Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lesson Learned 2

I do not really learn lessons well at all. So, I am sure the event I am about to relay will have no lasting impression on me at all. Hopefully it helps one of you.

An assistant manager from a local KFC came into the warehouse yesterday. He was there to pick up an order HE called in. I capitalized the word "he" as it is very important. I walked over to the area where we keep our tickets for pick up. There was a order there for 5 cases of chicken for the Glen St KFC. I assumed, (you know what assume means, right?) that the ticket was for him. Off I went to the cooler to get the 5 cases of chicken. I brought them out, loaded them onto my two-wheeler, and took them out to his vehicle. At that point he and I (yes, he helped me) loaded the 5 cases of chicken into his car.

Did I mention that these cases of chicken weigh 50 lbs each? No? These cases of chicken weigh 50 lbs a piece.

Back into the warehouse we go to sign the ticket. He looks at the ticket, notices it is for the Glen St. KFC, and says, "this is for Glen? I am from Bartonville. I was pretty sure I did not need any chicken; only a case of potato wedges".


I wonder at what point he realized the five 50 lb cases of chicken were not the one case of potato wedges he actually wanted?

What did I learn? When you assume that a KFC assistant manager knows what he ordered 15 minutes ago, you make an "ass" out of "u" (in this case said assistant manager) and "me" (played by yours truly).

Race Day Approaches

Saturday marks the date of Nora's first race. She is running the .67 mile kids run in Germantown Hills, which is part of an event in support of their fire dept. I have run in their 5k the past two years and have really enjoyed the race. This is the first year that they have included a kids run.

Nora and I have been training for a little over a month for her race. The goals for her training were simple: 1. build confindence; 2. build endurance; 3. build some speed; 4. run a continuous mile prior to the race. To do this I plotted out a loop around the house that matches the distance of her race, which she has run several times (confidence). Additionally we have done a long walk at the site of my Eureka Trail Run, (endurance) intervals at the h.s. track, (speed) and finally a mile run at the track. We have both had a lot of fun running together and Nora has made some great progress. She is very comfortable with the distance she is going to run and has developed a good finishing kick. The thing I am most proud of is her ability and willingness to run through fatigue, mental or physical. That was most apparent when we ran a mile together on Monday.

She had never run a mile without taking walking breaks. I sprung it on her that we were gong to do the mile at just under the 1/2 mile mark. The mile, to her, was a big mental block. When I told her, she instantly started to worry and psych herself out. I was able to talk her down and remind her that during our interval work she had run more than a mile, just not all at once. During all this she did not slow down or break stride. She just kept powering throug as she processed the info. She decided she could do it and turned in a great time, 10:43!

Proud Dad.

Now as race day nears, I am nervous and excited. I want Nora to push herself and run the best race that she can, but at the same time I just really want her to have fun. I am excited to watch her run, but nervous that I may pressure her a bit. Gotta walk that line carefully.

As for me, I am running in the 5k that day as well. My initial plans were to try and post a sub 20 minute time. However, I have do very little training for myself as I have focused mainly on Nora. The sub 20 attempt may have to wait until the Jingle Bell 2010. I am still going to give it a go. You never know unless you try.

Stay tuned. There will be a race update complete with pictures.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jingle Bell 2010

It is time for the Jingle Bell run 2010.

The stakes are high this year.

I am the defending top overall fund raiser.
I am trying to run a personal record time of sub 20 minutes.
Within one hour of returning to the event I took over as this year's top fund raiser.

Most importantly, a friend of mine from the restaurant days is now in need. Her young son of 6 has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. This year, I run for him.

Will you do as you have done for the last two years and help me in my cause?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I am an Ultra-Man

I run.

I run a lot.

As most people tend to do when they pick up a new hobby, past time, or what have you, I have done lot of reading on the subject. I have read Born To Run, subscribed to Runner's World and read various runner's blogs. Through out my readings I have been really impressed by the ultra-runners. For those that may not know, an ultra is any distance over the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. I have read their stories and seen the photographs of their accomplishments and been in awe. I could not fathom the thought of being able to do what they were doing. Sure, I have been successful in races of various distance ranging from the 5k to a half marathon, but never anything to compare to what these incredible athletes do. With that said you will understand my surprise with this picture.

The ultra-athlete in this picture just ran 30 miles. The ultra-athlete smiling back at me in this picture is,


How did I get here? How did I become the guy in the pictures that I used to stare at in awe? As I write this I am still in disbelief. Did I seriously just run 30 miles?

30 MILES!!!

Yes I did. I did it with a gentle nudge from a friend. Several hours of running with said friend and others. I did it with the support of a great wife and kids. I did it with the encouragement of a great community of runners. I did it with great determination and hard work.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Miss Blogging.

Have you missed me?
My lack of writing can mean only one of two things. We have done absolutely nothing this summer or we have been so incredibly busy that I have not had time to write. Have a look and decide for yourselves

I am on the planning committee for the Eureka Reagan Festival. Nora came up with the concept for the above t-shirt design.
Along with the festival I am also a race director for a trail run that is in conjunction with the festival.

As you can see we have had a summer full of 4-H fairs, t-ball and baseball, swimming, family reunions, reading and more!
To finish it all off we will take a day or two and go to the Children's Museum in Indy.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorial Day Week

It has started. I know the calendar will tell you otherwise and this weekend is known as the unofficial start to summer, but I believe summer has started. The calendar just doesn't know better. To bolster my case I will give you the following facts.

Yesterday was the last day of school for Nora and Nigel. They are both a little bit sad. Each of them liked their teachers and made good friends during the year. Fortunately for them baseball started.

Nora had her first practice last night. She (and I for that matter) was a bit worried about playing this year. We missed last year and have not really picked up a bat or ball since t-ball. This year is coach pitch and there is a 10 pitch limit while at bat. The focus is still on teaching the fundamentals, but they are starting to implement more or the rules. Nora was concerned that the other kids would be way better than her as they had an extra year under their belts. This was not the case. She has a good arm, stays in front of the ball, and made decent contact at the plate. Their is only one boy there that could actually catch. She is right on pare with the rest.

Nigel starts t-ball tonight. He has no idea what he thinks of the whole idea. Some days he is very excited, others he just shrugs. I think he will have fun once he gets used to it. We are hoping one or more of his friends from class are on his team.

For the rest of the week....
Nora has practice Thursday evening, we have the PTO end of school movie night on Friday plus an after party at a friends house, both kids have games on Saturday. Enough right? Not so fast. Sunday brings the Fyke family reunion and a cook out that evening at a friends. Whew...done.

Oh wait...

I have a 4 mile race Monday morning, the Chiefs game at noon, and Nora has a game Monday night.

Now, you tell me summer has not started. It is going to be a good one!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Slipping and Sliding in the Mud and the Blood at the CRUD

Yesterday Robin and I went out to a nearby college state park for a 8 hr endurance trail run called the CRUD 8. Neither of us were actually running in the event, but were there instead to help and learn about the behind the scenes portion of running a race. She and I are going to be first time race directors for a trail run on August 21st here in Eureka. I must confess that I failed miserably on the helping bit. I was too enthralled by all the fun going on in addition to the run and was unable to resist the call of the trail. I'll get into that in a bit but first a bit about the actual event.

The run was set up to be run as either a solo run or a relay team of 4, and followed a 5k loop until the final 45 min which was completed on a 1 mile loop. Robin and I hung out with a relay team of guys from here in Eureka most of the day. Our boys were in contention for the overall mens relay lead. In fact they led most of the day. When it was time to switch to the mile loop the top 2 teams were tied. If they completed the same number of laps on the mile loop there was going to be a 1 mile run off to determine the winner. Unfortunately for our guys they ran out of gas. They were a bit disappointed, but had a great time anyway. The best thing about an event like this is the camaraderie among all the people there. Most the runners were there cheering on and congratulating the runners on the mile loop. There was a competitiveness to the top two relay teams, but a good natured one at that. At the end of the day it just a bunch of like minded people spending the day running in a park, eating, drinking, playing bags, jarts, and just having a great time.

Back to Robin and me. We both took our shot at the loop. Her in her VFF's and me in my Nike Free 5.0's. Did I mention that we have had a bunch of rain in the week leading up to run? The trail was a hilly, muddy mess with areas of standing water, and only got worse as the day went along. I had zero traction. To get any kind of footing I had to hug the edge of the trail which force my right leg into the brush. It was a scratched up bloody mess. I think Robin fared a little better than I did but not much. For that matter, no one really fared well traction wise. Several of the hills required a duck walk to get up and the down hills were basically just controlled chaos with the hopes of not hitting a tree. IT WAS A BLAST! Robin did one loop and I did three. My hat goes off to the guys and gals that ran in the event. It was tough going. I fell on each of my loops including a self inflicted head first slide. Looked over my left shoulder to yield to runners in the event and tripped over my own feet. Nice!

They day was a blast and I am now completely hooked on trail running.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Illinois Half Marathon

Yesterday was my big day. The day that I have been training for for over two months, the Illinois half marathon.

The day started very early at the Robinson household, 4:00 a.m. for me and 4:20 for everyone else. I wanted to be on the road by 5 a.m. The race location is 1 1/2 hours away and I wanted to get there early enough to get warmed up and properly hydrated. Race time was set for 7:30 a.m. We made it out of the house by 5:10, not bad with two little kids, and met my parents near the interstate entrance. From there we caravaned on to Champaign. Getting into town took a bit longer than I had hoped and I really began to double think my decision to not go down the night before. Oh well, too late. We were on location and parked by about 6:50. I was able to get in a warm up run and Robin, the kids and my parents were able to find a good spot near the start to see me off.

The race started about ten minutes late. I mention this because that ten minutes was apparently enough to screw up a fellow runners pre-race bathroom needs. I had to help form a human wall so he could pee in a bottle. Makes me wonder what he would have done had the race started on time.

That is him in the white shirt, black shorts and all the way to the right.


We started under grey skies, low 60's, fairly humid with a steady but not over powering wind. Really good conditions actually, could have used a bit less humidity, but I will not complain. The race route itself was flat and very nice. We ran through neighborhoods, downtown Champaign, a nice park and back to Memorial Stadium for the finish. All along the route people were lined up cheering us on. People had signs, dressed in funny costumes, had noise makers, and generally created a party atmosphere. Heck of a way to motivate a runner!

My cheering section.

My goal was to run the race in 1hr 45min or less. In order to do that I was going to need to average 8 min/mile. I have done that on my long runs on several occasions so I felt pretty confident in meeting my goal. I took off with adrenaline flowing...maybe a bit too much. I ran the first 9 miles averaging around a 7:30 min/mile. Then I hit a wall. My pace dropped like a rock. I had several people yelling and encouraging Superman, I did have to admit at mile 12 that I was feeling a bit more like Clark Kent. That, however, would change.

Upon entering the stadium, seeing all the people in the stands, and the time on the clock was all the boost I needed. I was able to kick it into high gear and finish with a time of 1:43:06. I exceeded my goal, finished 314th of 6500, 32 in my age division, and trimmed 13 minutes off my time from last year. Not a bad run if you ask me.

Kicking to the finish.

After wandering around scanning the stands and drinking water I finally found Robin. She pointed the way to my parents and the kiddos who had watched the finish from the stands. They were all very excited and proud of me. Robin, doing a great job of crewing for me, had gatorade and peanutbutter and jelly sammiches for me. We hung out in the stands for a bit letting me cool down and recover. This allowed us to see the marathon winner come across. It is pretty impressive to see a guy run 26.2 miles in 45 more minutes than it took me to run 13.1. That guy was moving. After that we packed up our stuff, made it back to the car and head out. I spent the ride home recovering, re-hydrating and thinking about next year.

Reunited with Robin after the finish.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This will be short. What lead up to it was not.

Today I logged my 100th mile of running for the month.

I cannot explain how cool it was to look at my running log and see 100 miles for April. After my run on Sunday I saw that my scheduled distance for today was going to put me pretty much right on the the nose (the total is actually 100.2). Once I realized that, this run could not have come soon enough. I was telling anyone who would listen, and those who would not, about my upcoming milestone. The day could not end soon enough.

Once I got home I threw on my running shoes, a big smile (not to worry I had pants on as well), and I shot out the door. I can only imagine what people must of thought as I bound on down the road with an ear to ear grin and a wave for every passing car. Only I knew what I had done, and it was most likely only impressive to me. But damn it, I was stoked. Oh what a feeling, when we're dancin' on the ceiling.

Well, with that said, I have one more 2 mile run this month and then it is off to Champaign for the U of I half marathon. I am going to start May out right with 13.1 miles. Wish me luck.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

All Sports All The Time

Today was my first race of the season, the Eureka Hearthouse 4-mile run. Since I was going to start the day with a sporting event I figured that we should end it with one as well. Today also happened to be opening day for Peoria's minor league baseball team, so we decided to take in a ball game as well. First things first, my race.

Not only was I running in the race today, but I also was volunteering with the set-up and food as well. After the run there is a hot dog cookout complete with potato salad, chips and cookies for the runners and their families. The men's group at our church was handling the food prep so I decided to pitch in. I was on site around 6:30 this morning lending a helping hand, which mainly consisted of moving heavy things and chopping fruit. Not a bad deal.

(And we chop and we chop and we chop. Chopin!)

Eventually my parents, Robin and the kids showed up. I got the time wrong by a half an hour so everyone had more time to enjoy the lovely weather. Did I mention it was in the mid 40's with 12-15 mile/hr cold winds? Needless to say my cheering section was not thrilled by the extra time in the elements. The set-up crew did not mind as they set Robin to work on some more fruit cutting. Robin was also instrumental in my pre-race finishing touches. The race was set to start at 9:30 and after spending 3 hrs in the cold I was more than ready to get going, and boy did I.

(Will I still have this big smile at the end?)

(All business at the finish.)

My goal for the race was to improve upon last years finish and get another medal. Last year I finished with a time of 27:56. Good enough for 26th overall and 3rd in my age group. This year I ran the 4 miles in 26:48, 17th overall and 4th in my age group. I know, I trimmed over a minute off my time and fell a spot in my age group. What gives! Fact is, my age group is loaded and it is pretty tough to place. I still got a medal and am thrilled with my time improvement.

(To answer the earlier question...YES!)

(The spoils of victory.)

Two hours later the Robinson crew was off to the ole ballpark. I had been promising the kids for a while that I would take them to opening day. Both Robin and I were having second thoughts as the wind had not died down and the temp had only reached the low 60's. The idea of getting windblown for 3 more hours was not too exciting. Lucky for us Robin found a spot on the grass in left field that was shielded from the wind, but still in the sun. It actually got a bit on the hot side.

We watched an exciting game complete with a homerun, several double plays, a couple runners caught stealing and 13 runs. The good guys came out on top 7-6. The kids also got some time in out at the play ground. All in all a great afternoon at the game. On a side note for my local readers, if you have never been to a game at O'Brien Field I highly recommend taking one in. We have been to at least one game every year since it opened and love it. It is a very safe, fan friendly ballpark.

To finish the day off my parents treated us to dinner at T.G.I. Fridays. Good meal with great company. The perfect way to end a near perfect day.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Tomorrow It Begins

Tomorrow is my first race of the year. I am running the Eureka Heart House 4-mile run. This race is pretty special to me. It is the first race in which I placed. Last year I ran a 27:56 and came in 3rd in my age group. This year I am looking for a repeat performance if not better. Much like last year most of my training thus far has focused on the U of I half marathon. Light on speed work, heavy on the mileage. It worked out well for me last year and I have no reason to think it will not give me similar results this year. I am very excited.

In addition to running in the race I am also helping out with the post race picnic. The organizers provide a meal of hot dogs, potato salad, cookies, etc... for all runners and their families. Our churches men's group is setting up, cooking and serving. I will be involved in the setup. Should be a good morning.

After the race is opening day for our minor league baseball team, the Peoria Chiefs. We are taking the kids and spending the afternoon at the ballpark. I am not sure who is more excited, the kids or me.

All in all we are in for a great day with plenty of photo opps.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lesson Learned

One of my friends warned me not to egg on Wednesday. She told me that Wednesday was a tough S.O.B. and was ready to rumble. I did not heed the warning. I talked a lot of smack, got up in Wednesday's face and dared it to give me its worst. Why on why did I not listen to my dear friend Barbie?

Wednesday sucker punched me with time stoppage. I still have no idea how it pulled it off, but it did. It took no less than 6 hours to travel along the time line between 9 a.m and 10 a.m. Lesson learned. I shall never, ever talk trash to Wednesday again. As for Thursday....

Spring is officially upon us. The kids are on Spring break. They got out of school today at 11:10 a.m., and will not go back until Monday the 12th. Since it is not chronologically possible for me to be in school still, I ask the question, why did I not become a teacher? What a life.

I have recently been pondering the concept of gratification. It seems most of the "kids these days" only believe in the instant variety. They are truly missing out. Is there actually satisfaction without effort? Can you be pleased with your results when they are derived from little work and or the doings of others? No, you cannot. To prove my point may I offer running races as an example?

“There is no glory in training, but there is no glory without training.” Once you enter a race no one is going to carry you to the finish. No one is going to help you push through the wall at mile 5 of your 10k. It is all on you. You have to put in the miles all by yourself. You have to sweat it out and do the work. Lack of preparation, dedication and motivation will bite you in the ass. Once you commit yourself to the work, do it and accomplish that goal, there is no better feeling. Finishing a race whether you are first, last or somewhere in the middle there is no better sense of accomplishment. The same can be said for life in general. Put in the work and you will be greatly rewarded.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Watch Out For Wednesday

Today was too smooth. Based on the schedule I had set up for today I should have come home battered, bruised, dirty and dragging my tail end on the ground. Instead, I came home upbeat, clean, unscathed, full of energy and ready for a run. Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining about having an easy day, but the universe tends to balance things out.

Today's schedule was very full and with not enough space between. Tomorrow has half the appointments and several open blocks of time. You can see why I am concerned. A day that appears to be that smooth is bound to be filled with potholes and pitfalls. Wish me luck.

On a more positive note, I had a fantastic run today. I put in 4.5 miles at a 7:50 min/mile. I cannot tell if I am more excited about my upcoming Heart House 4 mile race or the U of I half marathon. I am maintaining strong training paces with out maximum effort. This bodes well for my races!

I related news, I have added a link called my training log. It is exactly what it sounds like. It tracks all my runs. I would love it if someone would click on it and let me know if it works.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Todays entry was going to revolve around our church's Maundy Thursday service and my role in it. There has been a change in plans and thus a change in topic. Let me explain.

Our mens group had an idea to do a live re-enactment of the Last Supper. There was to be the 12 disciples, Jesus, and a narrator. I believe only the narrator and Jesus had any speaking parts. The disciples were just props, for lack of a better word. I did not really have any interest in this at all. I am a traditionalist when it comes to church. So, I kept my head down on this one and hoped the day would come and go without my involvement. No such luck.

On Thursday evening I received a call from Jesus, no less, asking me for my participation as a disciple. Now, what I am about to tell you must NEVER be used against me. If you ask me to help move a mattress, dig a ditch, watch your kids, be a disciple, I am going to say yes. This situation was no different. I mean Jesus called. Like I am going to say no. Rehearsal was to be this Sunday at 4 pm.

When I got to church today things were pretty disorganized. A bunch of guys all milling about looking for direction. The driving force behind this production did not seem to be interested in taking charge. Did I mention there were a bunch of guys there? We only needed 14 in total and counting me there were 15. Did I mention that Jesus and one of the other guys who I knew was taking part were not going to be there? That puts the total up to 17. So, I took the logical course of action. Ate a cookie and bailed without saying a word. I felt a bit guilty, but the Duke - Baylor game is helping me cope. I hope you all can find it in your hearts to not think less of me.

Hmmm. Turns out that even with the change in plans the post topic remained the same.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bit Of A Late Start

Well I have missed most of the first quarter of the year, but I am finally posting. I have a book worth of observations, rants and raves, and humorous stories, however I do not have the patience to write all of it down. Nor do I believe you would want to read the incoherent mess that would ensue. Instead I'll just start with current doings.

Let's go with the obvious subject, the theme of my blog and one of this households favorite hobbies...running. Currently I am training for the U or I half marathon which will take place on May 1st. This is the same half marathon I competed in last year and I am really looking forward to it this year. I got a later start on my training than I would have hoped, but the rust fell off relatively easily. I have been logging about 20 miles a week in 4 runs and doing strength training two days a week. I am in great shape and feeling pretty good about the race. My goal is to run 1h 45m or less.

As a tune up I am running in the Eureka Heart House 4 mile run. That is the first race in which I placed. I am looking to defend my 3rd place 35-39 male finish. That race will be run on April 17th. I will definitely post pictures and results from that race.

Robin has resumed her running and is eyeing the Washington Cherry Fest 5k on June 4th as her first race of the year. She has taken to barefoot running and is really enjoying it. The weather in these parts is the culprit for her later start. Snow, cold roads and barefeet do not mix. She would love to run in more than one race this year and I am sure she will do it.

As for the kids and their running, they will be taking part in the Illinois Valley Striders kids series. It is a run every Monday night at 6pm in Peoria for children 12 and under. We may not make it every week, but will do our best to hit the majority. Hopefully this will help lay a good foundation for some of the kids fun runs during the summer. I look forward to the day that they can run with us in a 5k! Additionally, they are both playing ball this year. Nora will be playing instructional baseball, coach pitches, and Nigel will take part in his first year in t-ball.

I think this has been a good start. What do you think?
More to come...I promise.