Today, it's time for some pay back. Time for me to fulfill my part of the bargain. The post is a little long, but worth the read, even if you aren't one of the featured, if only to see a sample of the good people that have gathered here, people like you.
So, without further ado, flattering anecdotes about the generous donors.
Patrick - Pat lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, yet doesn't work for Amway. He works for Microsoft. That's how I came to know Patrick. And as it turns out, I was later to learn, he's also a runner. I understand that there are many a business relationship that are cemented on the golf course. But I don't think there's a better way to get to know someone than to go out on a run with them. My first run with Patrick was in Indianapolis on my favorite little trail behind the office. Unfortunately, the quaint little trail was covered with a quaint 8 inches of snow. Ever tried to follow a completely snowed over trail in the woods? Not easy. But it made for a good, slow, adventurous run. And Patrick didn't complain once, despite the obvious risk to life and/or limb. Since then, Patrick and I have met up for runs when we are in the same place at the same time and both have gear. Oh, and he also plays violin. Like really plays. Like in symphonies and stuff. If you're ever on a run with Patrick, ask him about the violin, it's a good story. Thanks Pat for your donation and your friendship.
Jane - I'm related to Jane... somehow. Not sure how, really. She's floating around somewhere on my step-dad's side. I'm not even sure when I last saw her and her husband Roger. Probably at a funeral. But what I do remember is that at family gatherings, I was always glad when they showed up. They were always fun to talk to, interesting, and funny. And thanks to the glory that is Facebook, Jane has found Doug Runs 365. She's become a frequent commenter and "like"-er, and she gave to Back on My Feet. Thank you Jane, for your donation, and your friendship over many years.
legendary NHL coach Jacques Demers, but I'm going to limit myself to just one. For this one, we need to go back to 1990 when I was married, a newlywed in fact. For our first vacation as a couple we decided to go to the IndyCar race in Toronto. Just so happened that that was where Holly lived, pre-Peter. She graciously put us up for a week in her apartment. I had my first calzone at an Italian hole-in-the-wall that was in her neighborhood. She even drove us to Niagara Falls. But what I remember most about that trip was her collection. Holly had every episode of The Fugitive*... recorded from over-the-air broadcasts... on Betamax tapes. I thought that was so crazy, and cool. Thanks to you, and Peter, for your hospitality, and your generous donation to Back on My Feet.
A tactic that worked enormously well was to adopt a run/walk strategy from mile 25 (5 minutes running, 1 minute walking). That provided a physical break for the muscles, while also allowing us to break the distance down into tiny, manageable chunks. In our strategy, the next 5 minute block always felt achievable, whereas thinking in terms of "another 20 miles" was pretty horrible. As I recall advocating to my brother, "If you have to eat a shit sandwich, cut it up into little canapes first."
It did become impossible to eat and drink towards the end, as our bodies began rejecting food and water. The thought of eating even an energy gel made me nauseous. Mark (my brother) was getting brief blackouts in his vision, and I was on a manic, babbling high for the last 5 or 10 miles. Post race, I crashed HARD, and thought I would either throw up or pass out on the train back to the start (thankfully a nice Burger King double bacon cheeseburger fixed me up nicely). Back home our wives did think we both looked pretty grey, and that we had "seen the fear".
All that aside, I had a great time, and I'd definitely do it again!If, as you read that, you got that "Oh, man, how horrible. I wish I could have done that." and you weren't surprised at all when you read "I'd definitely do it again!", when you're one of us. You should run with us. He's since completed a few marathons, a 50 miler, and is getting ready for a 100 mile race. Let that sink in for a bit. Marino is a doting father and husband, and just a damned good guy. Thanks, mate, for your donation (yes, Back on My Feet takes Euros or pounds or whatever eBay is paying you in), and for your friendship. Run soon, man. And save us a good spot for the Olympics next summer.
Twisted Pigeon blog where she puts so much of life into perspective and reminds us what we should be working on, as well as what we should just let go of. And she does all of that in small, impeccably well written, bites. And you should also bookmark and follow the travel blog that she keeps with her husband Bill, Bagette Travel Tips, unless you are a hermit, in which case you wouldn't really appreciate the wisdom and wit and travel-porn that they provide. If you are lucky enough to have spent time with Robin, you know that her circuitous route through life has made her an insightful, hilarious, and fascinating person, and like me, you're lucky to know her. Thank you Robin for your insanely, and only slightly snipey, donation to Back on My Feet, for your writing, for reading my stuff, for your advice, for your hospitality, and your friendship.
Ok, I'm all paid up. My goal was $180, 1/10th of what it takes to help one person get their life together. These people gave a total of $411 to Back on My Feet. I have wonderful, generous friends/family/readers. If any more of you would like to make a donation to this amazing organization, it's not too late, just click here. It's too late to win the grand prize, but I will happily say something nice about you here at Doug Runs 365.
*I hope I remember that right. Holly will tell me if I don't.
All photos lifted from Facebook or Twitter.