Party 4 a Purpose - Aug. 30
Sep 01, 2012 by Amanda Ballard
THANKS SO MUCH
to all of our
FRIENDS & FAMILY
who came out Thursday night to help
raise money for LLS!
We love you!!!
Happy Fathers Day, Dad!
Jun 17, 2012 by Amanda Ballard
I can’t tell my father, “Happy Father’s Day!” in person today, but I’m still sending my message out into the cosmos. My father is why I run marathons. I began running to curb the super-hyper energy of my three month old golden, Ellie, in 2003, but that was only 3 to a rare 5 miles at a time. I began running MARATHONS when my father was diagnosed with the blood cancer myeloma in 2009.
I had just moved to Charleston, SC, and was feeling more and more frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t do anything to help. Through a small chain of events—you know, the kind that makes you think fate is directing you toward something ; ) —I went to a Team In Training information meeting; I left signed up to run a half marathon in San Francisco.
I knew deep down that there was no “deal” that said if I raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, then my dad would be automatically cured. Somehow, though, it felt as if I was letting him know I could support him from a distance. Once I began running, a half marathon no longer seemed enough. I mean, if he was going through the emotional and physical pain of cancer and treatments, the least I could do was make him proud.
And that’s what brings me to my fourth marathon. I’m STILL running to make my dad proud. It’s something every little girl wants, and I think, perhaps, my love of distance running comes from the fact I was doing this for him at the end. See, almost a month after I finished my first marathon, my father passed.
I miss my dad. We’re alike in many ways, but different in just as many. My husband tells me that Dad would of course be proud. I hope so. Whatever the case may be, I’m going to keep running because, with every run, I feel close to him. It reminds me of childhood walks through the woods behind our house we used to take, with me asking the types of every leaf and bug and bark and berry we saw.
And I’m going to fundraise with Team in Training so that a cure for myeloma, leukemia, and lymphoma will give other fathers and daughters more Fathers Days to celebrate together.
The REAL Reason: Fundraising for LLS
Sep 13, 2012 by Amanda Ballard
So, we're on the way to raising $2400.
In addition to the online donations, I have recently received an additional $170 in the mail from donors!
My split from the Mad River fundraising event was an additional $145.
Thanks family and friends!
Now, $794 to go . . .
Kickin' Things Off! (& Training Updates)
Sep 13, 2012 by Amanda Ballard
25 May 2012 - It's been a busy week! I ran the North Myrtle Beach Divas Half Marathon on Sunday with my mentee, Aubrey, and a fellow mentor for the winter season, Nicole. We each PR-ed (PR = personal record)! It was a good "test run" for the full Aubrey and I will be completing on June 3rd at the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
On Tuesday, we had a kick-off for the fall season, and let me just tell you how exciting this is going to be! We had a packed room of new and returning participants to run the Nike Women's Marathon (mine!), the Savannah Rock 'n Roll Marathon (I did last year!), and the Marine Corps Marathon, plus some triathlon events.
I kept looking around thinking, "All of these people will be raising money for LLS!" As much as I love TNT, when I see such support, my hope rises that some day there will be no more fundraising necessary to fight blood cancer.
And finally, tomorrow I will be helping to hand diplomas to our graduating high school seniors. I'll be wishing them the best of luck with their futures, and hoping that I and you have somehow set an example of service to others with my participation in TNT and your support. As the Buddha says, "Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity."
10 June 2012 -It's been a week since I finished my third marathon (and fourth TNT event) in San Diego. This was definitely the toughest for me, but not physically. I had a new challenge: the mental game. Thanks to the truly wonderful Team in Training coaches on the race course, something that could have been a terrible experience turned into a glorious one. Much thanks to Clint ?, Cyndi ?, and Jaques (from the Montreal team) for their support at various legs of the 26.2 miles. Now on to the fall season, raising $2400 for research and patient services, and mentoring 14 (at present) new participants to reach their goals! GO TEAM!!!
17 July 2012 - So, we made it home from our long-awaited trip to visit family in West Virginia. Our original plans had us leaving on the first of July and staying for a week. Then the entire Mid-Atlantic was blown to shreds with a storm and my family was without power for over a week. So, after a grueling but highly effective strength training clinic with the team last Tuesday, we hit the road early Wednesday morning.
While at my mom's, I had the opportunity to run a few trails. Maybe I should say crawl up a few mountainsides! I forgot how much fun--and how tough!--it is to push up the side of a hill and then really open up on the way down. Of course, at times I think I went slower down than I did up so as not to land on my butt on the super-steep inclines. On Saturday (7/14), I had 12 miles on the schedule for my long run. That would typically take about two hours for my slow self. After two hours of running in Kanawha State Forest, I had only covered 8 miles!
Trail running is such a different breed of endurance, but different is good. I look forward to finding more trails closer to home to take advantage of now, and I've been eyeing some 50k and 50-mile ultramarathons, too. Why not, right? I mean, if someone can tough out weeks of cancer drugs, I can tough out ten or twelve hours of running and hiking to raise money to stop this disease. Stay tuned . . .
22 July 2012 - So, yesterday I got my 12 miles in that were cut short last week by the extreme trails, and what a great day to do it. We had a nice, rare overcast all morning that kept the sun from beating us to death in order to prove the point that it is, indeed, summer in the Lowcountry.
After refueling, a shower, and a nap, I enjoyed the evening at the first anniversary celebration of Charleston's own Holy City Brewing where my husband (Shawn) played bluegrass bass with The Bluestone Ramblers and I hung out with fellow TNTer Nicole Pettinelli (runner recently turned triathlete!) and good friends Andy & Lisa Masker. Lisa and I did Nike 2009 together as our first TNT events. Good run; good day!
Now I'm having a low-key Sunday, playing around with some vegan recipes. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention. I'm taking a week or two to try out a completely plant-based diet (save the beer at Holy City last night--wink, wink). It's going well so far, but I'm in search of some nonfat, Greek, soy yogurt to replace my need to have my PB & nonfat Greek yogurt breakfast with Ellie. We love it!
01 August 2012 - A midweek update: So, staying up for the Olympics until midnight every night is cutting into my early morning running! That's okay; it just means I'll get used to evening runs sooner than waiting until school starts. I'm definitely a stronger runner in the morning, though.
Speaking of mornings, last Saturday was a very dreaded run for me based on the terribly hot & humid week building up to it. It turned out not so bad for my 14 miles after the clouds burned off and the humidity let up a little.
Yesterday I had seven on the Tuesday schedule. Lately, I've been getting in a longer run on Tuesday morning so that I can just do things like our clinics and socials in the evening, or just a short 3 mile run with teammates. That did not happen yesterday, so I was like a puppy chasing my tail around a one-mile loop seven times with various members of the team--each finishing up before me--until there were only three: Kathy, Coach Amy, and me. We finished just in time for me to get home, shower, and walk Ellie before catching Phelps become the most decorated Olympian and the women (girls, really) win gold in gymnastics. Go USA!
04 September 2012 - I know, I know. It's been a month since I've updated my progress. It's been a BUSY month! My family visited, I started back to work the second week with students returning the third week of August, and we had our fundraiser at Mad River. The visit was great; Mad River was fun; no comment on going back to work.
Running is going quite well! I did 18 miles on the 25th--well, 18.92 to be exact . . . because Coach Stephanie and I are challenged at basic math word problems (see below)--and I'm doing my first 20-mile run this coming Saturday. I had a nice recovery week with only 13 miles for the Labor Day weekend--a vacation all around! And let me tell you, I have such a great team to run with! We're going to have such a blast in San Francisco, and I am so looking forward to seeing their faces at the Inspiration Dinner. I still get misty when I think of all the great work that'll be done because of all of the volunteers.
So, about the math issue: So, Stephanie and I started out ahead of the rest of the group so that (1) she could chalk turn around points for people doing fewer miles and (2) I could get a head start on the Nike novice runners who were doing 16 and finish up with them on the way back. Good plan. We crossed the Ravenal Bridge, deciding spontaneously to add a mile by going under the bridge to the waterfront and back. That gave us roughly 7 miles. I was to do a total 18, so we said, "Oh, that means we'll go 5.5 miles and turn around [on the set course]." Anybody see the problem yet? After a few miles, it hit us that we were going to run out of road! We'd calculated the TOTAL amount minus seven, not minus seven AND the six we'd be doing from the point we sidetracked. So, basically, we'd have six to do once we got back to the bottom of the bridge. I'd have jumped from 17 the week before to 24 miles! Not recommended! Oh, well. It would've been fun anyway!
When we get into the higher mileage, it's amazing to see how much of Charleston we cover between the peninsula and Mount Pleasant. The map below shows the out-and-back route I took on that 18 mile run, except for the extra mile that almost doomed me ;-)
09 Sept. 2012 - What a great run yesterday! This was my twenty-miler, and despite the humidity at the start and the baking sun later in the morning, I had a great time. I'm so lucky to have Lindsey Demos as one of my mentees this time. She's amazing, and her drive to be successful with her first marathon is inspiring! Coach Stephanie was with us most of the time, since we had the longes mileage of the team. I may be a bit older than she is, but when it comes to running knowledge she's the grandame and I'm the child sitting at her feet, waiting for more information. (I don't know if she'd like that description, but I really mean it as a compliment. Maybe I should go with a Master/Student kung-fu metaphor. That's always cool.) Anyway, with the awesomeness that is a South Carolina autumn finally starting to kick in this week, I look forward to my recovery run this coming Saturday and my next long run--22 miles!--on September, the first official day of fall and the day before my father's (and sister Kris's) birthday.
My Fundraising Page
May 12, 2012
Teams are made up of individuals. Without them, there is no team.
Welcome to my Team In Training home page.
I have a mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m participating in the Nike Women's Marathon as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. Like I have done in the past for TNT, I will be raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. With your support, I can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well.
I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers and in memory ofmy father, Donald Ballard, who lost his fight with myeloma in 2009. These patients are the real heroes of our cause, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures. You can securely make a donation at right, or you can mail a check made out to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to my address: 1008 Aruba Circle, Charleston, SC, 29412.
With much love and thanks,