Sunday, December 15, 2013

SIAC party 2013 review

It was an Awesome night.

In fact the whole day was pretty swell. It started off with a beautiful, snowy trail run featuring a few dogs getting in on the action.

We headed into Manhattan for a the district 2 christmas party where Thira had to pay the piper if you will by sitting on Santa's lap after getting herself on the naughty list this week.

On our way into and back from Manhattan we were surrounded by Santa Con revelers. It would be easy to attack them as drunk idiots causing a ruckus but all I saw was guys and gals dressing up and singing christmas carols so no ragging on them from me until I am subject to the puking Santa and his elves that inevitably happens.

The snow continued to fall all day in a very picturesque fashion. I felt like the ghost of Bing Crosby was next to me singing christmas carols like only he can. Unfortunately, that same specter would probably be beating his ghost wife and kids but what can you do, nothings perfect.

The siac holiday get together was a lot of fun. Let me elaborate.

The ladies looked amazing, especially my beautiful wife Danielle. I believe Hubba Hubba is the appropriate phrase to describe how she looked.

 There was so much good will, everyone mingling, reflecting on the year. I would usually add some snarky comment in here but that would be a lie. It was a fantastic night.
More examples of the fun

Tommy Hart's amazing, Technicolor, dream suit...awesome.

The passing around of the jacket...awesome

The Bayiokos sisters...awesome

The Ferretti, Lenza, and Cross families being there with kids in tow..awesome

Carlos and his cousins dancing...awesome.

The Richmond Rockets... awesome.

Danielle's impression of Stephanie and Yessica...super awesome!

This year's DJ...awesome.

All the award winners...awesome.

Seeing new siac blood at the party, and having a good time... awesome.

The video...awesome.

Scotty dancing...awesome.

The big circle love fest to end the night..way awesome.

My table was awesome.

Nothing crazy, or ridiculous happened just friends letting loose and having a great time.

My philosophy when you go to these types of events. Get off your chair, mingle about, laugh, dance a little even if you suck at dancing, everyone there sucked who cares were a running club not a ballroom dancing club, get out there, shuffle around and clap your hands. It's fun, you'll laugh, smile and great bigger bonds with your friends.

Thats it.
I probably missed most people, if I did it wasn't on purpose you just weren't exciting enough to report about. I kid.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

50K recap Lots of accolades and thank yous

 Right now I am sitting, no laying on the couch. My feet are taking turns cramping up, my legs are worthless at the moment.

 My first confession. In reality I trained for a 25K but ran the 50K.

 The first lap we stuck to the plan 15 minute miles. Talking, laughing taking turns leading our little group. By the time we got to the end of the first loop I knew the second loop was going to hurt. I stopped to change my socks and shirt. It felt fantastic switching those things out, plus I gave Corey and Bob a show at a real mans chest. I hope you boys took a picture.

 The second loop was a test of wills. A fight between the voice in my head telling me to quit and my desire to finish my first 50k. I could have cut a bunch of corners but then it would be a hollow finish.

 One the first loop every aid station was fun. We'd snack, crack jokes with the staff, eat some delicious orange slices etc.. Those same aid stations became cruel on the second loop. I wasn't really hungry or thirsty but I still stopped, I had to my legs literally stopped. restarting into what would best be described as a waddle/jog after stopping or walking got harder as the miles increased.

 The section of the blue trail that is on the slant above St. Andrews Church isn't fun in perfect circumstances and hitting it on the second loop of the 50K was a horrible experience.

 I usually hate the multi use trail hill but the second go round on that wasn't that bad. Even though it's an incline its a smooth gravel path and the break from the twists and turns was well received.

 It's a mental game, that's what I kept telling myself as I was headed to the Nature Center. My legs were stiffing up to such a degree that I couldn't stretch out my legs to take bigger steps even if i wanted to. A few miles from finishing, yet it seemed like the Grand Canyon was in front of me.

 I press on.

Sad that we didn't climb up Moses Mt. but its not going anywhere so we will climb it at a later date i'm sure. Crossing Manor rd. and knowing that it's the last street crossing of the race was a great feeling. The last section of the race was full of winding, hilly trails. Again, fun on the first loop but overwhelming on the second. I was running with a nice fellow named Louis from Brooklyn. It was his first Ultra distance as well so we slugged out the rest of the race together. We finally made it back to Camp Kaufman but that's not the end. The course takes a winding path back to the finish with a final trip up these torturous steps up the side of the hill. In a weird way I was glad to hit these steps for the third time because I knew the end was near. I went as fast as i could, which was pathetic but I crossed the finish line with my held held high, actually it was flopping from side to side. I could barely hold it up.

 It was a great surprise to see Danielle and the girls there. i am glad I told my girlfriend not to come. that would have been awkward. I finished no where near what I had hoped to do and I told myself that this ultra stuff isn't for me, one and done. A few hours later and I am already planning on how I can train properly for another 50k. From the waist up I felt great the entire time, so the cross training paid off. I just need to dedicate myself to the long miles.

 At this time I'd like to thank Matt and George from King of the Mountain, They put on this race and they did an amazing job. I found the course well marked, and extremely challenging. Well done.

 Dorothy Reilly and the entire Greenbelt Conservancy staff/volunteers did their usual stellar job, As did NYC Parks.

 My friend Jamie ran strong but had to leave early, she will be back and I bet will place somewhere.

 Bob, Corey and I formed a group called the Rainbow Connection. It's as ridiculous as it sounds. The finished about 20 minutes ahead of me. Nice work boys,but upstage your captain again and I'll slice your achilles.

 Andy Cross made this course his bitch. He is a true gentleman and an exceptional runner kudos Andy.

 So many of us from SIAC ran one of the races offered today. A great showing of sportsmanship, and friendship.

 Our big boss Mark flew in from Hollywood to run the 25K, he destroyed it.

 I believe that the biggest winners in the 25K was the SIAC woman. Running hard and being led by Kerry McCole the ladies did great. Stephanie, Yessica, Amy, Kristen and if their are others I apologize but let's not forget our friend Sharon. A new runner to our group but wow what a champ. Running her first 25k and doing it with style.

 To everyone who came to my Saturday morning runs I want to sincerely thank you. we all went through these trails mile after mile and formed great, long lasting friendships. That to me was the highlight during this entire endeavor. Meeting every Saturday morning when it would be easier to sleep in and putting in the miles.

 I know I didn't name everyone, there was a lot of us out there. Rest assured you will all be recognized at the next SIAC meeting.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

50K all day...25K part of the day!

I figured that since I know a thing or two about a thing or two. I'd put out some suggestions for my friends that are going to compete in the upcoming Staten Island Trail Festival.

 Firstly Hydration. It's never to soon to make sure that you are properly hydrated. This means water. How much depends on who you are. The simplest way to tell if your in ggod shape is looking at your peeper. If it's a light yellow your mellow. Anything to dark is no good. If its clear you can back off a bit.

Today is Tuesday you say, I don't need to worry about that until Thursday. You're an idiot I say. Proper hydration is important always to keep your metabolism firing at a maximum level and helping with digestion. Also a hydrated muscle is a happy muscle. Water is used in between the muscle fibers as a lubricant. Much like oil is used in a car engine, no oil and you get metal grinding together. This is obviously a bad thing. If you are going to run 25 or 50k you want those muscles in your feet,legs, butt, back, shoulders, arms, and abs lubed up and running smoothly.

 Carbo loading, The Friday night pasta binge is more of a ritual that a benefit. CArbo loading should begin a few days out from the event. Dense complex carbs such as steel cut oats, every vegetable there is, quinoa. Plain pasta, white bread the old bad guys are pretty weak as far as fuel goes. Simple carbs, simple sugars not a lot of nutritional benefits.

 Don't forget protein, quality protein helps your muscles repair and grow.

 Fat, if your an active person you need fat.Good fat obviously. Fat protects our organs,lubricates joints, cells, acts as fuel. Fat its necessary.

Today, (Tuesday) I hit the trails for a little shake out. probably 4 miles, very relaxed pace my calves are still sore from the weekend so I kept it very casual.

 This week is about staying loose, keeping active. Wherever your at fitness wise isn't going to change in 3 days.

You can't do a crash course in getting fit. It's a long term process.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Multisport man as of today.

 Where to begin?

 As Chris Calimano and I drove into New Jersey to attempt our first off road run bike run event a sense of relief came over me. I know none of these people, I have never done anything like this before, and yesterday I led a group on a 12.5 mile trail run so my legs were already fried.

 Run 2 miles, no problem.

Bike two 5.5 loops, okey dokey.

Run a second 2 mile loop, easy peasy.

We sign in, put our bike down and get ready.

 The first loop I got stuck in a very slow pack along a single track so i knew right away that this was going to be a long day. My legs felt pretty good though so i was looking forward to the bike.

 My first transition area! Very exciting, I ran in grabbed my helmet, picked up my bike and away i went. I didn't bring my clip in shoes and I regretted that but again this was my first time. A cherry popping experience.

 Splish splash through a tiny creek and away we go. I am finally using my bike for what it was intended. powering over everything, gearing down low as I climb up and over roots and rise to the top of the hills. Super glad I have the 29 inch wheels.

 My first down hill on a mountain bike in over 20 years, HOLY SHIT  I forgot how fast this goes. Flying over roots, hitting every switch back, weaving big rocks, grazing past trees that were way to close to the trail. Leveling out I had a giant smile on my face. This was amazing, oh yeah more up hills. this is horrible.

 About 3.5 miles into the first loop I caught Chris, who although an experienced IronMan has little to no experience on a mountain bike. In fact the bike he rode today he borrowed earlier that morning so he was extremely cautious. I passed him and set on to do the second loop.

 My legs were sore and tired but my hands, my hands took the brunt of the downhill. They felt like they were in smashed by sledge hammers. I couldn't believe i had to do that all over again.

 Here goes loop number 2.

This time there were very few headed out. The speedies were well into lap #2 so I was with just a few bikes not the line I started out with during my first loop. A funny thing happened on the second loop. I was definitely faster, things that came to me during the first loop seemed to come quicker the second time around. The downhills were amazing. I kept flying down faster, and faster hopping up and over roots and rocks and really digging into the switchbacks, pedaling out of the curve to gain speed into the next turn. Such a rush! Just a ton of fun on the bike.

 By the time I hit the transition area i was looking fwd. to running the second 2 mile trail run loop. Bike down, water bottle in hand and I'm off. "You're helmet!" A nice lady saw me leving with my helmet on, a pretty newb experience but whatever.

 A weird thing happened as i got off my bike and started running. My human legs were replaced with wooden table legs. My mobility was so bad that the Tin Man would have beaten me. To make matters worse I got lost for about a half a mile so I added more distance to already dead legs.

 I lumbered into the finishing line sore, stiff, and tired, but ultimately satisfied with my ice breaking event. I will be searching out more off road duathalons, and even triathlons in the future.

 Some advice as i leave you tonight.

Buy a bike that fits you and your needs. I did and I am so happy that i did. it saved me a lot of time and exhaustion.

Train for the event your about to do. I did, a little but in the future i will train a lot more for these type events.

Do not do a 13 mile trail run the day before this event. That is what killed legs today, i knew it would though so I am not concerned by it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why Danielle is my hero.

  On this day, seven years ago, I watched Danielle finally get some peace after 6 weeks of torture.

 When we found out that Danielle was pregnant we were obviously ecstatic, the pregnancy was going along fine, at first. Eventually after a few ultrasounds they started getting concerned by the fluid levels, they were to low and the placement of the placenta was another concern, but it was early so lets be positive.

 Summer came and went, we got a check up before our annual Assateaque trip and it was a pretty positive report. When we came back from that trip though thing changed dramatically.

 The fluid levels, still low now had them concerned that Thira's kidneys might be compromised and the placement of the placenta was now a worry. Our folder was switched to a red one, not the best feeling.

 We were sent to see a specialist who sat us down in a dingy, dark office. It's his job to tell us every single horrible scenario that could possibly happen. We walked out of there in complete shock. We were basically told that as of right now if Thira was to arrive her chances of survival were 50% at best.

 Not soon after this pleasant news Danielle had to go on bed rest. Thira had started to push against her placenta which was completely blocking Danielle's cervix. This caused some bleeding. We rushed to the hospital in terror and panic. This began Danielle's semi permanent residence at Staten Island University Hospital. A week in, a week at home, more bleeding so back in we go. A constant monitor on her belly with the swooshing sound of Thira's heart beat. Steroids were injected to help Thira's lungs develop faster and more grim news about the survival rates of premies. Danielle was at 25 weeks. A fetuses lungs develop at 28 weeks. The hope was to get to 28 weeks.

 For the next month time went ridiculously slowly. Every day when I was at work I was waiting for a call that the worst has happened. I got a few calls that Danielle had another spotting episode but it was contained. Then I started hearing about the kidney pain.

 One of the ways to stop contractions is to make sure you are hydrated, so in the hospital they kept her on an IV This caused her kidneys to freak out. They would give Danielle incredibly powerful drugs and she would scream herself awake in agony. They did x-rays, tests, conferences etc. Danielle didn't care all she cared about was giving Thira every chance she could. She would scream and cry the pain was unbearable. I sat there like a lump powerless to help in any way. At this point I very little connection to Thira, not like Danielle did anyway so all I cared about was Danielle's well being. All Danielle cared about was Thira's.

 "Pray for a girl' the nurses kept saying. For some reason premie girls do better than boys. All the while that this is happening we still kept the sex a mystery. All we had was the constant whooshing of the heart monitor. It never waivered by the way. Thira, was a champion even in dire circumstances.

 We finally got to 28 weeks it was as if a giant rusty clock full of cobwebs creaked its minute hand past midnight and we sighed a bit of relief. On her own Danielle had figured out a system. As soon as she figured out that the pain in her kidney was approaching she would pee. This kept the pain manageable, small victories at this point.

 Week 29! every day, hell every hour that Thira stayed in utero was a victory.  Hospitals are not restful places. Lots of beeps, boops, and blinks to keep you from really getting a restful sleep. One day my sister and brother in law came up to visit and we were all just kinda hanging out when we were told that today is the day. "Why today?" we asked in utter disbelief. The reason was that the baby is big enough that they believe she will survive yet if Thira stayed in to much longer she could rupture the placenta and then there is real trouble so we were at a sweet spot.

 One hour after they told us this Thira was born. Two pounds six ounces of screaming fury. The operating room was tense. There were probably 12 people in there not including Danielle and I. Later I found out that this was not normal. Once Thira emerged a team of pediatric doctors took her away checked her out and rushed her upstairs. We saw a tennis ball sized head for a split second then she disappeared.

 About 10 minutes later a nurse was staring into the room. I thought she had a look of fright to her. I was told to go with her. I steadied myself for the worst but it turns out that I had to sign a form so that they could do whatever procedures they needed to for Thira's well being. I was walked past all the sleeping new borns into another dark room with the premies and there lying in an incubator was a stretched out, buck naked, screaming in furious rage Thira. The cord that leads to her belly button was extended, and open they were going to put a feeding tube in it to feed her. At 29 weeks and 2 days she was to early to know how to swallow yet. I stared at an incredibly small, but powerful creature pissed off that we disturbed her habitat. I walked out of there relieved. I knew she would be fine. I always look at Thira knowing she will be just fine.

 Back to Danielle. She is being sewn up. I don't see her again until she is wheeled out. She is sleeping for the first time in 6 weeks. While she sleeps I call everyone to let them know where we are, that Thira has arrived and for now things are good. During those 6 weeks I kept the family updated about Danielle with late night calls. I would sit in the cafeteria in solitude or i'd be home staring into space while Danielle was in one of the many rooms listening to the monitor, white knuckling it through the kidney pain.

 It took a year for me to process how stressful those 6 weeks truly were. It beat me up physically and mentally but it really knocked Danielle on her ass. It took a long time for her to feel like herself again in every aspect.  Lying on your back for 6 weeks and then having major abdominal surgery takes a massive toll. One bright spot once Thira arrived the kidney pain disappeared.

 Never complaining, never whining. No hint of a pity party. Just focus and in hindsight sacrifice. Danielle would have gladly sacrificed her life in that hospital if it ensured that Thira would survive. Whenever I am reminded of those 6 weeks I think back at how I would stare at Danielle in awe really at how incredibly strong she is. I knew then that she is doing heroic, and that I am still now inspired by what she did 7 years ago. Her OBGYN Dr. Spierer, who delivered both girls, and who is a saint called me when I was home to assure me that both Danielle and I would be fine. I knew they would be but it felt greta for him to say it. He then said that Thira will never know what Danielle did for her and that is the truest thing I ever heard.

 I owe Danielle 2 debts that I can never repay.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Assateaque wrap up.

 So once I was on the mend everything started to look up. The camper issues while still there weren't such a big deal. The weather picked up as well. Tuesday turned out to be a terrific beach day. That night the girls and I cooked outside, and had marshmallows by the fire.

 Wednesday, We needed a few things so i headed out to the store early. As I drove into town a fog rolled in to meet me. Fog is another thing that You don't usually see at Assateaque but here it is. As I drove in Danielle started texting me then my phone froze. I tried every trick I knew but it was frozen on the Samsung image. No biggie I headed to the Walmart where my cell phone plan runs through.

 While in the store I grabbed some things for breakfast and I noticed that the smallest packages of various things down there were equal to out large here and what we consider small was non existent .

 The greasy haired kid at the electronic desk gave me the bad news that my phone was fried. Buy cheap and you pay for it. Alright I thought after what happened  to me earlier this week this is no big deal.

 Driving back home is the fog it felt okay in a weird way. The fog felt comforting in a weird way. Crossing over the bridge to get to Assateaque the fog started to peel away, the sky was clearing up and it felt like whatever bad juju was around me was gone.

 The weather was nice but not terribly hot, low 80s the water temp was in the low 70s so when a wave engulfed you it made you lose your breath for a second but it also felt fantastic. Every time a wave crashed over it felt like a baptism, and every time i walked out of the ocean it felt like a rebirth.

 Lots of late nights watching the clouds move in and then the stars emerge. My last night there was a new moon so the sky was electric with stars. the mornings that I was up early I headed to the beach to witness sunrises that were humbling.

 Sunday night I wanted to sell the camper and never go there again, by Wed. night we were planning out the days for next year.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Whatever I did to offend you Posideon I apologize.

Assateaque 2013, what a kick in the balls.

The lead up to this vacation was great. Everything went as planned. That morning we packed up the truck, hooked it up to the camper and took off.

The drive down was easy, Danielle even tok over the reigns for a bit. Once we got to the ferry I switched back into the drivers eat to get the truck and camper onto the boat.

Here's where our story gets interesting.

I pulled onto the ferry following the lead of the worker and I realized that she steered me way to close to the side wall but no biggie really.

We hopped out of the truck and went upstairs, the ferry takes off and we are thrust into some seriously choppy waters. the boat does some serious rocking the kids think its a blast and i used it as an excuse to get some sleep.

As the boat prepares to dock we head back into the truck. The trailer ahead of me pulls out and I get the wave to proceed. i turn the key and I get flashing lights and a clicking buzz. I try again same thing. The guy waves me on as I look at him with a face of sheer panic and wave him to me. He knew right away what was wrong, had me pop the hood and jump started me. A sigh of relief left me as I leaned out and asked what the hell happened there. He told me to check my battery as they jump start about 4 other cars. We deduced that the severe rocking tripped something in the truck and the other vehicles.

Usually when I leave the ferry and drive into Delaware it's a pleasant hour and fifteen minutes of back country driving. this time I was in full panic that the trucks battery, or worse yet the alternator was shot. I pulled into an Auto Zone and had them do a battery test. The nice employee showed me that the battery was in fact fine. With this new sense of security I proceeded to the campsite.

 When you pull into a campsite at Assateaque you have to back it in. Usually this takes me a couple of times, backing in straightening it out backing it undone. This time I couldn't focus right it took me a longer time than is should have to back the camper in, another clue perhaps that things weren't exactly kosher. As we begin to unpack a little girl comes over and instantly becomes friends with my oldest daughter Thira, her family also has an airstream so we all bonded instantly. Anyway back to unpacking I pull out my generator and start it up and of course its running rough, this piece of shit generator ran smooth as silk the week before when I tested it at home. Then to annoy me even further the fridge in my camper was not cycling over properly. Refrigerators in campers or RVs are called 3 ways. They run off of standard 120 power, 12v battery power and propane. They are supposed to smoothly cycle between the three, this one would not. This fridge is two years old and costs way more than you think it should. Needless to say i was pissed.

We had a great night that hanging out with our new Airstream friends in their rv eating ribs from Smokers.

The next day we finished setting up than ran out for breakfast and supplies. All the while I was dragging ass. I was exhausted and grumpy. When we finally got out to the beach it was windy and cold so that didn't help my mood. That night we headed out to the boardwalk and I had zero appetite in fact eating was the last thing that I wanted to do, my temper was super short and every time I sat down I was falling asleep. This is all adding up to a doozy of a night.

The kids had fun though and after a while we headed home. I had Danielle drive the 10 miles back and I instantly fell asleep. Passed out cold. I barely remember getting out of the truck and walking into the camper. I know I was in there because I woke up a few hours later in a state that I have never dealt with before.

 Here we go, this is the good stuff.

I'd say it was about 2 am and I woke up with a red hot fever, super nauseous, my head completely stuffed and shaking. I knew this was trouble. I ran outside, grabbed hold of the garbage can and let it go. This scenario happened four different times. Falling asleep for a minute, waking up because I can't breathe, and of course nauseous.

At one point I wanted to call 911 but Danielle yelled at me horrified that we would wake up the neighbors, She willed me to go to sleep which I thankfully did for a couple of hours.

As the sun started peeking through the Airstreams windows i woke Danielle and the girls up. I was freezing, shivering, sweating, nauseous, stuffed, and panting like a dog. I couldn't take a deep breath so I was taking these short little ones and since I was stuffed my mouth and throat was dry so I was constantly sticking my tongue out like previously stated dog.

Thankfully the ride to the hospital was close and although the walk to the emergency room door from the truck was short it took me forever. When they asked me my info I had to stop, take a deep breath, and concentrate so i could tell them the correct info such as my name, address, med. history. At the time this was a chore.

Luckily the wait was short so I saw the doc pretty quickly. The sinus infection was obvious but he wanted me to do a chest X-ray as well. When I was done with the exam and X-ray i was hanging out waiting for the results and I of course had to blow my nose. There was a box of tissues five feet behind me but I had to convince myself to get up and get them.

The Xray showed that my right lung was infected, pneumonia. What the fudge. Who gets pneumonia while camping on the beach? A man who pissed of the god of the Seas thats who. Obviously I did something to upset him which is why he made the ferry ride so rocky and my equipment malfunction, and he must of sent a crab up from the shore Sunday night that was infected with the bacteria that gave me the pneumonia. The crab snuck into the camper and proceeded to shake the pneumonia onto me as I was sleeping. This all makes perfect sense to me now as I look back at it all.

Thankfully the powers of modern medicine are stronger than that of a Greek gods. I was given a little pill for nausea that dissolved on my tongue while in the hospital which started my road to recovery and I took the first two pills of the Zpac that were prescribed to me right away. By the time I was back at the campsite i was feeling much better. Within a half hour I was hungry and a half hour after that I was walking out to the beach feeling as strong as Hercules. Amazing what modern medicine can do, I also attribute my hastened recovery to my lifestyle. Right before Assateaque i was in the middle of a great workout routine and a very healthy diet so my body was primed for the recovery.

My personal battle with Posideon was over, so I thought. Tune in for the next tale in the saga of my 2013 Assateaque adventure. it gets wackier before it gets calmer.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Throwing good runs after bad

 A few weeks ago I was taking part in the siac long run. I wanted to do 8  but at 6.5 I felt destroyed due to heat, lack of road work, etc. etc. so I did finish the 8 but instead of storming to the finish like a conquering hero I stumbled in feeling like a fish out of water choking for oxygen.

 This morning I woke up to do another long run and I have to admit that I didn't want to. I kept thinking about the last run and how I felt like shit afterwards and I ket laying in bed making more excuses. Lucia's party is today, i have so much to do so I should skip the run. Here's the thing though, every tie I thought of an excuse I talked myself out of it so I got up, got dressed, and drove to meet the others.

 The run went well and while I was talking to my fellow runners I came to a realization, it's our own head that truly dictates how we run. We all have aspects of running that we don't like but there are certain circumstances that can truly screw us up in the head and we talk ourselves out of achieving a goal that is attainable, as difficult as it may be to achieve it, it is possible.

 Thankfully I didn't let the negative voices win and because of that I know have a positive experience to feed off of for the next long run.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow.

 Into the shadows we went. A rag tag band of eight. Three men of brawn, and five women molded in the image of Athena did not hesitate before plunging into a tangle of green.

 Stripped to the barest of essentials we began. Breathing was a kin to sucking pea soup through a straw. An immediate attack of annoying, flying insects swarmed around all of our heads, buzzing into our eyes, nose, and ears. One of us, a new runner to our group was met with a bee sting to the abdomen yet she did not waiver.

 I had the lead, one of the perks of being a captain I guess more so because I had a route in mind. Whenever I lead a trail run I imagine myself as an old steam locomotive chugging along as the train follows behind. The route I chose had certain areas that are usually very muddy, not today. We are in the middle of a pretty strong heat wave so all of the usual muddy spots are drying up quickly. I also chose that route because I hoped that there would still be wider trails for us. Luckily for us that was mostly the case.

 As we traveled down the trail the golf course appeared on our right and the biting flies appeared on my head. This little buggers are annoying. They have a yellow shine and are more streamlined that a common house fly. I hate them, they always bite my head, it doesn't leave a mark, or a welt but man does it sting when it happens.

 On the back side of this trail we encountered a lone soul on a mountain bike, we slashed his tires, took his wallet and poured his water on to the ground. "Your kind isn't wanted round these parts!" we shouted. He begged for mercy as we left him trembling on his knees.

 A few street crossing led us to the back of High Rock Park. This is a long uphill, one of my favorites actually getting to the top always feels like an accomplishment especially today. As a made it to the top one of the ladies was right behind me I desperately crawled for a bench as she looked around as if she was still waiting for the hill.  When you get to the top of this hill your usually at the highest point of the run unless you head to Todt Hill but that trail was in the wrong direction, and filled with nasty ghouls and goblins or so i've been told.

 We regrouped at the top guzzled water like a weird pack of camels and pressed on. Down a bit then up a little bump then a long, luxurious down hill back to the streets which we crossed in a pretty ugly fashion I must admit. At this point we were all feeling a bit ragged and a little loopy so we get a pass.

 Once again we entered another portal into the shadows and green. The path we took back we relatively straight for a trail that is. We didn't diverge onto other trails as we met with the "Steps". The reality of the "Steps' is that it is not that big of a hill but we usually hit it at the end of a run so it feels a lot worse than it is. Once your at the top though every direction is downhill so knowing that helps me get to the top of the steps with some pep. Tonight had a little less pep due to the heat but whatever, you know what I mean.

 You know when your at a  party and everyone starts to leave but you still have a small group hanging around and it's a great time because you're all friends except that one guy who doesn't quite fit in Either he's to drunk, or just plain obnoxious yet he doesn't take the hint to go. That is what the heat/humidity was like tonight. It was always there, hanging around like that jerk at the party.

 Any banana, we rounded the last mile of twisty, turny, downhill. The exact same path that we started on but of course we finished up in reverse which is generally beneficial since it's mainly downhill. Round and round we go until what appears but the exit. We shoot out of the trees and stumble towards the water fountain and feebly try to replenish the gallons of water that we sacrificed to the trails tonight.

 The journey was only 5.? miles but with the heat, hills, and bugs it was a glorious fight every step of the way. I look at these dead of summer runs as the payment for the Fall and Spring runs which are Disney like in their beauty.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Here we go. Summer training begins this week for my fall half marathons

 Starting Sept. 8th I will be running a half marathon of some sort just bout every other week until November 9th when I finish up this silliness at the Walt Disney World's Wine and Dine Half marathon.

 To do this I am going to follow  training plan something I havent really done since I trained for the goofy challenge a while back. 

 Since the first race is September 8 and its June 2nd my training begins now.........with a rest day. Oh boy I am annoyed. I ran a Spartan Sprint with a large group of my wife's workmates yesterday and what I mostly got out of it was a lot of scrapes and little satisfaction. So today we rest, work on the camper and probably plot out my training and nutritional road map for the next 5 months. Nutritionally I take a very simple approach, up the veggies and the proteins form all sources and chuck out as many man made things as I can. The amount of calories I will be eating will vary on how hard I am working during hat time frame but I can tell you that I am going to be eating a lot and still dropping some weight.

 I will be running 4 days a week Tuesday track workouts, Thursday runs of some nature tempo, or fartlek, Saturday trails, and Sunday long runs which will be true tempo, and long runs,

 Where i am at starting this program is pretty good. I can already bang out 8-10 good miles at a comfortable pace and I could definitely run a full 13.1 now at a very casual pace but I have personal goals of coming in under 2:00 hrs for most of these halfs. Something I have yet to officially do.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let the Sunshine, let the Sunshine in.

 What would you do ho hooo for a Klondike bar. Nothing really, they're not my favorite. What would I do for a run like last night? Luckily I don't have to do much except go run again.

 We were a small but dedicated group last night. to finish up the mileage we added some of the multi use trail along Forest Hill Rd. Its a great training patg because you can really fly down the descnet and then power your heiney back up the incline.

 I though, have a weird thing with this path. In 2011 i ran my first Cold Feet 10k.  This was a month after my first Marathon at WDW that didn't go so great but it was my first time. Funny how a first time marathon can last way longer than one wants and another very important first time can last WAY shorter than one would like( I heard anyway).

 There was another first that happened before that 10k. My first elective surgery in which i had to be knocked out. To be blunt the surgery (a vasectomy) had some healing issues. By the time the Cold Feet came around I had been through the wringer. I spent a couple of weeks on the couch trying to heal as the two mangos that showed up in my crotch made walking let alone running a bit problematic. So running up the Multi use trail always reminds me of trying to Macho-up (I think I just made that up.) thast hill during a slushy, cold, swollen 10k.

Something happened this run though. A transformative bit of running as  began powering up "Swollen Nut" hill as it will now be called. I decided to slow down my tempo yet as i did that i started going faster. "What was this sorcery?" I thought to myself. I deliberately slowed down, or did I? What I actually did was straighten up my posture, did the looping circular stride that has a Chi Running style to it and lastly I began serpentining a bit. I'm not sure why but  started weaving as I went up the hill and miraculously it seemed to help. Instead of going straight up I got a bit of a rhythm and i weaved my way up that hill and it felt effortless. i even slowed down to purposefully screw up my gate to see if I could get it back and I did.

 That hill climb at the end was the perfect ending to one of the nicest runs i've had in a while.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wiping the dust of this joint

Wow this place has gotten dusty, a little lonely.

I've been a busy beaver as of late and this lil' blog has suffered.

New stuff, like a new part time job. A refocus on my running/training.

I didn't even detail this years High Rock Challenge. A great time, both how we did and the event but I am disappointed in my performance.

The kids are doing fantastic, Lucia has begun to use the potty Thank Fucking God!

Most importantly I have begun putting together a long term plan for where I want to be in five years.

It's nice to have this type of clarity.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The vunerability of a runner

 Well today was one of those days that doesn't make sense. 9-11, Super storm Sandy, Newtown elementary, today. These days will happen and unless you are directly or even indirectly affected it feels like a kick in the gut instead of a shovel to the face.

 I heard the first reports regarding Boston and immediately thought "Here we go again." I also started hoping that it was some weird power issue like the monitoring equipment was overloaded. Since it was at the finish line I hoped it was something like that.

 When I first saw the video footage I knew it was a cowardly act and not an equipment malfunction. I read somewhere that people were pissed that the runners who were at the finish line when the explosion went off that they continued on and some of them were checking their watches.

 I feel like defending the runners for a moment. First of all, getting into Boston is a hard thing to do. You must qualify and the times are not forgiving. It is a premiere marathon so all of those who are running it have sacrificed a lot to get there. I have only run a couple of marathons, slowly at that so I have a strong admiration for anyone who qualifies for Boston.

 Whether you are running a 5k or a 50k when you know that you are close to the finish your adrenaline picks up and even though you a mile ago you thought that you couldn't even pick your feet up for another step you start to run again because pretty soon you are going to see the finish line and that gets you running a little faster and then you see it, the end, you get to that banner and you are done. Legs that are spent and now sprinting, you get tunnel vision, all you see is directly in front of you. When I am finishing a race everything fades away. My feet don't feel like they are even touching the ground, All I hear is a swooshing, and all I see is the finish, all I want is to be done. So when I saw those runners finishing as if they ignored the explosion I understood it, now, I also saw the terrified looks on the faces of the runners who were seconds behind. They has to run past the explosion, they had to see the smoke, the carnage, the injured. Their experience was a lot more traumatic, they also ran faster than they thought possible over the finish line but they were running from a nightmare. Finishing Boston should be a running highlight, a crowning moment showcasing all the hard work that a runner put in. The thing about running a marathon is that if your not in the running community you don't really care. Running is a solitary act, and even when you are with a group the only control you have is yourself.

 This is what I mean by the vunerability of a runner. Look at all of the people who were spectating today, none of then did anything to the runners yet they easily could have. When runners are on the road there is that risk of getting hit by a car, fortunately that is rare. When you run a race you strip everything away, you are raw, exposed, and when you are finishing a race you let go of everything and you do this because of an inherent trust of your fellow man and today shattered that.

Friday, April 12, 2013

An amazing business opportunity for you. Just sit and watch this video.

"I have something i'd like to share with you. " "Okay, what is it." "It'll only take a few minutes of your time, whenever you are free." "Fine, what's it about"

So a few weeks ago I had a very similar conversation with someone I just met. So I said sure and watched this person set up a portable dvd machine and saw that they had a utility bill in their hand. One last time i asked what this was about. "It's just a three minute video." 'Is this MLM?" Hemming and hawing "Yes". "I'm not doing it." I got a smile but angry eyes. As if I knew that what this person was doing was bullshit. This particular MLM dealt with utilities much like Ambit or they millions or others.

 The pitch didn't end, they were having a monthly meeting that night and the speaker who is making 80,000 a month btw. (bullshit) is just a regular Joe. This is the exact same speech that i was given a few years ago, same worthless product same promise of quick riches.

Fuck you.

Fuck you for thinking I am gullible enough to be sucked into your chain. Fuck you for thinking that
it's good business practice to refuse to tell someone what you want them to be involved with until after they watch a video.

My patience for politely saying no thank you to anyone who wants to include me in their amazing opportunity has completely worn away.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013



I got two..........that I know of ha ha!

Two girls, aged 6 and 2 1/2.

I always knew I wanted kids but in my mind I never pictured two girls. One of each or two boys but not two girls.

All of my preconceived notions about raising kids especially girls have been wiped away. The biggest reality check is that just because they are both my girls and they are sisters does not mean that they have the same interests or likes.

In fact they are very opposite and have been since day one.

I finally swerve around to my point. I look at each of my girls in completely differently.

Thira, shows up way to early, is way to small, but absolutely slays the world.

Lucia, cruises in right on time, nice and plump, and then makes me worry about her a lot.

Did you know that mother hippos will push their baby hippos into a pile of crocodiles. These
crocodiles will move out of that baby hippos way even though they could easily kill it. They respect the hippo even the little ones. This how I feel about Thira, I feel like I could throw her into the most precarious situations and she would walk away unscathed.

Lucia, although a lot more physical than Thira is also a lot more delicate. She's quieter, not as out going and she is needier.Her development is amazing to watch though. She has grown a lot these past 6 months. A stronger, more confident child than she was a year ago. Two kids, two different paths, two different humans.

Two girls, a few years apart and worlds apart regarding who they are. Yet the bonds are incredibly strong. They will both for no reason start running circles around the house, sporadically attack each other etc. etc. yet there are moments that I consider gifts. When ever Lucia looks over at Thira and immediately begins imitating her I get such a joy watching it. Thira helping Lucia do something new. All of us playing the Wii U.

 Lucia is laying next to me, she peed through her diaper and just a few minutes ago she was babbling her way to sleep. Making a lot of noise because she wanted to stay awake and she was deliberately pestering me. I like this, an emerging personality even an annoying one is very important for her development and individuality.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Turning 'em off and tuning in.

 Soooo yesterday was the Cold Feet 10k trail race. I would like to recap my experience of said race for you right here, right now.

 I wasn't even sure If i was going to be able to run the race. 1, I hadn't been running much lately for numerous reasons and secondly I was almost going to be out of town for an important matter but luckily I didn't have to be so it turns out I got to race.

 Felt good when I woke up yesterday, ate, drove to the race, got bib, shirt, said hello easy peasy.

 I did like 1 minute of warm up but I had been preparing all week for the race, leg work, core work, flexibility work through my Ki-Hara training, running, of course, so I knew I was ready.

 Boom the starter pistol goes off.........away we go the fleas and water bugs are immediately way in front as we pass around a bend before hitting the trails. The trails really tighten up in the beginning so I waited before I started to pass anyone. I also knew that the trail was a slight incline here so I powered up but didn't go to crazy. Once I knew we leveled out i picked it up a bit and when we hit the first hill I really started to loosen the legs and move. My plan was simple run fast where the trail was good, run smart through the mud and power up the hills depending on how muddy they were.

 I must say this worked really well. I slowed down at a few really sloppy spots knowing that I would pick it backup onve it cleared up and I did. Climbing to the top of the step hill I felt great i knew a nice downhill was coming but i also felt a pressure. I had to pee. There was a couple of guys ahed of me but no one directly behind me at this time so as i ran i whipped it out and pee'd, all over my legs. I didn't care a bit I was running strong and had no intention of stopping. Pass the aid station and up the hill behind the Nature Center slowly picking up speed and picking off runners.

 Down the long red trail hill Ii was beating back challenger after challenger. The pounding of their feet was a drum beat. A drum beat that i usually let pass me by but those days are over. I kept pushing harder, through the muck, over the fallen trees, onto the relatively flat path all the way back to the last hill. A short but steep incline that leads to back to the finish. My plan was to save mu strength up this hill but the hell hounds were still at my feet so i powered up it like a diesel locomotive unstoppable and I knew that once I made a turn it was down hill or flat all the way home. With each turn I picked it up even more, passing one more runner as i looked for daylight out of the trails. The breath of Hades still on my neck but it was loud and unsteady. This whole time my breathing was strong, consistent, my legs were springy and responsive I began to get that detached feeling I get where my legs don't even touch the ground like Mercury I flew through the course.

 Out of the woods and just a little bit left i hear my shadow trying to pass but there's no way I am letting that happen now. I led the entire way and i am finishing in the ahead of him. I pass a gorilla on the path and KICK. I am pulling away! No, I pulled away now It was about finishing as strong as possible. Hearing the cheers form my fellow runners I rounded the last corner looked at the clock said "FUCK" to myself because i misse my goal  by 2 minutes and collapsed onto Steve Zimmerman's shoulders as he pulled my tab off of my bib.

 I ran as hard as I could the entire time. I never quit, and i didn't listen to the voices that used to tell me to quit. In fact those voices weren't really there. I had beaten them back by being prepared for this race. Sure, recently I hadn't been running much but over the past two months I had. I stayed consistent through the holidays, kept my diet tight, and it paid off.

 I still finished mid pack as always but I placed 2nd in the Clydesdale division for male runners 220lbs. and over. My first time ever placing for a running event so I feel like I broke the ice.

 I did this all with no watch, no music, didn't carry anything with me as far as water or gels. The entire race I was listening to my body. I was in tune to my breathing, how my legs were feeling, Are my shoulders shrugging,  I would periodically check my arm swing. All in all it was a race in which I ran as hard as i could the entire time as long as it was smart to do so.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My own High Rock Challenge

 One of the biggest running events on Staten Island is the High Rock Challenge. It's an 8 mile trail run with mental and physical challenges scattered throughout. The race is a two person team and some of the challenges require cooperation so your partner is a key component.

 My High Rock partner for the past 4 runs has retired so I put out the call for a new partner and from City of Brotherly Love my call was answered.  There she is waiving, waiving at all of you fools as we pass you by. My game has to be at 100% because Jamie is fast. I, am not as fast but I have the experience of the High Rock, knowledge of the trails, and luckily for me the longer the race goes the better I perform.

 This brings me to my own challenge. I began right after Christmas as far as upping my workouts and restricting my diet.As of two days ago, monday feb. 11th I have decided to up it even further. Workouts and or runs will occur 7 days a week, unless I feel the need to pull back a day and rest the I will be a 6 day a week guy.
Here is my schedule at optimum availability.

Monday: teaching and participating in 1 hour H.I.I.T. class

Tuesday: Hill repeats while pushing the stroller during the day
                teaching and participating in 1 hour class core conditioning

Wednesday: night time trail run 6 miles approx.

Thursday: Teaching and participating in afternoon and evening classes
                  tempo trail runs approx 5 miles

Friday: Possible trail run or rest day depending on how body feels

Saturday: Longer group trail run Saturday morning with added outdoor bootcamp style training for High Rock.

Sunday: Long road run but also I am leading 1 hour hikes through the Greenbelt.

As far as nutriton goes I am going to reduce calories a bit to force my body to burn more fat for fuel and in doing so I am continuing to increase veggies, protein, and continue with fresh fruits. The carb intake besides veggies will be modified depending on how my body responds. That link is here.

 To keep myself honest I am gong to record my progress daily on my facebook page.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Detox yourself into six pac abs!!!!!!!!!

 I have exciting news, I have been working with this great company that has come up with a FANTASTIC detox product.

 You see, they found this amazing herb called Bullshitta, Bullshitta is only found on the southern facing side of the Mt. Fuqu. Every knows that the residents of mt. Fuqu look great and many live to well into their 90s!!!!

 This great company has gone to great lengths to procure all of the Bullshitta it can to create the best detox products on the market.

 These detox pads are placed on the bottom of your feet. The Bullshitta infused pad seeps into your poors attacking the deadly toxins that are infesting every cell of your body. Making you fat, lethargic, drunk, unable to keep an erection but with Bullshitta all of that goes away.

 To see your desired results you must wear the Bullshitta pads all day every day for a minimum of 6 months. This low cost detox miracle comes to only $3.00 a pad. (You must change the pads every 2 hours for maximum results).

 A double blind study funded by the makers of Bullshitta proves that those who wear the bullshitta pads were 100% more likely to wear them. I know, it sounds crazy but its true.

 Friends, I don't promote much but these Bullshitta pads are great for everyone. They will grab excess toxic fat and pull it away through the bottoms of your feet. Giving you that much desired 6 pack. They will suck out the unwanted toxins from your weekend benders. Aches, pains, all of your stress and strains will be eliminated, through the bottom of your feet.

 Bullshitta, give us your money and we will sell you a big box of Bullshitta!!!

 Does any of this sound familiar? Every product out there that promises to lose weight, detox you, cleanse you, etc. is garbage. A  complete waste of money.

 What does detox even mean? Ask someone what is being eliminated and why isn't my Liver doing its job. Here's another truth bomb if your toxic your liver is in distress and nothing over the counter can fix that.

 Say you get a massage and they tell you to drink water the next day because you need to flush out the toxins that were released................ bullshit, no toxins were released. Your muscles were worked, knots were relaxed and you probably sweated more than you think while you were getting massaged so drinking water is a good idea after a massage to make sure you are hydrated.

 I don't want it to seem like I am against massages. I'm not, they are great it's a stock line used by a lot of massage therapists that toxins are released through a massage. Pure drivel.

 Cleanse products.......worthless don't bother. If you don't feel right increase your fiber intake by taking a meatmucil type product of better yet high fiber foods and viola you'll be cleansed.

 Nothing hangs onto your colon for months, weeks, or years. Nothing.

 The trick is there is no trick. Everything we need to eat healthy is already in front of you. Help you lose weight? Right there in plain sight, Detox and cleanse we got stuff for that as well. What are they you ask? Vegetables, All shapes, colors, sizes, tastes, ans textures. Good old vegetables will help you lose weight, provide plenty of fiber to help cleanse you and surprise surprise you can Detox yourself by whatever standard you use the word detox by increasing your vegetable intake.

 Organic or not, that choice I leave up to you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

doing what you hate so you can you excell at what you love.

 Later today I am going to do one of the things I hate more than just about anything else. I am going to run with the jogging stroller. I can't tell you how much I hate pushing this thing. Its awkward, it pulls to one side, I hate it. BUTTTT this is the only way I can get in the runs I need to run faster on race day.

 I am bored with being a mid pack hack and i have been structuring my diet and exercise routine since around Christmas and I have been slimming down and toning up, the result is longer, stronger, and hopefully faster runs.

 I hate pushing the jogging stroller but i do it anyway.