My Fundraising Page
Jan 17, 2009 by Jennifer White
I DID IT!! I crossed the finish line at the OKC Memorial Half Marathon! Official Time: 2:43:17
If you had told me 6 months ago that was possible, I wouldn't have believed you!
Race weekend started off a little crazy. I had to shoot a wedding on Saturday so we didn't get out of Wichita until almost 8 pm. On the way to OKC, we had to pull off the interstate twice dues to tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the immediate area. But I was determined to get there! We pulled into our hotel at about midnight. The alarm was set to go off at 4 am!
I made it up and out the door in time to meet the rest of the Team at their hotel at 5. We shared a quick breakfast of bagels and bananas and set off for the starting line.
There were SO MANY people! But the weather was perfect. Cool, overcast, slight breeze. At the starting line we found our corrals by expected mile times. I chose the 11 minute mile group. They had a moment of silence for all of those who lost their lives or loved ones in the Federal Building bombing. The pre-dawn lights on the memorial were beautiful and it was very moving. Not only were we running to find a cure for Leukemia & Lymphoma but to also remember the tragedy this community and the rest of the country had endured.
And then the butterflies hit! Man was I nervous! The other girls I started the race with were doing the full marathon and one was running the half to prepare for the full in San Diego in May. The start was a little slow as we worked our way through the crowd but luckily the race used a shoe chip that wasn't activated until we actually crossed the official starting line.
I ran the 1st 5 miles with the other girls even though I had been training using intervals. I knew I shouldn't do it but we were having a good time chatting and I felt great. About mile 6 I was wishing I had stuck to my original plan! After dropping back to intervals I felt a little better but still more tired than I should have at that point. Of course, part of that may have been the fact that OKC has LOTS more hills than Wichita! And it was humid!
About 10.5 miles in I hear someone shouting through a bullhorn. "Marathoner, Marathoner coming through!" And here comes the police escort for the first finisher. He ran a FULL marathon in LESS time than it took me to run a half! Insane!!
My longest training run was 12 miles so when I hit that 12 mile flag I knew that every step past that was a new personal record for me! A couple more turns and I could see the finish line. Thousands of people cheering us on. Yells from the crowd of "Go Team in Training!" and "God bless you!" It was amazing. I fought back the tears as I pulled every last bit of energy I could out of my leg muscles to finish strong. The announcer even said my name as I came through the last few yards.
The minute my foot hit that finish line, the tears wouldn't stay back anymore. The flood of emotion of finishing something that was such a huge goal, the thoughts of my wonderful friends, Jeff, Allison and Amanda who inspired me through all of the training and the run itself, and the gratitude for my health and the health of my family.
Jeff and Allie are both healthy now. Allison just had her 1 year checkup and scan and everything came back clear. Amanda is also 1 year past her final chemo treatment, recently married and expecting her first child very soon. Praise God!
Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this amazing journey! We still have 30 days past race day to meet the fundraising goal so if you can help, even a little, I would sure appreciate it.
And now the bug has bitten me- I'm signing up for a 10K next month and another half marathon in June! Maybe the full marathon next year at OKC?? Maybe I'll beat that crazy guy who won this year! (OK maybe the running endorphins have gone to my brain!)
Oh WOW! Less than a week til race day! As you can see- we still need to raise more money. Please donate whatever you can. Even $5.00 is a huge help!
I'm feeling pretty good about the run. We did 12 mile last week and it went great! I know the adrenaline will be flowing and the crowd will keep me moving. I can't wait to see that finish line. I know I will be a sobbing, smiling, puddle of tears MESS! But it will be so worth it all. If we can help save one child, one parent, one family from having to go through what my friends the Hoskins have gone though.
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated, prayed, offered support and trained with me.
WOW! Tonight is the big night! Please come out to the Andover Public Library and join us for an art auction to benefit the Society. I have some AMAZING pieces that have been very generously donated by some of the area's most talented photographers. You can help me reach my fundraising goal and get a beautiful piece of art in return, what a deal!
We'll start at 7 pm in the library art gallery. The Andover Library is on Central just east of Andover Rd.
Running is going well. I have been very busy this week with setting up for the event but I've gotten some miles in. Tomorrow is a 7 mile run with the Team. Next week I'll be back in full swing again!
Thanks everyone and hope to see you tonight!
Training is going well. We have another group run at 7 am Saturday- 5 miles this week. Last week was awesome. Everyone is so great! I ran tonight and last night. I'll take tomorrow off to be ready for Saturday. Can't wait!
On another note- I am hosting a Photo Gallery Opening at the Andover Public Library to raise funds. It will be at 7 pm March 6th and will feature several very talented local photographers as well as silent auction and raffle items. It should be a great night- come out and join us if you can! If you need more details or would like to participate as an artist or with a donation for the auction/raffle, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow morning is our first group run. The other runners and I will do 3 miles in the brisk 7:30 am chill but it should be a blast getting to know everyone and hitting the pavement! I'll post tomorrow about how it goes.
I ran 4 miles this morning. My farthest distance to date! Each run I'm feeling a little stronger, going a little farther and getting closer to the goal: 13.1 miles! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by the page, sent me emails or left me a message on Facebook. Your encouragement means so much and I think about all of you when I'm pushing to break through the wall! Of course I'm also driven by the thought that each mile I run could be a mile closer to a cure for people like Jeff, Allie & Amanda and the thousands of others who fight these diseases daily. Every mile and every dollar donated can be a step closer to the cure!
I have officially lost the last of my marbles and have signed up to run a half marathon to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my wonderful friends, Jeff & Allison Hoskins as well as Amanda Dyer White. All three of these brave people have fought and conquered both of these diseases and I want to be a part of helping to find a cure so that no one else has to go through what they have been through! If you are not familiar with the Hoskins' story, please visit www.hope4thehoskins.blogspot.com
I will be running in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in April. The minimim fundraising goal for this event is $2,850. My personal goal is to DOUBLE that! I have seen the generosity and the amazing support that our family, friends and community have given these friends of mine and I hope that I can count on that support as they each continue to heal and get stronger and we "Race to Save Lives".
If you are able, please give generously to this amazing organization that is working daily to find new medications, treatment and most importantly a cure. All you have to do is punch in your card number, I'll run the miles! How easy is that??
Thank you and GOD BLESS! I'll keep you posted here on my progress as I train so check back often! I work better under pressure!