Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lessons learned from marathon training

Lesson No. 1
Goo might be good for replacing calories lost while running and giving me energy, but it sure is gross, makes me gag and pull weird faces when consuming. Katie demonstrates this nicely below: 

Lesson No. 2
Many people do not know how far a marathon is or how long it might take a person to run one. A marathon is 26.2 miles or 42km. I hope to run it in 4hrs30. Mainly I just hope to make it to the finish line (my finish is likely to be very similar to the below picture!) 


Lesson No. 3
When it rains I get blisters. Ouch. 

Lesson No. 4 
Overreacting about a swollen foot can be a very costly move. Add to that an over dramatic podiatrist who 5 weeks before the marathon suggests I stop running altogether, makes for a dramatic day. Swelling went down over the next few days and has been fine since (Did I just jinx myself?) 

Lesson No. 5
Having a truly horrible long run is all part of the 'training'. Mine included dehydration, running in the blazing sun, cramps, hitting the 'wall, knee pain and having to walk the last 4 miles of the run.


Lesson No. 6
My Team rocks. I would probably be in no way prepared for this marathon if it were not for Team in Training. My running buddies have got me through each week with entertaining stories, laughs, silence (when things are getting tough) and support when I have been having a hard time. I heart them big time. 

Lesson No. 7
Sundays are a write off (although I heard a rumour I will be getting them back soon) My routine has become: Wake up at 7.15am, prepare for long run with food and filling up my water bottles etc. Go to Granville Island, meet the team and run our run. Come home, sit on couch, move to ice bath, monkey around in ice bath but always feel better for it afterward. Have hot shower and relish the tingly leg feeling, begrudge having to dry my hair as it requires standing up for too long. Head back to couch and sit/ lay around all afternoon. Possibly have a nap but never be sure if I slept or not (I always do though). Eat something but not be majorly hungry. Hit 5pm - eat everything in sight. Sleep.

Lesson No. 8 
People are generous. Really generous. When I signed up to run this marathon with Team in Training I was really worried about being able to hit the fundraising minimum of $4,100. I hit that target before the deadline thanks to my wonderful friends and family and even thanks to some sweet strangers. People are kinder than you know and all you have to do is ask. 

You should also know that I am still taking donations, every penny goes directly to cancer research. I have met my fundraising minimum, but there is no maximum! 

Lesson No. 9 
Marathons really suck you in! I'm not sure I ever thought I would be so excited to run a marathon but that I am. I'm itching for October 17th to arrive, pull on my running gear and get out there with 19,999 others and pound the streets of San Fran. 
I'm so looking forward to running over that finishing line and the sense of achievement that I know is so close now! 

Lesson No. 10
My body is capable of some amazing things. Yours probably is too, you just have to set it a challenge!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Like Mother Like Daughter

When your mother has run 13 marathons and raised over £40,000 ($64,000) for charity, like mine has, then I would say it was inevitable that one day I would want to take on the challenge that has had her hooked for so long. 

My Mum is 57 years old and has run 13 full marathons, many half marathons, and countless 5k and 10k races! She really is a superstar and an inspiration. The very best thing about all these races she has done is the amount of money she has raised for charity along the way. Causes dear to her heart such as Whizz Kidz and Motivation have benefitted from her determination and kindness with huge donations. 
Most recently she took on a challenge to run 100 miles of races in one year to fund a young man from Tanzania through a Wheelchair Technologists Training Course so he could learn how to build and maintain wheelchairs in his community. 

I have travelled to many cool places to see my Mum run the gruelling 26.2 mile race; New York City, Disney World (where she ran a half marathon Saturday and a full marathon Sunday!) and Dublin (all I remember from that trip is gale force winds!) And every time I stand there in the crowd waiting and searching through the runners for that familiar face to whizz by I feel such a sense of pride and a lump in my throat as I recognize once again how very fabulous my mum is! 

I might also add that as well as all these marathons and races she has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro twice. As you do. 

This year spells the end of long distance running for my Mum and she will be running the Great North Run (the world's biggest half marathon) on September 19th, her last hurrah! This race also signifies the passing of the baton, from mother to daughter, her last and my first long distance race and my only hope is that I can be a tiny bit as amazing as her. 

If you have come to this blog following an email or a letter from my Mum please consider sponsoring me for my first marathon, as she finishes her last, and help me follow in her footsteps and raise money for an important charity to our family. 

The leukemia and lymphoma society is a cause very close to our hearts, my Grandpa, her Father passed away from non-hodgkins lymphoma in 2000 and for every marathon my Mum has ever done we wish he could have been in the crowd, with his camera and his foot stool, snapping pictures of his daughter and being the proud father he always was. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Keep Calm and Love Running

Check out my cool new print - I love it!

Well it's been a fantastic week in my world of running and fundraising. After sending out a an email update, harassing people on facebook and tweeting about my cause I raised $728 in a 24 hour period! I love my friends and family, so very generous :) 

As great as that $728 is, there is still a way to go until I meet my fundraising minimum and you might be wondering what I plan to do about that. I still have at LEAST $1,477 to raise and have a few ideas up my sleeve to be able to reach that. 

The first is a garage sale this weekend! You can't underestimate the value of your junk to someone else, so John, his family and I are doing some serious de-cluttering and laying it all out for the public to come and rummage through. To make the shopping experience fun there will be cookies and pop and our friendly faces to enjoy - I hope lots of generous people come out! 

I also have a stall at a farmers market in September where I will be asking for donations from passers-by as they shop for yummy local produce.

Thirdly I am in the planning stages of a pub fundraiser night, I will keep you posted with the details and if anyone has any prizes that could be donated for the night please let me know! :D 

The fundraising is just one side of the coin for this challenge, there is also the small matter of running a marathon! As I sit here and write this with an achy knee and a huge blister on my toe, I am well aware of that! 

Last Sunday I broke a personal record, by running further than I have ever ran before, 14.5 miles ... in the pouring rain! Last week was also the start of hill training, an important aspect of preparing for a marathon in San Francisco i'm sure you'll agree. Check out the elevation gains! 

On Sunday we had to run about 6 miles to the hill up to UBC, which was about 1km long, run all the way up, wondering if it would ever end, then run back down, only to run right on up again! There were certainly times I wanted to walk, in fact I just wanted to lay down on the ground and curl up into a ball at times, but I powered on and did it! I'm stronger than I know, amazing things the body can do I tell you. Then it was a 6 mile run back to Granville Island - still in the rain! I was soaked - but I was proud!

I had my reservations about joining Team in Training, more specifically I had my reservations about raising over $4,000! I could have trained by myself and gone to San Francisco to run this race all by myself, I could be free of the pressure to raise that huge amount of money.
However at this stage in the training, as we conquer longer, harder distances each week I constantly think to myself how glad I am I signed up with TNT, how valuable the support of my fellow runners is. I certainly couldn't have made it up that hill without them ... twice. To be honest I would probably be skipping my long runs on a regular basis because I'm pretty good at coming up with excuses for things like that. Team in Training keeps me accountable, it gives me a reason to run and my fellow runners support me - I would honestly recommend it to anyone. GO TEAM!

As always I'm looking for donations and if you have anything to give, no matter how big all small, mosey on over to my fundraising page to put some money down and bring my target closer and closer. CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR ME