Sunday, February 23, 2014

hockey or sleep...

good morning all...

so, i ran 20 miles yesterday.

the sun was shining, the snow was melting, the birds were lively in the bushes along side the trail and i had good company to keep me moving and motivated... and though i finished feeling tired and tight, i did not feel the need to go home and have a nap (as i often do after a 16+ mile run).

took the dogs out for a walk in the neighbourhood, a slow-ish 2 miles... which i'm sure was helpful in helping to dispel the lactic acid and prevent some of the stiffness that i anticipated (but did not feel) when i got out of bed this morning.

but, i did get up at 5am... which is just too early in the morning on a day off.

let the dogs out, fed them, made breakfast and packed a lunch for my sweetheart... and then posted a note on Facebook about how i was going to go back to bed for a "sleep in."

and there was a flurry of comments from friends back home in Canada about how i couldn't possibly be going back to bed just as the gold medal hockey game was about to start!


i went back to bed... but couldn't sleep. somehow it felt anti-patriotic, even though i don't usually watch hockey.

so i'm up... unlike some of my friends, i am not drinking beer in a sports bar at 6am... but i'm up and watching hockey and having a bit of a stretch.

i'm sure my legs will be grateful that there's a game on.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

three quarters of the way there...

Thanks to the generosity of a friend, and the generous company match from said friend's employer... I am now almost 3/4 of the way to reaching my fundraising goal.

And I am SO enormously grateful!!!!!!

I always find fundraising such a daunting task, and to have such a boost this early on in my season is both a great relief, and strangely motivating... a few more small fundraisers and I'll be there. And if things go well, I can exceed my goal!

I am also about 3/4 of the way through training for the first of this season's races. Although the countdown calendar on this site shows I've still got a couple months to go until Nike Women's Half Marathon... it is less than a month until Rock & Roll USA Marathon. We started training for that one in December, race day is mid March, so we're in the count down now.

This coming Saturday, as long as we don't get hit with another snow storm between now and then, we will be running 20 miles. The longest run we will do together in training, until race day... Can't even tell you how much we have good weather between now and then!

Last weekend we were scheduled to run 12 miles... but because every trail and side walk in the National Capital Area was under snow and ice, and not safe to train on... I had to head to the gym and spend a couple hours on the treadmill. Haven't done that in a LONG time, and had forgotten just how mentally taxing it can be.

It was hot and steamy and smelly and boring.... no need to say anything further about that.

But, at least I got the miles in, because I certainly wasn't going to be able to find a place to run them outside.

The idea of having to run 20 miles on a treadmill makes me want to go back to bed and have a little cry... so, here's hoping the trails are clear and the weather is fine!

The 20 miler is often an emotional training run with the Team. For many of the participants it is, once again, the furthest they've ever run. It's the moment that they realize they're within arms reach of the starting line... they're really going to do this! It's also the point at which a lot of participants find inspiration and fortitude by thinking about their personal connections to blood cancers. In my experience, the 18 and 20 mile runs are the ones where I have heard the most about who my teammates are running for...

This particular 20 miler, my thoughts are going to be with my great aunt. I learned last Sunday that she has just been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. They have not yet determined her course of treatment...

I like to think that the funds I have raised during my five years of involvement with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training will have in some small way helped to advance the therapies that are now available to help treat Auntie Christine.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

because i can..

Five years ago this month, I was mid-way through preparing for my first marathon (and first endurance event with Team In Training)! Seven seasons later, I continue to run with TNT as we make our way toward the ultimate finish line...finding a cure for blood cancers! Until we find that cure, the funds we raise are put towards improving the lives of patients and their families through better treatments and support services.

It was a chilly morning for an 18 miles (29km) run... I've been fighting a cold for two weeks, and it's been hard to get all the mid-week training runs in. So, I wasn't sure if I'd make it the full 18 miles. In fact, today was the day that I was set to determine whether I'd run Rock & Roll USA Marathon... or half marathon in March.

With the support of my coaches, our wonderful water stop volunteers who stood out in the cold and made sure we had enough drinks and snacks to keep us safely going on the trail... and the companionship of a great friend... I made it the full 18 miles. 

Looks I'll still be preparing to do the full in just over a month's time! And then I'll be super prepared for Nike (with the Team) come April.


It's one heck of a journey at times. Right now I'm sore and tired, and I know I'm going to be more stiff and sore tomorrow! But, putting in long miles and pushing hard to raise money is nothing compared to the endurance and fortitude that people in treatment for cancer need to dig deep to find within themselves. If I can do something to help make their journey easier, make their treatments more effective, make their chances at surviving even a little bit better... then I too am going to dig deep, and keep going. 

Because I can.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

what's new with you?

After last weekend's 10 mile training run with the team, I poked my head in the Potomac River Running store and picked up a new pair of shoes... that last pair are starting to feel a bit thin, so perhaps two marathon season are a little more than they can handle.

And then I spent the afternoon baking like a mad fool... several loaves of banana bread, chocolate cake, gluten free brownies, gluten free cookies, and pumpkin & peanut butter dog treats... because Sunday was not only Super Bowl Sunday, but also bake sale Sunday! Sara and I were once again flogging our ware in an effort to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. At least this weekend it was not cold! And all in all, it was a great success.

Add to that the money I raised selling squares for my Super Bowl Pool (half of the proceeds went to the winners, and half to LLS)... and I am almost 1/4 of the way to reaching my fundraising goal of $2000. I've got two more months to go, and I know that with your help, I can get there!