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! :)