Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Five

1. I assume this is not the ideal way to train for your goal race?

Admittedly, this week was pretty tricky, so I am kiiiiiind of giving myself a pass, but COME ON, me. I could have ran last night, but instead I invited my cousin over to play. Maybe I'll run tonight, but I doubt it. I will, pinky swear, run this weekend, but I have no idea if I can run 20 miles like I'm supposed to. I KNOW Eugene is going to be twenty-SIX-point-something, which is more than 20, so it would REALLY be ideal to be able to run at least 20? Bah. I have really, really sucked this time around.

2. Gabby was released from the hospital yesterday! Her fever broke overnight Tuesday/Wednesday, and her antibiotics ran their course, and she was set freeeeeeee, after enjoying some hospital food.

mmmmm. bacon.

3. Last time we were here (when she was diagnosed in 2011), we were in the old hospital. Since then, they've completed the oncology floor of a new tower, which is NICE. Not that I'm hoping anyone has a chance to see it, but I'm just saying. CHOC really did a phenomenal job on the new digs. There's a child life playroom, staffed by volunteers throughout the day, where you can drop off the kid for a bit, and go grab some starbucks in the lobby, or... hit the gym. There are treadmills! Okay, ONE treadmill, but still! Had I known, I might have ran Tuesday. (But probably not). Gab was pretty excited to walk down to the gym. Or to walk, in general. She was getting antsy.

that's a treadmill up there!
Plus, all of the rooms now are singles - no more screechy roommates. Sweet.

I kept getting lost in the new tower, and I was pretty grateful for that. I like that I don't know where things are, because I'm not there frequently enough.

4. In case you're wondering, I DO, in fact, feel like a giant asshole for being all "Man, that was SO easy, no hospital stays for us!". I clearly spoke too soon. Since her port removal is still on hold (her ANC is still kind of low, so she's being pretty closely monitored, and will be back for blood check on Monday), I will promptly shut my face about anything concerning recovery and/or end of treatment. Obviously, it's just not quite over.

5. The difference in Gabby since her first visit is ASTONISHING. Last time, she was rude, and wouldn't talk to anyone, and was generally withdrawn and angry. She wouldn't have anything to do with the playroom, or the volunteers. This time, she was all buggy to go to the playroom, and talked to everyone who came in the room.

It's definitely crossed my mind before that her personality seems different. Even before the diagnosis, she was pretty shy and quiet in pre-school. She is the exact opposite of shy and quiet now.

I am really curious how much is drug-induced, if any, and how much was just borne from necessity for her to deal with everything happening to her. It's an intruiging, but really sad, concept.

And, really, I think that's one of the worst parts, for me, is managing the "what-if's" that come to mind. Who would she be, if the last 2+ years hadn't happened?

I guess it doesn't really matter, but I'm curious sometimes.

I know I'm behind on the Team Gab Virtual Race Giveaways - I meant to do them this week, but ran out of time, but I will work on them this weekend!

But in the meantime, I am still fundraising for Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and would appreciate any donations you might want to give, link HERE.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Leukemia: Thwarting My Fun Since 2011

If we're friends on The Twitter, you probably already caught this....

Gabby was running a temperature last night. She seems to be feeling completely fine, and apparently had all of the nurses laughing while she was being admitted last night at 2am.

If she's cancer free, why the hospital visit over a fever with no other symptoms?

Well... Remember last week, when I babbled about Gabby's surgery to remove her port being postponed? Because of the placement of her port (over her heart, with the tubes leading into the vena cava), it's in an abundance of caution that they immediately admit any kid with a port that is running a fever to make sure they are not fighting an infection. With a fever, she's kept in the hospital for 48 hours.

So, don't fret. No news yet on what's causing the fever, but based on how she's behaving, I'm not super concerned. I understand WHY we have to stay at the hospital, but it's still kind of a hassle.

She is clearly in paradise, with a remote that controls TV, her bed, and the room lights.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Run4Kids 24 Hour & PFTW

From the website: The Run4Kids 24 Hour Ultramarathon, Relay, & BIG Running Party! (R4K24) takes place on a one-half mile loop track at Auburndale Intermediate School in Corona, California. It will run directly in conjunction with our Annual Run4Kids event where our 100 Mile Club® Kids will be running to earn miles throughout the day.

Rose initially wanted to run with a relay team, but she had some trouble rounding up runners - I'm assuming the same weekend as LA Marathon makes this tricky. She reached out to the RD, Kara, she collected the runners who wanted to participate, but didn't have a team, and could only commit to specific blocks of time, and then filled in around them.

And that's how we ended up running as Team Rag Tag...

That's also how I ended up with a 4 hour block of running from 10pm-2am.

The event was really fun, and the 100 Miles Club is a fantastic organization - the kids were SO jazzed about running and counting up their mileage.

If I were looking for a timed ultra (........), this is an excellent choice. The course was a half mile loop, mostly packed dirt, and FLAT. The weather was kind of warm during the day, but only really HOT for a few hours. The rest of the day was comfortable, and cool overnight. Course support was fantastic, there was plenty of food to choose from, and bathroom access.

The half mile distance is pretty nice - it's just long enough to make some headway in your mileage, I think, but not so long that it feels insurmountable when you're tired.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
hour 18.....
There were a variety of food vendors out throughout the day....
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Note: 4 hours is NOT ENOUGH TIME to digest this. It was a really, really poor fueling choice on my part.
It was a great day, it was a fun way to get my mileage in, and everyone there was so, so nice and friendly. It's such a different vibe from road racing, and I really like it.

Despite this.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Thanks to Rose for letting me on her team!!

Plan for the week!

Last week, hold on to your hats, I ACTUALLY DID STUFF.

Monday: 30 minutes yoga, leg strength
Tuesday: 3.5 with a friend (no Garmin, so no time, just an easy pace)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 7 miles  - 2 at "eh, am I REALLY going to do this?" + 5 easy
Friday: 30 minutes yoga, easy flow
Saturday/Sunday: 3.5 am miles with PCRF, easy pace. 4 afternoon miles at R4K, easy pace. 15 overnight miles, easy pace. 5 miles walking. (Total for Saturday-2am Sunday = 27.5).

Weekly total = 33 running, 5 walking.

Not too shabby. I still don't know that I'd say my excitement for running is back - in fact, I'm really 1. dreading running a full marathon in just 6 weeks, and 2. Really excited for no marathons on my calendar after that.

This week:

Monday: easy yoga (I am TIGHT and ACHY)
Tuesday: 7 miles
Wednesday: Track Party?, yoga, strength
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: rest?
Saturday: 20 miles
Sunday: 3-4 easy/yoga

It's pretty yoga heavy around here lately, and I'm not sure why... I'm just really enjoying it recently, so I figure I should keep doing it?

Don't forget March is PCRF month for BIC Bands!! Have you ordered any yet??

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I have completely, totally, 100% lost my running mojo. It's GONE. GONE GONE GONE. I managed one lame-o 3.5 mile run the other day with a friend, and that was just about all I felt like doing. I meant to run last night, and didn't. I have my running stuff with me today, so maaaaaaybe? Bah.

Sure hope I re-find my mojo for this weekend. Sorry in advance, Rose.

2. I bet I seem pretty mellow for someone whose daughter is going in for surgery today, eh? (if you have no idea what I'm saying, Gabby was scheduled for her port removal today). Last week when we got the call to stop treatment, they noted that her bilirubin levels were high. They wanted to re-draw labs on Monday, just to make sure she rebounded before sending her under the knife.

Well, she didn't rebound - her bilirubin was still high, and additionally, her ANC is pretty low - this measures a type of white blood cells in her system, and determines, basically, her ability to fight off infection (one of the side effects of chemo is a depressed immune system). When she was first diagnosed, her ANC had to be above 750 to even release her from the hospital.

Monday, it was 550ish.

Sooooo, we're back on hold for awhile. Instead of once a month, she'll have labs drawn weekly for the next few weeks to see how she's doing.

Guess it's a good thing I didn't plan a Port Removal Party?

3. Check out these cupcakes:


There were also chocolate stegasaurus domes that I somehow missed a picture of, but they were hilarious.
When I was party planning, I knew I wouldn't have the time to mess with desserts. I love to bake, but since I declared this the party where I DO ALL THE CRAFT THINGS, I just wouldn't have time. So, I decided to outsource. I hunted around on Yelp, and found Rooney Girl Bake Shop. I reached out to Maria, asking if she would consider a discount for the fundraising event/party, and she - far beyond my expectations - offered to donate four dozen cupcakes for the event.

Maria, the owner, was exceptional to work with - I am pretty party-planning illiterate, and only managed to explain that Gabby likes dinosaurs, and purple. And from that, she developed the designs above.
In addition to being the cutest things EVER, they are the BEST cupcakes I've ever eaten.
The cupcakes are really well priced, and better than any of the other gourmet cupcakes I've tried (and I try a LOT of cupcakes - remember in January I went to Disney World and did Tour de Cupcake? THESE WERE EVEN BETTER).

If you're in SoCal and looking for something for an event, I cannot reccomend Rooney Girl enough. You can find her website and ordering/pricing info HERE - she even delivers in LA and OC. She also has an etsy shop with amazing decorations that you can order, and have shipped. Check that out HERE.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Plan for the Week

In case you missed it..... this is the best blog post I've ever gotten to write, ever.


Last week, I spent a LOT of time doing prep for the Team Gab (not) Virtual Race/Gab's End of Chemo Party. A LOT of time. A LOT. I've never been one to throw a party, but the internet makes party-throwing look so very easy.

The party was a huge success, and I'll recap that separately, because that isht is full of pinterest-worthy ideas, should you ever feel the need to throw a Dinosaur themed party.

Last week...
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 7 miles, 7x800 - awful.
Wednesday: nothing
Thursday: 15 minutes core, 15 minutes sun salutations
Friday: frantic party organizing
Saturday: more partying
Sunday: rest.

I know. Pretty heavy on the "rest", and awfully light on the "running", particularly since I'm 47 days from Eugene?

You can only go up from 7 miles a week, right?

Monday: 30 minutes yoga
Tuesday: 7 miles, with RIDICULOUS CRAZY FAST 800's. I might die dead.
Wednesday: Track Party with PCRF
Thursday: 8 easy (if possible, Gab's port removal is scheduled for this day)
Friday: rest up, because tomorrow....
Saturday: SURPRISE! 24 hour relay. Oops.
Sunday: rest.

Provided all goes well with Gab's surgery on Thursday (and it seems like it's very routine and will not be a big deal at all), I'm running a 24 hour relay for run4kids with Rose. The weather looks hooooot hot hot, but any excuse to hang out with Rose is a good one.

It's as if I'm ignoring the upcoming marathon...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

From small beginnings come great things.

I have been staring at this blank blog post for hours, trying to come up with the words that could describe the last few days. Or the last few years.

I don't think there are any words, truly, but hopefully these will suffice for now.

Gabby was sleepy and blah last week. Similarly to two years ago, she was extra lethargic and cranky. We made an appointment for her to get blood work done on Friday, just in case.

Friday afternoon, the oncologist called me, and said Gabby's bilirubin levels were high, but it could be caused by the chemo.

"So, go ahead and stop the chemo. Yeah. So... you're done."

And that was it.

Otherwise, Gabby's blood work was normal, and... she's cancer free.

797 days of leukemia, over, in one phone call. Seems so anti-climatic.

It doesn't escape me, how incredibly lucky we are.

Yes, it was terrifying, and humbling, and every little ailment for her was blown out of proportion in our minds.  We spent more time cleaning up puke than I care to remember. We watched our other children struggle under the pressure or lack of focus from us. We fought to maintain some normalcy under some crappy circumstances.

But compared to so many other kids in her position, we had it easy. She never needed to be hospitalized after the initial diagnosis. She started school. She was free to go out and live her life.

Going forward, she'll still go to clinic once a month for blood work for the first year, then every other month for the second year, etc. She is scheduled for surgery next week to remove her port.

I wonder, sometimes, how much of this she'll remember. Obviously I'm hopeful that this is the end of the story, and she goes on to live a healthy, vibrant life, the chances are good that she'll experience some long-term effects. That's not pessimism, it's just the reality of the treatments she received. But if she does remember, I hope we've made the experience something she can draw something good from later.

That's a wrap, friends.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. My house looks ilke a craft store exploded in it. So much glitter. So many scissors. Did you KNOW there are a billion types of glue???? I had no idea.

2. I guess I'm practically famous. Or I have pretty famous internet friends.
If I'd know it was emailing out to the Road Runner Sports mailing list, I would have done something to that mess of hair on my head.....

3. I'm featured on the San Francisco Marathon blog today! I know you're dying to figure out how I fit in event planning, working full time, training, kids, a husband, and eating everything, right? Check it out HERE.

BONUS 4. Have you entered the Team Gab Virtual Race yet?? Click here to enter!

Obviously, I have a personal connection that was the catalyst for my fundraising for pediatric cancer research. But, if you have some time, check out this article: Little patients, losing patience: pediatric cancer drug development. I promise that it's not a clinical type of read, but it certainly puts, in normal people words, the reasons that pediatric cancer research is struggling.

Starting with, "Cancer in kids is not profitable".

Monday, March 4, 2013

Plan for the week

Have you entered the Team Gab Virtual Race?? Prizes from Nuun, Aspaeris, PROCompression, Team Sparkle, BIC Bands, and Allied Medal Hangers, plus the warm fuzzies you get from supporting a great cause, like pediatric cancer research! Click HERE to enter.


Last week:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 7 miles, with 3x1600 @ 9:00 (actual, 9:09, 9:02, 8:57)
Wednesday: track time!*
Thursday: 7 miles easy
Friday: rest
Saturday: 4 miles easy with PCRF, yoga**
Sunday: 18 miles***

*While I was at the track with the PCRF coaches (and one other participant, so it was really like some great one-on-one coaching), I was thinking that none of it FELT particularly hard. I changed my mind later that day, when my muscles were dying from exhaustion. I would LIKE to go again this week, but it's kind of a hassle for me to do it - the drive, the dark, the cold, the early, etc. 

**I was supposed to do my long run Saturday, and build it into my PCRF run. BUT, since we've just started training with PCRF, our mileage this week was pretty low (5 miles for the half marathon group), so I'd have to run 13 miles before I even got there - putting me out on the streets at 5: 15am. The alarm went off, and I immediately made the decision to push the run to Sunday. EXCELLENT call, because I was achy, fatigued, and generally TIRED during those 4 miles. And it was a billion degrees.

30 minutes of yoga and some foam rolling that afternoon cured me up good, though, because....

***Sunday's 18 was GLORIOUS. Really, one of the best training runs I can remember in a long time. Finally.

Plan for this week:
Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: 7 miles, 7x800 (BLAH)
Wednesday: Track?
Thursday: 7 easy
Friday: rest
Saturday: does hosting a party count as cross training??? Because it should.
Sunday: 14 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Five

1. #TeamGab not-so-Virtual Race planning has taken over my life. I am carrying around table plans, and shopping lists, and to-do lists, and I googled a T-Rex stencil this morning. I barely even recognize myself.

(You can check out the SoCal fun run/picnic HERE. Have you registered for the Virtual Race? You can do that, HERE.)

2. BIC Bands has been an amazing partner in my fundraising for PCRF, and I'm excited to partner up with them again for March, in celebration of Gabby being cancer free (in 8 days, not that I'm counting)! You can shop online here, and BIC Bands will donate $1 of every band sold to PCRF and Team Gab.

All purple bands on sale for March (purple is Gabby's favorite), and they've got some great new bands available - the purple chevron print is making it's way to my shopping cart ASAP. I've also been using their new sparkle hair ties a ton lately, and they are phenomenal. They don't budge. At all. 

3. I've been working on convincing The H to take a trip together this summer. We're considering sending the kids to Florida, which would give us an opportunity to... vacation. Together. As grown ups. Without characters. Plus, our 15th anniversary is this summer, which sounds like as good a reason as any. 

I tried convincing him we should buy a Tahiti Groupon deal I saw, but that got shot down fast. Rude.

Any suggestions?

4. I've added a page ^^ up there, with a list of races on my List. For me, traveling for a race is a big deal - it takes time away from my kids, from work, the H, costs a lot, etc etc. Hopefully this list will help me curb some of the questionable race envy that pulls me into registering for races due to peer pressure? 


5. Can we talk about this new "food" at McDonalds?
 Fish McBites. What. 

I mean. I'm certainly not above McDonalds. Their fries are salty, delicious, and perfect. And the sweet tea is glorious. And only $1! 

But Fish. McBites. What. 



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