Saturday, December 11, 2010

My patient partner's Mom

We ran together today on the trails of Hale Reservation. It was beautiful, both because it was sunny and mild, but also because Camille brought her dog Bandit along and he ran with abandon as we trailed after him. It was great to tackle a different type of running for a change since I am usually on the street.

It was also nice to run with someone. We talked about all kinds of things, but I learned more about what she and Sally and the rest of their family are facing every day. Sally has a 60% chance of recurrence with the type of cancer she has. She is also younger than most people who get diagnosed with osteosarcoma so they don't have any real statistics about what works and doesn't work. Sally is undergoing chemo weekly right now and she seemed strong today. Like any good 10 year old girl, she was bored because her friend couldn't come over because she was sick.

I am excited that I am running for a cause, but more specifically in honor of Sally who will be 11 two days after the marathon. It's going to be great to get to know Sally's family, and I look forward to when Sally and Emma get to meet in person because they have so much in common even though at this point, their lives couldn't be more different. They are both strong girls with strong Moms which I think is a very good thing.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Training again

I was one of the 20,000 people who managed to register in the 8 hours that it took to sell out spaces for qualified runners for the 2011 Boston Marathon. So now it begins ...

I ran today in the Blue Hills with friends I met through my running club, the Thirsty Irish Runners. Strange that I am a) in a running club, b) I chose to run for fun and c) am pretty good at it. I felt great today after not feeling that great yesterday so it's amazing what a difference a day makes. Though I am not currently following a plan, I am challenging myself to run 70 miles this month, doing probably 15-20 every weekend since I am not good at finding time during the week.

It's been 3 years since I lost about 60 pounds. Though I don't always make the perfect choice, I do make conscious choices and work on a balance so that I have kept the weight off through eating well and exercising more when I don't. Now if I could only do it in the rest of my life.

I am dreaming about UNO menus, which is no good, and I know it, but I have not found a way to stop myself. Today along with running, I am putting together some spreadsheets, marking some edits, and watching Harry Potter movies in preparation for seeing HP 7 with the ladies on Friday night at the Lux Level. I know I shouldn't be multitasking so much, but it's hard not to ... it's what I get paid the big bucks for. And I am pretty successful most of the time so it's hard to stop.

We took a quiz today in my WW meeting to see how we deal with stress and I fell between B & C - getting anxious when things change, but still seeing change as an opportunity to grow and learn. It's a good thing I can deal with change since it's the only thing that is a constant : )

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Senior Manager, Traffic, Fulfillment, and Production

Pretty impressive huh? Especially considering that my last title was Account Executive and before that it was Packaging Specialist.

My first week at Uno Chicago Grill has been awesome. Nothing less. My boss is great, enough crazy to keep her interesting, but knows her stuff. Her boss seems genuinely convinced that I am a capable, responsible adult capable of accomplishing great things ... odd I know.

After two days in the Waltham location, expediting for lunch, taking the food class the new servers take, and then spending the next day in the front of the house with the managers, I realized how much more interesting my life can be. Back in the office, there's never a dull moment, and thanks goes to Joe Sengotta who taught me the phrase "help me help you".

I have ideas, and plans, and things I want to accomplish ... maybe I needed the last 7 months of total tedium and boredom to appreciate that.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer is officially over

And what a couple of months it's been. I can't believe Labor Day is tomorrow.

July and August went by really quickly. Emma spent two weeks in VA with her cousins and my Aunt and Uncle's house. Camp Grampy was a huge success for all involved and helped Emma be much happier and DCH Day camp for the rest of the time.

I spent most of the summer torturing myself over my very boring job. I am hoping in the next week this will change, but I don't want to jinx it. I wish I could be one of those people who just accepts things, but I can't. I always want more.

I am doing my first (and hopefully last) Sprint Triathlon next Sunday. Swimming is not my friend and I am going with the less is more approach at this point. I know I should rent a wet suit, but the concept of zipping myself into neoprene is more scary than swimming 1/4 mile in the Hopkinton Reservoir. If I live to blog about it, you will hear more next week.

It's been a great summer ... Red Sox games, sushi class, travels to Virginia, Camden, ME to see karen and Stephen, and then to New Orleans, LA to drink and take photos ... mission accomplished. Now that it's September, there will be soccer games, running events, and I hope many other things.

Yesterday, I helped my running club run a blood drive in honor of a neighbor's 10 year old daughter who has cancer. I saw photos at a museum in New Orleans about the victims of Katrina five years ago and cried. I am a lucky lucky woman ... and at 45 years old, I truly know what that means.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another tech rehearsal week

This time, it's for the Pajama Game. Emma's Musical Theater II class is performing songs and a few scenes from the play on Friday and Saturday night. Tomorrow while she's figuring out what 50's get up to wear, I will be photographing the Annual Flag Day Parade for the Dedham Square Circle. I have actually done two paid shoots recently which is nice.

Lately, life has been a bit dull, which I suppose is a good thing, though those of you who know me well, know that I get self-destructive when bored. I am trying not to do anything completely ridiculous. So I am running in moderation, drinking in moderation, eating in moderation, and sleeping in moderation ... sometimes even in that order ; )

And of course, to top it off, I turn 45 in exactly 3 weeks. I don't care about the age at all, I am psyched to be this old and feel this good. I just hate worrying about what I am going to do to celebrate. It's a tough weekend to make plans especially in my world. There's talk of wedding dress shopping with the girls, Tri training with Beth, and who knows what else may come up between now and then. I think I need to make a real plan.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A busy week

Emma is in tech rehearsals for Beauty and the Beast which means she has been out every night this week. It's been great for me to get the house in shape for the family who is descending here after the opening performance on Saturday afternoon. With the floors done, the walls painted and the photos up, the place looks good. I am so glad I made some changes for 2010.

I rode Fisher after work last night to Jamaica Pond and back. What a great ride and I didn't miss running at all. The epic rides are probably out for a while because of soccer and the JJR, but that's ok. I have signed up for the 1/2 marathon at the end of June which should be fun.

Marathon Monday has arrived. I am actually psyched to not be running, though I wish I had known how to sign up for the TIR water stop because that would have been fun. But hanging out in Wellesley with Emma will be fun too. She is a great kid. I am a lucky mom.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The need for speed

As some of you know, 2010 is the year for cross training for me. After running in Phoenix, I felt my age in my knees so I am making a concerted effort to do other things besides run. It's hard.

Fisher, my new road bike, has made it a bit easier. Yesterday, I packed Fisher into the back of the car, picked up RAH and her bike, Celeste, and we went to Quad Cycles in Arlington, MA. Meeting up with KEP, Mike, Vicky and a bunch of others, we headed out at just about 10 am. Mass Ave in Arlington and into Lexington was a bit intimidating, but then hit the bike trail which was truly fun. I did see the runners, many doing 18 or 20 yesterday in preparation for April 19th, but zoomed by them. Unfortunately, my odometer had gotten knocked out of alignment when I had removed my wheel so I don't know how fast I got going, but it seemed fast.

We all stopped at various places. It was fun. On the way back from Ferns in Carlisle, we went through Hanscom Air Force base, tackling one big hill, which was great though hard. The down hills after the up were even better and I am feeling much better about clipping in and out and stopping without panicking. I do need to still anticipate changing gears before stopping so that it is easier to get going again.

So, I was thinking about running Seattle on June 26th. Many of my friends are riding the MS Ride that weekend. What should I do? I think I am going to try a duathalon first. Run, ride, run ... seems like something I would enjoy. There are a a couple of them in Hopkinton which would be a good place to start, but I have to check it out.

Who knows what's next but I think I should wait and see what strikes my fancy ... no need to commit to one thing or another quite yet. Today, I am going to run to the gym and lift some weights. Or not ...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's 2 am and I need you now ...

I am so tired of the Lady Antebellum song though the lyrics do ring true ... google it if you don't know what I am talking about.

I don't sleep very well these days and I don't know if it's because my new job is not exactly action-packed or if because I am not running as much as I used to or if it's because I am just old or some deadly combination. It hasn't really been a problem on a daily basis, but who knows if it will catch up to me.

The new job is fine, but not too much of a challenge. The good news is, it is very cut and dried so I am hoping I won't have to get emotionally involved considering there is so much outside of work with which to become emotionally overwhelmed. My colleagues are nice people and I seem to fit in while standing out a bit. We'll see how my first one-on-one with my boss goes on Monday. She's cool and pays attention which is something I am not used to.

The running thing ... ran 1/2 of the Hyannis Marathon on Sunday with my girls Katie and Rebecca kicking the second half. I didn't run as fast as I wanted to (slightly slower than last year) but overall, we did really well and it was fun to be with the girls again. Jess came along and took some great photos and coached us to a 4:02 finish! Next runs are short ones in April and I am going to be at a mile 4 water station for the Marathon with the Thirsty Irish Running Club which I finally joined.

Fisher, my brand new road bike, is now leaning against the wall in my bedroom since my living room is being painted. A delightful, metallic, light green with white saddle and grips, he and I both yearn to hit the open road. It's supposed to be nice on Saturday so I think I will ride to Wellesley or something. I have to buy paint, weigh in (which I skipped last week for the first time in almost 3 years) as well as do some flip charts since I am covering three WW meetings next week, but Fisher and I will make our debut I am sure. I just have to adjust my thinking to know that biking is just as good, if not better, exercise than running.

It's all about cross training in 2010. In every way ... exercise, work, life. Everything in moderation. A kid told me that the summer before I went to college ... I think I have only just started to understand it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Marathon # 2

I am sitting in seat 6A on the flight back from Phoenix. I slept a bit, but I am restless. Could it be because yesterday, for 3 hours, 53 minutes and 34 seconds, I ran and ran and ran?

My second marathon experience couldn’t have been more different than my first … I guess that’s why people keep doing them. Phoenix is flat … so flat … and so not pretty unlike Boston, which is full of hills and New England scenery. That said, it was sunny and people were friendly and the music was everywhere (except miles 22-25 where all bands seemed to be on a break when I needed them most).

Runners are usually fun at the beginning and end of an event, but there was a great vibe at the Phoenix Rock 'n Roll Marathon. Thanks so much to my funny and enthusiastic pace captain, Mark, I ran 8:45-minute miles all the way up until mile 20. He told jokes, took role call to see who was still with us, and helped me feel like I was part of a group even though I had never even met these people. Being the 3-hour, 50-minute pace group, there were many of us 40 something women looking to qualify for Boston, and because I had already run it, I answered many questions. For me, I wanted to complete Phoenix in 3:50, but because I am lucky enough to be 45 on Marathon Monday in 2011, I get 10 extra minutes so I knew I had a buffer. I hoped I wouldn’t need it, but it was there.

At the role call at mile 20, I was a little behind the pack, but I did chime in. My left knee was making itself known, and I knew I had to let go a bit to make the last 6 miles. They were tough miles, but every step, I told myself to keep going as fast as I could because then it would be over that much sooner. When I was at mile 23 and still had over half an hour to get to the finish, I knew I could make less than 4 hours, which was all I needed. A relief yes, pressure, yes, indescribable fear, and elation as I forged on. Both my knees were hurting toward the end which kept striking me as funny because I haven’t ever had knee issues (calves, hamstrings, ankles … yes, knees, no).

I thank the woman at Marathon Sports who had given me the simple advice before my training run to just eat more leading up to the big day and on the day, because the best part about yesterday was that my stomach didn’t hurt a bit … unlike miles 17-21 in Boston when I wanted to die because it hurt so much. I started eating chomps at mile 3 and kept eating and drinking through mile 21 when I tossed two Luna moons to the side of the road, disgusted by the gumminess between my teeth.

To my friend Laura, who came with me to Phoenix, helped me carbo load, joined me for the fun of the expo, was there at miles 14 and the finish smiling, waving, and taking pictures, thank you. I do more things alone than with others these days and though I enjoy being independent, it was wonderful to have in-person, live support for four of some of the most awesome days of my life.

And to all my friends, family, and my girl Emma who sent texts of love and amazement that I received as soon as I pulled my berry out of my bag at Sun Angels stadium where 10’s of thousands of finishers and families celebrated, commiserated, and walked around crooked, I hope you all know how much it means to me that you are all in my life.

Who would have thought that I would ever participate in, let alone totally rock two marathons in a year’s time? Not me, that’s for sure, but every day, I learn more and more about what I can do when I set a goal. They say that 40’s are the new 30’s and I have to agree … life is what you make it and when you are finally old enough, or should I say mature enough, to identify what is important to you, it is so exciting.

Relay marathon with the girls on February 28th … and then what?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Things I am not afraid of anymore

2009 was an amazing year ... I did things I never thought I would ...

• Be a Mom to the smartest, most talented, already hormonal (even though her pediatrician says it'll be two more years), greatest 10-year old, Emma

• Visit Washington, DC, Camden, ME, Bellows Falls, VT, Nassau, Bahamas, Lexington, KY, Charlottesville, VA, Chicago, IL, and Milwaukee, WI, for all kinds of fun

• Run 26.2 miles in 4:07:32 ... thanks to Juliette and Rachel and ALL my friends and family who were there along the way from Hopkinton to Boston

• Stand in front of people and sing a rendition of the song "These are a Few of My Favorite Things", do a strip tease down to my size 4 jeans, and actually help people on their own personal weight-loss, aka life, journeys

• Run in the Inaugural Urban Epic Tri and swim at Carson Beach with Ginger Martini, aka Jess and Katie (and Nick and Molly)

• Run in the middle of the night during the Inaugural Bourbon Chase ... thanks to the funniest and most supportive teammates on the planet: Anella, Glenn, Ashley, Ashley and Becca

• Run to and from 86 Durham through Boston (20 miles) by myself on Christmas Day in 30 degree weather

• Stay gainfully employed despite the constant urge to quit and become a Starbucks barista ... thanks to the laughter and love of RAH, KEP, LC, and J LIZ ...

Who knows what I will do in 2010?