Photo courtesy of: http://www.livestrong.org/Take-Action/Team-LIVESTRONG-Events/LIVESTRONG-Challenge-Series/LIVESTRONG-Challenge-Philly 

It’s that time of year again, folks! Hopefully, you have all been getting ready for the biggest LIVESTRONG event in the Philadelphia area, and for that matter on the East Coast!!!! Remember that there are 4 LIVESTRONG Challenges: San Jose, Seattle, Austin, and Philadelphia. You will notice that out of the four only ONE is on the East Coast!

Here are the official details from the official website: LIVESTRONG CHALLENGE Website

“In Philly, on August 21—22, the LIVESTRONG Challenge takes place in the Philadelphia suburb of Blue Bell on the Montgomery County Community College Campus. This year we’ve expanded our Philly event to a 2-day format. Because of the growth of the event, moving the run/walk to Saturday will allow us to welcome more participants and add an additional 10K distance and Post Event Party for our runners and walkers. On Sunday, our riders can enjoy bike rides varying from 10, 20, 45, 75 and 100 mile options. For the first time ever in Philly, enjoy both activities of the LIVESTRONG Challenge.”

 (Me Again:) I’m again looking to put in an effort for one of the two  running portions of the event.  There is a 5k and a 10k. I’m going to do the  10k, unless I can come up with a road bike and start training for the actual ride. If so, I’m going to try and do both! I’m hoping you are looking to participate to do the same and join us or  come back out for another exciting adventure in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. This is a fun day of both exercise, friendship and unity in the fight against cancer. I personally have been involved in this event every year that it has taken place and I’m amazed at how every year this particular event  gets larger and larger.  In addition, I’m hoping that afterwards, we could BBQ or and enjoy the post party events. I’m also thinking T-shirts again as we did last year. Let me know if you’re interested email me at gameoncancer@aol.com! And register here:  Philly Registration

 Also, I believe if the rumour (Yes, I know it’s the british version of rumor. I’m being fancy) is correct that Lance, himself, will be making an appearance at the event, following his conclusion of his last Tour de France.

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For the past few months I have been preparing for my first actual race of some sizeable distance: The Broad Street Run, a 10 mile jaunt down Broad Street, around city hall and ending in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This race has been a little daunting. I’ve thought about doing the Broad Street Run, multiple times and each time talked myself out of it. However, this year was different a good friend of mine at work, Scott, a man whom I have coached multiple seasons with had cancer strike his extended family. Scott informed me that he was going to run Broad Street. Scott has been such a positive force at my school and coaching that I committed to running in support of Scott and his family. He and I have gone back forth over the last few months discussing our training runs, sending messages back and forth urging each other on to run. In fact there were days that I hated the idea of going to put in a training run, and there was Scott either heading to the gym to run or coming out of the gym from running. It was there that I would ask him, “How far did you go, today?” He would respond with a great distance and I would say internally, “crap, I have to go put that in or a little more.” This continued for a weeks, until we got close to the actual race. 

In preparation, I decided I would run the Gener8tion run in Fairmount Park, a very nice 8k and then follow it up the following week with a 7 1/4 mile run back home on a local high school track. Those two distances were the longest I used to prepare for the Broad Street Run. I was intimidated, the idea of running with 30,000 people, most of which have probably done this race before, or have run this kind of distance on a regular basis. 

Fortunately for me, my friend Adam, a regular of distances this long had returned to our wonderful hometown and acted as my unofficial mentor through the last few days of preparation. He and I hung out on Saturday and drove down to the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, where we found our racing bibs and wandered around the running expo. From there we went over and watched Roy Halladay pitch a complete game shut-out of the rival New York Mets. The day was a complete success. The concern now was what was going to happen the next day.

The morning came early and I was off to pick up Adam and drive down to Citizen’s Bank Park where the race would eventually end (relative proximity.) For me, I think the wave of excitement truly hit me as we piled onto the subway and raced off to the beginning of the race.  Arriving at the beginning, I started to feel the flight of butterflies in my stomach, thinking again, that maybe I have bitten off more than I could chew, but at this point it was too late to turn back. The starting gun was going off and I could see and hear each corral heading off on their arduous journey towards the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Our turn came and we started off. No matter what happened, I was sticking with Adam, figuring that our times sounded close in our discussions of running so I should stay close and we set a great pace, approximately a 9 min mile pace. The issues for me started a mile 2. I felt a sudden twinge of pain in my right calf and I new this was way to early for me to cramp up, but there was little I could do.  The mission became either fight through it and hope that it worked out or simply try to fight through it.  I kept racing on and luckily my calf loosened up.  I pushed on and raced a 46:42 half. I am pretty pleased with that.

 However, my issues were not finished. Mile 7 and 8 were painful and I hated each and every step. I think my issues with drinking water and Gatorade while running finally caught up with me. I haven’t mastered this whole drinking while running. I’m just not good at it, I choke, don’t get enough water into my mouth, spill half of it all over me… who knows, I’m a delinquent when it comes to this. Mile 7 and 8, I lost it… just became increasing drained. I got to the point where I had to walk the water lines because I think I knew I was drained. Then I saw it… mile 8. From here I mentally kicked things into gear… I just kept thinking about it like I do when I practice on the local track: 8 laps… 8 laps…by the time I looked up it was mile 9 and then there was no way in hell I was stopping, walking, I started to pick it up and really run. By the time I had entered the Navy Yard, I was in mid-sprint, just trying to will myself to the end. I crossed at 1:40:04.  I don’t consider this an awful time, for my first major 10 mile run and in the weather that was beating down.  I considered it a challenge and motivation to run the Philadelphia half marathon in September. In fact, there is a half marathon at the end of the month. So we will see. 

For the most part this was a great success (Yes, do your best Borat impression here!) I was very happy with what took place and even happier that I had the opportunity to share the experience with Adam, who eventually did lose me in the race and finished at 1:38:17 a full 1:37 a head of me. And most importantly that I had the opportunity to run in support of a good friend and his family who ultimately, ran in memorium of their loved one. To Scott and his family, you did everyone proud with your efforts and I look forward to running with you again!

Random positive that came up, prior to the race: I was randomly complimented that I could look like Chase Utley or at least his brother…. I will definitely take that compliment!

Running Again… 42 Days

March 22, 2010

Quick update on my running.  This morning I had every intention of getting up early and traveling up to Doylestown, to run in the YMCA 5K.  The alarms went off, I was up and stared at the numbers on my clock. They were evil 7:30 AM on Sunday… hmmm it  just didn’t sound right in my head, so I closed my eyes and let my body determine what was correct.  Sleep was overcame me and I drifted for a few more hours.  Upon waking; however, I was disappointed that I did not run the 5K, so I decided I would travel to a local high school and put my miles in.  In addition, I wanted to make sure that I put in the full 5K. 

I did. Fortunately, the weather cooperated, because the weather does effect how I feel when I run.  Sometimes, it makes me want to stop, but today, there was a subtle breeze and the temperature was cool, so I just took off.  Happily, I cruised through my 5K and felt good about what was taking place. My time was a little slower than I would have liked, but for not having run consistantly, I pleased.  We are currently looking at 42 days until the Broad Street Run. I need to continue this trend as I prepare to head down to UNC for my friend Dave’s wedding.  That means I need to put some miles in over the next few days. This is going to be a challenge!  But with words like the following from my friend, Scott: I’m pumped…

“Thanks for the kind words Dave. It’s been my pleasure knowing and working with you. Now, I am glad we can work together and motivate one another for such a worthwhile cause. As those miles mount on May 2nd, they will be easier knowing what our overall goal is!”

Broad Street Run

March 16, 2010

The Broad Street Run, which is fast approaching (May 2nd, 2010) , is a 10 mile race down Broad Street in Philadelphia. I have never had the distinct pleasure in running this race before, but earlier this year, I promised that I would do so in support of my friend and colleague Scott and his family.  They are currently in their own family struggle against cancer and as you all know the cancer community doesn’t back down from a collective fight.  Therefore, I committed to running the race as the one and only  gameoncancer, but with the mission in mind of supporting Scott and his family, all the while still honoring those that are fighting, have beaten cancer  or for those whose memories remain with us.

It’s interesting; however, as much as I’m running in support of Scott, I’ve been finding myself supported by Scott. For he has been my motivation over the last few weeks to get out and run.  Everyday, I see Scott head down from teaching to the gym to put some miles out on the treadmill and everytime I see him head that way it stirs me to make sure that I’m heading down the same path to put my own miles down.  I’m eager and intimidated by this race. Yes, I know that it is a fast course and downhill and all the other stuff that people tell me about, how this is an esay run, but at the same time I’m leaving a comfort level of small and intermediate runs.  This isn’t a small race, it’s going to be packed with approximately 30,000 people! 

Therefore,  I think this race will be a true test of will for me. It’s my mental form of battling cancer. Now, I’m not trying to say that this is in anyway comparable to fighting cancer, but it reflects for me the pure test and determination that a caregiver or combatant against cancer must have.  Each step on the road, in my head symbolizes that fight.  It will get harder as the miles rack up and I’m sure there will be many times that I will want to walk or stop all together. But I need to be determined and continue to push on, much as I attempt to tell others to push on. At the end of the day I hope to be standing at the finish line triumphant as I hope many of you will be with your personal battles. 

If you are thinking about coming out to run for Broad Street, do so!  I would be more than happy to see you all out there and cheer you on.  If you can’t make it, send me names and I will make a shirt to commemorate you or your loved ones as I run.

Either way, today, I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Scott, who has been driving me over the last few weeks to make sure that I get my chubby butt out on the road to run and more importantly for the effort he is putting out to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to run for you and yours.  

Sponsorship

March 14, 2010

In the last few years of fundraising for the Livestrong Challenge, we here at gameoncancer have tried a variety of different ways to raise money.  Fortunately, for gameoncancer we’ve been very successful having raised roughly $8,000.00  last year.  In the past to raise these funds, we have created survival bands, held garage sales, created jewelry, and have worked with corporations that have provided matching proceeds. This past week we’ve crossed a very important boundary as we have been approached about being the official charity for a new realty group that is emerging here in Chester County! This realty group is led by a long time friend, Chris,  and his realty partner. This Tuesday, My friend and I are sitting down to discuss the various events we can put together to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation!

I am extremely excited by the opportunity and eagerly look forward to working with Chris and his realty partner to help good people find new homes and to help good people battle cancer! Together I think we have a real opportunity to change a great many lives!

This opportunity gives great hope for the expansion of gameoncancer to help others and continue our mission of providing worthwhile information to those who are seeking reassurance, quality information and the will to push for our lives and those we care for. I will of course post information as this possibility evolves.

On another note, it’s official that I am registered for the Broad Street Run and I am getting ready for the run. I’m hoping this will be a greate experience and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to run in support of my friend Scott and his family. More information to follow, but for now dinner calls!

My Own Sistine Chapel

October 4, 2009

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel

Last night, I felt like Michelangelo preparing the Sistine Chapel. The image hit me as I was lying on my back with a telescopic pole painting the various portions of my hallway.  It was definitely  more real when I was preparing scaffolding so that I could paint the upper reaches of the staircase.  Painting, I find is very relaxing and calming. I think it is one of my favorite chores to do.  Even though by the time I’m finished, I’m usually covered in paint from head to toe. Here’s me during the painting:

Me painting in the hallway

Me painting in the hallway

This image says two things. One: Dave needs to get more sun, because look how pale my arms are… they almost match the walls and Two: Doesn’t this picture look like some sort of spiritual sighting… the big white light above my head???

The painting I did last night was great! I completed the entire upstairs hallway, laundry room, bathroom doors and started the stairs.  I need to get some more paint and find some more time to get up there and do it, but it went wonderfully. I passed out there at the house and then drove down here to scenic, beautiful Chester County, for a breakfast meeting, and then down for the Phillies Game for Fan Appreciation Day!

The game was perfect, the Phillies bench players, plus Jayson Werth and J.A. Happ v. The entire starting lineup of the Florida Marlins, including their best pitcher.  The crowd was a frenzy, the Phils played wonderfully, even though they were down most of the game, but they pulled it off in the 10th on a Paul Hoover (Triple A catcher) single off the glove of Wes Helms (former Phillie Third Baseman.) Just a nice day of relaxation, fun and good times. I came home and began reading excerpts from this website: http://www.textsfromlastnight.com/ kind of hysterical. Dirty… very dirty, but funny. Makes me think of Post Secret. Well, I’m off to plan some hijinx and think of ways to end cancer… Plus, I need to prepare for getting my butt back into the gym after practice tomorrow. I’m feeling chubby and not prepared for running in May!

Salt Water

September 9, 2009

Everytime my voice takes a small hiatus, a little play takes place in my head.  It goes something like this:

Setting: childhood household in suburban Chester County. The clock has struck about 9 in the morning and I’m walking down the steps  until I’m even with the kitchen sink. 

My father looks up from the paper and says, “What’s wrong?” 

“My voice is gone…” I express in my gravelly voice

The response simply …”Gargle with salt water.” 

Just the very idea of heating up salt water and gargling with it, drives me nuts. I can already sense the taste of the Iodine.  Yuck.  I would try fiendishly to avoid doing it.  Sometimes when I was young I used to hide the salt hoping that my dad wouldn’t find it and heat it up for me, so that I would have to gargle with the salt water. It doesn’t seem so terrible, but it’s just one of the horrible experiences of youth. It makes me think of this scene from A Christmas Story:

Ralphie after he says, "Fudge!"

However, as the days go on and my voice improves only slightly, the more compelling the salt water elixir becomes.  Tonight might even be the night that I give in and gargle with the wretched concoction.  I think I’m getting desperate.  It simply limits my ability to teach at what I believe are my highest abilities. 

Oh well! I’ll get to it, but as for the other components of my goals. I’m having a little difficulty getting myself motivated to run… Boo!!! Hiss! Rubbish, Slime, Filth… This is what runs through my head everytime I don’t run and the image that fits with it:

The Princess Bride - Great Image of the Commoner

I need to get back on the trails, a path, hell even a treadmill. It’s taking its toll: I feel lethargic/lazy and chubby… pretty soon, I’ll look like this:

This will be me… staring at the trail I should be running 

 I need to get out of this funk, but 1 of 2 things needs to happen. 1.) I need to leave school earlier then I do, which right now it’s already 6:30 PM and I’m still sitting at my desk and if I do that I could run at homeun at home (treadmills are lovely.) Or 2.) Run after practice, but it would have to be right after practice, because the minute I sit down… it’s over.

I’m going to do the Broad Street Run! I’ve sworn it, but I just am crushed energywise at the end of the day.  I need some ideas to stay vitalized. Maybe, it’s just me getting used to being back in the swing of the school year and of course my crazy hours of working? We will see! Alright, I’m spent for the moment and I think I’m going home!

P.S. Thank you for all the recent comments! I’m looking into the photo idea of Flickr!