Hello, Team Challenge! (Day 1 in Virginia)

I survived the 4 1/2 hour drive up from Raleigh to Leesburg, VA, today! I think that’s the farthest I’ve ever driven by myself. And honestly, it wasn’t that bad. Jarrod and I got up early to get me over to the rental car company. (We realized it would actually be cheaper to rent a car with good gas mileage to drive than it would be to drive the Tahoe.) I set off at 7:20 a.m. and got here just before noon. It was an uneventful trip, which is always best.

leesburg virginia team challenge view scenic stephanie hughes stolen colon crohns ostomy blogI went immediately in search of food and stopped for a turkey sandwich and salad. I tried the hotel while over there and they told me that my room was already available even though check in wasn’t for another few hours. I went ahead and got settled into the room and made my way over to the race expo to get my race bib and sign in. I was pretty tired by this point and didn’t feel like doing much, so I watched a little TV and relaxed for a little bit. Then got up for a shower and made myself presentable right about the time everyone else was arriving.

We had a group meeting earlier and it was great to finally get to sit down with everyone who’s a part of this. A couple of people I had never even met. We went through all of the details we will need for the race tomorrow and made sure we all know where we’re supposed to be and when. The coach talked a lot about the weather for tomorrow and said that no one should be trying to PR tomorrow (race speak for setting your personal record.) This actually made me feel a little better. I was never going for my best time, but I still felt that I should be improving and not doing worse than my last race. Because of the heat, she said you should plan to add at least 10 or maybe 20 minutes onto your expected time. It could be a long day…

team challenge pasta party virginia spirit lineAnd I just got back from the day before the race pasta party. This part is, to me, the most important part of this whole thing. It’s where everyone comes together and cheers each other on and knows that we are all there for the same reason. The run is kind of secondary to that. It was a great night of hearing inspiring stories and learning that, as a group, the Virginia runners have raised over $950,000! That’s just amazing and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

But I need to sign off now. The race starts in less than 10 hours and I’ll be waking up in less than 7. I’ll be back after those 13.1 miles!

A lot of ground to cover in one month

Stolen colon crohns ostomy blog ccfa team challenge half marathon colitis team challenge tuesdayIn just a few hours, it will be May 1st, which means we are exactly one month away from my half-marathon on Virginia. It is hard to believe it is coming up so quickly. I feel like there is so much to be done. So I have been trying to get caught up on some rest, but I have to jump back in tomorrow.

Training has been good. I made it through 7 miles on Sunday with a steady run/walk pace, averaging under 12-minute-miles. But I am still pretty far behind. The Team Challenge group is preparing to run 10 miles this weekend and I think trying to hit that goal is going to be pushing it just a little. I am staying in contact with our team coach on what she thinks might be an appropriate training schedule for me in these coming weeks. I’ve got a lot of ground to make up, but I’m feeling positive about it.

I am also a little behind on fundraising, but picking up the pace there, as well. The Happy Hour and Belk Charity Day Sale have gotten me back in the game and I’m still waiting to find out how much I brought in by working the day of the sale. Hopefully that will bring me even closer to my goal. At this point, I’m not worried about reaching it, but I am a little disappointed in myself for not working on it the way I had planned at the beginning. But as I’ve said before, I just took on too much and got caught up in all of it.

I’m getting up early to get in a quick 4 mile run in the morning. I wish the sun was up a little earlier so I could run outside, but I suppose the treadmill will have to do for now. I have been tempted to sleep in, but with only a few short weeks left and already being behind, I have to stay on top of the training. It’s going to be an intense month leading up to this race.


Just call me the Party Planner

It’s been a busy week. It has been filled with events and fundraisers and lots of planning for those events. Last night, we held our “happy hour” event at Top of the Hill. (Many thanks to Top’o for generously allowing us to use their venue and offering us some great incentives.) We had some wonderful friends come join us for food and drinks. It wasn’t quite the event we were hoping for, mostly because, due to time constraints, we weren’t able to publicize it as much as we would have liked. But we still raised several hundred dollars for Team Challenge, so definitely a success in my opinion!

top of the hill eventI’m so mad at myself for not taking any pictures! I only took this one silly one of the table as you walked in and didn’t even think about grabbing any more during the event.

And now, it’s time for more events! I’m going to start tomorrow off at Belk for their Charity Day sale. Hopefully that will help bring in even more for my race. It’s only 5 weeks away and coming quick, and I still have a good ways to go to reach my goal.

Following the Belk sale, I will be heading out the Take Steps Walk on Centennial Campus. I’ve had a really good time working on the event for the past several months. But I’m not going to lie, it has been a lot more work that I hard originally imagined. I definitely had not planned on doing so much all at once. I had planned to join the walk committee and that was it. But then the opportunity with Team Challenge came up and I had already committed to the walk, by that time. I quickly found out that I had taken on too much for my own good, but I wanted to stick with it. It has been a very busy couple of months and all of it has hit an apex this week.

I am excited about the event tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for a good cause. But I am also looking forward to it being done. That means I will actually have some time to relax on focus on my half-marathon and everything else coming up. I would definitely be up for doing a committee like this again, but I need a bit of a break.

But I am ready to go out tomorrow and enjoy the day with a bunch of people who are all fighting for the same thing. And I’ll try to remember to take pictures this time!

An overdue update

Stolen colon crohns ostomy blog ccfa team challenge half marathon colitis team challenge tuesdayI am going to make this update short and sweet because I am waking up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym because I have promised myself that I am going to stick to my training schedule, but it’s already getting pretty late for getting up that early.

So I am now less than 7 weeks away from running another half-marathon. (Well, “running” may be an exaggeration, but more on that in a minute.) I feel like I haven’t given a real update recently. There has been so much going on and there seems to be so much more to do between now and race day. I need to drastically increase my mileage. I still need to raise over $1200. And I am trying to coordinate a number of things in order to help me do that. It’s a little overwhelming.

The muscle pain is not a ton better even though I have been doing pretty good at increasing my water intake. I have been consistently drinking over 75 ounces a day for about two weeks now. My goal for the time being is 100 ounces a day, but I would like to increase it more after that. I’m thinking that if an average person needs eight 8-ounces glasses a day, I should probably double that, taking me to 128-ounces. I have hit over 100 several days, yesterday I think was around 113-ounces. I’m really hoping that as I consistently do this, that some of the issues I’ve been having will go away. I still feel that this is the root of a lot of my problems.

Umstead Park run half marathon training trail stephanie hughes stolen colon crohns ostomy blogSo due to the pain, running has not been easy. I’m having to get used to the idea of walking this half-marathon. I don’t like it one bit, but it may be a reality. I made it for a short run on Sunday, but I decided to go for a longer one today. I went out to Umstead Park for a nice trail run, since I had the day off and the time to do so. I took a short 2.5 mile loop to see how it would go. I felt pretty good at the end of it, so I decided to run it backwards. Again, “run” is not really the right word, but I kept up a jog/walk for the whole loop. The last mile was pretty rough. My muscles were hurting and I didn’t feel like going on, but I finished it and logged 5 miles today. I’m pretty impressed that I was able to do that.

I think for now, I need to focus on increasing distance and not worrying about running or keeping a quick pace. It’s hard because it just takes so much time, obviously even more so when you’re moving slower. It’s hard to get in a longer workout during the week, unless I have a day off like I did today. But I’m at least going to try to keep up shorter workouts during the week and saving my Sunday afternoons for longer distances. Even as the heat moves in.

But I do have an exciting announcement! The runners from the Triangle area are putting on a Team Challenge fundraising event at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill. We will have the Back Bar area and will have drink specials, half-priced appetizers and some great items to raffle off. It will be next Thursday, April 25th starting at 6:30 p.m. We will be raising money by selling tickets, which we will begin doing soon. We are still nailing down all of the specifics, but I will be posting all of the details a little later on this week. We’d love to have you come out and enjoy some food and drinks and support a really great cause.

Ok, this isn’t ending up being that short, so it’s time to sign off. Good night!