Sunday, July 22, 2012

St. Jude Chicago To Peoria Run

The 17th annual Chicago to Peoria run was such a life changing event this weekend and now I hold the honor of being a St. Jude runner.

First, let's look at the run by the numbers: the Chicago-Peoria run group raised over $238,000, my team, the Peoria Police raised over $22,000 and as an individual I raised $2535! The run was 160 miles done in 36 hours; I participated 11 of the 41 legs with a total of 31.84 miles ran in 5 hours and 37 minutes and burnt about 3,500 calories.

I'd like to say this adventure began on Friday morning but really it began about a year ago when I saw a posting on facebook about the run and I made the comment "I want to do that". Those five words made a wish into a reality last December when that friend invited me to join his team for the St. Jude Chicago to Peoria run. I began blogging, facebooking and donation seeking in February and continued all through the kick-off of the run. In addition, I spent two of the hottest days of the summer broadcasting from the parking lot of the radio station for 8 hours each day trying to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. During those two days one of my teammates, Tiffany, hung out with me so the $750 we raised I put towards her fundraising goal.

In the past few months I had some pretty amazing experiences from donors and from St. Jude patients and families. The first came from Sgt. Dean Shaffer, he was my first doner and he made his donation while serving in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, a few months later he lost his life serving our country, my very first run on Friday all I did was think about him. Next, I was contacted by Christian who is a St. Jude kid. He shared his story with me and it puts everything into perspective knowing what he has gone through and is still going through today. As tired, hungry and sore that I am today, I know it's not even a smidgen of what Christian has had to bare. I met him again last night with his mom at the telethon and his mom was so adorable thanking me for running and I could really feel the love she has for her son and the pride she had in me for being a St. Jude runner. There are so many people who've touched me in the past few months and simply I cannot name them all and all they have done, otherwise the blog would be a book. My life has forever been changed by this run and I simply cannot wait to do it again next year!
This is Christian and I at the telethon!

Here is one of the pictures Christian drew for me and gave to me last night.

Here's a few other highlights of the Chicago to Peoria Run:

Scariest: About 30 minutes into our drive to Chicago I herd a very loud bang and I thought that something smashed the windshield but we blew a front tire. That police officer mentality took over with our driver Jen and she commanded the RV to the side of the road like it was nothing, the boys jumped out, changed the tire and got us back on the road.
Our AMAZING RV driver Jen

Funniest: At 1:30 am a few of the boys decided to go for an undie-run wearing nothing but their reflective vests and their skives!

Rezac and his speedo!
Memorable: It was a toss-up between running into Roanoke and over the bridge. In Roanoke the towns people just go ALL out for the runners. The EMT and Firefighters meet us outside the city to bring us into town (and then bring us all the way to Peoria), hundreds line the the street and meet us in the park, they provide an AMAZING spread of fruit, veggies, corn on the cob and desserts (all of which are homemade) and then they open up the pool for us to cool off, shower and refresh ourselves before were off to finish the journey. The other is running over the McCluggage bridge!At first it's cool because when can you ever actually run over that bridge to begin with? Then, it's just pure inspiration as you see the river below, the boaters all waiting and waving and then running along Adams and making your way to downtown. You realize that your almost done and it just hit me what I raised, people I've met, how far I've run, plus my boyfriend was waiting for me too!
The runners presenting Roanoke with a gift!

Running the McCluggage bridge!

Hardest: Getting going again and the last mile! You would think it was one of the hilly runs or late night ones or even mid-day. The biggest obstacle was honestly getting up to get ready to run after resting. Yesterday I didn't feel well at all; my body clock was off, diet/nutrition is off and things wern't working how they normally do, I also had a stomach ache, headache, heartburn and ZERO desire to run. However, it never failed, once I got going and running I started to feel GREAT again. Then, the last time! The hardest part of the last mile, as cool as it was, was to just keep going because I've had some painful inflammation in my lower-leg and at this point it was ON FIRE since I had already ran 4.5 miles.
Downtown Peoria and although my smile is big, so was my pain!

Embarrassing: Right where you turn from Jefferson to Kumpf by the Civic Center, I tried to jump the median and instead caught it with my shoe and I-WENT-DOWN in front of alllll the people lined up to Cheer us on. Thankfully I was at the very back of the runners so only a handful of runners saw it. Of course it looked far worse than it really was, I'm kinda clumsy anyway so I did this sweet ass ninja roll thing and hopped right back up and continued running it in. I did suffer one minor injury and that's a scraped up knuckle, which does hurt more than any of my muscles, go figure!
My "war wound"...can you find it?
Peoria Police team on the St. Jude Chicago to Peoria run!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chicago To Peoria St. Jude Run Begins Friday

The annual St. Jude Run is Friday and today I’m beyond excited to announce that because of YOU I have not only reached but surpassed my fundraising goal of $2500!!!

Over the weekend the band Betrayal From Within accepted donations at the Local Anesthetic Showcase at the HOI Fair on behalf of the Chicago to Peoria run and also donated the proceeds from the merchandise sales. I love the amount that they raised…$105! Thank You! Then, after teaching my RPM class this morning at the Riverplex, one of my students asked how much I had left to raise. I told her I had $110 left to get me to goal, her reply was “OK then, consider your goal reached!” and she handed me a check for that amount. Plus, another student gave me all the cash from his wallet, so I’m sitting beautifully at $2516!

I can’t say it enough, THANK YOU!

Even though I’m at my goal, don’t let that stop you from donating, it’s super easy to do and it all goes to helping the kids. Simply go to my donation page, click the “donate now” and make your contribution. Since the run is on Friday I can no longer accept check donations, if you can’t make one online you can drop a cash donation at the radio station and I’ll make the donation in your name.

I’d also like to thank the following people for their donation: Deano S., Bry S., Melinda D., Scott & Amy, Momma and Papa Kinkade, Diane and Ron B, Karla J., Karen P, Bart and Amy, Kurt and Mary Beth B, Kathryn F., Grandma and Grandpa, Rita F., Jeremy M., Erin O. Lissa C., Luann L. Ashely and John D., Jamelle L., Eric O., Shari M., Dallas C., Jana H., Jim S., Bob S., Deana O., Cassi Z., Kevin N., Andrea K., Craig C., Teresa S., Brad S., Brandon L., Doc Watson, Evan F., Chandra M., Amy F., Greg W., Fred & Minnie N., Tony N., Kev The Flyin Hawaiian, Mike M., Alter Ego Spalon, Allison P., Susie C., Barb J., Sexy Xie Chelsi, Joan W., Brad C., Red P., Ryan Black, Amanda K., Mary U., Dawn B., Barb J., Sexy Xie Liz, Zoe and Emma N., Mike Patton, Betrayal From Within, Megan B., Brent, Tonda B. and countless others who came by the radio station and made a donation, I couldn’t be doing this with your support and donations!!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I know its been a while since I've blogged and I hate it but work makes me blog 12 times a week and I'm so over it because of that. Totally bummer too, I miss my blogger friends. Here's a lil re-cap of what I've been up to...I say quick but how much you want to be it will not be quick?


My last race was on the 4th of July, the Firecracker 5000 and nice 5k in downtown Peoria. I did terrible...really. I had a UTI and have been out of energy and not feeling well since last week plus its like a 100 degrees here and that is in literal terms not my over-hyped terms. So running has be tough. Last year I got 2nd in my age group in this race, just seconds from 1st, this year I got like 8th place and although there were some tough runners, my time was over 2 minutes off my best 5k. Plus I had my first throw up race. As soon as I crossed the finish line I started dry heaving and I know if I HAD something in my stomach it would have come up, so gross. It took me 45 minutes of laying on the sidewalk, in the shad with  my wonderful boyfriend pouring water on me, to recover. I still feel lousy today however that could be because I did the A.M. shift today.

Steamboat Classic-Didn't hit my goal here's my recap and photos.
Tremont Turkey Fest 5k-not my best, not my worst, 1st place in my age division and only because I sprinted and twisted myself through bodies. Here's that recap.

Steamboat Classic 4 mile race, that's me right there in front in the orange, thanks Journal Star!


I'm not training for anything at the moment but I do have TWO half marathons coming up in the fall and I'll become a Rock N Roll Heavy Medaler because of them. First is St. Louis on Oct. 21, this is just a warm up and for fun race, I don't have any expectations because we're going to the Blues game the night before. Second, is the one I'll be training for and it's also a vacation and visit to see my parents, that's the San Antonio 1/2 on Nov. 11th. I start training sometime in August for that and am still looking for a training plan, my goal/wish is to finish under 1:55.


Last Thursday/Friday I did a all day long broadcast in our parking lot to raise money for the St. Jude Chicago to Peoria run in just 2 weeks. Did very well, raised nearly $740 and put myself just $360 shy of making my fundraising goal. So if you want to donate here's the link! It's estimated I'll run 30-40 miles in the 36 hour relay run. However, I think the reason I'm not feeling well is because of the heat. I haven't felt 100% since the broadcast last week. It has me a bit worried how this run will affect me as its done 24-7 and lets face it, its July and it has been a very HOT summer thus far. The one thing I'm hoping will help me is that we are required to run a slower pace at 10 minute miles. Then again when your used to running faster, that could physically take a toll on me. Wish me luck, better yet, make a donation!

Tiffany and I collecting donations for the St. Jude Run

Plan for now:

I've been having some pain in my lower leg so for the next week or so I plan to just lay low. I have one more race tomorrow and yeah I'm worried about that one too. However, its only ONE mile and its all pretty much downhill and from what I hear the crowd is off the charts insanely awesome.

How's life and running treating you?