Thursday, March 29, 2007


It is hard to believe that my darling kittens are now *cats* but Wallace & Grommette both celebrate their birthdays this week! Grommette's Brithday was on March 26th and Wallace's Birthday is tomorrow - March 30th.

They have brought so much additional joy and laughter into our home and it is no exageration to say that neither Jim nor I could imagine what life would be without them now. Yeah, I know you are thinking "Ummm... Holly, you just have two cats..." to which I must correct you. We have "Bengal Cats" ... there really is a difference!

Just looking at these pictures it is hard to remember just how tiny they were. Wallace weighs in at over 14 pounds now ... Grommette is just barely 11 pounds. Still another years worth of growing to go!

Newborn Grommette with her Momma and Siblings
(she is one of those striped babies...)

Wallace - 3 months old

Wallace - 3 months - look at those big paws!

Grommette - 3 months old - Picking Us!
(she was the only kitten in her litter that walked right up to us...)

Grommette - 3 months old
Such a pretty little kitten!

Wallace & Grommette - 4 months old
in their new home!

Wallace & Grommette - Feb 2007
Now as tall as the kitchen table!!

Wallace - Now
King of the House!

Grommette - Now
Our Beauty Queen - she still *loves* that little bed
(don't worry, we bought her a bigger one....LOL)

This weekend is the Cooper River Bridge 10K with my sister Heather! I'll come back with plenty of pictures and good race report! If you happen to be there, say "Hi!" we will be the gals with *bunny ears* on out heads - you won't miss us!

Until Monday ... have a great weekend and Live STRONG!

Monday, March 26, 2007

My sister Heather place first in her age group with weekend at a local South Carolina 5K AND she was 3rd woman overall. Her finishing time: 23:54!!! Did I mention that she stopped at the water stop to take a drink because the volunteers were these adorable little 5 year olds and she simply could pass not them by! Just one more reason why I love my sister ... but BOY OH BOY is she getting SPEEDY! :) Way to go Sister!!

Nancy also has a great race this weekend at the DC National Half Marathon! She ran her second fastest half marathon ever! I now know that Nancy will have to wait for me at the finish-line for Eagleman. It will be great to have her there to cheer me in! I have a long way to go to get back to Nancy's current running pace! Way to RUN, Nancy!

This weekend brought yet another ride "In Memory" ... This time for MPIP member "Rob in VA", who also lurked on my CCC list. Rob was a fellow cyclist so I made sure that I kept my spirits high and enjoyed every moment of the 24 miles I rode on Sunday. I imagine Rob would have wanted it that way! Now you will forever have a tailwind Rob!

A cyclist has spread to the breeze
His CCC jersey, and heads for open roads.
He is an object of beauty and strength
As we stand and watch him, until at length
Like a wind, he is lost from our view
Where sky and horizon mingle in fading hue.

At that moment, someone cries with regret,
"There! He's gone!" "Gone where?" I ask.
"Don't forget:
He has only left our sight. Even now
In frame and gears and wheels from front to rear
He is just as reliable as when by our side
He stood, waiting for the first pedal stroke."

His diminished size is in me, not him;
For, just at the moment we would infer
"There! He's gone!"- voices from that other Home
Are taking up the glad shout, "There! He comes!"
With God the sunset on our western horizon
Is sunrise beyond; a New Day begun.

We too must rejoice and not be sighing!
It's a glad adventure that - dying!

- Floyd B. Allen and Martha L. Jack

Friday, March 23, 2007


I'm trying to put together a small team for this fledgling event that is happening here in DC. The event is called the " Beat The Clock Walk" and it is a 4K walk to help raise awareness about cervical health and important screenings to prevent cervical cancer.

I became familiar with Tamika Fedler when I went to the LiveSTRONG Summit in Austin, TX in October 2006. Tamika is a cervical cancer survivor and all around a great young woman! I was so moved by her speaking at the LiveSTRONG Summit that I volunteered my graphic design services to her "free of charge" to help her with this walk.

Naturally, a 4K walk about the Tidal Basin with friends to help raise money and awareness of any kind of cancer sounds like a good way to spend a few hours to me. We get so few chances to see each other these days, that I thought a Team Walk might be a great chance to get together for some light exercise as a group and support a good cause too.

I have created a team called: Team Fit Chicks .... for no other reason than it seemed like a fun name and because I couldn't find a way to combined Chicks and Cervix without it sounding very odd....LOL

I'd love to get a team of 10 of us together but there is no limit so the more the merrier!! Please feel free to pass this onto any friends or co-worker that you think might enjoy a nice 4K walk for a good cause on a Saturday morning.

So take a look at your calendars (Saturday, May 19th) and check out the Tamika and Friends website and if you can do it, sign up to be on the team and come and join me for the walk!

For more info on Tamika and Friends go to:

To resigster directly for the walk, go HERE and click on Register Now,

Please pick "Team Registration" when you register and select "Team Fit Chicks"

Hope that you can join me!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Favorite Quote of the Day

"Pink shorts and her pacer accelerated, purposely cutting me off as we were rounding a corner. They almost pushed me into the curb. Was that really necessary? Finish ahead of me. Have a great day but don’t trip me on your way to world domination, OK?"

This came from this weekend's 12K race report by my blog buddy and fellow IRONMAN FL 2006 Volunteer Kitten, Linae, you can read the rest of the report here...

This year instead of volunteering, Linae will be racing IRONMAN FLORIDA 2007. She is doing fantastic work putting in the miles now in order to go the distance in November.

Keep Living STRONG Linae!

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Weekend that ROCKED!

This weekend I drove down to VA Beach to meet up with my sister Heather who was planning to run the VA Beach Shamrock Half Marathon.

I watched my nephew Rowen while she did the run. It was her first *solo* half marathon effort with no other friends or family running with her so she was hoping for a 2:15. We got out to the finish line (it was cold and we had babies....) at around 2:04. We never saw her cross the finish ....we were keeping an eye out for her when she walks up to me, already wrapped in a mylar blanket with a medal around her neck and said "Sister ... LOOK!!" and shows me the chrono on her watch!!

1:59:31 !!!!!!!


We jumped up and down like a bunch of schools kids, well Heather jumped, I just cheered!! After all, I was holding a sleeping nephew who simply insisted on falling asleep in his Aunt arms just 10 minutes earlier.

Did I mention that my Sister's ROCK? Both of them? Oh yeah... they do!!


Next race for Heather is a 5K next weekend and then we will run the Cooper River Bridge 10K together at the end of the month!

Hope you all have a good weekend! Monday is here so Live STRONG!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Monday...

Nancy shared this with me last night and it made me laugh hysterically for hours....Somebody posted it on I'm not familiar with the site so I am giving blanket credit ... somebody is funny as hell....

It was the best laugh I had in weeks .... It still makes me giggle... I put in in my desktop at work!

Tonight I shall repeat yesterday's planned 6 mile long run, since it turned into a 4 mile walk with a 1.5 mile jog. It's an Eagleman Training *DO-OVER*!!


So far I have 22 people who have joined me in "Going LONG and Living STRONG" by donating $26.20 (or more!) ....It is a fantasic start! I have set a goal to have 100 poeple along for the ride by Saturday, March 24th.

If you have time or the inclination, cut and paste my blog address ( into the next email that you send to family or a friend... Even if they have no interest in making a donation, they will be introduced to the Lance Armstrong Foundation a resource I hope they will never need but is available.

Thank you for considering a donation, spreading the word and for continuing to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation with me!

Happy MONDAY! Have a GREAT DAY! Live STRONG!!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wonky Right Knee

If my weekend could be a caption, it would be "Wonky Right Knee"...In a weekend of workouts, my knee was the "fly in my soup" - so to speak.

Friday night I went for a 1 mile SWIM in the pool. I didn't see any 2:08s though ... I ended up averaging around 2:35 ...Not a care in the world because I was just out for a long swim workout. No records to break just steady and relaxed swimming.

Saturday morning's workout was delayed by an hour but when I did manage to get out of the house, I got in 32 miles on the BIKE. My pace - moderately slow on the way out (13 mph) and stupid, HEADWIND slow on the way back!! ARRG!!

I even had what I can only define as a possible "Ironman Hawaii Wind Gust" moment. The cross winds on the Ironman Hawaii course are known for blowing triathletes sideways and sometimes, unfortunately, right off their bikes. Today, I can only guess that I was at the perfect speed and the wind came at the perfect gust and angle because one moment I was riding in a straight line and 5 seconds later I was say "Whoah" as I watch the pavement moved sideways in front of me. Then just as quickly, I as back in control and rolling forward. Yikes! It was a sensation I hope never to experience again (even though I *do* dream of winning the IM Hawaii lottery some day ....)any time soon!

My only goal for this workout was miles in the saddle so it was a worthwhile workout despite the slow-poke pace and the head and cross winds on the trip home. On the last climb my right knee was talking to me so I listened to her and walk the remainder of the climb (It's a doozy of a climb so I take no shame in walking it...). My knee never bothered me for the rest of the day.

This morning I got up and was out of the house at 7Am for my drive up to Columbia to run the course. Alas, my knee made a big fuss just as soon as I started, so I simply walked the first 5 of a planned 10K. It was probably just as well because at 8AM, there was still alot of frost on the trail around Centennial Lake and even while walking, I was slipping and sliding whereever the was shade. At about 50 minutes into the workout I decided that with an hour drive ahead to get home and other plans for the remainder of the day, I was only staying out for another 20 minutes tops, so I cut the course short (skipped the worst of the hills) and started to slowly run the last 1.5 miles of the course. No knee pain then and I jogged across the finish line that is marked on the park trail in spray paint. It literally says "Columbia TRI finish"...that was a nice mental boost.

So a wonky right knee took away my long run but *only* for today. I am going to try 6 miles again tomorrow after work. Hopefully all the *wonk* will have worked itself out by then!

It is beautiful here this weekend! I am off to take the kitties for a walk!
Live STRONG Y'all!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Going LONG and Living STRONG!

I'm at it again!

This year to celebrate my second anniversary of Melanoma Suvivorship, I am covering the classic IRONMAN race distances over three events to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

As a part of my IRON-GAL LiveSTRONG Challege, I plan to participate in three events to encourage and inspire fellow Cancer Survivors to continue to LiveSTRONG and to raise funds and awareness of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

My IRON-GAL LiveSTRONG Challenge events are:

112 mile BIKE ride on August 26, 2007
LiveSTRONG CHALLENGE in Philadelphia, PA

2.4 Mile SWIM on September 29, 2007

26.2 mile RUN on October 28, 2007
in the 32nd Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, VA.

My GOAL is to raise $26,200 through 1000 donations of $26.20 each which represents the 26.2 miles covered in the Marine Corps Marathon!

Thank you for considering a donation and for continuing to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation with me!

A Bengal in my Shower

Here in our household, the weekdays are routine and that works well when you have two very smart, precocious bengal kittens. The morning schedule usually looks like this...

O'Dark AM - Wallace begins his morning "meows", to see if he can get us out of bed on *his timeline* - As is routine, he is heard but ignored.

O'D:30AM - Radio Alarm goes off, signaling to Wallace that he may now "MEOW" at full volume and jump around the bed from human to human; Grommette simply yawns, stretches and casually meanders to the bedroom door to wait for Jim to head downstairs.

O'D:35AM - The lights are turned on and Jim heads downstairs to feed the cats, Holly sits on the edge of the bed - mumbling to herself that it is too early.

O'D:45AM - Cat's are eating and Jim and I head for our respective showers.

Now in the past, Wallace and Grommette have both shown interest in the shower. Usually the interest is *post shower* when there are water droplets across the shower stall and tub. But in the last two days, Wallace has discovered that if he stand between the decorative shower curtain and the functional shower curtain (which keeps the water in the tub and off the floor) - HE CAN WATCH THE WATER AN NOT GET WET!

Now, I love my cats but having one of them watch me shower is a little strange. Yesterday when he did it, it was a little unnerving because he did not make one sound, he just stood there and watched the shower head. At least today when he came in, he greeted me with a hearty, loud "MEOW" and then proceeded to chatter to me intermittently.

The funniest part of all of this is that I suspect, with the love of water that is a natural part of the Bengal breed's character, it won't be long before Wallace decides that the shower curtain is in his way and I find him walking around in the shower with me as I start my day. If that happens, you can be sure that you will hear about it!

Wallace is a odd kitten (Well he is only a kitten for 3 more weeks anyways) ... that is why we love him so!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ain't no stoppin' us now....

I got a little email in my mailbox today....

Dear Runner,

Thank you very much for registering with the Marine Corps Marathon. We processed your application. The end of June, please check the Marine Corps Marathon website for confirmation.

Thank you
Marathon staff

So how did I manage to get into the 32nd Marine Corps Marathon when on-line registration doesn't even start until May 9th???


Namely my friend Shawn who ran the Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K in Tampa a few weeks ago and was kind enough to pick up some guaranteed entry forms for me, my sister Heather and of course, herself! Didn't know that was possible? Yep! They are out there ... Yet another reason to check out those EXPOs after you pick up your race packets at some of the early season Marathon events.

So now we have ourselves a *at least* 4 Blogger's (myself included) coming to DC to run the Marine Corps Marathon on October 28th. There is Shawn, Nancy, and *Jeanne*, not to mention my sister Heather, for whom this will be her *FIRST MARATHON*!!

I'm going to be planning a BBQ as a post-race celebration, so start thinking about 26.2 miles in October. You *KNOW* you are gonna kick yourself if you miss eating some of my deviled eggs!!

Come on ... you can do it. You have 8 months to train for it, that is over 34 weeks. You know that secretly, you have always wanted to try so what have you got to lose? Maybe a few pounds? Maybe a few extra pair of sneakers in your closet?

Well just think about it for a little bit...I'll remind you about it again soon!

Keep Living STRONG!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mixed Emotions...

This weekend found me struggling to balance some "highs and lows" the best way I knew how. Saturday was a day for reflection as once again, sadly, I joined my cyber-support network MPIP (Melanoma Patients Information Page) in mourning the loss of another member to melanoma.

Heather was a fellow blogger and in the fight of her life, as so many Stage IV cancer survivors often are. Her posts on the MPIP list and on her blog were funny, honest (painfully so at times) and always inspiring. She, like so many other cancer survivors, was the epitome of courage, strength and fire! Here was a woman for whom the LiveSTRONG motto "Attitude is Everything" was coined. After a two year battle, Heather laid down her gloves on Friday. My heartfelt condolences go out to her family and friends and I can only hope they know that she will now forever live STRONG in the hearts and minds of so many people beyond her immediate family because she had the courage to share her experiences with so many other cancer survivors.

So with Heather on my mind, I set our for my first bike ride of March. I pulled on my CCC long sleeve jersey for the first time since it arrived just two weeks ago and I did the hardest 30 mile loop that I could find close to my home. For those who live in my area, I did the northern route of the Custis trail which includes a 2 mile stretch of steep, short rolling hills. The climb start with a long 1/2 mile grind, that levels off for about 1/2 mile and then winds up a short steep *S* curve and then along to a set of short double rollers that will put you in your smallest gear and out of the saddle less than 50 feet from the start of the climb.

The Custis Trail has always been a *litmus test* of sorts upon which I gauge my current fitness. There was no doubt in my mind that Custis would hurt this time around, especially caring my extra 40 pounds this season. I didn't mind the hurt, I welcomed the burn and the ache and I thought of how luck I was to be able to be on this hill, climbing, aching and breathing. I thought about how hard Heather fought, hours in radiation, and she never expected anything but success.

So I climbed and I climbed hard and as I hit the top of the last climb at mile 14, I took a deep breath and said "That was for you Heather! Now you can forever Live STRONG."

What more can I do? I'm one of the lucky ones and that is something that I will never forget nor take for granted. Every ride on the bike, every moment in the pool, every mile on the road, every smile, every hug, every new *hello*, every finish line - they are gifts.

Today's 5 mile run was just for me ... the wind was in my face on the *out portion* of my run and pushed me gently along on the way home and it struck me that it was a perfect example of how life is on a day to day basis. Either we are pushing against something (stress, problems, illness) or we are getting a gentle push. (love, friendship, a good tailwind) Our job is to keep moving forward...

and continue to Live STRONG.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Today my middle sister Heather turns 25!!!!

I remember that on the evening my Mom went into labor with Heather, I went to my orientation for Junior High with my parents. That's a big deal when you are in sixth grade! The elementary school road that we drove on was VERY BUMPY and we joked that it was going to *shake the baby right out*....

Turns out that it did!

"Happiness is Sisters"... even when you have to wait until your 11 years old before they start coming along!

Hope you have fun tonight! Eat a deviled egg for me!

I love you!!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Simply Brilliant

I got wind of this poem when fellow CCC teammate Mary from Mobile, AL shared it with us. It is a *MUST READ*... Mary is close friends with Sharon Meeks. The poem was written by Colleen Clover, Sharon's sister, as she sat with Sharon during a round of treatment.

Sharon is survivor who is currently part of a clinical trial so she goes to Moffitt Cancer Center every other week... KEEP FIGHTING AND LIVING STRONG SHARON!!!

I'll let Colleen's words do the talking now:

Girl in the Mirror by Colleen Clover

Britney went and shaved her head

wanted something new, she said.

Stuck some needles in her skin,

Tattooed kisses sure are in.

Papparazzi went berserk;

Asking Britney: "did it hurt?"

Cameras caught her every move.

(oh my gosh, her head's so smooth)

"Britney, what got into you?"

"Just back off and give me room."

"Bein' famous is a pain...

...I am under constant strain."

"Grab my beer and bodyguard."

Bein' Britney sure is hard.....


Sister went and shaved her head..

"Beat the chemo there," she said.

Stuck some needles in her skin,

Make sure chemo's really in.

Tumor cells have gone berserk,

knowin' Merck will make it hurt.

Nurses watch her every move.

(gosh, her head is really smooth...)

Got the chemo into you,

Now back off and give her room.

"Fightin' cancer is a pain,

Watch me beat this latest strain."

"Grab my pump and play my cards."

Britney, your life ain't so hard...