Tag Archives: Do Away with SMA

It’s all for charity…

Last week someone (Matthew Thomas) over at Team DAWS, the charity dedicated to ridding the planet of the horrible genetic disease known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA for short, came up with the crazy idea of challenging myself and a friend of mine (Mitch Brannen) to a little fundraiser for DAWS to raise some cash for a good cause.

The Challenge:

This is a very simple event.

Assuming a certain threshold of fundraising is met Mitch and I will dress up and run as Anna and Elsa (From Frozen…but you knew that) during the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend if people donated money.

After the fundraising goals are met, we will be dressed in full costumes that are being designed including a matching tutu or skirt. But who could forget complimenting makeup and a full wig to ensure authenticity…jeesh.

Donate money today and see us run around Walt Disney World in full regalia.  You never know what surprises may be in store.

What are the minimum donations for the two of us to run?

  • At the $500 total donation level, we will run the 5K in full costume.
  • At the $700 total donation level, we will run the 10K in full costume.
  • At the $1000 total donation level, we will run the Half Marathon in full costume.

When does the race take place?

  • Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is January 8-11, 2015

How do you know we ran in costume?”

  • Pictures will be taken along the way and posts on all of our social media including a Go-Pro video of the race!

Do you get a tax receipt?

  • Yes, 100% of your donation will be tax deductible and a receipt will come from DAWS.  

Upping the Ante: …but wait, there’s more…

If we raise $2000 in total donations, I have reluctantly agreed to shave my legs for the event…how do I get myself into these things? I keep remembering it’s all for a good cause.

Wait, it gets better!  Again at the same $2000 total donation level, Mitch will shave his head! No joke, we have video of him saying he would and you can see it here on my Facebook page!

Something for YOU the donor!

For every $25 you donate, you will be entered into a drawing for a free pair of new running shoes.  Donations must be made by November 30, 2014.  The drawing will be held on December 1, 2014.  Emails will be sent out to receive information on Brand, Style, Size, and Shipping Address.  Brooks, Asics, Nike, Saucony, and New Balance are all available.

I didn’t realize training for Dopey would make me so…well, you know.  Uh, happy to help out a good cause!

Happy Training!


Jessica Goldman is crazy awesome!

If you’ve never heard of Jessica Goldman then you just may start to hear about her in the next few weeks. You see, she’s running from California to New York looking to break the world record for the women’s US transcontinental passage starting on April 16th. That’s 3,197 miles if you’re playing the home game. To do so she will run between the two city halls of San Francisco and NYC with a GPS tracking device that records her position at regular intervals, as well as other requirements to prove her success in the journey. Also, she’s doing this solo pushing a special stroller to carry supplies. Oh, and she’s doing all this on a plant based diet.

Her journey isn’t all about doing the trip solo and breaking the world record though. Along the way she will raise money for the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).

I am looking forward to tackling my own run of 500 miles with five other runners starting in August of 2015 for the Do Away with SMA (DAWS) charity. With this in mind I cannot imagine a journey of over 6 times that distance and running 3 times as long for time! Doing 19 back to back marathons is crazy so I do not know what you classify doing 61 back-to-back 50 milers!  We’ll just call Jessica awesome until the English language comes up with a new word to justify her unique level of heart and determination.

In the mean time if you’d like to follow Jessica along her journey, visit Jessica’s Facebook Page, give it a “Like,” read her blog and if you can spare an extra Lincoln for the BIAA then throw her a fiver. Finally, be sure to keep a lookout over the next few weeks because that crazy chick running by your window pushing a stroller full of camping gear and all natural trail mix is crazy awesome!

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. – Gail Devers

Happy Training & Good Luck Jessica!


Plankapalooza 2013!

This is a reblog from the Do Away with SMA Team Blog of which I am a member and contributing author.  We are running a Plank-a-Day Challenge throughout the month of November and it starts TODAY, November 1st!  You can find the original post here!  You can also add your name to the Google Doc to track your progress here!

Original Post:

Coach Brian here for Team DAWS! Need a challenge? Great, then you’ve stopped by at the perfect time! The entire month of November the DAWS Team is challenging YOU to do a plank a day! Sounds easy right?

First, what does a plank look like when done with good form? In the pictures below notice the straight line from the person’s head to their heels. Note that their neck is in a neutral position not hanging low or hyperextending toward the ceiling. Weight is balanced between the forearms and the toes. You can keep your feet together or if you need more balance you may spread your feet to a single shoulder width apart. My suggestion though is to keep them together for maximum benefit. Finally note that in both pictures the elbows are directly below the shoulder. Again, this helps with stability and protects the shoulder joint.

For accuracy I like to hold a watch in my hands with a seconds counter so as to time the plank as opposed to looking up at a clock or counting.  Looking up puts your neck and spine in an odd position and counting tends to speed up as your muscles fatigue.

Good form is essential for this exercise.
Good form is essential for this exercise.

Plank 1Ok, now that you’ve seen a picture of what this should look like let me tell you what’s in it for you. The standard plank pictured here is a g-r-e-a-t, GREAT exercise for building abdominal strength.  Hate sit-ups? Yeah, me too and that’s why I don’t do them…okay I don’t do them because as far as abdominal exercises go there are a ton of better exercises to do than “ye olde gym teacher stand-by.”

Benefits of Plank Endurance:

  • Strength – Works your upper and lower abdominal areas. Planks will build strength in your stabilizer muscles, promotes good posture and will help with any back pain you may have while also helping to protect against back injury! Most importantly, doing planks will “teach” your abdominal muscles to stay contracted while you stand and when you exercise. All-in-all it a great exercise for building all around core strength.
  • Flexibility – Plank exercises help increase flexibility in posterior (rear) muscle groups. Your shoulder girdle expands and stretches various muscles around your shoulders, collarbone and shoulder blades. Pressing the front of your thighs upward and lengthening your legs as much as possible stretches the hamstrings that form the back of your thighs. Plank exercises also stretch the arches of your feet as your toes hyperextend to support your weight.
  • Mental – There is something about the mental battle of holding a static position as your body begins to shake from the effort.  This exercise is not only great from a physical standpoint, but will also build your mental fortitude (will power) to keep pushing when your body begins to fatigue.
  • Aesthetic – This one is easy.  Plank = Tight abs. Tight glutes. Tight core. That’s tight yo.

Want to track your progress with the rest of us?  Check out this Google Doc Spreadsheet and add your name to the list!

So here’s the 30 day challenge and no skipping on Thanksgiving Day for my US participants!

The 30 Day Plank Challenge will send your core strength through the roof!

Nov 1 – 20 seconds
Nov 2 – 20 seconds
Nov 3 – 30 seconds
Nov 4 – 30 seconds
Nov 5 – 40 seconds
Nov 6 – REST
Nov 7 – 45 seconds
Nov 8 – 45 seconds
Nov 9 – 60 seconds
Nov 10 – 60 seconds
Nov 11 – 60 seconds
Nov 12 – 90 seconds
Nov 13 – REST
Nov 14 – 90 seconds
Nov 15 – 90 seconds
Nov 16 – 120 seconds
Nov 17 – 120 seconds
Nov 18 – 150 seconds
Nov 19 – REST
Nov 20 – 150 seconds
Nov 21 – 150 seconds
Nov 22 – 180 seconds
Nov 23 – 180 seconds
Nov 24 – 210 seconds
Nov 25 – 210 seconds
Nov 26 – REST
Nov 27 – 240 seconds
Nov 28 – 240 seconds
Nov 29 – 270 seconds

Track Your Progress Here. Just add your name to the honor scroll!

That’s it! In 30 days and you’ll be a plank master! Is that even a thing? Well, it will be come November 30th!

Good luck and Happy Planksgiving!!

Enter to win a DAWS Prize Pack! Click on the Rafflecopter.


The Big Announcement! #DisneyTrail

For the past few weeks if you’ve followed me on Twitter, Instagram, DailyMile or Facebook then you’ve seen the hashtag #disneytrail along with a countdown for today!

What is the DisneyTrail you ask?  The DisneyTrail is a journey to make a difference, it’s a worthy cause and a new ohana coming together. Let’s start from the beginning. A few weeks ago I received a phone call at 9 o’clock at night from a friend of mine asking me to do something a bit crazy. A fellow runner and friend was putting together an ultra run event to raise money to start a foundation for research to fight a terrible disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  1 in 40 people in the US are a carrier of the gene that causes this disease and few if any survive the genetic disorder.  Our fellow friend and runner, Joe Kolinsky, lost two brothers to the genetic disorder and wanted to do something to make a difference and the idea of the DisneyTrail was born.

On August 17, 2015 we will start a 19 day journey running from the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, CA to the gates of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.  Myself and 5 other dedicated athletes with the help of a rock star support crew will run the entire distance together covering close to 500 miles (more if we get lost) or approximately a marathon (26.2 miles) each day!

For details, please check out our group’s blog.

Please follow us as we raise money and awareness for this worthy cause to not only help a dear friend, but also a community of silent victims who desperately need a cure.

This journey will be like no other I’ve experienced and it starts, today!

Happy Training!