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Don't let it conquer you...
Sep 19, 2011 by Liana Shanes

This was supposed to be a post first 16 mile run report. Talking about how great it felt and how I finished. But instead, I let the demons in my head conquer me and didn't run. I have lots of excuses - Doing my assigned waterstop as a mentor meant that my time got pushed off. A visit to my regional passport office AFTER that left me frustrated. I then had to deal with extra traffic due to a bridge closure that had me even MORE frustrated because on top of that I realized that I'd needed to pee for three hours and hadn't eaten anything substantial yet (at 3pm). All while the idea that I had to run a 4.5 hour practice long run all by myself floated in the back of my head. Being upset and the anxiety issues I had dealing with my passport left me exhausted by the time I got home. I went in, ate something with the thought that I was still going to do it. I was going to lace up and hit the trail. After I ate so I was properly fueled. But the reality in it was that I was afraid and let it conquer me. Justin sympathized with my day and told me that it was ok. Just run tomorrow (Sunday) which made sense. I could do that and still be ok. But Sunday came and went. We got home from our morning plans and I sat on the couch and hyperventilated. I was afraid again. More excuses ensued. My running partners were all busy, the planned route was actually shorter than I had thought meaning it wasn’t going to simply be out and back. I’d be playing loop de loop. I would be out there on my own, despite my preference for the cooler weather and I was afraid. Afraid of the distance, afraid of being alone and all of those everyday frustrations of life that runs help with heaped on top of it. Justin was great. He poked and prodded and kept reminding me that I needed to go run. That time was running short for when running outside for that long would be safe. He even volunteered to meet me at my half way point to be waterstop in case I needed extra. He later revealed that after doing that he had planned to go run out and grab me a special dinner to surprise me.

But this morning, I sit here at work hoping that no one stops by and asks with a smile how my run went. I sit here without the painful, yet happy aches that comes from accomplishing something great. I sit here without the smile that I get from reading the likes and comments that come from posting a great weekend long run from my compadres on, Nike+ and Facebook and I castigate myself. I still feel that anxiety in my chest that comes with the fears of a long run that I’ve not accomplished. I’ll try again tonight for a good long run and hopefully the happy cheerful chants from my coaches will echo in my head. They believe in me, why can’t I?

Time sure flys
Aug 17, 2011 by Liana Shanes

Week 16/25 is here and from here on out, my runs will all be approximately 3+ hours until we enter taper. I should feel lucky that Summer has been kind to us here in Seattle. Fellow runners throughout the nation have been experiencing 90+ degree weather all summer. They’re forced to run super early, super late or get on the dreaded Treadmill to get their bodies acclimated to the pounding they’ll experience in less than three months. I’m learning to experiment with new meal plans, eating/hydration habits and different gear options. More so than last season with TEAM, I’m discovering what things I like and do not like. I’ve discovered the wonder of regular ice baths that only athletes seem to understand and marveled at the technology behind compression gear that keeps blood flowing through the various parts of our body. I’ve learned about more about cancer than I really care to know and tear up in anguish when I hear yet another person has been diagnosed with these awful diseases. I’ve listened to Mission Moment stories where people have lost many, many loved ones to cancer. However, I hear just as many stories of survivors. Honored TEAMmates who would not be here today if it wasn’t for the assistance of TEAMmembers past and present who have tortured their bodies for endurance runs, hikes, Tri-athalons and more just so more patients can be helped and possibly saved. Like the 3 FOR 3 cancer study that was recently in the news. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society helped fund that and I cry with JOY to know that we helped out. To know that maybe one day cures like this one will be as common as the cure for smallpox which was once considered incurable and a death sentence.

Most importantly, I’m learning of the kindness of others who believe in this mission as much as I do. Who spend season after season volunteering their time and energy as a Coach or Mentor or just as a fundraising participant raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society all over our nation. To know that I can do my small, small part and help out by running and raising money while cancer patients can only do so much as raise their head. That experienced those feelings that only those with cancer can understand after hearing those three little words. ”You Have Cancer.” Last night I realized I was about three weeks past a similar point myself. It never ceases to amaze me how fast time can fly….

It was 3 weeks ago that, while lying in bed, I discovered a lump in my breast. It was a lazy Sunday morning, which is pretty common in my life now. I struggle against them, but mostly because 2-3+ hour long runs have necessitated making Saturday the lazy sleepy, nap in bed day and Sunday the finish all your weekend errands day. At any rate, it was Sunday. Lazy and with a beautiful afterglow. I was contemplating how beautiful life was. It was a sunshiny day, I was finally divorced and happily in love. What more could you ask for? That's about the time I felt it. A lump. In my breast. As with any scare, I took a moment to pause while crazy thoughts raced in my head. Was that what I thought it was? Why is it so BIG? Am I imagining it? What about my other breast, does it feel similar? What if I stood up, would that make a difference? Justin noticed. He teasingly asked me if I was doing a self exam and tried to help. ;) I told him quietly though that I thought I had found a lump. All jokes stopped and he reached over and felt the same thing I did.

We all know that the next stage is to obviously not panic and make an appointment with your Dr. But that doesn't stop the thoughts that race through your head. The obvious WHY ME?!? flew through a few times as well as the thought that there was no history of Breast Cancer in my family. Other thoughts that felt weird included Why is all cancer in the breast referred to as Breast Cancer, but if it happens elsewhere it has exact names like Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) or Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Do you know how many types of cancer there are? TONS. I'm geeky, I went straight to Bing and looked. Thankfully, I didn't placate my anxieties and become all hypocondriatic(is that even a word?) by clicking on each and every cancer name and read up on them. It took me most of the next week to finally call the Nurses line who told me to make an appointment immediately, which I did. My dr fit me in the next morning. After some routine questions that did nothing to calm my nerves, he told me that given my history it was most likely not cancer but gave me a referral to the Diagnostic office in Seattle where they do Mammograms. They too were kind enough to squeeze me in and after more questions and more boob squeezing, they came to the same conclusion. (By the way, why do doctors congratulate you on your first Mammogram?) However, they wanted me to come in the following week so they can pull some of this lumpy tissue and confirm. From both breasts. Does that freak you out? I certainly was. I only came in about one, but apparently the Mammogram revealed smaller lumps in my other boob. SCARY. I went in the following week without telling many people what was going on. For some reason, despite all my various nonsensical updates to the Social stream, this is one I held close. In fact, it wasn’t until the day before that I realized I should probably call home and tell my mom. Just in case. Justin, of course, knew and in typical Liana fashion, I told him my beliefs about life support and surgeries. A biopsy is a minor one in the grand scheme of things, but a surgery none the less and I didn’t want to go in without someone other than my mom knowing my stance on life support systems.

Now here I am, three weeks after discovering said lump. Two weeks post Biopsy and I’m happy to say that those lumps weren’t cancerous. One of those things they don’t tell you when they remind you to do your monthly checks is that sometimes the lumps you find are just fatty tissue build up. My lumps are called Fibroadenoma and I’m relieved to say I don’t have cancer. That won’t stop me from running though. If anything, it reinforces the need in me to run more. To help find more cures so that no one has to have a scare like that and worry about possible death sentences. To worry about losing loved ones or even leaving them behind. You can do your part too. You don’t have to run if you don’t want to, although the next season is just getting started. A small donation will help me get to my goal which is a mere $1000 dollars away. Make a small donation and maybe if your company does matching donations, they can kick in a little extra. Make sure you check.

What can your donation do?:

$1000 supports one week's salary for a medical researcher at UCSF, Stanford, or Berkeley who may discover key information to developing curative treatments for blood cancers.

$500 provides a blood cancer patient with financial assistance for one year.

$500 allows 10 patients to log on to a webcast and hear the latest information in treatment for their disease.

$200 provides a Family Support Group Program for one year for a patient and their family.

$150 allows 5 patients to make a First Connection with a trained peer volunteer.

$100 provides 3 patients access to an information teleconference.

$75 is the average cost of tissue typing to become a bone marrow donor.

$50 is the cost of a CT scan

$40 is the cost of sending a comprehensive packet of information for children with cancer.

$35 pays for transportation expenses for a patient living in Northern California's most rural areas to treatment at a comprehensive cancer center.

$25 covers a single prescription co-payment.

$5 is the cost of sending a newly diagnosed patient information about support and their disease.

Rock -n- Roll - the running version
Jul 21, 2011 by Liana Shanes

Also known as the post race report?

I ran my 2nd half marathon a few weeks ago and am exhilarated to have finished. I wasn't excited by the time, but I definitely learned quite a few things. Things like proper nutrition in theory and practice on race day are two different things. Things like the fact that weather and groundwork make a big difference. And most importantly, the fact that we're all built differently. I stressed out the week prior. It felt as if nothing was going my way, I wasn't able to get my runs in on a regular basis and I had tons and tons of stuff to do. When I calmed down, I realized that most of my anxiety stemmed from not having Team in Training tell me where to be and what to do. I was running this race without fundraising, but still as an extension of the team. Coach Jay patted me on the back and reminded me that I'd be fine and to just trust in the training and groundwork I had put in.

But those lessons? Good ones and hard learned. I ate like I normally do, before I left for the race, but that was hours. Now I know to add some granola bars or other supplements pre race since I'll be waiting at least 1.5-2 hours to get going. I stood in a line that felt like it was never going to end, pre-race, to use the potty. I should have gone earlier and now I know not to put it off. At least I didn't have to stop my run and lose time like I did in my last race? *shrug* I learned that when you transition from cold to warm weather running, it makes a big difference. I wasn't prepared for that and it wore me out faster than I expected. And most importantly I learned that getting those weekly runs in make a huge difference. I examined my training pre-race and found that I gave in way too often. I was too tired or too busy, so I didn't train. Last season when that happened, I had the luxury of a gym to fall back on late at night and I think I'll add that back in. The good parts? I finished and I recovered rather quickly. The day was beautiful and I met some awesome people from all over the country. It didn’t rain on our heads like a monsoon as I feared it might. There were wonderful signs and people all along the route cheering us on. And while my family didn’t make it down to Seattle yet again, Justin was there at Mile 11 to cheer me on and be there for me at the finish line. I'm back and revived and remotivated to conquer a full marathon in October when Nike Women’s Marathon gets here.

But I’m constantly reminded that these are small battles compared to those we fight for. I wrote an email recently to our TEAM Captains. They wanted to know who we run for on our team and it was sadly a long list. Mine read like this:

I run for Derek K Miller who passed away from Colon Cancer mere months ago leaving behind a wife, two small kids and the entire internet full of friends and fellow bloggers.

I run for my Aunt Darline who passed away from Lung Cancer after a long and arduous battle weeks before our current season began.

For my friend's grandfather Pete Pirillo who passed away from Colon Cancer.

For my Aunt Sweetie who passed away from Thyroid cancer.

My friend Liz who won her battle with cancer,

Jimmy, who I haven’t seen since he was about 8 but diagnosed with AML at the age of 9 and is now considered a 5 year survivor and happily married.

My Tam whom I've never met but is friends with Liz and beginning her battle with Non-Hodgkins Diffused B Cell Lymphoma

And earlier this week I added Chrispea, a scrapbooker whom I’ve admired for years but never knew as a breast cancer survivor – until she passed away from it. Cancer sucks.

Just Keep Running
Jun 24, 2011 by Liana Shanes

I began this battle just over two years ago as a way to fight the depression that was mentally restricting me from doing so many many things in my life. They felt like chains constricting me and holding me tight. Running was my way of escaping from them and the endorphins I got from running enabled me to move through life with a semblance of competency even though all I wanted to do was curl up and stare at the wall all day. Eventually I got better and those moments were few and far between. Last year, I got involved with Team in Training with a good friend and my battle started anew. I wasn’t just running to escape my own demons any longer. I was running because others could not. To raise money for cancer patients and cancer research and to make a difference in the lives of those around me. Cancer’s been on the peripherals of my life almost since high school. The firstborn of a family friend was diagnosed with AML, Acute Myeloid Leukemia before he could even finish elementary school. The information provided to his family by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society became almost like a bible to them for those dark days. Jimmy was lucky though. He’s 5 years out of Chemo and even though he’ll always continue to go in for checkups, he's considered CURED and is happily married and living life like any other person. But not everyone is so lucky. My grandmother, my aunt Darline and Sweetie, another family friend all fought their battles against various forms of cancer and lost. People like Derek Miller, @Tommusic and so many many others lost their battle. People like My Tam are beginning their battles and starting on that painful journey of therapy. I run for all of them. To remember those we’ve lost, to celebrate the battles won and because there are those still in treatment who can not even run to the toilet, much less 13.1 miles. A cancer survivor and fellow teammate I recently met put it most eloquently…. I run until there’s a cure.

This week has been a hard mental battle of chaos for me. Even though it’s my 2nd half marathon, this is the first one that I’ve had to manage all the details on my own. Even though I’ve had the support of my Team, there’s no one to tell me to be someplace by a certain time, or guide me to the starting corral. I’ve pulled back from many activities as I manage my idiosyncrasies that cause me to panic about every little minute detail involved. Will I have enough GU to get me to the finish line? Will my Plantar Faciitis act up mid race? Do I drive down to the start line or take the shuttle from downtown? What time do I need to wake up? What’s the best foods to get me fueled enough this week so mid-run I don’t feel like hurling? Will my socks chafe against my foot? Crazy yeah? I’m better now. I stopped and took a few hours yesterday to focus on simple non-sensical tasks like unpacking and then went to have dinner with some Teammates. But tomorrow will still be Chaos. I’ll miss tonight’s Summerfest concert so I can be in bed early for a 430am Wakeup. But I’ll love every moment. I’m remembering last November as I ran my 1st event. The family members of others cheering us all on. Perfect strangers cheering my name as they read it off my Team in Training Jersey, the Soliders lined up with a Flag Salute in Madrona Park, and most especially crossing the finish line.

Will I see you there?

Tomorrow’s race is for My Tam. I’ve yet to meet her, but we’re both friends with Liz. My Tam has a great support system of friends who are helping her with my battle. We should all be so lucky.

And on I run
May 11, 2011 by Liana Shanes

With my plan this season being to run a FULL marathon rather than a smaller half in October Team in Training and to also do the Seattle Rock n Roll half marathon in June. (45 days away!) I’m buckling down on my training. It helps that the weather is getting warmer and the sun is finally peeking through (I wore a tanktop last night!). The truth, though, is that I need the discipline of other runners. Team in Training helps me with that. It tells me that this group is going to get together to run and I should join them and then go have beers. ;)

I worry though. I just sent an email to one of my wonderful coaches about a pain I’m having in my leg. Friends tell me it might be shin splints and since I’ve never experienced this phenomenon I worry that it will slow down my training just as I’m buckling down. I won’t lie – I haven’t run a full event. I do walk run intervals and with the few months I took off after my last event (there’s that discipline thing), I needed to almost start back over. I’m currently walking 3 minutes and running 2. It makes ramping up easier and if it wasn’t for the pain in my legs I’d add another 30 seconds to that run portion this week. Let’s see what coach says though. Online searches tell me that I may need to alter my training and switch to things like treadmill or elliptical runs. If that happens I may need to join a gym again. Sigh. Seriously – go inside now that the sun is finally out?!? Boo!

This weekend though is jam packed so I guess it’s not a huge deal yet. I’m finally moving the rest of my stuff into Justin’s house and I’ll be headed over to Chris Pirillo’s home for our first big fundraiser of the season. Last year with the help of Chris and the Lockergnome community, we raised almost $1000 for blood cancers, hopefully we can meet or exceed that this time. This year cancer is hitting closer though. A great man that Michelle and I met through Chris passed away last week after a long exhausting battle with Colon Cancer. Derek Miller, also known as @Penmachine, fought a long and hard battle and the amazing part is that he chose not to exclude it from his blog. He was very frank about the disease and what it was doing to him and in the end wrote a goodbye letter as a final blog to be posted when he passed.

My heart hurts for his family. While they had time to prepare, I know from when my grandmother passed that you’re never truly ready. Maybe I’m just the over emotional type who cries at it all. At Derek’s passing even though I never truly got to know him. At the passing of @TomMusic, at the Dear 16 Year Old Self Video, and even at the Facebook wall postings of cousins I barely know as they continue to mourn the passing of their mother – two months after she also succumbed to cancer. There’s gotta be a cure out there and I won’t stop running until it’s found. Well… ok. I lied. I won’t stop wunning as Gerb says since I’m run/walking. ;) Eventually I’ll get to a full run and even though I won’t qualify for Boston, Imma keep on going. Not even Kanye can stop me! (Won't you help me out by donating a few bucks?)

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Supporter Comments

    "Happy belated birthday! Love you, Michelle, Doug, & Bentley"

    Michelle, Doug, & Bentley

    Fri Sep 30 04:46:45 EDT 2011

    "In loving memory of my wife, Darline Cardenas"

    Roland Cardenas

    Tue May 03 10:27:21 EDT 2011

    "...laughther is the best medicine, Darline's laugh is contagious. Still can her boisterous laugh today!!! Miss you much :-)"

    Aunty "Jimmie"

    Thu Apr 28 07:13:49 EDT 2011

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $3,274.28 | Goal: $3,500.00
94 %

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In Honor of

Darline Cardenas

My Thanks To

Chris Pirillo's Community $1052.28
Medronic $500.00
Microsoft $150.00
Michelle, Doug, & Bentley $150.00
Nena Wong $100.00
Microsoft $100.00
Liana Shanes $100.00
jodijodijodi $100.00
Roland Cardenas $100.00
Rita Mallory $100.00
Microsoft $100.00
Justin Yorke $100.00
Greg Birch $70.00
Garage Sale Fundraiser $68.00
Leann Underwood $50.00
Aunty "Jimmie" $50.00
Gregg Porter $50.00
Matthew Wakefield $40.00
Microsoft $25.00
Maria Millsap (Banana Blo... $25.00
Tanya Jose $25.00
Elizabeth Riddington $25.00
Paola Paulino $25.00
Colleen Carrington $25.00
Yolanda Kerr $25.00
John Cardenas $20.00
Alfred Wong $20.00
Emaline Vance $15.00
francine stevens $10.00
Jeanine Wiles $4.00