Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2 months, 61 days or 1464 hours

Two months, 61 days or 1464 hours from now Mark and I will be running in our first full marathon. I'm not sure if I should jump up and down because I'm excited or throw up because I'm so nervous. We've run as far as 16 miles already. I'm sure I could go a little more, but I'm not sure I could go 10 least not yet. I know that's the point of training.  But it's still so hard to believe we'll be running 26.2 continuous miles that soon. 

We must raise a total of $10,000 in order to go to Dublin for the race. So far we've raised $3,226. What I'm learning is that fundraising a large sum of money is also a marathon. It has all the same highs and lows. A lot of people have asked how much of the money we raise goes to costs associated with the race. The answer is less than 25%. So more than 75% of your donation goes directly to fund blood cancer research. 

Please help us reach our goal and participate in the race, but more importanly help us find a cure for blood cancer.  I'm sure if you don't have to think long to start making a list of all the people you know whose lives have been turned upside down by cancer.  Choose to make a difference and fund cancer research.

If you've already donated - thank you so much! If you haven't donated yet, here's your chance! I know 2 months is far away...but the more we raise now the fewer gray hairs I have on race day!

Please click here to help us. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Make a Difference

Mark and I are running the marathon and fundraising in honor of a sweet, spunky little girl named Tanner. I fell in love with her right away. I asked her mom Beth to share with everyone a letter of what your gift means to families like hers...

I thank God every day for the people who have come before us who raised the money that funded research that got my eight-year-old daughter, Tanner, where she is today -- exactly four days into our new life without chemo.

How cute is Tanner!?
On June 1, 2009, a nervous young resident at Vanderbilt Children's fumbled through an explanation of abnormal white cells that led me to finally ask the question, "Are you trying to tell me she has leukemia?" Tanner was a normal, healthy five-year-old who had just finished her kindergarten year and was looking forward to a summer of swimming, ballet camp and vacation bible school. In one awful day, everything changed for the worse.

Tanner endured two years and three months of grueling, constant chemo treatments -- not because she had any complications, but because that is the normal treatment protocol for a girl with ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia). Boys, sadly, endure an extra year of treatment.

In the first month of treatment, Tanner had a port surgically implanted, two bone marrow biopsies, four doses of IV chemo and 30 days of high dose steroids. My feisty daughter could no longer walk up the stairs, couldn't get herself up off the floor without help, and needed a cane most of the time. She lay for long hours staring at the ceiling, completely robbed of her personality by the steroids.

She eventually watched as all her friends returned to school, held a virtual prisoner by her compromised immune system. She missed birthday parties, playdates, trips to the skating rink, and simple pleasures like eating out in a restaurant. She lost her hair not once, but twice. She gained fifteen pounds from steroids, only to lose it all, and then some, two months later. At some points, she became so overwhelmed by anxiety, that she needed anti-depressants to just help her function.

I'm so inspired by her!

But, through it all, Tanner fought... and Mark and Emily ran. Because we all believe there is a better way; that no child should have to give up two or three years of their childhood to a disease we could potentially cure. We met Emily and Mark when Emily chaired the 2011 Man and Woman of the Year campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Tanner was honored to serve as Girl of the Year. Tanner and Emily immediately hit it off -- kindred silly spirits -- two people with boundless energy and hearts of gold who have a great desire to help others.

I'm so proud of my daughter for what she has accomplished, and am eternally grateful to people like Emily and Mark for all that they do to help families like ours. I'm ever mindful of my obligation to "pay it forward" and be sure that we are paving the way for more humane treatments for blood cancers, or, better yet, a cure! Please know that should you decide to support Emily and Mark by donating to their Team in Training run in Dublin, you will not only be supporting two wonderful and selfless people, but will also be helping to assure no family ever has to endure this nightmare again.

Thank you,
Beth Page

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Progress - Look How Far You've Come

It's easy for me to get caught up in my next goal and forget how far I've come. This can be true for lots of areas in my life, but most of all it can be applied to my running life.  It's also easy for me to be disappointed in myself when I'm not where I want to be in relation to my goals.  It's harder for me to take a step back and appreciate the progress I've made.  But when I do, it's truly motivating. 

I began running 2 years ago this month with Fleet Feet's No Boundaries program.  On our first group run, we ran 1 minute and walked 2 minutes.  We did this for 30 minutes.  I was sure I would die from the effort.  We did this to train for my first 5k.  A 5k is 3.1 miles.  On the first night of training, I remember feeling like a 5k might as well be to the moon because it seemed just as impossible.

Today, I am training for my first full marathon. I've completed 10 half marathons.  I've ran in all sorts of other races from the Ragnar Relay to several local 5ks.  I've also always run intervals.  Every race I've ever run was as an interval runner. I'm training to run my first race (Franklin Classic 10k) without intervals.  On Monday night at Tin Roof 2, Gail and I ran 6 miles without intervals. 

It was an amazing feeling to complete that run.  There have been many days when I was absolutely sure I could never give up my intervals.  There also days I was sure I could never run more than 5 miles or 13.1 miles.  On Saturday, I will run my first ever 16 miler! 

I'm a slow runner - back of the packer.  I've consistently run my miles in the 12:30 time range.  Recently, I've been able to run in the 11s!  But it's easy for me to forget that I started at 14 minute mile. 

I have so many more goals as a runner.  I want to be faster.  I want to run a half in each state.  I want to run a half without intervals. I could go on and on.  But right now I think it's important that I pause and look back and appreciate the progress I've made.  When I think about the progress I've made, I'm excited.  I feel strong and capable.  If you find yourself struggling, take a step back and appreciate the journey that's brought you here.  It's helped me.

Mark and I will be running our first marathon this October in Dublin with Team in Training.  We have to raise $10,000 in order to participate.  All the money we raise benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which is a charity we've actively supported and volunteered with the last few years.  Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer.  Please help us find a cure.  Visit our website to make a donation and for more information. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Guest Post from my Sister - My Sister the Runner

*Unsolicited writing from my can see how lucky I am to have a fabulous sister!

Sisters are the best!

If you know Emily and myself you know we are pretty opposite.

Since she found her love for running I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I’m now running too. Well I’d hate to break the opposite trend we have going so no I’m not a runner. I have to say that Emily has found a focus and a discipline with her running that I can’t help but admire.

Admiration is a feeling I’ve know all my life growing up with a older sister like Emily.

No matter where life takes her, no matter what her busy schedule demands of her she has always kept one eye on me. She has always looked out for me and guided me through many of life’s troubles.

Two years ago when Emily was campaigning for Women of the Year I quickly realized it was not for the title or any perks that came with it. She was spending hours of her time planning events, networking and seeking donations for a much greater cause. When you see a sick child there is no reasoning that can make it make sense. And for Emily there was nothing that would stop her form helping in any way she could. Her continued support of the cause shows how deeply it touched her.

My fiancĂ© often tells me I have a “bleeding heart.” I so quickly feel the pain and suffering of anyone around me and want to do whatever I can to help them. Well here is one characteristic where Emily and I couldn’t be more alike. I got my compassion from her and her “bleeding heart” is calling her to help children with leukemia and lymphoma.

I am happy to support Emily and Mark while they raise money for such an amazing selfless cause. We all have healthy children in our lives; let’s reach out our “bleeding hearts” to those that aren’t as healthy.
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