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I Need Help

18 Jan

I need help in so many ways these days.  As I wrote yesterday, I need help letting go and figuring out where my life is to go in the future.  I am trying to be grateful for what I have, trying not to get overwhelmed, and trying to have faith.

I also need help with my fundraising for Team in Training.  My race is in three weeks and I am supposed to have all of my fundraising completed by this week.  I was trying to be considerate of the demands of people during the holidays, so I didn’t send out as many requests as I should.  Now I am trying to do everything I can to finish my fundraising, but I am still struggling.  I have tried offering incentives for donations – a drawing for a custom knit item made by me.  I have let people know about a comedy show at the Brea Improv at the end of the month – buying tickets to the show will result in a donation to my fundraising.  I am also organizing Super Bowl block pools to try to raise money.  Nothing seems to be working for me now though.  I don’t know what else to do.  If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  I could really use your help.

Here is something I wrote last night when I sent out another email to everyone I know hoping for support:

I truly believe in this cause, and in addition to losing people to leukemia and lymphoma, I have met people who have survived because of the wonderful things that LLS has done.  In fact, two weeks ago, we had an all team practice where the marathon, triathlon, and cycle teams from Orange County and the Inland Empire met together for our Saturday morning practice.  Before we went out for our training, we had the pleasure of hearing from John Gronnel, who just recently finished his second battle with lymphoma thanks to LLS.  If you want to understand how inspirational this program is and how wonderful it makes you feel to help out, just watch this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm4pPUfRQUM

We run in honor of those who are currently fighting the disease and in memory of those we have lost.  Help me support LLS so that there can be many more people like John Gronnel who are surviving this battle.

I truly do believe in this cause, and my struggle with fundraising for it is disheartening.  I hope things start to turn around quickly.  This cause is too important for me to fail.

A Reminder

7 Dec

Ok, I know that I have failed to provide updates about my last few weeks of training and my race.  I promise to bring you up-to-date on everything later this week. (Spoiler alert – the Nike 1/2 was great, finished pretty close to my goal, and had a great time in San Francisco!).  Additionally, I am training again to run another 1/2 marathon in February.

But, what I really wanted to write about first was a reminder I recently received about the importance of the appreciating what I have and the importance of my efforts to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Over the past 8 days, I have been reminded in a number of ways about how precious life is.  As I have mentioned, I am an attorney practicing in estate planning and probate.  I enjoy the area of law in which I practice, but I don’t necessarily always enjoy some of the work involved.  Let’s face it, completing forms for the Court can get pretty boring.  However, I do really enjoy the parts of my job where I feel like I am helping people through difficult times, and in some way, I am making their life a little bit easier, even if just for a moment.  That is the part of my job that keeps me going.

Last week I was introduced to a new client who had been recently diagnosed with cancer.  He had been in great health until he went to the doctor with some stomach pains, then suddenly his whole world was turned upside down and inside out.  He realized he needed to put together an estate plan to ensure his wishes for his assets and his desires for providing for his family would be properly carried out.  And that is where I came in.

I first met my client last Monday, and while it was our first meeting, from the pictures around his house, I could see that the cancer had already taken its toll on his body.  Although he was physically weak, he still had a determination to fight, and win, his battle.

On Friday, I met with the client again to sign his estate plan.  The four days that had passed between visits had not been good to him, and it was clear that he was deteriorating quickly.  He was still fighting, but I could tell the fight was getting harder.

After leaving our second meeting, I was overwhelmed by the reminder that he provided me.  Life is so precious, and we so often take it for granted.  While just a week ago I had been thankful at Thanksgiving for all my friends and family, I was now even more grateful for them and for the fact that as bad as I sometimes feel my life is, my problems are small in the overall picture.  I have my family and friends, I have a job, and I have my health.  I am truly blessed and lucky, and I don’t acknowledge that enough.

Saturday morning I woke up early for my TNT group training run.  Little did I know that another reminder was headed my way.  Each Saturday morning before our run, our campaign manager makes announcements and gives us updates on our fundraising.  She also presents us with a Mission Moment, which is a story or fact about how LLS makes a difference in the lives of those suffering with leukemia and lymphoma thanks to the fundraising that we do.  This week our campaign manager had a special guest for our Mission Moment.  His name is John.  In fact, he was the honored teammate for my team when I was training for Nike, but we never got to meet him then.  You see, John is now recovering from his second battle with lymphoma after being in remission for 10 years.  John told us his story, and there were some tears shed in the early morning cold, but it was another reminder of the blessings we all have.  It was also a reminder of the importance of the fundraising aspect of our training.  Our fundraising helps patients like John continue to beat cancer.

Yesterday, I went back to visit my client again.  He is now in hospice and it is heartbreakingly clear that he will not win his battle.  I hope that knowing we were able to put his affairs in order will give him some sense of peace, and although they may not realize it anytime soon, I hope his family will be comforted by the fact that he took the time to make decisions to care for them even after he is gone.  I am so sad for my client and his family, but I am trying to remind myself that I did what I could to make this difficult time the slightest bit easier for them.

During the holiday season, we all often get caught up in the excitement of gifts and celebrations.  I hope you will all join me in taking a step back to appreciate the blessings we have in our lives everyday.  And once you are reminded of all the good in your life, pay it forward – volunteer, make a donation, offer support and compassion.

This past week has been a reminder … a reminder to appreciate life … a reminder to continue to help others.

7 Hilly Miles

26 Sep

After taking Labor day weekend off from training, we returned to our normal training site on Saturday, September 11th for a 7-mile run.  Once again, our coach wanted us to get some hill training in during this run, so the first 4-miles of the course was all uphill.  It wasn’t a steep hill , but it was a steady incline that I could feel in my legs as I ran.  Once again I ran almost completely straight through the course.  I took one short walk break, as the constant incline really tired out my legs.  Other than that, it was only the water stop, as we seemed to have “good” luck and caught all the crosswalks on green.

The sun came out during our run, but it wasn’t too hot and we had some nice shade along the route.  I sped up again this week with an average pace of 11:49 per mile.  My training is definitely helping me to increase my speed and endurance.

Here’s another picture of some of us after the run.  Mel, our assistant coach (on the left), actually ran the course twice.  She ran it early to mark the course so we would know where to go, and then came back and ran it again with all of us.

You can still support me in my training by making a donation in support of my goal by visiting My Fundraising Page.

Thank you again for all your support!

Go Team!

A 10K Training Run (or 6.2 miles)

26 Sep

On Saturday, August 28, we ran a 10k training run, which really means we ran 6.2 miles.  We met at Hicks Canyon Park in Irvine, a few miles away from our normal training site.  Luckily, the overcast and cool weather returned for this run.  In order to train for San Francisco, the first 2-miles of the course was a steady incline and it was a little tough.  The rest of course was downhill which allowed me to recover a bit.  Although it was a little challenging, I was able to run the full 6-miles without taking any walk breaks.   My only stops along the run were for crosswalks and the water stop.  In addition to running the full course, I kept a pretty good average pace of 12:19 per mile.

We also had a short clinic on proper clothing for running.  The biggest rule to remember – cotton is rotten – because it holds the moisture next to your skin.  Wicking fabrics are the best to keep you dry and prevent blisters and chaffing.  During this training, I have discovered that I prefer running skirts to running shorts.  The skirts don’t bunch up during the run and the compression shorts under the skirt prevent chaffing during the long runs.  I love the skirts that I have gotten for running.  And an extra bonus is that they come in pretty colors and designs so I can look pretty while I run.

Here are a few pictures of our team after completing our run.  If you look closely, you can even see my cute running skirt.

Don’t forget that you can help support my journey by making a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society HERE.

Go TEAM!

A Hot 5-Miles

30 Aug

Saturday, August 21st,  we had our fourth group training run.  The cool weather and marine layer we have enjoyed along the coast most of the summer disappeared, and our 5-mile run was HOT!  Although the temperature remained cool, the sun was out full force beating down on us throughout the whole run.

This week we had our last clinic – on nutrition and hydration – before heading out on our run.  We were reminded that we have to make sure that we are properly hydrating and eating on the days before our long runs, not just when we get out on the course.  I need to make sure to start planning meals better, especially on Fridays.

The 5-mile route this week varied from our previous runs.  We started out in the same direction and then headed down a hill to run along the trail by the railroad tracks.  For the most part, the run was pretty flat and easy.  But the beating sun definitely zapped my energy.  Additionally, our coach had us doing fartleks throughout our run.  Fartleks are short bursts of speed during the run.  Our coach had marked lines along our route to measure the fartleks.  When you hit the starting line, you were supposed to pick up your pace to sprint speed for the couple hundred yards to the marked finish line.  The purpose of fartleks is to help increase your speed by engaging your fast-twitch muscles.  There were six fartleks laid out along the route, and they certainly tired me out.  But I finished the 5-miles in about an hour and was pretty pleased with my run.  The nice nap later in the afternoon wasn’t bad either.

I am still working on my fundraising and want to thank everyone who has already donated to support me.  You can still help by passing my blog and fundraising website along to your family and friends.

Thank you all!

Go Team!

Note: I started this post the day after the run, but then got caught up in work last week and never got around to finishing it till now.  I will try to keep more current going forward.

Third Group Run

16 Aug

Saturday morning I finished my third group training run.  It was another early morning at Heritage Park in Irvine.  After announcements and a warm up, we had another clinic.  This week the clinic was on core strength.  A strong core can help you when running long distances.  So I think my pilates practice will definitely help me as the training continues.  After some instruction on core exercises, it was time for our training run.  This week it was a timed running – 30 minutes out then turn around and run the 30 minutes back.  I continued to run at 4-1 intervals with a few other ladies.  It was a nice cool and overcast morning, so the run went pretty well.  My total mileage for the run came in at just under 5-miles and my pace was pretty consistent with what I have been running lately – about 12:30 to 13:00 per mile.  All in all it was a good run.

And speaking of pilates, I did get back into it last week.  I had a session on Friday afternoon, and it felt good to start my practice again.  My body was definitely tight after a month off, but I could feel things start to open up and loosen throughout the session.  My body felt much better after I was done.  Then I woke up on Saturday morning and was reminded of the soreness that comes from working muscles that haven’t been used recently.  Luckily the soreness didn’t bother me while running, but it was another reminder that I need to keep up a regular pilates schedule.  I am hoping to get it in about twice a week throughout the rest of my half marathon training.

My fundraising has slowed lately, but I have surpassed the $2000 mark.  However, I still have a long way to go to reach my goal.  If you haven’t taken a minute to donate yet, please visit My Fundraising Page to make your tax-deductible donation.  Any amount of support is greatly appreciated and helps an amazing organization.  For those who have already donated, or for anyone who wants to support me in another way, please pass along my blog and fundraising page to your family and friends.  Unfortunately, almost everyone has been touched by blood cancers in some way, and support of my goal is an easy way to fight back.

One way to define team is:

Together Everyone Accomplishes More

You are all part of my team in this journey!  It is only with your help  and support that I will accomplish my goal and that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will continue to find ways to fight blood cancers.

Thank you all!  Go Team!

4 Miles Done!

11 Aug

I have now completed my second group training run.  However, before I got to the 4-mile run on Saturday, August 7th, I had to keep up with my maintenance runs during the week.  I met a girl through the running meetup group that I have joined who lives nearby in Laguna Beach.  She was looking for someone to run with in the mornings, so we have started running Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning.  Right now we are running an easy 2-mile route through Laguna at 4-1 intervals – running for 4 minutes, walking for 1 minute.  Our route has some hills which are good training and keep the run challenging for now.  We are slowly improving our pace each day.  Having a partner to run with during the week keeps me motivated to get the runs in.  I know she is waiting for me down the street, so I have to get my butt out of bed and get moving.

I already told you that we received training shirts from TNT that they want us to wear to our group training runs.  They also asked us to get creative and put our names on the shirts.  At first I was just going to go the sharpie route, but last week I got creative.  After a quick stop at Michael’s, I pulled out the iron and personalized my shirt with my name on the front and a little Woohoo! excitement on the back.  I will try to get a picture of me in my shirt at m run this weekend so I can show you my craftiness.

So Saturday morning was our second group training run and our second clinic.  We actually had two clinics on Saturday – one on running form and one on stretching.  Both clinics were informative and will hopefully help me make it through the season injury free.

After we finished the clinics, we went out for our out and back 4-mile run.  I decided to stay with the 4-1 intervals I had run during the week.  My mentor Jacqueline and teammate Britney ran the route with me.  It was nice because we were able to talk and get to know each other throughout the run.  We ran through a residential area in Irvine, which included a lake and some ducks enjoying the early morning.  The weather was overcast and cool – perfect for running.  I finished the 4 miles in about 50 minutes, which puts me at about a 12:30 pace.  I am pretty happy with my pace at this point and think that with consistent training, I will be able to bring it down a little before race day.

I am keeping up my weekday maintenance runs this week, and I am also getting in a pilates session.  I have missed pilates for the past month and think it will be good to get back into it on a regular schedule.  Now, i just need to figure out what that schedule will be.  I do expect to be sore the day after my pilates session, since it has been so long since I’ve had a session.  But I think it will be a good balance to my running.

Thank you everyone who has donated to my goal.  I have raised just under $2000 and am still working toward my goal.  You are all amazing and give me the motivation to continue.  Thank you!

Prudence Noon

Hakim Elaby

Roger Newhall

George Newhall

Ken Nelson & Tom Simmons

Skip Newhall

Elaine Lawson

Svend Peulicke

Anthony Newhall

Pilates Hound/Amy Truong

Mark Chung

Peggie Thomas

Bana Hilal

Catherine Peatross

Brian Peulicke

Katie Haven

Robert Cormier

S A Electric Inc

Natalie Verbeck

Doug Long

Bonnie Brown

Cindy Prewitt

Barbara Klein-Robuck

Paul Gadebusch

Jeffrey Jones

Patrick Scott

John Moreiko

Nancy Long

Gail Sahara

Jean Brotherton

Jacqueline Peraza

Patrick Freeman

Deana Pink

Walter Semizorov

Miriam Kranser

Thank you everyone for your support.  Please share My Fundraising Page with your family and friends so that they can contribute to my goal as well.

My mentor is working to plan a group fundraiser at a local restaurant soon, and I will let you all know the details as soon as they are set so you can spread the word and help us raise money while having dinner out.

You all are the best.  Go Team!

Training Begins

10 Aug

So I am quite late with this posting, but life has been crazy lately.  Saturday, July 31st was our first group training run.  I spent the day before the run moving so I was pretty tired and sore at 6am on Saturday when I had to get up.  Our first month of the group training runs all includes clinics on different aspects running and training.  The clinic on our first training day was the shoe clinic.  We met at a local running store and learned about the different types of shoes available and how they can help your running form.  Then it was time to run.

The first group run was an easy 2-mile run – one mile out and one mile back.  I tried to go out easy and not start off too fast.  I actually ran a pretty steady pace.  And, I ran straight through the full 2 miles.  The only time I stopped was waiting for a light to cross the street.  I finished those 2 miles in 25 minutes, and I was pretty proud of myself.  It was a good start to the group training.

After the run, in addition to the water and snacks they had for us, we had the opportunity to be professionally fit for proper running shoes.  Since I still had moving to finish, I couldn’t stay for that fitting, but I plan to head back to the store for a fitting soon.

I was excited to get started with the official training and to start meeting some of the other people who I will be running with this season.  It is really amazing to see so many people who are working toward the same goals – running a 1/2 marathon and raising money to help eradicate blood cancers.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in support of my goal.  I am about one-third of the way to my goal.  Your support keeps me running.  If you haven’t donated yet, please visit My Fundraising Page and give what you can.  I would also appreciate you passing along my blog to your friends so they can support my goal as well.

Thank you all!

Go Team!

WooHoo!

27 Jul

So Saturday morning was the kickoff party for winter training season with Team in Training.  Woohoo!  It was great to see all the people who are taking on the challenge of a half marathon or sprint triathlon and raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at the same time.  I met some of the people who will be training with me for the half marathon.  I will meet everyone this coming Saturday when the training really gets started.

At the kickoff party, I got my training shirt (picture to follow soon) and training schedule for the first month of training.  The program really is set up to help non-runners achieve the goal of completing their first endurance event.  I think I may have a little advantage, as far as knowing what to expect from the training and having started running a little bit, so that I will hopefully be able to improve my pace through this process.  According to my schedule, this week I am just supposed to get out for a 20 minute run or walk 3 times before Saturday’s 2-mile group run.  I still plan to run at the beach Tuesday night with the new running group I have found, but I will make sure to get in at least 20 minutes on two other days.

On Saturday I also met my running coach Paul and my mentor Jacqueline.  Paul was leaving after the party to head up to San Francisco to run the SF Marathon on Sunday morning.  Jacqueline, my mentor, has trained with the program before and this year is here to help us with our fundraising, training, and any other issues we may have in the program.  She seems really nice and is very enthusiastic about helping us.  She was already working to come up with a group fundraiser that we could all do together.  I’ll be sure to let you know about that as soon as it is set.

Vicki, the campaign manager for the 1/2 marathon training team in Orange County ran the kickoff party and introduced us to all the wonderful staff members who will be helping us through this process.  We were also reminded that 75% of the money raised through the TNT program goes directly to the mission of the LLS and will directly help those who are suffering in some way.  She also introduced our honored teammates.  Unfortunately, the honored teammate for the OC marathon team was unable to attend the kickoff because he is preparing for a stem cell transplant.  I look forward to meeting him soon and learning more about him so that I can share it with you.  We did get to hear from the honored teammate for the triathlon team.  She is a mother of 3 daughters who was diagnosed 3 years ago with leukemia.  She had a bone marrow transplant and is now in remission.  She will actually be training with the triathlon team, and will compete on the third anniversary of her transplant procedure.  Her story was amazingly inspiring and reminded me that my life is not as bad as it feels sometimes.  One thing she said that has stayed with me and I think will help me through this journey is that she is doing this because she can.

I run because I can and I will run for those who can’t!

I also have to say Woohoo! and thank you to everyone who has donated to support my goal.  Over the weekend I surpassed $1000 in fundraising and am now over a quarter of the way to reaching my goal.  I want to thank the following people who have made donations since my last post:

Hakim Elaby

Ken Nelson

Tom Simmons

Skip Newhall

Elaine Lawson

Roger Newhall

Amy Truong – Pilates Hound

Mark Chung

Peggie Tomas

Bana Hilal

Katie Haven

Bonnie Brown

Cindy Prewitt

Barbara Klein-Robuck

Paul Gadebusch

Jeff Jones

Patrick Scott

John Moreiko

You are all motivating me to reach my goal and you are helping millions of people by supporting the LLS and their mission.  If you haven’t had a chance yet, please visit my fundraising page to make a donation.  You are all part of my team and I truly appreciate your support.

Go TEAM!  WooHoo!

Running for a cause

12 Jul

As I explained in my earlier post, I have been trying to get back into running this year.  It’s been about four years since I last ran regularly, and at that time I was training for a second marathon.  However, life events prevented me from finishing my training or making it to Florence for my second marathon.

I tried to get started running again earlier this year.  I kept it up for about 2-3 weeks.  It is difficult to keep myself motivated to go out and run alone.  I need another program to keep me motivated and to have other people with whom I can run.

So, last week I signed up to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with Team in Training.  The race is in San Francisco on October 17, 2010.  I officially start training with the Team in Training on July 31st, and once I start I will have a schedule for training and a great group of people to keep me motivated.  I am actually really looking forward to the entire experience.

Now, as the title of this post says, I am running for a cause.  The Team in Training program is training me for the race, and in return, I have agreed to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from blood cancers and their families.  Since the Team in Training (TNT) program was started over 20 years ago, TNT participants have raised over $950 million to support blood cancer research and patient services.

The facts about blood cancer are staggering:

  • It is estimated that 912,938 people in the US are living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or myeloma.
  • Someone new is diagnosed with a blood cancer every FOUR minutes.
  • Someone dies from a blood cancer every TEN minutes.
  • Leukemia causes more deaths among children under 20 than any other cancer.
  • Lymphomas are the most common blood cancer, and the incidence of it increases with age.
  • The survival rate for myeloma is only 37.1 %.

When I read these facts, my desire to help in any way possible increased.  Additionally, I have personally experienced two losses in my life due to blood cancers.  I will tell you more about those losses in the future, but it just reminded me that the mission of LLS is one that I want to support.

While there is a minimum amount that I am required to raise, I have set a personal goal to raise $5,000 for LLS.  This is where I need all of your help.  Please go to my fundraising website and donate to help me reach my goal.  Of course I am extremely grateful for any amount that you can give, but here are  some suggested amounts to consider:

  • $13.10 – One dollar for every mile I will run on race day
  • $26.20 – Two dollars for every mile I will run on race day
  • $33.00 – My age on race day
  • $65.50 – Five dollars for every mile I will run on race day
  • $75.00 – A nice round number
  • $100.00 – An even 100 … the percentage cure we are aiming for
  • $273.97 – The average number of people diagnosed with leukemia each day in the US

Don’t forget that your donations are completely tax-deductible.  In addition to your generous donation, you can also support me by sharing this blog and my fundraising website with all your family and friends so that they can also support this wonderful cause and help me reach my goal.

Thank you in advance for all your support.  I will be posting updates here throughout my training so that you can keep updated on my progress.  With all of your support, I know I will be successful in finishing the race and reaching my fundraising goal.

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