(illustration by Mary Azarian)
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
I'm not really clear on how all these tests work, or what NEW information the bone scan will reveal...I just want to RUN AGAIN SOON!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
“That which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”
I can’t wait to get out there and pound the pavement with the new team, however I’m still plagued by this mysterious heel injury. I’ve seen a sports orthopedic doctor, a podiatrist, even a reflexologist. (Not sure the holistic energy healing approach works for me, but I liked the foot rubbing aspect of the treatment!) It’s not a stress fracture, and doesn’t seem to show the classic signs of plantar fasciitis, yet there is tightness and pain in the heel/achilles tendon area that just won’t go away. My next step is to work with a local physical therapist for some deep tissue massage and cross-training tips. I am hoping for some holiday miracles to be performed by the team of angels at the Sports and Physical Therapy Associates in Wellesley. Patience, patience….
Friday, November 28, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
"There's a race," - she said.
said Mr. Putter.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Very early on in my blogging life I discovered that I couldn't resist posting about books (mostly children's literature) as I'm a former children's bookseller and currently work part-time as a Middle school librarian. I spend LOTS of time reading kiddie/young adult lit and just LOVE it.
So of course I want to share (or at least express for myself) thoughts about current favorites.
For all of you who are passionate about running and marathons, there are an equal amount of individuals who love to share their thoughts about great books for kids. I'm not sure how often these two passions overlap, but I can identify at least a handful of writers who are avid runners including Printz Award Winner, Laurie Halse Anderson (Chains, Fever, Speak), Wendelin Van Draanen (Sammy Keyes mystery series), Coleen Murtagh Paratore (Wedding Planner's Daughter), and recently I discovered Alison McGhee (author of one of my new favorite titles, Julia Gillian and the Art of Knowing) is also a runner, although she has not YET run a marathon. Gee, I wonder how many more of my favorite writers are also runners?
In addition, I can identify a few Dana-Farber runners who work in publishing and are lovers of literature, including Kristina (aka: the marathon mama) and Abby (see abby run). Although their passion may not be the children's literature genre, Kristina may have an interest in the picture book recommendations for her little reader, Henry. And who knows....there may even be a couple librarians, booksellers and/or writers on our 2009 DFMC team.
There are also occasional posts about my Fit Girls running/reading program and stories about the joys and frustrations of raising my 3 children (Kallie 16, Beau 15 and Hannah, 10).
Basically my blog is a mish mash of thoughts, comments and recommendations that represents the wide range and variety of my interests, hobbies and responsibilities, all of which are important and special to me in their own unique way. And I sheeplishly admit that I find blogging somewhat therapeutic (and fun!). So I think I'll try to get back to both blogging and blog reading on a fairly consistent basis. Trying to write a review of a new book title , sharing a passage from a beautiful poem, moaning about an injury, or best of all, reading an account of a friend's recent PR half-marathon ( Congrats, Abby!) is A LOT more interesting than folding laundry - and now the basement is now calling me for one more load! Ugh!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
While the cortisone shot was painful, I was not at all prepared for the AGONY I experienced a couple hours after leaving the doctor's office. Yikes! I couldn't even walk on it and was almost in tears due to the pain. When the motrin finally kicked in I began to feel better, but I still can't put any weight on the foot. After some internet research I believe I am experiencing a "cortisone flare":
There is approximately a 20% chance of an increase in pain the day after the injection. This is known as a "cortisone flare" and is almost always a good sign. This is poorly understood phenomenon which lasts only for 24 hours and has no significant meaning. It usually resolves spontaneously although rest, ice, Tylenol or aspirin will help you to "grin and bear it". It is my subjective opinion that people who have this pain flare-up almost always will get an excellent long term result.
I'm going to try and look at the bright side and stick with the hope that I will have "an excellent long term result".
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I've been to the sports orthopedic doctor who ruled out a stress fracture, and I'm not experiencing the classic signs of plantar fasciitis. It just HURTS when I run/walk more than 3 miles. So I"m off to the podiatrist this week...what a pain! And this is my absolute favorite time of year to run! The gym is a horrible place to be on a beautiful fall day.
I've been trying to track fellow DFMC runner and Austen reader, Young Jeff, as he is running his second marathon down in the Big Apple today. He had a pretty amazing debut marathon in Boston last April finishing in 2:52. Race conditions looked perfect and I have no doubt that this will be a PR day for YJ.
Despite not being able to run in NYC, I did have the pleasure of "wogging" the Watertown Boys and Girls Club 5k race with a Fit Girls team from S. Boston. These gals did an AWESOME job at today's race ,and I just loved to see them cheering for one another on the course chanting "Let's go, Fit Girls, let's go!" My teenage daughter and cross-country runner, Kallie, was also out there as a "race buddy" supporting and encouraging girls as she ran/walked the course with the girls. I am really excited to develop and grow the "race buddy" aspect of the Fit Girl program that pairs up young girls with local runners and high school athletes. The little girls just LOVE the company and support of the older gals. DFMC team ates Brenda and Abby were also TERRIFIC as they volunteered at the Chelsea Boys and Girls 5k last week.
Anyone interested in volunteering as a "race buddy" at the Milton Best Buddy 5k on Saturday, Nov. 22?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
And today I had the pleasure of finishing one of the most charming, warm novels I've read in a long time. Atticus Finch, Colonel Brandon, Mr. Knightly, and Mr. Rodchester - move over. I'm in love with a new fictional male...Dawsey Adams!! (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer) How could any reader resist a character with this description...
"While we were laughing about that, Dawsey was seeing to my bags and making sure that Kit didn't fall off the pier and generally making himself useful. I began to see that this is what he does - and that everyone depends upon him to do it."
In addition, Dawsey loves poetry (Charles Lamb in particular), flowers and honest, hardworking people.
I have lots of room for fictional men in my life...for let's face it - could only one man really meet all my literary needs? I adore and value all of them!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Here is the 5 day schedule:
Day 1: New London NH to Northampton MA (135 miles)
Day 2: Northampton to Charlestown RI (151 miles)
Day 3: Charalestown to Hyannis (137 miles)
Day 4: Hyannis to Ptown and back to Sagamore Beach (136 miles) followed by a night in the Nixon/Fagerburg family summer home (aka "Saggy Hotel")
Day 5: Sagamore Beach to Boston (84 miles) with the final 26 miles on the Boston Marathon course.
Fun, fun, fun!!! This should be excellent for my post marathon recovery.
Evening Reading Material: Mr. Emerson's Wife by Amy Belding Brown
It is the story of Lidian, the fascinating woman who was loved insufficiently by Emerson and perhaps too much by Thoreau. The line between historical and fictional is said to be murky in this nineteenth-century tale of love among the Transcendentalists, but I've heard it's a page turner!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Our hike was followed up with lunch at the Colonial Inn and finally a trip to the fabulous independent Concord Bookshop where each student was allowed to purchase one paperback.
Overall, a great day for both students and faculty. Below is a picture of some of the 32 kids from the group.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
The weather has been amazing, and I've been able to catch up on new literature we are considering for the Middle School summer reading list. My most favorite read of the week was Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass. A great coming-of age novel with wonderful, warm and witty characters. This has great potential as our upcoming all-school read this summer. Here is a review from Publisher's Weekly:
"What is the meaning of life? Mass (A Mango-Shaped Space) introduces a winning narrator who attempts to answer this question and ends up accomplishing much more....Much of the novel's charm derives from Jeremy and Lizzy's unique friendship.…Jeremy and Lizzy find what they are looking for and more, but not where or in the way they expected. This exquisitely executed plot twist, combined with an ending that requires a few tissues, makes this soulful novel one not to miss." —Publishers Weekly *starred review
At the end of the novel, Jeremy begins his own collection of life lessons that he will most likely share with his future children with this wonderful gem: "From the day I realized that love is stronger than death and that people you barely know can amaze you - age 13".
This particular lesson hit home as this reminds me of why I run with DFMC and the wonderful people I've met over the years.
I strongly believe that the world would be a much better place if people spent more time reading quality children's literature and Austen!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Now I just have to run the darn race and try and cross the finish line before Young Jeff in order to win my literary/running bet!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Your current amount:$8,515.00
This is what you will see on my current DFMC fundraising page. And this morning I sent in another $769 which brings the grand total to $9,284.
I am wondering if there are any fairy godmothers (and fathers) who will help me reach the $10,000 goal by race day????
Friday, April 18, 2008
It really is wonderful for the girls to meet "every day" local runners who are able to participate in one of the world's most prestigious marathons simply by putting in the time and hardwork. We want these girls to realize that THEY CAN DO IT too as we are here to support them on and off the track.
However, the REAL highlight of the day was when Shonda brought out the World Series rings - WOW!!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I adore his Isabel Dalhousie protagonist who is a "moral philosopher" living in modern-day Scotland. Isabel inspired me to travel to Scotland and run the Edinburgh Marathon (June 2006). I wore my Edinburgh marathon t-shirt hoping that might encourage further conversation with the author after the signing, but this may have back-fired as he appears to know other marathon runners and their focus....
"Ben had become an enthusiastic jogger and spent most of his spare time running. He had finished fifty-second place in the Edinburgh Marathon and was now talking about competing in the next New York Marathon.
He has met Ben for a meal at Henderson's Salad Table, and the conversation had largely been about calories, energy levels and the benefit of Arnica cream for soft-tissue injuries.
"I've got a really interesting story to tell you..I was running about two weeks ago - or was it three? Hang on, it was three because it was the week before I was due to do the Peebles Half-Marathon with Ted and the others. Anyways, I was doing a circular route up Colinton Road, past Redford Barracks, and then down into Colinton Village...."
Matthew had looked at his pasta and at the ceiling, and tried to remember what it was he saw in Ben all those years ago. He had liked him. They had been friends, and now this thing - this running -had come between them."
(Love Over Scotland - A 44 Scotland Street Novel)
Sunday, April 13, 2008
This first-time event was coordinated in the DownTown Crossing area right outside Macys where over 200 strong girls and their college mentors gathered for an afternoon of fun, fitness and fundraising. It was quite fitting that they assigned me to the Marathon Jump Roping Contest to see which girls could jump for the longest period of time. It's been a long time since I've skipped rope, so I'll log this as a cross-training day.
And I was particularly excited to run into two of my Condon School (S. Boston) Fit Girls at the event who also participate in the SWSG program.
Great event, great program, great women, and great girls!
Friday, April 11, 2008
She ran the mile in 5:52 (coming in third in the meet against Westwood).
PLUS, the top Medfield Male Mile Guy ( who clocks a sub 5 minute mile) was at the finish with flowers and a poster asking her to go to the PRom.
Kallie said "yes" after catching her breath.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
I’m swept away by Colonel Brandon, and was very satisfied with the BBC’s latest portrayal of him. Some see him as old, serious and not very glamorous. But I share Marianne’s opinion of him when she finally grows up and recognizes the wonderful guy he really is…
“Colonel Brandon is an exceptional man. He kept faithful to his first love, even after she had been torn away from him…even after she was dead. He is the true romantic, I think. It is not what we say or feel that makes us what we are…just what we do…or fail to do.”
(Okay..so maybe it's just a bit creepy that Brandon is 35 and Marianne, the object of his affection, is 17. Nevertheless, he is quite the gentleman - loyal, patient, honest and humble)
Mr Darcy? I like him, but definitely don’t love him. After all, he really is pretty much of an arrogant, uptight twit for most of the novel, even if he is rich and handsome.
Edward was looking pretty darn good in the wet t-shirt too!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Jeffrey Arbeit 16:15.4
Tyler Hart 17:39.2
Matthew Whitcomb 18:29.7
And congratulations to race director, Shifter, on another FABULOUS fundraiser for DFMC.
I also love the fact that the finish line of the Boston Marathon is right in front of the Boston Public library….a physical spot where two of my greatest passions come together!
I highly recommend a visit inside the BPL. It is a BEAUTIFUL building with fabulous murals by John Singer Sargent. Great courtyard too – a place for quiet reflection (and a cool down!) in the middle of a busy city.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I was also able to arrange for a photo shoot (I'll post some pics later today) and interview with our local press when Jack was visiting with the kids. It was very exciting for them to meet a REAL LIVE BOSTON MARATHON WINNER!
Later in the day I ran the Thursday 9 mile hill run with Tall Sarah, who is running her second marathon and shooting for a 3:15. The lady is on FIRE and all of us at Crossroads were strongly encouraging her to hold back (NO 20 mile run this weekend!) and save it for race day.
There is only one more “doing the Thursday” hill workout on the 2008 Boston Marathon Training schedule, which is always a sad thought as I just adore the DFMC family filled with runners young and old (Steve – thanks for the reminder last night that we are, in fact, old!).
I do hope to squeeze in an occasional run around the river in the late spring to stay in touch with all these wonderful runners, readers and philanthropists!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
His book (mature readers only): Tyrone Slothrop, a GI in London in 1944, has a big problem. Whenever he gets an erection, a Blitz bomb hits. Slothrop gets excited, and then (as Thomas Pynchon puts it in his sinister, insinuatingly sibilant opening sentence), "a screaming comes across the sky," heralding an angel of death, a V-2 rocket. The novel's title, Gravity's Rainbow, refers to the rocket's vapor arc, a cruel dark parody of what God sent Noah to symbolize his promise never to destroy humanity again.
My book (general audience): Persuasion follows the romance of Anne Elliot and naval officer Frederick Wentworth. They were happily engaged until Anne’s friend, Lady Russell, persuaded her that Frederick was “unworthy.” Now, eight years later, Frederick returns, a wealthy captain in the navy, while Anne’s family teeters on the edge of bankruptcy. They still love each other, but their past mistakes threaten to keep them apart.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Here is the book jacket of the UK edition:
I actually prefer the Random House book jacket designs they will use for the U.S. edition:
Mr. Smith will also be speaking at the Harvard Bookstore on Wednesday, April 16. And I am hoping to FINALLY have the opportunity to hear him speak. (I am very drawn to the Scottish culture/history plus I like men in kilts!). Of course it would be a thrill to meet the man (who inspired me to travel to Scotland and run the Edinburgh marathon) but I can only imagine that there will be hundreds of people at the event.
I love his description of the "Old Botswana ways...where people looked for and valued those invisible links that connected people, that made for belonging. We were all cousins, even if remote ones, of somebody'; we were all friends of friends , joined together by bonds that you might never se, but were there, sometimes every bit as strong as hoops of steel".
"Mr. Smith reveals with all his brilliant storytelling skill that there are very few troubles that cannot be solved with kindness, and very few dry seasons that do not end with welcome rain.
Okay, Jeff, it's not exactly Moby Dick, but it is VERY sweet! And sweet, simple and real works for me.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Followed by another type of run: A run to the dump (at least I was able to take a quick shower before the "reminder" to attend to this chore )
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
The 2008 TREK USA Charity Relay for Kids is a 10-day running adventure through the six New England states from May 9 to May 18th, starting and ending in Boston, MA. The purpose of the annual TREK event is to raise money for The DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation (DCFF), which supports non profit programs that use running as a primary vehicle to promote physical fitness in children.
There are four team levels (Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze) for TREK 2008 ranging from 3 days to 10 days. As in years past, each runner will be hand-picked and committed to running an average of 15 miles a day. In addition to the mileage commitment, each runner is required to raise a respective dollar amount depending on his or her team member status. All TREK team members will receive an online account through Active.com to assist in fundraising efforts.
We are not expected to run 15 miles all at once, but rather 3 small runs of approx. 5 miles each day. So it's kind of like 10 days of Reach the Beach (or in my case 5 days of Reach The Beach as I'm only doing half of the event). DFMC runner, Judith Forman, is a veteran treker who ran down the East Coast (Boston to Palm Beach) in 2007.
The REALLY exciting part is that Fit Girls has been selected to receive matching funds through the TREK USA Matching Funds Program. All this fundraising gets a bit tricky, but in this case I will be looking for local business and corporate support and not friends and family who have been so generous to my DFMC run (grand total is now over $7,000!)
It should be an interesting adventure!
Saturday, March 22, 2008
This reminded me of last November when I collected my running bag after finishing the New York City Marathon. I was soaking in the accomplishment with some of the other finishers wrapped in mylar blankets when my cell phone rang. When I picked it up the first order of business was, "Do you know where the top of the crock pot is?"
I finished New York in 3:12. And my children had beef stew for dinner.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
In her story Mr. Rabbit is concerned about his new neighbors, the Otter Family, who recently moved into town and he just doesn't know ANYTHING about these strange animals. Mr. Owl advises him to just "Do unto otters as you would have otters do unto you". This includes the saying please and thank you, sharing, being honest and "co-otter-ating". This book would be a great addition to child's Easter basket. (And there are a fair share of adults who need a reminder about the golden rule too!).
And here is Keller's list of "office otter-quette":