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2011 Update

February 26, 2011

​As my first RTP blog entry in almost a year I write this with a tremendous amount of excitement and anxiety as we approach race day. Can't wait for the competition. Can't wait to live the Atacama. Can't wait to reconnect with friends from around the globe and the entire RTP staff. Can't wait to leave it all in the desert. The last year was so special with the 100K+ we raised for The Magic Foundation and having the honor of meeting many of the children/families in Chicago and speaking at their annual convention. Couldn't have asked for a better 2010. While this race technically isn't a fundraiser...it lays the foundation for what's going to be a huge year. We have a team of seven from Merrill Lynch heading to Nepal, we're in the process of creating our own charity (RunningWithLuci) in which the MAGIC Foundation will be the primary benefactor, and we have a commitment from an experienced production company to film a documentary over the next 12-months climaxing with the Nepal race. It all begins in April as approximately 70 runners (many first-timers) will travel from around the country to run the Nashville marathon for team MAGIC. We continue to get the message out. We continue to make a difference. This year will trump last. I'd like to specifically thank Matt Nelson and the team at EnduranceTrust.org for their unbelievable support getting me back on my feet. Training update - I languished through the fall barely hanging onto a reasonable level of conditioning. After having run 3-ultras in a nine-month span the passion needed to train and compete at this level was simply gone. I was flat out exhausted and unmotivated. Then over the holidays's it all came storming back. Christmas day I went out for a light run in the snow to burn off excessive caloric intake from the night before. Instead of only doing a couple miles I ended up running a half marathon in about 1:35 and despite the ensuing stomach nausea I wanted more. So from Dec 25th till now I've trained hard. Really hard. And in that timeframe I decided to run this race. But it's been a completely different type of training than prior years. Raw intensity. Animal style. With the snow and frigid conditions in the northeast I haven't been able to get the huge mileage in outdoors. So my regimen shifted to rigorous speedwork 4 days a week, lot of climbing, lot of biking, sleeping at altitude, pilates and explosive strength training. I've only gotten 2+ pack runs in over 20-miles with the long being 27 miles. But then again in two months I've gotten into the best shape of my life and hungrier than ever. At this time I've mostly recovered from the wrist surgeries (although normal pushups are gone for good). Recently I've been able to nail an 18:18 5K and a 1:28 half-marathon. For a mediocre backyard runner with terrible form who drinks too many Coors lights I'm happy with those times. Tomorrow marks the last big training day as I run the Hyannis marathon. Hoping for a strong showing and a little more MO prior to my Chilean departure Wed night. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few people who we've lost in the last few months. First I wanted to recognize Breanna O'Rourke who tragically and suddenly passed away a few weeks ago at the young age of 16. This was out of the blue and everyone associated with Breanna and the MAGIC Foundation is greatly saddened by her loss. She had a tremendous attitude and view towards life despite severe medical challenges. We could all learn a lot from her example. I also wanted to mention Charla Heimer who we all know to be an amazing woman and clearly the toughest gal in Australia! She recently lost her mother while on her way to compete in the Libyan Challenge (which was obviously cancelled). We're all thinking about you Charla. Finally I wanted to highlight my friend, and my best friend's cousin Preston Brown who recently passed away from a heart attack at way too young of an age. The only thing bigger than Preston's waistline was his heart, his laugh and his love for Chantal, music and Tennessee football. We all miss you a lot big guy. You three will be in my thoughts and prayers next week. As will my goddaughter Luci who continues to battle panhypopit and show strength and courage everyday in the face of great struggle.

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