Running Towards Double Digits

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far through my page and through the Silent Auction!!  
Carolyn Benyshek
Jill Laverick

I am 38% of the way towards my fundraising goal and would greatly appreciate anything you can do to help me reach the finish line!  

The power of your money
$2,000 - the cost of a patient's co-pay for a 30-day supply of a cancer drug
$1,500 - the cost of a patient's co-pay for 3 weeks of chemotherapy
$800 - the cost of a patient's 1 month co-pay of medical costs
$300 - the cost of 1 round of radiation treatment co-pays
$250 - the cost of 1 IV therapy session co-pay
$42 - the cost 1 anti-nausea pill for a person in treatment
$5 - the cost to sent an info packet to a newly diagnosed patient 


Now onto the part you've been waiting for...a recap of the past three weeks of training.

Week 6              Long Run: Six Miles             Total Week Mileage: 19
Looking back on this week I don't think there were too many highlights. We ran the six mile course in 1 hour and 11 miles and it was a nice peaceful run. Some of the homes in that area of Buckhead are spectacular and definitely a great neighborhood to run through. With six weeks completed my aches and pains are surprisingly minimal. Even though my legs or various muscles may hurt at the beginning of the run, I'm quickly learning that if I just keep going they eventually disappear and I can keep on going.   
The good news is that my parents are not only coming down the weekend of the race, but also doing it with me! We signed my dad up for the marathon and my mom is going to do the half. It'll be a great family running weekend :) Now hopefully Adam won't have to work in the hospital that weekend and will be able to cheer us all on!

Week 7              Long Run: Eight Miles             Total Week Mileage: 19
As many of you, I love sleeping in; thus, getting up for Saturday morning runs is sometimes a bit of a struggle. This week was no different. We had changed locations to the river and of course I left the house at the last possible minute. By the time I arrived for the run it was already 8:15 and the group (and my usually running buddies, Leanne & Mary) had already taken off. Since we had never ran this course I figured I would run a little faster to catch the group (they were only about 5 min ahead of me). Needless to say I was running way faster than my normal pace. I quickly caught up but still hadn't find my running buddies. I kept running at this faster pace and soon enough started running with this girl Corey. We started chatting and it was nice having someone to run with. We had a great conversation and next thing you know I'm continuing at this faster pace (she later informs me she was on the XC team at Georgia Tech). We hit the 4 mile turn around and as we start heading back I see Mary & Leanne behind us, indicating that I really was running way faster than normal. Oddly enough I felt great during the run and was able to hold a conversation through most of the run. The only bit of a struggle was the final hill while trying to keep a conversation but I got through it. In the end we finished that run (including the water stops) in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Compared to the previous weeks I really increased my team and was rather proud of myself. I wasn't sure if this increased pace was something I was going to keep up with but it was a great feeling.

8-Mile Run Course
The Wednesday run was at Piedmont Park again which I thoroughly enjoyed because its much closer to the house! Since it was in-between Christmas there were only a few of us out there. Of the marathon group I was one of the only women out there so internally I felt as though I needed to keep up with the guys to make sure I didn't get left behind. Once again I ended up at a faster than normal pace but it felt great. We finished the 5 miles in 50 minutes. I started to realize maybe this "faster" pace was actually a pretty normal pace for me, I just needed to push myself a little harder.

Week 8              Long Run: Eight Miles             Total Week Mileage: 19
Saturday morning we were back out at the river for the same course as the previous week. Leanne and I ran that course and I was happy to be back at my "normal" pace and taking my time. We ran the same course in an hour and thirty minutes and for some reason I felt worse than I had the previous week. I quickly started to realize that by the end of the run I was having some aches in my legs that I hadn't been experiencing in the past few weeks. I started to question if by slowing down I was changing my strides and just needed to keep going harder. In the end I realized that I need to speed my pace up a little bit but not tremendously.

The week's runs were pretty normal. Tuesday was rather chilly so I made sure to get my three mile run in during lunch. Wednesday's five miles were at Piedmont again. We managed to run the course in roughly the same time as the previous week and I left feeling great. Thursday I added some more hills into my three mile run to give myself a little more of a challenge. Everyone keeps telling us how hilly of a course the actual marathon will be so I try and incorporate them in when I can. Luckily our neighborhood is full of them, which has made the Saturday, rather flat courses much easier.

Saturday, January 7 - Long Run: Ten Miles 
The day had finally come for double digits. I had felt confident about the two previous weeks so thought that this week shouldn't be too bad; however, psychologically the notion of TEN miles seems much more daunting than eight. 
The Team in Training group before the run. I'm the little dot, two to the left of the woman in the yellow jacket

Since we were back at the river, we were all pretty familiar with the course. This time we just had to continue out on Columns Drive for an extra mile then turn around and come back the same way. It's amazing how far we've come because I felt great through almost the entire run. During our last water stop, about a mile from the end, we took a longer than normal water break and prepared ourselves for the last hill. That extra few minutes of walking and stretching was the equivalent of taking off painful high heels after a night of dancing then putting them back on to go home...IT WAS initially PAINFUL. My legs started tensing up a bit as they had already gone nine miles and were tired. Once we hit the hill I just went full force up and was surprised how much energy I still had left. After an 1:55 of running I had completed my first double digit run and survived! 

Today I woke up and definitely felt rather sore. Our Sundays are suppose to be 3-4 miles or cross training. For the past two months I've used Sundays as an extra rest day. I'm starting to think that today I might actually follow what's on the calendar and try and get rid of the lactic acid sooner so that the recovery for this week comes faster. This weeks runs consist of four, five, and four followed by 12 miles on Saturday. The mileage is quickly growing but some how my legs keep up with the challenge and just keep going :)  I never thought I'd actually say this but I'm starting to really enjoy running.  

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