Monday, September 28, 2009

4 weeks to the day!

Well, 4 weeks from today I will hopefully be drinking a Guinness in a pub reminiscing about those ol' 26.2 miles I had to run earlier in the day! That's right, folks, just four more weeks!!! Can you believe it? I can't!!!

I've been going to a massage therapist who has been doing wonders for my plantar fasciitis - more than any of the podiatric specialists I had seen. Just as it was improving, I fell down my steps and twisted the other ankle. Grrrr. Now we're back on track and ready to go!

Attractions include: 21 miles this Saturday. Yikes! We get to finish at The Goose's Acre, the local Irish Pub. Excellent. At least I'll have something to run towards! BEEEEEER!!!

In other news, I just about have my fund raising wrapped up. There are a few more deposits pending, which should bring me to about $6500, leaving just $200 to scavenge in the next 2 weeks. I really think I'll be able to pull this whole thing off. I can't believe I raised this much money! It's just astounding to me. I know a lot of it is going towards research, which is fantastic, but I love that some of it is going to help the patients. That's what makes me feel really good at the end of the day.

I'll definitely do a Team In Training event again. (but first, a little break!) Next time I think I'll pick a race with a smaller fundraising minimum, and maybe I'll try a Tri! I've always wanted to learn how to swim well. Right now I'm so looking forward to packing up our bags and heading over to Ireland and running this baby! We're almost there! The culmination of months and months of hard work. Wow. Just wow.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September already??

My mother keeps calling me and asking me "Are you still running???", which I have translated as "you sure don't update your blog very often!". So, here I am. It's September and the last few months have flown by! So much has been going on, both personally (sick baby - including 2 trips to the hospital, brother living at my house, job interview, etc.) and with respect to the training (raised over $500 in jewelry sales!!!, many trips to the podiatrist, etc.). To say I feel overwhelmed is a gross understatement.

I have to admit that I've been a little down lately. Before I transferred my jewelry money over my LLS account, I was significantly under the half way mark. In fact, at the half way mark in my training, when I promised Team In Training that I would go through with this come hell or high water, I had less then 25%! The deal is that if I haven't raised the minimum $6700, I have to cover the remaining balance. Gulp. That's many thousands of dollars that I just don't have! Now I'm up to almost 70% and feeling MUCH better about the monetary aspect.

Enter the physical aspect. Four weeks ago my podiatrist essentially put me on 'bed rest' to heal my plantar fasciitis. He said "don't do any long runs". I said "what do you consider a long run?". He said "oh, you know, like 7 or 8 miles.". HA! That is a SHORT RUN! My long runs are around 16 miles. In fact, we have our 21-miler coming up in just a few weeks. What am I supposed to do about that, smarty pants doctor?? He gave me a cortisone shot in the tendon (less painful than childbirth, but not pleasant) and made me do physical therapy. I *might* be feeling a little better. But for the time and effort, I can't say that I'm impressed.

Last Thursday I went to a massage therapist/reflexologist for shoulder pain. (stress, anyone??) He worked on my foot using a circulation technique, which actually helped me more than anything else has. So I'm hopeful! He's ordered me to "eat no meat" and see him three times for healing. I go back tonight. Wish me luck.

I ran 8 miles on Saturday, which is the most I've done in weeks, but it felt really good. I'm going to try to quickly up my mileage in the coming weeks to get back on track, but continue to cross train during the week. I think I'll also try to incorporate some yoga in my workouts. That stuff is amazing. Plus, I feel the need for a little Zen/meditation right now. And by little I mean a whole lot.

Off to the gym on this lovely Labor Day!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ouch, My Foot! and other stories

Well, Jeff and I completed the San Francisco half marathon! It really was a wonderful race, so beautiful and COOL! 54 degrees at the start. I would love that right now.... ahhh... The Golden Gate Bridge was just magnificent. On our first pass I noticed my right foot starting to give me some trouble and by mile 7 I was hurtin' pretty bad. We stopped on the Marin County side of the bridge so that I could get my foot taped by the medic. By the end, Jeff's knee was hurting him and we were both hobbling at a sad pace, but we finished! I hope that Jeff caught the 'race' bug, and I think he might have because he keeps talking about our next one. He's decided we'll be doing 2 of the Rock N Roll Half Marathons next year because they give you an extra medal if you do more than one. :)

As for my training, it has come to a screeching halt, or at least a very slow crawl. I still do my 40 minutes of cross training M-F, but my podiatrist has given me strict orders not to do the long runs on Saturdays for the next few weeks. I did 12 miles two weekends ago, but missed the 16 miler last weekend. (not terribly sad about it!) The doctor gave me a steroid shot and I'm doing physical therapy, so we're hoping my plantar fasciitis will be mostly cleared up by the end of the month. Cross your fingers! I'm also getting massages at Massage Envy, where I ask them to focus on two parts - my feet for obvious reasons and my shoulders to help release the tension caused by worrying about raising $7K!!!

Well, it's late and I'm beat. I have two months until my race and 1.5 months until I'm supposed to have my money raised. I'm nervous but hopeful. Now is the time that I really need to dig down deep and find the strength to keep training and fund raising and not lose hope. I can see how easy it might be to give up, but I won't do it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bracelet for Maya

I made a new little bracelet for Maya, our honored teammate. I'm hoping this one will generate a lot of sales. It's super sweet and fun to make and I think people would like to be reminded that the $11 (including shipping!) they spent did some good!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

San Fran next weekend!!

Hiya! It's been a crazy few weeks! We've been jet-setting around and I've been making jewelry like a mad woman. I've sold 4 necklaces and 3 pairs of earrings (over $100 to my account!!) and I've come up with a lot of new designs. I want to be sure to have a good variety in style and price so that I can appeal to a wide spectrum of people.

In other news, I did a 9 mile run about a week and a half ago. Physically I felt strong, like I'm really making gains! It was amazing to power through nine miles and feel on top of the world afterward. (On my very first training run I could only run 2 minutes at a time!) However... my tingling plantar fascia quickly became my throbbing plantar fascia, followed by me limping everywhere for a week. I've done a few 2-3 mile runs since, but am mostly taking time off and icing my foot. I have a sports massage next week, which will hopefully help! I'm going to attempt 6 miles tomorrow morning, and 13.1 next Sunday in San Fran.

I'm REALLY excited about this half marathon! I love, love, love that mileage. I love that when you're starting to feel really tired, like it will never end, you cross the finish line. Plus you get to watch all the full marathoners keep going and think to yourself "those poor bastards". Alas, I am going to be one of them in October, but next week I will relish in the fact that I get to stop at 13.1. The best part of this trip - besides being in 54 degree weather in July - is that my husband Jeff is running with me! He's never run anything before, and never gotten a medal for anything, and has been training like a madman for this. I'm SO proud of him! He gets up at 5am and runs 4 miles 4 days a week, then does the same mileage I do on the weekends. I know that he'll feel like this is all worth it when we're running over the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog. Ahhhh...

Now off to make some more jewelry. Don't you wanna buy some??

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Upping mileage, new fundraising ideas, 1/2 marathon in July!

Hola! Well, we went up to 8 miles last weekend. I felt fantastic and had one of my best runs yet! Immediately afterward, Jeff, Maddie and I left for Austin for the weekend to celebrate Father's Day. I promptly got sick. Blech. I'm still fighting it, so I took it nice and easy last week. Luckily we backed down to 6 miles for our run yesterday. I ran/walked with two other women in my group, which was a nice change of pace.

Next week I'm going to start running a few miles longer than the rest of the group because Jeff and I will be running the San Francisco half marathon on July 26th. Next Saturday is 9 miles, 12 miles the week after that, then 6 miles and finally our 13.1 mile run through San Fran! Grandma Mag has graciously offered to come to TX and watch Miss Maddie for us for the weekend. I haven't left my little girl for longer than 2 hours since she was born last May. I feel very ambivalent about this weekend away!!

In other news, I've been a little worried about my funds. I have to raise $6700 and I'm only at $600! Yikes! As my fundraising page keeps reminding me, that's only 9%. Yeah, yeah, I know. I sent out letters a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping that those will generate an appreciable amount of funds. I also started selling jewelry on Etsy. As soon as I posted my link on Facebook, I immediately got 3 requests for necklaces! I'm so happy!! 100% of the proceeds from the jewelry will be donated to the LLS. Here is the link: I'm really excited about it. Please pass the link along to anyone you think might be interested in some feel-good jewelry (that is quite reasonable, if I do say so myself!).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Increasing Mileage, BBQs, Maya update

Howdy! The last two weeks have been great! Our long runs were increased to 6 miles, although they turned out to be closer to 7, and we've been doing 3 miles a day instead of 2. Luckily Sundays are off days. I need it. Unfortunately I've been having some plantar fascia pains, probably thanks to pregnancy (my feet grew an entire size, so I know I did some damage). I've started going to the YMCA and doing the elliptical during the week to get some strain off of my foot. I have to wear a heart rate monitor to make sure that I'm actually getting enough of a workout. Honestly, nothing gets my heart pumping like running does. It's challenging to try to match it! It won't be forever, though, and the coaches and my dr. agree that it's best to lay off now rather than get seriously injured and be out closer to race time.

We had a TNT cookout on Saturday that was really, really nice. One of the mentors hosted it in his big back yard. He also owns those moon walk jumps, so he blew one of those up and we had a blast jumping around in that. Maddie loved it! Maya and her family were there, so we had an opportunity to talk to and spend time with them. Her mother said that Maya's immune system had been suppressed for the last few weeks, which is why we hadn't seen her much. She seemed really active and sweet. You would never know she's fighting a battle for her life. Her mother said that she has THREE MORE YEARS of Chemo!!! I can't believe it! She'll be all finished up (hopefully) in time to start school. Can you imagine completing 4 years of chemotherapy before you even start 1st grade?

I put a picture of Maya and a picture of Sig up on my cork board in my kitchen to keep me motivated when I'm feeling tired and overwhelmed - which I have been lately.

Sig's son, Colin, sent these pictures to me. I love the bottom one. Isn't she gorgeous?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Run, Forest, Run!

It's been a few weeks since we started our training and things have been going great! A few Saturdays ago our honored teammate, Maya Cid, came to visit us at practice. What a beautiful little girl!! She came with her mother, sister and brother and was a typical 2-year old - joking around and getting into trouble. She stole her mother's car keys and kept purposely setting off the car alarm. It was hysterical. Her mother said that her chemo has been going well, and that she's not as sick as she once was. Maya is eating and playing well now... and getting into mischief! The Cid's were very thankful for our support. I can't speak for anyone else, but I ran a little harder that day.

Since then I've continued running on my own during the week. Jeff, Maddie and I took a vacation to Pennsylvania to see family and celebrate Maddie's 1st birthday. Jeff and I had the luxury of leaving Maddie with her grandparents while we ran along beautiful central Pennsylvania roads. We found an especially lovely road that paralleled a creek and eventually turned into a dirt trail through the woods. It was one of the most beautiful runs I've had in years. Ahh, it makes me miss the East Coast.

I missed yesterday's training run with the Team because we were traveling all day, but I made it up today. 5 miles. I had every intention of getting up at 7am and running, but I kind of slept in. Jeff got up with Maddie and I stayed in bed until 8:30. I finally headed out of the house at 9:30 and huffed and puffed my way around the Woodlands for 5 hot, humid miles. Two things I will not forget - 1. keep good breakfast food on hand (there was nothing in the house to eat because we had been gone for 9 days) and 2. BRING WATER. It's bad when you start getting chills because your body temperature is so high. Live and learn I suppose!

This coming week: we up our daily runs from 2 miles to 3 miles and a 6-miler on Saturday. Should be interesting!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good Morning!

Today is the first day we are supposed to train on our own. We had off yesterday, Mother's Day, to eat Texas BBQ and drink Coronas. (or do whatever YOU do to celebrate Mother's Day!)

My husband Jeff and I have been running together in the evenings for the last 4 weeks. He's not a runner, although he's built like one, and is taking to it very well. We've decided to run the San Francisco Half Marathon on July 26th, which coincidentally is about half way through my Dublin training, so it will work out perfectly. Anyway, my point is that we normally round up the troops (Chula the cattle dog and Maddie in her running stroller) and head out for a nice run around 5 pm. 5 pm used to be nice! Now 5 pm is filled with mosquitoes and gnats and heat and humidity. So we're pushing our workouts to the morning, which so far appears to just have humidity. And cobwebs.

This morning Jeff got up at 5:30, did his run with aforementioned cattle dog, came back, woke me up, and I did my 2 mile run while he got ready for work. Sweet little Maddie just slept away in her crib. She's still sleeping away, probably because she was awake intermittently between 2:30 am and 4 am. As was I.

In short, this is going to be tiring, but exhilarating. There are few things that will get me up in the morning before my daughter wakes up, especially after she's been up throughout the night, and especially if I have to exercise!! I think of Maya and I think of Sig and the fight that cancer patients are putting up all over the world, and a few miles seems like nothing.

our usual entourage after our first 3 mile run

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday...

Our first run was great! As it turns out, it's bloody humid in Houston!! Phew! Luckily it was only 2 miles followed by a team meeting and breakfast at La Madeleine. Yum. Meanwhile, MY Madeleine woke up for my husband at 6:45am (as I was leaving the house) and proceeded to yell at him for the next two hours because he wouldn't nurse her. Poor boobless Jeff...

I also had the opportunity to sign up for a fundraising event at the Woodlands Pavilion. I get to serve beer to people at the Aerosmith and ZZ Top concert in July!! Wheeeee!!!!! That should be a blast. I picked them over No Doubt because I thought the crowd would be more fun. Sorry Gwen Stefani fans... but Aerosmith/ZZ Top fans are crazy. And will hopefully give me more money. :)

6:30am, Saturday

It's 6:30am and I'm about to leave for our first Team run! I thought I'd jot something down while my tea is steeping.

I'm completely exhausted!! I slept terribly last night, worried that I was going to sleep through my alarm. Sweet Maddie only woke up once though, so I'm going to have to give her props for that. Also, we had friends over for dinner last night and we decided to show off our margarita-making skills. Yum. So although I'm certainly not hung over, maybe I could be more hydrated?

off to run!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our Honored Teammate

TNT gives each team (I'm Team Woodlands) an Honored Teammate - some one to get out of bed for at 5am to run 10 miles. Some of us come to the program with our own honored teammate, like my aunt. Some people who are doing this haven't been touched by a blood cancer, and that's when the appointed honored teammate is especially important.

We have been appointed this little girl named Maya Cid. She is 2 years old. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) when she was only 23 months old. ALL is the most common childhood leukemia. Luckily, there is a good cure rate. Currently she's in the "consolidation" phase of her chemotherapy, which is the most intense.

She is almost exactly one year older than Maddie. I can't imagine what she must be going through! This poor girl has probably only been walking for about a year, she's just learning to talk and play... and she has to go through chemo! It just makes me so sad to think about her. She's definitely going to be an inspiration to get me out of bed and keep going.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Let's Start From The Very Beginning...

So, here we are. Yet another blog. But this time it's not fluff about how cute my kid is (although I will, no doubt, slip that in on occasion). This one is important! There may very well be fluff to come, but the premise is serious.

I have signed up for Team In Training, a program that is part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The deal is this: I raise money for them and in turn they train me for an event. I could have picked a triathlon, a century ride (100 miles on a bike), a half marathon or a marathon. I chose to train for the adidas Dublin Marathon in Dublin, Ireland on October 26th. It will be my first marathon - I completed the San Fransisco half marathon in July 2 years ago. For those of you not familiar, a full marathon is 26.2 miles. Yes, TWENTY SIX point TWO! And, no, I'm not on drugs.

I'm not doing this because I'm a masochist. Actually I am, but that is not why I've decided to do this. I'm doing this in memory of my aunt Mary King Lyon - Sig. She lost her battle with Leukemia last November, although in the end she died of complications with her treatment. It is still hard to write that sentence because I always thought she'd be around. She had SO MUCH life and wisdom and beauty and I never imaged that could end. She was a constant. Something you can't imagine living without. She was the glue that held my family together. She touched everyone that she met.

And although her spark was rare, I'm sure that there are people around the world who have meaning to their loved ones the way she does to hers. And maybe their lives are in danger because of a blood cancer. And maybe the money that I raise can help find a cure, or help pay for medicine or counseling. Possibly someone will get to live with their 'Sig' for a little bit longer. I'd like to think that I DID something to impact someone's life.