Yes… I’m still here.. and guess what — Yo Momma Kicked my A$$ again….

**** warning —-  long read *****

Hey remember me? Talk about being a broken record…

I have been away from blogging for so long that I forgot my login ID, my password and almost how to start a new post.  I’ve been wanting to revive my blog for some time now, but life being what it is – I just really hadn’t had the time.  I know, sounds like the same old excuse – but seriously, any active, single parent with active kids would agree!  LOL

There has been TONS going on as usual – I want to blog about everything and I kind of feel bad about making this first blog post back about this race, but I would really like to finish it while details are fresh in my mind and I give a long over due thanks and recognition to those that gave up their time – and viewing of an OSU football game to come support me.

So as you could tell from the title; I.  Freaking.  Failed… Again.  I don’t know what exactly it is about Not Yo Mommas; the ruggedness of the course, the newness of the race, or the fact that it is the only one I’ve ever DNF’d, but I think what really keeps me coming back is the fact that it is the only one I’ve DNF’d.  To admit I can’t do something is a tough pill to swallow.

In my two previous attempts my DNF’s could honestly  be chaulked up to a lack of training.  This one?  I trained, well – unfortunately took the training much more seriously towards the end which I think lead to me dealing with plantar fasciitis.

I logged literally hundreds of miles with my dog Cato and my ABSOLUTELY AMAZING friends and family.

denny

NYMblog

Cato during his first 24mile run! 🙂

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Jeremy and Emily helping me train at home

Jeremy and Emily helping me train at home

For the first time EVER I did hill repeats — and enjoyed them??

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I am dang proud of the path I carved out in this hill with all the repeats I've done! :)

I am dang proud of the path I carved out in this hill with all the repeats I’ve done! 🙂

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And at the urging of, well… all of my friends – experimented with my nutrition to get off GU’s.

Thanks Pam!

Thanks Pam!

Tailwind

However – Tailwind and Lara bars ended up being the nutrition of choice

So, leading up to race day… for ONCE I thought I was prepared for this – before the PF set in, but I thought I could deal with it for this race, then take a break and give it a chance to fully heal up.

Finally – on to the race.

I’m not going to go into all the details of the course because I’ve done it several times before.  You can check them out along with the details of my other attempts here.

My first attempt

My second attempt

Last year’s 50k

My friends were there to fully support me for this attempt and I think for the first time also thought that I trained well enough for it.  My buddy Dave committed to pace me for the last 50k or the race, My girlfriend, Ginger (YEP! You read that right.  Much more about her/us later 😊) flew in from Illinois and along with Mike, Beth, and Michele were there to crew me.  This was such a humbling experience.  I never had a crew before.  After coming in from my first loop (NYM course is a 4mile loop followed by 6 loops of a 16mile section), I smiled, waved and ran right passed them and started to fill up my water bottle and get some food.  It honestly never occurred to me to stop so they can do it and while I sit and rest for the moment. Heck – Dave and Beth even took off my shoes, changed my nasty socks, and put my shoes back on me!

Me and my badass pacer Dave at O24

Dave and I at O24

My crew - Dave, Mike, Michele, Beth and Ginger

Dave, Mike, Michele, Beth and Ginger

Coming back to the end of my second full loop (approx 36 miles) I still felt amazing – shortly thereafter tho, the wheels fell off.  It started getting dark, my PF started hurting much more, and I subsequently started slowing down.  I took 3 Aleve in a 3 hour time span but it didn’t help.  I got to aid station 3 and pulled the plug – again.  Such a hard decision to have to make again and even though I still feel like I let them all down – my friends being who they are, were all very supportive in my decision. I cannot thank you all enough for being there for me.  The plus side of me dropping?  My friend Eddie who was running NYM for the first time this year needed a pacer and Dave was more than happy to fill the bill.  Eddie was now in great hands for his last 50k of the race and Dave helped him finish in grand fashion – winning NYM100M with a time of just over 28hrs. WAY TO GO EDDIE!!!

To everyone that helps to make NYM what it is – thank you all so much for doing such a great job.  Love this race – really I do.  Rob/Angie.  I may have said I wasn’t going to do this anymore, but I’ll be back.  I plan to run a couple 100’s in 2016 to regain my confidence in my ability to do so and then – tackle Yo Momma again!

Click here for my Runkeeper data of the 48.66 miles that I did complete.  Also, I display my trophy with pride.  How could you not love race directors who know you well enough that after you regain your composure come up to you and present you with this baby 🙂

My favorite race bling so far

My favorite race bling so far

As for some posts to come —–

  • Jeremy and Emily are growing like WEEDS; basketball, volleyball, highschool???
  • My oldest daughter, Leah, is getting married to her long time boyfriend Devon and they’ve made me a Grandpa!
  • Running adventures continue
  • Mountain bike adventures are taking beginning to get more real

and

  • Cooking is starting to get interesting again!

Waiiiiiit for it………

Once again – my typical type of greeting it seems lately – I haven’t blogged in what feels like forever!!!  We’ve been crazy busy (as usual) and our craziness is well documented (surprise, right?)  But now, I’ve removed all excuses for not keeping up.  My computer was a piece of !@#$ making it painstakingly difficult to blog how I wanted.  Some of you may or may not have (yeah right) have noticed that I like to include pictures and videos 🙂  I was trying to blog using a crappy Acer 10″ Netbook with a processor that moves at the speed of tar pitch (and then even slower when I synced it with my phone (that is what I used to take all the pics and videos)  Well NOT ANY MORE MY FRIENDS!  I am now the proud owner of a new laptop AND a GoPro camera, oh yeah — this is gonna be fun!

Since I’ve been so lazy….

I thought I would take a different approach this time in trying to catch up with things the kids and I have done over the past couple of months.  What better way to do it than a video, right?! 🙂

To quickly summarize some of the photos in the movie —

  • We did a TON of fishing this year
  • Jeremy made the all star team for baseball
  • Emily pitched and played catcher for her fastpitch team
  • They ran two more races so far – The Fox Trot 5k and Shatter the Silence 2miler
  • I bought them season tickets to the Lake County Captain’s games this year
  • Jeremy turned 12 years old!
  • We took my Dad to his first Cleveland Browns football game in nearly 24 years!
  • and School started and we continued in our usually silliness.

The background music I chose is by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole.  I just love his voice.  My first choice was his medley of “Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World”, but alas I only have it in a protected mp4 format that would not upload to my movie making software.  Anyways — hope you enjoy it

That about catches up some of what we did recently.  I have more, but I wasn’t shooting for a full length feature film 😉

Now, blog updates about The Fresh 20, BikeMS, and Run Woodstock … I’m not going to be caught up by tomorrow night!

Hello hello ello ello llo llo lo……

Wow! How in the WORLD has time gone by so fast! There is no way possible for me to catch up on everything that has gone on in our lives. I can however share a few snapshots of what’s been occupying my time, tho 🙂 So lets see…. May – Training for Jeremy and Emily to run the CLE Half Marathon hadn’t gone as planned. Training with them through the cold weather months didn’t work out so well. It seemed every time we went for a training run in the cold – they would end up sick! I put the kibosh on this race for them and I don’t think they were too upset about it. It was always tough to get them on the trails, but once there they had fun. Since this race fell on a “nonkid” weekend for me anyways, I decided to ride my bike to it, meet up with my friends, eat some breakfast then ride the course to find friends that were running it. It was a 34mile round trip ride from my house – the furthest ride made this year. I was a little worried about the route to get there but after driving it the day before, learned that – HOLY CRAP there were some beautiful, crazy expensive houses along the way! I would have taken a few pictures, but I was afraid I’d get arrested! Made the trip there in great time and had an absolute blast! Here’s the map/data for this ride. I made it there, met up with Jocelyn (my buddy Jason who was running the race’s wife) and BMO. We had an awesome breakfast thanks to Darla who floats me VIP parking and brunch tickets every year — much appreciated Darla! After brunch BMO and I set out on the course to find Jason. Unfortunately we missed him till the last 1/4 mile, but got to see him finish and share some beers at the finish!

Celebratory beers at the finish

Celebratory beers at the finish

June –

Got the kids out for a little bit of trail fun, and enjoyed some more myself (surprise right?)

Jeremy and Emily --- back in the trails...

Jeremy and Emily — back in the trails…

Charlie and I --- chillin' in the river.  Don't judge, it was HOT out!!  lol

Charlie and I — chillin’ in the river. Don’t judge, it was HOT out!! lol

Towards the end of June also was Western States 100 Miler! That is a blog post in itself that I am working on. Too much to share in this trip to California to squeeze into here — just wouldn’t do it justice.

Now here we are in July…. Kids have been playing their BUTTS off – Jeremy with baseball and Emily with fastpitch. I couldn’t be more proud of these two. Jeremy plays short stop, outfield and pitches. Emily plays short stop, first base, catcher and pitcher.

Jeremy throwing the heater!

Jeremy throwing the heater!

I did find a pitching coach for Emily. She FIRES them in there but isn’t all that accurate. I’m also in the process of hiring a pitching coach for Jeremy, as well as a batting coach for both of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1I_JsAn5Bs

And speaking of dinners…. I unfortunately had to opt out of Fresh Fork this season. So much going on which made finances a bit tight. It’s an excuse, I know… If I were a better budgeter, I know I could do it but I’m not. I did keep up with my Fresh20 membership and dinners are back on! Expect to see more posts about them very soon! Just a teaser of a couple of our favorites…

From June - Herb Pork Tenderloin with Braised Leeks and Wheatberries

From June – Herb Pork Tenderloin with Braised Leeks and Wheatberries

Tex-mex sloppy joe with watermelon feta salad

From July — Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe with Watermelon Feta Salad

spicy sausage fishermans stew

From June – Spicy Sausage fisherman’s Stew

Alright, I’m tired and going to bed! I know — kind of a blah post, but I have to start somewhere again, right? I have a lot going on and much to talk about. Planning on not being gone for so long 🙂

Good thing pictures say a thousand words….

I have a lot of catching up to do and don’t feel like typing that much!  You ever get so far behind on something that the thought of trying to catch up makes you want to put it off even more?  Yeah, it’s kind of like that….   So after going back and forth with how to handle this, I decided that I would let the pictures we’ve taken this past month do most of the talking for me… That said, here is my lazy post —–

We are still eating REALLY well thanks to the Fresh 20, but I haven’t been as good about taking pictures of what we had.  I do have a couple of them tho…

Black Bean Soup with Chicken and Cheese Quasadillas

Black Bean Soup with Chicken and Cheese Quasadillas

Lemon Chicken with Farro Pasta and Bok Choy

Lemon Chicken with Farro Pasta and Bok Choy

Double thumb from Jeremy

Really doesn’t look like he likes it by his facial expression but he really did give this a double thumbs 🙂

Emily --- not such a fan of Farro

Emily — not such a fan of Farro

Ever see a kid double thumb up a tofu dish?

Ever see a kid double thumb up a tofu dish?

No?  Here's another! :)

No? Here’s another! 🙂

How about a little halibut --- just for the "halibut"

How about a little halibut — just for the “halibut”

This month also brought along mine and Emily’s Father Daughter Sweetheart Ball.  We do this every year,  buy her a “pretty dress” and “fancy shoes”, get dressed up and spend the day together dancing and having a great time, thanks to the Willoughby Recreation Center.  As usual, we went dress shopping and as usual Emily had an absolute BLAST modeling different dresses for me!  We invited Leah along this year but she wasn’t able to make it.  Here are some of Emily’s favorites from this day.

Dress #1 of 1,345,363 tried on today..

Dress #1 of 1,345,363 tried on today..

Dress #2

Dress #2

Dress #3

Dress #3

Dress #4

Dress #4

Time for the Ball!

Time for the Ball!

Excited to dance

Excited to dance

This girl has got some moves!

This girl has got some moves!

Ahhhhh  refreshements...

Ahhhhh refreshments…

Love this kid!

Love this kid!

My little girl is getting so big!

My little girl is getting so big!

What would a post be without another 50k run????   Well this one isn’t going to include one either because while the run was a 50k, most of us bowed out at mile 23.x.  This was the “No Shirt Fatass 50k”  — however it was WAY to cold for anyone to go sans shirt!  This was my first time at the Cleveland Metroparks, Hinckley Reservation as well — beautiful place and I can’t wait to take the kids here.  Here is my Runkeeper data — SLOW…..

Beautiful ledges area

Beautiful ledges area

fatass2 fatass3 fatass4 fatass5

One of the creek crossings

One of the creek crossings

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Best way to finish a run!

Best way to finish a run! “Burgers 2 Beer”, Burger-onion straws-chili-cheese

I followed this run up the next day with a trip to New York to hit the slopes for the first time this year.  It’s nice to have Peak and Peak ski resort so close.  It is about an hour and a half drive for me and well worth it!  The place wasn’t crowded at all and except for the delays I had on the lifts – the day was amazing.

Skiing1 skiing3

Conditions couldn't have been better

Conditions couldn’t have been better

skiing4

After posting these pics and looking back at this month — this must’ve been the “Month of Emily”.  Jeremy had a sleep over at a friend’s house so I took Emily for a run in the morning.  She is really starting to enjoy it and was able to run most of our route.  There was also a race going on in the park at the same time in which many of my friends were participating in.  Emily and I ran to the start/finish line and cheered them all in.

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A new find in our park — never saw this little hut before

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I’ll help you up — just as soon as I take your pic, typical 🙂

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Beautiful scenery – Beautiful little girl!

That pretty much takes care of some of what’s been happening in February.  Things are REALLY starting to get busy now.  So, if you haven’t boycotted my blog because of this post – stick around!  In addition to things that are already on my plate, kids sports starting again (basketball, baseball, and fastpitch), and our Fresh Fork Market Summer CSA starting (whoo hoo!!!),  I started a youth running group thanks to the Lake County Department of Health.

Just RUN

and am also co-hosting a fun run in April to help out two great causes

Reaching for Recovery

Catchya later! 🙂

Introducing my family to my love….

Alright now… Really??? What did you think I meant???

If you have been following our adventures, I think you would agree with me when I say – Jeremy and Emily are HOOKED! They are loving being in the trails and splashing in the mud – I absolutely love to see them running, smiling, laughing, jumping, and splashing in puddles. Emily is also getting into the “fashion” side of running. For Christmas they both asked for running clothes and gear. Notice Emily sporting her new running skirt, tights, shirt, Nathan fuel belt, and Saucony shoes… she’s so darn cute 🙂

Emily sporting her new running skirt.

Emily sporting her new running clothes

Jeremy - all smiles in his new gear

Jeremy – all smiles in his new gear – yes Saucony as well — I’m a bit brand loyal 🙂

Jeremy and Emily have become quite the little runners. Jeremy wants to enter a 10k trail race next month, is seriously thinking about letting me mentor him through Bills Bad Ass, or as he calls it Bills Bad, uh – that word I’m not allowed to say… butt? and is planning on the Rite-Aid Half Marathon in May. Emily also told her teacher that her New Year’s resolution is to complete a half marathon! ROCK ON BABYGIRL! I’ve yet to sign us up yet tho — one thing I didn’t consider when all of us started running; Me + Emily + Jeremy= a 200% increase in 2013 registration fees and a huge rise in the cost of gear!

Now, my sister and brother-in-law have taken up walking almost every night – my sister is up to 4 miles! And if you’ve been reading my blogs, my niece tagged along with Jeremy for about 4 miles one night. My sister and her family has gone to North Chagrin, but walked the bridal trails and expressed an interest of joining us when the kids and I went. We went and they are now hooked as well!

We started out at Squire’s Castle and when we got out of the car, my sister was shocked! There Emily was in her running skirt and long sleeve tech shirt – no coat/hat/gloves.. Jeremy in his shorts, long sleeve tech shirt – no coat/hat/gloves, me in shorts and a short sleeve tech shirt, while my sister and her family were in coats, hats, gloves, and pants – needless to say after the first 1/2 mile, they were HOT! LOL

We headed down the bridal for a bit – yes, the same place where I knocked Emily down and bloodied her knees — Emily will not let me forget that. Our conversations usually go something like – “Dad, this is where you pushed me down!”, me – “I didn’t push you down, I tripped you – there’s a difference :)”

Vicki and Ed hitting the trails

Vicki and Ed hitting the trails

They quickly caught on to one of my favorite things about trail running — jumping in mud 🙂

Courtney just after getting some from Emily

Courtney just after getting some mud from Emily

Emily is still learning the dos and do nots of splashing in the trails… Em, do NOT look down when you jump in a puddle next time!

We went for about a mile down the bridal trail, hit Rivergrove Shelter, made the “whoo hoo” creek crossing and then hit some single track. On our way back I took them up one of my new favorite sections – root hill.

Still having fun, I think :)

Still having fun, I think 🙂

Jeremy - still having fun, I know!

Jeremy – still having fun, I know!

Emily perfecting her Karate Kid pose

Emily perfecting her Karate Kid pose

Just a few days prior, these trails were covered in snow. The remnants of which made some of them more like trail skating vs. trail running!

We ended up running/hiking just over 2 miles today. You could check out our data here. My niece actually liked it so much that when she got home, she called several of her friends and made arrangements for them all to hit the trails again the next day…. … Welcome to the addiction Vicki, Ed and Court — it’s a progressive disease from which there is no cure —- I hope 🙂

Some thoughts while I wait…

**** Warning — one of my rarely posted “relationship type” posts ****

 

So here I find myself sitting in the lobby of Lake County Domestic Relations Courthouse on the eve of my 40th birthday. Looking around at the people sitting here I can’t help but wonder again why it is that people don’t take marriage/relationships as seriously as they once did? Is it that as a society we’ve grown so cold and callous that if something becomes difficult, no matter how great we once thought of it, in lieu of making attempts or working together to make things better, the most logical choice is to throw it away and find something new? As if family/love/marriage were just objects that we could obtain, use/abuse, dispose of and find anew?

It may have ended a while ago, but after today another chapter of my life officially comes to a close. I’m gladly closing the door on this one and looking forward to the ones that lay ahead. What may be hiding behind those doors? Who knows, but lately they’ve held some of the best friends I could have ever hoped for and opportunities that I’ve never imagined.