How Did I Get Here?

Steve Prefontaine in a post-Olympic 2-mile rac...

Steve Prefontaine in a post-Olympic 2-mile race in an International Athlete Club track meet, the Crystal Palace, London, 15 Sep 72. Rod Dixon, behind him, won the race (Photo credit: The Happy Rower)

Well as you may have read I’ve been training for a marathon. When people ask me why, I quickly reply that I was smoking crack back in December when I signed up. But let’s be fair, even crack smokers aren’t this crazy… And bath salts users, well they are apparently training for the zombie apocalypse. So no more joking about that. It’s also an insult to those who have helped me get here. Yes, get ready for it, it’s my “academy speech” where I thank all the people who got me to this place, because “you like me, you really like me!”
Well first and foremost lets start with the woman who gave birth to me (I hold back on using the “mom” word since my sister has worked equally hard in that role). It was my mother’s journey as she trained for two marathons that sparked this desire in me to do this. I just had this nagging that if she could walk them I could run something. That it would become a marathon was so far from my mind… But here it is two days away. So on Sunday I’ll be running for my mom, in fact her name will be on my shirt. And like she said, if I feel like giving up I have to remember that my mother completed two marathons and all while in her 50s. I’m also running in memory of her father my Grandaddy Big Jack. He was an amazing person who I dearly miss and who would have told me I was crazy at the same time he told me he was proud.
I have a book called The Southern Belle Primer. In it there is a rule about belles that says they will call their father “Daddy” even when they’re 90. So true. My daddy has been a big supporter during all of this. Every phone call and text he tells me how proud he is. He gave me a lift with postcards from his recent trip abroad. And never doubted that I could achieve this. His humor and positive attitude is something I hope I can draw from on this race. I will most definitely be laughing if anything goes awry because at this point what can you do but laugh! I am also running in memory of his mother my Grandma Virginia. A strong woman with a love of life. She would have asked why I was running past so many wonderful sights in San Diego. I will be thinking of her with every flower or piece of art I pass.
And now for the big sis, or Mom2. She has texted, called, skyped and more to keep me motivated and check on my progress. When Mom1 got concerned, she was there to defend me. She is even trying to keep track of me while traveling inTurkey! I first started looking at long distance running because of a challenge from her to run a half marathon. Neither of us reached that goal but I will be trying it again this fall. Maybe I can get her to join me…
All of the support would be nowhere without The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and their Team in Training program. I have had an amazing support staff, great coaches, fabulous mentors, and a team that I will truly miss when this is over. They have worked this girl down 20 lbs and into a runner for life. Please visit their websites and learn more about how you can help fight blood cancers.
So that just leaves my dearest friends and while I could go on and on I think the music might be playing me off stage. So here is a quick rundown.
Alyx, I could not be here without you. Your laughter, support, and texts pushed me along. I look forward to the day when we can celebrate this together.
Chrissy, thank you for always listening. Your patience with me and my endless talk of running is unmatched. Your generosity has been amazing.
Megan, the best running partner ever. You pushed me to run better and faster. Your voice will be in my head pushing me along on race day.
Kristi, always keeping me smiling. Whether it was a quick FB comment or a long email you were there. We will need to get some margaritas to celebrate!
Kevin, the best a girl could ask for. So amazing to be sharing this with you. Thank you for believing in me.

Ok sappy speeches done. Some really fabulous people donated to the cause to help me reach my goal of $2900!! All of you have given me great reasons to push ahead and keep up all the hard work.
So I’m ready as I will ever be. Right now I’m on the plane to San Diego. Trying to stay hydrated and get ready for the time change. We are hopefully landing soon, because I’m ready to get settled in and start enjoying San Diego!
If you want a peek at what I’ll be seeing as I run just watch this video

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Broken hearts, Bad days, and Sore muscles

Well this week has taken me on a rollercoaster ride.  After an amazing weekend at home with my parents, I returned refreshed and eager to take on the mess at home and at work.  Little did I know what the week had in store for me.

Work kicked off with a couple emails that just made me sick.  Not gonna get into details, but let’s just say there was nothing constructive about the criticism I received.  And now I’m walking on eggshells every day.  Threatening someone’s job is not a motivator, unless you want a fearful office.  But all that went out the window shortly after getting home.

Defective parts - Broken hearts - NARA - 535072

Defective parts - Broken hearts - NARA - 535072 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you read my last blog, you know that my love life is a constant mess, and that soap opera drama seems to follow me.  Despite my best efforts to be laid back and relaxed, emotional people and crazy drama just happens.  Recently I had my heart broken, and it’s no one’s fault or someone being mean or hurtful.  Simply put, I had stronger feelings than they did and thankfully they didn’t string me along.  But the pain of that hasn’t healed, regardless of my best efforts to pretend it has.

This week, I tried a little too hard to ignore it, and it ended up biting me in the ass.  It’s hard to be happy sometimes.  Oh sure you smile, and your life could be much worse, and you tell yourself this.  But sometimes you just want to have a pity party and feel sorry for yourself.  And by Friday I was in full pity party mode.  What made the week and that so awful was that the one person I wanted to talk to about everything I was feeling, was the one friend I couldn’t talk to.

Flower and leaves of Lantana camara Français :...

Flower and leaves of Lantana camara Français : Fleurs et feuilles de Thé de gambie (Lantana camara) Português: Flores e folhas de Lantana camara (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So now that I’ve said everything and nothing about the week, I guess I should update you on my running.  Today, I’m nursing a sore IT Band, and the oh so fun headache that I just seem to get after every long distance run.  I had a gluten attack Saturday morning, so I had to cut my run early, and run the rest of the difference today.  Then today I got shat on by some small animal in a tree… reluctant to say it was a bird, because of what it looked like.  And apparently Lantana can cause contact dermatitis.  I used a leaf to clean off.  So my throat closed up and I broke out in hives on my arm.

All in all an awesome day, that is getting better.  No really, I am starting to feel better and I’m sitting at the wine shop with a great breeze and some good friends.  Sucking down crazy amounts of Powerade and water, before I let my self drink.  Which I really just need to avoid, but hey when in Rome

I’m feeling optimistic about the week ahead, but know that I need to focus on some things at home.  The laundry has gotten crazy and the kitchen needs a good top to bottom scrub.  But I feel better about my schedule this week.  And if all else fails, I can focus on my trip to DC this weekend to run my first 5K!

Hearts will heel, tomorrow is another day, and epsom salts are cheap.

It’s Definitely Worth It

Ok, yesterday I headed out to start my run early.  As I’ve told you, I’m often the last one out there, so I thought starting a little early would still let everyone pass me but maybe not as soon.  All was going well, I was stretched and ready to go, and the storm started rolling in.  You know, the one that caused all those tornadoes. I had just started walking towards the road when I saw lightning!!

Needless to say I was back in my car in a jiffy.  But I waited for a good 20 minutes and saw nothing.  By then the team had shown up, so I latched on my fuel belt and headed out.  I got a pretty good start on the team, but they still all passed me during the run.  I have to say it was nice seeing them from the front and not just the back.

I plugged along though.  3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking.  Working hard to keep up my pace while I walked.  Timing my water breaks, and after the first hour starting my snacks.  Somehow the legs just kept going even though I was exhausted.  I also was really excited to notice that my asthma was so much better.  Insignificant almost, and that was without using my inhaler before or during.

The sun came out early on in the run, and right as I got to the 5 mile mark the most amazing rainbow had developed as you can see in the pictures.  I don’t look so great, but hey I was running 10 miles.  Love my bangs, but for runs they are gonna have to start getting pushed back.

I pushed on and while I found my pace slowing down I didn’t stop running my intervals.  For once I did them all the way to the end of my run.  Today I really saw a difference when I was able to run for a full 15 minutes.  I actually could have gone more, but I had hit my 2 mile mark, and I didn’t want to overdue.  This week starts 3 mile runs for all my short runs, ending Saturday with a 12 mile run.

I’m trying to work in some P90X workouts as well, which are hard but seem to be helping.  The fundraising seems to be getting a good start too, and with an upcoming fundraiser for a group, and my fundraiser at the local wine shop I think I’ll be fine! But an extra plug right here couldn’t hurt http://pages.teamintraining.org/nc/rnr12/suebaby

 

Off The Deep End

Have you heard that I have gone off the deep end again? I’m training to run a marathon!

Every 5 minutes someone new is diagnosed with a blood cancer.  This is why I have committed to run the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon on June 3rd.  I am busy training with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.  My goal is to raise $5000 to help stop leukemia, lymphoma Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives.

My grandmother Virginia Barbee taught me many things in life but most importantly she taught me to give to others and to strive for excellence.  My grandfather Jack Bishop showed me that a charitable life is a full life, and that any goal I want I can achieve.  It is for them and for some other very important people who are still fighting that I am preparing to run 26.2 miles.

Everyone who has lost this battle and everyone who continues to fight this battle has a story and a family who loves them.  Their courage and faith drive me to continue my fight for a cure in hopes that no one else will have to lose a loved one.  A financial contribution in   support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society would be greatly appreciated.  All donations are tax-deductible. You can visit my personal webpage to donate and to keep track of my training and fundraising:

http://pages.teamintraining.org/nc/rnr12/suebaby

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.  ~Dr. Seuss

The poetry of running

Fun runners taking part in the 2006 Bristol Ha...

Image via Wikipedia

Well back in January, I started training for a marathon.  No I’m not one of those crazy runners who are just addicted and wear the skinny leggings… but I’m on my way.  I have tried several times over the past 2 years to train and run a distance run.  First a 5K, then a half marathon, then I spent a year with injuries.  Now I’m going whole hog and training for a full.  But I’m not alone in this.  I’ve signed up with Team In Training to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  I watched my mother train for 2 marathons that she completed so I know it can be done.

The question now is will I be able to survive all of this.  Yesterday for a good part of my run, I thought I might have to give it up.  Muscles were hurting in places I didn’t know could hurt.  My body felt like absolute lead.  But then I got in the last 2 miles, back in a neighborhood, all by myself.  Now this is not because I’m an awesome runner.  Far from it, in fact.  I’m running in intervals of 3 and 3.  So I run for 3 minutes and walk for 3 minutes.  I keep an okay pace, but not great and Saturday it was way off.  I’m also usually the only one in my group training for the Full so in the next few weeks I’ll be running about 2 miles further than they will.
English: Mailboxes in Italy Italiano: Cassette...

Image via Wikipedia

So here I was with only 2 people behind me and 2 miles to go, hating my body.  And then something happened… Yeah not a runners high so much as an odd epiphany.  I realized why I was so miserable.  I had stopped listening to my music it was now just noise in my ear.  I was looking at trees and mailboxes as goalposts to stop running at.  My muscles were aching but I hadn’t noticed how even my breathing had become or that my legs just kept pulling me along.  I was missing the point of running and more importantly the point of doing this with Team in Training.

So I changed my playlist, and found a salsa mix to give me a real rhythm to run to.  I focused on the beat of my feet hitting the pavement.  I looked at the yards and the houses and the gardens.  Most importantly, I thought about my grandfather and my grandmother who I am running for.  And then I thought about our mission moment and the family waiting at Duke to hear about their child.  And suddenly I didn’t hurt anymore, and I ran longer, and I breathed better.
See I think Team in Training is about more than getting in shape to run a marathon.  It’s about giving purpose to your endeavor.  There are lots of running groups out there, but here is one that inspires your soul.
To donate to the cause please visit my fundraising website at http://pages.teamintraining.org/nc/rnr12/suebaby