Saturday, February 28, 2009

Team In Training Week Four

Well, I am starting to write this post for a second time. I accidentally deleted the original finished product which ties into my them of "suffering". Lets see what I may be able to recall.
This morning was cold. the temp outside when I checked was 15 with a wind chill of -2. I did not want to run this morning. However, I thought about a few things: 1) who I run in honor of 2) the volunteers and 3) my fellow Team In Training mates. Three very good reasons to stick with the program and suck up being cold and achy.

First, I run in honor of Jane Spellman; the sister of my best friend Tom Belinsky. She, I will remind you, was diagnosed with myeloma cancer a couple of years ago. She is married with three children. Her mom died of cancer about 5 years ago. So, things have not gone smoothly. Jane received a kidney transplant after the myeloma caused her kidneys to fail, but thankfully, she was able to stop dialysis after receiving a kidney transplant. She is why I run. I believe if she can endure her daily sufferings and treatments, I ought to be able to endure a few discomforts from running. Don't you agree.
Second, the volunteers make running with Team In Training endurable.They plan our routes, help us with exercise and nutrition tips, and prepare the planned water stops to get us through each workout safely. Today, I stopped for a refreshment at Kendall's water stop. The Gatorade was so chilled by the cold air it was like drinking a slurpee. Boy, it hit the spot. While stopped I chatted with a few other runners and discussed what type of energy items we have used, i.e. goo, jelly beans, and the like. My vote is for jelly beans. As Tony the Tiger says, 'They're great!" These volunteers like Kendall wake up early to make us comfortable. They wake up to encourage us at each water stop. They freeze and lose valuable time they could have used fr something else.
Third, the other runners. Our coach, Maureen sacrifices a lot of time for us. Doing everything from coordinating the volunteers and the route planning beside running alongside us. The mentors who support Maureen run with the groups and share ideas for raising funds to meet our personal goals. My mentor is Tim. Although he was sick, he was there. That is important. All the runners and walkers who make it out there to achieve a goal inspire me to be more than I can be.
Pulling it all together is the concept of shared suffering. The boys and girls, men and women who have been diagnosed with blood cancer all suffer everyday. They and their families hope for someone to rise up and to discover a cure. But, to find a cure takes a) awareness b) money and c) commitment. All three are indispensable. My role is to run, to raise awareness, to raise funds by fulfilling my commitment. So, you and me share in temporary suffering. We ask and you give. Our suffering is not long-lasting, its fleeting unlike those who suffer cancer; for them its long lasting. So, suffer with me. Step out of your comfort zone a join us by making a pledge on my Team In Training donation page: and make a secure online donation.
No donation is too small and all donations are tax deductible. Your donation will be remembered by me, Jane, and her family. Your support forces me to do what is necessary to accomplish our goal. That's right. The goal is yours and mine. We can only do it together.
Thank you for reading my update. See you on the road.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Team In Training Week Three

Week three for Team in Training was great. I met Tim, my team mentor, and ran with Charlie and Joel again. What a good group of folks.

We started out for the 8 mile run from the local Methodist Church after listening to a nutrition lecture and received some helpful charts on how much to eat before, during, and after a run, and what we should eat and drink, too.

The roads were pretty clear considering the 1-2 feet of snow which fell throughout the night. Running on pavement is such a nice experience after running on slush, snow, and ice. Running on slush, snow, and ice changes your stride; it kills my calves. So, I ran, sometimes, on the wrong side of the road just to find pavement. The car traffic was not bad, but when cars passed, they sped by and splashed muck all over us. We completed the run in 1hr and 15 minutes.

As usual with the Team in Training, every 1.5 miles stood a hydration station which makes for a comfortable run and an opportunity to meet the other runners even if its only for 30 seconds or a minute. Upon arrival back at the church, we ate some small carb snacks and drank chocolate milk. The chocolate milk, according to the nutritionist, is a great option after running because it also contains protein.

Each week I run, I come a little closer to my goal-- raising funds for LLS and running my first marathon. I do this for me that is true, but failure is not an option. Thinking of Jane Spellman, who I run in honor of, keeps me focused. I run to help her and others who suffer from blood cancer. My running, my lifestyle change to accomplish a personal health goal only comes full circle when it helps others. So, if you would like to support my run and those like Jane who hope for a cure to blood cancer visit my donation page: Any amount is appreciated and never too small since we all have a common goal. Your donation is tax deductible and helps us help them, the sufferers and survivors of blood cancer. Thank you for your support

See you on the road.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

First Team In Training Training Run

I woke up early this Saturday morning. Took my son to varsity swim practice and headed for Onondaga Lake Park to meet up with the Team in Training folks for our first training run for the San Diego and Lake Placid Marathons. There are a lot of people signed up, maybe thirty.

This morning's run was short. The options were 2, 3, 4, or 6 miles. The LLS had water stops at two mile increments and drinks and snacks waiting for us at the end. I met more good people and reacquainted myself with a buddy, John, I haven't seem since November. I ran with John and Charlie, who are mentors, and a woman named Danielle and a grad student at University Hospital named Joel.

Hear their running stories was great. Many people are running w/Team In Training because they either have lost a family member or friend to blood cancer or another form of cancer while others, like me, have friends who are suffering from blood cancer, i.e. leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, Hodgkin's disease. Now we are all together using the little talents we have to run and raise awareness of a disease which steals many lives from our hearts.

I am proud to be among these fine people. I am even prouder to find so many friends and family offering their support and prayers towards our goals, and I am most proud of those who are our driving force-- the people suffering from blood cancer, like Jane Spellman for whom I run.

I completed the training session running 6 miles; I had a small chocolate donut and a cup of chocolate milk before heading back over to the Wegman's Park to run another 4.5 miles with the Lake Effect Runners to cap the morning with 10.5 miles. I can't wait for next Saturday morning.
Please, if you are able to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team in Training visit my donation page: and remember to tell your friends and family. We all reach the finish line together.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Team In Training

I started running in April of 2008 after starting a diet and exercise program to lose weight. In the process I lost 56 pounds and participated in 7 races from local 5K's to a half marathon in Cortland, NY and a Turkey Trot down in Brooklyn in Prospect Park. It has been a lot of fun, and I have met many new friends along the way.

A small group of us began running every weekend at Onondaga Lake Park and eventually, to accommodate our running friends, we started a web page to communicate about when and where group runs would be held. It has been a success.

One of my new friends is John. He ran with and told me about Team In Training which organizes events for runners, bikers, walkers, hikers, and tri-athleres to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He trained for the Lake Placid Marathon in 2008 over a 4 month period and loved every minute of it.

After talking with John, I have been contemplating joining Team In Training. It took me a few weeks to make my commitment to run, but I have made the commitment. Why did I make the commitment because I resisted making the commitment until I spoke with one of my best friends.

Over the past two years my buddy, Tom, has been telling me about the plight of his sister Jane. He told me about her diagnosis with cancer and her need for a kidney transplant and her deterioration overtime. However, not until last week did he ever mention to me the actual diagnosis; not that it should matter, but in this case it did because it sealed my commitment.
Tom told me that his sister, Jane, has myeloma cancer. Myeloma cancer is a cancer of the bone marrow. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with Team in Training hope to raise funds to cure blood cancer, including myeloma. I told Tom what I was planning to do. He said, and Tom is not an emotional guy, "If you do this, I will support you, and it would touch my heart greatly and truly have an impact on my sister and family." I had to make the commitment.

So, here I am wondering how I'm going to obtain the fund raising goal assigned to me. I do not want to fail in my commiment because failing would mean letting down Tom and his sister Jane first and second all the other people who have blood cancer.
Please find it in your heart to support me in my attempt to bring my running full circle from being a lifestyle improvement in my life to being a life saving decision for others. Visit my Team in Training Donation page and support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Thank you very much. I can only succeed with your help.
Bill Boyd