Two dinners

I haven’t been sick for awhile, but I think I’ve got some kind of bug.  I’m not really sure what’s going on, but my throat feels phlegmy and scratchy and I’m coughing a lot.  And I’m tired.  No fun.

But, alas, today, after work, I ran five miles.  It was HOT in the gym.  No fans for me today, and the AC was struggling.  I poured sweat the entire time.  All in all, 5 miles in 49:26.  Not great.  It was hard.  I was not a fan of my “hey, let’s run a marathon” decision today.

About halfway home from work, I started feeling really nauseous.  My stomach was churning and I just did not feel good at all.  But, after a quick shower, I made dinner anyway.

Dinner the first—whole grain white pasta, the fantastic local ground beef Tim got from a co-worker’s beef hookup, and some marinara sauce.

photo (1)

Ate two bites, thinking that getting something in my stomach would help with the nausea.

WRONG.  It instantly got worse and I couldn’t stomach any more.

I took a 15 minute hiatus from food and tried again.

Plain, bland carbs, in the form of a whole wheat Bagel Thin.

photo (2)

Bingo.  That did the trick—I ate one and felt much better, so I ate a second, with a little peanut butter.  Stomach?  Settled.

I don’t know what the deal is, but my stomach does not like running sometimes.  The post-run nausea thing doesn’t happen regularly enough to ascertain a pattern, which is frustrating.  I THINK it’s usually on particularly sweaty, longer runs, but I can’t be sure.   Hmmph.

What soothes your tummy when it’s upset?  Any hypotheses on how to fix me?

I’m sorry I made you cry.

You GUYS.

You are all too incredible. 

I have been reading your comments on my last post all day long and smiling and tearing up with you all.  I am so thrilled that we raised over $650 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society today!  I am almost 20% of the way to my goal.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I can’t say it enough.  I will be inspired by your kindness when the going gets tough tomorrow.

I feel like I had to write that post for a few reasons.  I’m going to be talking a lot about marathon training and, consequently, Team in Training quite a bit from here on out, and I want everyone to realize that this is really and truly something very important to me. This is not something I’m doing on a whim, and I am taking my fundraising commitment very seriously.  Every little bit helps!

I also wrote it for myself.  I haven’t talked about those details for a long, long time and I was literally sitting in my bloggin’ chair sobbing.  It was cathartic.  I don’t have a reason to share that time in my life much of the time, and it truly helped me to be able to write about it.  I don’t walk around sad anymore, but the little twinges over the course of eighteen years add up. 

A few commenters suggested that I also recommend everyone register for the National Bone Marrow Donor Program, and I wholeheartedly agree!  I am a registered marrow donor, and I hope you will visit their website and learn more about how you can become one too.  Even though a transplant didn’t help my dad, it is an incredible cure for many, many people and I’m so grateful to the donor who gave my dad his best chance at life.

Anyway, tomorrow’s the BIG DAY.  So I did things today one does before a half marathon.  Such as charge Sheila the Garmin:

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Carb load:

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And pick up my race packet.

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(Quite an expo, huh?)  There wasn’t too much there, but there was a Team in Training booth.  I stopped to talk with the rep a little bit and she gave me her card and told me to e-mail her and I could train with the Kansas City team!  Whee!

And a preview?

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I…don’t think this is going to be a very interesting course. 

The shirt isn’t half bad.  At least it’s not bright orange!

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And my number.  Nice and round.  I like that.

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I also finished my official half marathon playlist.

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I still can’t decide whether to wear my tiny iPod shuffle or carry my larger iPhone in my SPIbelt.  If I bring the iPhone, I can possibly take pictures along the course…but it would require more gear.  Decisions, decisions.

I am off to get everything arranged and re-arranged for tomorrow.  Can’t be too prepared!

Hopefully next time I ‘see’ you…I’ll be a half marathoner!  Eep! 

What’s your favorite pre-race breakfast?

Dad

Look, before I start marathon training and inundating you with posts about buttcheek chafing and runner’s trots and other savory topics, I figured I should spill the whole, gory, raw story about why I am running for Team in Training.  I hope you will humor me whenever I talk about it once you read this, because this is a very, very important cause to me.  This will be the only time I will pour out the full story.

(Note: some of this is filled in with things I’ve heard about the situation from my mom, sister, and other friends and relatives.  The seven-year-old mind is not the most sophisticated.  Also, excuse the lack of photos.)

It’s 1991.  I have just turned seven years old.  We are at Cedar Point, an amusement park in Ohio, on a summer vacation.  My dad, who is known as Mr. Fitness in my family because of his love of running and vegetables, wakes up with a large lump in his mouth.  Thinking it’s a tooth or gum abscess, he goes to the dentist when we get home.  The dentist refers him to an oral surgeon, since he doesn’t know what it is.  The oral surgeon sends him for a biopsy.

We are in the basement.  We go to the basement when we have serious family discussions, because there is a couch my sister and I can sit on while our parents can sit in the armchairs and tell us things.  (Normally, we watch television in our jammies on the floor of our parents’ bedroom, or are playing outside.  Okay, I’m usually  reading in my bedroom.)

My mom is crying.  She says, “Your dad has leukemia.”

I don’t get why she is upset.  The extent of my knowledge of leukemia is that people on TV get it, but they beat the odds and get better, even if they have to be bald for awhile.  I say, “okay,” and go back out to play.

I start the second grade.  My teacher is really, really nice to me and gives me extra attention.

My dad is admitted to the hospital for treatment.  My mom starts disappearing, too.  Before my dad was sick, she worked part-time and was usually home after school.  Now, after school, I have to go to my friend Laura’s house while my sister goes to basketball practice.  Sometimes I will come home and find my mom crying.  I learn to ask things like, “What are his platelet counts?” and “How are his white blood cells today?”  even though I don’t really know what that means.  (I can usually tell if it’s good from my mom’s reaction.)

After awhile, my mom and dad both come home and I am excited.  But my dad lays in bed all day.  His thick, curly black hair starts falling out in clumps, so my mom shaves his head.  He has a tube in his chest that has to be cleaned and dressed every day.  I watch my mom do it.  She has to use red, white, and blue swabs on it and give him medicine through it.

Pretty soon, we start hearing the term “bone marrow transplant” floating around.  Transplant!  I think.  That’s when they get better on TV!  I’m happy this will be over soon.  We wait and wait.  Everyone—my mom, my aunts and uncles and grandparents and all their friends—are tested to see if they are a match for him.  They’re not.

Finally, one day, we get the call.  They have found a donor!  We can’t know who it is, but my dad is going to get his bone marrow.

School is out for the summer, and my mom moves to Minnesota with my dad.  The University of Minnesota hospitals have one of the best bone marrow donations in the country.   Before they leave, my dad writes me this letter.

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My sister and I become constant babysitting charges.  My grandparents move in for a week, and they are always looking at me with pursed lips.  We stay with my dad’s best friend Uncle Bob and his wife Aunt Sally, and Aunt Sally buys me my first outfits at Gap Kids.  I don’t hear much about my dad.

It’s my eighth birthday.  My Aunt Pat throws me a birthday party and my mom isn’t there.  We paint pottery and eat cake.  I find out that as I painted my ceramic kitten, my dad’s bone marrow transplant was underway.

My Uncle Bob drives us up to see our parents afterwards.  My mom is living in a sad looking apartment.  She gives me a pink unicorn sleeping bag for my birthday.  My sister and I sit in the waiting room a lot and only get to see my dad a little bit.  I remember being shocked at how thin he had gotten.

My sister and I go home to Chicago and watch the fireworks with the neighbors on the Fourth of July.  I participate in a bubble gum blowing contest and can’t wait for my dad to come home once the transplant fixes him.

On July sixth, my mom comes home.  I know immediately something is wrong.  My aunts and uncles are lurking but not answering my questions.

Again, the basement.  I stick my head in the couch cushions because I don’t want to hear what she is going to say.  I don’t know how she said it, but I remember thinking, “Who will walk me down the aisle when I get married?” right away.

We all cried, and cried, and cried.  There was lots of food brought over.

A family friend took us shopping for dresses for the funeral.  Mine was a white turtleneck with a black and red plaid jumper over the top.

At his wake, my mom gives us pictures we drew to tuck in the casket with his body.  My sister puts hers under my dad’s hands but I am scared so I just put it on the side.  He is so pale and cold and doesn’t have the gorgeous curly black hair my dad had.

He was buried in a suit and his running shoes. This is the song they play–his favorite, while he was sick.

I’ve been out walking for hours.
I’ve got something on my mind.
How did we get here? where are we going?
And why is life so hard?

I read the stories, see the photographs.
World’s in a crazy space.
I’ve got to hold on to my dreams;
There’s just no other place.
There’s just no other place.

I believe
we can change anything.
I believe
we can rise above this.
I believe
there’s a reason for everything.
I believe
in my dream.

We all dealt with the loss of my father in different ways.  My mom tried her best to keep it together, but she was devastated.  My sister retreated into her bedroom and shut the door.  I tried to hold everyone together.  Our family was broken.

As time passed, obviously, the pain becomes less acute.  Our family motto was “one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.”  My mom had to start working full-time and figure out the finances, which my father had always done.  My sister and I became latchkey kids.  The teachers at school looked at me sadly when I went back to school in September.  They had all known my dad; he read to the kindergarten classes because he liked giving back to the community, and he’d worked the night shift so he picked me up from school ever day.

And they’d all seen him running around our small town every morning, waving, every morning on their way to work.

Today I go through life and not having a father is just a fact.  I don’t cry about it every day like we once did, and I can tell people, “Oh, he died when I was eight of leukemia” without a second thought.   But you bet your ass I’m sitting here, writing this, sobbing like a baby thinking about getting married in a month without him there.

So, this is why I’m running for Team in Training in October.  I realize that you might be annoyed when I mention this and ask you to donate or participate in fundraisers.  And I’m sorry if that bothers you, but really?  No little girl should have to know what a platelet is and stand at her father’s coffin.

If my dad was here, he would be running this marathon by my side.  But he’s not, and I need you to help me get through this.  I need to run for something.

Please, donate.  Nobody should have to go through what my family has been through.

Hey, guess what?

I’ve decided to run the Chicago Marathon for Team in Training.

Paperwork is in the mail.  I don’t have too many details yet, but since there’s no Kansas City team for Chicago, I’m going to be on the Virtual Team, which I think means I will have a coach living inside my computer or similar. 

team_in_training_logo

Wherever the coach may live, I’m not really in it for the guidance or team spirit.

I’m running it for this guy.

dad 001My dad, the runner, who will not be walking me down the aisle in six weeks because of leukemia.

The fundraising is going to be tough, but it will make this marathon a bazillion times more meaningful for me. 

More info to come.  Just thought I’d let you know.

Calling all marathoners!

So, even though the Chicago Marathon is still seven months away, by my calculations, I’ll need to start training for it June 6th or so, which is right after the honeymoon/a trip to Fort Lauderdale for work.  Since the next two months are going to be pretty busy with wedding stuff, I want to pick a training plan so I can start to prepare myself mentally.

I’m using a Hal Higdon plan, modified, for my half, and I really like it, so I want to stick with Hal for the full.  Plus, he looks like such a nice man.  How can this face steer you wrong?

hal3 Exactly. (Source.)

I don’t know whether to choose Hal’s Novice 1 or Novice 2 plan.  I don’t think I can consider myself an intermediate yet.

This is his Novice 1 plan

hal1

And this is his Novice 2 plan.

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I can’t find anywhere on his site where he describes which plan is for which goals/which types of runner.  To me, it looks like Novice 1 gives you more mileage on weekdays and shorter long runs, whereas Novice 2 cuts back the mileage on weekdays and gives you longer long runs.  Novice 2 appeals to me in that I’d never run more than 8 miles on a weekday, but I don’t know.

Marathon veterans—what do you think?

Marathon Preview

This morning’s outpouring of support for my marathon announcement floored me.  You guys are so incredibly awesome and I feel so loved!

As far as my mental state…I actually feel really good about this decision.  I’m less scared and freaked out about the marathon registration than I was after I registered for the half.  I think that now that I’m actually preparing for the half and it’s not that bad and I am making progress, I know that if I do the same for the full I should, hopefully, be a-okay.  I may not be a fast runner, but I can certainly be a smart, well-prepared one. And that is my strategy.

Anyway, my schedule is all futzed up this week thanks to travel and working on Saturday.  So I decided to do this week’s long run tonight after work.  Little did I know my body would decide to say, “hey, you’re running a marathon?  Here’s what you have to look forward to!”

Around noon, I had a small sandwich on an Arnold’s Thin, an orange, and a Greek yogurt.  Around 4, I had this baby:

A Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif Bar.  Since these are more substantial than my usual afternoon snack, I thought they’d hold me over until after my run and long commute home.

I went to the gym and ran six miles.  Since my legs are kind of funky from running so much Sunday and Monday, I did 10 minute miles and took a few small walk breaks.  I got it done, though.

The Clif Bar didn’t achieve its intended purpose, unfortunately.  When I was in my “run 6 miles a day and don’t eat and run myself into the ground” mode, my biggest problem was that after I stopped running, I’d get extremely nauseous.  Like, dry heave nauseous.  Well, this happened today.  On my half hour commute home.  All I wanted was SOMETHING, ANYTHING in my stomach.  I ran in the house and swallowed a banana in about two seconds flat.  Half an hour and dinner later, my stomach is still complaining.

I suspect that this is why I get this way:


My calorie burns are EXTREMELY high.  6 miles, 793 calories burned.  This is more than most bloggers/runners I’ve heard of, probably because a) I weigh somewhere in the 160 pounds neighborhood and b) I have asthma and my lungs have to work harder.

From now on, I WILL experiment with fueling during runs or immediately post-run for runs 5 miles or longer.  (As in, don’t wait to get home.)  I just think that I burn so much that my body needs calorie replacement a wee bit sooner than most.  I predict lots of Gu sampling in my future.

The second thing I got a preview of?  Chafing.  I’ve never chafed in my life before, but I guess my boobs weren’t happy with the extreme heat in the gym today because I have a bright red underboob line.  So, Body Glide it is from now on.  Ow.

Anyway, like I said, I’m going to train smart and experiment with solutions to problems until I find something that works for me.  Onward!

What’s your biggest fitness hurdle?  How have you overcome it?

Surprise! A 26.2 Mile Long Announcement

Here is what I did last night.  It required wine and money.

Ta-da!

I am running the Chicago Marathon on October 10, 2010.  Or rather, I’m not, but Brie Marriedname is.  (WEIRD.)

(excuses self to vomit and hyperventilate)

I blame Caitlin, Meghann, Megan, Ashley, and Monica for their awesome Disney Marathon recaps.  And Marathon Challenge on PBS.

I can’t fully articulate why I did this.  I just know I watched all this going on a few weeks ago and said, “I have to do this.”

For those of you who haven’t seen it, Marathon Challenge is a nice little documentary about twelve average Joes who train to run a marathon.  Many of them were overweight, or had health problems, or were far older and had more commitments than I do.   I watched this and said, “Hell, if that lady can’t even run a mile and she finished the marathon, I definitely can.”  I have no children, and no commitments outside of going to work and loving Tim and the animals.  I am in good health, I’m young, and, appropriately, I’ll be 26 years old when I run it.  I don’t know that I’ll ever be in such a good position to train properly again

Sunday’s 10K also cemented this decision in my head.  I ran a 10K, not particularly fast, but smart.  I paced well.  I walked through aid stations.  I felt solid, and well-trained, and I realized, “hey, I’ve prepared for this, and I did a great job.”

I chose to run Chicago and not Kansas City for a few reasons. First of all, Chicago is known for being a flat, fast course, with great organization and crowd support.  Kansas City is not recommended for first time marathoners–it is a difficult course, very hilly and with a particularly treacherous uphill climb around mile 24.    I’ve heard it’s very scenic, though, and has a lot of support from the city, but I’m not ready for a difficult marathon.  Maybe in 2011!  Kansas City would have been cheaper and easier–no flying, no hotel–but I wanted to focus on the course primarily.

I also chose Chicago for sentimental reasons.  Chicago is my home.  Don’t get me wrong, I like living in Kansas City, but Chicago has my heart. My family and friends will be able to cheer for me there, and I’ll be running past the landmarks I’ve known so well since I was a child.   If I’m going to give a city 26.2 miles worth of blood, sweat, and tears, it’s gotta be Chicago.

Anyway, wish me luck.  I will probably start training in June with a Hal Higdon Novice plan, but I’ll work out the details later.   Stick around–I’m going to need the support.  And it’s always fun to watch a trainwreck, right?