To Make a Donation to the 2016 team

Please visit my fundraising page to make a donation to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ( Please help me reach my goal of $50,000 to fund important basic cancer research! With your support, we have already provided over $366,000 to Dana-Farber researchers over the past 9 years. Please give as generously as your means allow!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rain, rain-SNOW away!

We are getting a pounding rain storm today with warm temperatures close to 50 degrees. The end result is that a lot of the snow and ice is melting away! The past month or so has been rough running outside because the roads have been narrow due to the snow banks and also very slippery. It will be nice to have a few days to get out and run with a little extra space on the street.

Another decent week of running is in the books. I been getting a lot of use out of my running gadget that I got for Christmas...a Garmin GPS watch that tells me pace, distance, time, etc. It's been a big help for me on my runs when I am trying to push the pace a little bit. I used to just try to base how fast I was going by how I felt (which was usually bad when I was going faster than normal), but now I actually know exactly what my pace is. I can adjust accordingly and can complete the workouts in the manner it was intended. I also got to share my weekly long run with a good friend, which is always a treat. She ran 7 of the 10 miles with me. Having the opportunity to catch up with her makes the time go by much quickly than when I am on my own.

Mon: Biking and yoga
Tues: Y Running group-drills and then rowing machine intervals in between treadmill intervals
Wed: 45 min. bike and strength
Thurs: 7 miles (middle 3 miles at tempo pace)
Fri: off
Sat: 10 miles
Sun: 3.5 miles

I've got 16 miles staring me in the face for my long run this week. Fingers crossed for some sun and non-freezing temperatures! Twelve weeks from today, I will be home (hopefully!!) eating 26 miles worth of calories of good food! The weeks are flying by!

Be good. Be strong.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Every year in the fall when the temperature starts to drop, my view of what is considered a beautiful day starts to become altered. After the summer, when we are in the midst of beautiful fall days, a sudden change to 45 degrees feels frigid and horrible. However, when the calendar rolls around to January and there has been snow on the ground for weeks and weeks and temperatures haven't gotten above freezing very often, a sunny, 45-degree day feels like summer! We were lucky enough to have one of those days on Saturday, and I tried to take full advantage of it by getting out and taking my long run. Dare I say, there were times when the wind was behind me that I actually felt warm. And this was with no hat or gloves or jacket! There were a ton of people out walking and running and biking, and enjoying the "warm" day. I thought that if maybe we could just have one of those kinds of days every couple of weeks during the winter, the weather might be a little easier to take. Or would we just get used to having those days and begin to expect that as the norm? And when something becomes the norm, do you stop noticing just how special it is? It's all in how you look at it, right?

Perspective is a funny thing. It is influenced by life experiences and age and hunger and education and geography and how many hours of sleep you got last night and varying levels of information (both true and false) and so many other factors. And it is different for every single person. Just this week, we've seen the devastation in Haiti which absolutely alters your perception of your life and your needs. We've seen a surprising outcome to the senate election here in Massachusetts, possibly because the population originally perceived the expected conclusion to be a no-brainer based on the historical voting history of this state. These results will likely change the way future races are managed here, to say the least! Last week, I spent some time with my parents trying to settle some family matters that have been pretty stressful for all of us. My dad reminded us to just remember what we have been through, and that this situation, while difficult, is nothing compared to what else we've been through. Or more simply, instead of complaining about the cold, we are often reminded by the locals up here to embrace the winter and to take advantage of the fun stuff the season brings. And so we've been ice skating and sledding and skiing and building snowmen (and having fun!) instead of watching the days pass from the window of our house! Sometimes, we just need a little reminder to look at things from a different perspective. To appreciate the sunny day. To be grateful for shelter and water. To be thankful for the right to express our voice through voting. To know that we have strength because we've used it before. Often, a change of perspective is all the change we need..

Onto my's my last full week. I was out of town for a few days, so I missed a workout or two, but my runs were good. While there are still 13 weeks of training to go, I only have 6 weeks where my long run will be a distance greater than 14 miles. To me, that is a much more manageable way to face the 13 remaining weeks of training. It's all about perspective, right???
Monday: Yoga class, 3 mile run
Tuesday: Running group (drills, circuit training in gym and on treadmill)
Wednesday: Travel/rest
Thursday: 4.5 mile tempo run
Friday: Cross-training (walk, stretching)
Saturday: 14 mile run
Sunday: rest

Be good. Be strong.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Week in Review

The training week went pretty much as planned. I got to use some of my new Christmas gifts, too. I got a Garmin watch, which tracks distance, time, pace, etc. It's been a fun little toy to use. I like having the flexibility to change my route around a little while I am out there running. I also haven't been as obsessive about watching my pace as I thought I might! I am looking forward to learning all about all the bells and whistles on it! I also got a new Fuel Belt to hold water/Gatorade. It holds four small bottles instead of one large bottle, and I found that it was much more comfortable for me than the single bottle belt that I used to have. The new one doesn't bounce around as much, and doesn't feel as heavy. I also shifted my long run to Thursday because we went out of town for the weekend, and that worked out well. I ended up with two days off in a row, which isn't my preference, but it worked okay. My legs need the break!

Monday: stationary bike
Tuesday: Running class (warmed up with drills and then did 5 repeats of the following circuit: 400 meters on treadmill at 5K pace, 30 medicine ball squats/throws, and 30 step-ups). I did some light running on the treadmill, too. The 150 squats with the medicine ball did a number on my quads!
Wednesday: stationary bike
Thursday: 13 miles (slower than I had hoped, but my legs were still fried from Tuesday)
Friday: rest
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 6 miles on treadmill (2 miles easy, 3 miles at tempo pace, 1 mile easy)

The big news out of Dana-Farber this week was that Valerie Bertinelli will be running as a member of the team this year. Her participation should bring some attention and raise some additional awareness about the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.

Be good. Be strong.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Looking ahead

It is a very snowy Sunday morning here, and I am sitting here looking at the window while enjoying a cup of coffee. We are settling back into our family routines after a very special and happy visit with family. We all had a great week filled with a lot of laughs. I am so grateful for my family, and proud of the strength of our bond. Our parents always taught us from a very young age that we are to take care of each other, and protect each other, and to always stick together. There was a time when this meant we had each others back on the soccer field or if someone was mean on the playground, but it is a lesson that has continued on into adulthood. We still have each others backs, and pick each other up when we are down. We've stuck it out the past few years, and I believe we have come though stronger as a family. Having the perspective we have allows us the time to truly relish the fun we have together. This year it was a treat to be able to celebrate the holidays together.

My thinking has been all over the place this morning, and I originally started to write this post about how happy I was that this past decade was over, and was prepared to take some time to complain about the difficulties and sadness. Despite some very happy times, the year 2000 was the year that cancer began to invade our family and the past 10 years have been long. I couldn't come up with much more to say than the past 10 years were junk, so I abandoned that idea. I kept coming back to what the future holds instead, and focusing on moving forward from where we are now. There are so many stories of people who have had experiences such as ours that have changed their lives. How do we take our experiences and make changes for the better? For me, right now, it is running a marathon to raise money for cancer research. I am sure that when the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge started 25 years ago, they had no idea that this group would become the largest charity represented in the Boston Marathon each year, providing over $4 million dollars last year along directly to cutting edge cancer research. I don't know what changes the future will hold, but I hope it will be more. That I will be able to do more to make a difference.

As far as training goes, I've had an up and down couple of weeks. On Christmas Eve, I pulled something in my hip trying to, of all things, jump onto a step. That was definitely an impressive showing of agility and strength! As a I missed the weekend long run and rested for a few days until the pain was gone. I got in a couple of rides on the stationary bike, and did a 5 mile run on the treadmill with no pain. I also managed to ice skate and bowl without any further injury, and am chalking both of those activities up to cross-training workouts! On Friday, I got an 11 mile run in before the snow (it's been falling for 36 hours so far). That was supposed to be the long run last weekend, and this weekend was to be a "step-back" run of 8 miles, but I reworked it due to "injury." My hip feels fine, but my knee hurts now. I think it is just tired, so my training should be back on schedule this week. It looks like there will be more inside runs than I'd like due to weather,
but it is better than nothing!

I am almost halfway to my fundraising goal of $8500 with $3800 contributed so far. Your kindness and generosity is very much appreciated.

Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2010!

Be good. Be strong.