Tuesday, January 30, 2007

and we have video

even though you have to wait until the very end and if you blink, you will miss. i'm number 11041, and on the right in the very last shot with the jazz hands. enjoy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

i think i said this before...

i've just been a little burnt out, a lot tired, and doing lots of photo editing. in fact, here are some to tide you over...i'll be back with final marathon thoughts soon. i've got a lot of them.

but i haven't abandoned you. promise.

charlotte & me at the pasta party

the nyc chapter of tnt

demps, bo-sox & bouv

the start

isn't that where the party's at? i guess we were just the lucky captive audience

awe they got ballons

Saturday, January 27, 2007

auction update

i confess i haven't been as good about promoting the bum auction the 2nd time around. as of this morning...here are the bum auction stats! (see pic)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ever thought about running a marathon? (I bet the answer is yes.)

To run a marathon. It's something less than 1% of the population accomplish, but you've thought about it. Maybe you like to run, but never get beyond 5 miles. Or you hate to run, but every year when you watch the nyc or boston marathon...you think..."wow, I wish I could do that." On the other hand, perhaps it's something you've always dreamed of, but you don't know where to start.

Start here. Come run the San Diego Marathon with me and Team in Training.

Team in Training raises money to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The mission of the LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since it's humble beginnings in Rye, NY, when a team of 38 people raised over $300,000 for the Society, Team in Training has grown into the world's largest endurance sports training program and has raised over $720 million dollars for the LLS. In exchange for fundraising for this very amazing organization, you get access to an amazing, professional and knowledgeable coaching staff, as well as the support of the TNT staff & a group of people just like you: your teammates. Regardless of your level of running expertise, the training provided by TNT will get you across the finish line.

How do I know? On January 14th, I completed my first marathon. Before I signed up in July, the thought of running a marathon had crossed my mind, but only in a fleeting, wistful fashion. Even after I signed up, I had my doubts...my longest run before I started was probably 3 miles. On a treadmill. With stops. But after the great coaching and support from the TNT staff and all the friends I made, I ran 26.2 miles in a little over 5 hours, and had a smile on my face the whole time.

And if that isn't testimonial enough - I'll be running San Diego in June. Non-runner turned running addict. It's a little crazy, I know, I never could have guessed it. And, if you have any concerns about the fund-raising, yours truly is Fundraising Captain for the season (for NYC), and will be dedicated to helping you reach and surpass your goals (I promise not to make you auction off any body-parts, that's purely optional.)

Curious? Come to an info session. I'll be at the second one listed below, but you can attend any. You can even try out a practice if you like. Not in NYC? Just go to teamintraining.org and search for the chapter closest to you. If you have any questions, I'm happy to chat (in fact, you might have to let me know when to stop). And I'll leave you with this thought, which you may not believe, but I'm the proof.

Anyone can run a marathon, if you commit to do it.

Hope to see you out there...

Tuesday, January 30
Citibank Building
1 Court Square
Intersection of 44th Drive & Jackson Ave.
50th Floor - Citiview Room

Wednesday, February 7 - also KICKOFF!!
630 Second Avenue
(between 34th & 35th St)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

the marathon: 13.1 - 26.2 miles

after the high of seeing everyone wore off, my body began to grimace again. the best part was that one of my thighs started to chafe. awesome. i hadn’t really had a problem with the chafage for any of my long runs, but the saturday before, when i was in tennessee, i ran in the rain (chafing is more likely in the rain) and got a patch then. ouuuch. stinging is not a good accessory for marathon running. luckily, the fantastic medics were well prepared and were standing near the 14 mile mark with popsicle sticks coated with with vaseline. aside from sticky hands, i felt better.

charlotte was still feeling great, and for the couple miles or so, i simply tried to put one foot in front of the other and wait for the tightness to wear off. it’s funny though, because even feeling less than great, i couldn’t help but continue to grin and wave back at the crowds. it’s amazing how they keep you going and smiling. around mile 15 we saw another medic station. char suggested we just grab some pain killers (that would be tylenol 8 hour, the official drug of choice of the medic stands). they want to make sure you don’t take too many or you’re getting them just in case, so they ask what’s up and then mark your number to show you already got some good stuff. i was a little out of it at this point, and so when they said “where’s your pain?” i first said “what?” and then they asked again, and i stammered, “uh, my leg!”

well, it was true.

after that it got a little better. my new strategy was to cheer for someone else when i was feeling crappy. i picked out people in lls purple and yelled at them by city, or name or identifying feature. char wanted to use the bathroom, so while i waited, i stretched my calves and cheered at the top of my lungs for everyone going by. and i’ve got some lungs, believe me, it was fun, almost made me feel like i wasn’t 10.2 miles away from finishing a marathon.

that’s the point where it kind of sucks. you’ve run 16 miles, and you still have *more than ten* to go. that’s still, for a slow poke like me, somewhere around 2 hours more to go. but after the pain of starting to run again wore off, i was actually feeling pretty good. when we hit 17ish...we realized we were 2/3rds done, and that felt a little better than 10 miles. and then, came the magic mile, mile 18.

i don’t know if it was that i got a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) wind, or if it was the chocolate goo, which is more like a packet of chocolate frosting, or the middle of a slightly cooked brownie, but somewhere during mile 18, i woke up, got un-sore, and even, dare i say, peppy. we had our headphones on, and i wish i could remember what song was playing but it was a bit of a blur but i felt like i could run like the wind. yes, my feet still hurt. yes, my legs still hurt. but it was all relative and dulled by the rush of endorphins flooding my brain.

our next spot for friendly faces was just after mile 20. the crowds were fantastic, and there were lots of tnt coaches from other chapters along the route encouraging us. charlotte started to fade a bit - “talk to me and tell me anything”. i started blathering on like an idiot that “less than 6 miles to go...and then we’re going to get medals and eat in-and-out burgers and drink beer and take a nap and get a massage and go in the hot tub and we already ran almost 20 and we’re doing great!” this took some time and even incited a giggle. my work was done. we crossed the 20 mile mark and waved at the camera men snapping away on the scaffolding.

there was the massive tnt cheering crew at mile 20+ yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!! i was all grins. “how are you guys feeling!” poor charlotte said “she’s great.” tossing her head in my general direction. i nodded emphatically with my lunatic-like grin. she started telling us that our coach christine would be up ahead, but that it was time to not think about our legs, only our arms. i tuned out because up ahead i could see my mom. i can’t remember if we stopped, i don’t think so, it was more of a slow-down, drive by, but my mom and aunt and sister were all cheering. someone said i looked like i just started, oh sweet lies, but it was fun anyway. i didn’t know where my dad was, but we had to keep moving.

char and i broke up at the 21 mile water stop. i was still feeling good, and charlotte, who had clif-blocks, not goo decided that she was going to stop and walk. it was very cinematic, like a scene in a film where someone’s wounded and the other person has to go find help. cue dramatic music...

charlotte: i’m going to walk while i have some water...but you go on, i’ll catch up
me: are you sure?
charlotte: yes, you go ahead. i’ll catch up, if you don’t speed up...
me: i won’t, i’ll be going this same pace...this pace
charlotte: yes, i just need to walk a little, i’ll see you in a bit...
me: okay...i’ll see you soon...

and scene.

i continued to feel great - i was passing people left and right, which was an odd feeling. soon i could see my coach christine up ahead. i waved and waved and she yelped and started running with me!! “roxie! all smiles!! exactly what i would have expected! you look great...i could see you passing everyone, you’re definitely one of strongest runners out here right now” (my grin got bigger) “wait, where’s charlotte!” i told her she was just taking a little break and was just a little bit behind me. it was nice having and expert with you for a little bit. she told me it was all about the arms...don’t think about your lower body, keep your arms loose and try not to be tense. if your arms are moving, your legs will move. she ran with me for about a mile, and that was great. she turned back and there i was, around mile 22. four more miles.

i stayed close to the right, near the crowds, still smiling, waving, letting the crowds keep me going. somewhere between mile 22 and 23 was when it got really hard physically. it was time to have my last goo, but i felt really really nauseous. in fact i was quite certain if could quite easily stop running, lean over, and puke right there on the side of the road. with this came a little bit of a lightheadedness. if you don’t know, loosing too much salt from your body is worse than being too dehydrated. symptoms are similar, but when it’s a salt issue it affects your mental state. scary. my last goo also was 4x sodium, and after that and some more pink accellerade i felt a little better.

mile 23...done. it was sunny but i still wasn’t too hot. crowds were thinning but the tnt coaches were out en-mass, probably running back and forth like christine had been doing. ahead was the one hill of the whole race, but it wasn’t a terrible one. i was a little more tired when i got to the top, but i was okay. i could see 24 in the distance. oh we were getting there. mile 24...the time on the clock was 4:52. we had stared seven minues after the clock...so i officially knew that i was not going to break 5 hours because i’d have to run 7.5 minute miles. it made me laugh that i was even still thinking about time at a time like that. i wasn’t broken yet.

and now, with just two miles, only 24 minutes left to go, this is the part i had saved all my inspiration for. the second wind, the happy running time, it was done. now it was just me and my aching tired body...and the reason i had come to do this damn run in the first place. throughout the run, i hadn’t wanted to think of the reasons why i was running until i really needed it.

first i thought about someone i had never met before. my friend fran’s friend alan. he had been fighting lymphoma and thought he had beat it, but it had returned. fran, being a fantastic person, gave me a 2nd donation. i told him to tell alan i would be running for him. and so i thought about alan and his fight, and run for him i did.

then i ran for anthony, a former-coworker’s husband. he was diagnosed with leukemia right around the time i decided to do the marathon. he’s just 43, and he runs marathons. when he was diagnosed, they said they though he had the leukemia for over a year, and he ran the last nyc marathon while he was sick, but didn’t know it. over the last 5 months, he got a bone marrow transplant and he’s back at home and doing well. he had sent me a lovely good-luck note, and i thought of it and him. and got a few more yards down the road.

and then, of course, it was time to think of bouv. i didn’t think words. i thought of his smile, the smirky-shit-eating-grin-smile. i pictured him happy and relaxed and drinking a killians, shaking his head at the lengths i had gone to show him that i cared. i thought about him grinning and saying, in his think accent “come on giroux, you’re almost done, giroux, you got it? then we’ll go drink some beahs”. i answered back “bring me home buddy” and managed another little burst of speed.

mile 25, oh thank christ...1.2 miles! if i could have jumped up and down, i would have. crowds were thickening and still cheering. there was one more water stop but there was no way i was stopping then. that mile, was probably the mile that took the longest. “if your arms are moving, your legs are moving, your arms move your legs move” droned in my head. still grinning though, tnt peeps were cheering me on, saying i looked strong, almost there, all those encouraging types of things people are supposed to say to people at the end of a marathon. i grinned at them all and put one foot in front of another.

a tnt coach that was not from my chapter came up and started jogging up next to me. so nice. i never really knew what having a team meant, and this race really illustrated it better than anything else i think i could have done. he said i was doing great, but to loosen my shoulders a little bit, they were a little tense. okay. he said as when i turned the corner i would see a big sign at 6th street (i think) and that was the 26 mile mark...and then there was only .2 miles! yeaaaaaaah!

i thanked him for the good news and kept going. 6th street. 26 milescrowds and crowds, their clothing and cheers blending together...and there was ramon and his cowbell.
it is a tradition that ramon, our head coach, runs each and every new york chapter runner up to the finish line, ringing a very very loud and obnoxious cow bell. i hollered at him and there we were, finish line ahead, bell triumphantly cheering.

“so how you feel? do you feel good? you look good!”
“yes, i feel good!“
“and now you can auction you butt for even more because it is marathon butt!” at this i just started cracking up.
“but seriously, it’s all you now. there is is, the finish line. look good for you picture. i am so freaking proud of you!” if my face hadn't already been reddish, i'm sure i would have blushed.

and he stopped running, and then it was just me and the finish line a yard or two ahead. i raised my arms wildly and i thought i was going to hurt myself smiling so big and cheering at the same time, waving at the crowds and the camera’s taking pictures. i had thought all along i was going to cry, but there was no room for tears in the sheer joy that was crossing that finish line.

i was a marathoner. and a smiling one.

today's mileage: 26.2
mileage to date: 371.2

Sunday, January 21, 2007

the marathon: 0 - 13.1 miles

we had set our alarms for 5, and a wake up call for 5:15. despite what the “penguin” had said, i was exhausted and passed right out, sleeping very soundly. i think i was over-stimulated. the alarm went off and it was time for breakfast. the night before we had stopped in the lobby to grab bagels with peanut butter so we wouldn’t have to deal with the crowd in the morning. i sleepily sat in my bed eating 1/2 my bagel and chugging water. then i laid back down for a little catnap. when i finally did get out of bed, i wasn’t that tired. we looked at the weather...and it was freezing! actually it was below freezing, in the mid-twenties. yikes. we got dressed, putting on many layers. i wore:

• a long-sleeved running shirt
• my lovingly decorated singlet
• an old-long-sleeved surfer shirt
• my $4 walgreens sweatshirt
• a black wrap sweater
• running shorts
• windpants
• socks
• sneakers
• disposable gloves
• adidas baseball cap

my accessories were: fuel belt, ipod, 7 goos, license, 10 bucks and camera.

we headed down to the 2nd floor where the team was meeting. the nerves were palatable. we took a few photos. i realized with my odd mix of clothing i looked like a homeless person. about 10 minutes later it was time to head downstairs. while fundraising, demps promise was that if he reached his goal, he would run with a redsox cap in honoror of bouv’s love of the redsox. he had made it so i giggled to see him in a sox hat, where he had written in marker, next to the B “ouv”. awesome. we assembled in the lobby waiting for the busses to arrive. ramon was giving everyone last minute instructions that generally were to stay as warm as possible until moving to our corrals. the line was moving slowly and the time ticked away. we made a last minute bathroom run...and still no bus.

finally, they arrived. 1/2 of us were on the first bus, and 1/2 on the second. we realized that it was already 7:15 or so...and the race was starting at 7:40. i started trying to organize my last few things...goo’s, ipod, layers...because by the time we got there we were pretty much only going to have time to pee and then the race would begin. ramon was adorable, a nervous dad taking kids for their first day of school. we found a spot and started stripping off layers and stuffing goos in our belts. with my camera, my “fanny pack” only fit 4 goos, so i pinned three to the outside. the last thing i needed to do was take my windpants off - i almost fell over, and ramon grabbed me, “careful! you don’t want to get hurt even before you start!” that would have been my luck.

finally i was ready - demps headed over to the start, charlotte and i had to pee again. we got in short porta-potty lines, but unfortunately, they were not the fastest moving. i’m not going to get into detail, but grooooooooooooooooooooss. it was my fastest pee-break ever. it was 7:37 ack! we started walking fast towards the trucks to drop our bags, but then once we heard the announcer starting, we started jogging. i could not believe we were late! it was freezing out but i was not cold at all - adrenaline and nerves had taken over. charlotte and i met back up again, and started running around looking for our corral...before we got there...BANG! the pistol went off and finally we found a spot to join in the crowd.

“roxie!” i turned and there was katie running over to us! we all shrieked excitedly and went along with the crowd. charlotte pulled over to ditch her pants, and i decided to ditch the two extra shirts i had on. katie had seen demps around, and we kept looking for a red sox hat, but to no avail. we had a little distance before crossing the start line and we cheered and smiled big dumb smiles the whole way there. we were in a crowd but it wasn’t terribly congested. charlotte and i looked at each other, wide eyed and exchanging big grins! this is it! we crossed the start line with katie and cheered our little hearts out. then...a little trouble. charlotte asked how many goo’s i should have on the outside of my belt...three. there was only one left. just over the start and down two goos. i couldn’t remember if i had only planned on one extra, or two. char carried the last one for me, and also had plenty of extra clif blocks, but it made me a nervous - i’d either be short energy or have to “try something new on race day” which we all know is not a wise thing.

i looked left and there was demps! yeah!! we were running. in. the. marathon. the first few mile or so was definitely a blur of hooting and hollering and waving to the crowds. there were scary (no offense here, but they were) christians on the route with huge signs saying that we were all going to hell, and to claim jesus as our savior. you had to laugh, because it looked like over half the people out there belonged to one charity or another, i likely bunch of candidates for burning in hell.
at the first mile marker we were way ahead of pace - just over an 11 minute mile. we wanted to be really careful with our pacing and run the first third no faster than 12 minute miles. we were supposed to have a general race plan, and we did, but it was really loose. the general idea is to pace yourself in thirds. the first third you should feel like you are really holding back. the 2nd third you speed up a bit, but you’re still holding back, and finally, the last third you let go everything you’ve got left. so until we around mile 9, we were going to go slow and steady. at mile 16, we would make a judgement based on time and how we felt if we were going to try to beat the 5 hour mark.

demps’ knee was feeling good so he slowly inched away. we waved and i hoped that he’s be good throughout. i was a little worried he was going too fast considering his injury, but i knew i had to trust that he knew how he felt. everyone has to run their own race.

the 2nd mile we were still a little fast, but closer to the 12-minute-mile we wanted to be running. there was tons of team in training purple in the crowd - it was amazing. lots of fans with team in training signs, cheering us along. somewhere between 2 & 3 (i think) we saw the first tnt training section, where the head mentor, and two coordinators were cheering. helena, the head coordinator, is a cheering maniac. she ran up beside us screaming her head off, jumping up and down, hollering “yeah new york! whoooo jen & melissa!!” some people from another chapter laugh and called out “wow, your chapter’s fun!” fun and crazy! soon, there were my parents & sister, on the other side of the street, equipped with both digital and video cameras. cute. we waved and hollered at them and continued on our way.
since it is the rock’n’roll marathon, there were bands every mile, which definitely broke things up and made the miles go pretty quickly. we were feeling great, and i didn’t have any of my typical mile 2-4 crankiness. as we ticked off the miles, we were trying not to think of the run as one big run, but rather smaller more manageable ones. we lasted to mile 4 before it was time for a bathroom break. we found one with a small line. the water stations were all themed. i can’t remember what that one’s theme was but there was someone that just kept running “you’re right on target!” to all the runners going buy. a girl behind us in line laughed and said “yeah, on target to finish.” ha. we hoped.

i knew my friend from high school was going to be somewhere around mile 7 with a big yellow sign with animal balloons, so that was the next “chunk” if you will. we took in the crowds the bands; we sang “brown-eyed girl”, made bets on how many times we’d hear “sweet home alabama” and gave hi-fives to the kids on the side of the road. there was a guy that was in our general area for most of the run who would yell whenever he saw us “new york, new york!” every other stop had accelerade - a gatorade-competitor. it was a little bit chunky, but not bad. it was, however, sticky so we tried not to spill it as we guzzled. the first few miles were also pretty ugly, aside from some interesting old signs, but after mile 4 we turned into a more residential strip and it was much nicer. the sky was ridiculously blue, and in the sun it didn’t feel too cold. there were well-meaning spectators handing out water and snacks, a giant hot-air balloon, and little cheering squads everywhere. we were right on the money as far as our timing, and feeling great.

we got to 16th street and i knew aimee would be out there soon. sure enough, there she was, all bundled up with her husband, holding a huge yellow sign that said my name and “THS class of ’94 is so proud!” i waved like a maniac, and stopped to hug them both. aimee used to be a running champ - when we were in high school she was ranked nationally - and throughout all the training and everything she’s been so supportive. so when we stopped, she cutely urged us on “go go!” and soon we were at mile 8.

i think mile 9 was the 2nd pee break and time to pick it up a little bit - we were going to go for 11:30’s or so. we passed a clock which gave us the temperature - 33 degrees!?! amazing how adrenalin can keep you warm. around mile 10 we ran into my mentor kelly and irene, who is just the best. she is an older lady, with the heart and determination of a lion. i think she’s in her early 60s, and her husband has been fighting a difficult disease, and she was running for him. over the last 5+ months we had all seen her at practice every day, saw her running get stronger and stronger, and i was so glad to get to spend a little time on the road with her. i ran ahead and snapped some photos of them, and one of the “new york new york” guys jogged up and offered to take one of all of us. he ran so far a head i thought for a split second i had lost my camera, but of course that didn’t happen. he snapped some of the four of us, we waved goodbye to kelly and irene and we were on our way again.

three more miles until another tnt cheering section. thet were going by quickly, and we felt lucky. then at mile 11, i started feeling...not so good. suddenly i was acutely aware of the bottom of my feet. they hurt. a lot. my left leg, especially my quad, had started to get crampy. charlotte was feeling great, and i, well i simply was not. thinking that i still had 15 miles left made me really nervous. i convinced myself that it was merely a late on-set of those aches and pains i usually get, but i had lots of little doubts in the back of my mind. i set my jaw, thought about bouv, and concentrated on one foot after another. we were using our ipods for a bit, and the music definitely helped. but mostly the crowds really kept you going. i couldn’t help but smile and say thank you every time someone shouted my name. i think it was around this point that we saw a woman holding a sign that said “I am alive because of you. Thank you Leukemia & Lymphoma Society”. how could i worry about sore feet?

finally we saw that beautiful 13.1 sign!! knew my family would be waiting around the half-way point and that would give me a needed boost. sure enough, a minute or two later i saw themin the middle of a big team in training crowd. we ran over and i hugged everyone, we were all yelling, and my sister took a photo of me and melissa. my mom, nearly in tears, exclaimed “you girls look so good!” and my dad filmed it all. we were continuing on and i ran at the camera yelling “only for you bouv!” we were off again.

saturday: wrap-up

people just kept speaking and sharing - and even when the stories were sad, overall it was really uplifting. drew was the final speaker, and he left us on a happy note. i was really proud of my crew.

we finished decorating our shirts, and then it was practically time for dinner. my family picked me and charlotte up and we headed out for more pasta. we had a great dinner, made a pit stop at walgreens for water, gatorade, and i scored a cheap sweatshirt to wear at the early part of the race.

then it was back to the hyatt...by the time we got back it was a little before 10 - yikes. we decided we would get up at 5 - we had to meet downstairs at 6:15, and the race started at 7:40. drew came over for a little bit, we gave him & demps 1/2 our case of water. drew had been debating on running the full marathon, even though his knee was questionable, but ultimately decided to stick with the half. i can't say that i knew how he felt, but i could imagine, and i didn't envy him.

the perfectionist in me was still working on my shirt and charlotte was planning her itunes mix (my ipod was not working, and so i wasn’t able to work on mine). we laid out our clothes, packed the clear bag we got at the expo, pinned numbers, attached chips to shoes, picked out goo’s, charged cameras, and finally got into bed. for how i was feeling at that moment...click here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

saturday (part 2): why i run

i took a deep breath and stood up in front of my friends, teammates and coaches.

"hi, i'm jen...affectionately known as ms bum." (laugh)

before i start writing about what i said, i'm going to tell you now that it was a blur of run-on sentences and maybe even incomplete thoughts. and i will probably add a few things here and there that i did not say, but meant to, and need to now.

"so, you heard demps talk a little bit about why i am running. i am running in memory of my friend steve bouvier. we called him bouv. i met bouv in 7th grade, in science class. he was the nicest guy we all knew. he was always smiling. growing up, it was always steve and the girls - he was the only guy that was allowed to hang out with all the girls. bouv was the guy that you were always keeping an eye-out for a good girl to set him up with (until he snagged jeanne). we were friends through high school and college, through break-ups and living in different states. bouv always had your back. he had the thickest massachusetts accent of all our friends - there was nothing like going for "beahs" with bouvier. he loved skiing, and vermont, and his family, and chemistry, and jeanne, and also us brimfield girls.

when bouv was diagnosed with hodgkin's he was optimistic. he showed no fear. he told us all that it was "the kinda cancer you want to get if you get cancer". the survival rates were high. his calm way of talking about it put the rest of us at ease. we all knew he was going to beat it.

through the years, bouv's disease seemed be on a roller coaster. he'd get better and then he'd get sick again. throughout, he never seemed down about it. over thanksgiving and christmas breaks, he'd play designated driver and we'd hit the local bar as we always had. he had a few bone marrow transplants, and they seemed to help, but he never got completely better. i had moved to new york, and so at those periods that he'd have to go in the hospital for treatments, i never saw him. i only ever saw the healthy bouv.

bouv met a girl named jeanne. and she was fantastic, and we were all happy that he had found such a wonderful girl. they fell in love. and before one of his more experimental treatments, they got married in vermont, in a little ceremony with just their families. we got the pictures and he looked so happy. the hodgkin's could not wipe the signature bouv-grin off his face.

last year, in early october, a few days before i was taking off for a three-day charity bike ride, we got an e-mail from jeanne. steve was really sick again, and his body could not handle any more chemo. he and jeanne and his family decided that bouv would go into hospice. i confess, i didn't know what hospice was. when i asked a friend at work, they said that hospice is not about getting better, it's about managing pain.

i was bewildered and shocked. how could...but he wasn't that sick...but not bouv. in two days i had to on the bike ride, and was so scared that i was not going to make it to massachusetts to see him, before...i couldn't even say it. i got a friend to scan a picture of bouv and the brimfield girls - it was his favorite - a photo that he would take with him to the hospital when he got treatment, and throughout that ride, i kept that photo close, making that ride for him, drawing on the strength he had to keep going.

the following weekend, i decided to go up to massachusetts on sunday to see bouv. when i went into the living room, i'm not sure that my face hid what i felt. he simply looked so much older than the last time i saw him. too old for his years. i sat in his living room with jeanne and his family, and we talked, catching up. he was on a lot of pain meds, patches and such, that jeanne lovingly and handled with a quiet strength that i'm not sure that i possess.

before i knew it, it was time for me to catch a train. i went over and hugged bouv and said goodbye, and said "i'll see you next week, okay?" and his reply was a firm "definitely." i didn't cry until i got in the car.

a few days later steve died. i've never talked about this before, but after feeling the sorrow, for steve, for jeanne, for his family...the next worst thing was the guilt. i should have been there more often. visited. why didn't i realize? i wasn't a good friend, how did i not know this was going to happen and spent more time with bouv.

and so, almost a year later, when i decided it was time to do some new charity activity, i wanted to do something for the leukemia & lymphoma society. i came to a tnt info meeting looking for a bike ride. and as i sat there, sad and inspired and wanting to do *something*, looking at the bike rides and thinking...they're too short (they were "only" day rides of 100 miles)...a flicker of insanity sparked. a marathon? no way. there's no way i can. but then i couldn't let it go, because i knew if i had it in me to do this, if i did, i could probably only do it for a damn good reason. and doing it for bouv seemed like a damn good reason.

that's how i signed up with the rest of you crazy people, to run a marathon. but beyond running, what you've given me, what these last months have given me, was a way to heal a little bit. it means so much. and not just to me. to bouv's family. to so many other people. i've raised a lot of money, no doubt, but what is more amazing to me is that over 120 people have been a part of this, have gotten to do something in memory for someone that we loved so much.

we're going to run a marathon tomorrow. and i know that i can do it. i know that you can too. so thank you. thank you for being here, and training with me, for helping me do something for my friend. thank you demps & charlotte & drew for doing this with me. thank you bouv."

some little photos

here are some photos i stole off the marathon website...sorry for the small size but its going to take me a little while to get the larger res.

charlotte & me crossing the starting line

somewhere in the middle...still smiling...

coach ramon runs me to the finish, ringing a cow bell, i'm so freaking proud of you!

crossing the finish line all smiles.

i am a marathoner.

Friday, January 19, 2007

saturday - the day before the marathon (part 1)

we got up at 7:15 to get ready for our group run. we met downstairs at 7:50, and despite the cold, we were all...well...giddy. i personally hadn’t run in about a week, and i could tell it was making me a little bit spastic. charlotte, demps, drew and i took a few pictures (that all came out blurry unfortunately) and we stood around chatting with the people we hadn’t yet seen. i was talking to our rookie coach, who told me he liked my website. ramon over heard and called him out (to be read with a spanish accent): “you don’t like her website, you like the picture on her website! ees okay, i told her if i wasn’t the coach i would give her 500 and 1 dollars!” we busted up laughing and headed out.

we were leading the pack, chatting with ramon & the rookie. everyone chatted excitedly away, we must have sounded like a flock of strange birds. we were only going to run 20 minutes, ten out and back. it was easy of course, because of the short distance but also because we were craving a run, as the coaches said we would. when we got back, we gathered in an open space across from our hotel for a group stretch. ramon & christine talked a bit about tomorrow - what the weather was going to be like, what we should wear, and a little pep-talkin’. when that was through, we were going to go around the circle and tell everyone our name, where we’re from, which event we were doing and why. after the coaches spoke, ramon scanned around the circle and said “and let’s start with miss butt.”

i am quite certain that in the world of team in training, i am never going to live that nick-name down.

we went around the circle, which was huge - we were about 80 people i believe. it was a perfect cross-section of new york...people from all over: down south, new england, born-and-bred-in-brooklyners, californians and a few europeans of course. there were definitely folks there that i was sure i had never seen before, and i wondered how they were going to fair in their respective runs.

after the run, we got my sister and headed out for brunch. we found a place that had all-you-can-stuff-in-your-face and did so. nothing like the instruction to carbo-load! after we ate, my parents had arrived and drew and charlotte needed to get their numbers. i was highly indecisive about what to wear so we all headed over to the expo together. we waved to the coaches and i shouted “this is mom & dad bum!”
drew and char took off to get their numbers and my parents, sister and i headed into the madness of the expo. it was even more crowded than yesterday, and i was having a bout of indecision about weather or not to wear a long sleeve under my singlet. the weather was supposed to start in the 40’s and get on up into the high 50’s, maybe even the low 60’s. my long sleeved was a little heavier than what the coaches recommended, but i was having trouble finding a thin long-sleeved or a tee shirt that would work. argh. my parents were adorably trying to buy me all sorts of memorabilia - i finally settled for a long-sleeved that said “26.2 miles and still smiling.” i thought twice - was i jinxing myself? - but bought it anyway.

my family and drew headed back to their respective hotels, while charolotte and i continued to look around the expo. she wanted power-jelly beans (yes, they do make such thing), and i was still wavering on the shirt. eventually, i found my favorite running shirt for about 1/2 of what i paid for it and the decision was made. i would wear the old shirt under the singlet, and if i got too hot, i would simply take it off. voila!

by the time we left, there wasn’t much time before it was time to go to our pasta party. our chapter had ended up with the lunch seating. the nyc chapter has a tradition of donning i [heart] nyc tee-shirts, so don we did and got ready to go. demps was meeting us there, so drew, charlotte and i headed to the building right across from the hotel.

as we got off the elevator, we could hear the beginnings of a commotion. turning the corner we were greeted with screems, shout and cheers. lining both sides of the hallway were all the tnt coaches, staff and even cheering squads clapping and hollering us into the ballroom. i had the dumbest grin on my face, and was distracted enough that i didn’t even think to video the chaos. i realized that this was what pep-rallies were supposed to be like. it was so cool.

we dumped our stuff at a table right up towards the front, and went to pile our plates with pasta and bread. we sat with a fellow tnt-er and her family until the speakers begain. first was john “the penguin” (i can’t remember his last name). he writes for runners world, and was basically up there to bust us up laughing. he did a good job. he called for the first timers to stand, and quipped “enjoy it because it’s the last time you will stand up normally in about 6 weeks”. he warned the families “look out, because tomorrow morning your marathoner is going to get up with the emotional stability of a two year old.” he cautioned that we were not going to sleep that night, so we might as well not waste energy thrashing around trying to. he advised us not to worry about what time we were going to finish in because we were going to lie about it anyway! “well, it was 4 hours and 50 minutes, but i stopped 3 times to use the bathroom, and then john and betty were at mile 10 and...so yeah, like i said, it was more like 4 hours and 30 minutes by my watch!”

next on the floor was another writer and running expert who works with the lls. he talked about what a difference our fundraising makes in the advancement of research. since it’s humble beginnings, team in training has raised (i need to check this number) but in the neighborhood over $720 million dollars for the leukemia & lymphoma society. that is *real* money. i had no idea it was that much. it mad e me proud to be a part of it.

and then he began to announced the top 10 fundraisers. i held my breath for a moment...and wished a little wish that i would be in the top ten. my teammate emily was announced and i knew with a twinge of disappointment that i would not be. what was amazing though was the highest fundraiser - she raised over $54,000!! craziness!! i wonder if she auctioned any body-parts.

the final portion of the lunch, a woman got up and spoke about her granddaughter. little alison was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer far too early in life at just a few months old, and died around 9 months old. she talked for a little while about allison and how the treatments that kept her alive for as long as she was were a direct result of research funded by the lls. and then we watched a video/photo montage. it was so sad. we saw this adorable bundle of baby from the time she was born, to the hospital visits towards the end. pictures of the family; baby, momma & pup sleeping on the couch, the first time she said daddy. everyone was in tears. babies should simply not get sick. of course, it made me think of bouv, which made me cry a little harder. no one should get sick like that.

it was a full day. after we dried our eyes, it was back to the hyatt for a team meeting and to decorate our singlets. we were stocked with markers and white-out, we arts-and-crafted away while the staff took pictures. when we were mostly done, we all sat down in a circle, and the staff gave us another chance to talk about why we were running. if you’ve been reading, you know about mission moments. basically at practice every wednesday and saturday, someone would get up and talk about why they were running with team in training. because not everyone was at every practice, people were invited to speak.

i can’t remember if demps went first, but if he didn’t it was really early on. i got ready to be embarrassed. he started by saying that he was running for someone he had never met. “you might know my friend jen. she’s the one auctioning off her butt.” knew that was coming. and then he proceeded to get me, and bunches of other people teary-eyed. he talked about how i had asked him if he wanted to run a marathon, and how i was running for bouv and so he had decided to do the same. he talked a little bit about bouv, some of the things i had told him, like his love for the red sox. and so, he ran because he knew how much bouv would want to run if he could.

one after one, almost everyone in the room talked about why they were running. some had lost parents. some had siblings who were fighting a blood cancer. some joined simply to run a marathon but now were personally connected to someone affected by the cancers. childhood friends lost too early to leukemia. charlotte spoke about her best friend who died when they were little. college friends who seemed invincible lost to hodgkins. colleen spoke about how she was a terrible fundraiser, but was so inspired and impressed by us all...”i mean look at jen - she’s auctioning off a tattoo on her ass! that’s permanent! and it’s not like she’s short a thousand dollars - she’s already raised a ton of money!” and one girl who got up and spoke was a riot. she talked about how she started running to quit smoking. i will try to paraphrase here...

“i’m a smoker. i’m a proud smoker, and not only that, i’m *good* at it. i started running partially to quit smoking, which hasn’t really worked. because ironically, since i started running, i’m an even *better* smoker because of my super strong lungs. when we were out on the trails, i snuck off and smoked three cigarettes in the woods, and in fact, this morning i was smoking outside the coffee shop while the coaches were inside getting bagels. i love to smoke. but listening to you all here, after being a part of this, after not being able to quit all season, i’m actually going to quit at the end of the month. because i realize after sitting here that it would be an insult to all of you to continue to do something that pretty much is voluntarily killing myself. so my promise to you is that i am quittig.” i believed her.

i knew it was time for me to get up and speak, and i did. but i’m going to have to save that for the next post...because it’s late and this part of my story needs time to be written.

the auction is back in business!

take two...spread the word folks! and bid bid bid away!


friday - two days until marathon

the new yorkers invaded phoenix relatively on time, right around 11. after gathering everyone’s luggage (for once, i had probably under-packed and had only a carry-on), we were herded onto shuttle busses and taken to the hyatt, which would be our home for the next few days.

charlotte and drew were coming in later, so it was only demps and i in our little crew. we each chilled out in our rooms for a little bit and then headed out to get food, pick up our numbers and hit the expo. expo is just what you would imagine it to be - vendors of all sorts, mostly running-oriented, selling and pushing everything from marathon kitsch and disposable pants/shirts to wear pre-race to other marathons and timeshares.

everything was a little bit surreal. the stress and anxiousness had died down and were replaced with the beginnings of excitement and wanting to run already! we grabbed baja fresh mostly because we were lazy and it was surprisingly tasty. then it was over to the convention center to get our numbers. haven’t yet shaken off my flakiness of the past few days, i had left my license - which you need to get your race number because of, if you can believe it, marathon-id-fraud - in my room. doh. so there was a little extra walking and then there it was - my marathon number. 11040. attached to the number was a bag check tag and a ticket for a free tee-shirt - whoo hoo!

i was on the hunt for goo, because i hadn’t had time for shopping before i left. i also was thinking of breaking the “nothing new on race day” rule because i thought it was going to be far too cold for just my singlet but too hot to wear my long-sleeved under it. i was nervous they weren’t going to have my kind of goo - power gels, preferably the double latte & pure energy varieties - because another brand was the sponsor, but there they were. one less thing to worry about. after a while it was too hot and crowded, so demps and i headed back to the hyatt to swap goo flavors (wow - i’m officially a running nerd) and take a nap.

after demps left for his room i intended to sleep but heard people in the hot tub which was right out my window. my mentor, kelly, and some other gals were down there so i decided to nap later and went down to be social. friday was the last time we were allowed to use the hot tub until 4 hours after the race because you a) don’t want to raise your body temperature or b) get extra dehydrated. speaking of hydration, up until 2 hours before the race you can imagine a water bottle permanently attached to my right hand, and schedule in pee-breaks every 1/2 hour or so. anyway - the hot tub got rid of the last few lingering jitters, and then i headed up to my room for a nap. it was one of the best naps ever.

i woke up at 6 and shortly after, demps came over. he laughed when he saw i was in full pajama mode for my nap (why not!) and we waited for kelly and some others to get back to the grocery store so we could all go to dinner.

right near the hotel there was a cute little outdoor mall, where we ended up eating at “my big fat greek restaurant”. not the sort of place i might typically go to, but i’m such a nyc food-snob that i didn’t really care. plus, it had the funny factor and flaming cheese, which makes up for what i figured would be less-than-great greek.
as soon as we sat down, drew called to say he had arrived, so i had him come over and meet us. it was fun crew. in our company we had a teacher, a lawyer-soon-going-back-to-school-to-become-a-doctor, a marketing guru (me, ha), a hbo production manager, an oncologist and a freelance film production/director/writer. i think one of the coolest things about tnt (aside from the amazing impact the organization has had on blood cancers of course) is how it brings all sorts of people together. i think in ny (and maybe elsewhere too) you tend to flock to the same kinds of people that you are, and while that is somewhat inevitable, its refreshing to get out of that too.

after dinner, demps and drew came over and we had a good catch up. demps’ girlfriend & my sister were on the same flight in from ny, and charlotte was on a flight that got in right around the same time. demps had to leave to get his girl, and drew and i continued chatting about what we were going to visit after the race, films and global warming. the girls got in around midnight, had snacks and then we all passed out. charlotte and i had to get up early...we had a group run at 8 am.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

back to nyc

sorry for the hiatus, but i'm back now.

i spent the few days after the marathon tramping around northern arizona. who would have thought i could tramp after a marathon?

i'm working on the entries for the whole trip...and getting the bum auction back on-line. more soon!

Monday, January 15, 2007

i am a marathoner

i made it.

i'm breaking the "don't blog while drunkish" rule, but i'm keeping it short so that it is tame.

to put it simply...i kicked ass.

i ran the 2nd half faster than the first. i was focused and strong and smiling the whole run.

i missed the ideal time goal, but that is okay, because i know it can be done.

only for you bouv. only for you.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

it all comes down to this

well everyone, it's been a long long long road. and tomorrow's the longest of all.

i'm no longer nervous, at least at the moment. i'm not sure if its bravery or what, but i think i'm more excited to get this thing started than anything else. and a true measure of this is that i think my ipod is broken and i'm still not freaking out.

today has been a blur of activities and emotions, and i can't quite express it yet, but i'll come back to today in a future post. for now, i'll leave you with a few...

the last group run...new yorkers, originally from all over the country but new yorkers..."ms bum, you start the introductions"...a proud mom and dad...water and water and more water..."i have to go pee again"...cheerleaders and coaches and clapping and hollering us into the pasta party...a sea of i [heart] ny teeshirts..."does anyone in here think they're going to win? because if you do, you are in the wrong room."...bread, pasta, bread, salad, bread..."since its inception, team in training has raised over $700 million to fight blood related cancers"...a baby giggles and says 'daddy'..."we lost alli when she was 9 months old"...sharpies and white-out make for good arts and crafts, my singlet rocks...a team comes together...why we run...how we've grown...some missed out on more than practice...almost everyone speaks...all my crew makes me proud...even the non-criers cry...i talk about bouv and and jeanne and his family and you all. and i thank them and you and the team for the chance for us to share something for bouv and everyone that has been touched by these and other cancers.

thank you.

Friday, January 12, 2007

my number

$$$$$ten. thousand. dollars - reached!$$$$$

we've done it! the last donation pushed the fund-raising total over the top, and we've raised over $10,000!!

i'm thrilled, honored, proud, thankful, humbled and excited to go into marathon day with that goal achieved.

what's more, i want to share something with you about the donations.

there was not one donation that was more than $250 dollars which is *amazing* to have raised so much with so many individual donations. when people hear the amount of money that's been raised, many say "wow, you must have got some thousand dollar donations, huh?"

nope, just a whole lot of people out there that care.

thank you everyone. here's one big stevie-like-grin comin' at you with love.

PS - i forgot to tell you that on friday, i got a call from one of the tnt organizers...i've been nominated by quite a few people to be "fund-raising captain" for summer season! i still need to see what that means as far as time, but i think it would be great to be able to use these skills to a good end...

going out of business sale

okay, after much clamoring, we're going to throw caution to the wind (kinda) and start from scratch (sorta).

we've started at the low low price of $26.2 dollars. and the auction is extended, so bid bid bid away.

special thanks to everyone trying to make this a successful fund-raiser, especially alan, instigator and co-conspirator. and hello, college humor visitors.

it's only fitting, right?

and we're off.

at kick-off, ramon warned us not to wait until the night before to pack. unfortunately, it is in my nature to do just that, and this week i was too tired to fight human nature. too many things going on, excitement/stress/tension overload between the trip to nashville and the marathon, made worse by not running as much.

so there i was at 10:00 pm packing. the good folks at ” target=”_blank”>TNT had put together a packing list for us, and thank christ because i couldn’t think. i actually gave demps the wrong address at first when i was telling him where to meet me to get the car in the morning. that, ladies and gents, is how out of it i am. first things first: sneakers, sports bra, shorts, long-sleeved running shirt, tnt tank top, hi-tech socks, marathon registration card. i figured as long as i didn’t forget those and my wallet, anything else was replaceable. next: body-glide (aka anit-chafing lube), fuel belt, casual sneakers, warm stuff for before and after the race (as of last night we’re looking at a high of 55 degrees, not *that* warm, but at least not raining), bathing suit, ipod, camera, various cables, pasta-& post-party tickets. finally: hanging-out/post-run-celebratory clothing and cosmetics.

i’ve become quite the efficient packer these days. even though i only had a carry on for tennessee, i really over-packed vs. what i needed on that trip so i learned my lesson. or, i will open my suitcase to find that aside my running stuff i have packed the most random assortment of clothing ever to travel together in one bag. we’ll find out when i get to phoenix.

as i was packing, my upstairs neighbors decided to host a james brown-lovin’, p-funkadelic dance party. at least that’s what it sounded like. someone was jumping up and down sporadically, the audio to elaine’s spastic dancing on seinfeld. there were cheers of “YEAH!” and “WHOOO!” punctuating the pumpin’ music. and no one in the building was getting to sleep through that. i debated dialing 311 but was never forced into a decision because on of my neighbors called in and soon the dance party was subdued.

until i tried to go to bed around 12:30. slowly but surely, the audio crept back up, and with it the happy feet. then down it would go, until enthusiasm would sweep in and the whole cycle would start back over again. i could picture the scene vividly, the drunken roommate being hushed by the slightly-less-drunk roommate okay, okay, i’ll be quiet, and then a little couch dancing gets more animated and a particularly great song comes on that you can’t bear to let go buy with out dancing so the the groove starts again, and the volume is turned back up and everyone parties happily until the slightly-less-drunk roommate remembers that we’re supposed to be quite!!!

so after a while i got used to it and passed out. woke up at 1:30 sure i had slept late, checked the time, actually thought to myself “wow, almost three more hours of sleep! yes!”, passed back out.

i stumbled out of bed at 4:15. threw my clothes on, tossed a few last minute things in my bag and before i knew it the car and demps were outside promptly at 4:45. amazingly, there was actually traffic in the holland tunnel at that hour, but we got there just when we were supposed to, at 5:30. lines were long, but demps has the luck of the irish with him, and was with a group that got taken from the back of the line to another counter. we ran into some tnt-ers and pretty much breezed through security.

from there, everything was a blur of hellos until we got on the plane. i had the social-captain send an e-mail to the team about bid on my bum, and so was personally greeted with variations on “has anyone bought your ass?” i’ve now become the bum girl. expressions range from incredulous to fits of giggles and a dash of horror, but mostly everyone finds it hilarious. which, after raising money, is *the point*.
as we were getting on the plane, colleen was asking if i had any tattoos, and i said no. “wow, this is your first tattoo, and you’re going right for the butt!” she exclaimed.

i quipped back, “well, you know, i usually don’t do anything half-assed.”

Thursday, January 11, 2007

packing before blogging

there's lots to write about, lots and lots and lots.

unfortunately for me, the car is coming at 4:45am. yes, in about 5 hours. i'm not going to dwell on how much that sucks. instead i'm going to get to packing.

and if i don't get back to you tonight, after i sleep a bit, i will be writing on the plane and i promise a post as soon as i arrive.

i'm too tired and cranky to be nervous, but i'm doing okay. i just want to sleep. and then i'll be back to myself.

i can't give my bum away

nothing like ZERO bids to induce low-self esteem! over 300 people have checked out the assets, but no one wants to invest.

i mean, i thought that $500 bucks would seem like a bargain. and i *thought* i had a cute bum...hmmm.

maybe this was not such a good idea after all.

T-3 days: how to approach the race

anyone have any valium? no more caffeine for me, my nerves are *shot!* more on that later. here are some pieces of race strategy from our wonderful coach, who you know and love, ramon.


I'm sure lots of you are freaking out about the freaking course and

how to approach it !
Read below if you are interested about times, race plans, and how to
behave during those 26.2 or 13.1 miles. The best tips I can give
you right now, when we are just a few days away are: Discipline,
Patience, hydrate, watch your nutrition and Behave, lots of
behaving !!


The first rule applies to all our marathoners and half marathoners.
Most of you came into TNT with a goal of `just finishing', now a few
months later, you've become `running machines' and many of you have a
goal within a goal, `finishing will be nice, but I'd like to finish
in xx time ` and that's ok, its' totally normal to have a goal
time, as long as it is realistic. But it's also ok to come into the
event and don't worry much about time, a great goal for this event
is to count how many bands and cheerleading squads are outthere,
enjoy the event as much as you can.

I said it before, and I say it again, whatever your goal is, let's
make sure you enjoy your first marathon experience (if this is your
first) if this is your 2,3 or 10th, let's make sure you kick some
butt .

So, if you goal remains just to complete the 26.2 miles or the 13.1
miles, take this Sunday as a fun day, as one more long training
run, with lots of people around you, and lots of people cheering you

That day, it's going to be very special for all of us. For you `a
dream come true' for us the coaches, it's like `sending our children
to the first day of school', we'll be excited, worried, nervous,
but happy, very happy because we know your life is about to change,
but specially proud, extremely proud of all of you, knowing that you
are about to finish what you started 5 months ago……………what an
accomplishment !!!

You are about to see your coaches going nuts, if you thought we were
crazy, wait until you see us on race day, those cheerleaders
outthere have nothing on us ...

Remember: `There's only one first marathon or half marathon…..it' ll
always be special make sure you enjoy it !!

i'm going for +/-5 hours...so here's that specific plan.

GOAL TIME: 5:00 hrs

Ready to rock !!

By experience, the 5:00 hr runners tend to be the most patience, and
very steady, for you guys if you approach the event the same way
you'be approaching the longruns and training in general you should
accomplish your goal.

You guys are not going to worry much about time during the first 14
miles, you are going to run just by how you feel, imaging that you
are running one more training run in Central Park or Prospect Park,
think of it as a loooonnnnnggggg warm up before you go for a run, or
one of those tests or workouts that you mean coaches usually provide
you with, the first ¾ of the race, just concentrate in your own
effort and don't let the cheers and the event get in your nerves and
make you don't run faster than you should.

A sub 5:00 hrs marathon it's around a 11:27. You don't need to
really keep track of each single mile, but just check yourself during the first couple of miles do make sure you are not going too fast, that's the key,
just look at the watch, and make sure you are withing that 11:15-
11:35 range, if you feel that you are running well, that the pace
that you put in, matches the effort, YOU ARE going too fast, YOU
should feel like you are holding back a bit, just like you do during
the training runs. If so slow down, calm yourself down, and run your
own race, your own effort. If the formula gives you around 4:55 to
5:05 marathon finishing time, you should not run faster than 11:05-
10 at any moment during the first 15 miles.

If by mile 16, you feel good, (as good as you can after running 16
miles) , you should know that you have 10 miles left, and have an
idea of your body and what kind of day you are having. I your watch
says anything between 2:45 to 2:50 at mile 15, just keep the same
effort or if you are feeling great, and you think `only 10 miles to
go' pick it up a bit. If you think `i'm getting tired, hold back a
little bit' If you are a little slower than that, but you are
feeling great/good/ok, you can decide to go for it, put a little
more effort in the run, just a bit, and keep that effort to the
end. Check yourself as you go every 2-3 miles, and if feeling good,
keep the effort, if not, slow down a bit.

Basically, depending how well you feel at mile 16, you will or not
break the 5:00 hrs.

The goal for you, it's to run your own race during the first 16
miles, do what you do best, pace yourself, and discipline
yourself. Again you don't need to keep track of each single mile if
you really concentrate on your own effort.

Some check points but again don't get too attached to these, run your
own race:

By Mile 5 you should be within 59:00 minutes but not faster than 55
minutes. .
By Mile 10 you should be within 1:57:00 minutes but not faster than
1:50:00 minutes
By Mile 15 you should be within 2:52:00 minutes but not faster than
2:45 minutes
By Mile 20 you should be within 3:49:00 minutes …

Good luck !

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

the pledge to save my butt

there are some *strong* reactions out there to the tattoo auction!

a very generous friend of mine, mark, has both ponied up with a *second* donation AND pledged to donate *another* $100 if i DO NOT get the tattoo.

and so, if you would like to join up, in an attempt to save my butt, simply send an e-mail to: savejensbutt@gmail.com with the amount you will donate if i DO NOT get the tattoo.

i'll keep you guys updated on the progress there on the sidebar.

thanks to everyone on both sides of the debate! :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

and now, i'm a mentor

as if there weren’t enough going on, tonight was mentor orientation for the *second* marathon i am going to run in june.

i knew that being a mentor was going to be a big commitment, but it’s probably even more than i thought. there’s what you would expect: certain meetings to attend, attendance at practice, being available and encouraging to your flock of runners. there is more though. a little phone banking. reports to attend to. reflective vests to wear.

ps, who signs up to be a mentor before knowing they can succeed at their event! oh, that would be me.

i’m fairly certain that it may just seem a little daunting right now, with my own marathon looming. LOOMING i say.

you can’t tell by looking at me, but i’m all a’twitter on the inside. i feel like i can’t really let that out until i am on the plane. otherwise, all the things i have to do in the next few days before i leave are simply not going to get done. for instance, right now i should be packing, but i’ve been working on getting the tattoo e-bay post up. of course my internet is not cooperating, per the usual lately. whenever i start to think that this is it, i instantly feel nauseous. i think denial is the best route.

in prep...i’m trying to eat pretty well, i’m now alcohol-free again, and i’m stretching every day. i’m supposed to run 30 minutes tomorrow, which i will probably do at the gym. there is practice tomorrow, but i don’t think i’m going to be able to leave work early...we’re going to have to see.

okay...it's way past bed time. more tomorrow.

the bum auction is on

check out the sidebar...and cross your fingers!

ps - all over the news is that howard stern got a huge bonus. potential bidder?


let me take you back to sunday morning, if you please...

sara and i headed out into the pouring rain, much to the astonishment of a few of our climate-project-friends and the hotel staff. we learned when we got outside that it was not only very raining, but it was also pretty damn cold. on the way back we would see that it was only about 50 degrees. [shudder]

the plan was to head to a park a little over a mile and a half down the street, do a loop around the lake (3 miles), and then head back. it would have ended up going over the 6 miles on the schedule, but i figured a little more would be better than a little less.

i was cold, and waited for my legs to get warm, and my arms and hands to get numb. as we ran towards the park, the water from the clouds was far less troublesome than the water that was flowing down hills, from the gutters and running in angry little rivers every which way. after a few blocks there was no point in trying too hard to avoid the puddles. our socked feet sloshed and squished on.

it was good to have company in weather like that. i had been nervous because i was certain sara was faster than i was, because she usually runs shorter distances than longer, but she offered to let me set the pace, since i was “actually training for something.” we were going fast than my usual, but given it was a short distance and so miserable, i thought getting it over with quickly might be the better call. we saw a few other crazy runners out there - probably training for the nashville marathon - and it was kind of funny to see people gawking and laughing at us from their warm, dry cars. it kind of makes you feel nutty in a fun-loving-sorta-way.

we got to the park, and ran around a bit in there, but it was even more messy than the streets. lakes had formed on the paths, blocking our way. the grass was flooded too, so there was no escape there. after making it almost to the top of the park, it was clear there would be no going around the pond unless we wanted to go wading. i was freezing and started having visions of brochettes for the actual marathon so i suggested we go back. sara enthusiastically agreed and we happily headed back.

as we rung ourselves out walking into the hotel, the bell-boys all eyed our dripping clothes in amusement, and i’m sure the staff was thrilled with the foot-prints on the floors and carpet. the concierge laughed as she gave me my key back, shaking her head in that you’re-insane fashion.

i bid sara goodbye, and headed back to my room to stretch and take a hot shower. my skin was pink all over from the cold, and i was so cold that the hot water felt too hot. i calculated the mileage, and then went to the lobby for texas french toast with caramelized bananas - mmm. i realized a week from that moment, i would be running my marathon...and my heart raced.

sunday's mileage: 4.2
total mileage: 342.6

Sunday, January 07, 2007

last significant run

i'm going to leave in about 10 minutes for my last significant run of the training period - 6 miles. i'm still in tennessee, and i think it's pouring, so it should be interesting, but my new friend sara from the climate project is going to come with me, which is good because i don't have the materials to suit up my ipod in the typical make-shift rain-gear.

it's going to be a little over 6, but not much!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

"keep your eyes on the cake"

title courtesy ramon.

so since i last left you i've been a big mess of work, getting ready to go to tennessee for the climate training and also i have entered into holy-crap-i'm-running-a-marathon-in-less-than-two-weeks freakout mode.

a few weeks ago, our coach said when we started to taper, funny things were going to happen because we're running less and running is such a stress relief. yep. i'm cranky. stressed. i can't sleep to save my life. i have a perma-headache and i think i'm going blind (or need a new contact prescription). even though i'm really excited about the run, i'm really anxious and questioning my training, and wishing i had done even more...

this is all normal, says ramon. especially for us first timers. he told all the coaches to put a voice mail on their answering machine that says "whatever is happening is normal".

okay, i get it. logically. but i'm still freaking out. i know i can finish, it's just how painful is it gonna be.

so last night was send off, and we got all our transportation wristbands and tickets to pasta parties and all that jazz. it's definitely going to be a crazy weekend. i'll spare you the itin for now. us "superstar" fundraisers got prizes (a spiffy tote and pin for me) but i was aghast to find i've slipped to *THIRD* place. unacceptable!!

but in that regards...if i can squeeze in some time to write copy, we'll be getting the bum auction up this weekend. when i start thinking of everything to do, that's when i freak! i still have to go marathon shopping for goos and other little things. ~deep breaths~ it'll all be fine.

And some good news - demps is going to make it! his knee was bothering him so much that we weren't sure if he was going to have to transfer or what, but he did 10 miles feeling pretty good the other day, and ramon said he thinks he can do it so, yay demps! i'm not sure if drew ended up dropping down to the 1/2 because of the same injury...fingers crossed and i'll give you an update on that soon.

okay, back to some work and then downstairs for registration/orientation.

talk to you later! there will be running in tn.

Monday, January 01, 2007

happy new year!

i'm seriously wishing i had done the polar bearing this morning...argh. next year.

instead of new years resolutions, which i haven't really figured out yet, i'm going to leave you with a few words from rabbie burns (you know i've got a soft spot for scots...this makes me wish i was celebrating hogmany...)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

auld lang syne - times gone by
braes - hills
braid - broad
burn - stream
fiere - friend
gowans - daisies
guid-willie waught - goodwill drink
pint-stowp - pint tankard