Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Fight Like Hell
In two weeks I will have completed my first marathon. As of today, I have raised over $1,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, while Team LIVESTRONG Chicago broke through the $200,000 barrier today, an extraordinary achievement. All the long runs have been put in, as well as most support runs. I still have several of those left in these last days of taper before the race. I have been watching what I'm eating for a while now. Basically, all the work has been completed. Now I just have to take care of myself and don't do anything stupid that would void all the months of hard training and preparation.
Yesterday, the Berlin Marathon was run. A world record was set by Kenyan runner Patrick Makau at 2 hours 3 minutes 38 seconds, an outstanding pace of 4:43 minutes/mile. Several of my VIP Running teammates were there and their results fluctuated from 4:30 to 5:30 hours. My expectations have to be within that range. Anything below that would be unreal. It was very gratifying to see their names on the results page and read their posts on Facebook throughout the day. This morning one of my teammates wrote that now came the hardest part: withstanding the shopping marathon his wife had planned for the day after the race. Yikes!
My last long run was held on September 17th. We started running at 3:30AM. Our group was 5 runners deep but, as always, we did not finish together. I was set to complete 24 miles, and that I did. Five hours later, I was done. The run had multiple stops, a driving rainstorm in front of the Capitol where we crossed paths with fellow VIP teammates who had started later in the morning and with my Chicago traveling partner Paco who for the past couple of weeks has been doing long runs by himself, a solo stretch towards the later part after all other runners had dropped back and a final push to the end aided by Paco whom I again coincidentally crossed around mile 21. There was no dip in the ocean afterwards this time. There were tons of people out and about setting up for the International Coastal Cleanup Day. I hope they took with them all the crap they were bringing in to "celebrate" cleanup day.
I spent most of the past week in New York City on business. I arrived late on Monday. The day before, on Sunday afternoon, Lance Armstrong summoned NYC runners via his Twitter account to a flash run through the streets of Manhattan and Central Park to promote LIVESTRONG's new campaign which is being launched under the slogan "Fight Like Hell". The picture above is of a billboard on the corner of 34th St. and 7th Ave. His main purpose for being in NYC was to participate in the United Nations Forum on Non-Communicable Diseases (mainly cancer, diabetes, lung and heart disease) which took place on Tuesday. He also participated along with LIVESTRONG CEO Doug Ulman in the Mashable Social Good Summit to talk about how the LIVESTRONG Wristband is the original social network. While in NYC, I got the opportunity to run on The Highline, the city's new urban space along the West Side. It is an amazing place sitting safely above street level running unimpeded for a mile (over 15 city blocks). Being in NYC last week and coinciding with what went on brought much closer to what we will be running for and definitely brings a certain closure to all the months of hard work and sacrifice that have been put in to prepare for Chicago.
Not much will be going on between now and race day. Final preparations for our trip will take place. Some maintenance runs and therapy sessions. And getting as much done at work as possible in order to enjoy our week long trip to Chicago. My race shirt came in two weeks ago. Yellow Team LIVESTRONG shirt of course. Thanks to a tip from a VIP Running teammate, I got some race day shorts yesterday at Marshall's...LIVESTRONG too!!! My race packet and bib number also came in last week.
Now the wait begins...but before that, don't forget to wear YELLOW on LIVESTRONG day on October 2nd to celebrate 14 years of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. And, finally, if you wish to contribute to our Chicago Team and to LIVESTRONG's mission, please do so at:
Remember, LIVESTRONG helps people affected by cancer by giving them the tools they need to live life on their own terms.