Thursday, February 05, 2009

wednesday weigh in

It is a good thing that I love a challenge because yowzer.

We have a lot on our plates.

Between home life and work life and now, training for a marathon life, I'm in a state of mental paralysis at the moment, not quite sure where to begin. If you have written to me with fund raising ideas or just sent notes of support and I haven't responded, please don't take it personally. Rest assured, I'm reading each and every word while drool dribbles off my chin.

Kathleen, I wish that I was able to run without using music and instead use my time on the road as an opportunity to connect with my Higher Power. But this morning when I was out running, within five minutes the battery on my iPod died and I had a difficult time running down a hill without my ABBA. Hopefully, one day soon I'll be able to use my running time as an opportunity to reconnect with my soul. But right now, it's all I can do to not lay down on the road and look up at the sky. You truly give me hope that I'll get to that place, one day.

Anne Marie, t-shirts are an awesome idea. So are bracelets. And so are the various items that generous souls have offered up as "prizes" in a drawing. And so is advertising on my blog to bring in some additional money for our fundraiser, or offset iPod giveaways ... or stock my chocolate stash. I'll be responding to all of you once I have a game plan and/or the shock of what Charlie and I am embarking upon wears off.

The reality of what we are doing really hit me today when I drove home from my consultant's office and checking the odometer before I left their parking lot and again when I pulled in to our driveway, noticed that it was exactly 20 miles.

Twenty miles is a long way.

And twenty six point two miles?


Getting my body from point A to point B, a distance separated by 26.2 miles is one challenge.

Fund raising for me and Charlie and Margaret is a whole 'nuther challenge.

Last night I spent several hours contacting various companies that I had hoped would donate products for a raffle. This morning, I woke up and upon checking my e-mail, learned that it's against most companies corporate policies to accept unsolicited grant proposals or donation requests. Which, now that I think about it, I fully understand.

This may be a little more difficult than I expected.

But! I will not be deterred!!

I will find a way to raffle off a new BOB stroller.

And gift certificates to Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn Kids and REI.

And quite possibly ... a new laptop, or a weekend stay at a Marriott Resort.

Because when I dream, I dream BIG.

Of course, within the next few days I am going to send off letters to all of the people that I know and ask for a tax-deductible donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And I'll send e-mails. And if there was a way to put bright flashing lights on the top left corner of my blog to showcase the "Go Deana GO!" with hyperlinks to all of our fund raising pages, I would.

But, I can't so I'll just direct you to the top left corner of my blog. You can't miss it. And I'll tell you that every single penny, peso, loonie, rouble, euro, yuan, yen and rand helps.

And, if I could send a dozen roses to Melissa Koch for being the first person to donate to our cause, before I even posted that our links were active, I would do that, too. But since I can't do that either, just know this: I love you Melissa Koch. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I will finish that marathon. I will, I will!

Charlie and I have alternated running every day this week.

Of course, my husband is also training for the swimming leg of a 1/2 Ironman triathlon in March, so in addition to running, he is in the pool three mornings a week by 6 AM. And while he is swimming, I am sleeping. Usually, I don't wake up until he comes home and stands over me saying, "What? You're STILL in bed?!"

Yes. Well, nursing is exhausting. And, Henry needs me. And this whole "excuse" for sleeping in is probably the number one reason I haven't weaned him, yet. Although it might be a toss up with my ability to eat a 1/4 gallon of ice cream at night and not go up a pant size.

Anyway. Point is, we're in training. And my blessed neighbor, Karen, has told me that Charlie and I can borrow her double jogger and that will make those times when we have to meet with our team and train together, a whole lot easier. Well, not really "easier" since Charlie will be pushing two kids in one of the double strollers and I'll be pushing the other two. But at least we won't have to worry about bringing in sitters first thing Saturday morning.

As it turns out, Karen's mom - like Deana - is also battling lymphoma.

So, beginning today, I'm starting the first of several raffles I hope to hold over the next few months. This is the first segment of "The Amazing Trips Raise As Much Money As They Can To Beat Cancer."

Although it has been my modus operandi to give away an iPod Product Red shuffle at the conclusion of one of these contests, I'm in fund raising mode, now. So in order to enter the drawing for a shuffle, you will need to make a $5.00 donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For every $5.00 that is donated, your name will be entered in to the drawing.

Of course, if you make a tax-deductible donation of $20.00, I'll enter your name four times.

Or, if you donate $100.00, I'll enter you 20 times. (Of course you could buy two for that amount, but then you wouldn't be contributing to a good cause.)

But, if you want to win the Shuffle, you'll need to come back and leave me a comment on this post, that you are entering the drawing. (I'll move this post up to the top of my blog, under Go Deana GO!) In exactly three weeks, on February 25, I will plug all of the names in to an Excel spreadsheet and using a random integer generator, determine the winner.

You can click on any of the three hyperlinks below, or that are provided in the top left corner of the blog, to donate. And if you don't know who is who, here's a profile on the "athletes".
  • There's my cousin, Margaret, who needs to raise $4,100.00. Margaret home schools her two boys and will be flying in from South Carolina to run this marathon.
  • There's my husband, Charlie, who needs to raise $1,750.00. Charlie gets out of bed to go swimming while his wife sleeps in, he cooks gourmet meals, he can fix almost anything, and he looks hot in a wetsuit.
  • And there's me, Jen, who also needs to raise $1,750.00. I love my children, my husband, good wine, chocolate, ice cream and sincerely hope that I don't get taken off the marathon course in an ambulance.
It's also not my modus operandi to ask that you spread the word about my contests far and wide, but if you can, I sure would appreciate it. Because I think I might have already given away an iPod shuffle to almost everyone who reads this blog and actually wanted one.

Not only would I be forever grateful, so would our little mascots.

So please, spread the word.

To Infinity and Beyond!!


My goal is to run a marathon in 16 weeks. Currently, I can run two miles without falling down. How are you doing with your goals?


  1. I'm Melissa Koch and I don't need a dozen roses! LOL! I just thoroughly love your blog but have only commented once or twice. I have 3 kids (not multiples) and you and I could probably be best friends if we didn't live across the country from each other (I'm in Georgia). I am also a newish runner and can always use some inspiration. Good luck!

  2. you're crazeeeeeeeeeeee but you can do it. If anyone can, you and Charlie can. I will donate $20.00. Love, Denisexx

  3. Dear Jen,
    I would like to donate something but have no credit card. I will ask my mom though and maybe she donates something, too. My father died from lung cancer so I know how it is.
    Well, I once read in a fundraising blog that they opened a paypal account for donations. Maybe you could offer that, too. It would make donating easier for people from Europe with no credit card (like me). I don't know about the costs though, I think that receiving money costs a fee but maybe the don't charge it because it's for charity reasons??
    Good luck on your two quests (whereof I personally think, that the marathon is the harder one - I am not a runner, either ;-) ). You have to run it by yourself but with the fundraising we all run with you.
    Best wishes,

  4. You're doing better than me! I went to the gym twice last week and had plans to go three times this week. However the threat of a lot more snow last night found me making the choice of getting home safely instead of for the 2nd time this week.

    Hey, I'm in NE Ohio and we are currently buried in snow! I am going tonight, weather willing but unfortunately tomorrow is out and it's not open weekends. Still, twice a week is two more times than I was going last month.

    I'll keep pulling for you, and as soon as I get my next paycheck, I'm in.

  5. You really put us all to shame. If you can work part time with FOUR kids and run a marathon, then there is NO excuse for all the feeble things I keep putting off! Just think - if you can pull this off then you really can do anything.

  6. I have found that locally owned businesses are much more likely to give donations for fundraising than corporations or large chains. Of course, they may not be able to give as much but it adds up.

  7. Go Jen!!!


  8. I think what you 3 are doing is amazing! Thank you for running and raising money for this organization. My husband has leukemia - so this is a cause close to my heart! Goals? I am doing yoga and walking on my treadmill at 5am everyday. I don't really need to lose much weight, but I need to be in better shape - - - run friends run!
    jan - from nd

  9. Jen -

    I want VERY MUCH to help you fundraise!!! I was wondering if you'd be willing to set up an Amazing Trips site on Facebook? That way I could become a "fan" and start recruiting others via Facebook to become fans? Honestly, I can't get over the power of Facebook for getting the word out.

    This is just a thought, no pressure!! I know you're in a mentally-challenging place here, so please don't sweat it!!!

    I will certainly direct people to your blog site as much as possible!!

    (I need to be able to run 8 miles in May for the Pittsburgh marathon relay and honestly I'm lucky if I can walk to the mailbox these days...I give you a LOT of credit!!!)

  10. Susan Pearce in Missouri2/5/09, 8:51 AM

    I have a plan in mind...I know it isn't much, but in my heart, I know it will help me feel like I have done something. My grandmother on my dads side died of breast cancer a month before I found out I was pregnant with my son who is now 15...I was 18 years old when she passed. Cancer has ran rampin through my dads side of our family. My grandfather died of lung cancer (never smoked), my grandmother died of breast cancer, my uncle (her son) died of pancreatic cancer, his twin brother died of liver cancer, my aunt (their sister) has ovarian cancer right now, and my dad survived prostate cancer 10 years ago. I made a donation of $20 to your marathon this morning. The plan is to donate another $20 to Charlies and then $20 to Margarets. I will do Charlies next week and then Margarets the next week. I am not doing it to get more entries...I am doing it because My grandparents and aunts and uncles would want it this way. In the end, it will be a $60 donation to the entire cause...and that makes me feel good about myslef. I don't currently have any goals set up for myself...I have lost almost 90 lbs and I am done trying to lose weight. I look better and feel great! And I think what you are doing is wonderful! I don't know you personally...only through your blog. But I know that if I were to ever meet you, I would have a wonderful friend! :)

  11. Jen, you amaze me every day I read this blog. Count us in, my check is in the mail. We will try to be there to cheer y'all on and scream for the Amazing Trips. Aunt Grace

  12. J, m'dear, I'd invite your kids over every single Saturday morning until the marathon if we weren't still in England until mid-July. I wish I could help out ... can't figure out how... I'm stumped for ideas ...

    Just kidding. I know just how to help. My problem is, do I support you, my dear friend, or your husband, who looks 'hot in a wetsuit'? Decisions, decisions...


  13. Thanks so much for adding my link to your blog and for your encouraging phone call today!! As you know I just started "running" 1 year ago and can't believe I said I would join you on the adventure but...

    I've already gotten a donation from Amy in Maryland! Whom I've never met! She must be a reader!


    Talk to you soon. Love, Marg. (aka Margaret)

  14. Go, Jen, go!
    Good luck with all of your plans!
    I am doing well, I reached my weight goal (yay!) So I try to work out three times a week or so and maintain my weight. I keep falling asleep before I make it to the gym, though, LOL.

  15. No real goal accomplishment here except that I'm making it my goal to spread the word on my blog within the next couple of days.


  16. You can do it. I know you can. I believe in you!

    I managed to run a whole 5 miles without falling down (which is a first for me- a first-in-my-whole-entire-life, that is!), and I am so very happy for accomplishing that.

    Additionally, I am doing a training program for a 10k (which feels so pathetically short as compared to you marathon folks!), and as of yet, I haven't missed a single day and have completed every single mile asked of me. And that, too, feels like a major accomplishment. Even this past week, when my schedule went crazy, and I had to coordinate school, and errands, and unexpected meetings, and "honey, can you pick me up a little earlier?", and crazy sudden heavy snow- I still managed to get my miles in that day. And that felt good.

    I will definitely donate (though it will be a couple of weeks before I can, since I live on student loans right now, and spring's funds come late this year), and will also spread the word via my blog (well, spread the word to the 5 or so people who read my blog, but some is better than none, right?).

    Best of luck with this undertaking. You really are an inspiration.

  17. I highly recommend that you ask Starbucks for donations. I used to ask for donations a lot (for my work at a non-profit) and they never said no. I would also hit the local angle, stores right in your town or Deanna's town. You might also want to ask her docs and nurses to pass the hat. Another fun thing, is to ask a local musician to play and collect money for you guys at a coffee shop or bar. Generally, right now getting donations is more difficult due to the economy. Good luck!

  18. You've even given iPods to people who didn't ask for them! Which was totally awesome and you are doing a great great thing.

    But I'm rather shocked that you are in a state of mental paralysis. That's so UNLIKE you. What's going ON?

  19. $10 donated to Karen (sounds so cheap) now I'm off to donate to you and Charlie for the scarves!

  20. Michael Jr.2/25/09, 8:33 PM

    Hi Favorite Aunt Jenny & Uncle Charlie,

    Please enter me in the drawing for the I-Pod shuffle.

    I am donating to all you with my first allowance pay/

    My mom bought Dave Ramsey books--that teach kids to sepnd, save and donate money. Once I outfrow them, I will send them out for my cousins.

    My mom is trying to make me eat more healthy (green stuff!) and exercise more.

    Hope to see you soon.
    Michael Jr.