5000 words and one day…

I have 5000 words left before I submit my word count to NaNoWrMo for National Novel Writing Month annual contest.  The contest ends tomorrow. The book still needs about 20,000 more words before I will be able to submit it to a literary agent, and even before that I have to edit it, and have some other people read it to make sure that it’s, in fact readable.

I don’t know if I am more relieved or excited.  I think I will have the first draft done before the end of December.  I will be putting it down for a few weeks during the holidays, and start editing it in January.  A local friend of mine suggested that I work on a screen play after I finish writing it, and present the idea as both a playwright/screenplay and a novel to the literary agent.  The two weeks of not touching the book will allow me to research how exactly to write a screenplay, as I haven’t got a clue, and then I need to figure out how to get it to an agent.

Anyway, I feel inspired, after this is done, I’ll start novel number 2.

The Day The Doctor Stole My Soul…

As long as I can remember, I have been a runner.  I started running in high school.  Running was my life.  Running was my first love, my second love was my husband.  I met him in high school track in 1992.  I am like Forrest Gump, if I go anywhere I was running.

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In High School and college, I discovered running was something that I was good at.  I was competitive.  I won several races.  My mile PR was 5:40 minutes.  I won “Most Improved,” and an academic award for maintaining above a 3.75 GPA my senior year.

In 1996, I ran my first marathon.  It was Grandma’s Marathon, and I ended up with a torn mensicus.  I had to stop running, and have arthoscopic knee surgery in 1999.  After my knee surgery, I stopped running for a time, but it didn’t last long.  As soon as I was cleared by the Physical Therapist to run, I was running again.  I trained as a member of the 2001 Minot AFB marathon team, and completed the Trestle Valley Half Marathon.

In 2002, I started to try to have children, and was told that running was stopping my regular cycle, and in order to ovulate, I had to stop running temporarily.  As soon as I got pregnant with my son, I started running again.  I only ran short distances, and continued running until I developed severe pre-eclampsia in 2003.  In January 2004, my son was born, and 6 weeks post-partum, I was running again.  Ryan was bundled up and snuggled in a jogging stroller.  Throughout 2004, I ran a few 5Ks, and 10Ks, but nothing regular.

I got pregnant again in 2004.  My son was beginning to develop symptoms of autism.  I started to eat my pain.  After my daughter was born, I had ballooned to 240 pounds.  I was winded when I went up and down stairs, walking to the mailbox. My husband was running and qualifying for Boston.  I missed the feeling I had while I was running.  In 2008, my dad had a massive heart attack.  He had an infection in his heart brought on by diabetes.  I had a doctor tell me that I was destined to be like my dad if I didn’t changed something soon.  I decided at 180 pounds to start running again.  I started running 1 minute while walking 40 minutes.  I continued to do this until I was running 3 miles at a time.  Then I started to train for longer periods of time.  Eventually, I worked my way up to a half marathon.  I ran my first half marathon since 2003 in 2007. It was the Bismarck Half.  I had gone from 240 to 145 pounds.  I was losing more and more weight, the longer I was running.

Eventually, I signed up for and ran another half in Virginia.  I finished in 2:10 hours.  I signed up for my first marathon since 1996 in 2008.  I ran the OBX marathon in 5:12 hours.  After that I ran more and more marathons.  One marathon turned to two marathons, and two marathons turned into a Goofy Challenge in 2013.  Finally, just two weeks ago, I finished my 10th marathon in New York City.  As I was running New York City, I knew that there was something wrong.  5 weeks before the marathon I felt pain in my back and hip.  I just shrugged it off as a minor inconvenience.  I was going to run New York City Marathon no matter what.

I went to the doctor post-marathon, and today was informed that I will likely never run another marathon again.  I suppose I should be thrilled that I have been able to not only run 1 marathon, but run 10 marathons. I have done two Disney Marathons, I have run in one of the most premier events.  Instead I am crying almost as much as I was when I found out my son had autism.  You see running is much more than just a hobby for me.  Running has been my therapy since 1992.

In high school, running helped me meet my husband, the love of my life.  Running proved to me that I was good at something other than academics.  It helped me tone my body, and made me feel good about myself, when I was at the lowest point.  In the late-1990s, and early-2000s, running helped me cope with being geographically separated from my husband for 3 years.  It made it worthwhile.  In 2006, when my son was diagnosed with autism, running saved me.  It saved me from the utter hopelessness that I experienced with an autism diagnosis.  To this day it gives me something to look forward to– my races, the trips to see cool parts of the world, and the experiences I will never, ever forget (like running through Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World).

Today I found out that it may be all over.  I have been diagnosed with degenerative disk disease.  I will be seeing a surgeon for a bulging and herneated disk.  I may never be able to run again.  I will have to find something else other than running to keep me in shape.  I will probably be in some form of pain the rest of my life.  I will start hearing the “I-told-you-so’s” from those that have never experienced the thrill of crossing the finish line.  Today, the doctor telling me that I might never run again, was like someone reaching into my chest and ripping my heart out and stomping on it front of me.  The one thing that had kept me vital and the one thing I was good at is over.  The dreams I had of running until the day I die are now put on hold.  The only effective therapy for my autism symptoms is now gone.  Today, the doctor stole my soul…

Time To Share…


I feel confident enough that I can share the good news with you.  Last year, I started to write the novel I have always dreamed of, but I faltered for a few weeks, and then quit.  I was floating around on a sea of indecision, much like this sailboat in the New York Harbor.  A few weeks before New York City Marathon, I sat down and dedicated some time to really writing, I mean REALLY WRITING.  I had two novels bouncing around my head the last few years.  The first my dream novel, I decided to table.  It was too epic, too much to take on at this juncture in time.

Now that my first novel was tabled, I could concentrate on the ideas behind my second novel.  I sat down and wrote out a simple outline, and synopsis about the novel.  I’ve just finished page 100!  I have just written my 30,000 words.  Most novels in this genre are around 80,000. I am just under half way done with the novel.  I have copyrighted the synopsis, so I no longer fear that someone could steal my idea, and publish it.  I won’t go into details, but the working title is “The Last Man On Earth…”

New York City Marathon– #10 is done!

What can I say about New York City Marathon?!  I have run 10 marathons, and this was by far the best experience I have ever had despite the worst conditions…


The weather was predicted to be bad, so I changed up my outfit at the last minute.  The high was going to be 48, low in the 30s, and at race start it was in the middle-40s.  I opted for arm sleeves, tights, and compression sleeves (for my legs).  I wore my Half Fanatic shirt I earned in February.


Let me start this story of what New Yorkers are really like.  We walked to the Italian restaurant near our hotel in Hell’s Kitchen/South Times Square.  It was cold and raining (not like Florida rain).  We came upon some NYU fans that were tailgating during Saturday’s game.  They struggled to get carry the wet 24-packs of Bud Light into a car in the Fabric District.  We offered to help, being the good people that we are.  In exchange for our help, they gave us a 24-pack of beer.  I told them that we couldn’t accept as I couldn’t drink tonight, but they insisted it was good carbo-loading!


The Start- 3 miles

The morning of the race, I stood for nearly 2 hours at the foot of this bridge.  It was cold.  About 30 of us huddled next to a diesel generator, and breathed in the foul exhaust, but hey it was warm compared to where other runners were.  I had a few old sweatshirts on.  It was in the 40s, with 40 knot winds.  The bridge pictured is the Verranzo Narrows Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn.  It is 3 miles long, and the 40 kt winds flew across the bridge.  There were literally hundreds of hats and beanies that flew off of peoples’ heads as they ran on that bridge.  It is three stories, so 50,000 people crossed that bridge to get to the other side.

Mile 3-10

After you run across the bridge, you enter into Brooklyn.  I heard the fans while we were on the highway, as soon as I got to mile 4, I heard them.  Brooklyn-ites were 5 people deep on the sidewalk.  I would give high fives to kids, only to have 6-7 more hands outstretched.  The fans were wonderful.  The cheering made you feel like a superstar.  I understand now what sports stars feel when their fans cheer them on.  It chokes me up just thinking about all the wonderful people who had sacrificed their Sunday to come cheer for us.  One kid cracked me up at around mile 8, he called me “Mama-cita,” it was so cute.

Mile 10-12

We made it to Williamsburg North.  This was one of the oddest places I have run.  Unlike Brooklyn, with full streets, there were very few people out cheering.  The neighborhood was an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.  We saw Rabbis, and a few women dressed in black with their children rushing to get out of the wind, or to get away from us runners.  It was so quiet comparatively speaking to Brooklyn.  The signs in the neighborhood were all in Yiddish, even the signs announcing the marathon.  The borough didn’t seem to really know, or understand, why we were there.

Mile 12-15

I was still going strong at this point.  I felt pretty good, I could feel my hip, but it wasn’t bad.  We got to mile 15, and was informed by the volunteers that we were about to hit the Queenboro bridge, and there was no water stops on the bridge.  This bridge had multiple stories, we were running along the bottom story, and I lost my GPS signal there.


I had to stop and get a picture of Manhattan as we crossed the Queensboro bridge.

Mile 15-20

I still felt good at mile 15-16, while we entered into Queens.  I was starting to feel sore at around mile 19, and mile 19.5, I had to stop and walk.  I was at around 3:30 hours at this point and new that if I walked, I would finish around 5:30.  It was hard to walk, I had wanted this to be my best time, but I decided that it was better to finish and have pride that I finished the race, than to push it, and maybe get a DNF at mile 20.

Mile 20-26.2

At mile 21, I saw Shane for the first time since he had dropped me at the bus stop at Bryant Park.  He said I looked cold, I was cold, so he gave me a sweatshirt to wear.



This inspired me to run.  I started to run, and Shane sprinted ahead of me for a few miles to get pictures.  We were separated for a time while I ran through the finish in Central Park.


5 hours later I got this!  We walked about a mile to get out of the finish line.  It took me about 45 minutes to find Shane again, and we walked back to the hotel.  I was cold, sore, and tired.  During marathon night I felt well enough to walk to 30-Rock, and ate at one of the best steak-houses in the United States.  We enjoyed a 5-star meal, and a tour of Rockafeller plaza.  It is amazing that a few days after we left the tree arrived.  During our 5-day tour of NYC, I took over 1,000 pictures, that I am still going through to this day, and I look forward to sharing those with you.


We came home from New York completely fried.  I have yet to unpack.  I went to the doctor, because the injury was making me nervous.  The good news is that this is not sciatica issue, and that it’s probably a pulled muscle due to over-compensation.  The bad news is that the injury is related to plantar faciitis.  I will be off my feet for a few weeks, until my muscle straightens itself out.  I’m already signed up for my next half-marathon and marathon.  I will be running The Biggest Loser Half Marathon in Panama City over Christmas, and 26.2 With Donna in February.