Sunday, December 29, 2013

Somebody Up There Likes Me!

This weekend, we did a 5 mile training walk/run from Astoria Park to Roosevelt Island and back. In my case, there was no "and back", since I caught the subway back to Forest Hills for my Weight Watchers meeting, instead of walking back to Astoria Park.

Somebody up there really likes me, that's all I can say. The "Zombie Staircase" restroom was unlocked when we got there, which was perfect timing, since I was trying to figure out how I was going to make it halfway around the island to the tram restroom. We also had free pasta samples courtesy of one of the farmers market vendors, and my train was there within less than a minute of getting to the subway station. Somehow, by some miracle, I only gained .4 lbs over the holiday week. Like I said, somebody up there really likes me!

Please consider making a donation in support of my efforts on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at 
Thank you.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Training Gets Off to a Festive Start...

Jingle Bell Jog with my TNT Team Queens folk yesterday morning in Astoria Park. After a few weeks of not being able to do much more than a mile due to some respiratory issues, I managed to do two full loops around the park, and then some, for a total of  5K in the morning, and almost 6 miles by the end of the day.

Watch out world, I am BACK in ACTION!!! (And looking mighty festive, too, if I do say so myself:-)

If you would like to make a tax-deductible year-end contribution to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in support of my efforts, you may do so here:

Thank you!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Enter for a Chance to Win This Candy Holiday Wreath

Make a $5.00 donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on my behalf, and get an entry for a chance to win this candy holiday wreath! 

Each $5.00 donation will get you 1 entry, or make a donation of $25.00 and get 6. 

The details: Make a donation of $5.00 or more at 
between now and Friday, December 6th, and your name will automatically be entered. 

Donate $10.00, get 2 entries. Donate $15.00, get 3 entries, etc., or donate $25.00 and get 6 entries. 

When making your donation, you must provide your full name, shipping address and e-mail address in order to be eligible. 

Drawing will be on Saturday, December 7th, and the wreath will be shipped to the winner by USPS Priority Mail no later than Tuesday, December 10th. 

All candies are edible. (Trust me, I know. I sampled them all!:-)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm BACK!!!

After a much-needed rest from long distance race walking, I'm BACK with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's NYC Chapter of Team in Training!!!

This year, my goal is to raise at least $1,700.00 and race-walk the New York City Half Marathon. Who knows??? I may even attempt to run-walk the 13.1 miles. If you would like to make a donation in support of my efforts, you may do so at:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Making Strides of Central Park, NYC

Why I am Making Strides
Last year, I had a bit of a scare. I went for a mammogram, and got a call from my doctor that my results were abnormal, and that a second mammogram was needed. I scheduled my appointment, and began the nerve-wracking experience of worrying and waiting. The day of the second mammogram came, and after the films were taken, I was led into the ultrasound room for addtional imaging. To say I was scared would have been an understatement. Fortunately, the radiologist was able to determine that the nodule was not cancerous. However, it was deep, and hard to determine what it was. A biopsy followed. The results came in - it was a fibroid. I heaved a huge sigh of relief. My lump was not cancerous.
I was lucky. Many women are not. I don't know how I would've handled it had my lump turned out to be breast cancer. This is why I am Making Strides. I know I will make a difference in the fight to end breast cancer. I know that by raising funds and walking in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event, I will help save lives from breast cancer. 
I believe that one day breast cancer will never steal another year from anyone's life. Making Strides is not only my opportunity to join my community to fight back against breast cancer, but it is also a way to inspire hope by raising funds and awareness to help those facing the disease. That's why I'm walking.

Who I am Making Strides For
My reason for walking in the Making Strides event is personal, just like every other walker's story. We all walk because we've been affected by breast cancer in some way, and because the Making Strides event gives us the power to make a difference and fight back. This is my opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors, remember people we have lost, and help raise funds for groundbreaking research, information and services for people fighting breast cancer, and mammograms for women who need them.

Why I Support the American Cancer Society
Every day, the American Cancer Society helps people take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer or find it early when it is easiest to treat. Today 1 of every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to them for help and support. They provide free information and services when and where women need it throughout their journey to get well. They are investing in groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat, and cure breast cancer, and are working to ensure access to mammograms for women who need them. 
I have signed up to walk and fundraise with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. I hope you will consider joining my team and/or making a donation in support of my efforts
Together, we can make strides to end breast cancer!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Next Up on My Charity Walk/Race Calendar...

Looks like my charity walk/race calendar is starting to fill up for end of summer/ early fall!

Somewhere between August 17th-August 23, I'll be participating in something new that looks interesting. It's The Hangover Run 5K/10K/Half Marathon, and I've wisely opted for the 10K option. The event is organized by an organization called Will Run for Bling and Charity. Will Run for Bling is a virtual race company that provides runners and walkers with opportunities to participate virtual races with different themes. The races can be done at any location, at any speed. They benefit various charities, and you get BLING!!! The theme for August's race is the movie "The Hangover", and it will benefit the Lupus Foundation of America. The medal looks like this:

On Saturday, September 7th, I will be walking with some of my fellow NYC Team in Training friends in the 5th Annual T.E.A.L. Walk/Run. T.E.A.L. stands for "Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer". I'm signed up for the 5K Run option, and I'm using the term "run" very loosely. However, I've started using a Couch to 5K (C25K) app on my phone, so who knows? I may actually run this one.

On Sunday, October 20th, I will be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Central Park. This one is 5 miles, and I'll be doing it with some of my Abby Normal Paranormal friends. If you would like to make a donation to support breast cancer research and patient programs, you may do so here:

On or around the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, I will be participating in CareRunners Race to Remember Sandy Virtual 5K/10K/Half Marathon. I am signed up for the Half Marathon option, because if you sign up for it and do the run/walk - you get BLING!!! (And we all know, I'm ALL about the BLING.) I think a few of us are planning to get together and do this as a group in Central Park, but the details haven't been confirmed yet.

While I'm not yet registered for it, I also plan on signing up for one of my favorite annual races, the Race to Deliver, which benefits God's Love We Deliver, the tri-state area's leading provider of nutritious, individually-tailored meals to people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. This will be my third year doing this race. The first time I did it, was part of Team Sister Act, and was dressed in a nun's habit as Sister Mary Incognito. I've been coming back ever since!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Charity Walks, Fun Runs & Half Marathons - OH, MY!!!

Looks like I'm going to be pretty active in the next few months!

First up, this Sunday, I will be walking in Walk Now for Autism Speaks. As some of you know, my nephew Jonathan has autism. This will be his first walkathon, and I'll be walking with him at Citi Field, along with my sister, brother-in-law, my niece and some of her friends. If you would like to make a donation to support our team, Jonathan's Bunch, you may do so at:

Next up, on Sunday, July 21st, I've registered for the NYRR Queens 10K in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I've come to learn that 10K is a really good distance for me, and hopefully the weather will be a lot nicer than it was for the March Disco Half Marathon.

Then, on Saturday, July 27th, I'm signed up for a 5K that REALLY looks like FUN!!! It's the LivingSocial's Glow-in-the-Dark 5K Dance Party at Citi Field. It's a nighttime event, and like the two previous events above, it's really close to home. If this sounds like it might be up your alley, you can find out more info, and sign up here:
You have until July to take advantage of the special deal on registration.

Finally, on or around the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, I will be participating in CareRunners Race to Remember Sandy Virtual 5K/10K/Half Marathon. I signed up for the Half Marathon option, because if you sign up for it and do the run/walk - you get BLING!!! (Let's face it - we all like a little race BLING for our efforts.) Since it's a virtual event, there's no time limit - you can take ALL DAY to finish (not that I plan to).

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tragic Car Accident - Please Help the Malave Family if You Can

Please help if you can. Carlos Malave is one of my regular FedEx delivery men. He is a really nice, friendly guy. What has happened to him and his family is truly sad. They lost their 11 year old son in a head-on collision while returning from vacation in Florida last Sunday. The rest of the family is still in the hospital. Any amount you can spare will help this family with their medical bills and funeral costs. No amount is too small. Thank you.
Cristian died in a head-on crash in Alachua County about 6:20 a.m. March 30, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. His parents, Carlos, 42, and Hilda, 42, and sisters Melissa, 19, and Aly, 14, suffered serious injuries. 
The Malaves’ car was struck head-on by Virginia Pagel, who was traveling the wrong way on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Cristian was pronounced dead, while his family was sent to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, where all four of them have undergone several surgeries and remain hospitalized.

Read more:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My First-Ever Tattoo: From Promise to Reality

Back in March, I had promised that if I made my Team in Training fundraising goal for the NJ Long Branch Half Marathon, I would get my first-ever tattoo - a smaller version of this taco tattoo - by the end of the year. Well, I was about a month behind schedule, but on Sunday, January 27, 2013, I made good on that promise. It's still healing, but this is what it looks like 2 1/2 weeks later. It doesn't hurt, it just eventually needs to peel on its own, kind of like a sunburn.

(Click the picture to enlarge.)

The idea for a taco tattoo as a symbol for me to remember why I do my marathons and half marathons and who I do them for came about largely in memory of my friend Patty who lost her battle with cancer almost two years ago, and her love of Taco Tuesdays. Those of you who are friends with me on facebook know that I was already posting a weekly "Happy Taco Tuesday" status message in memory of Patty. The tattoo idea came about a bit later, and I just knew that a taco tattoo above my left ankle was the way to go. Now, whenever I look at it, I remember my friends who have kicked cancer to the curb, those currently fighting their battles, and those who have lost theirs. I have a feeling that the resultant innuendos are their gift back to me.

As some of you know, this was not a decision I made lightly. I had been thinking of doing this for a while, and wanted to make sure it was done right. My worst fear was that my tattoo would come out looking nothing like what I had in mind, or worse yet, that it would come out looking awful. So, when my finances finally allowed, I took my time, read reviews of several tattoo shops here in Queens, NYC, and finally decided on True Blue Tattoo in Middle Village, Queens. Why did I go to a tattoo shop halfway across Queens, when there were several closer shops in my immediate area? I don't know. Something about it just felt right, and I've learned to trust that feeling. I'm very glad I did. My tattoo artist was Louis Andrew, and I could not possibly have asked for a better fit both in terms of what I wanted to have done, and personality. I could tell right away that Louis truly loves what he does, and his portfolio is really amazing. I can't say enough great things about both the shop and Louis. I don't think I could have possibly had a better first-time tattoo experience.

For those wondering about the pain. I don't know if it was the spot on my ankle that I chose for the tattoo, or Louis, but it wasn't bad. I watched the whole thing as he was doing it, and the hardest part was staying still. There were a few spots where I really felt it, but even that wasn't overly painful. I didn't scream, cry or curse - not even once.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What Could be a Better Race for a Dance Walker...

than the Allstate 13.1 Disco Half Marathon practically right in my own back yard???

Yup, that's right. I've signed up for another 13.1 mile ordeal. One of these days, I may learn my lesson.

Actually, the timing on this is perfect. It comes at a time when I'm really working on getting back on track Weight Watchers-wise, and making a commitment to getting back to walking and going to the gym more regularly. Signing up for the Disco Half at the end of March will help by giving me a purpose and a definite goal to work towards. Since this will be my first half marathon since the Super Hero Half last May, my goals for this race are simple:
  • Finish within the 3:30 time limit and get the medal
  • Have FUN with it
  • Ideally, run/walk using a 1 minute run/2 minute walk interval throughout the entire 13.1 miles
  • Have FUN with it
  • Pay more attention to strength training this time around
  • Did I mention "Have FUN with it"???
  • Get the medal :-)
I have some very definite advantages going into this. First of all, I'm very familiar with Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, site of the 1964/1965 World's Fair, as you can see from this picture:

(That's me and my twin sister in the stroller, getting ready to become dinosaur dinner.)

I live within five miles of the park, and I can get in some training miles on the actual race course on the weekends. I've done a few other races in the park, so I have a pretty good idea of what it's like to run/walk it. It's also one of the flattest race courses I've raced on. There's basically one hill, and that's a ramp to an overpass. I've already done a third of the race course back in November, when I did the FDNY Turkey Trot, and that was probably the worst third of it. So, there's no really good reason why I can't do this one.

It sure seems like a good idea...