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Archive for the category “Cancer Research”

Cheaters You Suck

If I may be blunt. The headline of this post is as simple as I can put it. Beware of the rant to come. Cheaters of any kind suck. Whether it be in business, sport or personal life, cheating blows chunks. We will focus on cheating in sport as this is a running blog and the last time I checked running counts as a sport.

I have participated in sports since I was 8 years old. Never heard about steroids until high school and never have seen anyone take them nor have I ever been approached to purchase them. I played football in high school, wide receiver mainly and back in 1982 I never really saw the benefit of taking them. The steroid users back then were huge with veins popping out all over, so I didn’t make the connection to running fast, not until Ben Johnson came along.

In my 20’s I played rugby and the thought of using steroids never crossed my mind. I was never going to cheat  the game and damage my body in the process. Still in the late 80’s the users were huge grotesque freaks. I was pretty sure I played against some users, but for the most part I was still better than most of them. I was fast enough to avoid getting hit by the really big dudes and smart enough to keep the ball moving in the right direction.

My rugby career ended early due to a knee injury and again I never considered taking steroids to aid in the recovery from knee surgery. Maybe if I had a criminal mind and thought the world owed me something I would have considered cheating, but I quite simply feel that anything worth doing is only worth doing without cheating. Integrity anyone?

When I took up marathons I looked at Lance Armstrong as the ultimate endurance athlete. I read his first 2 books and was a huge fan of his. I had recently lost 2 Aunts to cancer, so his fight and his foundation really touched me. I ran the 2011 Chicago Marathon as part of Team Livestrong and felt a sense of purpose raising money for cancer survivors. Right after running the Fargo Marathon in May of 2011, I saw on the news that some of Lance’s teammates were saying he was a cheater. I didn’t want to believe it. He worked so hard. He had passed all those hundreds of drug tests or so he said. I continued to raise money for Livestrong and hoped with all my heart that the stories were untrue.

Well, we all know now that he cheated and then tried to keep his accusers quiet. Discussing. Lance is no better than an organized crime boss who uses intimidation to keep his sorry ass out on the street and out of jail. People will say he has done so much for cancer survivors and that one part of his existence is noble, but that doesn’t excuse him from being lumped in the category of scumbag cheater.

I am a parent of 2 young boys, one of which has been playing tackle football for the last 3 years.  If my sons ever feel like that they need to cheat to be successful, it is my hope that they will walk away from the sport before taking that ill-fated step toward becoming a scumbag cheater.  Just like you can’t get a little pregnant, you can’t be just a little cheater. Either you do it the right way or you are a scumbag cheater.

I will step off the soapbox for the night.

 

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Runner Cancer Survivor Dies

I am at a loss for words. I didn’t know this person personally. He didn’t coach any of my kids and we never shared a conversation, but I knew who he was and his influence on numerous high school athletes in Eastern Iowa. What he did for me was open my eyes to randomness of cancer.

I have known smokers that got lung cancer, but Gary Stamp was a non-smoker and avid runner who would carry a garage bag and would pick up cans and trash while running. It just didn’t make any sense to me that Coach Stamp would be diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer last spring.

It was the push that I needed to try to help make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors. If my running could help raise money then it was something I had to do. If I am afforded the opportunity to live life to the fullest, then I can afford to do something for those who have hit a few setbacks.

Running the Chicago Marathon as part of  Team Livestrong was rewarding in so many ways. As I look to 2012, I look for other opportunities to run and give back along the way.

Coach Stamp died today. My daughter missed the opportunity to play softball for him by a year. She is very sad. I hope someday she will know the influence he had on our family and others will be everlasting.

Chicago Marathon Results (The Band was Good)

I think I ran 30 miles today. 26.2 would have been enough, but the bobbing and weaving had me spent by the half marathon. I ran through 22, but walked a bit after that when my good knee decided to shout at me and say enough was too much.

I really shouldn’t complain, I finished my second marathon of the year. I participated in something not everyone has the opportunity to do. I am thankful and will continue to plug away, lose a few more pounds and find a trail marathon to do in the spring.

The Expo, the experience and the Band was good, so I will put this one on the plus side for fun and overall enjoyment. I will say that I was good as retired from marathon running somewhere between 22 miles and 30 minutes after the race, but before a press conference could be organized, I recanted and started planning the next one. My priorities have changed from Boston Qualifying to finishing as many different marathons as possible. New York anyone? Big Sur?

Boston Registration Opens Chicago Shut out

I signed up for the Chicago Marathon the first day it opened back in Feb.  My hope for Chicago was a Boston Marathon Qualifying time. Then came the changes announced by the BAA that the registration time would be Sept 12th and only the fastest qualifiers would get to register first. I am pretty sure Boston will close by the time Chicago comes around on Oct. 9th.

I  am frustrated with the timing of everything, but I do like the new standards and will push harder in my training to make my goal.

If I qualify for Boston 2013 with my time in Chicago, I will apply for a Charity Entry into Boston 2012.

Things may change, but the ultimate goal stays the same.

Habit of Bad Habits

To say I like to over do things I like to do would be an understatement. A lot of the good and even more of the bad. If I didn’t run I would probably weigh 300 pounds. Running makes me not want to do the bad things, but I still over eat from time to time and a day off from running makes me hungry or bored or both.

We all have different reasons to run. I love it and it loves me. At least that’s what it has been telling me lately. From the books I have read and the hills I have climbed, it has all come together to make it the most life affirming choice of this life.

The book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall notes that the ability to love and running do have a connection. Looking back on my life, I was not capable of love before I started running. Not sure if the connection runs that deep, but I am willing to run with it. Oh golly!

I didn’t care much for myself, before I starting running. I couldn’t maintain a relationship before I started running. I was only successful at escaping from my problems before I ran with them and worked them out.

Run far and find….yourself.

So Hot Hot Hot

As I ventured out for a run this morning, my wife asked me, “Is it hot outside? We are supposed to be under a heat advisory through Thursday.” I really didn’t have a good answer for her until I got home from what turned from a 12 mile run into a 9 mile run with some recovery walking thrown in. “Yeah, it’s hot.”

My friend Ivy, who runs sub 3:00 marathon trains in the New Orleans, LA area, so I can’t really complain about the heat and humidity. I will take what I can get for long runs during this most recent heat wave and hope that the suffering done now will result in a prepared runner for the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 9th.

The years I have suffered on long runs have been the years I had my best marathons, so I will stay positive and feed off the confidence and knowledge of the past. Race day will have all the benefits handled to you: Water, Gatorade and GU shots. Maybe an orange slice or banana. Training runs always have less of the good stuff, so race day will always be better, at least we can continue to tell ourselves that.

Keep the positive thoughts and the results will follow.

School of Run

If Jack Black was born to play Dewey Finn (Ned) in School of Rock, I was born to run and write about it tongue in shoe, er, cheek. Being able to run is a gift and sharing that gift with others is an even bigger gift. Running is like a hilly road as it has many peaks and valleys. Setting big goals are important as goals will help keep you on the road when maybe you just don’t feel like it on a rainy day.

Sometimes those goals are met and sometimes you may could up short like I did at the Fargo Marathon. I took sometime to cry in my oatmeal, a couple of days, and then I got back to training for the Chicago Marathon. With a 18 week training program set for Chicago, I only had one week to get myself back together and get back on the horse. Mentally I feel refreshed and as determined as ever to qualify for Boston.

That is just how it works, give it your best and if your best was less than expected, get back to work, make some adjustments and  be better the next time around.

Fargo Final Exam

Arriving in Fargo on Friday, I was very impressed with the ample free parking at the Fargodome and the layout for the marathon Expo. Easy in, easy out. I can see why The Fargo Marathon is highly recommended by Runner’s World. Big marathons can be a logistical nightmare and Fargo was anything but. If you have the opportunity to run Fargo, just do it.

From a personal standpoint, Fargo was a failure. I just didn’t have the energy to keep my pace up for the entire 26.2. Now I could list out a bunch of excuses, like the hotel reservations were screwed up, I didn’t sleep for 2 nights before the marathon and I forgot my energy drink the morning of, but that wouldn’t change anything. The bottom line is that I didn’t do what I wanted to do. I am disappointed and that is driving me to modify my plan for Chicago and go back to a more traditional training plan with longer long runs.

To be on  Boston Marathon Qualifying pace at the half and then have the wheels completely fall off is totally unacceptable to me. To have my worst marathon performance hurts. To spend a solid 4 and 1/2 months of training and have this ugliness occur tastes like crap.

I take the pain and use it as motivation, that is all I can do as I start another 18 week program for Chicago. I won’t let the failure stop me, but I will use the lesson to better the next time around, darn it!

Bib 924 Fargo Marathon

Marathons take a tremendous amount preparation. We spend months logging serious miles on roads, watching what we eat and putting together a plan for race day. If everything goes well we finish and accomplish our goals.

As I lie in my hotel room, my wife on her laptop and my son in his pack and go sleeper, asleep, I wonder if I have packed enough for this trip. Ok that was a lie, I don’t wonder if I packed enough as I packed about every piece of running equipment I own. I have all the variables covered from rain to shine, cold, colder, coldest, warm to hot. What ever marathon morning brings I will be ready. I packed about 10 pairs of socks, ridiculous. 4 pairs of shorts and 3 different pairs of running tights, crazy. 6 shirts, sleeveless, short and long-sleeved, overkill.

Someone should tell me that this is running event and not the red carpet. Oh and you can follow me at fargomarathon.com. I am bib number 924, like a Porsche. Not as cool as the 911, but still a Porsche. You won’t be able to tell what I am wearing, but you will be able to tell how fast in am going. Hope to be clicking off 7:15 per mile. Take to you all later.

Honest Effort

Whether it be sport or work, honest effort should go a long way. Now with the reports of cheating in both athletics and in the corporate world, it is  just nice to be considered a recreational runner. No need to get crazy and try to juice up to hit more home runs or garner insider information to make another billion. Training for a marathon just to complete it is good honest hard work.

It may not get me a promotion or fame, but I can spread wellbeing and raise a little money for cancer survivor programs. We can help others and our selves though honest effort.

2011 Team LIVESTRONG Run – General Donation

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