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September 29, 2005

Training and Fundraising: Week 6

The training is going along great now, and I can definitely feel the difference. All that mileage that I've been doing, mileage that I hadn't been putting in in marathons past, is paying off.

And the Schofield 25K, which I ran on Sunday, is the proof. I've been holding a steady 9:25 pace, the same rough pace that I had kept over 15K and 20K, but this time over a moderately hilly 25K (15.5 mile) course. The official time was 2:26:11, and my second half was about two minutes faster than my first. Coolness! And it was too, rather cool in the morning at 5:30, with clear skies and very little wind. Couldn't have asked for better conditions.

Mileage summary for the week ending 9/25/05: Monday 4, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 5, Thursday 3, Friday and Saturday 0, Sunday 16 (Schofield 25K). Total for the week: 34 miles.

My training week so far started out sluggish, with tired legs from the 25K, and a 20 minute tempo run that Coach Jon had us do around the Ala Wai area. But I was able to get in some good workout, and even give blood at the same time. Well, sort of. This time, I decided to give just my platelets. (More in a separate entry.) I'm scheduled for a 2 hr. 15 min. run on Saturday, though, how that's going to play out with this flash flood watch we're under for the weekend remains to be seen.

On the fundraising front, I had three more donations (thanks Kane & Jackie, Rolf, and Joyce). With that and volunteer hours from working packet pickup for the 25K, I'm finally over the $1,000 barrier. Gathering $600 in sixty days now doesn't seem like such a daunting task, and the light at the end of the first tunnel is nearing. Then I can have fun gathering as much money as I can afterward.

With that fundraising shot in the arm, I have the recommitment forms filled out and ready to fax to Jen at the LLS Chapter Office tomorrow, in time for the deadline. So this story will continue for another two months...stay tuned.

Posted by Keith at 08:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

Recommitment: Go or No Go?

Man, has it been a week and a half already? Sorry for the irregular updates. I've been short on sleep on lately. One thing about marathon training is that it takes a lot out of you, and these days I've found that I've been needing more and more sleep, but somehow not delivering quite enough. Gotta get into the habit of getting more shut-eye.

I think I've come down with my first official injury of the season...a minor ache in my left knee. It goes away as I run, but it comes back every so often. It's not excruciating, but it does cause me concern. I've been icing it regularly, trying to stay away from the anti-inflammatories as much as possible, and today I went down to Sports Authority to pick up another pair of shoes (I think, with the mileage I've been logging, it's due for a change anyway).

For some reason, I've noticed that most of my injuries have been on my left leg. A case of shin splints that all but sidelined me for a few months a couple years back affected my left shin, and now this. Maybe it's the way I've been put together. Anyway...

Finally got some movement on the fundraising front after a few weeks of holding steady...a $25 donation (thanks, Aunty Sharon!). At this point, I'm at $881, over halfway to the minimum. I'm looking into some alternative fundraising avenues now...if you have any ideas, please let me know.

But right now, I face a decision. By September 30, I have to decide whether to recommit to the team and tell them to order shirts, party tickets, and such on my behalf. By doing so, though, I would guarantee them that I will raise my minimum of $1600. In other words, if I come up short, I have to make up the difference, which could be substantial.

I have to admit, though, that when I signed on to do this at the beginning of August, I had no idea that one hurricane would cause so much damage and cause people to open their wallets and send their limited money to the Red Cross. And by the time you read this, another one will probably cause even more damage, and generate even more donations. Rightfully so, of course, and I have made personal donations to the Red Cross as well. But several times in recent weeks I've felt like I'm on the wrong side, and that with what's been going on, I have no business competing against the Red Cross for money.

At the same time, though, I do have almost $900 collected and hope to break four figures soon. I have all these people supporting me in my quest, and by dropping out I would definitely let them down. So I'm inclined right now to throw caution to the wind, redouble my fundraising efforts, and recommit.

After all, leukemia and lymphoma will still be around even after New Orleans is rebuilt.

So, I'd like to thank those of you who have given, and make a plea. If you've already given, please accept my heartfelt thanks. I have probably thanked you in person or by way of a personally written card, and if I haven't, rest assured that I will. If you've verbally pledged your support but haven't given yet, I hope you will make your donation soon. The sooner I get your donation, the less stress I'll feel.

And, if you've stumbled across this page, think that this is a good cause, and have some ka-ching lying around that you haven't already earmarked for, say, the Red Cross, perhaps you might consider sending some of it to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society? Just a suggestion... :)

Posted by Keith at 08:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2005

Generosity That Goes Clear to the Marrow

Along with the $100 in donations that came in on Thursday was a 5" x 8" postcard reminding me of a commitment that I made more than a decade ago. Although I've never had to follow through on my commitment (one time I came very close...more in a minute), I still remain committed to it today.

It was from the National Marrow Donor Program, thanking me for being a committed donor, and reminding me that, "As a volunteer marrow donor, you offer a patient a second chance at life. If you ever match a patient in need of a transplant, we will need to get in touch with you right away." I remember that a few years ago they used to send eight-page full-color glossies that had articles on successful bone marrow transplants. I guess now with rising costs and privacy laws, that become impractical.

But anyway, a little bit about the NMDP. In the past, bone marrow transplants were effectively limited to those who were lucky enough to have matches in their families. The NMDP changes all that. Started back in 1987, the NMDP has facilitated more than 20,000 bone marrow transplants for patients with no matches in their immediate families. They maintain a database of the tissue types of more than 5.5 million people, and manage the whole matching process from patient request to donor identification all the way to post-transplant.

I first joined the registry in 1994 at Lewis & Clark, when I was a member of a college service club. We were in charge of the quarterly blood drives on campus (that was also where I first gave blood, which led to several gallons more...more on that in another entry). At one blood drive, our student government offered to pay the tissue typing fee for up to 100 donors, so I was one of those that took advantage of it. It was easy...just a few extra vials of blood on top of my one-pint donation. No muss, no fuss.

And other than receiving the full-color glossies once a year, I didn't think much about it.

Until July 24, 2001, when the Red Cross blood bank in Portland called me, saying my tissue type was a potential match for a young child (an infant girl, I would later find out). My records were transferred from Oregon to the Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry at St. Francis Medical Center, and I was taken care of by the staff over there. They answered my questions, and drew a few more additional vials of blood to be sent to be tested.

In the end, however, three months later I found out that my tissue was not as good a match as they had hoped, and the process ended there for me.

Later, I'll update this entry with some entries from my old journal, to give you an idea of what was going through my mind then. It's interesting for me to re-read and re-experience how I felt. In the entry in which I worked through the rejection, I did say, "Maybe next year I'll join Team in Training." Well, "next year" was four years in coming. And, now that I think about it, I think I did attend an information meeting back in 2002, but was scared off by the fundraising commitment. But here I am in 2005, raising money and training for the Team.

That's probably why receiving that postcard in the mail held special significance this year. One day I'll probably be called again, and perhaps that time I'll find my way to the operating table. But for now, training with TNT will do.

Posted by Keith at 09:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

Turbo-Charge Your Donation at Foodland

For those of you in Hawaii, there's a great way to make your donation go even farther. During the month of September, Foodland, through its Give Aloha program, will match your donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as much as dollar-for-dollar.

(They will match up to $300,000 total over all organizations, proportionally divided if the total take exceeds $300K. For example if they take in $600K in donations, Foodland will still add $300K to the kitty, matching $1 for each $2 in donations.)

Here what you need to do:

  1. Make a donation (up to $249) to LLS at your local Foodland or Sack N Save store using your Maika'i card. The Give Aloha code for LLS Hawaii Chapter is 77645. Checks and such should be made payable to Foodland (not LLS).

  2. So that I can receive credit for my fundraising, I need a copy of your donation receipt. You can give it to me personally, mail it to me, or e-mail me a scanned copy. If you are interested and need my contact info, send a comment to me with your name and e-mail address (do NOT use Typepad), and I will reply back without publishing your comment. As always, your donation is still tax-deductible. It is important, however, that you keep the original copy for your tax records; that is the only record that you will have if you go this route.

From there, I will forward your receipts to the LLS chapter office, and I will get credit for your base donation. The matching amount from Foodland will be divided among participants who turn in receipts.

If you have any questions, please comment me. Mahalo!

Posted by Keith at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fundraising Update: "Rounding Diamond Head"

Three more donations that came in yesterday for a total of $100 has pushed me over the $800 mark. Thanks to Gary & Elisa, Grandma, and Roy & Lynda.

This is a big milestone right now as it is half the minimum amount that I have to raise for TNT participation. But I'm not going to stop until the full goal has been reached.

At $100 a mile, I'm at mile 8 toward my goal. On the actual marathon course, mile marker 8 is the makai side of Diamond Head, at the top of a very steep hill. It's an uphill battle, but I'm grateful for your support.

Posted by Keith at 06:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Challenged by Cancer

An excellent article about a child who is fighting leukemia is in the Island Life section of today's Honolulu Advertiser. Along with the article in a sidebar were some facts:

But the good news is that cure rates are increasing, and with more aggressive and effective treatments survival rates have improved. Your donation makes these more effective treatments possible.

Posted by Keith at 07:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 04, 2005

Training Update: Week 4

T minus 98 days and counting.

Yet another early morning, this time on a holiday weekend. This time I was down at the other end of the island, on the former grounds of Barbers Point Naval Station, for the Kalaeloa 20K. 12.4 miles.

Actually did OK this time, despite rather hot and humid weather. 1:57:20, around 9:27/mile, about the same pace on average as I did during the Normal Tamanaha 15K two weeks ago. Was struggling quite a bit on mile 7, but a gel at the next aid station worked wonders. Next time, though, I'm sticking to PowerGel. I tried this new Accel Gel, which also adds 25% protein to the mix to aid recovery, but it tastes nasty, or at least the flavor I tried did. And I'm carrying more of them, at least one for each 30 minutes.

I think perhaps I've found my goal marathon pace? 9:27 pace for a marathon would put me around 4:07:35, around my PR time. That would be a great improvement over last year when I ran 4:59 flat. That I was able to run that pace and not slow down so much is great.

Getting closer in training, getting closer in fundraising, getting closer to the date.

For the week ending 9/4/05: Monday 4, Tuesday 5, Wednesday 5, Thursday 2 (7 x 200 with 200m recovery), Friday and Saturday 0, Sunday 12.4 (Kalaeloa 20K). Total 28 miles.

Posted by Keith at 05:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 03, 2005

I Can't Put It Down

I've been blogging for a while, and have found some neat tools. There's a tool called Technorati that searches blogs to find posts that meet your criteria, and they serve up the freshest ones it can find. I found quite a few from people who are also doing Honolulu:

But one blog in particular that found this way, I cannot put down. I'm reading it cover to cover and I suggest you do the same. Leukemia, Eh!? chronicles a young Canadian college student's fight against leukemia. Right now, he's recovering from a bone marrow transplant (and at one point thought about doing TNT in Honolulu but his current health wouldn't allow; that's how I found it in the first place). However, I suggest you start reading from November 2004 and read each entry, which chronicles his chemotherapy, lumbar punctures, bone marrow biopsies...the whole works.

Posted by Keith at 06:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

Fundraising Update: Above $400 $700

With two FIVE good-sized donations this week, my fundraising total has just broken the $400 $700 mark. Making steady progress. WOW!!!

Thanks to those who have given so far: Angela, Randall, Rob, and Mike, Uncle Henry & Aunty Maureen, Uncle Stanley & Aunty Janet, and Dean Miyamoto. (And one other close friend of mine who has requested anonymity...if she's reading this, she knows who she is).

Posted by Keith at 08:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack