Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Trots Galore

On Thanksgiving day, I ran in the innagural Southbury Turkey Trot in Southbury, CT. If anything, that race had the cutest race shirts I have seen to date. The course started at my college roomie's mom's gym and then went through cow fields and up one hill to the end. While the college roomie's husband's goal was to go hard and fast, mine was to see pacing for a marathon. Many know how hard it is to not get swept up in the crowd and go too fast at the start. I figured this would be a great test to make sure I go slow at the start. I had no Garmin and there were no mile markers, but I finished the race in my solid 12 minute mile (yes, I am slow) pace. As I was rounding the finish, I yelled to my friend's mom that I only had 9 more of those to go. It is beyond scary to think that the marathon is almost 9 5ks! Eeek! In the end, I felt great and knew that I could easily do that course a few more times. Major props goes to college roomie's dad for making an awesome breakfast after the run!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First Week Back In The Game

At our kickoff meeting last week, the coaches told us to print off the plans that they had posted on the website for us. You can pick between beginner, intermediate and advanced or mix and match from all three. There was also a one month jump start calendar for novice marathoners. As the furthest I have run is 13.1 miles, I figured I should start there. While I'd like to pretend it has been easy this first week back, I'd be full of lies. The aches and pains that were present at the end of last season have started with me this season as well as an additional 5-10 pounds. I am slower than I was and a little bit more sluggish. Like anything, I know this will pass in time for the first real run of the season as it has before. Until then, I will plug along and follow my plan.

On a positive note, the kickstart of training has put me in a homebody mode where I am cooking each night. A very large expensive trip to Russos and my fridge is filled with almost every color of the rainbow. Like most, I can't run after eating garbage, so a change in my diet was required. I forgot how much I enjoy creating new recipes and being healthy. The 5 months of training will only sustain my need for this.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kick Off Meeting

Last night, this marathon journey became real! The kickoff meeting for the DFMC was held on the campus of Dana-Farber.

As October was a wash with running and working out, I was really nervous in the hours leading up to the meeting. I've run 13 miles on numerous occasions, but 26.2 is double that. Could I handle it? Is it too late to drop out?

As I parked my car and started walking over to the meeting, I had to walk by the majority of the buildings. Looking through the big glass windows, I saw a woman about my age pushing herself in a wheelchair. In any different situation, that could be me. Cancer does not discriminate and she and I could very well swap positions. Just seeing that made me put all doubts behind me and upped my desire to want to raise money for this cause.

I walked into the auditorium and glanced around at all the people. As predicted, it was filled with amazing athletes. I felt so out of place as people talked about 8 minute miles and running 6 days a week. My mind channeled back to watching the race last year as my friend Shelley's friend ran for Dana-Farber. She was a solid 12 minute miler and posted how supportive everyone was during the runs. Remembering that made me calm down a bit and stay focused on the meeting. They talked about the 3 groups runs a week and our fundraising goals. Knowing that we will have support network really helped. I now realize I can tackle 26.2 and will focus on the fundraising. I am super excited to try and figure out innovative ways of raising as much money as possible.

After the meeting ended, the team reconvened at Boston Beer Works. I will honestly say, I got the most out of the night there. We all discussed our race history and our fundraising goals. A veteran was beyond supportive and talked about his journey over the last few years from a just about 6 hour runner to a now 4:30 runner. He also talked about his fundraising efforts and creative ideas to go about it. I'm pretty sure he did not realize how much just talking to him helped, but it went beyond anything those 8 minute runners discussed in the actual meeting. It was also great to talk with others and see that they too had done halfs, but not really anything further and that they too were 10-11 minute milers. It felt like the start of tri season years ago, I had found my back of the packers. I left while the party was still going strong confident that I had found a village to reach my goal with.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My acceptance to DFMC and status update

A lot has happened since I posted my first nervous rant on this blog.

September 23rd, while in Buffalo for the weekend, I got the email from Dana-Farber letting me know I was chosen to be on the team. I honestly can say it was just as exciting as opening the college acceptance letters from oh so many years ago. With anything in my life, my status update on Facebook was changed and the outpouring of support was evident. I just hope they all donate to the cause! The following week, I formally accepted my spot on the team by setting up my donation page and paying for the program. I know what most people are saying now, paying for the program? Yep, you read that correct! The awesome thing about DFMC is that 100% of the money fundraised goes straight to the cause. Many other programs take the registration fee and other expenses from the money you raise. While that is ideal for some as it means no money out of their pocket, it just wasn't for me. If I am going to put my blood, sweat, and tears into 26.2 miles and raising $6,500, I want the money donated in my name to really go for the cause. That above other things made me super proud to whip out my credit card and take that large charge on my bill.

As I was out of town when I found out I was running, I hadn't seen my tri teammates in a rather long time. The night after I became part of the team officially, our tri team had the end of the season party. It felt amazing to be able to talk to friends about my upcoming experience and how proud I was to race for the cause. These are the people that watched me struggle to run around the Wellesley track just a few years ago. They watched me start with a 14 minute mile and see that time drop down to my current pace. They watched me start with 5ks and cheered me on at my first half. I am sad that they won't be running along side me for this challenge in my life, but know they will be there on the sidelines yelling and screaming as I run by them on my way to 26.2. Being amongst my people reminded me of how far I've come and how much support I have on this journey.

The tri party kicked off October and the rest of the month became a blur of travel. My mom came to town and we hit up Vermont to watch the leaves change. We also met up with friends of mine who as saying goodbye to my mom told her that next time they would see her would be along the race course. It felt good to know that everyone will be there to cheer me on. All three of my parents, out of town friends, in town friends, coworkers, they will all be there watching me take on a dream of mine!

The day after my mom left town, I was on a plane to England to watch a good friend get married followed by a week in Iceland. The hiking in Iceland reminded me that I had pretty much taken 6 weeks off of working out and my body was hurting. I was looking forward to kicking off my training so I did not feel like that anymore. It was funny that those 6 weeks were the longest I had skipped working out in 5 years. My 24 year old self would have been shocked that this was who I am now. I know I bring it up often, but the change from destructive behavior to one of discipline and self improvement has been one of the most pivotal in my life. I look in awe of the person I have become and am happy to have been allowed the journey.