Monday, December 29, 2008

what moves me... part 1

my legs felt heavy on my run today... climbing the hills was a struggle. but as i pushed myself onward, i was remembering the sight of my mother-in-law struggling to lift her feet high enough to get in the front door last night. it took my husband holding her up from the front, and my father-in-law pushing her up from behind to climb the three stairs. and i am motivated to keep going...

she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the spring of 2006, and her family was told that there was little that could be done for her, and that they could expect her to hold out for maybe six more months.

to everyone's surprise (and happiness) she is still with us two and a half years later, though she is smaller and frailer every time we see her. there is almost nothing left of her now, her legs and arms are like twigs... and she is unable to move about on her own.

i am so thankful that i am strong and healthy. and if i am able to use my good health to raise awareness and money so that others might be spared this devastating disease, then i guess a few sore and tired muscles are a small price to pay.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

the hills kicked my butt!

we got in too late last night to safely go for a run... instead, i donned the rubber gloves and attacked the in-laws fridge. they've been away for a few weeks, and it was full of mold and slime and swamp and nasty....

so this morning we had a quick smoothie of bananas and blueberry Kefir (which i am totally addicted to!) and headed out for a run together. my sweetheart headed home halfway through my run, and i logged 6.8 miles (we measured with the truck last night). a little over four miles of that was hills... and by mile five and a half, my legs were like jelly!

arrived back home a sweaty mess -- hard to believe i'm running in t-shirt and shorts at the end of December -- only to be greeted by a post-run endorphin happy sweetheart who had made me a delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs (he's big on the post-workout protein infusion!). his folks called, they arrived safely from Colombia late last night, and will be home early this afternoon.

looks like i will be staying here to help out for a while, so i'm glad to know that i've got a good route all measure out, and by the time i get home myself, those hills will have whipped me into shape!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

trail running is where it's at...

my sweetheart and i went for a short run together yesterday morning... running with him is always something of a thrill, in that we're newly married and still learning how to do things together. his legs are a good 8 inches longer than mine, so i normally have to push myself to keep up or he has to slow it down for me. either way, we make it work and enjoy spending the time together.

yesterday we decided to do some trail running... and not trails of the paved variety. we're talking mud and roots and rugged and fun! you've got to keep your eyes open when you trail run, or you'll get tripped up, wound your pride (if not your body), eat some dirt and never want to do it again.

done right though, it beats any other kind of running hands down. this trail was full of rocks and roots and hills and stairs and ponds
and herons and deer and crunchy autumn leaves and happy dogs with slobbery sticks... it was cool and crisp and sunshiny and glorious, and i loved it.

today is my scheduled weekly long run... 6 miles. we're off to New Jersey, so i'll do my run late this afternoon along the NJ shoreline.

gotta love mixing it up and keeping it interesting :o)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

i really shouldn't go into "gear" shops...

i hate shopping. nine times out of ten i would rather scrub toilets than go shopping, and at Christmas times... it's more like ten times out of ten. except when it comes to sports gear stores. then i have to keep my hands thrust firmly in my pockets and my eyes to floor or i find my heart full of serious gear lust.

we had our second group training run this morning, and the meet up was at Potomac River Running, in Reston VA. So i had to have a look around the store while i was waiting for my sweetheart to arrive to pick me up. i tried hard to behave myself, but i really did need to look at the water belts, because as of next week, we have to carry water with us on our runs....

somehow i walked out of the store with the required water belt, mittens, a long sleeved running shirt, and some sport recovery drink that my sweetheart assures me i need...

Merry Christmas to me!

oh yeah, and the run was great too.

i don't have much experience running with groups of people. i've run with my mom and my cousin in the past... and the odd friend here and there. but running in a group is new to me, and it turns out that i kind of like it. i like the camaraderie and the chatter.

once again i'm looking forward to next week's run, but i sure hope we don't start any more runs from a running gear store again any time soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the first donation is in!

After my training run this evening I checked in on my fundraising page, as has become my nightly ritual -- check the e-mails, check the weather for tomorrow, check the fundraising -- and was delighted to see that as of this evening I have raised $75. It is a far cry from the $1,900 that is my goal... but already my fundraising efforts (and your contributions) have amazing potential.

$75 is the average cost of tissue typing to become a bone marrow donor.

So, thank you, anonymous donor... look what your contribution alone can do.

Monday, December 15, 2008

who's a lifesaver...

it never occurred to me that the title of my blog might sound a little presumptuous until my cousin EJ told me that she was proud of me for saving lives. at that moment i put out some minor efforts to clarify that in fact it won't be me saving any lives.

it will be the researchers and doctors who are able to further their work with the money raised that will save lives. it will be the LLS who provides the necessary support -- emotional, psychological and financial -- to the patients and their family that will save lives. it will be the generosity of you, of family and friends and complete strangers who are moved to contribute to this cause that will save lives. me running a marathon won't save any lives.

coming back to the running of marathons though... i know that i am fortunate in that i am healthy. physically, i am capable of running a marathon. or, i will be with the help of the Team In Training coaches and training program. it's going to be hard. it's going to hurt. i'm going to struggle.

but it is nothing compared to the struggles of someone who is undergoing treatment for cancer. it is nothing compared to fighting for my life. because in the end, if i am unable to cross the finish line at 42.2 kms (26.2 miles)... i will have another chance to reach that goal. i will train harder next time, and eventually i will succeed.

me running a marathon won't save any lives. in the end, my real contribution is made by asking you to make a donation.

you may not know anyone who suffers from a blood cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma... but i am willing to bet that you know someone who has had cancer. and if you're lucky enough that you don't... chances are that you will at some point in your lifetime.

Just remember, if there is progress made in research for any
cancer it will help all cancer research.

so i am asking. that's how i am going to help to save lives.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

survived the first group training session...

i have to admit to feeling somewhat trepidatious about running with the group this morning, as i've been far too much of the couch potato lately and no where near enough of the sprightly gazelle. lets face it, it's much easier to get out there when you're already feeling fit, which i'm not.

however, Francisco enticed me out of bed with coffee and breakfast at 6:30... and i had lain out my clothes last night so that i'd really have no excuse not to... so, i got myself out the door without too much of a struggle.

my feelings of anxiety returned as we approached the track, but the coaches were very supportive and gave lots of feedback, the other runners were cheering each other on, the sun came out and it warmed up to a comfortable temperature... and by the end of it, i was simply feeling great. huzzah!

i can't wait for next Saturday's run.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let The Madness Begin...

Racing to Save Lives

Let the madness begin!

I'm training to run my first ever marathon. It's the Shamrock Marathon on March 22, 2009, in Virginia Beach VA, and I will be running as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma) from taking more lives.

A minimum of 75% of the funds raised by Team In Training participants will go toward advancing the LLS's mission. The remaining 25% will go toward supporting the Team In Training participants to meet their training, racing and fundraising goals.

Work of the LLS includes: advocacy for government research, funding and public policy to benefit patients and their families; support for researchers; support programs for patients and their families, and assistance to help meet the costs of treatment; community education and information programs; and education for health professions on advances in diagnosis and treatment.

Why Am I Doing This?

If there is progress made in research for any cancer it will help all cancer research.

I am completing this event in honour of all individuals around the globe who are battling leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. I am completing this event in honour of individuals who are battling cancers of any kind.

I am completing this event in honour of my friend Bonnie, who has won her battle with lymphoma.

I am completing this event in honour of my Grammy who continues to suffer the after-effects of the treatments she underwent for cancer years ago. I am completing this event in honour of my mother-in-law Gilma who continues, against all odds and to the amazement of her doctors, to fight pancreatic cancer. I am completing this event in honour of my friend Jane who overcame skin cancer. I am completing this event in honour of my father’s best friend Brian who is fighting prostate cancer.

And I am completing this event in memory of my Nan who died of breast cancer, my cousin Amy who died of brain cancer, and my good friend Grandma Dolly who also died of breast cancer.

These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - finding a cure for cancer!

How Can You Contribute?

Your contributions are 100% tax deductible. Tax ID#13-5644916. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will send you a receipt.

You can donate online by using the “donate now” button on the left hand side of my Team In Training fundraising page.

Or if you'd prefer to write a cheque, e-mail me or leave me a message here and I will send you my mailing address. Make cheques payable to: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

If your company (or employer) has a charity donation matching policy, let me know and I'll send you easy instruction on how to have your company match your donation.

And if you know anyone who might want to donate, please don't hesitate to send the link to this web page around to family, friends and colleagues.

Platitudes of Gratitudes...

Finally, thank you. Thanks if you contribute -- you're making an investment in fighting this heartbreaking disease. And thanks if you follow along -- I'm glad to have you with me. Your generosity, support and friendship will not only help get me to the finish line but, more importantly, you will help to accelerate cures for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other cancers, and bring increased hope to the patients and families who are on the front lines of the battle against these diseases.

I hope you will visit this blog often. I will be posting frequent "progress" reports... could be amusing, possibly inspirational (at least for me!), very likely humbling, and always all about me. You'll love it. Our first group training run will be on Saturday.

Thanks for your support!


Remember, no donation is too small & for a donation of $100 or more, I will take a picture in my running gear any where you want (in the DC area during training or in Virginia Beach on race day), send it to you and post it here! Think of the possibilities!