Saturday, June 30, 2007

Welcome Back/Seawolves

B.K. (before kids), Dirrty Girl and I would regularly head out and get some miles in on the road and trails. With 2 kids, that is not so easy to do anymore. Thankfully with great grandparents eager to watch them, we were able to get a few miles in for the first time in over a year. Topics of conversation included dead possum carcasses, and the busy highway road we had to run down.

Miles out of the way, we met up with our dear friends, the Rivera's, who informed me you can't get a coney in Pa, for a AA Erie Seawolves baseball game of that's right your Detroit Tigers. With the butt dance in full effect, little dirt dawg even scored a free t-shirt!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Back to the armpit...C. Lake, Pa

5 hr 22 min, 268 miles in the mothership, aka mini van, and we are nowhere. A place where the 7 eleven has been turned into a farmer/fruit market, and the biggest attraction is the Wal-Mart 5 miles away because the local amusement park has closed down.

But that is not to say there is nothing to do. Oh no, just 8 miles away is the Linesville Spillway, home to where the ducks literally walk on water because the ugly carp are so big and numerous that they fight over the moldy bread thrown by the masses who flock to see a little piece of Americana. And after that you can treat yourself to some ice cream and fudge!

Boy, I am glad I brought my running gear. I might just need to go on a bender the next couple of days.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My drug of choice

Sitting outside my local Starbucks enjoying some post run fuel after a scintilating run @ Kensington Metro Park while trying to mobile blog before the fam packs up and heads to PA got me to thinking, what is your drug of choice?

Why this thought, you ask? Like all things that you enjoy, you get so caught up in what you are doing it that time seems to hardly pass at all even if hours have gone by. I liken it to being in a zone, much like today.

17 miles flew by and before I knew it I was done.That being said, running is my drug of choice.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mud Hens

For the love of the game, is how Billy Chapel signs a baseball indicating his choice to retire than be traded at the end of the season. For the love of the game, is why we headed down to watch the Toledo Mud Hens, a AAA affiliate of you guessed it the Detroit Tigers play an afternoon ballgame with little dirt dawg.

With an oppresive heat hanging over the stadium, Dirrty Girl had secured great seats just above the visitors dugout and more importantly in the shade. However, that did not stop little dirt dawg from wanting to get closer to the action to be able to count and call balls and strikes.

With a 5-2 victory and a new ball cap for little dirt dawg, the family began the trek toward the car, traffic and home, when passing a local joint seemed to call out to them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Welcome to the family

Name: Nike Air Max Moto IV
D.O.B. 6/25/07
Weight: approx 13 oz
Life expectancy: 300-350 miles

Thanks to runmichigan for the race pic:

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thomas and Friends Live on Stage

Why is it that the best seats i have ever had to any sporting or musical event happen to be when the wife and i take little dirt dawg to see Thomas and Friends Live on Stage? Because, as a parent it is just what you do. Seeing the joy on his face when we tell him it is time to go downtown to the "D" to see Thomas to the reaction when we walk all the way down to the second row from the stage and the show starts more than makes up for any discontent or grumblings that i have about thinking there is too much song and not enough Thomas. It also more than validates the crazy day i spent at working going to secure those tickets with the help of D.O.D.(dear ole dad).

Of course, no trip to the "D" would be complete without sauntering in and bellying up to the counter at a Motown institution for some Coneys and French Fries that are "so good" according to little dirt dawg.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My Big Race...Me Run Real Fast...

After convincingly dispatching of Twinkle Toes earlier in the week, little dirt dawg set his sights on conquering the world of running at the Solstice Run which featured a 1/4 mile kids run, 10k and 5k run/walk.

With his race # secured and a proper warmup which included the butt dance and some windsprints with the jogger,
little dirt dawg toed the line with other hopefuls who all mysteriously as he reported also sported the #1.

Crewing the race, Dirrty Girl reported that little dirt dawg ran just like his dad, slow and steady and enjoyed his time out there. After finishing first, little dirt dawg captured his medal
and hopped into the jogger for the 5k with me.

Starting in the very back with the other joggers, I was spurred onby little dirt dawg's cries of "faster daddy" and we began to carve up the course like a NASCAR driver on a road course. Speeding through the 5k in time of 22:46, little dirt dawg and I won the unofficial baby jogger category.

In the post race interview, little dirt dawg was asked if he would like to do another race with daddy, where he promptly replied, " No, with mommy!" Look for Dirrty Girl and little dirt dawg to tear it up at a race this summer.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What a great way to begin....

SUMMER!! With a half day of work looming in front of me before I began my summer vacation, I decided to run into work. 18.96 miles later and 2 hr 59 minutes later and I arrived at my destination, but not before some noteworthy experiences.

1. I made $.45 by traversing the beautiful mile roads and crossing over the hallowed line that seperated the EAST from WEST side.

2. I rediscovered the joy of listening to my Ipod to kill time on the roads and have found Phedippidations, a self described goofy little podcast about running, to be a great way to do that.

3. As I bought my celebratory gatorade at the local 7 eleven before getting to work, a weathered old lady puts 2 22oz of Old Milwaukee's Best on the counter and tells the girl behind the counter, " I am gonna need some Marlboro Reds as well" It is 8 a.m. our time, but I guess it is noon somewhere.

This would have been a full enough day for me, but then I received a call on the bat phone from Twinkle Toes that if Dirrty Girl and I were interested that they may need some ringers to help the SEX PANTHERS of the Adult Kickball League maintain their pristine record. With a resounding YES, I was off in search of Dirrty Girls long lost cleats

and a talk about her strategry:

1. Show bunt...uhhh, this is kickball not softball
2. Not to be the worst one out there...she goes 3 for 4 and 1 run scored

3. Not be the slowest one out there....i decline to comment, but as long as she tried her best that is all that matters.

For better or worse, we at least participated in helping the SEX PANTHERS maintain their perfect record and enjoyed a great alternative to the standard date night!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Little Dirt Dawg Rides to Victory over Twinkle Toes!!

Fresh off of his Lumberjack 100, Twinkle Toes faced his toughest race so far this year when little dirt dawg challenged him to the "Around the Block and Read House Numbers Sidewalk Race" held this evening. The course measuring .32 miles provided numerous challenges including undulating terrain on the city sidewalks and plenty of stopping and starting as the contestants had to read the numbers off of each house as they passed. At the start, it looked like Twinkle Toes would blow the doors off of little dirt dawg in his full team kit and roaring red bike.

However, perhaps following in his father's footsteps, little dirt dawg started slow and kept it at an even enough pace that he could roll easily by and read house numbers. Twinkle Toes, not wanting to incur any penalties was forced to match the effort of the wily youngster.

Coming into the homestretch, little dirt dawg hung on and forced Twinkle Toes to watch him roll across the line in victory

After the race, little dirt dawg was proud to say that he could hang with the big boys.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Field of Dreams

Besides being Father's Day, today was the day of my long awaited Fantasy Batting Practice @ Comerica Park courtesy of the wife (a.k.a. Dirrty Girl) and D.O.D. (Dear ole dad).

Scheduled for 1-4:30 pm, I along with approximately 35 other hopefuls brought bags of gear and hope in our pockets that we would be able to take Dave Rozema deep.

After a quick check in, the gates were open and we filed down onto the field and into the visitor's dugout.

No checking of tickets, or worrying that we might miss the first pitch. No today the field belonged to every one of us, still with the heart of the kid, that we to had made it to the bigs, even if only for BP.

Before the actual BP began, I had a chance to warmup throwing the ball in right field . With Rozema on the mound, each of us filed into cage to hack away. With my dad in the stands, just like back in the day of little league, and traveling teams with doubleheaders on Saturday, I stood firmly and whacked a couple out of the INFIELD! Woo Hoo!!!

After I was done, I hung out in the outfield and shagged balls as others attempted to put one out, with no one succeeding. And just like that with the last batter, Rozema said, "Thanks for coming out" and retired to the dugout to sign balls, take pictures and our certificates.

A great experience. Thanks again to the wife and my dad for making it a reality!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

After 2 weeks

So after 2 weeks of training and a scheduled mileage total of 86 miles here is a breakdown to date:

87.79 miles - 14 hr and 58 min/10:13 mile

13 runs - longest: 16.16 miles
- shortest: 3.07 miles

3 days with 2 runs per day

Overall, pretty solid weeks as far as meeting the mileage goals, but with school still in session and my daughter's baptism had to make some changes to the scheduled mileage for the day. No signifcant aches or pains.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

FRB & TdF 2032

Today marked the end of the Fun Run Series with the first ever banquet and beginning of little dirt dawg's quest to win the Tour de France in 2032.

First things first. Held at the local watering hole, J-NO, Abstract, Twinkle Toes, Goucho and Huff N Puff all knocked back a few cowboy pops and received their coveted awards

for participating in the inaugural season of the fun run. Participants reminisced about the highs (86 degrees) and lows (4 degrees--BRR!!)of the season and marveled at the # of miles covered this year (400+) as well as classic moments such as Vanna White stopping and sitting down and telling J-No and Abstract to go on w/o her; Big Red asking, "So you guys run to the bridge right?" (which is only a 1/4 mile away); Twinkle Toes tripping on his shoelaces and landing spread eagle in the middle of the road, and Einstein with the classic quotes such as , "“Can’t you make his dr. appt @ 3:30? I have to run today.” & “It’s not the points, but the avoidance of ridicule and emotional abuse that I would have to endure that is my motivation.”

Look for the Fun Run Series to return in September!!!!!

After ending one weekly ritual, little dirt dawg and I got out the bike that he said was too small and performed some surgery on it.

5 minutes later, he was well on his way to scaling the Alps and Pyrenees and yelling out, "Daddy, me ride around block with you." and "Me ride with Timmy".Look for him to be a contender in the GC at the 2032 Tour de France!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

An adventure is what you make it

I don't have back door access to trails, fire roads, or pathways that lead to those epic adventures that you read about in magazines, so when the opportunity arises to turn the average run into a mini adventure, i have learned to take full advantage.

With the M-I-L (Mother in Law) watching the children and the wife headed over to pick them up, I gladly stated that i would go home, let the dog out, pack up my

with a change of clothes and run over. 8.96 miles later and a high five from an employee i ran into at a parking lot and i was there. No added pollution to the environment, no sitting in traffic, and a recovery run at that!

*** Justin Verlander throws a no-hitter, striking out 12 and I missed it!! Due to family time, i received a call from my dad saying he was 2 outs a way from a no hitter. Not believing him, thinking back to the time when i was an RA in college and he pretended to be a student saying there was a fire on his floor, i was skeptical. Dad was right****

Monday, June 11, 2007

10 B4 6

As i was sitting in church yesterday for my daughter's baptism, i began wrapping my head around the idea that i could try a 10 miler before work tomorrow morning knowing that i had a sitter for the kids and i could leave a little later than normal for work. 10 miles B4 6 am, i told myself after watching The Soprano's fade to black.

Can't say i had the most restful sleep as the daughter, still amped from her baptism was up repeatedly, which included a rocking stint from me during the wee hours of 3-3:30 am. Nevertheless, i woke up at 4:30 and was out the door by 4:35 am. After yesterday's pedestrian stroll, this was a bit more work, but the legs felt good. Can't say i was a spring chicken the rest of the day, but the workout let me know the training is working.

10 miles
1 hr. 17 min 53 sec
7:47 mi/avg
159 avg heart rate
172 max heart rate

Saturday, June 09, 2007


With family in town for the princess dawg's baptism this weekend, Dirrty Girl and I headed down to the scene of our first date for the G.O.T.W. (Game Of The Week) pitting the Detroit Tigers against the New York Mets.

Until last year, Dirrty Girl and I never sat in the seats we actually paid for because the team was so bad and for her 31st birthday a few years back i was even able to score 100 tickets for 100 dollars. Those days, thank goodness, are gone and the atmosphere down there is electric.

After sitting up in section 218 for 5+ innings or so, some of Dirrty Girls friends came by and let us know they were sitting down on the lower level 12 rows behind first base and asked if we wanted to come down. Yes and Yes! The atmosphere is so much different and you really feel like you are part of the game. In the end, Todd Jones slammed the door on the Mets and the Tigers won 8-7.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Another Crack.....

After my hack attack at the batting cages last week, i pulled into the parking lot and scanned the cages trying to formulate a plan. I was trying to summon the strength to make contact, or at best at least not provide the surrounding cages with air conditioning. As my son currently is fond of saying, "Me have id!", the softball cages!!

Plunking down $6.75, equaling 3 tokens and 60 pitches,i walked confidently up to the slow pitch machine plunked in my token and awaited with anticipation/dread for the first pitch......PING...Back,Back,Back...or at least to the farthest reaches of the net. Looking like big melons, i swung confidently, just like when a major leaguer is so locked in (think Gary Sheffield or Magglio Ordonez right now)that they say they can actually see the stitches on the ball. Another token and i walked right into the fast pitch softball cage and swung confidently.

Bring on the 45 mph "The Bird" cage next time!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

End of the road.....

Although we’ve come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you
Come to the end of the road

Boyz II Men - End Of The Road lyrics

Cheesy yes, but today marked the end of the fun run series for the 2006-2007 school year. What started as merely an alternative to Twinkle Toes kicking my rear on a weekly basis on that heinous two wheeled contraption, turned into a weekly series where a cast of merry characters aptly named J-NO, Abstract, Earth Woman, Vanna White, Goucho, Big Red, Einstein, Huff N Puff, and Yeagermeister all ambled along towards better health and comraderie.

I am better for sharing the road with them. Long may they run.

Dirt Dawg

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fartlek and Trails

Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a form of conditioning which puts stress mainly on the aerobic energy system due to the continuous nature of this exercise. The difference between this type of training and continuous training is that the intensity or speed of the exercise varies, meaning that aerobic and anaerobic systems can be put under stress (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Ok...that being said, today called for some speedwork, and since i abhore the track and was not in the mood for a tempo run since i had the dog with me, some fartlek was the easiest thing to do. While Nemo ran hopefully envisioning finally capturing that elusive squirrel, i ran glancing slightly at my heart rate to see what it would go up to with an effort.

Run #1 for the day: 5.17 miles in 48:18/21:29 or 44% spent in the Zone 3 (Aerobic Zone) and 15:15 or 31% in Zone 4 (Hard Effort): Max Heart Rate 163

I had planned to do another short run after school today, when the wife said she was picking up the children, so with the temp hovering in the mid sixties, sunny skies and a cool breeze, i headed out to Stony Creek for a 4 miler which seemed to just fly by.

Outside of hanging with the family, i must admit that there is nothing better than getting out and running some trails. Speed is never important, but today the legs felt like they weren't even touching the ground :)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Soggy Dawg

Beginning of 50 mile prep called for a long run of 16 miles, so I headed out the door @ 5:17 a.m. to a sticky 69 degrees and 83% humidity, which meant that i would have to keep well hydrated. After a recovery week, legs felt really good and hummed along for 16.16 miles in 2 hr 38 min w/o incident until the last 1.5 miles where i ran into a pretty good patch of rain which rendered one satisfied and soggy dawg at the end.

Miles: 16.16
Time: 2 hr 38 min
Avg.: 9:46/mi
Average Heart Rate: 141 (75%)
Calories: 2373 (this seems a bit high?)
Fuel: 6 packets of chocolate outrage GU
1 20 oz. bottle of Hammer HEED
??? oz from Camelbak

Saturday, June 02, 2007

50 Miler Prep....Summer of the Dawg

It is time to start the 16 week buildup to the North Country 50 miler. Plan to follow, CHECK, Heart rate monitor, CHECK, Pasty white knobby legs for motivation, CHECK, Soon to be free from work responsibilites (school's out for summer!!) to dedicate self to plan, CHECK.
Year to date total: 724.71 miles/125 hr 13 min

Taken from a Trail Runner magazine, this will be my living document for the next 16 weeks.

Friday, June 01, 2007


For my birthday, Dirrty Girl and D.O.D. (Dear Ole Dad)got me a slot in the Detroit Tigers Fantasy Batting Practice scheduled for June 17th.

Now, I must admit that i was a pretty good ball player back in like 6th-8th grade and even played JV in high school one year when my knees had some growth plate thing going on, but i haven't stood in and faced a pitcher in like 13+ years. With the impending fantasy opportunity coming upon me, i looked at the early release from school to get in a few hacks, and i mean hacks, in before picking up little dirt dawg for some swimming at Goldfish Swim School.

After forking over $10 for 5 tokens equaling 100 pitches, I walked over and scanned the cages. My plan was this, take 2-3 tokens in the cage named "The Bird" which had a speed of 40-45 mph to warm up and then move up to the 50-55 mph for a few swings.

I never made it. It was terrible. I swung and I missed a lot. It was like 89 degrees and i felt like i was in air conditioning as much flailing as i was doing. After about 75 pitches, i started to make some decent contact but I am admittedly nervous. I need to practice.... a lot..... I knew that i wasn't going to into Comerica Park and go softball guy, but I want to get it out of at least the infield!!