Friday, October 24, 2008

It could be worse

Just in case you think you're having a bad day.........

Monday, October 20, 2008


Sports can sure make for strange fan-fellows! Being a proclaimed and well documented Sooner fan I have a keen eye on the recently released BCS standings. The first such standings of the 2008 season.
Of course, had the Sooners not lost to the hated Longhorns two weeks ago they would've, surely, been perched atop the list. Yeah, yeah, I know, they might not have been and don't call me Shirley...! But, the fact is they did lose to the burnt orange and they don't sit atop the standings.....OU is 4th. Not a bad place to be. Oklahoma is the highest rated one loss team. In order, the standings read: 1) Texas; 2) Alabama; 3) Penn State; 4) Oklahoma & 5) USC. Just for good measure (because they're a part of the equation as well) 6) is Oklahoma State.
Now, obviously, you don't have to be #1 to get into the championship game, you just have to be in the top-2. That's do-able for the Sooners. First of all they have to take care of their own bid-ness! Not necessarily a given considering they have Okie St. and Texas Tech left on the schedule, both in the top-10 of the BCS.
Secondly, it's going to require a couple of teams in front of the crimson and cream to lose. It's up to teams that I'm not particularly fond of to make that happen. I'm not a big fan of Okie State but I'm a one-day fan of theirs hoping they'll knock off Texas this weekend. With regards to Oklahoma State I will admit it's hard to have a distaste for them when that runs too deep....they just don't win enough! I do have a distaste for LSU and their arrogant coach Les Miles...but for one Saturday, here's hoping they knock off the Crimson Tide. It's one instance where Les is more! And finally, why is it that after losing two national championship games in humiliating fashion in consecutive seasons the Ohio State Buckeyes seem to continue to get a pass on being locked out of the BCS title game? For that reason the Bucks are on my "distaste" list (I'm certain they're concerned!). So this Saturday night I'm all scarlet and silver at the 'shoe against JoPa's Nitanny Lions.
Presto! It's all figured out. Sooners in the championship game against....I don't care (although it would be cool to face off against the Longhorns again). Now here's to hoping they don't embarrass themselves once they get there!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Saturday mornings are great! There's no job responsibilities, don't have to take the kids to school and I get up early enough that's it's all quiet on the Western Front (or at least the downstairs portion of the house) before the kids get up and shatter the stillness.

I usually brew a pot of coffee, sit down in front of the laptop and browse...check my usual sites...and ponder.

The spinning wheel of pondering thoughts this morning stopped on the Little Rock Marathon. It's a well organized race. One that continues to grow in popularity and stature. It has the biggest finishers medal on the planet. Urban legend has it that smaller framed runners have toppled over after having the ribbon-clad medal anchored around their necks while crossing the finish line in exhaustion. Yet, more material for "Myth-Busters" should someone decide to send it in.
For me the LRM represents the Great Underestimate of '08! I ran the 2008 edition of the race in 4:42:51! It was a little embarrassing for me considering that I ran a 4:57:and change marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 at Ironman Wisconsin in September of 2007. That's a difference of less than 15-minutes!
It is certainly my own fault! I can blame no one else. I didn't respect the distance as a stand alone challenge. I mean, really, 26.2 miles is nothing compared to 140.6, right? Of course, I certainly said all the right things and thought the right thoughts, but when it came to training....I didn't train the right way. And I paid the price walking a large part of the second half of the race on my way to a blistering 4:42+! I got what I deserved.
After the race I said I'd probably not run another marathon unless it was part of an Ironman. Well, I changed my mind. I'm running the LRM again this coming March. I want to see what I can do when I train the appropriate way. I've got a training plan and I'm already into it. My goal for 3.15.09 is to run a sub-4. My stretch goal is to knock 1-hour off my '08 time: 3:42:51! I wonder if it's do-able?
What's been your experience? Is it possible to knock an hour off your marathon time from one year to the next? If you read this blog and have an opinion I'd like to read it. If so, what made you successful? I need all the help I can get.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


It's burnt orange and crimson and cream. It's the real start of the college football season in the Big XII. It's Oklahoma-Texas weekend at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It's a big game this year like it is every year. Oklahoma's #1 and Texas is 5. The loser will be on the outside lookin' in...of the Big XII Championship...of the National Championship. For the winner it just means that they're not the loser....profound, I know. But for the winner it just means that they continue to move on in this bizarre world that is college football. The winner doesn't win anything except the game....which is a big thing. It's much worse for the loser than it is big for the winner.
Both teams are undefeated. Both teams have top rated quarterbacks. Both teams will face their toughest test of the year to date. Oklahoma has played a ranked team (TCU) this year so far and Texas has not. The focal point for each offense is the QB. OU has an array of targets to throw to. Texas is similar. The Longhorns' QB is a bit more of a dual threat than OU's although I'm sure Mack Brown doesn't want him to take off running too much lest one of OU's linebackers takes off his head...or causes his knee to buckle in an unnatural way.
OU's defense has been pretty tough so far despite numerous question marks coming into the season. Texas' defense has been stout as well. Both offenses have put an ungodly amount of points on the board.
The biggest match-up of the game, and the difference in the game, in my opinion, is between OU's passing game and Texas' secondary. If there is a weakness in the Longhorns' defense it's their backfield.
In full disclosure I am a Sooner fan. Have been since I knew what college football was all about. I've been to many OU football games. But, never this one at the Cotton Bowl. I'll be watching on the small screen.
In 9 games against Texas Bob Stoops is 6 - 3. I predict that come Saturday afternoon it'll be 7 - 3. Shock, I know.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Olympic pose

The final race of my triathlon season was this past weekend in Dallas...The US Open Triathlon. Sounds pretty big and official. It actually was a pretty big race in the triathlon world. It was a championship event for pros and amateurs alike (guess which is which in the photo above?!!).
It's really a cool event from the standpoint that it's a who's-who in the pro ranks. First let me start by saying it was an Olympic distance event (1500m swim, 25 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run). As the distance name suggests it's the distance they use for the Olympics....and Olympians were there including Hunter Kemper pictured above with that amateur. Kemper didn't actually race in the event, his season was over, he was just there to support it. But Matt Reed (Olympian) was there as was Andy Potts, Greg Bennett (winner on the day and winner of the series), his wife Laura (Olympian), Sarah Haskins (Olympian), Becky Lavelle, Mirinda Carfrae and Joanna Zeiger to name a few. These are the top names in short course racing. Some will compete this weekend in Kona for the Ironman World Championship (Potts, Zeiger).
It's one of the reasons I like competing in triathlons. In no other sport can you perform with the best in the world, on the same day, on the same course, at the same time (well, ok, they were way in front of me, so technically it wasn't AT the same time but it was, well, very ....ish-like). It's fun to watch them perform and then be able to say, "I competed with them that day." It's also fun to watch them prepare for the race. They each have their own routine.
Also, these pros just look different than everybody else. There's no question when you see a pro, even if you don't know who they are, you know they're not your average amateur. They're very athletic looking, skinny with zero body fat.
These pros are also very approachable and friendly. Hunter Kemper (finished 7th in the Olympics) couldn't have been nicer. He asked my name, talked with me a little, signed an autograph (there's just something about a 44-year-old man asking for an autograph - I don't know, it's weird) and took a picture with me. Nice guy. As a thank you I gave him a Big Mac, some fries and a shake and told him to put some meat on his bones!
Seriously, though, being that thin is one of the sacrifices of being a triathlete at that level. You have to carry as little weight as possible yet maintain enough muscle mass to power you through an event. Being that skinny is also a by product of endurance training. These athletes take in a lot of calories everyday....they just burn a lot as well. You remember the story about Michael Phelps. He consumes between 8,000 - 10,000 calories a day! Yet he has the body that he does. Same with these triathletes.
Back to Kemper for a second and then I'm finished. During the course of the conversation the Olympics, obviously, came up and we (my brother-in-law, Trey, was with me, got his picture taken with him as well, and an autograph {it's equally weird for a 39-year-old to ask for an autograph}) asked him what his plans were for the rest of the season. He said his season was over and that he's having hernia surgery next week. Said it's been bothering him for a while. The guy was having hernia issues during the Olympics and still finished 7th...pretty impressive!
Good luck Hunter. Thanks for the conversation. You've got two new fans.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Remembering Jerry

My friend, and everyone's friend, Jerry Anderson passed away at about 4:25 pm pacific time in Santa Barbara, California, after a short but hard-fought battle against a very aggressive form of cancer. His wife, Candy, was by his side the entire time. She is a true warrior and saint.
Jerry was a fantastic husband for Candy and father to Natalie and Joshua. He was also a great friend and an incredibly successful professional. He was very humble and unassuming yet at the same time he was very tenacious and diligent. Those traits served him well whether at home on the weekends relaxing, in the office taking care of business, playing college baseball back in the day at Arkansas State, racing in a triathlon or riding his bike 100-miles. He was a true competitor yet incredibly humble about his successes...and there were many.
Of all his successes, though, he would tell you that being married to Candy for 18 years and raising Natalie and Joshua was his greatest joy. They are a great family of which I'm blessed to know and enjoy a relationship with.
I am sad today. Very sad. It doesn't seem right for a young man, a vibrant man be taken so early in life with so much to do in the future. I will not be moved, however. My faith will not waiver. In fact it has grown stronger during this time. But, I am very sad.
I'm very thankful that Jerry didn't have to suffer through a long, drawn out illness. I believe the Lord knew that wasn't Jerry's style. He wouldn't have wanted to be the center of attention and he wouldn't have wanted people focusing on him. He would always prefer the focus be put on others. That's what he did in life.
If you haven't seen Candy's blog I encourage you to visit the site. It's a true source of encouragement and strength ( I will end with what she said Jerry would say, and rightfully so, by quoting 2 Timothy 4: 7-8 - "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."