Monday, September 29, 2008

I just discovered something

If I've spoken to you about the race, I may have told you that there are over 23,000 people participating.

I was a bit off.

In 2007, over 32,000 runners participated in the marathon and half marathon.

Holy crap.

And there's an expo two days before the race, complete with "Official Race Souvenirs".....that's where we pick up our numbers and timing chips- for those of you who can't be there in person, you'll be able to view my results online! I'll have a chip on my shoe that will track my progress/time and you can look it up by bib number/name.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Six Miles, Suds, and Sunburns

Well, after running hills last week, my coaches decided that we needed a recovery day, to let our taxed muscles rest and.....well....recover! So they said we were "only" going to run 6 miles. Um, ok....sure....ONLY 6 miles? Coach Brian said that we should feel really good at the end of it, with a lot of energy. I immediately thought that I'd pushed myself too hard last week, because there was no WAY that this was going to feel like a leisurely jog.

I was wrong.

I never thought that I'd think running "only" 6 miles was a breeze, but it was. We finished in just over an hour (good pace time!) and I felt fantastic. I STILL feel fantastic (sort of, anyway, I'll get to that).

The best part about finishing a long run is the washcloth- Louanne, our marathon coordinator, greets us at the finish with a washcloth that has been soaking in ice water for who knows how long, so it's COLD. To wipe your face and put it on the back of your neck feels Ahhhhhh-mazing.

But let's put things in perspective for a moment: Six miles, I'm so awesome, right? Well, the Nike runners (their marathon is Oct 18th) ran TWENTY MILES yesterday. Yes. Twenty. In fact, we didn't even SEE any of them, they started at 5:30 so they were at a completely different part of the trail. Wow. Twenty miles. All to beat cancer! My 20 miler will be right around Christmas......a blessing and a curse, I suppose.

SO......I couldn't stick around too long, because a group of us were having a car wash to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I ran home, showered, crammed in some breakfast, and I was off again, to the gas station right by campus (wow, that brought back memories).

We hadn't even put out SIGNS and people were already lined up to get their cars washed! We got lucky because it rained on Friday and cars were looking pretty dirty......

So, this was the first car wash I have *ever* participated in. I managed to go through high school and college and never do one....but here I am, almost 26, and I have my sleeves rolled up ready to wash some cars.

Let me share with you a list of things that I learned/observed:
1) Wear real shoes (that you don't care about). Flip flops/sandals were a bad idea because they were slippery!

2) Sunscreen is always your friend. I managed to get away relatively unscathed (I kept reapplying, Mom, don't worry) but others weren't so lucky.

3) A car wash for donations is just that. People can donate whatever they feel like, or they don't have to donate at all (but we like it when they do). There will always be a few people who decide not to donate, and all you can do is wash their car with a smile, thank them for stopping by, and move on.

4) You'll see one of everything, from donations to cars. People donated $40, some donated $0. We washed (among others) an older Mercury Comet (convertible), a Camaro Z28, and a 2003 Corvette.

That's just a few things on the list.....we had a LOT of fun, and we had so many people helping us who weren't fundraising themselves (family members, etc). People were more generous than not, and it was so amazing to see all of the support! Hey, even coach Rick stopped by (after running 20 miles) and got his car washed.

When all was said and done (washed?), we each got $50, which was awesome!

So I think today will be a recovery day from the recovery day. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My apologies

For the lack of posting the last few weeks- it's been a whirlwind of a time, and I feel like I'm just settling back into a routine.....

So, let's recap, shall we?

Saturday, September 6th
We ran 6 miles and it felt good, but Jennifer and I seemed to fight it for the first few miles. Our coaches noticed that we were running "sloppy" (they seriously used that word!). I think we were still sort of recovering from the race on Monday (that brutal 8 miler), and our muscles were a lot tighter than we expected.

It's at this point that I started icing my knees after a run on Saturday, and eating breakfast soon after a run, usually with a teammate or coaches. I feel so much better when I eat right away, I don't crash when I get home.....

Wednesday, September 10th
At this point, we've entered into phase II of our training, the strength phase. We'll be introducing hills and speed training into the mix. Today we met in Ried park to do speed training and run a few miles- coach Rick and I warmed up for a bit, then sprinted (ok, not sprinting all out, but we were running pretty fast!), jogged, sprinted, rinse and repeat for 4.25 miles. The point of these is to get our muscles into the anerobic phase, and then recover and make our muscles absorb as much oxygen as possible so we can utilize it better during the endurance events. (at least, that's how they explained it, all I know is that it made me embarrasingly tired!).

Saturday, September 13th
This Saturday was an 8 miler, and it went really well. While we took it slower than we had been, I finished feeling like I could have gone further, which is where the coaches want us to be. Today was also the fluid loss analysis clinic. We weighed in before we ran, kept track of how many ounces we took in (or deposited, depending on bathroom stops) weighed in again when we were done, and then our coaches analyzed the numbers and let us know if we were taking in or losing too much liquid. My results were that I had the potential to gain THREE AND A HALF POUNDS during the marathon. Um, no. Not gonna happen. Coach Rick thinks the #'s might be off, so we're going to try again next month.

Monday, September 15th
Hill training day!! Oh boy! I met with Coaches Rick and Lauren and some other teammates and we hiked up Tumamoc Hill. I don't know the distance, but I do know that it was an 18% grade, if not steeper. It was INSANE, but I was fine, and I wasn't sore the next day! We ran down which was so much fun, too, and it was right as the huge full moon was rising over the Rincon Mountains- picture perfect.

The rest of the week was less than stellar- I came down with some sort of bug and spent my time attempting to recover in time for Saturday.

Sunday, September 20th
Time for a change of scenery- we went to Sabino Canyon and ran some more hills- it's a 3.7 mile out and back (7.4 miles total), and it was breathtakingly beautiful. Teammate Jennifer wasn't too thrilled about the "Beware: High Mountain Lion Activity!" signs, but I assured her that I'd never seen one. The way in was rough, but the time it took to go out FLEW. I remember run/walking Sabino in 2005, and it seemed to take forever, but this time seemed to take no time at all. Hell, I remember going partway with my parents and getting tired before a mile (that's when I was REALLY out of shape....)How quickly our perceptions of mileage and time change when we start doing long distances!

Which brings us to today, Sunday. I am only a few dollars short of the $2000 mark and I couldn't be more thrilled. Everyone has been SO GENEROUS with their donations and I am so thankful and grateful for everyone who has supported me. Every dollar you donate will make a difference in someone's life.

It's so important that we find a cure for these blood cancers- they affect way too many people. In fact, by the time you're done reading this post in my blog, one person will have died from a blood-related cancer and two more will have been diagnosed. That's too many, so I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for donating to help get these numbers to a big fat goosegg.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Blessed be the tie that binds

Unfortunately, though, these days, most of those ties involve cancer. Stupid cancer.
In reaching out to those around me, and sharing my personal stories with cancer (the blood cancers, anyway, don't get me started on the others, those hit even closer to home), it seems that almost everyone knows someone who's had a blood cancer: they've had a family member battle it, or they themselves have had it (there's a woman on my team who is in remission for Lymphoma and she ROCKS). These diseases affect everyone, and it sucks. Cancer sucks.
There's a bunch of stuff on my mind and it's probably too scattered to put in one post, so I'm just going to recap the weekend for now, and then wrangle these lottery ball thought patterns into something coherent and share them later.
Saturday: 6 miles. I shortened my inervals to running 7 minutes and walking 1. I finished with a mile pace time of about 10 and a half minutes- not bad, but the coaches still seem to think it's too fast still. UGH. Oh, and it was windy so it felt like I was running uphill.....bleh.
Anyway.....OH! I almost forgot- when I finished practice last week, I got back to the ramada where everyone checks in-out and there was a pair of socks waiting for me:

Aren't they NEAT???!?!?! So APPARENTLY, they were an incentive gift because I reached $500 already! They were SUPER proud of me and were really excited about the progress I've made with my fundraising. So, those of you who have contributed already, THANK YOU so much. As of right now, I have $975!! (my website says otherwise, because some checks are being sent in). Only $1525 to go!

Sunday was spent reading books 1 and 2 of the Twilight series. Addicted? Probably. Vampires. Who knew?

Monday: What better way to spend Labor Day than run an EIGHT MILE RACE????! What a GREAT IDEA. Um.....

Ok, really, I had fun because I ran it with my coach, Lauren, and teammate Jennifer. But holy crap, this course had some hills. Here's the course profile:

We decided to run it to practice our intervals and hill training......which meant we were automatically in the "Not in it to win it" category. But we were towards the bottom of the stack, which was quite the test for me to put away the competative streak (ok, so it's more than a streak) and run my own race. It wasn't easy, for multiple reasons, but I stuck with the intervals and I finished! Go TNT chicks!

Here's me finishing- No, I'm not showing tons of leg under the skirt, the spandex underneath are pink. :)

Speed Racer!