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!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New year, same commitment

“What grief is, is a form of love, but with the loved one gone.  So the work of grief is to find a new form for that love, to find a new expression for it, a new commitment, a way to honor the love.” -John Woodall

This is what brought me to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge six years ago.  Grief.  Then and still now, running for the DFMC team has been a way for me to honor Molly, Mary and John.  And while the grieving is not done and the feeling of loss are no less than they were when I ran that first mile for them, participating with this team by helping to find a cure is one of the best ways for me to process the immense loss in our family.  This has been my commitment, my way to share my love.

As the calendar flips to 2014, I want to wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year.  And more importantly, to say THANK YOU.  I have so much gratitude for the support given to the DFMC in the past year, and I look forward to the coming year with renewed hope and excitement for the work we are doing together to find a cure for cancer.  I am committed to this goal in honor of Molly, Mary, and aim high and keep moving forward in this fight, and am thankful to you all for being by my side over the miles. We are making a difference.  I promise.

Be good. Be strong.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Starting line

Well, I started writing this yesterday when it was actually Day 1 in the 18 week training plan that will bring us to April 21, 2014 and the Boston Marathon.  I ran out of time, and am now sitting at the table watching a predicted 4-7" of snow fall peacefully outside the window.  When I say "peacefully" I really am mumbling obscenities under my breath since we got a round of snow on Saturday that was followed by rain, which was followed by temperatures that quickly dropped into the teens and froze all the slush, which was followed by temperatures this morning around 10 degrees, which has created a giant ice skating rink on the sidewalks and a lot of streets.  But anyway, while training is a year round endeavor, "official" training means following a schedule, documenting the  miles, doing speedwork, building the long run, being accountable.  And that by the book "official" training started yesterday. 

I had to take some time off late summer and fall due to some plantar fasciitis issues I developed over the summer.  Time off, stretching/strengthening, and some PT by my good friend and amazing physical therapist, Sara, has gotten me back to running.  I have been rebuilding my base miles and am back up to where I like to be when kicking off training, although the miles are definitely slower.  But, I am not starting at zero and am confident that with a little bit of time and continued consistent training, I'll be able to get back to where I was in the late spring. 

Training for Boston is always an emotional roller coaster.  On one hand, I am surrounded by positive people who are running to reach the same goal as I....funding important cancer research.  I like having a goal and a plan to follow.  I like the running.  But on the other hand, the months leading up to the marathon are filled with difficult milestones of Molly, Mary, and John's lives.  Birthdays and sad days and holidays clog the calendar in the coming months and even with time, those days are not really any easier than they were in prior years.  While I am grateful to have the marathon as an end goal to keep me moving forward, there are a lot of sad reminders in the coming month of what has driven to me to be out there in the first place.  We staring Christmas square on right now, and each year is an adjustment trying to find a good place...a different place...a new place with our worlds that are missing important people.  These kinds of days are a challenge, more so than getting out to run.

In addition to the regular ups and downs that come with this time of year, this training season is also going to be one filled with recognition and remembrance of the bombings that took place last year.  It's still unreal to think about all that happened, and to think of the lives that have been so strongly and forever affected. I can't read or hear stories without tears forming. There are stories of great joy like the bombing survivor who just got engaged to the nurse he met at the rehab hospital where he was recovering from his injuries.  And stories of triumph like those who were at the finish line last year and the site of the bombing who have recovered enough to be running the marathon in April.  And those of such deep, deep sorrow like the Richards family who lost their son, Martin, and 3 of the 4 surviving family members have long-term injuries not to mention emotional injuries that won't heal. And those of so many who are learning to walk on new prosthetic limbs or trying to get back to work or adapt their homes to meet their new needs.  So very many stories, and the coming months will be both a celebration and solemn reminder, as will Marathon weekend.

It's a crazy whirlwind.  Happy and sad and inspired and overwhelmed and angry and excited and nervous and determined.  Those feelings drive me to go.  It's what pushes me out the door when it is 14 degrees.  It's how I get excited to go for a long run in week 15 of 18 when sleeping late and going out for breakfast seems like a much better alternative.  It's how I find peace when the snow is falling and wind is blowing.  It's how I process.  It's what we do 18 weeks before the marathon.

My goal this year is to raise $26,200.  $1000 per mile.  And I ask for your support again this year because the race isn't finished.  These dollars are making a difference as researchers work to find effective treatments for cancer, but there are miles to go.  Please consider a gift to DFMC this holiday season as we kick-off training and run as a team towards a cure.

To make a gift online, please visit:

Over the next 18 weeks, please keep us tucked away in your thoughts:  the DFMC team, those affected by the tragic events at the finish line of the 2013 marathon, everyone training for the marathon, and all of those who face difficult milestones and holidays in the coming months because cancer has found a way into their lives.  Your support is appreciated.

Be good.  Be strong.

With gratitude,