Sunday, November 01, 2009
This weekend I drove to Pittsburgh to run the inaugural 'spirit of Pittsburgh'. It has been in the making for some time, and it got to be a great - albeit a little hectic weekend.
Two friends from my time in the Biggest Loser Club, and my spark friend John (JOPAPGH) were there. I stayed with a friend, former runner now cyclist and cancer survivor and was able to spend some time with him and his wife.
Yesterday we met at the Hofbrauhaus (in the healthy section he he). Had a late lunch and did the registration, and then we split. My wife and I - and my friend went to REI to do a little shopping.
This morning - blue sky - 34 degrees (on my car) we got underway. Nice small (3000+ runners). It was a generally fast paced group and we saw some of the sights. John has a very nice description of the route - incl photos at www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
My time was 2:08 and a bit, which I am happy with - this old man is getting a little tired after doing three half marathons in six weeks. They were races and I am pushing myself a little more than a training run. When I reached 11 miles, I felt I was running out of steam and had visions of 2:20 or worse. But 2:08 I can live with.
After the race we met at the nearby Caribou coffee where I got to meet John's wife and son, and then he was headed off to a soccer match featuring his favorite team (Manchester City). The rest of us went to take a shower and went for lunch and it was time to hit the PA turnpike to go west.
Thanks to my friends who let us stay at their house. Thanks to Andrea (her husband Wayne), Stacie and her family, and John and his family. Great weekend.
Oh, one sweet victory - the Penguins lost last night to Minnesota Wild.... :-)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friends - I got myself a date in May ... the date is the Avia Wildflower Triathlon, and as of now I will be doing the olympic distance.
I am very excited about it, but also somewhat apprehensive. Lots of hard training is ahead....
There are some reasons for doing this. First to raise money for the leukemia and lymphoma society, second as a part of my healthy journey and push some limits within me, and last but not least - completing a triathlon makes me a 'triple crowner' within the leukemia any lymphoma society ... all that is - is a pin and bragging rights for doing a marathon or half marathon, 100 mile bike ride, and a triathlon.
As you know I have a niece with leukemia (her bone marrow last Friday was clean). However, you never know what tomorrow brings ... recently I got a message here. One of our Sparking friends have a friend who relapsed for the fourth time and has resumed treatment. A friend of mine who is doing really well had her follow up and on her CT scan ... and on her CT scan showed an opacity on her breast and in her ovary.... so she now lives with the anxiety of what that might be...
My niece, these two women and many more are the real reason why I am doing another event for Team in Training.
Monday, October 19, 2009
As I was in the waiting room today for my physical, I was pondering what I would write in this blog. As excited I am by my PB in Detroit, I am also sad because three runners lost their lives, and I want to put some perspective on this tragedy with some numbers. From the local NBC affiliate WDIV I found this:
'According to a Toronto study, which was published in a Runners World December 2008 article, there were 26-heart-attack deaths among 3,292,000 American runners who competed in 750 marathons over the past 30 years. That's a risk of 1 death per 126,000 runners.' (Published in 1996)
A study by Dr Donald Redelmeier (University of Toronto, ON) of more than three million marathon runners showed the rate of sudden cardiac death to be 0.8/100 000 participants (Redelmeier DA, Greenwald JA. Competing risks of mortality with marathons: retrospective analysis. BMJ 2007; 335: 1275-1277)
In addition I looked at some other data. Although from 1996, there is a paper in the Journal of Cardiology which reads in its summary:
"Although highly trained athletes such as marathon runners may harbor underlying and potentially lethal cardiovascular disease, the risk for sudden cardiac death associated with such intense physical effort was exceedingly small (1 in 50,000) and as little as 1/100th of the annual overall risk associated with living, either with or without heart disease. "
That is of little comfort to the families, friends, and fellow runners who were there yesterday, and to all who get the unfiltered news through the web or on TV. The deepest sympathy to the family, friends, fellow runners of the ones who departed us.
Unfortunately this tragedy has also lead to bashing of running marathons and - not surprising - the city of Detroit - and let me leave it at that.
This was my third half in Detroit. This year there was about 19.300 participants, and the weather turned out to be spectacular. It was chilly in the morning and stayed that way most of the day.
The route was changed this year, some of which I really liked (the run through Corktown was spectacular and I missed running in Mexican Village, and I missed finishing on the 40 yard line of the Lions stadium).
As a result of the weather there were several spectacular views on the route, and the supporting crowd seems to grow every year.
Yes, I did run my personal best (2:08), however, it is with mixed emotions I celebrate it today. I am keeping the race report short as a respect for those we lost and their families.
May they rest in peace, and may their families find the answers they are looking for, understanding this terrible tragedy.
I found a link to this elsewhere on SP website tinyurl.com/yfqxrh2
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Earlier this summer I went down to ride with Bill (BILLALEX70) Anne (AMCG2002), Nancy (ROOKIERIDER) and Bill's buddy Ed (not a sparker). We had a blast and you can read my version in the blog titled 'Sparks flying in Mansfield (Ohio)'.
Bill and I have talked about riding together again, and finally we got together this morning for another ride. This time Anne, Nancy, and Ed were unable to join, but John, some other strong dude Anne and Bill ride with, came along. I think they are trying to find all these strong riders to see if they can leave me in the dust ... and some day it may happen.
Actually I was an easy target today. I ran 12 miles yesterday and I have not been on my bike for about a month - in fact I have not been much on my bike this summer, so I am an easy target.
We had talked about not riding if it was raining, so when we looked at the weather yesterday, it looked pretty decent. Well, I want to say - it was a gorgeous day for a bike ride. Not only was it great weather (some may disagree when I tell we started with a temperature of about 34), but the sun was out, and the fall colors were phenomenal. I live about 90 miles from where the ride started - and it was a gorgeous drive, and then the bike ride was just so pretty.
I could certainly feel that it has been a while since I rode on rolling hills, let alone be on the bike. But we did well. I think most of the time I looked the avg speed was 16.5-17 mph. At the end we did some spinning and the avg came down.
Bill and John - thanks for a great ride.... while I am writing this - I got a txt message from Bill (he went out to do the entire 69 miles (John and I did 37), and in retrospective that was a smart move on our part... I won't steal the thunder from Bill.
Ride on friends...
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Today I ran the Akron half ... I sent out a little report to my friends - I am copying and pasting it to you:
I have had a couple of people ask me for a race report from Akron half marathon, so I am sending out a bulk mail to a bunch of you honorees, friends, runners, and anyone else .. did I forget anyone?
I had not been training a whole lot before the 13.1, but I figured I could do it anyway.
Last night I went for the package pick up (which is where you get your race number). I also spent an hour and a half at the Team in Training booth attempting to recruit new participants to the program. I had a good time doing it, and met some really interesting people. Then drive home - dinner - get everything ready and get to bed, because 4am would be there soon.
I need to back track a little. A couple of days ago I got an email from one of my cycling friends from a previous bike ride that he would be running, and I got an email from one of my team mates from this years Cleveland Marathon who was also running, and we decided to meet and perhaps run together. Around the same time I learned from someone that her best friend of many years - her lymphoma had relapsed for the 4th time. Well, even though I was not running FOR team in training - I decided to dedicate the run to this person.
I got up, did my usual routine, and got in the car and drove to Akron. Parked my car. And found my friends at a preset place. Met some of the other team in training runners and two coaches. (there were 30 fundraising TNT participants).
Well, 7am the bell rang and ~11.000 runners were on their way. About one mile into the run a lady was fiddling with her ipod and slowed down right in front of me, and she went down. I saw her get up again, but I felt really bad about it (and it still bothers me). I did see her get up again, but in that mob-scene there is not really a way to turn around. - I hate to say it - but I was rude and did not stop. The run continued and I did a pretty good speed, until about mile 4 when I had to slow down... I am not sure why. It lasted for about one two miles - not sure .. but then I picked up speed, and kept the speed ... getting me across the finish line at 2:08-2:09 (unofficial) ... which shaves about 7-8 min off my previous personal best. How can you not be happy with that?
I got my medal, got my bag (with change of clothes) ... and made a quick exit to the car, and drove home. The weather forecast yesterday called for rain, but during the time I ran it was perfect. I left - got on the freeway - and there was the rain WOW.
It was a good race - I feel really good - and I hope I transitioned some positive energy to the person who is currently going through chemotherapy. Next weekend is a two day bike ride in Ashtabula county, and then October 18, back on my 'happy feet'... half marathon in Detroit.
- three disciplines - one mission - one goal
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