Four Weeks and a Chance to Win an Echo

I can’t believe it – only four weeks to go! Had a breakthrough swim last night,  I swam almost 2.7 miles (that is 188 laps in a 25 yard pool) in under 1 hour and 15 minutes. The race swim is 2.4 miles and the cut off time is 2 hours and 20 minutes. That swim cleared a big mental hurdle for me!

Had the pool to myself for a change

I still have a little ways to go with the fund raising, but thanks to the good folks at Amazon, I will be raffling off an Amazon Echo to help reach my fundraising goal. Any donation above $30 between now and July 8th will help the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation achieve their mission and provide you a chance to win some great technology for your home or office!


The following is the breakdown on how to get chances to win: 

  • $30 – One Chance
  • $50 – Two Chances
  • $100 – Five Chances
  • $250+ – Fifteen Chances

Please make your donations through my MMRF donation page. The drawing will be held on July 8th. I will email you after receiving your donation confirming the number of raffle chances. Thanks in advance and good luck in the raffle!

5 Weeks to Go

I am sitting in the Chicago Airport on Father’s Day and can’t believe it is five weeks until the IronMan Lake Placid. It seems like just a short time ago I announced I was doing this as a Charity Entry for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Training has been a lot recently, many long hours swimming, riding, and running, last week I spent more than 16 hours either swimming, riding or running. It is funny, I have never been the guy the people in a gym knew by first name, now I am. My wife has been poking fun at me, I am eating everything in the house and none of my none of my clothes fit me any longer. But it  became more even more real this week when the race kits arrived on Thursday. This shit is really getting close!

Tribute still to be announced….
 To circle back to Father’s Day, I can’t believe that it has been 14 years since my father lost his battle with Bladder & Brain Cancer.
Happy Father’s Day!

I remember how hard it was to go through that process and how difficult it was on our family. I want to do everything in my power to help others from having to go through that process. I would like to say thank you to everyone that has helped me get closer to my fund raising goal of $5,000. I am a little over $3,000 and could use some more help over the next few weeks in reaching my goal to help other families not have to go through that ordeal. If you have donated, I sincerely THANK YOU, but please share the link to my donation page with your friends and family. If you haven’t donated, please consider donating whatever you can.

 

Half Crazy?

I did it! 70.3 miles in 6:06:10. I was shooting for sub-6 hours, but given the heat during the run I am more than happy with that time.

This event was hard, but I got such a kick out of it. The run was probably the most brutal run I have ever completed. I have done some long, hot hilly runs. But this one seemed particularly hard. Half was uphill, half was downhill, and all was in full sunlight. I have never been that uncomfortable, but in the same breath, it has been a long time since I have had the mental strength to say – I’ve got this.

There were many experiences through the race that made me reach back to things I have learned along the way, whether directly through training or from previous endeavors, but all helped me deal with some of the madness I found out there.

The morning greeted me with an amazing sunrise. All athletes took shuttles from the center of town out to the race start. I was listening to music on the ride, thinking about all the work that has led to this event and wondering if I was going to be able to pull it off. Actually be able to justify all of the time I have taken from being with family and friends. I was nervous if I could actually do it.

The first was the swim. If you have never done an open water swim, it can get pretty spooky. Murky water, knowing it is deep, lots of people churning around you. It is amazing the way your mind can take over and makes a controlled event seem really sketchy. I was about .1 miles into the swim when my mind started questioning what I was doing. Thinking I couldn’t breath and I had SO FAR to go. I immediately started  questioning this endeavor. A close friend’s lesson popped into my head – a story around deep water and thinking too much about something (Thank You Jerry!). Right around this time, I saw someone swim over to one of the safety boats and pull the plug on their swim and end their attempt. I kept thinking about his story and honestly laughed while swimming and quickly got my head refocused on the task at hand. I finished the swim in 46 minutes, getting out of the water feeling elated. Now I could get onto my strong events.

Organized chaos

I have been a cyclist my whole life, and I couldn’t wait to get on the bike. There aren’t many places I feel more comfortable in than on a bike seat, and yesterday was no different. I went in with the mindset of not having to mash on the pedals all the time, just stay consistent. My comfort also let me switch my head off and just move.

This bike likes to go fast…

The heat started to increase and I knew I had to stay on top of my eating and drinking or else I would never finish this thing. There were aid stations every 14 miles and I took full advantage of them. The volunteers were so awesome. The one I stopped at (not just rolled through grabbing what they had to offer), a woman ran up to me and asked me what I needed and made sure I was taken care of. I was in and out of there in less than a minute with full bottles. I found myself doing well where others were struggling and made up time on people when going uphill. They may have passed me on the downhills,  but I would pass them on the next climb and would give me distance on them.

The other thing about the ride that was entertaining were the signs people had along the course to cheer us on. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Covfefe Faster!
  • It is called an IronMan because it is hard. If it were easy, it would be called your Mom

Leading up to the run, I was not too concerned about it. In hind sight, I should have been. It was brutal! The course consisted of two six mile loops, three miles uphill and three miles down with very limited shade in 90+ degree temperatures. That run beat the shit out of me. I drank as much liquid as I could, but did not feel like I could get anymore in me without getting sick. It was a weird balance I was trying to do…

The Town of Raleigh came out in full force and rooted every runner on. A few of the businesses set up their own cheering sections and it definitely made it easier to push on when I was feeling low. I have to admit that having your name on your race number is nice. Having people call out your name and root you on is a very empowering thing when you don’t want to continue. The finish for the IronMan is another amazing event I find difficult to explain. The cheering noise and the announcer really got my adrenaline pumping. I felt like I had nothing left in my tank, but when hearing the muffled announcements and the growing sound of the crowd I got a surge of energy to push me through the finish.

In all it was an amazing experience and I cannot wait for Lake Placid in seven weeks!

12 weeks to go….

I can’t believe it is 12 weeks out from the IRONMAN Lake Placid. My fitness is starting to line up and I am feeling really good in my workouts and way more comfortable in the water.

Look out, it’s ‘That Guy’!

Which is a good thing since The season is spinning up this weekend. Starting with the High Cloud PeasantMan Triathlon this weekend and I’m four weeks to the IRONMAN 70.3 Raleigh. I still have a ways to go to meet my $5,000 goal and would really appreciate your help. Please make a donation or share the link to help me circulate the message. Thanks in advance!

Something for the weekend

I have read almost every book by Henry Rollins and have seen him do spoken word a bunch of times, but this may be one of the best version of ‘I Know You’ I have ever come across.

Now for something completely different, here is a video of a group of guys skating on frozen sand along the Norwegian coast. Love the ingenuity and building a half pipe out of frozen sand. If you have the bandwidth, watch it in full resolution!

Finally an amazing video of the Bad Brains from 1983 in Berlin.

Have a great weekend!

Marine Corps 17.75k Results

Whenever I have an event, I get so excited in the morning that I wake up really early and don’t go back to sleep because I am afraid my alarm won’t go off and I am going to miss it. Today was no different, the Marine Corps 17.75k has a 7a start and requires a shuttle ride after parking, but still there was no real reason for me to be up at 3:00a.

Felt pretty with my results from today. I was much faster than last year, dropping more than 30 seconds a mile. I am really happy with my overall results and placed much better than I expected I would:

  • Overall: 239 out of 2,834
  • Males: 188 out of 1,423
  • 40-44 y/o Males: 27 out of 248

So I have gotten guaranteed access into the Marine Corps Marathon this fall, hopefully it is cooler than last years. Can’t believe last year was my first marathon and this year I will be running two in two weeks of one another. Going to be a busy year!

Training going great, fund raising not so much…

A lot of things have happened since my last post. First and foremost, my training has been going great, last week I hit all of my distance and time goals and was not completely destroyed at the end of the week. The week before that, I spent a week in the mountains running through mountain lion country.

This week is starting off well and I am getting prepped for the Marine Corps 17.75k this weekend. I found a local Olympic distance triathlon, High Cloud PeasantMan, to do in the beginning of May. I also got notice that I secured a lottery position for the 2017 New York City Marathon!!!

The latest ranking from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation came out and I have slipped out of the Top 10. Way out of the Top 10 to be honest…

Thanks to a lot of you, I have raised almost $1,800, but I still have a long ways to go to my $5,000 goal. There 18 weeks left until the IronMan Lake Placid, that means I have to raise almost $180 every week from now until then to meet my goal. Do you think you can help me reach that goal? Please donate what you can. If you do not have the means to donate, please share this post with as many of your friends as you can.

Thank you in advance and stay tuned – there is more to come!

 

Letter of Intent – Allegheny Mountain Loop

Leading up to the IRONMAN Lake Placid, I am going to have to do some serious training (thank you Captain Obvious). But along the way I am going to compete in a few events to help gauge my fitness and just break the monotony. So Sunday I submitted my letter of intent to race in the Allegheny Mountains Loop.

There is not a day that goes by when I do not think of where I was a little over a year ago. Along the way, I have completed a number of my identified goals:

But this letter is not about looking back, it is all about looking forward. I have a couple more events in front of me before the 2017 IronMan Lake Placid, I’ll be running in the Black Mountain Challenge and Marine Corps 17.75 and competing in the IronMan Raleigh 70.3. With this letter, I would like to announce my intent in competing 2017 Allegheny Mountain Loop.

Thank you for the opportunity and I appreciate your effort!

So what is the Allegheny Mountain Loop you might ask…

It is a 400+ mile self-supported mountain bike race along the West Virginia and Virginia borders held in late April that consists of 128 miles of gravel forest roads, 78 miles of rail-trails, 22 miles of abandoned rail-trails, and 175 miles of paved roads with a whole bunch of ups and downs.

But what does that mean? Well, it means I will be starting with a handful of other crazies at 6am on April 28th to ride the loop as fast as I can while carrying everything I need. If I can’t carry it, I will need to buy it along the way. There are no support vehicles or aid stations along the way, just a simple “run what you brung” event.

Pretty stoked about it and being accepted to toe the line with some of the best cyclists in the region and see how hard and as far as I can push myself.

Giving Tuesday – Don’t Dig a Hole

If you are reading this, you have survived the food induced coma from Thanksgiving. Hopefully you didn’t get in a fight at the store on Black Friday or followed REI’s motto of #OptOutside and spent the day outdoors with your loved ones. Maybe you supported your local small businesses on Small Business Saturday and finished off your holiday shopping on Cyber Monday. Which leads us to today – Giving Tuesday.

One of my favorite games to play at family gatherings is Cards Against Humanity (like you expected anything better out of me). There have a few very late nights with my niece, nephews and their significant others in tears from laughing. Last week, the folks at Cards Against Humanity starting digging a hole and funded it with donations. There was no purpose for the hole other than digging it and having it funded by donations. From the interaction below, you can see why I enjoy playing Cards Against Humanity with them:

Digging a hole

D hit the nail right on the head from the FAQ:

Q: Why aren’t you giving the money to charity?
A: It’s your money. Why aren’t YOU giving it to charity.

Another FAQ I thought was relevant was:

Q: How am I supposed to feel about this?
A: You’re supposed to think it’s funny. You might not get it for a while, but some time next year you’ll chuckle quietly to yourself and remember all this business about the hole.

I see the humor and given everything that has been going on over the past few months, I think the hole is about as relevant as many other news items. But I ask a favor, if you are going to donate today, please consider donating to the Multiple Myleoma Research Foundation.  I don’t know a single person that has not been impact by cancer, whether personally, through a friend or loved one. This organization is solid  with 90% of the funds raised used to support research and related programming.

The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $240 million since its inception to fund laboratories and trials worldwide. Ninety percent of the MMRF’s budget is dedicated to support research and related programming, earning the very highest ratings from the nation’s leading charity evaluators such as Charity Navigator.

So please consider donating a few dollars, or more if you can, I don’t want to limit you. I know a number of you have made donations, and I truly appreciate it. If you could share my donations page or posts from here and help spread the story that would be great.

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