December 02, 2005

I'm Over The First Finish Line! Part 2

T minus 8 days and 7 hours, and counting.

It's my firm belief that nothing happens by chance. And sometimes surprising things happen at just the right time that you need them. Some people call it serendipity, others call it divine intervention. Whatever you call it, it happened to me today.

So here I was last night, the day before my deadline, just a little less than $100 short of my goal, making some final appeals to people to give. Granted, I was much further along than being $600 short at recommitment, and I figured if necessary I would just write a check to cover the shortfall and be done with it. But something in me still wanted to be over the top come today. After cashing in some spare change at a CoinStar machine, and having received another donation from Andrew, I started the day just $50 short, tantalizingly close.

One person to whom I had sent a letter but who hadn't responded was my dentist, Dr. Chad. (That's what the office staff calls him, and I actually went to high school with him, so I just call him Chad...very rare for a person to be on a first-name basis with his dentist. But I digress.) I had originally had a dental cleaning scheduled for today, and I figured it would be the best time to ask him in person for a contribution. But because I had a conflict I rescheduled it earlier that week to Wednesday morning.

Unfortunately, Dr. Chad didn't work that Wednesday. But I brought up an issue with the hygienist...I had an irritation in the back of my mouth behind my last molar that was causing some bleeding. The cleaning itself went smoothly, some areas of gingivitis and some bleeding, but the hygienist was concerned about that back area and decided to schedule me to come in to see Dr. Chad. The earliest time slot... Friday, early morning, before the meeting that forced me to reschedule in the first place.

Fast forward to today. I came in and was seated in the chair. If I seemed a bit tense, it's because I was. I was working out in my head how best to ask him for a donation, perfecting my pitch in my head.

Turned out it wasn't necessary. He said when he first saw me, "I think I should give you this," handing me the self-addressed envelope from my fundraising packet. What could I say, other than "thank you"?

But the story doesn't end there. After my appointment, his dental assistant decided to gather some cash donations from the other staff in the office, and even a check from Dr. Chad's partner, Dr. Motooka, whom I had never met. One of the hygienists thanked me personally, since she had an uncle who died of leukemia; and my trusty dental assistant told me that she's a cancer patient herself, going through chemotherapy for colon cancer.

Like I said, what could I say? I went in there just hoping to get a small donation to the cause, and when I did the math later on, it turned out I had taken in $195. Dr. Chad himself donated $100. Nga, Verna, Robin, Nancy, Ellaine, and Dr. Motooka, thank you all!

And added on to the money I had so far, I'm now at a grand total of $1,748...almost $150 over my quota. I'm still on cloud nine, 'cause I've crossed the first finish line of my journey!

So now, once I turn in the funds to Jen tomorrow at final prep, I can finally concentrate on reaching the second finish line, the marathon itself. And that I should know how to do. And if I could raise that much, who knows? A new PR is definitely possible...maybe even a sub-4 hour? Anything is possible now.

Posted by Keith at 09:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

FLASH: I'm Over The First Finish Line!

Today is our final fundraising deadline for TNT, and if all my calculations are correct, I've made my minimum!

It's not yet official as I haven't yet turned in my funds to Jen, but if my math is right, I'm currently at $1,748. Almost $148 over my minimum, and the last $195 was made today!

More details to come when I get home.

Posted by Keith at 11:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2005

Time for the Taper

Sorry for the silence over the past month. Part of it was due to computer problems that I experienced earlier this month...apparently my three-month old computer had cancer of the hard disk, so I had to bring it in to CompUSA for a transplant. Fortunately, the insurance...I mean the warranty covered it. Man, I'm starting to talk cancer now...

Anyway, a lot has happened since the last time I wrote. I finished the Val Nolasco Half Marathon on November 6 in a time of 1:55:59...faster now over 13.1 miles than I did a few months before over 12.4 miles.

Then, over the next two weeks, I ran 16 miles, then last Saturday, I did the traditional 20-mile run from Kapiolani Park out to Hawaii Kai and back. And I felt good afterward, a bit tired, but not sore afterward.

When I think of how far I've come so fast, it startles me. I think I'm ready for a really good marathon. I hope I can hold pace and keep going strong even through the last six miles.

Now it's time for the taper...dropping mileage in preparation for the race. I feel so good now that by the time the last week comes around and I start carbo-loading I'm going to be bouncing off the walls.

But now for business...I'm getting closer and closer. I'm within $150 of my minimum. Just six donations at $25 will put me over the top. Thanks to Andrew, Lance & Kathy, and Ann for their donations!

I repeat, just six $25 donations. Or three $50 donations. Won't you be the person who puts me over the top? Donate today.

Posted by Keith at 07:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 20, 2005

Almost to the Half-Marathon!

The fundraising is coming along. I'm almost at the $1,300 mark...the half marathon point. I've been cashing in spare change and aluminum cans at home, and I've put a few unused books on and sold a few. And I've got a few more donations as well.

Thanks to Aunty T, Glenn & Cindy, and Misako (Misako, your support as someone who has done TNT before has been invaluable, and every little bit counts...thanks!). And special thanks to Eric, who gave a really generous gift! Eric, I treasure your friendship and wish you the best of luck in your own quest for the marathon finish line!

On the "marathon course," I'm now on the highway passing by Wailupe Beach Park, on the way out to Hawaii Kai. My main goal is to make it out to Hawaii Kai ($1,600, 16 miles), then as far as I can on the return trip.

Keep it coming, folks! While I'm working on getting to the actual finish line of the marathon, I'm counting on you to help push me to the fundraising finish line, and push the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that much closer to its ultimate finish line...a cure for blood-related cancers. It's a team effort, and you're part of my team. Think of it this way...with your donation, you are figuratively running with me. Ask yourself, if you could run side by side with me for part of the distance, and physical condition were no object, how far would you run? Then give accordingly. Thank you for your support!

Posted by Keith at 10:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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 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 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