Boston Pub Crawl 2012
Apr 15, 2012 by Stephanie Keogh
With promises of record temps and threats of dehydration it will be a long, slow race tomorrow. When I get hot and tired, I'll just ask the people around me to read the names of your dear friends and family - to remind me why I am running.
I am going to run the race like a pub crawl, stoppin to drink frequently, and without a care in the world. I think it's the only way. I'll be a finisher no matter when I cross the finish line! Thanks for the love and support - just over $2000 left to go.
6 Days - Love and Support
Apr 10, 2012 by Stephanie Keogh
The thing about running a marathon is that you just don't do it alone. I mean, you do a lot of things alone. There are plenty of workouts and runs that are simply on your own. But I cannot tell you how many times people came out and met me and ran with me when I was first training for marathons, living in Waco and trying to figure out how to fit 26 miles into that one horse town. LeeAnne would meet me with powerbars and Gatorade and the halfway mark, an elementary school, 9.5 miles from the BU campus. Cheering and generous. People would hop in and run little chunks so that I didn't have to run the long runs alone. When I ran in Berlin, we would run at night, after work, after trips, after drama, and through the cobbled streets. Even then, Mimers came from Beirut and ran the last half with me, in the rain, through the streets of Berlin, the year that there was no one to run with me. And on the day of the race, there are tables of volunteers handing you water, picking up your trash, handing out medals, checking on your health... And miles and miles of cheering people, telling you, long before it is actually true, "You're almost there!" and long after it is really true, "You look great!"
That doesn't make it easy... As you can see from the pictures below, there are some sacrafices that you make. I always lose my middle two toe nails. I'll lose the second after the marathon. I don't know why. That's just the way it goes for me. One before, one after. Then it is going to be long past flip flop season that they come back. Nothing better to bring attention to it, than some neon orange polish. I am also battling my achilles. I rock some sexy compression sock (which are actually helping) and ice multiple times a day... not to mention the tiger balm that I liberally apply each night before bed. I think Justin thinks he is sleeping with a jar of that menthol stuff from when you were a kid.
Speaking of sacrafice. Let me just say that my husband has given up not only his Saturday mornings to serving my entire team cups of water and nourishment every Saturday morning for five months, he has given up having a functional wife on the weekends for those five months. He almost fell over laughing after our taper started when I joyfully cheered last Sunday, walking down the stairs pain-free, "It's SO awesome to wake up on Sunday and not be in total body misery!" Running a marathon is not a one person committment, it is a team effort on so many different levels.
One of the winter fundraisers a team member held had a motto I loved, it was, "If you think winter running is hard, try fighting cancer." All the sacrafices that we make are not nearly as costly as the sacrafice of losing a loved one to cancer. I am running this race because I got incredibly lucky, Marla had a great run. It's simply not like that for everyone. Cancer is not something that plays fair, or takes account. It simply attacks and is no respector of person or position. It takes a team of people sacraficing more than their bodies or toenails to fight this thing. We are close to raising a million dollars to beat back the ugly head of this disease and I don't want to back down now. The last 6 days are like the last 6.2 miles. A LONG WAY! So let's stay with it, let's keep our head in the game, let's keep going until we're all the way there! I have $3380 toward my goal - won't you join me in battling this terrible disease, let's go all the way, I promise you that if you'll stay in this with me, I won't give up until I cross the finish line. 6 days and 26.2 miles to go! We're in it together!
Apr 09, 2012 by Stephanie Keogh
We had our last "long" run Saturday morning. 8 quick miles out and back. Tomorrow we will run the last 5 miles of the course. That means that I will have run all but one mile of the course over the duration of training. My Achilles is giving me fits, but I am compression socks and ice are going to make it all OK by next Monday.
Today I wanted to share with you the stories of two of my dear friends. Both were very supportive when I started raising money for this race. One, who has a father who has been battling cancer for years – the other with an uncle who was in remission. Over the course of my training both have gone back into treatment, and had particularly difficult Easter weekends. I was really impacted by the reality of the situation. These are not nebulous dollars that we are throwing at imaginary people. These are the grandparents of our favorite little girls, these are the brothers of some of the wisest men we know, and the uncles of some of our favorite people. They are real, and their suffering is profound.
I am a little more than $3000 away from my goal and my team is within $100,000 of theirs. This weekend, our honored hero moment was done by our team leader, Kelly. She shared about running the Dublin Marathon with TNT, and how her family made it a family vacation. She explained how three weeks later he father was diagnosed with cancer. She told us about how he lived three years battling, and how one year ago Saturday she took the team out, led them through their last run, and got them amped for Marathon Monday. By Marathon Monday her parents had told her that her father (who passed away last year on Father’s Day) had months… It made it profoundly more significant to her that the last person she, and our other coach Sarad, helped cross the finish line was a survivor running for TNT – his singlet said his run was in honor of “The Fighters, The Survivors, The Taken.” Kelly then reminded us that we are running so that hopefully, one day, we’ll only have “The Survivors” on our backs.
Apr 06, 2012 by Stephanie Keogh
I first heard Brianna's story on Colette Paperie's Blog. Keli is the creator of some of my favorite cards, like this one that I gave Justin for Valentine's Day, or this one that I love to send to the tinies in my life, and this one that I feel like I am sending every other day of my life (and that I mean sincerely.)
So I emailed Brianna, and told her what I was doing and asked if I could add her Dad as an honoree. Not just because he is fighting for his life, and because their story so clearly shows how deeply impacted the lives around the person diagnosed are... But because in the time that I have been training for this marathon, the Dempsey's lives have been turned upside down. And that's the reality of cancer. Here's the email that Brianna sent me with their story -
Here is a quick recap of his story:
It all started with a broken rib around Thanksgiving, which they thought was caused by sneezing too hard! This was the first symptom, but we wouldn't know it was cancer until over a month later. In early January, dad was becoming forgetful and passive, and then one day he lost movement in half his face. So thinking it was a stroke, my mom took him to the hospital where they found bleeding in the brain, and they rushed him to a hospital 1.5 hrs away to be treated. He then went in for brain surgery, where they removed a brain tumor. After days in the hospital and more tests, they found out that he had stage 4 kidney cancer, which had spread from the kidney to the lungs, bones, and brain.
Every appt we have been to they have found more cancer, and it is now in his lymphnodes and spine too. So it is spreading very quickly, and he had another surgery last week to put a rod in his leg, as the cancer is starting to break his bone. He just started a chemo pill last week, which will hopefully stop the growth of the cancer. It will not cure him, but just stop or slow down the growth. If he doesn't respond to the chemo pill, it is a matter of managing his pain and keeping him comfortable.
So it has been a roller coaster the past couple months! How quickly life can change! He was at work the day before they found the brain tumor, and now he has lost 30 lbs and has to walk with a cane! It is so sad, but it definitely helps to know there are such great people out there like you who do such nice things for families when they need it the most! Having people like you gives our family support when we have a hard time facing the challenges of each day. THANK YOU so much for all you and your organization does! I cannot describe what it means to us.
I include the last part of Brianna's email, not to give myself any applause, but because I want to make sure that we all recognize what this means to the families that are being ravaged by this disease.
Please consider giving. To the Dempsey's, and then to LLS.
Thank you again for your support. Ten days. It's really unbelievable.
11 Days away
Apr 05, 2012 by Stephanie Keogh
I cannot believe that we are 11 days away from the race! Time flies when you're having... Well, fun seems like a stretch, but time certainly flies.
Since Christmas I have conquered the Salem Black Cat 20 Miler with my personal best time ever on a 20 mile run. I also managed to anhialate my arches. Luckily I was headed home for a couple of weddings to Texas. I converted my training to treadmill running (once) and a lot of walking (to food and music) and dancing (at the weddings) and came back feeling much better.
I reunited with my beloved TNTers for the big charity 20 miler. This is where we take buses out to the official start of the Boston Marathon, a town called Hopkinton. Oddly enough, my cousin a golf pro at the CC out there. We run in with all the other charity runners. It was a really fun run, and I loved running in with the peeps that keep my pace. We laugh a lot. We sing songs and yell, "I LOVE YOU DOWN HILL!" at the top of all the hills. We yell this not to be funny, but because it is true. You run through Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brighton and Brookline. Sometimes I forget how small Boston is! In my opinion real Boston really starts in Newton, and that's where you turn right on to Comm Ave and hit the hills. That's the row that contains the infamous hill called "heartbreak." Heartbreak Hill is not so much a heartbreak in that it is a slow steady incline over an entire mile, but that it's mile 20-21 after an entire course of rolling hills and a pretty grueling 17-20. I have to confess here that I quit the 20 miler at mile 15 because of some achiles pain. My coaches SWEAR to me that I am ready. Um, OK. Whatever. I hope so. We'll see won't we.
So this is it. I have 11 days to accomplish my goal of $10,000 by race day. That's $335 a day, increasing daily if I don't meet my goal. I hope that you guys will be a part. I'll be posting on here every day counting down to the race. Tomorrow, I will tell you about Brianna's family, her family and her Dad are late added honored heroes that I am running for.
Thank you to all of you for your generosity, support, and committment to a cure. It really is making a difference.