Team MR8 Team Dinner | Pre-NYC Marathon

I’ve never run a marathon NOT as part of a charity team. When I ran Chicago in 2006, I ran as an Honored Teammate for Team In Training and raised over $6,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 6 months after my last chemotherapy treatment. This past April for the Boston Marathon, I represented the amazing Pediatric Hem-Onc department at Mass General Hospital and raised a combined $12,000 along with my sister. When I received the phone call this past July that my application had been accepted to be part of Team MR8 for the 2014 NYC Marathon, I was so proud that I could represent the amazingly strong Martin family, and raise money in honor of such a true “Boston” kid.

Bronx 10 Miler for a Boston kid

Bronx 10 Miler for a Boston kid

Between July and November, TeamMR8 mostly stayed in touch over Facebook, and weekly emails from our charity team leader, Susan. Susan’s Friday emails were a highlight of my week; she covered training tips, fundraising successes, and made sure we all had our eyes on the prize- we were running for TeamMR8. In August, I received a whole box of TeamMR8 gear and a personal note from Debbie and Bill, Martin’s parents. I proudly rocked my MR8 gear during my training races, and keep a photo of Martin in my planner, to remind me why I was again asking my friends and family to donate, and why I was putting in the time and miles to train each week.

all geared up for TeamMR8

all geared up for TeamMR8

The day before the marathon, the whole team got together for a carb-loading pre-race meal at Carmine’s in Times Square. It was my first time meeting any team members, even though we felt like old friends since we had emailed so much over the course of the past few months. The dinner was perfect – enough food to keep us all fueled up, and so many smiling faces. At the conclusion of dinner, Bill Martin spoke to the whole team. It was one of the most motivating pep talks I’ve ever received (and I’ve been privy to MANY a pre-game speech). Bill kept thanking us for being part of the team, and raising almost $90,000 for TeamMR8. He spoke about the various programs that the Martin Richard’s Charitable Foundation is able to participate in because of these funds. Perhaps the biggest program at the moment is through the Dorcester YMCA, which was started to allow kids with any type of physical or mental handicap the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports. With the funds that TeamMR8 raises, the foundation is able to roll this program out to YMCA’s and communities across the US to give more children the opportunity to play sports, and be part of their community. It is something that Martin would be so proud of.

me and my date for the team pasta dinner

me and my date for the team pasta dinner

Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Bill was finished speaking. I thought about Martin when they played New York, New York as I crossed the start line. I thought about Martin when I saw the kids dancing in front of a band on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. I thought of Martin when I wanted to stop running at Mile 20. I thought of him almost exclusively for the last mile, with tears in my eyes, feeling a true mix of pride and relief. Like I said at the beginning, I’ve never NOT run for a charity team, but I couldn’t imagine running a race like this with any other purpose.

TeamMR8 NYC Marathon Team 2014

TeamMR8 NYC Marathon Team 2014

NYC Marathon Lululemon Giveaway | Team MR8 Fundraising

Lululemon released a limited-edition NYC Marathon collection that you can only buy in NYC stores starting today. This line is expected to completely sell-out! I stood in line for over an hour today, and snagged this gorgeous #BeenThereRunThat sweatshirt featuring the NYC skyline and it could be YOURS! I am running 26.2 miles on Sunday for the amazing Team MR8 in honor of Martin Richards, the 8 year old boy who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. 

front + back

front + back

Every donation starting today of $26.20 will be entered in a raffle to win this exclusive sweatshirt than any Lulu addict will LOVE! The winner can choose a size 8 or size 6. 

To win? Click here, donate $26.20, and receive an email confirmation from me, and you’re in. 

The winner will be announced on Saturday morning, and the sweatshirt will be shipped out early next week (as soon as my legs are recovered enough to walk to the post office). 

Thanks so much for your support, and GOOD LUCK! May the #LuluBeWithYou, and GO #TEAMMR8

New York, New York // Team MR8

After the tragedy in Boston in 2013, I wanted to represent my hometown (and my hospital), and pledged to raise $5,000 as part of Mass General Hem/Onc Pediatric Cancer Center. While running the 26.2 miles this past April, I couldn’t help but notice the sea of Team MR8 jerseys, which is the charity that was set up in remembrance of Martin W. Richards, the youngest victim of the Boston Bombings. Team MR8 had over a hundred runners in the Boston Marathon this year, and when I heard that they were looking to build a team to represent the charity for the NYC Marathon this year, I jumped at the opportunity to apply for one of the eight spots.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 10.08.09 AM

There are lots of people in the world who want to run (whether its one mile, or 26.2) but can’t for many different reasons.

I run for those people.

Martin Richards was one of those people.

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I am SO excited to announce that my application was chosen, and I’ll be running the NYC Marathon on November 2 as a proud (and honored) member of Team MR8.

If you are so inclined, please donate here.

The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation
honors Martin’s message of
No more hurting people. Peace
by investing in education, athletics and community.

Follow along the blogging adventures of marathon training! Always #HudsonStrong!

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I Should Probably Get Back In Running Shape.

This past week I applied to run as part of Team MR8 in the New York City Marathon. The team was created in remembrance of Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon Bombings. The charity honors Martin’s message of peace by investing in education, athletics and community. When I didn’t gain entrance to the New York City Marathon by the lottery system, there were (and still are) a few other charities I could have joined to get a number. Nothing felt personal to me though, and I didn’t want to raise money solely because I want to run 26.2 miles. It didn’t seem genuine. When I heard the news that Team MR8 (who had a HUGE prescence at Boston this year) was still looking for 8 runners to represent, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. It would be an honor to be part of a Boston-based team, and wear the MR8 jersey on November 2nd, and carry on Martin’s name. I find out in two weeks if I am one of the eight, which doesn’t give me much time to seriously get into training!

Since I MIGHT be running 26.2 in November, I should probably start my next training cycle. May, June and July — you guys were good to me. It’s time to get to work again though. Today I hit 4.5 miles and felt pretty good, despite the heat. It definitely felt cooler at the onset of the run, and when I finished I think it was almost 80 degrees. I don’t do well in the heat. Straight into the kiddie pool! PS – those Lululemon shorts are my FAVORITE running shorts.

 

Johnston Country Club

Johnston Country Club

Today I also finished a little project that I’ve had on the backburner since Boston. I framed our bibs, and the background is made from the heat cape that is handed out at the finish line. I have one that I made from the Chicago Marathon in 2006, too.

FInishers!

FInishers!

Week 1 of Marathon Training, let’s go!

Mile 20 Party – #Hudsonstrong!

Marathons are not about one individual crossing the finish line. It is about months of dedication to training, a supportive family, and the spirit of an entire city coming together. There is nothing more important to Marissa and me than our family, and we couldn’t have asked for a better cheering section than these folks waiting for us at Mile 20. My mom has been a nurse at Mass General Hospital for as long as I can remember, and she was the first person to suggest that we join the MGH Marathon Team when our thoughts turned to running this year.

Mile 20 Party!

Mile 20 Party!

As I approached the Mile 20 MGH party at Dr. Weinstein’s house in Newtown, I first spotted my mom and then saw my Ellie on top of KJ’s shoulders. I was PUMPED to see them, and I still felt pretty good!

My conversation with Ellie went like this:
Ellie: We’ve been looking for you!!
Me: I know! I’ve been coming as fast as I could!
Ellie: Are you done?
Me: I wish.
Ellie: Well, I’m tired.

HA! Ellie, I was tired too but you picked me up and kept me going for the last 26.2. Emily was a little confused why I ran up to them and then ran away after a few minutes, and she didn’t really want to give me a hug, but I am pretty sure that’s because she wanted me to KEEP RUNNING! Ellie had some sweet unicorn face-paint action going on, my dad was wearing his Guy Fieri hat, and everyone was rocking their Run For MGH shirts. I really think Marissa and I had the easier job on Monday. Trying to navigate Boston on Marathon Monday, taking the T, and walking for miles is NO easy feat with a stroller and two little ones. So proud of E&e for being so good and watching their first Boston Marathon like champs!

Big shout out to the best fans of the day! You are our everything!

Go Team MGH!

Go Team MGH!

Trip Down Memory Lane

Marathon Weekend is HERE!

I took a little trip down memory lane today. Starting with this email:

IN

IN

Then we ran. A lot.

Sisters

Sisters

COMM AVE... We are comin' for ya!

COMM AVE… We are comin’ for ya!

nyc half official pic

nyc half official pic

Team HudsonStrong

Team HudsonStrong

We also lifted heavy things.

Mer lookin' strong

Mer lookin’ strong

Me getting ready for a set of 8!

Me getting ready for a set of 8!

Rack It

Rack It

Hanging Around

Hanging Around

And even rowed.

Representing CrossFit516

Representing CrossFit516

But it all lead us here to this.

Marathon Weekend.

Marathon Weekend.

Thankful Tuesday: We Hit Our Goal!!!

Message from CrowdRise! We did it!

Message from CrowdRise! We did it!

First off- THANK YOU to all of our friends and family who donated to our MGH Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Marathon team!  When we first set out on this journey, we knew that we had more to do than just run; we were raising money to help MGH’s youngest cancer patients get the best treatment possible, so that one day they have the chance to run Boston just like us. We are so honored to represent this cause and with the help of all of you we were able to successfully reach and SURPASS our goal. To date, Meredith and I have raised over $11,500 for the pediatric cancer center at Massachusetts General Hospital.  THANK YOU!

We are less than two weeks away from the big day!  I feel surprisingly calm about the actual running part… I am however, nervous about the weather and hoping for a perfect running day!  I am also nervous about the entire day going by so quickly that I do not take the time to stop and appreciate what we are actually doing.  I need to make sure that 1) I do not spend the entire 26.2 looking for Tedy Bruschi:

 

Tedy Bruschi- Boston Marathon 2014

Tedy Bruschi- Boston Marathon 2014

 

 

and 2) that we take the time to enjoy our run and appreciate that we have the opportunity to run the 2014 Boston Marathon.

It is the final countdown…

Can’t wait to see you out there!

#run4MGH