Monday, July 26, 2010

the good old days

Here's me and my mom, in 2006 during the 3-day.  I don't think I was quite at my highest weight yet, but it was pretty close.  I'm so proud of the woman that I was... taking on something huge like the 3-day at over 250 lbs.  I'm not sure I'd ever take that on again.... one day, fine...but 3 in a row?!  My feet were blistered up good despite every precaution imaginable.

Cheering on "old friends"

3-Day walkers on the road to a cancer cure (with video) - Waltham, MA - The Daily News Tribune

 I'm sure I did not know any of the walkers I saw.  It didn't matter, it never will - they will still be my sisters and brothers.

So the Breast Cancer 3 day came through my town this past weekend.  I went out Friday afternoon to cheer some walkers while they walked on a path that did not have them visible to cars.  I knew it would be a good place to cheer, because what keeps you going on those 60 miles is, to some degree, the knowledge that you are being seen, and are showing the world what you are willing to do to stomp out Breast Cancer.

I sat out for a while, watching groups of 2, 3, 4, 10, some solo walkers, old, young, men, women, all kinds of people walk along this river path.  I clapped, I told them "looking good" and "half mile to the pit stop" and most of all "thank you for walking!".

I had goosebumps that afternoon in the 90 degree heat.  I have them now in my office as I type.  It's such a deep thing to push yourself to the limit, to finish what you start, to try something that you didn't think you could do.  This event signifies a lot of different things to each participant, that's the only thing I know for sure.  It's emotional and exhausting and exhilarating, all at once.

I wish I could have stayed all day, thanked and congratulated each and every walker....whether they know it or not, they are heroes, they are admirable, and they are athletes.

In September I will join some fellow athletes (I wonder if they know they are athletes), friends I met through having my surgery, and we will take on the Boston Marathon route to raise money for the Jimmy Fund.  We discussed yesterday that when we finish the 26.2 miles (and a few of us are VERY determined to complete this) will we be "marathoners"?  We're not running (in fact, it's not allowed in this event), but we are doing the distance.  My answer?  "HELL YEAH".  I'm a half marathoner (thankuverymuch) - and no one tells me that because I walked a few hundred yards of that race that I'm NOT a half marathoner.  It's about the distance, yes?

So here's looking at you, Marathon.  I'm coming for you!

And if you'd like to donate, click HERE.  I need to raise $250 in order to participate!  It's for the KIDS!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thank you, Garmin!

So, I've used my new running technology a whole 3 times now:  one walk, one run, and one workout of interval running.  I can now operate it better than I can operate the silly, simple digital wrist watch I've had for a year.  Apparently, I can only do complicated.

Here's my take on this fine piece of technology:  OMG!!!!!!!!!!!  I learned more about walking in my first walk with this thing than I did in my first 36 years!  It was really cool to walk along thinking about how fast I thought I was going, and then to look down and see if I was right or wrong.  After 4 miles I was really getting a good feel for what each pace FELT like.  Previously, I only got that kind of feedback on a treadmill, but it's so fake there, cuz the machine is set to make you go that pace.  Anyway, I loved that part.

I took it on a 3 mile run the other night, which was also enlightening, much in the same way.  it's just harder to stare at the display when you are running.  :) 

Then, yesterday I had a 5 X 400m interval workout scheduled.  My Forerunner can help me with that too!  I can actually program it to BEEP at me when I've run the 400m, it gives me a 2 minute rest, and then BEEPS me back into the next 400, and repeat until I've done the whole workout!  Now, I did this on a track, so I didn't need the 400m measurement, but it was still nice to have and not to think. 

I'm really glad I purchased this.  It's brought some life and excitement back to running, which is good.  As much as I love what it does FOR me, sometimes running (especially in the summer) gets old, stale, boring, hard, unpleasant.  I'm also glad I waited a while to get it.  I have a base of knowledge about myself and my running/walking.  This will help me build on it.  i already know what pace I run a 5K and a Half - so this will help me understand if I start fast (too fast?), where my "peak" is... and hopefully help me push myself to reach new goals.

For those interested in what this baby looks like, here is a pic of the Forerunner next to my trusty watch. Yes, it's significantly larger....but not cumbersome at all. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Technology on the run!

I've been wanting this new toy for a long time.  I've investigated all kinds of pedometer, calorie counters, heart rate monitors... any and every kind of technology you can carry with you on a workout.  Even tried a few APPs on my phone that didn't work out so well. 

I finally bit the bullet and spent some money on what I hope turns out to be a worthwhile investment.  It arrives tomorrow, my beautiful new Garmin 205 Forerunner.  What did I do to convince myself I had earned this toy?  (cuz i'm all about earning my treats! - gotta go 5 miles for a proper ice cream cone).  Well, when I finished my half marathon in June I planned on treating myself to something... wasn't sure what though.   I did buy a few running related things, but nothing like the incredible boots I bought myself last November for my 1 year surgiversary

Then this week I was asked to run in the BAA Half Marathon with my "sister", Lisa.  She asked my sister and I to run with her.  My real sister is already booked that weekend, but since I hadn't yet committed to a specific Half this fall, but really kept meaning to, I took this as a sign to GO FOR IT.  I registered us both yesterday morning (good thing, too, cuz it sold out in 2 hours!), and now we are set for October 10th. 

So, my commitment to continued fitness and a motivator to keep moving deserved a technology upgrade.  Usually the most technology I run with is my digital timex watch and my MP3 player.  I'm hoping my garmin will help me work on speed AND endurance, as well as let me be a little more free when I run - it will track my route so I don't have to remember where I turned or anything, I can just go where the spirit moves me.

Oh, and in the meanwhile, I signed up for two walking events this fall too!  I am walking in September the Boston Marathon route to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Institute with some fellow Bariathletes (go team BH20!), and also walking the Walk from Obesity for the Obesity Action Coalition, a great team event that is very personal to me.  I look forward to walking with my friends at these events, and showing the world what we can do when we put our minds to it!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


My experience participating in the Breast Cancer 3-day taught me that I really get energy from people cheering me on. I don't have to know them, just strangers on the street saying "good job" really lifts me up, which, on Day 3 of a 60 mile walk, you need all the lifting and boosting you can get!

After my 10K last week, I had the pleasure of waiting at the finish for my sister and my friend.  Pleasure?  Yes.  I clapped and congratulated a lot of people in that time.  Older people, younger people, active military, experienced runners - whoever!  Anyone that would listen to me say "great job" or "congrats", I said it to (and plenty that were so dazed from their run/finish that didn't hear me).  I saw so many smiles, received more than a few "congrats" in return when they saw that I was not a volunteer, but another finisher.

If you know of an event in your area - whether its a walk, a run, a cycling event - get out and thank people, or encourage them.  Make a sign!  Hand out candy, or spray people with a water gun.  You just showing up outside to recognize the effort people are putting out is SO APPRECIATED.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Harvard Pilgrim 10K race report

Harvard Pilgrim 10K race report

On July 4th, more than 3000 of us gathered outside of Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots to participate in the first running of the Harvard Pilgrim 10K. I have run longer distances, but this was my first actual 10K.

The temperature was pretty high for an 9am start, though I don't know what it was exactly. I got over to the starting line pretty late, so instead of lining up with the 10 min/mile folks, i was in the back with the walkers and everyone else. This works for me, I find it confidence building to start in the back and pass others on my way to the middle.

My sister ran this with me, her first time running more than a 5K. We were together for the first 2 miles, and then I passed someone and she didn't come with me. I had to make two little walking passes for my inhaler at mile 3.75 and mile 5, and thought maybe she'd catch up

The course was mostly flat and through the quaint town of Foxboro, MA. Not a lot of spectators, which bummed me out since I get a lot energy from people, but it was the first time the race was run. It will grow.

The draw to this event was the finish line, which was the 50 yard line inside the stadium. As I turned into the tunnel I realized that I would run onto the field the same way the team does for a game, through a giant blow up helmet. I looked to the woman running next to me and yelled "how awesome is this?!" She smiled and we charged ahead. Then, as a major surprise, I heard them call my name over the stadium's audio, "Sue Doucet, from Waltham". I was so excited that my family, where ever they were, would know to look down and see me running across the field to the finish. I remember waving to the stands as if I had just been crowned Miss America.

After the finish (1:03.26), I waited on the field for my sister, who finished 2 minutes later. We jumped up and down and giggled like little girls. We then waited for a friend of mine, and took some pictures.

Here I am, running across the field:

After some rest

Can you believe one of us used to weigh 272 lbs? I can't!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

She's in here somewhere, right?

I have a race tomorrow.  It's not a long distance for me... it's a 10K, which is what I was easily running on a weekday a few months back.  This should be easy... but I'm PETRIFIED of the weather.  Obviously, it's out of my control.  Obviously, if i need a break, WALK.  I just hate not doing what I set out to do, which is run this sucker.

Today I'm soul searching, and looking for my inner Kenyan.  Somewhere inside, there is a strong gifted woman who can just run.  It's just natural.  She doesn't feel pain, she's not grossed out by the sweat, she just runs swifty, efficiently, and finishes the race.

I hope she doesn't take holidays off, cuz it's Independence Day tomorrow, and I'm going to need her.  She can then have the rest of the summer off!