“I will be running the Boston Marathon in April 2015 at the age of 50.”
That was my quote in my very first Boston or Bust 2015 blog back in November 2011. I had run one marathon and had the bug to do another. I wanted to do something BIG for my 50th. And then along the way some terrorists reignited my passion to run Boston. And then another thing happened; I got inspired in a whole new way being selected to joint the Melanoma Foundation of New England Running for Cover Boston Marathon team. Back to Back Boston’s in 2014 and 2015.
The person in the picture with me during this year’s race at mile 17 is Mark Buckley. He was matched with me this year as part of the Melanoma Foundation of New England’s (MFNE; www.mfne.org) Patient Match program. Mark is fighting (and winning) Stage IV Melanoma. And to see him at this point in the race wearing the cheesehead I had given him was just wicked awesome! (Note: he says he got lots of strange comments from his fellow Pats fan runners passing by. I can only imagine.)
I’ve learned many things along the way leading up to running this year’s Boston Marathon at age 50. Most have been tips on training and running marathons and such. But I have to say the highlight of these past two years has been my involvement with the MFNE and most recently making this new Boston friend and seeing him beat this disease. On the Friday before heading up to Boston he texted me about a CT scan and they said they had found a spot on his brain. Needless to say, that is usually not good. But today, he texted me the good news; the lesions on his brain were just prominent blood vessels in the scan. And the tumor in his abdomen had shrunk another 24%. I couldn’t be happier for Mark. We’re going golfing this fall!
This year’s race was cold, rainy and windy. I cramped like I’ve never cramped before. But I was able to run with my running “guru” from my neighborhood – Patrice Combs. She put up with my kind of pace (hers is like several minutes per mile faster) and my cramping. And we finished together at the exact same time of 4:15:18.
I’ll probably be running Boston again and will most certainly be continuing to support the Melanoma Foundation of New England. I want to thank each and every person who donated to this great cause. I raised $17,287 this year and the team as a whole raised $362,347! I’m so thankful to all of my friends, family and business sponsors equimedia and Orange Theory Fitness Alpharetta.
No more miles to go. It’s the end of this goal and the end of this blog. On to the next goal (just have to figure out what that is)…
I just posted this on Facebook. (So this may come across as a duplicate – but hey.) I know I said I was done but I plan to write-up an “Epilogue” to this blog after this year’s race. So honored to be supporting the Melanoma Foundation of New England again this year. If you wish to be part of this feel free to donate at www.paulgourley.me which will redirect you to the donation site. This group is amazing and continues to do all the right things to raise awareness, education and support in the fight against Melanoma.
Only a bunch of training (too many miles to count) and 26.2 miles to go…
Yes, once again I am ahead of the pop culture curve. In March of this year when I was in India I met the company that owns rights to the “Dancing with the Stars” TV show. I had told them they had picked a winner in my boy Donald Driver (Packer wide-receiver; future hall of famer).
So guess what? Donald wins! His award? The prestigious Mirror Ball trophy. It is a replica of a dancing mirror ball on a trophy stand. But the prestige of being winner of this coveted prize is…priceless. We did watch the last few episodes this past week. And yes, we’re a bit biased being from Wisconsin and all. But Donald was good!! And when he pulled off the free-lance Cowboy Troy country dance it was Katy Bar the Door! (an American phrase meaning “get ready for trouble”). I thought it was Katy By the Door but what do I know. Anyway, bringing in Cowboy Troy was genius.
Donald is the Packers slot receiver. He is the guy that goes up the middle, turns left, catches the ball and then gets pummelled. He then pumps his hand in his patented first down move, goes back to the huddle and then does it again. In Green Bay and Cheesehead land in general Donald is an icon. Between his smile and personality on and off the field he can’t go wrong. And now he’s a Mirror Baller (#mirrorballer). Untouchable.
I had forgotten about Cowboy Troy up until this. But I think the song he picked was “I Play Chicken With The Train” by Cowboy Troy. I’ve attached that video below for your viewing pleasure. He is on my playlist and very run-able. He is kind of hip hopster turned country to cash in. But in the end, who cares. He sounds good and that song is catchy. Go check it out. And if you want more go check out The Lacs (on iTunes) while you’re at it. Same kind of stuff.
Thank god I didn’t watch “Dancing with the Stars” entire season. The America’s Funniest Home Video guy is the host and tells all the same corny jokes. I’m surprised he doesn’t say something like “…and here are some videos of talking dogs dancing while doing the moon walk on the trampoline”. That is how I picture him. I just can’t take him serious. And his guest host is someone from the 1999 “Wild On!” show. I knew I remembered her. She’s also tough to take serious but I cut her more slack for some reason.
I’ve also attached a little clip of Aaron and Clay who were filmed rooting for Donald as well. Those guys crack me up. I see more State Farm in both of their future. Add one Mirror Baller to the mix of the State Farm ads. Maybe Donald dancing around the locker room or something. If you gave me a few minutes I’d come up with several tu-tu type ads worth showing. There is even a Discount Double Check move by Clay in here. That never gets old.
Running Update: On the bench again. I had open Sports Hernia surgery last week. So it’s two weeks of walking up and down the hills of Cambridge, a week or two of gym bike and then back in the saddle. Next race – London 10K on July 8th.
Still Only 35 Months and 26.2 Miles to go…”
Aaron and Clay (no, not the two in the picture but in the clip):
This is Jordy/Cleo. She is a black lab that my family adopted via the Angels Among Us organization. Her name before we got her was Cleo. We decided to rename her Jordy after Packer wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Unfortunately, yesterday was a very sad day in our house. We had to make the decision to return her to her foster home as she was about to kill our cat Charlie. They just could not even be in the same room or the same house. Our cat was beyond scared to death and probably for good reason. We will never know if it would have worked out but made the tough call to return her to the home with the fenced back yard and no cats. So now she’s back to being Cleo.
I hadn’t intended to write a blog anytime soon as I don’t have much new news or creative ideas. And for sure today I have little to no humor to share. But what I did want to do is send this out in the event someone out there might want to adopt Cleo. She is a GREAT dog and I figured I owed it to her to see what I could do to help her find a new home.
Cleo is approximately three years old. She is a beautiful female black lab. I’m not sure they have much information on her prior life but I do know she got along great with our other dog. And I also know that anyone with a cat should not even consider her. Ideally, the adopting family would have a fenced back yard for her to run. The only running Cleo was able to do at our place was around the house chasing Charlie and one short run with me on the leash. She did make it a mile and seemed like she could go on a lot longer so she’d make a good running partner in that regard. She’s been around a bunch of other labs for a while now so she knows how to just get along with other dogs. She had some sort of allergy that she’s getting over and needs a bit of special food but other than that she’s a normal dog.
Cleo has a great personality and knows how to sit, down and sometimes stay. I’ll be asking around my friends that I know. I’d ask you do the same. Given our trial run with her I can highly recommend her as being good with kids and good with other dogs; she’s just not good with cats and needs a back yard with a fence.
No doubt this was a really tough thing to go through for all of us. I know Cleo will be adopted and in the mean time has a great home with a great foster parent. Please consider her and feel free to call me if you have any questions. I can get you in touch with her foster mom.