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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ugly sweaters and cupcakes for breakfast

Oh my, I had a terrible training week. Translation - I didn't train. And I had cupcakes for breakfast. And I paid my "IHOP" speeding ticket - $144. Hrmph.

Work has been so crazy, getting in super early and leaving super late everyday for the last few weeks leaving me with barely two brain cells to rub together. And I threw a holiday cocktail party Saturday for 30+ people. Craziness. So while I had an absolute blast with friends, I was busy getting the house ready for guests all week. Had I not committed myself to TNT, I would have not gone out running in 36 degree weather the morning of my party! But I thought - I'll be darned if the entire week went by and didn't get at least one training session in. Strong is this TNT draw! And did I mention it was *fargin* cold outside on Saturday?? I met Anne this week, a great lady and returning TNTer, and she recommened strategically placing tissues in your sleeves when it's this cold since other things start to run besides your feet. A tip I will follow next week.

Although I had a yuck week, seeing my friend Eve and her hubby Michael at the party was the best! Luckily, this was one of her good weekends and it made me really happy to see her laughing and having fun. Wisps of now short curls, a symptom of her treatment, peeked out from under her cute hat - she looked great - except for her sweater! It was an "ugly sweater" party, so we were all laughing hysterically at the hideous outfits that came through the door! Brian, my photographer husband, rigged up a tacky backdrop and remote control camera so everyone could capture the crazy! It was such a treat to get together with friends, especially Eve. So, back on the training wagon this week...giddy up. Enjoy the pics!

Monday, December 7, 2009

We don't stop for nothin!

December is cold. Really cold. Brrr. I found out that Team in Training, hereforth - TNT - doesn't let a little inclimate weather stop us! I was going to write my last blog post after Saturday's GTS, but I think it took until today to thaw out. I got an email from Ed a few days earlier saying that, yes, we still meet no matter what, but that if there should be dangerous weather we would get an email notification no later than 6:30am telling us the plan. As usual, my alarm went off at 7am and I darted one arm from under my cozy warm electric blanket just quick enough to grab my iPhone to check email and determine my fate. Just in case, I thought. Nada. So, as usual we met on Saturday and we encountered light rain, then flurries...I mean...we were running in a HUGE BLIZZARD. These TNTers are serious!

Ok, so I may be exaggerating just a smidge but my southern blood was dern cold. Bruce, one of our team mentors, was in shorts while you could barely see one square inch of my skin, and that was only because I needed to see. Anyway, I'm starting to get a hang of what fabric to wear in what weather and how much of it. Layers are good, and according to our last team email from Ed, you should dress as if it was 20 degrees warmer - a good rule of thumb I learned.

Our other team mentor, Beth, was out there with us for the first time, which was nice. I found out she lives in Demorest in north GA where I went to college before I transferred to UGA - small world. I was amazed that she makes the trek all the way down to meet us, but at the same time I'm really not amazed at the constant dedication from so many TNTers in these last few short weeks. Two other veteran TNTers came to join us for our run and as they got out of their cars, it made me smile to see them greeted with such excitement and hugs of long-time friends.

So, as soon as we got going, I quickly forgot about the cold and we were laughing and talking and as usual the time went fast. Before I knew it I was at IHOP enjoying some java and warming the body and soul - and yes...I drove 45mph the entire way there.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cotton is Rotten

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I think this is the first time in my life I have exercised on this holiday of massive indulgence. I have always been amazed by those people who get up at the crack of dawn on the holiday to run a race. To be honest, I kind of snubbed their enthusiasm and their "look-at-me-I-ran-a-marathon-while-your-fat-butt-eats-sweet-potato-casserole-with-marshmallows-that-you-pass-off-as-a-vegtable" kind of attitude. So, while I did not run the Atlanta marathon this morning, I did dutifully do all my miles...after I had my bacon and eggs :) The sun was shining and so many people were at the park today, it made me smile seeing all the families walking, dogs running and frisbee players enjoying the morning. I did feel much better when I got home and better that in about two hours, I'll probably down my entire caloric intake for the week! Oh well...

This morning I also wore some running gear I got at the Altanta Marathon Expo last night. They had a huge room in the Intercontinental Buckhead with tons of vendors selling dicounted running clothes, shoes and accessories. Yes, accessories GALORE! And who knew I could parlay my love of clothes and fashion with running...anyway, these are accessories I've never seen before and frankly didn't know you need. Um, lots of things are available to prevent chafing...and chafing is a BAD thing because apparently you can chafe in very unfortunate places. I was rummaging through a basket of things and I couldn't figure out what this package of round yellow circles was for. My face perplexed, I turned it over - Nip Gaurds - oh, whoops. Ouch. Apparently this is a phenomenon that happens mostly to men - whew! So, feeling my inexperience with all this gear, I turn my attention to a rack of clothes from a company called One More Mile. I remember Marie telling me at orientation that "cotton is rotten" because you should wear moisture wicking material when you run. So I wanted to stock up on some cold weather shirts. Laughing hysterically, I picked up a few long sleeve shirts with the funniest slogans on them..."I will run for margaritas" "find your happy pace" "if found on the ground, please drag across finish line" and my favorite..."does this shirt make by butt look fast"! Needless to say, when I wore that one at the park I got a few giggles and laughs as people passed me by. I needed the laughes and smiles.

So all ya'll out there - gobble till you wobble today. Smile and be thankful.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

High, Low, Fast, Slow, Hop

The group.

This morning was my first of many GTSs - affectionately known as Group Training Session. Each Saturday at 8am we meet up as a group with our great coaches Ed and Marie to do our miles. I have to admit, I was feeling pretty crappy this morning. I had a horribly stressful work week and for some reason didn't sleep at all last night. I was up at 3:00am and never went back to sleep. I was dreading having to get up and run in the cold. But, I grabbed a cup of coffee and sucked it up anyway, thinking it would be a terrible way to start my training. And, by comparison, a little lost sleep is not something to whine about considering the reason why I'm doing this training in the first place!

So, consoled by the beautiful morning and my cup of caffiene, I head to our meeting place. Not knowing what to expect, they helped explain how far we'd go (3 miles today) and what the routine typically will be. I was happy to know that a post-run IHOP gathering is routine! Ed and Marie are great - they've been married over 20 years and provided a lot of motivation and reassurance that all of this is do-able - the fundraising, the miles, the finish-line. I found out that Ed and Marie are also practically my neighbors!

On our run/walk Marie was telling me about her inspiration and why she got involved - her dear sister Julie sadly passed away 3 years ago to leukemia. She found the program to be inspirational and felt like she could do something to help cure this disease and deal with her pain. Since then she's finished so many races, and in fact after our GTS was on her way to Florida to do a half marathon to support a first-timer! Marie's on target to do 12 races this year -- talk about dedication!! It felt better knowing she was never an avid runner - and still wants to do more races!

I also met our team's "honored hero" Paul. He and his wife Mary were out there to train with us this morning. Paul was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in January 08 and is thankfully in remission. I also met our team mentors Carol and Bruce - they've done this program before and are great motivators already! I'm comforted by their friendliness and advice.

So by the time the GTS is over, I feel great and so glad I went out there today. The sun was shining and the air was chilly and crisp, and I feel really glad I committed myself to this for the next three months. My stress from the last two weeks was washed away! "Stress...I spit on you," I say. On my little high, I get into my car and follow everyone to IHOP - yay!!

So then I get pulled over for speeding on the way and get a ticket. Seriously!!?? The stress I thought was washed away comes flooding back and I start to bawl - and those of you who know me know - I'm not a crier. I'm reminded of that scene in The Holiday where Cameron Diaz is trying to cry after a breakup and she just can't. Shoulder shrugs...pinched cheeks...looks into the light...nothing. Normally that's me, but not today. The officer I'm sure thought I had lost my mind, but nevertheless records my offense and gives me his little carbon copy paper for me to sign and tells me to slow down. SLOW DOWN??? I really wasn't going that fast. I peak in the rearview mirror and I look like hell. I think about just going home - I'm embarrassed to sit my blotched face and watery eyes in front of a table of strangers - nice strangers - but I just met most of them today. So, again I calm myself down and remind myself that this doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things and I go into IHOP. For the next 45 minutes or so, I laugh, I hear stories, I get to know great people, and I'm again insprired.

Marie, Ed and Me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Let it TRAIN!

By "it" I mean, me. I just signed up for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training Program! I'm really psyched to get started - one, because in some small way I feel I can do something to help my best friend Eve. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma several weeks ago. As much as I want to take this terrible awful thing from her, I can't. As she gets deeper into her treatment and feeling bad, my hope is that I might be able to channel strength, positive energy and good juju her way over the next few months. So Eve -- I'm borrowing from the name of your journal to signal the beginning of mine. Eve, you are my hero.

So, I hope you'll follow along. And, oh yeah, I would love it if you could click on my fundrasing page to the right if you can! (Eve's worth it :)