Wednesday, September 30, 2015

George Washington's Mount Vernon….. Saturday

George Washington’s beloved Mount Vernon began as a one and one-half story farmhouse built in 1735 by his father, Augustine, and received its well-known name during the ownership of his half-brother Lawrence. George acquired Mount Vernon in 1754, and over the next 45 years slowly enlarged the dwelling to create the resplendent 21-room residence we see today.

Even though the concierge almost made me cry when we arrived at our hotel at 11:40am by telling me the last shuttle to Mount Vernon had left at 11am and there was no need for me to try to go on there for the afternoon, we DID!  I think he could see the tears welling up in my eyes.  See I had a very detailed schedule of how we would see DC in 3 days and when he started telling me that there was no need to try to get to Mount Vernon for the afternoon, my brain was going crazy thinking about how my schedule was already going to be screwed up.  Anyway…. He finally suggested we take the metro subway half way and then a taxi from there to get to Mount Vernon.  He said a taxi straight from hotel to there would be around $60 bucks one way! UGH….. So of course we decided to do the subway for 8 bucks!

Let’s just say the subway was a great big adventure!!!!! I could write a book on what all happen to us at the subway, but I will spare you the details.  Just know this….. There is NO ONE there to help you! You either figure it out on your own or you keep stopping people until you get someone that can actually speak English to help you.   What a NIGHTMARE!

Talk about crowded! It was so hot and smelled badly. 

Do we take red, yellow, blue or green....... OH MY

We arrived at Mount Vernon around 2pm.  Yes, that’s a couple hours travel time from the hotel even though in a normal city it would take maybe 30-40 minutes.  The subway took forever to figure out and then the taxi ride from the half-way point to Mt. Vernon took a while even though it was only like 15 miles.  Traffic in DC is CRAZY to say the least.   It was unseasonably hot!  Everyone kept saying they were having an “Indian Summer”.  I had no idea what that meant exactly.  All I knew was it was extremely HOT and HUMID. 

If you’ve ever been to Mount Vernon, you do a lot of walking and NOTHING is air conditioned.  Well, except for the gift shop and restaurant.   Mount Vernon is a beautiful place situated on the Potomac River.  I could have really enjoyed it if it hadn't been so darn HOT.  We did get a few minutes to sit on the porch of the house which overlooks the river which is breathe taking.  However, we didn’t get to sit long because the place was so very crowded and other people were waiting their turn to sit down.  It was the only spot out of the sun to rest a minute.  Inside the house we saw the bed that George & Martha shared.  After he died in that very same bed, she shut that room off and never slept there again.  His tomb is also on the property.  We were told that a couple of times they were asked to moved his body to Washington but it was not what the family wanted, so to this day George Washington is buried at Mount Vernon.
The porch that overlooks the river. Just look at all the people sitting on that porch. The front is not that pretty because they had scaffolds everywhere doing some repair work before winter.  The picture at the beginning of the blog is from a brochure to give you an idea of what the house really looks like when not being repaired.

The river

George Washington's tomb

Gary finally told me he was going back up to the gift shop for the air conditioner and I could continue to walk around if I wanted too.  So off he went and I’m walking around taking in the sights and wondering why the heck I’m still walking in the heat when I see this guy walking with a beer.  So I stopped him and asked where he got the cold beer.  He directed me to a bunch of white tents that were in this big field.  There were tents selling all kinds of stuff.   Most of the stuff was reminders of the past.  There were a few modern tents selling handmade soaps and lotions.  The last tent on the end had cold beer, water, and soft drinks. YIPPIE!  I quickly grabbed two and went to find Gary.  I knew he would be excited for me to bring him a cold beer.  And since we weren’t driving, we could actually have a beer. 

I was so very glad I had made us early dinner reservations at the Mount Vernon Inn because we didn’t have to leave and try to find somewhere to eat on our first night in DC.  Plus we had been traveling since 4am and I knew we would want an early supper so we could go to hotel and rest.  The Inn was attached to the gift shop which was perfect.  We had a very nice supper.  The food was great! The place was small and quaint.  We really enjoyed it and the AC.   We decided not to do subway back to hotel.  We used my Uber app and got us a taxi.  It was much better than subway and only cost us $12.99! We were ecstatic! Plus we were back in our room by 8pm and in the bed.  I don’t think we even talked.  We simply crashed!  Travel days are hard! And we added sightseeing into the travel day. 

That's it for the first day of DC. :>) 

Monday, September 28, 2015

In the nick of time!

Washington,  DC & PA trip

Day 1 - what an early morning. Our flight out of New Orleans was scheduled for 7:20am so that meant leaving house at 3:45am.  I awoke around 3:20am and started watching the clock.  I kept waiting for Gary's alarm to go off but it never did so at 3:35am I got on up. I turned on then lights and started making coffee. I figured he would get on up but he was just a snoring. So I decided I was going to have to wake the sleeping bear.  He immediately assured me we had plenty of time. Which is odd for him cause he's always rushing me.

We left the house around 4:13am .... Already behind my planned schedule by almost 30 minutes. I drove as usual. It was a very quite drive. I was so very sleepy. I had not taken a shower which usually wakes me up. I didn't even put on makeup. All I did was brush my hair and teeth and slap on come comfy stretch pants with a T- shirt and I was ready. Basically kind of felt like a run day where I jump up and slap my clothes on and head out. 

Driving was good until we reached the La state line. Then we hit 1 lane traffic due to road construction. Grrrr and there were cops everywhere to make sure everyone was going around 30-40 mph.   I kept watching the clock thinking that I sure hoped there would not be a huge checkin line. We usually park our car at the airport Hilton hotel cause it's cheaper than airport parking so I took the turn heading that way. The roads get very confusing right around the airport. I asked Gary if I should stay right or left cause it's like you have to drive completely around the airport to get to the Hilton on the other side. Well...... Let's just say we didn't stay in the right lane and it was too late by the time I realized it to swap. So we were headed back out I-10!! Gary started saying we are screwed now. All I could think was we are going to miss our flight and the next one doesn't leave for hours!  

We finally got where we could turn around and try to head back. We finally arrived at the Hilton. Then we had to wait another 15 minutes on the shuttle to take us to the airport. I was sweating bullets. We checked our bags in and headed to the gate. I looked at my watch and it was 7:05am so I said I think we are going to make it. Then they started announcing last call for flight 4684 to Washington... Final boarding call for flight 4684.  I was like omg we are really going to miss this flight. By now we are walking or I should say jogging to gate C11. As we are getting there they start calling for "Clayton".  Talk about a close call!!! We were last to board plane. Everyone was on and already sitting down waiting!!  Normally we have delayed planes and nothing is every on time. But today it was early!!! 

I'm now sitting in my seat trying to de-stress from the panic. The flight is 2 hours and 30 minutes. So very glad it's direct to Washington. I don't think I could take having to get on another plane today. So wish I could sleep!! I tried but there is no way to get comfy In these small seats! The guy ahead of me has his back of his chair practically in my lap feels like.

Well they say if nothing happens you don't have a story or memory to tell! So let the stories began! Ready to see Washington!! Now to figure out what to do for another 2 1.2 hours.  Oh my I think the guy ahead of me just let out big old fart.  May choke now. 

Made it to hotel. ├╝ber works. My husband was skeptical but it worked. We were able to check In early which was great since I needed shower. 

more later............

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Virtual - A Star Wars Celebration of Life


My coworker just asked me what in the world a virtual is so I thought I'd write a quick post to explain it.  I have a little flyer posted in our break room at work advertising this virtual because it's a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Hospital.  Over the past 3 years that I've ran as a hero for St. Jude.... meaning I run and raise money for them, I've begged for donations through all sorts of means.  I've learned that sometimes people like to get something in return for making a donation so I decided to do this virtual because everyone that signs up will get a nice medal.  

A virtual race is a race that can be ran, walked, biked, swam, skated, danced, etc. You do it at your own pace and your own location and you pick your activity.  And honestly.. you really don't have to do anything because no one is watching you.  :>) 

So here's my Virtual info:

Calling all Jedi! It’s time to unite to fight the dark side (childhood cancer)! Grab your sword lightsaber and let’s join forces to fight childhood cancer.

Children at St. Jude are fighting for their life every day. We can help them by joining forces. It doesn’t matter if you are a runner, walker, biker, swimmer, or whatever your thing may be…. It’s time to join together. Your Jedi Mission is to complete 30 minutes of whatever type activity you’d like to do.

You will be helping a great charity. St. Jude is an amazing Hospital. No family ever has to pay a dime to St. Jude! That’s because the hospital is supported by public contributions. Nearly 81 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to research and treatment.

Registration will be open August 6 through September 19, 2015.

This race is different than your normal race because ……. ALL Jedi that register for this event will receive this beautiful 3 inch medal.

May the force be with you! Deleica, Captain of Team Run4TheKids – we run as heroes and raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Running to Win

Happy Sunday Peeps!

Earlier in the week I told some of my running buddies that I wanted to do a quick 5 minute devotion before our run on Sunday.  I normally do not run on Sundays because I love to go to church.  However, most long distance runners do run on Sunday.  I think they must get up extremely early if they make it to church because we started at 6am which meant me getting up at 5am to dress and drive 25 miles to where we were going to run and I did not make church.  

I actually woke up around 4:30am and starting watching the clock.  I guess I was excited.  Not sure why since I did a TRI yesterday and drove home from Gulf Shores afterwards but I was.  I was ready to do my 18 miles because the next time I have a really long run will be 20 miles and then it will be taper for the New York marathon!  Which means it's getting CLOSE.

I rolled out of bed at 4:45am and put a big crockpot of beef stew or vegetable soup as some call it on to cook so my hubby would have lunch.  He does NO cooking so I have to find things that I can leave cooking if I need to get in a long run.  

Yes, I'm a good wife. :>) 

Last night as I was trying to figure out what to say for our devotion before our run, I found an article titled "Running to Win".  It was just what I needed to read so I decided to share it with the team members that came to run this morning and I wanted to share it now with you.

See, let's face it. It's a dog-eat-dog world.  People are competitive in business, church, family, recreation and sports! There is no limit to the competitiveness.  My team is better than your team... my church is better than your church... and I could go on and on. We are pushed to succeed and win or we are considered a failure.  And you know what this leads to right? We constantly are comparing ourselves to others.  If we aren't winning, or out front, we are just losers among the crowd.  There is an expression in sports that sums of the worlds perspective that says, "Second place is first loser."

Sounds crazy when you read it, but it's so very true.  We've been trained to feel this way - it's how this crazy world works.  We must train ourselves to think differently because the kingdom of God doesn't work that way.  In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul writes, "Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but WE do it for an eternal prize".   

Did you notice the word, "WE"?  You know we can all win!  We can all go to heaven because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross.  

We are all running our own race.  I'm not running your race, and you aren't running my race.  I won't be judged for you, and you won't be judged for me.  The Lord doesn't measure us against others.  Winning means making God proud.  Winning means walking out our faith daily.  Winning has nothing to do with how we measure up against others.  

As Paul said, RUN TO WIN!  Live for Jesus! Stop comparing yourself to others because God doesn't.  He will only judge you for you.  

What an awesome devotion! Yesterday I had a race and felt great then late in the evening I started looking at result times and questioning myself and comparing myself to others.  Then I read this and realized how wrong I was in doing so.  I'm only running one race and that's the race for GOD. :>) 

We had a short prayer after the devotion and then we were off.  Some had 12 miles, others had 14 miles and I had 18 miles to do.  We pretty much stayed together most of the time. I so enjoyed the fellowship this morning and what an awesome morning it was! It was 55 degrees when we started.  Now that is marathon training weather! We all felt great and ran very well.  

I captured the back of a couple of them running.  I hate I didn't get a picture with Be! She was way up ahead at this point.  She trains hard and she's one tough cookie.  

Frank and I did the 18 together.  He's great company and such a good friend.  

Afterwards I told Frank I was headed somewhere to get a quick breakfast.  It's important to fuel your body within 30 minutes of a long run.  So we headed to Ward's and had a great breakfast! 

While we were sitting there eating I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a picture that one of the runners posted from early that morning when they had finished before Frank and I.  They had moved my Disney World marathon sticker.  It's becoming a game with a couple of the team members.  They move it and wait for me to notice.  I had driven to Wards and never noticed it.  If I had not seen the picture on Facebook, I would probably still not know.  LOL  

So I took this picture and send it to them.  I love that we have such fun on our team! 

Go Team Run4TheKids! Saving lives one mile at a time.  Heroes for St. Jude Children's Hospital. 

Have a bless evening! Back to work tomorrow.  Smile it will brighten someones day.

Capt'n D

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Brett Robinson Costal Triathlon 2015 - Gulf Shores Alabama - The Hangout

What a weekend so far! 

Friday I traveled to Foley, Alabama to stay with a friend that recently moved there.  Well, actually December will be 1 year for her!  Hard to believe it's already been a year almost.  They normally camped 6 months out of the year at the beach so when they had the opportunity to sale their house and move they jumped on it.  They are in an awesome location! 5 minutes from the outlet and 20-25 minutes from the beach.  There are so many different places to run down there.  I know they are so happy they finally made the move.  I was beyond thankful that she let me stay with her for the race.  We haven't seen each other in months! It was so nice to visit with her and catch up.  Yes, we text and email but you don't really get to get all the details until you are face to face.  

Robbie and I at her house.  We had a nice lunch and looked at each others scrapbooks that we'd finished recently.  It was a very dreary day on Friday.  It rained off and on all day so we didn't mind not going to the beach because we where enjoying each other's company.  She gave me a tour of her new house and then we decided to head to Sports and More (my FAVORITE sports clothing store) before I had to be at packet pickup and bike check in at 4pm.  

Let me just say that I need to NOT find races in towns where they have stores that I like cause I ended up spending $236 in Sports and More! But it is all well worth it!  You can't find deals like his around here so you must stock up whenever you get the chance to go by there.  I'm super excited about a light weight Saucony jacket that I got!  I have another one that I got a couple years ago that I LOVE and when I saw this one....well, I had to have it.  You can't find $89 jackets for $29 around here!  It's great for cold weather runs.  It's light but keeps the cold air off you.  Got another pair of shoes also while I was there! Got to rotate them babies pretty often when you are pounding out the miles.
Just look at that stash.... HAPPY HAPPY ME

After we left Sports and More we headed on down the The Hangout for me to check in.  It was still lightly raining!  We got there a little before 4pm so we got a really good parking place and decided to walk around and check out the things there were sitting up for the race.

The very long run up the beach after the swim just to get to the bike transition area.

Me checking my tires before taking my bike to check it in at transition. And check out that rain on the car!

Where it would all start and end... The ever popular Hangout at Gulf Shores, Alabama

I got checked in rarely quickly after waiting till 4:20pm for them to open up the packet pickup that was supposed to start at 4pm!  While standing in line one of Robbie's friends that lives there came up to check in and joined us in line.  She's doing her first half ironman in Augusta, GA soon so Robbie wanted me to meet her.  It was great to talk to her.  She told me about a camp she went to a couple weeks ago in Augusta where they did the whole course.  She said it really set her fears at ease.  I asked her how much it cost to see how expensive it was and she said it was $100!  I will have to keep this in mind for next year!  

There was supposed to be a pasta buffet for us at the Hangout after we checked in but Robbie and I did not see any pasta lines set up anywhere.  So I finally asked someone that worked there and they had no idea what I was talking about.  So we went to another person...and they knew nothing! So then I remembered I had the printout from the website giving all the race details which told about the pasta buffet so I pulled it out and went to the front desk.  When I asked and showed my piece of paper the guy asked me if he could have my paper for a minute.  He left and several minutes came back to tell me there was a mess up!  Well, long story short...... this race director is not very organized! There was little communication with The Hangout people as to what was supposed to happen!  After talking to several people and them all asking to see my paper.... we finally got some pasta! I was starving at this point! 

It was very good but it sure was an ordeal to get it. 

After our meal we headed back to Robbie's house. I was tired from the drive and standing around waiting to check in so I was ready for my after 5s to relax and head to bed.  And yes it was only 7:30pm but I was ready.  However, even at home I'm in my after 5s by 8pm and ready to crash.  I'm not a night owl at all.  I love to turn in early. 

4:00am was going to come early! I needed to be at the race site by 5:30pm to check my bike, get everything set up in transition so it would be ready when I came in from swim and then in from biking.  I woke up at 3:45am.  It's amazing how my body knows on a race day when I need to get up and I never sleep until the alarm goes off.  Robbie and I arrived early and got a fairly good parking spot.  We parked in a grass parking lot and it had rained a lot during the night and was still sprinkling when we arrived so it was very muddy in the parking lot.  My clean car is now a mess.  

It wasn't long after I had been in the transition area sitting up that I saw Philip, Kim & Amie arrive so I went to grab a quick picture with them. 

Philip checking every one's tires in the background..he's a good man..but don't tell him I said so... :>)

As you can see it's still not daylight but the bike racks are filling up! 

Robbie and I standing under a covered area cause it's raining again! I'm just waiting for race time now.  It's so dark that you can't see out in the ocean to even see where the buoys are at yet! While we are standing there Robbie says to me that she wants to pray but not sure where we should step off to do it....I told her I'm good with right where we are at. I don't mind people seeing me pray at all.  So she said the sweetest prayer for me and the others as we bowed our heads.  I can't thank her enough.  It meant so much to me!  I'm a firm believe in prayer.  For some reason I wasn't really nervous this morning, except for the rain and after she said the prayer I was even more relaxed.  It was like I was at peace. #GodisGood

Finally... it's close to 6:30am and they are telling us to start lining up at the beach.  It is just now getting light and you can finally see the water.  Well.... it is not calm like it was the night before! Big waves are rolling in! I looked out there and at that moment I remember something I had saw on a movie that I watched on Thursday night.  It's called Chasing Mavericks.  Great movie! It's rated PG so that means no cussing or sex! YIPPIE... Plus its based on a true story!  I LOVE those kinds of movies!  Anyway in this movie an older surfer is training a young kid to surf and one day when they are out in the water a shark appears.  The boy panics and the older guy is so mad.  He asked him after they got out of the water why he panicked and the boy tells him he is scared.  And I LOVE what the guys tells the kid..... "Fear and Panic are two different things! Fear will fuel you but Panic will kill you."  I thought about that as I stood there waiting to go in the water.  I told myself that I would not panic today! I would not give in to that feeling no matter how big them waves were today!   Then the lady started announcing how if you were a strong swimmer with your right arm to aim for the yellow buoys cause the current was pulling people too far to the left.  I could feel my panic wanting to come out but I pushed it right back down and then another saying the guy told the young kid in the movie hit me... ... "deep breaths, steady rhythm, drive and glide".   So I thought about that and said that would even work for my swim.  I had no desire to push to try to be the fastest today.  My only goal was to not panic in that open water and finish with no injuries on the bike on the wet streets.  I have two marathons coming up and pushing it too hard and ending up hurt was not worth it.  

As soon as I hit the water it was like PEACE.  I can't explain it but I never felt that panic feeling of my heart beating like crazy and not being able to breath.  It was AWESOME.  Yes, I swallowed a ton of salt water due to the huge waves that just seemed to endlessly be coming over my head but I didn't panic.  I kept telling myself.....deep breath, steady rhythm, drive and glide.  And it worked!  

I'm so glad Robbie captured me running up the beach from the swim.  It was such a good feeling to do the swim at ease! I didn't have to turn over on my back and I never stopped and held on to a buoy or canoe to rest! I was beyond thrilled! 

Not a fast swim time...but for me with no panic it was great!!! Slow and Steady was my motto.

When I reached my bike a girl that was doing her first TRI came in and she was breathing heaving and asking several questions about how to start the  bike so I sat down on my crate and slowing put on my socks and shoes and talked to her.  She started calming down and I encouraged her to just have fun.  When I knew she was good, I took my bike off the rack and headed out on the bike.  I will say that today I was more nervous about the bike than the swim!  I was so worried about the wet roads.  They kept telling us to lightly pump the brakes, etc., due to the road conditions.  The tires on a road bike are very small and wetness is not good if you need to slow down fast or turn curves!  So instead of pushing it really hard ... again I quoted the man's saying.... deep breath, steady rhythm, drive and glide.  

I was actually shocked I maintained a 18mph with the wet roads just going steady.  Boy if the roads hadn't been wet and I had really pushed it.. I might could have got a 20mph average.  BTW there were 2 bike wrecks! Both men and they were scraped up pretty badly! 

Thank you Robbie for capturing me heading out on the run.  You can tell by that huge mud hole how much it rained off an on!

Not it's time for the RUN.  This is what I'm really use to doing..... RUNNING..  I started out of the transition area and my shoe came untied! So I had to stop and tie my right shoe.  Then my left shoe was slipping off my foot because it wasn't tight so I had to stop and fix it.  I had forgotten to take "auto pause" off my watch settings and didn't realize it until I was looking at results and wondered why my watch time was off a little compared to the timer.  Well.... when I watch time stops on "auto pause" so when I stopped to tie my shoes my watched stopped.  It was an easy run out and back and all flat.  Again, I did not push myself.  I felt so very good and could have ran a lot faster but I kept telling myself why would I do that and take a chance of getting hurt right here before the New York marathon so again I went easy and steady. 

Still maintained a 9 min pace just going smooth and steady. :>)  

I was so thrilled when I finished because I had the best relaxed and easy race that I've had in awhile! I grabbed a picture afterwards with a couple of my Run4Thekids teammates that also did the race.

Me, Philip, Kim & Amie

I'm so proud of them!  Some of us like me has to work hard to accomplish things.  I go 2X a week to swim and these 3 rarely ever go swim and then they can all 3 go do a race and kick my butt in swim time! I should be aggravated but I'm so darn happy for them. :>)  I mean.. I love Philips he told me right B4 swim he wet his pants, Kim is always giving Philip heck (they are married), and Amie is soooooo dang competitive .. I LOVE having them on my team and as running partners! I look forward to doing several more races with them.  

Love my shirt from the race!

3rd sprint TRI of the year done!  I wasn't even expecting finisher medals today either so this was a BONUS! It was a great race and I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you want to do your first cause the sprint distance is a great one to do to see if you like TRIs or not.  I promise that you'll be hooked after you do it. :>)  

Thank you Robbie and Kent for such hospitality! Love you both!

Happy Saturday night peeps! 18 miler LSD training run for me tomorrow.  :>) 

Remember... Believe in yourself! D


Monday, September 7, 2015

Why raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital?

I felt it fitting for me to write a blog note on why I raise money for St. Jude since the ladies group at my church has asked me to speak to them tomorrow night about just that.  I don't like to talk in front of a group of people really.  I get so nervous that I forget the "things" I want to say.  So maybe by writing this blog today, I'll be prepared tomorrow night.  :>)  

I'm not sure if there is a simple answer as to why I support St. Jude that would fit in one small sentence.  Let me first give you some background.  Maybe you know about St. Jude or maybe you know nothing.  For those that know much, please bare with me as I try to give a little history to those that don't.  

St. Jude was started in 1962 by Danny Thomas.  Click the link for a short video... History - St. Jude

I've visited this hospital and it's something you will never forget.  I was very lucky to get a tour in 2013. The St. Jude Statue standing out front is huge.  The hospital is simply amazing, especially the wall of the ABCs of cancer written by patients.  

Back in 2013 when I originally signed up for the St. Jude Marathon, it was basically another race to add to my bucket list.  However, I did sign up as a hero with a goal of $500 and ended up raising slightly over $5,000!  But It wasn't until the pasta dinner the night before the race that it all really hit me.  I remembered growing up as a child and seeing St. Jude fundraisers on TV where they were asking people to call in and give a donation.  But I never really understood why they were so determined to get those donations.  Well, sitting there at the pasta dinner they had a family of a St. Jude patient stand up and speak to us.  Literally while the family spoke, I got chills.  My heart broke for them.  But deep down I started to feel this fire burning within me.  I was there with a friend. She was doing the half marathon.  I told her that night that I would be back with a team.  It was like God was speaking directly to me telling me this is what I needed to do.  I can't explain the feeling.  It was just a feeling that I couldn't push aside.  I honestly didn't know if I would be able to get 5 other runners to join me.  However, to my surprise last year I had 23 runners join my team.  When God wants to show out... he certainly will! :>)  This year we have 41 team members! As of today we've raised over $27,000.  We hope to reach $30,000.

 But that's enough about Team Run4TheKids for now.  Let's talk about St. Jude Children's Hospital.  

Did you know that September is Childhood cancer awareness month?  So this is a perfect topic!  St. Jude is a "RESEARCH" Hospital.  It cost around $2 million dollars a day to operate the hospital and 75% of that comes from public donations!  Is that not awesome?  

Because of their research they have significantly improved the survival rate from 20% in 1962 to 80%. :>)  

One of the most common cancers is (ALL) Acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  With St. Jude's research the survival rate for ALL has increased from 4% to 94%!  After signing up for the marathon and raising money for St. Jude it was brought to my attention that a local football coach in my home town has a niece with ALL.  I soon got to know this family.  Baby Elizabeth has been undergoing treatments for almost 2 years.  

She's showing her Gold in support of St. Jude! I can't imagine taking my child once a week for chemo treatments. That's one of the reasons that donations are so very important.  Danny Thomas felt that no family should be burdened with hospital / treatment bills during such a hard time in their life.  That is why no family from St. Jude ever receives a bill!  You may think that insurance covers most of the cost.  Well, guess again.  Insurance only covers around 15% of the cost.  Maybe you know a child there, maybe you don’t.  Hopefully your family will never need services from St. Jude, but if by chance they do, team Run4TheKids has your back! St. Jude never sends out a bill for their services! FREE HEALTHCARE! Did you hear me? Families never receive a bill! WOW! 

I've been asked recently why I don't just raise money for Blair E. Batson a local children's hospital.  Well, I do actually.  I donate to Blair E. Batson also.  Yes, my run team has not had a fundraiser for them like we have St. Jude, but you have to remember that St. Jude is a "Research" hospital.  They share their discoveries around the world helping children at all hospitals.  So by supporting St. Jude we are helping kids at Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital and other hospitals.  I will say that I do want my team to come up with something specific we can do For Blair E. Batson since they are local.  

I believe God says we should help others in need.  Scripture also tells us in Hebrews 3:13 to "encourage one another daily" and in Galatians 6:2 to help "carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."  

St. Jude provides parties, decorations, cakes and more to keep spirits high during the holidays and to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and a child's completion of chemotherapy treatment. Check out the the link.

I have a goal this year of $2,500 and I hope you’ll help me accomplish that goal.  It doesn’t matter if it’s $1, $5, $20, or $100!  Every dime counts and every dollar I raise goes straight to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  As I mentioned earlier 75% of the donations they receive goes strictly to the families! Not to overhead like some charities. 
I’m a firm believer that hope changes everything.  Please join me in giving these children hope!

Team Run4TheKids with a patient from St. Jude in the middle. :>) 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

3 Day Weekend - Labor Day 2015

What is labor day? The most important thing to me is that it means 3 day weekend. :>)  Labor day is the first Monday is September and was set to honor the American labor movement.  For me it means getting in extra running miles this Monday.  Normally Monday is my REST day but due to a TRI coming up next Saturday, I need to get some extra miles in during the week.  I'm not sure how that's going to go because today was brutal.  I believe today was the hottest LSD training run that I've done a long time.  

We had a good group this morning. I was thinking it would be just me and Frank because we have several team members out of town for the long weekend.  However we had some non-team members join us today.  It was nice to have fresh faces to talk to.  :>)  Here's a picture of our group at 6am (11 of us).  

We had 8 - 19 milers in this group.  It was a nice variety of runners.  We also saw Jenn & Bubba as they were getting ready to start their 5 hour bike ride so I grabbed a quick hug with Jenn and wished them luck.  I asked Ronnie to say a quick prayer before we started and then we were off.  We all started out fairly fast but I was so enjoying the conversation and it really felt good that I didn't slow down.  I've been trying to keep my LSD around a 10:30 pace lately because it's been so hot this summer.  The heat really takes a toll on your body.  Plus your LSD is supposed to be 30-90 seconds slower than your marathon pace.  

By mile 14, I was drenched!  My feet were even sloshing in my shoes from so much sweat and I was getting extremely tired.  By this time Frank and I were alone running.  Some had finished their distance for the day and Be was pacing well ahead of us! She might be 60, but she's FAST. :>)  Don't ever doubt that little lady!  Anyway, I told Frank that I needed to start running a mile and then walking a couple minutes to finish the last 3 miles because honestly I was so hot I thought I might throw up.  Like I said earlier.. heat really takes a toll on your body and it was 93 degrees when we finished! Your body temperature always warms up 15-20 degrees when running so it was HOT!  I was so glad when we finished and boy did that cold shower feel awesome at Jackson Station!  

We have a private group page for team members so we can communicate with each other and often we all post selfies of our LSD runs.  So here's a few for you to enjoy! :>)  I LOVE this team!

Philip & Kim at Beach...them dogs! :>)

Lucy & Ethel as we call them. :>)  (Tracey & Marlinda)

Krista and her friend Charity.

Serina and JoAnn! 

Amie, Stephani, and a friend of theirs.

Everyone working towards their goal of either the half or full marathon at St. Jude in December. LOVE!

Now I'm sitting on my couch resting and reading my running journal.  A nice article on tips for runners....  I especially love this one.... MOVE YOUR LEGS DURING THE DAY.  If you work at a desk all day, sitting is the worst thing ever!  My doc has told me several times to get up every hour and walk around.  Some days its hard to do that because you are working so hard that you feel you can't take a break.  We must all try to remember to take a BREAK.  Do some lunges or just walk up and down the hall.  It will do your body good cause really sitting is one of the worst things for runners..... all those hamstrings, flutes, psoas, calves, you name it are getting tight.  We need to keep those muscles loose and this will help you in the long run.  

There is also an article on running shoes.  It's about time for me to buy a new pair and I'm debating I buy Hoka or Brooks.  Well, after seeing this, I may stick with another pair of Hokas. They have a nice cushion on the bottom and my body seems to really like them on LSD runs.  I alternate my brooks, asics, and hoka right now.  However all are getting close to 300+ miles so it's time for new ones! 

You probably can't tell much from this black & white picture but the Hoka's are #2 in the picture. :>)  

Well, hope all you peeps have a great weekend!  I so wanted to lay by my pool today but I'm sitting here thinking to myself that I DO NOT want to be hot again today! LOL  

Happy training! Don't eat too much over the holiday weekend and enjoy your family time!


Psalm 71:5 ~ You are my hope; O Lord God, you are my confidence. ~

Sunfish FAIL 7-14-18

There is always a first time for everything they say....  Well, for the first time I went to a race out of town and after arriving re...