Monday, March 28, 2011

Dallas Rock ‘N’ Roll ½ Marathon

After the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure Walk in Dallas last November, I was given a coupon for a free registration for the Dallas Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. (“Free” that I didn’t have to pay the $85 registration fee, although I did commit to raise a minimum of $250 for Susan G. Komen.) This past weekend the big event finally got here!

On Friday I kicked off the weekend by volunteering at the expo for the race. This is where race participants picked up their race bib, event shirt, swag bag, and visit vendor booths for all things fitness related. Race expos are a great way to prepare for a future event (let’s say the 3 Day!) since there are vendors who offer GREAT discounts on running and walking gear. My local outfitter, Luke’s Locker was there, and I was able to get my 2011 3 Day shoes and new socks for 20% off! You might be thinking that the prices are inflated for the expo, at Luke’s Locker they were not. It always helps to know what you need and what you would normally pay before going to an expo (or any type of shopping) to know if you are really getting a deal or not.

My volunteer assignment was to hand out race bibs for participants who decided to participate in the Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure. This was pretty cool since there was a special VIP pink table set up for the participants. It was also a great way for me to meet other 3 Day Walkers and Crew. In addition to the event shirt, SGK also provided Marathon for the Cure participants a special event shirt and VIP parking for race day. And did I forget to mention a very cool pink race bib to wear during the race (picture to follow later)!

On race day, Susan G. Komen had a special meeting place at a local downtown hotel. Race participants met there, took a team picture, and then walked out together to the start line of the race. Everyone was honored for their fundraising commitment in addition to pumping up the crowd for the race. I met up with my walking team, Angels for the Cure, and we were ready to begin!

As many people know, I do not consider myself an athlete. Walking in the ½ marathon was a personal challenge for me since this is a competitive race for runners. Walkers are able to participate as long as they can complete the event in 4 hours. So needless to say, this is no leisurely walk full of stopping to take pictures and eating snacks every 2 – 3 miles like the 3 Day! I had been training for the race, but not nearly as much as I wanted. Although I was determined that I would complete the race before the course closed. And I am happy to report that I did finish!

My official chip time was 3:59:01. I consider my time to be 3:45:00 which considers the stops that were made along the way…like the McDonald’s stop that my team mates just had to make.:-)

Although I am a wee bit sore today (a 2 hour massage earlier today really helped), this didn’t stop me from thinking about my next ½ marathon. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series has marathon and half marathon races all over the country, some benefiting a different charitable organization like Susan G. Komen (the next SGK marathon event is a week after the Dallas 3 Day…I don’t think I am going to be that adventurous to sign up for that one!). Stay tuned, I just might sign up for another one later this year!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary?

This afternoon when I checked my email there was a message with ‘Happy Anniversary’ in the subject line. Since I’m not married, I was kind of perplexed by the subject. That is, until I opened the message. It was from my university telling me that it has been one year since I decided to pursue my master’s degree. I guess that could be considered an anniversary although someone forgot to send me flowers!

As promised in my last post, I said that I would catch everyone up on where I have been and why my blog went into hiatus. Now you know the reason…pursuing my master’s degree. Obtaining my master’s degree has been something that I wanted to do for a long time, and I finally decided to jump in with both feet last year and “Just Do It”! Little did know how my life was getting ready to change.

This past year has been one of the most stressful years in my entire life. About the same time I started my master’s degree, my step father was diagnosed as being at the beginning of the end of congestive heart failure. Then a few short months later, my step mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then I decided to sell my home. Once it sold, I had about 2 weeks to find some place to live, pack my home, and move (that was due to being out of town for 3 ½ months for a work assignment). And just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, two people that I think the world of told me that I didn’t have time for anyone anymore, including them. Needless to say, I was (and still am some days) at my breaking point.

So when I received the email today, one word and its meaning stood out to me: Perseverance: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. For me, this one word summed up what I had not been able to about what this past year has symbolized for me. Although October 10, 2011 (the last day of my last class!) seems far away, I can slowly begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

I am beyond thankful to report that my stepfather and stepmother are both on the road to recovery. No, I’m not homeless, but I am transient again until I can find that place I can really call home. And my relationships? I wish I could say I am succeeding…I am still working on them one relationship at a time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

And So My 2011 PINK Journey Begins

Wow, I can’t believe that 7 months have passed since I made my last post! Believe me, this wasn’t my intent. Somehow life has gotten in the way of one of the things that I enjoy doing so much (more about that in another post!). So to my 7 dedicated followers, PLEASE accept my apologies…I’m back!

And what better way for me to revitalize my blog than to talk about my 2011 PINK journey!

A few days ago I sent emails to my family and friends gearing up for the 2011 3 Day season! I say 'season' but since I started participating in the 3 Day in 2009, the 3 Day has become a daily part of who I am and what I do.

It is a great feeling when friends contact me and ask 'Are you walking again this year?' (At least now I know that they have an interest). It was an even greater feeling when 3 friends (Adrianne, Tonya, and Tara) contacted me and told me that they signed up to WALK this year...YAY!!! Can you tell that I am beyond excited?! As they embark on this journey for themselves they will be able to experience firsthand the greatness of what they are about to do.

This year I have decided to walk in Tampa and Dallas. You’re probably thinking that’s not a big deal since I walked in Chicago and Dallas last year. Well…the Tampa and Dallas walks are back-to-back weekends! So yes, that means I will be walking 120 miles over the course of 10 days. Some people think walking 60 miles is crazy, but I think I have now beaten my personal best for crazy.

Fortunately I will be walking with a few of my Dallas team members (Renee, Mickey, and Tina) in Tampa (they’re the ones who talked me into this) so I won’t be alone. (Is someone ever really ‘alone’ walking during the 3 Day?) So far the four of us have formed a unique bond, and I am really looking forward to walking with them.

Stay tuned for more…