Friday, July 9, 2010

40 in 40 by the numbers

So – here’s a recap of what we’ve done over the course of the past year and how we’ve done it:

$40,000 raised – absolutely awesome! Thank you all for your support.

1 VERY patient and supportive wife

300+ people supported me with donations

40 races
25 running events
9 triathlons
4 cycling events
1 Duathlon
1 Adventure race

3 longest races in terms of distance and/or time:

Event # 9 America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Tahoe, 100 miles, 6 hours
Event # 25 SC Half Iron Man, 70.3miles, 5 hours 53 minutes
Event #40 NC Adventure Race Series Race #2, 10.5 miles, 4 hours 6 minutes

Here is the link to the blog entry for the 40th race: Event #40

I turned 40 years old….feel like I’m 25 and act like I’m 12

57 hours, 54 minutes and 23 second of racing
621.9 miles raced
Approximately 3,000 miles worth of training
1,250 miles of running
1,750 miles of biking
105 miles of swimming
6 states raced in

Approximately 60 pounds of peanut M&M’s devoured….yes, I have a slight issue – but they’re so darn tasty…
92 packs of Gu and/or Powergel – consumed
Several cases of beer – drank

4 pairs of shoes – done
1 new bike helmet
$1,350 in race fees – paid….

Hundreds of new friends, followers and supporters.

3 sponsors - to whom I owe my deepest gratitude

Karhu and Craft Apparel: – Thanks Corey and Jordan
Try Sports (Charlotte): – Thanks Jenn, Teelo and company
Carolina Sports Clinic: – Thanks Dr. K

1 charity – supported.

When it comes down to it – the first and the last are the most important. The rest just helped us get here.

Thank you all again.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

no event...but what a weekend - Thank you Sheila - you rock

One week after she graduates from her masters program, Sheila throws me the best, knock down drag out weekend party ever! a night on the town with the boys.....including the boys from boston on friday...then a kick arse surprise party on saturday for 5+ hours....followed by margaritas, cigars and a potato cannon on the back deck and a touch of middletons.

Thank you Sheila and thank you to my friends, family, neighbors and supporters. It has been one hell of a ride.

I love you Sheila - thanks for dealing with me and the 40 in 40... I could not have done it without you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A weekend "off" so what to do?

Resting on my laurels is not a common practice for me. There is so much to be done. We have the Man/Woman of the year event on Saturday. And Light the Night in October, coming up. The need for support does not end.

Support us, make the next year of an LLS patient that much better.

Come on, you know you want to.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Event #40, 4 Hour Adventure Race, US National Whitewater Center, Saturday May 8

Honestly, it is with a bit of sadness that I am writing this entry. After a year of racing, training, blogging and most importantly fundraising, the 40 in 40 is complete.

This minor bit of sadness is overcome by the following:

1. We raised over $40,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

2. All the awesome folks I met along the way, through training, racing, blogging, just interacting with folks and explaining the 40 in 40 and why the mission of the LLS is in critical need of support.

3. I had so much fun. I enjoyed every race, in its own way - some of them were a lot more enjoyable when they were over to be honest - but so many of them had their own special memories attached to them - all of them, have been documented here in this blog.

4. The amazing kindness, generosity and support from friends, family, co-workers and even complete strangers.

So for those of you who are uninitiated in the way of adventure racing, like me, Pete, Mike and Josh were yesterday morning - here's how this one worked:

Start and go through the prologue - find the first three checkpoints and punch the corresponding number of your "passport" a sheet of paper with numbers and letters on them which correspond to the checkpoints in the race. Then - well actually before, strategize to get as to as many checkpoints as you can and as many numbers 4 hours or less.

We got the first 6 on foot, the next three (two plus a bonus) via kayak on the Catawba river, the next three via whitewater rafts on the largest man made whitewater river, the next three on the rock climbing wall and the last one via mountain bike.

We missed one by totally overrunning it - my bad idea about bushwhacking along the riverbanks versus sticking to the trail a little while longer...and only got one on the bike - because- well, these little markers buried in the woods are hard enough to find when you're jogging along, never mind when you're flying down the trails at the whitewater center....and besides, after some technical difficulties - we were running out of time.

So - as we head out - we set a pace of about an 8:30 - 8:40 minute mile. We've got a lot of land to cover - and it was warm at the start. Last year's winner, a young man from Germany was WAAAAY out front - he wound up running the entire course - and winning again this year - so we kind of followed him for a bit. As long as we could see him anyways, which wasn't long.

We got into this event at the suggestion of Mike Nicosia, the Director and our team consisted of Mike, Pete Lohri, the Navigator, a friend from UMass, former rugby teammate and neighbor here in Stonewater and Josh Cowley, the Gazelle, a neighbor of Mike's...and me, the anchor. We were Team 40-40 - still are...and we rocked!

What can I say - we had an absolute blast. The kayaks out across the Catawba to the checkpoints were fun. Realizing that I had totally overrun checkpoint 5, by probably 1/2 mile - and being able to get to the whitewater rafts in time - potentially damaging, but we did it. Riding the whitewater, not getting tossed out of the boat even on the hydraulic. They had them dialed up to about class 3 rapids is what I guessed...hard but not overwhelming. Rock climbing - which I expected I would totally suck at was fun...I know I didn't set any records on that - but surprisingly it was easy. And I got to see Abby Miller, TNT Director. She is such an awesome woman - she came out there to cheer us on and was so excited for us. God bless you Abby you are one of the many reasons I love TnT and the work the Team does. And then the bikes - well - that's another story.

Sheila arrived just as we were heading out. A quick kiss for good luck and off we rode - Team 40-40 - down the hill and off into the woods. The bikes were still fun mind you, but as we started out, Josh had quite possibly the worst popped chain I had ever seen. It took us ALL to get it fixed - and took about 10 minutes. Then, as we're barreling down the trail to the mandatory Checkpoint 9...we missed a turn and went on a black diamond (very difficult) trail which ate up more time.

Then - we finally get to checkpoint 9. A mandatory checkpoint, which we all thought, meant there'd be people there making sure we were all together - you have to stay within 100 feet of a teammate at all times- and checking us in...but no. It was a freaking compass orienteering riddle.

150 yards at 270 degrees, then 36 yards at 30 degrees, then 100 yards at 20 degrees...find three numbers, jot them down - then go back and continue finding checkpoints.

We completed the riddle - but then realized we had 15 minutes to get back to the finish...given the challenges on the bikes thus far - we quickly realized - no time for checkpoints - hump it back to the finish.

We got back about 6 minutes past 5, which meant we get docked 6 points. but you know what - we finished - and I made sure we finished together.

As we went through the awards, ours being the award of finishing - first time adventure racers - first time teammates (for most of us) - the race director asked us to come up and tell our story. Mike asked who found Checkpoint 5...apparently - we just missed it - again - my bad - as most of the four hour folks found it

Then they asked me to tell the story of the 40 in 40. Which I did. When I told them how we raised $40,000 - we (note we not I) got a standing ovation. That was in honor of all of you, those who have supported me with your generosity, Sheila with her patience, my friends who raced with me, pushed me, gave me grief about missing a race...

That was for you.

The 40th race is dedicated to Mike Nicosia, his three children, Kacey, Matthew and Sean and in memory of Kathy Nicosia who passed away in June of 2007. Kathy was pregnant with her youngest, Sean and upon giving birth, it was determined that there was a massive tumor in her uterus. It had gone undiagnosed or even seen during the pregnancy. From the time it was found, to the time that Mike, Kacey, Matthew and Sean lost Kathy - seeing them all from time to time, their power, their passion for life, love for Kathy - wife, mother - and their resiliency...was and still is powerful. Kathy was a great energetic, friendly, loving woman who welcomed friends, new and old into her world. She is missed, but not forgotten - and I am humbled to be dedicating this race in her memory.

As mentioned, Mike was the director of this team. Being able to do it with him - and now, being able to dedicate this event to him, his children and most importantly in the memory of Kathy - is the least I can do. I hope that I honored her, Mike and the kids appropriately. As a testament to Mike's power - he told all of us on Team 40-40 - to donate the race fees to the 40 in 40 versus reimbursing him. over $180...selfless....generous....kind hearted and powerful.

While the 40 in 40 is done, I am not.

I will continue to serve as the Treasurer for the NC Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Board - a position I am honored to hold. I will continue to do Team in Training events, I will continue to support and further the mission of the LLS - the cures are out there - we must continue to battle - to eventually defeat blood cancers.

This summer - I intend to volunteer for as many TnT events as I can - and challenge you all to come out and support the events as well. No dollars involved - just some time. Volunteers are critical to the success of these events. If you want to know more - just let me know.

Come out and see what enjoyment, sense of accomplishment and success the members of TnT realize during their events. Come out and see what powerful message is communicated - as those clad in purple and green - race for a cause, for a cure, for a life....or like the 40 in 40 - to put another birthday candle on a blood cancer patient's birthday cake. This year, next year, 10 years or more from now.

So - while the 40 in 40 is over- the blog will continue - with updates to races, new events, new challenges...but for now - nothing like the 40 in 40.

A Full Ironman is probably in the works for next year - more to come on that.

So while the adventure is over - the fun is not. I've had so many incredible experiences - I'll recount them over the next several years - happily - and will be sure to recognize all of you and your support. Thank you for following the blog - please stay tuned - we'll have a lot to share with you as time passes.

Who knows - maybe I'll write a book - 40 chapters, 40 pictures, probably sell about 40 copies!

Pictures to follow.

Go TEAM!!!! And thank you all!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

#40 in the books and what a blast

Will provide more details shortly - but at the end of the day, we raced about 10 miles in about 4 hours time....four novice adventure racers. The best race out of the 40 by a long stretch

All I can say is - what a blast!

#40 - coming a few short hours

We're off to the Whitewater Center ( for the final event in the 40 in 40, a 4 hour adventure race with

Pete Lohri: the Navigator - friend from UMass and former Rugby teammate - and now neighbor,

Mike Nicosia: the Director - friend, ringleader, organizer...the guy who thought 4 hours in the woods with three friends on a Saturday afternoon in May is a great idea) and

Josh Cowley: the gazelle- soon to be friend, current acquaintance....if we don't reach friend status by the end of the day - well, something will have happened during the race

and me - I'll be the mule...

We have no idea of the order of the events or the distances. The race starts at 1PM. We PROBABLY should have gone to the mini clinic a few weeks ago - oh well but this is what we know we have on tap:

Trail run
Mountain bike ride
Whitewater rafting
Flatwater kayaking
Rock climbing

"other challenges"

The whitewater center is a spectacular spot - did two of the 40 out there in fact - #19 and #31, but never done anything to this extent out there.

I'm going to have fun today - keep us moving forward and on track - and just enjoy the 40th event in a year.

Sheila's mom and dad are in town, for her graduation. She graduated last night - with a 4.0 from Queens University. They're planning on coming out to try and see us finish -

Hope to see you there. It's been a hell of a week - sheila graduates with a 4.0, we are guaranteed to reach the $40,000, I am getting ready for my 40th event - and I just turned

Thanks everyone - go TEAM!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Today - my birthday - my 40th birthday started out like any other day...a little sleepy - a quick workout before work - and then - it got amazingly better. I had a surprise visit from my mother this past weekend - who flew down from VT to see me and take me out to dinner...who could ask for anything better?

The flood of emails and calls today wishing me a Happy Birthday from friends, family, people I've connected with as part of the 40 in 40 - people I have had the privilege to honor as part of the 40 in 40 and do the races for - kept me in a positive mood.

A planned lunch with my wife - gave me something to look forward to later today

Then - I get an email from a co-worker.

Whatever the difference in my fundraising and the $40,000 goal - they are going to close the gap - ENTIRELY

This person - who has yet to share their story with me - is going to make up whatever dollar amount we are short of our goal. Currently around $7, can still help close the gap between now and then.

words cannot express the gratitude - and utter awe I am in.

Thank you. Go Team! One more race - but we've already reached one goal

Will you help us go even further?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Event #39, Mount Holly Springfest 5K, Saturday May1

Holy cow - it's May 1st. How did THAT happen? Man the year has flown by, the year of the 40 in 40 and 2010 so

We've raised over $30,000 (by my count with what is outstanding in terms of posted items and matching gifts, etc) $32,681...unbelievable. I am in awe of the generosity and support of my family, friends, co-workers, and even complete strangers. Thank you all. It has been an adventure that has made my 40th year one I will never forget.

So - got up a little extra early to apply my much promised purple and green TnT colors face my entire head. Besides some smearing and not quite 100% straight lines, it actually was pretty easy....and Sheila thought it was hilarious. Maggie wasn't real sure what to make of it - she went and hid under the bed.

As I arrived at the race site, I got several sideways glances and odd looks. I just smiled. Someone who was doing her first 5K in over 3 years, finally asked..."So did you lose a bet or something?"

Nope - I WON a bet. I explained the 40 in 40 to her - she was complimentary of the adventure. AS I checked in, same thing "So what happened?" Then the radio announcer came up and asked. HMMM - maybe I should have been doing this all along.

The race director came up and asked me about it (we had emailed a few weeks ago about the race) and he said "We have to have you get up and say a few words!"

GULP...I stammered and was like UMM, OK. So what to say?

I got up and explained why the purple and green, and no, I did not lose a bet, no I am not an alien, no I am not sick (one kid thought I was green because I was sick...) When I explained what I was doing, where I had been - and what we have done - over $30K - there was a lot of applause. I had an opportunity to thank Sheila for her patience, and my sponsors, Karhu/Craft and TrySports.

So off to race...It was a loop course, with a nice downhill at the start, but that meant an uphill climb for the finish.

Mile one was a bit too fast, mile 2 went through a recently developed and reclaimed park in Mount Holly - and mile three point 1 was as promised...flat to down to start, then a climb to the finish. As I either passed folks, or got passed - I got a lot of "great job", "good luck with the last race" and a few "thank you for what you are doing"...

There were three young boys who raced today - two brothers, placed 3rd and 1st in their age group - who came up to me after the race and asked more about what I was doing. I find it fascinating that these young boys - who were probably more interested in the fact that they placed in their age group and what kind of mischief they were going to get into this afternoon - spent a bunch of time talking to me. They were very nice and seemingly impressed with the races.

Everyone after the race was kind as well and were encouraging.

Today's race is dedicated to the memory of Steven Smith and to his family. I learned about Steven and his family's story when I reached out to a donor,who had commented on my donation page about her brother's battle and the son of a friend of hers, who has fought the battle and lost. Steven, the father of four very young children was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in June 2004. Here is some more information from Steven's mother who (along with her husband and a daughter) are Team in Training Alums - and Steven's sister Kimberly is a Coach with Team in Training.

Steven’s story is a long one, as they all seem to be . He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in June, 2004, underwent various types of chemo to no avail, and finally entered a trial at Sloan Kettering in August of 2005. And again he underwent brutal chemo in preparation for a stem cell transplant. I don’t know how familiar you are with transplants, but the patient suffers terribly. And the parents watching over him are reduced to silent weeping, as there is nothing you can do. The transplant was done on November 9, 2005, but was unsuccessful, as we found out in February of 2006. From that point on it was a matter of keeping Steven alive for as long as possible, as he was the father of four very young children. Steven died at home with family right there on November 6, 2006, a few days shy of his 36th birthday.

Kathy and her husband, along with one of their daughters, Kimberly, ran the Nike Women’s race in San Francisco in 2008 as Team In Training participants, and are doing the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon with their other daughter, Kate, this fall – this time a relay – again for Team In Training.

The pictures included in this blog post are of Steven and his wife, Mija’s, children taken in 2004, just after the diagnosis, a photo of Kathy and Tacitus Bond taken the morning of the Nike run in San Francisco. Where they each did a half. Steven's sister Kimberly is a coach for Team and Training and has done lots of marathons, including Boston – one photo is of Kathy and Kimberly, taken in 2006, when they first trained for SF, but Kathy did not go due to Steven’s condition. And there is also a photo of Steven with the four kids taken in March 2006.

The Bond's strength and support for their family leaves me in awe of their resilience - and ongoing dedication to support the LLS through their TnT events - to hopefully one day, find a cure for blood cancers.

Kathy said in her email to me - "you are a remarkable person" - no - Kathy, Tacitus and their daughters and the memory and family that Steven leaves with me - and I expect all of you - they are truly remarkable.



Over $30K raised - so as purple and green noggin

Will provide a recap from the race, #39 right here in Mount Holly, a little later on - so in the meantime, enjoy the pics.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Events #37 and #38, Sally's Y 5k and Sally's Y 50K Sunday April 25

Two for one special today...just like last year, I was able to do the 5K prior to the cycle event (thank you Melissa Lasarsky and race directors) and got to ride and hang out with a lot of good friends.

Mike Ferretti, Jim Russell, Cat Reid, Cheryl Ryan, Greg Counts (all did the 100K) Kevin Collins, Justin and Tricia McCord - we did the 50K. Thanks everyone for coming out and making the trek up north to do the ride. Awesome seeing you all!

Beautiful day for the events - albeit a bit windy. Extremely well run and seamless. Well supported - challenging course with some great hills to test out the legs. Loads of fun.

For those who don't know, the Y in Denver, soon to be Sally's Y is being built in memory of Sally Clark, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2004. Her passion for life and spirit will be commemorated in the future home of Sally's Y - being built through the collaboration of her parents, David and Jo, to give back to the community - just as they know Sally would.

Due to the recent rains, the run was on the road, versus a trail run - a double loop - easy enough to navigate and fun to run - even if it was by myself.

Finished the run and changed up for the bike - different shorts (changed in the car) a lot of sunscreen and inflated the tires....shortly after I finished the run, we were off.

I can't say that I was really hammering on the bike. It's been awhile since I was on the road for an extended ride, so it was one mile at a time. Justin and I kept changing position up front - well - mostly Justin up front really....I kinda lagged behind.

We all had an awesome ride and a lot of fun. Nice to be out with good friends on a challenging course on a beautiful April afternoon.

Dedications for these events are forthcoming.

5K approx 23 minutes
50K 1:50:22

Go TEAM!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Event #36, Skyline 5K, Saturday April 24

Ugh...tired....really sleepy when the alarm went off this AM. I abused the snooze and got up pretty much at the last possible minute to make it to the race on time. But I did.

Good fun race. And a bigger crowd than I expected given it was drizzling this morning. Went and picked up my bib number and dropped off the stuff in the car. Went and lined up and thought to myself "self, hmmm no timing chips. OK, just watch the clock and figure out your net time. No biggie"

Then we start, and as we approach the starting line, and I hear a familiar high pitched beeping noise. TIMING MATS - what?!?!? I didn't think to ask about the chips (part of my running late issue) and so - rookie mistake. Good news is - my time can be anything I say it is.

So - I came in dead last - yep, they were rolling up the finish line as I - not really..but I might as well have.

As we're lined up I could hear folks strategizing, "OK, so we'll aim for 8 minute miles the first mile, the a little faster....", "If you want to take off, go ahead, I'll be right behind you", "should we take water on the course? do we need it?" A lot of folks were running their first 5K. Pretty impressive and the banter was a lot of fun to listen to.

Good course - covered some of the Great Harvest Bread Company course from last year and the Elizabeth 8K from last weekend. Long gradual hill for the first mile or so - which bodes well for the last mile (downhill baby). Didn't really have the bounce in my step that I was looking for, but had fun nonetheless and ran a negative split (second half was faster than the first).

Today's race is dedicated to Elizabeth Crowther the grandmother of a friend Keith Fleming, whose aunt was the person I dedicated last weeks race to. Elizabeth is 82. Here's a little bit about her battle

"My non-Hodgkins lymphoma was diagnosed in December 2004, chemo and radiation followed and I have been in remission since then. Thank God! I had a lymphoid tumor on my spine which was completely different from Sheila (Keith's aunt) who had a large tumor in her abdomen. Our courses of treatment used the same drugs, timing, etc. so the treatment hasn't changed much in the past five years."

While the treatments haven't changed much, the life expectancy of a blood cancer patient has improved. 40 years ago, a blood cancer of any sort was almost assuredly a death sentence. Through your generous support, this much needed work and improvements in quality of life and length of life have been made possible. But there is so much work to be done.

I saw Matt Woodliff, our internal audit partner - having a strong race. Also ran into Jenny from TrySports - she broke 21 minutes...holy cow. I also met Jordan, the Karhu/Craft rep for the area. He ran some crazy time of 15 + minutes. Great job everyone!!!

Next up, Sally's Y 5K and 50K (bike ride) tomorrow, if the weather holds up. It's a little iffy, so let's hope for great weather.



Friday, April 23, 2010

so - what's up this weekend? Events 36,37 and 38

What are your plans for the weekend? I plan to run 2 5Ks (one each Saturday and Sunday) and do at least a 30+ mile bike ride (Sunday).. why? I am within striking distance of the 40 races I set out to do a year ago...and am within, well at least the same zip code of the fundraising goal ($40,000) to support the LLS. I am relying on my trusty Karhus and Craft gear....and a little rest -to get me through...I am also looking forward to the support from Kevin Collins, a TnT coach and fellow Bank of America Associate, and his friends to keep me (relatively) sane during the ride on Sunday....pray for nice weather.

Go TEAM.....

If all of my FB friends forwarded this to their friends and everyone donated at least $10....I bet we could make $40,000 EASY......think about it...I have 300+ FB friends....I suspect many of you are MUCH more "popular" than I am.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Event #35, Elizabeth 8K, Saturday April 17

Great day for a run of any, sunny..I got about 10 hours of sleep - bonus.

Made it to the race site about 7:10, saw Elvis out front...same dude as last year - very funny. Caught up with Mike T from work and his wife Megan - got my gear and changed the not walk in my running shoes - EVER

Went for a warm up with Mike - this is pretty much the only time I could ever run with him - much faster than I am. By the time we got back they were lined up and we jumped into the crowd...we were both checking out the guys and gals up front - and were like - so, who do you think will win? I don't think either of our choices won...

As I missed mile marker 1 - about 14-15 minutes in I was thinking, we better be past mile one otherwise I'm taking my ball and going home...didn't really seem to have it and was a bit tired. But then I saw it - mile marker 2 - OK - not so bad - keep going.

Seeing as Mike is faster than me, my goal was to keep him "in sight" as much as I could - ideally I'd see him cross the finish line - but after mile 3 and with all the turns - and the fact he increased the gap from me - that didn't happen...

Yeah - all the turns....there are a ton of 90 degree turns in this race...not a lot of long straightaways - given the fact it goes through the residential neighborhood of "Elizabeth" that's not shocking but something they could contemplate improving upon.....

End of the day - good it was last year. Ironically enough, my time (haven't been able to find the results online yet and didn't wear the garmin) was pretty much the exact same time I posted last year...

is that good? Is that bad? given I had one heck of a week at work - I'll take it as a plus.

Number 35 down - five more to weekend I'm looking to do three. One on Saturday, and two on Sunday. Anyone want to join me? Let me know

Looking at the Skyline Run Saturday, and the 5K and 50K bike ride on Sunday at Sally's Ride for the Y

Today's race is dedicated to Ms. Sheila Hufnagel the aunt of a friend of mine. She is a survivor and on the road to recovery, her brief synopsis of her battle is as follows - and this was all last year:

Admitted to the hospital in June with blood clots in lungs where they diagnosed a large abdominal tumor (follicular lymphoma stage 4) and began chemo; had 6 rounds of chemo finishing in October; had 17 days of radiation in November; had the final scan and officially finished treatment in complete remission the middle of January; and have started on the quarterly checkup routine – first appt next week

We'll be thinking of you - and hoping for the best!

Thanks to all of you and your support, research and treatments have improved vastly....most importantly - the number of folks who do survive, who come back from the battle - continues to improve...

Go TEAM!!!


Friday, April 16, 2010

#35 on tap - Saturday AM

tough week at work and I think I ran all of 10 miles this week...and that may be generous...Elizabeth 8K is tomorrow - hope to see some co-workers Mike, Adam and Steve there. That is if I don't sleep through the alarm - getting home from work a little late is NOT conducive to training - it's official...but it's "fun" in a sick and twisted way.

we're over $26K now - come on - $30K and the paint goes on the noggin...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Let the games begin...

With 6 more races, I am now entering what I call "crazy season" at work (a quarterly phenomenon associated with what I do) where the days are long, but extremely worthwhile - and unfortunately the nights are right's a delicate balance between work, training and "life"....

I am preaching to the choir though - as so many of my friends, followers and my wife Sheila (who all follow the blog) - struggle to find the balance... do I get in miles, or a couple extra minutes or hours of sleep...and then hit the desk.

I am so energized about the last 6 (at least) races for the 40 in 40...and ironically enough have had so many folks at work, at the gym and at races ask about it recently ...that it adds to it all.

All I need to do is manage my own balance....and get to the goal. What do you think? is 3 hours of sleep enough to run 8-10 miles? Or swim a mile? Biking, I act like it is is on auto-pilot sometimes - which is why it is better to ride with folks..better for me and the cars on the road.

Nutrition helps balance things - eating better makes it do-able, but the Dunkin Doughnut I had at the office today doesn't quite fit into that....that's my own fault though. Who can resist a boston creme Dunkin? Come on now....

20+ miles this week (running) 20-30 on the bike and a mile (or more) in the water will help with the balance.

Who else here feels they are "better" when they maintain their workout schedule...even if it means an hour less of rack time? I sure do.

Number 35 in a few days...time to sleep...but not time to rest. The LLS has a daunting challenge in front of it...makes an hour less of sleep seem like a cake walk.

As a side note - but no less important...the fundraising event in Raleigh helped raise over $1,000...initial estimates were closer to $500 - but with donated food and follow on donations, we raised more than $1,000 for the LLS!!!!

Again, a huge thank you to Mike Tadych and Denise Mullen (no "blood" relation), Mary and Al Tadych - and of course Sheila....Glyn Jones from PF Changs in Raleigh and all the folks who turned out for the event...

We couldn't have done it without all of you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

#34 CoolBreeze Triathlon, Sunday March 28

Holy crap that alarm went off early....although truth be told - I didn't sleep much after we got home at midnight. Tri bag prep (prior posts go into my concern over that) and getting the bike ready and rack on my car...hit the rack around 1 AM - woke up pretty much every half hour concerned I slept through the alarm.

Then when it did finally go off at 5:15, I over used the snooze - assessing "what is the latest I can get up and make it to the race to get set up and ready?" Turns out that was 5:45....

Grab some pre-race chow and head for the race. make it to the site at 6:45 - plenty of time before the race starts - and even more before I have to jump in the pool. Get set up in transition, bike racked, clothes set up, all stickers/numbers affixed properly. Go get my numbers written on me at body marking....this is when it hits me - once again - we're so close to the end of the 40 in 40.

In Triathlon (and apparently in the race on Saturday) they do what is "aging up". If your birthday occurs after the race but during the calendar year of the race, they mark the age you will become (in my case 40) on your right calf. The reason for putting ones age on their leg is twofold....

One - to tell everyone just how old the person who just dusted you on the bike or run is
Two - to know if you should chase them - if they fall into your age group (5 year groupings - I am now in 40 -44)

Back to transition - and the guy next to me in the racks informs me my bike is racked incorrectly - to those of you who haven't done a tri - this could result in a penalty of 2 minutes - which in any tri - especially a short one - can make a big difference...not that I'm going to win - but still.

So I explain - no its not and - he feels he doesn't have enough space for all his transition stuff...waa waa waa. So I double check the rules - and no I am in fact racked properly. So I leave it.

About 15 minutes later - they announce incorrectly racked bikes and other potential penalties over the PA system "#426 your bike is incorrectly racked"...guess who #426 is...ME.

So - I move it - but as I do a USAT official ( the folks who figure out who is potentially in penalty - and record/report it accordingly) is walking by so I ask my bike incorrectly racked this way? He's like nope - you're good....

OK - I'll catch this little bugger, #425 on the course and make up for him tattling (incorrectly) on me...ya big space hog baby.... :-)

I am somewhat sympathetic as for many this is a first time tri - short course, pool swim early in the season - and while it's my first of the season, and I clearly could have made a mistake - however, just like there's no crying in baseball, there's no tattling in triathlon. I did in fact move my bike to accommodate #425 - not wanting to make his first tri (or one of his first tri's) a bad experience.

Today was like a TNT reunion of sorts....ran into and chatted with Jay Reid TNT Coach and husband of the wonderful Cat Reid - who was a Tahoe teammate from last year (his first tri EVER - as prep for the Austin TX Olympic), Abby Miller - TNT Director, John McLean, TNT Alum and Full IronMan finisher (I haven't done that...don't imagine I could) and Cheryl Reid - also a Tahoe teammate who is doing her first (I believe) TNT Tri in June....

Also saw Theoden Janes, Charlotte Observer blogger and running aficionado who just completed his third marathon in 4+ months last weekend....

All of them - with the exception of Jay - were all out volunteering to help make this a great event. John McLean of course was giving me grief on the run...."come on, get up this hill"...but it helped.

Net - net...

Swim - which was short (250M) was harder than it should have been
Bike was fast - due in part to the fact that pieces of the course were familiar due to other training rides and previous tris
Run was good - especially given the fact that we did the 5K yesterday...and I pushed a little harder than I expected to.

I passed #425 (mr tattle tale) about mile 5 on the bike - and saw him come in from the run...I was already hanging out drinking water and stretching and chatting with Jay....go re-rack YOUR bike pal.... (sorry - just an irritant)

I also met Patrick (didn't catch his last name - maybe he didn't have one - like Fabian....) who was doing his first ever Tri today and Jennifer - a mother of 3 who was doing her first tri too.....I love meeting folks who are just getting into a sport - their enthusiasm, their nervousness, their energy....and questions - help me feel like - no matter what - if I helped them get through this race - or prep for another one - or give them something else to think about - such as the 40 in 40 and the LLS mission - then - it was a great day. And I know - based on seeing them at the end - they'll be out there again and again.

Official times aren't up yet - but based on the clock - looked like about 1:14...not my best time - not my worst - but #34 is in the books and we're getting closer to home.

Also - #33 - yesterday in Raleigh (also - official results aren't posted) Sheila came in under 27 minutes, Mike around 30 and Denise around 35.

It was a great race - but some technical issues with the start time, the actual start - they counted down out loud versus using a horn or gun...and the course....the first half was fine - but as we looped back we literally ran across the stream of outgoing runners to get back on the road heading to the finish....I mean...we're running - "they're headed right for us" and you'd hate to impede them at all or break up their pace. Come on Raleigh and the race had several hundred out there for the 5K - possibly close to a thousand including the half marathon - and this is what you offer? I'll be submitting feedback once official results are posted.

Thanks to everyone out there today with kind words, support and cajoling.

Thanks also to Denise and Mike for training for the 5K and letting me come in ahead of them- and more importantly - organizing and planning the fundraising party where we raised nearly $500.

Thanks also to Mary and Al - for hosting the party and helping to organize and make it happen
Thanks as well to Sheila for getting us home as early as possible and making sure I got out there and made #34 happen.

You all ROCK!

Congrats to all finishers today. Will be providing heroes and folks I am doing these races in honor of shortly.

Go TEAM!!! We're over $25K - who gets me to $30K?

Let me know how I can help.

Next up - looks like the Elizabeth 8K - April 17, 2010.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

#33 Raleigh Rocks 5K, Saturday March 27

Another one in the books. A great 5K in Raleigh. Got to run with Sheila. And got to run with my sister and brother-in-law - who were doing their first 5K EVER.... and they did great. While the results aren't posted yet for some reason - there was a half marathon that took off about 30-35 minutes before us and the winner of that race came in in about 1:05 - 1:10...holy shnikies!

Anywho - chilly race morning, mid 30's and some delays at the start led to us standing around in the cold for a bit. Good course for the most part - came in around 23 minutes.

Mike and Denise (brother and sister-in-law) and Mary and Al (mother and father-in-law) arranged a fundraising dinner party around the event. 50+ people turned out from their church, tennis team (Denise's) water polo team (Mike's) and neighborhood...PF Changs catered - and donated the delicious food...

Got to meet some great folks - many who were truly interested in hearing the story of the 40 in 40, asked great questions and several called me "the crazy man".

We raised nearly $500, with promises and commitments for more donations from folks who forgot checkbooks, etc.

I want to thank

Denise - for her persistence and training for her first 5K - and for pulling the event together
Mike - for training so hard and helping pull it all together

Both of them for reminding me how much they love me - and seeing as I "made them run" I get to go play water polo and tennis with them someday soon

Al and Mary - for hosting the party at their home - and helping make sure it all came together and driving us to Mike and Denise's at 6AM this morning after little sleep.

Glyn Jones from PF CHangs for donating the food - and making it all gluten free.

More later about the event tomorrow...#34 is tomorrow AM - CoolBreeze Tri - which after returning to CLT from Raleigh at midnight - is gonna come OH SO EARLY....

Thank you all - GO TEAM! Off to bed

Saturday, March 20, 2010

#32 Shamrock 4 Miler, Saturday March 20 - in the books

Whew - very relieved to have done the race and had a blast doing it. Large field (about 1000 runners) but very well run event.

Heading into the race, I was feeling a great deal of trepidation. Training of any sort over the past few months has been less than optimal. Training of late has been slow and difficult. Not a ton of enjoyment - but I hadn't been able to determine exactly what was going on with me....after a disappointing race in January (the trail run) and two non-races in February...the fire in the belly was weak. I'll be honest - self doubt crept in this morning when the alarm went off at 5:30.

They sent us off with some Dropkick Murphy's (click their name for the song) which was only appropriate for a "Shamrock" race. Great tune and I took it as a good omen. Along the way - between snippets of songs from folks over volumized iPods - there were moms and dads encouraging their sons and daughters - with pace advice - mentioning expected finish times, 40 minutes, 50 minutes...whatever - not pushing - encouraging them... It was great. Reassuring. And it energized me about running again.

As we continued on the course, the reason for the 40 in 40 really came back to me - not racing for this long - and with a bit of a crazy work schedule, while I hadn't truly forgotten why - it had dimmed a bit....part of what weakened the fire in my belly I suppose. But today - as we were running - it came back...and so did I.

Everything kind of clicked - the Karhus were light and bouncy - almost like they were brand new (maybe because I haven't been running that much) - the Craft gear - kept me the right temperature - it was a B-E-A-U tiful day for a run...the fire came back - and I thought about all the folks I am doing the 40 in 40 for...not for me - for the patients, survivors, families and those who have fought the battle and lost.

With 8 more races to go - we have $15K left to raise - and a little over two months to do it. We'll get there and the renewed energy and focus - a good race can do that - will make it happen.


Go Team!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Drought

The span between # 31, January 23, 2010 and #32, March 20, 2010 - was a drought...a drought of races, training, discipline....but not of work or fundraising. We're at $25K - $15K to go to reach the goal....and less than two months to go - to complete 9 races. Admittedly, due to schedules,race availability and timing, the last 9 will not be as grandiose as I expected.

A Half Marathon scheduled for February was canceled due to weather ("lots of snow" in Myrtle Beach in February) and a fun event (Krispy Kreme Challenge) was canceled due to my inability to travel from CLT to Raleigh (also due to weather) - so I am under the gun....

Regardless, bring it on...three events scheduled for the next two least three in April - and a jam to get the final three in the first couple of weeks of May (I granted myself some time due to the weather situation here in February) - we'll get to 40 races.....can you help me get to $40K?

Follow up corporate sponsorship/donation requests are going out next week...please get the word out to your friends, family, companies...let's make this a reality.

The battles that LLS patients, their families, their friends struggle with and the need for your support make this so attainable..and so very worthwhile.

Get me to $30K - my head will be painted purple and green (Go TEAM!!!) TnT colors for my races.

Get me to $35K - purple and green noggin - and the last 10 donors to get me there gets their names scrawled on my arms, legs, head

Get me to $40K + - I wear a purple and green "greenman" suit for all remaining races. (pending approval from race directors and pending any safety concerns....) I will post a video of the suit and me - regardless - everywhere I can.

Come on, let's do this. I am asking for your support....find 10 friends, ask them to support this cause with $10 each. It has been a grassroots initiative to begin with - let's keep it going and get to $40K.

Friday, February 19, 2010

comment regarding Charity runners and Marathons

"Charity runners" are not lesser marathon citizens in the world of marathon. Sure we may not be pushing sub 3 hours, but we are doing "our first marathon", "our first half marathon" or our umpteenth marathon or half for a cause that is bigger than ourselves.

One of the things I loved (note the past tense) about road racing WAS the camaraderie and love of the sport. One of the things I dislike is those that diminish those that do not run sub 8's, 7's etc because it's not fast "enough"...

Imagine yourself - accomplishing more than you ever anticipated - to hear "charity runners diminish the sport." Liken that trained really hard, but did you qualify for Boston, the Olympics....F No - they looked adversity in the face and did a hell of a lot more in their training, fundraising and networking than most do in a lifetime. Could one of the elites pull their butts off the couch after learning a loved one was diagnosed with a fatal disease or ailment - with no "hope" of recognition or monetary reward?

Folks who do this with a charity do it for the benefit of others and hope they do "some good"

Next time....kick me in the schnuts before you say anything derogatory about "charity runners" - it would be less painful however, even more out of line.

Every race can be a race should be a defeat.

Friday, February 12, 2010

what an end to an amazing week Event # 32 - NOT

After leaving work at 2 AM Friday AM - and a long 7 hour rtek to Myrtle Beach for the half marathon, event # 32....with my sister Andrea and her boyfriend dave....arriving at 10:40 chance of ever getting my race packet - but still determined to do the race....I see this

Media Advisory
To: Myrtle Beach Media
From: Mark Kruea, Public Information Officer
Date: February 12, 2010
Re: Marathon update
We regret to report that the BI-LO Myrtle Beach Marathon has been cancelled for
tomorrow, Saturday, February 13.
The city staff has monitored weather conditions and
delayed making a decision as long as practical, in hope that the forecast would improve.
Unfortunately, the forecast consistently calls for snow accumulations overnight, raising concerns
about the safety of all involved in the marathon.

I need a beer.

Go Team!!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Event # 31 (sort of) Whitewater Trail Run, Saturday January 23

It's been a while since the last event (over a month) but today started out with pretty much ideal weather for a trail run at the Whitewater Center, just outside of Charlotte. Scheduled to do 13 miles, I got to the site and picked up my packet and bib in semi-darkness. I ran into Abby Miller, soon to be new TnT Director for the Western North Carolina Chapter of the LLS, Cat Reid, fellow TnT Alum, Mike Smith - Cheryl Ryan's (also a fellow TnT Alum) husband - and a bit of a running nut, Theoden Janes, Charlotte Observer blogger extraordinaire and also a running nut, and Santiago Montilla and Juan Pablo Mancia from work. It was like a reunion of sorts.

We started out a bit after 8AM and quickly enter the woods....this is where trail running diverges from road running. Single track trails (one person or bike wide) muddy, mucky, rooted and rocky trails. it taxes muscles and the body differently. First few miles are good - and I start to get into a rhythm. The challenge of trail running - in addition to the trail conditions - are the constant grade changes, uphill, downhill, stump jumping. You can't really get into an even pace...but we're having fun and ticking off the miles..

Then - right past mile 4 - down a bit of a muddy washout, and my left calf locks up....tight tight I pull over and try stretching it out. It's rock solid because of the cramp, but it loosens up and I get going again.

Mile 5 - and past mile 6. As we make the turn where the 8 mile route and the 13 mile route split- Theoden says "well we're committed now" which I respond - "maybe we should be committed"...about a 1/4mile down this trail, the calf cramps up again and my legs are just not feeling right - so I stop to stretch again...get going and another 1/4 to 1/2 mile...and again...cramp - this time worse than the other two. Dammit....Decision I decide - begrudgingly - I turn around and have now determined I am best served to do 8 and not 13. My concern over seriously hurting my calf - potentially derailing the last 10 races out of the 40 in 40...outweighs the "no guts no glory" that was running through my head and silencing the pain in my calf. Good news is - it's my left calf - not my right calf like in Kiawah...

As I get on the trail again - I am debating - should I just turn around and muscle through the 13. I see where the 13 mile route rejoins the 8 mile route....yes, no, yes, fudge

I manage to get through the balance of the 8 mile route with only a couple more cramps and instances of my legs locking up - or feeling like they were.

I cross the finish line and am in all honesty - pissed at myself. My training has not been as focused as it should have been the past couple of weeks. Nutrition has been suspect. And it all showed up today - and got in my face - and beat me.

So - while I completed a race - whether or not I count it ultimately in the 40 in 40 remains to be seen. The folks I am doing this for - the reason - all go through so much more than a little muscle cramp. They persevere through Chemo treatments, surgeries, ups and downs that make what I was dealing with today seem like a hangnail or a bad hair day. They don't give up.

So while I believe I've isolated the factors that drove the outcome - that I didn't have what was needed to complete the event I set out to do - I also know I need to reflect and build on these things - and focus on the reason I am doing this - to do more to help those who are battling blood help them by raising the $40K I set out to raise.

Going forward - no more doubts - no more letting the doubt get in my head - time to re-focus and do better....time to do more for those who are unable to. Training needs to be smarter and more diligent - more consistent. Nutrition more purposeful.

Santiago and Juan Pablo did great today - finishing the 8 well ahead of me. Mike did better than he set out to do - crushing the 13 in around an hour and a half....and while I didn't see Theoden since the time I stopped to stretch, I know he did awesome as well. He has a determination and fire that kept him focused....

All the runners did great today - well - all but one.

Run well my friends - hope to see you soon - and if I do - tell me to pick it up and get going.