is the ex- New York Giant back and much of his gains came as a result of overload work. Heavy lifts in a no frills gym. Saw a couple drills he does that I can try.

Read a little about the Lakota Sioux in recent weeks. I have an appreciation for the people since I worked in the Dakotas early in my career. Jim Tressel also wrote about the Sioux in his book "The Winners Manual".

The Sioux have a word "Woohitike" which means bravery. Its a central virtue of the Lakota Sioux. They believed that we all have it in us to be brave, and that we will be shaped and tempered by our challenges. Hunters handrafted bows from seasoned ash wood. One way was to find a young tree and harvest it and let it dry 5 years. The other was to search for a tree that was struck by lightning. The awesome power of nature had in one instant, dried and cured the tree. Such bows from struck trees would be of immense strength and would prove to be great weapons for hunting.

We all face adversity in life. Work problems, or workout problems..whatever the case, there are problems. We set goals and often times, we don't reach our goals immediately but we push on. My childhood buddy Darrell Nagy battled for several years to reach his goal. He wanted to run in the Boston Marathon. He was like the young tree that was patiently curing itself. Race after race he missed his goal. 7,500 miles of training...14 marathons....5 years. But not too long ago, at the cusp of age 55, Pudge ripped off an impressive time (3 hours, 43 minutes) at the Richmond Marathon and will be going to Boston in 09.!!!!!!!!! I am really proud of him. He spent 5 years and he fought and he fought. He never gave up!!! *** (Hoped to include a photo, but having download problems)

My long time friend, Eddie E. may have been like the ash tree struck by lightning. About 4 months ago he found out he had pancreatic cancer. He suffered the ultimate adversity. He was an incredibly strong man of small stature who took this adversity and he fought with dignity and courage. He proved to be a much stronger man. A man we all looked up to with respect and love. Eddie showed the ultimate strength and bravery or "Woohitike". But at 10:10pm last night, he passed away. This quiet, loving man was like the tree struck by the awesome power of nature. He was rare. He was a great example of a person who never quit and who found humor in everything. He was strong, but pancreatice cancer is relentless.

Two friends with two different fates. Pudge continues his race. He will train and he will enjoy Boston. Eddie's race has been run and I will forever, remember his strength, his humor and his humanity and his bravery.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Hi again....The past week of training went very well.... I upped the total mileage to 27 miles.. My longest run was 10 miles. I ran 3 times on trails...the rest were on the treadmill and the pace is getting better as I have shed a couple pounds. I did 2 upper body workouts.. One leg workout. My shoulder still bothers me. I have not swam since the second week in October. I may have to get the darn thing looked at. I have not set any events for 2009, other than the 50 kilometer Trail Ultra. I really appreciate the offers of assistance from Daisy, Aimee, Eric and others for the Winter Ultra. Thanks alot and I hope to take you up.

Frozen in Time

Strolled down a frigid memory lane Monday when I went back to Buffalo, New York to do a t.v. special and cover the Browns and Bills game. I worked in Buffalo from 1978 to 1980. THE BRIDE and I had two little kids then. Those kids are now 31 and 29, plus our baby Joe came along in 1982. I had not been back to the city in quite some time.

Photographer Ron Mounts and I went to the famous Anchor Bar where chicken wings were born, and had lunch of a beef on weck and a few wings. The place was packed. I remember how we used to order buckets of chicken wings with the Blue cheese dressing. You can order all the stuff on line!!!

Ralph Wilson Stadium had thousands of rabid fans...many of whom wanted to get on t.v. right before the game.. Stupid of us to be set up right in the middle of the throng. At one point in the special, a guy walked up to me and yelled "Fox 8 Fu@*king sucks" Yes folks, we needed a 7 second delay.
When the special was over at 8:30, I scrambled to get up into the press box and I ran into my old mentor. Van Miller. Van was the long time voice of the Buffalo Bills and was the sports guy at WIVB TV back when I was there. We had alot of laughs, and he taught me alot. I will always remember fondly those days when he played tennis all the time and greeted just about everyone with "whats cooking good looking". But here is where I was frozen in time. Van is a much older man, whose voice is very meek, a far cry from when he boomed play by play to legions of Bills faithful. I felt bad that I saw him in this state. I know that time marches on and you don't stay young forever.
The Browns did not quit as was alleged by a few players recently. They won on a late field goal kicked by the most humble of Browns, Phil Dawson. Most of the comments I got from the players stemmed from their belief that it was great things worked out for them and that they really got too caught up in looking into games and the hoopla from being on alot of Monday Night Broadcasts. Braylon Edwards admitted that "You can't get ahead of yourself"
Braylon has a point. Too often, I am thinking of events far into the future, I can't appreciate whats right in front of me.

Of course there are Browns fans that would just say to Braylon.."Skip the philosophy and just catch the damn ball" His point is valid. My mind is racing about how I can get cranking on triathlon training when I should just focus on handling the ultra.

Speaking of Buffalo. I really fell in love with distance racing in Buffalo. We jogged at Delaware Park all the time and the running community was so big that I was even able to talk the bosses into letting me go to Boston in 1979 qnd 1980 and cover all the Buffalo runners in the marathon.
I saw Billy Rodgers fly to victory in 1979 and in 1980, the legit runners took a back seat to the cheater..Rosie Ruiz. I ran the Skylon International Marathon twice which starts in the USA and finishes in Canada right by Niagra Falls.
Those were fun times..the so called good old days....but funny me.. I happen to think just about every day is...Another Good Old Day
Happy trainingLife's a Blast

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hi everyone...Last week...24 total miles and most of them on the bridle paths at North Chagrin Reservation.. This am, I began the week with a 4 mile....9:40 per brisk run in brisk 33 degree weather on the paved paths at the park. There was an inch of Snow on the ground. Other areas east of Cleveland got 6 to 8 inches.. Hello winter!!!!

This week, I will run a total of 27 miles with a long run of 10....The biggest concern I have for the 50k ultra will be getting comfortable on the trails down in Peninsula. I admit, I am not super familiar with them.

Had a good week controlling the food intake..(Sounds like I'm a manifold or something!!) Getting better on entering what I ate...I have a silly system of rating each day. Half Ironman is a very good day. Olympic is where I slid, but ever so slightly. Sprint is a day with missteps, but not a disaster. DNF guessed it... a total control...strap on the feed bag kinda day. Yesterday was one of those days... Most of last week was Half Ironman.

Cleveland sports fans are aware the Browns blew two big leads in the second half of each of their last 2 games. Jamal Lewis, the running back, whom I respect alot said that some guys kinda quit in the second half of the Denver Game. To me, thats inexcusable. Many of you who read this blog are dedicated to improving your fitness and racing ability. You have done marathons, and Ironmans, and other kinds of endurance tests. Quit is a dirty word. To think that pro athletes wimp out like that really gets me going and I would assume you feel the same way.

If those guys could live just one day as Rick Pashke, then maybe they would think differently. Rick had brain surgery a few years ago and as a result, lost most feeling in his left side. He has been training with Patrick Erdmann of Gemini Quest in Broadview Heights, Ohio. Pat got him to use bands at first to try to strengthen his upper body. Hand weights were tough to control and Rick banged his head a few times. Working with Pat, it seems like a miracle is taking place. Rick, who in high school was a baseball player has gotten stronger and stronger and a little more in control. He can stand up. He can push a wheelchair (with assistance) a few feet. His goal is to walk unaided. I featured Rick Sunday night and my point before showing the piece was that Rick was not a star athlete. He was not a well known pro athlete who had his games on t.v. and made lots of money. Rick is everyman. Rick is us. Rick has determination. Rick has fire in his belly to want to improve. He has had so many roadblocks during all this. But the Browns players who had a little misfortune in the second half of a ballgame simply gave up. I dare any of those players to watch Rick workout just once. I think they would have a huge attitude shift.
Have a great week everyone!!
Life's a Blast!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Hi everyone. Coming off a 21 mile week of running....not particularly noteworthy, but will increase the distances and spend more time in the woods running. Lifting a little bit more now as the shoulder is getting better...

Passed the Halloween (Bags and Bags of Candy) Temptation Experiment without making a drastic plunge into intense sugar overload. Consider myself alive and better for it.
Next battle will the Thanksgiving...aka...annual "stuffing of the bird" as in...stuffing this old bird.

Props to that southern gentleman (WES) who put the hammer down at Ironman Florida and ripped off a 13:47 time while losing his Iron virginity.. Check out his blog as I am sure he will have an entertaining post on it soon. He is also nominated for Endurance Blog of the Year!!! Good Luck Wes!!!!!!!

Thinking of Wes and the others who have finished the gruelling Ironman, reminds me that this time of the year, when the days grow shorter and the sun caresses the ground less and less each day is really the time when we start to look ahead to what 09 might bring. Sure, you can save that for the First of the year, I suppose, but every day is a great day to dream.

I began the 08 year jumping in frozen Lake Erie..(For the Hell of it, he said) but I had already dreamed of what the year would bring... If you see my 08 sidebar of events, it was pretty loaded and one of my best years ever, despite a hamstring that cursed me on a seemingly weekly basis.

Henry David Thoreau wrote.."Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake" Or how about this amazing quote "There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, "Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams." Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yep, they're still there" Erma Bombeck wrote that. I know of many people who can spit out a list of their dreams and go at length about what they plan on doing. Thats all well and good. But to plan means, one has to actually put it into action.

Tim Mack was a non descript high school pole vaulter who never even made the state meet from Clevelands St. Ignatius High school. But he realized his dream. He stunned the world when he won the Olympic Gold medal in 2004. I picked up his book, which bore the touch of longtime Cleveland sports columnist Bill Livingston. Its a great read. Above and Beyond " is so much about "living your dreams awake". If you check this book out, it will help you realize the possibilities that lie inside of you!!

I'm guilty. I have a bucket list. I have done some things on it...but not enough. One dream can give way to another. I want to run an ultra. So I signed up. January 18th 50 K. Who knows what might develope because I do it??? It will be fun to see!!!

Enjoy your training and racing. I have been pretty busy lately but hope to bop around to all the blogs and check out your stuff, folks.!!!!!!
Life's a Blast!!!