Monday, December 24, 2007

Update, eternal wisdom from Honored Hero Jordan

I've copied an except here below from Jordan's most recent online Journal entry:

As I continue my recovery, I’m learning the difference between ‘well’ and ‘healthy’. Patients can leave the clinic healthy and cured, but may not be well....Right now, I am definitely recovering well and quickly, and am well...

Thank goodness! He continues:

There is no rhyme or reason to who gets it. It doesn’t care if you’re in shape or not, it doesn’t care if you have a family or not, it doesn’t care if you’ve got the insurance coverage or the money to handle the medical bills—it just takes and takes and takes from whomever crosses its path...

But we can take back. We can’t take back our normal kidney function and we can’t take back the health we had before we had to do the things we have to do to survive cancer, but we can take lessons—we can learn. WE CAN BE WELL. We can learn to be happy with what we have... time and with training I’ve been able to take back my body and compete in strenuous athletic events that even most normal people cannot do. I’m referring specifically to the triathlons I did...Cancer took my strength and athleticism, and I took it back...

Read the full entry on Jordan's CaringBridge Journal. I'm sure you'll be struck and I am by the fighting spirit of Jordan and his family and by the elements of eternal wisdom Jordan has earned through his multiple bouts with cancer.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

CaringBridge. Free Websites That Support And Connect Loved Ones During Critical Illness.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A short history of Team In Training's 20 years

It's been too long since I've shared a heart-thumping video. Here's a good one, produced as part of the 20th anniversary of TNT. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Check your Inbox

My first email message and fundraising appeal launched today. Check your Inbox. Since I'm using a professional email service (VerticalResponse) you may need to check your junk mail folder as well. Such is the nature of email...

If you did not get the email and would like to be added to my list, add a comment to this post, send me an email, or use the sign-up form to the right.

Thanks for your support!

P.S. Making a charitable donation was among the top 5 tips for reducing your 2007 tax burden according to the NBC Today show this morning, December 11, 2008.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Rev James Grace runs for autism, son

[this letter is reprinted with permission by my friend Jimmy Grace - please consider extending your support]

Dear friends and family,

I am running in the RUN FOR AUTISM on January 13, 2008 in conjunction with the Chevron Houston Marathon.   Aside from training over the past few months and the next two months to come, I have decided to turn my sweat and blisters into something really meaningful.  I am contacting you to help me raise money for autism research.  To learn more, please visit my Web page .  My fundraising goal is $3,000.00.

I am dedicating this run to my oldest son, James, who was diagnosed with a form of Autism earlier this year.  I am running in the hopes to raise money for the Organization for Autism Research, a national non-profit organization that funds research and resources for individuals diagnosed with autism and their families.  Your pledge of support will help individuals whose struggles often exist outside the spotlight of society. 

Please consider sponsoring me in the RUN FOR AUTISM.  Every donation really does make a difference.  To find out more about the Organization for Autism Research, please visit their Web site

Please forward this message to friends and family who might be interested in helping.

Thank you in advance for your support!



The Rev. James M.L. Grace
Episcopal Church of the Epiphany
9600 South Gessner
Houston, Texas 77071

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Still my favorite holiday

No presents.
Just family, food, and football. (Parades... I can take 'em or leave 'em).
Thanksgiving is the best.
I'm especially lucky that my wife does wonders with a turkey (brining was the secret this year), my in-laws specialize in sumptuous sides, and my mom adds old family favorites (Jello salad just like our Grandma used to make).

I hope you all had a great day. And thanks to all of you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Who makes swim goggles for those with big noses?

I had a lot trouble finding a pair of swim goggles that fit my head. That was my predicament a year ago at the beginning of Season One (Winter 2006/07). I have a prominent nose. Swim goggle manufacturers seem not to take my kind into account when designing their products.

Alas, I did find a solution in a particular pair which looked not at all like those performance eye goggles that the Olympic swimmers wear but looked rather much more like a kid's scuba mask appropriate for the back-yard kiddie pool pretend dives. But they stayed on my face, kept the water out, and did not attempt to crush my nose as many others seemed designed to do. I came to like these goggles (made by TYR and named Hydrovision). It all ended when they quit working this past week. Two workouts, viciously cut short due to unexpected equipment failure. The seals leaked and my eyes were repeatedly splashed by chlorinated H2O. From Coach Tarp, expert on all triathlon, I learned of a local sage of goggle fitting arts. Located at the local run shop, a masters swimmer can be found, working the odd mix of retail hours, who provides for the local endurance athletes in training. Perhaps she has the answers I seek.

In my haste to return to the pool I took another course and visited the local chain sports warehouse. On a narrow aisle, I see the left overs which survived into the off-season. I read descriptions looking for a marketing term that is code for "big nose" and I think I actually found it. It's called the "Technoflex," another TYR goggle. So who makes goggles for those with big noses. TYR does. Thanks TYR! As I have a prominent nose.

Though I still think I'll visit the goggle sage... I'll let you know what I find.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Season Two: The Fundraising Plan

I just learned that our Winter team has already raised $29,588. Sadly, Team Goodman has not contributed to the team total... yet!

Here's my plan for hitting my goal of $3,000. The total will actually be a mix of real money and "credits" I get for volunteering. I figure the smart folks at TNT/LLS know what they're doing and the credits support the cause nearly almost as much as cold hard cash.

The plan for your review:

Fundraising Goal $3,000
Source: Planned amount to be raised:
Local business donation $700
Volunteer credit $1,300
Friends & family donations $800
Personal donation $200 or whatever is left over!

In Season One - I relied heavily upon Friends and Family, and everyone came through in amazing fashion. My two sisters, my mom, dad, aunts, uncles, family friends, co-workers, former co-workers, college friends, Fort Worth friends, fraternity brothers, and even some people I have never met in person who are friends of TNT/LLS and supporters of the cause all made generous donations.

In Season Two - I really want to diversify and work hard to get a few local businesses to pony up. I figure my increased calorie intake during triathlon training alone is benefiting the local economy. They really should give back. I'll keep you all posted here.

Share your thoughts on this plan (and feel free to make a donation!)

All the best...

Jameson 5k at Southwestern University 2007

This was my second year to run the Jameson 5k at Southwestern, which occurs Saturday morning during the annual Homecoming gathering each fall.

Two observations from this year's event:

  • The field of runners both grew and got faster from last year to this year.
  • I got slower.

A bit about the Jameson 5k:

The Jameson 5K at Southwestern began in 2001 as a way of honoring the memory of Jaysn Jameson and to increase the endowment of the Jaysn Jameson Memorial Scholarship Fund. Each year of the race our goal is to improve upon the last year and build the race to a premiere event for Southwestern University and Georgetown.

Kenda Evans, sister of Jaysn, is the event organizer is doing a fantastic job in realizing that goal.

This year's results? I dropped to 122 (from 80 last year) and my time got worse. It may have been that extra G&T at the alumni hospitality on Friday night (I'm pretty sure of that actually...).

I absolutely plan to be back next year. And complete the run in under 25... we'll see how my Friday night goes next year :-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Casino Night, Friday, Nov. 9th

Attention all gamblers and charity-minded silent auction fans!

The North Texas TNT group is sponsoring "Casino Night" at the La Cima Club, Las Colinas, from 7-11 PM, Friday, November 9, 2007.

You can order tickets online.

I also have advance tickets in my hand - so you can buy from me directly.

Of course, all proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Tickets are $40 each or $75 for two.

A few more reasons to come out for Casino Night!
  1. Great for a date night!
  2. Silent auction includes sport tickets and other super cool stuff!
  3. You or your honey has a reason to pull that favorite cocktail dress out of the closet.
  4. Guys, you can act out your James Bond fantasies and order a drink "shaken not stirred."
  5. Did you think I was going someplace else with that James Bond thing?
  6. Did we mention all this fun supports the fight against blood cancers?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Austin Race for the Cure®

My dear friend Katy is raising funds for the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation Austin Affiliate by participating with "Team Tatas" in the Austin Race for the Cure®

Here's a word from Katy:
As many of you know, breast cancer research hits really close to home for me, as I am surrounded by survivors in my family: My mother, her sister (my aunt), and my eldest sister are all survivors of this disease. In all, we consider ourselves to be blessed, but it does not mean that our future as a family - and as a community - will not reveal many more instances of this deadly disease.

I recently accepted the challenge to raise funds to support the Komen Austin Race for the Cure® on November 4th in the fight against breast cancer. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime and the more we raise, the more Susan G. Komen for the Cure Austin Affiliate can give back to fund vital breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs in our own community and support the national search for a cure.

Please join me in the fight by contributing generously to the Komen Austin Affiliate. Your tax-deductible contribution will fund innovative outreach and awareness programs for medically underserved communities in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties and national breast cancer research. It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause - you can make a donation online by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message. If you would prefer, you can also send your tax-deductible contribution to the address listed below. Whatever you can give will help! I truly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Thank you so much for your time and support in the fight against breast cancer! Every step counts!

Komen Austin
P.O. Box 2164
Austin, TX 78768

Please include your information as well as the particpant you are supporting.
Or, donate online here.

Team in Training (TNT) turns 20

From a recent announcement about commemorating TNT's 20th year:

In 2008, Team In Training (TNT), the world’s largest sports endurance training program, will celebrate it’s twentieth year of saving lives, one mile at a time. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s TNT provides coaching and support for people to cross the finish line at marathons, cycling and triathlon events. Participants raise funds as they train.

TNT participants say that changing your life, making lasting friendships with teammates and impacting the lives of thousands of blood cancer patients is what makes the experience so rewarding.

This participant thinks that sums it up quite nicely.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why we do this - Jordan's story continues

Jordan Deathe is the Honored Hero for our North Texas team.

He's got t-cell lymphoma. He just turned 22. He's already completed an event with TNT. He's been back in the hospital these past few months and this week he will undergo a bone marrow transplant.

He found a perfect bone marrow match. Jordan and his doctors are very hopeful.

Jordan shares his story via this Web site provided by Caring Bridge; he and his family keep a regularly updated journal of Jordan's progress and status.

I've met Jordan just once at our Summer Team kick-off, just prior to his cancer returning in this current relapse. He's a regular guy. As his writing attests he's also quite extraordinary. Take a few minutes to meet Jordan and consider offering a few words of support. He asks that everyone sign his guest book. It's not too much to ask, don't you think?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ironman Hawaii - McCormack & Wellington top finishers

I'm just reading today's results of the IronMan Hawaii.

"You have to believe you can win." said McCormack in a pre-race interview. He gave a Aussie-style straight-up assessment of this past years rivalry between himself and the Germans, in particular Faris Al Sultan.

Last year's champion Normann Stadler and Al Sultan dropped out of the race with various ailments. New Zealand's Cameron Brown pulled out during the bike leg with complications from stomach virus.

Of the remaining men's field, McCormack took the prize.

Of the woman's field, Chrissie Wellington, a newcomer of sorts came in first.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

$80k raised for LLS and more join ranks of triathletes

36 more (not so) regular folks joined the ranks of accomplished triathletes this past Sunday after the Dave Scott Texas Man.

This group also raised over $80,000 for research in the fight against blood cancers and for patient services for those with these diseases.

Note: at the time of this photo, we're still awaiting our Half Iron Man finishers! More photos to come...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Summer Team: Dave Scott's Texas Man

I just returned from the Summer Team's Victory Party - a big pasta dinner with a formal program of appreciation, inspiration and motivation.

I'm delighted to report that Nancy, Sean, & Mike are all ready for their race. I've been out the past few weeks and have not heard from Kelly so I really hope to see him tomorrow.

The Summer Team raised over $80,000 for LLS.

Doug Campbell gave his testimony as a both current cancer patient & TNT alumni. I can't even begin to describe the tenacity of Doug. Since being diagnosed with his cancer in 2001, he's undergone four rounds of chemotherapy among other treatments, trained for a full IronMan distance race which he had to abandon with great reluctance, completed a Half-Ironman at the LoneStar where I was able to cheer him across the finish line alongside 22 other Doug fanatic's all of whom wore "Team Campbell" t-shirts, and demonstrated his amazing tenacity again this evening describing his current relapse and ongoing fight. He's a total badass and has an amazing life force which cancer has seemingly managed to inflame all the more. His wife and young daughters are never from from his side.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

For your consideration: A new season with TNT

I'm sharing my thoughts about committing to a new season of training and fundraising with the North Texas Team In Training. For anyone reading this blog, I'd love to hear your thoughts, perspectives, stories or advice on making this commitment. Be forewarned: Should I commit, it won't be long before I'm back asking for your support!

Serious consideration...

TNT is a big commitment for every participant. It supports a great cause. It demands the support those closest to me and it involves my asking nearly everyone I know to lend their financial support.

Connecting everyone to the cause...

The cause is always there, in the background, during every Saturday morning training and during the exciting moments in which we cheer fellow teammates across the finish line. TNT walks the line of educating without preaching and of exposing the issues without forcing the issue. I want to be able to do the same. I want to learn more about how this disease comes about and how medical science, patients, non-profits and the rest of us each play our various roles to combat and win battles against these cancers. I hope to provide some level of amplification for the message coming from patients, medical science and the non-profit groups like LLS in support these groups.

Connecting supporters to the journey...

Is there something compelling for all of us about dozens of regular folks embarking on endurance sports training in support of cancer research and patient care? I think there is.

I'm trying to envision effective ways uncover and report on the stories and the underlying personal narratives that push forward these long seasons and huge efforts - and not my own primarily - so that everyone involved gets a bit more out of this wonderfully crazy concept of "saving lives one mile at a time."

Selfish reasons...

I want to train and complete a Half IronMan distance race. I would go back to the LoneStar Triathlon in Galveston.

I have a borderline obsessive interest in new media (Web logs or blogs, podcasting, and other social media) and I want to use fundraising and training with TNT as an excuse to experiment in and produce these new media, not just consume them as I've been doing.

December 2007 will mark our third year in Fort Worth. We're still relative newbies in this town and in North Texas and TNT gives us a great way to participate with and contribute to the local community.

While I don't have a personal story of a loved one or immediate family member with a blood cancer, LLS leads an important front against caner in general; and the odds suggest that either I or someone close to me will battle cancer in my lifetime and I want to get a head start in that fight!

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A "break" in the action

I fractured my right wrist this past Sunday while trying very hard to work on my trail riding skills on my mountain bike.

Mountain biking is not on our triathlon training schedule - but it offers one heck of a great cardio work-out.

Mike W. (fall participant who is crazy-close to hitting his fundraising goal) and I headed out to Sansom Park in Fort Worth, where the local mountain biking association is doing an excellent job of developing a superb trail. It offers plenty of challenge for a novice level rider like me, and technical runs, drops, and climbs for Mike and his ilk.

On our second loop of the morning, I tumbled off the trail and landed hard on my wrist. It's minor and will heal well- you might barely notice the hairline on the big bone.

I'll be off the bike and out of the pool for 4-6 weeks.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Goatneck

July 28, 2007 saw over 2,600 cyclists descend upon Cleburne, TX for the 20th Goatneck ride, supporting the local Jaycees Club.

Our TNT Fall Triathlon Team used this as a training ride in preparation for the Dave Scott and Pacific Grove events, both of which are quickly approaching in September.

The team did great! I did the 41-mile course and had a decent ride. Several of our Half Iron-Man team rode the full 100k course. Tiffany M., a true talent to watch in amateur triathlon, smoked all of our team on her new Cervélo P3 Carbon.

When asked about the importance of her new ride, she did confirm "It's all about the bike!" Well done, Tiffany!

Our team is in the final days of training and fundraising. All donations support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A little help from my friends...

Emily, a Fall Triathlon team participant, had a very nasty spill on her bike a couple of weeks back. The short version which I heard, (since I was not there on the day), was that upon coming down a steep hill in downtown Fort Worth (which our team regularly uses to add a bit of hill work when riding on the Trinity Trail), Emily realized too late that her brakes were not properly clamped. She rode at full speed straight into a street curb at the bottom of the hill. Her bike stopped and she flew 15 feet or more.

Thankfully, she got up, and although shaken, was not hurt seriously in any way.

Her bike took the brunt of the impact and it endured: a broken front fork, a broken seat post, a broke handlebar, and bent rims.

I should also mention that Emily is a college student. Bike repairs are not a budgeted item as you'd expect.

Well, Tim, one of our mentors and my former teammate from the Winter Team, organized an effort to help Emily fund her unexpected and sizable repair bill. Cut to the end, here's Emily's note to the team upon picking up her bike:


I am still in shock today after picking up my bike and learning that I owed only 1 cent!! ARE YOU KIDDING? It was completely unexpected and I don't know if words could really express my gratitude to everyone. That is by far the nicest and most thoughtful thing that anybody has ever done for me. I feel really lucky to be on a team with such AMAZING and SNEAKY people.

I wish I could say I went to group training and events all the time to train, but for me it's always been just an excuse to see and hang out with all of you. It's rare to be truly grateful for things, but I am so very grateful for my TNT TEAM!! So Thank you Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys!!!! Expect HUGE hugs when I see you!!

Best part, I get to ride at GOAT NECK this weekend!!! WHOOHOO!

A very happy, not quite so broke college student anymore,


P.S. I'm thinking that the bicycles inc. men are not used to a girl crying in their store....awkward...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Local media coverage: "From couch to the running track"

The Collinsville Herald ran an article on the father of one of our Fall Triathlon Team participants; the father is training for the Chicago marathon. The article captures the spirit of TNT quite nicely .

Friday, June 29, 2007

Raining and training

It's been raining in Texas in June seemingly all month.

In Fort Worth, the sewers are overflowing. Rarely does the weather occupy such a constant stream of news in North Texas.

For most of this week, many on our team took training indoors. Tomorrow morning, fingers crossed, we'll be able to pull off our regular Saturday morning outdoor training. This week's schedule has us riding 30 and 50 minutes for the Sprint and Olympic teams while the Half Ironman team completes its second Double Brick of the month. A brick combines two elements such as a run and a bike; a double brick, well, you guessed it - multiply that fun by two!

I hope to train with the Half Ironman team and do my best to keep up. They're a top notch group, with Mike Williams, endurance athlete in training, among them. Mike's done a great job of fundraising thus far - if you can help him hit his goal and support LLS, we'd all sure appreciate it!

Monday, June 11, 2007

25 More People Doing a Very Good Thing

I'm serving as a mentor for the Fort Worth Fall Triathlon Team - currently comprised of about 25 wonderful people from Fort Worth and the surrounding area. I've the honor of personally working with a group of these individuals as their mentor. I can only state that they are very remarkable people; I'm here as a cheerleader mainly, and I'm here to offer support and encouragement throughout the season.

You can read about each of them, and their personal journeys and their progress via their fundraising pages:
I encourage you to support any one of their efforts as you can, and to help spread the word.

Pictured above: The Team pauses for a group thank you for our "honored hero" Maura.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Run

Very little drama on the run compared to the swim and bike.

Mid-way through, I contemplated a bathroom stop, which on reflection, would have cost me my goal of completing within three hours, so I'm glad kept going.

The course wound around many times through Moody Gardens.

Volunteers, many of whom dressed-up, one as a clown, some in Roman-style togas, passed out Gatorade and water. A man played guitar and sang Jimmy Buffet songs as entertainment for the runners. Cheerleading squads added a welcome dose of pep and spirit.

The run was like one big, sweaty, continuous-motion party for me. Somehow, it ended up being my best part of the race. The best part of the run, for sure, was that it lead to...



The Bike

On the bike, I thought about Bog Seger.
According to Timothy White, a writer for Rolling Stone, "'Against the Wind' is about trying to move ahead, keeping your sanity and integrity at the same time." [1]
Yeah, that's about right.

For about 14 miles of the 28 mile "Mavic Loop," we rode against the wind. Slowly. Stubbornly.

Dudes and chics with better bike legs and much better bikes (like the really cool aerodynamic triathlon bikes) did whiz by me thanks to their conditioning and reduced wind drag.

The second half of the ride, after the turn around, well, was pretty awesome. We flew! As hard as the first half was riding into the wind, riding back was fun.

It was at this point in the race, that I firmly determined that the Quarter Iron Man was the right race for me. Those suckers doing the Half Iron Man had to do that loop one more time, with that wind, which I swear was only getting worse.

I, on other hand, was on to the run!

The Swim

"Open Water swimming is a different beast than swimming laps in the pool." Such was the very first mental note I made during the big race.

During my swim (marked in Green above), I wandered all over the place. My goggles fogged up. I wore earplugs (mistake) so my hearing was diminished. During the last two months of training, I had hardly practiced "sighting," the method of raising one's head at regular intervals during one's swim stroke, in the pool. I missed our group open water training, and the rain and lighting kept us from swimming the course on Saturday prior to the race, meaning a big element of my race was going to be a true first; you try to minimize "firsts" by training how you race - same drinks, gu, gels, gear, distances, etc. I digress...

After making the first left, at the tetrahedral marker (yes, that term was announced many times over the loud-speaker) I stubbornly tried to keep my head down and get into my swim rhythm, certain I was swimming straight and in the right direction. I looked up to find myself out of the pack. Realigning my direction, I put my head down and repeated this practice. Could this be a metaphor for life? Looking up, I found myself still apart from the group.

Assessing my position and my condition, I realized that several minutes into this effort, I was neither tired nor panicked. The water felt good. I did get into a rhythm, albeit one that took me off course somewhat, but hey, it still felt good. So, finally cluing into what mid-swim adjustments I needed to make, I began to sight at every third or fourth stroke.

The race start was done in waves. My Navy Blue swim cap marked me among the first wave, followed by Green and then Light Blue. So when swimmers from two waves back were passing me, I realized how much time I'd lost in this zig-zag line of thousand tacks that was the path of my swim.

Oh well. Plenty of opportunity on the bike and the run to make up some time.

Just before the swim began, I realized something about myself:
  1. I only get nervous (really nervous) when I'm ill prepared.
  2. I was prepared for this race.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Campaign Update & Lone Star Event

A more complete update with pictures and such will come, but here's the quick update.

We hit our fundraising goal in the final week! Team Goodman supporters hit the $3,000 mark plus a bit! The North Texas team (both Dallas and Fort Worth) raised over $140,000 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I finished the Quarter Iron Man race and achieved my personal goal of completing it in under three hours. (You can check my times, type in Bib # 560 into the Quarterthon results page).

Our team did great! We all had a blast, are proud of our effort, but also humbled at the opportunity to serve a great cause and for receiving so much support from friends, family, and colleagues.

Thank you all again for your support!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rosedale Ride in Austin

When traveling away from home, I've a hard time keeping to my training schedule. While blazing down I-35 from Fort Worth to Austin Friday evening with dog, bike, & Deirdre safely contained in the Element, I phoned my friend and fellow traithlete Jeremiah, hoping to arrange a Saturday morning ride.

Serendipitously, Jeremiah returned my voice mail to let me know he was doing the Rosedale Ride, an choose-your-distance ride organized by the Rosedale Foundation to benefit the Rosedale School, part of the Austin ISD and a school for children with multiple disabilities.

I chose the 32-mile loop. Miah did the 45-mile track (yes, he's a total stud!)

We enjoyed a beautiful morning ride out with several hundred other riders, some also doing 24-mile and 63-mile loops. Volunteers, including many teachers from the school were also out in force, encouraging riders of all ages and riding ability.

The start/finish was at Applied Materials' campus in Austin, which has its own running track which loops a pond in the center of the main buildings. So I was even able to complete my scheduled "brick" workout, which calls for finishing one training exercise and transitioning straight to another - on this day I went straight from the bike to a 20-minute run.

Catching up with a dear friend, supporting a great cause, enjoying a wonderful central Texas spring morning, and ticking off a scheduled training a week before the big event... I don't think it could have worked out any better!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mission Moment

This message is from Danielle. She is one of the newest Tri Honored Heroes.

Dear Teammates,

Thank you for taking the time to train and to do something that will matter a great deal to all of us who have been affected by a blood related cancer. The funds that you raise will help the Society to continue to fund research.

Over the past few years, many research advances have been made due to the efforts of people like yourselves who have joined Team in Training. The development of Gleevac was due in part to the funding of Dr. Brian Druker received from the Society's TNT program. Gleevac has put my CML in remission and has allowed me to lead a very active life-keeping busy with high school studies, club soccer, and the normal activities of a sixteen-year-old.

I hope that I will have the opportunity to meet you over the next couple of months.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Used Cell Phone Collection

Send us your old cell phones!!*

They are worth a bit of money (up to several dollars per phone) and you can offer them as a donation to LLS. A big box of phones will take me one step closer to my fundraising goal.

Send your phones to: Deirdre Goodman, 2800 Covert Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76133.

Or if you're in the North Texas area - we'll come pick them up!

*Note: you need not send chargers, adapters or any accessories. No manuals, no original packaging, no SIM card. Just the old phone - that's it!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Volunteering at the 1st Annual Double Play Duathlon

TNT Participants can earn up to $300 in volunteer credit to support their campaign. Still having credits available, I woke up early on Sunday (truly no rest for the weary!) to arrive at the Rangers Ballpark at Arlington (just renamed from Ameriquest Field), home of the Texas Rangers, by 6:00 AM to volunteer at the Double Play Du.

I'm learning about how this business of stages races operates. It's a pretty cool little economy.

Race production companies partner with hosts and event sponsors, many of which have a charitable mission. For example, $10 of every entry fee of the Double Play Du goes to support the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

The production companies can keep a lean staff, because they work with TNT and other groups to provide volunteers for when they most need help - race day. I get credit toward my fundraising goal. Athletes get a well-staffed event which means a safer and more enjoyable time for all.

A good deal all around.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Athens Tri and the Missing Timing Chip

The photographic evidence is in - my timing chip was lost in the pool during the 300m swim. Mystery solved!

Notice the bare ankles.

One ankle should have a Velcro strap containing some sort of RF ID device that tracks my position and time as a I cross from swim to transition to bike to transition to run to finish line.

A bunch of zeros appear on my official results. Bummer, eh? I had a great time nonetheless.

That's why we do these practice races, I suppose. Learn, and avoid these mistakes on the day of the big race.

Update (3/21): while volunteering at the Texas Double Play Du, I spoke to the team at RunFar, the company that does the event time keeping. It was the same crew who did the Athens race, and it turns out I was one of two athletes who lost their chip at Athens. He said in pool swims, it's usually closer to four or five lost chips. Come Lone Star, I think I might reinforce that Velcro with some duct tape!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Athens-YMCA Triathlon

That's Coach Tom pictured right (showing off his big guns!)

Back in January, while we were all still triathlon neophytes, Coach Tom told us about this great event in Athens, Texas, sponsored by the town's YMCA. It's a Sprint distance triathlon, which is about half of an Olympic distance, and exactly half of Quarter Iron Man distance that our team will divide up to conquer on April 1 - just 15 days from now. Lance Armstrong ran this race when he was a young Texas triathlete. Tom offered this race as a great practice event.

So the majority of the Winter North Texas Forth Worth Triathlon team of TNT traveled to Athens on March 10, (about two hours drive from Fort Worth) to compete in this event.

A more beautiful day nor more idyllic weather could have greeted us. It was beautiful, even with a patch of fog that forced the local police to delay the race start to ensure the safety of the bicycle portion of the race.

I had a fantastic time - an absolute blast. TNT was well represented from our team, Team Starr's Bret and Jennifer and Team Magma, aka Dan M., and other local teams such as Dallas.

My only misstep was losing track of my timing chip, which began the race strapped to my ankle, but was separated from me without my noticing. So I have no official results, but I'm pleased with my effort.

And our team looked great today; I'm very proud to be a part of this group.

Coach Tom had us very well prepared for this race.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bill Walsh- update writer Michael Sliver offers a revealing and touching article on Bill Walsh, his legacy, and his reflections on his life in coaching.

One of Coach Walsh's regrets - leaving the Niners at the height of their success. 'You know what, I blew it. I shouldn't have resigned.'

As we noted in our November post, Walsh is facing the last fight of his life with grace and dignity.

We're still pulling for you Bill.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Researcher optimistic about cures for all blood cancers

Chris Meehan, reporter for Kalamazoo Gazette, reports on very encouraging news coming from researchers at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (the beneficiary of my fund raising effort).

Notable quotes:

"A goal of curing most types of blood cancer by 2015 is realistic and attainable"

"The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society awarded about $60 million in grants to scientists in 2006."

And how about this for dramatic improvement:
Before Gleevec was introduced more than five years ago... about 50 percent of patients diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia every year did not survive for five years.

Today, because of the drug, which kills cancer cells without also killing healthy cells, 95 percent of the patients with the disease are still alive at the five-year mark...

While no one treatment or drug offers a panacea, real progress is being made. Amazing to think we can speak seriously about "cancer" and "cures" in the same breath.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Total Immersion Swimming

I have been meaning for some time now to write a post about Total Immersion Swimming.

It's a book.

It's a DVD.

They have classes in your area with certified instructors.

Starting out in triathlon training, I found swimming very frustrating. I just knew I was doing it wrong, and even worse, I knew I was not getting better quick enough, if at all.

So I asked around, finally, and bought a book "Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way To Swim Better, Faster, and Easier."

The title does not lie, and this system does not disappoint.

Ask me about if you'd like to know more; I can't say enough good things about my experience with TI.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dave Ramsey's baby steps

If you've never experienced the Dave Ramsey phenomenon via his daily radio-talk show, or best selling books, you can check him out on his Web site.

Deirdre and I were given an opportunity to see Dave live recently in Dallas. Dave has a lot of great things to say. You really can't argue with the guy actually.

What struck me was his "baby steps" that challenge people to take ideas and put them into practice. It's one thing to know, quite another to do, as we all know who have read self-help books, diet books, exercise books, or even cook books.

Dave is all about getting it done.
Baby step one: "Put $1,000 away form an emergency fund"
Baby step two: "Pay off all debt using the 'debt' snowball"
Baby step three: "Three to six months of expenses in savings"
Find steps 4-7 here:

Back to step one - Dave also added these fundamental principles of money management
  1. You must SAVE money
  2. Pay yourself FIRST
  3. Give, save, then pay BILLS
While we may see a tension between giving and saving here, Dave's reminding us that it's good to give, right to give, healthy to give, even or especially for those who have the least to give. Give to your community, your church, your favorite non-profit.

Giving aligns the giver and her resources with the world around her. Cool stuff from Dave!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Michael Brecker Memorial

In the January 29 issue of Time, page 18, I came across a death notice of Michael Brecker, 57, "11-time Grammy winner widely regarded as the most influential jazz saxophonist since John Coltrane; of leukemia; in New York City."

To be honest, I had never heard of Mr. Brecker until I read this short paragraph about his life and recent death. So a I did some searching and found an article that tells more of the story.

Michael Brecker was diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), an early stage of leukemia in which one's bone marrow cannot produce enough healthy blood cells, sometime after that. His wife Susan had sent out a plea via mass email, "'s critical that he has a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant (which has nothing to do with embryonic stem cells). The initial search for a donor, including Michael's siblings and children, has not resulted in a suitable match. We now hope to have as many people tested as possible that share a similar genetic background as my husband."

The appeal for help has also been posted atop the official Michael Brecker website since soon after the 57-year-old saxophonist first announced that he had been diagnosed with MDS. Despite worldwide publicity, a donor match was never found. An experimental cell transplant procedure was performed on Michael Brecker in 2005 but was not as successful as the surgeons and medical experts had hoped.

His website offer details on a memorial service to be held on February 20 in New York City.

More on his life:

His work as a sideman was featured prominently on TV and movie soundtracks, including "The Wiz," "Warriors," "Footloose," "9 ½ days," "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and The Bill Cosby Show. Michael Becker also performed as part of the dynamic house band for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in the 1980s, and recorded with popular artists as diverse a Dire Straits, Herbie Hancock, Todd Rundgren, Manhattan Transfer and funk rock icons, Parliament.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fundraising Update: Six Weeks to Go!

Team Goodman crossed the $1,000 mark today in funds raised for LLS. Our goal is $3,000 before the end of March. Thanks to my big sister for tipping us over into the four-digit territory! (ok, so immediate family - check; aunts, uncles and cousins, I'm coming for you too!)

I'm also working on corporate and local business donors. If anyone has ideas are ways to help spread the word, please don't be shy.

Here's the secure online donation site just in case you lost it.

For those of you we've expressed your intent verbally to support my campaign for LLS, now is the time!

Thank you all again. I'm off to SPIN class. Training update to come too... lots of good stuff to report.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Salute to Coach Tom

TNT attracts a group of seemingly ordinary folks who volunteer their time to train the endurance/fundraising teams, often multiple teams at one time such our winter team and the new spring team which kicked-off their training in '07. I suppose like most humans, their extraordinary qualities manifest once you get to know them better.

Bret from Team Starr provides an appropriate tribute to Coach Tom, the leader of our pack of wild triathletes-in-training, and a super human being.

Read Bret's post. I bet you'll laugh out loud.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Get "Team Goodman" in your Inbox

For my friends, family and generous donors who don't wish to subscribe to the my blog "feed," and for those who don't even want to know what RSS/feeds/syndication are all about, you can now subscribe to have the Team Goodman blog updates sent to your email automatically.

Just complete this short form via this link or in the right hand margin of this page.

As always, thanks for your support and interest.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Flower Mound RunBiTri

Everyone was a winner today! A group from the winter Fort Worth TNT triathlon team traveled to Flower Mound, north of Dallas, on a very cold January morning to participate in the first of a series of "RunBiTri" or reverse triathlon events. And we all won meddles! As you can see in the picture at right, we are all thrilled about our recognition!

(Pictured: Jennifer Starr, Jonathan Goodman, Nick Luft, Brett Starr, Tara Haelle)

I ran the "RunBi" or "Du" - which consists of three legs: 5k run, 13m bike, 2k run. The rest of our team competed in the "RunBiTri" or "reverse triathlon" which consists of a 5k run, 13m bike, and 350M swim.

Results are posted (for those who care).

In summary: another great and humbling event! Medals are fun, even when little more the participation prizes! Full fingered gloves are on my to-buy list to combat the cold during sub-zero temperature bike rides.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Goal update: from Lavaman to Lonestar

I'm now training for the Lonestar Triathlon - Quarter Ironman.

After giving careful consideration to my current fundraising trajectory and comparing that to the rapidly evaporating weeks until race day (April 1), I decided to shift my race event, and thereby my overall fundraising goal from $5,800 to $2,600 (the amount of money I need to raise in order for the Society to cover my race expenses. Team In Training must send at least 75% of all donations directly to Society, the remainder can cover programs expenses, including the costs of sending yours truly to my race).

The Lonestar Quarter Ironman is also slightly less of swim than an Olympic distance triathlon for which I've been training thus far (I'm not sad about this fact).

All that said, I've rededicated myself to overachieving my fundraising commitment, with your continued help, some special activities and volunteering, and my own contributions.

Thank you to all my great friends and family for your support - you can see all of the generous supporters on my fundraising page.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Join the Conversation

I was just reminded by a comment from my big sister and again from my favorite podcaster/blogger, Joseph Jaffe, that my intent with this blog, in addition to providing a chronicle of this journey of raising money for LLS and training for my first triathlon with TNT, was to conduct an experiment in communication with the people in my "community," those who I can call family, friends, colleagues, and other peers and acquaintances.

And my passionate desire is make this a conversation.

Not a one way communication.

And I just realized that I've not explicitly invited comments!

Stupid me.

Please comment. Join the conversation. Just hit the "comment" link below. Let me know you're out there... Or call me, write me... share your opinions, views, ideas, & contributions (and not just the financial kind).

Friday, January 12, 2007

23 seconds

In the time it takes me to swim approximately 15M in the pool, you can watch this short video. Just try not to smile, I dare you!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mission Moment

A note from Misty, our North Texas TNT Coordinator:

Want to know how much you matter? Read on...

  • In the 1960's the five-year survival rate for Myeloma was 12% - Today it is 33%!
  • In the 1960's the five-year survival rate for Leukemia was 14% - Today it is 49%!
  • In the 1960's the five-year survival rate Hodgkin Lymphoma was 40% and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was 31% - Today Hodgkin's five year survival rate is 86% and Non-Hodgkin's five year survival is 63%
I wanted to share this outlook with you, who are the real support behind this effort!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Count down to Lavaman

I hope you, my reader, had a wonderful holiday season!

Despite a few blips and missed training days to due holiday traveling, the endurance-athlete-in-training member of Team Goodman has made progress.

Jonathan's Training:

Swim - "Swimming is hard; my coaches look at me with a face which betrays their curiosity. I look like a swimmer when out of the water; I've got something akin to a swimmer's build. But in the water, well, my form is lacking. My immediate goal is to graduate from the slow lane of the pool. My endurance has picked up quite a bit over the past three months."

Bike - "I love to cycle; I'm still training with my Kona Fire Mountain, which is as you'd guess, a mountain bike. I can do the Olympic distance no problem. Between now and April, I'm going to work on my road skills and improve my time. Oh yeah, and pick up a proper road bike..."

Run - "Since training started in September, I've been able to build a good base of endurance to build upon; I've run a 5k and 10k event. Like my cycling training, it's now about improving my time and working on good running and race technique."

More updates to come soon on raising money and other upcoming events...

Three months until Lavaman!!

Again, thank you for your support!