Monday, August 17, 2009

Help me raise money for Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital / Training week 8/10-8/16

The North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run is now just seven weeks away. This will be the biggest, scariest ultrarunning challenge I've ever taken on. The challenge comes down to many factors, including the course itself (.96-mile loop), the time involved (24 hours) and, potentially, the weather (you never know what you're going to get on Lake Erie in early October). Beyond the pure physical challenge, the North Coast 24 will pose an enormous mental challenge. It will be difficult remaining focused as I run the loop over and over and over again. We'll have 12 hours of daylight and a whopping 12 hours of darkness.

Running can't just be about me. It has to be about something far larger than the confines of my life and goals. That's why I've decided to raise money for Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital through my North Coast 24 participation. Rainbow is a not-for-profit children's hospital based in Cleveland that cares for all children who enter its doors. It turns no child away. Rainbow is consistently ranked among the nation's top children's hospital. Early in Noah's life, we turned to Rainbow a few times and were always so happy with the care we received.

Not every kid is as lucky as Noah or perhaps your child. Every day, Rainbow cares for kids with heart defects, rare cancers, cystic fibrosis, neurological disorders, serious injuries and other life-threatening conditions. Rainbow has a world-renowned neonatal intensive care unit that cares for babies who are severely premature, low birth weight and born to drug addiction. No kid should have to endure such trauma. At least once a week as I'm walking through the hospital (I work at University Hospitals, where Rainbow is located), I see a very sick child and the site breaks my heart. I want to do something--anything--to help these children, and I hope you will join me in this cause. As an added benefit, your donation will be tax-deductible and you'll get a tax receipt from the hospital.

If you are interested in supporting my Run for Rainbow, please e-mail me and join my Yahoo! group. Every dollar you contribute will make a difference.


This was an excellent week of training as I completed 96.5 miles. I had a good hill-repeat workout on Chagrin Boulevard and logged some decent times at the track, running 5x1600 at about 5:50 each. On Thursday I took Noah out for his first jaunt in our new baby jogger and he loved it. We went 4 miles for my second run of the day and he was fast asleep by the time we were done. On Saturday, I ran 14.75 miles in Peninsula with the Lock 29 crew and on Sunday did my first race since the Mohican 100.

Frank D. and I met at Jeff U.'s place on Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. and ran to the start of the Perfect 10 Miler in Lyndhurst--which drew some excellent talent. The air was warm and humid and the sun completely out. Having already warmed up with our run to the race and some striders, I exploded out of the gate, covering the first mile in about 5:30, and then I slowed down. By mile 5, I knew this was not going to be one of my better races as my legs were sluggish and my right hamstring ached.

I came through the 5K in 18:11 and the 10K in 38:11. By mile 9, I was just trying to hang on. Finally, I crossed in 1:03:23 for 27th overall out of 450+ runners. This was not one of my better races but I went hard and gave it my all. I guess the heat was a factor. I would have liked to break 1:02 and will be looking for revenge next year. Now for a quick review of the Perfect 10 Miler:
  • Organization: Thumbs up
  • Course: Thumbs up--but my GPS did come up .2 miles short.
  • Markings: None. The volunteers provided the direction, which is a risky strategy.
  • Timing: Use a very light timing chip attached to the shoe laces.
  • Aid: Not enough water stations--maybe two more given the humidity. Also, a few times I asked for Gatorade and got water.
  • Volunteers: Good.
  • Finish line food: Pizza, doughnuts, water, Gatorade, energy bars, etc.--excellent finish line fare! It's really sad when a 10-miler has exponentially better finish line food than our own hometown marathon.
Afterward, Jeff, Frank and I ran back to Jeff's house and then we were off to the Original Pancake House in nearby Woodmere, where we met up with Frank's family. Although we waited a long time for our food (likely due to the place being slammed), it was worth the wait. My omelet and buckwheat pancakes were exceptionally good and our waitress was extremely friendly, welcoming and pleasant. The coffee sucked--it tasted burned--and there was no Splenda--a major no-no in the Age of Starbucks (that does not mean I like Starbucks; it means people's standards for java have gone up. But it does mean I like Spenda!). Even with bad coffee and no Splenda, I still give the Original Pancake House two thumbs up.


This week the goal is to keep the mileage and quality up--90+ miles with speedwork and hills. There is a chance I may do something very new this week with my running and, if so, I'll report back on how it went. I'm sticking to my core-strengthening because I know it helps in the long run. The next week I plan to pull back for a recovery week and then make one final hard push before my North Coast 24 taper.

I'll close with my new motto: Get busy livin', or get busy dyin.

1 comment:

  1. Sunday morning was and humid, but fun. Big thanks to Jeff for allowing us to shower at his house. That made for a much more pleasant breakfast.