Monday, April 24, 2017

Week Ended April 23rd: Strong Results

This post can also be found at 

It was a strong week for training and fundraising although I really need to improve on reaching folks that do not know my story.  That is the only path to reaching $130,000 and to date all donations have come from individuals that personally know me and/or my wife.  I have said this before but on some days it feels like this journey could be easy if we could just get 100,000 people to donate $1 each.  The challenge is how to get this journey in the hands of 100,000 people.  I am an open book so feel free to share your ideas.

I will let two Instagram posts do the talking but this was the best training week I have had since my biking accident in 2013.  If you made it to this post without reading my story, someone opened their door in 2013 while I was on the bike and it has been a huge setback.  This week things went differently for me though.  The overall stats are that I trained 195 miles consisting of 3 swims, 2 straight runs, 2 trainer rides, a 2 hour ride and one 5.5 hour ride followed by a 15 minute run off the bike.  I did all of this with zero pain which stresses me out to put in writing but to hell with superstition.  The most amazing workout was a 13.1 mile training run.  It was the first time since my accident that I ran without the fear of pain. I was able to let my mind escape and just enjoy the run through some amazing landscape.  I followed this up two days later with my first tempo run where I allowed myself to run at a sub 8 minute mile pace.  That is a big step mentally for me.  I have been utilizing extremely conservative run-walk intervals in the spirit of staying healthy.  I will continue to do so because finishing the race is far more important that pushing myself to an injury.  If my confidence continues to improve, I will allow myself to push from time to time.  My weekend was mainly about the bike.  Seven and a half hours of total riding split up into a 2 hour ride on Saturday and a 5.5 hour ride on Sunday.  I cleared the 90 mile mark on the long ride with 5,600 feet of climb.  It was good mentally to get in the distance.  I now enter a recovery week which is a good thing because I am most definitely sore as I type this Monday morning.

We had a good week raising approximately $4,800 towards our $130,000 goal.  On the surface it sounds like we are way ahead of things but most of these funds are from letters and emails I have sent out.  I have budgeted out various ideas and I have a path to $70-75,000 which means we still have a very large gap to close………or we need 60,000 people to each give $1.  We also did a lot of filming for the video to be featured at .  It will take some time to edit but a huge thank you goes out to Paiwei Wei for taking time out of his busy schedule to shoot all the footage and help to produce the video itself.

I expect this might be a slower week on the fundraising front but we have a lot to accomplish.  We will launch our community teams, we will finalize our logo thus finalize our t-shirts and thus be very close to launching the virtual 5K and locking down a date for the live event in Venice, CA.  There is so much to do but nobody said ending cancer would be easy.

Thanks for your time and for following this journey.  If anything here inspires you, please share our story.  If you would also consider a donation, we would be grateful.  This journey is about everyone touched by cancer.  Join us.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Week Ended 04/16/17: Community Teams

Note: we are keeping a blog at  This is copied from our website but I want to make sure you know to visit our main site tied to #Road2Kona.

A lot happened on the #Road2Kona this week and I believe the most important is a development that allows 'you'.....yes I mean you..... to join the journey and raise money on your own.  We will announce more details this week but this news ties to a Community Team.  Beyond my personal fundraising page, you will be allowed to create your own site and raise money however you choose.  You can choose to do a sporting event, send letters and emails, hold a car wash………..however you choose to spread the word and for whomever you choose to spread the word.  There is no minimum.  You can raise $25 or $2,500………whatever the total it will be considered a part of the We Will Find a Cure total that is generated for the Ironman World Championship.  Once we finalize our t-shirts, I will be sending a shirt to everyone that raises $250.

As far as fundraising goes, we had a good week. Someone stepped up with an offer to match up to $2,500 through today, April 16th.  We have raised $2,450 as of my typing this post so we are very close although I did see the $2,500 anonymous donation come through so I suppose they exercised some faith in us.  If you check out our fundraising page, we cleared $10,000 and technically there is another $5,500 of match that is on the way but I would rather count the matches once they hit.  A huge thank you to everyone that donated this week to help us achieve success.  I am truly grateful.  While this is a great start, we have a long way to go and I absolutely cannot do this on my own.  This journey needs support via financial donations, spreading the word, getting press, items/experiences we can auction off, etc.  Please visit Ways to Help to learn more.

Other things I would consider wins this week are:
  • a local magazine, Fountain Valley Living, returned my phone call and is considering my story for the June edition.
  • my daughters elementary school is going to include my story in their weekly email in a few weeks.
  • a friend of mine works at Compass, a technologically driven Real Estate Company. They offered some philanthropic help and my friend is going to push the virtual option for our 5K once we are up an running. The 5K, and especially the virtual option, has a chance to be one of our biggest fundraising ideas.
  • our new logo should be close to complete which will allow us to finalize the t-shirts and the 5K. Our live option will be held at the end of the summer but the virtual option can launch immediately.
On a training front, it is more of the same.  I still have another 40 minutes to put in on the trainer.  If you assume a 16.5 mph pace I will close the week at 186 miles.  My coach went a little heavy on the bike this week and scaled back the run which was probably genius to allow my ankle to feel better.  Same as the last few weeks, I have struggled with pain.  Frustration set in this week so I simply cut out my walk breaks starting with my Friday run.  I would not say it is a smart move but I honestly am not sure.  I am so far removed from surgery that the pain is a mystery.  I have taken it so easy that it would not make any sense this is still a tendon issue.  I have had many MRI’s on the surgical site and the tendon appears fine.  My theory is to run in a manner I was always accustomed to and pray that things will work itself out.  I believe I said this in a prior post but I have to put this race in God’s hands.  If I am meant to get to the start line, it will happen.  I just have to put in the miles and raise the money……..the money being by far the most important.

One last thing before I sign off.  I was able to meet the Orange County IronTeam Saturday night thanks to an invite from coach Monica Jan.  My family and I visited where they were camping out this weekend and I provided a Mission Moment.  It was nice to share my story with folks that had never heard it before.  As you would expect, it was a great group of people that are giving up their time to make a difference in this world.  To close out my talk I used a quote from Nelson Mandela which is really sticking with me on a daily basis these days.  It is included at my fundraising page:


This quote can apply to so many things in all of our lives.  How many things have you accomplished that you never thought possible?  Most of what I have done since my father’s diagnosis would have been on that list.  A cure for cancer might sound impossible but I believe we can get it done.  We can change the world………….I just need you to join me.

Christopher D. Wilno

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week Ended 04/09/17: Fundraising and Training

Note: we added a blogging feature at our website so you can see every post at We Will Find a Cure

One more week in the books.  It is freaking me out how fast it is going but such is life.  Time to kick things into high gear:

Consistent with prior weeks, I made a lot more progress on planning and behind the scenes items and prepping for what I hope will be donations.  That being said, I am grateful to have raised another $1,200 this week.  I also have some commitments for donations as well but we will not count those until they appear.  I wanted to point out here that if you read anything and want to get involved or offer grand ideas, I am very open to that.  Like I have said and will say many times again, this journey is for everyone that wants to fight back against cancer.  Perhaps it is a financial donation. Perhaps it is sharing this journey with others.  Perhaps it is an idea we can put into action.  It all helps.  here are some specific things that transpired this week:

  • Mailed hundreds of letters to friends and family that I know in real life and some that I have only met virtually over the years by sharing my story.
  • Made progress with the website. There is a lot still to do but we are getting closer.  A huge thanks to Leah Beck and Craig Harrison for all of their time to date.  
  • Received nine different shirt samples.  We just need the new logo and we will have shirts for sale and for the 5K we will hold (both live and virtual).  We also made progress on finalizing our medal.  We are upgrading the medal this year so it is going to be very nice. The same company that produces medals for Boston and for Ironman will be producing the 2017 Road2Kona medals.  Much thanks to Sam Felsenfeld of Operation Jack for the introductions to his vendors.
  •  A key member of We Will Find a Cure was in a position whereby she was getting rid of a lot of her furniture.  She offered that furniture to me so that we could find the best path to selling it.  My house is now bursting at the seems with furniture!!! All proceeds will go to this campaign.  A huge thanks to Lori and Jules Jomsky.
  • Team Hotshot offered to share my story at the blog at their website. I have been utilizing their product to deal with cramping and it has been amazing thus far. I will write a separate blog post about the product in a few weeks.  I have 2 long rides coming and I look forward to sharing the results.
I am sure there is more but that is about it for now on the fundraising.

This was a recovery week so not too much exciting to report except I survived the week with little to no pain in the ankle that has been causing me issues tied to a repaired torn posterior tibial tendon. It was good timing for a recovery week and I feel strong going into the next build phase. On Saturday, I did get some quality time with my coach, Coach Gareth Thomas of TRIO.  I had my second lab tests for the bike and it showed improvement with the level of lactose at every heart rate level.  I still have a lot of work to do but the good news is I have time.  I also spent an hour with him to evaluate my swim.  I am not very strong in the pool and he took a look.  Luckily my form is not too bad.  I just need to tweak a few things and get more time in the pool to build some strength.  We talked about having some swim heavy weeks in the near future.  

That is it for this week.  As always, if any of this inspires you join WWFAC via donation or any other means, we welcome the help!!  DONATION LINK    WWFAC WEBSITE

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week Ended 04/02/17: Fundraising and Training

Well this was a challenging week on the training front for sure.  I was able to get in most workouts but I definitely suffered in the confidence category tied to pain resurfacing in my surgically repaired ankle.  As for the totals, I trained 153 miles.  Two Swims. One Brick Workout albeit a very short run.  Two straight runs.........I had to miss one tied to the pain.  One straight trainer ride and a long 80 mile bike.  The week was going very well until midday on Wednesday.  Tuesday night I had a tough trainer ride followed by a 15 minute run.  It went very well.  I woke up early on Wednesday for a 4am 6 mile run.  This also went fine.  I experienced zero pain during the run but hours later, shooting pain developed right where my torn tendon was repaired.  It was not a consistent pain.  It would come and go but if I stepped down the wrong way, the pain was a 10 on a scale of 1-10.  It was very discouraging for sure.  I could not do a toe raise without excruciating pain which was not a great sign but I held on to hope or at least I tried to.  On Thursday, I stuck to a swim only and pushed my scheduled trainer ride to Friday morning.  I was happy that the 90 minute trainer ride only produced minimal pain if I was sitting up in the seat.  When my ankle was at its worst, I could not get out of the saddle so I, of course, tried to get out of the saddle and it did not initiate pain.  I swam again Friday night then slept on the thought of trying my long run on Saturday.  My kids had soccer and softball games so I did not have to make a decision about the run until the afternoon and that is when I chose to give it a shot.  I was extremely nervous.  My thought process was that in a worst case scenario, I just need to get off the bike in Kona with enough time to walk the course if my ankle is in a bad place.  That being said, I was prepared to walk 13 miles on Saturday.  The schedule only called for a 110 minute run but I figured I would need to cover as many miles walking as I would running.  I began the walk and a few minutes in changed the settings on my Garmin to a 1 minute run, 3 minute walk.  I gingerly started out for the first minute of run.  I was literally crawling only slightly faster than if I was walking.  I felt the pain but I tried to push through hoping it would pass.  Not to get all religious on you but at this point, I gave it all to God.  I asked him to hold me together and I just kept my 1-3 interval.  13.1 miles later I had survived.  I was definitely not 100% but I felt okay with the results.  On Sunday the big test would be a 5 hour ride and while I felt a little pain at the beginning of the ride I had no pain by the end.  As I sit here to type, I have intermittent pain but nothing too terrible and thankfully I am in the middle of a recovery week. I can handle the pain. What troubles me is the uncertainty. I never take a step with 100% confidence and that forces me to be uneasy all of the time.  All I can do is keep moving forward.  My goal is to get to the start line healthy.  If I do that and extreme circumstances do not invade my race day (10 flat tires as an example), I can get to the finish line......KNOCK ON WOOD!!

As for fundraising, I am still not pushing very hard but I did post daily on Facebook while I continued to work with friends and family to get things in order for a big push.  We raised approximately $2,000 more which is really nice.  A friend and teammate of mine from the 2006 Ironteam that went to Ironman Coeur d'Alene surprised me with a really nice donation on Sunday night.  Some folks that had never heard my story stepped up and then there were folks that have stood by my side many times that came to the rescue yet again.  I am so blessed to have crossed paths with some amazing people..........the blessings that came from my trying times.  I just sent out the first batch of letters in the mail today and as soon as I click 'publish' on this post I will continue stuffing envelopes, sending emails all while watching Gonzaga and North Carolina play some hoops. 

Chat with you next week.  If you are so inclined to make a donation and join this #Road2Kona, you can do so by clicking HERE.