"The question isn't who's going to let me, it's who is going to stop me"
Apr 29, 2013 by Rebecca Mayer
This weekend we completed our longest training until the half-marathon (3 weeks away!). We got to test out a portion of the course and I'm happy to discover that the hardest part for me was the gradual incline up Hawthorne. Why is that happy news? Because that gradual incline is around miles 7-8, when I am at my best! :)
So what have I learned over the last 4 months?
*I've learned that something as simple as the right pair of socks can make a world of difference.
*I've learned that people who make the eradication of an ugly disease their life goal make the best teammates and fun partners in crime.
*I've learned that people's generosity will surprise you every time. Every. Time.
*I've learned that guilt is an incredible motivator.
*I've learned that the people who are strong enough to fight cancer can pretty much do anything else they want to do.
*I've learned that I may just have the best family, friends, and coworkers out there. They astonish me daily with their kindness, generosity, and support.
*I've learned that even though I'm sweaty, dirty and red-faced, I feel better about myself when I'm walking than when I'm perfectly coiffed and put together.
*I've learned that life is so much better when you are living it for something, rather just letting it pass by.
*I've learned 11 miles is tough. Really tough. But I'm tougher.
Rebecca Mayer has now walked 10 miles in one go. Seriously.
Apr 24, 2013 by Rebecca Mayer
No really, I did! This Saturday I trekked through Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and the Springwater Corridor. I cannot think of a more beautiful view to walk to. I also cannot believe that I am now able to walk 10 miles with very little post-walk hobbling. I've learned the beauty and importance of ice and that "Fraiser" is a great show to watch whilst icing.
But I've also learned that I can totally do this. I got my 10 miles done in 3 hours, and I was barely pushing it. Which means that I can finish. I was so scared that I was going to train and train and train for this event and then not be able to finish. I know that is not the purpose of why I'm doing this or the most important aspect. The financial support you all have provided to this cause is the reason. Our Honored Teammate Karin is the reason. My Aunt Janice is the reason. But I really wanted to finish. And I'm going to.
This coming Saturday my team and I are going to try out the course and knock off 11 miles. I was terrified before, but now I'm just hungry. I know my mentor is going to help push me and we are going to destroy that course. I'm so excited.
On Sunday, our team is hosting a fundraiser event at the Vancouver Burgerville. 10% of the restaurant's proceeds goes to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and my teammates will be selling crafts and items as well. I will be helping out in the restaurant, bussing tables and bringing people food, soif you've ever wanted to have Rebecca Mayer serve you, this is the day. :)
Thanks for all your support, this has been one crazy ride, and it's only going to get better. I could not have gotten this far without all of you.
8 miles down! 5 to go!
Apr 10, 2013 by Rebecca Mayer
I received this email from a coworker this morning:
"I just had to share a funny story with you – I was talking to my daughter Eleanor last night about your half-marathon walking challenge and how you are raising money for people who are sick. Eleanor’s instant response: 'I need to make Miss Rebecca a scarf so she can stay warm while she’s walking. I will make it out of paper so she can wear it during the half marathon.' Random paper scarves aside… thank you for pursuing such a selfless goal that has allowed me to talk with my child about the value of giving back. You are a true inspiration!"
If that isn't a big kick in the pants to succeed, I don't know what is. I got to train with my team 2 Saturdays ago and learned that my mentor Phyllis has a bit of a competitive streak as well, which made it possibly the most fun I've had in training yet. This past Saturday, I slept through my alarm, but got out to the ole' Milwaukie High track and busted out 8 miles, garnering me my fastest 10k yet! I can't describe the feelings of accomplishment that come with each new mile. It feels like learning something new that changes the way you look at the world. My outward appearance hasn't change much, but I can feel my body changing on the inside. Muscles that had been long dormant are getting pumped with fresh blood and I find myself wanting to move more.
If what I'm doing physically for this half-marathon is effecting my life in such a positive way, why wouldn't I want to keep going to help others?! I think this just may be the beginning.
Feb 26, 2013 by Rebecca Mayer
I had no idea. I always assumed the people who complained of shin splints were just whiny or looking for an excuse to quit. I discovered this Saturday that my chronically sore calves were a mild form of shin splints. I just hadn't pushed it far enough until this weekend. And now I know acutely what shin splints are actually like.
I am definitely the slowest one on the team. I knew this would be a challenge since I also have a chunk of weight to lose along with training for an endurance sport, but I am still thinking like a 20 year old. I assumed that as time went on I would gradually improve with absolutely no setbacks. Ha!
As I watched each group (all walking more miles than my 3) pass me by on Saturday morning, I started to grow despondent. My heart was already heavy for a memorial I was going to attend later that day, but seeing just HOW far behind I was, well, it was defeating. Team training is a group thing, so I couldn't throw on my headphones and try to find a power song to get me through it and I was embarrassed that my mentor had to walk alongside me. I wasn't even mercifully alone in my shame.
Since beginning this training, my only goal was to finish. I had no high hopes of placing in the race or even meeting a specific time. I just wanted to finish. Now I'm not sure I can finish. Many TNT alumni mention how thinking about the people who we are representing keeps them going. How remembering their struggle keeps them walking, even when it hurts. The guy on our team that actually has cancer and spoke about it lapped me on Saturday too.
I got home and my legs seized and I couldn't walk. I was ready to quit. Not because I wanted to, but because it was clear my body wasn't going to let me finish. I couldn't even make the memorial.
And then I had lunch with my mom today. I told her my frustrations. I told her how I couldn't bear to be picked up by the shuttle bus on race day. After a certain time, they send around a bus to pick up stragglers and take them closer to the finish line. It's so that everyone can finish. But that's not finishing. Not to me. It's feels like cheating. When I said this my mom looked and me and said, "So what."
'Yeah, you are walking this marathon for yourself, but the main goal is the money. Raising funds to help those people is your purpose, not walking 13 miles."
I felt like an ass, because she's right. This is not about me. I'm lucky to be involved in such an amazing program and to be around such passionate and kind people. The 13 miles is bring awareness to this organization and the plights of men, women, and children across the country that are fighting battle much worse than shin splints or a case of wounded pride. So I'm changing my mind about this process.
I may not finish. I may only get 6 miles and pull something. I may be dead last. But I will do absolutely everything I can to help. This is where you come in. Every dollar I raise is going to help people across the US. Not just cnacer research or something ethereal we can't touch. The money goes to help actual patients who need help paying for medication or purchasing plane tickets so they can travel to special hospitals to get much needed new treatments. This money actually obtains something tangible. Please help me to make this a possibility. Every little bit helps. $5 would be amazing.
As for me, I'm going to stop being an ass. I'm going to give this my all and I am not going to care what that ends up looking like. I'm just going to keep walking...maybe I'll eventually catch up to my team :)
First week of training COMPLETE!
Jan 16, 2013 by Rebecca Mayer
I made it through the first week. I haven't actively worked out in a long time and I was a little worried. Along with training to walk 13.1 miles in under 4 hours, I need to drop some weight. Just from the activity alone I lost 3.5lb this week!
I ran into some issues though. I walk on the outsides of my feet, called supination or over pronation, which has often let to intense pain on the sides of my legs. The muscles in and around my ankles and calves have to work extra hard to maintain stability and carry all my weight. It got really bad this week and I already suffered one of my 50 allotted quitting thoughts. I'm not walking that fast right now, if I can't handle a simple stroll, how could I possibly finish a half-marathon?
I vented my frustrations to my mom as I sat down on the track, at which I only walked 2 laps before quitting in pain. In her inifinite patience, she listened to my rant, wobbling closer and closer to tears and then said one of the nicest phrases I have ever heard: "We're buying you new shoes."
My old shoes were 7 YEARS OLD and completely worn out. It wasn't until I tried on my new shoes that I realized how horrible my old shoes were. I love these shoes so much!
My legs still have a little pain, but I'm attributing it prior injury and the fact that I still have some weight to lose. The shoes are BRILLIANT! Thank you to my generous parents for my early birthday present and for your encouraging words. I am not quitting.