Monday, June 28, 2010

We Did It!!!

We Did It!!!

Early race day morning. Randy was still waking up.

Sarah is ready to run!

Randy is ready too!

Our supporters are ready also! We are officially Half Marathon Finishers. It was one of the most amazing experiences. As we were getting ready to start, I was sooo nervous, but once we past the starting line, I eased up and off I ran. One of the best parts of the run was looking forward to being cheered on by Grandma Swann and Jolee. They were waiting at just after 3.5 miles into the run for us. Seeing them was better stimulator than any power bar could ever be. After meeting us along the way, Grandma and Jolee drove to the finish line to wait for us. Passing the finish line was very emotional for me. It is hard to put into words the feelings that were running through me, I was thinking about Susan, our supporters and our donors, that I completed a half marathon (something 6 months ago I wasn't sure I could do). I can't believe how much fun it was to run. So many people cheering us along the way. The beautiful views. Having my loving husband at my side. This was truly a great and wonderful experience. I took oodles of pictures on my phone so as soon as I am able to figure out my new phone and how to get the pictures onto the computer I will post those with a more play by play of what was going on throughout all 13.1 miles of fun.

Some Stats for Finishers:

Name: Sarah Swann
Bib#: 37132
Chip Time: 2:46:57
Overall: 12859/17593
Place by Sex: 8619/12560
Division Place: 1747/2245
Age Grade: 39.4%
Pace: 12:45
5 Km: 36:01
10 Km: 1:16:40
9 Mile: 1:52:59

Name: Randy Swann
Bib#: 37131
Chip Time: 2:46:57
Overall: 12857/17593
Place by Sex: 4240/5033
Division Place: 638/708
Age Grade: 35.5%
Pace: 12:45
5 Km: 36:01
10 Km: 1:16:39
9 Mile: 1:52:59

Approaching the finish

Stopped for a quick picture

Crossing the finish line!
The Swann Family post run Thank-you so much Grandma Swann and Jolee for being there to support us! Thank-you to our amazing donors. You are wonderful! Thank-you to Anna for being our captain/coach/mentor. Thank-you to Susan for being the type of person that inspires people to better themselves and for always thinking of others.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This is it!!!

At the very moment I'm typing this, Randy and Sarah are running their very first half-marathon in Seattle, WA!!!! They both put in an incredible amount of work to prepare for this day. Here's an update from Sarah on their visit to the expo yesterday. Don't forget there is still time to donate and help Randy and Sarah reach their fundraising goal. GO RANDY AND SARAH---ROCK THAT SEATTLE FINISH LINE!!!!! We are so proud of you!

Here we are right after picking up our race numbers!!!
Jolee is less excited than we are.

Our big day starts nice and early tomorrow. We will start our run at 7 am. To say the least, I am going crazy with excitement! In 12 hours we will be lined up and ready to run our very first half marathon. WOOO HOOO! Yesterday we went to the Health and Fitness Expo to pick up our race packets. Talk about shockingly fun. We ate so many different kinds of power bars. Got free chair massages. Jolee drank a healthy drink and she is going to be on their website because she was SO cute chugging it. I tossed a little ball in a shoe and won a teddy bear for Jolee. Watched a Lizard Man run across liquid. And just had a great time.

Mom and Jolee getting ready to rock.
Randy showing how it is done. ROCK ON!
Rockin Swanns!

There is still time left for last minute donations to help us meet our fundraising goal! Any amount is VERY appreciated!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I wanted to give a special thanks to all of you have generously donated to help us raise monies for Susan's Foundation. It has helped keep us motivated during training and will keep us motivated while running. It helps knowing that we have so much support from people such as yourselves. Please keep the donations rolling in, any dollar amount is greatly appreciated. Thank you, THANK you, THANK YOU!!

- Randy and Sarah

Monday, June 21, 2010

Last in Arizona

No. she is not picking, just pointing.
We just got back from our last training run in Arizona. Our next little run will be on a treadmill in a hotel in Seattle. The next run after that will be the SEATTLE ROCK N ROLL HALF MARATHON! Woooo hoooo! I listened again to Hello Seattle by Owl City and I took off like a bullet. Randy even told me that I was running too fast this morning and that he had a hard time keeping up with me. Which is even more impressive given the all out, feels like running in an oven feeling that the heat caused this morning.

Wow, it was HOT! High today for Tucson is 103. It wasn't that hot, but it was at least 80 and it wasn't even 8 am. Anyways, we only ran about 2 1/2 miles this morning. We planned on running 4 or 5, but we slept in a little too late and getting heat stroke days before a race is a bad idea. We are getting so close to race day and so excited. Our bags are packed and we are ready to go. We just need to finish the last of the laundry, last minute house work, and I have 2 more nights of work. So close I can almost taste the salty sea air.
We are looking for inspiration for our big day, please leave any quotes or motivation you can think of that we can use to mentally motivate ourselves as we attempt to conquer the hills of Seattle!

Also, there is still time left to donate. All donation go to the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation, benefitting young adults with cancer. Happily accepting donations of any amount. Feeling tight on cash, but you still want to donate? Donate $1. Every donation makes a difference and will help to encourage us on race day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

8 Days Left - Update

I can't believe that we are 8 days away from our first half marathon! I remember back in December when we really made the fleeting thought of running a real idea. This is what I sent to Anna to let her know we would be joining...

"As crazy as I think this is. I think Randy and I want to be a part of the team and do a half marathon. Yikes, I actually said it. I am terrified at the thought, but I want to do this. (I am so out of running shape! I walk 3 miles 3-4 times a week). The biggest challenge will be getting enought time off of work. It also depends on when Randy will have to start work. He graduates in May and will hopefully be starting to teach this summer at a year round school. I have been doing research on training and pre-training. I think I will be walking a lot of it. I want to do this to support you and to help raise money for Susan's foundation. I am looking forward to seeing which state it will be. If I survive this, maybe we can do future marathons too. I will definately need some education on how to get myself started. "
I was so nervous at the very idea of running. In fact, I was nearly faint at idea. I am so happy that we made this decision. I am grateful for the support that Anna has provided to us throughout our training... providing us with training material, answer question after question, and providing never ending motivation. We have slowly overcome all of the obstacles that we have faced during training, whether it be lack of sleep, having to face running in the heat or at 3 in the morning, running around my ever changing work schedule, or old injuries. Becoming a runner has been life changing. I really never believed that I could ever run more than 3 miles without stopping. At the beginning my main goal was just to finish within 4 hours, and to be able to run for 3 miles at a time without stopping to rest. My plan was to run 3 miles, walk a mile, run 3, walk 1, run 3, walk 1, run 1.1. With how much I have changed in my abilities, I can now run without stopping to walk at all. I am really looking forward to not being forced to stop by red lights. Most of all, I realized how important having something to run for keeps me going. I wonder if Susan ever looks down and is surprised at how much she has affected the world in her short life. She really changed my life. I am so humbled to be running in her honor and to help raise funds for a foundation set up in her memory. Yesterday, one of my coworkers told me that Susan was her EFY councilor and how much she liked Susan. It is little things like that that keep me wanting to do better. I often think about my life and I wonder if I am doing as much as I could to help improve the lives of those around me. I want to be like Susan and be remembered for being kind and friendly and making the world brighter.

We are still in need for donations for Susan's foundation, we are getting closer to our goal, but we need a little more help. 8 days and counting left to donate. Once again we appreciate all of the support we have received!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Seattle Marathon - Announcement from Anna

Hello to all my wonderful marathon mile sponsors,

If you've been following the blog this season, you know that myself and fellow teammates are scheduled to run the Seattle Marathon and Half Marathon in just 19 DAYS. As always, all of the donations raised during the training process go to support the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation, helping young adults fighting cancer.

Unfortunately I need to make the very sad announcement that I will not be able to run the Seattle marathon this year. About a month ago I had a surprising run-in with some kidney problems, which has since turned into complication after complication of infections or flaring up other chronic health conditions. The last few weeks have been a continuous cycle of doctors, hospitalizations and medications trying to work things out, though recovery appears to be a very slow process. Words cannot describe the disappointment I feel in not going to Seattle this year, especially after all of the support you've shown. However, inspired by the 'Lemonade Maker' spirit, I'm going to do my best to put my pity party aside and focus on what I can do to support the cause.

Randy and Sarah Swann are both new runners who have worked endlessly the last few months to prepare to run their first half marathon in Seattle and raise money for Susan's Foundation. They are strong and ready to run-- though they still have a ways to go to meet their fundraising goal. I'm hoping that we can all come together to help them meet their goal before race day on June 26th. There is no minimum donation-- any amount at all would be greatly appreciated.

My plan is to hold all of my current Seattle marathon mile sponsor donations right where they are and continue to recruit the rest of my mile sponsors when I attempt to run Seattle again next summer. For both health and financial reasons, I will not be attempting another marathon until then. This means that for the next year, Randy and Sarah's half marathon this month is the only time we will be recruiting donations through this fundraiser. Since we're going to have such a long gap in between, I'm hoping you will consider stepping up to help support these runners and a very worthy cause.

Thanks to all of you for the support you've shown to myself and my teammates in the past few months! Please continue to check in with the blog over the next month to read about Randy and Sarah's preparations and race day experience. I have no doubt they will rock that half marathon finish line in 19 days and make us all very proud!!

Thank you!!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Randy and Sarah's Training Update

As the race day comes closer and closer, I find myself thinking more and more about running. I eat, sleep, talk, dwell, imagine, ponder, and debate running. Run, run, run, run, run. I have learned so much about running and myself through 1/2 marathon training.

1. Mind over matter. As I push myself to further distances and running during less than pleasant Arizona summer weather, I have realized that when I feel like I can't run any further, I must change my thinking. I find some way to think that I can continue. Like Dori said in Finding Nemo "swimming, swimming, just keep swimming." I think "running, running, just keep running." My mind can completely over power my body and force it to continue to run, even if I think it is impossible. I can keep running!
2. Sunshine, heat, and running are a very bad combination. With the sun getting up way too early in the morning, we have done a complete of runs as it starts to heat up. My ability to run at a nice steady 10-12 minute mile, falls apart with the heat. Sometimes it feels like I am made out of lead. With the heat, if I want my brain to keep functioning, I have to guzzle water constantly. It is only May and I am already looking forward to next winter. Like my grandmother said "you can always put on more clothing if it is cold, but you can only take off so much if it is warm."
--Jolee after our run through the hills in Pine--

3. Runners are mostly if not completely crazy. There is an entire running world that is completely different from the one that "normal" people live in. They have there own social networks. Different rules. Different social norms. They are just a bit competitive (okay maybe more than just a bit). Just read Runner's World magazine and you can see how much people put into being a runner. Whoa dang!

4. Stretching is not nearly as important as I thought it was. I read an article about how stretching just as often causes injury as decreases injury, so I tried skipping my stretch after a run and realized that I am less sore when I skip stretching. In fact, I haven't stretched in months.

--Sarah post-Pine run--
5. Running teaches patience. This is especially true when I run a little slower on the long runs. I run, then I run, and then I run some more. Sometimes it feels like I am going to be running FOREVER. But as I patiently run along, I eventually get to the end.

6. A mile is not nearly as long as I used to think it was. For example, on our run this morning, we were planning on running 3 miles. Quick and easy so I could get home, shower, and get to bed (I work tonight). We weren't really thinking about where we were running and we ended up running 4 miles instead of 3 and we didn't realize it until we were about home. During the long runs, the thought "only one mile left" is so wonderful. It feels like just a tiny bit more and then we are done. Compare this with how we felt at the beginning of training when 1/4 mile was "so long."

7. I hate having dried sweat on my face. I think this is the worst part of running. Oh, the feeling is sooooo awful.

8. Caring chap stick during a run is very important. When my lips get dried out, I feel dehydrated and I will drink more and more water, which leads to a water logged belly and a sloshing run. Talk about making me feel like I am going to puke. By regularly using my chap stick, I drink water more sensibly and my run goes so much more smoothly.

9. Upbeat, fast tempo music is the easiest way to increase running speed. I would put type out my play list, but my MP3 player's batteries died during today's run and I don't have time to get new batteries right now. Any songs by Owl City work great for running. "Hello Seattle" is one of my favorites because it makes me think about race day and I end up getting so excited and then run faster. Go super turbo power!

--The Swann Family after a morning run--

10. Expensive, good quality running shoes are worth every penny. Less painful, more enjoyable runs all due to shoes!

I love running and the crazy person than running has turned me into. I am excited to continue to run and see what else I can learn. Signing out for now. -Sarah Swann

Lemonade Maker Fan Club Member Spotlight - Jolee Swann

Jolee Swann

1) Where is your hometown?

Tucson, AZ

2) Where do you live now?

Tucson, AZ

3) Are you a runner? If so, what is your next race? What are your favorite post-run treats?

I am a marathon crawler. My next race will be when I get up from my nap. I plan to crawl and find as much trouble as I can in the time it take my parents to realize that I have disappeared. My favorite post crawl treat is a graham cracker.

4) What is your occupation?

Being adorable and driving Mom and Dad crazy

5) What is your favorite breakfast food?


6) What was the last book you read?

What Floats

7) Tell us one thing you want to be sure to do in your lifetime.

Hmmm, that is a hard one, as I am so young there are many things that I want to do. I guess run a marathon with my Dad and Mom when I am old enough. But I will let you know more when I can talk.

8) What is the first thing you associate with Seattle, Washington?

Seattle? Is that a type of toy?

9) Why did you want to become a fan club member to support the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation?

My Mom and Dad are members of the Lemonade Makers team and will be running their first half marathon and they are bringing me too! My GrammS and I are going to be cheering them on! Go Mommy and Daddy go!

10) Anything else you'd like to add?

I would like to encourage as many people as possible to help each of the team members meet their fundraising goals. I know how hard Mommy and Daddy have been training (I go on the runs with them) and I know that they need all the support and encouragement that they can get!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Anna's Training Update

I promised to keep my posts honest- including the good, the bad, and the ugly... well, here's the ugly one:

This last 4 mile run I posted about was actually the last run I've been on. And other than it being hotter than I'd prefer, I really felt good- which is why I wouldn't have guessed that within 6 hours of finishing that run I'd end up in the Emergency Room. :( What I had thought was some annoying back pain the few days prior very quickly got much worse after that run, accompanied by some horrible sickness. It turns out the pain and "off" feeling I'd been having a while before that was not the result of an overdue chiropractor visit (as I suspected), it was a kidney infection and kidney stones. Hmmm.... this was definitely a surprise and something I'd never experienced before. WOW! I have a whole new respect for anyone who's ever had to endure this situation before. The last 2 weeks or so haven't included much more than hospital and doctor visits and lots of pain medication. Normally I'm not such a big fan of high strength pain medication if there's any chance a few extra Tylenol and "just suck it up" pep talk will suffice. I've had several people tell me the pain of kidney stones/infections is similar to that of childbirth. While I, for one, am not qualified to make that comparison-- I will say that I pretty quickly learned to set my pride, Tylenol, and pep talk strategy aside in exchange for some drugs that actually work. And fortunately, they do work very well-- for which I am very grateful.

Since it seems I don't just have one or two kidney stones, but rather 2 kidneys that are full of them-- the challenge now becomes figuring how this situation came about, and how to avoid it from happening again. And in the mean time, how to function as normally as possible on this much pain medication. Yuck-- not the challenge I was hoping to have at this point in the training season.

I will say that as often as I've said that this fundraising experience is "not about the running", the last few weeks have just been another example of that. Thanks to some amazing friends I've gotten to know through running, the last week or two has been so much more endurable. You just can't say enough about what it means to have friends like that in your life.

So it appears that when I'm hitting the running trails again is not the most immediate question on my mind this week. Goal #1- figure out what's going on with my kidneys and make it stop! Once we do that, I may have a little mental hurdle to overcome in that I've now associated the pain of my first kidney stone with finishing a good run. I'm honestly not sure if one had anything to do with the other at all-- but either way I'm going to have to work on mentally separating the two.

There is was...the 'ugly' update as promised. :) Here's hoping future updates to have much better news!

Thanks again for all of your support! It means the most during weeks like these.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Anna's Training Update

4 miles today. It's officially getting hot in Dallas (just over 90 degrees today) so I wait until as close to sunset as possible before hitting Katy Trail. I ran past several Cinco de Mayo celebrations on my way through the Knox Street neighborhoods. Maybe I should have at least run 5 miles to celebrate... it didn't occur to me until just now. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Update from Anna - Holding Back

55 days until Seattle. I just returned from a slow and steady 6 mile run where I did a lot of thinking on what to post today. This training season has come with a number of challenges, and I haven't been posting to the blog as much because it's so tempting to only write about happy successes rather than challenges. However, this 50 marathon fundraising goal will definitely be a long time pursuit and I've had some amazing support from so many wonderful friends and sponsors. I figure after all you have done to support me and Susan's Foundation, you deserve honest reports from me on what this whole experience is like. So, here is goes...

I've been trying to prepare myself for the possibility that the Seattle marathon may not happen for me this year for a few reasons... This January I changed to a new research lab and academically I could not possibly be in a better place. It has been an amazing experience and I'm learning SO MUCH! I'm also putting in 60-70 hours into school and work each week and consequently have struggled to find the time necessary to keep recruiting new mile sponsors. This change in jobs also came with a big change in finances. While I sincerely believe this budget cut will be worth it in the end, it has definitely put a strain on my training. Even the little costs associated with long-distance running training (e.g., chiropractor co-pays, shoes, even the more groceries I end up needing to hold up the calorie drains of these training runs) have become difficult to manage. And then there's the ever-constant challenge of keeping my body physically up to this training week after week; which has created a few added struggles recently as well.

So... what to do? Call it quits for Seattle? Honestly there have been times I've considered it. It's been a tough, lonely training season for sure. But after some serious reflection today, I've decided I'm not ready to give in yet. I want to try to make it to run Seattle in 55 days. I'm going to think positive it will happen, particularly because I'm so excited for the new half-marathon LemonadeMakers and all they've commplished this season. I would hate it if I couldn't be there to support them.

I'm going to work hard on my end to work out the financial, physical and time challenges I'm up against. Where I'll need your help is getting these last 18.2 miles sponsored in time. Way back at the start of this endeavor I committed to only run marathons if I got all the miles sponsored for Susan's Foundation and I will stick to that promise. I GREATLY appreciate all of you who have been able to support me as mile sponsors for this upcoming race as well as previous races. Rest assured that if for any reason things don't work out to run Seattle this year, all of your donations will be held right where they are until I'm able to make the attempt again next year. These 26.2 Washington miles will get sponsored and will get run... hopefully this year.

If everyone could please share information about Susan's Foundation and this fundraiser with just two or three new people this week, that would be a huge help. Thank you again for all of your support. Let's make this happen! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rachel's Training Update

Oh my, what a month it's been! I've moved from my live-in nanny position in Aspen to my own place in the quaint (read, one-mile town) of Carbondale, CO. It's been three weeks since it last snowed and I am loooving Spring in the Rockies...finally, solid ground...wahoo! :) Though not without a few growing pains, oy! Once I passed 6 miles I'm beginning to feel my age. See, I've always thought myself to be of the ageless, indestructible back begs to differ. :) But, post-Chiropractor/ orthodics, I'm hoping to be back n' at 'em. It's on!!

Here are a few pics from runs since I last posted.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Anna's Training Update

Hello there, remember me? :) The last few weeks have been interesting. First things first, I flew to Tempe, AZ to take part in the 1st Annual Susan's Run 5k. This was a fantastic event!! Hopefully I'll get some pictures up soon. There was a great turnout and it was awesome to see so many friends and family all in one place, remembering Susan and supporting such a great cause. I had a great time running the race with my sister-in-law, (Annette) and chatting away about all kinds of girly topics. The course was also fun. In Dallas I'd gotten very used to running most of my races on an out and back stretch of a flat course at the lake. As much as I love White Rock Lake, the Kiwanis Park course was a very nice change up. We encountered several hills (good prep for Seattle), lots of turns and changes in scenery. We ran through a desert complete with a camel and giant tortise, a maze made up of dirt mounds and chain link fences, and an actual fishing tournament where you had to dodge people casting for their big winning catch. See-- I told you it was adventerous. :) I can't wait to attend Susan's Run again next year. I have decided that this is one race I will never miss!

Once that whirlwind weekend ended, I made it back to Dallas and pretty shortly thereafter fell a bit under the weather for a while and took some time off runs-- only about 10 days actually, but that can feel like a lot. I'm glad to say I just made it back to training in the last week or so. I had a fantastic run with one of my favorite running buddies (James-- my Texas Marathon running partner) last Saturday. I was shooting for 13 miles, and James for 20. Actually neither of us ended up hitting our intended distances that day, but the conversation and company were so great I really didn't care at all. Like I say a lot-- this entire 50 marathon experience is not about the running for me. Sure, that's part of it. But ultimately it's about the experiences and the relationships I'm finding along the journey. Speaking of which, while on that run we ran into (haha- that pun's for you mom) our great friends (and repeat mile sponsors) Roxanne and Greg.... who are actually now ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED!!! I couldn't be more excited for them! It's just one more example of the kinds of great people I've met and friends I've made as a result of this crazy running journey.

Speaking of relationships...tonight, after taking a little time off hill training, I set out to again 'embrace the hills'. I headed out to Flagpole Hill and ran a solo 7 hill workout. [Sarah-- this data is for you since you've been Garmin showed that hill to be (at most) a 20-25% grade and about a 1/4 mile from top to bottom]. I could definitely tell I'd taken time off hill runs, because tonight's meeting was less of an embrace, and more of a handshake- maybe a side hug at best. I was SLOW and it HURT!! But I'm going to keep plugging away at it-- because in just 73 days-- we're hitting those Seattle hills!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Randy and Sarah's Training Update

The past few weeks have been really busy. I have been working (as usual), Randy has been doing his last half of student teaching (graduation is in 6 weeks), we drove to and from Idaho, Jolee has been teething (all four front top teeth at the same time), oh, and we have been running. I first realized that we are making the transformation into runners when we were in Idaho. We ran 3 of the 4 days we were there. The first day, about a mile into the run, I am wondering why I am starting to get short of breath. My muscles felt fine, but I felt like I couldn't get enough air. We realized that the area we were running in was more than double the elevation of Tucson. Oh my, oh my, does elevation make a huge difference for a runner. When we got home I was quick to look up the elevation for Seattle (about 2000 feet lower than Tucson). I am assuming that lower elevation will be easier to run in, any runners out there know if I am right or not? (please, oh please say that I am). The second day was during a snow storm.
I can't believe Randy wore shorts, crazy guy. It was one of the hardest runs ever! Harder than our first couple of runs even. I think I might have cried a little. I know I whined. We could only do about 2 1/2 miles, there was no way I was going to be able to run 3. I now have a little more of an understanding of what Rachel (our Lemonade Maker team member) is having to train in. Rachel, you are one tough cookie! The stinging snow and freezing wind just about did me in. The third day was the easiest. First of all, no snow. Second, Sandy, my sister-in-law, drove us 3 miles away and dropped us off so that we couldn't cheat and run less than our scheduled amount. Third, it was a beautiful day. Part of our run was past Napolean Dynamite's house (from the movie). Unfortunately I wasn't in the mood to carry a camera, so no pictures. It looks a lot different now than it did in the movie (no llama, etc.). We did take pictures at Preston High, Napolean's and Randy's high school. Back to the run. As we were running, a dog was in the road (maybe 4 or 5 cars drove by for all 3 miles). I thought the dog would attack us because we were going by its house, but the opposite happened. The dog thought that we were chasing it and ran away every time we got close. So we ended up "chasing" it for about a mile, before it got off of the road and ran behind a house to hide. Another part of the run was up a very steep hill. We didn't realize how steep until we tried to climb it. It was difficult to even walk up it. I guess it is good training for Seattle.

I am so glad that we are back in Tucson and training here. Idaho was 2 weeks ago. Last week was our first 4 mile run. For about 2-3 weeks, the couch to half training program has been having us run 3 mile runs. Sneaky. The 4th mile is so much easier than the 2nd and 3rd mile. I actually have been able to sprint the last 1/4th of a mile. From 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 miles is the hardest time for me. Once I get into the groove though, it is like I am flying. I have learned to love to run!

We just got back from our first 5 mile run. Wow, I am just amazed at the progress that we have made since we first really started training in January. We did the run without walking at all! We are still slow with an average of 12-13 minute mile, but our distance is really improving. Today's run was really pleasant. We left just before dusk and so we got to enjoy the sunset (so beautiful) and we watched the moon come up. My favorite part was the smell of orange blossoms perfuming the air. We are really becoming runners, which I honestly thought was near impossible.

---Jolee with GrammS (LeAnn Swann Ryan, Randy's mom), who is also the first official member of the LemonadeMaker fan club who will be cheering us on in Seattle. YAY!!---

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

100 Days and Susan's Run

Today marks the 100 day countdown to the Seattle Rock n' Roll Marathon. We'll be posting training updates from myself and the other Lemonade Makers soon.

In the mean time, I wanted to remind everyone about the 1st Annual Susan's Run coming up on March 27th in Tempe, AZ. I'm hoping to see as many of you there as possible. This is going to be a great event!! There will be a 5k race, a 1 mile walk and a Kids Dash. The proceeds will go to the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation-- benefitting young adults fighting cancer. Please invite all of the friends and family you can to come out and support a great cause.

Here is the link to for more information and to register...
Here's an adorable picture from Susan's early racing days...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Lemonade Makers

It's official!! The runners formerly known as "The Team" running for Susan's Foundation in Seattle this June will be running under the team name "The Lemonade Makers". The name was suggested by Randy, one of our future half-marathon finishers. Here's a little background on where this name comes from...

A few weeks before Susan's cancer diagnosis, she started a blog to document her and Justin's life as newlyweds. In her first post, she wrote how their lives weren't all that interesting, so she'd have to be creative to come up with things to blog about. As she later stated..."be careful what you wish for". Initially, she titled the blog url something like "eat our wagon dust" (referring to how she was the last of her friends to 'jump on the blog wagon').

Shortly thereafter, Susan found out about her cancer diagnosis and suddenly the new blog served a new purpose of keeping all her friends and family up to date on her condition. The first thing she did was change their blog url to 'lemonademakers'-- so characteristic of Susan's determination to make the best of any situation. The posts she made to her blog from that time until her passing a few months later were very in line with her chosen url- always positive and hopeful regardless of the challenging circumstances.

I think Randy was really on the right track in suggesting this name. What an appropriate team name for a group of runners largely brand new to long distance racing. What an awesome reminder of what we're training for and the attitude we can all strive to keep during the process.

So, with the blessing of Susan's family-- The Lemonade Makers will proudly be running in Seattle in Susan's memory to support other young adults fighting cancer. There are currently four of us working toward our fundraising goals, and there is always room for more. Please do what you can to help spread the word.

Thank you!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rachel's Training Update

Treadmill Schmedmill

With over three feet of glorious snowfall in the Rockies over the past two weeks, I'm sad to report that my training updates consist of not much more than late nights spent with a my good pals Treadmill and TV. Though I was able to catch a large portion of the exciting Olympic coverage (bonus) while plugging away at the 'ol training miles, I'm afraid that doesn't make for very interesting updates.

So, I've opted to post a few pics of what the rest of my day looks like. Cute as buttons, these sassy sisters are growing heavier and heavier by the day, easily packing on an extra 40 pounds to my runs. Oy.

Snow on the ground = NO STROLLER RUNS. Jaden shows her disapproval.

View from the backyard. Pretty, yes. Run-able, no.

New game, binkey swap.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Anna's Marathon Mile 2 Sponsors

Nelson & Kelly Prater

Where are your hometowns?
I think hometown, Kelly would probably say St. Louis, MO though she was born in Denver. I grew up in Corpus Christi, TX.

Where do you live now?
Garland, TX, though we pretend it's Santa Fe, NM.

Are you a runners? If so, what is your next race? What are your favorite post-run treats?
My next race is the OKC Marathon. I always drink chocolate milk post-run, though one day last week I forgot -- what's up with that? Kelly is a walker, and does yoga and Pilates. She could live on some type of interesting crackers, a block of cheese, and a slicer.

What are your occupations?
I work in HR at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, but I can't wait to get John's and Katie's college loans paid off so I can retire and go work somewhere where I can't wait to get up and go to work every day (Central Market? ranch cook?) Kelly has been a stay-at-home-mom since Katie was born, but is now looking for work (she is an accountant) so I can go do my dream job sooner.

What are your favorite breakfast foods?
I eat my homemade granola virtually every morning. This time of year I put slightly-thawed and sliced-up frozen strawberries and peaches on top. I can't wait for fresh blueberry season, though. I love blueberries! Kelly isn't a big breakfast eater, but likes those Quaker Oatmeal-on-the-Go bars.

What were the last books you read?
For me, "Love Comes Softly" by Janette Oke (for the 7th time), and Tony Dungy's "Uncommon." I am currently reading both Jacques Pepin's biography and Phillip Gulley's "If the Church Were Christian" books. Kelly just finished Kristin Armstrong's new book "Work in Progress." We both read "The Shack" -- I read it in one day on a Saturday after one of our long runs; started it and couldn't stop. Kelly bides her time waiting for the next Maeve Binchy book to come out.

Tell us one thing you want to be sure to do in your lifetimes.
We're keeping a 2-week trip to Ireland in the back of our heads.

What is the first thing you associate with Seattle, Washington?
I used to think Starbucks coffee. Now I'll remember it as the place my friend Anna ran a marathon for the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation.

Note from Anna: Nelson and Kelly are just a few more of the ever dedicated sponsors who also helped support my Texas race. Nelson is fondly known as Dallas Running Club's 'Muffin Man', and generously sets hours of his time aside each week to prepare homemade post-run treats for several hundred DRC training members. DRC has been so touched by Nelson's generosity and baking skills, they came together to provide Nelson a new Kitchen Aid mixer. Nelson has since named the mixer 'Charlie' and has been keeping him busy keeping all the DRC runners happy and fed. We love Nelson's enthusiasm, generosity and support of each one of us. Thanks so much for all that you and Kelly do! I'm honored to run mile 2 for you both in Seattle!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Anna's Washington Miles 13 & 26 Sponsors

Roxanne Olvera & Greg Hall

Where is your hometown?
Greg-Dallas, TX
Roxanne-Laredo, TX

Where do you live now?
Dallas, TX

Are you a runner? If so, what is your next race? What is your favorite post-run treat?
Yes. Greg's next race is the Dallas Rock n Roll 1/2. Our next race is the Hervis Prague Half Marathon. Our favorite post-run treat would be Carnation Instant Breakfast - Chocolate.

What is your occupation?
Greg - classified

What is your favorite breakfast food?
Migas (aka chilaquiles)!

What was the last book you read?
Greg-Ted Kennedy - The Compass
Roxanne- Front Porch Tales

Tell us one thing you want to be sure to do in your lifetime.
To continue to live honestly and love endlessly

What is the first thing you associate with Seattle, Washington?
Greg - fish n chips
Roxanne - Say Anything (the movie)

Why did you want to become a marathon mile sponsor to support the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation?
Because we love Anna! And we wanted to help Anna honor Susan.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for being a great friend! :)

Note from Anna: Thank YOU both for being such great friends Greg and Roxanne!
Your continued support means so much to me. You are two of the most loyal, committed and good hearted people I know. My life is better because you are part of it. It will be so good to run these miles for you in Seattle!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Anna's Marathon Mile 1 Sponsor Spotlight

Max & Denise Davis

Where are your hometowns?
Max - Victoria, Texas
Denise - Colombus, Wisconsin

Where do you live now?
Little Forest Hills Neighborhood in Dallas, Texas

Are you a runners? If so, what is your next race?
Yes, Avenue of the Giants in Eureka, California.

What are your favorite post-run treats?
Denise - Breakfast tacos and Diet Coke
Max - Coke and bagels

What are your occupations?
Max - HR Manager
Denise - Global Advisor

What are your favorite breakfast foods?
Max - sausage and scrambled eggs
Denise - French toast

What were the last books you read?
Max and Denise - John Grisham's The Partner

Tell us one thing you want to be sure to do in your lifetimes.
Well, we have already run a bunch of marathons, sky-dived and kayaked in Hawaii. I think our next endeavor might be zip-lining in Costa Rica.

What is the first thing you associate with Seattle, Washington?
Max - rain
Denise - the Space Needle

Why did you want to become a marathon mile sponsor to support the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation?
Anna is a good friend and an even better salesperson! We wanted to sponsor Mile 1, because a marathon starts with the first Mile!

Anything else you'd like to add?
Who knows, we might just join you in Seattle!
(Note from Anna: Yes, please do!!!) :-)

Note from Anna: Max and Denise have been dedicated marathon mile sponsors for my past few races. I cannot think of a much better way to get Seattle started off on the right foot than thinking of Max and Denise. They have such a passion for running, and even moreso for life! They always have some exciting trip planned or project in the works. You can't help but smile every time you see them. For example, this last December, they officially tied the knot while running the Las Vegas Marathon!! Congratulations Davis family, and thank you again for your support!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Anna's Training Update

Yes...just some brief assurance that I am still training! Though I have to admit these past few weeks have been a blur. I started working with a new research lab at school, and I absolutely am loving the experience! It is also really keeping me on my toes- so I'm having to get creative to get runs in some weeks. There is part of me that is tempted to cut out running altogether and just focus on getting off to a flying start on my research. However, I've learned from past experience that commiting a reasonable amount of time to maintain running each week benefits me all the way around-- from reducing stress, increasing health and quality of life, and making me a more effective student...therefore, the running workouts are here to stay in spite of the time crunch I feel most days.
This training season I have the fantastic experience of volunteering as a DRC pace leader for one of the half-marathon training groups. Most of the runners in my group are fairly new to the sport, or are brand new and are training to run their very first half-marathon. There are few things that inspire me more than getting to run with this group each week. To see their excitement and determination to go just a little bit farther each week is incredible. I feed off their enthustiasm and excitement and am making many new friends. The above picture was taken at one of the group runs. (NO idea why we're all leaning the same direction. lol. As far as I remember we were not standing on a hill and it was not windy).

Two weeks ago my group ran a 4 mile warm-up and then ran the DRC Tal Morrison 5k race (pic above- thank you Roxanne). The warmup was great!! For some crazy reason, I decided to see how fast I could run this even though I hadn't run this pace for quite awhile. In other words, I felt lousy most of the race!! It was also FREEZING- and given that I STILL have not worked winter running clothes into my budget, I never was able to warm up. I have one pair of pants that come close to working for runs, although they're not ideal. I spent most of this race worried they would fall off and kept trying to pull them up. LOL. Here's a pic (below- thanks EW) of my group pre-race...
Last weekend's run was really rough. Okay-- it was awful! There were a few things that did make it good, namely my group members (who I always enjoy), and the fact that Dallas got 12 1/2 inches of snow 2 days prior so running around the lake was absolutely beautiful! The bad news, however, is that I'd had a very tough week health-wise. I take a medication every weekend that makes my stomach very unhappy, and the entire week prior to this run I had really been struggling getting my stomach to tolerate getting enough calories in to support running. Many days of that week I was just too lightheaded, and didn't run on those days (In spite of being a marathoner, I do have some common sense after all. :)) By Friday and Saturday I was feeling better, so I didn't think the 8 mile run (a distance I'm very comfortable with usually) would be a problem. Well, it was. I was having a very difficult time keeping pace, and by mile 7 I was starting to get dizzy- so made the tough choice to send my group ahead and walked back to the clubhouse.
It is always disappointing to have a bad run- but it's something that every runner goes through sometimes (chronic health problems or not). So I was trying not to get too discouraged over the experience, but it was tough. I suppose I should have seen it coming, but thanks to several truely wonderful friends, I ended up having 4 Washington marathon miles sponsored that afternoon. Although this is my 4th time running a marathon for Susan's Foundation, I still can't get over how touched I am every time I get the message in my email that someone wants to sponsor a mile. It reminds me of the bigger picture of why I'm running, and keeps me going.
So a very special thank-you to the Washington Marathon mile sponsors!! I'm not sure you'll ever truely comprehend the impact your kindness and generosity continues to have both on me, and the young adults out there fighting cancer and needing our support.

Anna's Marathon Mile 16 Sponsor Spotlight

Kristi Madden

Where is your hometown?
I graduated from high school in Snyder, TX. My parents moved the day after graduation, so while I consider it my hometown, I have been back there a total of 5 times in 19 years.

Where do you live now?

Are you a runner? If so, what is your next race? What is your favorite post-run treat?
I am a runner. My next race will probably be the Trinity River Levee Run (if I can forget how dirty it was there last year). That will be followed by the Dallas Rock 'n Roll Half, the Oklahoma City Marathon Relay and the Eugene Half. It is going to be a busy spring. My favorite post-run treat is brunch (see #5).

What is your occupation?
I am a CPA specializing in tax post merger integration.

What is your favorite breakfast food?
Oh, this one is tough. I love anything with a fried egg and I just discovered french toast (a little late in life, I know - I have a lot of years to make up for). If I have to pick just one, it will be a breakfast sandwich, with bacon of course.

What was the last book you read?
This question is actually why it took me so long to answer the spotlight questions. I was hoping I would read something that was worthy of mentioning or really just not embarrassing. It didn't happen. I essentially will read anything and don't remember it about 5 minutes after I am finished. I lean toward thrillers and am a sucker for any sort of chick lit that has a a single object on the cover. I hate to admit it, but I just finished the Twilight series at the recommendation of my best friend's 15 year old daughter. Harry Potter may be next.....

Tell us one thing you want to be sure to do in your lifetime.
There are so many things I want to be sure and do, it is hard to pick just one. At the top of my list is going on African safari.

What is the first thing you associate with Seattle, Washington?
Not very original, but I think of rain and houseboats.

Why did you want to become a marathon mile sponsor to support the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation?
To support Anna and a great cause.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Have a fantastic time in Seattle.

Note from Anna: I first met Kristi when we were roomies at the Oklahoma Marathon race last April. Although that race holds some very painful windy memories for me, getting to know Kristi was without a doubt one of the highlights of that weekend. Kristi is a paceleader for one of the Dallas Running Club's half marathon training groups. In spite of often traveling cross-country for most of the week, every time I see Kristi at weekend runs she is always full of smiles and enthusiasm. Kristi reminds me of the importance of keeping running fun! Thanks so much for your support Kristi! :-)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Randy and Sarah's Training Update

As Randy and I are not runners (but we will be), we are training using a Couch to Half Marathon training program. We have just entered our third week of training and today was our
longest run of the year, 16 minutes of running. I know it doesn't sound like much, but as a beginner it is NOT easy. We are however getting stronger and able to endure a little more. You should have seen our first run, we could barely run 1/4 of a mile. Now we are running about a mile and a half!

(---Randy and Sarah---) This morning's run was broken up by a less than pleasant sight. Just after the mile mark, I looked up and saw a dog running across the path a bit ahead of me, I looked back down and continued to run. Just then it occured to me that was a weird looking dog. I looked back up and realized that it was not a dog, but a coyote, and not just any coyote. It was a coyote with a cat in its' mouth! I put on the brakes and started to yell and scream. Poor kitty cat! Randy caught up to me and then told me that the cat was already dead. So the coyote ran off with its' breakfast :(, and we continued our run. Thinking of the coyote was enough of a distraction that I didn't even really notice the next half mile and I was able to run that last bit with relative ease.

I am actually looking forward to our next long run (18 minutes) later this week. Compared to how we felt when we first started really training 3 weeks ago with our first 10 minute run (oh it was hard), tomorrow's 10 minute run seems a little too short and too easy. I am looking forward to getting my work schedule for March, hopefully I will have the time off and we can head up to Tempe for the first run of the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation!

(---Baby Jolee bundled up for her run with Mom and Dad---)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Meet the newest Team Member: Rachel Harris

Rachel Harris

On June 26, Rachel will be running her very first half-marathon in Seattle, WA with the Team supporting the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation. Here's more on Rachel....

Where do you live?
Aspen, Colorado

Where is your hometown?
Tempe, Arizona

Tell us about your previous running and athletic experience.
I was a complete jock in high school and college. Spandex and t-shirts were my typical classroom garb and days full of sand volleyball, my ultimate weekend plan. Running didn't come into play until after college, mostly because it was pretty much the cheapest sport around....have shoes, will run!

What are the biggest challenges you anticipate coming across during half-marathon training?
I live at an elevation of 8,239 feet. It's the middle of the the mountains. 'Nuff said!

What are you most looking forward to about race day?
Getting to run my very first long-distance race with a great friend. It's been well over a decade since hangin' with my die-hard workout buddy, Anna. I'm so honored to be part of such an awesome team and to benefiting an amazing cause.

What are your biggest fears/concerns about race day?
I plan on having a pocketful of red and clear gummy bears....the ultimate in nullifying fear! :)

Why did you decide to join the Team and run for Susan's Foundation?
Anna is the most die-hard, team playin', family lovin', hope rallyin' cheerleader I know...I am excited to support that in any way possible.

Is there anyone else you like to challenge to join the Team and run in Seattle?
hmm... Tonia, perhaps... Yes, Tonia!!!
(Note from Anna: Yes, Tonia!!!!) :)
SO EXCITED to have you on the team Rachel!! Those Colorado mountains will make those Seattle hills look laughable on race day! I can't wait to see you rock your first half!