Running through a Hurricane

It might not be the best idea, but sometimes you do what you have to do.  The number of posts I read about folks doing training runs this past week astounded me.  So many of us have marathons this Fall, but come on….  I think intentionally putting yourself in harms way getting that training run in during hurricane force winds and torrential rain is a bit over the top!

Yes folks, we endured the worst hurricane in a decade or more this past week.  Hurricane Matthew has left behind over 800 dead in Haiti alone.  Many mane more in the United States, as the storm moved its way up the east coast.  I didn’t lose power, didn’t have any flood damage, and was relatively unaffected here at home.  Seven inches of rain left behind will keep the grass green through Fall though.  There was a lot of flooding here in North Carolina though, including this area, but not in my immediate surroundings.  I was lucky.  So many were not as fortunate.  My heart goes out to all affected.  It will take months if not years for some areas to recover.

I, for one, did not feel the need to get training runs in during the horrible storm.  I figured my training for Marine Corps has been so horrible anyway, why add insult to possible injury?  My lead up to MCM in less than a month has been lackluster, at best.  I’ve been on the verge of injury for months now, so I’ve just been doing my best to stay in running shape.  Just to make it to the starting line.

Next up for me is a race that’s sort of been my “go-to” Halves each Fall.  The Bull City Race Fest Half Marathon is this Sunday.  Again I was invited onto the pace team, which will be my third time in the roll at this race.  I will be a pacer for the 9:00 minute mile group.  Putting us at the finish at 1:57:00.  A nice run through the streets of Durham.  Each successive year I have paced a slower time, and it’s really perfect for me this year, because honestly, I am just looking for a sub 4 finish at Marine Corps since my training has been so nonexistent.

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The weather is looking perfect for Sunday morning.  Mid 40’s at the start, and only up to the 60’s by noon.  The 9:00 group will be a perfect pace for me, not a big push at all, and hopefully not an injury inducing race.  With Marine Corps on October 30th, the time is nearing quickly.

One piece of bad news this morning, just as a side note….. I got the “We’re sorry to inform you but, you didn’t make it in through the lottery” email from the Virgin Money London Marathon this morning.  Sad news.  Absolutely no one I know got in.  I have not seen a single post on social media of someone getting in through the lottery. This leads me to ask the question “why have a lottery at all for London”?  If time qualifying and charity running is almost the only way possible to get in, just say so.  Don’t even hold a lottery.  It would have been my first trip abroad.  Oh well, move past it.  As an ambassador for the Abbott World Marathon Majors, it would have been really nice to add my third of the Big 6 to my list of marathon completions, but this is not to be for 2017.  Best of luck to all running next year!

 

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Krispy Kreme Challenge for Charity

A while back I announced that my son and I would be running/eating our way through a local event that draws thousands of participants.  It will be his second time participating in the Krispy Kreme Challenge, and my first time.  There’s something about gorging on a dozen day old doughnuts in the middle of a five mile race that’s just a bit daunting to me, and probably the reason I haven’t signed up prior to this year.

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This race is a charity event, with proceeds going to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital, so I figured I must finally give it a go.  Hey, it’s all in the name of charity, right?  So, why not?  On February 6th, on what I hope will be a crisp cool morning (no snow/ice), we are running in the name of charity, and trying not to vomit during the second half of the race.  🙂

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Since I found it extremely gratifying to raise money for the James Blake Foundation last year for the New York City Marathon, I figured why not try to raise some money for the kids in need of medical help here locally.  So, without further ado, I created a fundraising page on crowdrise.  This platform is so user friendly, all you do is click on the link below, and it will take you directly to our fundraising page.  I am trying to raise $200 for the kids, so in essence, that’s 20 $10 donations, so it should be a cinch, right?  So, help us get our fundraiser off the ground by donating today.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

I really hope you will consider a donation to this worthy charity.  Thank you!

New York Road Trip

Travel day is here.  Normally I would not find a nine hour car ride a lot of fun, but today is going to be even more challenging.  The weather!  Tons of wind and rain to travel through today, but my 80 year old Father will be waiting my arrival once I cross the state line into NY.  That will get me through it!

I worked extremely early in the morning the last few days, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep.  Last night I went to bed fairly early, to try to catch up before my journey begins in a few hours.  What’s left?  All of my packing.  Not just race packing, but vacation packing.  Packing for being gone nearly a week.  My plan is to be out the door in about two hours.  Yep, waiting for rush hour to be over before heading out on my way north.

Regardless of my long drive today, I am very excited.  This trip, this race, has been a long time in the making.  I still can’t believe that I am actually running the New York City Marathon this Sunday.  An epic race, represented by runners from 139 countries around the world.  Should a 45 year old man be this giddy about running a race?  Eh, I don’t care if it seems odd, but I am truly excited abut it.

I really owe a lot of thanks to my charity partner, the James Blake Foundation, as they are the real reason I am running this race.  They accepted me onto their charity team back in February, and I have been fundraising for them ever since.  Quite a long journey, and an unfamiliar one at that.  I have never been on a charity team before, or even raised money for anything other than selling cookies or booster stickers for little league when I was 8 or 9 years old.  This has truly been a unique experience.  Challenging, and unique.  I’ve have learned that it’s not easy convincing people to part with their hard earned money.  I guess it’s about being relentless in driving a cause that you feel passionate about.  But, I am passionate about this charity, and running.

Setting a goal of $3,000 to fundraise over the course of several months was my top priority.  As of the moment of this post, I have raised $2,311.  Yes, I am just $689 away from my goal, with the help of these amazing folks!

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That’s the back of my charity team race shirt that I will be wearing this Sunday during the race.  *hint, hint, there’s still tons of room for more names.  I haven’t even started putting names on my sleeves yet!

So, now that I have exactly two hours before leaving home, one more shout out and push for donations. Don’t worry, just because I am leaving home, you still have time to donate.  Plus, I am taking my markers with me, so that I can put your name on my shirt even at the last minute before heading to the start line on Sunday.  Here is the link to donate.  100% of donations go directly to the James Blake Foundation supporting cancer research.

Thanks everybody, and see y in New York!

Fundraising Friday -NYC Marathon 9 days away

We’ve just crossed into taper madness mode.  We are now in the single digits of the countdown to the 2015 New York City Marathon.

I haven’t been running my whole life, but I’ve been running long enough now.  Over five years competitively.  Well, running became a passion of mine five years ago.  Each year the New York City Marathon has been run since I became passionate about the sport, I’ve always been envious of those runners.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to run this amazing marathon?  The biggest in the world.

I finally get my chance, and it’s just nine short days away!

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Its also Fundraising Friday.  The final push to reach my fundraising goal.  I still need all the help I can get to fully fund my charity partner with my pledge.

Today I start writing the names of all of my donors on my charity team shirt.  If you’ve donated already, watch for upcoming posts, as I will post pictures of my race shirt, and you can see your name.  If you haven’t donated yet, there’s still time.  You can make a donation in any amount you wish from $10 and up.  Every dollar helps in the fight to treat cancer patients. Please consider a tax deductible donation today.  I thank you!  The following link will take you directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise.

And to all of the other runners out there running for a reason, happy Fundraising Friday!

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10 days til @nycmarathon

Only one race remains on my 2015 running calendar, and it’s a big one!  It truly has been another epic year of running for me, and I get to cap it off with another of the six marathon majors in just 10 days!

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Yes, the New York City Marathon is quickly approaching.  Deep into taper mode at this point, it’s really all now about the planning.  Logistics and mental preparedness.  The body is ready.  Legs have recovered from Chicago, and the only things that remain for me before the race are a few short runs, and a road trip to New York.

Tomorrow is my last day off from work until I leave on my NY journey next Wednesday.  I plan on getting my race shirt emblazoned with the names of my charity donors.  It’s not too late to donate.  I still have not hit my fundraising goal, so with any donation to my charity partner, the James Blake Foundation, your name will be proudly inscribed on my shirt!  Your thoughtfulness will get permanently written on my shirt so that you too, will get to run the streets of NYC with me.

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Click on the following link to be taken directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise, where you can make a donation in any amount with just a few clicks.  Thank you so much for your help in the fight against cancer.

Because of the fact that I am going to absolutely slay this race, I have been placed into Corral 1, right along with all of the Professional men.  Yep, starting with the likes of Meb Keflezghi.  Yes, he is my special friend and inspiration.

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I gest.  Yes, we’ve clearly met, but I doubt I’ll even see him on race day.  Only in my dreams could I run as fast as he can.  :). I do, however, plan on giving this race my all.  I will be running with inspiration.  Running for my charity partner.  Running for those suffering with cancer.

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So, as the countdown to New York continues, tomorrow we enter the single digits.  It’s all becoming very real.  The countless hours I’ve spent fundraising, the countless hours pounding the pavement will all culminate as I line up on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at 9:50am for a three hour plus run through the streets of New York City.  I couldn’t be more excited!  It all begins in just ten days.

$25 a day and a New York City Marathon Experience

Most of you know, if you’ve read previous posts on my blog, that I am running the New York City Marathon this November 1st.  There are a bunch of 1st’s for this race, and here are a few.

-My first time running for charity

-My first marathon in the state of New York

-The first marathon my Father will be a spectator at

-The first time both of my parents will get to see me cross the finish line

-My first time in NYC since 9/11

Race day is getting SO close!  Only 41 days remain until I toe the line in Staten Island and make my way through the five boroughs of New York.  The excitement is certainly building.  This race is so iconic.  Epic!

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I’m glad I decided to run this marathon for charity.  Let me tell you though, it has probably been more of a challenge though to raise the $3,000 I pledged than for me to run the actual race.  As NYC will be my 22nd marathon!  I’m so glad for this experience though, as my fundraising is helping cancer patients.  The research being done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC is being directly helped by the donations that all of my donors have made thus far.  I still have just over a third of the monies pledged to raise, and I need all of your help.

With just 41 days remaining until race day, that equates to an average donation of $25 a day that I need folks like you to donate to my fundraiser to hit my goal by race day.  If you could find it in your heart to donate, I would be ever so grateful.  All of the money goes to the James Blake Foundation.  Every last dollar.  I paid for my own entry into the race, so rest assured, the money you donate directly impacts the lives of those suffering from this debilitating and deadly disease.  Please donate today.  The following link will take you directly to my fundraising page where you can make a tax deductible donation in any amount you wish.

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What would also be a huge help in reaching as many folks as I can is if you would share this post on your own blog, or link to it on your own social media outlets.  I would love to exceed my goal before race day! Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and love!  I will be running New York for all of you!

My Fall 2015 Race Calendar

This Summer has been a mixed bag.  Some great runs, some not so great.  I guess that happens a lot in the summertime, at least it does for me.   I can never make any wild predictions on how my training runs will go, and it’s all based on the weather.  Hot and muggy, Steamy and boiling.  Sunny and humid.  They all sound equally tough, but typically make me stronger for the Fall race season.

I have six races planned between now and the end of 2015.  Two major races, both marathons.  Four, run for fun, pace for others Half Marathons.  This is how it will play out.

1st up…  9/13, and the Run & Ride Half Marathon at Carowinds Amusement Park.

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This is a new pacing gig for me.  Pacing once again for Beast Pacing.  Target time of 1:50:00. My goal is to come to the finish within 45 seconds under my goal.  Just put a hotel room on hold last night, hoping to take my 17 year old son with me to ride some coasters after the race!

Next up, just six short days later on 9/19, is the Marine Corps Half Marathon.  This time I will be taking my 19 year old son with me, leaving bright and early on a Saturday morning for a 2+ hour car ride to the race location.  This race is run on the Marine Corps base Camp LeJeune.  It’s the first time I’ve had to provide my drivers license number, make and model, tag #, and insurance info for my car during registration.  They need all that info to expedite parking on base.  This should be a fun race, very military pride-filled, and inspiring.  Last year about 1,000 runners signed up, so it should be a good size field of runners.

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Taper time!  After a few Halves in mid September, I will concentrate on my next race.  Chicago!  Running the Chicago Marathon for the second year in a row!  I couldn’t be more excited.  My only goals are to equal or better my time from last year, and enjoy the crowds!  This year I will be wearing my name on my shirt!

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Six days after Chicago, I am pacing another Half Marathon.  This time closer to home.  I will be pacing the 1:55:00 Half at Greensboro.  Loved the tough course last year when I ran the marathon!  This time around only half the distance.

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Ok, so I do have a few challenges this Fall.  The day after Greensboro, on hopefully not too tired legs, I am running a Half again.  This time in Durham.  The Bull City Race Fast.  No time goals other than to beat 1:55:00.  Should be a piece of cake.  And maybe a piece of cake after the race from one of the food trucks!  This is a great event that I had to skip last year because of running Chicago and Greensboro marathons six days apart.  I was actually signed up to run it last year, but just didn’t have the legs left to even attempt it.

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All racing done now for the year?  Nope!  Insert another taper here.  The next two weeks after 10/19 will be total relaxation.  Letting my legs recover, and heal.  All for the epic event known as…..

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Yes, I will cap off my 2015 racing year with an epic run through the five boroughs of New York City on November 1st.  This really is the race of the year for me.  This is the race that I have been fundraising for for months now.  It’s getting to be crunch time, and I still need help.  I really had hoped to have raised all of the $3,000 that I pledged to the James Blake Foundation before the end of the Summer.

As of today, I have raised over $1,600, but need for every one of my readers to dig deep into their pockets.  Will you please help my charity?  $10, $20, $50?  $100?  All monies go toward advancing cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City.  Surely someone you know has been either directly or indirectly impacted by cancer.  Let’s honor those that have lost the fight to this disease, and to help those that are currently battling cancer.  Please give today.

You can click on the following link that will take you directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise where you can make your charitable contribution now.

Thank you for you help, and I hope you have a fantastic Fall racing season.  I hope you have as much run running as I plan on having.