Oct 21, 2012 by Lisa Cannon
Well it took a week to finally get this update done, but here it is....We did it! Officially marathoners! Our trip to San Francisco was absolutely amazing, from start to finish! It was a wonderful experience, almost too hard to put into words. We arrived on Friday 10/12/12 and were able to do some sightseeing after checking into our hotel. We took a trolley to Fisherman's Wharf where we caught the ferry to Alcatraz. Following that we picked up our race packets at the Nike Expo...apparently we beat the crowds, because the following day the line was wrapped around the block. On Saturday we did a lot of shopping at Niketown and Macy's and got our NWM gear. We also attended the Inspirational luncheon, hosted by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was definitely moving to see so many participants in a convention center together, knowing that we were all there with one purpose...to raise money for the LLS. There was a great keynote by a leukemia survivor, who was celebrating her year of remission by participating in the half marathon with her family. It was also announced that the event had raised $10million, including a $50,000 contribution from Nike!
Sunday was race day and we were up at 5am and to the starting corrals by 6:30am. It was a cool morning, but perfect for running.
Here's our picture from the starting line...
It was a slow start, with 25,000 runners trying to make room for each other. Our first major hill came between the 6th and 7th mile, and was definitely a challenge. Thank goodness for all those training runs in Lancaster county...we were prepared and even passed quite a few people! Shortly after this point, Josh, (our assistant Coach from Lancaster team) caught up with us and continued to run with us until the half marathoners split off from our route. It was around mile 10 that we caught our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean...a very emotional moment for me as I thought back over my journey to get there. Five years ago, I wasn't sure if I would live, and here I was running a marathon and seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time. It was truly overwhelming!
Fortunately, the first half of the marathon was the most challenging part, and after mile 15 we were pretty much done tackling hills. By mile 18, we were running the Great Highway, parallel to the route that would take us to the finish line. Amazingly enough, we could see the 'elite' runners who were already in the final stretch of their race!
The energy throughout the entire course was crazy, with so many people cheering on the runners. The TNT coaches were awesome, always encouraging us by name (hence why we duct taped our names to the front of our jerseys!) There was also entertainment/music at various spots along the way which was great for distraction and to give a little boost...(who wouldn't run a little faster when they hear "Eye of the Tiger" or "Survivor"!) I also had the added pleasure of having fellow runners pass me and offer me a high 5 or congrats when they saw the back of my jersey said "5 year Survivor". It definitely helped me reach down a little deeper and keep moving. For added inspiration, I also tried to focus on those who we were running for, as well as those who were at home, cheering us on in spirit.
In the last stretch of the marathon, Josh popped out of the sidelines and ran the last mile or so with us again before bowing out to wait for others on our Central PA team. The finish line was within sight and after running for just over four hours, we were finally done! Our Tiffany's necklace was handed to us by San Francisco firemen, decked out in tuxedos..a classy finish to an incredible race.
Our 26.2 miles had taken us to the beach, and it was a beautiful sight, despite the chilly temps and overcast skies. We rested in the stretching tent for awhile after finding Michelle and Nikki and it felt great to sit down! (Congrats by the way to Michelle, who finished the half marathon in her personal best time! And a big thanks to Nikki, who carried our bags and waited so patiently for us while we ran!)
Later that evening---after a brief ice bath, and lovely, long warm showers--we had our TNT Celebration dinner. The food was great, the company was fantastic, and it was fairly amusing to watch all the people hobbling around on stiff and sore legs :) The special drink for the evening was...a TNTini, of course!
It's hard to believe that after training so long and hard, the big day had come and gone and we had accomplished our goal. We owe many thanks to so many people. To our Lancaster team fellow runners, our Mentor Steve, or families and friends, our co-workers and to all those who prayed for us, offered encouragement, and financially supported the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It was an amazing and inspirational experience, and one that we would encourage others to experience as well.
"The real purpose of running isn't to win a race, its to test the limits of the human heart"--Bill Bowerman
Celebrating 5 years
Oct 12, 2012 by Lisa Cannon
Today marks exactly 5 years since my final chemo treatment. I remember very clearly ringing the bell in the infusion room to mark the completion of treatment and the overwhelming emotions I felt upon walking out of the hospital. I have truly been blessed many times over since then. Tomorrow we leave for San Francisco, as proud members of the Central PA Team in Training, to run our first marathon on Sunday morning. We will run to celebrate my remission, we will run to honor other survivors, and we will run in memory of those warriors who have gone before us. We have added many family and friends' loved ones to our Honored Teammate list along the way, so to recap.....
We run in honor of:
We run in memory of:
Barbara E. Emmerich
Tami and I are thrilled to have raised over $8500 between the two of us and our Central PA team (about 25 of us) have raised over $75,000!! I can't wait to see what is raised nationwide when we get out to California!
Countdown to Cali!
Oct 07, 2012 by Tami Garber
Next week at this time, Lisa and I will be over an hour into our run which means we will hopefully have finished our first 8 of 26.2 miles! Yesterday we met with our TNT group for our final team run. We were pleasantly surprised that Mentor Steve was able to join us and give us one last pep talk.
It's amazing to think that it has been almost 18 weeks of training and over 435 miles to get us prepared for the race ahead. I can proudly say that Lisa and I did not miss a single day of running or a single mile of the training plan we were given despite vacations, weather, and hectic schedules. I can honestly say we feel ready and prepared to tackle the marathon on Sunday.
It has been quite a journey of training. Lisa and I feel blessed for the support we have received. We have surpassed our original goal of $6,080 due to the overwhelming generousity from friends and family. Your prayers and encouraging words have also been vital throughout this experience. Think of us next week and send your positive energy and prayers to us out on the west coast as we run the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco!
20 miles =ice bath
Sep 23, 2012 by Lisa Cannon
So....yesterday was our longest training run before our marathon...20 miles in Mount Gretna. Tami and I started at 6:30am and did our first ten miles on the road in order to meet back at 8am where the group was gathering for a 10 miler on the trail. The first 10 went pretty smoothly, despite a pretty decent hill near the end. It was good practice for the hills of San Francisco, I'm sure. The remaining 10 on the trail were flat, yet the terrain is not our favorite. Steve took this action shot of us as we finished up our last quarter mile to hit the 20 mile mark. (our first and only action shot!!)
Following our run, we each tried an ice bath..another first for us. An ice bath consists of filling the bathtub with cold water then dumping icecubes into it. Not so enjoyable, but apparently good for muscle damage. We are three weeks out from the race and our training runs will now be declining. This will be a welcome break since it is challenging to keep up with running up to 10 miles early in the morning before work. For anyone that is still interested in making a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, it is not too late to make that happen! We are psyched that we have now raised about $8000 for the LLS!!
Still running strong...
Sep 16, 2012 by Lisa Cannon
Time is flying by and we are a month out from our race! Last Saturday was out longest run to date...18 miles in Leola. Thanks again goes out to Steve for agreeing to an early start and running the duration with us. We ran the first 10 before the rest of the group met, and then after breaking to meet the group, we finished the final 8. Tami and I felt great after the run and it was a real confidence builder to feel that well on such a long run. Here's a picture of us after our 18.....
Yesterday our training schedule had us backing down on our long run, so we only had to put in 14 miles. Our group run at Speedwell Forge was cancelled due to our coaches and some others running in the Philly half this weekend, so Tami and I actually did our own route in Mount Joy. We were treated to a mobile water stop half way through, with Bear, Aaliyah and Tyra catching up with us by car. We were loving the cooler temps and finished strong in 1:58. We are gearing up for our most intense training week...40 miles total this week. A 10 miler, two 5 milers and our long run will be 20 on Saturday. Trying not to think too hard about it!
Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are still coming in! On Friday, Tami's school held a fundraiser day--- by making a donation to the LLS, they could wear jeans. Thank you Buchanan Elementary staff..we appreciate your support in joining with us to fight blood cancers!!