Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Starts

Okay, so I sort of false started last month. I've got a big goal and I started well with the MegaTransect one month ago, 26 miles the first day with 6,000 feet of elevation.  Then, in typical fashion, I stopped.  Quit.  Not on purpose, but zilch nonetheless.
After 3 weeks, I ran 2 days in a row, then missed another week.  The good thing is that I'm back and feel great.  No more lags in motivation, because today begins National Diabetes Month and I am rip roaring and ready to rumble.  I remember that I run for my benefit, but I write this, and run, and lift, and bike and ask people to help me support research projects for a whole lot bigger, and better, reason than me.  So, away we go.  For real this time.
So, here is the goal:
750 miles of running with 133,400 feet of elevation gain.  This elevation gain is equal to the total height of the highest point on the seven continents (the 7 summits).
Along with. . .
1500 miles of bicycling - since I am doing this over the winter, and I'm not as wild as some of those folks I see riding by the house - I can do road biking, mountain biking, or riding the bike on the trainer.  I know that my pace should actually be faster than this, but I will count the trainer time as 10 miles per hour.
1,000,000 pounds of weight lifting - talk about low weight, high reps :) !
Finally, I will end with a 100 mile run during the last 24 hours before the JDRF walk on May 19.

So, if I look at the 35 miles of running and 16,000 pounds of lifting I did in the month of October, I've at least got a start.  I'm not sure it is even worth counting, but I will.

I am going to sell Sheetz coupon books and have a fun night at Chik-Fil-A to help raise money.  I don't have a financial goal, so let's not put a limit on it.

Let's get it started!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Here is what I'm thinking

I'm not very good at keeping my thoughts to myself.  At least not very good when I'm trying to make an impact.  I really want to make an impact.  I can't say why that is except that I want to make a difference in a lot of lives, especially the life of my wife.

So, here is what I'm proposing.  I'm going to lift a million pounds.  Of course, not all at once.  I know that some may not see that as a big deal, but I am not a weight lifter, not by a long shot.  But I'm motivated.  Not only is this a fundraising endeavor for a devastating illness, but my son has asked me to start lifting with him so that he can meet his wellness goal for high school.  How can someone resist those influences?  I've got to say I'm glad I can't.

Anyway, the lifting isn't the only part of the endeavor.  In fact, it may prove to be the easiest to complete.  I'm also going to bicycle 1500 miles.  I know, if you were to look at the time from October 1, through May 19, which is when I think the JDRF walk will be, it only amounts to 6.5 miles a day.  I ask only that you might remember that it will be winter most of the time, that I don't ride very often, and that it is for a good cause.

Oh yeah, there is more.  I am also going to run 750 miles in those 231 days.  I'm planning on the last 100 being during the last 24 hours ending with the JDRF walk at Medlar Field.

I want my effort to be worthy of the discomfort, of the neuropathy, heart disease, blindness, and amputations that diabetics deal with all the time.

Please help.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Off and Running

I had a couple of great conversations this evening.  First, I went to a meeting of People Centre'd on Diabetes.  It is a local group dedicated to informing people about diabetes.  I contacted them through their website and they invited me to their September meeting to share a bit about what I've done and how I would like to work with them.  I presented myself to them as a tool to be used to help those with diabetes be motivated to work for good control and healthy lifestyles (to minimize complications) as well as to help  make people aware of risks and available diagnosis tools.  They had several ideas that I hope we are able t put into motion soon.

The second conversation was with Ray Zahab.  I had asked him to work his brain about the project for this year's JDRF fundraiser.  Coincidently, his idea about the effort tied nicely into some of the ideas the folks at PCoD had proposed.  I am always a bit nervous calling Ray, though he is very gracious and seems to enjoy our conversations.  It is just that he has done some pretty awesome things.  Whether it is realistic or not, accurate or not, even deserved or not, I feel as though we are similar in some ways.  I hope that it is not being proud or conceited to think that I may have had an influence on people the way he has.  

It is motivating to me to think about doing good.  I don't believe that I get "extra points" for doing good works, but the joy of being blessed makes me want to do so.  

“NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5)

May God bless you, reader.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's Raining Again

It has been raining pretty much nonstop since Sunday.  Here in the State College area, we've gotten just under 10 inches.  It looks as though the next wave of rain has missed us, so that should give the streams a little chance to drop before more rain comes down.
I have to say that I am glad to not live so close to the river anymore.  In 1996, we lost our house in the January flood.  Strange thing is that I am certain it was a God thing because it allowed us to move to this great neighborhood and encouraged me to change my job.  It has been wonderful.

It feels great to be running consistently and the run in the rain last night was awesome.  The next several days look to be the same as the past couple and that is just fine.  Don't tell the kids at school, but they are pretty calm when it is raining outside.  There isn't any huge desire to get out do other things.  The only bad part is that I can't get them out to learn tree identification.  Fortunately, one of the tech ed teachers, Bill, has been bringing me branches he is trimming from trees lining his driveway.  He has brought quite a collection and I've been able to let the kids do a fair amount of id work inside.

I finished Marshall Ulrich's book Running on Empty yesterday and it was a great read.  It tells of the trials and tribulations of running 3,000 miles in 52 days (No- I can't even imagine).  I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an inside view of ultra-ultra running, but it really gets to the heart of realizing the impact the loss of someone special has on us long-term.  Thanks, Marshall for sharing your experience with us.

I've been thinking about the result of the adventures I've been having and this verse seems to fit with how something silly like a physical  effort makes sense in the larger scheme.

Romans 5:3-4

New International Version
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sibling Pressure

I think that I had written some time ago that my brother, Bradley, was planning to do the Mega with me.  I figured that this was going to be really motivating, and it has been lately, but not so much for the first half of the year.  A couple of months ago, Brad said he had reconsidered and was probably not going to do the Mega after all, and I was pretty bummed.  I didn't want to pressure him to do something he didn't want to do, but upon further consideration . . .  I did.
I'm thinking that it worked, or maybe he was just trying to throw me off.  I figure we're going to be hiking a lot more than running which is going to be a whole different experience for me.  I must say that I am really excited about it.  Not only will I get the opportunity to enjoy the views more and get some photos, but I will get to spend the whole day with my brother.  That just doesn't happen very often.  We've been trying to plan a weekend to get together with my other brother as well, but with Kelly's illness it will probably be tough.  The Mega looks like a great chance for Bradley and I to get away from the daily pressures of life and go through a physically challenging adventure together.  I'm looking forward to it.
Get out and enjoy the fall.  School starts next week with the students and I'm excited to get into the trees and leaves unit.  It is fun watching the kids see the big and little differences in the same trees that they have been around every day.
Watch out for Hurricane Irene.  She looks to be nasty all along the east coast of the US.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm in

I've been having a great couple of weeks of running.  Last night's run was the best I've had in quite a while.    I found new trails in the game lands and they took me through some new burn areas.  I felt like I could run forever, okay maybe 40 or 50 K.
I've been getting excited about the MegaTransect and I've been trying to shame my brother into doing with me.  He signed up back in January, but isn't feeling like he is prepared, now.  I've told him that he will be challenged, but that it is certainly doable.  He is turning 35 this year and so he is feeling old.  AS I look back to when I returned to running it was 10 years ago.  I can't remember if I wrote this before or not, but I started with about a half-mile run and then turned around and walked home.  Each day, I added just a hundred yards or so until I an for 10 minutes.  Then I was able to add a minute a day.  That fall I did the Nittany Valley Half-Marathon in under 2 hours.  I will say that I don't I would break 2 hours today, but I still think I have it in me to do so.  I've been enjoying the longer distances so I don't (usually) miss my speed too much.
My sister-in-law, Kelly, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She turned 40 and went for the recommended mammogram.  They found the cancer and were able to remove it.  She is having chemotherapy to try to make sure everything is gone.  Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.  A friend was also diagnosed while she was pregnant.  The baby was born healthy and she is undergoing chemo as well.  Cancer is a strange disease and seems to be becoming so much more common.  There are a lot of ideas about why that could be , but no one has a definitive answer.
School starts here for teachers next week with three days of inservice.  I am excited to begin the year with a new set of kids.  I really feel blessed to be able to do a job I love, with great people around me, and be compensated reasonably well.  I began teaching at the time when the state mandated a minimum salary for teachers.  Prior to that, things were not so good for people who have such an important role in society.
Ray Zahab is headed for Death Valley in preparation to run across the Rub Khali in Saudi Arabia.  Hmm, Death Valley in August, sounds reasonable.  NOT!  Ray's i2P crew is preparing for an expedition to India from October 2-15.  If you are a teacher, check it out.  The conferencing with the expedition members is a great experience for your students.  Also, uploading images of your kids to the impossible2Possible web site really raises their enthusiasm and helps them to feel a part of things bigger than themselves.  My students had a great experience in the spring Bolivia expedition.
We're getting a great thunderstorm here now, so I am going to watch the lightning and play a game with my son.  Hope to be back soon.

I just visited a site that I have not seen in a while.  If you are an athlete with diabetes, or have a loved one who is, check out runsweet.com.  It is a site from the UK dedicated to helping diabetic athletes manage their diabetes and training.

Deuteronomy 31:8

New International Version (NIV)
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Long time, no posts

It has been quite a while since I've posted, and the nice thing is that I've had a lot of visitors to the blog since the spring run.  I'm back into training and it is becoming more consistent than it was just a few weeks ago.  I have always been pretty blessed to be able to run sporadically in preparation for upcoming events and still perform reasonably well.  Age must be beginning to catch up with me, because the return has been much more difficult this time.  Even the approach of my favorite organized event was not been enough to get my act together.  Fortunately, I seem to have turned the corner and have been getting past the worst of it.  I've had some nice runs in the woods this week and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Molly and I had the great opportunity to speak with a diabetes support group in Petersburg.  It was a very nice group of people and they were wonderful hosts.  One of the attendees was a young woman who has become pen pals with my niece.  I am so glad that they will both have a peer to chat with as they have new experiences with their diabetes.

The school year is nearly upon us and I am really excited for the new group of kids.  I have been getting back into planning mode and I'm really looking forward to getting into the groove.

I've not yet decided what my endeavor will be to raise money for JDRF.  I am going to start in October, since it is National Diabetes month.  The megatransect will be a great kickoff for the project.  I love being able to chat with so many people during the run.

More soon, see you on the trails.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Follow Up

In the days following this year's event, I am so pleased to report that there have been no ill effects of going sunrise to sunset.  I really had little soreness and no lasting pain at all.  The rolling pin effect on the quads did the trick and the wonderful support from everyone made this a true team success.
I'm pasting the new text from my JDRF page below because I think it sums up my feelings pretty well.

The next thing on the horizon is the MegaTransect in October with perhaps another event or two in between.  I am really looking forward to doing this year's Mega with my brother, Brad.  It is going to be a great day.  I must say that I truly hope that he is challenged by the course and the distance and that I can be positive and supporting the whole way.

What a great day May 20th was!  Molly and her sister, Alice, met me at several places along the run on a rainy morning.  They met me at Jabco-Maggi Mitsubishi where we all said hello to John Jabco and thanked him for the tremendous support he and the dealership have provided the past couple of years.
Next, WTAJ and WJAC met us at Boalsburg Elementary School for some precious press coverage for JDRF.  It is so neat to see how far reaching the television coverage goes in spreading the word about the effects of diabetes.  Even yesterday, 2 weeks after the event, people are stopping along the road to tell me that they saw the story on TV.  I think the only way to show people what can be done is to try what many won't.  Fear of not reaching the goal is often the major limiting factor to what we will try.

This year was definitely more difficult than last year because I did not train well enough.  However, with the support of friends, we were able to do big things and make it through tough times.  This was a very appropriate analogy of the diabetic's daily life.  God is good and allows us to do wonderful things to bring Glory to Him. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Whew and Yahoo!

What a great day yesterday was!  The run went really well.  The weather changed dramatically throughout the day to keep things interesting.  Many wonderful people encouraged and supported me through some low points and shared in the joy and accomplishment.  God is good, all the time!

I truly could not have done the day without Molly's help.  She and Alice met me several times throughout the rainy morning feeding, watering, and pushing just the right buttons to get me moving forward.  I want to thank both WTAJ and WJAC for the coverage they provided for the run and JDRF.  Many people, including present and former students and parents saw the run on the news and stopped to offer encouragement.  All of the folks on Cogan Circle provided a huge lift as the end neared.  What a wonderful surprise!  Thanks especially to the Ritchey family for rousting the troops.   We even got a rainbow to make the visit and the run complete!

Students and staff at Park Forest Middle School, thanks for the attention and respect you show, for your contributions to JDRF, and for your kindness and your encouragement! It is wonderful working with you all.

One of my favorite places to visit is Jabco-Maggi Mitsubishi.  Yes, it is fun to look at the cars, but chatting with John is a pleasure.  I appreciate his friendship as well as the support for many great organizations.

I really appreciate the reception I got at the high school south building from Nell Herrmann  and her students.  I  miss working daily with Nell, but the kids at the South building are reaping the rewards.

HUGE props to the students and staff at Nittany Christian School.  Our family has been so incredibly blessed that you have worked with our children.  As I explained about insulin, the pancreas, glucose, and blood sugars the kids were so attentive.  And they asked such good questions!

Thanks John Donoughe, John McCullough, Pat Gallagher, and Pete Coray for running and walking alongside me.  John says I could do it without you all, but I'm not certain that is true.  Special thanks to Pat for the miracle working with that water bottle.  You worked out the knots and cleared out the gunk that was making any thought of running painful.

This whole project has been incredibly blessing to me.  So many people have stepped up to offer contributions, kind words, and MUCH prayer.  I was so pleased to have so many people asking the Lord to bless this effort.  He truly has done so.

Well, the JDRF walk steps off in about 4 hours.  I am so glad to work with the dedicated people who make this happen.  It is going to be a beautiful day to walk, to share challenges and successes, and to support JDRF as they assist in the search for a cure.  See you at the walk!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Final Prep

Just a few days to go and I am so excited.  I had a great run tonight after school and it made me feel really good and ready.  I am certainly not as prepared as I would like to be, but I feel that nobody is ever ready to hear that they have been diagnosed with diabetes, either.  I remember the day that Molly was told that her pancreas wasn't functioning properly and that she would be insulin dependent for the remainder of her life. What we weren't prepared for was the frustration of doing everything right and still not getting good results.
I think about the pain, hassle, and the complications of what might happen.  It makes moving forward for this little project seem pretty simple.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
               How cool is that?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring in the Step

Spring is certainly in the air and I feel a spring in my step as well.  After a super wet April, we really haven't seen much moisture since.  For the last couple of days, I was expecting to see some rain, but nothing yet.  We've got lots of plants in the garden as well as extending the rhubarb patch - if you want some, call we have plenty.  I also put in 6 blueberry bushes and the raspberries are coming up nicely.  I put fences around everything, so the deer shouldn't be a problem, we just have to watch for the rabbits and groundhogs.  I love eating food that we've grown.  It may or may not taste better, but it is satisfying.
Bruce asked me yesterday if we could put up a honeybee hive.  I told him that we would work on it, but that it takes a lot of work in the beginning.  I am going to check around to try and find some boxes second hand and then we will see where it takes us.

I had a really enjoyable run this morning.  Gray skies and 60 degrees.  It looks as though it should feel terribly humid, but I didn't have any trouble.  Thanks to all who have supported the run so far.  I haven't been listing them as they've come in.  It's just that I'm lazy, not ungrateful.  Thanks to the Babcock family, the Bastress family, Dolores, Bill, Pat W., Pete, and Marc.  It is a tough time for people to be giving money away, I really can't say thank you enough.  Just remember that it isn't going to be wasted.  Well over 80% of the money goes to fund research that will save lives and make lives better.

I heard from a long lost friend this week.  Denny sent photos of a wildfire in North Carolina.  It is amazing.  Molly, Bruce and I were fortunate to spend some time with Denny and Lynn at Stumpy Point several years ago.  What a great community of people!  The coconut pie at the church picnic was incredible, too!  Molly still makes it for us once in a while.  I'll always remember Hooper's Store (Major Hooper not Mr. Hooper for you Sesame Street fans of yesteryear ).

I'm looking forward to the week of getting things organized for the run and just seeing how the Lord works through this project.  I am immensely blessed to be able to serve Him this way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time is short

Well, I have to apologize for not keeping up with this blog.  I had written earlier that if I didn't run, I wouldn't post.  The idea was, of course, that I would put pressure on myself to get out the door.  I must admit that I am getting out more, mostly for runs of 3 to 6 miles.  Last weekend I had a couple that were a bit longer, but not a lot.

I have been sending emails for fundraising and have begun to get some nice responses.  Not only am I asking for monetary donations, but also for prayer.  Prayer for me, for researchers, for those afflicted with diabetes, and for their families and loved ones as well.  I have been hearing a lot about people struggling with blood sugar control and they are frustrated because things are not combining the way they seem that they should.  It is very disconcerting to do everything by the book and still end up with a reading in the 200s and 300s.  This is why we must move forward in the search for a cure.

Nine days to go and I have resigned myself to the fact that this year is going to be much more challenging than last year.  Even though the distance is much shorter, the difference in my fitness is vast.  I am beginning to look at this as a positive, though.  It will certainly be a greater struggle to run/walk for over 14 hours and to try to get past the 62 mile mark.  That will make me appreciate the struggles those with diabetes have EVERY DAY.

Thanks for stopping by.  To God be the glory.  It is awesome to know He is in charge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thanks to Panera and Brooks!

I just wanted to post that Brooks Running Company and Panera Bread have made donations of product to JDRF.  Brooks has provided me with a pair of Adrenaline ASR 7 trail shoes for my training.  Panera has donated Bagels for a Year certificates for the auction to be held on walk day, May 21.  The certificate allows the user to get 13 bagels and 2 containers of cream cheese each month for a year.
Thanks to Brooks Running and Panera Bread for their support !

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is Risen!

Happy Resurrection Day!  Today is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Jesus, our Savior, from the dead.  Hebrews 9:22 says "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness."  Christ died on the cross to shed his blood to pay for our sins.  Today, we recognize that he did not stay dead.  He returned from death to life, and He lives today.  By believing, and accepting that this price was paid, we too can have life, eternally, in heaven.  I often tell people that everyone is going to have eternal life.  God has given us free will to accept the payment for our sins and spend that life in paradise or to suffer eternally in Hell.  Christ said I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)  That is pretty clear to me how important it is to accept his gift.

Yesterday was a great day for Bruce and I at the Ridgway triathlon.  I ran the 5 miles, and then we biked together for about 15.5, then we paddled the swollen Clarion River for 9 miles.  The race organizers gave the option of skipping the paddle portion and I told Bruce that I would make the decision when we got off the bikes whether we would canoe or not.  I decided to go ahead, which caused my wife and my mom quite a lot of worry.  To their credit, they did not question my decision at all.  I'm honored that they trusted me.  It was a great experience doing the race with Bruce.  We got to chat for a couple of hours with no one else around, and Bruce got a chance to push himself physically to a place, I am sure, he has never been before.  I don't think either of us will soon forget the experience.  I am so happy that we got to do this together.

The day was not so good for my friend Pat.  A couple of miles into the canoe portion, he capsized in some rough water.  He quickly became hypothermic in the 44 degree water.  Brenda and Ken, or as they are better known, Doc and Thundercloud, came upon Pat clinging to the river bank on the side opposite the road.  They worked to get him across the river and to the road.  It was not an easy task as Pat was fairly incoherent and uncoordinated from hypothermia.  Praise God that so many things came together for his rescue.
It is to Pat's credit that he was grateful for his safety and not at all concerned for the loss of all of his gear.   He said that he really thought that this might have been the end of his life in this world.  The good side of that is that he is ready and knows where he will spend eternity.  But, with few exceptions, I am fairly certain that most would rather not end this segment of life just yet :)

So, the training has been pretty much nonexistent, but yesterday was a kick start.  I had spoken with Ray Zahab and asked him for some advice.  He recommended taking a week off and not even thinking about running.  Of course, it was then that I woke up every morning thinking maybe I would go.  I did once or twice, but the big thing was that I didn't feel guilty for not going.  That made a big difference in my mental state.  Today, I got up and actually did some core work.  As much as I don't like it, it needs to be done.  I want to allow my running to become just for fun again.  Even though I am certainly not competitive, it seemed that every time I started out on a run, I would start to think about what it could do for me instead of enjoying the run.  Funny thing is that when I run for fun, I actually run faster and further.  Go figure.  So back to running for fun.  More tag, more ball games with the kids, and more listening to birds singing in the peaceful mornings.

If you contributed last year, look for a letter this week.  I am really slow in getting out fundraising letters, but I have been so hesitant in this economy.  Please do what you can to help.

He is risen!
He is risen indeed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Feeling Better

Motivation has been a huge problem this spring.  Today was a great day for a couple of reasons, which I will share during this post.  First though, I think I will lament on the situation a little.  At this time last year, I was running nearly every day with at least 3 runs a week over 10 miles, one of those over 20.  This year, I've been lucky to run 3 days each week.  I've sought out several methods for motivation, but none seems to be working.  I've had gentle encouragement as well as not so subtle get off your  [butt] and get moving.  THe thing that I've not focused on is the one thing I should be focused on, the reason I am undertaking this task again.  JDRF.  Finding better treatments.  Finding a cure.
I emailed Ray Zahab yesterday and asked for his help.  Ray has done amazing things with his running including a run across the Sahara desert and another through the Atacama Desert in Chile.  Most impressive, however, is the work he does through impossible2Possible.  This group takes students on expeditions designed to inspire young people to reach further and push their limits as well as to deliver powerful educational programs to kids around the world.  I'm looking forward to talking with him on Monday.
The good thing is that I feel better because of something I did in the past 24 hours.  I registered my son and I to do the Ridgway Triathlon together at the end of the month.  I am going to run and tag him to start the bike.  I will change my shoes and get a drink and then catch up to him on the first big hill.  Then, we can spend time biking the 15 or so miles, and then we will paddle 9  miles of the Clarion River together.  I'm certain that this will me an adventure together that we won't soon forget.  I'm sure that I will never regret sharing this experience with him.
Tonight, I ran 5 miles and Bruce rode his bike along with me.  It was a nice jaunt and the weather turned out to be really perfect.  In the last two days, we've seen bright sun, wind, rain, sleet, snow.  This afternoon was wonderful.  I also am enjoying the emotions Bruce is going through already.  I can remember my first time at Ridgway and I was in my 30's.  I hope that I can be supportive enough to make it great for him.  I think the only thing that can booger it up would be bad weather on event day.  Otherwise, we'll have a ball.
So, the motivation is here and I feel good physically and mentally.  Yahoo!
God is so good to me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What a Weekend!

As much as I have not been running - as I really should be- this weekend got me on the road, and the trails and got in some good mileage.  And, as an added bonus, I was making myself go when I didn't think that I really could.  Mentally, this was a really good thing for me in both the short and long term.
On Saturday, I did the Taidaghton Trail Challenge.  I have to say first that I had read that it was in the middle of nowhere, but WOW! It really was in the middle of nowhere.  But that didn't stop the PA RoadRunners from putting on a great event!  I loved the slow start to the day, since I got there about an hour before the start and it was about 20 degrees. The only glitch in my opinion was the narrowing of the course after only a quarter mile.  I reality, it wasn't the course so much as the reaction of several of the others in their impatience to get onto the trail and onto the first stream crossing.  The course had just enough technical areas combined with just the right amount of vertical.  I REALLY liked this course.  Streams, snow, hills, rocks make a great run.  20 degrees and sunshine and then running under Interstate 80 through a tunnel that was a 6-inch deep stream.  I know some people different care for it, but I thought it was awesome.  Food afterward was well done and I am really glad that I chose to do this one. Plus, it was the first 13 miler I've done in a while.
Sunday was the Run around Egg Hill.  I am so glad that Bass invited me to join him in 2004 and continue the tradition until now.  The course is challenging, the environment of the old school in Spring Mills is like stepping into a scene from Hoosiers, and running as part of a relay makes me want to do my best.  Bonus here, too.  In the raffle, I won a $25 gift card for the Elk Creek Cafe.  I'm looking forward to redeeming that later this spring or in the early summer.  I've sampled some of their products and haven't been disappointed :)
So, the weekend was a great experience in the running side of life.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beautiful Day

Today is beautiful, though 20 degrees cooler than yesterday.  I got in a nice 5 miler, then rode 5 with my son and walked another one with Molly.  What a fantastic way to spend the day.
The weather is supposed to take a downturn on Sunday night, but it is March.  That's what we expect.  I'm glad to be outside moving.  One week until the Tiadaghton Challenge Trail Half.  I will let you know how that goes.  I certainly am not running enough yet, but I'm feeling it now, so that is good.  The good thing is that it hasn't been physical issues that have kept me off the trail, it's only been psychological.  Then again, 90% of everything is 1/2 mental.  Thanks, Yogi.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Visitors from where ? !

I was working on a flier to share with students tomorrow at our school's Health Fair.  I have a table reserved to publicize what I am doing to raise money for JDRF and to let the kids know that we will be having a School JDRF Walk.  The kids last year were awesome and really came through, raising over $1000 for JDRF.  They did a variety of fun stuff, but the best, by far, was duct taping teachers to the wall.  :)
 I've been looking at the statistics to see who is viewing this page and have been amazed at the geographic breadth of those who visit.  Yesterday, the majority of hits were from Brazil and China.  I don't understand how these links are made, but I am so grateful that people are seeing this small corner of the web.
Don't forget. . . give early and give often.

Runs the last couple of days have been very enjoyable.  Not far, but longer each time.  I feel much better about the 65 days remaining until the run.  You know what else makes me feel good?  This verse:

Titus 3:4-7
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pray. There are bigger things than running.

I haven't posted since last week, but I have been working out.  The tragedies in Japan have occupied my mind and computer time over the past several days.  I am amazed at the degree of damage and the seeming calmness that many are showing as they deal with the situation.  I realize much of this is a shock reaction, but they are acting and this is good.
My son came home today and asked if he could give money to help the people of Japan.  I said yes, of course, and we talked about how to get the money to where it would be well used.  He has done Operation Christmas Child boxes, and so he is familiar with Samaritan's Purse.  He selected this organization to send his money to be used to not only help the physical needs, but the emotional and spiritual needs as well.  I am very pleased that he did this.  Having a giving heart is something that I am glad to see growing in him.

So, Pete has made the first donation of the year to the M&M team.  Thanks, Pete!  That gets us rolling.  Only 67 more days to go before the big day !  I am getting excited. I have had several folks ask about the run already and say that they will be expecting a letter soon.  I don't plan to disappoint :)

The runs have been more frequent and I've been on the bike trainer as well.  My older son and I went on a great 2 hour hike on Saturday and it was a time to be treasured always.  I am such a lucky man to have this family.  God is truly Good.

Well, I've got to take my Juice Plus+ and hit the sack.  I am getting up to run in the morning and need my beauty sleep.
More soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rain Run

Wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt looking at snow all around me.  Pretty awesome day to get out.  Rain coming down from a little to a lot.  Thought I had actually gone a little further, but it is awfully hard to argue with the Garmin.  A touch over 4.5 miles in just under 42 minutes.  I'll do the same run again and see what the GPS says.
Thanks, Mark for the recommendation to get on dailymile.com.  Strangers make good critics and encouragers!
I'm super happy with this week in the running life.
I talked with Ray Zahab over the weekend.  I have to say I was nervous and wasn't sure what to say. I feel way overwhelmed with the things he has done in running.  However, every time I tell someone about him, they say, "Wow!  He sounds exactly like you!"  That makes me pretty happy to hear.  There are similarities in former lifestyles and age of coming to our senses.  I only wish that I could run as fast as he does for the distances.
More tomorrow, I expect.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Committee Meeting

Tonight was the JDRF committee meeting to help prepare for the walk.  Three kids from the State College high school came to represent the Key Club and the Delta Program.  One of the kids was Emily, a student that I had in class about 5 years ago.  She has done many things since then and is going to do many more amazing things.

 It is time to begin the fundraising in earnest as well as the training.  It sort of makes sense, I'm doing this to raise money to fund diabetes research in search of a cure.  If I'm diving into the run, it is high time that I go headlong into the fundraising.  Yes, that means that I will be coming calling soon.  You knew it was coming :) As I said many times last year, this is the whole reason I am doing this, I want a cure for this terrible disease and the effects on the body that are so devastating.
I was approached by a teacher at school today about how she could get kids involved, so I'm pretty excited about that.  Awareness will build demand for movement in a positive direction.

So, I didn't run today.  But wait !  I did lift weights, throw the medicine ball around a lot and . . .
I had been looking online at plans to improve fitness doing normal things like sit-ups, pushups and squats.  There are websites to take you from where you are to 100 sit-ups, 100 pushups, and 200 squats.  Since I had the kids there to challenge me, I told them about this and decide that I needed to out-do each of them.  I am very pleased to say that I kept great form and did my 200 squats.  I have to admit that I am as amazed as anyone might be.  You will notice hat I didn't start with the pushups or most notably the sit-ups ;)

I was reading the Bible this morning and a verse really hit me (okay a couple verses) that make me really happy and make me feel strong, unbeatable really.  I am embarrassed to say how strong, but the strength isn't mine, so that makes me okay with it.

Psalm 62:1-2
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2 in a Row!

I'm not sure the last time it happened, but I ran today for the second day in a row.  I have to laugh that, not so long ago, D. Scipione was cautioning me to make sure that I took a day off each week.  
Anyway, did another 4 tonight and it felt way better than yesterday.  It was a beautiful day, but I waited until after dark to run because of school and visiting family.  Glad to have done it though.  I got to play legos !  I also go to chat with Clinton who stayed the night last night and through the day.
Got to spend time today talking with teachers about how we can make the school a better place for kids to learn.  It was actually an invigorating inservice day.  I will be happy to see the kids tomorrow as we get into a lesson on tapping trees and making syrup.

Do it all for the Glory of the Lord !

Monday, March 7, 2011

Couch to 100K

Okay, So I'm not exactly starting from nothing, but I'm not far from there.  I am still looking to get my head in the right place and so I'm putting it out there for all to see.  If I post, that means that I exercised.  Specifically, I ran or did some run-like activity (elliptical or stair-climber).  If I don't post, it means that I need to be harassed into getting out there, twice if need be.  I remember reading the book I Am Third, by Gale Sayers, and he worked out twice a day for the next six days if he missed a day.  I can't guarantee I will do that, but if it is a possibility, then maybe I will just NOT MISS.
So today I ran 4 and walked a fifth to stretch out and cool down.  It was a beautiful day following a wild day yesterday when more than 8 inches (20 cm) of snow fell.  I got my strength work in clearing the driveway, so I'm tired, but really happy with the day's productivity.

The big day is 74 days away.  Details to come on the format of the run.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting closer !

Last day of February, and I have to say it has snuck up on me.  What a difference a year makes.  Last year at this point I was running 3 hours or more at a clip and now . . . I'm not.  I think it is hitting home how far behind I am with 26 days until the Tiadaghton Challenge.  I am also going to be doing the Run around Egg Hill the day after that with Bass and Joel.  It is a really nice afternoon in Spring Mills benefitting the Penns Valley track team.  I've missed only a couple of these since they began and it will be great to hook up with Bass and Joel again for the relay.  In fact, it is the pressure of running with/for someone else that, I think, will provide the impetus to get me moving.  It has worked the past few days, anyway.

We took the kids to see 3 Cups of Tea today at Schwab Auditorium on the Penn State campus.  it is a one person show put together by Literature to Life.  It was nicely done and I think the kids received it well.  We had planned to go snow tuning afterward, but the threat of thunderstorms kept us from that part of the day.

I am about to embark on the fundraising for this year's diabetes event.  The JDRF has changed its focus and is now looking not only at curing diabetes in the near future, which does not seem likely, but rather emphasizing ways that people can live with diabetes and avoid the complications that are so common.  I wrote a lot about these last year.  Heart disease, kidney failure, amputation are some pretty heavy duty results of the failure to control blood sugars.  It makes my reluctance to get out of bed and off my butt seem pretty wimpy.  Just as I wrote earlier, a temporary inconvenience is way better than a permanent result.

I enjoyed teaching AWANA last night at our church.  I'm not sure I do nearly as good a job as Chris, the usual teacher does, but the kids are involved and seem to be attentive.  I know it is good for me to have to think about God's Word and to apply it to my own life.

Still haven't traded the power tools.  Check them out on the State College, PA Craigslist if you have a notion.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The microscope has gone, tools available.

I realize that the last couple of posts are not strictly related to the run toward a cure, but I hope you find them fun and interesting.

Today, I traded the Bausch & Lomb microscope for these two BRAND NEW hand power tools.
Thanks to Stuart for this trade !

Black & Decker Firestorm 4 1/2 inch Angle Grinder. Brand new, never been used.

Craftsman Rotary Tool. Single speed, 1/8 inch complete with wrench and instructions. NO BITS Included. Brand new, never been used.

I started a year ago with 3 golf balls. I traded them for a pair of cross-country skis. I recently traded the skis for a Bausch & Lomb compound microscope. Now, the microscope has been traded for the tools described above.  What will I trade for?  Who knows !?!
I have a goal of getting a solo canoe eventually. Mostly, it is just for fun.
If you have something you would like to trade, let me know. This is a project in the vein of one red paperclip. Check it out online.

I'm feeling better about my physical condition.  Although I've not been doing much actual running, I've been skiing, riding the trainer bike, climbing the treadwall (Which is really cool!), rowing and enjoying the elliptical.  Now, some time on the roads and in the woods will get me to where I ned to be for the Tiadaghton Challenge in 1 month.

Thanks, Pete for the help in getting out in the wind on Saturday.

Away we go!

Monday, February 21, 2011

'Scope in Hand

I made the trade yesterday.  I passed on the cross country skis and picked up a Bausch & Lomb compound microscope.  It is in the original styrofoam packing and has the 3 objectives in sealed containers, even the original plastic dust cover.  This would have been a school model  I'm sure as it looks just like the ones I have in my classroom now.  The serial number is on it, but I'm not sure if the the model is 255 or not.

Anyway, I am looking for the next trade.  I will post photos as soon as I can.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain today, so I spent some time on the treadmill.  I'm going to hit the hay soon so that I can get up nice and early tomorrow and put in some distance.

I'm excited to call Ray Zahab later this week.  He emailed me back again, gave me his number and said I should call this week.  I hope we can work something out for the fall to get him in to talk to the kids at my school.  His efforts on behalf of others are certainly inspiring.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Little Things Mean a Lot

When I got to school today, I checked my email and WOW!

Last week, I had emailed Ray Zahab about the possibility of coming to our school.  I basically just told him what we had done last year for raising funds for diabetes research and what the plans are for this year.  I was very pleased to get a return email from Kathy Adams, Ray's wife, acknowledging my email and letting me know that Ray was due back from Chile soon.  I was so pleased to get such a nice response.

This morning, I got a note from Ray, himself.  Having just finished Running the Sahara this very morning, this really excited me.  I couldn't wait to share this with one of my colleagues who had originally shared Ray's and Kathy's organization, Impossible2Possible, was doing.  As usual, I haven't gotten my rear in gear to have my students follow the adventures, but each day holds new opportunities.

Ah well, just wanted to share the joy.  As the title of the post states, it is the little things that we do that often mean the most to others.

Making progress

What a beautiful day!  The weather is nice, but the beauty of the day has little to do with that.  I got out of bed at 5 AM and got on the bike for an hour, did some sit ups, pushups, etc. and even stretched.  Whew!  I know, not much to speak of, but more than I've been doing.  The journey of a thousand miles as they say.

We had a great weekend.  Molly and I went to a marriage conference at our church on Friday and Saturday.  "The Art of Marriage" was really well done.  It is a video series with short projects to be done with your love between the sessions.  As corny as I thought it might be, it was anything but.  The love that I have for Molly has never wavered, but the like I have for her was renewed.  What a treat.  I strongly recommend it

The trade mentioned in the last post is coming to fruition.  I am trading the cross country skis for a microscope.  I'll post some details on the 'scope a little later, but the deal is done.  If you're interested in making the next trade drop me a line and we'll check into it.

I finished watching Running the Sahara this morning while I was on the bike.  I can not imagine being with the same small group of people for nearly 4 months without any kind of break.  The run was a physically amazing accomplishment, but the time spent in close quarters would be the challenge.  I've done week long backpacking trips where others were ready to eliminate me.  The run and the documenting of it in the movie will help bring an audience to the scarcity of clean water in Africa through a program called H2OAfrica.  Check it out.

TIme to get ready for school.

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love
1 Corinthians 13:13

Monday, February 7, 2011

Trading . . .

Last year, I decide to try to emulate the "one red paperclip" endeavor.  For those of you unfamiliar with this project, Kyle MacDonald decided to trade a paperclip for another item and then trade this new item for another.  You get the idea.  He wanted to get a house.  It all began rather "normally," until he traded a keg of beer for a snowmobile and a snowmobile for a trip to Yahk, British Columbia.  Long story short, too late, he traded a movie role for a house.  It took him a year.  Big difference between Kyle and me, he was willing to go anywhere in the world to make the trade.  I'm really not able to do that unless this thing goes viral (I know they make medicine for that now ;)  ) and I make tons of money in appearance fees.

Anyway, I traded 3 new golf balls for a pair of cross country skis.  This week, I am trading the cross country skis - I'll let you know what for later.  Who knows where it could all go, but I would eventually like to end up with a solo racing type canoe or kayak.  I really enjoy doing run, bike, paddle triathlons and this would make them more fun.

So, you may notice the addition of ads to this page in addition to the signs of supporters of my runs.  I decided that I would go ahead and "monetize" my site.  Any money that comes in because of this will be donated, in full, to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  I hope that this doesn't offend anyone, as I think the end justifies the means.

Well, time for some rest.  I plan to get in a snowy run tomorrow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter Time and the Living is . .

The winter is flying by.  It is awesome to see the daylight so early in the morning and so late in the evening.  Six o'clock and it is still light enough to get around outside !   I'm really excited, as you can tell, because the lack of daylight is one thing that makes getting moving difficult.  Any obstacle I can get out of the way has to help.  I've even started doing some core work.  Not a lot, mind you, but some.  That is a big step up since last year.
So, my brother registered for the MegaTransect this year.  It's not that I'm competitive, but I don't want him to run me into the ground.  Actually, I'm hoping to have to wait for him along the way :)  I sure hope no body tells him.  He's ten years younger than I am.  He doesn't need the added advantage of being more motivated to whoop me.
It is awfully icy around here, but the treadmill, the stair climber and the rowing machine have been kind to me.  Not nearly as punishing as running on the roads either.  I even got out on cross-country skis a couple of times.  Cross training is a good thing.
Thanks to all for the support and encouragement.

Colossians 3:17  And whatever you do, in word or in act, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving praise to God the Father through him.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

100K Closer to a Cure

At the State College Walk meeting last week, we had great discussion about last year's successes, and the great opportunities for this year.  I opened up the floor to suggestions for the format of my efforts this year. Many ideas bounced around and the one that seemed to take hold was for me to do a 100K (100 kilometers) this year.

I like this idea, not so much because it requires me to go less distance, but because it really is based on the amount raised last year.  100K is 62 miles.  Last year, the walk raised $62, 000 for JDRF.  Pretty cool the way that works out.  I might even say that next year's run will be based on the total raised this year.  One mile for every thousand dollars raised!  I know the danger here, but in support of research to find a cure, I a m willing to risk having to go further than ever before.  I would absolutely LOVE to have to do over 100 miles again because $100,000 had been raised.

So, the challenge is made.  I will do a mile next year for every thousand dollars raised this year at the State College Walk May 21.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Here we go again !

I am not sure of exactly the format that this year's run is going to take, but I am committing to something right now.  We have a JDRF walk planning committee meeting tomorrow night and one of the things on the agenda is how far I will go, how long I will go, and how much I will hope to raise.
I am hoping to motivate more people to raise money for JDRF at the State College walk. Last year, the walkers raised about twice as much as the year before. It might be too much to expect that again, but last year each registered walker raised an average of under $200.  I would like to make a challenge of some sort that would motivate others.  I am not making little of the efforts made last year, just trying to find my place in the process.  I was thinking of something like I will run a mile for each $___ raised, or a minute for each $___ raised, or an hour for each $___ raised.  You get the idea.

I am really behind in training and need to work hard to catch up.  It is all about motivation and I know now that I am committed and don't want to disappoint.  Keep the pressure on me!

The Megatransect filled all available spots with 850 entrants in 48 hours.  Amazing, and a tribute to the wonderful volunteers that make it happen.  Thanks especially to Dave and Jeanne Hunter who have done so much, so well.

1 Timothy 4:8  NIV "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding 
promise for both the present life and the life to come."