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.