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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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...!!!