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From Peter Klein: After running the London Marathon with Team-in-Training in April 2002, I wanted to stay involved with TNT and am "mentoring" the above runners as they prepare for the Maui Marathon.  Mentoring means (at least for me) that I'm here to provide support and encouragement during the ups and downs of marathon preparation and fundraising.  I am running the Marine Corp Marathon in October 2002 - below is my training journal.
From May to Marine Corp Marathon: A Training Journal by Peter Klein
October 27, 2002: Marine Corp Marathon

Another fantastic Team In Training event running the 27th Annual Marine Corp Marathon.  After months of training and a couple of other completed marathons in 2002 (London, Vermont City, San Diego, 20 miles of Hartford), I was in our nation's capital with more than 14,000 other runners from all over the world.  The New York City Team In Training group of sixty or so were a mix of first time marathoners hoping to finish and seasoned veterans trying to set a personal best.

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The 26 mile, 385 yard, USATF certified course was relatively flat, winding through Arlington, Georgetown and the District of Columbia. It passed many of the area's tourist attractions, including the Capitol, Union Station, the Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR Memorials, the Pentagon a couple of times, the Smithsonian Museums and the Kennedy Center.  It was truly a beautiful course that has been aptly nicknamed the "Marathon of the Monuments" because of all of the sites you get to see.

marine2.jpg (19262 bytes) For some silly reason, I thought it would be fun to run the marathon in a costume - and what better super hero to be than the Man of Steel himself -- "Superman".  The marathon was a few days before Halloween so I  figured if running in a heavy, clunky costume turned out to be a bad idea, I could always use it for trick-or-treating.  After a couple of alterations which included cutting of the legs, I was suited up and ready to "fly" through the race. 

It was a hot costume but the cheers from the spectators made it worth the discomfort.  it was great to see a mom or dad lean over to their toddler and say, "Look! There's Superman".  During part of the race when I was slowing down a bit people would cheer out encouragement and say I should just fly to the finish.  I complained someone must have slipped Kryponite into my shorts.

The suit became a bit hot - and a bit wet - so I discarded the cape around mile 15.  I wanted to take off the rest of the costume but I was warned it was going to get colder in the afternoon (which it did) so I should keep it on.  Good decision because it did get chilly and I was glad for the extra warmth.  The costume didn't rub or chaff which was a concern.  And the crowd loved it - who then provided me a lot of support through the latter parts.  

One of the great things about running marathons with Team in Training is the support you get.  Our coaches - Ramon Bermo, Michael Conlon, and Catherine Roberto - we at multiple points along the course.  They would run part of the race with TNT participants, checking to make sure everyone was o.k., providing support and encouragement, getting a big smile from you no matter how tired you were.  

Then there is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society staff, who take care of everything!  Emily Meyer was just wonderful, handling travel, hotels, meals, etc.  Then she's along the course yelling and waving and making sure everyone is doing great.  And you can't forget the mentors, who have been providing months of support to mostly first time marathoners.  A crew of mentors who are running the NYC Marathon - Rachel Cohen, Eliana Agudelo, Erin Farrell, Meredith Shirey - all trekked to DC to cheer for their friends and mentees (and even to do a little bit of running themselves).  It's hard to watch a marathon when you are a runner and these guys jumped in to provide support to numerous first time runners.

I met this guy from the Air Force stationed in Germany around mile 22.  We made a pact to drag each other to the finish, chatting about running, the military, and life in general.  It's a scary time to be a US soldiers stationed anywhere - especially in Germany with its Arab population and being a hotbed for terrorist training.   We talked about how great the Marine Corp Marathon is, demonstrating to a lot of folks one side of the armed forces that doesn't get a lot of publicity (volunteerism) and have people meet soldiers who aren't just images on TV.

Not my faster marathon but a complete one.  My medal looks exactly the same as the guy that won the race in 2:25:01 (Christopher Juarez from Las Vegas).

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October 23, 2002: Carbo-loading with Coach Ramon & Company.  The Marine Corp Marathon is only three days away!!!

October 20, 2002: Participated in the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour with my friend Neeta Kantu.  We were part of Team American Express (where she works) and rode with her co-worker Marie DiMato and Marie's friend Elizabeth Radler.  Pictured at right are me, Elizabeth, and Neeta just before entering the Lincoln Tunnel.  The ride's route started at the South Street Seaport, up the FDR Drive and down the West Side Highway (both closed to traffic for the ride), through a traffic-free Lincoln Tunnel, and up the Hudson River on the New Jersey side before biking over the George Washington Bridge and down the West Side to the finish at the Seaport.  Sixty miles in total, lots of fun - and a change of pace from all of the running

October 19, 2002: Last TNT group run before the marathon.  Quick loop around Central Park with Esther and Kerri at a leisurely pace.  We are in serious "tapering" mode, cutting down the mileage before next weekend's marathon.  Now is the time to make sure the legs muscles work but it's not necessary to overwork them. The long runs are complete and now we get to prepare for the 26.2 mile distance mentally after being trained physically.  Part of the "mental" preparation was a group brunch with a dozen or so fellow runners - another benefit of training with TNT.

October 14, 2002:  Finally back to a yoga class and did my body need it.  All of this running takes away the limited flexibility that I had.  And running the Hartford Marathon in the rain (even though I only ran 20) left me extremely sore.  Only two weeks until the Marine Corp Marathon and I hope to squeeze in a half of a dozen yoga classes before then.  I've also made sure to do a little weight lifting (all leg stuff) to balance out the muscle development from running.  I was having knee trouble that my doctor said was treatable by doing leg lifts.  Less knee pain now as compared to this summer.  But I've been doing less running so who knows.  I think it's time to switch to triathlons and take a break from all of this distance running.

October 12, 2002: Ran the Hartford Marathon as a team relay with my friend Alyssa Gelbard.  She completed the first two legs (13 miles) at a blistering 7:45/mile pace while I ran the last three legs (20 miles) at a respectable 8:45/mile clip.  It poured the entire time adding to the fun. I think I was so water logged I forgot I was wet - sort of like fish (they don't think they're wet; they're always in water).  I was suppose to meet Alyssa at the first relay exchange but I totally blew it.  She raced by faster than I anticipated so we didn't run the 2nd leg together.  Good thing for me - she was chugging along and would have run me into the ground.  There would have been no way for me to continue running if I ran my first 6 miles at her pace.  When I didn't see her at the 10K marker after an hour and then after an hour fifteen, I knew she had come and gone.  So off I went for my run, figuring I would see her along the course (which I did).  The disappointing fact is that when I checked the results online, I realized that had I started running when she reached the 10K mark (the way we were suppose to do things), our team - "Swinging in the Rain" - would have placed 4th in the Mixed Open group.  Because I started 25 minutes after she reached the exchange point, we placed 13th.  I totally messed things up but we had a good (and wet) time.  I think I'll be o.k. for the Marine Corp. marathon in two weeks.  I know I'm not going to set the course record, but I'll finish.

September 28, 2002: Beautiful day to run in Central Park.  A quick 6 mile loop with Keri and Rick (fellow TNTers who are running the Marine Corp Marathon with me).  I think we're all about a 3:45-4:00 finish time so it's nice to run with them during training runs.  Didn't get a lot of sleep the night before the race and my nutrition was terrible (too much drinking and fatty foods!) so I struggled a bit through the run.  It is amazing what a good night's sleep and some appropriate foods can do to improve one's running.  I guess this is advice I need to take to heart come Marathon Sunday in one month!

September 21, 2002:  Today was a great day of running in Central Park.  The New York Road Runner's Club organizes training runs (in addition to the dozens of races that it holds) leading up to the New York Marathon.  Pacers lead groups of running around the Central Park loop at  different mile paces.  I ran with a group at 9:00 minutes per mile for 20 miles (the marathon is quickly approaching so I have to get in some long runs).  I monitored my heart rate the whole time (in range) and felt great.  We actually sang the final 3-4 miles - our lead pacer from the New York Flyers track team was our choral director.  Tack on another 10K at the end and I would have finished my marathon.  The run gave me the confidence that I'll be o.k. come October 27th for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC.

August 27, 2002: I finally made it back to a TNT group training session tonight in Central Park. We did "fartlek" training - nothing to do with intestinal problems but is a form of interval training in which there are work-rest intervals. "Fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play" and can help you avoid injuries that often accompany non-stop, repetitive activity. It provides the opportunity to increase your intensity without burning yourself out in a matter of minutes.

We did loops around the lower section of Central Park and I felt pretty good for having taken a break from running for a while. I need to get my lungs ready for distance again. The Marine Corp Marathon is exactly 2 months away and I want to make sure I don't kill myself running it. There is the Philadelphia Distance Run (half marathon) in two weeks and the Hartford Marathon (which I'm running as a relay with my friend Alyssa) in mid-October. Add a little strength training, some yoga and a dash of cross-training and I should be all set for the Washington, DC run.

August 20, 2002: I'm didn't let the weather deter me from running to the gym this morning.  A little rain isn't going to kill me.  Plus, on my birthday - I have to battle back against Father Time (that bastard!) who has been playing tricks on me.  A little tightness here.  A little creaking there.  I'm trying to age gracefully but I can't decide if running is aiding or hindering the process.  Plus today is "Recommitment Day" for the Marine Corp. Marathon October 27th.  My papers are signed and credit card submitted.  Only 68 more days to get into race shape!

August 15, 2002: Running is becoming habit forming - and it adds some structure to my day.  Again, up and out and running to the gym near the train station.  I'm not sure if my morning run is to reduce my commute time or to improve my physical fitness.  Since my knees still ache a bit and my insteps are bothering me a bit, I'm leaning towards these morning runs are for transportation and not for conditioning.  I hope I can keep this up - for both a stress release, faster commute, and fitness builder.

HOT

From the 
Disaster News Network
August 14, 2002

New York’s Central Park registered a 98-degree day Tuesday, breaking a record of 96 degrees for the same day in 1988.

Tuesday was the hottest day of the summer in several states, and Wednesday was expected to be a close second. Heat indexes – a measure of what it feels like outside – shot up to 103. In metro areas, the extreme heat was causing manhole covers to pop off. On Ninth Ave. in New York City Tuesday, the heat caused an underground fire that sparked an explosion and blew a manhole cover high into the air, frightening witnesses.

As a Bermuda high-pressure system pumped hot and humid air into the region, many states were experiencing the hottest overall summer since 1995. In New York City, this summer could rank among the 15 hottest since the National Weather Service started keeping track in 1870.

The heat wave should ease sometime Thursday, forecasters said, with temperatures in the comparatively cooler low 90s.

The city office also offered personal health and safety tips to help people protect themselves against the effects of heat:
  • Stay out of the sun - avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect some of the sun's energy.
  • Drink fluids—particularly water—even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. (Those on fluid-restricted diets or taking diuretics should first consult their physician.)
  • Avoid beverages containing alcohol and/or caffeine.
  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun's peak hours—11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • If possible, go to an air-conditioned building for several hours during the hottest parts of the day. Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, shopping at a mall or swimming at a pool or beach.
  • Never leave your children or pets unattended in the car.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors, and those with special needs.
  • Remember: Improperly opened hydrants waste thousands gallons of water, and can lower water pressure to dangerous levels, hampering the fire department’s ability to fight fires and endangering the lives of your family and neighbors. If you want to use a hydrant to cool off, obtain a spray cap at your local firehouse.
  • Do not call 9-1-1 except in case of an emergency.

August 14, 2002: Another morning of running to the gym and showering to cut my commute time (and to try and get my fitness level back to where it should be).  If I'm really going to run a fall marathon, I need to step up my training.  I'm getting too old to just wake up and run.  Time to build in some stretching into my daily routine (I hate this part of the aging process).

Gabe is spending the week with brothers in San Francisco (where the Judah - oldest of the clan - lives).  His "last" day of chemo is in less than two weeks - after more than 25 months of treatment.  I'm not really sure what that means in terms of his prognosis - or the potential for a relapse.  I struggle with the question from friends of "How's Gabe doing?"  I know he struggles with the similar question of "How do you feel?"

August 13, 2002: Started the day the right way by running to the gym that is close to the train station.  Shower and shave there and instead of at home saved my 20-30 minutes in commuting time plus I was able to work out.  If I can just remember to schedule some sleep time.  I have to work out in the morning if I am going to survive my commute - bus to subway to train was taking an hour and a half from my apartment door to my office desk.  With the run-to-the-gym-and-workout "commute", it's only a 5-10 minute walk to the train and 35 minutes on NJ Transit.  Much more manageable.  Maybe I can be a City Slicker and work in Suburbia.  Only time will tell.

August 4, 2002: Manhattan Half Marathon, Central Park, New York City.  
Hot and humid summer day - oppressively hot and humid.

August 3, 2002: River to Sea Relay, Milford, New Jersey to Manasquawn, New Jersey

The R2C7 -- the seventh annual river to see relay -- was a very special event.  Forget the 92 miles of running (broken into 14 legs, completed by the 7 person team).  Forget about the 90+ degree sweltering heat with the oppressive humidity.  Forget about waking up at 5:00 AM to drive a couple of hours before running a couple of hours.  It was an amazing day.

The TOG team (from left) - Christine Daigle, Wayne Vanaken, Catherine Roberto, Peter Klein, Laurel Naversen, Ramon Bermo and Michael Conlon.

The race start...

At 5:50 AM, as the first rays of sun peeked over the Delaware River in Milford, NJ – the first of 59 teams began the 91.8 mile trek to the Atlantic Ocean (we started at 7:55 AM). The relay is one of the most unique running events of its kind consisting of teams of seven runners each of which run various legs and distances. The team starts are precisely calculated to allow the slower teams to start first and the faster teams last and the first team to Manasquan and the finish line at the Atlantic Ocean wins. This year 59 teams toed the starting line, the first setting off at 5:00 AM and the last departing at 10:00 AM.

Me and Michael with our un-official team mascot - a bird who flew into our van grill

 

My team - Team TOG (for Thinking of Gabby) - was running in honor of a friend who is recovering from a terrible bike accident.  Gabby was my primary training partner for my first marathon of the year - the London Marathon in April - and she and I spent many a cold Saturday morning training in January, February and March.  Team TOG was comprised of (from left) Laurel (Gabby's co-worker and training partner), Michael (one of the TNT assistant running coaches,  Ramon (the head TNT running coach), Wayne (Gabby's boyfriend), Christine (Gabby's triathlon training partner), Catherine (the other assistant coach) and me.

 

At the finish on the beach in Manesquan, New Jersey.  The team is wet after a well-deserved dip in the Atlantic Ocean after the 90+ mile relay race.

July 19-26, 2002: Happiness Is Camping, Blairstown, New Jersey

There are lots of ways of "giving back" and "making a difference."  My friend - and my cousin Gabe's primary nurse Catherine does it every day.  She's a pediatric oncology nurse at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, providing care for kids battling lethal diseases.  Spending time in the hospital with my cousin showed me how these nurses are life savers - and are giving of their time and their souls to these kids who either get healthy and go home or pass away.

In addition to giving at her job, Catherine also volunteers one week during the summer at a camp for children who have (or had) cancer.  

And this year, I joined her for the week - she was one of the nurses and I was a volunteer counselor for the 11 and 12 year olds.


All the campers have survived similar experiences and are eager to assist one another, to ease any visible discomfort with ready friendship and supportive smiles.

Kids aren't treated as a sick kid - he or she is treated like a kid. And that's what makes this camp so wonderful; it's just that - a camp for kids.

Happiness Is Camping counselors (from left) Tommer, me, Steve, Alex (in front) and Scott plus campers Mo and Frankie.  

Alex, Scott and Steve are all former campers back as counselors.  They provide a great model for the campers to emulate


So it wasn't all hard work.  The counselors and volunteers enjoyed the interaction with the campers, marveled at the courage these 9-16 year olds demonstrated, applauded their victories, and encouraged them during the failures.  

Eat a little. Sang some songs.  Played Capture the Counselor (a very cool hide-and-seek game).

Am I seeing double?!?  Counselor Mollie (left) looks a lot like my friend Catherine (right).  Every camper's dream double date...

July 16, 2002:  Hills in Central Park!  Sprint up and recover down.  Who dreamed up this torture?  Oh, yeah - my coach Ramon.  It's actually good to add some speed work and hills to training.  Breaks up the monotony of the long runs.  Plus come Marathon Day, it's important to have confidence to power up the hills that seem to appear just when your legs are threatening to give out.  My knees felt better for the first time in a long time.  Maybe I can run another marathon this year after all.  Today was Recommitment Day for the Marui Marathon (we have to guarantee our place with a credit card).  I decided that the $4,900 fundraising goal is a bit beyond my reach for this September, and changed my marathon from Maui to the October Marine Corp Marathon.  I'll miss the beach and the surf of Hawaii, but the marathon in Washington, DC is going to be a lot of fun.  

With my Maui marathoners Kim Wanat (left), Sharon

July 15, 2002: I am a Weekend Warrior.  One of those exercise enthusiasts on Saturdays and Sundays who limp to work after a weekend of over-exertion.  My recent adventures this past weekend included a leisurely Saturday run around Central Park with the TNT Team (it was suppose to be 13 miles but I stopped after 6 since my knees were killing me) and a road-trip to Bear Mountain to bike ride 40+ miles.  The Weekend Warrior normally ignores aches and pains.  I'm trying to be responsible (don't want to limb for the rest of my life) so when the knees say "stop running", I cross-train.  There is this crazy idea that I have about completing an Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim / 112 mile bike / 26.2 mile run).  But I have to get in a pool first.

Had dinner with Gabe and his brother Dan on Sunday night.  He is counting down the days until the scheduled end of his chemo.  Then the plans seem to include bartending school, maybe moving to San Francisco.  I just hope he can get back on track after the two year diversion.

Visit Gilda's Club Web Site July 11, 2002: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hosted at party for the TNT Honorees at Gilda's Club, non-residential cancer support community named for comedian Gilda Radner.  Attending included the current TNT participants from the running, walking and triathlon teams, staff from the Society, and the cancer survivors who serve as honorees for the TNT teams (the Maui Marathon honoree is Stela Patron who was there at the beginning).  I find it moving each time I hear stories about survivors and their battles with cancer.  Fundraising for the Society is easier knowing that it is helping and making a difference.  I only hope Gabe finds a way to become involved when he's up to it.  I think it could provide him strength and support - and I know that he will provide other inspiration.

July 8, 2002: I don't think I would make a very good drug dealer.  I picked up Gabe's medication from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center today to save my aunt a trip and didn't think about the street value of the meds, how to get refills, etc.  I'm usually pretty good about seeing business opportunities.  My heart just wasn't in it. 

Gabe is on some serious narcotics.  Roxicet (a.k.a. Percocet) is a combination of Oxycodone (related to codeine - in a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics) and Acetaminophen (a less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of Oxycodone); it is used to relieve moderate-to-severe pain.  Dilaudid is another narcotic analgesic used for relieving moderate-to-severe pain as well.

I know he's sitting at home in bed right now in some serious pain.  It's not the disease that gets to him - it's the treatment.  Hopefully the end is near.  We "celebrated" two years of leukemia on July 6th (no party or anything) and two years of chemotherapy.  A target end date is August 8th - one month - but I don't know if it's going to happen.  I hope so.

July 7, 2002: Beautiful day for the Bronx Half Marathon, but unfortunately my knees held me to a shortened six mile run.  The TNT team did great, with mostly happy runners at the finish line.  It's amazing to be a cheering section for our teammates when they run (or walk/waddle/etc.) towards the end; big smiles when they hear us yelling their name.  This was the first race for a lot of our fall team - including my mentees Gary, Theresa and Ruth.  I was able to run the last few yards with each of them, providing (I hope) encouragement and support.  It is a very different experience training with a team that provides instruction and camaraderie.  I remember how much easier it was training for my first NYC marathon in the mid-1990s with a training partner (NYU B-school roommate Rob Moore) vs. training along.  And now training with over 100 people is great.  Irrespective of an individual's time, everyone supports everyone else.  Our coaches - Ramon, Michael and Catherine - set the tone, the mentors reinforce it, and everyone seems to embrace it. Being involved with TNT (even on days when I don't run the whole distance) has been a rewarding experience.


Some of the TNT Team at the Bronx Half Marathon - Rachels (Cohen and Salzman), Rick, Ann, Rich, Dustin, Jen, Coach Ramon, Rick, Leslie, Heather, Asst. Coach Catherine, Ainsley; (front) Kerry, Meredith, Vilda, Brad, Assistant Coach Mike, Peter

July 6, 2002: Cross-training (again) on the bike, trying to let my knees rest.  I hate the fact that I can't run in the beautiful weather - and today was beautiful.  My friend Neeta and I trekked around the boroughs of New York.  Upper West Side to the Upper East Side, Up the East River, over a bridge to Randall's/Ward Island, over the Tri-Boro Bridge to Queens, along the East River and over the Queensborough/59th Street Bridge, down First Avenue to the East River greenway, over the Brooklyn Bridge (pictured left) - with a lunch break at the Boro Hall Greenmarket - and back, and then up the West Side greenway.  Biking is the best way to see the city and as the biking/running lanes are improved, it is easier to travel traffic-free.

Saturday night was a TNT team carbo-loading dinner.  Fourteen of us dined on pasta preparing for the Bronx Half Marathon.

 June 30-July 1, 2002: Spent some time in Davis Park, Fire Island (off Long Island, New York in the Atlantic) with Gabe and his family.  It was a celebration of my uncle Harold's 60th birthday - and a great excuse for everyone to get together for a weekend of sun and drinking & eating.  Would have been a good place to run along the beach, but I'm still letting my knees rest for right now.  Need to see a doctor soon if it doesn't improve.

The long weekend with Gabe provided us a chance to talk one-on-one about having cancer, planning for the future, interacting with friends.  While he very much doesn't want to be different than other kids (and young adults since that is what he is becoming), he is different.  He said that he has matured faster in some areas and not as fast in others compared to his peers.  We talked about how hard it is to be left out when friends make plans and assume he's too sick to tag along.  He has missed two years of high school (being home-schooled) and two summers of hanging out.  We talked about how isolated he feels.  How former friends have drifted away.  Initially, he had visitors to the hospital, back during the summer of 2000.  But the visits have ended and he said if he doesn't make the effort to get in touch, he's forgotten.  He doesn't have the energy to go out all of the time.  Missing school bonding time and not having other means of connecting with friends means he's a bit of a lone wolf.  

The absence (or scarcity) of friends have been filled in with an abundance of experiences with his brothers.  Road trips to Hartford to visit with Noah.  Hanging with Judah before the eldest's departure for San Francisco in April.  Having Dan (the youngest) always tagging along and hanging around.  It provides some needed social interaction with the decrease of peers and strengthens the family bond.  I still worry.  And then worry about Dan, who isn't as social at school but leans on his relationship with Gabe as a substitute.  What happens to Dan when Gabe moves out (he's planning on moving to San Francisco to live with his brother Judah in the Fall/Winter)?

Cancer has its impact on whole families.


Gabe (middle, back) flanked by this brothers Dan (left), Noah (front), and Judah (right - eating)

June 23, 2002: Cross training on the bike (and taking a needed break from running).  Much less pain in my knees pedaling - and pedaling we did.  My friend Alyssa and I started in Central Park, biked along the Hudson River from the 90s to the Staten Island Ferry, up the East River path to the Brooklyn Bridge, to the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights and then up to Prospect Park.  Then it was the challenge of getting home after our 2 hour ride.  So back to Brooklyn Heights (with a bathroom and water break at my friend Frannie's), over the Brooklyn Bridge and back up the East Side to home.  

There is such a difference between running and biking for exercise. 

Spent the evening with Gabe's family - mom and dad, brothers Noah and Dan.  We went to see the family friend's Dan Carlton in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  Gabe is back from a week in London and is exhausted.  He traveled with three friends (sans parents), celebrating his 18th birthday in an English pub.

June 22, 2002: Another miserable day of running for me.  Perfect weather. Perfect route along the Hudson River.  Imperfect knees causing me pain.  Was able to run between 4-5 miles before my knees felt like they were locking up.  Unfortunately, I was 4-5 miles from where the team started (Central Park) so I had to run/walk back.  Starting to get a little worried about the pain which I've had on and off for three weeks or so.  I'm going to lay off road running for another week (stick with biking, blading and working out in the gym) and see if the knees feel better.  If not, time to think about seeing a doctor.

June 19, 2002: Just a little activism against Pallotta TeamWorks, the for-profit corporation that owns the AIDS Vaccine Three-Day walk and AIDS Ride events.  I know a lot of people are aware of the events produced by Pallotta (I attended the start and finish of the California AIDS Ride 7 last summer in San Francisco and Los Angeles) and I know a lot of people find the event moving and heart-warming.  Unfortunately, it looks like this business is being exposed by the charities it is suppose to be supporting as a profit seeking enterprise that is not benefiting its named causes.

Last year the beneficiaries of Pallotta's biggest and oldest event, the California AIDS Ride, severed ties with the company due to lower returns, despite an increase in overall donations. The two agencies, San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, decided to start their own ride, AIDS LifeCycle, which PTW tried to stop by filing a lawsuit.

June 18, 2002: Tuesday night of speed work/interval training in Central Park - and my knees felt better (at least after a warm-up loop of the bottom of the park).  Ran a quick 5 mile miles of lamp posts alternating speeds (3 fast, 2 slow then 5 fast, 2 slow).  I've never trained for a marathon with the right amount of speed training, which is so needed if one wants to run a "PR" (or personal record).  If I'm going to put in the time, I might as well try the hills/speed work/fartleks/etc.  Plus any change from just running long is welcomed.

I also mailed out a dozen or so letters to professional athletes today asking for donations.  The plan is to collect sports memorabilia and then auction it on eBay (donating the proceeds to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society).  Seems like a promising alternative to just hitting up friends and family for cash.  Have anything you think we can auction?  Fill out the form.

June 15, 2002: A bad day of running for me.  Scheduled for 10 miles, my knees sort of locked up after 6.  Had to limp around like an old man (which some people say I am quickly becoming!).  It happened once before - and went away.  I'm hoping that it is from a week of inactivity - no yoga, no running, no stretching (nothing but one day of easy biking).  I do need to get back to the yoga studio - my antidote for the lack of flexibility I have naturally and due to running.  And maybe some weight training would help to strengthen the muscles around my knees that don't get a great workout running.  But then I made up for the bad day in Central Park with a great brunch with a bunch of fellow runners - including my mentee Ruth.  I forget that there is a whole camaraderie aspect to Team-in-Training, as we train and eat and complain together.  Training for a marathon solo must be much harder without the support of others going through the same process.  Glad I'm doing it with TNT.

June 12, 2002: Fun social night with the folks from Team-in-Training - part reunion from the Vermont City, Montana and San Diego marathons and part birthday celebration for our coach Ramon.  About a hundred of us met at Helena's Tapas Bar to exchange pictures from the latest races and to make sure we could all walk again after the 26.2 mile adventure.  Many of us still haven't started running again after San Diego (less than two weeks removed), but I think I'm going to try and hit the pavement again this weekend.  On top of the recent marathoners, TNT-ers from the Spring season (London/New Jersey) and the current Fall Season (Maui/Hartford/Marine Corp) joined the Summer folks in bringing birthday cheer to Ramon.  He has taken our assistant coach's biking accident to heart - partly because of his close relationship with Gabby and partly because he was biking when she injured herself.  The guy has such a huge heart - a God sent for all of the first time (and experienced) marathoners participating in the program.  I'm glad we could help him smile - and show his wife Juana how much we appreciate Ramon's dedication and commitment to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Birthday Boy Ramon wears some of his cake on his face while Peter looks on and smiles
Party go-ers included Ramon's wife Juana and his assistant running coach Catherine (pictured at left with Peter), TNT runners from all three seasons coached by Ramon - Spring (London and New Jersey Shore marathons), Summer (San Diego, Montana, and Vermont City marathons), and Fall (Maui, Marine Corp and Hartford marathons), and other friends. 
Leading the Campaign for a Car-Free Central Park
Transportation Alternatives
seeks an end to car traffic on Central Park’s loop drive — 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. (but are not trying to block traffic from the four east-west transverses, which were intended to carry through-traffic as part of the park’s original design.). 

June 10, 2002: Met up with Gabe at Memorial Sloan-Kettering to review some things for the upcoming eBay auction we're planning.  Gabe was getting a blood check to make sure his "numbers" were o.k for his trip to England.  He leaves tomorrow for a week with three buddies -- a parent-free European Adventure.  Sort of scary that this leukemia patient still undergoing serious chemotherapy will pack up and go across the pond to the Old World - especially when the patient is a young 17 years old (but take note: Gabe does turn 18 on the 13th of June).  My aunt and uncle (and Gabe's doctor) trust Gabe to gauge how he feels.  He can push himself as much as he wants - and knows the ramifications.  He's lived nearly two years with leukemia, knows all of the drug interactions, meaning of his blood counts, physical limitation, etc.  We went to Great Adventure last week and he pushed himself - and rested when needed  I respect the fact that Gabe continues to live his life - in between hospital visits for chemo or admissions for a variety of adventures (infections, shingles, etc.).  Leukemia has taken away some things in his life, but it hasn't totally de-railed him.

And then I cross-trained. Two hours on the bike riding around New York City.  I still don't feel like I get as strenuous a workout on the bike (my heart rate doesn't get much above 120 beats per minute vs. 150+ running) but if I ever want to do a triathlon, I need to spend some time riding and swimming (I bought swim goggles today just to motivate me to start swimming).  The diversity of the City  is amazing.  I rode up the East Side esplanade, over the East River to Wards and Randalls Islands, over the Tri-Borough Bridge to Queens, through Astoria, over to Roosevelt Island, back to Queens and over the Queensborough/59th Street Bridge before heading back up to the East Side.  Probably not that far of a ride (15-20 miles) but through different neighborhoods, parks, and preserves.  I saw rabbits and wild turkeys -- in New York City!  There are  rarely explored parts of New York that us Manhattanites never see.

Some of the runners that I have the pleasure of supporting as their "mentor" - Ruth Gallogly, Gary Osborne, and Derek Smit
June 8, 2002: A beautiful day for exercising and working out in Central Park.  The team ran while I biked (I need to rest the knees a little from all of the running).  But to watch the team gain confidence in themselves - after running for more than an hour non-stop - is great.  At its basic level, running is a pretty simple sport.  You start out running - and keep going.  But to believe in yourself (especially to believe that you can run 26.2 miles) takes some time.  I know my first marathon was quite an adventure - starting  too quickly and running out of steam at mile #20.  The great thing about Team-in-Training is our coach Ramon conditions us - both physically and mentally - for the entire race.  When a TNT runner starts their marathon, they know about all of the challenges that lay ahead of them - and how to conquer each one.  And so far, all 158 TNT runners that Ramon has coached who started their marathon finished it!
June 6, 2002:A great birthday outing with Gabe and two of his favorite nurses from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center -  Catherine and Rebecca.  I was able to tag along to Six Flags Great Adventure theme park, where the goal was to conquer every roller coaster and thrill ride.  Nitro, Medusa, Great American Scream Machine,Batman the Ride -- we rode them all.  Gabe turns 18 next week and will hit two years of chemotherapy in a month.  Seeing him be just another thrill seeker (like me, Catherine, Rebecca, brothers Noah and Dan, plus friend Ariana) was extremely satisfying.  The hardest thing for me to see is Gabe's disease isolate him from friends.  He's been home-schooled for the past two years (and unfortunately won't graduate on time).  He's not going to his prom.  His stable of friends has been dramatically reduced over the past two years.  The disease not only steals his energy, makes him feel nausea, and hospitalizes him -- it is taking away years of being a teenage that he'll never get back.  Totally unfair.  At least we had a good day atGreat Adventure.   He's fighting hard - and still trying to live a normal life.  Next week (God willing) he's off to London for a week with some of his friends.  A parent-free adventure like graduating high schoolers are suppose to go on.

Rebecca, Peter, Noah and Catherine in the back.  Ariana, Gabe and Dan in the front during a photo shoot at Great Adventure.

June 2, 2002: Marathon Day for my brother Geoffrey.  We both decided to participate in the Team-in-Training program in honor of our cousin Gabe - who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia ("ALL") in July 2000 - in late 2001.  I ran the London Marathon in April (read my training journal) and Geoffrey was participating in the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon (read his training journal).  Running a marathon was a different challenge for Geoffrey than it was for me.  He's a better athlete than I am - and always has been - but he is not a runner while I have been for a long time.  This was his first marathon (while I had already ran three prior to London) and his training had a lot more "challenges" than mine  -- tendon pulls in his foot, a throat infection, etc.  Plus he had never run more than a half of a dozen miles or so prior to joining Team-in-Training.  I'm not sure I would have stuck it out with all of the bumps in the road he encountered.

Trained and ready, Geoffrey headed off to the start line at 4:00 AM while his cheering section (me, cousin Judah and fiancée Nita) stayed in bed - we didn't have to make it to the 6:45 AM start.  For those readers who have never watched a marathon, it is a lot like watching a bike or car race or any other event where the participants race by.  Spectators get to see runners for a few seconds longer than in NASCAR - and really adventuresome folks can hop into the race with a few for a few yards (or even miles) to chat with a friend.  The trick is to be at the finish with smiles and water, ready to direct the finisher to where ever they have to be.  Most people at the end of running 26.2 miles just want to sit down and can't think much beyond that.

Geoffrey finished smiling and happy to be done.  He said he ran his race like all of the long training runs he completed - a comfortable pace throughout the whole thing.  He talked about all of the cheers of encouragement he received along the route (it helps to have your name on your shirt - which I recommend for all marathoners).  He also doubts that he will ever run another one.  Something to do in life - check it off the list.

Geoffrey and I didn't run marathons to win the race.  Instead, we raised over $7,000 towards finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families who are battling one of the diseases.  We ran in honor of our cousin Gabe - who just wants to be a "normal" high schooler attending proms and parties instead of struggling through chemotherapy and fighting infections with antibiotics.  It was pretty powerful watching Geoffrey and 3,500 other TNT-ers running, walking, and sometimes limping through 26.2 miles, all knowing that they were helping find a cure for these diseases.

June 1, 2002: The Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is the Team-in-Training event.  Over 3,500 participating runners raise $12 million (or more than $3500 per person) for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  My brother Geoffrey was running with the Greater Los Angeles team - and he had his own personal cheering section that he brought with him to San Diego (me, his fiancé  Nita, and Gabe's older brother Judah).  We went to the marathon expo - which was a lot like every other marathon expo (registration plus a bunch of booths selling running gear, giving away samples of nutrition drinks, and hawking other things to the race participants).  But then we went to the TNT Pasta Party - which was unlike every other pre-race dinner I've been attended.  Sixty-five hundred diners listened to the TNT story - from a motivational video to a speech by Dr. Brian Drucker who discovered the Gleevec leukemia drug with funding provided by the L&L Society.  We were able to see where the millions of dollars TNT funds go - for research, patient services, etc.  It was quite moving - listening to the cheers of the thousands of runners and their family and friends applauding the work of the Society.

May 31, 2002: Flew to Los Angeles to surprise my brother Geoffrey - he's running with Team-in-Training in the Rock 'n' Marathon in San Diego.  Gabe's brother Judah drove down from San Francisco and picked me up from the airport.  We arrived at Geoff and his fiancé (Nita) apartment for dinner.

May 30, 2002: Fun morning workout with the team - 6:30 AM start!  At least that early there isn't the New York summer heat and humidity -- I know that it's coming.  We ran some loops of the Great Lawn and then did some stretching and strengthening work.  The variety of exercise is definitely good.  Ramon (the coach) said if you can just increase your stride 1 inch from the exercises, you can cut 4-5 minutes off your time (1 inch x 160 strides per minute x 210 minutes [a 3:30 marathon] is a savings of 33,600 inches - or 2,800 feet - or 933 yards -- which is more than a half of a mile!  Met another one of my mentees today (Sharon Michel) - and Kim and Gary were both there.  Now I just have to track down the rest of the crew and make sure everyone is staying on schedule for finishing Maui.

May 28, 2002: Training in Central Park's reservoir with the team.  Several of my mentees were present and accounted for (Ruth, Gary and Kim looked great running; Theresa and Sharon had work conflicts; I need to track down the rest of the crew).  I ran with a little stiffness from the weekend's marathon but running still felt pretty good.  The group is excited about the training, with the Maui Marathon 115 days away.  That should be plenty of time to fundraise enough money and train enough to have a great run in September.

May 26, 2002: I spent the weekend with a group of  Team-in-Training runners who ran the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont.  Of the 17 runners, I think almost all of them were first time marathoners.  The Pasta Dinner the night before the race was quite moving, listening to a mother talk about her family's fight with leukemia.  Her 4 year old daughter Meredith was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia ("ALL") last year, and the whole family become involved with the Leukemia Society's TNT program.  Meredith was bald (from chemo) and busy running around with her siblings and cousins.  Saw the family after the race as well. Puts a lot of things in perspective - about what is really important in life.  

Then I ran the thing - with the purple wig like in the London Marathon - and had a great time.  It was like a "training run" - not pushing the time and just enjoying the experience.  A respectable finish time (3:49:42 - about an 8:46 per mile pace) and then back to the course to cheer in the rest of the time.  My friend Emily (who works for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) and I camped out with a boom box blasting dance music, encouraging runners for the final half of a mile.

It's a great race because it loops through the downtown area of Burlington several times - allowing a runner to see their friends and family easily.  So despite being a small marathon (3,000 or so) it has a bigger feel because of the centralized crowds.
A big part of Marathon Weekend for all Team-in-Training events is the camaraderie that develops between all of the participants.  We train together for 4-5 months, but a lot of time people don't meet until the weekend.   Because everyone trains at different speeds, you might not know the runners who are at workout sessions with you if they are running faster or slower than you do.  The Weekend is a chance to hang out together, dine together, stress about the race together, and then celebrate together when it's all over.  The group from Vermont City (below) became good friends by the end - and I felt fortunate that I was able to spend Memorial Day weekend with them.  Plus, I was able to practice my hair styling skills on Coach Ramon's daughter Amanda (right).  Isn't she the cutest?  Too bad I have no idea what I'm doing to her hair!
Back: Mathew & Jennifer, ?, Dawn Marie, Rahima, Chris, Elka, Randy, Coach Ramon.
Front: Emily, me, Michael, Lucia, Ruth-Anne, Leigh & her boyfriend.

May 23, 2002: Spent the afternoon in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with Gabe and his mom.  Just a quick blood check post-infection from last week but with his counts really low he was exhausted.  So he received a pint of blood (his own pick-me-up "drug") and then the two of us (sans my aunt) headed back to Greenwich, Connecticut for dinner.  The drive home gave us a chance to talk about life.  He really just wants to be a normal kid again - and he's not really a kid anymore.  Gabe turns 18 next month and he's missing out on some of the things that his peers are doing.  His high school senior year isn't full of partying, proms and preparing for college.  But he has kept a positive attitude about all of it.  We talked about how much closer his family is because of his leukemia.  He was very appreciated of the support that I've provided to him.  I had to remind him that he has provided me a lot of new perspective in my life (what's important, what priorities should be, etc.).  From the bad comes some good.

May 22, 2002: The TNT Staff held a Fundraising Clinic to discuss ideas and strategies for reaching the dollars goals set for the program.  There were lots of good suggestions - with the key to start early with solicitation of friends and family (getting those letters written and into the mail).  There was also some discussion of Corporate Matching - where an employee's company matches donations (check out the partial listing of corporations that match).

Great Fundraising Ideas

  • Hold a Bake Sale - or Garage Sale
  • Email friends who haven't sent in a donation
  • Provide a service (babysitting, dog walking, house cleaning, etc.) in exchange for a donation
  • Ask a restaurant or bar to donate a portion of one day's income - or hold a party at the bar
  • Ask vendors who you do business with for a donation
  • Ask your employer to donate a day off
  • Organize a dress down day at work - those who donate can dress casually on the day
  • Organize a presentation at a club or organization and ask for a donation
  • Hold a dinner party at your home in exchange for donations
  • Publicize your efforts in a college alumni magazine or office newsletter
  • Return bottles and cans and donate the funds
  • ASK a stranger a day for a donation

May 21, 2002: Tuesday training on the reservoir in Central Park.  We did "intervals" where we ran sets of "fast run / slow run" (counting light posts) around the reservoir 2 or 3 times.  Relatively short run (4.5 miles or so) but a good chance for the team to see that they can run the distance comfortably.  In 120 days, the Maui runners are going to complete 26.2 miles.  A big part of completion is each person having self-confidence regarding finishing the marathon.  They're going to do great. Met Derek (one of my mentees) for the first time - briefly - and Ruth and Gary were both there. 

May 18: 2002: First day of training with the Team-in-Training Fall team -- and it poured!  So everyone wasn't there for our 8:00 AM start (I would have loved to have slept in) but a respectable sized group showed up for some soggy running.  Lots of excitement from those present.  I did see Ruth and Gary (some of my mentees) but didn't meet any of the others (who might have been there but trying to stay dry or run and go home).  Gary did call me at 7:15 AM to make sure we were still running.  Rain or shine.  Snow or sleet.  Our coach Ramon is going to be at training getting everyone prepared for their races.  Only 127 days until the September 22nd Maui Marathon.

May 17, 2002: Back to running and cross-training.  I did a loop of Central Park (6.1 miles) plus yoga at the gym.  All of this running tightens the muscles so yoga is the antidote.  I ran much of the loop with some guy from London -- the conversation started because I was wearing my London Marathon t-shirt (which I completed in April 2002).  He pushed me a little bit - speed was o.k. but my heart rate was a little high.  I try to run in a 155-165 beats per minute range (long runs a little lower, short runs or races a little faster).  It's a long way to my Fall marathon event(s) - Maui and NYC, Chicago or Marine Corp - so there is no need to burn out just yet.

My friends and fellow Maui mentors Rachel Cohen and Eliana Agudelo

May 14, 2002: I spent the day - and night - with Gabe in the hospital.  He was running a fever on Friday and checked into Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with an infection.  A day of antibiotics cleared it up but an admission gets him a week or so of in-patient care.  I was able to relieve his parents for a day -- people forget that a disease has an impact on the whole family.  Gabe's younger brother Dan is a freshman in high school and is home alone when Gabe is hospitalized (my aunt stays in the hospital and my uncle works in Ohio Tuesdays and Wednesdays).  By hanging out with Gabe playing video games and watching television, I'm able to let my aunt go back to work and spend time with Dan.  The only way I was able to beat Gabe in NHL '98 (Playstation) was to use "narcotics" (that is, Gabe's on pain killers, drifting in and out while I sneak a goal or two past him).  It's also good for Gabe to be with a non-parent sometimes.  My friends Rachel and Amy stopped by to visit which provided Gabe a chance to be a relatively normal kid talking about Kirsten Dunst and other celebrities instead of prednisone, vincristine, methotrexate, and other chemotherapy treatments.  He's gotten a bit isolated from friends (not going to school and not having a lot of energy to do a lot of anything) so I'm glad we were able to cheer him up a bit.
May 11, 2002: The Kick-Off meeting for the Fall TNT season was held at the YMCA in Mid-Town Manhattan.  Participants training for marathons (Maui, Marine Corp and Hartford), Tropical Island Century Ride, and triathlons (New York City and Walt Disney World) received all of there final instructions before beginning their journeys.  I met some of runners that I'm going to mentor -- Staci, Ruth, Gary and Theresa.  They all seemed excited about the challenge that lays in front of them.

 

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 March 03, 2004 .