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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Record - 6 Miles

Wow- I ran six miles yesterday! I was pretty nervous about it, but since I am training to run a marathon...what's six miles right? Ha, well it was a lot of fun. Of course, I was one of the last runners again, but I am so proud of myself for doing it.

This practice was special beacuse we were able to invite our friends and family to come and we had a pot luck breakfast afterwards. Also, all the Team in Training teams were there including the Hike Team and the Tri Team. One of the guys on the Tri team was a Marine and he really encouraged me. I was so proud of myself because I was actually able to keep up with him for a couple minutes.

My friend Amanda came with me. It was her first time to run six miles as well and she did great too! She and I have this little agreement - she wants to be my biggest donor, so she will donate $1 more than my biggest donor. Right now, my largest donation is $100 (Thanks Doc. C). It's not yet posted on my website as I have to mail it in to the LLS Corporate Office.

I am having a lot of fun with this. Running, fundraising, etc - its a lot of work but its also a great experience. This week I need to send out my fliers for the dinner at Chili's where they will be donating 10% of the bill to LLS. Also, I am still working on finding a place for my party. I have talked to Santikos to see if I can host it at their Palladium Theater at the RIM. We will see....but that place would be perfect!

The biggest highlight of my training this week was Saturday. Yes, running six miles was great but I also saw a few people from my running group, R.U.N. (www.meetup.com/runner). They are the greatest and nicest group of people. They always make you feel welcome and a part of the group. Its so amazing how far I have come - from barely running one minute to running six miles and more....and I really have them to thank. From day one, every person there has been so supportive and encouraging. They accept me for me and, at the same time, they challenge me to run longer, harder and faster. They are truly the reason I can now call my self a runner. They are my motivators, my coaches, my friends, they are my home.

I never imagined I would enjoy being an outdoor person so much. I also never imagined I would try to raise $3000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma. There are a lot of things in this world I had never imagined I could do - but I am doing them. It just goes to show that, truly, anything is possible.

Until Next Time....

Training Log for Week Three:

  • Mon, Jun 21: Ran 2.43 miles at Phil Hardberger Park in 37 minutes (15 min/mile)
  • Wed: Jun 23: Ran 4 miles at Brackenridge Park. Did the run in 55 minutes (14 min/mile)
  • Thurs, Jun 24: Ran 2.84 miles at Eisenhower Park in 38 minutes (14 min/mile)
  • Sat: Jun 26: Ran 6 miles starting at Mission San Jose. Finished in 1 Hour and 32 minutes (15 min/mile).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Feeling Hot Hot Hot!

Texas heat is here and its not even officially summer yet! This week was so hard because of how hot and humid it has been. Ok, so the mid to upper 90's won't feel so bad once the triple digit heat begins...but the humidity was crazy. It has been raining here a lot. This time last year, we were already on stage 2 water restrictions...this year our aquifer is at a record high....and so are the humidity levels!

So the Texas heat is bad regardless of humidity, but the humidity just makes the heat so much worse! I ran on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday! I started running in the winter and I think that I like wearing gloves and thick clothing more than running in the heat...I mean, when its cold, just put more on...and your workout will warm you up too. Ugh!

But I just kept on reminding myself why I am doing this. For the kids, for all the people who have suffered and who are suffering from Leukemia and Lymphoma. What they endure - chemotherapy, radiation, etc...that is so much more painful and agonizing that running a few miles in the Texas Heat.

I did some research on Chemotherapy. Basically, it is a cocktail of chemicals designed to interfere with the growth of rapidly-multiplying cancer cells. The problem is that it cannot tell the difference between cancer cells and other cells.

The cells that are most often affected by the chemotherapy are the cells in the bone marrow which are responsible for forming blood, hair follicles, cells in the mouth, digestive tract and reproductive organs. Therefore, the most common chemotherapy side effects are nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, a feeling of lethargy and sickness, and abdominal discomfort. More disturbing side effects may be hair loss or thinning, which is usually temporary, mouth or gum ulcers or sores, anaemia, or sterility. The skin may become dry and discolored. (Source)
That is why the Mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

I never really thought about how terrible the cancer treatment can be - what the patient must go through to get cured and what the family endures in trying to support their loved one. It's like what's worse? The cancer itself or the side-effects of cancer treatment?

I recently met a gentleman named, Rocky Waller. He was diagnosed with Non-Hogkin Lymphoma in 2008. He is a survivor and he is also participating in Team in Training. I met him a few weeks ago and he told me about his treatment. About how he wasn't able to button his own shirts because his finger nails had come off. I never thought about how difficult it might be to button something without finger nails - I never thought about a lot of the things Cancer patients have to endure.

So what is running in 90 degree heat with a ton of humidity? The pain I feel in my feet, my knees, etc - it is all nothing compared to what they go through - and they are why I am doing this.

This Saturday I did not participate in the Team in Training run as I ran in the Carrabbas Half Marathon Relay. I ran with Joey, Jose and Gloria. We called ourselves 'The Mighty Joe Sandwich.' We had a good time. We ran 13.1 miles in a 4 person relay and we finished in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The run was tough because of the heat and humidity and because I wasn't feeling well. But it is just a matter of attitude and I kept my mind on my goal - saving lives.

"Attitude is a little think that makes a big difference." Winston Churchill.

Hope you have a great week!


Training Log for Week Two:
  • Mon, Jun 14: Ran 1.78 miles at Phil Hardberger Park in 25 minutes (14 min/mile)
  • Wed: Jun 16: Ran 3.0 miles at Brackenridge Park. Did the run in 40 minutes (13 min/mile)
  • Thurs, Jun 17: Ran 4.02 miles on NW Military Highway in 54 minutes (13.5 min/mile)
  • Sat: Jun 19: Ran 3.08 miles in the Carrabbas Half Marathon Relay. Finished in 47 minutes (15 min/mile).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Misadventures at the San Antonio Airport

I began my day at 4:30 am. I woke up, got ready in my Team in Training Practice Jersey and then I left with my grandmother to the Airport. We left about 10 minutes late (at 5:10am) and arrived at the San Antonio Airport at about 5:25am. I feared that I might be late to my first Saturday Team in Training practice, which started at 5:45am, but I did my best to stay calm.

"Its ok, Julia," I thought to myself, "you can get your granny checked in and safely off and then get to the run. You may miss the 5:45am annoucementments, but you'll be there by 6am, when the actual run starts."

With renewed confidence, I park my car in short term parking and walked with my granny to the terminal. When we arrived, I realized my error - we were at Terminal 1 but needed to be at Terminal 2. "No worries, I am sure we can get there from here," I said to my granny...but really it was for my benefit.

We went up the escalator and realized that there was no way to get to Terminal 2. The TSA guy said go down the escalator, out the doors and to the right....so we went down the escalator...and then, I thought, "Maybe we need to go down two escalators..." Why did I think this? I have no clue...but so we did go down two flights and found ourselves in the parking gargage.

"Oops," I said, "Lets go back up." That's when I realized that my Granny was not really all that talented at getting on and off the escalator...all our journeying was surely taking its toll on her. So I said loudly, "I'm sorry granny, I've never dropped someone off like this...so I don't really know where to go."

That is when a nice airport employee directed us towards Terminal 2 - out the doors, down a long sidewalk and through some construction that has been there for years. So, we made it to Terminal 2...only to find an entire flight of Airmen in line to check in for their flights.

"Oh, my God," I said very loudly, "We are never going to make it!" That is everyone, including all of the dashing uniformed men looked straight at me. Yes, me, Julia up on a Saturday morning before the Sun, with her humidty fried hair in a poofy ponytail while styling her white, purple and green shirt with matching pink shorts. Any hopes I had at finding my one true love today vanished...

I'd like to say that these Airmen took pity on us and sent us to the front of the line...but that would be a lie. No, we waited behind them all and we finally made it to the counter a little before 6am.

The check in process was seemless. I showed my granny her iteniary and said, "Be sure not to lose this as it has all your flight information." She nodded in agreement, I hugged her and wished her a safe trip.

Then I was off, running down the outdoor corridor, through the construction and back to my Termninal 1 Parking spot. But that is when I discovered that I did not have my keys with me and I was still clutching my granny's iteniary in my hand.

Soooo, I ran back to Terminal 2 and breathlessly informed a TSA agent that I left my keys at the counter. He said I could go get them. I asked if someone could take my granny's iteniary to her, but they said no, there was not enough time - which I didn't understand since her plane didn't leave untill 8:50 and it was 6am. But I have seen enough movies to know that you do not argue with Airport employees. So, I let it go. She had her boarding pass and would not need her iteniary again until she returned. With keys in hand, I ran back to my car in the Terminal 1 parking spot and left at 6:05am.

Even though I was late, I made it to the Team in Training practice by 6:15am. I ran 2 miles in about 30 minutes and I had a blast!

I got to meet and talk with several people and I don't think I ever said "Go Team!" so much in my life....but I guess I had better get used to it as they say it all the time...along with ringing a cowbell...I asked if they could use a more feminine sounding bell such as windchimes. They said they'd get on that.

So that was my morning. Tomorrow I'm having a letter stuffing party to get my fundraising letters sent. Until then, Go Team!

Training Log for Week One:

  • Mon, Jun 7: Ran 2.9 miles at Walker Ranch Park in 37 minutes (13 minute mile)
  • Tues, Jun 8: Ran 4.2 miles on the San Antonio Riverwalk in 58 minutes (14 minute mile)
  • Wed: Jun 9: Ran 2.6 miles at Brackenridge Park. Saw my friend Lindsey from the R.U.N. Group. She cheered me on and I finished strong. Did the run in 38 minutes, so about a 14 minute mile.
  • Sat: Jun 12: Ran 2.2 miles on St. Mary's Street in downtown San Antonio. Was 30 minutes late but still finished strong. Did the run in 34 mintes, so about a 15 minute mile.

    Now I am going to take a nap!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Joys of Fundraising

Ok, so if any of you know me, you probably know that I am a bit crazy! I am slightly obsessive when I get into something and so I am totally obsessed with fundraising. I have created little business cards to hand out to people, I have written almost 240 letters to everyone I know...though I have yet to send them, and I have already scheduled two fundraising events. I already have $50 (Oh yeah, I got another $25 donation - Thanks so much Joe G.!) and I haven't really initiated my fundraising plans...I am still in the planning stages.

But yet I am sooooo worried that I am not going to make it. Can I really raise $3,000 by October? I don't know, but I am going to work hard to do it. Some people make it sound so easy...but it seems really hard. I mean $3,000 is a lot of money...

I just keep reminding myself about why I am doing this...I have heard so many stories, some inspiring, some very sad about patients with blood cancer. Some people have survived and others have not. It is so sad...especially the children.

So I think of all the children that will suffer every day from some form of blood cancer, of every parent that will grieve the loss of their child...or celebrate their victory over the disease... I think of them and then I feel my motivation renewed and I am determined.

That is when the other fears come into play. The fears that I have not spent much time with because I have been so busy worrying about fundraising... Can I really run 13.1 miles?

You know, if you have visited my fundraising web site, you would know that I issued a challenge. If I can raise 26.2% above my goal (that's an additional $786), I will run the full marathon. Am I Nuts?!?

I struggle with running 4 miles...is it possible to run 13...or *gulp* 26?

Well, I know that there are a lot of people cheering me on. I know that once I send my letters and emails, people will start donating...and as I raise more money, my determination will increase too because I know that those people are in my corner, cheering me on...

So, good night for now. I will hopefully have all my letters and emails sent by this weekend...and if I am really lucky, maybe I will get another donation this weekend too!



P.S. My first official training with Team in Training is tomorrow...wish me luck!!