Sunday, April 5, 2009

Team in Training Week Nine

Week nine was a great week. On Tuesday night the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society held a "recommitment" party at the Budweiser Brewery in Baldwinsville. Each person/family brought a plate to pass and Budweiser provided the tour and all the beer you could drink.

I have lived a mile or two from the brewery for the last 16 years and never had a tour. I brought 3 of my children (Brandon, Paul, and Anna). The facility is impeccably clean. The cleanest place I've ever been in. Sorry mom. Budweiser has better bribes than mom's home cooking. So, its employees must really care.

We toured the entire plant. The Brew masters Room had three brew masters who sat at computer terminals and are able to choose what to produce: Bud, Bud Light, Michelob, Mick Ultra, Bacardi Mojito, whatever you can think of that Anhieser-Busch makes. However, this brewing facility brews all the specialty items for the entire nation: that means any flavored varieties of beer of the assorted brands and Bacardi Mojito. I didn't know that. Also, there are special brews of vanilla and chocolate Michelob which are brewed in Baldwinsville for Budweiser employees only.

What was the bad part of the tour? Seeing the Phillies World series aluminum beer bottles being filled while my son spied a few Mets aluminum bottles in the "reject" bin. So, if you visit a ball park in the US this year and drink from a "kanottle" (a term I invented and shared with the engineer giving the tour) it came from the Budweiser Brewery in Baldwinsville, NY.

The kids and I had a good time. It was fun sitting down with a few folks from TNT and talking with my children about the tour. Oh, and viewing the many photos they snapped while touring which is banned. Well, only my kids would violate the rules. I guess I trained them well in the world of corporate espionage. Just kidding Bud-people. No pics were taken...

Saturday arrived with horrible weather. I chose not to run in the rain, snow, and high winds. I had enough of that so I ran on the treadmill at Aspen Health Club. I could only do about 6.5 miles indoors before going loco. Sunday was gonna be my day to accomplish my long run. No rain expected and improving to sunshine and 50 by the afternoon. I took off from my house at a little passed 8 and commenced running to the OLP/Long Branch. The wind was brutal running down 31 to River Rd., but from there the wind seemed to be gone, but it was really at my back for the rest of the run until reaching my turnaround at the 7.5 miles mark. 370 in each direction is a challenge; rolling hills that go for ever. 31, the home stretch of ending the run is one long gradual hill. I have got to discover a long flat run.

When there are so many hills around, I do not understand how anyone in the world ever thought the world to be flat because all the evidence is definitely against that perception. Too many hills and objects in the distance always gradually disappear from the horizon as they move further from sight. If the world were flat, then they would just immediately drop from sight, but they don't. See, these are the things ones ponders while running the miles alone.

The only time I stopped was when I visited the port O'john at the dog park; otherwise, I ran and took short sips from the water bottle I carried with me. Running without the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team In Training means there are no water stops or opportunities to refresh or catch up to fellow runners. Bill Boyd doesn't come with any volunteers. In the words of Pee Wee Herman in Pee Wee's Big Adventure, "I'm a loner Dottie, a rebel, you don't want to get mixed up with a guy like me."

To take from the brewery theme of all the varieties of beer brewed and shipped from Budweiser in B'ville we can apply this to the many differences among the people who have been afflicted from blood cancer, the people who run, bike, or walk, and the people who volunteer for all the previous. We all have specific differences. Some are younger and some are older. Some are athletes and some aren't. Some people have little time and others have plenty. The biggest difference, though, is some people act and others don't. The folks who suffer blood cancer are forced to act. They must make a decision to live and then to receive uncomfortable treatments to, hopefully, positively impact their choice to live. At that moment life matters. For the participants who fund raise or volunteer, they make the choice to act in honor of someone else. In many cases, they act for someone they may not even know, but the decision to do something is all it takes to defeat the enemy within, so to speak. The supporter, they too have joined the cause. Their gift has grafted them into the tree and ensures that the tree will bare good fruit in the future. We are in this together. At times its no fun; at times its uncomfortable; yet, we will all get through it together.

Please visit may donation page and support my run in honor of Jane Spellman. Just click and hyperlink to:

Thank you for helping me get through another week of raising awareness and funds for the leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I ran 15.20 miles today. Without your support I could not have achieved my longest run to date, nor could I ever gotten closer to the goals for LLS. Thank you.

I'll see you on the road.
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