Please note: My posts for events occurring between October 2014 and February 2015 are overdue but I wanted to finish each of them to start fresh once again. Starting in May of last year I began to struggle with extreme fatigue, which I first thought was simply the result of a very strenuous travel-work-running schedule. I worked hard to get “adequate rest” before launching into my busiest season at the start of September but by then I knew something more serious must be involved. In between road trips I scheduled consults, tests and medical procedures all the while trying to keep up with my events and obligations through the fall and winter. I’m happy to say I was able to manage this…but just barely. For each meeting, race, event, appearance, meal, speaking engagement or celebration you see in my blog photos, the reality was that I would go immediately back to my rental car or hotel and collapse with exhaustion. Although writing a blog requires little physical exertion I found myself feeling lethargic and unable to focus so instead I took advantage of the private moments to rest and conserve as much of my energy as possible. When I finish updating the missing events I will provide a detailed explanation of my health issues as I hope my doctors have finally determined the cause and likely solution to the fatigue. Thank you for your understanding and patience!
2 Half Marathons in Greensboro and Preparations for a 3rd in Charlotte
Wednesday, October 8th:
Tamara welcomes me back from San Jose just in time to cart me off to Charlotte for a long day of reconnaissance for TeamUP weekend, to be held here November 13th-16th. We are in charge of coordinating the Charlotte logistics since we live only 90 minutes away, while Angelina Paez plans the challenging agenda from her base in New Jersey. You'll learn more about TeamUP Weekend in a later post but for now we are now planning flights, accommodations, restaurant reservations, meeting times and spaces, transportation, race registrations and more for a group of approximately 30 people! As much as I wanted to rest a bit from busy weeks in Philadelphia and San Jose, we had to get this done this week because I'll be on the road again for the next 5 out of 6 weeks.
On that note, I must give the bulk of the credit to Tamara Smith, hired by Allard in July to assist on a part-time basis with various Get Back UP Today projects. When it was confirmed that Allard would generously host (and fund!) TeamUP weekend the only real way to make it come together was to pull Tamara from other projects and work on this enormous challenge solely. For every hour that I put into this effort, I know that Tamara easily did 10 times more and she made it easy for me to contribute from the road and in person as my travel schedule permitted. Thanks, Tamara!!
|Tamara (left) introduces me to Meredith Beaver and Ami McCormick|
of Visit Charlotte. They are giving us a guided tour of Uptown Charlotte
|One of many beautiful public spaces here in Uptown to be|
considered for potential photo shoots.
|Potential outdoor-covered photo shoot locale, which wouldn't require special|
permits and is adjacent to a small but picturesque park.
|In case you were wondering....|
|Public art installations can be found everywhere in Uptown.|
|All of our photos will be provided to the photographers|
in advance of their arrival in Charlotte so that they'll have an
idea of what's available without permits and where everything is located.
|This is the park adjacent to the planned Start & Finish festivities|
of the Charlotte Thunder Road Race Series. It's nice to know we're
only about 5 blocks from our host hotel.
|Some of these shots I took for reference as Meredith and Ami|
pointed out the locations of the restaurants Tamara and I planned
to check out this afternoon.
|We were told that this will be the site of the actual Finish Line|
for the Thunder Road races. I'm already thinking that this will
be our "post race" meeting spot since it's so easy to find.
|Another restaurant on our short list to visit today.|
|Thanks for our 3 hour walking tour--we really learned a lot!|
|This restaurant looked promising and we had just enough|
time to order 2 quick appetizers before going to our
|The food at Kings Kitchen was definitely fresh and|
local, however we learned that it would be very difficult
for them to accommodate such a large group that weekend.
One more marked off the list!
While the staff and the facility were top-notch here at Ability, we felt that the rooms were going to be too small to meet the needs of the videographers. For those of you in the O&P industry you will agree that most of the video of patients' gait is filmed in tight spaces with the individual walking a few steps forward and then back away from the camera again. It's difficult to tell what's really going on without longer walks back and forth and without filming from the side as well as front and back. It is our hope to collect numerous videos from a variety of angles to be used for research/education purposes during TeamUP weekend. With the wide spectrum of diagnoses/foot drop severity among co-captains we really don't to miss this opportunity. So, Ability is a backup option for us but not ideal.
Tamara took the initiative of reserving 2 of the corporate meeting rooms for our use throughout the weekend. We need 1 room for meetings and presentations and the adjacent room for individual gait analyses, videos and photo shoots. Without knowing if the lighting would be ideal for the latter our Westin host showed us other public spaces we could use at no charge as long as we were respectful of other guests who wished to use the same spaces.
Thursday and Friday were long days of meetings and planning-correspondence to keep things on track for TeamUP weekend. The good news is that I've been able to sleep in my own bed for 4 nights straight--a rare occurrence these days--and I've been eating well and thanks to a prescribed medication I've been restoring some of my stamina. I've decided that I feel strong enough to honor my commitment to run the Cannonball Half Marathon, but after last week's flat course in San Jose I'm not sure how my body will hold up to the hills here this weekend. Let's give it a go!
|The race starts and finishes at Country Park in Greensboro,|
one of our most beautiful and historically significant local
|Awaiting the start of the Half Marathon and the 5K.|
|Are we crazy? Barring unexpected changes in our schedule|
we're in the midst of 5 Half Marathons in 5 weeks.
|Here we go!|
Country Park is the host venue and I’m not going to lie has a few hills. The course is an out and back that crosses beautiful Lake Brandt. You will have views of Lake Brandt and much of the course is a closed greenway. The leaves are just beginning to turn in October so you won’t find a better backdrop.
The half marathon has a time limit of 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Oct in North Carolina is usually perfect for running. Average October Temperatures: Low 47° / High 68°. But be warned heat can be an issue. Temps could be in the 80s
|We find our friend, Rick Buckner, cheering us up|
the last hill to the finish line. Thanks, Buck, for the support!
|The finish line party is really fun at the Cannonball: great|
music and plenty of local beer and food trucks with which
to reward yourself afterwards.
|It's so great to see friends from home!|
|I was shocked to learn that I won my age group,|
but that's the upside of running a challenging race--
not so many folks in your age group!!
|My time was just under 2:04, certainly not my best time ever|
but considering the hills, the heat today and my ongoing medical
challenges I'm extremely pleased with this.
|As we say here in the south, "Cheers, Y'all!"|
Saturday, October 18th:
Six days after the Cannonball Half I'm ready to tackle the Greensboro Half Marathon. All week long I've been shuttling myself from one doctor appointment to another, with computer in tow to keep up with all my work while I wait ridiculous hours in waiting rooms. I'm ready to get outside for a break!
|It's a gorgeous fall day here in Greensboro! Center City Park,|
just 7 blocks from our house, is proving to be a perfect spot for
|Jim says he's happy to have survived the hills and heat today.|
| (Jim) Austin powers: International Man of Mystery?|
Here he is sporting his Montreal 1/2 Marathon shirt with
his Dublin 1/2 Marathon hat and Greensboro 1/2 Marathon medal.
Nicely done, Jim!
|I was happy to find honorary co-captain Steve Loflin in|
the park today. He's been recovering from a surgery but
showing clearly that he's on the way to Getting Back UP.
|On the walk home Jim asks O. Henry for his autographh.|
See you next week in Los Angeles for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon!