Well fair reader, I have been neglecting my blog due to coaching responsibilities, work, training, family, and some fun.
First off, on Memorial Day weekend I was in Austin, TX for the Capitol of Texas Triathlon. I had my 12 participants that I had to see through to the finish line. On Saturday afternoon we got a quick swim in at Barton Springs. The water was nice and cool which was great since it was HOT out and we were all sweating like pigs trying to get our wetsuits on. After getting checked in and meeting up with Johnny Tri who was there doing his first Tri Coach stint with Team in Training, we took a group of our peeps to Chuy's for Tex Mex grub. The special was the same as last year, beef hatch tacos. I was in heaven.
The next morning we were up and out at 6:45 am to get a bike ride in on the course before traffic got hectic. Everyone got to see where the hills were and what kind of gearing they needed. We also stopped for pictures in front of the Texas Capitol. I do these every year and then run to Wal-Mart and develop the pictures and get them into frames for everyone to get at the Inspiration Dinner. I had a quick plate of breakfast tacos with my Mentors, attended the Coach's meeting, and ran my photo and banana/bagel errands for the next day's breakfast for the crew. With just enough time to shower and get cleaned up, it was time for me to head to the Inspiration Dinner.
Our speaker was very powerful. After being involved with Team in Training for over 9 years and personally fundraising and completing 16 events it never fails that I get choked up at the Inspiration Dinner. Our speaker was the father of a 8 year old little boy who had lost his battle with leukemia. His main message to us was that the majority of the people on the street do not know what leukemia and lymphoma are. People who run marathons or do triathlons know that we are the "People in Purple" but they are not really sure what group we represent. His challenge to us was to inform people of who we were and to inform them about what leukemia and lymphoma is and that it is killing children. He said that the public does a great job of supporting organizations that save women's lives from cancer but that leukemia and lymphoma is killing these women's children. Pretty powerful.
Every 4 minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Every 10 minutes someone with a blood cancer looses their battle. Team in Training has passed the 1 Billion dollar mark in fundraising this past December and we support 37 research doctors and 16 research projects just in the Texas Medical Center. There are many others nation wide. 75% of what we fund raise goes to patient aid and research. Other non-profit fundraising organizations cannot claim that. These other organizations spend millions in advertising to get you to buy a product with a certain color lid or box or to wear clothing with a symbol or logo on it so a few pennies can go back to the cause of raising awareness.
I am not putting these organizations down at all. They have been successful at raising people's awareness and have aided patients and their families through information and knowledge. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Team in Training are in the trenches raising money to find a cure or treatments that will improve the lives of blood cancer patients. A CURE...did you hear me? A CURE!
You might have seen a full page ad in Runner's World. Runner's World is one of our supporting partners and they are gracious enough to give us that advertising space. You might have seen the "People in Purple" at the Nike Women's Marathon, a Rock n' Roll marathon, or the Nation's Triathlon. The race directors of these events made a decision that a small part of the registration fee from every participant would go to support Team in Training and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We cannot thank these people enough for their support.
So here is something to think about. Last week it was announced that the Houston Marathon would go to a lottery system of registration. Last year, the full and half marathon sold out in 3 days. Many people that I know are majorly ticked off about this because they feel they won't get a race slot and the slots are not announced until late in the training season. They don't want to train for a race that they might not get into.
I have been telling these people that Team in Training is guaranteed race slots to events like the Houston Marathon, The Marine Corps Marathon, the Nike's Women's Marathon and others. You don't need to enter the lottery! All you need to do is sign up to be a part of Team in Training and fund raise a little money for cancer research. We pay your race registration, give you a cool purple singlet to run in, a cycling kit to ride in, and a wetsuit to do your tri in. We cover travel and transport expenses and provide you with a few meals as well. Top it all off with the fact that you get coaching from certified coaches for a 16-20 week block before the event and we pair you up with a Honored Teammate who is going through treatment or is in remission that you can meet and connect with. (Many of our Honored Teammates actually train and do the events with you!) It is almost like being a sponsored athlete!
And all you have to do is tell people what you are doing, inform them about what leukemia is, and show up to practice.
Ok, I just made you aware!
How can you make a difference?
I have set the lofty goal of raising over $1600 by July 1st and then an additional $1600 by August 1st for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Let's just say that in 2 weeks, I may be a frazzled mess trying to reach that first goal.
You can be a part of my TEAM and help kids like Maddy Batiz who is my Honored Teammate. Maddy just finished her last round of chemo this past March and was able to get her long-line port taken out in May. She is an energetic 12 year old who loves soccer and who is right now at the FIFA World Cup as part of her Make a Wish Foundation wish. You can go to the Coach Liz link and make a donation to help kids and adults like Maddy. No donation is too small. Check to see if your employer has matching gifts. Give up your morning coffee run for a week. Estimate what it costs you to each lunch out for a week and then make a lunch from home and donate the "lunch money". Did you go to the movies lately? How much did it cost? Make a donation to Maddy in the same amount as the cost of the movie tickets and snacks.
If it was your child, niece, nephew, grand child, neighbor's kid, your child's friend, a brother, a sister, a parent, or a close friend, wouldn't you do what you could to help out and make a difference?
The Coach Liz link can make you a part of my TEAM!
Have a great day,
P.S. The Cap Tex event was long on the swim and the run and it was HOT. All my athletes did awesome! Coach was very proud of them.