Archive for the ‘Mickey Miles podcast’ Category

The morning, I completed my first ever 5K.

I know… it’s hard to believe.

Mr. “I only run if chased” actually did it and even ran a bit of it.

I’ve been wanting to do this and working toward it for so long that I didn’t think I could get too emotional afterward. Then I reached that point where I just overfilled with emotion and starting crying. Tears of pain, relief, and joy. What a combo.

See, in a surprise move, the dastardly tag team of Wayne and Stubby have been acting up.  I mean, why wouldn’t they? I’m in my supposed happy place and I would have no desire to not have to wrap my toes like an Egyptian mummy, right? So, as late as Tuesday night, I was thinking about bailing on the whole thing. Then it really struck me just how much it meant for me to do it. Then yesterday, we hit the expo. Things really started to click at that point. We met up with our friends from Colorado at the expo and braved the chaos. I never saw anything quite like that. Just a sea of people milling around the Wide World of Sports complex. It was pretty freakin cool. I also met some other folks from the team and to have strangers telling me how proud they were that I was doing this started pushing me toward the happy scale.

I didn’t want to let my teammates down.

Team All Ears and friends before the start of the 5K

Team All Ears and friends before the start of the 5K.
Photo courtesy of Tom Troost

So, at 5:30 this morning, Supportive Partner Woman (5K finisher!) and I were at the team photo.

See? Lots of people

See? Lots of people

Then the waiting begins, because, as it turns out, there are a LOT of people doing this race. We were, of course, in corral E, which was the last one. Thankfully, a lot of my teammates stayed with us and walked along. I wasn’t planning on running, you see, due to my issues with Wayne and Stubby.

As we plodded along, the rains came. Not a heavy rain, but one that was starting to dampen my spirits. My inner Debbie Downer started to gnaw at me and I fumed to myself, thinking, “Well isn’t THIS just ^@$## perfect?”

I kept a smile, but that voice kept yelling at me, “What were you THINKING, you dumbass?”

Still we plodded along.

Then something magical happened. We came across a single team member standing by the International Gateway and she was just screaming for me. That’s what started my inner bitch-slapping of my inner Debbie Downer. (Big thanks to Laura Ozo!)

I realized I only had another mile to go. My pace started to pick up… the heavy feeling in my legs started to dissipate… We came around Spaceship Earth and hit the three mile mark. I saw a group of teammates and I started to hear them cheering for me. Just then, that huge lump of self-doubt flew out of me. I looked at Mike and Brad and said, “I got this.”

Then I ran.

Lumbered, really, but is that really a bad thing?

Getting a medla and hug from Lori was a great ending to an amazing morning.

Getting a medal and hug from Lori was a great ending to an amazing morning.

I crossed that finish line in stride to be greeted by a dear friend who was volunteering with a big hug and my first-ever medal.

See, they may say that running events are a solo thing. Maybe they are, but in my case, my team made me able to run.

This was followed up with congrats and pictures and a tasty brunch. Supportive Partner Woman went off to the parks, I came back to the room to write and to rest the toes.

This little bit of time has allowed me to reflect on what has happened to me today. Oh, and also to start thinking of how I’ll handle a back to back 5K and 10K next year. Because runDisney has its hooks into me now. I want that feeling again.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few people who have really helped me. First off would be our team founder, Deb Wills, and our team captains, Mike Scopa and Michelle Scribner-MacLean. Also, my friends Melanie and Bryan for putting the bug in my ear and just generally being awesome. Brad Garfinkel for being a friend and pushing me to do better. Rich Gairing, for being a great mentor and just an all-around awesome human being. It also goes without saying that the rest of my team gets credit. They are all rock stars and it would take too long to list every one of them individually.

I also wanted to thank the Nerds for a great virtual series. These folks have been so supportive as well (and yes, there’s a lot of cross-pollination) .

A "We did it" selfie

A “We did it” selfie

The real rock, though, is Supportive Partner Woman. She thinks I deserve all this credit, but the fact is that it is due to her support and encouragement that I was there at all today. I was truly blessed to have her in my life.

So, the rest of the weekend will be taken up by cheering for my teammates as they finish the other races. I hope that I can give them the same lift that they gave me. There’s also the other event coming up… the big reveal of this year’s fundraising total. That becomes available on Saturday and I will be sure to keep you updated.

After that, well, there’s the brand new Mickey Milers team, an offshoot of the Mickey Miles podcast. This will help to fill the void of Team AllEars. I’m already signed up and I’m sure I’ll be begging for donations to help Give Kids the World before too long.

Until that time, keep on moving.

So, 2014 has arrived. In just four days, I’ll be in Walt Disney World to participate in my first 5K.

It’s a big deal.

After all the time I’ve spent in the gym and on the trail, me and 20,000 others will invade Epcot early Thursday morning.

How did I get here?

Well, if you’ve been following this blog at all, 2013 was a busy year.

As it is a new year, though, many changes are afoot. I’ve been following the Penn State coaching search pretty closely, especially since Supportive Partner Woman (Sports editor extraordinaire!) has had to stay on top of it. One of the best tweets I’ve seen in regards to coaching searches is this one:

At any rate, I’m also pleased to report that my team has made its fundraising goal for the Avon Walk. If you’ve thought about contributing, please go to the main team page and look for someone with under $500. This will help them reach their goal as you have helped me. There are so many wonderful, supportive people on the team that I’m just thrilled to get the chance to meet them and compete with them. I hope that you can find a way to help.

Speaking of competing, co-captain Mike has informed me that the likelihood of actually running any of the 5K is probably not good, given the amount of people registered and the narrow course. That being said, I intend on at least running across the finish line, somehow. I also am looking forward to meeting other listeners of the Mickey Miles podcast… should be fun!

Other new things that are being tried this trip include flying out of Wilmington, Delaware aboard Frontier Airlines. I’ve never flown them, although I love the commercials, and I didn’t even know Wilmington HAD commercial air service.

At any rate, I hope to report back on a successful debut in the next week.

Wishing you all the best for 2014!

I’ve posted a few times about participating in the Nerd Herd Racing Series. It’s a series of virtual 5 and/or 10K and half-marathon events based on pop culture themes sacred to nerds everywhere.

I was late to the party, but I managed to register for the entire series, which means I have three races to do by September 28. The first one was themed after Star Wars and Star Wars Day. It was originally intended to be completed by May 4, but I’m slow. 🙂

My first race bib

My first race bib

It’s a pretty warm day here in cow country. Sun beating down, humid as the dickens, still air. But I knew I had to get my work done. I figured I’d knock the 5K out since it needed to be done and, well, doing it on the treadmill at the air conditioned gym would be sort of like cheating. We have a nice loop in the neighborhood that’s a tad over a half mile. I figured six laps would do it and I could cross that 5K off my list.

Started out swimmingly. The sun felt good, just being outside felt good. Started up my pedometer app and walked. The iPhone served up a nice selection of tunes to keep me moving (Ozzy, Cake, Chic, Iron Maiden, Eminem, and NWA, to name a few). All good.

Made the first and second laps and I could feel the pace start to slow a bit. I wasn’t killing it, coming back from Wayne‘s missing toenail, but I was working up a sweat. That’s when I realized how much of the marathon game is mental. You feel the sun beating on your head. The head and humidity surrounding you, and while your body can take it, it’s your mind saying, “Screw this, let’s go back, grab a shower and watch The Price is Right.”

My respect for the folks who run marathons soared because I was feeling that at one mile and they actually run for 26 miles.

I buried those doubting feelings and gave the voice in my head a smack down. Because it had to be done. If I couldn’t walk a 5K without giving up, well, that would mean all that I’ve been through was worthless.

I wasn’t going to let that happen. I’ve taken the easy way out waaaaaaaaay too many times.

Not this time. No way, no how.

Not the greatest pace, but it's the distance that really matters.

Not the greatest pace, but it’s the distance that really matters.

So, I finished. Hot, sweaty, but I completed what I started. And I feel good about it.

As you can see, it was a pace slightly over an hour. That’s not optimal, but it’s a start. When I do the second leg (the Happy Birthday Harry Potter 5K/10K), that 5K number will be under an hour. And I’ll have a photo to prove it.

In other news, Supportive Partner Woman and I got to pay a visit to the holy temple of Wegman’s over the weekend. Got a lovely piece of swordfish that I just simply baked with some olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Very flavorful. I also picked up some 7.66 pounds of ground beef. SPW has been asking for meatballs, so I thought I’d make them for her. I’m always amazed by the selection and quality of meat at Wegman’s. And the price… that 90% lean beef clocked in at $2.99 a pound. Can’t beat it unless you want to butcher your own cows and I’m pretty sure Wanda would take issue with that.

Oh, almost forgot that SPW and I appeared on the most recent episode of the Mickey Miles Podcast. Click here and choose Episode 96 if you want to give it a listen. I’d like to thank Mike & Michelle for having us on and letting us share our story. They do a great job and I’d encourage you to give them a listen.

That’s all I have for today. Hope you have a great day and remember to stay active. Keeps you young.

It’s Tuesday and I’m a little loopy from sniffing polyurethane. Yes, I was in a well-ventilated area, but that stuff is pretty potent.

Progress continues to be made on my shelf project. All parts are cut and sanded, and all but a couple of sides are stained and polyurethaned, It should look pretty good when it is finally complete. Next job will be to find a place to hang it. Yikes!

So, I had some more inspiring folks I wanted to give a shoutout to. Todays co-honorees are my Team AllEars co-captains Michelle and Mike.

These are folks I again met through Magic Meets (are you sensing a pattern?) and they’ve always been great friends to myself and Supportive Partner Woman. Michelle is actually a frequent Words With Friends opponent (she usually wipes the floor with me) and has been subtly encouraging me to join the team. They have seen my struggles to keep up with the crowd at Reunion and seen me suffer through the blisters from hell. While I was in the program, both Mike and Michelle would check in with me to see how I was doing and it was hard to tell who was more excited when I committed to join the team from my hospital bed. They even sent a lovely flower arrangement that lasted over a month.

It’s hard to express how much their encouragement has inspired me, but if you want to talk about great leaders leading by example, I would be hard pressed to find a pair of co-captains who exemplify that adage more than Michelle and Mike. I’m proud to call them my friends and my inspirations.

So, second shift is going well after one day. It’s not a crazy busy week with the upcoming holiday, but it works just the same. I even got out for a 1.5 mile walk on break with a nice detour through Home Depot for air conditioning. Have to do it again tonight, assuming the weather stays dry. The foot looks fine, so I think it’s safe to say that the blister crisis is averted.

More a little later in the week.

Song of the Day: Nineteen Forever – Joe Jackson

The aftermath…

Posted: June 5, 2013 in Mickey Miles podcast

So my podcast debut dropped yesterday. If you missed it, check it out at the MickeyMiles Podcast.

The response has been amazing and very humbling.

To have people I barely know sending words of encouragement is incredibly touching. To hear it from your friends is simply amazing.

I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing… you folks make it possible.

I thank you.

Song of the Day: Word Up – Cameo

I’ve mentioned before that I am lucky enough to call some members of the podcast community my friends. These are fine folks who invest a lot of their time and themselves into doing something they love and something that benefits the community as a whole. I feel blessed to know them and treasure their friendship immensely.

All that being said, I was totally flabbergasted when I was contacted by Michelle Scribner-MacLean, co-host of the Mickey Miles Podcast and a dear friend, who said they wanted to have me on the show as a guest so I could talk about my journey toward that 5K in January.

I was stunned.

Flattered.

Deeply honored.

See, I never thought I’d ever be a guest on a show that was listened to by fit people, unless it was a lesson in what NOT to do. I talked it over with Supportive Partner Woman (Still the best wife EVER!) and agreed… after all, while I might not think my story is that special, Michelle and her co-host, Mike Scopa, obviously thought there was something there worth telling.

Who am I to argue?

So, arrangements were made, Skype was downloaded, times were set, and at the appointed time, the “phone” rang. I had plugged in the old Skype headset, which apparently wasn’t working too well, so after we ironed out a few difficulties, Michelle and Mike laid out the plan.

Say what?!?!?!?

Say what?!?!?!?

Seems I wasn’t just a guest, I was THE guest and the entire show was about my journey.

That was a little bit of a shock. (For an idea of my internal response, picture Kyle’s mom on South Park saying, “Wha-wha-what?”)

I have yet to actually listen to the episode… it’s just been posted, or so I see on Facebook. Give it a listen here.

I hope that hearing my story can inspire some folks on the fence to make a positive change in their lives. It’s never too late to start. If I can think about completing a 5K at age 42, having never run much of anything in my life, with my pronated feet and blisters and missing toe, then, by God, anyone can. You just have to want to.

I want to do this. I want to complete that race. I want to be healthier and live a long time, because I have a reason to.

In short, I’d like to thank Mike & Michelle for the opportunity and for taking the time to create such a wonderful podcast. I’d also like to thank them for their unwavering support and friendship. They are two of the finest people I have the pleasure of knowing and I know that with their support, the support of my Team AllEars gang, the support of my family and especially the support of my lovely wife, I can keep moving forward.

Because retreat is not an option.

Song of the Day: Without Me – Eminem

544790_10200671889614808_1645566182_nLike many folks, I found myself flabbergasted by the events around the Boston Marathon yesterday.

My first reaction was one of disbelief… I figured it was a gas explosion or something like that… a horrible, tragic accident.

I was wrong and I wish I wasn’t.

My second thought was that I hoped my teammates from Team All Ears, three of whom were in the race, were all unharmed.

My third thought was quite honestly, “What kind of sick fuck does this?” I know that’s kind of blunt, but it’s obviously not the work of someone with even a tiny piece of humanity.

See, it bothered me more than I think it would have if I wouldn’t have gotten involved with TAE. While I’m not a real runner and probably never will be (let’s face it… the closest I’ll ever get to doing a marathon is driving 26.2 miles in a car), I have felt so welcomed by the team and the community that it feels like some of my family have been attacked. Just reading the posts has been eye-opening… the sheer amount of love and support poring from folks connected by one thread has really warmed my heart and put things in perspective.

I also want to give a shout out to the Mickey Miles podcast who organized a live call in show last evening with the able assistance of Mike Newell and MouseWorldRadio. Co-hosts Mike and Michelle did the right thing by giving folks a forum to discuss yesterday’s horrific events amongst similar-minded people.

I ask that you support Boston in the coming days. If you’ve done some running, wear a race shirt today (I only wish I had one to wear). Most importantly, KEEP RUNNING! We are strong and the actions of a coward or cowards (Yes, I said cowards) should not stop us from living. I refuse to live in fear, because a life lived in fear is a wasted life. You can get killed crossing the street… does that mean you should never cross the street? Does the thought of a crash cross my mind every time I step on board an airliner or board a train or even drive my car? It does, but my alternative is to never go anywhere or see or do anything. That’s not living.

So, stand up and be proud to be who you are. It’s when we change our way of life that the bad guys win. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to give up while there’s still time on the clock.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

There is an international disease which feeds on the notion that if you have a cause to defend, you can use any means to further your cause, since the end justifies the means. As an international community, we must oppose this notion, whether it be in Canada, in the United States, or anywhere else. No cause justifies violence as long as the system provides for change by peaceful means. – Richard M. Nixon, 1970