Thursday, November 3, 2016


In case no one has told you this lately... you. are. awesome.

Friday, July 29, 2016

not someday, today..

We are living in an extraordinary moment. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society  is supporting research that is on the brink of incredible breakthroughs which have already begun to change the lives of thousands of patients.  There are new treatments that can manage a person's condition with a daily pill, therapies which seek out cancer cells and kill them, and the use of a patient's own immune system to eradicate cancer not someday, but today. Jenn is living proof of this...

Our donations (yours and mine) have made this possible. And continues to make this possible. You've made a difference! Doesn't that knowledge give your heart and spirit a little lift in these difficult times? Feel free to donate again! Feel free to invite your friends and family to donate too! 

You can do so right here!

I'll close out this update with some words from Jenn. I am so very grateful and happy to be able to share them with you...

I cannot express how much I appreciate the love and support that I have received the last 7 months.
It has been an incredible journey and I have every intention of paying all the love, support and kindness forward. 

The last 6 weeks following my 6th round of chemo have been a bit rough. I have had to take a step back and reevaluate my fitness goals. Fatigue got the best of me. I don't know that I will make my goal of running a full marathon by the end of the year, but that's okay.

Sending you all lots of love and thanks. Remember your health is the most important priority you have. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others. 
                     Love, Jenn

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

trail running with wildlife

Went for a walk with the dogs and my husband last night at dusk, and almost ran smack dab into a mama deer with three tiny spotted fawns... paused for a moment to watch her silently shepherd them to safety at the edge of the trees.

Unfortunately, it was too dark to take photos.

I do, however, have a photo of the wildlife Remy and I saw on our Sunday morning run. I give you now....  the elusive trail hippo.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

in other news

long weekend flew by in a flurry of picnicking, paddle boarding, and pouring rain... with a leisurely 16 miler thrown in on Sunday morning for good measure.

am now wishing for more vacation time... even though it's now so hot and steamy out that i want nothing more than to hide out in the air conditioning and just watch through the windows as the gardens turn to a jungle of green. (we're picking green beans, cucumbers and swiss chard daily, and they just keep coming!)

just 5 weeks til i head home to Canada to see my family, celebrate my sister's birthday, meet my new niece and take a little road trip to St John NB to run the Marathon By The Sea... 3 day / 3 race run weekend with my mom! super excited about that.

have a few dear friends who are finding life to be a bit of a struggle right now... sending these words of love straight to their delicate hearts. maybe you need them too.

Monday, June 20, 2016

updates (training and otherwise)

This weekend was a good one as far as marathon training and friends with cancer goes...

Ran 5 hot and steamy miles in Alexandria with the Team on Saturday morning. Nice to run somewhere I've never been before, and to run with new friends. One of my new teammates works with my husband, which was a delightful surprise!

We had our seasonal honoured teammate brunch at the LLS office, and heard some pretty inspirational stories. One of our teammates got her 5 year "all clear" on Thursday, so that was cause for great celebration!

Because I am also in training for the Marathon by the Sea in St John NB in August, I was scheduled to have run 14 miles on Saturday. But I spent too much time talking to people at the brunch, and it was too hot by the time I got home to be bothered with going back out for the remaining 9 miles.

So the dogs and I hit the trails yesterday morning. Four hilly miles with a quick mid-way break for Remy to have a swim in the lake. Then three hilly miles with Lando, and an even quicker break because he would only go ankle deep in the lake... then another two solo miles. I know it's not the same as running 9 miles without breaks, but... one must do what one can to meet all of the household exercise requirements.

Maya has been bed-ridden with a flare of immune mediated polyarthritis, so she is doped up on pain-killers, barely able to walk through the house to go out for a bathroom break. So, no running for her.

My friend Jenn completed her last chemo on Friday. She came out to relax at our place yesterday, read books in the hammock, was forcibly and enthusiastically snuggled by the dogs, had a nice quiet dinner... and talked about plans for the future. Specifically, running plans for the future. She's participating in a Ragnar event this summer, and training for both the Chicago and Richmond marathons in the fall... and planning to run Flying Pig with the Team in the spring. (This is the girl who went to the gym with her portable chemo bag to get in her regularly scheduled 4:30am workouts!)

Talk about not letting life pass you by...

I will be running Richmond Marathon with her in November (if I'm able to keep up with her!). So my goal for the season (beyond just preparing to run 3 marathons in 4 months), is to get faster.

Tonight... yoga.

Tomorrow, speed work...

In other news, we will be having a community yardsale on Saturday. All proceeds from my table will go to LLS. My first fundraiser for the season!

If you'd like to be the very first person to donate... you can do so right here.

Monday, June 13, 2016

more love

love more.

be kind.

be compassionate.

be brave.

love more.

love more.

love more....

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

summer on

As I often do at work, I'm listening to music... today's music selection is The Tragically Hip live in Abbotsford. So, I'm singing along as I work. Processing credit card payments, speaking with customers, and in the back ground I hear Gord Downie talking to his people, to me... My new call to action.

"Summer on, people! Summer on! Take care of each other. Drive the speed limit. 
Wear life jackets.  Summer on!!"

crossing the Fraser River, summering on... 1977.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

fools (like me) run half marathons without training

Having done pretty much nothing in the way of exercise since Paris Marathon, I ran the Ex2 Adventures Fountainhead Off Road Half Marathon yesterday.... Not an ideal training regimen. I don't recommend it. Fountainhead is a challenging course, very hilly (some very steep and rooty), a few water crossings, and in June when the temperatures can be expected to be in the 80s at least.
Yesterday was not too hot, but terribly humid. There had been substantial rain the night before so the trail was slippery in many places (and ankle deep mud in a few!)... and it was tough. I finished, but about 30 minutes slower than I had hoped.
Thanks to Ex2 for putting on another great race. As a back of the pack runner (at their races at least!!) it is really gratifying to be late on the course but still find friendly and gracious volunteers, and to still have lots of food and drink available at the finish line.
Now that I’m over the pneumonia, it’s time to choose my next TNT event. This time around, I’ve decided to run the Detroit Free Press International Marathon (running through Detroit, across the border into Windsor, and back to Detroit! How fun is that going to be??)   Training for a marathon during the hot and humid Virginia summer can be pretty daunting. But, not as daunting as a cancer diagnosis (which is why I continue to train and fundraise with TNT  year after year). Raising $3000 is pretty daunting too, but with your support, I know I can do it!
It takes more than one person to make a team... and I'm asking you to be on mine. Send me some kind words of encouragement. Offer to join me for a mid-week training run. Make a donation. Make me dinner! Host a fundraiser. Ask your friends and families to make a donation... Help me to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society find a cure for blood cancers.
Our donations will go to fund treatments that save lives every day. Our donations will fund new research. Our donations also go to maintaining patient support programs, including financial assistance, peer-to-peer support groups, and caregiver support.

Patients (and their families) need these programs, they need cures and they need our support.

Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training, on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and help to get us all closer to a world without blood cancers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken

I am sure you all know how I feel about it by this point... but in case I haven't said it explicitly enough up 'til now... Cancer can just fuck right off.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

withdrawal sucks

so... a week or so ago, with the encouragement of my coach and doctor... i withdrew myself from America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride.

six weeks of no activity due to coming down with pneumonia following the Paris Marathon has left me feeling grossly unprepared for a 100 mile bike ride. and there is just not enough time to regain the fitness...

i hated having to make that decision, but it is the right one.

i can do AMBBR next year, i can do another ride later this year, or i can do another endurance event (marathon) later this year... with the Team.

fear not, to all of you who so generously supporting my fundraising efforts for the Century ride. you money will not go to waste... LLS will put it to good use, supporting patients and their families, helping to find new treatments, etc.

i will be lacing up my shoes later today to head out for my first run in 6 weeks, and see how it goes... with any luck, it won't take me TOO long to bounce back.

i'll keep you posted on my next TNT adventure, once i've made a decision about what it will be.

thanks again.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Paris marathon report (ish)

So, it's been a few days since the Paris marathon and I've thus far said nothing about it... not because it wasn't a great experience (it was!!), but because there's been a lot going on.

First off, it was a whirlwind two week adventure... first week gallivanting about southern England, visiting family, running the Thames Bridges Trek in London in wild weather and going to concerts.

running Millennium Bridge (#14 out of 16 bridges) in pouring rain
Second week, cold and rainy Paris, birthday dinners, catching up with old friends... and then a very hot and sun-burny day for the Paris marathon.

Two weeks of travel and late nights and cold weather had taken a bit of a toll, so I didn't start the race at my best... suffered in the unexpected heat... but thoroughly enjoyed the first 18 miles of the race. Particularly the parts where my husband and my friends showed up several times along the course to cheer me on. I really struggled for the last 8 miles, as could be seen in my seriously diminishing speed over those miles.
approximately Mile 18, still smiling..

The following day, hopped on a couple planes.. spent almost 18 hours in transit between hotel and home, and was struck down with a terrible cold. Which turned into pneumonia. So, I've pretty much done no activity more strenuous than walking the dogs for the last three weeks.

My energies have been focused on getting myself healthy, and on supporting family and friends who are having babies, having health issues, and dealing with other difficulties in life.

On a happier note though, I had friends in town from Canada and Europe this week, so have been trying to squeeze in some visits. Having them here, and having them meet each other, has brought me joy.

Getting stressed out about missing so much cycle training. AMBBR is in 6 weeks, and I'm so very far from prepared!

Also, so very far from having reached my fundraising goals... If you're feeling flush, and would like to help me to help LLS find a cure for blood cancers... please donate here:

My Powers Turned Up

As you may know from reading past posts... there is a fairly extensive history of cancer in my family. My maternal grandmother died of breast cancer. Her sister, my great aunt Christine, has lymphoma. Christine's daughter Andrea had breast cancer. My maternal grandfather had colon cancer. His brother, my great uncle Art, died of colon cancer. My mother has ocular melanoma. My cousin Amy died of cancer. My step father's mom, my paternal grandmother, had cancer. My mother-in-law died of cancer...

I run with Team In Training (and now also cycle and Tri) in their honor.  To celebrate their lives and support their struggles, to honor their memories and to raise funds in an effort to try in my own way to help to find a cure for cancers of all kinds.

A few weeks ago I learned that it was time to add another family member to the list of loved ones for whom I will continue to train and fund raise. At the age of 25, my cousin Liz was just diagnosed with an exceptionally rare form of uterine cancer. The first course of action against this form of cancer is a hysterectomy. Devastating...

However, she's got such a great outlook on this, and has permitted me to share her words with you.

"My powers turned up"

Over the past weeks my family and I have had one shocking blow after another. Cancer touches us all in some way, but you {never} expect it to be you.
This time it was me. It is me. And I felt/feel all the emotions. Fear. Anger. Shock & disbelief. And then emotions I don't even have names for.

Only 300 cases world wide. Ever. This is the 1 in a billion tumour. I'm actually extremely lucky this was found.
That was the first blow.
Next, the "treatment", takes a future away I took for granted. The ability to have a child. A hysterectomy. At 25 years old. But I will live to raise my girls and share a life with my love
 In stepping back, I see this incredible testimony in the works.
God led me to Mike at 15 - married at 20 - not having us wait to meet later in life like so many are asked to do.
God is the one who put that need to be a mother in my heart at such a young age, not later, {not too late} I am a mother. A mother to not even just one beautiful soul, but two.
God gave Mike and I years together beforehand so that when something devastating like this happens, we fall together and not fall apart.

God placed all these truly incredible people in my life to be strong with me when I don't have it in me to go it alone, these people let me feel fear and help me through it. Over the last few days I've had a MRI, CT and ultrasound - all have come back negative - the cancer is contained within my uterus, this is HUGE as once this cancer spreads to other organs, it is pretty resistant to chemotherapy. I will be having surgery within the next week or so... If Hopkins confirms everything - that will be bumped up.

my cute cousin and her sweet little girls

Surgery went according to plan... hysterectomy with tubes, but ovaries are healthy and were left in place, so that is a huge silver lining. NO tumour spillage!!!
She will be monitored closely but all indications thus far point to no chemo and a full recovery!!

post op snuggles

Sunday, March 20, 2016

hairless in solidarity

My friend Jenn started chemotherapy 3 weeks ago, and last week her hair began falling out. Her company hosted a head-shaving party, turning what could have been a painful experience into a celebration. Together they raised over $1100 for Saint Baldrick's... which is an organization that funds research for childhood cancers.

It was a beautiful sunny day, so chairs were set up outside... clippers were fired up... and hair started flying!

Sun Ae did the honors for Jenn

Turns out Jenn's got a great looking head! When my turn came, Jenn did the initial shave...

And then Sun Ae tidied things up a bit at the end.

bald is beautiful

 The lack of hair is surprisingly enjoyable. Can't stop rubbing my own fuzzy head. No bed-head in the morning. No wild hair after my ride with the Team yesterday. Though truth be told, it certainly highlighted the cold temperatures when it started to rain (and then snow!) during our ride. Went to bed in a hat on Friday night!!

Jenn's run/walking the Shamrock half marathon in Virginia Beach this morning... because she's strong and determined, and because lymphoma's not going to stop her from doing the things she loves. Tomorrow morning, she starts her next round of chemotherapy.

If you would like to show your support of Jenn and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society... please make a donation here.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 Race Schedule (thus far)

I thought I'd just jot down the races that I have planned for the year... In part as a commitment to run them, and sort of as motivation to start planning to add a few more. Gotta keep up my numbers you know!

Last year was a low numbers year for me, but triathlon training took up a lot of time! I completed 1 marathon, 3 half marathons, a 6 hour relay and a two Olympic distance triathlons...

2014 I completed 2 marathons, 6 half marathons, two ten milers and a bunch of 5 Ks (that's more like it!!).

Thus far this year I am scheduled for the following:
I'm sure there will be more added as the year progresses... as I am a chronic victim of FOMO, particularly when my friends are doing interesting and exciting events ;)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Also... raffle ticket?

if you're contemplating making a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but want more potential bang for your buck than my Leap Day lake video can provide...

maybe you'd like to consider purchasing a raffle ticket with a 1 in 2500 chance to win a new Mercedes?

tickets can be purchased online right here

just put  "Megan Tataje" in the "referred by" line and that's it! you've made a donation to LLS, helped me toward my fundraising goal, and are now just waiting to be told you've won a new car!!

Several successes of the week

Good morning all...

It's been a busy week (and it's only Wednesday!)

Saturday was the first Cycle Team training session that I have made it to thus far this season... We met out in Sterling, on the W&OD trail. Pumped up our tires. Share our mission moment. And hit the trail. Starting temperature 36 degrees F, finishing temperature 42 degrees F. At least the sun was shining and it was beautiful, even if it was cold!!!!!!

Until that moment, I had not heard what our training plan for the day was going to be... Aaaaand... it was a 3 hour ride. First time in the saddle this year, and I rode 32 miles... with a few stops to warm hands and feet, and refuel.

you probably can't tell that i'm wearing longjohns, wool sweater, wooly hat under helmet, gortex socks... and am still chilly!

Then, on Monday my personal honoured teammate Jenn started chemotherapy... It also just happened to be Leap Day.

My "Leap (in the lake) Day" fundraising campaign had been off to a slow and steady start... but on Monday morning there was a wild flurry of activity. I guess my friends, family and colleagues hadn't realized just how much they wanted see me jump in the lake in February until that very moment!

When we reached my "$1000 by noon on Leap Day" goal with time to spare, I called my husband to ask him what it would take to get him to leap in the lake with me... and together we upped the ante. If we reached $1600 by 16:00 (4pm) he would jump with me! His friends and colleagues answered our call and at 15:52 we hit the $1600 mark.

So here we are... taking the plunge, into the 38 degree F (3.3 degree C) lake near our house.

And here is a little video my husband filmed before and during our leap. I hope all my donors feel they got their money's worth! And know that it is going to support a terrific cause.

If you are interested in making a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, it's not to late... you can do so right here:

Friday, February 26, 2016

how is it already the end of February?

i'm getting the seasonal black runners toenails out of the way early this year....

following the Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon last weekend (a very low key, but exceptionally well organized little race... in case you were considering it for next year), the two toenails that have just finished growing back out from last year are now black and blistered and likely to fall off again.

i've tried bigger shoes, i've tried lacing differently, i've tried different brand of shoes... and still, they just blister under the nail at some point every year.

In other news, I'm just $250 away from my Feb 29th Leap Day fundraising goal... so if you'd like to see me jump in the lake on Monday, feel free to make a donation here:

We'll post the video Monday night.

Paris Marathon is now just five weeks away. Getting excited, but also feeling a bit daunted. Training ride with the Team tomorrow morning (in preparation for June's century ride), followed by an 18 mile run on Sunday. It's starting to feel a little bit like triathlon training again!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


this is a LEAP year!

Just reminding you in case you, like me, had forgotten… this is a year in which we receive an additional day. We can do anything with that day, from extremely ordinary things like calling your grandmother and doing laundry to extraordinary things like composing an opera or learning to surf. It’s a gift, this extra day.

extra ordinary laundry...

Inspired by that realization, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the leaps of faith that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Team In Training have motivated (and helped) me to take over the last few years.

When I first moved to the US, I didn’t know many people and didn’t have authorization to work here. I found it very difficult to meet people, rapidly becoming lonely and depressed. A friend of mine encouraged me to join Team In Training as a way to meet people and to feel like I was doing something meaningful with my time while I was waiting for my work permit…
  • I didn’t know many people in the US that I could ask to donate, and didn’t have an income. I was super stressed out about whether or not I could manage the fundraising commitment, but the LLS staff assured me that they would help me find ways to reach that goal… so I took the leap, and agreed to fundraise to help find a cure for blood cancers.
  • I had never run a marathon before, but the TNT coaches assured me that they could get me ready in time… so I took that leap and signed up for my first marathon with the Team.
  • In subsequent years I took another leap, becoming a mentor with the team… helping other new participants to reach their fundraising and training goals and finding ways to help connect the team to the mission of LLS.
  • Last year I took a HUGE leap out of my comfort zone and learned to swim, completing a triathlon with the support and encouragement of my Team.
  • This year I am taking on a new challenge, another leap out of my comfort zone, and am training for a 100 mile bike ride.

Cycle training has begun, and it’s February. As you might imagine, it is not especially warm. With recent snow and ice storms, the roads are not exactly calling my name at the moment… but, it’s time to get moving on the bike and the fundraising. To get moving on the bike, I pretty much just have to dust off my bike, take it out of my living room and go. To get moving on my fundraising, I am proposing another kind of leap.



As of this moment… I have $372 in my fundraising account. If there is $1000 in my fundraising account at noon on Leap Day (Monday, February 29th) … when I get home after work, I will take a leap into Lake Jackson. My husband has agreed to film my swim so we can post it on Facebook (and here on my fundraising website) for your viewing pleasure. Or you are welcome to come spectate in person.

Might I add that there is still ice on the lake? Current forecast for February 29th is mostly cloudy, with highs of 46°F (7.5°C), lows of 31°F (-0.5°C). Today, February 18, the water temperature is roughly 34.8˚F. Surely some of you would donate a little money to a great cause in exchange for the opportunity to see me take the plunge?

Can we do it? Raise $628 in ten days? I think we can…

Why would I want to do this, you might ask? I’m doing it for my friend Jenn, who’s in the early days of her diagnosis and treatment and is taking it on all like a champ. I’m doing it for my friend Jeff who you may recall underwent a stem cell transplant last year. I’m doing it for my Auntie Christine. I’m doing it for my cousin’s sweetheart. They’re all fighting this disease and need to know that we’re there with them. I’m doing it for hope. And love. And a cancer-free world in the future.

Come on in… take the leap.

Donate online here:

Or, ask me about raffle tickets to win a new Mercedes-Benz... $100/ticket, only 5000 tickets sold, two chances to win.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

personal honoured teammate

I'd like to introduce you to my friend Jenn... We became friends several years ago, when she started working with my husband. We became running buddies and have logged many long (but fun!) miles together. Starting with training for the DC Nike Women's Half Marathon in 2013. Jenn had no personal connection to to the mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at the time, but was looking for a way to give back to the community. Though she ran just one season with Team In Training, she has continued to support the fundraising efforts of the friends who continue to train and fundraise with the Team.

A couple weeks ago, Jenn went to see her doctor for a cough that wouldn't go away, thinking she might have pneumonia ... She was diagnosed with primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma) earlier this week.
Who ever would have thought that the money Jenn raised for LLS would go to fund treatment research and support programs that she might someday benefit from personally?
So I am training and fundraising for LLS this season in Jenn's honour... And I am looking forward to running the marathon of her choice with her, once she's got this thing beat!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I want to ride my bicycle (bicycle!)

What's on my mind this morning? Well, within the course of one week I will have had friends and family go through a full spectrum of cancer related events: diagnosis, on-going treatment, surgery to remove cancerous cells and post-cancer reconstructive surgery...

A good friend here in Northern Virginia is waiting on biopsy results which are expected to confirm a diagnosis of lymphoma. My cousin is having reconstructive surgery today. My mom will have her sixth eye surgery (for ocular melanoma) on Monday. And we are coming up on the anniversaries of the passing of my mother-in-law and my grandmother.

So my heart is heavy this morning.

In honour, in support and in memory... I have once again committed to raising funds to help find a cure for cancer. If you would like to help, you can join me by making a donation online right here
LLS research grants have funded many of today's most promising advances, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Some of the therapies first approved for blood cancer patients are now helping patients with other types of cancers.