Friday, October 29, 2010
I missed our 20 mile run because my brother got married that morning, and the next morning I was recovering from the wedding... and that night was Canadian Thanksgiving... and the next morning we got in the car for a 9 hour drive.. and the following morning I spent the day traveling to get home.
And then it took a week to recover from my travels... and besides, we had a 12 mile run to do on Saturday and then it was time to taper before the race.
So, no 20 miler.
Not that that is a crisis, because in each of my previous two marathons I also missed the 20 miler for one reason or another.
But, since getting home I've really been struggling with fatigue. Some days are good, some days I feel like it is all I can do to muster up the motivation to do the daily household tasks.
My runs are getting slower, and involve more walking.
And I'm feeling a little down on myself because of it.
That said, when Sunday morning rolls around, I will be up and out of bed early... off to meet my friends and Teammates at the start of the race... I'm going to complete the race on my own two feet, no matter how tired I get.
Because I can.
And because there are people who can't.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Saturday was our 12 mile run... the last LONG long run before Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon. it was lovely, cool and overcast... and the icing on the cake was that my sweetheart got up at 5:30 on his day off to come out and support us on the course. it was his first time volunteering as "water stop guy"... handing out water and gatorade and pretzels and such, and more importantly cheering as the runners came in to see him.
what a trooper! and he had such a good time that i'm SURE he's going to volunteer to do it again.
doesn't hurt that i had rounded up a few other guys to keep him company :)
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
in other news, it's been crazy hot and humid... which makes training (and all other things that take place outside of my air-conditioned walls) unpleasant and rather miserable.
we hosted a big yard sale fundraiser this weekend... lots of former TNT teammates donated stuff for the sale (thank you!) and a colleague of my husband donated his driveway and yard (because he lives in a good yard sale-ing neighbourhood)... and we raised almost $350.
unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on whether or not you're standing in my kitchen) there was a lot of donated stuff left over... so i'm now at a loss about where to store it (other than my kitchen) until such time as we can throw another yard sale.
the team is rapidly approaching it's first double digits run... Saturday will be a 10 mile run, and the majority of the team has never run that far. in fact, many of them started saying "this is the furthest i've ever run" once they hit the 4 mile mark.... and every week thereafter!
one of our teammates has yet to come to a group training run... and i was telling him that he might really enjoy the group runs now that the mileage is getting up there. saying things like "20 miles is a really long distance to run by yourself"
and then, my little brother called to tell me he and his fiancee have finally set a date to get married... and it is Oct 9th of this year... which just happens to be the day we're scheduled to run our 20 miler.
so it looks like i will be running 20 miles on my own... at high altitude (well, significantly higher altitude that Virginia).... possibly with a touch of jet-lag... and possibly the morning before the wedding.
which means i'll probably sleep through the whole ceremony. every wedding movie shows an elderly relative who nods off... i'll do the honours this time 'round.
if they're lucky, i won't snore.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
but what i really want to do is talk about the weather. (ha!)
it has been excruciatingly hot and humid these last couple of weeks. it is a struggle to get out into it, even if i get up early in the morning to try to beat the heat. i was asking myself a few days ago how on earth i managed to train last summer, and then realised that aside from the group runs, i did most of my training in the air-conditioned gym.
too bad we don't have one of those at the new house!
i think that this will be my last season of training in the summer... even though i'd really love to run Nike Marathon in San Francisco some day. maybe someday when we move to a more temperate climate!!
in the mean time though, the miles keep going up. we ran 7 miles last Saturday, starting at 7 am to get at least an hour of running done before it got too hot.
there was a race going on on the same trail... so it lifted our spirits to read the signs of support along the way....
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The morning started out with a very hot hills run... and finished with a spread of snacks and drinks and some inspirational messages from our team and personal honoured teammates.
There were people speaking who have been in remission for years, thanks to the advances in treatment that the LLS has supported over the years. There were people speaking who had lost loved ones. There were people speaking who were currently in treatment... or their children or parents or friends are in treatment. And everyone ended their speech with something along the lines of "from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for what you're doing... for me, and people like me."
involved with TNT since he first started treatment 11 years ago.
he's now in his last semester of university... and is not only
healthy and happy, but has run a marathon with TNT, done a century bike ride with TNT...
and aims to do a triathlon with TNT next year.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
i know there will be a lot of work over the next five months, but... in the end, i'll enjoy the time with my teammates, and i'll enjoy the races. even if i'm not particularly fast.
herein comes the note of explanation...
i wrote several times through the course of the winter that i was really struggling. struggling with fatigue, mostly... but also with the feeling that i was not only not improving, but getting worse at running as the weeks went by.
there is a reason. and it's not the unkind one that i had been telling myself (mutter mutter, fat and lazy, mutter mutter...)
i've been diagnosed with Lupus.
and now, it all makes sense.
so i'm kinder to myself now. a little more forgiving on the bad days.... a little more delighted on the good days. i'm still a runner... just one who listens to her body more, and is okay with the fact that she'll never be a fast runner.
but i got to meet some of my mentees, which was great... and got some positive feedback on my Mission messages, as well as a tentative offer to volunteer at the Life With Cancer Family Center event on the 28th.
then later that afternoon, i drove to Annapolis with my former TNT mentor Ronda, as we had signed up to run the Zooma Half Marathon on Sunday morning.
it was already over 80 degrees F/ 27 degrees C when we left the hotel at 6am... and humid.
upon arrival we met up with another former teammates, Laura... chatted with a bunch of TNT peeps, decked out in their purple singlets... and then made our way to the enormous line ups for the port-a-johns. where we stood for the next 20 minutes. and where we were still standing when the starting gun when off.
fortunately there were enough runners that we were still well in the thick of things when we finally did join the runners.
by mile 1 we were already, as Laura called it, glisteny...
by mile 3 we were all beat red and over-heating.
by mile 5 we started to hear the wail of the ambulance sirens.
around mile 8 we were held up because the road was blocked by the paramedics and their vehicle trying to get an iv into the arm of a runner who had passed out from heat and dehydration.
i was about ready to kiss the little boy around mile 11.5 who was standing out on the sidewalk with his hose, spraying the runners as they struggled by.
and when we made our way past the finish line to collect our finishers necklaces, we were all dismayed to find that there were no more bottles of water or bananas... just some dry bits of bagel.
however, once into the finishers expo, there was shade, a cool breeze, a cool boxed lunch and cold water and we were happy.
no more half marathons for a while, just regular training... as i've run a ten miler, 4 half marathons and a marathon in the last 11 weeks.
Friday, May 28, 2010
I went back to Canada for a few days... to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday, and to run the Blue Nose Half Marathon.
Not exactly part of my Team In Training training.... but a good long run in part of the overall training scheme of things.
I missed my TNT buddies the morning of the race. It is amazing how much psychological and emotional support one gets from participating in a team. Even if you never say the words out loud, it is reassuring to have people you know standing beside you, giggling with nervous excitement.... reminding you to pin your bib on right side up, etc.
Still, it was wonderful to run in a city that I am familiar with.... running past places that already hold memories for me. It was not my fastest race time, but probably my most enjoyable race ever.
As I ran past an old friend's house, I knocked on the door... gave my very surprised friend a sweaty hug, chatted for a few minutes, and carried on my way.
When I reached the corner where my mom and brother were directing runners, I stopped to have a chat and a laugh with them...
My dad called just as I was passing the 19 km mark to tell me the whole family had come in to see me finish.... my grandad, my aunt and cousin, my sister and her kids, my foster sister and her boyfriend.
My nephew was waiting for me a couple hundred feet from the finish line. As I reached him, he grabbed my hand and ran with me to the finish line. I hung my finishers medal around his neck and he nodded as he held it in his hand and said "i AM pretty fit for a six year old...."
I love that my family is all proud of me and supports my running, even though I will never truly "compete".... I will always be a long distance plodder, and they think that is great.
Every race holds its own special memories, and I have loved (and sometimes hated) them all. But I think this one will hold a special place in my heart for a long long time...
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
i thought i'd take a break, maybe do one Team In Training event per year from now on.... just so i could recover from fundraising fatigue, really.
but, since i'm already signed up to do Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October anyway... (due to medical deferral last year)... and because i know i will find it difficult to train through the heat of the summer on my own.... and because i love my TNT buddies.... and because it is a great cause....
i signed up to be a mentor again. this time for the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon in September.
so... the blog stays open. as long as i'm working to "save lives, one mile at a time".... i'll keep writing about it.
you lucky ducks!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
we trained in snow storms. we couldn't train because of unsafe roads and trails and mountains of snow. we trained in pouring rain. we raced in record high temperatures in March... we trained some more, it got cold again, it got hot again...
it's no wonder that on Country Music Marathon race day we had thunder, lightning, heavy rain, heavy winds... and a tornado warning that had us all pulled off the course before we could finish the race.
some people might take that as a sign... as in, mother nature's way of saying "give it up already!"
but we didn't.
a few determined TNT teammates and i decided we really wanted to get that 26.2 mile run in.
so we signed up for the Potomac River Marathon, which took place last Sunday. just one week after attempting to run Country Music Marathon...
when we left the house at 5 am to get to the marathon start... it was hot. And raining.
it got hotter.... once again, record high temps for this time of year. and it rained off and on. sadly this was not really a respite from the heat... it just made for an over all sense of running in a steam room.
people were getting sick from the heat. i gave my gatorade and pretzels to a guy that was rolling on the trail in absolute agony from cramps and exhaustion... he wasn't even coherent to start with. we waited for the medics to arrive to take him off the course.
many of the participants simply stopped at the halfway mark.
our little TNT group didn't all finish together... but we all finished.
what a season!
Monday, April 26, 2010
~ joined 500 other Team In Training runner in Nashville to run the Country Music Marathon (and half marathon).... we raised over 1.25 million dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, putting our Team Fundraising Total (over all the years) at over a billion dollars.
~ went to hear a concert at the Ryman Auditorium... original home of the Grand Ol' Opry.
~ ate a lot of barbeque
~ resisted the urge to buy pretty cowboy boots, 'cos i know i'll never wear them once i get them home... but i sure did want them at the time! all the other cool kids were buying them...
~ met John "the penguin" Bingham while picking up a bagel at Panera for Saturday morning's 4:30 am start
~ arrived at the race starting place in the dark, in the rain, with lightning dancing across the sky.... and a tornado warning threatening to cancel the race
~ skies cleared and the elite runners were off the mark by 7 am... there were over 33 thousand other runners to cross the starting line, so it was 7:26 by the time I got started
~ it was a hot and humid morning, until the clouds rolled back in and the winds picked up... and the racers were all diverted back to the finish line, no matter where they were on the course.
~ shed a tear or two and said a few bad words that are not fit for public consumption
~ accepted my marathon finishers medal, but didn't much feel like i had earned it
~ ate more barbeque in the pouring rain, thunder and lightning
~ had an awesome phone call of support from my six year old nephew
~ drank quite a lot of gin and tonics, participated in some line dancing lessons at the post-race party, and danced the night away (something i likely would not have been able to do if i had been allowed to run the full marathon!... hello silver lining)
~ got a ride home from the airport with my coach and friend, only to find that i had brought the wrong key and was locked out of the house for the next 5 hours or so, until my husband got home from work at 11:30pm
~ feel like a million bucks today, and am looking for another full marathon to attempt in the next couple of weeks, to make up for not being allowed to complete the one i had trained for.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
well, i have made my goal of raising $3000... even though it doesn't all show up yet on my fundraising website. it takes a while to process donations that were not made online...
so, i will be cutting off all the hair that it has taken me two years to grow... and sending it to Locks of Love for someone who cannot grow their own.
i thought it was a fine idea at the time, but now that i actually have to do it... i have been looking at the box of hair clips and pins and elastics and sticks and ties, etc sitting on the shelf in my bathroom and finding myself feeling nostalgic for long hair already. even though i still have it... and even though i was looking forward to how cool i was going to feel in the heat of the summer.
will post photos next week when i get it cut. and in the mean time, i think i'll go brush it for a while... maybe give myself an up-do or something... celebrate the fact that i have long hair for a few more days.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
National Marathon was two days ago... and what a wonderful morning for a marathon. Chilly to start, but gloriously warm and sunny to finish. Almost too hot, really.... What a shocker, in a season that had us running in snow, not being able to run because of snow, running in pouring rain the week before... and now an unseasonably hot day!
It was great to get out and run through parts of DC that I have never seen before, and certainly never run before. Because I'm still in training for the full marathon, and because I am scheduled to run 20 miles this coming Saturday... I approached the National Half Marathon as just another training run. But with 12,000 friends and a medal.
So, I didn't push too hard. Didn't set any land speed records. Didn't even set any personal records. But I had a good run and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The TNT staff, coaches and volunteers were outstanding as usual, which really made the race a great experience for everyone.
And now, I shall focus on a little more fundraising and one more month of training to get ready for Nashville Country Music Marathon. Woot!!
As always, thanks so much for your support.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Ran 6 miles with the Team Saturday morning, in the snow, uphill both ways, with a wind in my face... okay, so not uphill both ways, but otherwise... all true.
Then we had our "Honoured Teammate Picnic", where some of the people we are running for come in and share a post-run breakfast with us, and talk about their experiences with blood cancers, with Team in Training and the LLS, and about how what we do has impacted their lives. Very inspirational...
The photo below shows me still red-faced from the run, and our honoured teammate Carsten and his sister. Carsten was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was in kindergarten... he told us that some treatment days were really painful... "kind of like some of your long runs"...
Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?