Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all ... and to all, a good night

Christmas Eve day was very entertaining as I spent four and a half hours at work playing Scrabulous and cleaning out my WW supplies since I am giving up my At Work meeting. Then I came home, ate sushi as my special treat to myself and Emma and I headed to Portsmouth. Dinner and presents with the family was fun, and I ate everything in site and even asked for bread in preparation for today's 20 miles.

Was late to Christmas morning ... Emma had been up for an hour but didn't seem to mind not having started the gifts. I think she's playing us about believing ... too much talk about Santa this year. Her Dad, needless to say to those who know him, went overboard and Emma received everything she had wanted and more. After we played some crazy monkey game, I came home to get ready.

Having spent a great deal of time on with no success at creating the perfect 20 mile loop, I decided to just run in to the city for 10 miles and then run back. A perfect 35 degree day with little wind and sun made it comfortable to run without too much extra stuff. Once I hit the Southwest Corridor at Forest Hills Station, which I have now learned is 5 miles from my house, I hit my stride. And then, when I turned the corner at 10 miles, I knew I could do the 20. Of course, I needed to add a mile on the way back for some reason, but I did it ... and even a little bit faster than I did the 20 with the MGH team.

Phoenix is in 3 weeks and 2 days ... Rock and Roll!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday nights

They are the hardest ... I get all worked up about what is going to happen in the upcoming week and I get frustrated about what I didn't accomplish over the weekend. Doesn't make for a very restful night's sleep.

I will have completed the Phoenix Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in six weeks' time ... absurd since I just decided to do it about three weeks ago. The long runs are going well but I am not getting the short runs in during the week. Two trips to Chicago in the last two weeks has made it difficult to get runs in every couple of days. The good news is, the long runs are going well. The bad news is at the moment it hurts to walk since my calf locked up yesterday at mile 4 of a 5 miler and I can't get it to relax, despite many icings and even heat over night.

I am inspired by the twenty-somethings I met in Kentucky who are training for Disney the second Sunday of January. And I saw that Alyssa may run NY again ... that's amazing. Running keeps me sane ...

I am sad that my friends Jess and Katie will not be in the office with me tomorrow to keep me laughing as I feel this might be a very serious week on a lot of levels.

More to come.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I am a runner

I just ran for the first time since last Saturday (Monday's Tufts 10K doesn't count because I was in a serious coma). I thought of all of you while I ran my 6.5 miles ...

Anella, our hostess with the mostest, for reminding me to look down and around only 10 feet on hill. Ashley, Ashley and Becca, my friends who kept me laughing as hard as my friends in the office, Jess, Katie, and Becca. Glenn Coco, for driving me to and from and for driving all of us through the day and night. Uncle Ray, for being a more intense runner than I am. Christy and Jim, for smiling the whole time. Ben, for an amazing finish. And the New York bunch, Eric, Wendy and Emily, for making my first trip to a horse track fabulous.

It wasn't the same without screaming 252 as I came down my hill to finish, but now that I am back to my "old self", I know I will never be the same : )

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A good decade

Emma turned 10 yesterday ... can you believe it? It was a great day starting with the first travel soccer game ... the Dedham Dragons lost dramatically 11-0. Then we all met at the Verizon store to purchase the cell phone ... she picked one out that has a slide keyboard "Perfect for texting" and a red button "because red is my favorite color". After picking out a very special telephone number, we hit the road. Before we were even out of the store, she called me. So exciting to be talking to each other on our phones. And then, after she'd gotten into her Dad's car, I texted her and she responded "K" ... ridiculously cute coming from my 10 year old, even though I do it all the time.

10 years ago I gave birth to my darling daughter. She was 9 pounds and 6 ounces and weighs in now at a whopping 52 pounds! She's talented (was an Oompa Loompa last year in Willy Wonka), smart (highly proficient on her MCAS) and funny like you wouldn't believe and I take very little credit for all that. Since she was born, a lot has happened: got a divorce; said goodbye to my Dad; got a tattoo; got a job; lost 60 pounds; ran a marathon; got a boyfriend or two; lost a boyfriend or two; watched as my Mom got a new kidney; traveled for work; traveled for fun; gained friends; lost friends and generally just lived life.

Right now I am celebrating Happy September. Came back from the Bahamas on the 1st and decided I was sick of being cranky. I certainly have moments still, but generally as some of my co-workers can attest, my attitude has changed. I am now torturing people with smiles and laughter and saying yes instead of frowns, bitching and saying no automatically. I look forward to "Outrageous October".

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another Movie, another barf session

Fortunately, unlike when we went to see the Hannah Montana movie, this was on the way home and I was able to stop the car for Emma to get out and get sick on the side of the road. Unfortunately for both of us, she had drunk a blue slushee during Night of the Museum II, Battle at the Smithsonian, so we left some very green stuff by the side of Route 1 today.

It's Memorial Day, gorgeous and I have had a delightful 4 day weekend as summer Fridays started on the 22nd. One of the few perks left at work these days, but a good one none-the-less. I was planning on golfing to prep for the Handikids fundraiser in July, but we decided to sit on the deck, drink beers, and watch other people golf. It was very entertaining and a lot less work which is what a day off should be. Saturday I organized a reprint job from a wedding I shot almost 5 years ago, but also received the $500 check which made it all worth while. Yesterday, I ran the Boston Run to Remember 1/2 Marathon. Now that I have sworn off marathons, ha ha, I think the half is a great distance. I set my PR of 1:46:12 beating my time in February by 10 seconds. Wahoo! I was surprised to have done so well since it got hot out on Memorial Drive.

So much to say ... so little time. The story of my life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The best day

Yesterday was a great day. I ran the freaking Boston Marathon and I did in 4:07:32! I finished 17003 out of 23162 overall entrants and 6239 out of 9432 women. Not too shabby. 

I ran with Juliette and Rachel again. When we turned into the Newton Hills, Rachel ran ahead and finished at 4:02—and you remember of course that she is 18 and 6 feet tall. Kathleen, Juliette's friend has joined us in Wellesley and she and Juliette finished about 10 minutes behind me. The best part of the whole thing was when anyone, but of course especially people I knew, yelled my name, I got to smile. That neon yellow fabric paint that Emma and Leo suggested really worked. It was amazing when I came around the corner from Hereford to Boylston and Emma was there yelling my name and waving a sign. I went up and hugged her, squeezed her really, and told her how much I love her. It was great. And the texts, and calls, and friends along the route ... I am so lucky.

And the better news is, I never have to do it again, not because I can't, and yes, I can walk forward down stairs today, but because there is no reason to. It was a great experience, something I will never forget and I accomplished something that I never thought possible, but there's no need to top it. There are so many other challenges out there: I can't wait to find one as interesting and fabulous as this one was.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

20 Miles BAM!

I ran from the start line in Hopkinton to mile 20 in Newton today with my new running friend Juliette. About 35 or 40 of us covered the distance today for MGH, but there were 100's out there from all kinds of charities and I am sure, just runners who like to run.

I ran the 20 miles in exactly 3 hours which was my personal goal. Unfortunately, Juliette fell behind at mile 17 from blisters, but finished about 10 minutes after me anyway. We're going to run together on the big day ... at least start together because we've been keeping each other going on the long runs since the 16 in Arlington.

The other night, my friend Adam told me that it was amazing that I am doing this. I think I am jaded—well I know I am—but in this case, because so many of my friends have already done the marathon, some fast, some slow, some many times, that I feel like it's just one of those things that you do. But then, when I realize what I did today, let alone what I have been doing for the last 4 months, it is actually quite impressive. I am proud of myself and I am proud that I am actually doing something. My good friend Beth reminded me just this morning when I was going to meet the team that not only am I doing this amazing physical thing, but I have also raised over $3800 to help MGH care for pediatric cancer patients. Wow, who knew that I would grow up to be such a responsible human being?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Has Sprung!

Emma just counted and 6 weeks has passed since Puxatawny Phil saw his shadow. We are sitting on the front stoop enjoying the sun as I type—gotta love wireless. As weekends go, this has been an excellent one. Friday after work, a colleague and I went and got birthday burritos at Boloco for only $4. YUMMY. After a short trip home, I stopped by Joe's to visit the crew. A beer and a half later, I was ready to sleep.

Saturday morning, I got up, drove into Boston, and took the commuter train out to West Natick, which is exactly 18 miles from the finish line for the marathon. At 9 am, Juliette, a 25 year old from Dedham, and I set off down Route 135. We chatted about food, work, facials, anything. Somewhere before Wellesley, a delightful young woman who's name I can't remember, but is 18, goes to Dickinson College in PA, but was home in Groton for Spring Break, joined us and we kept on trucking. After Wellesley Center, Jo, an Englishwoman who has run the Geneva marathon, started running along as well. The perfect weather ... a good pace ... good conversation ... made it possible for us all to get through Newton, up Heartbreak, and down to BC. Three of us stopped for a water break, but Jo kept on going. As we went down Comm. Ave, and turned right and then a quick left onto Beacon.

It was an amazing feeling running down Beacon because I know it so well. I've been in Boston now 22 years!!! As we ran down closer to the Citgo sign which my young college friend kept mentioning, I pointed out some of the bars and restaurants I have spent time in over the years - 2 decades! The girls laughed because there are many of them. At one point though, I did think, hey, I've run 17 miles, why don't I just stop? And then I thought about 5 weeks from tomorrow when stopping won't be an option.

2 hours and 32 minutes after I left the commuter rail station in West Natick, I stopped in front of the library in Copley Square. I had run the entire time, averaging 8:50 minute miles with women, or should I really say girls, decades younger than me. It was an amazing experience, and I can only imagine what it's going to be like on race day since there will be 1000s of people along the route. As I keep telling myself, it will either be the greatest day of my life or the scariest day, or both ; )

After the run and a hot shower, I got to spend time with 5 women I have known for the last 22 years. It was crazy fun. Laughing, shopping, eating. It's been a long time since I've hung out with people my age and it was great. I only lasted until 9 pm ... had to drive back to Dedham and get up early to prep for my WW meeting about "Feeding the Soul".

Today, I can walk. I led a pretty good meeting with 24 members—my biggest showing yet. I made them laugh and think, and celebrated some great successes. I even got a nice email from another leader who told me one of her members had come to my meeting and really enjoyed herself which to me is the best praise. And then, Emma and I climbed up the Blue Hills, which although not a vigorous hike with a 9 year old recovering from a cold, was an excellent source of cross-training. My thigh muscles did yell a bit on the way down, but I am still able to walk. 

It's 58 degrees right now and Emma is sweeping the winter sand off the stoop. It doesn't get much better than this. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Heartbreak Hill

I ran with Michael and Cara yesterday for the 12 miles through the Newton Hills. Being a marathon novice, I followed along, knowing the streets from TV as well as driving myself around there back in the day when I lived out there, enjoying the beautiful sunny day. As we were almost at mile 11, I asked "Which one is Heartbreak?" Michael and Cara both pointed to the hill directly in front of us ... still there to climb.

They went up ahead of me and I took it, one step at a time. I thought about what it will be like in 6 weeks after 17 miles  before it, and then I reached the top. The good thing about going up hills, is that more often than not, you get to run down on the other side and enjoy the ride. Who knows what it will be like on April 20th? Certainly not me. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Time is flying - only 47 days left

So I ran 16 miles with the MGH team on Saturday and then got the stomach flu ... so not fun. Today was a good day though. A donation from a woman I haven't spoken to in years but am Linked In with donated $50 to my page which means I have surpassed the $3000 commitment to fundraising for MGH. I am really proud. 

The physical commitment is of course huge, but having to raise funds has been more daunting given the current economy. I think I did a good job of reaching out, without being harassing and email is a life saver. 

I am paying attention to a lot of quotes I see these days ... helping me keep focused:

"There's nothing quite like your first marathon. The adrenaline just flows." ~ Sister Marion Irvine

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Words to live by

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating—in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Today I ran my first half marathon—a precursor to the big event in April—and I kicked butt if I do say so myself. As you can see from my results (click on the image to see it big enough to read, especially us folks who need bifocals), I managed to keep up with the Joneses, literally.

The absolute highlight was around mile 3.5 when I ran by Dick Hoyt pushing his son Rick ( I've watched them for so many on TV doing the Boston Marathon and I cry every time. And today, I got so choked up, the woman running next to me asked if I was okay. It took a few minutes to breathe evenly again, I must admit. It is such an amazing thing that they do, but then I realized, as I hit mile 11, it's a pretty amazing thing that I've decided to do. I enjoy the running so much these days, I forget that it is actually hard work and that there are many people out there who could never do what I am doing, whether because they have no interest or aren't physically capable or just think it's plain crazy. And I couldn't do this a couple of years ago myself.

I do wonder though if I will be prepared for the emotional part of the Marathon as I am not sure there is really training for that part. If I keep going as I am now, I'll be as ready as I can be for the physical challenge (the long run this weekend is 16 miles), but when I hit mile 20 and see the kids and families and hopefully Emma cheering on Team MGH, how do I not just fall apart and continue running for 6.2 more miles? Megan, one of the MGH team captains, said she cried there for 15 minutes last year and then had to run Heartbreak! It's a daunting thing.

But rather than worry, I'll do what I can between now ant then to train physically and prepare mentally by resting, eating right, and trying not to sweat the small stuff.

Friday, February 20, 2009


So I was beating myself up yesterday morning as I walked out of the house in the rain and my dress pants, which by the way, I never wear, dragged into a puddle. I was mostly upset because I had made some snarky comments to a colleague at work the night before about tucking her pants into her rain boots. Clearly I was being taught a lesson.

Then, on the commuter rail, I sat next to a newbie, who kept thinking we were at Back Bay station even though we hadn't stopped at Ruggles yet. I had to keep saying, "I too am getting off at Back Bay ..." Finally, she couldn't stay seated any longer and we both stood in the aisle for 2 minutes as we came into the station. And as many of you know, that is one of my commuting pet peeves. Where do these people think they are going to go when the train is still moving?

Then, as I was coming out of the station, I saw some money falling to the ground. I leaned over and started to pick it up and asked the woman rifling through her bag "Excuse me Ma'am, did you drop some money?" "No, I didn't" she said as she bent down and picked up the bills and handed them to me. I walked up the stairs looking to see if anyone was looking around as if they lost something, got to the top, saw no one, so I shoved the money into my pocket.

Stopped at the Starbucks on the corner for my venti latte and pulled the money out to put it in my wallet and when I unfolded the bills, it was 4 ones and 1 $100 bill. Yes, peeps, a Benjamin. I quietly put it away, went to work and sent an email to my friends, including the one I had made remarks to the night before, and invited them all for a 3 pm coffee break. It was a an excellent day ... 

Monday, February 16, 2009

After all these years

In my twenties, I learned to ski. I loved it. Leo and I rented a condo with a bunch of people one year. Then life took over and I took 10 years off, and then spent a week skiing in 2003. And now, more than 5 years later, I went again and took Emma. I enrolled her in ski school, hoping she wouldn't pick up my bad lazy habits while I got in the singles line time and time again and swooshed down Wachusett Mountain a bunch of times. At lunch, I watched Emma as she struggled to get up off the ground and then as her teacher led her down the bunny hill that she and I had come down before 9 this morning - her mostly on her bum, but at least trying. When I talked to her about it, she said that everyone was better than she was at it. I think it's the first time Emma has not been the best at something ... great life lesson, but on a very bad day. The other thing, because she's 9 and fairly tall, she got bigger skiis than she could lug around. 

I had a great day ... even got a little sun/win burned. She had a tough time, but we agreed, we'll try again and maybe take a weekday off to do it since President's Day has to be one of the busiest days on the slopes anywhere.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Official

I have been accepted as an entrant in the 113th running of the Boston Marathon. I know I am an entrant because I am raising money—and by the way, I am almost 2/3 of the way there—but it's still pretty cool. I was talking about it at the office today and was surprised that there are people in my group who don't even know that I am running. I feel like it's all I ever talk about these days, but I guess not. I did run 13.1 last Saturday around Dedham, finishing in an impressive 1:51 which means if I stay at that pace, I can actually qualify for my next marathon adventure, if there is to be one.
There's Emma, who not only is an Oompa Loompa the week of the marathon, but is also performing Miley Cyrus' "Girls Night Out" with her friend Alyssa at the variety show at Greenlodge on February 27th. There's also the fact that I picked up my brand new bifocals today, and although the frames are totally cool, I do still feel a bit old as I get used to seeing at different levels through the transition lenses. I know I'll get used to them, but it's weird. And to top it all off, it's February ... my favorite month of the year.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Super Sunday 10K

Somehow, I managed to place second in my age group at the 10K I ran last weekend. My time was 47:28, 7:39 minute miles and the woman who won the women, 40-49 age group, ran the race a minute faster per mile. I must admit, it was pretty cool to see that I was second posted on My award included a medal, a gift certificate for a pair of socks and a bunch of goo, which I think I will try out tomorrow during my 13-mile training run. It's supposed to 40 degrees, balmy actually so I am looking forward to getting out there and pounding the pavement for while. 

Saturday, January 31, 2009

9:00 am

When I woke up at 6:08 this morning with Zoe looking over my shoulder yawning, I felt like I had slept in already since the alarm usually goes off at 5:40. After I took her out and fed her, I went to back to bed and read a little. I fell back to sleep and when I next rolled over it was 9:02. I called to Emma who was reading in her bed. "How long have you been awake?" She said about an hour. When I went to the Starbucks in Dedham, they said "You're late this morning." Although part of me felt like half the day was gone, I haven't been this rested in months. Sleep is a very good thing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It isn't always easy being me...

Today I took a personal day from my day job because I had so many other things to do that I couldn't possible spend the day in the office. The main reason I took it off was because I had an appointment with a new neurologist at noon and didn't know how long it would take so I took the day. But, my last WW at Work meeting for this session was this morning and I didn't want to get a sub so I went into the office from 8:30 until about 10:45 to get that done, and of course, chat with friends about the Twilight books. The great news is I think that many of my WW girls are going to continue into the next session which makes my WW bosses happy.

Went to the nice neurologist, she was really cool. Has a sense of humor which my last one didn't. The good news is all looks the same. The bad news is, the only way to make sure, is to spend some time in a MRI tube - about 3 1/2 hours total next Friday afternoon ... oh well, more time out of the office. 

Then I stopped by ATK since it was across the street and chatted with my old peeps. It was so good to see my friends Henrietta, Daniel J., Lauren, Andy, Guy, and Jess and everyone. People are married and pregnant and they were many new faces, but then again, I realized as I walked out, I left 2 years and 4 months ago. 

And then, it was time for the long run of the week. Because I am running a 10K road race on Sunday, I can't do my long run with the group. And because it snowed/rained/sleeted and was a snow day for Emma yesterday, I didn't get to do it then on my telework day. I ran 12.02 miles in 1:41:17 and yes, I ran outside, on the roads. There were a few icy patches, but overall, with the exception of the drivers who just weren't looking in front of them, it was awesome! I actually even made a water stop at my vet's office which was fairly entertaining. And the best part, when I got home a little before 5, it was STILL LIGHT OUT! What's better than that?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Group Run

Today I joined about a dozen of my MGH team members for my first group run. It turns out that Emma's babysitter, Sara—who some of you might remember from pictures from the scrapbooking party—is running with the team. Her Mom actually works with my friend Kelly who got me involved with the team. Anyway, it was a fun run. There were a couple of icy spots, but I managed to finish with the top three people. The two women with me at the end were 23 years old ... I felt very proud. When I got home and checked the mail, I had another donation toward the cause. Half way to my fundraising goal! Wahoo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I deleted another blog that I had started last year so here's the background that this one lacked.

When I was 37, divorced, and had just moved from Boston to the burbs, I finally realized what I wanted for a tattoo. After years of hemming and hawing, I got the Chinese character for laughter on my right hip. It can't be seen unless I show it to you and half the time, I forget it's there, but I love it. As most of you know, if I am not laughing, I am crying, so it really is a key symbol in my life.

My life now, 6 years later, is very full and although there are some times that I am bored, the people in my life never fail to amaze me. Today, it was work people. Some are crazy and insane and make me want to run into the night screaming, but fortunately, some are awesome and intelligent and make me laugh and actually listen to some of the things I have to say. Twenty years ago, and yes, I am that old that 20 years ago, I had a job, the crazy ones would have gotten the better of me, but maturity gives me some patience for which I am grateful. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

a foot of snow on the ground

but a beautiful day. Ran 5.8, walked another 2 with a friend and now am taking the girls to see Hotel for Dogs. I love a Monday holiday.

I am actually behind in my miles for January, but trying not to get too competitive with myself. I have plenty of time to get the distance and today I figured out that my cushy inserts actually made the tops of my feet sore in my Saucony shoes so that's progress. I'll have to make a visit to the boys at Marathon Sports soon anyway.

I wish every day was a holiday ; )

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I had to do it

I deleted my other blog as I was getting confused, so all of it will be here ... including the fact that I am getting old now and will have bifocals in a week's time. Stay warm and dry with all this snow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cold run

MGH cancelled the group run because it was too cold and suggested running the 10 miles on a treadmill. As we have established, I don't belong to a gym and I don't own a treadmill so I waited until 1 this afternoon and set out. I was well dressed—5 layers on top as well as some skiing accessories that turned out to be great for running as well and 3 layers on my legs. Leo and Emma drove by me on their way to Emma's Oompa Loompa rehearsal, so I have witness. I did the 10 miles in 1:38—not as fast as I usually go, but it's done and I did fit in 21 miles this week, the coldest week of the year!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Next President

I saw Obama and his daughters at the Newseum in DC on Saturday. He was there to do an interview with George Stephanopolous and the girls did a tour of the museum. As most of you know, I am fairly apolitical, but this was very exciting even for a slacker like me. Michelle was not with the family so I didn't get to check out her outfit. This photo would have been much better if I had brought my big camera with me, but oh well ...

The last time I was in DC was probably 20 years ago so I actually "learned a lot". I did go to the Richard Avedon show at the Corcoran Gallery and saw two guys I know from Boston who he shot a portrait of in 2004. They had a great family portrait with their daughter. I am going to have to track them down and see what it was like to be photographed by one of the greats. Also saw many old documents and statues and ran 9 miles around the monuments .... very productive and historical.

One of the most powerful experiences—other than being across the hall from the next President—was looking at the coverage of 9/11. We all dealt with the trauma of that differently and to be honest, my personal life was in chaos so at the time, I couldn't watch any of the coverage. I was barely taking care of myself and Emma wasn't quite 2. The photos, the descriptions and the videos that were presented were thoughtful in an intense way.

Next time I go to the nation's capital, I'll bring Emma. She's at the right age to start understanding all this stuff ... scary, but true. But maybe a nice beach vacation first.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1/3 of the way there

Both in terms of fundraising and in terms of mileage. I am running 9 miles this weekend in DC and I've raised $1100 dollars toward the $3000 I need to give MGH.

Check it out:

It's actually pretty exciting since it's still January. I even hit up vendors today and one has already donated. 

I am looking forward to the long run—both because I'll get to see more of DC, but also because it's been a while. I did my last 10 miler in the beginning of December and there's a certain peacefulness about it. The shorter runs are all business these days.

Ran into someone I hadn't seen since I moved from Boston in 2001 and needless to say, he was surprised at how I look now. Last time I saw him, I was 50 pounds heavier and had a year old baby!! Crazy.