Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

Well, Merry Christmas to all my readers (2 on a good day?) and hope it was full of joy and happiness. The presents were mostly well-received, and we have now entered PCD...Post Christmas Depression, when the kids realize that this holiday is not going to last, and it's back to school in only 10 days. Of course, the parents feel the same way :o(. Fortunately, I am off next week.
Anyway, running is not going well, again. After Thanksgiving, my knees really started bothering me, so mileage is way down this month, but I am hitting the pool regularly, so my cardio isn't totally shot!


Friday, November 05, 2010

November 10-Double Rainbow!

So, how ofter do you get to see one (two?) of these? Saw this on the way home last evening and it seemed like everyone was peering up through their windshields or stopping to take a photo.
Anyway, very cool to see.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Busy Day In The Sky

Shot this on the way to work on Monday. For some reason, the whole sky was just covered in jet trails; busy travel day I guess.
Training-wise, things are gong OK, though seems like as soon as I try and increase mileage, little, nagging injuries start to surface. Probably need a little more strength training.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

First Day of School for Greta

Wednesday, August 25th. Finally...after a long, hot Summer, school is upon us, and it was dark outside! At 6:40, Maura and I walked Greta to the bus stop to delver her to the yellow monster...the school bus. Needless to say, we were all happy! Hanley started the following week on the 30th, though I think I slept in that day...sorry.

Anyway, Greta is a star player on the Nagel volleyball team and Hanley is working as a Manager with the Ursuline team, and my god, there is a lot of travel involved for poor Maura!

Anyway, running is going fairly well and we are all surviving.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Design!!

I am lovin' these new Blog templates and I kind of like my header photo. Looks like I'm in Seattle thinking about what kind of song to write for my next album as I stroll along the path of inspiration.
Actually, I was in Michigan and my daughter, Greta snapped this. She's so talented.

More to come.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another Age-Group Placer

Yesterday morning I ran my second annual Newtown 5K and won a third place in the 45-49 age group with a 22:20 finish! WOOHOO! The sticky, hot weather made it uncomfortable for everyone, but we all toughed it out and were welcomed with good drinks and food afterwards.

Following the race, I went in for a contact lens fitting, which did not go well. The doc was creepy and the lenses are not the correct prescription. I put them on this morning hoping I could get used to them, but it ain't working! So, back I go for another try.

Anyway, off to the pool for a good swim!

Sunday, August 08, 2010


Well, I haven't done three workouts in one day since I was in my 20's, but today, I thought I'd go for a 20 mile bike, followed by a short run, just to see what it felt like. I dragged for about two miles then called it quits. Later, after cutting the grass, went to the pool for a refreshing swim, but still dragged. We had a late night last night...friends came over and stayed up too late, so I'm going to blame my draggyness on that!

The girls begin volleyball tryouts tomorrow, so everyone is a bit nervous. We find out on Wednesday if they both made their teams. Ack!

Anyway, it's 8:30 PM and I'm ready for bed.
Night, night!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Running Back on Track

On Sunday, I was fortunate to participate in the East Fork trail run with some of the other Echo Running Club folks. My race was a 5.6 mile loop through some beautiful trails, which certainly rival Mt. Airy as far as terrain goes. Being on the mend from a tendon injury, I opted for the single lap race vs. the 10.5 mile double.

Weather was hot and very humid for my 9:25 start time, but once I warmed up to the race, things felt pretty good though still a little testy in the ankle. The heat definitely took its toll on my speed, but I was happy just finishing with a respectable 49:50 without any discomfort.

Brian Nash, 3rd from left and the ECHO organizer, did the ten mile run after surgery in March to repair a faulty heart valve...good to have him back on the road. He's a great ambassador for the Cincinnati running community.

Feeling good the day after, I ran 3.5 the next day with no ankle issues....

I'm a happy boy!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Finally! Tomatoes are Ready

A home grown tomato is, without question, one of the best things on earth. On our deck, I have a large pot with three massive tomato plants, one of which is called "Early Girl." After two months of waiting and watering, we finally have some ripe ones coming with more on the way.

This fine fruit sacrificed itself for a couple of BLT sandwiches...toast, a little mayo and plenty of bacon.

We ate well tonight!

Swimming and some work in the office tomorrow, but I'm excited about my first trail race since my tendon injury.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slow Recovery

Well, I'm back on my feet and running a little bit...3 miles here and there maybe three times a week. The ankle is still a little stiff and sometimes a bit sore, but manageable. Sitting in front of the computer at work for hours on end doesn't do much for the muscles, but I gotta make a living! Anyway, I signed up for a 5.5 trail race this Sunday at East Fork. It's a great event and I did pretty well last year, but I plan on taking it easy this time. I think I have enough strength to get through it OK. I've been hitting the pool and the bike a few time over the past 2 weeks, so my cardio is not totally whacked out.
We'll see what happens on Sunday.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Them Pike is Ripe for the Pickin'

OK, so on a normal day of fishing here in the UP of Michigan, catching a decent Northern Pike is something to brag about, but today we were invited to cast our lines off the Edward's dock on LaSalle island into a Pike hotbed. I caught the first one...maybe a 22-incher.

Rachel Sexton followed with an even larger one.

Hanley was next with another good sized fish,

then Greta, with the smallest of the group (unfortunately, here's wiggled off the hook before we could snap a photo).

The interesting thing about this is that they were all caught within the first 15 minutes!
Anyway, I was amazed. More to come...

Monday, June 21, 2010

2 Weeks...and I'm Grumpy

Ok, so it's been about 2 weeks since my last run, and while I'm more fortunate than others who have suffered a running injuries, it's still frustrating. My ankle is much better...little or no pain, but I miss the freedom of running terribly. Fortunately, I have been able to ramp up my swimming, so I haven't lost my cardio conditioning too much.
Anyway, I see the doc tomorrow afternoon for another assessment and hopefully get a green light to hit the road again.
Fingers crossed...


Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Got the Boot...

...and it sucks. I'm not sure how this all started. I went for a good run on Monday after work then for a good swim for following morning. Wednesday AM, I could barely walk. The Physician's Assistant says it may just be an inflamed tendon, but I see the doc tomorrow afternoon for more evaluation. Thank god it's not a stress fracture!

Wish me well...I'm hoping for a very short recovery.

Hanley had her last exam today, so both girls are out of school! Woo hoo!


Thursday, May 27, 2010


After a short swim at the Y, I was heading home and noticed this amazing cloud formation. I grabbed the iPhone and snapped this shot at about 6:15 pm...

That's about it for now!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Forest Hills 5K...I got an award!!

I have never won an award in my running career, until today! At the first annual Forest Hills 5K I cranked out a 6:58 pace to become the 3rd place winner in my age group with a PR finish of 21:18 and overall finish of 28th, and at 47 years old, I'll take it with a grin!

The event was terrific with a total turnout of over 2000; the expected number was supposed to be only around 800.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Knees Suck; But I Need Them!

Ok, so see how my wife is sitting? See how how my daughter Greta is sitting? Their knees are bent and they look so comfortable. The dogs don't care...but I cringe! My knees are killing me right now, perhaps it's because I pushed too hard at the pig? Didn't stretch enough? Right knee has bursitis (I think). Painful. Can't walk right...stairs suck, etc. I'm thinkin' it's time to visit the Doc.

So, what to do? I went for a good swim today, hacked out some honeysuckle from our yard, and iced the knee. I am hoping all is OK for next weeks Mt. Airy trail run. This is such a fun event, and to those that read this, be there! It's a one (5.3 mi), or two loop (10.5 mi) event that really goes deep into the heart of the Mt. Airy trails. It's also a great introduction to the Stone Steps 50K and 27K (New this year) held in October.

Getting old? I'm not ready for that yet.


Monday, May 03, 2010

Nuthin' Like 10,000+ Wet, Soggy Pigs!

The Sunday morning 6:00 am weather forecast was for a 100% chance of rain, and they were right. Ten hours after this photo was taken, this dry, pristine shirt and shoes were subjected to a heavy, drenching rainfall, thunder, and a few bolts of lightning thrown in for drama.

The 6:30 start was no different. Even though we were all trying to avoid puddles to keep our feet as dry as possible, it was futile, yet despite the rain, thousands of plastic bag-covered runners, the largest field ever, braved the elements and took off for the hills of Kentucky and Cincinnati for the 11th annual Flying Pig Marathon. Fortunately, the temperatures were in the upper 60's, so even though we were all soaked to the core, it wasn't that bad.

I felt great the entire 1/2 marathon distance and was hoping for a 1:30 finish, but the crowd was too large to really push my pace; of course the hills were also a major factor. But, once I tackled all of the hills at the 8 mile point, I felt strong enough to maintain 7-7:30 pace for the remaining 5 miles for a 1:46 finish.

Good race, not too cold, happy with the result!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Coopers Hawk - Our New Neighbor

We have a very impressive friend on our street this spring. This Coopers Hawk has found a nice home on the trees of our home stretch. The first time I saw him (her) he was feasting on a goldfinch carcass, and very contently, I may add. His preferred perch is across the street in a tall ash tree that delivers a great view of the area.

The Coopers Hawk feasts on birds and small rodents...Greta thinks this is a form of cannibalism, but it's just life. Welcome!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dogwood's aBloomin'

We've had a devil of a time with our Dogwood trees over the years, but this Spring we had a nice set of blooms on our pink one. It's not a big tree, but sure is purty! My goal is to take the 4 yards of mulch we received today and make the rest of the yard a little purtier!

Went for a short 1000 yd swim this morning, but felt a little sluggish today; I think it was because it was so nice outside, and I was inside!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dog Days of Spring

Courage, our faithful Chessie is a great dog. Friendly, affectionate... and old. This is a closeup of him laying in the yard today on a beautiful spring afternoon in Cincinnati, but look close and you can see how foggy his eyes are becoming. He gets around OK, but moves slowly. We're not really sure just how old he is, but the vet estimates around 10-11, so there's not much time left for this good ole dog. He's been a challenge at times, but we couldn't ask for a better companion.

Anyway, on to happier things: went for a mile swim yesterday and a nice 10 miler today, so I should be fine for the Flying Pig half. I think my days of long distance are winding down. I just keep getting injured on the really long runs. But, we'll worry about that later. I'm not ready to throw in the towel.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter Has Come...and Gone

The girls look great on their way to church on Easter morn. Me? I stayed home and went for a short run.

It was a beautiful, but kind of hot day for egg and basket hunting, then off to Dan and Peggy's for a nice brunch.

That's about it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Heart Mini Turns Out Great!

Well, I was not in this lead pack, but I sure felt strong the entire way!

I woke up Sunday morning and poked my head out the front door to check the weather. The forecast called for rain all day but it didn't happen. So, instead of heading back to bed, I dressed in my running gear and headed for the kitchen. I grabbed a power bar, a bottle of water and headed downtown for the 8am start. A light drizzle blanketed my car as I made my way along the river to Fountain Square...was there more rain to follow?

7:45...the rain was gone and all 3,500 of us made our way to the start. It was cool and breezy, but dry! 15 minutes went fast and we were off on our 15k (9.35mi) trek down Columbia Parkway.

Temperature was a perfect 45-50 degrees and I felt strong the entire way, but I held back at the beginning because I knew some long, gradual hills were in my future. It paid off in the end. I kept an average 7:30 pace the entire way for a 1:10 finish and was very pleased with the result, coming in 36th out of 202 in my age group and 350th overall; top 10%! Not bad for 47!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Finally Got a Real Suit!

Ok, so for all of the years I have been swimming (which has only been about 8), I have always used the traditional tourist-style suit. You know... long, baggy with that tacky Hawaiian print. Well, with reluctance, I finally "upgraded" to a real competition-style suit; partly for comfort, but also because I wanted to see if it would truly make a difference in performance.

WOW! After 8 years swimming in a sea anchor I am now free. Just a simple equipment change shaved a minute off my 500...without any extra effort. So, I can now swim longer, faster and easier and it only took 8 years to figure it out, or maybe I was just too bashful to put one on. In addition to a new suit, I read the book Total Immersion by Terry Laughlin. A real eye-opener. They also have a good website.

Anyway, the Heart Mini 15k is tomorrow and I'm still deciding if I want to trade a warm bed for wind, rain and cooler temps, but I have until 7:00 am tomorrow to make that decision :o]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Runnin' on the River

Spring is almost here, and with all of the rain we have had the Ohio River is on the rise in Cincinnati! We are at flood stage in the Queen City, so I thought it might be cool to take a camera with me on my 5 mile lunch-time jog across the Cincinnati bridges. As you can see, there ain't much room left on the banks. Anyway, I had a great afternoon trek and look forward to the rest of the weeks' mild weather.

Training-wise, I'm probably going to run the Heart Mini-marathon later this month, a deceptively difficult 9 miler along Columbia parkway. This should ease me into the Flying Pig Half in early May. My long distance runs have become just too damn painful to continue training for the full marathon. I'm cool with that.

Time for taxes...ack!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow, snow and more snow.

I really miss running downtown during lunch – which I have not been able to do for a week + because of this white crap, and with about 13" in most spots and cold temps, it's probably going to last a while. Fortunately, the track around Lunken Airport is cleared off, so I did run 5 miles there on Saturday, but it was very cold and windy. Then Sunday, I glided through a mile swim in the YMCA's over-heated pool. Boy, is that relaxing. I think I almost fell asleep in the water.
Meanwhile, the girls have had the last two day off, one for Pres. Day and the other for snow, but I think they're eager to get back to it.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Beautiful Snow Run

On Saturday morning, I headed down to the Newtown-Loveland bike trail to enjoy the fresh snow. I was the only one out there when I started, and it was great!
We had about 3-4" total, though nothing compared to the east, which is still digging out of 2+ feet. But, on my Saturday run, I wasn't concerned about that. It was too nice.

The cool thing was, after my eight mile run, I only saw 4 other people, and about eight dogs, oh, and I felt great!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cold and Clumsy

Mt. Airy forest is a beautiful place to hit the trails in Cincinnati. There are long, uninterrupted stretches, gradual as well as intense climbs to keep us challenged, and many, many rocks and roots to test your knees, ankles and arches. I tripped over most of them on this cold and windy Saturday and left for home after 5 miles miles...sore. I haven't been on a trail in months, and my legs had joints had forgotten about what it can be like. Here are a couple photos of the trails. Some are easy while other sections are brutal like the infamous Stone Steps.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ursuline Father Daughter Dance

What can I say? Hanley, her friends and I all had a great time. Dinner at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse followed by a very crowded dance at the Hyatt Regency downtown.

By the way, 14 miles last week...getting better every day!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

House Guests...Oh, and I can run again!

What a trio! This week, Courage (left) is hosing some friends, Penny and Real. All is well, except for some casual rolls in deer poop this afternoon. Penny (Center) found the best load of droppings and had to jump in the shower with Maura. I didn't ask what they talked about during their intimate moment, but I'm sure is was just casual conversation :o). Anyway, everyone is getting along just fine except for me! My allergies are not multi-dog friendly!
Good new on the knee front...all is well thanks to good advice from Sophie and the aleve and strength exercise advice. I managed a solid 4+ mile run today with very little discomfort. I just have to remain disciplined in my strength and stretching regimen.
In other news, the Ursuline Father-Daughter dance is tomorrow night. Hanley and I are heading to the Montgomery Inn Boathouse for dinner with 7 other dads and daughters, then off to the Hyatt Regency for the dance. I think we are both nervously excited! It's her first dance...
Photos to come.

Take care and TTFN!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Getting Better!

You know, now that I think about it, Pateller Tendonitis is also called "Jumpers Knee." I've been doing a ton of swimming lately, and wonder if pushing of the wall too hard is causing this? Anyway, feels better today. As long as I keep moving, all is good. I did try (Stupidly) to run today, but after one stride I had to call it quits. I'll wait...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crap-WIll I Ever Recover?

Ok, so I went running last week, and have not run since...seems I have Pateller Tendonitis or bursitis. It is extremely painful to go down hills, ride a bike, walk, and whatever else I do. This sucks since Flying Pig training should be well under way. I have no idea what caused this, but it came on suddenly with a bang. I did run in the snow, which may have screwed up my stride, but did I mention this sucks?
This could take several weeks to fully heal from what I've read...:o(
More to come. Ack!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Sheesh! Post Something!

Well, the New Year is here, Christmas is past, and I am finally posting something, for God's sake! We all had a wonderful Christmas with Maura's family on the eve of, then off to my parents for Christmas dinner. I was a great time at both occasions, though I have to admit, I'm glad to be back at work at DeanHouston doing a lot of multimedia and 3D it!
I recently entered a logo design contest for my sister-in-law's running club, VHTRC, and just found out that my submission was the winner! That is so cool and can't wait till they start using the design.
My hope this year is to train through the winter and run in the Flying Pig Marathon this May, then, maybe, head to West Virginia and run with the VHTRC group at the Highlands Sky 40 miler in June (with a new VHTRC t-shirt). We'll see how it goes. Cincinnati weather has been bitter cold the last week+, so training has been a bit slow.
That's it for now. Be happy and stay tuned!