It has been a few weeks since the Race for Olivia. I ended up going over just 3100 miles and ended up raising $5.944.02. It was a very hectic yet rewarding year for my family and I. It was filled with hard times of losing friends, dogs, and relatives. But looking back now it is hard to see anything but positivity. We believe that we did something good that will make a difference in children's lives.
Over the past year there was a lot of sacrificed time that was spent training instead of spending it with my family. I had to neglect housework, sleep, fun recreational activities with my family, and hardest of all, being around for my family. The support from Janelle was second to none. She selflessly handled pretty much all of the house and family needs. I'm sure she felt like a single parent at times. I could not have survived the past year if it was not for her.
As for the race itself, Ironman Coeur d'Alene could not have been a better venue for the Race for Olivia. I was able to see all 30 family and friends multiple times on the course and the finish was filled with thousands of people all screaming and banging on the barriers for me. It was an experience I cannot put into words. The highlight of the entire day was to cross the finish line and see everybody that had spent 15 hours in the sun watching and screaming for me. I first got to hug and kiss Janelle and Bella, tears were pouring from our faces. Next came Mark Caldwell (Olivia's Grandpa). We hugged and cried some more.
Then the special moment I had been waiting for came. Katie approached me and we met for the first time. Of course we both cried. That is the moment that I knew what we did was special. The entire time I was training, I wondered if it was actually going to make a difference. I wasn't sure how much money was needed to actually accomplish something pertaining to cancer research.
More important than any amount of money, we brought the Olivia Caldwell Foundation attention and publicity that we hope will continue to boost support and donations. We also hope that the Race for Olivia will inspire others to take action. It is easy to want to help, or to raise awareness. It is difficult to actually do something about it. We are just an ordinary family, living an ordinary life that saw friends in need and decided to do what we could to help. With the support of our family and friends we were able to beat our goal by nearly double. We hope that whoever sees this knows that they too can make a difference.
Like the slogan of Ironman says, "Anything is Possible."
Thank you to everyone that donated and supported us. It will be an experience that will be etched in our memories forever.
I have been training for three weeks since being released by the urologist. I am currently at 2415. 96 miles and have raised $4248. We have since released shirts for sale and all the money raised goes towards the Olivia Caldwell Foundation. I think everyone who is going to be there will be wearing them which will hopefully give me a pick me up when I need it.
I have changed training plans to one that is less frequent but more miles per workout. Apparently the two weeks of training that I missed really set me back and it came at a horrible time because I am now in the peak of my training, swimming 2 miles at a time, running 20 miles and biking 100 miles. I feel like I lost a lot of what I had built up in the past 7 months but will just have to go a little slower.
I have been getting a lot of support since the illness/injury (still not sure what to call it). Janelle and Bella pick out a nice variety of liquids every week to keep my potassium high, from gatorade to cranberry juice, to coconut water. I have had members of my work bring me electrolyte powders which is much appreciated.
I have had a hard time getting back into the training both physically and mentally, but I do feel all of the love and the support I get every day keeps me going. We are only 6 and a half weeks out so there is not enough time to do anything but prepare for this race and make the final push for donations. We are really trying to reach $5000 so if you haven't bought your shirts or donated yet please do so.
After a few big donations, our donations are at $4248 and a total mileage of 2208.08. We are very excited about getting two $1000 donations, one from Midtown Massage and Wellness Center and the other from an anonymous donor. We know who you are!!!
I hit another obstacle this week. I went to Urgent Care for what we thought was a bladder infection. After 2 days of antibiotics, and no improvement, I ended up in the E.R. I had a much more serious infection. They gave me some antibiotics and pain medications. My potassium was also low and I have a kidney stone floating around in my kidney. I am pretty much on bed rest since it is painful to stand and walk. It will probably be a week or so until I am able to train.
Apparently the antibiotics that I need for my infection can cause tendons to weaken and athletes that train after taking them tend to have their Achilles snap. They gave me a weaker dose and if it doesn't improve within the next couple days, I will have to go to the stronger antibiotics. This will mean I will not be able to finish what I have started. We are hoping that my body is able to fight the infection with the meds I am currently on.
Until then, I will be resting, drinking lots of fluids and thinking positive thoughts. Thank you to all who have donated, and I hope to be back at it soon.
With a total of 1,347.63 miles and $1,748, everything feels exciting and training has been positive. The Olivia Caldwell Foundation has started Miles for Gold, which gives people the opportunity to raise money on their own while training, and there is already someone who has started the process. I don't know if it is the nice weather or the extra motivation, but my runs have become faster and longer and my bike rides and swims are following that trend. It only feels like a burden if I am training at 9pm which hasn't been a frequent problem. All in all I am feeling better about everything this month.
My family got a reminder of how devastating cancer is when we found out our dog had two tumors that were affecting her way of life. Within two weeks, she went from being the normal pain in the butt, messy, happy, lazy dog, to us having to put her down. Even though she wasn't our child, everyone knows how dogs become part of the family. Cancer is a sad disease that affects almost everyone. We hope that someday they will find a cure.
There are only four and a half months till the Race for Olivia, almost half way there. I feel confident that I am able to go half the distance in each discipline. I was doubting myself but recently my training has elevated and is at a place where I am comfortable with my progress. I am looking forward to spending the week in Idaho with family and friends at our cabin and making a little vacation out of it. After all, family and loved ones are the important things in life.
Five months until race day. I have had a strong last couple months. We have brought in a total of $1473.28 and I have trained a total of 1065.38 miles. To put that in perspective that is more than the miles between Reno and Denver. Training lately has been a good experience. The weather has been nice and I actually ran outside in a tank top. I still haven't ridden my bike outside yet, but that is only because it is still dark when I am training on it.
I have been taking my rest days on Mondays because I am off of work usually. This lets me really maximize my rest, which is really important because by the end of the week, my body is so tired I feel like I am not getting the most out of my training. We have done a couple videos and they have gotten a lot of views and likes which is good. However, I am not doing this to get "likes", I am doing this to raise money for pediatric cancer research. I would challenge everyone who likes a video on Facebook to donate at least one dollar. At this rate my miles will match my dollar amount in the next month.
We will be getting shirts designed and made soon, which will be available for online ordering. We are currently rethinking our strategy for raising money. The problem we have been having with companies is that they don't want to donate because the charity is not local. How different would companies feel if they had a child that went to the hospital in Denver where this money is going? I get really frustrated when I am running because I feel like I should have raised more money. But the fact of the matter is, no amount of money is enough and I would probably be frustrated and wishing I raised more. This is why we made a goal of 1 mile for every $1. We are currently ahead of that goal and I need to remember that we are just a family in Reno, not a company, or an event. We are just a family that is trying to help out in any way we can.
I am 10 weeks in and have raised $1273.28 and am currently ahead of our goal of raising one dollar for every mile. I have trained a total of 769.59 miles. It doesn't seem like much but my body is really starting to feel the miles increasing each week. Two weeks ago I came down with another head cold, the day before we went on vacation. I only ran once that week because I didn't want a repeat of the last time I tried to train when I was sick.
I came back from vacation well rested had my fasted swim and longest run of the program so far. I was concerned because before my morning run after vacation I had a sharp pain in my foot. It kind of felt like a stress fracture, so I took another day off and was forced by Janelle to ice and roll it with a golf ball. The next run I did was with Janelle and our friend Cassie, my foot felt fine. I guess my body is just getting beat up from training ten times a week.
Ten workouts a week, that is what it takes I suppose, or hope. The idea of swimming, biking and running that much in one day still feels a little out of reach but I cannot stop. There are exactly six months until race day. We have sent out a bunch of packets and Janelle just got some good news today that we hope to announce in our next blog (fingers crossed).
Till then, please donate. My miles are slowly creeping up on our donations!!!
I am 7 weeks into the training and have gone a total of 630.92 miles and have nearly raised twice that. $1257 is amazing. I am beginning to wonder if there is even a chance of me keeping up with the dollar amount of donations. There has been so much love and support so far. The last three weeks were chaotic. I was in Florida for 10 days but that didn't stop me. Even though I didn't have my bike, I rode the hotel's recumbent, anyone who has ever ridden one will cringe when I say I was on it for 1:45 at a time, one night the pain lasted until 2 a.m. Now that is some dedication.
I got back from my trip to a wife and daughter who was starting to get sick. This last week has been a balancing act of training and taking care of them, which means I would do my Husband and Fatherly duties and go to the gym to get my swimming done at 9 pm. With them being better, we started training week 8 with the same hectic ritual. I woke up this morning to find my dog's snout to be swollen. I had to leave her at the vet and hopefully they will find out that it is a minor issue.
This Sunday we will be leaving on a much needed family vacation to Alabama to visit my mom, and then to Texas to visit my brother that I served in the Marine Corps with. I will still be racking up mileage while I'm gone, no matter how much of a pain it is. I have committed to something, and I will see it through to the best of my ability. When we get back from this trip, the race will be only 6 months out, so it will be time to really start preparing.
The hard part about endurance races is not the race, but the training. The race will only be 13 hours, it is committing yourself to 8 months of training in the middle of the night, being tired all of the time, sacrificing family time to go run up a mountain in the snow, training on vacation when everyone else is having fun. It is those times that you look back upon as being the real challenge. I have to be thankful that Janelle and Bella are so supportive and helpful with this crazy idea that I came up with. They are sacrificing just as much as I am.
Till next time, keep the donations coming. Without all of the support and donations, mine and my families sacrifices are for nothing.
I have been training for 4 weeks now and have gone a total of 372.22 miles. I have been able to stay healthy for the past two weeks and logged over 130 miles. It is fun to watch the miles increase, even though the fatigue is starting to creep into every day activities. Yesterday we went sledding after I had ran and biked, and chasing a 3 year old up that 10 ft hill was brutal. I guess it is time to start conserving my energy as much as possible, although I would rather be dead beat tired and spend time with my family than rest. After all, family is what is important in life, so I will continue to play tag your it and dance with my daughter till wee hours of the night. I have also started eating more. I wake up every morning with my stomach growling, no matter how much I eat the night before. Janelle laughs at me when I say I'm hungry twenty minutes after eating dinner. Time to put some money aside for the grocery bill.
Overall it has been a fun experience so far. I have made just shy of $900 and continuously thinking about new ways to inspire people to donate. I have begun dropping flyers off at business that I visit. I have a stack in my truck and hand them out when I stop somewhere. Hopefully the community will get behind this effort to fight for a cure. It has been really fun to watch all of the activity on the Facebook page. There are new followers and likes daily, from all over the country. Now those people just need to donate. Even a couple dollars will make a difference.
I have two trips coming up, one to Florida for the PGA Show and another to Alabama and Texas to visit family. It will be hard to get my training in. The last thing I want to do on vacation is to wake up and go for a run or ride a bike in some tiny hotel gym. But training for an event like this takes a great deal of dedication, and I have to keep it in mind that there are only 8 months left, and it is for a great cause. It is hard for people to have perspective on situations.
No matter how hard your current situation is, there is someone out there going through something ten times worse. Enjoy your life, and remember that hard times will pass. There is always someone there to help you through these times and you should never give up.
Week two is in the books. I had to take the first couple days off to get rid of my sickness, but I still managed to log 41.46 miles which puts me at 240.31 total miles. I have really been lucking out with the weather, but it is not looking good this week. On Wednesday it looks like I will be running when it is 3 degrees outside. I wake up and workout so early that I can crawl back into my warm bed until Bella wakes up which is nice.
I don't know if it is an illusion or what, but this training has not really taken away from my time with my family. When I trained for my marathon, Janelle was working on her MBA, I was working on my PGA Apprenticeship, and we had a baby under the age of one. When Janelle and I trained for our half ironman we had a toddler and it is not possible to train at the same time. This made training absorb our entire days together. Now Janelle is working on strength training and neither of us are in school, so I am able to schedule my training in a way that will take away as little time as possible, this will change when I am riding 100+ miles and running over 20 in a day, but that is a ways away.
Our family has already booked a cabin that sleeps 13 people in Idaho and we are excited to spend the week with family and friends. We would like to encourage everyone to come out and witness the race in person, and would love to see everyone there. In the meantime there are miles to be traveled and dollars to be raised. I cannot thank everyone enough for their contributions, and for those that have not donated yet please do so. Our next promotion to raise money is coming soon, the Rowdy Bars were a success and we are very thankful to Kellie for her generous help.