I just received the following email from my runner-friend, Steve Bell. It is just way too awesome not to share. Way to go, Steve!

Hi Everyone, Hope this email finds everyone well.  Typically when you receive an email from me, it’s because I’m running another marathon and I am seeking some donations.  Well, not this time.  A few weeks ago someone from Dick’s Sporting Goods reached out to me about potentially using my story in their upcoming campaign about everyday people and why they run.  Well, after much deliberation (about 30 seconds) I decided why not.  So one day a couple weeks ago about 15 people crammed into my small apartment for the start of an exciting day.  They explained the premise, what we’d be filming and how it would be used…..a few weeks later and we have this:   Dick’s Sporting Goods: Episode 1 - Steve’s Story   Quite honestly one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.  The end product is truly amazing if I may say so myself.    What’s next for me?  Continue to run, continue to fight, continue to smile…all the way to the next starting line - San Fran marathon!   As always, Life is much better because I’m able to share things like this with people like you.  Hope you enjoy as much as I did!   Please feel free to pass along and share.  I signed up for the twitter too: @lungsontherunSB so you can follow along!   Thanks, Steve
Pittsburgh Half Marathon -- Race Week and What I #RunFor

3 days left!!! I literally cannot believe it. I signed up for the race on New Year’s Eve, 4 months ago. It does not feel like that much time has passed, but here we are. At this point I am as ready as I can be, especially given a moderate mishap with my hip (read about it here: At least I am tapering!

Last weekly recap before the race:

Wed 4/23: Appointment with the trigger point therapist for hip pain
At this point my hip was feeling better but I still felt really tight. During the session I couldn’t help but cringe in pain when she worked on different trigger points on my side. I felt good after it was over though!

Thu: 40 min on the stationary bike, some ab work
I wanted to run but my hip was still tight so I thought the bike would be a better alternative. I made sure I got a good sweat on by switching up the resistance/speed throughout.

Fri: Rest

Sat: 5.09 mile run, 48:20 total time, 9:30 min/mile average pace
Splits: 9:15, 8:54, 9:41, 9:53, 9:47
My hip bothered me the whole time but it wasn’t painful necessarily. I’m not sure how to describe it. I ran around North Park lake and the weather was great so I just tried to enjoy the scenery! I used to think the 5 mile loop around the lake was a long run and it’s kind of funny to think of it as a short run now! My hip was very sore later in the day.

I also tried out my new hydration belt again (as seen in pic above). I started out with the bottles and storage part on my back to see if I would like it better but it kept moving when I did that. I quickly then spun it around to the front. I feel a little dorky wearing it to be honest! But it solves my hydration issues so it is needed. I have been debating about wearing it on race day but there is going to be so many water stations throughout the race so I don’t think it will be necessary. I need it more for training runs. I plan on carrying 1 GU gel to refuel about halfway through and I can either stick that in my armband or shorts pocket.

Sun: Rest/Stretch
Still sore from Saturday’s run which I expected but I wasn’t limping in pain like I was a week ago. I went in my Dad’s hot tub for about 40 min which did help. I also iced before bed.

Mon: P90X3 Triometrics
I don’t know why I picked this workout because it has a lot of squats and lunges that I forgot about! Which is totally fine normally but when I haven’t done this workout recently that usually means I will be sore the next day! Something NOT to do during race week and I didn’t think about that until afterwards. The hip felt OK during this workout.

Tue: T25 stretch
As predicted I woke up very sore in the hamstrings! I am still kicking myself over that. The soreness actually has been distracting me from any tightness in my hip…weird!

Wed: 3.75 mile run, 35:43 total time, 9:31 min/mile average pace
Splits: 9:24, 9:25, 9:35, 7:19 min for the last 0.75
Felt pretty good despite the hamstring soreness and hip tightness which only bothered me a little. I was able to sneak this one in before the rain came in again. It has been raining all week here in Pittsburgh and I just hope it goes away before Sunday! I have been constantly checking the weather and so far it looks like low 60s, cloudy, and small chance of rain. Perfect running weather!

I probably won’t write another post until after the race but my plan for the rest of the week is yoga, stretching, foam rolling and rest (and carb-loading of course!!) I might do a really short run Sat just to shake out the leg muscles but with my hip situation I’m not sure yet! I want to save it for the race!! I already have a massage scheduled Monday because I know I am going to need it.

On another note –
Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is the sponsor for the Pittsburgh Marathon, is running a social media campaign called “Every Runner has a Reason” to allow people to share why they run using the hashtag #runfor. This inspires me to share the reasons why I run especially now as I look back at my half marathon training and prepare myself for race day!

I #runfor the mental clarity. Running clears my head, allows me to think, and puts me into a better mood. It is like therapy for me.

I #runfor my health. It is my favorite form of exercise that keeps me in shape, improves my sleep, keeps my migraines away, and overall makes me feel awesome!

I #runfor food!! I used to binge on so much junk food in high school after coming home from track/cross country practice knowing that whatever I ate I would just run it off. While that was true to some extent, I didn’t understand how to properly fuel my body. I have definitely learned how to be a healthier version of myself and eat food for fuel and nourishment. I thank Shakeology and Beachbody for a big part of this and how I have linked this with running.

I #runfor strength and motivation to push myself. Runners always want to see just how much further they can run, or how much faster they can go. I would have never thought that I could do a half marathon back in high school or even a few months ago! But it is amazing how much you can push yourself to reach your goals if you have the drive to do it.

Simply, I #runfor me. My running capability depends on me, no one else. It gives me confidence that I can do anything I set my mind to which can be applied to other facets in my life. Running helps me become a better version of myself.

What do you #runfor?

Hey @dicksportinggoods, here’s my little @ir4michaelofficial buddy that I #RunFor! His name is Breckin and I dedicate all my miles to him! He is a 2yo boy who was born premature and has brain damage (PVL) and epilepsy. I will be running for him tomorrow at the @cooperriverbridgerun!! He is my buddy and I am his runner! ❤️
#iRun4Breckin #CRBR2015 #runchat #runner (at Charleston, South Carolina)