Donation – Cancer Research Institute

For the SF Marathon, I made a $250 donation to the Cancer Research Institute (CRI).  I’m also planning a (belated) group volunteer event, probably sometime at the end of summer.


The CRI helped provide funding to the scientist who developed the HPV vaccine.  Also, they have limited overhead costs–I read that around 85% of your donation goes to their dedicated programs.




Marathon training week 5 (of 7) – Race #4



It’s official.  I’m bowing out of the Rehoboth Marathon.  There are a few reasons for this, but the primary one is that I have a medical issue that I need to get checked out.  I’m anticipating that everything is ok, but the doctor indicated for me to back off before he cleared everything.  It’s a bit of a bummer, but if I was completely honest, it always felt like a little tight schedule to run this one in that time frame.  I’m still going to run to maintain my fitness–I’ll probably do 5-7 mile runs 3 to 4 times a week until I get clearance that I’m alright.  I still might do the half at Rehoboth, mainly since I already paid for the bib and for the hotel room the night before.


This speed bump isn’t entirely unexpected though.  I was expecting this 50+1 journey to have it’s fits and starts, and as long as everything is medically ok, I’m going to continue onwards once I get the medical green light.  After I’m cleared, I’m going to look around and see if I can get another marathon in before the baby comes in mid-March.  The timeline might be a little tough, and I know that Jess won’t be able to travel very far once we get close to the baby’s arrival, so hopefully I can find a February race in PA.  Let’s see.


The only thing that I’m really bummed about is possibly missing my goal of hitting 1000 miles this year.


So this week, I ran only once, an 8.2 mile on Tuesday after which my medical issue popped up.






I’m suspending the marathon training for this race.  So the goal is now just to maintain the fitness that I’ve built up.  I’m probably going to take this time to work in some more strength training as well.  Thanksgiving is next week, and I’m sure that coming back from it will require hitting the gym extra hard.




This week was pretty chill.  On Saturday I asked some of my friends to volunteer with me to plant trees in DC with an organization called Casey Trees.  I have to say, this volunteer experience was probably one of the best ones I’ve had.  It was an incredibly organized event which made the day feel worthwhile.  I’ve volunteered at other places where due to the disorganization, you don’t really feel like you’re helping and you kind of feel like your time was wasted or not used.  Totally the opposite experience here, and I’ll definitely go back.  Plus, it was awesome to be outside.  The weather in DC was just gorgeous yesterday morning, mid 60s for a mid-November day.


Overall, there were about 100 volunteers that planted 200 trees.  My friends and I were split into two groups and together we put up 10 trees.  I’m glad to have a good group of friends to have done this with.  Here are some pictures from the event.




Other than that, Michigan beat Indiana en route to it’s epic showdown with Ohio State next week.  I can’t wait.  #2 vs. #3, for a chance to play for the national championship game.  This is the biggest game since that epic #1 vs #2 game in 2006, ten years ago.  Sports, and college football in particular, is a good way for me to pass the time.  Man, things sure have changed in the last ten years.  I was in my second year of law school then and now I’m a pretty experienced attorney.  Crazy to just stop and think about it.  I hope that ten years from now, I’ll be able to look back and see how much I have grown as well.


Donation – Stand Up to Cancer

As I’ve mentioned before, part of the motivation for this marathon journey is for me to do some actionable and positive things to help those with cancer.  Part of this, obviously, comes from my mom’s diagnosis, but as I’ve gone on this training regiment, I’ve learned that when you hear stories of cancer survival, it actually is remarkable how much strength you see in ordinary people who fight.  So instead of seeing it as this give-and-take relationship, I see it more of a way to contribute to some of the strength that people already are giving just by fighting and being who they are.


For the Baltimore Marathon, I’m on my 100;2 round, explained here.  I don’t like asking people for their money, and I only will do that if I know and can communicate to them how their money is being spent.  I’m wondering that instead of asking people for money, maybe I’ll ask for their time–to volunteer with an organization or spend some time in the community, and then afterwards go out for dinner and drinks.  Maybe that is something that I will try to organize for my next race.


Anyway, for this race, I made a $250 donation to the Stand Up To Cancer organization.  You may have heard about them–they did a large scale prime time TV spot a month or so ago.  From everything I have heard and read about the organization, it’s a pretty good one.

Money trees

On my latest run, I had an idea for how I would raise money in a manageable way. Here’s my plan. I’m going to group marathons into sets of five, and for each race in the group, I’m going to increase the amount I raise by a constant multiple, starting at a base number for the first race in that set. Confused?  Me too, but I tend to over complicate things. Here’s a nerdy, but simple formula to figure it out:

Money = B x F (N-1)


N = race number (1 to 5);

B = base for that sequence of five races (seed dollar amount);

F = race set exponential factor.

Yeah, this is the shit I think about when I run.

The idea here is that I can plan my fundraising in five race increments. If I’m feeling slow or less ambitious, I choose a low base number, B, and a low factor, F.

As I do more races, I choose a higher base number and factor.

For the first five marathons, I’m selecting a base of B = 100 with a factor of F = 2, which means my fundraising goals for the first five races are $100, $200, $400, $800, and $1600 respectively. For the next five I might do B = 200, F = 2 or maybe B = 25, F = 3.

Hopefully you see where I’m going with this. It allows me to mentally chunk races together. The first five are going to be a “100, 2” round. The next five may be “200, 2” round or a “25, 3” round. It’s a way for me to tailor my training intensity and match my fundraising ambitions to it. I apologize for the math and analytics.  It’s the electrical engineer in me coming out.

So all of this nonsense was a long way of saying, my goal for the Baltimore race is to raise $100. Totally manageable, I can even just self-fund it myself.