Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon & Marathon

SteveRunRehobothWhat a great weekend I had at the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon & Marathon! I opted to run the half since I haven’t had enough training volume due to chemo treatments. And I had never run this race which made it a fun adventure on race day. For me, there’s something to be said for having no clue where the road ahead leads. It was a fresh and new course for me which was awesome.

There were a couple of non race related details that made this weekend even more special. For starters we stayed with good friends Alan and Sue who live about a mile from the start of the race. It’s always great connecting with them, they are good people. Additionally, Alan was volunteering which meant he and I arrived at the start nice and early and parked about 20 yards from the start line! So I got to sit in a nice toasty car until it was time to shed some layers, warm up a little, and then hit the road running. What a perfect way to start a race.

The course itself was flat and fast and weather conditions were pretty darn good for a December morning in the Mid Atlantic region. We made our way through the streets of Rehoboth and spent several miles on a packed multi-purpose trail which gave the race a certain tranquil and back to nature feel. This was a well-engineered, well executed event with great volunteers and everything you want in a half marathon & marathon.

SteveBeerRehobothAs I made my way through the finish chute, Mary Beth – the Race Director who was announcing, made my finish extra special by calling out the fact that I had finished up chemo and was in the process of crushing cancer. That was meaningful.  And of course my wife Mary Grace was there to greet me as she always does with a huge hug and a smile.  Who wouldn’t race with a reward like that?

The icing on the cake was the kick ass after party consisting of a full breakfast and lunch spread and Dogfiish Head beer! It’s always a little strange throwing back a post-race beer at 10 AM. But then again, I did drink their Breakfast Stout. It must have been good for me.

All in all it was a great weekend with great company. I highly recommend this race to anyone who wants a quality half marathon or marathon in a beautiful seashore town without all of the noise and chaos of a big city race. I’ll be back next year for sure!

This was another exclamation point or knockout punch race for me. Let me explain. I underwent chemo treatments in July, August, September, and October. At the conclusion of each treatment cycle, I made it a point to do some kind of a race to send the leukemia a strong message. In July I raced a sprint Duathlon. In August I raced a 5k. In September I raced two 5Ks. And in November, in celebration of finishing up all treatment in October, I raced 2 half marathons. I’m not running away from leukemia. I’m running at it, over it, and through it in full blitz mode.

That’s a wrap for me for 2016. I’m sure I’ll jump into a holiday run or two before the end of the year, but year bigger races are done. Races for 2017 are shaping up. It’s going to be a great year with the return of much longer distances which I missed this year. Most importantly, it’s going to be a healthy year.

Happy Holidays to all.

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Video Shoot Recap!

steps tevaOn Monday November 28th we opened our doors to a small army of people inclusive of marketing representatives, a film producer, and a band of video, sound, and production guys. We began filming at 8 AM at our house where my wife and I talked about my leukemia story and its impact on our lives. The entourage then traveled to my favorite memorial park to film some running clips and we ended the day shooting some casual family footage at our daughter’s home near the park.

This is what happens when you have great success with a treatment drug and kick leukemia square in the jaw – again. While it was a work day for the crew, everyone was great to work with and I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was honored to be a part of this project.

Stay tuned for more.

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A Bit of Thanks

While I am abundantly thankful for family, friends, love, my life, my health, gainful employment, health insurance, people, dogs, cats, freedom, peace, and an infinite list of other things… I think I am most thankful for the fact that I am thankful. I’m thankful that I generally find that glass ¾ of the way full and understand & appreciate that I live a pretty charmed life and am a damn lucky person. Happy Thanksgiving to all. And safe travels to those moving about!

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2016 Philly Marathon and Half Marathon Weekend

stevederekCongrats to all marathon, half marathon, and 8k finishers in Philly this year. I can speak from personal experience the conditions for Saturday’s 13.1 were beautiful. I had a great run with my buddy Derek as we took in the sights and sounds of Philly and crossed the finish line with a robust “high-5”! It was a great way to drive home the point that my chemo is DONE and I am BACK to myself again. Conditions for Sunday’s full marathon were not quite as friendly.

My hat is tipped to all who weathered the elements in route to their successful finishes.

Next up for me is the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon on 12/3. Stay tuned!

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Big Climb Philly 2017 Registration OPEN

One of the best events I did in 2016 was the Big Climb Philly that took us up 43 floors of the Comcast Building to a breathtaking view of the Philly skyline. I will absolutely be back in 2017!

Register Today for Big Climb Philly

MAY 13, 2017

ONE COMMERCE SQUARE

2005 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW

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Philly Marathon Set to Kick Off

Race Weekend Schedule
Don’t miss a thing! The Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend is full of events for the whole family.

Friday, November 18

Health & Fitness Expo
Noon – 9 p.m.
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall F
12th & Arch Streets

Saturday, November 19

Half Marathon
7:25 a.m. – Wheelchairs and Handcycles
7:30 a.m. – Runners
22nd & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Rothman Institute 8K
10:40 a.m. – Wheelchairs and Handcycles
10:45 a.m. – Runners
22nd & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Kids Fun Run
10 a.m. – On-site registration
11 a.m. – Family activities begin
Noon – Races begin
24th & Pennsylvania Avenue

Health & Fitness Expo
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall F
12th & Arch Streets

Sunday, November 20

Philadelphia Marathon
6:55 a.m. – Wheelchairs & Handcycles
7:00 a.m. – Runners
22nd & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Complete details and maps HERE.

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Welcome Fusion Fitness Studio

I’m looking forward to teaming up with Fernando Paredes of Fusion Fitness. Fernando and I have been running in the same circle and speaking at some of the same events in recent years and I fully subscribe to his functional strength principles. He brings an incredible amount of knowledge and insight to the table and has been working closely with the multisport community for several years. I’m excited to partner with Fernando as my official strength and conditioning  guru. For more on Fernando; read on, or visit Fusion Fitness Studio.

Fusion Fitness Studio is Bucks County, PA’s premier private training facility for expert guidance in fitness, performance & healthy lifestyle coaching.

Our Exclusive Fusion Fitness & Performance Program™ features Core-to-Strength Training™ – our proprietary method of total body training THROUGH the core which develops balanced fitness, strength and conditioning throughout the entire body.

We specialize in working with anyone that has a deep desire to become their best and live a high-performance lifestyle.

Fernando Paredes, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, FMS a 20 year veteran of the fitness industry, is a sought after fitness and performance expert in the Bucks/Philadelphia region. He is a contributing fitness columnist for PhillyFIT magazine, Liberty Sports Magazine, the Fitness Director at Boomer-Living.com, has been featured on Comcast Network’s “Your Morning” show, “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle”, WFMZ Channel 69 News and The Philadelphia Inquirer because of his innovative Core-to-Strength Training ™ approach. Fernando has gained the reputation as the expert other trainers turn to for advice and the ‘go-to’ source for anyone interested in attaining lasting results and achieving their true potential.

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Which Way is Life Podcast Interview

Back in September I did an interview for the RadioMD podcast “Which Way is Life?”. You can check it out here. Realize though that when we did this in September I was still undergoing treatment. As we all now know; I am FREE and CLEAR of disease and treatments are all DONE.

Which Way is Life

Which Way is Life? is designed to help busy, overworked, stressed out people find their way to a more balanced, healthier, inspired life. Two times a week host Bill Klaproth will interview trendsetting doctors, fitness professionals, life coaches, meditation experts and more in a quest for transformational discovery and positive change.

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2016 NYC 26.2 and Grassroot Soccer (and Shep)

So, here’s the thing…

For the past 7 years I have raced the NYC marathon with my good buddy Ethan Zohn in support of his charity Grassroot Soccer. A mutual friend introduced Ethan and I in 2009 knowing that we each shared a blood cancer diagnosis and we were both former soccer goalkeepers. What makes this story even better is the fact that this mutual friend was soccer analyst and former NY Cosmos and NY Arrows goalkeeper Shep Messing. When I was playing in high school and college, I idolized Shep. He was not only a brilliantly talented player but he also validated the notion that keepers can be a tad left of center and I think it was that persona that gave me a great sense of kinship with Shep and sense of belonging to the goalkeeping community. He was the face of the American goalkeeper.

As (my) luck would have it, I would connect with Shep later in life and we developed a bit of a friendship.  Shep would even contribute a few words as an intro to one of my books (In Search of Center). I included that message below. So when a guy like Shep Messing sends you an email that starts out with “Hey big man, I need you to do me a favor”… he really doesn’t even need to finish the thought. The favor was to connect with a guy named Ethan Zohn. While Ethan was known to many as the winner of the reality TV show SURVIVOR (Africa, season 3), I didn’t know who he was. In Shep’s words, Ethan and I were two former goalies and like-minded individuals who were both diagnosed with a blood cancer and would benefit from leaning on one another through this journey. It took me 3 seconds to respond with a big YES.

Shep was right; an instant friendship with Ethan was born and we have leaned on each other on a personal level and in support of a number of charitable ventures that we have been involved with through the years. One of which is Ethan’s charity, Grassroot Soccer and our participation in the NYC marathon. Which was the whole point of this post – but I got a little derailed talking about Shep Messing. So now that you have that backstory…

Unfortunately, I will not be running in the NYC marathon this weekend. As many of you know, my leukemia attempted to make an appearance again which warranted a series of chemo treatments. While I was able to remain in decent shape as I went through four rounds of treatment, I wasn’t able to ramp up to marathon shape. The good news is that treatment was very successful. My leukemia was humiliated and crawled back into storage. I am in good enough shape to race a couple of half marathons this fall, but this weekend’s NYC full 26.2 just wasn’t in the cards this year. But that’s OK.

I will still head up to NYC on Saturday to enjoy our traditional prerace dinner with Ethan and The GRS marathon team and will be with them all in spirit as they make their way through the boroughs of NYC on Sunday.  And next year will bring some awesome partnerships and fun stuff with Ethan and GRS. I’ll be sure to post plenty of pics and stuff from dinner this Saturday. Until then…

Train safe, race smart, and THANK the volunteers.

Below is what Shep contributed to my book, In Search of Center. And I should add the Ethan wrote the foreword to this effort.

Messing’s Message

All goalkeepers belong to a fraternity of renegades. For ninety minutes you are on the precipice of anger and tranquility. You have to be coiled and ready to strike, with the serenity of a yogi. That juxtaposition is the greatest mental challenge of every game. You mark your territory and defend it, like a mother bear protecting her den. At the same time, it is an acutely cerebral undertaking.  It’s about analyzing, and quickly computing probabilities. You must assimilate everything going on in a game. If you can’t see how a game is evolving, you can’t make the save. Steve Brown’s fundamental approach towards life was born in this fraternity. Through the challenges he has faced and the obstacles he has overcome, he has taken it to a whole new level. We are all proud of him.

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Who Knew

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a very slow moving disease. So much so that people can be diagnosed in the very early stages but not need treatment for years. When I was diagnosed 10 years ago the disease could have been progressing for years prior to detection. One of the first questions that my doctor asked me 10 years ago was “didn’t you notice yourself getting tired?” Well of course I was getting tired. I was training for and racing marathons and Ironman triathlons. Aren’t I supposed to get tired? I do recall an Ironman race in July of 2015 where I could have seriously fallen asleep on my handlebars. I had never felt like that before but never in a million years would have thought it was anything serious.

And even though we have been closely watching and monitoring all of my flags, counts, and markers for the last 10 years, I have every reason to believe that the disease had again been moving and progressing very slowly leading up to my recent relapse and subsequent treatment. It was slowly taking things from me that I didn’t realize. It was gradually sucking the quality of life out of me in such small increments that they were barely detectable. Until I realized that I was just “off”.

I didn’t realize just how bad I felt prior to being treated until seeing how great I feel now (post treatment). I felt pretty bad. And I looked bad. My lymph nodes were enlarged everywhere. I felt like a different person. My fitness level was suffering as well and that’s what through the red flags for me. Two mile runs felt like five mile and five miles felt like a marathon. I wasn’t sure if it was all disease related or not but since all of my symptoms were coming back, I knew we needed to do something.

So many of you have been incredibly supportive over the last 4 months as I’ve cycled through as many rounds of chemo. I’m pretty damn stoked to be able to say that I learned this week that there is essentially NO evidence of disease and my treatments are done. Blood work, lymph nodes and everything else look GOOD. I’ll need to go back in a month to make sure nothing changes. But it won’t. I feel too good.

Our work here is done.

Treatment had its ups and downs and I am still adjusting to some side effects with the hope that they will eventually go away. But the bottom line is that treatment worked and it worked well. I’m in disbelief at how great I feel today. My recent runs have felt like the old Steve Brown – the pre disease Steve Brown. I feel great and I think I look like my old self again. I’m in a great place physically, mentally, and emotionally and I’m ready to attack the opportunities that lie ahead with an incredible feeling of energy, excitement, and appreciation.

I’m better, healthier, and stronger than I’ve been in a really long time.

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