Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tony the Greek

Last Saturday, April 19, we had Hope's birthday party. Hope is my youngest daughter who turned 2, therefore Elmo was the main character and theme of her party. The party was in the afternoon, so mid morning I told my wife that I was going for a "quick" six mile run. This week was a recovery week as I had been pounding hard for two months with lot's of speed work and increased milage.

At mile three, I met another runner. To let you in on a little secret, runners love to talk to other runners, and this guy was no different. He starts the conversation by saying, "Hey kid you look good, what ya trainin' for." I respond..."I'm thinking about 50 miler...." The gentleman comes back with, "which one?" Now when someone responds as he just did that means he is familar with ultramarathon races. I told him my plans of The North Face Endurance Challange. I learned that he was Greek. The only people that talk more than Italians are Greeks...and Italians like to talk. I know; I married one.

At this point, I knew he was familar with really long runs so I invited him to finish my run with me. I wanted to pick his brain and for the next three miles I learned alot. His name was Tony. He holds the record for his age group on the JFK 50 miler. He has ran it 10 times. He has ran ultramarathons all over the world. He told me his philosophy on the races, on fuel, on water, on pace, on runners, on life. Did I tell you he was Greek...did I say Greeks like to talk. I soaked it all in. I figured him to be about 60 years old. When I had to peel off and head home, I asked, "So Tony, how old are you?" "71," he grinned. Wow!

I started for the house. I had an Elmo party to go to, and a celebration of my sweet daughter. Before the party, I went ahead and registured and payed for the TNF 50 mile race.

That Morning I had made a new friend and had a great run. What I beautiful day. Tony Keep it Up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


In early March I read a blog of a lady who had beaten Hodgkin's disease. Her name is Jenny Goellnitz. What is amazing about her is that she kept running even during her chemotherapy days. On her 28th birthday, to celebrate her victory and life, she ran 214 miles in a 7 day period. The number 214 is significant to her. It is the day the doctor dignoised her cancer - February 14.

My training continued...still for nothing in particular. Saturday runs increased to 10 and 12 miles. Meanwhile my bother-in-law and good friend is training and running 1/2 marathons. It is important to note that he is a machine that can post decent race times.

He calls to my attention a trail race put on by The North Face in Washington D.C. on September 6. He used to live in the D.C. area and we talked about participating in the event. What is cool about it is The North Face Endurance challange was offering the challange of running further than you have before with a 10K, a 1/2 Marathon, a 50K and a 50 mile race. Sounds like something to train for...oh heck, let's do the 50 mile.

In a way, I'm blaming Dean Karnazes and Jenny Goellnitz for me even considering running two marathons back to back.

See what inspiration does for you...makes think about things you never would have ever thought about. Heed my warning, Be careful of who inspires you.


It was Sunday Morning, December 9, 2007. I was sitting on the couch waiting for the rest of the family, ready to go to church. I flip on the T.V. and begin watching the Dallas White Rock Marathon being televised live. Two thoughts immediately go through the brainhousing group: a. you've gotten fat (190 lbs.), and b. You should be out there running this thing.

It was less than 6 years ago that I had run the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Because of a new job, a new baby, and more time constraints, running had gone by the wayside. I pretty much have always run. I ran in the Marine Corp, I ran a little in college, I really started running when I got out of college. I ran Marathons, 1/2 marathons, 20k's, and 30k's. But as most runners know, running doesn't let you quite least completely. That afternoon I laced up a pair of running shoes and ran...and it hurt! Training had begun....for what? I didn't know.

As my wife will attest to, I am obsessive compulsive when it comes to training. I am either training full bore....or I am vegged out. My training continued. My milage increased. The legs and asthmatic lungs begin to show signs of life....and I started eyeballing race events...something big.

In January I read a copy of Ultramarathon Man, Confessions of An All Night Runner by Dean Karanzes. Karnazes has run distances of 350 miles and has completed 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days. Inspired, I kept training with still no event in sight.