August 28, 2005
An Endless Source of Energy
T minus 105 days and counting.
At the end of my fundraising letters, I included a quote from Gerry Lindgren from his recently completed book. He said, "When you run unselfishly, for the benefit, happiness, and welfare of others, you tap into an energy source you could never imagine." Lindgren definitely knows what it's like...as he describes it, he won all those races not to win the medal, but to make his opponent give his all.
Of course, I don't expect that I would achieve the success that he has (he won all that acclaim before he left high school). But, knowing that my running is not for myself, but for others who can't, has given me a level of motivation I had not experienced in a while.
When I'm actually looking forward to an 11-mile run and running it in less than 10-minute-per-mile pace, as I did yesterday, I know the energy is there.
When I'm running more times in the week than I used to all this year, and not thinking anything about it, I know the energy is there.
When I'm running easy despite being slightly sore from the previous day, I know the energy is there.
And when I remember the reason I'm doing it, when I look down at the purple silicone rubber bracelet around my wrist that says, "Train Endure Achieve Matter", the initials of which spell TEAM...the energy comes rushing.
As for the fundraising, I've been holding steady at $254 total. This should change in the next few weeks as the responses to the letters I've sent out come in.
For the week ending 8/28/05: Monday 0, Tuesday 5, Wednesday 3 (Niketown, Ala Moana short course), Thursday 3 (10 x 100 with 300m recovery @ McKinley Track), Friday 0, Saturday 11 (1:45 run, in my case from Kapiolani Park to Kalani HS and back), Sunday 3. Total for the week: 25 miles.
August 26, 2005
Thought I'd share this poem from the blog of Linda Oosawhe, who is fighting thyroid cancer. Advances in leukemia and other blood cancer treatment have also helped the fight against other cancers, and thus can help people like Linda as well.
August 18, 2005
You Learn Something New Everyday
The exciting new treatments being developed for blood cancers are a perfect example of just how our fundraising efforts are helping others. Back in 1865 the first effective use of chemotherapy to treat a malignant disease was recorded. It was used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
Notice the date...1865. At first, I thought it was a typo, that they had meant to write 1965. Chemotherapy, I thought, was advanced medicine, and I thought that it was discovered in the 20th century.
So, I called them on it, and it turns it wasn't a misprint, that leukemia was known since 1845, and that the forerunner of modern chemotherapy was...are you sitting down?...arsenic. Yes, arsenic. Rat poison. And apparently it worked well enough that it was used for many years, until advances in modern medicine rendered it unnecessary.
From what I understand, though, chemotherapy is pretty toxic in itself, so I can see how arsenic could have done its thing...killing the cancer cells (and some healthy cells as well).
Like I said, you learn something new everyday. And it makes you think about how much medical research has improved the treatment of cancer in general and leukemia in particular.
August 16, 2005
T minus 117 days and counting.
In two days I've done half a typical week's mileage in the weeks leading up to this program. I wonder if I'm getting in over my head. I know that the schedule said 5 miles, but I figure that I'm getting back into marathon shape after several months of relative inactivity. I mean, there'd be weeks where I'd only run twice, for about 9 miles total. So I did only four miles today. I did about three miles, running and walking, yesterday. And I'm starting to feel a few aches and pains, which is really starting to give me pause.
And I could use losing a few pounds. Man, can you believe me saying that? I, the person who weighed a mere 110 pounds when I graduated from high school 15 years ago, saying this? Well, since then, I've gained 35 pounds, and now I'm right smack dab in the middle of normal. Only thing, when I did my PR back in 2001, I weighed about 10 pounds less.
Don't worry, I have no fear that this increased awareness of my weight will lead to anorexia. But I guess this is what happens when I train and eat like a marathoner for part of the year, and continue to eat like one when I'm not training.
So I guess I should be training for a marathon year round. Yeah, that's the ticket!
August 14, 2005
First Training Session: 17 weeks to go
T minus 119 days and counting.
Yesterday was the first training session for Team in Training. After Jen rallied the troops like she did at the kickoff meeting on Thursday, the team circled up for some stretching and then we were off.
The workout for the Advanced schedule: 75 minute continuous long run. Starting at Ala Moana Park near McCoy Pavilion, we headed Diamond Head along Ala Moana Blvd. and Kalakaua Ave. through Waikiki. Even though we started together, once everyone all separated into beginning, intermediate, and advanced, it kinda got lonely. The others doing the advanced schedule were also faster than me, and most everyone (the first timers) were either on beginning or intermediate and turned around earlier.
Fortunately, I had my good ol' iPod along for company. I think it'll be a constant companion on my long runs from now until the marathon.
Yesterday was rather hot and humid, even at 6:00-7:00 a.m. And running into the rising sun didn't help either...I found my face a nice shade of pink. Next time, sunscreen or a hat. And Vaseline on the thighs to avoid chafing myself.
Now I know why I don't do this all year long. :)
August 11, 2005
Strap on those running shoes, as the winter season of Team in Training has begun.
Tonight was the kick-off meeting for Team in Training at Dole Cannery, where we got our first taste of what was to come for the next four months. Chapter Coordinator Jen McVeay rallied the troops with a stirring opening speech, afterward leaving us to our fearless training leader, Jonathan Lyau, who laid out our training schedule for the first few weeks.
With all the preparatory work that I've been doing, I guess I'm ready to tackle the Advanced Run schedule, though my mileage doesn't seem to be quite up there yet. It assumes I'm running 25-30 miles a week, when right now I'm at about 15-20 miles total, 3-4 times a week. I might put a few shorter Intermediate workouts in there to help ease the transition. But we'll see.
And I found out earlier in the week that one of my friends, who did Team in Training back in 2002 and is a mentor this year, is my mentor.
I really should mention something about Jackie, since she truly is a model for persistence in the face of adversity. She's about three to four years younger than me, and trained diligently for her first marathon in 2002. But shortly thereafter, she experienced irregular heart rhythms that ultimately led to her needing a pacemaker. Since then, she has steadily recovered, and plans to do not one, but two marathons this fall: the Nike Womens Marathon in San Francisco as well as Honolulu.
Now that's a great recovery. And so far she's been incredibly helpful and encouraging. We went over the first draft of my fundraising letter, and the main thing she wanted me to do with my page-and-a-half letter was cut it down to one page. Oops. I guess when I really get into something, I'll go on and on about it when I'm writing.
So, the fundraising machine is almost ready to roll. I've set an initial goal to raise $100 a mile, $2,620 total...I wonder if it's realistic. It certainly feels like a stretch, since I can't even remember when I last fundraised like this. I hope I'm up to it.
The first training session is Saturday. Let's roll!
August 03, 2005
Since 1999, I've suffered from a chronic disease. It's called Marathon Fever. Its main symptom is an urge to run long distances, culminating in running 26.2 miles at once. For many, catching it once is enough to confer lifelong immunity, but for others like me, it keeps coming back. So far, I've run six marathons in as many years, all here in Honolulu. There is no treatment for a chronic case of Marathon Fever, and there is no cure.
Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma don't have cures either. And they can also go into remission and recur. But their symptoms are far more serious and devastating. That's why I've decided to dedicate this upcoming Honolulu Marathon on December 11, 2005 to raising money toward research that will eventually find cures for these diseases. Specifically, I'll be running this marathon as a volunteer for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program.
I just joined the program today, so I'm in the process right now of getting things setup. Check back here soon for updates and more details on how you can contribute to this great cause.