Sunday, May 23, 2010

Not Alone Anymore

Yesterday was the first workout in a very long time where I was not alone. My coaches, Paul and VV, were with me during the entire 12 miles. But I realized later that day that I really have not been alone through this challenging journey. Even on my long workouts when I have not been able to run and everyone else left me behind, I have not been alone. The spirits of my grandmother and uncle who lost their battles to cancer have been with me all the time. Knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of current cancer patients also keeps me going. In addition to these people, all my donors and supporters that have made my journey to San Diego possible, they have been with me during each workout. Two of my friends used the word "epiphany" this I too have had an journey has not been one that I have experienced alone.

One my teammates recognized the amount of commitment I have put into training for this marathon, the full marathon. She said that if it had been her in my shoes she would have dropped down to the half marathon. But I didn't! I have done everything in my power to complete the entire marathon. I have endured countless workouts with pain and learned how to make my legs stronger that will eventually reduce that pain. Watching my teammates run ahead of me is difficult, yet I continue to do what my body says is best. I wear two bracelets at all times. One says: Train Endure Achieve Matter. The other one says: Relentless.

Relentless...that just about sums up my entire personality. I am not a quitter. I learned a great motto a long time ago while I was in the Coast Guard...improvise, adapt, overcome! This is what I have done to accomplish my mission! So I will continue to walk until I can run again. I will continue to ice and stretch everyday. I will continue to build strength in my legs with each leg lift. I am not alone...I never have been!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

20 miler...

Saturday was my biggest challenge...finish a 20 miler. This was the deciding factor in my training. If I could finish 20 miles with no pain then I could finish the entire marathon on June 6th...all 26.2 miles!!

The course was new to me but not my team. They have been subjected to this route during several previous long workouts...however, I was out of town!
Anyway, we walked as a team for the first 3 miles as a warm up. Then I completed the next 17 miles alone, with my iTunes. Thank you Angie for putting 7 hours of pump up music together for days such as this one.

The hills were difficult and the humidity made breathing a challenge, but the worst thing was not having water at our preset water stop. Apparently someone stole it! Can you believe it? Who would steal our water? So after completing 11.5 miles I carried a bottle of water for the duration of the workout!

My right knee, the one with tendinitis, did not bother me. However, my left knee felt pressure going down Deer Avenue (the dreaded hill). Each 4.25 mile loop made it worse but not to the point of pain, thank goodness! The blisters, ah the blisters, they appeared during the final 4.25 mile loop. It felt like my skin was tearing from the sole of my left foot. When I finally finished the 20 miler I was afraid to remove my socks. Fortunately, no tears! And Coach VV provided a bucket for a foot ice bath....not to mention mimosas, watermelon, and salty snacks!!!

Below is a photo of me, Angie, and Coach VV. We are soaking our feet in the ice water..but you can't see the proof.

We had lunch as a TEAM at the East Shore Cafe in Daphne. It was hard to walk after that and the drive home was exhausting. I even called my mom just so I could stay awake on the Bay Bridge. My final stop before heading home was to purchase ice for my ice bath. 30 pounds...30 pounds!!!
So I took my ice bath, showered, and took a nap...the shortest nap of my entire training, only one hour!
Sunday morning I slept in til 10:30...I haven't done that in a VERY, VERY long time! Then I went to my 1 hour massage...highly recommended after such a demanding workout!

This Saturday...only 12 miles...ONLY 12! It is funny that only 12 miles seems so little after completing 20 miles. I am tapering for the big event...only 17 days away!!! Butterflies in my stomach...already!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nike Preview Party

Thursday I was fortunate to participate in the Nike Women's Marathon Preview Party. I was a member of the fashion show modeling Nike running attire. The Campaign Manager, Molly, coaches, and participants spoke about the benefits of training and fundraising through Team In Training. Hopefully we inspired many women and men to sign up for this wonderful event to help support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Nashville Half-Marathon

Last weekend I completed my first half-marathon. Rain, thunder, lightning, and the threat of tornadoes could not stop me from finishing those 13.1 miles. Between mile 10 and 11, I was forced to seek shelter in a warehouse along the course. After waiting fifteen minutes, a medical official said the weather was not going to improve and we could finish the race at our own risk. I only had 2.6 miles to go so I high tailed it out of that warehouse.

I steadily increased my pace...pumping my arms to make me go faster. I had the finish line in my mind and nothing was going to stop me now. My mentor, Tish, met me near mile 12 and walked with me until we saw my coach Paul. Paul walked with me for a short distance, explaining the route to the finish line. At this point the finish line was in sight.

Soaking wet, with sore shins, I crossed the finish line in 3 hours 46 minutes and 18 seconds. Had I not been pulled from the course I would have finished in the time I had predicted when I registered for the half marathon, 3:30.0. But I cannot control Mother Nature!

The best part of the race...I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO KNEE PAIN!!!

Here are some of the highlights of my race weekend:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

With 3 weeks remaining on my fundraising campaign, I am $700 away from my personal goal of $3900! The deadline is May 17th. If you have not donated yet PLEASE visit my fundraising site and make a donation today! Thank you so much!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

I want to be on your blog!

My eight year old niece, Alexis, wanted to be on my blog after I showed her what I was doing with the Bunny Chase photos. I told her that it was a running blog so I needed to post photos of her running. Well that was no problem for her; she even recruited her younger sister, Gianna, to join the fun.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend

My weekend started bright and early Saturday morning with setting up for the 2nd Annual Bunny Chase 5K and Family Fun Festival. I arrived at Medal of Honor Park at 6:30am and began setting up the face painting booth.

Race participants started arriving not long after we began setting up. The Easter Bunny appeared and really had a great time entertaining the children and racers.

I was not able to complete my long workout with my TEAM this weekend because they ran on Friday, the day of my high school's prom. So I completed my long workout this morning while everyone was just getting up and getting ready for the Easter celebrations. The mileage this weekend was 8 miles and I was able to walk the entire distance in 2.5 hours, with minimal knee pain. I am not sure when I'll be able to run again. I will be starting week 3 of physical therapy tomorrow. It is definitely working because my knee pain is diminishing slowly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Azalea Trail Run

Today was the Azalea Trail Run in Mobile, Alabama. I have heard about this run since I moved here in 2007. So this year I signed up to be a runner. However, with my knee pain during this month I was just hoping that I could walk the entire 6.2 miles. Well I accomplished my goal and made a new friend in the process. Her name is Melissa and she completed the Nike Women's Marathon last October in San Francisco. I want to participate in that one too. I LOVE SAN FRANCISCO!!!

Anyway, she walked the entire marathon. So there is hope if my knee will not allow me to run...I can walk my marathon. My main objective is finish the entire marathon. I am a runner not a racer, so time is not a factor. When I participated in the 100 mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe, my goal was to finish. I finished...12 hours later...but I rode my bike 100 miles and finished strong!

So I am still optimistic about San Diego and I will get to test my strength in a few weeks at the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Azaleas In Bloom

The azaleas are in bloom, just in time for the Azalea Trail Run. Today I helped out in the Team In Training booth at the Expo.

The bunny ears were to help promote the Bunny Chase 5K and Family Fun Fest that will be held next Saturday at Cottage Hill Park.

This year's t-shirt design!

Physical Therapy

This week marked the start of my physical therapy. I was put through the ringer yesterday, performing exercises and stretching for almost an hour.

My favorite part of therapy is the ultrasound treatment.

It always puts a smile on my face!

After the ultrasound, I iced my knee for twenty minutes!

Back again on Monday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not Quite Healed

My knee has prevented me from running. My last run was the McGuire's 5K on March 13th. Last week I saw the physical therapist that helps our student athletes at Murphy. He was able to schedule an appointment with on orthopedic surgeon on Friday. The diagnosis: patellar tendinitis.

I have been pain free since last Thursday. Stretching, icing, and resting have been key elements to my recovery. My doctor advised me to rest for 1-2 weeks.

Tonight I decided to test my knee, so I meet my TEAM at USA for track practice. My plan was to walk two miles around the track. I completed 5 laps before the pain set in. My final lap marked 1.5 miles. I'm not sure now if I will be able to finish the Azalea Trail Run (ATR) this weekend. It is a 10K (6.2 miles). My TEAM is planning on running 10 miles prior to the ATR. I am so frustrated and feel so alone. This endeavor has been one of the hardest challenges I have faced in recent years. I continue to think positively because I am doing something good for others. For people who need my help.

So tomorrow I begin physical therapy. I am optimistic that this will get me back on track for my marathon. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lastest Fundraisers

This week featured the conclusion of the Leprechaun For A Day fundraiser and Cheeburger Cheeburger fundraiser. Enjoy the slideshows from each event.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

McGuire's St. Patrick's Day 5K

What a beautiful day for a run!
My sister and I started this tradition last year, but this year we wanted more flare during our run. Hence the costumes. We did have the best costumes and countless people stopped us to share their compliments. My sister almost did not wear her costume! What fun!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Isaac's Ice Cream Birthday Party

Tuesday night we all, the TEAM, got together at Cammie's Old Dutch for an ice cream party to celebrate Isaac's 9th birthday. Enjoy the slideshow below which features some highlights from the party!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Burnt Toast!

My day started with burnt toast and missing running shoes, thus I was late to practice. I arrived prior to the Mission Moment and continued my flexibility drills while everyone else began their 8 mile run. A Mission Moment is when we share with the TEAM a personal experience about someone we know who is battling cancer or whose battle ended unfortunately. Then we dedicate our run to that person or people.

After incorporating more stretching and strength training during the previous seven days, I began my run optimistic that I would complete all 8 miles. However, after the first mile I knew that running would not be an option. So I walked the remaining seven miles. The final mile was painful but I am happy to say I completed all 8 miles.

I still have a smile on my face after completing 5 miles.

When I finished my run, Coach Paul said he sent the others ahead to reserve a table for breakfast. That was music to my ears; I was so hungry, having completed 8 miles in 2 1/2 hours.

Chocolate Milk: The Best Recovery Drink
We ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel. YUMMY!!

After breakfast I drove to Target to pick up some meds, food, and ICE!!
I experienced my first ice bath.

I am hooked. I see more ice baths in my future.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Isaac!

Today is Isaac's 9th birthday! He is such an amazing boy and so full of energy. I will see him next Tuesday as we celebrate his birthday with an ice cream party. I can't wait. Isaac's smile is so addicting and I just love ICE CREAM!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Don't Get Discouraged!

Yesterday my training schedule said I needed to run 12 miles. My goal was 10 miles since I was unable to complete that distance a couple of weeks ago due to my foot pain.

The morning started off great with only a slight amount of rain. I actually enjoy running in the rain, as long as it is not freezing rain. I am still running a 1:1 interval and I think I will stay here. I am able to run faster during the run portion and maintain a steady walk pace during the recovery minute. I surprised myself when I was able to keep up with one of my running budides who was running a 2:1 interval.

Unfortunately I had to end my run early due to knee pain in my right knee. I completed 6 miles. My problem is related to my iliotibial tract (IT band). I did not follow my coaches' advise and stretch last week. So my goal this week is to ice, stretch, incorporate strength training and cross-training (I have to get back into the pool!!). Hopefully these changes will help with my injuries and put me back on track with the rest of my teammates!!! GO TEAM!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Selling Race Course Miles

There are 26 full miles that I will be running in the San Diego Rock-n-Roll Marathon. The official course has finally been released, all 26.2 miles. As one of my fundraisers, I will be selling each mile for $26.20. You can pick any of the 26 miles and I will dedicate that mile or miles to you as I run the race. But do not worry I can run for more than one person on each mile, so I do not want you to think that only 26 people can participate in this fundraiser. I have posted a link to the course map so you can pick your mile(s).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pain, pain, go away...

Tonight I ran with my TEAM at the USA track. We ran Indian runs and I felt really awesome...until the final lap! Once again my left foot started talking to me. I am not sure if it is related to my IT (iliotibial tract) band. So I will continue to ice my feet and hope for the best. We are scheduled to run 12 miles this Saturday. My goal is at least 10 miles since my farthest distance so far has been 8 miles. Wish me luck!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

New running shoes...

I bought new running shoes tonight. As part of our team training, we are encouraged to attend a shoe clinic. This event was actually a few weeks ago but I did not buy shoes then. However, after my foot pain from last week I decided to try a new pair. Joe at McCoy Outdoor Co. said my other shoes were a bit clunky. SO I bought a pair of Nike's and they are definitely lighter with more cushion in the toebed. I am anxious to try them out tomorrow. I only wish that it would warm up so I can start wearing my cute new running skirts!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My latest creation: a donation jar that I am using to collect money for my fundraising campaign. I left it at my vet's office.

New Blog!

Welcome to R to the fourth!
I will be using this blog in addition to my fundraising page to update my training and fundraising status.