The past few weeks I have gotten more into triathlon mode with the schedule and getting acclimated to the 70-80 degree weather here in the hood. Gina has instituted a mandated “easy” day on Sundays which helps since the week goes by fast for the both of us and by working the occassional Saturdays, it serves as our only day where we can slow things down. And it’s worth it since I intend to race the Coliseum Half Ironman in Macon, Ga on May 31st.

This will allow me to test and see what touches I need to make in the final phases to prepare for the Battleship Ironman come Nov. 1.

Gina and I got to check out the Wachovia golf tournament thanks to JES with tickets. We walked around the course and followed some golfers from a few tees but I have to admit – I had a hard time really enjoying it for the following reasons:

1. Couldn’t bring jack into the area – but you can lug around your lawn chair (and stuff food/drinks into that!)

2. Stuff was more expensive than at a baseball game – but you could sneak snacks/drinks into that.

3. Gotta be quiet and freeze in place for any shot close by. What?? No cheering, shouting, yelling?

4. The caddies get more of a workout than the golfers. They are huffing these bags AND have to walk. Then they get to the tee, open the coolers and get water for the golfer!! No No No. Hit a tee shot 300 yards with a dude yelling at your face while drinking a beer – more like a sport atmosphere.

5. The paired golfers hardly talk to each other. They hit their shots then walk. No smack talk. Dude.

6. The club house access was sweet – AC’d, basketball game on a flat screen, and it felt like being in a bar with a bunch of rich people.

7. I’d rather run on a golf course anyday.

The store has been quite busy this month making those showers at the end of the day really, really feeling good (Right Guard during the day and BioFreeze fellas). Gina and her walking partner Rochelle, were participating in the Guillian-Barre/CIDP 5K Run/Walk and Kids Miracle Mile. We were having packet-pickup at the store on Thursday and Friday but it wasn’t until last week that the race organizer – Hannah Blanton - asked me to run in it. I planned on being Sherpa but when Hannah asks, in addition to the race being a great fundraiser, I had to say OK. Besides, I could use it as a nice run, and still be able to Sherpa for Gina and Rochelle.

I have been putting in about 13-15+ hour training weeks and no intention to drop sequence until the last week of May for the half-ironman, but did put in a few extra bricks to get ready for a 5K. As usual, the week was busy once packet pickup was around, but it was a pleasure working with Hannah and her staff to make sure the event went off smoothly. When you hear the stories about the survivors of this disease (including Hannah) it just emphasises the desire to get invloved. Please visit to better understand the organization and the need to raise awareness. Certainly though by Friday, I was near french toast.

Gina had a great idea on going to Freedom Park which is an easy 1/2 mile walk from the store and checking out a movie in the park. A religious organization called Watershed holds a movie night on one of the fields one Friday a month during the summer. We joined Julie and her friend Jen for the Bee Movie starring Jerry Seinfeld. I plopped in a lawn chair and just soaked it up – the breeze, 70 degree weather, snacks, and the movie was actually very good. They got a good crowd, organized it well (free popcorn too), and definitely a great call by G. (ed note – this was the 3rd animated movie in a row for me and G – all enjoyable)

Saturday morning, we picked up Rochelle and headed to the race. we were able to park right next to the whole schebang and they drew a good crowd. Looked like more volunteers than runners/walkers which is a great sign. A family atmosphere with the whole area contained in a parking lot area of the mall was a great feature. Must have been about 300+ people total with runners, walkers, and kids doing the mile fun run. Met up with Brad from the CRC run group and he was excited to get a good run in. Off everyone went and right away I followed the lead runner. By mile one, I passed him as we flew in 5:24. It was already close to 70 degrees so I felt fine. I was next to another runner for the next mile as he paced with me, but as soon as the next hill came, I was going to go. At mile 2, there it was since I saw the cop car in front make a turn up a hill. Boom, hit the guns and go (Song in head – Waiting by Trapt). Once I could no longer hear the footsteps behind me, I knew I could cruise. I simply followed the cop car. Last mile was around 5:15. By this point the kids doing the Miracle Mile intersected the 5K course and led to the finish. A kid no more than 5 or 6 was sprinting in front of me determined to win. Had to love it – and naturally let him win. In 17:02, I won overall! I felt great! Even so I felt great to win for Hannah and her crew. I quickly turned around and ran back to meet Gina and Rochelle. They were near the 2 mile mark when I caught them and all was good. I took Gina’s small sack she was carrying and ran back to the finish to get video shots of them finishing. While on my way back I ran with another kid who was walking and urged him to run through to the finish. All in all I got a good 45 minute run in (will G consider that an “easy day?”).

Got good picures and video of Gina and Rochelle finishing in their goal time of 50 minutes! G paced her well and they were very happy. Only time before Rochelle wants to do another one. The next hour was spent enjoying the crowd, meeting and talking with fellow customers, friends, and helping out wherever possible. It was a superb event and couldn’t ask for better weather too. I won a $150 gift certificate to a spa which I will give to G and JES for a ladies day out since I also received a gift certificate to a guy’s “boutique” which I’ll get to experience a pro shave/groom. Need I say more about the prizes too – all age group winners got something special. Great event Hannah!

Now we finally got a gloomy/rainy Sunday so did some training and now it’s just hangin out. With another 5K next week – the Dash and Dine – I could see another repeat of this week playing out. But on this day – Mother’s Day, I simply reflected on my own Mom who passed away when I was 5. With only some photos and several vivid memories, it’s all I knew of her. Mind you she remains a vital force within everything I do – especially in my training/racing. It’s what keeps me going each day by allowing me a chance to connect and feel her spirit (yes Yoda is right when he speaks of the Force). Every ride, swim, and run.

Mom’s are a powerful force and for those who have them everyday in person – do indeed give them special care today. Every Mom I have known I adopted as my own in some way and make the effort to say Thank You – not just today, but everyday. (no offense Pops, since you have been my #1 motha-father all these years and you know it).




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