Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Hi Gang. Last post of 2008. Got a pretty good week of training in in preparation for my 50k race in the Buckeye Trail Winter
50k. Ran on Saturday morning with TriEric and his wife Aimee. Also met one of their friends, who at age 65 is my hero. This
man has a spark and can go all day.. He's like a lithium battery. All three are doing the Half Marathon in the competition.
Eric left us shortly after we began and ran his own kinda workout and I was able to keep up with the other two. However that
morning was day #1 of ending the holiday meal marathon. I felt some of the extra weight, thats for sure. We ran on a 60 degree
morning and got to hop on a couple of trails with good inclines and descents, yet it was good and mucky. Loved it!!!!! All
told, I ran 1 hour and 40 minutes beginning at Station Road in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park System. We even hopped into
some puddles for the heck of it!!!! I hope we never grow up.
The Bride got me a Garmin 305 and its been a hoot just checking out the features of it. Tuesday AM I used it for the first time
in doing a 3.5 mile run in the North Chagrin Reservation.. I love the bridle trails and with recent warm weather followed by
very cold morning, there were lots of Horse hoofs to navigate!!!! Look out for twisted ankles!!!!
I entered the workout stuff in the Garmin Training Center on my laptop. It was out and back with the final part of the out going
up a 9 percent grade!!! Fun stuff. Had no trouble locating satellite connection too. The Satellite tracking my movements is
fascinating to me. In one way you might think of Big Brother but I look at it that technology cares about little old me and
that this technology is going to help me better myself in training and racing.

Of course above yours truly but not as high as the Satellites are the clouds. The Bride took this great shot of the clouds
when we were flying back from Thanksgiving in Florida. Its a serene view. Natures Bleach White Cotton Candy. Whats going on
under those clouds. How are the lives of the people?? When those people look up and see those clouds, are they in the midst of
a tough day?? What limits do they set for themselves?? Do they see a never ending chance to explore whats out there?? Or do
they look at the Clouds and conclude that its dreary?? That the sun is gone and that today sucks? Just wondering.

If you follow the NFL you might know the Browns fired their General Manager and Head Coach so that has kept us busy. Spent
Monday doing a bunch of Live Shots from the Browns Headquarters. I said, in many ways the Coach, Romeo Crennel was walking
coachings Green Mile the last 6 weeks as everyone expected him to get fired. You hear the saying about "Good things happening
to good people"? Not in this case. Romeo is a very classy man..honorable and all that. However its all about results baby!!!
Finally. I hope all of you have a safe New Year Celebration and that your 2009 is a Blast!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Holiday Greetings....May your Mistletoe not hurt your toes...May your Yuletide Cheer not bring you down and may you keep on training despite food being everywhere...

I am writing this on the shores of Lake Erie in our beautiful newsroom that overlooks the Lake at East 55th street. Its Christmas eve and I have just finished writing the late news scripts and gotten all the interviews etc edited. Another crazy day....Browns are down to their 4th string quarterback. My lovely desk (cluttered with goodness knows what) overlooks the Lake and, although this time of year..(read : Dec thru-March) the sun takes a back seat to the clouds, I always enjoy the sunsets and if you ask my colleagues, I even have a crazy habit of getting on the P.A. system and doing a sunset play by play. Its silly. Its fun and its worth the ribbing I get from colleagues. Its all about stopping and smelling the roses, which I think people make a point of doing around the holidays, only with alot of chaos thrown in for good measure.

Its been 9 days since my last post and for that I apologize.("Bless me father for I have sinned" ...this feels like a confession) Training took a little hit last week. My mileage dropped from a high of 34 miles to just 14 last week. This week, I hope to hit 25. I also need to get to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and hit the trails to further prep for the 31 mile ultra in January.

The Bride had one day about 8 days ago when she only taught two classes and did not workout herself..so she entrusted me to put her through a workout...Heres what I devised.
1. 200 steps up (5 inch riser)
2. 10 crunches
3. 15 Bent over Rows using dumbells
4. 30 seconds simulated rope skipping
5. Shoulder Presses-barbell 15 reps
6. 15 pushups
7. 15 Bicep curls dumbell
8. 15 tricep extensions using bands
(water break)
Repeat 4 times.

I learned that the initial 200 steps was a little too long so in coming workouts I will shorten it and sprinkle the cardio over the circuit. As usual, The Bride blew the workout clear out of the water...She kicked its fanny big time!!! I expected it.

Usually, I drop a quote or two on you guys and try to insert a meaningful message. I promise to do that in the next post, and I promise it won't be as long too.

All the Holiday Best to you!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Greetings from the City of Brotherly Love...otherwise known as "I am blowing smoke right into your rental car window in your first 20 minutes in the city". Yep..happened to me and my photographer Ron Mount when we finally arrived in Philly Sunday night to ready for our live shots Monday night when the Browns face the Eagles.

Our travel plans were scripted by the Travel Agency from Hell...also known as Stevie Wonder will GPS you. To save money, we were told to drive an hour to Canton Akron..fly to Detroit..lay over for 3 plus hours and then fly from Detroit to Philly. To make things even more interesting, our flight landed an hour late due to an emergency at Phildelphia International Airport.

But, we are alive and as I write this, its late at night and the Cowboys and Giants are battling on Sunday night football. I have ingested a Philly Cheesesteak, sending my cholesterol levels soaring over the highest building in Philly.

You might recall in our last live gig in Buffalo, the fans there said the F-word on live T.V. and we are planning to prevent such an boo boo this time in Philly. How I am just not sure, but maybe we will just try to fake the fans out...and pretend I am going live in, say 10 minutes and then sneak in one real quick.

Training for the week went pretty well. My goal was 30 miles of running, but I managed to just hit the 26 mark. I think the very long travel today halted my late plans. However, early Monday am, I plan on getting into the city and running a very long, 7-9 miles before we get cranking for the day.

CSI North Chagrin

One run last week on a frigid, snowy day, I got in an 8 miler at North Chagrin and experimented a little. There was about a half inch snow on the ground. So...I found a pair of running shoe tracks that, I figured were close to mine...maybe 9.5 or 10's and I attempted to run in those shoes. You know, match the unknown person, stride for stride. It was funny at first. I normally run 10:00 pace or so on the trails..but this person had to be a faster jogger. Anyway, I just matched him and started thinking about him. What does he do for a living? Does he do triathlons too?. Did he vote for Obama or McCain?? Was he running with someone else(I saw tracks) or was he running after someone. How far did he run?? Was he aware that he was being silently stalked by yours truly? It was fun impersonating the person (or his shoes) and it made the run fly by. I even looked real hard at the tread on the shoes and discovered they were Asics , just like mine. You might think this weird, I got a kick out of it.

Speaking of getting a kick..I worked out THE BRIDE on a circuit session and I will relate that to you on a coming post...
Have a Great Week
Life's a Blast

Monday, December 8, 2008


Don't laugh. I am writing this in my kitchen with a candle lit right next to the computer. I am hoping the setting...(Bride now at fitness center teaching a stability ball class) will help me hit the right keys and in the process make some sense..... Its dark, save for the glow of the laptop and the candle.....

Last week I made some strong strides with my weight training workouts....even got in two hard leg workouts and two very tough upper body workouts... I did however, impose a slight reduction of my running mileage. Chalk it up to a senior moment. I had a little discomfort on my left shin. Immediately I thought of shin splints...the bane of existence for many long distance folks. However, I seemed to recall wacking my left leg once about 10 days ago and so was hoping the pain was more relative to the bump. So....Mr. mid fifties dude made an executive decision. It was likely the forgotten bump that caused the situation...but...just to be safe....why not drop the mileage.???? Good compromise. So...I went from a week of 33 miles to a week of 16 and had no real long runs. I even mixed in two 30 minute segments on elliptical and stationary bikes too. I even had two treadmill workouts where I ran 8:09 miles for 3 miles.

Sunday was perfect. The Bride and I got both our Christmas trees. We get a 10 footer for our Great room and then a Charlie Brown tree for the front room. The orphaned tree must cause people who walk by to say..."Gheesh..that guy can't find a better tree than that piece of garbage"??? We always get our trees in Willoughby Hills and the folks are wonderful. The Greigs do alot of dog therapy at the Cleveland Clinic. One of their dogs had just 3 legs. They always brighten up the day of sick kids with their therapy dogs. Great ..great people. After we got the trees, we Christmas shopped and I had the rare day off from t.v. and so...did not have to watch the Browns play the Titans. Talk about an early Christmas present.!!!!

I started off this week by pledging to return to the 30's. My goal will be 30 even. This morning, I ran on the bridle paths and off the paths at North Chagrin. Snowy..quiet and quite nice. Pretty cold...but no big deal.

As I write this, the Steelers are on track to win another division. Pittsburgh is supposed to be the hated rival of Browns fans.. But I have to prop their coach Mike Tomlin for his comment after the Black and Gold came from behind to beat the Cowboys

"People get too pre-occupied with style points. That was a beautiful football game". I have to agree with what he wrote and perhaps it applies to other aspects of our lives. Julie Moss did not win style points for her finish in the Ironman in the early years...but all her crawling to the finish line did was...vault the sport into the public consciousness. Triathletes know the drill. Wanting to finish a long event and look good in the process..get reduced to "just get the damn thing done"
I think what coach Tomlin was saying was "Hey we are not doing so well right now, but we will keep trying and we will find a way to get it done". Darned if they didn't do that.
We go out and train. We are results oriented people. We know that buckets filled with our sweat will mean we can accomplish a very tough task. We know its more about substance than it is about style.

America is in a tough spot. We need to succeed at fixing our countries problems. I don't need the solution to be pretty or stylish....I just know its gonna come with good old fashioned hard work!!!

Have a great week.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The past week has been eventful... My last post referred to the passing of our long time friend, Eddie E. to pancreatic cancer and it was tough to see him go...plus I was feeling bad that due to the long time plans to go to Florida for Thanksgiving that The Bride and I would not be able to go to his service. However, our Friends were wonderful and Eddie's widow and kids know that we will all be there for them in years to come and how much Eddie meant to us. For a little more about Eddie, please check my most recent post.

But to Florida we went and it was great to see THE BRIDES parents, her brother, sister, husband, daughter and new son in law. We really haad a great time, plus the weather was ideal for running...
The past week, I totalled 33 miles of running. Did No elliptical workouts but lifted twice for the upper body and did one leg workout. I got in one run of 8.5 miles in Florida and another of 7.0. I loved the warm weather but all my Florida miles were on streets or sidewalks and thats not what my knees like at all. But when I got back to Ohio Friday night, I knew that I would still have to run 16 miles to get the weekly goal. Sooooooo...Saturday morning, I cranked up the Landice treadmill we have in our basement and reeled off 11 miles..Did an easy pace of about 9:40 per mile. Like on your car when you hit 100,000 miles, my time counter on treadmill went back to 00:00 when I went past 99 Minutes..I had to laugh. Sunday I ran the final 5 miles. The treadmill and its softer surface balanced out the hard jarring of the streets in Florida. By the way the Landice is a superb treadmill. We have had this one 7 years. It has a lifetime warranty that you can pass from one person to the next. Its motor is very strong and its never needed any work at all and yes, gang we do use it alot.

I believe Voltaire wrote "Paradise is where I am" and I really feel strongly about it. Its about enjoying where you are, when you are there. Sounds corny but it works for me. I never desired jobs elsewhere. I love my city of Cleveland, warts and all. While I could probably stand to have less credit card debt, I am not going for the fancy car or house. I love where I am and by believeing that, I don't think I am "settling" for anything less than what is best for me. How about you?? Do you think if you were somewhere else, life would instantly be better?? Do you think your level of fitness or racing prowess is less than ideal. I know you might be thinking,...gheesh...j.t. is really a Pollyanna and doesn't like to rock the boat, but thats not my point. I do want to take risks in reaching for goals in training and racing.. Frank Scully wrote "Why not go out on a limb?? Isn't that where the fruit is?. I love that. We can set a goal that takes risk and sacrifice and the reward is better than the juiciest of fruits. Theres no reward like the one when we shoot higher. So I only want to make two points, if I may. Be content in where you are in life, because your place in life doesnt have to correspond to the biggest salary or most posh of surroundings. However as you dream of athletic prizes, don't be afraid to go out on a limb...it just might be as strong a limb as your conviction.

This week, I will total 35 miles running with a longest of 12. The ultra is a little more than a month and a half away. I have a few triathlons in mind for 09 and I will talk about them in coming posts.