Help Me Change Lives-Run the Nashville Half Marathon!   Leave a comment

 It’s been forever since I’ve written.  This is because I have been busy making awesome changes in my life (and also because I’m lazy and prefer to watch House Hunters than blog).  I now have a new job working for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation as the Team Challenge Coordinator.  That’s what my post is going to center on.

Oh yes, we also run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. What happens in Vegas…Changes lives…and also I’ll probably post all about it in this blog, so check back for juicy updates :)

I know that many of my donations came from this blog and thus I thought it would be important to post about an amazing opportunity my followers have; to run the Nashville Women’s Half Marathon on September 22.  The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation will provide an expenses paid weekend in Nashville, a coach to help you train, a personalized training plan, weekly seminars to make sure you’re prepared, and a life changing experience.  Also, if I may say so myself, the participants, mentors, and employees of Team Challenge are all super awesome, hilarious, and look like models, this is an opportunity you cannot pass up!  

Look how intelligent, good looking, and humorous Team Georgia is. And yes, you absolutely can tell all of that from a picture.

If you know anyone that has this terrible disease you know how everyday is a struggle.  Read my past posts and you’ll see that everyday Crohn’s brings a new challenge. For example, last week I fainted in the bathroom of Hals, a fancy Atlanta restaurant, on my husband’s birthday, while other women kept knocking on the door because they apparently only have one bathroom.  Well played Crohn’s, that was a fun experience.  “Oh I’m sorry I’ve been in the bathroom for the past twenty minutes, I must have not heard you knocking and screaming at the door while I was passed out from pain, my apologies line of angry women!”  Have you ever wondered if there’s anything you can do to help?  This is your answer!  Help friends and family with these diseases by fundraising and running with Team Challenge. 

Don’t we look happy before going to our fancy dinner? I regretted wearing a nice dress immediately when I woke up on the bathroom floor. Next time I’m packing some sweats in my purse for these occasions. I’m sure the angry ladies would have been impressed and much less angry had I come out in a sweet pair of sweat pants at Hal’s.

Still not convinced?  I moved to Atlanta from Chicago after I graduated from college, leaving behind my friends and family.  Being in a new city when you’re married, can’t really go to bars and drink, and worked with people older than myself, makes it hard to make new friends.  My friends were my husband’s friends, which was not an issue, but sometimes I missed having female friends that I had a lot in common with.  Also, once again, I watch too much House Hunters and don’t leave the house enough to meet people :).  Then I started running with Team Challenge.  After the first Saturday run I already had numerous friends and people I could call if I was having a tough day.  They completely understood what I was going through and would call during the week just to check on how I was feeling.  All of the sudden, Atlanta wasn’t so lonely.

Don’t judge me until you’ve watched the show. It’s enthralling!

Or maybe you are just looking for a way to get back in shape.  When I started Team Challenge I was fresh out of two weeks in the hospital.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the group.  I was wrong.  Everyone slowed to my pace to make sure I wasn’t left behind.  Slowly, my speed kept getting faster.  I went from the pace of an injured turtle to the pace of a normal turtle :).  I have ran a half marathon before, but from training with Team Challenge my times are much faster.  I feel much more prepared this time along, and it’s all thanks to the training plan Team Challenge has in place.  Normally during the summer months in Atlanta, I hibernate.  Some people say that people up North gain weight in the winter, well apparently when people from the north move to the south, they gain weight in the summer, probably because I start sweating even when I think about leaving the house.  Not this summer, because I know I have this half I need to be in shape for, I force myself out of bed in the morning, no matter how vulgar my language may be when my alarm goes off, I eventually get out.  Whether you’re a walker or a runner or a mix of both, we have a program for you. 

Fundraising is the easy part.  I hit my fundraising minimum within a few weeks.  Don’t be afraid to sign up because you don’t think you’ll be able to raise the money.  We will help you with ideas, sample letters, and an amazing active.com donation page.  You’ll be shocked at how many people want to help once they hear your reason for running.  Heck, start a blog and write about how terrible you are at running, oh wait most people aren’t nearly as sloth-like in their movements as me… 

Read my past blogs, realize that when I started this was right before I joined Team Challenge.  I was afraid I couldn’t train since I was still so sick.  Writing this now, my whole outlook has changed.  Even when I’m feeling sick there’s always someone willing to run or walk slow with me or point me in the direction of the area’s finest restrooms :).  Please join us, please help change lives, please help change your own!

http://www.ccteamchallenge.org/Teams/Georgia_Chapter.htm 

http://womenshalfmarathon.com/nashville/

Posted May 31, 2012 by eliseleet in Uncategorized

Being Afraid of The Chicago Marathon   2 comments

Well this weekend was a bit of a mixed bag for me.  Friday I was in the hospital getting some delicious IV fluids and a wonderful treatment to kill my immune system.  I hate babying myself so on Saturday I woke up early and met up with my Team Challenge buddies to go for a leisurely 9.5ish mile run along the Hooch’.  It was an absolutely amazing run.  I loved running my with friend Deborah and getting to see all my other team challenge friends.  I made record time and felt great after.  9.5 miles have never felt so good to me.  That is until Sunday.

nothing like some IV fluids to put a huge smile on a girls face :)

Sunday I woke up with my eyes mysteriously swollen shut.  It looked like I had been punched in my sleep.  My lovely husband suggested I take some benadryl and lay down.  Laying down turned into a 3 hour nap because benadryl knocks me on my butt.  During this time my husband also managed to make a sweet horseshoe court in our backyard.  Very nice, but I’m wondering how long it’ll be before our dogs decide it’s a giant digging hole/ and or pooping box.

My point in writing this post is that I am terrified of running my marathon in October.  If I am getting beaten down so badly after 9.5 miles, am I going to be able to handle 26.2.  I’m hoping that every first time marathoner goes through these fears.  I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to finish the half the first time I ran one.  Now I know for sure I can, and my goal is to run a sub 2 hour half sometime very soon.  However, even after my first half I could barely walk the next day, does this mean that if I do in fact finish the marathon witout dying that I will be paralyzed?  Fellow bloggers, please please reassure me and give me some advice, did you have doubts before running your first marathon?  How did you feel after running it?

Look at those impressive guns. Yes I am a ripped like Tony Horton but will this help me complete a marathon?

Also as usual, I beg you to donate to Crohn’s disease research, I am nearly half way to my goal of raising $10,000 and I won’t stop until I get there.  I need your help.  Any little bit counts.  If you have already donated please pass on my link and information.  I would be forever grateful. http://www.active.com/donate/napa12georgia/EliseLeet

Elise

Posted April 15, 2012 by eliseleet in Uncategorized

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Learning the ups and down of owning your own house   Leave a comment

This is going to be a brief post, I’m mainly just posting because my husband, my two precious dogs, and I nearly just died from not opening a vent on our gas fireplace.  Ok, maybe it’s a slight exaggeration that we nearly died, but you know scary stuff.  Apparently owning a house has its downsides, as we do not have owners manuals to all these newfangled gadgets in this house.  Damn these electronics, back in my day our fireplaces didn’t turn on with remote.  We had to chop wood in the dead of winter at 4am in order to heat our house.  So maybe I personally never did that, but I’ve heard about people having to do that, so I feel like I also experienced it.   In fact, I grew up with a gas fireplace as well, but that had a hand held vent system you simply pulled open, this damn remote operation is very complex.

wow doesn't that look innocent and calming. What a nice feature for a house to have....IT'S NOT IT'S A DEATH TRAP!

In other news, I ran 5.5 miles yesterday and 2 today.  The 5.5 miles was pretty miserable.  I haven’t been able to find my happy place running this week.  Although this run was much better then Tuesdays, in that I didn’t have to stop in and use the Walmart bathroom, I did completely ruin a shirt from blowing my nose into it.  I am so sexy, sometimes I wonder how people resist me.  Really, my allergies are so bad my whole run I had snot running down my face no matter how much I blew my nose.  My eyes were watering so much it looked like I was balling my eyes out.  If you had seen me afterwards you would have been like “damn you should be a supermodel”.  The 2 miles were very brief, 19 minutes but that time is even a little high because one of the miles was literally like climbing Everest.  It is a mile long straight up mountain, incredibly painful, I love it.

I ran up this today. I am very impressive. Be in awe of me

Tomorrow I go in for my remicade treatment, on Friday the 13th.  All day my coworkers were giving me a countdown until my death time, I warned them that when I go, I’m going to haunt them constantly.  Also I have a 9 mile run I’m supposed to do on Saturday with Team Georgia, that’s really not looking promising since I may either have died on Friday the 13th or at the very least be recovering from the remicade infusion.  Friends, family, coworkers, and strangers, if you do not want me to haunt you after my inevidable Friday the 13th curse death donate to my cause http://www.active.com/donate/napa12georgia/EliseLeet, you’ve been warned, only those who donate will be spared my ghost wrath.

Yah for Friday the 13th infusion treatments!! NOT

Elise

Posted April 12, 2012 by eliseleet in Uncategorized

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Looking forward to Remicade   2 comments

My weekend in review-

Saturday I woke up early and went for our 8 mile team run in Decatur.  I was worried because the last time we ran in Decatur I really really struggled with the route.  It was very hilly and I was very slow.  I kept my whole group back.  So I started out the route holding myself back afraid I would fall apart and ruin everything for the rest of the group again.  Thank god, as an Easter gift, I was blessed with normal people speed.  I actually kept up with a faster pace group without a problem and felt great the whole way.  8 miles later and I was super proud of myself and stuffing my face with brownies to celebrate.  I also attempted to buy the whole Big Peach Running Company store out of clothing, it was great.

Yes, I absolutely do need 30 shirts in all different colors with this symbol on it.

Easter Sunday was perfect.  We woke up early to cook a bunch of food to feast on later, and then we got ready to go to church.  Our neighbor, told us about a church around the corner from our new house that we can walk to in 5 minutes.  The service was amazing.  The church is a very young group, which was great.  The pastor is also very young, and the music is played by a live band of people our age that are very talented!  The sermon was great and we felt so welcomed, it was great to find a church we love!  Then, we had some of friends and family over to eat and stare at our huge theater screen.  Seriously the screen is mesmerizing, it’s impossible to leave the room.  We also drank a lot of delicious champaign out of convenient no spill wine glasses.

Classy and convenient, perfect for our giant theater room.

So this morning I woke up at 4am feeling terrible, I am fully to blame as those who spent yesterday with me know I ate an entire bag of cheesey popcorn.  In fact, one of our friends was like “um, Elise, are you eating cheesey popcorn, because you know that’s gonna make you sick right?”.  I did know, and it did make me sick.  It’s just that yesterday was Easter and I think about cheesey popcorn all the time,  seriously, I love it so much, why must you take it away from my Crohn’s, why????!!!

I seriously started drooling while I posted this picture. I also considered calling my husband to pick up a bag on his way home, then I remembered I told him how sick I was today, I don't think that plan is gonna work out. Damn you Crohn's!

I was supposed to run 5 miles today.  I have cuts all over my feet from wearing ridiculously uncomfortable high heels to walk to church in, and oh ya, I also have a demon stomach.  I forced myself out the door telling myself to just do my best, if I only could do 30 minutes then so be it.  Unfortunately, I am geographically challenged and missed the road I needed to turn on to shorten my route.  I was too deep in when my whore stomach began its attack.  So yes, I did run 5 miles today.  I also visited a Chick-Fil-A, a Shell gas station, a Mcdonalds, and a Walmart on my route.  What a pleasure to go on a tour of area public restrooms, thanks Crohn’s!

See Collier Road? Oh you do? Because I didn't and I ran past it, in fact I ran 4 miles past it. The red line is my route today. Awesome.

Now I am home, praying that Friday comes very soon because this Friday, the 13th, I get my next infusion.  I was supposed to get it last Friday but I could not get an appointment so I had to stretch it an extra week.  So now I feel awful, I’m sure I will all week, and my Remicade infusion is on Friday the 13th, this is not a good sign.  So please donate to help find a cure for Crohn’s, so no one else has to give up their delicious cheesey popcorn obsession and get a dangerous treatment on Friday the 13th :) http://www.active.com/donate/napa12georgia/EliseLeet

Elise

Posted April 9, 2012 by eliseleet in Uncategorized

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Never Moving Again   Leave a comment

So once again, it’s been a long time since my last post.  This is because we moved into our new place this week!  We absolutely love our house and our neighborhood, but the moving part was less then pleasant.  In fact, we still have a car load of stuff at our apartment we need to get out before tomorrow.  It turns out I am some sort of holiday decoration hoarder, this probably doesn’t surprise anyone that knows me.  I basically turn my house into a haunted house for Halloween, the greatest holiday of the year.  I also got married Halloween weekend, which made the holiday even more awesome.

Look at those works of art. I should become a professional pumpkin carver, I bet that's a job that's in high demand all year round!

Also, we had lots of these types of costumes laying around.

You can see by her face that she was a happy and ferocious bucking bull. Yes, I'm that person, cracks me up every time to see a dog dressed in a costume.

I went for my first few training runs in the new neighborhood, Underwood Hills.  This name is partly correct and partly a huge lie.  Yes, there are a lot of hills, NO there is not a lot of “underwood”.  It was more like “under the burning flaming hot sun hills”.  Needless to say, I didn’t break any land speed records on my first few runs.  I once again looked like an injured turtle that could barely walk.  Today I’m going for a loop run that a neighbor told me about and I’m hoping this run goes a lot better.

In other amazing news, we are getting our home theater installed today!  If you need me you can find me zoning out to baseball on my giant 100 inch screen :).  Also our neighbors here are awesome and also are very into football, so we’re planning some pretty sweet block party type football tailgates come football season.  Hopefully I’ll be alive to see those with all these damn hills I have to be running in the Georgia heat.

This is not our theater room. I'm not posting pictures of our actual house on here because I don't want to give potential criminals a layout of exactly where to steal our valuables, but this is a pretty sweet theater so you get the idea.

In other news, I am $48.75 short of my fundraising goal.  Being short this amount is maddening, please please help by donating any amount to get me closer.  Even if you want to be the person to donate the .75 cents, at least that will make it an even dollar amount.  Now pray for me as I venture out to run the evil hills, I want to live to see my theater room finished tonight!    http://www.active.com/donate/napa12georgia/EliseLeet

Elise

Posted April 6, 2012 by eliseleet in Uncategorized

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The Benefits of Training for The Hunger Games   Leave a comment

I haven’t written a blog in about a week.  This is mainly because I am back to working and we are moving into the house we bought this week!  I seriously have come to the conclusion that no matter what cable company you go with, they will manage to mess up about 100 things when you are moving.  All I want to do is make sure I have Mad Men to watch this Sunday in the new house.  If I miss Mad Men I may be sent into a tail spin of stress and sadness that will lead to a Crohn’s Flair.  This is a law suit waiting to happen Comcast, you’ve been warned.

This is a fact. I can't believe they can even let me suffer the thought of missing Mad Men...

Another reason I haven’t written in a bit is because I am impressing myself.  I am no longer a feeble grandmother and because of that my runs have been successful.  I find that for me it is far easier to write about how much I suck then about actually accomplishing something.  I did all my training runs last week without getting sick, no one pointed and laughed at me, and I actually finished in a normal amount of time.  For example, on Saturday I made my husband go with me on my 6 mile training run.  He refused to run all 6 miles as he declared that after running the half on Thanksgiving, his running career was over.  He did run close to 5 miles though and for that I am thankful :).  I however, managed to run 6.1 without an issue.  I wasn’t out of breath when I was done and I actually passed some people on the path.  This is a first, granted one of them was a new mother running with twins she was pushing in a stroller, I smoked that nerd.  My other training miles were all 4 miles long and although it is smoking hot in Atlanta and my body wanted to return to my vampire ways and avoid the sun, I forced myself out, and was surprised to find I did not melt.

ha, of course I'm going to win, probably both the half in Napa and the Chicago Marathon, the fact that there is any doubt in my husbands post is insulting!

I have this awesome gps running watch my husband gave me for Christmas that syncs up with my phone and such, very fancy.  Usually when I run the British woman that speaks for the watch yells at me about how much I suck.  “you are running very slowly”, “you are so horrible, I no longer want to be your running watch”, “I hate you”, ok maybe not those exact phrases but something of the sort.  Today she was all like “wow Elise, you are so amazing, you are fast, like Usain Bolt”, “Elise you are so beautiful and intelligent, I want to marry you”, back off gps watch I’m taken.

Thank you British woman living in my running watch, I am fantastic.

I think a huge reason why I am running faster and farther is because my mind thinks I’m constantly living in The Hunger Games.  I just read the books this week and saw the movie.  All my dreams involve me living in the book and trying to out live my fellow tributes.  Now my training has been brought up a notch because I picture myself being chased by a mutant creature at all times.  I have decided to begin training as a career tribute.  I think I would have been a good tribute for The Hunger Games because when I was reading, unlike many other people, I was always thinking “shoot that dude, kill him dead, get home and sit on your thrown of money”.  Other people are in love with the Peeta character because he’s so in love and innocent he’s willing to die for his one true love.  The whole time I was reading I thought about what a nerd that guy must be.  Even when I saw the movie, I was talking to my husband about how I would have found it easy to shoot him with my bow and arrow because he was such a geek.  I think this thinking is why most of my friends are male…

This is Peeta, from The Hunger Games. Some people may think he looks cute in this picture, I think he looks weak, and vulnerable to attack, thus assuring I become the victor.

In other news, one of my friends has signed up to run the half with me in Napa, I’m so excited to run and drink wine with you Elissa!!  Oh and my next remicade treatment is scheduled for Friday the 13th.  Last time I had a horrible reaction to the drug and it wasn’t on a day of death.  I’m taking bets on how many of you think that I will die that day :).  Considering I may be dead in a few weeks, I beg you to donate to my cause.  Anyone can donate any tiny amount and I will forever be grateful.  In fact if you donate I promise you one free escape from my awesome killing powers when we go into The Hunger Games.  How can you pass that up?  http://www.active.com/donate/napa12georgia/EliseLeet

Elise

Posted March 26, 2012 by eliseleet in Uncategorized

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Running through pollen   1 comment

I need advice, how do other runners cope with doing runs of over 4 miles in 85+ degrees and a pollen counts that are record high??!!!

This is what all cars look like in Atlanta right now. Seriously my black running shorts are yellow after running outside, which isn't bad because it completes my black and yellow, Iowa based running gear. My shoes are also black and yellow and my shirt is always some sort of Iowa sports shirt.

Today I ran 4 miles outside, in the heat, with the pollen, up huge hills.  There is no flat run in Atlanta, besides that would be cheating myself.  I know that running hills will eventually make me faster, but it’s hard to force myself to do when it’s so hot and my eyes are itching so badly!  I would run inside but that would be cheating myself.  Running on a treadmill is so much easier because it’s flat, you are in an air conditioned gym, and you don’t have to deal with any uneven ground.  The problem is, come race day, you will not be ready to run outside.  You have to develop an ability to run uphill and deal with the heat.

this is a bright yellow and red treadmill at Retro Fitness. They also have air conditioning and a TV. I miss you my friend.

Although I am complaining, my run today was actually pretty good.  I did 4.5 miles in 46 minutes.  That was with hills, heat, and pollen.  I didn’t stop to get a drink or vomit over a park bench while begging god for mercy.  This is a huge accomplishment.  My split times would show you that I ran my first 2 miles very fast, but then I hit the part of the path that has no shade.  I am like a vampire, running in the sun pains me.

In other news my remicade flu is officially passed.  I feel human again.  The fact that I was able to run 4.5 miles without a pit stop is amazing.  A few weeks ago I was in the hospital with 2 ivs and a morphine drip.  Now I’m running 4.5 miles, even if it is at the pace of an injured sloth.

Now that I’m done with my scheduled run for the day I am going to focus my attention on reading The Hunger Games as I want to go see the movie with my husband.  I’m afraid this is going to end up like the Harry Potter books.  I loathe them, I loathe the movies, I loathe the idea that people think I’m weird for not liking them.  My poor husband has gone to see all the movies without me because there is absolutely no way I’m wasting a single minute of my day on them.  Hopefully I like The Hunger Games so I can feel included in conversations about popular books again.

Seriously people, Hogwarts isn't real. You are never going to get magical powers. Come back to reality.

So I ask you to leave comments for me with advice on how you handle training for a marathon in such terrible heat and when pollen counts are at record highs?  Any advice would be great!

As usual I beg you to donate to my fundraising website!  I have to go back in for another Remicade treatment that will kick me in the butt again in 3 short weeks.  Help us find a cure so I no longer have to schedule my life around weeks of being sick from my treatments! http://www.active.com/donate/napa12georgia/EliseLeet

Elise

 

 

Posted March 20, 2012 by eliseleet in Uncategorized

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