Week 8 – Home Stretch!

It’s now about a week and half before race day, and it’s all downhill from here. Smooth sailing, easy ride, pick your favorite idiom.

I’m generally feeling pretty good. The running is easier, although my right knee still acts up from time to time. The longer I rest it, the more miles I get without irritation. After the race I’m planning a visit to the friendly Orthopedic Doc. They’re friendly, right? LOL

Looking forward the the weekend in NOLA. Hoping for good moderate weather. The half-marathon starts at 7:30am on Sunday, which is also Superbowl Sunday. So while you are starting to prep your tailgate, shopping for snacks, and chilling the beer, throw a thought my way as I work my way through the streets of New Orleans for 13.1 miles.

The route is pretty cool. It starts on Poydras street which just sounds like a cool name of the street. I think I’ve been there before on business events, but then we never paid attention to the streets. We wind through French Quarter, and finish at the big park by Lake Pontchartrain. Judging by pictures from last year, it looks like a great location to cool off, shake off the race, and enjoy a beer and some snacks. Yes they hand you a beer at the finish line, and yes it will be about 10:15am according to my pace calculations. I’m looking forward to it!

I know people who have run Rock and Roll half-marathons like this, and feedback is great. Very well organized, and entertaining – because of the live music on the course.

Last weekend I ran 8 miles on Saturday, and 3 miles on Sunday. Then Monday morning I hit the Elliptical, and will head down the fitness room in my hotel this evening to clock a few more miles on a cardio machine. Another trip to the exercise room Thursday night, and I’ll be ready for this weekend’s long(er) run.

I must admit, having done the long 10 and 11-milers, the shorter 8mi last weekend and 6mi this upcoming weekend are not so daunting!

I still see these graceful joggers when I am out. I don’t think I look like that – Ha! However, I’ll get there, with plans post-NOLA, to get better times and hit more races to stay in shape.

For those of you tracking the blog, thank you for reading, and as always, feel free to send feedback, advice, or encouragement!

And once again, THANK YOU for your support and commitment to CCFA. It’s humbling to have heard from all of you, and I’m grateful for your contributions. We are making an impact, and approximately 1.6 million patients will benefit from you and me.

Join me as the energy level rises though next week. I’ll post again next weekend, and then will update you on the race itself.


Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 @ 8:22 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race


Week 7 – NYC long run, beginning taper!

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, I originally saw the training schedule and wondered if I could do the long runs. I have to shout out to Sharon Hoffman, Traci Osborne, and Jim Mossman for the leadership and mentoring through this process.

Today is the peak of the training – a 11mile run. From here on out, the runs are all less distance, starting the taper to lead into the half-marathon on Feb 5.

I was hoping for a pleasant sunny day in NYC when I landed this morning. The sun was out, but it was about mid 30’s temperature. No worries, I got this, with some layers, some cotton gloves, and a good solid windbreaker shell.

The overall run was pleasant. I’m staying in midtown on 42nd street, so I was able to run over to the Javits Center (where my event is this week), and catch the Highline for the first section of the run.

The highline is pretty cool! It’s an old train trestle that has been reworked to be a trail and park. It would be awesome in the spring, summer, fall, basically any season but winter. It was fairly crowded with walkers, but made for a nice jog without having to deal with street traffic. I’d like to come back and run that again during more pleasant weather. There were many people stopping for pictures of views and scenery that I wasn’t able to appreciate. However, the route was great, and took mew a few miles south of midtown, to around 15th street.
From there I cut west to the Hudson, which was less than half a block from the end of the Highline. This is a great park! there is greenspace all the way up and down the west side of NYC, with separate bike paths, walking/running trails, and car access. I ran from near the financial district up to 90th street along this path, passing piers, sightseeing helipads, and many cool looking bars, restaurants, gyms, and activities.

It started getting a little colder and windy at this stage, but the run was still pretty pleasant.

There was a nice gradual incline around 85th street to take me up to street level (Riverside Ave) with awesome homes, and a huge structure to commemorate war heros. I ran through the upper west side, dodging doormen, dog-walkers, and passersby on the city streets. I started to miss the Hudson River Trail!

Made it to Central park and entered at 90th street. This is when the flurries started. Made for a pretty view, you couldn’t really see the city, and there were many active walkers, runners, and families in the park. Very cool to have such an awesome place in the middle of the city. I was at mile 8.5 here, and knew I just needed to head back towards midtown, but suspected I’d need to exit the park to finish.

I hit mile 10 as I got to Columbus Circle. This is at the Southwest corner of Central park, and has a traffic circle about 500 miles wide. Of course I exaggerate but not much. I think everybody in NYC decided to go to Columbus Circle to cross the street around the time I got there. I dodged traffic, pedestrians, pedicabs, and dogs to get across the street, and decided to cut over a block to avoid running south through times square.

The snow was getting heavier, and the wind was picking up. While I had been doing 4min runs followed by 1min walks, at this stage, I just kept running to get this part over with more quickly!

I ran south on Columbus and hit 11 miles around 45th street. 5 more blocks to go, then cut over for a few blocks to get back to my hotel.

I rewarded myself with a gyro and fries from a street truck. AWESOME! and I can justify it with the caloric burn of 11miles over a 2.5 hour run.

So I cap off my peak of training with a great experience in the big apple. I found some cool places to run, saw some cool parts of NYC I never would have walked to, and I feel really good about this upcoming race.

Thank you for reading, and THANK YOU for your support! It’s all downhill from here, until I get to the Big Easy for the full 13.1 miles on Feb 5.


Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Sat, Jan 14, 2017 @ 10:38 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race


Week 6: 4 and 1, Woot!, and a shout-out

A series of updates to share, best done in form of bullets…

  • Must confess when I originally saw there were 10-mile runs and 11-mile runs during this training regimen, I shuddered a bit. But that was in November, and I just did one! Woot!
  • I’m very fortunate to miss the frigid weather in Ohio this weekend. I ran 5 miles up the marina coast of San Diego, and returned to the Marriott feeling pretty good. It doesn’t hurt that the swimming pool and hot tub are conveniently located on the path from the running route to the hotel entrance. Great run, and nice cool-down 😉
  • Thanks to your support, I’m nearly to the $4800 mark which qualifies me for Chapter VIP. This means some recognition and a bit of relief on flights through a travel voucher. Please consider a donation to get me over the top! I have some checks to submit, but even with those I am about $120 away now.
  • My son Andrew’s fraternity brother’s sister (pause to map that relationship) also has Crohn’s. Very sorry to hear that she was scheduled for the race, but is unable to run due to her health. Please consider donating to the cause with her fundraising page as well. I can’t post the link in this blog, but email me and I’ll send you the link! Her nae is Catie, and she is part of the New England team.
  • I’ll be running for both Andrew and Catie in the NOLA race
  • Recently I mailed a large number of fundraising forms to friends and family. I wanted to acknowledge that when I went to the FedexKinkos (do they still call it that?) to have the fundraising forms printed out – they donated half the cost to my cause! Quite nice of them, and shout-out to the fantastic staff there!!
  • My run today continued with the 4-min run and 1-min walk cadence. As with past runs, wasn’t easy but didn’t suck. Actually it was starting to get much more easy than past runs. To keep me from lapsing after this race, I plan to run the Cincinnati Heart Mini-marathon (15K) in March and something in the Flying Pig during the marathon weekend in Cincinnati in May. I also signed up for the Lake Powell half-marathon in October. That requires I bring a tent and camp out the night before the race, which sounds extremely cool. And the race finishes in the National Park, with awesome views of the Colorado River and Lake Powell!
  • While I was frustrated with lack of weight loss in December it feels like it is starting to fall off a bit. It could have been building running muscle? It certainly couldn’t have been my consumption of holiday snacks, cookies, great meals, and wine, right?

Next week I’ll be in NYC, and will clock an 11-mile run, hopefully in Central Park. The idea of a 3-hour treadmill session is not appealing, ha!

Make it a great week, and check in next week for another update! THANK YOU for your support, and if you haven’t donated, please consider a donation to have an impact on this horrible disease.


Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Sat, Jan 07, 2017 @ 11:43 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race


Week 5 – kicked off the new year with an 8-mile run!

It’s been just over a month in training and I’m feeling good. Wrapped up with an 8-mile run today using the new intervals – 4min run, 1min walk. It is getting easier to run, mostly because of NEW SHOES. I traded in my old shoes and was properly fitted last Thursday. I joked about saving the old pair of shoes for lawnmowing, and the person helping me just shook her head. “Those are dead.” Ha! they are now out of their misery, and I am out of mine. The right knee pain I’ve been struggling with is not as bad after this long run, and I credit the shoes.

THANK YOU for all the support! When I turn in my two additional hand-written checks, I will have raised $3,996, just $4 shy of my goal. As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, the CCFA is a very efficient charity and the money is going to good use. The genomics research seems pretty significant and could identify a cure soon!

Regarding my running pattern, I’ve dropped the use of headphones. It was frustrating to have them keep falling out due to the jostling of the run, and I am starting to run out of Napster playlists to audition. I don’t expect to use headphones on race day, so I’m listening to the natural sounds of the run, and it’s working out pretty well. Hate to get too philosophical but it almost becomes a zen-like “be one with yourself” process by listening to your body. What do you think?

Next week I’ll be traveling for work, and will have a long run (10m) in San Diego. This should be similar to weather on race day. And it’s San Diego. How can it be bad!? The following week I’ll be in NYC and will do the long run (11m) in Central Park! Hope the weather works out.

I think this blog works with feedback and comments so if you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to send them my way.

Happy New Year – let’s make it a GREAT year!


Originally posted at CCFA site by Eric Thorsen on Sun, Jan 01, 2017 @ 1:51 PM
Cross posted here after successful completion of the race