Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This one's for Grayson

This past August my daughter, Abi, started kindergarten. And my niece, Allie, started her senior year. Most of you know how close Allie and I I thought it was perfect that as Abi started her educational journey...Allie would be finishing hers. As a mother and a teacher...this was an exciting & happy time. Her year started along with roughly 120 other happy (and nervous) kinder students at her school. But in late September after about six weeks of school...I found out that one of those kindergartener was diagnosed with leukemia. His name is Grayson. And his mom...a fellow teacher at that elementary school.

My heart broke, tears flowed and new honored hero was added to our family's mission. I had to find a way to help.

I just finished running the Chicago wasn't a Team in Training (TNT) event but I always run for my honored heros. They are the reason I run. So as Abi and I decorated the sign I wear on my back...she added Grayson's name to it.

So I'm at it again...I signed up for spring season with TNT and will fundraise in Grayson's honor. The event for spring is the Dallas Rock & Roll Half Marathon on March 25. The money raised goes towards research and patient services...research that will help discover more effective treatments for leukemia and eventually find a cure!

Allie's the reason I got involved with TNT and over the past 11 years we've met too many children with Grayson. But Allie has been blessed...she will celebrate 17 years of remission this December. I want that for Grayson and his family!

Please consider helping me in my mission & donating in Grayson's honor. My goal is to raise $800. Not sure what to give? Or think it might not be enough? Well, every dollar helps...
  • Donate $5.00 in honor of Grayson being 5 and fighting cancer.
  • Donate $13.00 in honor of me running 13.1 miles for him.
  • Donate $17.00 in honor of Allie celebrating 17 years in remission.
  • or donate more if you can...just click the link below

You can read more about Grayson by visiting his blog.

Much love & thanks! GO TEAM!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

What Moves You?


In one word...Cancer...that is what keeps me moving. with cancer. And it all started almost 17 years ago this November when Allie was diagnosed with leukemia.

We've come a LONG LONG way!

Last month Allie submitted her story to Little Guy Movers which is a moving company in Denton. But the story, of course, isn't that simple. I have a connection to them as connection to Little Guy Movers goes back to 1997 when they helped me move after college...see there was a Little Guy Movers in San Marcos and Denton! And they helped me move again a couple years later. Little did I know they would play a part in our lives much later down the road and it would have nothing to do with moving.

Little Guy Movers has a community project that helps individuals and organizations in need. So as I said before Allie submitted her story...that she was a baby when diagnosed with leukemia and now as a teen she wants to help others. She told them she had not only raised money for LLS/TNT by completing the 2009 White Rock Relay and the 2010 White Rock Half Marathon but was now training and fundraising for the Susan G Komen 3 day with her ASL teacher. If your story is selected it goes up against 2 other stories and over the course of 30 days people vote on the one that "moves them" the most. And Allie's story was selected!

So Allie went up again two other stories...the one that played the biggest part was an organization called the Cupcake Crew who actually helps individuals like Allie. The battle for votes was a long one...Allie would surge ahead and then the Cupcake Crew would catch up and vice versa. It went like that for the entire 30 days up until the last second...literally!

The outcome...well technically Allie lost by 1 vote in the final seconds...but the owners of Little Guy Movers called her when the voting closed and gave her some awesome news. They had never seen voting like this on their site and it had NEVER been such a close race that they were awarding $1000 to BOTH Allie and the Cupcake Crew. Woohoo!

I have to say I'm impressed by their actions...Little Guy Movers definitely knows what moves our family and that is the fight against cancer...any kind!

So if you need movers PLEASE check out Little Guy Movers...they definitely deserve the business of our friends and family.

ps...With the $1000 the Cupcake Crew received they will now officially be able to get their 501(c)3 status. So if you are in the Murfreesboro, TN area please check them out!

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Friday, October 14, 2011 Just Keep Swimming

"A marathoner is a marathoner regardless of time. Virtually everyone who tries the marathon has put in training over months, and it is that exercise and that commitment, physical and mental, that gives meaning to the medal, not just the day’s effort, be it fast or slow. It's all in conquering the challenge."

I read this quote 2 days after I ran the Chicago was written on a teammates' FB page by another teammate. The quote is from Mary Wittenberg, the CEO and President of the New YorkRoadRunners who oversees the NYC Marathon and other running events.

Time...well isn't that what Chicago was all about? Likewise, the burning question many ask when you finish a marathon is "what was your time?" It isn't a bad question to ask, really...its legitimate...I
mean why on earth do people go out and run 26.2 miles? That's a long way to run. Runners for the most part are time-oriented. Do I have enough time for a run? How many miles can I get in during this time? Did my time improve from my last 5k, 10k, half? I could go on...

The dictionary defines "time" as the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.

For me Chicago was about was my race...the one I've trained, sweated and cried over for the last 9 months. When all is said and done...I missed my goal by 2 minutes and 37 seconds. My official finisher time is 5:02:37. Am I upset? Yes, because I made a goal and I didn't make it happen and that falls on me. Am I disappointed in myself? No.

I started running in August, 2009 with Team in Training. I've estimated that I've logged roughly 348 days of running and about 1044 miles in 2 years and 3 months. This coming from someone who hadn't ever run a consecutive mile in her least not one that I remember. So when I go back in time and look at it that way...I think I've got a lot to be proud of...I can now say I'm a runner. Chicago was also my 3rd full marathon all in 1 year! From Marine Corp Marathon to White Rock to Chicago I shaved off 31 minutes!

I won't go into detail about the 5 hours I was on the course...mainly because I don't recall all of it. I vividly remember how packed the course is with 45,000 runners on it and trying to find a place to zone out was difficult. Robin and I ran together the majority of the race...we separated in the last 4 miles. I've said it before but I will again...having a friend next to you in a marathon is priceless...comfort beyond words. I remember seeing Will and Ken (Robin's husband) at Mile 13. Seeing Will on the course always gives me a lift. Then at Mile 18 I saw my family...tears of joy. Abi and Beau were handing out skittles and pretzels...I was so proud of them. I remember my iPod dying at Mile 19.

After 19...I was tired and without music to help me zone out. I looked at my orange "Georgia" bracelet and words that would get me through the next 7 miles came to me..."Just Keep Swimming". It is what Courtney (Georgia's Mom) has said the last year or so... "Just keep swimming ..." is a pretty good motto, especially in the fight against cancer, so that's what Georgia's going to do. Just keep swimming, and before we know it, the summer will be over, primary treatment will be over, and she'll be back in school with
all the other little fish, where she belongs. " So I just kept swimming to the finish line because if Georgia and all the other children I know can fight cancer I can finish my race!

And in the end that's what is was's not about the's about why I started running. I started running to celebrate Allie's 15th year in remission and I just kept going because it breaks my heart to see a child with cancer.

In closing...I'd have to say the best part of the weekend was the last morning we were there. My grandparents have lived in the same house for 56 years. I've spent countless holidays there and I can close my eyes and visualize every inch of that house especially the photos I took on that front porch. This weekend was the first time that Allie, Andrew, Abi and Beau all gathered in that house together. My grandfather passed away 6 years ago this month but I know he had to be smiling down on us and I know it made my Grandma overjoyed to have us there.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Windy City & Gray Skies

Race week is here...almost over actually and I'm headed to the Windy City tomorrow for the 2011 Chicago Marathon. As always I've prepared as much as I can...I've read everything (twice)...I've trained, planned, packed...done it all. I'm ready and for the first time, in all honesty, I think I have a real chance at making my goal a reality. So we'll see...whatever happens on race day is beyond my control. I have to relinquish that control to the man above. And since not being in control is something I'm always working on...I'm hoping that my faith, belief and trust will help me on Sunday when I need it the most. The motto of this year's Chicago Marathon..."Let's Run Together" fitting as my honored heros are always on my mind & running with me.

What I couldn't control was that my little girl got sick this week : ( She missed 3 days of school and has been running a fever all week. Those who know me well...know that this caused an incredible amount of worry. My mind often drifts to the worst case scenario (something else I have to work on). It definitely put a damper on the week and altered some training plans but as long as she is on the mend I will be good.

On the subject of children...I want to ask for some special prayers for a kinder friend of my daughter. Last week we found out that a boy in the room next to her was diagnosed with leukemia. I don't personally know his family but children like him are why I run. His name is Grayson. He is 5 and in kinder...what should be an exciting time for him and his family but instead they heard the words no parents wants to hear. BUT I have some good news...Grayson is in an elite group of children with leukemia...his body has responded so well to chemo that after 8 days of treatment he is considered to be in remission! Now...he still has to endure 2.5-3 years of treatment like the majority of children with 'ALL' but this is a really good sign. To learn more about Grayson please click him name and it will direct you to his blog - When Skies are Gray.

So until Sunday...send prayers for safe travels, healthy bodies, quick legs and most of all comfort to Grayson and his family!

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