Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Day of Training

Our first day of our Team In Training.. training and I was soaked by the end of it all. Not dripping with sweat as you might guess, but with rain. Yup, it rained our first day of practice.. in So Cal of all places!?!.. and in May of all months. Our 7 am practice time turned soggy on us. It was all good though. The energy of the team was pretty intense and I could tell that the little bit of rain was not going to stop this beast. Our coach Brett took the runners through some brief warm up exercises and talked about proper running technique... "chest out and push the tush (forward that is)" as he put it. After a brief warm up walk WE WERE OFF!

Jamie and I started about 30 seconds after the first group. We got to run together for the first three minutes where she then stopped to take her one minute walk and I continued on to my eight minutes run to one minute walk regimen. As I ran I found myself passing many of the people that started ahead of me. I eventually made it up to the lead group and kinda hung with them for the rest of the run. We found our half way point and turned back for the second 1.5 mile trek. Heading back I got to see all of the other runners including my beautiful wife, who was not very far back from the front pack (HELL YEAH BABY!!). As we passed our team mates it could not be helped to throw out a high fives and shout some encouraging yelps. The three miles ended a lot sooner then expected... that's a good thing, right? Maybe it was because I was focused on my newly acquired running techniques.. "chest out - push the tush".. which by the way made be feel a little bit too proper. I finished my run in about 21 minutes which put me at a 7 MINUTE MILE!! WOOOHOOOO!.. I'm getting faster! Jamie was not too far behind with a 24 minute run time.

The practice ended with a potluck, where we gorged ourselves with carbs, fruit and cheese. Water was at the top of my list and I killed my entire bottle. Back at home we powered out some stretching and then hibernated for a good part of the day (being up at 6 AM already had my butt kicked).

Aaaaaaaarg the pain!! The next morning proved to be very painful for me. I thought I had made it through most of the start up pain, but I guess Brett's running techniques challenged my body in new ways. THANKS BRETT!! Epsom salt and ice packs were added to our equipment list, and we headed out to Walgreens.

Keep up with me... if you can.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pre-trainnig... arrrrrrrrg!

Our "official" training starts this Saturday (May 24) where we run our first 3 mile stretch out at Lake Balboa. If any of my story has at all inspired you, then head out to Lake Balboa Saturday morning (around 8'ish) and check out our first practice. Who knows you may find yourself asking the question "Am I freakin insane??" as you fill out an entry application.

So to prepare for myself for this grueling training I have been doing mile long runs up hill in the Hollywood Hills for the past two weeks. Nuts!..huh? As crazy as that sounds, it actually is a damn good workout accompanied with some good scenery. The hill I am running is actually steeper then any hill I will encounter in SF, but what the hell, eh. If I can do that consistently I will be at least somewhat prepared.

Last Sunday Jamie and I started our pre-training program that is outlined in our runners packet. This consisted of running for 8 minutes, then walking for 1 minute, and repeat for 20 minutes total. I actually impressed myself and was able to jog about an 8 minute mile. So get your math head out... that's right, I ran about 2 1/2 miles my first time out!! Holy crap! That's just a half-mile shy of what I will be doing this Saturday.

I'm out for now - try and keep up with me.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Team Kick-Off Meeting

Well it is official, Jamie is now part of the Team. We had our regional kick-off meeting this past weekend, and Jamie filled out her application and submitted her fee. She was a bit nervous, but I can tell she was exploding inside to be a part of this great engine. Hell yeah baby, you're gonna rock this race!!

Today we got our official training jersey - a white Team In Training, coolmax tank top. Helllll YEAH!!.. now I am truly an f'n marathon runner in training!!

The energy of the regional meeting was mind blowing. Over five hundred people shouting, cheering and giving their energy to this great cause. We got to hear some truly inspirational stories and meet some amazing people.

After the regional meeting we separated out and had our first team meeting. We got to meet all of our support staff and most importantly heard from the guys that are going to get us across that finish line... our glorious coaches. Brett (the lead coach) and Cole the (assistant coach) are both very experienced with marathon training. We were given our runners packets, and they gave us specific instructions for our pre-training regimen... GOOD GOD!.. am i ready for this?? The training schedule has us training FOUR days a week! That's on top of my normal training that I do. What the hell have I gotten myself in to?!?

For now I shall smile happily and weather the storm inside.

I gotta get a shout out to my mentor Paul. I am very excited to take this journey with you bro, and I look forward to conquering many milestones with your help. Thanks for all of your helpful advice so far.

More to come.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Team In Training

The first bite I got from the Team In Training organization was when my good friend Ashanti Branch conquered the 2007 San Diego Rock N' Roll Marathon and raised $2,900. This inspired me to take on a similar challenge, and do a marathon the following year (this year) to support Team In Training and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. When I found out about my dad's condition, it only reaffirmed my decision to take on this great challenge.

My first meeting with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training I was immediately hooked. The room was energized with a sundry of inspirational forces. People were there to donate their time and their energy for a much greater cause then their own. I must say, I was compelled to fill out the application and submit it as quickly as possible. In fact I can't say that I remember much about filling out the application... I'm really hoping I gave all the correct info??

I elected to do the San Francisco Marathon on October 19, because not only is it in my favorite city, but it will put me close to my family. The name of this marathon (Nike Women's Marathon) eludes to female only participation, but I assure you that this is just as much a man's marathon as it is a women's - 26.2 miles a of hilly terrain is challenging for either gender.

My wife Jamie has recently decided to take on the same challenge and run by my side in this great journey. I feel very humbled by her support for me, and am very proud of her for challenging her physical being. Our training is going to be pretty brutal, so be sure to check in to her blog as well to follow her triumphs and tribulations.

I guess one of the big questions on your mind is about my dad. He was recently diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which is a cancer of the plasma cell. Currently he is seven weeks into his treatment and his progress is remarkable!! He has a 17 more weeks to go before he conquers this beast. Rock on dad!

So I guess I have a bit of explaining to do... To be honest at first I was very uncertain whether to mention my dad's battle with cancer to my friends. It wasn't that I had a lack of trust for my friends, it was that I really didn't want to have to talk about it, or have people ask me "How is he doing?" But I soon came to realize that it is something that I need to tell my friends and talk about. So for 99.9% of my friends, I apologize that you are finding out this way. This is a sort of "coming-out" for the really bad news in my life. I look forward to your emails and phone calls.

So on a more positive note, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training is the world's largest endurance sports training program. Money raised through this program goes to support research for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and patient services for those battling these diseases.

I encourage you, if have not already done so, to support this cause and donate a little bit of tax-deductible bread to help me achieve my fund raising goal.

I will keep you updated as I begin to prepare for this great adventure!

Much love. -Brian