On 1 February 2011, I will run up the Empire State Building - 86 flights, 1576 stairs - to the observation deck. I am doing this for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) to raise money for cancer research. I work for a biotech company, and more specifically I work on cancer drugs. It has always been a bit abstract, since you think about the science, and how to get the drug to patients, but since moving to the US I have met so many people who are affected by this disease. Over the last year I have had a colleague who passed away, another one who is in remission, and finally at our company meeting earlier this year, I heard Elijah Alexander speak, telling us how he battled this disease, and thanking us for what we do. Two months later he passed away - just like that. His spirit was amazing, as was his love for football. He told us about his life growing up in the South, in a really poor family, and what it meant to him playing in the NFL - even though he was "only the fourth round pick". He transmitted his love of life that day, and I felt profoundly touched.
Recently I did some research on cutaneous t-cell lymphoma (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma), which attacks the lymphatic system and compromises the immune system - the effects of which are horrendous. I think the combination of all these things has made me want to do something more to help find a cure, and in my small way, I would like to raise some money for the MMRF. Hence my run up the Empire State Building. I have committed to raise 2500 USD for them, and if you have some time (and wish to make a small contribution), please visit my homepage for this event: http://www.active.com/donate/2011MMRFRunUp/RUNUPNShunmu .
Today was the start of my training for this event. I climbed 800 steps but it took me half an hour! I need to climb at least double that in less time. Well, I am focussed and committed to this goal, and so have no hesitation in going to the max. This is too important to me, and I want to do it right. I also managed to squeeze in some weight training, and finally ran a 10 minute mile. This is also a great opportunity, how terrific is running up that gorgeous building? My annual stair climb here in Boston falls on the Saturday of that same week, and I am thinking about maybe racing that one competitively. It is a much smaller climb (only 789 stairs), but I would certainly like to improve my time! I did it in 10:29, and the winner of my age group did it in 6:37 - I know with some work I can beat my time. Interestingly enough, I did my training without music, and enjoyed it much more. Sometimes I think the music might help me along, but I think it distracts me somewhat. I think I prefer being without it....anyway, I only use it when I run on the treadmill.
Final story of the week - a very good colleague and friend is moving to Chicago, so we bid her farewell. The upside is that she suggested that I run the Chicago marathon next year.....hmmm not sure yet, as it gets pretty cold there! Still, it is something to look forward to, and I know that they have an extreme stair climbing event in Chicago - and I don't mean the Hustle up the Hancock nor the Willis (Sears) Tower Climb. I mean the Presidential Towers Climb - running up all 4 buildings for a total of 2340 steps in between sprinting from 1 building to the next! Seems like a good reason for a visit - after seeing my friend of course. Farewell Nurit, and see you soon.