Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me! -- Thoughts on Getting Older

--From Valerie (one of the members of the Java Joggers!)

Yesterday, I turned 33. Yes, I'm revealing my age, mainly because I spent my day doing something that I wouldn't have even considered doing at 23.

I ran a 5k. No big deal. It was just a part of my running responsibilities for the week. I have to run about 2-4 miles twice a week, before a larger run with the group on Saturdays.

Only, for me, it really was a big deal. I woke up before the sun rose, ran all around the campus of Belmont, running with college students (the event was sponsored by Belmont), and watching day break, all before I normally hit snooze on my alarm.

That, my friends, is a big deal.

Since I've signed up to run with Team In Training, I am learning about myself, what I am capable of, what are my weaknesses, and what kind of a friend I am. I am continually being reminded of how lucky I am that I run.  There are those my age, and younger, that can't.

I am honored to have so many friends in my life, and those that think of me on my birthday, letting me know that they appreciate me....Sure Facebook helps us remember! But, it's a person's prerogative to to send a text, tweet, or even write on someone's wall.

I am so grateful to all those who shared in my birthday yesterday. I believe I'm embracing my 30's finally, and I like the trajectory in which my life is heading. I think I am beginning to be okay with this getting older thing! :)

Please help me out in my goal to help LLS find a cure for cancer.  There are so many people who can't run, can't get up on their birthday and go running a 5k.  They don't even get the chance to be ridiculous!  

It just takes a little to make a big difference!  Please help!

--Post written by Valerie, one of the members of the Java Joggers!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Note Of Gratitude

I've been running with Team In Training for a few months now. I've run farther than I ever thought I could, and have raised almost $500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I am blown away by the people I meet each week and have slowly realized that it's not about me. I've heard from teammates that have lost a parent or a close friend, one whose grandmother was recently diagnosed, and one whose wife passed away last year. And don't even get me started on my coach, who is a survivor, and is out there encouraging us every weekend and throughout the week.

While you would think that all of these people would be caught up in their grief, I am astounded by the amount of gratitude they have shown to all of us. They too realize it's not only about their personal story, but the team as a whole. How every Saturday morning at 7am when we make the decision to run, it's one more example of people wanting to make a difference. It's not about how fast we are running or how much we've raised, but the people whose lives our decisions now will help later on. Because eventually cancer is going to affect us all. It's just a matter of when. So my question to you is whose team do you want to be on when that time comes? I've made mine. The team that decides to not sit around and mope but to fight back and take charge, grateful for the opportunity.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I like Fractions! (I promise this post is about running!)

I never really was into math in school. Sure, the multiplications were cool, and I was a beast at proofs in geometry. But, overall math has never really interested me...until here lately.

I found that I absolutely loooove fractions? Why, you ask? Because, as I am training more and more for this half-marathon in April, I am measuring every mile. Just this last Saturday, I ran nearly 7 miles. Do you know what that means?

That means that I've ran pretty much 1/2 of what I will run the day of the 1/2 marathon, which is 13.1 miles. And when I train during the week, I have to run 1/3 of of 13.1 (3 or 4 miles).  I am getting a handle on this whole math equation of running! 

So, I'm getting better and better at math everyday! I'm really beginning to like fractions!

Won't you do me a favor and donate to Java Joggers, and help out our percentages? (similar to fractions in that it's math related!) :)

You can also view my page here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I Run Because I Can

I've been in Michigan the past few weeks for the holidays. While I've loved seeing friends and family, I was definitely out of my element. My route here has been the subdivision I grew up in. As I run down these streets I am reminded of my childhood. Of best friends. Of boys. Of playing hide and seek and bloody murder once it got dark enough out. Building forts with unused wood from new houses. Sledding and snowball fights. I had it pretty good. I was always active in sports and school events. And I was rarely ever sick. I never realized it then how blessed I was. To have two parents that loved me and a never-ending supply of energy.
Just from learning more about the Lymphoma and  Leukemia Society, my eyes have been opened. Leukemia is the most common form of cancer found in children under 20, while lymphoma is the third. One of the main things LLS does is try to find treatments that are effective, but at the same time allow patients to get back to normal as soon as possible. So that they can be kids again.

And so I will continue to run. To help raise awareness. To help make some small difference by supporting the LLS's research and developments. And for all the children that weren't as lucky as I was growing up. Will you join me?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Favorite places to run outside of Nashville.... What's yours?

When I'm not in Nashville running with TNT, my favorite spot to run is "The Big Dam Bridge" in my hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. At its highest, the bridge sits 90 feet above the Arkansas River and connects approximately 15 miles of scenic riverside trails in the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock. You gotta love 'The Natural State!'

Sunday, December 18, 2011

JAVA Joggers on Broadway

The JAVA Joggers would like to thank everyone on Lower Broadway for their contributions to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. With your donations we are helping fund research to kick cancer in the pants! Stay updated on our blog as we will be making random appearances around Nashville for more fundraising adventures!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This is Danielle's first 1/2 marathon with Team In Training. She has lived in Nashville for eight years now. When she's not working, you can find her in the nearest Zumba class. Her favorite way to wake up her roommates is by blasting J. Lo's "On The Floor" and having an early morning dance party. She is running in memory of her Grandma, Gloria Storer. To donate to Danielle's cause, please visit:

Danielle's Team In Training LLS Donation Page