Monday, May 15, 2017

A Comedy Night to Benefit NF and the Becca Pizzi 5K

Comedy Night to Benefit NF Northeast

On April 29th, we had our first annual Comedy Night to Benefit NF Northeast.  The show was held at Beth El Temple in Belmont and thanks to Leilani Germain and Ameriprise Financial 100% of ticket and raffle sales went directly to NF Northeast.

Everyone was fed well with Pizza from Nick's Place II, Asian Cuisine from Shine, veggies from Wilson's Farm, bread from Iggy's, hummus and dips from Samira's Homemade, and beverages courtesy of Star Market.  To top that off we had Moozy's Ice Cream served by the one and only Becca Pizzi (Who was putting on a race the next day).

The two part show, by Improve Troupe Improvised History was an absolute blast.  They even got the crowd involved in the second half where they poked fun at runners, cyclists, and triathletes, which made up about a third of the crowd.



Following the show, Karen Peluso, the Executive Director of NF Northeast, spoke a little bit about NF and then lead us through an awareness video where the whole crowd said "The word is Neurofibromatosis." (Click here for more on #TheWordIs campaign).

Huge shout out to Improvised History, Leilani Germain and Ameriprise Financial, and everyone that donated items, food, money, and / or their time. We couldn't have done it without you.

Looking forward to next year's show.

Becca Pizzi 5k
Location: Belmont, MA
Date: 4/03/2017
Distance: 3.1 miles
Goal: 17:59 (5:47 / mile) / Win
Actual: 17:55 / 3rd Overall

Last year I won the inaugural running of the Becca Pizzi 5k in a time of 17:18 (My 5K PR).  Other then my friend Todd that I had passed with about 75 meters to go, no one was even close to us.  Going into the race this year, people kept asking, "Are you going to defend your title?" Laughing, I said "We'll see who shows up."

Unlucky for me two pretty fast people showed up this year.  The first was a local Belmont man named Russell who I have raced against before and the second was a 15 year old vision impaired kid.  
We started the race at a wildly unsustainable pace and didn't even slow down a bit until about a third of a mile in.  I hit the one mile mark in 5:33 and at this point was in fourth overall, with the vision impaired runners guide just in front of me.  The kid was pulling away from his guide quickly. 

By the half way point I had also dropped his guide (who had muttered "I didn't sign up for this pace" on the way by) and was I beginning to struggle on keeping my pace below 5:50.  

For the third mile, we had a long straight away, then a 150 degree turn which pointed us back towards the track.  I settled into a slightly more comfortable pace for this section knowing I wasn't going to catch the leaders and ensuring I had enough left into the tank to hold onto third place.  As I hit the track I picked it up again and finished strong.  

Following the race, I got a few minutes to talk to the kid that came in second.  A few people had asked him if he had trouble after dropping his guide.  Laughing he said, "My bib say's vision impaired.  At every intersection people were screaming which way for me to go."

All and all had a fun race and even won a free pair of Newton Trail Running shoes.  




Next Up 
26 X 1 Mile Club Challenge.  

- Scot

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The 121st Boston Marathon - When it is not about you

This past Monday I ran and completed my second Boston Marathon.  This was the first time that I ran under a charity number and turned out to be the race that I truly needed.

Ever since Nat was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF) Type 1 last year we have been looking to get more involved in the NF community, figuring out how to give back, and simply how to make a difference.  

The story of the 121st Boston Marathon began on December 31st last year.  I said to Amy, "We need to do something big next year. How does a $10k fundraising goal for NF sound?"  She said, "I like it."

Two days later I received an email from Diana at NF Northeast saying "I noticed your new CrowdRise page and running initiative and I think it’s awesome! Thank you for thinking of us with your fundraising throughout the year!  We have received a number for the 2017 Boston Marathon and were wondering if you’d like it and run on behalf of NF Northeast."

I immediately signed on (Maybe I have soft spot for when someone tells me that they think something that I am doing is awesome) and doubled down on my fundraising.  

Over the past week we have been completely floored with the support that we have received.  We have received over $1900 in donations (of which $950 came from my co-workers / will be matched by my company).  My last two social media posts have received over 225 combined likes and the words of support and encouragement have been amazing (some from people we have never even met).  

The night before the race, I did something that I saw Meb Keflezighi do in 2014 before he won the Boston Marathon.  Meb had written the names of the four individuals who lost their lives at and the days surrounding the bombings in 2013.  Meb ran and won for them.  I wrote Nat's name on the back of my bib and it was right then that it became abundantly clear to me that this race was not about me.  For the first time in my life, I was truly running for someone else.  

When I stood at the start line Monday all I could think about was how grateful I was.  Grateful that Nat is healthy, grateful for support we have received, and grateful for the community that we have been welcomed into.  

As the race started, I did what I always do, take off waaaay too fast.  It took the better part of a mile to get out of traffic and settle into a comfortable pace. 

I did my best to take in my surroundings and appreciate what was going on.  I waved at people cheering on the side of the road.  I talked to fellow runners.  I read the stories on the back of peoples shirts.  These were others running for people who had battled their respective diseases; cancer, muscular dystrophy, heart disease, autism, multiple sclerosis, etc..  Some had survived and were even running.  Others had lost and were being represented by a family member or friend.  While one might think this brings on a somber mood, it is actually quite the opposite.  It shows power of fight.  It is a celebration of those unwilling to give in to what life throws at them.   

As a new sense of motivation set in, I picked up the pace.  By the 10k, I had dropped my average to about 7:08 per mile (was aiming at 7:20 by the 10k mark).  I felt good, but it was getting really hot and I was having to stop at the aid stations and drink every mile.  
Pic Compliment of
Diana Flahive

By mile 9, I knew that I had to slow down if I was going to be able to get through this.  By the half way point my average pace had dropped to the mid 7:20s.  While I was starting to get dehydrated and my legs began to hurt, I still felt ok. 

As I passed through downtown Wellesley I began to question myself.  Why was I here? What was I doing? I don't even like marathons.  At this point I just thought about what the inside of my bib said.  This wasn't about me, this was about raising awareness and raising funds to help others and to find a cure.  

As I reached the first of the Newton hills, the route 95 crossing, I decided that I didn't care how much I hurt.  I was going to run this whole damn thing (last year when I reached 95 is the first of many walking breaks).  

As I crested the hill, I began to get a second wind.  It was time to find my friends at NF Northeast (who were supposed to be around the 17 mile mark).  
Pic Compliment of
Diana Flahive

Then I saw the big NF sign up on my right.  I moved over, smiled for the camera, and gave Karen (the executive director) a huge high five on the way by.  I will never forget the smile on all of their faces as I ran by.  At that moment I could not have been happier and prouder.  

About a mile later I hit the next major stopping point on my run, the 30K mark where my running club, my parents, and Amy and the kids were.  I talked to my parents, kissed, the kids, and made sure to slap each and every persons hand on the way by.  With about 7.5 miles to go I was hurting, but I was happy.  

I chugged my way through the remaining two hills and just kept pushing forward.  I had to keep the pace fairly controlled as my stomach was starting to really get unhappy with the amount of gatorade I had poured into it.  The carnage on the course was also pretty crazy at this point as the heat had really taken its toll on a lot of people.  

My favorite part in all of the Boston Marathon course is just after the 1 mile to go mark.  In 2016, the city painted the phrase "Boston Strong" on the the Route 2 bridge which you go beneath.  This is the point in the race that all pity parties end.  I instinctively picked the pace back up.  Any pain that I was feeling was no longer relevant.  

As I made the turn onto Hereford Street I began to well up with emotion.  The amount of support that we have received over the last year overwhelmed me.  I could not have asked for more.  I could not ask for more.  

As I turned onto Boylston and the finish line was in view I regained my composure and began to smile.  I sprinted down Boylston and it seemed like everyone else was standing still.  I don't think I even saw a single spectator on the side of the road.  I was completely in the zone.  

As I crossed the finish line, I raised my arms in triumph, and simply thought to myself "For Nat." It was over, but it wasn't over.  I had just completed my second Boston Marathon, but there was still so much work to do.  Neurofibromatosis is more common than cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined, but no one can even pronounce the word.  

In addition to raising funds for NF research, our goal is to raise awareness. How can we cure a disease if people aren't aware of it?  

May is NF awareness month in Massachusetts and NF Northeast has issued all of you a challenge. Record a video, buy a t-shirt, get involved - http://nfincne.org/17782/may-neurofibromatosis-awareness-month-take-challenge/ - We just purchased our shirts (and will be recording a video soon). 

While this was far from my best marathon, it was definitely the most meaningful one.  I am excited to see where running and my relationship with the NF community take me next.

- Scot

Special thanks to NF Northeast for choosing me to represent them at this years Boston Marathon
Special thanks to the Somerville Road Runners for their support on and off the course (Specially to Tina Mack at the hotel after the race).
Special thanks to my sister-in-law Meryl for driving me to Hopkinton Monday Morning
Special thanks to my wife Amy dealing with and supporting me as I disappear for hours on end to run miles and miles.

Next Up

Saturday, April 8, 2017

NF Northeast Table for Ten

Amy, the kids, and myself
before the event.
This past Wednesday, Amy and I attended the NF Northeast Table for Ten event.  The event is a pretty cool concept; restaurants in downtown Boston donate a three course meal for ten people and these tables are filled by people who either buy tickets by making a donation to the charity or who are invited as guests. Following dinner, everyone regroups for dessert, an auction, a raffle, and a short presentation. Amy and I were invited as guests to the event as I am running for NF Northeast at this year's Boston Marathon.

For more info on the event, checkout https://www.facebook.com/events/1070077703104229/

The night started with dinner at State Street Provisions and our table consisted of two adults living with NF (Andres and Andy), their wives, and four members of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce (NF Northeast office is located in Burlington, MA and is one of seven of the official charities that the town works with).

For dinner, I had fritters as my appetizer, a wonderfully rich lobster bisque as my first course, and a pork shank pasta dish with a poached egg on top as my entree.  Coupled with a few glasses of wine, I was completely stuffed by the time we left.  The food was absolutely amazing.

Amy and I are still fairly knew to the NF community, so it was good to hear stories from people both living with NF and that have been working with NF Northeast for years.  They were both inspiring  and heart wrenching;  some based around dealing with (and thankfully beating) cancer and others about starting charity events (a future goal of mine), such as the Coast 2 Cure NF bike ride (Last years recap) which Andres started.  All and all it was great to learn more about the organization and the community in general.

Following dinner we walked back to the UMass club for the second half of the event.  Shortly after we arrived the organization's executive director, Karen Peluso, came over and introduced herself to Amy and me and told us how happy that they were to have us running for and representing them.  We were happy to see how tight nit a community this truly was.

A few minutes later the presentation / auction portion of the night began. Dan Andelman, the host of the Phantom Gourmet, was the event's speaker.  After leading us through a couple of introductions, Karen took over the podium.  Myself and the other runner representing NF Northeast at the Boston Marathon, Mike Losier, were called up to the podium to be presented with the singlets that they got for us to run in.

After Mike, who has been running for NF Northeast for years between the Falmouth road race (Note: they still have spots for 2017, contact Diana Flahive - dflahive@nfincne.org if interested) and the Boston Marathon, was presented with his jersey, it was my turn.  Karen started by saying "Scot, we did some research on Scot and he is intense.  Scot why don't you tell everyone what you have in store later this year." Looking up I said, "I will be running my first 100 mile race this coming October." Collectively a over a hundred jaws hit the floor.

Mike and I with Karen after
receiving our jerseys.
Karen talked about the fundraising that I have done for various charities over the years with my running and cycling and then explaining Nat being diagnosed with NF 1 last year has shown me my calling.  Fighting back a little bit of emotion all I could do was say thank you.

After a quick photo op, I stepped away from the podium and was able to find Mike and get to know him a little better.  We talked about running, our goals for this years Boston Marathon, our kids, and our connections with NF (Mike runs for family friend Ryan Feeney).

Throughout the rest of the night a number of people came over, introduced themselves, and thanked me for running for the NF community.  I am just happy to be given the opportunity to represent such a great and supportive organization and community.

9 Days till Boston

- Scot

PS Neil tried on my jersey this morning just to make sure it fit.


To make a contribution: https://www.crowdrise.com/miles-to-defeat-nf
Join us at our upcoming comedy event: https://tinyurl.com/comedy-to-benefit-nf

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Boston Quad and a A Letter to My Future Self - Dress Appropriately

Yesterday I got up at 3:30am and drove out to Wellesley to meet up with my friend Henry who was attempting to run the Boston Marathon course 4X (or as he calls it, the Boston Quad).  For more info on his attempt, see https://www.facebook.com/events/240355413056954/

Henry runs for Runwell, whose mission is "To provide addiction recovery solutions through funding existing treatment scholarship programs along the continuum of care. By engaging individuals in sporting events worldwide we foster a healthy lifestyle and begin to break down perceptions of those struggling with the disease." To help support Henry in his venture, please go to: https://runwell.donorpages.com/4DesertsPatagonia/HenryWard3/


My goal yesterday was to run roughly a marathon with Henry starting and ending in Wellesley (to Hopkinton and back).  When Henry first scheduled this event for April Fools Day, I was a little worried at what the joke might be.  As luck (or who ever is in charge of the April fools jokes) would have it, we ended up with 35 degree pouring rain starting mid Friday and going straight through Saturday.  

After a quick cup of coffee / breakfast sandwich during my drive, I found myself parked near the intersection of 16 and 135 in Wellesley at 4am.  Henry started at 2am in Boston with a couple other runners and all of them were in great spirits when I found them.  With basically no traffic at this time of day we ran down the middle of road; first into Natick (where we picked up Brian), and then into Framingham.  It didn't take long until I was completely water logged.

The first 5 miles went well, but shortly after I started to get a chill and it only got worse.  The conditions were nuts. There was so much water on the road it was impossible to go around anything.  We were ankle deep at times.  Just before we left Framingham, I had to stop to tie my shoe. Getting my soaking wet mitten back on was painful and it was only the beginning.

We (Brian and I) arrived at the start line in Hopkinton and met up with a few others.  Henry arrived a few minutes later.  After a token picture, we headed back out.

Pic Compliments of Rich Morrissey 

At this point I was shivering uncontrollably. In a feeble attempt to gain some warmth, I took off down the road at a pace no person running a hundred miles would ever run.  The shivering never got better, so I told the others that I had to keep going.  About three miles later, I told Brian I was going to need him to drive me back to my car and lucky for me he obliged.

At mile 21.5 (for me), we got back to Brian's car, jumped in, and jacked the heat to full blast. I literally cannot remember the last time that I was that cold.  About 20 minutes later I was back in my car and a half hour after that in a steaming hot shower which finally got my core temperature back under control.

To say I botched my clothing is probably an understatement.  For future reference, below is what I wore and probably should have worn.

Wore:
- Breathable Running Mittens
- Compression Shirt
- Running Jacket
- Racing Compression Tights
- Hat (Baseball cap style)

Should have Worn:
- Goretex Mittens
- Compression Shirt and dry fit long sleeve over it
- Rain jacket
- Thick Running Tights
- Hat (Baseball cap style)

Shortly after I left, the others synced back up with Henry and kept him company until the Newton Firehouse (mile 43ish for Henry) where his next posse arrived.  Henry went on to run 3 full Boston Marathons (Boston - Hopkinton - Boston- Hopkinton) before mother nature got the best of him.  At this point he was 21 hours in and his foot was completely swollen (probably from running in slush all day).

I don't say this lightly as I know a lot of tough runners, but after this weekend's event I believe that Henry is the toughest runner I know.  I don't know anyone that can endure like that.  He is truly an inspiration.

For me, Boston in Marathon in 2 weeks.  For Henry, eager to see what he takes on next.

- Scot

Special thanks to Mike, Brad, Brian, Steve, Lisa, Rich, and of course Henry for a crazy day.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Validation of Training - Ruck a Chuck 50K

"On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow." - Friedrich Nietzsche 

This past Saturday I took on and completed my 12th ultra marathon at the very hilly (7500+' climbing) Ruck a Chuck 50K in Forrest Hill, CA.  This race also marked the 8th state in which I have completed an ultra marathon.

I picked this race for a few reasons:

  1. I liked the time of year (mid March) giving me motivation to train hard through the NE winter 
  2. It was located within driving distance of relatives, so we had family to visit 
  3. It was run on part of the iconic Western States 100 course, a bucket list race I hope to do some day. 

Training began in the second week of January after a much needed three week back off from training (30 or less miles per week).  After a text from a friend and a plea to hold sessions on multiple days, I quickly revived SHOP (Scot's Hills of Pain) and got out twice week to run the hills and get in as much climbing as I could.

For this training cycle, I also tried to get back to the basics and make sure my hard days were hard (most Tuesday and Thursday's were 15+ miles) and my easy days were easy (Monday and Friday being 3 miles).  I also got to the gym twice week and worked the core as much as I could (Upping my plank to 60 seconds, my push ups to 30, and my pull ups to 15, all at 3 sets).

As the weeks progressed, the climbing added up and I was feeling stronger and stronger.  I got my mileage up into the 70s and then low 80s.  I got in three "long" runs of 24, 31, and 20 miles and one good mountain run up at Monadock three weeks before race day.

Going into the race, I had 606 miles and about 30,000' of climbing under my belt.  As long as I didn't go out to hard, I was pretty sure that I wouldn't have any trouble with the race.

We flew out to California the Thursday before the race and after a stop at the park (to let the kids unwind) and some lunch we drove out to Roseville.  Our hotel had an indoor pool in which we immediately hit up after checkin.  Pretty tired after a 3:50am east coast wakeup, we headed to bed by 7pm.

For Friday we we headed over to one of the regional parks for a few hours before going to Auburn to pick up my number at the Knee Deep Brewery.  After a quick sampler for us (Mild, Barely Wine, Porter, and a Stout) and tater tots for the kids we headed back to hotel.

Race day began with a 5:30 wake up (thanks to the kids) and we were on the road an hour later for a short drive.  We got to the start, Rucky Chucky Park, shortly after 7am.

Most innovative race bib: Name (so people know who you are) and upside down elevation profile
(so you can read it while wearing the bib).  

Stream Crossing
The race started promptly at 8am and began with a 2 mile / 900' decent.  I ticked the first two miles off at 7:15 each trying to do as little damage to my quads as I could.  Shortly after this there were two small stream crossings which were a little higher then usual after all of the much needed rain that California had received this year.  At mile 2.75, we reached the first aid station and made our way onto the Western States trail.  I took it as conservatively as I could knowing there was quite a bit ahead.

Next there were a couple of sets of small hills (150' range or so) where I moved up from about 10th to 5th overall.  Around mile 8.5 is when the first major climb began and consisted of over 400' spread across 5 switchbacks.  After a false flat / aid station, the final (on the way out) major climb began which was a straight up rocky section with another 400' over 1/3 of a mile.

After this section, I was able to find a groove again knocking out the remaining 4+ miles to the
turnaround between 8:40 and 9:30 pace.  The turnaround just a box in the middle of the train with purple wristbands. You simply grabbed a wristband to prove that you were there.

As I began my trek back, I was feeling pretty strong.  At this point I was still running in 5th place, was about a half mile behind 4th and a quarter mile in front of 6th.  I figured if I could hold onto 5th for the day, I would be pretty happy with my performance, specially living in an area that requires a bit driving to get to the mountains.

As runners continued to run by, I got an adrenaline boost and instinctively picked up the pace.  I had a couple decent climbs to go before I hit the big descent. For mile 18, I was even able to drop an 8:03 mile.

As I reached the big decent, I bounced down it the best that I could.  My quads were starting to get pretty sore at this point.  Fortunately I was able to recover pretty well and went back to dropping 9 to 9:30 miles for most the the next 8 miles.

Just before I reached the final aid station with 2.75 miles to go, I saw the 4th place runner come into view.  It was a fairly flat section and he was walking so I knew that I could pass him as long as I held a somewhat consistent pace.  I ended up catching him right at the aid station and he fist bumped me and said "Go get it." I said thanks and kept on moving.

The final climb was a complete bear.  I employed a run walk method entirely based on heart rate.  I ran the best I could and walked when I had to.  Finally, Amy, Neil, and Nat came into view and just past them was the finish.  Neil jogged in with me.

-- 4:55:08 -- 9:30 / mile -- 4 / 120 OA --

All and all I was very happy with my performance. My loose goal was coming in was 5 hours, but I really had no idea what to expect with a race with that much climbing.  I have only ever climbed more then that in a day twice and both times were in 50 mile races.  

While sore and tired at the finish, I never felt like I blew up or couldn't continue.  Even as late as mile 28 I was able to click off an 8:37(which even included a stream crossing).  I like to look at this result as validation of my training.  Make your hard days hard, your easy days easy, and train as specific to the race as your can. 

Later that day we drove to Oakland where we stayed with Amy's uncles for the remainder of trip and visited with cousins and friends.  It was great to catch up with everyone. 

Next up: Boston Marathon

Scot

Richard, Amelia, and Nat

Dennis and Nat

Neil and Ethan






Sunday, March 5, 2017

Adventure Fridays - Episode 1 - Monadnock Summit via Pumpelly

"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than how you think it should be" -- Wayne Dyer

A little over a week ago I decided it was time to start a new venture called "Adventure Fridays."  The premise is simple; once a month or so, get out and do something new and interesting on a Friday.

With a hilly trail race coming up in Mid-March, I needed to get out and tackle some gnarly terrain with some big elevation gain.  Amy was on travel for the last week in February, so I decided I would just take Friday off from work, drop the kids off at pre-school / day care, and go do something fun. As luck would have it, Keith was off for February break so I a buddy to tag along with for the day.

For my first Adventure Friday, I decided that I would run the Pumpelly trail up Mount Monadnock. I had first hiked / run this trail back in November of 2010, so I was at least somewhat familiar with it.

The Pumpelly trail starts north of the mountain (Near Dublin, NH) and is about 4 miles in length to the summit.  The first mile and half or so are pretty runnable with about 400' of climbing.  From there it moves more towards a scramble and once you crest the tree line it turns to your technical / rocky New England trail.

Pumpelly Trail Head
Unlike before, this time we were tackling the trail with snow and ice on it which added an additional degree of complexity. Keith and I arrived at the trail head around 10 am and were greeted with a warm, but foggy, 45 degree weather.

As expected, the first mile and a half went fairly smoothly other then sliding around in the wet snow.

Once the scrambling started, it began to get interesting. Picture a 40+% grade, solid ice, and a cold stream of water coming down over it.  We dug in with our spikes and grabbed onto anything we could to get over it.

After it flattened out, we were able to jog again a little, but had to be careful not to stray off the main trail too much or we would end up post holing (falling through soft snow) immediately.

Once we got above the tree line, the sun had come up and it was a beautiful clear day.  We continued to slog along switching back and forth between solid rock, solid ice, with bouts of soft snow.  You really had to focus on what you were doing.

An hour and 19 minutes after we started, we reached the summit.  After a quick snack and a few pictures we began our descent.  As with any other time I have been near the Monadnock summit, there were 40-50 mph winds.

Southern Facing Panoramic from Monadnock Summit

The first two miles of the descent were a little slow due to the technicality of the course coupled with the winter conditions.  We were also quite a bit more conservative being a little tired from the ascent. Once we got below the tree line we were able to pick the pace up some, heavily relying on our micro-spikes in the iciest of sections.  As we hit the runnable section again, we began our blitz and even were able to drop a 9:01 mile before reaching the trail ahead.

Our total time on trail was just over 2 hours and 18 minutes, which wasn't too bad considering the adding difficulty created by the winter weather.  All in all a great run and happy to get out and do something hard and technical again.



On the way home, Keith and I stopped at the Gardner Ale house for lunch and a celebratory pint.

For March's Adventure Friday, I'll be out in California prepping for my next 50K race, the Ruck a Chuck, and able to explore part of the famed Western States course.

Looking forward to see where future Adventure Fridays will lead me.

Scot

Friday, January 27, 2017

Nat turns one and a half

In my last post, new years eve 2016, I declared that one of my main goals for 2017 was to raise $10,000 for Neurofibromatosis research.  The following Tuesday when I got back to work I received an email from NF Northeast saying that they thought my goal was awesome and wanted to know if I would represent them at the 2017 Boston Marathon.  I was honored to accept.


Today Nat turns one and a half.  As we do every 6 months (with both kids), we recorded his height.  He is standing tall at 2' 6''.  Nat is the happiest kid I have ever met and I literally cannot get enough of his laughter.  When I pick him up and throw him above my head he laughs uncontrollably.  I just keep doing it until my arms burn so much that I can't pick him up anymore.  In the mornings when I drive Nat to day care, I sit in the front and yell "Nat" and he responds with "Da" then I yell "Nat Nat" and get "Da Da."

In all of my years participating in endurance sports I have never felt so driven.  I am not sure if it is the fear of something happening to Nat or simply just wanting to make him proud, but I feel more focused then I have in a long time.

Training so far this year has gone well.  I started off with an easy week (completing my third easy week in a row), then bumped it up to 60 miles the following week with 2500' of climbing and then bumped it up again to 73 miles the following week with 4700' of climbing.

Even better then this, I have run these miles with over 15 different people and have barely done any runs on my own.  One of the best things about being a runner in the Boston area is how much everyone gets out during the winter months and starts the year in full stride.

One of my favorite weekly workouts (or twice a week in some cases) has made a resurgence recently.  We call it SHOP or Scot's Hills of Pain.  Basically we run in the vicinity of 6 miles with 1000' of climbing every Tuesday and / or Thursday.  Last week it even got its first social media hashtag (This is open to all, message me if you are interested in joining).

So as some of you may be thinking, $10,000 is a pretty ambitious goal.  Your right, but I don't believe in doing anything half assed.  Below is taste of some of the things that we have planned this year.
  • My company has a matching gift program.  If you want your gift to count for double, message me and we can try and figure something out.
  • W are going to have at least two big fundraising events.  
    • One in the spring (more to come soon) before the Boston Marathon
    • A second in the late summer before the Hennepin 100.
  • We are going get an auction going and see if we can get some local businesses to donate gift certificates and other items to auction off.  
  • I am putting the finishing touches on my book, which has been updated to include incorporation of family and adding purpose
    • If you are interested in being an editor, message me
    • All (if any) proceeds will go directly to charity
  • Finally, I pledge to donate $1 per mile that I run this year to support Neurofibromatosis research (At the time of this post, I have already run 204 miles this year).
We are looking forward to an exciting and fast paced 2017.  If anyone else has any additional thoughts or ideas that you think I could use, I am all ears.

Thank you all in advance.

https://www.crowdrise.com/miles-to-defeat-nf

Special thanks to those who have already donated.

- Scot

50 days to Ruck a Chuck
80 days to Boston
253 days to Hennepin 100