Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mo' training week in review: UNICEF GOAL = MET! WEEK 8 & the Nort Coast 24 hour Endurance Run


A milestone has been reached and I couldn't be happier! I've finally met my fundraising goal for UNICEF! Donations exploded this past week and it was amazing! It was a rough road as my original plan was to raise all the funds in relation to my first 50k that was in September. I did not meet that goal unfortunately, so I carried the fundraiser over to the upcoming Boston Marathon. I'm so glad I didn't just drop it and forget it, as my awesome friends have helped me reach and surpass my goal! This is by far one of the hardest things that I have ever done. Raising money is not easy! There were many ups and downs to this fundraiser. Through the end I learned that optimism is the only way. I had many great friends who stepped up to the plate! I was also amazed when people I have never met before donated. I couldn't believe it! Doing this is so energizing, it has completely recharged me. It's made me realize that there are so many amazing, caring people out there!

There are people who donated to my campaign who were struggling in every way themselves, but still managed to scrape a few dollars together for a good cause. I appreciate you! There were long time friends who donated. I appreciate you! There were coworkers who donated. I appreciate you! There were complete strangers who donated. I appreciate you! There were runners who donated. I appreciate you! I cannot thank all of you enough! I will be running the Boston Marathon thinking of all of you and thinking of all the children that you have helped! Please be encouraged and feel good about your donation by knowing that 90% of your donation will be going directly to the people that need it the most. You can see that facts here at:

After this long journey, my main goal will be to promote awareness of a wonderful organization called Impossible2Possible. I2P's goal is to educate and inspire youth everywhere. By their amazing use of technology they are connecting and educating kids around the world! Check out the I2P website at:

If you would like to donate to I2P - click on the link at the top of my page. Running Tunisia is coming up soon, so it would be appreciated! You can also purchase I2P gear!
Go to to make a purchase.

I2P's next adventure will be Running Tunisia. 5 Youth Ambassadors were selected to join Ray Zahab, fellow adventurers, and I2P ambassadors. They will run for 10 days - 200 kms total in an attempt to cross the country. Throughout the run these students and adventurers will be interacting with other students from around the globe, free of charge to educate students on an important social and environmental issue - access to safe, clean, drinking water. These schools/children will also be involved in fundraising efforts for non-profits such as Ryan's Well and GivingWater. Imagine - a program that educates, inspires, teaches social awareness and responsibility, and is FUN, all rolled up into one great big package! I encourage everyone to donate and parents - please contact your schools and ask the classrooms to follow I2P!

North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run!

Last week I registered for my first 24 hour race, the North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run! The run will be held September 19-September 20. This run will be a huge mental challenge for me, as the course is running a .9 mile asphalt track for 24 hours straight! One of the things that are exciting about this race is that it will be held in Edgewater Park, right in downtown Cleveland along Lake Erie and my family will be able to camp out right at the edge of the course! When they get bored of seeing me running circle after circle after circle after....(you get the point)they can head off to the beach, downtown, whatever they want and still be close by! This is a different race, completely different mindset and I'm looking forward to this event! I'm definitely going to need to toughen up mentally for this one!

On training:

It's been another great week and this has me completely pumped for the Boston Marathon and the Mohican 50 miler! Speed work is going great and I am actually looking forward to hill work now! (GASP!) Last week's hill work was the first time the hill was clear for me, and it made me SO happy. The hill work was a little easier due to the lack of snow and ice. My hubby came along and got some hill work in himself. I still don't do so great going up, but coming down AWWWWWWW YEAAAAHHHH! LOVE IT!

The QUALITY of my runs is way up. I'm enjoying everything now and can't see training any other way. Hills and speed are making me stronger and faster and it's been great seeing the results of my training and again I am completely pumped! No I'm still not the fastest and don't know if I could ever be one of those people, but just seeing my improving times - well - I LOVE IT! Just on a personal record basis, I'm so excited! I'm feeling great and loving every minute of my training :) Ray is a most awesome coach!

NERC Saturday long run and Sunday long run:

I ran 20 miles with the NERC this weekend and averaged a 7:53/mile! Another P.R.! On top of running it in (for me)a good time, I felt GREAT after! I wasn't tired, wasn't sore, I felt really good. I'm glad I could get a 20 miler in before Boston. It boosted my confidence and will now be going feeling a lot better about things. With less than a month away I'm so grateful that things are going well. Sunday's run was spent 1/2 solo and 1/2 with my husband. The beginning 8 1/2 miles were solo and I averaged a 7:57/mile for that. My husband's running was looking strong as well! He started out with a shorter distance in mind, but decided to go longer! (Which in turn made my run longer! ACK! 17.4 miles total for me on Sunday!)

This Coming Week:

I'll be running 26.2 on Saturday this week if anyone wants to join me. Just send me a message, and I'll give you the info. The run will be on trails. WOOT WOOT!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mo' training weeks 6 and 7, UNICEF, and Breaking Records!


Week 6 was similar to week 5 in training. Once again weekend activities did not allow me to run with the NERC - but for good reason! My son was turning 13 on the 16th and wanted a few close friends over Friday evening. (He had chose to get new golf clubs instead of having a huge bash.) Sunday's run for week 6 was spent with my hubby - who had some stomach issues going on. It was a hard run for him, but he finished!

Week 7 was AMAZING! NUFF SAID! I'm getting faster and loving it! There was some concern with my hill work on Tuesday. I was completely pumped to do hill work (yikes, I know) this past week. I thought it would be so great, no snow or ice on the hill OR on the way to get to the hill! The first few minutes on the trails were fine and then......I saw it. SNOW. "You have GOT to be #%*@ing kidding me" is all I was thinking. And that was just me trying to get to the hill. When I finally got to the hill - more obscenities crossed my mind. I was heartbroken! I wanted to turn around and walk away - just walk away. My hill was nothing but ice. I had to do my hill work though - so I just sucked it up and started. The ice actually didn't change my uphill times, but going downhill was nothing but slow. I fell once - which wasn't really a big deal. Next year I HAVE to invest in some Yak Trax, do the screw shoe thing, SOMETHING. I won't be dealing with this stuff ANYMORE! And I LOVE the snow! Hopefully the ice and snow will be gone by the time I do hill work again - but who knows? I thought for sure after 60 degree temps and rain there would have been none LAST week and it was the most dangerous week yet! Sigh....

Other than the hill, all the rest of my runs were amazing! Faster and loving it! While doing speed work at North Chagrin this week I ran by an older guy who yelled "What do you think you're doing? Training for Boston or something!" Muahaha! That made my day! My Saturday run with the NERC went great - even though we were missing some awesome regulars! I ran the whole time with Crystal Basich - it wound up being 16.40 some miles. The beginning of the run I was a little nervous, as my lungs didn't seem to be working quite right - and I did not have my inhaler. (dummy) Around mile 5 is when it happened. My lungs just opened up, and I felt amazing! (Strange how they can just not be cooperating one minute - and the next minute be working like nothing was wrong.) I love the feeling I get the moment my lungs start agreeing with me. It feels like a miracle! The rest of the way I swear I did nothing but talk, and LOVED it! Sunday's run was 13 miles - and everything clicked for that one. Averaged 7:35/mile pace and I had started out telling myself that this would just be a "comfy" run! As I was running all "comfy" and what not I looked at my watch, and my pace at that time was 7:40! This weekend's runs were an awesome confidence booster, and I'm loving it! Tomorrow I'll be doing a fitness evaluation for the first time. I'm curious, and it's free at my work - so why not? I'm a little nervous about what it will say though!


OK so it's been awhile since I've plugged my fundraising for UNICEF - so here goes. Yes I'm still trying to raise money! It started out with YUTC, and I did not meet my goal for that. (I pretty much suck at trying to "sell" things) So therefore I have rolled that over into the Boston Marathon, and Mohican if need be. I have raised $295 of my $500 goal. I will NOT give up until I raise the whole $500. So many great friends have donated so far, and I thank you all! Donations don't have to be a lot. Every dollar counts, so if you could please donate I'd love it so much! My last donor was Eric Ford of the NERC. Thanks Eric and to all my other great friends! You guys (and gals) are the best! To donate just click the link on the top left hand side of my page. xoxoxo to all!


Ray Zahab and Kevin Vallely have finished their expedition! Their record breaking run is finished! They managed to run across Lake Baikal in Siberia in 13 days and 16 hours - breaking the old record by a week! Congrats to them for a job well done. They need some well deserved rest, although I don't know if Ray will do that! Running Tunisia will be coming up fast. Ray and the selected youth ambassadors will run/trek 200km across Tunisia. Youth ambassadors will be communicating their experiences directly with thousands of students across North America. Sponsors and donors are still needed, so remember - Sponsors get logos on website, potentially a spot in one of I2P's press releases (they go to news outlets all over North America), the potential for Ray to come speak at an event, photos of the team for marketing purposes, and a few other value items. If you have an interest in becoming a sponsor please contact (Bob Cox)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mo' Training week in review week 5, Siberian Express for Water, and the Green Jewel 50k


Last week training was changed up a bit to include 2 days of speed workouts. The workouts were particularly hard this week, as Ray had me start my week out with hill work! This made my speed work seem so hard, but it got done! The hill work was interesting, as there was just so much snow on the trail. This is the first time this year I actually wondered why I liked snow. It really had me doubting it as I ran the 1 1/2 miles to get to the middle of the park, and my hill. Someone or something had dug out a very narrow path which made it so hard to get to my hill. (NERC people think West Woods) My husband and son came with me though, and while the snow made my hill work rough, my family pumped me up with their high fives and positive comments. I was so grateful, and so lucky!


The guys are almost there! They've battled heavy winds, huge chunks of ice, and are still going strong! A great article was done in the LA Times on the expedition (see below for my favorite points of the article, and a link to the original)!

Get Ray to speak at your meeting/event!
Impossible2Possible is still looking for donors/sponsors for Running Tunisia. Sponsor this amazing expedition, and get Ray to speak to your group! See below for details:

Donors vs. Sponsors...what's the difference?

Donors get a tax receipt!

Sponsors get logos on website, potentially a spot in one of I2P's press releases (they go to news outlets all over North America), the potential for Ray to come speak at an event, photos of the team for marketing purposes, and a few other value items. If you have an interest in becoming a sponsor please contact (Bob Cox)

Running Clubs: My thought is that this would be an amazing opportunity for running clubs to sponsor this fantastic non-profit, and benefit themselves by having an amazing guy like Ray come to your club and speak! Get in touch with Bob for more info!

Some favorites from the LA Times article:

It's 40 degrees below zero on Russia's Lake Baikal and the cold is debilitating.

Ray Zahab and Kevin Vallely are traveling 26 miles every day, sleeping four to five hours a night, battling snowstorms and consuming freeze-dried meals of spaghetti and chicken tikka.

Though the duo, who started out with 110-pound sleds, are attempting to cross the length of the frozen lake in 10 days, this isn't another extreme sports feat.

Instead, it's an attempt to educate and inspire more than 8,000 students in 37 schools across the country and Canada, as the explorers communicate via satellite from halfway across the world. A school in Germany and one in Russia are also participating.

"It's about showing young people that you apply yourself no matter what," Zahab said Friday by telephone from the world's largest freshwater lake.

You can read the whole article at:,0,5170398.story


One word: STRONG

Strong is how all the runners looked out there. They were so amazing, and smiling through the whole race. The sun was warm and the air was cold. I was a volunteer at mile 10 - the Rocky River Nature Center. Niall, Vince, Joe, and some others were already there when I arrived. It was fun talking to everyone and meeting new people. It wasn't long before we saw the first runner, coming in at a little over an hour! He was so fast! (He wound up being the winner) Next in came Lloyd, who I swear looked so strong every time I saw him. He makes it look easy! On the women's side Star Blackford and Terri Lemke came in at first and second place.

After our aid station closed I drove to the finish line and waited to take some pics. I would've liked to stay longer, but had to get going by noon. I apologize for all the runners whose pics I didn't get. You guys were amazing, and really inspired me on my run this morning!

Some pics from yesterday:
(All pics can be found on my facebook page - Green Jewel album)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mo' training week 4

Training this week was pretty interesting with all this snowy weather we're having! Needless to say, March is here and there are 40 degree temps on the horizon. While this will make for faster times, I'm not a huge fan of the ugliness that early spring brings.

Speed work:

I'm happy to report that my speed work averaged out to 10 seconds less/mile this past week! I'm pumped!

Hill work:

I had an awesome partner for hill work last week. My son! (He had the luck of not having school on Thursday.) As soon as I left from work, I picked him up and we were off. He got his 1/2 training in - and he did some hill work himself! Getting to the hill was the most interesting part. My son fell at least 4 times, me once. The ice was crazy! Eventually we got there, and it was on! During my hill work I'd pass my guy, as he'd be coming or going himself. I can't believe he was doing his own hill work! He did the whole hill twice, and the rest of the time he just went up and stopped wherever he felt like stopping before he ran back down. As for myself, the hill work went the same as the speed work! FASTER! I'm not sure how. The trail was crummier, and I didn't feel like I was going too fast. When I reviewed my Garmin data I couldn't believe it! Pumped again!!! This week should be even more fun, as my husband's on 1st shift and told me to wait for him so he could join in the hill work! Whoa! What's happening to my guys?

My guy :)


I spoke with Ray on Tuesday as he and Kev were zipping around Vancouver in their car, preparing to leave for Siberia. He asked how I was feeling, and I told him, "Well...pretty chunky!" So he just said "We'll take care of that!" and gave me a diet plan (on top of the workout schedule he gave me to last until he got back). Shucks! After hanging up I waddled to the store to buy all the groceries I needed. I was worried how I'd hold up, wondering if I'd want chocolates, cakes, chips, etc., etc. but for the rest of the week I was feeling fine! "I can do this" I thought. The only thing that really bothered me was coffee w/no cream, no sugar. Patoooie! ICK ICK ICK!!! Oh well, it's just a couple weeks. I just have hang on until he gets back :) I've already lost 8 pounds! It's amazing! I've struggled since September with this stuff! And it's coming off so fast!

The long runs:

I guess an 8 minute 40 second mile isn't all that bad, but I felt horrible. With no Energy drink, GU Chomps, NONE of that I was nervous and bummed to begin with. I LOVE my GU Chomps! I LOVE my energy drinks! SUGAR! SUGAR! Inside my body, just bare bones now. Breakfast, that's it. I must've been just a bummer to run with. (Sorry Emily!) Complete downer. The first half went ok, but then everything just got so, so hard. It was a struggle every single step. However: mentally speaking, I had started out negative - wishing I had my GU chomps. The negativity carried with me through the whole run. Now that it's over, I could kick myself. Should've started with a smile, should've done less whining, and just ran. Maybe I shouldn't have run the first part as fast - not knowing how I'd do without my beloved Chomps.

On Sunday I ran long with my husband, who FINALLY had off work! Nerves were high as the snow was piled high next to the side of the road, making jumping to the side impossible.

This week I'll be remembering the "long run" lessons of the weekend. Stay positive. Bottom line. Hopefully I'll see a few people at Green Jewel 50k this coming weekend - I'll be out there volunteering. Good luck to all who are running it, and have fun!