Sunday, September 29, 2013


So the boys and I found ourselves in the Magic Kingdom last night - late.  The crowds were light and the temperature was perfect and we were able to walk around and go on ride after ride after ride.  As we walked through Fantasyland, I spotted the new Princess Meet-and-Greet - so .... I made them go in!  After a 5 minute wait, they got to meet Cinderella and then Sleeping Beauty (I think).  The guy working the line gave me a high five for making them come in.  I told him about our costumes for the Halloween party later in the week (the boys as evil stepsisters, me as Cinderella and Hope as Prince Charming).  At one point Cinderella asked Theo if he might marry one of her stepsisters when he gets older.  Theo answered "Well that's ironic." But didn't explain WHY it as ironic.

When they moved over to Princess number 2, the line guy went over and told Cinderella about our Halloween costumes.  She said "ahhhh, so THAT'S why it's ironic!"  She then came over to Sleeping Beauty and filled her in on our plans.  Both princesses asked if we would stop by when we see in costume and we (begrudgingly on the part of the boys) agreed.

All in all it was a good visit.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quick Disney Post

Waiting for the boys to come back from Thunder Mountain so not a lot of time. Having a blast - weathers been great. Many fun rides. Not a lot of sleep. Lots of fun. 

On Main Street

With the Mayor

Where they belong!


Expedition Everest (2nd of 3 trips)

Splash Mountain (10 minutes ago) - Theo's first time, Andy's 5th

Monday, September 23, 2013

A milestone (hopefully one of many to come)

I'd have to go back and look at a calendar that clearly doesn't really exist to figure out the last time I ran more than 13.1 miles.  I suspect it's been years.  I ran two marathons in 2005, so I ran more than 13.1 miles several times in late 2004 and throughout 2005.  But since then???

I've run several half marathons, but I don't think my training ever included anything more than 12 or 13 miles.  So, I think it is safe to say that I have run 13 miles probably 10 times since 2005, but I haven't run more than 13.1 miles since the 2005 Marine Corps Marathon.  Until yesterday. . .

First, for me there is a huge difference between 10 running miles and running 13 miles.  I think 10 miles is perfect - it's long enough that you get psyched to run it (like a long road trip), but it is not too long - just when you start to get bored and sore around miles 8 you realize that you're almost done.  But 13???  Just when you start fading at mile 8 you realize - "I'm screwed! I've got 5 more miles of this!"  So after running 10 miles just about every weekend from March to September, Anne and I increased to 13 miles on September 8 and 15.  On the 8th, we were good through 11 and then it started to be "not good."  At one point, it sounded like Anne was in labor and there were many times when I wondered if we had made a horrible mistake.  The 13 miles run on the 15th was much better.  I felt strong the whole way through and started to think we were going to be okay.

Yesterday, we were scheduled to run 15.  I got up 45 minutes prior to our scheduled start to "try to work some things out" before hitting the pavement.  Renee and Anne arrived at 6:30 and we were off.  They skis were gray and both Renee and Anne had run into significant rain on the drive to me house.  We made it about 2 miles before the skis opened up and boy did they open up!  I'd say we were in torrential downpours from mile 2.5 to mile 6 and then it let up a bit (a BIT).  I could feel the water squishing between my toes with every step - gross.  We essentially did an out and back with a loop at the end - a lollipop:

Even with the rain, it wasn't too bad.  We were a bit slower than usual, but I was happy with our 9:51.  And I felt okay when we finished.  I couldn't have run another 11.2 miles, but I could have gone another 4 or 5 (I think).  The next two weeks will be light for me; but then we'll do 15 again on 10/6 and start lengthening from there.

And here's a view of our finish:


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Things that made me cry today

Our story came out in the Current yesterday and I've been flooded with emails and texts of support.  Thanks to the generosity of friends, family, coworkers, colleagues and a few strangers, I have surpassed my original goal of raising $5,000.  We are actually approaching $6,000!

I hate asking for money.  There, I said it.  Hate it.

And yet the support I have received has been overwhelming and humbling.  As I looked through the list of everyone who gave to this cause, I got weepy.

When I re-read the article and looked at the picture of Theo and Owen . . . yup, sweating from my eyes! (again)

So I clean myself up and then read a post from a donor: "I think the recurring miracle of God at work in our lives comes from and through a myriad of graces . . . the love of a father for a son and the love of a boy for life are two of them."  Seriously???  Pass the Kleenex!  Third time today. I'm going to be dehydrated if this keeps up!

But it doesn't end there  . . . . because the good folks at Team TSA Tweeted a link to THIS guy:

Ok, I'm done.

Thanks everyone for your support.  Please pass a tissue.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ta Da!!!

After being trumped by Survivor Bob last week, Theo, Anne and I finally made the Current!  Ive included (I think) a link to the article below.  The author was really able to capture the essence of our Theo AND make Anne and I sound semi-literate (which can be a job in and of itself!)  Enjoy!

Running Down a Cure for Tourettes

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Like a Rolling Stone

Almost as soon as last week's 13 mile run was over (and it turns out we were only scheduled to run 10 miles, but I apparently can't read a calendar) I started to feel weird.  By Sunday night I was pretty sure I had a hernia.  My stomach ached and I felt like I had to pee (a lot!)  TMI?  Maybe.  Sorry.  Anywho . . .

I got up on Monday and ran 4 miles with Jonny.  Felt okay, but still felt like I had to pee the whole time.  I got home, made lunches, iron a shirt and then ... BOOM.  "Hello, pain! So glad you could stop by!"  It was a constant dull pain and then intermittent sharp pain.  I called to get an appointment with my doctor.  They gave me two options: 10:45 or 1:30.  Well, 1:30 of course.  That way I can just take a late lunch.  Makes perfect sense, right?  So then I threw up and re-thought my day.  I called back and got the 10:45.  Phew.  The doctor almost immediately thought it might be a kidney stone.  Huh, who knew?  So they took a urine sample and, guess what?  Blood.  Not cool.  Very dehydrated.  Also, not cool.  So I got an ultrasound and they confirmed it - stones on the left and fluid in the left kidney.

So I went home (feeling old) and laid low.  I had a prescription for pain meds, but didn't want to take anything too early and then be up all night.  So I waited.  And waited.  The pain started getting worse around 7 that night and by 7:25 I couldn't take it any more.  So at 7:25 I took 1 (I was allowed 2) Vicodin and WHAMOO!!!  Talk about relief from pain!  What pain???  What reality???  I was out of it!

I am pretty sure I passed the stones on Monday night, because I did not have any more pain after Monday.  However, that is not the end of this tail.  This picture says it all:

I woke up mid-day Tuesday with no pain, but zero energy.  Just out cold.  Wednesday?  Same thing.  I finally got up at noon on Wednesday and went to work.  But the walk from the car to my office wore me out and I ended up spending the afternoon on a couch in an empty office.  Holy crap that is a serious drug, man. Yuck!

Thursday morning I made myself go on a walk around the neighborhood and THAT was a struggle.  It's been like three days now!  I worked on Thursday and by Thursday night started feeling more "normal" (to the extent I can ever be "normal").  Thought about running on Friday, but it was raining - that was the only excuse I needed.

I did run 5 miles on Saturday and then (gulp) the same 13 mile run this morning.  Felt great!  I think I am (finally) back; no pain; no stones; no linger effects of the drugs.  Phew!

And since Sunday, I have completely changed things up. Instead of having 4 or 5 of these a day

I've switched to 4 or 5 of these

In fact, since Sunday I think I've had 2 sodas and 1 (small) coffee.  We'll see if it makes a difference.

I'm going to try to get in three 4  mile runs this week and then 15 next Sunday.  WhoHoo!

Oh, and the article in the Current was pushed off a week.  Got bumped by this dude:

Apparently "Survivor Bob" is raising money for something or another and he's story trumped ours.  So . . stay tuned.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Random update(s)

After a night in Vicodin Valley, I think the worst of the kidney stones might be behind me.  Let's hope anyways. I obviously did not run today (and I'll probably take tomorrow off as well).  I did, however, get another $150 towards my Dopey Challenge fundraising, leaving me only $415 shy of my original $5,000 goal!  With any luck, the article in this weeks Current will push me over $5,000.  

I had a meeting today with a former employer about another Tourette's fundraising event I've been working on for 2014.  They loved the idea and are super supportive - they offered more help than I asked for, which is very cool.  I've got some leg work to do, but we plan of unveiling this new (one-time) event in February 2014.  Check back for more details in the months to come.  In the meantime some completely random pictures that have nothing to do with what is happening in 2914:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Running high?

HhI've had a great week of runs!  Perhaps it's because the temps are starting to dip, but I've put together several runs (4,5 and 6 miles) where I'm feeling great though out the run - as opposed to my normal runs which include periods of cramping and general aerobic hell.  

Plans are to run 13 tomorrow. Ugh.  But it should be a good indication of where we are training wise - 5 miles on Friday; 6 on Saturday and 13 on Sunday - that's the first three legs of the Dopey!  Only problem is I'm not quite ready for 26.2 miles on Monday.  Oh well!  I've got about 125 days to get ready.

Soccer started today - pictures to follow - so it finally feels like fall.

Meetings later this week to get the final sign-off on a mascot-related fundraising event I've been working on.  Hoping to raise even mo' money for Tourettes!

And because no post should be picture-free - here's the vanity plate I'm thinking of getting.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gearing up!

Anne, Theo and I met with the reporter yesterday evening and (I think) it went very well.  He seemed super interested in what we were doing and he asked some really good questions - I only almost cried once!  He spent a good deal of time talking to Theo about what it's like living with Tourettes and, Theo really held his own.  I am hoping they use more of his interview than mine.

As we left the interview, I thought: "This will be great!  We'll get the word out about TS AND we'll raise some money for the cause!"  I've been worried as I look at my fundraising list - just about everyone I thought would give had given (and very generously), but I was still $1,500 from my goal and running out of people to ask.  I was thinking that this article could reach some strangers who might donate.  About 30 minutes after the interview, I got a "givingsupport" email (they've become my favorite emails these days) - my co-workers had made a significant (and overly generous donation).  For the first time, I thought "I'm actually going to raise $5,000!"  PHEW!

Then today - out of the blue - another "givingsupport" email.  Another huge donation that I did not expect.  And just like that I am within a few hundred dollars of $5,000 and wondering if I could reach $6,000.

 As I told this surprise donor - I feel like an entrepreneur with a bunch of investors all wanting a return on their investment.  And when I roll over and contemplate sleeping in and NOT running, in addition to thinking about Theo and other kids like him, I am now also thinking about all the people in my life (and a few strangers) who have opened their wallets and given so generously - I run for them too.

I wanted to be done asking people for money in September and I think I will be in a position to do that.  I can then focus on the miles and miles and miles I need to run, as the training really starts to pick up now.  If I don't come across as a complete buffoon, I will include a link to the article when it comes out a week from today.

Feeling really blessed today.

And now for a random first day of school picture (just because I think all posts should have a picture and I didn't want to do a picture of my cluttered office).

Andy (8th grade) and Theo (5th grade)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Media Blitz???

Well the mileage really starts to pick up this month - long runs in the 11 to 13 mile range - and I'm still feeling strong.

I'm still hoping to be done with my fundraising by 9/21 (Theo's birthday) and its actually looking good.  I've got about $1,200 to go and I figure there is about $300-$500 out there from folks who have just forgotten (as opposed to those that dread getting my fundraising emails).  But that still leaves me a little short.

Hoping today's plan fills that gap ...

I contacted a reporter for one of those local weekly free newspapers and he is interested in writing about my training and fundraising!  He is meeting me (and Anne and Theo) this afternoon for an interview and to take some pictures.  I am hoping an article will inspire some unknown strangers to give to the cause and push me over the $5,000 mark.  We'll see.

Had a nice 4 mile run last night during soccer - got to explore some new roads and listen to a WDW Radio podcast about the Grand Floridian - bonus!  And this morning, Jonny and I ran 4 miles along a new route - I think it's good to find some new routes as the old routes are getting ... Old.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Coast to coast?

Today thousands of runners are lacing it up and running the Disneyland Half Marathon.

I've never been to Disneyland, but the course looks pretty decent.

AND for all those runners who run a race (in a calendar year) in Disneyland AND Disney World ...

A Coast-to-Coast medal . . . 

Hmmmmm . . .  2014???

Good luck and pixie dust to everyone running today!