Triangulating the Carolinas


With an extended weekend due to Good Friday, I figured why not take a road trip and hit 3 different cities in 3 days! #Boston Marathon Training Regime

International Women’s Day

Today we honor our female athletes who have paved the way for women around the world. Thank you for your hard work and Happy International Women’s Day!

Clue #6 and #7 Teaser

 2 For 1

2 clues for the price of 1! Where is our final destination? Find out tomorrow with clues #6 and #7

Frigid 5K Run and Plunge

Frigid Temperatures + Cold Surprise = Race Day in the South

Born in the great state of Michigan, you wouldn’t think a mere 30 degrees would be that abnormal of a temperature in February; however, living in North Carolina for the last decade, 30 degrees is downright freezing. And yes, your blood does warm up living down south. As I glanced outside, part of me was hoping several inches of snow would trickle down from the sky even if it meant shutting down half the city (cue all my Northern friends laughing and rolling their eyes).

Before heading out to the U.S. National White Water Center, home of the Frigid 5K, I scanned my bed for a quick gear check: Scrubs, check. Lab coat, check. Go Pro camera, check. Sharpie, check. Shoes (already on my feet), check.

If it's Saturday, it's Race Day!

If it’s Saturday, it’s race day!

As I made my way to the U.S. National White Water Center, I was curious to see how many people would actually show up. For Charlotte, this weather was pretty crappy; however, as a runner, weather conditions are more of a challenge than an obstacle. Upon my arrival, I noticed roughly 500+ runners who were excited to brave the cold in February followed by an optional (but highly encouraged) cold water plunge into the man-made river.

My good friend Jeramy was eager and excited to notch his first 2013 race under his belt. I asked him if he minded filming me jumping into the water after the race. His response, “If I am going to wake up this early, run in this weather, you best believe I am jumping in that ice cold water!” Touche.

COLD is an understatement and fun doesn’t do that moment justice.

COLD is an understatement and fun doesn’t do that moment justice.

As the gun went off, Jeramy and I jogged the 5K that covers the length of the Whitewater Center Parkway, occasionally stopping for pictures and encouraging fellow runners. The actual run itself was average at best as we looped up the parkway and then wrapped around back again. Several times I heard people say “Go Doc Go” or “Keep running for Papa!” The exhilarating part of the run was approaching the finish line! I could see a large group of supporters cheering on runners as they crossed the line and plunged into the water. I kicked of my shoes, dropped my labcoat and sprinted into the water clutching my scrubs and camera.

Before grabbing a beer and warming up by the fire, I asked Jeramy to film some quick wrap up footage of the race. As cold as my body felt, I knew this was another great opportunity to raise awareness for dementia research. In fact, while drinking an ice cold micro-brew and warming up by the fire, a group of women came up and started giving me a funny look. One lady asked “Didn’t I see you last week at the Gold Rush 5K?” I nodded, smiled and nudged over so she could warm up her hands. She said, “Keep doing what you are doing, it’s making a difference.” I smiled again, thanked her, and made my way back to my car.

And sure enough, on my ride home, snow began falling from the sky!

Jeramy and I capture a quick moment together after jumping in the frigid water.

Jeramy and I capture a quick moment together after jumping in the frigid water.

49er Gold Rush 5K

Groundhog Day Mixed with a Race

Norm and I hanging out together before the 49er Gold Rush 5K.

Norm and I hanging out together before the 49er Gold Rush 5K.

We’ve all heard of Punxsutawney Phil, the little furry guy in Pennsylvania who comes out, sees his shadow, and declares six more weeks of winter. February 2 brings the most-watched weather forecast of the year—and the only one led by a rodent. Legend has it that on this morning, if a groundhog can see its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it cannot see its shadow, spring is on the way.

My alarm mysteriously went off at 5am and while Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” did not start playing, I knew I wasn’t falling back asleep anytime soon. Believe me, I tried tricking myself. I figured, if this day were going to repeat itself, why not run a race on Groundhog Day!?! My friend Rachel mentioned the night before about a race taking place at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), a Gold Rush 5K. Groundhog Day mixed with a race was an easy sell for this guy. Honestly, either of those two were good enough reasons to get out of bed, but combine the both of them, and you have the start of something special!

The next steps went something like this: 1) Google the location of the race 2) Grab my scrubs and lab coat 3) Hop in the shower (for easily 45 mins) 4) Slide my feet into my newest pair of running shoes! If today were going to repeat itself, I was well prepared to do battle again and again.

Being a Northerner, you would think 25 degrees was no big deal; however, living in North Carolina for the past 10 years has warmed my blood substantially. And yes, spoiled me (guilty). Actually, it wasn’t so much cold as it was downright freezing (cue my entire family and friends in Michigan rolling their eyes)! I made my way to the registration table and immediately started getting looks from fellow runners. While most runners were covered in multiple layers from head to toe, yours truly roamed around in his medical scrubs and was being asked time and time again, “What’s Run4Papa?” The amount of attention and awareness from wearing this attire alone was worth bearing the frigid temperature.

All bundled up but raising PPA awareness!

All bundled up and raising awareness for PPA research!

I ended up running alongside 800 fellow runners. We started on a racetrack but were quickly directed toward a variety of hills zig-zagged around the beautiful UNCC campus. I happened to run quicker than normal and could feel my fingers thawing out one by one every half mile. When I approached Mile 3, there was a massive group of  college volunteers supporting runners as they made their way toward the finish line.  When I got closer, this group started going wild! “We have a doctor running this race!” As I flew by, I heard “Run 4 Papa, Run 4 Papa!” A BIG smile came across my face. Why? Because this cause continues to have a contagious affect not only at each race and venue, but by the amount of support, awareness and traffic generated online.

I thought to myself “If every day is like this one, my alarm can go off at 5am anytime. Groundhog Day or not, I will be happy to repeat this effort day after day until the 1st National PPA speech therapy trial is funded.” And by the looks of it, I am thinking this goal will be achieved within the next 135 days.

As I crept back into bed, I turned my radio on only to hear the song “I Got You Babe” playing. Seemed timely enough to me.

Positivity breeds Positivity

Positivity breeds Positivity