Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm Not a WIMP!!! I'm a ...

(and quite modest about it, too, as you can see:-)

Things I learned today:
  • AccuWeather is definitely less-than-Accu-Weather! It was nowhere a "real feel" of 9 degrees this morning! Fortunately, it actually felt warmer than it did last night!
  • If you do the absolutely most hated, "I can't deal with this" part of your training workout first, everything else is downhill - in some cases quite literally!
  • One reverse upper loop up the West Side of Central Park in the freezing cold makes you a bad-ass. Two reverse upper loops up the West Side of Central Park in the freezing cold makes you a SERIOUS BAD-ASS! The added bonus is that nothing else in the park is anywhere near as torturous and the rest of the workout is a piece of cake!
  • Even after walking over 14 miles, I am still faster than half the tourists on Fifth Avenue! Holy crap, those people walk SLOW! Amazingly, I did not mow anyone down, although I came close on more than one occasion.
My walk coach, Barb, was very helpful during my "meltdown moment" yesterday. The "staying in the park instead of going up Riverside to the Little Red Lighthouse" idea was a good one and it really worked out well for me. It went so well, that instead of my usual walk to the subway station at Fifth Avenue and West 59th, I walked all the way down to Fifth Avenue and West 42nd Street! Total miles on my pedometer at the end of it all was...

17.25 miles!!!

Another interesting by-product of all this is that "The Great Broccoli Mystery", which I originally wrote about here has been SOLVED!!! It grows on the trees in the area! No joke! If you look at the picture below, you can see round objects on the tree branches in the lower left, and upper middle sections. (They're a bit larger up close - about the size of a tennis ball.)

Those aren't nuts or apples or cherries. They are broccoli-like things that are look like the thing in the center of this picture:

Had we not been doing a reverse loop this morning, we might never have solved the mystery!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm Being a Wimp, Not a Bad-ass

I think I've probably hit the worst part of my training, at least mentally.

I am freaking out, in tears and panicking about doing a 16-17 mile walk tomorrow in the freezing cold. I don't think it's about the weather or the distance, though. I think it's more of a mental thing. I've e-mailed one of my coaches for suggestions. In the meanwhile, I'll write about it here so that at least I can get it out of my head and onto "paper".

I am scared to death about getting through tomorrow's long walk. We're supposed to walk up Riverside to the Little Red Lighthouse and back, and then some. It's supposed to be 26 degrees out at 8:00 AM, with a "real feel" of 9 degrees! After my 9/11 volunteering, and my more recent trip down the West Side Highway and back last week, I know it feels about 10 degrees colder along the water and it's usually really windy. But, at least walking down the West Side Highway is familiar. I know where things like clean restrooms are. I have no familiarity with walking up Riverside. I also know that, as a walker, chances are I'll be walking at least part of the way back alone. So, the thought of being in unfamiliar territory, in the freezing cold all by myself is kind of scary. I don't think the thought of doing it would bother me as much if the weather was warmer. The combination of the two, though, is more than a bit intimidating and overwhelming. We have the option of doing our miles in the park, which may be what I'll end up doing if no one else is going to be walking up Riverside and back with me.

The other thing that's overwhelming me a bit is the thought of then having to commute back home in the cold. I have a change of clothes packed, so I have something warm and dry to change into once I'm done, but I think I'm having flashbacks from last weekend, when I was wet and chilled to the bone and waiting for a bus in the rain. I didn't get really warm and dry for over 2 hours after the actual walk was over. I really don't want to go through that again. I think being chilled and cold on the trip home is worrying me more than being cold during the actual 16 mile walk, if that makes any sense.

Like I said, I'm being a wimp, not a bad-ass right now:-) I'll survive, I'm sure. Nothing I could possibly face in the Walt Disney World Marathon next month could ever be this bad weather-wise!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Made it Through the Rain...

Riverside 8:45am

Yesterday was a 15-miler from West 72nd Street in Central Park, down the West Side Highway to Chambers Street, across Chambers Street to the Brooklyn Bridge, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and then back. Everything was fine up until the return trip over the Brooklyn Bridge. That's when the rain started.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate walking in the rain? Especially so when it's only around 45 degrees out or less, along the windy West Side Highway with the rain blowing my face! We're not talking a sprinkle or a bit of drizzle, either! It was pouring! So much so, that I was soaked even with my hat, GoreTex jacket and "Emergency Rain Poncho" on! My pants were so wet that they started to stretch out at the bottom, and they were dragging along the pavement. Both pairs of socks were completely soaked through, as were my shoes. Amazingly, I was still more or less a happy camper as I trudged up the West Side Highway towards my pit stop goal of Christopher Street, which would be about the 10.5 mile mark. I felt like George Clooney in "The Perfect Storm". But, I made it to the wonderful restroom at Christopher Street, and decided to check my Blackberry while I was there. I had a voice mail from one of my coaches, who was walking down the West Side Highway, looking for me, in the hopes of meeting me to walk back with me.

We met up at 14th Street, and continued uptown until we hit West 34th Street, which was about the 13 mile mark. At that point, it had started to turn into pouring freezing rain, and my coach decided it was time to detour off the windy West Side Highway, and head over to Penn Station to take the C train the rest of the way to West 72nd Street. The walk to Penn Station was easily at least another quarter mile, and by the time we made it back to bag watch, changed into dry clothes and got to the subway at 68th and Lexington Avenue, walked from the bus stop to my apartment, etc. I figure I hit the 15 miles easily.

You can see some pictures of yesterday's training walk at Be sure to check out the one of me in my oh-so-fashionable "Emergency Rain Poncho"!

Aside from feeling like I wanted to go to bed at 7 o'clock, I felt pretty good once I got into warm, dry clothes and put my big fluffy robe on.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tonight Will Be Our Last Hill Workout - YAY!!!

Great news! Tonight will be our last hill workout in Central Park!!! We're going to be tackling Northern Hill tonight, but then the hills are DONE!!! WOOHOO!!!

Of course, our long walks are going to get even longer on the weekends to make up for that. This weekend, we're looking at 15 miles. YIKES! If past experience is any indication, this will mean about 4 hours of walking. I'm thinking I may need to switch my shoes, and have ordered a pair of New Balance 768 to try out this week. The ASICS are a bit heavy after 10-13 miles, and I may have a slight issue with the arch support in them on longer distances. But, other than that, they're fine. I can definitely use them for walks of 10 miles or under. Hopefully, the New Balance pair will arrive today, so I can try them out during tonight's training session.

On a related note, I've sent in my info to be a shoe tester for during December, and am waiting to hear back from them. Wish me luck, as this would give me a few new pairs of shoes to test-drive during my December miles!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Walked the Equivalent of a Half Marathon Today

With only one pit stop, no less!

I walked 13.15 miles in just about 3 hours and 20 minutes. Everything seemed to work well once I managed to kick inertia to the curb and leave the house. The hardest part was walking past my house at the 10.5 mile mark, to finish the last 2.6 miles. The funniest part must've been seeing me walk up and down my block about 5 times to finish the last .16 mile.

My clothes worked out fine. I had enough water bottles and Gu to keep me going, no chafing, and I had no blisters after walking over 13 miles. So, something I'm doing must be working really well on that end! The only thing that continues to be a minor issue is my one toenail, even with shoes a size larger than my street size and band-aids on it to protect it. It's nothing that hurts while I'm walking, and it doesn't really bother me to sacrifice a toenail or two to the cause, especially since it's neither gross nor painful. I just can't figure out why it still takes some damage even though I've got way more than enough room for it in the toe box.

On the fundraising front, I am DELIRIOUSLY happy to report that I received an extremely generous donation check that now puts me within less than $500.00 of my fundraising commitment. WOOHOO!!! We're talking a major miracle, here, and I am still in shock! I'm almost there!!! My aim is to meet my minimum commitment amount by November 30th, but I will be accepting donations up until the day of the marathon at Every dollar helps, and no donation is too small! One thing that has really amazed me is the generosity and support of complete strangers. It is truly miraculous!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What's Broccoli Got to Do With It?

Yesterday's training walk was a 12-miler... in the rain! Last week, I had a very rough time finishing 10 miles, so I wasn't too sure that I'd make it the full 12 miles. But, I did, and with energy to spare, surprisingly! (I promise I'll get to the the broccoli part eventually.) So, what was different this week from last week? What worked this time around? This is what I did differently:
  • Wore my "Emergency Rain Poncho" to keep dry. This had little or no effect on my actual walk, other than to make me a real fashion statement. Also, if you ever need to rely on an "Emergency Rain Poncho" in an actual weather emergency, by the time you got the thing opened and on, the storm would've passed six times over. Seriously, they're like trying to un-stick Saran Wrap. Do yourself a favor, and use a large trash bag or recycling bag instead. I've since bid on, and won, a GoreTex jacket on eBay.
  • Ate my whole wheat bagel with peanut butter about a half hour before walking. This worked! Last week, I ate my whole wheat Arnold Sandwich Thin with peanut butter before I left the house, which I guess was way too early. On previous walks, I'd get a bagel at the cart on my way out of the subway, and that has worked as well. So, now I know to have my bagel and coffee about a half hour before I walk.
  • Brought two different types of sports drink, one high in carbs and one high in potassium and with bit more sodium - both from PowerBar. This worked! I alternated between the two, and it seems to have worked out fine.
  • Brought a second whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and ate half after about 5 miles, and half after about 8 miles. This worked! I wasn't lightheaded after my walk at all, nor was my stomach growling. I think I need to have some sort of solid food in my belly after a while.
  • Walked at a slower pace. This worked, but I'm not sure I'm all that happy about it. I started off slower (still under a 16 minute mile) and didn't really push myself too hard to go faster. However, by the time we finished 12 miles, I still felt good enough to walk about another half mile to the subway station, and then walked another half mile from the bus to my mother's house afterwards. I did not feel like I wanted to die or kill my coaches. This is a good thing!
  • I walked with someone else. This really worked well for me mentally. It was nice to focus on a conversation, rather than how far I still had to walk. Plus, I got to learn a bit more about one of my team mates.
Now, I promised I'd get to where the broccoli fits in eventually. Maybe one of you can solve this mystery. For the past three Saturdays, right before we get to Harlem Hill in Central Park, there has been broccoli on the jogging path. There are no horses or anything in sight, just heads of broccoli, sometimes whole and sometimes squished all over the path. I haven't been able to find a reason for this. I've asked my coaches, and I've Googled "Central Park broccoli" to no avail. Does anyone know why there is always broccoli on the jogging path just past East 105th Street in Central Park? Enquiring mind wants to know!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Hills Are Alive

with the sound of grunting...

Last night we did a speed workout on... you guessed it... HILLS!!! Or hill I should say! We did repeats up and down the west side bridle path hill in Central Park. We focused on speeding up the hill hard, and then recovering down the hill easily. As a beginner, I was only supposed to do 4 sets. However, when you spend part of the morning and afternoon dissing your head coach via e-mail... well, you know what they say about payback:-) I ended up doing 5.

The real challenge though wasn't the uphill speed workout. It was dodging dung-filled landmines in the dark. Amazingly, I somehow managed to out-maneuver the manure and made it home with totally horse poop-free shoes.

We could have a real adventure during this weekend's training session weather-wise. Supposedly, we're due for a Nor'easter. It's one of our long walk days, too! As in 12 miles long! That could be real fun in the wind and rain, not to mention having to deal with weekend mass-transit in bad weather. My $10 says that there will be at least one delay due to a "signal problem" on the #7 line at either Willets Point or Hunters Point. The #7 train always has "signal problems" in bad weather. I swear, it must be the MTA's version of PMS!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Google Wave Invite for First 5 Donations of $20 or More

I have a supply of Google Wave invites available.

I am giving FIVE (5) of them away to the first five people to make a donation of $20 or more via my Team in Training web page at

You MUST be in the first five today to receive a Google Wave invite. I receive timestamped notifications of online donations, and will base the winners on these. First come, first served. I may hold another giveaway tomorrow, but it depends on how many I need for my personal use.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A very brief update...

Today we hit the DOUBLE-DIGITS! Official training walk today was 10 miles. I not only survived, I walked a bit extra thanks to losing my sense of direction entirely and starting of walking the wrong way on the last 4 mile loop:-) By the time I got home at 2:30pm, my pedometer read 14.01 miles!

On another note entirely, special thanks to my friend Mary Anne Gruen, of Starlight Blog who has given me two very nice awards for this blog, which I will eventually get around to putting up at some point this weekend - I PROMISE!

Also in the works - I will be adding a Twitter gadget so that my tweets and pictures from my training sessions, etc. will show up in the sidebar of this blog. I hope to get this done tonight.

On the fundraising front... I am past the halfway point!!! Any and all donations are still being very gratefully and cheerfully accepted at, which is a shortened web address for my Team In Training fundraising page. Seriously, every dollar helps! Those $5 donations really do add up! I'm halfway there, can you help me cross the finish line? Heck, if you want to give me $5 just to get me to shut up about my fundraising, that's cool too - I'll take it! :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why Training for a Marathon is a REALLY BIG Deal for Me

Aside from the obvious reason of raising funds for much-needed cancer research and patient support programs sponsored by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, that is.

Training for a marathon represents a HUGE symbol of my progress physically. On 9/11, I weighed just over 300 lbs. In October, 2006 I weighed roughly 289 lbs, and in April/May 2007, I was hospitalized for the first time in my life with cellulitis. After never spending a night in a hospital for over forty years, I was hospitalized twice in one month! I got cellulitis first in one leg, and then a few weeks later in the other. Real fun - NOT!

Long story short, I apparently got it due to severe cracks in both my heels, thanks to working in a job where I was on my feet for about five hours straight each day. I worked for an all-natural vitamin & nutritional supplement company (funny, huh?:-) and part of my job involved packing all of the previous day's orders and getting them ready for shipping. Another fun side effect of the job was severely cracked fingers and palms of both my hands. All of this was later diagnosed as eczema, but I felt like I had the plague. Some of you reading this will remember those fun days.

At any rate, thanks to a wonderful dermatologist, an equally wonderful podiatrist and getting fired via FedEx (another first) from the job at the nutritional supplement company due to my "recent and planned extended absences" (umm... I was sick and in the hospital - I was not out having the time of my life in Disney World), my hands and feet slowly began to heal. I have been completely "crack-free" for just over a year now.

Fast-forward to November 2007, when I walked into my first Weight Watchers meeting. I weighed in at 271 lbs. While I had done charity walks before, the possibility of me actually walking in a marathon never entered my mind. The end of this month will mark my 2-year anniversary with Weight Watchers, and I currently weigh in at 186 lbs - 85 lbs less than when I started, and about 120 lbs down from my heaviest weight.

Training for this marathon represents all of the progress I've made over the past 2 years. The fact that I can walk a 10K in under 2 hours and not need an oxygen tank or CPR afterwards feels pretty good. The fact that my feet can handle all this walking without having to deal with painful cracking and splitting is amazing. The fact that I can now walk a mile in under 15 minutes is pretty miraculous! (Hallelujah! She can WALK!:-)

So for me, in addition to the importance of raising much-needed funds, this marathon also represents a celebration of my new life, because I never would've been able to do I of this 2 years ago.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Map of Saturday's Training Walk

This is more or less a map of yesterday's training walk. It's not exact, but it's close enough to give everyone an idea of the torture our coaches put us through:-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

WOW! This was pretty AMAZING!

As one of the winners of a recent Team in Training fundraising contest, I received an exclusive invitation to tour the cancer research lab of Dr. Chen-Kiang, a recipient of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society funding. She is currently researching a new treatment for myeloma aimed at halting cancerous cell division to more effectively treat the cancer. If successful, these treatment methods could eventually be applied to many other types of cancer.

First of all, I have to admit that at first, I wasn't exactly sure just how interesting a lab tour would be. I thought it might be highly and possibly boringly over-scientific. Boy, was I wrong! First of all, they fed us! They had ordered these absolutely delicious organic sandwiches, bottled water, and best of all, coffee!!! (Thank you, Deidra!) Not only that, but at several points during her presentation, Dr. Chen-Kiang stopped and made us feel guilty about the number of sandwiches still on the trays, so we had to eat some more!

If there is one thing Dr. Chen-Kiang is not, it is boring! Her enthusiasm and the joy that she finds in her work was obvious. You could tell that she totally loves what she's doing by the way her face completely lit up as she told us about some of the important discoveries they've made in blood cancer research. This was second only to the way her face lit up when she talked about her daughter, who is currently attending medical school there. Her passion for her work is infectious. Far from being overly-technical, Dr. Chen-Kiang has an amazing gift of explaining very complex cancer research and biology to a room full of total non-scientists (seriously, we weren't even close!) To top it all off, she is funny! She has a great sense of humor, particularly when it comes to stereotypes about scientists being a bit like Dr. Frankenstein.

The lab tour was really incredible. We were able to see actual living myeloma cells that are being used to test various treatments, and to see the effects on cells that were treated. What I found really amazing, other than how well some of these treatments are doing what they're supposed to do, was how tiny cancer cells are. Under a microscope, they were about the size of the head of a pin. It's really hard to imagine how something so small can kill a person, but they do.

The research that Dr. Chen-Kiang is doing is aimed at a combination of targeting only the cancer cells, stopping their growth and cell division, and then killing them before they start another growth and division cycle. Dr. Chen-Kiang started working on this back in 1997, and they are on a very encouraging path. One of their treatments is now also being used successfully with breast cancer patients. So, the work her team is doing benefits not only those with leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, but with other types of cancer as well.

It is really amazing, and it definitely added something very concrete and very personal to my mission to raise funds for blood cancer research. This is where my fundraising dollars are going, to support the research of cancer biologists like Dr. Cheng-Kiang. To be able to see my fundraising dollars at work was really pretty incredible!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Joined The Human Race!!!

I finished my first 10K race!!!

On Sunday, 10/24, I was up at 4:30AM and out the door before 6AM to participate in the Nike+ Human Race in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

My official time was 1:40' 54" - not bad, considering I was walking and not running it. I came in 3,448th out of 3,464 - at least I wasn't LAST!!! Then a bunch of us from Team in Training went to Flipster's for some post-race food and libations. Flipster's makes some really good Bloody Marys and burgers!!!

At the finish line

This is what happens to slow-moving people:

(Not really, but it was rather funny seeing the bulldozer behind us at the starting line.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Coming This Saturday: My First "Real" Race as a "Grown-up"!

I picked up my race packet and shirt earlier tonight. So now, it's official. I've entered my first "real" race as a "grown-up". On Saturday, I will be participating in the Nike+ Human Race 10K.

I'm not going for any speed records, but it should be interesting to see how I do time-wise. I know I can walk 10K easily, since I completed the AIDS Walk back in May in about 2 1/2 hours, and that on streets and with stopping to take pictures of a bazillion things along the way. I've been averaging between 14.5-15 minutes per mile, so I figure I'll finish somewhere around the hour and a half mark, give or take a few.

This should be interesting...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Now THIS is Dangerous!

Do not give a geek Nike + gadgets. It is like giving crack to an addict! I will end up walking my "inner geek" to death just to play with the software!

I've not only had to go out and "test" how well it tracks my walk once, I went out for a second, longer walk. Then I spent the better part of an hour playing around with all the cool stuff on the Nike + web site, and created a Nike + Mini for my facebook page. I've also set some goals for myself on the Nike + site, and entered The Human Race 10K for next Saturday.

Now I want to go out and play with it some more!

I think my sister has created a monster...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

FREE House Cleaning for Women Undergoing Chemo

Cleaning for a Reason

If you know any woman currently undergoing chemo, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE house cleaning - 1 time per month for 4 months while she is in treatment.

All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

There May be Hope for Me Yet

Yesterday, we did a 6 mile walk. Through some sort of bizarre miracle, I managed to walk the first 4 miles in just under an hour, make a pit stop, and do the remaining 2 miles in just under a half hour. Afterwards, we had a very fun brunch, where we talked about everything from sex to serial killers. We're definitely a very interesting and entertaining bunch!

I walked to 86th and Lexington Avenue to catch the subway, and by the time I got home, I had logged over 9 miles on my pedometer. This was followed by some serious dancing at my high school reunion, which brought my total mileage up to 13.8 miles for the day. Not too shabby!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bootcamp Torture and Other Updates...

I've been a bit lax about updates lately, and for that, I apologize.

For starters - my big news is that at last Saturday's Group Training Session (aka GTS) I walked 4 miles in just under an hour. That's less than 15 minutes per mile! Go me!!!

Next up - I'm now up to $1,491.00 in donations!!! Thank you all for your generosity and support of my efforts!

At this past Wednesday's GTS, we had the pleasure of a bootcamp workout. Actually, it was more like a Group Torture Session than a Group Training Session, and I'm really surprised that I was able to move when I woke up on Thursday! If you want to get an idea of what Jasmine Graham put us through, have a look at her web site here:

Tomorrow, we're scheduled to do 5-6 miles in Central Park, which means by the time I get home, I'll probably have logged about 9 miles on my pedometer when all is said and done. We also have a team brunch after our training session, which I'm looking forward to.

On the fund raising front, I am hosting an online Tastefully Simple party. Now through the end of the month, you can order delicious Tastefully Simple foods for yourself or for holiday gifts and the consultant has generously offered to donate 20% of the total sales to my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training efforts! If you would like to be added to the invite list, please e-mail me with "TNT Tastefully Simple" in the subject line, and I'll send you an invitation with the link!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This is What I'm Getting Myself Into

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend|Endurance|Amateur Sports|Disney's Wide World of Sports
I'm going to be doing the full marathon. Be sure to click on the "Event Details" link.

Below is a link to the 2009 marathon map:
2009 Walt Disney World Marathon Course - PDF file link

If I'm reading this correctly, I will need to maintain at least a 16 minute per mile pace, which translates into 3.75 miles per hour, or 26.2 miles in just under 7 hours.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Map of My Walk Route Today

It includes my walk to/from the 59th & 5th Subway station.

You Are NOT Allowed to Laugh!

That's me, stretching after a 5 mile training walk in Central Park this morning, in what I refer to as my "Karate Kid" pose. I try to do this one near some sort of bench, fence or other steady object, as I have a tendency to start doing my Leaning Tower of Pisa impersonation, and one of these days, I'm gonna land right smack on my ass!

I'm wearing my new "Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!!" t-shirt. If you would like a supporter version of the shirt, or other items, you can find them in the "Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!!" store:

Doing really well with both the training and fund raising so far. I even won a pair of socks!!!

Today's training consisted of:
  • 1 - 4-mile loop up to around 104th Street and back to 72nd
  • 1 - 1 mile lower loop of the park, down to 59th Street and back
In addition to the training walk, I walked up to 72nd Street and back to/from the subway station, making a total of 7.54 miles by the time I got on the 7 train at Queensboro Plaza. By noon, I was up to 8 miles.

On the fund raising front, I came home to find two envelopes waiting for me - one with a check for $50 and one with a check for $100! Tonight, I'll be providing music during my local VFW Post's "Night at the Races" and will have my donation jar ready, along with some handouts and business cards to place on the tables before the event starts. I'm hoping that it's well-attended, and that I bring home at least $50.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today's Training Adventures

Tonight, we did two trips around the reservoir in Central Park for a total "official" training session mileage of 3.2 miles. By the time I got home tonight, my pedometer read 6.19 miles for the day. About 5 of those were from training, walking to/from training and the subway stairs,etc., because when I left my Weight Watchers meeting, my pedometer read somewhere around the 1.2 mile mark.

I also, apparently, have become popular with the insect world. I got chewed up by a mosquito who decided my lower leg was "the other white meat". Then a bit later, I walked through the same spider web twice! Across my face - ICK!

But, I averaged about a 16 minute mile, which is very encouraging!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Push-ups and Other Training Tortures

I just attempted 15 push-ups as part of my strength training routine. Good thing there wasn't a camera around, because that would've made some really funny YouTube video! I totally suck at push-ups! The last few were more like drag-my-butt-off-the-floor-ups. Really, it was that bad! Static lunges weren't too bad, and eventually I have to attempt some planks. Yippee!!!

But, on a very positive note, I received two checks in the mail today in response to the fund raising letters I mailed out last weekend. One was for a hundred dollars!!! WOOHOO!!! Go me!!! I also thought of a really cool company to approach for a corporate sponsorship, and have the letter all written and ready to go. If they go for it, it will be awesome!

So far, I have over $700.00 in combined pledges and donations, of which I've actually I collected just over $400.00!!! If this keeps up, I will be very happy and able to put the fundraising worry behind me, so I can focus more fully on actual training.

Monday, September 21, 2009

How Your Donations Help

In case you're wondering how the money you donate helps those facing blood cancers, here's an idea of where your donation money could go:
  • $25 could pay the taxi fare for a patient's ride home from the hospital after treatment
  • $50 could register one person to be a bone marrow donor
  • $75 could provide HLA (bone marrow) typing for a family member of a patient with leukemia
  • $100 could pay the cost of 4 patients' chemotherapy drug prescription co-pays
  • $300 could train 25 peer volunteers to provide emotional support to newly diagnosed patients
  • $1,000 could allow a patient to meet with health care specialists to design and discuss their disease and treatment plan
  • $3,000 could provide a patient with a one month supply of Gleevec (a life-saving drug, developed through LLS research funding, used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia)
Every dollar helps! No donation is too small! Please visit my Team in Training web page at to donate or find other ways you can help.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm Selling My Body

Well, not literally selling it. I'm accepting donations in return for putting your name, or your company's name on various parts of my anatomy during the marathon. An example of this can be seen here.

Be advised, though, that 2 areas of "prime real estate" have already been claimed. However, the front, sides and backs of my calves, arms, and possibly my thighs, are still available.

On another fund raising note, today I turned in 48 donation letters to be mailed. That leaves me at least 52 more to turn in to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society office for mailing. I found some really cute computer paper in the dollar store. One kind thatI bought has multi-colored polka dots at the top and bottom, and the other has multi-colored stars. I also picked up about $10 in donations after a local softball game that I went to after my training session.

Lastly, I set up a new online store through - Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!! - The Store!

Today's Training

Training session in Central Park-3.5 miles

Walk to/from bus & subway-2 miles.

Total walked as of 10:15am-5.5 miles!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, September 18, 2009

Not sure if this will work or not...

For some reason this isn't showing up in my sidebar, but it will show up in a post.

Get Adobe Flash player

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Bought Myself Some New Toys...

I knew I was going to need a much smaller fanny pack, so I bought a really nice one at Urban Athletics on Madison Avenue between East 91st and East 92nd Streets after practice last night. It's just big enough to hold my Blackberry, keys, MetroCard, money and ID. The people at Urban Athletics are very nice, and they were offering all Team in Training members a 15% discount this week!

It's not exactly the same one, but this will give you an idea.

My other new toy is a "used - like new" Silver 8GB iPod Nano 3rd Generation, that I got for a steal on It was originally listed as $75.00 plus shipping, but I had a CoinStar voucher for $16.22, which brought it down to a total of about 63 bucks, shipping included. Not bad! It cost me less than a brand-new iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation with less than half the storage space! It arrived in the mail today, and I love it! Next up is going to be a Nike + iPod Sport Kit to track my time, distance, pace and calories.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Today's Major Treadmill Victory

This morning I went to the gym and did 2 miles in 29 minutes and 45 seconds - that's less than 15 minutes a mile! That's with 2 short slow-down periods at 1.2 mph to wipe the sweat off my face and guzzle down some water.

This is the first time I've done 2 miles in less than a half hour! Go ME!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today's Notes

This is a test of e-mail blogging by phone.

Miles walked today: 2.70
Where walked: To Target and back

Fund raising efforts:
Printed out 30 copies of my revised fund raising letter and got 15 copies ready to be mailed.

Spoke with one of the cashiers I know from my local Walgreens to find out who I should talk to about a donation.

Made my first donation can, to use at next weekend's VFW softball game.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How You Can Help Me Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!!

Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!!
(Because that's what I'll probably be doing towards the end!)

I may need my head examined... I have signed up to walk in my very first marathon on January 10th in Walt Disney World to support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training. I'm committing to walking 26.2 miles in this event. In doing so, my goal is to raise $3,700 for LLS to help bring hope and at least some ease of mind to people facing blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma and myeloma.

This is, without a doubt, the biggest thing I've undertaken in my life so far. It's also one of the scariest - what if I fail??? I've never tried to raise this much money before in my whole entire LIFE! To say the prospect of doing so is a bit intimidating is an understatement! I'm more afraid of that than of the prospect of walking 26.2 miles!

If I fail, for starters, it means no marathon for me, but more importantly...

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is projected to fall a staggering $25 million short of their national budget this year. So what does that mean? That means that for some, the LLS co-pay fund that once helped cover the costs of medications and doctor visits is now depleted. That also means that research funding is being scaled back, slowing advancements in treatments and towards a cure.

Your donation can make such a huge difference. It funds research, assists patients with small reimbursements for treatment expenses, and most important- it brings hope to so many. Please donate what you can. I know the economy is tough on us all, but please think as big and dig as deep as you're able. Every dollar counts.

If you're not able to donate, there are loads of other ways you can help me make this happen. I've listed them below, and they're equally important and greatly appreciated.

Please visit my website to donate:
(And feel free to forward along to friends and family!)

To donate by check, you can make checks payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and mail them to me at the following address:
Carol Martzinek
Courtroom Connect
75 Maiden Lane - Suite 804
New York, NY 10038

Some other ways you can help me Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!!:
  • If you have a facebook page, please share the following link on your profile every week or so: and encourage your friends to donate and share it as well.
  • If you have a blog or website, if you could post a link to my Team in Training website with a small blurb like the one below, it will help tremendously:
Crawl, Carol, CRAWL!!! - Please support Carol as she trains to walk in her first marathon to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.
  • If you know of anyone who would be interested buying an arm or a leg, and having their company name prominently displayed in multi-colored Sharpie ink, please have them contact me at mscarolm@
  • If you know of any local media that might be interested in including a short story about this, please let me know and I will e-mail them.
Thanks for taking the time to read and for anything you can do to help me
Carol, CRAWL!!!

Today is Kick-off Day

Or should I say, today was kick-off day. What a great experience! While I'm still a bit nervous about the fundraising part, I'm feeling more comfortable about my ability to eventually walk a full marathon.

Today, we met our mentors, coaches, honored team members (who are a very inspiring group), including one woman who was just diagnosed, came to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on Wednesday, I think, and said she now feels a lot less alone and like she's found a "home".

The meeting was followed by a quick group training session, or GTS as it's referred to. I felt really good about being in the front end of the walking group. It lasted about a half hour, and it was roughly 2 miles . I should start keeping better track of this stuff on my pedometer. I do know that, when I got off the subway in Manhattan, my pedometer read .72 miles, and when we got back to the 92nd Street Y, it was up to 3.65 miles. Now, after I've returned home and run to the store twice, it's up to a total of 5.38 miles as of 5:20pm ET. Not bad!