Monday, August 18, 2008

I am fast like Michael Phelps?

Photo courtesy of Mark Schiefelbein

Like most Americans, watching the Olympics on TV has filled much of my free time during the past week & a half. So much so, I found myself staying up until 11:30pm or midnight to watch swimming, gymnastics, etc and found myself exhausted and not wanting to get up to run at 5am. I also found myself with a sinus infection this past week which gave me horrible sinus pressure, so bad at one point it made me nausous (no, I am NOT pregnant!). I am trying to get rid of it with over-the-counter medication so that I don't have to take antibiotics if I don't need to.

Speaking of the Olympics, I am insanely jealous that my brother Mark & my sister-in-law Didi are there. Mark got to see Michael Phelps win his last 3 medals and has some amazing photos of the events he's attended (visit Didi's blog at to see some of his photos). Didi is working for the Associated Press and by the end of August will have spent 4 months in Beijing covering the Olympics & other stories leading up to the Games.

So back to my headline... I ran on Saturday with Team In Training for the first time in three weeks. (I was on vacation for 2 Saturday runs & missed last weeks because I felt like I was coming with a cold or something.) Our scheduled run for Nike full-marathoners was 12-14 miles and I usually try to push myself to go the furthest distance. My occasional running buddy Emily was not there so I took off by myself. Even though we meet at 5:30am, it was another hot and humid morning. I was getting tired toward the last 3-4 miles but I made myself keep moving - partially because I found it's easier to keep running than walk and try to get moving again & partially because it was sunny (not a cloud in the sky) and hot so I wanted to get back as soon as I could.

What we typically do is run one way to a certain point, turn around & run to another point and then come back to where we started to get our full mileage. About halfway through the mileage, I hadn't seen another TNT person or coach for a couple miles. I was worried that I had heard the trunaround points wrong. Once I got close to the second turnaround point, I saw our water station and was a little less concerned. Usually I see other people during the course of my run but had only seen Carolyn (a Maui half-marathoner who runs different distances than the rest of us) about 3 miles before the turnaround point. Once I turned around, I expected to see other TNT runners within a few minutes. I did not see anyone for over a mile after I turned around! Which meant I was over 2 miles ahead of everyone! I was shocked since I felt like I had slowed down after my first 3-4 miles and usually was much closer to the other TNT members.

I finished my 14 miles in about 2:50 (my watch didn't pick up the satellite until I was already running for a couple minutes so I don't know my exact time). This is a little over a 12-minute mile pace, a pace I have run faster than other times. However, I finished about 20-25 minutes before any of the other marathoners. How am I that much faster than the rest of them? I've seen some of the other participants finish ahead of me and usually the mentors finish ahead of me too.

So am I fast like Michael Phelps? No! But apparently I am faster than the other Tucson TNT participants, at least on August 16th I was.

Now for the fundraising update: I received a donation in the mail from my grandpa & step-grandma this week. If I didn't know it would cause more trouble, I would mail it back to her. After all, I am doing this for her and others like her! The $250 check also included a note that made me tear up a bit.
Another $80 this past week came from Dan's birthday party (aka The Beer Olympics). Dan decided that the money people gave for the keg should go to LLS. So if you came to the party & didn't contribute to the keg, make a donation on my website at
Thanks to everyone for their support & contributions. It's not too late to make a dontation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! We are still only halfway to our goal!

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