Saturday, February 6, 2016


During the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos, which was played at an altitude of 5,280 feet , two weeks ago, in Denver, I received a series of text messages from a running friend of many years (who shall remain nameless) musing over the fact that some of these overpaid athletes, young men in their 20s, for the most part, were having a hard time running up and down the field. They had difficulty running 50 or 60 yards before they were gassed. Hands on their hips, gasping for the thin Colorado air.

Don't get me wrong. Professional football players are extraordinary physical specimens. To get hit by a 260-pound linebacker, traveling at under 5-seconds per 40 yards would not pleasant. It would be like getting hit by a small vehicle.

But, come on. These guys get paid millions upon millions of dollars, and we run 5Ks, half marathons, and marathons.

Professional football players train long hours.

We train for longer hours.

Football players, at the professional level, benefit from the most modern training facilities.

We train outside in the rain, snow, wind and heat.

People pay astronomical amounts to watch an NFL game.

We pay astronomical entry fees to run races.

And, tomorrow, the world virtually stops because it's Super Bowl Sunday.

But we don't.

Some of you will run a race.

Almost all of you will turn in a training run. Some of those runs may last as long as the Super Bowl. (minus the commercials)

Tomorrow evening, as you consume the nachos and chicken wings, you will probably have burned a thousand calories or so.

Pretty super!

The Super Bowl is cool. I'll be glued to the television. The game should be good, the commercials well be great.

But runners and running?

Now, that's super!

Continue to be super.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


How about that Punxsutawney Phil?

This morning, the detestable rodent from the western region of my fair state, did not see his shadow, thus predicting that spring is "right around the corner."

Hmm...I DID run in shorts today, as the temperatures hovered in the low 50s, and the sun shone brightly.

Legend tells us that if a groundhog sees its shadow on February 2nd, winter will last another six weeks. German settlers imported this folklore to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Now, Punxsutawney Phil’s handlers maintain 100 percent accuracy in his seasonal predictions, since the first Groundhog Day celebration in 1887, but statistics tell a different story. The actual "success rate" of the 'whistle pig's' (yep, another name for a groundhog) forecast hovers around 37%. Perhaps about as accurate as most local weather persons.

I love writing about Groundhog Day, but I absolutely hate groundhogs. They are ugly, destructive creatures. Groundhogs rut farm fields, ravage crops, and cause general destruction. They carry rabies, and have attacked my dog on two separate occasions.

But furry little Phil remains one of those traditions that is probably "cute" to cling to.

Chances are, winter WILL hang on for at least another six weeks, but as long as I can plant my spring onions around St. Paddy's Day, and run in shorts for most of the month of March, I can endure the prediction of the oversized buck-toothed rat.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Write it in the books.

 Log your final workout.

 January is gone.

Good riddance!

Now, to be fair, this time last year, and the year before, I was whining about the Polar Vortex, Arctic blasts, and an assortment of other meteorological terms that weather folks seem to attempt to impress us with these days, so, in the large scheme of things, January 2016 hasn't been that bad.

Until last Saturday, when two feet of snow buried us, temperatures had been relatively mild, and there was no snow...anywhere. My favorite local trails were dry and very runnable.

Since then, things have not been so good. Snow corridors have narrowed down the streets in my town, and trails are now the exclusive realm of the local deer population.

But, temperatures are supposed to reach the 50 degree mark in the next couple of days, snow piles will shrink, January is gone, the days are longer, sun higher in the sky, and there is hope.

Statistically, here in Pennsylvania, February brings the most snow, but March is not far behind.

If you survived this most brutal of months. If you were able to build a base with long winter miles, you are properly preparing yourself for a successful 2016 racing season.

January has passed, and now the calendar will work in your favor.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


It is often satisfying as well as beneficial to run for something (or someone) other than yourself.

Run On A Mission (ROAM LLC) is a privately owned company that dedicates it time to helping those organizations and people needing to raise money for a cause and awareness. The focus of ROAM is people and it’s community. ROAM believes that relationships are important and a necessity. Their concept is to help and service you in any way they can. ROAM is truly a customer friendly company. So, if you wish to be part of the ROAM family, contact them. At ROAM they would love to hear from you and make you family.

And, you can become a part of this mission by running a virtual race...for a cause.

A member of the ROAM team, Eli Brown, describes the mission:

"What fuel does your life RUN on? What drives you? What are you passionate about? What causes are worth investing in? What is YOUR MISSION? Those are just a handful of the questions I have been asking myself lately and I intend on figuring that out this year! It's time for less "wondering" and more focus, prayer, investment, and ... some running. I am working on a new blog and fundraising company called @RunOnAMission. We are just getting started, but stay tuned for more info to come! Our MISSION is to help raise money for organizations and people making a positive difference in their community and the world around them. We want to partner with others whose lives are fueled and Running On A Mission. If you are interested in following the journey, you can follow myself and my running partner Eddie at @RunOnAMission on IG, Twitter and Facebook. And if you have suggestions, connections, causes, resources or ideas, let me know. I am trusting my fam and friends to help me do this right! Check out the site at ... We are at the starting block and this race is about to take off!" #RunOnAMission #Missions #Fundraising #CouchTo5k #StayTuned #MoreToCome."

I am proud to have been asked to contribute to this site and its worthy purpose, by writing a blog about my daughter, Kelly, and her personal running mission.



Sunday, January 24, 2016


When I woke up this morning and checked my phone, and it had blown up. Local running friends all had a variation of the same question, "What are you doing today."

Here in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, the heart of the anthracite coal region and the home of the Yuengling Brewery, we are buried under 24 inches of snow, courtesy of the Blizzard of '16.

Yesterday, I carved lanes in the yard for my dogs, shoveled and plowed the driveway for three hours. In anticipation of the storm, I scheduled a day off from running, leaving my fitness to the hearty upper body workout of snow throwing.

My answer to my friends?

"I'm going to run a couple of very slow miles."

Oh, and it will be interesting.

"You should be doing this," I'll hear from folks, breathing hard, leaning on their shovels, pointing to their cars or recently cleared sidewalks.

"I already have. You should be doing THIS," will be my reply.

With glee, I'm sure I'll be spackled with brackish, salt riddled slush as vehicles rush by, in a hurry to go nowhere.

I'll come to a near, or perhaps a complete stop, as narrow streets pit me against large machines, a battle I can't win.

Heads will shake, fists will be clenched, individual fingers will be raised. (and, I'm sure the drivers will be angry as well)

Trails are buried, tracks are gone. I hate the treadmill.

So, what am I going to do?

I'm going to chill, run very slowly, relax, wave and smile. My heart rate may never rise above 90, but I don't care. There's nothing I can do about it. I want run. My legs probably need a rest, and I need to stave off cabin fever. My friend s and I will exchange "war stories" later in the week.

And, in three weeks I'll be in Myrtle Beach.


Saturday, January 23, 2016


Well, the blizzard of '16 has, indeed hit, impacting over 80 million people, many of them runners, like us.

I'm currently hunkered down, taking the day off, pondering exactly when I plan to shovel and plow my driveway, relaxing with my dogs, and curled up with a good book. Currently, it's an autobiographical work from legendary talk show host, Dick Cavett.

There are two books I have written that I'd like you to consider (and hopefully purchase).

Personal Best and Running Shorts are written from the perspective of a runner who has experienced all the good and the bad of running that you've experienced. I love running and runners, and over the years, I have forged lasting friendships thanks to our sport.

If you're hunkered down and you need inspiration to get you through the winter doldrums, I promise you'll love these books.
Both of my books, Personal Best and Running Shorts are available now, for the lowest price yet, $7.99 each, plus $2.00 shipping and handling, at Heck, that's about what we pay for a pair of socks today.
You can also go to Amazon, at: where you can find both books, reviews of them, and the Kindle version of Personal Best for $1.99. Try finding a pair of socks for that price these days!
The books are also available from my publisher's site:
Fact is, if you plan to take you first running step, run your first marathon, or want to learn how to drop that marathon time, Personal Best will offer ways for you to achieve your goal.
If you want to be inspired, to laugh or cry, with stories from the road, read Running Shorts.
And, as my readers know, I pride myself as a "hands on" author. Having trouble with plantar fasciitis? Let me tell you about the 'donut' cure. Want to break 3 hours for the marathon? We can develop a training plan together to make that happen.
It's 2016. A new year, with new goals, hopes and aspirations.
Want to achieve your personal best?
Let me know.
I'll help you get there.

Stay safe out there!


Friday, January 22, 2016


As winters go, this has been a pretty good one for runners. As I gaze out my window in northeastern Pennsylvania, not a speck of white dots the ground. To date, our only snow has come in the form of a dusting, which quickly vanished.

But from the Carolinas to New England, that's about to change in the next 24 hours. Unless you've been tucked under your blankets the past week, you know that blizzard conditions will grip the eastern seaboard tomorrow.

In anticipation of the 'snowmageddon,' I've already planned a day off from running tomorrow, and if you're within the storm's "bull's eye," so should you.

Little good will come out of slogging out slow miles outside during tomorrow's storm. (If you have a treadmill, then knock yourself out) You will be a danger to yourself and others, your miles will be dreadfully slow, your chances of falling will be greatly increased, and the risk of tweaking a muscle or tendon just isn't worth it.

A day off will help, not hurt you. Enjoy the beauty of the snow, and feel comfort in knowing that your aerobic activity will be satisfied by shoveling, plowing, or playing outdoors with the kids or the grandkids.

Relax, take a deep breath, and accept the fact that it is winter, and many of us are still stuck here in the frozen north.

Be safe.

And take a rest.