Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Contest, Trauma and Triumphs, plus Many Shout-Outs!

The latest members on the Fred's Team honor roll:

David and Janet Sachs
Max Von Essen
Arthur Allan Seidelman
Michael Hall

Total to date:


I am continually honored by your commitment to join me in the fight to eradicate cancer in all its forms. MSKCC's motto is "Imagine a world without cancer." With your help, we won't need to imagine it, we'll be living in it.

Not to take anything away from the Sachs family, but let me point out that the other three people who joined the Honor Roll today -- Max, Arthur and Michael -- I've worked with them all in my "day job" of being a stage manager, and let me tell you, if you ever have the chance to hear Max sing, or get to work with Arthur or Michael as a director, or Max as a performer, jump on that chance as fast as you can.

In fact, all of the theater people who have so generously donated to my Fred's Team effort are among the best in the business, and I'm not just saying that because they've donated. I have been blessed to have worked with some of the nicest, most genuine and immensely talented people in the business, so let me call them out here. If you ever see any of these names in your Playbill, you are in good hands:

Peter Haig. Kathy Voytko, Grace Gonglewski, Bill Irwin, Curt Hostetter, GR Johnson, Michael Polak, Russell Treyz, Kim Russell, Jim Semmelman, Andrea "Spook" Testani, Jill BC DuBoff, Michael Clarkston, Maggie Horkey, Greg Vreeland and Greg Kordick (Gregs V & K work in TV, not theater, but it counts!!)

Okay, lots of stuff to get through, but first, without further ado,


and this one will be open to all:

Fred's Team raises money for the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. WHO IS AUBREY?

Email your answers to

Contest ends Friday, July 20. Contest 3 results are at the bottom of this post.

(FYI, next week's contest will be a raffle for donors only, so if you are interested in donating to my Fred's Team effort, please click on the link to my Fred's Team site at the bottom of this page!!)

Onto the running portion of the show: The bad news is, my back is still bugging me. Fortunately, as I said before, it's not the original injury acting up, but unfortunately, it's a whole new one. I had mild scoliosis growing up -- the hazards of being 5'10'' in 5th grade -- and it was never corrected. As a result, my hips are perpetually a little out of alignment, and running sends them further out of whack, causing problems further up the spine. Sometimes I think because my body is naturally out of alignment, when I force it back into alignment by using good running form (which I have been working hard on, because it was my savior after my last back surgery) things actually go more awry. Then again, what do I know? It felt much better on Wednesday after a trip to the magical Drs. Margolin and Rubenstein, so I made up my Tuesday speed workout on Wednesday and did the evil step workout Thursday, substituting running up 1 step at a time instead of jumping or hopping (both of which aggravate my back.) Friday was an easy 4-miler. Sore, but good to go.

I woke up this morning, however, in almost as much pain as I had on Monday. I laid on the heating pad and stretched it as much as I could both at home and once I got to the Park. We were doing a loop of the Park, and then running the "Park to Park" race, another full loop. 12 miles total. I didn't think I was going to be able to get through it. I knew I wouldn't damage my back any further by running, but I knew it wasn't going to be pleasant. But you know me, glutton for punishment, so I went out, thinking I'd do about a 9 1/2 minute mile pace for the first loop and evaluate myself and see if I was up for the race.

It was hot today, and not too humid, so even though my back was bothering me the rest of me felt fine. Jeff, our coach, had timed our start times so that we finished the loop and went right into the race, but I was a little faster than I thought I'd be, so I had a couple of minutes to stretch and evaluate. I felt I had enough in me for #2, and indeed I did, at least for the first few miles, which is the Great Hill down and up. I like the Great Hill (ask me that after we do the infamous 8 repeat workout later this summer, I'll tell you a different tale!) and the first mile was slow anyway because of the usual backup of people starting the race in the wrong pace group. But once we got to Mile 3, the sun started coming out, it started steaming up, and I started praying for a water station so I could take a quick walk break.

As bad as I felt, I did manage one "perceived" triumph -- and by perceived, you'll see what I mean in just one second. At mile 5, I stopped at the water station and lo and behold, right in front of me was Jeff. Now, I know that he started the race after I did so his ultimate finish time was faster than mine, but I immediately ran over to him, said "I know your time is better, but for one shining moment I can say I passed you!" and took off. My glee over this carried me the last mile and a bit (a 10K is 6.2 miles) for a 58:40 finish. Thank you, Jeff, for allowing me my delusions of speed. As he said, whatever keeps you moving (or words to that effect.) And the adrenaline was a wonderful thing -- for a while, at least, my back felt not as crampy.

Oddly enough, no pain in my right hip today, I guess it's either the hip OR the back. And also a little disturbingly, the bionic foot started acting up, but I should have expected it. I've been reading about the "Pose" method of running -- I'll explain it badly but semi-accurately, it focuses more on the falling aspect of running, so you're moving yourself forward by pulling one leg up, falling forward and stopping yourself by putting the other leg down. This is not the first time I've read/heard/thought about running as basically being controlled falling, when I first started running that was the image I had in my mind, and it makes sense to me. Apparently this method of running is also less stressful on the back, so I've been trying to adopt more of this idea back into my running. This involves landing on the balls of your feet instead of your heels. The ball of my right foot being the site of surgery #2, it should come as no surprise that it would hurt after a repeated pounding, so I had to lay back. Most of what I have read says to expect foot and calf pain while adjusting, and I know that I'm not going to hurt my foot, so I'll try it for a while and see how it "does" me.

All right, enough about me. Oh, wait a minute, this IS about me. Just a smidge more, then. So anyways, my times were good, not great. Slower than I'd like, but faster than I expected. You can see them on the sidebar, or view the whole training log by clicking on the link that says "View my complete training log" and seeing the results for July 14.

Moving on:

CONTEST #3 results!

The question was -- who, or what, is Team Hoyt?

Team Hoyt is the father/son duo of Dick and Rick Hoyt, who have been competing as a team in road races, marathons and triathalons for over 25 years -- a feat made all the more remarkable when you consider Rick can neither walk nor talk, due to an accident at his birth. When they run, Dick pushes Rick in a wheelchair. When they bike, Rick's wheelchair is attached to the front of the bicycle. When they swim, Dick pulls Rick in a small (but stable) boat.

From the Team Hoyt website:

In 1975, Rick was finally admitted into a public school. Two years later, he told his father he wanted to participate in a five-mile benefit run for a local lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick, far from being a long-distance runner, agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair. They finished next to last, but they felt they had achieved a triumph. That night, Dick remembers, "Rick told us he just didn’t feel handicapped when we were competing."

And that's how Team Hoyt began. Since 1977 they have racked up an amazing record of (hold onto your hats) 942 events, including 65 marathons, with a marathon record time of 2:40 -- done when Dick was at least 50 years old (can't find the backup on that stat yet.) A real story of determination and love. I encourage everyone to check out their site.

And the winner is...


Gotta think of a good prize for you. I'll email you with a choice.

PS: Jay Fischler's prize for winning Contest #2 -- he took what was behind the curtain instead of the shirt -- was a gummi steak (like gummi worms, only it's a steak) and a key-chain calculator. (told you to take the shirt, hee hee!) Just letting you know the caliber of what's behind the curtain, folks!!

Okay, off to lay on a heating pad. Have a good weekend!!

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