Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Damn Hot

Marathon training in the summer in Chicago is fantastic. I guess it could be worse. I could be in Las Vegas or Phoenix. I only had a six-miler on tap today. Goal pace was again 8:25/mi and I came in at an 8:08. It felt pretty good despite the wicked heat and humidity at 5:00 P.M. Sometimes the first run after a very long run (18-20 miles) can be a little rough, but it really wasn't bad. If it was 10-15 degrees cooler, it probably would have been really good.

So the rest of the week looks like this:
Wednesday: 7 miles, including 3 1600 meter runs @ 6:38 with 800 meter jogs in between them.
Friday: 9 miles @ 8:25
Sunday: The first 20 miler of the training season. Goal pace of 8:25/mile.

Total for the week: 42 Miles

In the past, I have done anywhere from one to three 2o mile runs in training for one marathon. I have four penciled in this time. I may change that to three depending on a few things like black toenails or general fatigue in the middle two quarters of training.

I may try to get up very early and run on Wednesday to beat the heat. Or I may decide the extra hour and fifteen minutes of sleep is more valuable. We'll see.
I also upped the goal to 30K tonight. I received a very generous off-line donation from one of my long-time best buds yesterday. Here's a special thank you to the Johnson family. They won't get to see their name on the site, but that's okay. That pushed us over $26,000 tonight. You can see the running total of off-line donations at the bottom of the Firstgiving site. There have now been 5 checks that have either been sent to me or directly to FSMA. The total of the checks are combined as one total number. Thanks again to every single one of you who has contributed.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend Runs

First off, we're over $25,000! Thanks again to everyone. We'll talk about the next goal a little later on in the week.

I was able to get a run in on Friday morning. It was an 8 mile run that featured 5 miles at pretty solid pace. I ran miles 2 through 4 at a 7:14 and miles 6 and 7 at a 7:18. I was only a few seconds off of the 7:13 goal pace for those 5 miles. I felt pretty good while doing it, so it was pretty encouraging. I am not too far away from being able to run a really strong 10K (6.2 miles).

This morning, I had an 18 miler on tap. The 18 mile run is the last stop before the longest run of training, which is 20 miles. The 18 and 20 milers aren't a whole lot of fun. It means you are out on your feet and in the sun for two and a half hours or longer. They get you mentally and physically prepared for being on your feet for the three plus hours on the big day when 26.2 are on the docket.

So this morning's goal (8:25/mile) was to finish the run in 2:31:30 (hours:minutes:seconds). I came in under at 2:28:56 or an 8:16 pace. I felt decent throughout, but did get a little fatigued somewhere around mile 15. I also ran the first half faster than the second half. It's not uncommon for this to happen, although it's not really recommended. Ideally, you'll run the second faster than the first and kind of get your body used to running while fatigued. The splits were 1:13:25 (8:09 pace) and 1:15:31 (8:23 pace). So the second half was still better than goal, I'll need to work on picking up the pace during the second half of the longer runs. It's something I'll focus on after I complete my first 20 miler next weekend.

Have a good week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

$25,000 in Sight

It's crazy really. We're have almost reached $25,000. If you would have told me we'd be able to raise this much money when we were just getting stated, I'd have called you a lunatic. So, I'd like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to the cause. It has truly been remarkable what we've been able to do - in just over a month! Thanks again to everyone. I really can't thank all of you enough. You're all amazing.

So, I had runs scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Tuesday's run was supposed to be 8 miles at an 8:25 pace. Tuesday happened to be one of those days where you feel like you could run forever. I have these days about once every three weeks or so, when I feel like that ,I try to make the most of it. I really didn't have time to add any miles onto the 8, so I picked up the pace. I ran the 8 at a 7:55 pace. And I wasn't pushing it at all. I felt great during the run and really good post-run as well.

I did have some minor soreness yesterday, so I decided to swap the Wednesday and Friday runs. This would basically give me a slightly easier recovery by swapping the 6 @ 8:25 and the 8 with 4 to 5 miles @ 7:13. Plus, I'll be able to knock out the Friday run in the morning. The temperature should be close to perfect.

I ran the 6 miles yesterday @ an 8:05 pace. Maybe I turned a corner after doing the Yasso's. The two runs since doing the Yasso's on Sunday have both been very solid. It was definitely more of a struggle than Tuesday's run, but I was happy with considering I wasn't feeling great before I headed out for the run.
Lastly, I have a little soreness in my left foot. I don't think it's anything serious, but it might cause me to push a run back a day here or there to get a couple of days of rest in row without missing any miles. Or not. We'll see how it feels on Friday morning. As I mentioned before, it's not uncommon to have a variety of maladies throughout training. I think will probably pass as well. Here's hoping.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This Week's Schedule

After the bevy of posts last night, I just wanted to post this week's schedule.
Here's what we're looking at in what's shaping up to be a much nicer week temperature-wise:

Tuesday: 7 Miles @ 8:25
Wednesday: a tough 8 Miler with the middle 5 or 6 at a 7:13 pace
Friday: 6 Miles @ 8:25
Sunday: 18 Miles @ 8:25

39 Miles total. Enjoy. My legs are feeling much better than I thought they would after the Yasso's, so it will hopefully be a really good week.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mike Murphy's Stat of the Day

Okay, it doesn't look like I am going to get to story of the last four weeks leading up to the 2004 Chicago Marathon this weekend. It happened almost four years ago, I am sure another week won't hurt.

I do want to share some of the analytics from the blog. I started the analytics program on July 10th. Here are some interesting numbers:
  • There have been 183 total visits.
  • The highest amount of visitors came on July 11th with 24.
  • The have been two visitors from outside the U.S. One from Canada and one from London, UK.
  • Here are the top 4 States in terms of visits:
#1 Illinois
#2 Indiana
#3 Nevada
#4 Massachusetts
  • Other states to visit at least once include: California, Washington, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey.
  • Average time on site: 1 minute, 50 seconds
  • 53.55% of visitors use Firefox as their browser

Yasso 800's

This morning's run was my first attempt at Yasso 800's. They have become very popular around these parts, even inspiring a commenter to start calling him or herself yasso800. I am not sure if that person is Bart Yasso himself, but he would be proud of the effort today.

My best marathon time to date is a 3(h):30(m). Without getting too deep into what I want to run in October, I would love to beat my previous best time. I figured that is a good place to start

So, my goal in the first Yasso 800 installment was to hit a 3:30 average. I'd want to run 800 meters ten times, each at 3 minutes and 30 seconds. In between each 800 meter run, I'd jog 400 meters. I had the added bonus of Tiffany keeping time for me at the 400/800 meter spot of the track.

Here are my times for each 800:
#1 - 3:28
#2 - 3:29
#3 - 3:27
#4 - 3:29
#5 - 3:31
#6 - 3:29
#7 - 3:26
#8 - 3:26
#9 - 3:28
#10 - 3:06

I decided to run the last 800 as hard as I could. I am not sure if that is really the goal of the exercise, but I wanted to see what I could do and how much I had left. Bart Yasso himself said the last couple can be a little tough sometimes. With that 3:06 included, my average was a 3:26. I am very happy with that and look forward to attempting the next one with a 3:20 goal.

yasso800 previously made a reference to Steve Prefontaine. "Pre" is one of the greatest runners in American history and has always been my favorite runner. I think I first took a liking to him after watching the movie Prefontaine in 1997. There was later a second movie made about Pre called Without Limits.

Running really doesn't get the publicity or have the following of the major sports, so inspiring national figures in the sport are a littler harder to come by. Much of Pre's fame comes from his all out running style. He also played a big role in the running boom in the 1970's. Pre's life was tragically short as he died at the age of 24. My favorite Pre quotes are these two:

"A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more."

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

Here's a picture of Pre with that quote:

The one great thing about running is that almost everyone can do it. 99% of the population simply needs a pair of running shoes to get out and do it. And some people don't even need those. On my last two long runs, I came across two real people doing truly inspirational things on the lake path. I saw a blind man running amongst a group of people training for the marathon. He was being helped by another person who was guiding him down the path. The next week I saw a man running with two artificial legs. Those are the people who are really doing something amazing. I am just some guy out there running. You can't help but be thankful for the things that you have. It makes those minor aches and pains pretty much go away. I couldn't help but get an immediate boost after seeing these two men out there running with these incredible impediments. If these guys can do it, almost anybody can.

I don't know if I really have a point here. Inspiration can come in many forms, whether it be from Steve Prefontaine, the blind man running, the man running with two prosthetic legs, Jon Lester, Jimmy V or whoever. Sometimes you have to open your eyes to see it. Other times it finds you. It's up to you what you do with it.

No Sugar Tonight

Long time no talk. Sorry for the lack of updates. Let's jump right in with post #1.

As commenter yasso800 mentioned after the last post, Mother Nature usually wins. Wins what, you ask? Wins everything. Mother nature briefly won again this weekend. I pushed back my Friday run to Saturday after witnessing a wicked downpour early Friday evening. Well, I awoke to much of the same on Saturday morning.
I set the alarm for 7 A.M. and finally ended up hitting the road by about 11:00 A.M. Where's Andy Avalos when you need him? I ended up running about 6 of the 8 miles in a very steady drizzle, fo' shizzle. (I am not sure I have ever said that in my life. Hopefully I can get away with typing it.) Running in the rain isn't too bad, really. As long as your shoes don't get too sloshy,
there's really nothing wrong with it. One thing to pay extra special attention to is your, um, nipples. Wet fabric on nipples can lead to chaffed or possibly even bloody nipples. Good times. I ran the 8 miles at an 8:06 pace. It was a pretty comfortable run, so I was very pleased with the results despite the inclement conditions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Heat 1, Zab 1

Well, the heat got me today. I shouldn't have been so arrogant yesterday. I got my 7 miles in at an 8:21 pace, but it was a rough one. Very hot. Very humid. Very much not fun. I felt like I was out there for 3 hours. I am actually pretty sore post-run as well. I think the 8 a little faster than usual (so far) coupled with the heat was a bad recipe. Also throw in the fact that I stayed up watching the MLB All-Star game and slept for about 5 hours last night. I have no one to blame but myself for staying up, but I couldn't stop watching the game. I was getting pumped to see some position players take the hill.

The Yankee Stadium stuff was getting old though. I completely understand the historical significance of the stadium, but it was a little over the top to me. Tiffany and I made a visit out to one of my best friends Kyle Wills (drummer of the Teenage Prayers, the best band nobody has heard of) in New York and took in both a Yankees and Mets game last year. I was less than impressed with both of those stadiums. Shea was particularly a dump. Yankee Stadium wasn't really anything spectacular.
Glad to see Bart Yasso checking on the blog. Keep 'em coming Bart.
Also glad to hear from a particular runner who basically willed me to the finish line in last year's marathon. I will give much more on this story of the '07 Chicago Marthon down the road, but this guy is/was a saint. And he's decided to conquer the 26.2 miles for real this year. I will definitely have the runningforcru team supporting him as well.
In addition to sharing some analytical info on runningforcru.blogspot this weekend, I am going to try to finish up the story of last four weeks leading up to the 2004 Chicago Marathon for you. Goodnight.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Running with Richard, Awesome Anonymity

Hope you all are enjoying the 90 degree weather in Chicago today. For those of you not in Chicago, we're slated for a few 90 degree-plus days in row here with some wicked humidity. It sure was fantastic pounding out 8 miles in it. Actually, my run went really well today. I broke in the new shoes and came in at a pretty solid 8:08 clip. It felt pretty effortless despite the heat. Maybe it was because Richard Simmons ran with me today. I kid, I kid. Nothing wrong with a little sweatin'. He is welcome anytime, as are all of you. I have had some guest runners in the past that have included my wife Tiffany, "Big Jer" Jeremiah Worth and Justin Murphy. Let me know if any of you are ever interested in joining me.
Sometime near the end of the week or during the weekend, I'll share some interesting facts on the people who visit the site. I have some an analytic team working behind the scenes who are keeping track of your every visit. Again, I'm joking. I do have some details like where people live who visit the site, how many unique visitors and all sorts of statistical wizardry. Stay tuned.
Finally, thanks for comments as of late. I especially appreciate the hilarity from from the anonymous poster who commented on the Yasso 800s and on Matt Hillen/Rosie Ruiz. Feel free to check them out after my posts by clicking on comments. And if this picture doesn't make you laugh, nothing will. The guy in the suit on the right is a huge fan.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cubs Fans Start' Em Early

This is completely unrelated to anything here, but I couldn't pass it up. I hope your weekend was as good as this kid's.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


We officially topped the $20,000 mark over the weekend. Unbelievable. I really can't thank everyone enough for every single donation. One of the last things that I want to happen is for people to feel like their donation isn't enough if they can only afford to give five or ten dollars. Really, any amount is welcome. Every single dollar matters. Going forward, the other thing that I am kind of unsure of is the amount of the goal. Obviously, if we would have raised $100 this would have been a success. Anything on top of what we have done so far is gravy. We're probably five levels past gravy, whatever that is. What I don't want to happen is to raise the goal to $25,000 and us to fall short and have people feel like we didn't meet our goal. This has been a success beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I really have no idea how many more donations there are out there right now. The plus side would be if we were really close to the goal with a couple weeks remaining, we could all push a little more to those people further down the contact list to help us get there. So, I'd like to hear from the readers in the comment section who you feel. You do not have to leave your name if you do not want to. Just simply click on "0 comments" or whatever the number may get up to and share your thoughts. Thank you again.
So, I ran a 6 miler on Friday morning at an 8:28 pace on a goal of 8:31. That was one of my worst runs of training so far. Some days, you just don't have it. I didn't Friday morning, but got through it and was able t0 beat the goal by 3 seconds per mile.

This morning, I had a 16 miler on the schedule. Again the goal pace was an 8:31. As you may recall, the first two longer runs were kind of struggles where I finished slower than the goal pace. I headed out just after 8 today and had a pretty good run. I came in at 2 hours, 14 minutes and 45 seconds, good for an 8:25 pace. I had a little more energy over the last 3-4 miles, so I was really happy with the run.

Three weeks are now officially complete and I am looking forward to week 4. I scale back down to 32 miles for the week. The only special run for the week is something called Yasso 800s (explanation of Yasso's to follow). I typically do my speedwork on Wednesdays, but because this week is a week where I cut back overall mileage a bit, I think I will push them to Sunday. Plus, it's supposed to be really hot mid-week.

So here's the schedule for the week:
Tuesday: 8 Miles @ 8:31
Wednesday: 7 Miles @ 8:31
Friday: 8 Miles @ 8:31
Sunday: Yasso 800s
Total of approximately 32 Miles
The older shoes now have 174 miles on them. I will break in the new pair this week. This is also the last week of the 8:31 goal.

The Yasso 800s are a training technique that is a predictor of marathon finishing time. Basically, if you want to run a 3 hour 30 minute marathon, you'll have to run 800 meters (1/2 mile) in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Then you'll jog comfortably for that same amount of time. Then you will repeat this 9 more times. So you'll run 10 800 meters at a pretty brisk pace with some jogging in between. The end result is that your average time across the 10 runs is supposedly an accurate marathon finishing time predictor. Here's a link better explaining the Yasso 800s. I have a goal in mind for my current fitness level, but I have never done this exercise before, so it should be interesting. I will attempt to do the Yasso 800s two more times after this one. They will be in the weeks of August 11th and September 8th.

Have a good week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So, Here's the Story

I promised a story yesterday, so here it is. I will not use the person's name in the re-telling. I don't think this person has started to read the blog, but if he/she does, here's to you pal. I have always thought this person was nice and still do. But sometimes the weirdest things come out of his/her mouth.

So I am filling up a bottle of water and this person says to me, "Hey, I didn't know you run marathons."

This person had no reason to think I run marathons, play softball, make baskets or go scuba diving. I don't make baskets nor do I go scuba diving. But anything is possible, right? No harm, no foul.

I respond with, "Yeah, I do." What else do you really say at that point? Here's where it gets good.

This person responds with, "Well, you don't have the body a marathon runner. You have a potbelly there."

Are you kidding me? Really? Now, I don't look like this:

But I'd like to think I am a fairly typical-looking male. For those of you who don't know what I look like, I am about 5'10" or 5'11" and come in around 180-185 pounds. I will probably get down to somewhere between 170-175 at the peak of marathon training. I have a little gut and some love handles, but I think that goes for a good chunk of the population, marathon runners included. Believe me, there's a large number of people who run marathons that come in all different shapes and sizes. Here's a picture of me running the last 1/4 mile of the Las Vegas Marathon in 2005:

So he/she turns and looks at the person who was standing near him/her and then says, "Look, now he's sucking it in. No, really I didn't know you ran."

What? Are you kidding me again?

I respond with, "Actually, I do pretty well. I have finished around the top 10% in some of my marathons."
Note: I finished 4487 in the '06 Chicago Marathon with a time of 3:30 . They allow 40,000 people to sign up, but usually only 35-36,000 start the race. About 33-34,000 finish the marathon. I finished 5140 in the '05 Chicago Marathon with a time of 3:38. You can check anyone's results on www.marathonguide.com
Go down about halfway down and you'll see "Quick Results Search." You can enter anyone's name in there who has run a marathon since 2000.

He/she seemed a little surprised and then mentioned that they haven't been to the donation site yet. So, he/she is aware of what we are trying to do here and the thing that comes to mind when he/she sees me is that I have a pot belly.

So, I'd like to think of this person as ignorant. I've run faster marathons than people who look like this person's idea of what real "runners" look like and have been beaten by people who are both shorter and heavier than I am. The point is that runners come in all different shapes and sizes. There is no typical looking marathon runner.

I'd also like to think of him/her as having a severe case of foot-in-mouth disease, not to be confused with hoof and mouth disease. I have heard crazy stuff come out of this person's mouth before, but I think this takes the cake. And lastly I'd thank this person for providing a little extra motivation for me and my "pot belly" to kick some ass on October 12th. I'll be thinking of this person when I pass skinnier runners right around mile 25.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Papa Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Here are a few tidbits from the last couple of days.

Tuesday's run was decent. I came in at 8:17 under the goal pace (8:31) over the 7 miles. I was slightly bothered by some minor lower right leg soreness that's been lingering around for the last week or so. I am pretty sure it's just muscle soreness, so I am not worried about it at this point. It's very common to have aches and pains throughout training. You have to know your body and know when to back off and when to go to doctor if necessary. I have taken a couple days off in the past when issues have come up, but we're not near that point yet. Here are two highlights from the Tuesday run:
1) I helped a kid put his chain back on his bike around mile number 5.
2) Some other kids around mile 5.5 who were watching a little league game seemed very excited to see me as I made a turn on the running path and came up to me waving. I waved back, they seemed more fired up so I gave a couple of them high fives. Needless to say, they were incredibly excited, as if I was some superstar or celebrity.
Today's run went really well. I ran miles 2 and 3 at a 7:12 pace and miles 5 and 6 at a 7:15. My leg felt a better and I was pretty much able to hit my goal of 7:13 for those 4 miles. This was a big day for me to see where I am currently at across several miles at a pretty quick pace.
My new pair of shoes arrived today. My current set has about 140 miles and I have nearly 500 miles left to go in this training season. I can post the exact number tomorrow - the are on my other computer.
They say running shoes last anywhere between 300-500 miles, so I'll come up with a plan to distribute the miles amongst the two sets. I may need to get one more pair depending on how long my current pair can last. This is my first pair of this model - the Brooks Adrenaline 8 - so I am not sure how many miles they are good for.
I have one other story about a different conversation I had today about my running, but I'll save it for tomorrow. You won't want to miss it.
Lastly and most importantly, we topped $19,000 tonight. I am still amazed everyday when I log into the site and see that total at the top of the page. Thanks to all of you once again. You're all awesome.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why I Started Running Marathons

One question I am often asked is, "Why did you start running marathons?" It's not a very complicated answer. I was never a big runner before 2004. Sure, I had run from time to time to try to stay in shape, but never had any thoughts of ever entering a race before 2003.

Sometime in '03, my then-roommate Matt Hillen and I decided that we were going to attempt the '04 Chicago Marathon. We just thought it would be something that would be a challenge and figured why not? So in the summer and fall of '03, Matt and I tried to get out on some runs to give us a little base for the following year. I use the term base loosely. I think I got up to 8 miles on a single run before the weather turned. Our Wrigleyville bachelor pad was conveniently located just a half mile from the lake path, so we really didn't have an excuse not to get out and run.

In June of '04, Matt and I began training for the marathon. Our friend and fellow Mizzou Tiger Rob Bowers also decided to join in the Chicago Marathon fun, albeit 4 hours away in St. Louis. So Matt and I trained for the 16 or 18 weeks as prescribed by Hal Higdon, marathon training legend. We didn't actually talk to him. Matt simply copied Higdon's beginner marathon training program, transferred it to Excel and added some fancy colors. For the next 4 months, our training program was on the fridge for all to see and study.

The bizzare thing was, Matt and I never ran together during training. I was starting work very early in the morning, so I would try to get my run in as soon as I got home. Matt was working a much more normal schedule, so it wasn't uncommon for me to be showered, finished with my run and lying on the couch and watching TV by the time he got home.

The other notable thing about training for the first marathon is that we were kind of idiots. We really didn't know what we were doing. We were roughly 25 years old and would go out drinking the night before our longer runs and not think anything of it. I'd occasionally have to push my run back to later in the day or maybe even to the next day if I couldn't shake off my hangover. Matt, on the other hand, would repeatedly drink and fill up empty 32 ounce Gatorade bottles with water. He'd lay on the floor, maybe stretch a little bit, drink some more water, maybe stretch a little more and continue to drink more water. We'd talk some Cubs-Cards baseball, maybe recap the previous night and shoot the breeze while Matt was continuously stretching out his hamstrings. It wasn't unusual for him to fill up and drink three or four of those Gatorade bottles before he headed out for his run. I think he used to say he sweat out the booze from the night before by mile 3.

I am going to save the story of final five weeks of the training for the 2004 Chicago Marathon for a later date. So when people ask me why I started running marathons, the answer is I just wanted to see if I could do it. I really think anyone can do it if they are dedicated and have the desire to do it. Don't get me wrong, it's hard, but with some solid training and some focus I really believe anyone can make it the 26.2 miles.

Here are a couple pictures from the Brewers game on Friday:
My wife Tiffany (on right) and our friend Maryann with the Italian Sausage:

Chorizo out in front before winning the race:

J.J. Hardy picking up one of his four hits:

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Week 2 is in the books. I wrapped up the week with a 14 miler this morning. I finished just over two hours, so the pace ended up being an 8:40. The temperature was probably in the mid- to upper 70's but there wasn't a whole lot of cloud coverage, so it felt a little warmer. I'd much rather prefer 40's, 50's and 60's than the 70's or above. I'll fill you in on some heat related running stories a little bit down the road.

Again, the 8:40 was slightly slower than I was aiming for, but logging the miles on the Sunday run is crucial as my endurance and stamina are increasing. With a mere 12% of the training complete, we still have a long way to go.

When using a 16 week training schedule, you can kind of break down the plan into four quarters. The first quarter is kind of getting into the set routine while slowly building you mileage. My typical plan usually adds about 10% of mileage to the week's total mileage for the first three weeks of each quarter. The fourth week of each is kind of a easier week where you recharge your batteries a little while still maintaining the routine. My first four weeks of total mileage look like this:
Week 1: 30
Week 2: 33
Week 3: 36
Week 4: 32

Week 5 will start quarter number 2 and pick up where Week 3 left off. In the second quarter, I'll quicken my everyday pace by about 6 seconds and will start implementing different techniques on my longer runs. That may include running the second half 15-30 seconds faster than the first or running a good chunk of the long run at marathon goal pace.

Week 3 shapes up like this:
Tuesday: 7 Miles @ 8:31
Wednesday: 7 Miles including 4 0r 5 at a 7:13 pace
Friday: 6 Miles @ 8:31
Sunday: 16 Miles

Just a few (former) local sports legends on the run today:

Friday, July 4, 2008

On the Road

just wanted to check in really quickly. We are headed up to the Brewers-Pirates game. Before we left, I saw that we had surpassed $16,500! thanks again to everyone. This is really amazing.

As far as running, I got six in yesterday morning and ran the 2nd and 5th miles at a 6:40 pace. This morning's run was fair as well. Six miles with a goal of an 8:31. I came in at an 8:22 in spite of the six or so beers I had last night. Those weren't exactly in the training program. The brats and beer today probably aren't either, but you still have to have some fun.

Have a safe and happy 4th. I apologize if this looks weird at all as I am sending it from my phone.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Can't Keep Up

Okay, we are now up to $8,700! Wow! So, I'd like to turn it over to the Zab Marathon Blog readers for a second. How high should we make the next goal? The poll can be found under Cru's pictures in the right sidebar. I'll close the poll at 5:00 PM on Thursday.

Also, please feel free to comment after posts. Just click on "0 comments" and you can leave any comments you feel appropriate. You can sign in if you have a Google account. Or you can enter your name. Or you can leave them as anonymous. Whatever floats your boat. If your choice isn't included in the poll, you could also leave that in the comment section.

Thanks again!


has just been surpassed! We are now at $7,700 dollars! This is really beyond comprehension. I really don't know what else to say besides thank you. Ken and Michelle are also very grateful for all of your support. We are all so very thankful to the parents, grand-parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, co-workers, friends, family friends, friends of friends and anyone who doesn't happen to fall into one of those groups. We are all truly grateful for you and your contributions.


If this keeps up, I am going to run out of superlatives. If you haven't checked the donation page lately, we are up to an astounding $6,500 dollars raised. I can't begin to thank all of you enough. It's really amazing to raise that amount of money, let alone to do it in three days. Again, I sincerely appreciate each and every person who has supported our efforts to raise money for FSMA.

I have had a few people ask me about raising the goal. Once we do hit the $7,500 mark, we will take it up another notch. Please feel free to continue sending out the donation information to anyone who you think might be interested in supporting us.

I should probably mention something about running pretty soon.

I ran 7 miles yesterday. The goal pace/mile was again 8:31. I came in fast again with an 8:11. I felt pretty good overall. I still feel like I am getting into the groove and should hopefully feel great in a few weeks once my stamina is built up a little more.

My typical weekly running schedule for this marathon will include runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Due to the terrible weather earlier this evening, I am pushing the normal Wednesday run to tomorrow morning. I'll pick right back up on the regular schedule on Friday.

The rest of the week looks like this:
Thursday: 6 miles including 2@ 6:42 pace, probably the 2nd and 5th mile
Friday: 6 miles @ 8:31
Sunday: 14 miles, with less emphasis on the 8:31 pace
Total for Week 2 : 33 Miles

I'll see what I can do to get my training schedule posted here for those interested.

Also, for those of you keeping score at home, the star of the June 28th Zab post and former Maple Leaf Goalie Andrew Raycroft was signed by the Colorado Avalanche. Congrats Andrew!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


In just over 24 hours, we have managed to raise over $3,000 dollars for Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I am truly grateful for everyone's support. I have received several gracious emails from some of you who have donated. I would love to be able to send individual emails to each of you who has contributed, but the site doesn't give me your email addresses. So, to all of you I have not been able personally thank, thank you very much. I really am amazed that we have been able to reach out to this many people and raise this amount of money in such a short amount of time. We are all connected to Cru in some way and are all hoping for the best.

The next thing we have to figure out is how far should we raise the new goal? The original $3,000 goal was somewhat arbitrarily decided upon. At this point, I think we'll be able to double that number. So let's set the bar a little bit above that and go with $7,500. I know there are still a lot of people out there who want to contribute at some point over the next 15 weeks. Please continue to reach out to your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, barbers, butchers, bakers or whoever you come in contact with to help support our cause.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate every single one of you and your generous contributions.