Monday, November 24, 2008
A New Addition to Our Family: Late last week Missus Gj informed me that a co-worker of hers had a beautiful puppy that she had to give away because with rheumatoid arthritis she could no longer care for the baby in an appropriate way. Since I was looking for a running companion I was interested. So, on Saturday we went over to the coworker’s house to see this beautiful animal…I was surprised! Brindle in color, stood a strong, but beautiful little 4 month (?) old female American Pit Bull. Prior to going over to the house I knew that we’d be seeing a pit bull, but I had to do my homework first since I've heard so much bad publicity about these dogs. Well, to make a long story short, what I found to be true was that while these dogs can be animal aggressive, most if not all, pit bull attacks are a result of poor training & caused by human neglect. I further found that this breed of dog is very athletic, and when fully matured looks forward to walking (read running :) 5 to 10 miles daily, an ideal running companion for me to be sure. With that said however, I am not naive. To be a responsible owner of such a fine animal, I will be taking “Babee” to Obedience Classes right having her spayed and given all of her shots. A chore to be sure, but one I look forward to as I have already fallen in love with her and look forward to training her as well – I will be the alpha male in our house…well at least as far as she is concerned I will be, to Missus Gj wellllll that is another matter altogether. :) Belwo are a few pictures of our new Babee, I just think she is so sweet)
Hi! It's me Babee.Yes, I am Cute, Aren't I?
Babee getting Warm after our Walk
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu
Till Later, God Bless,
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
As with all of my Little Buddies I make the promise to Jay Jay's family:
"I shall not quit running until the cure is found. If too old or weak to run, I shall ask our Heavenly Father to carry me to the finish line - the cure."
My most heartfelt condolences to the family of Jay Jay; may God’s grace heal the wound of such great loss. – Gj.
"A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world.”
Leo F. Buscaglia
All of you are a Blessing to me, You enrich my Life - Thank you - Gj
Rest peacefully in His Arms of Love,
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Our Other BLOG - Recently Updated: If you haven't had the opportunity to visit our other Blog, "From the Border to the Bridge - Fighting Childhood Cancer - a 330 mile Running Odyssey" please do so by following this link:
NEW Fund Raiser Link: Ol' Grandpa John is helping to promote this excellent Fund Raiser Soooooooooo, please click on the Press On Store button (above) to give a gift of fragrant, white, super easy care paper whites and support childhood cancer research at the same time! For each gift purchased, 15% of the price will be donated to fight neuroblastoma. Choose super large, top quality paper white bulbs in a stylish ceramic square to brighten the window sills and desks of your friends,family or coworkers and take this opportunity to support important cancer research work. Just type PATRICK into the Discount Code/Special Offers field as you checkout and 15% of your gift order value will be donated to Press On: The Patrick R. Chance Fund for Neuroblastoma Research.
Well Folks, it's time to call it a night as Missus Gj requested that I join her for a cup of bed time tea. So till later, remember this:
I Love Each and Everyone of You for You just being You.
Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.
God Bless, Rest peacefully in His Arms
Monday, October 20, 2008
After showering and eating my pre-race ritual meal, it was approaching 5:30am; time to put the coffee on for Missus Gj. As the aroma of the coffee filled the room, Missus Gj’s nose twitched once or twice and like a bolt of lightning she was out of bed, had her first cup of coffee, showered, ate a light snack and off we were to the race: Time 6:20am.
Going to elevator we again found it to be out of order (during our stay, 3 out of 4 elevator banks were down for repair, save once when 2 banks were working) geesh, just what we needed, not only was I going to run the half, but I was also going to walk 15 flights of stairs down to the lobby, not to mention the toll this had on Missus Gj, who by the way, is not a runner. Down the stair we walked….
Reaching the lobby we noticed that about 30 or 40 runners were milling around waiting to depart to the race. Since we are slow walkers, Missus and I left immediately for the starting line which was about 4 blocks away (the race director strongly suggested that we be in or corrals by 6:30am). Getting closer to the starting line we noticed that thousands of runners and spectators were already there (yes, thousands) lining the beginning of the course. Some runners had already made it to their respective corals; whereas after a quick kiss, I left Missus Gj at the corner of Michigan and Washington Streets. I still had to walk a couple of blocks to find my coral lettered P. Yes, one of the blessings in being slow is being placed way to the back of the pack.
I am not too sure about the number of people in our coral, but I sure was glad to see that many of us were in about the 10 minute pace range or so…fast enough to have fun but not so fast where we’d be called speedy by any stretch of the imagination. Suddenly the loud speakers blared bringing all runners to a quiet whisper. The MC announced that the Canadian national anthem was to begin followed by the Star Spangled Banner…all was quite till the end…I must say both anthems were sung beautifully, ours (the American) by “The Shades of Blue” (Oh How Happy you Have Made Me). The time had arrived….
First it was the special runners, those in wheeled bicycles, then the marathoner runners and walkers. Finally it was our turn, us half marathoners. Runners.. Ready...Set...Go... Time: 7:15 we were off. Well, not really since there were a few thousand of us, it took several minutes for the group to start moving. About two minutes later we moved a few feet, then a few more; off and running the crowd began its 13.1 mile journey..
Trying to gain momentum and achieve pace was almost impossible. As we moved down Michigan Ave, volunteers were lining the street warning us of cars, yes cars, still parked on the street. And since we had only the south side lanes, thing became quite tight every now and then. In fact I tried to gain momentum by running on the sidewalk, only to trip myself on a curb I did not see as I crossed the road. Ouch, my knees, or should I say pride. But, up I jumped and continued on. Turning left on Rosa Parks we headed south to Fort Street where we’d turn right again and start our journey towards the bridge at about mile 3 or so…that is where the major bottle neck slowed all runners to a crawl. In fact, my pace was reduced to over 16 minutes per mile, less than 4 mph…it was then I realized that my sub 2 hour goal was out the window. So, I did what I intended to do all along; I enjoyed the run and conversed about my Little Buddies to all who would listen.
The sun was just beginning its westward journey as we ran across the Ambassador Bridge. How beautiful Windsor’s skyline is set against a rising sun. It was breath taking, I wanted those few moments to last forever. All too soon however we were in Canada and rounding the bend on the truck exit to to the right. Traveling down this road we were finally on the waterfront edge were we’d be traveling for a few miles prior to entering the Windsor Tunnel to head back to the good Ol’ USA via the marathons world only International underground mile. I can’t thank the folks of Windsor enough. Great aid stations with friendly and smiling volunteers…the Canadians really came out in force to cheer us runners on. Truly this is an International event worth running.
As we entered the tunnel, my body began to give me little signs that I was going to be in for a battle, a small one, but a battle nonetheless. Shortness of breath, thanks to over 40 years of smoking, caused my body to scream for more oxygen. I did slow down just a tad in response, but I continued on running. I would not quit. As much as I loved the idea of an underwater mile, my body was demanding fresh air and a cool breeze How much further? It was the longest mile of my life. Finally however we exited the other side (Ahh! Blessed Fresh Air) where a few dozen border guards kept informing us runners to make sure our bib numbers were visible. Up and out of the tunnel we ran and turned left on Jefferson Ave heading straight toward Cobo and the Joe Lewis Arena, where we then turned left and headed toward the river front again by taking a sweeping ramp around and down to the right. I saw a sign were it said that we were at kilometer 15 of the race, or just a little over 9 miles. Only 4 miles to go.
As we turned south towards the finish, I knew the race was almost over…..picking up speed I so wanted to have a good finishing kick, but that wasn’t to be. A runner by my side was bent over and appeared to be getting ready to lose her stomach. I slowed to a crawl and asked if she was ok? T o that she struggled to say yes, but just a little sick to her stomach. I walked a few feet with her as she regained her composure. Once I was sure she was o.k., I was off and only had a half block to go. Before I knew it, I sped across the finish line hands raised high into the air. Victory will be ours. Childhood Cancer will be beat! My time: 2:06:35…..not bad, not too bad at all.
Post Script: Missus Gj was supposed to meet me at the finish line. I looked and could not find her anywhere. Ultimately, it took us over 5 hours to find each other….where? At our hotel of course.. I even had the front desk called the police to make certain my sweetie wasn’t in the hospital somewhere or worse…talk about crossed lines of communication..LoL
Friday, October 17, 2008
As soon as I find out the names of all the runners promoting our cause, I add them to a new listing which I will call “Our Little Buddies Friends” or something like that.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Another Angel –Brandon Loose, A Special Friend Angel – Mitchell Butler, Another Step Closer to the 330 Mile Run
A Special Friend Angel – Mitchell Butler: As I ran my 5 mile training run tonight I came across a memorial built on the side of the road where several young men and a young lady with heads hung low were paying tribute, to what I was to find out, a very special friend killed in a most tragic accident. I won’t’ go into detail but suffice to say they were wounded to the quick. I can’t, as with our NB Angels, even fathom the pain felt by the family. As I stood there also paying tribute to Mitchell, I told them who I was and why I run. I promised them that I would also run the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon in Mitchell’s memory…So I shall!
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
God Bless & Rest Peacefully in His Arms
Sunday, September 28, 2008
As I turned to begin the journey home, I noticed that a fog started to settle in the low lying area giving a very eerie glow and twinkle to the few lights bathing the area. The fog continued to thicken, yet the twinkling lights were become brighter, not dimmer. What’s happening? I wondered. Another strange event is that I thought I heard someone speaking to me. Looking around I saw no one. Yet the voice continued, but I couldn’t make out what was being said…Until I heard, “Hey Grandpa John did you forget about me? Before I could ask, forget about whom, my question was answered:
“It’s me, Eliza S. I’m an angel now, but I didn’t see my name listed on our “Angel's Honor Roll- A Forever Dedication” list. You didn’t forget me, did you?”
Oh my, I must quit procrastinating I thought …
“No Eliza, I didn’t forget about you, I never could. Forgive me, I have no excuse. I’ll add your name as soon as I get home. I’ll tell all about our meeting and just how special you are and how you are singing gloriously sweet melodies to our creator and that you’re patiently waiting for us to join you as you are loving held in God’s hand.”
“I knew you didn’t forget me GJ, I just had to remind you,” was Eliza’s reply.
Oh, the twinkling lights...that easy. The twinkling lights were all of the other Angels trying to get my attention.
My condolences to Eliza’s family, may God comfort & bless them as they too wait patiently for that glorious day when we are all reunited in love.
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all"
God Bless, Till Later….
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Ever so slowly the pace and tempo of the run increased. But what is this I am hearing? Clomp, Clomp, Clomp! I turn my head slightly to look and what do I see a youngster of all about 8 or 9 running totally flat footed and over taking me like I was standing still. How could this be? I do not know. Yet I continued on and making the first mile in a little over 8 minutes I knew this would be a good race…until I turned the corner on 5 mile road there walking was Clomp Clomp…I asked if he was ok..He indicated that he was fine but he had a side stitch…ouch…haven’t had one for years but I remember them well...So, I slowed to a walk and asked his name. It was Andy. Seeing the picture hanging around my neck Andy asked who they were. So I told him all about my little buddies and why I run and I asked “Andy would you like to wear one of these pictures? My Little Buddies always give me help when I am having trouble with my run. Andy replied “sure.” So I pinned a picture on Andy’s shirt and true enough, my our little angels must have gave him strength as he was off like lightening. In fact, Andy started running so fast that I didn’t catch up to him for about a mile or so and that was only about a half a mile from the finish line…
As I turned what was to be the last corner in the race I saw the finish line about 400 meters up ahead…turning up the steam I let no one pass me as I kicked it in gear and pushed my lungs to their limited capacity crossing the finish line in 27:27. Surely not as fast as I could, but it was a fun run. Wasn’t it?
The Big Adventure: Mark your calendars now folks OL’ Gj will be doing the journey run next May - Exact date still TBD.
Here is the link to the blog site (needs to be up dated badly) tracking the details of this adventure which will be called “From the Border to the Bridge – Fighting Neuroblastoma”
Next Race: Oct 19, 2008 - The Detroit Free Press Half Marathon or Oh, how I love distance
Saturday, September 13, 2008
50K – 31.0685 Miles
Elevation Loss over 50K: 9,570 ft
Avg. Speed: 3.7 mph
Temperatures were around 50 degrees race day morning. Not wanting to be late, Missus Gj and I headed out from our hotel room around 5am. The drive took twenty minutes. Parking attendants directed us to our parking spot, about 400 meters from the stat/finish line. This was necessary since the Relay teams had to use chase vehicles to meet the respective team runners at the various relay points; their race begin their race at 8am
Although we arrived early there where many runners already readying themselves for the arduous journey ahead (and that is not an understatement). I began to double check, no make that triple check my equipment: My Buddies pictures - check (Please note that I did not carry them around my neck due to the many hazards I would encounter on this run – Missus Gj held them for me at the finish line – she did show them off for all to see), Hydration pack – check, power bars & gels -check, trail shoes – check, drop bag – check, safari hat – check, all is ready
The next several sections of the ultra were technically more challenging and would be worthy of rating of anywhere from a 3 to 5. Most time trails were nonexistent as we blazed our way through poison ivy patches, nettle bushes, around fall tree and 3 knee high streams with muck and mud abounding - It was heaven. As I started to land after jumping a hefty tree blocking the trail, my left calf felt like a hammer hit it. Looking down I didn’t notice any blood so I continued on… this was somewhere around mile 9 ….I should have looked first since on the far bottom side of the truck was a broken limb just waiting to give me my first and only injury of the race. Only now a week later is the bruising evident….
I could go on and on about how beautiful the weather was last Saturday, how challenging the trails were and much I enjoyed the “Dances with Dirt Ultra” race, but there are not enough words to describe it adequately; it has to be lived, experienced - for through the pain of the 31.0685miles I found life and was able to spread the word about my Little Buddies to many runners….
Friday, September 5, 2008
I want to take these brief few moments before I head out to remind all as to the reason I run. It’s contained here in this blog. I run to thank God for giving me back my health; I run because I am blest; I run….I run…I run…. To raise awareness of Neuroblastoma and to overcome the tears which come with that dreaded disease; I run to honor all of My Little Buddies, I love each of you very, very much; And I run to honor the memory of those Little Buddies of mine, who fought so valiantly but are now Angels: Austin Melgar, Courtney Saunders, Cooper Riley Proscia, Emily Adamson, Victoria Houston, John Eric Bartels, Kathy Ann Wilkinson, Alara Curran, Spencer Dolling, Marissa Monroe, Olivia Weber, Alexa Aigner, Joe Daily, Ryan Willians, Janie Kashino, Dustin Cobb, Alyssa Chappell, Addison Whipple, Amber Mastey, Katie Krize, Gustavo-Alexis, Kelvin Harper, Maggie Achuff, Kristin Hope, Kahlilla Blyss, Arden Quinn Bucher, Douglas Swift, & Max Mikulak.
My “Little Angels” please help Ol’ Gj should I weaken at anytime during the race tomorrow. I’ll do my best for you, and all who are still here, earth bound till that wonderful day when we are reunited in heaven for eternity.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
My Promise to My Buddies & Their Families:
In April when first began this quest, my (our) Angelic Choir had one member to sing us sweet songs of love. Now within the last two days, three new members have joined the host of angels singing sweet songs of freedom. This brings the Angelic Choir to a total membership of 28 Angels; far too many in such a short time span.
Therefore, I reiterate my Promise to all of my Little Buddies and their families:
“I will continue to run for the cause until my legs get too old or tired to run, then I’ll just have to let my Heavenly Father carry me onward in my racing till the cure is found…
Yep! That’s my promise to you, all of you, and I will keep it."
I love each of you with my whole Heart
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Race Dedication: On September 6, 2008 I will be running the Dance with Dirt ultra marathon (50K). I will dedicate race to our newest angel,Kahlilla Blyss
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. ~C.S. Lewis
Till Later, God Bless
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The entire Angelic choir was on hand to welcome into heaven our newest Angels: Alyssa Chappell, Addison Whipple, Amber Mastey, Katie Krize, Gustavo-Alexis, Kelvin Harper, Maggie Achuff and Kristin Hope please sing a sweet refrain most pleasing to our ears. May we receive comfort from the fact that all of you are now pain free & sitting by the feet of our Heaven creator for all eternity. Please save a seat for us as we wait our turn to join you. My condolences and prayers for all of the families during these most difficult of times.
Sons’ Deployment - As I ponder the thought that my son, SRA Raschke (soon to be Tech Sgt) will shortly be deploying, a fear grips my soul, and many “what ifs” enter my mind. Yet, I normally do not live in fear, nor entertain such “what if” thoughts. Therefore, I will do my best not to go there now. However, as an expression of my love for him, I offer to you an open letter to my son Senior Airman Raschke.
It seems like just yesterday I took you to Ted Nugent’s “Camp for Kids”, you were just 12 years old. How proud I was to see you standing by Ted’s side as you had a bow and arrow shoot off with the Motor City Mad man himself. Do you remember? You scored a “Bulls eye, in the deer silhouette, while Ted shot the outer ring (I may be biased, but to this day I really think he missed). Oh, how I cherish such memories. I guess that is one of the blessings of growing older.
Now as you ready for deployment I wish I had words of advice that would help ease any ill feeling you may have. Well, for once I must admit I don’t, I am speechless, except for this: Rely on your Training and Each Other, Never Quit, Never Under Estimate the enemy, and Do Not Hate them. I say this because that is what makes us so much different than they; if possible in war do all you can to rise to a higher moral plain and protect those whom you have sworn a Holy oath to God to do. Anything else I might be able to say would be inadequate.
However, if God were to grant me one wish it would be that I was still in uniform. I’d love to join you and stand by your side and fight the good fight together as father and son (and maybe in some small way we are). Alas though, the circle of life is almost complete; my son this journey is yours and your teams’ to make. Daniel, you have blest me in so many ways. Please know that you are loved as I know I am.
Son, thank you for your sacrifices and for protecting us from those who would do us harm. I ask God’s Blessings and His protection for you and your brethren daily. I love you.
"Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow."
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Meeting Some of My Little Buddies, Angels Honor Roll Update, Setting up Camp and Supper & Sleep, & The Race
Setting up Camp and Supper & Sleep - Friday afternoon saw Missus Gj and Grandpa John setting up camp at Sleepy Hollow State Park. Bordering a line of tress with a really big walnut tree just off center of our lot and just across from the camp showers and bathrooms our camping site was beautiful, if not to say convenient (which for us old’ guys is really appreciated J First, we unloaded the Trailblazer and then proceeded to set up our sleeping area, the tent; next, up went the screen room which was our cooking and eating area. By this time, it was almost time for me to go and pick up my racing packet for the morning race.
It only took a few minutes for me to get my packet and by the time I got back, Missus Gj had put the finishing touches on our camp site: swept the tent, made the bed, set up our collapsible chairs by the fire ring and even readied the stove for he evening meal (She is really a great help). It was then we noticed that we had forgotten to pack several needed items, especially the bug spray, so it was off to the local Wal-Mart about 10 miles away.
Arriving back at camp, Missus Gj and I settled by the fire ring and gazed off into the fire I had just started, all too soon though it was bed time. The slumbering world of dreams had called on us. Sleep although interrupted several times by nature (and the noisy kiddies) was restful and all too soon race day morning had arrived.
Everything was going very well, not too many muddy patches and by mile 4 we had crossed only 1 little stream with little mud or for that matter water (I really wanted a big stream with lots of mud and ooze to play in– must be a guy thing). Then like a sudden thunder storm, things turned dark rather quickly.
About mile 4.5 I was running down a hill when all of a sudden my trail shoes dug into some soft soil (soft soil on a heavily traveled trail? Surely sabotage) which because of momentum threw me forward rather awkwardly. To avoid tumbling and to slow down I stated to bound, or weave from side to side. Well, on my second step a broken tree limb jumped out of nowhere and smacked me really hard on my right leg, about 2 inches below my knee cap. Ouch!!! Not seeing any blood nor immediately knowing the extent of my injuries, I trudged on. Every so often though I felt a muscle pull or a stabbing pain just below my right knee, but looking down every s saw nothing.
It was around mile 7 or so that I finally noticed that I had been bleeding quite a bit from my injured leg. Was my race finished for the day, was this the race wherein I’d have to wear the DNF (did not finish) tag the rest of my running career? NO! This would not stop me: I had promised my Little Buddies this race was theirs and I was not going to let them down. Besides it was at my weakest moments like these several times before that my Little Buddies and Angels came through; they never let me down they gave me the courage and strength to carry on.
Angelic voices filled my mind and soothed my body .First it was my “Forever Heroes” carrying me forward: Austin Melgar, Courtney Saunders, Cooper Riley Proscia, Emily Adamson, Victoria Houston, John Eric Bartels, Kathy Ann Wilkinson, Alara Curran, Spencer Dolling, Marissa Monroe, Olivia Weber, Alexa Aigner, Joe Daily, Ryan Willians, Janie Kashino, and Dustin Cobb singing a song I never heard before; it was beautiful. Not really a song or spoken refrain, rather thoughts of love, beauty and pain free acceptance flooded my spirit. Like a lark on high and not remembering much I flew down the trail. Then as I near an exhausted state my Little Buddies with me in spirit all chimed in a melodic chant. Well not so much a chant, but a loud roaring cheer: Justin Gaudineer, Jackson Boyd, Nick Franca, Kerry Leary, Serena Lambert, Sammy Klimas, & Melina Riniolo all with me in spirit were hollering Go GJ! You can do it, you’re almost there, just around the bend and up the hill and you’ll own the 10 miles. Sure enough as I round the bend I saw the small hill; up I went striding all the way. As I crossed the finish line I knew we did it! The 10 miles was ours!!!
Want some Water?
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Updated – Photos and Angels Rainbow Memory shirt: The pictures below are of the photos and shirt I will be wear on Saturday for the 10 mile race.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Poll Question - Please take a little time to answer our poll question: Should I allow advertising on the blog to earn funds as doantions to the Band of Parents? If the poll affirms the question I'll take the necesary steps to garner advertisers...monies not much but a little at a time over time can really add up.
For some strange reason I like this message ----
Monday, July 21, 2008
"From the Border to the Bridge - Fighting Childhood Cancer - a 330 mile Running Odyssey"
Now it's off for a little Crosss training.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Angels Update, Touched Again & Update to our Angel's Honor Roll- A Forever Dedication and Race Dedication Listing
My condolences and prayers go out to the Kashino and Cobb families. May His Grace comfort all of you.
Updated Angel's Honor Roll- A Forever Dedication and Race Dedication Listing: Today I added Janie and Dustin to our Angels Honor Roll, and added Serena Lambert to our Race Dedication Listing. I do have a couple of more Buddies to add, but I am waiting for the Ok from the parents.
Fighting Childhood Cancer ---
Saturday, July 12, 2008
As I headed home, the rain continued its rhythmic beat, drenching my soul with bliss rarely felt. It was then I remembered the last time I felt so; it was our Angels again cleansing my spirit with their tears. These were not tears of sorrow, rather tears of joy experiencing a pain free existence unknown to us earth bound creatures. The thunder I heard was merely the angelic band keep rhythm for the choir welcoming the newest member to heaven. Sing and play on Joe Daily, and Ryan Williams, as we wait our turn to join you.
Missus Gj Day:For all of her support and love, which without I would never be able to accomplish anything, I proclaim tomorrow, Sunday July 13, 2008 Missus Gj Day. To honor Missus Gj, I further proclaim that she will do no work around the house. I will do her daily chores. I will also take her to a movie of her choice and to dinner at a restaurant of her choosing. Thank you for loving me so much honey, I do love you so. The flowers are for you Sweetie
Please join and enjoy with me what I see very day.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Pictures Mailings - About 2 week ago I promised to send out the pictures I wore at the last race to my honor buddies. Well, I didn’t forget. I was waiting for some race pictures I ordered to come in from the photographer and they still haven’t arrived. So, over the weekend, I’ll be mailing your pictures out to you. When the other pictures do arrive, I’ll be putting them in the post or will email you an electronic copy – Stay tuned.
Building our Honor Team – I am in the process of building our honor team for my next race, “The Legend” There are so many Little Buddies I want to run this race in honor of that I may over-look a few. So if you’d like Ol’ Grandpa John to run this race (and wear your picture during the race) in your honor, please contact me and let me know. I really wish I didn’t have so many Little Buddies, but hey, isn’t that why I am running? We’ll Kick Neuroblastoma’s butt for sure; it’s not if, but when!
T-Shirt Layout –My Band of Parents friend, Carolyn, is working with our t shirt customizer (Unspoken Love- please visit Terry’s site, it’s most wonderful. Use link to the right- thanks) on our design and should have some more information for us with the next few weeks. These shirts really rock and tell the story. They will be cotton, but I am also working on getting tech shirts made for us runners too – so this is another “Stay Tuned!”
“Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow” Dorothy Thompson
God Bless and Slumber Restfully in His Arms
Monday, June 23, 2008
Where have I been? From Tuesday through Friday of Last week Ol’ Gj was ether fighting some bug, or so run down from over training (Missus Gj’s contention anyway) that his system decided to let him know that he had to slow down just a tad. You see, early Tuesday evening last, I did some very aggressive speed work after which I felt Ok, but later that night and Wednesday morning, Ol Gj felt very ill, nauseous and very weak. If fact, I made all of 30 minutes at work before I decided to go home. .. Fast forward several days… Saturday saw me fit enough to run (waddle) my long run (20 miles) for the week. I feel fine now, I just don’t know about last week though…really strange. Regardless of Missus Gj’s contention, I swear it had to be the chicken salad I ate for lunch last Tuesday. but I’ve been married long enough to know that Missus Gj is always right :) It’s really great to have someone love you so much.
Training Update: I resumed training after a brief illness of last week. Last week I was to train 48 miles but only got 34 in. This week is a down week so my system will get more rest; total mileage scheduled for this week – 36 miles.
Total Mileage To Date: 264 miles
We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.- Stephen Covey
God Bless, Rest in His Arms Safely tonight, always and in all ways.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Jay Foonberg, 72 year old runner
Feeling somewhat long of tooth over my 10K performance this past Saturday, I received the above Daily Quote from RunnersWorld.com this morning. What a wonderful freeing perspective to have! Admittedly, I thought I had that same perspective but maybe not quite where it matters: in my heart, not my mind!
So, based on its meaning, I asked myself this question: “Did I do the best I could with what I have?” Of course, my answer is yes. I did my best, I did not cheat myself. Therefore, it is with a smile on my face and truth in my heart that I tell you this past Saturday I ran the “Flirts with Dirt” 10K race. My time: 1:10:07, for a pace of 11:18 per mile; now on to the report.
Report: Flirts with Dirt 10K
What this? I am already walking, and not even a mile has passed. Then I heard someone holler, “A snake, it’s a snake!” No, not the reptile, but the trail; narrow of girth and just a winding as a snake slithering through the grass, runners were backed up for about 50, no maybe 70 deep, and it only got worse from there on. So, I zoned out.
Rounding the final bending, about 100 yards long and at about 10 or 15 degree incline was the back side of the dreaded sledding hill. I didn’t care, no pain I felt, only the burn of my quads and calves as they did their job. Oh how I love it. We crossed the finish line; all of my Little Buddies and Angels are winners, even if Ol’ Gj didn’t take first place! Below are a couple of pictures a friend of mine took
Speaking of my Little Buddies and our Angels, would you please consider making a generous donation today to the Band of Parents? If you prefer to make an on line donation just follow their link above, oOr if you rather you can mail your donation to me and I'll forward it to the appropriate people (Please make sure to make all checks payable to the Band of Parents and do not send cash).
Friday, June 13, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Wont’ you please help put an end to neuroblastoma! Become a hero and a voice for the voiceless join Grandpa John: Together we can do it!!!!
Update to Race Dedication – today I added Ber, Elizabeth, Marissa, and Kerry to the names list for those “Little Buddies” I am dedicating this Saturday’s race to.; with so much support I should win my Age Group; not likely, but I sure will have my buddies within my heart and that’s even better that winning an age group award.
Training Update will be made after my race this weekend.
Although the world is very full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it
Till Later, Good Night and God Bless.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
After 40+ years of smoking and weighting around 250 lbs, on December 16th, 2005 thinking I was having a cardiac event, I drove myself to a local hospital. Prior to checking in, however and having just bought a pack of cigarettes, I had one last smoke before going into the emergency room (Very very, very stupid!). That was my last cigarette!!!
Well, they did all sorts of testing and blood work ups and even a catheter procedure. Thank God, I did not have a heart attack, but they did find that I had to 2 blocked arteries and that I also had GERD, Acid Reflux. That was the primary culprit. Stomach acid was entering or irritating my bronchial tubes (I wonder why I did get some form of pneumonia from it). Since my arteries were at 50% blockage, no stents were put in, but I was put on Plavix, which I still take religiously to this day. Along with that I was also put on proton pump inhibitors and blood pressure medicine and told by the discharging physician that if I continued to smoke I’d die at a really young age and since my mother died at 45 from coronary disease, I had better start getting in shape.
THat’s all it took. As soon as I got the clearance from my primary care physician I began a work out regimen designed solely to build and restore my heart health. My workout plan was based on a 5 day schedule: days 1, 3, and 5 were Cardio workouts; days 2 & 4 were weight training. Every so slow I started noticing changes, my clothes were starting to get loose and I needed to buy a new belt…I dropped from 250lbs to 210 lbs and I was feeling great. I was doing so good that my doctor took me off all my blood pressure medicines. It was then that I decided to up the workout to include running. So I researched and found the Couch Potato to 5K (C25K) running plan. Following it religiously by the time week 8 rolled around I was running 30 minutes non-stop! I was overjoyed. I signed up for my very first 5K (The Kinesiology 5k) I ran it in the very slow time of 33:19. After finishing, I thought well that was a nice experience but I am not sure if I want to run anymore races. Until….
I was relaxing at home watching ESPN and a special was being televised…It was all about the “Badwater Ultramarathon;”- a 135 mile race that runs smack thru Death Valley and up the side of Mount Whitney California. I was enthralled; the spirit of the event captured my spirit. My testosterone levels spiked for sure. I knew I couldn’t run Badwater, but hey I could run a marathon (Yeah that’s right, 1 race to my credit and I was going to run a marathon)…
So began my journey, the year was Oct 2006. In November 2006 I joined up with Team in Training and a little less than 7 months later I successfully ran (waddled is more like it) my first marathon, The Vancouver International Marathon and 4 months later still I ran the Rochester NY marathon.
Yes, I admit it. I am hooked! I love distance running and I love that I am able to run for my Little Buddies….If you can’t run, then won’t you please help me, help them too.
PLEASE Say Yes to Grandpa John and make a generous donation to the Band of Parents.
Here for the sake of fond memories I post a few pictures for your enjoyment
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Angels tears flowed heavily as I ran my daily training run. So soothing the rain; the angels were cleansing my soul for the good news I was about to receive when I got home.
Several weeks ago, I sent a letter of inquiry to the Organic Food Bar company seeing if I could qualify to be one of their OFB Brand Champions (I was actually seeking a voice for my Little Buddies suffering from neuroblastoma) Well, a few days later, much to my surprise, I received an email from *Eric Harr (more on this fine gentleman later), of OFB and what he had to say shocked me.
Although, I would more than qualify to be an OFB Brand Champion, those positions were reserved more for professional athletes. But, the owner of the company, Dr. Singh and Eric were so impressed and inspired by what I wrote that they decided to launch a new campaign called “OFB Everyday Heroes” and I was their vanguard: their very first Organic Food Bar Everyday Hero. Who, me a hero? I never thought myself a hero and still don’t. How can you be a hero doing what you love for those you love?
The true heroes are my Little Buddies and their families, But, I must say that I am very proud to accept OFB’s accolades and I will do my best to reflect the high values OFB upholds and represents. I am truly honored. They have my never ending gratitude for giving voice to my Little Buddies and the Band of Parents.
*In several emails to me Eric Harr, a professional triathlete, told me that I was such an inspiration and worthy of such acclaim. Yet, it is Eric more than I who deserves much acclaim and honor. This wonderful person and fine gentleman has joined up with CARE and developed the “I Am Powerful Workout” wherein he will make donations to CARE for each hour a person works out… the funds will be used to help women in poor counties overcome numerous adversities…as stated at the I Am Powerful Workout web page: “Empower women and families in poor communities around the world to improve their lives.” Please join Eric by following follow the link in the right column to his “I Am Powerful Workout” website – thanks, Gj
Please follow this link to reach OFB’s Everyday Heroes web page:
Dear Lord, may I never forget how great an honor it is to serve those I love.
Rest Peacefully in His Loving Arms
Monday, June 2, 2008
Did You Know:
· Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer
· Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer in children
· Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.
· Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.
· There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
· The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
· Cancer kills more children than any other disease, more than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Pediatric AIDS combined.
Another Type of Hero: His name is Sam Seltzer, small of stature, bent and wrinkled with age, with a voice that sounds like a choir, very melodic, and a very wise man to be sure. When you first meet him you’d wonder why he sings all the time, or why that impish grin captures your heart so. Then you happen to notice a small tattoo on his arm, but it’s not any tattoo, it a tattoo made up of only numbers. You see, Sam is a Holocaust survivor and I have the privilege of meeting him and I am just beginning to know him in the slightest meaning of the word. We go to the same gym a few time a week and I find the time I spend with him to be a blessing to my heart; already I love him. I must remember to tell him that the next time we meet.
Pre-world War II Sam lived in Poland, and during the war he survived 15 Nazi slave labor and death camps, to include Auschwitz. Sam also has a book out; it’s title “Fences That Kill” written by Dr. Richard B Traitel and Martha Seltzer as told to them told by Sam. I haven’t had a chance to pick the book up yet, but I plan on doing so this week or so.. I’ll share with you what I find; yes he is a Hero to me.
Thanks you Sam for having enriched my life beyond measure.
Oh, why does Sam sing all the time – It’s simple he loves life and is happy to be alive.
Weekend’s Training: This past weekend I logged 22 glorious miles: 14 Miles on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. Weekly Total: 34 miles.
Saturday’s run began with a soggy 3 mile trail run. The trails weren’t too bad at the beginning of the run, but as I got closer to the lower wetland areas having soggy feet and muddy shoe took on a whole new meaning. It seem that Friday night’s rain storm must have been localized right over the trial I was running. It was fun I was really having a blast, but I decided after the 3 that I plenty of fun for the day and made my way out to the trail along Hines Park Drive; a nice blacktop path and it was dry.
Ahh! So nice to be running on dry land, but therein was a problem; it seems my trail shoes really aren’t made for black top and the pounding this ol’ 207 lb body could give them. I think it was around mile 12 or so when I heard a scream. Looking around I saw no one yet I distinctly heard a scream….Wait a minute! It’s my legs, shins, calves and quads hollering in unison STOP! Did I listen to them? YES I did, I stopped, but only long enough to rub some of the stiffness and soreness out; to avoid further harm though I did the run walk routine. That is, I ran for all of 15 seconds, then walked for a minute (LoL) and repeated that sequence till I finished my 14 for the day. It was a very pleasant experience for sure.
Sundays 8 miles was a very nice recovery run. The weather was nice and the run very relaxing
I am most definitely looking forward to this week’s increased mileage.
And remember the reason for this blog: Please Say Yes to Grandpa John and make a generous donation today to the Band of Parents – Thanks
How long should you try? Until.