Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's a dirty job and I'm a dirty girl

I must have still been asleep when I left on my run this morning. It did not register that the ground was a bit wet, which indicates that there was a rain during the night. So when I hit the trail, it was muddy. I am not talking just a little damp but it had puddles that were too big for me to jump.

I must have looked ridiculous when I was trying to find the highest point within each puddle so that I could minimize the amount of mud I would encounter. Let's face it, I looked silly for nothing because I was muddy. The more puddles I encountered, the more I got dirty. Then I realized, hey I am earning my stripes. My rings of mud around my ankles and splashes of dirty water on my calves were my medals. Yes, I had been validated.

By the time I turned around and starting to run home, I just splashed as much as I could. Again, I must have still been asleep because when I got home, I realized that these muddy socks, shoes and bottoms needed to be washed. And I am the only one that is going to do it. Sigh. Oh well....another 3 miles on the books.

I also want to take a moment to thank all of those who are supporting my 60 miler training. It really means alot to me and the millions of women that are fighting for a chance to be cancer free. Thank you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

21 Miles in one week I burst my bubble!

OK Ok I can't believe it. I did 21 miles in one week. I did then during a week that I missed a workout. I don't know what to say but "Thank you, Thank you. I would like to thank Couch to 5K for giving me a program that was doable and helped me believe in myself. I would like to all the women on the Heavy Weight Runners board at Weight Watchers and all the people on 200+ club at active.com. You guys are such an encouragement to me and I don't think I would have been able to do this alone.

Yesterday I did 8 miles. That is the most I have ever done in one day. And I really felt the last mile or so. When I got home I fell asleep in the whirlpool tub as the jets pounded my sore legs. And two weeks ago I did 7 miles, which was at the time, the longest wog ever and it killed me. But today I felt good. I was a bit tired but all in all I was good. As a matter of fact, yesterday I was quite stiff but I woke up this morning ready to go.

And I have discovered something about myself these past few weeks. Each mile is like a bubble. In the midst of each new mile, I enter a new bubble. As I enter that new mile, I push through it with everything I have. I did that for the first 400 yards, the first 800 yards, the first mile, second mile and so on and so on. But I learned that once I push through and pop that bubble each time I encountered that mile in the future, it seemed easier and easier. So that now 400 yards is nothing, a mile is just a casual short distance, two miles is a walk in the park. So if you are just starting out or training for an ultra...the principle is the same, once you burst that bubble, that distance will seem easier next time.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

MapMyRun.com - Training Log for SeeFluffyRun

MapMyRun.com - Training Log for SeeFluffyRun

Sometimes a cloud is a silver lining

I would say that I woke up late today but who am I kidding. To say I woke up late implies that I normally wake up earlier. But I can't seem to get my rear into gear before 6am. And I have no idea how or why it takes me so long to get read in the morning. All I do is wash my face, brush my teeth, pull my hair back in a bondiband (if you haven't tried one of these bands for your hair...run to get one), fill my water bottle, put on my clothes, strap on my HRM, grab my phone, turn on my nikeplus or mapmyrun, turn on my HRM, drown in some mosquito repellent and head out the door.

But I finally hit the streets about 7 am. I really thought it was raining outside because the it was not as light as usual. But it was just a small cluster of clouds holding back the sun. Oh, how I loved those small clouds. Instead of running in 85 to 90 degree weather...it was a frigid 75 degrees. Can you even imagine the joy I felt running in July in Texas and it wasn't terribly hot and sticky? I was ecstatic.

There were quite a few people on the trails today. The Leukemia society was training on the trails. How did I know? They were all wearing their shirts...Team TNT. And it was then I realized that I need to get some shirts or personalized Bondibands that say "Tutu in Training" (TIT...get it?) or "Ask my why I am running or walking?" So that is next on my agenda...get some advertisement for my cause.

The plan was to do the four mile loop near my house, come home, change my socks and do another four miles. And that is what I did. Apparently I was going too slow for the clouds and they got tired of holding back the sun because the abandoned me in the last two miles of my run/walk. I never know what to call what I am doing. I run part of it and walk part of it. In any case, as I was contemplating my fate with the sun and realized my silver lining was the cloud, I realized that cancer was the same way for me.

I always describe my life with two major time points: before and after Christ and before and after Cancer. It is hard for me to separate them because my discovery of salvation was almost at the same time of my cancer. In any case, cancer is always thought about with a bit of a smile. While don't wish it on anyone, I wouldn't take it out of my life. During that time, I learned what is important in life....and it isn't the IPhone 4G or the bigger house or the size of pants I would love to wear or that much wanted pay raise. No it is about bigger things like children, husbands, parents, brothers, sisters and my relationship with my God. There was joy during my journey. The cloud became my silver lining.

So 8 miles were completed today and it felt great. Well, at the time it wasn't great. By the time I got home, I was very hot and tired. I tore off my clothes, turned on the whirlpool tub and jumped in and just laid there and let the jets massage my body. It was great and it lasted an hour. I then jumped into the shower then jumped into bed for a nap. (I mean...heck I was up at 6am on a Saturday...I deserved the nap).

Tomorrow I have 7 miles on the training schedule. And I will get up early to do it. Funny, when I started this running journey, I said I would never become one of those freaks that get up at the crack of dawn to run...well here I am ....getting up at the crack of dawn for a run.

On a side note: My IPhone 4 has a glitch and I cannot use Nikeplus to track my mileage so I am using Mapmyrun. While it uploads to face book, it does not upload to blogger. So until an update comes out on Nike site or Nikeplusedit starts working again, my girl is going to talk smack to me. But that is okay...I know what I have done.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swamp Land and enjoying the journey.

Did you know Sam Houston moved the capitol of Texas to Houston in 1837. In 1839 it was moved to its current location, Austin. It is rumored it was moved because Houston was too swampy. And I believe it.

This morning I took off for my 5 mile run and I took my usual route and was surprised at how much of my trail is surrounded by water. Now, I am not talking about water in a distance or a lake nearby. I mean that if I step one inch off the path, I will be standing in water. There were little crabs crawling across the path. It was kinda funny and kinda scary. It is hard to run when you constantly have to jolt to the left or to the right. I was worried about twisting my knee or my ankle.

Along with the crabs and the water, there was this funky smell. I am assuming it was coming from the marsh. All I know is that it wasn't me. But I still enjoyed it. I don't know if I have shared before but years ago I heard an audio from Zig Ziglar, How to Get what you Want. The book was one of the first non-fiction books I ever read, uh I mean heard. But I remember him saying "You do not pay the price for success, you enjoy the price of success." I now understand what he means. Each time I go on a run, I discover new things on the trail. Sometimes, they are external, like the crabs or the rush of a tide coming in. Sometimes it is internal, like a new PR or just time to talk to God or realize that my body can do more than I ever expected.

Today I thought I would share an external one. The trail was surrounded by water because I happen to be running on the trail just as the tide is coming in. Before I moved to my little town by the water, I had never experienced this phenomenon. You see, when the tide comes in, it comes in suddenly. You will hear a low rumble that almost sounds like a whisper in the water. Then you start to notice that the land that was once visible is filling up with water and it is filling up quite quickly. You will notice the water rush past you and fill up the once muddy piece of land and turn it into a water way. So today when I reached the bay, I heard the whisper and watched as the water rushed in. I decided to record a bit of it for you guys. I consider this a part of me enjoying the price.

video

If you are on the fence about running outside, don't be. You are going to miss a lot of enjoyment. If I never took the runs outside I would have never seen this today.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It still amazes me

I was reviewing my runs from last year and the beginning of this year and I am still amazed. I am still amazed that your body will respond, if you just ask it. Until I started to train for this 3 day thing, I mentally told myself that I could not go further than 2.11 miles. Seriously...2.11 miles. I don't know where I got that number but that was the magic number.

So each day I would go out and leave my neighborhood and take a right. I would make the loop and come home and my Nike plus would read 2.11 miles. And I was good with that. And that is okay. If that is what you do or you are still working up to that mileage...its all good. My point is that I was okay with staying with that mileage for months. I didn't try to grow. I think I thought I was all grown up.

But when I looked at my training for the 3day, I just accepted that it was what I had to do. I didn't question it or doubt my ability. When some expert somewhere says..."Hey, here is what you are capable of and just follow these steps." I just say, "ok".

So I said okay and now I am doing 3 miles on my "short" runs. Go figure. All I am saying is that you shouldn't limit yourself. Believe in yourself and your abilities and you will be amazed at what your body is capable of doing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday I went on my longest wog ever. I call it a wog because I walked the first four miles and ran the last three. I think I should have ran first but I needed to know that I could reserve enough energy to make it back to my car.

Because this was my longest wog ever, I decided to make it special. I drove thirty minutes away to Galveston and parked my car at my sister's place. She lives a half mile from the sea wall. Now, I have never experienced mosquitos at the beach. I guess it is because mosquitos don't grow in salt water. However, they apparently grow great in grassy fields half mile from the ocean. So my first half mile was miserable. I have never seen so many mosquitos. Including the time I experienced the Battle of Seabrook. But I just prayed it would not be the same when I got to the seawall.

And thankfully, the mosquitos hate the ocean. So as I walked and listened to my book, Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker. If you have not read it...it is a good read. As I walked, I realized that mosquitos hate the beach but the sun, well the sun doesn't care. It just kept beating down on me. When I left the house, it was 78 degrees. By the time I started to walk it was 84 degrees and by the time I started running, it was 92 degrees.

My water became warm in my hands, I experienced horrible chaffing from my bra, and I started to dehydrate. I realized I stopped sweating at about mile 5 and started to have goose bumps at about mile 6. That is not a good thing. Next time I am going to take money with me so that I can buy some cold water on my run.

So my first seven miler is on the books and 40 miles completed in my training. Look out 3 day here I come!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 5 on the 4th!

Happy 4th of July everyone! I went to Hooters last night to watch Lesnar vs. Carwin. It was a good fight in one respect but seemed rig in another respect. Either way, it was a great date night for my husband and me but it left me tired this morning. So I slept in and did not run outside. Which is okay. It has been raining alot lately and I had a feeling the trails were going to be mud in some places.

So I watched Hot Tub Time Machine and did my 5miles on the treadmill. Thank goodness for the movie and my wireless headset for my TV. I was able to keep entertained while training. And I didn't have to crank up the volume on my TV to hear the movie. (I know my family appreciates it.)

So week 2 of training is on the books. And I have 30 miles completed for my walk. I only have 524 miles to go.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Now a word from our sponsors

OK OK not really. But today is a cross training day and it is raining so I really have nothing to report so I thought I would share a blog post from someone else. She has graciously allowed us to repost it.

Many of you have seen me wandering around the Internet, hat in hand, begging for money to find a cure for breast cancer, jabbering something about "The Three Day". Once in a while, though, I've had to be reminded that the average person has NO IDEA what this thing I'm talking about actually IS.

So here's a go at answering that question: "What is the 3-Day"?

Let me start by saying, what is it NOT?
It's not a race.

I happened to be wearing a "Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure" shirt at church the other day and had a fellow churchgoer look at me and ask "Have you been in the race?" I suspect she was thinking of the Race for the Cure, which is also Komen-affiliated, but not the same thing. The Race is a 5K fitness run; the 3-Day is about twenty times the distance and trust me, you're not running that.
And it's not some sort of weird "Last Woman Walking" stamina test. People sometimes get the idea that this three-day, sixty-mile walk is some sort of endurance battle. I've literally been asked if we're allowed to drink or eat while on the walk... and once I was even asked "Do they let you take breaks?" Yeah, no, it's not some sort of weird reality show contest, people. It's not a horror show out of Stephen King where we stagger blindly onwards, dropping out one by one until one remaining pink-clad zombie lurches over the finish line in the glare of flashbulbs.

Might get more TV coverage if it was.

Hmm.

Okay, no.

The 3-Day isn't about endurance and it's sure as heck not a race. It's first and foremost about grit, determination, and making a difference. Making a difference by showing friends and family and acquaintances that you're willing to go to a lot of effort in return for their donations toward the incredibly important cause of finding a cure for breast cancer. I mean, let's get real: if I told a bunch of people that I'd be ever so grateful if they ponied up the downpayment on a Porsche Boxster to help cure breast cancer just because I thought it'd be a really spiff-tacular thing to do I doubt I'd raise all that much money. But tell people you're going to go walk sixty miles over three days, camping in a tent two nights, while dressed from head to toe in fetching shades of fuchsia and cerise and hot pink, and tell them you have to raise $2,300 in order to do just that, they're going to go "Hmm. How much did you want me to donate?"

Okay, then they're going to go "And where will we be able to see photographic proof?", but that'll probably be a bit after the "and who do we make the check out to?"

Trust me: it works.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure is a three-day event, held in fifteen cities across the USA, where participants walk about twenty miles each day. It usually works out that one or two of the days is a bit more than twenty miles and in exchange, the last day is usually a bit less. Having a fifteen mile walk on the last day helps the thing wrap up by a reasonable time in the afternoon so we can all get together at the finish line for a big celebratory PAR-TAY and then head home to a strange land where people DON'T cheer you when you walk by on the street and where people aren't all wearing pink.

Or, to put it another way, it's not three twenty-mile walks... it's twenty three-mile walks. You start at a big outdoor opening ceremony where we throw everything at you short of Shamu leaping through three giant pink flaming hoops while whistling a medley of 1980s pop hits. Then you walk three miles along city sidewalks and streets. Then you stop at a "pit stop" and people you don't even know press cookies and bananas and Smuckers "Uncrustables" at you and pat you on the back and tell you how great you are. Then you walk three more miles. Then more Uncrustables. Then you walk three MORE miles. You're probably expecting even MORE Uncrustables at this point but no, we fake you out. This time you get lunch. Then you walk three more miles and maybe, just for variety, you get granola bars and orange slices and if you ask nice, some people will dump ice down your back to cool you off, especially if it's a hot day or you look like the kind of person who misses their sorority or fraternity hazing experiences. Then three more miles, then more snacks, then three more miles, and then you get to camp in a big sea of hot pink two-person tents. WOO!

And if along the way you can't make it because you simply become too tired, or it's so hot you're melting in your shoes, or your blisters become so large you start giving them names -- well, then, there are sweep vans and buses to take you to the next pit stop or to lunch or to camp. We want everyone to finish together even if they can't walk every inch of the route. I mean, some people practically come out of the chemo ward to walk the 3-Day: we're not going to say "HEY SLOWPOKE, GET BACK ON YER FEET AND KEEP MOVING."

If we did, they'd probably beat us up. Most of them are tougher than us. So there's that.

Oh, and throughout the day you get all the Gatorade you can drink. Various flavors. And if you mix them all together to make what we used to call "Bug Juice" when I was in the Girl Scouts (long story), no one's going to make fun of you. It's expected. Being silly is good.

I think you've gathered already that it's kind of important to wear a lot of pink during the walk. I didn't mention the rest, though ... and I almost feel like I shouldn't, because it's entirely possible that you -- yes, you -- might one day decide to come walk a 3-Day and I'd hate to ruin the surprise for you when you find yourself surrounded by hundreds of women all wearing 46-DDDD bras on the outside of their clothing. And not necessarily in the usual place, either. Sometimes on their heads. Sometimes other places.

And then there're the guys. Less said, the better.

This goes on for three days. In between all the walking there's lots of other stuff going on: spontaneous hugs, people stopping to stretch or treat blisters, people bursting into song while dressed like Goofy and Snow White and, for a reason I never entirely understood, Al Davis, the owner of the Oakland Raiders. You get to use all the port-o-jons you want, no charge. You get to sleep in a hot pink tent. Really. The 3-Day folks used to use regular old camp tents for the event, but decided it was more thematic to get pink ones, tents they give away to local non-profits after each walk. Lots of Girl Scout troops have surplus 3-Day pink tents. Not so many Boy Scout troops, but I imagine if the interest was there something could be worked out. There's even karaoke.

Surprisingly good karaoke, actually. Seriously.

But in the end, despite all the silliness and whimsy, there's a very serious undercurrent of absolute stone-cold seriousness. When you meet a walker who's got the photographs of each and every friend and family member they've lost to breast cancer pinned to their shirt -- and you can't really tell what color their shirt is... when you groan at the sight of a huge hill on the route and a scrawny, eighty-pounds-soaking-wet grandmother with no hair as a result of chemotherapy and radiation looks at you and says "it beats the hell out of chemo!" and powers right on up that hill... and when you walk into the Remembrance Tent at camp one evening and see people you've been laughing with all day bawling their eyes out as they write notes about loved ones they've lost to cancer... well, then, you realize that the fight against breast cancer is no laughing matter at all.

As I said above it's really about the grit and determination... the will to do something that matters.

I mean, get serious. When's the last time most people really did something that made a huge difference, a huge positive difference in the lives of other people... not just people they know and look out for, but in the lives of people they'll never know, never meet, people yet unborn?

Not real often, unfortunately. We go to work, we go home, we watch TV, we go to bed. Along the way we eat way too much unhealthy food and care way too much about stuff that in the end doesn't make a lick of difference in whether the world is a better place at the end of the day.

Sure, it's not the walking we do on the 3-Day that finds a cure for breast cancer. Okay, the publicity sure as heck doesn't hurt, because let's face it, no one wants to go back to the day 25 and 30 years ago where women and men with breast cancer just didn't talk about it because it was considered a shameful topic to bring up. The more conversations we start about it, the better, even if we have to be damn silly along the way. But yeah, walking doesn't cure breast cancer and publicity doesn't cure breast cancer, although it may help raise awareness and get people doing more to look out for themselves and get examined and treated before it's too late.

So what does cure breast cancer? What's the real goal of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure?

How does close to $90,000,000 raised in 2010 for the fight against breast cancer sound? How does FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS raised by 3-Day events since 2003 sound? With promising clinical trials and research studies going on all around the country, that kind of funding can have some serious bang for the buck. A cure for breast cancer, or at least a vaccine against breast cancer, is actually possible. In our lifetimes.

And that, my friends, is what the 3-Day is all about. A lifetime for everyone, a lifetime without fear of breast cancer. A world without breast cancer for our wives, for our sisters, for our mothers, for our daughters, for ourselves, and for the future. That's what the 3-Day all comes down to in the end: A WORLD WITHOUT BREAST CANCER.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

13:48

Today was W2D3 of my training for my 60 miler. I was suppose to do 5 miles at a moderate walking pace but I had to cut it short by one mile because I had to take my daughter to SWAT. But I am surprised I even got up at all.

At 6am, I hit the snooze button and thought about going back to sleep. But Alex is in the gulf and they sky looks grey so I need to check my email to see if swim practice has been canceled for 7am. While looking at my emails, I see I have a notification from CaringBridge. It is a website where Cancer patients can update their family and friends with what is going on in their treatment. My friend had updated her blog. I read her entry and was in tears. She discussed how she was told she had Stage IV breast cancer and that she didn't know if she was going to see her daughter finish 1st grade (she has a five year old daughter). And it reminded me of when I was told I had breast cancer and how my first thought was about my 26 month old. Was she going to remember me? Who was going to make her lunch, see her to her first day of school, hug her when she has a booboo, hold her the first time a boy breaks her heart, cheer her on in what ever she did, make a big deal out of her graduation, see her walk down the aisle towards her future husband and last but not least, who would hold my grandchild and who would they call grandma? At the time I was diagnosed...I didn't know. I was just almost certain that it wasn't going to be me. So I held my daughter in my arms and cried. I cried for all the moments I would miss with her and whispered, "I am sorry."

But it is twelve years later and I took her to her first day of school and reluctantly left the classroom as she shooed me away. (She said I was embarrassing her.) I have gone to eat lunch with her more times than I can count. I have sat for hours in the heat just waiting for the one 50 yard backstroke that last just a few moments and cheered her on. I was there the first time a boy broke her heart. I was there when she gave her life to Jesus. I am thankful for all these moments.

So with all this going through my mind, I got out of bed and threw on my running clothes and ran out the door. My intention was to just walk 3 miles because I knew I had to get home to drive my daughter to SWAT. So instead of listening to music, I turned on an audiobook and listened to it. But my ADD got the best of me and I just started thinking about everything...the tide (very high because of hurricane Alex) the cool breeze, the spray of rain, my dad, the rabbits...and then I heard my MAPMYRUN say "current pace 13:48" and I looked down at my feet and I was running. Not only was I running but I was running alot faster than I normally run. And I just kept running and running and running and it felt good. My breathing was great, my legs felt great, my shoulders...everything great. It wasn't until I got near my house that I decided to slow down. Because my Nike+ is not working right now, I had to do it on my own and when my MAPMYRUN came back on it said I was running at 16:06. I couldn't believe it. It was still a minute faster than when I try to run my fastest without dying.

So I ended my run at 4 miles and looked up and thanked God for another day and dedicated my run to all those that are fighting for their next one.