It’s Race Week – Lights of Love for Caleb

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Pace and Racing
Tags: , ,

I hope everyone out there had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with their family and friends.  One of my favorite meals of the year, I always look forward to Thanksgiving.

This year it was only Dawn, Landry, me and our 16 year-old dog Kayla, so I dialed back on the menu a bit and just stuck to the family basics:

Escarole Soup – more commonly known as Italian Wedding Soup

A small 7 lb. fresh Turkey

Homemade stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

“Holiday” Mushrooms – also a family recipe

Pretty basic stuff, but good stuff all the same.

I ran a little farther than I normally would on Thursday and stretched things out by a couple of miles on Sunday – but other than that, a pretty relaxing last few days of running and training.

But it’s race week this week as we will be toeing the line as part of TEAM CALEB for our good friend’s Bea and Jay’s son at Friday night’s Lights of Love 5K which benefits the Austin Ronald McDonald House.

Austin Ronald McDonald House

I haven’t raced since the New York City Marathon and have not raced a 5K since August 13th.  Our strength and stamina is in good shape right now, but our high-turnover, fast twitch running muscles are woefully unprepared for the all-out effort that makes for a fast 5K time.

I’m hoping to run something right in the 19:00 minute range on Friday night – it would be great to be able to crack through that barrier for Caleb, but I have to be realistic about our chances having not done any speed work in quite some time.

The race is more about giving back to our Austin community and making a difference in the lives of many families across the area who are struggling with a sick child.  It is also about Landry and I participating in the event for her (Boy)friend Caleb.

Caleb was born with a congenital condition – imperforate anus.  He also has kidney reflux and tethered cord.  Long-term serious issues that threaten Caleb’s life and development.

Most parents will tell you that all they hope for is a happy, healthy baby – that it is truly a blessing.  Seeing the things that Caleb and his family have had to go through so early in his life have illustrated to me just how lucky those of us with healthy children truly are.  It is a remarkable gift.

Caleb and his family have been working hard to find help for him and this search led them to Cincinnati where the top rated colorectal surgery team in the world resides.  The Smith family stayed in the Ronald McDonald House where the care and support the family needed took care of all of the daily worries for things such as food, shelter, laundry – all free of charge – which allowed the family to focus solely on Caleb and getting him better so they could return home to Texas.

The Ronald McDonald House has been doing this for years and years – providing countless families the support they need at the time when they need it most.

Caleb’s family wants to give that same experience back to other families with sick children.  As Caleb’s Mom Bea put it:

“It was such a blessing, in your time of greatest need to have a home away from home where they cared for you like family- every family with a sick child should have that. They helped ease the burden, comforted us and encouraged us.”

Landry has been practicing her walks in the evenings for the 1K event and Dad has been running and training as usual to make sure we are ready to do our best out there.

On the fundraising front – Landry has been doing AWESOME and is closing in on her goal of $400 before race day on Friday.  You can click HERE to see Landry’s fundraising page and read her letter about her good friend Caleb and what she is doing to help him and other children like him.

I’d like nothing more than for Landry to beat her Dad on the fundraising front.

As for the race on Friday – sorry Landry.  There will come a day when Daddy isn’t as fast as you are – but I’m sad to say, Friday is not that day.  You’re going down kid.

You gotta teach them at a young age how to lose gracefully ….

Thanks for all of the support everyone!  Hope to see you out there on Friday night.

  1. Caleb's Army says:

    Thank you Joe, Dawn & Landry from Team Smith & from the many families who you will help at a critical time. Caleb says to let him know who you need knocked off to come in 1st- he’ll be in the triple stroller and can surely take someone out. Either way, you’re #1 in our book!

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