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Runner Spotlight: Diane W.

The Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon is partnering up with Team in Training to raise money and awareness for blood cancers. I am a huge advocate for not only a cure but for programs that help patients and caregivers go through the process of a diagnosis, treatment plan and life after a cancer diagnosis.

As an Ambassador for the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5k and coach for our training program with Fleet Feet Savannah, I have had the privilege of getting to meet some of the Team in Training (TNT) runners. Below is a runner spotlight on local runner, Diane W., who is a cancer survivor and running for TNT in the half marathon.

Diane is on the left with her Seacrest Partner runners!
Diane is on the left with her Seacrest Partner runners!

Age at Diagnosis :: 49

 When I was diagnosed, one of my biggest fears was… whether I would be around to

watch my son, Alex grow up. He was almost 2 years old and my husband, Jerry & I were

in the process of adopting him.  Another fear was… what if they don’t let us adopt him

because of my diagnosis.

How Many Years Cancer Free

 2015 marks a special milestone for me; I’m celebrating 10 years as a Leukemia Survivor.

 I wanted to do something special to celebrate, so I set a goal to find 10 women to join

LLS-Team in Training to raise $10,000 to represent 10 years in remission and

participate in the Publix Womens Half Marathon. What better way to celebrate life than

to give back to the organization that helped me reach this milestone?

 A team of 14 co-workers at Seacrest Partners, Seacrest Sisterhood is running in my honor

and have already raised $14,000. In March, I will be surrounded by Seacrest Sisterhood

and Diane’s Divas (family & friends) running and walking alongside me on the course. I

feel truly blessed to have all of these wonderful friends, co-workers and family

supporting me.

 Type of Cancer

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Diane and her TNT run buddies
Diane and her TNT run buddies

Were you always a runner?

 No, I was not a runner. I was a multiple sport athlete when I was younger and continued

to play competitive softball into my 40’s.  By the time I was diagnosed with CML,  I was a

couch potatoe with bad knees.

When did you start running?

 I starting running when I joined Team in Training for the first time, in June 2012 when I

committed to fund raise and participate in the Savannah Rock n Roll.  I talked my

daughter Shelley into joining with me by convincing her she was doing it for me.  All the

while, I had convinced myself that I was doing it for her, to get physically fit and to honor

loved ones with cancer.  Regardless of the reasons, the running did not come easy.  I

wore full knee braces and started with 1-2 minute intervals. Those 60 second runs were

brutal in the beginning.  I’m happy to say my knees are better, I don’t wear braces

anymore and rarely do my knees ever bother me.

 Did running help you through your treatment or deal with it

afterwards?

 Cancer changed my sense of self.  I went through a whole gamet of emotions: denial,

shock, fear, anxiety, sadness, confused and uncertain about the future.  In other words, I

wasn’t interested in being physically fit.  Then, after watching my brother go through

more than 2 years of diagnosis, treatment, stem cell transplant and recovery o f

Amyloidosis,  a rare blood disease that does not have a cure and uncertain life

expectancy, I needed a purpose.   I joined TNT in June 2012 to honor my brother, Larry

Kee.  He is doing well but it’s a race to find a cure.

How has Team in Training/Leukemia Lymphoma Society helped you

throughout the process (ie grants, support, and training with TNT

supporters)?

 Team in Training (TNT) is a celebration of life, the human spirit, physical ability and

mental endurance.  As part of TNT, you receive a supportive team and exceptional

coaching to help you reach your personal fitness goals and successfully complete your

walk, walk/run or run. I will be the LLS Team in Training “Honored Teammate” for the

Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5K on March 28, 2015.

  I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in July 2004 and immediately began

taking oral chemotherapy, a pill developed by a researcher funded by LLS.  By early

2005, I was in full remission. Without research funded by LLS and the development of

the oral chemotherapy pill I take, I most likely would not be a survivor today.

What are you most excited about for the Inaugural Publix Womens

Half?

 I am excited to be a part of this Inauguaral event, that LLS is official charity and that I’m

the Honored Teammate for it.  I’m excited to have Seacrest Sisterhood & Diane’s Divas

supporting and honoring me.

 Any random facts about you?

 When I’m not running, I’m devoted to watching Alex play soccer year round.  He’s a

member of the Georgia Soccer Olympic Development Program team and I volunteer as

the boys 2002 Team Administrator.

ad_publixwomens5k

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about an awesome runner in your community! If you want to join Diane and myself at the race on March 28th, feel free to save $10 off and use the code: VictoriaRunsSWH. And as always, check out Team in Training online. They have tons of races, in lots of cool locations that can help you get in the best shape of your life, while you save a life.

Now that’s a win-win!

The ‘PRfect’ Pasta

As an Ambassador for the Inaugural Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5k, I thought it would be a fun idea to try out a new dish that was quick to make, easy to figure out, and would be a great carb loading recipe. Instead of going to Pinterest, I asked my Co-Ambassador and Half Ironman partner-in-crime, Claudia Deen to help me come up with a recipe.

We don’t have a name for this dish, so I am naming it the PRfect Pasta. Get it? Ha. I crack myself up.

We did a quick trip to Publix and got the key ingredients:

Recipe Serves approx. 4:

– Whole Container of cherry or grape tomatoes

– Pitted Olives (we found a jar already cut for you)

– Pasta (we used Barilla Whole Grain, but you can sub in CousCous, Rice or Spaghetti Squash)

– Clove of Garlic (I already had the pre-chopped in a jar at home, so we used that)

– 1-2 tbsp of Olive Oil (I had some at home)

– 1.5 lbs Shrimp (we got fresh shrimp, but we can use frozen to save money or even go super fancy and call your local Shrimp Man!)

– jar of Rao’s Organic Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce (or use your own homemade pasta sauce)

-fresh Parmesan to grate or from a shaker bottle, your preference

 

Peeling Shrimp
Peeling Shrimp

Bring a large pan to medium heat and saute oil & garlic until the garlic is soft. While this is happening, peel your shrimp and chop your tomatoes in half.

Once the garlic is soft and you can smell all that yumminess, add in the olives (drained) & tomatoes.

Olives & Tomatoes added in

Let cook for 8-10 minutes.

Boil water in a pot with a dash of salt and oil in the water. Once it begins to boil, lower to medium and cook pasta (4 servings worth).

Simultaneously–

Once the tomatoes start to cook, add in shrimp and cover for 5 minutes. Make sure that the shrimp touch the bottom of the pan to help cook them. If you need a dash more oil, add it. Flip the shrimp once the first side turns white.

In a smaller pan, heat the sauce until it starts to boil.

Once the pasta, shrimp mix, and sauce are done… pour servings into a bowl or plate and grate fresh Parmesan on top!

 

Almost ready to plate it up!
Almost ready to plate it up!

Haven’t signed up for the race yet? Feel free to use my code: VictoriaRunsSWH to save $10 off!

Leave a comment below on your favorite Pre Race Carb Load meal and you will be entered in to win a $25 Gift Card to Publix! Comment by Tuesday, February 17th at 10pm to have your chance to win.

 

*I am an Ambassador for this race but am not compensated financially, just with some swag from New Balance (the other race sponsor). Opinions are always my own.

 

What’s Cooking?

I barely cook.

I mean it. Ask the boy. Or Hunter, the dog, who begs for scraps and usually gets the crust of my PB&J for his dinner.

My mom’s side of the family is Italian. Like Sunday dinners, from scratch pasta, and my Grandma went to her grave not knowing I am ‘too lazy to make sauce’ type Italian.

One of my goals, resolutions, things I want to do better-ish is cook a new recipe a week.

After getting second place in the Cookie Contest at the Rape Crisis Center’s Cookie Bake Off last month, I realized I am not that bad at baking or cooking. And that was only my 3rd time baking anything from scratch!

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I realized I needed more motivation than my three year old Pinterest Boards full of recipes, so I turned to my friend Claudia for some guidance in the healthy recipe department. And boy do we have a treat for you! We picked out a great, but easy recipe that can be whipped up after a long day of work that is healthy and a crowd pleaser.

But before you get to witness what we whip up in the kitchen, I want to see what YOU whip up in the kitchen. And to make it easier for you, you have a chance to win a $25 gift card to Publix. As an Ambassador for the Inaugural Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon & 5k, I got two gift cards to give away so I still have another for a give-a-way later on 😉

So leave a comment below by Sunday, January 11th at 5pm and tell me what you will whip up in the kitchen with $25 and a winner will be chosen at random.

Ultra Chat with Dan Hernandez

Welcome to Day Two of the Ultra Chat on Victoria Runs! Did you miss Tim from yesterday? Make sure to check him out as well!

So today I have another gem in our Savannah Running community. I met Dan about two years ago when we all met up to run the bridge. I remember telling my mom that I was meeting a group of three other runners for a Sunday run. She, of course, was excited for the run part… just not the fact that I was meeting three randoms off of Twitter. I assured her I wasn’t going to get shoved into a truck and that there was chocolate cake for post-run at Gallery Espresso.

Thankfully, it was all running & cake 😉

But in all seriousness, Dan is amazing! When not running, he is out at local runs to take photos for his blog & Savannah Running facebook page.  He is such a motivator and appreciates all runners, not just the wicked fast ones! He is so supportive that he is leading the efforts for the Ledesma Sports Medicine Inaugural Ultra, that is occurring this weekend.

So let’s say HI to Dan….

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Quick little bio (when did you start running, do you like long walks on the beach… yada yada):

I’ve been consistently running for the past twelve years. Before that my passions were cycling (mountain and road), rock climbing and backpacking. I like long walks on the beach at day time and night time. In the last twenty years I’ve had four dogs, – three Australian Shepherds, one pug. All of the dogs I’ve had have been active participants in my adventures (except for cycling).

superdan2008 (1)

Brag Time (race you are most proud of, show off your times, winning a race etc):

The race I’m most proud of is the 2008 Boulder 100. That was my first venture into ultra running and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My goal was to finish the race in 24 hours; my hope was to at least make the 30 hour cut-off time. I limped across the finish line in 24 hours 7 minutes having finished to my surprise in third place overall. And, I trained for only 3 months.

My longest race to date prior to the Boulder 100 was a half marathon. The Boulder 100 was a big event for me not because of the distance covered but because I was running on behalf of a friend of mine, Cindy Randi, who had been stricken with cancer three times. The purpose of this run was to help raise funds for the financial burden three bouts with cancer had left her with. I called this campaign “100 for Cindy”.

I raised almost $8000.00 for her. I’m most proud of this race because I did this for someone else and never lost site of the purpose of this race even during my darkest moment in the race when I wanted to quit, it was then that I was reminded why I was doing this and that kept me putting one foot in front of the other until I crossed the finish line.

Here is the link to the boulder 100 2008 race results: http://www.geminiadventures.com/results/Boulder08.html

What is your favorite Ultra you have done?

I guess the Boulder 100 although, I never plan to run that one again but it was my first and the purpose for doing it was significant. So, it will always be special because of it being the first and because it was for my friend, Cindy.

How many miles a week on average do you run while training for a 50K? Do you alter your training for 100 mile + races? If yes, how so?

I run approximately 40 miles per week for 50ks and everything below that.

I’ve only run one 100 miler but I’m training for another 100 miler (Delirium 24 hour race). My approach the first time and again this time is not so much about mileage accumulated per week but the amount of time spent on my feet during a run.

I cannot speak for anyone else but my experience is that running a 100 miles in one shot is about dealing and enduring discomfort both physical and mental during that venture. My body is going to ache and my mind is going to want to make me quit at some point during the race. Knowing that I can push through all of the physical discomfort and the mental anguish is how I’m going to complete this distance. And, the only way that I can prepare for that assault that will most certainly come at some point after 50 miles into the run will be in knowing that I’ve been there before. So, I will have two long…very long runs prior to race day. Those two training runs will be 12 to 15 hour runs. I’m doing one of those runs in one week and the other on January 19th.

dan

What is your favorite gear to wear while running? Shoes, apparel, headlamp etc.

I’m a minimalist runner – the less the better. For shoes, I like the spyridon ls by Vibram. I also like the NB Minimus.

Ultras usually have a good spread of food for the athletes. What do you intake during your race?

Pretty much anything! Bagels, sub-marine sandwiches with lots of spinach, bananas, potatoes, chopped celery with canned salmon wraps, coffee, water, succeed caps, cheetos, doritos, flat soda pop, almonds, cookies.

What are your running goals for 2013?

Completing 100 miles in less than 24 hours during the delirium 24 hour race.
I’m sure I’ll sign up for a number of 10ks, half-marathons, 50ks and such through-out the year but I just focus on one race at a time.

Anything else you want to add:

In my words, Run Strong, Run Happy
In Micah True’s words: Run Free!

*****

I am sure you can see why Dan is another badass in my mind. Plus, the ultra food spread…. mmmm! Who doesn’t want to run 26.2+ now!?!