I began running as a way to get healthy in 2009, and did a half-marathon. Last year I wanted to expand on that experience, and do the big she-bang, a full marathon. At that time, I was still working at the University of Minnesota doing cancer research, which was funded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). I had heard of Team in Training or TNT for short, which is a part of LLS, that helped train people to complete endurance events, like marathons and triathlons.
So I signed up. Best decision I made! TNT is full of committed individuals who believe that a cure for blood cancer can be found, and through their blood, sweat, and tears (literally!) go out and train and compete in events and help raise funds to support important research (like mine) that will someday soon cure cancer. You are running for your own personal fitness goals, but you are also running for that reason, something bigger than what you are. Plus you meet survivors who have battled this disease and triumphed, and in some cases those survivors are running right next to you up that giant hill at the Lock & Dam off of River Road, and despite how much you want to stop, you don't. Because they didn't let such a diagnosis as cancer stop them, even when they were sick from chemotherapy. They still fought, and so will I. I was honored last year to run with the Team in the Twin Cities Marathon, and I am grateful for all the friends and family that supported me with their donations. Thank you!
This year, I am with TNT again! This time as a Mentor! I will be working with members of the Team and helping guide them through the whole process of training and fundraising. This year there is a East Metro team. Recently we had a party at Summit Brewery in St. Paul (wahoo free beer and pizza!) as a way to recruit new people to the Team and to celebrate!
|Big vats of yeasty goodness|
|Everyone enjoying the pizza and beer|
We had a Rock'n'Roll theme (for the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon that we were promoting). We all had a great time mingling, eating, and sampling the free beer (I tried a Pilsner, Red Ale, and Oatmeal Stout). Kimmi, our great LLS staffer, started off the program. Val, the run Coach for the East Side, spoke a little about her goals as a Coach, and then we heard the real reason why we do this, and that's for the patients battling cancer. Such a person as McKenna a sweet adorable little girl who passed away from non-Hodgkin's. Her dad gave an impassioned speech about McKenna, and how together he and his wife have vowed to support LLS by raising $1 million dollars through their Family Team, Miles for McKenna. As a father, I can only imagine what they have been through, and it reinforced my resolve that I can also do my part to make sure that a cure can be found. Once the program was done we helped register a large number of people and took photos in the VIP lounge. Two of my friends joined this year (Bob and Bonnie) and are running on behalf of Bonnie's uncle, Duane Cramer, who recently lost his battle with AML. They are a little nervous since it will be their first marathon, but they can do it! Check out our pic below, we definitely rocked out the VIP lounge!
|I should have kept the wig|
Stay tuned for a couple of more blog posts (my goals for 2011, why I want to do a tri, and some random thoughts by me). Tomorrow I will post about my experience taking swimming lessons...I really suck at swimming, which I need to work on, since a triathlon is swim/bike/run!