Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How I am getting my bad knee in shape for the Reggae Marathon

The light at the end of the tunnel is not a train!

After so publicly committing to running in the Reggae Marathon this December in Negril, Jamaica I have been frustrated with the left knee injury. The same pain kept me from finishing the Toronto Marathon many years ago.

True confession: I did this to myself. I got a great pair of Nike racing flats for my birthday from one of my kids. Loved them. Felt like I was running barefoot. Unfortunately I did some long runs in March in them that is the root cause for the injury. I know, I know...

But with help from Mike McCluskey, founder of of the Wasaga Beach Road Runners (he and his wife are great story tellers), my road back is starting to look good. Here are the things I am doing:
  1. Stretching. Before and after each run. Yes, my bad habit of not warming up or stretching before and after running is gone for good.
  2. Good running shoes. The Adidas Supernova Cushion 7 shoes are fantastic Great support with 'Adiprene' in heel and fore foot. And the toe box accommodates my 'wide-ish' feet.
  3. Shorten my stride. Mike suggested this along with faster turnover. It took a while to get used to this, but now I find I can run faster with less effort and stress. Thanks Mike.
  4. Walk after a run. Whew, just how long has it taken me to figure this out. Now I finish every run with about 10 minutes of walking. Helps get the pulse rate down, and keeps the muscles from tightening up.
  5. Massage. I now massage the muscles above and below the knee more regularly. I really don't know if this works, but it feels great.

Mike suggested one more thing: Ice the muscles after each run. He suggested sitting in a bath with ice cubes! Imagine a male from Jamaica doing that? NOT!. I can handle an ice wrap however and will add that to my routine.

Shameless fundraising plug: Please donate to the Canadian Diabetes Association. This link will take you to the blog post with detailed instructions and the official donation form: I will update the progress shortly.

Until next time...

PS: Picture above taken by Sally this past July at Beach Area 6, Wasaga Beach

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to remain optimistic through this recession

I have no clue!

But I do have some thoughts that came to me this past weekend after I received an email from one of my sons that really moved me emotionally.

He wrote to say, "Thanks for dinner the other night and thanks for everything you have helped me with, guided me through and sometimes just let me do things you may not have agreed with and still you supported me through. It has been a tough year with family and work, but we are getting through it. I am at a loss for words, as you are always the one who provides me with motivating words, but you are the most persistent and hard working person I know".

After a lot of thought over the weekend (including some focused thinking while running this morning), I drafted this response: "Thank you very much for the email. This is what keeps me going. I learned a long, long time ago (around age 10 or so) that there really is no absolute worst thing that can happen to you...if you remember one thing: there are things you can change and there are things you cannot. Spend your time on the things you can change, 'F' the rest. The only things I can affect are my mind and my attitude. Based on that, I can accomplish anything I want. The key is to know what you want (and a secret here, want lots of things, big and small, important and not so important). My final 'bit of wisdom' for a Monday morning...Keep smiling :)"

I am sure that is not the most profound words of wisdom I have ever given, but they work for me. And as another of my son's commented years ago after loosing ugly at a baseball tournament, "...don't worry Dad, we get to play again tomorrow".

Until next time...

Friday, August 21, 2009

How to donate to the Reggae Marathon Run Dec 5

Here is how you can donate to the cause for raising money in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association (I am running in the Reggae Marathon in Negril, Jamaica on December 5, 2009)

To donate with your credit card:
  1. Print the form below
  2. Complete the form with your name, address (including postal code)
  3. 'Check' the box with your donation amount
  4. 'Check' the box with the type of credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express accepted)
  5. Complete the credit card information (including signature)
  6. Mail the completed form to: Canadian Diabetes Association, 4 - 556 Bryne Drive, Barrie Ontario, L4N 9P6

To donate with your cheque:

  1. Print the form below
  2. Complete the form with your name, address (including postal code)
  3. 'Check' the box with your donation amount
  4. Make your cheque payable to: Canadian Diabetes Association - Reggae Marathon
  5. Mail the completed form to: Canadian Diabetes Association, 4 - 556 Bryne Drive, Barrie Ontario, L4N 9P6

Thank you for your support.
Until next time...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Run the Reggae Marathon 'noise' growing

"Gotta make noise to get noticed".

The announcement of my fund raising efforts got picked up today by Strongbar Industries in Mississauga:
Thank you very much Kyle.
And this afternoon, the Wasaga Sun is coming to the house for an interview.
But the really great news is the progress of my knee: out running for 4 days straight now and the pain is virtually non-existent. My knee is strengthening nicely. Hey, I even made it through a run Sunday morning with the Wasaga Beach Road Runners (thanks Jeff, Pete and Jim).
And I know the race in Negril is still 3 months off, but the hot, humid weather really helps. I know even though it is a 5 am start that heat will be an issue :)
Until next time...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Things to ponder as we hit mid-summer 2009

Miscellaneous observations on 'stuff' as we hit the mid-summer point 0f 2009:
  • Why do people with more than 8 items insist on using the "Express" checkout in grocery stores?
  • Why do people still insist in on idling in drive-thru's to get a cup of coffee or a burger?
  • I saw a person in a car reading a book the other day...on the 400 at 120 kmph...he was the driver!
  • If smoking is bad, would a doctor smoke?
  • Yelling doesn't solve anything
  • Read the book, "Who moved my cheese?" It is the best way to deal with change I have ever read
  • Gardening is good for the soul...and your marriage (ask me, I know)
  • Keep busy when you don't feel like it...idleness will sink you
  • "Don't let the bastards get you down" (OK, this one is from my friend Tim)
  • Running solves everything...just ask Forrest Gump
  • Complaining solves...nothing!
  • Kids have all the answers...they just don't know the important questions yet
  • LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN! Then listen some more
  • Passion for absolutely necessary for happiness
  • "Pulp Fiction" is a great movie (and I know what was in the briefcase...and I know the link between "Reservoir Dogs", "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill")
  • Love 'Mad Men'...wait a minute...I lived 'Mad Men'. Guess which character I was?
  • Never lie; then you have no fear of the truth
  • My grandmother was do have to eat all your vegetables

Until next time...

(PS: the picture is of a recent sunrise over Southern Georgian Bay, summer 2009)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Press Release for my fund raising run in the Reggae Marathon

The word is spreading. The press release that was sent out last week to media in the Greater Barrie Area has resulted in my first interview. Based on that, I decided to post the the entire press release:

Simcoe County Man to Run in Jamaica’s Reggae Marathon to
Beat Diabetes

Wasaga Beach resident, Chris Morales, wants to see the end of diabetes and is willing to battle the heat and humidity of Jamaica, on top of the personal challenge of a full marathon, to do his part in the fight against diabetes. Organizing his run as a fundraiser in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association, Chris is running in honour of his father, Carl Morales, who passed away last September after living with diabetes for many years.

“My Dad lived with diabetes and suffered serious complications from it as well. This is my way of giving back.” says Chris Morales. Chris was born in Jamaica and his family moved to Canada in 1972. He chose the Reggae Marathon in Jamaica due to his Jamaican heritage.

This summer alone, 50,000 more Canadians will be diagnosed with diabetes, and more than 10,000 will die from its complications - diabetes is a very serious disease. Chris' goal is to raise $10,000 in pledges by the time he leaves for the marathon in December. If you'd like to pledge your support of this serious cause, call Chris at 422-1657 or send him words of encouragement by email at You can also pledge directly at the Barrie office of the Canadian Diabetes Association at (705) 737-3611 , 28

Friday, August 7, 2009

Adrian Anantawan: You should have seen him play baseball!

This young man is supremely gifted. It was apparent early on when we first heard him play.

He and my twin sons, Andrew and Court went through grade school at St. Christopher's in Clarkson together. All three played on the same baseball team. He was very, very good at first base.

My strongest memory Adrian was his optimism. And his infectious smile. He never made excuses, never made a fuss. He just ran out on the field with the same enthusiasm and great big smile for every practice and every game. He was glad to be playing with his friends.

I haven't seen Adrian in years. I have followed his amazing career. He is an inspiration.