Monday, January 4, 2016


I have decided not to write any new New years resolutions this year and will continue to work on my resolutions from last year.
2015 was a pretty good year for me, although it did have it's share of challenges. My biggest goal was to improve my self confidence and I did . The biggest indicator of that was in my running where I set 4 Personal bests (PR) this year , including the Marathon and Half Marathon. My biggest obstacle was my head, I used to tell myself I was too old, too weak and not good enough to break my PR's. I would tell myself that my best days are behind me.
After my performances in 2015, it is safe to say that I have turned the corner on my self doubt, not only in my running , but in all aspects of my life. I believe now that I still have quite a bit to prove and that is why I want to continue on the path that I am on.
I want to thank so many of you who have provided encouragement, inspiration and a good, swift kick in the butt for me over the past few years. I am truly blessed to have so many people in my life that care about me .
I wish all of you a happy and blessed 2016!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Gonna Fly Now (Part 1-Training)

Last year I wrote an entry into my blog stating that my best days of being a runner were behind me. (Click here to read it.)

I wrote that I had changed as a runner and that my best days as a runner were behind me. I thought that there were no more personal records(PR)  to be gained and that I would never run Boston. I had to learn to live with that . I wasn't going to quit running, but my running was to take on a different meaning for me. It wasn't about winning races, setting records or qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It was about setting a good example for my kids.

It wasn't as apparent to me when I wrote this entry that giving up on my goals and my dreams was setting the wrong example for my kids. More on that later.

Right after that I got a few responses from some of my friends and family. Some were understanding of where I stood , but others , including my brother Kevin, didn't understand why I was giving up.

Kevin sent me a very long text, and he didn't hold back. He basically called my giving up "Bull S**t". That many people were still setting PR's well into their fifties. He didn't understand why I was giving up on my goals.

The answer was simple, I was tired of failing. I didn't want to try anymore.

After several exchanges with Kevin , I agreed to work with Kevin's coach as I trained for my next marathon. I signed up for the Cleveland and I also was accepted into the New York City Half marathon . So I was training for two big events. I was a bit nervous because I have always been in control of my training.

Record snow fall and sub zero temps created a challenge 
It was clear from the start the training plan was not only to get me in shape physically, but more importantly , to get me in shape mentally. There was not going to be any excuses , I was going to be successful, even if it killed me.

It was a very hard winter here in Western New York , we had record snow falls and some of the coldest temperatures that I could remember and I was out there training in it. I stuck to my program and I could tell it was starting to pay off. I was getting stronger physically , but mentally, I wouldn't know if that was the case until I ran my first race.

Part 2 - New York City Half Marathon is next

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Scanning my Head on a Freezing Tuesday Morning

It has been a while since I checked in, here are a few thoughts floating around ,my mucus filled head this morning.

  • My last post I talked about taking a break from running , and accepting the fact that I am no longer the competitor I was in the past. That I will not set any personal records (PR) or win any races . I got some flack for that. People thought that I was throwing in the towel , and maybe they were right. If you look at my Running Results Page , you will see that it has been a while since I have set any PR's in any event. After some soul searching , I think that it is my head that gets in the way of success, so I have decided to switch things up a bit and have allowed my brother and his friend to take over my training. Now if I fail, I let them down, and I never want to let my brother down. 
  • A goal of mine this year is to spend more time with my kids, especially my son , who is now a teenager . He needs his Dad more than ever right now, and I need to make sure that I am around more to help him .I hope that some of the things that I did in 2014 to make this happen will pay off.
  • It has been a couple of weeks since the Cleveland Browns season ended, and I have had time to process what happened this season . My thoughts on the state of the team is that they are moving in the right direction. I am encouraged by the 7 and 9 record that they finished with , although they finished the year on a bad note, it is still an improvement over previous years. I think the biggest thing we need to do in this off season is establish who the quarterback will be  right away and start building an offense around that persons skill-set . If it is Johnny Manziel , fine , give him the tools where he can succeed . Name him the starter now and develop him. I think we are pretty close to competing for a division title , the moves we make in this off-season will determine if we can take that next step.
  • When LeBron James came back to Cleveland , he said that we had to be patient with this team, it is going to take some time for them to gel as a unit. Fans of Cleveland sports teams hate to hear the words "be patient" or "it is a process". We have been hearing the same thing for many years now. However, as I watch this team , LeBron is right. We need to be patient, the young players on this team need to learn what it takes to win and be successful. I think it will pay off , especially watching Kyrie Irving and Triston Thompson , they seem to be getting the message and are playing well, that is very encouraging for the future of this franchise. 
I think that is it for right now, you all have a great day!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Break

Every month, there is one day that feels like Christmas. When I look at my pile of mail and see that the latest issue of "Runner's World" has arrived. This month was extremely special because when I picked it up Kara Goucher, who is one of my favorite athletes in the sport, is the feature article. I quickly remove the magazine from the pile and bring it up to my "reading room" . I like to read it from cover to cover, not skip any of the articles. From the beginning it is clear to me that this issue is focused on making your Fall running plans.

I really don't have any, and that is OK.

In 2009 after I finished my first marathon , I remember having a conversation with my wife. We were talking about all of the things that I have tried to do to change my life for the better that have gone by the waste side. Due to fact that I had a lack of persistence to keep whatever that thing was going. ( I work a lot , usually long hours , so it is hard sometimes to keep things up) . I asked her if she thought running would go away too, I did try to run before this , but it never stuck. She said that no, she thinks that this will stay, it is a part of your life now.

She is right, it is.

Finishing the Olivia's Wish Run 5k
Since that conversation I have been in non stop training for some big event. Especially the last two years where I have run 3 marathons, 4 half marathons and countless 8k's and 5k's . On October 5th of this year I ran a 5k . The Friday before the race I woke up in a lot of pain, my knees were hurting, so were my feet and back. I was thinking that I would have to drop out of the race, but I didn't want to , because a friend of mine is the race director and I wanted to support him .

I ended up resting and feeling better on race day, even though I was not at my best , I ran it anyway. I finished 12th overall and 3rd in my age group, but my time was nothing to brag about. After the race I knew I had to take some time off.

So as I am reading advice on how you should attack the fall races and your plans, my plan is simple , I am going to rest, reflect and plan.

I am on the second week of a self imposed two week running ban. As my body heals , It is quite apparent to me that I have changed as a runner. For the most part , my days of winning races and getting personal bests (P.R.) are long gone. I have also put to bed the dream that I will make Boston as my times in the marathon have gotten slower and slower. In it's place is a new goal , a new reason to run.

My son at a recent Cross Country meet
I have always tried to set a good example for my kids , and running has been a part of that. But lately I have noticed more how much my kids copy my actions more than they do my words. My son is starting to excel at cross country and my daughter is developing a strong desire to run as well. I think this stems from my training and completing the races I train for.

My Daughter finishing the Olivia's Wish Run 5k
So this is my new purpose , to try to inspire my kids and hopefully anyone else that needs inspiring . I think this is why God has placed running in my life, it has made me a better person and maybe it will pave the path for my kids and others to do the same.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Thoughts on Ray Rice

Above is a video of the commentary that ESPN Anchor Hannah Storm made about talking to her daughters about the video of Ray Rice (former running back of the Baltimore Ravens) hitting his then girlfriend in an elevator at a now closed casino in Atlantic City. Most of us have either seen the video or have heard about what was on it. it is horrific to say the least . I think Hannah Storm hit the nail on the head with her comments , especially about the fact that the National Football league decided to institute a harsher punishment to Rice after seeing this video . Everyone knew what happened on the elevator, we did not need to see the video to confirm our suspicions. 

The N.F.L. has a program called "Play 60 " , it is a wonderful program that the league has started to fight childhood obesity . The program uses the stars of it's league as role models to help kids get out and be more active , also to make healthier decisions in their lives. I love this program, I love the fact that they use the stars of this league to promote the program One of those stars was Ray Rice.

No one can say that these athletes are not role models, they are. I grew up idolizing athletes and so do the kids today. When one of these athletes do something wrong , the league NEEDS to come down on the athlete. A 2 game suspension was not enough, everyone knew it. I don't know what the correct punishment should have been and I am not in a position to have to make that call.

One good that has come from this is that we are now having a discussion about domestic violence . Particularly how we see the victim of the violence.

 Why didn't she leave him?  Why did she marry him? Why does she protect him? She is in it for the money. She is going to leave him , write a book and profit off of it. 

These are just some of the things that I have heard about the victim in the Ray Rice case this week. It almost turns out that we are blaming the victim and not placing our anger with who is really to blame, the abuser , Ray Rice. I know that I have never been in an abusive relationship , I do not have a degree in psychology that makes me an expert in why victims of domestic violence stay and protect their abuser. I don't know, so I shouldn't judge. I can only pray that the victim gets the help that they need and that the abuser gets the help that they need and stops abusing people. 

A good friend of mine posted an article on her Facebook page this morning . I hope you read it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Some Thoughts on a Monday Morning

The sun is just starting to peak out as I start typing this. After a long winter and a very wet spring any time the sun comes out it is a welcomed sight. It is funny how everyone's mood improves once the sun comes out. I hope this lasts a while !

Here's my Monday morning thoughts:

  • I have really cut down on my coffee consumption the past couple weeks. I have to say that it has made me feel better, both physically and mentally . I am less on edge  and my stomach has felt better as well. One or two cups a day is all I allow myself now. 
  • I have another week until I have to buckle down and start training for the Erie Marathon. I have enjoyed my runs the past couple weeks , I have just gone out and ran with no real goal in mind, but to run. This is my time to myself, time to reflect on what is going in my life, time to run off any stress that has been in my life. It is also my church, time to give thanks for all that I have in my life that is good. I have said this before , it is when I feel closer to God.
  • I have to say that a part of me is starting to get excited about Johnny Manziel being on the Cleveland Browns. I still think our best chance at success this year is with Brian Hoyer at quarterback , but there is a level of excitement that Manziel brings that my fellow Browns fans haven't felt in a VERY long time. 

  • Staying with NFL draft reaction , I am also interested in the Michael Sam . For those of you living under a rock for the past few months he is the first openly gay player to play in the NFL. I hope he is successful, but what makes me curious is why did he drop so far in the draft? Before he came out and said he was gay , he was projected as a 3rd or 4th round draft pick, then he had a bad performance at the NFL combine and he dropped on most people's draft boards. My curiosity about this is did he drop that far because of the combine or was it another reason . I think it was because of the media attention that was given to Sam. I think most NFL teams decided not to invite the media storm that follows Sam into their locker room. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, if he makes the team or not. He is listed as a defensive lineman , and the ST. Louis Rams have a lot of depth at that position already . 
  •  I really am sick of politics. I would love to live in a country where people can discuss their differences in opinion in a respectful manner, but unfortunately we don't. Politics is a place where people's hate truly comes out.

I think that is for today. Need to get out and mow my lawn and do some other things around the house (like nap)

Feel free to comment below or send an email

me if you want to respond to anything I have said.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Draft Day - 1st Round thoughts on the Browns

I really wanted Sammy Watkins, the wide receiver out of Clemson. I wanted Derrick Carr , quarterback out of Fresno State.

I did not get my wish and I am trying to wrap my head around what the Browns did in the 1st round yesterday.After sleeping on it I am much more calm now about it and see the plan. Here are my thoughts.

  • Trading the number 4 pick to the Bills- Sammy Watkins was there for the taking , he would have looked great next to Josh Gordon, but in the end the Browns won this trade in my mind. The draft is deep on receivers and with the signing of Nate Burleson and Andrew Hawkins, our receiving corp is better than last year. Now having Buffalo's first round pick next year (which I believe will be a top 10 pick) will give us 2 first rounders again. This team is building to win right now and in the future.

  • Picking Justin Gilbert , cornerback from Oklahoma St.- We moved up 1 spot to get him and I am OK with that, we didn't really give away too much. This gives us 2 really good cornerbacks for the long term (if we can sign Joe Haden to a long term deal) . 

  • Johnny Manziel- The one player I did not want was Manziel, quarterback from Texas A&M . He is a small, scrambling quarterback that is bound to get hurt in the N.F.L. Plus he is a head case and could be a huge distraction for a rookie coach and a rookie G.M. The media will be all over the Browns , very much like they were all over Tebow when he played in the league. To make this work the Browns need to put Manziel 3rd on their depth chart behind Brian Hoyer and Vince Young. They need to fight the pressure from the media and fans to play him and have him learn about the N.F.L game. Next year you promote him to the # 2 position and in year 3 give him a shot at the starting job. Hopefully by then he will have the maturity and knowledge to be an effective QB in the N.F.L.
Overall I am ok with what the Browns did yesterday and am excited to see what today's pick will bring. Hopefully a weapon for the Browns offense . One thing for sure, it will be hard to top the excitement that the Browns gave us yesterday!