Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I haven't finished out 2008 very strong on my blog, but will try to update at least once a week in the New Year. No promises though. I have no idea what 2009 will hold for me with respect to my running, but I am going to try to get some consistancy with that as well and through a few races on the calendar, body permitting. I would love to be able to run a half with my beautiful wife, Tammy, and run some more races with the girls as well.

May you all have a most blessed New Year and thank you to all of you who took the time to look into the window of my world here and leave inspiring or encouraging comments, especially as I prepared for the running of my first marathon this past year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

So Worth It

I received these photos in the mail last week from my Aunt Denise and Cassy. Cassy, you were my inspiration for that race and will always be one of my biggest inspirations in life! Keep blessing those around you with your smiles and laughter. I love you girl!

Your ugly cousin,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two Big Games Today

Today is an exciting day if you are a Michigan State University Spartan, which I am an alumni of, or a University of Michigan Wolverine fan. MSU has a shot at the Big Ten Conference championship if it knocks off the heavily favored Penn State Nittany Lions today at 3:30. This would be the first time in many years for this to occur, and perhaps even, not since I had gone there, oh... four or five years ago. *cough* So.... "GO GREEN!"... "GO WHITE!" Since it snowed yesterday, won't have to pick up
leaves in the yard and can maybe watch football all day. :)

The U of M Wolverines have their work cut out for them today in one of the most heated and long-standing rivalries in college football history as they face the Ohio State University Buckeyes today at 12:30. Michigan has had a dismal season under a new head coach, certainly one of the worst in the school's history. This one game could make up for the lackluster of the entire rest of the season if they can pull off an upset against their detested football foes, the Buckeyes. It's a long shot, but anything can happen in a rivalry like this. I, being a good Michigander, am obligated to root against OSU so... "GO BLUE!"

Today is a Michigan college football lovers dream day, hopefully one that will not end in a nightmare. Go State! and Go Blue!

Friday, November 21, 2008

For Best Cell Phone Service in Northern Michigan and Other Unnecessary Information

Why, you stand on top of your garage roof, of course! Works even better if you have a wire hanger in your back pocket as well. My in-laws' cabin is nestled in the heart of the Huron National Forest in Glennie, Michigan which is in Northeastern Michigan and it is not a populated mecca - the exception being the first week of November every year for the rifle hunting deer season opening - without cell phone towers on every block corner, hence the need for ingenuity in the cell phone usage arena up there. I've found calling cards to be quite handy as well. The neighbor, Ken, found it just as handy to shimmy up the tv tower to the rooftop of their garage for good service. To each his own. We had a great time at deer camp, our's being the cabin above, though between the two cabins and 8 hunters hunting, only one deer, a 6 point buck, was taken on opening morning. For those of you keeping score at home, that's Deer - 7, Humans - 1. I actually did manage to shoot a deer in the wild, it just happened to be with my digital camera and not 30-06 rifle. Pretty good shot too as I got her while bounding away. Doesn't make for a very good roast or sausage though.Since I had a while I didn't have to shave while bow and rifle hunting, I thought I would give growing my first beard ever a try. See, as a firefighter we aren't allowed to wear a beard as it interferes with the seal of our face masks for our breathing apparatus for firefighting so, I have never tried to grow one. Well, what do you think? Dork-city or what? I felt deer-hunteresque. Back to normal tonight though. Gotta get back to making some fire calls before we head down to Virginia next week for Thanksgiving at my sister and brother in law's home. I know, it's barely noticeable.

It was quite the festive holiday scene as I arrived back into my hometown this evening with quite a bit of snow falling and the lovely Temperance holiday lights adorning the sides of Lewis Avenue through downtown. All kidding aside though, it really was kinda neat and warmed my heart as I arrived back in town from a long day on the road for work. Even got me a little excited in anticipation of Christmas. In fact, I am looking forward to going and cutting our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving. Are you getting in the spirit yet? Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'll Leave You With This

Ok, so I haven't carried through on the "blogging with some regularity" or some such statement I made a post or two ago. Truth is, I honestly have not had the time to do so or had any focused thoughts to do so. Right now I should be packing, or working, or paying bills, or something other than typing on this blog. I haven't been able to try and get any runs in either so, I'm failing miserably in that aspect of my life as well for the time being. I've often said I really wouldn't mind going back to a simpler time, like when we were settling the west, you know, like Little House on the Prairie-esque days. I know life was harder and, I'd likely be dead already at this age (just turning 42 yesterday), but I think people appreciated their days more because I think their lives were richer in relationships with one another and taking the time to slow down and have meals together or visit with a neighbor. Nowadays we're all too busy scurrying about, going from this to that, changing hats several times a day to fulfill the roles we have allowed to consume our lives. There's a blessing in solitude, in fact, I think that's what I most appreciate about running and why most of the time I run alone and out in the countryside and not in a park... simply for the solitude of it. I had a chance to have some solitude in the woods up north last weekend on a bow hunting trip to my in-laws cabin with my dear friend, Jeremy and will do so again this weekend at my father-in-law's annual deer camp for the opening of gun hunting season. This time I have the pleasure of going with my Dad and my father-in-law. I don't slow down enough to take the time to visit with either of them anymore and life, it seems, just keeps going on by at warp-speed so, I cherish times like this to share with them. My life mimics the Cats in the Cradle song so much at this point in my life, it is scary. Anyway, I'll be back next week about mid-week and will try to get a blurb in here. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this pic from my trip up north last weekend. I hope you find it as breath-taking as I do. Try to enjoy some solitude this week some time or simply connect with someone you've been meaning to, like a family member or dear friend that have been on your mind. Thanks for the note, Bob. I hope you find the Truman Show worth checking in on every once in a while and, know that you and your family are in my prayers daily. I look in on the Truman Show as well, even if I don't interject in it. ;)

Psalm 46:10

Monday, November 3, 2008

Did I Mention in the Last Post...

that I start jury duty tomorrow in District Court? I don't think I did. I really don't mind and think that if I do sit on some juries for cases over the next couple of months (I have to serve November and December) that it will be really interesting. I'm all about civic duty and being a good citizen and American and all that. This cetainly isn't good timing with me having to skip down to Columbus at least one day a week right now and with hunting and the holidays coming up, but it'll all work out. As Dad always says, quoting my Grandmother, "It'll all come out in the wash."

Speaking of civic duties, if you registered, please don't forget to vote tomorrow. It's your right and privilege for which so many have sacrificed for you to be able to do. I'm gonna try and get up and out on a run at 6 tomorrow morning, go vote when the polls open at 7, and then up to court in Monroe by 8:30. We'll see how my tentative plans work out.

God bless America! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Still Around

For anyone still checking, I am still around. Lots has transpired since my last post, like Chelsea's Senior Homecoming (pic above), the wrapping up of Lindsey's XC season, many trips for me to Columbus (with many more to come), a come back in running, followed by a crash another self-benching, a few online RA and blogger-running friend's completing marathons, a trip to East Lansing with Chels to a Michgan State football game, Halloween, and probably much more than I can recall. There's much to be said for keeping up with things, like blogging, which I have not been able to do lately. Early in October, following the Komen 5K Race for the Cure, I picked up running again with some consistency. I did start slowly and was progressing quite well without any pain or complications, other than being out of shape... again. I started thinking that I could still make my 1,000 mile goal by the end of the year if I ran roughly 5 miles per day for the rest of the year. I forced a run in on a Friday at the end of my highest mileage week (around 25) since training for the marathon I ran and stressed my leg too much reinjuring myself slightly. I tried going out for a run with Tammy the Saturday morning after and got to the end of our street and could not go on, the pain was too bad. That was October 11th and I hadn't run since then until yesterday when I nervously went out with Tammy and did get in 4 easy miles. So, gonna give it a go again, but much more easily than the last time I tried to start up again.

I've been wanting to do something with Chels, just the two of us, for quite some time. We've kinda lost a connection over the years and I have been wanting to try and bridge that gap so, I got it in my mind to take her to a college football game a few weeks ago because she has really been getting into football this year (she loves the Dallas Cowboys, well, Tony Romo anyway). When I had the thought, the Ohio State Buckeyes were going to be playing my Michigan State Spartans at my alma mater in East Lansing and looked to be what should be one of the best Big Ten matchups of the season. I
thought the game would be sold out, but to my pleasant surprise, it wasn't. A quick call to Tammy garnered the approval I needed to make the date for the two of us and purchase tickets online. We had a beautiful day heading up to East Lansing and I was thankful for the opportunity to chat about her future after graduation and to be able to tell her some things that were on my heart about how I felt about her, how proud I am of here, and how much I love and care for her, and always will. The game didn't pan out so well as Michigan State got battered, 45 - 7, but I wouldn't have traded the time spent with Chelsea for anything, not even a Spartan win.

Like I noted in my last post, my online running pal, Kirsten, aka Zoom Zoom, did complete her first marathon, The Milwaukee Lakefront, on October 5th! Congratulations, Kirsten! I am so stinkin' proud of you! You have been such an inspiration to me since I began forum stalking on RunningAHEAD for over a year now. I also had two other friends, Mike, Q from RA, and fellow running blogger, Karen, who blogs at Mom on the Run, complete the Grand Rapids Marathon on October 19th. It was Mike's first, which he completed in 4:04:38 and Karen was just in front of him at 4:04:04! To my knowledge, they don't even know each other. How crazy is that? Zoom Zoom was on hand as a spectator, along with her son, Dane, and Mike's wife Rebecca, to cheer them on along the course. I so wanted to be there (running actually, which was my plan at the beginning of the year) to cheer for them as well, but was not able to. Congratulations to both Mike, on his awesome first marathon finish, and Karen, seen above in the pink top, waiting to receive a hand off of fuel from her adorable eldest daughter who came to the race to cheer her running mommy on along with Karen's husband!

I have been traveling a lot for work this fall as the Columbus-area has been added to my territory of inspections. We've been somewhat slow with new business in Michigan so, I had Columbus added as part of my inspection territory. So, what I have been doing lately is leaving very early on Monday mornings, like 4:30 or 5:00 a.m., to head down to Columbus to make my property inspections for the day, usually between 25 and 40 of them, and come back home either when I am done or when it gets dark, whichever comes first. It's a long day, but this way I don't have to stay over night down there and be away from my family more than I have to be. I usually get back home around 7:30 or 8:00 at night and can salvage the evening with them. This is part of the reason I haven't been blogging, I simply haven't had the available free time to do so, nor the energy or enthusiasm to do so when I did. I'll try to put some consistent blurbs up here though from now on, if not for my own therapy. Heh!

We had a great weekend with friends on Halloween and again last night with several couples from our church at a fall bonfire. I feel so blessed by the people the Lord has put in my life, even those of you reading who I only know through here. Tammy and I went to our friend's, the Evans, for Halloween to pass out candy in their neighborhood and hang out with them. I haven't dressed up for Halloween in years and thought to add to the spirit of the evening that I would for a change. Lindsey and her friends all dressed up in like prom gowns with tiaras and such, over-done makeup, and Converse basketball shoes. I dressed up like a geek... I know... that was a stretch, but I somehow managed to pull it off. Actually, Troy Evans brother said to me, "So, I see you decided not to dress up this year." C'est la vie. Here's a pic. Hope you are all well and enjoying this great fall that we have had so far. Blessings.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

GO! Zoomy GO!

Just a shout out to my RA and running blogging buddy, Zoomy, aka Kirsten, aka Zoom Zoom, who is a fellow Michigander from the pristine west side of the state, not far from my beloved Ludington, and who is running her first marathon tomorrow morning in her home state of Wisconsin in the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. Just want you to know that I've been thinking about you all weekend, I have butterflies for you, though I know you will fair well due to your flawless training and preparation, and will be thinking about and praying for you tomorrow morning. Enjoy your race my friend, but most of all... enjoy your finish! Tomorrow... I call you a marathoner! You can check out her race at her blog, Zoomylicious, here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Race for the Cure

I ran the race with Tammy and girls this morning in downtown Toledo with 17,500 of our closest friends. It was a great morning for the race, cool and clear. There were 17,500 registered runners and walkers. Started out about a 9:00 min/mile pace with Tammy and Lindsey. Chelsea took off from the start once we got across the timing mat. I wanted to hang with Tammy to help pace her to a PR and not over-do myself and end up regretting it by stressing my leg too much. Lindsey ended up leaving us about 3/4 mile into the race too. Went out a little too hard for Tammy at 9:11 first mile, she was able to maintain and, in fact, speed up a bit the next mile, which was 8:59 and phenomenal for her! She struggled a bit in the final mile of the race. I tried to get her to walk through a water stop, get a good drink, and catch her breath, but she wouldn't listen. We ended up walking a little bit later for just 20 or 30 seconds because she was having a pain in her right side. I was trying to pull her along and encourage her as best I could without pushing her too hard. We ended up the last mile at 9:23 and finished the race in 28:55 by my Garmin (running GPS), which was a PR (personal record) for her by almost a minute and about a 9:10 min/mile average pace! Her prior PR was a 29:49! WOOT! The girls smoked us both. The almost as neat thing as pacing Tammy to a huge PR is, I felt as though I could have busted one in this race as well. Patience, Grasshopper... patience. And... we got over $200.00 in donations for the cause! Thanks to all who contributed to our team!

We got some of the post race food and took a stroll around the inside of 5/3 Field and got some goodies to bring home. It was so cool being able to run a race with my whole family. Very cool. I'll post all our official results when they have them up on the internet.

Back to Columbus this afternoon to assist with the high volume of claims they had from the severe winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ike on September 14. I should be back either Thursday night or Friday afternoon and, that should wrap up that tour of duty.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Home Away From Home

I'm down in Columbus this week for work. I had planned to come down to do some inspection work for my regular job this week, but central and southern Ohio were hit very badly with the remnants of Hurricane Ike last week and there is widespread wind damage down here so my department has been enlisted by our claims department to help out with scoping the damages of our customers down here in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas. I will be going home for the weekend as Lindsey has a CC invitational and family picnic following on Saturday and we are all running the 5K Race for the Cure on Sunday. Thank you to everyone that has donated to our family's team fundraising goal for the race. We truly appreciate it and you! I'll come back down to Columbus Sunday afternoon to work in the area again if needed.

I got a 6.5 mile run in last evening, heading from my hotel to Blacklick Metro Park, which is about 1.25 miles from my hotel, and then did a 4.1 mile loop through the park. It was a really nice run and the park part of it was awesome. I was a bit sore today and also had work to do so, I didn't go out today. I'll try and get a run in tomorrow evening. If not, the rest will do me good too.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Great Morning Run

I had an awesome morning run this morning, 5.1 miles, my furthest since the marathon back on 4/13/08! Yea! The morning was perfect, partly sunny, cool around 54F, light breeze, quiet back roads, and mist lifting off the fields and golf course. The only way it could have been any better is if Tammy had been with me spitting on herself during the course of the run! BAH! She's not a very accomplished spitter. Sorry, Honey, but it's the truth.

Our local highschool won their football game last night 33 - 7 against a school they were supposed to get buried by. This is quite exciting as Bedford has a losing history in football. When I say history, I mean they have had like 5 winning seasons in the past 50 years. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. Lindsey (and her 8th grade band-mates) got to play with the marching band during the half time program. She thought it was going to be *lame*, but I think ended up having a good time with it.

Our church is having its annual (12th, I think?) Classic Car and Motorcycle Show tomorrow. It's our biggest event of the year and we usually draw about 300 vehicles to the show. Cars, motorcycles, music (our worship band is doing a set at 1:00 with tunes from Brown-Eyed Girl and Pretty Woman to Huey Lewis, Chicago, and the Doobie Brothers), food, friends, and fun. If you're in the area, stop by and check it out. It doesn't cost anything, unless you want to eat, then it's only $9.00 for a home made bbq chicken or pulled pork dinner. If you have a strong stomach, you can hear me singing and playing with the band at 1:00.

Have a great weekend and... GO STATE!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Below is just a shot I took of the twilight sky on my way back to rehearsal at church Tuesday evening from our Bedford Running Club meeting at the school. I just thought it was very beautiful, as many of the past few days and evenings have been. Of course, the photos never do the *real thing* justice. Don't tell my boss I'm taking pictures while driving either! Shhhhhhhh.
Lindsey's XC team competed at Michigan State University last Friday and placed first as a team! It's a very large invitational, so that's awesome. She's been dealing with shin splints, so is off her best game right now and, realistically, probably for the rest of the season, but she keeps plugging away. Below she's running in their first league jamboree (multi-school XC meet), at Saline last evening at Mill Pond Park. Very nice venue for a race. Again, her team placed first in the league meet out of 6 teams and Lindsey was right in that 16 - 17 minute range, placing 46th out of a field of over 100, even with her sore legs! She's doing great as far as I'm concerned and, of course I am proud of her regardless. I was amazed she even finished at MSU, she looked to be in such misery during her race.

I can't forget Chels in giving props either. She got an 82 on her first Anatomy quiz/test and is taking a dual enrollment English class at the community college for which she receives college credits this semester. Keep up the good work, Chels! I'm proud of how hard you are working so far this year.

On the running front, I took yesterday off, didn't want to, but my leg was sore from my tempo run the other day, which I won't attempt for awhile again, and went for a 4 miler this morning and felt much better. Hopefully I'll be able to go out tomorrow morning with Tammy for an early run. Our 5K Race for the Cure is a week from Sunday. In case I haven't mentioned it *cough*, we are fundraising for this race for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation. If you would like to donate/pledge via our team, you may do so by clicking on this link. We've raised $150.00 of our $400.00 goal, so any contributions would be most appreciated toward this very worthy cause. Each of us are running on behalf of someone we know that has battled, or is battling, breast cancer. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


So I'm driving home from my inspection rounds on Monday and I'm behind THIS car. Fortunately she didn't decide to pursue her passion while she was in front of me. Note the "Rest Area" sign on the upcoming overpass! How ironic. Anyway, I found this quite funny and, hopefully you got a chuckle out of it as well.

Lindsey has a league XC meet in Saline this afternoon that Tam and I and my folks will be heading up to. She didn't do real well at MSU last Friday (and my camera was being obstinate, so I didn't get any pictures) as her shins and a calf were bothering her. She still was only like 8 seconds off her slowest race and was still in eight and a half minute per mile pace range, which is pretty darn good running with pain. She was actually in tears early on in that race and I was amazed she even finished.

I cut short my intended 5 mile run yesterday as my right leg was sore. I did just under 3.5 and am not sure if I should try today or not. Actually, I DO know that I should not, but the morning is so beautiful. Best to err on the side of caution though. I've been getting in some pretty consistent running being conservative and I don't want to ruin that. Besides, I'm sure I'll be running around the XC course this afternoon cheering on the kids.

Make it a great day everyone.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tempo Run

I actually ran a 4 mile tempo run this morning just to see how I would tolerate it. A tempo run is a sustained faster-paced run, slightly under a race pace, which is done to increase speed and stamina. In my case, I was just kind of "testing the waters" with how my leg would stand up to a faster-paced run. I ran 8:35 min/mile average pace for the 4 mile run and felt pretty good, though somewhat winded at times, which I should have been. My leg feels fine tonight, no pain. Hopefully that will continue tomorrow.

Extreme Makeover, Home Edition

Extreme Makeover, Home Edition was in town last week to do a build for a Toledo, Ohio family. The couple have 11 children, 3 of which are their own and the rest are adopted. The husband is a paramedic with the Toledo Fire Department. The show and goings on, about 7 miles or so from my house, literally captivated and constricted the area for the past week. They had the reveal shooting yesterday and the family took possession of the home today. Chelsea went down to the build site on Saturday afternoon with a friend, Tony, in the pic below, to join in the excitement and festivities. Below is a pic of the two of them with newer designer Didi. And one of her personal favorites below, Rib.
Then there is of course, the star of the show, Ty Pennington.

Below Toledo Firefighters are moving in the furnishings in the finished home.

Below, the crew, Ty, Paulie, Didi, & Rib rev up the crowd for the furniture move in.

"The Bus."

The family's finished home below. They were in a 3 bedroom ranch with 1 bathroom prior.

This episode will air sometime in late November I had heard. So, if you happen to catch this episode and have seen this, you'll already know what to expect and that it was very close to where I live. In fact, my friend, Frank Johnston, the guy who went fishing with me in Ludington and to Florida last spring for spring break vacation, works with the husband of the family and has known him for quite some time. A very deserving fellow from what he says. Kinda neat, but it was crazy around here for the past week or so. We went to a Sanctus Real concert a week ago Sunday which benefitted the family so, some of our money went towards this family. : )

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Morning Soaker

Actually, the last two mornings now, Tammy and I have headed out the door in the rain for a lovely rain run. We did 4.1 miles yesterday in a light rain, with near perfect running conditions, and 3.1 this morning in a soaking rain, which was just an absolute blast. Looks like we'll need to get used to it too because the forecast for the next week is for rain. This was my highest mileage week since getting back to running at 19.4 miles. I can't express how happy I am to be getting back out there. I am really looking forward to running the Komen 5K Race for the Cure with my whole family at the end of this month! Did you know you can contribute/donate to the cause by pledging us in our race through our family's fundraising page?

Tammy's aunt saw us running by this morning and came out on her porch to editorialize on our *passion* for running given the monsoon conditions we were running in this morning. Something like "Ok, your exercising has truly gone over the top now." Apparently she hasn't read about my first marathon race experience? Compared to that, this mornings run was divine! Have a great balance of your weekend!

Karen, thank you for the very kind comment on my last post. I really appreciate it. It's an honor and a blessing to be able to serve in that capacity.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Will Never Forget

Seven years ago today I came very close to leaving for NYC following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Ironically enough, as a firefighter/EMT, I was responding to a call in my own community from work at home when my assistant chief told me that a plane had flown into the first WTC building. We had no idea what was going on at that time and just thought it was an accident. Our call was cancelled and we started watching the news coverage of the event as it unfolded. I returned home in time to see the second plane collide with the second tower. I watched as flames and smoke bellowed out of the giant structures and as emergency teams responded to the scene thinking, "Ok, this is big, but FDNY is trained for stuff like this and, they'll get a handle on it, it's just going to take some time." As I watched the situation unfold and the commentary by the media speculating as to what had just happened, the first tower collapsed. My mind just could not process what just happened. Then, a while later, the second tower collapsed. Again, I could not believe what I was seeing and just wept knowing that there were a lot of civilians in those buildings and firefighters and others coming to help. I was so moved by what I was seeing, I emotionally considered driving out there at that moment to do anything, whatever I could, to help. When I was able to think rationally, I knew that I would just be adding to the problems if I, and so many others in the country that were likely feeling the same way, were to act on those feelings. I stayed at home, prayed, and wept, like most of the rest of the country, and hugged and kissed my wife and daughters when they got home thanking God for His provision of our safety. I see jet airplanes in a different light now and, as much as I pray about it and try to be forgiving, I know in the deep recess of my heart, I have a disdain for a radical culture of people that were at the heart of the evil actions of that day. May He work through this black spot on my heart. I pray the Lord gives comfort and peace to the families of all 2,974 victims in the attacks that day, 343 of which were firefighters, including one chaplain. May God rest their souls and continue to bring healing to the hearts of our country, mine included. I will never forget.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'll Take Potpourri for $1,000, Alex...

I haven't been real good about updating, a lot of which simply has to do with the lack of time, so I thought I'd just touch on some of several happenings in the past week, or several. Since I haven't posted anything about my running lately, primarily since there hadn't been any, I thought I'd start there. I am actually into my third week of doing some consistent running. Yeah!! You can follow my workouts on the right sidebar below, but basically, I started out with some easy 5K jogs about 3 weeks ago. I have purposely not taken a watch or my Garmin, just simply gone out and ran/jogged easily without regard to time or pace. I have progressed up to 4.1 miles a run and have been going out 4 or 5 days a week, and could do more, but won't as I want to build my mileage slowly and not aggravate my right lower leg (RLL), which so far has not given me too much grief over my re-introduction to running. I have had some post run pain in my RLL, usually the following day or two, which is my sign not to run on those days. So far, so good.

I even picked up a new pair of running shoes pictured below, Saucony ProGrid Guide, which I found at Dick's on sale for $69.99 and I had a $10.00 coupon so, I got them for $64.04 after tax! I just love getting good shoes for a good price. I've like them very well so far. We had gotten Lindsey the same pair in women's at Dave's for her cross country season, which I didn't realize when I got mine. We have very similar feet, though she has a much flatter arch than I.
I've ran with Tammy and Lindsey on more than a few occassions which has been awesome. It keeps me from going at too fast a pace and it's just nice running with people you adore and love being with. Ask me who spits the worst out of the 3 of us. Heh! I'm trying to get Lindsey to perfect the snot-rocket, but she won't have anything to do with it. Her loss. So, with all of us running, I thought I would sign us up as a family for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K at the end of this month and have done so. Chelsea's in as well so, Team Velich will be running the 5K Race for the Cure on September 28th in downtown Toledo. How cool is that!?! I am so excited! We're each running on behalf of someone that is battling or has battled breast cancer. I am running in honor of my friend's mother, Helen Deal; Tammy is running in honor of her Aunt Katie Hiller; Chelsea is running in honor of her best friend's grandma, Sixta Contreras, and Lindsey is running in honor of my parents' old neighbor, Kathy Feik. We know so many more people that this cancer has affected, like our former pastor's wife, Mary Cryderman, and you all will be on our hearts in that race. We do have a fund raising goal for the Komen Race for the Cure foundation of $400.00 as a family. If you would like to donate to this awesome cause through our family team, you can do so via the internet or a printable donation page at our family's team website by clicking HERE.

As I posted previously about our annual Ludington trip, my dad was not able to make the trip, which has typically been a father and son camping and fishing gig since the late 70's and early 80's, and I really missed having him and his neighbor, Walt, another stalwart crew member, there with us when we went with the Johnstons last month. So, we booked a charter last week on Catchin', with Captain Myron Gilbert, who also charters for walleye earlier in the summer out of my dad's marina, Luna Pier Harbor Club. I also asked my friend, Vicki's (who's mother I am running on behalf of in the Race for the Cure) husband, Rob, if he would like to join us since I knew of his love of fishing and just being out on the water. We zipped up to Ludington last Wednesday afternoon and headed out on our charter with Captain Myron Thursday morning at 5:15 a.m. As I was assisting the captain in setting the second line out of 14 after reaching our starting destination about a mile north of Big Point Sable, I inquisitively asked him if he ever had a fish take a line while it was being set. He had barely finished his affirmative answer when a fish hit the line I was putting out. That was the start to a fishing melee that lasted about 2 hours, during which time I don't think we even got all 14 lines out. It was an absolute blast and some of the best fishing we have ever enjoyed. Below are pics of my dad with a couple of the largest fish we caught that morning, the largest being 20 pounds, and then our entire limit catch of 15 fish, most of which were between 15 and 20 pounds!

Rob and I with our fantastic catch. I don't think I stopped grinning that whole day! We had such a blast!
Lindsey had her first cross country invitational this past Saturday. It was in Tiffin, Ohio, the Tiffin Carnival, and is one of the largest, if not the largest, cross country invitationals in the Midwest, if not the country, boasting 553 junior high and high school teams from the Midwest and 6,585 runners! Lindsey ran in the Junior High open race, finishing 78th out of a field of 332 in her race and her team placed 6th out of 26! She ran a personal record (PR) of 15:47 for the two mile cross country course, nearly a full minute faster than her previous race! Great job, Linds! She's pictured below just after the 1 mile mark of the race attacking one of the several hills on the 2 mile course. Notice the sea of runners behind her!

The girls are in their first full week back to school. Chelsea is a senior this year and was accepted to dual-enroll, which means she gets to take a college course through the local community college, for which she receives college credit and the school district pays for the course. She is taking an english class this first semester. This will be a good taste of what is to come if she chooses to go on to college next year and, she'll already have some credits under her belt!

We had a massive structure fire this past weekend at a local golf course where the clubhouse caught fire. The building was completely involved in fire before we were even dispatched to the scene so, we were behind the eight ball from the start on this fire. You can see a clip on the fire from a local news station here. Unfortunatley, I don't have any video or photos to direct you to of the fire as it was when we approached the scene. If I do get one, I'll post it as it was a pretty wicked sight. One of the largest structure fires I have been on scene on in my nearly 15 years on the department. We were dispatched about 11:40 p.m. on Saturday night and I didn't get home from the call and to bed until 9:45 a.m. Sunday. Um, I missed church... sorry Pastor Dean. I didn't think he would appreciate someone snoring in the middle of his message, no matter how compelling his sermon.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Off to Tiffin, Ohio

There's a new runner in the making this year in the Velich household, and her name is Lindsey! Lindsey decided to pass on volleyball tryouts at Bedford and run XC this year, her 8th grade year. She is a very natural looking runner so, I think she will be quite good in no time. Below is a pic from her first race, a *scrimmage* about a week and a half ago in Sylvania, Ohio. The junior high XC course is 2 miles and she had a time of 16:37. Not bad for a first race. She'll get much better as she figures out pacing and racing and what it should feel like. Today we are headed down to Tiffin, Ohio for the Tiffin Carnival XC races. It is one of the largest XC events in the Midwest with 553 school teams, middle school and high school, represented there and 6,585 runners this year. There are typically 200 - 300 runners in each race and teams from schools all over the Midwest. Tammy and I have been going to it for 4 years now since Chelsea has ran in it since her 8th grade year. Sadly though, she is passing on running XC her senior year of high school. It would have been cool to have seen them both running at the same event. Gotta get ready to hit the road. Have a great weekend! I'll post how Lindsey did and some pics later.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Chelsea!

Just wanted to give a shout-out to my, now 17 year old, oldest daughter, Chelsea on her birthday! Happy Birthday, Chels! I love you and pray you have an awesome Senior year of high school!

You get more beautiful with each passing year, but no more so to me than your first.



Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Long Week

From the prior post that is. Ok, so I enjoyed the remainder of my summer without much regard for my blog, so sue me. I probably shouldn't say that in this day and age as someone just might, though I don't think they would have much of a case as NOT having my blog to read probably actually relieves a lot of pain and suffering on your part!
As you might guess, a lot has transpired since my last post. I'm not going to detail everything, but I would like to share some things, such as some of the awesome pics I got while we vacationed in Ludington. That place is my personal utopia and combined with being there to share it with my lovely wife, Tammy, and dear friends, Frank and Dianna Johnston, and life just doesn't get any better. The first picture is of the sunrise the first morning Frank and I were out on Lake Michigan fishing. We'd get up at 4:00 a.m. and get out on the water and set up about 5:00 a.m. (I'll get up early to fish, but I won't get up that early to run!) so we were able to take in some incredible sunrises above the shoreline. Out of the 5 days that we fished, this was as wavy as the lake got in this picture. It was amazing!
The first couple of mornings we were out there were intermittent fog banks that would roll in and out across the water giving a surreal look to the lake like the next couple of pics, the second of which is the lighthouse on Big Point Sable, which is about 10 miles north up the shoreline from the Ludington harbor that we put in at.

The following pic is shortly after the one above was taken after the sun had risen above the horizon of the shoreline and started burning some of the fog off of Lake Michigan.

Lines set and ready for action before sun-up and the spoils of our efforts.

The mornings while we were out fishing, the girls would run or bike and explore new areas around the campground, like Hamlin Lake, then in the afternoons we would all go do something together like hang out at the beach, take the boat to Hamlin Lake, and explore the town of Pentwater, which is absolutely beautiful as well.

Thursday evening, our last night there, we all took a walk down to the beach to catch our last sunset of the week.

I was trying to get the sunset behind us, but didn't have any success.

But, just like a beautiful summer day on Lake Michigan in Ludington, all good things must come to an end. Or, do they... the moon rising that same evening and then setting on the west side of the lake Friday morning, our last morning out fishing.

Ludington is an amazing, magical place to me and I hope you were able to enjoy some of its beauty that I tried to capture.