March 28, 2009

Spring Running News

Wow I can't believe it's already spring! Only 13 more weeks til my big marathon event in Seattle! I haven't blogged in a while and I have some excited news and updates to fill you all in on. Last Saturday we hit another running milestone - 100 minutes! The route took us along the coast and then through the Santa Barbara nature preserve. It was really a beautiful run, but it was actually pretty challenging. It happened to be raining, which was unpleasant, and then at the end of the preserve there was this insane hill, at least a quarter mile long, and extremely steep. It was precarious going down, and then almost impossible coming back up! That part just about wiped me out.
Sarah and I waiting in the cold rain to start our run.
Dr. Neal trying to get us pumped for our run...ultimately he was not very successful.
Getting some water at a SAG stop along the way (I'm on the left!).

After the run our coaches talked us into icing our muscles in a somewhat untraditional way - by going into the ocean!! Let me just tell you that standing hip-deep in the ocean at 8:45am was freezing! By the end we were numb (but I guess that was the goal), and as we were climbing out I managed to lose my balance and fall - so much for not going in all the way! We hadn't really thought about what we would do when we got out either since we had no change of clothes or towels, so we peeled off what we could and sat on sweatshirts for a rather awkward drive home : )
Still not quite sure if I want do do this...
About to take the plunge, literally!
We held on to each other for balance to get past the waves : )
8 minutes went by awfully slow...

Our Spring Break officially started this past Monday, so that same day Sarah and I, along with a few other girlfriends, left on our cruise to Mexico! Not surprisingly, we didn't get much running done in those 4 days, although we did run on the track on the top deck of the ship one morning. The rocking of the boat was a strange sensation - when it would go down it felt like you became super light and were almost running on air, but when it came up and pushed on our feet it made it hard to even move forward! I have to say I wasn't a big fan and prefer running on land : )

Today we had yet another running milestone - a 2 hour run!! We started out at Camino Real Marketplace close to my house in Goleta, ran through campus to Goleta Beach, just past there and then back. I ran most of the way with a really nice girl which made it much easier to pace myself and stay motivated, but we ended up turning back about 10 minutes before we should have because her watch was off, so instead of going back the exact same way we added a little detour through Isla Vista to make up some more time and mileage. All in all, we did somewhere between 9.5 and 10 miles (probably about 9.67ish, according to MapMyRun)!! At the end I was pretty tired, but I didn't feel like I was about to die so that's a good sign : ) But wow, 2 hours, what an accomplished feeling, and all before 10am!
The view right before going down to Goleta Beach.

Hydrating at the SAG stop.We finished!!

In fundraising news, I'm just around $1,500! This means I've raised about 35% of my goal, so I'm well on my way. Huge thanks to those donors who contributed over the past 2 weeks:

Pat Bruce
Kristie Summers
Lia Vannuchi
The Scheier Family
John Bratlie
This Tuesday Sarah and I will be hosting a fundraiser at Gio's Pizza in Isla Vista where 10% of the sales for the fundraiser will go to our cause! Hopefully we get a good turnout, how can you beat pizza and beer for a good cause? The pic below is the logo we made for the fundraiser!
Seattle participants also just got our recommitment paperwork last week. This is a pretty exciting time since it is when we officially commit to running our race and raising our fundraiser minimums so they can book our flights, hotel, race entry, etc. Filling out the paperwork just makes it all seem so real! So as of next Saturday I will be bound to running my 26.2 miles and raising at least $3,900!

Finally, I want to include the story of 4-year-old Alyssa, an Honored Teammate of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter Long Beach Team.

Alyssa was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) in August of 2007 when she was just 2 years old and has been battling it since. She loves fiery cheetos, Tinkerbell, princesses, Dora the Explorer, and the colors pink & purple. She also loves to sing and dance. In August of 2008, she suffered from a severe case of encephalitis and, as a result, lost her ability to see and also lost most of her ability to move the right side of her body. Encephalitis is caused by either bacteria or viruses that get into the body and localize in the brain, causing inflammation and swelling of the brain. It's very rare - only about 1,500 people in the US are affected every year. Despite all of this, Alyssa still loves to play with dolls, sing along to music, and smile and giggle like any young little girl. She has a long recovery road ahead of her but her family is very optimistic that she will conquer ALL. Her grandma, Cindy, is very involved with TNT and keeps the team updated about Alyssa’s status on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Alyssa is not doing so well right now - she was admitted to the hospital again due to complications with seizures. Please keep little Alyssa and all those battling blood cancers in your thoughts and prayers. It's stories like these that inspire and motivate me to keep running and raising money.

Alyssa's story has also inspired me to do more. On April 18th Santa Barbara is holding a registration drive for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and I've decided to register. Bone marrow transplant is a life-saving treatment for people with leukemia, lymphoma, and many other diseases. For a successful transplant, a marrow donor’s tissue type needs to match the patient’s as closely as possible. On any given day, more than 6,000 men, women, and children are searching the National Marrow Donor Program Registry for a life-saving donor. Only 30% will find a suitable donor within their family. The remaining 70% must find an unrelated donor with a matching tissue type. Although I may never be a match for someone, I can find no reason not to offer the gift of life to someone in need. I encourage you all to check out the NMDP website here for more info and to consider registering.

p.s. I put up a lot more pics, so check out older posts to see what I added!

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