Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Countdown to Training

Official training starts next week! In the meantime, I have been extremely busy. I knew the first half of 2011 would be crazy, and I think I prepared for it as best I could, but the next few months are going to be challenging.

I've been keeping a grueling schedule that involves my usual 9-10 hour work days (plus evening prep work), daily workouts, and since mid January, two graduate level courses. I'll also be resuming coaching Girls on the Run two days a week at the beginning of April, but I'm hoping by then my grad school work will be winding down.

As difficult as it is to manage my current schedule, I know it's finite and it's all in keeping with reaching goals I am determined to achieve. I want to run the half in May, and I am equally determined to finish my masters in 2012.

I cannot describe how motivating it is to see all the donations my family and friends have contributed to support my half marathon goal. I have already raised over $800.00 for First Descents! I am still hoping to reach my goal of $2,500.00 by May, so I'll encourage you again to check out my First Giving page and watch the video about my journey with cancer, and if you're moved to do so, make a donation, anything is appreciated.

I'm keeping this post short because I still have more work to do tonight, and an early morning workout planned for tomorrow!

Hope, Love, Run!
-Marathon Girl

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taking it Easy

It was 40 degrees out today! The piles of snow are slowly melting, and I'm really hoping that the warm weather that is expected this week means that winter is on its way out. I took advantage of the 'warm' weather and went for an outside run. This was actually the second outdoor run I did this week. Back on Monday, it was in the high thirties, and although it was dusk by the time I got home from work, I couldn't resist the urge and went for a run.

It felt like forever since I ran outside. It was SO good to be in the open, the pavement under my sneakers, the cold air numbing my ears and nose. It was the magic of outdoor running that led me to run farther and farther...Farther than I should have.

How far out I ran wasn't the problem. It was the rest of the way back that started to hurt. My legs were sore, and my ankles clearly need some rebuilding from the last few months of shorter treadmill runs, but I was certainly not sorry I went out that night.

Today was another warm day, and being the weekend, I didn't need to run in the dark. I was tempted to take one of the routes I came to love at the end of my last half-marathon training. One of the 10-12 milers that runs along the river. I fought the urge though, and went in the other direction, the one that only allows for a three mile run, because beyond that there's only highway.

I learned last spring that getting too ambitious too early equals injury. And injury only equals RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I did that last spring, and I'd like to think I'm slightly wiser after 600 plus miles of running and training for a half-marathon.

The week looks good for some more outdoor runs. It might even get up to 50 degrees! I'll keep you posted. The next three weeks mark the last ones before I officially begin training for the Run to Remember in Boston. I'm really excited about training, and what this race symbolizes. I'd also like to thank all the people who have already donated to support my race training, it really motivates me to see how many people are supporting me in this challenge.
Thank YOU.

If you'd like to learn more about why I'm training for the half, or about my story, Please visit this site.

Hope. Love. Run.
Marathon Girl

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Q: What time is it? A:Time to give back.

I am now registered for Boston's Run to Remember, which takes place Memorial Day weekend, 2011! I'm spending this month in pre-training for the race. This means I'm running regularly each week, logging at least ten miles, so when I begin training in early March, it's an easy transition. Having successfully trained for a half once before, I feel confident moving forward and saying I am running a race that is still four months away.

However, unlike last time, my commitment goes beyond just saying I'm running this half. I plan on making this race a statement, and the statement is this: not only did I survive, but with some help, I found a way to live a full life beyond cancer. Last year I wrote about celebrating my fourth cancerversary. This year's cancerversary is extra special because it's the holy grail year: Five. Years. Out.

What's the big deal with five, you ask? The big deal is that I was told that there was a 50% chance I would live to see five years from my diagnosis. There was a time I doubted I would live to graduate college, have a job, find someone who could love me, cancer and all...but on June 5, 2011 I will have outlived those dates, and will be as close to being ordained as 'cured' as I'll ever be.

I know it's only February, but I think at this point it's pretty safe to say I will be alive in four months. So I figured, what better way to celebrate this milestone than to run 13.1 miles and raise funds to support the organization that encouraged me to push my body after cancer?
I couldn't come up with anything I'd rather do to commemorate my five year cancerversary, so I'm running this race for First Descents. I feel forever grateful to them because the two week-long kayaking adventures I participated in with other young adult survivors were life-changing and have brought me to the positive place I am today.

So this is the big launch. I have opened my FirstGiving site for support. I encourage you to visit and at least watch the video posted there titled 'Giving Back'. It's a quick (under 4 minutes!) look at the post-treatment portion of my journey with cancer. If it moves you to do so, make a donation. If not, that's okay too, because just by watching, you're one more person who is aware of First Descents and can share it with a young adult who might benefit from it, should the opportunity arise.

Hope, Love, Run,
Marathon Girl

First Giving page
Direct to video