Honored Heroes List

I've had this post on my mind for quite some time... actually, almost from Day 1 of joining Team in Training. I know it will be a bittersweet part of this journey, but the most important part... coming up with my tribute to those who I am racing in honor or memory of.

As you all know, I lost my maternal grandmother, Vera Zamosky ("Nanny"), to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) in 1995, when I was in college. Nanny fought hard through multiple bouts of the disease for nearly 4 years, before she lost her fight at the young age of 70.

I don't recall having ever heard of lymphoma before Nanny's diagnosis, nor do I remember hearing about it again for many years. I guess at the time I thought it was some rare form of cancer. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

I have been aware of Team in Training and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for several years, mostly from friends and co-workers who have participated in the program. On some level, I knew that by donating to LLS, I was helping to fund research for the type of cancer that had taken Nanny. But, until I joined TNT in January, I never realized how widespread blood cancers are. I never imagined how many people I already know who have been affected by this disease, and how many more I would meet as a result of this journey.

So, here's what I want to do... I am planning to carry the names of all the people I am racing in honor or memory of on the day of my triathlon. I'm not sure yet what the best medium will be (this may depend on the number of names I have). I may make a card that I can laminate and pin inside my tri jersey, or I may make ribbons to attach to my race belt... I'm also open to other ideas??

For those of you who have already shared with me that you have a friend or family member who is either a SURVIVOR of leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma, or have unfortunately lost their battle with one of these diseases, I will be emailing you shortly to get your heroes' name to add to my tribute. Anyone else, please shoot me an email/text/etc. or respond to this blog to let me know the name of your personal honored heroes and the type of blood cancer that they have been affected by.

I'm "TRI"-ing to save lives...want to help?



Seriously, people...I can barely keep up with you! Every time I turn around, I have hit another $500 benchmark and it's time to thank more people. Don't get me wrong, this is one of the BEST parts of this whole journey. But, I just did a ROCKSTAR tribute 5 days ago, and I already have another 8 awesome people to thank for getting me to $2500! So, here we go again...

Just like Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, and Round 4, the rules are the same: For each donor mentioned, I'm including the state they sent me their donation from, and how long I've known them (although as you will soon find out, the "how long I've known them" part is becoming difficult in some instances). These are listed in alphabetical order by first name - based on the newest donations posted to my TNT website as of today:

Alison D (Georgia): Co-worker and friend of my husband's, who he has known for about 3 years.

Bobby B (California): My cousin, and another of the 11 grandchildren of my grandmother Vera, who I am racing in memory of. I've known Bobby since his birth in 1980. He is also the son of Victoria B, who I thanked in an earlier ROCKSTAR post.

Deana S (California): Deana and I met in college in 1994. We carpooled (several times each week) over a 2 year period from Orange County to San Marcos. We became even better friends after college, and hung out regularly until I moved to Georgia in 2000. Now Deana and Jim have 3 little boys in their crew to keep them busy! I get to see them about once a year when I am home visiting CA.

Doris W (Nevada): Doris is the grandmother of Leah, who is a kindergarten teacher at the school where my mom works. Leah's boyfriend (Andy) just lost his mother to lymphoma last month, so this is a cause that is very dear to their families.

Jennifer D (California): Co-worker and friend of my mom's. Jennifer is a 3rd grade teacher at the school where my mom works.

Jim Z (California): My uncle, who I have known since my birth. Jim is the youngest of 5 children of my grandmother Vera. Uncle Jim lives in Lake Tahoe where he can fully enjoy his love of the outdoors.

Louise L (Iowa): My aunt, who I have also known since my birth. Louise is the oldest of 5 children of my grandmother Vera. She has four grown sons and 10 grandchildren of her own, all living close to her in Iowa. My mom and her 3 sisters take a trip together every summer, and it looks like this year they are planning a "Southern" road trip, with a stop in Atlanta!

Susan T (California): Co-worker and good friend of my mom's. Susan is the Office Manager at the school where my mom works. Susan has been so sweet and supportive of my mom this past year!

THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!!! Each and every day of this journey is more and more amazing.



State Update

I'm up to 11 states represented by my donations so far! I think this is SO cool! On the positive side, it shows just how many people want to support LLS in finding a cure for blood cancers. Sadly, it also represents just how many people have likely been personally affected by one of these diseases.

I will give a training update later in the week... I've just returned from a long weekend in St. Petersburg, FL. It was a busy 4 days hanging out on the beach, with friends, and attending a good friend's first triathlon! My own personal training was a little slack between the travel and all the fun, though I did manage an early morning run on the beach one morning, tons of walking, and even some dancing! Anyway, I'm back at it tomorrow morning...

I'm "TRi'-ing to find a cure... want to help?



These ROCKSTAR postings are becoming more and more frequent – and that is AWESOME NEWS!! I have rapidly surpassed the $2000.00 mark in my fundraising, and with more donations "en route," I want to give credit to my most recent donors who helped get me to the latest benchmark! So, just like Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3, the rules are the same: For each donor mentioned, I'm including the state they sent me their donation from, and how long I've known them. These are listed in alphabetical order by first name - based on the newest donations posted to my TNT website as of today:

Denise B (California): My MOM, who has obviously known me since my birth (maybe even before, some may argue)! My mom has been my biggest cheerleader over the past several weeks, as evidenced by the donations that I've received as a direct result of her bragging ;-) Sadly, Mom knows way too many people who have been affected by the insidious diseases that LLS is working to cure… so she is a big supporter of this organization. My grandmother Vera, who I'm racing in memory of, was my mom's mom. Mom also lost her dear friend Peggy a year ago to multiple myeloma.

Mom and Dad are coming to Georgia in June to watch me complete my triathlon and take part in all of the special weekend festivities with Team in Training… I can't wait!!! I LOVE YOU, MOM!!

Frank C (Georgia): My dentist, whom I've known since becoming a patient of his in the 2003-04 time frame. Not only is Dr. C. a great dentist (in case anyone in the area is looking), but he's a great contributor to our community, and just an all-round nice guy!

Jim & Donna J (Michigan): My brother-in-law and wife, whom I've known since 2002. Unfortunately, living out of state means we don't see our families as often as we would like… so I am thankful for the invention of unlimited wireless minutes. The Jackson father and brothers are big phone talkers (Or maybe I'm just married to the talker)?!

Karen G (California): A friend of my Mom's. I've never actually met her (yet), but I know that my Mom adores Karen's young daughter, and she thinks that Karen has the nicest family.

Mid Coast Studio (Michigan): The employer of Donna J (from above). I don't actually "know" Mid Coast Studio, but they were kind enough to match Donna's donation to LLS! (hint, hint.. if anyone else out there works for a company who will match employee's charitable contributions, it's a great thing to take advantage of!)

THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!! I am so touched by the generosity of each and every one of you. I hope that the act of charity gives you even 1% of the "warm fuzzy" feeling that I get every time I think about the difference we are all making!


I'm "Sort of" a Triathlete!

Yesterday was the highly-anticipated "Super Sprint Triathlon," put on as a joint effort of the Peachtree Tri Club and Team In Training's Summer Tri Team. This was the first event of this kind put on by either organization, and it was AWESOME!! The field was limited to 40 total participants, and we were able to register a couple of weeks ago on a first-come, first-serve basis. I was lucky enough to secure a spot!

The race was designed for, and encouraged to be for first-time triathletes - those of us training for our first "real" event. The 40 racers were pretty evenly split between Peachtree Tri and Team in Training (TNT) members. This was not a USAT-sanctioned event, and was merely for practice and fun.

We started off pre-7:00am Saturday morning at Marist School in Atlanta. With the sun just starting to rise, and at a chilly 47 degrees, we had the joy of stripping to our swimwear in order to be body marked. This consists of having your race number and race category written on your arms and legs in the EXTRA WIDE black Sharpie!

After race instructions and a transition clinic to teach us how to set up our transition areas, we headed across the parking lot to the indoor swim complex. The race began with a 200-yard swim in the pool. A time-trial start was utilized, with swimmers starting 5 seconds apart so as not to cause a traffic jam in the pool. I started about 2/3 of the way back in line, but managed to pass several people during the swim! Out of the pool (and out into the cold air), we ran across the parking lot back to the transition area.

T1 is the first transition, where you go from swim to bike. This involved removing my swim cap and goggles, then putting on socks, cycling shoes, headband, cycling jersey, windbreaker vest, bike helmet, and sunglasses. I decided not to waste time putting on my cycling gloves, since the ride wasn't going to be long. You have to walk your bike out of transition until you cross the "mount" line. I felt pretty good coming out of T1 and headed out of the parking lot into the neighborhood across the street.

The bike leg was somewhere between 6-7 miles, but consisted of several winding hills, both up and down! It was way hillier than any of us expected. With about a mile left in the ride, my chain came off my bike. Luckily I was able to put it back on without too much of a delay. I later found out that most of us on TNT lost our chains at least once on the course. As for the Peachtree Tri folks, I'm not sure how many lost their chains, but I saw several of them walking their bikes up the hills. It was that hilly! Here I am coming into T2:

You have to unclip from your pedals and dismount the bike before crossing the chalk line heading into the transition area. T2 involved putting my bike back onto the rack, removing my bike helmet and cycling shoes, then putting on my running shoes, visor, and race number (on a race belt). Took a quick drink of Gatorade and ran out of transition.

The run was a little over a mile, on the school's infamous cross-country trail. The school has a race each year called the "Double Dipper," and I soon found out why…. the run course was an EXTREMELY hilly trail run. In fact, it was not unlike Muddy Buddy or the Xterra Trail Run series' that I love! However, I've never run a course like this after swimming and biking. In fact, at one point during the run, I said to a fellow racer, "since when did hiking become part of a triathlon?"

Coming down the last stretch and hearing the crowd cheer was a great feeling! We all got little finisher medals and a goody bag with some good loot! My total time (from the time I hit the water until I crossed the finish line) was a little over 55 minutes. Not too bad, all things considered.

I'm "TRI"-ing to save lives...want to help?http://pages.teamintraining.org/ga/IronGirl09/alisejackson


Tour de Metro Atlanta

Honestly, that is what the long holiday weekend felt like to me! It was extremely busy, but awesome nonetheless... let me back up a few days to catch up on my training:

Tuesday: 1 hour swim at the gym after work

Wednesday: rest day...bliss :-)

Thursday: 5:15am boot camp

Friday: Workout #1 - 6:15am boot camp (started an hour later since we all had the day off work - yay!) Workout #2 - Storms threatened the idea of a long ride at Silver Comet. A friend and I did some tri gear shopping until the weather cleared up, then took a 12 mile ride at Big Creek. It had literally just stopped raining, and as we rounded a corner on the bikes, several deer ran across the trail... nearly a Matt Lauer moment!

Saturday: TEAM brick (ride and run) at a cycling spot nicknamed "Silk Sheets." This is a path of two-lane country roads southeast of the city several miles off Fulton Industrial Blvd - practically in Alabama. At least that's how far away it seemed when driving there early Saturday morning! Did a 20 mile ride on rolling hills (thus the name "Silk Sheets" - think of what silk sheets look like), which provided excellent practice for using all of the different gears on the bike...and I only lost my chain once - about 18 miles in! After returning to the parking area, I quickly racked my bike, swapped my bike helmet for a visor, my bike shoes for running shoes, and took off on a 10 minute run. If you have never tried this before, I cannot even begin to explain how ridiculous it is to try to get your legs to remember how to run (or even walk for that matter)!

Sunday: Again! Again! I decided that Saturday was such a great workout that I wanted to do it again... and I wanted to try a location a little closer to home that I've heard about. Took the hubby with me to ride at Harbins... another series of two-lane country roads that are only about 30 minutes away from home. The weather was absolutely gorgeous for a long ride...and we did another 20 mile ride, followed by a 10:30 run! The ride was full of rolling hills, but included one seriously long, steep hill that totally whipped us! We saw horses, cows, goats, llamas, and beautiful houses along the way, which made for some great scenery! It was a great day followed by a wonderful late lunch of Mexican food on the patio - a perfect reward!

Today: 1 hour swim at the gym after work. Timed myself on a 200-yard swim (4:45). This is my benchmark for the "Super Sprint Tri" that I'm doing on Saturday. (I will blog about that later!) :-)

The upcoming week is going to be very busy with Team in Training events... track clinic tomorrow night, bike tire changing clinic Wednesday evening, TEAM swim Wednesday night, my Super Sprint on Saturday, and TEAM recommitment party on Sunday. Phew!!!

As a reminder, next Tuesday night (the 21st), my Summer Tri Team is hosting a happy hour fundraiser at Park Tavern from 7-9pm. For a $20 cover charge, you get unlimited access to a beer and wine bar. Please mention my name at the door, and $10 will go directly to my fundraising campaign for TNT! If I forwarded you the Evite, please respond.. and if I didn't forward you the Evite, or you need more info, please let me know. Hope to see you there!

P.S. Was anyone keeping count? Yeah, that was 52 miles on the bike in 3 days! And that's still not as much as the cycle leg in a Half Ironman race...(unreal).

I'm "TRI"-ing to save lives! Want to help?



I'm SO excited to blog tonight, because my "ROCKSTAR" tributes/thank-yous are my very favorite blogs to write - and I've got 11 new ones to add that have pushed me over the $1500 mark!... So, just like Round 1 and Round 2, the rules are the same: For each donor mentioned, I'm including the state they sent me their donation from, and how long I've known them. These are listed in alphabetical order by first name - based on the newest donations posted to my TNT website as of today:

David B (California): I've known David since 1996 - he was actually my boss at my first "post-college" job. Though I only worked for him and with him for less than 2 years, we became very close friends in the years that followed. We traveled together via train all over Europe for 16 days, took our first trips to Australia together, and have countless other amazing vacation escapades to remember! Even though I moved far away, and our lives are crazy-busy most of the time, he is still my dearest friend and someone who I know will always be there for me. :-)

Debra C (North Carolina): Debbie and I met in 1983, when we were both 4th graders (!) in Orange, California. We were in the same class at school and in Girl Scouts together. Debbie's family moved to Michigan when we were in the 7th grade, but we stayed in touch through the years. Post-college, she moved to North Carolina, and when I ended up in Georgia in 2000, we found ourselves a mere 5-hour drive apart! Although not nearly often enough, we do manage to get in some long weekend visits to catch up and hang out.

Diane L (California): Diane is a dear friend of my family who I have known my whole life. She is still one of my Mom's closest friends, and was like family to me when I was growing up.

Emelda C (California): Emelda is a neighbor of my parents. In all honesty, I have not personally met her, but during a conversation where my Mom was talking about my triathlon and my raising money for LLS, Emelda gave her a donation to pass along to me! How cool is that!

Heather W (Idaho): Heather was a classmate and neighbor of mine who I met in junior high circa 1987-88. We played high school softball and rode the bus or walked to/from school together. Heather now lives in Idaho and has five (yes, 5!) little kiddos! She lost a good friend to lymphoma a couple of years ago, and is keenly aware of what this devastating disease can do.

Jody, Lori, and Will Hamilton (Georgia): Jody and Lori are neighbors and friends of ours who we met when we moved into our house in 2002. Their son Will came along a few years later... Jody lost his father to brain cancer two years ago, and he and his family are big supporters of cancer research programs such as SBTF. We actually participated in a fundraising 5K with his family last year to help raise money for another great cause!

Joyce B (Ohio): Joyce is the mother of David B (mentioned above)! Joyce is the sweetest lady - she sends me a birthday card and Christmas card every year with a lovely handwritten letter. Believe it or not, we have never actually met in person.

Lindsay D (South Carolina): Lindsay is an ex-co worker of mine who I met in 2000 when I moved to Georgia. She moved to "South Cackalacky" ;-) in 2002, but we have remained good friends with her and her husband Sean. They are our super fun friends with the house on the lake (when the lake has water!), and we look forward to summer fun - boats, boat drinks, and sunshine!

Marilyn T (California): Marilyn lives across the street from my parents. I "think" she is an original homeowner in their neighborhood, from when we moved there in 1987. Marilyn's donation also came as a result of a conversation with my Mom. (Thanks, Mom for all the PR and bragging!)

Rebecca A (Georgia): Becky and Doug are also neighbors and good friends of ours who we met in 2003. They have an uber-cool little boy who we've enjoyed watching grow up so fast! Even though they live a mere 10 houses away from us, we don't get to hang our nearly enough, especially in the winter. Becky is also deeply connected to this cause, as she lost her grandmother to leukemia.

Verna F (California): Verna is the mother of my friend Melody M, who I thanked in Round 1 of ROCKSTARS a couple of weeks ago. I suppose I met Verna circa 1988 as well and saw her last at Melody's wedding in 1993. Her father (Melody's grandfather) passed away from lymphoma in 2001.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! You are truly my heroes - you are keeping me motivated because you believe in me, and I am humbled by your generous outpouring of support.


Stepping It Up In April

April looks to be a VERY BUSY month for Team in Training! Actually, it will all be very busy from now until event weekend. Our workouts are becoming more intense and our schedule is really crammed with group swims, bike rides, bricks (ride and run combos), "practice competitions" (more on that later), track clinics, transition clinics, tire changing clinics, etc., etc., etc... Our end of month goals are close to double what they were last month in terms of endurance. Let me catch you up on the past 9 days of training:

Sunday: made it to the gym in the late afternoon for a "gym brick": stationary bike ride for 30 minutes followed by a 1 mile run on the treadmill

Monday: 5:15 am boot camp

Tuesday: was in Charlotte for business, so had to settle for a 2 mile run on the hotel gym treadmill

Wednesday: TEAM swim; focusing more on continuous swim, with less breaks in between laps (after all, there will be no pool wall to hang onto during the race day swim in open water!)

Thursday: 5:15 am boot camp

Friday: 5:15 am boot camp; mile run in 8:57

Saturday: 32-mile bike ride on the Silver Comet Trail. Mostly flat trail, with one decent hill and a few small inclines along the way

Sunday: TEAM brick at Stone Mountain (at 7:30am, no less). That 5 mile loop around the mountain was HILLY! After the 32 miles on Saturday, my legs were shot, so I did 10 miles and then ran for 10 minutes. The only silver lining of a 7:30am Sunday morning workout was that I was back home, showered, and taking a nap by 11:00am :-)

Today: Workout #1 - 5:15 am boot camp. Workout #2 - TEAM swim (moved to Monday night for this week). We swam with the Spring Tri team (their event is in less than 3 weeks!) The pool was open for 50m lanes, rather than the 25m lanes we are used to. This required more endurance, but was actually a lot of fun!

(You'll notice that I haven't had a rest day in 13 days, but I also only had one day last week with a double workout, so I don't think I'm overdoing it). I will take my rest day this Thursday, and get back on the type of schedule I was doing last month, only with more intense workouts each time.

Speaking of rest....zzzzzzzzz!


Fundraising in Full Swing!

I'm getting very close to my "Recommitment Date" for Iron Girl! Remember when I originally sent out my emails and letters and said that I had committed to raise $3400 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) by some date in April??? It seemed like a long way away at the time - but APRIL IS HERE!

Now, don't get me wrong...I CAN (and gladly WILL) still take donations all the way up until my event date... you did not miss your window! But, by signing my recommitment paperwork (on April 15th), I am committing to raise my minimum event amount - even if that means I donate the remainder myself. That's how much I care about and believe in what I am doing!

Between now and event day, my TEAM and I are busy working on various fundraisers to supplement the awesome donations we receive from our family, friends, and colleagues. We are approaching businesses for items to donate for a raffle and/or silent auction. We are approaching restaurants/bars to ask them to host happy hours or other events and donate a portion of their proceeds. We are approaching "home party" types of businesses to ask about having a portion of sales donated to LLS. Here are two "fundraisers" that I have going on right now:

  • Have you heard of Cookie Lee jewelry? The have really fun, stylish, affordable jewelry that is fun to wear and makes a great gift (Mother's Day is coming up!) Think beads, crystals, shells, etc... really great stuff for Spring/Summer outfits! I often get asked about the pieces I wear, so I approached the local consultant, and she agreed to let me host an internet/catalog "party" and she is going to donate 20% of all sales to my fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)! How great is that??!!

    You can look at the catalog online
    HERE . You can flip pages, zoom, etc.... If you are interested in getting your hands on an actual catalog, let me know and I can get one to you! I also have some sample pieces of their jewelry line, so if you're interested in seeing those (and you are local to me), just let me know!

    How the "party" works:

    If you (or someone you know) would like to place and order, please email me the following:
    -Address (for jewelry delivery)
    -Phone Number
    -Email address
    -Page Number / Item # / Description / Price of each item desired
    I will write up your order, add 6% sales tax and $1.50 flat rate shipping for the total order (regardless of # of pieces ordered). I will email you back an order form for your records. We can then arrange payment (cash, check, or credit card), and I will turn in your order. The jewelry will be shipped directly to you. I will take orders up until Friday, April 17th, but will turn in the orders weekly as I get them so that you will get your items quicker! I'm going to turn in the first set of orders this Sunday.

    Please feel free to pass this along and share with your friends, family, and co-workers who might be interested in purchasing Cookie Lee jewelry.

  • The Summer Tri Team is hosting a Happy Hour at Park Tavern (in Atlanta) on Tuesday, April 21st from 7 - 9 pm. For the purchase of a $20 wristband at the door, you will get access to an unlimited beer and wine bar. Please mention my name when you purchase your wristband, and $10 from each purchase will go directly to my fundraising campaign for LLS - and will REALLY help me meet my goal! Besides, $20 for unlimited happy hour and a good time on a Tuesday night? Can't go wrong!

I'm "TRI"-ing to save lives! Want to help?