Posts Tagged ‘Autism Speaks’

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?



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.


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)


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!

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

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

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It’s hard to believe that #AutismStreaks is already 12 weeks old – 84 straight days of running!

A busy couple of weeks highlighted by a fun 5K on St. Patty’s Day and an easy 16-miler with my buddy JB this past Sunday.  I don’t think we stopped talking the entire 16 miles.  Hope it’s been a good couple of weeks for you and that those who are running Boston this year aren’t going too crazy with their tapers.

Coming in to the finish line at the Inaugural Leprechaun 5K - 20:20 (8th overall, 3rd in AG, 1st in LHR - Leprechaun Hat Runners)

Coming in to the finish line at the Inaugural Leprechaun 5K – 20:20 (8th overall, 3rd in AG, 1st in LHR – Leprechaun Hat Runners)

With Julie C. - she did an amazing job directing her first race!  AND it was for a good cause - raising funds for the Nashoba Learning Group (click this picture to learn more about NLG)

With Julie C. – she did an amazing job directing her first race! AND it was for a good cause – raising funds for the Nashoba Learning Group (click this picture to learn more about NLG)

Me & JB after 16 miles where we didn't stop yapping for a minute.

Me & JB after 16 miles where we didn’t stop yapping for a minute.

Week 11:
March 12 – 7.0 miles 51:32 7:21 pace aHR 141
March 13 – 5.0 miles 38:50 7:46 pace aHR 129
March 14 – 7.0 miles 56:00 8:00 pace aHR 135
March 15 – 10.0 miles 1:19:32 7:57 pace aHR 138
March 16 – 1.0 miles 8:03 8:03
March 17- 5.0 miles warm up and cool down with a 20:20 5K in between
March 18 – 1.0 miles 9:00 9:00 pace

Week 11 Total – 36.0 miles

Week 12:
March 19 – 3.0 miles 25:52 8:37 pace
March 20 – 6.0 miles 50:32 8:25 pace aHR 122
March 21 – 5.0 miles 44:30 8:53 pace aHR 123
March 22 – 7.0 miles 50:24 7:12
March 23 – 5.0 miles 41:41 8:20 aHR 131
March 24- 16.0 miles 2:14:00, 8:22 aHR 133
March 25 – 1.0 miles 10:28 10:28 pace

Week 12 Total – 43.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 457.0 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

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My first thought was a stream of Woohoo’s and Yahoo’s and Yes’s and Woot Woot’s!!!  I couldn’t actually do it out loud because I was sitting in the waiting/observation area of Brooke’s gymnastics class.  When I received this tweet from Mophie, it was all I could do to contain myself:


But as I worked to keep my sense of excitement, joy and accomplishment inside, another thought popped into my head.

Oh Crap!!!

Don’t get me wrong.  I was super excited.  I am STILL, over 12 hours later, giddy over the news that yesterday’s post not only reached the fantastic people at Mophie, but that those fantastic people are sending me two, TWO, of their Juice Pack Pluses.

The conversation went something like this:

Mophie: We’d love to help you out! Send us a DM! #mophielovesyou


Me: I am sitting in my daughter’s gymnastics class lobby and I just yelped!

Mophie: …We saw your post and we wanted to help by sending you 2 of our juice pack pluses…


Me:…I cannot tell you how thankful I am!

Mophie: We’re happy to help! Now you just have to run your heart out and rack up those miles. 🙂

And that’s when it hit me.

Oh Crap!

There’s no turning back now.  There’s no deciding in May you know, my training hasn’t been what I wanted so I’m gonna do something else.   There’s no bailing.  Now my name is on the line.  On June 14th I’m running 100 miles or running for 30 hours, whichever comes first!  If I don’t follow through, then why would anyone even think about supporting me in whatever it is I decide to do the next time.

So there you have it.  Be careful what you ask for, because sometimes, just sometimes you get it…and when you do, you have got to follow through with your end of the request.


On what I feel is a pretty cool result of this whole thing is that many of you didn’t even know what Mophie was or what Mophie made.  Many fellow autism parents, who often rely on their iPhones to help their children wait in lines or transition from one part of the day to another sent texts or left messages that said they were extremely excited to discover that this product existed – in the end, I feel like this was a win-win-win situation for everyone.

Thank you Mophie for helping me in my endeavor – on race day there will be a sharpie tattoo on my shoulders that reads “Powered By Mophie”.  I know that the folks at Charity Miles and at Autism Speaks will truly appreciate the fact that I will be able to run the Charity Miles App for 100 straight miles, and I truly appreciate the fact that you are helping me make a better tomorrow for my Brooke.

Thank you,

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Dear Mophie,

(For those of you who do not know what Mophie is, they are a company that makes an iPhone case that doubles as an extra battery)

I need you assistance in a footrace I will be running in June.

I suspect that this is not a request that you get often, if at all, but it is true – I need your help.  I have been a user of your product for a few years now, first with my iPhone 3G and now with my iPhone 4G.  Your product has allowed me to use my phone worry-free throughout the day – it is a rare day that I crawl into bed at night with little or no charge on my phone.

I used my Mophie Battery Pack at the 2011 New York City Marathon to record my journey through the five boroughs and I STILL had enough juice to edit my recordings on the iMovie app and upload it to the web.  Yes, YOUR product made that possible.

But I am now in a pickle.  Between the built-in battery of the iPhone and the your battery pack I get about 15 – 18 hours of moderate use.  That’s well and good when running a marathon, but in June I plan to tackle the 100-mile distance.  The winner of that race just may finish within that time frame, but I am not nearly that fast.  The cutoff time for the race is 30 hours.  A few friends and I are each hoping to run 100 miles in less than 24 hours, but ultimately, we would just like to be able to finish.

You may wonder why it is so important that I have my phone while I am running those 100 miles – yes, it would be nice to have some music or a podcast playing, and I would definitely like to be able to record the highs and lows of our 100 mile journey, however, the main reason why I would like to have my phone with me is that I run with an amazing little app called Charity Miles.  This app allows me to raise money for charity with every mile that I run.  25¢ per mile may not seem like a lot, but the quarters eventually add up.

My daughter has autism.  Autism has impacted our lives in a very real way – forcing us to alter plans; causing one parent or the other to miss a performance of our older daughter; keeping us from being able to sit at certain restaurants or participate in dance recitals or engage in play dates…the list goes on.

When I run, and I’ve run every day this year so far in part thanks to your product, I have my Charity Miles app set to raise funds for Autism Speaks.  They are conducting ongoing research that will hopefully one day soon help alleviate the difficulties my daughter and those like her face on a daily basis.  Autism Speaks, while funding a broad range of scientific research is also working to help raise Autism Awareness.  This awareness has pushed people to think twice before simply dismissing my girl as a spoiled brat when she is having an anxiety fueled meltdown or calling her awful names because she sometimes seems to be intellectually incapable of grasping certain concepts.

I don’t know if anyone has every run 100 miles straight while running the Charity Miles app and frankly, I don’t really care – I just feel like this could serve as inspiration to ANY walker, biker or runner to get the app and start using it for their charity of choice (Charity Miles has a wide range of charities they raise money for)…and hopefully, some of those inspired folks will choose the same charity I choose, and bring closer the day that my soon to be 10 year old baby girl will find an easier, less anxiety inducing environment.

I am hoping that you will consider donating 2 of your most powerful battery cases for the iPhone 4 so that I can keep my phone humming at full strength as I attempt to cover 100 miles on foot in 24 hours.  Please feel free to contact me at runluaurun at gmail dot com (written out to avoid spammers) if you have any questions or need any specifics clarified.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this,


***UPDATE!!! I received this tweet from Mophie – THANK YOU!!!***


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for the back ground on who The Blue Afro is, please read https://runluaurun.com/2012/09/17/boston-13-1-2012/ or just click on the picture

It’s still 6 months away, but the Blue Afro is thinking about September.  Where will you be this coming September 15th?  The Blue Afro and I hope that you will be here in Boston, with us, with one of those cool Autism Speaks singlets on, sharing 13.1 scenic miles along the shore through some classic Boston-area neighborhoods.

That’s right, Boston 13.1 is on September 15th this year and once again Autism Speaks is the sponsored charity of the race.

I (not the Blue Afro) have been running every day in 2013, in part for #AutismStreaks, in part to train for the TARC 100 and Vermont 50, but also to make sure that I am in shape and ready to go in September to once again help lead a team of amazing runners.

Last year Autism Speaks fielded 250 runners and raised over $186,000.00!  This year we are hoping to top that by recruiting 500 runners and raise at least $250,000.  All that needs to be done is that every one of you who ran last year grab a friend, a relative, a stranger off the street and convince them that THEY TOO can run (or walk) 13.1 miles!

You may wonder why I am once again leading the charge for Boston 13.1.  There is of course the obvious reason of running for a better, ever improving future for my little Brooke, but there is a less obvious answer as well.  Last year, as one of the team leaders, I had the privilege of leading weekly training runs every weekend throughout the summer.  Throughout the course of those runs I got to meet and get to know some pretty incredible people, many of whom I still interact with on at least a weekly basis, if not more often.  These runners were all running for different reason – some were parents or relatives of autistic children, some were educators, some were family friends of someone affected by autism, others were researchers – they all came from different backgrounds, they all came with different perspectives, but they all came with the objective of making the world a better place for their autistic children, siblings, friends, co-workers, students.

Group shot of some of last summers regulars after a preview of the course.

Group shot of some of last summers regulars after a preview of the course.

Once again this year, I will be leading weekly “long runs” on the weekends leading up to Boston 13.1, probably starting sometime in late April/early May, and I cannot wait to share the pavement on a weekly basis with some friends, both old and new.

Just like last year, I am not asking for your money – my close friends will be getting the donation letter shortly – no, once again, I am asking you to donate yourself, your body, your time.

I want you to:

  • help me raise autism awareness;
  • help me fund programs that help newly diagnosed children and adults and their families;
  • help me drive the research that could open the doorway to a better understanding of just what autism is;
  • help me make sure that autistic adults live in a world that embraces their differences and understands that everyone can be a productive, integral part of society.

Will you running 13.1 miles in September make that much of a difference?  It may not seem so at first glance – I mean, how far can the $500 raised really go, right?  You would be surprised.  You can fund 1 minute of research for as little as 10¢.  If we hit our goal of $250,000, multiply that 1 minute by 2.5 million dimes!  That’s a lot of minutes!!!  Every rain storm is made up of droplets and we have all seen what kind of effect the cumulative power of rain drops can be.

So I hope you will join me and my Blue Afro this September (and if you’re local, come join us every weekend – distances and pace will be individually based so don’t worry about how fast or how strong you are!).

Here are the details (pretty much the same as last year):

2013 Team Up! with Autism Speaks benefits include, but are not limited to:

* Guaranteed Race Entry

* Team Up! with Autism Speaks Runners Tank or Long Sleeve Shirt and an Autism Speaks hat/visor

* Private Team Celebration Dinner for you and a guest on September 14th. Location TBD – where you’ll be subjected to a motivational speech by yours truly AND we’ll get to break some bread together!

* Customized 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

* Team Handbook – In a PDF form and downloadable for reference at any time.

**Team Up! with Autism Speaks does not cover travel expenses to and from Massachusetts for the race. We strongly recommend the usage of the race’s official travel partners for making all reservations.

Autism Speaks will have a block of rooms available for booking at a local hotel shortly.

Here’s the link to the registration page: http://events.autismspeaks.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1055963

And one last note – it DOESN’T MATTER if you are not a runner!  Boston 13.1 is walker-friendly.  I won’t lie to you and say it’s a leisure walk in the park; it is a faster-paced 16:00/mile walk, but I guarantee that if you start walking regularly today (or when Spring hits your neck of the woods), then YOU will be able to cover 13.1 miles in less than 3:30.  So saying, “but Luau, I’m not a runner,” is not a valid excuse!

Join me.

Join the Blue Afro.

Come out and have some fun.  If you are from out of town, you’re going to get to see Boston at the best time of year and if you are local, well, you’re gonna be here anyway!  I hope to see you out there.  There were 500 slots – the Blue Afro just took one of them.

See you in September.

She is why I run...who will you run/walk for?

She is why I run…who will you run/walk for?

You can find the Blue Afro on Twitter at: the Blue Afro

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Friends are the family you choose...and that choose you.

Friends are the family you choose…and that choose you.

They say you can’t choose your family…I beg to differ.

For those who don’t regularly follow either Jess or me on the blogosphere or elsewhere, it’s been a tough few weeks – we found out that Brooke has been suffering from brain seizure activity and that the seizures may be causing some language loss for our baby.  Although we have seen quite a bit of horizontal growth in her language over the last year, her vertical development has essentially stagnated, if not taken a step backward.  We are in the middle of the process of trying to figure out what is going on.  An MRI performed last week showed no abnormalities in her brain structure.  We are still waiting to hear what her 24-hour EEG revealed.

It’s been difficult and I wrote last week how many of YOU have been our Sunlight during this confusing time.  Part of my personal therapy has been to run – this streak could not have come at a better time for me; some runs have been full of deep thought, others have been an opportunity to simply shut out the outside world and go.  As you may know, I have run every run running the Charity Miles App.  Using the GPS in your smartphone, it tracks your run (or bike ride or walk) and makes a small donation for every mile that you cover.  I’ve written more about the app and Charity Miles —>Here<—.

I always thought that Gene (the founder) was a pretty good guy.  I liked his story and I liked what he was doing.  What I didn’t truly realize was that this guy is paying attention and he truly cares.  When Jess and I first found out about Brooke’s brain seizure activity, we were devastated and that devastation was reflected in my posts – Gene tracked my phone number down through a mutual friend and called me to make sure I was okay.  This isn’t a guy I know.  We have never met, but he cares about his Charity Miles team.  I was floored.

But it didn’t stop there.

A few days later, after finishing up a run, I went through my routine of logging my miles, first through the Charity Miles App.  The way it works is that after your run, in order to have the donations sent to your charity of choice, you must post that you ran using the app on Facebook and Twitter.  Charity Miles always has a few hashtags thrown in, I assume to draw attention to groups they are working with.  I always add the #AutismStreaks hashtag and the day before hitting send.  On that particular day, I was surprised to see another one: #TeamLuau

I blinked.  I didn’t think I had added that.  No, I’m sure I didn’t do that.  Then I wasn’t so sure – sometimes I do these things on auto-pilot.  I did a twitter search of the #TeamLuau hashtag – and there it was, on every Charity Miles run done for Autism Speaks.

I was speechless.  I tweeted Charity Miles that I was speechless, honored, thankful.

Their response?

Simply put?

We’re family.

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Six weeks already? Wow!  This was a tough week – between Brooke’s EEG and a storm that finally delivered what the weathermen had promised, it has been a tiring week.  That said, there were a couple of really good runs – Thursday’s 10-miler proved to be one of my best efforts of the year (the last 2.5 miles coming at a 6:44 pace) and that was preceded on Wednesday by a very zippy 6-miler that was way faster than last Sunday’s race.  Running in the middle of Nemo was an adventure to be sure, followed the next morning by an ice cold run – 9°F!  Yikes!

All in all a good week of running despite a tough week at home.

Hope you all got your miles in this week!


Week 6:
February 05 6.0 miles 52:18 8:43 pace aHR 123
February 06 6.0 miles 42:03 7:00 pace aHR 149


Day 37 – a zippy 6 where I just missed going sub-42

February 07 10.0 miles 71:11 7:09 pace aHR 147

Day 38 - Best run of the week - run on very little sleep - last 2.5 miles were at 6:44 pace!

Day 38 – Best run of the week – run on very little sleep – last 2.5 miles were at 6:44 pace!

February 08 3.0 miles 24:14 8:05 pace aHR 129

Pre-Nemo Run

Day 39 – Pre-Nemo Run

February 09 5.0 miles 45:32 9:06 pace aHR 134

Day 40 - 5 Snowmageddon Miles

Day 40 – 5 Snowmageddon Miles

February 10 2.0 miles 16:55 8:58 pace aHR 156

Day 41 - Post-Nemocalyptic Run in 9° temps

Day 41 – Post-Nemocalyptic Run in 9° temps

February 11  5.0 miles 40:00 8:00 pace aHR 135

Day 42 - 6 Weeks in the books

Day 42 – 6 Weeks in the books

Week 5 Total – 37.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 207.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610) – puts me 3 miles behind my mileage of at least 5.00 miles per day.


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

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