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!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Yesterday, I just couldn't muster up the energy to get outside and run.  It was 13 degrees and windy, and standing outside to fill up my gas tank was enough cold for me for the day.  It's been a cold winter with what seems like many more days of high temperatures that don't get out of the teens than in the past few years.  It's been a long January, and despite having gotten out in temperatures as low as 6, yesterday wasn't going to be one of those days and the treadmill was calling to me.

I went down to the basement and flipped on the TV to find something to watch for the 7 or so miles, and found the Boston Marathon coverage from 2013 still on the DVR.  I have known it was there, glimpsing the listing often, but hadn't watched it yet.  I always record the coverage and usually sit down the morning after the marathon with a big cup of coffee and my legs elevated and watch how the race played out for the professionals.  Even knowing who ends up wearing the laurel wreath doesn't take away from the excitement of watching how the race is run, and I love hearing the stories of the "everyday" runners who run the race along side the DFMC team.

But I didn't ever watch it.  It's been 9 months and I couldn't delete it, but I haven't been ready to watch.  Until yesterday when I realized there was nothing better to help me through over an hour on the treadmill.   Since April, any story I hear about that day gives me goosebumps.  I feel a crazy mix of emotions.  I am overwhelmed by the strength of the victims.  I am heartbroken by those who lost family members.  I am inspired by those who have done so much for others as a result of what happened.  But, all of those feelings are based on what happened when the timing clock said 4:09....I hadn't done much thinking about the feelings generated from the previous 4 hours and 8 minutes.

The coverage of the marathon is always exciting and uplifting.  It shows the best of sport...people grinding it out for 26.2 miles to achieve their goals whether it be winning or a PR or crossing the finish line.  All of the stories that were supposed to be shared got lost and upended by the bombings, but I was so grateful to finally take the time to go back and be reminded.... to see what a close battle was fought in the women's race, and how Joan Benoit Samuelson ran within 30 minutes of her winning time from 30 years ago, and how the Hoyts finished their 30th Boston Marathon (which was supposed to be their last), and that the 26th mile marker was dedicated to the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, and there were soldiers that carried their rucksacks and wore their fatigues and boots and covered the entire course that day, and that over $11 million dollars was raised for Boston area charities, and how I ran faster than Joey McIntyre of NKOTB (we all have to have a "nemesis" to try to beat!), and how hometown girl Shalane Flanagan can hang with the best of the best in the world in this distance.  All that got lost in the aftermath.  But being able to rewind and look back, I got to hear the interviews with spectators and family members of those running.  And post-run interviews with elite runners and qualified runners and charity runners.  And people were happy and proud and exhausted and were feeling accomplished.  For many, up until 2:49pm, it was the best day of their lives.

And despite all of the sadness and loss and fear, April 21, 2014 will be the best day of many runners' lives.  And their families and friends.  It will be a day of triumph and strength and steadfastness.  It will be a time of healing and hope.  It will be an opportunity for many to finish what they started last year, and for others an opportunity to run strong and show that we won't be deterred.  It will be a Marathon Monday like none that I have experienced in the past 5 years, I feel sure of that.

The reasons that drive us all to compete by running the marathon are varied yet incredibly personal.  For me, it is the devastating effect that cancer has had on our family.  For others, it will be to heal from the events of last year or to overcome personal tragedy or illness or to help fund long term care for the victims or to share the message of 8-year old Martin Richard..."No more hurting people."  Or to run longer or faster or stronger than ever before. Whatever the reason, 35,000 of us will line up in Hopkinton and take a whole bunch of steps towards a finish line.  Just like last year.  And the 116 years before.  It's just going to mean a whole lot more.

To donate to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, please visit: 

Be good. Be strong.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Spread the Message-Be good. Be strong.

A while back, I wrote what "Be good. Be strong". meant and why we it had become such an important phrase and mantra for our family.  Here's a repost:

John is the biggest reason why "Be good. Be strong." is the name of this blog, a mantra I repeat when I run, a tagline,a t-shirt, etc....but most importantly, a way to live life.  Molly used to say "Ya'll be good" or "Ya'll be sweet"when saying goodbye to people or to end emails she had sent.  When John designed t-shirts for the Brain Tumor Society bike ride our family participated in, he put "Be Good.  Be Sweet.  Be Strong." on them in tribute to Molly, he himself adding the Be Strong.  He then started using "Be Good. Be Strong." on his Caringbridge page, taking out the "Be Sweet" because he'd probably had enough "girlie" in his life, and it became his message.  It's become a message we've truly embraced. Live well by showing goodness and kindness and respect to others and to yourselves.  Be strong, not just physically but stand for what you believe and for what is right.  Fight the good fight.  Be good and be strong.

I share this again today because I am so excited to share that a good friend of ours has put together an online shirt sale to help raise money for innovative cancer research.  My husband came up with the design, and the shirts are $20.  The proceeds will go to fund cancer research.  

There is nothing I would like more than to know on Marathon Monday and hopefully on many other days throughout the year, there is an army of people decked out in a shirt that boldly states "Be good. Be strong."  And that when you do have it on, you will often have the opportunity to tell someone why you wear it and what it means.  And you can tell them about Molly, Mary, and John, and all they stood for, and about their strength and kindness. And that we always remember.

Wear the shirt. Spread the word.  Share the story.