Amy Breeman-Rhodes Fundraising Page
May 29, 2009 by Amy Breeman-Rhodes
Racing to Save Lives
Welcome to my Team In Training home page.
October 25, 2009 will be almost 5 years to the day I had open heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. On this day, I will be celebrating it by running my first ever marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. I was never considered an athlete growing up in Alabama. I remembered how hard it was for me to run around a football field during PE, and thought how out of shape I was. In actuality my heart was not pumping enough oxygen into my lungs, making me feel more tired than the rest of my peers. At the time, I did not think of it as a serious health issue, but when I was pregnant with my first child 6 years ago, the doctors detected that I had an atrial ventricular canal defect. Basically, my heart had been operating as if it had 3 chambers all of my life.
Five years ago, if any person would have approached me to say that I was going to run a marathon, I would have thought that person was crazy! I never was a runner to begin with, and I just thought I would not be able to complete a feat such as a marathon. Now, with a couple of 5K and 10Kâ€™s under my belt of accomplishment, I am now ready to run!
I'm training to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkins lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
In this feat, I am remember people who have been touched by leukemia and lymphoma, both in my family and close friends. I have named them as my honored teammates, and I want to take a moment to recognize them.
Susan Breeman Hall - in memory of my father's sister who was struck with acute leukemia while pregnant with her second child before reaching 30 years of age. I never met Susan in my lifetime, but her memory is forever in our family.
Jerry Cleveland - in memory for my grandmother who was diagnosed with lymphoma around the age of 83. She led a blessed life, and did go in remission for a time. She ended up living with the disease in the last years of her life and passed away at the age of 90.
Samantha Thomas Kelly - in honor of a very dear friend of mine since childhood , who is battling chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare form of leukemia. She has great courage in continuting her battle. Since her leukemia is rare, she was taking experimental medications for treatment. As of recently, she was blessed to learn she is in remission. Despite her great news, she still needs to have her condition monitored.
Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission.
On July 18th, I completed my first EVER 10 mile run! What great support I had on the trail. As I was running my 11:00 pace, Coach Chip ran up with his 8:00 pace to give me some tips in running. Biggest bit of advice was DONT CROSS YOUR ARMS WHEN YOU RUN. I have to constantly check myself on that, and keep my 90 degree arms and swing on the side, not in front of my body.
On August 1, I reached another milestone by running 12 miles! I am beginning to see the querks that my body has for these long distance runs. I have always been dealing with lower back/leg issues because I have one leg slightly longer than the other. I usually have been wearing a heel lift, but I have not been doing so during this training. So despite that, I am holding on pretty well!
After my last run on August 1, my right foot started hurting for some reason. I did not hurt right away after the run. It was like hours later that it started hurting. After an internet search, it turned out that I have some sort of sprain in one of my ankle muscles. I was running on an uneven surface last Saturday for a bit, and I am sure that is what contributed to it. So, I did the RICE remedy (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevation) and my foot is feeling better now. I need to get some cross training in somehow, and get ready for an 8 miler coming up this Saturday - though it maybe more run-walk this time. It is a bit of set back for me, and I tried running on it Wednesday and could not get past 3 miles. So, I need to let it heal a little more before I attempt a full run again.
Last Saturday on August 8th, I accomplished on my own 8 miles of running - and thank goodness my foot did not hurt! Thanks to an ace bandage, I was able to complete this feat on my feet (ha ha). It was a slow 8 miles, but it was done. Now, on the 15th, I have to look forward to completing 14 miles. Another great milestone for me!
On the 15th, the milestone of 14 miles was accomplished, however come to find out that they sneaked in another mile, so I did a total 15 miles on my run. The first 10 miles was wonderful, but on the trek back, it was getting harder, simply because there were alot of hills. It was getting hotter too, with the weather in the 90's. As it was getting hotter, I could tell I was getting less toleratant of keeping up the pace, so I walked the last 2 miles of the 15. My legs started to ache ALOT and I kept going regardless of my pain. I hear that it is going to be easier the next time I run this distance. Let's hope so!!
Week of August 23-28 was an interesting one - we were on vacation! Our family took a 5 day cruise to Bermuda from Baltimore - a well planned in advance trip for the family. I did manage to get in 3 days of running! All were aboard the ship Norwegian Majesty. The first run was a 30 minute run on a treadmill. That was an interesting run considering I was still getting my sea legs. The last 2 runs were on Wednesday and Thursday on the jogging deck, 40 minutes each. It was so nice to have an oceanview run, and a constant wind to keep my temperature in check. I was making sure I did not go overboard making the turns. Very wobbily, but they were good runs. the 29th is another milestone working on 16 miles!!
Last August 29th, I was still feeling the effects of being on a ship while completing my 16 miles. Luckly I did not fall doing it!
On September 5th, I completed 10 miles, and I actually did it UNDER 2 hours! My time was 1:47! My pace is picking up and so thrilled!
I have my 18 miler coming up this weekend, and I have been sluggish with my training this week. I have a sick child at home, and having a holiday on Monday does not alway help to motivate. Anyway, I was able to get in a few good miles before the run on the 12th.
And on September 12th, it was a cool morning, and I did complete my 18 miles in 3:45. I had a good start, and closer to the end, my muscles started getting tighter and I was running more sluggishly. I started eating Twizzlers and gummy bears to give me the energy to keep me going around mile 10. Funny how I am eating things I don't normally eat!
SEPTEMBER 26 - 20 miles complete!! I finally did it!! I ran 20 miles in 3:58!! I was head strong the whole time to complete it. What was so wonderful was the support that I had along the way, from bikers to walkers and runners alike saying "GO TEAM!" As I was approacing the last half-mile, volunteer TNTer's were cheering us, saying "You own those 20 miles! They are yours!" I about choked up with tears and exhaustion. I did it! I did the 20 miles! It is so joyful to have those done - now if I could do another 6.2 miles on top of that, then I will have it made. What a journey it has been.
Starting October 3rd, we were tapering down our miles. We ran 12 miles on the Capital Crescent Trail from Bethesda past Fletchers' Mill in DC. Middle week runs are reduced from 40 to 50 minute runs to just 30 minutes. It is so nice to taper down!
OCTOBER 25TH - Race day. I got up at 4:40 to get ready to catch the Metro to make it to the Pentagon for the start of the race. Matt and I walked in the chill of the morning to make it to the Runner's Village and participate in the prayer service given by the Marine Corps service men. It was enough motivation, on top of the speech from TNT coaches to start myself with a good mind set before trekking the 26.2 miles.
I was nervous! I had the foot injury going into the race, and I was not sure how it was going to hold out. The start of the race, I felt really good. The first 10 miles was great! I was hydrating at every stop with fellow Marines handing out powerades and waters. Approaching the mid-way point I fueled up on chomps, gels, twizzlers, salt, oranges. Once I got past the half way point, I was beginning to cramp, and my left leg was starting to hurt. My pace was slower, and I started walking as I was getting into DC. I trotted a little on Constitution Ave. to Capitol Hill to Independence Ave. I walked a good bit of the way while in DC, and made it to the 14th Street Bridge back into Arlington, "beating the bridge" before they closed it to marathoners. Beating the bridge was an accomplishment in itself!
I walked a good bit of the remaining 6.2 miles in Crystal City. However, around mile 24, I got a second wind and started running again. A TNT coach caught the wind I started and began running with me. For the last 2.2 miles, I was running like I did the first 2.2. I had some pain, but I was pushing through it. Finally, I was heading up the hill to Iwo Jima. There, with my name being called out, I finished!! 6:08. Not what I would have liked, but I think given the circumstances, I completed it.
Would I do TNT again? You bet. It was a wonderful group of people to work with, the participants, mentors and coachs cheering you on every step of the way. It was a way to build up some stamina, not to mention fundraising skills. It was a great to be a part of something to make a difference in people's lives.
To everyone, thank you so much for your support. Even though the event is over, you can still make donations to LLS through this website. I still want to reach my ultimate goal of $3000. In place of "stuff" for holiday gifts, why not offer the gift of money to an organization who helps those in need of blood cancer treatment. You can do so in honor or in memory of a loved one.
Thank you again and best wishes to everyone this holiday season!