Tuesday Training Tip: Make Running A Lifestyle

Good morning blogosphere! I’ve decided to get more organized when it comes to blog topics, and it begins today with Tuesday Training Tip. This will be a weekly occurrence, so be sure to visit the blog regularly!

Today’s tip comes from Team in Training Coach Chris Johnston. He writes about the importance of making running more than a hobby, and instead a lifestyle. If you’re ready to make the change, I encourage you to continue reading. Coach Chris shares a lot of insight and encourages you to embrace your place within the running community.


I’ve been a runner for most of my life, having started at age 14. And for most of those years, I have been a competitive runner who trains with a purpose, usually for a target race such as a marathon, or maybe a series of races. For me, running has been a central component of my life; it’s something that identifies me to others and it’s also something around which, to a large extent, I organize my life.

Maybe this is why I bristle whenever I hear someone else, even another runner, describe all this activity as a “hobby.” That word just seems so inadequate and frankly a bit demeaning. It suggests something just taken casually, that I do when I “have the time,” and could give up at a moment’s notice and not miss it. When I challenged someone recently about this, his response was to throw the dictionary at me. Well OK then, I thought in response, let’s play.

According to Mirriam-Webster.com, the definition of “hobby” is “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.”

Taking the first part of this definition, “a pursuit outside of one’s regular occupation,” I suppose it fits, though not as much as it used to. I still have a “day job” working as a proposal consultant to government contractors, and that is my primary source of income. However, I am also a professional coach, at Team in Training, Life Time Fitness, and my own running company, Breakout Running. Right now the income from coaching definitely pales in comparison to my “regular occupation,” but in the past year I have taken a step towards making run coaching an occupation in its own right, and I intend to grow it into a full-time career someday.

Now let’s look at the second part of the definition, “engaged in especially for relaxation.” Do I derive relaxation from running? Yes, along with a host of other physical, mental and emotional health benefits. But is that the only reason I run? Hardly. I run to continually better myself as an athlete, and as a coach, to help spread the love of our sport and its benefits to others.

That leads to perhaps the biggest reason I find the “hobby” definition wanting. We runners gravitate towards each other and together form a community. I’ve seen it happen everywhere I have lived and run. We support one another, train together, sometimes compete against each other, and in so doing form bonds that extend well beyond the road, track or trail. The more ensconced we become in this community, the less likely we are to drop it like a hobby that suddenly no longer interests us. Why? Because even when we have rough patches, that community keeps us going, reminding us that better days are ahead.

In a charity running community such as Team in Training, the pull is even stronger, because we are all running for a purpose bigger than ourselves and even each other. We are teaming up to beat blood cancers, with our running being the difference maker in raising funds necessary to save lives. Talk about instant motivation to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning to train with your teammates! Is that something a “hobbyist” would do on a day when it’s snowing or 90 degrees and humid?

Where I am going with all of this, is to encourage readers here to think of running as much more than a hobby. It’s much more integral to our lives, and to the lives of others than that. In fact, I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle.

What does Mirriam-Webster.com have to say here? Well, it says that a lifestyle is “the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture.”

That sure sounds like a running community, doesn’t it? We practice it on the individual level, share our experiences with a group, and build a culture around our shared love of running. And while we’re at it, we organize our lives around running; we improve ourselves, form new bonds, and help to create a better world around us.

Perhaps you have taken on the challenge to run your first endurance event this year. If you are new to running or have just a limited background, you may even still feel like this is just a hobby that you’re testing out. And that’s OK. We all try different hobbies; some catch on with us, some don’t. That’s the thing about hobbies; you can give them up if they don’t inspire you. But my challenge to you is this: adopt running as a lifestyle. Commit to it, not just to the training but also the healthier eating and sleeping habits. Let running, training, racing and your community of fellow runners assimilate you, and let the sport change your life. You will be happier and you will be spreading positive energy to others around you. You just might even make a massive difference in our world, whether or not you ever step onto a medals podium or win an age-group award.

If you accept this challenge, I guarantee you the sport will ignite your passions and make you an unstoppable force. And with that, I’ll see you out there!


 


Coach ChrisChris Johnston, a Team in Training marathon coach, started running in his teen years. As a high school athlete, he was a 4-year varsity letter earner, all-county (Mercer County, NJ) cross country runner, and school record holder in the 1600 meter at Hightstown High School. During his years at Hightstown, the Rams completed two undefeated seasons in cross country, leaving a legacy for excellence that has carried on all the way to Hightstown cross country teams of the present. Chris then ran on the cross country and track teams at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where he represented the Hawks in the NCAA Cross Country Eastern Regionals, the Big 5 championships and many dual meets.

After his collegiate years, Chris retired from competition, but he never stopped running. When he reached age 40, he suddenly got the bug to race again. Since 2006, he has run 13 marathons, including four finishes at the Boston Marathon. As a master’s athlete, Chris has raced at virtually every distance from the mile to the marathon, and is a contender for age-group award finishes at almost any local race that he runs.

Chris first joined the Team in Training cause as an athlete in 2010, when a close friend was diagnosed with leukemia. Her treatment was successful and today she is in remission. The Team in Training experience was one of several that led Chris to consider becoming a coach. In the fall 2014, he joined TNT as a coach and successfully prepared Team in Training runners for several events, including the Marine Corps Marathon. In addition, Chris is a Run Coach at Life Time Fitness in Centreville, Virginia, and he owns a small business, Breakout Running, which is dedicated to personalized 1:1 coaching of runners of all abilities.

“For me, coaching is a way to pay it forward and to do a lot of good in our world,” says Chris. “I had a lot of help and support when I was young, in developing my own love of this great sport, and I have a healthy life today because of it. I’ve also seen up close how participants in our sport can make a big difference in the world. When we run for more than just ourselves, the power to do great things is limitless. I look forward to once again helping Team in Training athletes achieve both their personal running goals and their mission of saving lives.”

You Ate What?!

Duck Donuts

When it comes to exercising, many of us operate on this mentality: “I just ran 10 miles, so I can eat whatever I want today,” or “I just had a killer 60-minute workout, so it’s totally okay if I eat an entire sleeve of Thin Mints.”

Why do we do this? It’s because we’ve been taught that Caloric use and intake is simple math. “I burned 550 Calories during my workout today, so I can eat 550 Calories of whatever I want because now I’m in a deficit.” Calories from sugar aren’t the same as calories from meat; one does not equal or cancel out the other, and they are both metabolized differently. If counting calories were that easy, no one would struggle with weight problems.

I asked a friend of mine — a certified USATF running coach and a former endurance athlete — for his opinion on sports nutrition, since I’m no expert on the matter. He provided some great insight, and I’m excited to share it with all of you. Now, there’s a lot of information here, but spend some time reading his article. You’ll learn some new things, and Rick will challenge you (e.g., carbo-loading is unnecessary). I can’t wait to hear your feedback on this!


Too often as a coach you hear about what someone eats before, during, and after exercise. I swear that if I carried or ate what some people do in something as short as a 5K, I would weigh twice what I do now (which ain’t some sort of lightweight to start with)! So why is it that people feel that they need so much?

“Well, I’m exercising a lot today, which makes me hungry so I need to eat. Besides, I earned it!”

You earned it? Well, there is no doubt that exercising is great for countless reasons. Excess caloric burn may not be one of them.

Wait, what?

Yes, you heard me right. What a lot of newer endurance athletes (and heck, even veterans) don’t understand is that you may not burn as much as you think when you exercise! And even if you do, that does not mean that you have carte blanche to eat or drink like a pig.

Did you know that regardless of whether you run 5:00 miles or 12:00 miles that (in general) you will still burn approximately the same amount of calories per mile? On average, a typical male will burn in the range of 100–120 calories per mile, while the typical woman will burn in the range of 90–110. There is a variance based on weight, but these numbers are the accepted range. So that awesome 5K PR you just finished running? Well, the Clif Bar and Gatorade you picked up in the finishers area to celebrate just snuffed out your entire run. And never mind the pasta you will eat when you get home to “replenish” for the next run. You are now in caloric excess for the day (unless you aren’t eating or drinking anything else).

So, what do we do with this information? Well, let’s get a little technical and talk about the basics of fueling physiology to understand what type of nutrition you need to run effectively. You have three primary ways to get fuel into your body and each has its limitations. These are as follows:

  • The Phosphagen System. Think of this as the “nitrous boost” that some cars run off of for drag racing. You get a very limited boost for a very short duration. To be precise, you get about 5 to 7 seconds from this. It requires no oxygen use and is stored in limited supply. When you think of those Olympic 100m sprinters, this is their primary fuel source. The other way to think of it as the fuel for your fight or flight response.
  • The Glycolysis System. This is another non-oxygen requiring system, and as such, is also limited. It is also known as the anaerobic system. Once you cross your lactic threshold you primarily use this. And as the byproduct of this system is lactic acid, your body needs to clear it out of its system ASAP. You can only sustain this for about 2 minutes (+/- a minute or so depending on your individual physiology), as your body cannot process the lactic acid that fast.
  • The Aerobic System. This is the primary way you fuel your body, and the source of that fuel is glycogen. Simply put, this is sugar. The average person has about 1200 Calories of energy continuously stored in their body via their glycogen stores. If you were to run solely off of this storage, you could get somewhere in the range of 1–1.5 to 2 hours of fuel. However, there is more to it than that. When your body needs more aerobic fuel it will take fat stores, pull it into the liver (the organ that metabolizes everything), convert it to glycogen, and send it to the muscles. The problem: this takes a while. So, if you’re running at a higher intensity and burning through your glycogen stores, it’s going to take some time to convert the fat. As you continue along at a certain pace and those glycogen stores get depleted, you will need to slow down your pace to a balance point where the fat to glycogen conversion will keep up.  SIDE NOTE: Your brain runs COMPLETELY off of glycogen. You know what “bonking” feels like, right? It’s when you become light-headed, super emotional, your muscles shut down, and you get woozy. It means your brain isn’t getting the glycogen levels it needs, so it starts scavenging for itself. The rest of your body becomes second fiddle to preserve brain function.

Okay, so what? What am I supposed to do with that information? Work with me here. It’s coming next.

Through the natural process of training, eating, and sleeping, you will go through cycles of:

  • depleting glycogen stores and refilling them on the fuel-side, and
  • tearing muscle fibers and having them reform with more capillaries and mitochondria (a topic for a different discussion) on the muscular-side.

Proper nutrition is important to do both of those things, and a good mix of carbs, fat, and protein are needed. There are a gazillion sources of mixed information out there on what sort of ratios you should have for optimum performance, but the gist of it is to make sure you are getting some of each in your diet. Don’t waste the calories eating crap, because whatever your body doesn’t need to refill its glycogen stores it will convert to fat and store THAT instead.

This leads me to my next point: you cannot “carbo-load” the night before a race. In fact, you can’t in the days leading up to a race! Why? Because it only takes your normal diet to fill your glycogen stores, and once that level is reached, your body says, “Hey, we don’t need this. Liver, go convert this to fat and stick it in the fat cells in case we need it later!”

“But, but, but!! I’ve always been told to eat a lot the night before a race?” you might say. Yeah…by someone who doesn’t understand basic physiology. Through a well-written and periodized training plan, you will be heavily depleting your glycogen stores on a regular basis. Your body will naturally start to increase its ability to store more glycogen (to a certain point), and as you continue to train and get closer to race day, you will have gained a little bit of storage capacity compared to when you started the training plan. So what’s the bottom line for this? Continue to train and eat at the same rate. Increasing more as you get closer to your race will just store up more fat, which you do NOT want slowing you down.

“Alright, I can buy that even though it is not what the average runner seems to think. What next?”

Let’s wrap this up and talk about nutrition for training and racing armed with the knowledge from above.

PRE-RUN
Everyone is a little different on this one. If you are running/racing early in the day, you may not want to eat anything of substance. Exercising with food in your stomach diverts some of the blood flow to your stomach for digestion, which can hinder performance. If you have to eat something, keep it light and something that metabolizes fast (gels, shotblocks, fruits). Remember, you have more than enough glycogen stored in your body for a substantial amount of exercise, so you really don’t need anything, but some people just don’t like the feeling of being slightly hungry when they exercise. If you are running later in the day, try not to eat anything of substance within 3 hours or so before you run. I could never figure out in high school and early college why I couldn’t run anything longer than an hour or so without having stomach/bowel issues. Then, as I got older and more knowledgeable, I realized it was because we had lunch around 12:30 p.m. and practice was at 2:30 p.m. My stomach was still full and digesting!

DURING YOUR RUN
First ask the question, “I am going for more than 90 minutes or so?” If your answer is “no,” then you don’t need anything. The only thing you may need is water if it is hot or you are reaching the longer side of that time. Over 90 minutes? At this point, you will want to have a strategy for refueling, and it should be something easy to eat and digest. There is a whole multi-billion dollar industry devoted to this, and everyone has different tastes. I was sponsored by Gu for four years as an amateur triathlete and love their stuff. It worked great for me. To keep it simple, you want to take in anywhere from 150–200 Calories an hour, which will allow you to top off your glycogen supply in real time. This prevents having to fully tap into your fat metabolization during exercise and gastric distress. You will need to drink accordingly. Once again, everyone is different and there is a way to calculate your sweat rate (see formula below).

Sweat Rate = (A + B) ÷ C 
A = Pre-exercise body weight – Post-exercise body weight, recorded in ounces. (1 lb. = 16 oz.)
B = Fluid Consumed during exercise, recorded in ounces. (1 cup = 8 oz; 1 gulp = about 1 oz)
C = Exercise Duration, recorded in hours. (40 min = .66 hr)

The key thing to remember in all of this is that you can NEVER replace in kind what you expend during the activity. It is simply not possible. Don’t try to eat and drink the same amount during your run that you think you are putting out.

Do not worry about electrolytes. You don’t need to take any in. Yes, this goes against the sports nutrition companies, but the reality is that you do NOT deplete electrolytes in sufficient amounts that they need to be replenished. You’re not getting cramps because you need electrolytes; you’re getting cramps because you are going harder than you are trained to or for the conditions. If you were truly depleted in electrolytes, every single muscle in your body being used would be cramping—not just your calves, hamstrings, or quads! Don’t fall into that myth.

One thing you DO need to be careful of is drinking just water during exercise and nothing else. If you are constantly drinking water and not taking in appropriate amounts of salt in some fashion, you will basically drown yourself. This condition is called “hyponatremia,” and you can read about it here. Hyponatremia can result in death, and has in running events when people overdid their fluid intake with pure water.

POST-RUN
The critical time to get food back into your system is within the first hour or so. Take advantage of the body’s natural ability to replenish, but be sensible about it. If you ran 5 miles, you can go about your day and eat your normal meals. If you just finished a 20 miler in your marathon training, you’ll want to get in a combination of carbs and proteins to help rebuild those glycogen stores, and don’t forget to re-hydrate!

Run fast, run smart, and enjoy your health!

Rick Carter is a certified USATF running coach, and has more than 25 years of endurance sports experience starting from high school. He is a 9-time marathon finisher, including two Boston qualifying times and two Boston finishes. He has also raced and coached road cycling and triathlons throughout his endurance “career,” including two Ironman finishes (Florida and Lake Placid) and numerous other distances.

Apparently Apparent

Team Do It For David earned $255 during its 48-hour Father’s Day Weekend fundraiser, and I’m extremely pleased! GO TEAM!

During the fundraiser, two things became apparent to me:

  • The number of people that support my mission
  • The number of people that have had a loved one affected by blood cancer

Since Michael and I joined forces this year, we’ve seen an increase in our donor network. We’ve received donations from new friends, co-workers, and family members. We’ve seen our friends and family truly step it up, and I’m incredibly proud of everyone. It’s encouraging to know that so many support us. It reminds me that I never run alone. I have 70+ people joining me on the journey.

Unfortunately, I’m also learning that more people in my network have been affected by blood cancer than I knew. It’s about David, and Bob Evans, and Edward Walker, and so many others that could not overcome the disease. I am honored to carry the torch for these brave individuals, and continue raising awareness of blood cancer and the need for new treatments.

I’m also honored to run for survivors. My team’s Fall Season Honored Hero this year is a 6 year old little girl named Emma. She’s an acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivor, and completed her last chemo treatment on August 3, 2014. She’s incredibly sweet and wears a smile constantly. She’s another reminder of why I run.

Keeping all of this in mind, I’m mentally preparing for my hill run tomorrow morning with Aaron. When I was describing the route and elevation changes to him yesterday, I almost talked myself out of it! But, I’ve got to keep running. There are too many who depend on the lifesaving research LLS provides, and there are too many whose memories need to be kept alive, like David’s.

Speaking of which, over the weekend Michael and I ran our first 5K together back in New Jersey, and David’s family cheered us on and welcomed us at the finish line. Michael and I finished with PRs and received team t-shirts from our 13-year-old cousin, Courtney. She designed them with her father in mind, and they couldn’t be more perfectly David.

Team Do It For David (from left): David's mom Mary Lou, David daughter Courtney, me, Michael, David's wife Lori, and family friend and LLS supporter Nate.

Team Do It For David (from left): David’s mom Mary Lou, David daughter Courtney, me, Michael, David’s wife Lori, and family friend and LLS supporter Nate.

 

 

Get Your Game Face On

Let’s get straight to the point: the Marines know how to kick your ass. And no, I’m no talking about being enlisted (though I hear that’s rather grueling). I’m talking about the Marine Corps races.

Last year when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, it was clear that these guys and gals don’t mess around. The first 6.5 miles were hills. The 14th Street Bridge is where runners started dropping like flies. Oh, and don’t forget the last 2 miles of steady incline. Endurance, determination, and David got me past that finish line.

Fast forward to 2015, and I’ve already completed two Marine Corps events: the half-marathon in May and Run Amuck, which was yesterday. The half-marathon was more hilly than I anticipated, and it was my slowest 13.1 mile race ever. And Run Amuck…boy did I underestimate that.

Run Amuck was held on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. It was four miles of trail running through mud pits and 25 obstacles. What types of obstacles? Wall scaling. Tires. Obstacles testing balance. Crawling under wires through mud. A bungee cord spider web. Cargo net A-frames.

I endured hot temperatures, scrapes, and mud in places I don’t even want to talk about, but I survived. (See the happy hot mess below.)

OORAH! Another one in the books!

OORAH! Another one in the books!

But the real killer wasn’t the obstacles: it was the hills. As you can see, there’s a theme here, and that’s my underestimating of hills.

Why do so many runners hate them? Because they can burn you out…fast. A running buddy told me that you should attack hills using the same effort as you are running flat. You don’t necessarily want to take them slower, just at the same effort. I didn’t follow that rule, and instead either charged them when I felt strong enough, or walked up them when my legs couldn’t take the incline any longer. During a race, there is nothing more discouraging to me than having to walk up a hill. Thankfully, Run Amuck isn’t timed.

I’ve decided that I’m going to give more attention to hill training this year. Physically it’s going to be difficult, but it’s going to be a real challenge for me mentally — last year’s calf injury was hill-related. But, I can’t let fear or my insecurities get in the way. I will make the hills my bitches this year. It’s that simple. And I’ll do it wearing my game face.

As the heat and humidity begin testing us, remember this when it gets tough:

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on.
It is going on when you don’t have the strength.”
Napoléon Bonaparte 

Now put your game face on and show those miles who’s boss: YOU.

GAME FACE

 

 

Fundraising Friday: Father’s Day Weekend Contest

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Let’s honor all the dads out there! They helped shape us into the person we are today.

This month I’m hosting a dad-centric contest with two great prizes: a $25 Amazon.com gift card and a $25 SpaFinder gift card. Entering is easy: make a $10 donation over Father’s Day Weekend (June 20-21) if you love your dad.

You can also make a donation in memory of your dad, or make one in recognition of a father figure in your life. Some of us have multiple people we consider “dad,” so if you want to recognize more than one, make a one-time donation based on $10 per dad. So, if you want to honor two dads, make a $20 one-time donation. (This also increases your odds of winning!) Be sure to include an email address with your donation so I can contact you if you win. Prize drawing will be Monday, June 22.

LLS funds lifesaving research, so when you’re making that donation, remember that you’re helping find a cure for a cancer that claims so many lives, like my cousin David’s. With each donation, you’re helping Someday be Today.

Although I can’t win my own contest, here’s who I’m making my donations for:

In Memory of My Cousin David Hicks

Here are the cousins! From left: David, Courtney (his daughter), me, my nephew Ezra, and big bro Michael (Ezra's dad).

Here are the cousins! From left: David, Courtney (his daughter), me, my nephew Ezra, and big bro Michael (Ezra’s dad).

My Dad

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My Brother, Michael

Me and Michael

Marathon Training When You Have Kids

Marathon training is challenging, but it can be even more challenging if you’ve got young kids. The good news: it’s not impossible! Today’s post comes from TheRunnerDad, a husband and father of two, as well as a former Team in Training participant. To all the moms and dads out there, this is a must read!


Training for a Marathon: Finding the Time

Your kids are screaming. You have looming deadlines at work. The small projects around the house are constantly taunting you. Your daily schedule barely allows time for breathing, let alone running. And now your best friend is on the phone saying they want you to run a marathon with them? They have to be joking right? How could you possibly fit marathon training in when you can barely fit everything else in?

It might seem like an impossible task, but as a father of two boys under three I can tell you that not only is fitting in training possible, it is really not that hard. Not only is it not hard, but running will become one of the top things on your schedule that you actually look forward to each day. With a little bit of tweaking and a small amount of focused dedication, you can make training for a marathon an enjoyable, and attainable, experience.

Make Training a Priority
Let’s be honest. If you are not making training a priority, you are not going to make time for it. Think about all the things you do during the day that are not a priority and yet you still make time for…an hour of TV here, a trip to Starbucks there. Cut even one or two of the things out, and boom…you have time for your newly prioritized marathon training.

Give Yourself a Reason
Simply saying to yourself “this is a priority” does not always do the trick, as I am sure you have realized (as evidenced by that squeaky door that still has not been fixed). You need a good reason. Set training dates with your friend so you are accountable. Run for a charitable cause like Team in Training. Set up a rewards system, where for every X number of runs you treat yourself to something you enjoy. Find what works for you and stick with it.

Wake Up Early
This one is tough for a lot of people, including me. However, getting up an hour earlier each day will allow you to get your run in without interfering with everything else on your schedule. On weekends, I get up as early as 5 am to get my long run in and get home before my family even finishes with breakfast. Running in the morning saves time, and leaves you feeling energized for the rest of the day.

Learn To Love Your Jogging Stroller
I love my jogging stroller. As soon as my first son was old enough, I had him running with me and he loved it. Now that my second son is old enough I am running with both of them in a double jogging stroller…and it is amazing. Not only does it provide a really good workout (pushing 60+ lbs will really work your legs and arms), it allows you to combine two of your priorities into one: running and spending time with your family. It is a great bonding experience, and really leaves a positive impression on your children on the benefits and joys of running.

Make Running Your Getaway
We have so much stress in our lives that it is important to make time for ourselves, if only for a few miles a few times a week. Running can be that time. Simply lace up, head out the door, and leave all your stresses and worries behind. For those few miles, you are free to think on whatever you want, or nothing at all. Listen to music or listen to the world around you. You will return from each run feeling clearer and happier than when you set out, and you will be a better parent and spouse because of it.

So what are you waiting for? Call that friend back right now and tell them that you are ready to sign up. The journey you are about to embark on will be a wild, crazy, and rewarding time. Enjoy!


matt_orlando1200Matt is a 30 something year old runner, father to two sons, and husband from New Jersey. He runs TheRunnerDad.com, a website dedicated to the good, bad, and ugly of running, parenting, and all the life in between. He has run multiple Team in Training events as both a participant and mentor, raising thousands of dollars for cancer research. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Training Doesn’t Stop When You Travel

I just returned from a lovely vacation in the Outer Banks, and although I unplugged from my overwhelming-at-times schedule, the one thing that I kept constant was my exercise routine. I managed to fit in three yoga classes at Duck Village Yoga, two training runs, and lots of walks on the beach. (And yes, I indulged. A lot. Wine and donuts anyone?)

Ahhhh... Here I am enjoying a refreshing sauvignon blanc on the deck.

Ahhhh… Here I am enjoying a refreshing sauvignon blanc on the deck.

 

No, I didn't eat all of them! Duck Donuts sure made everyone happy that morning though!

No, I didn’t eat all of them! These tasty treats from Duck Donuts sure made everyone happy. 

Now that I’m back in D.C. and no longer lounging on the beach, I can share a few updates with you.

FUNDRAISING
In May, we raised $807! I think all of May’s donors deserve a shout-out and a huge thank you!

Mirko B.
The Byrnes Family
Dorothy D. and Eddy C.
Tana F.
Caitlin G.
Jennifer G.
Scott H.
Lori H.
D.C.’s Java House
The Kendall Family
Linda K.
Shawn K.
Dr. Michael Moses of Arlington Pain and Rehab
Anna N.
Joyce S.
Peggy S.
Jean S.
Jack T.
Arthur U.
Sarah Z.

MILES RUN
To date, Michael has completed six 5Ks and run 50 miles. See picture below from this weekend’s race. What a good-lookin’ team, huh?

What a great team turnout today! From left we have cousin Lori, Aunt Mary, cousin Courtney, my and Michael's mom Peggy, Michael's son Ezra, Nathan, and Michael

What a great team turnout today! From left we have cousin Lori, Aunt Mary, cousin Courtney, my and Michael’s mom Peggy, Michael’s son Ezra, Nathan Edwards, and Michael. GO TEAM!

 I completed my half-marathon on May 17, and have another race this weekend. I’m participating in Run Amuck, the Marine Corps’ four-mile obstacle course and mud run. One thing’s for sure: I’m going to be a hot, muddy mess when it’s over! As far as mileage, I’ve run just over 100 miles since April 1, which is when the 2015 Do It For David campaign began. Let’s combine my and Michael’s mileage, and we’re already at 150! Can we get a few high-fives for that?!

MONTHLY CONTEST
As far as June fundraising events, we’ve got a special one this month. We’re celebrating all the dads out there — those that are still with us, and those that are not — by holding a fundraising event over Father’s Day Weekend (June 20-21).

Anyone who makes a donation between June 20-21 will be entered to win one of our raffle prizes: a $25 Spafinder Wellness 365 gift card or a $25 Amazon.com gift card. For every $10 you donate, you’ll get one entry into the raffle. So, if you donate $30, you’ll have three chances to win.

LLS donations fund lifesaving research and patient education. Just think about it: your donation could help fund research that saves the life of a father battling blood cancer.

FINAL THOUGHT
I saw a great advertisement recently that I wanted to share with you. The ad featured an athlete looking into the mirror, and the caption read, “Look in the mirror. That’s your competition.” Typically ads don’t resonate with me, but this one did. Do you know why? It reminded me how detrimental a negative mind can be. I’ve been there. When you let your mind take over, you begin to doubt yourself. You allow the words “I can’t” to enter your vocabulary.

Let’s remind ourselves that we are always stronger than we think, even when our minds tell us that we’re not. We have to remember that as long as we’re putting one foot in front of the other, we’re still running. We’re still moving forward. We’re inching closer to the finish line.