Saturday, June 28, 2008

Heat and Hills

This morning's run with the TNT-ers was tough, but good. I ran with the full marathoners, all of them younger than me. I think I'm the only one in his 40s; most of these limber folks are in their late 20s and early 30s.

We started at Titans Stadium, ran across the Gateway Bridge and then up Broadway. It was sunny and very warm, with a brisk wind in our face that felt good. Our pace the first two miles was sub-9:00/mile. I wore my Garmin HR band around my chest and noticed my HR hit the high 160s as we ran up some downtown hills. I knew the pace was going to be challenging for the six miles we were running because of the elevation change (total ascent was nearly 1,400 feet), heat (no clouds) and humidity.

I managed to hang with the young bucks for four miles. After that, it was hold on and finish. Out of eight of us, I finished the 6.1 miles sixth in 57:31. Pace was 9:25/mile, max HR was 177, average HR was 150 and total calories burned was 1,007. Total mileage this week: 20.3, many of them tough. Total training mileage: 80 plus.

Several of us went to breakfast afterwards in Hillsboro Village for some oatmeal and other goodies. A few asked me about my fund-raising approach. Yesterday, we received an update, and Team Brown is off to a good start - No. 1 in Tennessee with $5,250 raised and No. 18 nationally for the Nike Women's Marathon, which is really the LLS's Super Bowl fund-raiser. I shared some tips with my TNT friends, emphasizing how this effort is about our friends' and family's generosity. I truly believe that. I mentioned how generous one company, CCA, and our friends Tony and Mary Belle Grande have been. I talked about generous giving plans underway at my organization. Part of my response to people asking about Dori is to let them know in a low-key way about my run and also encourage them to sign up on the NMDP Registry. If you don't tell them, they won't know.

Just like my fellow TNT-ers are doing, I shared how individuals feel connected to this cause through a loved one, like our group does with Dori and her courage. So many of our friends have the same life approach that we do - Life is now. You can't take it all with you. Many people have survived through similar efforts and families have benefited. It's easy math for good people: How do you not give?

Sure there are reasons not to give, some good. "I get asked too much." "I wish I could help, but now's not a good time." "Our budget is shot." "The economy isn't great." But just like our son did this week by shooting for the moon and thinking big (more on that in a second), you have to believe wholeheartedly in what you're doing, ask for support and not be anxious about it. Organization and follow-ups also help ... The effort, done right, takes time and consistent effort.

So Will wants to be Vanderbilt's bat boy. We're not sure he'll get it, but a few weeks ago he designed an impressive card with reasons why he's a good fit. He gave the note this week to Coach Corbin at VU baseball camp. Coach told Will he'd like to discuss it with me. Watching him through the whole process makes us feel proud of who he is. A real good kid.

Please say prayers for Dori this weekend. Her monthly check-up is Monday, and she's a bit anxious about it. She's nearly nine months post transplant and every check-up is something you want to check off. Speaking of Chekovs, guess who's going to be best man when Mr. Sulu says his now-legal nuptials in California.

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