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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Group Runs and Cross Training

Thank you for your contribution!
Fred Elsea
Betsy & Bill Papania
Mary Elsea and Michael Hull
Ryland Brooks
Debbie Pierce

Our group training was back at the river again this past Saturday. The group was a little smaller because there was a fundraising yard sale at the track, but it was just as fun. We did 3 miles again. It was much easier than the last time we ran at the river, although the big hill at the end still killed me. For some reason(most likely dehydration), my right calf cramped up right as I came out of the park on my way back. It made the hill tougher, but I still managed to get most of the way up the hill before stopping. It was nice to run most of the way with Laurie again. I feel like I've really started to make some friends on the Team. All in all, it was a good training session.

On Sunday, I decided that I needed to take a break from running, but I still needed to get in a workout. Bryan has been bugging me for a while to go cycling with him and he finally got his bike tuned up, so we went to the Silver Comet Trail for a little ride. It is a beautiful trail that is a part of the Trails from Rails program.

Now, for those of you who don't know me, it is important to remember that other than the leisurely ride on the comfort cruiser at the beach, I don't bike. I rented a bike from the Silver Comet Depot. They just got a new type of Bike into the rental dept. on Saturday, Cafe Bikes. It is kind of like a hybrid (road/mountain) except it is styled to look like an older european bike with fenders and the like. I thought that I would try it out, especially because it looked less intimidating than the road bikes. I liked it, although it was a little heavy and the pedals got a little slippery when it started to rain.

The last time that Bryan and I went biking (in the fall) we only went about 10 miles. I wasn't sure how far I'd be able to make it this time either. I'm in much better shape, but biking is a whole new set of motions. After about 4 miles, my legs started to burn. We ended up biking from Floyd Rd. (SC Depot) to Florence Rd., way out in Powder Springs. According to my Silver Comet Guidebook, it is 7.6 miles out, 15.2 miles round trip. Not bad for a non-biker.

I took Monday off of running, but we did a sprint workout for Bootcamp, so I definately got a workout in. Tuesday, I ran in bootcamp and that is it. I was still pretty sore from biking and the sprint workout, so I didn't run anymore. We had some friends visiting bootcamp, so I did a bunch of cardio and plyometrics (jump exercises) there.

Today I got lucky. It is my scheduled longer miles day for Team in Training, AND it was our scheduled long run day for Bootcamp. Ahh, the joys of creating the Bootcamp Schedule to match up with my life. We had a gorgeous run around Chastain Park. There are a couple of good hills and I got to run with a whole new group of people. It was great. Especially seeing the look on the faces of the group I was running with. A bunch of them thought that there was no way that they would make it around the park in time. Everyone did a great job. It was tons of fun.

Miles Completed- 56
Miles to Go- 195 (before september)

I finally got my Thank you Postcards ordered. I'm not incredibly happy with them, but they should look pretty good. They shipped today, so I should see them fairly soon. DHL says that it could take up to 7 days, but they are only coming from Michigan, so I'm gussing that I'll have them sooner. That means that I'll have to get postcard stamps and such this weekend.

I officially sent in my first group of checks to Paycor, the processing company. I kept on putting it off because checks kept on coming, but I finally decided that I didn't want to be holding on to that much money. I'll just have to send another group within the next week. What a wonderful problem to have. Thank you all for your support.

I also really need to look through my box. I had a group of letters that I didn't mail because I was missing a piece of the address or something. At this point, I need to go back to those and get them out. I'm plugging along!

Funds Raised- $1790
Funds Remaining- $2210

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Yay! I'm getting there!

Thank you for your contribution!
Mary Grace Diehl and Michael Jablonski
Ann and Don Teddlie
Jim Shirk
Mike Baker
Neva Morrison
Rachel and Ralph Greil
Paul Liebman
Laura Heinlein
Dean and Steph Saxe
Elizabeth Jablonski-Diehl and Jeff Newcamp
Peter and Paula DeVaux

As good as my intentions were about running in Tampa, it didn't happen. We drove down on Friday and went to the rehearsal dinner. I was exhausted, so I slept in on Saturday and then went to the wedding. It was beautiful and I had a blast. Even though I didn't run, I did dance for almost 5 hours, in heels. I think that should count for something. On Sunday, Bryan and I went to Fort DeSoto Beach for a little bit of sand and sun. We ended up wading through the water for about a mile to get to a less crowded portion of the beach, then we swam for probably 2+ hours. It wasn't running either, but it was exhausting. Then we drove home Monday and I didn't get a chance to run then either.

But then, Tuesday came. I started the morning with my feet feeling much better. I think that I really needed that break. I lead our boot camp workout and we ended up running about 2 miles, mostly hills. If anyone reading is in Atlanta, we ran up the hill by the Chastain playground. It is a killer. As much as I enjoyed my weekend off, I was ready to get back to running. We also had a Track workout Tuesday afternoon. The focus of this workout was breathing patterns. After running a couple of warm-up laps and stretching, we had a quick chat about form and breathing and then we did some drills. CoJo told us that the most aerobically efficient runners breathe in or out every 2 steps. Most recreational runners fall somewhere between 2 and 3 steps per breath.

I never knew that it could be so hard to run and breathe at the same time. On our first drill, we had to run a lap and either inhale or exhale with every step (in on L foot, out on R foot). After I got over the sound of 15 people breathing in and out in unison (in sounded like a bunch of women doing cheesy Lamaze breathing)I ran my lap. I thought that I was going to die. It felt like I didn't have enough time to breathe in before I had to breathe out again. We then repeated the drill with 2 steps per breath. It felt OK, but I wasn't really comfortable. I took a quick break and ran taking 3 steps per breath (in- R,L,R, Out- L,R,L). I ended up feeling like I had too much time to breathe in. It was like taking a big breath in and holding for a little bit. Our final drill was taking 4 steps per breath. I felt like I was drowning. I would have to lift my shoulders to breathe in and then I felt like I had no air left to blow out by the time I got to the end of the 4 steps. After the drills, we ran a couple of laps to cool down and then chatted about the drills. I think that I'm most comfortable breathing in for 2 steps and out for 3. I'll have to pay attention to that. I'm guessing that will be helpful information as I get further into my training.

Wednesday morning we ran about 2.5 miles in boot camp then I ran another mile when I got home. I used the treadmill in my apartment complex and I've decided that I'm not going to do that again. After training outside and being in boot camp for so many months, I can't handle running in place like that. I need more visual stimulation.

This morning, was Bring a Friend day for boot camp. We did a field workout and I didn't run very much, so I ran a mile around the park after we cleaned up from camp. I'm trying to decide if I want to run tomorrow morning on my off day from boot camp. I think that it would be better for me to take the day off so that I can be fresh for our Saturday run, but I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.

I have to say that all of this running is really making a difference. I can feel a real difference in my endurance during our group runs. Also, I feel better during boot camp. I'm not struggling as much to stay at the front of the pack when I'm leading. Yet another benefit of my training.

Miles Completed- 45
Miles to Go- 206 (before September)

YAY! I'm getting it done!
My letters went out late last week and I'm starting to get donations in. I have to say that it has really reduced my stress level. Every little bit gets me closer and closer to my goal. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Please don't feel slighted if you mailed me a check and you don't appear on my website yet, I promise, it will show up. Online donations will show up on my website within 24 hours. Offline donations take almost 2 weeks to be processed. Honestly, I'm very relieved to watch the little thermometer rise on my fundraising page

I'm still working on those Thank-You postcards. I finally found the perfect place to get them printed. I took a couple of pictures for it, but for some reason the top of my head didn't make the photo. It looks a little strange (thanks CoJo). I think that I just need to enlist the help of a more qualified photographer. I'm really hoping to get it done this weekend. I'm going to be pretty busy, but I'll make it happen.
Thanks again to everyone who has donated so far! I'm solidly past the 25% mark and heading to 50% quickly.

Funds Raised- $1440
Funds Remaining- $2560

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It is all starting to come together!

Thank you for your contribution!
Nancy Skinner
Donna Nance

After our Saturday run, I was pretty much exhausted, although not quite as much as last week. Sunday, we were supposed to run 3 miles or cross-train. I figured that I do enough running during the week, my body could use a break. I went to my complex pool with every intention of swimming some laps, but I have to admit that I didn't end up really swimming for fitness. There was a lot of floating around in the water and relaxing instead. Monday was our day off from TNT, but I still went to Bootcamp in the morning.

On Tuesday, I did both. We had a tough workout in Bootcamp in the morning, with a fair amount of running. After work, I went over to my parent's house and went for a 2.2 mile run with my Mom. It has gotten hotter and hotter, which makes running hard. Even with the heat, I kept up a pretty good pace. We finished the 2 miles in 22 minutes and 30 seconds which works out to about 11 minute miles. A little slower than I would like to run, but with the heat, I didn't want to over do it.
View Interactive Map on

Even with slowing down, I'm starting to think that two-a-days are not really the best plan. Wednesday morning, I woke up with extreme pain in my right arch. I've had some problems with it before, so I did all of the things that the physical therapist told me to do. I wore supportive shoes, rolled my foot over a golf ball and a frozen water bottle, and I stretched my lower legs a lot. It helped, but I'm still pretty tender in my arches. I emailed with CoJo about it and she gave me a couple of other suggestions to help out.

Because of the pain, I've decided to take a couple of days off of running. I didn't run last night. I did go to Bootcamp this morning, but the workout allowed me to lead and encourage without too much running. I would bet that I still ran about 1.5 miles both yesterday and today, but it was split up during the workout. I'm not planning on running this afternoon, and tomorrow, Bryan and I are driving down to Tampa for his brother's wedding. I'm not going to go to Bootcamp, and I won't be running either. I'm already feeling better and hopefully the couple of days off will get me back to 100%. I'm planning on running on Saturday and Sunday, but I'll be off of running and bootcamp on Monday, so that will give me another chance to rest up.

Miles Completed- 34
Miles to Go- 218(Before September)

Yay, It is all starting to come together. My letters went out the other day. I've spoken with a few people who have received them, so I'm guessing that most of them will arrive in the next few days. I've even seen some donations that came directly from those letters. It is exciting and reassuring to feel like I'm really getting going. I've done some more research about postcards, so those are going to be done soon. I hope to take my photo tonight and get everything set up and ordered. I checked through Kinkos to see what it would be like, and they wanted to charge me almost $150 to print the postcards. I decided that was too much, so I'm going to order them online. I can get them for closer to $30, which is much closer to my price range. I'm even thinking about contacting the company and asking if they would be interested in donating the cards as a gift in kind. Even if that doesn't work, I'm OK spending $30 on them. I'll be in Tampa this weekend for a wedding, so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to get done on the fundraising front.

I'm still working on something to do with the Spa basket that I won. I'm also trying to brainstorm an idea for an event. Some of the people in my mentor group mentioned putting together a parent's night out event. I think that with all of the experience that I have from Pace Camp and other Pace events, that I would be able to put together a pretty awesome night. We shall see.

Funds Raised- $650
Funds Remaining- $3350

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cool new tool

I heard about this cool website on Saturday.
When I get a chance, I'll link my runs to my blog. It is really interesting to see exactly how far I ran. I'm planning on using it a lot in the future to plan my runs. It is a lot better to go out with a map than to kind of blindly jog along.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank you for your contribution!
Leanne Heller

I went to the Big Peach Running Co. on Wednesday for the unofficial TNT group run. It was HOT!!
View Interactive Map on
There was an interesting group of people there. Most of the TNT people were training on the intermediate or advanced schedule. I'm training on the Basic schedule. Mostly because my plan is to complete the half marathon, not so much compete against others. I ran my 3 miles mostly by myself, but it was kind of nice. I really enjoyed the new scenery. I think that I'm going to try to run there most Wednesdays. Even though there aren't that many people that are at my level, it is nice to at least have some people to stretch with and it is nice to have water stops provided. I have to say though, I must have lost 5 pounds in water weight. I've never really been interested in drinking sports drinks with any regularity, but I decided that I really need to get more fluids and more electrolytes, especially when I'm working out twice a day. I walked into the grocery store on Thursday and Gatorade was on sale 10 for $10. I got a couple different flavors, so we will see which I like the best.

We had a Group run after the fundraising clinic today.
View Interactive Map on
I ran with "Loony" Lisa, from my pace group on Tuesday. It was nice to have a running buddy who was at my same pace. She really motivated me to continue running when I wanted to stop. It was nice feeling like I actually accomplished something. Running more than 2 miles is still pretty hard for me, but it is getting much easier. I'm really working on pace and it seems to be helping. Our pace was supposed to be a 10 minute mile. Lisa and I did our 3 miles in 33 minutes, but that included 2 water stops. Other than the 2 water stops (mandatory in the current Atlanta weather) and the 2 major street crossings (Habersham and Valley), we didn't stop the whole time. Lisa and I even had the energy to sprint it in to the finish. Go us! It was also great. As we were going down the street, a group of cyclists passed us. Usually, they just zip on by, but this time, one of the riders cheered for us and shouted "Go Team!" Everyday I'm more and more surprised by the number of people who have completed an even with TNT. Everyone is so supportive that I am getting more confident about my ability to actually do this. The one thing that I really do need to change is that I need to remember to bring a towel to runs. I was literally drenched when I got back to the group today. Even wearing a dry-fit shirt, I had beads of sweat running down my shoulders, arms, legs, back, and forehead. I couldn't even find a dry spot on my shirt to wipe the sweat out of my eyes with. I guess that is a good thing, my body is cooling itself down. I have found that I'm not getting as hot and sweating as much outside of training, but it is starting to make my car smell since I sit my sweaty butt on my seats twice a day. Oh well!

Thanks everyone for your support!

Miles Completed- 32
Miles to Go- 220 (before September)

I got my letters turned in. Ok, not 100, but I turned in 92 which I think is close enough to 100 to count. I have some others that I want to get out, but I think that I'm going to either hand deliver them, or send them out as a group. I had a few that I need to send internationally, so I'm going to need to send those on my own to make sure that they get enough postage.

We had our TEAM fundraising clinic this morning before our group run. It was great to hear everyone's ideas and talk to Maureen from the society about some of my ideas. Also, after the clinic they held a raffle for a spa basket.
I won!
Depending on how my other fundraising stuff goes, I'm either going to use it as a raffle prize or an incentive of some sort. Yay, I'm getting closer and closer. Thanks to everyone who has helped me out.

Funds Raised- $550
Funds Remaining- $3450

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

1st Track workout and letter stuffing

Thank you for your contribution!
Kathleen and Jesse Liebman

We had our first Track workout last night. It was great to see everyone again. Coach Jo ran the workout and it was really helpful. The very first thing that we did was play a little name game. It was super helpful to be reminded of everyone's name. I'm really starting to feel like we are a TEAM. The focus of the workout was running form and pace. We started off with a short warm-up and some active stretches. I'm not sure how effective my stretches were. I'm pretty flexible so when we do toy soldier(straight leg kicks while moving forward) I can pretty much kick my nose. I talked to Co Jo after the workout and I think that I'm going to try a combination of dynamic and static stretches as a warm-up.

After warming up, we had a chat about form and then ran a couple of laps thinking about form. It was interesting to see how differently I ran when I was thinking about form. I think that I'm going to have to start focusing on that on my own runs as well, especially on my push off. Rather than using all of my leg muscles to push of the ground, I've been running using my calves and my quads.

After our form laps, Co Jo split us up into groups based on the two mile time that we submitted last week. I ended up in a group with Likeable Laurie, Loony Lisa, and Awesome Ale. We are all at about a 10 minute mile over distance. Co Jo told us that we need to try to hit 2 minutes 30 seconds (our 1/4 mile time) exactly on our training laps. We ran 4 laps, stopping each time to see how we did. The first 2 laps we ran too fast, coming in about 7 seconds ahead of schedule both times. On our third lap we finally hit the time exactly. I think that it is because we figured out where we should be when we got half-way around the track and were better able to gauge from there. I was kind of surprised at how much I felt like I had to slow down, although I guess I need to go slower in order to run the full 13.1 miles in the half marathon. It was awesome to really get a feel for what would be an appropriate pace for me. I'm feeling better about it and I'm going to try to put some of that into practice this week.

We finished with another 1/2 mile, just thinking about form, and then a good team stretch and some snacks (left over from the letter stuffing party). It was really hot and humid, but I think that my body is starting to get a little more adjusted to the heat. I was hot and tired, but I tried my best to stay hydrated and I never felt like I was going to pass out. Yay for improvements.

I woke up this morning and my hamstrings are REALLY sore. I think that it comes from starting to use correct form and use those hamstrings while running. Bootcamp this morning has helped get rid of some of the soreness. I'm hoping that my group run this afternoon will help out even more.

Miles Completed- 24
Miles to Go- 228 (before September)

I went over to Carol and Jim's house for the letter stuffing this past Monday. I don't think I realized how much I was stressing about the letters until I actually started to get them stuffed. It turns out that I was the only one there who actually needed to work on letters, everyone else was a mentor who showed up to help out. It worked out great for me because everyone helped me label and stuff my envelopes. I didn't end up stuffing all 100 because I had a bunch of partial or iffy addresses, but I got about 70 done at the party and I added probably another 10 after I got home and checked addresses. I've still got some more to research, but I should have the first 100 of my letters out this weekend. I'm going to turn them in at the training session and I know that I'll feel much better about the whole thing. I'm even hoping that I'll be able to qualify for the June fundraising incentive. If I can get $1000 raised in June, through my website, I'll get a $50 gas card. That would be wonderful. I would love to get through the first 1/4 of my fundraising by the end of June, and, it wouldn't hurt to get a gas card too. Tons of thanks to Carol, Jim, Beth, Rachel and Katie for all of their help. I couldn't (or maybe just wouldn't) have been able to do it without you. I feel so much more confident about my fundraising now that I have most of my letters done.

Funds Raised- $510
Funds Remaining- $3490

Monday, June 2, 2008

Running and Meeting Mallory

Yay for training!

I went to my Group run on Saturday, worried that I would be bored on the run. We were running at the same place that I have been running every day. I was pleasantly surprised. We ended up starting up the road a little bit so that our cars wouldn't take over the parking at the park. I got to meet some cool people and then we started our run(3 miles). It starts off down hill, so the first mile was super easy. The 2nd mile was flat, so a little bit harder, but not too bad. After the 2nd mile I stopped at the water stop and made a mistake. I tried a little bit of powerade and then tried to run the final mile, uphill. Not a good choice. I think that eventually, as I go up in mileage, I'll have to start drinking sports drinks, especially since I'm training in the summer in Atlanta, but for shorter distances, I need to stick to water. My stomach will be much happier. I did get to meet a whole bunch of cool people though. It was nice to run with Kevin, Kelly, and Kristen. I was wearing my TNT dry-fit shirt for the run. It got really, really hot. I think that I'm either going to cut off the sleeves, or just wear other shirts to train. I couldn't stop sweating and I got a little dehydrated. I think that the shirt does a good job of wicking away the sweat, but doesn't breathe very well.

Afterwards, I got to meet a whole bunch of other people who are either running or walking the Nike Women's event (Mallory, Joanna, Pam, etc.). Mallory is our honored hero. She is a blood cancer survivor (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia). She is also in my mentor group. After our run, we had a fundraising meeting. When I finally got home from the fundraising meeting, I was exhausted. I sat on my couch and fell asleep for hours, literally. I think that it was a combination of tired and dehydrated, I hope.

Miles Completed- 19
Miles to Go- 233

After our run, Mallory, Kristin and I went out to one of the water stops to talk about fundraising with our mentor, Whitney. Mallory and I carpooled and had a great time, talking about running, boyfriends, sports bras, and LOST. I think that we are going to end up being pretty good friends. When we got out to the meeting, we brainstormed about a couple of good ideas for group fundraisers, and other fundraising tactics. Whitney proofread my letter and thought it was good. It is nice to have that little extra bit of reassurance. All in all it was a good day. After church on Sunday, I went over to my parents house to make use of their Internet, Rolodex, and printer. I got a whole lot done, finishing my letter, collecting a bunch of addresses, and labeling, stamping, and folding my return envelopes. It was a good day, but exhausting. There is nothing like tedious office work to wear you out. I got home around 10 (after dinner with the 'rents and Bryan) and fell fast asleep. It was a busy and exhausting weekend, but I think that I've finally kicked the procrastination bug in the tush. All that I have left to do is get my letter copied and stuffed. One of the team mentors has invited us all over for a letter stuffing party tonight, so I should have most, if not all of it done by tomorrow. Then most of the hard part will be done!

Funds Raised- $210
Funds Remaining-$3790