I will Run. I will Blog. I will Raise.

People Are Incredible
Oct 06, 2012 by Liz Ward

People are incredible, don't ever let anyone tell you any different. I say this for two specific reasons today, and here they are...

Reason ONE

This morning, I participated in the Susan G. Komen 5K for breast cancer awareness and research. And although I was there in support of many different people in my life, I was particularly there as a part of my friend Jenn Bost's team. Jenn lost her mom two years ago to breast cancer, shortly after I lost my dad. It is an unfortunate bond we share, but a bond nonetheless :) So, Kirk and I met the team at 6:30 AM this morning and were amazed. Over 20,000 people were estimated to be at the Komen event! It was an incredible sight. People in PINK were everywhere. Old, young, male, female, lots of hair, no hair, fake hair. It truly was something special to see so many people come together to fight an awful disease and to honor their loved ones who have been impacted by breast cancer. I think the key there is people acting for their LOVED ONES. The place was oozing with energy, and it all stemmed from love. Wouldn't you say that is incredible? :) I do!

(Jenn & her poster of her mom, from this morning)

Reason TWO

This afternoon, I was resting in our sunroom when my eyes fell on my "memory box" of my Dad. It's a decorative trunk that I bought at Home Goods and filled with things that belonged to my Dad :) I don't think its a coincidence that I felt compelled to open it up, I really had been thinking about him quite a bit today. Anywho, call me a pack rat... but I also saved all of the cards that I received after I lost my Dad and put them in a big ziplock and stored them in the memory box. I decided to read through some of the cards (=hot tear fest) and only made it through about 1/4 before I decided it was enough for one day. Through re-reading the cards, I was overwhlemed (in a good way) with all the love that people were sharing through their cards. It's a hard thing to write someone who has just lost a loved one, because you never know if you are saying the right or wrong thing. It's just hard. So for me, it meant (and still means) so much for someone to just write anything at all. Although losing my Dad was an extremely painful time, it is a positive thing to be able to look back and see a support system in action. That is why I say people are incredible. When times of need come, people can be there in ways you never imagined. And sometimes even people you don't expect! :)

Me and my Dad, can you tell we're related? ;)

Moral of the Stories? (and I'm telling this to myself too..)

There are so many ways to love and show love. Don't be afraid to extend it to others, and keep an open heart to receive it back. Often this can be a difficult thing to do. But gosh, I think its worth it! I think this is what life is all about :)

Oct 05, 2012 by Liz Ward

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like

wrapping a present and not giving it."

~William Arthur Ward

After 17 weeks of training and prepping for this race, things are winding down. We are in "taper" mode, so we only have 5 miles to run this coming Saturday and then 2 miles next Tuesday and Thursday (vs. our normal 3 miles). So many people have been cheerleaders for me and my teammates throughout this whole process, and we can't thank you enough. The financial and emotional support has been immeasurable. It renders me speechless, which all of my friends and family know is quite a feat.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of your letters, emails, text messages, facebook posts, donations and prayers. I never imagined that I would become an endurance runner, or meet so many wonderful people along the way. I also never imagined the amount of money that our team would raise.

As of today, here are the fundraising achievements, ALL THANKS TO YOU!!!

  • $4,354.50 Personal Total
  • $550.00 in Matching Donations Submitted (Not Yet Appled to Page)
  • • • $122,188.90 Team Total (and rising!)

Holy smokes! This will make a huge impact in the lives of folks who are battling Leukemia. Thank you thank you guys for everything you have done to help us get here.

So, Am I Ready?

You bet your bottom dollar that I am! My running buddy Martha and I did our 8 miles last Saturday and it was a cool breeze. It is incredible to see how your body adjusts and conditions to allow you to run these longer distances. It took a lot of hard work and sticking to a plan, but sure enough - here we are! Before I signed up for this, I loathed running. You'd be lucky to see me doing a 5k, because I always ached and wasn't conditioned enough to enjoy it.

BUT NOW... I actually enjoy running and I REALLY enjoy these longer runs. Especially when it is beautiful outside :) Having a good pair of shoes, the proper nutrition and hydration.. oh, and running buddies too, MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE! I feel so alive when I'm out there. And knowing that we are all doing this together for a greater good, well that just puts the pep in our step that we need to keep on going each week.

I'm really looking forward to the big event next weekend and our big dinner the night before hosted by LLS.

Thanks for staying tuned all these weeks and for helping me have one of the most incredible experiences of my life! Looking forward to seeing what is next :)

All my best,



The Learning Keeps On Coming - 15 Weeks Down, 3 More To Go!
Sep 25, 2012 by Liz Ward

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you."

- Mother Teresa

A while back, one of my yoga instructors told me about the quote above by Mother Teresa and it has stuck with me ever since. Before, I focused more on the "one thing at a time" message versus the "person nearest you". Today, as I re-read the quote and the later part really hit home for me. I don't know exactly why, it just makes me think more about what and who is around me vs. just focusing on the bigger picture. In light of this, I thought it would be cool to share a quick story about our cornhole tournament on 9/15 :)

Two Saturday's ago, Ashli and I hosted a Cornhole fundraiser at Zink American Kitchen. It was great, lots of people came out and we ended up hitting our fundraising goal with $1,059 raised (!!). But the coolest part of the event wasn't the money we raised or how much fun we had. The coolest part was the family (that no one knew) who signed up for our event and ended up taking our tournament by storm. This family, two parents, their daughter and her boyfriend - showed up and registered to play. We didn't know their story, how they found out about the tournament or even if they were any good. But, we were happy to have them play and help us raise money! After watching them absolutely just win the whole tournament without blinking an eye, I had to find out their story. The family competes every weekend and the Saturday of our event just happened to be the birthday of their Dad/Grandfather who they had lost to Lymphoma a few years earlier. To celebrate his birthday, they decided to come out to our event and win so they could donate the prize money back to LLS in his honor (and have fun whooping up on everyone). It was so neat to be a part of their celebration of his life :) They were truly SO good at playing cornhole! It was crazy!

Results of the Cornhole Tourney & Raffle Fundraiser @ Zink!

  • 14 Cornhole Teams
  • Hundreds of Raffle Tickets Sold
  • $1,059 Raised!

Thank you again to Zink American Kitchen for supporting us! We couldn't have asked for a better location to have our event!

Our team fundraising total is now up to $105,353.86!! And we're still going :)

New Sponsor Shout Outs!

During weeks 13, 14, & 15 - I added four new sponsors to the t-shirt! Ashli Parry (best friend of 17 years and my TNT/LLS partner!), Chris & Emily Neal (friends from UNC!!), Shaina Meinert (aka "Shaina Rose", my wonderful and amazing best friend!), Kendra & Brian Neary (friends of ours who JUST got married last weekend! Can't wait to add the new last name to the tshirt this week!!).

All the support continues to amaze me and I can't thank everyone enough for helping me with this cause. Together we are kicking cancer's booty!

12 Mile Solo Run in Dilworth

This past Saturday was our longest run of the training season! I was out of town celebrating my girlfriend Paige's bachelorette weekend, so I did my run early on Friday morning! All by myself! And it was just amazing. The weather was cool, I went a slower steady pace the entire way and I just took it all in. And by the end of it, I could have kept running! I couldn't be more excited for the race in San Fran now :) Thanks to everyone who sent me messages of support right before my run! It helped SO much!

Route from the Dowd YMCA: Morehead / (R) Dilworth Road / (R) Worthington / (R) Cleveland / (R) East Blvd / (R) Queens Road / (L) Selwyn Ave / (Cont) onto Providence / (R) Laurel Ave / (R) Colville Ave / (R) Providence / Cont. onto Morehead / (L) Myrtle / (L) Romany / (L) Lexington --> Back to Dowd YMCA! 12.3 Miles!

Up Next

  • 8 Mile Run on Saturday
  • YouTube Video of my Happy Dance :)


We're in the Home Stretch Now! Only 4 1/2 Weeks Left
Sep 14, 2012 by Liz Ward

I missed my typical "13 weeks down, 5 to go" blog because I've been so focused on our fundraising event that is going to happen TOMORROW!! This week has flown by so fast, I can't believe the event is already almost here. It's amazing to think that 4 weeks from Sunday, our team will be running out in San Francisco together with 25,000 other women who are also working to fight blood cancer.

The fear and anxiousness that I've felt about running 13.1 miles is melting away and now, ALL I want to focus on is our team raising as much money as we can. (At the end of August, we our team total was $84,484!!) We've heard stories throughout the season of patients who have benefited from the hard work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. But I know there are stories out there that have yet to be told, which means we can't slow down.

This past Sunday was my Dad's birthday, he would have been 58. This December will mark four years that we have been without him. In that time, my sister had another son and I got married. While I know God uses everything for His good, and I really believe He has, I'm still sad that he isn't here with us. My Dad's life and health was impacted by Melanoma (skin cancer), not a blood cancer, but for me - it means that I really think cancer sucks. All kinds. I don't want it to mess with my loved ones or anyone elses loved ones. And it isn't going to go away on its own, we have to learn better waysto avoid it, fight it, find it early and figure out how to better recover from it.

The only way to do any of this is to invest time, energy and money. If you have any of those to give - in any shape, size or amount - I encourage you to consider how your talents and resources can be best utilized in the effort against cancer.

Ashli and I have worked hard for the past 13 1/2 weeks, and we're going to keep at it. We couldn't have done it without you, our supporters. All of the encouragement from our family and friends (near and far) made a huge difference in this for us. Tomorrow's event is to CELEBRATE and kickoff our last 30 days with anyone who is able and interested to come be with us!

Thanks for staying tuned in! We hope to see you tomorrow if you can make it!

Also, we're both still taking new sponsors up until race day for names on our training t-shirts!! Including tomorrow, we have 4 more Saturdays of training before race day!

All my best,


CORNHOLE TOURNEY! Saturday Sept 15 @ 4:30 PM
Sep 07, 2012 by Liz Ward


We are officially only 5 weeks away from THE race day! My friend Ashli and I are putting together a CORNHOLE tournament NEXT Saturday to kickoff our last 30 days of training!

When: Saturday, September 15th; 4:30 PM - Until

Where: Zink American Kitchen @ South Park (on the Patio)

Cost: $30 / team (2 person teams) & spectators are FREE! :)

LURE: There will be LIVE MUSIC, Food & Drink Specials and awesome Raffle prizes!!

GRAND PRIZE: The winning team gets to keep 20% of ALL REGISTRATION FEES! Up to $100! AND the satisfaction of knowing you are helping support a great cause, all while having fun :)

RAFFLE PRIZES: We’re still recruiting prizes, but SO FAR…. $50 Zink Gift Card, 1 hour massage @ Massage Envy, Mani/Pedi @ Polished Nail Bar, Tupperware Gift Basket, and a Mary Kay Gift Basket!

Register for the cornhole tournament or for free spectator tickets at our event website: http://cornhole4lls.eventbrite.com/

This helps us get an idea of how many people we will have!

Please pass this link on to any of your friends or family members who love to play cornhole or would love to just come hang out and enjoy a beautiful Saturday night!

We hope to see you there!


Liz & Ashli

Adios comfort zone! And hello to the homes of ATL! 12 Weeks Down, Only 6 More Weeks To Go...
Sep 05, 2012 by Liz Ward

A little excerpt from yesterday's "Coaches Corner"...

"Your Team in Training experience is full of goals. Fundraising goals, fitness goals, race goals, etc. Hopefully, you’ve accomplished more already than you expected, but you probably still have a lot you can do. While focusing on a time goal in your race is probably one of the most common goals when training for an endurance race, don’t feel like a time goal is the only goal worth setting. In fact, the most important goal for your race should be to follow your race plan." ~ Coach Jim

The part the stood out to me is "you probably still have a lot you can do." Last night, our group run got cancelled because of thunder and lightening, so I went to a spin class instead (first one since I started this program, I miss it!!). The spin instructor kept yelling at us to "GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, PUSH, PUSH, YOU CAN DO IT."

Both of these messages made me think about how I am in a place that is way outside of my comfort zone right now. And now that I'm here, one of the most important things I need to do is stay alert and aware of "how far is too far" in order to prevent injury and like Coach Jim said, focus on following the plan that has been set out for me even though it will be tough. I'm so thankful for this experience and all the lessons that going to be transferrable to my everyday life. One of the top lessons? It feels good to challenge yourself! I hope that after this season passes and the next opportunity comes along, that I don't let it just pass by because I'm scared or unsure of my capabilities.


This week, two of my favorite people of all time joined the t-shirt :) Courtney Davis was my freshman roommate at Carolina and actually can take all of the credit for me becoming a Tarheel! Seriously one of the most wonderful people on the face of the earth. AND, Sarah Murphy (also known as "Smurph") was my roommate first year out of college and is one of the funniest and most loving people I know. I have had some of my best memories with these two girls and I couldn't be prouder to wear their names on my shirt. Love you guys, thank you for your support :)

Tour Through the Beautiful Homes of Atlanta!

For the Labor day weekend, Kirk and I went down to Atlanta with some of our friends for a weekend of sports. So although my long run was originally scheduled for Saturday, I pushed it back to Monday morning so I'd be on my A game (keeping it safe!). My hubby Kirk joined my on my route through the BEAUTIFUL homes in Buckhead :) It was beautiful... and... HILLY. Really hilly. It made the Ballantyne route look flat. In the end, I think it was great preparation for the hills that will meet me in San Francisco. Take a look at the elevation map above!! CRAZY!! 300 feet of elevation gain!

(check out the stairs built into the driveway, isn't that genius??)

Up Next

Ashli and I are hosting a cornhole tournament fundraiser! You don't have to play in order to come hang out and have fun though! We're going to have a ton of raffle prizes too!

  • Saturday, September 15th
  • 4:30 PM - until...
  • Zink American Kitchen, on the patio!
  • $30 entry fee / team; free to come an spectate!
  • For more details and to sign-up, visit: http://cornhole4lls.eventbrite.com/

For the next 4 Saturday's, our long run schedule is 11 miles, 8 miles , 12 miles and then 8 miles again. There is no slowing down. Here we come! I'm still actively fundraising too and there is room on the t-shirt for sponsors if you feel called to be a sponsor :)

Until next time...


11 Weeks Down, 7 To Go.... $550 Left to my $4,000 Milestone!
Aug 29, 2012 by Liz Ward

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Kirk and I were watching a preview for The Lorax this weekend and when I heard this quote, I knew I had to share it. Just reading it over to myself gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. The things that we do when we care about someone or something, no matter how big or small, make a difference. In fact, they are the things that make the world go round! Without them, I don't even want to think about what life would be like.

This past week I hit my intial fundraising goal... and people have kept donating! I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many people that care. A lot of the donations have been from people that know my good friend Tad and care deeply about him and what he has gone through with his Hodgkins and Leukemia, and so they are donating in his honor. And I think others just simply have felt compelled because it is wonderful cause that benefits children, adults and familes alike. How cool :)

Sponsor Shout Outs

During week 11, I gained 6 news sponsors and they were added to my tshirt on Friday!! Here they are:

Katie Ghent (college roomie!!), Amanda Anderson (friend from my intro photography class! Now she's a rock star photog!!), Bayley Crane (frend through Kirk, now she has started running too!! woo hoo!), Gunter Boy & Heidi Cauble (some of our best canine friends, they are going to get some super awesome treats next visit), Libby & Will Ogburn (Charlotte's awesome parents!), and Chelsea Corey (one of my bridesmaids and best friends from college!).

8 Mile Run in Dilworth

The words actually came out of my mouth.... "I only have to do 8 miles on Saturday".. WHAT?!? Really, I said it. And then I ran the miles and ate a delicious bagel from Owen's afterwards. Oh yeah, and then I went to the library for 5 hours. The running was much more fun than the library :)!

Here is a picture of me and my runny buddies Martha and Katherine!

Lesson's Learned

  • • Nutrition- Our coaches told us that training is the time to try different foods, fuels and liquids. I finally found my best fuel!! Just regular ole' POWER BAR!! I got a 5 pack at Target for less than $5 and they have been great.

  • • Stretching- Don't forget to stretch! I've been so good about it all season and then I forgot to stretch after my run on Tuesday night. I could really tell the difference the rest of the week. Taking the 5-10 minutes to stretch is totally worth it.

We have 7 more weeks of training and fundraising left! From here on out, our Saturday mileage will be between 8-12 miles, nothing less. The big 12 miler comes later in September, so I'll keep you posted as we approach the date.

As a reminder, I'm still taking sponsors up until race day and have plenty of room left on the shirt! ALSO, I have promised that if I exceed the $4,000 fundraising milestone, I'll post a YouTube video of me doing a happy dance :) Just putting it out there.

Thanks again for all of your support!


Mission Moment: Why Do I Tri? By Beth Martin, Survivor
Aug 23, 2012 by Liz Ward

This mission moment was read before our 10 mile run this past Saturday morning. The story really resonated with me and put an extra little pep in my step because I'm the same age as Beth and a newly wed, just like her.


Why do I Tri?

By Beth Martin, Survivor

Sometimes, when I question “why am I doing this to myself?” I remember where I was just a year ago. I was diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on March 29, 2010, just a couple of months before my 27th birthday. Cancer was never something I thought I would hear at my age (or any age), but here it was slapping me in the face. I was newly married with two young daughters, 9 months and 4 years and I saw my whole life flash before my eyes in an instant.

I look back over the past year and see everything I’ve had to go through. Months of chemo, radiation and chemo injections into my spinal fluid, multiple weekly doctor appointments, and almost missing my daughter’s entire first year of school. Yet, here I am training for a triathlon. Wow! That was never even a thought before I was diagnosed. Why train this hard when I could be doing something more fun? So, why am I doing this to myself?

For my daughters,

my husband,

my parents,

my brother,

for other survivors who won their battle,

for people who did not win their battle,

for the ones still fighting…

Because a year ago there was a chance I would not make it to today. I have been given a second chance at life and I won’t spend it sitting on the couch at home.

I do it because I am alive, because I can. I do it for ME!

Beth Martin

Triad Tri Participant

Wilmington Tri 2011


Resource Link / Adult Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma


Minimum Goal Reached!! Going to keep on trecking...
Aug 21, 2012 by Liz Ward

As of 11:46 AM this morning, I reached my minimum fundraising goal of $3,200!!

You know what that means? Well, other than the fact that I did a happy dance in my cube.... it means we keep going!! There are 8 weeks left until race day, and so I'm going to keep on blogging, running and of course, fundraising. Just because I have met my goal does not mean that I'm going to slack off!

Thank you to everyone for your encouragement, support and generosity. I'm not going to set a specific goal, but I will say that if we can get over the $4K hurdle - I'll make a YouTube video of my happy dance :)

GO TEAM!! Take that, cancer.

10 weeks down, 8 more to go! Only $200 left to raise!
Aug 20, 2012 by Liz Ward

As easy as it is to feel invincible, we must remind ourselves that we are not. Life is precious and we must focus on filling it with love and joy. Whatever you are going through, consider the bright side and lift it up for all to see.

This week is a cross-roads for me, a period of change and potential stress. Today I start grad school while I continue to work full time, train for the half marathon and continue to try to be a friend, a daughter, a sister and most importantly a wife. All of this came into focus last night as I transitioned from a weekend full of celebration as I ran my first 10 mile run and then was blessed with spending quality time with my family. I suddenly started realizing truly how much was going to be on my plate and I was filled with worry of falling short. Not being able to do it all and do it well (expectations that I impose on myself). And then, by grace, it came to me. If I let myself worry, I'll miss what it is that I'm worried about missing. Each day is given to us in 24 hour increments for a reason - it was intended for us to take each day one at a time.

I'm sharing this because I know we all go through things that just seem overwhelming at times, and we all succumb to worry. But life is good and filled with opportunity to be loved and to love others. Friends and family are there to help and encourage in times of need if you let them. To me, that is what this is all about. Whether its running to raise money, volunteering your time, being there for a friend or giving yourself a little bit of grace - take it all in and bask in it. Cherish each day you are given and instead of worrying, be present and just do the best you can. (PS - I'm talking to myself here too!)


The roster of sponsors is LONG. It is filled with people from all corners of my life, and I can't even express how that impacts me. All I can say is that it is truly moving. Three more sponsors were added this week and together - they pushed me to my $3,000 fundraising milestone!!

Katie & Jon Harding (friends of ours via Kirk - and Katie is a fellow runner and blogger!), Zach and Katie Sorgi (friends of our's also via Kirk, from college, and newly wed's! They were the ones that got married in Raleigh in July!), and Brianne Moran (real estate colleague! thank you for all of your encouragement and cheering!).

Week 10 Long Run

As I mentioned above, this week was my first 10 mile run! And we actually ended up running 10.44 by the end of it (whoops!). I felt great and focused on my recovery by eating plenty of protein, getting in a good epsom salt soak and staying hydrated... oh and that Aleve really helped out a bunch too :)

So, there are officially 8 weeks left to fundraise for LLS and train for the run. If you aren't yet a sponsor and would like to become one, donations of all sizes are welcome and impactful. I have $250 left to hit my minimum fundraising goal and hope to exceed this by race day. Thank you in advance for your continued support and encouragment!!

Best, Liz


9 Weeks Down, 9 More to Go! Only $250 more to raise!
Aug 14, 2012 by Liz Ward

You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough.

You can be anything you want to be - do anything you set out to accomplish - if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.

~Abraham Lincoln

I've said this before, but it never ceases to amaze me at how capable we ALL are - yet we always seem to underestimate ourselves. If we just believe and then choose to try our best, anything is possible. Today we were doing speed training at the Harris Y and the sign outside giving the track mileage said something like "God made this day, enjoy it!". It made me smile and feel joyful to be out in the fresh air, running in circles and feeling alive - knowing that I made a CHOICE to run.

Tomorrow is the exact halfway mark to our race and I couldn't be happier that I chose to train with TNT and raise funds to support LLS and their mission to provide patient support and fund cancer research. I only have $50 to reach my $3,000 mark AND that means.... only $250 more to reach my initial fundraising goal!! My gut tells me that we can go beyond that, but I'm just going to take it one day at a time and be thankful for every dollar and every sponsor.


Speaking of sponsors.... during week 9, my t-shirt gained 9 NEW SPONSORS and 1 repeat sponsor!!! Holy moly! I am truly still in awe and just really really thankful for the outpouring of encouragement and support. You guys are really making a meaningful difference. Here they are:

Sonja Kurcz (fellow TNT Nike Marathon trainee!!! ie. awesome running partner!), Carol McDonald (one of my mother-in-law's good friends! She's also a runner too!), Jim & Patti Synder (my Aunt & Uncle!! love), Sally & Michael Wyatt (friend since 5th grade!! and her hubby), Lauren Loftis (best friend from college and bridesmaid AND fellow running/yoga buddy! AND our honorable Tadpole's girlfiend, couldn't leave that out), Allison Fowler (friend and our sneaky engagement photographer!!!), Jamie, Annie and June Cook-Leonard (Kirk's friend from high school and her two beautiful new twin girls!), Justin and Sami Carpenter (best and longtime friends to Kirk and I - also lifetime best friends to Tad), Angela Weitzel (another one of our awesome joint best friends and Tadpole's roomie), special shout out goes to Tom & Wylmetta Harman - Tad's wonderful and supportive parents (and, ahem, the best insurance agent ever). Thank you guys for your support, I'm honored to wear all of your names during my long runs.

(Me, Ashli and Sam after our 6 miles!)


So, this past weekend was a "break"... we only ran 6 miles. It was the weirdest feeling saying on Friday night, "oh, I'm only running 6 miles in the morning, I can stay out a little later this week." Since when did 6 miles become a "short" run?! Well, I guess NOW! :) The run went great and I treated myself to a little Owen's bagel afterwards since I had just burned ~600 calories. Next week?? We're up to 10 MILES!!! This will be the farthest I've ever gone and I am EXCITED! Definitely still a little terrified, but I know I'll have my sponsors with me via the t-shirt, and that makes a big difference.

Also, if you are already a Sponsor and you are just keeping up with the blog or are thinking about becoming one of my Sponsors, check out my blog on Company Matching: Making Your Dollar Go Farther!

Thanks for checking in and for your continued support! Until next week.


8 Weeks Down, 10 More to Go... ONLY $825 left to raise!!
Aug 06, 2012 by Liz Ward

"Give what you have to somebody, it may be better than you think."

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Here we are - almost to the halfway training point! 8 weeks of completed training and only 10 weeks left until race day. Friday was our "recommitment date" where we had to reaffirm our commitment to LLS and specficically to the Nike Women's Marathon race. Signing up for a long distance run and commiting to raise a large sum of money for charity is a BIG TASK. It is both physically and mentally challenging. And, on top of that, several of our team members are still recovering from the emotional trauma of losing a loved one, which adds another layer of challenge. I can tell you from personal experience, everyday is different in the recovery process and sometimes things change and it is ok to say "I just can't do this right now". The year after losing my Dad was a personal rollercoaster and I still have moments where I just can't help being overwhelemed with missing him. Just part of the process :)

So, recommitment was an opporunity to step back and say "ok, I tried this, but now is not the time for me to push myself this far". Or, it was the chance to say "yep, I've made it this far and things are going well, so ON WE GO!". For me, this was a moment to say "YES, I CAN DO THIS"! And so I joyfully signed the recommitment papers on Friday! :) I am thankful for where I am at the moment, knowing that there have been and will be times in life where I couldn't do something like this.

As we TNT folks say..


(Katie, Chantal, Me, Sonja @ Owen's after the run)


The rumors were true.... Saturday was an 8 mile run through Dilworth. And I finished without stopping to walk! We stopped at the water stations to hydrate and catch our breath, but otherwise Sonja and I stayed the course the entire way. Sonja, THANK YOU for running with me! I really couldn't have done that without you.

Last week, I learned a few lessons after my 6 mile run that made the 8 miles SO MUCH BETTER...

1. Don't Wear Cotton Socks - Cotton gets drenched and causes blisters. Wear polyester blend!! It absorbs the sweat/moisture better = no blisters! I bought a 6 pack of New Balance socks on Amazon for $16.

2. Use BODY GLIDE - It looks like clear deoderant, but you put it on your feet and in areas that have a lot of friction when you run (feet, legs, underarms, bra straps). Reduces chaffing = awesome. I bought off Amazon for $10.

3. Stay Hydrated - I run with my Nathan Quickdraw Hydration Bottle so I can constantly hydrate with a sports drink. Not everyone likes running with something in their hand, but it works for me! I can also keep my GU Gel packet, keys and some emergency cash in the little pocket.

4. Bungee Laces - No undone shoelaces, keeps constant tension on my feet AND makes it super easy to pop off after I'm done running :) I had a pair on my old shoes, but bought these new fun GREEN ones for my new shoes!

5.Use Performance Nutrient! They say, on average, you burn 100 calories for every mile. That means on an 8 mile run, you burn 800 calories! You can imagine that means less energy by the end unless you "re-fuel" during the run. Hence, GU! Here is a sampler pack that Kirk bought that we've loved. Or you can get individual items at Run for your Life or other running stores. GU Performance Energy Sampler Pack

Here is a picture of all my "stuff" for Saturday and an update pic of the sponsor t-shirt!!


During week 8, I added 8 new sponsors to the t-shirt! It was another exciting and overwhelming week of generous donations and ecouragement. I try to express this in my thank you notes, but I hope all of my sponsors know how much their support means - both to LLS and to me personally.

Jennifer and Scott Blacker (my wonderful stepbrother and his wife!! They officially got me over my $2,000 mark!!!), Paul & Barb Kohler (Jay's parents, who are truly amazing people - thank you for your prayers!!), Lauren Kelley (my ZTA little sister!!) , Ann Cosper (my ZTA big sister!! in the same week!!), Michael Miller (co-worker of Kirk and fellow runner!), Mr. & Mrs. Grant (Betsy's parents!!), Ashley Blevins and Donna Nesbitt (long time family friends and teachers with my mom! Donna, a special thank you for your support of the little girl at Levine's Children's Hospital!! Thanks for sharing your story).

As of today, I only have $825 left to meet my minimum goal. I'd love to go beyond that goal and will keep pressing until race day!

Thank you in advance for your support! Donations of all sizes make a difference - and if you can't make a donation, that is ok too! If you have words of encouragement or a story you feel compelled to share, please feel free to post or email me. Those make a huge difference too :)

Up Next (this week):

~Company Matching: Making your dollar go farther!


Mission Moment: Buck Ranson's Story
Aug 01, 2012 by Liz Ward

It has been a while since I shared a mission moment story, and I learned about this little cutie today - so I thought I'd share :)

Meet Buck Ranson! Buck has been a TNT Honored Hero a couple of times. His battle with cancer is not over yet but he is a fighter!! This year he is the Honored Hero for NC-LLS's annual Light The Night walk! This little guy is determined to continue growing stronger and help raise funds for LLS!

Buck's Story (written by his Mother)

Almost four years ago in September, our son Buck was diagnosed with High Risk ALL* Leukemia. He was barely 18 months old. After being misdiagnosed numerous times he ended up in the PICU with a two hemoglobin and congestive heart failure. We spent the next two years in and out of the hospital and clinic getting chemotherapy. We were told that he had a 70-80% success rate. After over two years of therapy, we thought we were on our way to a normal life. It was then that I got the dreaded phone call that Buck's spinal tap showed leukemia cells were present again. This meant that he had relapsed. He would now undergo intense high doses chemo in the hospital, steriods, more chemo at home and clinic, and then radiation.

Buck has been through 40 spinal taps. He will continue the last phase of chemo, steriods and shots until the end of August. We will complete the protocol and have monthly blood work to check for relapse. Buck turned five years old in February. He is excited about going to school in the fall for the first time. He is our only child. It took us over four years to get pregnant with extraordinary means and it has taken us four years to get him healthy and well. Because of his weakened immune system, Buck has lived in a bubble. Buck hasn't been around many other children or had a lot of experiences in the world around him until recently. He is a beautiful boy with wisdom, a heart, courage, and intuition beyond years.

RESOURCE LINK: About ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia)

It is learning stories like these that keep me going. Thanks again to everyone for their support. I hope to keep the mission moment stories coming, so we can help heighten awareness together.


Where is the time going? 7 Weeks Down, 11 to Go... only $1,305 left to raise!
Aug 06, 2012 by Liz Ward

When life gives you something that makes you feel afraid, that’s when life gives you a chance to be brave.

~ Lupytha Hermin

So, on Wednesday we had a TNT Social Event at the VBGB Beer Garden near uptown where we got to mingle with our teammates and other people who were considering joining the next TNT training group, which kicks off August 11th. It was my first opportunity to really share my experience with potential future TNT team members and it got me thinking...

It's crazy to remember how SCARED I was before I signed up compared to how INSPIRED I feel now. It makes me think, how many opportunities do we let pass us by just because we don't believe we will be successful? Or because the potential hurdles or commitments scare us? I had no idea what was in store for me through joining TNT and I feel like it is giving me a new perspective on all areas of my life. I'm running in a way that I never imagined, am meeting people I never would have otherwise and through all of my sponsors, am helping people I may never meet - but deserve every bit of grace they can get.


I still am in awe of the generosity of all of my donors to date, and week 7 was NO EXCEPTION. Oddly enough, there were 7 new donors in week 7.... coincidence? I don't know, but I know I am one thankful girl! THANK YOU THANK YOU to ALL of my sponsors!! You guys are truly making a difference. Here are the folks that I added to my shirt on Thursday night!!

Carol & Bob Bell (the nicest neighbors in the entire world), Kirk Ward (my wonderful hubby), Lillian & Rich Gerardi (my awesome in-laws, aka MIL & FIL), Sara Henley (ZTA sorority sister!!), Mike & Judy Campbell (Ashli's parents!! Best friend and fellow TNT runner), Susan Ward (Kirk's Dad's wife aka "the other Mrs. Ward"!! <3), and Courtney Blacker & David Gample (my step-sister and her hubby!!! can't wait to celebrate with them at the finish line out in SF).

Long Run in Dilworth

Normally we do our long runs on Saturday mornings but this week I moved mine up to Friday morning because I was going to the mountains for a girls weekend! I got to run with my friend Lauren Loftis and it was AMAZING! So much fun to run with a girlfriend, its like social hour with gatorade instead of wine! It truly made the 6 miles fly by! Here is the route that we did! :) Very scenic, through Dilworth, Queens Road and Selwyn Avenue = awesome.

Well, week 8 - bring it on! I'm not sure how far we are running this coming Saturday but I have heard rumors that it will be 8 miles. I'm less nervous now than I was last week, but still need all the support and encouragement that I can get!! The sponsor t-shirt is still working its magic!! Stay tuned for more updates :) And... THANK YOU!!!!


6 Weeks Down, 12 to Go... only $1,565 left to raise!
Jul 23, 2012 by Liz Ward

Here we are! Week 6 is through, which means I'm 1/3 of the way through training! AND, as of today I'm 51% to my fundraising goal!! MAYBE that means I'll raise MORE than my goal when it is all said and done? We'll see! I'm going to keep pressing ahead in the meantime :)

Week 6 was FULL of activity!!


On Tuesday we met with Dr. Greenapple of Greenapple Sports & Wellness over on Park Road. We talked about the importance of core strength, running posture, proper use of hips to propel ourselves forward and identifying injuries vs. just soreness from a tough workout (=good). I still need to schedule my 1-on-1 appointment with them, but I already feel like I learned a lot! Dr. Greenapple is a cancer survivor and has other family ties to LLS, so he is a big supporter of Team In Training. If you're in the area, consider checking him out!

Saturday Run & Birthday Breakfast with Jordan Jemsek, Our Honored Team Mate

At 7am, we kicked off the day with a 5 mile run through Dilworth. I can definitely tell that my endurance is improving! I finished at about a 10 minute average pace and felt ok! Sonja and I ran the first 2.5 together (always great conversation), but we split when I had to turn around because she was running 10 miles (eesh!).

Most importantly, after our run - we got to meet JORDAN JEMSEK!!! Friday was Jordan's 8th birthday, so she came to have breakfast at Owen's with us to celebrate. She also recently hit her one year remission mark after a successful bone marrow transplant last year! Jordan was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) at age 6 back in 2009. We had all heard she was an incredible soul, and she truly was! Bubbling with energy and happiness, she was awesome to hang out with. She even drew us some pictures for inspiration :)

Never Give Up .... Keep Strong .... Have Fun With It!!

Last but certainly not least...


During week 6, four new sponsors we're added to my training t-shirt!! I can't say this enough to ALL of my sponsors - THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I kid you not when I say the t-shirt has special "powers".... it certainly is more effective than my alarm clock on Saturday mornings!

Paige "Gigi" Hill (one of my best girlfriends from college, bridesmaids and soon to be a bride herself!), Kelley & Paul Mickler (longtime friends of Kirk's and I got to inherit them when I met Kirk = so lucky, they're awesome!), AND Debbie Davis and Lita Gatlin (friends and running buddies with my wonderful mother-in-law aka "MIL", Lilli!!).

Week 7 has already started and..... I only have $365 left to raise to get to my goal of $2,000 by Friday, August 3 (2 weeks away). You all are SO amazing! It truly has been incredible watching this all come together, it is inspiring. Cancer is totally going down!

Up Next:

-Company Matching... getting your dollar doubled!

-Mission Moment from Saturday


Company Matching: Making Your Donation Go Farther!
Aug 16, 2012 by Liz Ward

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

~Winston Churchill

Sometimes big companies feel like just BIG OLE' conglomerations. (Anyone remember Conglomo from Rocko's Modern Life in the '90s?) BUT, did you know that many have a genuine desire to be involved in the communities they are located in and try to encourgage their employees to do the same? I think it is a great testament to the leadership of these companies and that their employees should really take advantage of any incentives they are given. Some companies award time off for volunteer hours and sometimes they even MATCH YOUR DONATIONS!!

Yep.. that means that often you can DOUBLE your impact. It's hard to say "no" to that kind of opportunity! I encourage you to check out your company's policy to see what they offer. I know my company (Wells Fargo) matches up to a generous dollar amount for every employee, but it is restricted to education based charities only (but hey, I'll take that!). So you may have to do a little research and asking around to see what qualifies, but trust me - the charities you are giving to will be extra thankful in the end.

To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, check with your company’s HR department or go to:



I want to say a special thank you to Debbie Davis and KRAFT Food's for my very first matching gift donation! Debbie submitted her internal paperwork the very next day after her donation and I was able to get the paperwork started on my side to ensure that our lcoal chapter benefits from KRAFT's generous matching policy and Debbie's efforts too.

What to do if your company will match your LLS donation?

1. Fill out your internal paper work as soon as you can work into your schedule (many forms are online these days, but some are still via paper). Most companies only submit donations quaterly, so its good to get the requests in as soon as you can so you can catch the next payout date.

**IMPORTANT*** Select our NC Chapter Location as the beneficiary.

Here is the address: 401 Harrison Oaks Blvd Suite 200 Cary, NC 27513

2. Send me a copy of your confirmation email or letter that says your company has recieved your request.

3. I'll take it from there!

If you have already donated and submitted a matching gift request, just let me know!!

Thanks again for all of your support! I hope you found this information helpful.


5 Weeks Down, 13 more to go! $2,065 more to go!
Jul 23, 2012 by Liz Ward

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

~ Margaret Mead

Good news!! I just got word that our Charlotte team is close to hitting $50,000 in total funds raised!! In total, there are more than 30 of us fundraising and training together for races right now. Isn't that awesome? I think so!

I have another $865 to raise in order to hit my $2,000 goal by the end of July / 1st week of August. It's a big feat, but it can be done! The first 4 weeks proved that people are motivated and care about kicking cancer in the PANTS! If you have been thinking about donating, but just haven't had the chance - it is never ever too late.

Loved this :) It doesn't have anything to do with running, but I thought it was cute.


Three new sponsors were added to my-tshirt last week! Lindsay & Mitch Hyatt (LONGTIME friends of both mine and my husband), Dot Hailey (family friend forever, she and my grandmother have been friends for probably 50+ years), and Melissa Bryant (it is truly difficult to find the words to express Melissa's part in my life, you could say family friend, mother of one of the most incredible people I know - Bryant Graeber, or just purely a wonderful person that I am blessed to know). So, there was definitely a theme this past week! People that I have known for a LONG time!! :)

Week 5 Training

Well, I REALLY REALLY put my training shirt to work on Saturday. We ran 6 MILES through Birkdale Village and the surrounding neighborhoods on Lake Norman!! It was ABSOLUTELY beautiful! Here is a picture of a few of us after the run with two of our coaches! Sponsor t-shirt was in full force!!

So, all-in-all everything is going well. My muscles are doing ok, I feel great, I've met some incredible people and there has been an outpouring of support from people from all corners of my life. I'm looking forward to the next 3 months!

Coming up next in Week 6.....

-Injury Prevention Seminar with Greenapple Sports & Wellness off of Park Road

-Breakfast on Saturday with Jordan Jemsek, our honored teammate, and her mom at Owen's Bagels after our 5 mile run in Dilworth!

Stay tuned, and thanks for the support :)


"How Dare I?" - Mission Moment Share / On Why We Run
Jul 14, 2012 by Liz Ward

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the mission moment that was read at our Ballantyne Run during week 2. It really touched me and I have been wanting to share it with you all ever since. Well, I finally obtained a copy of it and here it is. I'll update the blog either later today or tomorrow on how week 5 went! :)

Mission Moment from Week 2


Susan Edwards, Triad, Honolulu Triathlon

Have you ever watched your significant other try to breathe with two liters of fluid on their lungs? I have. How dare Ifeel out of breath during a workout?

Have you ever known your significant other to lie sleepless at night—afraid to experience the nightmares? I have. How dare I feel tired when I wake up at 4:30am to train?

My partner, Ann, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma on June 27, 2005, only three days after we celebrated our birthdays. We were shocked, but Ann was a former college athlete and Olympian so the fighting instinct kicked in. She spent hours researching her diagnosis. Meds were logged, doctors appointment made, tests, chemo. It was a blur, I was reeling.

I knew about TNT—hard to miss those purple singlets at races. We decided to do it. I would race, Ann would raise funds. We attended a meeting for the Honolulu Triathlon and learned we needed to wait. No worries, by winter she would be well enough for us to go to Hawaii, a mini vacation, and to celebrate my MBA graduation. Although her prognosis was bleak, a game plan meant we were safe.

I never thought she was going to die until she told me so shortly before they took her to the ICU in a semi-conscious state. She fought even when I told her it was ok to rest, she had done well, I was proud of her and I would be OK without her to take care of me.

She died Nov 10, 2005. I quit fighting. I was her caregiver during her sixteen week battle. It was not enough to save her. It was one of the few times my best was not good enough. I was paralyzed.

I joined TNT because that was our plan. Funny how Ann knew I would need this after she died. TNT has saved my life. The structured training is the key to my journey through grief. Although I cry during almost every training session, I am finally able to speak when I am at TNT events now. I can’t imagine what the actual triathlon will be like, but like Coach Matt and Joey say, “Focus on what you are doing right now.” Ann would like that advice. I know that is how I will get through Hawaii. How dare I not?


This story has stayed with me. Although I'm not in the same position as Susan - trying to recovery from the loss of a partner - I can appreciate the gravity of her loss and others like her who have lost loved ones (I lost my Dad 3 1/2 years ago). It makes me want to fundraise harder so we can be closer to finding a cure, but I realize that it may not be tomorrow that it happens. So, in the meantime - as a teammate, I can be part of the HOPE process :) In order to recover from that kind of loss, you have to have faith that life goes on and that there is purpose for the greif - that it will make you stronger. Being a part of a team or group of people who encourage you lifts the soul and can help you become the best self you can .

If you have questions about Team in Training or interest in donating, feel free to contact me with any questions!

I hope you all have a beautiful Saturday!

Best, Liz


4 Weeks Down, 14 More to Go... and only $2,115 left to hit my goal!
Jul 14, 2012 by Liz Ward

Week 4 is now over and I have some exciting news....I made my goal of raising $1,000 by end of day Friday July 6th!! Thank you THANK YOU to ALL of my sponsors. Here is a picture of my t-shirt after I finished it late on Friday night.

Here is a shout out to my Week 4 sponsors - those who helped push me over that final $1,000 goal line! All of you are SO awesome and I am truly grateful for your support. In parenthesis, I have noted how I know everyone because I think its cool to see how many different people are invovled! :)

Stacey & Baker Pipkin (step-sister and husband!), Kat & Will Pearsall (friends from high school & college), Jim & Patti Snyder (Aunt & Uncle), Kyllan & Jeff Kershaw (cousin & her husband), Debbie & Charlie Reid (Aunt & Uncle on Kirk's side), Shaan Bhatia (past co-worker), Katie & Joe Nifong (friend from High School & her husband), and Kelly Choate & John Proud (friends post-college, getting married this weekend!).

So, how did training during week 4 go?

Well, this week was a little different than the others so far - and because of that, I have learned an extremely valuable lesson.... training with a team makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

We didn't have our typical Tuesday session because of the holiday AND I was out of town this past Saturday. I really miss my teammates and coaches - tonight's training event can't get here soon enough. There is something about LEARNING TOGETHER and PUSHING YOURSELVES TOGETHER that is just different than when you are doing it on your own. If you are thinking of training for something, ask a friend to join you or sign up for a team event. OR, do both! I signed up for this with my long-time best friend, Ashli Parry. We talk several times a week to encourage each other and keep each other in check!

I ran on my own on Tuesday and Thursday - but thankfully I wasn't alone on Saturday. We went to Raleigh to celebrate our friends Katie & Zach who got married this past weekend - woo hoo!! But this meant I'd miss another group run. THANKFULLY, Kirk volunteered to keep me company on my run! So we woke up Saturday morning at 7:00 and ran on the nearby Greenway. It was filled with pinecones, which scared the crap out of me (tripping/rolling ankles), but overall it went really well. Here are some pictures of us after we finished our 4 miles!

PS - The palm tree was at the house where we were staying... their backyard was like an OASIS!! So we got in some serious pool time after our run :)

So, week 5 is here! And I still have a long road of running and fundraising ahead of me. I have to say, I'm super encouraged by all the support so far and all the ideas that people have been giving me for fundraising. We will be running 6 miles THIS Saturday!! So if anyone else wants to add their name to the support shirt... I'll need all the help I can get.

I hope to reach $2,000 by early August - so stay tuned! If you have any personal stories you'd like to share on the blog, just let me know. I'm going to try to incorporate more information about training tips and facts on LLS!

Thanks again for all of your support and helping me get this far.

All my best,



Mission Moment: Beth's TNT Journey
Jul 04, 2012 by Liz Ward

Each week, our coaches and mentors share "Mission Moments" with all of us who are training. They are normally stories from race participants who either are cancer survivors themselves, or have endured the loss of someone they love to a blood cancer.

Two Saturday's ago, our mentor Autumn read the Mission Moment just before we started our run out in Ballantyne and sure enough, I was shedding hot tears under my sunglasses before it was over. I thought to myself: "OH BOY, I hope I can get myself under control so I can run." And, then it dawned on me - I hope that I shed hot tears every single week because that is what this is all about. Not necessarily crying - but feeling. Connecting. Supporting. Being Supported. Being aware. Not hiding or living under a rock. Remembering those who have been affected by cancer. All cancer, not just blood cancer.

I wanted to share our Mission Moment from this week. It's a long blog post, but worth reading the whole thing. Hope you enjoy :)

Blog Post: Beth's TNT Story (click link)


3 Weeks Down, 15 to Go... only $2,443 more to raise!!
Jul 03, 2012 by Liz Ward

It is hard to believe that week 4 is already here! Each week has brought an improvement in endurance, lessons learned, new training tips, deeper friendships and more fundraising momentum!

During week 3, my t-shirt gained 7 new sponsor names with $323 raised (week ended at a total of $657, which is 20% of my total goal)! Many many thanks to Randy and Deborah Hughes (the world's best boss and his wonderful wife), David Thames (my awesome manager), Jenn Bost (one of CMC's most dedicated nurses), Betsy Grant (one of the best friends a girl could ask for), Everette & Candace Anderson (friends from college and fellow runner/fundraiser for the Nike LLS race!!), and Chrstine Welchel (friend from high school, one of the most beautiful people you will ever meet!). I am so truly honored to wear your names each Saturday as I run :)

During our Tuesday training, we focused on learning how to optimally use our body during long distance runs. This means finding the right breathing pattern and the right stride length. Turns out that in order to optimize the energy that our body is expending to move forward, 180 steps per minute is the best way to go. Right now, I'm closer to 160 steps per minute, so I have to work to making my stride shorter so I won't get so tired. Also, breathing is optimized if you "in-in-out-out" or "2 in / 2 out" to match your steps. Here is a picture of our group doing Core Strength Exercises at the Harris YMCA before practing our stride and breathing patterns :)

This past weekend, I took a trip to Oxford, Mississippi to spend time with some of my long-time girlfriends (Ashli, Sally and I have been friends for 17 years... since 5th grade! And we all met Charlotte 13 years ago at the begining of high school). Charlotte (the one who lives in Oxford) has run at least 7 half marathons!!

So... we made grand plans to wake up on Saturday and do our scheduled 6 mile run together through downtown Oxford. Unfortunately, Delta cancelled Sally's Friday flight and she got re-routed into Memphis at 9 am Saturday morning. We all wanted to be together to pick her up (especially since she spent 10 hours in the airport on Friday) ... so this meant we had to leave Oxford to pick up her by 7:30 AM. I woke up early to run, but didn't realize that Charlotte had set the security alarm and I couldn't get out of the house :) Despite this, I still managed to get in 3 miles before we left for the airport. I swear, it was all because of the t-shirt. I knew how many people were already backing me and this wonderful cause, and I couldn't not run - even if it wasn't the full 6 miles I had planned on.

So, week 4? Here we come! I ran 2 miles early this morning and it felt GREAT. Really great, actually. And I'll be out of town again this weekend for a wedding in Raleigh, but my WONDERFUL hubby has agreed to wake up early on Saturday and run with me.

For fundraising, I have a goal to reach $1,000 by THIS Friday! I'm only $243 away from that goal! I originally set the date for July 4th so I could be sure to get all the names on my t-shirt before going out of town, but truly my goal is to have $1,000 by the end of day Friday. If you donate by then, I will BE SURE to add your name to my t-shirt before my run on Saturday morning!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of your encouragement and support!!


xoxo, Liz

2 Weeks Down, 16 to Go.... and $2,900 more to raise!
Jun 23, 2012 by Liz Ward

Week 2 is now almost complete! We just finished a 5.2 mile run! I still have some recovery training to do this morning and then a short recovery run and yoga tomorrow before the week is officially over. But all in all, I'm feeling good! Here is a picture of us after cooling off this morning!

(Left to Right: Stefanie, Ginger, Sonja, Me, Ashley and Sam)

The run this morning was..... hilly. Very hilly. This was aparently the focus for this week's training, because we did hill training during our group session on Tuesday night too. I suppose this is a good thing since we'll be out in San Francisco?! My legs will be happier with me after a little salt bath and some foam roller time :)

The picture below will give you an idea of the elevation differences between this week and last! Today was definitely a HUGE challenge!!

Ballantyne Run (today) - 5.22 Miles

Dilworth Run (week 1) - 4.88 Miles

**Fundraising Update**

As of today, I have 10% of my goal!!

Week 2 supporters added to the t-shirt were: Katy Hancock (my awesome grandmother!!!), Robin & David Blacker (my mom and stepdad!!) - and our friends Jay & Emily Kohler, Dot Doley and Paul & Kelly Pennell!! Thank you thank you!! Hope you all got my thank you note in the mail last week :)

My next goal?? $1,000 by Wednesday July 4th! Can you help me get there??Any amount helps and your support truly means a lot.

I'll be posting this week about our mission moment today before our run, but didn't want to lump it in with this update. It was a very touching story from someone involved in LLS. Stay tuned!!

Thank you again for checking in on the blog!!

Cancer, you are going down!!!


1 Week Down, 17 Weeks to Go
Jun 17, 2012 by Liz Ward

Saturday was our first long run of the season! About 20 of us met at Owen's Bagels and then ran an out-and-back loop via Dilworth/East Blvd/Queens Rd. I ended up running 5 miles with two of the other girls on the team and was super excited afterwards that I survived. I went in with the intention of running 4 miles, but the conversation was great and I felt ok - so I decided to just stay at the same pace as my teammates, Chantal and Sonja (two in the middle of the picture). In the last mile, I had to slow down and let them go ahead - but I still finished without stopping to walk! Woo hoo!

(Notice the awesome t-shirt I'm wearing?! Shout out were in full force and turned out to be a HUGE help when I was finishing that last mile by myself.. honestly helped me keep from stopping to walk! Thank you guys!!!)

Lessons learned for this next week? Don't start out so fast! It is better to start out slow and finish strong. AND, I need to watch my stride and make sure that my feet are striking at midfoot when I land to avoid injury.

I found this handy link and read all sorts of articles and even watched a few videos:


Other recovery tools I'm using? Epsom Salt Baths, The Stick and coming this week... The Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller!!!

1 week down, 17 to go! And $134 raised in my first week! Hoping for the same momentum this week :)


How Your Donation Can Help!
Jun 23, 2012 by Liz Ward

It is sometimes extremely helpful to know what your money is going to when you decide to donate to an organization!

Here are some examples of what your money goes to if you choose to donate to LLS!

-$25 will pay for the cost of a patient’s chemotherapy drug prescription co-payment

-$50 will register 1 person to be a bone marrow donor.

-$75 will provide HLA (bone marrow) typing for a family member of a patient with leukemia.

-$150 will provide 10 patients access to a web-conference to learn about their specific blood cancer.

-$300 will train 25 peer volunteers who can provide emotional support to newly diagnosed patients.

-$500 will provide patient aid to a person with Leukemia or a related cancer for a year.

-$1000 allows patients to meet with health care specialists to design and discuss their disease, treatment plan and prepare them with the info they will need during the treatment process.

-$2000 provides patients with a one month supply of Gleevec.

Please let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to find you an answer! Or, if you have a story about how someone has been helped by funds raised by LLS, please feel free to share in the comments section!




My "Shout-Out" Training T-shirt!!
Jun 14, 2012 by Liz Ward

My TNT craft is officially in progress!! I went shopping after work today and bought a new UnderArmour Heat Gear shirt and a 30 pack of fabric markers!

First names going on the shirt? Jordan & Joni Hancock (my awesome cousin & his wife near Raleigh) and Bo & Angie Cauble (our dear friends also known as the "Caublinos"). Thank you thank you thank you!!

Want your name on my TNT Training Shirt too? All you have to do is make a donation - any amount! OR, just share a story with me on how you have been affected by TNT or LLS!

I'll be wearing this shirt EVERY SATURDAY for our long distance runs! It'll help serve as a reminder of everyone who is supporting this cause WITH me! So I hope it gets more colorful as the weeks pass :)

Thanks again for your support and following the blog! So far, I have run three times this week for a total of 6 miles and had two days of cross-training (swim & yoga). AND, we have 4 miles coming up this Saturday at 7 AM (yikes). My calves are already freaking out, but they'll get use to it (I hope..).


*TNT = Team in Training, LLS = Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Liz's Fundraising Page
Jun 12, 2012

Have you ever had a moment where you find yourself doing something you never dreamed of doing? Well, I'm 100% positive that at least once I have said "I would never ever run a half marathon. People who do that are crazy!" But here I am! I have found myself in a place where there are way more reasons to run, than to not.

First and foremost, by choosing to run with Team in Training, I have commited to raise money that will help improve the lives of those who are currently battling blood cancer (help pay for medicine, treatment, support). On top of that, the money will also go towards research to help eradicate cancer.

It is incredible to be a part of team of passionate people who are all motivated to do good for others while challenging themselves (see fun picture of us on kickoff day!). Everyone on our team has their own story of why they are participating. For me, I can't name just one reason. But I can certainly name two: you and me.We are all succeptible. No one has a 0% chance of getting cancer. Even for those who will never have any form of cancer, they will still know someone who is affected.

Many of you know my good friend Tad (who I affectionately call Tadpole). He's the one always throwing sarcastic jokes around and making people laugh. He also might be one of the strongest people that I know. Early in 2009, Tad was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. After many rounds of radiation with some awesome nurses, Tad was cleared. And was still cracking jokes. By the fall it was back and they tackled it with a chemo treatment at home (which Tad said tasted like swallowing pool cleaner, floor cleaner, and a wedding ring all at the same time). After that, he went into remission and recovery. In October of 2011, he was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, which was pegged as aftermath of the Hodgkins & treatment. Through all of this, his strength has been an inspiration to those around him. He's still recovering from his last treatments, but the leukemia is gone! I know I speak on behalf of all of our friends and Tad's family when I say we are all praying that this is the last time Tad will have to battle with cancer and he can just go back to living like his normally funny self. (He's the one getting fake choked by my brother in law in the group picture from our rehearsal dinner).

Your donation dollars will go to people like Tad who are battling cancer and hoping to never have any form of Lymphoma or Leukemia again. And the research that will help us find a cure will benefit us all.

An estimated 1,012,533 people in the United States (US) are living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, Hodgkins lymphoma, Non-Hodgkins lymphona or myeloma. That is almost the entire population of the Charlotte MSA! So really, I have 1,012,533 reasons to run this race. Will you support me in my cause and help me get to the finish line by meeting my goal (and then some)?

Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures. Whether its $10, $25, $50, $75 or more - it all makes a difference. And I promise you that I'll write you a really cheerful and appreciative thank you letter :)

Also, each person that donates will get their name written on my training t-shirt to help keep me motivated throughough the next 5 months!

Also, don't forget that all donations are tax-deductible.

Stay tuned for updates on my running progress! I'll be attempting to blog throughout the process. I'll also keep you posted on any fun fundraising events.

...... GO TEAM!! Take that, cancer.


Supporter Comments

    "You go girl! We are cheering you on! The Ogburn's"

    Libby and Will Ogburn

    Tue Aug 21 05:47:41 EDT 2012

    "Go get 'em Liz! So proud of you!"

    Amanda Anderson

    Mon Aug 20 09:09:54 EDT 2012

    "Go Liz Go! Can't wait to give you sweaty hugs in person at the finish line!"

    Courtney & David

    Thu Jul 26 11:35:57 EDT 2012

    "Can't wait to watch You & Ashli cross the finish line! xoxo"

    Judy & Mike

    Mon Jul 23 07:47:57 EDT 2012

    "You rock girl, get after it!"

    Everett & Candace Anderson

    Tue Jun 26 12:46:09 EDT 2012

    "I lost my dad 9 years ago to lymphoma so I appreciate your support of this cancer research! "

    Deborah & Randy Hughes

    Tue Jun 26 08:44:15 EDT 2012

    "Good luck in your training Liz! So proud of you! xoxo, BG"

    Betsy Grant

    Mon Jun 25 09:54:43 EDT 2012

    "Good luck!!! :) "

    Jeff and Kyllan Kershaw

    Fri Jul 06 03:38:39 EDT 2012

    "Way to go Liz!"

    Kelly Choate & John Proud

    Fri Jul 06 01:39:11 EDT 2012

    "So proud of you Liz!"

    Sally & Michael Wyatt

    Tue Aug 07 10:09:58 EDT 2012

    "Yay running girl! Good luck out there! Can't wait to run with you in SAN FRAN!!!!!"


    Sat Aug 04 06:30:42 EDT 2012

    "Go, Liz, go! Woo woo woo! "

    Lindsay & Mitch Hyatt

    Sat Jul 07 10:03:06 EDT 2012

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $4,949.50 | Goal: $3,200.00
155 %

Make a Donation

We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

In Honor of

Tad Harman

My Thanks To

Cornhole4LLS $509.50
Bank of America $250.00
Dier Ward $200.00
Justin and Sami Carpenter $150.00
Jennifer and Scott Blacke... $150.00
Michael Miller $105.00
Kraft Foods $100.00
Bank of America $100.00
Sarah Murphy $100.00
Libby and Will Ogburn $100.00
Katie Ghent $100.00
Angela Weitzel $100.00
Tom Harman $100.00
Lillian Gerardi $100.00
Carol, Bob & Melanie Bell $100.00
Debbie Davis $100.00
Stacey Pipkin $100.00
Deborah & Randy Hughes $100.00
Shaan Bhatia $62.90
Sally & Michael Wyatt $60.00
Duke Energy $50.00
Bank of America $50.00
Gregory Peeler $50.00
Kendra Campbell $50.00
G?nther Boy & Heidi Caubl... $50.00
Lauren Loftis $50.00
Jim & Patti Snyder $50.00
Paul Kohler $50.00
Lauren Kelley $50.00
Susan Ward $50.00
Lindsay & Mitch Hyatt $50.00
Jeff and Kyllan Kershaw $50.00
Kelly Choate & John Proud $50.00
Jim & Patti Snyder $50.00
David Thames $50.00
Betsy Grant $50.00
Jennifer Bost $50.00
Chris and Anna O'Neal $50.00
Robin and David Blacker $50.00
Katy Hancock $50.00
Jay & Emily Kohler $50.00
Bo & Angie Cauble $50.00
Ashley Blevins $30.00
Kat and Will Pearsall $30.00
Dakota Glass $25.00
Ashli Parry $25.00
Courtney Davis $25.00
Chelsea Corey $25.00
Bayley Crane $25.00
Amanda Anderson $25.00
Brianne Moran $25.00
Zach and Katie Sorgi $25.00
James Grant $25.00
Allison Fowler $25.00
Ann Cosper $25.00
Judy & Mike $25.00
Lita Gatlin $25.00
Kelley Mickler $25.00
Paige Hill $25.00
Dorothy Hailey $25.00
Melissa Bryant $25.00
Katie and Joe Nifong $25.00
Doris Doley $25.00
Paul Pennell $25.00
Jessica Swaney $25.00
Jordan and Joni Hancock $25.00
Phyllis Barrick $20.00
Shaina Meinert $20.00
Jonathan Harding $20.00
Carol McDonald $20.00
Annie and June Cook-Leona... $20.00
Everett & Candace Anderso... $13.10
Sara Henley $10.00
debbie reid $10.00
Christine Whelchel $10.00
Chris & Emily Neal  
Courtney & David