Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wherever ego, I go!

The quote in the title comes from Chuckie V. Read his Blog, it's really funny some times. More on the quote below. The picture comes from Running Central in Peoria, IL. I think I used this picture before. I post it because that is my final destination on this next trip. First up it's Mary, Marco and I heading to Normandy. I am ready to be completely humbled by that experience. From Normandy I head to NY where I will resume my on line chatter. NYC is all about running, running shoes and runners. Not in that order of course. It's always about runners first. Then finally to Peoria to visit Mom and hopefully show her some totally cool places to live.

The quote "Wherever ego, I go" is timely. If you read my 2009 goals you know ego plays a big roll. Ego as in I don't want it. That simple statement is so true and can get you in so much trouble. Chuckie refers to your ego and pacing. In generaly ego pace is much faster than your ability and eventually you fail. That is true in life. The big egos normally fail. I don't think the way of the big ego is sustainable. So why go with it in the first place. Easier said then done I know.

Normandy, here we come!

It's a good life....


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It was 9 miles!

While some people go shopping when they travel (I do some of that too) I go looking for the Sunrise. Here it is in Salt Lake City. I was on some mountain trail just out of town running as the sun came out.

When people ask me how far I ran, I usually come back with an answer that sounds like around 45 minutes. It's always got something to do with time. Here in Germany hanging around all the runner's I am struck by the facination with distance. "Which loop did you do, the 12K loop?" So recently, in my own geeky way I've been running with folks and then listening (then going on google and measuring). Did you know most runners actually run less than they think. I know it probably comes as a shock to you but when you hear someone say I did my 9 mile loop, it may not really be 9 miles. Understand, it's 9 miles in their head. Now yes there are some runners that actually do measure and know that their loop is actually 9 miles. Most others are guessing based on times when they knew it was exactly 9 miles. So something like 8 years ago I had this 9 mile loop and I'd do it in 55 minutes. I ran 55 minutes today so it was 9 miles. The problem in all of that is age. Unless you are a freak of nature, you slow as you age. So 55 minutes today may only be 8.5 miles. My point is not to pick on the runners or not even care that thier 9 mile loop is 8.5. I just find it interesting the way we age. I wonder when that loop will finally become the 8 mile loop measured? When do we accept the age we are and the speed we run. Do we ever accept it?

It's a good life...


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


San Diego beaches. They seem so far away!

I used to marvel at my Dad. Every time I would travel somewhere with him, Bogota, Miami, Toronto and more, there would be someone who treated him like a brother. I thought he just had this huge group of friends and it was impressive to me. They always greeted hime with a warm smile and a firm hand shake. You could tell it wasn't fake buddy, buddy stuff.

Just recently I myself ran into a need and I called on Friends. Three of the most notorious guys in the crazy sport I love. An Agent, A tycoon and an inventor. Just about everyone in the sport of triathlon knows them or knows of them. So I needed some help and emailed them individually with some questions. I figured I should tap into wide knowledge so I emailed them different questions. In less then a week the three of them have answered my questions and given me more than I asked for. Sure I work for a big brand and they stand to make money if the Big Brand plays in the little sport. But I don't think they answered from their pocket. They answered because of 20 years of relationship building with them. When you have suffered on a Bike ride for hours with each of them you tend to trust each other. That trust and friendship came back 20 years later 3000 miles apart from each other.

I get now what my Dad was doing. It helps to make Friends along the way.

One other note about the three. They are really hard on the outside. They are actually individually totally cool guys. The hard exterior is all a front.

It's a good life...

Monday, October 20, 2008


"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried."
Not sure who said this......
Last night in conversation Mary referred to herself as a Slacker. She was comparing herself to one of her Doctoral classmates and said something like, "compared to her, I'm a slacker". If Mary is a slacker I am a slug trying to cross the street. I'm determined to get there but the road if full of dangers and my gosh it's going to take me forever. It's going to take me forever because I'm slow and because I could be distracted by something really good I see or I guess feel on the ground. Mary is a big reason why I am a humble man. Her drive to get things done is wildly impressive. A SLACKER she is not.
It's a good life....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Goal Update - October 20th

Ah, the power of the Islands. This picture is from our trip in Panama.

One thing my Dad pointed out to me in my goals is that I should use spell check. He's right, I'm a terrible speller. It's not a lack of knowlege, it's a lack of detail. I'll put that as one of my short term fix it goals. Spell Check!

The first week into goals is usually fairly easy. They were set based on things going on in my life so there should be work towards them. I'll touch on a few. Next week Mary, Marco and I are heading to Normandy. Over the weekend they watched the Longest Day in preperation for our trip. We can't wait to share that new experience together. I'll be the tag along there. Those two history buffs will be crazy excited. Straight from there, I actually leave from Amsterdam, I head to New Yor for a few days and then to Peoria. The plan in Peoria is to take my mom to a few of the nursing facilities that have open space in the near future. The ultimate goal is to show her that they are not the nursing homes she has in her mind. She can have all her stuff and live her life, just with someone close if she needs it. We'll see what happens though she may not even let me in her house after the car stealing incident.
The other goals are in progress as well but not super defined.

One note on Global Warming. It's obviously a factor. This time of year in Germany used to bring Snow. Last year we received only two days of measurable snow and it was gone in less then one day. I bring this up because this past weekend was great in a warm way. Each day started below freezing but warmed up into the 50's. Our backyard is wide open and the Sun sits on it all day. Both Saturday and Sunday Marco and I spent at least an hour in the back passing the Soccer ball to each other. He's working on trapping and hard crisp passing. It was great to be in the back in shorts and a t-shirt and to be sweating. Seriously though I hope for Snow for Germany. It's better for the land and better for the people. They love the snow and miss it dearly.

It's a good life....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

2009 Goals

The 2009 Goals are here. It's a long process that started roughly 6 weeks ago. The first 4 weeks was reflection. How did 2008 shape up. The last two weeks have been focused on 2009. Where do I want to be in October 2009. So here they are:

1. Put Mom in a happy place - My mother is mentally sick. She currently lives in her own house by herself and she struggles to care for herself. That puts huge burden on my sister Cyndi. The process of getting paper in order has started. Now we have to convince Mom that it's the right thing for her. The real goal for me is to step up and take care of Mom they way she sacrificed to take care of me.
2. Marco - Marco and I are going to learn to do something new together. Maybe it will be riding BMX ramps or Quantum Physics but it will be something.
3. Mary - I want two trips to new places with her and her alone. We have so much fun when we do it.

1. At the start of each quarter I will determine a relationship that needs work and I'll focus efffort to building it better.
2. I will drop the ego and get back to the basics of true leadership through Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof - Leap
3. I will ask for more responsibility when the time is right.

1. We will accept taking additional hits from our mistakes on the move.
2. I will cut frivolous spending - I will only sign up for events I know I'll do. I lost 1000 euros not doing events I signed up for. I will take my own lunch to work and more.
3. I will support Mary in her drive to get back to her passion.

1. I will win my agegroup in a triathlon
2. I will finally write that entire song
3. I will be ego free.

1. I will volunteer somewhere
2. I will be ego free
3. I will continue my spiritual education process through reading.

It's a good life......

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wasp Sting

This picture was taken roughly 30 minutes after I was stung by a Wasp while out running. Can everyone out there promise me that if you are with someone who gets stung by a Wasp, even if they say "I'll catch up", that you will stop to make sure they are o.k. I was running with 3 other guys. One idiot up front pushing the pace with no care about anyone else and two other fairly decent guys and none of them stopped. Even when they turned a corner on the trail and looked back, saw me walking clutching my mouth, they didn't stop.
Let me tell you what can happen if you are allergic to stings and you get stung in the lip.......Death!
Lucking for me, I'm not allergic. But damn, it was painfull!
By the way, I wrote a note to myself later that day to never run or ride with said idiot again.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Year that Was!


Grade - C+

Although in total we had a good year as a family, traveling through our part of Europe, Holidays in the Canary Islands and Summer trips to the Alps and Panama, I don't feel like I was as good with the family as I have been. Besides Panama the trips were all planned by Mary. Mostly because it wasn't easy I did not get involved in Marcos school work. I let Mary do it all. I was a good Dad and I'm sure Marco wouldn't complain but I wasn't great. I was a good husband but I wasn't great and I should be great at this. We have our challenges in the coming year and the majority of my goals will surrond one of the big family challenges but in general I want to raise my level with my immediate family. My final point on the family is the Election. I let my Dads party line politics get to me and I spit my own non-party buisness out through email. It's generally not me and I don't know what got into me.


Grade - B

In genearl the work I am doing is at a high level. My business like most is a relationship business and I've worked really well on that front. I am pleased with the work in Latin America. I think our shoes are getting better and the relationship work to get the shoes better is very rewarding. What I'm not real proud of is letting the big Egos in the business get into my blood. I feel like I became one of the big brand egos. I also need to work on daily motivation. I used to manage 18 people and be one of the go to people in my old company. Now I manage one and I'm just another person on the floor. I tend to lose focus easily.


Grade - C

Almost everyone except the big time opportunists could probably rate thier Financial system a C. Few people are immune to the woes of the current market. But my average grade goes deaper. We made some errors in our move here and they are costing us. The great thing is we have been so good with our finances over the last 12 years that we could afford a subpar year. We can't afford two of them.


Grade - C

I'll just put it this way. Big ego and a spriritual giving soul don't mesh well. Fix the ego and work spiritually and this can be reversed.


Grade - B

Early year preperation went well. My goal was Ironman France in June so I had to get humping early. I put on 5lbs of muscle. I put in lots of hours on the bike even in the dark winter days. I had a couple days of 3 hours on the turbo trainer. My swimming was poor but I can usually make it up quickly. So my early season preperation was an A but I did nothing with it. I didn't go to France because I made the right call to take care of our dog (read past blogs). I raced in Switzerland which was a great experience but it was a flat race and I did the Berlin Marathon. That's it.

Total Personal Grade - C+

The great thing about this process is I get to do it again. I have the greatest family I guy could ask for, I try to surrond myself with good folks (thanks to Facebook I still can make this happen) and I control it all so I know it can improve.

It's a good life....


Sunday, October 5, 2008


It's time again to renew. The picture of this beutiful tree is from our recent family trip to Poland. This is what Poland looks like right now. Bursting with color!

October is my month to reflect on the year and to set new targets for next year. I use October because the month starts with our wedding anniversary, the Hawaii Ironman takes place and because trees like this one also start new again. They shed the year they've had and start planning the next one. So over the next month I'll reflect a bit on the year that was and set some new targets around:






Have a great week!

It's a good life....


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Berlin Marathon 2008

Race Report

60 minutes before the start of the race and we are looking calm and happy. That of course is 60 minutes before the leaders go off. I soon found out what the people who pay the running bills in the industry have to endure. Painlessly Mary and I dropped off our bags and headed to the start. One mistake Mary made on the way to the start line was stopping to pee in the woods and not giving me things to hold. One of her two Power Gel packets fell out of her pocket and we were not going back into the woods to find it. There was a guy very close to the spot Mary had just departed having a problem!

So we lined up in H Block, the last block on the starting grid. It was roughly 15 minutes prior to start. We didn't want to be the last people on the line. The gun goes off promply at 9:00 for Haile and his group. Nobody in front of us moves. We stand and wait. 10 minutes later they start the next group. Nobody in front of us moves. We stand and wait. 5 minutes later they start the next group. Nobody in front of us moves. We stand and wait. Finally some 25 minutes after Haile goes, they releas the hounds. Our group begins to move. From the time our group started it still took Mary and I 6 minutes to cross the starting line. The orignal goal for Mary and I was to get Mary across the finish line. It had been a few years, before the Doctorate, since she had run a marathon. So just running it was the goal. My job was to coach her and since she said I couldn't run with her it was to keep her motivated at the start. At the start line we parted ways. I to run my pace and she to run hers.

For the next 21 killometers I weaved around, side stepped, ran on the sidewalk, ran on the trolly tracks, ran on the ever so narrow curb and even sometimes had an open space on the road. By the way, I like running killometers so much better than miles. More time to adjust pace in my book. My pace for killometer looked something like this: 5:30, 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, 5:30, 4:45, 4:05. At the 1/2 way or 21 K mark I was only 6 minutes off my goal pace. My goal pace was 4:30K or 3:10 for the entire race. That pace during training was comfortable. I figured I could run 4:15 for the next 1/2 and easily make up the ground. I also figured that the 1/2 way mark would be the point where the streets thinned out. So Killometer 22 was an easy (feeling) 4:15 and I was on my way. I turned a corner and saw down the road for roughly 3K that there was nothing but people. The weaving would have to continue. My body was ready to do it but My head was dissy. I decided right then and there that I could not hold my pace and tactics any longer. I moved into the crowd and began running their pace. Well that was worse because now it was going to take me longer and for me running slow hurts more. So by the 35 K point I was really hurting. At the 37K point a girl in front of me was tripped up. She took a long slow motion stumble then splat on the pavement. 3 guys passed her by before I got there. Me and another guy stopped and picked her up. We made sure she was ok before we continued on. Finally at the 40 k point you could see the Brandenburg Gate. The most beautiful sight in running. Well at least for that day it was. The last 2K flew by as they always do and boom I was across the fininsh line. 3:40:27

Some Reflections along the way.
- If you have a goal time start in the block with the rest of people aiming for that goal. Running a 3:10 marathon surrounded by people running 4:30 marathon pace is not the best.
- Aide Stations - Pay attention before the race to where the aide stations will be an have a plan. Of the first 6 aid stations I managed to hit one. If you are on the other side of the street as an aid station comes up and there are 500 people between you and the station you are not going to get water.
- Aide Stations - Hit table 3. Most people for some reason go to table 1. By the way, for all of you that run the front of the race, you pick your water up off the table in the back. They do not hand it to you. Anyway, while a crowd gathers around table 1 you can easily get to the open table 3.
- Help Someone - If you you see someone who needs help, Help them. Your race is not that important.
- Spectators - Stay off the course. Yes, I should stay off the curb you are standing on but please do not try to cross the street in the middle of the mass of runners. I know it doesn't look like they are running all that fast but they are still moving.
- Shit happens - Mary by the way finished her marathon. As usual she hit her goal. She did have something totally freaky happen though. There was a guy at some point of the race, on a bike with some kind of pain relieving heat spray. He would ride up to a runner ask if you wanted a spray and then oblige your wishes. Kind of weird if you ask me. Well this guy, on his bike, ducks behind Mary as she is running by. His front wheel and her foot (as it was coming off the ground behind her)hit the same air space at the same time. The tire catches her shoe just right, pulls it off her foot and flings it. Over the guys head it goes and lands under an aide station table. Mary one shoe on and one off stops, freaking out of course, goes to the table, gets down on her hands and knees (you try that in the middle of a marathon next time and see if you can get up) to retrieve her shoe. The guy did say he was sorry but can we please keep the bikes off the course next time.

Finally, the Berlin Marathon is big. They say something close to 41,000 ran it this year. If you get the chance, run it. Berlin is one of the coolest historical and otherwise cities in the world. Getting the chance to run on the roads through all those historical areas is really fun.

It's a good life....