Tanya's TNT Fundraising & Training Blog
Oct 28, 2010 by Tanya Dickey
Racing to Save Lives... One Mile at a Time!
Welcome to my Team In Training Fundraising and Training Blog and thank you for taking the time to read about an exciting endeavor I've committed to this summer!
For those of you that don't already know, I am training to participate in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 3rd as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training (TNT)!
Every 4 minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer in the forms of leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease or myeloma. Every 10 minutes, someone will lose their battle with a blood cancer. The good news, is that the survival rates for blood cancers have more than doubled since 1970. This would not be possible without the funds raised by LLS.
LLS is a non-profit organization with one goal in mind- cure blood cancer and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Research funded by LLS has led or contributed to advances such as chemotherapy and bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. In addition to research, LLS supports cancer education, advocacy, and patient services. As part of the team, I am raising funds to help stop blood cancer from taking more lives and to find a cure.
I will be training for the TC Marathon in honor of Chilloa Young, a blood cancer survivor. Her story is posted below. Chilloa and all individuals who are battling blood cancers are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission. No donation is too great or small. Every bit helps. You can donate with Visa or MasterCard here on my site or you can send your check or cash donation to me in the mail. For every dollar I raise, 76 cents goes back to LLS. Your donation is tax deductible (Tax ID # 13-5644916) and it would mean a lot for me to have your support. If you are unable to contribute financially at this time, I ask that you keep me and all involved in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in your prayers. That, too, will make a huge difference.
I hope you will visit my Blog often. I will be posting updates on my training and fundraising progress frequently. Thank you so much for your support!
My Contact Info:
9233 Mount Curve Blvd.
Monticello, MN 55362
Checks payable to "LLS"
Memo "Tanya Dickey"
Chilloa Young is an amazing woman. Her daughter, also named Chilloa (aka: Loalee), is one of my best friends. I met Loalee in 2003 when I moved out to Maine for college. We hit it off right away, and soon I found myself invited to her home and accepted into her family just like I had always been a member. Chilloa and her husband Mike acted as "my parents away from home" and I've always felt a connection with them.
Loalee shared with me that her mom was a cancer survivor. She told me about her experience dealing with it and being there for her mom. When I joined TNT and learned I could train In Honor of someone living with or who survived a blood cancer, I asked Chilloa if she would be interested in being my Honored Teammate. She told me she would be honored- but the honor is all mine. What Chilloa and her family experienced during Chilloa's battle with cancer is so much more than I can even imagine. When training seems impossible to me, I will use Chilloa and her story as an inspiration and remember why I'm doing this- for people who are where Chilloa once was and who need to win their battle with blood cancer.
I asked Chilloa to share with me her experience, and with her permission, would like to share her story with you. Here it is, in Chilloa's words-
After almost 2 years of seeing doctors about my “growing” cheeks, I finally was sent to an ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat) doctor who immediately scheduled surgery to remove the largest cheek gland. When it was biopsied as Malt Lymphoma, he immediately arranged to remove the other gland which was also diagnosed the same. As a result of the lymphoma diagnosis, I became a patient of a great Oncologist – Dr. Sampson. 3 months following my second surgery, during a follow up appointment, I mentioned to Dr. Sampson that I was experiencing night sweats. After some discussion, he decided to set me up with a Pet scan. The scan showed 2 areas of cancer – one in my face and a lymph node under my chin. Surgery was arranged to remove the lymph node, and a biopsy was done. The diagnosis was non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
I was treated with 5 weeks of radiation treatment. During that time and through the following 4 months, I lost over 50 pounds, and all of my enthusiasm. I was determined to make it through, but exhaustion overwhelmed my energy more and more quickly throughout the radiation treatments.
Forge ahead 7 years – I am healthy, well, and getting ready to celebrate 32 years of marriage with the love of my life and my 2 beautiful children. I am so grateful every day for my life, my loves and to those who helped to make it possible.
Chilloa is an inspiration and role model. There aren't enough words to describe how wonderful she is. She has the best attitude and always knows the right thing to say to turn a bad day into a good one. I am honored to be able to train for a marathon in Honor of such an awesome lady!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Last night was my TNT Kickoff Party!!
I got to meet my fellow teammates, coaches, and TNT staff! I can't even express how excited I am to start training! We received our training schedules for May and June. Every Wednesday night and Saturday morning we have team trainings and during the rest of the week I am responsible to keep up with my individual training schedule. I can totally do this! :-)
Last night was fun, but it was also very emotional. Robert, who is TNT's Marathon Honored Teammate, shared his story with all of us as the night's Honored Speaker. Robert was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in February of 1990. On March 3, 1990 he officially went into remission. On his 10th year in remission he ran the Twin Cities Marathon with TNT and this year he is back not only as our Marathon Honored Teammate but as a participant as well. I am looking forward to getting to know Robert more and training along side him. I couldn't hold back the tears as he shared his experience with leukemia and it solidified my reasons for joining TNT.
I met so many great people last night and heard so many inspiring stories. Thank you for checking out my Blog, and I encourage you to do so up until Race Day- Sunday, October 3, 2010! I will be writing as much as I can about my experience with my team, training, and fundraising. I have a minimum goal of $1,500 to raise before the marathon, but I would like to raise at least $2,000 to support LLS.
Thank you for your support and please contact me with any questions, concerns, advice, inspiring words, or whatever you'd like! I'm off for my first "official" marathon training run. It's cold... and rainy... but I'm going to love every minute of it!
First Team Training- Lake Harriet
Saturday, May 15, 2010
This morning was my first team training! We ran 3 miles around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis! It was awesome! I ran for the first time without my iPod, which has become a running neccessity for me. I enjoyed it better though and was aware of my surroundings and not just lost in the music. I think I am officially retiring music when I run- well, when I'm with my team anyways. I was surrounded by my teammates and actually had some really great conversations while running. Now that the rain is gone, running is a whole lot more enjoyable for sure!
Our coach, Jan, showed us some stretches and we all did 26 crunches and 26 push-ups after the run. Get it? A marathon is 26.2 miles... 26 of each isn't too bad at all.
Next team training is Wednesday night and I'm going to bring my camera this time so I can take some pictures of me and some of the friends I'm making! Thank you to everyone who has dontated already- I think my letters just got out yesterday! I truly appreciate your generosity!
LLS and TNT Website Links
I wanted to provide the link for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's homepage incase you or someone you know is interested in learning more about blood cancers or to gain support if you or someone you know is experiencing a blood cancer. I also wanted to provide the link for Team in Training so you can read more about the program and even sign up for a future season if you're interested! Beginner walkers, runners, cyclists, and hikers are welcome!!
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Team in Training
Team Training- Lake Harriet
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
We had another Team Training tonight at Lake Harriet! I was actually able to run despite the sinus infection I've been battling the past week! It was a 3-mile run and the weather was gorgeous! It's finally summertime in Minnesota!!! :-)
I'm cross-training with Brian (my personal trainer) tomorrow and will probably go for a 1 or 2-mile run after to make up for some miles missed earlier in the week. I can't wait for training Saturday. We're meeting at a store called Runner's Gate and they're doing a Shoe & Gear Clinic for us. Annnnd- we get 30% off everything. So I think I might grab a few running accessories like shades that stay on while I run and possibly a new pair of shoes. The ones I have now rock, but they'll be worn out soon I'm sure. I guess most people go through a pair while training from what I've heard... so getting a new pair with a discount will be nice! I'm also looking into getting a Garmin watch to track distance, heart rate, calories, etc.
I'm off to bed... long week.
PS- If you've donated to me through the mail, I have to submit it to LLS and they post it on my site. I plan to mail donations in weekly, so hold tight- your name will be posted shortly! Thank you all so much for your support! It means so much to me and encourages me to get out there and ruuuuuun!!
Team Training, Shoe & Gear Clinic- Runner's Gate in Lakeville
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I had a team training this morning in Lakeville. We met at Runner's Gate- a running store- and learned about shoes and running gear. We went running and then we were fitted for shoes and had a chance to shop. I got 2 new pairs of shoes and I'm excited to break them in!
So far, I've been following the beginner training schedule since I've never participated in an endurance event before. For the beginner mileage today, I was set to run 4 miles. I met another teammate named Angie before the run and we found out we live 5 miles from each other! Now we're planning to run together and carpool to team trainings since they are all around 30-45 minutes from where we live. She's really nice, and I'm excited to have met a neighbor! We started the run together and also ran with Robert, our Marathon Honored Teammate. It was nice chatting with them as we ran and getting to know them both a little better. Awesome people!! Before I knew it- it was time to turn around and go back! The time flew and I was feeling good, so I decided to proceed with the intermediate training distance of 6 miles. To my amazement, I did it!! And it felt great! I think from now on, I am going to try to train at the intermediate levels. It's only a few more miles a week at this point and I think I can do it.
That's all for now- Thank you everyone who is visiting my site regularly! Feel free to contact me at any time! :-)
Me & My Teammate Stella
Getting new shoes! :-)
My New Shoes!!
So, I already mentioned I got 2 new pairs of shoes. You might be wondering why I needed new shoes in the first place let alone TWO pairs! Here's the answer- my current running shoes rocked... or so I thought. Apparently the design is for someone with high arches. There was a lot of extra support in the insoles that gave too much support for me since I have neutral arches. This was causing me to run more on the outsides of my feet and I'm actually pretty sore on one foot because of it. If I continued with those shoes, I would get pretty badly injured. The worst thing I could do is train in a bad pair of shoes. That being said, I knew I wouldn't be able to buy one pair and alternate with my current shoes because they would continue to hurt me. So, I got 2. And they are AMAZING! I have yet to run in them, but I'm going to try out the Glycerins tomorrow! I'm super excited!! Here are the beauties below...
Brooks Glycerin 8's
Asics Gel-Nimbus 11's
First Steamy Run of the Summer!!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Whew! It's over 90 degrees out and I just got back from a 2 mile run. Schedule suggested 4 miles tonight, but Jan, my coach, advised me to only do 2 since my foot has been bothering me. Darn old shoes!! It felt a little tight at first, but after about 1/4 mile I felt fine. It was sooooo hot and humid out, but I brought water along so I was alright! Tomorrow I'm cross training (lifting weights), so I'll give the foot another day of rest. It almost looks slightly bruised today now that I've looked at it closer! Uh-oh... I'll just ice it some more and ask Jan about it Wednesday. Off to bed....
Taking a Break
Friday, May 28, 2010
I'm taking the next couple days off from running. At Wednesday's training, I talked to Jan and although I'm not really in pain anymore, it's probably best I just rest my foot so I don't make it worse. I'm antsy to run, but it's still early in the season. I need to just stop stressing about it and get 100% better. I'm going camping this weekend for Memorial Day Weekend, but hopefully Monday I can resume with the training schedule full-force!
Everyone have a fabulous and safe weekend! :-)
Monday, May 31, 2010
After a weekend of rest, I decided to resume with my training schedule and ran 4 miles today. I felt great. My foot doesn't hurt anymore and I think I'm good as healed. I think I would have been better sooner had I just taken a few days off initially and not pushed it, but now I know for the future. Let's hope I don't get anymore set-backs now that I'm healthy. No more sinus infection, no more painful foot.
I have two team trainings this week- Wednesday we're doing hill repeats at Minnehaha Park with a picnic to follow and Saturday I have a long run of 8 miles at Minnetonka Trail. I hope to get more pics this week... I always forget because we're so focused on training and then we all head home.
Thanks for keeping up with my blog! It means a lot to me! Til next time...
Team Training, Lock & Dam #1- Hill Repeats!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tonight we had team training near Minnehaha Park at the Lock & Dam. Translation-- HILL REPEATS. Repeat means more than once. :-) It wasn't too bad, but very tiring. I used my new Garmin GPS running watch, and it said I ran 1.5 miles going up and down the hill 3 times. Next time we train on the hills, there will be even more repeats so I guess I can consider this training a warm-up. Practicing on hills makes you a better runner though, and when I'm running the marathon, those flat parts of the course will seem like a piece of cake compared to this hill! My new shoes are working out GREAT! I love them. And I've run every night this week since healing 100%. I even checked out a trail in Maple Grove Tuesday night around Rice Lake. It was about 4 miles and so pretty. I was mauled by an attack black bird (someone had posted signs along the trail warning me, which was nice) so that was interesting to say the least! I'm excited to research more trails I can run after work. It gets a little dull running the same route all the time. I have an 8 mile long run coming up Saturday morning, so I'll check in after that!
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to LLS on behalf of my training so far! It looks like the check/cash donations I mailed in last week posted! I'll continue to mail them in weekly, so keep an eye out for your name on my list if you've mailed your donation to me! :-)
Me & Angie- my neighbor TNT girl!
Team Training, Minnetonka Trail
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Bright and early this morning, I went down to Hopkins for Team Training! It was pretty gloomy looking out, but we didn't get rained on much while running. This was my first long run back after taking some time off due to my sore foot. My plan was to continue on with the schedule, which suggested an 8 mile run. The trail we ran was set up as an out and back, meaning I would run 4 miles and turn around and run back to the start. Pretty straightforward.
I ran with Robert on the way out, and when we turned around, we were joined by Crystal. Both Robert and Crystal are past TNT participants, so it was nice chatting with them along the run to hear their experiences with running. I really enjoy the long runs- I look forward to them. It's a great time to get to know teammates better and to find others who run at my pace.
The run was great. I didn't feel tired or winded the entire time. But then there was that last mile. Ugh. My foot started feeling crampy. And yes, I'm talking about the same foot that's been giving me trouble the last 2 weeks. I finished the run and iced it when I got home, but it's been really painful. Coach Jan told me about a podiatrist that frequents Marathon Sports, a running store, in Minneapolis to see people for free. I'm heading down there after work Tuesday to see if he can tell me anything I don't know. I'm getting worried that this is going to happen everytime I go for a long run. Hopefully I can get something figured out on Tuesday. Until then, I think it's best if I rest and ice my foot. I thought I learned the hard way last time by pushing it, so I'm going to take it easy. I did get some more pics though! And a link to my long run! Check 'em out!
Here's a map of my 8-miler! :-)
All smiles after my longest run to date! :-)
The proof! Haha!
Team Training, Harriet Island
Saturday, June 12, 2010
This morning was team training at Harriet Island. I had been resting my foot all week since last Saturday's run. At the end, again, my foot took a turn for the worse and I was pretty sore all last weekend. Tuesday I met with Dr. Paul Langer at Marathon Sports. He stops by there each week and sees people for free. We chatted for awhile, he watched me stand and walk, the cranked on my foot a bit. Diagnosis- peroneal tendonitis. Just as I suspected...
So, he said not to run the whole week and try to get my long run in on Saturday. I only cross- trained once... I used the recumbant bike at the gym. I thought today would go well, but- no sooner had I started running when something just didn't feel right. I was running with Crystal and we were having a nice run. My foot just wouldn't hold out. I was supposed to do a 9-miler... 4.5 miles out, turn around, run back. There was a water stop at 3 miles and Jan (my running coach) was there. She advised me to turn around and go back. So, I listened- and booked it pretty fast back because I was upset. I don't understand completely why this happened to me or how long it's going to take for it to get better. I'm ahead with training Jan said. The end of this month would be when I would need to start a training program, so that made me feel a little better. I'm just dissapointed that I'm going to have to take time off from running and training with my team.
I am going to try to make an apt. this week with Dr. Langer. And I will just go to the gym and bike. I will keep everyone posted on what's going on- either way, I will do the marathon! I just might be crawling across the finish line instead of running! :-)
Thank you so much for your dontations and support! Talk soon.
Whoa- Time for an Update!
Monday, July 12, 2010
I have not written an update in a month! Here's what there is to know!
1) My foot is 100-million-percent better! No more pain! :-) I saw a podiatrist, he prescribed me rest and gave me some inserts for my shoes. So far so good... I'm so happy to be running again after taking a few weeks off!
2) 10 miles is my longest run to-date! I have 13 miles planned for this upcoming weekend!
3) I have almost reached my fundraising minimum of $1500! Thank you so much for your donations! It means so much to me to have your support and you should feel great for contributing to such a wonderful cause!
Training is going well. We are really getting up there with our miles on our weekend long runs! I have been running with Crystal & Robert on long runs because we are all the same pace. It really helps get through all those miles when you're running with friends! :-) This past weekend I ran the Monticello Riverfest 5k. I really tried to up my pace and I ended up running the race in 27:50. Not really as well as I'd liked, but I'm still trying to learn about pacing. I hope to run a few more of these this summer to keep challenging myself. Below are some pics from the race!
Monticello Riverfest 5k, July 2010
About to cross the finish!!
Team Training- 13 Miles!!!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
This morning I ran my longest run to-date! I think from here on out, every Saturday will be my longest. Today we ran 13 miles and let me tell you- it was rough! This was the first training that felt significantly difficult for me. I was so hot and felt like I had barely any energy. I walked the last half mile because I got a huge cramp in my quad! It was crazy- I've never had a cramp there before! I think the reason this run was so difficult for me was because I didn't eat very much all week. I'd had some dental work done on Monday and my mouth was too sore to eat solid foods. A diet of soup and yogurt isn't going to fuel someone training for a marathon! This week I will definitely get back on track with eating more so I don't hit a wall again. I was eating Gu during our run. It's this gooey, slimy, gel stuff that's packed with elecrolytes and energy for long runs. I'm trying them out to see if they'll work well for me during the marathon. I tried vanilla and chocolate flavors and although they tasted AMAZING... just like frosting... I think they were too rich for me. I think I'll stick to the fruity flavors from now on! Until next time...
Check out the map of our 13-mile run!
TEAM IN TRAINING FUNDRAISER AT GASTHOVS!!
ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT German Buffet plus 1/2 liter of beer or a glass of wine!
Sunday, August 22nd
4:30pm or 6:30pm seatings available
Kids (6-12)- $20
Kids (5 & under)- FREE!
Please contact me if you'd like to purchase any tickets before August 13th! Thank you so much and hope to see you there! :-)
Team Training- Luce Line
Saturday, July 24, 2010
This morning we met in Plymouth near my job and ran Luce Line Trail. This trail actually used to be a railroad line and now it's been made into a very flat, lonnnnng trail! It was the perfect morning and wasn't too hot for a change. I took the week off from running because my hamstring was sore from last weekend's run. I was really excited to run again! I ended up doing just under 12 miles. Silly me- I donated blood on Friday and got a little light-headed and woozy after about 6 miles. I was advised to take it easy and head back. The rest of the run was more of a walk/run for me. It was frustrating because I always try to push myself to run the whole distance. I'm begining to realize 10 miles about caps my comfort zone. Anything beyond that and it's WORK!!! I have around 15 miles or so to run this week before Sunday's 16-miler. I am determined to do it!!
Thank you for your support and keep checking in- I'll be updating until race day!! (And most likely beyond!)
A Dose of Inspiration & Motivation
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I am feeling exceptionally happy and full of excitement and I just wanted to share my mood! I cannot express how becoming a part of Team in Training has opened my eyes to life. I am always trying to be a nicer person, a more positive person, a happier person... always trying to be better and live life to the fullest. I get down on myself a lot and I am my own worst critic. Probably because of the whole "perfectionist" thing I have always had going on. That being said, sometimes I have to dig verrrrry deep... much deeper than the average person... when I start getting down on myself. I am trying very hard to remain positive in my mind when I tackle these increasingly longer weekend runs and it's not always easy. I remember Chilloa's story and all the wonderful reasons I took on this challenge of running a marathon in the first place. But when I don't do something the best I think I can, then pessimist Tanya creeps in.... ugh.
So, needless to say with the different injury set-backs I've had while training on top of these "less than impressive" (in my mind) long runs I've had the last two weeks, this week I've felt like my fire is out. I'm still running- but not enjoying it. It's work now. Not fun. Something I just gotta do and get done and move on. And I don't like that. So I said a prayer last night. And just like that- POOF!!
This morning I recieved the most generous and meaningful donation from someone who is a cancer survivor. Although I don't know her very well, she believes in what I am doing enough to take the time to donate to me. It really touched me and I felt that fire start again. Within the same 30 minutes, a co-worker shared with me that she is a lymphoma survivor. She thanked me for what I am doing. She said thank you. It felt so great. Fire fully ignited.
It might be obvious, but I lose sight of it sometimes. My point is this- this race is more that just me running over 300 miles while training and ultimately crossing the finish line on October 3rd. It's about so much more than that. It's about doing something that is helping so many people get the chance to live a life that they might otherwise never had. It is about people like Chilloa and the ladies I mentioned that touched me today. They are still here on this Earth living their lives because of advancements made by groups like LLS and I am out there training for them.
My fire is blazing- I am super excited to go for my 6 mile run tonight! I am 100% convinced my prayer was answered this morning and now I feel so happy and motivated again! A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning and the theme is fitting-
Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Romans 5:3-4)
Team Training- Kenyan Outbacks
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tonight we had team training running Kenyan Outbacks! Basically, it was a workout to concentrate on pace. We ran at our LSD pace (Long Slow Distance) and after 15 minutes stopped and turned around to run back. The goal however, was to make it back to the start in 12 minutes! Whew. It might not sound too difficult, but the trick to the workout was to not run out too quickly. It WAS a workout!! Thank goodness it wasn't as humid as it has been! :-)
Training has been going well overall. I've felt much better since my last post. I am running the Minnesota Half Marathon this weekend in St. Paul! I am very excited! It will be the longest race I have run to date! A few others from my team have signed up and we plan to meet up before and after the race! Robert has signed up which makes me a little less nervous because we've been running together around the same pace all season. I think our goal is to run it at a 10:00/mile pace. I'm going to practice running 6 miles at Luce Line at that pace tonight. I was able to maintain it last week- did 6 miles in JUST under and hour. But to hold it for the entire 13.1 makes me a littttttttle nervous!!!! If I can keep up with Robert for the whole race, I will be happy.
I'll post again after the race!! :-) WISH ME LUCK!!
Minnesota Half Marathon Update
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Yesterday was the Minnesota Half Marathon!! It was the best experience ever!! Brad and I stayed at the host hotel near the starting line on Friday night so taht we'd be nice and close on race morning. I got a good night's rest and was up bright and early to meet up with Val and Robert who are also on my team. Robert is my running buddy who tackles many of our long team runs along side me. We have about the same pace, so we stuck by each other during the race. It was a pretty cool morning compared to the extreme hot weather we've had lately. After about 5 miles, it started to rain lightly and kept up for the duration of the race. It was nice having rain though- refreshing and actually probably helped keep us cooler than we would have been with sun beating down on us! There were a few hills that I felt like were going to kill me, but I made it though! At the end, it was Robert's encouragement that really kept me going, because I was about done! After about mile 11.5 and beyond- it was just plain HARD!! We crossed the finish together with a time of 02:13, which completely exceeded my expectations! It felt great and I am even more excited for marathon day now! Here's some pics from the race!
Before the race
Just after crossing the finish!!
My finisher's medal!
Robert, Val, and me
Humidty + Hills and Carrie Tollefson!!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
90+ degree weather mixed with wicked humidity and .25 mile hill repeats... whew, that's the story of our training tonight. It sounds worse than it was, but man, the weather made running those hills tough! I just couldn't seem to get a satisfying breath. I always felt short of oxygen. You could have cut the air with a knife! Made it through though! :-) And I feel great for it! Those hill workouts will come in handy during the marathon, since I've heard there's a pretty lengthy stretch of hills towards the end of the course! Although hills are great and all... the highlight of the night had to be...
Carrie is a Minnesotan and professional athlete runner. She competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics and was at our training last night to share some words of wisdom! I totally forgot she was going to be there... I wanted to gets pics with her and an autograph!! I just wasn't prepared. She shared stories of her struggles with running and when it comes right down to it- she's human just like anyone.
She's experienced injuries and set-backs throughout her running career. She seems to have always kept a positive attitude though. It was inspiring. She encouraged us to set goals- be it with time, distance, or anything else we'd like to achieve through running. And she said to never get in a negative state-of mind. "Don't get stale" was her quote. Change it up- do different activities. Always stay positive and callenge yourself. Support systems are huge in her success, so she shared how important it was to have one- as part of TNT, I'm already lucky! I have friends and family (and all of you!!!) behind me as well. It was really cool to have her there, just talking to us person-to-person. Carrie even told us how she eats ice cream every night! She said she runs to she can eat!! ;-) She just had a baby 4 months ago and has been getting back into training. She looked fabulous- couldn't even tell she had just had a baby! I feel privilaged to have gotten to meet her- even though I was a little nervous to talk to her... I don't know why! :-)
So, tomorrow night I am going to tackle a 3-mile run. Isn't a huge distance, but it's going to feel like it because it's supposed to be just as hot and humid as it has been all week. Hopefully Saturday will cool off a little. Longest run to date is scheduled- 17 miles!!! Til next time...
Team Training- The Greenway, 17 miles!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Had the best run today!!! I ran 17 miles and this officially marks my longest run to date! :-) I ran the whole thing! I didn't stop too long at our water stops... just kind of grabbed water and went on my way. I can't explain how amazing it all felt. The last 3 miles were pretty tough- but I made it!! Gateway Trail was a fun new path to run. The best part was a run/bike bridge that went over Hwy 55 and at the top there was the most spectacular view of Minneapolis. You could see the Metrodome (GO VIKINGS!!) and it was really neat. The weather was perfect too. It has really cooled down a lot. There isn't as much humidity and I really hope it stays like this the rest of the summer as we move into fall. I'm glad the marathon is in the fall. The weather could really do anything, but I'm optimistic we'll have a great day for it! I can't belive the marathon is 7 weeks away! Still plenty of time for some good training- 18 miles planned for next weekend! I'll post after I tackle that long one! :-)
Team Training- Minnetonka Trail, 18 miles!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Ran 18 miles this morning! I was pretty strong throughout the run until the very end- horrible side stiches the last mile so it was a quarter mile walk/ quarter mile run the last little bit! I was ok with that though. I really need to work on not drinking too much water at the end. I get sooooo thirsty and at the last water stop, drink way too much. I still have a few weeks to get that down though, so I'm not too worried. My body has been recovering better after the long runs too. Not sore for days like I was back a few weeks ago. The last time I ran this trail was my 8 mile run- and back then I thought it was quite a distance!! Now 8 miles sounds welcoming when I think about the next couple of weeks coming up. It's been a great feeling accomplishing these longer distances- I never thought I could run this far! Thank you so much for your continued support! It means so much to me!
Team Training- Chain of Lakes, 17 miles
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Another successful loooooong run is under my belt!! This morning we ran around Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, and Lake Harriet. The weather was perfect and it officially feels like fall is in the air! I ran with a new teammate today, Dani, and it was so nice to chat with her during our run. The miles literally flew by! Dani's son is going through treatment for cancer right now. He is doing very well, but again, it was another reminder of why I am doing this! I can't believe the marathon is a month away! I'm getting very excited and a little nervous all at the same time!
Thank you so much to everyone who has made a donation to LLS on behalf of my training! I have exceeded my fundraising minimum of $1500 more than I ever imagined and you should feel wonderful for contributing to an organization committed to finding a cure! I can't thank you enough! I'm going to continue to increase my goal little by little... every dollar helps LLS and their mission! I still have about 2 weeks to gather donations so again, thank you! :-)
Team Training - Luce Line, 20 miles
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Today I ran 20 miles!
I can't believe it. All I could do on my way home from training as I called my dad to share my latest milestone was tear up. Training for a marathon has been an emotional rollercoaster! From the people I've met and their inspiring stories of cancer survival and loss, to experiencing injury set-backs and ultimately coming closer to my goal of running and finishing my first marathon, all I feel sometimes is a wave of emotion! I NEVER in one million years thought I could casually say to someone when they ask me what I did over the weekend, "I ran 20 miles!" :-)
Now we get into taper mode. This weekend's long run will be 12 miles, and the weekend after that will be 8. Then it's MARATHON WEEKEND and I'm already feeling the butterflies in my stomach. Our mileage will dramatically cut back these final weeks and our bodies will take one last hit- on race day! Brad, my boyfriend, thinks I'm insane when I talk about my training and refer to the upcoming weekends as "only" having a 12 mile run or "only" having an 8 mile run. Crazy to think that I actually used to sometimes struggle through those distances!
Anyways, until next time, thank you so much for your continued support! I couldn't get up every Saturday morning at 5:30am to get those long runs in if it wasn't for my support system!
Team Training- 12 & 8 Mile Taper Runs
September 18 & 25, 2010
Well, here I am. Less than one week before the marathon! I haven't updated since I've been in taper-mode. After that 20-miler, the miles have steadily decreased only to pick up to the longest distance this Sunday- 26.2!!
The 12-mile run was great. It was a significantly cooler morning than any we've experienced so far, but it felt great to run in it! We ran an out-and-back on Summit Avenue. Summit makes up the last of the marathon course. We started at the marathon finish, ran 6 miles, and turned around. I feel greatful that our coaches planned out most of our long runs along bits and pieces of the actual Twin Cities Marathon course like this one. On race day, I am going to try and visualize each training and break the race up into sections. There won't be much of this course I haven't already run, so it's familiar territory and I know I can do it!
The 8-mile run was a nice little jaunt on Minnetonka Trail. I ran with Robert and we reminisced about our whole training season. Neither of us could believe how far we'd come from the very first time we ran this same trail for 8 miles. Looking back to my post from June 5th, it just shows how far I've come personally. Running 8 miles at the end of the season feels like a breeze. But running 8 miles at the start of the season was quite a feat!
Tonight is my last team training before the race and the last time I will probably run before the race. I truly can not believe it.
As marathon day approaches, I am getting more and more anxious! I'm planning to spend most of Saturday relaxing and hanging out around the Race & Fitness Expo. We have a TEAM Inspiration Dinner Saturday evening and then I'm staying at a hotel down the street. A shuttle is picking me up Sunday morning to get down to the Metrodome to meet my team at 7 and then the race begins at 8! For more info. about the weekend, check out the Twin Cities Marathon website- www.twincitiesmarathon.com !!
I've also decided to increase my fundraising goal one final time! I have until the end of October to collect donations, so please help me reach this new and amazing goal! And as always, thanks so much for your support!!
Well, the marathon is complete!!
It was an amazing, breathtaking experience! It was the perfect day! Beautiful fall weather and fall colors everywhere! There were spectators (over 300,000 I’ve heard) all along the course there to cheer us on! I started out the run with a group from my team. We slowly spread out, and I ran the first half with Robert and Ella. We’d put our names on the front of our singlets and throughout the whole race complete strangers were calling out our names and cheering! It was such an awesome feeling! The race felt great! I felt like my pace was good and it was so fun interacting with the crowd and enjoying the day.
Around mile 16, I parted ways with Robert and Ella as my quads started giving out on me and cramping up pretty badly. The rest of the race was a run/walk struggle for me. At that point, it became completely mental for me. And my legs were NOT working. It felt like they were made of cement and that the cement was slowly drying causing me to stop. I kept taking one mile at a time and tried to take in everything around me. I knew my boyfriend, Brad, was going to be at mile 23 and that there was a TNT cheer tent there as well! As soon as I saw all the purple and green, I knew the end was near and that I could make it. One of my coaches, Kim, jumped out onto the course with me and ran/walked (mostly walked) with me til the last little bit of the race. Without her support, it would have been a much LONGER and LONLIER 3 miles to the end. Kim kept telling me that I was so close. Even if I had to walk the rest of the marathon, I would finish it in within the time limit. Once I saw that finish line, I told her I could go on without her and I mustered EVERY ounce of energy I possibly had left and bolted to the finish line. I have never run so fast in my entire life and tears were streaming down my face! My brother got an awesome picture of me as I ran past my family those final strides of the race. As I crossed that finish line, I could not believe how far I’d come since the very first day I started running a short 3 years ago.
The pic my brother snapped as I was about to cross the finish!!
Here are some of the milestones from the race-
Favorite encouraging remark: “You have a beautiful smile!” and “Thank you for what you’re doing!”
Favorite running gear: Someone was running in full ARMY gear (boots included) carrying a giant American flag and a pack he said was filled with 60 lbs. of sandbags! WOW!
Favorite spectator sign: “Run like you stole something!” was pretty common and made me laugh, and at mile 25 there was a “FREE BEER” sign and people handing out cups of beer!
Worst remark I heard during the race: (out of my own mouth) “My quads feel like they are tearing away from my kneecaps!!”
Favorite scenic spot: The fall leaves were beautiful. So many times, the leaves would be falling from a tree as I ran under it and I just put my hands up and enjoyed the moment!
Favorite spectator: My family who all came together to support me on this huge accomplishment- Mom, Dad, Travis, Kylie, and of course, Brad!
Biggest concern during the race: Having to walk across the finish line… but I RAN BABY!! And I was trying my hardest to stay ahead of the 5:00 pacers… but I fell just 6 minutes behind!
Biggest inspiration during the race: Remembering why I joined TNT in the first place and all the amazing people and stories!
Best moment in the race: The last quarter mile of the race when I was overflowing with emotion, tears streaming down my face, and I ran the hardest and fastest I could ever imagine to cross that finish line!
First thing I did after I crossed the finish line: CRIED and received my finisher’s medal!
First thing I ate after entering the finisher’s area: a cup of fruit in syrup… so good!
I still cannot believe the day has come and gone. The word I can use to best describe the whole experience is: Emotional. There are so many feelings that flood me as I think about the whole experience of training for and completing the marathon! The long hours and miles put in during the training season was always in the back of my mind as I was running the race. So much hard work went into getting ready for this event, and in 5-ish “short” hours, it was all over. I kept thinking of all the people who I connected with since becoming a part of TNT! I met amazing people with incredible stories and made lasting friendships. I also found running in common with others who I might not otherwise have had anything in common.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout this long journey. You might be asking now that I’ve run a marathon, what next? I guess I’m going to do another one! I loved being a part of TNT so much that I applied to be a mentor for the upcoming Summer 2011 season and train for the Minneapolis Marathon on June 5. I love what TNT has done for me and I am honored that I am able to contribute back to this group! I’ll keep you posted on my progress once training starts sometime in February! Til then, thank you thank you thank you again! It has meant so much to me and I can never express how personally fulfilling and rewarding this whole experience has been!
FYI- I have been chosen as a mentor for the summer 2011 marathon season and will start training in February for the Minneapolis Marathon that takes place on June 5!
Robert and Me rockin' our medals
My whole family came to cheer me on!
Mom, Dad, brother Travis, his girlfriend Kylie, and of course, Brad!
Brad and Me