Saturday, August 30, 2008

The fascination with the .2

The distance of the marathon is not 26 miles, but 26.2 miles.

  • The modern Athens Marathon commemorates the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield at the site of the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C.

  • Legend has it that Pheidippides delivered the momentous message "Niki!" ("victory"), then collapsed and died.

  • The Athens Marathon is recognized as the original marathon course and it's the same course used in the 2004 Olympics held in Athens.

  • The first modern Olympic games were held in 1896 in Greece.

  • The legend of Pheidippides was honored by a 24.85 mile (40,000 meters) run from Marathon Bridge to Olympic stadium in Athens.

  • At the 1908 Olympic Games in London, the marathon distance was changed to 26.2 miles to cover the ground from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium, with the 2.2 miles added on so the race could finish in front of royal family's viewing box. This added two miles to the course, and is the origin of the Marathon tradition of shouting "God save the Queen!" (or other words relating to the Queen) as mile post 24 is passed.

  • During all of my long training runs, I always try and end up with a .2 after whatever miles I have run for the day. My family gave me a Garmin watch for Christmas two years ago and it is a great way to track how far you are running and it helps me make sure I complete the all important .2.

    Last week I ran 19.2 miles. That leaves only 7 more miles.

    Today I ran 20.2 miles. That means on marathon day I only have to tack on 6 more miles.

    Somehow that seems so important to tack on the .2 in training. Have to do that during the marathon so might as well practice running those last 385 yards.

    I have yet to shout, "God save the queen" during my training runs. That would be weird. Maybe I will try to do that at my next marathon :)

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Meet Mighty Mason

    I have a favor to ask to everyone that is reading my blog.

    Mason Bernard is our team hero for the Denver marathon this fall. Mason is six years old and has A.L.L. Mason is pictured directly in front of me. His Mother Catherine is seated next to him on the right side of the picture.

    Please check out his website and leave Mason and his Mom, Catherine a word of encouragement or please pray for them.

    Catherine is one of my teammates that I will be running with in the Denver marathon this fall.

    Does Catherine want to run a marathon and spend time away from her Mason and her family? I would think that would not be her first choice. Does Catherine want to do everything possible as a Mother for her son? I have no doubt as to the answer to that question.
    Mason just started kindergarten and is already missing school. This disease is so relentless, the toll on those we love and their families can't be measured.
    I will be honored to be running with Catherine this fall, running for Mason, running to honor Kelly, Laiken and Patti's lives, running ever closer to a cure.
    Catherine-I know you feel alone at times, you are not.
    Mighty Mason, you rock!
    Kelly-I love you, miss you so much. You will always be my hero!
    Relentless for a cure!

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    Running with Keegan and the girls

    I have recently started running with Laura, my niece Kristin and great nephew Keegan. We found two free running clubs, one runs on Monday's and the other on Thursday's. These are low key 5K runs where the club serves free pasta afterwards.

    This is a great way to meet people that have similar interests and to become involved in the Denver running community.

    Kristin made a bunch of new friends at the run last Thursday. She is very outgoing so I think it would be impossible for her to go somewhere and not make a connection.

    I have been pushing Keegan in the baby jogger so that gives me a whole new perpsective on running. The course we run on Monday's is really hilly so that really adds a challenge to hill running.

    Kristin really had a great time on Thursday and was actually looking forward to the next run. It is really neat to be able to share the love I have for running with her.
    When I got done running on Monday, Keegan and I spent a bit of time looking for bunny rabbits and in this search got a glimpse of an awesome sunset. A camera just never does justice to what you see with your eyes. It was gorgeous.
    My running buddy, Keegan.

    Blood-Commodity or Community asset?

    I learned some very interesting facts about the blood business as the LLS board meeting this month at Bonfils.

    Bonfils support 200 health organizations in U.S. and all over the world.

    There are 76 Bonfils like orgs in the U.S.

    Red Cross collects 40% of blood donation in U.S.

    Bonfils collects 48%

    Hospitals account for remaining 12%.

    Doubled amount of blood stored at Bonfils in preparation of the DNC next week.

    Red Cross threw out 485.000 units of blood collected after 9/11.

    Bonfils processed more blood after Columbine shootings than N.Y. City did after 9/11.

    Approximately 200 registrants have occurred as part of the Light the Night marrow donor registration

    Bonfils is able to waive the donor registration fee at the Light the Night walks.

    7,000 registered marrow donors in Colorado.

    300 million people in U.S. Only 70 million are eligible to donate blood.

    Only 4% of population will donate.

    97% of population will receive a transfusion.

    The safest blood transfusion is no transfusion. Incredibly the biggest risk during transfusion is receiving the wrong blood type.

    Blood management programs are critical.

    Cost of unit of blood is $225.00, after transfusion cost varies from $1,700 to $2,400 for a single unit.

    Platelet transfusion $75.00 apiece, one patient could require as many as 25 a day.

    Globalization-Other areas are more willing to pay for blood than here in U.S. Competing across the world for blood supply.

    Bio tech firms in New York are willing to pay $700 for the $225 unit of blood.

    Is blood a commodity or community asset? The answer is both.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Great Expectations

    Watching the women's marathon on televsion leaves a lot be desired. I understand that NBC is trying to weave a story, but come on.

    Deena Kastor, bronze medalist at the Athens marathon dropped out at the 5K mark. That should have garnered more attention, but it was hardly mentioned.

    So many commercial breaks, cutting away to other events were very distracting. At one point Paula Radcliffe(Women's world record holder) is in the lead pack of runners and then she is gone from the telecast. Finally we are told at some point she stopped to go to the bathroom and then stopped again to stretch.

    After the medals have been decided NBC cuts back to watch Paula finish the race. Interestingly, Paula has won every marathon she has run except for the Athens marathon. There she was featured at the side of the rode, in tears as she dropped out of the marathon.

    Paula was absolutely ripped mercilessly by the British tabloids and the talking heads. Hey, put down your laptops and microphones and lace up your shoes. The marathon is never easy, not even for the most elite athletes.

    It was painful to watch Paula run. It was obvious this is a race she should have not even tried to run, let alone finish it.

    Kudos to Paula for finishing the race. So many times you see the elite runners call it a day as soon as they realize they can't win the race. Paula hung in there, finished what she had started.

    I hope the press never again utters an ignorant, unkind comment about her courage. To be expected to win, realize that is not going to be your day and continue on. That takes tremendous courage and Paula has the added weight on her shoulders of running for her country.

    This is one of my favorite running quotes, but it applies to any challenge we face.
    "Finishing is winning"-George Sheehan.

    Paula, you are a winner. I was very proud of her.

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Five months

    I laid in bed this morning desperately trying to figure out how to get my planned 18 mile run in before Church this morning. What time would I have to get out of bed by in order to do this and get to Church on time.

    I laid there trying to figure this out and the clock kept ticking away. I just couldn't make myself get out of bed. I thought about just giving up on it all together and run tomorrow instead. Why can't I get out of bed? What is wrong with me? I am wide awake....

    Finally I get up and get out the door, far too late to run 18 miles. I struggled and I mean I really struggled and managed to get in twelve miles.

    Today marks the five month anniversary of Kelly's passing. I thought about this all through my run today. The weather was even similar to that day in March, gloomy sky to match my mood.

    I felt so sad while I was running. I missed Kelly so much today.

    Even seeing Keegan today, didn't pick me up like it normally does.

    I feel empty, maybe tomorrow will be better.

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Dancing through life

    I have a couple of memories of Kelly to share today. The picture was taken August 10, 2003 at Marcy's wedding. Happy anniversary of 5 years to Marcy and Travis.
    I remember being so nervous asking Kelly if she would like to dance. I had waited for the band to play a slow dance. This is a very special memory for me, one of many unique moments in my life. Kelly always seemed to be inspire me to do things I wouldn't normally do.
    Nine years ago today, I met Kelly and her family for the first time. Laura, Adam and I had driven up to Seattle from Portland so I could meet Kelly where she was undergoing treatment after relapsing in April of that year.
    While we were driving to Seattle, we got stuck in some terrible traffic. I think it took us an hour to drive less than 10 miles. I thought I was having such a tough day. When we got to the Ronald McDonald house, I found out that while I was being so inconvenienced by this traffic, Kelly had a spinal tap done that morning.... How absolutely ridiculous I felt to think I was having a hard day.
    Kelly made Koolaid for my kids. Typical of Kelly to be thoughtful even though she had to have been tired. We spent a nice afternoon together at the Ronald McDonald house. I was so thrilled to be able to meet my hero Kelly.

    Monday, August 4, 2008

    New City Church goes to the movies

    New City Church had it's preview service last Sunday at the Continental Regal movie theater.

    It is a interesting idea as the church is now mobile. They move everything in and out for the service in cases and transport on a trailer.

    We have been in the middle of an extended heat wave, so being in an air conditioned movie theater was quite nice and the seats are very comfortable.

    Interestingly the Pastor told us a story about how he had not filled up the truck that was pulling the trailer and he almost ran out of gas, the truck actually cut out , but he was able restart it and make it to a gas station. I think I will have to tell him my story about running out of gas as that is one of the reasons why I am going to church right now. An interesting parallel.

    Pastor Aaron thought they had about 10 new people visiting for the first time. The sermon was very good last Sunday, one of the best ones he has done since I started going to church.

    The passage was from Jeremiah, 32:36-41 The part I found most interesting was how Pastor Aaron related that only Jesus could transform a heart, much the same message I heard the night I ran out of gas from the gas station attendant. The gas station attendant must be a church planter too.