Monday, November 22, 2010
My dear Sparkfriends....
Another year has passed. My life is so much richer - thanks to you. I continue to be healthy - thanks the challenge of keeping up with you.
It is really difficult to pinpoint all the thing about my spark friends which makes this such a uniqe and rich experience.
So, I am going to sum it up by saying Thank you for allowing me to be who I am and post on your site, write you and email - run with you - bike with you or what ever we have done together. Thank you for commenting on my blog, posting on my site, sending SP mail - but most importantly thank you for being you.
Have a most wonderful thanksgiving and reflect on the year that has passed, rather than how many calories you should or shouldn't eat. Remember the meaning of why the native americans celebrated thanksgiving.
with love and appreciation
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Since I started doing endurance events for Team in Training I have sent out an email of being thankful this time (ironically my niece was diagnosed with leukemia the weekend before Thanksgiving).
I want to share it with you _ while I ponder on a thanksgiving note for my SP friends.
_ _ _
The rest is mentioned in no particular order of importance because each one of you is equally important.
- my wife who is as supportive to me as she was when we embarked on the training for the first ride in 2003
- my three buddies, aka 'the mules'. John, Mark, and Scott. I think the quote ' all for one and one for all' sums up our friendship.
- my team mates and coach Tim from the Wildflower triathlon. Thanks for an incredible experience
- my honoree's and families of honorees thank you for being my continued inspiration
- my friends from the spokes of hope who spread the message of 'cancer is not contagious - hope can be'
as some of you know, I don't send holiday letters/cards, but I use the time of Thanksgiving to reflect the year which is about to turn, and again this year, I have many things to be thankful for, most of all my health, which enables me to continue participating in endurance events and raising money in the fight for cancer in general, blood cancers in particular and second - Cathy
The hi-light of the 2010 cancer fighting campaign is as follows
The half ironman distance at the Wildflower triathlon in Monterey,CA (May 1st). I thought it was tough, but when I read the Danish professional triathlete Torbjorn Sindballe's (aka Thunderbear) account of the event - I realized this was quite the accomplishment. Let me give you a hint - the run was renamed 'the death march'. There were 10 of us from Northern Ohio (coach and two staff included). We stayed in tents for 5 days. A great experience. I managed to be the 5th highest fundraiser at this event, and earned my second triple crown (completing a full marathon, 100 mile bike ride, and a triathlon + do the fund raising for LLS).
Two weeks later I ran the half marathon in Cleveland - but not fundraising. However, I was there to support a young man who was diagnosed with lymphoma and started treatment in April of 2009. After running the half I went out to meet him and got to run the last mile (or close to it) with him. An unforgettable experience.
This young man called me in August and asked me - 'did you sign up?' - he referring to wanting me to run the Columbus marathon because he was the team honoree. Well - how can this old man can say no to being challenged by someone 30 year my junior! So I raised the money - started training - trained - and ran the Columbus marathon in October.
(I am not sure why cancer doesn't get it ... we will prevail and beat you).
In August I made a contribution to OROC, raising money in the fight for ovarian cancer), and ran with two gynecologist-oncologists two nurse practitioners, and the nurse clinician from our gyn onc clinic.
In September I took part in the 'Spokes of Hope' first visit to Cleveland. The team who, through a variety of events - mostly related to cycling, are taking the message of cancer is not contagious - hope can be to the bedsides of patients receiving chemotherapy (most of the team have been there themselves) and ending the tour in Washington DC where the needs of cancer patients are shared with our lawmakers.
My friends - thank you for being there for me as an inspiration, thank you for putting up with me as a friend or team mate, and thank you for swimming, riding and running with me - three disciplines, one mission, and one goal.
Have a most wonderful thanksgiving - this turkey is in the process of developing ways to raise funds for one or perhaps two events in 2011 and start my training for either a run, bike ride or a triathlon ... which to be determined.
With love to all
Monday, November 08, 2010
Thank you all for chiming in with your comments. I love this dialogue on my reflections. The purpose of me posting them is to create some conversations and discussions. It is not necessarily about me and my accomplishments - but more reflections on things I come across in my readings on the website and elsewhere.
I know we all have different reasons and goals. We all want to do our best when we are out there running, riding, and tri-ing - and when I say 'best' - it is what you define as best.
For the longest time I was a self taught runner and cyclist, and I did well - if I must say so. However, once I got a better handle on training, nutrition, and hydration, and learned from books and magazine, a lot of things became much more enjoyable on many levels. My goal is - when I cross the start line is to finish and to finish without injury - and some times push the envelope.
I think we all want to apply the concept of 'good to great' - meaning we continue to strive for something better. In some small way I hope to come with some thoughts which might make you do a little thinking - or in this case seek more information.
One person said 'I think everyone is different and everyone needs to make their own choices, you know what's best for them. As long as you are comfortable with your choice, no worries, right? ' I am not sure I agree.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Tonight I got an email from a friend who wanted to run a half marathon with me in a couple of weeks. I thought about it and wrote him back - declining.
It is not because I don't like him, it is not because I don't want to run with him (I will still be going to lunch or dinner with him and his wife when they are in town) - but I am letting common sense speak.
If you have been reading Chris Carmichael's book (Chris is Lance's coach) Food for Fitness, you will have heard the term 'periodization'. The concept breaks the year into cycles so you can plan your training/workout. I can highly recommend this book.
I think I have reached my second peak of the year. My first was in May when I trained for and completed the half ironman distance and the Cleveland half marathon and the the second was recently when I completed two full marathons in three weeks. It is time to slow down and focus on 'maintenance' before I start to ramp up things again. (the plans for next year are beginning to form).
Recently I have read a lot of spark blogs, and I get the sense that many sparkers keep going and going and going. They complete one event and train for the next ... as exciting as it is to read, and as wonderful it is to see people push themselves, I get concerned that they overdo it and will end up getting hurt, or getting burned out and lose their spark (no pun intended).
As 2010 comes to an end - perhaps it is time to have a 'year in review' and learn from what you have done. I am not done with my year in review, but when I am I am sure my plan for next year will have a different focus than this year, the preparation for the events will be different and I am confident that the outcome will be different.
Coach Nancy wrote a status update today and reminded people to have a record of their runs (could apply to bikes and tri training as well). It is a great idea and I think - in addition to being a great diary - it will be an invaluable training tool.
Train hard and train right.
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