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Posts from the ‘Fitness’ Category

A bold challenge in 2018!

November 27th, 2017

Lisa Dawson

7 cities. 21 days. 420 miles.

That’s right, I’ve committed to raising breast cancer awareness and funding by walking in all seven of the 2018 Komen 3-Day events!

The 3-Day and Me

My involvement with the Komen organization began in 1997, but my first 3-Day event was in 2009 in Seattle. While the walk itself was hampered by an injury, the volunteer crew made such a strong impression on me that I decided to join them the following year in lieu of walking. Two days into the 2010 event, I realized how much I missed being a walker and joined a team headed to the San Diego 3-Day that same year. Since then, I have crewed in Seattle and walked in San Diego for a total of 14 events.

Over the years I’ve been inspired by the countless people I’ve met through the 3-Day, and in complete awe of the “seven-city walkers.” They train, fundraise, and spread breast health awareness by walking in Michigan, the Twin Cities, Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Diego. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to join them.

The wonderful experience I had at the 2017 San Diego 3-Day solidified it for me: I am going to take on what promises to be an amazing journey in 2018.

Why this year?

  • Breast cancer screening and treatment options have dramatically improved since my grandmother was diagnosed in 1962, but there are still many underserved communities that need access to compassionate breast health services.
  • Komen has increased its investment in metastatic breast cancer research – more than $166 million in 400+ research grants and 40+ clinical trials to-date. I have friends living with MBC who need advancements in this area. Now.
  • I’m nearing the age my mom and aunt were when they were diagnosed. I admit I’m a little superstitious about history repeating itself.
  • I am fortunate to have a loving family, a supportive employer, and friends who encourage each other to take on challenges. The time for me to do this is now.

I need your help!

Walking all seven cities comes with the significant fundraising requirement of $16,100, but with your support I know can do this. Any amount is greatly appreciated!

Please consider making a tax deductible donation today.

p.s. I’m dusting off my blog and will be sharing updates on my training and progress throughout the year. Thanks for following along!

One 3-Day Leads to Another…

September 29th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

3-Day walker

Last weekend I volunteered at the Seattle 3-Day walk as a member the Route Safety crew (here’s a terrific event summary).

2013 Seattle 3-Day Route Safety

Route Safety is responsible for, well, keeping the walkers safe on the route. The crew is made up of two dozen bicyclists and motorcyclists who head out with the first walker each morning, and stay on the route until the last walkers make their way into camp at the end of the day. It makes for a long day (I’m not even going to mention the HILLS) but it’s a lot of fun and you couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.


This was my third time volunteering (I’ve walked twice) and once again I was completely affected by the love, grace, friendship and courage of everyone I encountered:

  • I talked to a young mother whose cancer has spread to her brain, and watched as her friends – The Faithful Fighters – pushed her wheelchair 60 miles to make sure she could finish her 3-Day
  • I met a woman with late-stage, metastatic cancer who flew from Arizona to Seattle to walk with her sister and spend precious time with her family
  • I saw my friend Tracy, in between chemo treatments and surrounded by the formidable Team Tracy, celebrate raising more than $100k to fight this disease

I should have seen it coming.

The 3-Day is a life-changing experience no matter how many times you participate. I think I had forgotten how much I love this event, how it sneaks into your system and compels you to do something to fight this awful disease. I decided I needed to walk.

I registered for the San Diego 3-Day in November.

I’ll need some help: I’m going to be walking every weekend for the next six weeks and would love some company. And I will need to meet the $2300 fundraising minimum, so anything you can do to help there will be greatly appreciated. This will be my third time walking – I’ve done this before and I know, with your help, I can do it again!

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day

p.s. 15 people graciously agreed to share their tattoos on the blog – photos coming soon!

2012 Seattle Marathon is in the Bag. What’s Next?

January 27th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Seattle Marathon finisher!

I’m a little late in my recap, but… I did it! And it was fun!

The 2012 Seattle Marathon was drenched in fog, but the rain stayed away and temperature remained above freezing. My friend Mary reminded me to be loose, light and stick to my plan. That became my mantra, and whenever I thought about mixing it up a little, I reminded myself to run like I trained. I actually felt really good at the end (which is a good thing for someone who’s concerned about their heart) and finished with just one blister and all my toenails intact.

There were about 20 other runners wearing their orange NYC marathon shirts – we exchanged waves and nods in acknowledgement of our shared experience in the Big Apple.

I know I said I’d never do another marathon, so I’ll blame it on post-race euphoria: I registered for December’s Honolulu Marathon. A great excuse for a family vacation, right? I’m also registered for the Hot Chocolate 5K in March and the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in June.

Any suggestions for another half in October?

NYC Marathon Becomes a Lesson in Leadership and Flexibility

November 3rd, 2012

Lisa Dawson

You’ve probably heard the New York City marathon was canceled yesterday, about 36 hours before runners were to board buses to the start line on Staten Island. The decision was the culmination of four days of controversy and called into question the civic and moral responsibilities and leadership of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Road Runners President Mary Wittenberg.

It’s hard to gauge the degree of devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy from my room near Central Park. There are hotel vacancies, businesses are up and running, and transportation is readily available. It’s not until you watch the constant local news coverage of the situation in Staten Island, Lower Manhattan and other areas that you realize how badly hurt this city is.

Bloomberg and Wittenberg thought the marathon would be a unifying event for the city, a way to show resiliency as it did after 9/11. But many people expressed concern that areas most heavily impacted by the storm were not getting critical support. They believed race organizers had a responsibility to donate food and generators to the recovery efforts. In some cases, runners had reservations for hotel rooms that others felt should be used for displaced people. The race was dividing the city.

It should have been canceled. No question.

But it the decision should have been made on Tuesday, not Friday afternoon. After the storm passed, runners from around the world anxiously waited to hear whether or not the race would go on as planned. We trusted city leadership and the event organizers to make a decision in the best interest of the city and its residents.

Many runners had their flights canceled and others chose to withdraw because they didn’t feel right about running. My sisters and I arrived on Thursday thinking recovery efforts were well under way, but as we watched the news, we too began to question the decision to run. I also felt a conflicting sense of responsibility to my charity and to everyone who supported me in getting here.

It’s hard for someone who’s never trained for a marathon to understand how big of a an emotional let down this is. Runners train for months for an event, especially in the weeks leading up to the race. Strenuous training plans are created and followed. Plane fares and lodging deposits are paid well in advance. Add to that the reassurance of the city that there would be no disruption to the recovery efforts and that the city needed the marathon’s $340M economic boost.

We wanted to believe it could happen.

This experience has evoked every emotion imaginable: Nervous excitement before running a big race. Guilt because I really wanted to run but wasn’t sure if I should. Desire to help with the recovery efforts. Frustration that I’ve spent a lot of money and used vacation time on a trip to a city where I don’t feel welcome. Relief because Mayor Bloomberg and the NYRR finally made the decision for me. Sadness because this race had so much personal significance.

After a brief pity party I did a little re-evaluation of my running situation.

Last night I registered for the Seattle Marathon on November 25. I’ll join the marathoners who are running laps around Central Park tomorrow, but stop at 17 miles and do another taper over the next three weeks. I may be running the full 26.2 in my city, but I’ll be wearing my New York marathon shirt.

My sisters and I have three full days left of our NYC vacation. Our plans are to explore the city, catch a show and hopefully volunteer with one of the relief organizations.

It’s not what we planned, but it promises to be memorable.

NYC Marathon, Hurricane Sandy & A Shift in Fundraising

October 31st, 2012

Lisa Dawson

A lot of people have asked me if I’m still running the New York City marathon in light of the Hurricane Sandy devastation.

Yes, I’m headed to New York and I plan on running.

As I write this, my Thursday morning flight to Newark is still on schedule. Current reports indicate the marathon will occur, so my sister and I will be running on Sunday. If it gets canceled? Well, we’ll hang out in the city and see if there’s anything we can do to help with cleanup and recovery.

To be honest, I was a bit on the fence about whether or not the race should be canceled. But I figure if the organizers and city determine it’s feasible, I’m in. I’ve been training for the past 6 months, my plane ticket has been purchased and I’m sensitive to the financial hit the small B&B we’re staying at would take if we were to cancel.

Fundraising Update

Thanks to generous donations from my friends and family, I surpassed the Fred’s Team fundraising minimum and raised $4500! For those of you who intended to donate but haven’t had a chance to do so, I’d like to suggest you direct your donation to one of the food banks in New York City. I asked my Brooklyn-based friend Caryn who she would recommend, and she pointed me to Food Bank for New York City (formerly Second Harvest) or Greenpoint Church’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far on my NYC marathon adventure. I’ll keep you posted!