Allow me to just be self indulgent for just a moment. On Saturday, I finished my fourth half marathon of the year. It is something that I'm very proud of. Last year, I pushed myself too hard mentally, and obviously physically, as I developed a stress fracture. This year, I've been much better about letting things come as they should, and physically, I've worked hard, but not to the point of exhaustion. As a result, I've run well, and I'm happier now than I've been in a long time outside of my running.
I was so happy on Monday to get to see Ali again. Very lucky that she was able to sneak down to Champaign for a day to see all of her old friends. The thing that struck me was how lucky I am that every time I see this group of friends that I've had over the past several years, I immediately start thinking about how I can find a way to see them again. Pretty amazing.
On top of it, I'm getting to do things with the Illinois athletic program that I never thought I'd be able to do in my life. So lucky!
I'm including just a couple of other videos that I didn't get to post from earlier in the last two weeks, so please enjoy. Especially the soccer video. We really need some hits on that site!
It's currently pouring outside, which I tend to enjoy, but I really dislike when I want to get in a final good run before a half marathon. Yes, I'm running in Mahomet this weekend (weather permitting), making it four for the year. I was going to get in a 7 miler yesterday, but collapsed towards the end of mile 2. I think it was the mixture of a lack of food with an energy drink, and the 85 degree heat with my inability to tolerate anything above 80. So I guess I'm going to try and do 7 tomorrow night, and hope for the best on Saturday. We'll see!
So I've been doing a lot of stuff for CoachRonZook.com. I'm really honored to be a part of it. Let's see what I can say about it. I know that I said Camp Rantoul about 7 times during my standup. It's been 11 years since I've done live standup work like that, so I'm still feeling my way through. Also, hopefully this week I'll get a nice Illinois football polo to wear. It'll look better the more I do. There's a chance that this could turn in to more, but we'll wait and see with that.
I played some poker on Friday night, and ended up ahead, which is always nice. I really do like playing poker in person better than online. I think I just see things differently. I also got a couple of lucky breaks as well, along with one that cost me 20 bucks. I also cost the Kevin & Sarah morning show a listener because of one hand. Oops! I really just enjoy playing the game, and figuring out the odds of certain things. I wish I had more money to play more often.
Steve finally came and got the extra couch. My living room looks really different now, and I really like it.
I am also slowly getting in to the spare bedroom, which I hoped to have clean last August. But I feel good about getting some things taken care of.
Ted is back in the US. I think he's in Brooklyn. I think. I do not have his phone number, nor do I have his address.
This is going to be a tough week for me. Now that Leigh has quit her job, I don't have my email companion in the AMs. Maybe I'll actually get work done in the mornings! :)
Had a good saturday night out with J, G double, Beef, Beef's cousin, and TField. I really do enjoy the drinks at Radio Maria. Well made, not overly alcoholic, and just tasty. I always come out of that place feeling good, but not at all drinky. It's great.
There should be some fun segments on Coachronzook.com this week, roundtable discussions. I'll post them when they're up!
Yep, I'll be putting the finishing touches on the Zook Zone magazine. It is a periodical for the radio station that is a good money-raiser for us, i.e. it helps me keep my job. It's not my favorite thing in the world, as I'm not a writer by trade. I'm functional, but by no means is it one of my talents. But I do enjoy the opportunity to sit down with some of the coaches and players for interviews. Juice Williams has truly matured in to a solid young man. New offensive coordinator Mike Schultz is a Texas boy, which I admittedly don't normally like, but is a genuinely nice guy who will talk your ear off. New volleyball coach Kevin Hambly is soft spoken, but so driven. And I've talked about my admiration of soccer coach Janet Rayfield before, and I love speaking with her players. They're all great kids.
I've been really antsy getting ready for my sports to return. I get stir crazy in the summer without them, so to have a soccer game to announce next Friday is super exciting. I went out to a practice on Wednesday, not because I had the time (I didn't, really...), but just because I wanted to watch some sports in person. I watched what Coach Rayfield described as an ugly scrimmage. I was thrilled to be there. And football is just a few weeks away. Awesome.
So, it is Friday night, at 7:40, and I've been here at the office since about 4:30 this afternoon, after a full morning shift this morning. When I get done here, I'm going home to run 9 miles, in preparation for the Mahomet Half Marathon in two weeks. After that, I'll try to sleep, get up, maybe help Scot move in the 95 degree heat, come back to work, write 3 articles, go to the Cappas, play poker while having a couple of much needed drinks, sleep, come back to work, and play in the final Crackmonkey sporting event of the year.
That's my weekend. No rest, once again. That's the only way I'm happy, I fear. Constant activity. On a separate note, happy 9 month anniversary to Julia and I. That's it for now. Enjoy your weekend. I suspect I may post again before the weekend is over. m
is the reactions I've been getting to the fact that I now have a tattoo.
There have been people that have been up front about thinking its stupid to get something permanent on my body.
There have been people that have been up front about thinking it is even more stupid to "tattoo your softball team's name on yourself."
There have been people who admitted they laughed when they heard that Mike Cation got a tattoo.
The most interesting thing to me is that I haven't had a second thought in my mind at all. I ALWAYS doubt things I do after I do them. This one...not at all. I am so happy that it's there, and now I think about my close friends at some point during every day.
Also, I want to applaud my friend Leigh for leaving her job, with the major reason being that even though it's always what she wanted to do, she knew that it just wasn't making her happy any more. That's a huge step to take, and even though it is scary, she's taken the plunge, and I support that. She'll continue to be one of my inspirations, as I figure out what my next step will be in the next few years, as radio continues to (apparently) shrivel up and die a slow death.
This one will be brief, as I don't have a ton of energy today!
The official time was 1:52:10, which was another PR for me, and one I didn't think was at all possible. I really was shooting for 1:55, but then found the 1:52 time within reach after 6 miles. So I went for it. And sprinted the last 100 meters to get it.
Julia and Laura both finished at 2:15, which is better than both of them were hoping for, so that's great.
The weekend in Chicago was way too rushed, but that just means we packed a lot in to it. Got to see Leigh for lunch, hung out with J's friends for dinner, saw Dad at the end of the race, and then lunch with J's friends again, before the tattoo and yes, softball last night.
I want to say thank you to Dad, Mary, Matt and his girlfriend Maggie for coming out. It means a lot to have some support out on the course, especially right at the end. It means more than they probably know. So, thank you.
Now, the tattoo.
I'm not a tattoo guy. But I've been talking on and off for the last 3 years now about getting something done. What I wanted was to commemorate and remember the friends I had a few years ago that supported me and were there in a time when I really needed them. It was the CrackMonkeys...Leigh and Louis, Ted, Glenn, Ali, Kalleen and Tom, Bri and Brad, Tony and Jill, Scot, the Vosses, the current Monkeys...others that I'm leaving out...a great group of people. I'd been toying with the idea of getting an actual picture of a monkey or something, but I'm also not someone who wants to have a lot of people looking at it. So, after some debate, I decided to just get the CM from the Crackmonkey logo. It is on my left hip.
I have already found that there are some people who found it laughable that I would get the name of my softball team on my left hip. And that's fine. For me, though, it really isn't just about that. It's not even close to that. It is a wonderful group of friends that I was incredibly blessed to have in my life. We just happened to have a name for it.
Also, Arthur Jillz did a spectacular job on the tattoo. If you are in Chicago, and in need of a tat, please look him up, or email me for his contact info. He's going to continue to do some great work, so get in on the ground floor, people.