Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks To You

This is as good a time as any to say thank you to all of you, my followers, readers, and friends! In this 2011 year I have experienced so many uplifting moments as a result of all of you. Over these months and years people who are family, friends, and strangers have raved about what an inspiration I am. Why? Because I lost my sight over night, but did not allow that to prevent me from picking myself up off the floor? I truly believe anyone in my situation would have done the same. In fact, I believe there are plenty of others who would have aimed higher and achieved more in life than I have done. Of course, none of us will ever know if in fact that is the case since only I can live this very life. I do know that since I lost my sight so many moons ago, I have been blessed to have such wonderful people come in and out of my life. Every writer, actor, director, marathoner, triathlete in my life, thank you! You are a great friend and an inspiration. There are too many of you to list. On this day and every day, I do my best to highlight your influence on me through this platform, Twitter, and Facebook. I thank all the writing and athletic organizations who have embraced me throughout this year. I hope I make you proud and will continue to do so in the years to come should you find me worthy to represent you and your organization. I hope today has been a wonderful day for you, my friends and followers. I am so lucky to count you as important individuals in my life. As always, feel free to reach out to me via any avenue you feel comfortable. I will do my best to always be available and open to you. I hope you keep visiting and reading my work on this platform. I will do my best to keep spreading the word for my friends' projects and events.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jenny To Guide Me For Aramco Half Marathon

Today, I received a call from David Adame, the director of the Texas chapter for the C Different Foundation to confirm my entry into the Aramco Houston Half Marathon to be held on January 15, 2012. It is the same weekend as the Olympic trials held on the marathon course in Houston. Because the Olympic trials are on Saturday and the Half in which I will be running will take place on Sunday, I will have a chance to watch the elite and maybe walk around meeting some of them. While in the midst of running the CARA 20 Miler this past September, Jennifer Pfaff asked about my heading to Texas. She said that it would be fun to be around all those amazing athletes. If it could ever work out, she would love the chance to guide me for that. I always kept her words in the back of my mind so when David called to get my information for the January event. I asked for an update on possible guides and home stays. He said he was working on it, but time was quickly running out. Although I had not asked Jennifer about her interest nor availability since she first mentioned it in September, I told Mr. Adame that there was always the option of Jen guiding me. He was excited to hear that and asked me to please follow up with her to inquire about her interest. I did. As it turned out, Jen was still interested. She needed to check on some details on her end, but after she did, Jen informed me that she in fact had volunteered to guide me for the Half Marathon! Fresh off her being one of the fabulous women guiding me for this year's Chicago Marathon, Jen is going to lead me through the streets of Houston. What a fun time it will be. I am most excited that Jen will get to experience guiding me when I am fresh and full of life. In the three events in which she has guided me, she has always been picking me up at the midway point of the race. she has met me at the ten or thirteen mile mark. Usually, within a short amount of time, I begin to struggle so she must drag and will me to the finish. This time, it will be different. I can not wait.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brotherly Love For Jenny

You can make all the right decisions with your nutrition, training plan, and mindset, yet when you reach race day, most of it will not matter. Of course, preparing properly to put yourself in the best position to achieve is the intelligent thing to do. Often, how the race plays out is beyond your control. What you can control is the heart and courage you display. Even if it is not your day to shine with your greatest performance, it may be your day to display how much fire and passion you have within your heart, body, and mind. On Sunday at the Philadelphia Marathon, the amazing Jennifer Pfaff put on a show. Maybe it was not her best performance. Maybe she struggled to stay in it during miles 15-20. One thing is for certain. She is an amazing talented woman and athlete who came into my life over a year ago and I have learned so much about being a great athlete and person by having her in my life. In the sixth installment of the Rocky movies, Rocky tells his son that "Life ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you get hit and still keep moving forward. How much you can take and still keep moving forward." Jenny kept fighting and crossed that finish line of another race in her successful accomplished career. Champions shine when it matters most. Jenny is a champion who shined when the chips were down and it was not her day yet she showed her heart and that carried the day! She was my guide for the second half of the CARA 20 Miler in 2010 and 2011. She also was my guide the second half of this year's Chicago Marathon. I am so lucky and privileged to know such a tremendous person.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Congratulations Caroline

In 2008, I met an amazing successful, intelligent, beautiful woman named Caroline Gaynor. She could swim, bike, run circles around most people. She often did. Caroline also would often swim, bike, run along side people. She frequently volunteered to guide blind/visually impaired triathletes. I met her in New York when I went to race in my first ever triathlon. Caroline has an amazing resume of personal athletic achievements while having a wonderful resume of helping other reach their goals. Last year, she became the first woman to ever lead a blind woman through the Ironman Triathlon. The women who had completed the Ironman distance did so with male guides. When Caroline guided Patricia Walsh across the start line and through to the finish, they made history. This past weekend, Caroline added to her legend by guiding Tina Ament through the IM Arizona course in about fourteen hours. Congratulations to Caroline and Tina on the accomplishment. Congratulations to Caroline, one of the most spectacular individuals I have ever met. Caroline is someone who inspires me. She has a heart of gold and never ending talent.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Running Without Time

A few weeks ago, I noticed my stopwatch was not working as it usually does. I figured it was time to change the battery. I did, but the issue remained. I was hoping to get some more use out of it since I mostly use it to keep track of my miles for the run portion of my workouts. From time-to-time, I would use it to know how long my bike riding session lasted. Again, I mostly used it to keep track of my distance for running. Based on distance per run, I would add up my weekly miles to see my progress as a race neared. Unfortunately, when altering the batteries did not work, my stopwatch died shortly there after. This week, I decided to get back into the swing of running. I could not figure out how I would keep track of my miles. Eventually, I decided to use my iPod by simply picking out a play list which would last about thirty minutes or so and just run for as long as I could, if not for the entire time. As I started out, I was annoyed because I had not a clue what distance I had run. I wanted to know. One song finished. Then the next one. I soon found myself simply running. I was listening and enjoying the songs. By the time I ended my run session, I was still a bit annoyed that I did not know my distance yet there was also a part of me which felt so free! I had run free of concern upon hearing my watch give the time then calculating the distance during my run as I always do. I find myself frequently getting lost in calculations to the point I do not realize how much time had gone by until I hear my watch inform me minutes later. This time, I found myself lost in the music. My legs felt strong. They felt good running at a 7:30 pace the entire time until the end when I could no longer keep the pace and had to stop, but I had been able to run and not focus on a watch. I was not running to meet a time goal or even a distance goal. I did not have to hear my watch tell me my time. I was merely running to get in shape, because I love it, and for the enjoyment. If I continue this method, I guess I will gage my progress on at which point in my play list I stop. I am excited about running this way. I will try it for a couple weeks and see how much I enjoy it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

SF10 For 2012 Opens

Two years ago, I kept running across links on Facebook for a race called Soldier Field 10 where participants start just outside the famed stadium, run 10 miles, and end up going through the Chicago Bears players' tunnel ending up on the playing surface to cross the finish line on the fifty yard line. The more I read about it, the more I wanted to do it. I reached out to the organizers eventually receiving a response from Justine Boney then of Fleet Feet. Justine was amazing throughout the process answering my questions and doing all she could to ensure I had the opportunity to run in the event in May 2010. My friend, Alison Keilty helped find me a guide. Her boyfriend. Now husband, Michael Crissie. He had never guided a runner so weeks before, we met to run about five miles along the Chicago lakefront. It was so much fun that he volunteered to guide me again were I to do SF10 in 2011. I did. He did. We beat our finish time from the first year by over ten minutes. Today, registration opens for the Soldier Field 10 scheduled for May 26, 2012. Remembering that it opens each year on Veteran's Day, I reached out to Michael wondering if he wishes to guide me for a third consecutive year. He said yes. I will sign us up soon and look forward to breaking our best time by another ten minutes if not more.

For those interested in this race, please log on to:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Julia In MacBeth

I enjoy dinner and a show. Do you? If so, you will get a thrill out of attending Accidental Shakespeare's Dinner And Staged Reading on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 7p.m. For the low price of $25, you will enjoy dinner and a staged reading of William Shakespeare's MacBeth. The Titzal Cafe in Chicago will be home to this event. You will get to see my friend, Julia Kessler, play Lady MacDuff, Malcolm, and a couple other characters. Please make sure to attend. Again, it is at Titzal Cafe located at 4631 N. Clark St in Chicago. The talented, amazing, and beautiful Julia is just one reason to go. Great food, show, and price are a few more.