That's right, the Fall 2009 Season for the Desert Mountain States has officially begun: GO TEAM!!!
The kickoff meeting was fantastic- we had balloons and streamers, all purple and green, and some very generous and fantastic raffle prizes, compliments of Fleet Feet and the Running Shop. Also with us were Gabbi and Gene, two of our honored teammates, who talked about their experiences with cancer and Team in Training. Gabbi is now 13 (I think, she's growing up so fast) and will celebrate here NINTH year in remission next month.
Gene is one of my personal heroes- he was diagnosed in the late seventies and is the sole survivor of his wing in the hospital when he was in treatment. Now here he is participating with the team and has signed up for the Moab Century Ride AND the Malibu Triathlon. This man is amazing- he's completed two triple crowns as well (When you do a Triathlon, Century [100+miles] and Marathon with TNT). When he spoke at the informational meeting I attended to register for the P.F. Chang's Rock N' Roll Marathon, he got very emotional talking about his survival. I will never forget him yelling through his tears, "I'm not supposed to BE here!!!". Well, THAT certainly put things in perspective- it was so amazing to hear his story, and he was so brave to share it. That season he biked 107 miles in El Tour de Tucson AND ran P.F. Chang's Rock N' Roll. He's a machine. And a hero.
I have quite the diverse group of mentees!! Two are training for the Nike Women's Marathon (same one I'm doing) and two are training for the Adidas Dublin Marathon. Yes, that Dublin. The one in Ireland.
The excitement is palpable and our first practice is next Saturday, the 23rd. We'll be sharing the trail with the San Diego and Seattle teams. San Diego is beginning their taper as their event is the 31st (two weeks from today!!). Next week, Seattle will be running their 18-miler in preparation for their event day on June 27th. We'll be in the upper miles soon enough!
The heat has hit us early this year- we had our first 100 degree day last week (or the week before, I can't remember). Last Saturday, we broke the record with 102. Ugh. I love the desert, don't get me wrong, but damn. It's hot.
I can't wait for practice to start! :)