Team In Training

I completed the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training on April 25, 2009. 

I am sad to say, I did not continue running. I jumped into training too fast and suffered some injuries and burnout by the end. I am ready to get started again, but I plan to train and participate in some shorter distance races before joining up with TNT.

Here is a look back at the journal I kept while training with TNT...

We had our first TEAM run this morning. When I woke up the temperature was 12 degrees! Many of my TEAMmates were still without power in their homes following the recent ice storm, including Susan, one of our coaches. We met at Swag's, a popular running store in Louisville. One of our mentors mapped out a nearby route that had been plowed and was relatively free of ice and snow. Despite the cold weather, I felt pretty good throughout the run. To my surprise it seemed easier than the treadmill. Today's run was 2 miles. We returned to the running shop after we finished, and Swag himself fitted us in the right running shoes! I feel like I am off to a great start.

Our TEAM met for a mid-week run today at Iroquois Park. For those of you that are not familiar with the park, it is known for hilly terrain. It was another chilly day, about 15 degrees and windy! Luckily, our coaches decided to skip the hills and we ran along Southern Parkway. I've been having problem with pain that I think is shin spints, but I completed the 3 miles. I was frozen and sore when finished, but proud of my accomplishment!

A week of training has passed and I am starting to feel the effects. Today we had a nutrition and hydration clinic before our run where we learned to fuel our bodies for all the activity we are doing. I opted to train with the walking group today due to a persistent pain in my leg. We briskly walked 3 1/2 miles down Bardstown Rd. I enjoyed walking, but I hope to return to the challenge of running as soon as the pain subsides. I topped off today by standing in the middle of a busy intersection holding a bucket for donations! They call this a "roadblock". After 3 hours I managed to bring home over $150 for my cause. Thank goodness the weather was nicer, it got up to 60 degrees today. Boy am I exhausted! The combination of fundraising and exercise is wearing me out...

I am back with the running TEAM! Today we learned about injury prevention and stretching with the Score Clinic, who treats several college and pro sport teams in the area. The 3 mile run went well and my legs are feeling much better after taking some time to walk and recover the previous week. The weather was cool but nice. I finished off the day with another "roadblock" for fundraising. It was facinating to watch some drivers' reaction to particular, those who immediately get a cell phone call.
FYI, grabbing for the phone only made me think they were looking spare change and drew more attention to them. If they feel guilty for not donating, maybe they should be donating :). A smile or wave was a welcome gesture. This observation aside, I was touched by drivers who shared their own stories with me. This is truly a cause that many people can relate to!

So this morning was cold and windy with some sleet! The weather has been changing so much lately I never know what to expect! We are starting to up the mileage of our Saturday runs and today we went 4 miles at Seneca Park. That is my longest run so far :). It was challenging and at the end I had to force one foot in front of the other, but I made it. My coach said she is noticing improvment, yay! Every time a run is finished I feel so good; maybe I'm starting to understand the term "runner's high". Maybe...

This update is not about running...although I did run today :). I just had to mention how completely overwhelmed I am by the generosity and support shown so far by family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers. I was told that I would be surprised by the responses I would get and who they would come from, and it is absolutely true! I feel so honored to be able to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by participating with Team In Training, and each donation and word of support reinforces my desire to succeed. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart, it is amazing to know that you are there cheering me on!

Another very chilly Saturday! I am up to 5 miles now, who woulda thought I could do it? :) We started at 6:45 am....very early for me to be up on a weekend. Today's run started on Bardstown Road, went into Cherokee Park, around the scenic loop and back. I felt really good and finished at least 5 minutes faster than I had expected to. I am starting to improve and I'm not so miserable during the runs. It is a good feeling.

On another note, we had a TNT meeting after our run and one of the members brought her son to meet us. Noah is 8 years old and has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He is currently 7 months into a 36 month cycle of chemotherapy. Despite it all he was smiling and playing with his sisters like any kid. It really solidifies my purpose to see the lives that cancer touches up close. It is very real. I have spent time fundraising with his mother and talking with her about the ordeal she and her family are facing. Somehow, standing in the bitter cold for another roadblock today felt like a much smaller sacrifice this time.

Today we did hill repeats in Iroquois Park. Basically you run as fast as you can up the hill, jog back down, then do it again....and again. You get the picture. It was not fun! Our coaches kept saying that it makes you stronger and faster. I believe it because I hurt all over when we were finished :) First race is coming up this weekend! Check back to see how it goes.

Today was the Anthem 5K, which is the first leg of the Triple Crown of running. It was an amazing experience, there were almost 8000 participants! It was actually pretty warm this morning, around 60 degrees. Sound good? Well, when you have been training in weather that is below freezing, the heat is a shock. At the finish we were rewarded with Panera Cinnamon Crunch bagels (yum), Powerade and fruit. I stayed to cheer on the rest of my TNT group. It was so nice to have a team of people for support. I am glad I didn't have to do it alone. Here are my stats:
Distance 5K
Chip Time 40:08

This week we participated in the Rodes City Run 10K. It was a fairly flat course and I felt pretty good. My finishing time was more or less what I was expecting, I am staying pretty consistent.
On a side note, I've been having problems with my lower legs since the beginning of training and I have been seeing our "team doctor" for several weeks. Dr Fortes is a sports chiropractor and he hosted our injury prevention clinic back in February. He has helped out almost everyone on the team at some point. He uses the Graston Technique which helps release scar tissue buildup for easier movement. It really loosens up the muscles and relieves pain. The downside it that the treatment itself is extremely painful! My lower legs have been black and blue from bruises for weeks now! Just thought I would share some of the dark side of training for a miniMarathon :). I am hoping we can get the problem resolved or at least keep it controlled until my event! And now, my race stats:
Distance 10K
Chip Time 1:25:11

I didn't get to run this weekend. Dr. Fortes is out of town with the Uof L basketball team and didn't want me to run until he sees me again. I think it is probably best, maybe I will heal some. So today I went to the gym and took 2 spinning classes. That means I cycled for almost 2 hrs. It was grueling, so I am sure it will help me keep my endurance up for running. After that I treated myself to a 60 minute massage. Right now I am feeling pretty good! I was also awarded Team in Training socks for reaching 75% of my fundraising goal by March 13! Thanks to everyone for helping me get there!!

As most of you know, I had a car accident on April 7. A lot has been going on so I am finally here to update you. I got a nice black eye in the accident, some bruises, and I'm having some pain in my right (driving) leg, but overall I am doing fine. I decided after some deliberation to complete the Papa John's 10 miler on April 11th. Man, it was tough! Here are the results:
Distance 10M
Chip Time 2:33:32
Half 1:14:51

Currently I am tapering my running to prepare for the big day! That's right, the miniMarathon is THIS WEEKEND! I can't believe it is already here. The temperature is supposed to be in the 80s so that is making me a little nervous, but I am very excited! Also, as you can see, I have EXCEEDED my minimum fundraising goal with time to spare! You guys are AWESOME, I couldn't have come this far without your generous support. You are SAVING LIVES!! :)

I completed my first miniMarathon (13.1 miles) on April 25, 2009. The temperature was 71 degrees at 7:30 am and got up to a near-record-breaking 87 degrees (88 is the record for that day). If you look back to my very first update 3 months ago, the temperature was 12 degrees! Since most of my training has been done in cooler temperatures, the heat was a huge struggle for me. Thanks to my wonderful coaching team and the constant inspiration of my heros (whose names were pinned to my jersey), I was able to cross the finish line! I want to thank all of you again for your amazing support! I can't express my appreciation enough! TNT is an amazing organization and I plan to join up with them again to fight the battle against blood cancers. This part of my journey has ended, but I realize now that this is only the beginning. I plan to continue training and one day go 26.2 miles!