This is the web site of Peter Klein's Team-in-Training campaign.  He raised funds in honor of his cousin, Gabe Axe, who was diagnosed with leukemia in July of 2000.  Peter ran the Flora London Marathon on April 14, 2002.
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ALL ABOUT GABE AXE

Gabe Axe is a 17 year old high school senior in Greenwich, Connecticut.  After feeling sick for a while, he was tested and diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia ("ALL") in July 2000. 
Gabe Axe flanked by goofy cousins Peter Klein (left) and Ron Axe (right).  More pictures.

Thanks to everyone who helped me reached my fundraising goal. Learn more about the Society's programs in New York City.

Journal to Gabe Axe, My Cousin and Honoree

Contributors

To track my training and fundraising and general progress towards finishing the Flora London Marathon in April 2002, I'm keeping this journal.  My honoree for the marathon is my cousin Gabe who is battling leukemia. He was diagnosed in July of 2000 and has demonstrated tremendous strength in battling the disease. I applaud his spirit and hope that Team-in-Training raises awareness about leukemia and lymphoma and helps to find a cure.

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to Axe Out Leukemia.

April 14, 2002:

 The 2002 Flora London Marathon

After more than four months of training and fundraising, the marathon is finally here.  I ate a light breakfast and headed by bus from our hotel to the marathon start with my 30 other teammates.  We arrived at Greenwich Park a couple of hours early with the other 32,000+ runners.  Time to stretch, stress, and wait for the 9:45 AM start.  The film crew traced the whole thing and interviewed me and some others about the marathon experience.  I felt like a Rock Star with all of the attention.
I started in corral #3 which meant I was with runners who expected to run a 3 1/2 hour marathon.  Only lost a little more than 2 minutes at the start (i.e., because of the crowds, it required 2:10 to cross the start after the starting gun) - compared to 15 minutes lost by some of those on my team in other corrals. But because we wear a chip on our shoes, we get a "net" time.  After getting across the starting line, it was a fast race - 7:20 first mile, 7:25 second mile (including a very quick bathroom break along the course route).  The fans were great, lining the course and yelling encouragement.  I had my name on my shirt - and a purple wig that drew some extra attention - so a lot of people shouted support.  It was a hot day (especially with the wig) but I kept a 7:45-8:00 pace for each of the first dozen miles with my heart rate at the top of my target range (165-170 beats per minute).

The London Marathon start at Greenwich Park

Runners crossed the Thames River on the Tower Bridge around mile 12
(photo by Ed Raftery, finished in 3:15)

After leaving Greenwich Park, the course ran through a series of neighborhoods - Charlton, Woolrich, Deptford, Rotherhithe, Bermondset - before getting to the Tower Bridge.  These first 12 miles were full of pubs and parties - people cheering and having a good time watching the race.  There were water stations each mile manned with volunteers passing out water and Lucozade (similar to Gatorade). Spectators handed runners everything from hard candies and Starbusts to pieces of bananas and oranges.  

The crowds were bigger and bigger as we ran into the center of London.  The Team-in-Training folks - with my family and film crew - were at mile 13 ringing bells and cheering.  I made a stop for a clothing change (taking off my t-shirt under my race singlet because of the heat) and I discarded the purple wig.  I wanted to look fashionable but it was too hot for an extra mane.

 

After getting a big kiss from Ruth Goodman (my brother's mother-in-law-to-be who traveled to the race from Manchester) and some Accelerade (similar to Gatorade but 24% "better") I was off again with the thousands of runners.  Crossed the half marathon mark at a pretty good pace - 1:42:55, or 7:51 per mile pace - but things (I mean "me") were starting to slow down.  My second 10K was nearly 2 minutes slower than the first (not a problem) but the third was an additional 3 minutes slower - or a full 5 minutes.  I ran from the 20K marker to the 30K market at a 8:28 per mile pace.  And then things got worse - 8:52 per mile for the fourth 10K.  Any dream of running a 3 1/2 hour marathon was gone by mile #17. I did speed up a little for the final mile or so, but fell short of my target time by a little more than 6 1/2 minutes.

Waving to the crowd at mile 22 - Almost Done!
10 KM 20 KM Half 30 KM 40 KM Finish
0:47:29 1:36:54  1:42:55  2:29:23  3:24:22  3:36:34

I finished in a respectable 3:36:34, the 6,030th finisher out of more than 32,500 who ran (or walked) the whole 26.2 miles.  I didn't beat my target of 3:30 - after being on pace through the first 17 miles.  But I finished - and loved the experience.  My teammates.  The cheering fans.  Collectively, over 150 million was raised for charity - including the more than $150,00 the New York City chapter of Team-in-Training raised for leukemia and lymphoma research.  While Gabe wasn't with me at the finish, he was in my thoughts the whole race.  I know he's battling hard against his leukemia and I hope the money we raised helps in his battle and in the fight against leukemia in general.

April 13, 2002: One day until the marathon, and we started off the day with a quick, short, slow run around St. James Park - near Buckingham Palace, our hotel, and the finish of the London Marathon.  There were several groups of other runners doing their morning warm-up around the park - part of the running fraternity from all over the world.  The finish line on the North side of the park is the same route the Queen Mother's funeral procession followed earlier in the week.  After running, it was a long, full breakfast (for the second time) in the hotel restaurant and then a day of exploring some of London with my coach Ramon and Elissa from the Leukemia Society.  I'm suppose to be resting ahead of the marathon and I spend the day with the few people in our group NOT running in the marathon.  We walked a bit and went on a scenic, stationary tour of the city in the London Eye (a giant observation ferris wheel constructed for the Millenium).

April 12, 2002:  Welcome to London - land of bobbies, bangers & mash, and the Flora London Marathon.  Our team arrived late morning and headed to the hotel to drop off our bags.  Then it was off to the Marathon Expo to complete registration and pick up our bib number for Sunday's race.  Typical race expo with apparel vendors, representatives from other marathons, and many of the larger charities who have runners participating in the marathon.  I spoke with some folks at the Children with Leukaemia booth; they are one of the official charities of the marathon with over 1,000 runners.

Dressed up in the Children with Leukaemia (UK) Mr. Tickles costume at the Marathon Expo.

Click to see bigger image

After the Expo, it was back to the hotel to relax before a partial team dinner at an Italian restaurant (keep thinking "carbohydrates").  Then off to our local pub - The Albert - which became my home away from home for the duration of my visit to London.  Only a couple of pints - to absorb the needed carbs but not enough to damage my well-tuned body (at least somewhat tuned for the upcoming marathon).

April 11, 2002: Departure day for London.  My bags must look like a terrorist's going through security with all of my "weird" stuff - powdered drink supplements in plastic canisters, walkie talkies for the race route, plastic sports drink bottles with gel packs inside.  Just a bunch of runner's special stuff..  Plus a whole bag of chocolate chip cookies and rice krispy treats (always need to focus on carbo--loading).

We all hoped that Gabe would be able to come to our send off at JFK Airport but he wasn't feeling well. It was a long day on Wednesday, trekking down for the filming in Central Park, the Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, and then back on the train to Connecticut.  While I've been training to run a marathon, Gabe doesn't get a lot of exercise because he doesn't really have any red blood cells.  He gets winded walking up or down a flight of stairs.

At JFK, the whole team was packed and prepared for our overnight flight to London.  The film crew was there with cameras running - capturing nervous chatter and pre-marathon questions and queries.  It was a lot of sitting around because we were early and the flight was delayed an hour or so.  Then onto our Virgin Atlantic plane for the trans-Atlantic trip to Heathrow.  I wanted to get some sleep, but it didn't really happen.  We did some filming.  I was seated next to my coach Ramon (and we talked about a lot of different things).  Plus I was really excited and couldn't get more than an hour or so of shut-eye.

From Gabe's Mom:

Dear Peter,

I couldn't be prouder of you.   I want everyone who supported you in this race to know how much you mean to Gabe and to the entire Axe family, especially me, your very proud aunt. 
You and Geoff have always been brothers and best friends to my four boys from the moment they were born - even though you were 9 years old and Geoff was 7 when Judah was born.

I could go on and on about how important you are to them. But nobody can imagine what a Guardian Angel you have been to us from the moment we received the call from the doctor at 3 pm on July 6, 2000, with those scary words - "Gabe has leukemia. Get him to the hospital now." You have been by our side at every turn in the road on this life changing path.
 
I know you don't like to talk about your dream of "dot com-ing" your way to wealth and productivity coming to a screeching halt with the economic changes over the last two years, but I believe that there might have been some divine intervention giving you the extra time to be so very present in Gabe's life during his illness and treatment. 

You brought us food, books, and lots of good cheer during the long stays in the hospital. You teased the nurses and made sure they gave Gabe special time and attention. You even brought us a throw away camera which I used mercilessly to capture many difficult moments on film, as well as all the extraordinary people we have met along the way.

You are the only person, outside of Gabe's immediate family that Gabe will allow into the hospital room - and even stay over night with him - when he is very ill from the treatment. 

We only wish that we could have been with you in London, but just as you held Gabe in your heart, we hold you in our hearts all the time.

We love you, and send hugs and blessings, and our deepest thanks.

   -- Vicki and all the Axe boys

Next Axe Out Leukemia Marathon
My brother Geoffrey is running the June 2, 2002 Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego. Follow his training.
 
Jonathan Adler
Sally & Maury Alsher
Judy Andrews
Vicki & Harold Axe
Debra Bar
Mary Beck
Ellen Benson
Amy Bleyer
Marcie Brecher
Bill Brick
Rodica Cristea
Emmy Miller & Dudley Cooke
Heather Daniel
Anita & Len Feldman
George Gaskin
Alyssa Gelbard
Mark Gerstein
Jeff Ginsberg
Georgie Goodman
Ruth & Steven Goodman
Samantha & Jonathan Gordon
Jamie Gorman
Ana M. Grant
Bella & Mark Greene
Amanda & Matt Henshon
Tina Julian
Neeta Kantu
Blair Keller
Thomas Kelly
Nita Goodman & Geoff Klein
Richard Klein
Irene Kohn
Carolynn Kutz
Alison Lubin
Greg & Denise Marks
Seth Martin
Cherie & Jerry Martinez
Sharon McGrail
Stephen Melzer
Fred & Yael Milbert
Alex & Debbie Miller
Ann Naidus
Diane & Stu Neufeld
Andrew Newcomb
Kristina & Frank Pedote
Doug & Jerilynn Ross
Cecilia Salzman
Ann Satterthwaite
Suzanne Seltzer
Shelby Siegel
Gina & Stuart Shapiro
Robert Shapiro
Helen and Robert Stark
Janet Stein
Mo Tantawi
Chris & Susannah Thompson
Todd Thorner

April 10, 2002: If the Team-in-Training program is about raising money for research and awareness about leukemia and lymphoma, then I just hit the jackpot for the latter half.  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was contacted by a television production company looking to track someone's training and running of the London Marathon.  So...they filmed me today running on the reservoir in Central Park and at the Rangers game with Gabe.  Then they're going to film me and the team at the airport in New York, at the hotel in London, and film me running the marathon on Sunday.  They'll piece it all together into a documentary for ABC as a pilot and we'll see where it goes from there.  Gabe was great during the interview today and showed some interest in getting involved further.  I'm planning on mentoring a group of folks with TNT for a Fall marathon; they'll be part of Axe Out Leukemia and have interaction with Gabe.  Only four more days until the marathon and I'm excited!  

London Weekend Television is filming a pilot for ABC in the US on my marathon experience - a sort of "day in the life" documentary. 

April 7, 2002: Dinner with Gabe and his family in Connecticut following a full weekend day of no exercise (the Weekend Warrior is relatively workout free until next Sunday's London marathon).  For a sick kid with cancer, Gabe was a relatively normal teenager today.  He and I spent the afternoon driving around suburbia running errands.  We picked up iron-on letters for my marathon shirt (so people can yell encouragement for me and know my name during the run), some US flags and ribbons and stickers for the TNT team (so we can all show admiration and reverence for our country), and packing tape (the tape was for Gabe's brother Judah who is moving to San Francisco where he'll be a teacher of children with autism).  I gripped the door handles a little bit as Gabe (a.k.a. Jeff Gordon Jr.) zipped around Greenwich, Connecticut - I think happy to be out and about doing regular things (shopping, fighting crowds at the mall, talking about girls, complaining about stuff).  It's a little ironic that next Sunday I'll be starting the marathon in Greenwich, England in honor of Gabe's battle with Leukemia.

 

Finish Time
8K: 36:07
April 6, 2002: Last real run for me before next Sunday's London Marathon.  After four months and five days of training and after raising important funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I'm ready to "cross the pond" and run 26.2 miles with Team-in-Training.  I ran a fast 8K this morning in Central Park - The NYRR 8000.  A PR (or "personal record") for the distance for me - since I've never run that distance before.  And my "fast" time is nothing compared to the elite runners who run at a blistering 4:30ish pace per mile (vs. my snail-like 7:13 pace).  Of course, marathon winners are replenishing across the finish after 2h10m or so while I'm just hoping to finish in 3h30m.  It's the whole "elite athlete" vs. "weekend warrior" thing.  But I'd like to see those guys value a merged entity using discounted cash flow analysis or give a presentation on the synergies of integrating vertical competitors in the food industry.  I guess you can't be good at everything.
April 5, 2002: With the London Marathon just days away, I'm excited and nervous and excited some more. To handle some of my nervousness I've been identifying the causes and devising solutions (trying to avoid over-medicating).

With this in mind, I offer you the following guide to "British-speak" for all of my fellow countrymen (and women) traveling to London for the marathon. They may have invented our language but two centuries after the Boston Tea Party we talk in very different tongues.

In terms of running, you won't be looking for a replacement coach for Ramon when someone inquires about your trainers (these are your running shoes). And if the start of the race is cold and you need a jumper, that's just a sweatshirt or sweater. Please don't discuss a "fanny" pack (slang for a woman's private parts) or carrying Puffs with you (a type of facial tissue for us but passing wind for them). And it's a good thing to be full of beans, which has nothing to do with puffs but everything to do with being full of energy.

Since London won't be all about running, there are some other language subtleties you might want to consider as we travel to the Old Country. Anything involving Her Majesty's Pleasures is not a good thing since you'll finish Up the River in prison. Barney may be a lovable purple dinosaur in the US but getting into one in England is getting into an argument. Murphy doesn't have such a bad reputation across the pond - it's Sod's Law when everything that can go wrong does.
And without getting off color (which means inappropriate for us but pale or ill for them), I want to include a couple of sexual references to keep you (and me) out of trouble. I'm Easy just means I don't care or it's all the same to me. Any talk of a knob, willy, or todger is the stuff for a urologist - as is spend a penny or smeg. Rumpy pumpy with a scrummy loosely translates to hankie panky with a hottie. And finding a mate there is finding a friend.

And that last letter of the alphabet. So simple, right? We say "zee" and they say "zed".

April 3, 2002: The last team Wednesday night run tonight.  Just to make it fun, it rained and even sleeted a little.  Ran the 5 miles at "marathon pace" which for me now is about an eight minute mile.  I watched the heart rate monitor, trying to get it to stay at 160 beats per minute.  At that heart rate I'm able to run about an 8 minute mile.  The question for London is going to be if I can run with my heart at that rate for three and a half hours.  I'm increasing my water intake (and going to the bathroom every 15 minutes) and I'll start "carbo-loading" over the weekend (which will be much easier after Passover is over tomorrow - no bread/pasta/rice makes loading up on carbohydrates hard and I'm sick of matzah).  Team Send-Off meeting last night has all of us excited about London.  I now have airline tickets, running singlet (shirt), maps, hotel information, etc.  Get me on the plane and to the starting line.  I'm ready to go.

March 30, 2002: Last long run before the London Marathon - in two weeks!  Ran 17 miles in Central Park this morning at a much slower pace compared to last weekend but ran pain-free (after limping around a bit this past week because of the PowerGel 20 miler).  Time to taper - short, slow runs over the next two weeks prior to the marathon.  I'll keep up the yoga and some light weight training but running-wise, I'm pretty much done.  I feel good about where I am even though I'm sure I could have done more speed work, more hills, more long runs.  Still shooting for a 3:30 marathon (eight minute mile pace).  Doable but it's going to be a stretch.

March 27, 2002: I think Gabe and I have finally given up on the New York Rangers making the playoffs this year.  After tonight's 4-2 loss at Madison Square Garden to my hometown Philadelphia Flyers, the Blueshirts are just about officially done.  They have compiled a miserable record since Christmas (I think second worst in the league) and they're been outplayed but much lesser teams - including an embarrassing lost at home to the lowly Atlanta Thrashers.  It would have been good for Gabe to have playoff hockey to follow.  Maybe he'll become a Flyers fan (but I don't see it happening).
March 23, 2002: I finally conquered my blister problems and ran a great race in Central Park today - the PowerGel 20 Miler.  It's a really good warm-up for the London Marathon, which is quickly approaching -- only three weeks.  I ran hard but controlled, trying to pace myself for the whole distance.  The heart monitor read 150-155 beats per minute (and up to 165-170 bpm on hills) and I was running 8:00 to 8:10 minute miles for pretty much the whole time.  I finished in 2:42:19 which breaks out to an 8:07 minute mile pace.  Not bad -- and makes my 3 1/2 hour marathon goal reachable.  It's not going to be easy but I have three weeks to improve.  On a side note, I cooked up a storm last nite - carbo-loading session with a few teammates.  I made two lasagnas - meat and artichoke & spinach (which are becoming my specialty).  Fun evening with my mentor Ed Raftery & his fiance Stephanie, Jack Sheahan (who beat me by 12 seconds - drat!), Stan Labanowski, and Nichole Wright.  All of us will be together in London in three weeks.  It's going to be fun.

March 19, 2002: Spent the evening in the hospital with Gabe - who is stuck in an "isolation" room with shingles.  So with gown, mask and gloves (me not him), we watched The Simpsons and some other television with the other Axe guys (brothers Judah, Noah and Dan) and my aunt Vicki.  I think that the battle is taking as much out of him as the disease.  He's tired of feeling sick, being hospitalized, being different.  Anybody who seeks attention by acting out should spend some time with kids who get all of the attention because they're ill; they'd give up spotlight in a flash if they could feel better.  I wish I could make it all go away for him.  We're talking hockey - especially with the Rangers recent trades and the final push for the playoffs.  I'm hoping the Blueshirts make the post-season so Gabe has something to follow.  Yankees baseball is coming but he's more of an ice hockey fan.

March 17, 2002: I know I'm in trouble with my TNT coach after today.  Ramon is the best at providing support and encouragement for our team.  He has us all excited about next month's marathons - a first time experience for most of the team.  However....he gets on my case about the intensity of my training.  And he's right.  But I'm a Weekend Warrior, a testosterone-controlled urban male who has to prove himself through physical exertion each time out.  "Pace" (as in pacing) is a bad four letter word.  You're suppose to go as hard as you can and make sure you look good in the process.  Remember: The Weekend Warrior is good for the economy - we keep chiropractors, physical therapists, etc. in business.

So after yesterday long run, I was back at it today with the St. Patrick's Day Spring Fling 4 Miler in Central Park.  Started late (again) and spent the racing passing people.  Weaving in and out of people isn't great but the Weekend Warrior feels much better passing than being passed.  Good mile splits this morning (7:45/8:00/8:00/6:50), with a nice kick at the end.  The weren't any problems with my legs or heart - just a blister problem on both feet.  Total pain which I hope fixes itself before London.  Only four weeks - or 28 days - but who's counting?  The Weekend Warrior is.

March 16, 2002: Can you say "Kicking Butt"?  The team had a great day running trails at Rockefeller State Park in Sleepy Hollow (home of Ichabob Crane and the Headless Horseman).  We ran for three hours through the trails of the nature preserve - I think I covered about 20 miles with my mentor Ed Raftery (my personal hero who ran an average of 6:52 per mile in last weekend's Brooklyn Half Marathon).  It was my first long run in a couple of weeks and I felt great.  With only four weeks to go until the London Marathon, it's time to work on my distance and speed.  I think I have a long way to go for a  3:30 marathon.  I'll be happy with 3:45.  Big hit today were my St. Patty's Day green Rice Krispy Treats.  Glow in the dark - and well received by the team after everyone's long runs. 

March 14, 2002: The London Marathon is in a month and I've reached my fundraising goal in addition to being confident that I'm going to finish the 26.2 mile run.  It's been about 100 days since I committed to running for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and started training with nearly 100 others with Team-in-Training.  These mostly non-runners signed up to be trained and supported in running the longest distance that they have ever run - actually, most had never run more than 5 miles!  And now after 100 days of following our coach's instructions, training a few days a week, and believing in themselves, they're going to run a marathon in a month.  It's amazing.  

First day back on the road after a week hiatus letting my foot heal (blister that became a cut).  Long run this weekend (trail running in Rockefeller State Park in Sleepy Hollow - "Headless Horseman" territory) plus another next weekend (PowerBar 20 Miler) and then London two weeks after that.  It's good to be back in running shape - and even better knowing I'm helping to fight leukemia with the research dollars that I raised.

March 12, 2002: When I think about the Spring of my senior year in high school, I remember doing things very different from what Gabe is doing this Spring.  We both had/have papers and tests - I did mine in the classrooms of Friends' Central School in Philadelphia while Gabe is being home schooled.  I was pulling pranks that nearly caused me to be expelled (a stripper was cancelled before arriving to a faculty meeting and folks realized that President Reagan wasn't going to speak at our school on April 1st after a couple of newspapers called for press passes).  Gabe has chemotherapy sessions that wipe him out (I guess a good prank would be to switch his blood cell counts with another kid in the hospital).  I attended a lot of Philadelphia Flyers hockey games as they stormed into the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the Great One {Wayne Gretzky) and the Edmonton Oilers.  Game watches a lot of Ranger games on TV and would come to games with me if he had the strength.  We've been to a few games this year but not nearly as many  if he were already into college and counting the days to graduation.  Now he counts - white blood cells, platlets, pills, etc. 

Today is a "rest" day for me exercise-wise.  Just like it is for Gabe.

Gabe attends Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut (currently he's being home-schooled).  He is scheduled to graduate in June of 2002. I am a 1987 graduate of Friends' Central School in Philadelphia.  My class will be celebrating its 15th Reunion this May.

March 9, 2002: Spent a semi-frustrating/semi-exhilarating morning at the finish of the Brooklyn Half Marathon as a Team-in-Training Cheerleader.  I didn't run (which was the frustrating part) because of a blister in my instep that I picked up Wednesday night - temporary orthotic problem.  I did cheer home thirty or so teammates as they finished the warm up for the Spring marathons -- that was the exhilarating part.  It was the first timed distance race for many on the team.  A chance to learn the ins and outs of pacing, re-hydrating, running in a crowd, etc.  Much different from our normal Saturday training runs.  While I've been amazed at the progress of the team - thanks to their training commitment and coaching of Ramon and Gabby - I think the team is beginning to to believe in themselves.  The London marathon is in five weeks - with Nashville and NJ Shore two weeks later - and everyone is on track to not only finish but walk away elated.

Team-in-Training super runners post-Brooklyn Half Marathon - Nicci Micco (who finished in 2:09.08), Gabby Studenmund (the great Asst. Coach who biked and shouted encouragement to the team), Nicci's work buddy Holly Eagleson (2:08:52), Franny Mendlow (who finished 20th in her age group at 2:20.45), and Eliana Agudelo (2:17:30)

March 6, 2002: Team-in-Training team run around the Central Park reservoir on a beautiful night (mid-50s).  Quick 5 mile run and then some cross-training in the gym.  While I ran post-breaking my shoe orthotics with Dr. Scholls inserts, I developed blisters on each foot after tonight's run.  I'm in desperate need of new orthotics which I'll need a couple of weeks before the London Marathon.  That way I can develop a new set of blisters ahead of running 26.2 miles.  It will NOT be fun to pick up some foot discomfort at the start of the marathon and struggle for 4 hours.  Getting closer and closer to my fundraising goal - thanks to a lot of generosity from friends and family.  If I could just get Gabe motivated about something...I guess for him getting better is a full time job.

March 5, 2002: A summary of all of this running and training might be appropriate.  I think a lot of people asked post-September 11th "what can I do?" to help.  And while the bombing in New York City was terrible, other terrible things continued to happen.  My cousin Gabe - who is my honoree for Axe Out Leukemia - still had his chemotherapy treatment.  My friend Marion - who was battling cancer as well - still passed away the following week.  Life did not stop but I think people looked at life a little differently.  Extra nice on the subway or in line at the store. Extra generosity with our time.  Extra introspection about what we wanted to be doing.  Less Rat Race more Human Race.  I had wanted to raise money for cancer for years (losing my mother and grandmother to the disease).  Gabe's Leukemia diagnosis in 2000 only added another reason.  And Team-in-Training seems like a great way to do a lot of things.  Fundraising.  Getting fit.  Raising awareness. Imagine 100 people getting up early on cold Saturday mornings and bundling up for windy winter nights to train for a 26.2 mile run.  Many of these people don't know anyone with leukemia or lymphoma, have never run five miles (forget about 26!), and wanted to do something - for themselves and for others.  Three months later, our enthusiastic coach Ramon and all of the mentors have gotten the wide range of athletes prepared.  The team ran 16 miles this past weekend and looked great.  London will not be my first marathon (ran the New York Marathon three times in 1994, '95 & '96) and this won't be my first trip to the UK (two visits a couple of years ago for work).  Somehow, it just seems to make sense.  Something I should be doing.

Dan & Noah Axe, Geoff Klein, & Gabe

Peter and Gabe

March 2, 2002: Another Saturday with another long team run - 16 miles or so.  Ran along the Westside of Manhattan - the Hudson River Park - looking at the missing where the World Trade Center towers used to stand.  There is this weird gap in Lower Manhattan.  Last summer I used to bike down the same path and around the towers before the September 11th bombing.  Felt better after the long run this week (especially compared to the previous two weeks) except for a new blister I picked up around Mile 5.  Had to perform surgery after the run (lance the blister with a "sterilized" safety pin to drain the excess fluid), which was successful.  I'm probably NOT ready for any other medical procedures -- unless alternative medical attention is completely unavailable.  

Was so "rested" after the long run that I tacked on an exciting Flyers/Rangers game at Madison Square Garden (Rangers 6-5 win), surprise birthday party at the Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center for my friend Alison Lubin, and then post-dinner drinks at some bar.  Nothing like a long day after a long run.

February 25, 2002: Yoga class, strength training with Nautilus & Cybex machines, plus a quick 6 mile run around Central Park.  Full body workout with flexibility, cardio and strength.  I doubt I'm going to get into "elite" running shape (sub- 3 hour marathon, sub- 35 minute 10Ks) so I might as well make sure all of the body components work the right way.  I definitely feel better all day after a morning run and I can see the overall improvement in my body with yoga and weights.  Adding some cross-training to the running and I'll make it to 35!  I'm a little concerned I've hit a plateau in regards to speed/pace.  

Purim Party at Memorial Sloan-Ketting Cancer Center with Gabe and his mom.  Actually, Gabe stuck with his GameBoy while his mom led the pediatric patients through the story of Esther ("megillah") .  The mitzvot of Purim include listening to the Megillah and  sending gifts of food - I baked hamentaschen cookies and distributed them to patients (scoring me big points).  While I'm not a huge sweets fan, my aunt said the cookies turned out great.
February 23, 2002: Another long run with TNT - a Saturday tradition.  It was a mandatory 16 mile run for everyone and I continue to be impressed with the progress of many of my teammates. The London Marathon is in seven weeks (50 days, but who's counting? OK - I am!) while the Country Music and New Jersey Shore marathons are in nine weeks.  We're building to our longest team run - the Power Bar 20 Miler in four weeks - so we're running longer and longer each weekend.  A great thing the team coach arranged today was a post-run strength and flexibility clinic with a physical therapist.  All of this running is tightening my muscles and hurting my joints so picking up some tips to work on strength and flexibility is great.  My hip flexor has been bothering me and my knees hurt a little bit during long runs.  Anything to help lessen the load on my body is appreciated.  I'm not so sure this marathon running is so great for your body.

NYRRC Snowflake 4 Miler

Part of my training today included the Snowflake 4 Miler, finished in 32:28 (3 8:30s plus a 7 minute 4th mile). Getting closer to qualifying for the 2003 NYC Marathon.

February 22, 2002: Recovering from the bumps and bruises acquired snowboarding yesterday.  Over night trip to Vermont with Gabe's brother Dan where we took lessons and boarded down the slopes of Stratton. First time snowboarding, and I learned the ins and outs of the sport spending some time on my butt.  Thankfully the snow was soft on an unusually warm day. Getting closer to hitting the fundraising goal while missing a couple of names I assume will donate but who are still dragging their feet a little.  I just need to ask again.  Long running planned for the weekend - if I get back circulation in the injured body parts. 

NOT me snowboarding!

February 19, 2002: After a sleepless night, my legs weren't as effective trekking around the city as I would like.  A mile and a half to breakfast with my mom.  Another mile and a half to a yoga class at the gym.  Not a lot of fun with the yoga - 10 minutes of meditation at the start and the end and not enough stretching.  Yoga has been a way for me to counter-balance the tightening affect of running (not like I had flexibility before and now I just have less of it).  Normally, the New York Sports Club yoga classes have been great.  This one was a dud.

February 16, 2002: Long day of running - TNT training plus the Al Gordon 15K.  My body finally "complained" about all of the miles - 17 today - by providing a little bit of knee pain.  Actually, enough pain that I had to stop for a minute or two during the race to stretch and walk a bit. I id finish the 9.3 mile race at an 8:43 pace (including the break and after a "warm up" 8 miles).   It would be easy to say that I can see finishing a marathon but realizing it's another NINE miles on top of today's distance. More training needed.  I made sure to drink at the water stations but I'm not sure that I ate enough.  A couple of hours of running and you see the need for both water and some edibles.  Now that I've surpassed the big 3-0 (age that is), my body needs some time to recover.  I guess I shouldn't plan on running another half dozen miles tomorrow - or Monday!  Monday yoga, Tuesday run and then snowboarding on Wednesday.  I watched those Olympians and I'm ready for the half-pipe.

February 13, 2002: The right shoes make you run faster.  At least that's the theory.  However, I think this is true comparing US Army issue combat boots vs. running shoes.  I do notice a difference in my footwear after logging a couple of hundred miles in them.  The rule of thumb is to get new running shoes every 500 miles or 6 mos.  There is also this theory about having two pairs of shoes that you rotate.  I fell into this habit of buying two pairs of the same shoes several years ago and then I alternate which pair I wear each time out.  I'm excited today because I just replaced my Saucony Grid 5000s with...Saucony Grid Stabils (the Grid 5000s replaced the Grid 3000s which replaced the Grids - do you see a pattern here?).  I've had so many problems with my feet - leading to surgery just after high school - that when I find a pair that works I stick with it.  The Saucony's that I wear are great for motion control which I need, come in a wide, and are built for stability.  I blame it all on the genes (my dad has the same feet problems) - but I'm pretty happy overall with the DNA that I have.  So I just have to wear a sturdy shoe.  Not so bad.  We ran timed miles in the Park today with TNT.  I ran a 6:32 (after a 3:03 first half) mile #3 - hard first mile, easy second mile, hard third mile.  Speed work is important and I'm glad we're working on it as a team.
February 12, 2002: I hate "gu" (or the power gel - picture at right) that you're suppose to eat for energy during a race.  I think I'm going to stick with bananas, bagels and Power Bars - none of which upset my stomach like the Gu and gel that I tried today after a 12 mile run.  It sort of just sits in your stomach to remind you that you shouldn't be running long distances.  A Krispy Kreme donut of KFC extra crispy chicken breast never give you that feeling (well, if you have a half a dozen donuts and a couple of pounds of KFC maybe).  I know that you have to re-charge during a marathon, and I've done it with nibble foods - I found Power Bars work great and a banana before hand was not bad.  I make sure to drink every water stop during races - but training in the winter all of the water fountains are shut off in Central Park.  Two loops of the park today (each 6 miles): first one in 50:30, second one in 50:50 - which breaks down to 8:25s and 8:28s mile splits.  Not great but not awful.  A 3:30 marathon is still a long way off - that's an 8:00 split per mile for 26.2 miles. But London is still 2 months away.
February 9, 2002: Ran a loop of Central Park with TNT and then another one in the ILX Valentine's Twosome 10K with my friend Amy Bleyer.  Lots of miles for the day at a slow pace - finished the 10K in 53:57, or an 8:42 per mile pace.  But running a half marathon distance felt good - especially after gassing on Thursday - and I can see a marathon not being that far off.  I realize that this training is just about logging the miles.  I've been training at a slower pace with a lower heart rate, knowing that if I get my mileage up I can worry about time later.  The London Marathon is a little more than two months away so if I start running a couple of 10 miles training runs a week plus a longer one (15-20 miles), I can add some speed work and lower the time.  Ramon (the TNT coach) knows I want to run a 3:30 marathon, so he's starting to get on my case about proper training.  I know if I follow his advice I'll get close to hitting the 3:30 mark.
February 7, 2002: Learned a lesson about running without enough energy. After 6-7 miles running from home to Riverbank State Park, I was totally fried and couldn't make it home.  The plan was to use the run to do a 12-14 mile long run but I just couldn't finish.  Instead of running home, I subway-ed down to the Leukemia  & Lymphoma Society office for a seminar on ...nutrition.  I need to make sure that I'm recovering from runs and eating properly.  I can't just wake up and run a marathon so total training - running, diet, sleep - is important.

Riverbank State Park

Map of Central Park, New York City

February 6, 2002: Another Wednesday night of team TNT training - and another night of hills, this top running the top of Central Park (which is probably the steepest hills in all of New York City).  I hate to admit it but it was almost fun.  My heart rate stayed in range on the uphills and recovered below the range on the downhills.  The team as a whole is looking better and better prepared for a marathon.  I ran most of the evening with a woman who is a survivor of lymphoma.  She contracted the disease two years ago during a liver transplant - (posttransplant lymphoma).  And now she's training for the Country Music Marathon.  I was very impressed.  I guess lots of people run with Team-in-Training for different reasons: in honor of a lost loved one, to support someone's fight against the disease, to get into better shape - or to show that the disease isn't going to stop them!
February 3, 2002: Super Bowl Sunday, and the New York Road Runners Club sponsored the Gridiron Classic 5K and Football Throw (I did the running part, leaving the passing to Warner, Brady, McNabb, Testaverde, et. al.).  Relatively short race after a long running day on Saturday.  I ran from home, arrived 4+ minutes after the start, ran the race and then ran home - so the 5K was extended to a 5-6 mile run.  Since I started almost last (19th from the back for the 2400 runners that finished), I was able to pass a lot of the 2400 runners ahead of me.  Running an average of 7:51 per mile, I was able to finish around 735th - even though I crossed the line #1285 (net vs. official time).  But it's not about the time or winning.  I just want to finish the marathon in April.  And being able to run well a day after a long run is encourage for the upcoming London Marathon.

Patriots 20
Rams 17

February 2, 2002: Team trip North of New York City to Rockefeller State Park Reserve in Sleep Hollow - up the Hudson River in Westchester County.  It's over 1,000 acres deeded to the State of new York by the Rockefeller family, with a fund to ensure the preservation of the property. Nice change of pace running on trails instead of in the concrete jungle (even Central Park gets boring after a couple of dozen loops over a few months).  And over 40 folks trekked up together, building some team spirit.  It's hard to get to know folks running Wednesday nights in the dark and who's a conversationalist first thing in the morning on Saturdays?  We ran somewhere between 9-12 miles on a brisk day (34 degrees with a wind chill dropping it a bit below that).

Team-In-Training NYC Post Trip to Rockefeller State Park Preserve

January 31, 2002: Easy run around Central Park this morning after a two day break from running.  After four straight days of 7+ miles over the weekend (including a 12 mile run on Monday), I thought a day or two off would be ok.  A little more than 10 weeks until London and I thinking this is pretty doable.  Ran the 12 on Monday at a low heart rate range (140-145 bpm) and felt tired but alright after 90 minutes of running - food- and fluid-free.  Drinking every mile during races helps - and training without it strengthens me.  To the gym tonight to work on upper body stuff and then a short run tomorrow before the TNT weekend run in Sleepy Hollow (long trail training).

January 26, 2002: New York Road Runners has switched the majority of its weekend races to Saturdays for the next month or so, conflicting with the Team-in-Training group runs.  This weekend I chose to run the Lucky 7-Mile Reversible in Central Park instead of with the team.  It's nice to run with mile markers, water stations and a "race" environment - even though I'm never competing to win (only racing against myself and the clocks).  It's simulates a marathon environment where you have to drink fluids as you run (no easy task for a novice), pace yourself with the excitement of running with lots of runners (30,000+ for the London Marathon - but this morning only 2,000), and a faster pace then one's normal training speed.  I ran this morning at a good pace - around 8:10's with a burst on the last mile to finish with an 8:00 minute per mile pace for the race - but probably pushed myself a little too hard (didn't feel great after the race).  But with people around you, it's easy to pick a pace based on the runners and not on what your body tells you.  My heart monitor was at the top of my desired range (around 165 beats per minute).  Thankfully the weather cooperated -- mid-40s -- and I probably overdressed with a long sleeve shirt and a wicking turtleneck.  I had dinner last night with the Axes - and Gabe was in great spirits.  All of the boys headed to Vermont to go snowboarding today - well, 3 of 4 2 will snowboard and Gabe will hang out in the lodge.  He's not ready to hit the slopes just yet.

January 23, 2002: Another night of team training - another night of hills.  Close watch of the heart monitor and overall ok.  Training is training and I'm trying to cross-train as well.  Rowing in the gym, stretching, etc.  The better news is my brother Geoffrey is committed to running the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon (San Diego) with the Los Angeles Team-in-Training.  Right now the plan is Gabe and I are going to go out to California for the marathon -- I'll run it with Geoff and Gabe will get to hang out in Cali.  He was excited about the trip out West.  His "first" phase of chemotherapy is scheduled to end April 25th (he had to repeat the "first" phase which is a harsh ten-month round of treatment).  The second phase is supposed to be a lot less debilitating so traveling won't be such a challenge.  More to come.

January 20, 2002: The Chicken Soup Loop turned into a "fun run" instead of a timed race because of the snow.  SNOW!  Who runs in the snow?  There are some seriously dedicated New Yorkers who run is all kinds of weather.  If I wasn't training for a marathon and didn't need to put in the mileage, it would have been the gym for me today.  But I know it's important to run between 30-40 miles per week so my body can survive a marathon.  I'm probably up to 24-28 per week (3 days of running 8-9 miles).  The marathon is still three months away so I think I'll be alright.  If I get up to four days of running including one long run per week, I'll be fine.  So today's fun run was a chance to watch the heart monitor (kept it between 155-165 beats per minute for most of the 10K) without focusing on the time.  I still tracked mile split times (first 3 miles in 25:30 after losing a minute or two at the start; 4th mile in 8:05; 5th mile in 8:45; 6th mile in just under 8:00).  The time doesn't really matter, but it's a way to track progress.  I'm not going to WIN the marathon or anything.  I just want to finish - and be able to walk around the next day.

January 19, 2002: After a day of cross-training in the gym (rowing machine, elliptical running machine, stair master), back to the pavement today with the TNT team.  We ran up the Westside on the Hudson River - 58th to 125th - and it was beautiful.  And it was cold - around 23 degrees.  Came home with ice in my hair.  But is was a good run at a nice pace.  Unfortunately I'm not sure I'm ready to run a 10K tomorrow - the Chicken Soup Loop.  It is at 9:30 AM so I should motivate and just do it.  Might actually have some snow by then.  Gotta get ready for the Eagles/Bears playoff game.  Very important game.

January 17, 2002: Had a chance to have lunch with Gabe today after his chemo treatment / lumbar puncture and all.  He's tired.  He's a shell of who he was.  And he still looks forward to being healthy again.  His "first" year (which will be after 20 months of treatment) is scheduled to be complete April 25th.  "Not that I am going to be all better" added Gabe during our April discussion.  No - he won't.  He may never be "all better."  And I'm reminded it's the climb we're suppose to enjoy - not just reaching the Peak.  Getting to the Top can be just an instance, a flash.  It's the climb that takes a lifetime - and needs to be enjoyed.  I'm reminded of that every time I see Gabe. 

January 16, 2002: Running hills with the team tonight - "Cat Hill" between the Boathouse and the Met on the East side of Central Park.  I know that you need to do hill training to improve yourself but it's not a lot of fun during the "improving".  Every time I run I wish I had run the day before.  I guess the solution to that is to run every day -- or at least cross train.  I've been back in the gym with the rowing machine.  It takes a lot out of you but it's a great all-body workout.  My fundraising seems to be going well thanks to all of the people listed on the right.  I'm amazed at some of the people who stepped up and contributed without any nudging.  It re-assures me that I'm supporting a worthy cause.

January 10, 2002: Best way of getting around town might be running, right?  (most environmental friendly, cheapest, least amount of traffic).  Pack a book bag with clean close, dress for the weather (which tonight was beautiful), and run to the nearest health club to where you're going.  I had dinner with friends about 2.5 miles away so a quick jog to the New York Sports Club near their apartment killed two birds with one stone.  And NYSC is like the Starbucks of gyms - there is one on every corner.

January 9, 2002: Back to running with the TNT team.  A couple of loops around the bottom half of Central Park, running intervals (fast-slow-fast-slow).  The team appears to be getting into much better shape, with one month under their belt and three to go.  The last two weeks have been hard for me to train because of the gloomy weather.  However, every time I participate in a team training session, I'm revived and inspired.  Even spent some time on the rowing machine after last night's run.  Need to keep the upper body in shape as well.

January 1, 2002: New Years' Resolutions time.  I think it's important that this training not be about the London Marathon but about committing to be healthy for a long life.  While the causes of leukemia may be unknown, a tremendous number of diseases and other health problems can be avoided or lessened by being in better physical shape.  I'm resolving to taking vitamins, eating right - and in moderation, exercising regularly - at least three times per week, drinking in moderation, and generally taking care of my body.  If the goal is to stay healthy for a long time (my grandfather was 96 when he died), I might as well improve my odds by doing the things I can do.

insider's info, customized itineraries and tours for different interests December 29, 2001: Was going to train with the Philadelphia chapter of TNT while at my parents for the weekend.  Had to settle for running solo from Ardmore to Merion because of a tight morning schedule.  The day definitely is different if it starts with a morning run.  And a quick 40-50 minute run gets your blood flowing. I'm also realizing the importance of training beyond just running - upper body, abs, cross-training.  I think running a marathon will be a lot less of a toll on my body if everything is in shape (not just my legs and lungs).

December 26, 2001: While Team-in-Training didn't have our normal Wednesday night session, I spend time running in Central Park.  I'm realizing that no matter how cold it is when one starts running, you always warm up.  However, it is still a challenge getting dressed and getting out with the temperature below 30 degrees.  It is invigorating once you get going - and with the right attire it's not so bad - but getting going!. 

Christmas Eve, 2001: Weekend with the Axe family capped off with a morning run in Connecticut.  Nice up and down hills to get your blood flowing.  Still, the highlight of the weekend was going to the Rangers/Islanders game with Gabe.  Not the game - a sloppy 2-1 loss  - but being able to go with Gabe as he manages a tough stretch of chemo.  It's always hit-or-miss with Gabe because of the ups and downs with how he feels.  He was strong enough for most of the weekend events with the British family in town (the Goodmans) but had to take a pass on the heated Pictionary games we played.

December 16, 2001: Sounds like you're training hard and doing real well. I never went to the concert on Saturday; I still was not feeling that great.  Maybe I can get to a Rangers game next week. Yesterday's Rangers/Sabres game got a little scary towards the end, but they pulled through. It's not just Lindros winning the games for them.  See you soon. - Gabe

Add Amaretto or Kahlua to your chocolate and mocha drinks December 16, 2001: Capped a weekend of lots of exercise with today's NYRRC's Hot Chocolate 15K.  The distance was a bit longer than I would have liked after a long Power Yoga class on Friday and an 8-9 mile run on Saturday.  I wanted to run it at the same pace as last weekend's 10K, but dropped off a bit - finishing in 1:19:05 (or an 8:30 mile pace).  Dragged myself through the middle of the race after starting strong, and was passed by a lot of familiar faces from the Joe Kleinerman 10K.  I'm not suppose to win, right?  I'm competing against myself - and the clock.  I just didn't feel great after running and probably overdid it with the rest of the exercise.  My heart rate was in a better zone for much of the race, so that's a good thing.  Just need to keep training and remember that the marathon isn't for another four months.  No additional timed races until 2002; just have to keep training with my watch

December 14, 2001: Only four months until the marathon which should be enough time.  It's not a race so I just need to make sure my body can make it the 26.2 miles.  Very doable.  Then comes the fundraising, which should be doable as well.  The more I talk about Team-in-Training, the more people tell me that they know someone else who completed an endurance run with TNT.  It's a fast and growing fundraising vehicle, started in 1986.  My brother Geoffrey is now making plans for the June Rock n' Roll Marathon in San Diego.  I told him I would run with him, figuring if I complete London that staying in shape for a couple of months shouldn't be too tough.  Plus running with Geoffrey...a little brotherly competition will get me through.

December 9, 2001: Ran in the Joe Kleinerman 10K - with the weather in the 30s for the first time (but no complaining - it was very close to 40 degrees).  Over 2800 people got out of bed to run in the tribute to the founder of the New York Road Runners Club (the sponsor of the NYC Marathon).  Joe was at the start of the race - all 90 years young.  He was signing race shirts with his mug on it yesterday at NYRRC.  Seems like a good guy, and I hope that I'm in that kind of shape at 90.  Very different running with mile markers and clocking the speed of each mile.  Respectable 49:46 net time (took a minute and a half to cross the starting line but with the ChampionChips you wear, they can start your time when you actually begin vs. when the gun sounds).  Breaks out to an 8:01 average mile and I tried to keep my heart rate in the optimal zone (155-165 bpm).  Unfortunately it was towards the top end of the spectrum (or above it) for most of the race.  Room for improvement.  If only I can run a marathon at that pace - three and a half hour finish time.  Hope you had a good weekend. 

December 8, 2001: Another Saturday morning training session with weird weather for December (it's not supposed to be in the forties, is it?). If only the snow and wind wasn't eventually going to show.  Still getting back into shape.  Full loop of the park in 51 minutes - about an 8:30 mile time - with an extra Reservoir loop in 8:45 per mile.  Can't wait to get the times down but right now focusing on the heart monitor (keeping it in the right zone - 155-165 bpm).  It's a battle against Male Ego, which hates to run slower than the pack.  There is a group of runners that is a bit faster - some guy named Jonathan that finished NYC marathon a month ago in 3:24.  Don't know if I'll ever run one that fast but I know for sure that I can't keep up with him right now.  The team as a whole keeps on smiling.  Coach Ramon (new father as of Tuesday nite) had Beginners run 3, Intermediates run 5, and the rest of us run 7 1/2.  So what if I'm the last guy in the final group.  Right now it's all about the miles.  Hope Boston was fun.  Maybe we'll do lunch when you're back in the City next week.

December 5, 2001: First Wednesday night of training.  In the dark.  In Central Park on the Reservoir.  At least it's not cold - and I know I'm  not allowed to complain about the cold.  I'm still in awe at the range of physical fitness of the group committed to running a marathon.  We were told that of the last group 99 of 100 people that signed up finished the race for which they were registered.  Interval training tonight - sprint and then jog, sprint and then jog.  Speed work is how you lower your times and do I need help.  I'm running 9 minute miles which is way behind where I was the last time I ran the NYC marathon.  And my heart rate is way to high.  But London is still more than four months away.  Guess I have time to get back into shape.  Hope all is well with you.

Winter Runners on Central Park's Reservoir

December 1, 2001: Today was the first day of training for the Spring marathons.  Over 100 people are participating  with the New York City chapter of Team-in-Training for the London, Country Music in Nashville, and the New Jersey Shore in Oceanport races.  Most of the team has never run more than 5 or 6 miles let alone 26.2.  But our coach Ramon says he's committed to getting everyone fit and ready.  It's impressive that these people are making a commitment - to themselves and to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  If I hadn't run a marathon previously I doubt I would have the courage to make such a commitment.  Plus training in the WINTER!  I must be nuts.  But I think of all of the pain and suffering that you have endured - so a little cold weather isn't much of a complaint.



This site is maintained by Peter Klein and is not associated with the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society, Team-in-Training or The Light the Night Walk other than the participation in the Society's  programs of the individuals included in this site.  
Last updated on October 28, 2003 .