Monday, October 22, 2012

The Happiest I Have Run

One of the highlights of 2012 is representing the Boulder Running Company as a member of Team BRC (  When I was selected at the end of 2011, it was a bit of a surprise because I don’t spend a lot of time on podiums or winning a lot of race medals (although many of my teammates do).  In fact running has often been a struggle for me because as a shirt I bought for my daughter who runs cross-country says, “my sport is your sport’s punishment.”  Running was always something growing up you did after practice when the coach was angry about your performance.  Also since I generally played sprint sports like soccer, baseball, basketball and the like, running long distances was not something I generally did (unless I was really in trouble).  I wasn’t too slow getting up and down the field or court or running to first base, but I am not the fastest runner over long distances.

Despite the fact that it is not something that has come easy for me, this year I have learned to embrace the Team BRC sponsor’s slogan “Run Happy”.  Perhaps it is because as a member of Team BRC I get fully outfitted in Brooks gear from head to toe that the slogan has rubbed off on me, but this season of running has been my happiest yet.  Now I don’t run because of punishment after practice, but for the health benefits it gives my family and I.  In fact some of the best events of the year have been when the whole family has participated, even if some are just walking with the dog.

The Moshers Before Home Run for the Homeless
The other reason I am running happier is because I am now a part of a running community.  The Boulder Running Company is not just my favorite store to buy shoes, but through the various organized free runs (Saturday morning’s Tony’s Run is my favorite) and boot camp classes, as well as special in-store events, you see the same folks every week including my Team BRC teammates.

The main obligations of serving on the team are racing 8 events in Team BRC Brooks apparel, volunteering at five events, coming to two run clubs a month, and actively documenting while representing BRC and Brooks in a positive way.  I have fulfilled most of these obligations already with my eight races being the Runnin of the Green 7K (March), Cherry Creek Sneak 5K (April), Run for Remembrance 5K (May), Home Run for the Homeless 5K (May), Bolder Boulder 10K (May), Naked Foot 5K (July), Fans on the Field 10K (September) and Das Hustlehoff 5K (September).  Since I am winding down on races, I will be a regular at the Tony’s Run on Saturday mornings the rest of the year.

Running happier also appears to result in running better.  This year I have run my fastest 5K and 10K times in the past 7 years since I started actively running.  I still am a long way from visiting the podium, especially in running and fitness crazy Colorado, but in the battle for the “PR”, or personal record, I am winning.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

It Only Takes a Deck of Cards to Stay Fit While Travelling

My blog has never really been about product endorsements or product reviews, although I may start doing more of that going forward.  So let me start by talking about one of my favorite products I have used for a while, FitDeck.  As folks that have read my blog know, I try to exercise 3-5 times a week as my busy schedule allows.  However, I also travel a lot for work and pleasure, so getting my exercise can be a challenge.  Frequent readers should also know I am not a big fan of gyms and I prefer bodyweight exercises in the great outdoors.

Fortunately my two favorite trainers, Ann Batelle, who is a four time Olympian in the moguls, and Jamie Atlas, who has received numerous awards for being one of Denver’s best trainers, also subscribe to my same philosophy of emphasizing body weight exercises outside over a bunch of gym equipment in a fluorescent lighted sweatshop.  But often travel doesn’t allow me to workout with them as much as I would like, so what do I do then?

This is when I turn to the FitDeck for my virtual Ann or Jamie workout experience.  FitDeck is a unique set of 56 playing cards containing illustrations and instructions describing over 50 different exercises, stretches and movements.  The “Bodyweight” deck is their flagship product, but they have several other “no equipment” and “equipment” decks as well as sports specific exercises.  My favorite decks are the Bodyweight, Plyometrics, and Combat Sports (the last set an alternative to when I can’t go to a kickboxing class, one of the few workouts I don’t mind doing in a gym).  They are also easier to carry with you on the road than P90X DVDs for folks that like to do that popular program, but they offer a similar workout.  So if you are interested, tap on the link I put on to my blog site at the right.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This Time is Different Because it is About the Team

I can tell that I am geared up for the Lavaman Triathlon although it is not until the end of March 2013.  First, I paid closer attention to the Ironman World Championships in Kona thanks to knowing a few folks who were three and competing and because a small portion of their bike course overlaps with the Lavaman bike course.  Two, when I went to 7-Eleven today with my kids I was compelled to have a “Lava Flow” Slurpee comprised of Pina Colada flavor with Cherry lava running through it.

But what will make Lavaman different from when I did it in 2011 is rather than just enjoying it with my Team in Training teammates, I talked 14 of my co-workers to join me as a Team in Training Corporate Team.  So rather than just raising $5,000 myself we are working to raise nearly $70,000 as a team.  So far we have a pretty good start at over 10% raised at $7,112, but we are going to need a lot of help to get all the way to our goal.

One way you can help is to attend our next big fundraising event.  We are going to be at the Howl at the Moon SNC TNT Triathlon Team Fundraiser Howl at the Moon Denver at 1735 19th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202 Friday, November 2, 2012 from 5:00pm until 10:00pm.  Donate $21 to the SNC TNT Triathlon Team web site ( per person and get free entry, first drink free, and a free buffet (until 8 PM) for a Howl at the Moon Happy Hour.  Friday: Happy Hour 5-10pm. You must check in by 8:00 for Free Admission, Free Drink & discounted drinks! There will be discounted drinks until 10 PM.  This is limited to the first 100 people to donate. A code will be provided once your donation is confirmed.

So please sign up to attend or just donate if you can’t come.  Exceeding my personal fundraising goal will not be enough if we can’t get the whole team to Hawaii.  As always, Mahalo for your incredible support.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Summer Ball Park Tour

With the end of the baseball season and the playoffs started, I thought it would be fun to look back at the six ballparks I visited this summer.  I will do that in text as well as the video I made with photos from the stops.  I saw the three oldest ballparks as well as went to my fifth All Star Game, a remodeled park and a two-year old stadium.  Can you name the three oldest ballparks?  Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are easy, but the third is surprising.  Yes it is Dodgers Stadium built in 1962 and celebrating its 50th Anniversary.  With all of the recent ballpark construction, most stadiums are less than 20 years old.

How did I get around to so many ballparks this summer?  Folding a few baseball games together with some of my business trips, probably too many trips to Coors Field to see the Rockies in this their worst season, a family vacation to Boston, and a special trip to Kansas City for the All Star Game is what made it possible. 

The tour started with a visit to Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins and recently announced home of the 2014 All Star Game.  Just two years old, it is another in the long line of modern downtown stadiums.

Next, and several times throughout the summer, we found ourselves in downtown Denver at Coors Field.  Many are worried that Coors Field is becoming much like Wrigley Field where the fans will come out regardless of how bad the team is.  The Rockies ranked 13th in baseball with an average of 32,474 per game ahead of several playoff teams including my pick to win the World Series, the Washington Nationals.  Despite having its worst season for wins and losses, people just can’t stop going to Coors Field.

The third spot on the tour was Fenway Park, which celebrated its 100th Anniversary.  As a part of a family vacation not only did we take in a game, but we went on a tour that was fantastic.  I am not a big fan of the American League, but if I was, I would probably be a citizen of Red Sox Nation.

The fourth spot was Kauffman Stadium for this year’s MLB All Star Game.  I have been luck enough to attend the Midsummer Classic five times (Anaheim-1989, San Diego-1992, Colorado-1998, St. Louis-2012, and Kansas City-2012).  The first three games were thanks to my mother-in-law and mother, but the last two were thanks to my friend Steven Junger.  Steve and I met at Los Angeles Dodgers Fantasy Camp five years ago and have been good friend ever since.

The last two stops were both in California.  I visited Angels Stadium where the California Angels (I can’t get used to calling them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) with their Dodger heritage manager Mike Scioscia as well as many of the coaches with Dodgers roots run the team the way the Dodgers used to when the O’Malley family owned them.  I forgot my camera on this stop so you won’t see any images of the Big A.

The final stop was Dodger Stadium where I saw my first MLB game as a kid.  As a result I will always be a Dodgers fan first, although there are many other teams I also like. Chavez Ravine is just a beautiful place to see a ballgame and I will always love a Dodger dog in the stands while watching the boys in blue.

So since words don’t do the tour justice, I have made a photo slideshow to the Bruce Springsten song “Glory Days”.  I hope you enjoy this tour of the ballparks as much as I had fun making it to document my baseball odyssey.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

An Amazing $1000 Week

So a week ago I put out a new blog article, some Facebook posts, an email note and Linked-in messages to all of my connections about my fundraising.  Little did I know the response I would get?

Since October 1 my fundraising amount has gone from $271.00 to $1490.74.  Well over $1000 in a single week that has helped me to already get 30% of the way to my $5000 fundraising goal.  The generosity of everyone is just amazing.  While I know I probably won’t be able to sustain this rate, it has reminded me why this is such an important mission and how cancer has touched so many.

While just this past week it was announced that the Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia and will undergo 4-6 months of treatment including chemotherapy.  While I am happy that Peyton Manning is a Bronco, this event will make me a Colts’ fan this season as the team watches their coach battle for his life.  Thanks to the many treatments available, his outlook is good, but it is difficult to see someone who finally achieved his dream of being a head coach in the NFL only to have his first season ended so prematurely.

So I will continue with my fundraising efforts to support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training (TNT) program to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers.   LLS continues to try to find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma as well as help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well.

So if you have not donated yet, please help me continue the momentum of this amazing week by going to the following link:

Each donation helps accelerate finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Nearly 958,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers.  I am hoping that my participation in Team In Training will help bring them hope and support.
On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support.  I greatly appreciate your generosity.  As I have done in the past I will continue to post blog articles on my progress.