Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Telling the Family

The latest episode continued the saga of Kitty and her cancer. She was diagnosed with stage III NHL, given only two treatment options: R-CHOP and some other protocol in Boston, and sent home. Contrast to my experience, my cardiologist sent me immediately to the ER for an emergency CT scan before I even knew it was cancer. I had state IIb and my situation was so severe (not dire, just severe) that I stayed at the hospital for a full week before I eventually left to start chemo at NIH. Meanwhile, Kitty goes home and her family debates on whether she should have standard R-CHOP or some other protocol (I've never heard of it). She goes wedding dress shopping, has dinner with her family (where she eventually tells them all), and looks pretty good for someone who was just diagnosed.

I liked the way the writers handled the storyline for the most part, but there were a lot of things that irked me. I also felt that they made it political and part of the national health care debate with their discussion of the Boston clinical trial and how the FDA is so slow to approve new treatment and such. I was just annoyed because they tipped their hand as to their "agenda" when they could have focused on what a newly diagnosed person feels and goes through. Thankfully, they moved past that pretty quickly.

I wish the oncology doctor had also explained the treatment options a little better. I understand it's tv but her explanation felt really rushed and short. She also said there were only two options and it's not true. EPOCH is highly regarded in the National Cancer Institute as an effective treatment over R-CHOP. The success rates have been very good (and I'm proof!) There are other treatments out there so they could have just said that and then said the standard is R-CHOP. Another option is radiation and they didn't even mention it.

Let's see how they handle the rest of it. I am glad to see them try, but please be a little more realistic and educate the viewers. Unfortunately, a lot of people have experience with cancer and we will all be watching carefully.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Kitty has NHL

I don't know if you follow "Brothers & Sisters," but the writers have "given" Kitty (played by Calista Flockhart) diffuse large b-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. My first thought was, "No!" It's too close to home. Mike looked at me like he thought the same thing. Seriously? Exactly my cancer. It's interesting to note that not only does Kitty have NHL, but Lynette on "Desperate Housewives" also had it a couple of seasons ago. I felt the same sucker-punch in the gut when Lynette was diagnosed. I know they are fictional characters, but it's like watching it happen to me all over again. All of the memories came rushing back.

I watched the story unfold and thought about it a bit more. October is breast cancer awareness month and as a NHL survivor, I always feel a little like my cancer and others are overlooked. I support all cancer research, but I feel just a teeny bit jealous of all the pink (even the NFL has gone pink). I hope Kitty's diagnosis will educate others about cancer - any kind of cancer. People who don't know what it's like, got to see first-hand Kitty getting a bone marrow biopsy to stage the cancer.

Out of curiosity, I checked the blogosphere earlier to see the reaction to the cancer diagnosis. Most people think it's to boost ratings (and it probably is), but at the same time I hope the show educates viewers. I was the most bothered by some bloggers who assume that the writers are trying to kill off Kitty with the cancer diagnosis. Yes, cancer is terrible and people die every day but it's not an automatic death sentence and I'm living proof. Again, I hope the writers educate people on what cancer patients deal with in fighting the terrible disease but also on how to live with a cancer diagnosis.

One final thought. I will be watching closely to see how they write it into the show. I didn't like how Kitty was told her diagnosis in the doctor's office and then sent home. I was sent to the ER for an emergency CT and was admitted overnight. I stayed in the hospital for a full week until I was supposed to start chemo (went to NIH instead). The doctors told me that large diffuse b-cell is a pretty agressive tumor and can grow quickly so they moved fairly rapidly to get me started on treatment. Things moved slowly on last night's show. I just ask that they be fairly realistic in how they portray it. I want to see Kitty lose her hair, puke her guts out, and lose her energy - that's the reality. Grey's Anatomy has done a fairly decent job with Izzie's brain cancer so I expect the same from these writers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

In the News

I surprised to read that my former company was acquired today. I never would have pictured the combination of those two companies (and apparently a lot of people in the blogosphere agree with me). What also struck me is I had recently been offered a job there, but I decided on my current company. If I had taken the offer, would I have been out of a job soon after this announcement? For now, I've been reading the Internet about the acquisition and discussing with former co-workers (including Mike) about the news. They were recently going to head back into Federal government contracting and I wonder what this means for that division now.

I spent seven years there and met a lot of great people during my time. I worked there in my late 20s/early 30s. Mike and I didn't meet there, but he helped me land a job which helped springboard me to where I am today. We were engaged soon after I started and many of our co-workers attended our wedding. We're still friends with quite a few people from there and we keep in touch. Although I was a little bitter when I left (my division had been acquired by another company that let my group go), I have a lot of happy memories from that period of my life.

It will be interesting to see what happens next and whether the company name will be a thing of the past.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another One Lost

Patrick Swayze died last night from pancreatic cancer. I have a special place in my heart for him because he's related to me somewhere on my mom's side. My great-aunt is an avid genealogist and she discovered the relation just after Dirty Dancing to everyone's shock and surprise (and glee). She didn't know who he was, but the young ladies certainly did. At every reunion afterwards, we wondered whether he might attend one but he never did. I don't think he was ever really invited, but wouldn't that have been cool?

Patrick's star never really rose above his 'Dirty Dancing' or 'Ghost' days, but he had a good career and didn't have public meltdowns or stints in rehab like so many celebrities today. My heart goes out to his family and his wife of 33 years (you don't see much of that these days, either). May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So, I started a new job last Monday slightly closer to home. I'm ecstatic that my commute is down from what had been taking 1+ hour to just a tad over 30 minutes and who doesn't love that? It was especially satisfying this morning when I heard about a vehicle fire and a separate accident near the exit to my old office. Whew, glad I wasn't in THAT mess. With that being said, I miss my old office and my former co-workers. It was a homey, warm environment and my co-workers there were just great. It had a free Flavia machine that dispensed not just coffee, but milky way-flavored coffee, cappuccino, three flavors of tea, and more. We also had flavored creamer in the kitchen area, splenda, equal, and sweet-n-low in addition to regular cream and sugar. The actual cafe area had 4 chairs placed in front of a flat screen TV where I used to watch TV if I had the chance. The chairs also had swivel arms where you could put your lunch while you watched TV. The people in my office also organized a Wednesday lunch group where each person brought a potluck item to go with the theme of the week (like Caribbean or salad or whatever). Every Friday, someone would bring in either donuts or bagels. The previous Executive VP had painted the office in very unusual, but warm and cozy colors. It was just a beautiful place to be and I miss it tremendously, but it was time to move on.

My new job is a little hectic and I'm just starting to figure out where the bathrooms are. The kitchen area is tiny and no flavia machine - we have to pay for coffee. No splenda or equal in sight - just plain old sugar. No flavored creamers either. There's a cafeteria in the basement, which is a nice bonus and I've eaten there quite a lot in my first week + 2 days on the job. I have my own office instead of a cube and I'm itching to decorate it, but haven't started yet. I wish I could bring in some paint for the walls to make it a little more homey but in the meantime I'm trying to figure out a way to add warm colors without paint. The co-workers I've met all seem very nice and I hope in time to forge friendships like the one I had at my old company.

As Cheryl Crow says, "A change will do you good", but I can't help but miss the way things used to be. Hopefully I'll get settled in soon and won't even think about the flavia machine!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today was my 2-year checkup and I'm overjoyed to report that my CT looked "really great" according to the doctor. I met one of the newer doctors at NIH who gave me the results before the doctor officially told me and I was very appreciative of that. It's always a relief to hear good news. I really liked this doctor. He had a great sense of humor and he chatted with us about how I learned I had cancer, but more on a personal level than a clinical level. I would hang out with this doctor and have a beer - he is that cool. When we left I thanked him for having a good sense of humor because when I had been sick, I really just wanted someone with a sense of humor to lighten the mood sometimes. It's bad enough to have cancer, but sometimes I just needed to laugh and he would have been awesome to have around back then.

I also had an echocardiogram to measure the strength of my heart. I had that test before I went to the clinic so I kind of had an inkling that there was nothing serious lurking in my chest because the technician didn't find anything during the echo. Mike and I saw my heart on screen and heard it beating away - so contrary to what some people may think I DO have a heart. ;)

I graduated to CT exams every 6 months! So, for years 3 & 4 it will be every 6 months. Then in year 5 I will have an exam every year (not sure if CT every year or general exam with blood work).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Night Before First 8K Race

My big race is tomorrow - the Rockville Twilight 8K. The festival begins at 7pm and my race starts at 8:45pm. My goal is to finish in less than 50 minutes (or a 9:30 minute mile). I've been training for a couple of months now and we did a practice run of the course last Saturday so I think I'm ready. During last week's practice run, I noted a couple of *@#!* hills in the middle of the course that I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. We complained heavily during the run that whomever came up with this course is not a runner - what a jerk! The good thing about race day is that the 1,099 other runners keeping me company will motivate me to do my best and keep going when it gets rough. I just hope I don't end up near the juggling runner guy that Meghan encountered during one of her races. I mean who can juggle and run a race at the same time? That would just annoy me! I'd have to run up and try to trip him or something. :)

I hope it's not too hot tomorrow night, but I'm drinking my water as I type so I will be sure to be properly hydrated (and I'll probably be up all night in and out of the potty!) I am looking forward to seeing how I perform. YEEHAW!

Mike and I joined Shuk-kwan, Andy, and several other volleyball friends tonight for Shuk-kwan's 40th birthday. She was kind enough to share her celebration with me since we discovered last month on the way to the volleyball tournament in OC that we both turned 40 in July. Of course, I thought she was much younger than me and not just by 4 days! It was a great night filled with yummy food, good company, and topped off by a sky-high chocolate cake and bread pudding (with 10 spoons) for dessert.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fabulous 40s

It's almost here. I am 39 years and 364.5 days old. So long 30s and hello 40s. Has it been 10 years already since I turned 30? Where did the time go? I had a mostly great time in my 30s - went to Hawaii twice, learned how to water ski, tried to learn how to SCUBA, took up rock climbing, started running, got fit, had cancer, got fitter, went to Vegas and the Grand Canyon, took a cruise to Key West and Mexico, went to Maine, found a career, witnessed Mike and Dad's college graduations, saw my little brother and my cousin both get married, went to Jamaica, and learned to embrace life. I packed quite a bit in this past decade - and I hope to pack in even more over the next decade.

Here's to my next FABULOUS decade.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pomp & Circumstance

It's the day one waits for - when that special person finally grows up and graduates from college. They set out into the world with high hopes and a new degree tucked under their arm. It's a day of celebration for this wonderful achievement.

Tomorrow Dad graduates with a BS in Information Technology from Strayer University and I couldn't be more proud. He's been taking classes off and on for as long as I can remember, but he's really buckled down the last couple of years and worked hard to get to this day. Aunt Anne helped him with his math homework and I helped him write or edit his papers. He left family functions early our couldn't come at all because he had to do his homework. Tomorrow, Dad becomes a college graduate. Congratulations, Dad!

Dad is not one to rest on his laurels now that he's come this far: he's already signed up for his first class on his way to earning his Master's degree. I suggested that he take as many classes as he can before he decides to retire so he can get his company to pay for it!

Michael Jackson Memory

First, poor Farrah Fawcett. She was my childhood icon and I wanted to BE a Charlie's Angel. I loved Farrah's hair. I wanted to learn to skateboard because I had a poster of Farrah on a board (didn't happen for me). Later I saw her in "The Burning Bed" and was blown away be her acting chops. When I heard she had cancer, my heart went out to her. May she now rest in peace.

Poor Farrah must be ticked off. Yesterday was supposed to be her day and the King of Pop stole her limelight. Who would have ever thought Michael Jackson would round out the trifecta of celebrity deaths? (Ed McMahon, Farrah, and now Michael).

In the summer of 1988, Michael Jackson performed at the Munich Olympic Stadium and my brother and I were there. I've never seen a performer completely fill an entire stadium from the field level to the nosebleed seats. Americans had already started to turn on Michael just a bit by that time, but the Germans were all out HUGE fans and I thought what better place to finally see this King of Pop whose music marked my childhood. The concert ROCKED and it was truly the best concert I've ever seen. Michael Jackson knows how to put on a show and he gave it his all. People around me were screaming his name and fainting like Elvis himself was in the house. I was truly stunned by just how good it was. My brother and his friend pushed their way to the front near the stage while I hung back so I wouldn't get crushed by the crowd. During one dance number, Michael took off his hat and flung it into the crowd. My brother reached up and grabbed it! Unfortunately, the crowd fell on him and ripped it apart so all he had left was a small piece of felt. It didn't matter: it was a magical night and an awesome show.

For all of Michael Jackson's faults and troubles, I am saddened of this loss. He was a fantastic performer and a one of a kind. May he also finally rest in peace.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Volleyball Post

Last season I dropped from BB to B (the lowest level in my league. I sucked it up and played, but wasn't thrilled about it. I ended up with a pretty good team of about three other players who had also dropped down a level. We had a decent season, but fell apart during playoffs. This season, they were short captains at BB and asked me at the last minute in the middle of tryouts (of which I was also trying out) to be a captain. I agreed and then asked the league commissioners for the list of all the players and started watching tryouts a little more closely so I could pick my team. During the draft, I had to ask a lot of questions about the skill level of the players because I didn't know a lot of them. I knew Ben from my B team the previous season and Kay because I had played with her before, but none of the other players. From the first game, I knew I had managed to pick a really good team of unknowns and we had a most excellent season with a 20-1 record. It was truly exciting to be play with such a great team. The other captains started asking me how I managed to pick such a good team and I told him it was all by pure luck. We continued to play well during playoffs, but still had a couple of close games. Then Tim dropped the bomb on us the week before finals that he was heading off to London and would miss our last night of playoffs. Tim's one of our strong players and I worried what it would mean.

During the final night of playoffs, we fell a little flat. We lost our first match and struggled as a team. Our faces were downcast and our hearts were weary. Our opponents beat us the first game, but we rallied beautifully in the second game and snatched the win from them in a tense nail-biter of a game. Without Tim, we struggled mightily and felt his loss greatly. The third game was just as much of a struggle and they fought valiantly to defeat us, but we all stepped up our play and in the end we were victorious! What a sweet end to a sweet season!

Two years ago I dropped out of the season to focus on defeating my tumor, Priscilla and now I have the Spring 2009 Champion t-shirt to show how far I have come. I am back!!! (Picture to be posted as soon as the volleyball website posts one)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

100 Miles

Mike biked 100 miles today for the Diabetes "Tour de Cure" event in Reston, VA. Well it started in Reston anyway. I waved him off at 7:45 am this morning and realized I had his cue sheet with turn-by-turn directions. I had planned on volunteering for the event, but we arrived late thanks to me setting the alarm for the wrong time. I decided to try to find him at the first stop (and hoped he would make it there without getting lost). I headed off down the road with the cue sheet and my somewhat trusty GPS (nicknamed "Bree" like hoity-toity Bree from Desperate Housewives). Bree could not find the first stop at Carolina Brothers BBQ so I tried to hone in as close to the street name listed on my cue sheet. On the way there, I passed a small group of bikers on the side of the road who looked totally lost so I stopped and asked if they needed help. They asked if I was a volunteer and I said, "no, but I'm out looking for my husband." I tried to help them find their way back to the trail because they had made a wrong turn (someone had deliberately moved or removed some of the signs, I later found out). I used the cue sheet and Bree the best I could to help, but they had to turn around and find the trail. I got in the car and proceeded to try and find Mike but because the street ended at the trail where I couldn't take my RAV, I never found the rest stop. I managed to call Mike on his cell phone and said I'd meet him at the second rest stop in Leesburg.

I waited at the second stop for at least 30 minutes, watching all of the bikers roll in for a water or food break. The volunteers clapped and hollered for all of them. It was pretty impressive. I pulled out the cue sheet and realized that there were only 6 miles in between stop 1 and stop 2 so Mike had probably already been by this stop so I called and said I'd meet him at the fourth rest stop in Purcellville. I drove through the beautiful countryside and caught glimpses of the bikers (not Mike) along the way. It was nice today and not too hot - great for the bikers. The Purcellville stop was the halfway point for the 100 milers and it was really busy when I arrived. I waited a long time for Mike, but figured out where riders needed to go to continue on their way or head back to Reston and ended up helping quite a few with directions. By the time Mike got there, I was an expert!

I finally caught up with him and the other MSM crew from his office (Glen and Greg) and provided them with more goo for the road. Mike didn't need the cue sheet after all so I kept it. We heard how bumpy the next portion was so I said I'd meet them back at the rest stop in an hour and a half in case they had a flat tire or something. It was a good thing I did because the volunteers were packing up as I arrived back from lunch. I told them that there were three riders still out there who were going to need water. They stuck around until the guys arrived (luckily about 15 minutes later) and asked if they wanted to ride back since there would be no more support on the way back as all the rest stops were shutting down. Of course they said no and we made sure they had water and I gave Glen and Greg some Gatorade from the car since the rest stop was all out. They chowed down on some cold pizza and headed the 27 miles back to Reston.

I drove back to Reston and did a little window shopping at the Town Center while I waited the 40 or so minutes from them to arrive. Once again, it was lucky I was there because they started shutting down the finish line activities and packing up all the food and water. I said that there were still riders out there and they gave me three goodie bags and I loaded them up with apples, bananas, granola bars, and water. I walked over to the trail end and saw volunteers pulling out the signs and told them too that riders were still out there. I was getting annoyed that they were so quick to shut down. Then I met up with another MSM staffer who had only done the 33 mile loop and we waited together for the guys who finally crossed the finish line at 4:3opm. Woo hoo! Yay, they made it 100 miles!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother Earth Doesn't Like Me

You think that after all I did for Mother Earth, she'd treat me a little better. I mean I picked up trash twice, I drag my empty coke cans home from work to recycle, and I don't litter. Mother Earth gave me poison ivy. I broke out on my neck on Tuesday (two weeks after the last clean-up, mind you) and now it's on both sides of my neck, my left arm, and on my face. We cleaned up on a hot day and I must have touched my hand to my neck to push the hair off it because the marks look like a hand print. I don't know where exactly I picked it up because I don't remember seeing the stuff. Luckily my hair is just long enough now to cover up the big, red, welty-splotches of poison ivy but the hair makes me itch! Every night I load up on the pink calamine lotion and every morning (and all day at work) I put on the clear stuff. I just hope I don't spread it, but this morning I noticed I've got some splotches on my right arm. They don't itch...yet.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pony Girl

Today I was playing with my hair and realized I can make a ponytail again. It's not much of a ponytail (about 3") but I have enough hair now to pull it back. Yay me! Mike's watching the Kona Ironman on the DVR (his latest obsession) and I remarked that I look just like one of the athletes on tv now. :-)

It's nice to have hair again.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Earth Day Part II

So for my second time helping mother earth, I decided to stay local and help in a neighborhood trash pick up on the main road. This was much better than getting up early to trek down to the zoo and in fact I left my house 5 minutes before I was supposed to meet everyone. That wasn't such a good thing as I didn't exactly know where the house was that everyone was meeting at, but I walked up the road until I found them. My neighbors are organized! We received a bright orange vest (so the nutcases who drive too fast on the narrow road would see us), plenty of trash bags, gloves, and long-handled trash picker-upper thingies. I was super excited to use my new tool since I'd never had the opportunity to use one before.

I set off up one of the side roads because when I walk Riley over there I see a ton of trash and I was rewarded with plenty of trash (unlike the zoo where we fought over the trash!) I used my new tool to grope in the bushes and was rewarded with discarded cans, empty fertilizer bags, and much more. After I cleaned up that street, I turned around and headed back to the main road where everyone else was. We had a pretty good turn out and there were plenty of people helping to clean up the road. However, I was disappointed to find lots of cigarette butts and cans still littering the road where our crew had already been. They must have been picky and only looked for what I call "glamorous trash" meaning large, relatively clean stuff. I go for everything, especially nasty cigarette butts - my number one pet peeve, especially since I had my super-cool tool and wore gloves. On my friend FirePhrase's blog, my other friend Washington Gardener suggested that cigarette litterers should be made to pick up discarded butts for a full day. I quite agree. I was pretty ticked off at these litterers as I made my way down the road.

We've lived in this neighborhood for four years now but this was my first time participating in the clean-up and I'm glad I did. I really got to know some people and we're talking about throwing a community BBQ for our small cul-de-sac of 10 houses. I also helped mother earth breathe a little easier and that feels pretty good.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So I heard Vivica A. Fox on the radio the other night with Billy Bush (who I met in person a long time ago when he was just a DJ on a local radio station) talking about her new show about a Cougar looking for young love. I've heard the term 'Cougar' before but never realized that apparently I'm on the cusp of cougar-hood. The only qualification I don't meet is that, well, I'm married (but Mike is 4 months younger so maybe I am a cougar after all!). Anyway, I always thought of Cougars as much older than me but Ms. Vivica said it's a 40 y.o. woman. She also said that baby-boomers are turning 40 now... Um, Ms. Vivica my MOM is at the front of the baby boom and she's just over 60. The tail-end of the baby boom is turning 50 this year. She should get her facts straight - Gen X is turning 40 this year. Is that scary or what? Gen X is the new cougar woman.

I'm not even sure I really like the term 'cougar'. I mean really, when a 40 y.o. man dates a 22 y.o girl, he doesn't get labeled anything other than 'stud'. How fair is that? Ms. Vivica then said that the 50 y.o. ladies can be Pumas - I kinda like that better than the over-used cougar. She also said that 30 y.o's are bobcats and 20 y.o.'s are leopards (or something). Um, if a 20 y.o girl is dating someone younger than her I think they call that jail time.

I have no intention of watching her new show. I mean it sounds even lower than some of these other reality dating shows (but less skanky that Bus of Love!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Earth Day is Easy

Yesterday was Earth Day so I headed to the National Zoo in DC with Stephanie and Courtney (girls rock!) to help clean up Rock Creek Park behind the zoo. We met at the metro at 7am (whoo, that's early on a Saturday) and headed downtown. The zoo volunteers organize this clean-up every year and lots of people besides us showed up to help. Once we checked in at the zoo, a shuttle bus took everyone over to the clean-up site where we had our choice of easy, medium, or difficult terrain. Being tough girls, we took the hard route. They gave each of us a trash bag and a bag of gloves and pointed us in the right direction.

The difficult route lived up to its name and we couldn't find much trash on the steep hill. We started making our way down the hill, but since it had recently rained the muddy trail gave way and we had a hard time keeping our traction on the hill. There was so little trash, that we started eyeballing the other volunteers' trash bags and asking them where they found their trash. I guess that's a good thing we weren't finding a lot of trash, but it's a little disappointing when we traveled so far to pick up trash. Courtney decided we could find more trash down below on the bike path next to the creek, so we slowly made our way down the muddy, steep hill. She was right and we happily found much more trash to clean up. I found a small suitcase along the side of the banks, which I dragged back to the bike path since it was too heavy to drag it back up the hill (I alerted the zoo volunteers as to its location). I also found a shopping cart buried in mud so deep that there was no way to get it out. It had been there a while, judging by the small tree growing through the metal.

After we managed to pick our way back up the hill and figured out how to get back to the volunteer station, we sorted our trash so it could be recycled. We headed back to the zoo grounds to see the animals, particularly the elephants and the pandas. It was crowded with lots and lots of people and strollers by then. It was almost a little too crazy and people in large groups like that tend to lose any sense of manners they might have had alone. People suddenly stop in front of you with their large stroller to chat with each other, oblivious to the fact that you're behind them and now can't get around them. I have no patience for these kind of people - pay attention, people! We managed to fight our way to the elephants in time to see them showing off their balancing skills at an elephant training demo. Later, we picked our way through the crowd to see the newest panda, Tai Shan climbing trees, somersaulting, and galloping around his yard. What a cutie and he put on quite a show.

After lunch at a really awesome cafe in the city, we headed back home tired and a little dirty from our Earth Day adventure.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


My scans came back clean - I am good to go! My next visit is in August and that's the official 2-year mark as far as the doctors are concerned. That's when I finished chemo. 

I managed to stun both doctors I saw. During my assessment, they asked me how I was feeling or if I had had any problems. I answered with "Great! I ran the Cherry Blossom 5K on Sunday and came in 5th in my age group." Their shocked looks made me giggle. Not that I should be bragging because I'm sure there are other cancer survivors who have achieved at least what I have and more (Meg in Austin who survived a much-worse treatment and did the Cap-Tex Triathlon with Mike is someone more amazing than me). Nonetheless, it's pretty cool to make your doctors sit up and take notice that you've not only survived the worst, but that you're back out there and stronger than ever. I am Cancer Survivor Chick and I am STRONG!

My day at NIH was long: filled with waiting and waiting and more waiting. When we arrived at phlebotomy at 10am, workers were patching the ceiling with plastic and duct tape and all the chairs had been moved out of the way because a pipe had burst earlier that morning. Parul, "my" phlebotomist, said this happens all the time. I love NIH, but they need to fix up that part of the building - the main part is all shiny and new but the back part where phlebotomy and the nuclear medicine area are need a serious face-lift. It kind of looks like the DMV back there and my DMV looks better.

While waiting 3 hours for my CT (and starving), we met an interesting couple from Delaware. The husband was probably only 50-something but he looked a lot older. He kept going outside for a smoke break while his wife waited for her CT to check on her melanoma. They talked about deer hunting and whether Montgomery County allows buckshot or only bow hunting (I think it's bow hunting, but what do I know?) His wife made a comment that she only had 6 of her own teeth left because the rest had been pulled out. The husband said he didn't have any teeth. Apparently, he needed one tooth pulled but because it cost the same to pull all of his teeth as one tooth, he had the dentist yank him all out. Wow. He seemed quite proud of himself.

After my CT (at 2pm), Mike fetched me a sandwich and we waited to see the doctors. The slightly greasy ham & cheese sandwich with potato chips might have been my downfall because my tummy did not like it at all. I was sick on the way out of NIH and again when we got home. I took a long nap and felt better when I woke up, but it was not a pleasant afternoon. I didn't eat a lot for dinner. I always have some sort of reaction from the barium and contrast dye, but not this bad. I'm going to have to bring my own sandwich next time and hold the grease. No potato chips either. When am I going to learn?

Monday, April 6, 2009

2 year cancerversary

Today is my 2nd cancerversary - I was diagnosed two years ago today. I'm celebrating because two years later I'm still alive and kicking! Two years ago I was in the hospital waiting for the test results from my first (but certainly not last) CT scan, not knowing that the scariest time of my life was just around the corner. I'm certainly grateful and glad to be here today, writing this post. I will most certainly celebrate a little more on Thursday when I come home from my next visit with my NIH team with what I can only hope and pray will be another clean bill of health.

Sadly, my aunt's sister is dying of ovarian cancer as I type this. Aunt Carol left last night or this morning to be with Chris in her final moments. Both Carol and her sister have had breast cancer and Chris had ovarian cancer not too long ago, which she fought with chemo but the cancer came back and now she's dying. I only wish for peace for both of them - Chris as she leaves this world for a better place and Carol as she will need so much comforting and love to handle her loss.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cherry Blossom 10 mile/5K

We just got back from the Cherry Blossom race down on the tidal basin at the Mall in DC. We had gorgeous weather this year (although it was a little chilly at 6:45am when we got down there). The alarm went off at 5am and it was rough getting out of bed that early. Mike remarked, "Getting up this early is one reason not to like racing." Even Riley seemed a little out of sorts when I got him up to go outside. Normally, we're up around 5:45am which isn't that much different but it sure felt like it!

Meghan picked us up and we were off to the metro. There were quite a few people at the station with us and we picked up more and more people as we headed into the city. By the time we got off at Metro Center to change trains, it was packed and we had to squeeze into the metro like a bunch of sardines. I remarked that at least we were packed before the race versus afterwards when we wouldn't smell so good! At the next stop the lady next to me asked her friend if that was their stop, so I joked that she should just wait to see what stop the 9,000 other people on our car got off at. We were packed so tight on the train that it took us a few minutes to get to the door to get out.

We finally pushed past the huge crowds and made it above ground to the Smithsonian grounds on the Mall. We met the MCT Credit Union people who were able to get us an entry into the race after the online registration closed. We took a couple of group pictures and headed over to the course. We decided to stop and use the port-a-johns before the race and there was a lonnnng line - so long that I thought Mike and Meghan would miss their 7:40am race start. Afterwards, we all rushed over to the 10 mile start so they could get into the corral of runners. There was a sea of people as far as the eye could see, all crammed into one small area for the start. Mike went up front to his blue wave of runners and Meghan went a little further back to the orange group. Soon they were off and running!

I headed over to check in our bag with Jen from MCT before the 5K start and then we wandered over to our starting point. We chit-chatted with another lady from Montgomery County and then at 8:40am, our race began. There were so many people, I had to zig left and zag right to get around them. I passed a bunch of slow walkers (move to the back, people!) and some slow runners. I finally got to a point where I could cruise and enjoy the run. The cherry blossoms were in full force along the road and it was a beautiful run. We ran down Independence Ave and turned left to run over the Potomac River on the Memorial Bridge. I made sure I took in the gorgeous scenery as we ran over the water. Beautiful trees ringed the tidal basin, a helicopter buzzed the bridge, and volunteers clapped us on our way. I passed the one mile marker - hurray - only two more! We ran towards Arlington Cemetery and a water stop, I hoped. I was getting thirsty and a little warm. I thought we only had to run around the traffic circle on the other side of the bridge, but noo, we had to run a little further up the road closer to the cemetery entrance before we turned around (and got to the water stop). I grabbed two cups of water and chugged the first one, getting water all over my face, and held on to the second one for a bit more. I sipped the second cup for another minute or two before tossing my empty cup on the ground. Yeah, the second mile marker was in sight. I was running pretty fast and my lungs were burning. The last mile was tough and I couldn't wait to see the finish line. I passed more people and kept on pushing through my desire to walk. Is that it up ahead, no, not yet. How about now? No. Am I done yet? There it is! I couldn't even surge ahead at the end since I had given my all during the race, but I picked up the pace a bit to the finish line. I finished in approximately 28 or 29 minutes (I forgot to start my watch so I don't know my time yet. I'll check that online tonight). I finished! I finished! I finished!

After I grabbed some more water, I headed over to the 10 mile finish to find Mike and Meghan. Sadly, I didn't see them finish because there were just too many people. I heard that 12,000 people registered for the race so it was pretty crowded. I did see Rich from Mike's TNT running group cross the finish line and I ran into Claire later in the crowd. I caught up with Mike and Meghan after searching for at least 30 minutes. We all did pretty well - Mike finished his race in approximately 1:30 and Meghan in 1:47. We hung out for a bit before heading back home on the metro, exhausted, a little sore, and happy.

***Race Update***
I finished in the top 10% overall! I came in 71st place out of 1,056 people and #5 in my age group. I finished the race in 27:50 at an 8:58 pace. That's the fastest finish time I've ever had. Woo hoo! Mike finished his 10 miler at 1:34:38 at an 8:49 pace, which is pretty awesome and his fastest 10 mile race.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Finally Friday

It's finally the weekend and I'm so glad. Work hasn't been too bad this week, but that changed Thursday morning when I find out that my proposal that was cancelled several weeks ago might be back on and I might have to head to NC next week to get the team back together and work on it. If it's back on, next week is going to be a long week filled with late nights. That's why I'm trying to put everything out of my head now so I can enjoy this weekend.

We're dog-sitting Nanette, a white poodle puppy for Melissa while she's on vacation in Florida. Riley's had his share of dogs in the past month with Wiley for a long weekend in February, followed by Cocoa the next weekend, and now Nanette. I think he's fine with the doggie parade, but I'm not so sure our cat Shelby likes the pooches invading his space. He's already swatted Nanette a few times today (luckily, no claws were involved...yet). Nanette will be here for almost two weeks so Shelby better get used to it.

The temps climbed into the low 70s today, which is shocking considering we got seven inches of snow on Monday. We still have a teeny patch of snow in the corner of our front yard, but I bet that will melt before too much longer. Riley certainly loved the snow so I feel kind of bad for him that it's all pretty much gone. But, I love this weather and am making plans to run outside as much as possible. Last Saturday I ran on the treadmill at the gym because it was so cold - this weekend it's 70s. I love it.

Speaking of Riley, he's standing here licking the laptop as I type so he must want to go outside. I don't blame him. Anyone in the DC area reading this, back away from your computer and get outside! Enjoy the weather.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Race Time

We thought our chance to run in the April 5th Cherry Blossom 5k/10m was gone: registration opened in December on the day we were on a plane to Texas. You have to register quick because it fills up within two hours sometimes. We found out that Meghan works at the credit union who's sponsoring the race and last week she got us and my acupuncturist and his wife entries into the race! So, we're running the Cherry Blossom with 5,000 of our closest friends. I hope it's not cold and rainy like last year. It's still a pretty course along the tidal basin and around the monuments, usually at the height of the cherry blossom "bloomage". Now I've got about 7 weeks to train for the race and hopefully knock another 30 seconds off my personal best (PB) time. (Oooh, I sound like a runner!)

Did you catch the Oscars? Me neither, but I've been catching up on the winners and the fashions. I heard Hugh Jackman did a good job (and looked awesome too). I haven't seen any of the movies but I'm hoping to at least catch "Slumdog" soon and maybe "Milk". The problem is Mike's not big on Oscar-type movies so I'll either have to see them on my own or grab someone on the planet who hasn't seen them besides me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let them eat Pancakes

Join The Leukemia & Lymphoma at IHOP for National Pancake Day 2009!

On Tuesday, February 24 dine at your local, DC-area IHOP restaurant and enjoy a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes*.

In lieu of paying for your delicious IHOP packcakes on this special day, please consider making a donation to support LLS and the fight against blood cancers.

To locate the IHOP restaurant near you, visit www.ihop.com.

*Dine-in only. Not valid with any other discounts/offers. Limit one per customer.

I love me some pancakes, so you'll probably see me at IHOP tonight. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fabulous 40s

I'm not talking about me (although that will be me soon enough). My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary yesterday and we took them to dinner last night. They celebrated on their own by driving to the Bavarian Inn in West Virginia on Saturday and trying to order in German from the poor waitress who wasn't German and didn't speak a word of German. That's my parents! I'm in awe that they've been married that long - I reminded Mike that we've "only" got 30 more years to go before we hit that mark. My grandparents were married 60 something years before grandpa passed away, which is really an amazing achievement. Congratulations, Mom & Dad for making it so far!

I'm finally on Facebook and it's been fun tracking down old school friends. The other day I found some class photos from Kindergarten and 1st grade. I have to admit, I was pretty adorable back then! :-) I was so pleased to find them that I had to show Mike. It's pretty exciting to flashback to my childhood.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

After our bitter cold weather last week, with snow and ice, we have some spring-like weather for the weekend. Temps were in the 40s/50s yesterday and lots of people took advantage of it and headed outdoors. I helped Jeff move stuff out of his house into storage so he and Kelli can sell it and buy a new house, now that they are newlyweds. He picked a great day for it because I didn't mind being outside for the 2 hours it took to help out. All I can say is Jeff has a LOT of heavy books.

Today was another nice day so Meghan and I joined Mike and his Road Runners group for a run on the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda. Meg and I aren't technically with the group, so we decided to start before the huge crowd started running at once. It was a beautiful day and thankfully since it was 8am when we started, all of the other runners, bicyclists, walkers, moms with strollers, and people with dogs weren't out on the trail (but there were quite a few). I've only been on the trail once before, but I heard it can get crazy. Bicycle police have been known to police the trail, giving out speeding tickets to bicyclists going too fast. Like I said, it was early so it was pretty peaceful out there. It's a beautiful trail that starts out in the heart of Bethesda and winds its way through the woods all the way into DC, but we didn't run that far - only 5 miles. Mike ran 10 so we waited for him back in town at Starbucks. How yuppie can you get - run down a trail and come back for a latte!

After we returned, I felt bad for not taking Riley for a walk yesterday so I took him out for a nice long walk that he thoroughly enjoyed. He sniffed every blade of grass and every pile of leaves. He met up with his doggie buddy, Maddie and a new lab/husky mix named Samantha. Being outside today, made me yearn for spring and planting flowers. I can't wait to get out there and dig. Now that we're back home, he's sleeping soundly (along with Mike!) I will probably sleep like a champ tonight! What a great day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sugar Shock

Today was the General's 65th birthday at work, and as is customary, we celebrated with cake and pizza. Yes, he's a real retired 4-star general and one of a handful of African American's to achieve that rank. Not only that, but he's really nice, a great senior leader, and he calls me "AJ".  The pizza was good and the cake was delicious, but within 30 minutes of finishing my meal I felt the first pang of sugar shock. I've noticed in the last couple of years that I just can't handle that much sugar like I used to. I get a queasy feeling and the slight shakes. I just can't enjoy my Friday morning donuts like I did in my youth when I used to eat a "black cat" - chocolate glazed filled with custard - from Montgomery Donuts. Of course, guess what I'm having for dinner - crepes with the Jaycees. I just can't stay away from the sugar!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jeff & Kelli's Wedding

Since Blair asked...

Friday - After a long car ride, we arrived in Charlotte about an hour and a half before our first event, which was a cocktail reception at our hotel hosted by Jeff's parents. The highlight of the party was the Steeler's groom's cake for Jeff. He was so excited about the cake that he showed it to us as soon as we walked in the room. He was practically giddy. Melissa gave him her camera to take a picture of the cake since he's so tall and could get a better angle from the top, and he snapped off six pictures!

Saturday morning - The bride's friends hosted a brunch in the morning before the 4pm wedding. Jeff seemed a little nervous, like it was all starting to sink in, so we chatted with him about everything but the wedding to calm him down. Jeff's sister was there and I'd heard all sorts of things about her, so I asked Jeff's dad to introduce us. After a very brief conversation with her in which I realized why Jeff was reluctant to introduce me, I ran back to the kitchen for more food. Not much personality - he's not like his sister!

After brunch, we headed back to the hotel and Mike and I went for a run since it was nearly 60 degrees out. I walked/ran about 4 miles and Mike did 8. We ran together for 2 miles and then I turned abound and headed back. I saw Jeff and his best man coming back to the hotel to get ready, so we teased him about heading to the airport instead of the church. Kelli, would kill us if she knew! After the run, Melissa, Keith, and I headed over to the awesome mall next door for lunch. This is one of the nicest malls I've seen and if Mike had a job, I could have done some serious shopping!

Saturday evening or The Wedding: After figuring where to park, we headed into the beautiful old church. Nicole warned us right away to not take any pictures because the mean church lady already yelled at her for taking a picture. The lady also wagged her finger at Melissa for taking a picture too, even though she wasn't using a flash.

The wedding started and Jeff walked out front to wait for his bride. He looked a little flushed and nervous, but happy. The flower girls and then the bridesmaid came down the aisle. When Kelli took her place at the top of the aisle, Jeff broke out into a wide grin. Kelli practically sashayed down the aisle towards Jeff. During the ceremony, Jeff didn't stop grinning and his face turned redder and redder (two sure signs of his nervousness). We were proud of him during the vows - he spoke loudly and clearly, something we had teased him about at breakfast. When the pastor pronounced them man and wife, Jeff swooped in for the kiss, she leaned back, and he gave her a quick peck. The groom's side collectively groaned and giggled. I called out, "do over!" She didn't want to mess up her lipstick. We gave them crap at the reception and made them do it again - with similar results. Oh, Jeff and Kelli we hope you got the kiss right later that night!

The reception was in downtown Charlotte at a museum. The food was good and included a potato bar with mashed regular potatoes and sweet potatoes with lots of topping choices served in a martini glass. Mike enjoyed some huge, tasty shrimp and we also filled up on prime rib and roast beef. Since we were in another room from the main room, we practicaly missed the first dance and the cake cutting. Both times, we managed to run out to the dance floor area to catch the end of the activity. Soon, the reception was over and Jeff and Kelli headed out through the gauntlet of ringing bells for the honeymoon in St. John's.

Afterwards, we headed back to our hotel with our Jaycee table, parked the cars, and walked to a nearby bar for some margaritas. A good time was had by all.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sweet Carolina

We're roadtripping to Charlotte, North Carolina today with Melissa and Keith for Jeff and Kelli's wedding tomorrow. I've known Jeff for maybe seven years when we met at a volleyball clinic. The class was made up of who I dubbed "young people" (those under 20) and "old people" (those over 30), so I organized the +30s to work together and because we were better volleyball players too. Jeff's still laughs about me "flashing" him on the court - I was wearing a sports bra under my t-shirt and I didn't even lift my shirt all the way up. He thought it was funny and we've been friends ever since. I introduced him to the Jaycees (he became President a couple of years ago) and brought him along to another volleyball league (our team won a couple of seasons ago). He was single when I met him, then he met Kelli (through the Internet), and now they're tying the knot.

I'm looking forward to the trip and to finally seeing him get married. We've been bugging him for a while about when he was going to propose and he finally did only a few months ago. After honeymooning in St. John, they're going to settle in separate places for a while until they figure out where they're going to live. Jeff's job may tip the scales towards here. Kelli has lots of family and friends in NC so this will be a difficult choice. I wish the best for both of them. I better go finish packing so we can hit the road!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Eve

Big, fat, fluffy flakes started falling this morning around 8:30am, turning everything into a winter wonderland. This is our first real snow of the winter season and since today is a holiday, I could stay home to enjoy it. I did have lots of things to do and errands to run and I headed out around 9:45. My first stop was the library, then I pumped some iron at the gym, and then to the mall to buy a wedding gift for a friend. The slumping economy was certainly evident at the mall and I was only there to get a gift and look for some cheap shoes for the wedding - no shopping spree for me.

As I was walking down the long hallways of the somewhat unfamiliar mall, I stopped in my tracks when I heard the thundering oratory of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on a nearby television. I wasn't the only one to stop and soon a small crowd gathered around to watch and listen on this historic day, as we prepare to swear in the first bi-racial U.S. President tomorrow. I'd never heard the entire speech, but I've heard pieces of it and heard it quoted. In its entirety, it's moving and amazing. I kept thinking of tomorrow's swearing in and how MLK Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 46 years ago and now Barack Obama will be a straight shot up the National Mall tomorrow at the U.S. Capitol being sworn in as President. How things have changed since 1963. MLK would be proud.

After the mall, I came home and played in the snow with Riley. He "helped" me shovel our driveway and I threw his favorite toy, an empty plastic water bottle. I also took him for a walk, since this is the first time in a while that it hasn't been freezing cold outside. 32 degrees feel so much warmer than 7 degrees, I can tell you that. Riley enjoyed his romp in the snow and we saw some neighborhood kids out playing with their dad. I love snow days!

Monday, January 12, 2009

More Travel

Just as soon as I got back from vacation, I jumped back on a plane and headed back down south. This time I headed to Fayetteville, NC for a kickoff meeting with our proposal team. It was one of those trips where everything that could go wrong, practically did. For starters, the trip was hastily arranged during New Year's week when everyone was on vacation so I didn't get a clear idea of the agenda or exactly when the rest of the team was traveling. Someone else made my travel arrangements since I don't have a corporate credit card. I first heard that I would be leaving on Monday and coming back on Friday, so Monday is what stuck in my head. However, when I tried to check in at the airport on Monday they said I wasn't booked on that flight. Yep, my itinerary said Tuesday! After making a few phone calls, I went home. Luckily I had gone to my Columbia office so I hadn't driven from far away to get Baltimore. Plus, I was a little relieved because I just wanted to be home another night.

On Tuesday they were predicting ice and dangerous conditions. Luckily, it never got that bad here and I headed back to the airport. However, across the country flights were diverted or cancelled. (Anyone traveling to Philly that night was out of luck). We boarded the plane on time only to sit on the runway for about 40 minutes. Ugh.  We sat there so long that the lady next to me who had fallen fast asleep woke up confused and disoriented, "Where are we? Did we land or did we ever leave?" She looked bummed when I said we hadn't even left yet!

We arrived in Charlotte and I rushed to catch my next flight but then we sat on that runway for at least an hour. Ugh again and the flight turned out to be about 35 minutes so we sat on the runway longer than the flight itself. I was annoyed and it was 10pm when we arrived. Since we were at a military installation, there were a lot of military personnel on my plane. I love GIs. I think they're awesome fighting for our country and all that, but they hogged up all the room on the plane! Yep, half the plane's luggage got bumped for their equipment (who knows what was in those big, locked heavy-duty plastic footlocker thingies?). 

I decided to wait around since the next plane was supposedly 30 minutes behind ours and a) I didn't know how far the hotel was or b) what time they would drop off the luggage. I had an early meeting the next day and my jeans and sneakers wouldn't cut it for a meeting with the General. I was prepared to find a mall if necessary, but I didn't want to spend money or time buying new clothes. The next plane was delayed and didn't arrive until after 11pm. By this time, I was groggy and annoyed at the whole travel experience. The plane landed and all the luggage came out, but not mine. As I stood there deciding whether to give up and go or just cry from frustration, the guy who took down my missing bag report asked what my suitcase looked like, then went in the back and grabbed it for me. I should have been a lot nicer to him. I did say "thanks" but it didn't come out like I really meant it. 

I arrived at my hotel just after midnight and managed to get to bed around 1am. I didn't sleep very well and I was getting up at 7am to meet some of my team for the first time downstairs in the hotel for breakfast. I woke up at 6am and could not get back to sleep. I worried about having bleary, bloodshot eyes, but I didn't look too horrible. I made it through the whole day with two cups of coffee and a lot of coke. 

The team was great and I really like our partner company - they are really nice retired Army guys and we all got along well. I have a much better understanding now of how the Army maintains and repairs certain types of equipment and I'm proud of work that my company does to support the soldier in the field.

I like to travel, but I'm glad to be home.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas Part Dieux

Since we were in Texas for Christmas, we held a belated Christmas gathering at home with my family. I had asked Mom to let everyone know since the date and time since we were out of town and everyone was gathering at the hospital for Grandma E. She managed to tell everyone but Aunt Carol. In the end Carol and my cousin didn't come because they were sick or something, but we had a great time anyway. Aunt Anne, my parents, Michael & Shaunda, and Frank, Sophie, and little Gathien joined us for good eatings with a slight twist. My brother Michael came over early to set up the deep fryer so we could deep fry the turkey, but his thermometer wasn't working so I ran out to the store moments before everyone was due to arrive and picked up another one. He injected liquid Cajun spices and rubbed the bird down with more Cajun spies. I was really excited that we didn't set the house on fire! Mike was so tired of turkey and wasn't looking forward to eating at all, but he really liked the way it was prepared.

Michael brought his Rottie puppies, Gretchen and Gator over for some puppy playtime with Riley and it was quite the romper room around here. They all received a rawhide tug toy and Gretchen and Riley looked and sounded ferocious as they tugged away. Finally, Riley ripped the toy from Gretchen's mouth and as it went flying, little Gator picked it up and ran! They were all tuckered out by evening's end and Gator kept trying to curl up to sleep, but we wanted him good and tired so he'd sleep through the night (instead of waking Shaunda up at 2:30am to go out). Riley was exhausted and slept hard through the next day. We'll have to get the doggie cousins together again soon!

It was a marvelous day and we especially enjoyed all of the gifts we received and exchanged. Mike got lots of coffee and we both received Starbucks travel mugs (mine is appropriately green for my favorite color!). We love everything and are so thankful for great family!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

To celebrate the first day of 2009, we ran a 5km race this morning! The local Road Runner's Club put on the free race not far from our house, so we couldn't resist. On our way to the New Year's Eve party last night we drove over to look at the course, and it wasn't bad. The only downside to the race was the temps - it was 25 degrees at race time, which is what it was when I did the Jingle Bell run last month. I figure when I decide to do a 5k, the weather decides to make me suffer for it! We bundled up good this morning in preparation. Thankfully, registration was inside a local gym and all 300 runners were able to hang out there until just before race time. After we registered, we decided to head back to the car so we could leave our winter coats in the car because we don't run in them. It was cold for sure after that!

Even though we saw the race course last night, I still didn't exactly understand it because last night it looked too short to be 5k. I didn't understand that we were to run down Gaither, make a right and run over I-370 on the bridge, run down the hill to the court and loop around up the hill, continue back over the highway, make a right on Gaither again, run to the end of the road and loop back, and then make a left back on the road going over 370 - twice. Yep, we did the whole loop twice. The uphill part wasn't too bad the first time, but we both felt it on the second loop. I grabbed an ice cold cup of water on the second lap and held on to it partly up the hill, which helped. The guy in front of me was running so slow, I thought I was going to run into him! It was fun seeing the fast runners. I was heading into the first loop around 3 minutes after we started when I saw two guys racing for first. I couldn't believe how fast they were! I realized that they would probably finish well before I even started my second mile. I did wish I could run faster so I could finish faster and get out of the cold!
Mike didn't keep pace with me, but since the race looped around so many times we cheered each time we passed each other. We both did well today. Mike ran his personal best and blew his old time out of the water. I ran about a minute slower than the last race, but still not bad. After Mike finished, he came back to run to the finish line with me. When I saw him I smiled and did a little gig as I ran (seriously, I did!) because it meant a lot that he came back to push me across the finish line. He urged me to pick up my pace at the end and finish strong. I gave it my all, but boy was it tough!
So, what'd you do today? :-)