Tuesday, September 30, 2008

At least I'm consistent...

Hello everyone! So it's beginning to feel a little bit like fall with the leaves changing color and the evenings are cooling down (finally!). Yesterday I went out for my YOYO run (YOYO= you are on your own) and did 50 minutes on the local high school track. I felt awesome, I had a good pace going (11:30 per mile), faster then my usual pace (12:00 per mile) and I had my breathing down. I ran by myself because Kyle has been injured for the past couple of days and the doc told him to stay off his feet. I actually enjoyed being the only one out there- it gave me time to think and clear my brain from the everyday stresses of fundraising, working and wedding planning, not to mention the state of our economy. I ended up doing just under 4.5 miles but I stopped at the 50 minute mark...I could have kept going!

Today we did a hill workout- my, oh my, those hills were awful today! No matter how hard I tried, I just didn't feel like I was moving. We run some pretty long steady hills down in Danville and in the past, I could run the big hill in 4:06 minutes but today, I couldn't get up that darn hill faster than 4:21 minutes.

Coach Al always plays games with the team on hill days because he is always trying to get us to become more consistent with our paces. Last time, he had us run up the hill once and didn't say anything to us but "get to the top at a nice easy pace." Then, he took our watches away from us and told us to run the same hill as close to our original time as possible. Most people went faster than their original times because they were putting forth more effort, I on the other hand, ran the hill only 1 second faster than my first time and for my consistency, I won a prize (Shot blocks and Gu- doesn't sound like much but believe me, they are gems on 8+ mile runs).

Well today, Coach Al had us run up that same LONG hill 3 times and he told us to keep it consistent- he even let us keep our watches this time. My first time was 4:27, then 4:21, and then 4:30. Even though I was having an "off" day I still managed to win the prize because I was consistently slow all three times- only an 11 second difference between all my trys! Most people had a 20 second range. But hey, at least I'm consistent. When I'm slow, I'm slow and when I'm really slow, I'm really slow ;)

Well that's all for now- I'm exhausted, but I hope everyone out there has a good day! :)

PS. Sorry I haven't had any pictures lately- it's been getting dark earlier and we haven't taken too many. I will try and post some from our run this Saturday but it's supposed to rain. For now, here's a pic of the cupcakes I made for last weekend's Honoree BBQ. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's Saturday, so you know what the means!

It is Long Run Saturday! We did 12 miles today out in Moraga, it was a beautiful trail and we ran 6 miles out and 6 miles back. I felt great the first 7 miles, I had a pretty steady pace, my breathing was in control and my legs were moving. Overall, I thought this run was going to be easy. BUT THEN, around mile 7 my legs started to get tired and I noticed some stinging on my feet. By the end of mile 7 I had full blown blisters on both the arches of my feet. I have high arches so it was pretty painful running with blisters, so I stopped and walked as fast as I could for about 2 miles. When I made it to the 9 mile mark, Coach Al was cheering me on and said he would run/walk with me back to the starting point. We ran mile 10, walked mile 11 and ran mile 12. Let me tell you, he is a great coach, because had it not been for those stupid blisters, I would have ran all three miles. He talked to me about his amazing wife and all her running accomplishments (she is some lady and can beat all the boys in race!) and it took my mind of my tired and achy legs. I am tired but happy I completed all 12 miles.

After the run, we had an Honoree BBQ to honor all those people we were running for. It was very inspiring and again, made me so very thankful for my family, friends and my health. Here are some shortened versions of our honorees' stories:

* Joe and Ruth- Joe and Ruth are a married older couple. Joe was diagnosed 8 years ago with cancer and thanks to Ruth, his wife and caregiver, recovered and has been in remission for over 6 years. However, 2 years ago, Ruth found out she had lung cancer and had to have 1/2 of one of her lungs removed. Ruth is still in recovery but is thankful to be alive everyday.

*Jon- My mentor, runs in honor of his best friend, who was supposed to be his best man in his wedding, but unfortunately, he passed away 6 months before his wedding. Then, 2 weeks before his wedding, Jon also lost his mother to cancer. John named his first born son in honor of his best man and runs every race in honor of his mother and best friend that he lost.

*Miss Maes - was a client of a teammate, Michelle, and was full of life, she was a young single mother to two very young children. She had been having problems and went to the doctor. The doctor misdiagnosed her as having IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in reality, she had colon cancer. She fought for her life every single day and her last words were "this damn cancer". Unfortunately, Miss Maes lost her battle to cancer just over a month ago and left her children without a mother.

As you can see, we are running for some very brave and amazing people. If you haven't made a donation yet, I'm asking you to please, make a difference and give to this amazing organization to help find a cure! http://pages.teamintraining.org/sf/honolulu08/cwebster

Thanks for checking in and check back soon! I might have some new pictures to post up! :)

Peace, Love & a Cure!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Where did all that SPEED come from?

Happy Tuesday everyone! :)

Tonight was our second track workout down in San Ramon. It was a tough workout because again we focused on speed but can somebody tell me where all that speed came from?!?! We all know I'm not the fastest runner, but today, I ran faster and harder than I ever have and I surprised myself by it. So here was my workout and following the distances are my times. Keep in mind a normal lap around the track (400 meters) takes me about 3 minutes.

400m - warm up
Stretching and abs
400m - 2:15 minutes
200m - walk
800m - 4:31 minutes
200m - walk
1000m - 6:00 minutes
400m - walk
400m - 2:15 minutes
200m - walk
800m - 4:25 minutes
200m - walk
1000m - 5:35 minutes
800m - cool down jog

We covered 4.25 miles today, and 2.75 miles of that was running at full throttle. If you can't tell, I'm still shocked at the vast improvement I made compared to our last track workout and also, my overall normal pace. I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow but hey, it's all worth it. It reminds of this guy's shirt I saw this weekend that said on the front "If you think training for a marathon is hard..." and on the back it said " TRY CHEMO" It made me think how lucky I am to have my health and healthy family and friends and most importantly, the ability to run for such a great cause. If one good thing comes out of my blogging, I hope that I encourage one more person to join Team in Training. I think it may just be the best thing I have ever decided to do.

Well I should get to bed but I wanted to throw it out there that I am hosting a Team in Training Fundraising Party at the Sports Basement in Walnut Creek on October 10th. If you are from the area, mark it on your calendar!


<3, Clara


Saturday, September 20, 2008

San Francisco- why couldn't you be FLAT?!!?

Rise and shine! It was 6am on Saturday and today was our 10 mile coached run in San Francisco. So I got ready and then proceeded to drag Kyle out of bed too (he is NOT a morning person). Once we were finally in the car, we headed over to Sara and Don's place so we could all ride together. It was a 40 minute drive before we arrived at Sport's Basement in San Francisco.

Due to the length of our run today, we had varied start times based on our regular running paces and because I'm slower then everyone in our car I was supposed to be there at 7:15. When we arrived at 7:25, I saw my group on the go already. I was bummed because they all pretty much run the same pace as me and that means I was going to get left in the dust with the next group that went out....they all run 9 minute miles and have legs that go on for days and we all know neither of those are true for me! GRRR. So I signed in, ran a quick half mile warmup before stretching with the group and getting started on my first ever, double digit run. The group pretty much left me in the dust but lucky for me (unlucky for Sara), her knee was bothering her and she took it pretty easy with me the whole run.

I could tell pretty early in the run that it was going to be an "off" day. Unlike the week prior, I was feeling tired very early in the run and with all the hills we had to run up, I was having trouble getting my breathing in rhythm. As a new runner, breathing correctly is still a very hard thing to control sometimes.

For the course, our first 4 miles was from Crissy Fields all the way to Pier 39 (Fisherman's Wharf) and back, the last 6 miles were running past Crissy Fields, up a HUGE hill, through some trails, (with beautiful views of the ocean and GG bridge), down steep wooden stairs to touch the gate below the GG and then finally back to the finish.

Overall, Sara and I finished in just over 2 hours. I'm so glad I had a running buddy for a couple reasons, one, I really needed the extra motivation, two, it was a really confusing course, three, it made the 10 miles seem much shorter than it actually was. Thanks Sara for your support! And even though it was a tough run, I'm feeling great, no pain or soreness, a day after the run. Keep your fingers crossed it stays that way!

I'm looking forward to another week of training, and I hope my long run next Saturday (12 miles!!) goes much better than this week's. Thanks for checking in and thanks to everyone for your support and donations. I truly, from the bottom of my heart, appreciate your support in this crazy journey I decided to embark upon.

Pictures: Views along our 10 mile run and me getting as many electrolytes and gummi bears at a water stop as I can in hopes it will make me move faster!

Peace, Love and a Cure!

PS. If you haven't already, you can donate here at my donation page!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quick Update!

Today was a cross training day but because we went rollerblading on Monday (due to Kyle's knee pain) we decided to do our run today. We ran at the Las Lomas High School track and I managed to keep a steady 11 minute pace (1 minute faster than my normal pace) and ran 4 miles in 44 minutes. 4 MILES! Can you believe it? I can't! Just 4 weeks ago I was struggling with 2 or 2.5 miles and today I ran 4 without any problems! Just had to share this moment of encouragement with everyone...any progress is good progress and man, it feels great :)

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful day today! More to come on Saturday after our 10 mile run through San Francisco. Pray for me- that city is full of hills!

P.S. Here are some pics from our team social on Saturday. It was a lot of fun and the cheesecake I made for Sara's 25th birthday was a hit :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Week in Review: Week 6

Hi everyone! Thanks for coming back! So this week was our 6th week of training for TNT and we started it with a track workout on Tuesday down in San Ramon. It was a difficult workout as it was the first time we focused more on speed than long distance endurance. We did our normal stretches and then we were off. We first ran 400 meters, walked 200 meters, ran 600 meters, walked 200 meters, and then ran 800 meters- all as fast as we possibly could! Then we did the same workout but backwards with a 1/2 mile cool down (Picture: that's me doing my cool down with 2 fabulous teammates). I don't think I have ever ran 3 miles so quickly but my hamstrings were convincing me of this as well over the next couple of days.

Wednesday was a cross training day and we are allowed to do any type of exercise as long as it doesn't encourage pounding of the feet (i.e. more running, soccer, basketball, etc...). Yoga and weight training are recommended but it was a beautiful day and I felt like being outdoors so I grabbed my Rollerblades and Kyle, and we went rollerblading along the Iron Horse Trail for an hour. It definitely made me feel like a kid again...no complaints here! :)

Thursday we had a buddy run at Heather Farms. Those of us running full marathons were scheduled to run 45 minutes- I ran with my friend Jenny. She is a wonderful running partner! We talked about all kinds of things including wedding planning, work, etc... and before we knew it 45 minutes was up and we had ran 4 miles. It made me realize how in only a short month and a half, my body has already made huge progress and is running further than I ever imagined.

Today, Saturday, we had our 8 mile mentor lead run down in Livermore. It started off cool and cloudy but the clouds eventually moved to the side and it became a bright sunny morning. The trail was breathtaking, taking us through vineyards and rolling hills. I managed to keep a solid pace going through most of the run and managed to get the same time as last weekend, just with a longer distance; 1 hour 34 minutes to complete 8 full miles! Woo-hoo!!

Well, thanks for checking in! I'm off to a team social tonight to celebrate our achievements thus far.

Peace, Love & a Cure! -C.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

7.6 miles

It was early Saturday morning, my alarm clock went off and I knew what was to come- a full 7 mile run in the already hot Walnut Creek sun. I put on my running capris, my TNT jersey, my running socks and shoes, my heart rate monitor, my water belt, my hat, and my sunglasses. Did you know you need this much stuff to run?!? I headed off to Heather Farms to join the rest of my team for quick announcements, stretches, shout outs and a moment of silence for those who are currently battling or have lost their battle with cancer. Today, we were running in honor of Kendra who has been cured of Hodgkin's Disease for 10 whole years!

The run started off slow but steady (okay, okay, I'm always slow but at least I try to be steady) and it went well for the first couple of miles. In mile 3 we had to climb a very steep hill, although it was short, it was difficult due to the grade. Once I was at the top though, I had a great view of Walnut Creek and the mountains in the distance. After the hill, about a half mile later, we had to run through this long tunnel that took us under a busy road, the tunnel was very skinny, maybe 4 feet wide and only 6 feet tall. I had to take of my sunglasses because it was so dark, I wasn't really sure where I was headed. We ended up spending about 3 miles along trails that intertwined through local neighborhoods, which gave me something to look at most of the time.

By mile 5.75, I was starting to get some lower back pain. I've been getting this sometimes along with some shin and knees aches, but nothing consistent so I don't think it's too serious...although you never know, especially running that many miles every week. So I took a little break and walked awhile. Around mile 6.5, Coach Al caught up to me and started talking to me. He's great motivation and helped me finish the 7 mile run along with the 0.6 mile "extra credit". Overall, it was a great run- I completed all 7.6 miles in 1 hour 34 minutes (including a couple water breaks, and stopping for traffic). My legs are tired but I feel great and I'm so proud of myself and my team for making it 7.6 miles today! Great job everyone!

Peace, Love & a Cure! - C.

P.S. Thanks again to those of you who have donated. Here are some of the ways your money has helped- so you can see, even a little bit counts!!REMEMBER- to donate, visit my donation page at: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sf/honolulu08/cwebster
$1000 supports one week’s salary for a medical researcher at UCSF, Stanford, or Berkeley who may discover key information to developing curative treatments for blood cancers.
$500 provides a blood cancer patient with financial assistance for one year.
$500 allows 10 patients to log on to a webcast and hear the latest information in treatment for their disease.
$200 provides a Family Support Group Program for one year for a patient and their family.
$150 allows 5 patients to make a First Connection with a trained peer volunteer.$100 provides 3 patients access to an information teleconference.
$75 is the average cost of tissue typing to become a bone marrow donor.
$50 is the cost of a CT scan
$40 is the cost of sending a comprehensive packet of information for children with cancer.
$35 pays for transportation expenses for a patient living in Northern California’s most rural areas to treatment at a comprehensive cancer center.
$25 covers a single prescription co-payment.
$5 is the cost of sending a newly diagnosed patient information about support and their disease.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Very First Blog!

Hello Everyone!! This is the beginning to my blog that I've been promising to start. My apologies for the delay, I've been having a hard time finding the time to write between my new job, wedding planning and most importantly, training for the marathon!

Let me just say this past month has been amazing. Before TNT, (Team In Training- you'll see me write it often) I would often take a yoga or spinning class, or run on the treadmill or weight train. Since starting TNT, my life and body has already changed drastically. We train 5 days a week, rain or shine, heat or heat (it's California folks, it's HOT here) At the start, 2 miles felt challenging and only a month later, we are running 7 miles at a time and although it's still a challenge, especially in this very hot California sun, I can feel my legs getting stronger and I find myself looking forward to that runner's high.

Please don't get the wrong idea- yes, I am a runner, but a very very slow one ;) But hey, at least I'm getting outside and doing something, right? Most importantly, everytime I run, I remember the reason I'm running and that is to help find a cure for the horrible blood cancers out there that claim lives every single day. I want to thank those of you who have already donated and encourage you to tell others about my mission (and my blog)!

Well that's all for now but stay posted for highlights of my 7 mile run this Saturday!

Peace, Love and a Cure- C.