Saturday, November 15, 2008

Buy Atayne for a good cause

Disclaimer: I have no formal affiliation with Atayne Sportwear and receive no compensation for any promotion I make on their behalf, big or small. Also, I did not know Jeremy Litchfield, Chief Pacesetter of the company, before a random email related to him passed by my desk at L.L.Bean. I am just a consumer who happens to run and who is always looking to do right by his planet.

Having said that, let the endorsements begin. In Atayne's recent newsletter (sent out Friday - sign up for it if you haven't), there was a little story on my family's battle with cancer and how it put us where we are today. When Jeremy asked me if it was okay to add a little on us, I agreed with the caveat that it would be more than just a "guy survives cancer, has a family, and now runs stupid distances". I wanted to make sure people knew that cancer can easily strike young, pretty healthy people who think they are invincible and immune to life threatening illnesses because "they never get sick". My story was just like that. I had a family practitioner who hardly knew how to use his stethoscope and seemed to be more preoccupied with getting me out of his office so he could hit the links. His incompetence and my indifference nearly cost me my life. So never take your health nor "little" ailments lightly. Be your own advocate. LiveStrong.

So I appreciate Jeremy writing up my story and hopefully it will help one person do good for his or her health. At the very least the story will help some young people who have no business fighting cancer - Jeremy has committed 10% of all purchases made using the code LiveStrongMaine. See the excerpt from the newsletter below. This is the perfect, earth-friendly gift to give to your loved ones who run or who don't run but really like cool, green stuff. Heck, buy them two so they will always have a shirt to wear while waiting for the other to line dry!

"In honor of Stephen’s remarkable story, Atayne will donate 10% of all online sales to the Maine Children's Cancer Program when you use the code livestrongmaine. Be sure to put the code in the Coupon/Promotional Code field during check out and push the Apply button. This offer will be good until December 31, 2008."

(Jeremy's inquiry also got me motivated to do something I have wanted to do for a long time, and that is chronicle my experience with cancer - the criminal misdiagnosis to the 5 year checkup which declared me cancer free.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A quickie

I spent the evening watching the just released documentary, Run for Your Life, on Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon. While the movie was not as fast paced as my Friday night movie, "Iron Man", it packed a lot more emotion and motivation. The photography and videography was great in the film with the director doing more with still shots than I have ever seen, and the soundtrack was quite "funky". It also highlighted how eccentric we runners really are. If meeting with my buddies on a zero degree day to "run" snowmobile trails isn't proof enough, this film solidifies the notion. Definitely worth a watch for both runners and those who still wonder why people run.

My running these days is not as prolific as I would like it to be but I am still getting in some good ones. Last weekend I met a modest sized group of Trail Monsters at Pineland for a fairly modest distance run of just over 8 miles. In this group were some regulars including Jamie, Lilly (sic?), and (I was thrilled to see) Mindy, who is making her way back to running strongly after a layoff due to a stress fracture in her hip. The run was great as always and we convened for breakfast at a local place called Stone's where Kelly and the kids joined us.

During this run Jamie informed me of a 100-miler that will be in its 2nd year this year in up-state New York called the Iroquois 100. This race is held in mid-September and will be a perfect 2nd 100 next year if I do not get chosen in the upcoming Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 lottery. Jamie also got me thinking that maybe the Iroquois is a wiser choice for 100 number 2 next year given its timing late in the year versus trying to train for a spring 100-miler in a Maine winter. Jamie also nudged me to go ahead with my MMT 100 plans since he wants to pace me there and he is looking for excuses for a spring road trip! I hope I do not disappoint my good friend!

Yesterday I spent 10 miles on the treadmill in my basement because I didn't get to my run into after sunset (and it was raining outside!). I really do not mind the treadmill and in year's past got in some really decent training. It is not uncommon for me to get in a good 2 1/2 to 3 hours on the treadmill in the depths of winter. Versus running slushy roads and slow snowmobile trails, I am able to more closely gauge my effort and pace on the treadmill. It also allows me to watch all my favorite war and sci-fi movies that Kelly does not allow upstairs!

As for near term running goals, I am still in a light to medium maintenance phase and probably will not ramp things up to severely until after Christmas. I do plan on running the Portland Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler, perhaps alongside a visiting Jeremy Litchfield of Atayne, and then the Jingle Bell Run in Freeport in early December. Funny story here. The annual Washington DC Jingle Bell Run was the only run I did while Kelly and I lived in Northern Virginia. So when we moved up to Maine in the late fall of 2001, it only made since that I should run the Freeport Jingle Bell Run. Boy was I naive and woefully unprepared. The race is a 5K and about half way through the race I found myself walking up hills and being passed by kids many years younger than myself. I have not been back to run this race since that first attempt but Kelly has and she currently holds the family record in that race so I am feeling the need to challenge her reign as Wells Household Freeport Jingle Bell Run Champ!