Beth is on the Move!

Beth is on the Move!
Jun 11, 2009 by Beth Mowry

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

I think the first step to I took on this journey began when I got the "all clear" phone call from my oncologist in January, 2008. The next steps were while hiking through the Death Valley desert less than three months later.

Here I am - nearly two years after my initial lymphoma diagnosis, embarking on another leg of this journey of mine- doing something I NEVER imagined myself to be capable of - completing a marathon.

I'm training to participate in The Marine Corps Marathon as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training. This organization supports blood cancer research, patients and their families. I've benefited from LLS; others have trained with me as an honored teammate. And now it's my turn.

Please know that I appreciate all of you who have supported me through my diagnosis, treatment and beyond. I'm asking you again to support me and a great cause - finding a cure for blood cancers.

Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission.

I'm training with two colleagues from BCS - Latisha and Deb. So, if you know all three of us, we'd be happy to split your donations to maintain our sense of collaboration!

I hope you will visit my web site often. I'll be updating the site as I progress, so check back often!

As always, thanks for your amazing support!


June 13

I bought my running shoes, but missed the practice. I had to take a NY state teacher's exam instead. BUT, I did walk a total of 6 miles today!

June 14

I'm starting to get shin splints, but went out again today. I walked/ran for a total of 35 minutes, logging 2 miles. I walked for a few minutes, jogged for between 30 seconds and one minute, etc. With work, I'll increase the jogging time and decrease the walking time. I got my first donation today - thanks, Beth V.! And my second one - thanks, Loreen! And my third - thanks, Sarah!

June 15

I just finished 20 minutes on my elliptical trainer. The Beatles really help me to keep up my pace! I would have done a little more, but it's bedtime for Ian. I'll have to start earlier next time.

Thanks to Mom, Linda, Karol, Kristen and Loren for donations today. Also, a special thanks to Susan who is watching Ian during my training tomorrow night and to Kay for offering to host Ian at her house on the Tuesdays thereafter. My first official training is tomorrow night. I'm both nervous and excited to meet everyone else!

June 16

Today was my first "official" training. About 30 minutes prior, I was yawning and wondering if I was going to make it - but make it I did. In fact, I even jogged for a total of about a half-mile - more than I EVER thought possible. I'm feeling less stressed about finishing the marathon now, but still have LOTS to do to get ready. Thanks to Nadine and Jeff Carroll and to Doris and the Palmieri Family for your donations today!

June 17

My friend and colleague Raka and I took a group of students to New Jersey to go fossil collecting. It involved walking and digging in a shallow stream. I'm tired and still damp. Perhaps today will by my day "off" this week. Thanks to Kate for your donation!

June 18

Okay, so more than one day off. Logistics on Thursdays are tough - at least until school lets out - NEXT WEEK!! I did gather a list of address to send personal fundraising letters to. I wrote the letter, too. I guess this is not all about the training, it's about meeting my fundraising goal, too. That makes me feel better - I DID do something today!

June 19

I hate to say this again, but logistics on Friday are tough, too. I'll need to think about this. The one thing I did do was purchase running clothes and a watch that will help with interval timing. Thanks, Gayle, for being my shopping/keeping the boys out of trouble buddy.

June 20

I got up early, put on some new running clothes and went to my first Group Training Session. There are around 50 people who are training with the Brooklyn Group. My friend Latisha wanted to get her workout in before the rain and Deb started before the groups really got set to go. So, neither of them were there. Off went the advanced runners (12-13 miles), off went the intermediate/advanced (9-10 miles), off went the beginners (7 miles) and I was left with a few other beginners - with me being the only "true" beginner, until my now friend Sonia showed up.

Anyway, there's something to be said for the courage to go to a place where you know no one, and can't actually do what everyone else is doing. It's pretty scary. BUT, coach Jim ran with Sonia and me and we made it around the loop in Prospect Park with a 3:1 walk/run ratio. (Meaning we walked for three minutes and ran for one minute). The loop is 3.2 miles. I actually thought I could go a little more, but a few hours later, I'm a bit sore and glad I didn't.

Another thing about today is that I came out of my "cancer closet" to Coach Jim. He didn't know that I was a cancer survivor. Maybe next Saturday I'll tell the group at our event called "Connection to the Cause".

June 21

I just returned from today's run/walk. I walked in my neighborhood, which is not as fun as in the park. You don't have to stop for car traffic in the park. I walked/ran 3:1 for 2 miles in 34 minutes. To finish the marathon in October, I have to maintain a 14 minute mile. So, my pace is good. Now to concentrate on endurance. It's *really* humid today, so breathing was more difficult and I noticed running was harder than it was yesterday. I wonder if it has to do with food? Hydration? humidity? All three?

Fundraising is going well, too. Thanks Elspeth, Amanda and Scill for helping us to find a cure!

Since today is Father's Day, while I was running, I was thinking about what Dad would say about me running this marathon. I think he'd be proud. Happy Father's Day, Dad.

June 22

I had the day off today for an oncologist appointment and for other errands. First, all's well with me - Dr. Phyllis Hyde is the greatest. No swollen lymph nodes, blood work is good.

I stopped at the park on the way home and did the 3.2 mile loop in 51 minutes 3:1 ratio. It started to rain *just* as a finished my last stretch. That made me smile.

I have a PET scan scheduled for next week. It's a test where they inject radioactive glucose into my bloodstream to detect cancerous cells. It's been six months since the last one. I always get nervous when I have the scans. Ian likes that I'm radioactive for awhile after the test, "Like Spiderman, right Mommy?" I'll keep you posted. I have to eat only protein for the day before the test. Not sure how that will affect my training.

Thanks for my neighbors Lenora and Arthur for your donation. It will show up on the website soon!

Also, I wanted to write about my new honored teammate - Paula Hise. Paula is a single mom and is the aunt of one of my dearest friends. She is currently undergoing treatment for Marginal Zone B-cell Lymphoma Stage IV. Her attitude is upbeat, despite the treatment and being a victim of the economy, losing her job just prior to her diagnosis. She has used the services of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. "They are wonderful", she writes. Keep up your strength, Paula. You can do this!

June 23

Boy am I tired.... Today was a group training session and today's focus was "speed" and "effort". Our goal was to run as fast as we could go with good form for 1/8 of a mile and then spend the next 1/8 of a mile to recover in heart rate and respiration - over and over and over again. I don't even know how many times I did that. I know I stopped running at such a hard pace near the end - I tired myself out. My knee was bothering me just before practice, so I wasn't sure I'd even be able to run! But, I followed the instructions and ran so that I could only speak in single word sentences. I had a few choice single words to use, too!

I also "came out" to the group about my lymphoma. It was SO MUCH HARDER than I anticipated. Thank you to Latisha who stood beside me with her arm around my waist as I told people something like, "In 2007 I was diagnosed with lymphoma and now I'm here, doing this. I'm going to need your help." At this point, everyone clapped.

That's all I got through because I was crying. Then, coach Jim told the group about the conversation that he, Sonia and I had on Saturday when I told him that I am a survivor. He said other things, but I was too focused on trying to stop crying. Maybe someone will tell me what he said. I heard the words "amazing" and "inspiration".

One of my teammates, Amanda, came up to me afterward to thank me for sharing. Another, Carmen, videotaped me because she's making a video to use for fundraising.

Thanks to Monique for your contribution.

I'm off to take a cool shower and to go to bed. Hopefully, I'll sleep well tonight!

June 24

Ever since I signed up for this race, I've been thinking of the logistics of how to get my workout in each day. I am no longer thinking of exercise as something I *should* do, but as something I *must* do in order to to be ready for October.

Today's solution was to bring running clothes to school with me and. at the end of the day, walk/run about a mile to a local hospital to see a colleague who just had her first baby. I stayed for awhile and walked/ran back to school (in the rain) to pick up Ian.

I walked in and saw my friend Gayle. I was in running clothes, wet from the rain and from sweat. She lovingly called me a "jock" - something or someone I *never* was known as. In fact, all you high school friends reading this: Did you ever hear the words "Beth Mowry" and "jock" used in the same sentence? I thought not. But, you know what? Being a "jock" feels good - for the body and soul.

June 25

Today was a day off. With my hip and knee hurting and knowing that I have training on Saturday, I didn't do any training today. Tomorrow is the last day of school and there is lots to do. I think the stress of the end of the year is also toying with my eating habits - too much comfort (read: junk) food! Tomorrow is another day!

June 26

Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day. At least school ended today.

Thanks to Rob and the BCS staff for your contributions today.

June 27

This morning, our training was in Manhattan. We met for something called "Connection to the Cause". There was a nutrition clinic and then we went for a "Fun Run" in Central Park. I decreased my recovery time to 2 minutes between one minute runs. It seems like a nice place to plateau for awhile.

Then, we all (by all I mean all the New York City TNT team - probably close to 200 people) met at a middle school audtorium. We heard from speakers who had a personal connection to LLS. Earlier in the day, Jeanette, a staff member at LLS walked up to me and put the invitation out to share my story. It was much easier this time.

The one thing I remember saying is that "You (meaning all the runners/fundraisers in the room) are funding our lives." And it is just now that I'm thinking about what that really means. Without fundraising like is done through Team in Training, I may not be here. Ian may not have a Mama. It's very sobering to think about.

I realize more and more that while I'm focusing on the training and getting in shape, I'm also processing and continuing to think about the fact that I had cancer and how incredibly lucky I am to be alive and well enough to be doing all that I do. I'm not certain I knew that this journey would be so powerful.

June 28

Two years ago today...

It was two years ago today that I ended up in the ER with crushing chest pains brought on by the 10cm tumor between my heart and my lung. It's ironic that I spent the day eating only proteins and green, leafy veggies preparing for my PET scan tomorrow. I know something about my body - If I don't eat regularly, I get mirgaines. My bag for tomorrow is packed - sweater because it's cold in the facility, Tylenol to take after the test, a book to read... And clothes with no metal in them so I don't have to wear one of those horrible gowns.

In additon, I wasn't allowed to do any strenuous exercises. So, instead I spent the day on a quest to find a watch that had an "interval timing" function - no luck yet. Plus, I had an appointment with a massage therapist who specializes in treating endurance athletes. It was so nice, sometimes painful, but nice overall. My hip is still bothering me and she found some nice, tight muscles - hamstrings and IT band. Yikes!

But, I also must admit that I spent some time thinking about "what if". Of course, I know that worrying about tomorrow's test results won't change the fact: either the cancer is there or it isn't. It's a worry that shows up less often than before, but especially right before my scans and until I hear the results, if even just a tiny whimper in the back of my head.

My stomach is growling, but I can't stand the thought of eating more chicken or broccoli. I'm going to sleep.

June 29




I know it's the low blood sugar and/or the migraine speaking. But, what the HELL was I thinking... a marathon?!? Tha'st 26.2 miles and I don't think I've ever run more than a block.

Thanks to Gayle for meeting me for lunch and helping me to feel human again after my test. It went well. I really like the technician - he and I talked about Spiderman's radioactive spider bite. Fun, huh? (Of course, *I'm* radioactive for awhile...

Anyway, I'm feeling less than positive about the marathon, can you tell? I'll get my enthusiasm back - I just need to feel better.

It seems that this is all the space I have on this website to journal. I've started a wikispaces page to continue writing. Thanks to Gayle for suggesting I publish these as memoirs. Who knows - maybe I will someday. Check out the other site at:


Supporter Comments

    "Go TEAM!!! Beth, I am so excited for you and know that you will achieve both your fundraising and marathon goals!!! See you in DC!"

    Kate Jordan

    Wed Jun 17 06:28:53 EDT 2009

    "After the run, there are still lots of rocks to see!"

    Jill and Lois

    Sun Jul 26 11:28:33 EDT 2009

    "Beautiful tribute to your Dad. I know he will be smiling down on you and cheering you on. Good Luck and run fast. "

    Tue Aug 22 10:26:54 EDT 2017

    "James your Dad would be proud of you doing the Marine Corp Marathon in his honor. Enjoy the run and try to have negative splits. Love pop."

    Wed Aug 23 12:33:49 EDT 2017

    "James your Dad would be proud of you!! Try to negative splits so that it an enjoyable run. Love you Pop."

    Wed Aug 23 12:35:56 EDT 2017

    "We will find a cure!!"

    Sun Mar 04 09:08:44 EST 2018

    "What a great cause for a great kid!!! "

    Jill and Lois

    Thu Jul 05 02:28:23 EDT 2018

    "Races are run just one step at a time. It's not the amount of time it takes to finish... it's about "the finishing" that counts. I'm proud of you for taking this leap... a leap so many of us "fraidy cats" - me - won't take but are more than willing to support those braves souls - you - who are willing to step up to the challenge. GO GET 'EM!!!"

    Loreen Studley

    Sun Jun 14 03:42:49 EDT 2009

    "Good luck again this year. Amazing total you have raised to date! Congrats from the Diorios. "

    Jill and Lois

    Mon Jun 25 09:58:23 EDT 2018

    "To Ms. Fish class, Go Fish Hero Squad's. What a great cause! Good luck on reaching your goal. Sincerely. Kyle F and Family"

    Mon Mar 05 11:14:07 EST 2018

    "I'm so proud of you, Beth! Good luck in the marathon!"

    Michelle Sam Gruessing

    Wed Sep 09 07:21:11 EDT 2009

    "You CAN do anything!"

    Ruth Tintary

    Mon Aug 17 09:18:56 EDT 2009



    Sat Aug 15 10:52:44 EDT 2009

    "From the Jennings & Bordes-Hollon family with all our love and support."

    Kenneth Bordes-Hollon

    Tue Aug 11 02:56:42 EDT 2009

    "You are an inspiration!"

    Eleanor Miele

    Mon Jul 27 05:32:44 EDT 2009

    "Beth, thank you for sharing this experience. You're doing great and you look great!"

    Deanne O'Dell

    Sat Jul 25 12:19:57 EDT 2009

    "Good Luck and know that we are thinking of you!!!"

    Amy Peters

    Sat Jul 25 12:18:49 EDT 2009

    "Heidi Ho, Bethie!! Please know you are in our thoughts always. You should be very proud of yourself for doing this! Go get 'em and Semper Fi! xoxo"

    Karol 7 kristen

    Mon Jun 15 10:49:36 EDT 2009

    "You go girl! This is great, and yes, crazy. "

    Loren Fisher

    Mon Jun 15 10:24:40 EDT 2009

    "I am so happy to support you in this mission. Best of luck with your training. I know you will finish the race. "

    Linda Conrad

    Mon Jun 15 08:58:20 EDT 2009

    "You are one tough woman! I am glad that our paths crossed all those years ago and I am able to follow your life...and you are living an action packed one. "

    Diane Guerrero

    Mon Oct 12 11:58:32 EDT 2009

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $3,929.09 | Goal: $3,200.00
123 %

Make a Donation

We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

In Honor of

Paula Hise

My Thanks To

Michelle Sam Gruessing $150.00
Sarah Beaty $100.00
Thomas Griffith $100.00
The Virgenock Family $100.00
Wayne Shaffer $100.00
Kay and Ioanis Papavassil... $100.00
Kenneth Bordes-Hollon $100.00
Joel Miele $100.00
Deanne O'Dell $100.00
Robert Tweeddale $100.00
Priscilla Chan $100.00
Elspeth Schell $100.00
Nadine Sabo-Carroll $100.00
Loreen Studley $100.00
Eleanor Miele $75.00
Beth Mowry $69.00
Satish Cherian $50.00
Susan Westover $50.00
Rosabeth Eddy $50.00
Erik Luna $50.00
Chris Jesinkey $50.00
Joanna Miller $50.00
Ruth Tintary $50.00
Tina $50.00
Janice McGhee $50.00
deborah comeau $50.00
Beth Novelli $50.00
Phyllis Hyde $50.00
Christina Dzurko $50.00
Mark Chung $50.00
Thomas Mullane $50.00
Cynthia Krohn $50.00
patricia S. Taylor $50.00
Arthur Marshall $50.00
Baly and Craig Cooley $50.00
Kate Jordan $50.00
sarah safford $50.00
Amy Malinoski $40.00
Linda Conrad $40.00
Melissa Yourich $35.00
Karol 7 kristen $35.00
Mary Rusk $25.00
Sherry Lehman $25.00
Barbara Taragan $25.00
Eric Koontz $25.00
Anonymous $25.00
Diane Guerrero $25.00
Jeanne Kopun $25.00
Sonia Mbabazi $25.00
Nicole Olivers $25.00
Lynn Felski $25.00
Gayle Weintraub $25.00
Amy Binin $25.00
Susan Jarrell $25.00
peter hoppmann $25.00
Amy Finnegan $25.00
Brian Bachorz $25.00
Lynn Felski $25.00
Jennifer Fine $25.00
Emmanuel Hevi $25.00
Wayne Powell $25.00
Adeola Amory-Spencer $25.00
Mary Ellen Farabaugh $25.00
Samantha Condolff $25.00
Beth Mowry $25.00
Kevin Damico $25.00
Amy Peters $25.00
Shirley Blackburn $25.00
BCS Staff $25.00
Amanda Romani $25.00
Loren Fisher $25.00
Alice Mowry $25.00
Beth Vertucci $25.00
Shane Hockins $20.09
Jennifer Oh $20.00
nina ciatto $20.00
alexandra jacobus $20.00
Sam Koprak $10.00
Karmela Herrera $10.00
Patricia Greaves $10.00
Debbie Gross $10.00
Anthony Spinos $10.00
Mark Keri $10.00
Lisa Auslander $10.00
Monique Casey $10.00
Doris Palmieri $10.00
Jill and Lois