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"