Posts Tagged ‘Charity Miles’

I went out for a run this morning.  5 miles, 39 minutes on the nose.  I went out with no particular plan, but I eventually found myself at the local high school track.  While there, for no apparent reason, I decided to do a couple of Fartleks at 5 minutes a piece, averaging at about a 6:20 pace.  The run itself really is nothing to write about; it is rather how my run started that has me sad.

For over the past year I have been using the Charity Miles App for almost every run I do outside.

It is ingrained into my routine – step outside, put in earbuds, start my playlist, start the Charity Miles App, swipe to the Autism Speaks page, hit go, run.  For almost every single run over the past year and a half, this has been my routine, whether it be a training run, a fun run or a race.

The same thing, over and over.

Every run was inspired because I knew every extra mile was a little extra money going to Autism Speaks…every extra stride was money being spent on awareness…every step was improving the lives of autistics and their families…

With the family out on various errands and activities, I decided I needed to go for a run.  I went through my routine – step outside, put in earbuds, start my playlist, start the Charity Miles App, swipe to the Autism Speaks page, hit g…

I stopped.

I thought of Suzanne Wright’s call to action.

I stared at my screen.

I thought of Suzanne broadly painting every family with autism as lost.

I sighed.

I thought of Suzanne making it clear that their focus was on children only.

My thumb hovered over the start button…wavering just so.

I thought of the countless autistic adults who are being left behind by Suzanne Wright’s call to action.

I sighed and looked away, hanging my head.

I thought of the fact that Brooke is only a handful of years away from being an adult.

Sadness overcame me as I realized I just couldn’t bring myself to pressing start.

I swiped through the other very worthy charities that Charity Miles has teamed up with.  I finally settled on Achilles International, an inspiring group that helps disabled athletes compete in events like the New York City Marathon.  Although I did not cry outwardly, I was doing so on the inside.


…feeling lost and sad after 5 miles…

I am sad.

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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:


you will arrive at this page:

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 5.47.56 PM

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

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 5.48.16 PM

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.


On a separate note, after I wrote this:

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 5.56.45 PM

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:


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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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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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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A little less than a year and a half ago I crossed the finish line of the Vermont 50 – fifty miles through the mountains of Vermont.




When I crossed the finish line in just over eleven hours, I made a bee-line for my buddy Doug (the guy who had convinced me this was a good idea) and yelled a string of expletives at him.  I was never going to do this again, I concluded.

Ultra-Marathon could now be checked off on the bucket list – time to move on.

Never again.

About a half hour later, I looked over at Doug and said something along the lines 0f, “you know, if we had actually done any kind of training before this, we probably could have gone sub-10:00.”  I started thinking of doing it again the following year.

As life will often do, scheduling got in the way and I could not participate in last year’s Vermont 50.  I told Doug that 2013 would be the year of the sub-10.  I hadn’t signed up for any marathons save New York City, so I planned on putting in some miles early and then getting serious about training over the summer.

Then #AutismStreaks began.  My mileage through seven and half weeks hasn’t been huge, but I do feel like my legs are coming back – I may be slower than I once was, but I still enjoy time on my feet.  Earlier this week I went running with my Super Sunday 5 running buddy JB.  He is probably one of the easiest people to run with.

Yesterday he posted this on Facebook:

JB's Facebook Post...

JB’s Facebook Post…


After Vermont and my experience at Around the Lake earlier that July, I swore I would never run a 100-miler until I had the ability to cover that distance in 18 hours or less.  It wasn’t a speed issue, rather it was I had come to dislike racing at night.  Around the Lake was miserable, absolutely miserable.  The idea of running through the night, which, at my speed, I would have to do to cover 100 miles, did not appeal to me at all.  I knew that at best I could maybe cover 100 miles in 24 hours, under ideal conditions, and the laws of time and space dictate that if that is the case, I would have to run through the night.

Nope.  I wasn’t ever going to do that.



To happen!


To humor myself I clicked on the link – what kind of craziness was JB getting into?  100 miles?  He’s crazy!  Trail running madman he is.  That’s just…oh, hey, look – it’s relatively local…and it’s flat…only 3000 feet of climb for the whole 100 miles…what was Vermont?  over 9,000 feet over 50 miles?  that’s six times the elevation per mile…and, whoa! $60???  that’s CHEAP!!!

I shook my head.  What the HELL was I thinking???

No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!!!

I left JB a comment: Are you entered?

JB: Yes sir.

Me:  Do you have a goal time?  WHY THE HELL WAS I ASKING??? And is 3000 climb for 100 miles or for 25 miles? STOP ASKING HIM QUESTIONS!!!

JB: its for the 100, and I think finishing would be a great goal! its pretty damn flat

My response?  I am not actually considering a 100-miler…I am not actually considering a 100-miler…I am not actually considering a 100-miler…


Over dinner I mentioned to Jess that I might be thinking about running the TARC 100 – I began with I know I said I would never do one of these things, but you know, it’s relatively local and it’s flat, and JB and Doug are running it and it’s really, really inexpensive and I know I said I would never do one of these things but…

She looked at me as she interrupted me, You know how when I tell you I’m going to buy a pair of boots and I start to come up with all kinds of reasons why I “need” them when I really don’t and you roll your eyes as if to say just go buy them?  I’m rolling my eyes…you’re nuts, but go ahead.

90 minutes later, this happened:

...what have I done?

…what have I done?


On the bright side, if I’m still #AutismStreaking at this point (I believe it would be day 165) that will be a lot of Charity Miles!

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