Happy 4th of July! Quick update on our fundraising efforts to support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and cancer research:
Training Update –
I’ve been doing lots of hill work to get ready for the upcoming races and I just ran 8 miles on this beautiful afternoon… and I have some good endorphins going right now! Tomorrow promises to be even better running weather so I’m spending Independence Day doing a 50-ish mile training run…yea I know, “training” run! It will be at Oak Openings park which is one of my favorite places to run. Come out and join me if you can!
Getting ready for the Eastern States 100 on August 16th and the Oil Creek 100 on October 11th…has been tougher than I thought it would be. I think it’s more mental than physical…this is the earliest in the year training season for me ever. I’m a little behind where I think I should be so tomorrow will be telling. Finding the time and the energy to get out and run over the last few weeks has been a struggle. But, we’re going to keep on keeping on! Send lots of good vibes for strong legs! :-)
Honoree Update –
My friend George Evanoff is doing well. He is already finishing chemo and radiation and looking into some clinical trials. Keep your fingers crossed! I took him to church last Sunday (he can’t drive due to the surgery so I get to play chauffeur once in a while!) and he was cracking jokes and is highly optimistic…there’s no quit in George!
My sister Elizabeth had her chemo delayed a little bit and should start next week…and that will last several months. Then she has several years of meds…fun stuff…and she expects her hair to be gone by the end of August…I told her “bald is beautiful!” I have a feeling she’s going to embrace her baldness…no quit in my Sis either!
Please keep them both in your prayers!
Donor Update –
Big Woohoo! to our early donors Jenn Wenzke, long time Honoree Andrea Loch, and Deb Yeagle! Thank you Ladies! I’ll be thinking of you and all of our Honorees …162 to date…all day tomorrow while I am on the trail. You keep me going!
If you have a family member or friend with cancer or lost to cancer that I can run for, please send me their name and their story. I would be honored to run for them!
It takes more than one person to make up a team and that’s why I’m asking you to donate to my TNT fundraising page! Your donation will help fund treatments through LLS that save lives every day; like immunotherapy’s that use a person’s own immune system to kill cancer. Every single donation helps save a life with breakthrough therapies such as these!
I need your help to reach my $10,000 fundraising goal for cancer research! Please consider a donation.We need all the help we can get to fight the good fight. Thank you!
It’s that time again! I am on a mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers and all cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m running 2 special races this year in Honor of 2 special people…as well as running for all of my Honorees!…and doubling my annual fundraising goal to $10,000!
My 2 special Honorees this year are my friend George Evanoff and my sister Elizabeth Lewis-Smith. Both were recently diagnosed in the last couple of months, George with a brain tumor and Liz with breast cancer. Both have had surgery and George started chemo and radiation treatments a couple of weeks ago and Liz starts chemo next week. They are two of the hardest working, most positive, can-do attitude people I know…they are fighters and doing well!
For them and all my Honorees, I am running the Eastern States 100 on August 16th and the Oil Creek 100 on October 11th…two very tough races for two very tough individuals! And in the middle of all that, on September 27th, I will be supporting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the good fight by running the Akron Marathon…all in all, 226.2 race miles for a cure! Woohoo!
Through all of these races and many long training days over the next few months I will be carrying my Honoree list made up of friends and family with cancer and lost to cancer. The list includes Herb Landis, Paula Massey, my friend Rodney Cundiff – brain tumor survivor, Judy Evanoff (George’s wife!) – lost to melanoma, my uncle Jack Connor – colon cancer survivor, my Mom – breast cancer survivor and many others…162 to date. It is my honor and privilege to run for all of my Honorees. When the miles get long and lonely, I remember their struggle and they keep me going!
It takes more than one person to make up a team and that’s why I’m asking you to donate to my TNT fundraising page! By participating as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) TNT, I am raising funds to help find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients.
Your donation will help fund treatments through LLS that save lives every day; like immunotherapy’s that use a person’s own immune system to kill cancer. Every single donation helps save a life with breakthrough therapies such as these!
I need your help to reach my $10,000 fundraising goal! Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures for all! It won’t be easy…it never is…but it will be worth it!
If you have a family member or friend with cancer or lost to cancer that I can run for, please send me their name and their story. I would be honored to run for them!
Please consider a donation. We need all the help we can get to fight the good fight. Thank you!
Haven’t run in 2 weeks…been resting the knee which I tweaked 6 weeks ago at the Oil Creek 100 and then ran 2 more marathons over the next 30 days…yep, crazy idiot stuff which qualifies me for the IRC, Idiot Running Club, (a real club…thinking of joining)… but it was for a fundraiser, $4500, to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and cancer research…worth every mile!
So, the last 2 weeks with no miles…yesterday tried a couple of miles walk/jog…did ok but not great, so maybe another week…but what’s weird is that I feel strangely ok with not running…
Part of it may be that I:
logged nearly 1700 miles to get ready for the races…might have overdone it
am finally getting out of Marathon Brain – kind of like when you hit the wall but carried over to real life…you can’t do the math, can’t remember where you were going…very embarrasing
am finally catching up on 6 months of procrastination…more like 8
am eating cookies again…and pizza…and Ketchup! :-)
Found this quote…only logged a couple of 100 mile weeks…but it seemed appropriate:
“If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want — Why? Because (a) you’ll burn all the calories you consume, (b) you deserve it, and (c) you’ll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway.” –Don Kardong
Working on next year’s training schedule… I think I hear a cheese burger calling my name! :-)
Ran the Glass City Marathon yesterday with lots of rain, great volunteers, and some awesome runners. Made my goal of new best GCM time of 3:38:42 which was 4:16 faster than my previous time set way back in 2006! Don’t feel so old today! Woohoo!
That’s one race down, 2 to go…for my Honorees…for LLS…for a cure! Go Team! If you missed it, check out the plan.
Next race is the North Country 50 Miler on August 24th so ultra-marathon training starts today!
Thanks to Liz Schier, Dave Schlaudecker, Deb Spero, Karen Landis, and Steve Grindle and the staff at Champion Credit Union for early donations and pledges for the cause. You guys are awesome! We are on our way!
We are adding Michael Warren to our Honoree list for our friend Jessica Blattner. Here is what she shared:
“…my nephew Michael Warren in Dayton who suffers from lymphoma after being diagnosed about a year ago. He’s undergone many rounds of chemo so far and the prognosis isn’t good due to his on-going infections….but he’s gotten cleared enough for a bone marrow transplant in the next month and has his match. It’s grim based on the health he’s in and withering away of his body and strength. However, it’s his only real hope and he’s prepared to fight hard. He’s only 28. He was a full time airman at Wright Patterson AFB in the aerospace medicine field when he was diagnosed. Michael was always a star athlete, very successful in soccer. He misses it a lot. He loves sports, the Cincinnati Reds & OSU anything.
He ended up with some gastrointestinal issues through all of the chemo, developed a fissure and it got infected, the infection spread and went to his blood I believe….it all kept getting bad. As soon as he’d get strength there’d be a setback. A couple months ago he underwent a couple surgeries including a reversible colostomy among some other gastro things. He’s in remission with maintenance chemo ongoing. It’s been quite the road, and he plowed through and worked at the base as long as he possibly could in the early months. He was told by the transplant dr that he was not ready to handle it and it kept getting moved back, and back, and back. Then just a couple wks ago he was told no again by the transplant dr. A no that was final. It left him with about a 20% chance of living without this bone marrow. His oncologist went to bat for him believing that couldn’t be the final answer. After some more reviewing and consulting they agreed to go forward and Michael wants to fight. His parents are bracing for a big what if. He’s not as stable ideally as he should be to endure this. As you know a bone marrow transplant is agonizingly hellish. They have to go through the re evaluation of his donor again bc it’s been so many months. He’s not giving up though. And he lives life FULL. He’s moving and active and doing anything that his body allows him to. He and Lexy were at a reds game the other day…..he’s a fantastic guy who reminds us all what to do every day to capture every single solitary moment we can.”
Keep Michael in your prayers as well as all of our 152 Honorees so they know that we are with them every single solitary moment! Fight the good fight Baby!
Finally, we need your help to reach our $5,000 fundraising goal! Please make a donation in support of all of our efforts with Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help advance the research for cures for all! It won’t be easy…it never is…but it will be worth it!
It’s that time of year again! I am on a mission to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers…and all cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m running 3 special races this year in memory of 3 special people…as well as running for all of my Honorees…all 151 of them! Honorees2013
Our 3 special Honorees are Herb Landis, Marcia Housel, and Paula Massey who each lost their battle with cancer in the last few months. I knew each of them and they made a huge difference in my life and in the lives of many others. For them and all my Honorees, I am running the Glass City Marathon on April 28th (just a week away), the North Country 50 Miler on August 24th and the Oil Creek 100 on October 5th…yes, 176.2 race miles in all and another 1,500 training miles just to get ready! I’ve run each of these races in years past and my goal is to run each one faster than ever before!
And to top it all off on October 20th, I will be supporting other TNT volunteers and fundraisers as a Coach for TNT at the Detroit Free Press Marathon. My job will be to help and support other TNT runners as they make it to the finish line! Many of them will be first time marathoners as well as first time fundraisers…true heroes! Woohoo!
Through all of these races and many long training days over the next 5 months I will be carrying my Honoree list made up of friends and family with cancer and lost to cancer. The list includes Herb, Marcia, and Paula, as well as my friend Rodney Cundiff – brain tumor survivor, Judy Evanoff – lost to melanoma, my uncle Jack Connor – colon cancer survivor, my Mom – breast cancer survivor and many others…151 in all. It is my honor and privilege to run for all of my Honorees. When the miles get long and lonely, they keep me going!
I am participating in these sports endurance events as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. Like the other members of TNT, I will be raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma…and ultimately for all cancers. I’m improving the quality of my life by running and participating and with your support, we can help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families as well as remember those we have lost.
We need your help to reach our $5,000 fundraising goal! Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures for all! It won’t be easy…it never is…but it will be worth it!
Race day is done and gone! We did it! 100 miles straight! Woohoo!
It took me 30 hours and change. It was a long day and an even longer night! I’m feeling pretty good overall just a little tired, slightly swollen feet, and a swollen and sore ankle that I don’t think is too bad. In a few days, maybe a week, I should be back on the trail.A race summary is below if you want to see what the race was like. I tried to capture it as best as I could remember…I hope you enjoy it and if you are inspired, please pass it on because we still have some work to do! Thank you so much for all your help!
Our website is up to $3,235. Thanks to recent donations from Dana Zanville, Jim Hunt, Tom and Linda Gorey, Paula Massey and Don DeSloover! I also have donations in hand from Debby Peters, Gerri Leonard, and Grace Bell! All of that along with what our corporate campaigns are working on should bring us to about $4,000 total and 80% of our goal! Woohoo! Thank you so much to Everyone for helping fight the good fight!
We can still take donations till the end of the month so let’s keep pulling! Every little bit counts! If you can take a minute, forward this email on to 5 people that you know that might be inspired by our efforts. Put in a good word for me, the cause, and our Honorees. I appreciate it and our 151 Honorees appreciate it too. Chances are good they know someone on our Honoree list!
Finally, if you don’t have your donation in yet, please consider it. Thank you to all our donors to date and everyone sending words of encouragement. I appreciate it more than I can say!
Or, you can send a check made out to: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 3936 Elmhurst Road, Toledo, OH 43613
Run Steady, Run Strong, Help Others! (My mantra for the race! It worked!) – Ernie
Oil Creek 2012
2 Days Before – I am jumping out of my skin! Race day is getting close and I am getting anxious. Haven’t slept much for the last few days. Been tapering the last two weeks, reducing my training mileage, and really feeling the need to run now! Like right now!
1 Day to Go! – Didn’t sleep at all last night. Nervous as hell now. Trying to relax. Doing a Friday morning last minute gear check. Pretty sure I have everything but triple checking. Paula calls me to do a picture before I go. She’s not feeling that great but wants to use the picture to help the fundraising. Pretty cool! I throw everything in the car (being careful not to throw my back out this year!) and head out. We meet up at Wildwood and some nice people take a few pictures of us with our TNT sign. Later, Paula posts it to FB with a super inspiring message. Take a look at it and at all the posts from the weekend at: http://www.facebook.com/ernest.a.lewis
New friend Dave Noe is running the 100 mile as well. It’s his first and my third. Dave was going to drive out on his own but I invited him to go with me since he lives close by. I’m pretty sure he has no idea that driving home after a 100 mile race is not going to be easy with company let alone doing it by yourself. We drive out together and we meet my brother John at Titusville Middle School in Titusville PA where the race starts and ends. John signed up for the 50K race when I signed up for the 100 mile. Yes, he’s almost as crazy as me! He’s also volunteered to pace me in my last 31 mile loop after he runs his 50K. I’m thinking that’s not a good idea…he’s thinking the same since he didn’t really train for that distance (it would add up to 62 miles for him if he did!) but he wants to be there for me in that third loop, it’s the hardest part of the race, so we decide to just play it by ear. That’s my big brother looking out for me!
The race begins!
Race start in 15! Woohoo! – I post this to FB…don’t know if it went through and there’s no time to figure it out. Getting my gear together to get started finally! Wake up was at 4 a.m., didn’t sleep a wink, it’s 24 degrees outside, and I’ve only had one cup of coffee! Need more coffee! There’s about 100 some people at the start line…all 100 mile runners. The 100K runners start in an hour and the 50K runners, including John, start in two hours. The staggered start helps spread the field out for safer running over the mostly single lane track of the course.
The course is a 31 mile loop 3X’s and then a 7 mile loop all starting and ending at the middle school. The trail is covered in rocks and roots like you wouldn’t believe. It’s also up and down the mountains..up one side, down the other, then up and then down over and over again! It’s rough! There is absolutely nothing like it here in northwest Ohio. Sections of the loop even have names such as Wolfkill’s Descent, Rockefeller’s Revenge, Stairway to Heaven, and Switchback Mountain.
The race starts at 5 am, it’s pitch black! Everyone has on headlamps for night running. The gun goes off right on time and we start moving out. The first 1.5 miles is on paved asphalt which leads to the rough trail. When we get there, we start climbing up and right away over rocks and roots. Luckily the weather has been dry so no mud this year! Yea! It’s cold and I can see my breath with every step. After a few minutes I start to warm up and fall in to a nice rhythm behind some other runners. We cruise along for quite a while. I go slow until I get used to stepping over the rocks and roots. Trying to acclimate and hoping that it keeps me from falling or twisting something! It’s 7 miles to the first Aid Station, AS#1. Seems like it’s taking forever, can already feel the burn in my quads since I am not used to high stepping over trail hazards!
I get to Wollfkill’s Descent which is right before AS#1. It’s a steep drop! I slip a few times, take it slow. My fear of heights doesn’t help much here…yea, I know…it only takes a few minutes to get down but it seems like forever! LOL! At AS#1, I get some food and some coffee. The coffee is nice, hasn’t warmed up at all out here. Still dark. I head back out for the next 7 miles to AS#2. First though is Switchback Mountain! It’s so steep here we have to travel a series of switch backs to get to the top. It takes about 15 minutes of non-stop climbing and a lot of heavy breathing. Then it’s across the ridge and back down the other side with another couple of switch backs…steep the whole way so much so they have to post a “go slow here, dangerous!” sign on both sides. Crazy!!
Finally to AS#2, the turnaround point of the trail. Doing well! Twisted my ankles a couple of times and a knee but nothing too bad. Able to keep going just fine. Can feel the temperature rising slowly and the sun coming up. It’s so much easier in the day light. Can’t wait for the sun! I eat, get some more coffee and get going again…
9 miles to AS#3, there are some good open trail segments here, make good time, but then another set of steep hills right before the AS, takes forever again! Climbing climbing and more climbing! And, no coffee! I eat as much as I can, getting hungry, grilled cheese sandwiches, raman noodles, pretzels, I tank up. Going to need the fuel! I head out for AS#4, the start/finish of the loop, and the next 8 miles…
…starting with Stairway to Heaven and Rockefeller’s Revenge…seems like it’s straight up…forever! I climb till my lungs are burning. After the hills, there’s a couple of miles here that are pretty rough with rocks and roots, I twist my right ankle again, again not bad, but I feel it. Have to be more careful.
Somewhere in here, I get hit on the top of the head! “Owwwwww!” “What the F***!!” I yell! really loud! It hurts, makes my eyes water and actually gives me a headache! I look around, there is no one in sight…the field has spread out…but I swear someone just hit me with a rock! I keep looking around then I realize there are acorns falling off the trees! OMG! LOL! I have a welt on top of my head due to an acorn! Too crazy, we have to dodge acorns now too! Geez!!
31 mile update! – I post this to FB: Looks like it goes through. Hope so. Temps up from 24 to 50 degrees, tweaked an ankle, a knee and got hit by a 10 lb acorn! Cruisin the next lap enjoying the beautiful scenery! Everyone should try this!!
That was the first loop! 2 more to go! Overall the first one went well. I’m tired and sore but feel good mentally and physically. I keep running by asking one very important question: “Why are you here?” and that pops my race mantra into my head: to “Run steady, run strong, help others!” I think about Paula, Karen, Herb, Jason, Nataleigh, Mom and all of our Honorees. I ask the question every time I twist an ankle, slip and fall, feel tired wet and cold. It helps me keep my mind in the right place. This will be over soon…a little over a day…our Honorees deal with cancer for months, years, a lifetime…I can do this just fine. There is no pain. I keep running…next loop!
AS#2 again…they say rain is coming in an hour or so. I take my rain gear, hope it blows over or at least doesn’t last too long. Not much luck there but then two hours go by, no rain. The sun is going down as well as the temperature. Could they have been wrong about the weather forecast? No such luck! It starts to rain lightly, then it eases up and then it’s back. Lasts a few hours. Everything gets muddy and slippery and cold. Great! I slow down but keep on running…”Why are you here?”…
61 mile update! –Posted to FB:Sore feet and tired legs, high spirits, running in night mode, it’s like the twilight zone out there!
I try to keep my mood light. Stay in high spirits. The next loop is the hardest both physically and mentally. It’s cold, wet, and dark. The continuing rain and mud will not help. John is not coming, his legs are hurting from his 50K. He ran it hard, did really well! But now he needs to rest a while longer. He might jump in later…that’s fine, I’m doing good here, I go it alone into the night once again…into the mud, over the rocks and roots, “Why are you here?”…
Nearing the end of the third loop! Maybe 5 miles out now! John jumped in half way and has been pacing me for the second half of this loop. Keeping me company…we’re both tired so we’ve been taking it easy, walking, jogging…chatting along the way…talking about how we’re never going to do this again (but full well knowing we probably will!) bonding time with my big brother! And, I am sick of running in the dark and being cold and wet and he is too! LOL! I can feel the sun coming up, can’t wait! We stop at an unmanned water station by the side of the road, stop for too long, my right ankle seizes up! And, blisters on the bottoms of my feet hurt like hell! Not sure where all that came from all of a sudden then I realize all the little twists along the 90 some miles of trails have added up. My ankle is swollen! Big time! The blisters were forming all along. When I kept it moving I didn’t notice it…now I do! Never had an ankle hurt like this before either…shit! “Why are you here?”…
I start walking hoping it will loosen up…it does a little after a mile, I try to run on it…hurts big time now…feel the blisters on both feet…almost done…keep moving! We make it back to the Start/Finish area after what seems like forever. No FB post here…I’m exhausted. I want to chuck it all! I’m hurting and losing my 100 Mile Mindset…just need to keep moving, get this done, I am tired of running, tired of hurting, tired of being cold, tired of everything!…I eat a little bit but can’t stomach this trail food they have here anymore…have to keep moving otherwise the ankle will seize up again…doesn’t really work, it seizes up anyways..I start walking to finish the last 7 mile loop…right up another hill with switchbacks and rocks and roots again too! I have just under 4 hours to make it. Why do we have to have another 7 miles?! Shit! I walk/jog best as I can…keep moving…all I have to do…plenty of time…just finish…no problem…this is easy…cancer is not. “Why are you here?”…
I come off the last mountain onto the paved asphalt trail again..there is about 1 mile to go. The asphalt hurts now so I just walk…on the edges of my shoes…nice and slow to ease the blisters…my ankle is screaming…plenty of time. “Why are you here?”…I get there eventually. I walk across the finish line in 30 hours something…out of 138 starters, 87 of us finished, 51 did not. My brother John ran the 50K (31 miles) then he ran another 17 miles to take care of me…
Because of John, Paula, all our donors, all our Honorees and everyone helping fight the good fight… all through the race, I kept in my mind that, “I am here today not for me, not for a finishing time, not for another race completion. I am here today to help others…to raise money for cancer research…to find a cure.”
Thank you Everyone for helping fight the good fight! Thank you for helping me! Love and hugs to all! :-)