June 24, 2009

Almost There!

The weeks following the 20 miler were a little hectic with finals, moving out, and heading home for a week. The last couple weeks were all about tapering as far as training goes which meant an easy 90 minute run the following Saturday, which also marked the last long training for Sarah and I since we were heading home at the end of finals. After training the team got breakfast to send-off our two participants heading off to the Alaska Marathon that following weekend. Erin also delivered our jerseys, except there was a little mistake with mine and Sarah's - we had ordered men's smalls but were instead given women's smalls!! They were so tiny I couldn't even fit into mine! Luckily Erin had some extras and we were able to sort it out so I now have the right one. At home I did some easy 40 minute runs at home and a 60 minute run along the river with my dad along side on his bike with my puppy. While at home I also started stocking up on the necessities for race day - a ton of GUs, a running pack, and (finally) a watch. I decorated my jersey for race day with iron-on letters for my name and puff painted "Fighting cancer one mile at a time!"

Alaska send-off breakfast at Shoreline Cafe.

Tom, you look photoshopped!

Haha, Sarah in our teeny tiny jerseys!

I drove back to Santa Barbara Monday night and then headed almost immediately to our Seattle Team Send-Off Party. One of our teammates, Denise, welsomed us into her beautiful home and we had a delicious potluck Mexican feast! We got our goodie bags filled with things for race day and played a Seattle/marathon trivia game with some awesome prizes. It was definitely a fun way to close out the season with amazing coaches, mentors, and participants : )

Chowing down on some amazing homeade tacos!

Trying to explain the "wave" start used by the Seattle Marathon - I won the trivia question!

Tuesday night was our last track practice. It was sort of bittersweet. Coach Neal gave us an easy workout: 3 warm-up laps then 4 laps of Swedish relays with the whole team! It was fun to sprint down the whole line of my teammates as they cheered each other on, everybody keeping pace together regardless of each individuals usual speed. I'm really gonna miss the trainings and, especially, the team!!

Coach Neal leading the Team!!

Finally, I have some exciting fundraising news!! Thanks to a couple last minute donations and from my Nite Moves funds, I have reached my goal of $3,900!!! I have to confess I had doubts during the last 6 months that I would reach this goal, and I never could've done it without the immense generosity of so many people. To all those who supported me in this challenging endeavor by donating to the cause of fighting blood cancers or even just by offering me words of encouragement, THANK YOU!! And while I'm on the subject of thanks, I would also like to express my gratitude to my incredible coaches Neal, Nicole, Tek, and Heather, my wonderful mentors Kaylan and Peter, the fabulous Erin who was in charge of it all, and finally my incredible teammates who inspired me everyday. I couldn't have done it without you all.

So tomorrow I'm off to Seattle. I'm filled with a mix of excitement, anxiety, and nerves. I know I'm physically prepared so from here on out it's all in my head, a mental game. I can't believe it's finally here! I'll try and post from Seattle before my race if things aren't too hectic. For now I'll leave you with a quote that I'm focusing on til I cross that finish line:

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that."

Wish me luck! 26.2 or BUST!!!

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