Friday, May 30, 2008

Here we go!

We are off on another adventure. This time it's Switzerland (That's the town to the right) for the Ironman 70.3 Switzerland race. For those unfamiliar 70.3 is exatchly 1/2 and Ironman.

It's my first race since landing here just over a year ago. It's really my first race since December 2006 (Ridgcrest 50K). So, who knows what will happen. The only facts I know is that I'm 18 months older and 12 lbs heavier. Everything else is up to my mental capacity to endure pain.

It's a good life....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mary Jewell and the Brussels 20K

Dream Big Dreams, Then Strap Up Your Boots and Get to Work - Art Wesslehof
This past weekend the Family made the trek to Brussels Belgium. Mary had signed up for the Brussels 20K and was a 3 day weekend for us. We arrived in Brussels late Friday and had a great time Friday and Saturday walking to town and seeing the sights. It's a really neat city with lots of good food and of course Chocolate, Belgian Waffles and Beer.
Sunday dawned and it was time to run. Yet not like the USA with a 6, 7 or 8am race start. No, this is Europe and here they have liberty to decide when to start. So this particular event 25,000 runners strong started at 3:00pm. Some things to note about this event and 3:00pm starts.
The entry fee was 15 euros. You can't find a 10K for $15 let alone a major, shut a city of one million down 20K. But in some respects, you get what you pay for. No race t-shirts here. And whether it was Europe or the entry fee there was not a line of porta potties. In fact if you wanted to use the 3 portable bathrooms it cost you 50 cents. 3 bathrooms and 25,000 runners don't mix. So, Note the picture at the bottom. Marco and I watched the start from roughly 200 meters infront. That was our backside view for the next 10 minutes. The guys ran 200 meters and pulled off into the bush. It was rather disgusting but not nearly as disgusting as it was for Mary. Somewhere along the route a guy was finishing his businees and flicked his pee all over her leg. Of course that didn't make Mary too happy.
Water Stations - for the runners up front the water stations are great. They hand you a small bottle of water. It's much easier to drink and carry a bottle of water. Problem is the organizers obviously don't ever run at the back. Runners in the middle and the back have to deal with a sea of empty bottles on the course. If you think about it probably 75,000 bottles.
Feet - If you know me well enough you know I am a freak about taking care of your feet. Not that I have beautiful feet but they are tough and fairly bullet proof. Mary is great about keeping her feet smooth and soft. Now add to that a 3:00pm slightly swollen feet and the finally just a pair of socks you pull out of the drawer (not those special ones you've tested over and over). This combination is disasterous. Poor Mary came across the line with not one, not two but three big blisters. She's still limping around today.
The event for Mary. Even though it was a learning event for her because of the above, she had fun. Her goal is Berlin Marathon in September so a little toughening of the feet won't kill her now.
The event for Marco and I was a blast. We sat out by the finishline party, counted running shoes and listened to the Brazillian drum band pictured above. It was a good way to have some fun for both of us.
Posting Soon with some extra secret fun.
It's a good life...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Learning Books

I like to learn. I can't say I've always been that way in fact I probably wasn't really motivated to do so in school but I like to learn now. I go on kicks reading and learning on a regular basis. Every so often I read a book that just blows me away. A good freind reminded me of The Season of Life. I think you have to be at the right place in life to read this book. You can't be full of Ego when you read it, you have to just be willing to let your senses go for a bit. This story is about a football star who got so low in life he almost killed himself. He then found a better purpose in life, began coaching and ended up teaching a bunch of tough life kids the meaning of being a man. It will pull at your heart and it will leave you breathless. At the end you will walk away with one of the best feelings any book can give you. If you are open to learning a thing or two about being a Man (it's not just a guys book, if you know a man, read it) you will want to read this again. It's that good! I was lucky enough to see this great coach speak inperson and I was absolutely wasted tired of emotional drain. It was such a moving talk. The energy he brought to the talk is in this book. Enjoy it!


My good freind Chris sent us the beach picture. Although we now live in Germany and really like it here, the picture is home. Encinitas California to be exact. It's strange! I lived in the Encinitas area for 20 years and took it for granted. When I see this picture I am struck by the beauty of home. It sure is a great place. Those of you that live in San Diego, this is a reminder that you live in the best place on earth. Stop and remember that from time to time.

We're off to Brussels Belgium this weekend so Mary can run the Brussels 20K. Only in Europe can a 20K race with 15,000 runners start at 3:00pm on Sunday. I'm looking forward to the drive and the time spent with the family.
It's a good life.....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What a Week!

The Skater Boy

With the warmer weather Marco has become a skater again. He started in the streets outside our house but grew tired and asked to go the local skate park. The picture above is him practicing his craft on a 8 foot vert ramp. He really enjoys learning new tricks and has accepted the fact that falling is part of skating. He had a couple good falls of f the coping at the top of the ramp. He got right back up there and tried his tricks again.

The Week

It has been a sad week around the house. Losing a 14 year friend is not an easy thing. The entire family is in a bit of a daze this week. For the most part everything is going well but then all of a sudden we are reminded by our loss and it hurts. Just watching Scout try to figure out life without her leader is sad. At times she looks lost. She seems to keep looking for him behind every door. Along with that loneliness, poor Scout cut one of the pads on her paw and has been sidelined from long walks or runs.

The outpooring of well wishes from around the world have been great. Everyone that knows us knows how much we love our dogs and it shows. At Friday sharing, Marco shared some pictures of Neptune when he was a puppy along with his collar and the clip of hair Marco saved. All the kids came up to Mary at pick up and told her how sorry they were about the dog.


Along with everything, Mary reminded me of a golden rule. Keep your eye on the end goal. Milestones are great but if they hamper success of the end goal they are misstakes. Last weekend Mary had a milestone to run 2 hours. Her short term goal is the Brussels 20K next weekend and her long term goal is the Berlin Marathon in the Fall. Her back was hurting before the run but she pushed on thinking "I've got to do this run". She finished the run but in a great deal of pain. She has been dealing with that pain all week and has not run. Her back is getting better and will be fine for the 20K but she won't be as strong as she could be for that event. The mind plays tricks on you and makes you think you will not have success of you don't hit that Milestone. In fact Mary would be so much better off if she would have bagged the 2 hour run and waited the day or so for her back to get better. Yes, she would have missed a base building long run, but it's not the goal, the 20K and Berlin are. There is no need to compromize those goals just to hit the milestone.

To make matters worse, she's my wife. She should know better and I should have stood at the door blocking her run. Neither happened and now she's worried about the 20K goal.

It's a good life.....


Monday, May 12, 2008

Ode to Neptune

Recently Neptune the soul of our family has been feeling ill. Like we did with Freeway years ago we contacted an animal psychic to find out where he stands. It's still a bit crazy for me to believe that someone can talk to my dog spiritually but it happens. As we found out Neptune has a problem in his mouth that makes it hard for him to eat (you can see him struggle) and he has a pain in his belly. The pain was later confirmed to be a tumor of some sort. So we know that it's a matter of days or weeks for Neptune.

I am a firm believer that a good life is filled with experiences far greater than it can be filled with things. It's with this idea that I write (with Neptune at my side) an ode to the experiences with Neptune.

In My Hand

Neptune I held you in my hand on the second day of your life. It was at that moment that you and I bonded. For the next 14 years we would be tied together by that bond. You were so small in my hand and a huge repsonsibility of treating you to the best life a dog could have became mine.

Welcome Home Mom

You welcomed Mary home with the day you arrived at our house. You hopped (you couldn't run yet) all the way to her hands.


You loved your big sister beyond imagine. You loved her so much she had a stench from all your slobber. It was an intense love that humans should try to emulate. With ultimate respect for her you loved her. Freeway stayed young because of you. The day Freeway was put to rest your life changed and you, out of respect for her took the charge of being the soul of the family.

I got the Job

The day of my interview and hire at Road Runner Sports was a great day and one I'll never forget. The food poisoning I received from the early dinner with my new boss was with me for two days. Mary was in France with her students so it was you and Freeway who took care of me. You sat in the bathroom while I hugged the toilet. You snuggled with me on the floor. I don't think I could have survived those two days without you.


Neptune you will be with us for years. For it will be years down the road before we lose all of your hair. You have left it everywhere you have been. We wouldn't have it any other way.

Dr. Soyfur

It's a love hate with you and Dr. Soyfur. You simply hated going to see him hiding under the chair like you did, but you loved how you felt when you came out. We're convinced you paid for his new house but it was worth it. You and those ears were enough to make all of us cry.


You tollerate Scout! Most dogs wouldn't do that. She is pushy and doesn't care about anyone or anything but her and you accept that. She's a good dog because she had you to learn from. She loves you but just has a hard time showing it.


Words can't describe what you mean to Marco. You were there the day he came home and you have helped us raise him. You let him lay on you, you let him tease you and you love him with all your heart. It's in your eyes. Your the last one he says goodnight to every night. Marco has always been the kind to save the best for last.


Although the bond between you and I was set at day 2. You always knew who would take care of you. It was Mary you woke up in the middle of the night when you felt ill. It was Mary you barked at when it was time to eat. You know deep down that you owe your great life to Mary the ultimate Mom of Moms.

Neptune, you have been with us for 14 years. You will be in our hearts and family stories for the rest of our lives. I just hope today as you sit next to me, that you understand how much you mean to us.

You were the greatest birthday gift I ever got! The experiences you gave me will last a lifetime.

I thank you from the deepest part of my heart.



Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hero Update and More

You might remember one of my hero stories from earlier in the year. Brian pictured above in the back is training for the Chicago Marathon. His goal is a sub 3:11 marathon which would qualify him for the Boston Marathon. Reaching his goal would also knock off another goal of shedding some pounds (75 to be exact).

Based on the results from a recent 8K in San Diego, he's well on his way!
34 min 31 sec for the 8k today
6:57 pace

I think Brian would tell you, that you don't do this alone. In fact no athlete especially one training for a Marathon or a 5 hour triathlon does it alone. They do it with the love and support of others. I think the two other people in the picture will be of great help to Brian as he continues towards his goal. The beautiful young woman inbetween the two guys is Brian's girlfriend Sheri. I've never met Sheri but I feel I can make at least one comment. She's a special person. Brian is a special guy and I can't imagine him with anyone that wasn't as special as he is, so that's how I come to the conclusion.

The other guy in the picture deserves a blog posting all to himself. Talk about a hero. Charlie G. is the man. He grew up in the Boston area and is a true Red Sox fan. If you see him with the hat on it's because he bought it when they couldn't get to the playoffs. I don't know a great deal about Charlie besides these facts:

1. He can sell. The guy makes you feel so comfortable with your decisions that you want to take him home to dinner with you.

2. I learned about his selling ability at Road Runner Sports where he always ranked at the top no matter what the criteria.

3. The other thing that comes from Boston is Running. Running and the Boston Marathon are a big part of that community and Charlie grew up there. So he has a love for running.

4. A few years ago as I remember it, Charlie went to the doctor because he hurt his leg in a game. He went in thinking he had a bad injury and came out knowing he had cancer in his leg. He's a young guy and young guys aren't suppost to get cancer. During all of his treatment in the Boston area, Charlie sent us emails. They were some of the most uplifting heart felt emails I've ever read. Charlie turned his time into a positive experience for all of us.

I tell you this about Charlie because I know he's a big reason why Brian is running today. Like I said, nobody does this stuff alone and I know Charlie is there every day to remind Brian what a gift he has.

It's a good life.....


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Attitude Again

Panama is full of fun things to see. One landmark you see everywhere is the public buss. Each bus driver decorates his/her bus with great artwork. The above picture is just one of the buses. No two are alike. I guess you know it's your bus by the design and not really the route name.
I've been thinking a great deal about my attitude. I can't say that I'm very proud of the attitude I've had recently. I can blame it on travel, workload, Germany, the poor health of our dog or a myriad of other things but the truth is it's easier to just change it around than put blame anywhere. So I was thinking about this bad attitude I have and came to a realization. I think the biggest cause was a lack of forced good stuff . There is this old saying "Put good stuff in and good stuff comes out". I just don't think, I've been putting enough good stuff in lately. So my short term goal is to put good stuff in every day. Today I visisted a blog I haven't read in a long time and it is full of good heady stuff. So I spent some time reading it and I'm glad I did. (
At the Boston Marathon last week I was standing on the sidelines cheering on people I knew in the pack when a familiar face ran by. Craig Zelent is a top notch guy from San Diego and a race nemisis of mine. He usually kicks my butt. Anyway I saw him run by in a great time of 3:05. So I emailed him to see how is race went and to see if his wife Laurie had run. He was please with his event and had some good things to say in general as always. The increadible thing is Laurie ran too and it was her 142nd marathon. Are you kidding me, 142 marathons. I've run 8 and I'm really tired from doing it and she has run 142. She definately goes down and my hero for this week. I'm sure she has 143 coming up in June at Rock n Roll.
The Tready
Today (putting good stuff in) I made my way to the Gym for a treadmill workout. I love this workout and hate it at the same time. By the time I'm done, I'm dizzy from the effort but I'm sure it will feel good on my next run. Here is what it looked like:
15 minute warm up (gradient at 1%)
8 min at 13K/hour
2 min rest 11K/hr
6 min at 13.5K/hr
2 min rest
4 min at 14K/hr
2 min rest
2 min at 14.5K/hr
2 min rest
1 min at 15K/hr
15 min cool down or fall off the tready whichever comes first.
It's a good life.....