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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Part III of Looking back at TNT

2008.  That was the year.  Mom had had her stem cell transplant, and was alive and kicking.  Her spirit was good, even if her body wasn't cooperating.  Treatment had left Mom was some nagging, and painful side effects.

I had (so it seemed) fully recovered from having my knee surgeries.  I was really starting to like running.  It didn't hurt like it did before.  Before having knee surgeries, running really sucked, and was very painful.   After the surgeries, it was kinda fun.  For what ever reason I decided since it didn't suck to run I would go after the big kahuna.  I would do a FULL MARATHON!  Not only would I do a full marathon, I would do it in Hilly San Francisco. I would raise money for LLS, and I would get my Tiffany's necklace (the finisher's medal for the Nike Women's Marathon).  I have to admit that the necklace was a big reason for picking that particular race.  However, the ENTIRE race benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and  TNT's presence there is awe-inspiring.

I decided to to the season as a mentor again.  Mostly because I loved the cause, and wanted other's to love it as much as I did.  Mentors actually get a break in fundraising (because they are helping everyone else fundraise...and it's like another job to keep on top of it all), however I never take advantage of that discount.  I always raise the original minimum amount or more.  I had never mentored a marathon group before.  I thought it would interesting.

Because I'm an over-achiever, and because I knew this would be a big challenge for me, I set up my training plan and started slowly building my miles up before the season started.  I also started my fundraising plan way in advance as well.  I ran and ran and ran.  My friend and I planned and planned and planned (she was doing Nation's Tri, and raising money for LLS just like me).

Official training started.  I met the team.  I had a BLAST!!  I ran and ran.  I mostly ran my long runs on Fridays and came out to the team training's on Saturday and ran some more.  I met some new friends!  We ran up and down hills.  Always up and down hills.  We added lot's and lot's of miles.

My husband was gone that summer.  He was in school and was doing an internship in NYC.  So when Mom and Dad came to visit, it was for a full month (JULY).  They came to the fundraiser that my friend and I put on.  We did a wine tasting and silent auction.  We raised about $4,000 that day!  It was great!  However it was a wicked hot summer, to be training in, and for my parents who are from the Pacific NW (much cooler summer temps) to be here.  Although it was AWESOME to have them come and hang out with me for a month.  My dog got spoiled, and I think they had a good time (minus the heat).

To JUST DO IT...the Nike Women's Marathon was HARD.  I learned a lot of lessons that day.  First and for most, don't do a marathon as your first running event.  STUPID!  Second, marathons are really boring for people to watch (when you aren't participating), don't ask non-endurance athlete people to come cheer you on.  Third, remember it's all mental (or it gets really mental). Forth....marathons are stupid hard,'s really good to listen to your body.  I made it mile 17, and was over the whole thing.  I had run the first 12 miles or so, I mean I ran...just ran, instead of doing my normal run walk intervals.  (I did stop to take pictures, but not like how I trained).  At mile 17 I called my friend back in Raleigh (yes I had my phone with me) and told her I was done, I was over this stupid race and wanted it to be over, she calmly told me that I was getting there, that I was almost to the lake and then I would be in the home stretch.  Except I could see the people in the home stretch across the highway divider, and all I wanted was to be there!  Also my feet and ankles were killing me.  I hurt so much I could barely think straight.  One of the coaches found me, and we walked to the aid station, where they gave me a tylenol.  I kept going for a bit, but decided to sweep myself off the course (which really just means I just didn't do about 2 miles - around the lake- of the course).  I walked back to the finish line, happy that it was getting closer, but sad that I would not be able to say I was a marathoner.  I did run across the finish line (hey, don't judge me, I had to get the right pictures).  I got my necklace and shirt and blah blah blah.  I went to the TNT tent and found my parents, got a massage at the free massage tent, and we headed back to the hotel.  I took an ice bath and a shower, and then got in a car to drive a few hours to my parent's friends house for dinner.

Nike was an AWESOME experience, in which I learned a lot, mostly: do some smaller race before attempting the big kahuna!


running up a hill

my name in the sea of names on the Nike Wall

working my way up another hill

looking back, the hills were big!!

Chrissy at Crissy Field!

the expo tent

the Golden Gate bridge in the background!

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