Flying Purple People Eater
Oct 10, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
This is my last chance to write a post before the big race. Crazy! The first month went by sooooo slow, but the rest of my training just flew by, especially these past three weeks! My last post was about my run on Sunday, September 23rd. Sadly, that was almost the last time I ran! I joined up with East Nasty for a 3.1 mile run on September 26th, but I get so unmotivated after a 12 mile run. It was only 3 miles, but I just couldn't do it. I walked half the time, and didn't care! So, I took the rest of the week off. On Monday I still wasn't motivated, and on Tuesday (October 2nd) I pulled my back muscle lifting a chainsaw over the fence. The doctor prescribed extra strength ibuprophine and rest for at least 3 days. After 3 days of rest, my back was still sore (but at least I could breath again), and my knee was starting to hurt. Monday of this week I got a back massage to work out the remaining knot in my back. It was one of the most painful massages I've ever had, but I felt GREAT afterwards!
Uh oh! Either my body was falling apart, or my mind was creating injuries due to cold feet! Eitherway I was already way off my training schedule! I finally decided last night that "enough is enough!" I needed to quit being a sissy and get my mucles moving. Plus, Coach Christopher insists NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY, and I had just bought new earbuds (my other ones broke). So, I got up at 6am, had my coffee, and ran 3 miles. My knee was bothering me a little, but not as bad as I thought. I think I'll be in OK shape after all.
It's now 7pm on Wednesday and I'm realizing that THIS is my last chance to pack my bags for the trip! Tomorrow is Live On the Green, which means I'll be out until at least 10:30pm, and I'm getting picked up at 5am the next day for my flight. Fortunately I got some of my packing done already... including my entire collection of purple shirts!
Let's hope there really is no such thing as a One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater, because I will be one of many Purple People flying this weekend! Cross your fingers for our safety!
Only 3 WEEKS to Go!
Sep 24, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
What a weekend! My original plan to help out at Hands On Nashville Day, then run home was COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC!
When we got to Overton High, half of the Team Green Team volunteered for the Rain Garden Project. I thought to myself, "This will be a cinch! I've built rain gardens before."
Oh contrare mo frar! Once we got all the grass up, we discovered this rain garden was smack dab in the middle of the school's concrete and asphault dumping grounds. We got our hands on a pick axe and we ALL had to take turns tilling up the rock. I made it about a minute 45 seconds, before I gave up. My LEGS WERE BURNING the entire time. I knew right then, THERE WAS NOT going to be a run after this!
So, I decided to fit my 12 mile run in (somehow) on Sunday.
I got up Sunday morning and mapped out a NEW 12 mile route from my house. Ughhhh! 12 miles is a loooooooong way! My new route, which would take me close to 2.5 hours to complete, would take me past the Factory at Franklin, through Harlensdale Farm, to Franklin Square and Bicentennial Park, past Johnson Elementary School, zig-zag through Hard Bargain Neighborhood, down New Hwy 96, through Jim Warren Park, back towards downtown Franklin to the Pinkerton Park bridge, the mile loop at Pinkerton Park, up Murfreesboro Road back to the Franklin Square, back to the Factory at Franklin, and FINALLY home.
I. so. did. not. want to do it!
Plus, I didn't have time to do it! After breakfast, I only had 2 hours left before my Dragon Boat Practice at 1pm. I couldn't do my 12 mile run (and take my ice bath) before then. Plus, if this run was going to be anything like the last one... I was not going to be able to move. So, I procrastinated. FINALLY around 5pm, I put on my running gear , grabbed my headlamp, and announced, "Well, I guess I'll be back sometime after 8pm!"
This was the first time I would attempt more than 6 miles without someone else running with me. I would have no one to talk to, no pace setters, no sweeper to come get me if I decided to quit. But, it was worth a shot...
AND I DID IT! My run was glorious! I ran my first two miles in 10'30" splits, and kept my pace under 11' the entire time. The temperature was 57 degrees and everything seemed ideal for running. I am so an evening runner.
Then, around mile 9 in Pinkerton Park, my joints started hurting, my back started hurting, and all I could think was, "Oh gosh. I hope Jon bought ice for my ice bath!" But, I wasn't going to quit. I had been running non-stop for at least 95 minutes. I could handle another 25!
When I finally walked in the door, my loving husband had everything taken care of for me! He had two bags of ice waiting for me in the bathtub, steaks marinating by the grill, campfire burning outside, and the kids were back at their mom's house. He even cracked by back... THREE TIMES before my ice bath, and hung out with me in the bathroom while I moaned and groaned in the tub.
My ice bath, by the way, was REDICULOUSLY COLD. It was way colder than my first one (check out my videoto see why). I could actually see the STEAM coming off my legs as the bath filled up with water! Here's a shot of me with my hot cocoa (the only thing keeping me warm!)
My training is nearly over. I just have 8 more runs left before Race Weekend. My longest scheduled run will be 8 miles, which is definitely doable. I think for my runs here on out, I will work on improving my pace. I need to build up my "speed muscles" to help pull me through the last few miles on race day.
As always, thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my training, and for all of the generous donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If it was not for LLS and TNT, I would not have even CONSIDERED attempting a half marathon. I feel healthier, I have more energy, and I know I'm making a difference in the lives of others.
If you would like to make a donate for the cause, donations can still be made on my page, or please consider making at donation on Amy Well's page. She has not yet reached her minimum, and needs the support!
I did THE NASTY
Sep 21, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
I finally did THE NASTY, have pictures to prove it!
For those of you not familiar with East Nasty Running Club, it's a non-profit that organizes weekly runs around East Nashville. It all started with a group of East Nashville runners training for the Ragnor Relay. Eventually their friends and neighbors started running with them around East Nashville, and East Nasty Running Club was born. They only recently reached 501c3 status, which is a huge step for them. While focusing on running safety, they also promote anything and everything positive about East Nashville.
I started running with East Nasty Running Club in the Fall of 2008, and ran almost every single Wednesday from September through April, two years in a row. In all that time, I never ran THE NASTY. The group offers 12 routes, which they rotate through numerically over a 12 week period. Run #12 THE NASTY is their 6 mile run, with 5 of the worst hills in East Nashville. As you can imagine, it's not a "fun run." However, it is the ONLY way you can earn the East Nasty Bumper Sticker. You can't even buy one!
On Wednesday, I earned that bumper sticker! I ran the 6 mile course in 1 hour, 7 minutes, averageing 11'16" miles. I was actually averaging sub 11 minute miles the first 4 miles, but the Easty Beasty bit me just before Mile 4, and messed up my average. I only walked for a couple minutes on that horrible hill. At one point, the person in front of me started walking, and I still couldn't can't up with her. I did a few knee highs, then got back to running. Flying DOWN that hill was AWESOME!
Unfortunately, the East Beasty was not the last hill. I still had about 3 hills to cover after it. On my last hill, down Shelby Ave, there was a woman in front of me walking a stroller. I struggled to catch up with her too! I felt sooooo slow. When I was finally within talking distance, I said, "Man, you're walking as fast as I can run!"
To which she responded, "But you're moving, and that's all that counts."
Amen to that!
Below are some photos to show exactly what I conquered this week:
The red is where the worst hills were, and the green are the awesome downhills!
The shadded area is the Easty Beasty.
And here is my proof. I am OFFICIALLY an East Nasty rockstar.
Tomorrow is my second scheduled 12 mile run. Unfortunately, I won't have Miss Lynn to help me pace myself. I am the volunteer leader for the Team Green Hands On Nashville Team, including the Puncochar Clan. So, instead of running bright and early with my Team In Training Teammates at Warner park, I'll be helping out with planting and painting projects at John Overton High. Around 12noon, after we clean up and eat lunch, I will be running home from Brentwood. It's a straight 12 mile shot from the school to the Factory at Franklin, with sideswalks a majority of the way.... at least that's the plan. We'll see if I chicken out.
Anywho, three weeks from today I will be loading onto a plane and heading to hilly San Fransisco for my Race Weekend. Eeek! I can't believe it's almost here. Thank you everyone who has supported me! I couldn't have gotten here without your encouragement.
My friend Amy Wells will also be on that plane with me, but she's still struggling with reaching her fundraising goal. If you werethinking about donating to my page, please consider donating on her page instead. She needs the support, too.
Sep 18, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
I feel so lazy! The last time I ran was last Monday! I was going to do 4.5 miles on Monday, 4.5 miles on Wednesday, then backpack 11 miles over the weekend (instead of running).
Let me tell you what happened instead.
We had to re-arrange our parenting schedule and found ourselves without a plan for getting all the kids to school last week. So, it became my duty to bring Simone to school each morning (which is fine, I like my alone time with her). However, that messed up my running plans. I am not a very motivated person in the mornings, especially when I stay up late watching Star Trek (it's my weakness).
On Monday morning I woke Simone up at 7am and asked her to get ready and have breakfast while I ran. Then she said, "Wait... will I be home alone?"
Uhhhhh. Oh yeah. Dang it!
So, I asked her if she wanted to ride her bike with me while I ran. I've never seen that girl get on her bike faster! I ran 3 miles (instead of 4.5) so we could stay on the sidewalk for Simone. It was CHILLY out, and poor Simone was only wearing a tanktop and shorts. She said she was still having fun and wanted to do it again sometime.
But, we didn't.
I forgot how overbooked the rest of my week was. On Wednesday I had a Car Care Clinic for Team Green at Darrell Waltrip Subaru, on Thursday I had Live On the Green, and on Friday I had Dragon Boat Practice. After Dragon Boat Practice I went to my friend's house (Joseph & Lindsay) for their "Baby Gender Revealing Party." It was a really fun idea. They had their doctor write the gender on a card in a sealed envelope, then delivered that envelope to their baker to have a cake made. The frosting on the inside of the cake would be pink for a girl and blue for a boy. At the end of the party, they cut the cake to see what gender their baby was!
Anywho, back to my story... Joseph was also the trip leader for the backpacking trip I was signed up for, but participants had been slowly dropping out all week (despite the great weather!). By the time I got to Joseph's house for the party, it was down to just me, Joseph, and Herb going on the trip. They had already backpacked that trail once this year, and wanted to go rock climbing instead. I was exhausted from a busy week and didn't mind canceling myself... so we cancelled the trip.
I figured, "It's ok. I'll take the dogs on a walk at Warner, or maybe run my 6 miles..." but instead I sat around the house and watched TV. ALL DAY! On Sunday the kids had friends over and I spent the rest of the weekend doing little projects around the house.
That brings us to Yesterday, and Today. I still have not run. I just don't want to! I think that maybe accomplishing a 12 mile run took away all my ambition. I know I can do it, so why keep practicing?
THAT'S NOT RIGHT! If I don't get back into my groove, I'm going to be sorry! My race is still a month away!
Tomorrow is the NASTY RUN (5.9 miles) with East Nasty Running Club. The ONLY way to get the East Nasty Running Club bumper sticker is to complete the course. I've run with the group off and on for 2 years, and still have not earned the sticker. This is it. Tonight, when I get home, I'm going on a quick 2 mile run, then knocking out 6 miles tomorow evening and earning that darn sticker!
Then, on Saturday is another 12 mile run. Let's see if I can do it again without stopping...
Ice Ice Baby!
Sep 09, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
All week long I was dreading Saturday's Group Training Session (GTS). We were scheduled to run 12 MILES, and I honestly have not been on top of my training. The most I had run, at that point, was 7 miles. This run would be 5 MILES longer than my longest run! Not to mention, I would need to take my first ICE BATH afterwards.
What's an Ice Bath, you ask?
Just as it sounds. You put a bag of ice in the tub, take a seat, turn the water on cold, and let it fill up until the water reaches your hip bones. Eventually you open the bag of ice and just chill. You have to soak for at least 10 minutes or you will have wasted your time. I imagined a whole lot of whining and complaining!
So, I got to GTS just before 7am. We got our route sheets, and headed out as a group. Coach Christopher said, "This is an out-and-back run. I want you to do the second half faster than your first half... so start off slow!" Over the past 3 months I've been trying as hard as I could to run a consistent 10'30" (10 minute, 30 second) mile, or faster... and I've failed miserably. I usually get discouraged, or overheated, or bored after 2 miles, end up walking, then mess up my pace. I've also been running mostly alone during my training (even with 5-20 people running the same route).
This time I was going to run with other people, and try to enjoy my run. If I slow down enough, I could definitely do the second half faster. I started running with Lynn, a fellow Team Green Team In Trainee (TgTNT). She has been an inspiration to me, because she has been able to something I couldn't: Run consistently without stopping. Lynn started TNT with no experience running (no high school cross country exerpience, never ran a 5k race, no desire to run... until now). And yet, she's been able to do something I haven't!
I needed to learn her secret. So, I ran her pace, and LOVED IT! Our first mile was a 12'09" (12 minute, 9 second) mile. We ran together for nearly 5 miles, chatting away! When we got to the water stop at 2.5 miles, I had no interest in stopping... but we did anyway. Lynn wanted to fill up her water bottles. We run up a nearly unbarable hill together, and flew down the other side. At the bottom of the hill was another water stop. My Nike+ GPS App announced "5 miles. Time one hour and 3 minutes."Really?! I've been running for over an hour? That went by so fast!
Lynn, Shelley, and Kristen needed to fill up on water again. I had plenty, and was on a roll, so I went on. I ran down Murphy Road for another hour, turned around at the halfway point, then headed back. It was fun passing everyone behind me, handing out high fives and "Great Job!" as we crossed paths. We had averaged 12'38" miles our first half, and now I felt like I was flying. After each mile my App announced my new average, just a few seconds faster than before. By mile 9 my overall averages was 12'09"! I'm not great at math, but to cut down my average that quickly meant I had to be doing under 11... maybe even 10 minute miles!
Around mile 10 a lot of strange things were happening to my body. My knees would go completely numb, so I'd do some "high knees" and "butt kickers" to wake them up. My hips would start to go numb, and slowing down only made it worse... so I would actually have to speed up to make the numbness go away! How odd.
At mile 11 it started raining, but I didn't care! I could see my ending point and I was going to break a 12'09' average. I wanted my average for the entire run to be faster than our first mile! Sure enough, I turned into the Kroger Parking lot, and heard my App announce "Congratulations, you've reached your goal." My average was 12'07". Sweet! Unfortunately, my "WOW, this feels great" turned into "OH, my body is dying." I was covered in sweat, rain, and was limping around the parking lot.
I NEED AN ICE BATH! I was looking foward to it! My joints were worn, my mucles were sore, I was overheated and starving. I couldn't think of anything better than a great big bath of ICE, with breakfast!
So, I headed home. For the first time in all my training, Jon and the kids were awake when I got home from GTS. Not only were they awake, but they had breakfast ready (Waffles, yum!) I ate my waffles, heated up some hot tea, and headed to my bedroom to get read: put on some nice warm clothes for my freezing cold ice bath! Wait. That doesn't make sense. Why was I putting on clothes to get in the bath?!
The focus of the Ice Bath is to reduce swelling, not to give me frost burn. I put on my skiing base layers, wool socks, fleece sweater... all the recommended clothing to help keep your body heat in, even when you're wet. The cold water would still make it's way to my joints and mucles, but my upper body could stay nice and warm.
I dedided to record my first Ice Bath, as proof. I cut my 15 minute ice bath down to a 4 and a half minute video for your viewing pleasure. The end is the best!
(... and help make it all worth my while!)
The Road Home
Sep 04, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
Finally, I've had a chance to upload my photos from Ireland! I posted them on Facebook HERE for public view. Go ahead and check them out!
My running schedule while in Ireland had me running 9 miles on Saturday, 4 miles on Tuesday, 2.5 miles on Thursday, and 6 miles on Saturday... but I had overnight flights over the weekends, a 7.5 mile hike planned for Tuesday, and another hike planned for Thursday, I was having a hard time planning out my schedule. On top of that, I had no GPS to help me track my miles, and limited internet access to map out a route! Ugh. What was I going to do?!
Fortunately, I took the advice of my travel guide, and... asked the locals! I asked the consierge which direction she recommend I head in order to get 9 miles in. She gave me a funny look, and I figured she just thought I was crazy for wanting to run that many miles. I told her that I had mapped out a decent run on google maps out to "BallyCally" and wanted to know if it was a scenic run. She said "Bally In the Cally? There's no way your going to run all the way out there!" To which I responded, "but according to google maps, it's about 4 miles to get there, then showed her my iPhone using wifi. She started laughing. "Oh goodness, I thought you someplace else. I'm not familiar with that area, but I know someone who is." A few minutes later she came out of the dining area with one of her co-workers who lived in BallyCally. She told me about a loop I could do and mentioned some interesting sights to keep an eye out for, like the bridge to a private Island and a very popular B&B. All of the roads on the google map had names, except for the longest road I would be running on. I said, "What's the name of that road?" and she said "Oh heavens. I don't even know. I just call it the road home."
How perfect! I've always wanted to visit Ireland because of the Irish connection on both my Mom and Dad's side. Reed, O'Hare, Harris, and Haris are all surenames with Irish heritage. On the very first day of my visit in Ireland, I would be running down "The Road Home."
The first mile or so it rained on me, but when the rain stopped a fog lifted off the road and could help but to just pause and admire it. Below is a panoramic view from that moment:
It didn't rain again for the rest of the run. Another unforgetable memory from that run was the smell. I remember running past another field and inhaling the thick aroma of... Olives, yet there was nothing but open fields nearby. I asked our shuttle driver the next day if he knew of olives growing in Ireland and he said there's no way. It's still a mystery what I smelled in the field that day... but one thing is for sure. Olives will make me think of Ireland from now on! My goal that day was 8 miles, but I only got in just over 6.5 miles. I was really bummed.
My next run was on Monday afternoon. We had just arrived in Dingle Penninsula and I knew I wouldn't get many other chances to run throughout the week. I checked out the google maps for Dingle Village... and the entire village only has about 5 miles of runnable roads! The roads into town are so narrow, passing cars had to pull to the side just to avoid hitting one another! There's no way I'd be caught alive on those roads... at least not for long!
So, I settled for a 2.5 mile out-and-back on the sidewalks. Unfortunately, google maps doesn't have elevation charts... otherwise I might have waited until Bunratty to get my run in!
144 foot elevation gain in the first half mile, then another 100 foot elevation gain over a half mile. I did my share of walking on the first half of the run, but I was determined to coquer that second hill without stopping... and I did!
That was the last of my running in Ireland. The rest of the trip involved hiking: The Blasket Islands, Kilarney National Park, and Dingle Way. Below is a photo of Blasket Islands, by far my favorite part of Ireland... so far.
PS. That "Island" off to the distance... is Ireland!
To all who have shown your support, Thank you! I reached my minimum fundraising goal early! If you were ever considering making a donation, all additional donations made on my page go 100% to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
50 Points for hitting a Runner?
Aug 22, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
I had meant to update my blog during my trip to Ireland, but the internet at our Bed & Breakfast was so weak it would have taken me half a day just to get the browser open! Unfortunately, I won't be writing about Ireland in this blog. Something else happened that I feel I need to blog about.
Typically I've been running in the mornings, but these past two mornings I had zero motivation. I woke up bright and early at 6am, but couldn't get myself out of my pajamas in time! My first run of the week, with our new training schedules, calls for a 4.5 mile run. That's at least 50 minutes of running. By the time 7am rolls around, I wouldn't have enough time to run, shower, change, eat, and carpool with Jon. So, I whined and wimpered, and didn't run on Monday or Tuesday. I also didn't run on Saturday or Sunday because I was in between airports for 20 hours straight, then slept for 20 hours straight! I didn't run a whole lot in Ireland either, to be honest, so part of my non-motivation was from not training!
Anyway, I finally kicked myself in the butt and put on my running shoes last night at 7:45pm. "It's now or never" I said. Plus, I read Amy Well's Blog before dinner and HAD NO EXCUSES after reading such a profoundly moving message about not quitting!
I used to run in the evenings with East Nasty Running Club so I knew what to do to stay safe in the dark. I did everything I was supposed to do: I stayed on the sidewalks when sidewalks were available, I had a blinking armband on my Right arm so oncoming traffic could clearly see me, I stayed as far to the Left of the shoulder as I could.... It was a fantastic run! I had even made is just over 45 minutes non-stop! But, then all the good times changed.
As I was running down Murfreesboro Road (in Franklin), about 50 yards from the stop light near my neighborhood, some ASSHOLE purposely tried to run me off the road, into a ditch. I know it was no accident. He was driving near the center lane when I first saw him, and as soon as his headlights reached me, he sharply steered towards the shoulder of the road and reved his engine. His passenger wheel actually crossed over the while line and would have hit me if I hadn't been paying attention. After about 45 minutes of running, I was almost zombie-like! When I heard his engine, I slowed down and jumped into the grass, trying not to twist my ankle down the hill. It all happened in a split second. I just stood there stunned. DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN? I looked back in amazement, and by the time it occured to me to get their license plate number, they were already too far away to see. My eyes were blurry and it was too dark out. I thought to myself "People like that deserve to be in jail!"
So, I grabbed my phone and called Franklin Police, in hopes that just maybe there was a cop car nearby, and they'd find him before he turned down some obscure road in downtown Franklin. There wasn't much I could tell them though. "I'm running down Mufreesboror Road and a large white truck, heading towards Downtown Franklin just tried to hit me near the _____ intersection. It has a silver utility box in the back, but that's all I can make out. He's probably crossing over the river by now." I'm pretty sure that's what I said, word for word, all in one breath.
The operator then asked "Do you want to talk to someone about it?" "NO! I want you to catch this guy so he doesn't do it again to someone else!" She said the message was sent, and that made me feel a little better. But, when I got home, all I could think to myself was And then what? What would they do if they did find that truck?
- 'Excuse me sir, did you just try to hit a runner?'
- 'Why no officer, must have been someone else.'
- 'Oh, ok. Travel on.'
So, in the morning I called the Franklin Police again just to see if anything happened. The operator said they have the report on file, but no follow up report. Then, I asked if it was even worth while. What is a runner, or cyclist, SUPPOSED to do? Idiots like that are the REASON so many runners and cyclists are killed. It's like they're thinking to themselves "Oooooo! 50 points to hit a runner!" They deserve 50 points alright... on their criminal record, just for attempting it.
(Actual image from a video game called Carmagedon: Reincarnation)
He said I did exactly what I was supposed to do. A license plate would have made a big difference though. If they had found a truck matching that description, they would have pulled it over and tried to get them on some other traffic violation (like a DUI) or tried to have caught them in the act of some other "wreckless driving." A witness (like a vehicle driving behind them when they swereved towards me) would have helped too, but of course there was no one else on the road at that time.
Thanks for listening to my soap box rant. Now, read AMY'S BLOG. It's much better than mine, and just might change your life.
What is Blood Cancer?
Aug 01, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
I wrote an email to my friends, family, and co-workers as a "final request" for donation support, and I realized I've never really talked about WHAT blood cancer is. Honestly, I didn't know what it meant until I got involved. I think I summed it up pretty well in my email, so I'm sharing the whole thing:
Dear Co-Workers and Friends,
I have received my recommitment papers for Team In Training, and need to turn them in by this Friday, August 3rd to "re-join" Team In Training. This is the day I "renew my commitment" to raise my minimum fundraising goal of $3200 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. PLEASE DON'T STOP READING YET!!! I have already raised just over $3000, and am only about $180 away from achieving my goal (my fundraising page does not reflect my full amount collected). If you were at all considering making at donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in support of my half marathon training, I would be overjoyed to reach (or exceed) my goal by THIS FRIDAY.
If you aren't really sure what Leukemia or Lymphoma is, it's a blood cancer. Blood cancers can affect the bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes and other parts of the "lymphatic system," and result from mutations to the DNA in blood forming stem cells. A cure is not as simple as "removing the affected organ" like with other forms of cancer. Many patients require multiple blood or stem cell transfusions, along with chemo therapy and medications. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society not only funds drug research designed to find a cure for blood cancers, they also provide monetary assistance to patients who can't pay their medical deductibles, and support to family members struggling with the diagnosis (or loss) of a loved one, through support groups and other resources. Statistics show that one in every 3 people have a connection to blood cancer.
I don't particularly enjoy running (especially not when it's 85 degrees outside, before the sun is even up, and I don't have enough time in my day to do laundry... let alone spend 45 minutes running!), but I'm doing it as proof to all of you that I am dedicated to the cause. My Granddaddy Reed passed away from Acute Leukemia 35 years ago. Back then, the survival rate was minimal. Today, the survival rate for children under the age of 15 with Acute Leukemia is 90.5%, and Hodgkins Lymphoma is considered one of the most curable forms of cancer! The fundraising efforts ARE making a difference. Please help me to be a part of the difference.
"I run because I can.
When I get tired,
I remember those who can't run,
What they'd give to have this simple gift I take for granted,
and I run harder for them.
I know they would do the same for me."
Keeley A. Puncochar
I can't verbalize how THANKFUL I am to everyone who has shown support via donation. I thought the best part of this whole experience would be the training; I was wrong. I'm not easily brought to tears, but I'm finding myself in tears often throughout this process because of the donations, not the miles. I know that we are all making a difference, and I am so so sorry to hear about the loses many of you have faced. I am also so relieved to know that our efforts are making a difference and some of you (Sheryl, Dan, Lesli) can continue to celebrate life with your loved ones!
I have reached my fundraising goal of $3200, and it just doesn't feel like enough. I have NEVER in my life raised this much money, and it was the #1 REASON I was hesitant to join in the first place. I have personally donated $500 of my own money to the cause, and I challenge those of you who have not yet donated to help me raise the bar. Match a portion of my own donation and help me reach $3700... NO, I take that back. $3700 is a weird number. It gives me the heebee jeebeez. I'm raising my fundraising goal to $4000!Let's go above and beyond!
I Wanna Be A RockStar!
Jul 30, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
Most of you keeping up with my blog know me well enough to understand that I'm just plain COMPETATIVE. Tell me I can't do something, and I'll do it. Offer me some help, and I'll turn it down. Give me a goal, and I'll exceed it. Well, Team In Training has done a pretty good job of keeping me busy with their challenges!
To help get us excited about our fundraising, Team In Training offers all sorts of incentives (as though helping to saves lives wasn't enough). Below are some of the incentives I've earned so far:
- If you raise $250 before the first Group Training Session (GTS), you earn your training jersey/shirt. It is not the most flattering workout clothing, but when you have 30+ people running as a group through downtown Nashville (like we had last weekend), it's an awesome feeling to "be part of the crowd" with matching shirts.
- Another incentive is a TNT car magnet if you attend the first 2 GTS gatherings. I wasn't able to attend the first two because of my family travel plans, but I have attended every GTS since, so they gave me one anyway.
- They also have little competitions throughout the season to help recruit new members to the Team. One such incentive was a $100 credit to my account for each new member recruited by a certain date. I was able to get Amy Wells to sign up just in the knick of time. The credit should appear on my account after recommitment.
- For those who raise half of their fundraising minimum by Recommitment Day (August 3rd), earn a Team In Training Hoodie Sweater (which will be nice to have in San Francisco in the evenings). Thanks to all of my supporters, I earned it!
- The next big fundraising incentive is RockStar Status. I don't event know what this means... but WHO CARES! It's a challenge within my reach! When I first joined Team In Training "RockStar Status" was only attainable if you raise $1000 over your fundraising minimum by the deadline (Sept 28th). $3200 already seemed like a pretty hefty goal, so I had no dreams of becoming a RockStar at $4200! But, today I got my recommitment papers, and found out I can earn "RockStar Status" two ways: 1) raise $1000 over my goal by the fundrasing Deadline OR 2) reach my fundraising minimum by Recomitment Day. WHAT?! I am so close to reaching my minimum... but only have 4 DAYS left.
AND LOOK AT THIS COOL HAT!
Can you help me become a ROCKSTAR? Please, if you were at any point considering donating to the cause on my behalf, please donate between now and August 2nd so I can reach my fundraising minimum by Recomitment Day! $5 will help get me there, $25 will help get me there even faster! Skip out on your value meal tomorrow, give up a pack of cigarettes, be the designated driver this weekend (and save on your bar tab)... you can find the funds to donate... but will you?
Remember, the money is not for me; it's for cancer patients and family members who need RockStars like us to remind them that THEY are WORTH our time and money, and DESERVE a second chance at life.
The FINISH LINE is in Sight!
Jul 30, 2012 by Keeley Puncochar
This past weekend was a GREAT group run! We met for our Group Training Session at Centennial Park. GTS started off with Jim Asker doing the mission momment. He is a Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor. Prior to diagnosis, Jim had already completed several marathons (like 9!). The Country Music Marathon was going on during the height of his Chemo-Therapy, and he couldn't bare to watch the news coverage. More than anything he wanted to be out there, running. He made a promise to himself that if he survived this cancer, nothing would hold him back from running again; and he kept that promise. Every time he runs, it is a reminder that he is still alive. Jim and a handful of others are training to run 100 miles in New York next Fall, while raising $100,000 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They have already raised $13,000.
We had an out-and-back route, so we could choose our own distance. The course took us down West End into Downtown Nashville, down 4th Ave (past the Symphony Hall) and up Demonbreun (I stopped at the Musica Statue and turned back).
Here is my little collage!
I ran 7.3 miles in 1 hour and 30 minutes. It was 79 degrees, 79% humidity at 7:40am when I finished running! I don't care what Wells Adams (and his 18 friends) has to say about them; I'm buying one of those jogger phanny packs with the water bottle holsters. After 20 minutes of running without water I'm about to pass out! I'd rather look stupid!
After the run, I registered to become a Bone Marrow Donor. If you'd like to learn how to do the same, visit www.GetSwabbed.org.
I can't tell you how excited I am to head back to Michigan for my 10 Year Class Reunion. Next Saturday I will be running 8 miles in my home town, with my High School Cross Country Coach, Mr. Reeve, and a high school friend, Alyson Parks (who has graceously offered to slow down so I can run with her!) My wonderful husband, Jon Puncochar, (who is not a runner) will be joining us on Rollerblades. 8 miles at 8am in 67 degrees, 67% humidity is going to feel fantastic! Michigan will be my 5th State this Summer that I continue my training in!
Ok, now for the plea for money. I have only $230 (maybe less) to raise in order to COMPLETE MY FUNDRAISING! All I need are 10 friends to donate $25, or 5 friends to donate $50 and I will have acheived (what I thought was) the most difficult (and most important) part of my training. Do I have 5-10 friends out there who BELIEVE IN what I'm doing? PLEASE help me out! PAYDAY is coming up this week for many of you...