Thursday, June 19, 2008


The training season ends- but running is still in the future!

I mistakenly entered a lottery for what I thought was a half-marathon in New York, to run with my friend Chris, but when my name was selected, I realized this was for the ING marathon in November. Guess I will keep training this summer! I will see my orthopedist about my right foot as I now have what looks like a bony mass over my injury site. Perhaps I did fracture it after all...

This training site for LLS is wrapped up, but I may start posting about training for New York. I am ended with fundraising for the Society, and on to fundraising for my open space projects here in Boston and my volunteer work in area parks. Please drop any comments on your own running or project goals to me here and thanks to everyone who has helped me along the road to Boston!

Happy running,

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

And the winners are....drum roll.....

Congratulations! Winners for my online fundraising have been drawn and the winners of each have received a shopping spree for each item.:

Planet Buff Original Headwear: Congratulations Lori! You have won $100.00 in Planet Buff Original Headwear! Thanks to Scott at for all his help in my fundraising, and to all the people out there who have tried this amazing product and posted links on their blogs.

Deans Beans Coffee: Congratulations, Susan! You have won $50.00 in Dean's Beans products! Thanks to the wonderful folks at Dean's Beans ( for their repeated support in my fundraising and for all they do to promote organic coffee and the people who produce it.

Wrap N Mats: Congratulations, Gypsy! You have won $32.00 in Wrap N Mat products! Thanks to Bonnie at for her help and for a wonderful product that saves on plastic waste! And thanks especially for replacing an order that was lost in the post- I am very grateful to her for all her support.

Yuko Adachi Fine Art Cards: Congratulations, Vivek! You have won your selection of 4 Fine Art Cards! Thanks to the talented Yuko Adachi at for her support.

And thank you ALL for a wonderful year training for and running the Boston Marathon for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Nike Marathon details, fundraising deadlines for purchase

Well! It's been a while since my last post. Life is getting hectic with various park projects I'm working on, community garden issues, and friends in the hospital. I did get in a nice 12 mile run along the Charles River a couple days ago and was happy to feel that the ankle pain is getting a little more tolerable. We'll see...

I received a notice that the NIKE Marathon in SF is starting to hold meetings for signing up. This is an excellent race for LLS, and a beautiful course which takes you through the marina, Great Highway, Golden Gate park and zoo areas in San Francisco. It is the largest event for TNT and my experience last year supporting my friend was that each runner receives a beautiful Tiffany necklace. Interested? Fill out the form listed here.

Your time is almost up to buy amazing items from my fundraising site ! Make sure to take advantage of the free shipping and shopping spree chance for a great Original Buff Headwear purchase, delicious organic coffee, Beautiful fine art cards, or an environmentally friendly sandwich wrap. All purchases enter you in a drawing for more goodies and drawings will occur on the 31st. After this date, the fundrasing store will shut down. Make your purchase TODAY! :-)

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Grafton Gazebo 5-Mile Road Race

Here's our Team in Training runners after the Grafton road race. As you can see, a whopping FIVE runners from our team came away with 'bling'. Rick and Lori, our coaches, placed first in their age groups, as did Anna. Caitlin and Fulvio placed in the top three as well! Greg in the top left did not run the road race, but DID bike 40 miles to the race to meet up with us. He is training with his wife for the Ironman, and their Boston Marathon was part of their training regimen!

The Grafton race is a great one to run if you like hills. The course starts uphill on the first mile and the first two include the infamous North Street hill our Team in Training runners ended their training runs on. If you can make it through the first half, the 2nd half is mostly downhill, though there are a few ups there as well.

I had a rough day but managed to run 8:20's. I stopped and walked with a some breathing difficulties, and felt grateful for the runners around me who encouraged me and let me know where I was in the course. At mile 4, the volunteer who was reading times was a whopping three minutes over the actual, and after hearing the dismal read-out and thinking 'man, I am doing poorly today- I should just quit!', a woman with a watch let me know that the time was waaay off. Thank you! And it was great to run that last uphill to the finish line with my teammates cheering me in.

We all enjoyed a great post-race lunch together at the Post Office Pub in Grafton.

The injury is still not resolved- my last visit w/my chiropractor was interesting in that he felt I may have stressed the bone and then rubbed a tendon crossways, which is causing residual pain and tendon thickening. He gave me the go-ahead to run, but said it is an issue of pain that will go away. I hope so!

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What next? Rest, races and remembering

Well! It's been over a week since the marathon and life is chugging along. It is normal to feel a 'gap' once a big goal is accomplished- when that big event or performance is over and that focal point ceases to act as a daily beacon to organize events around. Lucky for me, I get to experience a seasonal shift as the weather improves- other volunteer projects such as work for the Fenway Garden Society, fundraising and project managing for several area parks projects, and deadlines for grants applications have all made days even busier than I would have thought (and sometimes want!) post-marathon. Right now, the challenges look to outweigh the successes, but like anything, this is a temporary phase as exploration of challenges lead to solutions going forward.

I will miss my great teammates, including Ben,who was a recipient of a rarely awarded Volunteer of the Year award with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and whose amazing and inspiring blog account you can read here. I'll miss being surrounded weekly by a bunch of people who believe in making a difference through their actions and committment, but as I told our coaches, I think the ripple effect on the way their runners will continue to be impacted by the experience will be limitless.

And... There will be more races! This weekend is the Grafton Gazebo 5 Mile Road Race, held on Saturday, May 3rd at 10:00 a.m. This is a hilly and exciting (especially when you don't know the course!) race, and we should have a nice Team in Training contingent there. And my good friend Chris and teammate Patti have propelled me to sign up for the ING NYC half marathon in November. HALF marathon? That's right! I plan to work on pacing on shorter distances and see where that takes my running. I have yet to resolve my right ankle tendinitis, but am planning on working that out asap. For advice on how to recover from Boston, check out this recovery plan.

I would be remiss in not pointing out some great sponsors, whose products you can STILL BUY through my fundraising website until May 31, 2008:

Planet Buff:
Thank you, Scott, for offering a generous donation for each unit sold through my Original Buff Headwear link. Scott not only has agreed to donate a portion of each sale made through my site with the appropriate fundraising code listed, but to throw in a shopping spree drawing (one lucky winner!) for products for anyone purchasing through this site. Planet Buff is a great company whose products I can't say enough good things about.

Wrap n Mat:
Bonnie at Wrap N Mat has been most generous from the outset, allowing me to sell these great plastic saving reusable sandwich wraps on my site, and resending a large order of products that somehow (!) got lost in the mail.

Yuko Adachi:
Yuko's Fine Art Cards are just a tiny window into her vast artistic world, which you can view on her website. Yuko generously donated her proceeds for these cards for fundraising, and has helped me for a number of years in supporting LLS despite a busy painting and exhibition schedule.

Deans Beans:
Charlsie at Dean's Beans has been the best. She has split orders into small amounts to provide direct shipping of small qtties for my web orders , and provided quick, efficient and cheerful support all the way. This is my second year working with Deans Beans and they have turned a group of coffee lovers into satisfied and loyal customers.

All of these vendors have provided generous fundraising rates that have allowed me to sell their products while raising important funds for blood cancer research. Please take a look at their products and let me know if you are interested in purchasing their products! I can tell you more about any of them, as I've been a customer for all these items myself.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Boston Marathon 2008- recap of the day!

It's now been several days since the Boston Marathon. I am starting to feel human again and think I can remember most of what happened on race day. Reading Kristen Armstrong's wonderful blog account at Runner's World brought back the sights and sounds and feelings of the day. Here is our account of our third Boston Marathon with Team in Training:

Monday Morning: Hello, 4:30 a.m.! I see you briefly, then turn back over, headstrong in my committment to sleep until my alarm, set for 5:00. Upon waking, check the weather forecast several times to see whether that overcast cool forecast is staying with us. It looks like it will stay overcast but be warmer than expected, so we decide on one of the several options set in front of us- compression shorts with race ready multi-pocket shorts over the top, smart wool short sleeve for me, and short sleeved Under Armour top for Tim.

Time for breakfast- coffee and steamed rice with fish flakes. Some people might not like this combo(!!!)- rice is a traditional Japanese b/fast food and the dried flakes, called 'furikake', are nice and salty. Some water and a look at the watch to see when our cut-off hydration should start. The last two years, I didn't manage to stop in time, and my overdrinking led for long portapotty delays on the course.

7:30: Our chariot awaits! Great friend Chris (who I ran Nike with last fall) not only drives all the way up from New York, but wakes up early to take us and two other friends to the start line at Hopkinton. She has stocked the car with energy gels, water, treats, and we sit back, knowing we are in the hands of a pro.

8:30 ish?: We are dropped at the bus shuttles at Hopkinton. The long wait and rides to the athlete's village begins and additional rice balls unwrapped and consumed. Buses get stacked and stopped for looong periods of time, and a frantic runner convinces the driver to let him off roadside for some quick relief. Hearty applause greets him upon reboarding.

What time is it?: The buses drop us right at the village! Last year, it was at least a 10 minute walk All we know is that we are looking for our Team, but more interested in the porta potties. We pick a line and get in the slowest one, and discuss our race wear, apply sun block as the clouds magically disperse, and try to stay collected. Once out, we just have time to get our bags and start towards the baggage drop off. Luckily, we spot our Team in another field, and wish everyone a good race. I have brought my sharpie and have been asked to pen the names of people on their arm: Mark, Tom, Lori, JoJo and Kwan Kew. I imagine them all having the best race of their lives.

Here we go down the road to the start. We are in corral 21, but somehow end up back in 25. It doesn't matter- people are packed like sardines, but we know the race only really starts when our chip timer goes off at the starting line. It's happened a bit too fast- not much time to collect ourselves, but we hastily recap our plans, get energy from the crowds and start- first walking, then jogging, and then, many minutes later, actually running.

The first 6 miles are a combination of jogging and running- the crowds seem thicker than last year and people running with iPods directly in front or three across or walking make getting into the groove difficult. My ankle starts to twinge and I know this will be a challenge.

Ashland, Framingham, Natick- this passes by in a blur. I fade in and out of focus and sense a lack of the energy I've had throughout the season. I realize the day will be about running the best I can TODAY. I check in with Tim and figure out where Wellesley is. The cheers are loud, but are only a backdrop today to my effort and desire to get to the community center. I hear at least 2 men start hyperventilating at the cheers and signs at Wellesley College. I think we have seen Justin, our Team mate from last year, holding a big sign and it makes my day.
Familiar territory pops up and my repeated checking back with Tim to see where we are gets me to the community center, where our coach Rick Muhr and our group of friends awaits. We have told them that if we looked to be in good form, that we would not stop. We are not in good form, but we do not tarry. Our dear friend Bob gives me a hug and films us. He will later find that what he thought was smiling was really my attempt not to break into tears. Christine snaps our photo and cheers us along, and our coach advises us to pour water on ourselves and to stick together. The combined support makes me lose it momentarily and I walk until I can breathe again.

Down the hill and up through Hell's Alley: It's getting harder now, but we know after the climb, it will be mostly downhill to the Fire Station and the turn onto Comm Ave. Tim is up ahead, and I know he is doing his best to keep me running along.

Hills of Newton: Tim is off ahead on the first long hill of Comm Ave. I start to walk halfway through, but then pick up to catch him. We do okay at first, but sense that the momentum wanes. Our half time of 2:01 is respectable, but we know we won't make our goal and start to manage as best we can. The rest of the hills continue the same and even Tim starts to struggle. I hear various things from the crowd, but what I can recall is hearing 'this is the LAST hill!' on Heartbreak and start to pick it up. They aren't really right, but they are right enough! We see our great coach Lori and injured teammate Kristen, who is busy helping another Team runner along the course. We start to pass, get passed by, pass again, other Teammates, who I think I try to encourage.

I notice as we turn onto Beacon Street that we are having trouble, but that when we run, that we are running fine- good form, good speed, and hope we can continue in a fashion towards the end. Tim is really working hard now, and needs to stop along the way. I almost lose him once, but find him on a walk, looking pained. We know it's all about the brain now and I start chanting positives: It is minutes to the end, You are strong, Pretend you are on your favorite short course coming home. I get angry at the crowds who press in, yelling in runner's faces to keep moving, thinking 'what do YOU know about it!', when they say 'don't stop now! RUN RUN RUN!'. But they mean well. Our Teammate from last year, Jill, snaps photos of Tim on the course. He tries to tell me she is there, but I am out of it. I think I see Justin again. Am I dreaming?

Kenmore Square- we are coming home. Struggle down and up the underpass and right onto Hereford. There is Dave Tierney, LUCY and a bunch of Team members. I miss Kathleen, who has been on the other side of the street for HOURS, holding this sign:

We turn left and onto Boylston Street. I see that finish line and want to get there immediately. Tim has some trouble and wants to stop, but as soon as he does, our trainer Tessa yells our names and gets us in gear again. Can we believe it??? We are holding hands and crossing the finish line.
We have done it! We later find that Kwan Kew was injured during the race and breaks her femur, that another friend has walked the race and is hospitalized for hyponatremia, and that our supporter Adrienne who was going to miss our fundraising party because she was going on vacation, is in the hospital in an induced coma. We learn that our Teammate Ben finishes his run that evening, with a team of TNT supporters and our coach leading him in. We also find our teammates Paul and Kelly have done exceedlingly well in qualifying for Boston AT Boston and that other teammates have exceeded their goals. It is a day of high emotions, peaks and valleys, but we know that we have completed the race and raised money for a good cause. Here we are at the bar that night, and as you can see, all your names were with me the whole way.
Thanks for helping this run to happen and thanks for supporting this run in Judy's memory. The official time was at 4:20 and change, but we will take it. We learned a lot about running this season and reminded again about what can be accomplished for a good cause. As our coach likes to remind us of the quote by Margaret Mead:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fundraising Time!

Well, the marathon's over, and we are looking forward to our fundraising party at Jillian's pool hall this Friday. We've had some great donations for raffles and are looking forward to relaxing with friends and Teammates.

I have a month left to raise funds for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Once again, I'd like to plug my fundraising site, where each purchase enters you in a drawing for prizes and all proceeds go to benefit LLS. What better way to treat yourself to something nice?

Especially when the products are great! My short synopsis:

  • Original Buff Headwear: What better way to look stylish during your active lifestyle? Keep your hair off your face and sweat out of your eyes wearing these functional microfiber headbands whether hiking, running, biking, fishing or just hanging out. I love them for the garden and make sure to look at the UV blocking ones for summer days! $100.00 worth of Buff products will go to the lucky winner on May 31st who purchases an Original Buff Headwear item from my site!
  • Wrap-N-Mats: These great reusable, machine washable sandwich wraps were recently featured on a national talk show. Why? They are environmentally conscious, reusable alternatives to plastic sandwich bags, which double as a placemat when opened. Your chance for $32.00 worth of wrap-n-mats with any purchase! Start cutting back on plastic today!
  • Yuko Adachi Fine Art Cards: Yuko is an amazing artist whose works have been shown across the country, most recently at Future Arts 2008, The BAAK Gallery in Cambridge, MA, and Venus Gallery, San Francisco. Her Fine Art Cards can be framed to make beautiful miniature artworks, and convey the spirit of her creativity. Your chance for $35.00 worth of Fine Art Cards with any purchase!

  • Dean's Beans Coffee, hot cocoa mix and organic java drops: I can't say enough great things about this coffee. It's delicious, organic, fair trade, shade grown, sustainable coffee that is roasted in small batches at their MA beanery. If you can do one thing to make a difference in the environment, think about drinking organic coffee. Organic farming practices halt the deforestation that occurs with large scale industrial production, and lessens the use of harmful chemicals, which you don't want to be drinking inour morning cup! Each purchase of Dean's Beans coffee enters you in the May 31 drawing for $50.00 of Dean's Beans products.

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