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December Decisions

Monday, December 01, 2008

Yep, It's another first day of another month.
But not just ANY month, the last month of 2008!
That should account for something....the last chance to be great in 2008!
Decisions, resolving, and what ever other word to use to bring me to grips to not let health issues slide.

Being allowed to go off my high blood pressure medicine has added about 5 pounds to me in a short amount of time. Most likely water from the diuretic type medication I was on. My marathon completed has left me for the moment with out a goal race in front of me to work for.

Time to change these things. Time to decide that December will go out with a bang! I have decided to find a half marathon in the early part of next year to work for...to also keep better track of my food intake and how I can continue to make it even healthier.

I've also let some responsibilities slip and thus have two major projects I have set a goal to complete in December. Course work and CHAS renewal paperwork. One is job specific and the other will allow me to focus in January on the new course work that will be awaiting me.

I feel a bit stronger with these written down and even more focused. These goals are medium range and how I will achieve them is in the day to day. It is in those moments of looking at what lies ahead of me and picking that which will get me to my goals. It is MY decision to be whatever I want and to do what I want from day to day. Here's to making healthy decisions!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUFFEDSTUFF 12/2/2008 11:51PM

  Keep making the right decisions for you emoticon

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Take your pick from any of these definitions:1. To be separated into its component parts or distinct principles; to undergo resolution.

2. To melt; to dissolve; to become fluid. "When the blood stagnates in any part, it first coagulates, then resolves, and turns alkaline." (Arbuthhnot)

3. To be settled in opinion; to be convinced. "Let men resolve of that as they please." (Locke)

4. To form a purpose; to make a decision; especially, to determine after reflection; as, to resolve on a better course of life.

Synonym: To determine, decide, conclude, purpose.

I know that around this time of year many thoughts go to starting anew and setting goals and working towards them. Some of these decisions are made without much thought just a "I'm gonna....or I'm NOT going to...

When I look over these definitions I like number 2, and the visual of becoming fluid, of melting, dissolve. Something about that is soothing, relaxing, of letting go of the effort. This thought is what I am putting forth for myself.

I will melt, dissolve, flow with life. I will make it more simple, and keep it that way. Not get hung up on all the details. Simplify. Are these early resolutions? Nope, just me making a decision! (see def 4)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLWILSON2102 11/29/2008 10:53PM

    Oh Mary!! I like it, but I would lean towards #4 for me. To form a purpose, since I have been kind of floating for a while and it shows!! Thanks for the post!!

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What Does It Take?...NYC Marathon Memories

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What does it take?....
That’s the question that is emblazoned across my NYC Marathon finishing shirt; a question to take seriously and delve deeply into when considering running a marathon, or even perhaps any endeavour, for there IS a price that is paid for whatever we do.
The price I was willing to pay, physically, to run another marathon was months of training and hours upon hours of time. Mentally it was pulling out from deep within my being the belief that once again I would do my very best, no matter what the circumstances were, knowing that there would be difficulties, pain and well known fatigue during the race. Emotionally knowing that my nerves would be wringing my insides round and round and leaving them in tangled knotted mess. But all that is paled by the Greta Weitz embossed image on the medal placed around my neck after I crossed over the finish line in Central Park on 2 November 2008.
My legs had not just carried me through the 5 Boroughs of NYC, but through the cold pre dawn walk in Manhattan to the Public Library for the start of my 4am bus ride and subsequent 6 hour wait in Staten Island where I shivered with my husband awaiting his start time and then over to my start area and another cold wait for my 10:20 departure.
My heart soared as it was my time to cross over the mats on the upper level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. A bridge I detested crossing when driving a car, due to my fear of the height and length, but smiled all the away across in awe at the magnificent view of the River below and Manhattan in the distance. I could even make out the smaller islands of Ellis, Governors, and the Statue Of Liberty. The amazing monstrous bridge arches were like giant croquet hoops suspended atop a ribbon of concrete, and I just one of the players in the game taking my turn at passing through them.
Periodically I would compare my watch time on my left wrist to the split race band on my right. The miles of Brooklyn were streaming passed to the sounds of assorted bands, cheering spectators and the “one more mile completed” mantra in my mind. Approaching the Pulaski Bridge and Queens I caught sight of a fellow club runner and shared encouraging words and with her kudos ringing in my ears I pressed on through the half way mark.
I had my camelbak strapped to my back and replenshined my dehydrated state throughout the race with sport drink, however this wasn’t enough to ward off the horrific Right Quadriceps cramp I experienced while attempting to stretch out my legs on the Queens borough bridge at mile post 16.5. This proved to be my undoing as a personal best time had looked very promising until this point. Now I was reduced to intermittent tinges of my muscle and sought medical assistance in the form of salt washed down with water at each Medic Tent I passed.
I was on First Avenue in Manhattan, mile 17 was behind me and I only had a little more than 9 miles left. I was feeling the fatigue, the sore muscles were reminding me of how far I had run, and my mental determination was urging me onward towards the Willis Avenue Bridge and the short run through the Bronx. A welcome committee consisting of a drum band and a woman cheering “Welcome to the BRONX!” brought a tired nod of my head and a realization that a mere 10K was all that separated me from the finish line.
Leaving the Bronx with a renewed sense of resolve and grit I crossed over the Madison Avenue Bridge and returned to Manhattan along 5th Avenue. The slight incline and mile 22 had me counting the remaining miles on one hand; Just FOUR more and change. My eyes now began to search the crowds for family that had told me they would be cheering me on at some point along this side of the Park. It felt better to keep running than interspaced running with walking. I pushed on and when the course became tree lined I knew I was within Central Park and the 23 mile sign suspended above the road was another welcome banner urging me onward.
The electronic mats I had been crossing over throughout the miles had allowed my family to know my progress. My son in Illinois knew how I had tired and realized that something had happened to cause my sub 12 min per mile pace to slip to over 13 min. My daughter was receiving updates on her mobile phone letting her know of my approximate time as I neared her vantage point. My brother and his family waited eagerly for me at the 26 mile point to give me that final push onward to the finish line. My husband, with his race now completed, awaiting me to finish mine so we could exchange our Marathon Stories. The thoughts of these people, and the thousands others I would never know out there cheering me on had a dramatic effect as I approached the 25 mile banner and the familiar area my husband and I had walked through the day before.
The turn from the park onto Central Park South brought back the memories from the previous morning and the International Friendship Run. I had joined the thousands of runners from around the world at the UN to run in harmony through the streets of Manhattan to the finish line. Here I was repeating that last mile a day later with an inner drive taking each step forward. I then saw myself on the big screen just outside the re-entrance to the park at Columbus Circle. I heard my name being called not realizing that one of those voices was my oldest child, my daughter and her friend who were watching me run for the first time. Less than a half a mile! I’m in the home stretch I mentally told myself. I pushed onward until I heard my name again and looked to my right.
There along the tree lined course was my younger brother, his wife and their three teenaged daughters who had come from Delaware for this moment! I was ecstatic and waved my arms and ran over to them, embracing each one. With a quick glance at my watch and a shout that there was a medal waiting for me, I left them for the final sprint up the last rise to the awaiting finish gates. My brother was cheering me on as he too ran along with me on the outside of the course.
My eyes were fixed on the chosen gate and with outstretched arms I completed my fifth marathon. With an exhausted smile I accepted the medal and the congratulations that were placed around my neck. Emotion filled my soul as I stood for a “finisher picture” first from the medal presenter and then from the official photographer. I collected a foil “heat blanket” and wrapped it around my now chilling body and a food bag that I knew at some point I would enjoy.
It was a walk to the UPS truck that had my kit bag and I took each step gingerly as every muscle in my tired body was reminding me what I had just accomplished. Seeking to eliminate some of the cold, I attempted to put on my warm up pants. Bad move!! My Right quadriceps seized up and I was instantly frozen in pain. Thankfully a medic was standing nearby and came to my assistance with more salt and water. He escorted me to a warm tent where I received a muscle massage and downed my recovery drink. When they were satisfied that I was able to move again, and after phone calls with my husband, daughter and brother I made my way out of the park and to the waiting area to find those who meant so much to me.
Finding first my brother and his family, and then my daughter brought cheers, hugs, elation, admiration and stories as we walked through the early evening sunset. We could see runners still making their final approach through the last .2 mile of Central Park. My husband would meet me at the hotel as he too had suffered cramping at 16 miles and needed to rest.
The reunion at the hotel with my husband allowed me to hear his journey of the Five NYC Boroughs and relax with those who were there to watch us. With the picture taking, medic stops I still managed to finish under 6 hours; 5:59:42. My husband still accomplished another Boston Qualifying time of 3:35:51. Neither one of us did a personal best in NYC but our experience will remain etched in our memoires none the less.
So, what does it take to run a marathon? My NYC Marathon shirt answers that with three simply put words….Heart Pounding Dedication. Yep, I totally agree!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISSYMAC 11/26/2008 6:22AM

    Mary!! Thank you so much for sharing this!!! As I have told you countless times, you are an amazing, INSPIRING LADY!!!! I actually tuned in to the Marathon for an hour or so cheering one of my favorite sparkfriends!!! Sorry it took me so long to post, I looked it the following week after the marathon, and my computer time the last couple weeks has been very limited! I'm so proud of you, Mary!!!
PS the best of birthday wishes to you TODAY!!!!

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ONEFITLADY 11/24/2008 5:38PM

    What an amazing story - brought back memories of my one and only marathon experience. I loved feeling like I was right there with you!

Here's a little laugh for you - I was nearing the canyon portion of my run (last 18 miles) and there was a paramedic helping to give oxygen to another runner. The paramedic took one look at me and said, "I can give you a ride too"! I looked straight at him and told him I was going to finish that race on my own power! I sped up a little (I too was cramping) and I had to walk/run, but I made it to the end of the run!

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KRISTIN614 11/18/2008 6:43PM

    Wow. I am moved by your experience! It is so amazing and encouraging to know that you can go from one place to such a different place, that life is what you make it and change is possible. Kristin

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JILLWILSON2102 11/18/2008 9:42AM

    So so wonderful Mary. I shed a few tears reading this. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your dedication every day to this team. Jill

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SANDYC17 11/17/2008 11:00AM

Once again, Team Sassy is very proud of you and your accomplishment. You are a true warrior!!! I loved your Blog - it allowed us to be with you on this journey. Thanks!

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ELFITZPA 11/15/2008 8:46PM

    Congratulations!! NYC is one of those races that everyone has to do in order to understand it. It's not really a PR course between the bridges and the crowds, but it is incredible nonetheless. Enjoy your finish and revel in it as long as you can!!

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CEEBEE200 11/15/2008 11:23AM

    Congratulations, Mary - what incredible persistence and valiance you showed during your run! Your write-up gives a real flavour of what an epic day you had. I hope your right quad has been getting a bit better since the big day, and that your medal has taken pride of place in your home!! Very well done!!!
- ceebee

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TLB513 11/15/2008 8:18AM

    Now THIS is the blog we've all been waiting for!!! Congratulations, Mary, for another marathon completed. The visual was incredible...and, literally, brought a tear to my eye!

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Just one hand...in your hand...run with me

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Five days! A fistful of fingers! OH my how my stomach churns.
Bags are being packed, final preparations are being done, five miles to run today, four tomorrow.....

My mind is a list, a mental checking off of what I have to do to be ready for Thursday morning.. for Saturday night, for Sunday at 10:20ET. It all awaits. WIll I be ready, will my nerves hold tight?

Ramblings of my mind, rumblings of my stomach. Thoughts sprinting through as I prepare what I need to do each day, each hour.

I write, I ponder, I wonder. I dream. I plan! Yes, I plan! That is what I have been doing for days, weeks, months, and even years. I am getting ready. I WILL be ready!!

Each of you will be with me. My wonderful teams, those who know what it takes to run a long distance, those who can't even imagine what is involved. Those who will be preparing for this type of event, those who utter a prayer/cheer of support.

All of these are my cheerleaders. All are carried along with my warrior spirit, my road awaits. Your thoughts, prayers, well wishes, are felt on my shoes, my shoulders, my number on my vest 44971, I hear your voices echoed in the throngs that will be NYC.

I write now, before the hectic pace of the rest of the week envelope... Run with me in spirit, in unity, in like mind, run with me in determination, in fatigue, in passion, run with me for those things you too dream and work hard to accomplish..run with me in celebration of life, of all we are given and all we work hard for......... thank you for all that you are. My hand is held by your hand and together...we RUN!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUFFEDSTUFF 10/30/2008 10:07AM

  My prayers will surround you, run Mary run, you are not alone emoticon

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TFISH5065 10/29/2008 3:22PM

    I will be thinking of you on race day. emoticon

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KRISSYMAC 10/29/2008 12:32PM

    We will be there with you in spirit, Mary!!!! You go girl!!!!! (((hugs)))

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SANDYC17 10/29/2008 8:38AM

    Team Sassy will be there running with you!!

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ELFITZPA 10/28/2008 10:46AM

    Good luck! You're going to have an excellent time!! I'll be there on the sidelines to cheer on a few friends, so just know in the mass of spectators, there's one more person cheering just for YOU!

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JILLWILSON2102 10/28/2008 9:28AM

    Mary you take my breath away with your thoughts. Have a wonderful day and just keep it simple!!

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    As long as we can CRY as we RUN...I LOVE YOU MARY!!!!



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Just 4 training runs away

Monday, October 27, 2008

I've broken this week down to just that.... four training runs left! Three will be here along some of my favourite short routes and one will be over 3,000 miles away from the UN to Central Park.

Breaking larger units down to smaller pieces helps me to progress towards something I am waiting to accomplish. It makes the larger picture not seem soooooooooooo looming!

The daunting tasks of running a marathon, is much easier accomplished a day at a time...or a run at a time, or anyway it works to break the unit apart.

Life is like that....the big picture can be way too much to handle, to awesome a sight. But a snapshot size unit makes it more do-able.

I'm very excited about running NYC in 6 days and there is a lot I have on my to-do list. I am doing my best to NOT get overwhelmed with all of it. That is where lists come in.. so helpful to me. I can cross off that which I have done and move on to that which is waiting.
So now, time to cross off another to do item.... time for that training run!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Ohhhhhhhhhhh Mary I can totally relate...well not totally but pretty close!!! LOL!!! I posted last week that I only had 44 more training runs before my next 1/2 !!! LOL!!!

Mary I am soooo excited for you!!!

Jackie!!! emoticon

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JILLWILSON2102 10/27/2008 2:15PM

    Go Mary. One step at a time gets you the finish line!! Jill

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