Friday, February 27, 2009

Resisting the McNugget

I had a hair appointment last night right after work. It was badly needed; lately I’d been looking a bit like a homeless lady with rats nesting in my hair. (No offense to all of you homeless ladies with internet access.) Anyway, after my appointment, I was STARVING. It was past 8pm, after all. I was scheduled to run 3 miles but I thought, What harm could skipping one run do? No one could blame me for taking the night off. And no one could blame me for going to the drive-thru at McDonald’s for some delicious NUGS and fries. In fact, it would be madness NOT to do that!

So I got in my car and assumed drive-thru position (debit card already out of my wallet). But then the guilt started. Sure, you can probably run the 5 miles on Saturday without running tonight, but what if you can’t? What if running tonight makes a big difference? And really, you can’t go for a run because you’re too hungry? Maybe you’ve forgotten the whole reason you’re doing this crazy Marathon training thing, but it’s for cancer patients. CANCER PATIENTS! You’re going to turn your back on them for some Chicken McNuggets!?!?

AAAHH! OK, fine! I’ll run, I’ll run!

So I drove right past those golden arches and headed out for a run as soon as I got home, and I’m glad I did. It was much warmer out than it had been in a while, which made a lot of difference. Besides not feeling like I’m being constantly stabbed in the face by the biting wind, it was just easier to breathe and move. It was a nice run.

And after running, I was surprisingly not all that hungry, for once in my life! I ended up just having some hummus and corn chips for dinner. It may not have been the most balanced meal, but I think it was probably better for me than McDonald’s. Probably.

So the moral of the story is: Training for a cause (other than just getting in shape or whatever) really DOES get you motivated when you really, really, REALLY just want to pig out and watch TV!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let's Catch up! (Not Ketchup)

Oops, I took a couple of days off from writing. I know you’ll give me a break though, because between work and training and writing TNT letters (OK, fine, and still watching my shows), I haven’t had a whole lot of free time.

I have been meaning to update to give a re-cap of Dinkstock! It was a smashing success. Danielle said she had so much fun, and I know I did. I won a bottle o’ nice wine in a raffle and some Sox tickets in the silent auction! I saw a lot of friends and met some cool new people, and got to see Danielle’s band, Soccermom, perform (they rock). There was a great turn-out, lots of great music, and, most importantly, tons of money was raised for our beloved Miss D. YEE-HAW!!!

On Sunday I went to ice-skating lessons and two new students started, so the instructor started over from the beginning! This is the second time I’ve had to start over because of new students and I had to spend the whole class reviewing what I already knew. I’ll spare you the details of how irritated I was and how I called the skating school; suffice it to say that heads are gonna roll if I don’t get my money’s worth!

Yesterday (Monday) I tried to wake up with Chris at 5:00am to go for a run…. OK, I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing….

All set? So anyway, that, of course, didn’t pan out, so I got home from work last nigiht and bundled up, put on my reflective thingy (see picture below), and headed out. I think the actual temperature was in the 20’s, but with the wind chill, it felt like -4,000. The worst part of the run was the short time I was running on Quincy Shore Drive. If you aren’t familiar with Quincy, this is the street that runs alongside Wollaston Beach. I love, love, love living so close to Wolly Beach and being able to run there in nice weather. But the wind off of it in the winter can just be brutal. It was a short run though (2 miles) and I made it without quite turning into a giant popsicle. This run was special because it was the first time in almost four years of living in my apartment that I strayed from one of my usual routes. My shortest “usual route” prior to this was 2.8, and when Chris figured out this shorter route, I gave myself a break and decided to run just the 2 I was scheduled to run.

If it’s as windy tonight for my 3-mile rune, I’ll be doing it on the treadmill. Believe you me!

Reflective Thingy

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Second Group Run

This morning when Chris tried to wake me up, I sleepily asked "Are you taking a shower?"  He laughed at me, knowing I had no idea what day it was or what was going on.  I finally figured it out, and got my rear end out of bed for group run #2!  

It was sunny and brisk at 8:00am this morning, not quite as cold at last week.  Chris and I were to run 4 miles.  The people running the San Diego Marathon ran 5 miles, but Chris and I were not feeling as energetic as we were last week, so we stuck to our scheduled mileage today.   I also don't want to increase my weekly mileage too quickly, because I really want to avoid injury!   So, we did the same out-and-back route that we did last week, which was to start at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, run down Cushing St. to Pioneer St., and turn around.  I think I ran a bit faster than I did last week, which was good.  I have no idea what my pace was though.  I'll have to start tracking that, eventually.

After the run, Kristen led us in a 7-minute ab workout.  It was pretty brutal, and I know we'll all be feeling it tomorrow!   I know that strengthening the core muscles is important for running, and I previously thought I was doing a pretty good job of it by going to Pilates once a week, but I was really not prepared for her exercises!   It'll get easier as we do them more... Uhh, right?  

After the run, Chris and I went to Panera Bread for some asiago cheese bagels and chai tea lattes.  I think this is going to be our weekly ritual (we did the same thing last week).   The people there don't even seem to mind two tired, gross-looking poeple in running clothes coming in for breakfast.  Woo hoo!  

When we got home, I napped for a couple of hours, completely forgetting that TODAY WAS THE DAY I WAS SUPPOSED TO GO ONTO THE RED SOX SITE AT NOON TO BUY MONSTER SEAT TICKETS!  I remembered around 4:00pm, swore at myself reeeeeaaaal good, and logged on to the Red Sox site.  It was a huge pain trying to figure out what, if anything, was left, because of course, they do not make it easy.  I finally found two seats left for a game in September, which I quickly purchased.   Each customer supposedly got a limit of four tickets, but apparently you have to buy them all at once or you're out of luck, because when I tried to search for two more, I was told that I'd reached the limit for my log-in.  So, I'm still kicking myself for not logging in on time and possibly finding four seats together.  Oh well! 

Now it's time for me to go get ready for Dinkstock!  It's happening right now until 1:00am.  I'm hoping to stay all night.  That nap may have cost me a couple of extra Sox tickets, but it'll be helpful later on!  

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sleepy Jeanne

Well, the first week of official training is coming to an end, and I feel really good, but TIRED.  I could go for three or four days of straight sleep right about now.   I may have led you guys to believe that I'm "in shape", but I am really just not used to exercising this much.  

Between the weekly group runs, we have a training schedule to stick to on our own.  The weeknight runs were short this week:  2 miles, 3, then 2.   Fine.  I'm used to those distances. But running fours days a week with cross-training on two days with only one day off?  No, Monsieur, I am not used to that! 

Allow me to take you through my week:

Sunday:  This is supposed to be my off day, since the long runs take place on Saturdays.  However, I'm currently taking ice-skating lessons on Sundays, so I use that as a cross-training day for now.  This week I learned hockey stops!   Jealous?

Monday:  Chris and I had friends over for brunch.  Chris got up early to run.  I did not.  So, I stuffed myself silly and then had to wait and wait until the early evening to go running, so I wouldn't--you know--puke.*  I ran my usual short loop near my apartment, which I just found out is actually 2.8 miles.

Tuesday:  Wimped out because I was sleepy after doing something active three days in a row.  I figured I'd run AND go to Pilates the next night, and Pilates could count as cross-training.  I'm not sure if that's allowed, but I did it.  So there.

Wednesday:  I went to Pilates at my gym, and I'll tell you, my abs still hurt.  I love that class!  Then I ran 3 miles on the treadmill.  A friend recently told me he'd heard you have to set the incline to 2.0 to simulate outdoor running, so I gave that a shot.  I almost listened to Journey on my Ipod, but then decided it was a Michael Buble night.   This detail is very important for you to know.

Thursday:  Ran my 2.8 loop again.  My ankle hurt a little at first, but I stopped and stretched and it helped a little, then after a while the pain just went away.  It started to rain as I was running, which made me feel like I was sort of tough.  I'm not, but it was fun to pretend.  ;-)

Friday:  aka, right now.  My plan all day was going to go to the gym and try the bike or something, but I wimped out again because I am just so exhausted!  So, I'm going to watch What Not To Wear and go to bed so I can get up early and run 4 miles with the team tomorrow!    

A few more things to mention before I bid you bonne nuit:

1.  I want to thank everyone who's already donated to my run.  I'm so touched by people's generosity!  

2.  Dinkstock is tomorrow!  If you live anywhere near Quincy, come join the party.  It's going to be a blast! 

3.  I am 100% obsessed with this commercial, and the song has been in my head ALL DAY!

OK, bonne buit! 

Thursday, February 19, 2009


In my previous post, please note that I didn't even begin to touch on all of Danielle's medical woes! I only mentioned the things that I thought had to do specifically with the doctors trying to figure out what the hell is happening to her, and not just treating her.... and I'm sure I left out a TON, because, as it happens, I'm not a doctor and don't know much about, oh... anything!

In addition to the node removals, she's also had her SPLEEN removed. Yup, a whole organ! And she's still had low platelet counts even after that thing was taken out. She's had multiple platelet transfusions, crippling arthritis, hives, fevers, bloody noses, coughing up blood... umm.. what am I forgetting, Danielle? Many sleepless nights, many nights spent in the hospital (including Halloween night)! Different drugs and their side-effects, orders to stay away from caffiene and alcohol.... the list goes on!

This poor girl has dealt with so much and she just keeps on going with the best attitude you could ever imagine. This is a girl who shows up to work a half hour after spending the night in the hospital. She claims that anyone would act the same way in her situation, but I beg to differ. She's amazing, and I'm in awe of her!

There' a benefit called Dinkstock this Saturday to help her out financially a bit, because in addition to everything else, she's had to deal with hospital bills, not to mention co-pays, parking, meds... so many expenses that add up! So if you're in the area, be at the Beachcomber on Saturday! It's going to be a great time, and it's for a great cause: DANIELLE!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big News!

My friend Danielle found out today that she definitely does NOT have cancer!!!   She has been waiting to find out for sure for a long, long, LONG time.   In trying to diagnose her, the doctors have removed lymph nodes from that poor girl left and right, had her on and off steroids, and she has been to the hospital so many times, it's just wonderful to hear that they finally know SOMETHING. (To read a summary of her story, click here.)

So for now it looks like lupus, but Danielle doesn't have a whole lot of information right now.  Here's hoping she can finally get the answers she needs and can GET BETTER!  

Love you, girlie!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jeannie's Running Tip of the Day

Do yourself a favor and always go for a run before you spend your day guzzling coffee and mimosas, and devouring quiche and home fries.   Your run will be a lot more enjoyable.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why I'm Running

A few people have asked me how I first got involved with Team In Training, or how I even decided I wanted to run a Marathon.  So, here goes! 

I've been running on my own, for exercise, ever since college.  At first, I hated it.  And I mean HATED it.  But I did it anyway, and after a while I was able to stand it, and then I even started to enjoy myself.  Then I suddenly started to run more and more, until I was running 9 or 10 miles at a time, every time.  This was very, very stupid of me, because of course, I hurt myself!   My knees ached all the time.  So for about a year I didn't run at all, then slowly I was able to run again, but I never ran more than about 3 or 4 miles.  Aside from a couple of embarrassingly slow 5Ks, I never really did much except run on my own, and usually only when it was nice out and I had some time to kill.  

So about a year ago, I decided that while I was still (sort of ) young and (mostly) healthy, I should take my running more seriously, and maybe even try to complete a Marathon!  I printed out a training schedule from, and started to follow it.  I think I only told 2, maybe 3 people about my plan, because, knowing myself, I didn't want to tell the whole world I was going to do something and then look like a doofus when I never followed through.  And sure enough, I stuck with the schedule for about a month, got up to about 6 miles, and then just lost interest.  

Then this past December I got a mailing from Team In Training, saying that they were holding an informational meeting near me in January.  I figured I had nothing to lose, so I signed up just to see what it was all about.  When I went to the meeting, I got to hear from people who have participated, including one of the Honored Heroes who has survived cancer AND completed a half-Marathon after suffering a broken hip, and they all made it clear that this program really could help me accomplish my goal... and that I could help others at the same time by raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  In short, it was really inspirational and got me pumped to get started! 

I must have been very enthusiastic, because I came home and raved about it so much that Chris signed up too!  

I know that this time around, I'm going to have a group of people to keep me motivated, a structured schedule to keep me from over-(or under-) doing it,  and, probably most importantly, a husband to pull me out of bed every Saturday between now and June!  

I also have the knowledge that no matter how hard it might get, it'll never be as hard as living with a blood cancer, and I think that'll make me do it for those people who are, when I'm feeling tired or just plain lazy.

Of course the other motivation is that now I've told everyone about my goal, so I'm going to have to do everything in my power to reach it... or I'll look like a HUGE doofus!  ;-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

First Group Run

Hello All! 

Today is Valentine's Day, and to me and Chris, that meant getting up early and going for a run with our new training team.  Now, I don't mind admitting to the world that I am NOT a morning person, and that I am especially not a frigid-Saturday-morning person, so I was a little nervous about this first run.  I look forward to sleeping in on Saturdays all week long!  However, once I finally got out of my nice, warm bed (after a full hour of hitting snooze), had a cereal bar, and we met up with the team in Hingham, I felt surprisingly ready to go!   

Our coach Kristen led us all in some stretches and then told us how her former coach had recently lost her husband to cancer, so we ran in his honor today.  And we ran well!   There are people training for three different events at different times, and there are some people training for half-marathons, so the plan was for some people to run 2 miles, some to run 3, and some to run 4, but everyone must have felt as good as I did, because every single person ran 4 miles!   (I'd like to give special props to Chris, who is really just starting out as a runner)!

We then had a shoe clinic at the Greater Boston Running Company, which was great.  The store was only open to our team, and we all got 20% off all purchases.  Not only that, but the staff was extremely helpful in determining what kind of shoe was right for anyone who was curious.  I've always loved New Balance shoes and I ended up getting a new pair that will help with my over-pronating.  Chris happened to get New Balance sneakers too.  The Cappellas love NB!

That's about it for today... Be sure to add this site to your favorites and check back often!  Also check out the ElefhantWorks blog (Chris and his partner Gary have some pretty cool things to say, and I know Chris will be talking about the training from his point of view), and please, DONATE!  You'll be doing a great thing.  

Oh, and one more thing!