Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Hi Gang. Last post of 2008. Got a pretty good week of training in in preparation for my 50k race in the Buckeye Trail Winter
50k. Ran on Saturday morning with TriEric and his wife Aimee. Also met one of their friends, who at age 65 is my hero. This
man has a spark and can go all day.. He's like a lithium battery. All three are doing the Half Marathon in the competition.
Eric left us shortly after we began and ran his own kinda workout and I was able to keep up with the other two. However that
morning was day #1 of ending the holiday meal marathon. I felt some of the extra weight, thats for sure. We ran on a 60 degree
morning and got to hop on a couple of trails with good inclines and descents, yet it was good and mucky. Loved it!!!!! All
told, I ran 1 hour and 40 minutes beginning at Station Road in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park System. We even hopped into
some puddles for the heck of it!!!! I hope we never grow up.
The Bride got me a Garmin 305 and its been a hoot just checking out the features of it. Tuesday AM I used it for the first time
in doing a 3.5 mile run in the North Chagrin Reservation.. I love the bridle trails and with recent warm weather followed by
very cold morning, there were lots of Horse hoofs to navigate!!!! Look out for twisted ankles!!!!
I entered the workout stuff in the Garmin Training Center on my laptop. It was out and back with the final part of the out going
up a 9 percent grade!!! Fun stuff. Had no trouble locating satellite connection too. The Satellite tracking my movements is
fascinating to me. In one way you might think of Big Brother but I look at it that technology cares about little old me and
that this technology is going to help me better myself in training and racing.

Of course above yours truly but not as high as the Satellites are the clouds. The Bride took this great shot of the clouds
when we were flying back from Thanksgiving in Florida. Its a serene view. Natures Bleach White Cotton Candy. Whats going on
under those clouds. How are the lives of the people?? When those people look up and see those clouds, are they in the midst of
a tough day?? What limits do they set for themselves?? Do they see a never ending chance to explore whats out there?? Or do
they look at the Clouds and conclude that its dreary?? That the sun is gone and that today sucks? Just wondering.

If you follow the NFL you might know the Browns fired their General Manager and Head Coach so that has kept us busy. Spent
Monday doing a bunch of Live Shots from the Browns Headquarters. I said, in many ways the Coach, Romeo Crennel was walking
coachings Green Mile the last 6 weeks as everyone expected him to get fired. You hear the saying about "Good things happening
to good people"? Not in this case. Romeo is a very classy man..honorable and all that. However its all about results baby!!!
Finally. I hope all of you have a safe New Year Celebration and that your 2009 is a Blast!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Holiday Greetings....May your Mistletoe not hurt your toes...May your Yuletide Cheer not bring you down and may you keep on training despite food being everywhere...

I am writing this on the shores of Lake Erie in our beautiful newsroom that overlooks the Lake at East 55th street. Its Christmas eve and I have just finished writing the late news scripts and gotten all the interviews etc edited. Another crazy day....Browns are down to their 4th string quarterback. My lovely desk (cluttered with goodness knows what) overlooks the Lake and, although this time of year..(read : Dec thru-March) the sun takes a back seat to the clouds, I always enjoy the sunsets and if you ask my colleagues, I even have a crazy habit of getting on the P.A. system and doing a sunset play by play. Its silly. Its fun and its worth the ribbing I get from colleagues. Its all about stopping and smelling the roses, which I think people make a point of doing around the holidays, only with alot of chaos thrown in for good measure.

Its been 9 days since my last post and for that I apologize.("Bless me father for I have sinned" ...this feels like a confession) Training took a little hit last week. My mileage dropped from a high of 34 miles to just 14 last week. This week, I hope to hit 25. I also need to get to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and hit the trails to further prep for the 31 mile ultra in January.

The Bride had one day about 8 days ago when she only taught two classes and did not workout herself..so she entrusted me to put her through a workout...Heres what I devised.
1. 200 steps up (5 inch riser)
2. 10 crunches
3. 15 Bent over Rows using dumbells
4. 30 seconds simulated rope skipping
5. Shoulder Presses-barbell 15 reps
6. 15 pushups
7. 15 Bicep curls dumbell
8. 15 tricep extensions using bands
(water break)
Repeat 4 times.

I learned that the initial 200 steps was a little too long so in coming workouts I will shorten it and sprinkle the cardio over the circuit. As usual, The Bride blew the workout clear out of the water...She kicked its fanny big time!!! I expected it.

Usually, I drop a quote or two on you guys and try to insert a meaningful message. I promise to do that in the next post, and I promise it won't be as long too.

All the Holiday Best to you!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Greetings from the City of Brotherly Love...otherwise known as "I am blowing smoke right into your rental car window in your first 20 minutes in the city". Yep..happened to me and my photographer Ron Mount when we finally arrived in Philly Sunday night to ready for our live shots Monday night when the Browns face the Eagles.

Our travel plans were scripted by the Travel Agency from Hell...also known as Stevie Wonder will GPS you. To save money, we were told to drive an hour to Canton Akron..fly to Detroit..lay over for 3 plus hours and then fly from Detroit to Philly. To make things even more interesting, our flight landed an hour late due to an emergency at Phildelphia International Airport.

But, we are alive and as I write this, its late at night and the Cowboys and Giants are battling on Sunday night football. I have ingested a Philly Cheesesteak, sending my cholesterol levels soaring over the highest building in Philly.

You might recall in our last live gig in Buffalo, the fans there said the F-word on live T.V. and we are planning to prevent such an boo boo this time in Philly. How I am just not sure, but maybe we will just try to fake the fans out...and pretend I am going live in, say 10 minutes and then sneak in one real quick.

Training for the week went pretty well. My goal was 30 miles of running, but I managed to just hit the 26 mark. I think the very long travel today halted my late plans. However, early Monday am, I plan on getting into the city and running a very long, 7-9 miles before we get cranking for the day.

CSI North Chagrin

One run last week on a frigid, snowy day, I got in an 8 miler at North Chagrin and experimented a little. There was about a half inch snow on the ground. So...I found a pair of running shoe tracks that, I figured were close to mine...maybe 9.5 or 10's and I attempted to run in those shoes. You know, match the unknown person, stride for stride. It was funny at first. I normally run 10:00 pace or so on the trails..but this person had to be a faster jogger. Anyway, I just matched him and started thinking about him. What does he do for a living? Does he do triathlons too?. Did he vote for Obama or McCain?? Was he running with someone else(I saw tracks) or was he running after someone. How far did he run?? Was he aware that he was being silently stalked by yours truly? It was fun impersonating the person (or his shoes) and it made the run fly by. I even looked real hard at the tread on the shoes and discovered they were Asics , just like mine. You might think this weird, I got a kick out of it.

Speaking of getting a kick..I worked out THE BRIDE on a circuit session and I will relate that to you on a coming post...
Have a Great Week
Life's a Blast

Monday, December 8, 2008


Don't laugh. I am writing this in my kitchen with a candle lit right next to the computer. I am hoping the setting...(Bride now at fitness center teaching a stability ball class) will help me hit the right keys and in the process make some sense..... Its dark, save for the glow of the laptop and the candle.....

Last week I made some strong strides with my weight training workouts....even got in two hard leg workouts and two very tough upper body workouts... I did however, impose a slight reduction of my running mileage. Chalk it up to a senior moment. I had a little discomfort on my left shin. Immediately I thought of shin splints...the bane of existence for many long distance folks. However, I seemed to recall wacking my left leg once about 10 days ago and so was hoping the pain was more relative to the bump. So....Mr. mid fifties dude made an executive decision. It was likely the forgotten bump that caused the situation...but...just to be safe....why not drop the mileage.???? Good compromise. So...I went from a week of 33 miles to a week of 16 and had no real long runs. I even mixed in two 30 minute segments on elliptical and stationary bikes too. I even had two treadmill workouts where I ran 8:09 miles for 3 miles.

Sunday was perfect. The Bride and I got both our Christmas trees. We get a 10 footer for our Great room and then a Charlie Brown tree for the front room. The orphaned tree must cause people who walk by to say..."Gheesh..that guy can't find a better tree than that piece of garbage"??? We always get our trees in Willoughby Hills and the folks are wonderful. The Greigs do alot of dog therapy at the Cleveland Clinic. One of their dogs had just 3 legs. They always brighten up the day of sick kids with their therapy dogs. Great ..great people. After we got the trees, we Christmas shopped and I had the rare day off from t.v. and so...did not have to watch the Browns play the Titans. Talk about an early Christmas present.!!!!

I started off this week by pledging to return to the 30's. My goal will be 30 even. This morning, I ran on the bridle paths and off the paths at North Chagrin. Snowy..quiet and quite nice. Pretty cold...but no big deal.

As I write this, the Steelers are on track to win another division. Pittsburgh is supposed to be the hated rival of Browns fans.. But I have to prop their coach Mike Tomlin for his comment after the Black and Gold came from behind to beat the Cowboys

"People get too pre-occupied with style points. That was a beautiful football game". I have to agree with what he wrote and perhaps it applies to other aspects of our lives. Julie Moss did not win style points for her finish in the Ironman in the early years...but all her crawling to the finish line did was...vault the sport into the public consciousness. Triathletes know the drill. Wanting to finish a long event and look good in the process..get reduced to "just get the damn thing done"
I think what coach Tomlin was saying was "Hey we are not doing so well right now, but we will keep trying and we will find a way to get it done". Darned if they didn't do that.
We go out and train. We are results oriented people. We know that buckets filled with our sweat will mean we can accomplish a very tough task. We know its more about substance than it is about style.

America is in a tough spot. We need to succeed at fixing our countries problems. I don't need the solution to be pretty or stylish....I just know its gonna come with good old fashioned hard work!!!

Have a great week.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The past week has been eventful... My last post referred to the passing of our long time friend, Eddie E. to pancreatic cancer and it was tough to see him go...plus I was feeling bad that due to the long time plans to go to Florida for Thanksgiving that The Bride and I would not be able to go to his service. However, our Friends were wonderful and Eddie's widow and kids know that we will all be there for them in years to come and how much Eddie meant to us. For a little more about Eddie, please check my most recent post.

But to Florida we went and it was great to see THE BRIDES parents, her brother, sister, husband, daughter and new son in law. We really haad a great time, plus the weather was ideal for running...
The past week, I totalled 33 miles of running. Did No elliptical workouts but lifted twice for the upper body and did one leg workout. I got in one run of 8.5 miles in Florida and another of 7.0. I loved the warm weather but all my Florida miles were on streets or sidewalks and thats not what my knees like at all. But when I got back to Ohio Friday night, I knew that I would still have to run 16 miles to get the weekly goal. Sooooooo...Saturday morning, I cranked up the Landice treadmill we have in our basement and reeled off 11 miles..Did an easy pace of about 9:40 per mile. Like on your car when you hit 100,000 miles, my time counter on treadmill went back to 00:00 when I went past 99 Minutes..I had to laugh. Sunday I ran the final 5 miles. The treadmill and its softer surface balanced out the hard jarring of the streets in Florida. By the way the Landice is a superb treadmill. We have had this one 7 years. It has a lifetime warranty that you can pass from one person to the next. Its motor is very strong and its never needed any work at all and yes, gang we do use it alot.

I believe Voltaire wrote "Paradise is where I am" and I really feel strongly about it. Its about enjoying where you are, when you are there. Sounds corny but it works for me. I never desired jobs elsewhere. I love my city of Cleveland, warts and all. While I could probably stand to have less credit card debt, I am not going for the fancy car or house. I love where I am and by believeing that, I don't think I am "settling" for anything less than what is best for me. How about you?? Do you think if you were somewhere else, life would instantly be better?? Do you think your level of fitness or racing prowess is less than ideal. I know you might be thinking,...gheesh...j.t. is really a Pollyanna and doesn't like to rock the boat, but thats not my point. I do want to take risks in reaching for goals in training and racing.. Frank Scully wrote "Why not go out on a limb?? Isn't that where the fruit is?. I love that. We can set a goal that takes risk and sacrifice and the reward is better than the juiciest of fruits. Theres no reward like the one when we shoot higher. So I only want to make two points, if I may. Be content in where you are in life, because your place in life doesnt have to correspond to the biggest salary or most posh of surroundings. However as you dream of athletic prizes, don't be afraid to go out on a limb...it just might be as strong a limb as your conviction.

This week, I will total 35 miles running with a longest of 12. The ultra is a little more than a month and a half away. I have a few triathlons in mind for 09 and I will talk about them in coming posts.


Monday, November 24, 2008


Hi again.... Training is going well.. Last week, I hit the 30 mile mark and will boost the total to 33 this Turkey week. Most of my runs were on the treadmill and I am getting a little faster, pace wise... Lifted twice for upper body and hit the legs real hard in one workout.

Been reading Tiki Barbers workout book. Barber is the ex- New York Giant back and much of his gains came as a result of overload work. Heavy lifts in a no frills gym. Saw a couple drills he does that I can try.

Read a little about the Lakota Sioux in recent weeks. I have an appreciation for the people since I worked in the Dakotas early in my career. Jim Tressel also wrote about the Sioux in his book "The Winners Manual".

The Sioux have a word "Woohitike" which means bravery. Its a central virtue of the Lakota Sioux. They believed that we all have it in us to be brave, and that we will be shaped and tempered by our challenges. Hunters handrafted bows from seasoned ash wood. One way was to find a young tree and harvest it and let it dry 5 years. The other was to search for a tree that was struck by lightning. The awesome power of nature had in one instant, dried and cured the tree. Such bows from struck trees would be of immense strength and would prove to be great weapons for hunting.

We all face adversity in life. Work problems, or workout problems..whatever the case, there are problems. We set goals and often times, we don't reach our goals immediately but we push on. My childhood buddy Darrell Nagy battled for several years to reach his goal. He wanted to run in the Boston Marathon. He was like the young tree that was patiently curing itself. Race after race he missed his goal. 7,500 miles of training...14 marathons....5 years. But not too long ago, at the cusp of age 55, Pudge ripped off an impressive time (3 hours, 43 minutes) at the Richmond Marathon and will be going to Boston in 09.!!!!!!!!! I am really proud of him. He spent 5 years and he fought and he fought. He never gave up!!! *** (Hoped to include a photo, but having download problems)

My long time friend, Eddie E. may have been like the ash tree struck by lightning. About 4 months ago he found out he had pancreatic cancer. He suffered the ultimate adversity. He was an incredibly strong man of small stature who took this adversity and he fought with dignity and courage. He proved to be a much stronger man. A man we all looked up to with respect and love. Eddie showed the ultimate strength and bravery or "Woohitike". But at 10:10pm last night, he passed away. This quiet, loving man was like the tree struck by the awesome power of nature. He was rare. He was a great example of a person who never quit and who found humor in everything. He was strong, but pancreatice cancer is relentless.

Two friends with two different fates. Pudge continues his race. He will train and he will enjoy Boston. Eddie's race has been run and I will forever, remember his strength, his humor and his humanity and his bravery.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Hi again....The past week of training went very well.... I upped the total mileage to 27 miles.. My longest run was 10 miles. I ran 3 times on trails...the rest were on the treadmill and the pace is getting better as I have shed a couple pounds. I did 2 upper body workouts.. One leg workout. My shoulder still bothers me. I have not swam since the second week in October. I may have to get the darn thing looked at. I have not set any events for 2009, other than the 50 kilometer Trail Ultra. I really appreciate the offers of assistance from Daisy, Aimee, Eric and others for the Winter Ultra. Thanks alot and I hope to take you up.

Frozen in Time

Strolled down a frigid memory lane Monday when I went back to Buffalo, New York to do a t.v. special and cover the Browns and Bills game. I worked in Buffalo from 1978 to 1980. THE BRIDE and I had two little kids then. Those kids are now 31 and 29, plus our baby Joe came along in 1982. I had not been back to the city in quite some time.

Photographer Ron Mounts and I went to the famous Anchor Bar where chicken wings were born, and had lunch of a beef on weck and a few wings. The place was packed. I remember how we used to order buckets of chicken wings with the Blue cheese dressing. You can order all the stuff on line!!!

Ralph Wilson Stadium had thousands of rabid fans...many of whom wanted to get on t.v. right before the game.. Stupid of us to be set up right in the middle of the throng. At one point in the special, a guy walked up to me and yelled "Fox 8 Fu@*king sucks" Yes folks, we needed a 7 second delay.
When the special was over at 8:30, I scrambled to get up into the press box and I ran into my old mentor. Van Miller. Van was the long time voice of the Buffalo Bills and was the sports guy at WIVB TV back when I was there. We had alot of laughs, and he taught me alot. I will always remember fondly those days when he played tennis all the time and greeted just about everyone with "whats cooking good looking". But here is where I was frozen in time. Van is a much older man, whose voice is very meek, a far cry from when he boomed play by play to legions of Bills faithful. I felt bad that I saw him in this state. I know that time marches on and you don't stay young forever.
The Browns did not quit as was alleged by a few players recently. They won on a late field goal kicked by the most humble of Browns, Phil Dawson. Most of the comments I got from the players stemmed from their belief that it was great things worked out for them and that they really got too caught up in looking into games and the hoopla from being on alot of Monday Night Broadcasts. Braylon Edwards admitted that "You can't get ahead of yourself"
Braylon has a point. Too often, I am thinking of events far into the future, I can't appreciate whats right in front of me.

Of course there are Browns fans that would just say to Braylon.."Skip the philosophy and just catch the damn ball" His point is valid. My mind is racing about how I can get cranking on triathlon training when I should just focus on handling the ultra.

Speaking of Buffalo. I really fell in love with distance racing in Buffalo. We jogged at Delaware Park all the time and the running community was so big that I was even able to talk the bosses into letting me go to Boston in 1979 qnd 1980 and cover all the Buffalo runners in the marathon.
I saw Billy Rodgers fly to victory in 1979 and in 1980, the legit runners took a back seat to the cheater..Rosie Ruiz. I ran the Skylon International Marathon twice which starts in the USA and finishes in Canada right by Niagra Falls.
Those were fun times..the so called good old days....but funny me.. I happen to think just about every day is...Another Good Old Day
Happy trainingLife's a Blast

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hi everyone...Last week...24 total miles and most of them on the bridle paths at North Chagrin Reservation.. This am, I began the week with a 4 mile....9:40 per brisk run in brisk 33 degree weather on the paved paths at the park. There was an inch of Snow on the ground. Other areas east of Cleveland got 6 to 8 inches.. Hello winter!!!!

This week, I will run a total of 27 miles with a long run of 10....The biggest concern I have for the 50k ultra will be getting comfortable on the trails down in Peninsula. I admit, I am not super familiar with them.

Had a good week controlling the food intake..(Sounds like I'm a manifold or something!!) Getting better on entering what I ate...I have a silly system of rating each day. Half Ironman is a very good day. Olympic is where I slid, but ever so slightly. Sprint is a day with missteps, but not a disaster. DNF is...you guessed it... a total blowout...no control...strap on the feed bag kinda day. Yesterday was one of those days... Most of last week was Half Ironman.

Cleveland sports fans are aware the Browns blew two big leads in the second half of each of their last 2 games. Jamal Lewis, the running back, whom I respect alot said that some guys kinda quit in the second half of the Denver Game. To me, thats inexcusable. Many of you who read this blog are dedicated to improving your fitness and racing ability. You have done marathons, and Ironmans, and other kinds of endurance tests. Quit is a dirty word. To think that pro athletes wimp out like that really gets me going and I would assume you feel the same way.

If those guys could live just one day as Rick Pashke, then maybe they would think differently. Rick had brain surgery a few years ago and as a result, lost most feeling in his left side. He has been training with Patrick Erdmann of Gemini Quest in Broadview Heights, Ohio. Pat got him to use bands at first to try to strengthen his upper body. Hand weights were tough to control and Rick banged his head a few times. Working with Pat, it seems like a miracle is taking place. Rick, who in high school was a baseball player has gotten stronger and stronger and a little more in control. He can stand up. He can push a wheelchair (with assistance) a few feet. His goal is to walk unaided. I featured Rick Sunday night and my point before showing the piece was that Rick was not a star athlete. He was not a well known pro athlete who had his games on t.v. and made lots of money. Rick is everyman. Rick is us. Rick has determination. Rick has fire in his belly to want to improve. He has had so many roadblocks during all this. But the Browns players who had a little misfortune in the second half of a ballgame simply gave up. I dare any of those players to watch Rick workout just once. I think they would have a huge attitude shift.
Have a great week everyone!!
Life's a Blast!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Hi everyone. Coming off a 21 mile week of running....not particularly noteworthy, but will increase the distances and spend more time in the woods running. Lifting a little bit more now as the shoulder is getting better...

Passed the Halloween (Bags and Bags of Candy) Temptation Experiment without making a drastic plunge into intense sugar overload. Consider myself alive and better for it.
Next battle will the Thanksgiving...aka...annual "stuffing of the bird" as in...stuffing this old bird.

Props to that southern gentleman (WES) who put the hammer down at Ironman Florida and ripped off a 13:47 time while losing his Iron virginity.. Check out his blog as I am sure he will have an entertaining post on it soon. He is also nominated for Endurance Blog of the Year!!! Good Luck Wes!!!!!!!

Thinking of Wes and the others who have finished the gruelling Ironman, reminds me that this time of the year, when the days grow shorter and the sun caresses the ground less and less each day is really the time when we start to look ahead to what 09 might bring. Sure, you can save that for the First of the year, I suppose, but every day is a great day to dream.

I began the 08 year jumping in frozen Lake Erie..(For the Hell of it, he said) but I had already dreamed of what the year would bring... If you see my 08 sidebar of events, it was pretty loaded and one of my best years ever, despite a hamstring that cursed me on a seemingly weekly basis.

Henry David Thoreau wrote.."Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake" Or how about this amazing quote "There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, "Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams." Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yep, they're still there" Erma Bombeck wrote that. I know of many people who can spit out a list of their dreams and go at length about what they plan on doing. Thats all well and good. But to plan means, one has to actually put it into action.

Tim Mack was a non descript high school pole vaulter who never even made the state meet from Clevelands St. Ignatius High school. But he realized his dream. He stunned the world when he won the Olympic Gold medal in 2004. I picked up his book, which bore the touch of longtime Cleveland sports columnist Bill Livingston. Its a great read. Above and Beyond " is so much about "living your dreams awake". If you check this book out, it will help you realize the possibilities that lie inside of you!!

I'm guilty. I have a bucket list. I have done some things on it...but not enough. One dream can give way to another. I want to run an ultra. So I signed up. January 18th 50 K. Who knows what might develope because I do it??? It will be fun to see!!!

Enjoy your training and racing. I have been pretty busy lately but hope to bop around to all the blogs and check out your stuff, folks.!!!!!!
Life's a Blast!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008



World Series in the bag...Congrats to the Phils. Joe Maddon, the Rays manager made an interesting comment when asked what his young players learned from the World Series experience. "Experience...just the fact that a mind once stretched has a difficult time going back to its original form. I've always like that. Our minds have been stretched. Everything about us has been stretched. I don't think our guys are ever going to be satisfied going home in October again"

I thought that was a great comment. Think back to your journey to a stronger, leaner, faster racing machine. When you started, what did the prospect of a short little sprint triathlon seem like to you??? You did it. Then, you set your sights on a bigger goal. Its unlikely you would ever be satisfied with simply swimming a short distance, biking a bit and maybe running a 5k to finish up. But you have stretched your mind... you have lengthen the possibilities.
I remember my first long race, 1976, living in the Black Hills of South Dakota. There was an 8 mile race on fire trails in the Black Hills. Might as well have been 100 miles, it seemed so long. But that race gave way to Half Marathons...to full marathons... to 1985 when I began triathlons..to the point of doing multiple Ironman Distance races. Doesn't seem impossible. The mind stretched.

Gotta tip my hat to Joe Maddon for that statement. Gotta love that guy, looking like Buddy Holly with those horn rimmed glasses and calling guys "dude". I like his style.

This week, one of our blogging buds, Wes is doing Ironman Florida. I know when he got into the sport, he experienced the trepidations that come with tackling a sport. Can I do this??? How much will I have to train??? Will I drown swimming in open water??? Those kinda fears... ...and now we fast forward to Wes tackling an Ironman. And when he crosses the finish line he will rejoice and take it all in... But he built up the belief in his mind that he could do it by stretching the mind...by seeing the possibilities where others might see a brick wall. Good Luck Wes!!

A few months back I wrote of Cleveland Area legendary triathlete Darryl Kollai's sudden death due to a heart attack. You might recall his son, Dr. Eric Kollai also raced tris. Here is an article from the Honolulu Advertiser about Eric prepping to get back into racing to honor his dad. It wasn't just any race too... It was XTERRA!!!! Thanks to Michael Tsai of the Advertiser.

Dr. Eric Kollai, an emergency physician at Kaiser Hospital in Moanalua, is one of 550 competitors expected to descend on Maui for the prestigious (and punishing) off-road event.
Considered the toughest of the 17 XTERRA Championship races, the event is composed of a 1-mile open-ocean swim, a 20-mile mountain bike leg that climbs 3,000 feet up and down Haleakala volcano, and a 7.5-mile trail run over rock, forest trails and beach.
It will be Kollai's first race since his father, Darryl, died of a heart attack on Aug. 30 at the age of 53.
Darryl Kollai was a esteemed figure in Cleveland's triathlon community, known as much for his patient, generous mentorship of young athletes as for the high level of athletic accomplishment he maintained until his death.
"He was just a go-get-'em kind of guy," Eric Kollai said. "From 6 a.m. until he went to bed at night, he was on the go nonstop. He loved triathlons and he loved bringing people in to the sport."
Darryl Kollai, a construction inspector for the Cleveland Water Department, completed his first triathlon in the 1970s after watching coverage of the Kona Ironman on TV. He helped pioneer the sport in his home state and neighboring areas, watching it as it moved from the fringe to the recreational mainstream.
He competed internationally as a member of Team USA, and remained a staunch competitor, routinely placing in the top third of races into his 50s.
Just three weeks before he died, he posted the fastest bike time in the Cleveland Triathlon, besting competitive riders more than half his age.
Darryl Kollai was finishing a 50-mile ride, a training session for yet another young triathlete, when he suffered his heart attack.
News of his death rocked not just his family, but the extended network of Midwest triathletes he had befriended in his 27 years in the sport. Within days, triathlon chat boards were filled with messages of condolence and fond memories of the fallen racer.
At his funeral, Kollai was dressed in the Team USA outfit he proudly wore for years and one of the country's pre-eminent multi-sport athletes.
Eric Kollai, who had devoted months of rigorous training in preparation for XTERRA, initially planned to withdraw from the competition. His body was ready, even after a 3 1/2-week layoff to return to Ohio, but his spirit was deeply wounded.
"It was definitely a question whether I would go through with it or not, but I think it's the best way to pay tribute to him since he had devoted so much of his life to the sport," Kollai said.
In fact, it was his father's passion for the sport that tilled the soil for Kollai's own athletic development.
"Every weekend was a vacation," Kollai said, recalling the family road trips that attended each of his father's out-of-state races.
Kollai was himself an athlete born and bred. He ran cross country and track in high school and later at Mt. Union College in Ohio. He also swam competitively for local master's clubs. Kollai's triathlon career began shortly after high school and he briefly flirted with the idea of turning pro before deciding — on his father's advice — to attend medical school instead.
Father and son competed together on several teams, and the two often talked of their respective adventures in the sport. Kollai's last conversation with his father came two days before he died. Kollai was on his bicycle, lost somewhere on the North Shore, when he reached his father back in Ohio. They talked briefly about the upcoming XTERRA race, just the second off-roader event of his career.
Kollai schedules his training session around his overnight work schedule. He'll often train before going to sleep in the morning, then again before he heads back to work.
"My dad used to run to and from work, so I knew from an early age that you have to just make time for it," Kollai said.
In memory and celebration of his father, Kollai will do his best tomorrow to abide by a legacy of lessons bequeathed to him.
"The thing I've learned from all of this is that you've got to enjoy every moment that you have," Kollai said. "I think about my dad every day and it makes me cry. But I also think about the way he lived his life, and it's like that old saying: 'It's not the years in your life, it's the life in your years.' That was my dad."
Reach Michael Tsai at

Eric finished 8th in the 30--34 age group. 3 hours and 18 minutes. It had to be emotional for him..but what a way to honor your dad!!! Remember Erics quote "Its not the years in your life, its the life in your years"

My training has been going well...hope yours has also.

Life's a Blast

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Muddy Meaning of Life

Hi... training has been just going along...kinda meandering like a river with no idea where its going. I have tried to add more time but I have to admit that is a slow process... I know that in roughly 2 months and three weeks, I will have to pay the piper.. the ultra piper...50K.... and I had better be ready.
With the weather getting a little colder and wetter, the trails are getting muddy..but I am good with all of that. I continue to contemplate life. I joked recently about that on my facebook page. But there is truth to it. I have been reading (actually holding a book, not listening on mp3) a book called "One Month to Live" It is exactly what you think. How would you live if you knew you had one month to live? Would you attack that bucket list thats gathered cobwebs on your shelf?? Would you reach out to someone with whom you had a tough relationship??? The best quote I can remember from the book is that "everyone dies but not everyone lives". Man, that one hits home to me. One of our closest friends got the word about pancreatic cancer a few months ago and it doesn't look good. In some way, it could be one reason why I have not attacked my training with the usual zeal.

I want to thank the folks a United Cerebral Palsy of Cleveland for asking me to be the honorary chairman for next summers Cleveland Triathlon. UCP WEBSITE http://www.ucpcleveland.org/welcome.asp You may remember a post in early August on how I swam for a family whose son, Dawud has cerebral palsy. His pic in on my sidebar. That was so inspiring to me, I am happy to be involved for next year. Then, they hope to have staff members of UCP take part in the race. This August, it was families for the most part. Its sobering to note that its unlikely our close friend won't even be around next summer to hear about our Triathlon.

The hearing aids came and its hilarious...its like I am hearing things for the first time. I hear the fans in the ceilling. I hear my fingers clicking the keyboard. I hear the tires of cars on the road, and many, many things. Its startling and I think I have to have them adjusted. I was visiting my friend at hospice and I hear a loud rumble noise and loud "CREEEAKKK" it was just my weight shifting on the bed I was sitting on the edge of and the creak of the springs!!! When I used to wear just one, I could hear some natural sound with the open ear...Now with two, its hard to tell just how loud my voice is in conversations. In the newsroom today, I was hearing guys talking at the assignment desk, which is 50 feet away!!!! Ohh...and Breaking News!!! An aid purchased in 2003 for one ear was 2700 bucks. This year I have two aids, which have more technology, and are a little bit smaller and both of them together cost 2800$$. Best of all, its better for The Bride, who has had to put up with me having no aids for almost 2 months. She deserved better.

Finally, a tip of the hat to Brian Moorman, punter of the Buffalo Bills. He raced in the Pittsford New York Triathlon this summer and even got some coaches and a couple teammates to take part. Good to see the big boys trying to tackle our sport. He raised thousands and thousands for his Foundation. Love that stuff. (click here)
Hey..Life's a Blast!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Hi..training has been somewhat generic in nature..but a couple different workouts mixed in to keep the bordedom at bay..
One workout featured a rope skipping routine after about a 50 minute elliptical session. I skipped 15 x 60 seconds hard with 30 seconds recovery.
I am still refraining from heavy lifting due to my shoulder. Its getting better but not dramatically. I am being patient, but if its not showing near normal function in another 2 weeks, then I will have it looked at.

I have gotten into listening to books with mp3 players. Our Euclid, Ohio library (Voted #3 in the country) now gives out the mp3 players with the book already loaded.. Its great. You can save places.. go ahead or go back..

I am listening to the book "Walking the Bible" and its fascinating.

Been thinking about how triathletes like to announce to complete strangers just how much experience they have with that particular race. How its normal for some people to answer the simple question..."Did you do this race last year"? with

"Ahhh yeah, I P.R.'d here last year, which was my 8th time racing this one. I lowered my swim times dramatically and need to drop another 10 minutes off my time this year if I am gonna have any chance of going under 13 hours at Kona. Of course you've heard of Kona. Yeah, I did that 3 times and so while I want a good time today, I am just probably gonna use it as a long workout to prep me for Kona, and if I run well enough in the 13 mile portion, I'm gonna enter another Half Iron in a month...... yep..gonna do the "Half Assed Half" in Poughkeepsie....ahhh How about You"?
So as a public service, I offer you some things you can say to the veterans at a triathlon that just might make them wonder...and maybe even...avoid you at all costs!!!! LOL!!

"Ahh is it possible for you to write the number on my arm long hand???? You know like.... "Two Forty Nine"

Wouldn't it be cool if this race gave us those thingy's to put on our ankles?? Then when we cross certain spots, the device could record what time we came by?? Wouldn't that be cool??"

"I bought a suit made out of neophrene and its supposed to make you more buoyant in the water...but crap, I see alot of other people have those too!! So much for my little secret"!!!!

"Hey, where are the lanes out in the Lake?? I wanted to be able to swim in a lane"!!

'I heard that some people eat bananas and drink Gatorade...sound likes wusses to me. We're only gonna be out there 5 hours"??

"Hey didn't triathlons start in Maine in the 1950's"?

"I hope nobody tries to pee in this Lake..it would be unsanitary"

"Can I ask someone else to break the wind for me on my bike?? Its okay to do that, right"???

I'm sure I would get some weird reactions...ohh yeah about the birth of triathlons....I know, I know...I know the sport really began in Cleveland in the 30's. (wink)

On a work note, I want to thank the Universe Bulleltin for writing a great article on our stations Friday Night Touchdown coverage of high school football. We do 20 minutes, using our helicopter...hilights of 20 games... blogs on our website http://www.myfoxcleveland.com/ and chats, and posted highlights. Its fun stuff. The pic is of me on the right, Danny Coughlin in the middle and Tony Rizzo on the left. We have a blast. Article link here

Life's a Blast

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I appreciate commitment to a task. Its the worker bee in me, I think. I love to hear about how some people give everything they have to prepare to be the best they can be.

Triathlons are filled with these kinds of people. The reasons are varied. Maybe you started to lose weight and used a race as incentive. Maybe you got in deeper and then decided an Ironman was the next logical (I know, insane) step.

Whatever you choose, its usually for the best reasons and then it is consuming.

Ray Lewis is a future Hall of Fame linebacker with the Ravens. He is supposed to be the enemy in Cleveland, but to be frank, I don't hate this guy. What I respect is the intensity on how he prepares. Its full speed ahead for him. This article in Mens Fitness describes a little bit about how he trains. I imagine if you bought the magazine you would get alittle more than what is offered on line.

I have been down on the NFL sidelines and seen this guy up close. I have been outside his lockeroom as he comes out and gets ready to take the field. I have seen how he riles up his teammates...how he expects them to be great...how he elevates their game. Its amazing to watch and what he has done is lead a defense that over the course of his career has been pretty darn good.

He might breath fire and he is successful. I don't however think everyone can prepare and compete like Ray.

So, why is Ray the way he is and why are you the way that you are?? Elementary question but it might take a team of psychologists to come up with an answer.

I have seen people in triathlon show that intensity and I have seen great results from those folks.. I have seen others who seem quiet and low key and then they hit the water and they are transformed.. On a real personal level, its a case of someone becoming more of what they really are by tackling a tough endurance event. Aches and pains are little obstacles. The plan is being executed and no one can stop them.

Training for the 50 k Winter Buckeye Trail is going well...Hope yours is going well too!!!
Life's a Blast

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Hi folks. Its an insanely busy time of the year for me on the professional side while the training and racing is in a little lull. At work, we have the Cavs in training camp, the Browns playing the Giants Monday night...Ohio State in full scale mode..and the high school football season is just 2 weeks from the playoffs. (Above photo courtesy Akron Beacon Journal......Brazilian Anderson Varejao on the right with a "I'm with stupid" tee shirt. Lebron James on left)
When its crazy at work, I can always count on the workouts to help me recharge... Our area is gorgeous this time of the year. Our weatherman Dick Goddard likes to refer to the pretty colors of the trees as "flaming foliage". I kid him by saying that sounds like "flamboyant trees"......but suffice to say Northeast Ohio is awesome this time of year. So, I penned a little short ditty below to celebrate the seasonal change.

The sky was an azure blue as he left his car in the parking lot and stretched.
Soon he began running, his movement slow, his breaths coming a little quicker than usual.
The caffeine from the robust coffee was coursing around his body, hopefully igniting a passion for improved fitness.
It wasn't coming easy. The goal was just to run 30 minutes and maybe, just maybe the moment would overtake him and the time would slide by effortlessly.
With each step, the soft dirt and small stones greeted his shoes, inviting the next step, and the next.
The brook was gurgling, its soft sound blending in with the crunch of the foot falls and the breathing of the man.
He became lost in his own thoughts.
The minutes slipped by, the body warmed up and the breathing became easier.
Under the blue canopy were the trees in the process of splashing vivid color to the park, all the while knowing the reds and yellows and oranges would soon be voted off the maples or oaks and that soon the branches would be barren.
The man didn't involve himself in the drama of the changing of the seasons, he was lost in the moment.
The 30 minutes flew by and he kept moving, the sweat trickling down his back, his breaths painting the air with little clouds of vapor, a mini choo choo training chugging up a hill. Several others passed by on the less travelled trail. A couple with their dog and a woman jogging, as her german shepard led the way.
Before long an hour had passed, but an hour he can go back to in his mind.
Days will get cold, winds will be fierce and the snow will come... but the thoughts of a near perfect October run will stay with him and keep him coming back for more.

Best to all who are racing this weekend....for more "top of my head thoughts" drop by my Facebook page. Code word "Triguyjt" haha!!

Life's a Blast

Monday, October 6, 2008


Have you seen those wedding cake houses in New Orleans on St. Charles Street.???

Turns out, one of those homes played a part in the reason for this post.

You could also call this post. Streetcar Named Desire.

Training update first. The past week, I ran for a total of 5 hours and did 2 weight training sessions on upper body but very easy because of the shoulder I tweaked while swimming and then swinging a golf club too hard. I did one leg workout . Longest run was 2 hours at Chagrin River Park with a unique twist. One hour into the run, I did repeat hill sprints. There is a 52 step sledding hill with the steps 8 inches high and about 2 and a half feet deep. So....I did 20 straight sprints up the hill on the 60"s. Sprint took about 17 seconds and then I would have the rest of the minute to easily jog back down to the start. It was a solid effort. My goal this week is to get in a 2 and a half hour run as I prepare for the 50 K in January.

Okay...the Streetcar. THE BRIDE, and I were in the Big Easy for the wedding of our niece. It was gonna be one of the big events on the calendar and it did not disappoint. THE BRIDE was in New Orleans since last Monday, helping put the finishing touches on all the preps for the wedding. I flew in on Friday with our 3 kids.

After a fabulous rehearshal dinner at an amazing restaurant in New Orleans on Friday night, we had to swing over to the House on St. Charles late Saturday morning. Its in the Garden District...... in fact its only 3 houses from Audobon Park. One of those wedding cake homes and thats where the wedding reception took place. THE BRIDE had some last minute things to attend to...so we took the Streetcar over from the Westin. The distance is not that far...About 4 miles or so... I figured, I would just jog back to the hotel.

It was hot, but breezy and the city was alive. Primary elections were going on and every 10 blocks there were dozens of people out shouting for you to vote for their candidate. Yep, I'll get back to you!!!!.. The run was about 40 minutes to the hotel, but I slid over to the French Quarter for a little zip through and then back. Nice run. One hour total.
Next April, New Orleans will host an Ironman Half. 70.3 and the swim will be in Lake Ponchartrain and the biking around there as well. I believe the run will take racers south into the city with the finish in Jackson Square in the French Quarter. That will be cool, but I think they should have steered the run through the Garden District too. Most of it is shady and the scenery is awesome.

Ohh, yeah...the wedding. Amazing. John and Colleen spared no expense.. One touch they had was to have a second wedding cake built just for the groom, Allan. He's a huge Cubs fan. There was a cake 3 feet wide by 2 feet high built in the image of Wrigley Field. On that same night as champagne flowed in New Orleans for Jackie and Allan, the Cubs fizzled and were eliminated from the playoffs. Sure, the timing could have been better, but perhaps Allan will have a Cubs title to brag about......when his kids get married. LOL l!!!!!!

Marriage can be of a variety of distances if you want to make the endurance analogy. For me and THE BRIDE, its a marathon...32 years and counting. Make that an ultra marathon. For others, its a Sprint!!!!
Life's a Blast!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Hi folks. Just realized this is post 101 since I began. Whooohooo...lets drop that confetti!!!!

I was floating on air this week. It was just like those dreams you have where your floating over the country side. Very Freudian, I assume, but the floating was in a helicopter. Usually, I don't fly in our station helicopter for our Friday Night Touchdown High School Football coverage. This past Friday I flew. We blow things up big in Cleveland for the high schoolers. When I get a few pics on it, I will drop a post about the flying and try to tie it into endurance sports somehow. I will let you know.

Before I flew, I made it official. I sent in the entry for the Winter Buckeye Trail 50K. I am really excited to race/amble/survive it. It will be my first ultra.. I respect what its all about. I don't assume since I have done Ironman's I can just rip off 31 miles on trails...so I will keep you posted on the training and I thank anyone from the ultra community in advance who might drop a suggestion my way.

This week, I had one run of 2 hours. Two seperate runs of an hour, plus a 90 minute bike ride that emphasized hills. Ohh yeah, I swam the 1.4 miles in open water with the Tuesday morning group at Fairport Harbor. It was down to just 5 of us. My weight training is getting fine tuned with the goal of each week to have the 6 set upper body workout twice and the 5 set legs once per week. I have some right shoulder discomfort and will bypass swimming this week and go a little easy with the weights.

As much as I have logged somewhat lengthy sessions, I am still fighting the sugar attraction. Its my mistress. I must stay away from the mistress or as I wrote in my last post... I'M DEAD!!

As I write this, I want to congratulate someone I covered alot when he was in Cleveland. C.C. Sabathia. The Tribe traded him to the Brewers and he made it pay off as he was near perfect with Milwaukee and pitched them into the playoffs for the first time since 1982. He was the 07 Cy Young Award Winner and he always was a gentleman to deal with, which in these days is NOT a given...thats for sure.

About 10,000 runners took part in the various stages of the Akron Marathon on Saturday. One of my blogging buds and an aspiring triathlete, IronG2015 ran and posted a time of 4:33:00. Great job Gina. Check out her blog... click here

And many who drop by here know about Kevin. He just hammered his first Half Ironman!!!! Congrats Kevin. click here

As usual...keep training and racing well everyone. and...ohhhh yeah...let me leave you with this!!!

Life's a blast!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I am dead.

There is no turning back. My fate has been sealed.

My achilles heel has always been sugar. You know. The product of the sugar cane...the little crystals that go into so many things I love.

I don't drink. I don't smoke. I live a somewhat clean life, except for being a Cleveland Sports fan. (Inside joke).

Anyway, I can keep pretty good account of my eating habits when I treat the sugar like Superman treats kryptonite. But let me sample some of the succulent treats made with sugar and I lose all control. I am a porcupine at a balloon factory.
Less sugar means....less J.T.

More Sugar means....wide angle lens to capture J.T. on the boob tube.

I found out today where my boss stashes her bags of candy. She always has a bowl in her office and people stop in to grab a treat or two. I usually avoid it. Tonight, I bopped over and the bowl was empty.

BOSS "J.T...just go over and grab anything you want from my stash!!! "
TRIGUYJT "Uhh...your stash? You want me to know where it is? Do you realize what your doing"?
BOSS (laughs) "Sure... anytime you want..just go to (location deleted because some Fox8 people read this)"
TRIGUYJT "You sure? Ohhhhhkaaayyy... Thanks alot"

So I raided her stash..right in front of her. 2 hours later, I went back in a raided the stash again. I am out of control.....and....I...love it!!!!!!!!! Letting me know where the stash is would be like giving paparazzi the keys to Brad and Angelina's house.!!!

This stash I speak of?? Its no less than 15 huge Costco bags of various treats. Hard Candy. Candy Bars. Suckers. Lollipops. Its so immense, the diabetics go into shock being within 20 feet .
What to do?? If I quit my job, that would solve it, but.....nope....THE BRIDE would kill me.
If I go on a run, I won't think about it.... Yeah, thats it.
Gotta go....the trail is calling me.
Life's a Blast!!..a sugary Blast"

Monday, September 22, 2008


First day of fall...... perfect weather here in Cleveland. 70 degrees, sunny. Which is to say San Diego 365 days of the year.

I had a 2 hour trail run calling me and it did not disappoint. The convertible was parked over by Strawberry Pond with enough water and Gatorade inside.

I just took off and meandered. My plan?? I had none. I full expected to just run wherever my brain and legs decided to take me. I knew that when 120 minutes had gone by, I would be done. The cellphone was inside the car and I had one of those GFTFOTE times. Gone From The Face Of The Earth.

I Lost myself and it was great. I am more and more wrapping my mind and my legs around doing a 50 k trail race and thanks for those that offered advice. Matt, and others. Thanks.

You might recall a post about my love of North Chagrin. This photo looks across the pond. I looped past it three times as my car was parked close and I took in fluids. There was a guy sitting at a picnic table with a cup of coffee and a writing pad. I could not think of a better spot on earth to sit at and let those thoughts spill out onto the page.

Sure enough, when the run was over, I had 5 messages. So much for GFTFOTE. I was supposed to work today but some things were changed and so I was off. Perfect. The Bride and I had a very nice lunch at California Pizza Kitchen...Thai Linguine with some chicken. Sat outside and kept the pace of the world slowed down just a bit.
At home, the new issue of Triathlete was in the mail box. Sam McGlone on the cover.

Editor Mitch Thrower had a neat little piece about plateaus. Its about pushing past the easy stuff you have been doing.. About challenging yourself to reach the next level. Good advice. Don't get me wrong. I love my meandering 2 hour runs and I will keep doing those, but I can change things up and I can be better....at everything I do. Its a great goal.

Kona is coming and the tri-world will focus on the Big Island with its menacing winds and steaming lava fields. Its the Mecca for just about every triathlete. But in time, Meccas can come and go (Witness Yankee Stadium). We all should have a place where all is right with the world and where we can become all that we can be.

Life's a Blast!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Speed Wanted

So I want to get speed... Thats what I stated in my last post. But how to get it. I know!!! Kidnap Usain Bolt, secretly get a transfusion of his fast twitch fiber!! Yeah thats it. Because right now, I have a ratio of about 50 billion to 3...slow twitch fibers to fast twitch.
But kidnapping, I was told is illegal, so I need another plan.

Ahh, I got it!!! I can do more tempo workouts...more interval workouts on the treadmill and...eureka!!! I could even lose some weight. 190 lbs might cut it if I played linebacker, but to be a quicker triathlete, I will have to drop a few...

On that note, I was invited to be a featured blogger on a new website for wellness...Its called wellsphere. They will post my blogs and link to my blog as well. I will also write some fresh stuff for them. I am in the triathlon community. I think they want me because I have been in the sport for many many moons, grasshopper!!!!. The website gets cranking next month... Feel free to drop in or create your own blog and post some stuff..

The legendary ultra runner Charlie Engle has a line of products that are designed for endurance athletes. His marketing folks dropped me a line and I will have the products sent to me.. Then, I will write a little review. I will keep you posted on that.
Thanks for all the suggestions on what direction I should take in the coming months.. Again, the Winter 50K ..Buckeye Trail is intriguing. I will keep you posted.
Got a unique double workout tuesday. Swam 1.5 miles at Fairport Harbor in Open water...Then reduced 3 big branches of a backyard tree that blew down by either sawing...or using my grandpas old axe. That was a workout...Shoulder is almost as sore as Doctor Jodi's, but her excuse is she swam about 15 miles or so in a short period of time...What a machine.
My goal on the speed thing is to resemble my son, Pat at the finish of a Sprint Triathlon. (Fairport-2007)
Note How he is floating on air????
Note How I am not???
His face looks relaxed and he is in perfect stride..
My face looks anguished and I am shuffling....LOL!!
Hey, its something to work on.
Lifes a Blast!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

TriGuy plays WhyGuy

Tri season is over and I am assessing the damage......How did I train???? Was much of it effective??? Did I do enough??? Was it sports specific enough???? Did I enjoy racing?? Did I improve??? Questions, questions....
But first...some Kudos


That goes to my younger sister, Beth, who was trained for quite some time by The Bride and showed great strength improvement. The Bride used the chance to begin rowing as an incentive. Beth got into the sport and in a regatta, her 8 person team won a Bronze medal. Thats just fantastic Great job Beth....proud of ya!!!!


To Matt and Jen Collister. Both are strong endurance athletes and fun people. Check out Matt's blog (CLICK HERE)and the video of his battered feet after finishing the Dances with Dirt. Matt just got under 6 hours in the 50 k distance.. Of course Jen (CLICK HERE) gathered most of the dirt from Hell, Michigan as she was running about 17 miles as her part of a relay...

Now, back to assessing the 08 season. I raced in 6 triathlons with the longest a Half Ironman. After an internal debate, the jury has spoken.

1. I have fallen in love all over again with the sprint distance, therefore I will adjust my training to try to find more speed. Do they sell that at Home Depot??? This year I won one race in my age group and finished 3rd in another but I know I can be a better racer in that regard.
2. I will sight only one Half Ironman Distance race in 09, most likely will be Morgantown.
3. I am very very very tempted to enter a 50 k trail race. I've written about my love of running the trails and think I would be suited for this. The winter Buckeye Trail 50 K would be a goal not toooo far off in the calendar that I could amp my training for. Ultra folks any suggestions??
4. I will be more specific in breaking down my swims. More sets, with recovery. This is my best discipline but I know I can improve.

5. Within 2 years, I will return to racing an Ironman Distance Race. Its been 6 years. Gotta get one of those under my belt while I am in my mid 50's. HOWEVER, the dilemma these days is JUST getting into a race... See this article from The New York Times . Fees are not going down. Participation in Ironman races in 5 years has doubled. Our sport is one of high income folks and the trend is not reversing, thats for sure!!! You wonder why I always race at Fairport??? Its 20 bucks!!!

With fall approaching, I'll continue to get my long runs in...enjoy the leaves falling, the splashes of color. I will coax The Bride out for some bike rides and I will swim in Lake Erie deep into the fall.

With The Bride torturing her students in Pilates, she still would never encourage an accident like this to happen. Check out the YOUTUBE CLIP

I feel much of the success I have had this year is because I put it out there in the blogosphere. I am coming up on my blogga-versary and its been important to state goals..to be accountable and of course to enjoy the journey with you guys...Thanks a bunch.!!!

Life's a Blast!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Triathlons and Touchdowns

Thanks to all who responded to my post on the late Darryl Kollai. Its good to know that others around the country are now aware of Darryl's dominance. May this knowledge comfort his family as time goes on. Darryl's son, Eric is hoping to get a race together to honor his father....I will keep you posted.

I write this after taking a "Two-bags-of-Ice bath. Just finished a tough upper body and legs workout at the gym with my son, Pat. We then proceeded to go to the Lake..and after warming up for about 10 minutes...did a series of 10 x 180 yard sprints up a slight incline. We jogged back down each time..rested 15 seconds and then sprinted up. Pat shot up the incline each time like he had rocket fuel up his butt....I ran very hard but the wheels just don't move as fast. Still..it was punishing and rewarding..

That I kept my Oat Bran I had at 9am and late breakfast down is another thing. Pat and I were to swim in Lake Erie early today, but it was too rough. So he cooked up a batch of his killer Pancakes. I had three of them. I think the Japanese eating champ Kobayashi might only be able to handle 5. Its like Pizza. You have 4 regular slices. Then you go to Chicago....HaHa!! Try eating 4 deep dish slices!!!! That puts the whole digestive system on alert, my friend!!!!. Patrick cooks whole wheat pancakes and adds walnuts, apples, flaxseed,.. The colon is high fiving the stomach. Great stuff!!! It was only 3 hours after the pancakes when we were sprinting up that hill....."Major Tongue to Ground Control".

I was happy to workout hard..just two days after a tough effort in the Portage Lakes Sprint Triathlon. Also that Sunday the Browns began their season at home against the Cowboys. It made for a fun filled 24 hours. While I am not dealling with terrorists like Jack Bauer, I figured I would relate the 24 hours for you...in machine gun style or failing that in the same style the Cowboys picked apart the Browns...


11:30pm Saturday Night ..leave Fox 8 to zip home.
11:50pm finished packing car....put bike rack on.
12:40 am Sunday...fall asleep..alarm set for 4:40am
2:00am weird dream about The Bride, me, Brad Pitt, and Michael Phelps...it involved water.
4:40am wake up.... Kiss The Bride.Scurry about getting my bike and Pats bike on car..
5:20am leave for Portage Lakes...about an hour drive...
6:20am arrive..head right to check in.. HFPRacing is very efficient. Done in 2 minutes..Have #250, which is what my weight would be if I never trained as a triathlete.
7:30am see Kim Sheehan, chat about Darryl Kollai. She was with him when he collapsed. Kim was racing the olympic. Helped her pump up her Zipp wheel.
8:10a..first wave of the Sprint goes off.. 400 people in Sprint. Each wave 2 minutes apart.
8:18am my wave..last of the Sprint goes off...I dash into water with a gaggle of guys. I immediately start passing people from the previous wave... it was very congested. Got hit about 4 times...was getting a little ticked off...Just swam hard. 750 meter swim was 14:10, which I believe included a dash up the hill to transition.
8:32am..dash into transition and some kid is yakking to another kid right in front of my bike. "Excuse me...people are racing here" gheesh.
8:34am head out on 20 k bike course... some rollers...nothing tough..a good course. cool morning..perfect for racing.
9:15am finish bike and head quickly out to run...its a great run course..lots of chances to see other racers and to pick out people you want to shoot for. See Patrick heading for the finish as I was barely a mile into the run. I yell "High Five" like Borat. We high five.
9:42am I head for the chute..ran stronger in the second half of the race.. "John Telich of Euclid Ohio, competing in the Jurassic division"... I thought he said that, but I could be wrong. Final time. 1:27:48. 7th in 14 man age group. 126th out of 390 plus. Not Kollai worthy, but it was a solid effort.
9:44am see Patrick...get his scoop. He came in 1:17:00..he was 31st out of 390plus. I think he's getting the hang of this stuff.......
9:50am visit with many other racers...too numerous to mention..cheer for those finishing and for the Olympic racers getting into transition.
10:00am go on a 20minute jog with Pat to unwind...
10:30am load bikes and head back to Cleveland. Buy big bag of Amish Red Licorice and Kill it off in 30 minutes
11:30am back home..unload stuff..The Bride says 3rd floor bathroom is leaking and a cabinet in the kitchen is not secure..gotta make some calls to get those problems fixed.
1:00pm take 45 minute nap.
2:50pm arrive at Fox 8 and leave for Browns stadium with Photographer and Producer.
3:35pm finally get in stadium after having to park about a half mile away..Hundreds of Cowboy fans in full dress are already jawing at Browns fans.
3:45pm go through credential area..Staff says "you just missed Lebron and he was showing his gold medal"
3:50pm go on the field for a few minutes to touch base with some staff people..coaches and some players. Its a zoo. Cowboys leave the field for lockeroom and theres nothing but Cowboy lovers by the exit..Everyone wants T.O. and Romo to look up. Both are focused.
4:00pm get on Elevator for Press Box. Jerry Jones and his posse getting on another elevator. Shake hands with Browns gm Phil Savage. Wish him luck. He's smiling. Won't be smiling for long.
4:15pm Kickoff.. not long after that, Cowboys score t.d. Browns defense playing the matador routine...Ole'
7:15pm game over..already down on field level outside lockeroom. Wait 8 minutes before Romeo Crennel comes out of lockeroom to do his press conference. I have another cameraman and we head into lockerooom and proceed to interview about 10-11 players...

7:31pm Braylon Edwards "Thats a good question....blah blah blah..." (in response to my question about the team not building off of a 16 play t.d. drive..
7:39pm Jamal Lewis "You're right, we looked like a team that wasn't together in preseason.(in response to my question about the offense looking like a team that didn't practice much together due to injuries.
8:00pm interviews done..I go to field to do some standups..
8:10pm done..start to leave stadium..same time Tony Romo is walking out to the team buses. Fans are screaming at him..
"Sign this" "Pose for this picture" He's got a gash on his chin.
Lady says to me "Damn, he's cute . Lady is the wife of a Browns player. No sign of Jessica Simpson.
Back at the station and all interview material is being fed into the system.
spend the next 90 minutes looking at material...and writing a little piece for the show...
9:15pm check Ironman Live. My buddy Eric Gibb ripped an 11:03 at Ironman Wisconsin. He's a stud.Great job TriEric
10:05pm get notes and scripts to editors and they very quickly can piece the story together... God Bless time codes and computers.... Never would have figured I'd say that 15 years ago....
10:30pm Leave station..colleague Tony Rizzo handles the anchoring duties
11:30pm at home....watching different stations, ESPN..reading paper..stomach issues as either the licorice, or the halftime chili, or the lake water is making my tummy do the cha cha!!!! I take a Tums, but I'm too keyed up to rest.

Don't forget to check out the Motivation Quotations...J.T. originals...
Life's a Blast

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Champion For Life

Hi. I said on the air Thursday night that Darryl Kollai was as good at his sport as LeBron James is at his.


Darryl Kollai was not a household name in Northeast Ohio. But ask someone in the triathlon community and chances are they knew of him. Many of us saw the backside of Darryl because he was routinely swimming, biking and running the competition into the ground.

Darryl is no longer with us. On a Saturday ride with training buddies, Darryl had a heart attack and was gone...suddenly.

His legend. His imprint. His charisma was overwhelming. He mentored so many athletes and turned them into champs. All the while, Kollai was winning medal after medal.. 27 years in the sport, but 53 is too damn young to be leaving.

Kollai was a national caliber racer. In his 40's he was consistently trashing all the 20 and 30-somethings. Just a few weeks before he died, he tore into a bike segment and everyone else was eating his dust. His strength was amazing. He broke bike frames and never , ever gave an inch.

I remember the legend of Steve Prefontaine. The guts. The toughness. I like to think that if Pre were to have lived..he's be Darryl Kollai. Smiling assassin on the course.

To train with Darryl, they say was to come an inch from the edge..and then go over. Ask Heather Petroff, who spoke at his funeral, or my old college buddy Scott McGill, himself a brilliant racer. Darryl always said "Just a little bit further" or "Its all downhill from here" (Both lies, but you do what you have to). Darryl always preached that "No one likes the view from second place".

At Darryl's funeral, the family..son Eric ,daughter Michelle, wife Susan, laughed at the stories told by others and told some zingers of their own. Darryl knew how to do so many things. Humor..wit..motivator. mechanic...the list goes on and on.. Everyone laughed..many shed tears. He was buried in his Team USA jacket as he competed for the US in Perth Austrailia in the mid to late 90's. Pictures and articles displayed as were his Cervelo Bike and his wetsuit.

After the service..a long and winding procession went to the place of burial..along the tough, hilly roads that he climbed...past the deer he saw each day...inching up the inclines..reaching to the sky...Darryl reached everyday. He reached for greatness. Burning lungs, sweating body..muscles screaming. Torture for some, but the closest thing to heaven for Darryl. And now, he is training there, he is likely training God, urging him to push harder to be the best God he can be.

I would like to write, Rest in Peace Darryl, but I don't think thats what you have in mind. Your time here was short, as were the times you set as you raced. You raised the bar for many others and the sport has benefited so greatly because of you.
DARRYL KOLLAI 1955--2008

Monday, September 1, 2008


Supersonic swimmer??? Todays post is about being IN THE MOMENT..but at relatively different speeds. Its a deep thinking J.T. post and my grey matter is crying out from being over taxed.!!!!!!!

Sunday am was spectacular. It was clear and slightly cool in Cleveland. I was thinking about my Ironman Louisville fellow triathletes when I slipped down to the beach club in Euclid.

The water was like glass. It was incredibly clear . It was a giant swimmer pool without lanes.

My son, Pat urged me to swim and I'm glad I did. Thanks Pat!!!

See downtown Cleveland??? Thats about 10--11 miles away.

I knew the lake would start to ripple and soon. It was 10am and the boats would start to head downtown to be able to watch the Cleveland Air show and the world famous Blue Angels.

Yep..there they are. 3 years ago, I was fortunate to be able to fly with them. It was the memory of that ride...a once in a lifetime experience that got me thinking of IN THE MOMENT and how that sensation can envelope you...no matter how fast your body is moving.

Back to the swimming. Pat and I swam from the club, eastward about 3/4's of a mile. It was purely mystical. Each stroke cutting through the water. I was close to shore..the water about 3-4 feet deep..and I could look over at Pat 30 feet away from me and see him perfectly. Incredibly clear. With each stroke, I felt the power and I felt the sensation of IN THE MOMENT!!!. I realized I was going only 2 miles per hour, but the feeling was no less defining that when I was strapped into one of those Fa-18 Hornets, going the speed of sound.!!!! In, the jet, I felt the speed...I felt the g-forces when we did manuevers but it was hard to gauge distance. I remember that day when we had been out for about ten minutes, the captain asked me if I thought I knew where we were?? I said...ohh Mentor?? (25 miles from Cleveland). He laughed!!! "How about Erie Pennsylvania?????' I was astonished we had gone so far, so fast....

Well, thats the feeling I had as we hit the 3/4 mile spot which was the old beach club I grew up swimming off of. My 2 mile an hour crawl was so IN THE MOMENT..I had no idea how fast we had arrived at that spot. As the swim progressed..more boats and skiddo's were in the area and the ripples soon became little waves. We swam about 1.7 miles.

The sensation of speed and time can distort our perceptions. Run outside in an open field?? You feel slow. Run down a tight hallway and the speed is amazing. A hard fought bike segment of a triathlon might feel real slow to you...but you check your timer and realize you averaged 20 miles a hour. Its all about IN THE MOMENT. What was working for you at that Moment was defining to you and no one else.

A 9 hour Ironman might seem slow to an elite racer but who amoung us wouldn't love to see what its like to be that fast--that strong for 140.6 miles.???

Our world is speeding ahead. Google. Text messaging.. Chips that compute millions of things per second. Its mind boggling. But what slows down the world...what makes sense to us are those MOMENTS when we connect to what is pure and real.

Being an endurance athlete all these years has done more for me in keeping the perspective when covering world class athletes. I can relate to the committment needed. I can't go 4.4 in the 40. I can't dunk like LeBron.. but I have had many of THOSE MOMENTS when I break down everything else and experience an almost zen-like Moment. It is truly awesome. Its winning the lottery of life... time after time...after time. Heres wishing you many IN THE MOMENT experiences.!!!

Props to all my tri-buddies for surviving a very tough, hot..hellacious Ironman Louisville. You guys are incredibly tough for taking it to the house down in Kentucky. It had to be a furnace!!
Look forward to seeing many racers this coming Sunday at Portage Lakes. I'm doing the Sprint.
Remember to check out the Motivation quotations...J.T Originals...!!!