Friday, December 17, 2004

MARATHON FOOTNOTES (for those who didn't think I would really footnote a stream of consciousness thought):



Footnote #1



Academy Award Winning Best Picture Films from 1969 to the Present:

Midnight Cowboy, Patton, The French Connection, The Godfather, The Sting, The Godfather II, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Ordinary People, Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, Terms of Endearment, Amadeus, Out of Africa, Platoon, The Last Emperor, Rain Man, Driving Miss Daisy, Dances With Wolves, The Silence of the Lambs, Unforgiven, Schindler’s List, Forrest Gump, Braveheart, The English Patient, Titanic, Shakespeare in Love, American Beauty, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.





Footnote #2



Members of the band YES, from 1969 to the present:



In 1969, Yes is formed with Jon Anderson on vocals Peter Banks on guitar, Bill Bruford on drums, Tony Kaye on keyboards and Chris Squire playing bass. This group records two albums before Banks leaves and is replaced by Steve Howe. The incarnation of Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Kaye and Squire records one album before Kaye leaves the band. Replaced by virtuoso, Rick Wakeman, the “classic” formation of YES records two albums and most of a live album before Bruford decides to move on. Alan White, best known at the time as the drummer on John Lennon’s “Imagine”, replaces him. After one album together, Wakeman leaves the band and is replaced by ex-Moody Blues keyboardist, Patrick Moraz. This incarnation records one studio album before Wakeman decides to come back.



Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White record two more studio albums to close out the 70’s until tensions become so bad that Anderson and Wakeman quit. Strangely, they are replaced by the Buggles. Yes, that’s right, the guys who wrote, “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Trevor Horn becomes vocalist and Geoff Downes takes over the keyboards. After a successful tour, the bad decide that no one accepts Horn as the vocalist. They all go their separate ways.



Downes and Howe form a group called Asia. Horn becomes a prouder. Squire and White almost form a group with Jimmy Page. Yes is dead…. Or is it?



Squire is introduced to a whiz kid guitarist named Trevor Rabin. They write some songs. Squire runs into Tony Kaye and invites him to play keyboards. They start to record under the moniker Cinema. As fate would have it, Jon Anderson hears the tunes, decides to sing on them, and the band reluctantly calls themselves Yes. This version of Yes, Anderson, Kaye, Rabin, Squire and White (under the production of Horn) score Yes’ biggest singles ever, “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” The band will only record one other album by the end of the 80’s before Anderson decides that the band isn’t spacey enough for him. He goes off to form his own version of Yes with Bruford, Howe and Wakeman. But a judge decides that since Squire was the only member to be in every single incarnation of the band. He has the right to the band name. Anderson and co. decide to call themselves something original: Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe.



After a couple more years, the two groups somehow come together for a crappy album and a lucrative tour with all of the members: Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Kaye, Rabin, Squire, Wakeman and White. After the tour, Yes records another album with the lineup of Anderson, Kaye, Rabin, Squire and White. Them Rabin leaves. Kaye quits. Howe and Wakeman come back and the band records a couple of albums. But Wakeman is unhappy, again, and he leaves again. During this time, the band has picked up a second guitarist, Billy Sherwood and they bring into the fold a young keyboardist named Igor Khoroshev. This lineup of Anderson, Howe, Khoroshev, Sherwood, Squire, Wakeman and White records a couple of albums until Sherwood leaves and Igor decides he’s had enough of Anderson’s trippiness and Squire’s drunkenness. With four members, Anderson, Howe, Squire and White, they record an album with an orchestra. After that album, Wakeman decides that he really loves being in Yes after all and comes back. Today, the band members are: Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White.

RACE DAY FINAL THOUGHTS





Immediately following my conclusion to the race, I’m given a medal hanging from orange ribbon. Julie and the kids greet me with open arms and I’m close to tears. I can’t believe I finished this monster. Peter comes bounding over and we share a huge hug. I am so proud of him. He introduces me to his partner, Michael, and Euri takes one last group photo.



The, we splinter off to finally get out of the rain and go get warm. The first thing I want to do is find some food. Something healthy? Yeah, right. I want a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. They should have McDonald’s waiting for runners at the end of every marathon. Now THAT’S an innovative idea.



Julie Widmann and Lucy leave for home as we wind our way around Newport Beach searching for the golden arches. Sadly, we can’t find the place so we head back to the hotel.



Surprisingly, I feel pretty good. After the Honolulu marathon I could barely stand and I was so tired. Today I feel great. I'm sore, but nowhere near them pain I thought I might experience.



Back at the hotel, I jump in the shower while Julie begins loading up the van with our luggage. It takes me the full 20 minutes I’m in the shower to use up all of the hot water.. Isn’t it strange that a hotel room could run out of water? I am so cold, though, that even with the knobs cranked all of the way, and the water is still not warm enough. The best way I can describe the chill to my core is to recall those days of my youth when I would play outside in the snow for hours. When you came in from a day like that, your clothes would be soaked to the bone and it would take a good long hour and lots of hot chocolate to start feeling comfortable again.



After the shower we’re pretty quick to leave the hotel. We hope to beat any traffic we may run into. It being a Sunday and it’s raining, I expect it will take us a good 2 or 3 hours to get home. But first we have to find the McDonald’s.



***



A half hour later our mission is accomplished. With greasy fast food en tow, Jake gets a dosage of enzymes and we hit the road back to Santa Clarita. About 20 minutes into the drive, both kids are asleep, but I’m alert and having a great conversation with Julie telling her about the race. Amazingly enough, there is hardly any traffic and we get home in just over an hour. I guess God was watching out for us on our journey home,



Tonight we’ll all sleep well in our warm beds. I’m sure I’ll go over the race a couple of times in my head before drifting off to sleep and going over my plans for the next race.





Aloha
RACE DAY Miles 24-25



The man in the powder blue shirt is now a part of our little posse. He passes me on my walk breaks. I pass him back.



I call Julie. I don't know how I sound to her. I think I'm speaking coherently. I just want to get to 25. She's going to get the kids ready and wait for me at the finish line. We hang up and I get a little jolt from hearing her voice. Just for fun, Mother Nature brings the rain down a little harder one last time.



Oh, you minx, Mother Nature.



I'm doping this for Jake.



Then, clarity comes to me that I haven't experienced while running before. The spirituality of this entire race sweeps over my body and I feel enlightened. I am one with myself and with God. I may never run another marathon, but I have experienced the "high" I've always heard about. I'm exhilarated! This is a great day. The rain. The knee. They don't mean anything anymore. I've won. I've raised over 11,000 dollars to fight Cystic fibrosis. And Jacob is healthy. And Sophie is the sweetest little girl in the world. And Julie, my Julie, she is a jewel, a strong remarkable woman.



I’m going to finish strong (mind you, slow, but strong). I can't wait to see my family... my beautiful, loving, goofy, fun, glorious family at the end. I gather the strength to pass man in the powder blue one last time and leave in my dust (well, a few yards behind me).



"You made it to 25." says a Park Ranger as I pass the final water table.



I'm one mile from home.





25-26.2



This is the longest mile. We have to run along a canyon, so the next mile is laid out in front of us. We have to go from point A to point B and the whole stretch is in clear sight. I think, "I have to run that far?"



In the distance the cheers of the finish line echo off of the canyon walls. So cruel. A half mile from the end, Robert calls. He and Peter have just crossed the finish line. Peter did it! Way to go, man. Ever the coach, Robert is going to run back out a quarter mile and meet me to run in to the finish line. This is exactly what I need, the final push to help me cross with my head held up proudly.



I see him, smiling as always, and I adjust my form.



"Way to go, Scott. You were a warrior today. Bad knees and all, you did it."



The rain has scared off most of the spectators and there is a small crowd gathered at the finish line. I don't care if there were 1,000 or 10; there are only three people I need to see. I have no trouble finding Julie, Sophie and Jacob. The kids are wearing new shirts with picture of me with each of them individually. Written across them are the words, "Run, Daddy, run!"



As I pass my family, I get sarcastic. "I thought it was supposed to be sunny today."



An announcer calls out my name over the PA as I cross the finish line with my fist pumped and a huge smile on my face. It's done.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

23-24



i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

i'm doing this for jake

MILES 22-23



I have settled in with a group of people. We continue to pass each other, except the elusive you know who. At this point, I am running until my body tells me it’s time to stop and walk, which is approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds. So, I switch my watch to go off every 1 minute and 30 seconds. It will beep when I have to run and it will beep when it’s time to walk. I don’t have to think. But I must think, I can’t help thinking. God, thinking was easier to distract me when the campaigns were going on and it was getting so close to the election and I could go over everything in my head, but now, now there isn’t as much drama in the world. Well, I mean, there is drama. There’s this terrible war still going on. I don’t see an end; does anyone see an end? I’m scared what this war is going to do to our country. And I don’t know how those parents can handle receiving the awful news. How would I handle losing a child… oh, don’t think about it man. Damn you, Cystic Fibrosis! Damn you! Stop. Think of something else. Go over all the Academy Awards from 1969 to the present. This worked for you when you were a bagger at Churchill’s grocery store back in Bowling Green and you wanted to kill time. Remember Churchill’s? I shot two movies there. Now let me see. Midnight Cowboy, Patton…. Done. * [see footnote 1] Something else, I need something else. Wait, I’ve got it. Name every incarnation of the band Yes starting with the group’s first album in 1969. Let’s see, the group forms and its Jon Anderson, Peter Banks, Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye and Chris Squire. Then, after two albums…. ** [see footnote 2] Done. Where am I? UC Irvine? Didn’t we know someone from Irvine? Vicki. That’s right. Vicki who was dating Jason Franz, whom we used to hang out with just after we moved to California. She married him. Boy, he fell off the radar. Kind of like Matt. That’s such a drag. I miss Matt, but he just doesn’t want to be found. I guess he likes his life where he is and he’s moved on. I am so lucky to have such an awesome family and such great friends, both here and across the country. I love Julie so much. I miss her right now. Can I tell her I love her enough? How many times can you tell someone you love them before it starts to sound routine? Every time Julie tells me she loves me I take it straight to heart, I can’t believe we’ve been together for 11 years. She is my soul mate. She has forgiven me for stupid mistakes. Man, if I could go back and change some things. And the kids. I will die if anything ever happens to Julie and the kids. I have these horrific visions sometimes, of something terrible happening to them and I don’t know how I would ever cope. Dear God, please keep them out of harm’s way. If something must happen to the family, let it be to me. I have to take care of them. I have to figure out a way to make the savings last longer. We’re just getting by. We’re spending too much and we’re just getting by. What happens if the savings runs out? What are we going to do? Please, God, let the script sell or the movie get distribution. Oh, sure, Malchus, you don’t go to church for months and you think you can ask for favors? Now you’re praying? I wonder if it’s a new ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT tonight. Did we TiVo it? Am I watching too much television? I need to be writing. I need to finish that script. What I really need to do is write those thank you cards and to work on the blog. Man, I wonder if anyone really reads the blog? Glad I shaved the beard off, though, because I’d be tearing my face off right about now. I was staring to look like Johnny Damon. Johnny Daman. Man, I wish the Tribe had him. Though, they have a pretty decent outfield. Who is in left field? Why7 can’t I remember that guy’s name? Coco Crisp?



Wait!



There he is. My nemesis. The man in the powder blue shirt.



I see you, man in the powder blue shirt. At 23 I’m taking you. At 23… or maybe 24.



Here it is. Mile 23. If… I…. Can… just…. find…. some…. extra….



I’ve done it! I passed the man in the powder blue shirt! 3 miles to go. Now, just get to 24. Get to 24. 24, 24, 24. Just gotta get to 24.



I start my mantra.



I’m doing this for Jake. I’m doing this for Jake.

Miles 20-22



My 3 minute run, 1 minute walk pace lasts for exactly 3 minutes.



Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Wall.



I slam into it gradually. It takes me a half-mile to realize that I’m about to go completely insane. So close. I’m so close to the man in the powder blue shirt that I can make out his features: He’s about 10 years older than me. He’s heavier than I thought. He has long legs that give him a long stride. There is sweat around the collar of his shirt (okay, maybe I don’t need to know that). This guy has been the focus of my run for several miles. I must catch him. I must. I will. I will catch him.



We pass mile 21 and he is now, possibly, five yards in front of me. 5 yards. Oh, man in the powder blue shirt, you are mine. I will catch you… as soon as I complete this walk break.



Someone hands me a mini energy bar. Hell, it’s better than almonds. If I never eat another almond the rest of my life it will be too soon. I scarf the energy bar and I will myself to overtake the man in the powder blue shirt. He’s so close now… my tormenter. Why has he taunted me for so many miles? I figure it out… almost 6 miles. I have been chasing some stranger for six miles. Oh my God, I’m a stalker.



He’s just ahead, if I can just excel down this little slop. That’s it; he’s within two feet. I can pass him.



Wait.





What happens after I pass him? Then what? I won’t have as much motivation. There won’t be that lifeline pulling me to the finish. Is it possible that the man in the powder blue shirt isn’t my tormenter but, in fact. My savior? Should I pass the man in the powder blue shirt? Should I?



I nearly have a panic attack. Not just butterflies, but a crippling, stomach aching, puking off the side of the bike path, paper bag heavy breathing panic attack. I have to slow down. And as I do this… he slowly runs away.



Nooooooooooo! I let him get away. Curse you man in the powder blue shirt! I will get you, yet!

MILES 16-20



Hello? Mr. Malchus?

Yes?

This is your second wind.

Really? So happy you could join me.



I have lost my mind. Not only have I begun speaking out loud to myself, but I am taunting the mile markers, you know, the cardboard signs with numbers written on them.



What’s that? Marker 17 thinks I’m a puss and I can’t make it? Well, I’ll show you, man. Wait a minute, who’s that I see? Why, it’s mile 17. Who’s the puss now? That’s right, I beat you 17. Huh? You want some of me? Can’t, man, 18’s calling me out. See ya!



Man in the powder blue shirt is still slowing down. I’m gonna catch him. You bet I am. He’s not far. I have more energy. Wait, slow down, man. Dear God! Don’t overdo it or you’ll crash and burn. You need some of this energy for the last 6, baby. Keep your cool. No, no water, thanks.



Water?



“Way to go. That’s 18.”



18? No, no, no. I didn’t see a mile marker. This is a ploy. 18 is trying to trick me. 18 wants me to get cocky and burn out before 19. Well it’s not going to happen!! I’m not believing anything until I see another mile marker.



Julie calls.



“Whazzzzzzzuuuuuup?” (Yes, I actually say that. Not only have I lost my mind, I also think I’m an African American living in a Budweiser commercial from 4 years ago).



“You’re sounding a lot better.”

“I feel good. Really, I feel awesome.”



She informs me that they have parked the van near the finish line. How lucky is that? Julie Widmann and Lucy are with them and the kids are watching ELF on the portable DVD player. Modern technology, amazing. I will call her at 22 with another update. Julie sounds very excited for me.



“I feel so bad about the rain, hone.”

“It’s okay. I’m soaked. I pretty much don’t feel it anymore. Love you. Bye.”

“Bye.”



Wha?…. is that? It is! It’s 19. Well how about that. 18 was too chicken to show its face. And now I’ve taken down the mighty 19.



BOO YAH! (Yes, I say that, too. The volunteers look at me as if I need immediate medical attention).



That’s right. That’s right. Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh uh huh uh huh!



The rain comes down a little harder and I begin my dialogue with God.



“Is that all you have? Come on! Bring it!”



And the clouds open up. It’s pouring. My glasses have spots on them. But I place my hand to my near like Hulk Hogan and continue to taunt the Lord Almighty.



This is between you and me, God. You’ve thrown everything at this family and we’re still standing. My son is sick! Why have you done this? What did he do to you? Is this a challenger for our family? Are we supposed to do something to make the world a better place with the insight we get from raising a son with an illness?



What? What is it you want from us? I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!!!!!



I almost bend over and cry, but I have fire in my veins right now. I’m not going to quit this damn race. I’m running much stronger toward mile 20 than I did in Santa Clarita. I’m going to crush my time from Hawaii.



And the man with the powder blue t-shirt is getting closer.



I cram a handful of almonds in my mouth. I should have saved more of Julie’s awesome oatmeal raisin cookies. Ohhhhhh, those cookies. Delectable….Ach, splph, too many almonds. Blech, pleh, pleh, spit.



No more almonds. Only as a last resort.



20! It’s marker 20. Time is flying!



Man in the powder blue shirt, I’m coming for you. I’m coming for you.



I switch up to a 3-1.

RACE DAY MILE 15- 16



Peter and Robert are out of my line of vision. I have to set a new goal for myself, something to keep me moving. The hard reality is that this rain isn’t going to stop. In fact, it’s almost a joke to me now. Funny, until, say, you step into an ice-cold puddle and soak your shoes through to your skin. Ha. Ha,



At the moment, I’m focused on getting to 16. It’s the method I thought I would be using from 20-26, just trying to get the next mile under your belt. A little disappointing to have to resort to this tactic so soon, but I have no choice. The knee is feeling a lot better, though, and the right knee is pain free, as well. I’m very surprised with this bit of news, too. The last time I ran without my support on the right knee was the San Francisco half marathon. Trying not to think of the pain, though. Focus on 16. 16.



Then I see them, a couple running together, perhaps a half mile in front of me. She’s wearing a white long sleeve and black spandex leggings. If it weren’t for her companion, she would blend into the crowd. But her companion is tall, over six feet, and heavy-set. He’s wearing a powder blue t-shirt. It sticks out amongst all of the white shirts and singlets. More important than their wardrobe is how fast they’re running. Already, I can tell that they’re struggling a bit. They are stopping way too many times. Is it his weight? I don’t care.



I am going to catch them.



Impossible, you say? I can do it. They’re running slower than I am. This is the motivation I need. But I have to be patient. It’s going to take time. First I need to pass someone closer to me. Passing someone is going to build my confidence. It will lift my heels and…. And there you go. I’ve just passed a woman in spandex biker shorts and a yellow singlet. I feel… I feel… I feel good! Wait, is that… it is… it’s the 16 mile marker.



RACE DAY MILES 10-14



And now…. We enter the 5th circle of hell.



“Based on the map,” Peter says, “I think this is the toughest part of the race. It just loops around for 4 miles.”



Who mapped this course? Have they ever run a marathon? Don’t they understand the psychological setbacks of running and not feeling like you’re getting anywhere?



The next four miles are a blur and blend into one another. As we approach mile eleven, there are runners heading back to mile 15. I look for Wes and Darby almost sure I won’t see them. What are the chances? Hey, there’s Darby! I cheer her on as she runs in the opposite direction.



We loop around this way and that and then around that way and over this way and loop again back the way we come out of the inferno and the 13th mile marker is within sight. Thank God. That took forever, and my knee is really becoming a problem. Still, I’ve done a half marathon and I feel pretty proud about myself, all things considered. I ring up Jules and tell her about the knee.



“Well, why don’t you switch the knee support to the other knee/”



Hey, why didn’t I think of that? Wait a minute, she’s right. Hearing her say it makes it seem more logical now. It’s like she’s telling me, “Switch it. Stop analyzing. You have 13 miles to go yet.”



She’s concerned about the weather, but I assure her it’s not so bad. I think she can hear through my bluff, but she cheers me on. I am so lucky.



And what’s that up ahead? 13.



13? Didn’t we just pass that? What the….? I thought… oh that was the last loop and, oh this is so frustrating!



Robert calls back. He’s waiting between 13 and 14.



Finally, that’s it, I have to switch the knee support. I stop cold and make the change.



“Peter, if you need to go on, I don’t want to slow you down.”



He laughs. “And have to run by myself with Robert? No thanks.”



The support is warm from my other knee and, man, it feels great on this left knee. It feels good, real good. I have a sudden burst of hope, just in time to meet Robert, wearing a garbage bag, standing at a bus stop. The three of us run together, continuing the 2/1 pace Peter and I began a hundred years ago. We get about a hundred yards into it before I have to stop and adjust my knee support.



“Go on, I’ll catch up.”



They keep going while I tighten the Velcro straps. I take a couple more steps and have to fix it again. Before I know it, Peter and Robert are a quarter mile away from me. It’s okay, though, I can catch up. I slowly start running after them. Now they’re a half-mile away. It’s now use, I won’t catch them.



A wave of sadness passes through me. I’m not going to finish the race with Peter. I’m on my own. Strangely, I suddenly feel a little relieved. Now it’s just my race. This was always about me and my struggles with cystic fibrosis and trying to find a way to contribute to the battle. My fears and anger have manifested themselves in this physical journey. After several calming deep breaths, I make a pronouncement:



I will not be beaten today. I will kick this marathon’s ass.





Wednesday, December 15, 2004

RACE DAY (CONT.)



Miles 6-9



It’s cold. No, I mean Ohio, mid-October, damp to your bones cold. This is not good. Seriously. This can’t keep up. And then… here comes the downpour. Not just some typical California drizzle. No, it’s a thunderstorm. It has not rained in years, so it makes sense for it all to come down today. The temperature has dropped at least five degrees and being that I’m dressed so appropriately…. I’m going to freeze.



The miles become a blur as we fight the pelting raindrops.



Mile 7. The pain kicks in. The same knee. The same damn knee. My left knee. What’s up with that? I had surgery on the right knee! I have a knee support for the right knee. The pain is bearable for now, but if it gets to be anything like I experienced during the Santa Clarita run…



Sudden, sharp pains trip me up every half mile or so. The best way to describe it is to have you make both hands into fists, press them together as hard as possible and begin to grind them. I can hear my mom’s voice; “You probably don’t have any cartilage in your knee.” Of course, she was talking about the other knee. The right knee.



A thought comes to me: What if I switch the knee support top the aching knee? Maybe that would help. But what about the right knee? This is too difficult. I will be a typical guy and try to live through the pain.



Peter has a brisk walk. I feel like I’m holding him back. Great. Now the guilt. Not only did I tell him to throw away the poncho, but now I’m slowing him down. Stop it! Stop it! You’re not in the Midwest anymore. They don’t have guilt in California. This is L.A.--- sunshine, swimming pools, movie stars…and painful rain in December.



Around mile 9 we head on to a bike path that slopes down along the river. Yes, an actual river in Southern California, and it’s swelling. There are signs posted that read, “Caution, path may flood with heavy rain.” Wouldn’t it be ironic if that happened? Hey, it could be the OC Bi-athalon. Parallel to us, across the river, is another bike path. Runners are heading in the opposite direction. Could there be a turn around up ahead? I think I see a mile marker. That could mile 10. That would be phenomenal. Then, we run up an incline and head off in another direction. Those runners I just saw were passing mile 15. 15? We’re not even to 10 yet.



Man, I‘m being so negative. Focus, Malchus. Clear your head. Clear your head.



“How ya doin’?”

“I’m managing. The knee’s killing me.”



Robert calls. He’s somewhere around mile 11. I think we’re close to 10 so he’s going to slow down for us to catch up.



“Oh boy,” Peter laughs, “you better be with me. Robert scares me. Ah don’t know if ah can keep up with him.”



Boy, do I know what he’s talking about. I recall vividly, in Hawaii, between miles 22 and 23. We ran together and I nearly died. He’s a machine. The Terminator (though, I like Robert’s politics better than the original T-100).



“Don’t worry, it won’t be that bad, Peter.”



A couple more steps and I have to walk again.



“What do you think?”

“I’m okay.”

“You want to stop?”

“For a break?”

“No. To stop.”



I smile at Peter. He has a big heart. He doesn’t realize that I don’t quit in the middle of anything, not when I’ve committed to someone and raise a lo0t of money. I’m not out here for me; I’m out here for my son. This is about Jacob. This is also about Peter’s nephew. I’m crawling across that finish line if I have to (hopefully with a better time than Hawaii).



“No way, Pete. We’re running across the finish line together.”

RACE DAY- CONTINUED



Miles 4-5



I have a new plan. All of this surface street running is going to be murder on my feet and knees. Any chance I get, I’m going to run on the grass or dirt, such as this nice long stretch of lawn on the median to my right. Oh, that’s nice. Much softer. Yes, a good plan. Peter decides to stay on the street. I think he’s fearful that he might twist his HOLY @*%#!. THAT HURT!



I just twisted my left ankle. Ohhhhhhh. Mmmmph! Same one as in Honolulu.



It’s okay. Run it off. Run it off.



“Y’okay?” Asks Peter.



Sure. I do this all of the time. I’m surprised my foot is still attached to my leg. It’ll be fine in a couple of minutes



***



Over the course of the next mile, while I limp on my tweaked ankle (and pain throbs up my calf), I comment to Peter how much better it is to have a running companion. During the Santa Clarita run I had my MP3 player full of 5 hours of music. But some of those songs are too personal for a day like today. Nature is bringing me down. The gray skies, the cold air…if I wasn’t running I’d be holed up in the house watching a movie with the kids.



God, I miss those two right now. I need to see their smiles. I need to hear their laughs. How can so much love come out of two little bodies?



If I were to hear Badly Drawn Boy’s composition “I Love NYE” from ABOUT A BOY, I would lose it. It’s this beautiful instrumental from the soundtrack to the film. I used to listen to this song and release a great many tears when Jacob was hospitalized the first time, especially at the end with the strings begin to build. As I’d drive to the hospital, I’d get the sadness out just so I could put on a strong front when I was with him. How did Julie stay so strong during that period? I was a wreck.



Peter is a good ear. I tell him a lot of this stuff when we’re running. I can’t believe how much I’ve opened up to him these past months. And he’s a compassionate man.



“Do you want to stop?” He asks as I continue to walk with a limp.



“No, it’ll pass.”



I believe this. There are bigger pains ahead and I don’t want Peter to have to run this thing by himself. As long as we’re together and we have this huge crowd around, we can feed off the energy of everyone and we’ll be fine. Who am I kidding? I’ll be fine. Peter’s doing great.



By the time we pass mile 5, the two of us have settled into long periods of silence while we’re running. Already, this race is tougher than Hawaii. I have a distinct thought: This is NOT as much fun as Hawaii. It’s going to be long day. But I’ve trained better than I did last year. I’m more prepared. We can do this.



Julie calls for the first time. Man, it’s good to hear her voice. In the background, the kids are watching “Higglytown Heroes”, their new favorite show (catchy theme song by They Might Be Giants, by the way). Neither of them wants to say hi. Can you blame them? Who wants to talk to their dad, huffing and puffing, when they can watch day glo animation?



I make plans to call Julie back at mile 13. I predict that I’ll have a rough idea of around what time I should be completing this race.



“At least it’s not raining.” I say.



She hangs up and it’s just me and Peter and the 200 folks in front of us and the 200 folks behind us. Up ahead, a volunteer begins directing runners in two different directions. It’s the split between the half marathon and the full marathon. The half marathoners are waved to the left and we are told to run to the right. And just like the mass exodus after a bad Starship concert (did they REAALY build that city on rock and roll? I think not), the 200 in front of us splinter off to the left.



What the? Wait a minute! As we veer to the right, I look back. The 200 behind us have gone left! No! So much for feeding off of the energy of a big crowd. Whereas we were in the middle of the pack, Peter and I are now near the end of the race. The stragglers. Great, just great. The race just got longer.



I know, I know, I’m not out to win the race; I’m just out to finish it. I’m doing this for Jake. My mantra calms me down and we pass mile six.



And, as if on cue, the rain begins.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

RACE DAY - Pt. 2



After a capable singer does his best with the national anthem, some bodiless stranger's voice booms through the loudspeakers that the race has begun. There is some cheering, but I swear that some of it is only halfhearted...probably that portion of us who are running the marathon. There are dark clouds rising from the desert floor.... wait, I have Springsteen stuck in my head. There ARE dark clouds rising, from the ocean, though. But I do so a promised land ahead.



I try to fool Peter and myself that those dark clouds don't mean a thing and that everything's going to be fine. We pass the electronic mat that reads our computer chip and we're off! It's cold. My legs are a little tight. Peter's exhilarated about his first marathon. We're in this mass of about 1,000 people, and I feel like...like...like it's just another weekend and just another long run in our training.



That's right, I'm not feeling any different than I have during the past six months. What gives? Where's the rush I got in Hawaii? Or the butterflies? Or any kind of adrenaline? I'm a little bummed, to be truthful. Still, I have Peter to keep me company and that should help make the run enjoyable.







Miles 1~3



Okay, it's pretty cold. My hands are getting into that rigid, locked position and I'm constantly flexing them. Peter and I are having a good time, though; our topical conversation is full of laughter. I don't recall how much I've told you about Peter, but he's from Louisiana and he's a very friendly southerner (even though he's live in California for some time). Almost every sentence contains the colloquialism "y'all". For instance, every time we pass someone cheering us on, he says "Thanks, y'all." I try to thank people as well, but so far he's been doing it for both of us and I don't open my mouth as much. Great, how nice do I come off, now? Anyway, we're having a good time right now. That's the thing about the first few miles of a race (at least, for slow people like me); you have plenty of energy to talk, laugh and meet people, which is what we're doing.



Today we've decided to run a 2/1 (2 minutes running. 1 minute walking). I figure that I'm not out to win this thing, only beat last year's time. And Peter is just out to finish. If I can save my legs, maybe I really can break the 5:39 from Hawaii. I have to, right? I'm not carrying water, the weather is comfortable and I'm avoiding Gatorade and excessive water. Honestly, I’m full of confidence, even a little cocky. That's right, I'm a badass marathon runner, don't mess with me.



These first miles are fairly easy. Although, what were they thinking having the entire first mile UPHILL? I have to say, this isn't the most scenic run, either. San Fran? Lots of cool architecture and a lot of city history. Hawaii? Well, come on, it was Hawaii. Newport Beach? Eh. No offense intended. However, the volunteers are great and really cheering everyone on. It's nice to have that kind of encouragement. Thanks, y'all/



Throughout these 3 miles I continue to poke fun at Peter's poncho. I keep telling him that it's not going to rain and that the extra clothing is really going to become a burden. Yes, the new glasses have made me a meteorologist and now an expert on marathons. We roll past mile three and it's time to shed the long sleeve shirt. My body is warmed up enough and I toss the shirt.



WHOA! What was I thinking? Okay, it's pretty chilly. But I know my body will continue to get hotter and if the weather stays the same I'll be dripping sweat by the end of the 26 miles. Peter joins me by throwing off the poncho. We hum a bit of "Xanadu" before chugging along.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

RACE DAY (Sunday 12/5/04) ~ Pt. 1



I am sitting on the toilet eating a bowl of oatmeal in the cramped bathroom of our hotel room. A sure indication that you have either a) lost your mind or b) are far too dedicated to running is when you somehow enjoy Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar out of a paper bowl with a plastic spoon at the crack of dawn.



Rested fairly well last night. I believe I woke up two or three times. I recall getting out of bed around four to check the clock. As far as ever getting into a deep sleep, that never happened. Had some bizarre, disturbing dreams about being called to duty for World War II and having to assemble with hundreds of troops for some type of prewar rally. Good times.



Breakfast is done so it's time to get dressed. Shorts, shirt, singlet (with my number pinned on), watch, three socks (one for my left foot, two for the smaller right foot), long sleeve shirt, and then my shoes.



Julie is up now. It's around 5:30. I've finished reading portions of the new People Magazine (Julia Roberts...Twins!) and I'm brushing my teeth. For about three minutes when I woke up I contemplated taking a shower. I'm glad I didn't. It gave me time to read the gossip in the back of the magazine.



Jules didn't sleep well either. She seems more worried about the race than I am. She's checked outside and it rained last night. Could it be that the thunderstorm headed our way passed quietly in the night? I can only pray. There's nothing worse than running with wet shoes and I remember vividly what happened to my "good" knee during the last two miles of my 20-mile run a month ago. As soon as the rain came, my knee felt like it was bone on bone. That, I think, is my biggest fear for today.



It's 5:40 now and I'm ready to leave and head down to the lobby to meet the others. I pack some Advil and grab an apple from the fridge. Then, I wrap my right knee with the support, put on my snack belt and give Julie a kiss goodbye. That she's up to see me off is the greatest feeling. Even though I'm the one running, I truly feel that we're all in this together. The last thing I do is turn on my phone as she closes the door behind me.



5:45 am



Most of the CF team is waiting when I show up. There are Peter, Robert, Euri, Rebecca and Julie Deliema (Rebecca’s co-worker from the Foundation). Both Rebecca and Julie are running the half marathon, as are Julie’s father and brother, who are also lounging on one of the lobby couches. Julie and her family are training for the L.A. Marathon. Hopefully they’ll have better weather than we’re expected to have. Wes arrives and we all head out to the parking lot to wait for a shuttle bus to take us to the starting line.



Outside, it’s pretty chilly. Windy, mostly. I have to say, my four years at Bowling Green really prepared me for days like this. While everyone is complaining about the wind, I kind of like it.



Today I’m only carrying snacks (almonds and some of Julie’s fabulous oatmeal-raisin cookies) with me on the run. No water bottle today. There are water stops at every mile so I should have no trouble staying hydrated. Plus, I’ve drunk enough water in the past 48 hours that I’m practically floating.



As we’re waiting in line, friends of mine from Santa Clarita, Bill and Kate Povletich, are standing right in front of me. Man, I haven’t seen Kate in, like, three years. The last time I saw her we had just moved into the house. They’re both running the half marathon, too. Just how many people ARE running the half marathon? Something tells me that I should be running the half marathon as well.



6:10 am



Wes and I ride over together on the bus. We’re both in good spirits. Our conversation ranges from work related topics (Wes is a voice over agent) to children. He says he hopes to adopt someday, with or without a partner. I hope that works out for him, I think Wes will make a fine dad. His heart is definitely in the right place.



6:30 am



So, we’re outside the same theater where we saw THE INCREDIBLES yesterday. The team huddles together and we’re introduced to Darby, a runner from San Diego who is also fundraising for CF. She has been training virtually through Robert’s program and has no ties to Cystic fibrosis. Turns out she heard about the program and thought the CF Foundation would be a good organization to help out. God bless her.



Robert and I bombard Rebecca and Julie with our marathon fundraising ideas and how we feel the program could have a national status, much like the AIDS, Leukemia and Stroke foundations have done. They both respond favorably to our ideas. Not sure if they’re really excited or really tired. Since Julie and Rebecca are both runners, I see my out and feel like I can pass the ball to them. Then, Robert says something about the four of us meeting to discuss. And I agree!



Who am I kidding? I want to be involved. This is a way I can contribute. Marathon fundraising is something I’ve become good at and I believe in it. It’s my hope that soon the CF Foundation can attract more people to help us.



7:00 am



Somehow, Peter, Wes, Darby and I have wound up together, waiting in line for the port-o-potties. Peter’s wearing a gaudy yellow rain poncho and he and Wes are having a blast making fun of it. These two are a hoot. Wes says that they should run another marathon together, this one dressed in matching yellow ponchos with the word “Xanadu” emblazoned on it (I believe in sparkling disco letters). They’d run in platform shoes and have someone following them on roller skates with a boom box blasting Olivia Newton John and Electric Light Orchestra.



I will never get this image out of my head for the rest of my life.



After our last minute pee breaks, it’s 7:30 and time to head to the starting line. Just as we climb up a hill to the mass of people gathered at the line, I thank Wes and give him a strong embrace to thank him for everything he’s done this year. He’s raised $15,000 and really raised awareness of the disease. It’s actually an emotional moment for me. Wes repeats that the entire experience has been a gift to him and he would do it again.



I promise Wes a plate of Julie’s oatmeal raisin cookies. He tells me that that alone is worth running the two marathons. And then, he and Darby head to the front of the line while Peter and I move to the middle of the pack.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Posting for Saturday, 12/4/04





8:10 am



Decent night's sleep.



Weather update: It is gorgeous outside. Clear skies and the sun is shining. A storm is heading our way, though. "Moving fast," is how the Weather Channel described it. Possible thunderstorms.





4:30 pm



Ran into Peter on the elevator ride down to the Health Expo. The two of us checked out the vendor booths and stopped by the Cf Foundation table. Meanwhile, Julie and the kids stayed back at the hotel. Earlier today we went to se the new Pixar film, THE INCREDIBLES. I liked the movie a lot. However, it was a little too intense for Jake and Sophie at times ("This 'credibles too scary." to quote my son). Still they sat through it with that sort of "I'm too scared to look, but too scared to look away" fascination. I must say, I felt the rating was a little skewed because it is an animated film. I felt there was just as much violence and peril as a movie like SPIDER MAN 2, and that got a PG-13 rating.



After the movie we headed to the food court of the Fashion Island Mall for lunch. Jake had his usual, french fries. It's really getting to be comical what this kid will eat. Comical, yet disconcerting. We constantly worry that he’s not getting enough in his diet.



The kids and I then rode the merry-go-round. It was interesting to see how Sophie has become more reserved when we ride the merry-go--round. Jake is a pistol, screaming "Hi Mommy" every time we went round and round. Sophie, on the other hand, just smiled and stayed quiet. I remember a time when was just as loud as her brother.





9:30 pm



Dinner with the CF group was fun. Robert and his wife, Euri, met us at an Italian restaurant. Rebecca gave all of us runners some nice gifts for raising money and running the marathon. Julie Widman (Julie's friend) and her daughter, Lucy, had met us earlier at the hotel and were also with us for dinner. You may recall that Julie's son, Cooper, has CF. Julie W. and Julie met through the Foundation. They see each other every couple of months but talk regularly on the phone. I understand why they are friends. To be able to talk to someone about the disease and what we're going through (someone other than your spouse) is so crucial. And to have someone who KNOWS what you're going through makes it that much easier. Yes, Julie and I talk about everything, but sometimes you need another person's ear. And sometimes you really need someone else’s ear that is experiencing everything you are.



We arrived late due to crummy traffic on the 405. He hit a nasty rainstorm. Hopefully that's all of the wet weather coming our way and tomorrow will be a quiet, cool day.



The two Julie's left early and took the kids back to the hotel. This allowed the team time to compare notes and talk a little about the race tomorrow. I haven't seen Wes in a while. I really think he’s a remarkable person. He exudes confidence, that's for sure. He was a little nervous about the marathon, though, and ran 8 miles this morning (!). I'm not sure that was such a good idea, but I think he needed a good long run to help him prepare mentally.



I returned to the hotel to find everyone playing Monopoly and having a much better time in the hotel room where they weren't confined to a table. Sophie really likes Lucy, a precocious little girl. While they played, I put my running gear together (my "armor" as Robert called it) and set my alarm for 5:00 am.



We're meeting in the hotel lobby at 5:45. No big deal. What a difference a year makes. In Hawaii, I was so nervous about missing the race and how well I would perform. Tonight, I'm more concerned about whether or not I should shower in the morning.



Aloha

Monday, December 06, 2004

12/3/04 Update



8:45 pm



After a 2 and a half hour drive that covered a mere 85 miles, we arrived in Newport Beach. Before leaving home, Julie, Jake and I went to the school to see Sophie receive an award for reading. She's excelling so well in reading books. I am so proud of her.



The hotel is nice. It's in the heart of the city and very close to the John Wayne Airport. We dropped off our luggage and headed out for an overpriced dinner at some close by place called Gulliver's. They serve meat. I believe there were other things on the menu, but the kitchen was right there in the middle of the restaurant and they sliced off prime rib for diners while they watched. In the restaurant an electric train was set up and running circles around a tall Christmas tree. To distract the kids (Jake mostly) we went over to look at it. Sophie grew bored with it quickly and headed back to the table, but Jacob was fascinated with the lights and the little elf figures on each of the miniature boxcars.



As we kneeled on the carpet and stared, he repeated "cooool" as the Santa engineered train passed by again and again. For some reason, I took this moment to reflect on why we were all there, in this restaurant on a cold December night somewhere in the heart of Newport Beach, California. I stared at Jacob's wide blue eyes and that huge, toothy grin of his and thought, "You're cooool, little guy." He's the reason we're here; he's the reason I'm running tomorrow. I have to remember that.



It's my mantra. I'm doing it for Jake.



We returned to the hotel and so far we're having a good time on this little escape from our real lives (though, we never escape the medicines and the treatments). Tomorrow we're going to check out the marathon health expo and probably take in Balboa island, this sort of amusement park/island area that is close by (I realize that this is a lame description, but come on, it's been a long day). We've been to the island before a couple of years ago when Budd and Karyn won us a free night at the Four Seasons Hotel of Newport Beach.



At this moment, "The Return of Frosty", a sub par sequel to the TV classic is on the television. Man, is Sophie WOUND up. She's literally bouncing from bed to bed. Getting her to go to sleep tonight is going to be a challenge. All four of us will be turning in soon. According to Robert, it's not the night before, but two nights before that it is most important to get a good night's sleep, primarily because the night before many runners get butterflies and have a difficult time falling asleep.



In the mail today was a generous donation from Tony Gardner's company, Alterian Studios. With that sum, and the other three donations we received today, we have raised over $11,000! Wow! Last year's total has been matched. Unbelievable. I can

really rest easy tonight.



I am so ready for Sunday.



Aloha

Friday, December 03, 2004

We leave for Newport this afternoon, so I won't have access to a computer until we return Sunday night. Got up this morning and my head was really congested. I almost didn't make it out for my run, I felt that crappy. But I decided I had to go just to keep my legs in tune. I'm glad I did. I feel a lot better since I woke up, although my ears are really clogged up.



It is supposed to be lovely all day tomorrow... and then rain all day Sunday. Great.



Whatever is thrown at us, I still plan to slog through the weather and finish the marathon. I've been training too damn long to not complete it.



This should be a fun weekend, and I'm really looking forward to spending some time with Julie and the kids without the worries of cleaning the house, prepping for the holidays, etc. That's all for now. I will give a complete rundown after the marathon.



Aloha

Thursday, December 02, 2004

With just three days until the race, I woke up this morning and crawled out of Sophie's bed (where I slept because she was occupying my space in my own bed). My head was clouded from this cold I've been battling and what did I have to greet me as I took my first steps into the hall? Something wet and warm.



I nearly slipped on the feline droppings left for me, but I was able to retain my balance and survey the brown mess slowly soaking into the beige carpet. "Wonderful, " I thought. Of course, it was my own fault. I forgot to open the cat door to the garage before I went to bed last night.



Perhaps my attempts at yoga had paid off and I was in a completely Zen state of mind. Maybe I was just too tired to really think about how long it would take me to clean up the foul glop (nothing solid form my cats, thank you very much). Then again, it could have been that I was just to congested to care.



No, I was calm and relaxed because I was still feeling good about my accomplishment yesterday.



Around midday I sent out my final push email. The fundraising tally was hovering around $9200 and I thought, if just, like $600 more is raise, we'll pitch in another $200 and we'll call it done at ten grand. That was my hope. So I attached the cutest picture of Jake from Halloween of him in his Woody (from "Toy Story") costume and sent out about 50 or so emails.



The response was instantaneous and remarkable.



With a majority of these letters sent to people I know at work, I surpassed the $10,000 mark by day's end. In fact, one man I work with (Jim Duffy, who has made contributions to every one of our fundraisers) was in my office about 10 minutes after I sent out the email. Incredible.



I've pretty much been on cloud nine since last night. Once again, the people at this company surprise me and pitch in. Both Jules and I have discussed that we were unsure whether I'd even make five grand. And just last week, I was content to settle with $9000. So, to achieve this amount again this year has really been a pleasant surprise.



What does all of this mean for me on Sunday? It means I'm geared up and ready to run this sucker. I'm ready to see what I have in me. I'm ready to see if the new energy I've found in my legs will transfer to the race. And I'm ready to make each and every person, friend, family and stranger, proud of me and proud of the work of the Cf Foundation.



I can't believe how much more relaxed I am from last year's race. And I can't believe how casual I am about everything I need to do to prep.



Drink lots of water all week? Check.

Get enough sleep? Check.

Don't over train? Check.

Stay positive? Check.



I know that the weather may be nasty (cold and rainy... what is this, Ohio?), but it's not fazing me.



I'm as relaxed as I hoped I would be. And I think this will translate to a good race on Sunday.



Now, if I could just get those "thank you" cards done...



Aloha

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Here it is, the last day of November. The marathon is just around the corner and the fundraising bell is about to ring. Tomorrow I'm going to make a last ditch email effort to raise enough and break the $10,000 mark. It can be done, I know it. Hopefully I can reach the hearts of just a few people (10, at least) who can put us over the top.



Thanksgiving weekend has passed and I am thankful, indeed, for the great things that have happened to us this year. Besides the financial gains and the prospect of seeing another script made into a movie, I'm more thankful that Jake has remained healthy for another year and that he is growing up to be a "typical" little kid. Sophie is excelling in school (she's receiving an award on Friday. I'm so excited to find out what it's for) and she is maturing (a little too fast) into a gifted and loving little girl.



I have the most awesome wife. I don't say that enough. There are so many times that I'm lost in my thoughts driving to work (or home) and she'll call to check in and see how soon I'll be home, or how the day is going. This little gesture is a simple reminder of how much she cares for me and that she wants to share her day and wants me to share my day with her. That we don't get to spend so much time together is often worked out on the weekend. I think we have a routine, but we try to keep our life fresh. And we still laugh a lot, at each other and at things the kids have done. I am such a lucky man to have Julie in my life.



I can't imagine my life without her in it. And I am so thankful that I have Julie in my life.





************



The Christmas lights went up on Friday after the feast day. We spend turkey day at Kathy Coyle's (Karyn's mom's) and hung out with the Gardners, Christensens and the Malchus'. Sophie helped me with the Christmas lights and I must say that I really enjoyed having her hand me nails and the hammer as I hung clips that would hold the icicle lights outside. Saturday, we put up out tree and decorated it. Before that ritual, though, I ran my last long run down in Pasadena.



I only did eight miles that morning and I wound up running most of it with Robert. I was pretty tired to begin the run, but the last 5 miles flew by and I felt outstanding finishing up. I was a little sad that it was the last run. Robert and I had an excellent discussion about trying to nationalize a CF marathon-training program. We decided that if we chose a single marathon for runners to come to next year (perhaps the OC Marathon) we could entice people from across the country to train and come out to California. It would take a lot of work. Robert is really gung ho about trying to get something up and running and he thinks I should help spearhead this idea. I would love to really be able to get more people to do marathon fundraising. I believe that this is a missed opportunity for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. However, I'm not sure how we would go about getting everything organized. We will talk to Rebecca this weekend.



The rest of the weekend (which was actually five days off for me) was spent relaxing and just spending quality time with the family. It was so much fun and I dreaded going back to work yesterday.



*************



Back at work, Monday dragged. I have contracted that same damn cold that's been floating around our house. It's not so bad. But I'm battling it. I can feel myself a little run down (ironic since I just spend five days being a couch potato).

I went for a walk in the morning. It is getting COLDER. In fact, this morning when I went out for my run, puddles were frozen over. I can't recall ever seeing ice here is Southern California. Seriously. I can only imagine what it's going to be like in Ohio.



I am so behind with my "Thank You" cards. I have been putting them off, which is just wrong. I know I'll get them out by the end of the year, but I wished to have them done before the race. This is one of the things about feeling burned out that I hate. Little things keep getting put off.



One remarkable thing has happened: I began taking a supplement for my knees a couple of weeks back (the day before Peter Pan) and I can really tell a difference. There isn't any pain at all, lately, and I have much better flexibility. It gives me so much hope for the race on Sunday.



Sunday. Wow.



Has it really been all of these months since I began the training? Where did the time go? I know th3e answer to that one, though. I can see the time in my children and how much they have grown. It amazes me.



Aloha



PS I know I haven't spoken much about music this training period, but I have discovered to exceptional Pearl Jam songs: "I Am Mine" and "Man of the Hour". Both are found on their greatest hits cd. These songs haunt me and inspire me every time that I listen to them.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A solid 4 miles this morning and my leg feels pretty good. I'm surprised at how loose and pain free it has been the past few days. And let me tell you, I don't care if you're in Ohio or Southern California, if you wake to run only to find frost on your car and the grass and you can see your breath, it's pretty cold.



I plan to spend the day at home tomorrow. We're only supposed to work until 3:00, but Jake is fighting that cold and Jules has to go into Sophie's classroom in the morning. Thus, my holiday weekend begins a day early. Man, am I looking forward to 5 days in a row being at home and just being a family. We plan to hang the lights on Saturday and put up the artificial tree we were given by our friends the Inmans. Normally we would purchase a real tree for Christmas, but because we're going to Ohio, well, you all understand.



One more week until the marathon. I can't believe it's almost here.



Aloha

Monday, November 22, 2004

The play was great yesterday and the whole turned out to one of our best family days in a while. We went to lunch then drover into North Hollywood to catch the Metro Redline, which dropped us right across the street from the Pantages. The weather outside was chilly, but the warmth of the performances filled our bodies. I was impressed that the producers did not edit any of the text to accommodate the current "PC" climate that is riding high in our country. There audible gasps when Peter Pan said that Tinkerbell called Wendy an "ass". Good for them not to kowtow to the hordes of people out to protect us.



After a drive home, we went to BJ's, a local restaurant/brewery that is fast becoming a hot chain. One of the owners of BJ's is on the CF board with me. His daughter has Cystic fibrosis (she began college this fall). At BJ's they serve a delectable desert called the Pizookie, which is an eight inch round cookie cooked in a pizza pan, served with ice cream on top. It's awesome. And one dollar from each pizookie sold goes toward the fight against Cf. I think it's awesome that the people at BJ's are using their corporate resources to help in the battle. This is the kind of thing I hope to do someday when/if I have the power to hold premieres for my movies.



This morning I decided to walk instead of ride my bike. My knee has been pretty much pain free the past few days. But it steels feels like there is a mass of goo on my kneecap when I walk. Nothing new. I've kind of had this feeling since I had the surgery twenty years ago. Still, it is more noticeable these days. The knee also feels weaker when I take the stairs. That's what scares me the most. The5re are times when it feels like it won't hold me up.



I am worried about Sophie and how hard she pushes herself. Whenever she gets something wrong or something doesn't work out, she blames herself. She says that it's "her fault" and that she can do better. I worry that these feelings stem from something I have said or from my reactionary behavior at times. I tried talking to her tonight before she went to bed. I asked her not to get so upset if she gets a wrong answer. Sophie told me she wants to be "really smart". She is often so critical of herself. Even when you compliment her for her nice drawings, she says that they aren't very good. I hope this is just a passing thing. I would hate for her to get stressed out like her father.



Jake is fighting that cold, still, and has been placed on an antibiotic. He has to take it for two weeks. Julie said that she's beginning to feel the effects of the cold, too. I believe it is the same cold I was fighting a couple of weeks ago that Sophie then caught before passing it on to Jake. Now it's Jules' turn. Sorry, hon.



One final note: I received a generous donation from and old high school buddy, Phil Sprague, a guy I haven't really spoken to in seven years, maybe, and I know I haven't seen him in almost ten years. It really touches my heart when people reach out like this. In some small way, I feel like this fundraiser has reconnected us with some of those friends and family that went astray. Oh, it was not by anyone's choice... just life happening.



This fall has been an excellent season for music. I discovered The Jam, received some great punk music in the form of two box sets, and picked up Mellencamp's greatest hits and Pearl Jam's greatest hits. Listening to Pearl Jam reminds me of my long lost friend Matt Brookshire. I often think of what he must be up to now and where he must be. I haven't spoken to him in two years. Oh, I know I could easily call his parents or his brother and try and get a phone number. But something... Pride mostly... always gets in the way. We've sent the CF letters and Christmas cards every year and we get no reply. Maybe he's moved and the cards don't get forwarded. Rude, but possible. Or maybe.... who knows. I think this will be the year I track him down again. Mat was the basis for one of the characters in "King's Highway". In fact, the original script was closer to some of the crap that went down between us. But that's in the past. I would just like to see how he's doing. Tis the season, after all.



Aloha

Sunday, November 21, 2004

I'm always surprised when I log in and I haven't written in several days... and I think that I did write. Could have sworn I checked in on Thursday or Friday.

Yesterday was my last "long" run of 10 miles before the marathon. As I ran the course I've created for myself up here in Santa Clarita, I was tired, uninspired, and a little nostalgic for I truly believe this will be my last marathon. Ask me about running in a year and we'll see.

The week ended with a great run Thursday morning and then I was so uninspired to do anything remotely good for me on Friday that I didn't even do yoga. Thus, when it came time to get up and pound out 10 miles yesterday, you can imagine how excited I was. The fact that it's getting colder and colder (we had a hail storm last night) makes it more difficult. Still, I know my mission and even if my knees buckle under me in two weeks, I'm completing this marathon.

One of the recurring thoughts I have when I'm running is that I'm so tired of asking people for money. I want to take a brief reprise from constantly asking folks to shell out fifty bucks for our cause. I always come back at myself with, "if not you, then who?" But I feel like we've been working really hard for three years raising awareness and money. We need a little time to recharge our batteries and come up with some fresh ideas.

I was just thinking about this particular fundraiser and the fact that I am so close to raising $10,000 again this year. I doubt we'll get there, but it’s, still a good accomplishment. What amazes me once again this year is the number of people who have opened up their hearts and pocketbooks for us. In some instances, we are complete strangers to these people. I can only attribute this to my limited writing skills and being able to convey our life. It gives me hope that when / if I am able to create a film that deals with Cf, the lives the film will touch will help bring in more money to help find a cure.

But I hope I never have to make a film about Cf.

On the personal front, we received some exciting news about our Ohio trip. My closest friend, Steve, and his family will be making a trip to Ohio, too. Although he and I talk regularly and send emails almost weekly, I haven't seen him in person since 2001, just before we moved into the house. This vacation to Ohio is looking to be a busy one... but unlike trips in the past, I'm looking forward to seeing so many people. There are a lot of them that I need to thank.

We're off to see "Peter Pan" this afternoon. My running friend, Peter, had 4 tickets for a show downtown this afternoon and he couldn't use them. So he gave them to us as a gift. Sophie is pretty excited. We'll see if Jake can sit through the whole performance. It will be a nice change from hanging out in the house all day.

We have a short work week and Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Man, this year is flying by.

Aloha

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Not much to report today. I am having a difficult time concentrating on writing. It's not just the blog. I'm working on a script and I can't find the right frame of mind to sit down and write. I know it's the anticipation for the run. It's only two weeks away. I very glad that Thanksgiving is next week. That will distract me from thinking about 26 miles.



I don't plan to run with the City of Hope group this week. There is a big event at the Rose Bowl and Robert has relocated the long run. In addition, the whole group is doing their 20 mile run, so I would only run part of the way with them. I will run 10-12 miles up here instead.



Received several checks in the mail today. That was pretty uplifting. I believe we'll reach $8,000 this year, which isn't too shabby.



Aloha

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Barely eked out 30 minutes running this morning. My head was full of crap and I felt a weight on my chest. The rest of the day perked up and I'm feeling better. I need new insoles for my shoes and I'm hoping that this will give me a little lift in my step. The old insoles have been with me since June, so I feel like they've served me well.



I have found out that there will only be 5 of us running for CF in this marathon. I'm a little disappointed to find this out. I wish there was some way we could get the word out about marathon training as a way of raising money for CF. I mean, people could run any marathon in the country, as long as they had a training program and a coach. Robert seems to be doping the right thing by expanding his company, 26.6, to other areas of the nation. I just wish there was some way CF could be more involved.



I guess the "responsibility" of running this marathon is pressing me. And it's at odds with desire to be done with the training and to get away to Ohio for Christmas. Though, I don't know why I'm excited about getting to Ohio. I*('m cold now, and it's only in the 60's. I am in so much trouble come December 20th.



Jake is fighting a cold. He had some green snot this morning. That's our big fear. If his nose is just running and it's clear, we aren't as nervous as opposed to the green indication of infection. Jules has given him extra treatments the past couple days to help keep his lungs clear. And there's not much we could do. This cold has gone around the house and Jake is the latest to catch it.



Aloha

Monday, November 15, 2004

So I'm back training for the final leg of this marathon. Woke up this morning and rode the bike about 4 miles. Boy, was that tougher than I thought it would be. But it's good to be back in the thick of things. I was looking forward to getting up early last night (is that sick or what) and I'm so glad I did. I am also very eager for this marathon to be over. I am so burnt out on training and my knees are barking at me with every step I take.



The past weekend was so wonderful. We celebrated Jake's birthday on Saturday with a party and a Scooby Doo jumper. I'll tell you, you don't need a lot of activities when you rent one of these jumpers. Kids spend about 3 hours in there. Mom and Dad got in Friday evening and I think Sophie was going to explode with excitement. She loves seeing here grandparents so much it really touches your heart. And Jake has started to be less tentative around them. Once he warms up, though, he is a ball of love and energy. Saturday morning it rained for a brief time, then the skies opened for a glorious sunny afternoon. You couldn’t ask for a better day for a party.



Yesterday Dad and spent most of our time cursing and replacing two faucets. I am so grateful that he was there to help, out. Although it is relatively easy, figuring it all out would have made my br4ain melt. Of course, he paid for all of the hardware. These little "gifts" are so appreciated. I know Mom and Dad wish they could help us all of the time like this. Our family is very fortunate to have folks watching out for us all of the time. I only hope that we make up for it spiritually so that our karma evens out in the universe. And I hope that all of that karma goes directly to Jacob.



For obvious reasons, I thought a lot about the day Jake was born this weekend and all of the turmoil surrounding his birth. I can't believe that it was three years ago that it all happened. My how we have all grown in that time. Not just physically, but spiritually as well. With all of our struggles, we know that we have each other. And as this weekend reminded us, once again, we have a core group of family and friends who will always be there for us.



As I lounged around on the couch after returning from the airport last night (Julie and the kids were sleeping) I dwelled on how much I love our life. I love our house and I love having a beautiful, strong, loving wife, and two children who are compassionate and full of so much life. It was a great weekend indeed.



Aloha

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The past week saw my birthday and Heidi's birthday come and go. I can't believe I'm 35 already. You know how you have these images as a kid of what you're going to be doing by a certain age? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. As I take stock of my life, I did think I'd be married and have some kids by this age, so I guess I'm on track, huh?



This year's birthday was very nice. Some pretty cool gifts and some surprises. Sophie bought me "Daddy Day Care" on DVD and I think that's my favorite gift of the bunch. She wanted a movie we could watch together. God I love that little girl. Such a big heart. Steve also sent me a pretty rad cd box set containing music from the 80's underground movement. Bands like the Minutemen, Husker Du, Replacements and The Smiths take up four discs worth of space. It's good mood music to write to.



Steve and I have been communicating frequently. Each week I send him a new song via email (don't tell the record companies). Ever since his parents moved to North Carolina, Steve and his family don't venture up to Ohio anymore. I believe I miss hanging out with him (even for a night) the most when we go back to visit. Some friendships are fleeting and some fade away with time. But the friendship that Steve and I have was forged in stone. He's such a bright guy. I swear he could run for office and get elected (although he's a Democrat living in North Carolina... might be kind of tough). However, he always tells me he could never subject his wife, Marianne, and their two kids, Jack and Grace, to a life in government. That's why I believe he's a good man. He places the welfare of his family and friends before himself.



Steve's made mention that he might try to come up to Ohio while we're in North Olmsted for two weeks around Christmas. Boy, would that be great. We'll see, though. I know he has a lot to deal with in NC.



I've agreed to speak at a CFF function next week. I'm never quite sure what I'm supposed to say at these things. I want to be positive, but part of the purpose of showing up at these CF dinners is to inspire people who don't live with the disease to come and give money. However, I'm not a hundred percent sure what exactly this dinner is all about. I guess I should look into it a little further. Rebecca, my friend from the Cf Foundation asked me to do it, so I'll do it no matter what.



Strange, I just had a thought... I don't know exactly what my involvement with the Foundation will be once the marathon is done. At this point, I don't plan to run again (at least for a year). I know I'm on the Board of.... uh, whatever, but even at those meetings I feel out of place. I'm the youngest guy there and I don't have the type of business contacts they're looking for (because show biz people are kind of flighty, I've learned).



I guess my best way to get across the message about CF is through my writing. Alas, I'm 35... time feels like it's ticking away on me.



Jake's birthday is this weekend. My parents are coming into town for it. We're having a party on Saturday with a Scooby Doo jumper (my God, Jake LOOOOOOOOVES Scooby Doo. It's enough to drive us mad... if we weren't already a little loopy). The party keeps getting bigger and Jules is a little stressed. I think it will all be fine, unless it rains.



Aloha

Monday, November 08, 2004

It’s the day after my 20-mile run and I’m both content and a little worried. I finished this run feeling better than I did after last year’s long run, but I still have the same fears I had back then. At one point yesterday I questioned how I was ever going to complete the marathon. Part of these doubts stemmed from the sudden change in weather, and part was from the psychological games I was playing on myself.



I was running in the Santa Clarita Marathon. Originally registered for the half marathon, I ran those first 13.1 miles at a 3/1 pace. It was a comfortable enough run, a little slower than what I did in San Francisco, but I was trying to save some energy for the last portion of my run. Luckily, the course was around our neighborhood, so I knew where I had to go in order to pick up the last 7 miles of my run.



I had my MP3 player filled with 5 hours of music (and let me tell you, I thought it would be easy to come up with 83 songs to run to… it wasn’t). The weather was great. And best of all, Julie and the kids met up with me around my 14th mile to cheer me on. I felt like I was going to cruise through the latter part. But, by mile 17, the weather turned dreary fast. It got cold and it began to drizzle. That’s when my knees started to lock up and my hip started to ache. By mile 19, I was headed for a turn around and I passed what was my mile 20 marker. The last mile took forever. I kept thinking the end was near… for a good 20 minutes.



Still, I came away feeling satisfied that this run was done. I’ve decided to take this week off to recover and allow myself some time to catch up on some writing. There is only a month left until the marathon and despite my fears yesterday, I know I’ll finish this marathon. There were a couple of times during the race in which I nearly broke out in tears. Some of the songs I selected (in particular a Badly Drawn Boy track from the ABOUT A BOY soundtrack) gave me inspiration and reminded me of why I’m doing this run. I know I shouldn’t need reminding, but when you’re out there and your muscles are killing you, sometimes that little spiritual kick keeps you going.



I regret that I did not write last week. I was depressed over the election outcome. I have said that I don’t want this to be a political blog, but I have held back and I know it has kept me from being as open as I like. I think it’s obvious which way I vote. I have been pretty liberal for a number of years and this particular election has really brought out that side of me. Those of you who know me must realize that I am for equality for everyone and that we need to help our poor and unfortunate. Love thy neighbor as they brother is the saying and I take that to heart. With our family situation, I know this to be so true. With strangers and family members helping us out during various hardships in the past three years, I would feel like a hypocrite if I did not try to send some of that good will back out into the world.



I do not feel that this current administration has those same intentions. Although they preach it, I do not see it in their actions. And I am not close-minded about this. I have spoken to numerous Republicans and heard what they have to say. I have made an attempt to hear their fears and beliefs in an attempt to understand where they’re coming from. Some of those people are in my own immediate family. Do I resent them for what they believe? No. Have I tried to sway them into what I believe? Sure. And they have done the same to me. These are not heated arguments, though, merely exchanges of ideas. Our country was founded on free thought and the exchange of ideas. Too much lately, though, it’s either one side or the other. I had hopes that this election would mark a change in tone and direction the country was headed. Sadly, I do not feel this will happen. Some of you may feel differently. I would love to hear your thoughts.



On a positive note, though, Proposition 71 here in California passed. This was a controversial Stem-Cell research proposition that would open California up to doing more stem cell research. We do not know what the future holds and what cures may be found through stem cells, but as a parent with a child who has a life threatening illness, I am in favor of this type of research.



That’s all for now.



Aloha.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Hot diggity. I did a stretch class yesterday and my whole body feels so much better. I woke up to run this morning and opted to do some work on my newest script. Getting to write made me feel even better.



I know my last entry was pretty dark. I'm trying to get away from so many dreary entries. So, I'm waiting until there is' at least something decent to write about. Or just to give a simple update.



As you all know, Halloween is this weekend. I'm really looking forward to walking around with the kids (I think I'm walking around with the kids... maybe I'm passing out candy. I better check on that). But I love this day of the year. This year Sophie is dressing as Sleeping Beauty and Jake will be Woody (from Toy Story). They received a package from Grandma Flynn this afternoon, so I know they’re getting pretty excited about Sunday.



I will have to avoid as much of the candy as possible.



Not much else to report right now. The election is right around the corner and I have been reluctant to voice my opinion on this site. The purpose of this site is not to rouse anger from anyone reading it (is there anyone still reading it?)



But if you know me and you've been reading the blog long enough, you know who am I voting for and what causes I believe in. 'Nuff said.



So... that's all for today. Tale care of yourselves.



Aloha.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

It's late Sunday night and I wanted to check in before going to bed. This was a wonderful weekend with the family. We went out to dinner the past couple nights and we went to Lombardi Ranch to buy pumpkins and go on some mule drawn wagon rides this morning.



Yesterday I ran the 18 miles and it was not nearly as bad as my 16 mile run ended up. I took it slow from the beginning and I was amazed at the strength I had at the end to pour it on. Peter was unable to run the last half-mile with me. His legs gave out. But his last long run was the 14 miler, which was over a month ago, so he should feel good that he completed most of the 18 miles running.



It was a strange week for me in that I've been doing a lot of research for a new script I’m working on and I came across some information about Ted Bundy. Even mentioning his name in the blog makes me feel like I violating something. This man was a monster and reading up on him really made me overly cautious the past couple days. I don't want to say paranoid, but I'm looking at things a little differently. My glasses aren't so rose colored.



The most unsettling thing is to think that something could happen to my children by some kind of monster like him. I sometimes tell myself that God wouldn't let anything more terrible happen to our family, that we already have enough on our plate. But I'm once again battling with my faith.



I want to be strong and trust in everything. But I'm so... bitter. That's the only word I can come up with. And this bitterness is spilling over. I can't even watch a show like "Extreme House Makeover" without feeling a little cynical.



I think about this blog and what I wrote last year. I'm sure it must have been filled with so much optimism. But I don't have so much optimism. Perhaps this is because my birthday is around the corner. I'll be 35 next Monday and I still don't feel like I've accomplished anything. After all of the things I've done, am I always gong to feel this way? When am I going to get over myself?



But going back to Bundy. Reading about his depravity and how he ruined families has really made me look at my wife and children and love them even more. I wish I could hold on to them forever end envelope them with a protective cloak that will keep them out of harm's way. But I'm no superman. I'm not even a great man. I'm just Scott. Husband and dad. Son and brother.



I keep wishing that something wonderful would happen to lift some of the stress out of our lives. But there's just so much beating down that optimism that those thoughts really feel like wishful thinking and not hope or confidence.



These thoughts only seem to come up when I'm on the computer. Why is that? Really, we have a good life. I love our house and we've been able to survive on our meager savings for much longer than we thought possible. But I worry so much. I worry so much that it consumes me and I feel like I'm projecting it on to the kids. Those darling, beautiful children. I don't want them to carry my problems. I want only the best for them.



And still, after all of this... crap I've just unloaded, I still am so thankful that we have our weekends together. To be able to spend these two days as a family... it means everything.



By now I must have driven away any of the few readers I still had.





Aloha.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It has rained the past 24 hours. Not a light drizzle, but a downpour. Luckily I was able to get in a run yesterday morning and now it appears that the weather has cleared for a run tomorrow. I am amazed at how nonchalant I am about the 18 mile run this weekend. I am convinced that a slower pace and a 3/1 will be sufficient enough to get me through it without any pain. We'll see.



I was dismissed from jury duty this morning (due to hardship reasons) and I had an opportunity to go home and be with the kids and Julie a little longer before heading into work. We dropped Sophie off at school and there were a couple a times when I just stared at this little girl and was amazed. She is growing up so fast. He mind is absorbing so much knowledge from school and there are moments when she's like a teenager with her answers. And then, there are moments like last night when she was in tears because she was afraid of thunder. Not that we had any thunder, but the idea of it scared her to death.



Sophie is very sensitive and I sometimes fear that I may be too harsh on her. God, this is my worse fear. I fear that I'm too short or that I'm too loud and that this behavior will affect her for the rest of her life. I'm no head doctor, but I know enough to realize that these formative years are vital to her development. But what if it's too late? What if my stressed out behavior when Julie was in the hospital with Jake and that whole period of our lives has changed her in ways that won't become apparent until she's an adult?



Are these the same fears that all parents suffer? I wonder if it's just me. I look at other parents (Julie included) and I often think, "Why can't I be like (insert name here)."



And I can't use Cf as an excuse. No, that's not an excuse because this is just one part of our life. Granted, it's a big part of our life, but we've adapted, for the time being, to Jake's medicines and his routines. I'm sure we will have to adapt again sometime in the future.



Like I wrote in my follow up letter: I just want Sophie and Jake to have a long life together as brother and sister. I want them to experience everything that Julie and I did with our siblings. I would like them to grown up safe, healthy and full of love. I hope that that is happening already.



Enough of my rambling. I've lost my train of thought. So much for being a writer.



Aloha

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Our cat, Doodle, is moaning in the toy room while I write this. We bring her in at night and place her in a kennel. I sometimes hate doing this. Doodle used to be our favorite. But she urinated throughout the house when we moved in which caused us to have to get new carpeting. Doodle used to be the most affectionate cat, but, I don't know, I guess she got jealous of... everything? So, now she lives outside during the day and she sleeps in the toy room at night.



Yesterday's 10-mile run went quite well. I ran the whole way with Peter and another friend, Tony Bosco. I met Tony through training last year. He's running for City of Hope in honor of his mother. She passed away from cancer. The run was very smooth. My left knee started to act up toward the end. I'm not sure how much of the pain had to do with whatever injury I have to it or from possible restriction cause by the knee support I wear.



I must say this: I did not feel tired or achy at all after the run or for the entire day yesterday. After I got home, we pulled out a bunch of plants and planted new flowers in the flowerbed by the front door and in front of the garage. It was, like, a 4-5 hour job. But it looks great and I'm very happy that we did it. It was one of those projects that lingered in the back of our minds from the day we moved in. Completing this task makes the home feel that much more ours. Funny that after three years and the many things we've done to alter (and improve) the house, you can still feel like it's not entirely yours. At least, that's how I feel.



Sophie goes back to kindergarten tomorrow after a week off. Julie’s bummed. She really loves having Sophie home all day. But Sophie is so excited about getting back and seeing her friends and teacher. I'm so happy she's enjoying school.



The Malchus' and the Cruz's came over for dinner tonight. It was a gray, rainy day and the temperature was cool. I love this weather. It reminds me of Cleveland in the fall. Having our friends over for dinner was great.



We've decided to go back to Cleveland for Christmas and take some extra time. Two weeks! We haven't taken that long of a vacation in years. But I feel like we all really need it. With the trip coming so close after the marathon, it looks like December will be quite an eventful month.



Aloha.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Rode my bike this morning and had a relatively mellow day. I've begun work on a new script. It feels good to be writing and to have ideas swimming around in my head.



Last we checked, Wes was over $9000 and close to $10000. Incredible. He began the week with around $4000.



And to think that all of these people are donating based on our family and our little guy (oh yeah, and the fact that Wes is running 2 marathons).



I feel energized for tomorrow's run. Of course, it's only 10 miles. Trying to stay positive, though.



Aloha.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Almost didn't complete my run this morning. Outside forces have been wearing down on my state of mind and the farther I get out on runs, the more depressed I get. I'm having a difficult time shutting off my brain and just focusing on the running. Still, I did about 3 miles in under an hour and I feel ready for the ten mile run this weekend. Peter wants to extend it to 13 or 14 miles as he has missed some long runs. Not sure if I'm up for that.



I want to make mention of my friend Wes Stevens who has been fund raising for CF in Jacob's and our family's name. Wes and I have known each other ever since I began at Klasky Csupo. He is one of the voice over agents we deal with on a regular basis. We have always gotten along and he has been supportive of us ever since Jacob was diagnosed. As I have mentioned in previous entries, he raised $22K last year running the Honolulu marathon for AIDS Project LA. This year, when he decided to do another fundraiser, he offered to do it for the Cf Foundation and I pounced on his offer.



Well, he has raised his goal to $26,200 dollars, and to entice people, he has decided to run 2 marathons this fall. The first is this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. He has raised close to $8000 and hopes to make it to $10000 by the weekend. I'm including the context of his most recent letter below.



When I'm starting to feel low about the fundraiser this year, I'm going to try and remember that Wes will bring in a lot of money. That may not have happened if I hadn't approached him. And truthfully, part of my job is to also raise awareness. I think that Wes, in reaching out to all of the people he knows, is definitely spreading the awareness.



Here was his first letter:



Well it is that time again…time to lace up my running shoes, get up at the CRACK of dawn each weekend, eat goo, put on nipple guards and start running. And it is time once more for you to generously open your wallet and - while you will not get that “runner’s high (which is a big ol’ lie anyway) - you will get the giver’s high, or at least a little good karma.



Last year you helped me finish my first marathon, 26.2 miles and raise $22,000 for Aids Project Los Angeles. This year I am going twice the distance, TWO full marathons...52.4 miles for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.



My first marathon will be in two weeks, the Columbus Marathon on October 17th. Then I will strap on the shoes again on December 5th for the Orange County Marathon. My training is going well, I feel strong and I am ready to double my efforts of last year to help inspire friends, family and colleagues to go deeper and give more to a truly good cause.



I will share more updates and more statistics as we go, but the core truth is: Over 33,000 children in the United States are afflicted with the deadly pediatric disease Cystic Fibrosis. From breathing to digestion, nothing is easy for these children. The disease causes the body to produce abnormally thick mucus, creating life threatening lung infections and host of other problems. Only 50% of individuals with CF even survive to the age of 30.



I am running for Jacob, an adorable little guy who struggles with this disease every day. He is the son of Scott Malchus, a friend and a casting associate at Klasky Csupo. Last year Scott ran the Honolulu Marathon for CF and this year he is doing Orange County. Knowing how much we all helped raise for APLA last year, he asked if I would run for CF in December. When you meet Jacob, how can you say



no?



I am going twice the distance this year; help me make twice the difference. Give what you can. You can either mail me donations made out to



I’ve got a long way to go. I appreciate your support every step of the way. There will be updates to come.



Thank you for your generosity.





And this was his second letter:



Hey Scott. This is what went out last night. It garnered over $3k in donations in under 12 hours…WOW. First marathon is this weekend….Here I go



From: Wes Stevens

Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2004 6:06 PM

Subject: The first 26.2 is HERE! Help me make it to 10K....





My first marathon weekend is upon me. I'm anxious, a bit insecure and simultaneously inspired and excited. This Sunday at 7 am I will begin the first leg of my TWO full marathons...52.4 miles for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.



In the short two weeks since my first email, we have already raised $4,000. THANK YOU.



As I prepare to lace up, tape up, hydrate, and quell my trepidation, I am imploring you to help me make it to $10k by this weekend. Every donation is an inspiration. It fills me with certain pride to know my friends, family and colleagues are truly a part of my run.



I have to say, this journey and the training, the first time I have trained for a marathon alone, has been much more personal. A few times, at 15 mile marks or sometimes less, when I feel like I've had enough, I think of Jacob Malchus. I see his cute mug and think of my friend Scott Malchus' family and the next mile comes a little easier (not painless, but easier).



I asked Scott if he could give me a better window into what his family and Jake go through, he replied (Scott, Jake and Sophie are in the shot below):



"In his short life, Jake's been fortunate to only be hospitalized three times. He continues to be in great health, with most of his medical issues falling into the digestive problems (common with the disease). For a child of almost three years, he does remarkably well with all of the medications he has to take.



With every meal or snack, Jacob must swallow digestive enzymes so that his body will absorb the nutrients from the food he’s eating. And three times a day, he must have breathing treatments using a nebulizer that creates a mist of medicines that go directly to his lungs. In addition, there are the medicines to help settle the acid in his stomach, and the various vitamins he must take. Of course, Jacob knows no other way of life. This disease will be with him the rest of his life."



The only way for Jacob's life to change, to experience a "normal" childhood is with a cure. That's what I'm running for and you are generously giving for…



I am going twice the distance this year; help me make twice the difference. Give what you can. You can either mail me donations made out to:



I’ve got a long way to go. I appreciate all of your support in word, thought and donation. Let's find a cure, I can run, you can give. Wish me luck this Sunday.





Pretty incredible. I hope everyone readn this will keep Wes in their thoughts an prayers this weekend.



Aloha