Posts Tagged ‘IIAGDTR’

One of the, if not the, most celebrated foot races on the planet is happening right now while I sit here in Austin, TX half a country away from where all the “action” is this morning.  It’s funny how things change as in 2010 and 2012 I was mixing it up out there, fighting the good fight from Hopkinton to Boston.  The first year I ran Boston I had a second marathon looming just 13 days later running for Dom and his battle against cancer.

Last year the marathon Gods had a little bit of fun with us dropping 87 degree temperatures on race day and we simply trotted it in along the storied course.  Never really “racing”, just hanging tough in survival mode and gutting out a very pedestrian performance, but one that given the conditions on the course were just fine with me.

After finishing the race last year I think that I finally got “Boston” out of my system.

It’s an amazing event, attracting fabulous runners from all over the world and I am very proud to have been a part of the race not only once but twice.  But right now my focus is on more personal, measurable goals.  It is not important to me where I run my next marathon or next 2,3 or 5 – but how I run them.

I want to be fit, focused and fearless.  I want to prepare in such a way that I am in position to maximize every bit of my ability and channel it into a one-day performance where I peak for 180 minutes (or hopefully less) of racing.

Steamtown, Austin, CIM, Charleston, SC – the destination doesn’t really matter it is all about the journey.  A healthy outlook for a lot of things – racing aside.

This morning two runners who I have a ton of respect for are having a very different Boston Marathon Monday.

One is having surgery to address a nerve issue he has struggled with in his foot for well over a year and a half.  He is one of my best runner-buddies here in Austin and I have missed seeing him at runs and races over the last year+.  Although before his injury the only thing I saw of him at races quite often was the back of his shirt.  Brendon has a long history of thumping me pretty soundly in most local races in our age group.  But seeing him struggle with injury and knowing the lengths he is willing to go to get out there running healthy has been inspiring.

Physical Therapy, Active Release Therapy, Rest, Rehab, Acupuncture (seriously) – I’m pretty sure Brendon prayed to various tribal lords and even tried voodoo and witchcraft to get healthy.

If his surgery goes as expected, Brendon will be back to training in about 8 weeks and hopefully he and I can wage a few epic battles this fall and winter as Brendon 2.0 takes on Joe 3.0 as a pair of aging 46-year-old top age groupers.

I also thought about my friend Richard Blalock from Charleston, SC who is actually battling it out on the course today in Boston.  Richard a life-long runner who suffered an unfortunate accident when he was a young boy had a deteriorating condition that was making it impossible for him to run.

After exhausting ever method and treatment possible, Richard missed the sport so much that he had elective amputation so that he would be able to run again with a prosthetic leg.  Yep.  Elective surgery to remove the lower half of his leg so that he could run again.

Richard today is running Boston as a 60 year-old amputee runner – you can read about his journey at –

IIAGDTR stands for – It is a good day to run.

Yes it is Richard – congratulations on making it all the way back and to the grandest stage in the sport for an amateur runner.

So on Boston Monday – this everyman runner from Austin Texas is spending some time not thinking about my own journeys from Commonwealth Ave. to Hereford Street to Boylston Street.  But of a couple of friends who I wish the best for and hope that they are able to stay out there doing the best that they can as long as they want to.

In the end, that’s what it’s all about.  Fast or slow, it hurts just the same.  It’s just important to be out there giving your all and trying your best.

I’m going to remember that on October 13th up in Scranton, PA.  I have a feeling that is going to be a special morning.


On November 10th a little WordPress blog was launched.  

As I penned the very first entry on Joe Runs for Dom I hoped more than anything that it would not be just another “runner blog”.  

I was hoping that somehow I would find an audience that would be interested enough to stop by from time to time and read about my good friend Dom and his truly courageous battle to defeat cancer. 

I hoped that through the blog they would get a chance to learn about Dom, about how much we all care about him and love him.

I have come to realize that among the many horrors in battling cancer is the feeling of helplessness. 

It is something that makes you feel like it is happening to you or to someone that you love. 

It is tough to feel proactive, tough to feel like you are taking the fight to the disease, not the other way around.  So as Run for Dom went from the crazy idea of running two marathons in 13 days to honor Dom, to the actual pursuit of said craziness, it was time to spread the word. 

This little WordPress Blog had found it’s voice.

At the start I had also hoped that the readers would find out a little about me, and that I in turn would find out some things about myself.

Never in a million years did I think that we would have more than 21,250 visits to the blog, raise more than $27,000 for Dom and his family and received more than 1,000 comments to our 130 posts.

It really has been an amazing 8 months.

For me the personal side of things has been pretty amazing as well as Dawn and I are now only ~6 weeks away from the arrival of our first child Landry.  I have run over 950miles, biked another 500, finished a couple of marathons, a half-marathon, a mile race, completed four 5K’s and claimed an overall victory in our first 10K race last week. 

That is an action packed 32 weeks for sure.

But Tuesday, I got a great surprise as my friend Jill who writes a terrific blog – Finishing is Winning was kind enough to bestow upon me (along with a few other great writers) the Blog of Substance Award.

You can visit Jill’s blog here:

The Rules:

1.     Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.
2.     Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words.
3.     Pass it on to other blogs which you feel have real substance.

So, first of all, thank you so very much Jill.  You do tremendous work on your blog and always write from the heart.  Having you cite Run for Dom as a blog that you feel has real substance is an amazing honor. 

You are the greatest.

As far as my blogging philosophy, motivation and experience – I have always tried to stay true to the things Dom has taught me throughout the last 12 months as he has battled cancer with everything he has.

Honesty, Selflessness and Live Courageously!

Just as Jill struggled to only site a single blog that she feels demonstrates real substance – I have a hard time picking just one as well.  There is not a single blog in my blogroll that has not touched me in some way over the past year or who has not in my view given far more than they have taken in sharing their views. 

I admire each author of their blogs for different reasons, but they all have a common characteristic and that is truth and honesty in their writing – whether it is Runnrgrrl “telling it exactly how it is” or Richard at IIAGDTR sharing his courageous transition to becoming an amputee runner.

But as I continue to try to prepare to not be such a “softee” when it comes to my baby daughter asking me for the world and me trying to give it to her …. I will toughen up and make a stand.

To Danica at Chic Runner – I have to pass this award on to you.

From the earliest days of Run for Dom you have been a tremendous supporter, written some of the most poignant and inspirational posts and shared with me and your readers your tremendous life story.

Whenever I need a smile or a laugh I head to Chic Runner, just as I do when I need to focus and realize what things in life are truly important.  To me, that says it all – thank you for all that you do.

You can read Danica’s incredible blog at:

I would also like to thank those of you who frequently visit Run for Dom and who take the time to encourage me, ask questions, inquire about Dom.  Your visits and messages continue to motivate me on a daily basis.  I read every one of your comments and take them to heart – you are the best, thank you!