#106 – Founder of Project Purple and runner, Dino Verrelli, talks about how running positively impacted his life, how he developed fundraisers that incorporate running to help pancreatic cancer patients worldwide, and how you can benefit by supporting a good cause.
How does Project Purple help families of those battling pancreatic cancer and fund research
How can running be a positive outlet and therapeutic experience
How can anyone experience the same thrill of running a marathon as elite athletes
Dino Verrelli is the founder of Project Purple, which is an impact-driven organization with a vision of a world without pancreatic cancer. Dino’s father, Giovanni, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008 and lost his battle in 2011. Dino promised his father before he passed that he will never give up on defeating pancreatic cancer! Dino is a runner, CrossFitter, and all things pancreatic cancer.
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Richard Conner: [00:00:00] Hey, my friend. Back in 2016, I lost my mother-in-law to pancreatic cancer. And that city is world pancreatic cancer day. I’d like to share a replay of episode 71, which is an inspiring conversation that I had with the founder of project purple. Which is a pancreatic cancer awareness organization. Hope you enjoy. It your dream or goal to run one of the major marathons? Do you want to help others, especially those facing a cancer diagnosis? Well, in this conversation, we’re going to talk about how you could do both of those things. Today, we’re going to talk to Dino Verrelli, and I’m going to share a little bit about my experience losing my mother in law to pancreatic cancer.
And Dino is going to share his story as well, including why he started Project Purple. And the great work that they’re doing to help cancer patients and their families. And we’ll also talk about mindset as it relates to running, whether you’re a new runner or seasoned runner, especially as you’re [00:01:00] thinking about doing your first or your next marathon, hope you enjoy.
Welcome to inspire
Intro: to run podcast. Here, you will find inspiration with you are looking to take control of your health and fitness, or seasoned runner looking for community and some extra motivation. You will hear inspiring stories from amazing runners along with helpful tips from fitness experts. Now here’s your host, Richard Connor.
Richard Conner: Hi everyone. Welcome to inspire to run podcast today. I’m here with Dino Varelli, who is the founder of project purple, which is an impact driven organization with a vision of a world without pancreatic cancer. Dino’s father Giovanni was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008. and lost his battle in 2011.
Dino promised his father before he passed that he would never give up on defeating pancreatic cancer. Dino is a runner, crossfitter, and all things pancreatic cancer. [00:02:00] Welcome to the show, Dino. Thank
Dino Verrelli: you for having me, Richard. It’s a pleasure. Well,
Richard Conner: the pleasure is all mine. And you know, for our listeners, do you know, and I met, I think it was sometime last year, as our listeners may know, I had an experience with pancreatic cancer where I lost my mom back in 2016.
Ever since then, I’ve been volunteering and supporting and raising awareness for pancreatic cancer. Do you and I connected and I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with him on his podcast, which I’m sure we’ll talk about a little bit later. And here we are hearing his story. And yeah. All things he’s doing with Project Purple, as well as his running journey.
So super excited to have you Dino. And, you know, maybe we’ll just kind of get things kicked off and you can share a little bit about yourself and your background.
Dino Verrelli: Uh, thank you, Richard. Yeah. Uh, I’m the founder of Project Purple. Uh, we are an endurance based charity. Uh, we’re a national charity. I like to say worldwide charity because we, we bring teams to the Berlin Marathon and the London Marathon.
So that makes us kind of global. Uh, we also are doing an adventure to Italy this [00:03:00] year. So, uh, we’ve quickly expanded over the last 12 years, uh, 13 years old. So, um, but I like to use the term endurance and, you know, um, in your introduction, you know, you mentioned, you know, Project Purple was inspired by my dad’s journey with pancreatic cancer and the journey we went on as a family, uh, to help other people.
And, and during that time, I was never a runner. I didn’t consider myself a runner and kind of funny, uh, I don’t know if I consider myself a runner now, you know, I don’t know everyone’s everyone’s definition of runner is different. Right? And people say, hey, you run those marathons. I go. Well, I don’t run that fast.
It’s like a jog us a fast jog. Right? Like, so is that a runner? Are you considered a runner? If you’re fast jogging or speed walking a marathon, you know, so, um, yeah. You know, I just, I found running. It was so positive to me. Um, it really became such a positive outlet for me during that time. And that time for my life was a lot different.
You know, I had a dad battling a terminal [00:04:00] cancer. I had two young boys under five with my wife, you know, trying to figure that whole parenthood thing out with like twins. And then, um, I was running my own financial services business. I was actually in the insurance brokerage business. And I was the CEO of that company at five employees.
So life was just crazy across the board and running became so positive for me. And I think just being an entrepreneur, I found a space in this space of pancreatic cancer to give back running to the community in a positive way to become a positive outlet. And I guess the rest is history. And we literally from day one were figuratively and literally running, you know, to help find a cure to help families.
And that’s really kind of been the big thing for us here at Project Purple. Naturally. Now we do a lot of other things from traditional fundraising to, you know, other types of endurance. Mud runs, uh, CrossFit, fitness, golf. Uh, we even have a [00:05:00] pizza eating contest coming up, which has nothing to do with fitness.
You know, but it raises a lot of awareness and such. So, it’s just pretty wild, the journey we’ve been on. But, I’ve been on, I should say, Richard. But, when I look back at it, running is such a core to that. And, you know, running is not only a core for the foundation. Uh, on how we got started, how we raised the majority of our money still through our marathon teams, through some of the five K’s we do regionally through our virtual events, which are also endurance based.
And a lot of them have running built into them, but also me as a person, you know, as, as I’ve changed over the last 12 years, you know, just from my running and what I’ve done personally through that. So, running is really like a core thing for me. You and I could probably joke about this, right? Like, I don’t know.
For me, I think runners, I think of like, wow, Meb Keflezighi, uh, Molly Huddle, you [00:06:00] know, they’re running those marathons, right? They’re winning those marathons. They’re winning those… They’re running. My pace, I don’t know if I’d consider it running, you know? I don’t know.
Richard Conner: I could certainly relate to that. And it’s funny because I just ran a race on Super Bowl Sunday, so just a couple of weeks ago, and I felt pretty good about the race, and I felt pretty good about my time.
And I had a work colleague who ended up running the race as well. When I finished and when he finished worked two totally different times, he got first in his age group. And the way we looked when we were done was completely different. He was dripping wet, like super spent from the race. And I’m like, kind of jogging in, you know, at Richard’s pace.
So I totally can relate to that, but you know what, one of the sayings that I’ve seen quite often. And I love is if you run, you’re a runner. So, you know, regardless of what your pace is, and that’s what we try to encourage, you know, the community, because I think there’s such emotion centered around running.
And I’d love to understand and discover why, because folks who do not run, look at [00:07:00] it and may say, I’m not a runner or I can’t do that. And. Anybody can really do it. Anybody can be a runner. So it’s super interesting that you say that, but I just want to leave that, you know, for the listeners, like if you run your
Dino Verrelli: runner, yeah, it’s a, it’s a great point.
And, you know, I think that’s something that I saw early on in my first marathon experience at the Boston marathon in 2012. I was long story, but I’m going to make it really short. I was really blessed. I got a number 7 days before the race. never had run past 13 miles. Um, and so I asked my wife, she’s like, Hey, she’s from Massachusetts.
She’s like, it’s the Boston marathon. You got to do it. Cause I was like, this is kind of crazy. Like, you know, I, there’s no way in seven days I’m going to get to marathon training. So I knew it was going to suck going in, you know, uh, that helped me mentally prepare for it. I started very way at the back, and this was before, like, you know, I’d watched the New York City Marathon, uh, you know, Meb Kofleski went in the New York City Marathon a couple years before, so, you know, I wasn’t [00:08:00] naive to the marathon distance, but just never had done it.
Right? And it never really had been a big marathon. So being at the back of that year, the Boston Marathon. It was wild because I remember looking over and there was a guy who was blind. He was probably about 6’5 about 260 pounds. Now I’m 6’1 probably like 200, flat. This guy was big. But he was beating me in the start.
Like he was, he was going out there fast. And he had a guide with him, right? They have like a tether and the guide’s telling him, you know, be careful, pothole, you know, this, that, right, left. And I was like, That’s when the lightbulb went off for me. Like, oh my God, like anyone can do this. And then, you know, being at the back of the Boston Marathon, it’s all the charity runners, right?
And these people get spots, but you get people from all walks. You get people that are, you know, again, I think people think like runners are, you know, these compact muscular bodies, um, anyone can do it, right? Like to your point, like, so anyone can [00:09:00] do it. And that’s when the lightbulb for me went off was like.
Wow, man, this is like so awesome. That day sucked. Um, there, there was no doubt about it. I mean, 2012, I think might be still on record, the hottest Boston marathon ever in the history of the Boston marathon. So not only did I have to deal with that. But I never ran past 14 miles or 13 miles ever in my life until that day.
So, uh, every mile after, you know, 13 was like a PR for me and a personal best. And I remember I finished the race in like 5 hours and like, I don’t know, 5 and a half 5, 4 year sign, but I was like. Like, I won the race, man. Like, I was like, this is so freaking awesome. Right? But I was in so much pain. Um, but I was like, okay, let’s do this again.
Like, let’s sign me up next year for this one again. And I’m going to train for it. Right? Um, so yeah, running is just so I think it’s 1 thing that, you know, when we look at sports, like, if you compare [00:10:00] running to like football, basketball, baseball, even golf, right? And golf has kind of like the running aspect to it because anyone can play golf.
Um, and I’m not saying like people can’t play those other sports, but to have the same feeling, I think that a Mebka Flesky has or a Molly Huddle has, and those are two people that I’ll probably say a lot because they’re like idols for me, but to have that same feeling in Boston or in New York or whatever 5K or half marathon that those people get.
Everyone gets as well, not necessarily winning the race, but actually doing the event with the crowds with the same experience. It’s just really cool. And that’s the other thing that I think running. I hope people realize that, like, you’re on that same stage with those people. Like, it’s wild. Like, you can’t like, we can’t go play basketball.
Like, The Knicks are playing tonight. We can’t go out on the court and shoot free throws, right? That doesn’t happen, right? Uh, you know, the jets are playing or the [00:11:00] giants are playing. You can’t go down in the field and, you know, throw a TD pass to your buddy in the, in the end zone. If you run in one of these races, you can, you can cross the same finish line as these greats do.
And run the same
Richard Conner: course. For sure. For sure. And you know, what I’d love to do is learn a little bit about like how you got here, because again, you mentioned you were not a runner. So it was super interesting to hear that not only did you get into running, you incorporated that as one of the main activities for project purple.
So for you personally, what was that driver motivating for us for you to choose running and then why running for project purple? Yeah. So,
Dino Verrelli: uh, great question. The first one was, uh. My first answer, like how I got into it. So I would go to the gym, uh, even before my dad got sick. I was like a four, four o’clock crew guy.
So I’d show up at the gym, you know, leave at my house at four, get there for 430, you know, right when the gym would open. And I had this, we had the same crew, like the workout crew, women and men. [00:12:00] And I think just one day, like right around the time my dad was battling the gym, we had had a basketball court.
So some days we’d mix it up other than just lifting weights. Um, we’re doing like, I think at that time now, I’m really going to kind of age myself a little bit here because I think like, I think P 90 X was like, getting really hot. So they had like a studio where we’d go in and do like the P 90 X workouts before, like.
Yeah. I think functional fitness and crossfit kind of really took off of doing those types of workouts. You know, the classes were pretty structured and pretty strict. Like, it was a boot camp class, or it was just like weights. But so we were doing like, we would do all these variety of workouts and I think someone in the group was like, Hey.
Let’s incorporate like cardio. And so we just started like running a mile, like one mile became like one mile. And it was right when the time when my dad got diagnosed, it was kind of like a perfect storm in a bit. And it was just so therapeutic for me. [00:13:00] Like, I went out, I remember that first run, we were out running, I live in the suburbs, there’s like no street lights, there’s the moon, and we’re like dodging like skunks and raccoons early in the morning, right?
Especially if it’s garbage day. And, you know, that’s what you’re seeing out there, and it was just so crystal clear to me. Like, anything that I, I, like, my thoughts, my problems, it just was so, so positive. And then… You know, you know, the idea for Project Purple and how I got into that and why running the first piece was because it was so good to me and I realized like, hey, I want to give this back and initially this group that we were running together, they knew what was going on with my dad and I think someone was like, hey, let’s just do a five K and we’ll give it back to the hospital where your dad is doing.
That’s a cool idea. And I was like, yeah, but you know, I don’t know how much impact that really makes. And again, I think I was [00:14:00] thinking just bigger, um, being, I consider myself an entrepreneur and I was like, all right, like, if we do the 5k, like, does that help enough people? And I just felt like, you know, I think we can do something here to have a greater impact to help people locally, nationally.
Like, I’m a big dreamer, um, big idea guy. And so I was just like, you know what, what about this? And they were like. That’s kind of crazy, but okay, I’ll go along for the ride. And the rest is history as they
Richard Conner: say, I guess. That’s awesome. I really love that. And so first off, kind of going back to why you got into it.
I’d love to bottle that up and share it with others who, again, may not think they could run or maybe don’t remember what it was like to run. And you know, that serenity and tranquility that you get from running and the peace you get from it. It’s your time. Right. And I, I love that you said that and you just got into it as part of your, your workout crew.
And that’s how some folks get into it. They’re [00:15:00] invited by someone to run a 5k or come to the gym. And that’s their way of getting into it. But also what you’re doing in project purple, what I’ve learned through many conversations is that some people get into running through these types of. It’s they know someone, whether it’s a family member or a friend who is going through something or battling something, and this is a way to raise money and support them and support the cause.
So love what you’re doing, you know, personally in terms of running and fitness as well as with project purple. Thank
Dino Verrelli: you.
Richard Conner: So let, you know, let’s talk a little bit about how does this work for, for project purple? If someone wants to get involved and run and support. How does that work and how does it benefit, you know, the organization, how does it benefit the, the other cancer organizations or whomever you’re supporting through that as well as the runners?
Like, how does that work?
Dino Verrelli: Yeah, so we have a full turnkey program. So, um, you know, we have [00:16:00] a couple of really strategic relationships with marathons. Um, we are official marathon charity partner of 4 out of the 6 world major marathons. You know, there’s 6 world major marathons in the world. Uh, we’re official cherry partners in New York.
London, Chicago, and Berlin. So we provide access to those races via the charity platform. All the races have different sorts of fundraising minimums. I always say our job is to provide access to those races and give our participants an amazing experience from start to finish. And what that involves is training, uh, making sure that our runners are trained.
So like people listening like that, you know, have never run one of these marathons before, never run a marathon before. Might be a little intimidated, but we provide that training and we have a coach on staff that works individually with our runners and, you know, designs, tailored programs for them based on their goals.
Everyone’s goal is going to be different. Some people just want to finish. Some people want to qualify for other [00:17:00] races or finish in certain times. So that can all be accommodated. But then also the bigger piece too, which I think sometimes maybe scares people away is the fundraising piece. You know, we’ve been doing this for 13 years.
We’re a multi million dollar organization. We’ve raised a lot of money since inception. I always say our job is to teach people how to fundraise, you know, how to make that proper ask. And clearly with social media and technology, like Strategies have evolved, but I’ll dial this really down. Richard is it’s the most important, most impactful piece of fundraising.
Probably the most important piece is that person’s why and why you’re doing this? Like, why are you joining project purple to help find a cure for pancreatic cancer? You know, what’s your story? And everyone has a different story, right? Whether they are impacted or not, that doesn’t really make a difference.
It’s really, though, being able to communicate that and so that’s something I think that [00:18:00] we really stress here and really work with our teams and our participants, like our run coaches are fundraising coaches. I should say, I call them run coaches, but they’re not, they’re not training you to run there.
They’re like our team managers for our participants. Their job is to really work with each individual participant. To help them fundraise as much money as possible. Um, I use a lot of terms. One of them, there’s a science to it, but it’s not rocket science. And I always tell participants like we can share all the best latest and greatest fundraising ideas, but you got to be willing to make that ask.
Like, I can’t ask your friends to fundraise for you. You’ve got to do that, but I could teach you the strategies that really work. And so that’s really where I think our job and kind of that’s the onus is on us. Thank you. You know, to work with each individual runner to make sure that we’re providing, you know, all the tools necessary for everyone to be successful.
And the reason being, and, you know, this may sound, [00:19:00] um, you know, I don’t know if this, hopefully this comes off the right way. The reason why this, to me, makes sense is because Without everyone, you know, raising as much money as possible. We don’t get to do the great things that we do. Right? Like, and what do we do with that money is, you know, provide patients with financial aid.
So we have become 1 of the leaders in the pancreatic cancer space. Anyone who is battling can apply for financial aid assistance. Um, you know, last year we paid out, uh, over 140, 000. I think the total since inception of the program is over 650, 000, over a thousand families we’ve helped nationwide. So anyone battling pancreatic cancer in the country can apply.
Um, and we help them pay their bills and so that’s our 1st program. The 2nd program is research and we are actively involved in helping to find early detection or curative treatments for the disease and really the crux of our research portfolio has [00:20:00] been in the last 5 years. As we’ve continued to raise millions of dollars over the last 5 years, that’s really been our growth spurt is when we’ve been able to really put substantial impact into research during that time frame.
It’s over close to about 3 million dollars. In various projects for early detection for curative treatments, but why we’re able to do that is because of the success of our participants. Right? So, if we’re not doing our job in supporting our runners, making sure they meet their goals. Um, and making sure they, they, if someone wants to raise 20, 000, we support it.
If someone wants to raise 50, 000, we support it. If someone just wants to raise the minimum and the minimum is 2, 000, we support that as well, right? Um, so, but that’s really our job. I always say is our job is to really support the runners, support the participants, regardless of the event. and really give them all the tools necessary so they can be as successful as possible so that we can do so much more with the [00:21:00] funds that they lose.
Richard Conner: I love that. I love that. Well, really wonderful programs you’re running there and you’re making a lot of great impact for patients. Um, that’s really wonderful to hear. And, you know, personally, I’d love to do more. So I love to sign up for these types of races and activities to help support. I’m not very good at fundraising, so I’m, I’m learning from you through this conversation and hopefully going forward so I can be more effective in, in fundraising to help, you know, folks like yourself and organizations like yours to, to do what you do right.
And to, to do it. So, uh, so thank you for sharing that. And I’d love to talk a little bit about, you know, the, some of the work that you’ve done and, or some of the races you mentioned that you participate in the four out of the six. Majors
Dino Verrelli: yeah, so we are our race portfolio. So we have, uh, we’re official marathon charity partner of for the 6th, New York.
I go New York, London, Chicago, Berlin or Berlin, Chicago. That’s actually in size of field. [00:22:00] New York usually is the largest than London. Then maybe Berlin and then Chicago, but there’s rumors this year. It might be flipped because Chicago might have 45, 000 and Berlin will have 42. and I think London usually falls anywhere between like, 46 and 50.
New York’s always like around 50, 000, but we do have other relationships. Uh, we have relationships with the Lincoln Marathon, Grandma’s Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon, uh, just to name a couple. And then there’s some regional races, like here we’re in Connecticut, so we have a relationship with like the Sono Half Marathon down in Norwalk, which is a newer race.
Uh, we’ve done stuff with the New Haven Road Race. Uh, we also have a relationship with the Chicago Half Fall Marathon and Spring Half Marathon through the Lifetime, uh, series. Uh, but what’s great… Richard is if none of those races kind of fit your calendar or you know, it just doesn’t work out We have a great problem program called our pioneer program.
So anyone can select any race that they’re doing [00:23:00] Um, it could be a local race. Um, it could be a race that we’re just not affiliated with for whatever reason. Uh, but you gain your own entry. So with most of our races, I should say all of our races in that race portfolio that I mentioned that were official cherry partners, we will help provide entry into those races or we have entry into those races, right?
That’s how that works. You know, for the fundraising commitment, but our pioneer program is a little bit different because we’re not supplying entry. The entries on the rudder, but you can support the cause. You can support the mission. So, uh, but our pioneer program really is flexible, allows people to do endurance events and, and, you know, use this platform to still support the cause and still support the mission.
Richard Conner: That’s great. That’s great. Well, I hope to be, you know, working with you and your organization one day. I think that’s a great opportunity to support the cause. So I’m personally looking forward to it and having you teach me how to fundraise. So looking forward to, to all of that. We’re ready.
Dino Verrelli: We’re ready [00:24:00] for you when you’re ready.
Richard Conner: All right, all right. That sounds good. So, you know, let’s talk a little bit, you know, kind of back to you personally. I love to hear your story or your running journey and where you are today. And before this conversation, you’re telling me about what’s next for you. So one of the questions that I’d like to ask all of our guests is what was the biggest obstacle that you face in your running journey and how’d you overcome it?
Dino Verrelli: That’s a great one. You know, I think the biggest obstacle is mental. For me, like if you look at the averages, right? I think like if you’re lower center of gravity, lighter body frame, quick on your feet, you know, running is really like an easy sport for you in some ways. I’m six foot one, hover around 200 pounds, uh, that tends to be on the bigger side.
Um, so I’m always amazed, like Galen Rupp is really tall, [00:25:00] right? But he’s super thin. He probably weighs like a buck fifty, if that, right? And so like, you know, he’s light on his feet, which clearly, you know, allows him to do what he does. But he’s, but he’s kind of like this anti because he’s really tall. And usually you even see like the, these international runners are not very tall.
So for me, it’s always kind of been this mental thing, you know, and I think that’s the biggest piece because I don’t think it’s been a physical thing for me. I actually really, really, and this is going to sound sick, uh, when I say this, I love the training, like, and that’s probably part of this mental piece.
And I go back to like my days in college. So in college, I played collegiate basketball at a very low level. I love preseason like people. Some people hate preseason workouts. I used to love being in the gym, like getting stronger, like pushing your body like to get stronger. And I kind of love the marathon training marathon day.
I don’t I’m not a really big fan of that. I don’t [00:26:00] know. Like, I love crossing the finish line. Don’t get me wrong. There’s no better feeling than completing 26. 2 because you train for it. But I’m really for me. I like, I love the training. I really love pushing your body, but it’s those mental hurdles, Richard, you know, like this morning I had to do a track workout and it was freaking cold, man.
And I was like, I sat in bed for like 10 minutes and I was like, dude, you gotta get up, man. You gotta get up. And I, and yesterday I was supposed to do it yesterday and I flipped my days. I did a five mile run yesterday. And then today I was supposed to do this, like, two hundredths and one mile warm up one mile, you know, cool down.
But I had to get to the track before the high school opened. So that meant I had to be there, you know, before, you know, six 30. So I was getting up around four 30. It was not light out and it was cold. I can hear the wind whipping here in Connecticut. So I wasn’t looking forward to it, but. You just got to find that mental fortitude to push [00:27:00] through and so I think the mental piece for me has been the biggest challenge, um, you know, because I don’t think running has been as easy for me physically just because of my body size and I wasn’t like a long distance guy.
It was always like basketball short bursts, you know, mile to mile when I started to do CrossFit. I don’t think that really helped me a bunch. Um, that was like after my first four marathons and I jumped into CrossFit. Because my body had broken down a bit because I wasn’t really cross training properly But it didn’t really help me long term for my marathon training when I got out of CrossFit because I felt like again CrossFit’s like this short burst like fast twitch muscle versus uh You know slower twitch which is more marathoning.
Richard Conner: hmm Yeah, well, thank you for sharing that and for sure The mental part is is really important and I can relate to it because I ran cross country in high school and track as well, which is five K or less. So anything above that, I never [00:28:00] really considered 10 K half marathon marathon. And it wasn’t until just a few years ago, like I mentioned, where I started to run the half marathon distance and I’m thinking, well, that’s the farthest I’ll ever go and I’m only going to do it on race day.
Well, now I’ve changed my, my coach has changed my training program. I’m running on heart rate, uh, and time versus pace and, and speed. So. 12, 13, 14 miles is just another Sunday, whereas two, three years ago, Oh my gosh, I have to run 13 miles for this race. So for sure, it’s all mental because physically I probably was able to do it just as well, you know, two, three years ago as I am today.
So I really appreciate you sharing that. I think that’s important for our listeners to hear that if you put your mind to it. That that’s something in as cliche as it sounds, it’s something you really can do.
Dino Verrelli: Yeah, absolutely. And I remember reading something, you know, like the brain is like the most powerful organ in the, in the body.
Right. Everyone, you asked that [00:29:00] question about, Oh, the heart, like we can do some amazing things if you put your mind to it. Right. We’ve seen that, you know, and I’m not talking athletically, but, you know, just from a, from a society standpoint, but then if you bring that to athletics and you have this mindset and you get rid of that subconscious.
Uh, I talk a lot about subconscious and conscious, like our subconscious drives our conscious. But if you can get rid of those delusions, not delusions, but those misconceptions, I should say in that subconscious, like, man, it’s too cold out or, Hey, I can’t do 13 miles because you know, that’s a lot. Right.
And you just change that thought process and that mental and having this mental gymnastics and having this positive conversation in that psyche. It’s wild what you can do, right, because then you clip off the 13 or the 15 or like you and I were recording, you know, what we were talking about before, you know, I went out and I went out too far.
And then I realized like, oh, man, I got 2 choices here. I [00:30:00] could either, you know, suck it up and do a couple extra miles. I feel pretty good. All right, or make the phone call. Come get me. No, no, no, I’m, I’m, I’m sucking it up and I’m doing the extra miles. Right. And it wasn’t that big of a deal. And, you know, I
Richard Conner: also love what you said about before we were talking about the enjoying the process or enjoying the journey, how you love that kind of preseason time and being in the gym or or the training more than the race day.
And I think that’s really important too, because, you know, that’s really where you’re putting in the work, right? It’s kind of you pay now or pay later. So if you don’t enjoy that, Man, that’s going to be really hard for you to kind of get to race day. So it’s, it’s great that you do that and having that mindset to say, no, I know it’s cold, but you’re going to feel so much better when you, either when you get out there or when you’re done, you’re going to feel great that you did it, but you got to get out there.
You got to do it.
Dino Verrelli: Yeah. And this morning I’ll share with you just a quick antidote. Like I was running and I was like, I was on a track. So I was trying to like run with the wind in my back, you know, not, not coming at me. [00:31:00] And at one point I was taking the turn and I, I think I was going the wrong way. I figured it out.
Like I realized it, I should say, but then I was like, you know what? Like in 49 days when I’m in London, I will be so pissed that I did this workout, you know, in the freezing cold. Cause you know, that’s when it’s going to pay off, you know, on race day. Which, you know, maybe that’s something for me that I just have to like work on my mental mindset, as I said, like I enjoyed more of the buildup and the process and stuff.
And I don’t necessarily enjoy race day. So, you know, now, as we talk through this, maybe on race day, I kind of have to like work on that mental psyche to just remember, like all that hard work, all that grinding that you did pays off and enjoy it
Richard Conner: for sure. For sure. So, you know, I love this conversation. I love everything that you shared with us.
You know, kind of as we wind down here, one of my questions would be, what would be the one thing that you would say to our listeners to help inspire them to run
Dino Verrelli: the one thing to inspire people to run? And [00:32:00] you said this, and for the listeners listening at home or wherever you’re listening. Just do it.
Just go out and do it. And, and just because you may not look like a runner, you may not have the body, someone may have said, hey, you, you, you know, you never, you never could run or you weren’t athletic. Just do it.
Richard Conner: For sure. For sure. Dino, how can our listeners… Find you follow your journey online and support Project Purple.
Dino Verrelli: So, uh, I’ll go in a reverse here. So, projectpurple. org is our website. Uh, that’s the best place to learn all about the latest and greatest, uh, of what we’re doing. Races we have available. Um, anything that’s happening. You know, that’s the best place to follow us and then you can naturally link through our social media down at the end of the page, or the footer of the page, and it gives you links to every single social media, our YouTube, our podcast, uh, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, all of them.[00:33:00]
Uh, me personally, um. I’m not really a big social media guy, but I, I, I am on Instagram. I’m on LinkedIn. Um, you can find me on the website. So if someone wants to email me more and learn more about, you know, getting involved or, you know, has been touched by pancreatic cancer and just wants to talk, um, you can email me at Dino at project purple.
org, or you can go to our website and you can hit the staff and contact, You have the ability to contact me through the website as well. If you’re on social, you can always follow me on Instagram and it’s real easy. It’s Dino, D I N O, Project Purple. So, uh, I think I’m the only one on Instagram with that, hopefully.
Hopefully no one’s taking that, uh, as like a shadow or something or trying to pretend to be me. Uh, but you’ll see a lot of Project Purple content on there. So if you want to follow and learn more and follow along on my journeys with Project Purple. Uh, that’s the best place for it is
Richard Conner: on Instagram.
Awesome. Awesome. Dino. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for coming on the [00:34:00] show, sharing your journey and all the great work that you’re doing project purple. So I’ll put this information in the show notes to make it easy for our listeners to find and follow you. And with that, you know, thank you again for coming on the show.
Dino Verrelli: Richard, for having me and thank you for continuing to be a positive light in the running community and also in the pancreatic cancer community.
Richard Conner: That’s it for
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