Saturday, November 6, 2010
Tomorrow is the NYC Marathon. I will not be running, but I will be voluteering for Fred's Team. I'll be at the Team breakfast at 4:45 a.m., at the start in Fort Wadsworth, and at the finish line in Central Park.
Monday, I get to go to MSKCC to visit the kids in the peds ward.
Tuesday, I start again.
MAY -- Flying Pig Marathon
AUGUST -- NYC Nautica Triathlon
NOVEMBER -- NYC Marathon
The hardest part is starting. I hate being at Square 1. Better get used to it, I guess.
Good luck to all the runners competing tomorrow, and you will be hearing from me more often, I promise!!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Over the past three weeks I have started running again. Five minutes at a time, once a week. The frankenfoot is perpetually a bit achy -- I think I have gained the ability to forecast the weather, and it's been ultra humid -- but it does not hurt to run at all. Because I refuse to give up my beloved Vibrams, I am taking my return to the road extra-cautiously. So far, only treadmill runs. Just think -- tack on another four hours and fifteen minutes, and that's a marathon!
I have to run, both for my sanity (nothing replaces running for stress relief) and for Liam. People have been extra-generous over the years, and even though I can't run this year, people are still donating. How can I not get myself back into the fight? Liam needs all the support he can get. MSKCC needs all the support it can get to help Liam. So I will continue to fundraise, and slowly build myself back up to marathon distance for next year, where it will be Chicago and New York, I swear it.
I haven't been able to attend Team practices or events until just about a week ago. Not because of time constraints, but because mentally, I wasn't able to. It's still a struggle, when I see the Team newsletter in my mailbox, or get something about the marathon from NYRR -- it's extremely upsetting not to be involved as a runner. I still want to cry, and sometimes I do. I miss everyone, but it's not helpful for them if I show up to a Team practice and do nothing but weep. I need to get over myself.
I will be volunteering to be part of the Team support staff during the marathon, which is a marathon in itself -- 16 straight hours, starting at 3 am.
You can still donate to my Fred's Team effort -- regardless of my running or not -- by clicking here.
Thanks, as always. More news on the running front soon, I hope.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Liam Witt, the little boy I have been running the marathon for over the last four years, who has bounced back from everything thrown at him, be it the cancer or the treatment for the cancer -- well, the cancer has returned again, both in the original spot and in two new spots. he had surgery five weeks ago to remove a tumor in his chest, and the latest scans indicate that the cancer has already returned to that spot. The doctors are going to do everything they can to get him back into remission, but the odds are no longer in Liam's favor.
I am not running either New York or Chicago this year -- the tendonitis, plus a stress fracture in my left foot has seen to that -- but cancer doesn't take two marathons off. I am still doing everything I can to support Fred's Team and the Aubrey Fund, and try to raise as much money as I can regardless of running, to help the doctors at MSKCC develop new treatments that will help Liam, and others like him.
If you can help me in any way, please go to my Fred's Team site and make a donation, by clicking here, or at the links on the side and bottom of the page.
If you wish to donate by check, please make it payable to "MSKCC" and send it to me. I'll take care of getting it to the right people. My address is: 152 West 58th Street, #2D, New York, NY, 10019-2111.
If you have children, you can involve them in a bake sale. Gretchen, Liam's mom, founded "Cookies For Kids Cancer." They'll give you the tools to hold a successful bake sale, and then you send the money to them, which all goes for neuroblastoma research at MSKCC. You can click on the link here, or go to http://www.cookiesforkidscancer.org.
Please read Gretchen's blog about Liam, "Prince Liam The Brave," by clicking on the link.
And please, please, keep Liam and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Devastated and injured. Or the other way around.
Here's what happened.
I loved my Chi Running seminar, and I was doing really well, using the metronome and getting used to the pace.
So I do my first long run. I'm supposed to do eight miles, and it felt so good, I did 8.3.
And it was that .3 that did it. My Achilles tendon on my right foot felt a little sore afterwards. Hmm. Not good. So I iced it, and stretched the hamstring really well, and a couple of days later, the pain went away. Still, I kept from running, and biked instead.
So two weeks ago, I go out again for a long run. It was a beautiful day -- cool, slightly overcast. I was in heaven.
As soon as I started running, it started aching again. So I really concentrated on keeping my lower legs and feet relaxed. I could handle an ache.
It was achy, but manageable for the first five or so miles. But when I stopped for a drink at the north end of the Park, and then tried to start running again, the pain was unbelievable.
At that point, I ran the rest of the way home, pain and all, just to get home and off the foot.
I spent the rest of the weekend on an ice pack, praying I didn't rip anything.
Monday morning, off to the incredible Dr. Rock, podiatrist extraordinaire. He said nothing had torn, but it was swollen and strained, gave me some lifts for my orthotics, told me to wear heels and to not run on it until it felt better. While he was not thrilled with the Vibrams (few podiatrists are) he said I could wear them if I did it gradually.
So for the last two weeks, I've been on injured reserve. Biking and back in the pool, and thankfully I still remember how to swim. This week, not so much thanks to work. Today I am missing my "long run," of an hour on the bike, and an hour in the pool in order to catch up with work obligations. The pain is down to a slight ache, which feels better when I wear heels, and worse in the morning.
It's devastating. I'm scared that I won't be able to catch up in time for Chicago, which I've officially committed to. I'm afraid to run in my beloved Vibrams, and I'm loathe to run in my old shoes. I'm afraid of how far behind I've fallen in my training.
Any words of encouragement, I can surely use them. Were it not for Liam, I'd be giving up altogether.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The words of Dr. Cheung, one of the brilliant oncologists who works so hard on Liam's behalf, haunt me day and night. "It's not science that's holding us back, it's funding." Great. There's a price tag on my son's head. Isn't that just dandy? Can I even begin to tell you how that feels? My son is priceless. Evey child is priceless.
This is what I can do. Can I ask you to help me with this? I'm not too proud to say it -- I need to raise $5,000 by September to run both races. I want to help provide Liam, and all children, with the treatment that will allow them to live healthy, full lives. Just click here to access my Fred's Team webpage and make a secure donation.
Still not convinced that your donation makes a difference? Allow me to be shameless here, and share this picture with you.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Honor Roll Begins Anew, plus the Scotland Run 10K, The Run as One 4-Miler, and did I mention I love Vibrams?
2010 FRED'S TEAM HONOR ROLL
But first, apologies to all those amazing people from last year, who I never sent a thank-you card to. I'm going to be a lot better this year, thanks to MSKCC's new and much-improved website. If there's a way to get at you 2009 folks, I will soon!! I promise!!
And now, without further ado, the first person on the 2010 Honor Roll is...
DR. KAREN THORNTON
That should remind you all to go get a check-up before starting any exercise regimen.
Dr. Thornton is closely followed by
CARL and REVA TAIT
THE GeBAUER FAMILY
bringing the total going so far to the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Research in honor of Liam Witt so far to a cracking
That's a great start, but we've got miles to go -- literally!
I will repeat and reiterate my promise slash threat to run both the NYC AND Chicago Marathons if I can raise $6500 by September. Did I mention I hate running marathons? I sure do! But I do love the idea of a world without cancer, especially pediatric cancer, and if that's what it takes to get people to donate, then that's what I'll do.
So if you want to help me honor the amazing Prince Liam, or just enjoy the idea of me running two marathons in three weeks, when I can barely do one a year, just click here to make a secure donation on my Fred's Team website.
(that's my VFF-clad foot next to Fred's feet at his statue in Central Park, by the way!)
Also in the works -- and this time I kid you not -- an actual podcast. Details to follow.
So I did a couple of races since last we spoke. The first one was the Scotland Run, a 10K that's a clockwise loop of Central Park. I sort of prefer the clockwise loop to the normal counterclockwise run -- it's more uphills, but the hills aren't as steep. And you get to go down Cat Hill instead of up.
Now, I come to the Scotland Run having run a grand total of three whopping miles in the previous two weeks. Conventional wisdom would dictate that I sit this one out. But I am neither conventional, nor wise.
Wore my VFF KSOs (KSO = keep stuff out) with rainbow-colored injinji socks, which made me look like even more of a buffoon than just wearing the Sprints. I don't care -- I LOVE MY VIBRAMS!! But there's a seam in the Sprints and the KSOs that keep giving me blisters. Covering the seam doesn't work -- the tape doesn't stick -- and covering the spot on the foot doesn't work -- the Band-Aid doesn't stick. Other than that, did I mention I love my Vibrams?? They have put the spring back into my step. So I must wear toe socks to go with the toe shoes.
I get to the Park on race morning. I figure I won't go fast -- like I would anyway, that's a laugh, but I won't push, and I'll walk when I need to. Just get through it. I run into many Teammates, including a few who are in my boat, so I don't feel too bad about my slacker ways. They're planning to do the same as me, and we all head to the corralls together. I have my iPod with me, and I put on a "This American Life" podcast. I have been training myself to run iPod-free, but my strategy for today was to listen to something soothing, so that I would stay relaxed and not start pushing my pace, like I do when I listen to one of my patented race-day mixes ("Bat Out of Hell," anyone?)
The race begins, and though my Teammies and I have the same game plan, it becomes clear right away that either a) I am not paying attention to the game plan, or b) they are going to take it even easier than I thought. Most likely, a) and b). Hindsight being as 20/20 as it is, I should have probably stuck with them longer -- like maybe more than five feet past the starting line -- but as soon as I started running, I knew it was going to be a run pretty much all the way.
That being said, I did manage to do at least some self-preserving by going even slower than my normal turtle pace, and by really walking the water stations, and by that, I mean getting my cup, moving to the side, and walking for at least a minute. I think there were four stations, and I walked them all. But I ran the rest of the race. That danged competitive streak, I can't let it go! I see someone in a shirt I don't like, or for whatever reason, and I simply must pass them.
Side note -- one year, my bestie Laura and I did the Midnight Run together. Part of the fun of the event is the pre-show costume contest, and a lot more people wear costumes anyway, just for kicks. Laura is not a runner, by the way, and the run isn't even timed. So we're doing as much walking as running, and everything is great until a group of people dressed as the components of a McDonald's Happy Meal pass us. I will NOT be beaten by french fries!! I made Laura run that last mile, but we couldn't catch them. Oh, that broke my heart.
Anyways, I finished the Scotland Run in 1:07, a PW (personal worst,) ending up with some pretty sore calves, but at least not too much the worse for wear.
Which inspired me to get a little bit more of a groove on for the next race, which was the four-mile Run as One. That's the run sponsored by the Thomas Labrecque Foundation for Lung Cancer research. I like this race, and figured four miles would be more my speed.
Ran into Teammate Emily in the corrall. She's back in action after a nasty fall (tripped over the toes of a pair of improperly-sized Vibrams and broke her wrist. Love me them Vibrams, but they need to fit you right! Get them fit by someone who knows how to size you properly -- they are indeed very different from a normal shoe.) She read this here little ol' blog and said, "So if you may run Chicago, doesn't that mean you need to train like you're going to run Chicago?"
Changed the iPod setting from NPR to Meat Loaf, and for all intents and purposes, we're off!
Not much to report on this race that's noteworthy, but to say I didn't really push that hard until the final couple hundred feet on the transverse, and finished in 37:28.
That gave me a LOT of hope for this training season. Where I am right now is about where I was two years ago, where I had a HUGE improvement in my running during the training season. So knock on wood and God willing, if I can buckle down and put the work in, I'll see similar improvement this year, too. Hey, it couldn't get any worse...
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
This is the point where we knuckle down and get to work.
Where I start posting regularly.
Where I actually start the podcast I've been threatening to start for two years.
Where training begins.
Yes, it's time to start training for the 2010 NYC Marathon.
And that means it's time to open my annual fundraising appeal.
Let's cut to the chase. I hate begging y'all for money every year (except my parents, of course. They owe me. ) And I hate running the marathon every year.
But here's why I do both:
My inspiration, my Prince, Liam Witt, just got the results back from his latest round of scans and the neuroblastoma he's been battling for three years has returned again, in two different locations.
Neuroblastoma is a rare form of cancer, and thus, its treatment and research has been woefully underfunded. Memorial Sloan-Kettering has been leading the world in developing new treatment regimens to fight it, and all of the money for that research and treatment comes from the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research.
Until there's a cure, I will be running for Fred's Team and the Aubrey Fund.
Please help me honor Liam Witt, and all the children battling this insidious disease, by donating to the Aubrey Fund of behalf of my fifth NYC Marathon effort. Just click here to make a secure donation online.
If you wish to show your support with a check, please make it payable to "MSKCC" and send it to me:
152 W. 58th St. #2D
New York, NY 10019-2111
I'll start the threat now, and we can see what happens -- if I raise enough money to do both NYC AND Chicago in time to run the Chicago Marathon, I will ALSO run the Chicago Marathon.
How's THAT for a threat??
So if you want to see me really knock myself silly for a cause, you know what needs to be done!
More running, and posting, anon.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
As you read on my previous post, I'm raring to go with my New Year's resolutions...after the weekend (too much steno to crank out, and it's 20 degrees out there.)
However, I did ring in the New Year in a way that I think is unique to NYC, the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run. There's dancing and a costume contest beforehand, then at the stroke of midnight, a huge fireworks display and we're off for a four-miler, from 72nd to the 103rd St. transverse, around and back. There's champagne -- excuse me, "champagne" at Mile 2. We run as a team, and even if we get split up, no one runs alone. As someone who's spent more New Years in cabs going from one party where she didn't know anyone, to another party where she also didn't know anyone (ah, those friends of friends!) it's a great, low-stress way to ring in the New Year.
Our team has a new tradition of starting the evening at Rich and Lynn's apartment, which is close to 72nd, enjoy some sangria and goodies, then at 11:00, all the ladies crams into the bedroom to change. We run, and then return to the apartment for further merriment.
Last year, it was zero degrees out. Not with the wind chill -- that's before the wind chill. We bundled up like walruses and headed over. Of course, as soon as we started to run, we all started sweating, and that made the walk back to the apartment from the finish line a treat. This year, it was raining all evening, but warmer, in the low 30s. It was still raining when we left the apartment, but by the time we got to the Park, it had changed to snow. It was gorgeous. There were only about ten of us running -- there were a lot of folks still recovering from marathon-related injuries, and a few with other parties to attend afterwards. I was going to run with David and his girlfriend. Meg. Meg's got no cartilage in her ankle, and other ankle-related issues, and she hasn't run since July. But David cajoled her into doing the run, and she relented. As they were going to be more my speed, I stuck with them. Hooray, fifth wheel!!
We got there about ten minutes to 12, and the transverse was packed. We were so far back, we were practically on the west side. Either this run's gotten a lot more crowded, or we were super-late. Either way, we didn't move for the first fifteen minutes after midnight. However, that meant we got to watch most of the fireworks display, which was FANTASTIC. I don't know if the fireworks are a Road Runners thing or a NYC thing, but either way, they are among the best displays I've ever seen, almost twenty minutes long, and with finale after finale. The year I had my bunionectomy, I volunteered at this run, and I got to watch the whole thing. I know I've said it before, but the only real problem with this run is that you're running away from the fireworks, so you don't get to see it unless you run backwards -- which is not easy, given the hills in the Park. Take it from me.
Meg, as someone's who's both injured and hasn't run in months, was at a perfect speed for me, so while we quickly lost the rest of our speedier crew (making promises to meet at the champagne) I stuck behind with her and David. Though in pain, she was determined to run the whole thing, because if you sign up to run a race, you run it. My kind of gal! I did this race with Laura, my best friend and non-running ex-roomie. I knew we'd be walking as much as we ran, and that was fine -- until we neared the end. Remember, there's a costume component to this event, and as we hit mile 3, we came across people dressed as a McDonalds Happy Meal. Fun run be damned -- I was not going to be beat by french fries! I dragged Laura that last mile, to her chagrin and my relief.
This year, our speed kept us in pace with a group dressed as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, complete with Shredder and April. I know that now, along with the TMNT song, since I must have heard it over a dozen times.
It took us about an hour to complete the run, which is (thankfully) slow for me, but amazing for Meg, who really toughed it out. Pretty amazing that her first run since July, with no cartilage in her ankle, is a four-miler. Not so amazing that my legs were sore after that. I really AM out of practice. But that's not the point of this run. The point is to have fun and celebrate a new year by doing something that makes you happy and feels good. And that's what I did.
There's a New Year's saying that whatever you do on New Years is what you'll be doing all year round. That means I'll be spending 2010 with friends and family, working a lot, running, and eating lots of fried food. All good things, no?