What a release!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Breaking Through Walls... The Race Re-Cap

Many of you know that I had my "little race" this past weekend.  I packed up my family and we drove to San Diego for race/vacation.  It was amazing to have David and the boys with me - they have each made sacrifices so that I could take this journey and have been my biggest coaches, encouragers and fans!

We promptly arrived and hit the beach... The boys first time, and they had a blast!

We also hit the race expo....
and met my fabulous Team Shrinking Jeans - well, met in real life that is... We already know each other and likely know more about each other than many friend do, so it was like a reunion of sorts...
Here we are together at the Inspiration Dinner, along with our amazing Coach Joe.
We had many moments to be reminded of the TRUE reasons we chose to participate with Team in Training.  We reflected on the fact that we each raised over $2900 individually and more than $43,000 as a TEAM to fight blood cancers.  This took my work as an oncology nurse to new heights and gave me another tangible way to affect my precious patients and their courageous families.  It was especially exciting to hear that Team in Training raised over
12 million dollars 
for LLS for this event alone!  
Race day came VERY early - 4:15am in the lobby of the Hilton early!  Here are a couple of pics from the lobby abuzz with excitement and LOTS of coffee. 
Top - Having a little breakfast; Second - Team Shrinking Jeans + Husbands; Third - Melissa and I: Fourth - Jessica and I; Bottom - The whole Virtual TnT Team

We shuttled to the start line, took the chance to experience the joy of the porta-potty, checked our bags and anxiously waited for our corral to start - being that I was in corral 36, I waited awhile.
Lisa and I getting ready to check our bags at the UPS trucks...

Christie in her beautiful tutu, Heather and Christy - just off the bus ready to start...
   Here is what the start looked like...
The energy was crazy!  So very exciting!  Here is a great video of the course -  It was a beautiful course, but very different than I had imagined.  One very large hill, but lots of "up and down" and because we ran on the freeway for awhile, the surface was slanted... How do you train for that?  I started out and had a difficult first couple of miles - my shins were on fire... I think because of all of the waiting at the starting line, but then one of my "theme songs" (Britt Nicole -Walk on the Water) came on and I saw my favorite sign of the whole course that read "Its not sweat, its your fat cells weeping..."and before I knew it, the burning subsided.  I found my groove and just did what I have been training to do... run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes, hydrate, gu pack, rock to the music... AND enjoy the moment, the scenery, the crowds, the sea of purple TnT jerseys, the cheering and the sheer accomplishment of what I was undertaking. 

This was an inspiring moment... Running by the posters of all of our honored teammates and all of the loved ones we were running for...

Going through Balboa Park was the highlight for me - It was beautiful, pretty shaded and after the park came the big hill, which was tough to go up, but going down was the best mile of the race for me - I ran the whole mile and ran the fastest mile I have ever run in just over 12 minutes.  I got to see David, the boys and my parents at mile 8 and mile 10.  Here are a couple of the pics David took...
I think I was wondering just how crazy I was for doing this in the first picture.  This picture above shows my honored teammates - the people I was running for... Clockwise from top... "In memory - Colten - Little Man"; "In honor - Dominie, In Memory - Rowan"; "In honor and memory of all of the cancer warriors at Cardon Childrens"; "In honor - Alex Arndt"  They were all with me, every mile of the journey - inspiring me, motivating me and challenging me!

Miles 9-11 were pretty warm - sun out and inland enough that there wasn't much of a breeze - They were difficult miles that included much more walking than running.  Then came the home stretch and I realized that I was really doing this, I was really about to come to the end of my first HALF MARATHON... I was really about to break through walls in my life that had far deeper implications than just finishing a race.  I felt the ocean breeze hitting my face and reaching into my soul.  I listened to all of the songs that keep me moving.  
I felt every part of my body and every step I took... 
I felt ALIVE... 
I felt HEALTHY... 
I felt POWERFUL... 
I felt STRONG and 
 I came over the bridge and around the corner towards mile marker 13 and I picked up my pace to an all out sprint... A strong, confident, graceful, intense and fast sprint... Past David, the boys and my parents and down the home stretch over the finish line with hands held high, I crossed over to the other side - The walls came crumbling down and I was still standing with my hands in the air ON THE OTHER SIDE.  

This was so much more than training for a race.  This was symbolic of so many things for me.  Becoming a runner and challenging my body to new heights has given me the evidence to prove that I am capable of so much more than what I have been settling for in terms of my physical health.  I have released nearly 20 pounds, I have become obsessed with running gear, I have broken my sugar addiction, I have "put it all out there" and allowed myself to be supported by a team and to support them in return and more than anything, I have become a much healthier me.  Many walls have crumbled before me... The sky is officially the limit!

Here are a few pics from the home stretch and the finish line.

Before I bring this post to a close, I have to mention some women and their amazing community... Five of whom were on Team Shrinking Jeans... 
 These are the women who have helped me in ways they will never fully be aware... I found the Sisterhood about a year ago and immediately loved what they had created.  Being as busy as I am, it has given me a way to belong to a community and benefit from accountability, challenges, new information and most importantly friendship without having to attend weekly meetings or put something new into my schedule.  I jumped on the opportunity to train for this race when they announced they would be doing it, because I had come to know, trust and feel bonded to these gals.  For the first time in more than three years, I feel like I have my life back... I feel like I am on a healthy path... I feel like I have finally figured out what will work in my journey to release this weight... I feel alive and strong!  So thank you, from the bottom of my heart... Thank you for helping me get my life back and for welcoming me as a part of the team and for challenging me when I needed a kick in the pants and following it up with powerful words of encouragement that have helped me believe in my own strength, worth and ability.  Love you all!

So, here I sit... incredibly proud of where I am.  A bit sore and weary.  A bit lost, now that it is complete.  Nevertheless, I am ready to take on another race.  So my next goal... The Women's Half Marathon in Scottsdale on November 7th.  I can't wait to compare my pictures and my times...


  1. Tiffany, I am so proud of you for running this race. So honored to know you and know how much your daily life is affected by cancer. I am so happy that you found the Sisterhood and jumped on this crazy bandwagon. Love you!

  2. I am so proud of you!!! Just started running myself and you are inspiring! And what a great cause that you contributed to! W-O-W!

  3. Awesome Miss Tiffany!!! You rock girl!
    Kristi :)

  4. You have me totally bawling here. You are AMAZING and have come SO FAR and I could not be more proud of you! I am so glad we all shared this journey together! LOVE YOU!

  5. I thought I'd got all my crying out this weekend! You are so amazing and I'm so proud of you. The sky is the limit, girl!

  6. Okay, cue the tears... It was so great to meet you and spend time with you over the weekend. I'm so proud of you for doing this! You are awesome!

  7. Tiffany, you made me cry.

    I love you and truly do think we are sisters. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you in person, talking and yes, even crying. Thank YOU for hanging back with me and my stupid hip. YOU, my friend, are more awesome than you think you are. The sky IS the limit- now take off and fly off- you can DO whatever you set your mind to.


  8. You're amazing! And how did I not know about your blog before today???

  9. I am so proud of you and am thankful to have such a wonderful sister like you. Thank you for sharing your jorney with us!!

  10. Tiffany - you are AMAZING! I love you and all the nurses at Cardon's! The Cures rock! team talks about ya'll all the time -- I am so sorry we didn't meet up! Alas, I was running the full marathon...and it took me forever to complete in the heat. But, I did hear TNT make the announcement about Team Shrinking Jeans...so I know we were at the same TNT party! Wish I had realized that so we could have connected!! We WILL meet someday -- and most likely, based on your rockstar running status, Ms. Endurance Athlete....we'll meet at a race!! :) CONGRATS!!!!

  11. Hi Tiffany - way to go, half-marathoner. Thanks for doing Team in Training. Sounds like it was an amazing experience for you. I did San Diego in 2006 (my second event for TNT) and remember those cambered highways well. Also thanks for all you do as an oncology nurse. For anyone going through chemo or other treatements for cancers, you all are viewed as angels, believe me! Good luck with everything. Art