Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week Six

I know I say this every week...but I can't believe another week has passed! For anyone new to the blog, the Sunday Shout Out is where I give tell a little about each person who has donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of my volunteering to raise money and run 26.2 miles. Each and every time I receive a donation, I get all emotional because I know how much reaching my goal means to me, and that each person who donates is also doing a huge thing to honor my cousin, Michelle, and her family. (Her son is Clayton, the little boy in the picture on my right sidebar. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at age four. He's six now, and though he is in remission, still has many months of chemo to go.) I am so proud to do this in honor of Clayton, and I am so thankful that the blogging community has been so supportive in addition to all of my friends and family.

Donations this week:

Mariah is one of my many beautiful cousins. (She is supporting me, and she isn't even related to Clayton and his family...completely opposite sides of the family!) Her support means so much to me, as she is one of the most passionate people I know. She is strong and sweet and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She also has one of the most amazing singing voices I have ever heard! Hearing words of encouragement from her makes me so proud to do this, as I know she wouldn't just blow sunshine up my butt. (Haha!)  So Mariah - thank you. Thank you! I'm thankful to have amazing support from family members.

Michael is someone I've never met. He's the father of Conner, who was the young man who hit my vehicle with his truck when it was icy one morning. Wasn't a big deal, and I didn't even want to have my car looked at. They asked if there was anything they could do for me, and my only suggestion was to help me reach my goal by making a donation. Despite the crazy way it came about, I am incredibly thankful nonetheless. Conner was such a sweet kid. Makes me not so afraid to have all girls if nice boys like him will be around when they're teenagers. Ok, who am I kidding? I am still afraid. But meeting him helped.

Krystal and Patrick are an incredibly special couple to our family. Krystal started babysitting for my girls once a week - gosh - I can't even remember how long ago. When I met her she was boyfriendless, and Kamy announced that Krystal would get married by a certain age. Guess what? She did. And guess what? They had a baby of their own, thus leaving me babysitterless. (But for good reason, of course!) My daughters still ask when Krystal and Patrick are coming over. Psssst! When are you coming over? We love them so much. Having their support melts my heart. I love you guys!

Bob and Cyndy have a special connection to why I am doing this marathon. Clayton is their Grandson! And my Uncle Mike (he is a Lymphoma survivor) is Bob's brother. Obviously this makes them my Uncle and Aunt. While it was a given that I would have their support based on our family ties, I still got teary thinking about what I am able to do in honor of their Grandson. I can't think of a better way to show them how much I care. Thank you so much.

Jeff and Jodi are our neighbors across the back fence. I will be wearing the name of Jodi's Mom on my race jersey. She lost her battle with Lymphoma a year and a half ago. When I read that, I cried. It is incredible that I can honor her Mom in the race, and makes me even more determined to raise the money to help battle blood cancers! The heartache involved is just too much. I am so thankful to live in a neighborhood with great people. (I got lucky in each neighborhood I've lived in!) Thank you Jeff and Jodi.

Ryan is a fabulous cousin (I married into the family through my step-Dad) that I am lucky to know because she is just awesome. I consider her one of my dearest friends. She is married to Mark and they have a precious son named Brendan. I will be honoring Mark's Dad at the marathon by writing his name on my jersey. He recently started chemo and has a long road ahead. I know how much this hurts them. What I am doing by writing his name is such a small thing, but it has so much meaning to me. Because, as I always remind myself, someone battling cancer is going through something much much much more difficult (no comparison, really) to my 26.2 miles. I love you Ryan, Mark, and Brendan!

Ken and Margo are so much fun. Ken is a partner at the law firm where my husband works. We had a work-related event at their home last year that was one of the most fun nights of my entire year! They are such an adorable couple, kind and hilarious, too! I rarely like dogs, but I like theirs. Weird! Thank you so much for your support. You are both awesome.

Dan and Sheryl are our next-door neighbors. I have barely had a chance to get to know them, but already they have been so supportive and helpful since we moved here. They have all girls, so of course I have a connection in that way! I can't wait for the weather to warm up, as I am sure we'll run into them more often once it isn't too bitterly cold to leave the house. Dan and Sheryl - thank you!

Angi and Greg are my step-aunt and uncle on my step-Mom's side of the family. Angi is so fun and is the oldest sister of FOUR girls. I haven't been able to hang out with their family in years, which is a bummer. But oh my goodness, they are all hilarious! Their son Brock, who I swear was just a little kid when I first met him, is now in med school! I think this makes me 'old'. I truly appreciate their support, despite not having even gotten together in so long. Gives me warm fuzzies! Thank you Angi and Greg!

Kristen is my cousin (or second cousin, I guess...) and is married to Chad. They recently moved to Washington State, so I am keeping my fingers crossed they can make out to Seattle in June for the marathon! Kristen is having a baby boy soon - he is their first and this time is so special for them. Kristen has always been a great friend. She and I even "paged" at the State Capitol for her Aunt when we were younger. I will never forget that day. Such an awesome experience for us to have together. Love you, Kristen (and Chad! And baby Jonathan!)

Nicole is one of my dearest friends from high school. Now she is all grown up and is a Dentist! We lost touch for many years, but were able to reconnect again 6 months ago. It was as if we hadn't lost touch at all. She is a gorgeous woman, full of love and life. And single! (Douche bags need not apply.) Seriously, though...this woman is truly awesome. I'm lucky to call her a friend, and I miss her terribly. She's in New Orleans finishing up her her schooling for her specialty, and then...maybe she'll move closer to me. I can only hope! Love you, Nicolla! (For Nicole, I will be honoring Pam.)

Faith and Scott. I love them. I met Faith while we attended Wichita State back in the day. She and Scott now have two adorable boys, and I cannot imagine not having her in my life. She is hilariously competative - I say it lovingly! - and incredibly beautiful. And she runs fast! She did her first marathon in less than four hours. Holy speed demon! She just recently had her second son, so she's aching to get back to running. For now, she allows me to talk her ear off about it...and I think she enjoys it! I am so thankful to have their support, despite being busy with two kids and building a house. You are awesome and I love you!

Stacy is one of my favorite teachers from high school. I'll never forget meeting her. It was one of my first classes my sophmore year. A new school in a new city. I, of course, was sure my life would be over. I walked into her class (metal crafts) and had so much fun! She was so fun. Strict and fun. Is that possible? She pulled it off. I went on to take at least one other class from her and we've stayed in touch pretty well even after I graduated. To this day, I still have urges to make glass beads, and to do stained glass projects. I'm thankful she instilled a love for these things in me. And any cute pictures I take of my girls are compliments of her photography class. You rock, Stacy! I will be honoring Stacy's grandmother on race day. Thank you so much.

Natalie is yet another neighbor, only she's a tiny bit further away. Natalie was immensely helpful before, during, and after our move to the new 'hood. She shared with me the story of our neighborhood. What it was before. What the vision was for the neighborhood. And how it came to fruition. Her father-in-law was the man with the plan. He died of cancer many years ago. But she told me - and I believe this - that she is positive he would be proud of what our neighborhood has become. I'm sure he's looking down and smiling to see his vision carried out. I'm proud to wear Larry's name on my jersey for Natalie and Kyle. Thank you so much for everything.

Tena and Ken are a fantastic couple I met right before Scott and I got married. To be honest with you, I beat them both up at the gym! They are clients who have become friends through the years. I still train Tena to this day. When I mentioned last week that a client had lost her Mom to cancer, it was Tena I was talking about. I am beyond proud to put the name of an amazing woman on my jersey. Myrna will be represented and will have a special place on race day. My heart aches for them right now, as this loss is such an awful one. I'm thankful Myrna was such a strong and amazing is clear why Tena is as strong and amazing as she is. Thank you so much. Thinking of you and your family daily. Love you.

Michele is Scott's step-Mom. I suppose that makes her my step mother-in-law? She is a great woman. She was one of 15 or so at our wedding in Jamaica. She liked it so much, she has gone back multiple times. Michele lost her husband (Scott's Dad) to esophageal cancer in the late 90's. I never met him, but have heard nothing but good things about the wonderful man he was. Jim will have a very special place on my jersey. I wish my girls could know their Grandpa. He was a great hockey player, and loved the sport. I know he would have loved today's hockey game - Team Canada! (He was Canadian, after all!) It is strange. I miss him and yet I never knew him. Regardless, having Michele's support makes me proud and honoring Jim is pretty awesome, too. Love you, Michele!

Skye and Jason are friends that I've known since high school. Technically speaking, Jason is the brother to Lex, who was one of my best friends. They are the son and daughter of Phil (who I am honoring - he died from Melanoma) and Sharylyn, who I shouted out to previously. Skye is Jason's wife, and she is so hilarious. I have so many memories of laughing and laughing with her when I was in high school! They have a beautiful daughter who is lucky enough to get to spend lots of time with Grandma Sharylyn. In addition to honoring Phil, I will be honoring Amber, also. I am so thankful for you guys. Ok. Now I'm getting weepy all over again. Thank you so much.

Dale is a partner at the firm where my husband works. He and his wife Lynn are a great couple. My favorite memory of them is when we were at the Washburn School of Law 100 year anniversary celebration. Bob Dole was the keynote speaker. I brought along my Britney Spears dvd for Bob to sign. (What? He was on the dvd in the Pepsi commercial he did with Britney!) I think they thought I may have been a little crazy, but hey - we got the signature (yes, I own a Britney dvd with Bob Dole's autograph!) and I think they've learned to accept and love that I'm just me. Dale is a runner, too, and I think he should do a marathon with me sometime. Might finish a few hours faster, though. Thank you for your support!

Last, but not least, are Mike and Melinda. They are good friends with my Mom and Step-Dad. Their oldest son is best friends with my brother. They have always been around, from the time my Mom and Step-Dad got married. They've seen me as a runner in high school, as a cheerleader in high school, at my wedding reception, and whenever we are able to see them, it is always great. They are a wonderful couple, and they have two daughters, as well, who have grown up to be wonderful women. All this reminiscing makes me feel really old. Thank you so much, Mike and Melinda!

In other news:

Ahhhhh. Another one of those two-hours posts that make me weepy and emotional. I think it is a great thing to stop and think and type about every person who is supporting me. Feels amazing. (Don't fret. Mrs. Manners is also sending hand-written thank you cards, thankyouverymuch.)

Oh, just a side note: I ran TEN miles Saturday! First time ever in the double-digits! Whoop! Whoop! My ankle hates me, but I'm not too sore otherwise. I'll take it! Stats to come tomorrow. Goodnight!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Awesome x 2

The same group from the Wednesday early morning (cold) run gathered again on Thursday for a four mile adventure.

Silly me tossed out the idea of mile repeats. We warmed up a mile, then did a mile fast, then gave up and said "We're not doing that again."  It was good to get out of our comfort zone, and it truly shows me that what I struggle with may be exactly what I need. I'm sore.

1 - 10:21
2 - 8:10 (It hurt. A lot.)
3 - 10:44
4 - 10:24

The good news is that the 10 minute miles felt so easy compared to our "normal" 9-something miles. So I must be improving. Either that, or 10 minutes just felt way easy compared to the 8:10!  I have to admit, it was nice to know what I am capable of.

That said, all of you who are working to qualify for Boston AMAZE me! I cannot imagine keeping a pace in the 8's for 26.2 miles. Hats off to you, rockstars! It is truly amazing to think about your speed!

Today is rest day. I love it. I needed it after yesterday. I am so excited for the Team in Training run tomorrow! So nice to enjoy the company of everyone in the big group. Go Team!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I asked some of my Team in Training buddies to meet me at 5 this morning to run. I was quite pleased that they agreed...and without much convincing at all!

As soon as I woke up, I checked the weather. After my mistake of not dressing with enough layers last week, I know it is important to check. 19 degrees. Gulp. Windchill: 14 degrees. Buck up, sunshine! You're doing it!

We had a group of six. My friend Nickki who never runs early. Who had never run 6 miles before. Who doesn't run in the cold. Sonya is doing RNR San Diego. She alleged last week that she's training for the full, but only doing the half. We peer pressured her into doing the full. Go Sonya! (Sonya's boyfriend ran with us as well.) The "Seattle Team" was represented as well - not just by me, but with Yvette and Michele, too. Seattle RNR is a first for all three of us.

Nickki, Sonya, Me, Yvette, Michele

The run was great. Mentally I was a bit foggy for at least 3 or 4 miles. After that, I was finally able to relax in and enjoy the run. And Nickki was a total rockstar. Survived the cold, the early running time and ran a mileage PR. Go Nickki! She ended up with ice in her hair, which was quite humorous.

1 - 9:56
2 - 9:26
3 - 9:52
4 - 9:30
5 - 9:28
6 - 9:24

Here is a second shot of our group. I have some sort of mental disorder that makes me think I am about 4 inches taller than I actually am. It isn't until I see evidence in a picture that I realize that I am, indeed, short.

Thanks for the inspiration, running buddies - in person and in blog land. You all rock.

*I also got in my workout yesterday. I biked 10 miles. No Yoga, though. Girls night out dinner, instead. My ankle felt pretty great this morning, so maybe taking a day off from running to cross train is a good call.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday, Monday

I have a confession. In addition to taking off Friday last week, I also took Thursday off. I was truly afraid I had done some damage to my ankle. I literally rested, iced, compressed and elevated for two days straight. And every day since then. The good news is that while it hurts (still) - once I get a mile or two in, things warm up and loosen up and it feels totally fine during the run. I think my calves are extremely tight, and it is throwing my lower leg out of whack. Not in a shin-splints way, just in a weird ankle-bone-and-heel-bones-feel-like-they-are-going-to-explode way. But it is all good. As long as I can run and not be in pain, I'm totally fine! Heck, even in pain it will get done. Those who know me well know I have zero pain tolerance. None! So for me to push through and not give up is a huge testament to being inspired and knowing the bigger picture is much more important than some aches and pains.  

Saturday was a big day for me: my furthest distance run in 14 years! As a freshman in high school, I had a 7 mile practice one day. And now, 14 years later...I ran 8 miles. Score! I didn't intend on running 8, I was scheduled for 6. But my San Diego Marathon buddies talked me into it, as they are 3 or so weeks ahead of me. I can absolutely tell that at that mileage, I need nutrition/calories. Maybe it makes me a wimp...but I could tell that I needed it. 

Here are the stats of the 8-miler:

1 - 10:02
2 - 9:39
3 - 9:35
4 - 9:54
5 - 9:57
6 - 9:45
7 - 9:32
8 - 9:39

I'm quite impressed with myself. It is so helpful to have a group of people (that I really like!) to run with.

Sunday I jogged/walked an easy 2 miles.

Today I jogged 4-5 miles (more than four, probably not a full 5) on an indoor track. We ran for at leat 48 minutes, but completely lost count, as 10 laps is a mile. It was fun, though, and that is always great for my mental health. Thanks for the great run, Kelli! 

Tomorrow I am going to bike and hopefully get to my Yoga class. I would like to lift, also. 

Wednesday is exciting for me, as some of my teammates are meeting me for a 6 mile run at 5am. I am thrilled to not do it alone! They've even agreed to Thursday morning at 5 as well, since I don't have clients this week. So excited!  

Great week so far...and it is only Monday. I've got a good feeling of things to come!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week 5

Five weeks in already? That is crazy talk. And getting ready to start my fourth week of training?! What a journey this has been already. The generosity shown to me as a volunteer for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has far exceeded my expectations. I certainly have an awesome network of friends and family. You are all incredible! Not to say I expected any less of you in that regard! You are the ones giving me strength. And little Clayton? I know that one day when he looks back and reads of your generosity in his honor...he will be just as amazed as I am right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Donations received this week:

As a note, in case there is confusion...Yes, I am raising money for a society specific to blood cancer. However, I will be writing on my jersey the names of all individuals in my life and in the lives of my family and friends who have battled any type of Cancer. Because anyone who has battled Cancer is going through/has gone through much worse than I will in my journey to 26.2.

Barry and Janet are our neighbors from our old cul-de-sac. They lived right next to us and have a really incredible fish pond in their back yard. It was gorgeous! They were always so sweet to the girls - so much so that the girls still ask when we can go see Barry and Janet. I'm thankful for the time we had living next to them, despite the fact I was in such a fog the entire time (3 kids in less than 4 years!) that I wasn't able to be quite as awesome of a neighbor back. I think they forgive me. Thank you so much, neighbors!

Sharylyn and I go way back. Her daughter, Lex, and I were very close in high school. Sharylyn was like a second Mom to me. Hilarious and kind. Funny and sweet. Phil was Lex's Dad and Sharylyn's husband. I can say that there are some people that I will never forget. In addition to their entire family, Phil stands out as one of the men in my life who truly touched my heart. He was an amazing man. Phil lost his life to Melanoma. Phil is the reason that I will always stay on top of my skin checks with my dermatologist. And the reason that the atypical moles I had are now gone. He was taken much to early. But he fought incredibly hard, and never once stopped caring, loving, praying, and living. His funeral was an incredible day. Incredibly awful, because losing someone so important in your life is so painful. But incredibly touching/amazing/inspiring at the same time. He was a good - no, a great - man. It is a true honor to put Phil's name on my jersey in Memory of his life. Sharylyn, thank you so very much for your donation. Your family is immensely special to me. I'm thankful for you!

Matt is a lawyer at the same firm where my husband works. His wife, Polly, has already completed a marathon through Team in Training. Go Polly! I was reading an article recently about a woman who does multiple Team in Training events (she is one of my coaches). As I continued reading I got to a part that talked about a woman who is her coworker who did a marathon as well - it was Polly! There were great quotes from Polly about her experience. That got me really excited! To have their support means so much to me. I love having someone I can go to who has been there, done that. Thank you so much!

John and Sheri are like a second set of parents to me. Their daughter, Hannah, and I were inseparable our last years of high school. The similarities between Hannah and I were freaky. Our first name, our Moms both had babies within months of each other (Hannah's mom the end of our junior year, my mom the begining of our senior year), we have blonde hair, everyone got us confused, etc. We may as well have shared families! Hannah and I would go to her house at lunch, often. Sheri made the best potato soup. Ever. I still crave it. I always admired her ability to just whip something up so effortlessly. She also gave great advice. What a great woman! Sheri is still a special part of my life, as is their entire family. Though Hannah and I lost touch for a while, getting back in touch with her (and thus, with Sheri) has been a blessing. I love you guys! Thank you!

Connie is one of Scott's partners at the law firm. She and her husband, Steve, are way fun. Connie is an incredible athlete, and doing this marathon training made me think of her because I can absolutely see her doing this. Only she would kick major butt! She is gorgeous and kind and someone that I always have enjoyed. I truly appreciate your support! Thank you both so much!

Suzanne. Ah, Suzanne. She was one of 15 or so people at my wedding. (We were married in Jamaica, mon.) First and foremost, Suzanne is a survivor! She beat cervical cancer! Her name will have a special spot on my jersey. I am so pleased to pay her this honor. Suzanne means so much to me. She and her daughters have a very special place in my life. Suzanne wasn't married to him at the time, but "Vinny" was Scott's best friend. He was killed in a car accident while I was pregnant with our second daughter. Their entire family still means so much to us. Having her support brought me to tears. Suzanne, I love you. Don't forget it.

Bill and Eleanor are my great uncle and great aunt. His brother was my Mom's Dad. I never got to meet my Grandpa, he died when my mom was just seven years old. But, I do know that if he was anything like Bill, he was a fabulous man. They have always been a source of fun and happiness in my life. They have great kids - it always makes me smile knowing that cousins (my mom and their kids) stay close. Thank you so much, Bill and Eleanor, for your love and support! I'm proud to do this for Clayton and for Mike.

My Grandparents (Grandma and Grandpa "H") were incredibly kind - their donation is so very much appreciated! My Grandpa is a survivor of colon cancer, so his name will be placed with love on my jersey as well.  My Grandma wrote a "memories" book several years ago, and I was able to get a copy of it for myself very recently. Reading all about her life and random memories and stories was and is so special to me! Funny stories of she and Grandpa meeting, falling in love, and their life together just touched my heart! They are both amazing people. I'm thankful and lucky to be a part of their family. I love you both so very much!

Jack is a partner at the law firm where my husband is also a partner. He and his wife, Susie, were incredibly kind to donate and help me reach my goal. I used to see Jack all the time when I was a runner for the law firm. (FYI, that means I ran their documents, etc. around town. Not that I was a "runner" like I am trying to be now...) While I have rarely seen them in recent years, I am touched to have their support. Thank you!

Rob is a friend from long ago. Scott and I both knew him independently before we got married, but he's our friend together, now, too. He's a great guy! I'm thankful to have his support. Rob shared that his Mom is currently battling lung cancer. I'm proud to wear her name on my jersey, so a Son can honor his Mom. Rob, my prayers are with your Mom and with your entire family. Thank you again. It means so much to me.

Todd and Trish are one of the most fun couples I've met. Trish works at the law firm where my husband works, and she and I used to be buddies back when I worked at the law firm, too! We are still buddies. Trish is gorgeous and kind and, did I mention that she's gorgeous? She's got a heart of gold, and she and Todd are awesome. Trish shared that her Mom died of Cancer when Trish was just 19 years old. Broke my heart to read this, but it makes me proud that I can pay tribute to her Mom's life by writing her name on my jersey. If Trish is anything like her Mom was, I know she was an amazing woman. Thank you, Trish and Todd! I miss you guys!

Carol and Donna are two people that I was lucky enough to meet because my mom and my step-dad met and fell in love. Despite the fact I was "married in" to their extended family, I have never felt like I wasn't 110% a part of the family. Carol was the Athletics Director at the high school I attended three years, and when my life was soooo over because I had to move there - he was a big help in plugging me in with the cross country team. Which all comes back to right I'm running again. So Carol, if you read this - I partially blame you for this insanity. And I love it! You are both so awesome and I'm thankful for any time we are able to spend together. Can't wait to see you again. Thanks for always being so loving and supportive. You rock!

Joe and Amy are a gorgeous couple. Inside and out. I met Amy through a mutual friend who thought she and I would get along. And we did! They have a precious son named Evan who was born just 10 days after my middle daughter. Amy makes me smile. We even walk-jogged together at the gym for my recovery day this morning. Bless her for meeting me much earlier than she would have preferred! I'm thankful to know two great people who have a pretty awesome little boy, too. You are all so special to me - and my entire family! Thanks for being you. Don't change a thing - I mean it. Thank you so much for your love and support!

Last, but not least this week - Greg and Michelle. I always love receiving their Christmas card because as I watch their two daughters grow each year, I think about my three girls growing. The "sisters" aspect is so special to me! Greg is a partner at the law firm where my husband is a partner. While I feel like I should see them way more often than I do - we live pretty close to each other - I rarely have the chance. However, they are always so kind and fun when I have been around them in the past. Thank you for your support and donation, Greg and Michelle!

In other news:

This post just "officially" took me two hours to write! How awesome is that?! I wouldn't change a minute of it for the world. Taking the time to reflect on each person who has made a donation and shown their love and support for me is nothing short of fabulous. Again, I have some amazing people in my life! Thank you all for the inspiration and lessons on being generous.

With that said, the mileage update will just have to happen tomorrow. This tired mama needs to sleep, pronto! Have a happy week!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mileage Update/Yoga/How cold is too cold to run?

My heart is heavy today. I got word that one of my clients lost her Mom to pancreatic cancer. She's had a quick and rough battle, and took a turn for the worst a few days ago. Today I am holding her family in my heart. Myrna will have her name on my jersey at the marathon. No, it wasn't a blood cancer - but anyone who has battled cancer of any kind deserves recognition. Today's run was dedicated to Myrna.

Do me a favor and hug your Mom today. Or at least call to tell her you love her. Or remember something you love(d) about her. If you don't have a Mom for whatever reason, just take a second to remember how lucky we are simply to be alive.


On a much lighter note...

I skipped out on running and/or biking yesterday and opted to head to my favorite Yoga studio. (All classes are drop in and just $5. Whoohoo!) It was a wise choice. I started off tight and stiff and sore and left feeling taller and lighter and more stretchy. I am ga-ga for Yoga. I took a long hiatus and it was clear last night that I will be committing again once a week.

Monday: 2 miles, then another 3 miles (lifted weights in between)
Tuesday: Yoga!
Wednesday: 6 miles

This morning I got up and wanted to cry at the thought of doing my run on the treadmill. I didn't have a hard time getting up, but I was having a rough time mentally knowing I was about to pound out 6 miles in one spot. I decided to do something about it...I ran outside! It was cold. Very cold. Stupidly, I left off a long sleeved thermal that I've been putting on when it is cold. It was also less than 30 degrees. I was bargaining with myself the entire time. Just go a mile and see how you feel. You can go back to the gym and finish there if you want. Just do three miles. Ok, you're at four, just finish five. Alright, at this point you should just finish the last mile since your schedule is calling for six today. It was great!

Did you know the Garmin will actually do 1 mile splits instead of one giant 6-mile split? Just kidding - I know you know that. But I just figured out how to set it up yesterday. Now I can report that my splits were: 10:42, 9:29, 9:22, 9:31, 9:36 and 9:00.  Like I said, it was a rough start. So cold and my ankle felt like it was going to explode. Clearly things got better as I chugged along.

Also, there was a light pole that I ran past 4 times and it turned off the first time I ran by, then back on the second, then off again the third, and on again the fourth. Instead of freaking me out, it made me calm and relaxed. Maybe someone was watching out for me.

The real treat was when I got home and got in the shower. My butt and legs were an evil, fiery red! It was obvious where my sweat got trapped on my pants and froze my skin. Nice. I'm thinking those super early 20 degree runs will now require tights under my pants. Finally, 3 hours later my skin has mostly returned to its normal shade of pale.

Looking forward to one more run tomorrow, and then a day off.  And I get to see my Team on Saturday! Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I take it back...

Ah. Nothing like eating crow.

One of my running buddies asked if my knees ever hurt. I asked for a specific spot on the knees. She pointed and I said, "Nope, not there." Guess what ached Saturday afternoon...

Another running mate asked about my calves being tight. "Nope, no tightness." Guess what aches and needs some serious stretching and a major rubdown today? I'll be spitting feathers for weeks with all the crow I am eating.

I was just celebrating two or three days ago about the soreness being gone; but the run on Saturday spanked me into submission! I am quite stiff and sore. I'm thankful for it, though. Reminds me that I worked hard, and there aren't many feelings better than that.

In other news:

Who knew a Garmin could be so cool?! I've had it since Mother's Day - coming up on 2 years! And finally today I got it set up to transfer the data to my computer. Did you know it shows you a map of your runs? Of course you knew that, you tech-savvy Garmin owners. I am beyond impressed and excited. What a great tool!

Tomorrow calls for 0-3 miles. If my first client doesn't show up at 5:15am, I will be biking instead of running. Figure a little cross training is in order at this point.

The weather was so nice this evening, I nearly went out for a run! Had I not had a great run already this morning, I would have been all over it. Looking forward to the weather getting nicer and nicer. Come on Spring!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Shout Out - Week Four

Four weeks in, already? Time has been flying. I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am to do this in Clayton's honor. His experience has changed the way I think about many things in general. I feel a tiny bit guilty that I am getting all kinds of joy and personal growth from this process. I am getting in great shape, met some awesome friends that I get to run with once a week, every day I wake up feeling full of life, I am more thankful for things daily, etc. The list goes on and on. It is incredibly rewarding and humbling all at once. Plus, I am having FUN!

Donations this week:

Amy is a partner at the law firm where my husband is also a partner. He and Amy are the superstar recruiting duo for the firm. Amy is beautiful and always fun when I have been around her. I knew her husband, Gary, back in the day when I worked for the law firm. I always called him "The 401k Guy".  Thank you both so much for your generous support. Makes me smile!

In other news:

Yesterday flew by! I didn't even update my mileage as I typically do on Saturday. Here is what the rest of the week looked like:

Thursday: 4 miles (plus .25 warm up and .75 cool down)
Friday: REST
Saturday: 6 miles (plus 1 mile cool down)

The team run on Saturday was quick. I ran with my normal group and it caused me to rethink my tempo run from last week. It must have been rough Thursday because I had been puny and sick a few days prior. And I was on a treadmill. And by myself. We did our six miles on Saturday with an average 9:30 mile! I was beaming afterward - it felt so amazing! I am so thankful to have a great group to run with. We're all in the same boat and they make the time fly by. That said, perhaps I am selling myself a bit short on what I can run.

Speaking of tempo runs, I am going to ask my friend Kat's future husband (hi Darrel! Hi Kat!) if he would do a guest post here about the science behind the tempo run. He had some great information that he posted in the comments section and I am sure his information would help anyone else who is interested. To me, the "comfortably hard" description is similar to the Rate of Perceived Exertion chart. Charts and descriptions confuse me because when I think I'm working hard, chances are I am just being a wimp. As was proven with what I thought was a tempo run not being far off my long run mileage time. I am much more able to understand the science and/or the range my heart rate needs to be in.

Saturday was truly awesome and makes me look forward to logging all sorts of miles with my new friends. Go Team! Here's to a great week to everyone. Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You make me smile, Thursday.

Thursday is such a fantastic day. It is my new favorite day of the week!

Here are 10 things I love about today:

10. I got up early, got a "tempo run" in. What I think is a tempo run, anyway. I'm still confused. I used an online tool and plugged in some numbers and based my time on their calculations. I did a short warmup (walked .25 miles) and then followed it with 3 miles at 9:15 pace. It was rough! Then jogged another mile at 10:45 pace. I am proud because I wanted to stop and run far away from the treadmill. And yes, 9:15 is slooooow for some of you little speed demons. I was running thinking "I cannot believe I used to be able to run a sub-seven minute mile."

*Can anyone out there tell me if that was a "tempo run"? Or am I supposed to do another slow mile ahead of the faster pace?

9. I came home and had a shower. Yay for showers post-workout!

8. At 7:00am I was thrilled knowing that there will be no running for 48 hours. While I do love it, it is nice knowing that a REST day is ahead! And I survived this week of running!

7. I am having a beer tonight. 

6. I don't have to get up at 4:15 tomorrow. Always a great feeling.

5. My sickness is gone! A slight cough lingers on, but I don't feel run down at all. Score!

4. My husband actually smiled today. (He has a herniated disc that has really messed him up mentally - and physically too, obviously. It was nice to see some joy from him for the first time in two weeks.)

3. During my run this morning, I was getting pretty desperate for something to get me through it. I imagined that the body builder next to me was listening to Lady Gaga. Then I shared with him afterward that I was thankful he could (unknowingly) provide comic relief during a tough run.

2. I am so thankful that I can do this. The soreness is gone! Not that long ago, I would go for a six mile run because I wanted to get back into running. Then I wouldn't run for two months because I was so sore. Now I am doing multiple 6 miles runs in a week. It is awesome.

1. I have learned to appreciate the process. This ties in with number two. In high school, I could run - not the fastest, but not the slowest. My senior year, I let the mental game get to me too much, and I quit all sports. I'm thankful that the past 10 years have given me more mental toughness than I had back then. I may not be as fast as I used to be, but what marathon training requires mentally wouldn't have been possible back then, either.

I can't help but smile! What a perfect day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just a touch of Sickness.

This week has been much more of a doosey! The little girls must have coughed in my face one too many times. I got my mileage in Monday...but felt so puny that I took a "sick day" on Tuesday. I rested and chugged Emergen-C and hoped for the best. I was so thankful that my training scheduled called for 0-3 miles, so I haven't messed myself up with regard to getting my runs in. I got up this morning determined to get my six miles in (schedule called for 4-6), and I did...technically. If I include my warm up/cool down walking.

Amazingly, I felt better while running than I have any time in the past two days. Yesterday I even longed for a nice, easy two-miler. I have to remind myself sickness happens and it is best to rest when your body is telling you to. Especially when the training schedule allows for it! What I definitely do not want is prolonged sicknesses due to being a dummy and not listening to my body.

Mileage this week:

Monday: 5 miles (plus .25 warm up and .75 cool down)
Tuesday: REST
Wednesday: 5 miles (plus .25 warm up and .75 cool down)

I think I have finally answered the question of whether or not to include my warm up and cool down in my mileage. When the training schedule calls for a range of mileage, I am counting it. When it calls for a specific number, as starts next week on one of the days, I will not count it. I will still type it out, though. Heaven forbid my OCD self messes up a "list". Ha.

In other news:

I am a winner! I won a fabulous pair of Recovery Socks (in fuchsia, thankyouverymuch) on Melanie's blog: Tall Mom on the Run. Thank you for the great giveaway, Mel! And thank you to the folks at The Recovery Sock for providing the swag! I am excited to test them, especially as my mileage increases!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week Three

What a great week! Got all of my runs in. Had our first Team run. Tried out more running socks. Found out that Target carries "Sharkies" and also carries Clif "Bloks". Nice to try a package before buying multiple packages. (In defense of GU - I've never actually tried it. But I'm not sure I can handle the texture. I will try it at some point...I promise.)

On to the Shout Outs for this week.

Debra and her husband were my youth group sponsors at the Lutheran Church I attended through most of high school. They moved to Colorado and it left a big hole in my heart. I'm so thankful to have kept in touch with their family since then, and more recently it is easy thanks to Facebook. I always used to call them "Mommy and Daddy", though they didn't have kids at the time. Now they have a beautiful daughter. I always knew they would be great parents! Deb participated in a Team in Training marathon in Colorado, and she was kind enough to be proud of me and my efforts. Thank you so much, Deb! I'm thankful for the influence you had on my life. You guys are still so special to me!

Mignon is awesome. I knew she was awesome in general, and then in talking with her recently, I learned she is quite the marathon rockstar, too! She has been a wealth of information to me. And, even more exciting is that she will be running the Rock 'n Roll Seattle marathon on June 26, also! She'll finish a few hours before me. She is speedy! I've known Mignon a few years now, and she probably knows more about me than she cares to. Laser hair removal at the office where she works + me having no pain tolerance = me passed out cold...enough said. Thank you for your support, Mignon!

Here is the story I mentioned yesterday. Cindy and her son, Connor, are neighbors of ours. We hadn't met until Tuesday morning when Connor and I had a run in. Literally. His truck into my car. Very minimal damage. Seriously, not even worth having looked at. Cindy expressed the importance of teaching her kids to be thankful when someone is gracious, so she offered gift certificates, etc. to say "thank you". I told her the best thank you I could receive is a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support my efforts. She and Connor both donated. Thank you both so much. This was a great lesson for me to learn as a parent, too. You rock!

Last, but not least, are Little Jon and Cadi Anna. They are our darling friends from Texas! Linda and Big Jon (their Mom and Dad) must have helped them out...though it wouldn't surprise me if Little Jon becomes a computer whiz like his Daddy! I adore this family, and their friendship means the world to me. Linda is one of those friends I met online and who has been a permanent staple in my life ever since. She has a heart of gold. They've come to Kansas, we've gone to Texas - multiple visits with their family. We just love them. Linda even suffered through a Britney Spears concert...just for me! Thank you all so much for your love and support. I love you guys!

In other news:

Sunday called for 0 miles (Level 2) or 2 miles (Level 3).  Today I went for Level 2. I feel mildly slackerish, but I also feel great. I'm ready to hit my 4-6 miles tomorrow!

Here's to a great week!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mileage Update

Hello Everyone! Hope the last half of your week and the start of your weekend were great!

Thursday was a rough one. I woke up feeling a bit off, and thought I was getting sick. I knew at 4 that afternoon if I didn't hit the treadmill, there was no way I was going to get my mileage in for the day. Level 2 called for 3-4 miles and Level 3 called for 4-6 miles. I was aiming for an easy three. Walking. Turns out, sometimes just putting in the effort makes for a great day...

*Thursday: 5 miles(!) (Plus .25 warm up and .75 cool down)

Friday was my rest day. It wasn't very restful, minus the fact I didn't have to run. I'm so thankful things worked out the way they did and that my most hectic day was a day I didn't have to squeeze in a training session. Whew!

*Friday: REST

Today was my first "Team" run: a five-miler. It was awesome. I am such a wimp about running outside in the cold. There was a windchill of 20-something this morning, but I warmed up quite nicely about 3/4 of a mile in and found a couple of ladies with a similar pace. Ended up with negative splits, even. We finished our five miles just under 48 minutes. Not too shabby for my first time outdoors in the cold - it was great to have fellow teammates to push me! I already love being part of the Team.

*Saturday/Team Run: 5 miles (and walked a bit after)

I have a neat story coming up tomorrow in the "Sunday Shout Out". Donations can come about in the strangest of ways. Wild week!

Have a fantastic Saturday!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Check-In

Week one of training. (Though it technically starts February 8.) I am sore - apparently the three milers I was doing previously didn't help me quite as much as I had hoped. Maybe it was the lack of doing them daily that got to me. It is a good sore, though. The sore of having put in effort! So much effort that I went to bed at 7:30 last night.

Regardless - this week has been fantastic. Despite a certain womanly issue wanting to make me keel over and not run yesterday, I still got my mileage in. Best part? I felt better afterward. Score!

Monday: 4 miles. (Plus .25 mile warm up and .25 mile cool down)
Tuesday: 3 miles (Plus .25 mile warm up and .75 mile cool down)
Wednesday: 5 miles (Plus .25 mile warm up and .75 mile cool down)

So far I am not keep track of total time, though maybe I should. More importantly - trying to get the mileage in without stopping. I am around a 10 minute mile pace.

I am right in between levels 2 and 3 on the training schedule provided. I am fine during the week with the level three workouts...but the first long run is a 10 miler. Not sure if I am ready for that Saturday. (But it is 5 miles for level 2, which is what I've already done this week for my "long" weekday. Maybe there is a happy medium for Saturday? Or maybe I will just do the 5 since I am starting a week early...)  I am confident the coaches will provide an answer. I need to ask, also, about whether or not I am supposed to count my warm up and cool down as part of the mileage. I am assuming not. Worst case I am just an overachiever until I find out for sure.

Do any other runners out there count your warm up and cool down in your "mileage"?

On tap for the rest of this week is 4 miles tomorrow, Friday rest day (yay!) and the long run Saturday. I will update post-run Saturday. Have a wonderful rest of the week!