“Why do you run?”

“Why do you run?” This is one of many questions that I field on a regular basis. My initial response is usually with humor, “why don’t you run?” I thought that I’d review the age old question and take you back to when it all began. This will save those who don’t know my beginnings from digging through tons of blog entries…lol! We’ll just call it a “review” of sorts.

Interestingly enough, I started running in this very month (June) of 1985! We’re talking 38 years of roaming park trails and roads, both here locally and across the country. If I see a spot, or a road that just makes me want to throw my shoes on, well, that’s exactly what I do! Anyway, I was never much of a runner in the early part of my life. I participated in several sports growing up and of course you “had to” run, whether it was for conditioning or paying the price for missing a tackle, running was a part of all of that. I always muttered to myself if I had to do laps. It’s safe to say that I was not a fan of long distance running back then.

Many things went on in my young life, but we’ll skate past those, as they’re a conversation that can just be for now. Once I graduated high school, I felt lost. Searching for meaning to my life and unsure what I was going to do with myself. It was probably at the lowest point, that I got into my car and went out to the local Metropark (Pearson park). I decided I’d take a walk and ponder my existence in the world. I found myself somewhat sucked into nature. The park was such a freeing place to be and I was enjoying the walk. I then got the great idea to give running a shot. That wasn’t the best feeling in the world…lol! I stopped running and switched back to my walk and finshed the 3 mile loop. When I returned home, I felt compelled to keep trying the running. While it hurt, it seemed to jar something in me and made me want to give it another go. I returned to the park everyday that week, and started working on my running skills slowly. I’d attempt going a little bit further each time I went. “I’ll go from this tree to the tree up around the bend”, I’d tell myself, and so on. I’ll tell you that by the end of that Summer of 1985 I was not only going around the 3 mile loop once, but twice! I’d dropped weight, felt confident, and all of a sudden felt like I could accomplish just about anything. I’d taken something that I felt was torture, and made it my best friend. It’s a very true statement that running saved my life.

Next Wednesday, June 7th is Global Running day/National Running day, whatever works for you. This is something I was never aware of back in 1985 when I hit the trails and started my adventure. Now, I celebrate it like it’s my Birthday! My Rebirth if you will! The month that I became alive, and full of possibilities. Now back to that “why do you run?” I think that I’ve set up the ground work with my beginnings, but there are other reasons that I lace up on almost a daily basis. I run to clear my head of anything negative in my world. I run to make my body feel alive, to kind of become one with everything that’s around me. I know, it sounds kind of silly, yet it’s true. I’m never more at peace than when I’m in my running shoes, going down the road. “Are you running away from something?” It’s not running away from something, it’s just finding peace, perhaps an inner peace. I can go out with a head full of my job, or a rough conversation that I had with a friend or co-worker, and all of that just floats away as the miles go by.

I share this part of me because I think that it’s important. I always want to share what I’ve learned and the zen that I’ve found from running. The difference that it’s brought into my life just by changing my mindset. The feeling that I can accomplish anything, be anything, and be a happy human being. I want anyone and everyone to know that even when you have the darkest days in your past, or present. There’s a tool available. “The road is a great listener.” I love to share that with people. It wants to know your pain and show you that there can be a better tomorrow. It wants to clear your head and make you feel whole again, and it wants you to find happiness. I challenge anyone to go out, lace up and give running, or walking a serious try. Take this month, hell start on June 7th and join the globe as we all lace up and go on an adventure. Allow yourself some time in the day to breathe. I promise you, it will give you everything you need, just as it did for me. “Running never takes more than it gives back.”

I sit here typing this with great fury…lol! It’s something that I wanted to get out today. I wanted the people in, or around my life to really understand what this whole running thing is about. It’s not just running races, no, it’s much more than that. I’d say that my response now would be, “I run because it’s who I am, it’s who I want to be, it’s everything!” Don’t you want that in your life too? Don’t you want to feel cleansed from a hard day, or a tough childhood? I think the answer is yes, on all counts.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 is a great day to start a new you. If you want a friend to hop along with you, I’ll put myself out there. You never have to be scared to say you’d like a friend to come and assist you in changing your life. I’m always down for a run…fast, or slow, I’m down…it’s just who I am.

Thanks for the listen and as always…

I’ll see you on the road!


Next Level Athlete

Hey there everyone! In this blog entry I’m going to go over what I like to refer to as the “Next level athlete.” On one of my many walkabouts through the city, I was thinking about being an aging athlete, how I feel, what keeps me motivated and what makes me still competitive. So I’ve coined the phrase “next level athlete” rather than referring to myself as aging athlete…lol! There’s another reason for this term, the fire that burns inside of me, and many other “aging” athletes.

Once again, while having a discussion with my Ironman teammate, and friend Tim, who as I stated in my previous blog entry is a 69 year old multi-time finisher of Ironman competitions, we decided that our drive has not wavered as we’ve aged. We also feel as though now that we’re older, we have something to prove to the younger athletes that are out there…we’re still a threat on race day! Whether it’s in the gym lifting heavy shit, walking at a pace that some people run at, or riding a bike for hours on end, we strive to be the best! Why you ask? I think because we feel that we have a small chip on our shoulders. Just because we’re silver haired, doesn’t mean we can’t compete. I think back to when I was a kid and wished for the day when I’d have gray/silver hair so that I’d gain more respect, and not be looked upon as just a kid. What I found out is that the silver hair didn’t bring what I thought it would, but that kid is still raging inside…lol!

Now I don’t want you all to think that it’s all about competition, that’s a part of it. It’s also about the drive to work through the daily things that come with this aging body. The extra effort that has to be put in to keep everything moving. More stretching, closer tabs on the diet, even naps are required at times now. I don’t want to say that we work harder than the younger ones, but we have to be smarter. More has to be put into our effort to achieve what we once achieved 30 or 40 years ago. I’ve even taken up things that I never thought I would. I hired a dietician, started going to yoga classes, and have even switched away to walking, rather than running every day. All of these things matter and become important as time goes by. I want to keep the body moving, and never quit!

I find myself constantly thinking of ways to bring about change to my body, for the better of course. It’s all too easy to fall into the world of “just don’t do it.” Keeping active and even signing up for challenges are key to motivation for me. I like to have short and long term goals. I need that instant gratification, so it can be as silly as signing up for small goals on my Garmin device. When I achieve that goal, my watch does some cute little Star Wars themed things that just make me snicker. Yes, I’m a Star Wars nerd and yes, I’m still that raging kid inside. I also like to sign up for running events, all distances. Some of which I walk rather than run. I do it because it keeps my need to compete satisfied and again, I’m still moving!

So when you see my hashtag #nextlevelathlete, you’ll truly understand what I’m referring to, and perhaps if you fall into the category of an aging athlete, switch that up and become a “Next Level Athlete” along with us! Be proud of the fact you’ve made it this far in life because as my sister always says “getting old ain’t for the weak!” Find that fire inside and harness it! Whatever it is that will keep you moving will surely make you feel better and who knows, you just may find the beast that’s been inside of you the entire time, and crush goals that you set for yourself.

Ironman Ohio is coming on the third weekend in July. I think it’s safe to say that Tim and I will show up on race day and give the young folks a “run” for their money! We do what we do because we both love our sports, but we are also driven athletes. Don’t let the silver hair fool you, beast mode will be engaged on that day in July…you can count on it!

With that, I’ll sign off! I want to thank everyone for checking in on me, sending positive vibes and constantly being my cheerleaders. Doing these blog entries has also kept me fired up. I love to share what’s going on and hopefully inspire others to take charge of their lives and move more. Find happiness in themselves. Come on and join in the fun, be your own Next Level Athlete!

I’ll see you on the road!


Stay the course

Hey there everyone!

I’m another week into my training and another week closer to my goals. I’m finding that I still have demons that like to creep back into my thoughts in the area of food. I’ll tell you that growing up with little makes for some strange habits and ways of thinking about food when you become an adult. As I stated in my prior entry, I hired a dietician to assist me in getting my life back on track with food. A part of it has to do with wanting to be the best version of me so that I can tackle my athletic challenges coming up. I also want to make sure that I feel good on the inside, that would include my brain. Alexa is well seasoned and doesn’t get rattled when I share my feelings about food during a day or week. She keeps me on course and focused on reality, and advises me to lean more that direction while working through the fuzzy thoughts. I believe in sharing these kinds of things in my blogs because I know that there are others out there that have gone through the same or worse when it comes to food. Talking about it and sharing ways to correct these behaviors is important. I say it all the time “we could all use a little counseling in our lives.”

The training in the gym has really ramped up! I’m actually excited about being in there. That’s something that kind of faded, and really hit the back burner during the pandemic years. I missed the feel of Iron and picking up “heavy shit!” I go in with focus, hit it hard and get out within an hour’s time. If I’m doing better in the gym, it’ll help to protect me for the beating I give the body when I’m out on the road. Everything is connected and they all serve one another in some fashion. The eating helps the training, the training and the eating help the brain! You see where I’m going with this?

Ahhhh….Yoga! I never thought that I’d find myself on a yoga mat. At least not actually doing yoga poses…lol! Perhaps laying on a mat staring at the ceiling when doing ab work, but nothing more. This is what I’ve learned already. Yoga is the real deal for working out the body. It not only helps you become more flexible, but works the muscles to become stronger! Then there’s the mental clarity that it gives you. I feel relaxed and refreshed. I’ve already been sharing the website for the place I’m going to with people from work. Lord knows we could all use a little in the stress department there! https://downtownyoga419.com/ Downtown yoga 419 is my place of choice. I want to see the Downtown area continue to grow and supporting small businesses is important to me. If you’re local to this area, get on the website, grab some classes and show up on the mat. You’ll thank me for it later.

I’ll keep getting on here regularly and sharing whatever silliness I’m going through, and of course try to share what motivates me. I’m planning on a long walk tomorrow in the sunshine. That’s always good for my soul. I took a few days off of running to let some body parts do a little healing. Nothing major, and I’m addressing them with yoga and some help from my massage therapist. I’m hopeful that all of you are getting out and enjoying what this planet has to offer! Spring has definitely sprung! Baby birds, rabbits and other creatures are popping up all over the place. That always makes me smile. Not to mention I love the sound of all the birds singing in the early morning hours. Sigh…

Alright, I’m heading out and I’ll chat with you all again soon!

See you on the road…


The Fire Within

Hey all! I’m back and doing more crazy shit. I know what you’re thinking, did you ever really stop doing crazy shit? Well, I did take a pretty good break from lifting, and due to a knee injury, I had to take time away from my beloved running. That’s all changed now. I’m back to the gym on a regular basis working on getting all the necessary muscles firing again so that I can take on my next challenge. If you’re ready, I’ll share what that is.

A good friend, and neighbor of mine stopped me one morning while I was walking my dogs and posed a question that has changed my focus for this year. He said, “how would you like to do the Ironman Ohio with me this year?” I kind of snickered and said that my swimming was not the greatest and I’d probably die…lol! He said “well, they have a relay team that we could sign up for. I can do the swimming and bike, but due to my knee replacement, I can’t run…that’s where you’d come in.” My eyes lit up! Run, in an actual Ironman competition, Oh Hell Yeah! That, my friends is where the fire was lit!

We started chatting more about a team name and threw around a few different ones. His wife came up with the idea “The Silvermen”! We’re both aging athletes and have silver hair, so it was perfect! The Silvermen it is. I have to share this, as I feel it’s very important for this blog posting. When I say we’re both aging athletes, that’s for real. I’m 56, turning 57 this year, and Tim is 69, turning 70! Yeah, and he’s the real deal athlete! I share this info because I hear so many dismiss doing things in their life because they feel that they’re too old. I say the same every time. “You’re never too old to learn something new or take on a new challenge.” Don’t shy away from something because you sell yourself short. Dig deep and find that fire within!

The idea of doing any part of an Ironman competition is intimidating for me. I questioned if I would “fit in”. Do I really even look like I should be at the starting line of this competition? So many things were rushing through my brain. I decided to take the approach that I need to evaluate myself honestly and make the changes that will make me both happy and healthy. First order of business was to get my diet in order. I hired a dietitian to take a look at my nutritional needs and short falls. She specializes in athletes, so it was a great fit! We formulated a game plan and put it into motion. My goal was to make sure that my insides felt good, so that I could perform everything I needed to do to make the outside better. I’ve been weight training for months now after a long dry spell, and have never stopped walking. I needed to get back to running again, and it scared me a bit. After my last knee surgery, the doc said I needed to consider doing other things. I know that my running career is in it’s twilight and that eventually I’ll have to step out of the sport or cut it down drastically. I had to find a way to bring my miles back up, but not put too much stress on the body. Next part of this journey. I decided to take up Yoga. I found a fun local place called (Downtown Yoga 419). Owned by a wonderful instructor, and full time happy person Holly. Holly shares the love for running, so for me it was a no brainer to start hitting her classes. Flexibility and stretching have never been my strongest, but it was time to change how I train and think.

This is where we’re at right now. I’m down 5 lbs., which was needed. My insides are already starting to feel better, and I’m excited to train again. The Ironman is in late July, so I have time to reach the goals that I’ve set for myself. I have smaller goals that I set along the way to keep my brain happy and challenged. My current short term goal is to get this whole Yoga thing down. I’m kind of a hot mess in class, but driven to become good at it. I will succeed!

Whatever it is that you want to do, don’t waste time, get after it! We humans are so good at wasting what is most precious, time and talent. Yeah, I read that on the internet somewhere…lol! It’s a very true statement though, and we need to keep changing for the better. I’ll continue to do updates on my training, and do my best to keep you all entertained along the way! It’s time for me to go to the gym and take a walk. Yoga tomorrow morning and then another quick run before my work day happens. By all means, feel free to reach out, ask questions, make comments about anything that grabs you in my blog. I respond to everything and I’m always willing to share information. That being said, I’ll close this out and go get busy!

I’ll see you on the road…


The purpose driven runner…

I know that it’s been awhile and I always promise to get things out sooner. For some reason, life always gets in the way. The job is insane right now and everything is back to moving at light speed. When this happens, I like to find my purpose and stay focused on what’s important to me. You just know that it includes running!

I’ve been lucky this year and managed to make my way into both the Boston Marathon (the virtual version). I’m just never going to be fast enough to qualify…lol! I’m also taking on the challenge of running for Team For Kids and doing the NYC Marathon this November! I’m so excited to be going back to the streets of New York and taking in all that it has to offer. It’s bitter sweet going this time, as the last time I went there, my sister was hospitalized and had gone through a double lung transplant. I ran with a heavy heart and upon my return, handed my finsher’s medal over to her. She was the one working through so much, and battling for her very life. I was honored to share the medal with her.

My sister passed away earlier this year from complications with the transplant. I’m not sure how to express the feelings that I have and always struggle saying the right things to family members about it. So I turn to what I know and what has always helped me deal with tragedy. Running…

I’ve joined the Team For Kids and have stated that I’d raise funds to assist their cause. Team For Kids takes this money and works with youth to give them a positive way to deal with life, sets up and assist with running teams and coaches. It’s a very positive way for at risk kids to find outlets that can make their lives better, to give them hope for the future. That speaks to my soul. Coming from a very poor family and being an at risk kid, I totally understand the set backs that can occur. I tell people all the time that running saved my life. That my friends, is a very true statement!

I thought of my sister when I was looking for a team to join up with. She was always about giving back and caretaking. Probably what drew her to becoming a nurse and staying in that career her entire adult life…all the way until her passing. Running is always better when you have a purpose. You feel those that are counting on you and want to finish your journey knowing that you made some kind of difference. I think it’s safe to say that doing this would make my sister proud of me.

If you are at all interested in assisting me in raising funds for Team For Kids, I’m listing my link for donations at the bottom of this blog. It’s a secure link and funds will go directly to the Team For Kids. Feel free to look on their website for more information on what they do and how special these people truly are. Kids are the future!

I want to close this out by telling you all that I plan on running my very best this year in New York. The marathon distance is truly a life changing event and while I enjoy the challenge that it brings, it’s always a struggle to complete. I know in my heart that those I have lost will travel with me…I just feel it! I want to achieve great things with my running and I want to show everyone that even one small town runner can make a difference in the world. We have the power within us to bring about change for the better.

Thank you for always following me and cheering me on! Thank you in advance for any and all donations that you share with my Team For Kids!

I’ll see you on the road!


Link to my personal page with Team For Kids is: runwithtfk.org/Profile/PublicPage/87630/52381

Reflection and the path forward

I always find myself reflecting on past events when I’m facing a big race. I think it’s because I think through so much while out on a run. I was even going through my past blog entries and enjoying pictures from previous races. Some were very hard to read through because of the loss of loved ones. Reading of my father’s passing and my sister Gini’s struggles with a double lung transplant. While we all remained so hopeful, my sister passed away at the beginning of this year. She was an amazing person, full of life and talents. I miss her daily 💔.

What is it that makes me do this you ask? It’s the power of the road. That’s where I leave everything, or at least go to heal myself. My sister always thought I was a bit off with my running. She, along with others, would often ask “what are you running from?” The answer is, I’m not running from anything, I’m going to a place that helps me makes sense of the world. I go there to heal from my sister’s loss, to find beauty in the world again. I sweat out the toxins from everyday life…physical and mental . The road is a great listener, never judges and is always open.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll once again stand at a start line of a marathon. The distance I’ve continually swore I’d never run again, yet for some reason, I’m drawn to them. This one is special, it’s my home town, and the city I’ve always loved. In my 36 years of running, I’ve never done the full marathon here. I guess it’s time!

Emotions will be running high. My older sister Leanna will be at my side, and my sister Gini will be in my heart. I’ll think of her with each breath I take. Yeah, this one’s important.

I plan to celebrate afterwards with family and dogs! To share feelings from the day and to make new memories.❤️ My path forward is paved. The answers I seek are out there. I’ll continue to run and heal…mile after mile.

I’ll see you on the road!


The Time Has Come To Say Goodbye

This is for all of my fellow Zombies, or at least the dedicated few that have followed Run Zombie Run from the beginning.  The time has come for Run Zombie Run to say Goodbye.  It’s been a nice go over the past 5 years and I’ve truly enjoyed it.  From the very beginning of running my 30 races, in order to raise money for Mobile Meals of Toledo.  The aid in senior nutrition was near and dear to my heart.  Please know that I still give to them on a yearly basis and always will.

I think back over the years of all the fun races and adventures that I’ve had the privilege to share with all of you.  Some of the dark times were part of it…from my own health issues to the double lung transplant my sister went through.  The whole time, I ran with purpose.

I’ve run just about every race in the local area and of course did numerous road trips to exciting destination runs.  I was lucky enough to get into the Big Sur Marathon and run the ragged coast of California.  I’ve run the strip in Las Vegas at night…with not a single car on it!  My crown jewel was running the streets of New York City!  It was absolutely breath taking to be a part of that.  The race was dedicated to my sister Gini Feller and the medal from the race resides at her home…where she is healthy and breathing with her new lungs! (hugs)

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you.  The donations to charities, the messages to me wishing me luck before every race and the wonderful interactions I’ve shared with all of you.  Be it at work or on the road…I’ve cherished all of it.

I’m never giving up on my running (mostly walking now), my new found love for biking or any other activity that keeps me moving.  I just think it’s time to close down the Run Zombie Run Facebook page.  It served it’s purpose, but is no longer needed.  Rather then letting it fade into obscurity, I’ll just close it.

I’d ask that you all continue to move!  Find whatever it is that brings you happiness.  Take the time to really enjoy what you have and where you are.  Reaching for the stars is always a wonderful thing, but sometimes, it’s nice just to be in the moment…and be alright with it.

Thank you once again for making these years wonderful.

I”ll see you on the road!


2020…The Year That Wasn’t

I’m wondering where exactly to start with all of this.  I guess we’ll go with what’s happening in pretty much every corner of the world.  The words Covid-19 have found their way into pretty much everyone’s vocabulary these days.  One day it seemed that everyone was out doing their thing, planning spring vacations, working, shopping etc.  Then it all came to a screeching halt!

I’ll share this from my perspective and try to touch on what I see and what I hope for.  I began this year full of excitement and promise.  I struggled last year with injury and illness and had hoped to make a dramatic turn around in the 2020 year.  Things were starting to fire on all fronts…running, walking and even my lifting was going well.

My wife and I had planned an early spring trip to Utah to get a run in that we’d had to put off for a year, due to my stated injuries/illness.  The Zion Half Marathon was everything that we’d hoped, and the state was absolutely beautiful.  Zion National Park was so different from anywhere we’d ever been and I felt a new sense of purpose being in the area.  I was excited by the open range, and the stark look of the mountains. The half marathon course was breathtaking!  From a very chilly morning start, that warmed into a sunny and beautiful ending, the race was just perfect!

We’d been keeping an eye on the news and following the spread of the virus, even noticed that some people from the Utah area were found to be positive hits after being on a cruise.  We were cautious, but didn’t feel the need to panic at that time.  Even on our flight home, things still seemed to be pretty much normal.  We found out later that we had returned through Detroit Airport on a day that was known to have been considered “hot” by Michigan officials.  Karla and I still didn’t get panicked at that time.  We had already returned to our work places and felt fine, showing no signs of any kind of illness.  (Super grateful for that) I’m a bit of a weirdo anyway when traveling, and hate to touch anything in public places…or if I do, I wash may hands on a regular basis.  The thought of going somewhere like Cedar Point, where people hang all over metal rails, kind of makes my skin crawl…lol!

Upon our return, I realized that things were starting to get much more serious.  Races that I’d signed up for were in question, and eventually were cancelled.  The biggest marathon in our country was even pushed back (The Boston Marathon) due to fears of the virus.  It seemed as though daily something more was falling to the way side, concerts, races, just gatherings of any kind.  The bottom appeared to be falling out.

So, here we are, crawling into Spring.  The stores are pretty much all closed, except for grocery.  No one is traveling and moving about has become a hazard.  People are off work or working reduced schedules.  There are some that are at least lucky enough to be working from home, but that too brings a whole different set of issues.  Children are out of school, day cares are closed or reduced to just persons that are considered to be essential workers.  Everything seems to have stopped.  Life has changed, and the question now is, will we ever be the same when we come out on the other side?

Let me say this…I’ve never been good at just sitting still.  Those that know me understand how crazy I become when made to “sit still”.  It’s never a good thing.  My mind is always racing and my desire to “do” never quits.  If you’re wondering just exactly how to get through something like this and remain whole…Go outside and play!  How odd that the very thing I’ve been talking about on here for years now has come full circle.

I get up in the morning and get my dogs walked.  Then it’s my turn!  I go out on my own or with one of my sisters (with a 6 foot gap between us) and we walk.  I don’t need a park, but I do enjoy them.  I don’t need a gym, or people, or anything really.  What I have always desired is already out there.  The blue sky, the birds, the squirrels, everything, just everything is already there.  It’s always been there, it’s just been waiting for us to take the time, take a breath, and discover it.  Well, now is your time to discover.  Maybe mother nature is sending a wake up call to the world.  To be better humans.  Maybe we need to re-think how we act, what we treasure and how we speak.  Tough times will show you the best and the worst in people.  I do my best to stay focused on the good, the stories of people helping people.  The “Bear Hunts” that are now going on in neighborhoods all over America.  (Not really a hunt…it’s just bears in people’s windows…lol!)  We have the ability to adapt and to change.  Well, maybe now is that time.  Find out something special about yourself while staying home.  Read more, write poetry, or stories.  Read to your children, listen to music and really let it touch your soul.


Yes, there are things that we may be missing out on this year.  Remember that some are not coming out of this, some are losing loved ones to this terrible virus, and are unable to even be next to them when they leave this world.  I think of this often…and I hurt for them.  I’m grateful that during this time I’m still able to work.  I’m grateful that I’m in “lock-down” with my most favorite person in this world.  I’m grateful for those that love me and for the freedom to be able to still express it.  I’m also grateful that I’m still able to go outside and play, to wander like I always do.  I’m perhaps now…even more grateful for that time on the road.

We will get through this.  “This too shall pass” was something my Mother always said to me and I’ve heard it spoken now more than ever.  I’m going to do what is asked of me, so that everyone will be able to enjoy tomorrow.  I’m asking all of you to do the same.  Stay home, go out only when you have to for essentials.  Exercise as much as you need…but do so at a safe distance from others.  If you’re like me…I just wander the roads with no set destination and usually run into pretty much no one.  Can’t get much safer than that.

2020…the year that wasn’t?  No, I choose to call this 2020…the year we discovered ourselves.  Be better humans.  Be kind to one another and please stay healthy…until we meet again.

“I’ll see you on the road!”


Utah and beyond!

Hey there all you Zombies!

We’re quickly closing in on our 1/2 marathon challenge in Utah!  The race is on the outside of Zion National Park and promises to be beautiful.  I’ve never been to Utah, so it goes without saying that I’m super stoked!  This will probably be a run/walk situation as Karla is still nursing a bum knee.  I’ve not gone the half marathon distance in awhile, but hey…they’re only miles…yes?

I’ve signed up for a 5K coming next weekend…the Get Lucky 5K held in Lucky Ohio.  Fellow running nerd Dianna Ashton is the race director and all around cool lady, so how could I miss this?  It’s mid February in NW Ohio…what could go wrong?  LOL!!


The next run up following Zion…which is held on Leap Year (February 29th) will be one of my local favorites.  The Great Black Swamp Festival of races.  This will be in the later part of March and offers a 5K, 15K and 25K distance.  I’ll be slugging through the 15K this year.  I’m feeling pretty confident with the 10 mile range right now.  Nice training run prior to the big local event in April…The Glass City Marathon.  I’m doing the full marathon for the first time here in my home town.  My sister Leanna has offered to run along and keep an eye on me…lol!  Keep me from mis-behaving. 🙂  The Glass City will also be a run/walk go for me.  My goal is to beat the 6 hour cut off and finish.


I received in the mail today my “In Training” shirt for the Dayton AFB Marathon that’ll be in September.  Anytime you have an “In Training” shirt it gives you an extra boost when training.  Well, it does for me anyway…lol!  My sisters and I will be returning after doing the full marathon 20 years ago this year!  I’m very excited to knock this one out and get another great memory photo with family to add to my collection.  My sister Gini and I did this same marathon a short bit after I finished it with my other sisters.  We trained an entire Summer together and I have to tell you, it was one of the highlights of my lifetime.  Gini finished her first marathon and I was a part of it.  I was so happy for her and super proud.  In 2018 only 1,298,725 people finshed a marathon…World Wide!  That put my sis in some good company.  A very small percentage.  Gini was the recipient of a double lung transplant in 2018 and is no longer able to compete.  So, while she can’t compete in Dayton come September, we’ll be out there doing it in her honor.  Like I’ve said before, running is always better when there’s a purpose.  We got you sis!

New York…what can I say, I’m a sucker for the call of this race.  This year is the 50th Anniversary of the New York City Marathon.  My bride and I have put our names into the lottery in hopes that lightning will strike twice!  I was lucky enough to have my name pulled back in 2018 and completed the marathon on a picture perfect day.  I was truly moved by the people of New York and the way in which they organize and run this race.  I can’t tell you how many times I found tears streaming down my cheeks or the constant chills when I’d see entire streets covered in a sea of people…all cheering for the runners.  I’ve never had a feeling like this in my life while running a race.  That being said, the only thing that was missing in 2018 was my bride next to me.  She was there and cheering me on, but not in the race.  I was willing to beg to get her to sign up and be a part of it this year.  The 50th running is going to be something super special.  I’ve already decided that if my name is not pulled, I’ll look to gain entry through a charity.  This goes back to what I was saying before…running is always better when there’s purpose.  I’m considering just getting in with a charity now…because it feels like the right thing to do.  New York was so very good to us and we were able to share some quality time with an old friend of mine from High School (Jolene Siana).  Jolene was a fantastic Ambassador of the city and had much to share with us.  I hope to see her again on this next trip!  Thanks Jolene! (Photo credit Jolene Siana)


I’m feeling pretty good still and staying with my work outs.  I hit the gym today to continue to build strength needed to complete these races.  The stronger I can get, the easier it’ll be to complete the heavy mileage needed.  Diet is getting better and I’m hopeful that I can get leaner as we get into the Spring, Summer months.  I’d like to be in peak form for both Dayton and New York City.

I know many of you reading this are looking out your doors/windows and seeing the snow.  Cold air bites at you at every turn.  Don’t let it get the best of you.  I like to find the good in each season.  I’m not a fan of Summer, but it does have it’s beauty and benefits.  Winter can be looked at the same way.  Trails are less traveled and that leaves the door open for you to adventure.  YakTrax are a nice idea to purchase if you want to get better footing during the Winter months.  They make a couple different versions and are wonderful for getting moving.  Winter gear in this day and age is far superior from what it was years ago.  You can buy items that are thinner and warmer now.  Layering is the key.  So get outside and play!  If you really don’t feel like that’s for you, join a gym and pick up some heavy stuff! LOL!  Whatever it is that keeps you moving and feeling good, do it!

I’ll keep doing my thing and will continue to post more updates on everything going on with my running.  I feel good about this year, and motivated!  Let’s make 2020 one for the record books.

I’ll see you on the road!


The Race I Love To Hate!

January running in N.W. Ohio can be a challenge…I think we’d all agree there.  A particular race that is always scheduled around the third week in January (The Dave’s 10-miler) is said to be the race that can give you blizzard conditions or 65 and sunny…lol!  I’m here to tell you that it’s very true and I’ve experienced both…several times now.


I signed up for the 10-miler, scheduled for Sunday, January, 19th this year.  Mother nature was not messing around!  This race starts at 2 p.m., which this year was a very good thing.  We had a major storm roll through the day prior that dropped 4-5 inches of snow, which then turned to freezing rain and then rain.  Temperatures steadily dropped until they reached sub-zero during the overnight (the night before the race).  Winds of course had to be a factor and cranked up.  This was both good, because it cleared the moisture off the road, but also bad because it kept the temperatures in the single digit range all through the run.

My lovely bride and I got to the race, picked up the bib/shirt packet and prepped for the start of my run.  I was originally scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m., a full half-hour before the regular start as I’ve been doing mostly run walking and have just been working my way back up to higher mileage.  2019 was a nasty year for my body and I had concerns of not being able to finish all 10 miles.  Once I had my bib in place, we headed out looking for the starting line.  In true Robert Neeley fashion, I never checked inside the school to see where exactly the starting line was at.  In prior years, this race was run from a different school, so it had an all new starting line.  Once we realized we had no idea where the starting line was, we found a friendly runner that gave us a heads up on where to go.  By the time we reached the start line, it was 10 minutes past my 1:30 p.m. start.  The starting line dude gave me the choice of taking off on my own or starting at 2:00 p.m. with the regular race people.  I opted for the 2:00 p.m. start so I’d have people to follow…lol!


Just walking back and forth between the car and the starting line let me know that this was going to be a serious challenge.  My face quickly became numb from the cold and once again, I had doubt running through my body.  Once the rest of the runners came outside and packed together for the race, I realized I had to make the best of this.  Along with that, I had promised numerous friends and family members that I would represent them during this race. My Pink Warriors!  Women that are currently fighting or have fought through breast cancer.  This disease has plagued so many around me…I needed to get out there and do this, carry them and remember how they’re fighting.

Once I got rolling, I realized quickly that my face and eyes were going to be an issue throughout the run.  My eyes watered steadily during the first mile or so due to the heavy winds.  I’m one of those people that is unable to cover my mouth/nose area when I run.  I so wish I could, but I tend to panic when they’re covered.  Most of my body felt pretty good and I felt like I’d prepared my clothing well enough.  The wind was just freezing!  Thank goodness the roads were clear and not until later in the race did we get any kind of snow.  The first 5 miles went pretty good.  I slowed a little during mile 6 and when I reached mile 7, my knees were just cold.  The joints in my body felt like they were seizing up and it was hard to keep a steady pace.  I decided then to start alternating my walk/run routine.  I had to be careful with the extreme cold not to let my body get too cold during the walking portion.  I only allowed myself shorter walks to stay as warm as possible.  I was lucky enough to have my best cheerleader (Karla) find me several times on the course and gift me with a kiss each time.  By around mile 9 I was really cold and my skin felt burnt.  This was again one of those moments that you have to find something inside of you that says “Don’t quit!”  I once again reflected on the many women that I’d come here to run for and how much they’d been through.  I truly believe that running is something that comes to you easier when you’re doing it for someone else. (Running with purpose) I pushed on, found Karla once again, walked with her for a short stretch and then ran the final 1/4 mile into the finish line.  What I found waiting at the finish made everything worth while.  My good friend Martha Shearman, one of the Pink Warriors was waiting there with my medal and the greatest hug you could ever ask for after running such an awful race.  This made it all worth while.  Thank you Martha for being an amazing person…you’re a bright spot in this world for sure!


The drive home was a cold one…lol!  Karla and I had the heat cranked up and the seat warmers cranked full blast all the way!  Pizza was on tap for the evening, along with some down time with family.  I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my day.


Remember that we all have moments of wanting to quit…don’t! Whatever the problem, give it your best!  Find whatever it is inside of you that won’t let you give up and hold it tightly!  When you struggle, I’ve got you!


Future Plans


I’m currently looking over race schedules and trying to decide what I want to take a chance on.  I love the Black Swamp Festival of races in March and might give the 15K a go this year.  I’m signed up for the Glass City Full Marathon and look forward to completing that for the first time ever.  I’ve been going to the gym on a more regular basis and watching my food intake.  So far, so good.  No major issues with the body as of yet, but I’ve changed up how I train…hoping that keeps me injury free!

Don’t let the Winter stop you or slow you down.  There are many things that you can doing during these months.  I’m not a fan of indoor cardio but will on occasion jump on the Stairmaster…I don’t recommend it unless you enjoy torture…lmao!  Getting outside and just walking on a Winter day can be just as much fun as in the warmer months.  It’s just a matter of wearing the right gear.  If you have questions or need tips on what I train in while walking, just shoot me a message and I’ll let you know.  I find it very peaceful during the Winter…good time to reflect on life.

Thanks for following along and I’ll be sure to do another blog entry soon!  As always…

I’ll see you on the road!