Monday, July 18, 2011

First time doing 9 miles!!!!

Did 9 miles last Saturday for the first time ever!  Couldn't help but feel a little badass for surviving a distance I didn't think I could do when I started running that morning.  At Mile 2, I stopped to walk so I can drink some water and paused my Garmin.  I didn't hydrate as well as I should have and was totally feeling it at Mile 2.  Well, I must have gotten distracted because about half a mile later, I realized I forgot to un-pause the Garmin!  ACK!  I did not want to run more than I needed to that day (it was hot), but I wanted my Garmin to record the 9 miles I was about to do, regardless. 

Has that ever happened to you? 

So I pushed myself until I saw 9.03 miles on my Garmin and stopped, but knowing full well I did 9.53.  Regardless, it's the longest distance I've done so far, and I still felt badass at the end, but not without suffering.

My knees started to ache at Mile 3 and I walked and took water breaks at 4, 6, 7, and 8.  I wanted to be able to walk the next day and I'm glad I took those breaks because my knees felt better at the end.  I slowed down too and really just focused on finishing the distance.

What do you do about sore knees?  Does it ever go away with increasing distance?

After completing 9 miles, it occurred to me that my next run could be a 10-miler and after that, I am technically ready and trained for a half marathon!!  WOW.  I never thought I'd get this far!  With Ragnar in late September, I still have time, so I'm going to work my way up as gradually and as safely as I can and hope my knees get used to the mileage.

Anyone else training for a race distance you haven't done yet?  How's the training going?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Why I've Been MIA

So enough procrastinating on my part.  It is 12:17am, I have a 9 miler early tomorrow morning, but I am here, updating my blog.  Finally.  It's not Thursday, but it's never too late for Three Things Thursday.  So here is why I've been MIA for the past 2 months.  :)

The Month of May Excuses (lol)
The dreadful SOLs that my 8 y.o. has to take.  Thank goodness he's got a great memory, but I was on top of that boy since "last day of schoolitis" is going around.  He did great on those tests, by the way. 

Yard sale.  I love and hate yard sales.  Love them because it's a chance for me to get rid of our junk.  Hate them because I have to go through our junk to figure out which ones are junk and then to have to haul them all out onto the driveway.  Why I do this every year escapes me, but for a quarter for this and that, it helps me save many trips to Goodwill.

Ragnar Picnic.  I am the team captain, so did a lot of organizing, researching, to get 12 runners together to meet for the first time for most.  We had a blast. Perfect picnic weather, but that day I was exhausted.  I did an early morning run - 7 miles, I think, and all I wanted to do was lay down and sleep. 

The Month of June Whereabouts
Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure.  This needs a race report which I will add to my growing list of must-write race report.  There is nothing like running a race with friends.  More later.

And then I got sick.  I had to skip a few runs which I did not want to do.

Fundraiser.  I got myself even more busy by planning a fundraiser!  In case you didn't know, I am running a race every month to raise money for LUNGevity Foundation for lung cancer research.  I did a used book sale fundraiser.  So for a month we were swimming in books donated by friends and neighbors.  It was heavenly to be surrounded by books but it got out of control, so my time went to organizing them all as if I lived in a library or a bookstore.

The Month of July Excuses
By this time I've had all 3 boys at home.  It's nice to not have to be up every 7am...and sleep in, but the challenge went into entertaining the boys.  So many trips to the library, park, the pool, and playdates outside.

My fundraiser was just last weekend.  I went from having just $50- in my donation bank to now almost $800-!  Thanks to friends who bought books and donated money online.  Oh and if you're wondering how you can help me beat the crap out of lung cancer, please go to my DONATION PAGE.

So the last week, I've been trying to reduce the amount of books I have here before I haul them to the used book store in town.  I've kept up my running since May, and last week signed up for a fitness challenge so I can lose the last 4 pounds I need to lose. 

So there you have it, my Three things for Thursday.  Why you haven't heard a peep from me.  In a nutshell.  I've missed visiting and reading everyone's blogs, but I am back, because I've missed the bloggy world.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Three More Races!

I am a total addict.  I'm addicted to races.  I'm not a fast runner, but I love the rush of a race, the people, and especially the friends whom I get to run with.  A few days ago, I decided to sign up for 3 more races.

1)  Glow for Hope 10K - I'm excited about this one because it's a NIGHT race and lots of glow-in-the-dark possibilities to add to my running outfit.  I'm most excited about running this with lots of friends - my 2 running buddies from my last 10K, my Ragnar Relay teammates, and a couple of Mom's Club friends.  We're just as excited about the Beer Garden at the finish line and the craziness that can happen when you combine post-race euphoria, beer, and friends!!

2) Sunrise Stampede 5K - It's their inaugural race.  I love small town races.  Even though I almost always end up at the back of the pack, I love that it's not crowded and you can't beat the $15- registration fee too!  Running this one with the hubs.  We won't be running together - he's way too fast for me - but it's always fun to start together and to get that big hug from him at the finish line!

3)  Marine Corps Marathon 10K - On the other end of the spectrum is this huge race.  Nope, NOT the full marathon (YET).  I decided to run the MCM 10K because I NEEDED an October race that is not too close to my Ragnar Relay race.  I have no idea how long I would need to recover from Ragnar so I have this one set at the end of October.  Oh and I also like that you get a medal for running a 10K race too. Hee hee.  I'm a little nervous about this race being a week away from my 5K race and 2 weeks away from my first half marathon!  But I think I'll be ok.  I'm going to treat this one as one of my long runs and just have fun.  I haven't found a friend to do this race with me yet.  Hoping my friend Nikki does it with me.

Are you just as addicted to races as me?  How often do you have a race?  Every month, every other month?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: I Run So I Can Eat Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Truffles

I. Am. So. Behind. On everything!  This is what happens after I run a race.  I disappear from my blog to pick up everything else around me here that I've neglected.  That is why you all didn't see anything from me all last week.  So this means lots of post-dated blog posts from me starting with my Part 3 (and final) Race Recap of Monument Av 10K from a month and a half ago (I know, very sad), new Inspiring Runners, Ragnar Relay update, my *new* training plan cocktail, Manassas Runway 10K Race Recap, running with friends, and signing up for a new "glow-in-the-dark" race!  So EXCITED!!! 

As I am crazily pulling together stuff we don't need here for our community yard sale this weekend, I wanted to share an indulgence I treated myself to yesterday - just one of the reasons why I run.  :)

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three Things Thursday: All I Want For Mother's Day....

The hubs and the boys already gave me an early Mother's Day gift - the gift of letting me race this Mother's Day weekend.  This Saturday, I am running the Manassas Runway 10K - it's an inaugural race on the airport runway!  How cool is that?!!  No hills, flat, AND I just found out last week they give out medals to all finishers!

I'm excited, a little nervous (because of the pressure I have deep down on myself to PR), but I couldn't ask for a better Mother's Day gift - it was a race that the hubs wanted to run too (he hasn't run a 10K race yet), but in the end let me do it since it is Mother's Day weekend after all.

So I'm all set for Mother's Day....but I was daydreaming this morning and thought, ohhhh....I wouldn't mind having THESE!

Garmin 210

1.  GARMIN 210.  I feel like I'm not worthy of one yet since I'm not really working on speed yet, just piling on the mileage, but oh what a neat gadget!  Love that with a quick glance, I know what my instantaneous pace is and how many miles I've covered so far.  LOVE!!

2.  Running Outfits:  Running Skirts and matching RunLove Compression Socks.  OK, I know that's 4 things but I couldn't decide which one I liked best.  I run in nothing else but running skirts and these skirts are just a few of my favorites...oh and I want all 4 of those socks.  :D

3.  Water-resistant Spi-belt.  For those less than 1 hour runs.  I have an arm-band but prefer putting my cell phone in a pocket or a pack and I've been wanting one of these since they're so light, not bulky, AND water-resistant.  (UPDATE: In light of Katie's comment below, ok, I wouldn't mind having a Fuel Belt too with the water bottles for those more than 1 hour runs (thanks, girl!) - I don't know which kind yet, not sure how many bottles I'd want, and I would like one with a pouch for cell, GU, etc.!)  :)

So that's my Three Things (more like  7 I guess) for Thursday.  A mom can dream, right?  Well if not for Mother's Day, birthday, Christmas....Do any of you have any of the above?  What do you think of them?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: "...I am your father."

In honor of "May the 4th (Be with You):  Intergalactic Star Wars Day," one of the many "toy stories" my boys create and just leave around the house for me to discover/stumble into.

More Wordless Wednesday HERE

Monday, May 2, 2011

Family Run Day!

Sunday was a big day of running for me and my family! The hubs ran the Race for Hope 5K in the morning, and then the boys got to run the Kids' Fun Run afterwards.  I couldn't be any prouder of all my boys for doing their best and for enjoying their run!

Waiting for their Daddies to approach the finish line

I was on kid-duty and watched 5 kids during the race (2 of the kids belong to our friend).  The kids were amazingly well behaved during the race, and they helped me cheer the fastest runners to the finish line.  They were very excited about their race and wondered why they can't run the 5K with the adults.  "Well,.."  I explained, "if you run this (5K) race, you don't get a medal."  "Oh, I want a medal.  If I run, I want a medal," said my "I-don't-like-running-that-much" 6 y.o.  LOL!

Go, Daddy, Go!
The kids made signs for their Daddies and people got a kick out of them holding the signs up and chanting, "Go, Daddy, Go!"  They were so happy when their Daddies saw them with their they ran fast past us.  Love how kids like the littlest things!

Interesting things I saw:  One guy was running while holding the drawstring to his shorts up high! (Ow, um, wedgie, no?)  Poor guy!  It's awful when you have a wardrobe malfunction on race day.  I saw one guy completely barefoot, another guy running backwards, a bag piper, and a group of guys and girls (Army? Marines?) chanting throughout the entire course at a pretty fast pace!  Then there's this guy whom I see on lots of races - he's completely covered, head to toe in a tight/spandex fabric - at this race, he wore an American Flag theme.  What moves me is seeing all the brain tumor/brain cancer survivors running the race and a walker who carried a sign that said, "NEVER GIVE UP."

The hubs

This is the hubs!  Guess what??!!  He got a PR on this race!  I am SO PROUD of him!  His official time is:  21:45.  He's my biggest inspiration!  He had been working hard on getting his 5K PR.  YAY!!!!

After the 5K, the kids rushed to the Kids' Fun Run area.  They had an out-and-back little course and I parked myself midway to take pics.  The hubs and our friend ran with the kids.  The "I-don't-like-running-that-much" 6 y.o. announced that he was just going to walk.  Imagine my surprise and the amount of parent pride gushing out of me when I saw him running with all the kids!  I am SO PROUD of him for trying it anyway, doing his best and having fun!  The 8 y.o. loves to run, so he was in the lead pack running his heart out.  At the finish line, he complained that the course was too short!  He wanted to run some more!  LOL.  The 3 y.o. ran with the hubs.  He likes to run too, but I could tell that he was a little nervous about how crowded it was - there were a lot of kids.  The 3 y.o. tripped on his own shoes, lol!  He's such a funny little man.  Once he rounded that bend though and saw me wave, he took off with more confidence.

At the finish line!

LOVE LOVE LOVE that my kids like to run - even the "I-don't-like-running-that-much" 6 y.o. said he liked the race!  So proud of them!  This was their first Kids Fun Run and now of course they want to run more "races" so they can get medals!  LOL!

With runners' high, the boys feasted on ice pops, chips, and bagels.  You'd think they ran a marathon the way they were eating!  We had such a blast hanging out at the end.  It was weird to be at a race and not run it, but it was ok.  I had a long run planned later that day.

MY WEEKEND LONG RUN.  After digesting a huge lunch, I set out to do my long run of 6 miles later in the afternoon.  It was one of my best runs despite having to pull my running pants up every 1/2 mile which got really annoying (but YAY for getting smaller/losing weight!)!  I had a lot more gas in the tank at the end, though, but I was mindful not to up the miles too much that day.

I was inappropriately cheerful when I got home to post-race tired boys - I couldn't help myself!  So thankful for the great day!  I am pumped to run my 10K race next weekend.  A little nervous about the pressure I have on myself to PR, but I am just going to tell myself that it's another long run and to have fun.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guitars, Courage, and Being Carol Brady

The 8 y.o. auditioned for his first Talent Show yesterday!  He has been playing the electric guitar for almost a year now (a year at the end of June).  He LOVES it. We don't have to beg him to practice, he does it on his own.  He took interest in it thanks to my dad who first got my boys into The Beatles way before Beatles Rockband.  Yup my boys LOVE The Beatles and it is funny and cute to hear them belt out Beatles tunes.

So we got the 8 y.o. taking guitar lessons and has since done two recitals.  The last recital he did awesome playing "Eye of the Tiger," but sadly and kinda painfully bombed on "Star Spangled Banner."  He admitted after his recital that he didn't practice his "Star Spangled Banner" solo as much.  I think the experience left him a bit horrified about performing up there for people.  We were disappointed about his decision at first to not audition for the Talent Show - something he had looked forward to until that recital.

So how do you teach a kid that hey, that's how life is, sometimes you make mistakes or you end up not doing your best, so try your best again next time?  We're the type of parents who like to encourage our kids in their passions, but we don't push too hard that it will destroy their passion.  It's such a delicate and fine line.

It's funny that it took a lesson about my running and a birthday party to finally convince the 8 y.o. to try out for the Talent Show anyway.  At the last minute, the first 2 boys RSVP'd to a birthday party.  The 8 y.o. didn't want to go at first - he didn't think he knew a lot of the kids there, but he went ahead to the party and came back to report what a great time he had and "Man, Mom, I'm so glad I took the chance to go to this party because I had the best time and 2 of my classmates were there!"

Somehow I managed to slip a "Brady Bunch" moment where the parents and kids discuss the lesson learned for the day at the end, without making it too obvious and cheesy for my 8 y.o.  Our conversation went like this:

Me:  "You know, sometimes you never know unless you try.  It's scary at first but once you do it, most of the time it's not so bad!  You know, it's kinda like that audition you want to do....."  (Silence.  Oh-oh.  Crap)

8 y.o.:  "Yeah, I should just do it.  I really wanted to do it but messing up at the recital scared me."

Me:  "It's like when I run those races.  I don't know why but I'm always scared that I won't have enough energy to finish the race or I won't beat my fastest time.  But I try anyway and I make sure I "practice" running a lot so I can finish it."

8 y.o.:  "You want to beat Dad in a race?"

Me:  "Umm, no, (that would never happen, I say to myself), I want to beat my best and fastest time - sometimes that's hard, but I will never know unless I try, right?"

8 y.o.:  "That's true."
Me:  "What would happen if you don't audition for the talent show?"
8 y.o.:  "I'm going to wonder if I could have made it..."
Me:  "Yeah, that's called regret."
8 y.o.:  "Ok, I don't want to regret.  I want to do it."
I think I deserve a little Mother of the Day award for that one, don't you think?  It's so challenging to talk to my 8 y.o. sometimes, and I have to remind myself to keep things short or else I lose him, and I'm sure I start to sound like the school teacher from The Peanuts cartoon.

So yesterday we packed up his electric guitar and amp and got in line at the school to audition.  I think he was nervous but I couldn't tell.  He practiced everyday for almost 2 weeks perfecting his Jimi Hendrix style "Star Spangled Banner" solo - yup, the same song he messed up on at his recital, he decided to prove to himself that he could do it, if not better.  I am so proud of him for toughing it out and conquering his fear.  He knew that as long as he practiced hard, whatever happens on audition day will be his best and we're proud of him regardless.

He came out of the audition room with a big smile!  I couldn't be any happier for him. 

Just A Heads Up!

Watch out for a deluge of post-dated blog posts here - half written old blog posts I am finally completing have started to pop up and sneak up here and there and there's more coming!  I didn't change the post dates that's why they're not showing up at the top.

Also, I've added a new tab called "Giveaways" where I've listed a couple of incredible blog giveaways I've found or read about online!  Check them out!

That is all and thank you for following my blog!

Happy running!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Things I MUST Do Before the Weekend

My Three Things Thursday this week is a little boring, but it's what's on the brain.  Actually there's more than three things I need to do want to do, but here's the top three.

Laundry.  It never goes away at my house - not even for a minute.  The hubs has a race this Sunday, and we need to wash a big load of our running/exercise clothes.  Very grateful that the hubs does his share of it whether it's washing them, folding them or putting them away.  It's still something I never look forward to every week.  It's the bane of my existence.  Ugh!

Purging Forgotten/Old/Useless Toys.  We have 20 remote control cars and trucks like the one pictured above.  Really?  For 3 boys?  Time to purge!  I'm excited about doing this task, actually.  We have a community yard sale coming up at the end of May and I'm hoping to get rid of old toys then.  It can get pretty touchy feely with the boys when it comes to getting rid of old toys, but they come around and get inspired after I tell them they can keep the money they earn from selling their old toys.  Of course, after requiring them to save 10% of their "earnings," this usually means they can bring newer useless toys!  Ah, the irony!  What a vicious cycle we weave!

Catching up on my blog and everyone else's blog happenings.  I'm still playing catch up since the beginning of April!  I have half written blog posts waiting for me to finish, and I have blogger friends' blogs I want to read.  What's slowing me down is my Ukrop's Monument Av. 10K Race Recap Part 3.  I have to get over that hump to move on.  But this is one of my favorite tasks I do every week.  If I could blog all day I would!

So there you have it, my Three Things Thursday for the week.  Nothing exciting, nothing inspiring, it's what's consuming me lately. 

Can't wait to read your TTT!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So far behind!!!

I've been so busy here I haven't had a chance to update my blog.  I just updated my Dailymile :P so will be back to my blogging now that Spring Break and Easter is over, and the hubs has no more business travel plans.  I have yet to finish my Monument Av Race Re-cap Part 2, so will be posting that soon.

At least I'm not behind on my running, which is good, right?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Race Recap: The Jellybean Virtual 5K Race

My first Virtual 5K race!  Thanks to Jess from Run With Jess, I had something to look forward to - to shake up my half-marathon/Ragnar training.  I am becoming more aware of the need to have a race every month.  ACK!

Here's me before my 5K, in my spankin' new Cheetah Pool RunningSkirt.

Excuse the fuzzy/muddy  mirror image.

I took a close up pic to show off my Jellybean Virtual Race Bib, and felt really dumb when I realized that you can't quite make out text that well on a mirror image.  DUH!

Man, I really NEED to clean that mirror.
 There, that's better!  LOL!

I set out on my run on a very cloudy day.  I kept hoping it wouldn't rain.  Right when I was about to start, it started to sprinkle.  Grrrr.  I walked home feeling a bit disappointed that my race was about to be rained-out.  The hubs was like, "It's only a sprinkle!  Here.  Take your hat and just go out there."  I was more concerned about my cell phone getting wet, actually.  I had my cell phone in an armband.  Not so sure if the armband was waterproof, but I didn't want my phone wet! 

Thanks to the hubs, I went out there anyway, wore my zip up dri-fit long sleeve over my armband.  It was a pain in the butt taking my long sleeve off to turn on RunKeeper on my cell, but I was on my way.  FINALLY!

The 1.5 mile was great.  Despite the sprinkle, I was feeling good and got into my groove.  Then it started to rain a little bit harder and I started to  My cell phone!  my cell phone!  I dared not take my long sleeve off but I was dying!  Tried to focus on just running.  At mile 2.5, I felt a little better, going downhill and desperately trying to catch a breeze.  I was thinking I had done 3.1 miles when I slowed down to check mileage and lo and behold I was only at Mile 2.89!  ACK!  And to make matters worse, I accidentally pressed "stop" and RunKeeper announced, "Activity stopped.  Activity completed...workout summary..."  Wait!!! WAIT!!!  I'm NOT DONE!  I was jogging a little at this point as I desperately started RunKeeper again to get that last 0.21 miles in. ARGH.  But then at this point, I was going uphill and man was it tough!!! 

So there you have it my first virtual race.  It sucked, I felt gross and just didn't feel it at the end there, but I did it.  I finished!  And that is all that matters!  Woot!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Discovering A Rhythm

I have 3.5 miles on my schedule for today.  It's Spring Break for the boys and the hubs is home too!  I'm happy to be able to do 3.5 on my own and not have to push the 3 y.o. in the jogging stroller. 

I took a different route this time which I call The Braided Stream Loop.  The last half mile and right around Mile 2 are uphill.  Once I got into my running groove, I felt like I was flying (to me anyways, and I'm sure I was going just 10 min/miles on those stretches).  When I got to the first uphill stretch, I took smaller steps but kept the same groove I had earlier. 

The nice thing about running without music is you are more in tune with your breathing and your strides.  I started to notice a rhythm that my breathing was making with each step I took.  One/inhale, two, three, four/exhale.  One/inhale, two, three, four/exhale, etc...or something like that.  I became more focused on that syncopation as I literally attacked each hill - even as the hill crested and flattened out, I maintained that rhythm.

I couldn't believe I did 3.52 miles in 41 minutes - that is fast for me especially with hills.  It was such a great run I was on high the whole day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Celebrations

This girl's been so BUSY over here, and there's so much to blog about!  I feel horrible about giving an "in an nutshell" blog post, but it's going to have to be that - a synopsis - a should-have-been-3-separate-blog-posts, instead, condensed into my three things for Thursday:

I was one of 3 winners from Another Mother Runner's Video Contest!  I made a short video on how "I Run Like A Mother."  I got the pink running hat on the right and I LOVE it!  Can't wait to wear it on my next run!  If you haven't seen my little vid yet, check it out below!  ;)

I RAN for the first time in a month since my injury!

No walking, no jogging!  Ran 3 miles last Saturday and another 3 miles Monday!  It feels SO GOOD to be back to running again!  So grateful for my Physical Therapists for helping me out and so thankful I am finally healed (knock-on-wood).  In addition to graduating from Physical Therapy, I had an epiphany last weekend.  After another frustrating attack of plantar fasciitis on my left foot towards the end of my first 10K race, I finally took the time to google "arch pain and running shoes."  I was so ready to go back to Saucony Pro-grid Ride shoes (my first pair of running shoes) since they never gave me issues, but I really did not want to go back to traditional running shoes.  (Yes, I'm stubborn).  Well, can you believe I figured out the cause of my PF?  My left shoe is too big for my left foot!  When I doubled my socks on my left foot, I felt no pain!  Yay!  It worked on the 2 days I ran 3 miles.  So excited!  I am just hoping and praying I'm finally on the road to running again with no injuries.  Yay!


Proud Momma moment!  My boys brought home amazing report cards!  Cannot help but be proud of them, of course!

Thanks for "celebrating" with me!  I still need to post a Part II to my first 10K race.  I will be able to come up for air more and blog more once this week is over.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Joining Team LUNGevity

When my mom called me that one spring afternoon in 2007 to tell me they discovered a mass in her lung and it might be cancer, I didn't want to believe what she had just said.  You might say I was in denial.  No, not my mom, it can't be my mom!  She never smoked a cigarette in her life!  Yet I couldn't push away the memory of my Aunt (my mom's sister) who fought a courageous battle with lung cancer 7 years ago and passed away within 8 months.  I didn't want to believe that my mom would have a similar fate.  No, not my mom.  I was ready to put up a good fight.

Once her diagnosis was confirmed - Stage 4 Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) - I was online 24/7 scouring the web for information on what it is we are fighting, what is THE BEST treatment out there for her, who can help.

I was overwhelmed by information, but mostly I wanted (craved) to hear success stories from people who fought lung cancer and survived.  I didn't want to hear all the bad stuff.  I wanted to know what works, what doesn't, what kinds of food can my mom eat/tolerate, and where we can get the best treatment for her.

Among the many supportive and informative online forums I found was the LUNGevity Online Support Community.  I must have read every single post on there.  All of a sudden, I didn't feel alone.  The forum became one of my go-to places for everything - for information, validation, and comfort.  I never did participate in any of the discussions, but I forwarded every post I found interesting and helpful to my dad and my mom. 

The doctors gave my mom 6 months, but she proved them wrong and lived 20 months.  She received the best treatment available to her.  She fought hard, endured the pain, but never once complained or asked why.  When she passed away, I never felt the same. Life changed.  She was my best friend.  I still miss her. So much.....

My mom and me back in 2006
The year I became a runner and ran the Race for Breath 5K for lung cancer in November 2009, I ran my heart out for my mom.  I also kept thinking about the families who are dealing with this horrible disease, and I finished that race knowing that I want to help.  I want to help others with lung cancer get a better survival rate.  I want to help to honor my mom.

I started looking for charity organizations that I can help raise money for.  There are charities for general cancer research and charities for lung cancer research specifically.  If I could, I would help all cancer charities, but I chose just one organization to pour all my heart into.  I kept going back to the astounding statistics of lung cancer:  it is the #1 cancer killer in the U.S., yet it is the LEAST-FUNDED cancer research program in the U.S.; there is no early detection for lung cancer unlike colon, breast, and prostate cancer - cancers with early detection;  only 15% of lung cancer patients survive 5 years post-diagnosis; it kills more people than breast, colon, brain, & prostate cancers COMBINED (statistics from LUNGevity Foundation and Lung Cancer Alliance).

I chose to join and run for Team LUNGevity in memory of my mom. Team LUNGevity is a group of passionate runners and triathletes who run marathons, triathlons, half marathons, and any race distance while raising money for lung cancer research.  I chose Team LUNGevity because I was drawn to LUNGevity Foundation's mission of  increasing the survival rates of lung cancer patients by funding lung cancer research on early detection and treatment.  That mission stood out for me.  If lung cancer could have been detected early for my mom, perhaps she would still be alive today.  I want to make that (early detection of lung cancer) a reality to someone, and I want those who are fighting lung cancer now to have the best treatment possible.  Lung cancer does not discriminate - it doesn't matter if a person used to smoke, smoked, or never smoked; a person's ethnic background does not matter.  It is a cancer that no one deserves.  It is a deadly cancer that needs to be detected early just like the other cancers. 

Please help me fight lung cancer and help me raise money to fund early detection research for lung cancer by supporting me as I train to run 3 races in memory of my mom and others touched by lung cancer, and in honor of those who are fighting lung cancer now:

The Dempsey Challenge 10K race on October 8, 2011
Race for Breath 5K (for lung cancer) on November 5, 2011
Richmond Half Marathon (my first half marathon!) on November 12, 2011

Please see below how you can help.  My training and fundraising efforts will culminate in my first half marathon this November.
  • Donate just $13.10- on my DONATION PAGE to honor someone you know touched by lung cancer.  I will wear their names on race day to honor their courage and their fight.
  • Sponsor a mile for either 1 or all 3 races I am running by donating $131- per mile on my DONATION PAGE.  Dedicate that mile to someone.
  • Or simply donate as little as $1- on my DONATION PAGE.  Every little bit helps.
Thank you so much for reading this far and for supporting me! 

Much love,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Running With No Music

I forgot my ear buds at my sister's house last weekend!  I wanted to go out for my first run today since the Monument Av 10K race last week.  Last week was tough for me - the hubs was out of town for business, I couldn't get a run in, so today I felt so done.  I NEED to run.

I was so desperate to start feeling better about everything that I ventured out without music.  I refused the hub's offer to borrow his headphones because I just wanted to get out right away.  Forget SI Joint Dysfunction, forget ITBS, forget plantar fasciitis.  I'm so over being injured.  I need a break away from the kids.  I'm going for a run.  I left the boys with the hubs around 6:30pm.  The hubs gave me this look like, "what about dinner?" and I just had to leave.  I'm so done.  I felt kinda bad afterwards for not telling the hubs ahead of time what I was going to do and to leave him trying to figure out dinner.  Yeah, that was bad.

I did my usual 5K out and back to Victor Lane.  I started slow and steady.  It was a cloudy and the skies threatened rain, but I didn't care.  For the first time, I heard the little brook that went under the same running path I take every week.  It was neat to hear the water jump over the rocks.  I heard birds trying to get away from the darkening skies.  I could hear my running shoes hitting the pavement in a rhythm with my breathing.  For the first time since I started running, I felt more relaxed, at ease.  I didn't feel as hurried by a fast beat, or feel the pressure to run fast to music.  I ran as fast and as slow as my body wanted, and it felt good! 

The other thing I discovered today was my left running shoe is a wee bit bigger for my left foot!  When I doubled up on socks on my left foot, I didn't feel any arch pain!  YAY! 

It was a great run today.  I didn't stop to walk or to jog.  I listened to my body and just ran.  Do you run with music?  Have you tried running without music?  Give it a try!  It's not as scary as it seems.  I was distracted by everything around me to feel burdened by the miles.  I actually like running without music now.  Helps clear my head.  If I ever need to focus on something I want to hear, I play a song in my head, and it works just fine.  Try it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Last Day of Physical Therapy!!!

Today was my last day of physical therapy!  YAY!  I've been waiting for this day of dismissal.  I've had no pain (knock-on-wood) on my lower back and no ITB pain either.  I left armed with exercises/stretches to self-correct my SI Joint should it go out of whack again and exercises to strengthen my lower back.  I have to gradually get back to running again - easing up on speed and slowly piling the miles.  I'm just grateful that I went to PT sooner and not later.  I want to run for as long as I can and now that I've had my first injury, I am more conscious now about the importance of taking a break from running and when to seek help.

Race Recap: Ukrop's Monument Av 10K Race Part 2

I've been so crazy busy since I got back from my first 10K race in Richmond.  Heaven knows how far behind I am from everything:  my Sarah B. workouts, updating my Dailymile posts, sending thank yous to my donors, spring cleaning around the house, and "medical-to-do" lists for everyone here.  It seems like the one thing I am on track and on the ball with is my running.  Go figure!  Ok, I want to make sure I posted my Race Recap Part 2 (and now Part 3!) before May while the memory of it is still fresh, so here it goes (Race Recap Part 1 is HERE).

My mom!

Did I mention that my sister makes a mean spaghetti sauce?  She and I learned from the best, of course - my mom!  Secret ingredient is a light dusting of sugar!  YUM.  After carbo-loading like crazy, I wasn't ready to hit the sack just yet.  I didn't have enough time at home to write on my shirt all the names my donors sent me  who are/were touched by cancer.  I had to get my sister's help on this.  Her handwriting is much better and more straight!

My sister writes like a type-writer!  You can tell which name I wrote - but it is the most special one to me.  :)

I really liked how it turned out.  I wanted the names on my Massey shirt to be permanent so that I can remember who I ran for that day.

I laid out my running outfit, pinned my race bib on and attached my D-tag on my shoe.  I went through my pre-race ritual of laying everything out from undergarments, outfit, my chick hat, cell phone, pre-race snack & water.  I'm so obsessive!  I'm the type of person who just wants to get up early for a race, look at what I have to do/put on and just do it, without having to remember or think.  LOL.  I'm not a morning person, so this pre-race ritual is crucial.

Once I got everything set and ready for tomorrow morning, I was ready to hit the sack.  So tired!  I usually read before bed so I grabbed Bart Yasso's My Life On the Run - the autographed book I got at the Expo.  BIG MISTAKE.  The book was too interesting I couldn't put it down, and it got me way too excited about race day.  I should have picked up a boring book from home to read!  Ugh.  It was so frustrating to say the least.  My body was exhausted but my mind was too worked up to feel sleepy.  Why does this happen to me every night before a race?

Last time I looked at my cell phone it was 2:24am.  I kept dreaming about things that could go wrong the morning of the race, like my yellow running skirt coming out in shreds or forgetting this and that.  It was the most unsettling night before a race I've had yet!  I have no idea why I was feeling all jittery knowing full well I can't run the whole course!  I shouldn't feel anxious, yet I am!  Ack!

I woke up to my alarm 3 freaking hours later.  Ugh.  Adrenaline kicked in as usual.  Did my PT exercises to loosen up, then hit the showers to wake up and got ready in no time.  My college friends came over on the dot.  I hardly had anything to eat yet so I scarfed down my oatmeal and packed bananas, snacks and gummy bears.  We knew that parking would be a pain, so we headed down to Monroe Park.

It was a very chilly morning!  I layered with long pants and a jacket.  We lucked out and got street parking 2 blocks from Monroe Park.  It occurred to me that I have no clue where the start and finish lines are.  Did not study the course map.  Guess I prefer surprises, or you can say that it's best when I don't know how many more miles I have to go.  lol.

We decided to attend the "Blessing of the Runners" at the Sacred Heart Cathedral off of Monroe Park.  It was kinda cool to see runners dressed in running gear, some in costume, inside the church.  I find out days later from pics taken during the event that the priest was wearing Vibram Five Fingers underneath his robe.  The priest is a runner too!  Yeah!  I prayed that I won't kill myself on the course given that my last long run of 5 miles was 2 weeks before.  I just want to finish even if I have to walk the whole course.

We had to meander our way around Monroe Park a bit.  The line to the bag check-in was ridiculous.  My awesome sister offered to take our stuff back to the car.  We went ahead and registered our team's costume - "Chick Magnet."

We paled in comparison to the other costumes there.  These guys were great!  I didn't see how in the world you can run in those costumes, but they looked like they were having a blast.

One of my favorite group costumes!

Another favorite!

The hour before our wave start was excruciating.  At this point I just wanted to get it over with and go back to bed.  It was still cold out so we stayed inside the church.  A little weird to see other runners stretch/snack inside the church, but no one kicked us out, no one seemed to give us that "you shouldn't do that in church" look, so we stayed until it was time to go.

Race Recap:  Ukrop's Monument Av 10K Race Part 3 - The Race - coming soon.
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