Friday, November 9, 2012

The Final Tally

The October numbers are in and the final push for donations was fruitful.  The grand total raised by The 31 Initiative for the Jay Holdgreve Endowment for Testicular Cancer Research was $2,722.10!

I am humbled by the total and I know every dollar will be put to good use.  Thank you to everyone for their support.  The journey was well worth it.

Although The 31 Initiative has come to an end, you can still support the Endowment both now and in the future.  Go to for details.  Remember, donations are tax deductible.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fundraising Update and Thanks

At last check, the amount raised for the Jay Holdgreve Endowment for Testicular Cancer Research was $2,195!  I also know for a fact this amount does not include additional donations received after September 30 so this total will rise.

I am extremely thankful to everyone who has given.  Thank you!  Your support to me and the Endowment is greatly appreciated.

By the way, when the final numbers come in for October, I will update this blog with the grand total.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Over But It's Not

It is true.  The 31 Initiative has ended.  I ran my 31st 5K race in 31 weeks yesterday.  The 5K 4 K9s did not have the fastest field but it was exciting as I finished 2nd overall (with a time of 22:36).  It is hard to believe the races are over.  It seems like yesterday when I bundled up for my 1st race back in March.

So what's this about "It's Not"?  The races may be over but I want to make one last push for donations.  The reason why I started this endeavor was to raise money for the Jay Holdgreve Endowment for Testicular Cancer Research.  I am proud that we have raised over $1,800 so far (the last time I checked - it may be higher now) but I want to see if we can increase this total.  For those of you who have already given, I sincerely thank you.  For those of you that haven't, now is your chance.  I'm guessing some of you were even waiting to see if I could do it - to see if this 31 races in 31 weeks concept was even possible.  Well, I am happy to say it is possible.  Any donation, no matter how small, is appreciated and will be put to good use.  Let's give to this great cause.  Oh, and of course, your donation is tax deductible.  Please see the directions in the top left had corner of my blog page to give.

If you've already given or can't give at this time, another way of helping is spreading the word.  Let's all work together to let our friends know about this.  And let's ask those friends to let their friends know.  Let's post on Facebook or Twitter or send an email out.  I admit I haven't done the best job in letting people know about The 31 Initiative.  Perhaps you can help me.  Let's finish this campaign strong!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Happy Homecoming and Pitch Black

A Happy Homecoming

On September 16th, I ran in the Delphos Canal Days 5K.  This race (#29) was definitely one to remember.  I grew up in Delphos and there were plenty of friends and family either running in the race or cheering the runners on.  The weather was around 70 degrees - a little warm but still very nice.  I ran my 3rd fastest time of the year (20:55) and I know the support I received from everyone helped motivate me.

There were several local media outlets who covered The 31 Initiative story over that weekend and I want to personally thank The Delphos Herald, The Lima News, and WLIO Lima for their respective coverages.  The most important part about this endeavor is getting the word out there about its goal, namely raising money for the Jay Holdgreve Endowment for Testicular Cancer Research, and the reporting was appreciated.

Pitch Black

Six days later, I ran in the March of Dimes Night Moves.  As the name suggests, this race was run at night.  This is a unique experience and I was happy to fit a night race into The 31 Initiative schedule.  The only negative part is you do have to proceed with caution and watch your footing.  A steady rain didn't help matters although it did cool me off.  I finished with a time of 23:08.  Since my recent times have been hovering in the low to high 21 minute range, this was disappointing.  Despite this, the night run experience made the race worthwhile.

The Final Race

This Saturday, The 31 Initiative ends.  I am running in the 5K for K9s which takes place at Alum Creek State Park just north of Columbus.  It is hard to believe the final race is finally here.

30 races down, 1 to go...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Close Call and Hello Fall

2 more races are in the books since my last post:

"A Close Call" - on Labor Day, I ran the Leap for the Ligers 5K in Upper Arlington, OH.  As I do with all of my races, I check the race details the night before.  For this race, the website listed the race start time at 9:30am.  Since I had not picked up my race number and t-shirt, I left about 40 minutes prior to the start time.  Interestingly, when I arrived at 8:57am, I overheard someone on the loudspeaker say "the 5K will start in 3 minutes".  That doesn't sound right, I thought.  I picked up my pace and ran to the check in table.  I learned the website INCORRECTLY listed the start time - it was 9:00, NOT 9:30!  I quickly pinned on my race number and ran to the starting line. The horn sounded and I ran the race finishing in 21:21.  I was pretty pleased with this time considering my normal starting routine was thrown out the window.

"Hello Fall" - today, I ran the Dash for Dad 5K in Gahanna, OH.  Fortunately, I did not have any of the previous week drama.  The temperature was perfect (58 degrees) and it felt like a fall race (which I welcome wholeheartedly).  The course was also well laid out (albeit a little hilly).  I ran 21:17.

Next week is a homecoming for me.  I will run in the Delphos Canal Days 5K on Sunday, September 16.  Delphos, OH is the town I grew up in and where my parents, brother, and other relatives and friends still reside.  I can't wait to run in "America's Friendliest City".  Several friends and family members are running in the race as well (including Jay, my brother, and my wife) and I can't wait to root everyone on before and after the race.

28 races down, 3 to go in The 31 Initiative.    

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Final Month

Last Saturday, I ran in the Mount Carmel Up and Away 5K at Beulah Park in Grove City.  Interestingly, the race started on the same track where the horses race.  While this sounds cool, it was actually a little daunting because the track surface was packed sand.  It was tough to get your footing and this contributed to a slower time than the previous week for me (21:40).

The good news is I can now count my remaining races on one hand!  That's right, five to go!  And they are all taking place in September, the final month of The 31 Initiative.

I am going to make one more grand push for donations for the Jay Holdgreve Endowment for Testicular Cancer Research so be prepared!  Also, I am excited to share my plan soon for The 31 Initiative in 2013 (hint, it could involve you).

Until next time...

Friday, August 24, 2012

7 5K Race Day Tips

Based on my 5K experiences, here are 7 race day tips for the new and experienced runner (in no particular order):

1) Double knot your shoestrings - although you can recover if you have to tie a loose shoestring, you end up losing valuable seconds AND it breaks your rhythm.  

2) Use the valet key - if you attend a race solo, it is easier to tuck this one key into your pocket instead of carrying the entire set of keys which, for most people, is probably both heavy and cumbersome.

3) Tread cautiously at the starting line - there are some runners who start fast and some who start slow.  Trying to weave your way through this can be a challenge.  You don't want to roll an ankle so be careful!

4) Don't worry about the course layout - unless you think you will finish in the top 3, this is unnecessary.  Why?  Because the course is usually fairly well marked PLUS you can do what I do and just follow the runner in front of you.

5) Eat before the race - a granola bar or peanut butter toast and a banana one hour before the race usually works for me.  Since most races are in the morning, you may feel like you can skip breakfast and eat afterwards.  Don't do this.  You need the fuel for your body.

6) Run your race - when other runners take off at the start, you may feel the need to over-exert yourself and keep up.  While it is good to push yourself, just remember that everyone has trained differently and has different goals.  You don't want to run out of gas after 2 miles with a little over 1 mile to go.  Therefore, focus on exceeding the time you trained for.  Remember, each race is a race against your best time (your PR or personal record).  You won't beat your PR every race but it is a nice goal to have.

7) Finally, have fun!  A 5K is a great distance that can be run by both young and old.  It usually benefits a charity and can be achieved in a reasonable time frame.  Training for one may not be the most enjoyable for some folks but once you actually run in the race, I'm betting you will be back for more.