Different Coasts but Still Connected

Often times we use the word “weird” to describe someone’s outfit or personality. Today, I’m using it to describe an interaction I had with my cousin Lori this morning.

As you know, I’m vacationing in British Columbia, a long way from home. My cell phone is in airplane mode, so I can only communicate over wi-fi (when I can find it). During my trip, I’ve been thinking of creative ways to raise money to reach my new fundraising goal. I decided to tap into my barre3 studio back home to see if they would help. Turns out that they would love to! I’m trying to nail down a date for a donation-based class, and am over-the-moon excited.

Flash forward an hour since receiving this confirmation, and I get a text from my cousin Lori asking if my ears had been ringing. She was emailing with Analisa Defiesta from the LLS National Office, and telling her about my hard work and Do It For David campaign. Analisa was thrilled to hear this! Lori was also explaining to her that she couldn’t commit to Light the Night in Princeton this year, a fundraiser and awareness walk for LLS. She’s not sure what David’s condition will be at the time. Then Lori followed up with the greatest news: David took his first steps on Thursday! It’s a sign he’s getting stronger! Also, his sense of humor is still intact. He shared some jokes with me through Lori about hospital food. If you’ve ever had hospital food, you know where this is going…

After hearing the news, I couldn’t help but think that my efforts are making a difference. Between the training and fundraising, I’m not always certain. Sometimes I feel as if my efforts are disappearing into a black hole because there is no immediate result. I have to remind myself that there won’t be an immediate result.

It takes time to treat blood cancer patients. It takes time to find better treatments. It takes time to find cures.

This morning’s “weird” interaction served as confirmation for me. Let’s continue fighting blood cancer one mile at a time.


10 Miles is Now A “Down Week”

I enjoyed a “down week” today — only 10 miles. I can’t believe I put the word “only” in front of certain mileages now. I guess the day would come when 10 or 12 miles would feel like a break.

I enjoyed a beautiful run this morning through Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C. A cloudless sky, bright sunshine, and cool temperatures. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect!

The trail I followed hugged the English Bay, and I saw several large Great blue herons along the way. The seaplanes were floating overhead, and the mountains reached for the sky. Incredibly picturesque.

A view of the harbor, busy with freight ships.

A view of the English Bay, busy with barges; Great blue heron on the lookout in the foreground.

Floating barges in the harbor.

Floating barges in the bay.

After a slightly uncomfortable run (painful calf and ankles), I needed some comic relief. Enter the giants! “A-maze-ing Laughter,”  a sculpture located in tiny Morton Park across from the English Bay, is one of the happiest places I’ve been! These bronze, laughing giants were designed in the likeness of its Chinese artist, Yue Minjun.

Are you copying me?

Are you copying me?


He's laughing so hard his stomach hurts. Maybe a hug will help!

He’s laughing so hard his stomach hurts!


You're hilarious! Tell me more!

You’re hilarious! Tell me more!

Tonight is my last night in Vancouver, and I’m venturing out to find some yummy Pakistani cuisine. I deserve it after today’s run!

Next stops: Whistler and Victoria Island. Stay tuned for cross-training updates from the Capilano Suspension Bridge!

Fundraising Goal of $2,620 Reached!

Thanks to so many generous donations, I’ve surpassed my fundraising goal of $2,620! I’m simply over the moon!

Per the norm, each donor will receive a handmade and handwritten thank you card, but being on the West Coast makes that somewhat challenging right now. My apologies in advance, friends, for the delay in receiving one of my cards. I promise that you’ll get one!

Because I’m always challenging myself, I’ve decided to increase my goal for a second time: $3,000. Think I can reach that in 5 weeks? I do!

Please spread the word and encourage others to do the same. Raising awareness about LLS’s mission is just as important as a donation.

26.2 OR BUST!

Sixth 5K Complete: The Family 5K Challenge Keeps on Rollin’

So I’m a week late (oops!), but better late than never! The Family 5K Challenge keeps on rollin’, and last weekend my brother completed his sixth 5K; my mom completed her fourth.

According to my brother, last weekend’s race was his favorite yet! The Run for the Arts 5K in Ocean Grove, NJ, benefited the Jersey Shore Arts Center’s new Culinary Center for Visually Impaired and Special Needs Individuals. The course was flat and the weather nice and cool — no late summer humidity. Mom and Michael finished with their best times yet!

Keep on running family! So far you’ve run 19.5 miles for David!

Next 5K: Tunnel to Tower Run (Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Ground Zero), Sept. 28



Cross-training at Mt. Rainier is No Joke!

Wow! Simply put: Mt.Rainier kicked my ass!

View from the trailhead.

View from the trailhead. 

Although not a long distance hike — it was about 4 miles round trip — the elevation gained on the way up was most challenging. From first steps to summit, there was an elevation gain of 1700′. That’s a lot in a short distance!

That nagging pain I’m fighting in my lower leg joined me for the climb, but the good news is that it’s gone today.

This week’s long run is a down week, so I’m only running 10 miles. Stay tuned for pics — I’ll be in Victoria, B.C.

Mt. Rainier hike

Mt. Rainier rising behind me.

My first marmot!

My first marmot!

Mt. Rainier's Nisqually Glacier.

Mt. Rainier’s Nisqually Glacier.

Enjoying the view from 6800'.

Enjoying the view from 6800′.

I did it!!

I did it!!

Training Doesn’t Stop When You’re on Vacay!

I began a glorious two-week vacation in the Pacific Northwest this past Saturday. First stop: Seattle. The weather has been glorious, the food delicious, and the coffee absolutely divine (and no, I haven’t been to one Starbucks since getting here). In between exploring the city, I’ve had to maintain marathon training. It can’t stop when you’re on vacation, right?

Thanks to my TNT coaches, I was put in touch with TNT Seattle. A few emails later, and I found myself a running buddy for my 16-miler: Sarah. She’s running her first marathon too!

Sarah and I ran 16 miles in West Seattle yesterday!

Sarah and I ran 16 miles in West Seattle yesterday!

What a great experience to meet someone else within TNT that is training for the same reason: to help blood cancer patients. We had so much to talk about because, until yesterday, we were complete strangers! We exchanged several emails leading up to Sunday’s run, and I knew when we met, it wouldn’t be awkward…at all.

Sarah is running the Victoria, B.C., marathon on October 12. Two weeks after her race, I run Marine Corps. It will be fun to exchange running stories leading up to race day, especially with a first time marathoner!

We had a great run through West Seattle. Our path hugged the Puget Sound and we ran past Alki Beach and up into great little neighborhoods nestled along the coast. Here are some pictures from our run:

Seattle Skyline

Apparently, the best view of the city isn't from the Space Needle. It's from the Columbia Building, the tall, black skyscraper in this picture.

Apparently, the best view of the city isn’t from the Space Needle. It’s from the Columbia Building, the tall, black skyscraper in this picture.

The Shoreline

Nothing but a rocky shoreline and mountains in the distance.

Nothing but a rocky shoreline and mountains in the distance.

Mt. Rainier (in the distance, snow-capped)

I learned that Mt. Rainier has its own Twitter account. Why? To let everyone know if it's out or not!

I learned that Mt. Rainier has its own Twitter account. Why? To let everyone know if it’s out or not!

Overall, Sarah and I had a great run! We kept each other motivated, and appreciated the fact that we didn’t have to run 16 miles alone. It was fun running in a new area, too. For me, everything was new — a great distraction to have on distance runs.

I made sure to pack a lacrosse ball to help me roll out since it seemed silly (and a bit difficult) to pack a foam roller. What a difference that made yesterday, along with an ice bath…of course! Sarah loves ice baths too (yay! I’m not the only one!).

It’s easy to stay motivated around here. Seattle is an absolutely gorgeous city. I’m really looking forward to continuing my training, especially since my next long run will be in Vancouver, B.C.!

Oh, and how’s this for cross-training? Tomorrow is a semi-grueling hike at Mt. Rainier. Pics to follow!

Fifth 5K Complete!

I’m a few days late, but better late than never, right?

My brother completed his fifth 5K this weekend, and my mom completed her third this past Saturday. They both ran the Fallen Heroes 5K Memorial Run in Lake Como, NJ. It was a hot and humid day, but they both dug deep and crossed the finished line! Great job family! Keep on running!

5K #5

5K #5