Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cleaning Off The Dust


Life's been pretty distracting lately.

Bought a van
Went to Ohio for Thanksgiving
Transmission goes out in van
Being sick
Not running
Sitting at car dealership
Sitting at car dealership
Not running
Sitting at car dealership
Questioning every decision I've made this year
Sitting at car dealership
Finally having working vehicle
Not running
Thinking about running
Working overtime
Not running

There's a rundown for you.

Our trip to Ohio was a blast.  There was snow, family, friends, fun, turkey, a 5k, my birthday, and more fun.  Some of the highs were spending Thanksgiving with my mom, going to lunch with Jermaine, my wife getting me Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The Worlds End on blu-ray (and a blu-ray player to actually be able to watch them), and the turkey trot.  The only low was the transmission going out in the van a few hours from home.  After I shut the van off and started it back up I was able to drive without much issue (except going up hill).

Back to the highs, specifically the turkey trot.  It was down right frigid.  In the teens, without the wind chill (my beard had persperationcicles).  I made a mental note to pack my hat and gloves, which means I forgot to bring them.  Physical notes trump mental notes every time.  I bought a winter hat (and Darth Vader goblet) and my friend Adam was gracious enough to let me borrow a pair of gloves that didn't seem to work until a mile and a half in. I'm talking completely numb fingers.

There are a few reasons this race was so important to my trip back home.  First, I've done the race for the past 3 years.  It's the only race I've done every year of running and has quickly become a Thanksgiving tradition.  Second, I was there with my friends.  My training partners (and all around swell guys) Bryce, James, Scott, and Adam were all on hand.  To be kind to their finishing times I didn't run with any of them but we got to spend some QT together pre and post trot.  James was even 4th in his age group!  The Perry Rotary Turkey Trot is no joke either.  Around 3,000 people sign up and there is serious competition.  People were wearing race singlets and short shorts.  It's THAT serious.  Finally, I ran!  Something I hadn't been doing since I moved to Richmond.  I ran the race around 9:30 per mile.  Nowhere close to a record but I enjoyed the feeling again.  I also perused the photos and all of us got onto the Ohio Challenge Series race photos, which I will now share with you:

Adam "I wear running tights without shorts over them" Buttacavoli

Bryce "Running next to a guy he doesn't know but is wearing almost the exact same thing minus the gloves" York

James "On the far left, killin' it all day every day" Monroe

Scott "Lovin' the hat and sunglasses combo" Suarez

Thomas "I'm getting beat by someone dressed as a turkey" Costello

I did some marathon training prep and found out that my training plan starts January 6th for the April 27th Hall of Fame Marathon, in Canton.  This frightens me a little bit.  I want to make this my best marathon yet, but that alone isn't motivating me.  I could sit here and blame the stress of the past couple months, not knowing the area that well, or living on a busier street as reasons why I'm not running.  So I will!

Just kidding.

I don't know where my motivation has gone.  It's about time I find it again though.  I've asked some running co-workers if they want to meet up.  That's always kept me accountable in the past, mostly.

The bike didn't make it's way back to Ohio.  There wasn't as much room as I had hoped.  We have family coming down for Christmas next week and I asked if they could bring the bike.  Unfortunately, they have a new car and don't want to scratch it.  Which I completely understand.  I'd be pretty perturbed if I scratched up my new(ish) scion xB.  Unless a bike falls from the sky I don't see myself doing any triathlons next year so right now this marathon is all I've got to look forward to, race wise.  With our higher cost of living and the addition of a car payment I don't foresee any changes to my upcoming race schedule.

Looking WAY ahead to 2015 I'll be running on one of the legs of Daren Wendell's run across the United States.  Doing 100 marathons in 100 days.  It'll most likely be the second to last run but we haven't firmly decided.  If you want to read more about Daren's run click on the links to the top right.  Run Daren Run is the name you want.

I'm already starting to think about my next blog post.  It's going to review my 2013 goals and how many were accomplished.  The thought of looking at my 2013 goals frightens me.  My gut is telling me I didn't do too hot.

We'll see soon....

Thanks for reading!  Maybe I'll make this blogging thing a regularly scheduled event!?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My First Marathon!!*


You may or may not know this, but I live in Richmond, Virginia.

If you didn't know that you probably don't know that I used to live in Canton, Ohio.

If you didn't know the first part, but knew the second, then you may know me personally and decided to finally click that link I share on my Facebook periodically.

If you didn't know either of those things this may be your first time visiting my blog.  In that case, WELCOME!

If you knew both of those first two things than I'm sorry for putting you through all that.

Just trying to catch everyone up.

Well, since I moved to Richmond I've noticed something:  It's an active city.  A day doesn't go by that I don't see someone running or cycling.  They also put on a swell marathon each year.  By the time I knew this, and was moving to Richmond, it cost 110 bucks to run a half marathon.  WOAH!  I'm way too cheap for that...

The price afforded me the opportunity of volunteering.  Since I've started running races I've thought of volunteering.  Even going so far as to sign up to volunteer for the first Canton Marathon (which I then ended up running because I couldn't miss my city's first marathon).  When I got the job in Richmond the thought of volunteering was still fresh on my mind.  Then one fateful Sunday had me at a new church for the first time.  I talked to one of the friendly church volunteers and I asked what they do in the community.  He told me they volunteer at the Richmond Marathon.  Wooooaaaah!  Perfecto!

So with all that said, the Richmond Marathon was this past Saturday.  I was there holding down mile 16.6 with my fellow Wave RVA peeps.  The plan for Saturday was to set up a stage for the worship band to play and set up a water station to hydrate some runners.  All week the weatherman called for a beautiful race day!

It rained...


When it wasn't raining, it was a gentle mist.  Just enough to electrocute someone playing an electric guitar.  With that in mind, we turned into a water stop and the worship team members were able to rearrange their trailer.  

Side note: All of the contents of the Sunday service are in the trailer because we are currently renting a hall each week.  I knew they rented the place (which is funny because the location is actually called The Place) but I didn't know they unloaded and loaded a truck each week.  The set up is pretty involved too: screens, sound boards, stages, lights, and even the kids room equipment.  

Being that I'm a sub-par seasoned marathoner I felt like I was prepared for the water stop duties.  I helped with the logistics of the set up and helped teach some good cup holding methods.  We also had some good free child labor volunteering from some of the kids who came with their parents!  They filled the cups and handed them to the runners.

The first pack of 3 runners was a sight to see.  They were moving!  I've seen fast runners on TV but never in person.  Wow.  They're much faster than me.  About 20 people in we had our first taker of h2o and it didn't slow down for a few hours.  

I've always tried my best to thank volunteers at races (or if you're at the later part of the race I'll grunt something incoherently that I think is me saying thank you).  Honestly, because it's the right thing to do.  They took time out of their lives to come out and help.  While I'm being honest, I'll also say that I didn't think volunteering was that tough before Saturday.  I was wrong.  Would I say it's as tough as being one of the runners?  No.  I will say that after the race I was POOPED.  I have a new respect for the people on the sidelines.  

A couple hours in I was tired of saying the same motivating phrases like "you've got this!" and "you're in the single digits!" and I started personalizing it.  The bibs had runner's names on them, so I would call out to everyone individually.  I even gave water to someone named Jesus.  It was much funnier sharing this with fellow believers, for obvious reasons.  Towards the end someone confessed to me that they first wondered how I knew so many people on the course, ha.  I did know one person, a co-worker of mine.  Her goal was to beat Oprah's marathon time of 4:29 and she was only about 9 minutes off.  Not too shabby though!

Good times had by all. Middle right is me showing a 3 year old how it's done!

On the way home I was immediately in traffic.  Since I don't know the city all that well it took me an hour and a half to get home.  Live and learn.

I'm going back to Ohio at the end of this week for the rest of November.  Stoked to see all our friends and family.  Feels like it's been forever. 

Till next time!

*My first marathon volunteering

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Hello all.

It's been a while since I've felt the blogging bug.

I share a lot of what I'm doing on Facebook (if I think it's funny) but there's a lot you may not know about me.

Here are a few things that went down since my last blog post:

-I've actually run!  I have 7 miles down this week (last Sunday and Tuesday).  I haven't done any exercise since Wednesday though.  A nasty head cold and foot pain kept me indoors.  Also, on Wednesday, I got word of a weight loss competition starting Monday in my new department.  It sounds disgusting and cheap but I haven't watched what I've been eating AT ALL.  It's definitely not a good feeling.  Tomorrow starts my journey to avenge my 1% loss.

About weight loss.  Since about June I haven't been logging any food or exercise.  Around that time I was close to 40 lbs down for the year.  Right now I'm at 29 lbs down for the year.  Considering all the changes in life, and not eating great, I'm happy with only being 10 lbs in the hole.  Before finding out about this competition I was logging all of my food and exercise for the week.  I can flip the eating right and working out switch at this season of life.

-We're as settled in as we're going to be.  We have a second vehicle (2007 Nissan Quest mini van).  We've gotten into a church community.  We've even had guests over!!  We're having another couple come over this upcoming weekend.

-Having no obligations (or friends) has brought my family closer together.  Every weekend we've gone out and done things as a family.  A few weeks back we went apple picking.

Went to the park.

And yesterday we went to a park that also had a kids petting zoo and nature observatory.

My wife is a talented photographer
We go almost everywhere together.  I've had a couple toddler tantrums while taking the kids to the store with me but the good has outweighed the bad.

-I went on a historical trolley tour of Richmond with my department.  The city is rich with history, especially the Civil War.  The losing side of the Civil War.  Northerners RUUUULE!!


With the limited facts I remembered I took Aimee down Monument ave last night to show her the monuments.  All Confederate heroes (and Arthur Ashe).  It's an awesome street.  Million dollar homes and trees shadow the street.

Photo from  Just as impressive on the road level
-I'm volunteering at the Richmond Marathon this upcoming weekend with Wave Church.  We're going to be on mile 17 cheering and giving out water.  This will be my first race volunteering.  I'm extremely excited.  It'll be interesting seeing it from the other side.

-Lastly, we've started to meet people.  We thought it would happen eventually but that doesn't happen.  You have to go out there and make connections.  Once we stopped being sick, we had a couple over from our church, who also happen to be the pastors of the church.  This upcoming weekend another couple from church is coming over.  One of the hopes I had is that we could find a church with people who can be real with us.  We aren't in the mindset of replacing High Mill or our friends.  Heck no.  People from Ohio can't get rid of me that easily.  We just want to have good friends here.  Friends that make it hard moving back to Ohio one day.

Now that we're settled I think I'll blog a little more regularly.  Especially with running associated events like the volunteering coming up.  We're also going to be in Ohio two weeks from today (Wooo!!)

Have a good one everybody!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Welcome back.

First things first.  The last time I'll talk about the moving process from Ohio to Virginia: The going away party.

My wife and I belong to an amazing church body, full of authentic people, that we genuinely enjoy being around.  On top of all that we have a family that supports us in everything we do.  This made the move even more difficult.  Having a going away party wasn't to say goodbye for the last time, or an excuse to get gifts (thanks to all those who did give us gifts, even though we told everyone it was not necessary).  We wanted to spend time with our family and friends because that's what we like to do.  The turn out was great.  More than I expected.  The weather was also great.  We filled our church's coffee mill area and a good majority of the picnic tables outdoors.  Members of our church, other friends who don't attend our church, and family all came with food and we had a pot luck style hang out session.  It was an all around good time.  Eating, joking, chasing kids, saying our see ya laters, and a good amount of emotion.  It was a great, yet kinda sad, event.

We've started going to a different church and are starting to meet new people but the friendships we have had over our years in Ohio will not soon fade away.  Once we have a more reliable car we'll be making trips a plenty.

OK, that's it about the move.  I promise..ish.  

I'm back to running!  My first run since the Akron Marathon!  A nice 3.16 mile run around my new neighborhood.  I also restarted my use of the Nike running system (with my iPhone instead of the watch that I sold earlier this year)  Welp, that's it for the recap...

OK a bit of a let down, in terms of blogging recaps, but the run felt good.  While I may have only run once over the past couple weeks, I've accomplished some logistical running/tri goals:

1. Visit a local running store.

To complete this task I went to a store called Lucky Foot.  Lucky Foot was brought to my attention by a new co-worker of mine.  A fellow marathoner.  She's completed a couple and is running the Marine Corps marathon this month and the Richmond marathon next month.  Yikes!  She's admitted to me that she's always busy but if you start talking about running it all goes out the window.  We've had a few good conversations about running styles and our race histories in the few short weeks I've worked in Richmond.

The store has a Facebook page that you should check out.  They occasionally give out running shoes if you share their photos.  One thing I knew about going into my visit is that they give away finisher magnets for all race distances.  The only catch is you have to show them your bib/medal/finisher shirt, which really isn't a catch at all because I've been wearing my Akron marathon jacket pretty much everyday.

It was a good 20 minute drive to get to the store but it was worth the trip (since driving from Ohio to Virginia all car rides feel extremely short).  I brought my oldest, Savannah, with me.  Much to my delight they had an area full of kids toys so parents can freely spend their money.  In Lucky Foot I also fulfilled another logistics goal:

2. Buy reflective gear.

I live close to a main road and the only sustainable runs are along said road.  To get to the sidewalks I need to run on a busy ish road's shoulder.  I bought a couple reflective arm straps and picked up my 26.2 magnet.  The sales associate also had answers to my questions regarding the release of the new Nike Structure 17 and that the Nike Lunar Glide and Structure are about the same shoe except the Structure is mostly at specialty running stores and the Lunar Glide is at the bigger stores.  BTW, I love the finisher magnet..

Not my car.  Took this pic from their Facebook page.  The Irish in me is definitely smiling
 3. Find Tri stores

There are a lot of Tri shops/training groups in this area.  I stopped at a shop near my townhouse called Endorphin Fitness.  It's an extremely nice shop with great equipment.  Computerized bike trainers, bike fitting, endless pool (with camera equipment to record your form), personalized training, weight training equipment. In other words, it's way too expensive for me.  If I had the money I'd absolutely pay to get the training but I'm not that hardcore (and I'm po).  I'm definitely a recreational triathlete.

4. Join a running/tri club

At Endorphin Fitness I talked to the knowledgeable staff about the Richmond Triathlon Club.  It's a group for other recreationals, and competitive triathletes I'm sure, to come together and enjoy the sport.  Membership was 40 for the first year and 30 annually.  Price was right down my alley so I joined.  Plus you get a lot of local discounts at shops.  Hazzzah!! Now if I only had a bike....

5. Get a bike

Haven't gotten one yet.  That should be fulfilled when I go back to Ohio.  My buddy Bryce is selling me his old road/converted to tri bike (that I had used from April till the move).

6. Find a local marathon.

This one has been tough.  I want to find a close marathon for early next year but the only one within an hour is the Richmond marathon and that's in November.  Being in Canton was great because they have their own marathon (seems like they have 5 million of them), Akron has one, and of course, Cleveland has one.

I've scoured many sites and even thought of doing a rock and roll series race.  I THOUGHT of it.  I can't bring myself to do it though.  Call me an elitist but I like running races put on locally (even if they have huge sponsorships ala Chicago Marathon).  I really like big races put on by non-profits (see: Akron Marathon).  I'm leaning towards the Shamrock Marathon in VA Beach in March.  I'm still registered for the Hall of Fame marathon in Canton at the end of April but I don't know if I'm going to do it.  It'll be on the same day as the Richmond Tri Club sprint triathlon.  Decisions decisions...  After March I'm going to focus on triathlons and possibly do the Richmond Marathon at the end of the year.  Book end my 2014 schedule with Marathons and do the Williamsburg Rev 3 Olympic Tri in the middle.

Well.  That's enough out of me.

Thanks for reading.

Maybe I'll actually have a few more runs to talk about next time!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Moving Story


Welcome back!

It's been a quiet couple months on my blog.  Not without good reason though.  To sum things up: have a new job in Virginia, moved there, ran a marathon.

Bloggers aren't really around to sum things up though.  So here's the longer version...

Before the Akron marathon recap, I last left you with news of a new job, two states away, in Richmond, Virginia.  A week after getting offered the job my father-in-law and myself took a one day road trip to find a place to live...

But before all that, the wifey and I did some research online, found a place, filled out an application, and paid them to hold a unit.  Soon after we took those steps we found an apartment review site.  The past tenants did not give it a glorious review.  D'oh.  We went back online to scour all the townhomes and apartments that Richmond had to offer.  Searching for that diamond in the rough.  Many stressful days of thinking we found a place, only to find that no one has enjoyed living there.  Aimee alerted me to a place that had great reviews and was only ten dollars more than what we'd pay at the location that we already applied to.  She asked me if I wanted to see the reviews.  I did not.  The search had gone on long enough.  If it was good enough for her it was more than good enough for me.

Which brings us back to the trip.  In an 8 hour drive we didn't have much silence (may have had one too many caffeinated beverages).  It was a quality drive down.  I was driving down and he would be driving back (he drove to the West Virginia line and I took back over (Thank youuuuuuu Starbucks!!)).  We arrived at the newest place we liked and they gave us a tour.  Bingo!  The townhouse was a go.  So for those who are playing along at home, here's a recap: 8 hour drive to look at 1 townhouse for about 20 minutes...

One trip to Applebee's and Wal Mart and we were back on the road.  Ohio bound!

Thursday came and it was time to load the truck.  My new position would be starting the upcoming Monday (between the 14th and 19th I didn't run once).  Thanks to my friends Adam, Brian, Derek, Austin, and Jermaine chipping in it took us no time to pack the truck.  Due to the size of the truck we had to get rid of our love-seat and an extra dresser.

All held by a little blue rope.  Nothing moved!
The following morning (at 3:30 AM) I drove the truck, all of our "treasures", and our towed car down to Virginia.  Since my wife can't drive on the highway she opted to stay with the girls at her parents for the week.  The trip down was uneventful.  There was no CD player or tape deck (to use my iPod tape plug in) so I had some good quiet time and time flipping through country stations trying to find good music.

Driving the hills of WV and VA is nothing short of beautiful.. Just don't stop in WV...
I arrived in VA and I had the task of unloading the truck by my lonesome.  Leading up to this moment I told myself it wouldn't be too bad.  I mean, I had a dolly.  I can do this.  Merrrrrrp.

Unloading that truck suuuuuucked.  Early in the unloading I texted my wifey and told her I didn't want to do it.  The thought of torching everything and driving to Ohio had crossed my mind.  The dressers were towards the back, and ended up being the toughest part of the move.  I couldn't get them with the dolly so I managed to get them upstairs.  Not of my own strength.  I hadn't eaten much on the drive.  I dragged the heaviest of the two dressers up the stairs one stair at a time.  Towards the top of the stairs I was getting confident.  Overly confident.  "I can move it up two stairs!".  Bad move.  I cleared the first and part way through the second I lost the strength.  It started to slip.  I envisioned the entire dresser crashing to the floor and into hundreds of pieces.  Adrenaline kicked in and I managed to save it at the last second.  Think of Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger.  My hope is that you haven't seen that movie to get the reference...

Saving that dresser and putting it in our room pumped me up.  After that there's nothing much to report.

Only goal was getting the stuff off the truck.  Took me a while to get the place livable
That night I went to BW3 and ate like a king.  An exhausted king.  The only items I unpacked that night were the bed comforter and pillows.

Saturday I did some more unpacking and dropped off the moving truck.  The 20 something leasing office worker, Logan, followed me to the drop off site and drove me back (where were ya when I was unpacking?!?)  Apart from the brief convo with Logan I hadn't had much human interaction over the weekend.  I was already drained from unloading and not talking to people made it worse.  I sat around thinking about all the stuff I had to do.

Sunday I made my way to a local church.  A couple of our friends (who live a couple hours away near Norfolk, VA) told us that their church had a satellite campus in Richmond.  I imagined a big thousand person congregation.  When I walked in I quickly saw that I was way off base.  Everyone was uber friendly.  I stuck out like an NBA all star at a lollipop guild meeting.  Speaking with human beings, who were not myself, put me on cloud nine.  Side note: Aimee, the girls, and I went back to Wave RVA this morning and it was still good.  People had remembered me and I even remembered a few of their names.  Score!

There isn't much else to this story.  I went to work the week that followed and ran a marathon that Saturday.  My family and I are now in Richmond.  Everyone has been sick at one point or another this week (except me) but we're still excited for the future.  We also have a new TV.  So that's something.

Now onto the running portion of my blog.  I haven't run since the marathon!!  I'm planning on getting out there to start the week off right.

Next post I'll go into the final moving related post.  That one will be about the going away party that followed the marathon.  I'll also hopefully have some current news about running I've done in the great state of Virginia!

Till next time!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Meep Meep

Hello all!

Welcome back to my blog.  A lot has been going on in the past 22 days (since my last post).  I'm going to have another post about the move in a couple days.  I'm going to use this post to talk about the Akron "road runner" Marathon, since the pain memory is still fresh.

I drove in from Virginia Friday starting at 3:30 in the AM.  After some gas and potty stops I found myself back in Canton, Ohio.  It had only been a week since I was on those same roads but it felt like forever.  No attempt was made to improve conditions of said roads..

But I digress!

I met my friend Joey for lunch and we caught up.  After that I made my way to my old office to pick up my new laptop (which was shipped to my old office because?).  From there it was time to do some expo-in!  I wouldn't make the trip alone.  James "product of science" Monroe, Adam, and Bryce came along for the ride.  It was cool being with fellow runners at the expo.  In the past I had gone with my wife, my wife and her sister, and Savannah.  They weren't too impressed.  We serpentined the expo floor, stickers were purchased, tri bikes were drooled on (Bryce and Adam), and running swag was picked up.  The awesome thing about Akron is they don't give their full marathoners shirts.  Oh no!!  They give Brooks running jackets!  Another cool attraction the expo had was a car with every participants name on it:

Hey! I know him!
After the expo I made my way to my in-laws to see my wife and girls.  It had been a LONG week away from them, which I said I will get into the move and that week in my next post.  Be patient!

I hadn't run in the past couple weeks (and only a few other times the couple weeks before that) so I wasn't confident about the race.  At the expo I saw something on Facebook about staying positive and positive things will happen (while Adam and Bryce were drooling).  With that in mind I started to say positive things about the race, my performance specifically.  I started to believe in myself.

Personalized bib name, and the blog name "running for h2o" compliments of my friend Matt Regimbal
The same guys I went to the expo with were also going to be my dinner partners for the evening.  The four of us, family in tow, had a pasta dinner.  Yum yum.  I was looking forward to the race...

Saturday morning came quickly and I met up with the rest of the high mill runners (and Adam).

Running is fun!!
Before we knew it the horn blew and we were off.  2013 Akron Marathon was a go.

My plan was to bring down my pace and try to sustain it as long as possible.  Everything was going good the first 8 miles.  I didn't see anyone on the course that I knew.  My wife and fam would be coming later to see me finish.  Everyone else had family with them but I was in the back of the pack so they had moved on to see their loved ones by the time I passed.  At mile 8 someone said my name.  It was Scott Radcliff!  Scott and I had been running partners for the past couple years.  Actually, the first time I recreationally ran outdoors was with Scott.  It was a frigid February morning.  The temperature was 10 degrees (not including wind chill).  I was wearing shorts.  I kid you not, shorts!


He had finished the second portion of the relay (Akron has the largest relay in the country: FACT) and waited for me.  We ran the next couple miles together.  We got to catch up about my move and his recent return from Colorado with other leaders from High Mill.  Aside from friend and running partner, Scott is also one of the small group leaders at our church.  Aimee and I were in his group.  Before the pack of runners headed out of downtown Akron Scott broke off.  Having him wait for me and run is a testament to his character.  Hard to find friends like that.  I was now back to running by myself.

Or so I thought!  Right before the halfway mark Adam's wife Erin shouted my name and ran with me a hundred yards or so.  When she headed back I made a restroom stop and was back on course.  Not for long though...

The wheels fell off between miles 14 and 15.  My legs had no strength.  I was in some good pain.  At one point a spectator yelled out "you're looking great!!" to which I replied "that's debatable!".  I got a couple laughs out of that one.  I'll take it.

For the next 10 miles I would run for 20-30 yards until my muscles spazzed to the point of almost buckling.  It was mostly my calf muscles but every now and then my quads would join in the fun.  It was evoking a range of emotions.  At first it angered me.  I would stop and clench my fists or rip my hat off and smack it against something.  Later on it made me upset.  I wasn't going to be quitting though.

There was one mistake I have to mention in regards to my race prep.  I had the wrong shorts.  The pair I brought had built in spandex under the shorts, but it didn't have the positive effects because they were older and stretched.  I wear it under my shorts to avoid chaffing.  With that said, I chaffed.  Badly.  To the point that I stopped at an aide station for Vaseline (and a couple tylenol because I thought it would help my muscles).

I was looking forward to the last couple miles because they were predominantly down hill.  Going up or down hill actually helped my muscles from spazzing.  On the final downhill my left leg locked up.  Total pirate peg leg situation.  I still ran.

I'm not trying to make myself sound courageous or strong to fight through the pain.  The reason I was in pain was because I had been an idiot for the month leading up to the race.  Not running is a horrible way to train for a marathon!  The last few miles I thought to myself "I hope they still have medals left"...

The finish line was on a baseball field.  Before I turned into the field I stopped to stretch.  Pride is a silly thing, people.  I had to make sure I ran the whole length of the stadium and across the finish line without stopping.

I made it!

I heard Bryce yelling, and probably the rest of my friends and family, but I didn't look for them.  Eyes on the finish.  If I made eye contact I would have lost it.  After crossing the finish I had a little trouble breathing, which was helped by first aid volunteer.  Aside from that, and complete exhaustion, there wasn't much to report in the finish area.

They did have some medals left though:

They also gave towels as finisher gifts

I soon caught up with those who waited for me.  James, his wife Ranita, Kayla (who ran the half), and her husband Cory watched me finish but had to leave before talking with me.  Hearing this blew my mind.  They had finished between 3-4 hours before I crossed the finish and still waited!!

Fellow marathoners Bryce and Adam.
My wife is thinking "Oh god.. he's touching me..."
After pictures were taken and gear was unchecked my wife, father-in-law and I made our way to his car.  I got into the backseat and every muscle starting at my quads down to my feet freaked out.  It will go down as the single most painful experience in my life (since I can't birth children).  I am not exaggerating, ask my wife.  I wanted to ball my eyes out but I was too dehydrated.

It's been 2 days since the race and I'm still in a good amount of pain.  I can't keep my legs in the same position for long or they stay that way.  I'm looking forward to my next marathon.  Redemption will be sweet.

The other High Millers/Active:Water runners did great:

James ran his first half at 1:37.
Kayla ran her first half, on two bad knees, at 1:54 or so
Duane ran his half at just over 2 hours
Adam ran his first full under 4 hours
Bryce ran his first full just over 4 hours

I'm stoked for everyone's accomplishments.  Akron knows how to put on a good race!  I will run it again someday.  Maybe even all 26.2 miles of it!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I'm going to ruin the end of the story.  I got the job.

With this new job is coming a lot of changes.  I'll get to that a little later.  First, some running stuff.

Yesterday I ran a 20 mile training run with my two marathon partners in crime Bryce and Adam.  Looking back it wasn't too bad, but during the actual run I felt a little whiny (I'm sure loyal followers of my blog have NEVER heard me whining or being complainy...).  The first ten miles were a little rough.  Riddled with stomach pain.  It was nothing a bathroom stop could have helped.  I know the reason my stomach hurt during the run too: Me.  I haven't been eating good as of late.  It's been a stressful few weeks and I've been eating the easiest food I can conjure (by conjure I mean hot n ready pizzas from Little Caesars).  I thought of even turning back.  It hurt typing that last sentence.  It never happened, luckily.  One reason was because I had no idea where I was.  The only way to get back was to complete the run.  I kept up with the guys for 12-13 miles.  The remaining 7 were a slow, but steady, uphill.  The last mile was all downhill.  Which at first read sounds pretty nice huh?  Not so fast my friend!  Imagine your body being exhausted and throwing all your weight on it.  Not purty.  Only finished 20 minutes behind the guys though.  Not horrible.  Plus when I got back one of them was searching for a toilet so I didn't have to make anyone wait.  SCORE!

Wednesday I got an email at work.  I didn't get the job (GASP!).  The manager I knew in the dept was out of the office so I texted him for the hiring manager's information, this was so I could get some feedback on why I didn't get the job.  He called me back inquiring who called me about not getting the job, wanted that person's number, and he would call me back.  A few minutes later the sender of the email gave me a ring.  She apologized for the mistake and told me that I was not out of the running.  They hired one person but they were going to be hiring two.  At this point I had been waiting for a response for a few weeks.  What's a couple more days?

Thursday came and I had a good feeling.  This feeling was confirmed as I got back from lunch.  I got the job!  Weeee!  It starts on the 23rd of this month.  The excitement didn't last long, unfortunately.  Then the financial part of it reared it's ugly head.  I would be getting a lump sum of money to move, but it was far less than what we expected.  This is my fault actually.  If I would have done proper research I would have known the number we were throwing around wasn't going to happen.  Then again, it's not good to ask about financial stuff when you don't have the job yet.  Either way, we started stressing a little bit.  Where would we live?  How would we get there?  How would we afford a moving truck?  Who would help us move?  When would we move?

These are not problems I'm upset about having.  I'm aware how nice our family has it.  There is a big world outside of my blogosphere.  I'm in a country where I don't have to worry about walking out my front door.  I don't worry about shrapnel hitting me when I'm running around the city.  I need to give time to thank the Lord for these things and help/pray for people in lesser situations.

On Friday we went out to meet Aimee's parents for dinner.  About a quarter mile away from our destination I hear a snap and the car starts sliding.  Wheel bearing went out.  We were already stressing a bit (as mentioned above) but this kind of set me over.  I turned into an introvert.  I didn't want to talk.  I didn't want to mention the car.  I just wanted to eat and get home.  AKA I was a big baby.  Here is a little segment I typed squeezed  between two car seats in the backseat.  I wanted to include it in the blog:

I was in a BIG baby mode.

How ridiculous is this?  I got a new job.  I'm going with my beautiful bride and two girls.  It's an adventure.  A move I feel is supported by God Himself!  These distractions are just getting in the way of the real mission here.  Through our tests is a testimony.  

I know the Lord will provide for us.  He already has in the form of my Mom supporting us and my in-laws being there when our car broke down to help us.  It'll all be OK.  Breathe Thomas... breeeeeathe.

Which brings us back to Saturday.  After the 20 mile run I got home and we decided to take on this move the same way you eat an elephant.  One bite at a time.  We looked for places and found a great townhouse in an extremely nice area.  We found out it was nice with a website Nationwide provided me with for reviewing cities and zip codes.  The area is over half the national average in terms of crime (our current zip code is over 2 and a half times the national average which surprised us because we are not in a bad area).  Also someone from our church is working on our car.  Should get it back tomorrow.  Then today at service we had numerous people coming up asking if they can help us move.  An overflow of love.

On the Tri front I will not be doing any down in Virginia.  I gave the bike that Bryce was going to sell me back to him.  I'm also selling my back up bike back to my father-in-law.  It's all good.  I'm still going to plan on finding a place to swim in Richmond.  My plan is to still do a half iron next year and a full the year after that.  God willing.

Thanks for reading.  We appreciate your prayers through our move.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Ok, I'm the worst blogger ever.

I've wanted to blog but I don't like doing it when it feels forced.  I go on Twitter and see so many people posting multiple times a week and I don't know how that happens.  Positive posts.  Give-aways (where people actually try to win the item!).  Big triathlons being finished.  All these things aren't the reason why I'm not posting.  I'm not trying to be other people or anything like that.  I'd like to start sharing more, honestly.

Lots of things have happened since you read my last "post" on here:

1. I still haven't heard anything about the job in Virginia (I guess that isn't something that's happened)
2. I've acquired an addiction to the BBC series "Sherlock".  I highly suggest you do the same
3. I haven't swam once
4. In other entertainment news I saw the new Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright flick "The Worlds End".  That's another multimedia venture I recommend
5. My wife is pregnant
6. Still training for the marathon and I'm looking forward to it.
7. Fund-raising isn't going as planned but there's still time
8. My wife isn't really pregnant.  I know a few people who recently announced they're pregnant and I was feeling a little left out
9. Two kids is a perfect amount
10. My wife is awesome
11. A lot of fantasy football

The new job has been a roller coaster of thinking/emotion.  I've been able to stay mostly positive, aside from a few moments of weakness that I'm not afraid to admit I've been having.  It's been tough on the misses.  A lot is hanging in the balance with what side of the fence this job falls off of.  My wife babysits kids, people are coming to her for photography sessions, contemplating buying another/better car, our daughter is starting pre-school on Tuesday, there's a triathlon the day before the job starts (which I'm signed up for), the running team, next year's mission trip, etc etc.  The opportunity is there with this position and it feels like the right road to go down.  Going to try to be positive till I get the word from the higher ups.  Either way I've got a job.  Silllllllver lining!

In terms of running, since this is kind of a running blog, it's been going good.  I went into this Akron Marathon training with a good base of fitness from training all year.  While it's made me a little tired, I am able to take a couple days off without feeling guilty.  Saturday I, along with Bryce and Adam, finished 16 miles, in some reallllly humid conditions, right around 10 minutes a mile.  It's faster than I wanted to and faster than race pace.  When I heard that I was excited.  My only marathon to date was close to 11 per mile (in PERFECT running conditions).  What a difference a year makes.  This Saturday a local running store is holding a practice run on the race course.  Excited for the opportunity to get some course practice.

The Saturday morning group may not be big in numbers but it's awesome getting to know some of the guys in my church family better.   Plus I'm able to stay humble with the healthy joking.  Lord knows I dish it out much more than I take it in.  I've been building my defenses up over the past few years with a healthy dose of self deprecating humor.

Phew.  That wasn't too bad.

Thanks for reading.  Hopefully an update on that job sometime soon.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

List Post

A while back a blogger/tri pal of mine did a post where she listed small snippets of truth.  I respected the honesty of being able to do that.  It also took me back to my old middle school Xanga journal days where I once made a list of things I didn't like (which makes me sound pretty negative).  

Well, it's been a long time since Middle school and I feel that I'm a little more positive.  Here is some truth about me (but mostly just things I'm thinking about right now (this parenthesis was added halfway through 27)):

1. After a year and a half of dating I married Aimee.  We've been together 5 years and I definitely feel like she's a better person than me.
2. We have two girls.  Savannah and Addison.  Turning 4 and 2 in the coming months.
3. This post seems like a good way to post something without having to think
4. I'm tired.
5. And bored.
6. Not taking much time off in the winter has made it tough to keep training for races
7. Last week my friend Adam and I came to a conclusion: training sucks.
8. I bought my first adult suit today for an interview I have Tuesday.
9. I'm extremely nervous for the interview.  A little more nervous to get the position
10. Position is 7 hours away in Richmond, Virginia.  Everything about taking the job makes sense from the business stand point.  Richmond's economy is more stable.  There's more competition in the center.  The weather down there is a little better than Ohio during the cold months.  25 people have left the dept I'm trying to get into in the past couple years.  All for better positions in the company or for other companies.  This is not a bad thing.  People in this dept get equipped for better things, work wise.
11. I've always been proud that I can disconnect work from my life.  Work to live, not live to work.
12. The only negative of the position is that it is 7 hours away.  We've made friends and grown closer to the friends we already have.  Plus all of our family is here.  Plus our entire church family is here.
13. People looking from the outside in probably see it as me trying to climb the ladder.  Chasing more money.  I see it as an adventure.
14. I need to work at not caring about what people think about some things.  
15. I almost interviewed for a job in Pennsylvania a couple months back but after praying about it and talking it over it didn't feel right.
16. I'm at peace with this potential move and position change.  
17. I can hear my wife upstairs getting out of bed.  She's not going to like seeing herself sleeping in an instagram video I made today...
18. When I was 18 I almost moved to New Jersey.  Until I met Aimee I wish I would have moved.
19. Today is my mom's birthday.
20. Friday would have been my dad's birthday.
21. I would have liked my dad to meet Aimee, my daughters, and my nephews/niece.
22. I smell
23. I have a hard time classifying friends and best friends.  I don't spend time with people I can't trust or rely on.
24. I could be more reliable
25. We caught one mouse in our kitchen and there's now another one.  I'm sick of fighting them.  Another reason to move out.
26. Our car isn't in the best shape. Won't be able to make too many VA to OH trips.  
27. There's a running club and minor league baseball team in Richmond.
28. Telling my mom about the position was the hardest thing I've done in a long time.  She didn't know I even applied for the PA position.
29. Now that my mom knows about the interview I don't care who finds out
30. I don't want anymore kids.
31. Other people don't believe that I don't want anymore kids.
32. Aimee has now sided with me about not having anymore kids.
33. Aimee is getting a cat if we move to Virginia.
34. Leaving our church is going to be tough.  
35. I'm talking like I got the job.  Nothing in life is guaranteed
36. I need to start bringing down my hopes so if I don't get it I'm not as upset.
37. I should have no problem with low hopes as a Cleveland sports fan.
38. Addisons new favorite show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which is adding a little insult to injury...
39. I'm on computers WAY too much
40. I'm going to a Simon Pegg movie marathon on Thursday.  Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and World's End.  I can't wait.
41. I stopped adding animated GIFs to my posts because of an article I read about copy written photos.  
42. Paranoid
43. Savannah is sleeping under Addison's crib right now... Weirdo
44. Microwave went off.  Time to start dinner.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 5, 2013


I'm not saying anything groundbreaking when I say that life is full of decisions.

Some decisions are easy.

For example, a new race is starting next April in the city I call home, Canton, Ohio.  It's a marathon/half marathon sponsored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and they offered free race entries to all active and reserve military service members.  I am not one to take advantage of perks for military members but I couldn't turn this one down.  After ruling out the Cleveland Marathon for the next 5 years, due to my wife's birthday weekend being on race weekend, I wanted a spring marathon where I didn't have to travel.  Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Kalamazoo were my closest options until this gem was announced.  Registering was a no-brainer.

When corresponding with the race team about the military registration I even offered my services as a blogger.  Shameless, I know.  And as scripted as my description of the race may sound, they did not take me up on the offer, but I'll blog about it anyway.  Canton has had a bad history with races over the past year and a half so I'm hoping this race created for runners, by runners, will get the bad taste out of the community's mouth.

Visit them at

There are also some decisions that are a bit more difficult.

This past weekend was the weekend that puts Canton on the map.  Canton is the birthplace of football and the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  One weekend a year they induct new members into the hall of fame.  To celebrate, there are dinners, fireworks, a balloon festival, parade, and much more.  Saturday was the grand parade going down the center of Canton and my family and I go every year (even before the kids came around).  With this, and a few people being out of town, the team run was cancelled.  I planned to run later in the day due to the unseasonably cool weather we've been having (high in the 70's with little humidity (cha-ching!)).

Thursday my friend Daren (check out his link on the right side of the page titled Run Daren Run) texted me out of the blue.  He was going to be in Canton and wanted to run Saturday with the team.  D'oh...  I wanted to run but I promised my daughter we'd go to the parade.  I don't know if this is normal for 4 year olds, but she has a steal trap memory.  She remembers places we went to for birthday parties last year.  She remembers when we didn't go to a baseball game because she wasn't listening.  Plus, this year was a little different because I was giving my wife a break so she wasn't going to take them alone.  Over the past few weeks our kids haven't been sleeping great and she hasn't gotten the amount of sleep she's accustom to.

I opted for the best of both worlds option and we set up a 5 am group run.  Daren, Bryce, and me.  The plan for the morning was 15 miles and the forecast called for rain all morning.  I didn't think the parade would even happen.  The run was, in a word, wet.  Team runs go on a combination of 5 and 3 mile loops.  A little over a mile is on unlit trails.  This is a non issue on 8 am runs but rainy and 545 in the morning on dark trails is not the best combo.  While I was hopping to avoid puddles, Daren and Bryce were taking turns splashing each other.  It only took one 5 mile loop for Daren to fit into the Team Dork mold.  On the second lap, meteorologists in Northeast Ohio looked pretty foolish because the rain halted.  For once I was prepared for such a situation because I told Bryce and Daren I'd duck out at 10 miles if I thought the parade would go on.

10 miles done and I took the girls to the parade.  I'm not a huge picture taker.  Being married to a photographer, who is the daughter of another photographer, does that to a man.  I've started to appreciate the moments in life without requiring documentation.

On to the final decision I have yet to make, and hoping I don't have to make...

I've signed up for my first Olympic tri, which also happens to be my first open water swim tri.  Sunday I was back at the lake.  Unlike last week, I didn't have any moments of panic in the lake.  Mostly because I barely did any swimming.  When I did swim I was in a wetsuit, which was an interesting feeling (Interestingly awesome.  It's almost like I was floating).  A majority of the hour we spent there I was frustrated and mad at myself.  I looked out at the buoy in fear.  An irrational fear because I know how to swim.  Right before we left Bryce had seen enough and told me to swim out to the buoy.  Then he told me again.  And again.  And again.  Each time I stood there avoiding eye contact.  Defeated.  Stupid, I know.  Eventually I took the plunge and swam out to the buoy and back.  A little bit of the burden was lifted off my shoulders.  The gorilla on my back is now just a monkey.

While I feel more comfortable this week than I did the last, I found myself sitting at work today panicked.  That nervous beating in my chest rose up.  With this feeling I did what any reasonable person would do, mask my fear by making a joke on Twitter:

A friend messaged me and told me that I may want to think about switching to the sprint distance for my first OWS.  I took absolutely no insult with this advice because when I was standing in the lake I thought to myself "maybe I should switch to the duathlon".  My second time in the water and I was talking about quitting.  That's not gonna happen.

So I have a decision to make, and I've given myself till September 1st to make it.  Switch to the sprint or stick to the goal of an olympic?

I'm really looking forward to that one day when I can look back at these posts and laugh.

Monday, July 29, 2013

My First Open Water Swim...

Sunday was a big day in the sport of triathlon.  There were events internationally and domestically with an Ironman competition in Switzerland and another in Lake Placid, New York.  The latter is a long term goal  for myself, in the sport, so I followed it from the time I woke up at 4:30 AM.  

Why on God's green earth would I wake up that early on a Sunday?  As the title of the post suggests, it was my first open water swim.  My alarm was set for 5 AM but my youngest had other plans...

Anywho, I wasn't too nervous for my first swim.  One could say I was comfortable with the idea.  With tweets like this going out at 5 in the morning, what triathlete wouldn't be excited to go out for a swim?

Before we get too far into Sunday I need to backtrack a bit to share how our Saturday run turned out.  Lack of a better word, it was great!  Ran a little over a half marathon and felt pretty good about it.  The weather was rainy and in the high 60s/low 70s.  Aside from a little sogginess, it was just about perfect.

Back to Sunday!

I made my way to Bryce's house to carpool to the site of the Portage Lakes Olympic tri in September.  The new Sunday morning swim team consisted of Bryce, James, Adam, and myself.  It was exactly a week from our triumphant North Canton Sprint Tri and excitement was on high.  Along with the excited feeling we were also a little cold.  Summer lasted a week in Ohio this year and it was back in the low 60s on swim morning.  Still looks nice in the pictures though:

Disclaimer: Conditions may be colder than they appear...
What you don't see in this pic are all the fishermen who were around that morning.  Some of them pretty close to the shore.  Walking down the hill to the water I could feel all of their bucket hat laden heads shifting their attention to us.  Almost as if it was like a scene in a movie where a group of people walk in a line in slow motion (usually out of a cloud of smoke, holding rifles).  Although I'm sure they weren't looking at us in awe.  If I were a betting man I'd say they were a bit upset that their calm fishing waters would be disrupted by a few swimming schlubs.

Bryce brought me a swim cap and Adam was gracious enough to offer me his extra wet-suit.  I'm a fan of training in race conditions so I opted out of the suit, thinking I wouldn't be using one on race day.  Once I got the cap suctioned on my head (and almost ripping off my eyebrows) we made our way into the lake.  The water was warmer than the out of water conditions.  It was nice.  The lake bottom felt like I was walking in mud which beats the alternative of walking on rocks.  

After receiving our briefing on the course from Adam I was off.  I'm not sure how much a swim cap helps but I felt like I was cutting through the water.  It was one of those days when you just feel good about your training.  With a little under two months till race-day this open water swimming stuff felt right.  For at least that first couple minutes...

This is when I made a mistake.  You can't see the ground through the mucky lake but I thought I was in relatively shallow water.  Curiosity took over and I stopped to stand.  (There are certain moments in life where you can feel drastic emotion changes.  This was one of them.)  I couldn't touch.  Excitement and effort turned into panic.  James asked if I was ok.  My initial response was "no" (which probably sounded like "blubublubNObublub").  After what felt like a couple days of struggle (less than 10 seconds) I started swimming towards shore.  A few seconds later I stood up.  

I'm about to give a hint to what I said when I stood up only because I'd like to stay transparent.  I'm not proud, or even excited, to share this but I was saying some stuff that would cause a bar of soap to go into my mouth if I had said it 20 years ago...  

After that brief moment I tried to swim a few more times but paranoia set in.  I'd swim a few strokes and I would stop to stand, with a mini panic attack happening prior to each abrupt stop in progress.  This went on for 15 to 20 minutes and I was done.  Tail between my legs, I walked back up to where we placed our equipment.  Panic turned into anger and I sat and sulked. 

Thanks to my friends for giving me a different perspective that snapped me out of my pity party.  It was simple really: I swam back to where I could stand.  January 1st I couldn't swim a few meters.  Today I have done 2 sprint tris and swim a couple thousand meters a week.  When I get panicked I need to remember that I can swim.  Not extremely fast or graceful, but I can swim.  I think I'm going to use that wet-suit though...

We'll be back out there on Sunday.  

Today I checked out the registration for the 2014 Lake Placid Ironman so I knew what info I'd need to register next year.(you need to sign up the day after the race if you hope to get a spot for the next year).  Pretty basic, aside from one spot:

Health insurance carrier and insurance policy number...


Sunday, July 21, 2013

2013 North Canton Sprint Tri: Recap and Reflections

Hello hello!

Pretty deep post title, eh?

This morning I competed in my second triathlon/multi-sport race ever.  Today was really the ending of a great weekend.  Let's take a look back, shall we!?

Friday was pretty lax.  The fam and I went out to dinner and waited for the balloon liftoff for the Football Hall of Fame Balloon Festival.  Unfortunately, no balloons came.  Due to some less than stellar conditions the balloons didn't lift off at all the entire weekend.  Major bummer.  I haven't gone out to watch the liftoff every year but it's cool just seeing them throughout the weekend.  Breaks up the monotony.  We were OK with heading home because we had a busy weekend ahead of us.

Saturday started off a little soggy.  Weather reports had rain starting at 11-12ish.  Our 8 am team run was safe.  On my way to our meet up spot it starts to downpour.  Weatherman fail.  The rain didn't slow us down though.  If anything, it was a welcome sight after last week's hazardously hot session.  Instead of following the training plan's recommendation of 14 miles, we did 5.  That was due to the tri being Sunday morning.  No use killing yourself before race day.  During our run two of us started to infiltrate the head of our friend James with talks of doing Sunday's tri.  It worked.  Beautifully.  We had recruited one more nut.

After our run I headed to my church's outdoor flea market event.  I went out to see a talented young kid named Jarrod.  He had handmade 100 bracelets with all of the money made going to Active:Water.

After picking up a couple for myself, I felt like I could run a marathon.  You don't have to run marathons or do an Ironman to help those in need.  Using your God given talents is what it's all about.  Way to go Jarrod!

Which brings us to today.  Sunday.  Race day.

I honestly didn't think I would be doing another triathlon this year.  Race entries aren't getting any less expensive and my kids have this bad habit of wanting three meals a day.  With some good budgeting and finance watching I was able to compete.

I can honestly say that I wasn't nervous for the race.  While my training hasn't been on plan like it should, I still felt in shape enough to get through a sprint tri.  Also, all four of us had family and friends there which made me feel like it would be easier.  I'm not used to having a cheering section.  We were in the second wave of swimmers in this pool swim tri.  After getting a minute to acclimate ourselves in the water we were off.  I pushed off and starting going much faster than I'm used to swimming.  In the first 50 meters I panicked a bit and stood up a couple times.  I wasn't breathing like I should.  At the first 50 meter turn around I stopped and took a deep breath to calm myself.  The panicky feeling subsided and I was able to continue with limited issue, aside from not being a great swimmer.


I would kick myself if I didn't stop and say hi to my beautiful girls.
Go daddy go!

Transitioning from the pool to the bike was smooth.  Since I don't have any of those new fangled clip pedals I did a quick dry off, threw on a shirt, tied up my kicks, put on my new bracelet,  slapped on my helmet, and I was on my way.  The bike portion was a 3 time loop for 10 miles or so.  Included in the 10 miles were two decent to difficult hills.  Thanks to Bryce installing a bike computer the night before I was able to see my speed.  The race didn't have an intricate timing system so I don't know how fast I did each leg.  I can say, with some confidence, that I averaged between 17-19 mph on the bike.  I was able to pass a few people too, which is always a little confidence booster.  Also, the volunteers were great.  All but a couple of them were extremely excited and cheering us racers on.  Thank race volunteers!  They deserve at least that one second of your race time!

Start of the bike leg.

Hey! I know him!

Go go go

Bryce and Adam killing it on their TT bicycles!
While dismounting from the bike I almost face planted.  ALMOST!  I acted like nothing happened and made my way to the transition rack.  On my way to the racks I had a big cheering section.  The section included my wife, the girls, and my mother-in-law.  Bryce, his family, and his parents.  Adam's wife Erin.  James' wife and 3 sons.  Plus our friend Shane and his wife and son came out to support us.  I can't thank all of them enough for cheering me, and the other guys, on.  Races are definitely easier when you have people you know there for you.  This transition also took no time for me.  I owe it all to not having clip pedals.  I took off my helmet, took a swig of water, kissed my wife, and off I went.  Kinda.  My legs were complete jello.  Right away someone from the first wave passed me up.  Not a great way to start off the run but I got used to people passing me by the end.  I stopped once to drink water, so I'm counting it as a win.  The run was a three lap cross-country course.  My second mile felt the best and towards the end of the third mile my quads were started to spazz out a bit.  No worries though.  The run ended on a high note.  Being the last one to finish out of the four of us had it's perks because I had three more people in my cheering section.  I'm sure the run was faster than I imagined it.  Running after swimming and biking doesn't even feel like running.  After my first lap I asked my wife if my legs were still on the bike...

I think I can I think I can
Adam finishing strong.  It looks like he's floating
Heading towards the finish.  Motorin'

 Some things I learned from this weekend:

- Another person's passion is contagious.  Even if they are much younger than you are..
- I need a tri kit.  There are some other pictures my wife has of me on the bike.  My shorts look like parachutes.  There's probably a reason most triathletes wear them...
- Need to get on the aero bars...
- The triathlon community is great.  I'm privileged to be a part of it.
- Through running and tri-ing my friendships have grown stronger and I've started a lot of new ones.  That alone makes the training and racing worth it...
- My wife is amazing.  She took photos, cheered me on, and watched 2 kids during the entire race.  Also a big thank you to my mother-in-law who was there helping Aimee.  Later at church she told me that she had a crummy week.  She almost didn't go but was glad she did.  Something about triathlons is exciting.  Even to those who aren't competing.

Myself, Adam, Bryce, and James.  Team Dork

Wednesday, July 17, 2013



It's hot here...

16 days of measurable rainfall has transitioned into an official heat wave.  Today is day 3, or maybe 4, of days hitting in the 90s.  This does not include the heat index (humidity included with temperature).  Solid 90 degree days.  No A/C in my car is not making things much better.  I love sweating when  I'm working out.  It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.  Driving to work is not an accomplishment deserving of perspiration.  The other day my wife needed our car so my good friend Jermaine drove me to work.  He told me he was going to pick me up at 530 in the morning.  I headed out a couple minutes earlier to wait and just standing outside I was sweating.  The sun wasn't up yet!

I had to get that off my chest.  Maybe the weather is making me crabby?

I had a motivating run on Saturday, but not for the reasons you may think...

It was bad.

Marathon training hasn't gotten off to a great start.  I did ten miles a couple weeks back and felt OK.  Got through the run at 30 seconds faster per mile than my Cleveland Half Marathon PR pace.  I wanted to die at the end, but I felt like I was moving in the right direction.  Since then a funk seems to have take over my being.  Skipping workouts, sleeping in, getting caught up in everything else that life throws at me.

There was a race between that ten miler and Saturday's run.  The race was awesome.  It was on the 4th of July.  North Canton isn't a big town and it's not too small of a town.  Every 4th of July the race takes over the town.  It feels like everyone from the city is there.  I took part in the 5 miler.  Team Active:Water Canton also took the opportunity to get some team photos (minus some members who couldn't make it)

A photographer from the YMCA caught a good group pic.  Including the non running loved ones!

Go Team!
 My daughter also got into the running spirit by taking part in the firecracker run:

Hey Daddy.  Lets run!  The pure joy is beautiful
The run was good.  It was a little hot and it was day two of the measurable rain.  Luckily it held off for the races, aside from a drizzle here and there.  Here are a more pics from race day, plus one of me and my little runner later that day:

Action shot!

Running makes ya tired

Sweaty team picture afterwards

Love that girl.. Especially when she's acting like a goof ball. 

The weekend after the 4th I had a 12 mile run planned but my puking oldest daughter and a little less sick youngest daughter had other plans.  I could have fit a run in I'm sure but the funk fell upon me.  Which brings me to Saturday.  It was a week and a half since the July 4th run (wow, I haven't updated this thing in a while).  I hadn't had a good solid run following the race.  Or any run for that matter (I did get some swimming and biking in though).  There were 5 of us running the 12 miles that morning and we started normal enough.  Going about 9:10 a mile for the first couple.  It felt good but I wanted to dial it back a little bit since I hadn't run in a while.  Brought it down to 9:30 and that is when I fell back.  The group drifted ahead and Bryce yelled back asking if I was alright.  Then a little later would ask if I'm OK.  I wasn't.  I told them to go on without me, like some dramatic Steven Spielberg war drama.  Instead of doing all 12 I copped out and did about 9.


During the run I thought about something.  I thought about how people stake the claim that "well no one is perfect".  Usually after a mistake is made.You may hear this when you tell someone about a bad experience, possibly in distance running.  Maybe this thought came into my brain to help myself feel better.  I'm not striving to be perfect.  Only one person achieved that, and it wasn't by Himself.  Just because I can't be perfect doesn't mean I shouldn't strive for excellence.  Not in time, or placing in a race, but pursuing God's will, which is what this whole running thing is all about.

I would explain how I was feeling about running but a couple days later a friend posted a link that I'd like to share with you.  It describes things pretty well.  It's a little bit of a read, but it's got lots and lots of pictures!

Later on Saturday all I wanted to do was run.  Running as bad as I did made me want to get back out and crush the blerch.  Monday night, in the 80+ degree heat, I was able to pound out 4.5 miles at what felt like a good pace.  Things are definitely looking up. Take THAT blerch!

This weekend I'll be doing the North Canton YMCA Sprint Tri.  It's an outdoor pool swim and my second ever triathlon.  Let's do this!