Wednesday, February 1, 2012

11 Things: Mike's Guest Post

So let me start this post out by introducing myself.

I’m Mike, Jamie’s better-half and I feel like the above picture displays my attitude toward life and running pretty well. I got into this in order to stay in-shape and have a good-time while doing it. Jamie has asked me to do a guest-post a few times, and I figured this “11 things” post was the perfect opportunity for you guys to get to know me. So here goes nothin’!

Random Things About Me

1. I didn’t ride in an airplane until my junior year of college (or sometime around then).

2. I’m ambidextrous (sort-of), when it comes to sports if it’s a two-handed action I’m left-handed (such as hockey, golf, or swinging a baseball bat) and if it’s a one-handed action I’m right-handed, this also includes writing.

3. I love Seinfeld. I can’t get enough of it, I own all the DVDs and regularly watch the repeats on TV.

4. I played the flute (haha), alto-sax, and trombone throughout school.

5. I love lighthouses, I try to make at-least one lighthouse sighting part of every trip I take. Jamie is a part of this one so I don’t really know why I wrote it in the first person, oh well.

That's me with Little Red Lighthouse in NYC

6. I think I might be kind-of stealing this from a question I saw someone else answer, but I totally prefer cooking over cleaning. I actually like to cook and would be much more willing to do it ALL the time if the dishes magically washed themselves afterwards (see that’s where the not liking cleaning comes in).

7. I share the same first name as my father and grandfather. And even though my father is Michael Jr I am not the third since my middle name is different (it’s Vito, and believe it or not my other grandfather’s name was Vito Michael).

8. I totaled my first car probably less than 6 months after I got it. I was on my way into work on a Monday morning, there was some black ice on the expressway I was on and as I went into a slight curve in the road my car started to slide. I lost control and ended up bouncing/sliding from one side of the highway to the other (I was lucky there weren’t too many other cars out!).

9. I like to play darts. I was in a league once with a few of our friends but the league ended so I don’t get to play as much anymore.

10. I love chocolate, don’t think this one needs any elaboration.

11. I’m pretty competitive, I’m always down for games with friends and have been known from time-to-time to maybe take it a little overboard. :p

Rena's Questions

1. What did you do for fun in your childhood? You could usually find me on some sort of playing field when I was a kid. I loved to play sports and loved being outdoors, later on I became a swimmer and that is actually how Jamie and I met (the swim-team at our college). Surprisingly enough one of the sports I wouldn’t partake in was running, even though I’m now an avid runner and the fact that my mom was (and still is) a road-runner for as long as I can remember. I actually kind-of despised running and despite how hard I resisted my mom actually got me to run some cross-country and track in middle school.

2. What's your hobby other than running? I am a HUGE sports-fan and am very loyal to my favorite teams. I could easily spend all day just watching sports and/or Sports Center on TV (but in-person is awesome when I can), probably not a good idea and maybe sometimes I watch a little bit too much but I’m okay with it. :p

3. What's your most embarrassing workout related moment? Hmm, well I thought really long and hard about this one, but I couldn’t come up with anything! Sorry Rena but it looks like you’re alone here! Just kidding I’m sure there are plenty of other people who could share in your embarrassment!

4. Would you rather run a 50 miler or do an ironman? Easy one: Just look at Jamie’s blog name, Ironman!!

5. Which celebrity would you run with? If we’re talking about athletes/people that actually run I think I would go with Craig Alexander. He is a World Champion Tri-athlete, having won the Ironman World Championships a total of five times (three 140.6 and two 70.3) and in 2011 he became the first person to win both the 70.3 and 140.6 Ironman championships in the same year. What could be more motivating than that? But if we’re talking about just a celebrity it would be Drake, I don’t usually run with music that much but if I did my playlist would have Drizzy all-up-in-it (yup I went there).

6. What's your favorite movie of last year? X-Men: First Class. When I was younger I loved the cartoon and collected the comic-books, and nowadays I’ve enjoyed watching Marvel Comics bring this series to the big-screen

7. What's your fashion must have? Hmmm, well being a male I don’t have too elaborate an answer, a hoodie I guess? Ha-ha.

8. What's the one material thing that you can't live without? In this day-and-age (I know makes me sound old or something) definitely can’t live without a computer/cell phone. I always gotta be connected to what is going on in the world with sports, friends/family, or whatever.

9. What's one of your life goals? I’d hate to steal from another question, but it is to someday complete a full Ironman event (140.6!!). And I guess if we’re talking personally/professionally I want to one day take and pass the P.E. (Professional Engineer) certification test. I have to pass the E.I.T. (Engineer in Training) test first, but someday the P.E. license would really come in handy at work.

10. Which childhood place holds most memories? A swimming pool. I swam competitively from age 7 up through my second year of college and had many great memories of personal bests and winning titles. I know it’s a very general place but being that I swam for so many different teams and had competitions at many different places, I couldn’t possibly pin-down one specific pool.

11. Where in the world would you go if you can go anywhere? Italy, that is where most of my heritage is from and I would love to go to Rome and see the Coliseum and some other artifacts/sites leftover from the Roman Empire. Also (and this doesn’t have to be Italy, could be almost anywhere in Europe) I want to see live a real futbol match! I don’t follow soccer as closely as the more traditional American sports (mainly because it just doesn’t get the coverage over here, so it’s hard) but I try to when I can.

Kathy's Questions

1. What's your favorite race distance? This could always change, but right now I really like the 5k. I know it sounds easy and in no-way does that mean that I am against longer races (gonna start marathon training pretty soon here!). But I just feel like the 5k is just about the max distance you can sprint almost the whole time, and right now I feel like my body is more built for sprinting.

2. Do you have any "bucket list" races? Yes I do, definitely the NYC Marathon. I’ve watched it on TV several times (even before I started running, remember my mom’s a runner and would make us watch it), and we also went to see my mom run it a few years ago. I love New York City, just the hustle and bustle of the big city gets me and to be able to run through that would be mesmerizing!

3. What's your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. I’m a BIG eater, it’s another one of my hobbies and nothing makes me happier than a holiday dedicated to eating as much as you can.

4. Where were you born? I was born in Schenectady, NY. Also where I grew-up, and attended school all the way up until college.

5. Why do you blog? Well I don’t blog, as many (or all) of you know this is my wife’s blog, but she had been badgering (lol) me about doing a guest-post and I decided I wanted to do it for this “11 things” post.

6. What is the last book you read? I’m not a huge reader, but I think the last book I read was “Flags of our Fathers” by John Bradley, which is about the famous U.S. Marine flag raising photo on the island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific during WW2. When I do find time to read I usually like those kind-of books (war/history) and also climbing books.

7. Any strange fears/phobias? I tried, tried, and tried some more and couldn’t come up with one for this, I’m allowed one of these per each set of 11 questions right?

8. What's your vacation philosophy regarding exercise? Make sure to fit it in or give yourself a break? I definitely love to run/exercise on vacation, mainly because I get SO sick of running around our home-area that I cherish the opportunity to be able to explore popular running spots in new places.

9. Any bad habits you're trying to change? I think when it comes to racing I need to learn to pace myself better and not go out so fast in the beginning. It’s just so hard sometimes with all the people and excitement at the beginning of races, but I’ve been getting better my last couple of races.

10. What was the last movie that made you cry? (Or TV show or song or whatever). The Disney/Pixar movie “Up”, for those of you who have seen it, you gotta know what I’m talking about right?

11. What accomplishment are you most proud of? It may be cliché (given the audience anyway :p) but it’s probably when I completed my first half-marathon this past October, especially with how challenging that course was.

Sorry for the length of this post, but I figured it won't be often that I will write on the blog since it's not mine.

Thanks Mike for doing a guest post for my blog!


  1. Great post Mike!! And yep I cried through Up..oh yeah we watched it with you guys!!!

  2. Great to get to know you a little bit. Definitely take the EIT sooner than later, much easier the closer you are to college (I took it my sr year). The PE has changed quite a bit since I took it, but I wrote a whole article for Society fo Women Engineers about how to study for it. I'm sure you could find it with a quick search. Mostly it is like building a base in running - you just gotta put in the time. My PE was my saving grace when I got laid off because now I work for myself. Oh, and I cried at "Up" too. My kids didn't "get it", but they loved "Doug".

    1. Thanks for the great advice!! And I actually liked "Doug" too!

    2. So I was just informed that you meant the character "Doug" from the movie! Haha I thought you meant the Nickelodeon cartoon-show!! But either way, he was funny and I liked the dogs more "SQUIRREL!!"

  3. This is awesome!!!! and I can't believe Mike is replying to comments too! Colin would never :P haha

    and I love Seinfeld....a few nights ago it was the one where Elaine is stuck in the subway train - interior monologues.....I LOVE IT!!!!!

    and I've always thought you looked pretty cool in your race photos ;)

    up was so sad....I was pregnant while watching it so I think that added to the tears that poured out

    1. Haha Elaine, "MOVE! MOVE!" And thanks, I try to strike a pose when I can.

  4. Actually Stefan loves darts! And X-Men first class is awesome! I loved the interactions between Magneto and Professor X. Although when I watched it, the theater had problems, so there weren't any sound for the first ten minutes or so.

    1. Oh man that sux about the movie! I hope you got your money back, or at-least partially.

  5. Nice to finally "meet" you Mike! If you love lighthouses you definitely need to visit Oregon! Yaquina Bay Bridge and Lighthouse in Newport are two of my favorite places!

    1. Oh ya, we definitely want to make a West-coast lighthouse trip when we get a chance!

  6. thanks for playing along Mike - nice to get to know more about you! I'd love to run the NYC marathon someday too - it looks awesome. I've never seen UP - but now I might have to next time I'm in the mood for a cry-fest. I think you need to work on your fashion must-have...a hoodie?

    1. I hope you don't mind that Mike did it! I was going to do it and then Rena tagged us both so Mike just decided to do it as his guest post.

    2. I guess I need to re-think my sense of fashion...

  7. First of all... being a runner for the past 22 years, I absolutely LOVE the fact that my son and daughter-in-law are running and competing now!! (A running mother's dream!). My daughter, Amanda, has also run before and she started running again in January to help get in shape for her wedding in August. Next, I can't believe you wrote so much and put so many things in this guest blog, Mike! It was really interesting! I still remember seeing you jumping up and yelling at me as I ran by you guys at NYC marathon! It is so great to have family at your races!! Next, I love the pic of you running at one of your cross country meets for Schenectady!( you may have hated it, but it was good cross-training for swimming!). And... I am not sure which is my favorite race distance- I have raced every distance from 800 to the marathon. Don't have alot of speed at this point; so, 5k not really one of my favorite distances. My team I train with is into more distance, so, I do run 10k to half marathons more at this point. I definitely agree with you about running on vacation! I love running in different places!! (And as long as you can remember, I have always brought my running shoes with me and just gone out for runs- from our condo in Myrtle Beach; from hotels we stayed in in Hampton Beach; from hotels we stayed in for your swim championships- I would just go out and run!!! And that was a great accomplishment running the Rhinebeck Half Marathon! I remember the first time I ran the Stockadeathon 15k, I thought it was the best accomplishment in running that I had done! And last comment; glad to see you have some goals- career-wise- if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish these engineering goals!!

  8. Great post Mike! Allan and I are both big sports fans too and I pretty much live with Sports Center on from 7-10 most mornings. The random things I retain from that show is scary sometimes!