Friday, May 9, 2014

Where did the time go?

Despite my intentions, I have not kept up on my blogging.  I can find a host of excuses, but I just didn't carve out time to pick up the computer and just write.  Since my last blog post, I have completed 2 more marathons, including this year's Boston Marathon, several half marathons and many 5k and 10k races, my Avon Fundraising Team has disbanded and I have started a new job at a new company.

I am so proud of Team AllEars!  This year we raised over $100k...not bad for 100 Disney Nerds :).  It has been quite the journey and January just won't be the same.  I have made so many friends through the team that I would not have otherwise made and have really been able to put faces with the fight against breast cancer.  Alas, time must move forward and while some of my friends will be racing at Walt Disney World in January 2015, I will be home in Salem, NH, cheering them on and wishing I was there.

I was a part of another fundraising team this year.  Once again I represented Team BMC at the Boston Marathon.  We were 100 BMC Strong this year with our honorary captain, Kevin Spacey, at the helm.  For those of us affected in some way by the tragedy of last year's Boston Marathon, it was time for felt so good to pass the point where I was stopped last year.  I got to take the left onto Hereford and the right onto Boylston, where I saw my mom, my aunt, my brother and my nephew and got to give them all big high fives!  A short way down Boylston, my Team AllEars friends waiting patiently to scream my name!  I was one of the last people to cross the finish line and this meant a ton to me.  I did it!  I crossed the Boston Marathon Finish Line!!!  Team BMC raised over $1 million to support is Emergency Department, the busiest trauma center in the state of Massachusetts.  BMC received some of the most critically injured patients from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.  Before January 2013, I did not know much about Boston Medical Center, but I have learned how important it is for the community, especially the poorest in the community.  They provide exceptional care without exception for all patients, regardless of ability to pay.  I am honored to have been a part of such an organization!

A foot/ankle injury is my excuse for not putting a ton of effort into running lately.  It started at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in January, got pretty bad during the Full Marathon the following day and has hampered my running efforts since.  Couple this injury with a crappy New England winter and that is all it took to keep me off the roads.  I have put on some weight and feel generally yucky.  I have an appointment with a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon next week who will hopefully be able to help me on the road to recovery.

At the end of December, I left my previous employer to take a higher level position at another company.  It has been rewarding and challenging, but I must say my ultimate goal is to work for myself.  While I am working my day job, I will spend any "free" time that I have to organize my law and mediation practice. While this portion of the entry is not about running or fundraising, it is about how running and fundraising have shaped my thoughts and actions.  I have always wanted to have my own practice and be able to come and go as I need to in order to make my work and personal lives function, but I have lacked confidence in my ability to get it started.  If you had told me 4 years ago that I would be running regularly and running half marathons, I would have laughed in your face and sent you way.  Not only have I completed 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons, but I have also run 5 full marathons and one of them was the 4th race in the Dopey Challenge!  Both running races and running a business require hard work and positive thinking.  My mind has gotten me over the pain that my legs, feet and hips have endured during races and it is been strengthened by these experiences.

I hope to keep this blog running, but I will slowly but surely be writing more blogs on certain areas of concentration of my law and mediation practice.

Keep is good for your butt and your brain.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Maine Marathon - Sunday, October 6, 2013

I completed my 2nd full marathon, which should actually be my 3rd, but for the lunatics who blew up innocent people at the Boston Marathon. My finish time was 5hrs, 49 mins and 53 seconds. That may be slow to some, but I started it and I finished it. Yes, I had to talk myself into continuing...I had to kick my ass into gear when people at least 30yrs senior to me were passing me, but I did it! Am I crazy??? The jury is still out on that one...chance are that I am.
I started the race with my husband, who was running his first half marathon. He had to keep slowing down for me, but we were pacing somewhere around 11 mins 20 secs for the first 6 miles and then we split off so he could finish the half and I could continue on the marathon route. Boy, was that a long, lonely road. It was a pretty area full of gorgeous homes and cows in pastures, but it was definitely lonely. I normally run alone, but something about being on an unfamiliar route freaks me out. The locals who were out were super cheerful and one even offered to take my trash along the way. I wouldn't dare drop my used gu packets and biofreeze packets on the pristine streets of Falmouth, Maine.

I cursed myself, I whimpered, I questioned my ability to finish the darn thing. Then something changed, I talked to myself reminding myself that I had been here before and had finished a marathon in harsh conditions and that I had run in the Boston Marathon. Now was not the time to give up. I still don't know where I summoned the strength around mile 20 to kick my 2min run interval into 9 min miles, but I was able to do that for a bit. At the last relay exchange location (this event featured a half marathon, marathon relay and full marathon), I jokingly asked the volunteers if it was too late to sign up for the relay :). I let Keith know that I was heading into my last 2 miles and I was getting texts that I had this in under 6 hrs. I knew I was getting there...I saw Keith who told me to sprint to the finish. My sprint was a little slow, but I reached the finish line and got my medal and mylar blanket. I did it!

Having run races of varying lengths, I have come to realize the difference between pain and soreness. I know that the soreness will go away, but if it is pain, that could be an indication of something of a larger problem. This has really helped me mentally get through the wall. I returned to my desk job on Monday morning and tried to remember to get up more and move more than usual, but it didn't always work. People were surprised I was there, but hey, I am a hearty New I have to save my days for my Disney races ;).

This weekend I have a half marathon on Sunday and a 10k on Monday. Let's see how my body likes me after those. Check back next week!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that:
•A woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime.
•Every 3 minutes, there is a new diagnosis of invasive breast cancer.
•Approximately 230,480 women and 2,140 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
•Every 13 minutes, a life is lost to breast cancer.
•39,520 women and 450 men in the U.S. will die from the disease annually
These are sobering statistics and just a few facts about breast cancer that have struck me. Breast cancer doesn't care if you are young or old. One of my high school classmates was 30 years old when she was taken by breast cancer. Another high school classmate was in her early 30s when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer after fighting a brain tumor. She eventually succumbed to the disease, but managed to hold on to see me get married in 1999. Several of my teammates have had cancer or have been touched by cancer.
Since I am female, I have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer...I am not happy with this statistic. In order to improve both research and resources that support breast cancer research and treatment, the least I can do is to put some effort forth to raise some dough for the cause!
In honor of breast cancer awareness month, I am holding 2 fundraising events. One of them is a virtual 5k to support my local cancer center mecca, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA...check it out. The second is the Laugh Away Cancer Comedy Fundraiser to benefit the Avon Foundation! If you are in the Merrimack Valley area, please consider joining us for an awesome time!
Help support these great causes!