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Dear Boston 13.1 Team Up with Autism Speaks Runners,

I am truly sorry.  I have not kept up my end of the bargain we made last Spring.  I was supposed to lead you through your training, inspire you to run long, ready you for the 13.1 miles you will conquer next month.  I have done none of those things.  Unfortunately, lung issues have put me on the shelf for the last month and I have not been able to lead long runs, any runs really, at all.  It has been 28 days since I last laced up; and truth be told, the week leading up to that last run was labored at best.

No, I have been neither a good leader nor team captain, and for that I am truly sorry.

I hope you have been training.  I hope you have been running at least three time a week with one long run on the weekends (you should shoot for 10 slow miles this weekend).  I hope you’re on target with your fund raising goals.

I’ve got one last challenge for you.  I know it’s a lot to ask, particularly as I have been an absent leader, but I ask you nonetheless.  As of this coming Sunday, there will be three weeks until Boston 13.1.  I want you to convince a friend to come join you in our little jaunt by the sea.  It’s okay if they say they are in no shape to run 13.1 runs because you know what?  Neither am I!  But I will be there – despite the complete breakdown of my running since mid-July, the Blue Afro and I plan on being on the course with you.  I may have to walk, but I will be there – and if I can do it, so can a friend.

I can’t promise dinner with Jess (adiaryofamom) since she is not running this year, but I can promise that the team dinner the night before the race will fill you with words of inspiration and feelings of hope and promise…oh, and a chance to break bread with the Blue Afro and me.

I look forward to seeing old faces and meeting new friends on the 14th and 15th.

Sincerely and Apologetically,

Luau

PS:  If you can’t join us for Boston 13.1 but would like to contribute in some way, please consider donating to my fund raising page (link below).

—>Luau’s Fund Raising Page<—

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Some of you have asked if it is possible to follow my progress during the TARC 100 this weekend.  I didn’t think so and had planned on tweeting my progress live (@luau), but it turns out that yes, yes you can.

If you go to:

http:ultralive.com/tarc100

you will arrive at this page:

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Just type in “Luau Wilson” at the top right where it says runner, this page will pop up:

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from there you can follow along as I attempt to cover 100 miles in less than 30 hours.  Keep in mind that the first 50 miles or so will be run through the night…perfect for you night owls and insomniacs.  Another thing to keep in mind is that we won’t be running quickly.  Although my peak marathon pace is in the mid- to low-7’s, JB, UltraDoug and I are planning on running the TARC no faster than 12 minutes per mile…and even THAT will be considered fast considering the distance.

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On a separate note, after I wrote this:

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many of you asked if there was a way you could sponsor me.  The direct answer is no.  I have not been actively fund raising for this race – however, if you feel compelled to sponsor me in this race indirectly or just want to help a crazy man out, I just registered for Boston 13.1 with Team Up with Autism Speaks.  So if you still would like to sponsor me for this run, how about a pledge per mile that you can then donate to that run?  You can write your pledge in the comments below and then calculate what you would donate based on the miles I cover (which of course is hopefully 100 – a 25¢ per mile pledge would max out at $25).  The link is:

http://events.autismspeaks.org/boston13.1marathon/runluaurun

This will bring you to my fund raising page for Boston 13.1 which takes place September 15.  I would love to have your donations for that race, but I would be even MORE excited if you joined me.

***

One day to go!  So excited!  Just have to fight off whatever this sore throat/headache-y thing Katie and I have going on these last few days.  I will still tweet from the race, but now that there is a live progress feed, I will probably do less to conserve battery power.

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I guess I need to do my part in recruiting some of you…

Below is a letter  I wrote yesterday reflecting on the events of the past week.  The letter is to the Boston 13.1 Team Up with Autism Speaks Team.  If you are so moved, please consider either joining us on September 15th or passing this along.

Thanks,
Luau

***

Dear Team,

The events of a week ago brought to our idyllic world certain realities no person should ever have to face.  As a runner, a marathon runner, I felt like this attack was a personal one – as if the bomber had come into my house; into my safe space.  Yes, Boston is my home, but the road, the race course, is where I find my peace.

What the two men did not realize is that the group of people they chose to attack was one that does not easily shy away from adversity.  Whether it is the half-marathon or marathon distance, every distance runner has had to face obstacles and has ultimately overcome fear.

I witnessed firsthand last year at Boston 13.1 the emotion on so many faces as Team Up member after Team Up member approached and crossed the finish line – so many runners who had just months earlier never believed they could cover the distance in less than 3 1/2 hours.  The tears of joy, the sense of triumph, the feeling of accomplishment were evident on every runner’s face.

This year, in light of last week’s events and with the continuing unfolding of events over the weekend, will feel different.  How can it not?  Here’s the thing – it’s just one more obstacle for us to overcome; and together, we will.

Your strength, your courage will carry you through to the finish and you will once again raise your arms in triumph.

But a race is not just about the runners.  When you toe the line at Suffolk Downs this September, you will be doing so not just for yourself and not just for the people in your life affected by autism.  It is true that Team Up with Autism Speaks is about fund raising for what we believe to be a wonderful cause, but you putting your foot at the starting line in September will also be a nod to all of the other people involved not only with Boston 13.1, but every race including the Boston Marathon itself.  A footrace is about the runners, but it is also about the organizers, the volunteers, the security, and maybe most importantly, those that come out to cheer us on.

It is the spectators that take the experience of an endurance event to a whole new level, and it will be no different at Boston 13.1.

Come September you will not only be running for you, you will be running for everyone.

So here is my challenge to you – run Boston 13.1 this September for you and those in your life affected by autism, but to help show your appreciation for those that come to cheer on runners, not just at Boston 13.1 or the Boston Marathon, but at all races, go out an recruit one friend to join you this Fall as we show not just Boston, but the world just how strong endurance athletes are.

Whether you consider yourself an endurance athlete or not, I have news for you – if you are running Boston 13.1 this September, YOU are an endurance athlete.


The events of the past week shook all of us.  I will readily admit I was rattled to my very core; but I very quickly realized one thing – we WILL persevere; as those affected directly by autism, whether as autistic individuals ourselves or as parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers or specialists, we are all endurance athletes so to speak – perseverance is what we are, perseverance is what we do.

I look forward to seeing you in September,
Luau – Boston 13.1 Team Captain

Starting next week, Lara (Team Up Organizer Extraordinaire) will begin featuring the story of us, the runners of Team Up with Autism Speaks Boston 13.1.  If you are so moved, please consider telling your story – who you are, why you run.

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Team Up with Autism Speaks - Boston 13.1 2012 - where's Luau?

Team Up with Autism Speaks – Boston 13.1 2012 – where’s Luau?

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Ready to register with our team? Click here
As a part of your commitment to join our Boston 13.1 Marathon team, you will be required to raise a minimum of $500 to support Autism Speaks2013 Team Up! with Autism Speaks benefits include:
  • Guaranteed Race Entry
  • Team Up! with Autism Speaks Runners Tank or Long Sleeve Shirt, and an Autism Speaks hat or visor
  • Private Team Celebration Dinner on September 14, 2013, at Logan Airport Hilton Hotel.
  • Online fundraising page
  • Team Up! Facebook Page
  • Virtual Coaching by a certified running coach Fundraising Tips and Opportunities
  • Dedicated Autism Speaks staff to answer questions you have and assist
  • Race Day Cheering Section- TBA
  • Post Race Team Tent
  • Team Handbook – In a PDF format and downloadable for reference at any time
  • AND if you are local, team runs with me starting in a couple of weeks!

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what now?

In the words of my Streaking Guru Adam – “duh!”

Here’s the first 100 days rapid fire:

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Today marked the 100th day of 2013 as well as the 100th day of #AutismStreaks.  I have managed to run at least 1 mile every calendar day since January 1st.  My total in those 100 days?  567 miles.

It’s not a mind-blowing amount, but it is a pretty decent chunk of change.  To be honest, early on I wasn’t sure I would make it to 500 miles, much less 100 days.

When I completed my run today there was no finish line, there was no medal, there were no cheering crowds – just the knowledge that, along with raising a little money for Autism Speaks, I hopefully managed to spread some awareness and maybe, just maybe,  inspire a few people to do their own charity running as well (be it for Autism Speaks or one of the many other charities connected to Charity Miles).

But as I finished my run I couldn’t help but think…

now what?

100 days, 100 runs, 567 miles...what now?

100 days, 100 runs, 567 miles…what now?

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So with 98 days in the books, #AutismStreaks has only 2 days left…

…or does it?

Hmmm…

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Week 14 brought World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd.  On that day the world lit it up blue in support of autism awareness, so I donned the blue ‘fro and ran through town.  It was a relatively light week of running…well except for and because of Sunday’s 31-miler – the second longest I have ever covered on foot in a day.

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Week 14:
April 02 – 5.0 miles 36:04  7:12 pace aHR 141
April 03 – 1.0 miles 9:14
April 04 – 3.0 miles 20:39  6:53 pace aHR 142
April 05 – 5.0 miles 37:09  7:26 aHR 138
April 06 – 1.0 miles 8:46
April 07- 31.0 miles 4:48:07  9:17 pace aHR 128 – #AutismStreaks goes over 550 miles
April 08 – 4.0 miles 41:16  10:19 pace aHR 109

Week 13 Total – 50.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 557.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610)

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If you want to start your own #CharityStreak pick up the Charity Miles app and start raising money for your favorite charity simply by walking, running or biking:

Get the Charity Miles app:

  • Download App
  • Download App
Five lunch time miles about town in the 'fro on World Autism Awareness Day

Five lunch time miles about town in the ‘fro on World Autism Awareness Day

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Week 13 is in the books – it felt like a very productive week of running, highlighted in part by the news that Mophie would be powering my Charity Miles for Autism Speaks come June – #synergy!

Saturday’s run also brought me to 500 miles for the year – not bad for a guy who had hardly run during the fourth quarter of last year.

I hope you got your runs in!
Luau

Week 13:
March 26 – 7.0 miles 54:49 7:49 pace aHR 130
March 27 – 5.0 miles 34:32 6:54 pace aHR 158
March 28 – 3.0 miles 24:35 8:11 pace aHR 126
March 29 – 18.0 miles 2:36:37 8:42 aHR 127
March 30 – 10.0 miles 1:15:55 7:35 aHR 138
March 31- 1.0 miles 9:04:00 9:04 pace
April 01 – 6.0 miles 52:09 8:41 pace aHR 150

Week 13 Total – 45.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 502.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610)

***

If you want to start your own #CharityStreak pick up the Charity Miles app and start raising money for your favorite charity simply by walking, running or biking:

Get the Charity Miles app:

  • Download App
  • Download App
20130403-074356.jpg

…after 18 miles last Friday morning…the following morning I would hit 500 miles YTD just before sunrise.

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