Pittsburgh is my White Whale

On May 5, 2019, I am finally going to catch my White Whale. I’m going to give it everything I have physically and mentally, and I am going to attempt to run the Pittsburgh Full marathon. This will be my third marathon, but it will be my first time attempting the entire full marathon course in Pittsburgh.

I have wanted to give this race a shot several times but life got in the way.  I have signed up for the full once before–forget which year–but dropped down to the half when I realized I couldn’t do the full marathon. One year, I decided to put the Pittsburgh full off until next year when I started a new job as a consultant. The following year, I ended up doing the Columbus full as my first marathon.

The following year, I put the Pittsburgh full off until new year when I had surgery on my abdomen. That surgery reset me to zero but I still tried to do a marathon that year. I ran the Indianapolis full in 2017 and added a half hour to my previous marathon time.

I wanted to do the Pittsburgh full marathon in 2018, but at the end of 2017, I tripped and face planted, breaking my nose and pride. By the time I recovered from that, bronchitis came roaring into my lungs and hung out there for a solid month.  Last year, I put the Pittsburgh full off until this year.

This is my mother-fracking year. I am going to do this. I had a couple of challenges, namely bronchitis yet again.  My umpteenth bout with bronchitis and my one billionth sinus infection during this recent training cycle actually led me to installing an internal french drain in my basement. I am tired of getting sick, damnit.

 For the first time ever, I am actually consistently cross-training during a training cycle. I have been seeing a trainer once a week, and I’ve been working on weights and core. Friends, I actually have a bicep muscle. Squee! The other day, the trainer referred to me as Quadzilla. Other people can actually see the progress I’ve made since I decided to accomplish this goal of mine and get this White Whale. I am giving it everything that I can.

Pittsburgh, in all its hills and pot holes, is my White Whale. Just even thinking about running the  Pittsburgh fullmade me think I could be more than a sickie, that I could be a runner. That I could actually be an athlete. Growing up, I was the weirdo kid who you did not want on your team during gym class, so for me to even be considered athletic is mind boggling.

Pittsburgh is my white whale because if I end up not being able to do any marathons after this, I will be okay because I did the race I have always wanted to do.

I’m fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis foundation, which does amazing work for those living with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. My cousin Kathryn’s children, Andrew and Cece, have Cystic Fibrosis. I want these little ones to grow up as strong and healthy as they can be, and the CFF is the foundation making that happen. Whatever you can donate, I appreciate it, and if you can’t donate,  please share!



My New Year’s Resolution

(I know, I know.  I am a couple of days early, but I wanted to get these thoughts out before my schedule gets crazy busy again.)

1.) Less social media.  This past week, I actually deleted around 300 people from my friends’ list, and I took the Facebook app off my phone.  For a long time, I began to feel social anxiety regarding my Facebook account and my friends’ list.  “Oh, these friends had a party, and I wasn’t invited.  I am the worst!”  “[This person] just unfriended me.  Why?  Did I say something?”  The whole point of Facebook is stay connected, so why did I keep feeling such negativity?   It’s not worth it.  I wanted to get rid of my account altogether, but I would lose my Get Up Swinging Facebook page, along with my photography Facebook page.

I really want to focus on quality of friendships, not quantity.  I found myself becoming complacent in my relationships because of the social media connection with them.  What happened to emails, texts, phone calls or actually getting together and having dinner?   I have a great group of friends, and I want to have authentic relationships with the people who matter the world to me.  I gave too much of my time and energy to people who in the grand scheme of things, aren’t that important to me.

2.) READ MORE BOOKS.  My 2014 Reading Challenge over at Goodreads was 25 books.  I’ve read 13.  That’s just unacceptable.   Granted, I probably read 4 or 5 books in 2013, which is completely horrendous.  I’m better than that.  2015 will be the year I get my bookworm on’ – this I vow.


3.) Write more, increase breast cancer advocacy.  I have so many ideas I want to do for Get Up Swinging, and I should take advantage of the fact that I can cross-post to the Huffington Post.  Metastatic breast cancer still and always needs more, and I can always find ways to help and increase ways for those who need it the most.

4.) Run three half marathons, run a 15 mile race, run a Ragnar relay and run the Rachel Carson Half challenge in June.  I’m not going to disclose my desired time for my next half because who knows if I’ll even come close to that.  The beauty of running when you don’t accomplish the time you wanted: there’s always the next race.  Get up and try again.

5.) Dedicate as much time and energy as I can into my photography.  Shoot more, learn more, create more.  When wedding season rolls around in 2015, I hope my mentor will keep having me around and we can inspire clients to HIRE me as a second photographer.

Like I do every year, I hope and pray that this year will be one of great, positive changes.  Since becoming a runner, I believe in my heart that I can make these changes happen (two years ago, I never would have believed I could have run 5 miles, nonetheless 13.1).

I don’t want to dwell on the negative because that’s how you get stuck, and I’m tired of feeling stuck.  All I want to do is move forward and upward.