Monday, January 9, 2012

Starting backwards

So I decided to start backwards for this post because I want to make sure you read about Saturday (and not because my "runs" this week were pretty lackluster, that's not it at all). So Saturday Coach Trey had us meet at the Center for Assault Treatment Services rather than our usual Balboa Park. And instead of our previously scheduled 15 miles, we did a timed run for two hours, out and back. The idea was that we would all get back at the same time, CATS staff would provide an awesome post-run breakfast, and then we would tour the facility.

So after a tough run (I started too fast and couldn't maintain my pace), we ate and then Gail Hynick introduced us to Mary Ann Lague, R.N. and Deputy District Attorney Jane Creighton. They gave us additional insight into the incredible work CATS does and how important that work is to helping convict sexual predators. Our group split up into smaller groups to tour the facility and I was in Mary Ann's group. As a nurse she could tell us first hand exactly what happens at CATS and why it is so much better than victims going to a traditional hospital. In the ER victims (often children) not only have to wait several hours to be seen, something children are not good at, but they also are exposed to whatever the other patients may be ailing from in the meantime. The visit itself takes 3-4 hours so the additional time spent waiting in an ER just adds to the difficulty of the experience. Mary Ann and the other nurses at CATS are trained in interview techniques and know how to ask open ended questions that do not lead children. They are also able to be very flexible since it is not a hospital environment and if a child is having a hard time, they can come back another day.

CATS does not receive any federal funding and due to the poor economy it is difficult to get enough donations. The hospital they are a part of is struggling and has laid off many employees. Times are tough, as we all know and hear mentioned constantly, which is why it is easy to say "I can't afford to make a donation." But there are still many other areas of our lives that are not necessities yet we still do not cut back on. That's why I'm committing to donate $10 per week from now until the marathon. That's $100, which I'm sure many of us feel is too much to give right this very moment, but if you are reading this chances are you can spare $10 per week. Would you consider joining me in this small sacrifice? Maybe not $10, maybe $5 or even $1. Every dollar helps CATS stay open to serve victims of sexual abuse and assault in a manner that is not only respectful and comforting to the victim, but will give the greatest odds of convicting the perpetrator.

I'm going to take cash out and put it in an envelope each week and turn it in after 5 and then 10 weeks. If you would like to donate also, you can go to or talk to me and we can work out the best way for you to turn in the money. The goal for our team is to raise at least $50,000 (originally $70,000) by March 18, 2012 and so far we have raised $25,801. Personally I've raised $1,614 and my goal is $2,000 but I want to get closer to $3,000!! My friends and family are really wonderful and generous so I have no doubt I'll surpass my goal. Thank you so much to all who have already donated, I hope reading this has given you a great sense of pride that you are making a difference!

Okay, if you made it this far, thanks! On Friday I went to Woodland Hills Physical Therapy for my usual session but, as we had planned earlier in the week, there was a little coordination. It all started when Rod, the owner of WHPT, began wearing a vest. Joe, my exercise and stretching guru, and the rest of the staff teased Rod but he wore the vest with pride. Then Rod got Joe a vest for Christmas AND my awesome friend Lauren (aka LoMo) got me a running vest for Christmas! It didn't dawn on me initially but it soon became clear that we must coordinate a day to all wear our vests, and Friday was the day. I made sure to steal one of Mike's plaid shirts to really complete the look and here it is:

Thursday I went to yoga at Fleet Feet Encino with Ko Ohka. I was still feeling a bit sore from last week but still managed to have a pretty good class and can really tell I'm improving. I definitely think I'll be putting my heels on the ground very soon.

Wednesday I was scheduled to run 7 miles but the weekly fun run at Fleet Feet is typically only 5 miles. Since Nike was sponsoring and LoMo was going to be there I figured it was worth making up those extra two miles another time. When I got there I so wasn't in the mood to run and since LoMo was going to walk due to injury I decided to join her. Of course I forgot to start my Garmin, but I'd say we walked about 3 miles. Due to today's special format, you already know I didn't make up the mileage. Oops!

Tuesday our team met at Fleet Feet Encino for a timed hill run. We ran for a total of 30 minutes but with the warm up, stretching, core work, hip work, and foam rolling, we got about an hour and a half of exercise in. I left my Garmin at home which was especially annoying for a timed run but Coach Trey lent me a watch so I could at least know when to turn around. I think the mileage was between 2-2.5 miles which isn't much since we were scheduled to run 6, but if it helps alleviate some injuries and make sure we all make it to the finish line then so be it.

When I got home from the hill run I signed up for the Rock 'N' Roll Pasadena Half Marathon on February 19th. The series posted a coupon on Facebook for $15 off all open races so I went for it. I'm really excited that it's the inaugural race for Pasadena and since I wasn't able to run LA I'll finally get the redemption of completing a Rock 'N' Roll series race. I'll still have to get another 7 miles in since we are scheduled to do 20 that weekend but haven't decided if I'll cut myself a break and do the 7 on Saturday or if I'll really push it and run 7 before the race. I hope some friends sign up to run with me!

Started the week at Cardiobarre and it was really tough. I'm so not a fan of that place, the pace is way too fast so you can't get the correct form down and even in the beginner class it is a struggle to keep up. I much prefer Bar Method but I purchased a deal on Living Social for Cardiobarre so I'm trying to use up the classes. I still have 7 left and trying to use them up before going back to my beloved Bar Method.

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