I’m Having A Party

Hi friends. It’s been a while. I can’t even begin to tell you what’s been keeping me from blogging but the simple answer is: LIFE.

Life /līf/, (noun): Physics class, work, UC “stuff”, marriage (it’s lovely, thank you for asking), pending PhD program, health, family, friends.

Oy. Just…oy.

There are days like this:

Ummm...oops.

When I thank God for this:

Bless you, lululemon. We all need this reminder from time to time.

Anyway, there’s so much going on these days I sometimes forget to shower. And when I do, I also forget to take my shower cap off before I answer the front door.

Good thing my Dry Bar shower cap is cute!

I mean, this sign we saw in Jersey pretty much sums up how my life has been in these past two weeks…and how it will be over the next month or so (or 3 years).

I just...I don't know what this sign is trying to tell me. Only in Jersey.

There is so much craziness happening, I almost forgot to tell you all about my charity Flywheel ride this weekend! You all know how obsessed with Flywheel I am, especially when I can’t run. Stupid UC. I mean, just check out My Workouts and add up my Flywheel visits. Bananas. I love it.

Anyway, you also know about my devotion to the Fisher House Foundation. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are a non-profit organization that builds houses near military hospitals for the families of injured veterans to stay FOR FREE while their soldier is hospitalized and recovering. They are rated a 4-star charity (the highest rating) by Charity Navigator because 98% of the money raised goes to program expenses, not advertising or administration costs. Very cool.

My connection to them started when JB was on his second deployment with the Marines, I was here in NYC looking for a way to support him. I decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon and do it for a military charity. I found Fisher House and was a part of their inaugural Team Fisher House marathon team. I figured if I ever needed them, I had earned my keep. Since them, I’ve run 6 marathons for them and raised over $25,000.

Yay, Fisher House!

This fall, JB and I are running the Marine Corps Marathon for the first time together for Team Fisher House. The very fabulous Aleah Stander, my fellow lululemon Ambassador and friend, and former Marine Steven Little, both Master Flywheel Instructors, have donated their time and talents to this Saturday’s Fly for Fisher House ride at the Upper East Side Flywheel Sports at 3pm. There is a seriously amazing raffle taking place, including the following confirmed items:

Oh, and there will be complimentary fro yo from Soft Serve Fruit & Co. following the ride.

What more do you need?

If you want to take part in the ride, please don’t hesitate! We are hoping for a full house and want anyone and everyone to be there. Visit our event on Facebook (if you’re not on Facebook, email me: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com for instructions on how to sign up).

Hope to see you on a bike this weekend. Come on out and support our troops and meet me! Not like that’s much of a draw, but I’d sure like to meet all of you 🙂 That is, if you’re not ashamed to be seen with me at my sweatiest!

Now go out and run.

First Giveaway Day!

So, yesterday was an epic fail of a day thanks to Benadryl and my rumbly tummy. Not today! Today is productive and awesome.

Case in point: today is Run Stronger Every Day‘s first ever Giveaway Day!

If you don’t already know by now, I love running gear. And when I love something, I love to good gossip about it. I mean, my brother told me he was coming to NYC and I immediately made him an appointment with Dr. Shure for while he’s here. Just a little family bonding over some realignment. You know, normal stuff.

Sparkling first thing in the morning!

Anyway, something new that I love is Sparkly Soul headbands. I love them so much I bought one for Mrs. Obi-wan and we sported ours at the gym together while I was in Colorado over break. We looked fabulous, if I do say so myself, and they seriously don’t move. Today’s giveaway is in honor of Mrs. Obi-wan and how she brings Sparkle to my Soul.

So, this giveaway is actually a giveaway in that you are nominating someone else to win a Sparkly Soul headband. In order to nominate someone, you must do the following:

  1. Tell me about the person who brings Sparkle to your Soul in the comments section of this post. This is the person who will win the headband for being such a Sparkling inspiration to you (so if you want to be nominated, ask a friend to enter you).
  2. Either subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter and then email me at runstrongereveryday@gmail.com to tell me you’ve done so (if you already do both, retweet this link and mention my handle in the tweet).

Example, if I wanted to nominate my Mom to win the headband, I would write this:

My Mom: the Sparkle you bring to my Soul is unlike any other. Thank you for believing in me, for cheering me on, for pushing me and for teaching me to fight like hell for what I want, what I love and what I believe in. You are an inspiration to me.

The contest starts today and goes until next Thursday (2/9/12) at midnight EST. You MUST complete both #1 & #2 to be entered in the contest. The winner will win a Sparkly Soul headband (choice of color and style, of course) and will be announced on Friday, February 10th so be sure to check back to see who won!

So many colors! Which will you choose?

I can’t wait to read all about the people who inspire you and add Sparkle to your life! Don’t forget to tell them you’ve nominated them so they can read about how fabulous they are on the Internet 🙂

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: The Caretakers

*This post could also be called: I Love My Husband. Be forewarned: it’s a little sappy. Deal.*

Good morning, everyone! May I just say that it is absolutely gorgeous in New York City today? 42 degrees when I popped out for my pre-dawn (gee, thanks for not letting me sleep, steroids) run this morning with the other early birds in Central Park. Despite my stomach refusing to cooperate, I had a seriously awesome and speedy 7 mile run.

Good morning, New York!

Perfect way to start this Tuesday–Better Than the Alternative Tuesday, no less! Great run and a fun new headband that *gasp* didn’t slip once on my sweaty run! Hooray for Sparkly Soul Headbands!

Ooooo, it's early and I still have those Moon Face cheeks. Don't judge, just check out the flashy new headband.

I’m a good Caretaker. I learned from the best (hi, Mrs. Obi-wan!) and my husband marvels at my ability to swoop in and take care of most any emergency/sickness that arises. I will travel where I am needed and bring presents and food and good company. Ask anyone. I’m an awesome hospital companion. I will bring cookies and cross-stitch while you get your treatments. Caretaker is a role in which I am comfortable, far more comfortable than being the patient.

2011 was the first year when I was the patient, the sick one. Being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis didn’t really seem like a big deal in 2010 and they got my symptoms under control quickly with relatively innocuous medications. No biggie, right?

Wow.

Wrong.

Like I said, 2011 was the year of me being the patient. Weekly doctor’s visits, “procedures” where I needed JB to be there to make sure I got home safe and didn’t end up sleeping on a curb all day, drugs I never imagined I’d be taking (you don’t want to know), fighting with my body just to get through the day, humiliation (or humbling experiences, you might also call it) beyond belief…I have a whole different perspective on being the patient. And now I’m the one needing a Caretaker.

Iron/Potassium IVs every week? Well, ok. If you say so, Dr. Boz.

I have a whole new perspective on the hell that The Caretakers go through watching their loved one endure these treatments. And mine aren’t even all that bad. I see it in my gorgeous husband’s face when I’m in pain and completely worn down from this f-ing disease and he doesn’t know what to do for me. I mean, I’ve been on the other side of it as the Caretaker and I have to say, there is no pain worse for me than seeing that helpless look in my husband’s eyes. It’s worse than any symptom I have and I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for him.

We are like two peas in a pod, JB and me.

Some of the main side effects of my symptoms is serious fatigue, irritability (like, perma-PMS), lack of physical strength and, well, frequent trips to the restroom. Romantic, right? How does he do it? He listens to me talk in detail about every little symptom/movement/horrific experience, waits patiently for the *one* bathroom in our apartment, asks about my appointments, holds me tight when I’m pissed off (see: irritability), indulges my cupcake cravings, and otherwise talks me down from the ledge on which I find myself these days.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s his job, right? I mean, he married me “in sickness and in health” and all that. But, do you ever get married at age 31 and imagine that your 29 year-old wife is about to be diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disease that will turn her and your world upside down six months into marriage? No. You sure don’t. But he takes it in stride.

We take our vows seriously. Seriously.

And so today I would like to shout out to ALL the Caretakers in the world, but especially mine. JB, you deserve for everyone to know how amazing you are at taking care of me and loving me the way you do every single day. Thank you for being strong when I am not. You make every day Better Than the Alternative. I love you.

Hey, Run Stronger Nation, my husband is awesome.

Who takes care of you? Who deserves a shout-out for being YOUR caretaker? Share it here!

Now go out and run!