A New reason to run NYC

My “Why” for running the New York Marathon in November for Fred’s Team has just been expanded. My mother-in-law, Kathleen Campbell, has just received a cancer diagnosis on February 18, 2019 (Stage 4 Lung, brain, bone, colon). She will start treatment for one of the areas on Monday and I will be the driver this particular appointment.

We’ll take all the good vibes and prayers please.

In addition to radiation, she will be receiving a type of pill that is better than chemo. So much technological breakthrough has happened since my father’s diagnosis of the same cancer. There is no doubt of how important cancer research is and how your generous donation can make a difference in someone’s life.

I’m pretty good at warrior mode, project management, and knocking off things to get done but when the dust settled and there was quiet time today, I was processing my feelings of sadness. I’m lucky (am I?) that I have been through this before with my dad. The unknown is pretty scary.

There’s nothing I would rather do with my life than to Imagine a World Without Cancer. Please join me:

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?px=3226626&pg=personal&fr_id=3255

[Kathleen is a pretty private person but I did receive permission to add her to my page for fundraising.]

Pat, Kathleen, me and my husband, Patrick Campbell

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Tom Brady’s Avocado Ice Cream on Super Bowl Sunday

I returned home yesterday after a week of skiing with the flu. I blew off my 5k to rest and fell asleep until 1pm. After coming to, on the counter were some beautiful ripe avocados. Perfect for guacamole, I thought. My husband wanted Tom Brady’s avocado ice cream. Ok.

I hate the Patriots but you have to admit that for someone to be that successful for so long is phenomenal. Ice cream is our weakness so why not?

Ingredients for “ice cream”

I watched Bon Appétit Test Kitchen video on a vegan dish and remembered to use a screwdriver and hammer in the eye of the coconut. I did not remember, however, to use a dishrag.

Carla Lalli of Bon Appétit Test Kitchen is the master. Totally should have rewatched the video.

Pat drives the screwdriver into the eye of the coconut sans dish towel

Then this.

Oh crap.

It wasn’t the end of the world but I wouldn’t recommend that. Pat went outside to hammer the coconut on the ground like how we all learned growing up.

Blending all the ingredients

The end product is in the freezer overnight so I don’t have a ta da moment for the ending.

Go Rams and have a great week!

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Doggin it on Cat Hill

A few weeks ago, Coach Deb invited Katie (my running buddy who started the hashtag #colleenmademedoit) and I to start our first marathon coaching session by going for a run in Central Park. With the NYC Half coming up, I jumped at the chance. Memories of an ugly last 4 miles returned from 2018.

Me, Deb, and Katie entering the park

Central Park is magical. I’m from Jersey but I never spent much time in the park. Surrounded by the skyline we all know, it’s so very peaceful. This weekend it was full of inspiring runners, especially those with Team Achilles, which included a blind person and several wheelchair athletes.

Just a glorious day

Bronze statue called “Still Hunt” of a cougar mocks the runners

Infamous Cat hill, NYRR group runners at the top

After a nice long run and lunch with Deb, I feel reinvigorated not only for the half but for the marathon.

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be running for Fred’s Team, the foundation for Sloan Memorial Kettering. Their slogan “Imagine a World Without Cancer” resonates with me. If it resonates with you, you might consider donating to my run. (They saved RBG!)

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/RunsWalks/FredsTeam?px=3226626&pg=personal&fr_id=3255

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‘Twas the Night Before Registration

The NYC Marathon lottery opens tomorrow. I’m so impatient, I registered for Fred’s Team, the fundraising arm of Memorial Sloan Kettering, 10 days ago. I couldn’t take the idea of wanting to do the marathon and not getting in.

I’m doing it!

And I’ve strong-armed, I mean, recruited, some of my local friends to run it with me. They are doing the lottery so I’m excited and hopeful.

While the real training doesn’t start until June, I’m training for the NYC Half Marathon in March and trying to do all the things.

  • Plyometrics – I did my first jumps and lunges since Bucknell today.
  • Cross-training – bike trainer set up in the basement. 2x week.
  • Stretching – doing after every run.
  • Foam rolling – I’m doing my achy heel daily.
  • Massages- set up my first one for next week.
  • Epsom salt baths – On Sunday Rundays, I soak.
  • Drinking water – I’m trying to give up the Diet Coke. We know how that story goes.
  • Running during the week – this has been a challenge with my travel schedule/lack of commitment but I’ve done ok the last 2 weeks. Only 42 weeks left!

I know the commitment to maintaining a body in motion from my swimming years and have never desired to put in the effort until now.

Good luck to everyone trying to get in!

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Closing out 2018

As everyone is looking at 2018 accomplishments as we close out the year, I didn’t have a stellar year compared to others but at 45 years old, I’m done living in comparison.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

My 2018 in a nutshell:

Spring: United NYC Half Marathon-consistently trained, raced, and PR’d.

Summer: Focused on getting a new job and got one.

Fall: Philly Rock n Roll Half – trained in heat, and really suffered at the race with the 80 degree temps.

Two half marathons in one year would make this a pretty good year. Even better is the momentum of consistency I’ve been working on since November.

Today, I finished Week 1 of training for the United NYC Half Marathon (Half #8!) and had one of the fastest 5k times in recent years which was at practice.

Hamilton Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town Group Run today

Looking forward, I made a vision board mostly for the NYC Marathon but also for the rest of life. *scissor skills are not my strength. Also included are a trip to Paris/Alsace in April, Westminster Meet the Breeds in Feb, NYC Half in March, and Spring Lake beach and gardening.

One of the stories that moves me is that of 25 year old Hannah Gavios, (and Amanda Sullivan on the left) who finished the NYC Marathon on crutches. I highly recommend reading her story:

https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a24438045/hannah-gavios-crutch-new-york-city-marathon/

Whatever your goals, may you have faith in yourself to achieve them.

See you in 2019!

Colleen

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2019. New York City Marathon

I’ve returned to blogging after another move (Denver to NJ – August 2017) and a new goal of doing the 2019 NYC Marathon. I want to remember the journey and note my thoughts along the way so I am picking up blogging about it.

Running a marathon is lofty goal for someone who has paid for 3 marathons without running them, completed 2 half marathons with ZERO training, and currently only runs on weekends, I know. A few things make this time different.

1. Where I run in NJ is zero elevation. I love running at the Jersey shore, along the Delaware and Raritan canal path and in Princeton. In Parker, Colorado, it was a 300′ gain just to leave the neighborhood and come back. I could drive to get to the Watchung “mountains” but I don’t! Flat is for me.

2. My team is the right match for me. I joined a free running club that uses FaceBook to schedule runs different times and locations. It’s very flexible. The group I run with matches my pace and desire to run but not win everything. They are improving and learning (as am I) but don’t want to burn out. If I want to push it, there’s a group within the group at a faster pace. All in all, this group of ladies has been really good for me.

3. Volunteered in 2018. Additionally, the group encouraged volunteering for the 2018 NYC Marathon which was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. I helped control the corrals from 6am to noon. I spoke French for the visitors that came to NY to run. It was electric. It reminded me of the Masters in golf. Everyone knew it was a major, special and an amazing day.

After my session, I yelled (cheered?) for as many runners as I could at Mile 25. I thought the crappy hill going into the finish along the park was a good spot. It was amazing the number of runners who acknowledged me by looking me in the eyes. I was affecting their race!

4. I’m putting this goal above all others. It occurred to me recently that I have prioritized my work success above everything in my life. I could win all the jobs and look back at 70 years old and realize I didn’t do everything I wanted to in life. This will be the first year since 1995 when my personal goal (then swimming) will be the main mental focus for me.

5. I hired a coach. Deb Durig, Bucknell classmate, will be my coach. She runs in honor of her father who died of leukemia and has done 75 (you read that right) half marathons and is a coach for Team in Training. As a New Yorker, she has the inside skinny too. I hired her because her enthusiasm and positivity is infectious. I feel like I can do anything with her.

6. Just Finishing. When I read about Project Finish, it sealed my commitment to do the race. The Elites and people come back to the finish line at 8pm and cheer and greet the last runners. One of the people who finished at 10pm HAD NO FEET. She did twenty-six miles on crutches. I have ability, health, and all the things that make it possible. My goal is just finishing.

7. This is for those that can’t. While the lottery hasn’t occurred yet, it is likely that I will be running for Fred’s Team, the Memorial Sloan Kettering charity. For the NY Half last year, I ran for Fred’s Team in honor of Oliver, Dolly, Kevin (in Memorium) and my Dad. Sadly, Oliver died from his glioblastoma brain cancer at 22 years old this year. The mission of Fred’s Team – imagine a world without cancer – resonates very strongly with me and will help motivate me on the challenging days.

I hope you will join me on my 11 month journey.

Colleen

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Amsterdam in April – I’m on a boat 

Patrick and I were very happy that my dad’s health was stable enough for us to take our vacation as planned.  This was my first real vacation since my new job started 3 years ago and first time out of the US since I left Japan 4 years ago.  Let it be known, this location was selected because of the tulip festival.

We departed Denver to Frankfurt and jumped from Frankfurt to Amsterdam.  It was a pretty easy connection and I was mistaken for a German (there’s a theme for this trip).  From Schipol, I had arranged a limo so that we weren’t tired, cranky and lost (scroll back to the beginning of this blog when I thought that would be the name- Not Lost in Translation. Just Lost).  Since the room wasn’t ready yet when we arrived, we dumped our stuff and headed out to explore.  We walked over to a canal boat tour to enjoy the 70 degree weather.  It was spring fever.  Boats were full of groups of young, old, and everyone enjoying the canal.  People had set up folding chairs along the canals with a picnic.  The architecture was sublime. 

Our hotel, The Andaz, was formerly a library and a famous designer, Marcel Wanders, did a beautiful homage to Amsterdam with a modern twist. Delft, the blue and white pottery that was adapted (shall we say) from the Chinese pottery, is all over the hotel in different ways. We stayed in Princengracht for the first two nights. Hooray for Hyatt points! It’s a great part of the city to stay.  

The use of “XXX” is not an homage to the red light district but rather part of the coat of arms.  Just thought that was worth clarifying.

Buildings from 1600s line the canals.

Canal walls are lined with people enjoying the sunshine


Fish heads above the bed

Hotel bike

History of Amsterdam in Delft wallpaper

Gardens

More hotel art

The coat of arms of Amsterdam


Bicycle culture

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