Long-ing to be a Runner

Long Overdue
Jun 25, 2012 by Jeanine Long

This blog entry is beyond overdue. San Diego has come and gone and it's been a month since I've updated. I came home to a whirlwind of activity and kept using that as my excuse but today I realized why I have been putting this off. I believed this update would mean the end of an amazing journey.

I don't think I could ever adequately describe what this experience has meant to me..... literally from start to finish! June 3 was a date that loomed ahead for so many months and now that I look back, it went so quickly. I said yes on December 27 to a journey that changed my life. I started on a path to get fit but with each step I took forward, I was leaving that path behind and taking an entierly differnet journey.

As a part of Team in Training, we represent the countless people that aren't able to run that race themselves. And that half marathon is very small compared to the race that cancer patients participate in every day. I am humbled to be able to say I am a part of this group. I met some truly great people along the way that I now consider my friends.

People define a runner in different ways and people run for different reasons. I am sure that I would not meet the definition of a runner for most! My goal was to be "running Long" at the end of this. I didn't exactly reach that goal, however the fact that I completed my first half marathon means more than how I got there. And to be able to run in honor of Pax, Blake and Libby was such a blessing. I know they were with me that day and I had a very special reminder of Paxten at the start of mile 12 that still brings me to tears.

I wouldn't have been able to do this withough the support of my family and friends. I know there were a few "you're crazy" and "what is she thinking" thoughts along the way. But I never would have known! To have my sister Janelle, and friends Marilyn and Zach with me in San Diego was truly special. Janelle in her very loving way announced to me that I had the easier job that day. Apparently a 6 month pregnancy and a broken ankle didn't lend themselves well to keeping up as spectators! (I think there were some poor directions to blame in that as well!) And as the Team Jeanine pics came in that day, I finally broke down when I realized all the effort that had been made in helping me reach my goals!! I definitely did not do this alone!!

So with all that being said, I will close with; this is not the end of this journey for me as I have signed up to train with TNT for the Prairie Fire Marathon on October 14 here in Wichita. Cancer does not take a season off and neither will I! Stay tuned as I am sure it will be another joyous but bumpy ride!

Still longing to be a runner!!

Reality Check
May 15, 2012 by Jeanine Long

Wow, wow, WOW! I am not sure what I thought I was doing the last 17 weeks but this deal got real.....tonight! Can you feel the panic in my words!

So tonight, we have our travel meeting. This was the "receive all of your event weekend materials, dinner tickets, race jersey, weekend itinerary, flight info and more" mandatory meeting. Dinner tickets...love food, no biggie. Race jersey....love purple and especially proud to sport the TNT and LLS logos, still not a big deal. Flight information...love to travel and always excited about that. Weekend itinerary.....times to leave hotel and be at expo and even a Padres games, not sweating yet. It was the MORE.....Dear God, the MORE!

I believe it was the point in the meeting when we starting talking about the IMPORTANT COURSE/RACE INFORAMTION that I really started to sweat. I think there were terms in those pages that I have never heard. I knew running had it's own vocabulary but who knew the race had it's own as well! And then I looked at the course map and noticed if I am not paying attention at mile 4, I could end up on the marathon course instead of the half marathon course.....sheer panic! I immediatley regretted the taquitos and adult beverage I had for dinner last night. (As if that one meal was going to make or break my entire race!)

But then I had a chat with myself. This what I have been preparing for and looking forward to these last five months.....mentally and physically! And I have the support of family and friends. But above all, a very specal angel is up above....precious Paxten watching over me.

If I complete this journey still "longing to be a runner" and perhaps throw up at the end, it's not a big deal. What matters most is that I will finish this race and am humbled to be able to do it in honor of Paxten, Blake and Libby! And that is what matters most!

Oh My!
Apr 29, 2012 by Jeanine Long

What a roller coaster the last month has been! I have not been good about updating my page. And when I think about why....I am almost embarrassed.

After 17 years in education, I thought I had a rock solid immune systerm. Not so much! I have managed to get the flu twice this year, the last episode lasting 6 days. I will spare you the details but I have to say it was the worst I've ever had. And I had a flu shot. NEVER AGAIN!

My training and nutrition habits since I had my gall bladder taken out have been less than stellar! I have honestly had a difficult time getting back on track but have had an even tougher time figuring out what to eat. I thought this was going to be a breeze, Not really!

As I read back through my posts I felt almost a negative undertone to my blog. And that is NOT what I mean to communicate. I think I'm just frustrated. I feel like I'm letting my age and lack of athletic ability get the best of me.

But I must say overall this has been one of the best experiences I have had. And the best part is yet to come. I have met great people. I train with them every week and hear from them in the meantime and have made lasting friendships. I continue to be touched by the donations and messages of encouragement I receive each week. And beyond that, knowing I am doing something to make a difference in the lives of others means more to me than anything else.

I have to apologize for my endless rambling but those who know me best know that I keep my most personal thoughts to myself. I apparently needed an outlet. Thank you for listening (reading) and bill me for my session! :)

I hope this is the end of the bumps and I look forward to becoming "running Long" instead of "Longing to be a runner" very soon!

Mar 25, 2012 by Jeanine Long

Paxten gave us beautiful weather today. What a wonderful workout! Thank you baby girl!

2 weeks
Mar 23, 2012 by Jeanine Long

It's two weeks post surgery and I am back, well sort of. Just finished three miles. There was some running, a whole lot of walking and some pain. I had hoped to be back at four miles tomorrow. This healing process has taken a little longer than I thought it would. And figuring out what to eat is a guessing game. But I'm glad I had the surgery and am thanful for my health. The rest will come in time.

On another note, I have nearly reached my fundraising minimum. Thank you to all of you who have supported me financially as well as in your thoughts and prayers.

And finally, exciting news. My sister Janelle and close friend Marilyn will be joining me in San Diego. It will be great to have them with me and see two familiar faces at the finish line. And I don't plan to be puking on their shoes when I get there!

Still longing here.........!

A bumpy road
Mar 08, 2012 by Jeanine Long

Training this week has been less than stellar. Apparently the pain I have been trying to ignore the last 6 months is a low functioning gall bladder. Which I am having out tomorrow morning thankfully. It's reached a point where the pain is affecting my training. Doctor tells me I'll be back to exercising next week and running in two.

This morning at breakfast Kendall told Bryan and Angie she would make sure that I am her kindergarten class's "special" prayer. How blessed am I!

Still longing..........!

In Her Honor
Feb 29, 2012 by Jeanine Long

The reason I am fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society......Paxten

The reason I am going to become a runner.......Paxten

Why I am determined to make this happen..............Paxten


My Coach
Feb 22, 2012 by Jeanine Long

Recently I decided to run through my brother's neighborhood. Angie and the girls met me at the end of it to cheer me on. Best thing ever! When we got back to the house, Kendall wanted to jog around the block. So she hands her pom pom and her gold "running" purse to her mom and we were off. As we were running she says to me, "Come on girl, you can do this, if you are going to run a marathon, you gotta keep going". Now that's motivation!

Truth be told
Feb 19, 2012 by Jeanine Long

Training this week has been trying to say the least. Not because of the weather or the flu again but my inability to quiet my mind. Not what one would expect to hear from "the therapist in the bunch". It seems I am my own worst enemy.

A little background, I have never been what one could call an athlete. I dabbled in junior high sports. I had a career high of zero points after two years of basketball. I did manage to place in an event at a track meet in the 8th grade. I tried to play tennis my freshman year of high school but that didn't last either. I did finally find my niche as a cheerleader throughout the rest of high school and college. After college, I was on a coed-softball team. That nearly resulted in a second summer job to fund all the beer I had to buy for the team when I struck out. And that was the end of my so-called sports years.

In my inital post, I mentioned there were numerous reasons I had never taken on running. That 8th grade track meet.......yes I placed but it was in the mile run and I threw up at the finish line.....all over my sister Carolyn! And my running style......have you seen the Phoebe running episode of Friends! Needless to say, my few attempts at running always resulted in a feeling of "this isn't for me".

Which brings me to my point. These first few weeks have been frustrating. My body isn't used to the stress I'm putting on it. And it lets me know about it! I am still trying to find the right nutritional balance to fuel my body and get back in shape. And my schedule is less than desirable and it's been challenging to schedule my workouts. Which means there are many days I doubt myself. I don't want this to sound like I am complaining, I am simply being forthcoming and honest.

However, TNT has provided me with great resources and wonderful coaches who tell me I'm becoming an athlete. Go Figure! But I must say, my friends have family have been my greatest source of strength. The emails, phone calls and "I'm proud of you" have been humbling. And the fundraising piece of this journey has truly been inspiring. So to everyone who has sent prayers, an 'atta girl' or financial support.......thank you simply isn't enough. Never fear I will conquer this bump in the road and am more than determined to make this happen.

Still longing...............!

Another purchase?
Feb 15, 2012 by Jeanine Long

What is this runner's high I keep hearing about and where am I supposed to get one?

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Supporter Comments

    "Love you! You are amazing."

    Carla Ewy

    Sun Jan 29 08:40:55 EST 2012

    "Good luck, Neenie! Proud of you. "

    Katie Grover

    Fri Mar 23 10:47:30 EDT 2012

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $3,318.00 | Goal: $5,000.00
66 %

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In Memory of

Paxten Pearson

My Thanks To

Nancy + Wayne McClelland  
Morgan Sommers  
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J Hillman  
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Cheney Middle School  
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Carla Ewy