Good GU News!

Years ago I wrote a post titled, The Great Goo Review, and it has become one of the most popular read posts on this site…probably because of SEO through clever titling, or something. At some point, however, it was brought to my attention that one of the products I reviewed was not vegan (Doh!). It turns out, one of the amino acids in the GU product was sourced from bird feathers (WHAT?! Yeah…I know). It’s always those small ingredients that don’t inherently imply animal products and can be sourced from various places, animal and synthetic, that become tricky. When I discovered this I immediately edited and prefaced the post, so readers would know to steer clear of the GU product.

Recently, however, good news has come from the GU company, and they have revamped the formulas for their product line, removing the animal products from their gels and using a natural vegan alternative instead. High fives to them! Admittedly, I have no idea if this decision was made due to consumer demand, economic sense, or something else, but I also don’t care. I’m just glad the demand for yet another unnecessary animal product has been eliminated for this recipe.

For the new formula, I would be shocked (and skeptical) if you could tell a difference due to the change. I was, however, given a sampling of the new products and have been periodically taking them on my runs to give another review, which I will break down by the categories used in the first review.

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Note – The packaging on the GU Brew and Tablets are not the updated versions in this photo.

OVERVIEW

GU has overhauled their entire line, adjusting some of the formulas (as just described) and creating what they call a “holistic nutritional system” based around hydration, energy and recovery, pretty much the Before, During and After components of athletic training that many companies have started to use for their product lines. The products may not be entirely ground breaking, but the cohesive marketing has been a relatively new change, along with some specific nutritional tweaks. It’s not a bad idea as many athletes have struggled to figure out the best options for the Before, During and After, often mixing and swapping products, but now it’s much easier to get a cohesive plan in place without so much guesswork.

Aside from the overall approach to making it easier for athletes to create a cohesive nutritional plan, GU has also added some new flavors to their gel lineup, notably Big Apple, Salted Watermelon, Caramel Macchiato, etc. The packaging is also updated to give you a quick breakdown of the nutritional profiles important to athletes – Amino Acids, Sodium, Calories, and Caffeine.

Finally, one other change to the GU energy gels is their quick absorbing component, where previously they recommended you ingest one 15 minutes before physical activity, that has now been cut to 5 minutes, and then following that with a gel every 45 minutes for maximum benefit.

Also note, the ENTIRE GU line is not vegan. I’m getting clarification on which products are not, and I will update with that information. It is confirmed the GU Recovery Drink Mix is NOT vegan (dairy products).

PACKAGING

I still think GU has the best packaging design in terms of size, allowing you to fit 1 – 3 into a small running shorts pocket, with a tab that is easy enough to tear off. It still takes a bit of finesse to keep the tab from flying completely off and littering the trail or road, but it’s not a deal breaker by any means. There are few other gels on the market that match GU for packaging size and the convenience is no small thing.

Additionally, the packaging itself is now a part of the TerraCycle “Performance Nutrition Brigade” program, which is outlined here, allowing you to hold on to your used packets and send them to TerraCycle for reuse instead of littering the trails, roads and landfills!

CONSISTENCY

I still feel this is their achilles heel. The GU, if not taken with water…which is the recommendation, can be too thick for my liking. Specifically, the chocolate and peanut butter GU’s are the thickest for understandable reasons, while the others aren’t so bad, but take a little longer to get to a liquid consistency. Again, I admit, I take gels most often without water (as I don’t carry water on my runs unless I’m doing a long trail run), so it’s partly my fault they aren’t as thin as I’d like.

TASTE

The first of the new GU’s I tried was the Salted Caramel, and I laughed because I took one right as I was passing our local Fairgrounds where the State Fair is held, with all it’s sugary sweet concoctions, and I could see desserts being sold at the fair which taste similar to this. And that’s not a complaint! After all, we’re dealing with simple sugars here, so I don’t mind the Fair flavors. The Salted Caramel reminded me of the Sugar Babies candy I used to eat as a kid, and I have yet to be disappointed by any of the others as well. And although I’m excited to see they have a coffee flavoring in the mix (Caramel Macchiato), I’ll still be waiting for a straight “COFFEE” flavor…that just tastes like coffee. I’ll probably be the only one that buys it…but still…I can dream. It should be noted, they do have an Espresso flavor, which I will try once I get my hands on one.

NUTRITION

The nutrition profile for GU gels changes slightly and gives you options depending upon what you would prefer to concentrate, whether that is caffeine, sodium or a combination of both. Base level gels offer 55 mg of Sodium, 100 calories, 450 mg of Amino Acids and 22 g of Carbs. Caffeine is an option in some of the flavors while others are without, but Sodium concentrate is what fluctuates the most, going from 55mg to 125 mg, making those options more suitable for hotter weather when sweating and sodium replenishment is most important.

SUMMARY

I have not engaged in a Before, During, After plan for my running nutrition (at least not with specified product), but as far as energy gels go, I’m plenty sold on sticking (pun intended!) with GU now that they changed their formula to be vegan. The flavors are fun, the nutrition profile sufficient, and the packaging perfect.

I plan on putting in a significant amount of mileage and efforts leading up to the Because We Can run, so will continue to test and utilize the GU products, but to further assure you this isn’t solicited marketing, I’m hoping to get GU to help supply my run nutrition during the Ultra Run itself this August. In the meantime, let’s at least acknowledge them for not using animals in the formula and giving us another vegan product to use without concern.

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UPDATE

I was sent a document from GU detailing the changes that took place in their energy gels, in effect removing some ingredients and adding others. Regarding the vegan ingredients, this is what the document stated:

What changed:
Vegan Status

Reason for change:
In effort to address fueling for vegan athletes, we have closely evaluated our product’s ingredients and reformulated using only vegan sources in GU Energy Gel, GU Hydration Drink, Roctane Energy Drink, and GU Tabs. (Edit: It should be noted that due to the manufacturing process of the other products, GU can only ensure the Energy Gels are 100% vegan, and once they run out of the old supply of non-vegan aminos, the chews will be transitioned to vegan sources – sometime by the end of the year. Edit: The Roctane Energy Gels are NOT vegan.)

Benefit of change:
Formulating with vegan ingredients allows GU products to reach the hands of vegan athletes, which in turn helps to make a greater impact in the athletic community.

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RUN:
6+ recovery miles

FOOD:
Special Magic Oatmeal!
Coffee
Banana w/ Peanut Butter
It’s early…

MUSIC:
Reign Supreme – Testing the Limits of Infinite

Kid Runner

I’m doing this run down the state self-supported, which means I won’t have an aid vehicle following along, carrying supplies, or offering any assistance as I make my way from city to city, so it follows that I’ll be pushing OR PULLING my supplies with me. Fortunately, I have a halfway stop in my hometown of Indianapolis, allowing me to carry only enough to get me through the first four days before having to load up for the rest.

Initially, I was planning on contacting a jogging stroller/bike trailer company and soliciting for a donation, which I would donate to a family when the run is completed, and that still might be the final plan of action, but recently another option came to my attention.

Back when I was doing a healthy dose of “Run Commuting” I had the coffee enabled idea to create a pull behind trailer for carrying my work supplies, instead of stuffing clothes, shoes, breakfast, coffee, etc., into a backpack that bounced and swung around my back, altering my gait and sometimes leaving raw, worn and bloody marks at the contact points on my back. This seemed like a no-brainer and I was confused as to why no one had made a running specific trailer yet. I couldn’t shake the idea from my head and started building a prototype of my own from PVC pipe, a backpacking waist belt, and various lengths of bendable metal tubing. When it came to attaching wheels, however, I was at a loss and the idea got shelved as life distractions took over.

It’s too bad, because I was going to call it the Rick Roll (as in Rickshaw + Rolling = Rickroll!), which has so many hilarious marketing potentials.

Recently I decided to bring my prototype back out and see what I could make of it, but no sooner than I drug it out of the corner of my basement, I came across THIS!

kidrunner

That is the Kid Runner, a pull behind trailer meant to pull a child…or anything you can fit into the carriage, without restricting your running gait or causing you to lose arm movement. I knew I couldn’t have been the only one with this idea, and it simply took someone with the right financial connections to, well, run with it! I’m glad someone did, because my idea was just a fun experiment.

Coming across this prototype and soon to launch Kickstarter campaign right when I was formulating my Because We Can ultra run was perfect synthesis. I need a trailer to run with and Kid Runner is small enough to need more exposure for this product, and runners to show what can be accomplished with a pull behind trailer. I thought I’d give it a shot and sent them an email, explaining my plans and asking if they would be interested in a collaboration. Turns out, they are!

Here’s the catch though, they only have two prototypes they are working with at this moment, the Kickstarter campaign is about to be launched, and they can’t commit to a partnership at the moment because we aren’t positive they will have extra product to offer for the Because We Can run. Regardless, they ARE interested and I would be thrilled to be able to put one of these to the test, allowing me to run easily down the state, but also have a part in showing the possibilities of this obviously valuable running product. It’s the next best thing to a Rick Roll, no?! :)

For the time being though, we are in touch, and will periodically be checking in with each other to share updates on the benefit and the possibility of having another Kid Runner to use for the run. Let’s keep our fingers and shoelaces crossed.

In the meantime, check out their site and follow the Kickstarter when it launches on April 15th.

Kid Runner
Facebook
Twitter

Oh…and speaking of the fundraiser…stay tuned for more developments in a potential pre-ultra run fundraising event….details being coordinated now.

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Run:
10 miles w/ 4 x 800/400 rec./400/400 rec.

Food:
Special Magic Oatmeal!
2 clementines, 1 banana
Rice w/ tofu, spinach, mushrooms and BBQ sauce
Big salad with variety of ingredients
Chocolate
Dinner/snacks to come

Music:
Reign Supreme – Sky Burial

Adjusting Expectations

The “cancer dates” catch me off guard now, but on this day 2 years ago I ran my last pre-surgery / pre-chemo run, which despite being nearly fatally filled with tumors and cancerous mucin, I was at almost full capacity and could run without concern. My legs remained strong and my lungs could fill completely with oxygen. I had no concerns and runs were swift, powerful…and enjoyable. No matter, that evening a pain filled my abdomen that never really subsided until about 3 weeks later when I found myself lying on my back and being wheeled into surgery. What followed has been 2 years that, at times, seems to have gone at snail’s pace, and then at other times, seems to have passed in a blink.

It has been, despite all the complications and struggles, a very rewarding and fulfilling time in my life. I’m not afraid to admit that anymore, despite the perception that I may actually WANT cancer. I don’t. But there is something to be said about making the most of a shitty situation. Still, not all is so great, despite my ambitions.

I always said, no matter what cancer takes away from me, I won’t let it take away my running if I can help it. Mostly, I’ve kept to that promise. I ran as soon as I could after the first surgery. I ran through chemo. I prepared for surgery by running. I started running very soon after the second surgery. And now I’m back to training, trying desperately to push my thresholds back to previous levels…and that’s where my trouble and apprehension begins.

Something isn’t right. I can’t tell you what it is, and I can’t point to any articles that might explain away my struggling, but I can tell you that running isn’t anywhere near what it used to be. Now, I’m not saying cancer has taken running from me. No, I’m certainly not admitting defeat that easily, but it has changed what running is at this moment. To be succinct, it’s not easy….at least not in the way it used to be or how I want it to be. And I’m struggling with this.

Right now, despite the full on training I’m carrying out with my coach, it seems as if I’ve hit a 7:00 / mile wall, that simply won’t budge. I’m used to running into a wall of abilities and incrementally pushing it forward, but this time it’s not moving. No matter how many miles I run, how many workouts I stack on top of each other, no matter how many sub 5:00 intervals I run, the 7:00 / mile threshold is not dropping. Other competitive runners might be compelled to point out training volumes and the coming taper period and all those sports science considerations, and believe me, they run through my mind as well, but I also know something else is going on. It’s just different.

I don’t want to blame cancer…or more realistically, cancer treatments, but the more I run and the more I stay at this level, it’s hard to ignore. To describe it physically, it feels like anytime I dip under 7:15/7:00 pace, my heart rate sky rockets and I can’t manage in legs or lungs. Everything just turns into a full on effort. 6:00 is no different than 6:30 is no different than 6:45, and it’s only until I get back to 7:00 or 7:15 pace that I feel I can manage any endurance. It’s quite demoralizing. I have no range and I have no speed. I just have running at 7:00 / 7:30 pace as if it’s a walk in the park…and that’s it.

So yeah, something isn’t right. And that worries me, because every physical issue always raises the concern of cancer. I can’t deny, with another CT scan on the horizon, the concern of my cancer growing has me worried. I don’t think about it often, really, but it’s never too far out of reach, and although I try not to get comfortable in my physically able state…sometimes I get a little too optimistic, or naive, or distracted.

Right now I’m running in what I keep calling “a window of opportunity”, which lies between my last surgery and this chemo-free period of time before my next surgery. I’m trying to make the most of it, hence this fundraiser and running outside of any previous limits, but I need to be careful not to get too comfortable, because I also know, with cancer, this window can come slamming shut. I’ve seen it happen to other friends and I certainly don’t want to deal with it myself.

I’m not internalizing this concern, however, or accepting it as a “fear” of cancer. I’m physically able, and the demands of this benefit run, no matter how testing they will be, I believe are within my range of possibility. I’m just more frustrated that, at this moment, running isn’t the experience it once was and I’m finding that I have to adjust to my circumstances and abilities in order to bring it back into perspective, give it longevity, and find the same value I did with progressing my competitive abilities as I did in the past…but this time in different ways.

Cancer hasn’t taken running from me yet, and I’m going to work to make sure that doesn’t happen. In the present, the treatments have taken my competitive abilities and potential to push further into faster territory, but I haven’t written off the possibilities just yet. I know the body has an incredible ability to regenerate itself, and I’m hoping I can facilitate that through continuous training. Even so, if I’m damaged enough that I can’t get faster, that I can’t maintain previous levels of intense pacing, I can still endure. I can still go and go and go, and that running experience is just as fulfilling as it is to run fast. Part of the reason I’m doing this fundraiser, to the extent that I’m running as far as I am, is because I AM confident that I have this in me, that I CAN run like this, and so it’s my responsibility to make the most of it.

Barring the window of opportunity slamming down on my aspirations, I’m going to run again and again and again, enjoying myself with each step, with each struggle, no matter that I won’t be pinning on a bib number and going for another win. For now, it’s going to be about the continuous experience and not the superhuman aspirations. I can live with cancer and I can live with that.

Because We Can – Introduction Video

Junk Miles & Peanut Butter Jars

The running community debates the merit of “junk miles” every so often, which I assume is instigated by those who simply don’t want to run as much as they feel is necessary. The argument is that miles run at deliberately slow paces do nothing to advance one towards their specific running goals, whether that is being able to run faster or further, and so it would be equally beneficial (and comforting) to just NOT RUN. Well, wouldn’t that be nice. The converse to this argument, is that if one must run at certain, more difficult paces (or distances) in order to get better and better, then every run must be taxing. We know, however, the body’s ability to recover and regenerate over measured periods of times doesn’t allow for running all out, EVERY DAY.

The decades of running science has proven that we need days of easy running interspersed with our harder days, allowing the body to recover and get stronger, letting us run even harder and further downy the line. The question still remains, however..is it just as beneficial to NOT run instead of going at a slow, recovery pace…you know, “junk miles”?

Running science saves the day again, and it has been measured over and over that there are specific fitness benefits that come from running slowly in between our days of running hard. Those “junk miles” actually have value in training our body to burn fat along with carbohydrates for endurance fueling. They also continue to strengthen specific oxygen delivery systems through low stress runs, while allowing various muscles to adapt to low impact forces. Overall though, they keep the base level of fitness already achieved from backsliding by any degree, simply by adding minimal stresses to all the necessary systems, without dragging them into a state of extended recovery. “Junk miles” are, in no way, junk.

To illustrate this with the most simple of measurements, there is a noticeable advantage for runners who log 50 miles a week by running every day (no matter how periodically slow) compared to runners who might log 30 miles a week by skipping every other day. The accumulated strengthening and development of oxygen delivery adds up. The proof is in the race results.

So, what in the world does this have to do with peanut butter jars?

I’m not the best with finances, not because I don’t know how to manage them, but because I rarely have any to manage. No worries, I get by on creativity and consistent hard work. What I have found, however, is when I have money and put it aside (instead of in my bank account) it tends to accumulate. I don’t mean sticking it in my savings account or anything relatively abstract like that, but taking ACTUAL REAL MONEY and putting it aside. Say..in a peanut butter jar.

When I was a kid (ok, a non-adult kid), I would get an allowance, which I saved for months at a time just to buy the latest Iron Maiden cassette or similar musical offering. I would often stick the dollar a week into a certain hiding place around my room, only to go back to it or discover it weeks later, realizing I had enough to buy the cassette and commence to rocking out. The lesson I learned from those early days of navigating capitalism was an easy one, out of sight out of mind. If I couldn’t see the money, it was basically not there and I couldn’t spend it. That money, however, still accumulated…no matter how little I added to the hiding spot.

As an adult, I don’t necessarily need a hiding spot to stash my money, but I still recognize the value of slow accumulation. What I do now is, first, clean out one of my continuously emptying peanut butter jars, and then put a dollar in it. An ACTUAL dollar, then slowly, when I find myself holding onto a bit of change or another dollar, or five, or whatever…with no necessity to spend it on…it goes into the jar.

It’s like financial junk miles.

I put five actual dollars in the jar, just like I run five slow miles. It seems as if the money is not helping anything, going unused, and of no substantial amount…just like slow miles seem to not be helping anything, going unused, and of no substantial amount. We know, however, that accumulation is what counts, and although 5 simple miles or 5 simple dollars do not amount to much on their own, when taken as accumulative efforts…adding to the jar of miles or the jar of dollars…suddenly, when it counts…on race day…or when it’s time to buy that wood stove/garden starts/pay for college/etc,…there is suddenly tremendous accumulated value. Nothing about those miles or dollars were ever junk.

And that brings me back to the Because We can run fundraiser.

Some of you have the fortune (literally?) of donating to Family Reach with no sacrifice, and I thank everyone who have already donated with all the gratitude I can muster. You are directly and immediately making the lives of cancer patients better. There is no risk of return in your donation. What you put in can be measured in paid bills and emotional sanity.

For those of you (us) who aren’t so fortunate to often have disposable income to dispose of, who cut coupons and weigh the value of organic vs. rent at the grocery store, I ask of you this…buy a jar of peanut butter.

Eat that jar of peanut butter…the sooner the better, for all of us! Then put that jar on your counter, in a cabinet, in your car, or anywhere that allows easy access. Then put a dollar, or five, in there. Then over the coming days and weeks and months, keep adding to it. Put change and dollars and ACTUAL MONEY into that jar, not keeping a tally of how much is in it, but just letting it slowly, incrementally accumulate. Then at some point, whether periodically throughout my fundraiser or all at once towards the end, count it up and donate it to Family Reach. I think you’ll be surprised just how much of an accumulated benefit you can create a little at a time…and to think, you accumulate this with little expense and sacrifice, but the reward to the families managing cancer will be a veritable fortune, both financially and emotionally.

As a runner who loves peanut butter, understands the obstacles of cancer, and makes due financially, I assure you, the small efforts you make are in no way “junk”, but actual treasure that pay off massively when it really counts.

www.stayclassy.org/becausewecanrun

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Run :
6 “Junk” miles

Food :
Special Magic Oatmeal
Stir Fry w/ yellow pepper, mushroom, spinach, & tempeh
Homemade oatmeal cookies
Coffee
Snacks, dinner, etc. still to be eaten

Music :
This Is Hell – Black Mass

The Cumulative Reward

The sky was like a groggy, half-opened eye this morning, reflecting my own level of energy and enthusiasm to head out into the cold rain and put in a number of interval efforts. I just couldn’t work up the motivation to embrace the absurdity this morning, so decided to hold off and do the run after the rain stopped. The rain, however, didn’t stop. And the temperature didn’t rise. But the run still had to be completed.

A few cups of coffee later, my eyes opened a little wider than the sky and I steeled myself to run into the chilled air, taking on the weight of the equally chilled rain absorbing into my clothes. I had a set of 1:00 hard effort intervals to complete in the middle of my 8 mile run, but the weather wasn’t willing to bend to my desires and let me just concentrate on the workout.

When is the weather perfect for running though?

Every day will not be sunny, windless, and somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees, right? But we still get out and run. We run when it’s raining. We run when it’s snowing. We run when the humidity is suffocating. We run when the cold is biting. We run, because we know it’s better than NOT running. It’s never perfect, but that’s not the point, because the cumulative reward is always better than the momentary struggles. That is our goal, to manage through the low points, the obstacles, the chilled rain, to be able to look back and say, “Yeah, overall, the running is worth it. The total run is awesome.”

Kinda like life, right? When I’m on my deathbed (crossing fingers it’s later and not sooner) I want to look back and say, “Man, there were some dark times and some struggles and some regrets, but overall…that shit was awesome. I lived a good life, did what I could to reduce harm to others, and made the most of every day, even when things weren’t so great.”

And so I put on my gloves and light jacket over my long sleeve and shorts, and I headed out the doors of the gym into the lightly falling, but noticeably chilling rain. I worked my way through the warmup miles, then launched into a set of 1:00 hard, 2:00 easy intervals, letting my heart rate beat against my desire to stop, and built a fatigue into my legs. I soaked up the chilling rain, pushing back with self-created core body heat, and relaxed through the last cool down mile, enjoying the less than perfect weather.

I knew I was adding another successful effort to the greater, cumulative experience of running, no matter the weather wasn’t what runners would consider ideal. In the moment, it may have felt more a struggle than I often prefer, but it’s the complete experience enabled through finishing the effort that ultimately proves to be, actually, perfect.

Deeper considerations aside, running through adversity builds a certain toughness that can’t be denied. I will undoubtedly tap into this reserve when the going gets tough on the Because We Can run, which I know WILL get tough. The experience overall, I imagine, will make the struggle pale in comparison.

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Run :
8 miles with 1:00 hard / 2:00 easy intervals

Food :
Special Magic Oatmeal
Coffee
Quinoa with spinach and spaghetti sauce
Indian food (chana massala, aloo madras, rice, samosa)
Peanut butter and bananas on whole wheat sandwich
Banana
Dinner and snacks not yet to be eaten

Music :
Throwdown – Deathless

The “We”

When I initiated this fundraiser, I was utilizing the typical response given for runners’ motivations, “Because I Can,” but that only spoke to my involvement. Yeah, this was my idea, and I’m the one who’s going to be doing the running, and I’m the one writing the press releases, designing the logos, seeking out sponsors, and all that fun stuff, but this is, by no means, a solitary endeavor. This is not just about what I can do. This is for all of us, by all of us. It is the WE.

Because I could never do this alone. I need the assistance of the WE, of the sponsors who will help supply the shoes, the nutrition, and the trailer to help me get down the state, but most importantly, the financial donations of each generous individual to aid the recipients, the cancer patients, and the families managing cancer treatments through Family Reach programs. This MUST be a collective effort, even if I’m the only one doing the running.

Because although I can, WE are what will make this fundraiser count. WE are who will be able to assist those in such desperate need.

And yet, although there is something we all can do for others, there is always something WE need as well. And I want to address that too, but not as an act of charity, rather an act of mutual accomplishment.

I’m going to be running down the state, 50 miles a day, for 7 days straight…and I keep saying that because the potential to do so still leaves me apprehensive, and that’s a good thing. I’m going to do this…even though I’ve never proven that I can. Still, I’m going to try and I’m going to succeed, because I have to, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy or that I’m running entirely within my means, my proven boundaries, my understood potential and perceptions. I’m not…and that’s why this matters to me. I want to do more.

I’m also asking YOU to do more, but I’m not asking because I can do so with no skin off my back…which is why I’m putting my money where my mouth is, or where my feet are…but to reach new potentials together. If there is something WE can do together in this fundraiser, besides raise money for cancer patients and their families, it’s prove to ourselves that we have so much more potential than we know, that we can do so much more for ourselves than we are led to believe, that we are capable of so much more.

And that is the other component of the Because WE Can slogan.

We can all afford to spare finances, no matter how little, but when do we ever really put ourselves out there, ever put our abilities on the line, ever look at our perceived boundaries and potential and say, “That’s just an abstract…I can do more.”

If there is ever an important endeavor for us to take in our lives, it’s continuing to push against our perceived boundaries to see just what we can really do, especially as adults who have built empires of poor behaviors that pile up on top of each other, blocking our view of who we can really be. Adulthood is too often marked as a state of passivity, of learned and repeated behaviors that can’t be overcome and so one should not even try. It is a massive billboard that simply reads, CAN’T.

And that’s not true.

Whether that is your ability to lose weight. Whether that is your ability to get stronger. Whether that is your drive to find a more rewarding job, to downsize, to run further and faster, to leave an abusive relationship, to open yourself emotionally, to learn new skills, to find greater and greater confidence…to simply become a better person by your definitions…we can.

Now, don’t take this as some abstract, feel good, internet meme sloganeering, because that is not the social capital in which I deal. I mean that WE CAN become better, in honest, genuine, TANGIBLE ways. The path to doing so can be varied for each individual, but the path does exist and it’s up to each of us to find a way to become better, to living our perceived heaven in the now.

For me, this run is very much part of that drive to become better, to find new boundaries, to test my potentials and see how far I can take them.

And for what it’s worth. I have cancer. I tell myself this from time to time, because the narrative that comes along with this forced identity is one of being unable, of being sickly, weak, compromised…dying. But no matter how much truth resides in those descriptors, they aren’t ENTIRELY true. So part of this run is to say, WE CAN do more, and I’m going to prove it, WITH cancer, as one more way of erasing the excuses we accept into our lives, that limit our potentials, that keep us confined in so many unhealthy, abusive situations through only our accepted limited potentials.

I want this run and this fundraiser and this effort to be for all of us, for the cancer patients and their families, for myself, for our potential, for the push to become better, kinder, more understanding, more caring, more honest, more genuine individuals.

I’m going to do this Because I Can, but also to prove that WE CAN.

Let’s start with donating to those who are so (temporarily) limited by finances, chemotherapy, and cancer…then move ahead with finding new potentials in ourselves.

http://www.stayclassy.org/becausewecanrun

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In addition to blogging about my thoughts on running, this fundraiser, veganism, life, cancer, etc., I also want to get back to documenting my training and eating, like I did leading up to my marathon back in 2009. I plan on posting a small summary (periodically) at the end of each blog post…if that’s something your interested in.

Run :
6 mile recovery run and Strength routine

Food :
Oatmeal (w/ flax, chia, banana, blueberries, peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, brown sugar)
2 clementines and 2 bananas
Ugo bar
Beanoa (quinoa, salsa, spinach, mushrooms, pepper)
Dates
Tortilla chips
Granola
Quinoa w/ spinach and pasta sauce
Coffee

Music :
Stick To Your Guns – Disobedient