Training Log/Experiences

Entry #37 (PICTURES)


Well folks...... I can officially say I am a marathon finisher! I can also say it was one of the most EPIC endeavors of my life and it will be hard to top. I have never pushed my body and mind so far.

Nick and I headed down to Florida on Wednesday and enjoyed some down time in St. Augustine. We took in some sights and enjoyed the warmer weather for a few days before heading down to Disney to meet the rest of the Central-PA Team In Training squad and complete our marathon. Unfortunately, the night before we left for Florida, I got a bad case of food poisoning. Between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, I lost a total of 7 lbs. Not a great start to the week before my first marathon.

Luckily, I bounced back to near normal by Wednesday night. I just had a hard time eating large amounts of food and refueling my body as much as I would have liked.

Now it is on to the RACE RECAP!

Let's start the race recap with 2:20 AM Sunday morning. Yes, that is the time I was up on race day. We had to be on the bus at 3:15 to get to the check in/start area. The main roads through Walt Disney World were shut down around 5 AM since we were going to be running on them. The race itself was scheduled to start at 5:30 AM. The air temperature was in the low-mid 30's and everyone on the Central-PA Team In Training squad was shivering to some extent. Once we got to the drop off lot, we had almost a mile walk to the start line. Needless to say, we were on our feet for about 2 1/2 hours before the race even started.

Finally, at 5:30 AM the first wave of athletes left the start line. Since this was our first marathon, Nick and I were stationed in corral 5 out of 7. We started our race about 20 minutes after the first corral. The start line was quite a sight. Tons of people were pumped to run, and we had a nice firework show to send us off.

Nick and I set off at a very nice pace. However, we had to weave our way through thousands of people. By mile 5, Nick and I had caught up to some people who started in the 2nd and 3rd corral. We established an average pace of 8:45/mile. The highlight of the first half of the race was around mile 9-10. My dad had made the trip to Florida to see me run, and I was able to spot him in the crowd and give him a big high-five. It definitely fueled me and kept my legs trucking on. Nick and I crossed the half-marathon point at 1:54:20. We were very happy with this and definitely felt in control of the race and our bodies.

The next big boost came around mile 15. There Nick and I were greeted by the two Central-PA TNT coaches. They hopped in and ran about two miles with us. It was great to talk with them and have someone push us onward. They were very motivating and comforting. Nick and I pushed on at our 8:45/mile pace. I can even go as far to say I was absolutely enjoying the run at that point. I knew things were looking good and all our hard work was paying off.

Around mile 18-19, Nick and I got a bit separated by some people who started to walk and a slightly narrowing course. Yet, we continued strongly and each had music to keep us company. We were both hitting our groove and feeling about as good as we could.

Then around mile 20-21, my marathon dream almost ended for the day. At one of the aid stations, people were handing out some muscle relaxant (body freeze I believe) in cups. A guy a few feet in front of me slowed to apply some while continuing to run. Then out of the blue, he threw the cup straight down to the ground and the relaxant went everywhere. Unfortunately, my next step was into the relaxant and my leg slipped from under me. I tried to stay upright; yet, eventually I ended up on the ground (not violently; yet, not exactly gracefully). I was in shock and in fear I might not be able to continue. I got up and looked at my legs. I seemed to be ok; yet, decided to take it easy to the next water station to make sure things were still working properly.

Unfortunately, I could never reestablish a groove for the rest of the race and my heart rate bounced all over the place. My legs began to tighten up and I couldn't seem to get back to "the zone" I had around mile 19-20. I then made the decision to tone it down a bit and just focus on finishing the race. I decided to take in the sights and try to absorb as much as I could from my first marathon finish. It was amazing to hear the crowd and hear all the people cheering for my efforts with Team In Training. The spectators were amazing.

I ended up crossing the finish line at 4:12:02. I had high hopes of breaking 4 hours; yet, after the mishap that happened earlier I was grateful to still be able to finish. It was an amazing feeling to cross that finish line and one of the best experiences of my life. It was amazing to finally have all the hard work pay off.

That being said, I know I can crush the 4-hour mark. So I guess that means I will be making it happen in the future. I am shooting for my next marathon to be in the fall. Next time I will steer clear of people with muscle relaxant.

On another exciting note, I need to say thank you to all my supporters. We have raised over $3,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I cannot thank you enough. I also have some cool info about the Disney event. There were around 1200 Team In Training runners present for the events (half and full marathon). Together we raised over $4,000,000!! That is fantastic! We are saving lives. If you are still interested in donating, my donation site will be up for about another month.

I also need to give a big thank you for the many Facebook comments and messages, and text messages I received. It was a big boost to my morale, especially after feeling a little weaker because of the food poisoning I went through earlier in the week. You guys are amazing!!

Well, that is all I have for now. Below are a few pictures from the weekend and I will be sure to post more as I get them. I also plan to keep this blog open for my future running and overall fitness endeavors. Thank you again for all the support.



Entry #35 (12/30-1/3)

Happy 2011 everyone!! The marathon is now less than a week away. I am getting all my gear packed and will be heading to Florida on Wednesday! This will probably be my last update till after the marathon.

I locked in 33 miles this past week. It has been mainly about resting up and making sure I feel good heading to the start line. This week, I will get in about 15 miles before the marathon. Those runs will be mostly to keep my running form and get used to the warmer weather in Florida.

Lastly, I picked up a few more donations and am hovering right around the $3000 mark. If you plan on donating, please get your donations in soon as my fundraising is rapidly coming to a close. Thank you.

Entry #34 (12/19-12/29)

Hey world! Sorry for the late update. Life has been super hectic with the holiday season.

First off, the life of a tapering runner is fantastic. My runs are anywhere from 3-6 miles a day and it is nice to get caught up on my rest. My body feels much stronger already and I am feeling ready to tackle the 26.2 mile beast. Next Wednesday, I will depart for Florida! All my training will be rewarded soon.

Next, I have some important news to share with you. A few years back, I met this awesome girl named Meagan. Unfortunately, Meagan lives in New Jersey, so I do not get to see her too often. Well the other night, she sent me a text. This was fantastic because I always enjoy hearing from her. It had been a while since we talked, and we spent some time catching up on life. I was very excited to find out that she had been following my blog and enjoyed reading my posts. Sadly, she also told me that her uncle was battling leukemia. I was shocked at the news, and brought me back to the reasons I chose to run for a cause.

Her uncle, Mark Lane, was battling Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). AML attacks blood and bone marrow, and causes normal cells to stop functioning. Body functions such as oxygen transport and immune response are drastically reduced. AML requires a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, and, often, a bone marrow transplant.

Unfortunately, on December 26th 2010, Mark Lane passed away. Mark fought courageously against AML. He is now free from the painfully intense treatments and in a much better place.

Along with running in honor of Jacob Salter, I will also be running in memory of Mark Lane. He touched many lives and it will be an honor to represent him on the 26.2 mile journey. As I have said all along, one life lost is one life too many. You never know when someone close to your heart will have to battle blood cancers. Thank you very much for supporting my cause over the past few months, and please continue to encourage people to donate. We are making a difference. Any amount donated can help save lives. Any amount can make a difference.

Mark Lane and Family 
I leave you with a poem from the Lane Family:                    

   Long days and nights he bore his pain,
          to wait for a cure, but all in vain.
         God alone knew what was best,
          and took him home to give him rest.
         Treat him gently dearest Jesus,
          now that he is Thine,
         Love him as we always did, 
          Your love is divine.
         Fold him in Your loving arms,
           and may he always be...
         A messenger of Love,
            between our aching hearts and Thee.


Entry #33 (12/24-12/25)

Merry CHRISTMAS everyone!!! Together we have now raised over $2,800! What a great Christmas gift!! Thank you for all the support this year. It has truly been a life changing experience.

Entry #32 (12/21)

An amazing story:

Mission Story
This is a story from one of the speakers at the Baltimore Marathon in 2008.
In Memory of Jake Evans-Matthews by his Mother
Jacob was born March 1, 1986.  He was my first of four children.  Jacob was a big brother very quickly since his younger brother Adam was born 13 months later and then 2 years after that Katie was born.  When Katie was 3 months old, Jacob was 3 ½ and was diagnosed with ALL.  He was pretty far gone at the beginning and they did not give him much hope of making it through the first week of treatment.  But Jacob was strong, which was one of the reasons his symptoms did not show up until the Leukemia cells had taken over his blood counts.
He made it through the next 2 ½ years of inpatient and outpatient treatments at Hopkins, all the while going to preschool and kindergarten and kicking butt on any sports team he participated on.  One thing the Leukemia never did was interfere with his athleticism and love for sports. He played soccer, baseball, lacrosse, and swam on the swim team all through out his treatments.
The summer after he graduated from kindergarten, he went in for his “last” bone-marrow test for a while and they discovered Jacob had relapsed.  I will never forget that phone call from the doctor as long as I live.  He had just made the all-star team for his baseball league but had to forego the game in order to be readmitted to Hopkins for treatment.  He started first grade that fall and underwent a bone-marrow treatment on Halloween of that year.  Like I said before, Jacob was tough and even got dressed up for Halloween and participated in the parade on his floor, that same day as his transplant. 
But for some reason no matter what they did, the leukemia kept coming back.  Jacob relapsed before he even had a chance to recover from the transplant.  So in December of that year, 1992, they sent us home and gave Jacob 2 months to live.  Jake died on the morning of February 16, 1993 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. 
I do have to mention one other thing that we did not plan, but boy does it memorialize Jake!  Three years after Jacob died, I had another boy and named him Erik, just because I liked the name and for no other reason.
Well, a few months after Erik was born, someone asked us if we picked that name on purpose because of Jake….and I was like no, why would I have done that?  Well, my four children in order are:
Pretty cool…
So he is always with us…
Because he is the beginning of my family.

Entry #31 (12/13-12/19)

What an epic week. This past week was the peak of my training for the Disney Marathon. On Sunday, Nick and I beasted out a 20 mile long run! It was very intense and super rewarding. We, again, ran it faster than expected and felt pretty decent afterward. It was an amazing run. Nick and I shared a massive hug after completing it. By the end of the run, I had burned over 3000 calories.

I am now 15 days out from the big day, and am entering the taper phase of my training. The next few weeks will be pretty relaxed with a steady decline in total mileage. It is time to let the body rest and heal up a bit before the marathon. The hard part is done. I am confident in my training and know I will be ready on race day. I also get to enjoy large amounts of food so I can increase my body's fuel storage and be more efficient on race day.

I also picked up a few more donations this week. They will be showing up on my total very shortly. I am so close to my goal, so I encourage you to spread the word to anyone and everyone. We have done a great deed so far. We are helping to save lives, and it is something truly spectacular to be a part of. This has been a life changing experience for me. Thank you.

Entry #30 (12/6-12/12)

The Disney Marathon now sits 24 days away! It is definitely coming quick. When I look back at my training, it seems like yesterday was day 1. I remember back to the days where a four mile run was tough for me and running 26.2 miles seemed a long, long way off.

This week, I had a very strong week. My weekly mileage was very close to 50 miles for the week and I put in a solid 18 mile long run yesterday. I held around 8:40 pace for the 18 mile run. This was very exciting for me, as I did not expect to hold that pace. It also felt good to know I had more left in the tank and could have picked up the pace in some spots. Everyone asks me what time I expect to complete the marathon in. I really don't know. I hope to do it in under four hours; yet, how far under, I really don't know. Some days my body is ready to run and other days it is just not up to snuff. I do know that come race day, I am going to give it my best shot and really strive for the best time I can possibly get.

As for Jacob, he is finally back home and has seemed to weather this recent rough spurt. His immune system is still very weak and his white blood cell count has to be monitored constantly. My immune system has become much stronger from running, and I wish I could give Jacob some of my immune strength. I hope Jacob can have an enjoyable Christmas with minimal pain and problems. He definitely deserves a breather from all the struggles. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Lastly, this week was another AWESOME week of donations. I now sit at $2,700 raised! I know my counter doesn't read this amount. Checks take a few days to process through the system and should be showing up later this coming week. Thank you very much for the support and please keep spreading the word. My goal is definitely in sight! Your donations are motivation for me to continue onward. Your donations inspire me to go out and run in the unfriendly weather. Your donations will help me cross that finish line!

Entry #29 (12/8)

I just received my January issued of Runners World magazine. For anyone that is interested in doing a marathon (as a first timer), this issue has some great stuff in it. The Walt Disney World Marathon is listed as one of the best first time marathons. Also, definitely check out the story about the 2000 Footlocker XC National Championship race. It talks about the battle between Alan Webb, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Ryan Hall. It is a very interesting article. You should definitely think about getting this issue. Enjoy!

Entry #28 (11/29-12/5)

What a busy week! This week was jam packed and there was definitely not enough hours in the day.

My running schedule was thrown off a little bit this week; yet, you roll with it and continue onward. Luckily, there is only a few weeks left of intense training and then my taper will start. I am definitely ready to let the body heal and rest up in preparation for the big day. The good news is, I feel really good about my training up to this point. I know I will be ready to tackle 26.2 miles.

As for donations, this week was AWESOME!!! Thank you very much to everyone who has supported me thus far. Please continue to spread the word. I am climbing nicely towards my goal.

Entry #27 (11/22-11/28)

It is amazing that I am already on my 27th entry! I took a look back at some of my earlier posts, and it is really amazing to see how far I have come.

Let's start with an update on Jacob. Unfortunately, Jacob has been up and down over the past few weeks. One day things seem stable, and then the next day is not too hot. He is currently back at Hershey Medical, and will stay there until things get under control again. Jacob's body is not accepting some of the medicines very well. With his immune system being very weak, Jacob has had a few infections and other problems show up. Please keep Jacob in your prayers. He has a long fight ahead of him and he needs all the support he can get. I have two bracelets I wear to remember Jacob's struggle and remember why I signed up for this marathon in the first place.

Next, this was another solid week of training. Being Thanksgiving break, I did not have as busy of a schedule and really was able to focus on my runs this week. It was much needed and a very helpful week of training. Nick and I will be doing a 16 mile long run today. Tomorrow, the chaos starts again with classes and all. Yet, I only have three weeks left in the semester and time will fly. I am now 38 days away from race day! 

I received some exciting news from my dad this week. He will be flying to Orlando to watch me run the marathon and be there for support! I am pumped about this. It will be great to share the experience with him. Nick's parents are flying down for the big day as well. I know we will make them proud on that day.

Lastly, Thanksgiving break ended up being a huge week of donations!!! I have now eclipsed the $2,000 mark and have had many donations come in over the last few days. I am very thankful for the support! Please continue to spread the word and encourage others to donate. It is greatly appreciated.

Well, that is all for this week!

Entry #26 (11/25)

I just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thank you for supporting my cause and helping me reach goals I only dreamed of. Enjoy today!

Entry #25 (11/14-11/22)

Well the flight is BOOKED!!! Time is counting down. Race day is approaching fast. I am now 44 days away. 

This past week was super busy; yet, I managed to get in the the necessary mileage. It was tough; yet, I got it done so that is all that matters. The next few weeks will be less hectic, so I will be able to be less rushed with my runs.

Nick and I had an awesome long run today (11/22). We randomly ran around Chambersburg and ended up out at the airport! It was a gorgeous run though and we held a solid pace for the 14.5-14.7 miles. The weather was ideal with temperatures in the upper 50's to low 60's for the entire run. We have been very fortunate with weather during our training period. No day has been epically cold. That being said, we have a little time left for weather to get intense. I hope mother nature stays on our side.

I did not obtain any new donations this week; yet, I am still hopeful for more donations to come in. I have a good ways to go still. Please keep spreading the word and encouraging people to donate. I can't do this on my own. Any amount really does help. One life lost to these terrible cancers is one life too many!

Thank you for the support.

Entry #24 (11/8-11/14)

It is time for another weekly update! Let's start with training. I took a little breather this week and allowed my body to rest up a bit. The weekly miles still ended up in the 30's; yet, it was a very relaxed week and I based each run off of how I felt. It was nice to let the body recover and get ready for the weeks ahead. The next 3-4 weeks will be the peak of my training. I am almost ready to complete my first marathon! This is very exciting and I greatly enjoy looking back on how far I have come.

Some more good news arose this week. Nick is back into his training and from what I hear he is feeling pretty good too. I hope to get back on a similar schedule with him for some days during the week so we can run together again. Running with Nick has made the training fun and something I look forward to, so hopefully we can get back on the same schedule.

A few more donations came in this week as well! Thank you to everyone who has donated thus far. I really do appreciate it. I am making good progress towards my goal, but I stress that you please continue to spread the word and encourage people to donate.

Marathon Countdown: 52 Days Away

Entry #23 (11/11)

Hey everyone! My donation tool is now working. You can now donate safely and securely on this blog by clicking the "DONATE NOW" button on the right.

Entry #22 (11/1-11/7)

This semester is absolutely flying. I can't believe that Thanksgiving break is in two weeks. These two weeks will be jam packed for me, so time will fly. I can't wait to get home to see the family a bit and I plan on seeing Jacob as well.

This weekend was awesome! I got to witness history as Joe Paterno captured his 400th win! We were down 21-0 to Northwestern and then the fellas caught fire and scored 35 unanswered points to come back and win the game. It was truly epic. These past two weekends have brought some serious life back into the season. It has been a great year to be a part of, and I look forward to seeing the team finish the year strong.

The Penn State basketball (men's and women's) season also kicked off this weekend. I am a student manager for the women's squad, and had the privilege of setting up the gym and helping make sure the game went smoothly. I got to sit court-side with the team. It is pretty cool to be that close to the action. The next game I work, I will be taking stats for the head coaches!

On the training end of things, this week reached into the 40's again for total mileage. My long run was 18 miles! I am getting closer to the peak of my training. I plan on doing two to three 20 mile runs over the next month and a half. Then I will start a gradual taper up until the event. The hard part is almost done. I can't believe it.

Unfortunately, the last few weeks have been a little tough. My training partner, Nick, has had some unknown knee issues and has been unable to run consistently. We do not really know what the issue is; yet, it has set Nick back a good bit. I hope he can make a recovery in time so we can complete the marathon together; however, I am preparing and continuing as if I am on my own. Luckily, I have received great support from the Club XC team at Penn State, and a few people have offered to run with my on my longer runs. I am very thankful for that. My one friend, Keely, ran with me tonight. It was very helpful to have someone to converse with and help make the run go faster. Thank you Keely!

Lastly, I picked up a few donations by check this past week. Those will be showing up on my total shortly. Thank you for the support. I am almost at the $2,000 mark! Any amount helps and I can't reach the goal on my own. Please keep continuing to spread the word. Thank you all!

Entry #21 (11/4/10)

Hey guys! I got this sweet bit from a person at TNT. Just wanted to share. Thank you for the donations.

This past weekend, the NY Times (NYT) devoted an in-depth story to “cancer stem cells” in their prestigious weekend magazine. They mentioned the seminal contributions of blood cancer research in this area, and in the development of “targeted therapies”.  Of note, researchers funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) are leaders in both of these important research fields. 
LLS has been funding cutting-edge cancer research for more than sixty years. In the last twenty years, discoveries of the molecular abnormalities that cause cancers has powered the development of targeted therapies, first for blood cancer patients. Many of these new drugs are already helping patients beyond the blood cancer patients for whom they were first developed, including patients with a variety of cancers and other serious diseases. 
Just as important, these drugs, including Rituxan®, Gleevec®, and Velcade®, have proven that therapies that target cancer-associated molecules can be safer and more effective than older, broadly toxic treatments – and can be part of “individualized” therapies, optimized for a given patient rather than ‘made do’ for all. This proof has revolutionized cancer medicine.
The NYT story specifically mentioned the targeted therapy, Gleevec®, that incapacitates an abnormal enzyme that causes chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Gleevec thereby kills CML cells and helps most CML patients live long, healthy lives. Of course, LLS funding was critical to making this success possible, and laid the groundwork for this drug helping patients with the rare form of stomach cancer that afflicted the NYT story’s patient. In fact, Gleevec may soon help many more patients because related enzymes are involved in such a wide range of cancers. 
Another landscape-changing idea has emerged from blood cancer research – this idea is that cancer stem cells must be targeted to assure patients the best possible outcome. Cancer stem cells can apparently make all other malignant cells, producing new diagnoses and dreaded relapse, as mentioned in the NYT piece. Also stated was the fact that solid evidence of cancer stem cells came first in leukemia research. But, the idea is spreading across the cancer world at large, and promising new therapies that can effectively kill cancer stem cells to prevent relapse.
LLS-funded researchers continue making important contributions in this field, as in so many cutting-edge areas, and are beginning to test new therapies that target cancer stem cells.  Blood cancer research, and LLS, really does lead the way!

Entry #20 (10/25-10/31)

Wow... bye bye October. Another week of training is complete and the marathon is creeping closer and closer. This week, my long run ended up being 16.7 miles and my total miles crept into the 40's again. It will not be long before my first 20 mile run is in sight. My body is adapting to the longer runs nicely; yet, I still have to battle blisters and discomfort. I officially recommitted to Team In Training this past week. By doing this, I announced I am in this for the long haul and am progressing properly in my training.

Outside of training, it was a great week for Penn State football! The game saturday night was an amazing one. Beaver Stadium was loud and we actually looked like we knew what we were doing on the football field. Hopefully we can keep this momentum up. Northwestern comes to town next weekend and it will be another battle. It could be a historic day as Joe Pa goes for his 400th win.

This was a solid week of donations as well!!! I now sit at roughly 45% of my goal. Thank you to all my supporters and please keep continuing to spread the word. I have come a long way in reaching my goals, both training and donation related. Yet, there is still a long way to go. Thank you for helping me progress towards the finish line.

As you can see, my fundraising tracker on this blog is down. Team In Training is working on fixing it, so hopefully they will fix it soon. Donations can still be made online at or by mail (see contact info).

Thank you for the continued support/

Marathon Countdown: 66 days away 

Entry #19 (10/26)

Well my fundraising counter and "donate now" button are not responding today. Please use my other fundraising page until the problem is fixed. You can get to that page by clicking HERE.

Entry #18 (10/18-10/24)

Well it is time for another weekly update! It is hard to believe we are entering the final week of October. Time is absolutely flying by. I am very thankful that training has been right on pace and moving along nicely.

At the beginning of the week, Nick and I conquered a 15.2 mile long run! We have found some very nice trails/routes near campus and they have developed into our running home. The trails are beautiful with all the different colors right now. Unfortunately, the leaves are falling fast and the trees will be bare soon. The weather was also very helpful this past week. Luckily, Nick and I have encountered pretty mild weather conditions so far. This makes training go much more smoothly and keeps morale high. The weekly mileage total reached into the 40's this past week. It is amazing to think that my first week of training resulted in 18 miles total.

Next, I would like to give a big thank you to my recent supporters. Your donations go a long way in battling blood cancers and I can't thank you enough. I do ask that everyone continues to spread the word about my cause. The countdown is in full effect: 73 days away!!!! 

Penn State pulled out the win against Minnesota on Saturday and everyone is excited for Michigan to come to town this coming weekend. It has been a few weeks since our last home football game, so everyone is ready to head back to Beaver Stadium. Jayse (my roommate) and I carved some pumpkins with the spirit of the upcoming game in mind. Jayse carved the PSU one and I did the Michigan "M." Don't worry, we plan on getting smaller candles. Well, that is all I have for now!

Entry #17 (10/22)

Hey everyone, I just have a quick update on Jacob. Everything worked out for Jacob this week and he is now HOME!! In an earlier update, I said he would probably be there till Oct 29th, so this is very exciting news. Keep Jacob in your thoughts and prayers. Together we can help save lives!

Entry #16 (10/11-10/17)

Hello everyone. This is a pretty slow weekend at school, so I actually have time to sit and write my weekly update today.

This past week was a recovery week for Nick and myself. We backed down the mileage a bit and allowed the body to recover. By tomorrow, I will be in the mid to upper 20's for miles on the week. Next week, the mileage will be pushed back up into the upper 30's and maybe even 40's. I did have a one run that really opened my eyes this past week. Early in the week, I ran an 8 mile run at 7:50 pace. The best part was that it felt easy. I thought that I was going way slower than that and my body definitely had more in the tank at the end of the run. This was a very nice surprise.

Now comes the BIG news! I have decided to dedicate my run to Jacob Salter. You may remember Jacob from some of my earlier posts. Jacob is from my area and is currently battling Leukemia. It is a pretty recent diagnosis and he is currently undergoing heavy treatments. I hope my run will give him and his family something to smile about and be as much of an inspiration as he has been to me. Jacob is currently at CHOP and will be there till at least Oct 29th. I am currently working on a bio of Jacob. Look for it in the near future. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Finally, I picked up a few more donations this week!! Thank you to my new supporters. Please keep spreading the word. Any amount is helpful and we are helping many, like Jacob, get on to better lives.

I am now 81 days away!!!!

Entry #15 (10/4-10/10)

Happy 10.10.10 to all and good luck to all the Chicago Marathon participants. I hope to run the Chicago Marathon someday.

Well let's start with a Penn State football update. Saturday was a sad homecoming day for all. We looked rough to say the least. It honestly looked like nobody wanted to be on that field. Illinois gave us plenty of chances to score and made plenty mistakes. We just looked like our mind was elsewhere. Now the "Joe Must Go" chants are beginning to ring throughout campus again. I don't really know where I stand on that issue. I do think we are lacking true leadership and need someone to seize control of the program and start making moves. I really don't know if Joe has it in him to do that anymore. It also feels like the program has head coaches 1A, 1B, and 1C. We don't have an overall leader. It will be an interesting few months for the football program. I do not see us making a bowl game this year. I have a feeling there will be a lot of tension built up over this season.

On the running side of life, things are steady and solid. This week has me in the upper 30's for total mileage again. Next week will be a slight recovery week (mid to upper 20's), and will bring a nice breather week. I am now 87 days out from the big day. My friend, and training partner, Nick is getting a GPS/HR watch and we are going to use this to fine tune our running over the next few months. We are also going to start speed workouts this Thursday. I am a fan of the longer runs where you just go out and explore, and I have a feeling I will have a love/hate relationship with speed/track workouts.

This week was also a good donation week! Thank you for the continued support. This is truly making a difference in the lives of many, and I have witnessed this firsthand. Please keep continuing to spread the word and encouraging people to donate. We can do this!

Entry #14 (10/7)

Hey everyone, just a quick hello and update. From what I hear, Jacob is hanging tough and reacting fairly well with the treatments they have him on. The chemo has worked really well. Unfortunately, his immune system is very weak right now, so we need to hope and pray he doesn't have any other cold or infections to compound the problem. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers and I will continue to update you on his progress. The doctors expect this to be a 3 year treatment plan, so we need to give him and the family support for that time and then some.

On that note, keep spreading the word and donating to my cause and my friend Nick's cause. Each bit we raise goes a long way in helping people like Jacob get through this speed bump in life and hopefully on to a better life. Please continue to spread the word and really encourage people to donate. Any amount is very helpful in our cause. I would love to get all my facebook friends to donate $1. That is really all it takes.

Thank you for the support!

Entry #13 (9/27-10/3)

It is hard to believe that it's already October! Time is flying by. I have been so busy with school work and all, that every chance I get to sit and relax, it feels as if another two weeks has vanished!

On the running front, it was another solid week! I started off the week with a 12 mile run and have backed it up with some solid mileage this week. After I run today, I will be right around 40 miles for the week! It is amazing how quickly Nick and I are progressing in our training. We reflected on our first week of training, which ended up being 18 miles. It is crazy to think we almost did that in one day this past week! Running has inserted itself as a big part of my life. I feel all lost and out of sorts if I don't get my run in for the day. With all the fall colors coming in now, it is so beautiful to take off on a nice trail run.

This weekend I stopped at home for a day and had a nice run on one of my original routes. It was cool to run a route that once seemed difficult, with such ease. It was also good to see my family and refresh before the busy few weeks ahead.

I also got a new pair of running shoes this weekend! I ended up getting the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10's. I found out that I am completely flat foot. Also, I learned why I have a problem keeping running shoes in one piece. I am basically a size 13.5 in running shoes. A size 14 is just a bit too big and allows a little too much movement; yet, a 13 (in some brands/models) is just a bit too small. However, most companies do not make size 13.5 shoes. Luckily, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10's fit perfectly! I have to give a major thanks to The Runner's Sole. The staff was very knowledgeable and really helped me get into a good shoe.

Well that is all I have for now! Please keep spreading the word and donating! I am now 94 days away from the marathon. Thank you for all the donations thus far.

Thank you for saving lives!

Entry #12 (9/29)

Hey everyone! Nick and I are looking to assemble a raffle to help with our fundraising efforts. If you or anyone you know would be interested in donating to our raffle, please contact me. We are looking for a wide variety of items and they don't have to be running related. Thank you for the help!

Together we can save lives.

Entry #11 (9/27)

Just a quick blurb and then I am on my way to my exercise physiology class. I AM NOW 100 DAYS AWAY FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE WALT DISNEY WORLD MARATHON!!!!!

Thank you for the continued support!

Entry #10 (9/20-9/26)

Well I was typing a new entry this evening and saved it as a draft. Then when I came back to finish the new entry, it was gone. It also took my last 4 entries with it. Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful in retrieving the information. I am pretty bummed about this; yet, the updates must continue!

This week was a pretty big week for me. On monday, I had my longest run to date, 10.7 miles. I am now consistently in the 30 mile/week range and am looking at another mileage increase this coming week. Training is going super well and my body continues to adapt nicely. I have a feeling I will not be a "one and done" marathoner. I really enjoy running and I love the bodily changes I am experiencing.

On the donation front, it was another strong week!! Thank you for all the donations and please continue to spread the word! We are helping to save many lives.

This week, I also received news that further validated my choice to run for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My grandparents have been an integral part in a young boy's life. His name is Jacob Salter. I have met and hung out with Jacob a few times in the past and have witnessed his optimistic personality. Unfortunately this week, we found out Jacob has Leukemia. He is currently going through all the necessary treatments and I ask you keep him in your prayers.

During my training, I have met many survivors of blood cancers and have met many more who have been indirectly influenced by blood cancers. It really hits home when someone you know is battling. Thank you again for supporting my cause!

Be strong Jacob!

Entry #6-9 (summary of lost posts) (8/30-9/19)

I am going to do my best to give you a summary of the lost posts from earlier weeks.

Training progressed nicely during this time frame. I have continued to learn a lot about my body and am more in touch than ever. I am becoming a more efficient human and it is amazing to feel the transformation. During this time, I also learned that running is slow in terms of progress. Some days you have that "it" factor and then other days that "it" factor takes a vacation. My favorite runs are the trail runs we do as part of Club XC. I love taking in the sights and sounds of nature while on a run. It puts me at peace. No matter how stressful life is, a good trail run just puts me at a relaxed state.

Club XC has been amazing to me! I have met so many wonderful people and they have pushed my running to new heights. I even competed in my first 8k race at Lock Haven. The Penn State club team beat varsity squads from other schools. It was a really cool experience. I run with some of the best club runners in the country. Many of the members of club XC are good enough to run for a varsity team.

During this period, Nick and I started experiment with gels and fuel sources for during our marathon. We will need to take different supplements during the run to keep our bodies performing at a high level. The key is to find out what gels and supplements work best for your body. Not every gel works for every person. The goal is to have a gel routine established by a month before the marathon. This way our bodies can be prepared come race day! I have also learned that good running shoes are hard to find in size 14! So far I have ripped through two pairs of shoes and have to glue the tears shut sometimes. If anyone has any shoe recommendations, I am all ears! Pretty soon I will have to invest in some cold weather gear as well. Shorts are not going to cut it on a 20 mile run in December!

Lastly, I just wanted to let everyone know if they want to be runners, then they should go run! I have been told often that I do not have the typical "runners body." People are built to run, jump, climb, and move! We are not meant to sit at a desk all day. We are all runners. Don't let the perceptions of others stop you from running or exercising in general! People are movers.

Check out this clip: My 120 pound journey
                                  -It will make you rethink any excuses to get out and run/move!

Thank you for all the support! Please keep spreading the word!

Entry #5 (9/1/10)

Happy September everyone. Just a quick little insert today. My friend Liz sent my this wonderful inspirational link and I wanted to share it with everyone. It has to do with Team Hoyt and it is truly an amazing story. It will definitely be worth your time.

Today has been slightly stressful/overwhelming for me, so this inspiration came in at the right time! Thank you Liz.

Link: Team Hoyt

Entry #4 (8/23-8/29)

Another week down! I can't believe the first week of school is already complete. This week, Nick and I had about a 55% increase in mileage. It wasn't really meant to be that much; yet, that is just how the week went. Our long run on friday was pretty intense. We put in 9+ miles in 1:17:26. Club XC has been fantastic. I've met a lot of cool people and feel that some new friendships are just getting started. I signed up to compete for Club XC in a few events. This way I can get a 10k time and get slotted (in the marathon) with racers around my ability level. Also, this past week, Nick and I made contact with one of the Western-PA TNT coaches. He seems really cool and is going to be able to push us more than we imagined. We will be getting high quality training and advice along the way. Lastly, it is amazing to witness the bodily changes I am going through. My body has become so much more efficient. Being a Kinesiology major, this transformation is even more exciting because I know what is going on, on a molecular level. Well that is all for now. Peace out girl scout!

Entry #3 (8/15-8/22)

Well I started to feel some physical changes taking place this week. I am really starting to "feel like a runner." I've invested in some solid running shorts, and I even have a two shoe system going on right now. I have a super thin pair of shoes that I save for short days and track work. Then, I have a pair of more heavy duty shoes for the long, off-road days. In other news, I've started to even look into sponsorships for gear and stuff. It is tough to afford all the training gear myself. Anyway, back to my actual training. This week was an interesting one. At the beginning of the week, I was slightly fatigued and not really feeling fluid and quick; yet, I was holding the correct paces. Then Thursday hit, I have felt fantastic since then. Today (Sunday), I took of on a run with Nick and we were absolutely cruising. Our heart rates were controlled and our strides were long. I am pretty sure we were both smiling the whole way. We were experiencing progress, and it felt amazing! Tomorrow is the first day of class for the Fall 2010 semester and the first day of Club XC. I am excited to meet new people and be pushed by other runners. Life is surely sunny today!

Entry #2 (8/21)

This is not a weekly update; yet, I just have a cool update for everyone. While reading up on marathon information i stumbled upon Weight In Vain. This fine young woman has a blog dedicated to her quest. I don't want to spoil it for everyone; yet, she definitely blogs about a topic in the forefront of today's society, "weight." I enjoy reading her writings. She writes about a wide variety of things. What's my connection with her? She's training for the Chicago Marathon, so I feel like we are part of this "group/team" of marathon trainees. Lastly, she is the founder of 5k Friday's, which is gaining popularity with companies such as The North Face. It is gaining interest and hits on Twitter as well. Feel free to read her stuff! I enjoy it.

Entry #1 (8/2-8/15)

Wow! What a few weeks of training. In this stage, I have been building up my base a little more before I get into a more intense marathon training plan. My runs have been in the 3-6 mile range, and I have been running 5-6 days a week. I head back to school on Saturday. This semester, I will join club XC to help push my potential a bit. However, my longer runs will have to be done with Team In Training or with my partner Nick. It will not be long before I am going on long runs of 13 miles or more.

The past few weeks have also been about getting my fundraising stuff together. I really like how my blog turned out, and I hope many keep track of my progress and experiences. It is going to be an amazing ride. I want to share it with as many people as possible.

Well, thats all for now! Thank you for following! Thank you for the support and donations!

Check back to read about my training and all I get to experience along the way!