Team in Training - Augusta 70.3

First I want to thank all of the people who have donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during the training of my last two marathons - Publix and Chicago! Together we have joined the fight against cancer!

This year, I am continuing to work to accomplish the mission of Team in Training, but instead of a marathon, I have decided to switch it up and challenge myself to complete the Augusta 70.3 Half Ironman on September 29, 2013. You read that right, 70.3 miles!
1.2 miles of Swimming:

56 miles of Biking:
13.1 miles of Running:

Okay, so maybe I’ve upgraded some of my training gear and techniques over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is my passion for helping others. Over the past two years I have been fortunate enough to train with some amazing cancer survivors. These individuals are the true heroes and the ones that I dedicate my fundraising and training season to. Cancer is something that no one should have to endure! The good news is that each and every day the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society helps us get one step closer to a cure. Forty years ago the survival rate for children with Leukemia was 3%; today it’s 90%.

My goal this year is to raise $2,500 and with your help we can join together to continue this fight against blood cancer. Please feel free to visit my website at: 

Here you can make your tax deductible donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.   

Thank you again for your continuous support!


Day Seven: Tobu World Square

Another day in Japan meant another train ride...

This time we were off to Tobu World Square, a theme park that contains over 100 1:25 scale models of famous buildings. I'm not quite sure how Gam knew about this place but it was on her "must see while in Japan" list.   

Modern Japan


 (Yes those zoomed in people are actually the Obamas)




Historic Japan

 Tobu World Characters

For dinner that night Adam and John talked me into going to eat at a local French restaurant with them. Unfortunately the place they wanted to go had probably 20 seats in the entire restaurant and definetely required reservations. darn. Instead we went to another French-ish restaurant around the corner and had an amazing dinner and dessert. I'm really going to have to work out these next few weeks to burn off all the delicious food we enjoyed throughout the trip!

Day Six: Kobe

Since we had been up later than expected with the MCM registration delay we managed to sleep in to close to 7:30AM. On this day half the family was traveling to Kamakura to see the giant Budda and the other half of us were going to Kobe. 

My sister's good friend moved back to Japan about four years ago and she was able to see him during this trip. It was so nice to have someone who spoke Japanese fluently to guide us around, rather than rely on my broken Japanese.


Views from Kobe Harbor: 

Roar like a Lion...

We walked around the Kobe Harborland and then had lunch at the Fisherman's Market. It was a 90 minute seafood buffet with a wide variety of choices. It was a little disappointing compared to the display of pictures outside of the restaurant but it filled our hunger needs.

After the harbor we decided to go to the Kobe Earthquake Museum. On January 17, 1995 a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Kobe and nearly 6,434 people lost their lives.  The museum began with a seven minute reenactment of the earthquake with strobe lights and a vibrating room. The images on the screen showed the damage reflected in the local neighborhoods.  

What was most amazing was seeing how well the country came together to rebuild everything that was lost. It was an experience I'll never forget and one that hopefully Japan will not have to face again.

After another long day we were back on the Shinkansen headed back to Tokyo.

Marine Corp Marathon - Registration

Janelle and I are long term planners...thus two weeks after the Chicago Marathon we had already decided we were going to sign up to run the Marine Corp Marathon which was nearly a year later.

We had been counting down for registration day and had recruited quite a few people to join us on this adventure. Last year the race sold out in 2 hours and 45 minutes so we knew it would be quick this year - especially since the mishap with the Chicago Marathon registration and the limited slots in the NY Marathon. This left MCM as the last "major" fall race unaccounted for.

Registration opened up at 12PM EST on March 27th. Normally this would be a great time, but seeing as though we were in Japan this meant that Adam and I would have to log on at 1AM to register for the race. We both had been asleep for maybe an hour before our alarm went off for registration. I prepped my phone and began the countdown...

3 Seconds until Registration Opens!

And within minutes the site crashes.... (I was trying to register the two of us on my iPhone, iPad, and Adam's computer)

We were determined to get in! Some how about 18 minutes in, I finally got all the way through the registration process and I was confirmed. Around the same time Janelle confirmed her registration and we were both in!

Unfortunately Adam was still not making progress from his computer. Janelle was trying for Adam but she had said she got an error stating the race was already on hold - this meant there was a huge chance we weren't going to get him in! At this point, Adam accepted defeat and went back to sleep. To his credit, it had been a fun but exhausting week. He had given up, but I wasn't ready to throw in the towel yet. 

Luckily I also had started another registration immediately on my iPad and some how that made it through. I followed the advise on the MCM website and stalked it religiously to try and figure out if it was completely sold out and/or if others were having this same trouble. 

I kept refreshing and eventually got to the check out page. I thought it would all be done soon. Of course another major glitch! Every time I would input our credit card information, it would clear out and not go through! I probably typed in that number over 25 times and no result. Next thing you know I see this error...

How could they be upgrading the site during a time like this?! Shouldn't that all have been done the day before. Finally around 1:15AM (75 minutes after registration opened) the upgrade worked and I was able to receive the email with Adam's confirmation.

The group that we had convinced into racing MCM with us all got registered as well! Look out DC - we're coming for you in October!

It was great that we all managed to get in but I felt bad for all the other people who were stuck on the site and never got in. While it doesn't make it 100% better, I was happy to receive this email today from Active.com. It describes their intention to distribute its fees received from MCM to two charitable causes. At the people at Active.com are trying to make the situation right!

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