Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh No She Di'int.

This past summer, Tommy (3:22 in Bay State marathon)and Madeleine's kids Elsa and Maslin, ages 7 and 5, respectively, were visiting from Milan, where they live with their mom. At some point towards the end of their stay Elsa made the observation to Madeleine that "boys run marathons and girls run half-marathons, right?"

What I wouldn't give to see Madeleine's face after this inquiry.

Though she's run several half marathons and is an accomplished cyclist(Team Tharm, pictured at left!), swimmer (8th grade breast stroke champion at the local pool), soccer player (Duke '95-'99), not to mention a physician, trampoline expert, and cheese and chocolate afficionado, Madeleine was on the fence about running a marathon...until, of course, Elsa dropped the aforementioned bomb, thereby shoving Maddy out of the status quo and smack dab in the middle of serious marathon training.

It was thus decided that Maddy and Molly would run the Spinx this coming Saturday with Joy, who was already in training. For various reasons, Joy and Molly are out of the running, so to speak, but Maddy and Tommy and the kids are heading this way on Friday for Maddy to make her marathon debut on Saturday morning.

During our training, Maddy and I have both lamented that we have not exactly gotten the rail-thin runner's body that we don't necessarily want, per se, but that we maybe expected (hoped) might materialize after miles and miles of pounding the pavement. I mean, if we both got ridiculously ripped and skinny I don't think you'd hear any complaints, is all I'm saying. I do think Maddy's been exaggerating, however; based on the photo at right she is wasting away, almost Lilliputian in stature.

You can see from this photo that Maddy is funny and beautiful and stylish and up for anything. So when Elsa proposed the above question, though she didn't mean it as a challenge, that's exactly what it became. And in the short time I've known Maddy, I know enough to know that she's not one to back down from a challenge, especially when it's one that's imperative in shaping her step-daughter's views of women and what we can do. Watching her bust out Run DMC's "It's Tricky" on the dance floor at her wedding reception to a captive audience, I knew that this woman is formidable, a force to be reckoned with.

All the Barnhardts and the Dickersons and Days will be out on Saturday cheering for Madeleine as she runs 26.2. Come on out and watch her show Elsa-and the rest of us-what women can do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


That last post was kind of like the blog equivalent of when, at my brother and Joy's rehearsal dinner, my Uncle John stood up to make a toast and said something to the effect of "I love everyone I haven't yet met. I love everyone in this room!" To be fair, he probably knew half of the people in the room, so there's that. But like the aforementioned post, Uncle John was feeling the love, and he let us know it. As did I.

I was a little reluctant to do so, not knowing how comfortable you all are with PDA, because I basically just kissed you all in public. So consider yourself kissed and thanked and loved, because I too love everyone in this room!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good Luck Charm.

This afternoon my friend Barbara stopped by to deliver a gift from our friend Jimmie Lynn. These two ladies are part of a unique and talented group of women known as the Art Chicks, an amalgam of artists/creators/quilters/paper cutters/painters/welders/knitters/jewelry makers/potters/writers that meet once a month at our friend Cris' house to discuss the projects we've made based on the word we've chosen for that month. I sadly had to miss this week, and thus Barbara was charged with the task of chasing me down, as JL lives in Landrum.

Cris randomly invited me to this group when I was pregnant with Cameron 6 years ago while I was sitting in the Mug and Muffin; she liked my purple coat, thought I looked like I might be "artsy", and would I like to come to her house the following Monday? Sure. I would. And here I am, 6 years later, a proud member of a group of women I am honored to call my friends.

When I put out the call for donations, they answered with pledges and prayers. And then today, after both she and her baby, Clayton, have generously donated, Jimmie Lynn made me this necklace-an apple with "26.2" stamped on it.
Patrick looks like a bit of a thug modeling this awesome necklace and the photo does not do it justice, but you get the idea. I have several of Jimmie Lynn's pieces-a beautiful blue enameled circle she made me when I had Cameron, a #3 from when I had Patrick, and several more that I've accrued over the years(pictured above). Her work is simple and clean, but with just the right amount of flair. She is a seriously talented landscape architect and metal worker, but more than that, she's kind and generous and one of the most genuine people I've ever met.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when Barbara delivered this necklace; I was so overwhelmed with feeling the support of not only Jimmie Lynn, but all of you.

So on race day I'll wear this necklace to remember...Amanda telling me she wishes she could be there to cheer "Go Kelley! Get it girl!" in her southern accent; Katie telling me to imagine her saying "I'll throw another ten at you if you run another mile"; Caroline wishing she could bring by cabbage leaves; Shannon sending a photo, taken at great risk to her and her daughter, of First Avenue and the Queensboro Bridge from her most recent trip to New York; Tommy always being on the other end of the line to offer encouragement and wisdom; Maddy stepping up to the plate; Joy joining in on the fundraising and still considering a trip to New York despite a crazy month; Elizabeth offering to keep our children; Joe listening to me gripe about how weak and sad my muscles are now but assuring me that I'm still awesome; Laura, Dan, Gerry, Brandon, Amber and Molly all (hopefully!) lining up on the sidelines to cheer, alongside Jimmy and Dottie; Mom and Dad making me who I am and encouraging me and loving me, always; Jay putting up with what I've been told is a somewhat grouchy demeanor lately; Katie and Heather asking me how my training is going though I'm pretty sure they think I'm a nutjob for running so much; Denise and AK for making those long runs tolerable and even fun; Meghan suggesting I write about this experience, and Tobi always saying how much she enjoys reading it; Greg posting this blog on his Facebook page; Ben talking me through the finer points of a tempo run; Laura texting to say good luck and I love you; Barbara saying she'll be thinking of me on the 7th; Kenya's inspiring honesty, Davis' inspiring fortitude; all of you readers, all of you who've donated, all of you who've inquired about the training, who've prayed for me, for Davis, for Kenya.

I'll wear it to remember all of you on race day, and the part you've all played in getting me there. So thanks to Jimmie Lynn for the good luck charm, and thanks to you, again, for helping me make it count.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Case of the Mondays.

1. A numb face (due to dental work earlier this morning)
2. An ample bosom (finally weaning #3. No comments please.)
3. A gelatinous backside (as a result of...your guess is as good is mine. Theoretically I have been running my tail off, so I have no idea why it seems as though my backside currently needs its own zip code.)
4. Chafing
5. A cold sore (unrelated to running but unattractive, nonetheless)
6. Running the last mile up McDaniel (no matter how many times I run it, this mile is still beastly)
A less than stellar 60 minute run.

You can't win them all.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Tomorrow we're heading to this guy's wedding in Highlands. Several years ago during the above trip to the mountains our karaoke machine went kaput. When we called Wal-mart to check for availability, we were told that karaoke machines were a seasonal item and that they were, sadly, currently out of season. Who knew.

On Sunday, this guy is running the Bay State Marathon. You've read about him before and you know he's got chops. If you think of it, send some positive energy his way in Massachusetts on Sunday morning.
Also on Sunday Joy/the greatest sister-in-law on the planet is celebrating a very special birthday. We've celebrated once already but we'll do so again in a few weeks when our family gets together over Halloween for more marathoning/trick-or-treating/birthday fun. I could write about Joy all day long, and I will on another post...but for now I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to you, Joy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Ambassador.

If you ever get a call/text/email from my friend AK that reads/says "Hey! Give me a call/text/email back when you get a chance. I have an idea...", consider yourself warned. She's either proposing a January half-marathon (happening 4 days from said call), a "Girls Weekend" in Clemson where we all "get" to do the Clemson Sprint Tri, or, for example, the TR 10 miler, a cold, hilly,brutal February run. Or a 24-hour road race relay. Or a desert run.

The thing is, I always say yes. And the truth is, I love that she always has these (crazy/last minute/why-the-hell-not?) ideas. AK is a runner, and she understands the intrinsic joy/pain that comes not only from running, but from being a part of a larger community, the camaraderie that results from spending time together on race day-the pre-race anxiety, the adrenaline, and ultimately, the shared satisfaction of the finish, no matter the results.

AK is present in every sense of the word, in running and in life. She shows up. She's fast, funny, smart, and compassionate. When I told her I was running my first 20 miles a few weeks ago, she said "We'll have to have a parade of sorts! This is a big deal for me!" Funny part about it is, even though it was my first 20 miler-she's run many, many of them-it was a big deal for her. She's a supportive friend and running partner and she's invested in my training in a big way. Furthermore, she wants people to get all the crazy that comes along with logging the long, long miles.

So it was perfect then that for my first 20 mile extravaganza, I met AK at 6:05 and we ran the first 5 miles together. She then met up with another running partner and I ran the middle 10 miles by myself, and then Denise was kind enough to meet me for the final 5(thanks Denise!). It was a little like a parade in that I saw so many friends out on the road-Len, several times, who's training for the Kiawah full, Joe, who's training for the Spinx half, and John S, who is just a machine, to name a few.

So the run began with AK's optimism, company, and steady pace, and ended with her optimism, excitement, and congratulations back at our cars. I've since gone on to run another 16 and am running another 20 tomorrow, and though I know there will be other great runs on great days and bad runs on bad days too of course, it will be difficult to top that 20 mile day two weeks ago, thanks largely in part to AK.