Saturday, October 1, 2016


So, how was your summer? I have to ask that question given it has been 114 days since I have last posted here. Hard to believe, right?

Let's just say it's been an interesting summer! I did a little more traveling, which was awesome. Darcy and I went to Paris and Monaco in June, and I got four runs in while I was in Monaco. Since I have a lot of other things to write about, maybe that's a good post for later, because the runs there were amazing as you can imagine.

But let's get reacquainted, shall we? I guess I'll start with some of my big news items:

Biggest running news: I missed almost three months with an injury!

So after breaking my arm last year, I started having some issues with my knee back in March, but it wasn't horrible so I tried to run through it and see if it would go away. I kind of had the feeling in the back of my mind that it wasn't and was a real issue, but I was being kind of stubborn because I had entered the Chicago Marathon and was running for a local children's cancer charity, Cal's Angels.

I tried rest, I tried ice, I tried stretching, and nothing helped. After running the Warrenville Firecracker 5K with Matt and Kevin on July 4, I woke up the next morning in a massive amount of pain. So I had an MRI and found out I had torn meniscus in my left knee.


Two weeks later (July 18) I had surgery and had everything fixed by Dr. Chhadia, the same magician who had put my arm back together last year. Though I had hoped for some sort of miraculous comeback, I quickly realized that -- just like my arm -- this was going to take a bit of time.

What I didn't know is that during an arthroscopic procedure they torque the knee quite violently, which caused some additional recovery because my MCL needed to bounce back a little too. Actually, I thought my injury was my MCL because that's where the pain was, I never felt much in my knee until near the end.

So back to physical therapy I went, and after about a month of that everything was feeling much better. I haven't started running much, actually the bike and I made up a few weeks ago and I have been on the bike as well, but I don't have any pain when I run, and everything feels stable, which is good.

I'm just going to take things slowly from here, because there really isn't a rush. I want to run the Indy Mini again, and of course the Chicago Marathon, so I have plenty of time.

Biggest non-running news: I quit my job!

Or do we call it "retired" now? I won't get into the reasons as to why I decided to make this move because it would probably lead to a long rant (ha!), but on August 26 I worked my last day at a job where I had been for almost 18 years.

It was time for a change, IT had never really been for me, for all these years it was a good paycheck and a solid job, which I had needed, and I was encouraged by a lot of people I knew to start chasing my passion.

So I did! I am now the lone employee of Turn 2 Strategies, a PR and social media firm, a company I started to pursue my dreams. Writing and social media are things I love doing, so I decided to focus on that. Right now I have a corporate client, but the other client I have is the one I'm really excited about.

One of the things I've always wanted to do is work for in the auto racing industry, so I e-mailed a few developmental level teams and asked if they could use my services. I received one reply, from John Cummiskey Racing, which is based outside of Indianapolis and competes in the USF2000 series, an open wheel series that feeds drivers into IndyCar.

I joined the team for the race weekend at Road America in Wisconsin, then followed them to Toronto, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca in California the rest of the season. I handle all of their releases, I live Tweet the races and put stuff up on social media during the race weekend.

Here is a photo from Toronto. It's a lot of fun to watch the races from the pits, and it has been a blast going to places that I had watched on TV but never thought I'd get the chance to go to.

Needless to say, it's been an amazing experience! JCR has asked me to come back next year, which makes me really happy. I'm also trying to find another team to work with since the USF2000 series only races on 10 weekends next year, but I got my foot in the door, which is what is important. I have a great relationship with John, the owner, who is about my age and is a super guy. I really owe him a lot for taking a chance on me.

Ultimately my goal is to get to IndyCar and be on a team that wins the Indianapolis 500. If that happens I'll be able to call it a pretty good career!

Other news: I'm coaching again this year.

Well, let's just say, I'm coaching this year. While I was considered a "coach" for the Aurora Central Catholic cross country and track programs, my involvement was pretty minimal due to work and my arm injury. I didn't have a lot to do on the practice days I did attend, and on race days I was kind of more of a support person than an actual coach.

One of the things about my job situation is that now I have the flexibility to be at practice almost every day, which has led to the opportunity to do some real coaching. Troy Kerber, the head coach, has been leading the program for 30 years, so he's comfortable delegating things to me. While Troy still schedules the workouts, I get to supervise parts of them, and I speak to one of the teams (boys frosh/soph, boys varsity, girls varsity) each Friday as part of our pre-race meetings.

It's been a great season so far, all of the teams are works in progress right now, but we still have some races left until the State Series kicks off three weeks from today. While everyone still needs to improve if they want to run in Peoria on November 5, there is still time to bring it all together. We had a great meet today at the Wheaton Warrior Classic, despite the sloppy conditions brought on by a bunch of rain during the race, and have a couple of confidence-building meets coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Of course, the best part is that I'm coaching Kevin, who is a sophomore this year (he's on the right in this photo in the orange shoes). Since his mom and I are divorced and I live about 30 minutes away, it's great to have the opportunity to see him almost every day, and I think we are closer because if it. He's coming into his own this year and has shown a lot of improvement, and he is wanting to really work hard over the winter to keep getting better. Next year he has a chance to run in the Top 7 on the varsity, which is definitely a goal of his.

So that's what I've got going on! I hope to not be so much of a stranger going forward!


1 comment:

  1. I could never run a marathon, that would be a lot of running. Good luck coaching this spring season!