Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I didn't die

Just stumbled back upon this old blog that I kept to journal my first attempt at running a marathon and realized I never updated post-marathon. Then I got concerned that if I actually had any readers out there they might think I died in my attempt to run the 2008 Nike Women's Marathon. Indeed, I did not. In fact, I have run 5 marathons since then and will be running my 7th marathon in Napa Valley on March 7th. I will also be trying to qualify for Boston at that marathon - I need to run a 3:40 which is certainly a vast improvement from the 5:11 I ran in my first ever marathon that you may have followed my training for. Anyways, that's it, I didn't die. Quite the opposite.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Here we go ...

We leave tomorrow for San Francisco. The marathon is here. I will cross the finish line on Sunday. I am excited beyond words. I have lots of pictures to post - it's been an exciting week, but I've just been too busy so I'll put it all in one big blog when I get back. For now, here's a blog written by the mother of one of our honorees. She explains the meaning of Sunday better than I ever could:

Today is Monday, October 13. We are so close to Day +100 and as I've said before, it's magical yet very anti-climactic. To me, it holds even more magic because this year, it's the same day as the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. Now, Let me give a brief background. Bryna has been a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training (TNT) Honoree for over 4 years. The TNT groups run marathons while raising money for the LLS research (in a tiny nutshell). For 4 years, I've wanted to come up here and cheer the team on, bring Bryna and yell till my voice cracks, then yell some more and let them know how important they are and that what they're doing MEANS something to someone. I finally get my chance. The universe and some friends are conspiring to Bryna-sit on Sat night/Sun morning so I can get my humble butt to downtown SF at am to cheer 20,000 walkers and runners and inspire them to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
In my heart I hear, do any of them realize the importance of what they're doing or how spectacular it is that Bryna and so many other kids have reached their Day +100 or other miraculous milestones? Some probably do. In fact, I know some of these incredible people. Everyday people, like you and me, who give of themselves in a way I can't and do it with gusto, pride, pleasure and bittersweet tears when they reach their finish line. When they get to Mile 23 and they're exhausted, their feet are swollen, they're sweat rolls off them like rain and they see a vision in their minds' eye of my child or any child that has meaning to them, those who are fighting for their lives, those who lost the fight and those who will have to fight, and they keep running/walking to their goal of 26.2 miles. Are they heroes? No, the kids they're running and/or walking for are the heroes, true. But in my world, they are right up there in the hero walk of fame (no pun intended), because they help those little heroes who teach us so very much.
This year, I have the opportunity to stand in the cold San Francisco air at 6 am and hold up a poster with Bryna's beautiful smile and know that each and every one of those marathoners are celebrating life with my daughter. It's her Day 100, she's not out of the woods, but she's closer! She's scheduled to be finished with this aspect of our process before Halloween. That means we'll be in Fresno for Trick or Treating. Bryna plans on being a Ballerina and has already decided I'm to be a Ladybug (biggest damned Ladybug I've EVER seen); and at this point, I'm ready to cry with relief and believe me, I plan on bringing my Puffs on Sunday morning, and I am looking forward to crying for hours while I watch 40 thousand feet hit the pavement and know that each tear is relief, sorrow, joy and ecstasy for each child I've ever known who has been through any illness, life-threatening or not.
Yeah, I'm a bit emotional right now, and yeah, I know, you don't often get that from me, but it's well deserved for all of us who have watched Bryna through these last 4+ years. Let's toast, let's enjoy and let's remember to celebrate every day, treasure each moment, cherish each child, hold dear every blissful memory and hear Bryna and I in each runners' ear saying:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Longest Run

Last weekend, we ran our longest miles that we will run in training before tapering off until the marathon. Since I was down at UCLA with the Red Wave on Saturday, I ran 20 miles on Sunday morning. Jill graciously offered to run with me for the whole 20 miles. Vicki, who just recently completed a triathlon, ran the first 12 with us. Most awesome of all, Lindsay, Janie and Michelle biked alongside us for the whole ride. Another TNT alum biked with us for the first 12 but I'm horrible with names, and can't remember her's : ( It was so incredibly awesome to have all of their support because that is a long way to go and you really need all the encouragement (and water/gatorade) that you can get. I was seriously touched by their willingness to be there for us - this really is a team. Jill's husband Mark, Rosemary from the TNT office, and another mentor, Ron, were there to cheer us on when we arrived back at our Starbucks starting point. I love that part : )

On a sadder note, we ran Sunday in memory of Jenny Miranda - a seven-year-old who lost her battle to cancer last week. In those toughest moments of mile 18 on Hospital Hill, I definitely felt we were running for her, and for all the others out there who should be running rather than battling cancer. One day ...

It was definitely a tough run, and I'll admit there were points when I thought, "If this is so hard, how will I ever run 26.2?" but now I know I can, especially with such amazing people supporting me. As I reach the end of this journey with TNT towards the Nike Womens Marathon, it is becoming very clear that this is only the beginning - I have made some amazing friends and I would run 20 miles any day just to hang out with them for a few hours : )

Off and running ...

Switching up the order...

Two members of our faithful entourage ...I like this picture because Jill looks lost : )The sign said stop ... who am I to disagree?
The whole gang! If it looks like I'm barely moving, it's because it hurts to move. Lead the way Lindsay!

A well-deserved water break care of our well-supplied entourage.

I love this girl!

Our celebratory feast at Bentley's with great food and even greater friends

Friday, September 19, 2008


I've been sick with a cold all week and uber-busy at work (not a fun combination) so I never got a chance to share the big news - I ran 18 miles last Saturday! And I mean ran. I didn't walk any of it. I can do this. I'm sure of it.

This weekend we drop down to 13 but we're going up to Bass Lake which should make for some beautiful scenery, nice weather, and challenging hills. I can't wait!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Human Race

Me and the hubby just got back from our weeklong vacation in New York. The primary purpose of the trip was for the Fresno State/Rutgers game. The secondary purpose was to see NYC. But while we were there ... I decided to run in Nike's Human Race - a 10K being run by thousands of runners in 26 different cities. I also decided to talk my husband into running with me. He had never run over 3 miles before, but he did it! I was so proud of him ... even though his attitude wasn't the best near the end (and by the end I mean the last 4 miles ... miles 1 and 2 were ok). In retrospect, it was really a communication problem. He apparently is not motivated by high fives and 'you can do it' like I am. Instead, those just make him use profanity. Oh well. To each his own. We survived. And I was very very proud of him. Here are some pics:

Before the race (you can tell who was more excited):

Paul's favorite part of the race was getting a pic with the Naked Cowboy.
Paul right before the finish line and right after telling me to f*** off for saying "you can do it!":
At the finish line!
In other news, we got stuck in Phoenix for Friday night on the way home because of a missed connecting flight. So... I missed the team training on Saturday morning. Determined not to miss my long run for the week, I went on my own this morning - 16 miles ... all by myself, just me and my ipod. I also opted to run from my house instead of starting at Woodward Park like we usually do. That was pretty interesting since I learned just how far 16 miles really is. It was actually a really great mental exercise. I rely on my fellow runners a lot to motivate me towards the finish but this time I could only rely on myself, and I did it. I left my house at 6:30. Three hours later, I arrived home, exhausted and sore but extremely proud. All in all, it's been an exciting week. Onward to 26.2 ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And the base keeps running, running ...

Ok .... it's been a while since I updated. But have no fear, I have still been running ... and running ... and running some more. I've just been super busy at work - we were in a trial for the last three weeks - translation = 14 hour days/7 days per week since late July ... but I am proud to say I did not miss a single Team in Training practice throughout the whole trial! In fact, I am now running two days on my own in addition to the Team trainings.

Last Saturday, I ran twelve miles - less than I planned on, but much much harder. We ran up at Shaver Lake - the altitude and the hills kicked my butt to say the least! It was a beautiful run though and Jill got some great pics:

Enjoying the view ... and the excuse to stop:

Yum ... shot blocks at the half way point:

Happiness is breakfast burritos after a long run - thanks Aubrey!

So things are moving along ... I'm feeling stronger every time I run. The closer we get, the more I know I can absolutely do this. And the more I want to - I am forming great friendships with my running buddies and actually enjoying running in the process. Most importantly, I am becoming more and more attached I become to the why. All the achy knees and cramped feet are completely worth it knowing that I am running for those who can't .... so that one day they can. That's pretty powerful.

That being said, I am oh so close to my fundraising goal! I am planning on a couple more fundraisers to finish things off so keep checking back for ways you can help.

I'm also starting to drag people into the running world - Victim #1, my best friend Alexis who is training with Team in Training for the Fresno Half Marathon. Go Alexis! I'm so proud of you.

Victim #2 is my husband who is running the Nike Human Race 10K with me on Sunday and said if it goes well, he too will run the Fresno half!

Speaking of which - me and the Mr. leave Saturday morning for our week-long vacation in New York City. I'm super excited that we'll be running alongside 10,000 New Yorkers in the Nike Human Race, along with many many more people around the world. It sounds like a cool event.

So life is good. I'm still here. And more importantly - I'm still running : )

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back in Business

After the knee pain and a plateau in fundraising, I finally feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things on both fronts.

I ran 9 miles Saturday morning - slower than usual, but a good way to ease back in. And after all, it's a marathon not a race - the point is to make it through all 26.2 miles!

Then I spent a lot of time this weekend re-energizing my fundraising campaign - less than $1,000 to go now! I sent out reminder emails and postcards, updated my fundraising website and planned for the Creative Memories party I'm having this weekend. (leave me a comment if you'd like to come!) I got my first donation notification in a while today - so exciting! And it was from a former co-worker of mine who, as it turns out, is the daughter of a lymphoma survivor - awesome!

I'm off to bed now ... 4 am comes too soon...