Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Ran this morning and it felt very good. By the end I was feeling like I did before we left for Ohio. I have found my stride again. Met with Rebecca last night to discuss ways to try and get some more runners for the Malibu race. She wants to have a team of 10 running and raising money. I'd like to get that up to 15. But that's me, trying to push it.

Work was very stressful today and the combination of running this morning, staying up late to watch a John Landis directed documentary, and putting in a good 8 hours has whipped me. I just have to wash the nebulizers and boil them. Oh, and I have to avoid watching "The Age of Innocence" and getting sucked in. I love that movie. Scorsese rules.

What a ridiculous thing for a grown man to say. He "rules". Right on, dude!

Oh, and I have to pass along that Jake is fast becoming a pro on the potty. He now uses his little kitty potty most of the time (while sitting in the living room watching Scooby Doo, no less). He wears underwear most of the time. Someday he will read this and say, "Dad, why did you have to write that?" And of course, I'll say, "Because you RULE, dude."

Sad. I am very, very sad.


Monday, June 28, 2004

The weekend was great, but hotter than hell, top say the least. I ran 10 miles on Saturday morning and I swear it was almost as hard as some of our longer runs last fall. Not that I'm in that type of shape again, but the last couple miles were tough. Nothing compared to my awesome run last week.

I blame the heat. By mile 6 I was feeling it in my legs. And my feet were starting to get hot. I am not sure how to remedy this problem. And it concerns me because there's no way to control how hot the pavement is going to be come race time.

I corresponded with my old friend Beth (from the Honolulu race). She ran the San Fran half marathon last year and says it was very hilly. Did I mention this already? If so, disregard the info. That's what you get for not writing every day. You lose track of you facts and so called insights.

I'm not too concerned about the hills. The pace I ran on Saturday was anything but top form. But Jules brought up a good point.... it's going to August and it will be hot. This may determine whether I run the first half or the second half of the marathon. Maybe the 1st would be better. At least I could avoid some of the heat, and we could get on the road sooner to get home.

Isn't that ridiculous. I'm training to run 13 miles and I'm more concerned at this point about when we get on the road to avoid traffic than I am about my performance.

The heat really wore me out the rest of Saturday. I mean, I was whipped. We went to the Santa Clarita Aquatic center and the kids played in this wonderful wading pool/ slide area. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon out of the heat.

We received great news today that Jake's throat culture for pseudomonas came back negative. This is wonderful. Of course, now we're worried because he's taking swimming lessons and pools are a breeding ground for the bacteria. Have to very careful.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with Rebecca about the marathon. Not sure what we'll talk about. I hope we can come up with new ways to promote the donation process. My good friend Wes Stevens feels we should find a way to mimic what Aids Project LA does in which you can go to their website and donate immediately (upon receiving an email). Participants can also monitor their totals as their donations come in.

I believe this is a great idea. We just have to work out the logistics.

I ran this morning. Even though I was not into it, by the end of the 30 minutes I was glad I got out of bed to do the run. I will definitely ride the bike and do some yoga on the Fridays before my big runs. I definitely feel that not doing this cross training last week affected my performance on Saturday.

That's enough for now.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I have to say, some of my better ideas come to me late. Better late than never, though. I went out and purchase a knee support last night for my troublesome right knee. On my run this morning I couldn't really concentrate on what I was supposed to be accomplishing. I believe you could call it a junk run. I was so concerned about whether the knee support would do any good that I was distracted.

By the end of the day, I was full of energy, looking forward to tomorrow's run and I'm glad to report that the knee feels good. That is the most positive thing to happen in my training in the past month.

I must admit, I am a little nervous that my body will not permit me to complete the marathon this year. I am full of fears about the future of my legs. I hear of so many people having to have surgery on their knees, even having them replaced. I know from Julie's mom's experience that knee replacement is VERY painful. And the thought of not being able to run and use the marathon as a fund raising method really got me depressed yesterday.

I look at Julie an all that she does for Jacob during the day. She gives him all of his treatments and takes him to all of his doctor appointments. True, I have to work. But at least with the marathon I feel as if I am contributing to the battle. I know there will be other fund raising activities. But this one... the challenge of running 26 miles... and using that to inspire people to contribute... that is thrilling to me. And it makes me feel like I'm out there making a difference.

Perhaps this is too egocentric of me. But when I feel the aches and pains from along run I feel as if I can go on and face another day without breaking down and crying over Jake's CF. Believe me, there are so many days when I'm driving to work and I get that pain in my sinuses.... and I can feel the tears welling up. But I can control that when I think... I'm doing something.

I'm putting myself through this ordeal and I'm making a difference. We can win this battle... if only my legs hold up.

I need to run. I need the marathon. It gives me something to strive for. And it gives me hope. Hope in my friends and family. Hope in my fellow man. And hope that we're going to beat this disease.


Monday, June 21, 2004

It's Monday. The past weekend was great. On Saturday I ran 9 miles and felt very strong. By the end I was able to increase to a 6/1 running ration. There's nothing better to get you running faster than having to get home so your wife can leave for a facial. Still, I felt great after the run.

The rest of the day was spent doing yard work. Nothing exciting.

Yesterday was Father's Day. It was a wonderful day. Julie let me act like a lounge lizard most of the morning and treated us to an awesome pancake breakfast, with some eggs and bacon on the side. Whew. I stuffed my face.

We went to Budd and Karyn's for dinner and spent some time in the pool. That really did my aching legs some good.

This morning I got up and ran for 40 minutes. My legs were tired, as usual on a Monday. I'm starting to get a little concerned about my right knee, the one I had operated on 20 years ago. There's some definite clicking going on. Clicking is bad. Real bad. I don't think there's any question that this will probably be my last marathon. I guess two should be enough in a lifetime.

This was a big day for the kids. Sophie began gymnastics and Swimming classes. I'm was a little concerned how she would do. We tried her in dance classes and swimming lessons in years past. But today, Soph did great. She's really starting to grow up. I'm always sad when I think about how fast she's growing up and how little time we seem to get to play together. I would hate to look back on her childhood with regret. I probably will anyway. The only thing that would make me a complete parent, in my mind, would be for me to get to stay home all of the time. Of course, we know that's not going to happen any time soon.

Jake had a CF appointment today and guess what: He's gained weight! And he grew 4 cm. He's actually in the 5th percentile now! That's really exciting. All of the medicines seem to be working. That news made my day.

It's been a gloomy June Monday for the most part, so that positive news about Jake is about all I needed to get me through the rest of the day.

Work has been busy, for a change. Finding time to write is going to be challenging. Alas, once I send my next letter out I will have to keep it up. I look forward to that challenge.

That's all for now..


Thursday, June 17, 2004

I feel like I finally have my head back together after returning from our Cleveland vacation. Although I ran a couple of times in Ohio (including an 8 mile run the day after we arrived!), I slacked off by Wednesday and wound up consuming mass quantities of beer and meat. My God, it seems like every meal has some kind of meat portion included when you sit down back there. Not that I’m complaining, but it starts to feel like the Python Spam sketch after awhile.

Our trip was excellent. I feel like each time we take a family vacation, it keeps getting better. We arrived on a Saturday without a hitch and quickly settled in to the Ohio vacation routine. Jacob was SO excited to see his cousin JF, he would run around the house calling out his name, “Gey-Eff!!” And JF was so patient with Jake. It was wonderful seeing them play together. Sophie LOVES being with her grandparents in Ohio and playing with JF and his sister, Gretchen. And all of the kids got along so well.

Highlights of the trip included a day at the movies seeing “Shrek 2” again and immediately heading on over to Chuck E. Cheese’s for pizza and video games. Beth and Zyg came up on Thursday and had dinner. I felt like that was a good night. It’s strange how Beth has settled into becoming a part of the extended Flynn family. All of the kids go off and play and because she knows everyone so well (I guess it has been 11 years), she just eases into hanging out with everyone.

I really admire Beth. She’s become very political and standing up for her beliefs. She and I think along the same lines of the political spectrum, although she may be a tad bit more liberal than I am. Good for her, though. We grew up in a semi-conservative family in which I was never really sure what my parents stood for. All four of us Malchus kids had to figure that stuff out on our own.

Speaking of politics, on that same day I had breakfast with Jan Denman, my high school senior English teacher, and an old friend. I haven’t seen Jan in a couple of years, though we have dropped each other emails throughout those past two years. It’s always a pleasure to just hang out with Jan. He had a profound influence on my life and to call this man my friend is seriously an honor. Jan taught me quite a bit about thinking for myself and about writing from the heart and not always worrying about the mechanics. In a lifetime, you probably can only call a few people mentors. To me, Jan will always be one of my mentors. I gave him a copy of “King’s Highway”. I hope it plays on his DVD player; otherwise he’ll have to wait for the release later this year.

Got to see Bob on several occasions. We hung out on his sister’s boat one night, and then he had a party that last Friday we were in town. Brian and Dan were both at the party. Dan and his wife, Jodi, also brought their precious daughter with them. I was pretty excited about seeing Brian. I haven’t spoken to him in some time. I was amazed when he brought up the blog and how often he read it.

It’s a tad intimidating hearing feedback about the blog. I tend to get self-conscious when I think about folks reading this thing. Still, I supposed to be a writer. I want people to read it. Duh!

Also at the party was a guy who co-starred in my senior film at Bowling Green. His name is Todd Meany and he’s a reporter for one of the networks in Cleveland. That was both exciting and a bit surreal. I haven’t spoken to this guy since the last month I attended BG. Isn’t it a trip when you get reacquainted with someone like that from your past? I believe I’ve detailed such encounters from last year in this very blog. Todd is very successful, and I was, I don’t know, somewhat envious of him and the success he has had. I have a difficult time promoting myself lately. I feel like I’ve been talking about “King’s Highway” for years… oh, wait, it has been years. I feel like people are hearing the same damn stories about the movie. So when I start to tell someone new about everything, my enthusiasm is a little bit lacking.

Have to work on that.

Saw Aunt Dorty and Uncle Ben and received a new Indian’s cap from them. It’s pretty stylin’ with the retro “C” from the 70’s teams (you know, when they were really dreadful). I think this is such an abbreviated rundown of our trip; it must not sound all that exciting.

I will say this: I really felt at peace on this particular vacation. I wasn’t restless to be somewhere and I felt like I had a lot of patience with the kids. That has not always been the case. In trips of past, I was a bit selfish about wanting time to myself and trying to push the kids off on their grandparents and cousins. I know, what a lousy father.

But it’s like I’m seeing them grow up so fast now. And as quickly as they are maturing, I am realizing that my time with them is running out. Soon, they’re not going to want anything to do with their cranky old man who will be barely able to walk. That breaks my heart. It’s bittersweet watching your children get older. You’re excited about them growing as human beings, but they leave behind those precious bits of childhood that are so special. The day that Jacob finally stops calling Sophie “Wo-wo” and calls her “Sophie” will be very sad (and I fear that day is close).

After returning home, I’ve returned to my running schedule. I’ve decided to move up to a 5/1 running pace. We’ll see how it goes.

That’s all for now.


Thursday, June 03, 2004

It's the night before Sophie's Pre-School graduation. I can't believe there is even a ceremony for pre-school graduation, but we're very excited and so proud of her. She's growing up much too fast.

After that, we begin packing for our trip back to Ohio. I'm really looking forward to getting out of here for a week. It will be nice to hang out with Julie's family.

I have been running off the schedule I made up and following it very closely. I ran on Monday and yesterday. I chose to skip today and run tomorrow, instead, because I will be doing my long run on Sunday in Ohio. I've done Yoga on my off days and that has really been helpful.

Still, I am having some problems with my right knee. A couple of weeks ago I tweaked it after a long run. Now, it hurts to sit on my heels and have it bend in that degree. Of course, being a hypochondriac, I am scared that I have messed up something from the surgery I had on that knee....20 years ago! No wonder Julie thinks I'm a nut.

While I'm in Ohio I plan to start putting together the letter I'm going to send out this year. I have a pretty hefty task in front of me in trying to raise 13 grand. Maybe that number is too steep. I'm not sure right now. The economy is so unstable right now. I mean, who has any money to spare these days. I know that we don't.

God, I worry so much about money lately. Somehow we manage to get by and live comfortably. But for how much longer? It scares the shit out of me to think of not having enough money to cover our bills. Maybe "King's Highway" will become a huge seller once we complete the sound remixing.

Oh yeah, we found a distributor for the movie and we're in the process of remixing most of the post production sound for delivery purposes. I'm pretty excited about it. We all are.

On a sad note, our good friend Vill is back in Toledo. His father is seriously ill and they're unsure how much longer he may have to live. We he first found out about his father's condition, Vill was reasonably upset. I'm not sure how close the two of them are, but I know it must be hard. Our prayer are with him and his family.

I run tomorrow.

A more detailed entry will follow, but I had to write this down asap. Julie just called to tell me that Sophie was in the backyard standing by the kiddie rollercoaster we have there. And she was calling out like a carnival barker, "Step right up. One penny. We're raising money for anyone who has a child with Cystic Fibrosis. Step right up."

I think I'm going to cry.