3 Day Countdown to the NYC Marathon…

“I run because I can. When I get tired I remember those who can’t run, what they’d give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do this for me.”  ~ Unknown Author

It’s a shame the author of this quote is unknown because I’d sure like to thank him or her for it. The marathon is only 3 days away and the 4 long months of training has all come to and end.  The longest run of this journey is yet to begin in less that 72 hours from now.  And as I am sitting here writing I am thinking about the people I know who can’t, for one reason or another, run let alone be able to walk any distance at all. So I have decided to make a few offerings up as a way to honor 3  people in my life who have or had struggles.

The first person I will think of is my brother-in-law Charlie who passed away last November. Charlie endured much pain and suffering before he died. I know there will be tough spots during the marathon and trust me, and I know I will have pain. This pain I will give up for Charlie.

The second person who I will offer my struggles for is my father-in-law Joe. He is a huge part of who my husband is and my husband been a huge supporter of my racing. The miles in which my will becomes weak and I want to cry and quit, I will give these miles up for Joe.

And the third person who has been on my mind greatly in the recent year is my high school friend Amy. Amy has endured a lot due to illness, yet she has shown me what true strength and courage is, and it is this strength and will to fight that has inspired me and kept me going in all my really tough long training runs. I would hit a hill and think…this sucks, and then I would think what Amy is going through at the time and say to myself “that sucks more”…and I’d make it up the hill tired and hurting but doing it because I wanted to be as strong as she is.

So with that being said it is for Amy that I am dedicating this full marathon. She is not a quitter, she is a fighter, she is strong-willed and she is strongly loved. For her I will run as hard as I can because I know if the tables were turned and we were in each others shoes, she would find someway to do exactly the same for me.

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Dear English Ponytail Lady…

I am writing this because there are times when I simply can’t believe some people! This is the scenario…

On Sunday morning I was driving down one of the streets near my neighborhood and I see a large sign that reads…”Yard Sale Sunday”. So of course I am going to have to do a drive by, nothing ventured nothing gained. And it’s Sunday, I had already gone to church and there really wasn’t anything pending that I had to do at the time, and maybe I can pick up something I have been needing or possibly another furniture project. (Like I don’t already have a garage filled with furniture projects!)

So as I approached the yard sale I saw lots of furniture and I began to get all excited. I had Michael in the car with me and I matter of factly asked him if he minded if I stopped. He’s easy-going enough so we did. I got out of the car and immediately spied 3 wood tables of various sizes…thinking to myself there is real potential here. Then a couple of small candlestick lamps caught my eye…mmmm…really has potential was my thought again. So after I did a quick survey I decided to start checking out the pricing on the items for sale. OK this is where I can’t believe people. The two candlestick lamps, small with a somewhat interesting lampshade…$15 each! What I thought this can’t be right. Then I checked out the tables…they were priced from 325 -375 dollars…U.S. Dollars! And these tables were far from being in mint condition. They had dings and scratches, definite signs of many years of wear. But what threw me completely over the edge was a set of six chairs…looked like old wood kitchen chairs with all the paint rubbed off. Now I know people like the patina look, I do to, but would anyone in their right mind pay $350 for a set??? Hello…we are at a yard sale here, not in a furniture store! There is no over head, there are no employees….it’s only you lady and the crap you hauled out of your house!!! Just because you’re wearing little brown English riding boots and breeches,  your shoulder length blonde hair pulled back into a neat ponytail, and you live in freaking Tewksbury, doesn’t mean people are going to shell out top dollar for your old used and abused junk. Yes you can price it anyway you want, but really, who is out hitting yards sales, on a Sunday no less, with a few thou in their pocket? Oh and if they don’t have that kind of money on them are they really going to want to run home to raid their kid’s piggy banks just to buy your old beat up furniture???

And then to top it all off, I overheard this English ponytail lady actually counter a completely fair offer from a potential buyer! Sheesh I thought…you really are out of your tree!

Well I have to tell you that I grabbed Michael and made a bee line to my car. Honestly, I really felt like I was in some sort of parallel universe where the junk you pull out of your basement is worth more that an item bought off a showroom floor! I would have loved to have taken a drive past that house in Tewksbury later on in the day just to see what she didn’t sell and was stuck having to drag back into her house.

So it would be suffice to say that the yard sales in my neck of the woods are not  yard sales at all, and these people really think that their crap doesn’t stink!

You know I have half a mind to print this off and stuff it in her damn mailbox!

Posted in Decorating, Furniture, humor, thoughts, Yard Sales | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Halloween…Roxy the Dog Goes as Jersey Shore’s “Snooki”

O.K. I am sharing this will all
of you because it is so funny that it simply makes me laugh my proverbial ass off! This is Roxy, a 3 1/2 year old Black Mouth Cur, who actually
belongs to my brother-in-law’s family. His wife and kids came up with the outfit
to enter her in a pet costume contest at their vet’s office.
I think it is pretty darn
If you agree with me you can go to the link below and
vote for her to win.
Once there just click on the stars below her picture to
Thank you and
enjoy the laugh!!!
Good girl Roxy…good girl!!
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Buster Really is “French”

I have to share this story because this is a perfect example of not being sure of kids absorb and what goes completely over their heads!

Our family pooch Buster is a mixed (or mixed up) lab. While his father is 100% black lab, mom is part labradooodle and Bouvier. I alway kid the dog by calling him Frenchie or telling him that his “Bouvier” is showing.

Well the other night at the dinner table old Buster walks over to Michael and gives him on big lick on the right side of his face…then Michael turns his other cheek towards the dog and Buster again gives another lick or two on the second cheek. Michael looks up and exclaims…”You’re right Mom…Buster really is French!

My husband and I just looked at one another because we were just not sure what Michael really knows. Then I said to Michael…”How do you know that Michael?” Micheal pursed his lips together in a kiss fashion and kissed the air twice, once to the right side and another kiss to the left.  We laughed with relief as well as at the comedy of what had just taken place!

Cause you never know what will come out of the mouth of babes!!!

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My New Runners

Tomorrow I will trying out my new Asics Gel-Kahana running sneaks…New York City Marathon is 3 weeks from tomorrow!!!

Aren’t they Cute????

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What Would You Do?

Warm chocolate lava cake

Image via Wikipedia

The other morning after putting my two children on the bus for school, I headed down to the super Walmart which is about 20 minutes from my house. To be honest I try to do most of my grocery shopping there because it really is cheaper than the regular supermarkets, at least where I live.

Upon my arrival, I grabbed a shopping cart and went on into the store.  I milled around a bit in produce and then down one or two of the freezer isles before coming across a lady doing a food demonstration at the end of one of the isles. She was making a cake with a molten chocolate filling and the cake was piping hot as she had just taken it out of the mini microwave oven. “Would you like to try a sample of some nice hot chocolate lava cake?” she asked in a friendly enough voice. And really who could turn down a warm chocolate anything at 9 in the morning or anytime for that matter. I replied with a very enthusiastic “Sure” and she handed me a small cup with the cake inside and a fork to eat with. I gobbled it down, made a few remarks about how good it was to the lady who was behind me waiting for her treat, and then I was off to do the rest of my shopping.

I went up and down just about every isles in the grocery section gathering up things I needed. At one point I stopped to ask a manager what isle I would find peanut butter in, then returned to my shopping and all the while interacting with several other customers in the store. I even wheeled my cart through the electronics department to check out the new flat screen TV’s and briefly spoke with a clerk there before taking my cart to the check out line. I wheeled up behind an elderly couple who happened to be having some sort of issue with how they were going to pay for their items. The woman turned to me and apologized for holding up the line. I smiled and shook my head saying “No Problem…I’m not in any rush” and they smiled back as to say thank you. Then it was my turn and since I had a good amount of things in my shopping cart it took about 8-10 minutes for the cashier to ring everything up. So in the meantime we chatted about the weather and what not.

After everything was bagged and paid for I wheeled my cart on out to the parking lot towards my car passing one or two people along the way and smiling my hello to them. I opened up the back door of the mini van and filled it with my bags of food, then I closed it up and handed my cart off to one of the young men who takes the carts from the parking lot back to the store.  I opened my door and hopped into the driver’s seat, put my key in the ignition and turned it, shifted the car into reverse and looked in my rearview mirror to make sure all was clear.  And when I looked in the mirror I was stunned. Right there on the right side of my face just above my lip was this giant brown glob of molten chocolate!!! How could it be that not one person said anything to me? Not even the sweet little lady who watched me eat the flippin cake? Ya think she could have at the very least handed me a napkin? But no…no one said a word, most of them probably thought it was some weird mole on my face. I just couldn’t believe that I had walked around that store for a good 50 minutes looking like this…geeeesh!

So I ask you now…what would you have done? Would you have said anything to some poor women walking around Walmart with food on her face, or would you just pretend that you didn’t notice it?

Ahhh…now that I think about it, maybe this could be a new hidden camera topic for ABC’s prime-time show 20/20 and good old John Quinones to tackle!

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Philadelphia Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon

Yesterday was the Philly Rock ‘n Roll half marathon, just one in a series of Rock ‘n Roll half marathons being held throughout the country. The day was perfect for running. Air was crisp and cool, not a lot of sun but just enough to warm me a little as I stood with some 20,000 other runners waiting for our respective corrals to move closer to the start line. Finally at about 8:34 the gun sounded for corral number 17, and I was off running my first race in almost 2 years.

It was a very exciting race because one of the 20,00 runners was Adam Goucher, husband of female phenom distance runner Kara Goucher. Adam was running the Philadelphia race in order to qualify for the Olympic trials next spring, and needed to complete his 13.1 mile race in under 65 minutes. Now I ask you, in what other sport can you compete in the same event as the most elite athletes of said sport? That does make things a little bit more exciting. But unfortunately not for me…alas I was pretty blasé about the whole thing.

As you already know, I have really been struggling with my training for the marathon in November, most of it being a mental struggle. My body will do whatever I ask of it, the only problem is that my mind will just say…”Awe you can’t do that…it’s just not in you.” It has been a constant battle between mind and body, and to be honest, mind was winning out…a lot! But standing there in the corral before the gun went off really got to me emotionally, almost to the point of tears. I thought about the running I had done in the past; I thought about all the people I know who are unable to run for one reason or another; and I thought about 9/11. The master of ceremonies spoke about the Philadelphia half that was set to run in September of 2001. There was a hesitation after the terrorist attack of only a week or so beforehand, and race officials heavily debated on not holding the then called “Distance Run”. But the runners wanted to run. They had it in them that no one was going to take this race away from them…it was theirs and they were going to run it. I thought about the strength and courage of those runners along with all the men and women in the towers, the Pentagon and on flight 93 that fateful day, and I knew in my heart it was exactly the way I would feel. Running empowered those athletes on that September morning in 2001, and I felt that empowerment come back to me in terms of how running makes me feel when I challenge myself to the most difficult of tasks. Feeling all those feelings and then knowing that there was a man in the midst of the 20,000 plus runners trying to qualify for the Olympic trials,suddenly made my goal of “just finishing” seem unacceptable to me. What have I been thinking? Where has my head been? These are all the reasons and feelings that made me begin to love this sport! Hell and I was going to let them just all slip away! Nooooooo Waaaaay!

The overall plan for my race was set up by my dear friend Donna, who would in no way let me stray from the prescribed strategy. And the stratagy was this…to simply walk the water stations which were set up about every 1.5 – 2 miles along the course route. This would let us “hydrate to run great” and also allow for bit if a small break for the old legs and lungs. We also planned to go out slow so I could conserve energy and not hit the proverbial “wall” before the end of the 13.1 mles, and up to about mile 8 or 9 the plan was working rather well.

So what happened at mile 8 or 9? This…the flood gates opened and all the thoughts and all the emotions I felt while standing in my corral before the gun came rushing  back to me and intuitively I had began to pick up the pace. We started passing other runners…runners who had passed up several miles back, this fueled my pace, and I ran faster. Donna warned me at mile 10 that I had move my pace up markedly, and that she didn’t want me to finish feeling exhausted, so she slowed me down a bit and we continued to run. The two parallel lines representing mile 11 was in our sight…and I again picked the pace back up. We passed the mile 12 marker and I told Donna that I wanted to sprint to the finish line as soon as we saw it. She said O.K. and when the mile 13 marker was in front of us, unfortunately, there was also the second of only 2 hills of the entire course. I said to Donna…”All I want is the finish line and my medal!” She then added…”And a beer” I laughed and we hit the hill and ran it hard! We crossed the finish line at 2 hrs. and 41 minutes a far cry from my PR of 2 hrs. 16 min., but our time was also 19 minutes faster than Donna predicted based on our training runs. We finished strong actually running our last 5k 4 minutes faster than the first 5k of the race.

By now I was spent and I knew I had left nothing out there on the course…and that was a great feeling. What I needed more than anything was to run a race again so I could feel the excitement of being part of such a large and challenging event. I had become too complacent with regard to running and Donna knew that. I told her as we chatted at mile 10 that I thought she was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known and not just because of all the information she carries around in her head on a daily basis…but smart about people and how she can know them with her heart. And I thank her from the bottom of my heart for being there and knowing me so well!

So now I have to begin to wrap my brain around a 16 mile run scheduled for this coming Friday and I’d like to believe I have it in me to just do it! One thing though is for certain, I am mentally far better prepared for this run, and that will make all the difference in the world!

Note: Adam Goucher did end up qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials with a finishing time of 64 minutes and 53 seconds!

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