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~ Hugs And Trees ~

November 3, 2011

Because of this guy that curly haired girl had excellent luck throughout the Marine Corps Marathon.  This guy being Steve Speirs.     The guy that WINS ultras.   The guy that wrote the book on pushups, situps and squats.   Yeah, that guy.    Steve is an amazing and kind man and so supportive.   Right before Marine Corps Marathon, he gave his wife Ally a nice hug.    As I watched them hug, I decided to nudge in and get my own hug from Steve.   It was a doozy of a hug and he wished me good luck.    With that, he was off into the fast corral to line up.    And with that, I lined up in my slower corral.   GOOD LUCK!!!    It worked, I subbed 6 hours.   GOOD LUCK!!!!

My mama’s tree is thriving.   It was planted April 29th 2011.   I am so pleased with how it is growing.   I go there mostly to feel the connection.   And I feel it.    I told my mama that I ran Marine Corps Marathon.   The tree smiled at me.   I showed her my medal.   Smiled again.

It is 3 days since I ran the marathon and I am thinking “Now what”   I miss running, but I know I must wait.   The end of the year is almost upon us, almost upon me and I am very much looking forward to 2012.   I have lots of fun things planned.   But first I have to get through the rest of 2011.    The next few days will be busy for me but I will see a lot of awesome friends and get to wish them all good luck for NYCM.   In Person.   I’m a hugger people, go with it.

Sometimes, I may be shy.  Sometimes, I may be silly.  Sometimes, I may be awkward.  Sometimes, I may be funny.   Sometimes, I may be intelligent.   Sometimes, I may sound needy.   But, I always always care and love my friends.   And I feel the love coming back at me.   Thanks for all of your support and motivation.   And most of all thank you for you love.




~ Marine Corps Marathon 2011 ~

October 31, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon 2011, for me is the culmination of 2 training cycles and over 1 year.    You see I was all set to run Marine Corps Marathon 2010.   BUT, I got injured.   Achilles tendonitis, could hardly walk and had to wear a boot and go to PT.   I deferred and decided to head to DC anyway to attend some fun tweetups and meetups and of course to cheer my friends on.   Even this year, I wasn’t quite sure if I would be able to run Marine Corps Marathon.   I had guaranteed entry into NYCM.   Yet, I chose to run MCM.   I felt strongly that if I didn’t run it this year, I probably never would.   My mama was around last year during my struggles and injury and I know it would have made her so happy if I completed the race.   So, I used my deferral from last year to sign up for this year.   A nice touch is you do not have to pay AGAIN to run MCM if you deferred last year.    I asked Coach Caleb Masland to be my coach again and he gladly said sure.   He mapped out a nice plan for me and I tried following it.

But before all that, I had to deal with some hard things.   My mama got very sick and I had to take care of her and my sister and I made some hard decisions.   My mama was brave and strong and never complained.   I promised her I would run and complete Marine Corps Marathon.   She smiled and winked and me and I know she understood.

After my mama passed away I had a really hard time finding and holding my running mojo.   Most days I didn’t feel like running so I didn’t.   Caleb was extremely patient with me and again mapped out a plan for me.   Then I had some lingering heel pain.   Then I overslept.  Then it was cold and rainy.   Then, I was lazy.   Still the mojo wouldn’t come.   But I kept on trying.    There was never a day when I thought to myself I can’t do this.   It was more like, I’ll do what I can, when I can.

With race day looming I knew I had to step it up so I got in one last longish run of 17 miles.   And with that I was ready.    Got to DC Friday afternoon and was really excited to meet up with Coach Caleb and Thomas for a shakeout run.   Just a nice 2.2 miler to get the blood flowing in my legs.   Great fun!!!   Then off to meet up #1 at a cool trendy restaurant in Arlington, VA.   Thomas and Cindy and Caleb.   The beer selection was in a huge binder, even bigger than the menu.   I really had no idea what beer to order so I had the same as Caleb and Thomas.   Fun times.   Brodie W showed up a bit later.   More fun.

Saturday was such a bad day weather wise.   Rainy, windy, snowy, cold.   We all headed to the expo for bib pickup and a little walk around.   Fun again.

Ally and I

There was a fun Dailymile meetup in the afternoon and then a great fun dinner with amazing friends.

Marine Corps Marathon ~ October 30th 2011

The weather was spectacular.   Not a cloud in the sky, literally.   Azure blue skies with a bit of a wind but I’ve run in worse.    Thank you mama, for that!   After some bag drop off’s at Ally/Steve hotel we got to the start area.   There are no corrals like in NYCM.   Everybody starts at the same time, you just line up according to finish time.   I was with Ally and we moved into the 3.45 starting area intending to move back.   It was kinda crowded so we stayed put knowing we/I would run much slower.   We danced to “Move like Jagger” a bit and then we were off.   I love that I was able to start MCM with Ally.   This made it all the more special to me.

So, I don’t know about you, but somehow in my mind, I thought that this wouldn’t be too difficult.   I broke it up into 2 half marathons and armed with instructions from Coach, I was off and running.    I wish I would write a race report where I remember every single mile and how I was feeling.   But, I can’t.   I remember all of it, but it’s hard to put it into words.

Mile 1 was nice at 10.54 and then I took my first 1 minute walk break.   Then I remember a hill or two.   I remember feeling upset because I suck at running hills.   I may always suck at running hills.   Then at mile 4 there was a glorious downhill and I ran that mile in 10.05.   That would be my fastest mile of the day.   At mile 7 I took my first GU.   Man that tasted good, like chocolate pudding and it actually gave me a nice boost.  The Marines giving out the water and gatorade were so nice.   So serious but so nice.   Maybe, around this point I started feeling chaffing in an area of my body.   Specifically, in between my leggies.   And here is where my thoughts turned from not too difficult to OUCH!!!   I kept trying to adjust my shorts but to no avail.   Eventually, I saw a Marine holding out a popsicle stick covered in vaseline so I ran over and fumbled taking off my gloves.   I took that vaseline as if it was the last on earth and kind of  squatted and slathered it where it needed to go.   The Marine didn’t flinch.   I just kept slathering.   And it helped.  A LOT.

I used the energy of the spectators and the runners and I accepted and gave high fives to lots of kids and adults.   They were adorable and made me smile.   The kids, not the adults.  Although they were kinda adorable too.   At this point I sort of lost my sense of math.   I wasn’t sure where to take walk breaks.   But then I got into a zone of running as much as I could and then walking for 1 minute.    I had another GU somewhere in between and also ate a thin mint girl scout cookie and some gummy bears.   I like gummy bears.   At mile 24 were the Munchkins.   No, I wasn’t in the Wizard of Oz. or was I?

Minor changes to this year’s MCM course will create even more opportunities for runners to experience the best of the nation’s capital.  Marathoners can expect changes that will affect fewer than three miles of the course but promise to offer new views of the NationalMall and its various landmarks.

GeorgetownThe USATF certified route starts in Arlington, VA on Route 110, same as in previous years, although this year, the start will be seven hundred feet closer to the Pentagon. The route winds its way through Rosslyn along Lee Highway before turning on Spout Run and the George Washington Parkway. Runners will experience a climb on Lee Highway in the first few miles of the course, but are rewarded with a descent along Spout Run and the Parkway.

After crossing Key Bridge into Georgetown, runners turn toward the Palisades Community when the course follows Canal Road, up to the reservoir and down MacArthur Boulevard.  The course guides runners down popular M Street in Georgetown.

Runners will turn on Wisconsin Avenue and then K Street. The course passes the Kennedy Center and guides runners to the back of the Lincoln Memorial before continuing on Ohio Drive into Hains Point at the halfway point.

Lincoln MemorialOutside Potomac Park, runners will get a glimpse of the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin.  On Independence Avenue, competitors will run by the newly-unveiled Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and FDR Memorial.  The runners will loop back along Independence Avenue on the side closest to the National Mall and the Korean and WWII Memorials before making a left turn onto 15th Street at the National Monument.

At Madison Drive, runners will pass through the MCM “Gauntlet” and down the north side of the National Mall, running by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History and the National Gallery of Art.  After a loop around the reflecting pool in front of the U.S. Capitol, runners will continue down the south side of the National Mall past the Smithsonian Castle.  Runners move along Jefferson Drive and turn onto the 14th Street to “Beat the Bridge” at Mile 20 before returning to Virginia.

For the last 10K runners will enjoy the color and energy of Crystal City.  At the Pentagon, runners will pass in close proximity to the Pentagon Memorial honoring the victims of 9/11.  Finally, the course unfurls alongside the Arlington National Cemetery then offers a final, up-hill challenge to the finish at the Marine Corps War Memorial. It is truly a beautiful course.

Here are my splits:

10.54, 12.20, 12.04, 10.05, 12.56, 12.02, 12.54, 14.51, 12.14, 11.35, 11.26, 12.17 12.14, 15.00, 13.15, 13.25, 13,35, 14.02, 14.15, 14.41, 15.47, 16.13, 15.48, 15.28, 17.45, 15.32, last 0.60 miles in 7.01 (11.44 pace)   Yep, Barney had me at 26.60 miles.

Back to the story:

MCM Gauntlet:  Runners must maintain 14 minute per mile pace to pass the MCM Gauntlet at mile 17.5 at the intersection of 14th Street and Madison Drive NW.  A tail-end vehicle will be in place to easily identify the necessary pace by 12:45 p.m.  Runners slower than the required pace will be detoured for safety reasons but will quickly rejoin the marathon course.  These participants may continue to run the course but will not complete an official marathon.  It is requested any runners rerouted at the Gauntlet not accept a finisher medal.

Beat the Bridge:Runners must maintain the 14 minute per mile pace to reach the 14th Street Bridge and successfully “Beat the Bridge” just after mile marker 20.  The 14th Street Bridge will reopen to vehicular traffic making it unavailable to runners after 1:15 p.m.  Any runners unable to “Beat the Bridge” will be required to board the straggler buses and be driven to the event finish area.

I had the above on my mind pretty much until I reached and “Beat the Bridge”.    And then it was mile 20 and I kinda imploded.   My mind said go go go my legs said no no no.   There was walking as you can see from my splits.  Lots of folks were walking at this point.   I wasn’t really even wanting to start any conversations with people.   I was so inside my own head and I just kept heading forward.   I talked to my mama though.   She helped me a lot.   Then I thought I am already with my mama, all I need is my sister with me so I made a decision.   When I hit mile 25 I will call my sister and run that last mile with both her and my mama rooting for me.   Susan gave me exactly what I needed.   A friendly voice and a boost.   I told her I want to beat 6 hours and she told I could do it and to start running slowly and then I started running faster.   She was on speakerphone talking to me and encouraging me.   I said nothing.  She heard me running.  She heard everything around me too.    I crossed that finish line RUNNING with my mama and sister with me.   5.59.47.   What an amazing incredible feeling.   They were both with me when a handsome Marine put my medal around my neck, shook my hand and said in a loud booming voice  “YOU ROCK”.   They were there.   She was there.    
I never once doubted that I could finish.   I never once thought to myself I can’t do this anymore.   Like my mama, I was brave and strong and never complained.  It was hard.  So hard.   But so rewarding.   The very hard year I had made this all the sweeter.   My mama is so proud of me.   My sister is so proud of me.   You are all so proud of me.   And here is the really cool amazing part.   After I crossed the finish line, after I got my medal, after I wandered around and ate an ice cream sandwich, after all that, I looked down and there was a heads up penny.    (commence chills now)
I love being a runner.   There is nothing quite like it.   I love so much about it.    Marine Corps Marathon is wonderful.   It’s the “peoples marathon”   It’s special.   I am now excited to shift gears a bit and be the spectator/cheering person for all my friends running New York City Marathon in 6 days.    Who know what great adventures in running I will have in 2012.   But, I can’t wait to find out.
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Hebrews 12:1 



~ Days ~

October 20, 2011

Thank you Mom and Dad.   For the days.   I love you and miss you both so much.

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
I’m thinking of the days,
I won’t forget a single day, believe me.

I bless the light,
I bless the light that shines on you believe me.
And though you’re gone,
You’re with me every single day, believe me.

Days I’ll remember all my life,
Days when you can’t see wrong from right.
You took my life,
But then I knew that very soon you’d leave me,
But it’s all right,
Now I’m not frightened of this world, believe me.

I wish today could be tomorrow,
The night is dark,
It just brings sorrow, let it wait.

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
I’m thinking of the days,
I won’t forget a single day, believe me.

Days I’ll remember all my life,
Days when you can’t see wrong from right.
You took my life,
But then I knew that very soon you’d leave me,
But it’s all right,
Now I’m not frightened of this world, believe me.

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
I’m thinking of the days,
I won’t forget a single day, believe me.

I bless the light,
I bless the light that shines on you believe me.
And though you’re gone,
You’re with me every single day, believe me.

~ That Photo Up There ~

September 27, 2011


I truly believe that I am on this earth to achieve something special someday.   I can’t put my finger on exactly what that special thing will be, but it will happen.   I’m not having an easy time of it lately.  Seven months ago, I lost my mama who was also my best friend.   I think I heard somewhere that it takes a full year to grieve.   My grief is taking longer than I thought it would.   It is finished when it is finished. This first year is difficult: especially the first Mother’s Day, Rosh Hashanah, or Hanukkah, the first birthday, etc.    I try to sort out my feelings on a daily basis.

In relation to my running, it goes something like this:

I’ve been oversleeping when I should arise early for my runs before work.   The oversleeping, I figure, comes from lots of standing all day and lots of thinking all night.   She is always with me with subtle and not so subtle reminders.    But I know this to be true:   My mama loved that I ran.   She was and is my biggest supporter.   So, I know that I must get my runs done.   You see, I am planning on running Marine Corps Marathon in 5 weeks.   35 days.   HA!!   My coach has confidence in me that I will finish.   My mama has confidence in me that I will finish.   So, I shall finish.

Saturday was the New York Road Runners Continental Fifth Ave Mile.  I never ran this race in all the years I’ve been running.   This year, I decided to sign up.   It’s only a mile, I thought.  No biggie.   As the race day got closer, I realized I may not do as well as I had hoped.   Every single run, my legs felt sluggish.   I don’t even really know why.   But, then speaking to a friend, she reminded me that grief not only affects you emotionally, but physically as well.   So, knowing this helps me to not be too upset when my runs don’t go the way I want them to.   Race day came and I just decided this:  Run, have fun, do my best.    Coach Caleb said I might be pleasantly surprised.   I believed him.

I ran an 8.25 mile.   I was indeed pleasantly surprised.   I am no racer.  I don’t have strategies or plans, I just run.   So the run, have fun do my best turned into a pretty fast mile, for me.

When things don’t come easy for me, I think I appreciate them more.   Today was a 2 hour 45 minute run.   Hard.   So very hard.   But I completed it.   My calfs are now very tight and my heels hurt a bit.   That’s alright.   It will go away.

I want to enjoy life now.   I can do lots more things without having to worry or concern myself about who will be there to take care of my mama.   Last year, I missed lots of things.  Concerts, parties, runs.   And, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about that.  It’s just a fact.   Now, that I am “free” to do as I please, I find it odd.   My job gives me odd hours.  Most weekends, I work.   I’d rather not, but I also appreciate that I have a job where I can “dress like a runner” as my dress attire.   My co-workers are all really cool and actually fantastic runners.   And very supportive of me.

I still find heads up pennies every once in a while.   I know who is leaving them for me.   I like it when I find the pennies.  It comforts me.   I will probably hold some of those pennies when I run MCM.   I am running it in honor/memory of my mama.   Do you guys think I should have a special shirt made that I can wear?   Any suggestions would be totes awesome.   Also, the meet ups that are going to take place should ROCK!!!   You know it!!

The friends that I’ve made are amazing.   They take an interest.   I appreciate that more than ever.   It makes me feel safe.

So that photo up there?   That’s me in the blue shirt crossing the finish line of the Fifth Ave Mile.   Photo is courtesy of Mark Juliano.   Thanks Mark.

Accepting full responsibility for every little thing in your life, Michelle, is what opens the floodgates to joy and power.

Or to what we here call “joypower.”
Every little thing,
The Universe

“ You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on. tupac shakur

~ Twenty Five Weeks ~

August 15, 2011

Running, running
As fast as we can
Do you think we’ll make it?
Do you think we’ll make it?
We’re running
Keep holding my hand
It’s so we don’t get separated

Forgive me readers.  It has been 14 weeks and 2 days since I blogged.

Look at my mama’s beautiful tree and how robust it looks.   It’s unyielding in it’s growth and I sense my mama’s resiliency and plucky personality every time I visit.   I named the tree Maizy.   I have a feeling that Maizy is going to grow up to be quite striking, and many school children will run around her, and perhaps even picnic and use Maizy for shade from the hot sun.  Time will tell.

I don’t understand how I forgot about my blog.   I don’t even know if anybody will still read what I have to say.

They say history repeats itself.    Last year I had to defer Marine Corps Marathon.   That dang achilles tendonitis.   I still traveled to DC to cheer on my friends and have fun at the tweet ups and meet ups.   Well, this year my achilles tendonitis has made a dramatic but very unwanted return.    Not sure what caused it to come back.   I mean I have some theories but hopefully, some PT and RICE will help.     Plus cycling.   This year, I really “need” to be at the starting line of MCM.   It’s not something I can explain with words alone.   It’s a sense I have.   A feeling.   Something that, if I do complete, will complete me.   Yes, sounds all hokey and cliche but there you have it.

In the mean time, I have nothing to say about how my running is/was going.   It’s as if I haven’t run in years.   And that is really sad.   Because, I’ve been a runner for years.  And I love running.   Yet, right now I am not feeling it.   It feels as though running was snatched out of my closed hands.   And I can’t seem to grab it back into my soul.    It’s dangling out there.  Literally right in front of me but I can’t reach it.    I have been thinking about taking a break from Dailymile.  As much as I love it, its a reminder.    As is twitter.   I love reading about all of my friends running and training.  I really do.   I just don’t feel it.    And because I don’t feel it, its very hard to be enthusiastic with my commenting.

Twenty five weeks ago today I lost my mama.   And I lost my run.   I lost the feeling of wanting to wake up early to run before it gets too hot.   I just don’t really care.   I am trying to find myself.   Find out who I am without my mama in this world.   Every Friday night after I light my Shabbat candles, I talk to her.   I know she hears me.   It’s interesting that I said “my” Shabbat candles.   They were her Shabbat candles for as long as I can remember.    There are some days that I miss her so much.    And there are other days where I remember something funny she said or did and I smile.    Giggle even.

Losing my run is not a tragedy.   But, I feel distressed over it.   I have lots to figure out.    When I cross the finish line at MCM, WOW.   Not sure what will even happen then.   In the meantime, I get through each day and hope I get through the next day better than the day before.   I was texting with @pigtailsflying last week and I love love love this quote that she hit me with.   “Sometimes we are awesome. Other times we are awesome waiting to happen. TK”.   Also, you must read her latest blog post.   OUTSTANDING.

I’ve been reading a lot.  I’ve been baking.   Writing.   Learning about wine.  Experimenting with different recipes.   Even creating my own.   I try to stay social.   Last night for the first time I went to karaoke with my co-workers.   I thought I would stay for 1 hour, but I ended up having so much fun I stayed for 2 hours.  I am even fixing up my apartment.   Bathroom first.    Then kitchen.   Who knows, after all that I may decided to sell and move.    The skies the limit right?

I think I will try to blog more.   I am still Runnin’ Down A Dream, just not sure what that dream is right now.

~ A Tree ~

May 7, 2011


I know exactly where this tree is in Prospect Park.   If asked, I will say it’s 64 steps from the tunnel.   This tree is a black tupelo or a black gum tree.   Nyssa sylvatica, commonly known as black tupelo or black gum, is a medium-sized deciduous tree. It is native to eastern North America, from New England and southern Ontario south to central Florida and eastern Texas.

This tree was planted in honor and in memory of my mama on Arbor Day, April 29th 2011.   It was a moving and touching ceremony that I attended with my sister.   We watched as each person shoveled some dirt onto the roots of the tree.  When it was our turn, we each shoveled separately and then we grasped that heavy shovel and sprinkled dirt on the roots, together.   My mama would love this.   She loved nature.  She loved looking at trees and grass and flowers.   She loved seeing my sister and I, friends.  She now lives in this tree that is 64 steps from the tunnel.

Sunday, is Mother’s Day.   I’ve been thinking a lot about this day and what it means to people.  What it means to me.   I won’t get all cliche and say that every day is Mother’s Day.   That goes without saying.   If I think back, my mama was there for me every single day she was alive.   Even when she was sick.   She was there.   She was a fantastic presence in my life.   She had a sense of humor like no other.   She was good people.   I miss her with all my heart.   I think about her every day.

On Friday nights, when I am home, I light her Shabbat candles.   I say the prayer and then I talk to her.  I tell her what’s been going on.   I ask her how she is doing.   I may tell her a funny story or two.   Then, I shut down my computer for a while and just reflect a bit.   I look forward to this time.   It calms me and makes me realize my mama is still with me.   Maybe not physically, but always in my heart.

I ran 10 miles today.   It wasn’t very pretty but I got it done.   All running, no walking.   It’s taking me a very long time to come back to running.   To where I used to be.   I wonder ~ if I will ever be the runner I once was.   When my mama was here and I was able to tell her all about it.   I wonder if I will love my running again the way I used to.

Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t so emotional.   So sensitive.   Sometimes, I wish I could shrug things off my shoulders and not care so much.   Sometimes, my vulnerability makes me feel weak.   Sometimes, I don’t like to cry in front of people.  That shows weakness, doesn’t it?   My mama cried.   Not a lot, but she was emotional.   She was sensitive.   I am just like her.   She did make me into a very caring individual.   I can’t shrug things off my shoulders and walk away.

So, my 10 miler today came at a very good time.   Right before Mother’s Day.   I ran 10 miles for myself first.  Then, for my mama.   I told her this after I lit the Shabbat candles tonight and if only for a moment, those candles flickered happily.   I smiled.

It’s almost 3 months since my mama passed away.   I wonder where she is?   I wonder……too much maybe.

I don’t think much about my future running plans.  I did sign up for some races and I am really looking forward to them.   Brooklyn Half is in 2 weeks.   I even signed up for Queens Half.   July 30th.   Yikes.   What was I thinking.   HOT HOT HOT.    Where I work, at Paragon Sports, I get reimbursed for all races I sign up for and complete.   Pretty cool right?    I have so much to be thankful for and I am.

If you can, call your mom and wish her Happy Mother’s Day.   I can’t this year.

But, she knows.

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.

~ Pennies From Heaven April 21 2011 ~

April 22, 2011

“Don’t you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven.
You’ll find your fortune falling
All over town.”

My mama always made me pick up pennies when she saw them on the ground.   I grumbled and muttered under my breath how silly it was.   Why bother to pick up a penny, I would say.   And she always said “silly, its good luck”.    “Please pick up that penny for me”   So, I did.  And over the years, she amassed quite a collection.  She kept them in a cute little change purse and had many cute little change purses filled with pennies.   Some she used to pay for newspapers, but most she kept.

Butterflies, rainbows, garage doors that go up and down for no reason — these are the kinds of stories the living tell about signs they believe they have received from the dead. Often these are stories shared tentatively, if they’re shared at all, kept close for fear that they will be laughed at by skeptical listeners.

I am going to tell you that in the past 2 weeks, I have found 10 TEN 10 heads up pennies in various places.    Some shiny, some old, some brand new but ALL heads up.   And I am going to try to put this into words, but it may be hard.   When I picked up the penny and held it tight in my hand, I felt something.   Something amazing.   A hug?   Something special and beautiful.   Last week my sister went to buy some breakfast and she needed ten cents change.   The man behind the counter asked her if it was alright if he gave her 10 pennies instead of a dime.   TEN.   Just as I am keeping all 10 of my found pennies, so is she.   Neatly, in a pile.

These pennies that I know were left for me brought me some good luck.   I am now a working girl and no longer unemployed.   I am working as a “running specialist” at Paragon Sports in NYC.  What that really means is I am working in retail selling running kicks.  It’s alright.  For now.   But I have bigger dreams.

My running has invariably been a bit, shall we say, slow.   I have to rework in my mind what my goals going forward will be.   I love running.  It is my thing and I will always run.   FOREVER.   I will run Brooklyn Half Marathon and I will run MCM in honor of my mama.   In between, I hope to have fun runs with friends and alone.   I hope to explore new running routes.   I hope to cycle a lot this summer.   Enjoy some baseball games and concerts.   Get together with friends for dinner and drinks.   Support each and every one of you – my friends.   BQ’s and sub 2 hour halfs and amazing marathon times.   All of you BE YOUR BEST.   The world is really a beautiful place.   So much to see and do.

Around the bend, in the unseen, arising from the very uncertainties that may now seem to taunt you, there are some amazing surprises, awesome twists, and spellbinding coincidences about to emerge that you can’t even now imagine.    Do me a favor, next time you see that penny on the ground, pick it up, hold it tight, smile and say hey to my mama.  She would really like that.

Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth. 
— Margaret Thatcher

~ Fallin’ and Flyin’ and Fallin’ Again ~

April 4, 2011

A runner must run with dreams in his heart.” – Emil Zatopek


But, right now my dreams are angry.   And I can’t help it.   I guess I am going through a bit of emotional turmoil right now and I feel so confused.    I’m in the angry stage of grieving right now.   And that’s ok.  In fact, its grand.   It gives me something to focus my attention on and also something to fight through.   I don’t expect anybody to really understand exactly how I am feeling, and it’s alright if you don’t.   It’s what I have to work through.

Because of all this emotional angst I am experiencing, there are things in my life that are suffering.   I may not be the most fun to be around.   Maybe, I am not fun at all.  I’m alone, but not lonely because I don’t allow that.   I am happy to just be.   If I stumble upon a reminder of my mama in my home, and believe me there are many, I may cry, I may smile, I may laugh at a good memory.   And that’s alright.

With the Brooklyn Half Marathon 7 weeks away, I really want to try to put aside some of what I am feeling emotionally, and follow my awesome training plan that Coach Caleb made for me.    Or maybe even better, use my emotional turmoil and turn it into something positive.   My runs, as of late have not only been difficult, but sluggish and dragging.   I am not hydrating enough.  I am not eating healthy enough.  I am not doing any of the things I need to do to run healthy.   And lets face it, if your an emotional wreck, it almost always effects you physically.

I’ve been extremely tired.   Had to deal with emergency root canal that left me in pain and crying.  Have an on again, off again sore throat and cough and my sleeping patterns are way off.   I don’t feel 100% healthy, yet I can’t really pinpoint what exactly is ailing me.

Today, I completed a LSD 10 miler and I am mighty proud that I persevered and got the miles done.   Alone, a boring route and hardly any motivation, yet I pushed through and got it done.   It sure was Long and Slow.  Wednesday night, as long as I have two feet and a heartbeat, (heard this in a trailer of a movie, I forget which) I will be attending a speed workout over at Paragon Sports Nike Speed.  Should be lots of fun and intense.

I know that things will eventually fall into place and I also know or maybe think that at 6 weeks since my mama passed away, most people are not wanting to hear me talk about it anymore.   I may be wrong about that, and I hope I am wrong, but I probably won’t be bringing it up much anymore.

I am trying hard to not let this blog drift into obscurity but I am finding it difficult to find topics to blog about.   Hopefully, when my running is back up to where I want it to be, I will feel more determined to keep this blog going.   My life has taken a turn one way, and this blog is way at the other end of the road.   Very far.   Very far away.

And I feel very far away.   And so very tired.   I may hit the trail a bit myself.   But, not to worry, if you need me just HOLLA.




~ It’s The Simple Things ~

March 29, 2011
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
— Henry James

Everybody likes the feeling of warmth.   Most people get caught up in all of the complications that life throws at them.   I could list a multitude of them here on this post, but today I want to keep it simple.   Simple and warm.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with TK who simply put, is awesome.   She invited me up to her “pretty awesome” house in the Poconos, PA.   With the way the weather had been lately, I was worried about even making it up there, but luckily the snow had stopped and gave to us this simple beauty.

Trees covered in cotton.

Friendship doesn’t ever have to be complicated and it shouldn’t.   You are either going to hit it off and become friends, or your not.  Simple.  I’d say TK and I became friends this past weekend.  Not that we weren’t friends before, but I truly think TK knew that I needed this get-a-way.   She knew and she gave to me a simple way to get out of my own head and relax, eat, bake, blog, twitter, read, run and LAUGH.   Laugh.   March 25th was TK’s birthday and when she awoke that morning I sang the Happy Birthday song and then I played youtube videos of other people singing the Happy Birthday song.  You know, like real singers “The Beatles”   I think she enjoyed that.   Oh and the cake.   How can I not talk about the cake.

Banana Nutella Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.   Perfect in its imperfections.   So delicious, I kinda want a piece right now.

So, we had two great runs up in the Poconos.  It’s the mountains and quite hilly.  I regretted not bringing my climbing poles and ropes because, quite frankly we were climbing on those runs.   TK and friend BG may giggle and say NAH.  But they also simply agreed with me that I was climbing mountains.

First run was:

Great birthday run with @pigtailsflying in the Pocono’s Pennsylvania. (not my birthday) Elevation gain 112 feet. I thought it felt like 10,000 feet. What do I know?

3.62 miles 37.33 10.22
Mile 1 10.17
Mile 2 10.33
Mile 3 10.06
Mile 4 0.62 6.36 (10.37)

After mile 1 I told TK, I had to stop for a bit to catch my breathe.   This was simply for two reasons.  Yes, I did need a bit of a breathe catcher, but also it was TK’s birthday run and I wanted it to be a great run for her.  So, I urged her on and told her I would be alright running the loop alone.   Simple.

Second run was the next day with TK and new friend BG.  Another great run, I think.

Terrific leisurely run with TK and BG. sort of around Lake Naomi in the Pocono’s. I felt bad that I slowed them both down to an easy trot but there were some hills and it was a little cold.

5 Miles 56.11  Ran the WHOLE THING.

I am ecstatic that I was able to spend this time with a friend.   It really made a simple world of difference in my life.

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
— Jon Katz





~ No Time Soon ~

March 21, 2011

February 21st 2011 6.30pm – holding my mama’s hand.

Today is exactly 1 month.   Wow.   The time is escaping me.   Every day that passes is one more day without my mama in this world.   I am not saying its getting any easier, but somehow I am doing what I promised her I would do.   Living?   Being alright?   I’ll be OK?   Getting the things done that needs to be done when one passes on.   The paperwork.  The cancelling of things in her name.   The returning of any checks in her name.   All difficult and all things I don’t want to do. 

Yet, I did them all.   I am sure there will be more.   And I know I will do what has to be done.   I guess it’s called responsibility and being a grownup.  

I’m trying to go back in time and remember her when she wasn’t sick.   It’s a little hard for me to do this and that is upsetting me very much.   So, I have to dig deeper into my brain and find the memories that I know are there.  

Today, while in the midst of training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, today I honored my mama with 2 simple workouts.  Being that it is 30 days, I did a simple core workout of 30 each pushups, crunches, squats and 30 second plank.    Then I ran 1 mile for 1 month.  I ran that mile in 9.30.   I was trying very hard to run a 9 minute mile, but as I was running my thoughts turned to my mama and somehow that slowed me down just a bit.   I was holding my gift of a real arrowhead in my hand very tightly and that along with my thoughts just allowed me to cruise and run that 9.30 mile.    When I was finished I looked up and said “that’s for you mama, I love you”

Tomorrow, I go back to training for real.   I think I have a speed workout to do and I will give it my all.  Whatever that all is tomorrow.   In between all of that, I fell of my bike and thought I broke my shoulder and had to have emergency root canal on an infected tooth and gum.  I was in terrible pain for 3 full days – pain that brought tears to my eyes.  Pain, that I knew if my mama was here, would not feel so bad.   She always had a way of making me feel better when I was sick.  

In the Jewish religion there are various stages to mourning, but I am following my own stages.   I honor my mama every single day.   Just by thinking about her, loving her and remembering her.   I’d like to share the poem I read at her funeral. 

Please forgive me for this rambling post but this is what my mama wants you all to know today and everyday:

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there, I do not sleep

I am in a thousand winds that blow, I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain, I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush, I am in the graceful rush of beautiful birds in circling flight,

I am the starshine of night.

I am the flowers that bloom, I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave bereft, I am not there.   I have not left.

Written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye