Friday, December 17, 2010

First GIveaway!!

As I posted before, many companies have been so generous with donating items for me to give away, in order to raise money for GoKids Boston. One of the first companies to respond was Bondi Band ( and they sent me 4 Bands to give away! All 4 are very awesome-one is Boston specific, one is marathon specific and the other 2 are just gorgeous patterns. Spidey looks awesome sporting the Boston one.

The motto of Bondi Band is "No slip, no drip." They are stretchy, breathable headbands that fit every head size, all while helping to prevent that nasty, salty sweat from dripping right into your eyes when you run. And they look so great! I own 2 of them and my 7 year old loves to wear them as regular headbands to school as well.

So..anyone who makes a donation between 12/17-12/24 will be eligible to win the one of the 4 Bondi Bands pictured. Doesn't matter the donation size either!

Winner will be picked at random from all donations (on and off line) and will be posted here next week. To make a donation, please go to:
Please feel free to share with your friends!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So Much Going On!

Wow, you would have thought I would have learned last year NOT to try to jump right into fundraising in the middle of trying to get ready for Christmas. BUT I did-and I have been receiving so many wonderful items to raffle off! I cannot believe the generosity of companies-especially running related ones. So each week, I plan to offer one of the donated items to a lucky winner. How do you enter? Great question! Any donation made to my page (, no matter how small, will be entered into the drawing. I hope to start this week-I will post a picture of the item that will be available. And of course, if you could spread the news via Facebook or Twitter, that would be appreciated too!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oops, I Did It Again

Yes, I am running the Boston Marathon-again. I know, I know-I said over and over how hard fundraising was. I said it was easier to train for 26.2 miles than to raise money. So then, why the heck am I doing it again? Here's why:

I haven't stopped thinking about the marathon. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the entire experience-the expo, the race itself, the crowds, the feeling of complete and utter accomplishment. I also think about how I asked a volunteer if I could sit down in the wheelchair for just a minute because I hadn't sat for 5 hours. But I quickly stop thinking about that.

My marathon jacket hangs on the back of the chair I sit in every day. The background on my work computer is a collage of marathon pictures. And since my basement is not finished yet (going on 8 years, but who's counting?), I have no place to hang my shadowbox filled with my bib, my medal and my timing chip-so every day, someone inevitably knocks it over and I yell, "Be careful! That's important to me!"

I was on the fence for signing up just because of the stress of fundraising. I had exhausted my friend's bank accounts, and I'm pretty sure at least 20 people "defriended" me on Facebook because they were tired of hearing about it. But when the Facebook post came that read, "GoKids Boston team is full" my heart sank. This is the last year GoKids Boston is eligible to be a charity for the marathon and I really thought I lost my last chance. I decided to apply just in case there was an opening, figuring this would be a sign that it was meant to be-and sure enough it came through!!

Ok, so now that I am running again, I've committed to raising $3700. I completely understand I have tapped out all of my friends last time. But I also know many people have asked if there are other ways to help. So in conjunction with some friends and family members, we have brainstormed a list of ways people can help, if a direct donation is not possible. And remember, brainstorming is a judgement free zone, so no poo-pooing any of the suggestions!

1. Show support! Ask me how training is going, how much money I have raised, etc. If you have a fundraising idea, I want to hear it! This little step is what got me through last time. When you are tired and overwhelmed, having someone ask about what is going on is often just what you need to get your spring back in your step. To know people are thinking about me and my journey is important to me. So please send well wishes!
2. Attend events. Sure you are still spending $, but you are getting a direct benefit from it, such as a tasty dinner or a Pampered Chef item. If you are going to dine out or buy cooking supplies anyway, you can do it through me AND support my charity!
3. Provide any leads you may have. Do you work somewhere that might be willing to donate merchandise or a gift certificate for me to raffle off? Do you know of a restaurant owner who would help me hold a fundraiser? Are you a business owner and would like to provide me with something to raffle off? All of this is SUPER helpful!
4. Showcase your talents! Are you crafty? Do you knit, make jewelry or can stamp 50 greeting cards in less than 5 minutes? (is that even physically possible?) All of these things make GREAT raffle items and I'd love anything to raffle off. I especially like them because I love homemade stuff myself :) (Wait, I'm not going to keep the stuff myself, I swear.)
5. Spread the world about my fundraising. I'm sure many strangers aren't going to be overwhelmed by my story and donate to my cause. But if you post on FB there is a fundraiser at Friendly's Monday night, someone who may already be planning a night out may choose this restaurant over another.
6. Hold a party and donate the hostess credit. Ok, this one's a stretch, but you never know. Many at-home parties are willing to give the hostess money towards a charity verses hostess dollars or rewards. I know Pampered Chef does it, as well as Silpada. Don't like having the actual party at your house? Host a catalog party! I'm also happy to "give back" so if you or a friend works for an at-home party catalog, contact me! I'd rather use a consultant I "know" verses someone I don't.
7. Make a direct donation. I know, I said this was a list about NOT making a direct donation, but when it comes down to it, it's easy and involves little work on the part of the donor. So for those of you that can directly donate, I thank you!

Once again, I really, really appreciate everyone's support. I keep reminding myself its not the destination, but the journey!
Keep the fundraising ideas coming!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Boston Marathon 2010

First, I cannot thank you everyone enough who donated and supported me in running the 2010 Boston Marathon to benefit GoKids Boston. All 20 of my team mates completed the marathon and raised over $95,000 for this wonderful cause! I personally raised over $3700, which exceeded my fundraising goal!!

I have put off writing my Boston Marathon Road Report for many reasons. First, I'm being lazy. Second, I feel like once I do this, its really over. I just got around to sending out my last round of thank you cards, so its about time I write this and close the chapter on my favorite race EVER!

I went to the Expo on Saturday with Christy, as after reading the message boards, they advise you to not walk around the expo the day before the race, which makes sense. I bought my Boston Marathon Jacket here. I made up my own rules about the jacket. I could try it on and buy it-but that was the only time I could wear it prior to finishing the race. No pictures of it, no mention of it, nothing. I felt I would completely jinx myself if I wore it, but I was clearly the only one who held this believe, as everyone was wearing them all over Boston.

Josh and I headed down to Boston again on Sunday. I chose a hotel "close" to the finish line (your definition of close changes when you have to walk back to the hotel after running 26.2 miles) and definitely paid for that "luxury." Well, I'm only doing this race once, I might as well do it up right!

What to eat that night was a serious source of stress for me. I lack the iron stomach gene my Grandpa Cavaiuolo had-instead, I inherited the nervous stomach of my Grandmother. I was very concerned about eating something that would land me in the port-o-potty for much of the race. I chose a real basic meal of salmon with vegetables, and filled up on bread to make sure I got that carb element. Of course, Josh stopped and got cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory on the way back to the hotel, so I may have had a bite or 2 of that.
I slept surprisingly well-I wouldn't say it was an award winning night of sleep but it wasn't as terrible as I envisioned. I was up by 5:15, and headed down to the lobby to walk with some other charity runners to the buses, which drive you to the start line.
I am terrible with directions, especially in a city, so I was happy to be walking with a bunch of people, including Susan Hurley, who runs the charity program. She was in charge of 6 charities this time, as well as raising money and running the marathon herself. She is the MOST enthusiastic person you could ever meet, along with being very funny and a great supporter of everything you do during the training. But she walks fast. How do I know this? Well, we had to follow her to the buses and honestly, her fast walk pace is probably my marathon running pace. By the time I got to the bus, which was maybe a ten minute "walk", I was sweating-a lot. And I wasn't even at the start line. It was a good warm up.

We all rode buses to the start line-our buses had the luxury of a bathroom, which I stupidly sat near to be with my fellow teammates. Sure, it was fine at first, but after there was no air on the bus and the bathroom got its own workout, it was not pleasant. We made our own fun, covering ourselves with fake tattoos and writing our names with sharpies, so people could cheer for us.

You arrive at the start and there is just a sea of people. Most people are lounging around, sitting on the ground, enjoying the view. Some people were actually sleeping, which I cannot imagine. With so many people, the Marathon has to be organized, and they are. We were given bags that we could put our belongings in, of item that we wanted at the finish line. These bags are put on buses that drive to the end of the marathon. Very efficient. I had started the day out with a sweatshirt and sweatpants (its cool at 5am), but was warming up at this point (my wave of runners didn't start until 10:30am), so I added those to my bag. I could have tossed them on the side of the road as well, as all discarded clothing is donated to charity. But I kind of like my pants.

We all waited around for about an hour, until we were ready to go to the start line. And I must say, port-o-potties galore. They even had a bunch RIGHT at the start line. That's my kind of race.

The walk to the start line is rather far-I could be completely off, but I would say it was probably a half mile. Or at least it felt that way. As I stood there, all you can see are people-in front of you, in back of you-what seems like miles and miles of runners and spectators. Its hard not to get pumped up. I start taking pictures with my iPhone and the guy next to me says,"You're not going to spend the race blogging are you?"

"Ah, no", I reply, acting as though that was the most ridiculous thought. What I really wanted to say was, "Yes I am, jerk boy." But that's just bad karma and I didn't need to start my race out that way.

Knowing that my back still wasn’t at 100%, I decided to have a few goals for the marathon-1. Finish! 2. Finish under 6 hours (if you don’t finish under 6 hours, you are not considered a marathon finisher and you don’t get a medal) 3. Enjoy every step of the way, knowing this will probably be my only chance to run the Boston Marathon.

Once we were off, it's really hard to pull back and not go out fast (a relative term). There are just so, so many spectators, you cannot believe it. I don't think there was one spot that there weren't people cheering you on. You see a lot of characters,not only running but on the side of the road. I ran with two men dressed up like Elvis, carrying a ipod and speakers blaring Elvis music and shouting,"Thank you,Thank you very much." I also saw a muscular man with a dress and a green wig. I was passed by a hot dog and french fries, which doesn't fair well for the ego. On the side of the road, I saw a big bosumed women who was very drunk at 11am, jumping up and down, spilling her beer everywhere. There were 2 more drunk ladies riding a motorized cooler. And there was also the drunk guy on the roof of the house, to whom I yelled, "Please go inside you are making me nervous."

Wellesley Girls-what can I say,other than you can hear their high pitched scream before you even see them. They are holding signs saying, "Kiss me, I'm a first year student. "(I guess freshman is no longer politically correct?) "Kiss me, I'm missing an exam to cheer you on." Its very fun to run by all of them.


The Boston College kids were more than just loud screams-they were high fiving, holding up signs, offering beers, calling for you by name. They won my heart.

And people aren't just cheering for you, they are giving you water, food, anything you need. Tissues,orange slices, Popsicles, bananas, and wet wipes were all things I took from strangers, even though I could hear my mother's voice,"Don't take food from strangers" ringing in the back of my head. I don't care-that was the BEST orange Popsicle of my life.

Ok, the actual running (as though that's what the marathon is about). I did really well, with no major issues until about mile 18-near where the hills start. I had run the first 17 miles and the last 17 miles on the course during the months prior so I knew what to expect. I started run/walking at this point,as I was starting to get tired. My legs cant keep up with my lungs,they give out first. I vowed to myself that I would run up the Newton Hills, including Heartbreak Hill. So when the hills started, I geared up my iPod to "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" then "The Climb" (an souped-up aerobic version with a great beat. Yes, its sung originally by Miley Cyrus, but how can you not tear up a little when you hear, "Ain't about how fast I get there, ain't about what's waiting on the other side, it's the climb.") I ran all of the hills.

Both Mike and Christy Thomas were volunteering, so I got to give them big hugs around mile 22 (I should apologize, I was sweaty). It was also something to look forward to that kept me moving.

My only real "physical"complaint wasn't my back. And this may verge on TMI. I think my bladder doesn't like being shook like a polaroid picture for 26 miles. By mile 18 it started to feel like I had to pee constantly. We all know what it feels like to try to do anything when you have that sensation. Needless to say, I'm sure the 5 bathroom breaks didn't do well for my net finishing time.

I met up with Amy, who was a charity runner for another one of Susan's teams, and she was struggling with a knee injury . To keep us motivated, I used the "Let's run to that sign "approach, but before long,I had gone ahead. This is the worst part of the race. You just want to walk, but you know walking will make it take even longer and you just want to be DONE. My Garmin watch got messed up from having to stop to pee so many times, so I had no idea where I was or how much was left. Once I saw the mile 23 sign, I decided to just go and not stop, no matter what. They started to let traffic by and I got worried. Did this mean I was close to the 6 hour mark and I wasn't going to get my medal?? This stupid medal was all I cared about. My sister (who I love with all my heart) said to me, "Who cares if you don't get a medal-if you finish the marathon, no one can take that away from you!" And she is right. But emotionally, I needed it.

I saw the Citgo sign and I knew there was one mile left. i was still surrounded by people, and despite the late hour, there were still people cheering you on! Towards the end I was really disoriented by not having my watch and I couldn't gauge how far into the last mile I was. I asked some elderly gentleman who was running how far was left, and he replied, "I don't even think I know what city I am in anymore."

And then there it was-Hereford. The magnet that hangs on my garage door-'Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston." Those are really the 2 last turns in the marathon and when I saw it, I knew I was so close to the end. I turned right, then left and I could see the finish line. Its a mirage though-you are running and running and its just not getting any closer. You want to sprint to the end, but it just feels like it is never coming. But at the same time, you want it not to be over, because its the most fun you could ever imagine. I was so, so worried about there being no one at the finish line. I am sure its crazy around the 2-3 hour finishing mark. But it was still amazing to see so many people still out there cheering you on. Josh was near the finish (you can't get to the actual finish line as a spectator) and I was able to see him and wave. I looked at the clock-5:41. I would get my medal.

On a side note, when I finished the camera crews were swarming around me. yes, I know I am famous, but come on now. I tried to remain cool and went up to a volunteer and asked, "Who the heck is behind me?" Ray Allen of the Celtic's mom ran, and finished right after me-so it was the 2 of them. That added another fun element to the finish!

I kept walking and walking, trying to find the medals. I did not see them. In a panic, I asked, "Are there still medals??" I was pointed to the "Medal Lady." I went up to her, took a very deep breathe and said, "I did it. I'm ready for my medal now." And yes, I was crying.

Sure, my time is nothing to brag about by any means. But honestly, other than being under the 6 hour mark, I didn't care what my time was. I took my time, enjoyed every step, and made sure to “high 5” as many little kids as I could.

Every picture of me from the marathon, I am grinning from ear to ear.

What a life changing experience! I will never be fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and being a charity runner was the only way I could ever get the chance to experience this amazing race. So for every one who donated-not only did your donation help me to run the most amazing marathon I could ever imagine, you have helped thousands of kids have a chance at fighting childhood obesity!

I'm sad its over. After training so hard, fundraising, and talking about it non stop, it feel like something is missing. I'm not sure any other race will be able to live up to this one either. But I am so grateful for everything this race gave me. I met some amazing runners on my team, as well as on the other charity teams. Every day I marveled at people's generosity when I'd see my donation page. I had unbelievable support from family, friends and co-workers. I learned I can really do anything I put my mind to, including running one of the most prestigious marathons in the world!!!
With this, I am proud to say I am a 2010 BOSTON MARATHON FINISHER!!!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where to Donate

My little widget seems to be MIA SOOOOOO

Only 11 days left to donate and get me to my fundraising GOAL!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm Selling my Body for Charity

Yes, that's right folks, I'm selling my body for charity. Obviously, not in the "traditional" sense (please, I'd make about a quarter if I was). But I am willing to "sell" you a body part the day of the marathon, on which I will write whatever* you wish.

Note my little asterisk? Here's the rules:

1. This offer is valid on new donations only. The point is to raise MORE money. Sorry, those who have already donated. I still love you-and appreciate the money you have already given me.

2. It has to be concise. Yeah, I've got some surface area on this body, but I'm not looking to write the Declaration of Independence or the lyrics to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" on my thigh.

3. Keep it rated G to PG. And nothing mean, derogatory, etc. Its not sportmans-like. And it's just not nice. But I doubt I'm friends with you if you are mean anyway.

4. I will not write anything about a sports team UNLESS the team is Boston based-and POSITIVE things ONLY. Come on people, I'm going to have enough trouble running this thing, I don't need to run with a black eye for writing "Yankees Rule, Red Sox Suck" on my upper arm.

That's it, not too hard. Anyone who is interested, my body is for sale for a minimum donation of $26.20 (or MORE obviously)

You want to advertise your company? Use my calf.

You want to ask your girlfriend to marry you? I've got a nice shin at your disposal.

Do you need a more "lucrative" body part? Oh yeah, let's negotiate....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Positive Accountability

I help to run a weight management class at UNH through the Center for Health Enhancement. My role is more of overseeing students, but also to impart them with the counseling experience that I have gained through the years.
One of the topics I plan to discuss, with not only the students but with the clients of CHE, is what I am calling "Positive Accountability".
This concept is not new, but I thought that by putting it into my blog, it would give me a chance to not only practice what points I would like to make to the students, but also give others the benefit of this concept.
When we decide to change something about ourselves-whether its to lose weight, begin to eat better, or to exercise, the first rule is that to be successful, we need to make the changes in our lives for us, NOT because someone else thinks we should-whether it be a spouse, loved one, or even our physicians. We need to decide to make the change for us.
That being said, some people need more than just internal motivation to get to the gym or to cut back on sweets. Some of us thrive on being held accountable to others. In my opinion, there are two types of accountability. First, there is negative accountability. This is when the people around us, in order to "support" our efforts, decide it is their role to police our behaviors. Its the spouse that thinks saying "should you be eating that?" is a way of being helpful. This negative accountability is not something that is helpful. It makes us feel bad about ourselves and our action, and potentially can cause us to fail at our efforts.
Positive accountability is when we are accountable to others, no matter if we succeed or fail. Its being able to share our successes with others and receive praise AND being able to share our failure and have positive encouragement not to give up.
For those of us that need this positive accountability, how can we achieve this? First, many of us do these things already, but don't realize it. Social media is a great way to start. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, start by telling people what you are doing. If you are trying to get on a workout regimen, tell people this. Post when you do finish a workout and feel great-but also post when you don't want to go. You may not have the internal motivation to get to the gym, but the encouragement of other may be the push that you need. It makes you feel accountable to others, as though others are "counting" on you to meet your goals!
Another thought is to sign up for an event, such as a bike race or a 5K. Not only are you accountable to other (by telling them you are going to do this), you are also adding an element of fiscal responsibility. Money can rank up there as a high motivator.
Another way is through the use of a blog. My sister-in-law, Erin, has been so successful at not only losing weight and exercising but blog writing as well!
( When I asked her if she felt her blog was integral to her weight loss , she felt it was a huge part of her success. Not only is it a way for her to be accountable to others, its also a way for friends, family and loved ones to be up-to-date on the happening in her life. She is someone who needs the positive encouragement and reinforcement to be successful-and it has worked!
I know this accountability is not for everyone, and I respect that. And I know that some people feel the use of twitter, facebook and blogs has turned us into a society of self-absorbed, egomaniacs. These are the people who cannot relate to the positive accountability concept. And most of us don't need their "support" anyway!
So go ahead-tell everyone you know what positive changes you are trying to make in your life-you'll be surprised at the positive encouragement you will receive!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Uno's Fundraiser-Feb 18th

I am attempting another fundraiser at the Dover, NH Uno's on Feb 18th. 20% of all purchases made will go to my fundraising efforts-however, you MUST bring this beautiful flyer with you!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flatbread Company Fundraiser

I am not lucky. My sister is, though. She's the kind of person who finds $20 in her old coats. I am the one who loses $20 because I have a hole in my old coat. But this time, I was lucky.
Starting to get a bit more panicky about my fundraising, I decided to get my butt in gear. (or as I have been known to say, "get on the mother.") I went to Margaritas to discuss having one of their "Blue Moon Madness" fundraising events, but I guess I needed to be a visionary and booked this ahead of time, as they are booking well into 2012.
I know the Flatbread Company (which I think everyone calls Flatbread Pizza, even though it isn't really the name) holds benefit nights, as the New Hampshire Dietetic Association holds one yearly. I decide to call.
Once the perky young lass answers the phone, I explain my situation and seem already apologetic by saying to her, "and I'm sure you are probably already booked up."
"Well, today is your lucky day! Jan 19th we happen to have an opening as someone backed out." (mind you, I am thinking, "Who backs out of a fundraiser?!?")
"SOLD! I will take it!!!"
Miracles do happen. Of course, so do fires. I did find out today that there was a fire in the building on Saturday. According to the paper, they are to re-open this week. Let's hope my lucky streak continues.
As it stands, you should get your pizza loving family to Flatbread Company in Portsmouth on Jan 19th between 5 and 9pm and order pizza (take out counts!) No flyer needed, just come with your family and friends and have a good time. I'm going to be scrambling this week to get items to raffle to try to raise some more money as well. If you have anything to raffle-whether its an item or a service-please let me know!!
As always, I thank you!

Status Update

Let's see, now where were we?
Ability to stay on top of updating my blog: Very Bad
Ability to stay on top of the ever growing pile of laundry: Terrible
Ability to stick to my Boston Marathon training program: Excellent

At least I can do something right. And laundry gets done when I've exhausted my supply of sports bras. However, I have also been known to just go and buy more, because its easier.

Boy, lots has happened since my last post. I am officially running the Boston Marathon as part of the GoKids Boston group-aptly titled-the Motley Crew. I just finished week 6 of my 20 week training period and I haven't missed a run yet. I've also taken it up a notch, really adding hills into my training because I dont want to look like an asshat in Boston. I've named myself Hills Hetrick, in a poor, poor attempt to motivate myself to include hills in most workouts. So far, so good. I think this extra kick in the pants is what lead me to finishing a 10K that I ran on Jan 1st in 58 minutes, the first time I've ever cracked a hour.

I've been to 2 GoKids meeting so far and they have been great. Too bad my sense of direction isn't, causing me to be a half hour late to the first meeting. The first one focused on fundraising and this last one focused on injury prevention. I don't stretch, its a well known fact. But this meeting did sway me into buying a foam roller to help with injury prevention-almost like a self massage (dont be gross, get your head out of the gutter). My sciatica is thanking me for this purchase.

One of the most stress-inducing part of this process hasn't been the training. It has been the fundraising. I sent out a "hey I'm running the Boston Marathon, please oh please send me money" letter with my Christmas cards, and I was completely overwhelmed by the response. I raised over $1000 alone from just this (I have awesome friends and family). Ok, still have $2500 to go. I've got some ideas, but if anyone who reads this is a man (or woman) with a plan, I am all ears.

Other than that its sleep, eat, run, beg for money, repeat.