Friday, November 30, 2007

Wow, Literacy Leads to Hope!

WoW! :-)
$ 25.00
$ 10.00
$ 2.00
$ 1.00
$ 5.00
$ 5.00
$ 50.00
$ 7.00
$ 10.00
$ 1.00
$ 10.00
$ 2.00
$ 20.00
$ 50.00
$ 10.00 And You HELPED!!!
$ 10.00
$ 10.00
$ 2.00
$ 10.00
$ 20.00
$ 10.00
$ 5.00
$ 10.00
$ 82.00
$ 10.00
$ 5.00
$ 10.00
$ 1.00
$ 5.00
$ 10.00
$ 10.00
$ 5.00
$ 1.00
$ 10.00
$ 5.00
$ 100.00
$ 100.00
$ 10.00
$ 10.00
$ 50.00
$ 5.00
$ 100.00
The Total:
$ 804.00 With one week to go!

I am not kidding you. Just by passing around a little sheet we
have collected $804 towards building a library in Kenya! Isn't
that amazing? I think it is. I promise that when I feel like quitting
on the 10th, 15th, 21st, or 28th of the 29 Loops (3.46 miles each)
that I will keep going in honor of all of your pledges. We are NOT
taking our lifestyle for granted
! We are thankful that we can go
to the library and read a book, or jump on the Internet for free! It's
right there for us. YOU are helping bring education to world. IT
is YOU that are to be commended! YOU are doing the hard work
all I'm doing is running. Heck, I can do that!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gyp Boost Take Hark Kype and Give!

Which of the following does not belong in the set?
A: Jack Robb
B: Nick Pilfer
C: Rip Heist
D: Boost Steele
E: Take Take

If you answered E, you are oh, so wrong (not as wrong if you see the cat from response A in the Airport and you vigorously greet him. Hi Jack! HiJack Robb over here! But still, wrong.) The odd man out is the aforementioned Jack Robb, response A. Two reasons, he doesn’t belong in that set: 1- He’s a real man (I know I work with his wife, the lovely Gloria Robb) and 2- He’s a guru, the rest of those guys are just plain thieves!

I know you’re asking; “How can a man whose first AND last name mean take give us anything?” Take from the rich and give to the poor I guess, and I certainly am the latter.

Anyway, this is what Jack gives us. “You are only as strong as your weakest man. To improve you have to get better at the bottom.” When Gloria relayed this nugget to me yesterday, I was like, “Wow, has Jack been charting the progress of our Cross Country team?” Here’s why I asked that. In 2006 our top 2 runners ran virtually identical times as this year’s top two at regional. The times were within seconds of each other. Why then did we advance to state this year when last year we finished towards the bottom of the heap? Cross Country scores the top 5 runners, our 5th runner in 2006 ran 27 minutes, our 5th runner this year ran 23:30. Furthermore, last year our 4th runner ran 26:30, this year, close to 23 minutes flat. That’s getting better at the bottom!

The moral of the story; if you spend all of your time helping your best athletes, you are only going to improve so much. Does this only apply to coaches? No! Oh, Heck No! How about this, if you want to improve, improve your weakest discipline.

I am a madman on the downhills. Just try to catch me on the downhills; no don’t you might get hurt. Why don’t I win every race (or any race for that matter?) Well, the courses aren’t just downhill, there are also these pesky flats and uphill sections. Sadly, I’m not so good at those portions. At the Bighorn 100 in 2006, I wrecked the downhills. Boy howdy, I was good, my finish; however, was near the back of the pack. My time was my slowest ever, 32 hours and change. As Chase said to me, “You suck at the uphills!” Yes I do, thank you very little. So, what did I do, I practiced running uphill. I ran bridges, I ran knolls, if it had a hump, I was on it. For three months I worked on my uphill running until my next race, the 2006 Arkansas 100. Did my strategy pay off? How about 20:49 and 9th place finish at Arkansas? Yeah, an 11 ½ hour improvement! Is that good? Well, if you work that long it’s OT for your last 3 ½ hours, not bad.

Anyway, Jack Robb is the ultimate misnomer. He isn’t taking, he’s giving. So jack his advice improve your weakest link and rob the clock of those precious seconds.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You Can NOT JUST Do It!

Paint your car for $99?.... See Earl Shives and you can do it!
Lunch for 99 Cents?... With Ramen you can do it!

An A in Mr. Mathews class? Get real, it's in the bag.

Complete a Marathon.. With Galloway or Team in Training, you can do it!
Run a Marathon? You... might be able to do it.

Run a 100? You CAN'T JUST DO IT!

Lucy, let me 'splain something to you. You can run a marathon, and you can run a 100 miler, if your will to train is as great as your will to enter. Jeff Galloway and Team in Training have messed up long distance running. Jeffey has convinced people that walking along and talking on your cell phone for 26.2 (25 1/2 if your a Canadian Team in Training Member at Marine Corps) means that you ran a marathon. It's gotten worse. Do me a favor, go run the Sunmart 50 someday. The cell phone walkers have hit the ultra trail races. Yes, I saw a lady walking the 50 K in the woods, talking on a cell phone. "Oh, I did an ultra once, it wasn't that bad." Shoot, this biddy didn't even know what lap she was on.

Hey, this isn't to say that walking and having goals are bad. These things are good. It's just that there is a right way and a wrong way.

Right way: My friend Barb is going to run the Disney Marathon in January. It will be her first marathon. She is training. She runs almost every day. She is taking it seriously. She is doing great. Her body has changed, she will do well and she will deserve to feel as if she has accomplished something. That's the right way.

Wrong Way: A gentleman I met recently was asking me about running a 100 miler. He wants to do it. He's 5'6" and probably goes 230. He has never run a marathon. He is 47 years old. He was in good shape... in college.
Now, I'm not saying he can't do it. I'm saying that right now that should be an unspoken goal for him. How about this as a progression: #1: lose some weight. #2: run a 5K. #3: run a 10K . #4 Run a 1/2 Marathon #5 Run a Marathon. #6 Run a 50K. #7 Run a 50 Miler. #8 Run a 100K. #9 Attempt a 100-mile Trail Run. If you complete 1 -8 you should be ready for #9 in 18 months. Sorry Jeff, sorry TNT, no Marines Corps short cuts here!

Hey, it's not the dude's fault, It's this thing, the Jeff Galloway and Team in Training scenario that make me go all Earl Pitts: Here's that rant:

You know what really ticks me off? You know what makes me so mad? You know what makes me mad as a wet hen? You know what makes me mad as a hornet? Well, you know what really makes me mad? Charity groups and Jeff Galloway. Greedy biscuit eaters are ruining my sport! Just quit lying to people. Quit telling them that it's easy. If it was easy it wouldn't be special! Now Drop and give me 20 you, you, err, you. SALESPEOPLE!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Sell Out!

It's here on

Yall, I like the Buccaneers, I really do. I like Gene Deckerhoff, the radio play by play dude. You'd think that I like listening to the Bucs games on the Radio. I don't. I hate it with the white hot passion of the engine of my 1977 sky blue Dodge Pick-up truck which gulped oil. Why do I hate to listen to those games on the radio?

I HATE COMMERCIALS! Gawd, the radiocasts are so bad, I'd rather go to game. Actually, the only way I'm likely to see a Bucs game now is on TV. I'm out a lot on Sunday's running, going to or from a run, and my leddle Honda Fit has an adequate radio, but no TV. So, I'll go Bucless before I listen to even one more game on the radio.

Here we go: The captains are going out for the True Value Coin Toss. And just like we hope that Derek Brooks makes the right call on the coin flip, you should make the right call in better tasting beer. Miller Lite, good call. Brooks has called heads and the Bucs have won the Coin Toss brought to you by True Value.

And now to GFM Financial Kick OFF, and kick off your portfolio with GFM Financial. Find out more at http://www.gfmfinancial.comorgnetmyass/. Then the introductions are brought to us by Chevy or Honda or Bodreaux's Butt Paste or something. Like that. I am not kidding, listening to football on the radio is GROSS! I WILL NOT DO IT!

That being said, I have had a few opportunities to make a little money by getting sponsors for my Grand Slam quest. A few want on my Blog, a few more want to give me product. Do I want to become a corporate whore? Well, no I don't, but can I afford not to? I don't know, I'm struggling a bit with it.

First, I sent First Watch a copy of my Taters post, and they are sending me a gift card. I am not going to keep said gift card, I'm going to give it to one of you. I guess the one that makes the best post either pro or con to me becoming a whore will win the First Watch card. So you lurkers out there, you can still participate by sending me an e-mail, and I'll post your thoughts and let you stay in the shadows if you so desire. YOU CAN WIN A FABULOUS MEAL!

Gee, yall, I don't know, if I turn my blog into a red-light district, how long is it until I put a big red swoosh on my class room door? Can't you see me wearing logo shirts and that kind of stuff. Hey, speak your mind, if I wasn't thinking about it, I wouldn't even bring it up, but perhaps you should listen to an NFL game on the radio before you vote, and perhaps I should buzz over to Orlando and take a look at Tiger's crib before I make up my mind.... choices, choices!

We've established what you are, now we're just talking about the price!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Reason 32

And then there is reason #32 that I really like to run:

First Watch Potatoes :-) Yum, Yum! After 30 Miles on the trails in the last two days, I had two helpings (sorry about swiping them off of your plate Candi, but it's First Watch, and you know how I love them taters! )

That's all folks, now go out and earn yer taters!

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Hog a Gator and a Trail

The Beckster and I ran at Flatwoods today. We saw a big ole Hog. Becky was a feared, but I told her how I backed that mean old Sandhill Crane down last year and that seemed to help. Good thing that hog didn't know that I'm now a vegetarian, or he may not have believed all of my threats about turning him into a football!
Later we saw a gator, after 3 national championships in 2 years, you'd think I'd have been a little intimidated by Ali-Gator, but I was wearing my Auburn Cross Country shirt. And while we may not be able to beat USF, or LSU, or Georgia, or Mississippi State, we do own the Gators. This one swam quietly away when he saw who we was. So I was 2 fer 2 against the wild life today.

We finished, no problem for us, but the critters, are very afraid :-)

Hope your day was good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

He's a ThanksGiving Fool!

And for this I am Full as a Tick with Thanks:

My Million dollar legs that get me through 100-miles:
My 10 Cent head that thinks running 100 miles is a good idea.
For the first Thanksgiving ever: ToFurky

My friends:
Chase who NEVER cuts me a break
Arlene who cuts me too many breaks
Julie who was able to get me My new Injini Socks at only slightly over retail price
Andrea's Sister, who were she real would HATE Notre Dame and love the Bucs!
Becky, who NEVER cuts me a break, but at least she runs with me
Woody who is the nicest guy
Candi, the best, who tries to keep me honest
For Davo who has a great big heart
For that jerk that hates the Earth, but loves Oil and George Bush
For Revenge against my enemies
For All Yall! All Yall,
For those that inspire me: Roger, Spenser, Claude, Lynne
For Chris and Deborah, for my California running buddies Michelle, Leigh, and Chrissy. Thanky, Thanky, Thanky.

For my best friend: SuperDave. He and I together will figure NOTHING out. We can't fix the light bulb, we can't even change the light bulb, But Darn it, we have theories! And we CARE about the light bulb! Now put that in your Pfister Value, mix it with some Pennzoil, (no better make that Quaker State) and smoke it!

For the many more that for whatever reason I forgot or left to discretion.
For Love, for hate, for hot, Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm full as a tick with thanks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

All That, Er, Hold the Chips!

You Aint All That and a Bag of Chips!

Well, you may be, but I aint all that and a bag of chips. Just when you think it's your 15-minutes, reality slaps you right in the grille!

I'll admit it, I was getting a little too big for my britches. Ricky Howe, the excellent co-race director at called me a running legend (he did qualify that with "granted local-legend") and then that cat from Wisconsin wanted some autographed pictures after he read my M & B article about Arkansas (still haven't been paid for that), and then I did perdy good at Arkansas again this year. And there was the article in the widely circulated "Town & Country" Neighborhood supplement of the neighborhood paper (well, I read it, I think I still have a few hundred copies if you want one), about me being the 2006 MUT Runner of the year. And Roger Sutton, maybe the fastest dude in Marion County and all parts south, asked me for a quote for an article in Ocala Style. And darn it, well, I WAS feeling perdy good.

Then, my department head at school asks me to do this race (Ancient Oaks 100) to collect pledges for Literacy Leads to Hope (come-one guys, send me a ducat or two, my department head is on me!) so, it's for Kenya and they asked "Kenya?" and I Ken, so I say I will. Well, to enter Ancient Oaks, requires a phone call (gosh I'd rather e-mail) to the benevolent Stu Gelman. Michael Melton had sent out a note with Stu's number in case we wanted to run. Well, I didn't necessarily want to run, but I said I would, so I call Stu.

Gelman Answers: Hello, this is Stu.
Mathews Chirps: Stu, this is Andy Mathews
Gelman Asks: Do, I know you?
Mathews Answers Sheepishly: Er, no, not exactly. But do you read Marathon and Beyond?
Gelman says: Never heard of it.
Mathews asks: Er, how about the Town & Country Neighbor?
Gelman responds: Is that the suburban Tampa local supplement?
Mathews excitedly says: YES! That's it.
Gelman: Never heard of it!
Gelman Questions: Well, what can I do you for?
Mathews Responds: I kinda wanted to run your race at Ancient Oaks.
Gelman Inquires: Why should I let you in?
Mathews Exclaims: Well, I let your brother run the Croom 50 K after it was sold out.
Gelman Exclaims and asks: Sucker! That's Michael, why do I care?
Mathews Admits: I sorta told my boss that I'd raise some money for charity.
Gelman Asks Doubtfully: Ok, are you trained?
Mathews Wonders: I should be able to run it, yes.
Gelman Relents: Alright, you're in, see you on the 8th.
Mathews: (Silent Relief)

I guess local running-legend status doesn't get you out of the tri-county area. Oh, I am so way very OK with that. Besides, I don't even like Bags-O-Chips all that much!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Forgot Again, but Then....

I Forgot Again, but then I remembered

As Don Rickles would say, "Dummy!" I'm such an idgit. You'd think that after 80 - 100 marathons, no I don't know the exact number, I'd remember that marathons are hard. But no, I should realize that Tommy Lee was right, Pam is a ... oh, wait, I mean that Tommy Lee Jones is right, "A person is smart, people are stupid, and you know it!"

Every once in a while I fall into this thing, where I believe people. I hear it all the time, "After a hunert miles, marathon's should be nothing." I know better. I should have listened to my friend Lynne:

"Are you taking tomorrow off? You are running a marathon after all."
Me, "Nah, it's only a marathon."

See, A person (Lynne) is smart, people, (me, you, all of us) are stupid!

Suffice it say that the X-Country Marathon in the beautiful Alafia State Park done me in! I'm sure a marathon would be nothing if I ran it like I do a hunert. But, I don't. I don't walk, I don't take time to eat and shoot the breeze. No, I run the whole thing. When my legs start to seize up, I think, well, it's only 5 more miles, how can I run 100 if I can't tough it out for 5 more miles. So, I tough it out, and when I'm done, I hurt .... a lot. And on Monday, I hurt .... a lot.

Yeah, marathons are nothing.... DUMMY!

Monday, November 19, 2007

See ya later, Smartee!

Take what's smart... Toss it out the window! That's me

Why can't I just get smart? Oh, I guess you don't get to choose that! Anyway, at least I'm dumb for a really good cause. On December 8, I am running the Ancient Oaks 100-Mile endurance run.

No, it's not the best idea for someone that's run 3 100 milers this year. No, it's not the best idea for someone whose ultimate goal it to run 4 100 milers in 10 weeks next year. No, running 29 x 3.448 mile loops can't be too much fun. BUT, and it's a big BUT (I like Big Buts, I cannot lie) I've always wanted to do it, AND, I will be collecting pledges for Literacy Leads to Hope: This organization was started by a couple of high school students in Tampa. Their goal is to help improve life in Kenya, you can read about it on their website. Anyway, since Kenya is home to the world's best runners, and since I always want to encourage young people to think about helping others I agreed to run this race and to help out their cause.

So, if you have a couple of extra Ducats laying around, how about shoot some over. If you pledge say $1 per mile and I only make it 1.5 miles, why that's only a buck-fiddy. Of course, if you pledge 2 thousand dollars per mile and I make it all the way, that's $200,000. Hey, it's up to you. Just shoot me an e-mail if you want on the list:

Geez, one of these days I'll GET SMART, and be a regular Alfred Einstern!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lem Barney, Billy Sims, and TC?

Lem Barney, Billy Sims, Barry Sanders and TC? ..... No, we didn't all play for the Detroit Lions (That was only Sims, Sanders and Barney) .... No we aren't all NFL Hall of Famers (that's only Barney and Sanders) ..... No we aren't all from Oklahoma (that's only Sims and Sanders).... No we don't all have the finest young ladies cross country teams in Florida (that's only TC) .......... We are all:


The Cross Country Season Started out with 120 teams fielding full teams at the 2A level in the State of Florida. Tampa Catholic had never earned the right to race with the top 24 at the State Championships.... until this year.

I was amazed, as we went from Districts, where we finished 2nd, and were almost as good as the team that finished first, to Regionals, where we finished 5th, and were almost as good as the team that finished 3rd, to States, where we finished 20th, and were almost as good as the team that finished 14th, the competition got much better. It may sound simple, but I figured if we ran a little faster we could hold our spot, but we ran very well, and we kept losing places.

The race was great though, it gave me some clear goals for next year's team. I would love for us to:
#1 win Districts
#2 top 2 in Region
#3 top 10 in State

Our program is very close now to that of the Academy of Holy Names, coached by my friend, and a great man/coach Ray Rodriguez. Academy's two year progression went like this:
Last year: This year:
District 2 1
Region 3 3
State 22 14

Ray does a great job with them, and is a class guy all the way. He and his team invited us out to breakfast after they trounced us at Regions this year. We all had a great time. If we can follow their model, we can really grow.

We should be able to, 8 of our top 9 ladies (and all of our top 6) are coming back next year. The scary part is, that means coaching could actually make a difference, yikes! I hope Coach Morejon and I are up to the task, I know we'll be trying!

Enjoy your two-week break girls, and then it's train on!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Did NOT Have Coach with that Team Ms. Lewenski!

Once the lie gets out there, you just keep repeating it and pretty soon it's fact.

Example: I did not have sex with that women, Ms. Lewenski- Clinton
Translation: I shagged her rotten!

Example: I did not take steroids- Bonds, Floyd Landis, every NFL lineman
Translation: Now how many days do I cycle off?

Example: Read My Lips, NO NEW TAXES!- George H.W. Bush
Translation: Get out the check book and the Vaseline.

Example: My Lips are moving and I'm talking about Iraq- George W. Bush
Translation: He's lying

Example from today's Tampa Tribune:
Also in 2A, Tampa Catholic and Academy of the Holy Names will run in the girls division. TC is making its first state appearance under second-year coach Andy Mathews. AHN is making its third straight state appearance.

Translation: I'm still not the Head Coach, but I do play one on TV!

Hey, I see this in print again, I'm marching down to the AD's office and getting my Head Coaching pay day! Oh, yeah, thank you Matthew Postin!
............ Like Father Like Son!.............

Thursday, November 15, 2007

UPDATED! Rally of Pep!

Cool stuff. Our school is having a little pep rally for the Girls Cross Country team. Turns out I was wrong; I thought that the team hadn't been to States since 1982, turns out that this is the first time ever for them!

So cool, so great to be a part of it!

Thank you Coach Morejon, Anna, Alyssa, Jennifer, Christina, Jacqueline, Meghan, Sarah, Abbi, Kelly, Jo-Jo, and Michelle, for adding a lot of fun and a sense of accomplishment to my life.

We're #5, We're #5, We're #5..... And it feels GREAT!
Pep Rally UpDate: Our Pep Rally made the paper! From the St. Pete Times, Chase's old fish wrap (but I do like the paper!):
Unique pep rally
Tampa Catholic junior Meghan Sullivan (60th, 21:06 in Class A on Saturday) and Holy Names senior Stephanie Socias (63rd, 20:58) have become fast friends from running together all season. But Sullivan likely has bragging rights when it comes to school spirit.
To celebrate the Crusaders' rare trip to the state meet, the school put on a pep rally Friday in the courtyard. Sullivan got to speak, introducing the other runners, while getting them pumped for their first experience.


ps, sadly, I'm already thinking about and working on how we can WIN regionals and place in the top 5 at State next year. Well, I was a nice guy coach for 2 years anyway!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hernando, The Mystery Runner

I went to a music festival last weekend. And I just relaxed the whole time, didn't run at all.... yeah, right. Ok, I went to a music festival last weekend and only ran on Sunday morning... Ok, there's the truth, it fits better.

On Sunday's run I noticed a few things:

1. I hate running on the roads. I only ran 18 miles, but it beat me nine ways to Sunday. My feet really hurt, I had to walk a few times just to ease the pain, and it's Tuesday, and I can still feel the effects. Yuck!

2. Hernando County is much more honest with there road names than is North Carolina. Way back a few moons ago I did a post on the cool names for North Carolina's streets. However, I saw no real evidence that the names were truthful. At least I hope they weren't, as I drove by Killpatrick Road and Burnt Schoolhouse Road. Well, In Hernando County I ran down Dan Brown Hill Road. About 1/4 mile up the hill I see Dan Brown's House. Furthermore 1/2 mile after that I see Dan Brown himself out walking and hoisting some arms weights. Just down the road a piece from Dan's crib I see a tiny little hawk, and I look over and sure enough, I'm passing by Tiny Hawk Road. Yall, I aint lying, stick a needle in my eye and all that jazz. For what it's worth, in Hernando County there is a little truth in advertising.

3. As I was wrapping up my run on Dan Brown Hill Road I was relieved that there was a long section on dirt road. Dirt road meant less pounding on the body. Dirt road also meant footprints. As I was running I noticed some footprints of another runner (this is not a well traveled road, and it was 7 AM) with a gate similar to mine. At first I wondered if this were my tracks, but the tracks were going in the same direction as me, so that couldn't have been the case. Whomever this mystery runner was, he (big feet) sought out the same ground texture as me. The tracks consistently veered to the soft but thin layer of sand, avoiding the softer deeper sand, yet also keeping off the better footing of the hard packed dirt. Any trace of my Mystery runner (Hernando I'm calling him, it's his county) would disappear completely from time to time and I'd wonder where he went. When I had given up on Hernando his tracks would reappear and that routine reoccurred until Dan Brown Hill Road turned back into the pavement on County Rd. 41.

Hernando's tracks got me to thinking about the parable called "Footprints" the story of a man walking on the beach and looking back on his life when God appeared at his side. As they walked God showed him the two sets of footprints on the beach where they walked side by side. The man recalled these as happy times. The old guy also noticed that at many times in his life there were only one set of footprints. He got a little snippy with God and said, Yo, God, how come when times got tough for me you disappeared on me? God, said, whatchoo talkin' 'bout? That's when I had to carry you man. You couldn't have done that without me, now drop and give me 20!

So, I was thinking about Hernando's footprints, and I realized that Hernando and I would never meet, and he wasn't carrying me, I wasn't carrying him. I don't know how his footprints appeared and disappeared. But, Hernando is out there running. And he is out there running for me when I can't run. I am out there running for you when you can't run, and I will tell you all about the amazing things that happen to me out there, please do the same for me! And don't just tell me or run for me, run for your mother who can no longer run, run for someone that is ill or disabled. Someone that only wishes they could be out there with you. Make it come alive, spread the joy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Number Thing Again

299 Days left in the Slam

299 Is:
One the minus side: It's three hunert minus one. On the plus side it was MY bib number in the the Western States 100 in 2005, when I was the last person from Florida to earn a silver buckle. On the minus side, it was Dan Miller's number this year (not a good race for him). On the plus side it was my college fraternity roll number. On the minus side it was my college fraternity roll number. On the plus side I have that much in my savings account to pay for the slam. On the minus side, I have that much in my savings account to pay for the slam.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. We can count on them :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

All the Fame, none of the Blame!

Yeah, nice article in the Tampa Tribune on Saturday morning following Tampa Catholic Girl's Cross Country first ever appearance in State Championships to take place on Saturday, 11/17. It mentioned how I left Jesuit High School to take over the Cross Country programs at Tampa Catholic. Really made me sound good.

Only one problem, it isn't true. I came over to Tampa Catholic because I needed a job and I wanted to work at TC. I accepted an assistant Cross Country job, without pay (I now get a whopping $500 a year for coaching) because they needed help, and I knew I could help. I really don't know where the guy that wrote the article got his information. It is possible some of our athletes think that I'm the head coach, further it is possible that they think that I left Jesuit to come coach them, but I doubt that. The only other guys that even know I coached at Jesuit all know that I didn't leave there just to come coach at TC. The only thing I know for sure is that I didn't tell the Tribune that I left to come coach at TC. Our head Cross Country coach at TC is David Morejon and he has had every bit as influence in our success as I have had. He cares about the athletes as much as I do, he works as many hours on the team as I do, in truth, we are a great tandem. He handles all the paper work, order all the uniforms, fills out the roster, deals with all that crap, so I can go out and run. He is a whale of guy and I hope he wasn't hurt by the the paper making it seem like I "saved" the program. Besides, those athletes have given me more than I could ever give them.

Well, at least they spelled my name right!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Winning Isn't Everything....

Coming in the Top 6 is!

WE MADE IT!! For the 1st time since 1982 Tampa Catholic's Girls Cross Country team qualified for the State finals!

You know what's so cool? The girls are very excited about it. The school is excited about it, and the coaches are excited about it! We did not win the Regional Meet, no one, including the coaches thought we would, but we came in 5th place, and top 6 teams qualify.

Fifth may not seem that great, but last year we were eleventh. And you may want to ask the Bartow Yellowjackets how good fifth is, sadly, they were 7th, the first team out of the money. You know what I love about us and don't like about some of the other teams? We understand. We understand that sports are supposed to be fun, they are not life and death. My final advice to the girls before the race start? This race is not important. This race does not make you a better person. Have fun!

I only wish my dear friend who coaches the Academy could learn this lesson. His team beat ours by a few points, they came in 3rd. Was he happy? No way, they didn't win and they are used to winning. I was happy for him for qualifying, I really wanted his team to fullfil his expectations, but see, he forgot, A- It's supposed to fun B-It just doesn't matter.

Go Team!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

On Sale Now at a Newstand... Er, a, I Can't Find It!

Ok, Gang, here it is... the one you've (I've) been waiting for (checking the mailbox hourly).

Finally, after receiving E-Mails from subscribers all over the country (I actually got two, one from some cat in Wisconsin, that I'm not 100% sure isn't a friend of Chase's playing a joke on me, and one from my buddy Bill Dunn, this year's Florida MUT of the year, and he can run circles around me) I got my M & B with my last year's Arkansas Article in it. Still I haven't been paid, but that's of little (major I said MAJOR!) importance. And I only got two copies which is fine (fine as in, what am I going to do with two stinking copies, man, I need a least three, so I can read what I wrote about me whilst I'm in any room of my 3-room estate!)

Any way, run to your local bookstore or running emporium and snag your copy. If for some reason your bookstore doesn't have it (yeah, we don't carry it, no real call, their authors really suck!) you can go to : And have them send you two or three right out. Check out page 131, Hey, I'll sign it for you, that's the kind of dude I am.

Love ya!


ps, let me know what you think of Karno's piece, I'm still puking on myself after reading that crap, but that's me, good looking rich people that can run and win 100's of 100's just piss me off!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

White Choclate, the Waltons, and a Speckled Pup under a Red Wagon

Now, That's Sweet, er, maybe a bit too Sweet...

At yesterday's CC practice, my girls team, which I may have mentioned, qualified for Regionals, asked me, "Coach, can we do intervals today?"

What? Say again.

"Coach, can we do intervals today?"

Of course I can't tell them, look, nobody likes to do intervals. You kids are in high school. You're supposed to ask if you can run the neighborhood and take a few short cuts and hide in the neighborhood while you're at it.

But no, not my team. Didn't matter to them that I ran 35 miles this weekend, they wanted to run intervals and they wanted me to do it with them.

Yeah, these kids are a coach's dream come true. I wonder if they asked the math teacher if they could do more problems? "Excuse me, Mrs. Mathteachersmithandjones, why don't we do the even problems too?"

Do, you think these girls want to qualify for States? I mean that's on a Saturday, they don't even get an extra day off of school!

We did those intervals, and I wouldn't be against us qualifying for States!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Now That Didn't Take Too Long

Don't like the weather? Wait 9 months it'll change!

Guess what? We had a nice weekend. It only took from March 3, till the 3rd of November to be able to walk to the street and get the paper without breaking out into a full sweat.

A crew of us met up at Croom for our last run there in a month, now it's the time when Skoal dipping, beer swilling, airplane glue sniffing, camo-wearing, better-watch-out-for Dick Cheney acting, hicks chase deer or deer like creatures around our woods. I like what Chase Squires says, make it fair, give the deer a gun too. I say, make it fair, make 'em hunt with Dick Cheney, whoever comes out alive is the VP!

We Gotta Wait a Month for this Banana to get his jollies?

Oh, back to running, anyway, we ran, it was B-E-A-Utiful! Thanks God! I ran 20, my legs were a little tight, but it was pretty easy. I ran with Candi who just glided along, I don't think she even broke a sweat, and Woody, who due to stomach issues was on and off the trail so many times he probably ran 43 miles, yet he still kept up with us.

Sunday it was over to Morris Bridge for 15 with Becky. We just trotted around, my legs felt great. Obviously we weren't the only ones enjoying the first cool weekend since March, there were more off-road cyclists there than I have ever seen at that venue. I have been going there since before the first trail marker was ever out there, since before Ali was born, and she's 13. Now, I didn't tell anyone about the place, which one of you spoiled the secret and let these fluorescent jersey wearing geeks on to MY trails? I guess I'm happy to see so many people exercising, but if you're going to wear an actual bike jersey, please stay on the paved loop or go to the gym (no, no, come on out, the more the merrier, darn, I hate that I'm SO benevolent :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

A 00 Of Which to be Proud!

The other day I was lamenting on a runner going anything :01. Oh how could you do that, I asked.

Well last night was our teams district meet. We came in second place, we had a runner that had the opportunity to go :59, and went :00. We had another runner that was close to :59 and ran :04. But the :00 and the :04 were in serious danger of being :59's, the clock turned on some runners fighting against it.

I've never been happier with anyone's effort, myself included, than I was last night. Never!

Our team was like me at mile 80 in Arkansas. I was running next to that dude, and I dropped the hammer on him. I was flying, I put him away..... for awhile. Turns out this dude was faster than me, I couldn't control that, I knew I'd done all I could, and he was just faster. Our girls, dropped the hammer on 15 schools last night, 14 of them stayed down, and one school, the Academy of Holy Names, was just faster. They trained well, they ran well, and we couldn't control that. We could only do our best, and I KNOW we did that! Almost every one of the girls ran personal bests. The girl that, a gritty freshman, that ran 22:00 finished 13th overall, and hit the finish line in a dead sprint. She was GOING for the :59, she was still lobbying me for it after the race...

"What was that coach, 21:58?"

"No, Jo-Jo, it was 22 flat."

"Coach, it had to be under 22:00."

"Ok, I'll give you :59"

Well I did, but the scorers weren't so kind, they only saw the clock, I saw the runner.

Way to go team! I'm so proud!