Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Best I Can Do.....Marathon Re-Cap

So taking the idea from Coach Karl, I am going to recap some of the highlights from the Marathon Weekend. At the moment it is too much to write out all the details, but there were DEFINITELY some awesome times to be had. Here is goes....

-E and I walking a mile to the train station, and E carrying the two heavy bags because I pulled the "I am running a marathon tomorrow card"
-Reading an entire book on the way to Seattle after reading a People magazine with some MAJOR hotties in it
-Taking a picture of Mentor Marianne, laughing about the picture and her laughing while having no idea why....she had an adult entertainment ad on the cab above her
-Hitting the Expo and not spending too much money :)
- Hearing the sounds from the Inspiration Dinner coming from the 2nd floor, then walking through the coaches all cheering us on. I think I might have seen tears in Coach Karl's eyes as his kids came up the escalator.
-Running to "the bathroom" with Marianne and somehow running into the table of delicious mac n cheese
-Team Lilly
-Coming full circle with Melissa....Kick-off celebration to Inspiration dinner
-800 TNT members raising $2 MILLION
-Inspiration from Coach Karl "Don't be a dipshit"
-Meeting Mike's chocolate scented friend, Travis
-Marianne's "boob job" near Corral 25
-Shot Blok Shop
-Waiting in LOOOOONG lines to go to the bathroom about 87 times BEFORE the race
-Melissa, Lindsey and I crossing the start line and the sea of TNT purple all around us! GO TEAM!!!
-"You can run, you can walk....BUT YOU WILL NOT STOP!" "Yes Sir!"
-Mile 4 Honey Bucket....damn fear of the dreaded Shart.
-Coach Karl at Mile 9....and having to say good-bye to Melissa
-The beautiful Lake Washington. Seeing Amy, Lisa and Krystina not too far in front of us rocking the race!
-Long, dark creepy tunnel. Not a big fan, especially when my shoes were all sticky from Cytomax
-Lindsey and I hopping the barricade to get back on the Full Marathon course so we could be tracked.
-Thinking "Damn, this is a long way" as I hit Mile 13. The closest I ever came to a wall
-E in the middle of the road before Mile 14. Stealing a kiss and continuing to run.
-Seeing Lindsey getting hugs from her dad, and knowing that he is a hero!
- Mile 16 seeing my parents, CB and my cousins. Homemade signs, hugs and kisses! I have the best family.
-Salt, salt, salt oh and yeah...more salt! Still trying to pee off those extra 5 pounds of water I gained.
-Going up and back down what seemed like an extremely long hill.
-Running with CB at Mile 21. WOW, what a feeling to have my race bandit be my 4 1/2 year old daughter.
-Seeing Coach Karl in the tunnel and have him run/walk with me. For awhile I kicked my pace up. The cramps kicked in and started to kick my @$$. Even though we didn't talk too much just having his amazing support there helped get me through.
-Realizing at Mile 23 all I had left was a messily 5K. Seeing the USCG base from the Viaduct and finding out that E had seen me running.
-Being there when Coach Karl got the phone call that Lindsey crossed the finish line while I was at Mile 25. I am so proud of her!
-Coming down the ramp before Mile 26 and Coach Karl giving me a hug, telling me congratulations and that I did it and leaving my side so I could cross the finish line on my own.
-RUNNING the last .2 miles at a full sprint, hearing people cheer me on and realizing I DID IT!!!!
-Seeing the Finish Line. Seeing Coach Jen, Mentor Mike and Baby Peri. Seeing my parents, cousins, CB and E as I crossed the finish line!
-The best PB&J sandwich EVER at the TNT tent.
-My Coastie wife Lynette giving me a hug, with tears in her eyes. (I miss her soooo much!) THANK YOU for being there Lynette and Tom.
-Meeting Tall Mom for the first time! (She is tall!!!)
-Holy Heavy Medal Batman!
-Almost passing out in front of the medics. Thank goodness for space blankets and my wonderful husband
-Babs, Beer and Brownies
-"I may be gay, but my dick isn't" Someone really needs to make that a bumper sticker!
-More beer....sushi and chocolate lava cake. YUM!
-A very humbling email from Coach Karl....tears on a train.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Two days!!! Two fricking days! I am so excited. Marathon day is finally upon me, and I can't wait. I am not scared anymore. There isn't a reason to be. The only person that will care about my time is me....I am going to be curing cancer one mile at a time, so how can I focus on a time. My plan is to have fun, enjoy my run and run with my new friends. There will be pictures, smiles, tears and memories on Saturday. I can't wait!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Holy cow....next week at this time I will have finished my very first marathon! Truthfully I am ready for it to next Friday. This is going to be a very slow week. On Wednesday we had our Send-Off party and WOW! Poor Coaches Karl and Jen had a difficult time keeping us under control while giving us details. As Mentor Mike said "it is like herding cats....." There was some carbo loading (yes, we were aware the race is still a week and a half away), wine and beer and WONDERFUL desserts! Thanks to Mentor Amy!!! And to top it all off, we got our TNT Singlet. Next task.....DECORATE!!!! (I wonder if Christopher Lowell is available to bedazzle?)

Jim-in typical male fashion, overlooking while the women clean up glass (Just teasing....he had just picked up)

On my mind is whether or not to apply to be a mentor for the Winter season. I would be committed to running either the Honolulu Marathon in December, or the DisneyWorld Marathon in January (and my birthday weekend!) Either way it would be awesome and a lot of fun. The cons of doing it would require me to be running every Saturday, and CB will playing soccer in the fall. Ahhhh.....decisions!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The fact that there are only 11 days until the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon has me excited! Tomorrow is our "send-off" party, when we get all our plans for the weekend. I only have 4 days of work left and 1 long run left. It has been only 6 months, and I have gone from running only 6.2 miles to 23.....I am so proud of myself!

Some of the things I have learned on this journey:
-Running for 5 hours is fun, especially if you have someone to join you
-Stop and smell the roses....it isn't always about speed
-Periodically look down, you never know when you will hit a bump in the road!
-You can use a Red Vine to stir your electrolyte drink in a pinch
-Nothing tastes better after a run then pretzels and Mike n Ikes
-Portland isn't as big as I thought, especially when you are on your feet

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Taper Kinda Sucks

So I was so excited....today was "only 12 miles." Yeah....didn't happen. The first four miles were painful. I have a screw in my foot from a previous surgery, and it is "popping" out (you can literally feel it coming up) and was rubbing on my show. OUCH! But to take care of it requires surgery, and that requires a recovery period. Which I am pretty sure doesn't fit into my running schedule anytime soon. My pace was slow, but I really didn't care.

I was taking so long I decided at the aide station I was only going to do 8 miles with the team so I could go to CB's last dance class. At mile 6 though I hit a lip in the sidewalk and ate it. I have never fallen that hard (and I don't bounce!) The entire right side hit the pavement. My knee, elbow and hand all got a nice souvenir abrasion and I have a huge bruise on my hip and shin. Normally I would have laughed it off, but damn! it hurt. The positive side was that I was running by myself and so there was no witnesses.

When I was able to get back up I could hardly walk it hurt so bad, let alone run. Had I known where I was at (in some neighborhood) I would have went the quickest way back, but since I didn't I had to finish that leg. After another two miles I finally got back to the aide station and threw in the towel for the day. My body couldn't take any more beatings. Tomorrow I will attempt a light run.

Good news for the day though was that the Disneyland Half Marathon is full, and E and I are already registered! YEAH!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


What inspires you? (Kinda made me think of Pretty Woman...."What's your dream....")

Here is my list:
-My daughter. Her telling me she is proud of me are the BEST words I could ever hear. Showing her how to be healthy and to love her body is so important to me.
-My husband. An American hero. Knowing that he is behind me carries me sometimes.
-My parents. Two people who fell in love and have stayed in love over 30 years. It is no better gift than to show them they raised a good kid.
-Former patients. Heroes. They truly give it all, and never give up.
-Their parents. You are "eggs" if you aren't sure of the term, google the "Parents of Children with Cancer"
-My TEAM. Out there pounding the pavement for something bigger than themselves. We are like the postal service...."nor wind, nor rain, nor sleet or hail" we will run in it all.

So what inspires you? What keeps you going when you feel like you can't give anymore?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Little Mia in the Making

The plan was a family jog then play some soccer....SUCCESS! Although the jog was only 1.25 miles, it was a lot of fun. It was a (pseudo) interval training since the munchkin wanted to walk every so often. After the  jog we played a little soccer. I played in high school, but by no means was I Mia Hamm. But I must say I am proud that the munchkin loves the game. She will start playing in August in addition to Hippity Hop (instead of ballet and  tap). I love that my child loves to be active.

Thanks to everyone's generous donations, I am not at my fundraising minimum! I am pumped and so excited that I am halfway to my goal. Now all I have to focus in on is running 26.2 miles :) Finally, the sun has come out, now if it will just stay!


No other way to put it. I am tired. Can't seem to get re-charged. Probably didn't help that I spent all night running in my dreams. Finding motivation today seems darn near impossible. Only $300 from my fundraising minimum, yeah!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

20 Miles....Or Was It?

21 Days....that is it until the big day! The schedule today was for a nice 20 mile run. Our LAST long training run before taper. How did it go? GREAT!

This week my piriformis (butt) started hurting out towards my left hip again. I am ok with that, as long as the pain spreads toward my hip and not towards my back. So Thursday I got an appointment to see my favorite physical therapist. I saw PT last year after my back injury, and he did such a fabulous job rehabbing me that I started seeing him again this season when my butt started flaring up again. I am trying to keep the muscle in good shape and not re-injury it. After a little stimulation, ice and electric therapy it was feeling so much better.

Back to the run today....my piriformis felt good, and with the help of some KT tape (absolute miracle tape!) the headache I have had for about 2 weeks was gone and my shoulders weren't sore. I was ready both physically and mentally for this run. I even got to Duniway on time and had a healthy breakfast. Our group was smaller today because the San Diego team in there now for their race tomorrow. Our course basically took us on three loops. The first went down to the waterfront and was about 4.5 miles. On the way to the first aid station I was doing a pretty good 10 min/mile. Not too shabby for me. We were heading back to Duniway and I just couldn't maintain that pace. So L and K went ahead, and I slowed down. Coming towards me I could see another teammate who had arrived late, Red Head L. I asked her if she wanted someone to run with, and turned around to join her. (Smartest move I have made all season!) She is recovering from an injury, and this was her first long run coming back. And before I go any further, she did AWESOME!

We got back to Duniway and the second loop took us up "Pill Hill" along Terwilliger to Barbur Blvd. Red Head L. and I chatted it up and kept our minds off our injuries, at least for a while. This loop took us another 7.5 miles. Steep hills weren't going to keep us down, and we rocking it.  We stopped at the aid station and indulged in some PowerAde and pretzels. (I run just for the pretzels!) Along the route we came up to some TNT walkers....GO TEAM! They teased us at our turn around on Barbur, telling us "you actually have to cross the street." Going back up the hill was not as easy, but we did it. Making it back to Duniway I was tired.

After some water, GU and stretching the last loop was ready to be tackled. My legs were sore, mostly my knees. We only had 9 more miles to go though. The loop would take us over the Hawthorne Bridge up to Mt. Tabor. Crossing the bridge there was announcement came on that the bridge would be lifting. Thank goodness we made it over before that occurred. It would have been at least 20 minutes of waiting. (One downfall of running in Portland.) Going up to Mt. Tabor was not easy. I was tired, sore and hungry. Thankfully, RHL was there to talk me through it. When we turned around there was a little happy dance that it was all downhill from there, at least for a little while.

As we were approaching the Esplanade though the sound that was going to mess with our flow was heard loud and clear. A freaking train! UGH! We had gotten to a point where we didn't want to stop for lights, and now we were stuck waiting for a train. So for 10 minutes we stretched and jogged in place to keep from cramping up. Oh, and Garmi said I had already run 21 miles. We still had to cross the river to Grandmothers house to get back.
RHL and me stopped by a train....BOO

Once the train passed we hit the bridge into Downtown P-town up to  Broadway. In my head I wondered what I had done to Mentor Mike to make him hate me so? It seemed like hill after hill after oh yeah, another freaking hill. My back was cramping and my legs felt like fire. It would have been so easy to give up, say screw it and hit McDonalds. As Garmi ticked away more mileage, I told RHL what it was telling me and that we were going to kick @$$ in Seattle. And that taper would officially start in about 15 minutes. Then there it was, Duniway!!!

Mentor Mike was there, smiling and cheering us on when we both kicked it up and sprinted to the end. The results...23 miles for me in 5 hours. The route was only supposed to be 20 miles, but a technical difficulty occurred and we rocked out 23 miles. Four more miles that my furthest distance prior. I am so ready for Seattle!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No "I" in TEAM

I have said it before, and will say it again....I LOVE Team in Training. Without TNT I am not sure I would have ever been able to successfully train for a marathon. The motivation would just not be there. That being said, in three weeks my team will have completed our marathon or half marathon. Today was our last track night with the San Diego team. It was a great run. We did 3.1 miles along the Willamette River tonight, and despite these past few days of rain there wasn't a drop out of the sky and the sun was shining. Talk about karma!

Today I ran the best 3.1 miles I have ever run. I started running with another Seattle teammate, L. Coming back from an injury herself we maintained a good pace to start. Hanging with us was Mentor Mike, and other various teammates from the San Diego team. I felt strong and confident in my stride and energy. On the West side of the river the Rose Festival had started as well as Fleet Week (when Navy and Coast Guard ships come for a few days). It was too soon when we got to the turn around point. Feeling good, and wanting to push myself I started picking up my speed and finished strong.

I am thankful for this great team! Not only has my health improved, but I have been helping to find a cure for cancer. I can say, without feeling cocky....I am a hero.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Confession of Cross Training Dropout

My marathon training has lacked one key element. At least in the "formal" sense. Sorry Coach Karl and Coach Jen.....I um, have been not so great in the cross-training department. But in my defense chasing after a four year old and three big dogs can count as cross-training. Today I decided this was going to be the week I follow my training plan to a T (hey, better late than never!) I found a Tone and Stretch aquatic class at the Firstenburg Center. It did however require me to get up at 6 am to get CB to school and me to the gym before work.

I am not a big fan of swimming, but this class was pretty good. When I got there I discovered that I was the youngest person there (by about 50 years....) So I spent 45 minutes doing some water aerobics and some good stretching. Best part was that I felt like I had an amazing workout!

Why is it that when the coaches tell you something they are always right?! I wish I would have started this a lot sooner, not because I think it would affect my training so much as it just feels good! So now I am on the hunt for another class to try and really integrate it into my training.