A big, heartfelt THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU to everyone who has donated to my goal thusfar. I am humbled to know you believe in me and know I can do this (as much as all of you have heard me say on more than one occasion, 'why the hell would I run?!') and it means the world to me.
I know, I know - I went to my
first second third Team In Training practice and have only gotten to updating my blog today. But that just means I have a lot to share, right? Hooray! (Are you excited?)
My first official TNT practice was filled with a lot of excited nerves. Even though I've been on the 'welcome' side of these first practices many times before, its a whole other ball game when you're the one running, especially if you are naturally adverse to running to start. I was surrounded by our coach, captains, mentors, alumni - all volunteers who are in this to convince me that I CAN actually run a half marathon and, ultimately, help cure cancer. Pretty intimidating/impressive stuff, right?
Our first run was just a pace assessment. It was HARD. It was hot and sunny and there's a particular section of aptly named "the desert" where there is zero shade. Going through the desert on a hot, cloudless day is probably how a basket of french fries feels under a heatlamp. I definitely felt like a french fry after that first run - hot, salty and a little burned around the edges.
Based on my pace assessment, I am in the slower pace group. Even at my current pace in that group, I should finish the Disneyland Half without having to get on the "sad" bus. But more on that later.
The ladies in my group are all rockstars, and they are all here for different reasons. There is the woman who's mother passed away from a blood cancer years ago, and she's taking on the hills at Nike in San Francisco for the 7th straight year. There are two women who both have kids and are trying to lose weight. As I start to chat up each person in my pace group and find out their reasons for being here, I also realize that many of them have the same concerns I do, like:
- what should I eat before my run?
- what should I eat after my run?
- what kind of underwear should I buy? Should I even wear underwear?
- and, if I drink a bottle of wine on a Friday night, can I use the empty bottle as a foam roller? (We're still discussing this one.)
It's nice to be in similar company and be able to ask my crazy questions with #nojudgement. (No one is telling me if drinking a beer before a run is appropriate carb-loading, though.)
While I was out for my run today (my longest distance EVER, whatwhat) I thought about all of the wonderful, amazing, inspiring people who have helped me get to this place in my life. I thought about how I wouldn't have the job I have now if I hadn't worked for Team In Training, and I wouldn't have so many amazing friends if I hadn't taken a chance and applied. I thought about the perspective they have all given me; the stories of hope and heartache, of victories and setbacks, of staring at the clock not knowing if you'll see it turn again. And then, I thought about the most sobering facts:
While I ran for 60 minutes today, approximately twenty people in the world were given a blood cancer diagnosis. TWENTY PEOPLE.
While I ran for 60 minutes today, approximately six people lost their battle with blood cancer. Someone's mom or dad, sister or brother, aunt or uncle, grandmother or grandfather, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, daughter, son.
I was celebrating the fact that I had run a great 4 miles and felt amazing afterwards, but I also remembered that I am doing this so that what happened while I was running no longer happens. A lot can happen in an hour, and I am determined to take those options off the list. Cancer ends with me, and it ends with you. Even though today's run felt great, I am sure that there will be days that won't be so great. Those are the days where I remember that I run because I can. I run for those who can't. I run because this is one of the best excuses to get up early on a Saturday morning - to cover ground and raise a ton of money and do my part in curing cancer.
You can help, too.
Total Mileage to Date: 27.53 mi