The Post Where I Realize I’m Likely to be the Last Runner to Complete My Race Today

I may have done a stupid thing. I signed up for a race without realizing some important dynamics of said race until the night before (effectively freaking myself the expletive out). Today is my first 10 mile race. Yes I’ve run 4 half marathons in the past so I’ve done the distance, but I’ve never run this specific distance as a race.

Realization #1: 10 Milers are Smallish in Terms of Number of Competitors

In my age group (40-44) last year there were only 8 runners. Overall it appears the race had only just over 140 competitors.


Realization #2: 10 Milers are Fast

In my age group last year 7 of the 8 runners complete the race with sub-10 min/mi times. The remaining runner completed the race with a sub-12 min/mi time.


Realization #3: I’m Going to Feel Like a Bit of a Poser

I’m going to wear my new kit. It turned out awesome (after i did some alterations to fix problems with the printing process). I’m proud of my work, but while I’m a believer in the “dress for the job you want” way of thinking, thinking it won’t make me fast. Add on top of that there are not a lot of slow runners. It’s just going to be me with my bad self being slow.


I do hereby resolve (despite my anxiety)

I will have fun.

I will not injure myself.

I will enjoy the local eats and craft bear served after the race (this is after all the Atwater Growler Gallop).

I will go home and enjoy the comfy goodness of the hoodie that came with my registration.

Good running everyone.

Taking the DayGlo: Motto of the Sworn Brother’s of the Night’s Run

Hear my words and bear witness to my vow.

Night gathers, and now my run begins. It shall not end until my training plan says so.

I shall make no excuses, run the lands, and be a father to my children.

I shall wear no cotton and win only the glory of beating my own expectations.

I am the headlamp in the darkness.

I am the watcher of the HRM.

I am the shield that guards my physical fitness.

I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Run, for this night and all the nights to come.

Help make more miracles like John Michael (and his brother Patrick) possible

April is a storied month in the Mistak household.

Less than two weeks ago (April 12th) Jessica and I celebrated John Michael’s 4th birthday. During the first 48 hours of John’s life celebrating a fourth birthday seemed like the remotest of possibilities. While he was a generous weight for a 28 weeker at 4 pounds 1 ounce, he was born very ill. In a lot of ways he was more symptomatic of a 24-26 weeker. His blood pressure remained far too low and his prognosis would become far more grim if that didn’t change soon. Luckily his blood pressure did eventually normalize. Though John would require a surgery prior to leaving his 52 day stay in the NICU, two surgeries since graduating from the NICU and a small army of doctors and therapists; John is a happy and dare I say healthy 4 year old. John has been a blessing to me, his Mother, his Grandparents and all of our extended family and friends. This would not be possible without the research funded by donors such as you.

Now, in less than two weeks (April 30th) we will celebrate the first birthday of John’s brother Patrick. Patrick is also a success story for the March of Dimes. Knowing that following a premature birth, expectant mothers have to be particularly careful; Patrick, through his Mother’s diligence and the accumulated knowledge and experience of the March of Dimes, was the product of a full-term pregnancy.

Finally, this Saturday (April 27th) Jessica & I will be participating in our 4th March of Dimes March for Babies. While I am generally uncomfortable with soliciting for donations, I ask that you consider making a donation (no matter the size) to our team for the March of Dimes March for Babies. As the recipient of not 1 but 2 miracles that the March of Dimes undoubtedly contributed to, I can think of no greater reward than to help future parents be capable of stating the same thing.

Two Years Ago Today

One of the main reasons I started blogging was to have a record of John’s entry into this world including:

  • my wife’s initial premature labor (at 26 weeks)
  • her bed rest after the doctors were able to stop here initial premature labor
  • John’s Birth (at 28 weeks), and
  • his stay in the NICU (including his first surgery).

Two years ago today marked the beginning of the first of the milestones above (something I first wrote about last year): Continue reading “Two Years Ago Today”

Training Plan Confessional: Forgive this father for I’ve been lazy…

(Spoiler alert: my penance will hopefully be of a benefit to raising funds for the March for Babies)

Forgive me readers for I’ve been lazy. Its been weeks since I’ve completed a full week’s planned workouts. Unfortunately in some cases getting in one of my workouts has been an accomplishment.

Unfortunately up till this point of my new fitness journey I’ve set a number of unrealistic expectations on myself. Up till this point I’ve treated my fitness goals as a kind of “bolt on accessory” to the rest of my life (an afterthought). As with many afterthoughts it’s that thing you do last if you get to it at all. It’s liking trying to put out a fire using a bucket with a hole in it. As I feel I’ve already set up too convoluted of a metaphor, I’ll leave it at that. Continue reading “Training Plan Confessional: Forgive this father for I’ve been lazy…”

Remembering What’s Important

In an individual’s life there are those random moments that return you to remembering what’s important and how far life’s journey has taken you down a path that you could have never imagined before.

For all of the things people blame on the internet, I wish that people would recognize those stories you happen upon online that make you look back to a time in your own life where you may have experienced a great triumph or tragedy. When I see the story of a preemie in critical condition, or hopefully one beating the odds, I more often than not will find myself thrust back to the time John spent in the NICU.

I know that regardless of the ups and downs of that family’s individual story that they will be changed in ways they can’t imagine (not that they have any time at the moment for imagining or, for that matter, even thinking about anything at all other than their present human drama).

Stories like this remind me how lucky we are to have organizations like the March of Dimes and the advances they have pioneered over the years. My family is tremendously privileged to have witnessed John’s success story. We are reminded of this every time one of John’s doctors from the NICU sees how well he is doing. Seems like we’re long overdue for a visit.

Recap: What you don’t want to hear from your wife when she’s 26-weeks pregnant

The following is my first post recapping Jess’ initial premature labor, her subsequent bedrest, John’s birth and his stay in the NICU.

“Something doesn’t feel right.”

I’m not sure those were her actual words.  In fact they probably weren’t.  The actual words weren’t all that important. What was important at that point was that it was clear to us that our first action should be to call the doctor. We were both quite convinced that it was probably nothing, but we seemed to have an unspoken agreement to not to follow our usual inclination (to see how it goes after a night’s sleep). Thankfully we took the course of action that we did. Continue reading “Recap: What you don’t want to hear from your wife when she’s 26-weeks pregnant”