Friday, March 29, 2013

10 Things about Jonathan Smyth

Hello again,

In addition to running in memory of my mom, I am also running In Memory of Jonathan Smyth.  Jonathan was a brave fighter who lost his battle with cancer at age 7 in 1998. 

Here are 10 important things to know about Jonathan (courtesy of his mom, Marie Smyth):

1. Jonathan loved Legos.

2. Jonathan was featured in an issue of Lego Mania Magazine.

3. Jonathan loved fried clam strips at Nancy's on the dock in Oak Bluffs, MA. on Martha's Vineyard.

4. Jonathan had a cute little beauty mark on the left side of his head that you could only see when he lost all of his hair during chemotherapy.

5. Jonathan loved golf and baseball and was a Red Sox fan.

6. Jonathan posed swinging a golf club on a brochure for the Jimmy Fund golf tournaments.

7. Jonathan loved watching Nickelodeon and especially the show "Rugrats".

8. Jonathan was born on May 4, 1990, weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was 21 inches.

9. Jonathan loved beanie babies, trucks, race cars, and drawing pictures of sharks and rockets.

10. Jonathan and his mom rescued a baby snapping turtle from a Dunkin Donuts parking lot. 
Jonathan named him "Little Dude".  Little Dude lived in a tank during the winter in Jonathan's first grade classroom as their class pet.  In the spring, Little Dude was released to the pond behind our house in Sudbury.  We think we saw him a few times over the years after his release.

Please consider supporting my fundraising efforts to honor the memory of Jonathan, Patty and all of our loved ones who are battling or who have battled cancer!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hello!  Here are 10 things that you may not have known about my mom, Patty Shields.

10.       Patty always wanted to be an archeologist.
9.         Patty liked to eat vanilla ice cream out of a cantaloupe.
8.         Patty loved Laura Ashley.
7.         Patty did not like roller coasters, but liked rides that spun.
6.         Patty wanted a shamrock tattoo.
5.         Patty liked black licorice.
4.         Patty and I loved to watch Days of Our Lives.      
3.         Patty loved going to the movies.
2.         One of Patty’s favorite flowers was the daisy.
1.         Mom always encouraged me to “Just Do It.”

I am running the 2013 Boston Marathon in her honor.  Please consider supporting my fundraising efforts.  If you have already supported me, thank you thank you!!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Let the TAPER begin!


I put 21 miles on the books yesterday.  What a great feeling it was to come to a stop after 3.5 hours of straight running.  Trotting, really.  Like I said before, I am not fast.  Tortoise, not the hare.  That begin said, with 20 days to go, I am pretty much staring this race right in the face!


I will confess my fears here and now.  This will be my 4th time in the ring with the Boston Marathon and it is NOT easy.  Running 21 miles yesterday reminds me of what it feels like to “hit the wall.”  Around mile 18, my body just says, “That’s enough, thank you very much.”  I am not built like a true runner that just bounces and glides along, feet barely touching the ground.  But what I am is determined and committed.  I push through those last 8 miles.  It is torturous at times.  I want to stop again and again.  But finishing the race is the only option, so I put one foot in front of the other.  I can almost hear the cheers and can envision the fans urging us along.  That brings a smile to my face.


Yes, marathons are hard.  I choose to do this one again and again because it make me feel great.  The sense of accomplishment I feel when I turn the corner toward the finish line is up there in my top ten best feelings ever!  But even more than that, fundraising for Dana-Farber makes me feel amazing.  In the past 4 years, I have raised over $45,000 and counting!  Please help me cross the $50,000 mark!  100% of your donations go straight to innovative cancer research.  You can’t beat that with a stick.


You will be hearing a lot from my in the next 20 days…thank you to those of you who have already supported me. 



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Race day is approaching quickly!  Only 24 days away…  Although it is the second day of Spring, this morning’s run covered my eyelashes with snow.  I have my longest run of the training season this weekend and it looks to be a nice, warm 51 degrees.  That makes me happy.  I have a playlist FULL of new songs thanks to your suggestions…new songs keep the long runs interesting.


I am shamelessly soliciting for donations.  No amount is too small.  It all adds up to one big fat number at the end of the day.  Last year, the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge raised over 4 million dollars.   That is A LOT of money and it is all thanks to you and your support.


I plan to be the tortoise, not the hare this year.  Not that I was ever a speed demon…  My goal is simply to finish without dehydrating and to try not to do too much walking.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I had a time goal in mind…but I will keep that to myself for now J


As always, to all of you who have already donated, your support means so much to me.  Participating in this event is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and makes me feel so close to my mom, Patty and this year, Jonathan Smyth.  Someone I never knew, but now feel like I do.



Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Art of Fundraising

I am sitting on my couch, contemplating my 16 mile training run tomorrow.  My stomach is WAY too full of cake from my dear friend’s baby shower.  Not the best way to fuel a run, but I can never resist a dessert buffet.  

At this very moment, Marathon Monday is exactly 1 month: 12 days: 12 hours away.  I set out to raise $15,000 and am only 1/5 of the way there.  If my math is correct.  Which it often is not.  Needless to say, I need to get my fundraising pants on and get to work!

I chose $15K as my fundraising goal because last year I raised over $13K and know that it is possible.  Rounding up to the next “5” seemed like an obvious place to go for 2013.  Now, I need to figure out exactly how to get there.  What is the perfect art to fundraising?

In the past, I have peppered your inboxes with messages.  I have blogged.  I have written quippy status updates.  All with the intention of drawing people into my story.  My love for my mom.  My admiration for little Jonathan Smyth.  My rainbows sightings.

Listen, I realize that everyone has a cause that is close to their heart.  And I am imposing mine on to you.  My cause is Innovative Cancer Research.  Research by the brightest, most creative scientists out there working hard to treat and eventually eliminate cancer once and for all.

I know you have your cause.  But if you have ever known anyone to suffer the effects of cancer, please consider making a donation to my Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.  Dollar amounts add up, so don’t fret about the number.  My daughter Charlotte has a paper bag with the words “Fight Cancer” on it, full of loose change.  That seems like a great place to start.