Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why do you do what you do?

Put your feet up, get a cup of coffee, and get comfortable. This might take a while.

I mentioned in a blog post a little while back that we are known by what we do. I have 3 kids. So, I am know as ____'s Father. I am also a Husband, a Scout Leader, a Sunday School Teacher, a Charity Distance Running Coach, and an Engineer.

Why do we pick what we do, and do we do It because it is a part of us or because it is a duty in some way. I went to vocational school in High School and that pointed me toward Engineering. So, I guess that is as good a place as any to start.

vo·ca·tion (vo-ka'sh?n)
1. A regular occupation, especially one for which a person is particularly suited or qualified.
2. An inclination, as if in response to a summons, to undertake a certain kind of work, especially a religious career; a calling.
[Middle English vocacioun, divine call to a religious life, from Old French vocation, from Latin vocatio, vocation-, a calling, from vocatus, past participle of vocare, to call; see wekw- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Since the American Heritage Dictionary brings in the religious connotation...

From Wikipedia,
The idea of vocation is central to the Christian belief that God has created each person with gifts and talents oriented toward specific purposes and a way of life. Particularly in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, this idea of vocation is especially associated with a divine call to service to the Church and humanity through particular vocational life commitments such as marriage to a particular person, consecration as a religious, ordination to priestly ministry in the Church and even a holy life as a single person. In the broader sense, Christian vocation includes the use of ones gifts in their profession, family life, church and civic commitments for the sake of the greater common good.

The idea of a vocation or "calling" has been pivotal within Protestantism. Martin Luther taught that each individual was expected to fulfill his God-appointed task in everyday life. Although the Lutheran concept of the calling emphasized vocation, there was no particular emphasis on labor beyond what was required for one's daily bread. Calvinism transformed the idea of the calling by emphasizing relentless, disciplined labor. In the Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), Calvin defined the role of "The Christian in his vocation." He noted that God has prescribed appointed duties to men and styled such spheres of life vocations or callings. Calvinists distinguished two callings: a general calling to serve God and a particular calling to engage in some employment by which one's usefulness is determined.

I grew up in the Lutheran Christian tradition, and I was blessed with a girlfriend / fiancé / wife who challenged me to examine what I believe and why. In response, I dug into the commentaries on faith at the same time I was studying for my chosen career. As a result, my faith developed alongside my secular knowledge base. So, the idea "...that each individual was (is) expected to fulfill his God-appointed task in everyday life" is a part of who I am. My regular occupation, the one that I am particularly suited for is that of an engineer. My desire is to have an impact, to make a difference for those who can't help themselves.

That idea can find expression in any number of ways, but I think I'll go back to my current career. I work as an engineer for a company that does renovations for cutting edge technology. It is possible, even likely, that I could work for 6 months on a project that will be pulled out and replaced in a few years. My boss is a religious man. But he expressed his (and my) desire in a non-religious way. The desire is to make an impact, do work that will last even to eternity. (OK, the expression was not completely non-religious). With that idea in mind. He has allowed people in the company to share his burden for missions, and I have gladly joined that task.

Before I went to college, I worked in construction. Before I started at this company, I was able to spend a week in the slums of Mexico City helping to build a Church. Since I started with the company, I have been to Honduras, Guatemala, and Africa on trips that allowed me to use my knowledge of engineering to help improve the designs of mechanical systems in a Hospital, an Orphanage, a Crippled Children's Hospital and a Mission Center.

When I started on my quest to improve my physical condition and get off of the blood pressure medication, it was only natural that I would do this task for reasons that were more than simply personal. I went back to the running that I did in college. Running is great for me. I helps to clear my head and make me feel better. There is nothing like watching the sun rise during an early morning run along the beach. Except maybe watching the stars during a late night run. Closely behind, is the feeling of the sun on your shoulders during a lunchtime run when you have to clear out from work for a while. As good as all this was for me, it was not long before I was raising money and running to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training. It was not long before I found out that fund raising was not one of my talents, but involvement in Team in Training was the right thing to do. Just after my first season with Team in Training, the daughter of a close friend was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She is the same age as my middle son and I watched and prayed as she went through treatment and ultimately recovered. Since I was not able to effectively raise money, I found that I could coach and mentor other people who were better at raising money and still be part of the team that does so much to benefit those that suffer from Blood Cancers.

Still, I could not leave the fund raising completely alone. Last year, I ran the Houston Marathon to support my brother in his first Marathon and to raise money for the American Cancer Society in honor of my Dad who was suffering from Colon Cancer and for Cody who is the son of a friend. Dad has completed his treatment and is doing much better. Cody is still fighting the Neuroblastoma. So this year, I will be running the Mississippi Blues Marathon and raising money for Band of Parents. Band of Parents (as the name implies) is a group of parents that advocate for their kids that are suffering from Neuroblastoma.

If you want to donate to these courageous parent who are taking initiative in finding a cure for the disease that is taking their kids, I would be honored. This tome is going to be posted on my blog as well as on the Master's Forum at Runner's World. If you are so inclined, there is a link at the end of my previous blog entry.

If you made it this far, think about why you do what you do. There are a friends that I hope are reading this that are social workers or teachers. I know that they did not pick their careers for the money. There are also stay at home parents out there. Their rewards are either less tangible or more tangible than most.

Beyond your career or your job, are you making a difference, are you building a legacy?

Colossians 3:17 (New American Standard Bible)
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A way to make a difference

If you are coming to my blog from Runner's World, then you already know that I am getting ready to run my third marathon. I am really looking forward to this because we are going to have friends that I have never met coming in from all over the southeast. It will be great time to meet and put faces to the names and personalities that I have gotten to know through the forum on Runner's World.

However, all the preparation was feeling a bit empty because there has always been a philanthropic component to my marathon preparation.

I had my first real distance running training and ran the Chicago marathon in 2005 with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

My training and fundraising was more personal when I ran in Houston in 2007. I ran for the American Cancer Society. My Dad had started treatment for colon cancer and a the son of a very good forum friend had suffered a reoccurred of a very aggressive form of childhood cancer. So, I ran Houston for Dad and Cody. The starting line picture from that race is the picture that I use for this blog.

Since that time, Dad has gone into remission, but Cody, Mickey, and their family are still fighting Cody's Neuroblastoma Cancer with everything they have.

On I found a way that you can donate to the Band of Parents. Band of Parents is just what it sounds like. Their mission statement:

We are parents of children diagnosed with a cancer called neuroblastoma who want to help further the research and drug development desperately needed to save more children. Neuroblastoma is an "orphan" cancer; pharmaceutical companies are not developing new treatments because there is not a large enough patient base to make development profitable. Funding from the government is similarly limited. Time is running out for many of our children -- money stands between them and a cure.

As parents, we have banded together to increase public awareness about neuroblastoma and to raise funds for the development of novel therapies. We are working in partnership with a talented and dedicated team of doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) who are fighting to save our children from this deadly disease.

Please link over to the fundraising site and help where you can.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thanks for the Quote GB

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." Galatians 6:4-5

I just lifted the verse of the the blog of one of my very dear friends that I have never met. Like all scripture, it is filled with truth and applicability. I have a couple blogs going, and I'm going to put it up on both of them as a reminder because it gives great perspective.

Like most people, I have goals and demands, things I like to do, things I have to do. In every case and circumstance, I am known by what I do and directed by my aspirations.

I am a Christian. I want to serve God with my best.

I am a husband and father. I want to provide for my family in more than just what they need.

I an a Cub Scout Leader. I want to help these boys grow to be strong, productive members of society.

I am a runner. I would like to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and I want to help others to develop a love of running.

I am an engineer and an employee. I want to help my company to grow and be more profitable.

I am tired and feeling pulled in too many directions. Every now and then I need to pull back from the task at hand and look at the big picture. I'll still have just as much to do, and just as much time to do it. The perspective helps. I am not to be impressed with myself or to compare myself with others. I just need to do the very best with what I have.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Easy Wednesday

My training plan normally alternates between intervals and tempo runs on Wednesday. However, every few weeks, it throws in an easy day as part of a cutback week. Today was one of those easy Wednesday. I was scheduled for 5 miles at 10:21. I was able to turn in 5 miles at just under a 10 minute average, and it felt great.

It was another beautiful cool clear morning, and the stars once again showed up brightly. I actually pulled out the sweatshirt and sweat shorts for the run.

I have been having some nagging soreness in my right hip/groin, and even that was better. I attribute that improvement to the stretching after the strength training and the 1/2 hour of yoga that I did with my wife yesterday.

I wish every day could start like this...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Easy Week Tuesday

My training schedule is based on a running schedule from Smart Coach On Runners World Online. I was able to customize a schedule to accommodate my 2-3 weeks off from running last month and I still hope to be able to have a good showing for the Mississippi Blues Marathon on January 3.

Runs normally consist of an easy run on Monday, either Tempo or Intervals on Wednesday, and an easy paced Long Run on Saturday. I am augmenting the schedule with strength training on Tuesday and Thursday and with Flexibility on Friday.

This week is an easy week. All the runs are easy paced and the Saturday Run is relatively short. Also, this week, I found another website called SparkPeople. It has a number of great tools that include a meal and nutrition trackers, menu planners, exercise trackers and strength training plans. I am going to use the tools to track my nutrition and my strength training.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It has been a strange couple weeks

Between the meningitis, the stomach virus, life, and a Cub Scout campout, I have been away from the blog for far too long. I finally had a great tempo run this morning and life at work is settling back into a routine. Just as my life is getting more normal. Mickey's (Deckape) life is going crazy. he is at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC for another round of treatment with Cody. The treatments are very painful and Cody is having a rough time. Please link over to "Days in the Life" and leave an encouraging message for Mickey, Cody, and the rest of the family.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back to the World of the Living

The Monday after I got back from Hawaii, I started feeling kinda puny. On Tuesday, I had chills fever and headache. So, I called and asked for a Doctor's Appointment (something I never do). The appointment was on Wednesday, and the doctor sent me from his office to the hospital. I was admitted for rehydration and bloodwork. After 2 nights in the hospital, they got the blood cultures back, and determined that I did not have a bacterial infection.

The tentative diagnosis was a viral meningitis or encephalitis. As with any other virus, the treatment was support while the virus ran its course. By the time the bloodwork had come back, the fever had ended and I was on the mend. So. I was released and told to take it easy.

So, I took a week off from running and did light tasks around the house. Today I rejoined the Running World with an easy 3 miler and I was happy to be out on the streets again. It is only 13 weeks until the Mississippi Blues Marathon.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Maui Marathon and Half Marathon Coaches report.

Not a race for me, but I did spend all day on the course. Mississippi Team in Training pulls from several areas. There were two of us from the coast, a coach who was running the 1/2 and myself. We had two girls from Hattiesburg running the half, and a dozen from Jackson doing the 1/2. The course was out and back for the 1/2 and point to point for the full. Start was at the same time, and finish was at the same place. The marathon finished on the back portion of the 1/2 course.

I started with the 1/2 marathon runners and stayed with the frontrunnners from our team until about 3 miles. Then I started looping back and picking up and checking on the rest of the Mississippi Team. I would drop each of them at the 3 mile mark until the last one. I went with her to a cheer station at about 4 1/2. I hung out there until my front runners came back and then I repeated the routine back to the ten mile mark. I stayed with the last one until the cheer station at the 11/24 mile mark.

I picked up the first marathoner and ran her in then turned around and went back for the last geel. It was getting late and really hot so I waited in the shade at 24 1/2 for a while. I got tired of waiting and a bit worried and continued back tracking. I found her at 24. She was hot, tired, and upset about her time. I gave her a quick one arm hug, dropped in next to her, and ran in the rest of the way with her.

I peeled off at the finish line so she could have a good finishing picture, and went around to the end of the chute. Her friend was waiting there, whe went in and got her. Helped navigate her through the chip turn in, got her some fluids and sat her down in the shade for a while. We encouraged her and told her that she had finished a tough, hot, marathon, and she did great!

The whole Mississippi Team was checked in. I went back to the hotel for an ice bath.

I was on the course for about 5 1/2 hours, and put in about 14 miles along with a bunch of standing, screaming and clapping..

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Maui Tacos 5K Race Report

It was a beautiful course through the resorts. Basically 3 different out and back sections with a big honking hill. Here is a link to the course map. Once I got out of the opening crowd, I was able to get up to speed (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) fairly quickly. The roads were wet from the normal Hawaii morning rain. So, I was running carefully, and looking for the dry sections. The first half to three quarter mile were a little faster than I had planned. But I decided to just roll with it. The first mile ended just before the start of the hill and just under 8 minutes. My second mile is always my weakest, and this was no exception. It was close to nine minutes. On the positive side, I don't think I was passed after the first mile, and I blew past about 6 people on the uphill. Mile 3 I was able to regroup and finish fairly strong and close to an 8 minute pace. I never could catch the Japanese guy with the wig and cheerleader outfit. The official time was 25:33 which is more than a minute more than my PR, but I'll take it because this course was more difficult than any I have run before.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bleeding, tired, and happy

This is the second year in a row that I have run the Seabee Mud Run (now in the twelfth edition). The face is approximately 4 miles and the course changes every year. The start and finish are in the same place and, because the course is designed by guys with earth moving equipment and hoses, you know what is going to be between the start and finish. The thing that changes is how much, and where.

I was a bit disappointed with my preparation for the race. I had a problem with my back last month and missed almost two weeks of training. As I said earlier, I ran the race last year and I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong. The course was MUCH more difficult than last year.

It started again with a road section to spread the field before we got to the first mud obstacles. The road section was shorter before we got to the field that they dug up. It was obvious that they used a trackhoe to scoop out a hole and they piled the dirt at the beginning of the hole to form a berm to go over. Last year there were three or four mud pits. This time, I lost count, but the last onne was 50 or 60 yards long and had telephone poles across the pit that we had to climd over (or dive under) Total mud distance was about 200 yards.

With the shorter start there was a lot more bunching at the berms as people slowed down getting over the hills.

We came out of that field into a parking lot and I saw people taking shoes off to get the mud out. It did not seem like that would help much. The course took a right turn in to a drainage ditch that had been dug out and filled. Water was waist deep most of the time, but there were random holes and high areas that we could not see. So there was always a danger of falling in a hole or tripping.

Up out of the ditch to a water stop (I guess 1 mile no distance markers) and back into another ditch. Out of that ditch to a longer road section that looped around next to the golf course. Take a left and over the hill. As we topped the hill there is a muddy soupy section with strings across the course about 18" high. About a 20 yard crawl under the strings, get up and run to the tires and flashbacks to football practice as I attempt to high knee through the tires. Then over to a big expanse of mud and another section where they dug up a field and filled the holes with water.

A jaunt across a parking section and into a DEEP ditch. There was a section where I pitched into a hole and had to swim across. There was also a section where the bottom rushed up and I tripped and banged my knee on the bottom.

Up and over a road and into a drainage swale. Through the swale under a bridge, pick up the young lady that slipped and fell in front of me and finally up on the parking lot with the finish line in sight. Try to run it out with shoes full of sand. Cross the line, kick off the shoes and go over to the fireman for a hose down...:)

One of the young ladies that I run with on Saturday Mornings with Team in Training finished 3rd in her AG (YAY)

Lessons learned. This run is all about strength. There was almost no road running where speed is a huge factor. HOWEVER, it is is very difficult to pass in the mud. So it is important to get a good opening run before the first obstacles. Beween obstacles, it is important to get back into running mode as quick as possible. Next year, I may actually swim more of the deep obstacles intentionally. It has got to be better and slipping, tripping and falling in the gumbo stuff in the bottom of the ditch...

A solid midpack finish 12/18 in 40-44 men and 117/396 overall....Better planning and strategy next year.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Less Worry

Well the worry has been relieved somewhat. We are feeling the effects of Hurricane Gustav, but it is a glancing blow. The storm looks like it will go in west of New Orleans which is far enough away that we are on the outer edge of the storm. We will see rain and Tropical Storm Force winds. That is not great, but it is a whole lot better than it could have been.

I won't mind prayers for safety, but I would also ask for prayers for healing for my Dad and for a bunch of friends that I have never met.

Cody who I try try to mention with every post has a very aggressive childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma.

My dad is recovering from Colorectal Cancer.

Megan who is the daughter of Bruce from Runners World is recovering from Leukemia.

John who is the husband of Betsy from Runners World is undergoing treatment for Leukemia.

Katie who is the daughter of Judy from Runners World is starting treatment for Leukemia.

The sheer volume of people that I hear about dealing with Leukemia is one reason that I keep working with Team In Training...

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I had a great run this morning, but I could not help thinking about a similar run three years ago. A day or two after that run, we were hit by Hurricane Katrina and I was out of commission for a couple months due to clogged roads and debris trucks.

Now, we are looking at Hurricane Gustav. The forecast tracks all have the storm going in to the west of us. But it is going to be way too close for me to be comfortable with. I have the tent/garage down, and the little British cars wrapped up with plastic sheeting. Tomorrow, I'll take down the canvas gazebos and finish the yard preparations to make sure there is nothing left out that can become airborne. If necessary, I'll board up the windows tomorrow afternoon. Anyway, here is a link to what we are dealing with for the next couple days....As of 8:00 pm, we have a 70% chance of tropical storm winds and A 15% chance of hurricane force winds by September 2.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It is good to able to run again....

After two weeks of having trouble walking reaching, bending, etc., I finally broke down and went to the chiropractor. The adjustment was last Thursday. I rested over the weekend and restarted my normal schedule on Monday. I had an easy run on Monday and laid it out a bit more today. I repeated the interval workout from three weeks ago, and did a bit better.

800m Interval times were 3:41, 3:39, 3:40, 3:39.

Warm up and cool down were miles at 10:30 and 10:52

400m rest times were 3:31, 3:28, 3:36

Overall the best interval session I can remember and a significant improvement over three weeks ago.

Mickey, Cody and family are on vacation, but Mickey is still posting on his blog so go over and leave him a nice word...

Monday, August 18, 2008

What a difference a week makes....

We are still having the same cruddy weather we had last week. But, it was clear at 5:00 this morning and I was able get out for an easy four miles. At least it should have been easy. It was a so nice to be out after taking almost a week off that I stretched out a bit. When I got back in, I found that I had taken almost a minute off of my normal easy run pace. I was able to work in a core routine with stretching last night, and I followed the run with stretching as well. My back is still right on the edge. The spasm has relaxed and have full motion, but it seems taht it is just waitng for me to made the wrong move before it knots up again. Tomorrow is a running SRD. I'll stretch tonight, and do the core routine with stretching tomorrow.

Mickey and Cody should be in New York by now. Go ahead and link over to "Days in the Life" in the list to the right and drop him a note.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Better, but still not good.

I was feeling well enough today to get out for the Team in Training group run. My stride was terrible on the side where I pulled my back. Lots of foot slap and tightness in the hip. Anyway, its done and I'm looking forward to next week. I'll get back to the core work and stretching and start working on some strengthening. We'll see if I can work my way through it and get it straightened out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


No running for me so far this week. It is quite likely that I'll take the week off. During the Monday Morning staff meeting at the office, I had a muscle spasm in my lower back, and it is still painful to bend or reach. Walking and sitting are almost back to normal, but getting in and out of the chair is not. I did a short jog in place and decided to skip the interval session in the morning.

In different and better news, I answered a call to pray and fast tomorrow. (link) It seems right that a day that is normally reserved for intense training should be used for intense prayer.

Cody is doing better as are my Dad and Megan. So, prayers are being answered. Y'all have a blessed day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The best run in a long time

I'm approaching the end of the summer base building phase and getting ready to start training for the Mississippi Blues Marathon. I have been having some ongoing issues with hip soreness and core strength. So, I have begun a 3x/week core routine with stretching for the problem areas. I'm into the second week of that and wanted to work on my running form at the track.

This morning I got up early and got out there. For the first time in a long time, EVERYTHING worked like it was supposed to. No soreness or tightness in the left hip and I did not drag me left heel in the approach to the footstrike. The walkers that were out there had great manners. They left the inside lane for me. I almost wish I could have gotten out there earlier so I could have run some more.

4 lap warm up in 10:02

4x800m with 400m rests 3:49, 3:13, 3:48, 3:13, 3:45, 3:32, 3:50

and 4 laps BAREFOOT in the infield grass 10:17

I felt like a kid again running barefoot in the grass. I can see myself doing that again.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Just another Hot Day

I considered taking the picture of the Bumblebees down, but I don't have anything better to show the heat besides the six bees furiously fanning the hive with their wings.

I missed by Saturday long run today because I needed to help with a fundraising yard sale for my oldest. A student ambassador group has invited her to the presidential inauguration, and she needs to raise about $2500 to pay for air fare, hotel, tuition, etc. She is doing very well, and with all her work today, she was able to clear enough for her second payment. I hope the work that she is putting into it will help the trip to be more meaningful. Anyway, I spent all day in the sun with temps in the 90s and humidity closes to 80%. Needless to say, but we were wrung out by the end of the day. I'm spending the evening hydrating and I'll try to get out for a long run before church in the morning.

Kinda ticked off right now. I talked to my Dad, and one of the neighbors went through is wallet when he was not looking and took $500 that he had just gotten from the bank. What kind of person steals from a 72 year old cancer patient? Anyway, he filed a police report, and we'll see where it goes from there.

On to other news. Cody has gotten through his chemo and stem cell rescue. I talked to his dad and his numbers and counts have bottomed out. That means that Cody will start feeling better from here. Please link over to Mickey's Blog (Days in the Life) and leave a kind word for him and Cody.

OK, time to go get some rest...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another Kirk the Coach Post

I know that I have been subjecting those who care to read to a whole bunch of posts where I distinguish between my running self and my coaching self. I have done this in relation to the self talk that I soemtimes use to get me to get those runs in.

Today that distinction came into sharp contrast on a Team in Training run today. I spent nearly 3 hours on a 12.6 mile training run. That is about an hour longer than it would have taken me on a training run. The difference, I am not currently training for an event, and the girl that I was running with is. She was having a real rough day and ended up walking most of the course. I'm proud of her because she stuck it out and completed the course. I think it is a great policy that Team in Training coaches are not to go to run the races that they are coaching for. It helps us to focus on what is important, the training and preparation of the athlete.

If I had been training for an event, it would have been easy to get impatient. But, since I was there as the coach, it was much easier to stay with her and make sure that she was OK and that she was able tomake it back to the cars...

Y'all have a great day and keep an eye out for your friends.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kirk the coach gives Kirk the runner a break

I am not going to repeat the that confusing schizophrenic post from last week. At the end of the post I implied that I was going to work harder pacing off of heart Rate this week. That was before I looked at my schedule and found an Easy Week (FINALLY). Wednesdays are my quality days, and I did not want to get out there without some sort of goal and decided to work on pacing because I have continual issues with late race or late workout fade. So I decided to do an easy paced progressive run. According to Runners World SmartCoach, my easy pace is 10-11 min/mile. The plan was to start at 30 seconds over my easy pace, drop 30 seconds per mile, and finish 30 seconds under my easy pace. The early morning conditions were not great for a quality workout (83* and 74% RH at 6:00 am), but you take what you can and do the best you can with. It worked pretty well. The mile splits were; 11:04(too fast), 10:54(ok), 10:25(ok), 10:05(ok, but feeling the heat), 9:28(good), 11;50 (cool down).

In the Team in Training World, it looks like I will be able travel with the team to the Maui Marathon in September. I will not run the marathon. I will be coaching and cheering from the sidelines.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend Long Run

I had a wonderful Saturday Long Run. First off, I let the two sisters who compete against each other go. The last couple weeks, they have sucked me in and I realize at the halfway point I am out of gas. This weekend, I ran my own pace (or a bit slower) and got to hang out with several different team members. It was really nice to get to know them better.

After the run, I worked on getting stuff ready for my Daughter's fund raising yard sale (See the blog for ViolinNut). I was also able to get the the generator running for the detached garage/workshop in the back of our yard. Now I'll be able to workout/work on the little car in the evening.

Got up this morning and I have a admirable case of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. I hope it eases off before tomorrow. Anyway, I'm glad tomorrow is an easy run.

Y'all have a good day and be blessed. Stop in and see Mickey at his Blog (Days in the Life) and give him a donation for Neuroblastoma.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sometimes the best runs come from nowhere...

First off my apologies to any of my friends from the Runners World Masters Forum. This post will look familiar.

Kirk the coach had to stay on top of Kirk the runner all morning.

The runner did not want to get out of bed this morning. The coach reminded him that he has a goal race the first weekend in September.

The runner did not want to do a tempo run this morning. The coach again reminded him about the goal race.

The runner complained that he left the Garmin charging at the office. How could he run tempo without feedback on his pace? The coach reminded him that the goal race last year did not have mile markers and it was very wet. So the runner is going to have to race just on effort. So the coach pulled out an old Polar Heart Rate Monitor and a Watch. He told the runner to try to maintain about 150 bpm after the warm up.

The runner complained that his hip was tight. The coach told him to go ahead and warm up if the hip was still tight he could take and easy run instead of the tempo. The runner shuffled off. At one mile the coach asked how the hip was. The runner said OK. So, the coach said take off.

At the end of 1 mile, the HR was 150. The coach said Good. At 1.5, the HR was 155. The coach said be careful. At 2 miles the HR had climbed to 165. The coach said slow down. At 3 miles the HR was 160. The coach said OK, ease up a bit more. At 3.5, the coach looked the other way, and the runner took off. The runner finished the 4 mile tempo with a HR of 168 and sucking air. The coach caught him and make him run a 1 mile cool down.

The total mileage was 6.1 total time 56:36

mile 1 9:56 (warm up)
mile 2 18:57 (9:00 pace)
mile 3 27:41 (8:44 pace)
mile 4 36:41 (8:59 pace)
mile 5 45:12 (8:31 pace)
mile 6 56:36 (11:24 pace) (cool down)

Now the coach tells me that today was just to see if I could pace off of a HR Monitor. Next week he is going to work me harder. I think he is just ticked about me taking off on that last tempo mile...

I guess that is enough of me typing about myself talking to myself. Go ahead and link over to Mickey's Blog (Days in the Life) and see how he and Cody are doing. There are some great pictures of Mickey, Cody, and some butterflies. Y'all have a great day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Late check in after a Great Weekend

It has been over a week of busy days since I updated this Blog. First and foremost on my mind today is Cody. Mickey is taking him today to have a port installed instead of the tubes that he currently has. Hopefully this will give him more freedom to be a kid as the port is a lot easier to deal with. Cody will finally be able to take a bath and go swimming again.

My life has been really good. I feeling a bit under the weather this morning so I slept in and woke much more rested. Then I had a HOT lunchtime run. It is nice to run in the sunlight where everyone can see you instead of at dawn. I had a guy run me off into the grass twice on Monday.

Lets back up and catch up on my life for the past week. I took last Thursday off leading into the long weekend. I used Thursday, Friday, and part of Saturday to finish the "treehouse" for my youngest.

He is thrilled and now he will leave my middle son alone when he wants to go to his "treehouse" (on the platform in the background).

After all the assembly for the kids, I did some assembly for my Wife and Myself.

It is almost new. we picked it up cheap at a yardsale, and we are looking forward to using it.

After all that, I spent several hours in the ER with my Middle Son. He had a mysterious outbreak of hives. a steroid shot, antihistamines, and 4 days of oral steroids later, he is almost cleared up. But, I sure would like to know what set him off...

Anyway, y'all pray for Mickey and Cody, and have a great day.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A better day!

Part of the routine that I am getting into has me opening this blog, looking for comments and then scrolling down to the blog links in ht e lower right corner. This morning, Mickey's Blog (Days In the Life) had the headline "Great News" That made my morning because, I told me that Cody is doing well. I linked over there and read. Apparently, they have gotten the fungal infection under control, he is finishing up this course of chemotherapy, and they have enough antibodies in stock to continue his treatment.

On the home front, Dad got his fifth of twelve doses of Chemo yesterday. He normally gets his dose on Wednesday but, his medicine has a component that is pumped into his port over two days, and the Doctor's Office is closed for the Fourth of July. So, they started him a day early. Dad is tolerating his treatment extremely well, and I cant say enough to convey how happy I am with his progress.

If I don't post again before Friday, y'all enjoy your holiday, and remember those that sacrificed so that we could be (and remain) independent.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Insurance GRRR.....

Well, it appears that Cody does have a fungal infection in his lung. The Doctor prescribed oral Diflucan, but the insurance company said no. So, they have to go in and get IV medication. I cannot understand why insurance companies can say yes or not to the treatment a patient gets and I shudder to think about what would happen if the government got any more into the act.

We all hear about the cost of care, but it should be balanced with consideration that quite often it is more than dollars and cents, it is often life or death.

I'll climb down off my soapbox and an ask you to pray for Mickey and Cody and family.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Friend in Need

My buddy Mickey and his family are in need of your prayers right now. A CT scan has showed spots in Cody's lung. I t may be a fungal infection, but his liver function is weak right now and medication to fight off the infection would be rough on him. We don't even want to consider the alternatives to a fungal infection.

Y'all go to Mickey's Blog (Day's in the Life) and let him know that you are praying for him, Cody, and the family.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday 6-17-08

I'm sitting here at work waiting for another engineer so that we can complete a drawing set for a new project. Running is going very well. I getting over a cough and some foot pain that I took as a warning that I was increasing my training volume too quickly. That is just day in day out regular kinda stuff.

For things that really matter. The child that I mentioned in my last post has earned her angel wings. Please go over to Mickey's Blog (Days in the Life). Leave a kind word for him and find the link to Marissa's Caringbridge site and leave a note for her parents. I cannot imagine what they are going through.

On to brighter news. My daughter has been invited to the Presidential Inauguration through the Student Ambassador Group that she belongs to. The honored guest is TBD, but my daughter needs to raise the cost of the trip. I have a link to her blog on the right (Violin Nut), and she has a few links to fundraisers as well as a log of what she has been doing.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday for friends

It has been way to long since I updated this blog. I almost ashamed to say that life has been moving along pretty smoothly lately. School is out, Work is the normal work stuff with the everyday stress. My running has been going better than ever, There is a South/North Challenge going on at Runner'S World Online, and I have added some short lunchtime runs to help contribute a few miles for the cause. I have some minor soreness, but overall I feel stronger than I have in some time.

My friend in Pennsylvania seems to be doing better and was even able to return to running this week.

Here is where the shame for the easy week comes in. My friend Deck Ape (Mickey) posted a link for another kid that is about to lose to the same cancer that his son has. The link is on his blog post from yesterday. You can get to it from my link bar to the right. Please go and leave a message for the family. Mickey has said that it helps.

And, another running friend has posted about the trouble his daughter is having with this round of Chemotherapy. You can check on Megan right here. Again, If you want to leave a message for BG and Megan, feel free.

At the same time I have healthy, mostly-happy kids and a Dad that is tolerating his Chemotherapy very well. I thank God for his blessings and pray for his comfort for my friends.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Think about your friends Thursday

I just called my Dad. He had his second chemo treatment yesterday, and he is doing very well. The treatments are done on an outpatient basis. He is able to drive himself to and from appointments. He stopped and had breakfast (lunch?) on the way home. For my running, I got four miles at a nice easy pace. I was a bit stiff from the tempo work yesterday.

I have a real good friend that I never met. He lives in Philadelphia, and I got to know him through the Masters Forum on Runners World Online. Anyway, life has thrown a plot twist into his story that he never imagined. He is bruised, but I don't think he is beaten. Its is a good time to think about, remember, and pray for our friends.

TnT athletes, today was a beautiful morning for your two mile runs. Rest up and hydrate tomorrow for the group run on Saturday. If you want to Cross Train tomorrow, do some lower stress stuff such as an easy bike ride, yoga or stretching exercises. You will probably want to save the weight lifting for earlier in the week. And, send me the links your fund raising sites. I'll put all the links up on this blog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesdays I will do a more intense workout than the base miles or long run miles of the rest of the week. My current need is race endurance, so I am working tempo workouts. Today I went 4 miles with the middle two at about 10K pace. I was a great morning for running and the recent cross training has really seemed to help the nagging ankle and hip problems. I'm just about healed up and ready to ramp up the training a bit.

Team in training athletes are supposed to run two miles today and two tomorrow. It may not seem like much right now, but please get into the habit of regular training. It will make the training later in the cycle much easier.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

One week Tuesday

Today is one week that I have been coming over here and "talking" about training and Team in Training. I hope it is of some use to someone. If any of the TnT athletes are dropping in, go ahead and leave a comment so that I know you are out there. TnT is cross training today and running 2 miles tomorrow.

For my cross training, I went 4 miles on a bike in about 20 minutes. It was a nice change, and a beautiful morning out.

Time to go get some coffee.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Monday

Sorry for another late post. I was in New Orleans all day for work and it looks like I'll be in Baton Rouge tomorrow. TnT has a cross training day tomorrow. I think I'll try to get out on the bike.

I thought I would highlight a blog post from Sillie Lillie. She ran her first Ultra-marathon over the weekend. This is a whole different class of running from the normal road race. She does a great job of describing the experience. If any of the TnT folks are curious about what happened to her feet, and what might happen to yours, just ask. I'll be glad to fill you in.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rest Day Sunday

I hope the Team in Training athletes enjoyed their rest day as much as I did. I just had a quiet day around the house. We did a few chores and some yard work. Tomorrow the schedule picks back up with a 2 mile run.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Group Run Saturday

Sorry for the late post, I had chores to do. We got the start of a Wood Privacy Fence up and then we were forced to grill steaks for dinner. Dad came over. His second chemo treatment is next week and he looks great!

There were about 14 athletes at Cedar Lake and Popps Ferry for the group run. That is the best turn out I have ever seen. We did have a question about Shin Pain. Here is a link to a Runner's World Article. Shin Pain

I'll be sending a group email in the morning. Somebody asked for the training schedule, and I can't remember who it was. I just need to get to the office computer. Tomorrow, everyone needs to rest.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Today is a rest day for me and for Team in Training. Do not get out in the rain and lightning. I'll see you tomorrow at the group run. Let me know if you need directions and I can post a map if you need one.

Here is your quote:
"The marathon, you see, is my benchmark. It is the status symbol in my community, the running community." Dr. George Sheehan

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Team in Training Thursday

I am supposed to get the Team in Training participant listing today. Hopefully, some of the TnT Athletes will stop in here for a visit. With that in mind, Those that are following the generic schedule should run 20 minutes today and rest or cross train tomorrow. If you already have a training routine, please do not reduce your current training volume to match our schedule. Let us know and we'll come up with a custom schedule for you. I hope everybody was able to get your workouts in before it started raining. It is OK to run in the rain, just stay in if there is lightning.

Quote of the Day from Runner's World -
"The five S's of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit." - Ken Doherty

My run this morning went pretty well. I went 4 miles in the humid pre-dawn, and came home sopping wet. I remembered my pepper spray, but I did not have to use it. The two dogs from yesterday were nowhere to be seen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Running Stuff For Wednesday

Except for being chased by dogs, I had a great run today. I went 4 miles with 2 at tempo. This was the first time I pushed it since my hip and ankle flared up last month. I'll have to remember to carry my pepper spray for the next few runs.

I'll be getting the contact information for the TnT Athletes tomorrow and I'll invite them to stop in here and visit. Those that are following the generic schedule should run 20 minutes today and 20 minutes tomorrow. We have at least a couple athletes that are more advanced than the average TnT athlete. We'll be gathering details and the other coach and I will customize a training schedule for them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Team in Training Meeting

We had a really good information/kick off meeting for the Team in Training group. It looks like it will be a really good group. They have all been given generic training schedules. The other coaches and I will customize the schedules as required for each athlete. Those running the Maui Marathon have 18 weeks to get ready. The Nike Marathon participants have 23 weeks. I don't expect any of the Team athletes to be reading this blog because I have not told them about it yet .. :)

I am supposed to get a participant list with e-mail addresses by Thursday. After that, we can really get started with the training and coaching. Those that have schedules should get out and run for 20 minutes tomorrow.

A place to Start....

How does one start a blog? I know some of you have been wondering when I would post something because there have been several views on my profile since I created it to use when leaving messages on other blogs.

I guess I’ll start with the picture to the right. The picture was taken just before the start of the Houston Marathon. It seems that Cancer is a current sub-plot of my story. I ran the Houston Marathon to raise money for the American cancer Society and to honor two people. The first is my Father. He is currently fighting Colon Cancer. He started chemotherapy last week and his prognosis is good. The second is a precious little boy named Cody. I have never met Cody or his family, but I got to know him through his father Mickey and a community of friends at the Runners World Masters forum. You can learn more about Mickey and Cody by clicking the link to Deck Apes Blog on the right.

My current involvement with cancer is just stating up again and it is a repeat effort I have decided to help Athletes get ready to run a marathon with Team in Training. They will have a choice of running the Maui Marathon or the Nike Women’s marathon in San Francisco. Along the way they will raise a lot of Money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This group holds a special place in my heart because I ran my first Marathon for them in 2005. Right after I got back from the trip, I learned that a child that my son goes to school and church with had been diagnosed with Lymphoma. She received treatment and is in remission thanks to research that was funded by groups like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society.

So, I will use this space to let you know what is going on in my life, talk about my family, friends, and running. I will also encourage our new Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Marathon Team to stop by. I’ll post about training and use this as a space for them to stop by and ask questions.