Lots to talk about in this review! Let's jump right in:
So fundraising wasn't the highest priority for me this week. I didn't get a single donation all week, meaning that my total still sits at $1460. That's okay, though, because I was focused on wrapping up our last two team fundraising contests (March Madness and Fug Madness) instead. Those contests will both be done tomorrow (Tuesday), so then I can start thinking about new fundraising activities!
Speaking of new fundraising activities, I did start two great new team fundraising ventures last week. As I wrote in this post, our team has decided to monetize both the Relentless Optimism Fundraising Blog and this blog, which is my personal Kristen Walks blog. We have set up an account with Amazon Associates. Through that program, we advertise Amazon.com's products on our pages, and we get a percentage of each sale that is made as a result of people following those links. You can find those links at the bottom of each post (if I remember to put them there!) or you can use the Amazon search box in the sidebar of both blogs. So now you have a great excuse to shop - you're helping us raise money! For more details on this fundraiser, click here.
We haven't had any Amazon sales yet, but I know a few people planning to make some purchases that will definitely help us out. I also just checked our ongoing Flower Power fundraising totals and we've sold $752 worth of flowers to generate $376 for our team. So I guess I shouldn't actually say I haven't raised anything this week!
This week was the first "recovery" week in the 24 week training schedule for the 3 Day, so I got a much needed breather. I was really looking forward to an easy training week when the week started, but when I saw how absolutely beautiful it was these last few days, I actually wanted to stay outside and train more! All together, I walked 17.01 miles last week, bringing my total to 144.07 miles walked to date.
In addition to my walking, I also ran another 7 miles following the Couch to 5K running program to get in shape for the upcoming Atlanta Race for the Cure. I'm starting to get to the part of the program where my initial reaction to seeing the recommended intervals is "Are they nuts?! I can't run that far yet!". But so far, I've managed to complete each set of intervals as prescribed. By the end of next week, I'm supposed to be able to run 20 minutes at a time. My longest interval up until now has been 5 minutes, so we'll see about that. Mind over matter - I will conquer this challenge!
Because both fundraising and training were light this past week, I actually a good amount of time for extra 3 Day - related activities!
First and foremost, I registered both myself and my husband for the Atlanta Race for the Cure on May 8th. I always knew I was going to do the R4tC, but having made that commitment official, I'm even more determined to finish all my planned training runs. I wrote all about the Race for the Cure, including links to pages for my friends and family in this post. If you are planning to participate in a Race for the Cure event in your neck of the woods, let me know and I'll add you to the post!
In addition to the Atlanta Race for the Cure, I also went a little crazy with registering for some other great events in the area designed to raise money and awareness for cancer research and cancer patient outreach. All together, I registered for the Emory Relay for Life that is being held this Friday, April 9th, the Dekalb - Adams Relay for Life in mid - May and the Breast Cancer Network of Strength Walk to Empower on May 9th, the day after the Race for the Cure. Expect more about all of these as the dates get closer. Also, if you want to join me at any or all of these events, let me know! Finally, as I said in this post about the Race for the Cure, until I reach my minimum for the 3 Day, I won't be actively fundraising for any of these events. However, if you are interested, the links to my pages for each event are:
On top of over-committing to the cause as usual, I also took some time to help recruit medical professionals for the 3 Day Med Crew. I'm especially excited to say that my college roommate, Dr. Michelle, has decided that she is going to be joining the Med Crew in Boston as part of Relentless Optimism, provided she can get the time off from her hospital. I'm really excited to introduce Michelle to the 3 Day and I think the Med Crew will be lucky to have her. I've also got my eye on a few more potential Med Crew/team members, so cross your fingers that I can bring them in as well.
On Friday, I had my own mini blog-a-thon that I started with a post about the upcoming 3 Day Preview Expo season. I also shared some of my favorite 3 Day links that I collected this past week. Those links posts are quickly becoming some of my favorites to put together! Finally, I ended the day with a funny post about a new way to get a donation for the 3 Day - by buying a roof!
Finally, I capped off my busy week with a short Easter post featuring a goofy picture of my beloved training partner Shenanigans. Phew!
Coming Up Next Week...
After all of that, it's amazing that I'm still fired up for this next week. The incremental 3 Day training schedule returns to full speed, with a total of 22 miles on tap for this week. That includes the standard 3 mile and 5 mile weekday walks, plus an 8 mile walk on Saturday and a 6 mile walk on Sunday. I've got "extras" planned for three of those walks and with this gorgeous weather, I'm already looking forward to training this week! I also mentioned the ongoing Couch to 5K running plan for this week. I've figured out that I can sneak in a full recovery day on Mondays and then double up with a walk and a run on Tuesdays with my fresh legs to stay on track with both training plans. That worked really well for both Shenanigans and I this past week, so we're sticking with it going forward.
I will also be wrapping up both the March Madness and Fug Madness fundraisers at the beginning of this week. Once those are closed, our series of fundraising contests will be done, so I will be recapping the whole series of contests as well. I'm also planning to start writing thank you notes to everyone that took part in our contests. I'm guessing we had 60 to 70 people involved in at least one contest over the past few months, so that's going to be a time consuming but very important task!
This week will also see two more "You're Invited" posts, one of which will be about the Emory Relay for Life and one will be for a surprise event on Saturday that promises to be a lot of fun. Look for those on Wednesday and Thursday. Together with my friends and family, I will also be marking an important anniversary on Saturday that I will probably mark here as well.
Finally, this past week, my brain has been absolutely swimming with ideas for a big science post. I have been reading Rebecca Skloot's new book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" about the establishment of the first immortal line of human cells (called HeLa cells) and the woman that they came from. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it (Amazon link at the bottom!). The story is fascinating and it touches on so many different subjects, including basic biomedical science, biomedical ethics, African American and Women's history, legal and business questions... the list is endless. This past Monday night, I was lucky to be able to attend a reading and discussion of the HeLa story with the author. As part of that really interesting and wide ranging discussion, we talked about the use of human cells and other biological tissues for monetary gain and what the ethics are in regards to this very gray area. The timing of this discussion was particularly interesting given that a few hours earlier, a US District judge had ruled that the patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc. on the two primary breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) were invalid. I've been ruminating on both the HeLa story and discussion and the ruling in the Myriad court case ever since.
In the coming week or so, I am planning to write a much longer and more in depth post regarding the Myriad case and breast cancer genetics along the lines of this post that I wrote about the new mammogram guidelines. As members of the 3 Day community, I think that we have a responsibility to help educate others about issues pertaining to the treatment of breast cancer and I think this court case very much fits the bill. I want to do a bit more background reading before I write that post, though, so it won't be up right away. In fact, there may be a blogging lull while I work on that. Rest assured, it will be posted sooner rather than later. Finally, because this issue of patents and biomedical science is so heated, I am hoping that a friend of mine that works in the patent office at Emory University will be able to write something for that post as well so that all of my readers can see both sides of this very important issue.
Okay, I think I finally covered everything. I told you it was a lot!