Monday, December 16, 2013

I Am Afraid of Success

It was around mile 14 this time when I felt it start to break down. The whole race I was with my brother running what I thought was a smart race and then it happened. I started to feel a cramp forming and instantly I started to panic . In my head the excuses started to form to why I was going to fail. I wasn't hydrated enough , I didn't eat anything, my training wasn't up to snuff and many more. Some of these may be true , but the biggest obstacle was my lack of mental toughness. I am just not strong enough to succeed in my head. I give up too easily.

I told my brother to go on , that I would be fine  I was for a while but then it all fell apart. I finished the marathon with my second worst time ever and my brother ended up smashing his personal best. When we talked about the race he told me that he felt the pain too, but he just kept going . If he were to slow down or stop it would have gotten worse . Although I am proud of him, I am envious of his willpower to overcome the adversity and triumph .

This is an issue for me. I can hit all my goals during training . I can feel good about my training , but when it comes to race day , everything falls apart . Here is another example.

This summer I was running an 8k in my hometown. I started off great then it again started to fall apart. A friend of mine passed me going up the hill , she tried to encourage me , but it didn't work. After I got up the hill I got my legs back and caught my breath. I had a chance to catch my friend, I physically felt I could do it, but I talked myself out of it and finished well behind her.

Physically , I think I am a pretty good runner. I am in shape to accomplish many of the goals I set for myself , it is just that when I toe the line to try to achieve the goals , something in my head always prevents me from doing it. Sure I may place in my age group and win some awards , but something always prevents me fro unleashing my full potential during a race. I am trying to figure out what that is and how to prevent it.

My best guess is that I accept failing too easily. I have gotten used to not achieving my potential that maybe I am afraid of  success . I look at my brother and my friends and although I am proud of their accomplishments , I am envious of their mental toughness and I have to find out how they are different from me.

That is my goal for 2014, is to build my mental toughness . I set up my race schedule to do that. I chose races that I can beat personal bests and to build confidence , I will be changing some of my training to do things that I have not done before , that I might have been scared to do. I will be using a lot of techniques that I learned long ago as a theatre major to block out the world around me and focus on the task at hand. I will not worry about others around me , but continue to focus on the goal.

I will force myself out the door , even when I don't want to go for a run. I will (and have) run in snow storms, ice storms, excessive heat and rain.

This will be the year that things start to change.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2014 Tentative Race Schedule

I think I have it set for next year, I want to focus on the Half Marathon a bit more, I feel that is my best event , so here it is. I may add more.

I would like to do the Olivia's wish run (5K) as well but I am unsure of the date. I was also really looking hard at running the Chicago Marathon , but there is a family obligation that weekend and can't do it. I also wanted to keep things local this year .

I hope many of my running friends can join me for any of these events . Should be a fun year!!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What My Head Scan Revealed Today

A few things that are circling around in the old noggin this morning.

  • There have been times in past years where I have broken out the Christmas music and listened to it as early as the day after Halloween . This year I have not, but if you want to, do it. If you don't want to then don't. I have heard many complaints about a local radio station playing Christmas music beginning early November . If you don't like it don't turn it on, the radio station most likely has done the research and that research most likely shows that people tune in when they play that type of music .

  • Speaking of Christmas, I have always felt that it was an employee morale killer to keep your business open on Christmas day. I think that businesses that are able to close , should. However the argument for keeping certain businesses open on that day is that it is one of the busiest days of the year . So we have no one to blame but ourselves because although we say it is wrong, but we use the service that these businesses provide on December 25th .
  •   For the first time in my life I have to work on Christmas day, I work in health care and we can not close on that day. I am a little bummed about this , but will go in and try to put a smile on the people I serve faces , because where I work is home for them and they deserve nothing but my best , if I can make their Christmas special , it might make mine special too.
  • I am suffering a bit from the post marathon blues, but not as bad as I thought. I mostly have been looking ahead and I can't get the Chicago Marathon out of my head. The more I research it the more I want to run it. 

  • The Cleveland Browns are fun to watch. However, this talk of playoffs are a little premature. We have too tough of a schedule remaining . Years of disappointments have taught me not to get too excited , to enjoy any success on a weekly basis, because the following week it can all fall apart. 

  • Lately any political talk has given me an upset stomach. If you know me , you know I love to talk politics , but lately when I hear it I reach for the Pepto.

That is about it for right now, I hope everyone is having a great day!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday's Feel Good Song of the Week- "Wishing Well" -Terence Trent D'Arby

O.K. it is Saturday, but I think you will like this one.

Whenever this song comes on , volume goes way up!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Did It!

What an incredible weekend !

I wanted to give it a day or 2 before I wrote about my experience running the New York City Marathon, I had a wide range of emotions that I needed to sift through before I can really let you know how I felt about it. In fact I am still trying to sort it out as I heal from from the aches and pains .

Me at the Expo
I have to say this was one of the most incredible things that I have been a part of. It is so easy to get swept up in the emotion of the event and I did. Throughout the race I kept thinking that I am running the freaking NYC Marathon! This was a a dream of mine since I first laced up my running shoes and heard about a Math teacher at my high school who ran it. I also ran the first 15 miles with my brother Kevin , which made it even more special.

My first reaction to the race was disappointment, my personal best marathon was a 3 hours and 34 minutes , I did that back in 2011 in Erie PA. I finished Sunday with a 3 hours and 59 performance. It was my second worse marathon ever. I can put that on not being very smart with my nutrition and hydration before and during the race. I got caught up in everything that was going on that I did not prepare my body the way I should and was playing catch up throughout the race. Lesson learned.
My brother and I before
the race

I also felt so much pride in my brother Kevin (A.K.A The Wouk) , he crushed his personal best time ! Kevin ran a very smart , determined race and was rewarded with such an awesome result. I also want to thank him,his wife Kristen and his friend Johnny (who ran with me and Kevin) for showing such great hospitality for me and my wife this past weekend. Kevin and Kristen have been so supportive of me since I got back into running , offering advice and cheering me every step of the way . They have been my un-official coaches, and big part of any success I have had.

Another person who has helped me is my friend Tracy, I have known who Tracy was since my high school days when she was one of the area's top runners. We were introduced through a mutual friend and she has had to deal with my stupid questions and lame attempts at trash talking ever since. I am so impressed with her determination and dedication , that paid off with a personal best and a third Boston Marathon qualifying time on Sunday. I am very proud of her!

Crowd shot my wife took , it was loud!
The crowds were just simply amazing in New York, it seemed like a different city than the one that I have visited several times before. The crowd was shoulder to shoulder on both sides of the street the entire 26.2 miles . They were so loud and supportive! I can not tell you how many people I gave high fives too! The excitement on people's faces is something I will never forget. I have so many stories that I could share hereabout people who I met or saw along away, it would take forever to write. I will share with you about a man who seem to be  homeless . Walked up to me as I was trying to stretch out a cramp, and was trying so hard to encourage me to keep moving it got me through pretty much the rest of the race.

Thank you to everyone who sent me words of encouragement before,during and after the race. You don't know how much it means to know that so many people were supportive of what I did. I wish there was a way that I could show you how much I appreciate it other that saying thank you.

My wife Sheri has always been my biggest supporter. Someone said recently that she is my rock , I will do one better. She is the foundation for everything in my life, without her I would fall apart. God truly got got it right when he paired us together.I thank Him every day for that.

Now what?

I am mulling over several things I want to do next year, but I haven't nailed down anything yet. For now I can relax and be proud that I was a part of something truly amazing and created a memory that will be with me the rest of my life.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Marathon Info and Friday Feel Good Song of The Week!

Well here it is! Marathon weekend!

I can not believe that it has come so quick, it really seems that I just heard the news that I will be running this year and now I am packing my bags for the trip! I know that I have annoyed several of you with posting so much about the New York City Marathon, I am obsessed with it and I feel I am ready.

My strategy  for the race is to take it all in. Since I started running almost 30 years ago .this race and Boston have been my dream. Now I get to run it and I couldn't be more nervous,excited and pumped ! I have decided that I want to take in the crowd, the sites and the city of New York. I will let how my body feels dictate the pace, I am not really going to shoot for a personal best. This is about enjoying the moment.

I hope you can enjoy it with me. I will be using social media to post stuff all weekend long so you can follow me in the following places (Click To go to Sites):
Follow me on Twitter
Follow my Tweets here on Densil's Head Scan!
To track me during the race :

There are 3 ways you can track, by text, by web, and/or you can download an app for your smartphone.The text option does cost $2.99 , the other two are free

My bib # is 18388. If you search me by name , make sure you look for Densil not D.J.

Thank you everyone for all the support, it really means alot ! Here is the song of the week "Dreams" by Van Halen:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday's Feel Good Song of the Week- "Thriller"

In honor of Halloween, this weeks song and video is Michael Jackson's "Thriller" . I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday's Feel Good Song Of The Week-"Hearts on Fire"

In two days I will be running a half marathon where I have a great chance at a PR, so for that reason John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band is awarded the feel good song of the week . This song was used for the training sequence for the movie "Rocky IV" . Enjoy and happy Friday!



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's Your Fault, No it's your fault...What a Joke

Today is a day off for me. Like most days I got up and saw my wife and kids off to school and I sat down and sipped my morning coffee and logged on to my computer to get updated.

This morning it was all about the government shutdown and who was to blame. Republicans are blaming Democrats and Democrats are blaming Republicans. I have an idea, let's just fix this damn thing or we will replace the whole lot of you.

I may not like it but Obamacare is the law, and it should be funded. Let the American people experience what the law will mean to them. If it works then we have to admit we were wrong, if it doesn't we need to repeal it and replace it with something that does work.

We need cooperation among the people that we elect to office, we need to have people that are willing to put aside their pride and do what is best to move our nation forward. We do not have that in in politics, and we do not have that among the American people. Our country is divided and we are too busy blaming those who oppose our own views , instead of working on compromises to move forward.

I don't like it , but I am now willing to give Obamacare a chance, give it at most 2 years and if it works then we keep it, if it doesn't we repeal and replace it.How do we do that? We vote people in that will do work that the American people want, instead of furthering their own agenda or the agendas of those people who contribute to the campaigns of these candidates.

I think we lived in country that was respected by the rest of the world, now we are the butt of the worlds jokes. Who is to blame? We all are ,when we keep sending the same types of people to office expecting different results. I for one am ditching the party and will vote on the person I feel will do right for the American people.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday's Feel Good Song of the Week (Dedicated to my kids)- Bluebonnets

I have been feeling a bit down this week, mostly because I am still adjusting to Sheri and the kids being back at school . I work nights and get to see them for about five minutes a day.

Sometimes it seems like life moves so fast, we never seem to take the time to appreciate the things that we have that make us happy. We seem to put on hold the really important things in life as we try to make money to survive and care for our family. It is rough.

This song by Cross Canadian Ragweed is called "Bluebonnets". It was a free download I got sometime ago and have loved this song since the first time I heard it . It makes me think of my kids playing , getting lost in their own world and not having a care in the world.

When the song is over, I always find that I am smiling because for a short time, I got lost too. Enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday's Feel Good Song of the Week-"Alright"

"Alright" by Janet Jackson is one of my all-time favorites . This song takes me back to a time when there was not many cares in the world and I could just stay out all night with friends doing whatever we wanted. Although I would not change what I have now for the world, I love my life and what each day brings with my friends and family.

But this is for the crew that I was hanging with in the early 90's when I lived @ 210 Lincoln.... you know who you are!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Heart is Heavy Today

On Friday night a local high school football player from the Brocton/Westfield football team was involved in a head to head collision during a game. He died yesterday from those injuries. I can not imagine what this child's parents, family and people around him are going through. To lose someone so young, so sudden, in this way has to be beyond heartbreaking. 

This tragedy will now bring up a ton of questions on how safe is football and other contact sports are for our children. I agree that that discussion needs to happen and we, as parents, need to know that our children who participate in these contact sports are safe. 

But we need to put off those discussions for now and have them at a more appropriate time. We need to focus now as a community to surround the people close to Damon Janes. 

I hugged my kids a little tighter this morning and have been praying that God gives the strength to all those who knew and loved this young man.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Feel Good Friday Song Of The Week- "Knee Deep"

Every friday I am going to post a song that makes me feel good. A song that when it comes on you just turn it up and lose yourself in it. This week's song is The Zac Brown Band with Jimmy Buffet "Knee Deep":

Monday, September 9, 2013

Forget about what Mike Huckabee Posted

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee posted something on his Facebook page last week that got my blood boiling, you can read the post here. After a couple days I figured anything that I would mention here would not change the mind of those people who do not respect other peoples right to be happy,especially if it doesn't interfere with your own right to be happy.I have written about it before so even though I promised I would comment on it,I will drop it and move on.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

So Much Stuff Going on In My Small Brain

One of the firsts things I do in the morning is get my coffee and then I kick my wife off the computer. I proceed to check Facebook first, I guess this is my way of getting the news on what is going on in the world and what is going on with people whom I care about. I guess I look as it as a one stop resource to get caught up on the things that are relevant to me. This morning two things I really could not shake from my mind Syria and something Mike Huckabee posted .

I want to start with Syria and get to Huckabee on a future date. I posted this on my Facebook page the other day;
"I guess I am not understanding why we need to get involved in Syria. It is horrible what is going on over there , but why do we need to get involved?"

I received several responses to it , most of which did not support a strike on Syria. I agree that we should not do anything militarily in Syria , but what can be done? I really do not know the answer to that. 

What a horrible situation ... but what should be done about it?
I do feel that we have backed ourselves into a corner with statements about red lines and such, so we need to do something about the situation there. I also feel that the red line statement that was made by our President was made a year ago when he felt that he had the backing of the international community on the situation in Syria , which we now obviously do not. So I don't fault him for backing away from those comments , but he could've handled it more gracefully and he could have used that statement as a way to get out of the conflict altogether. What I mean by this is that he could have explained that the comments were made when he believed that the world was behind him when he made those comments, now that Syria  has crossed the red line by using the chemical weapons (although we do not know if it was the government or the rebels that used them) he has realized that the world is not willing to back him up on the use of force in Syria, and even though he disagrees he will respect the worlds wishes and try to work with the United Nations  some alternate way to deal with the horrible situation in Syria.
Maybe there is a way out 

This actually would work for a few reasons. This would shift the the focus to the U.N. ( Obama has a long history of shifting the focus and blame to people), it gets him out of the "Red Line" comment and gets us out of possible military actions in a country we have no business being in. It will ease our relations with Russia, who now is saying that it would protect Syria against any air strikes that the U.S. may launch. 

The next thought I have on Syria is I think we finally found something that is not split along party lines, there are republicans who are supporting the president and there are democrats who oppose him. This is the only thing that I find encouraging about the topic is that we actually have politicians who are thinking for them selves and are not following the marching orders that they are given by the parties that they happen to be affiliated with. I only hope that this would continue on all decisions that are made in our country. 

That is it on Syria, I will get to Huckabee's post soon

Saturday, August 31, 2013

What I Think About While I Am Running For a VERY Long Time

It was around 5:15 am when I got up this morning to start preparing to go for a run. It truly was a battle as I looked over at my wife as she was sound asleep and I wish that I could be as well. Thoughts were pouring through my head like, " You can skip today , you have done well , you deserve to go back to bed" and "Maybe you are sick, you deserve to have a sick day". I fought it off and went downstairs to make a cup of coffee and start getting my body ready for an 18 mile run.

I got out the door around 6:30 am and started to go. I have to tell myself to conserve energy because not only do I have several miles ahead of me, I have decided to add some steep hills . I just tell myself to relax and listen to the music on my IPOD. The song that was on was "Trailorhood" by Toby Keith . I quickly let my mind wonder to the following topics (in no particular order):

  •  I think about how cool it is going to be to line up at a race that I have dreamed about running since I put on my first pair of running shoes . I imagine what it will be like to run the five boroughs of New York City with my brother . This keeps me going for a few miles this morning.
  • I question my training as well, I see what my friend is doing preparing for the same race and I think that I am doing too much too soon, that I might burn out or peak too early . I calm down by telling myself that if I want different results, then I have to train differently . 
  • I think about Syria and the issues that are there, I so badly want to post something about it on Facebook, but decide against it. I know I am sick of the political posts , including the anti-Obama posts, I just don't want to add to it. 
  • Then this comes on my IPOD: 
    I immediately think of my sister who is a big Parry Gripp fan. I haven't seen my sister in a while and hopefully she will be there to cheer me and my brother on on November 3rd.
  •  During my runs I process a lot about my life , I think about how proud I am of my son. I think he has found something he really likes in Cross Country. I hope it continues to be that way. I think of Melly and how fast she is growing up . I think a lot about my wife and how lucky I am that she still puts up with me after 15 years of marriage and almost 20 years of being together.
  • I also get many Blog entry ideas, which I always forget after I am done. If I can figure out a way to blog while run I would be one happy man
  • When I run that is when I feel closest to my Dad who past away last year, I wonder if he is proud of me and of the changes I have made over the past few years. I also at the same time feel close to God and thank Him for giving me the opportunity to run . I don't go to church much anymore so my long runs have sort of taken over for that.  Some song usually triggers it , today it was this one.
  • Then it starts , the doubting. I try to talk myself out of finishing the run, that I have had enough. I spend the last few miles fighting this. Most of the time I finish, but sometimes I do let myself quit. What keeps me going is the fact that I like to post my workouts on Facebook , not that anyone really cares what I do, but by posting the workouts it keeps me honest. I don't want to admit to quitting .
I finally finish 18 miles in 2 hours and 36 minutes, time to re-hydrate, nap and take pain meds

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The official NYC Marathon Song.

Every one of the marathons I ran in had it's own song. I just can't think of a better song than this for the big one on November 3rd. I have to say I am enjoying training for New York more so than any other marathon!

Right here right now, there is no place I would rather be!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Everyone Must Win Generation

Watch this and I will explain my thoughts on this :

Apparently the "Jeopardy" officials did not give credit to a kid who spelled the final answer wrong and this is causing a big stir and a ton of backlash against the show's decision to not count the answer.  The kid is complaining that he was cheated out of money because of just a spelling error. I guess that many people are on the kids side.

I am not.

I do not watch Jeopardy and haven't watched it for years, but I assume that the rules are communicated to each contestant before they are on the show . I am also sure that the contestants understand that the judges rulings are final . Does the kid have a right to complain? Sure he does, but what gets me is the anger that people feel towards the game show because of this. This can only be explained by the fact that many people believe that we can not let our children feel disappointment. That we need to bend the rules so everyone can win.

Bull honky!

Another example of this is how they "grade" the kids at our local school. They use pluses and minuses instead of number or letter grades. I have talked to parents and some teachers about this and they would rather use the more traditional system because it better communicates how well or poorly the child is doing in school. I agree.

I hated bringing home my report card because I knew that my parents would not be pleased with my grades, but by the grading standards that are used in some of the school's today , I would have looked like a good student.We worry too much about the child's feelings today. There is a feeling that if a child does not achieve their goals then we have to give it to them anyway.

Kids need to learn what it is to not achieve a goal, to lose a game ,to overcome something that may seem unfair. This builds a stronger person , someone who can take something that may be a negative and turn it into a positive.Losing is not a bad thing when we use it to better ourselves, kids today need to learn that.

When I was in 7th grade, the basketball team I played on lost every single game that we played. We were 0-16 . We didn't complain. We vowed that we would be better and we won our league championship the next season because we learned to use that 0-16 year as motivation.

So parents, it is ok if your child doesn't win, teach them by your words and your actions that you can learn much more about yourself when you lose.

Monday, July 22, 2013

At a Plateau,But I Can Still See More to Climb

There comes a point in every runners competitive life that you start to see a decline in your performance . It becomes harder to set personal records and harder to reach goals that you have set for yourself. This usually comes even though that runner gives his/her all during training , but nature just takes over.

I am not sure if this applies to my situation or not. I have run four races and have had disappointing results in all 4. Yes I have won awards in 3 out of the four, but my times are much slower than I had hoped . I have tried to attribute these to many things , such as health issues, haven't done enough speedwork and things like that. But this could be the beginning of my decline.

If it is how do I accept that?

Honestly, if I do accept the fact that I am starting to decline and showing my age, that means that I am giving up. I think I need to continue to train hard and let the chips fall where they may. I think that if you give something everything you got and don't achieve your goals , then you can live with yourself , if you give up before trying or use something like getting older as an excuse then you will have a hard time looking at yourself in the mirror.

I still see much more peaks that I need to climb . I may not succeed at climbing all of them, but I know I won't succeed if I don't try.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The World of Running is Forever Changed

I have felt it.

You can not line up at the starting line of any race without feeling the world of running has changed since April 15, 2013. There is a certain fear for both participants and those who watch , what if it happens again? I have to say I have been thinking about this frequently lately.

The bombings at the finish line in Boston at the marathon have forever changed the way organizers plan for races. There are new rules that are in place, more security measures and just a different feel to races . I have ran three races since then and you can definitely feel the change . The mindset of the runners and spectators have changed as well.

The best example I can think of was this years Buffalo Marathon. I have run larger marathons before and there was always security , but not like this. There were helicopters flying overhead, several Coast Guard Boats in the water and police and security at every turn . You knew there were eyes everywhere, I felt secure, but I still worried , not for me but for the spectators , particularly my biggest fan , my wife.

She was downtown , in with the crowds , if anything like Boston were to happen in Buffalo then it would most likely happen there. I was a moving target, she was stationery . Although I knew that the chances of anything happening were almost zero, it still doesn't erase the fear or put the thought out of your head.

On Monday July 15th I start training for the biggest race of my life , the ING New York City Marathon. I have always dreamed of running this race since I put on my first pair of running shoes  . Although I am super excited I do worry about my wife , my sister and my sister in law, who will be watching me and my brother run the five boroughs of New York. Am I putting them in harms way because I am being selfish?

I know the answer to that is no. They are grown adults who make their own decisions . Also I know that New York will be the most secure place on the planet that day, but again it doesn't stop the fear of something happening to them.

Then this morning I read an article about Bill Iffrig
Bill Iffrig

He is a 78 year old runner from Washington state. You know him as the man in the orange tank top who was knocked down by the blast at the finish line in Boston. He got back up and finished the race. 

I guess that is what we runners do, we press on. We fight through many obstacles such as weather, injuries and other environmental challenges just so we can experience running across that finish line again. The people who watch us give everything that we have to cross that line want to experience that with us  , that is why they are there. It is a relationship that should never be torn apart by fear of something happening, because if it does then the terrorists have won.

Friday, July 5, 2013

What is Going On

It seems like life has slowed down a bit for me lately so I figured I would try to catch up posting my thoughts on a few things lately here. As my many (tongue in cheek ) followers can tell I have changed things up on the way my blog looks. Tell me what you think!

    The Colors Riley will be wearing in the Fall
  • My son Riley has joined the Cross Country team: This was his own decision, I did not push him into it , but I am excited about it . We have been training and he has been improving . My biggest worry is that he only joined to try to please me because I run. I am just proud of him because he is trying something new, and for the most part he is giving his all. I can't wait to go to his first meet and cheer him on ! (Although he will be wearing black and gold.... yuck!)
Me on the Jumbo tron @ Ralph Wilson Stadium
  • Update on my running: It feels good to be back on track after many issues that caused me to have a sub par Buffalo Marathon and before that a not so good 5K in April. Comparing last year and this year , I came pretty close to my time at the  half marathon from last year, so it looks like I am back on track and I hope to build on that as I move through the summer season and into fall. I start preparing for the Ing New York City marathon on July 15th, I hope to keep you updated on my progress preparing for that.

  • Moving Forward: It is never too late to turn things around, I always find it inspiring when people fight addictions and can overcome them. I have someone in mind right now and I am very happy to see that the "Polish Hammer" is turning things around. I am sure it is a fight for him everyday, but I am sure it is one he will continue to win. Whether it is alcoholism, quitting cigarettes, losing weight or the many other challenges that people overcome, those who are successful at it have to take ownership to the challenges they face and go from here. Those who blame others for their personal challenges, usually end up not winning.  Get help, but remember it is ultimately you who decides if you win or not.

  • For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you may have noticed that I have not posted anything political in a while. This is because I am pretty fed up with all of politics right now and honestly am just going to let my voting do the talking from now on. Starting a war on Facebook doesn't solve anything .
Well I guess that is it for right now, as always please feel free to comment below. Have a great day!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I am excited so THAT is why I am annoying!

In 1985 I started running , in fact I remember my first run . It was with my brother Tom and he schooled me that day. He would run far ahead of me and then let me catch up to him only to pick up the pace and start the process all over again. He said it was to make me work harder to catch him and to improve my speed. I have always remembered that run , in fact I drove part of the route that we ran and decided to write this.

Around the same time I read the paper and saw a math teacher at my High School was running in the New York City Marathon and I remember thinking , maybe someday I could do that as well. Throughout my high school years I got better at running and kept thinking about the New York City Marathon , I knew I was getting closer to running it, but it still seemed so far off. I would watch it on TV and picture myself running along side of the leaders and finishing the race in central park.

After Graduation of high school I pretty much stopped running. I did pick a college to go to only because it had a cross country team and the other ones I was accepted to did not. I even met with the cross country coach, but that same day I got the lead in a play ( I was a Theatre Major) and was not allowed to participate in sports for fear of injury. I always promised myself I would get back into it.

Just like running with my brother, I caught him and then he sped up.

While at college I discovered the wonders of alcohol, I never drank at all before I was 21. That is the truth , but I made up for lost time from the years of 1991 to 2009 . My stress relief was beer, I don't know if you would call me an alcoholic but I was on my way to achieving that title and because of that the NYC marathon was quickly becoming a dream that I would never fulfill.

I have told this story many times, but in 2009 my life had changed for the better when my sister called and invited me to run with her in Corning NY in the Wineglass Marathon . I was very drunk when I had this conversation and did not remember that I signed up ( while inebriated). I discovered my confirmation e-mail the next day and it said "No Refunds" . I was committed to running.

I finished the race and have run 4 more marathons and countless other races since , including the Buffalo Marathon this past Memorial Day Weekend. I have not come close to qualifying for New York , but have been getting closer to qualifying for Boston, so I have been concentrating on that  . In fact I blogged about it earlier this year. My goal was to qualify for Boston after the Erie Marathon, New York was quickly going off my radar again.

I have in other years try to get into NY by way of the lottery, I have been told several times that the odds of making it in this way was extremely hard. I decided to enter the drawing again this year , but figured since there were many deferments from last year's race (which was cancelled and entrants could defer their entry to this years race) , the odds were even more not in my favor.

So on May 29th I sat in front of a computer , waiting for my rejection notice as I have done in years past. It was a long day, I was at work checking it all day. I left work not getting an answer , and I figured since it was taking a really long time , I wasn't in and was fine with that. I will start my training for Erie and move on as I have done in the past.

But then I came home to this:

I have been on cloud 9 since!

Now to the point of all of this rambling , I keep bothering my brother Kevin, who is also running this year with a bunch of silly questions about the race. I think I might be annoying him, as well as another friend who is running it this year. I just want to apologize in advance for my annoying behavior. If you want to block me out of your lives completely , I understand. 

It may be a very long 5 months for everyone around me , I am sorry! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Few Thoughts On A Rainy Thursday

Life has been busy since the last time I wrote here on April 12th, my life has been extremely busy and it is hard to sit down and express my thoughts on what is going in world today. Here we go , in no particular order.
  • I am reading "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown. I have to say I am really enjoying this book. It really really has brought few thoughts to my mind. 
  1. The first is what if there are more Gospels that the Bible , would it damage the image of Christ or enhance it? If he was married to Mary Magdalene and had a daughter, would this be a bad thing? I am not saying that I believe that this to be true  , but the history of the world is written or rewritten by those who have claimed victory in wars that have been fought . Without giving too much of the book away, the Romans did make Christianity the official religion of the empire, and had to sell it to the people they governed. It is possible that a few edits to the Bible were done.
  2. I guess if your faith and what you believe in is questioned , you would be upset. But if your faith is strong you should not waiver , or become upset when it is questioned. You should defend your views, but let me ask you this,how many Christians have read the book? If you haven't , how do you know what you are defending against?
  3. Finally, this is a fictional story that was well researched by Dan Brown, you must not lose sight of that.As I have stated before I do not believe the points to be true, just something to think about I guess.
  • My heart goes out to those in Oklahoma, I can not imagine what they are going through after a massive tornado . When I was a kid one of my biggest fears was losing my home to a tornado, to see this happen to so many people is so heartbreaking. Any time something like this happens, whether it is a storm, a crazed nut shooting people or a terrorist attack , I just want to gather those around me who I am close to and hug them and never let go
  • We need to get this straight, Obama is untouchable, he can (hypothetically) beat up a grandmother in in the middle of a crowded football stadium live on national television and claim that he had nothing to do with it and get away with it. The press will believe him.We have so many "scandals"  going on that our government is involved  in that it is hard to keep track. None of these scandals can be traced to Obama and he claims he had no knowledge of them. I tend to believe that . A good leader needs to be involved in everything that the organization the he or she leads is doing. Obama is not concerned with being a good leader or these scandals would have been known by him and his administration before the press have found out about them. 
  • I am looking forward to the Buffalo Marathon this sunday, I am not in the best shape for it due to many issues I have dealt with that have interrupted my  training, but I am going to go and enjoy it. I am not planning on qualifying for Boston this sunday or even getting a PR, but I am looking forward to just going for a run. 

That is it for today, as always please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Two Dollar Bill

The following story is not mine, I copied it from Facebook, so I have no idea who the original author is. Just makes you think if this story is true...
Remember these?

On my way home from work, I stopped at Taco Bell for a quick bite to eat. I have a $50 bill and a $2 bill. I figure with the $2 bill, I can get something to eat and not have to worry about irritating anyone for trying to break a $50 bill.
Me: 'Hi, I'd like one seven-layer burrito please, to go.'
Server: 'That'll be $1.04. Eat in?'
Me: 'No, it's to go.' At this point, I open my billfold and hand him the $2 bill. He looks at it kind of funny.
Server: 'Uh, hang on a sec, I'll be right back.'

He goes to talk to his manager, who is still within my earshot. The following conversation occurs between the two of them:

Server: 'Hey, you ever see a $2 bill?'
Manager: 'No. A what?'
Server: 'A $2 bill. This guy just gave it to me...'
Manager: 'Ask for something else. There's no such thing as a $2 bill.'
Server: 'Yeah, thought so.'

He comes back to me and says, 'We don't take these. Do you have anything else?'

Me: 'Just this fifty. You don't take $2 bills? Why?
Server: 'I don't know.'
Me: 'See here where it says legal tender?'
Server: 'Yeah.'
Me: 'So, why won't you take it?'
Server: 'Well, hang on a sec.'

He goes back to his manager, who has been watching me like I'm a shoplifter, and says to him, 'He says I have to take it.'

Manager: 'Doesn't he have anything else?'
Server: 'Yeah, a fifty. I'll get it and you can open the safe and get change.
Manager: 'I'm not opening the safe with him in here.'
Server: 'What should I do?'
Manager: 'Tell him to come back later when he has real money.'
Server: 'I can't tell him that! You tell him.'
Manager: 'Just tell him.'

Server: 'No way! This is weird. I'm going in back.

The manager approaches me and says,
'I'm sorry, but we don't take big bills this time of night.'

Me: 'It's only seven o'clock! Well then, here's a two dollar bill.'
Manager: 'We don't take those, either.'
Me: 'Why not?'
Manager: 'I think you know why.'
Me: 'No really, tell me why.'

Manager: 'Please leave before I call mall security.'
Me: 'Excuse me?'
Manager: 'Please leave before I call mall security.'
Me: 'What on earth for?'
Manager: 'Please, sir..'

Me: 'Uh, go ahead, call them.'
Manager: 'Would you please just leave?'
Me: 'No.'
Manager: 'Fine -- have it your way then.'
Me: 'Hey, that's Burger King, isn't it?'

At this point, he backs away from me and calls mall security on the phone around the corner. I have two people staring at me from the dining area and I begin laughing out loud, just for effect.

A few minutes later this 45-year-oldish guy comes in.

Guard: 'Yeah, Mike, what's up?'
Manager (whispering): 'This guy is trying to give me some (pause) funny money.'
Guard: 'No kidding! What?'
Manager: 'Get this. A two dollar bill.'
Guard (incredulous): 'Why would a guy fake a two dollar bill?'
Manager: 'I don't know. He's kinda weird. He says the only other thing he has is a fifty.'
Guard: 'Oh, so the fifty's fake!'
Manager: 'No, the two dollar bill is.'
Guard: 'Why would he fake a two dollar bill?'
Manager : 'I don't know! Can you talk to him, and get him out of here?'
Guard: 'Yeah.'

Security Guard walks over to me and......
Guard: 'Mike here tells me you have some fake bills you're trying to use.'
Me: 'Uh, no.'
Guard: 'Lemme see 'em.'
Me: 'Why?'
Guard: 'Do you want me to get the cops in here?'

At this point I'm ready to say, 'Sure, please!' but I want to eat, so I say, 'I'm just trying to buy a burrito and pay for it with this two dollar bill.

I put the bill up near his face, and he flinches like I'm taking a swing at him. He takes the bill, turns it over a few times in his hands, and he says, 'Hey, Mike, what's wrong with this bill?'
Manager: 'It's fake.'
Guard: 'It doesn't look fake to me.'
Manager: 'But it's a two dollar bill.'
Guard: 'Yeah? '
Manager: 'Well, there's no such thing, is there?'

The security guard and I both look at him like he's an idiot and it dawns on the guy that he has no clue and is an idiot.

So, it turns out that my burrito was free, and he threw in a small drink and some of those cinnamon thingies, too.

Made me want to get a whole stack of two dollar bills just to see what happens when I try to buy stuff.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How is this Hurting Anyone?

For the people who have a religious point of view on gay marriage , please put that aside for the moment and ask yourself this question , how is it hurting you? 

Most gay marriage laws do not force churches to marry homosexual individuals, so that it doesn't infringe on your rights to believe in what you want to believe in. I also assume that most gay marriages are entered into willingly by both individuals , they are not being forced into a marriage. 

So why is this a problem?

I understand that people think that it is wrong, and no one is asking you to change your beliefs that it is wrong. I also assure you that most gay couples know about the views that some of you hold, but isn't really up to each individual to determine what makes them happy and if it is not hurting anyone else then why shouldn't people pursue what makes them happy? 

Doesn't it say in the Bible that those without sin can cast the first stone? Who are we to judge other people, doesn't the final judgement fall in God's hands? 

There is just too much hate in this world, and some of it comes from those who are supposed to be preaching about love.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Putting Things Into Perspective

When life gets you down a video like this enters your life and makes you think you have it pretty darn easy. Please take the time to watch and share this Video of Dick and Rick Hoyt, you will be glad you did.

Please share this with as many people as you can, awesome story.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Every year since 2010 I have started training for some big race during the dead of winter. I always feel the same at this time of year. I feel slow, I feel  held back and I start to get depressed and wonder why I lace up my shoes and get out there and put my body through it , when I could be on the couch in my warm house watching a movie, or reading a book or playing chess online.

Another reason I love running in the snow, scenes like this
I look at it this way, I have to endure the cold, the snow,slush, wind and plain crap that this area of the world throws at you this time of year because when the weather changes, gets warmer and the crap goes away.....

I can fly

I have decided to liken this time of year to someone pulling back on a slingshot and when the weather gets more to my liking ,is when I release the weapon and I come flying out. Once the weather breaks my times get faster, my energy level gets higher and then I realize why I train outside in the bad weather.

As I get older it will become inevitable that I will break down and get a treadmill because I am sure this running in the cold is doing some sort of damage long term to my body. But for know I will press on , for now it is about achieving my goals and living my dream .

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Don't Blog Angry

 Today I was going to write my part 2 of the assault on our freedoms, but I have decided to make a new rule and not to write anything here while I am angry. So today I have decided to take a breath and let all that happened just soak in and worry about it later , be clear headed.

You should never blog angry , because your arguments will  most likely be torn apart and you will look foolish. When you are angry and you feel the need to write a blog , post a video of Family Guy:

There are many things that have made me angry these past couple days such as :

  1. The realization that I have to live another 4 years with Obama as president
  2. The Baltimore Ravens are in the Superbowl
  3. The wind chill is below zero degrees and I want to go running
  4. My attempts to make the band Duran Duran the official "Fab Four" from England has gone unnoticed
These are the 4 biggest things among others that have put me in a foul mood. Blogging sometimes helps, but today as I sit here writing this, it is not helping . So maybe I should just walk away or maybe I will just post a picture of my brother in my mother's nightgown:

Now I feel better

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Assault on Freedom -Part 1

I see the pictures

These are the pictures that people post on their Facebook pages that show Adolf Hitler surrounded by children as he tries to gain support of the German people by saying his programs will create a better country in the future for our children.

I do disagree in the comparisons that people use to compare Hitler's plan to Obama's plan. I don't believe that Obama plans for our country are the same as Hitler's. This is not to say that Obama's policies are good for our country, they are not. I believe his intentions are good based on what he believes, that government is the answer. I believe that the more the government gets involved in our lives the more freedoms we lose.

So the assault on our freedoms is not intentional, it is happening because we (as a country) have elected people who believe that government is the answer . As our government programs such as welfare, food stamps and Obamacare grow larger and more people rely on them for their survival , this makes for a bigger government and we as taxpayers have to fund this government which means we all have to pay more in taxes, and that will increase.

The people that are on these programs vote. The majority will vote for people who support these programs and these people will get re-elected. As the people who depend upon government programs increase, the more people who vote for these policies will increase, which will only increase the size and power of our government .

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day , teach him how to fish , he will eat forever" is a quote that always comes to mind when I think about what these programs should be about. They should be about getting people back on their feet and getting them back out to work . I am not saying to eliminate these programs (except for Obamacare... that needs to go).If you want more revenue for our government , we need to cut taxes , give businesses incentives (tax breaks , etc.) to hire more people and get people back to work so they are paying taxes which will then create more revenue. These programs will then not have to be funded as heavily as they are and we then could use that money to pay off our increasing debt. Everyone wins.

This is the first in a series about the assault on our freedoms. Please comment below 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Change Is Easy....To Say

You are the one that chooses if the change in your life is a success or Failure
Last night I watched the "Biggest Loser" . I haven't watched the show in a while, but I have always drawn some inspiration from it. It is neat to see the people on the show change over the few weeks , both in their confidence and physical appearance. Granted there are professional trainers there in your face the whole time yelling at you and pushing you to achieve your goals . It is still neat to see the change.

Last night, there was a participant who walked off the show . She was given the choice to do the exercises or leave the show. She chose to leave. It really got me to think about what it really takes to change something about yourself and the hard work that it takes . She kept saying on her exit interview she didn't know how hard it was going to be, both mentally and physically.

Many people talk about changing an aspect of their lives, whether it is losing weight,quitting smoking, changing jobs or anything like that. For the majority of us when we get to the point where we want to do something about it, we find excuses not to do it. Then we convince ourselves that those excuses are valid.

Talking about changing ourselves is the easy part, the hard part is the day to day decisions that we have to make to make that change a reality. Change is NOT easy, but becomes easier when you realize that most of the excuses you make to go ahead with the change are not valid and you push through it and create a culture in your life for believing in success, not failure.

So before we throw away those New Years resolutions, think about the reasons that you are not going to complete them. Are the reasons excuses to make you feel better about yourself when you fail?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The First Page, 2013 Resolutions

This was posted on a friends Facebook page , I love this!
Today is January 1st , the first day of 2013. Every New Year's Day brings forth hope to many that they can change their life around. What better day to do it than the first day of the year right? Here are a few of mine, but first before we move forward, we need to take a look back.

  • 2012 was a year of changes. I won't go into many details, but it seemed as if someone kicked me down  and every time I got back up , I felt the boot kicking me down once again. There were many lessons to be learned from last year, and by the end of the year, I was still being kicked, but this time I did not go down.These are the lessons learned that I will try to carry into the next year. 
  • I have also learned to rely on the strength of the people that are around me, my family and my friends. I needed you all more than ever and you came through. 
  • My mother is one strong woman! I knew that already, but it was reaffirmed.
  • I was reminded everyday how important my marriage to my wife is to me. God gave me the greatest gift when He brought her into my life . 
Now for what I need to work on in no particular order :

  • Pick my guitar back up. It seems that my life over the past few years has made a movement back to things I did when I was in high school and college , music and performing was a big part of me then, and I believe will be a part of my future as well.
  • Finish my upstairs bathroom. It can no longer be my personal bathroom. My son has shown that he has the same talents as I have . We need two bathrooms. 
  • Help others. Many people helped out this year when my Dad passed, the best way to honor his memory and to repay others is to help those in needs.
  • Qualify for the Boston Marathon. I need to run 3 hours and 15 minutes at Buffalo or Erie to do it. ( I did state that in an earlier post that I would run The Wineglass Marathon , but it conflicts with another race that I need to run) 
  • Continue trying to better myself. Need to continue to do whatever it takes to be a better Father, husband, son, brother and friend

That is it, I look forward to a new year of scanning my head and sharing it with you! Happy New Year!