Adj's Fundraising Page
Jul 30, 2009 by Adrienne Wiley
Racing to Save Lives
Hey, Everyone! Welcome to my Team In Training home page!
I've talked about it for a while and now I'm finally committing to it: I'm training to participate in an endurance event as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives.
I've lost a lot of people I love to cancer in my lifetime : my godfather, my cousin, and other friends and relatives who left this world much too soon. So now, I've decided it's time to do something more substantial. More challenging. And by all accounts, more satisfying.
So! I'm going to take part in the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday, January 10th, 2009. I might be crawling across the finish line, but I'm going to complete all 26.2 miles (that's 42.16 km for you metric-using types) in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers.
These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
Please make a contribution to support Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission! Any amount will be greatly appreciated and no amount is too small!
Special gifts will be sent to Silver and Gold level donors!
Please donate by October 1st!
(Donations after this time will gladly be accepted, but it would be extremely helpful to receive them before then.)
For you information (and general entertainment), you can follow along as I prepare for this event. I'm not much of a runner - yet - so you can read about my training, successes, and not-so-successes at http://adjdes.blogspot.com
I hope you'll share my web site with others and visit often!
Be sure to check back to see my progress.
And, of course, Thanks for your support!
UPDATE: 2/17/10 An Overdue Summary
There's not acutally enough room left of my page to summarize EVERYTHING, so check out my blog (http://adjdes.blogspot.com) for a recap and my online album (http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=141806&id=617112635&l=dd4e48727d) to see photos from the event weekend. THANK YOU to all of you who supported me during my training and final run! We did it!!!!!
UPDATE: 12/08/09 Final Run Through
This Saturday (the 12th) is my longest training run: 20 ass-kicking miles! After that, it'll be time to taper down until the big event, which is a mere month away.
Also, remember to send me the names/photos of anyone whom you'd like me to run in honor or memory of during the race.
I'll let you know you how things look after Saturday.
UPDATE: 11/20/09 A Half-Marathon Recap
So I finally got some race experience under my belt and entered - and actually finished - the 2009 Baltimore Running Festival Half-Marathon. It took under 3hrs for me to cross the finish line and about another 40minutes before I could feel my legs properly. Overall, it was absolutely worth it - even the f*cking ridiculous number of hills peppering the trail.
The first wave of the race started around 9:45am. As I was running in the last wave of participants, I hit the trail a little after 10am. Right around the same time it started to rain. Seriously. And thus began one of the longer 3-hr segments of my 31 years. Here's a quick recap of some of the trail highlights:
Miles 2-3: I bid farewell to my running partner, Monica, who is charging up the many hills while I am content to walk a fast pace and pick up speed at the bottom. Mile 3 is also the first water stop, marked by a band that is playing on a stage set up to the side of the road. Spectators graciously offer free high-fives to runners as they pass. This is also the point where the route for runners completing the full marathon merges with the half-marathon route.
Miles 5-6: I notice the first costumed participant - a dude dressed as a can of Miller Lite - running as part of a relay team. This is the first water stop in the route that also has PowerGel available to runners. I take one and quickly realize that eating while running is not a good combination for me. Considerable willpower goes into not being sick on the trail in front of race spectators. I later repeat this lesson around Mile 10 when I try to ingest a Gummi Bear offered by a cheerful race supporter.
Miles 7-8: The path takes us aside and follows the outline of the picturesque Lake Montebello. Jason, Monica's husband who is clobbering my pace, apparently sees me while entering the park while he's exiting. Not that I notice anything outside of my breathing pattern. And the photographers who seem to be setting up around the lake to take photos of runners for later purchase. I try to smile while maintaining a decent running form when I see them. This plan does not even remotely work (as I look competely WORKED in the shots) and, consequently, I do not purchase said photos and hope they never see the light of day.
Mile 9: The race route takes us through the neighborhood surrounding the Hopkins Homewood campus. Residents come out of the woodwork to support the runners. On one block I see a gentlemen encouraging the athletes by blasting "Eye of the Tiger" from his SUV's sound system. Bonus: Man is actually dressed as tiger while standing on his vehicle's rooftop. I also receive additional, just-for-me cheers from a now 17-year-old Justin Knight (who received help from LLS after he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at age 6) and his mom.
Their cheers inspire me to pick up my pace. My right leg/knee/ankle, while appreciating the sentiment, wants no part of this increased running speed and makes its displeasure known in no uncertain terms.
Miles 10 -11: I can see the Howard Street Bridge, the last of the friggin' hills on the race trail. As I am about to slow down to a walk a Team in Training coach from another chapter pops out of nowhere and runs alongside me, checking in on how I'm feeling and - this is where my heart sinks a good bit - to help me run up this last hill. I am near tears at the very idea but somehow make it up the incline without falling over. It's a downhill (or at least an even level) run from here.
Miles 12 - 13: I get a morale boost at the last water stop, which is sponsored by Team in Training and LLS. Thank god, because I am feeling all sorts of beat up by the previous 12 miles. The end of the route is attended by more spectators. A lot more. While some are encouraging (which is always nice to hear when you've realized that 13.1 miles is WAY longer than you ever imagined possible), others quickly work my nerves. Like the fat guy in the Rascal telling me to finish big or the group with lit cigarettes in hand telling us to run not walk to the finish line. God help me it's all I can do not to veer off track and kick them with what little stamina I have left.
Mile 13.1: I manage to smile and raise my arms up triumphantly for the last photographer, who's perched on a cherry picker above the race path. (It ends up being my one decent picture.) The last 10th of a mile goes through Camden Yards and ends up at M&T Bank Stadium. I've never been so happy to see a finish line in my LIFE. I cross just behind a fellow finishing the full marathon who's wearing a Ben Roethlisberger jersey, which is double-ballsy given the amount of heckling I'm sure he received over the past 26.2 miles. I manage to run across the finish line and receive my runner's medal. I catch up with Tony, Monica, Jason, and Dexter (Monica & Jason's dog) and we walk back to Federal Hill to pick up our car and head home.
P.S. I've I finally take that ice bath as soon as we return to the house.
So that's my first endurance event in a nutshell. It was by far one of the hardest things I've completed and it still haunts me to think that not only do I get to do this again, but I need to do it twice in a row. At least Walt Disney World, from what I understand, is a flat trail. And besides, I've run several miles past that 13.1mi distance since then and managed to survive.
Still, it's kind of thrilling to look at my little crab-shaped medal and know that I've done something not many have done before. And I'm helping out others at the same time. As of today, I've reached my minimum fund raising goal (woo hoo!!) and I still have another 4 weeks before the TnT deadline to bring in the remaining funds.
Just 49 days until the big one...
UPDATE: 9/14/09 Halfway there
Sorry about the slack updating, but things have been a little hectic lately. (Which has made attempts to find time to train during the week a fairly interesting/frustrating challenge...)
Anywho, in nutshell, here's where things stand as of this week:
(1) You can't spell pain in the ass without "IT": The pain in my knee and ankle turned out to be the result of a poor IT band, which is the muscle that stretches from your hip down your leg to the knee.
Mine has always been weak - I can actually hear my knee pop when I walk sometimes - so the workouts were stressing out my knee and my ankle tried to compensate. Et voila! Leg pain bad enough to make the walk down the stairs as challenging as my long runs. I made it to a walk-in sports clinic and the good people at Towson Sports Medicine gave me some stretches and exercises that have helped build up strength in my band, which lessens the pain. They also recommended a knee brace, which I have yet to find and pick up.
(2) Ice baths: They're not for the weak: Ok, I actually wouldn't know a thing about that, since I have yet to take an ice bath. But it looks like it's only a matter of time before I need to grow a pair and take one. Since my longest run will be this Saturday (13.1miles/21km), I have a feeling I'll be able to report on the experience by Sunday. As my friend Suz tells me, your heart only stops for the first few seconds.
(3) 13.1 miles is, amazingly, only half-way there: This Saturday Baltimore hosts the 2009 Baltimore Running Festival. Since I have yet to run with a big group, this seemed like a good opportunity to see what it's like to take part in an actual running event. So yours truly will set reason aside and run the half-marathon around the neighborhoods of Fells Point, Canton, East Baltimore, Wyman Park, Homewood, Bolton Hill/Mt. Vernon, and the Inner Harbor. I've been told that the Baltimore marathon trail is one of the hardest IN THE WORLD due to it's many, many high angled hills. Of course, I didn't discover this until after I had paid the $90 registration fee. Awesome.
I pick up my registration packet tomorrow (the 8th), which includes my number and this nifty digital tag that records my time as I run. I'll be sure to post photos of the event. It'll also be on tv and online (www.wbaltv.com). Just look for the little brown-ish woman who looks like she's about to fall over :)
(4) Almost to the goal! So I am half-way to personal goal (and more than halfway to the minimum amount I need to raise) for the January event for LLS. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DONATE if you haven't had a chance yet! Any amount is greatly appreciated and will help me and Team in Training raise awareness and fund research to combat cancer.
The half is this Saturday, October 10th, staring at 9:45am. I'll let you know how it goes.
Wish me luck!
UPDATE: 9/14/09 4 Weeks In
A brief recap of what I've learned during this past week's training:
(1) Ankles are a surprisingly sensitive area of the body.
(2) 8 miles are a LOT harder to run through than 7. Running into a giant spider web does not help make the distance any easier.
(3) Nothing helps haul one's bum into gear like dropping $88 in registration fees to run a half marathon through the city of Baltimore. (October 10th if anyone wants to cheer me on!)
(4) Motivation to run is hard to come by after a full day of work and crappy weather conditions. Is this part of the mental wall I've heard so much about?
This week is my "easy" training week, which I think means I don't have to run too many runs before this weekend's long run. We'll be running with the team that's training for the Baltimore full marathon (also Oct 10th, so they're doing a 20mi run), so this will be the first time I get to practice eating goo and stopping for water/hydration breaks during a run. I've heard some fairly entertaining tales about varying levels of success people have drinking/eating while running, so this ought to be interesting.
I'll try to take pictures.
Based on comments on my last post, I will definitely be sending SASE with my fliers. If you'd like to help out (and ANY amount will help) please send me your mailing address at email@example.com and I'll send a flier along post haste.
Thanks, y'all! :) And thanks for all the support!!!
My first official team workout is this Saturday at 7:30am. I can barely make it out of bed by that time t make it to work, and I'm paid to do that shizz. This ought to be entertaining.
So far I've been working on fast walking my miles, since my last attempt at running really did a number on my knee. I'm hoping trainer Kevin will be able to show me the how-not-to-cripple-yourself method of finishing a marathon. (Apparently the run/walk method marathoners have made some excellent finish times.)
I'll let you know how well/laughable this turns out on Sunday.I
While I'm running in memory of my godfather, Jim Meehan, and my cousin, Dr. Joseph Wiley, I'm also running for two young boys who are still alive and fighting their own battles with cancer here in Maryland.
Matthew Valenti was 2 years old when doctors determined that his severe anemia was a symptom of B-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). Here's what Matt's dad has to say about his little guy:
Matthew spent almost a month at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The first week they gave him transfusions to get his blood count up and then he began the chemo treatments for the next couple of weeks. The chemo medicines hurt Matthew's legs and joints and he couldn't walk for a few weeks, but he hardly complained...he said, "Can you help me up this step? My legs feel a little wobbly".
Oh, Matthew turned three years old on February 9th, 2007.
Matthew started the second phase of his treatment on April 23, 2007, which is called delayed induction (DI) and we hope he will be in long term maintenance by July of 2007. The DI is pretty difficult on everyone as Matthew won't be able to leave the house except to go to the hospital until it is over.
I'm also running in honor of 19-year-old Justin Knight, who was also diagnosed with ALL at a young age. From age 6 to 9, Justin endured intense chemotherapy. Thankfully, Justin responded well to treatment, and recently celebrated 8 years of remission without chemotherapy in March.