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Wednesday, February 24, 2010



1.the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event
2.the celebration or commemoration of such a date

Anniversaries mark the "big" days, the important events, the life-changing moments in our lives. Tomorrow marks two years since my sister, Molly, died as a result of a brain tumor at the age of 36. While this isn't the kind of anniversary that I consider a celebration, it is certainly one that has changed my life. There is a big empty space in the world without her here that can not, nor will not, be filled. Her life and presence was incomparable, as was the manner in which she chose to live.

Knowing Molly and being her sister has been a gift in my life. It is the reason why I feel this anniversary shouldn't pass each year without recognizing it in some way. My sister had a very easy, open way about her. It was evident from the outset when you saw the smile she shared so openly and naturally. She was exemplified kindness. Molly was authentic and true, and believed that no one should be anything more than themselves. She encouraged us all, especially her kids, to take risks and to have fun and to play hard and well. She didn't live by the clock. Molly always tried to see the bright side, the good side, the fun side. And she wore red cowboy boots. Sitting here and re-reading these qualities that I attribute to her, I see that these are the things I admire the most. The qualities that aren't as natural to me....the ones I have to work a little harder on. Trying to emulate these qualities is how I hope I can honor her life, and keep a piece of her alive every day. To commemorate this so-called anniversary.

Cheers to you, Molly. I miss you every day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


As if there needed to be another reason to run this marathon. This week, my husband's first cousin was diagnosed with what they believe to be lymphoma. What they know is that it is cancer. He is undergoing tests this week and next to find out what type. He's 6 years younger than we are (in his early 30s) and is married with two very young children. What was believed to be chronic sinus infections has turned out to be cancer. Last week at this time, he was going about his life as usual. Probably waiting for a prescription for antibiotics or some simple fix to a nagging illness. Now his vocabulary includes words like biopsy, chemotherapy, treatment plan, stage, CT, and bone marrow. And those are the easy words to pronounce. In the span of one short week, the world has become a different place. Really, the change comes down to a matter of moments. Before diagnosis and after. Then you have your new "normal."

Getting out for training runs this week has been an easy choice. Runners are often encouraged to have a mantra or a phrase that they can repeat while they are running, often during times when you'd like to pack it in and walk off. Mine has been "you don't get to quit" which I chant in my head over and over, especially while going up hills. It is reminder that running is a choice. Getting treatment for cancer isn't a choice. You really don't have the option to quit. My sister, Mary, is tolerating a treatment right now that is terribly painful and exhausting. She takes this medication every single day, and she doesn't get to quit. My husband's cousin....he doesn't get to quit either. My brother, John, and sister, Molly. They never quit. Ever. This is what I think about at mile 16. And 20. And 26. And sometimes even at mile 3.

I run because I don't want to hear about any more reasons to run.

Monday, February 1, 2010


“Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power.” ~Blaine Lee

Since the fall, I've been trying to make it to a yoga class once a week. I started going to one here in town on Monday mornings that I really like and really benefit from. I feel like it helps me start the week on a calm and energized note. I can clear my head from the weekend, and start anew each week. Our teacher usually begins each class with an inspirational quote, and the one above from Blaine Lee was the one he read to us this morning. I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. I just feel like it rings true to my life. I guess it's true to anyone's life. We always have a choice. I choose power. I choose fighting back. I choose not giving up and not giving in. I choose to do something.

Training update:
Monday: yoga
Tuesday: Running group (hill repeats and circuit training)
Wednesday: Bike
Thursday: 16 miles (got my long run in before the temps dropped to single digits....brrr)!
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Bike
Sunday: 6.25 miles on treadmill (less than planned but had a hard time settling in)