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Running For More…

The personal blog and website of Kristen Cincotta

Archive for the ‘Fundraising and Awareness Events’ Category

New Year, New Beginnings

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Welcome to 2016!

Much has happened since the last time I clicked myself over to this blog, with new beginnings happening all over the place. Since today is the first day of the new year, it only seemed fitting to give everyone an update about where I’ve been, and more importantly, what’s on deck for 2016.

Career Changes

By far the most significant change for me has been a job change, a change that was not unforeseen. I was employed at the CDC as a research Fellow, and my Fellowship was scheduled to end on Thanksgiving day, 2015.

One last stunning sunset over Atlanta, as seen from my office at the CDC.

One last stunning sunset over Atlanta, as seen from my office at the CDC.

Going into the final year of my Fellowship, all parties involved were both expectant and excited about the likely possibility that I would be staying on permanently at the CDC, as part of the rapidly growing Prescription Drug Overdose team. My team had the funds to hire several people and both my supervisors and I wanted me to be one of those people. However, over the summer, I learned that it wasn’t going to be possible. I’m not going to go into the details as to why here, but suffice it say, everyone was disappointed that it didn’t work out, including me. I LOVED being a part of the CDC, I really liked the vast majority of the people I worked with (both at the CDC and beyond), and I was pretty dang excited about several big things that were/are in the pipeline for the PDO team. To compound things, even as it became increasingly apparent that the primary project that I had been working on throughout my Fellowship was taking significantly longer to wrap up than expected, there was just no possibility of extending my Fellowship further. To be completely honest, it made for a pretty difficult last few months, especially as new people with less experience than I had were brought in to the permanent positions that I had been hoping to land. I wanted to stay and finish my project at my high standard of work, and instead, I felt like I was being pushed out the door. I would not give up my time at the CDC for anything – I had dreamed of working there for as long as I can remember and I am thrilled I was able to make it happen. I just wish things had ended on a better note.

A major SABCS highlight - meeting Dr. Susan Love and several Komen Advocates in Science at the Brinker Awards Reception.

A major SABCS highlight – meeting Dr. Susan Love and several Komen Advocates in Science at the Brinker Awards Reception.

BUT! When life closes a door, it opens a window, as they say. And in this case, life has opened a giant, beautiful bay window for me, with a stellar view of the future. With a bit of persistence and a good bit of luck, I was able to secure a job with Susan G. Komen as an Evaluation Manager, focusing on scientific research programs. In this position, I will be joining the team at Komen that is responsible for assessing the impact of the dollars that Komen has invested in breast cancer research over the years, identifying research successes that have stemmed from those dollars, and helping to improve Komen’s research programs overall. I will also get the opportunity to take these rusty blogging skills out for a spin by writing some pieces for the Susan G. Komen blog, email newsletters, and other social media properties. It is, in short, my dream job and in just three short weeks of employment, I have already had a career-high moment when I got to attend the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on behalf of Komen. I have followed the news coming out of SABCS for years, dating back to when my mom’s oncologists presented her case there during one of the case study sessions. To be there in person, just days after starting my new job, was an amazing experience. I cannot understate how excited I am for this new opportunity, especially given how crushed I was to have to leave a job I loved at the CDC.

Lifestyle Changes

The cherry on the sundae that is my new job is that in addition to doing work that I’m genuinely passionate about, I am going to get to do said work from home! My greatest frustration at the CDC was being forced to adhere to a standard 9-5 workday, with little freedom to manage my own time. While I will still have regular hours at Komen, working from home does give me a bit more flexibility. I will be able to do things like fold laundry while thinking through tricky problems, go for runs on my lunch break, and other things like that. At the CDC, I was easily spending 2.5 hours in the car every day between driving to & from daycare and commuting to work. Being able to just pop Dash over to daycare (or better yet, run commute him over on nice days!) and come right back home is going to save me TONS of time. Dash is about to have his own new beginning starting next week when he transitions to a new classroom at his daycare, so it’s nice to know I’ll have a little more flexibility in the event he needs me a bit more for the next couple weeks too. Plus, my beloved Shenanigans never really forgave me for taking an office job (she developed severe separation anxiety), so to stay home with her all day, every day, just feels right. Feeling like I’m in control of my time again has me VERY optimistic for everything I’d like to get done in the next year. And speaking of things I’d like to get done in the next year…

Volunteering with Komen Atlanta

I am once again serving as the Teams and Recruiting Chair for the 2016 Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure!

One of my homes away from home!

One of my homes away from home!

As always, the Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure will take place on Mother’s Day weekend, returning again to the Lenox Mall. Race registration will “officially” open on Monday, but shhh…. a little bird told me you can actually register now (click here)! And to make things even better, this year I have a 25% off discount code that everyone can use to save some money. Simply enter “KCincotta2016” during registration and the computer will do the rest!

In addition to recruiting new teams and participants directly, I am also taking on something new this year – I have recruited 10 absolute superstars to serve as Race Ambassadors for the Race this year. I’ve already held one training session with them that left me totally jazzed up for the potential impact of this program on our Race registration, and especially on the performance of our teams. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this group in the coming months, so be prepared. As a I said, these ladies are superstars – longtime participants, top fundraisers, big time team captains. They are going to really push me to bring my best to our Race this year – I can’t wait!

I am also trying to launch one other initiative for Race that centers around improving the Race experience for our best performing teams on Race day. I don’t want to go into too many details here because it’s still in the preliminary planning stages. But – I AM looking for someone to join my “Teams Team” and head up this new effort for me. I’ll be there to help along the way, but I’ve already committed to launching the Race Ambassadors program this year and don’t want to give either program short shrift by trying to do both all by myself. So if you, or someone you know, might be interested in working with me on this new effort, let me know by shooting me an email. Thanks!

Volunteering with Atlanta Track Club

Dash trying out the indoor track at the snazzy new ATC offices.

Dash trying out the indoor track at the snazzy new ATC offices.

Last June, I was thrilled to learn that I was selected to once again serve as a Community Ambassador for my beloved Atlanta Track Club. The ATC has really helped me become a “real” runner over the last few years, and I’m honored to be able to spread the word about everything that they bring to our local running community. However, shortly after my Ambassador term started, I decided to back off of any racing until I knew what was happening with my job situation (and more specifically, our financial situation). I was already committed to the Atlanta 3-Day in October and I needed to devote my limited training time to that event anyways. So I didn’t really do much running between mid-July and mid-November, despite my best intentions. And as you can imagine, that made it pretty difficult to trumpet all the wonderfulness of the ATC.

Thankfully, right around the time I was tip toeing back into the running world post 3-Day, all of the Ambassadors were invited to extend their terms by an additional six months or so, so that our terms aligned with the calendar year. I sent off an email accepting that offer within seconds, knowing that this was my chance to really bring my best efforts to my Ambassador gig. So, you can expect much more from me about my experiences with the various programs and races that the Atlanta Track Club offers, both here and on social media, throughout 2016. Yeah!

Running in General

With my GOTR race buddy, before she totally smoked me!

With my GOTR race buddy, before she totally smoked me!

As I already mentioned, I began tip toeing back into running in mid-November after a bit of a break over the summer and early fall. I did my best to complete the “Striding through the Holidays” challenge that the

awesome ladies at Another Mother Runner organized, which was great motivation to get back into more consistent running and workouts. I also ran with my friend Julie’s daughter in the Girls on the Run ATL 5K, during which Niblette (her online nickname) absolutely dusted me. I was pretty dang proud of her wheels, but boy, was that the kick in the pants that I needed to get serious about running again. So I sucked it up, set some goals for myself for 2016, and got started. I rolled directly from the Stride challenge into training for the Publix GA Half Marathon (now being run by the ATC – holler!), following the final 14 weeks of the AMR Half Marathon Finish It! plan. This plan is a bit higher mileage than I’ve been running lately, but with more flexibility in my day to day schedule (see above), I am certain that I can handle it. I am also certain that my butt needs to really feel like I’m training for something if I’m going to stick with it, so hopefully this plan hits that sweet spot. I’ll wrap up my third week of training on Sunday and I’m pretty stoked with how it’s going already. More to come on that soon.

Beyond the Publix Half, I’ve got some other big running goals as well. But since this post is getting monstrously long already, I’ll save those for their own post. Cliff hanger!

Blogging

Celebrating with my Atlanta run-blogging ladies at our annual holiday get together.

Celebrating with my Atlanta run-blogging ladies at our annual holiday get together.

Throughout this beast of an update post, I’ve alluded to the fact that I’m hoping to blog A LOT more regularly over the next year – about Race for the Cure, about ATC, about my running in general, and many other things. I feel like I promise this to myself and the four people out there reading this at least once every few months, but again, with a more flexible day to day schedule, I’m super optimistic that I can actually make it happen this time. I love having this outlet to share my thoughts, successes, and struggles, and I really don’t want to let it languish as I have in the past. I’m going to let the content evolve naturally as I see what happens with my new job, but I definitely want to get back to regular training updates and race updates as a start.

So that’s a bit about where I’m at and what I’m looking at for 2016. The last time I was this excited to kickstart a new year was when I started my Fellowship at the CDC, when I had a lot of similar things on tap. Thanks for joining me on this ride – let’s make it great!

#ATL3Day Fundraising Update

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned yesterday, my friends and family have responded to my fundraising plea for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day with immense generosity. As a result, I was able to meet my fundraising minimum within two weeks of sending out my primary fundraising letter. In fact, I am currently sitting at $2680 (including two offline donations that haven’t posted yet), a number that blows my mind. Literally, all I have done to raise that money, besides raising awareness through my training, is send out fundraising letters. It is a testament to the size of the hearts of my donors that WE have raised that much money, so quickly.

Because I view this as a team effort from top to bottom, I wanted to acknowledge all of my donors to date in this public forum. No matter the size of the donation, all of them matter and all are appreciated. So please join me in thanking the following people for their commitment to the cause of ending breast cancer forever:

Family

  • Roger Sager – Thanks Dad!
  • Mike and Kathy Cincotta – My incredible in-laws
  • David and Claudia Reeves – Mom’s brother and sister-in-law
  • Laurie and Larry Yaw – Mom’s sister and brother-in-law
  • Robyn and Colin Fink – Cousins on my mom’s side and new parents of Awesome Calvin!
  • Chumby and Lorelle Torkewitz – More cousins on Mom’s side
  • Doug and Lydia Warfield – Mike’s maternal grandparents
  • John and Pam Cincotta – Mike’s uncle and aunt
  • Sam Cincotta and Janice Eaton – Mike’s other uncle and aunt
  • Tom and Maureen Harrington – Not technically family, but basically Mike’s uncle and aunt

Mom’s former colleagues – some of the MOST generous people I know!

  • Domenick Gambardella
  • Brandi Hanback (and the Rockefeller Group who matched her donation)
  • David and Laura Ostheimer

Friends (from all walks of life!)

  • Andy Piazza – Race Chair for the Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure and my first donor!
  • Patrick and Amber Brown
  • Amie and Justin Collins
  • Bonnie Gartley – Go see her at Big Peach in Midtown if you need new running shoes!
  • Tim Long
  • Mike and Dawn Mazzanti – Some of my most dedicated supporters who ALWAYS come through for me!
  • Sarah Merrill
  • Tim and Janet Shoemaker

Fellow 3-Day Walkers (and friends, obviously!)

[I wanted to call these ladies out separately because they are all ALSO fundraising for their own 3-Day walks. Links to their fundraising pages are included!]

Many of these folks have left me incredibly touching words of encouragement and dedications for their donations. Bonnie donated in honor of her aunt and Sarah donated in honor of her grandmother, both of whom were breast cancer survivors. I am honored to walk for them, just as I walk for Mom, Marcia, and several others.

So, what happens now that I’ve reached my fundraising minimum? WE KEEP GOING. There are 33 days left for me to reach my personal fundraising goal of $5000. That means I need to average just over $70 per day until the walk steps off on October 16th. That’s not an insignificant challenge but one that I think is very much in reach. If you would like to help me reach this goal, you can do so by clicking here (or on the widget in the sidebar… or on the image at the bottom of this post… ). If you’d prefer to mail me a check, let me know via email (kscincotta@gmail.com) and I will send the directions for how to do that.

You may have noticed that I didn’t post the amounts that any of my donors contributed to my fundraising cause. That is because I believe that all donations, regardless of size, are worth equal acknowledgement. A $20 donation from one person may reflect a week of skipped Starbucks just to be able to contribute while $100 from someone else may be a drop in the bucket. What matters is the commitment behind the donation, not the amount of it. A commitment to more breast cancer research that WILL save someone’s life. A commitment to better screening and treatment for those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. A commitment to improved education around cancer for all of us. I may be the one walking the miles, but all of us are a part of this movement. Thank you for taking this ride with me!

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Click the image to visit my fundraising page and make a donation!

 

My 3-Day Fundraising Plea

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

The Atlanta 3-Day is less than five weeks away. Thanks to the incredible generosity of my friends and family, I have already hit my fundraising minimum. In fact, everyone was SO generous, I reached that important milestone within two weeks of sending out my fundraising letters (WOW!). Words cannot express how grateful I am to everyone who has donated to date. This is an important and personal cause for me, and it touches my heart to see everyone come together to support the great work of Susan G. Komen in the fight against breast cancer.

HOWEVER! The walk is still five weeks away. That means there is still more time to raise money, and I don’t intend to stop trying until the clock runs out. My current fundraising goal is $5000, as it has been every time I’ve done the 3-Day. I would LOVE to hit this goal for a fourth time. But I can’t do it alone. So, to that end, I’m sharing my fundraising request here as well. Please read this to see why this cause is so important to me, especially this year, and what you can do to help. And if you know of anyone else who might be interested, I would be forever grateful to you for passing this on.

Thanks!


Dear Reader,

Shortly before my mom died of breast cancer last year, she told me something that I didn’t know. Unbeknownst to me, back in 2010, she had planned to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day with my friends and me when we walked in memory of our friend Marcia’s passing. Marcia was my best friend’s mom. Marcia had gone through her cancer treatment alongside my mom for two years, enduring all of the ups and downs together before she sadly passed away in April of 2009. We walked to honor her relentless optimism throughout her battle and my mom wanted to be a part of that.

Unfortunately, that plan was derailed before it even got started. Mom’s cancer came back early in 2010, just as we were all starting to train and fundraise. She traveled to Boston with us in July and cheered us all on as “team mom”, never letting on that she had once hoped to be walking with us. Even then, she held out hope that she would eventually be well enough to walk those long 60 miles herself someday soon. Like me, she wanted to opportunity to give back to the breast cancer community that had benefitted her so much over the years. She wanted to take some responsibility for her own fate by raising money for the cancer research that had already prolonged her own life by several years beyond what her doctors expected.

Mom never got the chance to walk with me. While her health ebbed and flowed over the next few years, life kept me away from the 3-Day. I didn’t know she hoped to walk with me and I didn’t make the time to take on the fundraising and training challenges. When she told me her secret wish just a few weeks before she died, I knew immediately that I had to walk again. Whether by her side, with her cheering me on from the sidelines, or in her memory, I was determined to walk the 3-Day again. And this October, with her spirit guiding my feet over the streets and hills of Atlanta, I will do just that.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day is a 60 mile walk over the course of three days that raises funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and breast cancer research. A Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant has impacted virtually every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 32 years. The money that we raise through the 3-Day will truly help to save the lives of untold numbers of women. In order to participate in this event, I must raise at least $2300 and would love to raise $5000. This is a huge goal and I cannot reach it by myself. Please consider making a fully tax-deductible donation to help me reach my fundraising goal today.

If you would like to contribute, you can do so one of two ways. If you prefer to take the traditional route, you can mail a check to me at home (email me at kscincotta@gmail.com for my address). The check should be made out to “Susan G. Komen 3-Day” in the amount that is right for you and then I will do all the legwork to get your donation processed. If you prefer to donate online, please visit my personal fundraising page at www.the3day.org/goto/kscincotta to process your donation. Donations made online can be made as one time payments or in installments for up to four months. As you consider your donation, please keep in mind that many companies have matching gift programs, an easy way for you to double the size of your contribution!

The Atlanta 3-Day steps off in less than 60 days. That is not much time for me to reach my fundraising goals. But I am confident that together, we can get there. I am doing all of the walking. I just need your help with the fundraising. My mom never got the chance to do this walk. This year, I am walking for her. Please help me get there.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter. I hope that you will join me in taking part in this incredible adventure. Please share this information with anyone that you think might be interested. If I have learned one thing during my time with the 3-Day, it is that everyone, everywhere has been touched by breast cancer in some way. This is something that has affected all of us and together, we are working towards achieving the ultimate goal of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day: a world without breast cancer.

All my best,

Kristen Sager Cincotta

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Clicking on the above image will also take you to my fundraising page. Thanks!

 

Training Tuesday – Atlanta 3 Day, Week 1

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

This post is part of a series of posts that will document my 16 weeks of training for the Atlanta 3 Day in October. To read the rest of the posts in this series, please click here.

The first two weeks of training for the 2015 Atlanta 3 Day are officially in the books! It’s been hot and busy around here, but I’ve been doing my best to follow the training plan that I laid out in this post. In the interest of accountability, I’m going to do my best to use these Training Tuesday posts to recap how my previous week (or weeks) went. So let’s get to it!

Week of June 29th – July 5th

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A great moment from my first morning of training!

In general, the first week went well, although that isn’t really a surprise since it was basically the same running routine I’ve been loosely following for the last six months. I did miss my mid-week run on Thursday though due an uncooperative baby and some really exciting family news, although I justified that as being part of my “taper” ahead of the Peachtree Road Race. At this early stage in training, I can get away with skipping some runs here and there, but as the weeks go on, I’m really going to have to buckle down and get in my miles. Otherwise, the wheels are going to come off at the 3 Day and that’s just not okay with me. If I’m injured and can’t walk, that’s one thing, but if I don’t make it those 60 miles due to my own laziness? Nope. Not ok.

Monday

Ran 2.98 miles (plus 4 sets of strides) before work + 30 minutes of core strength before bed

Got in my miles super early and was treated to the most spectacular sunrise. This felt like a great omen for how the rest of my training is going to go!

Tuesday

30 minutes of core strength

At the beginning of June, I joined a 30 day core strength challenge on Facebook that KICKED. MY. BUTT. This was the last day of the challenge and I was ready to be done with it. The challenge was sit-ups, crunches, leg raises, and planks, with an increasing number of reps of each as the month progressed. On the last day, I did 125 sit ups, 200 crunches, 65 leg raises, and a 2 minute plank. I’m stoked I completed all 30 days (on time!) and I am definitely much stronger through my core than a month ago, but PHEW. That was a lot of work!

Wednesday

Rest day!

Wednesdays are always marked as running days on my training schedule, but I’m considering these Wednesday runs as my “bonus” runs each week. If I can complete them, I will. But my husband runs on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, so my only options for these runs are pushing the running stroller after work or on the treadmill at the gym at my office. By making these runs “optional”, I’m building in some schedule flexibility for when life things come up as well. In this case, I got caught up at work and didn’t have time to run. Oh well.

Thursday

Rest day!

This SHOULD have been an early morning run. However, Dash woke up right when I should’ve been heading out the door and just did not want to go back to sleep. So I got stuck. I thought about making it up at the gym after work but I forgot to bring my gym bag with me. TWO of my cousins had babies on this day and a large group of us were keeping up with all of the excitement via group text all day long. So I was just a tad distracted this entire day. I decided to just consider it a mini-taper before the Peachtree and settled in to look at pictures of the newest Reeves babies.

Friday

Rest day!

At a minimum, this should’ve been knee PT, and preferably a make up run, especially since I didn’t have to work. But I decided to use my rare day off to sleep in and I just didn’t get another chance during the day to get my run in. In the afternoon, we all headed to the Peachtree Expo, where I volunteered for the Atlanta Track Club. Love being surrounded by the energy of a race expo!


Hanging out at the Peachtree Expo with my fellow Atlanta Track Club Ambassadors!

Hanging out at the Peachtree Expo with my fellow Atlanta Track Club Ambassadors!

Saturday

Peachtree Road Race 10k (which, by my Garmin, was 6.5 miles – WHOOPS!)

One of my favorite races every year. Splashed down Peachtree in a thunder storm and finished in a solid 1:04:50. Still a few minutes off from my pre-pregnancy PR, but a solid effort. More details to come in an actual race recap soon!


Celebrating at the Atlanta Track Club Members' party after the Peachtree!

Celebrating at the Atlanta Track Club Members’ party after the Peachtree!

Sunday

One hour of “Yoga for Runners” from Yoga Today

A few years ago, I purchased three hour long yoga videos from Yoga Today that I absolutely love and “Yoga for Runners” is my favorite of the three. It felt GREAT after giving it a solid effort at the Peachtree the day before.

Total Planned Miles: 12

Total Completed Miles:  9.48

Total Cross Training workouts: 3/3 

Total knee PT: none (unacceptable, Cincotta!)

 

Week of July 6th – 12th

Week 2 brought with it my first back-to-back long training walks! I was able to finish both of them at a much faster pace than I expected, which was a big confidence boost. Of course, pace doesn’t matter AT ALL on the actual 3-Day. In fact, if you’re walking too fast, you’ll miss all of the best of the event. But I’m a busy person and those training walks are going to get really long, really soon. The faster I can bang out my training miles, the better!

Monday

Ran 2.95 miles (plus 6 sets of strides) + upper body strength before work

Got up early and got it done. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to complete my planned upper body workout, especially given that I was still sore from yoga the previous day.

Tuesday

Rest day!

Wednesday

Rest day!

I had every intention of running over to pick up Dash from daycare after work because we had a new water meter installed and I was working from home all afternoon. However, the workmen didn’t come back to check the installation and turn our hot water back on until almost 5pm, which was way too late for me to run over. In fact, they were so late, I didn’t make it to daycare at all. Hubs had to pick up Dash on his way home from work instead. Super frustrating.

Thursday

Ran 3.29 total miles of speed work (10 min warm up jog over to the track, 6 x 1 minutes at 5k pace with 2:30 minutes of recovery, 10 min cool down jog home)

This workout felt SUPER easy. I hit paces that were WAY faster than expected (I averaged an 8:20 pace!) and I felt like the recovery intervals were too long. It was encouraging, to be sure, but I’m clearly underestimating what I can do. Speed work should be challenging and this just wasn’t.

I received some pretty tough news at work on Thursday morning, so I was strongly thinking about pounding out some stress (and making up my Wednesday run!) by heading home from work early and running over with the stroller to pick up Dash from daycare. But when I left work, it was literally 100 degrees. Yeah, that wasn’t happening.

Friday

Rest day!

I had planned to do a second strength workout plus some knee PT before work but the baby woke up super early and didn’t really want to go back to bed. So I skipped it.

Saturday

Walked 5.06 miles early in the morning

Got up early to get these miles in before my day really started. I walked 2.5 sort of slow miles around the neighborhood with my “OG” training partner, Shenanigans, and 2.5 miles on my own. I decided to explore the undeveloped northern stretch of what will be the Eastside Beltline trail extension and had a blast. I walked along trails and abandoned railroad tracks and felt like I was miles and miles from home. I would never go this way if I was running due to the uneven terrain, so this was a nice treat.

IMG_1956 The future Beltline!
With my best girl and original training partner! The future Beltline!

Afterwards, I headed to the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market and helped Komen Atlanta distribute upcycled “market totes” made from old Race for the Cure t-shirts. Anything to spread the word and increase Race awareness!


Showing off my Pinterest skillz.

Showing off my Pinterest skillz.

Sunday

Walked 6.25 miles pushing Dash in the stroller followed by an hour of Ashtanga yoga

I expected that pushing the stroller would really slow me down (since it definitely slows down my running pace) but Dash and I really cranked on these miles. He was such a trooper too. Not too long ago, he would start fussing if he had to be in the stroller for more than 15 or 20 minutes, and today he hung in there like a champ for an hour and 39 minutes. Must be all that “base building” we’ve been doing walking around town and festivals for the past four months!

Yoga was tough but I was glad I got it done. I needed to stretch after pushing it for 11 miles of walking this weekend.

Total Planned Miles: 6.25-ish running, 11 miles walking

Total Completed Miles:  6.24 miles running, 11.31 miles walking

Total Cross Training workouts: 2/3 

Total knee PT: none (you’ll be ticked off when your knee implodes, Cincotta!)

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As always, I am putting in all of these miles to prepare for the Atlanta 3 Day which benefits Susan G. Komen. If you’d like to make a donation in support of my efforts, you can do so here. Thanks!

The Road to the 2015 Atlanta 3 Day Begins Here!

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

After a bit of a blogging hiatus while I figured out the whole “working mom” thing, I am thrilled to jump back into active blogging in order to announce that I’m walking in the 2015 3 Day for the Cure in Atlanta!

Ok, so “announce” is a bit of a dramatic word. Most of my friends and family have known that I’m walking again for quite some time now. But it’s been five years since my last 60 mile go around, so I felt like this sort of deserved it’s own “Tada!” moment. So officially, I will be walking 60 miles in 3 Days here in Atlanta in October!


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Kicking off my 2015 3 Day training with a stunning sunrise!


For those who aren’t familiar with the 3 Day, this 60 mile walk (spread across, yes, 3 days) benefits Susan G. Komen at the national level. That means that all of the money that is raised goes to fund breast cancer initiatives, and most importantly to me, cutting edge breast cancer research. While the majority of the money raised through local Race for the Cure events generally stays in the area where it was raised to fund community-level breast cancer programs, the 3 Day funds RESEARCH. As a scientist myself, I know the power of those dollars. And this year, I will again be helping to raise those dollars by walking a lot of miles – both during the event and in the next 16 weeks leading up to it.

I will be posting more in the future (hopefully A LOT more) about the fundraising side of this adventure. For tonight, though, I want to focus on two things: my training plans and my pitch to all of you to join me!

Training Plans – Running and Walking!

While it is certainly not required, it is very important to me to walk all 60 miles of the 3 Day in October. In order to do that, and to do it with a smile on my face, I will need to train. And that means walking, walking, walking.


With my teammate Mel during my first 3 Day in Atlanta in 2007.

With my teammate Mel during my first 3 Day in 2007.


I’m not going to lie – I’m predominantly a runner these days, so the idea of slowing down to log some walking miles isn’t super tempting. But, running and walking really do use different muscles. Plus, there are gear challenges with the 3 Day that aren’t really a factor with running, even at long distances (have you ever run with a fanny pack??). So walking some serious miles over the next 16 weeks is going to be crucial.

That being said, I LOVE running races. I probably “race” too often, but I can’t help it. I love the energy of it, even at small community 5Ks, and I don’t want to lose that over the next four months. I’m also hoping to run a half marathon early next year, if not before the end of this year. So that means that even as I log more walking miles than I care to think about right now, I still want to maintain at least some level of running fitness throughout this journey.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve spent some time playing around with training plans, including the 16 week plan that the 3 Day coaches recommend. After a good amount of time with my calendar (and talking things through with my husband!), I’ve finally landed on a somewhat convoluted plan that I think will let me get in enough walking miles to be fit for the 3 Day while still running enough to make me happy. Here’s the basic gist of how it will all work:

  • The training plan I’m following covers 16 weeks, ending the weekend of the 3 Day (October 16-18th, for those keeping track at home).
  • I will be following a modified 10 week 10k running training plan for most of those 16 weeks. I’m going to repeat the last three weeks twice in order to get to the full 16 weeks.
  • Every other weekend, I will substitute my Saturday long run for the long Saturday/Sunday back-to-back long runs of the corresponding weekend on the official 16 week 3 Day training plan.

Note: Most running plans feature one weekend long run followed by a recovery day. On the 3 Day, we walk 20 miles on three consecutive days. As a result, the most important feature of 3 Day training is walking long miles on back to back days so that your body becomes acclimated to bouncing back quickly. So running weeks will be one long run, usually on Saturdays, and walking weeks will be long walks on both Saturdays AND Sundays.

  • Every fourth week, I will substitute my weekday runs for the corresponding weekday walks on the official 16 week 3 Day training plan.
  • As best as I can, I am going to try to fit in up to three cross training sessions as well (two strength sessions + yoga). Fingers crossed!
  • Oh, and in the interest of not re-aggravating my ITBS, I’m going to try to do some of my knee PT exercises twice a week.

So, most weeks will look like this:

  • Monday – short run +  strength
  • Tuesday – rest
  • Wednesday – optional short run + knee PT
  • Thursday – speed work
  • Friday – strength + knee PT
  • Saturday – long run/race or long walk
  • Sunday – long walk (if applicable) + yoga

And my full walking weeks will look like this:

  • Monday – short/medium walk + strength
  • Tuesday – rest
  • Wednesday – optional short run + knee PT
  • Thursday – short/medium walk
  • Friday – strength + knee PT
  • Saturday – long walk
  • Sunday – long walk + yoga

More or less. There are some weeks where I’ll have to get creative, but for the most part, that’s what I’m hoping to do. My mantra word for the second half of 2015 is EXECUTE. I am fully committed to executing this plan.


With my teammates at Closing in the 2010 Boston 3 Day.

With my teammates at Closing in the 2010 Boston 3 Day.


Every week, I will try my best to post a recap of my training for the previous week. In the past, posting regular training recaps has really helped to keep me accountable and I expect that to be true again. I’m also hoping that when all of you see how hard I’m working to prepare for the 3 Day, you’ll be more motivated to help me reach my not insignificant fundraising goals. Wink,wink.

My Challenge to YOU

As all of us 3 Day veterans can attest, no one ever walks the 3 Day alone. Even if you start out alone, you are quickly absorbed into the pink bubble, surrounded by supportive “teammates”. As of right now, though, I don’t have any formal teammates, which is a first for me. I have a number of friends that I’ve met through the 3 Day who will also be walking in Atlanta (including some that I’ve never met before, despite “knowing” them online for five years!). So I know I won’t be alone. But I would love to have some official teammates as well.

Walking 60 miles in 3 days sounds like a huge feat. Raising $2300 in order to have that privilege can seem impossible. But I am here to tell you that it isn’t. I strongly believe that just about anyone can meet this challenge (and even if you don’t, your efforts in the attempt are still SO VALUABLE). My family members have recently become Fitbit-obsessed. I’m hoping that some of them kick it up a notch and take on the 3 Day with me. I also know a number of people who are on “get fit” kicks of their own. What better way to motivate yourselves than to take on the 3 Day?

Honestly, there are as many reasons to do the 3 Day as there are people who have walked it over the years. Whatever your reason, if you feel a pull in your heart to get involved, I strongly encourage you to do so. You will not regret it. The theme for the 3 Day this year is “Do Something Huge”. Make this your something huge.


My reason for walking, at the 2008 Atlanta 3 Day.

My reason for walking, at the 2008 Atlanta 3 Day.


If you choose to join me, the team I envision will be relatively informal. As a three time 3 Day vet, I can help answer any questions you may have and of course, we’ll celebrate together on the event in October. But your training will be up to you to execute (or not) as you wish, as will your fundraising. The primary focus of our team will be support and encouragement. This will be a 100% NO PRESSURE team.

I know a lot of people have expressed to me that they’re intrigued by the challenge that the 3 Day offers. Or that they’d love to do something, anything, to help in the fight against breast cancer. So this is your chance. Come walk with me in October. You can do it. I know you can.

If you would like to join my team, you can do so by clicking here. While you can sign up anytime between now and the event in October, I highly encourage you to register soon in order to give you ample time to fundraise and train. If you have any questions, you can shoot me an email here or tweet at me here. Or you can always just leave a comment on this blog post.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure! Whether you choose to walk with me or just to support from afar, we are all in this together. So thanks!

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While I am not kicking off my formal fundraising efforts just yet, my fundraising page is ready to accept donations. If you would like to make a donation in support of my efforts, you can do so by clicking on the link above or by using the widget in the left-hand corner of this page. Thanks!

Baby C Update and a Cause Worth Supporting!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Hi all!

Since today is my due date, I thought I’d start with a quick Baby C update, but then I wanted to post about something that I think is really important – my friend Michelle’s IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for medical supplies for the medical aid workers trying to contain the deadly Ebola virus outbreak.

From our maternity photoshoot at Piedmont Park with Allison DePalma.

From our maternity photo shoot with Allison DePalma.

But before we get to Ebola, an update on me! I have somehow gone an entire 40 weeks with almost no posts about my pregnancy. That was entirely by accident, due to a number of circumstances beyond my control. However, if you’ve been following my #100HappyDays challenge, you’ve seen plenty about all of our last minute preparations. At this point, we’re feeling prepared, if not yet ready. I’m not sure anyone ever feels totally ready for this magnitude of a life change. But we are prepared. We’ve taken birthing classes, breastfeeding classes, a baby basics class, even infant CPR. We’ve both had haircuts, eye appointments, and dental cleanings. The dog has had a bath and her most recent shots. The baby’s room is FINALLY done and we think we have everything we need for these first few weeks. Mike has been diligently cleaning every inch of our house and every linen/baby outfit he can find (truly, that’s all been his efforts and I could not be more grateful!). Heck, I even got my nails done last week so they’d look halfway decent in those new baby photos. So we’re prepared.

Baby C, however, doesn’t seem to be quite ready to make his big appearance just yet. I haven’t had any signs of early labor that I’ve recognized as such, so we’re thinking he’s going to take after his mom and come into the world a little behind schedule. But that’s ok. I’ve been lucky to have a fairly comfortable, non-eventful pregnancy so I’m not sitting here in misery. I’m excited to finally meet this little dude who’s been wiggle-worming his way around my insides for the last nine months, but I’m actually fine with waiting for him to be ready to enter the world. For now, I’m finishing up some things from work (from home at this point, thankfully!), taking care of some things around the house, and just generally taking it easy. We’ll be sure to spread the word to excited and anxious friends and family once there’s actually news to tell, I promise.

Now, onto my friend Michelle’s IndieGoGo campaign. Doctor Michelle is my college roommate and is easily one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met (and I know some pretty impressive people). She is Harvard-trained in emergency pediatrics and global health and has lead medical outreach efforts all over the globe. Of the many places where she has worked, Liberia has captured her heart. She speaks passionately about her experiences there and the wonderful people that she’s gotten to work with. Her great pride in how far they have come is clearly evident.

Doctor Michelle in Liberia

Sadly, Liberia, and its neighboring countries of Sierra Leone and Guinea are currently facing one of the worst Ebola outbreaks that the region has ever known. To use Michelle’s own words from the IndieGoGo campaign page:

In a world where conflict and war is raging on across so many countries, this is a war with no sides and no fault. There were no instigators, there will be no winners but the victims are many. The number of people killed by Ebola in this three-country region is more than half the total number of deaths from all prior outbreaks in Africa combined. Healthcare workers are on the frontlines where the sick flock, their safety is in jeopardy while they charge straight into danger to care for their own people.

Ebola is a highly contagious virus with no cure and no vaccine that spreads easily through contact. In the people that it affects, it starts out like any cold with fever and vomiting but turns into deadly internal bleeding. Ebola infection has claimed the lives of 12 brave healthcare workers and infected over 30. Only 1 in 3 infected with the virus are expected to survive this deadly disease, making the frontlines of healthcare in Liberia as deadly as armed conflict. Yet these brave individuals put their lives on the line to treat emergencies, pregnant women, children and those with chronic disease. Healthcare cannot come to a halt while Liberia waits for Ebola to go away.

As in all developing countries, medical supplies are scant and an outbreak like this taxes the few resources that the healthcare workers do have. To help ease this burden, Michelle has created an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for the healthcare workers in her beloved Liberia. You can read more about their needs on the IndieGoGo page, as well as more detailed information about how these funds will be distributed. But keep in mind this one number: $2.50 is enough to provide a healthcare worker with one set of protective equipment. That’s it.

Michelle’s initial goal for this campaign was to raise $10,000 in two weeks. Her friends and family blew that out of the water in the first day. So, as is Michelle’s relentless way, she raised her goal. She is hoping to raise $250,000 in the next 30 days. I hope that you will consider giving to this important effort. You can do so at the link below:

Click here to donate in support of the healthcare workers in Liberia in their fight against Ebola!

I am lucky that when Baby C decides he’s ready to enter the world, he will be doing so in a well-equipt medical facility where his risk of contracting scary infectious diseases is nonexistent. The same cannot be said for the healthcare workers in Liberia that Michelle considers to be family. Please consider making a donation to this most worthy campaign today!

You’re Invited: Bubbles and Bling, benefitting Komen Atlanta!

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hi Friends (or should I say Darlings)!

bubbles and blingOn Thursday, February 6th, the Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta Affiliate is hosting a brand new fundraising event and it would excellent to see as many of you there as possible!

This event, called “Bubbles and Bling” is a Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired cocktail party featuring unique entertainment, an open bar, and hors d’oeuvres for everyone in attendance. There will also be a number of additional ways for you to support Komen Atlanta in all of the great work that they do here in Atlanta and as part of the larger network of Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliates. Finally, one lucky attendee will find a one carat diamond hiding in the bottom of their glass of champagne (hence the “bubbles and bling” name)!

Interested? Excellent! Here are the critical details that you need to know:

Where: Mason Murer Fine Art- 199 Armour Drive, Atlanta, GA  30324
When: Thursday, February 6th from 7 pm – 10 pm (General Admission)
Tickets are $75 and include an open bar and hors d’oeuvres
Cocktail Attire

If you would like to learn more about this event, you can read more on the Komen Atlanta website, here. And if I’ve already convinced you to join me at this cocktail party, you can buy your tickets here.

See you there, Darlings!

Komen Atlanta Logo

 

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Welcome to 2014!

First and foremost – apologies for sort of disappearing a bit in December! While I am usually pretty busy this time of year (as we all are), this year really wiped me out. In addition to the normal hustle and bustle of the holidays, I also ended up having multiple orientations for some things I’m taking on this year (including serving on the Komen Atlanta Community Grant Review committee and acting as an Ambassador for the Atlanta Track Club), a number of parties with new friends and old, and a five day trip home to upstate New York, something we haven’t done in YEARS. Unfortunately, due to our work schedules, the only time we could schedule that trip was two weeks BEFORE Christmas, right in the middle of the month. The timing of that trip threw me off so much that I’m STILL playing catch up. Seriously: I’m still working on getting our “Christmas” cards out. On January 2nd. OIY. All in all, it was such a crazy month that by the time New Year’s Eve rolled around, Mike and I were perfectly content to just stay in by ourselves and relax.

Celebrating the season with some of my fellow Atlanta-area running bloggers, a wonderful group of ladies!

Celebrating the season with some of my fellow Atlanta-area running bloggers, a wonderful group of ladies!

On top of that general busy-ness, I also haven’t been running, thanks to a knee injury that just will not heal. When I initially hurt my knee back in October, I planned to take off a full month and hope for the best. After that month was up, I could tell from just my day to day activities that my knee was still pretty inflamed, so I decided to take December off as well. Things finally started feeling better over the last couple weeks, so in the hopes of participating in the ATC’s Resolution Run on New Year’s Day, I attempted a short run last weekend. It did NOT go well. Less than a mile in, my knee flared up and felt just as bad (if not worse) than it felt back in October. It was incredibly discouraging. My fellow running bloggers have been writing and sharing their running goals and race plans for 2014 and I couldn’t even finish three miles, let alone start planning for next year. Honestly, it was kind of a crummy note to end the year on.

Nope. Never made it there. Boo.

Nope. Never made it there. Boo.

However! I can’t let that get me down. Instead of moping, I’m making my first resolution of 2014 to figure out what’s wrong with this knee once and for all, figure out a plan to get it back to where it needs to be, and follow that plan to the letter until I’m back out on the roads and running the way I want to be. That means it’s absolutely time to find a doctor. I gathered some recommendations from friends on Twitter and on Facebook (thanks for your input, friends!), and established today that my health insurance doesn’t actually require a referral to see an orthopedic specialist. Tomorrow, I’m going to start calling around and see who can see me in the next couple weeks. Fingers crossed that by the end of this month, I’ll have the beginning of a game plan to get back to running again.

So, given that ongoing frustration and the general chaos of the holidays, it’s been pretty easy to fall out of my “Running for More” groove. However, I love writing here when I get the time, even if it is occasionally sporadic. Plus, with the new year starting, a lot of exciting things are happening that I’m really looking forward to:

  • As I mentioned above, I’m serving on the Komen Atlanta Community Grants Review Committee again this year. I’ll be reviewing my assigned grants over the next month and in early February, I’ll meet with the rest of the committee members to decide on our final funding recommendations to the Board of Directors. The whole process is intended to be confidential, so I probably won’t say much more here. But suffice it to say, working through this process will be eating up a big part of my January!
  • As an ambassador for the Atlanta Track Club, there are two non-race events next week that I’m really looking forward to: the town hall to discuss the future of the Grand Prix race series at 6pm on Monday, January 6th and the Annual Member Social on Thursday, January 9th. Look for a post with all the details on both of those over the weekend. Just as a note, though, ATC has asked people to RSVP for the town hall by Friday, January 3rd. If you’re interested in attending, please shoot a quick email to feedback@atlantatrackclub.org.
  • Finally, as this year’s Participation and Teams Chair for the Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure, I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t mention that registration for this year’s race (which will take place on Saturday, May 10th) is now OPEN! This is a GREAT goal race if one of your resolutions is to get in the exercise habit and improve your physical fitness. Our race is open to runners and walkers alike, so regardless of your personal goals, we’d love it if you made taking part in our race your goal. Also, as an added bonus, if you use the discount code “earlybird” at checkout, you can save $10 off your registration from now through January 15th. If I convinced you to register, you can do so by clicking on the link at the end of this post!

And finally, I really do intend to go back and fill in some of my blogging gaps from back in October. Tentatively, I’m planning to write those up over the next couple of weeks (I think I’ve got five posts to write). I think I’m going to back-date those posts when they’re done so that they make more sense in the archives and then I’ll write a quick wrap-up post with all of the links once they’re done.

With all of that on my plate, maybe it’s for the best that I’m not also trying to squeeze in training and races. I’m going to be plenty busy enough as it is focusing on the “For More” part of my personal mission without the “Running” bit. But first, though, I MUST finish addressing these Christmas cards once and for all before this gets seriously embarrassing!

Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure logo

Click the image to register for the 2014 Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure today!

#Run4Results Fundraising Update!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Hello friends!

Cruising into the finish line - still standing! (Photo courtesy of MarathonFoto)

Cruising into the finish line – still standing!
(Photo courtesy of MarathonFoto)

Tonight, I spent a few hours doing one of my favorite volunteer gigs – working the Atlanta Track Club membership booth at the Atlanta Half Marathon Expo. Between being surrounded by all of that running goodness and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday later this week, I thought it was appropriate to log on tonight to write a quick update on my #Run4Results fundraising for the American Cancer Society and to express my gratitude to everyone who supported me in this fundraiser!

So, without further adieu, I am THRILLED to share that I passed my fundraising for the #Run4Results! When I set out to do this fundraiser, I was running as well as I ever have, but was coming off some disappointing results from my #Run4Research fundraiser. Then my computer crashed and with it, my hopes of reaching my $1000 goal for this fundraiser in time for the AllState 13.1 Half Marathon at the beginning of October. However, as I wrote here, I regrouped and refocused and despite the development of some injuries that hampered my running, decided to target the Atlanta Marathon 10 Miler as my fundraising “goal race”. I quickly sent out some fundraising letters explaining what I was doing (which you can read here) and started pumping my fundraiser on social media.

On race morning (which was VERY chilly), my fundraising stood at $912. Not quite at my goal, but well beyond 75% of my overall goal, which was where I wanted to be on race day. So going into the race, I felt pretty confident that I would get there. Sure enough, over the next couple weeks, a few last donations trickled in bumping my fundraising up to where it currently stands now: $1052.30!!

After my relatively easy #Run4ROC fundraiser in March and my really tough #Run4Research fundraiser in June and July, I really wasn’t sure how this last fundraiser would go. Ultimately, I learned two important lessons:

1. With fundraising, you get out what you put in. The donations for this fundraiser really came in bunches – one bunch when I started the fundraiser, another bunch when I ran the AllState 13.1 half marathon, a huge influx after I sent my fundraising letters, and a few last donations after I ran the Atlanta Marathon 10 Miler. Clearly, when I put in the effort to write and share about what I was doing and why, people responded. Donations aren’t made because you wished for them. You have to put in the elbow grease to get the word out there. I’ve learned this lesson many times over the years and clearly, I needed to learn it at least once more.

2. My friends and family are incredibly generous. This is the third fundraiser I’ve done this year. I haven’t added up the total amount raised yet (that’ll come in December), but it’s somewhere in the range of $2750. That’s HUGE. I couldn’t self donate anything close to that amount of money. I was only able to meet my $1000 goal for #Run4Results and reach that larger fundraising total because of the generosity of all of you. So, extra special thank you to all of my wonderful #Run4Results donors: Pam and John CincottaCarolyn and Dustin DavisJanice Eaton and Sam CincottaDeb and Jon EhretLianne ForseyJay and Carole FurrDot HighfieldJanet and Tim Shoemaker, Caitlin Thayer, and both of my parents, Karen and Roger Sager.

I also wanted to give a special shout out to a few especially generous donors, either in amount or frequency of donation (or both!):

  • Andy Carr, my main man at the Atlanta Track Club who also donated to my #Run4Research fundraiser
  • Brandi Hanback, a colleague of my Mom’s who has been incredibly supportive of her throughout her cancer saga
  • Kate and Joel Jackson, who also donated to my #Run4ROC fundraiser
  • Dawn Mazzanti, who donated to all three of my fundraisers this year which is just absolutely above and beyond
  • Laura Scholz and Tim Long, who ALSO donated to all three of my fundraisers and ran the 10 Miler with Mike and I
  • Faren Shear, who also donated to my #Run4ROC fundraiser
  • Nancy Torkewitz, my aunt who thinks she donated anonymously but didn’t which is why I get to publicly thank her!
  • Laurie and Larry Yaw, who also donated to my #Run4ROC fundraiser as well as to my mini-fundraiser for the Atlanta Making Strides event

I am humbled to know that so many people support me in my efforts to do something in the fight against cancer in general and breast cancer specifically. Together, we truly are making a difference. When I am giving thanks this Thursday, much of that gratitude will towards everyone who has helped me to reach so many of my fundraising goals this year!

ACS Determination Logo 2

Because I have met my fundraising goal for the #Run4Results, I am not actively raising money for this fundraiser anymore. However, I am still quite a bit short of my fundraising goal for the #Run4Research, benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. That fundraiser is still open and active. If you would like to contribute and help me reach that goal by the end of the year, you can do so here. Thanks!

Monday Motivation

Monday, October 28th, 2013

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” ~ Confucius

With Julie, at the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Saturday

With Julie, at the ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Saturday

With Mike, after the ATL Marathon 10 Miler on Sunday

With Mike, after the ATL Marathon 10 Miler on Sunday