NWM 2010 with TNT - Race Weekend Report
It's been a couple of days since the race and it has yet to sink in that it is over! The weekend was such an incredible experience that it is going to be hard to break it all down here…but I might as well start at Union Square.
After checking into our hotel, Cam and I headed over to the Expotique tent in Union Square. I picked up my bib number and we wandered around the tent a bit to see what was there (they had gait analysis, bra fittings, a booth where you could sign up for automatic Facebook race updates, etc). I signed the TNT dedication wall and we decided to head on our way to Niketown to score some race merchandise.
At Niketown, they had an entire wall with all of the names of the people running in the race. It took about 2 seconds to find my name, right at eye level, near the street corner LOL. Took a picture and then hustled into the crowd inside. I bought a great running shirt and then we went shopping in Union Square (expensive, but awesome)
On the Saturday morning, our team met in the lobby to go for a friendship run across the Golden Gate Bridge. Our mentor, Kim, had arranged a great surprise for us - transportation to the bridge was in LIMOS!!!! SO AWESOME!
That run was THE BEST way to see the landmark. We stopped to take a ton of pictures and had a relaxing run with lots of laughs! Really - the pictures are posted and they tell the story so much better!
Saturday night was the inspiration dinner. It was held at the Moscone Center (same place as Steve Jobs Keynotes - yes, I am THAT geeky). As the TNT participants entered the convention centre, the noise was deafening. Every single staff person for TNT was lined up to funnel us in and were cheering so loud. It was so overwhelming. I tear up just remembering it. It really drove home what we have been doing for the sat 6 months and how much it has been appreciated by the society. As we descended the stairs, there was a man holding a sign that said "I'm a survivor because of you"…I choked right up when I read that. The whole scene just showed exactly how big this thing is. It's hard to describe. I took a video that I will try to upload today.
When we finally got into the centre and got our food, the program for the evening could begin. The emcee for the evening was John "the penguin" Bingham - a popular author and Runners Word columnist. I had actually just finished his book "Marathoning for Mortals" about 2 days before we left so I was very excited. Joan Benoit Samuelson was the guest speaker. And then there was a woman who spoke about her sister's battle with blood cancer (cancer eventually won) and how her and her 5 other sisters have been honouring her by running and walking in several TNT events.
All in all an emotional night. I wanted to stay a bit longer and meet John Bingham (and get a picture) and to buy some TNT merchandise…but we had a Team meeting and I had about 3 minutes to get back to the hotel so it was all kind of a blur and I missed out on both. Ah well - another time.
Race day started ridiculously early. My alarm was set for 4:30, but my eyes opened at 4. A quick peek out of our hotel window showed me that the race organizers were up long before I was - the lights glowing over Union Square were blinding! And we were 4 blocks away! I choked down my untoasted bagel (what I wouldn't have paid for a toaster right about then) and tried to not let my nerves get the best of me. I smothered on the anti-chafe cream and started to get dressed in my race clothes.
At 5:30, Cam and I wandered down to the hotel lobby for our team photo (thanks, hun, you got so many great ones) and then I sent him back up to get some more sleep before heading to meet me at the finish line.
The team headed out to the start line - stopping to check bags and take porta-potty breaks along the way. Gathered in front of Victoria's Secret, it took me a good half hour to get my Garmin to pick up a GPS signal. At least I wasn't the only one wandering around with my arm in the air over my head!
The streets were packed with 20,000+ runners and walkers…it was solid people as far as the eye could see! At 7am, the gun went off and we slowly made our way to the start gate! And then we were off…running through the financial district on our way to Embarcadero along the bay. The buildings blocked the signal for my GPS so I had no clue how fast I was going until we got to the waterfront. I was feeling good though and didn't stop to walk for the first 20 mins. I was running with 3 other girls from my team and then I suddenly had to pee. Bad. LOL To hear the girls tell it - I just sped right up and got waaaaay ahead of them. The first portapotties weren't until around the 6K mark so I had a long way to go. When I finally got there, the wait was unbelievable. My gamin paused for over 12 minutes but then I was on my way again. By that time almost everyone had passed me and I was on my own.
So I decided to just run my own race and enjoy the sights as I went. I walked up the hills I didn't feel like running and ran the ones I did. I stopped when a sight inspired me and I took ALOT of bad self portraits.
At one point, I was coming up a smaller hill and noticed the photo collages that each region had put together…as I scanned for the Prairie region one, I saw Anna up ahead and so hurried to catch up to her…it was one of my favourite moments in the entire race to be able to stand at the photos from our region with the person I was honouring and have a photo with her to immortalize the moment! I ran with her for a little bit and then pulled ahead again.
At exactly mile 9, I was stopping to take my picture with the mile marker sign and Becky, one of the girls on my team that hadn't been to any training runs, came up and introduced herself and offered to take my photo. I did the same for her and we both suddenly had someone to run the rest of the race with.
With lots of encouragement and self-cheering, we passed mile 10 (where we saw Jillian's hubby, Brent, and my wonderful Cam) and then the miles flew by and we were suddenly coming up to the finish line. It had started to rain - not hard, but enough to remind me that it has rained every race day I've had all year LOL.
I crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 51 minutes, and 30 seconds. And then I moseyed on over to the lovely fireman who presented me with my Tiffany necklace/medal. Then I picked up my bright pink finishers shirt (pink, really? Nike, do you hate me?) and wrapped myself in a foil blanket to keep me warm. As soon as I had crossed the finish line, I felt the tell-tale heat of a blister on both feet (though when I got back to the hotel there wasn't any - it just really felt like one). I checked in at the TNT tent where they gave me a TNT pin that said I did 13.1 (YAY!) and went off to grab some food and water so I could start replenishing what I'd lost.
The TNT tent was right by the ocean and the rain and wind made it super cold out there. I saw very few people from our team simply because they wanted to get to the hotel and warm up as soon as possible. I wanted to go back to the start line to cheer Anna in, but was so cold and sore that I couldn't get my bearings to head back. As it turned out, she crossed the line almost exactly 3 minutes after I did so I was likely still right there at the line when she crossed. So, as soon as I saw Cam, we hightailed it out of there. It took me a good hour to warm up after my shower!
This race was a tough but beautiful course…a definite challenge for my first half marathon…but I am so happy I did it! I went through a lot of beating myself up throughout the training for having chosen a half marathon instead of a full…but in the end it was definitely the right choice for me. There is lots of time to do a full down the line. Anna is already talking about putting together a team in 2012 to do a full marathon for TNT and I will happily join them then :)
The evening after the race, there was a Victory Party back at the Moscone Center. Cam and I got dressed up and headed over there. Dinner was kind of disappointing on the vegetarian side (Veggie Chow Mien and Mashed Potatoes does not a meal make). There was a circus performance as entertainment. We didn't end up staying very long because we realized we had to leave the hotel super early to catch our flight…so we had to take off and didn't get a chance to say many good-byes. As far as I could tell - there was dancing firing up right as we left so I am sure there was lots of fun to be had.
And that, in a nutshell, was the race weekend for Nike Women's Marathon 2010 :)
I run for life!
After this weekend, I don't think I will ever hear this song again without crying...I wanted to share the lyrics:
I Run For Life
It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She'll tell you it makes her complete
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me, my friend
I run for life
It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I'm still learning the lesson
To awake when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I'll tell you I run for us all
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life
And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister, your daughter, your wife
For you and me my friend
I run for life
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life
The truly terrible training run
Yesterday was the longest group run for the half marathoners and, I'm not sure if there was just something in the air, but it seemed to be a truly terrible one for almost everyone on the paths!
20K was on the schedule and we were all pretty enthusiastic when we headed out. I think I was about 3K into the run when I started cramping really bad and slowed down ALOT. Before long, I couldn't see the group in front of me and I was settling in to finish the remaining 17K on my own. Luckily, at around the 8K mark, my mentor came back to run with me and slogged out the rest of the distance. At around 14K, we were to the point where we were running for 4 mins and walking for 5 and our coach was hunting us down to make sure we were ok. She fed me some extra electrolytes to help with the cramping and we got back to Eau Claire after about 2:40:58.
It was funny, the things that were bugging me on that run. At one point, it was a chunk of my hair that was slapping against my ear. Then, the shirt around my waist was crooked and I couldn't get it feeling comfortable. My fuel belt nearly went into the river a few times because I couldn't get it sitting right. You get the idea…it was a bunch of piddly little things that made up a truly horrible experience.
But, with every truly terrible run, there are lessons to be learned. and I definitely learned a lot. First, I learned to respect the distance. I've been beating myself up for only signing up for a half marathon. I was even starting to feel like I was copping out and not giving myself enough credit that I could finish the longer distance. But after yesterday's run, I KNOW that I made the right choice in choosing the half. I am just not ready to tackle the full 26.2 miles. And that's perfectly ok.
The second thing I learned was to respect my body enough to fuel it properly. Friday night, I was in such a hurry to collect the bottles for my bottle drive that I failed to eat a proper, carb-filled dinner. As a result, my body didn't have anything in the tank when I was starting. Sure, I had my normal breakfast bagel and peanut butter…but it just wasn't enough. So, now I've learned THAT lesson the hard way. I won't make the same mistake again.
The third thing I learned was the power of a team. We have a really great team, but yesterday proved we are a strong one. The fact that Kim came back for me when I didn't really expect it was fantastic. It meant I had someone to commiserate with along the miles. Even though it was the longest it had ever taken her to run 20K - she didn't complain. She was there to help me do it. And when we got back to Eau Claire, the rest of the team was there to cheer and cry with and hug and hash out what went wrong. And it wasn't long before we were all putting a positive spin on the bad training run. In 2 weeks in San Francisco, we know it will be a good one because of all we learned yesterday. You've got to have at least ONE bad run…it's just good when it isn't on race day!
$5000 Purple Hair
Last night, my wonderful hairdresser, Brandi, met me at the salon after hours to turn my locks purple - as promised in my Fundraising Pledge! She generously donated her services to make this happen!
I am an almost 34-year old mom of one year old twins and I wanted a purple I could live with. I think many people were expecting I would go Barney purple but really...I'm not 14 years old and just can't pull off that look. Brandi mixed up a really nice dark purple that was about the same tone as my natural colour. Then she added in highlights that were the pure violet colour. It wasn't long before my entire head was covered in goo and foils. A short time later and we were ready to rinse and style it.
So now I will be rocking some gorgeous purple hair for the next few months (unless people decide they want to get super generous in the next month and get me all the way to $10,000...and then I will need to fulfill the rest of my pledge and shave it off! Whadya say? Are YOU up for the challenge? Donate today!
On Fundraising Minimums…and meeting them
Some of you have probably heard me mention "fundraising minimum" a few times and have wondered what I meant by it. It is really just exactly what it sounds like - the minimum amount I needed to raise to be able to be a part of the team in San Francisco.
Of the money I raise, 75% goes to the research and patient service programs that Team in Training is famous for. The remaining 25% is to cover the administrative costs associated with running the program and supporting the athletes. For a participant from Calgary to participate in Nike Women's Marathon - they need to raise a minimum of $4500. 25% of that pays for our flights, entrance fees to the event, hotel, and other transportation expenses for the event weekend - plus paying for the support people who help us along the way. It is this breakdown that has helped Team in Training raise over $1 BILLION DOLLARS since it's inception in 1988! That is over $45 MILLION dollars a year on average!
Once the fundraising minimum is met - ALMOST EVERY PENNY RAISED goes towards the research and patient services. So, of the $5000 that I have raised, the first $4500 was my minimum ($1125 to cover my expenses and admin fees and $3375 to the research and patient services), but the $500+ I have raised since is going straight to the programs that will one day find a cure for these cancers! Pretty incredible! And since I would like to raise $6500 before I go..that will mean that together we have raised over $5300 and will provide the researchers and care givers with the resources to do what they need to do to find that cure…or the drug that controls the cancers (drugs like Gleevec - for leukemia - were developed from Team in Training dollars)…and the support that patients need to beat these cancers.
What happens to those who don't meet their fundraising minimum? Team in Training has a set number of dates throughout our training. One of these is called the Recommittment Date. It is about 2 months before the event. Basically it is where you make the decision on whether you will continue or not. If you have not met your minimum by this date and you want to continue, you need to sign a form and provide your own credit card number - stating that if you have not met the minimum by the Credit Card Charge date (about 2 weeks before the event) then you are agreeing to pay the remaining amount yourself (you do have up until one month after the event to keep fundraising and can put in for a reimbursement of the money if you happen to make enough donations to cover what was charged to your card).
Amazingly, my team for Nike Women's this year had a 95% recommitment rate! That was the best that our TNT office had ever seen! Not everyone is at their goals yet, but with the support of the office, their team mates, and their loved ones - most will likely earn at least their minimums before it becomes necessary for a credit card to be charged. This is why you will occasionally see me posting events for my team mates on Facebook. You never know when they are doing something that someone might be interested in :)
That is the same reason I have tried to vary my fundraising - to appeal to as many people as I can. The thought of donating to a cause you have no interest in may keep you from supporting me, but through my other fundraisers - the jeans days, the tupperware, the magazines, the pub night, the weight loss challenge, the art auction - I've found a way to reach many of you who may not have wanted to help otherwise. And I appreciate every ounce of that support!
So, for those of you who are tired of my tireless pleas for donations…please know that I am doing it for the people who are suffering through living with a blood cancer. The patients, their families and their futures.
August was a very busy month as the twins were really finding their stride with the whole walking thing…and I was running longer and longer distances :) Just this weekend, I ran 16K with our team.
I ran another 10K race in Edmonton on the 21st - coming in with a time of 1:07! A new personal best. But perhaps the best part of that entire race was that I ran it with my friends Anna and April. It was Anna's first race since her diagnosis and she did so fantastic - 1:13! I was just far enough ahead that I got to be there to cheer her across the finish line! A very emotional moment for us all! And thanks to our wonderful race photographers, we have the whole thing really well documented! I posted some of the photos over on my website at http://runningforacure.shutterfly.com
As of yesterday, I have raised over $5000 (thanks to a generous neighbour who really REALLY wanted to see me with purple hair). My amazing hairdresser, Brandi, has offered to donate the colouring! So, I will be having the hair done up in a lovely shade of purple in the next week or two. I will be sure to post photos on my running website!
At about mid-month, I had all of my fundraiser events and stores wrap up and so I have been working at putting together some new fundraisers. I am officially past the minimum I needed to raise, but I'm not stopping there. I want to raise as much as I possibly can so we can kick cancer to the curb! Please donate if you can…and check out my fundraising events to see if there is anything you might be interested in (below).
Gimme 5 Challenge
This is a one week challenge (Aug 28-Sept 3) issued by our Team in Training office to all team members! Our goal is to raise as much money as possible in one week on just $5 donations! So, if you haven't donated yet because you are short on cash - here's your chance to make a difference with a small donation!
1) Gimme 5 minutes of your time - Check out my website and read what I am doing
2) Gimme $5 - just donate online: five dollars for a great cause
3) Gimme 5 friends - send this to 5 friends to help spread the word! Advocate for me!
4) Gimme 5 more minutes of your time - every 5 minutes someone new is diagnosed with a blood cancer - money for research is needed!
5) Gimme 5 hours (or more/less) to complete the half marathon (well, I am aiming more at 2.5 hours for the half...but the theme is fives here)
For everyone who donates $5 to me in the next week via my donation website, I will enter your name into a draw for the prize that I have a chance to win. I have no idea what it is but they say it is a "TNT Prize Pack". I'll have Cam draw the winner if it is confirmed that I win the challenge! I will find out after Sept 7.
If I don't get enough donations to take the big prize - I will draw instead for a Team in Training mouse pad that I have here :) I will either deliver in person (local) or mail the prize to the winner
Norwex Catalogue Party
My friend, Heather, is a Norwex representative and she has generously offered to donate 30% of her commissions on the party toward my fundraising efforts. Norwex products are fantastic. Cam and I switched over to chemical-free cleaning a couple of years ago and it was the best thing we ever did. We are healthier for it and we never have to worry about the girls o the dogs getting into any harmful products…because they don't exist in our house anymore! If you are local, I can get you a catalogue - just email me. For those out of town - here is an online copy of the catalogue. http://media.norwexcs.com/Flipbook/CDN-2010-Catalogue/
and there are new products at this site:
You can order through me so just let me know what you'd like :)
For out of town orders, there is a $4.95 shipping charge per order. These orders will be sent directly to your house.
For local orders, Heather can send the order in all together and the shipping will only be $2 per order and I will deliver the orders when they arrive. If you would rather have it shipped - it will be the $4.95.
And the shipping is super speedy! When I attended one of her parties on a Saturday - the order was in by Wednesday. The one time I had one shipped right to me - it was expresspost and it came about as fast.
Empties to End Blood Cancer
BOTTLE DRIVE!!!! This one is for the locals only (though the out of towers are welcome to participate - just take in your bottles and donate the proceeds). If you would like to donate your empties to my cause - let me know and I will make arrangements with you to pick them up during the month of September.
Thank you so much to everyone for all of your support! I will continue to raise money until the race on October 17! I hope to raise as much money as possible so that one day money will no longer need to be raised and we can celebrate a cure!
Until next month..
Please consider supporting me in my run for a cure
The hair is going PURPLE!!!
When my very generous neighbour, Joe, found out how close I was to $5000 - he pledged the rest of the money to get me there! And my wonderful hairdresser, Brandi, at Xhale Salon & Spa has offered to donate the colouring so as soon as we can get me booked in - I will be turning these locks purple!
Thank you so much to everyone who has gotten me this far with my fundraising efforts! I am still going to be raising money until the race so it is definitely not too late to donate. No amount is too small - in fact, I have a $5 donation challenge going on as we speak! Please be a part of the cure we hope to celebrate one day!!
Take THAT, Cancer! The Edmonton Marathon 10K - August 21, 2010
And so, my last 10K of the summer is done :) Last night, I ran the Edmonton Marathon 10K. It was my first race where I actually participated with friends - Anna and April came up to Edmonton to run it as well.
It was my first evening race. When I registered, I didn't realize it was on the Saturday night until I got the confirmation email. That was a bit scary because it could have meant a really HOT run if the weather decided to be that way. In the week leading up to it, the smoke from the BC fires had settled in Alberta and as we drove north on Thursday night, the smoke kept getting thicker and thicker. Not ideal running conditions. By friday, some overnight rains had dampened it somewhat but it was still smoky. and then Saturday dawned cool and wet and considerably less smoky. Things were looking up!
Cam and I attended the race expo on the Friday afternoon so I could get my race package and hit the BondiBand booth for some shiny new headbands (a girlie can never have too many!)
On the Saturday afternoon, we came into the city a bit early so we could hang out with the girls for a while before the race. We met up at Anna's hotel and then headed over to the starting area as a group. The day hadn't gotten too hot so we were looking forward to a cooler run…and the overcast sky meant no glaring sun in our eyes! Yay!
Cam, Vanessa and Sanni took lots of pictures of us before we lined up and then Cam headed off to work his way down the course to take some "during" shots as we passed him each way!
The 3 of us lined up in the 1:10 pace group. I wanted to come in ahead of my 1:10 time from my last race, but I wasn't too stuck on it. This was going to be my long run for the week no matter how fast I came in. When the horn went off to start the race, I stayed with Anna and April for the first 5 mins or so, but I was seriously stepping on the heels of those in front of me so I took that as my cue to pull ahead and stretch my legs to find where I could comfortably run. As it turned out, I ended up tucking myself in just behind the 1:05 pace group and I played leapfrog for most of the race with that group. In the last 2K, I was trying super hard to just beat this race walker (I didn't :( But I tried - I think if my hips weren't connected to the rest of my body, like hers, I would have had no problem lol)
The course was very nice. It left Northlands park and headed south to ADA Blvd and then ran along the ridge of the river valley - a nice flat course (if you don't count the fact that every crosswalk was a speedbump! LOL). It was well planned out as well - there were 2 water stations, but they were placed in such a way that for the 10K you hit a water stop 4 times! Better than any of the other races I've been in this year.
I crossed the finish line at 1:07:05 and nearly knocked the guy over who was to put the finishers medal over my head. Guess I kicked it a little hard to the finish line after the announce called my name out on the approach.
I'm really happy with my finish time. A new personal best. But most of all - I am so proud of Anna! Not only has she kicked her cancer to the curb…but she has picked herself up and gotten back to doing something she truly loves. It was very emotional to watch her cross the finish line and, for that, I am glad I ran ahead of them. I wouldn't have wanted to miss that for the world!
The recommitment deadline is on Monday (Aug 16). Basically, recommitment is where you register for the race, hotel, flights etc...and commit yourself to paying any outstanding required fundraising if you fail to meet the minimum by the cut-off in early Oct. I do have my fundraising minimum met on paper - I am just waiting for a couple of cheques from fundraising companies for the magazines and tupperware and once that is submitted - I am all good. So my credit card won't be charged when the time comes. Now I can just concentrate on my training and in trying to meet my overall goal of $6500 that I set for myself!
It is very exciting to be sending this paperwork in to Team in Training. With less than 70 days until the race - it is starting to feel VERY close. I have booked the flights for Cam and I, and have booked our hotel for the one night we want to stay in Silicon Valley being geeks before everyone else arrives. The hotel we are staying in in San Fran is walking distance from the Starting Line and is close to all of the race weekend excitement! I truly can't wait!
Once again, the end of the month has snuck up on me and it is time to send out another update on how my training and fundraising has been going. Only 82 days until I am running in San Francisco!
I am still meeting up with my Team in Training team for our Saturday group runs. It is really great to be a part of a team for those. I truly can't imagine going for a 15K run by myself! Just last weekend, I ran the entire way around Glenmore Reservoir in just shy of 2 hours! I hope the next time I do that that it will be much cooler than the +25 it was at 8am that day!
My fundraising has been going extremely well. I am nearly at my fundraising minimum of $4500 and then I will push onwards to raise as much as I possibly can. I want to thank everyone who has supported me so far. Your donations and participation in my fundraising events has been most appreciated! If you haven't had a chance to check out my fundraisers or to sponsor me - please check out the links at the bottom of this email to see what I have going on right now!
On the race front, I ran my first 10K in the Stampede Road Race on July 11! Did it in 1 hour and 10 mins, which was pretty good for me. I'd been running it in about 1:15 in my training runs! My next 10K is in Edmonton towards the end of August.
Ultimately, I am enjoying this amazing journey I am on! I can't believe that just a few short months ago, I couldn't have run further than the end of my block and when I am done, I will be able to run almost the equivalent of running out my back door and reaching the eastern edge of Calgary!
Thanks so much for all of your support!
Love Cori :)
Please consider supporting me in my run for a cure http://runningforacure.shutterfly.comCurrent Fundraising Events
The magazine store will remain open until August 15. If you have a magazine subscription that needs renewing or would like to order a new one for yourself or as a gift (they make great gifts - we just bought them for our niece and nephews birthdays and they were a BIG HIT!) Check out the over 650 magazines that are available in my fundraising store:http://www.magfundraising.ca/runningforacure
Online Tupperware Fundraiser Party:
My sister-in-law is a Tupperware consultant and she has kindly set me up with a fundraiser store! Items purchased from the online store will have 40% of the sale proceeds donated to my fundraising. If there is something that you would like that is not in the online store - just contact me to place an order and 15% of those sales will also be donated! OR - book a home party and Crystal will donate $25 for each party booked!
Please check out my online store at:http://order.tupperware.ca/pls/htprod_wwwcan/!twx$eparty_ctl.p_guest_welcome?pv_eparty=56128c7b765397edab9d0f9...77f1c4876&v_item_category=efund15
Stampede Road Race 10k
Today I ran the Stampede Road Race 10K. It was a great day for it, weather-wise. Cloudy and not too hot. No real rain, except the 4 drops I dodged around the 7K mark. It was super humid, though. Because we had Gramma visiting, Cam and I headed into the race and left the babies with her at home. It meant we made it to the start line with plenty of time to spare (not like my last 5k lol). I was really excited when I was getting close to the start line because my running power song (Worldwide Suicide by Pearl Jam) was playing on the speakers and I took that as a sign of great things ahead.
The course, itself, felt familliar because I have run in that area alot lately. Parts of the route, I had even run earlier in the week.
When I turned up onto 14A street, I could see the first water table and it was manned by people I knew (my coaches hubby, some people he is training for the NYC Marathon with, and a couple team members of mine). When they saw me heading their way, they started up a chorus of "Go Cori!!!!" It's really amazing how hearing your name being cheered really helps lift your feet! Loved it! Cam was nearby snapping a zillion pictures of everything (he was shooting everyone so it seems like people thought he was the official photog for the race).
And then it was off through the park and across the dam. I thought the TNT water table was at the 5K mark but I didn't pass another table so I am guessing they were on the course for the half). As I was coming around to head to the bridge to cross over Glenmore again, I came up on 3 members of my TNT team and they helped me by lifting my spirits to carry me through to the end. Thanks guys!
And then, when I hit the 8k mark, my left knee was really complaining again so I started taking more frequent walk breaks. Not long ones but I wanted to finish strong.
And then I was turning into the Glenmore Athletic Park again and heading up the little grass hill to the track. It felt so good to hit the rubber on the track after pounding asphalt for 9.5K!
In the end, I finished strong. My Garmin had me at 1:10 and the clock had me at 1:07. A really good time for my first 10K. I'm so happy with it. I can hardly wait to see what the actual chip time was!
Running Biomechanics Clinic
Last night we had a clinic on Running Biomechanics at the Running Injury Clinic. Karen Kendall gave a great presentation on how to make sure our bodies are balanced in a number of areas so we can run injury free. I got so much out of this presentation and I think I might now be equipped to make adjustments to my running form so I won't be plagued by some of the knee complaints I have been having.
I also won the draw for the Team in Training fuel belt that was up for grabs! So excited because I really wanted this one :)
And in sad news - we got official word yesterday morning that our big black dog, Abner, has cancer. He's only 5 and a half years old so this was a bit of a blow to our family. He is now on prednisone for a year to try to prevent regrowth of the giant tumour that was removed and the vet is very hopeful that he will respond well. In the meantime, I am on the hunt for a canine cancer ribbon to wear on race day to count him among my honourees.
My Mission Moment
On July 3, I volunteered to provide the mission moment for the group run. Below is what I shared:
Everyone here knows that I am running for Anna. Because she's been the mission moment for the last 2 weeks, I felt I should come up with a different story to share. But before I do, I want to share some great news. The test results show she is now in remission!
So, in preparing to do my mission moment, I took to the internet and stumbled upon the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Life Mosaic site. At our second GTS, we met up here at Eau Claire and for our mission moment, Sheena directed us to wander through an amazing cancer photo exhibit that had been erected right here - this website is very similar, except it is all inspirational stories of blood cancer patients and survivors. I'd like to share one of the stories I read on this site as my mission moment today. Lemme tellya it was hard to narrow it down to one…
This is Joe's story:
It's been a year now since I was first diagnosed.
'You have cancer,' the surgeon told my wife and me. 'I'm sorry.'
We went to the oncologist and found out that I had advanced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with bone marrow involvement. 'We can try a new drug that has hope,' my doctor told us. 'It's called Rituxan.' We will give it to you in high doses with your chemo treatments. Expect the worst by December from the medicine.'He was wrong. The 'worst' was telling my daughter.
How could I tell a 5-year-old that her daddy might die? How was I going to hold my family together through this crisis? Should I prepare for my own death? Cancer seemed so unpredictable to me. Why do some people live and why do some people die?
My daughter withdrew from me, my wife held us together, and I went through the much-dreaded chemo for six months. March was my last treatment, and all the test have shown that I am in remission.My daughter has once again become 'daddy's little girl,' and my wife did a wonderful job of holding it all together. Our lives will never be the same, and I think of what I went through every day. I have to go back to the doctor once every three months for checkups, but that is a small price to pay to be alive.
This is an amazing website and I encourage everyone to check it out at http://www.llslifemosaic.com
The stories shared there are such a powerful reminder of why we are here. Together we are making a difference!
Great news! I just heard from Anna this morning. Her Lymphoma has officially been beat into remission! Now we can all breathe and celebrate!!!!
A Very Emotional GTS
Today, Anna came out to our group training session and shared her story with our team as our weekly Mission Moment. There were not many dry eyes in our circle. So many people on our team know Anna well - she is being honoured by both her daughter and myself, as runners, and our coach has known her for years - it made for a very emotional start to the run. I am hopeful that this week we will get to have some happy news to add to her story. She will be finding out how well her treatments worked. Fingers crossed.
I haven't been posting weekly updates on how my training is going, but thought it was about time I posted something :). I have been attending our weekly group training sessions and as of last weekend we were up to about 8K on our Saturday morning runs (next week should be over 10K as we are running for 75 mins!) It has been really great getting to know everyone and I am enjoying both the runs and the post-run coffee and visiting!
Last week, I started both speed training and hill training. Both will help me build the strength in my legs to go for longer at a more consistent pace, while the long Saturday runs are to build up my endurance. I am going to be honest - I HATE SPEED TRAINING lol. Or maybe I just hate pick-ups - interval running where I go as hard and fast as I can for 2 mins and then recover for 2 mins. But whenever the going gets tough, I am reminded of one of my favourite Steve Prefontaine quotes "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift" and I keep going. I am capable of doing it and I should give it my all or it isn't worth doing it at all! It's not easy, but it will be worth it when I cross that finish line in October.
For my first hill training session I dropped the twins with my sister in law for an hour and headed out into Fish Creek Provincial Park in the deep south of Calgary. There are some nice rolling hills on the paths there and it gave me a chance to tackle them while on a decent length run. It is so pretty down there that I ended up going for 20 mins longer than I had planned! This week I will be running hill repeats (basically running up and down the same hill over and over) with a group of friends who will also be running in San Fran, though not with Team in Training. I'm really looking forward to it.
On the fundraising front, I should break the $3000 mark sometime this week, as the money comes in from the silent auction. And on Saturday, we had our first group fundraising meeting with our mentor and decided that we will hold a group fundraising event in the next few weeks (tentative date: June 30). We're aiming for a Pub Night and Silent Auction - so I should be making an announcement about ticket sales soon. Also - if you have anything you would like to donate to the silent auction, please let me know! I will likely be allowed 3 items and I may put in a couple of things myself, but I would definitely be open to donations of great items :) All of the money from ticket sales and my silent auction items will go towards my goal so I do hope to have my cheering section in attendance :) If you are interested in Tickets, please let me know and I will keep you posted on the event details when they become available.
I am also very happy with how the magazine sales are going! I just checked my profit totals tonight and it is already at almost $150! Thank you so much to everyone who has subscribed through my site! It doesn't give me a list of who has been buying, but please let me know if you have so I can thank you personally! If you know of anyone who would be interested in magazines (either new subscriptions or renewals), please send them the link to my website. 37% of the sales goes directly to my fundraising! http://www.magfundraising.com/runningforacure
I have also posted a couple of PDF flyers on the homepage of this site (right column). There is one about my donation site and another about the magazines - each with tear-off tabs with the web addresses on them. If you have a bulletin board at your office and would be willing, please print one off and post it for me to help spread the word! Thanks!
Until next time - thank you all so much for your support! I am so touched by your caring and truly appreciate everything you all have done!
I was playing around with my Garmin tonight and thought to look at the history on it for the first time. I bought it right before I started formally training with the team so, in just over a month I was surprised to see exactly how many kilometers/hours I had logged!
For those of you who don't know what a Garmin is, it is a running watch that has a GPS in it and it will track your pace and distance, as well as timing how long your runs are. It will even tell you how many calories you've burned, based on your weight, speed, distance etc....and that's only SOME of what it does - I still have alot to figure out! Pretty cool little gadget! I got mine for a steal on eBay!
Anyways - so far, I have run 84.06 km and that works out to 10 hours, 12 minutes and 33 seconds of running in just over a month! (and burnt 7307 calories apparently - I KNEW my clothes were fitting looser!) And I am still at the point where I am not running for over an hour a session yet! By the time I am done the half marathon, some of my long training runs will be 2.5+ hours long EACH!
Adventures in Fundraising!
I am well on my way with my fundraising...but I still have a ways to go and am going to still be sending out many event notices until I meet my fundraising minimum for this event (I'll just try to keep them from overlapping the way they have this last month). It is my hope that I can get that minimum out of the way before I get into the really heavy training this summer! In the meantime, I thought I would post an update about my fundraising events!
First, an announcement. The Gold Party that was scheduled for this coming Saturday has been CANCELLED. I did not get enough people to RSVP to make the Gold Party Canada rep's time worthwhile. I know how hard it is for home party people to make a living - let alone to have them come out to an open house where only a couple of people are in attendance. I still intend to send my own gold away to sell and the money will go toward my goal as it always was going to (I've already sent away my silver so am a little less hesitant about the gold now).
Today, I started a new fundraiser that will be ongoing until the middle of August! Magazine Sale! I have partnered with an online fundraising company to sell magazines to raise money. The company will pay me 37% of each subscription or renewal to go towards my goal! If you have a magazine you are coveting or if you'd like to renew a current subscription, please check the list of over 650 magazines that are available on my site:
and don't forget to tell your family and friends in case they might be interested!!!
The Silent Art Auction is going very well so far! Please check it out and see if there are any paintings in there that you might be interested in bidding on. I have tried to include a variety of subject matter to appeal to everyone!
and last, but not least, please stay tuned for some more unique fundraising opportunities that I will be posting in the next few weeks! I am hoping that at least one of them will appeal to you! :)
I just got a look at the actual age division standings this morning and it has me listed in 12th place, not 15th! Wow! :)
JUST A LITTLE RACE RECAP :)
The day started out in a very hectic way in our house (one twinner had a semi-rough night and we were all dragging)...so we didn't actually hit the road until almost 8am! (The race started at 9 and we are outside of the city). Suffice it to say - CRAZINESS! We parked downtown, found out the nearest c-train station no longer existed, ran to catch the train at the next stop over and I arrived at the start line 2 minutes before the race started! At least I got a warm up in when I ran from Bridgeland LRT to the starting line!
The race itself felt pretty comfortable. It was MUCH smaller than the mothers day race and way better organized. The course ran out of Bridgeland, over to the zoo, a loop of the island and then to the turn around point and in for a finish. There were a couple of hills (and I am feeling them now) and the last hill that curved up to the finish line was the first point in my running career where I feared I might throw up, but there were great highlights too. First - the rain pretty much stopped during the run. I had a couple of drops fall on my glasses but it wasn't a downpour or even enough to really wet my jacket. and right before I hit that hill at the end, there were a whole bunch of kids lined up for high-fives and as I held my hand out, it gave me some energy to kick it to the finish.
I came in as the clock was reading 32:20. My garmin said 32:05 so I knew I was faster than my Mother's Day time. When I finally got home and tracked down the results, I had come in at 31:54 - a new personal record AND that I came in 15th in my age group (which made me pretty happy). Best of all - I got my first medal! Never in my life have I ever had a medal for any sport. Sure, it's just a finisher's medal...but it means I got out there and did it...and it feels amazing!
Keeping the Momentum Going
Today, I registered for 2 more races this summer. I have been looking for 10K races in July and August to keep me motivated as I work towards the half marathon. Finally I decided to take the leap with the two that I keep eyeing. On July 11, I will run the Stampede Road Race 10k and then on August 21, I will run the Canadian Derby Edmonton Marathon 10K (not sure if that's the official title - the website didn't really call it anything but the 10K).
Yay - I'm excited!
Second Group Training Session
I realize I didn't write anything about the first group training run last Saturday...sorry! But here I am with the recap of the 2nd run with my Team :)
Today we met at 8am at Eau Claire Market. As a half-marathoner, I was lined up for a half hour run. We start off all of the group sessions with a group warm up and then follow it up with a "mission moment" to remind us why we are there and what we are working towards. Last week, Sheena (our coach) talked about daydreaming. Today, she had a different topic lined up to discuss, but when she arrived at the meeting place, there was actually an incredibly powerful photo exhibit set up by a different group...about cancer. So for our mission moment, she had us wander through the exhibit and read the stories.
This was such a beautiful reminder of why we are on this journey in the first place. Seeing photos of little bald leukemia kids with giant smiles on their faces despite the tubes and monitors they are attached to had to be the quickest way to bring me to tears. And seeing how families memorialized their loved ones (who were forced to succumb to lymphoma) was heartbreaking. The exhibit was about all types of cancer, but I sought out the ones that were related to the cause I am running for. It was so incredibly powerful - I was definitely not the only person in our group that was wiping tears from my eyes!
It was a gorgeous morning for a run and our group is fantastic to run with. We ran down by the river again (Calgary has the most beautiful paved path system - we are incredibly lucky). SInce we are all still getting to know each other, there was plenty of chatting and sharing going on!
We ran up to the 10th street bridge, crossed the river and headed back, finishing up with a loop of the path on Prince's Island. About 4k total at a nice, easy pace. When the group was all back, we did a guided stretch.
After the run, I went for coffee with the coach and another team member. It was great to visit some more and to get new ideas for fundraising. Sheena was able to give me some great tips for strengthening some areas of my body that have been complaining this week so I am looking forward to crosstraining with these exercises. That is the great part about having a formal coach to ensure I get to the finish line injury free :)
And then, I capped off my morning out with a trip to the Running Room and got myself a running hat and a cute running skirt! Pretty soon I'll have more running clothes than I do regular clothes lol!
And that, in a nutshell, was our second GTS! I am looking forward to tomorrow's rest day...and to each of my runs and crosstraining sessions next week! I'm also going to be working on my fundraising ideas next week and am very excited about everything that is coming up. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me so far! I truly appreciate it and really believe that together we are getting closer to a cure!
Tech Support for a Cure
Today my department at work (ITS), hosted a jeans day to raise money toward my fundraising. For $5, the staff bought stickers that allowed them to wear jeans today! It was a wild success! We raised $331 and someone from a different department also donated $25! We might need to think about doing more of these days :)
Thanks again to all of you who participated! Your contribution is very appreciated!
First 5K Race
The day dawned cold and rainy. By the time we got to the starting line of the Mother's Day Run and Walk, there were a few fluffier raindrops mixed in. The twins had managed to add a roadbump to our arriving by both of them getting carsick on the drive into the city and needing new outfits. Luckilly everything was running a little later than it should so we were still able to line up with plenty of time. Cam and the girls headed back to the stroller lineup and I seeded myself in with the 7 min/k group (based on my training times)
Finally the girls from Good Life Fitness started a really lame cardio routine that no one back where I was could see and no one followed along to. We were all jumping or jogging to warm up and stay warm. At long last, the gun went off and the wheelchairs were on their way. Then, 3 mins later, the rest of us were set free. Everything felt like it was in slow motion as we walked slowly to the starting line (why nobody ran is still beyond me, but it's my first race - what do I know?). Then my feet hit the timing map and I pressed "start" on my Garmin.
The first thing I noticed was that I seeded myself with too slow of a group. I was immediately tripping around the slower people. The thing that annoyed me the most was when families lined up, holding hands, and spread across the street. By the time we turned onto 5th street, though, I was past the slowpokes and was ready to really take off! And an immediate downhill was a big help :). I tried to accellerate through the uphills to keep going. It wasn't too much further, and a quick glance at my Garmin, that showed I had the potential to get a much better time than the 40 mins I was aiming for!
It was like that thought added wings to my feet and I just started to fly! When I hit 25th Ave, I zoomed past the water station. I knew I'd be fine to the end :) When we turned east on 10th Ave, my right knee complained a bit but quickly shut up as I told myself "only one more kilometre". By the time I turned north on Macleod - I was giving it all I had. Under the overpass and then up the hill to the finish line. When I could see the clock (it read 35:08 from the time the wheelchair gun went off), I put in a good kick to the finish. When my feet hit the timing mat, I hit "stop" on the Garmin (and missed - it took a second press). 32:24. I was elated!
They handed me my rose (for being a mom in the race) and I grabbed a banana, a water, a yogourt, a chocolate milk and an apple juice (lol - I was ravenous) and headed off to cool down and stretch while I waited for Cam to come in. I texted him my time and then had a girl nearby take my picture with my cell phone:
Just after an hour, Cam and the girlies crossed the finish line and we were reunited and could head home to spend the rest of our mother's day together! (WHen I got home, I checked online to see if my official time was in - yay! 32:13!)
I love that we spent the morning of my first Mother's Day at the race. Our twins were born 6 weeks early and had to spend 8 days in the NICU just shy of a year ago. It made it fairly emotional for me everytime someone came on the loudspeaker, talking about how the race would benefit the NICUs and Special Care Nurseries that the girlies lived in those few days! I can easilly see this race becoming our first real family tradition!
C25K Graduation Day!
Well, I guess I can officially call myself a runner as of today. Back in Late February, I started a "learn to run" program called Couch to 5K. It took me a little longer than the 9 weeks it is laid out for because I ended up battling bursitis in my knee for a couple of weeks (once from improper shoes while I waited for my new shoes to arrive and once from pushing myself to increase mileage too quickly - 2 important running lessons learned right there)...but today I finished the last run of the program :) YAY!
I must say, the support I found for this program was incredible. They have a great Facebook group where you can check in and it is so inspiring to read the stories and be cheered on by everyone from various stages in the program! It gives you a great deal of incentive to stick with it and become a runner! If someone had told me at the start of the year that by the start of May I would be running 40 mins without a break, I'd have laughed in their face! But now, with a reason to keep going, I am proud to call myself a runner (and the almost 30lbs I've lost since the start of the year helps as well)!
I jumped the gun a little and bought myself a little graduation present a week early - a Garmin GPS running watch! :) Now I will know my pace and distance and be able to track my improvements over time! I think it is going to become my new favourite fitness toy!
Tonight was the official kick-off party for the Team in Training Fall races. Lots of icebreakers to help introduce us to the rest of the team! I had my fingers crossed to win the $100 credit toward my fundraising minimum but alas...not tonight LOL.
There was also a woman who came to speak to us who is the only leukemia survivor in North America to have survived 3 bone marrow transplants. Her zest for life was so amazing, given the difficult hand she's been dealt over the last 13 years. It was good to be reminded that there is no point in extending your life if you aren't going to live it! That's pretty good advice for everyone, if you ask me :)
First Group Training run is on Saturday morning! I am so looking forward to it! It will be good to start working with a coach and improving my running in all areas. I've come a long way since I first laced up my running shoes back in February...but I know I will benefit greatly from the guidance a coach can give :)
Last I checked, I was #14 on the Top 25 TNT fundraisers in Canada! I am only 18% of the way to my goal, so there is still a long way to go! I am confident I will get there, but every little bit helps :)
Yard Sale Success!
Between the yard sale and the toonie drive, I managed to raise another $200 toward my goal! Thank you so much to everyone who came out and supported me.
During the sale, I loved to hear the stories people shared about friends and family who had overcome Lymphoma and Leukemia. Stories of people who were 14 years without a recurrence are a wonderful testament to how far the advances in blood cancer treatments have come!
It was the perfect day, weather-wise, as well. Sunny with a few clouds and only one little 5 minute shower in the afternoon. We had customers from the moment we started to set up at 8am right until they had to rifle through boxes at 4pm!
The day was so nutso, that I totally forgot to take any photos of the actual sale. I did take some of all of the stuff stacked and ready to be hauled outside...but didn't have a chance to snap the sale in progress! :(
Another honouree on the list
I just found out that my Uncle's dad is battling Leukemia :( So in addition to Anna, I will also be running for Joe! These diseases are so heartbreaking! Luckily, the survival rates today are so much better than they were even 20 years ago! I hope that by the time I run in San Francisco, that we will be celebrating victories against the diseases for these two!
And a big thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far! I just noticed I am currently at number 11 of the top 25 TNT (Team in Training) Fundraisers for the Fall events! I still have a long way to go, but I appreciate all of the support I have received so far! Together we can make a difference!!!
On my Way!
As of this morning, I am officially a member of the Team in Training group that is headed for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco on Oct 17! While I already knew that I would be training and running with my good friend's daughter, imagine my surprise when an old acquaintance walked into the meeting, destined for the same event! So now I will have 2 familiar faces going through the training with me :)
On May 5, I will be meeting the rest of the team at the kick-off and May 8 will bring our first group training session (GTS).
So I am home again, training shirt and fundraising website in hand, and am ready to get started! This is so exciting!