“Love the Life you Live.
Live the Life you Love.”
I actually saw this on a post from a good friend, Scott, at MarathonTours.com. I might have talked about this or a similar phrase once before in a blog entry called Live your Life, and forget your age. Turns out that is a recurring theme for me with three other pieces called, Live and Learn, Live Life Large and Live Life To Discover.
I thought it would be appropriate to talk about it again. A song that has stuck in my head recently is, Love is all you need by the Beatles. Even though that was a term used back in the 60’s in response to the Vietnam war I find the words compelling now.
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
Found this compilation of license plates in Puerto Vallarta
Outside the elevator, written on the wall, at the Renaissance Hotel in ATL, on our floor, is something I talk about often when asked what have I learned from all our travels. I often answer, “you don’t need as much as you think you do”. We usually don’t buy anything during our travels since we simply don’t have a home to put it in. Unless Delta losses our bags, which they have done several times. So if we can’t drink or eat it we don’t buy it.
I have been thinking, recently about ending this blog. I have literally written about my entire life for over four years now. I use to do a lot of writing when I was working and my sister is also a writer and has made a very good career doing so. Back then it was more technical concerning airplanes and motivational pieces for pilots. This phase of writing started after I realized I was going to have to have open heart surgery back in 2014.
They had a forum for folks like myself. I found it very therapeutic and it morphed to this Blog, Run All Over The World. I went back and found the first thing I wrote concerning, my then, upcoming surgery and decided to share it with you here.
Some may say that I am crazy
Journal posted on April 28, 2014
People that know me might even say that I am insane. I can surely tell that the wait for surgery is a bit much but this past Saturday a little more than 6 weeks out I finished my 52nd Marathon. I feel that running keeps me sane. It seems to put things into perspective. The stresses from work and now this up and coming surgery seem to melt away when I am out breathing the fresh air and watching the world go by step by step.
There are numerous great running quotes out there and here is one that I saw recently that sticks with me.
You don’t stop running because your old,
You get old because you stop running.
Dennis signed my guestbook the other day and I can sure say that this is a motto he lives by and he will be my inspiration as I travel down this road. Dennis is 76 with 35,000 miles and 23 marathons to his credit and looks forward to the day to run another marathon after he has fully recovered from his surgery. I have seen people with one leg, cancer survivors, and even one guy in a traditional wheelchair at running events.
I had a chance to speak to the gentleman in the wheelchair at the finish of the Little Rock marathon and I mentioned that he was such an inspiration and he turned the table and said that mere fact keeps him going. I would have never thought of it that way. We all have our stories to tell and must admit this journal and reading many journals of others has truly helped.
Sometimes I worry that maybe I should have had the surgery done sooner rather than later but at the time I had so many ducks I wanted to get in a row and hope that the wait was worth it. I am sure that my case is somewhat unique in the fact that outside of the obvious sound of the murmur and regurgitation shown by the echocardiogram and even the buzzing sound I sometimes feel in my chest I have no outward symptoms. If like others, I found it difficult to climb a flight of stairs or get dizzy when I stood up then the answer would have been different when it comes to setting a date.
Only time will tell and by being a runner I am very in tune with my body and if I feel the slightest of changes then the date can easily be moved up. I might not be able to get the same surgeon that I have selected but I am sure anyone at the Cleveland Clinic will do a fine job. I fly airplanes as a profession and in my line of work it all comes down to trust. I am used to trusting others on a daily basis so in my mind this is no different.
44 days, 23 hours, 58 minutes and 35 seconds but who’s counting.
Not to fear after I mentioned my thoughts about hanging up the pen, I-Pad, computer and sometimes even on my phone, the overwhelming response was to keep writing. I still find it very therapeutic so onwards we go together. Maybe one day my great grandkids will find it entertaining to also read about our adventures.
Presently we are on our way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a week with Catherine’s Daughter, Son in Law and three Grandchildren. The two older boys are 7 and 4. The little girl just turned one today. My goal is to not be left alone with the kids. I raised three of my own and my job is done.
We had a great trip to Portland Maine prior to this trip where I ran my fastest half marathon in over a year. It was a very slow time but since my right knee has been bothering me the last two years I was very happy with the time. Even though it was still 2 minutes slower than Catherine’s Kona half marathon time the week prior.
He might have stayed too long at the best place for Lobster Rolls in Portland, The Highroller Lobster Company
The plan is to do some easy training for Catherine’s Half Ironman in New Orleans in 15 days in between spoiling the little ones. The time now to rebuild the muscles and prevent any injuries. We should be able to get in some great open water swims and nice hot runs along the streets of Mexico. The resort also has a huge pool so even though we will not have her bike. I think we will be able to get in some great training sessions.
I did say we, however, I am not doing the Triathlon. I enjoy swimming, not keen on open water, but I hate to bike over 10 miles at a time. There is a great bike and running path in ATL called the Silver Comet trail but open roads with cars I also hate.
But who’s counting
Not going to spend much time on our trip to Puerto Vallarta since we were here last November. You can read about that at, Puerto Vallarta. Catherine’s daughter and family really enjoyed themselves. Catherine was reminded as to why she only had one child. I had flashbacks to raising my three at that age and could not help but chuckle.
We did take a side trip to Sayulita, which is about 45 minutes from our hotel. You can go over the mountains to get there or around the mountain by the sea. It had a very nice beach and a lot of surfers there but all the people walking around trying to sell you things you don’t need would get on my nerves if there more than a day.
Forget about open water swims for her, the water was way too rough
We are now on our way back to ATL for three nights then on to New Orleans for a week for Catherine’s Half Ironman. Since I hate driving but need to take her bike we are going to take two days to get there with a stop in Montgomery. Looks like it will be a bit cooler there for her race there next week. During the drive, I realized that I had not driven this far since I retired and I really do not like driving over 1 hour at a time anymore.
I do love the life I live and really do live the life I love and driving long distances is something I truly hate. Pretty funny since I use to drive the kids all over the country for their various sporting events but now it seems like a lifetime ago. I am sure in a few more years I won’t even be driving myself anymore. Uber makes it so easy and cost-effective and sitting back with a glass of wine and my computer on an airplane is the only way to go a few hundred miles or more.
We are now all settled in at the Town Place Suites, New Orleans Metairie which is only 18 miles from the race site. Very nice hotel for long-term stays and very convenient to nearby restaurants and stores. We finished up a day of working on transitions with Catherine and got in some biking and running in the nearby parking lot so all is left now is for her to do it in 4 days. We are going to go by and pay a visit to the race site today. Packet pickup is Friday with the bike check-in on Saturday along with a practice swim in Lake Pontchartrain.
Ready to go in two days
First and foremost I would like to thank everyone for their support and kind words on Facebook before and after the 70.3 Half Ironman event, Catherine completed this past Sunday. The overwhelming support was much appreciated. I had also posted to several ALZ group sites on Facebook and the words from complete strangers meant a lot to both of us.
I had once said that it has been my experience that to successfully complete long distance races you have to expect the unexpected and adjust on the fly. I tried my best to anticipate as much as I could and very happy that everything came off without a hitch. During the bike she had to climb a bridge 4 times, a 5-mile climb in 20-mile winds, twice, a highway overpass twice and a steep ramp to the transition area. The run was a bit easier since she only had to climb the bridge twice. By then it had warmed up and with the sun high overhead, there was no shade along the route.
Unfortunately due to the weather, high winds, they had to cut the swim portion short and it also ran over 30 minutes late so they could get all the rescue crafts in place. It also took Catherine 30 minutes to start the swim and the final person got in 1 hour after the start. I must admit I was a bit upset that during the practice swim the day before they did not have any crafts in the water. They did keep track of athletes as they went in and out of the water but if someone had a problem during the practice swim they had no way to rescue them. I witnessed a person drown during the Ironman that we finished back in 2011, in Louisville Ky and they had crafts nearby.
We tried to do this event back in 2011 and they had to cancel the swim due to the weather and I understand they had to cancel the entire event last year and moved it from April to October this year. Also, this is the last year for this event in New Orleans. I guess registrations must have been low so they decided to add a “5i50” event alongside this event.
That made it a bit confusing since they had different course directions for the two different events. I did not need any more confusion for Catherine but she managed to complete the event within the 8-hour time limit. We usually do these type events together but unfortunately, I am unable to compete at that level and would not have made the cutoff.
Ironman competitions do not allow outside help from friends, coaches, and family during the event so that was something I needed to work around. If you are physically disabled they do allow assistance and that person must register. I chose to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Most of the course was closed to traffic but I was able to track her using the find my phone function on our phones.
A couple of times I did catch up with her during transitions and on the course to fill her hydration pack which was also not allowed by their rules and one lady actually complained to me about offering outside help to her. Because of the closed course, we both noticed that there was no fan support on the route.
Surprisingly they also closed off access back to the race site after I left and had to park over a mile away. Turns out I ended up getting 10 miles myself that day. I am very proud of Catherine and amazed that she had the guts to start and the sheer determination to finish. She promised me that was the last event like that but we may do a small Olympic distance race as she did in Pine Mountain Ga a few months ago.
I was very inspired by her and also watching the other athletes. I was able to observe a 77-year-old man finish and at 63 I felt like such a wimp. I do not like riding my bike long distances but figure I could handle 28 miles. With some training, I am sure I could do the 1-mile swim and finish up with 5 or more miles running. The last time I did a triathlon was over 7 years ago. I often joke that I use to do them when I was Catherine’s age.
Purple is the color for ALZ
Trying to stay warm in 64 degrees prior to the swim
View from the top of the ramp she had to climb to get to transition
Catherine and I were very disappointed that they ran out of medals by the time she crossed the finish. I was so overjoyed by her accomplishment that I did not think twice about it. Another lady was giving them hell as we verified they had Catherine information so they could mail it to her. I figure they thought so many people were going to drop out along the way so why order a medal for everyone that signed up or maybe they gave the “5i50” folks the medals by mistake.
The next day we enjoyed a relaxing day walking around the French Quarter. We are off to Ocean Beach, Alabama tomorrow for a few days in the Gulf Shores area before we make our way to Athens Ga to see my daughter Mariah do her thing, “Rap/ Hip-Hop”, at the Georgia Theater. Even though she is presently enrolled at UGA’s Ph.D. program in linguistics, and District commissioner, she also finds the time to travel the US and Canada performing. A few times she would represent the school during the day at seminars and then perform at nearby cities at night.
Mariah, aka Linqua Franqua, doing her thing
Love the New Orleans Street Performers
Turns out we have been to Gulf Shores, Alabama, Orange Beach area, before back in January 2017. While we were there we, of course, ran a half marathon there. It was a very organized race and due to my right knee, recurring problem, I had to race walk but did manage a respectable time.
While we were here this time I was somewhat disappointed that they do not have a boardwalk along the beach but did find that they have a great path/trail near the state park. The park is huge and the walkway winds its way over the nearby marshes and the nearby campground was gorgeous. They even have an RV storage area. Even though their storage area is now full but they did give me some information about another nearby storage area.
We are now thinking of moving our motorhome from where it is now in Fort Myers, Fla. to the Gulf Shore area. We don’t use it much but it would be nice to camp some in this area. I need some work done on the interior and I understand they do that type of work also.
Outside The Hangout restaurant where the race, back then, started and finished
After a brief overnight stop back in Montgomery we were off to Athens GA to take part in their annual Halloween Parade. I have never done of those before and highly recommend if you ever get a chance. It was a bit chilly but with layers and thousands of participants and spectators, it was well worth it.
As we wound our way through downtown Athens there were adults, students and kids of all ages. They had bands that lined the streets as we made our way to the court-house where the party was just getting started. I had never seen anything like it and enjoyed trying to figure out who each was dressed up as.
The party then moved indoors at the Georgia Theater where Mariah was the opening act. Her 1-hour set was captivating and you could tell that she has found her true passion. She also used her platform to instill hope in the youth present. As the District 2 commissioner, she was able to intertwine her political views with her heartfelt lyrics.
After a week back in ATL we are on to Cincinnati to see my son, Shawn and his wife Cassie. Then on to Indiana to vote. Back to ATL for a few more days than we will head west to Seattle to see my gut doctor to check on her repairs to my aneurysm made 18 months ago. From there back to Asia for the last time this year. Here is a look at what awaits us in Bagan, Asia. There are drop-down boxes under Itinerary that has the details and pictures.
Going to Inch-eon for a few days then a week plus in a place called Yangon,(Rangoon) Myanmar, Burma. That will be our 74th country visited and 31st where we have run at least a half marathon. This is called the Bagan Temple Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K. On the world map, it is located right next to Thailand. Marathon Tours is coordinating this event with Albatros Adventure Marathon Travel and we did another tour with the team when we went to Petra Jordan last year.
A walk in the park
I Got to watch most of the NYC marathon on Sunday and that is where it all started. While I was growing in NY I use to watch it every year. Not thinking I would ever run it but mostly in awe of all those folks running 26.2 miles. It was the first marathon for me back in 2000 and 18 years later I have 64 of them under my feet.
This time around I got to follow the leaders on TV but also a few folks that I know on the race’s tracking application. Dan and Amy were running for Team in Training and I did the same when I ran the Marine Corp Marathon back in 2001. During their training, I was able to give them some tips along the way.
They stayed together all the way to the finish and it reminded me of the 52 marathons Catherine and I crossed the finish line hand in hand. My last Marathon was now 2 years ago and I thought those days were behind me. I thought that I might do one more so that I would get 65 marathons by the time I turn 65 in two years. Catherine has done at least a half marathon in all 50 states but now she has decided that she wants to get the last 5 states done again as marathons. I was going to let her do them herself but Dan and Amy have inspired me to buck up and get them done with her hand in hand.
So proud of Dan and Amy
We did make a quick overnight stop in Cincinnati to see my Shawn, Cassie, and Cooper. That is one huge dog. You can tell he has never missed a meal. Very well behaved for his size but does not seem to like to lay down without a treat.
They are all doing well and wish we had spent more time with them. Unfortunately, they will not make it to our after Christmas get together this year in San Diego. Their turn to spend time with her folks. Maybe we can meet up sometime in St. Kitts or Mexico next year. Had some fried chicken at The Eagle downtown and reminded me of my times growing up in North Carolina.
What a cute family
Beautiful run in Cincy
After that, we were off back to where we use to live prior to Running All Over The World so that we could vote. Two years ago we did absentee ballots but this year we were not going to take any chances. This will be our last time voting there since our Drivers License expires next year and will have to get a new one in either Atlanta using our UPS box. It does have a street address and suite number but not sure if that will work. The backup plan is to use the mail forwarding address for our Motor Home registration in Florida.
While there we were able to get in a great 5 mile run in our old stomping ground prior to voting right across the street from a brand new TownePlace Suite Hotel and across the street from our polling place and the big four bridge that links Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana.
As I mentioned earlier. After Catherine finished the half Ironman in New Orleans and she was told that they had run out of medals. I gave them two weeks to make good on their promise to mail it, but so far no joy.
I found the email address, for the race director and sent him a very nice question as to when Catherine was going to get her medal. I should have told him that one lady lost it when she was told about the medal dilemma. After two days of no answer, I sent another email to the head of Premier Event Management, turns out it was the same guy and I could not believe his answer. No apology was offered and was told that it takes four weeks for the medals to come from China.
I realize that this is just another business doing what they do but when you put in the many months of training, a medal should be waiting at the finish. Catherine has done 78 marathons, about the same number of halves and many triathlons, all over the world. This is the first time this has ever happened. Granted she has given some away and the rest are in storage but this is completely unacceptable.
I will leave it here. This was located in the lobby of the Renaissance hotel.