Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Less is More (and Boston News!)

I wasn't entirely truthful when I came back from my ankle injury and said it felt great. It did feel awesome for the first week or two. Then it came back with a vengence. Hobbling around the gym while I worked, limping all over at home. Not a pretty sight. It always felt pretty great while running, thankfully. I didn't want to mention it on here because, frankly, I just wanted to not think about it any more than I was already. Which happened to be every single step I would take.

Fast forward to the past two or three weeks of going from running five days a week to three days a week. Ankle pain - gone. Vanished. Buh-bye.

It wasn't an intentional switch-up to my schedule. Life just got in the way. Thank goodness! For me, less is more. Running 6 miles Monday, 8 miles Wednesday and my long run on Saturday has allowed me to run and walk and live pain free. Pretty awesome. I'm thrilled beyond belief! Because, as you know, I don't "do" pain. I was doing it, but I wasn't a fan of it. This is much better. Booyah!

Post-18 mile News:

Wow. I sucked air for the first 2.5 miles of my run last night. I mean, I love Yvette and enjoy her so much that every run is fun and filled with talking and laughing and fun. I couldn't talk. I could barely breathe. Instead of laughter, I was closer to tears. Or walking. Legs were tired. I'm thrilled to report that after mile 2.5 of the 6 miles, we were back to our old selves. And I'm so thankful it wasn't just me!

Boston News:

Not only is My Coach superhuman and amazing, he's also freaking fast. This is the guy who runs his long runs four minutes slower per mile than his marathon pace. The guy who tells us our long runs cannot be too slow. Ever. (And I love him for that.)  My incredible Coach kicked butt and ran the Boston marathon in 2:59:22.  It was his 50th "official" marathon - so a very special day all around. I am so proud of him, and so proud to learn from him. He's a great guy with a great wife and precious son and a marathoning dog...and while he sucks at softball, he obviously makes up for it with his running talent. Amazing. And inspiring.

Way to go, Coach Scott! (And all other Boston runners!)

In other News:

Oooooh! Getting excited for Sunday! I cannot wait to get a 7-miler in with my Team, followed by our first "official" Half Marathon together. Yay! Oh, and someone asked why we couldn't do the 7 miles after the Half rather than before. There are a few things stopping me:

1. This Half-Marathon is being used a training run. For the experience of a long race, and to get my 20 miles in for that day. As my coach reminded me, this is not the race I am training for. The ones that are incredibly important to me are the marathons June 6 and June 26. 

2. One of our major fundraisers as a Team starts at 12:30pm. No way will I have time to run afterward.

3. Running the 7 miles ahead of time will allow me to be a bit worn out so that I won't get over-excited and run too fast during the race. Which is really funny, considering I don't run fast even when I do run fast. Did you catch all of that?

I'm off to enjoy a quiet Tuesday evening. We close on our old house on Friday (a week early - whoohoo!) and the husband is away taking down the playset in the backyard. Time to catch up on DVR'd show that he dislikes! Yay!

Happy Mid-Week!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week Thirteen

The weeks are still flying by, in case you wondered...

In all honestly, I truly cannot believe that at the begining of this training cycle, I hadn't ever run more than 7 miles in my life. And now, 8 miles is the distance of my midweek run. Crazy!

Donations this week:

Jen is my blogging buddy from Utah. Her blog is called: Why I Run. She posts the most amazing pictures from her runs. I think Kansas is beautiful. I get through my runs here and enjoy them. That said, I think you couldn't run in Utah and not believe in a higher power. I mean, wow. It is gorgeous there. Jen is a Mom and a runner and has the most gorgeous eyes ever. She's truly a beautiful woman!  Jen, your donation was so unexpected - and also so appreciated. You rock. Thank you so much!

Also, this week was the garage sale that my friend and team mate, Stephanie, and I had together. We have so many people to thank (Samantha, Yvette, Erica, Meg, Faith, Sarah - among others!), as we truly wouldn't have had such a successful fundraiser without so many kind and generous people donating items for the sale, donating food for the bake sale, and our friends who just came and made very generous donations and who definitely weren't paying garage sale prices.

The long and short of the sale was this. We had hoped that, after three days total, we would raise $600 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. That was the amount we felt would make all of our hard work (mostly Steph's hard work!) ahead of time worth it. $300 for each of us in our fundraising efforts. Let's just say, we sure underestimated...

We made $2,000 total!

Wow. I have no other words.

We saved ourselves hours of work by not pricing anything. We did have suggested donation amounts in our heads for the big items, but beyond that we let people name their prices. Some people took beyond their fair advantage of that. But, as the numbers showed, we also had many fair and generous donors, too.

A really awesome thing was when a woman showed up on Thursday. I felt like I knew her. I kept staring at her, trying to figure it out. While she was talking to us, I turned my head away for a few seconds while she was talking, and it hit me. It was Kathy Deane - the producer of my favorite local morning radio show! The lightbulb went off in my head and I was like, "Hey! I know you!" Hilarious I couldn't figure out how I knew her by looking at her, but that her voice gave it away once I stopped looking at her. Kathy was kind enough to read a facebook message on air the next day advertising our garage sale. Thank you, Kathy!

Another neat experience was when a girl (maybe 19 or 20 years old) came, looked around, bought some cookies, and then made a donation without buying anything. I thanked her for being so generous, and she shared with me that she had Leukemia when she was 5-years-old...she's a survivor! She then thanked us for what we're doing, which was just...inspiring. It just was.

The person I have to thank the most is Stephanie. Her world was turned upside down having this sale at her house. The extra work she put in was insane. Stephanie rocks. She says it isn't a big deal, but it is. Stephanie, you rock.

In Other News:

Slow is Sexy Saturday was a smashing success this week! At 4am, five women met together to embark on the journey. Michele, Madison, Yvette, Sonya and I. At 5am, we added two more women (Jennifer and Krystle) and a dog (Pavlov, the marathoning dog). At 7am, we met the Team for our last few miles. Let's just say, doing 14 miles and stopping for 10 minutes before running again was painful. The four of us continuing on with the Team (Michele, Madison, Yvette and I) all groaned and moaned for a little bit. Then something funny happened, and we had a good laugh with our Team, and that laughter just took away all of that pain. Ok, it didn't take away all of the pain, but it sure helped.

Michele and Madison headed back at the mile mark (for 16 total, those little rockstars!!!) and Yvette and I turned around at the two mile mark for 18 total miles.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt this way...but the run was totally perfect. We talked and laughed and bonded and I can honestly say I enjoyed the entire run. What a fabulous feeling to go out at 4am, do high mileage, and afterward feel like I just had a girls night out with great friends. Yesterday I felt confident. I mean, if I can do 18, surely I can do another 8. Right? Right. Just say yes...

I'm just so thrilled at the entire weekend. Successful fundraiser, successful 18 miler, mileage PR, and fabulous company through it all. Lovin' every minute of it.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Change of Plans

My husband is out of town for work, and my childcare for this morning's 8-miler fell through last night. I've been feeling all beat down about it, and bummed, and sad. But I keep reminding myself that things tend to work themselves out. I may have missed my scheduled 8-miles for today. (The chances of getting it in today are zero.) But, perhaps I missed out on a car accident, or a wipe out while running, or something else. I won't know what it was, but it makes me feel better to think there's a reason for it beyond just to make me want to cry. I didn't cry...but I was feeling defeated.

This morning I received an email from my high school cross country coach, Dan. He sends a daily "Thought for the Day" and today it said,

"Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat." 
   --Napoleon Hill

I needed that.

As I started typing this, I received a message from my friend, Sarah. She has been such an incredible support to me in my fundraising efforts, as her Uncle is battling Leukemia. In her message, she shared that her Uncle lost his battle with Leukemia late last night.

This fight is so important. The mileage, the occasional family stress, the long hours, the fundraising, etc. This is for those losing their lives to blood cancer. For those battling. For their families. Worth every minute of it.

Keeping Sarah and her family in my thoughts today.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week 12 (The Monday Edition)

I wasn't feeling a huge need to post this yesterday, as there were no donations this week. ACK!!!

However, I've got two big fundraisers coming up over the next two weeks, so not all is lost. Or it better not be. I'm still $2,000 away from my goal!

Last week was a great week for the most part...

Monday - 6 miles in 30mph winds with my friend and teammate, Yvette. Then lifted at the gym afterward.

Tuesday - nada

Wednesday - 8 miles with Yvette, Michele, Madison and my darling Fair Weather Runner. I love these ladies. It was a great time! (My Coach didn't show up, as he's a total slacker. I mean, he was preparing for a marathon on the weekend - and did so in 3:30, and is planning to sub-3 hour Boston. What a drama queen.)

Thursday - Mental health day. I needed a break from running. Or a break from fundraising. Not sure which, but as of 9pm Wednesday night, I decided I was "never running again". Maybe I'm the drama queen. Just one of those days.

Friday - Scheduled day off. (Yep, that made 3 days off last week.)

"Slow is Sexy" Saturday - 16 miles. I was feeling it afterward. And yesterday. I feel great today, however. Enjoying nearly every weekend being a mileage PR!

Today I've got 6 miles on tap with Yvette, again.

My husband and I had it out on the weekend with regard to the time the training, the fundraising, etc. takes. I get what he's saying. But I warned him the times will keep getting longer, which didn't thrill him. After the fundraising finishes up, I am going to start running at least an hour or two before the Team starts. That way I can still run with my Team, but can also keep the peace at home. Cutting long run days short isn't an option, so I will work with it however I can. He's quite supportive of what I'm doing, but April has just been tough. Fundraiser after Fundraiser. Long mileage. And maybe it was just one of those times in a marriage where you need to fight it out, make sure everyone is on the same page, and then come out of it stronger. As we have. All is well, now. But I'm still going to start running earlier on long run days.

Oh, and remember when I mentioned that my first Half Marathon is coming up April 25? Well...I neglected to mention is that my training schedule calls for 20 miles that day. Which means that yes, I'll be getting a PR since I've never done an "official" Half Marathon. But it also means I'll be running 7 miles right before the race. Then doing the 13.1 miles. Don't hate on me too much for my slowness. I'm using "Slow is Sexy" Saturday (well, Sunday that week) as my excuse.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Shout Out: Week Eleven

Incredible that I am 11 weeks into this adventure. For those new to the blog, Hello! My "Sunday Shout Out" is what I've done each week since the beginning and I just show some love to all the people who made donations during the week.

Donations this week:

Mark and Kim are my Uncle and Aunt on my step-Dad's side of the family. Allie and Marcus are their children, and I used to babysit those two! Now Allie is a college girl, and Marcus is a highschooler! When did that happen?! Their family is a fabulous family to call my own. Like the rest of the family, they welcomed my brother, sister and I with open arms, for which I will be forever grateful. Allie is so great with my girls, and they really love her, as do I. And Marcus is so cute, my girls just get all shy around him! Such a nice guy. Gives me hope that when my girls are in high school, there will be nice guys like him around. Thank you all so much for your love and support. I truly appreciate it!

Wayne and Claudia are a truly amazing couple - the link when you click Wayne's name is an amazon listing with the books he has authored. I need to tell a story to explain how I know them. It is a great running story. Actually, this couple had a huge impact on my love for running back in the day. I met them as a 14-year-old at Jim Ryun's Running Camp. (Not familiar with Jim Ryun? Grew up in Wichita. Olympian. Only highschooler for many years to run a sub-4 minute mile. Awesome man. Incredible family...) Anyway, Wayne and Claudia attended the camp the same year I did - Wayne taught me everything I know about fast-twitch vs. slow-twitch muscle fibers. It was Wayne who suggested perhaps a shorter race would be my race (vs. the 2 mile) based on my fast vs. slow twitch muscle fibers! And Claudia is an amaizngly kind and generous woman. I can safely say they are one of the most Godly and honestly good couples I have ever met. And I've been in touch with them for nearly 15 years. They had a huge impact on my life. My running life, my personal life, etc. I'll never forget them. I am so touched they were moved to donate. They probably have no idea just how much of an impact they had on me. Needless to say, I'll never forget them. Thank you both so much. All these years after JRRC, I still admire and adore you. Thank you for everything.

Boot Block Volunteers:

Paige is my sister. Of course I love her! I've known her...well...all of her life. She's a dreamer, and she's a creative soul, and she's got a whole lot of awesome to offer the world. I can't wait to see where she ends up. I know once she's completely plugged in where she wants to be, she'll be incredibly successful. I adore you, Paige, and I love you so much. Thank you for standing on a corner for five hours with me. I truly appreciate you.

Nickki is a friend I've known for...maybe 8 years? And, thankfully, we've become even more close the past two years. She's awesome. And gorgeous. When you look past her outer beauty, you get to see the inner beauty...quite an amazing package she offers! Nickki is just amazing. Those who know her won't argue with that statement a bit. I'm so thankful to know her and to call her my friend. Thank you, Nickki, for taking your ENTIRE Saturday to be with me. She ran the race with me, and stayed the entire five hours of the boot block as well. What a trooper! I hope your back is feeling better, Nickki! You rock. Don't forget it. I love you! Thank you.

Kelli is a friend I met in college. We've always stayed in touch. She's a keeper! I was with Kelli as a "fan" at her first marathon. At that race, I swore I would *never* run a marathon. Ever. (Side story, the girl who watched Kelli's marathon with me also said the same thing - no marathon, no way, no how. We're both doing RnR San Diego through TNT. Crazy how life works out.) Kelli has one of the most amazing hearts ever. She's a world-changer, this woman. Kelli will be in my life forever. I love her. Thank you, Kelli, for showing me that marathons are doable...and that I'm as crazy as you are for wanting to do one. Or two. Or three. You rock, and I love you. Thank you so much for your help yesterday!

People in Wichita who donated at the boot block: You're all awesome. Period. Thank you for teaching me the lessons you taught me.

In Other News:

This entire weekend was awesome. One thing after another. Had a great day today. However, the Easter Bunny broke his leg and couldn't get to our house (bad Mommy and Daddy!) until after we arrived back home from my parent's house. And we all rejoiced that he was all better.

I'm just so grateful today. So many great things happening. If you haven't considered doing a marathon through Team in Training, I would highly suggest it. And I'm not just being crazy because it is important to me, based on my family history with blood cancer. (Though of course it makes it special and important to me...) The people I have met are friends for life - you know who you are! The Team aspect reaches so much further than just running together. I just think coming together for a good cause opens you up in big ways. Just throwing it out there, because it really has been awesome! Consider it.

Have a fabulous week. My first half-marathon is three weeks from today in Wichita. Many of my buddies will be running in OKC at the same time. Oklahoma City would be fun, given the company I would share, and the meaning behind the race. So excited for my "race", though I wish I could be two places at once...

Happy Easter!

Sunday Shout Out: Week Ten (last week's post!)

Happy Sunday! This post didn't get posted last week. Or maybe it did...but it was showing it as a draft. I am so sorry to all who donated and didn't get shouted out last week! I really had it done and pushed publish...but the internets weren't my friend. I love you all!

Donations this week:

Erica at Run, Mommy, Run! is such a sweet woman. She recently ran her first 5k(s) and even planned to run Tall Mom's Virtual 10k this weekend. I can't wait to hear how fabulous it was for her. She is always so supportive, kind, and generous. I even won a Bondi Band from her in a giveaway! Erica always makes me smile. Having her support is such a gift. Thank you so much, Erica!

Brian is a lawyer who works with my husband. Brian is one of those friends who you know you'll laugh with. He's hilarious! Brian and I traveled to Oklahoma to hear a friend sing very many years ago. We had so much fun riding roller coasters and hanging out. And he's always down for some trash-talking during lawyer-league softball. I appreciate Brian so much, and I'm thankful for a friend who can always put a smile on my face. Brian, you rock. Hope you had a very Happy Birthday! Thank you so much for your support.

Amy is my Mom's cousin. She lost both of her parents to Cancer, and I am proud to honor both of them for her at the marathons. Amy is so funny, and I always remember laughing with her when she would come visit. She lives way too far away, now, and I can't even recall the last time I saw her! But my Mom adores her, and I think that means she needs to plan a trip to Kansas very soon. I'm so thankful for you, Amy. Thanks for the fun memories. Hopefully we can create some more, soon. Thank you so much!

Betty and Dennis are my Aunt and Uncle on my Step-Dad's side of the family. They have four boys who are mostly grown (the last one is in high school!), and Betty is always so great with my girls. I think she's practicing for Grandma duty! (She'll make a great one.) They have always been so welcoming and kind to my brother and sister and I, despite us coming to the family via marriage. I consider them family just the same. I'm thankful to have their love and support. Thank you both so much! Betty, lets get you to my house soon. Thank you again - so much.

In Other News:

Had a decent week, despite lack of blogging and lack of blog reading. All of my daughters threw up all.night.long and it was such a long night last night. I'm going to cut this short and get back to it once I have some rest. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Oh, and I ran 15 miles yesterday. Awesome! New mileage PR!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Slow is Sexy" Saturday

I PR'd today at the Easter SunRun! So much for "Slow is Sexy" Saturday!

Ok, it was my first 10k...so it was a guarantee - but yahoo anyway! My "official" race time was 57:10. (Shaved 7 minutes off the virtual 10k from last weekend!) Negative splits, too. Yay!

Despite the mental anguish I had surrounding the race, it really ended up being a lot of fun. (Thank you all for your helpful hints and words of encouragement!) And as much as I am not competative, I sure got that way when these douchey boys that I passed said, "They're going way too fast. They're going to die at the end and we'll pass them."  Needless to say, I didn't let that happen. (Punks.) I will probably always dislike racing, but I can appreciate the fun of it all when it is over.

Megan, Yvette, ME!, Nickki, Madison, Michele

We also had the "Boot Block" today to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Our group raised close to $1000 at our intersection! I am so amazed at the generosity of people. And the people you think would "never" help out turned out being the most giving of all.


* The Fair Weather Runner (my newest blogger-turned-real life buddy - which I am still completely thrilled about) stopped by to donate and introduce herself and her husband to me. I was so thrilled to see them! Thank you, my adorable friend! I think you are awesome and I'm so excited to get to see you for more than 5.243 seconds next time.

* A man who was completely shady (by all appearances) rode up to my sister and I on his bicycle. We made small talk, and then he talked to us about saving lives by what we're doing with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He thanked us for what we are doing, and gave us all the cash he had. I about cried.

* People are generous and good.

* When you wave and smile at people, people wave and smile back. Feels good!

* While doing a Boot Block, waving at kids is key. I can't tell you the number of times I would wave at a child, they would wave back, and then ask their parents for money to give. Such sweethearts!


* The last car of the day was full of kids in the backseat. I waved (as I had been doing all day) and one of the kids made a gun with his hands and shot me. Disturbing. Extremely disturbing.

* I saw sooooooo many little ones (babies and toddlers) not in carseats. Also disturbing.

* (Yelled to me by a random passerby) "Daaaaaaaaaayummmm! Girl, your ass is FAT!" Maybe he meant "Phat"?  And if so, maybe this belongs on the "Upbeats" list...

Clearly, the good outweighed the bad today. Standing on a corner (for five hours) asking for money is a really really tough thing to do. It is very intimidating, but also very rewarding. It taught me many lessons about giving. I am so proud to have done my part and helped raise all of that money. Thank you, people of Wichita who crossed through our intersection! (And a big thank you to all of our volunteers - mine included Paige, Nickki, and Kelli. You are all so very kind and I appreciated your help so much!)

Standing on a corner...asking for money. Go Team!

A good day, indeed. My legs are completely exhausted.