Friday, October 17, 2014

Fundraising Friday: Goal Smashed!

Another year, another St. Jude Heroes fundraising campaign is in the books.

  Yes, you read that right.  My goal for this year has been met. I still have a couple of things outstanding so I am hoping that I am able to at least break 100.00 over.

Once again I am proud to have met my goal and so excited to know that even in my little way I am able to support St. Jude and the children and families.

Last week I was able to sit down with my St. Jude Heroes rep and also the St. Jude Rep for the state of Oklahoma.  It was so so nice to be able to sit down and share why I got involved with St. Jude and how it has since impacted me.  I may or may not have gotten teary.  It seriously means that much to me.  St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is providing hope and making huge strides in not only treating but curing childhood cancers.

 I want to say that fundraising for St. Jude is not just a way for me to run races.  It is a cause that I believe in and am humbled to be able to support.  During our conversation, I admitted to them that both last year and this year I swore up and down I would not fund raise again.  It stresses me out, I'm a control freak and don't have the patience.   But then I meet my goal and I change my mind.  There is no way that I won't do this again. I'm also  currently registered for a local'ish St. Jude Walk in November the day before the Route 66 Half.  The hubs and the little people are coming with me.

This year I had some huge help from my friends inside the computer and I truly appreciate all of you for your help, your support and your ears when I needed them.  I have met some amazing people through this blog and from the online community and you all rock.

So I made a little promise during my fundraising attempts that once I reached my goal I would share my costume for the Avenger's Half.  So here it is.  Let me introduce you to Wasp, Suzanne Ran style.  I'm kind of giddy about it.  The wings light up and blink and the headphone/antennae actually work.  I have to give hockey nerd a bit of credit, because he initially suggested Wasp and I said no, until I saw this costume.

At any rate, another year, another St. Jude Heroes fundraiser has been completed.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fundrasing Fun Part Two: Logo Mania

In my continued efforts of raising money for St. Jude Heroes and an attempt to offer something for everyone.  I am super excited about this one.  As you know, I started Suzanne the Fan just recently but before I rolled it out I wanted to have all my ducks in a row.  So that started with the logo and design elements and moved forward from there. 

I was introduced to the super fab Chris from On a Roll Designs  thanks to DisBroad Amy.  Chris had designed Amy's new logo and Amy spoke very highly of her work.  So I convo'ed her via Etsy and explained my vision for Suzanne the Fan, color scheme and a little bit about my quirks.  I like to say she got me right away and delivered several amazing options to me based off of that initial conversation. 

If we were closer in proximity I would totally hang out with her.  I've also joked that I want to keep her on retainer because I keep coming up with ideas for her to work on for me.  Thank you Cards, Christmas Cards.  Twitter Headers.  You name it, if it requires a design she's my go to.  Sorry, Chris.  Not sure if that's good or bad for you? ;)

I've also enlisted her to help me revamp Suzanne Ran just a bit and we are in that process even as I type.  Here's just a little sneak preview of the what could be coming your way via Suzanne Ran very soon. 

So anyway, I digress.  Chris was kind enough to offer her design services to one of you.  Obviously, there is a catch.  (Isn't there always?)  So here's the scoop.  Any donation to my St. Jude Heroes page will get you a chance to win a free logo and your choice of social media header or website header.  That's a $40.00 value for ANY donation.  Super,super great deal. 

If you have been wanting to  update your blog, or just your logo here's your chance and at the same time you will be helping St. Jude be able to provide the same high quality of care that they are known for providing.  All at no cost to the families. 
If interested, my donation page can be found here
As always, thank you so much for your continued support. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fundraising Friday: Options, options and more options

I'm hitting crunch time for my goal, 60 days out and I'm at 60% of my goal. This go round has been a tough one but I will reach my goal, and I'm still holding out hope for smashing the goal in the process.

So to that end I'm trying to get creative with my fundraising and providing options for hopefully everyone.

At this exact moment in time, I have two fundraisers going.  My Schwan's fundraiser is half way through, so there is still plenty of time to order.   If you are interested in taking advantage of this truly amazing offer  click here 

Also, I have my playlist madness going on right now as well.  A $5.00 donation and you can pick two songs for my Avengers Half playlist. If potentially making me run to the Chicken Dance for close to three hours isn't incentive enough, the amazing people at Rock My Run have graciously given me TWO free one year premium memberships to help sweeten the pot.

The premium memberships are valued at $35.99 so that is one heck of a deal for just a $5.00 investment.  You can't beat their playlists if you don't want to sit down and create your own.  I have several that I rely on and have one that I swear helped me PR my last 10k.

The info for that can be found here

I have two other fundraisers looming on the horizon, one is a Jamberry Party hosted by none other than DisBroad Patty.  The party starts on 9/10 and if you are interested the link to the Facebook party can be found here.  If you haven't looked into Jamberry, you should.  They have super cute designs for your nails that last. You can even personalize if you don't see ones that you like.  I have ordered these because well they are Nightmare Before Christmas themed.  For more information on Jamberry  click on this link.

Also my fantastic new friend Chris at On A Roll Designs is helping me with another donation/giveaway.  Chris is the mastermind behind the logo design for my alter ego Suzanne the Fan and is currently working on a revamp of Suzanne Ran for me.  She picks up on the smallest details and runs with them.  Here are just a few of the designs she came up with for me.

Yes, there is a reason for my gushing, she has been so kind as to donate a logo design and an element of your choice for a donation to St. Jude.  Have you been wanting a little update?  Here's a chance to win one for just a small donation to St. Jude.  This one will be coming up soon, soon, soon.  So keep your eyes peeled.  

Whew! Once I get to my goal, I will reveal my Avengers Half Costume.  Yes, I already have it or parts of it in my possession.  I still don't have my Tower of Terror costume, but hey I have 27 days to figure that one out.  But I digress.

Don't worry I'll be glad to remind you that these are all going on at regular intervals.  As always thank you for your support of me and my St. Jude Heroes fundraising goals.  It is so so important that EVERYONE have access to quality medical care and St. Jude provides that to all families at no cost. EVER.  

And as always if you just want to donate you can do so directly to my St. Jude Heroes Page.

Together we can help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital #SmashChildhoodCancer

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fundraising fun Part One...Playlist mania

Ok, so trying something a little different for my next St. Jude Heroes fundraiser.  You might have noticed that I'm slightly obsessive about my running playlists.  

I absolutely have to have music when I run, and I sort of have my list down to a science, or at least components.

 You might also have noticed that I have raging OCD tendencies and I don't relinquish control very easily.  Well, until now.

So here's the deal.  For this next fundraiser YOU (yes, you) will get to create my Avengers Half Marathon play list.  For just a $5.00 donation to my St. Jude Heroes fundraising campaign, you can pick two songs that will go to my playlist.  You can be as nice or as ornery as you want to be. This is after all for a good cause. 

 Have a favorite song you want to share, something motivational?  Want me to run to the Chicken Dance?  So be it.  It's all in fun and it's all for the children and families of St. Jude. 

Once the playlist is complete, I will share it here.

The fine print I will end this fundraiser on Monday, September 8th  To donate please go to my St. Jude Heroes page found here or here:

Once that's done leave me a comment here with the two songs that you would like me to add to my playlist. 
Have fun, and please be kind.  Or not.  Your donation, your choice. 

Also, as a little extra incentive the awesome folks behind Rock My Run have generously offered a free Membership for me to giveaway as part of this fundraiser. The winner will be selected via

Monday, August 18, 2014

Shhh...I've got a secret

I've been quiet lately because I've been working on a little project.  I have been working on a rather unassuming alter ego.  

Come visit my little corner of the nerdiverse, All of my Disney,  my little people, Marvel, Star Wars whatever ramblings that are not running related are going to be shifted there.

Suzanne Ran will remain what I started it for to begin to chronicle my running/getting healthy journey. Oh yeah, and maybe thoughts on the whole first marathon thing from time to time. 

I am super excited that I have a home for the random nerdiness that completes the whole picture.  Hope you will join me.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Little Corner of the World

I've been a slacker.  I'm sure you are shocked as I've been remarkably quiet.  Outside of posts about my fundraising efforts that oddly enough are going to require me to run.  Yes, you know, run that thing that I haven't been doing.

The simple answer is that I've been enjoying family time.  We've got something that resembles a routine and it's been nice.  The more complicated answer is the working outside of the home mommy guilt got to me.  I work a 9/80 schedule which is heavenly and allows me to have every other Friday off but that requires me to work 9 hours a day with a half hour lunch for 9 days to get that done.  Then add in two busy little people and trying to train in between.  It just hasn't worked this summer.

People say that you can make time for what you want to make time for.  I suppose that's true. This summer was apparently fun family summer.  While I have had the nagging "you need to run" thoughts I have pushed those aside to just be with my family.  

Trust me I have been wanting to run, my family has been wanting me to run. Oh, believe me when I say I'm a better mommy/wife/friend/coworker/random person when I run.  I'm a lot more pleasant.  I can guarantee that. 

So not this bad, I just love this scene :)

 My husband finally called me out yesterday.  It's that bad.  Ok, that last sentence might be in jest.  But he knows that I love to run, tis true I do.  He also knows that I need to run.  Um, hello Tower of Terror ten miler, Avengers Half, Route 66 oh and this little thing called Goofy looming in my future.  

I told him I have been guilty about being gone to get my training runs in.  Especially the long ones.  This has been an ongoing conversation really, it rears its ugly face every so often.  I am fortunate enough to have a free fitness center through work and it rocks.  But even that has limited hours and yep, I have to leave the house.

So now to the point of this post.  I promise there is one.  Welcome to my new little corner of the world

I'm hoping this pretty little thing will let me get my training runs in from the comfort of my home.  It's also going to be nice to have when my mileage creeps up.  You all know I love my treadmill intervals so this is not so much of a torture device for me. 

 We got a great deal on it and it ended up being the last one/floor model etc.  We need to go back and try a third key because the two we haven't gotten so far haven't worked.   Kiko has been enjoying it as a nice new bed.  But she better not get used to it as I do plan to break it in soon.

Have you ever taken an extended no run break?  To my mom runner friends how do you keep the Mommy Guilt at bay?  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fundraising Friday: Dinner is Served

My next fundraising project is right around the corner.  I started thinking about this time of year, kids are getting ready to back to school.  Or in some cases are already back in school.  With school comes more demands on time, fall sports, activities, getting back into the world of homework.

For us it means the arrival of soccer and Daisy Scouts and Wednesday night church activities.  It's just busy and sometimes it's just hard to sit down together and eat a meal that isn't fast food.  We rely a lot on Schwan's during the busy and when I found out that Schwan's works with fundraisers it was a done deal. 

Schwan's is about convenience and the food is actually amazing.  This is a picture of my favorite Southwest Style Lime Chicken...Yummy

But it's not just prepackaged foods, the meat and veggie selection is amazing.  We can order online and it gets delivered to our door.  It doesn't get any easier than that.  The pricing is reasonable too.  Especially when you factor in the costs of eating out.  

So without further adieu let me introduce you to my next fundraiser through Schwan's Cares.  It goes live on Monday, August 11th and will run through September.  

Here is how it works:

It won't be red when it goes live, but you get the idea.  For every $25.00 Schwan's eCertificate that is purchased through my fundraising link they will give $10.00 to my St. Jude Heroes fundraising goal.  eCertificates could be a great gift idea too.  Or if you just want to shop online you can do that too.  For every online order placed through my Schwan's Cares fundraising page, they will give 20% back to my St. Jude Hereos fundraising campaign.  

If you are already a Schwan's customer and order online, would you please consider making your online orders through my page?  Same Schwan's ordering experience, just a different link and your normal shopping will help the children and families of St. Jude.  

If you aren't a current Schwan's customer I urge you to check them out.  I promise they really are fab.  

Here are the links for both again:

Schwan's normal website:

My Schwan's Cares fundraising Page:

Have you ordered from Schwan's before?  If you have what is your favorite?  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fundraising Friday: 2014 Edition

It's the return of Fundraising Friday.  As you all know, I launched my second fundraising attempt with St. Jude Heroes.  This time for The Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland.

This week, I have wrapped up my first two fundraising efforts.  I ran my Her Universe Avengers Distressed Tank giveaway, thanks again to those that entered.  Plus a back to school Thirty-one party with the proceeds going to St. Jude Heroes.

I'm off to a fairly good start, but I could always be doing better.  I was challenged today in regards to my thoughts on fundraising and so I might try to start thinking outside of the standard Suzanne fundraising box. Which of course means that I'm going to have to be bolder than normal.  Being bold = not normal Suzanne behavior.  It's time to channel my inner Lady Sif.

You want me to do what? 

Did I mention, this is out of my comfort zone?

In another nod to last years fundraising, I have once again told my family that I did not want anything for either my birthday or Christmas this year outside of a donation to my St. Jude fundraising and once again they will be honoring that request.

New to my Fundraising Friday I will be featuring several of my charity running pals and their fundraising efforts.  It all balances out in the end and ultimately all we want \is for our chosen charities to be the true victors.

So in keeping with my outside of the box fundraising dilemma.  What are some things that you would love to see as a fundraiser?  What are some things you would rather not see?  When you contribute to a fundraiser are you more interested in helping your friend, the charity, or something different?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And the Winner is

A BIG thank you to all who donated, retweeted,  and shared.  My Her Universe Avengers Distressed Tank giveaway ended last night. 
I went a little old school and did this by list and So here is the how it went down.

Congrats to my winner.  
 I hope you enjoy your Her Universe Avengers tank as much as I love mine.
Thanks again for your support for the children and families of St Jude.
Stay tuned for more fundraising fun.  I'm well on my way, but will not stop until I smash my goal. 
 Together we can help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital #smashchildhoodcancer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Assemble for St. Jude

It's childhood cancer "clobbering time".  Welcome to my first St. Jude Heroes fundraiser for this year. I'm admittedly kind of geeked about this one.  When I started thinking of ways to raise funds this one seemed an obvious choice to me.

If you follow me on Instagram (and if not come join the fun @SuzanneRan) you probably know that I have discovered a love of Ashley Eckstein's  Her Universe line of clothes.  It started with a Come to the Dark Side we Have Cupcakes shirt.  Then I decided to stock up from there because I loved it so much.  So cute, so comfortable and fun.  Did I mention cute and comfortable?  For our most recent Disney World trip on Star Wars Weekends, I lived in my Her Universe Star Wars tanks.

Even E got into the action with her Princess Leia tunic.

So imagine my joy upon returning home to see the Marvel line debut.  So many cute options. I broke down and bought an Avengers Distressed Tank and the Icon leggings.

And for my runDisney friends look how cute this is with a Sparkle Athletic Gunmetal skirt.  Would make a fantastic easy costume or just fun for a training run.

 So here is where my fundraiser comes in.  What could be more appropriate for a fundraiser for the Disneyland Avengers Half than to offer up a super cute Avengers Distressed Tank.  With a donation of any size to my St. Jude Heroes fundraiser you can win your own Her Universe Distressed Avengers Tank.

Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from people like you.  St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most - saving kids regardless of their financial situation.  (That means your donation, no matter what the size will help!)

What could be better than that?  By helping St. Jude #SmashChildhoodCancer you can also possibly walk away an awesome Marvel tank from Her Universe.

To be eligible to win either comment here that you donated or leave a comment on my Donation page which you can find here

The giveaway will end at midnight on July 22nd and the winner will be announced on July 23rd.

This is not an ad or sponsored,  though Ashley is aware I am doing this.   I am purchasing the winners tank out of my own expense. All opinions on the clothes are mine.  :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Smashing Childhood Cancer

So maybe I have gotten nostalgic because this time last year I was deep in the trenches of my fundraising for St. Jude Heroes for Wine & Dine last year. Or maybe just maybe I decided that I wanted to run another race as a St. Jude Hero.  

It's no secret that running for St. Jude had a profound effect on me last year.  It was a way for me to run for something...for someone and for it to mean something.  St. Jude is near and dear to my heart and I will support them to whatever extent that I can. 

This one race kept calling my name and finally I decided to look at the St. Jude Hero website.  Imagine my surprise when I saw they had openings.  I talked to my husband about it, I debated it internally and I visited with some of my friends.  I dismissed it initially.  Then I looked again this weekend.  Two spots left.  

After about fifteen minutes of anxiety producing staring at the confirm registration button on my screen I finally hit submit.  So as of yesterday I am now officially registered as a St. Jude Hero for the Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland just a little over a week past my birthday. I sure love these birthday races.  

photo from runDisney

I am excited to #SmashtheHalf as a St. Jude Hero and I'm hoping to help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to eventually help #SmashChildhoodCancer  even if it is in my own little way.

Did you know that St. Jude does not charge anyone for their services?  That not only are the children taken care of but the family is nurtured as well.  Don't forget their ground breaking research and the advances that they are making every day in regards to treating childhood cancer.  They provide hope, love and care for every family member and for the patient and all of that is free. FREE.

This is the perfect combination for me.  I get to let the geek side out for a bit and I get to help the families of St. Jude at the same time.  What could be better than that?  

So I'm throwing my hat back into the fundraising ring.  I already have my first fundraising thirty-one online party starting and I'm working on all sorts of fun giveaways.  

Together we can help St. Jude Smash childhood cancer.  

If you are interested in making a donation to my fundraising efforts you can find the link to my Personal St. Jude Donation page here.  Or

Thank you for your consideration in helping me help this beyond amazing cause.

Have you run for charity before?  If not, would you consider doing it?  What kind of giveaways do you like to see charity runners offer in their quest to reach their fundraising goals?  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Suzanne Ran(doms)

Ahhh summer vacation is well under way.  So under way that we don't have much time left.  To my local teacher friends, you did not read that last part.

Now that some of our bigger plans have taken place, I hope to get back into more regular posts.  But for today I thought I would catch up with just where my head is at and has been.

  • Disney was a blast, the road trip was a blast.  It was probably my favorite family trip by far.  More details to come as far as the new things we did and experienced.  This trip for sure needs a recap for my Disney and my Marvel/Harry Potter/Minion loving friends. 

  • In the past two months I've had the Tour de Broads.  I have been fortunate to see some of my favorite people.  On our way to Orlando, I got to see DisBroad Kristen and her family for dinner.  My E, and her oldest Sam, hit it off very well.  Then on Friday we got to see DisBroad Julie and her mini-me and spent some quality time poolside.  Might even be a little mini-broad and mini-dude crush in the making.  Then just last week, I got to spend two days with DisBroad Patty in Phoenix for the Disney Social Media Moms On the Road event.  I absolutely love that people who have been important in my computer are now important in my real world.  Trying to figure out how I can invade the other broads non-race worlds too.  

  • Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Phoenix was amazing.  So amazing I'm still processing it all and will post more in detail later.  I was so excited to be invited to attend, and I learned so so much.  Some of which you will see come to play in the near future. 

  • Oh yeah, and that whole running thing?  That's starting up again too as I start to prep for Tower of Terror Ten Miler and Route 66.  Oh and Goofy.  The biggie is looming ahead of me. 
So how has summer vacation gone for you so far?  If you are just starting your summer, any big adventures planned? 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Divas Half Branson Recap

People say that running is as much a mind game as it is about endurance.  This race, totally proved that to be true.  I went into this race fully aware that there would be hills.  I briefly glanced at the elevation map and decided I just really wanted to run this race.  I loved the whole concept of this race series, the medal, the roses, the boa, just the general diva-ness behind the race.  Oh, and did I mention, there is champagne at the finish line too?  Well, except in Branson, it was sparkling juice, but same idea.  I didn't think anything more about the hills, just signed up and turned a blind eye to what was facing me.

What started out as family trip, ended up being just my husband and I as an early celebration of our tenth anniversary.  It was on the way to Branson that I decided to look at the elevation map again.  Then I got worried.

Finally we got to Branson and got checked in and went over to the Expo and picked up my packet.  I even made Lew wait in line with me to get the boa/tiara picture before we left.

The packet pick-up portion was awesome, there was no confusion and not really much of a wait to get it. As far as the Boutique portion of the Expo, I was kind of surprised that it seemed small to me.  In fairness, I probably have gotten spoiled by the runDisney expo's that had anything and everything.  But honestly, it's such a trivial thing I almost feel silly bringing it up.    I actually walked out of the expo without buying anything which was huge for me.  Or it could have just been that my husband was with me instead of friends who like to shop as much as I do.

We went back to the room and then went out to Branson Landing for dinner.  Then back to the room.  I still was indecisive so I laid out both outfits just so I'd be ready in the morning either way.

 I am hyper-vigilant about start time. Some would say neurotic. But  I am always afraid I'm going to be late, so I always make sure I'm early.  Staying at the race hotel, was awesome because literally I woke up, went downstairs and made a right and I was at the starting line.  Absolutely loved the convenience and not having to wake up three hours before the race was pretty fab too.

Diva was the first race I've started by myself in a very long time.  I saw lots of groups of friends and I missed my Broads and my local race friends.  But as soon as I started I was ok.  I was focused.  I had in my head that the hills were only in the first half, and that after the 10k I should be good.  So that was on repeat in my head.

The hills for sure were daunting, I avoid hills during normal runs like the plague.  So I was woefully under prepared in that aspect.  I dealt with them as they came up but admittedly I walked most of them.  I figured I could make time where I could.

Then I started noticing my pace and started getting a bit discouraged.  I was seeing times that I have not seen since I first started running.  For me, it was discouraging.  I was still hoping I'd hit my 2:15-2:30 goal.  I really was hoping to PR which would have placed me under 2:15 but I knew I'd be pushing it to get to that. But I also thought once I hit the 10k and we started downhill, I'd be able to make up time.

It seemed like literally it was up hill, run flat for a bit, uphill, flat.  Rinse, rather, repeat.  I saw a sign somewhere on the course that said "it's just a hill, get over it."  My initial thought was "really, then why aren't you running?" Then I thought, "hey, that's right. Perspective, Suz, perspective".  Yes, I talk to myself, most of the time, I don't aswer.

So I finally hit 10k.  I was so excited thinking relief was ahead.  Then I got to mile 7 and another hill.  I almost cried.  But after that hill was a glorious downhill mile.  My fastest mile of the entire race.  Thinking I was done with hills I got after it.  I was wrong.  More hills kept coming.  I kept plugging again, but was getting further away from my goal with every hill.  Also, I could feel a blister had popped up so that slowed me down a little as well.

I hit 10 miles and I had to change my play list.  Hello, time suck.  But I was so in my head that I knew I needed a different play list to help me get out of it.  It only partially helped.  I was defeated by the hills.  I let them get the better of me.

There was one final hill and I swear it was the worst hill of the entire course.  In my head it was just straight vertical incline.  It was here I thought I just wanted to sit down.  I just wanted to be done.  I thought maybe I'd be ok if I just stopped for a minute.  I felt like I was just standing still and people were flying by me.  I kept going, I was slow, but I was moving.  It was here that I realized there was absolutely no way I would PR, let alone reach either of my other goals.

 Finally I got on the other side of  that last hill and I recognized that we were getting close to Branson Landing.  Then we came up on the boa and tiara station.  I absolutely love this part of the race, such a fun idea.  But, I was so ready to be done, I feel like I didn't enjoy it the way that I should have.  I was trying to finish as close to 2:30 as I could and just grabbed them and kept moving.

Then I saw the most beautiful sight in the world.  The finish line.  I was so relieved, I ran as fast as I could.  I even managed to muster a smile as I was crossing the finish line.  My tiara was no where to be seen, and I was carrying my boa, but I was smiling and I felt victorious.  Or at least I looked that way and that is all that matters in the end?  Right?  Fake it until you make it.

But I digress, after passing the finish line, everything else was a blur.  I remember getting the rose, and the sparkling juice.  The cute "firemen" handing out the medals were even part of that haze.  I got the medal and said  thank you and started looking for the hubs.  I finally tracked him down on the other side of the finish area and started handing off all of my stuff to him, as I made my way through the finishers area to get to him.

Final finish time was 2:34:28. Going back today and looking at the final results and I finished in the top third in my age group  Not terrible, by any stretch of the imagination. But I was mad. I was throwing such a big temper tantrum in my head that even Miss E would have been proud to call her own.  I let my head get the better of me and was just irritated and disappointed in myself.  Now that I've had time to digest on it a little bit, it was probably my worst race mentally, but it was the best race as far as showing my perseverance.  No matter how much I wanted to quit, I didn't. I kept going even when it would have been easier not to keep going.

I will also admit that I was totally under prepared.  Even IF the course had suddenly stopped being hilly, I was not ready for the hills. Note even remotely.   I can't blame the hills, the course map, the elevation/gains and losses, it was my fault for not taking the hills seriously and being better prepared.

The Elevation map from my Garmin.  

Overall, I loved the race experience.  The race itself was fabulous, great course support, no issues with water, there were DJ's and inspirational inflatables at random spots throughout the race.  Which probably not so coincidentally ended up being right where I needed a diversion.  It was not overcrowded and I could actually get around if I needed o do so.

I am totally a fan of the Diva's race series.  I cannot wait to do another one, even if it means I might have to travel a bit further to get there.

As far as running, the Divas Branson, It was hot, it was hilly. Did I mention it was hilly?  However,  I am bound and determined to do it again next year if they bring it back.  So Diva's Half, I'm heading your way again and this time I will crush my goal.

Have you run a Divas race?  Have you ever had a course that just totally got the better of you?  How do you handle frustrations when you are not happy with how you did?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Always Remember

Six years ago, my world was turned on end.  After having a second fine needle biopsy on my thyroid(on my fourth anniversary no less) and having the results come back inconclusive I was faced with a total thyroidectomy. 

Funny at the time, I was more concerned about how it would look.  Vanity was more important than the reason I was having the thyroidectomy.   I was concerned how L who was barely 2.5 years old would react.  I was worried about E.  She was only six months at the time and I had orders that I would not pick her up for at least two weeks.   Never once did I consider that it would be cancer. 

A day or so after I had my thyroidectomy I got the phone call from my surgeon.   The pathology reports were back.  I had three spots on my thyroid that came back as cancerous.   Papillary Carcinoma.   Yes, it was "just" Thyroid Cancer.  Yes, it is the best variation of cancer to have.   But it's still cancer.  Helpful hint...Please NEVER tell a thyroid cancer survivor that it's the best kind to have.   I know it seems helpful but really it's not.  Truthfully it's not always the easiest kind to treat.

That diagnosis started two years of medical yuck.  I will spare you the details, but for the cliffs not version it involved two radioactive iodine treatments, three rounds of chemo, two other cancer scares and three surgeries.

But, I digress for several years i had been talking about getting a tattoo to remember my diagnosis and the road that lead me here.  Cause ya know the scar that mostly looks like a glorified neck wrinkle just wasn't a good enough reminder for me ;)

But it couldn't be any tattoo,  if I was going  to have one it had to have some meaning behind it. I finally found this just a few months ago and knew it was the one I wanted.  

That was everything I was looking for.  The colors are the colors associated with Thyroid Cancer.  The butterfly also is tied to thyroid issues since the thyroid itself is butterfly shaped.  The wings also had meaning to me on a different level as well. . With that image, I went off with Lisa and got my first tattoo.  I felt tough, I felt empowered. Yes, I realize it's silly to say it that way, but it is what it is.  I have had absolutely no remorse in getting it done.  I maybe should have waited until after we got back from our trip but I wanted to do it before I lost my nerve  But this is my tribute to the first time I was stronger than I realized.  

Two and a half hours later,  I left with this beauty.  

No matter what the day may bring you are always braver and stronger than you realize.

Have you done anything out of character to remember an important event or circumstance in your life?   For those of you with tattoos how long did you debate getting one?  Am I the only one that took forever to commit to one?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Where in the World is Suzanne Ran?

The most obvious answer has been not here. Work has been crazy, we've had out of town visitors, spring soccer, end of the school year activities, anniversaries, and most importantly Disney World trip prep.  So in other words life has taken over for a bit.

After vacation, I promise I will be back on a regular basis.  I have much to say including a long overdue Divas Branson recap.  That one was a tough one for me but I loved it at the same time.  

So to at least play catch up, here is a look at my last few weeks in pictures.  

The last picture has some explanation coming also.  Yep, that's me and there is a story and significance behind it.

And of course in honor of Griswold Day 2014:

Anyone else dealing with too much to do and so little time?  Who is ready for a less hectic summer?