Sunday, September 30, 2007

Two things...

First of all, I ran seven miles yesterday and, much to my surprise, it was great! I mean, really nice. (Okay, some slight stiffness, but it seemed to recede quickly I'm in Minnesota and genuinely enjoying a rainy, but classic, fall weekend. Yesterday morning, I ran my seven miles under gray skies on one of the many fantastic trails near my sister's house. I even got to run over the Coon Rapids Dam (across the Mississippi), and around a lake and prairie restoration project. For something that was freaking me out as much as it did, things turned out really well and I felt sort of pleasantly buzzed for the rest of the day, sort of exalting in my personal best. I've been on such a high this weekend that I went out and ran 2 miles this morning, just for the heck of it!

Second, on a more sentimental note, and sort of getting at what I was thinking about (but didn't say) the other day, if you have never done anything like this before, I really recommend it. I mean, there is something so special about doing something like this, something bigger than oneself. I know that I probably never would have run a whole marathon, or seriously trained for it, if I wasn't motivated by all of you out there supporting me. It's a collaborative effort and I am delighted to talk with you about it and have you comment on/inquire about my progress. I'm discovering readers I didn't know that I had and such a wonderful generosity from some genuinely unexpected places. Hopefully, you are keeping an eye on my fundraising progress, 'cause it all goes together. But we've all come too far to turn back now, so I'll keep logging those miles.

Next post: a total mileage report.
Next weekend: 8 miles (in hot, humid Tyler! )

Friday, September 28, 2007

Late run and nerves

So yesterday I worked the evening shift (12-9) and put my run off until 8am. Big mistake. East Texas is hot and humid at 8am and even a four mile run was tough. So I took a slightly different route and called on Sean to help me out. I think he joined me about halfway through, because things seemed to get much easier. Whew...

Tomorrow, I run 7 miles and I am apprehensive, to say the least. I've never run that far and I'm doing it by myself. At least I'm in MN so I can't complain about the heat. I have some mushy, sentimental things to talk about, but I'm too distracted at the moment. Stay tuned, I may be in the mood for major introspection tomorrow after I exhaust myself. Nothing more to say now because I am currently surrounded by five screaming nieces who have no patience for my blogging...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Humidity Factor

So, the last time I wrote I thought that the 2 mile run would be "easy" or "no problem" --not quite. Why? I think you may guess from the title of today's post. The Humidity Factor! For those of you unfamiliar with the climate down here in East Texas, it's bloody humid. So anyway, Monday's two miles were a full and hard-slogged two miles.

I knew that it was going to be the same today when I woke up to the weather and heard that it was 73 degrees at 6am (ugh). So, I just stayed in my bed until a voice in my head practically shouted, "McKenna!" She's my Tuesday run inspiration (still doing great after her bone marrow transplant btw) and, I don't know, I just thought of how much work it is for her just to get outside her room and how she still does it, how brave she is (and what a big dork I am) and I pushed myself out of bed. Still took me awhile to get on the road, but I did it. Ran four muggy miles which, in retrospect, seemed easier than the 2 from yesterday. I think once I've been going for about half-an-hour or so, things get strangely easier. Go figure!

So hey! Thanks to all of you who have donated so far, things are looking pretty good! I am about 21% to goal and at 30% to the race threshold ($3800).

See you soon!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Five Miles!

How lame is it that I'm weirdly proud of my 11:29 average over 5 miles? Pretty lame. I mean, at that pace I would finish the marathon in about 5 hours, which seems like a very long time to be running, more than 1/5 of a day! Then I think back to my waitressing days, and I have hope. I can stay on my feet for 5 hours, oh yeah. Anyway, back to my excitement over this time. I came in first yesterday of the team members! Hooray for me. Some may think its a shallow victory due to the fact that one of them left early with shin splints and the other appears to have injured her ankle and there were only three people there anyway, but... hey, I'll take what I can get. :)

Okay, I'm kidding. A little.

Next week I get to run in Minnesota! I had thought that I might run around the lakes, but Kathleen is having some kind of charity race for Target and she has asked me to come and do the 5k with her. Weird thing is, though, that I need to run 7 miles. Somehow I will find a way to get the extra mileage in, perhaps by preceding things with a four mile run. Or something.

An easy 2 mile run tomorrow. It will probably feel like I'm cheating!

Ciao for now...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday run

4-1/2 miles this morning! Working my way up to 5 on Saturday for another team training. But no more cotton shirts, no matter how cute and stylish and free they are from some fancy Madison clothing store they are. Nope, word of the day for today is "wicking" - moisture wicking to be precise.

So today was an interesting run, saw two other women out walking and a guy walking his lab puppy. Strangely, I do not often see too many people out on the roads - though they do seem to like the local walking trail. I'm also starting to see my regulars: a lady who walks out to get her paper at about 6:45am (she likes to tell me I have "a lot of energy for so early in the morning"), and a woman and her cat drinking coffee on their porch.

I need to find something interesting to tell y'all or I'll never make any money. In the meantime, I'm off to stretch the hamstrings...


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yesterday and today...

Two days of running with very different experiences helped me learn a bit about myself as a runner. First of all (and much to my surprise) I found that while I am not an early riser, I am an early runner. It will be interesting to see how I reconcile these two sides of myself as training goes forward.

Let me explain:
Both days I ran 3 miles. Yesterday I got up at 6:15, had a brilliant run, came home, showered, went to work, etc... Today I got up at 9:00am (bad night of sleep, in my defense, and I'm working the swing shift at the library) and did not hit the road until 9:45. Not such a great run, huffing and puffing and panting my way to the end. Also, I've been thinking about that stupid run all day, with a good deal of general negativity and some serious irritation with that very nice route. What gives? Well, I figure that a good part of this is the sun. Yesterday morning, no sun (too early); this morning, lots of sun (too late). So I guess I'm just going to have to force myself to get up earlier. Sigh...

I also think I need to put this all in perspective, motivationally speaking. Getting up early is nothing compared to spinal taps and graft vs. host disease, so there!

And speaking of which, a big shout out to Ann and McKenna who are doing really well this week. Ann is rocking the chemo and McKenna is making fantastic progress after her bone marrow transplant last month. Way to go ladies! Now all I have to do is get out and run 4 miles on Thursday morning...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

First Team Training!

So, I ran with the team yesterday, which was really great. One of the coach's told me that I was running between a 10-1/2 and 11 minute mile, which was about what I thought, but nice to have confirmed. Anyway, I ran 4 miles yesterday and I'm running 5 miles next week. Some of you have asked me what the long run schedule looks like, so here it is:

9/22 - 5 miles
9/29 - 7 miles (which will be the longest ever, to this date)
10/6 - 8 miles
10/13 - 9 miles
10/20 - 6 miles
10/27 - 10 miles
11/3 - 13 miles
11/10 - 10 miles
11/17 - 12 miles
11/24 - 15 miles
12/1 - 12 miles
12/8 - 17 miles
12/15 - 12 miles
12/22 - 20 miles (!)
12/29 - 10 miles
1/5 - 5 miles

On January 13, I'm supposed to run 26.2 miles at the Walt Disney World Marathon, where I would like to run for Sage (Sean's sister) to help her build another beautiful memory of her brother.

You may notice that I do not run more than 20 miles before this, which freaks me out, but I'm told this is normal. I suppose that the powers that be (who are they? I suspect they are the editors at Runners World. Anyway...) think that this should be sufficient. I guess we'll see. It seems kinda crazy to me, but what do I know.

Anyway, getting up to do 3 miles tomorrow morning before work.

Hey, thanks to all the contributers. Hopefully I can hit the halfway mark by the end of October. That's when I have to "recommit", which basically means that I have to pay the balance of my commitment amount. If I can make $1900 by this time, I guess I'll feel pretty confident. I want to raise $5000, but I have to raise $3800.

Okay, ciao for now...

Friday, September 14, 2007

some cooler running

Okay, so I've had two more runs this week, both of the shortish 3 mile variety, and both pretty good. The weather cooled off for a bit (yesterday it was only 64 degrees when I started out, which was great for this yankee).

Thanks to those of you who have contributed so far. Just so you know, I have until the end of October to get to the half-way point in my fundraising, at which point I need to recommit to the marathon (and pay the remainder myself). Also, any amount helps. If 100 people contribute 38 dollars apiece, that's $3800!

Anyway...tomorrow I run with the rest of the Team and we are up to 4 miles.

Monday, September 10, 2007

hot and humid

So, I've decided to take my training outdoors (I had been running inside on an indoor track at work). Two major problems with this: heat and humidity. Yuck. Anyway, ran 3 miles this morning before work, and during the last 10 minutes of the run, chanting "Curing cancer, easier than chemo. Curing cancer, easier than chemo..."

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Welcome to my blog!

**Attention: A version of this is posted on the upper left side of this page.**

I created this site in honor of my nephew, Sean, who joined the Hundred Mile Club at his elementary school last September. He loved to run and he had pledged to run a hundred miles last year. Sadly (oh, but sadness does not even begin to describe what we felt), he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, complicated by the Philadelphia Chromosome and Monosomy-7 chromosome.

He underwent chemotherapy all last fall and had a bone marrow transplant shortly after Christmas. More complications, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and - with incredible speed - he slipped away from us on March 8. Heartbreak...

So, I guess I'm picking up where the boy left off. Taking my fat, lazy self out on the road to run a Hundred Miles (and then some) for the American Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. At the end of the process, I plan to run 26.2 miles (yup, that's right, a marathon) and this is where you come in. I'm asking for your support.

I'd like to raise about $5000.00 for this incredible organization that is training me to run a marathon while raising money for cancer research and family support. If you would like to sponsor me, please click on the link at the upper right corner of this page. In return, consider this blog a report on your investment. I will try to make regular updates to let you know how I'm doing... a public runner's log, if you will.

Finally, while I am running in memory for this dear, dear child whom I miss every single day, I am also running for hope. In particular, I am running for two more honored heroes - Ann and McKenna (whose last names are withheld here for their privacy). The spirit of these brave young ladies and their families (whom we met through Caringbridge and Sean's school) have been a comfort and inspiration as our family has grieved. So, I'm running in memory of Sean and in honor of Ann and McKenna who will, with grace, beat this ugly disease.