Sunday, September 09, 2007

RFE TR #28

Total Miles Trained For Elijah: 211

One might say that I have been "overbooked" for the past few days. I love being involved in lots of fun things. I do not, however, like it when they all jumble up! So here's the story.

On Friday night Chasen and I attended and volunteered at the Gallery of Hope. It is an event that benefits Candlelighters of Central Arkansas, an organization that promotes public awareness of childhood cancer and provides all types of support to children fighting cancer and their families. Our friend Dawn, Elijah's mom, is the volunteer coordinator for the event. Chasen served as a bartender of the signature drink of the evening -- the "Hopetini" -- and I served as a cashier. There was a silent auction (we scored two neat pieces of artwork!) and several live auctions. Most importantly, there was artwork created by children at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Elijah's piece was excellent... yet we were outbid. :(

Here we are all spruced up:

Chasen the bartender

Susan the silly girl who wore uncomfortable shoes

We got home before 10:30 PM. And I was wiped out. My feet were screaming (who invented heels?) and I just hoped they did not hurt when I did my longrun in a few hours.

After about 4 1/2 hours sleep, I got up at 3:30 AM (no rest for the weary!) to get in my 16-miler. I had to leave as early as possible to go and volunteer for the MS150 Bike Ride 2007. I clicked the start button at 4:19 AM. I was determined to just 'git r' dun' ASAP. I ran everywhere. The humidity was approaching 90%, so it was a wet one. My shirt was completely soaked, which is pretty normal for the end of a run -- not minutes into it. Even my shorts were completely saturated. Yuck. I sat down once on a new concrete sidewalk to get a rock out of my shoe and left a wet imprint of my derriere! Yeesh.

I'd love to tell you that I was Speedy Gonzales, but I was not. But I did it ALL without giving up. My muscles were not nearly as fatigued as last week, and that is a HUGE improvement in my book. Speed will come soon enough. One thing I noticed that helped keep me going was SMILING as I ran. Silly but true.

I really enjoyed this week's episode of The Extra Mile Podcast. It was very, very special to me. If you have listened, you'll know why. :)

My average split was *gasp* 13:37 per mile. Ah well -- I will improve.

I got home around 8 AM and had to quickly get ready to go to Petit Jean State Park (about 80 miles from home) for the bike ride. You see, my friend Sherri was volunteering for the event AND staying in a cool teepee for the weekend. How could I say no? Her coworker and friend, Debbie, was riding in the 150 mile ride (75 miles each Saturday and Sunday).

I arrived at the start/finish area and checked in. I was given my assignment (finish line cheering section!) and a cool volunteer t-shirt.

This is the back of the t-shirt. The front simply said "Join The Movement."

I must say... the finish line was NOT exciting. At running events, I consider the finish line to be the center of hooplah. Not so at this race! At times I was the only one to cheer the people in. It was not a timed event, so maybe that's why it was so low-key.

I stood just on the other side of this driveway to cheer in the finishers of Day One.

Sherri was posted at the final rest stop. When the last rider passed by, she and Debbie's husband (James, who was also manning the rest stop) returned to the start/finish area. We all congratulated Debbie on a job well done. She said the hills were brutal at times. I'm sure she's right!

Next we all went to check out mine and Sherri's accommodations for the evening: teepee #1 (there are 2 on the campsite).

Sherri and coworker Steve, also there to cheer for Debbie, get ready to sit down for a while before the awards banquet.

We enjoyed the scenic beauty of the campsite for a while before getting ready and heading on over to the awards banquet. Debbie was to be the keynote speaker. Debbie, you see, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis nine years ago at age 27. Her speech was about how keeping a positive attitude has helped her tremendously with dealing with MS. That and exercise! Debbie is remarkable.

There were many, many door prizes given out, although I did not win any! I was especially excited when I entered the drawing for the BIKE!!! But I did not win. Had I won, I would have taken it as a sign that I, too, needed to become a cool cyclist. A slideshow of professional photos was shown at the banquet. I quickly decided that cycling photos are much, much cooler than running photos. What a neat sport! I thought of Shirley quite a bit while I was there.

Debbie won a doorprize: triathlon swimming bottoms! So they made her go onstage and try them on. The audience roared!

The food was great. Everyone was super friendly. Debbie's team was called "Fast Girls, Slow Guys." Ha! The most humorous team name, in my opinion, was Team F.R.O.G. which stands for Four Really Old Guys. HA!

I was most excited about Sunday's ride. I was going to get to work the rest stop with Sherri and James. I'd get to witness the start of the race, also, where Debbie assured me that there would be a lot of excitement and enthusiasm (and opportunities for excellent photos).

Thunderstorms were forecasted for the entire weekend. It rained off and on for the whole afternoon. As we got to the banquet, it began pouring rain. It rained through the night, also. I was so tired that I slept right through it all.

At 4:11 AM I woke to find Sherri coming in from a trip to the bath house. She informed me that she had been throwing up for an hour and had to go home. OH NO!!! So I helped her load up her car. I then decided to go ahead and pack myself up, too, so I wouldn't have to do it in the pouring rain that was sure to return momentarily. It was still before 5 AM, but I decided to go ahead and get showered and ready (and vacate the teepee 100%) since the breakfast started at 6 AM at the lodge. Boy did I time it right! The second I closed my car door after exiting the bath house all showered and ready to volunteer for the day THE HEAVENS OPENED UP. It was pouring rain. And oh the lightning! So I went to the lodge and started breakfast. Sherri called; she had made it home and had checked in with the volunteer coordinator. The next thing I knew, the race was cancelled for the day. The whole thing -- done. They could not risk the safety of the riders. Cycling (and running!) and lightning do not mix.

So I finished up breakfast, waited (napped, actually) for the visitor's center to open so I could get Sherri properly checked-out from the teepee, and drove home. It was raining intensely here, also. And I proceeded to sleep for the next three hours!


Petraruns said...

Wooohoo. Amazing girl! You were fantastic - FANTASTIC! - on TEM and I can't believe you got up at 3:30 to run 16 MILES - SIXTEEN MILES - after looking gorgeous and working hard all night! I need to get me some of whatever it is you're living off because you are fabulous! And what a friend you are - you spent just about your whole weekend helping others! Amazing girl!

PLANET3RRY said...

You got the 16 miles in... I wonder if you actually got a good night sleep if your early morning performance would improve?

Also, I am very happy that you volunteered for the MS bike. I am going to do that in the next few years. My dad passed away and he had MS... you'll see a post later this month about him.

get some rest!

ShirleyPerly said...

My goodness, you are incredible doing all those things back-to-back!!!

You look great dressed up. I too hate high heeled shoes, but have been known to don them for special occasions.

You've got to try cycling someday though. It is a BLAST and a great workout even when it's hot out (there's always a breeze because you create it!). Hope your friend is feeling better.

mrjwhit~ said...

A beautiful thing is seeing a person doing what they love. I'm simply inspired. Thanks for sharing.

CewTwo said...

Wow! Amazing! Gallery of Hope, 16 mile run and a weekend of volunteering! What amazes me most is actually being able to eat breakfast at the ungodly hour of 6:00 AM!

You are amazing!

And... The Extra Mile episode 8 was amazing! Because of you!

Maddy said...

Volunteer, Run, Volunteer!

You are amazing!

I agree with Terry that sleep would do you some good, for sure!

Dawn said...

You have the best adventures!!! Thanks so much for your work at Gallery of Hope. I am sorry we didn't get to visit more.