Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Today a good friend and Ironman Inspiration, Ellie begins her journey of "thru-hiking" 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

You can follow Ellie on her BLOG where she will have her husband and friends post letters as they receive them. Ellie is a woman who knows what it means to LiveSTRONG!

Godspeed and Good Luck Ellie!  Enjoy every moment!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

This kind of effort has to count for something....

This morning it was drizzly rain and 49 degrees and I got out on my bike and did 40 miles. It should have been 50 miles but that is all I had time for before Jim and I needed to go to our Dance Lesson.

If that doesn't show the Ironman Gods that I am serious and dedicated, than nothing will...OK , well maybe running 5K in the rain followed by an easy 10 mile jog home tomorrow might be considered a dedicated effort.

Let it be said, let it be done! The road to Ironman is L_O_N_G...

Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Of Bridal Showers, Bachelorette Parties and Ironman Training

After 3 weeks of being sick, traveling and wedding planning, I am finally getting back on track with some solid training hours.  I'll have pictures from the Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party to share later this weekend BUT THESE ARE THE PHOTOS OF THE WEEK!

My nephews of course... 
Getting their Inner IRONMAN Vibe on!
(Photo Credits to Heather)

Kain is here to let you know, 
for you first pair of running shoes!

Rowen put on the speed to catch those older kids
in his Tot-Trott last weekend!

Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Running where the streets run yellow with pollen...

Jim and I are getting those last few meeting in with Vendors this weekend with our wedding planned here in Jackson, MS. Jackson is WAAAAYYY ahead of Northern Virginia in terms of spring and as a result there is POLLEN everywhere!

It made for quite the 3 mile run this morning! My constant running nose was counterbalanced by the joy that I felt in being able to knock out 3 miles out on the road after nearly 2 weeks of being sidelined by illness...

It feels good to be back in training mode and with a recovery week on the books for this month - I should be able to ease back into higher milage Ironman training without too much extra fatigue or soreness.

Wedding in less than 4 week!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG - where did the last 7 months go?

Friday, March 13, 2009


Time from Start to Finish of Project - 4 months
Time spent in design, layout and production - 60+ hours
Days spent traveling to and from Press Inspections in DC Metro traffic...2 days

Seeing the 44th President of the United States of America 
reading a program that you designed....


Photo Credit: T. Parekh

Seriously, 2009 is turning out to be one HECK of a YEAR for ME!

Life is Good!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ulman Cancer Funds - Eleven The Event

On Monday night, after a much longer time in the Orlando Airport than I had planned, I went to Howard Community College with my fiancĂ© Jim and my sisters Heather and Cathy to the Ulman Cancer Fund's Fundraising and Anniversary Event - Eleven the Event.

Eleven the Event included a silent auction, a live auctions and presentations of several annual awards given by the Ulman Cancer Fund to acknowledge people who are working to make a difference for Young Adults and their families facing Cancer Diagnosis.

I was very honored and humbled to have been named the recipient of their 2009 Young Adult "FIGHT" Award for my personal cancer survivorship and my work in starting the CANCER to 5K Program.  The event also honored the following groups and individuals for their outstanding commitment to the UCF and young adults fighting cancer:

The Founders Award to HGTV’s Vern Yip
The Partner Award to Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine
The Volunteer Award to Felix Scherzinger & Eden Stotsky for their work on Long After Cancer
The Hope Award to Dr. Kevin Cullen of University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center.

The event also featured inspiring remarks HGTV host and UCF Founders Award recipient, Vern Yip, along with an advanced screening of an episode of Deserving Design which featured the story of young adult cancer survivor & UCF Scholarship recipient Christina Gavegnano.

It was a wonderful night and the Auction was a HUGE success! I personally bid on three items (I LOVE SILENT AUCTIONS FOR GOOD CAUSES!). I bid on an Autographed copy of Time Magazine with Lance Armstrong and a Pair of Oakley Sunglasses, a custom Pet portrait (oil painting) and this fantastic chair that was designed with the theme of HOPE! as it related to Cancer and Cancer Survivorship. Sadly I was outbid on the Pet Portrait and the Lance Armstrong Cover/Glasses (by only $10.00!!!) but I was RELENTLESS about getting that chair, hovering around until the very last minute to make sure I wasn't outbid.

In the end, the CHAIR was mine!

It was an amazing night, I was honored to be recognized and acknowledged for my survivorship and my work with CANCER to 5K. One of the runners from our program entered a contest offered by the Ulman Cancer Fund giving away 2 free tickets to Young Adult Cancer Survivors to attend the event for free and get the chance to meet Vern Kip prior to the event. Jessica T. wrote an essay and I was thrilled to get her message that she won tickets and it was wonderful to see her and her husband Michael at the event. Jessica is currently training for her first Half Marathon through Team in Training and still volunteers with CANCER to 5K!

It was a very special evening and it meant the world to me that Jim and my sisters Heather and Cathy were able to share that moment with me. If you are on FACEBOOK and are a friend of mine, you can see the video of the presentation because Heather posted it on my wall but here are few pictures from the event.

Outside the Event...

Cathy, Holly & Heather at Eleven the Event

Jim & Holly at Eleven the Event

Heading to the car, post-event, Jim is caring my Hope Chair/Art

Monday, March 09, 2009

RR: DNS - Do Nothing Stupid - Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Well this past weekend I had planned to run the Inaugural Disney Half Marathon with friends. I had my costume all ready to go (PRINCESS BRIDE, naturally...) and while it was a little bit "long" the run, if I took it easy and had fun, fit into my Ironman training plans.

What I did count on was THE FLU!

Last Sunday morning I woke up with itchy ears, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. I canceled my plans for the day and stayed home, awaiting our pending snow event here in the northern VA area. By Monday we had 8 inches of snow and I had the start of a fever. By Monday night, I was running a fever of 102.6 and going no where, fast!

I managed 1.5 days of work last week and boarded the plane to Orlando on Friday morning praying that perhaps I would get lucky and feel "amazing" by Sunday. It just was not meant to be.

Seems that the "triathlon gods" felt that I needed a reality check. I had a choice - I could choose to WALK the Half Marathon, despite my obvious illness OR I could DNS (Did Not Start or Do Nothing Stupid) and choose to cheer my friends on and not stress my body any more than it was already stressed from being ill.

It was actually a harder decision than you would imagine. Being at a race, having traveled all that way and already spent your money and watching others run, really isn't all that glamorous. But I kept my LONG TERM IRONMAN GOALS IN MIND and made the right decision not to race. I officially DNS the Disney Princess Half Marathon. (Did Nothing Stupid!)

I still came out on Sunday in my Princess Bride "finest" with my good friend Linae and cheered Nancy and Shawn on and of course I enjoyed my trip to Disney and have a celebratory Margarita. (or two or three...) Here are some of the best photos from the trip! Good Times were had by all and I plan to come back next year and run this race, without the cold, because every women should run as a princess!

Welcome to the Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo!

The Prince, Holly, Nancy and SnowWhite at the Expo!

Bet you had NO IDEA how much I LOVE SHARPIES!

Dinner on Friday night with Nancy at the Sci-Fi Drive In Diner at Disney-MGM Studios


A trip to Disney is not complete without seeing Minnie and Mickey Mouse!

Saturday Night Dinner at Raglans Irish Pub (Holly, Nancy, Linae and Shawn)

Princesses Supporting Princesses  - Linae and Holly

 Princess Nancy "SnowWhite" Toby at Mile 8!

Princess Shawn looking strong at Mile 8 in her PINK TUTU!

Post Half Marathon - Linae, Shawn, Nancy, Kay and Holly

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Myrtle Beach 2009 - Some Photos

Our "PRE-RACE Strategy?" Stay in the car and keep warm!

5 years and counting! Myrtle Beach 2009 is in the books!

Rowen is getting ready to say "Play Trains?"

Kain, World's CUTEST 4-month old!

Rowen tutored me on "Thomas and Friends" all weekend long.