Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy, Hopeful & Humbled

This is a picture of a sticker I bought for my car in March to celebrate my decision to do the Dublin Marathon.  Of course, I'm not putting it on my car until after the race.  I can honestly say there have been many times over the last few months that I was unsure if I would get to use the sticker.  However, I'm very excited to be able to confidently say, we will be going to Ireland and running the full!
Why have I been unsure until now?  $10,000 is a lot of money to raise.  It's been difficult.  It's always been very rewarding.  Right now we are up to $7600 raised.  A big thanks to my company, Home Warranty of America, for matching $2500 of the money we've raised.  Their donation made a huge difference! I feel sure we can get the remaining $2400.  Want to help us raise that last $2400?  Visit our website for more information.

We had a great weekend of fundraising and training last weekend.  We set up a bake sale after Fleet Feet's Women's Half Marathon Training on Saturday.  My original plan was just to have chocolate milk (by far the most popular thing we had), Gatorade, water and a few cookies.  But then something unexpected happened - several people started offering to bring things.  So we had drinks and a huge variety of baked goods.  Thank you so much to Gail, Delaina, Jeanie, Angie, Rene, and Nicole for contributing yummy snacks! 

The response to our sale was amazing to say the least. Including a generous donation we received after, we raised over $900 Saturday.  And we had tons of baked goods left.  As important as the donations we received, was the encouragement and stories we heard.  Everyone was so positive and motivating.  It was also moving to hear people tell us about their loved ones who had blood cancers.  With the baked goods we had left over we set up a smaller sale at our Monday night Tin Roof 2 run and raised another $300.  Wow...we are amazed and humbled that so many people are supporting us. 

Because we were fundraising on Saturday, Gail, Mark and I did our long run on Sunday.  18 miles on the Natchez Trace.  We've not run the Trace before.  Which means we had no idea, it would be so hilly.  Gail and I were doing 3/1 intervals and almost every run felt like it started out uphill!  But I'm definitely not complaining, because it went as well as I can imagine 18 miles going.  The weather was perfect.  Mostly overcast and the temperature stayed in the 60s and 70s. We even had negative splits.  If you know me, you know pacing is not my gift.  I almost always start out too fast.  But we started out in the mid 13s and at the end of 18 my average pace was 12:32 a mile.  And the last mile was my fastest at 9:30. 

Mark has been battling several leg issues since we've been training.  He was able to finish almost 17 on Sunday.  And he was beaming at the end of the run!  It's been awhile since he's been this hopeful that he could finish the race. I'm so proud of him.

One great thing about Sunday's run was that David (Gail's other half) picked us up at the end of 18 miles, so we could run out 18 and not do an out and back.  It was great to run out straight, but driving back you realize 18 miles is a long freaking way! 

Gail has been the most amazing person to train with.  Not only does she let me whine and complain and talk her into crazy ideas, she's also planned and set up all of our water and refueling stops.  My advice to anyone training for their first full is to find a partner like Gail (but not Gail, because I've already taken her).  Speaking of my crazy ideas, this week's run went so well, I was actually entertaining the idea of an ultra marathon.  Of course, I'm tabling this idea until I've survived my first marathon.

Mark and I are so thankful to every person who has helped us fundraise and made donations.  Our fundraising deadline is October 14.  Please visit our website if you want to help us with our final fundraising push. 

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