Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So What's Next?

(cue Frank Sinatra: "I want to be a part of it - New York, New York!!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Marathon Photos

I recently checked out the 2008 Boston marathon shots from Gee - no wonder I rarely ever order any of these prints! I'm clearly feeling okay at this section on the course...but then the head starts to tilt...
and I'm clearly fighting hard to put the whole race behind me~

FINALLY - the finish line!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Recovery, Relaxation, and Reading, of course

The day after the marathon I drove down to one of my most favorite spots in the world - our family summer home in Sagamore Beach - with my youngest daughter, Hannah, and her best buddy, Holly. Brian and Beau will join us on Friday, as they had to stay in Medfield for Beau's baseball season, and Kallie (the spoiled brat!) is on a beach in St. John's with a friend for the week.

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

Austen for Arbeit

It is a truth universally acknowledged...that Young Jeff will indeed be reading Emma and Persuasion as I WON our bet by crossing the finish line before the speedy novice marathon runner!

Okay, so I was given a 30 minute lead as I started in wave 1, but believe me, I was working hard yesterday!

Arbeit - 2:52

Nixon - 3:05

Plus, the bet was reported on the Publisher's Weekly website!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bippity Boppity Boo Update #2

Hooray!! Fairygod Friends, Sue and Bob Parente, made a donation that pushed me over the $10,000 fundraising level!!! THANKS TO ALL MY DONORS for all your generous support of my Boston Marathon Run with DFMC.

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

Bippity Boppity Boo Update

Fairy Blake Student and Dana-Farber Middle School Challenge runner, Rose, brings the grand total to $9,614
with her donation of $330. Way to go, Rose!!

Bippety, Boppety, Boo

My Fundraising Goal:$10,000.00

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

Shoe Distribution

It was great having Shonda Schilling join me in a pre-season visit to the Condon School Fit Girls team in South Boston yesterday. This was a particularly special day in that Shonda was able to donate Reebok shoes to all the girls (in addition to the shirts and water bottles we provide for them).

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

Dedicated to all the non-running spouses

I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to meet and hear Alexander McCall Smith (author of No. 1 Ladies Detectives and Isabel Dalhousie series) in Cambridge last night. The time I spent waiting in line to get my book signed was equivalent to the time it will take me to get to mile 6 on Monday.

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

Marathon Jump Roping

Today I volunteered at the Jump Into Spring event supporting the fabulous Strong Women, Strong Girls program that Harvard graduate Lindsey Hyde started when she was a freshman. Lindsey is a dynamite young woman, and I love her program.

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

PR for Kallie

Yesterday was a PR day for Kallie...

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.

So cute!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Erin Brockovich in Medfield

It has been very exciting to see Fit Girls featured in the Real Runners section in the latest Runners World. I pulled my youngest daughter and five of her friends (who are all on the Medfield Fit Girls team) for a photo shoot which was great fun for them, although the session ran a bit long for them. The library setting (representing the literacy aspect of the program) works great.

The official Medfield Fit Girls training season kicks off the week after spring vacation, and there are 55 girls on the spring roster. In the past we have been running our laps around the pond (which is exactly a quarter mile) at the local cemetary which is a safe and pretty location where I can keep an eye on all the girls at all times. However, "someone" complained last fall. Evidently this "someone" didn't feel it was appropriate and respectful. Now, I certainly wouldn't have my girls run laps during a burial, and I do understand the need for quiet, reflective time, but there are lots of people who walk dogs, run, fish, and even go sledding in the winter. Yes, I have a large group but we limit our workouts to the space around the pond that is somewhat removed from the actual plots. And over the course of the year we are only there for 15 hours or so.

I tried to discuss the matter with both the principal and superintendent and was basically brushed off and told it was "non-negotiable". No discussion. They wouldn't even give me the opportunity to present my case or ask any questions. The lack of dialogue is actually what offended me the most as I work very hard to make the program a positive and up-lifting experience for all the girls. I don't think the superintendent has a clue what I do with the girls PLUS as an intramural it brings in a heck of a lot of money for the school system! At this point the Erin Brockovich started to come out which makes me wonder who has the legal right to make this decision? Isn't it town property? I'm a tax payer and so are all the parents of the fit girls? And who complained? Can we work out a compromise after discussing the matter from BOTH points of view? Some of the parents of the girls suggested I create a petition for them to sign, but it seems a bit silly and over the top to go down that path. This may require legal advice and representation from our DFMC law students!

Off to town hall for some research...

Monday, April 7, 2008

"I think very highly of him -that I greatly esteem him."

Who is your favorite Austen leading man? Click here to meet the Men of Jane Austen.

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.”

( 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

Speedy DFMC Men

Congratulations to our fastest DFMC male runners as Jeff, Tyler and Matt placed in the top ten at RJ Crowleys 3 mile race yesterday!! Your teammates are proud of you!

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.

It all comes together...

I ran the last 13 miles of the course with a handful of other DFMC ladies on Saturday morning. These gals did a great job of kicking it in for the final mile at a 7:30 pace. (I hope Jack doesn’t yell at you!) There is most definitely qualifying talent in this group.

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.

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” ~Cicero

Friday, April 4, 2008

Final 2 weeks

DFMC coach and guru, Jack Fultz, was a real peach in taking the time to visit with the Dana-Farber Middle School Challenge Team yesterday. There are about 20 students who signed up for the first-time event as they help me train for the Boston Marathon (on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons they jog a 2 mile loop with me) and fundraise for cancer research.

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

A Bet with Mrs. Robinson

We've got a real speedster on our DFMC team this year - young Jeff - who recently ran a 5k in 17:03 and cranked out a 1:18:07 at the New Bedford Half-Marathon. He's also smart (recently graduated from Brown) and well-read (loves the classics). And at this point I will remind myself I am a happily married mother of 3 and old enough to be his mother!

This will be Jeff's first marathon, which means he will start with the rest of the charity runners back in the 22nd coral (Wave 2). My qualifying time from NYC places me in the 6th coral this year (Wave 1). This means I will get a 30 minute start on young Jeff PLUS the time he'll spend trying to manuever his way around thousands of 12 minute mile runners in his attempt to start his sub 7 minute race pace. I am guessing that he will finish (chip time) around 2:45...and my goal is around 3:15. And now we have a bet.

We are racing gun time, not chip time. That is, whoever crosses the finish line first is the winner. If I finish first, then he must read Jane Austen's last novel, Persuasion. (the Austen novel of my choice - I'm guessing that at some point in highschool he had to read Pride and Prejudice ). And if he finishes first, I will read Gravity's Rainbow (his favorite novel) byThomas Pynchon.

Now, let's compare the two synoposis:

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.

Hmmmm....not typically something I would pick off a shelf.

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.

Now, doesn't that sound romantic!?

Runners and readers...on your mark, get set, GO!