Posted by : Carol Dani Toro | On : February 12, 2012

Take that cancer!

With this new concept I will be…

Better, Faster, Stronger

This morning I ran my first negative-split in 38 minutes.  Don’t know what a negative-split is? No worries, I didn’t know what it was until this morning.  At first I thought it was something we should never do, especially since it contained the word negative.  After all negativity wont help us find a cancer cure. Little did I know that running negative can have a positive effect. (Yeah, yeah, I had to do that.)

As Coach Shelby explained, a negative-split keeps you from hitting the wall at the end of your run.  The concept is that if you run slower in the first half of your race, your body will be warmed up and it allows your body to conserve precious resources.   This allows you to push yourself a bit harder without much effort. If you’re doing it correctly, you should be able to pick up the pace to finish with speed and strength.

While I’m no expert, I believe I completed my first split today.

I also never thought I would say this, but…. Heyyy, check out my splits.

Negative Splits to beat cancer

*CORRECTION* The highlighted stat should be under Average Pace. (Sorry I was out of it when making this nice little excel table... which of course I forgot to save.)

My second half was definitely faster AND I didn’t hit any walls! From looking at the Average Pace stats you can definitely notice that as time progressed my average pace got better and better. WOOHOO!

If I’m patient and keep up with my negative splits, I’ll be able to run a full marathon in no time and continue fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society so that one day we may find a cancer cure. Little things like this in my training, give me the motivation to push myself even harder.




Posted by : Carol Dani Toro | On : February 3, 2012

A couple of years ago, David “Grouch-O” Acosta, my friend and co-worker was diagnosed with lung cancer.  Cancer had snuck up on him, and disguised itself as asthma symptoms.  At the time, my friend was a few months short of receiving health insurance coverage and did not seek immediate medical attention.  His symptoms worsened and by the time he went to the ER, the doctors discovered he had stage IV cancer.  The few times I visited him at the hospital, Grouch-o, as we had nicknamed him, smiled.  He kept his head up high and at 26 years of age, this young man never lost hope.

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Posted by : Carol Dani Toro | On : January 15, 2012

Anything for a cancer cure, right?  If you had told me yesterday that I would run in the snow, I would have called you foolish.

Well, it looks like I’m the fool now. The weather can never be too awful to not run for a cancer cure.

This morning I ran the Nike+ Women’s Half Marathon in the snow!!!!! The half marathon was part of a virtual run all over the world to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

According to the Weather Channel it wasn’t supposed to snow until about 2pm.  I actually thought I would be in the clear. WeatherBug, on the other hand, said it would snow around 10am. But seriously, who actually even checks WeatherBug?

I had never seen the snow fall and didn’t even know what it looked like when it fell. The first 20 minutes, I was super excited, but as soon as my fingers started to freeze off, I was completely OVER the snow. The romanticism of white snow falling around me quickly faded. It was awful. The snow just came piling up on us. It was like the more we ran, the more snow we would encounter.

Running with Team In Training members

Friends from the Team: Michelle, Liana, & ME :)

There was nothing great about being covered in snow, getting hit in the face with snow, and not being being able to feel my toes nor my fingers. My snow gloves didn’t even work! (Well, probably because I got them at the grocery store for $10.) By the time, I got to the finish line I just wanted to take off my shoes, yank off all the wet layers on me, and never be in the snow again.

The snow is NOT for me. I’d rather be indoors sitting by a fire and watching it snow from afar.  However, I am willing to go great lengths for finding a cancer cure.  Being outside in the snow, are you crazy?! After a hot shower, I’m still trying to warm myself up. It’s as if the snow penetrated my bones!

Despite being initiated as a crazy Seattlelite, one thing is for sure…I’m a Florida Sunshine kind of gal.



Posted by : Carol Dani Toro | On : December 15, 2011


My first half marathon was a huge success! Despite having to run 6 miles with a cramp on my left toe, I finished the half in 2 hours and 3o minutes. Not bad for my first half, right? Anyway I should have suspected that running with a cramp for 6 miles would eventually make me stop running.

Days after the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, I started experiencing the repercussions of that cramp. I ended up checking out a podiatrist, who made me walk in a stupid boot for an entire month! That was an entire month of not running! Apparently I had a stress fracture on my pinky toe and I had to lay off running so that it would heal.

Well, I followed the doctor’s orders and here I am. I’m signed up for four half marathons for 2012, and I’m sure I’ll be signing up for a couple more.

This little injury I encountered is nothing compared to what others go through. I’m back to running and can’t wait to beat my personal record of 2 hours and 30 minutes!



Posted by : Carol Dani Toro | On : June 20, 2011

A couple of years ago, my friend and co-worker got diagnosed with lung cancer.  Cancer had sneaked up on him, and disguised itself as asthma symptoms.  At the time, my friend was a few months short of receiving health insurance coverage and did not seek immediate medical attention.  His symptoms worsened and by the time he went to the ER, the doctors discovered he had stage IV cancer.  The few times I visited him at the hospital, Grouch-o, as we had nicknamed him, smiled.  He kept his head up high and at 26 years of age, this young man never lost hope.

According to the American Cancer Society:

The report shows that people with no health insurance or inadequate health insurance face four main challenges when it comes to cancer:

  • They’re less likely to get screened for cancer.
  • They’re less likely to get counseled about cancer prevention.
  • They’re more likely to get diagnosed late, when their cancer is harder to treat.
  • They’re more likely to die from cancer than people with adequate health insurance.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) not only funds blood cancer research, it also provides people with the information and services needed to fight blood cancers.  LLS provides financial assistance to help patients with significant financial need.  With the help of LLS, treatment for blood cancer is not just for the privileged, it is for everyone.  Aside from financial assistance, LLS provides counseling and support for blood cancer patients.  Many of the services LLS provides come free of charge and make a distinct difference in a patient’s life.

Please join me in supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by sponsoring my half marathon run with Team in Training.

My team goal is to raise $4,800.00 by the end of August and to train arduously to run a half marathon in October.  Please help me reach my goals as well as help fund cancer research and patient services by donating to Team Bring It.

Thank you for all of your support in advance!

Grouch-o, this race is for you and your family.  You showed me courage and strength.  



Posted by : Carol Dani Toro | On : June 17, 2011

If my pace decreases does that mean I’m getting faster?  Am I still getting faster even if the amount of time I can run at that pace is less than the amount of time I had previously ran?  What if I could run at the slower pace for longer than before? Wouldn’t it be better to run longer and slower?

Those are the questions that run through my head as I literally run down Embarcadero.  To calculate my pace I’m relying on my WP7 app called RunKeeper. How accurate the data is… I could only hope it is accurate.

Training has gotten really difficult. I feel as if I have no direction.

One training plan says to run 5x a week, and another training plan wants me to incorporate cross-training.  Which one do I follow? Do I stay with what I know best or do I take a risk and try something new?  Which plan is better?

All I know is that I’m determined to run this marathon and that somehow, someway I will figure it all out before October.



Posted by : Carol Dani Toro | On : May 23, 2011

I am extremely content with all of the progress that I’ve made these past couple of weeks and I will not let a little setback bring me down.  I don’t think I have ever consistently ran this much!  Look at the chart!

A while back, my doctor had recommended a biopsy and he referred me to a specialist in the field at the Seattle Women’s Cancer Care.  After days of phone calls and messages, I finally got an appointment for Tuesday.  I showed up to my appointment optimistic and when Dr. Muntz told me I needed surgery.  I said to him, “Okay, but we need to do this as soon as possible.  I am training for a half marathon and I don’t want to miss my practices.” And that’s how we were able to schedule my surgery for the following day.

On Wednesday, I underwent exploratory surgery to figure out if there was something wrong with my lovely lady parts. :S  I had not realized until that day the importance of running for LLS in my life. Before undergoing surgery and knocking out I remember having a conversation with the nurse and anesthesiologist about running in Las Vegas. I’ve been to Vegas several times but never to run, so I have no idea how I made the connection.  It must have been a sign that I need to run a marathon in Vegas. :)

Also, before signing the surgery consent forms I asked my doctor to reassure that I would be running shortly after the procedure. Although he said I could probably be running after a week, he said the most important thing is to listen to my body. Most of the nurses suggested waiting two weeks to run and to take it easy…and that is exactly what I am doing.

The biopsy came back with everything looking good.  I have attended team practices, but instead of running, I am walking and taking everything one step at a time.

Now that I’m recovering and slowly getting back to running, I still need everyone’s support with my goals.

Please help me reach my goals as well as help fund cancer research and patient services by donating to Team Bring It.




Posted by : Carol Dani Toro | On : April 24, 2011

Today was our last pre-season run and I learned two essential meanings for the word watch.

Watch for running: it’s not only important to ease into running to prevent injuries but it’s also important to carry a watch to keep track of your running time. Having a watch helps beginners like me do intervals to accustom our bodies to running. Since I didn’t have a watch, I relied on a fellow team member, Kimberly. I ran a couple of yards behind her, and as she began to walk, I would also begin to walk. Since she was keeping great track of her intervals, this worked out great for me.

Watch for bicyclists: like many runners, some bicyclists daydream and forget about their surroundings. Our team mentor Cathy shared with us her training experience with a bicyclist. Two months before her marathon in Prague, a bicyclist hit her from behind as she ran along a trail. She sustained several injuries that took months to heal. Despite her injuries, Cathy successfully completed her marathon. :)

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