Sunday, June 28, 2009

My 5K Playlist

I love My 5K Playlist... and... I pretty much depend on it. Starts at 155 bpm so I don't blow the race, and by the end of the race I should be sprinting at 180 bpm.

Well, today, 1o seconds before the race, I pushed my button, and song number one started. But, because I still had some few seconds, I stopped it. When we were set to go and I pushed play the thing didn't do anything. Pushed again, and again and went to another song that is not in the 5K playlist. Great, I was in another playlist. Tried to get over, but... Type A... remember? Therefore, stepped aside of the sidewalk for some seconds (maybe 10?) back to 5K playlist and because the mess up I was already panting.

Oh well. I continued in my well known Lake Washington Boulevard, running good. I was checking my pace from time to time, but knew that I was out of a PR, probably for more than a minute. If I ran the Livestrong Challenge so good and I did 29:35, I thought that I would be close to 30 minutes this time. The order was shut up, run and enjoy an overcast 54F degree race.

And then... when I was about 100 m from the finish line, I saw the clock. It marked 27:55. I told to myself: "Lizzie, get a PR, sprint and get it. " 100m in 25 seconds was in my range. I sprinted with all my heart with a pace for that segment of 6:29min-mile, the necessary pace to get under my PR of 28:22. But, it seems that I was probably farther than 100m. Final time: 28:32. No PR but a wonderful race. I would say... an excellent race. No regrets on stepping aside to fix my Ipod, as my 5K music is definitely vital to me to get a good pace. We don't get PRs all the times because of a variety of reasons. This time I know why, due to my playlist. (My kids would say because of my lack of abilities to play an Ipod while I race)!!!

Time: 28:32 - Division 5/19 - Overall Female 59/250 - Overall 146/429

Great race, a lot of fundraising for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, nice goodies for survivors, and a lot of prizes...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Crushing Cancer With Our Running Shoes

Cancer has won several battles in my family. My dad, my sister Miryam, my fathers-in-law German Moreno and Bill Lee, my political cousin Rafael Ignacio Porras, and the in-laws of my sister Sara, Luisa and Pepe Panero.

Though many more battles will be lost by us, I dream with the day that we'll win the war. The day that research has gotten the clue to eradicate cancer for ever. Today, we in Seattle, raised closed to a million bucks through Lance Armstrong Foundation, racing the Livestrong Challenge, and Crushing Cancer With Our Running Shoes.

Cancer has won many battles, but we'll win the war.
My medal, a yellow rose. I had a great race, no PR, but I ran good!!!

My oncologist, Dr. Saul Rivkin. So fortunate of being in his hands.

In honor of Camila Lashly, 1 yo girl who is fighting like a warrior.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Survivors To The Left

Susan G. Komen, from Illinois, died of breast cancer in 1980 at the age of 36. Her sister, Nancy, promised Susan that she would find a way to speed up breast cancer research and, founded in 1982, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The rest is history, with the foundation raising over $35 million a year.

Last year (this year too), the company where I work (Boeing) pledged $100 for every employee running the race and I became motivated to raise funds for the cause. As I became more aware and touched by the works of the foundation, I joined, I pledged and
I raced, feeling humble while running among hundreds of survivors. Six months later, for my total surprise, I was diagnosed.

This year, it was my story and I ran the race from the other side of the fence.

Dressed in pink, (a lot to say for a black-and-white lady), I joined my adorable son Diego, his fiancee Shelly, and my good friend Emily. I saw my good friend Melinda also in the start line. At 7:45 am we were set to go, and there we went. There were so many people, that I lost sight of my son. Melinda took off very fast, and Emily and I ran together the whole race. Thanks to her I could keep a decent pace. The Alaskan viaduct going uphill didn't look so bad, but when you run it under 8 min/mile, is going to look really bad later, even in the flat portions... The support was great all along the course with cheerleaders singing "Early detection is the best prevention" and "I am the Cure"...

After mile 2 I was panting but, thanks to Emily I still kept a good pace. If I would have been alone, I would have dropped my speed considerably.

Getting close to the finish line was quite a moment. The support to the runners and to the survivors was simply amazing. Just a third of a mile from the end I told Emily "let's sprint", but I think she didn't hear me. I can't describe what I was feeling. I was lost in my thoughts with flashes from last year's race. Today I would cross a different finish line. A sign indicates: "Survivors To The Left". When I heard, "another survivor crossing the line", I cried, and then I saw my son, right there waiting for me, and in an indescribable moment that I will never forget, we hugged each other, like saying, we have come a long way, in such a short time... And a press guy captured the moment. What a gift.

Six months ago, Diego was with me at the doctors' office, hearing those terrible words: You have a malignant tumor. Six months later, everything was happiness, and joy: His mom is a survivor.