Welcome to my Blog!

Please follow my blog to track my progress as I train with Team in Training to run in the San Antonio Rock and Roll half marathon while fundraising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! My goal is to raise $3000 by October 29, 2010.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Down but not Out!

Ok, so my Airrosti treatments have been helping but when I tried to run my 16 miles, my pain came back around mile 12. Because of this and other factors, Dr. Rios sent me in for an X-ray and I received the results back today. In addition to plantar facsiitis, I also have heel spurs and a stress fracture :-(

Dr. Rios said that I will need to rest my foot for a couple of weeks and then I can start low-impact exercises such as biking and swimming, etc. I also talked it over with one of my Team in Training coaches, Marissa, and she suggested that I take up cycling as well as aqua jogging. Aqua jogging involves wearing a special belt that allows you to float upright in a pool and then you "jog" in the deep end. It gives you all the benefits of running without the impact.

Dr. Rios and I discussed the plan of cycling and aqua jogging to maintain my endurance levels while my foot heals and then running the half-marathon in November. He seemed to think that it sounded reasonable - so I will try it out. He also agreed that it may be a good idea to consult with my regular doctor, Dr. Cannon, for additional treatment. I am thinking of seeing him to see if I should try cortisone injections or any other medications that may help speed my recovery time.

Anyway, I do not have a bike (I used to have one but I gave it away due to non-use....if only I knew then what I know now)... But my friend Debbie is going to lend me her bike. It is a men's bike, but I don't have a problem with that. I also just went onto Amazon.com and purchased bike shorts, a bike rack and the aqua jogger system.

In all honestly, I am feeling really down about this set back. In fact, I cried when Dr. Rios laid out the bad news...but as soon as I got off the phone, I had to make a decision. Did I want to play the victim, see this as a failure and feel sorry for myself? Or did I want to put on a brave face, make some lemonade and do my absolute best to reach my goal? Really what choice do I have? I will go out fighting. I have worked hard to train for the marathon and I am determined to see it through.

Funny how I thought the training would be the easier part....I have met my fundraising goal and am now struggling with the training!!

Please send me your comments. Despite my brave face, I really need some inspiration and encouragement!!!

Till Next Time,


Training Log for Week Sixteen:
  • Mon, September 20: Ran 4.2 miles through Hardberger Park in 57 minutes (14 min/mile)
  • Wed, September 22: Ran 3.5 miles through Tobin Park in 49 minutes (14 min/mile)
  • Sat: September 18: Ran 12.5 miles through Olmos Basin. Finished in 3 Hours and 7 minutes (15 min/mile). I did a great job on this run until my foot became too painful...I fell out at about mile 12 or so...

My last Team in Training Run for a while....I was so proud of myself because I was able to keep up with these awesome ladies for about 4-5 miles! It was awesome!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wine Tasting and Airrosti!!

Hi all, I hope everyone is well and I thank you for continuing to read my blog. Last week was so crazy!! I got maybe 4 hours of sleep each night due to both being extremely busy and due to anxiety. However, that is all past....and I had a successful event!

I worked the morning before the event and it was crazy - I could barely focus on work as all I could think about was what I still had to do to get ready. Plus, my friend who was going to help me with everything came down with a severe case of strep-throat...so I was on my own.

After I got off at 1pm, I went to get a pedicure, then picked up my programs from Office Depot (who did all of my printing), then got my hair straightened and other cosmetic adjustments, then loaded my car, picked up the cake, drove to Wine Styles, unloaded my car and set up for the silent auction. I got ready there at 5:30 pm and was ready to greet my guests by 6pm. From there it was non-stop excitement as I whirled around the room all night long ensuring all of my guests were happy and having a good time.

And, they all had a great time - the food was good, the music was great and the ambiance was perfect! Two of my friends helped me immensely during the event, and I am so grateful because I could not have done it all alone! All in all, I raised $2,200 and after expenses, $1,217 is the total proceeds.

I did learn a few things for the future - such as don't double the food order at the last minute, it would have been okay if we ran out of food at some point...don't print so many programs and don't make your plans so organized that it is hard to make changes without having to redo everything... Still, $1,200 is great and when that posts to my account, I will be $150 away from goal of $3,000!!

Now, regarding my running - you may recall that I mentioned that I had to fall out of the run last week because my foot hurt so much - well, I finally went to a doctor. However, instead of going to my regular doc, I went to Airrosti as they are known for rapid recovery (well known among athletes - especially runners). I saw Dr. Rios on Tuesday and his treatments have made a world of difference!

In fact, Dr. Rios and Dr. Wilson came to my wine tasting. It was nice for them to be there and a lot of my other guests enjoyed their company as well especially since so many of us were/are their patients! Anyway, I have seen Dr. Rios 3 times now and there has been dramatic improvement in my plantar fasciitis. The left side of my foot still hurts from time to time, but not as bad as it did.

The treatment is pretty painful but it seems to be getting better the more I see him. The pain the treatment inflicts is temporary and the ability to walk without pain afterwards is totally worth it!

Anyway, if you haven't heard of Airrosti, your should definitely check it out as it really does work! http://www.airrosti.com/

So, that is it for now. I am supposed to run 16 miles this Saturday which will be my longest distance ever and my first long run since I started Airrosti...wish me luck!!

Til Next Time,


Training Log for Week Fifteen:
  • Wed, September 15: Ran 3.77 miles through Tobin Park in 53 minutes (14 min/mile)
  • Sat: September 18: Ran 7.62 miles through Olmos Basin. Finished in 1 Hours and 42 minutes (14 min/mile). Only ran the half-marathon distance as I had to be somewhere at 9am..

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What a week!

I am exhausted! My Wine Tasting is tomorrow. I have had so many last minute things happen! I have just been a little headless chicken. I have had anxiety attacks, deep senses of calm and extreme feelings of elation. I am so in awe over how everything has come together. People keep on asking me, how did you do all of this? I can honestly, say, I don't know!

I have always had a bit of an obsessive personality in that I cannot stop until I get the job done (one reason why I have a hard time with dating). Anyway, I just worked obsessively on the Wine Tasting and was unrelenting. I now have some amazing silent auction items from a signed photo of Spurs player, Antonio McDyess to a $840 gift certificate for a portrait with J Wilkinson Photography and so much more!

Not too mention, I just received word that the San Antonio Express News is sending a social photographer to take photos at the event! How amazing is that?!

I cannot wait for tomorrow - I have so many people expressing interest in coming that I doubled the food order. I hope that was not a mistake but I figured it is better to have too much food than not enough so I ordered enough to feed 100 people (I have 60 yes' on Facebook and 113 Maybe's).

In other news, I really hurt my foot this past Saturday. I actually had to fall out of the run at mile 6 or so. But I went to Airrosti (Sports Therapy Rehab). Dr. Rios worked on my foot and it feels much better. It still hurts and was a bit painful during my run today but it felt better overall.

So, it is late and I am so tired, so I am going to bid you goodnight. Please wish me luck tomorrow!

Til Next Time,


Training Log for Week Fourteen:

  • Mon, September 5: Ran 5 miles in the SARR Whine Run in 1 hour and 14 minutes (15 min/mile).
  • Wed, September 1: Run Cancelled due to bad weather :-(
  • Sat: September 11: Ran 6.39 miles through Olmos Basin. Finished in 1 Hours and 47 minutes (17 min/mile). Did not finish as I hurt my foot and could not walk much less run :-(

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Friends, Charity, Wine

What an amazing weekend!! I had the most productive, busy and fun weekend! I ran a total of 19 miles and raised $92.50 by standing in front of Wal-Mart and I both was both the giver and the receiver of incredible generosity!

I knew this weekend was going to be long. I don't think I mentioned it before, but I joined two choirs and I have started a Theology class at St. Mary's University. I knew that I had to do my TNT run on Saturday morning, sing the choir on Sunday Morning, attend a party Sunday evening and find time to do my readings for school....good thing it was a long weekend...

But then I added to it as I wanted to run in the San Antonio Road Runners' Whine Run and I had signed up to fundraise in front of the Wal-Mart at 410 and Rigsby. How was I going to do all of this? I didn't think it was possible, so I decided to back out of the Fundraiser.

I had thought of every excuse as to why to back out, but the most prevalent one was that I had no supplies. I had no table, signage, bucket - I had nothing! There was a part of me that wanted to do this fundraiser as I am worried about making my fundraising goal and I knew that I needed the money....but how would I raise anything without supplies?

That is where all my Team in Training friends came in as they lent me everything I needed to "beg" for money at Wal-Mart. In fact, my mentor had already planned to be there for the earlier shift so she said that she would leave her stuff there for me to use after her. I no longer had any excuse not to do it!

So I went and my friend, Amanda, came along to help me. Together we stood outside in the blazing heat and solicited money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After about 10 minutes, I was feeling fried and I began to worry about being sunburned. I tried to get into the shade, but the employees said that we had to be at least 15 feet away from the entrance....

I decided to go into the store and buy some sun screen. As I got into the check out line, there was a lady with three small children in front of me. She was trying to purchase groceries but was informed her coupons were for H-E-B and not Wal-Mart. She was removing items from her cart, mostly baby food and nutrients for her children, trying to get her total down to something more affordable.

It is funny how one minute you are thinking, "I am so busy, I am so hot, I need this, I want that....I, I, I" and the next minute you see only others. I asked myself, "How could I stand there and let this woman walk out of the store without the baby food for her children?" So I said to her, "Please, let me buy these for you." I felt that I was supposed to be at that Wal-Mart for her. All the excuses I had to not go, all the people that helped me to be there - it was all so that I could be there for her. It was a powerful feeling.

After that, Amanda and I stood outside for a grueling 2 hours. We were supposed to be there for 4 hours, but it was too hot and we couldn't take it. So we left. All in all, we raised $92.60!

I did run 14 miles Saturday morning. My foot started to hurt around mile 10 again, but I noticed that it hurt more when I walked, so I decided to run the last 4 miles. I ran slowly, but I ran the whole time and finished. I am planning to see my doctor about my foot as I am concerned about it.

On Monday, I ran 5 Miles in the SARR Whine Run. It was five miles of nothing but hills and I ran it non-stop. Thank God for all that hill training last month as I was able to complete it in 1 hour and 14 minutes! The amazing part was as I ran in, my friend, Eileen, came out to run me in. She grabbed my hand and then I noticed the entire R.U.N. group cheering for me. I had an instant surge of adrenaline and ran faster than I have even run in my life! It was amazing!

After the run we went to the Dry Comal Creek Winery where we imbibed in some of the best Sangria ever. The after party was awesome and the winery even donated a wine tasting for 10 people to my silent auction!

So, I would definitely classify this weekend as one of the best! Now I just need another weekend to recover :-)

Till Next Time,


Training Log for Week Thirteen:
  • Mon, August 30: Ran 2.43 miles at Hardberger Park in 38 minutes (15 min/mile).
  • Wed, September 1: Ran 3.29 miles at Tobin Park in 46 minutes (14 min/mile).
  • Sat: September 4: Ran 14.1 miles through Olmos Basin. Finished in 3 Hours and 37 minutes (15 min/mile).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Remembering Why...

For the past several weeks, I have been blogging about my fundraisers, my challenges and my successes. This week, I would like to take a moment to talk about why I am doing this. Of course, there is the reason why I got into running a marathon - to get into shape and to accomplish a goal...but there is another purpose, a purpose much more substantial that just trying to get into shape - beating cancer!

You know, as I have started to talk more and more about my Wine Tasting, people are opening up to me about their loved ones who have either passed away from cancer or survived cancer. People, such as myself, who have never experienced cancer or a family member who had cancer, cannot really understand the suffering. Even as I try to explain it, I know that I cannot comprehend the full extent of what the patients and their families endure.

The other day, during one of our "Mission Moments" a man came to talk to us about bone marrow biopsies. As he said those three words, several of my teammates, who are cancer survivors, grimaced. As he began to explain the procedure, I quickly learned why.

A bone marrow biopsy involves a doctor taking a needle about the size of a meat thermometer and essentially driving it into your hip bone. This man demonstrated with a material which mimicked bone. He had to put all of his body weight into the 'procedure' and then he twisted the needle until it had sufficiently worked it into the bone. I just could not image that being done to a real person - it looked like torture!

All of the cancer survivors agreed that bone marrow biopsies are one of the most unpleasant parts of cancer treatment. This man then showed us a new technique developed by a company caled VidaCare which uses an electric drill. This drill changes the procedure to make it much easier, quicker and less painful for the patient. The biggest plus, however, is that it allows the doctor to obtain a much larger sample of bone marrow!

But could you imagine? Whether with a drill or by hand, having something the size of a meat thermometer piercing your skin and chiseling into your bone? Could you imagine the constant pain cancer patients endure? The radiation therapy, chemotherapy and all the terrible side effects - not to mention the cancer itself?!

I woke up for my run on Saturday and I just did not feel like running. For one brief second, I thought, "maybe I can just go back to bed...missing one week won't hurt..." Then I thought, "if you had cancer, you couldn't just say, 'I don't feel like having cancer today, maybe I'll go back to bed.'" I mean, these people suffer everyday. The suffering I go through during my long runs is truly nothing in comparison.

The one thing about it that strikes me the most is that leukemia and lymphoma are the number one cancer killer of children. I just can't image a child going through the radiation therapy, chemotherapy, bone marrow biopsy. And I mean little children - I have heard of leukemia patients as young as 2 years old (and I am sure some are even younger)!

But Team in Training is working to fight Cancer. To save lives and to beat cancer. I have learned that money Team in Training raised has been used to fund new drugs that have saved lives. In fact, I have heard first hand accounts of how the new drug, Gleevec, changed a terminally ill patient into a survivor! Research for Gleevec was 100% funded by money raised by Team in Training!

Speaking of money raised, I was informed today that Team in Training's South Central Texas Chapter has collectively raised $104,031 since we started fundraising in June! Personally, I have raised a little over $1,200. My personal goal is to raise $3,000 and hopefully my Wine Tasting will get me there! I am really just so proud and honored to be able to be a part of something that is really touching so many lives. If the money I raise saves one life, then it was definitely worth it!

Team In Training Cheer:

Raising Cash

For Every Mile

Beating Cancer

Team in Training Style!

Till Next Time,


To those who commented on my blog last week:

-Tammy: Congratulations on turning your life around! It can be a hard thing to redefine your self but definitely very rewarding! I love Painting with a Twist - I can't wait to go again!

-Grace: Yes, it is hard to believe that I was once a sad person. I am also happy my life has changed for the better! Thanks for being such an awesome inspiration for me!

-Jasmine: Thanks, I like the background too! Would have been nice for a cold beverage! But last week was our last week at la cantera :-(. Now we are running at the HEB at Basse.

Training Log for Week Twelve:

  • Wed, August 25: Ran 4.57 miles at Brackenridge Park in 1 Hour and 6 minutes (14 min/mile).
  • Sat: August 28: Ran 10.6 miles though La Cantera. Finished in 2 Hours and 37 minutes (14 min/mile). I actually was supposed to run 12 miles, but I hurt my foot and walked the last 2 miles.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Completely Redefined!

So, one thing I should say about myself is that I am generally horrible with keeping up with people. I find it so difficult to call friends, especailly those who live out of state. I am bad at returning emails and worse at regular snail mail. If I don't write the email right after I got the first one, I don't write it. In fact, there are probably 3-5 emails I need to respond to but haven't... I am just bad at keeping up with people...

So, why is this important? Well, being as I generally just graze through emails, skimming them and then forgetting about them, I failed to read a very important email that could have made a bit of a difference on Saturday. You see, I saw our training schedule and it read that we were falling back this week and running ten miles. A correction email was sent, but I failed to read it. So you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at the run on Saturday to learn that I was not running ten miles, but actually 14!!

14 Miles?! I mean, I have to psyche myself up to run long distances and I was not psyched at all! Ok, so 10 miles is a long distance, but it was one that I have done before, and so it did not seem so daunting - but 14? That is a whole four miles longer!!! Things change at 14. For example, I need extra fuel and an extra battery for my phone. I only brought one package of fuel and one battery...luckily the water stops had some power gel but my batter died at about mile 12. Part of that was my fault though as I was taking pictures during my run.

I pretty much ran by myself for most of the run, though my coach and friend, Ronda ran with me the last 2 miles. I was so grateful for her company as she really helped to bring me in. However, the first 12 miles were alone, but it wasn't as hard as it would seem. I actually felt like much of it was a meditation or a prayer. The hill country is just so beautiful and I get to see it in such an awesome way! Running up and down the hills, challenging my body to new limits and doing it all as the Sun is rising - it is just so beautiful! Every step is like a prayer, thanking God for His creation.

The only problem with running alone; however, was that I had no one to keep up with, which meant I ran a lot slower than usual. It took me 4 hours to finish! I can't run that slow on race day as that means it would take almost 8 hours to finish (if I decide to run the full marathon)!

You know, thinking about not being good at keeping up with people, I am just amazed that I have been keeping up with this blog. When I started it, I was nervous because I had started other blogs in the past with no success.

Running and fundraising has become such a large part of my life. I think that this expereince has really made an impact on who I am. It may sound overly dramatic, but everyday I see myself surpassing boundaries I had once deemed unobtainable. I see myself reaching goals and finding success in things that at least one person had said I could never do. Realizing that you have the ability to reach a once unobtainable goal is very powerful.

My dad put a comment on my facebook page the other day. He said, "You've come a long way, Julie! Not too many people could so completely redefine themselves as you have over the last 5 years. Keep your eyes on the prize...and keep running the good race! (2 Timothy 4:7)"

This reminded me of where I was five years ago. Some of you may be surprised to know that I was a very sad person. I spent many years in a dysfunctional marriage, had zero self esteem and the idea of walking one block was out of the question. I had a hard time getting out of bed every morning and had no concept of reaching goals.

Somehow, in the last five years, that all changed. Sure it was gradual and took time. It was certainly not easy, there was a lot of pain and I had to face several uncomfortable truths about myself. But I faced them, I conquered them and I moved on. Now, I am a different person. I am happy and confident. I set goals that others think are crazy and I obtain them!

Ok, this is getting a bit long, so I will just say a one more thing about my Wine Tasting. The planning is going well. I have been collecting my silent auction items. I am still working on others and I am getting a good response from people. I also made flyers which I am now distributing. I think I am on track for a great event!

On that note, I also want to give a shout out to Melissa Smiley with Painting with a Twist. This is an incredible place that offers classes which walk you through painting a masterpiece. I have done it and was amazed with the picture I painting (which I got to keep and is on my living room wall)! Melissa donated a gift certifcate for one class, wine glasses and two paintings. One painting, Cherry Blossoms, go with the gift set while the other, Starry Night, is a door prize. Anyway, this is an awesome place to go for a night out! http://www.paintingwithatwist.com/sanantonio/

Well, thank you for reading. I also received a lot of feedback last week which was great! I really loved to hear your thoughts about my posts and am just so happy that you are actually enjoying reading this. Have a great week!

Your Friend,

Training Log for Week Eleven:

  • Mon, August 16: Ran 2.3 miles at the Phil Hardberger park in 35 minutes (15 min/mile).
  • Tues, August 17: Cycled 4.95 miles at Brackenridge Park in 41 minutes (8 min/mile).
  • Sat: August 21: Ran 14.1 miles though La Cantera. Finished in 4 Hours and 2 minutes (17 min/mile).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Simply Amazing....

So planning a silent auction is a lot of work! I spend practically every extra moment that is not spent working or training for the marathon trying to get silent auction donations. I call businesses during my lunch breaks, I email them at night before bed, and I visit them on the weekends.

Most companies have been very nice and supportive. Most of them are excited to help out. There were a few rude ones but I guess it was because they get so many requests. Still, don't take it out on me, I could be a future client...

Here are a few of the donations I got this week!!!

I am also hoping to get another hotel stay, airline tickets, Spurs merchandise and some more unique items that will appeal to a wide demographic.

In return for the business' support, I am going to put an ad or press release in the San Antonio Express News, publically thanking them. The comapnies that donate do so to support a good cause but also to drive business. So please, if you are in San Antonio, patronize my donors!

As busy as it is making all these calls, etc - it has been a lot of fun. It is so empowering; in fact, at times it seems surreal. I often ask myself, "is this me? am I really doing this?" I mean, I am training for a marathon and I am putting together the biggest event I have ever planned. I am really amazed at what I am doing....

So, speaking of being amazed, I ran 12 miles this past Saturday. It was crazy! Just like last week, I got very stiff around mile 8 or 9. I kept on pushing and I made it but it was rough. We ran through the Texas Hill Country again. Man, those hills were killer. If anyone tries to tell me that Texas is all flat, well I have the leg muscles to prove them wrong!!

Regarding the run, I did not recover as quickly this weekend as I did last weekend. Mainly, I think it was because I was not able to take an ice bath. I went to my parent's house after the run as I had errands to run on their side of town so I didn't drive all the way back home. The problem is, they don't have a bathtub in the guest bathroom, just a really big shower, so I laid on the bottom of the shower and had the water running on me as cold as possible. It didn't help too much as I was sore the whole day and into Sunday. Doing ten miles again this Saturday - definately taking an Ice Bath.

I am also going to Austin this weekend with some of my single lady friends. I am very excited as I have never been to Austin and I hear that 6th street is awesome - so I am really looking forward to it.

Oh, well, that is all for now. Thanks for reading my blog and please, check out my donors :-)

Til next time,


Training Log for Week Ten:

  • Mon, August 9: Ran 2.26 miles at the Phil Hardberger park in 32 minutes (14 min/mile)
  • Thurs, August 12: Ran 4.02 miles at the San Antonio Riverwalk in 50 minutes (13 min/mile).
  • Sat: August 14: Ran 12.1 miles though La Cantera. Finished in 3 Hours and 2 minutes (15 min/mile).