Running for Research

with Dr. Robert Cardnell

Let's begin with the Why.

While there is a lot of personal satisfaction in completing a race, this year I wanted to challenge myself to not only run twice as far as my personal best, which was a half marathon, but also raise money in support of lung cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

I have been a member of the lung cancer research team, working with Lauren Byers, since June 2012, working primarily on small cell lung cancer. I have been involved in pre-clinical studies that have directly impacted the translation of drugs from the lab to the clinic, as well as biomarker studies using samples from clinical trials to validate clinical biomarkers of response.

I believe Rexanna's funding matters, as I have seen how (in the correct hands) relatively small sums of money can drive highly impactful research.

Unfortunately, while they can significantly advance personalized treatment of lung cancers, many of these studies lack funding  — this is why I am dedicating my marathon run to fundraising for the Rexanna's Foundation and their support of lung cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. All money raised from the marathon fundraiser will go to benefit Small Cell Lung Cancer Research projects supported by the Lance Bertrand Research Grant.

And on to the What.

The BCS (Baylor Scott & White) Marathon on 12/13/20 will be my first full marathon, having only completed the 2020 Houston Half-Marathon. I've always enjoyed running, ever since I ran cross-country runs as a schoolboy, but my first introduction to distance races was running the Houston Rodeo 10K as a Graduate Student at Rice University. Running 10k's was as far as I had run until I was challenged to run the half marathon, which has now led me to getting ready to run a full marathon.

Now for the How.

Follow me as I train to complete the full marathon, and learn about ways you can help raise funding and awareness for lung cancer research.

$5,000 Goal Progress


November 5, 2020

After a busy few days with a major grant proposal, just managed to squeeze in a quick 10 mile run before the park closed at sunset!

Dr. Cardnell Run route Oct 24, 2020

October 24, 2020

What type of gear do you use?

Really the only thing I change for cooler weather is what shirt I wear - a short sleeve running shirt for longer runs, sometimes a long sleeve one if it's very cold for a midweek short run.

It will probably be cold in College Station for the run, so I'll probably have some running sleeves and a beanie hat on hand - I will get too hot running that far in long sleeves.

Would you rather run in cold or hot?

Running in cooler weather is distinctly preferable! It's not just the temperature that helps though, the decreased humidity is also significantly better. There is however a limit, too cold isn't a lot of fun, especially before you start.

Have you had any injuries and are you feeling good about the race?

I've been managing an ongoing tendonitis problem in my left foot - it's quite painful at times, but "alphabet stretches" where you write out the alphabet with your toes are helping to keep it in check. Making sure that my running shoes provide enough support is also important.

I'm feeling good about the race - 20 miles last weekend was hard work, but I still had something left in the tank which bodes well! This week is a down week, only 10-12 miles planned this weekend (plus a couple of mid week runs), but then it will be back to longer runs with one 18 mile run and a 21 mile run planned over the following 3 weeks. After the 21 miles it will be shorter maintenance runs ahead of the race.

Dr. Cardnell Oct 24, 2020 run pic Dr. Cardnell Run route Oct 24, 2020

October 1, 2020

Watch the video for a quick update after a good run.

September 20, 2020

A few questions answered by Dr. Cardnell.

How do you fuel during these long runs?
I usually eat a banana (or similar) and drink some water before I run, but when actually running I carry water and a couple electrolyte gel packs.

Are you following a particular training program? If so, which one?
I'm not following a specific training plan, but I have been doing some of my longer runs with a group called Volte Endurance Training that I was introduced to by my sister (who is also marathon training), from whom I have received some advice.

Do you listen to music or silence?
When I run by myself I have take to listening to music (Queen's greatest hits are a favorite for short runs), but when I run with a group we chat as we run.

September 9, 2020

Pre-dawn running calls for additional equipment! Wasn't fast, but 15.25 miles in the bank!
September 9, Dr. Cardnell Run Map Screenshot September 9, Dr. Cardnell Run Selfie 2 September 9, Dr. Cardnell Run Selfie 1

August 24, 2020

Watch the video for a quick update after a good run.

August 9, 2020

This picture is from right before I ran the MD Anderson BeWell Virtual 5K earlier this week with my wife and one of our friends.
August 7 Hiking Trail

August 7, 2020

A week off running, but got in some hiking and kayaking at altitude as an alternative.
August 7 Hiking Trail
August 7 Kayaking August 7 Hiking

July 19, 2020

Super hot morning, but still managed to get in 9ish miles on the quiet roads.
July 19 Run Route July 6 Run Route - Selfie

July 6, 2020

Having taken a little time off following the half marathon in January, I had been in training in a "maintenance" mode mainly doing short runs. In the last month I have started to up my training, slowly increasing the length of my long runs (I'm up to 9 miles now!) at the weekends and shorter runs/sprints during the week. The goal over the summer is to work on distance, then focusing on increasing speed in the fall.
July 6 Run Route July 6 Run Route - Selfie July 6 Run Route - the trail