It’s all about the music!

I decided to spend my evening making a playlist for the race Sunday.  I make playlists simply by going down my list of songs and grabbing whatever catches my attention.  In this case, I was looking for songs with a good beat and/or emotional attachment.  Stuff that would keep me motivated.

It’s pretty eclectic – check it out!




I’ll probably end up taking a few off in the time between now and race day.


What are your favorite running tunes?




Home Stretch


This is the face that will get me through the next week.

This is it. The final countdown. *cue music*

When I first decided to run this year, I thought I would try to set a new PB. I was going to train harder. I was going to be fierce.

The weather is just now starting to cooperate, though, and as such I’ve resigned myself to treadmill running. I don’t feel prepared.

Now, this is my own fault. I should have run more often. I should have MADE myself go to the gym. But you know what? While setting a new PB would have been nice, I’ve realized that’s not what this has been about.

This has been about healing and hope for me.

As I walked into the gym today, I thought back to the day I finally signed up.

I had been sick of crying. Sick of sleepless nights. Sick of constantly wanting to shut out everything around me.

To say I was in a bad place is putting it mildly. I had just lost one of the most important people in my life. I was grieving, All of this was normal.

But I was done with it. I wanted to be done with it and I didn’t know any way to cope except to throw myself into something. Those of you who know me might have realized that I’m sort of an all or nothing type of person. It was time to do it all.

That first run was such a relief. Signing up for the race was a relief. I was now obligated to do something. I had a purpose, and that was trying to prevent others from having to deal with everything I was dealing with.

The combination of physical exertion and the mental efforts of coordinating fundraising and working on this blog has done more for me than any therapist could have. I’ll never be fully healed, but I’m definitely mending.

Every time I run, I know that Lindsey is with me. I know that she’s proud of the money we’ve raised and all of our efforts. And I know that she’ll be with me on Sunday. She’s always with me. For that I am eternally grateful.


I WILL run today…I swear!

To run or not to run, that is the question.

And for the last couple of weeks, the answer has been more often “no” than “yes”.

I’m pretty sure that I’m going to regret that in 10 days when I have to run 13 miles.  Whose great idea was this again?  Oh yeah, Lindsey.  I guess I can’t really get mad at her!  

So now I’m going to quit my whining excuses, get off my butt and drive over to the gym.  

5.5 miles today?  Maybe?  

I think I need a stick for the end of this carrot, so if I complete 5.5 miles then I get to have one of my fancy hot chocolates from Whole Foods.

If you want to come to NYC on the 16th and cheer us on, please let me know!  We would LOVE to have a nice big cheering section.  It really keeps us going!  If you can’t come in person, some nice comments of encouragement on the blog are just as useful.

Love you all and thanks for your support and love!!!!


Birthday Wishes


Lindsey, Honey and Mark on New Years in 2013.


Today is Lindsey’s 27th birthday.  I don’t have much to say, except that I know she’s having a grand ole time up in Heaven. But, I wish dearly she was here and we were sharing a glass of wine and watching the Olympics together. 

Please consider a donation, today of all days, in honor of my truly amazing friend.  She deserved more birthdays. 

Also, check out the little video that Bridget made.  It has some beautiful pictures of a beautiful woman. 


Make a donation here and check out the video here.



The good, the bad and a sodastream.

Thursday night I walked into the gym like I do most thursdays and set to running.  I went to the back mats and stretched as I always do.  I filled my water bottle at the same fountain as I always do.  But this time something was different.

From the moment I stepped onto the treadmill something was off.  first the treadmill was wobbly.  Then my shoe came untied.  My cellphone fell off the armband that I wear.  Each thing, one by one, making me angrier and angrier.  I got so frustrated that I couldn’t focus on my running.  What started out as a normal run became this burden that I couldn’t over come.   Defeated,  I walked  to the locker room, grabbed my bag and trudged out of the door.  Wired and angry, a dangerous combination. I got home, made a bottle of seltzer (thank you Bridget for my SodaStream!) and began brooding in my recliner.   

The more I sat, the more I thought.  The more I thought, the more I started to realize that this is the first time I have failed since I took up the call of running.  Failure is  not only necessary but required when attempting something like this.

why do we fall down?” 

So we can pick ourselves up.  I started thinking about what if I failed? What if this is too much to for me to handle?  I went from getting winded just walking up the 3 flights of stairs in my building to running to running a 7, 12min miles.  Since I started training, the thought of failure never even crossed my mind but here I am silently screaming at myself for not being able to run 3 miles.  This idea wormed its way into my brain and wiggled around till I felt it in every corner of my mind.  All of my failures from the day came rushing back.  I was late picking up my kids and I am always late.  I didn’t grade that homework, im so disorganized.  I taught volume of a cube for 2 days and only 3 kids got it correct on the quiz I am a bad teacher! Looking back on that moment, what the hell was I thinking.  My co-operating teacher had a term for this “psychological quicksand.”  One thing goes wrong and you think its nothing, you shugh it off and move on but then another thing happens. And another.  And Another.  Soon all you see is failure and you are blind to everything else.  

After killing the bottle of seltzer and was about to make a second when It hit me, rather abruptly.  I am not a failure.  I am trying something that a year ago wouldn’t have been in my realm of possibilities for me, but here I am.  Every step I take on that treadmill is a in direct violation to the statement “I am a failure.”  I am going to be late, I am human.  I am not messy, I am creatively organized.  Volume is a complex concept  requiring abstract thought, kids need more practice.  

I am not a failure, I am a runner who is creatively hardworking that needs to remember when his kids are done with lunch.


– Matt

Then shouldering their burdens, they set off, seeking a path that would bring them over the grey hills of the Emyn Muil, and down into the Land of Shadow.”
J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

Daily Inspiration




What cancer cannot do – Lindsey first shared this with me during her struggles.  Even now, cancer has not destroyed our friendship.


So I don’t normally get all preachy and religious on here.  My faith is very important to me, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be important to my readers.  However, I need to share what I experienced yesterday.

I’m involved in LifeTeen, which is a Catholic youth ministry program.  Our church holds events once a month that involve a Mass focused towards young people with our teen worship band providing the music.  At this event, we had a man coming afterwards to share his story of how he has experienced God in his life and then we had Eucharistic Adoration.  Adoration is when we sit in the church with the Eucharist before us and just pray and meditate.  The teens were invited to kneel at the front and pray, or stay silent in their seats.  

They had been sitting quietly for a long time listening to the speaker and I was worried about how this would go, but our teens were awesome.  We have between 100 and 150 Freshman and Sophomores for each event, so it’s no easy task keeping them focused!  

I had been doing a fundraiser before and after the Mass for Fred’s Team.  I made headbands, bracelets, hair clips and some other odds and ends to sell.  I spoke briefly about Fred’s Team and what had motivated me to run the NYC Half and had received about $200 in cash donations and another $150 or so in checks and credit cards.  I chose to spend my prayer time thanking God for my own health and for the donations.  I asked him to help motivate people to continue to donate and continue to work towards a cure.  

At that moment I felt a tap on my shoulder, and there was a young girl standing there with Joan, our Youth Ministry leader.  Joan introduced me to the girl who handed me a check and told me she wanted to buy some headbands.  I let her pick out what she wanted, and went to put the check in an envelope to mail in.  The check was made out for $500.  I almost started to cry right then.  

The mother later came over and said that she empathized with everything I was going through and that her family had a similar experience.  She wanted to help in the search for a cure.  It was a very moving experience and I am so thankful for the support my church community provided.

I truly feel that God answered my prayer just then.  I spent some time afterwards with the speaker and his wife praying for Mark and for his health to improve and remain stable as we move on into the next part of our lives together.  

Cancer cannot dissolve my faith or shatter my hope.  I will not allow my spirit to be broken by this disease.  

I will soldier on.  I will tell everyone about my mission.  

I will pray.  I will love.  I will hope.  

I will run.


Give aways and bloody feet


Here’s the giveaway item!

Fred’s Team has been amazingly supportive in our journey to the NYC Half. We got our shirts, which Matt posted about a couple weeks ago.

I also received 5 long sleeve tee shirts! You can see the picture of the front of the shirt above. The back of the shirt says, “Imagine a world without cancer.”


The shirts are super soft and comfy.

Want one? I knew you would!

Simply make a donation (http://tinyurl.np24fjs) of any size between now and the end of February and add “shirt giveaway” in the comments section. Your name will then be placed in a drawing to win a shirt! There will be at least one winner, but maybe more. The more people who enter, the more shirts I’ll be able to give away. We will mail the shirts out to the winners, so it’s okay if you don’t live in Connecticut.

Have you already donated, but still want to enter? No problem! Simply e-mail and let us know your name. We’ll add you to the drawing.


So yesterday was my longest training run yet. I went to the gym determined to run 7 miles. I slacked the last couple of weeks with my long runs and knew this would be a challenge. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t stop until I got there, even if it meant walking for part the workout.

I decided to follow Matt’s example and I ran the first .8 miles at 5mph and then switched to 6 mph for the last .2 miles. I did this for 5 miles, and it took me exactly an hour. I walked the first quarter mile as a warm up and did some other short (30 second or so) walks for water breaks.

After this, though, I felt ready to give up. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t, though, so I set it to 4mph and walked 2 more miles. My average pace was just under 13:00 miles. I’ve read that you’re to train at a minute per mile slower than your expected marathon pace, so that’s actually a good pace for me to maintain.

When I stepped off the treadmill, I realized how much my feet hurt. It felt like they were blistered to death. When I got home I went to take my shoes off and was terrified that they were going to be bleeding. Luckily, it was all in my head. The feet are fine. I think I need to grab a new pair of shoes, though. I love my shoes so much, so I’ll probably just grab another pair of the same.

Enter the giveaway by donating here and adding shirt giveaway in the comments!

What kind of shoes do you own? How often do you buy new running shoes?

World Cancer Day


Matt, Bridget, Mark and me being silly (as always)!

Today is World Cancer Day.  I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even know such a day existed!  It was actually the Chevy Superbowl ad that brought it to my attention, as I hope it did to many others.

February 19th is Lindsey’s birthday, so this month is definitely a time where I’m thinking of her more than usual.  Purple was her favorite color, so I jumped at the opportunity to participate in the #purpleyourprofile campaign.  The picture above is Bridget’s profile picture, with the purple color.  It is touching to scroll through my news feed and see so many purple pictures.  Each one is like a hug from Lindsey to me.

I was also reminded by WordPress that it is my anniversary with them!  That means that a year ago, I first started to blog (then at about this crazy adventure.  That means that in the last year, I have helped to raise almost $9,000 towards cancer research.  I’m humbled to think about how many have helped me along the way, and how many are continuing to support me, both financially and emotionally.

If you haven’t donated yet, please consider making a donation to Fred’s Team.  We’re over 75% of the way towards our fundraising goal of $4,000.  The money goes to support cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and helps bring us closer to a time when we do not need a World Cancer Day.

Back Into the Swing and Bling!


My new bling!  Courtesy of Malloves Jewelers in Middletown and my lovely fiance.

So… It’s been a long time without a Tish post.  Thank goodness for Matt and his consistent efforts in his running, writing and fundraising.  He’s certainly keeping me motivated right now.

As you can probably tell from the above picture, I’ve had an exciting time lately!  Last Saturday, Mark and I went to Boston like we do every Martin Luther King weekend.  He proposed and now we are excitedly and anxiously planning a wedding for November! 

This sort of threw me out of my normal routine in a couple ways.

1) I could not do my long run that day as planned because we were out of town.  I considered bringing stuff to run at the hotel, but it didn’t look like we would have enough time.  And even if I had brought my things, they would have sat and collected dust because we had celebrating to do! 

2) My mind was now occupied with venues, dates, dresses and guest lists.  I know that it sounds crazy, but within a little over a week I already have a lot of the details set.  This was necessary because we want to get married in the fall and we don’t want to wait all the way until next year.  I had to get a move on fast before all the good venues are taken.  We’re looking at a place next week and hopefully we won’t have to continue looking after that!

My body is also fighting off a cold of sorts.  This has made running a bit harder, but it’s also just affected my energy and motivation.

Yesterday I decided enough was enough.  No more excuses.  No more whining.  Just grab your bag and go, already!

So I did!  And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I was able to do an extra rep of my strength training circuit routine and I added an extra 5 pounds to my weights.  I only ran 3 miles, and kept a fairly slow pace, but my breathing was good despite the chest congestion. 

The best part about it was there was a party at my gym!  They were having some sort of membership appreciation event and there was a DJ.  After I finished my run, there was wine, cheese, crackers and fruit.  I ended up having a glass of wine with a wonderful woman and afterwards was ready to hop back on my treadmill.  I then thought better of it, considering the glass of wine and instead went out for Japanese food with the fiance and his brother.


All in all, I think I’m ready to be back in the swing of things and I am already thinking about my workout for today.




You mean winter, as in igloos and Eskimos and penguins and ICE? – Cool Runnings

Sunday, its 20 degrees, and I am packing a bag for the gym.  I pushed back starting my 6 mile runs till then because I had a really rough night of sleep on Friday.  I think it was due to the snow/work/stress/being tired of being tired.  At this point I am running 5 miles (.6 miles at 6mph and the rest at 4mph) and I have been feeling really good about the distance.  I have stated before that I am not  a runner and the fact that I am going this distance is crazy.  So I stepped out my car and walked to gym, dropped my bag in the locker and found my usual treadmill ( I dont have a particular mill but I like to be on the side away from traffic, personal preference).

It is at this point I must register a note of frustration:

I was happily trotting at the end of mile five when I noticed that I was about to hit 60min.  Elated that I was going to beat my average pace of 12:00 miles.  As  I watch the numbers tick slowly by, I was suddenly alarmed because I was slowing down, rapidly.  So Rapidly that I slammed into the safety rail and made a noise similar to congested walrus (youtube it).  Angrily I search the screen for what could have happened and I have come to the conclusion that I must have hit “quick start” which has a 60 min time limit.  Dismayed, I swallowed my pride, looked around to see if anyone saw (heard) me, reset the mill and ran the final Mile.


Today was supposed to be my resistance/weight day but I decided to use it as a rest day.  I have been normally very vigilant about only having one one true rest day but after my Sunday mishap I decided to give me a rest.  To how does one rest on his rest day… by making delicious food and watching Mythbusters while I grade papers!

Todays recipe:  Beer-battered fish and chips.


*please take your jaws off the floor, put away the holy water and crosses and give me some credit. Im an idiot but I know that eating like crap will hurt my training*

I made a several modifications to the recipe based on information that I had read on various websites.

First : sweet pototato that are seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder baked

second: pan fried not deep fried in olive oil.

Third: I used a light beer instead of a stout or darker one.

It was delicious!  And dont just take my word for it.  Bridget like it too!

Now I feel like I should put a disclaimer that I am not a nutritionist and that I don’t really know if what I am eating is good or bad.  Just tasty. 

*If you want the link for the recipe I used leave a comment and I will post it… or google it like I did.

– Matt

“Elves and Dragons! I says to him. Cabbages and potatoes are better for me and you.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings