Sunday, May 17, 2009

Team In Training Weeks 15 and 16

Week 15 was a busy week and weekend for me. I awaited a Tuesday morning phone call to discover whether or not my sales position was going to be maintained, and I also received my first ever root canal on Thursday Friday afternoon. Both events were painful although not as painful as my knees have been feeling over the past week.

While the Team In Training ran long down in Cortland this week to pull the CNY and Southern teams together for the first time, I ran 13 with my buddy Mike who took me on a long hill run from Wegmans in Fairmount, through Tipp Hill and up several old brick stairs that lead to the Burnet Park Zoo. Afterward, I raced home to prepare for my oldest son Billy's graduation from SUNY Oswego.

The 13 miles on Saturday at 5:30am were tough. Mike and I met up with three lovely young ladies. Mike and I ran separately once we got going since our distance was a bit longer. At the outset the run was gentle. The miles were flat until we headed toward Bellevue Ave when the road tilted upward. Hills bother me, but I usually manage them well enough to keep running. However, this morning caught me walking at the top of a few hills. I may have run too fast. Mike led me up a stair case that led into Burnet Park Golf Course and then to a long abandoned road heading out toward the zoo and back up hill behind the high school. We ran passed Arc of CNY and hit the stairs running up into the Burnet Park Zoo parking lot. Those stairs killed me. I walked a little afterward. From there I finished strong over the hills of Tip Hill and back to the Wegman's lot where we started.

The run was uneventful for the most part except for the down pour of rain from Avery Ave back to Wegman's. The rain was cooling though, but made for an uncomfortable ride home.

Sunday was a lone run around the village of Baldwinsville. I started from the high school parking lot and ran up Oneida St. and out Sixty Rd. to 631 to Smokey Hollow and down 48 back into the village; that part of the run is 4 miles and relatively flat. Its a quick run from 48 to the village 4 corners since its a nice grade down hill. It felt great.

I turned left at the corner blowing past the B'ville Diner and turned right onto 370 with the aroma of Gino and Joe's Pizza. I ran down 370 to "Budweiser Hwy" and ran up hill back up to 31 and into Aspen Springs, more up hill running. The down hill side of Aspen Springs is nice and easy. Once out of Aspen and Lamp Post, I head onto 31 and a few back roads back to 370 and turn right toward the VFW and down Woods which leads to the river.

At the river at the bottom of Woods, I noticed that the cinder river trail had been extended. Although it was roped off, I beelined for the cinder path and ran uncharted territory. As I stepped onto the freshly laid path I thought about the fund raising efforts I and many others have been doing over the past 4 months on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and could only think about the uncharted territory the once healthy people who have blood cancer chart now, everyday, and the researchers who chart new boundaries in their attempt to cure and hopefully arrest an insidious disease to either save or prolong a life that is precious to all of us, especially to the family members who care for the people, our friends, who have blood cancer. My thoughts go to the moms and dads who worry and wait about the fate of their children as the days and years pass wondering, "Will my child survive another day?

No one knows for sure if any of us will last another day, but for most of us the strike against us is usually poor choices-- bad diet, no exercise, and carnal vices. People with blood cancer do not make a bad choice when acquiring this disease; no, they just visit the doc one day and BOOM life has changed rapidly.

So, this is my last plea before the race on May 31st to ask for your support. We are only $700 away from our goal of $4,400. Please visit my donation page and support my run in honor of Jane Spellman at Your help of any amount is appreciated and may help today or tomorrow. I do realize times are not easy. My company just let go of many reps this past week. However, if you are able, please step out of the comfort zone and help us attain what seems to be an insurmountable goal. Thank you very much.

Now for the final send off. The race is just eight days away. Last night the Team In Training crew met at Green Lakes Park to have a pre-race get together. We had hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, pretzels, chips, and assorted beverages. My favorite was a noodle salad with almonds and sunflower seeds. It really kicked.

I brought my daughter Anna and her friend for the cook out. They had a good time riding their scooters on the walk next to the beach. I chatted with a contingent of folks and received my race day singlet and my Bib number came in the mail before I left for the park; it is 8235.

Before I sign off, I would like to extend a great thanks for all those people who made the training runs possible: Maureen and Paul, my mentor Tim; my Saturday running mates Charlie and Joel; all those who cheered me in on the long runs: the previous mentioned and Matt, Tara, Yvonne, Kim, Missy, Ryan and Kristen, Cooch, Kristen, Erin, Heather, Jennifer, Megan, and Mary. The walkers who made me feel fast and encouraged us runners onward and upward as we ran by; Maura and Alexius for making a good presentation on a cold night at Meltzer's Bicycles to help push me to join Team In Training while my buddy Tom convinced me to make the actual commitment for his sister Jane.

I also want to extend a BIG Thank You for all the volunteers who sat in the cold over the winter and the hot sun as the weather warmed to bring us runners necessary refreshment on all of our Saturday morning runs. Thank you all. It was always a wonderful sight to see you guys waiting for us. The brief conversations and encouraging words meant more than you will ever know. Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who signed in online or sent a donation in support of my run in honor of Jane Spellman. I cannot thank you enough nor can I truly express what it meant to me to receive such generosity. I never expected it. My job was easy because of all of you. I also want to thank Amylin Pharmaceuticals for stepping up and matching donations from fellow Amylinites.

I would also like to mention all those Lake Effecters from around CNY who ran with me every week during the week to keep me running. I had a lot of fun running the Shamrock and Mountain Goat training runs and races with all of you. I can't wait to get the 26.2 over so we can run our next race and prepare for our next long run this summer.

Stay posted, I'll complete my post upon a safe return and hopefully a completed race. Wish me well.

See you on the road.

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