Running For A Reason Again

Cancer seems to be everywhere these days. Everyone I know has a cancer story.

I hate cancer.

I’m 53 years old and I’m going to try and make a difference…one final time.

I’ll be running the New York Marathon on Sunday, November 5th for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team and I’m trying to raise some money for this life saving organization.

Please donate ANY amount you can but ’ve put together the following prize package for some added incentive:


Two tickets to see Hamilton at the Private Bank Theater here in Chicago for Saturday, December 9th, 8pm show. This prize also includes dinner at Rosebud Prime Restaurant and a stay downtown that night at the 4 star Kimpton Gray Hotel.

For every $50 donated your name will go in the hat for the drawing. Donate $100 and I’ll put your name in the hat SIX times!

On Saturday, November 4th I will draw the name on Facebook LIVE and Instagram LIVE from the New York Marathon expo.

To make a tax deductible donation please click the link below:

Ed’s ACS NYCM DetermiNation Page

You can also use PayPal (, Chase QuickPay (, Venmo (, cash or check.

Every penny donated will go the the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society has contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the US since the early 1990s. That means we’ve helped save nearly 1.2 million lives during that time, thanks in part to people like you who made a donation….

Thanks for reading and Good Luck!!


Together, we can finish the fight against cancer!




The Good Enough Runner

On Memorial Day weekend I’ll be running the Fleet Feet Soldier Field 10 Mile on a ACS DetermiNation team captained by my awesome neighbor Noreen McGowan, a first generation American raised in a large Irish household in Glenview, Il.  She has lived in Chicago for over 30 years where she and her husband are raising their three kids.  She enjoys all that the city offers except for the Chicago Public Schools!  Noreen is active in her synagogue, Emanuel Congregation where she is Vice-President.  She is also my first guest-blogger!

My goal setting mentality began when I was in high school.  I would create a goal, usually setting high expectations for myself, but usually ending up “good enough.”

My first goal was to join the Peace Corps after college. I took French and Spanish in high school and was a nice Catholic “save the people” kind of kid.  When I was a high school senior, my father asked me, “What will you major in when you go to college Nora?”

“I’m going to join the Peace Corps, dad, and help people”

“Ay, but you can’t major in ‘The Peace Corps,’” said Joe McGowan with equal parts Irish brogue and paternal wisdom.

So, instead I went to college and became a nurse, a good enough choice. I worked for a while as a Labor and Delivery nurse and decided on a new goal: I wanted to be a midwife. I applied to graduate schools and because my grades were “good enough” I was accepted to the Nurse-Midwifery Program at the University of Mississippi.  Living in Mississippi in the late 70’s was sort of like being in the Peace Corps.

I returned to Chicago and took a job as a midwife at Cook County Hospital—another “Save the People” type job. I was young, living in Chicago and life was fun.  My new goal: lower infant mortality for poor women and enable my patients to have meaningful birth experiences at Cook County.  Was I given the midwife of year award? Uh, I don’t think so, but I was good enough.

During the late 1980’s, I decided that I would get in shape and possibly while doing this, I would meet guys.  So, I joined a Health Club and my friend, Suzie showed me the basics of running. I lived in Lincoln Park and ran on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront. I wasn’t a great runner, but I made a goal: my first 5K with my friends Pat and Gib Schneider and their children in the Western Springs Tower Trot.  Back then it was a small race and runners could choose the 5K or 10K race. My friend, Gib created ribbons for the “Schneider Family Tower Trot” each year. I was amazed when in 1989; I finished in 4th place in my age division in the 5K.  Remember, it was a small race and the faster runners ran the 10K.  But, hey, 4th place—it was good enough!

A few years after I began running, I met my husband and we were married. I was going to be the best wife, but by now, you probably see the pattern: I was good enough.

I anticipated being a mother and like all women, my goal was to be the best.  I wanted to experience natural labor — uh, I made it without an epidural, and now I know why water boarding is an effective interrogation technique.   When it came to mothering, I had really high goals, but when it comes down to it, the job was so hard. I’m lucky to think I’m making it, barely, and I’m just good enough.

Flash forward to January.  New goal: Train for the Soldier Field 10 Mile race.  Why?

Because my nephew, Alonso, a wonderful 17 year old boy who should be worrying about getting ready for his ACT, discovered last November that he has Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that affects mostly males in late childhood to young adulthood.  After talking to my friend, Ed Schober, I organized The Kick Cancer in the Arse Clan, part of the ACS Team Determination.  My sister, Margie McGowan, Alonso’s mom, a great runner is also on our team.

Because I hadn’t been running for the last four years, I needed to lose weight and get training. Without seeking advice from my running friends, I jumped on the treadmill and started running. After about one week, I thought that I needed to increase my intensity (speed) if I was going to run faster. Faster? How about running longer? I injured my knee and tried to do the usual treatment: ice, Advil, and rest. When this didn’t work, I sought medical advice. Why? The goal was to run the whole 10 miles and return to my glory days as a runner. I just turned 60, but I’m still setting goals. This goal is to raise money for cancer treatment and research. And I’m the captain of this effort. I went to an ortho doc who is also a runner and told him my story.  He understood my story and told me that had been a runner for Team Determination. It turns out I had some fluid under my kneecap and some inflammation, so he gave me a shot of cortisone and told me to keep my goal in sight.

“Isn’t your goal to run with your family and the sense of camaraderie?” asked Dr. Cohen.  “What does it matter if you do a run and walk type race?”

So, here I am again, with my usual modus operandi: I am the good enough runner.  But maybe good enough is what Alonso needs from us. Good enough is Alonso, cancer-free.  Good enough is plenty good enough.

Noreen and little Hannah


Rita Catherine Schober was born on October 30, 1926.  She was the youngest of the three Burns girls and she was my Mom.

I was her baby.  The youngest of five.  I’m 7 years younger than my next oldest brother.  Mom called me her “love child” but really I was what happened on a trip to Miami Beach in early 1963.

I’m not sure when my Mom started to be known as “Ritzie” but it’s what I called her for as long as I can remember.  Even when i was young.  Everyone did.  I rarely called her Mom.  It was just Ritzie.

Ritzie passed away on Monday, April 22.  She was 86 years old.

But this isn’t a sad post.  Ritzie would be pissed off if I did that.  This is a post about what a great Mother she was.  Not only to her five kids but also to her twelve grand kids, her seven great grand kids, the neighborhood kids we all grew up with, the co-workers she had later in life and just about anyone who had a chance to spend five minutes with her.

Occasionally I’ll run into someone I haven’t seen for years and years and the first thing they ask is “How’s Ritzie?”

I thought I’d write about the things I’ll always remember my Mom for…her “Greatest Moments” if you will…at least in my world.

Now these are my “Greatest Moments”.  Some are funny.  Some are poignant.  Some aren’t a very big deal…but they are to me and all are pure “Ritzie”.

So here we go…

– Rita is the reason I have the career I have today.  She was a receptionist at JMB Realty Corporation in the John Hancock Building in the early 80’s.  It was the first job she had since my Dad passed away in 1981.  In fact it was the first job she had in 39 years.  I was working at Water Tower Place at the time and I used to go over and have lunch with her.  I got to know a few people and the next thing I know I’m in the commercial real estate business.

– When I was about eight I was stung in the stomach by a bumble bee.  Rita pulled the stinger out…with her teeth!

– Rita spanked me one time.  I was throwing rocks at the street light near our house.  She told me to stop.  I didn’t.  She told me to stop again.  I didn’t.  She yelled at me to stop.  I didn’t.  I guess I deserved it.

– The first car accident I was in was with my Mom.  It was in a car wash.  Swear to God.  A car wash.  I remember looking at my Mom while she was explaining to my Dad what had happened.  She kept repeating “In a car wash” (pause) “In a car wash” (longer pause) “A car wash!!”.

– Going to church with Rita meant you were sitting in the first row.

– Rita’s drink of choice were Manhattans.  Preferably a VO Manhattan on the rocks.  She loved them.  Loved them a bit too much sometimes.  So she had to switch drinks.  She started drinking Tab & vodka.  Disgusting right?  I remember once a short time after my Dad passed away, my Mom was invited to a wedding.  She didn’t want to go alone, so she brought me along.  She asked me to go get her a drink.  So I walked up to the bar.  The bartender was about 80 years old.  I told him I wanted a Tab & vodka.  He looked at me funny.  “Do you want those things mixed together?”  “Yes” I said.  He said “I’ve been  bartender 40 years and no one has ever ordered that.  I said “You better learn because that woman over there is going to have about 10 of them”.

– She taught me to always let ladies on and off elevators first!

– She once drove from the South side of Chicago to the Wisconsin border…with the emergency brake on.

– After I finished my first marathon in 2009 Rita was the first one I called.  She said “What? Why’d you do that? That’s crazy!”

– Once she was pulled over in the middle-of-nowhere Minnesota for speeding.  She asked the cop “Where did you come from?”  He just pointed in the air.  They had used a police helicopter to catch her.

– On August 8th, 1974 we were in the Wisconsin Dells.  I was 9 years old.  I had been playing in the pool, getting burned to a crisp when my Mom came running from the motel room.  “Get in here!” she said.  I remember it was about 95 degrees outside but about 40 in that motel room.  She sat me down in front of the TV.  Richard Nixon was about to resign as President of the United States.  “I know you won’t understand this now but you will one day.  It’s history.  Watch”

There are more stories but these are just a few of mine.

Rita was an extraordinary person.  She had a remarkable love of life and family.  She was funny, smart, blunt, a constant worrier and she never put up with any bullshit.  She also had no problem speaking her mind.  None at all.

She was pure South Side Irish.

She defended her children to the death and we could do no wrong in her eyes…even my brother Danny.

Kids flocked to Ritzie.  My kids hung all over her.  They couldn’t get enough of Gramma Rita.  She always had cookies or candy at the ready.  I would try and stop her from giving my kids candy at 9am but she would just look at me and say “Edward…Be quiet!”

I will miss her dearly.  She was my Mom and I loved her very much.

Now if you’ll excuse me…I’m going to go have a VO Manhattan on the rocks.


The Agony of Da Feet

This is a story of my Berlin Marathon which was on September 30th but first…

Want to see something cool?

This here is an X-ray of a left foot with a broken 4th metatarsal.

Ouchy right?  Actually this fracture is called a “green branch” fracture because of the way it just spits out all over the place.  These are bad fractures that take six to eight weeks to heel.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot.  This tissue is called the plantar fascia.  It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.  It can be very painful.  Runners usually get this from going long distances in old shoes.  Plantar fasciitis can takes months and months to heel…oops I mean heal.

On August 18th I got up at 5am went down to the lakefront to get in my step back 12 miler.  I had taken my Advil prior to the run because my plantar fasciitis was killing me.  I had felt this little pinch every so often in my left foot…near the top left.  This was odd because the heel pain I’d made for weeks was on the bottom.  As I was running on the cinder path I felt a snap.  I stopped.  Shook my leg a bit and continued on.  It hurt but after a mile I got used to it.  I finished the final 4 miles and went home.

Driving home my foot was now throbbing and I was afraid of what I’d find once I took the sock off…which wasn’t good.  The foot was quite swollen on top and sensitive to the touch.

I made an appointment to see the foot doctor on Monday afternoon.

She took an X-ray and told me I didn’t have a stress fracture.  I had a fracture fracture…and it would take at least six weeks to heal.  At that point the Berlin Marathon was, of course, six weeks away.  There would be no more training.

As the doctor’s assistant was adjusting the walking boot I was to wear for the next six weeks he looked up at me and said “You’re still going to run the marathon aren’t you?”  I said “The only way I won’t run the marathon is if I tore my retina again OR you chopped off both of those feet”.

You see my wife and I run for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team (Team Schober) and we had raised over $10,000 in the fight against cancer and I was not going to let one little bone stop me from at least trying to finish this marathon.  The people I run for, and in honor of, are people who have gone through a lot worse than a little broken bone.  There are 26 bones in your foot.  The other 25 would have to suck it up.

So I wore the boot…for about four days.  The reason I stopped wearing the boot was because after four days the fracture didn’t hurt any longer.  Plus my right heel was killing me from all the extra work it was doing.  But this was a bad idea.  You see because I took the boot off the bone wasn’t really healing correctly.  Part of it was but another part wasn’t.

So I have two confessions to make.  1) That X-ray up there was taken just 10 days before the marathon.   2) I’m an idiot.

For the weeks prior to that X-ray I had been riding the bike trainer like a mad man to keep up the cardio and also taking massive amounts of vitamins…D3, calcium, liquid magnesium among others.  All along I had absolutely zero pain around that fracture.  None.  My heels still hurt like hell but not the break.

So the wife and I flew to Berlin, caught some sights, went to the expo (which was massive by the way), had a few German beers and tried to relax before the race.

But I was worried.  What if the bone snapped again at mile one…or mile eight…or mail 15?  What would I do?  What could I do?  Would the pain be too much to finish?  How much more damage would I do if I kept going after it broke again?  I had to finish this race.  I had to finish this race for the people I was running for.  An injury had kept me from running for my supporters last year.  It was not going to happen again.

So now it’s race morning.  My wife was getting ready.  This was to be her 18th marathon so for her this was cake (also she’d be running the Chicago Marathon one week later for DNation).  I taped up both feet.  I also taped up some toes on the bad foot.  Slipped on my compression socks and headed to the start corrals.

This was going to be interesting.

It was a perfect day for running.  Sunny and about 50 degrees.  There were a lot of announcements in German.  I assumed they were saying something like “Look at the idiot about to break his foot again!”

Then the countdown began.  As I crossed the start line I tapped my DetermiNation shirt for luck and started running…something I hadn’t done in over six weeks.

The crowds were amazing.  I was slapping hands and getting into a good slow pace.  I had taken my doctor’s advice and didn’t take any Advil before the run.  She said it would mask the pain and that’s a bad thing when you know you have to run 26.2 miles.

At about mile 4 I knew it was going to be OK.  I just did.  I had no pain anywhere.  Then I was at mile 10.  Then I was at the half.  Then at 17…the longest I had run all year.

Then at about 18 or 19 my quads started to really burn.  Then my left hamstring had a twinge.  So I slowed.  I ran to about 20.5 when I felt a pinch on the top of my right foot.  The right foot was my good foot!  Was I about to snap a metatarsel in that foot?  My wife would’ve killed me.  I wasn’t running smart!  So I stopped.  I had some water and a banana and ran/walked to the 1K to go sign where I started running again.  I turned the final corner and there in front of me was the Brandenberg Gate…the FINISH!

My time really sucked.  When I was told what it was I just laughed.  5:28:52

But I really don’t cared.  And neither do my wife, kids, family members, doners, supporters, co-workers or pets.  This run was for the cancer survivors, victims, care givers, doctors, researchers, nurses and scientists who fight to cure this lousy desease every day.  This was for them.  I  owed them one.

I also know one other thing.  There’s no way I could’ve finished this marathon if I wasn’t wearing the DetermiNation blue.

The spoils of war

Proud Dad

Back toward the end of this past school year my oldest daughter was given a project by her 4th grade teacher.  He’s a great teacher and he really taught the kids to stay focused and be creative.

The project was about coming up with a cause and explain why you felt strongly to support it and how you were going to communicate your cause to others.

“Have you thought about what your cause is going to be?” I asked her.

“Cancer research” she said.  “I know how important it is and how everyone should help so that’s what I’d like it to be…and you can help with the speech.”  Which I did of course.

Each student would first start with a 2 minute speech in front of the whole class.  My daughter is bit shy at times so getting in front of her classmates to talk about cancer research was going to be a big deal.

Then I asked her about how she wanted to broadcast her message to the world.

“On the website” she said.

“Do you want me to help you create a fake website for your demonstration?”

“no…I want to be on YOUR website” she said.

If you don’t know my website is for fundraising for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team.  My wife and I are running numerous races this year to help fight cancer.

“Well…to be on my website you’ll need to run a race to help support the cause”  “OK” she said.

So that night her and I sat down and looked at all the area 5Ks and one just jumped out at her…Fleet Feet’s Elvis is Alive 5K.  This race is in it’s 15th year, takes place on Chicago’s lakefront and features an “all-Elvis” start corral…and of course an Elvis band afterwards.  Hilarious.

I told her that I had run this race many times years ago and that it was a lot of fun.  I also told her that mommy ran it one year with her in the jog stroller…beating many Elvis runners.

Then I looked at the date of the race…August 16th.  That’s the day my Dad died of cancer.  It’s been 31 years.

We’d be running this one for Grampa.

The race was held along the lakefront in Chicago. The race would start at the Columbia Yacht Club head down to Museum Campus and back.  My wife and my other two daughters would be there in support.

As we walked toward the start I told her how proud of her I was.  We have run a few 5ks as a family before but this was to be her first official race…and she was running it for our DetermiNation team.

We got settled into the start corral after a quick photo at the start with, of course an Elvis or two.

It was a it crowded at the start but, like Mommy, she lead the way through the maze of skinny Elvis, black leather Elvis, jump suit Elvis (there were lots of jump suit style Elvis), fat Elvis along with a few Priscillas thrown in for good measure.

I told her we could run at whatever pace she liked.  She went out quick then we’d run up against a log jam that we had to run around.  When it opened up at about mile 1 she had found her stride and turned it up a bit.

I ran right behind her and she would check over her shoulder to make sure I was there about every 10 seconds.

At mile 2 we ran into my friend Lisa who had been running with her 8 year old son who, by the way, was in full jump suit Elvis mode including wig and sunglasses.  He had taken off and was way ahead his Mom.

A little past the 2.5 mile mark we stopped for some water.  My daughter chugged it down and took off again.  I swear it was like running with a shrunken version of my wife.

As we came toward the finish line I asked her if she’d like to race hard to the end. “No…let’s just finish” she said.  I asked if she wanted to hold hands crossing the line.  “Yes!”  So we did…I almost cried.

We crossed the line at 31:04.  Not bad for a 10 year old.

After the race we headed over to the food and found the peanut butter and banana sandwiches…anElvis favorite.  She inhaled three and drank a Gatorade.  Well deserved.

All in all it was a very memorable experience.  She got an “A” on her project and we weren’t past by one Elvis during the race.

This year Team Schober has raised $6,808 in the fight against cancer…and we are not done yet.  Please check out our website here -> Team Schober

While walking back to the car my middle daughter asked if I thought she could run a 5k. “Sure honey…with some practice”  “Can we pick one out for me to do soon?” she asked.  “Sure!” I said.

Competition starts early in my house.

My 15 Minutes for DetermiNation

“In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” – Andy Warhol

It’s not everyday a regular guy like me can look into a camera and talk about a passionate subject to potentially a million people.

I have been a member of the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team since December 2010.  In 2011 instead of running just one race to help raise money I ran eight….almost.  I raised over $14,000 so the American Cancer Society could help fund research, education, advocacy and support programs for victims, survivors and caregivers.  I am extremely proud of this.

In late March I was approached by Michelle Moore who is the Illinois DetermiNation Director.  She told me that the TNT television network was going to run a 60 second vignette entitled “Dramatic Difference” and wondered if they had anyone they’d like to nominate for the commercial. The Illinois DetermiNation folks wanted to nominate me for this month long national ad campaign highlighting someone who has made a dramatic difference in people’s lives and community.

I was extremely honored by the gesture but never thought anything would come of it.  I had a great year of fundraising and training.  A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into last year’s effort, but I didn’t feel it was any more special than what numerous other teammates had done for DetermiNation last year or what the survivors and caregivers go through every day.

In late March DetermiNation had a team of runners racing the Shamrock Shuffle here in Chicago.  I was down there to cheer and ring cow bells for our team.  Michelle pulled me aside and told me that TNT had read my blogs, knew my story and that they wanted to profile me in the vignette.

“You’re kidding me!” I said

So on April 28th the TNT production crew came to film me running the CARA Lakefront 10 Miler and then we all went back to my house for interviews with myself, Amy Keilman and Marc Feliciano.  Two friends I’m proud to say I run for…so here it is…enjoy.

Since last year I have recovered, started running again and have planned a whole new schedule of races for 2012 to help raise money to fight cancer with my DetermiNation teammates.  Please click TEAM SCHOBER to check it out and as always please help if you can.

Reading Made Easy

I live in an area of Chicago called Ravenswood Manor.  Quite a snooty name if you ask me but it is what it is.  It has lately become quite popular with the media because of a certain resident who happens to be the ex-Governor/convicted felon of this wonderful state.  He’ll be living in Colorado for the next 14 years so this story is not about him, thankfully, but about our wives.  Better yet what they made us do.

There are a lot of wives in Ravenswood Manor….hundreds it seems, hence a lot of book clubs.  You know when the wives say they’re going to read a book and in a few weeks they’ll meet at Peggy’s house on a Wednesday night to discuss the book but really they’re meeting at Peggy’s house to get lit up and come home at 1am blabbing about how awesome Nancy’s hummus was….well something had to be done.

So about seven years ago another Dad and myself formed the RMMBC.  The Ravenswood Manor Men’s Book Club.

The RMMBC was formed to counter our wives monthly book club “meetings”.  We decided to form the RMMBC which meets roughly every six weeks to discuss…things….however none of these “things” are usually books.  Below is a picture of our “Library”…

We started small.  I think our first official meeting had 8 attendees.  Fast forward 6 years and this group now has an email list of roughly 50 guys.

We sometimes will travel to other “libraries” but not too much.

We have done some nice things as well.  Sponsored many little league baseball teams, helped fund the holiday decorations in the neighborhood and personally helped me with my American Cancer Society DetermiNation team charity by raising over $2,000 last year at our annual golf outing!

About 5 years ago I thought the group needed to get out, stretch it’s legs and get some fresh air so I put together the first RMMBC Golf Outing.  I proudly hold the title of RMMBC Golf Commissioner.  That reminds me…I’ll need to update my LinkedIn profile.

The tournament is a cart partner scramble.  The overall winning team wins various prizes which usually consist of cans of Spam, drill bits, Rice-a-Roni, a dozen range balls and one free round of golf at the cow pasture we always play this tournament at.  This past year we had 40 golfers.

The grand prize are the winners jackets.  Like the Masters the winner (or in this case winners) get their own winners jackets to be worn each year at the post tournament gala…usually held in our “Library”.  Each winner gets new jackets that they keep forever but must wear them to the post-tourney gala every year.

As commissioner it is my job to purchase these jackets.  They are purchased every year from the same store and I’d like to publicly thank the Montrose Avenue Salvation Army for all of their help.

Anyway….We had a quick vote and came up with the top 10 books from the past 7 years as stated by the RMMBC:


9)  The sports page




5)  Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition




…and the number one book is…


Well there you have it. The Ravenswood Manor Mens Book Club in a nut shell.

Men feel free to steal our idea.  Take back your neighborhood!

You can thank me later.

11 Random Things About Ed Schober

I’ve been tagged!!!!

Tagged by my good Twitter/Dailymile friend Marathon Brian.

Brian is an athlete.  Pure and simple.  I first met Brian back in Boston in 2010.  I was out there with my wife and three girls for the Boston Marathon.  My wife was running her 5th Boston and we went to a Dailymile tweet up.

Since then he has gotten thinner and much much faster at everything.

Anyway here are the rules of the game:

1)  Post these rules.
2)  You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3)  Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4)  Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5)  Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6)  No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.” You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

So here goes…

11 Random Things About Ed Schober

1)  I grew up on the South side of Chicago but my Father was a die-hard Cubs fan.  All my friends were White Sox fans.  I love both teams.  For Chicagoans this is cause for a beating.  But it’s true.  I just tell all my friends that I watch twice as much baseball as they do…and at least I’ve seen one of my teams win a World Series.

2)  I’ve never lived outside the borders of Chicago.

3)  I used to the play 5 string tenor banjo but now I play guitar (I own a Martin Mahogany Dreadnought) and blues harmonica (Special 20s only).

4)  I have worked in only two buildings (the John Hancock Building and 900 North Michigan Avenue) the past 25 years.  For non-Chicagoans these two buildings are across the street from each other.

5)  I detached the retina in my left eye over 20 years ago and I’ve had 7 laser surgeries in my right eye in the same time frame.  My right eye is a POS.

6)  There’s a dish named after me at El Jardin Cafe here in Chicago.  It’s called Eduardo’s Potosinas.  It’s a seafood potosinas I helped create with the owner one day.  Go check it out.  It’s spicy and awesome. (Clark/Roscoe)

7)  I know how many teams are in the Final Four.  When I was a bachelor I would occasionally ask someone (think Wrigleyville in the mid-90s) “How many teams are in the Final Four?”  You’d be surprised by the answers I’d get.

8)  Next to the day I got married and watching the birth of my three kids crossing the finish line of the 2009 Chicago Marathon was the proudest day of my life.

9)  I’ve never been overseas.  I’ve been to Mexico and Canada.  They don’t count.  This is being corrected when I run the 2012 Berlin Marathon in September with my speedy wife.

10)  I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter.

11)  I feel that I’ve won the lottery of life.

Marathon Brian’s Questions To Me:

1)  Favorite Event:  I’m guessing he means a racing event so I’ll say the Chicago Marathon.  It’s the reason I met my wife. I’m a cyclist first and I used to cross-train a bunch of running friends who ran Chicago every year.  One of these cross-training bike rides is where I met my wife.  She was the only one who could keep up with me.  I knew 30 minutes into that ride that I would marry her.  No kidding.

2)  What’s Your Favorite Ryan Gosling Movie?:  Ha!  No shit.  I have no idea who he is.  He could walk up to my front door and I wouldn’t have a clue.  I’m married with three kids under the age of 10.  We don’t go to movies.

3)  What’s Your Favorite Post-Race Celebration Food?:  That’s easy.  Bacon cheddar cheeseburger.  Speaking of that I recently had a conversation with another running friend of mine who likes bacon cheddar cheeseburgers with peanut butter and chocolate on it!  Is that the grossest thing you’ve heard of or what??

4)  Who Manufactures Your Favorite Race Day Shirt or Singlet?:  First of all I hate singlets.  Secondly I’m a charity runner for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team and all my race shirts are made by Brooks.

5)  What’s Your Second Favorite Ryan Gosling Movie?:  See question 2.

6)  Gatorade or Powerade?:  Gatorade but I’ve been drinking a lot of FRS lately.  It was on sale at the Jewel.

7)  Favorite Newspaper?:  I read the Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal and CNN on the IPad.  No more real newspapers in the house.  Save the trees.

8)  You’ve Just Won a Race/Event, What’s Your Initial Action or Reaction?:  Well I would just thank my parents for having unprotected sex in a hotel room in Miami in early 1963.

9)  Would You Rather Be Taller or Smarter?:  I’m already 6″1′ so you tell me.

10)  Which Historical Figure Would You Like to Have a 2-Hour Dinner With?:  Great question.  I always wanted to create a show called “5 Beers” where you would have someone really cool, stupid or important sit down and be interviewed for an hour while they drank at least 5 beers with the host (me).  Think about it.  Wouldn’t it be cool to interview the Pope, Bill Murray, Bono, the San Diego Chicken, Carl Rove, R2D2 or whomever while they were having a few pops?  I think it would be a total hit.  Anyway I think I’d like to sit down and have dinner with God.  First of all does He eat?  Is He a vegetarian?  I would think so right?  I’d have a few questions for him.  Like when did he know the knee joint was a complete fail?

11)  Favorite Holiday?:  No question…Thanksgiving.  Every Thaksgiving we run a local 5K as a family then we go to my brother’s house for dinner and football.  Awesomesauce.

Ed Schober’s Questions to the Tagged

1)  What’s Your Fondest Childhood Memory?

2)  What Do You Think the Next Big Thing Will Be In Racing?

3)  How Many Teams Are In the Final Four?

4)  What Band Would You Love to Play With and Why (assuming you could play an instrument)?

5)  What’s the First Thing You’d Do If You Won the Lottery?

6)  If You Had the Chance Would You Ever Climb Mt. Everest?

7)  Which Living Person Would You Like to Have Dinner With (excluding me)?

8)  What’s Your Favorite Cus Word and Why?

9)  Do You Think You Have an Idea For A Great Invention?  If So What Is It?

10)  Do You Know Who Ryan Gosling Is…and Why?

11)  Would You Like to Have Monday Off?

Ed Schober’s Tagged People:

Dave P.       Twitter

Michael G.      Twitter

Sue G.     Twitter

Luau     Twitter

Doug W.     Twitter

Dan M.     Twitter

Cate C.     Twitter

Jose     Twitter

Brady G.     Twitter

Nancy C.     Twitter

Tony L.     Twitter


Cancer’s MVP – Cigarettes

A few weeks ago I was asked to join the committee for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation Team here in Chicago. I gladly accepted.

About the same time I was starting to think about the 2012 Berlin Marathon.  I’ll be running a few races this year trying to raise some more money for the DetermiNation Team and for me the final big race for 2012 is the Berlin Marathon.  I wanted to get my fundraising page together and I had a few ideas about what I wanted to say and the pictures I wanted to post.

But I needed some facts.  Cancer facts.  Facts for the committee and facts for my fundraising site.  So I went to the ACS main website and found the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2012 report.  The first thing that hit me was it was 66 pages long…and unfortunately it probably could have been longer.

What I read just blew me away.

Here’s what I found out right off of page one.

In 2012, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day.

About 1,638,910 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2012

Want a reference on that?

This year the Super Bowl is being played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  The New York Giants are playing the New England Patriots…again.  While watching the game look at the size of the crowd and think about this….

– The number of Americans who will die of cancer in 2012 could fill that stadium about 8.5 times.

– If you include the rest of the world the stadium could be filled about 88.25 times.

– The number of new cancer cases for 2012 could fill the stadium over 24 times…and that’s only for the U.S.!

Of the estimated new cases for 2012 the number one for men is prostate cancer at 241,740 (29%).  For women it’s breast cancer at 226,870 (29%).

Of the estimated deaths from cancer the numero uno for both sexes is…..lung & bronchus cancer.  The men top out at 87,750 (29%) and the women at 72,990 (29%).  Lucas Oil Stadium holds about 68,000 so you do the math.

Here’s another bit of information from the American Cancer Society AND I’M STILL ON PAGE ONE!

All cancers caused by cigarette smoking and heavy use of alcohol could be prevented completely. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012 about 173,200 cancer deaths will be caused by tobacco use.

If you’ve read a few of my blogs you know that my Dad died of lung cancer back in 1981.  He was diagnosed in 1977.  He tried to quit smoking but we’re talking about a guy who had smoked two packs a day since WWII.

He tried cold turkey.  He went to a hypnotist.  Nothing worked.  Nicotine is a very addicting drug.

I would even take all the cigarettes out of a brand new pack and use a pen to mark the point I wanted him to snuff it out.  Baby steps you know?  That didn’t work either.

What I forgot to mention here is that he tried all of this only after he had one of his lungs removed.

My father died when I was 18.  That’s 18 years of second hand smoke.

What does the report say about second hand smoke?

Each year, about 3,400 nonsmoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing second hand smoke.

I guess I should consider myself lucky.

So why are cigarettes still legal?  That’s easy.  It’s big business baby!  The only way to make cigarette companies go away is to stop buying their product.  Not an easy thing for a smoker to do.

But why not try.

Do you know someone like this?  Do you know someone who really wants to quit?

Forward them this blog.  Tell them the positive lesson they’d be teaching their kids.  Tell them about the money they’d be saving by not smoking.  A carton of cigarettes in Chicago costs roughly $85!  If my Father was still alive he’d be shelling out almost $510 a month on cigarettes.  That’s crazy.

The American Cancer Society lists well over 25 different sites that will help someone quit smoking.  You can find them here:

ASC Quit Smoking Help

There was some good news in the report…

The 5-year relative Survival rate for all cancers diagnosed between 2001 and 2007 is 67%, up from 49% in 1975-1977. The improvement in survival reflects both progress in diagnosing certain cancers at an earlier stage and improvements in treatments.

I can only hope that this percentage will continue to move up from 2007 forward.

Also I’m a firm believer that if you get someone away from the cigarettes and into a workout program you’ll be helping someone break the suicidal habit that nicotine brings.  They’ll lose weight, want to eat better, get in shape and reach goals. Have them run for the ACS DetermiNation Team! There are countless stories of people putting the cigarette down, lacing up some running shoes, training for a few months and finishing a half marathon or even a full marathon AND NEVER LOOKING BACK!

I’ll be forwarding this blog to a few friends of mine who still smoke…I really don’t want any of them to become just another statistic.

Keep Moving Forward

It’s been a little over five weeks now since my laser eye surgery to correct a tear in my right retina.  It seems like five months.  My recovery calls for four to six weeks so my doctor told me I could put the bike on the trainer and ride sometime around December 15th.  That day can not come soon enough.  I need to sweat!

This has been a very long five weeks.  Much has happened.  Some good.  Some not so good.  Some unexpected.

So what have I been up to? That’s easy… I got very depressed, gained about 7 pounds, had another eye appointment, drank a lot of beer, walked a lot, watched sports on TV, lovingly looked at my new running shoes I was to run the marathon in, drove my wife crazy, had my annual physical with Dr. Funny Finger, joined a health club I really can’t use yet, found out my company might be for sale soon, had an ultrasound I’ve been putting off for almost 14 years, realized my running watch stopped working, booked my hotel for the Berlin Marathon in September even though I still don’t know if I’ll be able to run that distance ever again and I turned 48 on November 17th.

Yep…That just about sums up the past five weeks.

One thing I really wasn’t ready for was the depression. 😦  It was bad during marathon weekend but it really started kicking in on the flight home from New York.  I just could not yet believe I did NOT run the New York marathon.  If you don’t know my story you can check out “Why I Ran” over there to the right.

The good news is I’m finally starting to feel like it’s behind me.  It’s been hard.  Everything reminded me of the hours I put into the fundraising and training this year.  The incredible support from my family, my friends and my Twitter/dailymile/Facebook pals was really helpful.  I am blessed to have you all as friends.

But it’s time to remember my favorite running mantra…Keep Moving Forward!

I really can’t run until I get the final final OK from my doctor that the scar tissue in my eye is strong enough for the pounding of running.  That doesn’t happen until December 30th.  I might call to ask her if one or two 5ks would be fine before my visit. I figure I might as well see if it’s going to be a problem before I see her.

If she does say I’m good to go I’ll be running four miles on the morning of December 31st.  The last run of a very emotional and fulfilling year.

Anyone want to join me?

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