“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…


2018…The Year We Turn Everything Around

Well, I know it’s been a little while since I’ve sat down and knocked out a Blog entry.  I never expected to go into the new year with a serious case of the Ohio Cruds!  I can almost always roll right through a cold and not miss a beat, but this one was a WOW!  I’m just now starting to feel like myself again and I know I’m improving because I’ve become stir crazy and focused on getting back out on the road again.   My very first run of 2018 was just a few days ago and only about 4.5 miles, but damn it felt good.

Let’s take inventory on what I’ve signed up for so far and some of the highlights to start out the 2018 running calendar.

The first organized run of 2018 will be the “Race I love to hate”!  The Dave’s 10 Miler out in Delta.  January 21st at 2 p.m. is the start time.  This race has been celebrated for numerous years now and is known for giving you a full on Ohio Blizzard (2015) or as we got to enjoy last year, 64 degrees and sunny!  The insanity of it all!  In 2015, this race almost broke me with the terrible conditions.  It seemed that at every turn the wind was blowing directly in your face and there was a combination of snow/sleet coming down.  I did a blog entry shortly after the 10 Miler that year…titled “Digging Deep.”IMG_20150322_080725328_HDR

The second race that I’ve not signed up for yet, but totally plan to is the Great Scott 25K. (February 18th) This is a double loop road run done on property of Oak Openings Metro Park.  This is a Toledo RoadRunner only event and once again, can be a serious challenge.  I’m always a little rusty during the first couple winter months and throwing a 25K or just over 15 miles into the training schedule is usually cause for laying in my recliner for the remainder of the day…lol!  It’s a nice event and a good tune up for the races ahead in the spring.  Besides, it’s an excuse to run at a cool park and grab an Awesome sweatshirt for signing up!  Love my Swag!

March 17th will bring the Black Swamp Festival of Races.  I dig this run mostly because of the “Memory  Mile”.  The last mile of the race is covered with signs that have the names of loved ones that have left our world.  It takes everything to get through this mile when you’re reading all the names and just feeling all the love these runners have for their family and friends.  I struggle with my breathing and usually have tears during this stretch.  I fell apart the first year I ran this after the passing of my Mother.  Seeing her name brought such a rush of emotions.  Believe me, these are all good things and I love that they do this each year.  I’ve asked that both my Mother and Father’s names be posted on a sign for this years run.  Love you Mom and Dad!  I just know they’ll be looking over me as I come across the finish line.

Alright, onto April.  April has a double whammy!  First is the Glass City Half Marathon on April 22nd.  This is the 10th Anniversary of this event and it’s the Home Town, so that makes it a must run!  The course is super scenic and the finish is inside of the Glass Bowl at UT (University of Toledo).  This race will be a training run for our big trip to the West Side of the Country!  April 29 The Big Sur International Marathon…for which we will be running the 21 miler this year!  (We wanted a different medal to add to our collection) They call this “Running the Ragged Edge Of The Western World”.  Every step of this course is just breathtaking!  I fell in love with California last year and feel the desire to go back and try my best to tame the course.

May 20th brings the Ann Arbor Half Marathon!  I’ve run this for the past few years and really enjoy the course.  It’s an Ass-Kicker!  Lots of hill challenges and one big mother of a Hill at just the right time to make you scream!  My sister complains each and every year about signing up, but she keeps right on going back with me…lol!  It’s a love/hate thing!  This year will be a touch different because they’ve changed the month from March to May.  While it’ll be much warmer running weather for us, it could prove to be more taxing on the system if we get some serious heat.  Time will tell!  Stay tuned!

June 17th I’ll be running the Towpath 10 miler. This race will be in the greater Cleveland, OH area and will be my first go at this one.  The H.R. direct at my workplace told me about it because his wife is the organizer of the Trilogy of race in the area.  I thought, Cleveland, Summer heat, 10 miles…WTF…I’m in!  I always get excited about trying out new destination runs even if they’re just a short hop down the Turnpike to get to!

I don’t want to jinx anything, but the next big event that a group of wild and crazy runners are working to organize for Mid-September is….wait for it…. Going On A RAGNAR RUN!!  Ragnar NH for the 20th Anniversary!  https://www.runragnar.com/event-detail/relay/reachthebeach Two Vans, 12 runners, running some 200ISH miles NON-STOP!  I went absolutely crazy after our first Ragnar and told everyone that it’s a life changer.  That’s for real!  Nothing but fun and raw emotions throughout the entire trip!  I highly recommend that anyone reading this consider doing one in your lifetime.  It’s a bucket list thang!  I’ll keep you up to date as more details become available on this run.

So there’s a look into Run Zombie Run 2018!  I’m running again this year to continue to help .  I have plans to get a new Run Zombie Run 2018 shirt together…not just for my races, but for you all to purchase and enjoy!  I’ve asked my favorite Tattoo Artist (Sailor Woody) at http://www.iatattoo.com/  to draw up a Zombie Dog for the front of the shirt.  Once we get that together, I’ll go to the fine folks over at https://www.jupmode.com/ to get the printing and such underway!  More details on this will be coming very soon.15823162_10208205482236738_934814482490240172_n

So, you know the drill from here!  Keep moving, go run, walk, pump weights, but do something!  We were meant to be moving!  The human body demands that we exercise to keep it happy!  Go rescue a dog and walk it at the park!  I just happen to know numerous fuzzy critters that would love to have a forever home…lol!  Seriously…look up blackjack and enjoy the sweet pups!  I’ve been out for a bit, so please like my Facebook page RunZombieRun and share it with all your pals!  I want to build things back up so that we can raise awareness of all the pets that needs love and homes as well as find new and exciting ways to stay in shape.  I’ll hit you up in the coming days with another entry…probably just before and/or right after the Dave’s 10 miler run.  I’m sure I’ll have something to say about that one…lol!  Take care of yourself and be good to one another!

I’ll see you on the Road!



Running For Rescue Dogs

For those of you that know me well, I’m a huge fan of dogs!  Well, pets in general but I prefer my pups more than anything.  When setting out to begin my 2017 year of running I wanted to make a difference in the world of Dog Rescues.  My choice was to team up with BlackJack Animal Rescue out of Tennessee.  They’re the people who found Stella and once I got to know their story, I had to step up my game.15823162_10208205482236738_934814482490240172_n

Blackjack Animal Rescue is a small group of people out of the Bristol, TN area (and beyond) that are doing everything they can to make a change in the lives of dogs.  The work hours are long and the job can be overwhelming at times.  The southern states especially seem to have problems getting these dogs into homes.  At times, it seems easier and more cost-effective to just put the animals down.  This doesn’t sit well with the owner/operator of Blackjack Rescue Sharon Bryant.  She sees dogs (especially Catahoula Leopard Dogs) the same as I do, amazing spirits that want nothing more than to be with humans.  The soul of a dog is special and Sharon, along with her team of angels work tirelessly to save as many dogs as they can and find them good homes.  The average adoption fee is $300 but let me tell you, this covers the animal being fully vetted, micro-chipped and usually transport to just about anywhere!  The fee also helps to cover the never-ending costs of maintaining all the animals in foster care but also helps to save more dog’s lives.

After getting to know Sharon more and seeing all the faces that she works to bring back to health, train, foster and eventually get homes, I knew I had to step up and help.  I’ve been working on bringing awareness of this population problem and lack of help in the southern states as well as raise funds through my running of races, blogging and regular postings on Facebook.  The hope is to get extra donations to this amazing outfit so that they can turn the tide of killing these animals.  I’ve reached out to the running community, co-workers, friends and family to assist in my efforts.   http://blackjackrescue.org/ is the website and they have a paypal system set up so that you can do either a one time donation or a regular monthly one!  If you prefer to mail checks, just send one off to Blackjack Animal Rescue 260 Old Stage Trail Bristol, TN 37620.  There’s also a wish list on the website if you’d like to help with food, toys, bedding or a Thundershirt!  Yes, I did donate a new Thundershirt to the rescue this year so that some wonderful pup would feel safer during storms.  Everything is tax-deductible as Blackjack is a 501c3 non-profit organization.


Stella (right) and her cousins Goose (bottom) and Cooper (top left) are all BlackJack Rescue dogs!

I have a little more that I need to share about rescue dogs and what they can do for your life.  This being my own story.  I had an Aussie Shepherd/Catahoula mixed dog (Silver) that was part of my life for a very long time.  He lived to be 17 years old and was my world.  When Silver passed, I realized that I had a hole in my heart that only a dog could fill.  I hated coming home to an empty house and missed that wagging tail at the end of my work day or upon any return home.

I started my search locally and eventually found Blackjack Animal Rescue.  They specialize in Catahoula Leopard dogs, so I decided to keep watching the intake and hoped for another silver.  I contacted Sharon and told her my story which in turn prompted her to start sending my pictures of so many beautiful dogs!  I just couldn’t believe all these adorable speckled pups were in need of a home.  Well it happened, she notified me of a dog that was running loose on an expressway and was brought in by a member of her group.  She was a bit skinny, no tags, not fixed but pretty much healthy.  She sent pictures to me of “Stella”.  I just knew I had to have her.  We were heading for the TN area for vacation and made arrangements to meet Stella at a local dog park.  Wow!  She was not only beautiful but so playful and full of love.  Needless to say…the rest is history!  A couple of years later Stella is living the good life here in Ohio with us and my heart is once again full.

While she’s not Silver, she brought all new and exciting things to our home.  Stella is scared of the back yard (long story) so she requires regular walks just to go potty.  This means that Karla and I have to walk the neighborhood 3 or more times in a day.  While at first it seemed like craziness, it’s turned into a blessing in disguise.  We’ve met numerous people in our neighborhood and have become good friends with them. (Thanks Stella) We’re walking and getting more exercise than ever before. (Thanks Stella) We’re able to spread the word about Blackjack Animal Rescue and teach people more about the Catahoula Leopard dog! (Thanks again Stella)  You see, as Cesar Millan once said “You’ll never get the dog that you want, You’ll always get the dog that you need.”  I needed Stella in my life and she’s changed it forever.  Keep this in mind if/when looking at rescue dogs.  They’ll bring more to you then you’ll ever be able to give to them.  They want nothing more than to be loved by you and be with you.stella

I needed to share this so that more people will understand how important dogs are in our world.  I also want more people to get involved and help rescue these special animals.  We have several great dog rescues in our area that can always use help.  I’d love to see more people help me with our friends in the south.  They need us up here in NW Ohio!  We need to bring more Catahoula Leopard dogs this way.  We need to save lives that are being snuffed out at an alarming rate at the high kill shelters in Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee.  So please, take some time to get to know Blackjack Animal Rescue.  Like them on Facebook and follow along!  Donate and save a life!  I need you to help me make this happen.  Runners…it’s time to shine.  We can do this…Together.mikesraceshirt

I’ll see you on the Road!


What the heck…it’s Spring!

So we’ve managed to knock out the Great Scott 25K in the month of February.  For those keeping score it was a no snow kind of month and I loved it!  We’re now in March and have picked off the PI run (3.14 miles…lol!), the Great Black Swamp Festival of races happened on Saturday 3/18 (25K) and that was followed by a 5K at Maumee Bay State Park on 3/19.  Busy week and this next weekend looks to be much the same.  I’ll be heading out to Gibsonburg to take on the Golden Bear 10K…back home for a quick shower and heading up north for packet pick up to do the Ann Arbor Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  The weather looks on the damp side for both races (my least favorite) but it’ll get done!

For some odd reason I really enjoy the Ann Arbor Half.  It’s a tough course and feels mostly like an incline, the streets are a bit rough (it is Michigan…lol!) but the things to look at throughout the run keep me entertained.  Cool homes, nice parks and if you’re a fan of Michigan sports…it starts right next to the Big House!  All of this craziness are in preparation for the Big Sur Full Marathon coming later in April!  The training has been kind of fun and nothing on my body has snapped just yet.  So cross your fingers that I can keep things in order and on schedule!

So as promised when I started…I’ve managed a 10 mile race or more each month so far!

January- The Dave’s 10 miler

February-The Great Scott 25K

March- The Great Black Swamp 25K…and The Ann Arbor Half Marathon will be going down!

April will be mostly training miles and the build up to both the Glass City Half Marathon…just one week prior to our trip out to the West Coast!  The Big Sur is for sure my biggest hit on the bucket list!  I plan on taking pictures and just messing around during the race.  The goal is to just finish and not be swept up by the sag wagon…lol!  There’s 6 hour cut off and I have no worries we’ll make it in before that.  This run is all about the fun and taking in the beauty that is California!

I’ll get another blog together very soon.  I know that I’ve been behind but will work hard to keep you all informed.  New glowing Run Zombie Run shirts will be going to print this week so that I can be seen better on the race course.  This was a request by my Aunt and she’s been my number one fan so I’ll get it done!

Still focusing on our friends at BlackJack Animal Rescue!  They’ve been busy re-homing numerous dogs and helping many through some very hard times.  Heartworms have been tough on the Catahoula dogs down south.  It’s painful for them to be cured and the expense is always a challenge for those trying to save them.  So please help out if and when you can!  http://blackjackrescue.org/ is the place to go and they have a paypal button right on the page.  All funds go to help these beautiful creatures.  Tax deductible as well!  So it’s a double bonus!  Be sure to tell Sharon that Zombie sent you!  She’s a great lady doing a huge job with all her volunteers.

I still have plans on getting a virtual 5K together later this year.  I’ll be talking with the people at Jupmode to see about having them do all the shirts and making them available on their website to make things go smoother and easier.  All funds raised from the shirts will then go to Black Jack Rescue!  Stay tuned on this one.

Let’s hope that March is as kind to us as February was.  I like running in more moderate temperatures for sure!  Go out and walk and if you’re doing that, put the ResQwalk app on your phone and place Black Jack Animal rescue in as your preferred pet rescue.  Each time you go walking this app will track your miles.  For each mile you walk, money is then donated to the rescue!  How easy is that?!  So let’s get out there and raise some funds, walk the neighborhoods and save some pups!  Thank again for following along and I look forward to sharing more fun pictures soon!

See you on the road!


Find a way…or Make one!

It just feels, as life moves forward, that there’s less and less time to get things done.  I was sitting down to go over races that I’ve signed up for and others that I’ve expressed interest in for the 2017 running season.  Fitting a large mileage race in each month of the year has proved to be challenging.  Take into consideration my all over the place work schedule (that can change at any moment) along with general life scheduling…it gets tough.  There’s marathon training to fit inside all of this and the hopes that I can stay healthy!  The mind set is…”Find a way…or Make one”!

This week has been tough to get the miles that I keep hoping for due mostly to a lack of sleep.  I’ve never been much of a sleeper and when I do get to sleep, I seem to be getting only a few hours…Stella decides I need to be awake and walk her around Oregon.  I never get mad at her because it’s her release and she just wants to stretch her legs and be with me.  Yet there’s still the part of me that says “how the hell am I going to get through the day on a few hours of sleep”!  We’re working on that…Stella and I!  (Note: Stella is my 2 year old Catahoula Leopard Dog)stellaDogs…once again I realized this week why I started this adventure.  Texting back and forth with Sharon Bryant (who runs BlackJack Animal Rescue), I was expressing my sadness when looking through some of the links that I’ve been introduced to through social media to different animal shelters in southern states.  I have to tell you all…it’s an eye opening problem down there!  Most of these shelters are nothing more than killing machines!  Corruption and money grabbing that leaves so many animals to die.  Sharon has been fighting this battle for some time and with the help of her small army, they do everything they can to save as many dogs as possible.  Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee all have high percentage kill shelters!  In Sharon’s words “The Catahoula Leopard dog is considered a dime a dozen in several states”.  Backyard breeders sell what they can of litters and then just dump the remaining puppies at a shelter, knowing full well they’ll likely be killed.  This has got to stop!  Sharon is very organized and, as I said, has a small army of very dedicated people that want the shelters to become “NO KILL”!  It can be done and they have the volunteers to make it happen.  The hurdle of politicians is the uphill battle.  I will continue to work to bring attention to BlackJack Animal Rescue and would love for everyone who reads this to “like” their Facebook page, follow along and share when they are in need!  Donations are a must and very appreciated!  This rescue relies on good people to keep up their efforts to save more animals and get them to good homes.  If we are to spend money, why not do it to make the world a better place?  Dogs and cats can absolutely change your life and make a home complete.  If you can’t adopt, volunteer to help transport animals from one state to the next!  Become part of a network that saves these beautiful animals!  Donate on a monthly basis or give a nice donation so that this fight can continue!  I’ll be working on getting more things together as the year progresses.  A virtual 5K is in the works (more on that later).  T-shirts are currently available on Blackjackrescue.org and all monies go to save animals.  I’ll also be looking into doing some kind of t-shirt or magnets for the Run Zombie Run part in this!  Help where you can and make me proud!

15977693_10208297764623740_4723280493295590567_nSunday is the Dave’s 10 Miler!  It starts at 2 p.m. and looks to be pretty good weather this year for what can be a very crazy event weather-wise!  I’ll be putting on my new Run Zombie Run racing shirt for the very first time Sunday and will represent BlackJack Animal Rescue with honor!  https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Delta/Daves10Miler?remMeAttempt=  Feel free to come on out and ring some cow bells!  Runners love Cow Bells!!  LOL!!


I’ll keep working on my training and finding a way to get everything done!  Forge ahead…progress!  Keep tuned in and please, take a look at BlackJack Animal Rescue on Facebook!  We’re almost to 5,000 likes…so get on there…Like and share!  Then go outside and play!!

I’ll see you on the road!


2017…the new challenges!

I just wanted to touch base with everyone and let you know that I’m still holding onto my 30races.com blog and will be doing regular entries over the 2017 racing season.  The main focus this next year will be my love for the Dogs!  Blackjack Animal Rescue has grabbed my heart with the wonderful work they do finding homes for Catahoula Leopard dogs along with numerous other breeds.  Some have been surrendered, many are from high kill shelters that just don’t have the space to keep them and then there are those misplaced souls that have lost their owner and need love for the rest of their lives.

I feel as strongly about helping animals as I do about helping the elderly!  Mobile Meals is still a wonderful outfit and I continue to donate funds on a regular basis to them.

stellastella3Blackjack Rescue is a small non profit organization that’s based in Tennessee but has strong networking all across the country.  I know this as my latest addition to our family is Stella.  Stella is a full blooded Catahoula Leopard dog that was found running on a busy expressway in TN.  She has become the love of our household and I feel the need to help others find these wonderful creatures and see just how much love they have to give.

I’ll be doing my best to raise funds through donations to http://blackjackrescue.org/ and also looking into selling more of my Run Zombie Run t-shirts this season.  I’m hoping to do a big push before I run my last Full Marathon in April of 2017!  Karla and I will be running the Big Sur Marathon out in Sunny California!  This race is listed as a bucket list run and one of the top 5 marathons in the country.  I can’t hardly wait!  My focus is strictly to finish this run!  I want to keep my body intact and come home whole!  lol!!

stella2So stay with me and by all means share Blackjack’s page on Facebook or jump on and give a couple of bucks!  Be sure to tell Sharon that Zombie sent you!  She’ll be thrilled to get the boost!

I’ll see you on the road!


Ragnar contest…what it means

I know that you’ve all been seeing me post at a ridiculous pace on Facebook and I’d like to apologize for blowing up the feeds.  This contest that our Ragnar Relay Chicago entered could allow our team to run another Ragnar and have the entrance fee paid for!  That’s some $1,300.00 and the opportunity to live the dream all over again!

This may seem a bit silly to some but let me just say that this Ragnar (my first ever) changed me!  When they say in their advertisements that “you’ll find your inner wild”…it’s for real!  I found something inside of myself and learned so much about life, being part of an amazing team and how to overcome adversities that I never thought possible!  It was more than just miles on the road.  It was a true “Journey”!

Sharing your life inside of two vans with 11 other people over 2 day and running some 200 miles…no matter what is thrown it you…AWESOME!!  We all came together as one functioning unit during that time.  We all felt for one another and became stronger for it!  To say that I want to go back and do it again may sound crazy to some but to me…it just feels right!

So when you see our pleas and begging for votes on Facebook or by text, understand that the passion we have for this race is real.  It’s moved all of us in some special way.  If you ask any of my teammates, they’d be quick to tell you how much they loved the experience and that they’d do it all again in a heartbeat!  It’s safe to say that we all care a great deal for each other and have a passion for our running.  So please, take the minute to vote for our Mighty Minions team and please pass the word to everyone you can!  This is our last day to get votes and we are in a heated race to win with one other team!  I know they have passion for the event or they wouldn’t be fighting day and night like us.  We just need you all to back us and show the Ragnar folks that the Minions have something more to prove out there.  We need to set free our “Inner Wild” once more!  Make it happen for us…be part of this special race!  Voting ends at 11 p.m. today…Monday 6/20/16!  It’s go time!

Thanks for the continued support from all and let’s get this done!  I’ll see you on the road and hopefully…at the next Ragnar!!  ~Zombie~

The link is listed below and you can also find it on my Run Zombie Run Facebook pagehttp://offerpop.com//campaign/807684/entry/6549528



Well after over a year of planning the race is now staring us in the face…RAGNAR RELAY-CHICAGO!!  During this year there has been much training, dreaming, worrying and lots of laughter shared among a group of 12 runners that all decided it was time to run this awesome race!

The group was formed from an on-line virtual running club on Facebook known as Runjunkees.  I think you kind of get from the name that we’re all a little on the nutty side when it comes to our running and the desire to seek out new and exciting races and/or challenges!  We all live and breathe running and share the stories on Facebook of all our adventures.  Some of the people on our team (known as the Mighty Minions) have never even met one another in person!  We’re setting out to run this race of about 200 miles, living in two vans with people that are basically new to our lives…how cool is that?!  The added bonus for me is that my younger sister Patti and my bride of coming up on 10 years Karla will also be running on this team!  Super Bonus!!

The Ragnar Relay Series started in about 2003 and I’ve had my eye on it for about 10 years.  The series has grown in leaps and bounds and relays are now held in states all over the country.  They offer both road and trail relays and in some spectacular places.  This particular one we’re doing starts in Madison, WI and goes into Chicago, IL.  Much of the run is along lake lined areas and offers all kinds of challenges for us. We’ll run in parks, on roads, trails, have some hills and a little flat land.  We’ll go from farmland to big city lights!  This will be EPIC!

Back a few years ago, I was running a half marathon in Bowling Green, KY and spotted a Ragnar emblem on the back of a vehicle.  I told my wife as we walked past “one day I’ll have that on my car”!  I’ve never let go of that and I…along with my team will be proud owners of both the Ragnar emblem and the very special Bling that comes along with it!

I told you all that this year was about the “Bucket List” runs and Oh Baby is this ever a Bucky List winner!  I plan on adding some fresh ink on my skin once this journey has been completed!  To some that may seem extreme…but to me it feels right and it’s again part of “my journey”

I plan on taking as many pictures as possible along the way and keeping everyone updated via Run Zombie Run on Facebook!  It looks to be on the warm side so expect messy, wet people with huge smiles! 🙂  I’ll kick out another blog once we wrap things up and get back home.

So please remember to get out there and live!  Take those dreams and turn them into reality!  Set goals and crush them!  I’ve said this before and here we go again…”Life is not a spectator’s sport…go out and play”!

I’ll see you all on the road!