My Fundraising Page
Jul 07, 2009 by Matt Allen
Running through Disney World
I'm training to participate in the 2010 Walt Disney World Half Marathon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training.
In June of 2009 I ran the Lake Placid half-marathon with Team in Training and it was an incredibly rewarding experience for a number of reasons. First and most personally it was rewarding because it marked the longest distance I had ever completed. More importantly though it was rewarding because it made me realize how big of an impact the fundraising done through Team in Training can have on the lives of people living with and fighting cancer.
Team in Training participants raise funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission.
Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress. Thanks for your support!
Sponsor a Mile!
You can claim a mile by making a $10 donation and letting me know which mile or miles you want. You can also claim a mile in someone's honor, just let me know their name when you donate.
mile 1 - Craig Monroe for Earl Francis
mile 2 - Jane Crawford for Shari Koelsh
mile 6 - Meghan Harvick in honor of Brian Harvick
mile 7 - Joe Giessner in honor of Marky Mark
mile 8 - Pete Larson - runblogger.com
mile 10 - Tim Baker honoring Tom Hanifan
mile 11 - Sue Towne in honor of Ken Johnstone
mile 12 - Courtney, Scott and Aidan Nunes in honor of Ken Johnstone
mile 13 - Craig Monroe for Shirley Gerstner
Final Update - January 9th, 2010
The journey is complete - today I finished the half marathon in 2:12:05 - not bad considering how undertrained I was. Even though it was raining ice pellets on my face I still had an amazing time. Running down Main Street at dawn was incredible. Thanks for all the support, you helped me raise over $4k for the LLS at this event, and over $8k for the year! Everyone who benefits through the LLS thanks you. Until next time...
Training Update #12 - January 7th, 2010
Two more days from now and I'll be (hopefully) finished running through Disney World. My knee is still pretty painful after running, but through PT and exercising the legs it feels better than it did a month ago. I'll be focusing on full recovery after Saturday, but until then I am focused on finishing the race.
Thanks everyone who has donated to this incredible cause - your contributions mean real benefits to the people and families suffering from blood cancers. The number of people who have dedicated miles to friends and family is a testament to the fact that we are all in some way or another touched by this disease. Hopefully in time we'll find a cure for it.
I'll write up a re-cap of the race when I get back from WDW. Until then - keep your fingers crossed that things go smoohtly on Saturday morning!
Training Update #11 - December 8th, 2009
Finally got word that I can and will be running the half marathon. This is a huge relief. My training, while far from ordinary, is getting back on track and my knee is able to tolerate the runs a lot better than it was a few weeks ago. I have a long way to go, and I know the race won't be a PR for me, but I will finish strong and represent everyone who has supported me as best as I can. Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement.
Training Update #10 - December 1st, 2009
There is a slight chance I can use someone else's number at the half marathon. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Yesterday I did 2.5 miles on the treadmill and the knee tolerated it pretty well. Tonight I am going to attempt to do 3-4 depending on how things feel.
Training Update #9b - November 30th, 2009
Just got word that I cannot switch to the half at this point. Now I need to strategize on the full. The miles are back to their original number. I'll really be needing the help around miles 24/25/26 so thanks to those that grabbed them.
Training Update #9 - November 30th, 2009
After nearly a month of dealing with this knee pain, and missing a month of training, I have finally come to the conclusion that the full marathon is out of my reach. I am trying to drop back to the half marathon instead so that the race is not a complete loss. My knee is feeling stronger after going through PT and rigorous stretching and strengthening, but with only 6 weeks left to go I do not believe I'll be ready to run 26.2 miles. There will be other marathons, and I just need to keep reminding myself of that. For now it's time to focus on getting through 13.1 injury free. I'm shuffling the dedicated miles above to reflect the new distance.
Training Update #8 - November 11th, 2009
I have had a bit of a setback in the training due to some knee issues, so I am taking a few days off to heal before attempting my 17 mile run this Sunday. I am hoping that by changing a few things (shoes included) I might be able to get past this issue and continue on with the running.
This past weekend was the Seacoast Half Marathon, and while I finished in some pain, I did manage to run a personal record of 1:59:19 - a little over a minute faster than I had run the Portsmouth marathon. It was a great day in spite of the pain, with perfect weather and a good running partner in my friend Seth who stuck with me throughout the race.
So, we've hit our first little bump in the training road. I am doing everything I can to fix the knee issues with stretching, etc., and I am just waiting now until it feels well enough to go the distance. Keep your fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.
Training Update #7 - November 6th, 2009
Halfway there. The big event is about 9 weeks away, and things so far are feeling pretty good. My weekly mileage is up around 25 and will only increase from here on out. This Sunday will be my final race before the marathon - I am running in the Seacoast Half Marathon in Portsmouth, NH. The weather looks good, and I'll be running alongside Seth as long as I can keep up with him.
I am also halfway to my fundraising goal. I am trying to raise $4000 by December 17th, and with a few upcoming events and the help from more friends and family I think I'll get there.
Thanks to all who have donated so far, and if you are still holding out please remember that any little bit helps.
Training Update #6 - October 27th, 2009
Training is still going strong, although I've hit a bit of a bump in the road. The long run on Sunday was supposed to be 12 miles, but I had to cut it short to 11 due to some knee pain that cropped up mid-way through the run. It feels like classic ITB syndrome, so the recipe for recovery is stretch, ice and stretch some more.
I'll be taking the runs easy over the next two weeks leading up to the Seacoast half marathon, and just keep an eye on it.
Training Update #5 - October 5th, 2009
Yesterday was the Maine Half Marathon. I went up to Portland on Saturday afternoon with my parents, Deb and the girls. We stayed overnight so that I wouldn't have to wake up at 4am to make it to the starting line.
After picking up my bib and grabbing my goodie bag and buying a couple gu packets (glad they were selling them there as I forgot mine) we made our way over to the hotel to check in. We unpacked and hopped in our suits and made our way to the pool for a little splash time before heading over to Flatbread's pizza for a pre-race carb binge dinner. Delicious pizza.
All day Saturday it was either pouring rain or lightly drizzling. I wasn't looking forward to running in the rain, but rain and 50 degrees is way better than sunny and 85. Went to bed around 9:30 a bit nervous but excited for the race.
Woke up around 6:30 and got ready to run. Grace was awake to say goodbye and wish me luck. Dad drove me to the start around 7am and I told him I would see him in about three hours.
I ran into some TNT teammates (Shawnna, Teresa, Coach Jack, and a new face, Meg, who was running in honor of her dad). We were all feeling great, and everyone was expecting a great run. We were so relaxed we nearly missed the gun, working our way into the starting area only a couple minutes before the start.
The beginning of the run felt great - no need to dodge around people as there was plenty of room to move. After mile 1 my pace was about 9/mile which was great but I knew I needed to slow it down a bit so that I'd have enough left in the tank two hours later.
The middle of the run brought the hills, but I felt great going up making sure to shorten my stride, pump my arms and keep my pace. I passed Shawnna and Teresa on the return trip and they were all smiles.
Rounding the water on the way back in to the finish line I was feeling pretty sluggish. I got my final boost of energy when I saw we were at mile 13 with only a 10th of a mile to go. There were tons of people lining the finishing chute. I kept scanning the crowd for Deb and the girls and my folks, and when I was about 20 feet from the finish I saw Deb and Grace, then my mom and Dad then I looked down and there were Phoebe and Audrey. It felt incredible to see them there, and what a difference running across the finish line instead of limping like I did in Lake Placid.
I finished in 2 hours and 33 seconds.
After the race we went back to the hotel for a shower and a quick stretch before heading home. I recovered on the couch with my calves wrapped, ice on my knees sipping a bottle of gatorade while watching the Pats. All in all it was a great day.
Next up is the Seacoast half marathon in a month. Hoping to do as well as I did in Maine.
Training Update #4 - September 28, 2009
I had 12 miles to do this weekend for the long run, and since Deb and I were headed to the Patriots game on Sunday I decided I'd tackle the 12 on Saturday. I'm definitely glad for it as the team had to endure pretty nasty rain on the Sunday run while I was able to enjoy perfectly cool and dry weather for my 12. The run itself was not all that successful though. I did manage to finish under 2 hours which was great, but by the end of the run my left calf felt very tight, and shortly after stopping the run my right knee also felt very tight. I'm hoping that with some rest and nightly regimens of compressing the calf and icing it down I'll be ready for Maine this coming Sunday.
Training Update #3 - September 21, 2009
Sundays run was a 12 miler that traced the Seacoast half marathon route backwards. I was happy to see Seth pull into the lot to join me on the trek. We started out a bit past 7am and it was pretty chilly. I debated keeping my longsleeve shirt on, but by the third mile I was very glad to just be in a t-shirt. Even though the air was cold the sun was brightly shining and kept us pretty warm.
The run was great and although my legs were a bit sore at the end I felt fantastic. We ended up running for around 2 hours so I think our pace was about 10min/mile. While I'd like to run the half in two weeks a bit faster I have no real time goal, so just crossing the finish line running is going to be my goal for this race.
Training Update #2 - September 14, 2009
Went out on Sunday hoping to do 10 miles. The weather was nice, albeit a bit warm and muggy. Still better than running in the dead of summer. I wasn't really feeling that into the run until around the 5th mile where the water stop is setup. My legs were pretty tired and sore, but my breathing was good. Once things turned around the remaining 5 or so miles felt great, and at mile 8.5 the climb up Sagamore hill was relatively easy. Relatively easy compared to the way I felt when I first climbed it earlier this Spring. I ended up doing only a little beyond 9 miles (when I mapped it out at home it was short), but it felt good. Going for 11 next week.
Training Update #1 - September 9, 2009
So far so good. We are in week 4 of training, although we did get a week headstart. So far I have completed 59 total miles. I am trying to run 4-5 times per week and right now I am getting ready for the Maine half marathon which takes place in about 3 weeks.
I am going to be updating this page on a weekly basis, most likely on Sundays after my long runs. Please be sure to check back this coming Sunday - I'll have completed a 10 mile long run that should give me a good idea on how I'll do in October in the Maine half.