02 December 2014

#GivingTuesday - why I support DONNA

As you know, I'm a 2015 ambassador for the 26.2 with Donna race in Jacksonville Beach, FL.  I was first introduced to this race by my #CorralG sister, Social Media Specialist for the race, Marcia Barton.  She is PASSIONATE about her hometown race, and a fabulous ambassador for the race.  But it was in reading Donna Deegan's book this weekend that I really came to know and love the namesake of the race and get fired up about fundraising again for DONNA.

Through Rose Colored Glasses: A Marathon from Fear to Love is Donna's second book about her third - yes, THIRD - bout with breast cancer.  Donna Deegan was a local news anchor in Jacksonville who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999.  Before being diagnosed a third time in 2007, Donna and her oncologist, Dr. Edith Perez, hatched a plan to create the nation's first marathon solely dedicated to breast cancer.  100% of proceeds go to the cause - 70% to research done at Mayo Clinic under Dr. Perez's brilliant direction, and 30% to supporting local women undergoing treatment.  Donna's second book chronicles her struggle with being diagnosed a third time while planning the inaugural event.  It also shows how she incorporated meditation and alternative medicine to help shift her perspective on cancer and life in general.

Since it's inception, 26.2 with Donna in partnership with the DONNA Foundation has raised over $3.5 million to help finish breast cancer.  I loved how Donna explained the shift in her mindset and in the focus of the race from fighting to finishing.  In her own experiences, she realized that living with the fight mentality made living with cancer grueling.  She also recalls losing a dear friend to cancer, and finally feeling fed up with the fighting mentality.  A few weeks later at a board meeting for the race, Donna proclaimed that it was time to start talking about "finishing breast cancer" - not fighting it.  The idea of being part of an organization that is honestly working to finish breast cancer - donating such a significant portion of proceeds to research with the nation's leading team in the field as well as helping patients live their lives while undergoing treatment - is an honor and a blessing.

As I mentioned in my first post about becoming an ambassador I, like Marcia, like Donna, wholeheartedly believe that Dr. Perez and her team, with the support of the DONNA Foundation and the 26.2 with Donna race, will find a cure and finish breast cancer IN OUR LIFETIME!  And the hopeful part of this for me is that this research will unlock our ability to finish all cancers.  This is a cause I am passionate about too.  And I ask you, on this #GivingTuesday, to consider making a donation and helping us, as a team, #BeTheFinish.



For more information on 26.2 with Donna, visit www.breastcancermarathon.com.  Interested in joining us?  Use my ambassador code, "AmbLove15" for $10 OFF - and don't forget to tell them Katie sent you.
For more information on Dr. Perez and her work at Mayo, check out this bio.

06 October 2014

DONNA Ambassador - finish Breast Cancer with me!

I am so honored to be one of the chosen ambassadors for the 26.2 with Donna the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.  I'm still debating whether I'll run 13.1 or 26.2 - waiting to hear about a couple other possible marathons in that same time frame and don't want to over do it.  But I am also looking forward to riding 52.4 miles for the DONNA bike next month, hopefully with my dad and brother.

As it is October (where has this year gone!) already, it's time to pull out all the pink and start focusing on breast cancer.  At least that's what they tell us.  I read a great blog post this morning from my friend Megan at elbowglitter about where we should really be focusing our efforts.  Take a moment to go read it and let her know that you think she's AWESOME!

She's right though - October shouldn't just be about raising awareness or telling the positive stories.  Fighting cancer is TOUGH.  There's nothing pretty about mastectomies and full hysterectomies.  And the face of breast cancer isn't just women - this is a disease that effects men too, albeit in much smaller percentages.  But I know a man battling breast cancer for the second time - and it's spread beyond just the breast tissue.  My aunt is a survivor.  Cancer in general is so prevalent in our society and it's scary.  My own family history led me to take the BRCA-1 gene test to find out my genetic pre-disposition for the disease.  Luckily it came back negative.  But that doesn't mean I'm free and clear from ever developing cancer.

And that's why, for the second year in a row, I am supporting DONNA.  Last year I raised $500 for the cause, and my goal this year as an ambassador is to double that support.  Why did I choose DONNA?  Sure, my first reason was "I know people" but really - when you learn about DONNA, this is the only breast cancer race to fully donate it's proceeds to cancer research and support women receiving treatment.  The research being done at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville is leading the field to finish breast cancer.  Dr. Perez and her team are doing some amazing things, and being able to support their research is truly an important way to help lead to unlocking the key to finishing all kinds of cancer.

I hope that you will consider supporting my efforts this year - not for me, but for the people fighting cancer on all fronts.  Men and women of all ages, affected by this horrible disease that is eating at their lives.  I want to run and bike with DONNA this year to finish breast cancer and support the amazing work of this great cause.  Will you join me?

To donate, please visit my page.

18 August 2014

Checking in #Accountability

So, a couple weeks ago I set out some goals for August.  I intended to post weekly with check-ins on where I am, but last week was a Sunday full of work, from 9am to 7pm, at four different job locations, plus working at home in the evening as well.  Needless to say, I didn't get a post up.  But I did try to stick to my #accountability Instagram posts, and getting back to goal.  Here's a check up on the last couple of weeks:

Sunday, August 10
weight: 149.4 lbs
days run this week: 3 days
     2.5 miles on August 6 - done in the morning. tried to make it to speed work, but couldn't get there in time, so just did my own miles. Had to get it in early before I headed down to my parents' after work
     2.5 miles on August 8 - done at my parents, down near Hilton Head.  The weather was sticky and I should have gotten out earlier, but I got it done.
     6 miles on August 9 - done after work. would have liked to have tried to go a little farther, but a storm was rolling in and I made it back just in time.
days strength trained this week: 1 day
     Barre3 on Sunday night (technically last week, but since it was the beginning... I'm counting it)
     I took my stuff with me to my parents to get in a second Barre3 session, but wasn't able to fit it in.  And the weekend was too exhausting to get in another.
days food tracked: 5 days
    I did really good tracking while I was home, but gave up tracking while I was traveling.

I did have to travel this week, which threw some things off.  A very close friend of the family passed away after battling cancer, and my siblings and I drove down to our parents' on Wednesday, went to the service on Thursday, and headed back on Friday.  I tried to fly home for work on Friday, but got stuck at the airport and ended up eating crap (the Savannah airport is SOOO small), and then got picked up by my brother and sister and driving home anyway.  But I tried to get back on track when I got home.

With Sunday being as crazy as it was I didn't do a great job planning for this week...



Sunday, August 17
weight: 149.4 lbs
days run this week: 3 days
     2.5 miles on August 13 - another morning run, another attempt at speed work, but also realizing my hip is still feeling off, didn't want to push it
     4 miles on August 14 - got a chance to run with our Thursday night run group.  took it easy, again because of the hip.
     5.3 miles on August 17 - ran after our company picnic, and it was HOT out.  Thankful to coworkers for slowing down and keeping me safe in the dicey neighborhood of Brookhaven (that's a joke for those of you outside the ATL).  Hip still sore, but definitely getting better. Adjustment in the AM
days strength trained this week: 3 days
     Barre3 40 min workout on Monday at home
     Barre3 in-studio class on Friday (1 hr)
     Barre3 10 min restorative stretch session at home on Sunday
days food tracked: 4 days
     I started the week of well, but slacked in actually putting it into MyFitnessPal over the weekend.  I did post a lot of it on Instagram - does that count?  ;)

It's going to be another crazy week with work, but I'm hoping to stick with it, get better not only with tracking food, but actually eating a more balanced and healthy diet.

**Interesting to note that my weight was the same both weeks, but there was definitely some fluctuations throughout... some up and some down.  At least it looks like I maintained when taken at a week's glance...