Sunday, June 27

We Did It!!!

Early race day morning. Randy was still waking up.
Sarah is ready to run!
Randy is ready too!
Our supporters are ready also!

We are officially Half Marathon Finishers. It was one of the most amazing experiences. As we were getting ready to start, I was sooo nervous, but once we past the starting line, I eased up and off I ran. One of the best parts of the run was looking forward to being cheered on by Grandma Swann and Jolee. They were waiting at just after 3.5 miles into the run for us. Seeing them was better stimulator than any power bar could ever be. After meeting us along the way, Grandma and Jolee drove to the finish line to wait for us. Passing the finish line was very emotional for me. It is hard to put into words the feelings that were running through me, I was thinking about Susan, our supporters and our donors, that I completed a half marathon (something 6 months ago I wasn't sure I could do). I can't believe how much fun it was to run. So many people cheering us along the way. The beautiful views. Having my loving husband at my side. This was truly a great and wonderful experience. I took oodles of pictures on my phone so as soon as I am able to figure out my new phone and how to get the pictures onto the computer I will post those with a more play by play of what was going on throughout all 13.1 miles of fun.

Some Stats for Finishers:

Name:  Sarah Swann
Bib#: 37132
Chip Time: 2:46:57
Overall: 12859/17593
Place by Sex: 8619/12560
Division Place: 1747/2245
Age Grade: 39.4%
Pace: 12:45
5 Km: 36:01
10 Km: 1:16:40
9 Mile: 1:52:59

Name:  Randy Swann
Bib#: 37131
Chip Time: 2:46:57
Overall: 12857/17593 
Place by Sex: 4240/5033
Division Place: 638/708
Age Grade: 35.5%
Pace: 12:45
5 Km: 36:01
10 Km: 1:16:39
9 Mile: 1:52:59

Approaching the finish

Stopped for a quick picture

Crossing the finish line!
The Swann Family post run

Thank-you so much Grandma Swann and Jolee for being there to support us! Thank-you to our amazing donors. You are wonderful! Thank-you to Anna for being our captain/coach/mentor. Thank-you to Susan for being the type of person that inspires people to better themselves and for always thinking of others.

Friday, June 25


Here we are right after picking up our race numbers!!!
Jolee is less excited than we are.

Our big day starts nice and early tomorrow. We will start our run at 7 am. To say the least, I am going crazy with excitement! In 12 hours we will be lined up and ready to run our very first half marathon. WOOO HOOO! Yesterday we went to the Health and Fitness Expo to pick up our race packets. Talk about shockingly fun. We ate so many different kinds of power bars. Got free chair massages. Jolee drank a healthy drink and she is going to be on their website because she was SO cute chugging it. I tossed a little ball in a shoe and won a teddy bear for Jolee. Watched a Lizard Man run across liquid. And just had a great time. 

Mom and Jolee getting ready to rock.
Randy showing how it is done. ROCK ON!
Rockin Swanns!

There is still time left for last minute donations to help us meet our fundraising goal! Any amount is VERY appreciated!

Monday, June 21

Thank YOU

I wanted to give a special thanks to all of you have generously donated to help us raise monies for Susan's Foundation. It has helped keep us motivated  during training and will keep us motivated while running. It helps knowing that we have so much support from people such as yourselves. Please keep the donations rolling in, any dollar amount is greatly appreciated. Thank you, THANK you, THANK YOU!!

Last in Arizona

No. she is not picking, just pointing.
We just got back from our last training run in Arizona. Our next little run will be on a treadmill in a hotel in Seattle. The next run after that will be the SEATTLE ROCK N ROLL HALF MARATHON! Woooo hoooo! I listened again to Hello Seattle by Owl City and I took off like a bullet. Randy even told me that I was running too fast this morning and that he had a hard time keeping up with me. Which is even more impressive given the all out, feels like running in an oven feeling that the heat caused this morning.
Wow, it was HOT! High today for Tucson is 103. It wasn't that hot, but it was at least 80 and it wasn't even 8 am. Anyways, we only ran about 2 1/2 miles this morning. We planned on running 4 or 5, but we slept in a little too late and getting heat stroke days before a race is a bad idea. We are getting so close to race day and so excited. Our bags are packed and we are ready to go. We just need to finish the last of the laundry, last minute house work, and I have 2 more nights of work. So close I can almost taste the salty sea air.
We are looking for inspiration for our big day, please leave any quotes or motivation you can think of that we can use to mentally motivate ourselves as we attempt to conquer the hills of Seattle!

Also, there is still time left to donate. All donation go to the Susan Mortensen Turley Foundation, benefitting young adults with cancer. Happily accepting donations of any amount. Feeling tight on cash, but you still want to donate? Donate $1. Every donation makes a difference and will help to encourage us on race day.

Saturday, June 19

Happy Father's Day

To my darling husband, HAPPY 2ND FATHER'S DAY!

To my always supportive daddy, HAPPY 26TH FATHER'S DAY!

To my wonderful father-in-law, HAPPY 5TH FATHER'S DAY as part of our family!

To all you great dads out there, I wish you all the best of days. The love of a father makes the biggest difference in the lives of children everywhere. Keep up the great work!

Friday, June 18

Getting Excited... REALLY EXCITED

I can't believe that we are 8 days away from our first half marathon! I remember back in December when we really made the fleeting thought of running a real idea. This is what I sent to Anna to let her know we would be joining...
"As crazy as I think this is. I think Randy and I want to be a part of the team and do a half marathon. Yikes, I actually said it. I am terrified at the thought, but I want to do this. (I am so out of running shape! I walk 3 miles 3-4 times a week). The biggest challenge will be getting enought time off of work. It also depends on when Randy will have to start work. He graduates in May and will hopefully be starting to teach this summer at a year round school. I have been doing research on training and pre-training. I think I will be walking a lot of it. I want to do this to support you and to help raise money for Susan's foundation. I am looking forward to seeing which state it will be. If I survive this, maybe we can do future marathons too. I will definately need some education on how to get myself started. "
I was so nervous at the very idea of running. In fact, I was nearly faint at idea. I am so happy that we made this decision. I am grateful for the support that Anna has provided to us throughout our training... providing us with training material, answer question after question, and providing never ending motivation. We have slowly overcome all of the obstacles that we have faced during training, whether it be lack of sleep, having to face running in the heat or at 3 in the morning, running around my ever changing work schedule, or old injuries. Becoming a runner has been life changing. I really never believed that I could ever run more than 3 miles without stopping. At the beginning my main goal was just to finish within 4 hours, and to be able to run for 3 miles at a time without stopping to rest. My plan was to run 3 miles, walk a mile, run 3, walk 1, run 3, walk 1, run 1.1. With how much I have changed in my abilities, I can now run without stopping to walk at all. I am really looking forward to not being forced to stop by red lights. Most of all, I realized how important having something to run for keeps me going. I wonder if Susan ever looks down and is surprised at how much she has affected the world in her short life. She really changed my life. I am so humbled to be running in her honor and to help raise funds for a foundation set up in her memory. Yesterday, one of my coworkers told me that Susan was her EFY councilor and how much she liked Susan. It is little things like that that keep me wanting to do better. I often think about my life and I wonder if I am doing as much as I could to help improve the lives of those around me. I want to be like Susan and be remembered for being kind and friendly and making the world brighter. 

We are still in need for donations for Susan's foundation, we are getting closer to our goal, but we need a little more help. 8 days and counting left to donate. Once again we appreciate all of the support we have received!


Sunday, June 13

8 teeth

After another sleepless night, Jolee now has 8 teeth. Hopefully tonight will be a restful one. Jolee is being super goofy. She called GrammS and talked on the phone. More like yelled at the phone. Hopefully Mom Swann's ears aren't too damaged. Jolee showed how independent she is becoming at church today. She wanted to walk around all by herself, holding hands is for one year olds, not one year and 13 day olds. As we were getting ready to head home, she decided it was time for her to go exploring and she trotted off the opposite way. We said bye and starting walking away, so Jolee waved bye over her shoulder and continued on her own way. One and going on 13. At least she is small enough for me to pick up and carry to the car; I doubt I will be able to when she is a teen. She also has been snuggly today. Nothing melts my heart like her giving me googly eyes and wrapping her little arms around my neck and giving me the biggest hug she can muster. I love my little girl, teething and all!

Saturday, June 12

13 miles before 6:45 am

Here we are two weeks from race day. You could say that last night was a sleepless night, but you would be making a HUGE understatement. Poor Jolee is cutting teeth. After being up the great majority of the night, she now has 7 teeth. I got about 2 hours of sleep in half hour spurts and Randy got maybe 3 hours. So with this in mind, the alarm goes off at 3 am. We drag our exhausted bodies out of bed and get dressed to run. With Jolee now happily asleep (of course), we pull her out of bed and get her into the jogging stroller. Thank goodness that she sleeps very well in the stroller. By 3:38 am we arrive at the starting line for our morning run. It is still dark, so I carried a flashlight and Randy wore his super cool light hat. We start our run fairly well. Not to fast, but not too slow. Our goal is to finish our half marathon in 3 hours, so an overall average of 15 minute miles including stopping for water and the occasionally walking rest. Compared to our Monday run (all my muscles were cramping and I had to walk after about 3 miles because of a bruised foot), this was an awesome run. I ran nearly all 13 miles straight. The only times I stopped were to fill up my water bottle which I empty at a remarkably quick rate, for red lights (at least there won't be any of these race day), to down a GU gel, and to wait for Randy near the end. I was a machine today! I just ran and ran and ran without getting too tired. It was very enjoyable. We were about 8-9 miles into our run before the sun came up so I didn't have to deal with overheating. Randy kept up with me almost the entire run. His usually technique is to run and pass me, stop and walk and wait for me to pass him, then run again. He has a difficult time running at my slow 12-13 minute mile pace. This works well for him as long as I don't get too far ahead of him, as was the case today. He stopped to fix his shoe and usually he is so fast that he easily catches up to me (he runs a 8-10 minute mile pace), but today I got too far ahead and he lost some motivation, so I had to stop and wait for him (actually I walked backwards while yelling motivation for Randy). Me stopping for him is not a norm! But anyways, we decided to try some GU gel at mile 7.5 to prepare for the race. There is a GU gel station at 7.5 miles into the race. We bought these last Saturday and we tried one to see how it tastes. I almost gagged. It is like trying to swallow funky tasting glue. Thick and sticky and weird. Well, we learned that the stuff is actually not difficult to get down at all if you have a mouthful of water and squirt it into the water and swallow quickly. I was actually kinda surprised at how much easier it was to swallow. Well, the GU gel actually worked pretty well at giving me a burst of energy to help me get to the finish. We ran 13 miles in 2 hours and 57 minutes. I am sure that Seattle's hills will present a challenge, but I am still fairly confident that within 3 hours we will be crossing that finish line. I can't believe it is only two weeks away. We are now entering the rest and recovery time to prep for the big day. We are so excited! Still plenty of time to donate! Thanks for all of the support. 

Sunday, June 6

Challenges for the Lemonade Makers Team

We have 19 days until Seattle Rock and Roll and in an unfortunate turn of events, our running team of 4 has decreased down to a running team of 2. Randy and I are the only Lemonade Makers that are going to be able to run for Susan's Foundation. As this is the case, we are really hoping to reach our fundraising goal. Only $790 more to go. There is no minimum donation level, even $1 would be very happily accepted. Can't donate, but know someone who can or who might be interested in our cause? Send along the link to our blog. All of the funds raised will help young adult cancer patients. For a first hand look into cancer in young adults, please read Susan's blog. She candidly told of her experience until the end. She was definitely an inspiration to me and is the reason that I am running. As our training continues and we are getting closer and closer to race day, the frequency in which I think about Susan increases. Heres to keeping Susan's kindness and generosity alive. Feel free to email anyone and let them know about this opportunity to make a difference. Also, donations are tax deductible so keep a record of your donations for a write off on next year's taxes.

Jolee's Birthday

(Jolee brushing her hair to get ready for the day)

For Jolee's birthday we started the day with a present from Mommy and Daddy. We gave her a music/educational table (you can see her playing with it in the video). She really likes it and is frequently playing all kinds of music with it. Recently she has decided that climbing up onto it is the best idea. We have been discouraging this. Anyways, back to her birthday. So we lounged around a bit and played. After a nap, we went over to the mall to Picture People and had birthday pictures taken.
Next we stopped at Color Me Mine, which is an awesome pottery store where you get to paint your own pottery and then they glaze and fire it. We painted a vase and Jolee put hand prints on it. So cute!
Then, Jolee played at the kid area. Mostly she just walked around holding our hands and squealing in delight that she got to be with all of the kids. She had the hugest grin on her face! We then heading to Sunflower Market and bought some rice cream (ice cream made out of rice milk, she still can't tolerate dairy). Once we got home, we sang her "Happy Birthday" and let her devour her first bowl of rice cream. She LOVED it. After a quick bath, we went to the park and played with some of our friends. Jolee loved all of the extra attention and she had a blast being carried around and absolutely spoiled by our friend's kids. What a great day! We are so grateful to have Jolee as our daughter and for the joy she brings to us. Happy 1st Birthday Pretty Princess!

Thursday, June 3


Jolee decided that she wanted to be walking before her first birthday. She went from taking only a few steps here and there to walking across the room in one day. She is now attempting to speed things up and is trying out running. She has become a fast little walker.

This is as she started out walking full-time...

This is her as a more veteran walker, 1 week....