I Finished!

December 4, 2014

I finished.  I’ll start there, because at least there’s that 😉  It’s taken me a few months to post this (o.k., so I actually wrote this back in August and now am getting to publish it in December….), but even so, thought it would be good to do so.  My first (and second!) half marathon is behind me – I feel so very blessed to have crossed the finish line, and with the support of amazing family and friends, raised close to $2500 to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  My coaches, my mentors, my teammates – Lorelle – we all rode this journey together.

For those who follow me on Facebook, you’ve likely seen countless posts through Spring that chronicled my early Saturday walks, blistered toes, new shoe purchases and a few beauty shots of the fun places we went.  It really has been an amazing experience.  For anyone who is thinking of trying this at home, Team In Training is absolutely the best way to go.

My first race.  Well, let’s not call it a race.  Race implies I was doing something quickly to get to the end, and truth be told, there was nothing quick about what I did.  Going into this experience I had full intention of joining the run team, learning to run with walk intervals.  Apparently, running, if you have spinal stenosis and herniated disks is not the best thing to do (who knew?!), so I joined the AMAZING walk team with my dearest friend Lorelle – and I’m so glad I did.  We trained and learned how to pace ourselves and to walk properly – and quickly! I wasn’t breaking any records, but I was doing pretty well.  Up to the week before the race, I was averaging about 16:22 for 11 miles.  Not too bad for a walker.

The week before the event, all three east bay teams (runners and walkers) training for the See Jane Run 1/2 marathon, gathered for a celebratory inspirational dinner.  I have to say it was nice to see everyone dressed in something other than running shoes and spandex!  We cleaned up nice 🙂  We met with our coaches who gave us final instructions for the week:  stay hydrated, no alcohol, get plenty of rest, don’t try any new foods, etc.  Did I listen?  Well, almost.

I met up with the mentors on Saturday (day be fore the event) for an easy 30 minute walk, listening to their own stories again, and soaking in all the excitement.  As we always did, we stopped at Starbucks for our celebratory lattes – to which I added a fateful spinach wrap 😦  Had I had one before?  Never.  Had I thought it would be a big deal?  Nope.  I was wrong.  Food poisoning is definitely not the way to go into an endurance event.  In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have participated in the race (or yet, eaten that wrap!), but I did.  I didn’t want to let my family and friends down!  5 months of training to end with food poisoning?!  No way.  Not keepin’ me down (or anything else, for that matter).  I tried to stay as hydrated as I could, but definitely struggled.  I didn’t think I was doing that bad on race morning.  I put on a smile and posed with my mighty team, ready to face the day!

The coaches told us that a lot of people will have moments where they ‘hit the wall’ and gave us advice and tips on how to push through.  Of course, they said it typically happens around mile 10 or 11 – mine happened at mile 3.  So, I pushed through…… for 10 more miles.  A highlight during the low time was when Wayne and the boys drove up the street yelling “go mommy!” out the window, waving their signs!  Miles 4-7 were down a very dry, boring stretch of road.  There was no parking, so although my guys thought they’d stop there and do some cheering from the side of the road, they couldn’t – the drive by was awesome though!

The coaches were also all amazing.  It didn’t matter whose team you were on – if you had on the purple shirt, you were one of them.  TNT coaches all wear green, and anytime I saw one on the course, I got a high five (and sometimes a sweaty hug!).  One of my coaches stayed with me for about 3 miles, which was amazing she would do that, as she had other folks she needed to watch out for (‘cuz that’s just how awesome they are!).  While I wasn’t the last one to cross the finish line, the event organizers all but tore down the finish line, leaving me to grab my own champagne glass out of a box, shoved under a table.  The TNT folks were all still there, smiles, water, and the requisite pb&j sandwiches on hand!  My boys stayed with me, held my hands, gave me hugs and found me a chair to sit on so I wouldn’t fall over from exhaustion 😉

So, it’s now December and I realize I never published the blog above!  YIKES!  Since then, I have actually completed a SECOND 1/2 marathon…. and although I wish I could say I finished stronger than before, I can’t 😦  However, I still had a blast!  On September 25th, I joined some of my TNT alum, plus an additional new friend (Seta), in completing the San Jose 1/2 Rock ‘n Roll!  What an amazing time – other than it being 95 degree and getting completely dehydrated – um, I’m thinking there’s a pattern here!  The point is, I finished, I wasn’t last (35 people behind me!), and I got a metal!

AND…. I’ve signed up to participate again next year.  Yep, I’m a bit crazy 🙂


SJR shirt TNT team SJR start SJR SJRNR RNR team


5 Days to Go!

June 18, 2014
You may recall that I set out a goal for myself back in January that I was going to raise money for LLS (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) while training with Team in Training to complete my FIRST ever 1/2 marathon.  My dearest friend and college roommate lost her father to blood cancer and we wanted to find a way to do something healthy for ourselves and to give back how we could.Well, with your help – both in donation support and many words of encouragement – I’ve just about made it.  My goal was to raise $1800 to help support LLS and with your very generous support, I met and exceeded that goal!  Together, we raised $2540 – totally amazing!  I am so humbled by your generosity and am excited to be able to be in a position where I can do this!

As for the race, in a mere 5 days, I will be able to officially call myself a marathoner!  (or is that, a half-marathoner?!).  We had our final inspiration dinner, including words of wisdom and encouragement from our coaches and mentors and we’re ready to do this thing!

For my friends and family here in the Bay Area, if you have some free time on Sunday, I’d truly love to see you on the course, cheering me on, holding up a sign, or meeting me at the finish line with a high five and a bar of chocolate (hint, hint!).  The race is in Alameda – easy to get to!  We start at 8am.  Here’s a map of the course:

While I haven’t completed a full 13.1 miles in my training, I have completed 11, and really, what’s 2.1 more?!  And while I’m not trying to break any speed walking records, I do have a personal goal of finishing in under 3:45 (remember, walking, not running!).  2 weeks ago when I did 11, I finished a few seconds over 3 hours, so I’m hoping to keep up that momentum.
Again, thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey.  As my coaches have said, I’ve drunk the Kool Aid!  After I’m done with this race – I’ll move right into my training for my next 1/2 marathon – the San Jose Rock ‘n Roll in October.  While this is not a Team in Training event, my TNT coaches, mentors and some other team members will also be doing this with me.  What can I say?  It’s really really fun!  Don’t be surprised if you hear from me again in a year as I will likely be signed up to be a mentor for TNT to help other first timers through their own journey.

10338796_774308412880_8003988906488955340_n the girls


Week 12 – I’m Still Here!

April 28, 2014

Just making sure you all know I’m still here and doing this thing!  I just finished week 12 of my training with TNT to complete my first ever (but not my last!) 1/2 marathon!  I have had so much support from friends and family – it really has been amazing.  Thank you to everyone for helping me reach (and exceed!) my fund raising minimum.  This truly is about raising funds for LLS, in memory and honor of too many. For anyone who thinks they could never do this – trust me, you can.

12 weeks ago we went for our first ‘long’ walk – I think it was 3.5 miles – 1 hour.  You may recall that it was raining and I learned very quickly that cotton is indeed rotten in the training world!  Well, this past Saturday, we returned to that same place – Heather Farms – and I logged 10 miles in under 3 hours!  Yes, it was pretty crazy, very tiring, and completely rewarding!  Although our team is small, we’ve got spunk!  We have amazing coaches (sisters, Tisha and Theresa) and 2 very supportive mentors (Irene and Stacy).  Thanks to them – with a shout out to my partner in crime, Lorelle – I’m able to do this.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and my own resilience, and I feel so loved by my boys who know that Saturday mornings are mine to train – which means no Saturday pancake breakfasts!  But seriously, Wayne has been an amazing supporter of this adventure.  Without him, I would not have been able to do what I’m doing.

This is sounding a lot like a ‘thank you’ blog – well, I guess it really should be, right?!  I also thought it would be interesting for everyone to know where I’ve been going every Saturday…. for those who don’t follow me on Facebook, you might now know!  Here is a list of all the great places I’ve discovered in the Bay Area:

* Heather Farms to Iron Horse Trail (Walnut Creek to Alamo)
* San Leandro Marina
* Marilyn Murphy Kane Trail (Pleasanton)
* Iron Horse Trail (started in San Ramon and went north)
* Alameda Creek (Fremont)
* Crissy Field/Fort Mason to Fisherman’s Wharf (San Francisco)

I’m looking forward to discovering more gems in the area.  I feel stronger and know the end is within my reach!  I’ll be sure to post again soon…. I promise!  And, now that I have my very first smart phone – thank you Zander! – I’ll be sure to take pictures while out on the trails!


Cotton is Rotten

February 11, 2014

Cotton is rotten….  Someone told me that once, but I don’t think I truly understood or appreciated that saying until Saturday morning…. as I joined my fellow TNT’ers for a morning training – in the rain!  I got dressed in the morning wearing my typical ‘workout’ gear – cotton leggings, cotton t-shirt, cotton socks, cotton Cal sweatshirt (of course!), and a cotton hat.  The best thing I had going for me were the breathable running shoes…. which of course took in all the water and soaked my cotton socks 😦

Lorelle picked me up at 6:45am (yes, that is the correct time), and as we drove away, she asked me if I had a change of clothes.  I told her ‘no, it’s not raining that hard, I’m sure I’ll be fine.’  HA!  Our first team workout was at a park in Walnut Creek – Heather Farms Park.  Great place – lots of trails.  We met the rest of the team, and I quickly realize I might be in for some trouble.  One of our coaches was slipping on her water resistant pants over her wicking leggings, donning her wicking jacket and sporting a wicking hat.  The other coach was sporting quite the weather proof look by climbing her size 1 body into her much larger husband’s day-glow yellow work pants and jacket – also water proof.  Yikes – what was I thinking?

Fortunately, Irene (one of the mentors) to the rescue.  She pulls out a disposable parka and hands it to me – with that all-knowing look.  I’m sure she expected I would show up poorly dressed the first time out.  Well, she was right 🙂

So, we’re off.  We stretched (which felt great) and then headed for the trail.  30 minutes in, 30 minutes out – not focused on distance right now.  Oh, and to catch you up on what’s what – I’ve decided to start my training with the power walking team.  These ladies are hard core, and with all my back issues, this seems to be the best course of action at this time.  By no means will this be a stroll in the park.  Our coaches (twin sisters, and both survivors!) have walked a total of 24 FULL marathons combined!  They are definitely my inspiration.

So we headed out.  From what my pedometer says, it looks like we logged just under 3.5 miles!  Wow – a 5K.  Pretty cool!  I was so very thankful for the parka.  My sweatshirt and t-shirt were a bit wet, but that might have been from sweating – which some wicking clothes would have worked well for.  My legs were SOAKED, my hat was SOAKED and of course, my feet were SOAKED – which actually was the worst part.  Wet feet meant wet toes rubbing against each other…… leading to quite the little blister on one of my toes.  I definitely have learned my lesson – although I’m sure that will be the first of many, regardless of how well I’m outfitted 😉

After our ‘short’ walk, we headed over to the Sports Basement (most awesome sporting goods store I’ve ever been in!!) for a gear clinic and nutrition lesson for how to stay hydrated and powered up for our endurance days.  I dropped a nice load of cash/credit before leaving and heading home for a much deserved shower!

I’m totally pumped and can’t wait until next Saturday.  Until then, we’ll meet during the week for core workouts and then walks on our own.  Go Team!!!

Remember, if you’d like to donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and support my efforts with Team in Training, you can do so here:  http://pages.teamintraining.org/gba/janehalf14/santinapitcher




TNT Kickoff!

February 3, 2014
Lorelle and I on day 1!

Lorelle and I on day 1!

Well, here we are! Kickoff was Saturday! Tons of fun and lots of inspiration. This is going to be fun! Lorelle and I are training with the East Bay team. Trisha and Theresa will be coaching us through this. Can’t wait.

After the kickoff meeting, we went for a short walk – and some excellent words of encouragement from the coaches and our mentors. We have 141 days of workouts laid out for us – wow! 141 days to get this thing on – yikes!

Stay tuned…….

See Santina Run

January 25, 2014

What I’m about to type here, I never thought I’d be typing – EVER.  If you haven’t arrived here by way of another means (i.e. my recent post on Facebook, or a little website I put together (http://pages.teamintraining.org/gba/janehalf14/santinapitcher), then you likely don’t know the big news.  I’m training for a HALF MARATHON in June 2014 – the run/walk (or maybe crawl) version of the half marathon, not run 😉

Yes, you read correctly.  I know, it sounded pretty crazy to me too.  But hey, we all have to start somewhere, right?  I always say ‘if you’re gonna do something for the very first time, do it big, do it loud, and make a positive impact on your health and the health of others.’  O.k., so I’ve actually never said that, but it sounded right for the time.

So now that I’ve made this public announcement, and committed to raising $1800 by June 4 (yep, that’s a hefty chunk), I figure I should go through with it!  Why am I doing this?  Well, there are so many reasons, but a few of my favorites:

* In memory of my dearest friend Lorelle’s father, Lyman H. Boynton, M.D., who passed away from multiple myeloma in June 2012;

* For my own health – try, try as I might to get this weight off through Weight Watchers, it’s not going to happen if I don’t add a little activity in (so, I figure a half-marathon would work);

* I’ve had friends who have gone through this journey with Team In Training in the past couple of years and I have watched them transform in so many ways and am inspired by them;

* The opportunity to spend time with Lorelle, going on this journey together, and to meet and share time with other inspired and inspiring people

I know – you want to join too, don’t you?!  Well, you’re more than welcome to!  But before you do, please check out my fundraising website and consider making a donation to my cause.  The donation will not only go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), but will also help me reach my goal of $1800.  I have promised Team In Training that I would raise these funds for LLS not only in support of a great organization, but in support of all they will do for me to help me reach my goal.

I promise to update you on this blog as well as my Team In Training website (http://pages.teamintraining.org/gba/janehalf14/santinapitcher) on my progress.

Curious about the race (o.k., so really, my goal is not to meet a specific time, just to cross the finish line), here is the link: http://www.seejanerun.com/category-s/8222.htm

My first Team Meeting and ‘fun run’ – o.k., walk – will be on February 1.  Looking forward to getting this party started!!

To be continued……..   with pictures!

Yikes! Another Year Has Past!

December 20, 2013

In my effort to save paper, I’ve directed everyone here t0 my blog to see what we’ve been up to in the year 2013.  Of course, when I opened my blog and realized that I haven’t posted anything since 2012, I got a little crazy!  What?  We didn’t do anything?  Nothing at all worth writing down for prosperity?!  That’s crazy talk.

So, I began to figure out what that was all about.  The Spring was actually a bit of a blur to be honest.  Jonah continues to play baseball and was so very fortunate to have played with an amazing bunch of kids this past year – as well as an amazing coaching staff.  He was one of the youngest on the team – team YANKEE, by the way (for all who know our Red Sox/Yankee ‘rivalry’ in this family, I have to say I was quite pleased!).  We typically had 4 days of baseball each week – some weeks we had 5!  It was all worth it in the end though, as his team advanced to the TOCs (Tournament of Champions, for those who don’t speak Little League!).  The kids played their hearts out and made it to the championship game.  It was a tough fight, but alas their streak ended and they took home a well-played 2nd place trophy.

Beau Kittredge, widely regarded as the BEST ultimate frisbee player in the world, stopped by for a little fun with the kids during summer camp!

Beau Kittredge, widely regarded as the BEST ultimate frisbee player in the world, stopped by for a little fun with the kids during summer camp!


During the summer Jonah’s sports prowess continued as we enrolled him in a few camps to keep him busy.  He had the most fun in a camp run by a friend of ours, playing football, basketball, baseball, and ultimate frisbee – he even was chosen as most improved for ultimate frisbee and got to take home an autographed jersey from Beau Kittredge!








Jonah treasuererJonah is now enjoying 4th grade, settling in and doing very well academically – so very proud!   I’m happy to report our finances at home as well as at school are fit to be in good order as Jonah was elected as his school’s Treasurer! In a move totally out of his comfort zone, he ran for school treasurer – which meant getting up in front of all the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to deliver a speech.  Again, quite proud.




Dylan continues to be a very active 4 year old!  He has grown and excelled so much in this past year.  He thoroughly enjoys spending time with his friends at school – so very fun to hear about all his exploits!  Every year the kids put on an end of the year performance, showing off a lot of what they learned through song, poems and dance.  Little did we know that Dylan was quite the performer!  We were treated to James Taylor and The Beatles every night as he worked on memorizing the words for the big day.  He and his friends did an amazing job – here’s a little sample for your enjoyment:

We put him in soccer and tennis over the summer, as he continually expressed interest in both.  Tennis didn’t take so well.  He loves to play with his Papa, and although the coach was wonderful and patient, Dylan was quick to point out that he didn’t play like his Papa 😉  Soccer fared a little better.  It was more of a ‘hey let’s kick the ball around for 30 minutes and fall all over each other’ activity, than it was soccer.  But hey, it kept him active!  He is now in a transitional kindergarten class and doing such a great job with everything.  Learning to write his letters, sounding them out and counting to 100.  He’ll be reading Moby Dick in no time!

Wayne and I are keeping busy as well.  Wayne enjoyed umping for the Minor A games, so in addition to all the running around bringing Jonah to games, Wayne had to attend additional games during the week – all while juggling a full teaching load!  Yep, he’s awesome!  He continues with his woodworking, and finished a BUNCH of projects this past year.  You should DEFINITELY check out his blog!

I continue my work at UC Berkeley – career counselor for students in Engineering, Chemistry and the Physical Sciences.  TONS of fun – I truly do love the students I work with.  This past Fall I also stepped into a new role as Interim Assistant Director, Counseling, while my colleague enjoys an extended maternity leave.  It’s been a great experience that I’ve been enjoying and learning a lot from – keeping busy even in this down time!

I did have minor surgery on my hand this past summer – which put me out of commission for a bit, but definitely doing much better now!

We didn’t travel too much this past year, although we did enjoy some local visits to Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, Napa, and the Mendocino coast.  Wait, maybe we did travel a bit 🙂

I will do my best to stay more active on this blog – I know, I’ve promised that before, right?!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our dear family and friends!