I have become obsessed with running. I just love it. It is a workout you can get just about anywhere. It feels so great just to grab your running shoes, run out the door, and just go. I love the adventures I come upon (like the copperhead in our woods last week) and the new ideas I come up with while running.
My first exposure to TNT
Let me tell you about Team in Training (TNT). You never know where the people you meet will lead you. In May 2007 I launched Happy First. Jason Ashley Wright, our local style reporter/columnist (he’s the best!) wrote a full page article about Happy First in the Tulsa World in August 2007. I was thrilled! What great exposure! Angie Smith, whom I did not know, read the article and called me to see if I would be interested in donating to her fundraising event for TNT. She read that Happy First gives to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and that is what TNT does-fundraises for LLS by training for and running in destination races all around the world. She was having a social event called Life by Chocolate where people would attend, have drinks and chocolate and other desserts and participate in a silent auction. I was happy to donate to her auction and my husband and I and cousins even attended her event. I kept in touch with her over the years, donating to and attending her event each year (she even asked me to speak to the group). I didn’t imagine that someday I would be a runner for TNT too.
In 2010 I decided to join TNT-I wanted to become more involved with LLS and I wanted a fitness goal. I love to run but wanted a reason to run. I had never done a half marathon before (the most I had run was years ago-the Tulsa Run-9 miles) but wanted to go for it. I signed up for the TNT Nike San Francisco Marathon that took place in October 2010. Our group met every Saturday morning and our coaches had everything mapped out for us. It was fun making new friends and having someone to run with. It wasn’t always easy getting up early on Saturday mornings. But something about having the goal and new friends to run with kept me going. I was growing through discipline, perseverance and dedication. I felt like I was changing-I was becoming a more serious runner and my mind set was changing too!
I had learned so much-my coaches Angie and Becky Gilray (she is so awesome too!) have taught me new things about running. I didn’t know anything about carb supplements, hydration, how to handle hills, etc. I have emailed and called them with questions and sometimes little aches and pains and they have gone above and beyond with research and help in any way. I really appreciate how they cared for us. They had to get up even earlier on Saturdays and plan for us!
The Nike San Francisco Women’s Marathon
Our big event was in October in San Francisco. LLS flew us there and we stayed in a super nice hotel. It was so exciting! There were over 20,000 runners in this event. The proceeds from the Nike run went to LLS and they raised over $13 million! (With the help of generous friends and family I was able to raise over $5000!). My friend Jana went with me and we stayed a few extra days and went to Napa (I had never been). It was such a fun trip.
The San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon
So now I am hooked! Now I am training for the San Diego Rock and Roll (half) Marathon on June 5th. We just did our long 13 mile training run Saturday (And I am sore- thanks to Aaron for going at a faster pace than I am used to!) It has been a bit frustrating this spring because I have not been able to run with my TNT group as much because my mom has been ill and I have been out of town a lot. But the great thing about running is you can do it anywhere, so I have been training wherever I have been! And today I am in Dallas to be with her and I am about to head out the door to run. It is fun to run in different places.
So if you want a running goal and some friends to run with, check out TNT! My personal TNT site is http://pages.teamintraining.org/ntxok/rnr11/dvinyard . Feel free to donate if you would like, but I am not writing this to ask for donations, but to spread the word!