Thursday, December 27, 2012

Paging Dr. Remoray

Welcome back.  Have a good Christmas? Mine wasn't half bad.

My four day weekend started Saturday morning with a nice snowy/icy run with Vanilla Bryce.  It was my first snowy run ever.  The first winter after I started running I was pretty lazy.  I tried a few tricks from the magazines about getting yourself to run in the winter.  Bought some yak trax that I never used and I also signed up for a race to keep myself motivated.  I signed up for my one and only 10k and ran maybe two or three times in the month leading up to it.  My rationale for not running was A. I just completed a half marathon in October.  What's 6 miles?  B. it was cold.  This race taught me how fast the body loses conditioning.  It was a hilly, cold, exhausting mess but hey they gave away a medal to all finishers.  Silver lining!!

Silver, blue, and black lining to be specific


My laziness got the best of me, again, when I wouldn't search for my running socks on Saturday.  I grabbed the first pair I could find and they just so happened to have holes in them around the heel.  Off we go!

Started off OK until we reached the end of the street near the club house.  My entire complex is on a hill so this took some maneuverability and grace to go down.  Mission accomplished (we survived)!  Fast forward to the last mile of the three mile run.  Cue the foot pain.  Turns out the hole in my sock traveled up the back of my foot and my shoe wanted to scrape against my bare foot.  So it did.  Finished another half mile or so and limped my way back to my place.  Weep womp.  Also, throughout the three(ish) miles I learned that my newts don't have the best tread.  I think I may actually use those yak trax!!

After the run I noticed something unsettling.  Before I show you what I'm talking about I have a confession to make.  I have flat feet and I'm slightly overweight.  Because of these two things I require a stability shoe.  What this means is my ankles bend inward when I run so the extra cushioning in a stability shoe helps prevent injury.  This is called over pronating (you can't say you never learned anything from me!).   Now to the pictures:

old pair #1 New Balance
old pair #2 Nike

Current pair.  You can barely see it but it's there!

It's only on my right shoe but now I'm afraid to run on my new shoes.  I'd like to fix the issue before it gets any worse.  My plan is to get a runner evaluation from a local physical therapy place.  I've heard good things about it and you also get a discount for a local specialty running store.  Score!

Now that we have all this running talk out of the way I also went to a wedding on Saturday with my beautiful wife.  Good times had by all and a lot of inside jokes coming out of it.  Side note: between the wedding ceremony and reception we hit up the local big named grocery chain and they had the Christmas story on DVD.  I mention this because I had just been talking about it with the misses over the weekend and there it was.  Didn't think twice.  Had to get it.

Sunday I was left alone all day.  I'm not a home body.  I felt like I was going crazy.  Because I'm a glutton for punishment I turned on the Browns game.  I thought it would offer me an escape from my boredom.  A couple minutes into the game I crashed back to reality and started channel surfing (which is more like channel wake boarding when you're like me and don't have cable) until I found a replay of the Ironman world championship.  I was sucked in!  I'm far away from completing an Ironman but it's going to happen (November 2015).  Watching the special motivated me like no other.  Starting Christmas eve I was going to start doing some cross training!  Yeah!  Motivation!

I didn't do it.... I was really tired.  My youngest, Addison, wasn't down with the whole "sleep" thing the night before and I was plum tuckered out from pouting about not getting any sleep myself.  Plus excuses excuses, excuses excuses (excuses).

Monday was Christmas eve and for the first time since I was in middle school I had trouble falling asleep.  Another first was that it wasn't because I was excited to get gifts.  This was the first Christmas my oldest, Savannah, had an idea of what was going on.  A couple weeks back she started talking about Santa out-of-the-blue.  We hadn't planned on doing the Santa thing but she's just so gosh darn cute we couldn't leave her hangin'!  She wrote a letter to him and he even wrote one back!  When she get's old enough we'll still do Santa but tell her more of the back story behind it.

Back to Christmas eve!  Finally fell asleep and the next morning I woke everyone up at 8 (I had been up since 6 and I just couldn't wait any longer).  Savannah walked down the stairs and said "PRESENTS!".  The look on her face was priceless.  Some wrapping paper here, some toys here, clothes over there, and we were done.  My lovely wife bought me a Nike running hoodie and other stuff that really doesn't have any bearing on a running blog.  Unless you want to tie running along with the Walking Dead and avoiding being eaten by zombies.  That's your prerogative.  Ultimate compliment I received from my bride was her asking me "who helped you pick out the jewelry?".  I did it all by myself.  Looked through the choices, saw stuff I thought she would like, and wouldn't you know it?  She liked it!  I even bought her a dress that she wore that day!!  And she says I have no sense of style.  Pfft!

Thanks for reading everybody.  If I don't post again before 2013 I hope you all have a joyous, and safe, new year!

P.S.  If any doctors out there read this (pause for laughter) leave a comment telling me what I can do about my shoe problem.

Thanks again!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tidings of Great Joy

Lights please?

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Welcome back all you Charlies and Charlettes(?)!

Christmas time is here!

Up until the last few days it really didn't feel too Christmasy.  Not because of the commercialism, lack of snow, or 5 cent psychiatric sessions.  I was ignoring it, and not on purpose.  It was the stuff.  The stuff I think is important.  Like many people, my priorities shifted on Friday.

I'm not going to go into it too much because we all have heard every angle from every side of the arguments.  If you are one of the few who don't know what I'm talking about sign up for a Facebook or Twitter account.  When I saw the tragedy in CT on Friday I, and many others, were in a state of shock.  I went home and hugged my girls and wife and thanked God that He is who He is.    

Couple those events with spending a lot of time with my family and Aimee's family over the weekend and a spirit driven service on Sunday and things were put into perspective.

Last night the only Christmas special worth mentioning came on.  Aimee was out at the movies with friends and the girls were in bed.  While watching I felt like I understood it more than I ever had.  To the point where I was almost in tears (not almost) towards the end.  It's almost like God used the Charlie Brown Christmas special to speak to me personally.

(Side-note: I've been sharing about how this special has effected me a lot over the past 12 hours and everyone thought I was crazy for saying it was the only good special.  Citing A Christmas Story and the Christmas Carol.  I meant the only TV special worth mentioning.)

I don't really know where I'm going with all this.  Merry Christmas! 

I guess I could talk about running now.  Since this is a blog about running.

The day after my last post I stopped the running streak.  Nothing in my mind justified running everyday and my body wasn't too happy with me.  Live and learn.  Through this sorta-streak I did get to break in my new shoes.  Woo!  Hooray silver linings!  I've run a couple times since last Wednesday and I've felt really good.

Another goal I've had for the 2013 year is to complete my first triathlon and the first one has been selected.  I'll be participating in one on St. Pattys day with Jam Master Bryce-T.  The biking and running doesn't bother me too much.  16 miles on the bike and 3 miles running.  Swimming is another story.  I'm not much of a swimmer.  Aside from the occasional shower I don't interact with water too much, although I have made strides.  Within a couple weeks of swimming this past summer I was told I no longer look like I'm drowning.  Yes!!  If anyone in the greater Canton area can let me know of an inexpensive place to swim (indoors) please let me know!  My bathtub is not a suitable option.

Starting in January I'm going to start ramping up my recruiting for the first team Active:Water event at the Akron Marathon.  The plan is to get a good presentation together and start going out and sharing it.  This will involve some good ole fashion public speaking.  Luckily at work there is a speakers club that meets with the purpose of helping people build up their presentation skills.  I've thrown around the idea of attending the past four years I've been working there but I've never taken that step.  Time to jump right in.

Also, my grades came were posted and I finished the semester with a B+ and B-.  Two semesters down, fourteen to go!

On a final note, a few days back Aimee's great uncle Herb passed away.  I had the honor of meeting him and spending some time with him.  While I didn't know him all that well, or get see him all the time, the way his family spoke of him gave me quite the impression of the good man he was.

Thanks for reading everybody.  Again, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Change of Plans

Hello everybody.  Welcome back!

After completing my first marathon back in October I took a look at the race calendar and planned out the big races I wanted to do in 2013.  I had a few prerequisites:

1. Pick the race for Team Active:Water.  When I became a team captain for AW I chose the Canton Marathon races for my first team captaining adventure.  Well, over the last few months some things have come to the surface and I wasn't too sure that they would be having a race next year.  Also because of these issues I wasn't very confident in the amount of people the race would attract, if they do have one.  I'm not entirely sure, but putting me on the cover of the paper may or may not be one of the reasons they're having troubles...

On the cover of the Canton Repository.  It looks like my jaw is in the process of breaking off...

2. It has to be close!  As much as I loved the city of Chicago and as much as I'd love to visit every city and run it's streets it's just not in the cards.  After Christmas we're stepping the Dave Ramsey system into overdrive.  We took the classes last winter, and were doing really good, but fell off the horse.  If at first you don't succeed try and try again (and sometimes try some more after that).  Any race selected had to be within driving distance.  No hotels.  No turnpikes.  No gasoline stops.

3. No Sunday races!  Simple enough.  I don't want to miss service at the Mill because of an extra curricular activity.

With these prereqs in mind two races were chosen.  Cap City Half Marathon in May and the Akron Marathon (Team AW event) in September.  Both close-ish (Cap City is two hours away in Columbus but it doesn't involve a hotel visit since my sister lives outside the city) and both on a Saturday.  Success!  That was simple enough....


A couple months back I received an email from the Cleveland Marathon people asking runners to sign up to be a blogger for their race.  If selected I would receive free race entry and a good platform to talk about AW, running as a ministry in general, and all the other junk I talk about.  I thought about running the Cleveland full but it was the day before Aimee's birthday and since I ran the Chicago Marathon on Savannah's 3rd birthday, with her in Ohio, I was on a strict "no running on birthdays" orders.  With very little pleading Aimee gave me the thumbs up for applying.  What a great woman she is! The application said that they'd announce the blog winners on December 10th so in the months following I didn't think too much about it.  School, work, and family afforded me the luxury of forgetfulness. 

On December 10th I finished up my semester with a couple exams.  The rigors of academia were lifted off my shoulders.  Ahhhhh...  Breathing is nice!  I get home and what do I find?  Cleveland's Facebook page posts!  Can this be it?  Has all of my not-very-hard work paid off?  No.

"due to an overwhelming number of outstanding applicants, we are adding a second category to our blogger program for 2013"

Crap.  This doesn't bode well for me...

December 11th.  I wait.  I wait.  I wait some more.  Time for the announcement.....

I didn't get it...

Don't frown.  I ended up getting a guest blogging spot.  Instead of posting for the race every two weeks, I'm going to get one of my posts sponsored by the race between the months of January and May.  Hey, I'll take it!  Unfortunately I don't get a free race entry but I'm excited for the chance to share and expand my audience (I went from 1 to 2 followers) and get some good recruiting for team AW.  On top of that the race is early enough for me to get home for service.  Score!  So now I'm doing the Cleveland half marathon.  I love the city of Cleveland.  Bring it on.   

Running streak update!

It's still going.  Everyday I get a different temporary pain but it's nothing too big and it disappears within a few minutes.  I am pretty sore though.  Good thing is I feel like I'm running the strongest I have in quite a while.  Times are decreasing and I'm able to put more and more miles on my new tennie boppers.  I'm also getting to know the neighborhood a little more.  Yesterday I even saw some deer (and it terrified me). 

Christmas update!

I'm an idiot.  Turns out you have to put YOUR address on the shipping information so you get the presents you ordered for your wife, who knew?  I know the season isn't about all the gifts but I like getting stuff for her.  She's too good to me.  I've felt convicted to improve my faith walk and it's the best season to do it.  Keep me accountable please.  All the races, fund-raising, and running (actually everything I say or do) is useless if I'm doing it for myself.

Thanks for reading everybody.

It's been real.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What Do You Love?

Happy December to one and all!

My month has had a very jolly start.  I ran a 5k this morning in the very small town of Minerva.  The race benefited the Minerva Area Christian Schools (MACS).  It's the smallest race I've done and it's one of my favorites.  It's the same course I ran back in June at the Jolly Jaunt (also benefiting MACS) but this was their first time doing a race in December.  To jolly things up a bit they gave everyone bells and gave out shirts with a running snowman on them (I may or may not be wearing the shirt right now)  OK here's a picture of it:

Long sleeved!  Bonus!

The race was a blast.  Even the runners were really nice to each other.  Bryce and I struck up conversations with a few people and everyone seemed joyful.  The crowd was about 40-50 deep (in June there was about 20-30 less).  Almost everyone put the bells on their shoes which made it something the locals couldn't ignore.  A few families even came outside of their homes to watch us runners.  I didn't necessarily run the race well.  I started off a bit too fast.  At mile one the time keeper told us what we were at and I even told him I was running too fast (because I'm sure he really cared).  The last mile it thinned out a bit and there wasn't anyone in jingle distance behind or in front of me.  If it weren't for the volunteers at every turn I may still be in Minerva right now.  I made the last turn and Bryce came back to finish off the race with me.  Good times had by all.

So why is this race one of my favorites?  It's not the course, lack of crowds, the fact that it's less than 20 bucks (a rarity in race entries) or the SWAG.  I love the race because the people organizing it really care about the school.  I've run a few races and you can tell when the people really care.  As long as they keep organizing races I'll be going there.  It really motivated me to start getting this AW 5k off the ground.

After the race ended, and my stink faded, the wife, kids and I headed to constitution town to be a part of a friends photo shoot.

The theme of the photo shoot is "What do you love?"  We had a lot of fun.  Aimee took a picture of her holding the girls.  Savannah held up the bell I gave her from the race and a barbie for another picture.  Addison took some pictures playing with Aimee's old phone and drinking her bottle.  What did I bring?  Shoes.

Before I go into why I chose shoes I feel obligated to let everyone know how guilty I feel about it.  Just because I didn't pick my wife and girls, or my bible, or something else more important than running doesn't mean I don't love them all.  If anything running has enhanced my love for all of those things.

To me, running has been a blessing.  It's made me healthier.  I could easily be fifty pounds heavier if I kept up the exercise routine I had a few years ago (poke food with fork, lift fork, put food in mouth, repeat).  Friendships have grown stronger because of it.  Real friends are the ones who will wake up and run with you at 5 in the morning, and also not get mad at you if you sleep through your alarm... (sorry guys).  God has even used it as a ministry in my life.  If you haven't read my past posts ministry was the reason I started running.  Being on team Active:Water is amazing.  Also, early morning runs by myself have been some of the times I've felt closest with God.

Is running tough? At times.  Do I feel some pains from it?  My knees get mad at me for just putting on my shoes.  All things considered, I wouldn't be the same without it.  I don't want to know life without it.

The holiday streak is going swimmingly.  Haven't missed a day yet and I've been breaking in my newts.  I felt a very minor shin splint taking out the trash a few hours ago and my lower body has been pretty sore but through the struggles joy comes in the morning.  This streak has even motivated me to do a set of sit ups.  Watch out Channing Tatum!

You can see the fear in his eyes
So what is it that you love?  Running?  Knitting?  Channing Tatum?

Thanks for reading.  Go get your Christmas shopping done!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving and Beyond!

How was your Thanksgiving?

Mine was great!  The holiday started with the turkey trot.  I met up with some friends and earned myself some extra calories for the day.  It was great weather and an electric atmosphere.  A record turnout of over three thousand runners!  Pretty good for a small town race. 

The stats of my performance aren't necessarily worth mentioning.  A mile in I felt like I was running in place.  Had a good amount of tightness where my shins meet my feet and I couldn't shake it.  My running compatriot Bryce smashed his PR though.  Way to be!

I don't know what it is about running, but it just puts me in a good mood for the day.  Put that good feeling and Thanksgiving together and I was on cloud nine.  From the trot me and the fam fam (mom included) headed down to Columbus to spend the day with my sister and her lovely family.  Played some football with my nephews, joked around with my family, hid the remote so I could keep football on all day, and ate some AWESOME food.  One of the appetizers was a stuffed jalapeno pepper wrapped in bacon....


Along with that was home made sweet potato casserole, my wife's amazing broccoli casserole, my mom's cheesy potato casserole, and all the usual suspects of a Thanksgiving meal.  For dessert there were four pies and a pumpkin roll.  FOUR PIES!  Now that I think about it there were 6.  SIX PIES!

I may have eaten more calories than I burned that day......

That's OK though!

The grossest/funniest story of the day goes to my soon-to-be 1 year old niece Kaylee (KK).  My brother in law brings her down from her nap and notices she's got one of those looks on her face.  My sister wants to see her baby girl so she grabs her and proceeds to open the fridge.  As soon as it's open KK vomits.  Projectile.  All over the floor and the bottom half of the fridge.  How a small child like that has enough fluids to cover a refrigerator and a couple feet in front of is beyond my comprehension.  I'm pretty darn impressed though...


Since Thanksgiving I've been streaking.  Today is day 6 and it's still going strong.

Wait a second.  There's been a development in my shoe complaining that I mentioned in my previous post.  I got new shoes!

Sunday we celebrated both mine and my mother-in-law's birthday (She's the 22nd and I'm the 29th).  A few days before the party Aimee told me she spent $60 on my birthday gift.  Hearing this made any thought of running shoes fly out the window.  She even told me that she swears she only spent $60 and you know what?  The bugger wasn't lying to me.  She teamed up with her sister, parents, and my mom to buy me a nice new pair of Newtons:

Ooooooo... Ahhhhhhhh...

The excitement can't be described.  She knows me so well.  I'm a lucky man!

So yes, the streak.  6 days down.  About a month to go.  Oddly enough the pain I felt at the turkey trot hasn't persisted.  Hooray!  Chalk it up to improper stretching I guess.  There was one run where my ankle was on the brink of imploding but the pain was temporary.  Life goes on.

As far as the new shoes go they are a different breed of running shoe.  They require me to break them in slowly so I'm running in a couple different pairs.  Weird feeling between the two but the future is looking bright. 

This Saturday Bryce and I are running in the Jolly Jingle 5K supporting the Minerva Area Christian School.  The race director also organizes the Jolly Jaunt 5K supporting the MACS.  The jolliness of it all is borderline unbearable.

I look forward to filling you in on all the jolly details.

Have a great day everybody and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

We're Going Streaking!!

Happy Thanksgiving week everybody!

Thanksgiving is, easily, in the top 3 of my favorite days of the year. There are the obvious reasons like food, football, friends, and messing around with your family but this year I’ve added a new one.  Streaking!

Sorry folks, not that kind of streaking...  Or maybe I should say you're welcome!

It's time for a running streak!

It’s these hibernation months that get to me.  Last year I finished the Cbus half late October and a 5k on Thanksgiving. After that?


The holidays came around and I was eating just as much, if not more, than I ate during the training months.  Except I wasn’t running like I was in training. I’m not trying to sound over critical of myself.  Rest is very important, but in the spring of last year I felt like I had to start my conditioning all over again. I felt like a slug.  This year is starting to be not much different.  I'm coming up with a lot of excuses.

I'd say my biggest excuse is shoes.  I have over 300 miles on both of my pairs.  In my extensive recreational reading of running publications and websites I have it in my head that I should only do 300-500 miles on my shoes.  These numbers have captured my focus.  I don't like that.  They're just numbers.  I don't think they're made up though because my shoes look pretty beat up. 

A couple days ago I stopped myself and these thoughts.  I'm complaining because my TWO pairs of shoes are too worn out.  I have two pairs of just running shoes.  That's more than most people have of normal shoes.  I'm blessed and very thankful.

Which brings me back to Thanksgiving.  I’m taking part in a holiday running streak challenge sponsored by Runners World. From Thanksgiving to New Years I’ll be running at least a mile a day.  Starts Thursday with a few thousand people at the Perry Rotary Turkey Trot.  It's time to get motivated.  I'm lacing up my experienced shoes and dumping the excuses.

I'm looking forward to the challenge so I can start 2013 on the right.... foot.  Next year is going to be very busy.  I'm in the process of planning a 5k for Active:Water, completing my first triathlon, running either a half or full marathon in the spring, and recruiting/fund-raising/training for the Akron marathon for Active:Water in September.  Not to mention my lovely family, work and school.

I'm asking anyone and everyone to join me in this quest.  Whether it's emotional or physical assistance.  We're going to kick the crap out of 2013.  Kickin butt.  Takin names.  Buildin wells.  Savin lives!

Who's comin with me??

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chicago II

I went back and read the last post I wrote and it seemed to end pretty abruptly.  I've changed about 15 diarrhea filled diapers since Thursday so forgive my sub-par writing.

So where were we?  Drunk people!  Yes!

There was a wedding party at our hotel every night we were there.  They were all of Indian descent.  When we parked our car Sunday night the door to the event was open and it looked like one hoppin' party.  Maybe it was the Bollywood electric slide?

Sunday morning I woke up, showered and suited up.

Back to the city we went, and this time we went the right direction down every street!!

Until the morning of the race I wasn't very nervous.  A couple hours before the start I was sitting there with Aimee and Kaydee and the gravity of the days event set in.  I'm not always positive when it comes to my running exploits.  I'm blessed to have friends around me who tell me to cut that negative talk out and offer genuine encouragement.  All those words I had heard over the past few months came back to me that morning and nervousness turned to crazy excitement.  By crazy I mean I was going crazy....

I ate my Clif bar, a banana and drank a bottle of water.  Went to the bathroom a few times.  Gave my wife a hug and kiss.  Met up with my teammates.  Entered the start corral.  Stretched.  Prayed.

Time to run!!

It was amazing.  I have a problem with going faster than I should out of the gate but not today.  For the first few miles I felt great.  Didn't feel like I was even touching the ground.  Also, within the first mile there were signs about coming to salvation through Jesus, which were done tastefully (no flames, eternal damnation, Westboro church kind of stuff).  Which prompted a runner that was close by to say "why is this race so Jesus-ee?"  I got a good chuckle out of it (I still kinda do).   

I started the race with two of my teammates Daren and Megan.  Daren was dressed like a pirate.  This brought a lot of attention to him which made running the race pretty fun.  It got the spectators into the race. 

At one point we were talking about Active:Water and Daren made a really good point that I didn't think about:  We were running with 45k other runners and not all of them were running for a charity.  There's so much potential to build up the team, raise money and educate people.  I'm very fortunate that Active:Water chose me to be a team captain.  I'm excited to get started on recruiting a team and start training for another race under the AW banner!  If you're interested in running let me know!

Back to the race!

Throughout the first miles of the race I was told to go ahead if I was feeling it but I liked the pace we were going.  At mile eleven or twelve I felt it and just looked forward and ran.  I felt kind of turd like for leaving but I was feeling really good.  At mile twelve I also saw my beautiful wife on the side of the course which brought a huge smile to my face.  Also, she gives proof that I was feeling good at that moment via Facebook:

"just saw thomas at mile 12 and he looks good!"

The course set up for the first half to eighteen miles was great.  So much crowd participation, loud music and general merriment.  When the race hit the south side it got a lot quieter, which made it easier for me to retreat into my brain. 

At mile twenty was the first time being tired beat running.  I didn't stop but I was moving pretty slow.  Luckily that was when they started handing out bananas.  It's amazing how half of a banana and a cup of lemon-lime Gatorade can bring up your spirits!

On a side note I will try my best to never drink lemon-lime Gatorade ever again.  Knowing that Chicago was handing out this flavor I drank it during my training runs.  I also took Gatorade at almost every fluid stop on the day of the race.  Even now I'm thinking about it and I can actually taste it.....

The last six (point two) miles of the race were challenging.  Not only physically but emotionally.  Good emotionally.  The notion of finishing and being used in this ministry is amazing.

The last mile or so brought me back into downtown Chicago.  The streets were lined with cheering spectators and the last .2 miles were uphill (which I enjoy).  Sure I was tired but seeing the end of the race propelled me up the hill and back down through the finish line.  

I finished the race with a watch time of 4:55.  The race clocked me at 5:01.  I didn't count mile five when we took a potty break.  4:55, 5:01 or 6:30 (course maximum time allowed) I don't care too much about my time.  By the grace of God I finished. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chicago Part 1

I completed my first marathon this past weekend in Chicago!  More importantly than that fund-raising for Active:Water reached over $1000!!  If you're new to the blog it's the reason I started running in the first place.  The fund-raising page doesn't shut down just because the race is over and the goal has been reached.  There's always a need!

Active:Water Fund-raising Page

Last week I was a bit anxious for the trip to Chi-town.  Monday started with the girls waking up at 2:30 in the morning and not feeling like going back to sleep.  Aimee and the girls eventually fell back asleep but I did not and I zombied my way into work.  One of the first things I did was take an extra day off making last week a two day work week!  Focus was in short supply knowing what was coming up that weekend.

I approached my professors about my two days of class I'd be missing and they were surprisingly accommodating.  In New Testament I had to turn in a half page paper Friday but he allowed me to email it to him.  In Greek New Testament the prof let me take a test Thursday, that we planned on taking Friday.  Thursday I took the test and was not exactly focused.  I ended up not understanding a few questions and bombed it.  I finally understood the questions halfway to Chicago.  Another thing I realized on the trip was that I didn't email my New Testament professor the paper.  Just so I don't leave anyone on the edge of their seat my NT prof didn't mark me off any points for turning my paper in a couple days late.

On to the trip!

Early Friday morning we dropped off the girls at my mom's and embarked on our 7 hour journey to the great city of Chicago (after I forgot some stuff and we had to go back to Kaydees house to pick it up).  The time went by pretty quick.  When Aimee and Kaydee weren't sleeping we played some good car games, got some grub and Kaydee learned that Mount Rushmore is in the United States.  My wife has had similar moments involving the location of major cities.  Maybe it's just a Keim thing?  ANYWAY!  We took the rural route as opposed to the turnpike.  It took an hour longer but it was less miles and we didn't have to pay any tolls.

Chicago!  We made it!

Our only stop in Chicago on Friday was the expo.  For anyone who hasn't run a race or been to an expo it's basically a trade show for running companies.  At the expo the runner picks up their bib, timing device, race shirt, S.W.A.G. and purchase whatever treasurers they'd like. 

Picture of the race shirt.

The experience was a bit overwhelming.  I've run races in Cleveland, Columbus and Canton but this expo was about the size of Canton.  It felt like we were the only people paying attention to where we were walking too.  I don't know if it was the crowds, driving in the city or everyone walking right in front of me but I didn't enjoy the expo.  I went in and bought some merchandise, picked up my bib/shirt and left pretty quick.  Not before a forced photo opp by my wife.

She was trying to help me enjoy the experience.  I don't blame her at all.  I'm just not great with crowds (unless I'm running in them).

We left the expo and I happened to not notice any of the signs saying I had to pay for the parking before I left the garage.  I thought there would be an attendant to pay.  Little did he know...  So after taking some laps around the parking lot and finding a place to pay we left and headed to the hotel.  The ride to the hotel happened to be during Friday afternoon rush hour!

Our ten minute drive to the hotel was about thirty minutes, chalk it up to poor planning.  As I wrote in previous blogs the hotel was paid for partly by a generous donation from a friend.  Weeks later the same friend paid for the rest of the hotel so it was completely free!!

A couple months ago our car took a dump and all the money we had saved for the trip was gone.  Every last penny.  An amazing thing happened though.  In the final months so much extra money came in that we ended up having more than we expected.  Truly a blessing!  Praise God!

Because of this blessing we weren't worrying about finances during the weekend.  Everything was separated out so we knew how much we had for everything from parking and gas to shopping and eating.

Saturday was our big day in the city.  We followed the Garmin GPS thing into the city and at one point it had us going the wrong way down a one way road.  Awesome!  Fastest U turn I've ever done!  After this "experience" we found our parking garage and were happy to be on our feet.

If you don't know me personally I'm kind of a hat aficionado so our first stop was at the New Era flagship store (I'm not sure how it happened but our parking garage was right next to it..).  Any guy who has been shopping with a significant other knows the feeling of standing there, for what seems like forever, while your loved one walks past the same rack over and over again.  In the New Era store that was Aimee.  I made my choice, finally, and we left.  Aimee even bought something.

We went to most of the cool lakefront landmarks.  The bean, buckingham fountain, waterfall wall things and so on and so on.  I won't post all the pictures that we took since most of you probably clicked on this link from my Facebook.  All of the pictures are on there or Aimee's page.  We would have liked to go up Sears tower and go to the Navy Pier but there isn't enough time in the day and I didn't want to completely wipe myself out the day before running a marathon.

The city was a bit busier than normal.  The night before the marathon was a big college football game between Miami (FL) and Notre Dame.  We saw fans everywhere we went.  Other things we did while in the city:

Women shopped
Took pictures
People asked us for money (one guy just about cornered me for it)
Jamba Juice

That night we met for a team dinner with a couple other runners for Active:Water.  Aimee, Kaydee and I had the pasta and what not while everyone else ordered pizza.  I was a little jealous, I won't lie.  The pizzas looked great but I'm a bit paranoid and didn't want to try something new the day before a race.  Luckily they ship pizzas everywhere in the country so I will have one of those pizzas soon. 

We headed back to the hotel after a pretty busy day.  I had no problem falling/staying asleep that night, to my surprise considering what was coming up.  I did wake up once or twice because of a wedding reception that was happening at the hotel.  Heard a lot of drunk people outside.

That's all for now.  I'll share about the race itself next time.  It won't take a month either!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

28 Days

Phew!  It's been a busy few weeks.  The end of last month saw me finishing an eight week chunk of training at work, followed by a week of additional work training, and when I was finally done being trapped in a training room I started my semester at Malone.  My workload is light, I only take a couple classes a semester, but this semester I'm taking Greek New Testament, which will definitely stretch me.

Speaking of a stretch, we're in the home stretch for the Chicago marathon (28 days to be exact).  I still remember sitting at my desk back in February waiting for the 1 o'clock hour to hit so I could register.  I have this fear, paranoia if you will, that every event, baseball game, concert, etc will sell out before I get a chance to buy a ticket or register.  That day I kept refreshing the page until the registration link popped up.  I signed up so fast that I wouldn't be surprised if I was bib number 00001.  Three days later the field of 46,000 runners was already filled (record breaking time).

So why did I choose the Chicago marathon?

Good question!  At the end of 2011 I felt like I had a good year of running.  It was the first year I had run any races.  I ran the Cleveland and Columbus half (with 5ks sprinkled here and there).  With my eyes looking towards 2012 I knew that I wanted to run a marathon.  I love the city of Cleveland and the Columbus half made me fond of the capital city.  I was torn.  Other races were on my radar too.  Cincinnati, Canton, the Air Force marathon in Dayton, even Pittsburgh (cringe).  To sort out the jumbled mess I sat at my desk and had a few minutes of silence, so I decided to pray.  Does God care about what race I run?  Probably.  Maybe.  I just prayed for clarity and to take the decision out of my hands.  There are more important things to focus on in life aside from what race I'll run, right?  Well wouldn't you know the minute I was done I popped over to this site Facebook and what's the top story on there?  Active:Water is asking for people to join the Chicago Marathon team.  I kid you not!  True story.  Pending wife approval, this was the single easiest decision I made.  She approved, duh.

I want to take a moment here to thank my lovely wife for being so gosh darn supportive of everything I put myself into.  Whether it's going to Armenia on a mission trip and baking hundreds of cookies to fund-raise or selling headbands, taking pictures, and watching a small countries worth of kids to raise money for this Chicago trip, she's always there by my side.  These goings on stress us (and stretch us) but we grow so close through these tests.  She's stuck with me for good!  Praise the Lord!

Training update:

Training is going good.  It could be better, but I feel like I can tackle these 26.2 miles.  Run, walk, or crawl I'll cross that finish line.  An Olympic marathoner injured himself during the race, but kept running till he finished.  At the end of the race they asked him why he kept going.  His response is famous, you've probably heard it, but I remind myself of it every so often.  "My country didn't send me 10,000 miles for me to start the race, they sent me to finish"  I'm paraphrasing that quote, but you get the idea.  All of your support and sponsorship through Active:Water is getting me to Chicago.  I'm not going to start the race, I'm there to finish!

With that said yesterday I went out for my long run of the week and it was very rainy.  To the point where my eyes were barely open.  Big, hard-hitting, rain drops.  I wore a jacket, thinking it would keep my innards dry.  ha.  I was a big 200 lb wet blanket by mile 5 or 6.  Parts of me really wanted to stop or cut the run by about 10 - 15 miles but I focused on a video that I saw recently.  (Note to Blogger: there are other sites that show videos.  Help a brotha out and let me post a vimeo video on my page.)  The video is of kids using a well pump.  The water coming out is crystal clear and the kids love it.  They're cupping their hands and drinking it, some are just putting their hands under the pump to feel the water flow between their fingers.  They were so excited for something that we look at as nothing more than a convenience.  I'm not going to say that thinking of this made me break a personal best or I was then able to float above the concrete but it kept me going till I finished.

The video I talked about is one Active:Water's facebook page.  Go check it out.  Since you're surfing the Internet anyway, how about you mosey on over to my fund-raising page and sponsor me!  I'm asking everyone to just give 5 dollars, that's one pumpkin spiced latte.  A donation of $5 is bigger than you think and can help a lot of people!

I'm almost one third away from reaching the goal I chose.  I have faith that it'll be reached.


Once the race is over I'm going to write out hand written thank yous to everyone who gives.  I'm not saying that as an incentive to give.  You've read my blog, my writing isn't a prize lol.  It's actually barely legible!


I have the upcoming week off work.  The first week off I've had this year!  I have visions of making breakfast for the girls, "sleeping in" (for me that's about 7 or 8 a.m.), and staying up late playing songpop with my wife.

Have a good week everybody!

P.S.  Buy Lecrae's new album "Gravity"!  It's great!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Speed Bump

Today has been a very trying day.

Last night I had met up with some guys from work for a fantasy football draft where I ate way too much food.  To the point where I don't even want to share all that I ate.  Not because I'm ashamed, even though I kinda am.  I don't want to share because I may get sick.

Which leads us to today.
My alarm clock went off at 4:30, so I could go out for a 9 mile training run.  I swung out of bed to turn off my alarm clock and my stomach was in a good deal of pain.  Back under the covers I went!  A couple hours later I was out of the house and heading to work, feeling much better.  The days schedule included an all day meeting on Continuous Improvement (Nationwide's version of Six Sigma).  I learned some things, heard the song "Ring My Bell" one too many times and the day went by fast.

After work I headed to the auto shop to get an oil change.  Now for all of those other people out there driving older cars you know the pitch at these appointments:  "We completed your oil change and it looks like you need a new air filter, brake fluid, new serpentine belt, blah blah blah".  I prepare myself for moments like these.  I put up the wall.  This time was different...  The first words out of his mouth were "This car isn't safe enough to be on the road".  OK, you've got my attention.  At this point he took me back to my car and gave me a guided tour of all the things needing repaired.  (I don't know much about cars so don't be surprised if the following names are far from actual car parts)  Tie rods, ball joints, shocks and tires.  These are the items needing work just so the car is safe for the road.  The complete list to fix everything is so long I don't think I'll be sharing it here.  I hadn't talked to Aimee, and I didn't have money with me, so I paid for my oil change and headed home.

We had no choice.  The car needs fixed.  It's the only car we have and I can't put my girls in there in it's current condition.  So I called my guy.  The guy who fixes cars for a living and gives me a deal.  I know he'll save us some dough. 

No pick up. 


He calls back!!  "Hey Thomas, I got your voicemail.  I'm sorry but I'm not doing that kind of work anymore." ..............but he's my car guy!  Bye bye car guy.  Hello hiked up repair bill.

With that said our Chicago Marathon fund is now on life support.  My first thought was that we'd lost all the money we saved up.  Then a weird thing happened.

I was fine.

Our saving for the trip is all but cleaned out, but we have the money to fix the car.  This is a blessing in, and of, itself.  I'm going to be thankful for this experience.  I've got faith that we'll get over this speed bump.  The trip will be a success and through this race, and all the donations we'll receive, hundreds of people's lives will be saved.

To make up for yesterday I ate very good today.  I was able to feel good all day.  I even ate dinner!  An hour later Bryce came over and we headed out for 9 miles.

Then it hit me.

Within the first mile I was confident that this would be the first time I would have thrown up during a run.  I lasted 4.6 miles.  Didn't throw up either.  Although I was close a few times.  I still don't feel too good right now.

If you take anything from this entry let it be this:

1.Have faith in the Lord and He will see you through the rough times.
 2.Don't eat lots and lots of food.

I'm going to lay down.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


P.R. - personal record (used when talking about the longest or fastest run you've ever completed)

I'm providing this definition because if you would have asked me what it meant a couple years ago (before I was a consistent runner) I would have no idea what it meant.

Like I mentioned in my last post,  I ran the Canton Half Marathon on Fathers Day and I finished with a P.R. of 2:20:22.  Crushing my Columbus Half Marathon time by an entire minute.  I'm OK with being an average to slower runner.  As a matter of fact, when I talk about running with fellow runners I always mention that I don't care too much about my pace.  I've even set my watch to not tell me the pace I'm running.

I have to make a confession to everyone, I'm telling a lie.  In February I purchased my first running watch, and for the first couple weeks I was consumed with my pace.  During those two weeks I ran horribly so I changed the settings on my watch and never looked back.  So, it's not that I don't care about my pace.  The truth is I care too much so I ignore it.  Ignorance is bliss.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, Saturday August 11th, started early.  I woke up at 4:30 to go on a training run (for the Chicago Marathon if you're new to the blog).  After I rolled out of bed I started my pre-run routine, with one exception.  I decided to eat something before this run, with a Clif bar being my choice of foods.  After a fierce Canton traffic jam, my pal Bryce York and I set out for what would be my fastest 13.1 ever.  Bryce was on board for the first five miles since he's training for his first half marathon (my constant prodding about running actually worked on someone!).

From the get go he kept saying that we should slow down.  I verbally agreed but my body didn't get the memo.  About 4 miles in, during our final moments running together, I told him I should probably slow down, which I did.  But not by much.  From this point the run got a little interesting.

Before every run I map the course online.  For yesterday's run I added a neighborhood that I was familiar with, but had never run in before.  I haven't been in this neighborhood since my sister lived there almost ten years ago.  Maybe I was feeling nostalgic.  On the street leading to this neighborhood my mind went back to a day that I don't always think about, but I'll never forget.

I don't talk too much about my dad.  Mostly with family or with people who ask about him, and even then it's not too specific.  He had a lot of medical issues.  Fell off of a military oil truck in the winter and broke a lot of bones, which caused him to retire early for medical reasons.  He caught bacterial meningitis and was pretty much dead.  I mean called-in-our-priest-for-his-last-rights dead.  Miraculously he recovered from it.  From this point on he would be in the hospital every few months or so for years to come.  My dad wasn't perfect, and neither is anyone on this earth.  I look back now and see that he was fighting a lot of demons throughout his life and didn't handle it great all the time.  Being a teenager I also probably wasn't the best support group.  Hindsight's twenty-twenty, I guess. 

Anyway, back to my trip back in time.

The day before my mom, sister, and I were up seeing my dad at the Cleveland clinic and something was a bit off.  He was in with complications from a past trip to the Cleveland clinic.  Under pressure situations, even when he had his first symptoms of meningitis, he always kept his cool.  He would speak to the paramedics picking him up like there was nothing wrong with him.  That night he was talking really loud and seemed a bit out of it.  After a while we left and headed back to Canton.

The next day I went from my junior intro to psych class to Mr. Bolton's English class.  As class began the phone rang and I had a sinking feeling.  "Thomas, you need to go to the office".  Heading to the office I saw my sister standing in the hallway and the feeling completely sunk.  Before going up to see my dad for the last time we stopped at my sisters place in this neighborhood.

I'm not going to go into the events that followed the next couple of days.  Maybe at another time and not on a blog.

It's now 2012 and I'm running through the neighborhood again and I was balling my eyes out mid stride playing those days in my head like a movie.

Running can be a very zen like experience.  A moment of meditation.  But this was a little ridiculous.

I don't know if it was this moment of extreme emotion, training, the planets aligning, or really good weather, but I eventually finished the run 14 minutes faster than any of the past three 13.1 runs I've completed.

While I was, and still am, very excited about this accomplishment, one day that P.R. will change but I don't think I'll soon forget this run.


Fund-raising update:

Thanks to a friend's donation our hotel plans have changed.  Instead of spending around $350 for a hotel room we were given hotel perks and now only have to pay $120!  With those savings we were able to donate to Active:Water plus towards the expenses involved with the trip.

Thanks to that donation, plus donations from other friends, and we're now at $290 raised out of the goal of $1500.

Sometimes I feel like I'm nagging when I ask for people's money but knowing how much people need our help keeps me motivated.  The Lord calls us to help those in need across the globe.  You don't have to run to do it either!

Here's the link to my page:

ActiveWater: Asia Project


Finally, I wanted to throw something out there that I failed to mention on my last post and another news event that I'm really excited about.

On my last post I didn't talk about the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2 & 5 mile run.  It was my friend Jermaine's first race!  I've been pushing him to do a race for years and he finally broke.

My friends, and running partners, Scott and Shannon have been pursuing a domestic adoption for the past two and a half years and on Friday they signed the paperwork to have their little boy Elijah!  A very deserving bunch of people.  Elijah is a very lucky kid!  A big congratulations to them!

Thanks for reading everyone!

Miles Ran Today: 4
Miles Ran This Week: 32

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicago Trainin'

Welcome back everyone!

I haven't posted on here since Mother's Day.  I felt like all my posts had to be deep and full of meaning so I've kinda been putting this blog on the backburner.  Until today!  I'm posting with a renewed vigor.  I will stick to the K.I.S.S. formula for my posts from here on out.

A brief overview of the last few months....

My wife turned her love of everything involving our little girls into an at -home business making headbands and hair clips.  I chose the very original name too:  Two Cute Girls Headbands and Hair Clips (find them on Facebook).  I missed my true calling of working in marketing. 

I ran my fastest 5k at a small race in Minerva.  This race is also the first time I had a hand in making the coveted race t-shirt.

Oh yes.  I'm also in the t-shirt business.  I'm the head motivator for the Isaiah Project Clothing Company.  The IP is a company that creates scripture/faith based t-shirts and gives a portion of each sale back into the church body for missions or whoever may be in need (find them on Facebook).  They also do corporate orders that you can design yourself or leave the designing to the CEO/baldest member of IP, Bryce York.  My job description is to keep us moving in the right direction, help the creative process, occasionally screen a t-shirt, and provide comic relief when I freak out every time the darn t-shirt screening contraption falls down.

Speaking of Bryce York, he completed his first triathlon a couple weeks ago!  Big shout out!  Maybe next year I'll give one a shot.

Moving on, June 17th was the Canton Half Marathon.  For a week leading up to the race I was scared of how hot the weather people were predicting it would be.  My only goal was to finish before they closed the race course for the safety of the runners.  No such thing happened!  The weather was perfect.  Overcast and 70s.  I went to the race with my good pals Scott, Shannon, and Lorrie Radcliff and Matt Martin.  In his longest run ever Matt finished in under 2 hours!  Scott, Shannon, and Lorrie finished just over two hours!  And I... finished!  I was cruising for the first part of the race and forged ahead before the hills started.  Once they started they never seemed to end.

The best part of the race was seeing my wife, sleeping infant, and my oldest daughter Savannah running up to the road holding a sign looking excited to see me.  Scratch that.  It wasn't the best part of the race, It was the best moment I've had in my storied running career of two years.

The second best part about the race was finishing.  I was ready to be done.  For it's first year the Canton Marathon wasn't too bad.  It was nice having home field advantage at a race for once.  Cool football themed medal too:

 Now on to a Chicago Marathon training update.

I'm running.  A lot.  For the first month of training I attacked the hills of the surrounding area pretty hard.  Since then I've been in cruise control.  To be honest, I was a little nervous about the distance of 26.2 miles but I'm feeling more confident with each run.  

I've started fund-raising as well.  The goal I've set is $1,500.  I have faith that the goal will be reached.  I'm very fortunate to be surrounded by good friends who have already stepped up.  Already at 8% of my goal raised!

I've also instituted a monthly drawing for all people that donate.  The winner of July is Susan Rosier!  You've won an Active:Water water bottle!  In August I'm going to have your choice of Active:Water shirt!  You know what the best part of the raffle is?  EVERYONE WINS!  So maybe everyone doesn't get a physical prize.  How about knowing that you have saved someone's life?  Sounds pretty awesome to me!

Here's a link to my donation site:

That's all I'll share for today.  A big thank you to my wifey Aimee for taking the new cover picture of this blog.  It rocks!

Miles Ran Today: 7
Miles Ran This Week: 11
Album I'm Currently Listening To: KB "Weight and Glory"

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Have you seen one of these before?  I'm guessing you have.  If you haven't, you've driven over them a few thousand times in your life.
I haven't done any research on them.  This isn't a blog post about the complexities of the city sewer system.  All I know is these ten inch wide mini manhole covers, as of yesterday, motivate me.

On June 17th myself, and a few thousand other crazies, will be running in the Canton Half Marathon.  I've been training for a little over a month and on Monday I felt great.  Over the weekend I ran with my friends, Scott and Shannon, and they pushed me through seven miles (figurative push) and that Monday morning I ran my fastest three miles yet.  Throughout the day I had my normal run day mixture of being sore, tired, and energized all at the same time.  It was an average, run of the mill, Monday in my cubicle paradise.  An hour before my shift was set to end I got up for break and BOOM, I couldn't walk.  I had sharp pain in my ankle that I'd never felt before.

My initial reaction was OWWWWW, combined with terrible thoughts running through my head.  "Will I be able to run this half marathon?"  "Will I be able to run the Chicago marathon?"  "How will I get to my car/home if I can't walk?"

The next reaction was to try to walk.  I walked twenty feet from my desk to the window and back and the pain subsided, slightly.  This relieved me because I'd be able to get to my car under my own power.  The first two questions remained. 

I asked friends for prayer, filled up an ice pack, kicked my feet up, and waited for the pain to go away.

Tuesday morning was an off day in the training plan.  I was walking slower than normal but I wasn't hobbling.  At this point I'm walking more than normal at work because I wanted to keep testing my ankle.  Nine-thirty rolled around and it was time for break.  Normally on break I meet up with my pal Jermaine and walk some laps in the office while we catch up on the days events.  While I was walking more than normal, I wasn't about to try a long sustained test so I compromised (with myself), and walked to his desk to talk.  A few aisles down the hallway and BOOM, can't walk again.  I was stopped dead in my tracks.  Now I'm just annoyed.

Wednesday came.  Limping quite a bit but no moments of extreme pain.  I took the trash down to my apartment complex's dumpsters and ran back to the apartment, very slowly.  Surprisingly enough it didn't hurt.

Thursday morning I look at my running watch and it tells me I haven't run in a while.  Stupid watch...  I start feeling a little better though.  I'm no longer limping but I'm still walking at a turtle's pace.  That night I tell Aimee my plans to run the next morning.  My theory is that I will run on the ankle and it may hurt a little bit but maybe it'll knock something back in to place.  She doesn't think this is a great idea, and as much as I hate to admit it, she's probably right.  If you went to a doctor with sharp pain and he/she told you to run a few miles on it, saying it would set it back in place, you would find a new doctor.

Friday comes and I don't run, but strides are being made.  The usual break time walk has returned.  My ankle still hurts a little but it's nothing some ibuprofen can't mask.  Tomorrow it's go time.

The next day I get suited up and off I go.  I set a goal of three miles and a maximum of five miles (if I'm able to get to the corner of my street).  I'm shocked when I don't feel anything in the ankle but I still settle on three miles because I don't want to overdo it after missing almost a week.  And then at two and a half miles I stop.  I'm not winded.  My ankle is fine.  My hip is very sore, and has been throughout the training plan, but it's nothing I haven't run through before.  I was feeling sorry for myself.  Things weren't going as planned.

That's when I look down and see one of those small covers that simply say "WATER".  Then another.  Then another.  Throughout the week I've had moments that have stopped me in my tracks and made me question things, but at this moment I'm stopped by an answer.  I was reminded why I'm running.  It's not for an improved finishing time, the medal, or the t-shirt.  I'm running to provide water for those around the world who need it, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Feeling this fire within, I set out on a dead sprint.  No watch is tracking my speed.  I have no goal or distance.  This is how things should be.  It isn't a hobby, or a pursuit of athletic glory.  It's ministry.

With that being said, there's an update involving ministry with Active:Water.  A couple weeks ago I was accepted as a team leader for AW.  I will be sharing AW's mission, fund-raising, and recruiting a team of runners to run the 2013 Canton Half Marathon.  I'm hoping there will be a lot of first time runners interested to run a race of this magnitude, and to do it to further God's kingdom.  Because I've been in the same position. 

In closing, this week I've been taught that I need to get myself out of the way.  And today being Mother's day is a great way to further this lesson.  I've done nothing to deserve the wife I have.  She's an amazing wife, mother, and friend.  A song I've heard recently said it best "I was always looking for a 10 but then I found the one"  Happy Mother's day babe!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


What do you think of when you hear the term "athlete"? For many people it is something like this:

Or maybe this:

Both are world class athletes. They get paid because they stay in shape and compete.

Last week I read an article titled "Can You Call Yourself an Athlete?". I've never called myself an athlete and when people call me a runner I shy away from the term. I shy away from the term not out of embarrassment, but out of feelings of being unworthy. When I think of a "runner" this is what I think of:

People who weigh the same as I did in middle school, who run faster than I can ride a bike, and win thousands of dollars winning big city marathons (while before I die will have probably paid thousands of dollars running in big city marathons).

Now maybe I'm being just a tad too critical of myself. Maybe I shouldn't compare myself to these people. Maybe I should stop typing and go out for a run but this is what I think of. We always hear of girls looking through magazines and comparing themselves to the models that grace the issue. That's me looking through Runners World.


The article was good. I can sum it up in one sentence: If you've completed a race by running, walking, limping, or crawling you are an athlete.

Pretty simple. By that definition I'm an athlete. I didn't get the warm and fuzzies that I expected to get from this definition. And to make a minor confession I had a good idea of what the article would say before I read it.

Truth be told, I have an inflated picture of what an athlete is. I'm definitely putting them on a pedestal. I could blame the culture I live in but that'd be lazy of me.

Instead of placing blame I'm going to work on humbling my idea of what makes an athlete.

I read this quote a few days ago and I thought it was appropriate for this post:

"I don't have a runner's body, but I have a runner's heart -and that is all you need." -Jennifer Morris

I don't know who Jennifer Morris is but she hit the nail on the head.

Next week starts my official training plan for the Canton half marathon (all the other running I've been doing is unofficial). I'm excited to run in my home town. I'm not putting a time goal on it but if I finish under two hours and twenty minutes I'll be ecstatic.

Chicago marathon for team Active:Water: 186 days


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Post 1: A review of sorts

So.... First blog post....

Kind of awkward....

I've thought of writing blogs in the past but this will be the first time I clicked the "publish post" button.

I've decided to start with the reason why I'm running.


A few years back I was in the right place at the right time and saw a presentation from Daren Wendell who was representing Blood:Water Missions. He spoke about the water crisis in Africa. He shared startling statistics about how the average person in parts of Africa will walk miles a day to water sources that are also used to clean clothes and dishes. The water isn't fresh or clean and can lead to disease. The presentation stuck with me but I didn't jump at the opportunity to get involved.

Between that night and 2010 many things happened in my life. I became a husband, started a nice cushy cubicle job, gained some weight (see nice cushy cubicle job), had a child with said wife, etc, etc.

Then in 2010 a trend started with people in my church and running long distances. A few people ran with a group called Active:Water. What I didn't know about Active:Water was it was a group that stemmed from the presentation I had seen years ago. In the past, I let distractions and life goals get in my way of helping the cause but not this time.

Active:Water is a non-profit organization that uses athletics, disciplined training, and personal testimony to raise money for wells and filters in Africa (and now Asia). I've run one half marathon for Active:Water and in October I'll be running on the Active:Water team for my first full marathon.

I urge you to visit Active:Water's website for more information.

This blog isn't affiliated with Active:Water and I don't work for the group. So don't just take my word for it. Go to the site and check it out.

This blog will chronicle the past couple years of my life, running, the training that'll go down in 2012, parenting, being married, faith, school, and whatever else comes from my stream of consciousness.

I hope you stop by again.