Thursday, June 9, 2011

Minnesota Nice

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I am running around the country raising funds for the American Cancer Society in memory and in honor of my amazing, inspirational Aunt Susie, a tireless advocate for ACS. Despite battling cancer and working more hours per week than most in order to cover treatment expenses, Susie was always smiling and always willing to support others who were affected by cancer. As of this morning, I am only $41 away from having raised $1,000 for ACS since the start of the year. Thank you so much to all who have supported ACS so far! If you haven’t yet made a donation, and would like to do so, I would be so grateful for your help in ensuring that Susie’s efforts on behalf of ACS continue on.

As always, I’m also supporting Girls on the Run. I think GOTR is a much-needed organization that helps young girls develop into strong women. As a shy kid growing up, I am thankful that I had a family that encouraged my creativity and curiosity. With that support, I discovered a love of running, which gave me the confidence to be more outgoing. I know those of you who know me personally are saying, “You, shy?” For me, running was a catalyst, so I think GOTR’s 12-week bi-annual curriculum that aims to teach young girls inner strength and confidence through running is an invaluable program.

As summer gets underway – and boy is it underway, with the past two days rising above 100 degrees in the Twin Cities – I am getting really excited about my first summer in Minnesota and my upcoming Red, White and Boom! Half Marathon. I’ve gotten to know some amazing new friends, coworkers and neighbors. And the Twin Cities feel so much more alive and happening now that people have emerged from winter hibernation. In recognition of my new hometown and my Minnesota RUS run, I’d like to tell you about two local organizations that I’ve discovered.

As I’m finishing furnishing my new apartment, I realized that I have some furniture that I don’t need or want to keep. So I’m donating it to Serenity Village, run by my coworker Monica and her husband Jeff. Not satisfied with anything short of total success, Serenity Village runs a group of “Wholeway Houses,” where men overcoming addiction can receive housing and assistance in kicking the habit for good, and in return, they provide outreach and ministry services in their local communities. If you are in the Twin Cities area and have unwanted furniture in good condition, consider donating it to Serenity Village! You can contact them here.

If you’re a northern Minnesotan, Clearwaters Life Center, has a similar program for aiding young adults and adults who are struggling with addiction and other difficulties. Clearwaters Life Center is run by my cousins Larry and Becky Dorman. They’ve dedicated their lives to helping others, and I’m sure they’d be grateful for any donations offered by readers of this blog. They also would appreciate volunteers for their various programs – whatever your talent, they will put it to good use!

Finally, if you’d like to join me in the Red, White and Boom! Half Marathon, I’d LOVE your company! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Updated Map!

If you're wondering where you can find Kristine, Mark and me on the roads in the coming months, our RUS Map linked on the right column of this blog has been updated so you can track our progress as we zig zag around the country from state to state.

Some of the upcoming races include:

Minnesota's Red, White and Boom! Half Marathon, which Miri will run on July 4th.

Oregon's Hood to Coast Relay, a 197-mile, 12-person-team relay from Mount Hood through Portland to the Pacific Coast. Mark, Kristine and I are running the Hood to Coast on August 26-27 in support of the American Cancer Society as part of ACS's DetermiNation athlete fundraising program. You can support us using the link in the top right of this blog!

Illinois's Chicago Marathon, which Miri, Kristine and Mark will run on October 9.

Georgia's Savannah Rock-n-Roll Marathon on November 5th, 2012. Clearly Kristine is a fan of the Rock-n-Roll marathon series - this will be her 4th Rock-n-Roll run!

Tennessee's Nashville Country Music Marathon (Kristine) and Half Marathon (Miri) on April 28, 2012.

North Dakota's Fargo Marathon (Kristine) and Half Marathon (Miri) on May 18-19, 2012.

We hope to see you all on the road in one - or all - of these upcoming races!

Running Angry

I've apparently become what some might call the fifth Beatle of RUS. The forgotten one. I mean, Kristine and Miri are world famous now after appearing in Fitness magazine. I'm not jealous or anything. It was a great article and certainly brought needed attention to our group and the charities we support. But I didn't get mentioned at all in the article. I know, I know, it's a women's fitness magazine and I'm not, well, a woman. Still, they could have said something like "we'd be lost without Mark's inspiration!" It wouldn't be true, of couse, but c'mon girls, humor me next time! ;-)

Anyways, I spent the past month or so recovering from the Cincy marathon. Damn hills did a number on my calves and one of my knees. Recovering meant lots of beer and whatever unhealthy foods I was in the mood to eat. Afterall, one of the benefits of running is that I can eat and drink pretty much whatever I want. (I should also give a big thank you to my parents for the good genetics because my cholesterol is still off the charts good.) But I can't be couch potato forever, so last week I started training again for some races I'm doing later this year.

Aug 14 - An Ironman 70.3 triathlon in Benton Harbor, MI. 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. Then two weeks later....

Aug 27-28 - The Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon. The mother of all relay races. 197 miles. Then six weeks later....

Oct 9 - The Chicago Marathon.

The kicker and the thing that surely will make training this summer totally stink is I'm going to try to run fast enough at the Chicago Marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I've always thought the organizers of the Boston Marathon purposely set the qualifying times to be just out of my reach. Ten or so years ago I ran some marathon times that were within a couple of minutes of qualifying for Boston, but alas, I was never quite fast enough at the end of the races. (I did run Boston in 2001 using a friend's name and qualifying time, with his blessing, but it wasn't the same. It was also likely illegal, but let's not focus on that technicality.) As I've gotten older, my Boston qualifying time has gotten higher, but inexplicably, I've gotten slower. I don't know how or when it happened, but I'm just slower. To qualify for Boston these days, I've got to run a 3:30 which is an 8 minute per mile pace. I used to be able to run 8 minute miles all day. That was a slow jog back then. I can still run 8 minute miles well enough, but 26 of them in a row....That's the hard part.

Running faster means doing speed training, and speed training, well, it hurts! My heart and lungs feel like they are on fire and my legs get wobbly. And that's after running just a few 1/4 or 1/2 mile sprints and there's still seven or eight sprints to go. My so-called "speed coach" (who's just my buddy Dave in NYC) says that to maintain my pace at the end of the marathon when I'm tired means I've got to get stronger too. So this year I'll be doing sets of squats, lunges and burpees in between sprints. Doesn't sound fun. Dave says it will train me to run angry. I'm not sure what that means exactly. I suspect I'm mostly going to be angry when I'm training because I won't be relaxing on the couch with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other.

Peace out!