marathon in a year

Lets turn 10k into 10 miles!

I know I made the goal to do 7k the other night, well we got storms. So I set out on my mission last night around 7pm. I got to my usual turn around point and decided I would just keep going. It wasn’t long before I had gotten back to the cross roads and I decided instead of going back the way I came, I would go around the big block.

I ended my walk with a record distance of 10 Kilometers or 6.22 miles, and it only took me 1:57. That might not be the most beautiful time, but my average pace was around a 17:50 minute mile, my fastest average yet. The best part of this long walk, was that I really enjoyed it. I finally found a great playlist that keeps me energized and motivated to keep going.

My goal for the next week is to get up to 10 miles of distance. I want to spend the whole month of September working on my pace so that I can confidently go into my 10 mile run in October.

Here are a couple pictures from my walk last night:

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This coming saturday I will be participating in the Flint Crim Festival of Races 5k walk. My dad and I will be doing it together, and I couldn’t be more excited! 

Wish me luck!

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I’m Back Up and Running

So I took some time off for a wedding, but this week is going to be my redemption. I got back into walking last week and I was really discouraged because I was doing poorly and on top of that I really wasn’t feeling the greatest. Well I did something crazy to force myself into being more motivated and I signed up for an 8k this weekend with one of my friends from high school. We will be participating in the Crim Festival of Races 8k walk this coming saturday. The crazy thing is I also have a baby shower to go to that afternoon it’s going to be interesting weekend. 

To get back in the swing of things I have been working on getting my distance back up. I did a 5k yesterday evening and I was disappointed when it was over an hour (1:05 to be exact). I set out this evening to do a 6k and while I didn’t meet the distance I did do 5k in 55 minutes! I was really excited to have it under and hour and shaving off 10 minutes over night wasn’t to bad. It gives me a lot more faith in my ability to complete my 10 mile run in October. 

My favorite part of my walk this evening though is that I also had my fastest mile yet. It was a glorious 16:37. It might not be an olympic pace, but thats my fastest mile yet! It is so encouraging to see my time improving, it really lifts my spirits from the poor month i’ve had. It’s definitely motivated me to keep going!

Tomorrow’s goal is 7k, which me luck!

Why Do I Run?

I have been asked quite a few times over the past few months why I am running, and I have come to a point where I give the generic response that I want to be healthier. I’ve said that so many times that it doesn’t even seem to mean anything anymore. The reason I am running is because I have Cystic Fibrosis and my lung are failing me. I run because if I don’t keep trying to get somewhere I won’t become anymore then I already am. I run because I’ve lost two friends to this disease and I refuse to sit and wait to be with them again, I will run for them because they cannot.

I have always said that I would never put my name on a charity, that I could never raise money in my own name. It’s always felt like a dirty thing, like a selfish thing to me. What does it mean to raise money in your own name when there are people out their who have no one to do the same for them? When there are people who no longer have the ability to raise anything for others themselves?

I lost two people who I held close to my heart to Cystic Fibrosis. One was completely unexpected and the other brought peace to someone who had been long sick and tired. The hardest part of losing my friends to CF was that they were both younger then I was. Life just felt so out of order knowing that they’d passed and I would continue to live. They say in war when others die and you live you feel a survivors guilt,  I can only imagine that is what it feels like.

I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with them and for the memories we shared. It is my goal to bring justice to their loss, and to put meaning behind it. I will do all I can to help cure this disease, not for myself but so no one else has to lose their friends, or their family.

The last year of my life has been a roller coaster. I started living a dream that was better then I could have ever imagined, and I let it be taken away from me. The hardest decision in my life came from leaving my college program with Disney, I made a decision to put my health 100% ahead of my career ambitions. I have been questioned about that decision, and i have regretted that decision but no matter how angry I get with myself for not being healthier then part of me will always be grateful that I made that tough decision. In the time I left Disney and came home for treatment my health continued to decline and it still is today. I’ve reached a point right now where I am not sure if I will be physically able to complete my marathon in a year goal. I have to say the anxiety that thought has given me is becoming more crippling everyday. It will break my heart if I am unable to accomplish my goal because I will have let myself down, and the people that I am running for.

While the anxiety is building and my hopes begins to darken I know that no matter how many miles I run or how many miles I don’t, that I will still be fighting for them every second. That I will be fighting for myself. I’ve spent a long time trying to be more selfless, and I spend a lot of effort trying to be a kinder person though that doesn’t always work in my favor. I no longer want to be ashamed to say that I am fighting for myself, that I am running just because I want to be proud of myself.

I deserve to be proud of myself.

The ride of a life time!

Earlier this week I was granted an opportunity to visit the Michigan International Speedway for a business meeting. I was able to watch a presentation about sponsorship opportunities and with the speedway and one of the racing teams, we also went on a tour of the facility, oh and got to ride around the track with Michael Waltrip. I have to admit I have never been a huge Nascar fan. I love racing but I tend to lean more towards drag racing rather than oval track. Even with my limited Nascar knowledge I knew exactly who Michael Waltrip is.

I was surprised by Michael Waltrips presence, when he arrived at the speedway his people were in the middle of giving a presentation but he decided that he wanted to give a quick word and introduce himself and talk about his Racing team. It was very easy to see the level of respect that he had for his drivers and the employee’s, but the respect they had in return was obvious too. Michael started his speech with a story about his previous day. He was invited to a dirt race the night before over in Winnipeg Canada, he figured that Canada was right on top of Michigan so it would just be a short trip down for the event, well Canada is above a lot of other states too like North Dakota. His short trip turned into a longer one really quick.

It wasn’t long before it was time to hop in the car. Michael Waltrip and Clint Boyer were there to give people an exhilarating ride around the track. I knew right away that I wanted to be in a car with Michael Waltrip, with his reputation and history I knew it would be a memorable and once in a lifetime opportunity.

I have a couple video’s form the experience! One is an in car look and the other is a day at the track overview.

Check out this video to get a quick glimpse at the day!

Check out this video to see what I’m like running around the track.

The car reaches speeds of 165 MPH and we made 3 laps around the track. It was an amazing experience. I was pretty surprised to see a lot of the men and women at the meeting were so nervous and intimidated. Really there isn’t a safer car to be in with all the safety equipment, and a professional driver. I think my history of drag racing gave me a better mental preparation because I wasn’t scared at all, in fact if you watch the video I was ready to go faster.

I couldn’t have been more grateful for this opportunity! I have to send a huge thank you to the Michigan International Speedway for hoisting this event and giving me the opportunity to come out and to the Michael Waltrip racing team for coming all the way out to MIS to give us a great ride! I hope I have the opportunity to do business with both of you in the future.

How far was that again?

I was going to share my run from tonight tomorrow, but when I got home and plugged in my Garmin and realized how far I ran I was to excited to keep it to myself!

So i set out on my run tonight with the goal of running/walking 8 kilometers which I figured would wind up being around 4 miles. I haven’t run since last tuesday which I completed a 6.1 kilometer walk/run in an hour and 12 minutes. I went on vacation with my family thursday morning and I had full intention of continuing my run schedule, but I just didn’t. I took the weekend to enjoy the company of my family, both of my grandfathers were up north with my family as well as one of my cousins, so we just had a good time enjoying each others company. I have a few pictures from the weekend and some interesting stories so I’ll write a separate post about what we do over on Lake Michigan tomorrow! Anyway back to tonights run.

My First 5 mile run!

My First 5 mile run!

I completed my 8.1 k in 1 hour and 33 minutes, which is 5.03 miles! My average mile per minute is 18:35 which has been close to my average mile per minute. I did really well this run. I never really got tired or super exhausted, in fact it was just the opposite I felt really calm and zen like. I have been running the same path for a week now and I enjoy it! I did start my run later then I had wanted to, so I didn’t get back home until after 10pm which is a little to late for me. I am not super comfortable running at night so I will be trying to start earlier for my next run/walk.

 Run Summary 7/8/2014

I have been trying to run more and more, but right now I’m really focused on making sure I can complete the full 10 mile distance for my run in October. Once I hit 10 miles I will start training more for speed. My goal is still a 12 minute mile by november, i don’t really have a goal for the October run besides the required 16 minute mile. It feels so good to know that I have reached the hallway point for my 10 mile run and that my mile per minute has improved by 3 minutes since i’ve started running.

 

After my disappointing doctors appointment a couple weeks ago this is exactly the kind of positive boost I need to keep my spirits up! I can’t wait to keep running and see how far I can go! Maybe after I complete my Marathon in a Year I will be able to run a real Marathon in a day! 

Wish me luck!

 

5K round two!

Last night I went out for my run. I planned on running around 7pm but I didn’t make it out of the house until closer to 7:30. My goal for the evening was to do a 5k. I started off strong in the first 1k of my run, maybe too strong. I was a little more optimistic about how much I could run and over did it a lot, especially int he first 2 kilometers. I am excited to start going farther though with every run! I got some great running advice from a fellow Cystic her name is Emily and she is the main runner and operator for the charity I am working for this year the Rock CF Foundation. She is an amazing athlete and someone I admire very much, having her support and advise is a big motivator for me to keep working hard to fulfill my goals! Her advise to me was to run four days a week alternating days and to work in strength training on the in between days. SO I have been following that method with yesterday being my first full run, on off days I do push ups, crunches and planks. I am not the greatest at actual work outs, so it’s going to take some getting used to, but I know i will get better at it!

Here are the Garmin stats from my 5k yesterday. I am really proud to have my fastest mile to minute yet it’s just under 19 minutes! I need to be at least at 16 for my run in october, and i’m hoping to get it down to 12 for my run in November. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it!

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My goal tomorrow is to do another 5k maybe go a little farther. I don’t want to do to much to fast, and this 5k was pretty exhausting for me. I’ll keep working on it though!
Wish me luck!

 

 

Doctors Appointment update

Yesterday I had a Doctors appointment at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I am kind of sad to report that it didn’t go as well as I had hoped it would. I have been feeling really good since I’ve gotten out of the hospital and i had really anticipated my PFT scores being higher, but all in all nothing really changed. The doctor did take me off IV antibiotics though after being not hem for four weeks he said if I was going to see an improvement it would be there. My weight hasn’t increased at all, and my lugs still have a lot of crackles but the doctor seemed optimistic that getting back into the mode of running would help both of those things out a lot. 

My PFT was at 32% and I am still pretty upset about it. I really thought it was going to be at least in the mid 30’s but it just didn’t work out. 
I have to be honest I am pretty upset and disappointed. I really did everything the doctor wanted me to and I’m just not seeing positive results anymore. I am just not sure what I can do now to get the improvements that I want, and I am beginning to think that they just won’t happen at all.

Cystic Fibrosis is degenerative so I know that it is only going to get worse and at some point I will stop getting better but it is pretty fooling when you feel better but the tests say you aren’t. I just can’t help but question how long it will be before I don’t feel better either. All I can do now is just try to keep a positive outlook.

Wish me luck!

There is no place like home!

After spending a week in the hospital I was finally able to go home yesterday afternoon. The best news that the doctors didn’t find and sign of outside infection. My doctor was really concerned after the symptoms I showed that I might have a blood infection, especially since I have a history of one, but all my blood work came back clean! They even got my med port drawing blood again. The doctors were also able to change my medications around and get my pain under control. I still have another two week of IV antibiotics, but I can finally see some results.
I was able to make it home yesterday around 5:30, but my mom and dad took me out to dinner in order to celebrate my return home and to give me a proper birthday dinner. My birthday was Tuesday and my family was really generous and came to visit me in the hospital and they brought me outback steak house for dinner! It was nice though to be able to go out to dinner with my family and enjoy some real food.
This morning we all packed up and headed towards Lake Michigan to our summer vacation trailer by the Silver Lake sand dunes in Mears MI. We will be here for another couple days enjoying kicking some sand and cooking out!
For the best news of all though. This evening I went on my first walk in nearly a month! I walked about a half a mile with my dad and his dog. It was so great, I didn’t have to stop to take a break or anything! I haven’t been able to walk like that in a long time! I am so excited to be able to get back on track in my training, and to keep progressing towards my marathon in a year.
Wish me luck!

Finally on the mend

It has been a long three days for me. The bad reaction I had to the IV antibiotics got really severe wednesday night, so I contacted my doctor again and he called me in for a last minute appointment yesterday afternoon. After running another PFT and looking over my symptoms and sputum test results he found that there had been no increase in my PFT’s and that I hadn’t really gotten any better over the past week. My most recent sputum test also showed that I have cultured staph in my lungs and given my history or lack of history with Staph the doctor was concerned that there might be more underlying problems that the medications were covering up. The last time I had a staph infection it ended up being in my medical chest port and then went into my blood, which is very dangerous and deadly. It didn’t only make my doctor nervous it made me nervous, so I was admitted into the University of Michigan hospital last night around 8pm.

I may be in the hospital, but with the help of the physical therapists I am back in training mode for the runs in the coming fall. I’m not doing anything drastic though, just a few laps around the floor but that is still more then I have been able to do in weeks. One of my other focuses in the hospital is on gaining weight. I’m currently about 20 lbs underweight, which my doctor isn’t to concerned with saying I will get it back when my health improves.

I am just taking baby steps to get back to a healthy enough place that I can focus on my future goals and ambitions, extending beyond just the runs in the fall.

Wish me luck!

Lazy days ahead

Well my symptoms have only gotten worse as of today. I woke up at 5am to do my morning IV antibiotics and I could hardly make it up the stairs in my house. My mom insists that I should stop all medication until I can speak with my doctor, but I don’t want to hinder the recovery of my lungs and out of everything that right now is most important to me. I can suck up the pain and live with it for another couple days until my doctor can get back to me if I have too. The pain has gotten bad not only in my knee’s but also in my shoulders. I can’t lift anything over 5 pounds without my arms giving out. I am trying to take it easy so I don’t cause any tissue or joint damage, especially when I don’t know what is actually going on.

Now I mentioned that last week I was at Disney World so I have pictures and the story to share! I spent 5 days there with my Dad and my youngest sister Shelby (10). We had a pretty good time although I do feel like I missed out on doing a lot, the big reason for that was because I was just to tired.

If you’re interested in reading about my Disney journey including where we ate and what parks we visited check out the Disney blog I run with my friends! http:www.thedisneydolls.wordpress.com  Not only will you find my adventure but if you’re interested in the Disney life you can find travel tips and all sorts of good information on there!

Now for some pictures! I will post some of my favorites, if you’re interested in seeing more pictures let me know. I will try to find some digital source to share them with you. I took over 300 so I don’t think they will all fit right here!
I hope you enjoy them:

 

Cinderella's castle

Cinderella’s castle

Shelby, Dad and I

Shelby, Dad and I

 

Port Orleans Riverside Ferry Dock
Port Orleans Riverside

Port Orleans Riverside

Excited Anna

Excited Anna

Disney Quest

Disney Quest

Shelby and Pooh Bear

Shelby and Pooh Bear

Dad and Shelby on Dumbo

Dad and Shelby on Dumbo

dragon