Thursday, April 29, 2010

Driving me Froggy

I am sitting here at Jabco-Maggi Mitsubishi doing a live action broadcast with Froggy 101.  Skeeter seems like a nice guy and has been really helpful with my interview spots.  The dealership has agreed to give $50 to JDRF for each car they sell now through Saturday at 2PM.  This generosity is typical of what I've learned to expect from John over our 20 year relationship.  He is interested in the person, whether it is matching them with the right vehicle for their wallet and lifestyle, or taking care of those in need.  I really appreciate his help in this endeavor.  I have to say that these Mitsubishis are looking awfully nice.  Then again, so are the Volvos and Mercedes.  I could really go for the Jeep Rubicon, though. I've always wanted one of those.  It may just happen somewhere down the road, but not just yet.
I've got 3 weeks to go.  I plan to do a couple more LONG runs, but primarily I will do from 10 to 18 milers a few times a week and then rest the last 5 days or so before the 21st.  I am really hoping for nice weather during the event.  I love to run for an hour or two in the rain, but overnight will be challenging.  I know, I shouldn't whine, just toughen up a little and deal with it.  I will do that, but I can still hope for sun.
Well,  enjoy the warmer weather now, get out and have some fun!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Over $5000 !

Hooray to all those who have generously donated to JDRF in support of the 30-hour run!  Together, we have put together over $5000 in contributions.  Thank you all so very much!
This last weekend was pretty exciting in Ridgway.  A smaller crowd than usual gathered downtown for the start of the run.  We set out on the roads on an absolutely perfect day for running.  Cool air, not too sunny or windy, and low key for most of us.  The people of Ridgway came out to cheer and support friends and strangers alike.  The road portion of the course is nice because of the varied terrain, but the real joy comes in the second half while running the rail-trail that follows the Clarion River.  Back in town, we made the transition to bikes and headed back out along the same route as the run, just farther South.
I had a really strange thing happen on the ride.  I was going up an incline and kept going faster!  I upshifted and went faster!  I felt great!  This happened in the first and second halves of the ride.  I had never experienced this before.  I guess maybe it resulted from TRAINING - a new concept!
So, both my run and ride were super.  Both happened faster than expected and felt good as well.  Then the canoe happened.  Thanks to Howard for lending me his boat again this year.  It is way nice to paddle a solo boat.  I had another offer of a kevlar boat, but with the low water, didn't want to take a chance of trashing Pat's baby. About 1/2 to 2/3 of the way in, I passed through a little riffle and hit a low water spot.  I thought it would be better to run with the canoe than push it along in a few inches of water, so I jumped out and ran pulling the boat behind me.  All was good until the water got deep enough and I pulled the boat hard to allow it to pass me.  As it came by, I thought that I would save time and just jump in.  MISTAKE !  You know, the Clarion River in April is a bit chilly.  The water quickly got deep enough that it almost became a run-bike-swim triathlon.  Fortunately for me, the weather was nice enough that my paddling and the wind dried me off and kept me cozy warm.  As chance would have it Doc and Thundercloud were right behind me and got to witness the whole episode.  Since they are kind, they only laughed a lot and passed on by with few disparaging comments.  It actually did feel good, but was very embarrassing.
I was so happy to see my cousin Corey and his son, Zach participating again this year.  Zach is a great runner and Corey an excellent cyclist.  Paddling is fun for them and they get lots of bonding time.  I am thinking of doing the event with my older son next year.  John, Brenda, Pat, Linda, Jonathon, Ken, Barbara, as well as Molly the boys and I went to supper together.  The food was good, the company great, and a fine way to finish the day.  Someone at the restaurant even approached me to ask if I was the one doing the diabetes run.  They offered kind words of support and buoyed my spirits even more.
Thanks to Jacob, Andy, Scott and Doreen for their donations.  You have been so kind.  Dick's Sporting Goods has donated a $20 gift card and the Steelers sent an autographed photo of Troy Polamalu as raffle prizes.  Thanks to them for their support!
I have several radio spots coming up soon.  Thursday night , I will be at Jabco-Maggi Mitsubishi for a remote broadcast with Froggy 101.  I have had several excellent transactions with John Jabco and really respect him a lot.  I believe that he tries to do the best for each person he works with.  I can remember in 1990 talking with him and he said that he didn't want to sell me this car, he wanted to sell me several cars over many years.  He has done that and has stood by every one.  I like the service after the sale.
I am going to do somewhere between 11 and 14 miles this afternoon.  I don't know how much because I enjoy meandering through the forest so much.  It's just nice to be out.
See you along the way!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tri now Pay Later

This weekend is the Ridgway Triathlon.  A great time and a nice chance for those non-ironmen and non-ironwomen to have a great day in Northern Pennsylvania.  Solo participants have a great time, too !  The people of Ridgway are just fantastic and support this event all along its nearly 30 miles of adventure.  I rode the bike today for 14 miles getting home just before the downpour.  My legs remember what they are supposed to do and almost how to do it. I am waiting to see if I am paddling a canoe or kayak in the race.  My buddy, Pat, has both and if the wind is bad, he will loan me his canoe, if it doesn't seem to be a heartbreaker, I will be paddling his kayak.  Either way, it will be a nice day out on the upper Clarion River.

I got several donations today for raffle items.  Qdoba Grill of State College gave coupons for free burritos, 2000ยบ supplied a $10 gift card, and The Bicycle Shop gave 2 $10 gift cards.  Kissell Motorsports is putting together some items for the raffle as well.  A huge THANKS to all of these folks, I really recommend that you support them as they support the community.  These places all get hit hard by so many groups asking for donations, and sometimes it is hard to ask them to contribute more.

Nice bike ride today and good short, quick run, then soccer practice with the kids yesterday.  I'm not planning to do anything at all tomorrow if I can help it.  Just get everything loaded and get to bed reasonably early.  Away we go!

Monday, April 19, 2010

One Month

A month is a long time, and a short time.  I am excited and nervous about the run to come.  Closer to today is the Ridgway triathlon.  This weekend, we will head up to Ridgway and brave the elements.  I have really enjoyed the challenge over the past several years.  I don't know yet if I will be paddling a canoe or kayak.  My preference could go either way.  With the kayak you get 2 paddle blades, the canoe is a little longer.  I'm more comfortable in the canoe, but the kayak could make things fun and different.  Ah, we'll see what happens.

I need to thank some students for their donations.  John, Kevin and PSU student James put some seed money into a couple of collection jars today.  Let's hope they take root and grow quickly !  Betty and a friend of Pete's also provided some cash donations.  I will be mailing in all of the checks and cash that has come in over the past couple of weeks.  That will make the website total go up pretty nicely.

I've been getting a lot of different visits to the blog recently.  I hope that these visits turn into contributions for JDRF.  I'm really happy that the project has brought in the funds it has, so far, but I am pretty far from my goal.  Good things are coming.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Motivation is Good !

I feel so much better!  My runs haven't been as long (mostly around 13 miles), but they've been a little quicker.  I got into the pool on Friday, ran Saturday, biked Sunday and Tuesday, and ran a quick - for me- 6 or 7 Tuesday night.  I got a great donation from Dale and Kelly ! Thanks so much !  Dale is also letting me use his GPS watch so I can see just how far I'm going.  It is eye opening sometimes.  Both to see how far and sometimes, how not so far I've gone.

New pump today for Molly.  It came with a glucose monitor that will communicate with the pump.  Pretty cool!  It is not a continuous glucose monitor, that is still denied, but the letter from Dr. Ulbrecht convinced the insurance company to update the pump at little cost to us.  Thank you !  So Molly will be learning the new pump over the next week or so.  She gets some training that I believe she scheduled during a phone call this evening.

I keep forgetting to link to the Penns Valley Hope Fund.  The host family for our son at Centre County Band and Choir are some of the founders of this great organization.  Please check them out.

Thanks to Theresa, a PA with our kids' pediatrician's group for her generous contribution.  She is a great runner and an inspiration.  She has done several marathons as well as the MegaTransect.  I always consider it a good run if I can see her more than halfway through the run.  She runs with the Avocados during the Tussey MountainBack and I expect to see her there this year.  Assuming I survive this run in reasonable condition, I am going to do the MountainBack as an ultra - I am going to do the whole 50 miles.  It is 2 weeks after the MegaTransect this year.  That will allow a little more recovery than last time.

As I get closer to the big event, I am so happy to see the donors coming forward.  I see some light at the end of the tunnel.  At the same time, I've been realizing that this thing has got to get bigger than me.  I am really happy about the support my friends and family have provided for JDRF through the 30 hours project.  I am realizing that it is going to have to get bigger than me and my circle of friends to reach this goal.  Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an effort from all of us to work toward a cure.  I realize it seems silly to use these cliches, but I can't get over the fact that it is true.  We each have time, talent, and treasure that we are expected to put to use.  I've been blessed so much during this project, I feel as though I am getting more than I can possibly ever give back.  Thanks for that.  With that being said, tell your friends, ask your boss, your reading group, people you pass on the street.  Tell them you know this guy whose not so bright that is going to run all day, all night (and part of the next day) to try to make a difference.  
See you out there!  God is Good!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Wednesday was a great run through the game lands.  I cannot believe how much I love trail running.  The area that was burned last week was interesting to look at.  Not a whole lot of difference, just less ground clutter.  It is pretty impressive to see how exact an area can be burned.  I am not sure when the next burn will be done, but I hope to investigate the area afterward and observe the new plant growth as it progresses.

Thanks to Teri and Mark for their wonderful donation to JDRF.  Teri is planning to ride in a Ride for the Cure JDRF event the week before the State College walk.  Teri and Mark were able to come in to the school yesterday for our "Health Fair" and speak to students and staff about diabetes and JDRF.  I really appreciate their willingness to take time from their busy day to share with others.  They have been touched personally with the diagnosis of one of their children with type 1.

I went to the pool this morning and swam for a while.  I must say that it is way harder for me than running. If I can get a couple of days a week in the pool each week, I will be so happy.  I realize that I don't have to be good, just persistent and consistent.  It sort of takes the pressure off and keeps it fun.  I may even get to the point that I will try a swim triathlon.  I've done several run, bike, paddle events, but have never had the courage to try a swim event.  Maybe this is the year.  I know it is good to get a workout without any impact on the body, specifically the feet and knees.  I feel like I might even get a short run in today as well.  I certainly need to go long tomorrow morning.  The weather looks great, so I will be pleased to get out and hear the birds waking up.

I usually run long with a red camelbak on, so if you see me, honk or yell for encouragement.  I may be going slow, but I'm moving forward (most of the time).
Thanks for all the support of me and especially for diabetes research.  I think of this project as 100 miles closer to a cure.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Getting my mind right - Wow! That will help!

It is hard to believe that I'm having a hard time focusing, but that seems to be the case.  I have had a tough time getting up in the morning and getting out the door.  I love the minutes and hours that follow the first mile, but I haven't been able to get myself to do that first mile for several days.  In some ways, I'm certain that my body needed some extra rest, but that time is past and it it time to get it back in gear and keep moving forward.  There are fewer than 50 days remaining- 45 to be exact- and in reality the last week won't hold much running at all.  I'm still really excited about the run, folks have been really supportive, and I'm seeing results in the fundraising, so the motivation is there.  I just need to get out and get moving.  No excuses, just run.

I just checked my email and Matt, one of my students, made an awesome donation to JDRF !  That is so cool!  A lot of my students are runners and several ask often about how my training and how the fund raising are going.  I am so appreciative of the authentic interest they've shown and I want to thank them so much.  Matt is an awfully nice kid and I am so pleased that he is taking an active role in supporting diabetes research.

The Easter week was very good for fundraising.  My mom and my dad each made kind and generous donations, thanks for always taking such good care of me.  John and Evalene, Connie, and Pete (once again!).  Thank you all so much.  I am so happy to see the generosity and caring of all of these people.  It really does renew a belief in the kindness of friends.

I haven't been keeping track of mileage or even hours lately.  I think that I will begin doing that for a couple of reasons.  It will help me keep track of my progress and if I post it here, will add some pressure to perform.  That will be a good thing!  Do I have a training goal?  I hesitate to say, but let's think in the neighborhood of  300 miles before May 15.  Can it be done (by me ;) ?  Stay tuned!
Thanks and God bless.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Burning for a good run

I think I had perfect timing.  I ran through the Scotia game lands yesterday to get home from the church and it was absolutely perfect.  The weather, the time of day, the time of year . . . just absolutely wonderful.  As I ran through the woods I saw several traffic cones and a portable dump tank filled and waiting.  I knew that they were considering a burn in the near future, but hadn't paid attention to realize it was supposed to be today.  I must say that I toyed with the idea of telling all about my adventure run through the game lands today, only to end with an "April Fool!" but I bailed on the idea.  Sorry, wimped out.
I am excited about the beautiful weather we are to have the next several days.  I plan to get out and do, if not a single really long run, then a couple of semi-long ones. The advantage to that is not boogering up a large part of the day by being tired.  I am planning a full day of yard work tomorrow and need to get as much of that done as possible. I don't always give the yard the attention it deserves, but it is still a great place to play.  Sometimes I really need to remember the thing that brought me back to running after nearly 18 years - playing with my kids.   I love playing catch and tag and football and frisbee and hide and seek and  . . .  Just to think of where I was 10 years ago and the distance (not much pun intended) I've come is pretty amazing.  There is no way that I could be keeping up with them now, let alone even be thinking about this project.  So many people I chat with are amazed at what I am trying to do by running so long or so far.  To me, that is the small part of this.  To envision a cure for diabetes in the near future is a lot more amazing.  I can go try to run for 100 miles without a reason except to do it.  My real goal is to bring knowledge, awareness, exposure to what this disease does to its victims and provide some impetus for those fortunate among us to do what we can to try and provide relief.
Tomorrow is the day that we celebrate Grace.  We need not find a way to pay for our shortcomings.  We need to accept The Gift.