Saturday, November 28, 2009


All I can say before you watch this is "good luck not crying."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Love and Loyalty

This morning's Sportscenter had a powerful story about former UCLA Coach John Wooden and his everlasting love for his deceased wife.

I hope Kathryn finds someone like John Wooden one day.

Here's more about Wooden and his Pyramid of Success.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dinner Prep

This morning's Boulevard Bolt, a five-miler down scenic Belle Meade Boulevard, was exhilarating in several ways.

First, running pal Meredith showed she's a strong runner. I expected we would finish in about 50 minutes, staying on 10-minute miles. We ran the first mile in 10:30, dodging the crowd and avoiding a turned ankle. As the crowd spaced, we ran the next mile at about 9:20. She felt great so we kept up the trend in perfect weather - 38 degrees and very low dewpoint. The last three miles, we averaged about 8:40/miles. Final time ... an impressive 45:40. Great job, ML!

I felt like I ran at 85% or so. It was a good workout and just terrific fun. I saw 15 TNT-ers dressed as reindeer, with the lead TNT-er dressed as grandma. She was not run over, I am told, by the herd. I also saw about 20 friends and acquaintances, including Cousin Becky, Jarron the marathoner and Dori's former nurse practioner Carey.

After an apple and some fluids, I cleaned up and visited Chuck at Vanderbilt Hospital. Chuck, Dori's AML soulmate, relapsed last week. The whole thing has been difficult for him and his family, to say the least. Dori also has been impacted, as have I. Cancer just pisses me off. I enjoyed the time with Chuck and his family, and am keeping them in my constant thoughts and saying special prayers.

We're off to Nana's in a few. The entire menu, which I'll probably describe later, has been set. This is my favorite holiday, by far, but my excitement has been tempered by the recent news. I expect I'll light up when I smell the food.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saying Grace

Tomorrow, I'll run five miles in the Boulevard Bolt with our good friend Meredith. Then, a little rest and then some turkey and fixings at Chez Rachel with assistance from Sous Chef Anne. I'm told cornbread with pablano peppers, green beans with caramelized onions and spicy sausage stuffing are on the menu.

Flashbacks are making an appearance two days early. I hope you all enjoy your rest and join our family in giving thanks for what we have in our country, including these great American sounds.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Gift of Life

Dori sent me an e-mail today, stating she had run "very hard." I liked getting that e-mail!

She also sent me a link to a gripping story about a bone marrow donor and her recipient. It's a great rehash on many levels, with great insight on the donor process.

Here's The Today Show's take:

Somewhere, I hope Hans is smiling. I know I am.

Now it's your turn to spread the word and be sure you're on deck.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Humble Meb

Humility in sports seems to be a rarity these days. That's why I enjoyed this article about Meb Keflezghi, winner of the NYC Marathon.

I cross-trained today, walking with my sister Anne and her husband Stephen at Radnor Lake. Then I headed to the finish line of the Flying Monkey Marathon. With my good friend Ann, a Boston marathoner, I watched three of her girls hand out finisher's medals to exhausted runners.

I enjoyed watching my friend Jarron finish. He almost fell over at the end, finishing the very hilly couse in 4:20, a great run. I gave him a well-deserved hug for his super effort.

The Flying Monkey is a very unique race. Ann calls it a run for "fringe" marathoners. Whatever you call it, we both were excited enough to consider running it one day. The bug will bite you. She's planning on racing in Huntsville in a year, and I may join her.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good Start

I read a great phrase on a runner's board last night:

Pain is just weakness leaving the body.

Tomorrow morning, a few hundred runners will run the Flying Monkey Marathon in hilly Percy Warner Park. The athletes will have few flat stretches, and rain is in the forecast. I'll be there to cheer on some folks I know.

This morning, our Team In Training group kicked off with a goal to finish the Country Music Half Marathon and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We have 108 signed up so far, and I've got 12 in my group.

After attending nutrition, safety and strength programs, we went out for a two-miler. Our group looks good. We ran some 11-minute miles, and most stayed on the pace and picked it up the last mile.

I ran another three afterward, and felt great! I ran the last mile under eight minutes, reeling in a runner ahead of me for motivation. When the burn started, I thought of the phrase above. It worked. It also was nice to bag 20 miles, the most since Cape Cod.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Simple Minds

Running pain free for the first time in three weeks, I finished 5.5 miles in just over 50 minutes. What a great feeling to run with no back or leg discomfort. Tomorrow, I rise early to start my coaching duties for Team In Training. In less than an hour, it's off to the gym to co-coach Will's basketball team. Rarely a slow moment!

One of my favorite bands is Simple Minds. I've embedded a few on this blog in the past. Here are a few more good ones.

Here's a wonderful unknown song, Rivers of Ice.

All The Things She Said
Sanctify Yourself
Alive and Kicking
New Gold Dream
Theme for Great Cities

I believe I've posted this one before, but it's so good ... a blend of creativity from a YouTuber and a great song.

Tough to Hear

Our friend, Chuck Hendry, has relapsed. The news was hard to process, to say the least. Dori, who spoke with Chuck yesterday, bonded with him during the summer 2007 during their mutual battles against AML. We'll be there for him and his precious family and have started with prayer.

I updated Dori's photo on the site. Her smile says it all: "I'm just so happy to be here. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Running buddy Jim Asker, one of my training partners this summer and fall, made an appearance earlier this week on a local early afternoon show. Check it out. Well done, Jim.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Night Pickin'

This morning, I ran before dawn and saw a spectacular shooting star. Four-and-a-half miles later, I walked up our driveway to a pink, yello and orange sunrise. That's how you start a day.

Here's how you end one. Breaking out the guitar, or lettin' someone else do it for you.

Vintage Guitar: Dire Straits

The entire song, if you're so inclined

Paying homage to MK ...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Basketball Great Has CML

Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, the UCLA and Los Angeles Laker great, is battling leukemia. Here's the story. He has CML.

Just more proof this disease will go after anyone. KAJ is probably very grateful of all the TNT-ers and LLS-ers who helped make Gleevec possible.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spread the Word

Dori is volunteering next Saturday morning at a Bone Marrow Registry Drive scheduled around Emmit Martin's inaugural Nashville 1/2 Marathon. Emmit has already donated twice for the same patient.

This is your chance, Middle Tennesseans, to potentially help save someone's life! Get on the Registry, good people.

More info on Emmit's race and Saturday's marrow drive
Get on the Registry, wherever you live


I've enjoyed the break from training the last two weeks.

A few days ago, Dori brought some delicious cookies home from Gilda's Club. I wish she hadn't. It's a bad combo - tasty cookies in the house and a small sense of entitlement after completing 26.2.

Yesterday morning, I ran five difficult miles. The first two went fine, then I had to work and the last one hurt. An old nemesis, my left achilles, and my knees and calves weren't agreeable. Total weekly mileage was 13 over four runs.

This afternoon, I ran four miles. It's 75 degrees today, and the last mile uphill into the sun was good work. I felt much better today, with nothing hurting. I don't have a smooth stride yet, however. It's hard to describe, but it's like having 90% power and something in the stride is uneven. If my body were a car, I'd be in for a tune-up.

Someone told me today Dori looks like she's had a makeover, that she looks great. When I shared this compliment with Dori, she said, "I have had a makeover!" She spent the weekend in the yard raking and bagging leaves, smiling the whole time. What used to be a boring chore is now a great time to get exercise.

Perspective is a good thing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lady's Night

It's Dori Night, Friday Night Flashback-style. She already cut a rug to a few of these tonight during previews. Here are some favs.

Aunt Kathy, you don't know what you're missing!

And We Danced, The Hooters

Some B-52s, the most fun band ever and one of the best concerts I ever saw, circa 1983. Starting under The Strobe Light!

And one that makes both of us holler ... L'il Penny! "Hey, Tyra, you left your toothbrush at my house!" Thank you, Chris Rock.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Slow Down!

Out the door at 5:45 a.m., Kathryn asks, "Can we run nine-minute miles?" Before I could say, "Let's start out slow," she bolted. We probably ran closer to an 8:30 first mile, which our dog Pepper, who drafted off Kathryn, loved. I'm sure Born Free played loudly in his spotted head.

When Pepper stopped to conduct some business, my teammate didn't stop. Instead, she stretched her lead. Nice! So that's how it's going to be. I think I even heard giggles. I had to work to regroup with my sassy pacesetter.

At 1.5 miles, we hit our first hill. I know Kathryn doesn't like hills, so I decided to catch her and see if she could keep her pace. She started it, folks! She fell back some. I felt not a shred of guilt, blog followers. I'm within months of getting dusted by my daughter.

On the way to school, I asked, "So why do we have to run that hard so early?" She said, "Because jogging is boring. I like running."

So now I have a new speedwork partner.

Tonight, I spoke to another Team In Training group. More than 20 people showed up; about four have been impacted by blood cancer. One guy came up to tell me his wife is battling breast cancer, and one young woman asked if she should sign up for a full or half marathon (I suggested a half since she's never run more than three miles).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


On Sunday, Kathryn and I went to Radnor Lake for a three-miler, her longest run ever. With Pepper as our lead, we ran easy 10-minute miles on a picture-perfect day with the leaves turning along the crystal-clear lake. Kathryn did great. I felt ok, sore in the knees and calf muscles.

Tuesday morning, this time just with Pepper, I ran three more. I ran the first half-mile as gingerly as I've ever run. My tires had no air. But at least I got the blood moving.

Today was the first day I didn't feel sore somewhere. That's a 10-day recovery, about what I expected. The hardest part was still the walk from the finish line to the car.

I was impressed by the performance of American runners in the New York Marathon. Six placed in the top 10, with Meb Keflezighi winning and Ryan Hall finishing fourth.

What a great story and profile of courage, honor and persistence.

Kathryn wants to run early tomorrow morning. One of my favorite parts of the Cape Cod Marathon was watching a father and his daughter race together. They were on my pace, so I saw them often. Maybe Kathryn and I will run a long race together one day.