Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why I Do What I Do

Those of you that know me know that I am very involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program. In past seasons, I would email training updates to a long list of people. To simplify things, I decided to create this blog so that anyone who is interested can check out my training progress. For those of you who don't know me, let me give you some background information and bring you up to speed.

In September of 1999, we lost a very dear friend to breast cancer. That November, I signed up to run in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in her memory. This was the beginning of my running career. I had fun during that race and decided that it would be an annual event. I really didn't run a lot and didn't do any other races at first.

In 2003, my nephew lost a friend at age 4 to leukemia, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with lymphoma, and my father-in-law passed away from lung cancer. 2003 was not a good year. In 2004, a co-worker of mine handed me a piece of paper that would set things in motion for me. She had joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program and was raising money for them while they trained her for a marathon. I had always had a small dream in the back of my mind of running a marathon but never thought it possible. I asked her lots of questions about the program and the next season attended an information session. In the spring of 2005, I signed up for my first season with Team in Training (TNT). I raised almost $4,000 and traveled to San Diego in June to run my first marathon at the Rock 'n Roll marathon. Not only did I complete my first marathon, but I got to meet a leukemia survivor who I had been following on-line for a while, and I got to meet the grandmother of another leukemia survivor I had been following on-line. The pain I experienced during that marathon (and the days after) was nothing compared to what cancer patients go through. The feeling I had after that marathon was a wonderful feeling, and I was hooked.

That fall, I became a mentor for TNT. One of my friends who I met through TNT was also a mentor and we decided to head out to Orlando for the Disney marathon. So in January 2006 we ran Disney and then in February we ran the Freescale Austin marathon. I signed up again during the spring season to fundraise, but this time I trained for an Olympic distance triathlon. I had done a sprint triathlon right after my San Diego marathon and was ready to try a longer distance. Once again, I had a ton of fun.

2007 has brought new goals and new challenges. In January, I once again returned to Disney, but this time my running buddy and I decided to tackle the Goofy challenge and do a half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. My parents had decided to do the Disney half as their first half marathon, so we stayed with them during the race on Saturday. Sunday's race was a challenge after doing the half on Saturday, but the crowds of people cheering as you ran past them kept me going. People always say I'm goofy for doing marathons, and on that Sunday I truly was GOOFY! February brought the AT&T Austin marathon with its new course and new hills. And once it was over, I jumped right back into triathlon training. Coming up on the schedule for the rest of the year so far: Danskin Triathlon, our hometown triathlon, and the Race for the Cure. I'm still thinking about doing the CapTexTri Olympic distance and am seriously considering the Longhorn Triathlon 1/2 Ironman distance. I'll also be signing up with TNT again and will be training for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco which will be this October.

As I train for these events, I'll keep you posted. This will also serve as an unofficial traning log as well, so that in the future I can look back and see what worked and what didn't.

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