Thanksgiving in Boston – Part II

First Time (really) Playing in the Leaves

Thanks to the great weather, plentiful leafless trees, and playful kiddos at The Common,  Gus had an amazing time running around in the leaves on Saturday.


Advertisements

147 Days to Go…

As you may recall, the plan for last week was as follows…

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus

1 Hour Cycling on Trainer

3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus

3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus

1 Hour Yoga

6 Mile Run around Cambridge

REST!!!
Yayyyy!

However, this is what it ended up looking like…

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus


REST!!!
Yayyyy!

3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus
(in the pouring rain with my droid as collateral)


REST!!!
Yayyyy!





REST!!!
Yayyyy!



Errands with Gus – does that count?

2 hour session of scrubbing the kitchen floor

Gus and I started out doing very well – we even ran in the rain on Wednesday!  But, while running in the rain, some things “started talking to me.”  For the non-runners, I’ll translate: my knees, ankles, and the top of my left foot started hurting (possibly due to the fact that our run home was more like a Tough Mudder than a run).

Running With Pain
As I learned not once but twice last year, running through pain can result in a 2-4 week hiatus.  Since it is early in the marathon training season (technically our coach, Jack, still considers this pre-training), an injury wouldn’t be devastating.  However, that is also the exact reason why I shouldn’t push it.  Right now, my goal is to build up the miles, get my legs moving again, and GRADUALLY prepare for race day.  As a result, Gus and I took a break from Thursday until Sunday.

Back on Track
Good news, Gus and I had a great run home tonight. Cold. Yes!  Especially since I decided to pack a running skirt.  Who runs in a skirt when it’s 36 degrees out?!?  I’m going to blame that one on my roots- being born and raised in Buffalo, spending 4 years in Northern Vermont, and having a decent amount of French Canadian blood makes me predisposed to loving the cold.  I’m still waiting for my Eagle Scout husband’s be prepared thing to rub off.

Pre-run, Gus chows down on a cookie made especially for
him from one of my amazing new colleagues.
Thanks, Emily!

So the plan for this week…
Obviously, running around Thanksgiving may prove to be challenging, but I am up for the challenge.  Working for Dana-Farber certainly has more pros than I could possibly discuss in one blog post; however, I will be working on Friday as opposed to hitting up the sales.  Thus, I am a little concerned about the training plan.  None the less, the marathon is only a short 147 days away.


Weekly Forecast 

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus
3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus
45 minutes cycling on the trainer
3.5 Mile Run sans Gus!!!
1 Hour Yoga or Rest
6 Mile Run because it’s going to be 60o!!!
REST!!!
Yayyyy!

Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas
With Thanksgiving being only a couple days away, I have now given myself the green-light to hit up the holiday movies, hard!  If you know me, you know that cheesy holiday flics are a guilty pleasure (i.e. The Holiday, Love Actually, Miracle on 34th Street, and Elf are just some of my favs).  But, my absolute favorite movie and the first one on the list here at the Hall house is Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas.  I only recently learned that some individuals were not as privileged as me as youths and somehow, this amazing Muppet classic escaped their childhood winter movie collection.  Since it is never too late, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my favorite holiday flic.  It also happens to be a favorite of Gus and our best friend, Pat.  Enjoy!

Lessons from Running in the Rain…

I felt like a total B.A. tonight, running home in the pouring rain pushing Gus.  However, this run taught me five important lessons.

1.) Sometimes, things that look like puddles are actually small, muddy lakes that suck jogging strollers in.  Do not try to just run through them.

2.) Keep an eye out for huge puddles on the side of the road because…

huge puddles on the side of the road  +  crazy Boston drivers = 

3.) Running in the rain at night with glasses on can be downright dangerous, especially when you have cataracts.  So, you should always be diligent about getting your contact prescription refilled BEFORE you run out.

More or less, what my run home looked like.
Not an actual picture through my glasses
as a result of my phone not working, see  #4.

4.) Bringing plastic bags to work on rainy days when a run home is planned in order to protect all valuables from the water is just a good idea!  By the way, don’t bother calling me for the next day or so.  My cell phone is drying out.  🙂

5.) Running home in the rain is still significantly better than rollerblading in the rain!  To the rollerblader who was somehow travelling more slowly than the pack of orchestra kids carrying basses on their backs, I hope you discover that sometimes the skates just have to come off- preferably before the snow comes.

Achieving AWESOME!

In the last couple of weeks I have been a part of many new beginnings: our friends gave birth to a baby boy in VT, college friends got married, another couple received the news they were expecting, and I started a new position at Dana-Farber in the Pediatric Oncology department.  With any new beginning, hopefulness and optimism are natural, but what happens when things don’t go according to plan and something unexpected happens?

Being diagnosed with AML at age 12 was definitely not part of my parents’ plan.  Penn Staters did not expect the whirlwind of events that occurred last week.   These unexpected “bumps” can be small or large, but in any case, we have to find a way to carry on.

Since the holidays are approaching and I know many people who plan festivities in excess (myself included), I could not think of a more perfect time to share this amazing message.

Although I am still learning how to embrace my inner 3 year old, I would like to thank my amazing husband and of course, Gus, for showing me the light.

Learning To Run (again)

Last year at this time I was feeling pretty nervous about running the marathon; not that dissimilar from how a pregnant woman approaches child birth.  I never claimed to be a runner and could barely pull out 1 mile of slow jogging.  However, I had faith in the DFMC team and their amazing coach, Jack Fultz.  Jack had a training schedule for every kind of runner and, as my 4:58:00 finish demonstrated, the training plan worked.  Now in all fairness to Jack, had I actually followed his plan and not just the 40% that I chose to follow, I could have easily shaved 30 minutes off of my time, but life and Gus, often got in the way.

Back to square one
Fast forward to today.  In the past seven days I have logged 11 miles.  For a true runner, logging 11 miles in a week is a joke.  Even for my non-running self, there were many weekends last year when I would run more than 11 miles in one day, even double that in only a morning.  Unfortunately, since those long-runs, I took a lengthy hiatus from running and feel like I’m back to square one.  Naturally, I’m getting the butterflies again.  

Ignorance is bliss
The nice thing about being a first timer facing any daunting task is the excitement that you carry in to it and the simple fact that you have no idea what you’re getting in to (e.g. I thought I wasn’t going to need pain meds when I delivered Gus and then the nurses at the end of the hall asked if “the screaming lady” was OK).  Similarly, I went into the 2011 Boston Marathon knowing I could run 22 miles and assumed that an extra 4.2 wouldn’t be a problem.  As I learned around mile 24, the extra 4 miles can make a difference- the glycogen stores are depleted, Gatorade breaks are far less exciting, and the thought of chewing on one more bouillon cube is almost nauseating.  
How to face Boston again?  
Luckily, a good friend donated some salt drops to me, so bouillon cubes are a thing of the past (thanks Todne!).  More importantly, I’ve come to realize the critical role that preparation plays.  In order to destroy this year’s marathon and have enough energy to give out high-fives down the BC student line and through the finish, I’m going to need to train.  So, to keep me honest I will be laying out the week’s training plan on Sundays and reporting back each week.  
This Week’s Running Forecast
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus
1 Hour Cycling on Trainer
3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus
3.5 Mile Run around Boston with Gus
1 Hour Yoga
6 Mile Run around Cambridge
REST!!!
Yayyyy!

Motivation wanted!
Are YOU running, hiking, cycling, skiing, swimming, etc this week?  Share your plans here to give me even more motivation.  

Looking to Lance for some inspiration…

Boston Marathon 2012, Here I Come…

And more importantly… Cancer, Watch Out!


Sequels usually stink.  With a few exceptions, we are always disappointed by that second movie that promises greatness but only disappoints- Jaws, the Revenge and Lion King II are just two examples.  However, this is not your typical sequel.  This year’s goal of $16,000 for 16 years cancer-free, will be faced with determination and even greater motivation.  Since I spent the past year working in both the adult and pediatric oncology programs at Dana-Farber, I have developed a greater appreciation for how far cancer treatment has come, how far it still needs to come, and of course, a greater appreciation for how blessed I am.  Thus, I have committed myself to celebrating another cancer-free year by fighting the very disease which has shaped my life.

The Marathon Back-story
I first decided to run in last year’s Boston Marathon while brainstorming ways to adequately celebrate 15 years cancer-free.  Donny and I considered heading back to Alaska or doing some extreme bike ride.  However, the moment I read about the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge while perusing the Dana-Farber Employee Website, I knew that was exactly how 15 years cancer-free should be spent.

My Story

In case you’re new to my blog, I’ll bring you up to speed… On January 6,1996, I was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia).  After two courses of chemotherapy, it was recommended that I have a bone marrow transplant.  Despite the unfavorable odds, my younger brother turned out to be a match and on April 9, 1996, I received his stem cells but only after more chemo and total body irradiation.  Over two months, I experienced serious transplant complications including graft versus host disease and grand mal seizures.  However, I pulled through with the help of friends, family, and the amazing medical staff at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).

Going for 16!

Although I cannot yet say that I have been free of cancer for 16 years, I hope to reach this milestone on April 9th, just about one week before the 116th Boston Marathon.  Even though I have been out of treatment for quite some time, the side effects of my treatment and my career in oncology serve as daily reminders that every day is a gift.  Speaking of gifts, the miracle baby, aka Gus, is spunkier than ever (see proof below).

What does cancer look like?

Although I wish every one of you could run the marathon with me (and preferably just carry me through the hills), I was able to make it through the tough sections of the course last year knowing that I had your support and more importantly, that I wasn’t doing this for me.  This year, I am putting together a collection of photos of cancer fighters.  These “Faces of Cancer” are why I run and why we all feel so passionate about the cause.  Therefore, I am asking that when you donate, please send an email to runningbecausecancerstinks@gmail.com with photos and names of the cancer fighters you would like to honor, encourage, and/or remember.  If you have the time, I very much appreciate stories.  We all know that cancer fighting can be represented by more than just a bald head so don’t feel limited.  As the band Wideawake sang, “it may break my body but never break my soul.”

Please help me celebrate 16 years cancer-free and celebrate the souls of those amazing cancer fighters that we all love.  Click Here to donate to innovative basic cancer research and to help us move towards a world without cancer.

One of the many “faces of cancer”.
(She also happens to be an inspiration to me.)
My inspiration for the day…