Sunday, October 24, 2010


"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." CS Lewis
 CS Lewis was so wise . . .

Some people run away from change, and some change is worthy of fleeing!  But for me, the changes in my life have been good. And things (to my constant amazement!) always seem to work out for the best.

Let me back track a bit . . .

Last February, I buttoned up our house in Washougal and packed my bags to head to an Army course at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. Just a couple of hours into my drive, my branch manager called and told me to turn around. Why? I still didn't have the clearance required for the school. I decided to head south regardless and visit family and friends. While still on the road, I received a call from a recruiter for a job in the Sacramento area . . .

About two weeks later, I was headed to El Dorado Hills to work on a contract for Blue Shield of California (BSC). The contract was originally supposed to end in August, but it was extended.

While working for BSC, my clearance was granted, and I was scheduled to go to my Army course in April.

Things were going well--I trained with Team in Training for the Nike Women's Marathon, raised $2400 for LLS, and made some great friendships along the way. After the race though, I was feeling like I was ready to move forward. What timing . . .

After the race, we learned that BSC wasn't committing to an extension past December 17 (budget), so I called my branch manager . . .

Now, I'll be wrapping things up for BSC on December 17, spending two and a half weeks with my monsters (can't wait!), visiting friends and family, and moving . . . because now I start my course on January 4, 2011!

I'm so excited--nervous, but excited! This change is good--I'm sure I was once a very good egg, but I hatched, and now I'm ready to learn to fly!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just DID it!

I've been training for the Nike Women's Marathon (Half-Marathon) since last April, and the event itself was more incredible than I could ever have imagined it would be. We were told that we would cross the finish line a changed person . . .  What a true statement.

I'm part of the Team in Training Sacramento Chapter. Some of the people on my team took Friday and Monday off from work for an extended race weekend, but I really couldn't take the additional time. Rather, I left EARLY on Saturday morning (5:30 AM!) and was the first one in line to pick up my packet (literally!). It was a good thing too because the line was enormous later in the day.

After picking up my packet, I walked around taking pictures and checking out the various booths and activities. Nike had a DJ playing music, and we could vote on the song that would play at the start of the race (I voted for California Girls!). I also visited NikeTown and did a little pre-race shopping.

I had to take breaks to go to my hotel room at The Handlery to ice my ankle and rest (that's a Flector anti-inflammatory patch on my left ankle in the photo). I should have stayed off my feet on Saturday, but there was too much excitement in the air to do that! So I iced in intervals--kind of like I run!

That evening, we had a celebration dinner. I had no idea how moving and emotional the evening would be! We were welcomed by a cheering crowd, followed by a spaghetti dinner and some amazing speakers sharing their stories. It was hard not to cry--I couldn't help myself! I was surrounded by so many courageous and amazing people!

That night, I could hardly sleep. As much as I hate to admit this, it was partly my fault! I wanted to ice my ankle, so I took the first room available even though I was warned that it was above the street and would be noisy! I thought, how noisy can it be? Um, VERY noisy! A band played on the street below us until 10 PM, and after that people were yelling on the street, cars were honking, and at 3 AM, they started setting up the port-a-potties! However, even during the quiet moments, I couldn't sleep--I was too nervous and excited!

The race started at 7 AM, and we were squished together like sardines in a can on Geary Street by Union Square. It was chilly, so we were wearing wind-breakers and sweatshirts that we planned to toss to the side of the road at some point in the race. The items tossed would be picked up and donated to help people who are less fortunate. There was a 30% chance of rain, but the Washington girl in me knew that it was going to rain--no 30% about it!

It took about 20 minutes to get to the start line--people were cheering and music was playing the whole time. We danced our way up to the start!

I ditched my jacket about a mile into the race. I knew when I was almost to the two mile point because my ankle started hurting, and I knew when I was almost to two and a half because my shins stopped hurting! It takes about two and a half miles for my muscles to warm up!

I had a plan for this race--I wanted to walk up the hills, run down them, and run intervals on the flat areas. At this point, I'm competing against myself and no one else. I followed this plan, and I feel good about my race!

When I got to mile seven, my ankle was REALLY hurting, so I started to focus on other things . . . I thought of the people for whom I was running--my best friend's dad, the people honored by donations made on my fund raising page, my mom who is a cancer survivor, and my family members who have lost their battles with cancer. I was doing this for them.

People cheered us along the route and there were signs to encourage us. The cheering stations and the signs always seemed to be there when I needed them the most.

By mile nine, my ankle was numb--much better than the pain! After mile ten or eleven (eleven is where I usually hit the wall, but not this time!), there were signs reminding us of what waited at the finish line.

It's a little bit of a blur now, so I'm not sure exactly where they were, but they were there!

I took other  pictures along the route as well--this was my "I'm going to have fun with this!" race! You can view the other pictures on my Facebook page if you'd like--you don't have to have a Facebook account to view them: Just DID it (Nike Women's Marathon - Half-Marathon).

Right before I finished the race, the rain that I had expected started to fall, and it felt great! I finished to crowds of people cheering us on and yelling "Go Team!" And I found my fireman . . . with that little, blue Tiffany box . . .

I can check off another box on my bucket list, but this was just the beginning . . . Now I have new goals and another race for which to train . . . no more running intervals on the next one--I want to run the entire 13.1 miles! Bring it on!

Related Posts:
I run to be . . .
Thank you!
Race week
I don't want this to end
Snapshot of a Saturday
Progress defined by Traci
Hill repeats and work (wait, hill repeats are work!)
Recommitment and two right feet 
The trail run
Be inspired--create a world without cancer
"We're gonna kick some cancer butt!"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nike Women's Marathon - Part 1

Katie, a Team in Training friend, emailed me this picture today. Many people are already in San Francisco picking up race packets and preparing for the marathon (half marathon for me and many others). I worked today--and my car broke down this morning.

I'll start with explaining the car . . . I planned to be at work (after an hour commute) by 7 AM (ish). I left my house and stopped by Starbuck's. I got my drink (hot cocoa for those of you who are interested) and went back to my car, but my car wouldn't start! It sounded fine, like it was "turning over," but it just wouldn't start . . . so I called my dad (sorry Mom and Dad!), then I called AAA. In the end, I learned that my car thought that someone (me) was trying to steal her. In the meantime, I rented a car, went to work, herded cats, etc . . .

Two weeks prior, my purse (and my keys and address among other things) were stolen while I was running in the Urban Cow Half Marathon in Sacramento, so I needed to have my car re-keyed. Apparently, the re-keying process failed.

However, all is fixed now! I'll be leaving at 5:30 AM tomorrow to head to San Francisco. I still need to pick up my race packet (the main thing!), check into my room,  and check out Nike Town!

I'm nervous and anxious, but mostly excited! I have so many things on my mind, but for this weekend, my focus is totally running this race . . . this is very emotional for me. I'm packing now--I hope I don't forget anything!

I promise to post pictures afterward. And I appreciate the support given to me from my friends! Thank you!

Related post:
Urban Cow, etc

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who supported me in my fund raising efforts to find a cure for cancer and donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society via my fund raising page. Thanks to my mentor and team members who donated their volunteer hours to help me reach my goal. Thanks to the brave folks who allowed us to wash their cars! And thanks to everyone for their encouragement while I trained for this event--you have no idea how much this meant to me!

I'm so excited for this weekend! And I'm sad that this training season is coming to an end . . . It's hard to describe exactly how I'm feeling right now.

Below is the course map. There are some intimidating hills, but the views will be incredible! And the feeling of accomplishment at the end--indescribable.

With the help of a friend on the team, I'll be constructing a video of my training leading up to Nike and the event itself to share with anyone interested. Don't be surprised if there are pictures of me crying at the finish line. Honestly, during the last mile of Urban Cow, I was almost in tears while reading the sign posts of people who have been helped by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society--it's very emotional. I know I won't be able to hold back at the finish of Nike . . .

When this event is over, I'll be posting information on my blog for how you can become involved if you are interested--it is so rewarding to help others. There wasn't anything easy about this--fund raising is difficult, training is mentally and physically challenging, but it is all so worth it. I have grown so much through this experience, and you will too.

Thank you.


Re-key Car                                                 $1350
Brighton Purse                                               280
Brighton Key Ring                                            25
Expedited Passport Replacement                    195
Passport Photo                                                10
Car Wash Card (5 washes remaining)               125
Contacting Banks, Credit Bureaus, FTC       Hassle
Miscellaneous other items in purse           Unknown
Covered by Safeco                                             0

I guess they have their priorities. 

Related Posts
[Photo Credit]

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Race Week

Nike is a week away, and my mind is playing games with me.

We've been training for this since April--I'm worried that I'll injure myself and not be able to run. I seem to be noticing every little thing now . . .

My left ankle has been hurting me since our Saturday workout the week before Urban Cow. I had it looked at yesterday--it's the tendon. The doctor said it's a common over-training injury, but I'm OK to run on it. He recommended ice, anti-inflammatory medication, etc. The patch you see on the photo of my ankle is a Flector Patch (anti-inflammatory)--I can't take the pills. Oh, he also asked me if I've been running hills . . . lol!

So now I'm feeling both nervous and excited. I also found a good article from another race on how to make race week less stressful: Rock 'n' Roll Race Week Survival tips--use these five simple strategies to make your race week less nerve-racking.

(Speaking of the Rock 'n' Roll marathons, I registered for the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon in June!)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I run to be . . .

Nike wants us to finish the sentence "I run to be . . ."  This is a hard one for me because I run for so many reasons . . .

I have never been inactive, but I wasn't a "runner" until early 2008. Before then, I was more into dance--jazz, tap, ballet, Middle Eastern . . . I was also on a drill team when I was a child. Does anyone remember the Coho Princesses? We won a few trophies back in the day . . .

Anyhow, in early 2008, I decided to submit an application for a direct commission with the Army Reserve. I knew then that I would have to pass the Army's APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test). I knew the  requirements, and I was concerned about the run.

At the time, my main cardio activity was tennis--so fun! But I hadn't been running. I immediately began running intervals. I found a program endorsed by Runner's World that was created to prepare people for a 5K. It is a great program based on timing.

This program was enough to help me pass the APFT at my age group, but to be a leader in the Army, more is required. Leadership is more than a rank handed down by a higher authority--it is an acceptance by the people you lead--passing the APFT really isn't enough.

I knew that I needed to do more, so I continued to train. Training is hard when you are training by yourself. When I moved to the Sacramento area, I continued to train on my own, but I knew it wasn't enough. Then I remembered Team-in-Training.

I first learned about Team-in-Training when I participated in the Big Climb in Seattle in 2008. I was interested, but the timing wasn't right because I had surgery that same year. However, the timing was right when I moved to the Sacramento area.

I joined the team at an event in Folsom, CA in April 2010, and I'm so thankful that I did. I have heard so many heart warming stories, met so many incredible, encouraging people . . . I am truly thankful.

Since April 2010, I have been training with TNT for the Nike Half-Marathon on October 17. I'm so excited . . . I can't wait! It won't be easy, but I've been training for this, and I've already run in one half-marathon in preparation--but without the San Francisco hills! I know I can do it though.

So back to the Nike request . . . finishing the sentence "I run to be . . ."

I run to be:
  • healthy
  • active
  • an advocate to find a cure for the many different kinds of cancer
  • an example (for my daughter and for my son, for other women, for Soldiers everywhere--we can make a difference!)
  • a leader (how can I ask others to do something I cannot do?)
I run for so many other reasons. Running makes me feel wonderful after the most stressful day. Running makes me feel alive--even when it hurts. Running keeps me young.

At one time, I thought I wasn't a runner, but I am.

So, when Nike asks me to finish the sentence "I run to be . . .," how do I answer? I run to be the person I want to be. I run to be the best me possible.

I run to be . . . me.

So I have to offer some advice . . . Run . . . Run to be . . . Run to be . . . YOU. Be the best you that you can be.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I don't want this to end

We had our pre-race meeting tonight. Our coaches and mentors gave us great information, and we finally received the coveted purple singlet. As I sat there listening to the information, I was thinking . . . this is almost over . . . and I don't want it to end. Nike is in a week and a half . . .  

 . . . but I really don't want this to end.

I've met such wonderful people and made great friends. I feel stronger as a person, and I feel great about what I'm doing--I love helping others; I need to have a purpose.  

I don't want this to end.

I talked to my mentor tonight about becoming a mentor. I'm looking forward to the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco, but I'm not ready for this to end.  

I'm not going to let it end.

Running for a Cure

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

More on Urban Cow

Not all of my friends are on Facebook, so I'm sharing a link to view more race day photos:  Urban Cow - Part Two (Race Day!)

We also volunteered the day before handing out race packets:  Urban Cow - Part One (The Day Before)

Here's an article about the race:  Sacramento Guide - Urban Cow Half-Marathon

Nike is in two weeks--I can't wait to hit those hills!!!

 Katie and me volunteering at the 5K table handing out race packets--cheese!!! She bent over so I wouldn't feel short!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Urban Cow, etc

Is it wrong to start with a recovery photo? This is a "cookie recovery" photo following the Urban Cow Half-Marathon in Sacramento on October 3, 2010. This was my first half-marathon. It was fun!

The first 2.5 miles were definitely the most painful--I'm still trying to figure out how to warm-up my muscles earlier because that has been a problem for me since I started running distances. Unfortunately, the run for the APFT is two miles, which means that I'm in pain during the entire APFT! Runner friends--any suggestions???

My pace was 13.07, and I finished 13.1 miles in 2:51:49. I walked for most of the last two miles because I felt like I was getting a Charlie horse--I ran in the end.  I want to be faster, but I feel good about my race. This was my first half-marathon, I'm a fairly new runner . . . and I loved it!

Unfortunately, while Katie and I were on the course, someone broke the window in her car and stole everything that was in it--including my purse. My car keys were in my purse .  . and my passport (I know). So, after calling the Sacramento police (who don't respond to auto break-ins--at all), we drove back to my car. BMWs are very secure I learned. Both AAA and BMW Roadside Assistance told me that I needed to have my car towed to a dealership and have them re-key my car. After several hours and renting a car, I was finally able to get into my car with the valet key (don't ask). By that time, I was alone with two cars . . . what do you think I did? 

After finally getting into my car and starting it, I drove my car home and parked it in the garage. Then, after completing a half-marathon (13.1 miles), I walked over a mile to get my rental car and drive it home. I got a lot of exercise on Sunday!

I'm not complaining though. Today has been a hassle, to be sure. But I keep finding things that would normally be in my purse, but somehow they weren't. I had my WDL, my CAC, my debit cards, my BlackBerry, and my camera with me in a small backpack. I left my glasses and my iPod at home among numerous other things that I normally carry in my purse. It will still cost $1450 to re-key my car because the thieves have my keys and my address. I was lucky--it could have been so much worse. Katie, her husband, and I still have many hoops to jump through to make things right . . .

Katie and I were out making sacrifices to help people live longer while some pathetic person chose to take things away from us. I feel sorry for that person.

I would so much rather give freely by choice than take away by force.