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I’m not Dead …

November 19, 2010

Hey Everybody, I am approximately 2.5 days behind on my blogging.  It’s so unlike me since I blog about every day, but work has been VERY busy lately, so I do apologize because not blogging means I can’t share all of the details of the days leading up to a Marathon.

I can’t write a long post either because I actually still have a lot to do tonight (it’s the dang holidays around the corner!), so I apologize for not sharing an Inspiration story today but I’m going to try REALLY hard to get one next Friday which will be the FINAL INSPIRATION POST before the big day!

Speaking of finals, this is the FINAL WEEKEND for you to be able to make a donation and be eligible for the Marathon or Bust raffle.  I’m posting on Monday who the winners are !!! GET EXCITED !!

Now here’s my confession: In the same way I’ve been slacking on blogging, I’ve let my running go to the wayside. I’m was milking this taper but quite frankly, I’m now abusing it. I’ve run a total of 2 Miles this week! It’s bad. VERY BAD. If you’re training for a marathon, Don’t do that. However, I’m running 5 tonight and I’ve got 12 this weekend, so everything won’t be completely lost.

I’ve got to run, readers (literally!)  Have a great weekend! I’ll try and post tomorrow or Sunday.



Running Socks!!

November 16, 2010

It’s been way too long since I’ve last posted about fuel and/or running gear.  Well, with the Holidays right about the bend, even though I generally prefer NO presents (I like everyone to save their money and/or make a donation instead!), I’ve been eyeing these and I WANT them (maybe even in time for the Marathon?):

Injinji Performance Midweight – Mini Crew

$15.95 on our favorite:

Do I have a pair of these toe socks? No. I was looking at the Injinjis over the summer but for about $10, I thought the basic one was kind of flimsy (it reminded me of the random cotton socks you get in a hospital or something – with no elastic around the ankle). Anyway, this updated (and new?) style above looks pretty awesome – it first caught my eye in an ad in this month’s Runner’s World.  They are particularly appealing because I have noticed recently that my “ring toe”(? – I have no idea what to call that specific toe) on my left foot tends to bother me – in a blister sense – on any run over 10 miles.  I was thinking about getting a pedicure BEFORE the marathon to make sure that my feet get the loving they deserve so that I walk away as blister free as possible from the Marathon, but we’ll have to see.  In the meantime, these socks are a good plan B or even Plan A.  For non-runners out there (or even people new to this type of sock), you might be wondering what the appeal is other than these socks look cool?  Well, they’re practical too. In short, the fact that each of your piggies gets its own “sleeve” is a sort of protection from friction that occurs BETWEEN the toes – not just against certain spots of the foot in your sneaker.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, now that I just finished writing this little post, I decided I will get them. SO, I’ll let you know in a few more weeks how these turn out and whether or not you should add them to your Wish List. But oh – one more thing – I will NOT be buying those “toe sneakers.” These socks are NOT a gateway to that type of design for me – I think those sneaks are stupid and I’ve seen THREE PEOPLE who were wearing them fall down. One girl was a gym employee.  I’ll never forget it: Last season, when the Blizzard was here, we were at the gym when I noticed her wearing the toe sneakers. Her co-worker was all, “Oh! You have those shoes! Look at that. How do you like them?” She was of course eager to show off, so, with a big smile on her face and a little extra pep in her step, she started to walk out from behind the front desk so the co-worker could see her great shoes better. She took three steps and BAM! she was on the floor – scraped knees on the carpet and all.  She jumped back up quickly and I had one thought, “I’m never getting those dumb sneakers.”

Happy Tuesday!


PS – If you want to find past reviews on fuel and other running gear, check out the “Fuel and Running Gear” Category. I actually just bought some CW-X running pants this weekend, so I’ll post some more on that next week and sense that the “Fuel and Running Gear” posts will be heating up.  (In fact, I’m considering that that will be some of the future of this blog after the Marathon. There’s a lot of stuff out there for running and more importantly, a lot of people who don’t know about this stuff.  As for (lucky) me, my husband spends HOURS researching everything running and I like to write reviews (I was Yelp Elite last year!) so what better way to bridge the gap then combine the two?  My theory has always been that once you start running hardcore [three times a week or more], you should also start indulging yourself with better gear. Everyone says one of the joys of running is that you only need a pair of sneakers but I’ll be the first to tell you that when you start investing in running gear, there is MORE Joy in running – trust me.  In fact, ran a race recently?  Do yourself a favor and go splurge $10-$15 on a pair of socks. You deserve it!  Check these out:

Accounting of What it Takes to Run a Marathon …

November 14, 2010

Hey Everybody,

Hope you had a great weekend! I thought about writing yesterday to tell you that I ran 20 Miles on Saturday, but I decided to take a rest day instead (rest from running, rest from chores, rest from blogging – it was glorious!). Anyway … the 20 Miles was great. I mean, it wasn’t the world’s best or greatest run, but now that it’s out of the way, it’s all down-hill from here (YAY Taper!). My hips and knees were achin’ quite a bit, but I finished all of it in 3:45, so I think I’m good to complete the Marathon in 4:30 or 4:45 so long as nothing unforeseen gets in my way. Honestly, at one point I was comparing it to the 18 Miler and I was bummin’ that maybe I was running slower than I hoped, but I realized: 1. Before I ran the 18-Miler, I actually took off a few days in a row AND I didn’t run much the week before, so my legs were rested and 2. Pre-marathon I have a two week taper! So … with that in mind, I’m really feeling good that race day will be everything (I hope!) that I think it will be.

Now that I’m on the taper and it’s funday Monday, I also thought this would be a good time to do a quick accounting of what it has taken to train for a Marathon:

1. Number of weeks training: 22 by December 4

2. Number of miles my feet ran (as of today): 408, at the end of 3 more weeks: 442

3. Number of times I ran a Half Marathon distance without participating in a Half Marathon: 5 (the Philly Half run excluded)

4. Number of fuel packages consumed: 21

5. Number of sports beans lost: 8 (I dropped one and only one EVERY time I ate sports beans)

6. Number of months spent preparing: 5

7. Number of Marathon or Bust Events: 2

8. Number of Marathon or Bust fund-raising antics (events excluded): 9, maybe more (blog included)

9. Number of pounds lost: zero!

10. Number of pounds gained: zero! (I’ve been eating like a horse, but not so much that I’ve put on weight)

11. Number of crazy things that happened since I started training: 1 – We adopted a dog.

12. Number 1 piece of advice for Marathon Training: Don’t adopt a dog mid-training.

13. Number 1 piece of advice for practical people: Go to bed early and/or as soon as you’re tired!

14. Number of times social events were unattended and/or adjusted for training: several, including the upcoming Holiday party that we’re going to miss because we’ll be in Memphis running.

Would I do it again? Maybe. Probably.

Will I do it again – maybe in a few more years.

This is the last Funday Monday post – kind of – because next week is going to be the list of Marathon or Bust prize winners! I truly cannot believe the Marathon is now less than three weeks away. At times, it felt so far away and now, well it’s just around the bend. I’ve spent most of my training program mentally preparing for the BIG runs (anything 12 and over) and now the only BIG RUN left is the actual marathon. Speaking of things I can’t believe, I also can’t believe that there were no comments received on my acronym game post a few weeks ago. I thought I would have had like 10 comments since I said that it didn’t matter how silly the guesses were. I think maybe the letters were too hard? The funny this is that I don’t even remember the answers to any of them other than the first. So now your guess would be as good as mine, lol.

I’ve got to get ready for work folks. Oh yes – and I have a massage tonight. It’s the last one before the Marathon. I’m not feeling so bad after 20, but I want my legs to be REALLY ready when December 4, 2010 rolls around. Oh, and in case you were wondering, this week we’ve got: 5, 8, 4 and 12. (4? 4! Can you believe it! That’s going to feel like nothing after all these weeks!)



Inspiration Friday – We Have Video!

November 12, 2010

TGIF Everyone! Today’s Inspiration Friday story is Clinton:

5 years old

Diagnosis:  Clinton was found to suffer from medulloblastoma in November 2009.

Clinton’s Story:

In June 2009, Clinton began having headaches and nausea, but it wasn’t until November that doctors discovered the shocking cause of his illness. Little Clinton suffered from medulloblastoma, the most common type of brain tumor in children. Clinton’s parents were told the tumor, located in his brain’s fourth ventricle, was the size of an acorn. They were devastated, and even Clinton realized something was terribly wrong.

“When he would throw up, he would look at me with these little sad eyes and say, ‘This is not good. This is not good,'” said Clinton’s mom.

Clinton underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and his parents began searching for the best place for his continuing care. They looked into St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and were impressed by the hospital’s promising research. The family soon obtained a referral.

At St. Jude:

Clinton received 31 radiation treatments and four rounds of high-dose chemotherapy. His treatment was sometimes tough, but Clinton’s doctors and nurses helped him through the difficult moments.

Clinton and his family love St. Jude and the personalized care they received during his treatment. Clinton’s mom said the St. Jude staff kept her informed. They also listened to what she had to say. “I’m part of the team,” she said. “When I have questions or things to tell them, I’m not a troublesome mother, a problem mom, and that’s very, very important.”

Clinton finished treatment in summer 2010 and was able to return home. He is a bright boy who loves fishing and making up jokes. Unfortunately, recent follow-up tests revealed that Clinton’s cancer has returned. But Clinton and his family have vowed to continue to fight on despite this setback.


Even though it’s a little repetitive of Clinton’s story above, I’m excited that this month, St. Jude has also captured some video! While stories and pictures are always good, there is nothing like a video to show you a person’s movements, or let you hear their voice. The video is only two minute long and can be found by clicking here. (It’s REALLY cute – Clinton’s Mom even talks about his “girlfriends”! … if you’re prone to tears, WARNING: have a tissue on hand).

In addition, even though it’s a little outdated since Clinton’s cancer has now returned, I found another video – his “no mo chemo” party … that’s right. Did you know that when a patient leaves, the staff of St. Jude’s has a party? And sings a song!? Again, have some tissues:


I’ll be honest, readers, I cried when writing this post. And I cried in a way that I haven’t cried since September or earlier. (It’s because I only shared happy stories during October, remember!?!). But the fact of the matter is that life isn’t dandelions and candy canes all the time (though, I wish it were).  And as such, not every story is perfect at St. Jude’s.  Most importantly, St. Jude’s is the place where a child’s chances of having a happy ending are greater … and that’s why I am running for St. Jude’s, and St. Jude patients, and their families. Because to me, St. Jude’s takes SUCKY CANCER and turns it into – as much as possible – dandelions and candy canes for the kids.

When I first went in search of today’s Inspiration Friday patient, I really had no idea who I’d find. I wondered, “Who could I possibly dedicate 20 Miles too?!?!” Little did I know that I’d find the PERFECT patient to inspire me – a 5 year old who’s been given a terrible challenge, but who I know will continue to fight. Clinton – all of tomorrow’s 20 Miles are dedicated TO YOU. I’m going to run that 20 in two parts: the first 10 which I know I can do (like you did with Round 1 of your treatment) and the second 10 like it’s coming back for more.  My struggle is no where near as great as yours – I mean, I’ll be done with it in approximately 3.5 hours – and you’ll go one for I don’t know how much more – but keep up the good fight for me, okay? I’m praying for you.

And now, dear readers, as for the rest of you, I ask two things: 1. If you’re a runner, please dedicate a run of your own this week: Think about someone who inspires you; someone who pushes you to be better; someone who makes you or who has made you, try something / do something / accomplish something that you otherwise would not have accomplished on your own. And 2. If you have not made a donation, please consider making one today. No amount is too small – $5? $10? [it all helps] – and you’d be just in time for the Marathon or Bust Raffle.  As a reminder, the winners will be announced in our Funday Monday post on November 22 … which is in only 11 days. 11 Days? 11 Days!  Can you believe we have come this far?  I can’t believe I’ll be running a marathon in approximately 3 weeks – It’s crazy. It’s insane. It’s glorious! I’ve been dreaming of my taper during this past week’s runs and quite frankly, I write to you at 3 AM because I’m so hungry all the time that I had to get up for a snack! Yes – 11 days. In only 11 days we’ll have several winners. In 2 days, you’ll have a woman who never ran 20 Miles before. In 1 year (or less!), I hope we can all have a cancer-free Clinton. [sigh]. This one’s for you …

Quick update – the week is improving …

November 10, 2010

Happy Hump Day,  y’all!  I just wanted to let you know that I conquered my 5 last night and left work early to complete my 10 today.  My knees are achin’ but I’m otherwise feeling good; there is a black and blue on my shoulder though. Oh well – bummer! But it will heal …

While I was running tonight, I had one thing on my mind: The BIG run.  Saturday?  No!  The marathon, sillies!

I was just thinking that Saturday’s run is going to be the closest I will come to a full-on marathon run so I have to utilize that run: I’m going to have to pace myself the same, eat the fuel I plan on eating, plan when I’ll hydrate based on water stops, wake up at the same time, go to bed the night before the same time I would pre-marathon, etc.  It’s going to be a dousy!

Oh – and I lied … I thought about one more thing … a post tallying everything that it takes to run a marathon. It’ll go something like this:

No. of days running / No. of fuel packets / No. of Sports Beans lost = 8 (I lost 1 EVERY time!), etc. Keep your eyes out … that one’s coming in a few days.

Until tomorrow!


It is NOT Funday Monday …

November 9, 2010

or Funday Tuesday.  I know.  I know … I’m about 4 days behind in blogging.  I’m sorry.  I can’ help it.  I’ve been in a terrible and grumpy mood.  Here’s the short reason why:  I fell – BAD – during my “long” run on Sunday.  Note the quotation marks; that’s because I only ended up running 5 Miles.

Yup – so, I left for 14 Miles on Sunday night around 6pm. Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, I was all decked out in neon yellow and sportin’ some ear muffs and gloves (I also forgot how I hate running in the cold).  Anyway, about 5 Miles in I took off my gloves to grab myself some sports beans.  I don’t know if I was distracted by the Sports Beans or if I was just completely mindless (possible if you readers can recall how easy it is for me to fall; click on this old post for an example). Anyway … I was actually focusing really hard on not losing any beans because those slippery buggers tend to hit the ground and I don’t like losing my fuel, but the next thing I know, I was down on the ground myself, kind of rolling, almost into the street.  The definitive culprit was an uneven something in the sidewalk that was sticking up, which caught my foot, but the thing that I was the most mad about was the fact that I didn’t have my gloves on while I fell because the scrape from the fall hurt my hands pretty bad.  I wasn’t quite bleeding, but with the wind blowing, my palms were stinging. I kept thinking, “Why couldn’t I have fallen with my damn gloves on!?”

The good news is that there was no real injury to my legs, hips, knees, etc. – I think that’s where the roll came in. In general, all I recall is that I was really close to face-planting, but I didn’t want a bloody nose, so then I stuck my hands out, but then I remembered that I didn’t want to break my wrists, so I somehow softened my wrists and turned my body to the side, lifting my legs so that I wouldn’t also sprain my ankle. I know – you’re thinking – how the heck does someone think all this in such a short time span? I’m crazy, people. – That’s how.

So yeah, I got up and brushed myself off, but here’s something else that rubbed me the wrong way: a passer-by that laughed at the whole thing. Correction: An a$$hole who was walking past me who laughed.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about laughing. In fact, I fall down and laugh a lot – because I’m rarely hurt. And sometimes, I laugh at other people when they fall – BUT ONLY AFTER I ASK THEM IF THEY’RE OKAY AND THEY SAY YES. This guy didn’t have the decency to make sure I was okay so I responded to his chuckle, “That actually really ‘effing hurt! I could be bleeding!”

He kept walking and didn’t even turn around, so I did an about face and just told myself, “So you fell, no biggie. It was bound to happen, keep going.” I mean, it’s true: If you run enough, you’re bound to fall. TRUST ME. Everyone I know, who is a “runner” – has fallen. It doesn’t make you a runner because you fell, it’s just that, like I said, if you run enough, it’s bound to happen. Anyway, I got two blocks down the road and my hands were stinging so bad, and I was so mad at that guy who was a jerk, and my mind was not at all interested in running, so instead of continuing my run, I walked about 2 blocks home.

So yes – my first, kind of – bad run of the season. [My first fall EVER actually since I’ve started running] It’s not too shabby that I made it this far into training without already having this bad a run, but it was definitely not the “pep run” that I was looking for to prepare me for the BIG WEEK. In addition, I do have a lingering pain in my shoulder and on my back, near my ribs, so when Funday Monday rolled around, I wasn’t in so much of a “Running is fun!” mood to leave a post. Then, if I had any intention of posting something later at night anyway, that intention flew out the window when I arrived home to find that the puppy ate a hole in the wall. Yes, you heard me: the puppy ate a HOLE in THE WALL! Me and the hubs blame daylight savings time; it was the first time Max was by himself while the lights went out and silly us, we didn’t leave any lights on so suddenly he found himself in the dark. In the back of my mind, I always knew he’d eat a wall. I’ve heard it too many times, “I know someone who had a lab who ate a wall.”  (PS – now you do too and that person is me) The thing is, I can actually fix drywall(!) so, I never thought it would be a real problem. Well, leave it to Max: He ate the wall in the corner, where you pretty much can’t repair it, so now I have to call a Handyman. I’m pretty sure the Fix-It Man is going to have to  cut out the drywall to the floor and put in a new piece – screwing it into the studs and all. I guess we’ll have to see.

Funday Monday? No. Funday Tuesday? Eh. … I’m heading out for my 5 Mile Run now. If I come back unscathed, maybe this week is starting to take a turn …


Happy Inspiration Friday!

November 5, 2010

TGIF Everybody! It’s not October anymore, but I want to share with your HOW AMAZING St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is. Normally on Inspiration Fridays, I feature a patient who inspires me to do my best during my long runs. Well, today, I’m featuring St. Jude’s [during Halloween] as the Inspiration because it’s too incredible not to share (link to pictures below) …

The halls of St. Jude were transformed into a trick-or-treat haven for patients and siblings during the hospital’s annual Halloween event. Employees decorated booths and clinical areas throughout the hospital as costumed children visited the trick-or-treat stops, which featured such themes as Peter Pan, Candyland, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Mardi Gras, Sesame Street, Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians and Despicable Me.

The Halloween celebration is organized by the Child Life Program as a means to provide children undergoing treatment a bit of normalcy in otherwise difficult circumstances. Hospitalization and treatment are arduous for children and their families, and being away from home means missing out on special events.

“The Halloween festivities allow patients to enjoy the holiday as they would at home,” said Cara Sisk, a child life specialist at St. Jude.

The Halloween event has grown exponentially each year with everyone from nurses to bench scientists to office personnel setting up trick-or-treat stands for the kids. It’s a task taken seriously as employees select themes to decorate their booths and begin planning months in advance, working after hours and throughout lunch to design their trick-or-treat stops. Click here to see pictures (and if you’re like me, make sure you have a tissue because happy tears will surely ensue!): Click here – it’s INCREDIBLE!


Now who has a dry eye? You win! There are some GREAT pictures within that link – and some great costumes. I actually considered running in costume during the marathon BECAUSE part of the course runs through the St. Jude campus and I thought it would be a treat for the kids (what do you think – me and the hubs as M&Ms?).

Anyway, I have 14 Miles to conquer this weekend. I’ll do it – no doubt. I’ve battled several weeks now of fear and hesitation and I’m only 4 weeks away from sweet success. Speaking of sweet success, if you’re a believer, please pray for the patients and families that I write about and/or follow. With the holidays approaching, gosh knows everyone will be counting their blessings and my wish is that everyone who is at St. Jude now is still there for the New Year. In addition, if you exchange presents for the holidays, please consider making a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital instead and/or purchasing gifts for your family through St. Jude’s Hope Gift Book. Last year, for the first time, I told people, “I don’t want presents.” And I requested that people make a donation instead and print a piece of paper or something that said that they made a donation if it was important to them that I have a gift to unwrap. Well … it was the best holiday ever. There is nothing I couldn’t buy for myself, but there is something you can give and that is the gift of hope.

Thanksgiving and other Holidays are upon us, everyone. Now’s the time to start thinking about the BEST way you can spend your holiday shopping fund.  On a final note, good luck to Ashley who is running her FIRST Half Marathon this weekend in Atlanta! (I pray for no rain and I hope that it’s not even Cloudy with a chance of meatballs!).

See you over the weekend, y’all,