Sunday, December 31, 2006

The end of 2006

No running today. Resting for a New Year's 10k race tomorrow. - my first ever 10k race.

It's been 3 weeks since the marathon and I've been running probably a little too hard since then and my knees are telling me to back off a little. I'm on an 8 week schedule for the Kaiser Half Marathon on Feb 7th. 5 days a week, 35-40 miles/week and lots of speedwork (400m and 800m). Plus I've thrown in a couple 10k practice runs for fun (best time so far 46:52).

Looking back over the last 9 months I can see a lot of progress (the advantage you get of starting from zero...). I've gone from 60-70 miles/month in June/July to about 130 in December. My fast pace in April is now my easy pace.

2007 is about doing some much more structured training, and scarily I am also starting to look at what I eat! (I had promised that running was not going to start changing what/when I eat but there you go....). The focus is on half marathons for the first 6-7 months and then I need to get serious about doing a "well-under-4-hour-marathon" in Sacramento at the California International Marathon on December 3rd. Reviewing my two somewhat subpar marathons of 2006 I realise there are 2 major problems....

1) I have been running nowhere near enough miles in training to run a good marathon
2) I need to stop wimping out at the end of the race

For now though it's an easy day with the family - Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Honolulu Marathon - Race report.

Aloha from sunny Hawaii! It's Tuesday, 2 days after the marathon and it's time for my final update....

The Plan....
The plan was good, maybe even excellent! Basically I split the race into 3 parts: A steady first 10 miles in 1 hour 34 (9:24 pace), a slightly faster 10 miles in 1 hour 31 (9:06 pace) and then a fast 10k to finish in 55 minutes (8:51 pace) - total time 3:59:59 (9:09 pace).

The First 10 Miles.....
After a long & restless night the alarm went off at 2:30am. Got down to the start about 3:45 and lined up for the restroom for 25 minutes (25,000 people, 200 restrooms - you do the math). Spent 45 minutes sneakily edging my way to the front of the 2-3 hour section along with everyone else who had absolutely no chance of achieving that time. At 5am we set off under a huge firework display. Not sure how smart that is as 25,000 people start running thru dowtown in the dark and no-one is looking where they are going because they are all staring at the fireworks - saw a few people trip over curbs etc but I managed to avoid most of the mess. After a mile I was running on pace, and in the clear, but was already drenched in sweat, so I knew this was going to be a rough race. Things go well except for the pit stop behind a bush in downtown Honolulu at mile 2...(that cost me 30 seconds, but it was worth it), and at mile 8 we get to Diamond Head. It's not too bad and I keep on pace as we go over the hill for the first time. As I cross the 10 mile marker at the bottom I'm at 1:34, right on pace and feeling really good.

The Second 10 Miles...
At mile 11 we hit the highway for a boring 4 mile stretch . On the left it's miles 11-15, on the right it's miles 18-22. We get to see the elite athletes and the wheelchair racers zip by, barely sweating and looking very relaxed. It's always cool to see them go by but it's a little humbling to think that they are going at about a 5 minute pace. The highway stretch is into a reasonably strong headwind and it's tough. I look around for someone big to follow and realize I'm probably the tallest person in the race. Slogging on thru the wind I cross the halfway point at 2:03:20 (74 seconds behind plan). Then the sun came up and we move from hot and humid, to hotter and humider. At mile 15 we thankfully leave the highway, and the headwind and loop around the neighborhood for a few miles. At mile 18 we get back on the highway and this time I'm the fast guy passing the slower people coming out on the other side. However, what should have been a tailwind still seemed to be a headwind and it's now about 120 degrees. But I keep going and cross the 20 mile mark at 3:07:55, which was 2:59 behind pace. The wind and heat had really slowed me and I was feeling pretty tired with 6.2 miles (10k to go).

The Final 10k....
This is the final stretch - you reach this point after a 20 mile warmup run feeling fresh and ready to kick it into gear for the final 10k. Nice theory. Doing the math in my head I realized that to hit 4 hours I needed to run a 52 minute 10k, including going over Diamond Head. They say that great racers have the ability to change their race strategy on the fly to account for raceday conditions. I'm certainly no great racer but I sure as hell knew that I wasn't going to be turning in a 52 minute 10k right then, so I switched to plan B. Unfortunately there really wasn't a plan B so the "Marathon Voices" started whispering..... "it's hot, you can walk, you can't beat 4 hours so why are you still running., take a quick break, slow down....". I am determined to fight the urge to walk and remain strong and try to hold to a 9:30 pace which would get me in about 4:05. This goes on for a while getting worse and worse as the voices get louder and louder. Eventually, after about 150 yards the voices win and I'm taking a walk break, but just a quick one. Of course, that's the time I see my marathon coach, who is patrolling miles 20-22 helping all the AidsMarathon runners. Our program is a run/walk program, meaning you run for 5-6 minutes, then walk for a minute. I hate the walk part so I always skip that, so she is surprised to see me walking. She asks me what run/walk ratio I'm on and I tell her it's the run 20 miles, walk 6 miles plan! At this point I'm seriously considering walking the last 6 but I was also looking around for a bus. I walk for about 2-3 miles, only running when I pass a camera, and then get bored of it and start running again. By then I'm about 25 minutes behind plan but manage to get going again. I cover the last 3 miles at about a 9 mile pace, including up and over Diamond Head. I finish feeling OK, at 4:26:11 a good minute per mile behind the planned pace, but I managed to smile for the cameras and pass a few people on the home stretch. The rest of my running pace group comes in between 4:41 and 5:23 so it wasn't just me finding it tough. Even the winner was 8 minutes behind the world record, and he didn't have to run in the sun!

The Conclusions....
26.2 miles is a long way.
I beat Oprah twice, not once.
I got beaten by a 10 year old girl.
I crushed the 7 year old girl by almost 2 hours.
Nobody over 77 years old beat me.
Hawaii is hot, and it gets worse when the sun comes up.
I was the top AidsMarathon fundraiser in the country, raising over $17,000
I'm now a runner.

thanks for your support - Alan

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Honolulu Marathon - Final Countdown!

I can't believe it, but it's finally time for the big race! It's next Sunday, December 10th, starting at 5am Hawaii time. Weather forecast is 73 at the start climbing to 82 with 70% humidity. A little change from my run yesterday morning at 34 degrees....

It will have been 6 weeks since I ran a marathon in San Jose, and at the end of that race I swore that I wouldn't run fast in Hawaii. That lasted all of a day, and then I started looking for some training advice for people dumb enough to do 2 marathons, 6 weeks apart. Most of the advice was along the lines of "Don't do it, it's a dumb idea" but I miraculously found a training plan from a reputable running coach designed exactly for people silly enough to be doing this. It's been much more intense than my previous training, including 400 meter sprints, hillwork and 5 days running a week. I've been running 35-40 miles for the last 4 weeks and I'm feeling great. I've run in the dark, the cold, the rain, when I'm sick and even on my birthday. I have one 8 miler left tomorrow and then it's a few 2-4 milers before I line up to race, in theory better prepared than I was 6 weeks before.

My goal for Hawaii is to beat 4 hours (average 9:09/mile), which should be possible given the training. Of course, the heat, humidity and 35,000 other people could mess things up, and I'll be sure to blame all of them if I fail miserably. But I have a cunning strategy - to avoid getting bogged down by the crowds I plan to start with the guys who will run it in 3 hours. That'll mean lining up about 4am and trying to look like a serious runner for an hour, talking about technical things like "glycogen and negative splits", and then, at the gun, I'll try to avoid getting trampled to death by the 7 minute milers as I trot off on my 9 minute miles. The alternative is to start with the 4 hour gang but then I will have to run over all the people dressed as Santa Claus and Darth Vader, and the crazy Japanese families who have decided that dragging their 10 year old kids through a marathon in homemade flip-flops will be a good bonding experience. I have no real strategy for the heat other than hoping for rain. Bottomline is that I have no idea what to expect but I know that I'm going to enjoy a nice beer or 5 at the end.

So, many people have asked "What happens after the race - Will you keep running, or return to the couch from whence you came?". Well I have to admit, I am hooked on this running thing. I love the measured improvement that you see from following a structured training plan. I love the time alone being able to just think about stuff. But mostly I love all the cool gadgets and gizmos that I am allowed to buy. I am probably being a little too organized/analytical but I have already worked out my running plan for 2007. The plan is to focus on half marathons thru July (I have 5 planned), with a goal of getting down to one hour thirty-something (i.e. 1:39:59). This is only 11-12 minutes improvement over my best half, which doesn't sound like much, but it means running at a 7:38 pace. Once I've achieved (or failed completely to achieve) that, I turn my attention back to the full marathon. I am going to run the California International Marathon in Sacramento early December, with a goal of under 3:45. This is a course that is conveniently downhill the whole way so that should be good for a few minutes. Of course, by February I could be bored of it all, in which case you should look out for my "Amazing News - Alan to climb Everest!" email....

Thanks to everyone for their support, encouragement, advice (well, some of it anyway) and generosity over the last 6 months - I've been amazed at the response to this whole thing, it's certainly changed my life. - Alan

Monday, October 30, 2006

Quick Post Marathon Update....

The race (The Silicon Valley Marathon) on Sunday was good. I finished a full 26.2 mile marathon in 4 hours 10 minutes. Although this was a little slower than my stretch goal of 4 hours, it beat Oprah (4:29) and P. Diddy (4:14) so I am very happy with that for my first ever marathon.

The first 18 miles were great - I was ahead of pace for the 4 hour time. By mile 20 the 4 hour pace group had caught me and I hung with them for 15 minutes or so until it started to feel bad and I had to let them go (I really could have used a couple of 20+ training runs before racing this). Then I had 3 really tough miles on my own with very few people around. It was pretty demoralising to watch the pace group creep away into the distance as I was plodding along.

By about 24 I was feeling better (as it was only 2 miles home) and kicked it in again, but by then I had lost enough time that there was no way I could hit 4 hours. As I got to the home stretch, Liz and the kids were waiting for me and Nick (5) and Anna (4) ran the last 100 yards down the finishers chute with me, which was awesome. All in all, it was a very rewarding run.

I can now run Honolulu (which is in 6 weeks) with no pressure on time etc. - if it's good, great - if it's slow, no problem. thanks, Alan

Friday, October 27, 2006

Marathon Update - 6 Months into Training

6 months down, 6 weeks to go. $15,285 raised, 499 miles run, 299 miles biked and 0.1 mile swimming.

A few weeks ago I raced a half marathon in San Jose. The main goal was to see if I could do a race without getting carried away running too fast with the crowd. My plan was for a fairly steady 1 hour 53. After a reasonably constant pace 12 miles and a fast last mile I finished in 1:51. That was an 8:34 pace for 13.1 miles. I was very happy with that. Legs weren't too bad after but I definitely wasn't running too much the next few days. Popular belief is if you double your 1/2 marathon time and add about 15 minutes you get your marathon goal (assuming you've trained for it). So I should be able to do 3:57. I feel that at this point I could just declare victory over Oprah and get back to my normal life. With a little extra effort maybe I can even catch Roger Craig (3:54) - our fabulous president may be a little far off at 3:44:52.

But this isn't about "paper victories", it's about grinding out the miles in the blazing heat, so tomorrow I'm running a full marathon! I am supposed to be doing a 23 mile training run in Golden Gate Park, but the Silicon Valley marathon is this Sunday in San Jose. There's not much difference between 23 and 26 miles (Ask me about that at mile 23 if you are around....). But the real difference is going to be the pace. Our long training runs are meant to be SSLLLOOOOWWWWWW at 11:30-12:30 pace. Through some warped & extremely dubious logic, I have decided that this race will be an easier one than Hawaii (less people, less humidity and less hills). If I do this one fast, beat Oprah, & declare victory I can take it easy in Honolulu instead of having to fight my way through 35,000 Japanese runners.I would have liked to get a couple more long runs in (I've done 16, 19 and 20s) and spending the week walking/standing at Oracle OpenWorld wasn't exactly a good way to rest but I feel pretty good so I'm going to give it a try. I'm going to start on pace (9:00) and see how it feels every 5 miles. If it's good, I'll keep going. If anything feels off, I'll slow it down to 10:30ish and take it easy for the run. If all goes well I'll do just under 4 hours.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Marathon Training - 5 month update

5 months ago I started on this running thing and I couldn't run for 3 miles without having to stop. This morning I ran 16 miles, with the first 13.1 (a half marathon) going by in 2 hours 1 minute (9:15/mile).

I decided to skip the group 16 mile run and try to see if I could run the first half of a 4 hour marathon. The good news is that I made it, the bad news is that the last 3 miles were pretty ugly (10-11 minute miles) and I certainly wouldn't have enjoyed the next 10 miles. But all in all, a good morning - my first race pace long run!Another first was an ice bath - absolutely zero fun.

Progress over the last 6 weeks has been steady - I feel I can actually run now. We've done 12, 14 and 16 mile long runs, I've done some fast (well, fast for me) shorter runs (1 mile in 6:55, 3 miles in 23:33 and 5 miles in 40:43) and I've done some longish hill runs (3 miles up, 3 miles down). In total I'm up to 362 miles running and 273 miles biking - my swimming seems to have plateau'd at 0.1 miles.

Health-wise things are good. I've been doing some physio for my knees the last 3 weeks and it's really helping. Basically, doing no exercise for 15 years, having no leg muscles and then just starting to run 20-30 miles a week is a bad idea. Doesn't matter who you are, you will get knee problems. And there I was, hoping to have been blessed with some unique physiology that exempted me from these rules. So lots of stretching and weights twice a week is the prescription.

The next 6 weeks should get interesting. We have 18, 20 and 23 mile long runs, plus I'm going to race the San Jose Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon on October 8th. My goal for that is 1 hour 52 (which is apparently the time a 4 hour marathoner should be able to achieve), so I need to pick up the pace by about 30s/mile over today's run. Another 4 weeks of training should get me close, and race day adrenaline will have to do the rest.I've now got a lot of data, charts and statistics on all my runs. I can definitely see the improvement and I've created a whole bunch of scientifically questionable efficiency formulae that prove just what a great job I'm doing. Although I must admit it reminds me a little of all the stock charts I had in 1999/2000 that comfortably predicted I'd be living on a beach in Hawaii by now.

I have found several more respected resources that have marathon prediction formulae based on times of shorter runs. According to them I should be able to do a 4 hour marathon. But that still doesn't deal with the humidity problem - which should cost me about 30-45seconds/mile. If I can do a 4 hour non-humid marathon, adding 45sec/mile for humidity puts me in at about 4 hours 19. So, according to the data I should be able to beat Oprah. I'm still waiting to see if I can do the San Jose half marathon in 1:52, if I can I'll be a little more confident.

On the fund raising front things have slowed down as much as my swimming. I am still waiting for Oracle to come through with some matching donations but even after those I'm probably still $2,000 short of my target. So, if you've been saying "Hey, I should sponsor Alan - he's running all those miles and it's for a good cause", but just haven't gotten to it, now is a good time! It's easy, online and secure etc.
Just follow this link...
And remember, if you work for Oracle, Company Match requests can be made here -
Organization = San Francisco Aids Foundation (ID = 0004936),
Purpose = Runner Alan Fletcher,
RunnerID = SF-4071.

thanks for your support, Alan

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Marathon Training Update - 4 months and counting.....

It's been a couple month since the last update, so here goes......

First, the important stuff. Despite the significant side benefit of everyone getting to make fun of my attempts to get into shape, the real reason for all of this is to raise money for the San Francisco Aids Foundation. People have been very generous so far, and to all who have donated, thank you very much! I have already passed the minimum required donation amount but I am still slightly short of my "original personal goal", and a long way from my "adjusted personal goal" of $15,000. There is an intermediate fundraising milestone approaching on August 2nd, so if you've been thinking about making a contribution, now would be a great time. No amount is too small, of course, no amount is too large. And remember, if you work for Oracle there is an easy donation matching program available.

Secure online donations can be made here -
Oracle Matching can be made here -
Organization = San Francisco Aids Foundation (ID = 0004936),
Purpose = Runner Alan Fletcher,
RunnerID = SF-4071.

OK, so now that you've made your generous donation, onto the fun stuff.....
It's been 4 months and I've run 235 miles, biked 164 miles and swam a staggering 0.1 mile. I am hoping that the swimming piece isn't the important part! Obviously a triathlon is not in my future, plus I've heard that a "gentlemanly-breast-stroke-without-getting-your-hair-wet" is not the the typical swimming style of an ironman.

I'm still running 3-4 times a week and biking once. I even ran in Vegas, which was not a good idea - Too much sun, not enough sleep, too much beer...... not pretty. But as they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

The last 2 months have been part of the "official training program". This is a gentle, beginners program, based on the training philosophies of Jeff Galloway, who has apparently run 100's of marathons. It seems to have a goal of getting you to the startline uninjured and with enough endurance to finish. No focus on finishing quickly or anything like that.

Our first meeting was a timed 3 mile run, to be completed at a comfortable pace, to determine your pace group. "Comfortable pace" is not exactly specific, so most of us interpreted it as "run as fast as you can without collapsing". The guidance was that you should be able to carry on a conversation without huffing and puffing. Off we go, casual banter for the first 200 yards, then it gets less and less. By the second mile, no-one's talking much, people are panting. By the end most of us have run 3 miles quicker than ever before, but everyone fakes a grin as they cross the line and the coach falls for it. Mission accomplished - we are all now in a training group that will be too fast for us to sustain! I'll deal with that problem later....

They then add 90 seconds to your pace, and that is your training pace. I'm in a group of 8 with a target pace of 10:30. A marathon at that pace would be 4 hours 36 minutes..... 7 minutes slower than my nemesis, Oprah Winfrey. And just for fun, they then throw in walk breaks - 1 minute walking for every 6 minutes running. At that rate I'll never finish. Apparently, on "race day" it all clicks and you can run faster than your training pace (despite the humidity, heat, and the 35,000 other people in the way). So I haven't (yet) dropped my ill-advised and improbable 4 hour target. (If anyone has a good idea how I can get rid of that goal without huge loss of face, please email me privately...)

We ran 9 miles yesterday, and it was a blistering 96 degrees, plus they added some hills for the first time. We ran at about 10 minute miles, and with the walk breaks averaged around 10:30. Not too bad. A few people are beginning to feel the distance and struggle in the heat but I'm still OK at this point. I must admit that I was a little hot at the end so came home and jumped in the pool. We have an old thermostat which is on the fritz, so the pool was 95 degrees. Not refreshing at all. Over the next few months we run the miles up, all the way to 26 in November.

One thing I am proud of is the huge growth in the number of GPS watches in our whole group. First week I was the envy of everyone with my new toy. Now there must be at least 50 of them. They are all beeping and chirping all the time, no-one really knows how to use them but Garmin must be very happy. I should be on commission.

On the health side it's all good except for my knees. Just had my regular checkup and my weight is down, heart rate is down, blood pressure is down, cholesterol is down, and I'm taller! (OK , so I made up one of those). All of my research indicates that knee replacement is far easier than heart replacement so I'm gonna keep going. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that my knees are going to hurt after I run, and given that I'm running all the time, they hurt all the time. I've been told that chicken stock helps but I'm dubious.

At some point I will need to get some leg muscles so my ligaments can stop doing the job that my muscles should be doing. I've been back to the knee doctor and he told me this is a common problem with senior athletes....That's about it for my saga.

Thanks again for your support - Alan

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Two Month Training Update

Quite a few people have asked me about how my marathon endeavor is progressing so here's an update on the first 2 months of slogging my way around the streets of Los Altos.....

The "official training program" kicks off next week but I decided that given my incredibly low level of fitness it would be a good idea to get some pre-training training done in advance, with the hope of not being the slowest person in the group.

So on April 2nd, in my gleamingly white new shoes, I set off to run for 3 miles. It wasn't what I would call graceful, in fact it was downright ugly, but I did it without throwing up which was my primary objective. 3 days later I ran another 3 miles: a little better that time, but my knees didn't feel great. Another 3 days later I ran 5 miles (no-one has ever told me that I'm patient). After that my knees complained violently and 3 days later my run was more of a walk. I decided to take a week off and see if they got with the program. They didn't.

So I went to the sports clinic in Palo Alto who told me I had "Jumper's Knee". Usually caused by overuse, running/jumping on hard/uneven surfaces, weak leg muscles, poor stretching, or cheap shoes. OK, so I was guilty of 4 out of 5 . Up next was 10 days without running, plenty of ice/ibuprofen and lots of stretching exercises.

At the end of April I started again, with 4 miles on soft surfaces - and it was OK. So I started running 4-5 times a week and upped the miles on Saturdays to a maximum of 10 (which was OK but I wouldn't have wanted to keep going for another 16.2). I'm now running 25-30 miles a week and biking about 20 - I even ran on vacation and in the rain. I'm getting faster (but I started really slow....) and am able to run at increasingly lower heart rates, which is all good.

The jumper's knee is just about gone but now I have a little bit of "Runner's Knee". I'm encouraged that at least I now have an injury related to the correct sport. Less encouraging is some information from the web that runner's knee is very common among 10-20 year old girls. So I guess I'm now running like a teenage girl.

I'm definitely running faster than "they" recommend for new runners, and I'm ramping the miles more quickly than I should, which probably explains the injuries. However, I believe that if you want to be good at something you need to do it as much and as fast as you can and you'll get better. (I expect some different opinions during the official training program....)

I have tons of data and analysis of each run (thanks to my GPS watch) and can see the improvement as I train more. If I continue to progress like I have so far I should be able to finish this thing. However, my initial goal (based on zero real data) of doing the marathon in 4 hours looks to be quite challenging. That means doing it all at 9 minute 10 second miles. I can do a couple at 9 minutes but my best "long" run to date was about 6.2 miles and that was at a pace that would have me finishing in 4:14 (a pace of 9:40). So I just need to take 30 seconds off each mile and be able to keep going for an extra 20 miles, plus deal with the heat of hawaii and running up/down hills.

We'll see how it goes, but after 2 months of this I'm now really impressed that Oprah Winfrey ran a marathon in 4:28.

On the fundraising side things are going much better. I'm way past the minimum required, so that means I have to run this thing now. I'm not yet at my goal of $10,000 but I'm getting there.

Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far. For those that still want to donate you can do this securely online here....

If this update has inexplicably left you wanting more information about my runs, you can see all the grisly details of my exploits at the following very cool (but usually mind numbingly slow) website

And finally, if you like gadgets, and are looking for something to waste some money on, I'd really recommend the GPS/heart monitor I use
thanks, Alan

Sunday, April 2, 2006

NEWSFLASH... Alan Fletcher to Run Marathon!

This may surprise you (especially if you've ever been drinking with me), but I have decided to run a marathon.

I recently had an epiphany in Roundtable Pizza. As I was gorging myself on a triple-meat-deep-dish pizza and several beers, I spotted an AIDS Marathon brochure lurking next to the ranch dressing. Having just turned 40 (and having recently seen my older brother), I have the feeling that my metabolism will soon start struggling to keep up with my intake of calories. So I decided this was the the time to get in shape.

Not being one to do anything half assed, I thought a full marathon would be a good place to start. After all, it's just running, how hard can it be? (left, right, repeat as necessary). I did a little of that in high school, I went skiing a couple dozen times 5 or 6 years ago so I should be fine. And if Oprah can do it, I can do it. So I filled in the form and went back to my pizza.

Two weeks later I went out to get the most technologically advanced shoes, microfiber clothing and GPS enabled heart monitor yet devised. Before even taking a step I feel much better prepared to complete the journey, and although no-one has mentioned anything I think I may have lost some weight.

Of course, it's not just any marathon, I luckily found one in Hawaii and I'm always looking for an excuse to go there. The Honolulu Marathon will take place on December 10, 2006 and my training lasts from June to December during which I'll run over 500 miles.

Now this isn't just about me, this is to raise money to help the San Francisco AIDS Foundation provide HIV services and prevention programs in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. A portion of the funds will also support treatment access in the developing world.

More than one million Americans, and 40 million others around the world, are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. With more than 20 million deaths so far, AIDS is now the leading cause of death among all people aged 15 to 59 worldwide.

To help this cause, I have made a personal commitment to raise at least $3,000 before August 25 2006, and I hope to raise even more. Any contribution you can make would mean a great deal to me. Contributions are usually tax-deductible (so part of this will be coming from Mr. Bush or Mr. Blair....)

You can donate easily, and securely, online at this site
Please note than many companies have charitable donation matching programs so please check with your HR/benefits department.

Thanks for your generous support.Alan Fletcher
P.S. Please feel free to forward this to any rich, generous people that you may know