Sunday, September 26, 2010

Do PRs even matter?

On Sunday, September 26, I participated in the Hills, Heels and Him HALF marathon with two friends - Robin and Nicole. This was Nicole's 1st half marathon. It was Robin's 2nd...and while her IT Band spawned its ugly head and started giving her problems last week she was a trooper and decided to run anyway. It was a perfect running day...overcast, cool and the course was mostly flat. This was my 3rd half marathon this year and I had a goal of getting in under 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Once you've run your first race, you have a PR, or a "Personal Record" refers to your best time in a race of a specific distance. So, if you run a 5K race in 33:45, that's your PR for the 5K distance. If you run faster than 32:38 in a subsequent 5K race, then you have a new PR for that distance. You have PRs for different race distances, from 5ks to marathons. Many runners (even beginners) love to talk about their PRs because it helps them stay motivated to keep training and racing. It's also fun to keep track of your PRs so you can refer back to them and record a new one when you achieve it. And of course, I do this!

So when I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch it said 2:28:05! I was overjoyed but only for a moment because that isn't the "official time". In races you wear a "chip" that times you from start to finish. My official time was 2:32:03. So I didn't make my goal, but I definitely have a new PR!

I'm not a "leave everything on the course runner" and I can beat myself all day long over that but I got into running for two reason... (1) to get back into shape and (2) to celebrate Allie's 15th remission last year. So does the PR even matter? Honestly, yes and no.
  • Yes, because I am for the most part I need to see improvement and I want to be a stronger runner as time goes by. Who doesn't want to improve? Everyone does. We all need goals to help us stay focused and motivated.
  • No, because running is my hobby...its my therapy. It isn't my profession and it doesn't define me. I run because I can and it makes me happy. I run because I can help others while being a part of Team in Training.

So all in all...I'm happy! I'm happy with my new PR and I'm happy that I got to share in Nicole's first half marathon and that Robin crossed the finish line with a big smile despite an annoying IT Band.

It was a good race day!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

The Amazing Human Body & Philip

I typed this post "in my head" many times on Saturday while I completed an 18 mile training run and I'm sure it made much more sense then. : ) 18 miles...the farthest I have ever run. It was exhilarating...yet I was drained, both physically and emotionally. I do have to admit I was prepared. I had my Gu, water, banana, oatmeal cookie and some incredible running buddies! What I wasn't prepared for was how one person can feel every tiny movement in their own body...every twinge, tweek, ache and pain. I also wasn't prepared for the roller coaster of emotions I would feel during a 3+ hour run.

About 12 miles into the run I literally couldn't believe that I was running 18 miles. For those that do not know I have never run in my life. I started running last July 2009 to get back in shape. Will and I had both cycled with TNT but not run and we had decided to sign up for the White Rock Relay in December '09 to celebrate Allie's 15th year in remission. I remember asking him, "Do you seriously think I can run 5 miles?"

I had dreamed of running. Laugh if you will but I had...I could see myself running and crossing a finish line, but never had the nerve to try. Was my body even built to run? Will I have the time? Why would someone run when they can use a bike or a car? Yet, I wanted to try and I was determined. My first experience was feeling how liberating it was...the rush of blood your muscles get, the sweat down the side of your face and the sound of your feet striking the ground. I can remember the night I came home July '09 after a 2 mile run in our neighborhood and told Will, "I ran the entire way...I can't believe it...I actually ran the entire 2 miles...I did not walk!"

So here I am many, many miles later...simply humbled and amazed by what the human body and the human spirit can accomplish together! Which leads me to Philip...

On Saturday I started off at 5:30am with Robin to run a 4 mile loop then the team met at 6:30am. Our coaches give instructions, we talk about fundraising and then we have a Mission Moment. A mission moment is when someone on the team talks about their connection to blood cancers and/or why they are involved with TNT. This morning Suzanne spoke. And as she spoke a five year old boy along with his little brother played in the background. It was hard for me to keep my attention directed at her because I was fixated on him...his joy, his smile and his laughter. Plus I was distracted by the first sentence that Suzanne spoke, "Hi, I'm Suzanne, this is my husband John and then she started naming their children... ALL 7!" Yes, I said they have 7 children! Suzanne went on to tell us that Philip was diagnosed with ALL on March 21, 2008, the same week she was giving birth to their youngest child.

Philip, like most children, battling leukemia will receive 3 years of treatment to ensure that he is and remains cancer-free. All this was familiar to me, but what really pulled at my heartstrings was that in December of 2009 Philip was diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis (AVN) in his hip. AVN is a disease where there is cellular death (necrosis) of bone components due to interruption of the blood supply. Without blood, the bone tissue dies and the bone collapses.

From Philip's caringbridge site which Suzanne updated on September 10...Philip's doctor states, "there is not much more hip to collapse but there were more signs of bone death in his femur. The good news is that his range of motion is really good and he’s been in very little pain. The physical therapy really helped with his range of motion."

Suzanne goes on to tell the team that due to the AVN (which is a result of high dose steroids) Philip's activity has to be runing, jumping, recess! My heart running for a 5 year old? Tears streamed down my face. I have two small children...not much younger than Philip and all they want to do is play at recess. I watched Philip in the background throwing a ball to his little brother and more tears. In time, Suzanne told us that hopefully Philip's bone will rejunvenate after all his treatment is complete in 2011.

Again, our amazing bodies! And Philip's amazing spirit!

So I went out for a 6 mile loop with 4 teammates...we were inspired, we were motivated and we are determined to kick cancer's butt. We ran strong for Philip.

We returned to the parking lot to refuel. Then myself, Robin and Nicole headed back out for the last 8 miles. I remember we go, can I do this? As I approached mile 12 and had 6 more to go...tears welled in my eyes. I was hot and tired. I don't think my running partners noticed because we had so much sweat pouring down but I cried and I fought to put one foot in front of the other...for Philip and all my other honored heros.

May God bless Philip and his family and know that they are an inspiration to so many others on our TEAM!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cooking for a Cure!

Need some NEW RECIPES and want to help others?

Purchase a Cooking for a Cure Cookbook! Over 85 recipes included in the book! Your donation benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This is a team fundraiser I am participating in as I train for a marathon on December 5, 2010!

Cookbooks are only $12.00 each. They will make fabulous holiday gifts! If you can't tell Allie and Will are both featured on the cover!

If you want to buy a Cookbook please contact me...
Checks may be made out to me (Dianna Bacon) or cash is accepted (please include name, address and email…on cash donations) so I can enter it directly into the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraising website so the donor gets credit.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Read, Give, Hug...and of course, RUN!

I must start off in saying that I've got a lot to say so be patient and be prepared to READ, GIVE and HUG!

1. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! So without being too pushy I think everyone should do their part and donate $5.00 to help find a cure! I'm not asking for more... just a mere $5.00! $5.00 is the cost of your Starbucks coffee, a Chic Fil A sandwich, Subway footlong or ice cream at Marble Slab...I could go on but I'll stop because you get my point. Everyone can spare $5.00 and you do it without thinking every day so put that $5.00 towards finding a cure for cancer. And in return for donating $5.00 I will put your name into the POT OF GOLD which gives you a chance of winning over $2,700 in gift cards! Yes that is person will win the entire pot and you'll have all your christmas shopping done and then some!

2. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! If you are a parent hug your child a little tighter tonight and say a prayer for their good health. Georgia, one of my honored heros, has been on my mind I wanted to give everyone an update on her. I am so happy to say that she returned to school this month. I honestly cried when I read that one simply post from her blog. So many kids wish they never had to go to school again but that was one of the biggest things Georgia missed...being at school with her friends! Also, Georgia was granted a "wish" from Make A Wish Foundation...she will be spending her 11th birthday at Walt Disney World with her family...exactly one year after she was diagnosed with "ALL". Georgia is one strong and determined girl...she is a warrior and I'm proud to have her as one of my honored heros. Knowing her battle...makes me a better person and a more determined runner!

3. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! With each September comes Labor Day...a day of rest and relaxation...yeah right...maybe for some. I spent Labor Day "laboring" in the Labor of Love 10k event with my friend Robin. We woke bright and early to get in 5 miles before the race even started. Then at 8:00am we were off to tackle the 10k (6 miles). A walk in the park...right? WRONG...that 10k was the hillest 6 miles I have EVER run! Those who say Texas is flat should come visit Stonebridge Ranch in McKinney because they have some hills but oddly no downhills : ) Robin and I made it...tired and hot at the end...but oh so happy! That was Race 5 for me! I'm proud to say that we ran the entire way except for the quick walk breaks to refuel and finished in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Our training for Marine Corp is going well...we will be tackling 16 miles next weekend so wish our legs luck!

As always, thanks for your continued support! Every dollar donated, prayer, post to this blog, facebook or email means the world to me!


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