Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Shout Out - Week 2

Donations this week:

Naomi is a wonderful friend that I have known for a while now. Interestingly enough, I started reading her blog before meeting her in person. I took my oldest daughter to school one day and recognized her husband from pictures on her blog. I felt like a stalker, but introduced myself and said something lame like, "Hey Bob. I read Naomi's blog. I saw your pictures on there. Heh. Heh." They are a great couple with sweet kids and we are thankful to know them. (Bob is a fantastic artist. A professional artist. You can see his work here. Or in my living room.) Thank you so much!

Shannon is another one of those "internet friends" that I have technically never met. But seriously, we've known each other for so many years! Shannon understands the dynamics of my family - she and her husband have three precious daughters themselves. I rely on her for advice on how to navigate the wild world of females. She is so wise! Thank you so much, Shannon! Shannon's company is also going to match her donation. Yay Abbott!

Talk about "online" friends coming through - yet another wonderful woman is my friend Xochtle. Same story. Have known her many years and think the world of her. She's strong and confident and is a wonderful Mom to her daughter. Blood cancer touched Xochtle in a personal way, through her Uncle. Here is what she shared:  "My uncle lost a hard fought battle with leukemia 4 years ago, and if I could make it so that no one else has to fight that battle, I'd do whatever I could. Way to go, Hannah! You can do it!"  Talk about support. It warms my heart to know we're all on the same team. Xoch - thank you. You rock!

The final donation this week came from someone named Emily that I had never heard of. I racked my brain trying to figure out how I know her...and became embarrassed that I couldn't figure it out. So, I did what any person would do. Looked her up on Facebook. I found her, thankfully, and discovered that my cousin Michelle is our mutual friend. I sent her a message to thank her and to find out how she knows Michelle. Turns out Emily is a distant cousin of JonRoy. (Their Grandmas were sisters.) This was special to Emily because she knows Clayton, she used to volunteer for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during high school, and her fiance' is originally from a place near Seattle (which is where I am running the marathon). The connections kept going and going! I truly appreciate her kindness. Thank you so very much, Emily. I'm glad to be connected with you now through Facebook in addition to our other connections.

This entire process is so mind-blowing. I can't believe how interconnected we all are. And while I have a tendency to worry about the bad in the world, this certainly reminds me all day long that there is also so much good. Warm fuzzies!

In Other News:

My knee is feeling great! We have the option to wait until February 8 to begin training, or we can start up tomorrow and repeat the first week twice. I'm going for it! Please think of me (in your dreams) at 4:30 tomorrow morning when I'm pounding the pavement on the treadmill getting my first run in! I am excited! I better head to bed or tomorrow might be a little less exciting.

Wishing everyone a great week!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Training "officially" starts soon!

I was in a decent working out and jogging rhythm a few weeks ago. Then I took the plunge and signed up for this marathon. Then my knee started giving me trouble. Knowing how much I will be running the next few months, I decided the wise thing to do would be to sit this week out and rest, ice, etc. I think it has helped. I don't see it as something that will keep me from running - but it is something I will watch for and take care of as the training becomes more intense.

Training officially begins February 8th. Needless to say I am excited! From the look of the schedule, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday will be business as usual (not much more than I was doing otherwise). Wednesday will be the day I dig deep and force myself to get it done, as I will either be up at 4:15am running (and praying the girls don't wake up) or leaving after they go to bed to get it done. And of course Saturday is my very long run day. I have to admit, it is something I look forward to...especially given the "team" aspect and knowing I won't be going at it alone.

I am reminded daily what a mental game exercise is. Taking this week off was rough mentally, despite knowing it is for the best. I can't believe how much easier the mental aspect is with inspiration and strength coming through Clayton and Kaylon.

Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Clayton and his family receiving the "official" diagnosis. When I think of that, my silly knee problem becomes insignificant. I am thankful.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"I could never run a marathon."

I am hearing this phrase a lot as word gets out that I am training for a marathon.

Most people are capable, believe it or not. They simply lack the desire to train for and run 26.2 miles. It isn't something they are motivated to do - but they absolutely could if they so desired.*

I didn't wake up a week before marathon time and say to myself, "I think I'll run a marathon this week." It will take months of training and dedication. The training truly isn't something that just the less than 1/10th of 1% of the population who finish a marathon can do. It is something that anyone who is able-bodied and motivated can do.

I met a boy named Kalon at our Team in Training kickoff meeting last week. While I am doing this in honor of Clayton, as a team we are doing this with Kalon as our honorary patient. Kalon shared a bit of his experience. It touched me so deeply. He was so proud of each of us who were there. Hearing from him how much he appreciates what we are doing did nothing more than solidify why I am doing this. He mentioned that when we think we can't run or walk or go any further, that we should think of the people with blood cancer going through treatments, or who are dying from blood cancer, and push on. Simply because we can.

Truly, anyone can do it. I am not an amazing athlete. The only difference between myself and the "I could never" group is simply that I found my motivation.

Thank you to my friend, Karen at Fitness: A Journey, Not a Destination for sharing why she is motivated, and for sharing with her friends and followers why I am motivated.

* This isn't to say if you don't complete a marathon you aren't motivated. No matter what you do, if you lack motivation it likely won't come to fruition.  I appreciate and love motivated people in general - whether you cook or workout or volunteer or sew or whatever it is that you do.  I can assure you "I could never cook/sew/etc. like you" I don't have the motivation to cook/sew/etc. like you. And you rock.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Shout Out - Week 1

Each Sunday, I will be giving a "shout out" to friends, family and strangers who are helping me reach my monetary goal for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

This was a short week (I literally put the page up yesterday).  Still, my friend Jessica in Guam stepped up to the plate as my first donor. Jessica and I met online - we've "known" each other more than 5 years! My oldest daughter and her oldest son share a birthday (she also has a very darling baby girl). One of Jessica's best friends (Suzanne) has Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is near and dear to Jessica, for obvious reasons. Thank you, Jessica! (And way to fight it, Suzanne! You rock.)

Another lovely lady I know named Tracey lives in Ohio. She's another one of those that I have "known" and became close with over 5 years ago online. Tracey's daughters are the same ages as my two oldest  daughters - and adorable to boot! I am so thankful to Tracey for her help. Thank you, Tracey! You can see Tracey's blog here.

In Other News:

I was able to get my new running shoes yesterday - though I have yet to test them out. They are running shoes that are good for me, whereas I typically purchase shoes because they are cute. Thankfully these aren't terrible looking at all.

Socks were another item on my list. Who knew socks could be so amazing? I nearly jumped for joy when I put on Balega socks at the store. The socks actually made the decision for me on which shoes to get. I guess that giant package of socks from Sam's will still be good for days I am going to the gym and not running.

Here's to a great week! Yay for socks and shoes!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The journey starts...right now.

I am 28 years old. Prior to having my three daughters, my goal was to run a marathon before the age of 30. I thought that was a pipe dream...

 But here I am. June 26th of this year, I will experience my first marathon (The Rock 'n Roll Seattle Marathon). All 26.2 miles. I will be 29 years old. Talk about getting in under the wire!

Justifying the time necessary for training seemed difficult. It may prove to be difficult, still. With this in mind, I wanted to figure out a way to reach my personal goal and to make an impact by doing something good.

Clayton is number three in family of six beautiful children. There's Abby, Ben, Clayton, Daniel, Eli, and Faith (yes - A, B, C, D, E and F. I love it!). This six-pack belongs to my cousin Michelle and her husband, JonRoy. Clayton isn't much older than my oldest daughter (she is five). Clayton was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) on January 28, 2008. Clayton has endured more on his journey with Cancer than I have endured in my entire life. My journey to 26.2 is nothing when I put it side-by-side with what he has experienced in his life.

Truly, my upcoming 26.2 miles seems like a walk in the park. It is all relative.

I am pleased to announce that I will be running my marathon as a volunteer with Team in Training. All money I raise (and I have a lot to raise to meet my minimum - and yes I will ask you to donate...) will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It is near and dear to me, and to our entire family. Clayton isn't our only family member touched by this; my Uncle Mike is a survivor of Lymphoma.

What could be better? I am doing something I have always wanted to do...and better yet, I am doing something to benefit a wonderful organization and doing something in honor of someone that I love. I am pleased to do this, also, because none of us know if we will be affected by a blood cancer. It could happen to any of us. To our parents, to our children, to our friends and neighbors.

This is why I will run 26.2 miles. Please join me on my journey, even if simply via cyber-space. Oh, and have some ice packs and Advil ready if you are prone to sympathy pain. Let's Rock 'n Roll!