Trainee Update

Trainee Update
Apr 28, 2008 by Parissa Sohie

I was looking forward to last weekend for almost six months. I dreamed of who I would meet, how we'd get along and my performance overall. I was a little concerned that after all that dreaming the weekend wouldn't be what I had imagined. Except it was so much more.



I called Amanda in April and asked if I could run with TNT in her honor. With her blessing, I signed up and joined Team In Training, where they promised to make an endurance runner out of a heavy little couch potato. For six months, I did things I never thought I would to prepare for the Nike Women's Marathon on October 19th. And finally the big weekend arrived.



Last Friday, I was up at 4 am and at the airport not long after. I sat nervously waiting for our flight, listening to everyone's excitement. There was a large group of people in green and purple jackets, waiting to catch various flights to San Francisco. I knew many of them, I was one of them. I don't remember the flight or the ride from Oakland to the Grand Hyatt in Union Square (the hotel was lovely), I just remember the excitement. There were people--mostly women--everywhere. Nike Town was conveniently across the street from us, with all of the participant's names posted on a pink wall. The Wall and Expo, where we were to pick up our runner's numbers were already packed. Some of the activities were ridiculously 'girlie' and I gladly participated. Who am I to pass up free manicures and massages? But beyond the girlie-ness, while waiting in the lines you met other runners--many of them TNT members--who were there exchanging stories, encouraging and cheering each other days before the race. Among the more humbling moments was listening to Sarah Reinertsen--an amputee who competes in triathlons, marathons and other endurance events--speak about how she prepares for events. The whole time she was speaking, I kept thinking to myself that I have no excuse for being inactive. I have two whole legs!



Saturday was spent hanging out with my best friend from college, my husband and my brother who had both flown in to support me. I was touched to have my three favorite guys in one place looking out for me. M was commissioned with taking pictures and video of all the excitement. We eventually went to the big Pasta Dinner at Mascone Center, to be greeted by all of the TNT coaches, capitains and mentors, dressed in costumes and cheering us from the entrance all the way down the stairs and into the huge center that was setup to host thousands of giddy people. It was incredibly emotional being greeted by the people who have spent months training you, listening to survivor's stories and seeing slide shows of the people we are running for and with. My nervousness pretty much went away at that point when I remembered what and who I was there for. I was ready for the race.



Sunday morning, I was awake at 4am--again--and this time without my alarm clock. Our wake-up call wasn't for another hour, so I lay in bed thinking of Amanda and her family, planning next year's trip and thinking of things that a three-four year old boy would enjoy. I didn't really come up with many details, other than things that involved Ghirardelli Square and Mitchell's Ice Cream (sorry, Manda--kids love me for the treats). We got up at five, got ready and met what seemed like half the hotel's guests downstairs. By 6 am, the early starters had already left and everyone else was checking in their coat bags and finding their corrals. There was just so much excitement and anticipation it was hard to stand still. There were people EVERYWHERE. Almost 20,000 of them. And I was but a drop in this sea. The last thing I remember before I started running was our coach's advice to smile while we ran. I thought that was odd advice at the time. Once we started running, I was smiling almost non-stop.



The run was amazing. The temperature was perfect for running--cooler than the previous two days. The streets and views were gorgeous. Unfortunately, shortly after Mile 2, my right ankle started hurting and by Mile 4, my left knee was kicking in. Both are injuries I have had on my longer distances all season, but was hoping to avoid during the race. Neither injury stopped me. I ran up the first hills, and about half way up the Giant Hill. I walked the rest of that hill going up, took a few pictures with my cell phone and continued to run again. Every step of the way was literally amazing to me. The views, the cheering volunteers, our coaches and the sign holding survivors all made the 13.1 miles go by so quickly. The last three miles were the easiest both because the path had evened out and because the energy just moved us forward. As I approached the finish line, I saw my Three Men again (they had greeted me at Mile 7) cheering and taking pictures. I was greeted at the finish line by a group of very well dressed firemen handing out Tiffany's boxes. I could not believe I had finished my race. I felt nothing but joy as I watched others follow me across the finish, claiming their necklaces and sneaking in hugs from the firefighters (yes, they were all exceptionally handsome and polite). I actually bumped into Sarah again, shook hands with her and thanked her for her talk. She graciously congratulated me and encouraged me to keep up the good work.



After I checked in, got my post race massage and got my Finisher's shirt, we went back to the hotel, where my college roommate was waiting for us. I hadn't seen her in almost 3 years and seeing her then was just like icing on a giant piece of cake. We spent the rest of the afternoon talking, eating and resting. My cheer team had been up at the same time I was and had watched hundreds of runners go by in an attempt to yell out my name as I slowly passed. We were all exhausted.



All in all, this was one of the most amazing things I have participated it. My intentions were completely altruistic when I joined--in then end I derived so much joy from it myself. I am proud of the $18 million dollars that was raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through this event alone--and proud of my tiny contribution to it. I am grateful for the support of my friends and family (real and virtual) who helped get me to San Francisco. I am humbled by the strength of the men and women I met last weekend, some of them survivors running/walking/cheering at an event that was meant to honor them. I'm already planning on raising funds and going back next year. Times like these, it's good to be one of the crowd.

0
 
 
 

Supporter Comments

  •  
    "Good luck! Wish I could give more... -Beckylooo"
     

    Anonymous

    Tue May 13 03:48:53 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Hey Parissa, It's Caren - aka Ms. Mix & Bitch. Good luck with raising $$ for a kick-ass cause!"
     

    Caren Appel

    Wed May 14 08:35:12 EDT 2008

  •  
    "My friend runs for the Team in Training over here on the East Coast in memory of her dad who passed away from leukemia. I think it's awesome what you are doing."
     

    Katherine Stephens

    Wed May 14 11:39:02 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Parissa jaan...the work that you and your team is doing is so admirable and needed! For those who are considering donation, it's for a great cause and you are supporting the fabulous Ms. Parissa! Who could ask for any more good karma?"
     

    HOOMAN A

    Tue May 20 12:23:51 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Good luck! You're supporting an excellent cause and fighting a battle for those who cannot. "
     

    Kameron Swinton

    Tue May 20 02:25:48 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Hey Parissa, You go girl!! You are definitely a "star" in all areas of your life and I know you'll cross the finish line with enthusiasm to spare. Hugs, Christina"
     

    Christina Wheeler

    Thu May 22 08:27:48 EDT 2008

  •  
    "P, you rock. Good luck and kick butt. -TK"
     

    Kurt Tommy

    Thu May 22 08:37:22 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Keep on truck'n!!"
     

    Vinh Huynh

    Thu May 22 08:56:14 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Kick some Stupid Zombie Leukemia ass."
     

    Craig Stearns

    Thu May 22 11:56:29 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Parissa, thank you for doing this for our strong Manda. I am still amazed at the network of friends my dear friend has. Run strong!!"
     

    Evelyn Cronin

    Thu May 22 12:10:21 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Keep on running in the free world!!! Parissa, I love you from afar, can't wait to meet you in person, and am so proud of you."
     

    Kara Helmkamp

    Fri May 23 08:21:27 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Thank you for providing the opportunity."
     

    Hossein Tahami

    Fri May 23 03:01:09 EDT 2008

  •  
    "You rock, P. Much love, D and the P Gang."
     

    Dustin Rowles

    Sat May 24 07:49:13 EDT 2008

  •  
    "GOOD LUCK--LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT"
     

    MARK CASTRO

    Sat May 24 06:35:53 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Good luck, Parissa. "
     

    Zerlina de la Cruz

    Mon May 26 05:48:19 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Anyting for you and your cause! :c)"
     

    Jonathan Vore

    Wed May 28 08:44:00 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Go Parissa! I'm so proud of you, your cause and your beautiful heart. Best of luck to Amanda. She'll be in our prayers. Take care :) Maryam and Safa"
     

    Maryam Matin

    Sat May 31 12:44:10 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Hi Parissa, Good luck to you and thank you in advance. Cathy Gleason (Pam Olander's sister)"
     

    Cathy Gleason

    Fri Jun 13 07:31:58 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Parissa: You are a superstar for supporting Manda. A half-marathon is no match for all the goodwill that is going to be pushing you towards that finish line. Good luck!"
     

    Jamie Shewan

    Tue Jun 17 08:58:39 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Good Luck Parissa! From the gang at mmm-yoso!!!"
     

    Anonymous

    Thu Jun 19 10:22:00 EDT 2008

  •  
    "It's not an easy trail, but it's one you can and will blaze! Look forward to toasting your success and seeing you in SF! xo, jess "
     

    Jessica Swann

    Sat Jun 28 03:52:53 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Hi P! I am so sorry I just realized my donation never went through! I will bug you in a few days to make sure it gets credited! Love ya, Me and Mason "
     

    Anita Tassviri

    Sat Jul 12 10:55:25 EDT 2008

  •  
    "You are in the home stretch! Go Team! Karen (phquaryn)"
     

    Karen Dyer

    Sat Sep 20 12:54:06 EDT 2008

  •  
    "Thanks Parissa for honoring Karen. We're sure She will be running with you!"
     

    Adam, Robbyn & Jamie

    Fri Sep 26 02:07:44 EDT 2008

  •  
    "I'm so proud of you for taking this task on! I know first hand just having completed 13.1 miles 12 days ago what an amazing experience you will have!!"
     

    Robert Simmons

    Fri Jun 18 11:19:26 EDT 2010

  •  
    "I admire you, Liza, as always. Lead on!"
     

    Robert Simmons

    Mon Jun 28 06:31:56 EDT 2010

  •  
    "Thanks for doing this walk."
     

    Anita Tassviri

    Fri Jul 30 10:55:21 EDT 2010

  •  
    "Rock and Roll to the finish line! (yes, there is a chance you may have to literally roll there!)"
     

    Tue Mar 06 10:44:01 EST 2012

  •  
    "Run Tri Run! You are an inspiration to us all."
     

    Tue Jan 31 10:28:21 EST 2012

  •  
    "Good luck and such a great cause!"
     

    Wed Jan 25 06:10:56 EST 2012

  •  
    "Your raw generosity and willingness to help others is a blessing. Thank you!"
     

    Tue Jan 24 10:32:54 EST 2012

  •  
    "Run Tri Run! We are so proud of you for continuing to help support those battling this disease, and SO proud of Callae and Ethan for fighting it head on!!! Love you!"
     

    Fri Jan 20 05:27:07 EST 2012

  •  
    "good luck tri! :) congratulations on your latest event w/ TNT - such an amazing cause. happy to hear of callae's progress. hugs to all. xoxo, kb"
     

    Fri Jan 20 11:47:52 EST 2012

  •  
    "Don't ask - I'm piecing my donation together one email at a time (haha!).... For those of you looking to donate - can anyone match or out donate my $150? I challenge you!"
     

    Tue Mar 06 10:48:36 EST 2012

  •  
    "Run girl run! You rock!!"
     

    Tue Feb 28 04:09:20 EST 2012

  •  
    "Auntie Tri, we are so proud of you! "
     

    Tue Feb 21 12:08:27 EST 2012

  •  
    "This is a great cause. Have fun!"
     

    Charles Castro

    Tue May 01 08:06:04 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Great job, Triana!!!"
     

    Thu Apr 19 03:48:34 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Go get 'em!"
     

    Mon Apr 09 03:48:36 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Good luck Tri!!!! "
     

    Thu Apr 05 02:22:17 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Have a great race!"
     

    Mon Apr 02 12:21:21 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Best wishes Ali! We're rooting for you. :)"
     

    Adam, Robbyn & Jamie

    Fri Mar 30 12:34:42 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Go Triana!"
     

    Mon Mar 19 11:02:33 EDT 2012

  •  
    "I'm very impressed at your commitment to the cause, Ali."
     

    Adam, Robbyn & Jamie

    Sun Mar 18 02:45:55 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Run your butt off, Sam! Pretend you are running on the golf course :)"
     

    Thu Mar 08 10:29:19 EST 2012

  •  
    "Run Bruce Run!"
     

    Charles Castro

    Mon Feb 27 06:02:17 EST 2012

  •  
    "This is an example of hiding the donation amount. You can also choose a fictitious name if you would like."
     

    Charles Castro

    Mon Feb 27 04:23:05 EST 2012

  •  
    "This is how an anonymous donation will look."
     

    Charles Castro

    Mon Feb 27 04:19:52 EST 2012

  •  
    "Kick off with a bang."
     

    Adam, Robbyn & Jamie

    Tue Feb 21 06:19:44 EST 2012

  •  
    "if all 300 of your friends donate 10 dollars you will meet your goal !"
     

    Adam, Robbyn & Jamie

    Sun Apr 15 09:34:14 EDT 2012

  •  
    "Triana, you are a great warrior too!! Love you."
     

    Sun Jan 22 11:56:03 EST 2012

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $3,146.81 | Goal: $3,300.00
 
95 %

Make a Donation


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

My Thanks To

Dana Piper $451.80
Parissa Sohie $340.00
Craig Stearns $250.00
Anita Tassviri $150.00
Dustin Rowles $150.00
Charles Castro $100.00
Adam, Robbyn & Jamie $100.00
Jessica Swann $100.00
Jamie Shewan $100.00
MARK CASTRO $100.00
HOOMAN A $100.00
Parissa Sohie $70.00
Verizon $50.00
Karen Dyer $50.00
Cathy Gleason $50.00
Maryam Matin $50.00
Stacey Nosek $50.00
Kara Helmkamp $50.00
Kurt Tommy $50.00
Hossein Tahami $30.00
Global Impact $25.00
Lilly Ghahremani $25.00
Robert Simmons $25.00
Jonathan Vore $25.00
Zerlina de la Cruz $25.00
Evelyn Cronin $25.00
Laureen Richard $25.00
Christina Wheeler $25.00
Kameron Swinton $25.00
Anonymous $25.00
Caren Appel $25.00
Anonymous $10.00
Anonymous $10.00
sahar damghani  
krista papac  
Vinh Huynh  
Katherine Stephens  
Sue Gathman