148 Days

It has been 148 days since I ran the 2012 Houston Half Marathon.

Maybe it has taken met this long to forget how nervous I was before the race. Maybe it has taken me this long to to forget how bad miles 9 on sucked during the race. Maybe it has taken me this long to get over my embarrassment at walking down stairs after the race. 
Or maybe I remember how fun it was running with Marshmallow for 13.1 miles. Or maybe I remember how great the hug at the finish line was. Or maybe I remember the sense of accomplishment I feel.
Regardless, I just signed up for the 2013 Houston Half Marathon Lottery.
 I'll chalk it up to a little of both but mainly this is the first time since the lottery registration has opened that I have had 2 minutes online to sign up.
So fingers crossed my name will be picked on June 25th, 2012.

If you want to join me: Register for the Houston Armaco Half Marathon you have from now until June 21st 2012.
Until then run on my friends!


This Run is for you.....

Friends I have not seen in a long time.

While the distance between us might be far and communication might be infrequent I hope you know you are still in my mind and often on my runs memories of our time together and curiosity about what you are up to currently comforts me on the long miles. I miss you but I know when we see each other again it will be as if no time has past and we will fall right back where we left off.


Know your limits...

Effective 30 seconds ago I changed from the Houston Marathon to the Half Marathon.

It was not an easy decision and I am really down on myself on not reaching my goal, With 35 days out and my training where it is at I know I will not be able to successfully complete the marathon. My definition of a successful completion is actually finishing the race and still have knees. Where I am at today I know I won't finish healthy.

I have let work, life and my metal state get in the way of training. I am still trying to reach my fundraising goal of $2,500 for YTAC but believe I will complete the half. As promised I will tackle the full marathon sometime in the not to distant future but 2012 is not my year for the Houston Marathon.

Half Marathon. Get ready. You are going down!



I am in the middle of a move which is why I have not been posting. Not to worry though I am still working out and trying to improve on running. My new location has some great treadmills so I plan on taking full advantage of those. Post move in I will give a better update.


Stay Strong

It is fitting that this is posted on October 9th.

Today, would have been JJ's 20th birthday. I never met him but ended up donating white blood cells (WBC) to him on five separate occasions. I thought when the email request came through my firm for WBC donations it would only be a onetime event. I thought he would get better, get his transplant and get to go home.

This is a story with a sad ending. It blindsided me but I want you to be warned. Not many people outside of my family and close friends know this story. This story, against a background of a life peppered with family and close friends fighting cancer is why I feel like I should participate in Run for a Reason and raise funds for Young Texans Against Cancer (YTAC).

It is not an easy story for me to share. I don't even feel like it is truly even my story to tell. To be affected this much by someone you have never met and will never meet is.... well I don't even have a word for it. I have sat here almost all night and have had pieces of this story sitting on my laptop, iPad, notepads and random scraps of paper. For the past three months I’ve been debating on how or if I should even share. Ultimately this is what has led me to the decision of raising funds for YTAC and I want to share that with you.

I never met JJ but his struggle was the closest I've come to cancer on my own. As a kid, your parents, or at least mine did, protect you from grandparents, family friends and classmates battle with cancer. Things aren't sugar coated entirely but there is a buffer from the highs and lows of the battles. A kind of reality check to prepare you for the bad news and not allow you to pin all your hope on the good. As an adult actively trying to do something to help someone in their fight, there is no buffer.

From September 2010 to December 2010 I donated white blood cells to a young man I never met. There was no buffer and my primary interaction with JJ and his family was via CaringBridge, a blog, and text message requests for WBC donations. There were no lows on the blog and I pinned my hope to the highs. It probably is a bit messed up that I got so emotionally invested but when donating takes upwards of four hours at a time you kind of have some time to think about the person on the receiving end.

Going into my fifth donation, I had no idea it would be my last. That donation took FOR-EV-ER. After trying to establish the line five times the nurses actually wanted me to quit. My veins from the previous donations were scarred, collapsed and just in general were not behaving. The nurses actually referred to the veins in my right arm as shot. Their words, not mine. The nurses debated calling it off and getting a Dr. to say “Enough. Go home. It is over.” but I already had the medicine and no one else could substitute in so we went through with it. 

Bruised, worn out from the medicine and emotional from the nurses telling me that I could no longer donate and I would have to share that news with JJ and his family at a time when they could not get enough donors; I had no idea I would actually meet JJ’s parents and have to tell them face to face I could no longer help. It was actually a fluke I even met them. The stick for my right arm took so long to get in and set up that when JJ's parents came to get the medicine so JJ's Dad could donate the next day I was still there giving WBC.

I have never met kinder, more salt of the earth people in my life. I probably came off as flippant but it is a testimony to how well his Mom and family kept the blog positive and didn't let on to the lows of the fight and how sick JJ actually was. The blog and interactions were so positive that a near stranger, me, was like "Oh, so do you think JJ will get to see the beach?" and passing along a hairstylist in town for his Mom. The nurses told them I could no longer donate and JJ’s parents were so kind about it - I was a hot mess.

Man, I was a hot mess. I wanted to do more.  If I could no longer donate WBC I wanted to do something. Little did I know three days later, JJ would lose his fight. There would no longer be updates to the blog, text messages from his Mom coordinating donors, or positive little messages and drawings attached to the WBC donations.  I was so shocked when I read the updated blog sharing the news of his passing. I thought the update would be calling for more donors because they were down by at least one. I had pinned all my hope to the positive news on blog I never allowed myself to truly realize how dire the situation was. I had no idea that I would read that JJ lost his fight and the details of the arrangements of the funeral and synopsis of a life that was too short. With that news my drive to do more only intensified.

In June, six months after JJ's death and one week after passing my final CPA exam, I decided to enter the lottery to run the Houston Marathon. I NEVER thought I would be picked but I knew if I did I would want to Run for Reason and make this bigger than just me. Ultimately I believe that if I can no longer donate blood cells to this fight I might as well get some sweat and dollars involved.

So, it has taken me nearly six months to figure out what doing more means to me and another three months to write this post. I don't feel entirely like it is my story to share but it was such a big part of my life and without mentioning WBC and JJ I cannot explain why YTAC and why the marathon. I was an infinitesimal part of JJ’s story but he has been such a monumental part of mine.

I am trying to raise $2,500 for Young Texans Against Cancer by January 15th, 2012. I will do my absolutely best to complete this race and I swear if I do not get it done 2012 I will tackle it again. It is my first marathon and I know I have a long way to go in order to get to that finish line but I would appreciate if you would donate to this cause. Also, from now until the marathon 25% of whatever money I earn from babysitting, dog sitting, house-sitting etc will be donated to YTAC.

You can help me reach my fundraising goal at the link here or there is always a link on the upper right side of my blog. If donating money is not a possibility for you at this time please consider subscribing to the blog, sharing it with a friend or just leaving a comment. All of those things are extremely motivating and will help me cross that finish line.

Stay Strong.