Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hawaii 5-0! And The 2017 RunLairdRun Fundraiser

Aloha from the 50th state where I am about to run (sort of, see further in) my 50th state marathon just as a I turn 50 in less than 3 weeks. 50-50-50! This culminates one of challenges I set for myself 5 years ago after competing my 7th state and will cap slightly more than 10 years of marathon running (from March 2007 to June 2017). What a week it has been here in the Aloha state with a number of days when I thought I would not be able to participate in the Kona Marathon; I could barely walk! (as I noted, see further in.) But first...

Just 1 more state to go...

As I do every year to celebrate my birthday and running, I ask you to support some amazing charities focused on kids. I do the running (this year, sort of; again, see further down the post), you donate a bit of money and send good wishes and cheer, and then we double what you give 1:1. We all win. So, here's the link to the giving page:

If you prefer to donate directly to these charities and skip the aggravator site (which does charge a fee), feel free. Just send me an email to "run at" with your receipt, and I'll make sure to do the match at the end. Although the race is Sunday, June 25, the fundraiser goes until July 12 - my 50th birthday. 

Two of our charities return from last year where we raised $50k together. Thank you!

The California Science Center houses Endeavour, one of our remaining space shuttle orbiters. The museum is a free facility, home to so many great science exhibits, from the space vehicle to a living rain forest to traveling exhibits to displays on computers and everything else science. I used to go with my grandfather to the museum when I was little. I am a trustee member since last year, and I have enjoyed being on the board with so many great people and staff. All of your donations will go to support scholarships to our science camp programs to bring kids to the museum from all over Southern California. 

Children International has been on our donation list since the very first fundraiser in 2008. Rebecca and I have sponsored a number of girls in poverty-struck areas in the Philippines. CI focuses on education and health programs around the developing world. I visited their amazing site in Chile in 2011 after I finished my seven continent marathon quest. Last year, our donations created the RunLairdRun recreation and sports room in their Delhi, India facility. I am hoping to visit that in the fall. This year, our donations will go towards HOPE Scholarships. HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty through Education) scholarships help pay for extra education when a family can’t afford it such as vocational training and post-secondary school (including tuition, books and transportation).  The HOPE scholarship program is a competitive scholarship program where youth are required to apply for the scholarships and must meet certain requirements in order to maintain the scholarship, such as minimum grades, completion of the academic year and volunteer service hours.  Scholarships range from $150-$500. So, even small donations to the RunLairdRun fundraiser can add quickly add to impact a child.

New to my donation list this year is the non-profit iCivics. I was appointed to the Governing Board this past February and have attended two meetings thus far. iCivics was started by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The non-partisan approach to teaching civic education through games and teacher curricula is the heart of what we do. Both in class and at home apps and web experiences bring the topics to our students. Justice O'Connor has said “The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens." This is what iCivics is. The programs are great and have received numerous awards. Your donations will go to help develop more teacher guides, update our website for better discovery and help bring new and updated games to middle and high schoolers.

Our total goal is to raise together a total of $50,000 given how nicely that ties to my birthday year. Whether you can donate $10 or $50 or $500 (or any amount), you will have my appreciation as well as those of the charities. Everything is tax deductible, and you'll get the appropriate paperwork for your taxes as applicable.

Here's the link again.

Now, what's going on with my leg? And why am I posting this just hours before the actual marathon? (June 25 5:30 AM HST start - 8:30 on the west coast, 11:30 back east and 5:30 pm in Europe.)

Here's a nice photo from my 7-mile run last Saturday in Honolulu. Rainbows are good luck, right? Double ones, double the luck?

Well, apparently not. Following that run, I tightened up and could barely walk, even with a pronounced limp was painful. Blah! I had not hurt at all while running. I just came up lame.

This week in paradise has been filled with going to the chiropractor three times, a deep massage "Rolfer" experience, a normal massage, trying a whole bunch of different shorts options (the issue is in my left hip), Epsom salt baths, magnesium rubbed into my hip and anything else we can think of. I took a bunch of days off running (4 days - longest break in I don't know how long), did some bike work, have walked waist deep in the ocean and lots and lots of stretches. Super healthy diet - no gluten, eggs, dairy, nightshades (mostly). Lots of fish, fruit and veggies with some rice at times. 

Happily, I really have not dwelled too much on what happened to cause this. Over use? Maybe? Stress, probably? Bad diet (way too much gluten for sure), likely? The plane flight from Seattle, almost 100% that pushed me over whatever edge I was perched upon. It's probably a combination of factors. I managed to clip our couch about 3 weeks ago and really bruised my right small toe. It hurt like the dickens, and I am sure that twisted me up with the impact and sudden stop. I then probably severely favored it when walking and running.

It's important to have some sense of the why, but I am more focused on the how - how to keep my date with completing state 50 before I am 50. (There is a marathon in Oahu on July 22, but that's after my birthday.) And I need to do this without seriously injuring myself. 

Aloha means more than hello and goodbye. The sense of aloha combines a relaxed attitude with a friendliness and warmth. I can imagine a week somewhere else before some other marathon when every other thought would be a remonstration of myself for whatever caused this mess so close to my big 5-0 goal. The irony is that I have been cautious this year. I've only run 2 marathons in 6 months (compared to 8 in the previous 6). While May was my biggest running month ever, I did a lot of it on crushed gravel. June has been a much easier month in terms of mileage and pace with only one super long run (20 miles in London two weeks ago). With aloha in mind, I've been much more calm and collected. 

The good news, is that after all of this focus on getting better, I am actually better. I put in nearly 8 miles on Friday. To be candid, it was painful. However, I know I could complete 26 miles over probably 5-6 hours. Happily, today's smaller 3 mile run was pain-free! I was just tight and unable to get a lot of left leg extension. My pace was a tad quicker (30 seconds). 

Even with a bunch of my family here (and 5 of them doing the 5k on Sunday), I am content to let things happen as they do. If I cannot run or I start running and feel like I have to stop, then that's life. I'll still complete the 50 states at some point. 

If I can run this one to completion, it will be super slow. My current aim is a 12-13 minute pace (my normal is 8-9) with a 30-second walk break each mile. This is the run-walk method espoused by Jeff Galloway, and his books were the first that I read when I started running. Since then, I've shared moments with Jeff and his wife in corrals at RunDisney events. He's genuine and friendly, and I love the circularity that my 50th state will be attempted with the same strategy, albeit a lot slower, of my 1st state.

These wild goats, seen on a training run, are going to be a lot faster than I will be!
Ironically, I wrote about goals and their potential dangers just this past month! You can read it here. Time to read what I wrote.

My lil sis Jen has started a Facebook group with lots of people cheering me on and running with me virtually. Take a peek and join if you want. 

And if you run/bike/swim/hike/walk/whatever, take a photo and hashtag it #RunLairdRun!

This journey has been shared with so many people. The Kenlines (who are running the 5k together), my parents and Rebecca are all here to cheer me on, and I know you will too wherever your are. 

Thanks everyone for all the support over the years. Here's the donation link one more time.

Updates to follow post race