Category: Information

Point Sebago Run

Hey Brendan,

The family and I are up at Point Sebago with a couple of families for the President’s weekend.   We all just got back from snow tubing.  Isabella and the other girls had a blast.  They would charge down the hill and rush back to do it again.   They were wearing us dads out.

I got my long run in this morning.  The schedule called for 17.5 miles but I figured why not even it off with 18.  So I jumped on Google maps and planned my route.  During the summers we would go on long bike rides around the lake but that would be almost twice the distance of a marathon so that wasn’t an option.  I decided to just run Rt. 302 for 9 miles and then turn around and run back.

When I started out, I was surprised at the amount of ice and snow still on the side roads even after a few warm days.   When I took a right onto Rt. 302 it was better but there was a light dusting of snow on the roads along with black ice from the night before .    I had to take shorter strides to keep from slipping as I ran.  Better too be safe than sorry.   The wind decided to make its presence too.  I would have to run into a headwind for the next 9 miles.   It made me appreciate I nice June run with a gentle breeze.

I remembered there being some hills from previous rides but I forgot how many.    I felt like I was either going up or down a hill and longing for a flat.  It made for an intense work out.  One I may have chosen to be a bit shorterJ.

When I got to Mile 9 I was looking forward to turning around.  Not because I was half done but that I knew the remaining trek would be better.  The sun had melted most the snow on the roads so I could kick up my gate.  The wind was now at my back to give me a little push and the hills, well they were still there, but now there would be more down than up.  Each mile was better than the next and I got to finish feeling strong.  I know my legs will be a sore tomorrow, but that’s ok.   It was worth it.    

When I got back, I was treated to the host’s specialty, Banana pancakes.  I usually don’t eat right away when I finish my runs but they smelled so good I had to have some.  They were delicious.

Well that’s about it.  Have a fun weekend and I’ll talk to you soon.

Patrick

RM: 18.0 (Point Sebago Run)
WM: 18.0
TM:  211.35

Orlando

Hi Brendan,

I hope you have a great trip.  You are going to have so much fun at Universal Studios.  I know you are looking forward to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.    The Spiderman ride seems pretty cool too.   You will have to tell me all about it when you get back.

How did Wednesday go at Dana-Farber?  I hope you are not too wiped out from it.  It will be nice for you to get away from this cold weather and out in the fresh air.  It looks like it will get a littler warmer each day you are there.  You won’t want to leave.

Make sure your mom and dad take a lot of pictures.  Send me one if you can.  It will be nice to see you having a good time someplace without snow on the ground.   

I’ll think of you tomorrow morning during my run.  It will be 5°F!

Have fun and watch out for Lord Voldemort.

-Patrick

RM: 7.1 (King Phillip Modified Run)
WM: 30.1
TM:  157.35

A Lesson in Positive Thinking

I heard the buzzer going off.  It was 4:55 a.m.  I couldn’t do this, this morning and I hit the snooze button.  

Again, I heard that awful sounding noise ringing in my ears.  This time I shut my alarm off.  I decided I don’t have to run this morning, telling myself I can run at the gym later. Hmmm, hopefully if my day doesn’t get too busy?   I convinced myself I’ve been training hard enough and it will be ok.  It will be good for me to sleep some more.  It’s repairing muscles, I’ll have more energy, it can also…ZZZZZ. 

I awakened just five minutes later with thoughts of my busy day before me.  Sitting in traffic, project deadlines, and reports was just a partial list.   Then while I lie in my half slumbering state full of misery, one person entered my head, “Brendan”.   

This morning you are starting another chemo cycle, getting an IVIG infusion while meeting multiple doctors.    And that is one of your easier days at the JFC (see Another snow day,YAY!!).   Today you should be getting up and going to school, complaining about too much homework and heading over your friend’s house to play in the snow.  Yet, in the 5 weeks I’ve gotten to know you, I have never heard a complaint.  Each time you talk about your ordeal, you do so in a positive way. 

I don’t’ know if you realize at such a young age how inspiring you are to people.  You are strong, thoughtful and refreshingly optimistic.   

Somewhere over time, we as adults tend be become more cynical in life.  I’m not sure when and why that happens.  We weren’t always this way.   I think we need to be shown by people like you to be mindful of the moment and to enjoy life. 

Today I pledged to myself to stop complaining, at least about things I love to do.  I enjoy running.   I’m not supposed to look at it as a job or a chore to do each day.  It should be like more like watching my favorite television show or eating a big bowl of cookie dough ice cream.     I’ll even try to be more positive on the weather.   Yeah, remind me of that one after Saturday’s snow storm!

I hope today went well at the JFC and I’ll see you tonight.

 – Patrick

RM: 9.75 (Raynham’s Random Run)
WM: 31.3
TM:  123.25

Head Games

I finally got outside for a run this morning.  It was cold, I think 8°F.  I was looking forward to it all week, but when I got out there, it didn’t go as planned.   I had no energy.  I was running like my feet had bricks tied to my running shoes.   My stomach was bothering me for most of the run too.  It was a bad run.  I kind of wanted to stop.

Most of the time I was concerned that today’s run was nothing but junk miles.    That is when you are running with no purpose than just say you ran.  These miles do not add to your training and can even hurt it if they start to add up.   I tried to add smaller goals to give this run some substance.   Improve my form, attack the hill, charge down the hill* or pick up the pace.  Anything, but run with my feet dragging on the wintry street.  Nothing seemed to help.

Today’s training was not going to be the normal physical exercise, but would be just as valuable.  It was mental training.    When things start to go wrong during a long run, your mind can start to take you out of the game very quickly.  You start to dwell on maybe an injury, the distance ahead of you, or any other self-defeating thoughts.   You feel like you cannot finish and your only option is to quit.  This is why you need bad training days.  Luckily, I have been doing marathons and triathlons for a few years now, which means I had a lot of opportunities for some mental training.   

Here is my “mental” checklist:

  • Figure out if I still have all my body parts and they seem to be
    working (for the most part)
  • Check if I am having another one of those dreams where someone dressed
    in an Elmo costume keeps tripping me before I can get to the finish line
  • Slow things down and reassure myself that I’m fine
  • Ask if I’ve been drinking and properly fueling during the run
  • Make small goals (next mile, next water stop)
  • Remind myself I can do this
  • Most importantly, I have to beat Elmo!

Although I did not run well today, I can say today’s miles were definitely not junk.    Tomorrow I get to rest and more importantly go to the DFMC party.  Seeing you and the rest of the runners and partners will definitely be my spur.

I hope you are feeling better and see you tomorrow!

-Patrick

* note – sprinting up and down the hills was not the smartest thing to do on an icy road. 

RM: 7.25 (King Phillip’s Hill Run)
WM: 32.35
TM:  91.95

Winter Runner’s Quatrain

Storms of artic air, ice and snow,
makes a runner’s mojo start to low.
Trying to hasten on slippery ground,
cuts and sprains will soon abound.

This has been some stretch of winter weather.   I wanted to start interval training last week but the ice and snow prevented me because the roads are too slippery to get enough traction.  Today would have been more of the same, so I moved indoors.  I went to BSC and ran on the treadmill.   One virtual lap slow, then one virtual lap fast.   I would repeat this increasing the speed each time.    I had hoped to run for a full hour but when my right hamstring started yelling at me, I backed off.

It looks like we have another storm on the radar just in time for Thursday’s run.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that one yet.   I might have to get creative.  When I mentioned back in the beginning of this blog we would be talking about the weather, I really didn’t think we would this much!

I’m glad you enjoyed The Green Hornet.  I finally saw the trailer.   It looks good, but I’ll have to wait until it gets on DVD.   

A big change in plans heading to Skipjack’s instead of the usual destination.   I’m sure they were looking for you.  I’ve been to the Skipjack’s at Patriot’s Place a couple of years ago.   I remember liking it.

Pay extra attention in school today and tomorrow because it looks like you will be getting yet another snow day.  Boy, to be a kid again J!

– Patrick

RM: 5.6 (Treadmill)
WM: 20.6
TM:  80.2

Brendan

Today I got to finally talk to Brendan for the first time.   I’ve been anticipating it since I found out on Thursday he is my partner and teammate for the DFMC team.   I was lucky enough to get matched with Brendan thanks to the Patient Partner Program.  

The reason Brendan was partnered with me is because on December 30, 2009, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Brendan was immediately admitted to Children’s Hospital in Boston where he spent four weeks undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatments.  Brendan is thankfully in remission, but he must still undergo two years of aggressive chemotherapy to help ensure the cancer doesn’t return. 

You can follow Brendan’s journey and find out more about him at http://www.caringbridge.com/visit/brendanbarrie and http://www.brendansbuddies.org/.

The Blog

I created this blog for Brendan and me.  All my future entries will be conversions between two team mates.    I welcome anyone to follow along and check in often.    I’m sure along the way there will be plenty of talk about running and training, Legos and food (especially teriyaki chicken) , cancer and treatment,  good days and bad…and yes the weather.  But most of all, it will be about two people teaching each other about living life.

Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge

Orange running shirts with blue accents and the white highlighted words Dana-Farber.  I would see many of them out on the course during the marathon.  You have a lot of time to think while you are running a marathon.  I remember saying to myself how lucky the runners are to be involved with such a great organization.  In 2009, I got to become more informed about the success and achievements of Dana-Farber through my wife Nikki as she rode the PMC and got involved with the Dana-Farber Leadership Council.  I knew someday I would find a way to get on the DFMC team.  

Well, I am pretty excited to tell you that this is the year.  Over the next few months I will be raising money for Dana-Farber.   One hundred percent (100%) of the funds raised will support the Barr Program research initiatives.   The support from the DFMC has been great, with plenty of help with fund raising, training runs and marathon information.

If you are interested, there are plenty of ways to help me in my fundraising efforts.  The easiest is to go to my personal DFMC donation page.  If your company has matching gifts, please send me an email and I’ll send you the matching gift form.