Training update #1 — KICKOFF!!

February 3, 2007 at 6:44 am | Posted in honoree, My current training, Reasons why I run, Sam Cantin, TNT | 1 Comment

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On Saturday the 27th we had the official start of the training season for Team in Training. It’s called the kickoff, and over 500 people who are training for, or coaching, all of the sports TNT has for this season gets together and gets energized for the cause.

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In the main program, Karen Nelson, the head of the Silicon Valley TNT program, starts off the program talking about how the funds raised will be used. She said there are specific research programs at Stanford that are funded by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (L&LS). Nice to know that funds go directly to research done right here.

Then we heard a keynote speaker, an honoree who tells her story. I’ve done these in years past, and know what an honor they are to do, and how powerful it is to tell people of your story. Remember, while I have been around TNT for many seasons, most of the people participating have no connection to blood cancers, and may never have heard some of these stories. The training programs are so good, that many people sign up and participate just for the opportunity to complete an endurance event. So this kickoff speech is huge motivator.

Carol was a terrific person to accomplish this. In her story, she said she’s unusual, in that she was diagnosed with a chronic form of leukemia, but had never progressed to the point of needing treatment. So she’s been an honoree and a participant, having walked a marathon, rode a century bicycle race, AND completed a sprint distance triathlon. And you’d never ever guess all that from looking at her. She looks like the very friendly lady in front of you at Safeway.

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However, she’s begun to have symptoms, and likely will need to start going through treatment. So she made a tremendous appeal for further research to assist in her recovery. Even more devastating, she mentioned some other honorees who are beginning to lose their battle – one is in Stanford right now, fighting a fungal infection in her lungs. Carol did a tremendous job and was very inspirational. My thoughts are with you through your treatment, Carol…..

Then we broke into specific rooms for our own groups and specific teams. I’m part of the North Peninsula Run Team, which trains for running a marathon in locations just south of San Francisco on the “peninsula.” There we were introduced to the program, our coaches and other volunteer assistants, and the training program.

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But the big motivating thing about the kickoff was not me and my program, but once again being an honoree. An honoree is a patient who works with the team and introduces those who don’t have a connection to one of the blood cancers to the disease and the recovery. That’s what this program is all about. And as I’ve said earlier, this will be a unique (for me) opportunity to be a participant/honoree. I think I’ll be able to make an even more unique impact on the participants, going through what they are going through while introducing them to what I went through. These kickoff programs are motivating for me in normal years; I am REALLY REALLY looking forward to this season.

And so it begins! Yikes!!

The program itself IS kinda daunting. We will slowly build up mileage each week as a group on our long runs on Saturdays, up to a height of 20 miles a couple weeks before the marathon. That will be the highest before the actual marathon (26.3 miles – apparently not running the whole thing is fine). There are lots of parts to the program, but it includes weekly runs and coached track workouts, with lots of clinics and other information about completing the program. I know I can do it, since I’ve seen people in worse shape than I am start and complete a marathon. BUT ME????

 

BUT….

I know there will be a lot of support. The TNT program is great in that we have a whole group of dedicated volunteer coaches, captains, mentors and other great people who will support, encourage and steer me toward the completion of the program. I’ve seen them do it for hundreds of novice runners before me, and they can do it for me.

Here’s one of the big reasons I do this — Carolyn, perhaps the sweetest person I’ve ever met, and a long time volunteer for the cause….

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And Sam. He’s going to be an honoree again this season, so I’ll be glad to have him there.

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  1. […] finally I came to someone I talked about earlier in the blog (see at this link) , Carol. Carol spoke at the initial kickoff to this TNT season, and she’s an honoree this season […]


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