Brandi Rucinski's Reason to Run for John Owen Dumm
Me with John Owen
Hello Friends and Family!!
We all know what it's like to be a 9-year-old kid. Some of us even have one. Besides friends and family, a lot of life revolves around school, activities, being silly and pizza. John Owen Dumm, my children's schoolmate at St. Albert the Great, is no different in that respect. About 5 years ago though, doctors diagnosed John Owen with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal disease with no cure or treatment to stop it's progression. It has already taken away his ability to walk. The thing that I have seen that really makes this 9-year-old boy stand out is not necessarily the disease, but the incredible web of people who have come together to bless this young man with kindness and love through their moving spirit and generosity. Because I think you would be a great addition to this network of fabulous people, I'm asking for your help!
Please help me support John Owen Dumm and other young boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy as I proudly run 26.2 miles in the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon this October 13th. I will be part of the Run For Our Sons team and together, we will go the distance to end this horrible disease.
Here are some more facts about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy:
* Duchenne is the most common fatal genetic disorder among children.
* It affects approximately 1 out of every 3,500 boys and 20,000 babies each year.
* It causes loss of muscle function and independence. Most young men with Duchenne only live into their twenties.
* The FDA is close to approving the drug Eteplirsen, a potential "miracle drug" which will help boys with DMD live a normal life.
Please help us put an end to the devastating disorder by making a donation.
If you prefer, you may also mail a check, made payable to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, to: Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy401 Hackensack Avenue, 9th FloorHackensack, NJ 07601(Please note that the check is in honor of Brandi Rucinski/Chicago Marathon)
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne. They uphold the highest ethical and financial standard and consistently receive high marks from watchdog organizations, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.
All funds raised will benefit Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (http://www.parentprojectmd.org) and go directly toward researching a cure. Your contribution is 100% tax deductible.
To learn more about John Owen, visit www.joainc.org. Thank you for your support!
My Personal Web Log
PERSPECTIVE : A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
People have different perspectives about running. You'll hear everything from 'it's bad for your body' to 'it'll change your life'. My first perspective of a race came with a more literal sense of the definition. I wasn't a runner or supporter... just a kid with a unique point of view. It was 1980 something and I was tagging along with Mom who owned a sign company that was responsible for creating and installing the START and FINISH banner at a big race downtown. That race was "The Revco" (Cleveland Revco Marathon and 10 K) now known as "The Rite-Aid." It was one big banner that hung above the thousands of runners. Once the gun sounded and the last runner passed, the banner needed to be turned quickly from START to FINISH so those super fast 10 K-ers could see the word FINISH on their way back to the line. In order to do that, we had to get up into a bucket truck and be ready. I say 'we' because Mom let me go up there, above the crowd to see the people and feel the rush. I didn't know it at the time, but that perspective from high atop a bucket truck gave me the inspiration to want to run. Even as a kid and non-runner, I could feel the vibe. I wanted to run. The next season I signed up for cross country. That's the power of a race... and a mom. Thanks Mom for letting me tag along.
Since then running has come in and out of my life. My perspective or 'particular attitude toward' it has changed a few times too. The biggest adjustment came about during the Akron Half Marathon on September 28th. I was just getting over a painful injury and was disappointed because my marathon goal time would no longer be reachable. If I wanted to run the Akron race, I had to do it slower than my others. The competitiveness in me was getting the best of me, for real, just sucking it right out. When you're running, you really don't like to get slower... UNLESS you change your perspective. So while there are plenty of opportunities to work on a PR (running speak for personal best record) this race wasn't going to be about time or speed. It was going to be about friends. Friends whose hearts are heavy for the same reason. Fellow Chicago Marathon mom Elsa Kilbane was running the full 26.2 in Akron that day. Running with her for the first half of it along with other JOA runners, including Jen Dumm, really proved what this one was all about. Running brought us together in the first place, not for a time, but for a reason: to bring awareness and research dollars for Jen's son, John Owen and all the the other boys living with Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy. During this race we weren't huffing and puffing so hard we couldn't talk or laugh or ring those cow bells. If you've seen any pictures you might think we won the whole damn thing because of how happy we look... just for the record, we didn't win:). Honestly, I haven't even looked at our finishing time. At this race, it didn't matter. All I know is that we crossed it together holding hands and then walked back up the blue line so we could run the full marathon's final mile with Elsa (and Joe, her pacer). I'm so proud of her, she rocked it! So if you've thought about running and just don't think you're a runner, think again and give it a try, find a cause or set a goal (or both!) and run. Consider joining our 'Team Moving Spirit' running club for JOA, there are runners of all levels and they epitomize why so many people are jumping into the racing circuit. These are positive spirits you want to hang with and call friends. You don't have to run fast, just do it then sign up for a 5K. After that you can tell anyone who says running is bad for your body, they should come to a race and just see what it can do to their soul.
by Brandi Rucinski on Mon, Oct 07, 2013 @ 10:47 AM
Expressing gratitude is simply the polite thing to do but it doesn't seem like nearly enough after what happened on September 24th, 2013.
Marge, the owner of Bella Amore, kindly agreed to help fellow Chicago marathon mom Elsa Kilbane and I host a "Dinner Night Out" by donating 20 percent of all bills that night to our fundraising efforts. The response was so overwhelming and the place was packed. We apologize to those who couldn't get in because of the crowd, but encourage you to give the restaurant another try. So thank you, thank you and thank you again to Marge and anyone who came out or attempted to eat with us!! In just four short hours, Team JOA Parent Project MD received nearly $1,000 in donations that night!
by Brandi Rucinski on Mon, Oct 07, 2013 @ 10:11 AM
Disclaimer: You're about to encounter a little potty talk and poor attempt of mild adult humor.
Most people know I Iove the Vita-mix. You might even think I work for the company or get paid royalties for the sales I've driven there. But sometimes you just have to change it up. Plus, who needs all that fiber when you're running what feels like a katrillion miles a week?? If you haven't found out for yourself, the intense training acts like a natural diuretic. So that is what turned me on to juicing. I want all the vitamins and nutrients from raw food in large quantities, without all the fiber. I have to admit it wasn't a well thought out executed plan. This was an impulse move. The idea swirled about in my head one day and without doing too much research, I just bought one. I did read that Bed, Bath and Beyond has an excellent return policy and everyone knows about the 20 percent off coupons so there was really no need to look much further. I went to the store only to find they didn't have in stock the Breville Juice Fountain Duo ($319.00 with coupon, free shipping plus tax) but that was the one I wanted at the time. Because I just have so much free time I can always return it right?? Sure. The day it showed up we went right to the local farmer's market and brought home bags of fruits and veggies. The first time was a bit intimidating especially when I was so excited to get my hands on it. (Yes, getting juicy talking about a juicer, back to reality...). It was great watching the kids fight over who got to put the carrots down the chute. Normally, the sound of them arguing is not that thrilling but the machine was so loud I really couldn't hear them anyway. Bonus! Duo must mean it can juice and create smoothies. Not real sure why I needed that because I already have a smoothie maker (Vita-mix girl) duh. It turned into big fun and a healthy drink for the kids and me once they stopped yelling at each other but it was a little more than I needed. And trust me, there is plenty of fiber still in the juice. I know this because one of my kids 'over drank' it. For the record, it was NOT Raina. The machine was sooo big and heavy. Lots of pieces and parts too. But I gave it a second try and started reading a little more about juicing.
Did you know there are two different kinds? They are: centrifugal and masticating (no, not a typo ;). Both sound painful huh? I'm no expert, obviously, but I can now tell you that 'centrifugal' machines are faster and they actually cut and spin the juice out. The Breville I bought was centrifugal. The juice from this type spoils faster because oxygen is drawn into the liquid during the high speed extraction process. So it's best to drink the juice right away. They say, whoever 'they' are, that the juice starts to lose it's nutrients the longer you wait to drink it because of the oxidation process. According to http://www.justjuice.org, "adding lemon juice may slow the oxidation down a bit but it won't be able to protect the integrity of the juice against the exposure to the air. With prolonged exposure to air, the vital enzymes and nutrients in the juice begin to deteriorate and are mostly gone within 20 minutes time." Wow! 20 minutes?? Who still has their college beer bong? It tastes better if you drink it right away too.. slowly. These centrifugals are a bit more common and most are not as pricey (although that is not true with the Fountain Duo). 'Masticating' means it pretty much grinds the fruits and vegetables to extract the juice. Because they are slower (and much quieter) you will get more yield, especially from green leafy veggies like spinach, kale and even wheat grass. Spinach and kale are two of my favorite 'super foods' so this was important to me. That is why after my second time of using the Breville Juice Fountain Duo and looking at all the big heavy pieces around my kitchen counter I decided to take it back. Yep, dragged the kiddos back to Bed, Bath and Beyond against Kyle's will and traded it in for a masticating machine. Ouch. I got an Omega 350HD 'VERT' Vertical (which was actually 20 dollars cheaper). It produces little to no heat which means less of that oxidation. These kind produce juice with a higher shelf life and can be stored up to 24 hours. Mine though is even a little fancier. It's made with twin gears and 'they' say can retain their nutrient potency for up to 72 hours. And it's much easier to clean because of it's design. Now we're talking. I don't have time to keep juicing and cleaning and juicing and cleaning. I hate cleaning. Let's just make one big batch and save it for at least a day or two. The negative? Mine doesn't have that cool 3 inch chute like you see in the infomercials. You can't just take a whole apple and drop it in for instant liquid apple. You actually have to cut, with a knife! Personally, I enjoy holding a powerful, dangerous, piece of steal in my hand, hearing the chop and feeling the slice. It looks cool too when my husband walks in from work, like I've been doing something productive because I have a utensil in my hand and the kitchen is a mess... again. One negative with both juicers, you end up with a lot of 'waste'. The machine spits out all that pulp and fiber. It is pretty dry but I have a hard time just throwing it out. Kind of like that glass of wine at dinner. You can't just let it sit there. So I've been taking the pulp and putting it out in the yard (behind the bushes)... for the deer. Please don't tell my husband. I'm sure the thought of vibrant, fiber-filled deer bouncing around our back yard will not make his day. Happy juicing!!
by Brandi Rucinski on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 @ 11:43 PM
So this was it, the first of three 20 milers before the big race. I wasn't as scared as the last biggie... #18 but I was dreading running it alone on Johnson's Island, which is where I was spending the weekend. Not because it's mostly flat and has some really nice views (those are pluses) but it's only 3 miles round. My math, which has never been really good, tells me that's looping it almost 7 times. Right?? Head. Is. Spinning. Not to mention all the wildlife: coyotes, fox, skunks and big bucks. Nice to look at, not to run from :) Oh.. And BUGS!! While this is all big fun for my four year old son, I don't really enjoy a stare down with a buck bigger than me or having three of the bugs ending up in my eye. Both happened.
The morning started with a cup of coffee (which I only drink before a long run), half of a banana and oatmeal. The temperature was about 61 degrees. That's not bad but 50 to 55 is perfect running weather even for this freeze baby.
According to my GPS watch, the first 16 miles didn't feel too bad and my average pace was 8:58 per mile. But then came miles 17,18,19 and 20! Ouch! It wasn't the cardiovascular part of it because my lungs felt good. My legs and butt were on fire!! I think I've been slacking in the strengthening department. It didn't help that it was getting hotter and hotter outside. But I did come to realize that looping the island wasn't so bad after all. Water and GU (refueling running gel) can be kept at the end of our driveway. How convenient! No need to 'plant' or carry them. Boy did that water come in handy. I stopped four times and went through two 16.9 oz. bottles. If there were more, they would've been gone because at the end of the run the temperature had risen to 79 degrees. Ugh. That was tough. I ended up drinking nine 16.9 bottles of water that day.
Not going to figure that one out, but it's A LOT of water.
The best news, I did it.. in 3:05:05! That's an overall pace of 9:15. How ironic I thought. JOA's Iron Horse Bike Ride for John Owen is 9-15. My daughters (Raina and Ella) and I will be biking 15 miles to raise more money for the charity. What a great way to hang with the kids, get in some cross-training, and teach my kids something about making a difference. There's still time to sign up at http://Www.joainc.org.
And some other REALLY exciting news on the fundraising front... Elsa Kilbane and I are hosting a family dinner night out. Elsa is one of my fabulous friends and is also running the Chicago Marathon for the same cause.
So... SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday September 24th come join us for a dinner at Bella Amore, formally 82nd Street on Royalton Road in North Royalton. Bring your family and friends too!! :)) The owner has graciously agreed to donate 20% of every check between 5pm and 9pm (dine in and take out) to go toward our racing team 'Parent Project MD, Run For Our Sons.' Please help support John Owen Dumm and help derail Duchenne!! See you then!! Xoxoxo
by Brandi Rucinski on Mon, Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:48 PM
I used to get anxious, nervous and intimidated before every long run. I'd have a hard time going to bed the night before and end up running on just a few hours of sleep. Those days have passed except for the day of the 18 miler.
My long run before this was supposed to be a 16, but it didn't go so well. It was hot and humid and the day before I tried playing catch up which I learned was not a good idea because by mile 11 I was walking. Injury!! Ugh. So, I took a few days off and slowly got back at it.
Once the 18 miler morning came I was again feeling the pressure, only brought on by myself. I was scared and tired. I had only 5 hours of sleep, just found out my running buddies couldn't come, it was dark and started to rain. I had all the excuses. I sat there in my car at our usual starting point and drove away. I was going back to bed.
But my car took me somewhere else, literally. But realistically, it wasn't the car that wouldn't go home. It was my shirt.
I was wearing my JOA shirt. The bright orange one with teal lettering that my sweet friend, Jenn Dumm gave me. JOA stands for John Owen's Adventures, a local charity that helps fund PPMD. He's Jenn's (and Tony's) son, but our inspiration. He's the 9-year-old boy living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He's why I'm asking my friends, family and strangers for money when I run 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon October 13th. The money will help fund research and awareness. Money that will help fund clinical trials like the one for Eteplirsen. A 'miracle' drug that in clinical trials is helping boys like him walk again. A drug that will keep his heart beating, his lungs breathing and will send his spirit soaring. If not, all those functions we take for granted, he will lose.
That is just part of the 30 minute conversation I had with myself as I sat in my car with my orange shirt and debated what I should do with my morning.
And that's when I got out of the car and started to run. And guess what... I rocked it! 18 miles in 2 hours 52 minutes and 30 seconds. Yes, a bit excited after all that and no injury!
Thank you JOA, John Owen and Jenn for the shirt and the inspiration. Together we will derail Duchenne.
by Brandi Rucinski on Thu, Aug 08, 2013 @ 10:48 PM
At the advice of a friend who's trained for three marathons, I took a look at Hal Higdon's Marathon 3 training program. It's fairly new to his regime of plans and a bit intimidating to someone like me. I liked that it is a 24 week program, features three running days, has lots of cross training and climaxes with three 20 mile runs. Well, saying I LIKE 20 mile runs is probably an overstatement, but I am up for the challenge. Trying to fit this all in with four young kids at home is even more challenging but I've been sticking to it, with a few adjustments for the past 14 weeks by getting up REALLY early with my running buddies or having my kids join me on their bikes (and newly purchased jogging stroller yay!!) in the afternoon. There are easy days, hard days, fast days and slow days but every day is a check in the box and one that brings me that much closer to finishing the race.
by Brandi Rucinski on Wed, Aug 07, 2013 @ 11:55 PM
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