Sunday, April 19, 2009

Team In Training Week Eleven

No picture for this week's run because I cannot get the computer to actually save one to my pics file. Oh well. Next week.

I was unable to run the Mountain Goat Training run with the Team In Training this week because I travelled down to the Bronx to see the new Yankee Stadium. A great day for a ball game and a record setting game in Yankee history and in the new stadium's history. The Yankees lost 22 to 4. The Indians had a 14 run second inning which really messed up my scorecard. I used the 2nd and third inning columns to watch 17 batters come to the plate. Several HRs, including a grand slam. Boy, the ball flys out of the new Yankee Stadium better than a ball hit at Coors Field in Colorado. Funny thing though; no one is mentioning this fact. 17 HRs were hit opening weekend, the most ever in one weekend series for one ball park. Believe me, its not just bad pitching. The CF scoreboard and ads are so high above the old CF scoreboard that no wind enters Yankee Stadium. No wind resistance generally leads to better carry, even poorly hit sky high pop-ups.

I do not like the new Yankee Stadium. It is not fan friendly.

As for running, I ran the full Mountain Goat on Thursday, another beautiful day to run. I ran with my friends Tiffany, Dennis, and Bob. There were a lot of runners out there. My goal was to run it slow or discover what I ought to set as a goal for the actual race. I ran it in about 94 minutes. So, I may shoot for 90 minutes as my race goal although I would love to finish in 80 to lay my hands on a medal.

The key to the Mountain Goat Run is going out slow to climb the Stolp Ave hill and then to take advantage of the downside of the hills coming out of Onondaga Park to gain some time before hitting the Colvin Ave hill leading up to Manley Field House. Once there, a left on Euclid and up the last hill into Thorndon Park followed by a down hill race to E. Genesee St in hopes of reaching S. Salina St. with enough steam to finish strong. Good hydration is critical and some Gatorade or Gel before climbing Colvin would be good.

Since I didn't get to run with my friends from TNT, I ran long today, Sunday. I got out near 11AM for a ten mile run. I thought I would test out my new hydration belt and set up for two bottles. However, like most test runs, somethings don't work right. The bottles leaked some and the belt decided to take a round trip around my waist. I used the pouch to hold my cell phone, which was good. I felt safer having a mode of communication while away from home if anything happened.

Well, as I ran my route and looked at my distance, I realized I could go beyond the ten miles I planned. I decided to go on. I ran slowly to 12, 13, and 14 miles. I took my first call from a friend Tom. I took the call while running since it is his sister Jane for whom I run in honor of. I let him know that I was running and would call him when done. At mile 14, I took another call. It was my wife Karen wondering where I was and if I still was alive. I let her know that I was in Radisson and running over to refill my bottles at the Sunshine Mart at the top of Willett Pkwy. That is when I decided to go for the full 20 miles.

I entered the store; I asked the store clerk if she could fill my water bottles since I was running further than I anticipated. She gladly filled the bottles and asked me how far I had already run and where I started. I explained where I started and the multitude of streets I had already run upon and said, "I only have 6 more miles to go." I couldn't believe those words passed my lips because that was not my plan. I just wanted to run the last 2 and get home. I could be happy with 16 miles. But I expressed a total of 20. I couldn't lie. I had to do the full 20 miles now.

Once running inside my neighborhood, I stretched out my run. I even ran by my wife and her friend walking the dogs. I asked them to get me some water. I had just completed 18 miles and was dying of thirst. They both laughed. I passed them a second time. Same scenario. The third time I passed them, on my wife's friends street, I hoped to receive a bottle of water, but to no avail; they were empty handed. However, the friend left her house open and granted me permission to grab a bottle of water. Thank goodness. I finished sucking down a Wegman's water. 20 miles done.

Some interesting things I learned or re-learned on this run: 1) that people, including strangers, are willing to help those in need, 2) that planning ahead doesn't always work or may require on the fly adjustments, and 3) that staying in touch with friends is always helpful. I can recognize better how these 3 items are played out in our lives. However, people with blood cancer are no different from us. They have plans for themselves and family. Unfortunately, those plans are interfered with by their disease and on the fly adjustments have to be made. Their plans are about scheduling treatments and planning for today. Moments become special since time may be limited. Any additional time is a prize to be treasured. These plans include catching up with friends and family, many who may extend a hand or say a prayer to help, as my wife's friend helped me quench my thirst on my third pass. Late help is better than no help. Yet, the greatest help comes from the unknown.

We are the unknown. Those of us who support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in their crusade to find a cure for blood cancer. Although I run in honor of Jane Spellman, I also run for many others just as your support will help more people than Jane Spellman. I now have knowledge of 6 people who have suffered from blood cancer; 2 with multiple myeloma and 3 with leukemia. Three have died, two have survived, and one is still suffering daily, Jane Spellman.

It is tough to be me. I do not feel comfortable asking for money. I ask many folks to support my run. Most people say, "Yes" and do nothing. While others ask me, "Why haven't you asked me for support?"I do not take it personal. I understand. You cannot support everyone who asks for money.

Times are tough. I only ask that if you cannot support my run for Jane Spellman that you act by telling someone you know to read my log and/or visit my donation page to help fight blood cancer.

Last night the Celebrity Apprentice held a competitive fund raiser. The winning team raised $245,000. Wow! How did they do this? They did it by asking their celebrity friends and family to step up to the plate, to win the Celebrity Apprentice as their primary motivator. That isn't how I work and not what I am doing. I am asking that we give something. That we act in concert, as a team to raise the funds and the awareness necessary to find a cure, to discover medicines to prolong life until a cure is found, or to make those people losing the battle as comfortable as possible. None of us are celebrities, yet we can all be heroes by acting for a higher purpose than winning a game. We act to help others who truly benefit from our help.

So, that's this weeks story. Please visit my donation page and be a hero by supporting my run in honor of Jane Spellman and the 5 others I learned about since taking on this challenge to make a difference in the lives of the sick and dying:
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