Friday, October 22, 2010

10/10/10 Yes We Did!

On Saturday, October 9th, the eve of the marathon, I took one very last jog. The purpose was to loosen up my muscles and get my blood flowing just a little bit before the big race. I knew I wouldn’t break a sweat; it was only a 2-mile run, a slow run, but still, it was an important run. Why was it important? Because it was the last run of my training. It was number 150 out of 150 jogs. It was mile 471-473 out of the 473 miles of training runs. (Ok, so I skipped a few). But more important than the significance of it being the last run before the marathon, it was a mile where I was able to ask myself, “So what?”

So. So what happened? What did I just spend the last six months of my life dedicated to? How was it? How did I do? And was it worth it? What was I trying to do, and what happened as a result of this incessant running?

Answer: I came back to life.

I didn’t start running to lose weight, or to win a race, or to impress anyone. I started running because I was dead: I was afraid of feeling anything, afraid of moving or being seen. I was depressed, scared of getting hurt again—by the world, and by my self. I didn’t trust my body—it deceived me when I got pregnant (while on birth control pills); it deceived me when the baby died before it could be born. My mind was angry at the world for being sympathetic. And my mind was angry at my body for . . . I don’t know what for. For failing me? For deceiving me? For doing its own thing? I don't know. But I realize I was not living my best life—I was barely living, and the only, only, only solution I could think of was to just put one f-ing foot in front of the other and take it from there. So that’s what I did. And 473 miles later, when Andrew asked me how I felt about having to run a marathon when I woke up in the morning, I realized that I was awake, and was alive again, and I was happy and grateful and was kicking fucking ass.

So we got to the point of being able to run a marathon. But it’s not like it was easy, or ever got easy. Running—the cramps and side stitches and desire to procrastinate and put it off for another day—never gets easier. Sure, you get used to 3 miles, or 6 or 16, but it’s always tough. In fact, I just read an article in the NY Times about athletes. It basically said that mental tenacity — and the ability to manage and even thrive on and push through pain — is a key segregator between the mortals and immortals in running. You have to be motivated, and to find this motivation, you must resist the feeling that you are too tired and have to slow down. Instead, you have to concentrate on increasing the intensity of your effort. Nike really, really did hit the nail on the head when they instructed us to Just Do It.

Andrew asked me what my thoughts were on the six months of training. “What would you do differently? How do you think you did?” I know I could’ve done better. Sure, I can run 26 miles now. But I could have ran them faster. Or trained harder: felt the burn more, skipped less runs, pushed myself to a new limit. I KNOW I could have because there were many times when I felt a cramp and slowed down, or even walked. I took the liberty of taking many drink breaks at nearly every drinking fountain in Prospect Park during long runs. I skipped runs when there was a tiny drizzle coming from the sky. I shuffled my priorities, convinced myself I might be getting a cold and needed to stay in. I could’ve done better.

And I will. Oprah said, “running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” I could've trained better, I can always do better, be a better athlete, etc. but that wasn't the point. The point was to beat depression, not win a marathon. There were countless nights where I'd cry in bed and ask my husband, “when will I start to feel better? When will I start to feel better?” And thank the Lord, that time has come. I. Feel. Better. I feel better.

The night before the marathon, we slept at my aunt Mary’s home in Forest Park, Illinois. We ate a huge vegetarian feast of spinach pie, bean salad (my mom forgot we’d be running the next morning), bread, squash soup, hummus, greens and fruits and more beans. Everyone was giddy.

Sabina, Mary, Mom and Andy made signs. Then, we went to an expo at a convention center where we picked up our race packets, and where I got really excited.

Everything was MARATHON. Everyone was PUMPED. And of course, I am easily excited by free samples, free power gels and cold compresses and nutrition bars. Dad and I stopped to watch a video from last year’s race, and of course, we cried. Then we picked up 2 free posters. We saw Dean Karnazes posing for photos. He ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Dad said that when a man gets to be that strong, he stops getting his periods. I took a picture with a giant shoe instead.

We all went to bed that night early and excited. Dad and I laid out our clothes, and I went to the bathroom about 4 times, hoping I could clear everything out. . . here’s the thing: my number one worry, or concern, wasn’t winning the race, or even finishing. I was really preoccupied with the scenario of whether or not I would have to go #2 during the race. Or if I might have to go #2 but wasn’t sure if it was my intestines digesting or butterflies, or a cramp from running, or from being hungry. Or gas. What if I thought it was gas, but really turned out to be something else, like the REAL DEAL?? And if that became the case, what would I do? Would I run with an extra pair of shorts? Should I have Andrew or my mom carry an extra pair, and IF I were to soil myself, would I have to run with poopy pants until I got to the mile where they’d be waiting for me with my shorts? Or if I felt gassy, would I hold it until I was close to the mile where clean shorts would be available? Or go to a port-a-potty? But what if there were many false alarms—how would this affect my timing? And what about Dad? Was this fair to him? He just wants to run. Ugghh. It was quite a hypothetical dilemma. So I tried to cleanse myself as much as possible before the race, and when the day came, all went well. Basically, the morning of the race, my butt said to me, "Mira. Don't worry. I got this. I got this one, it's under control. We're shutting off all systems, no one will be working until after the marathon. You do your thing and don't worry about me [your butt]. You just run." And that's what happened. No tummy cramps, no nothing. I just ran.

But back to the night before. The night before, I was surprised I could sleep. No nightmares of oversleeping, or running the race naked, or getting lost on the way, or soiling myself. When the morning came, the alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. and I shot up out of bed, and hummed the tune to “Eye of the Tiger” for Andrew, who was already awake in bed. Dad was up, the house was stirring, and at 5:45 a.m., we walked to the train that would take us to the city to join the rest of the 40,000 runners.

It's incredible to think about how so many people were voluntarily doing something so challenging, and so GOOD for themselves. And most people were running to raise money for a charity. More importantly, everyone had such a deeply personal reason for running. As we arrived at the marathon starting corral, this sentiment moved me profoundly--the thought that we’d all be feeling pain together soon. And we wanted to, because we wanted to be better people after crossing the finish line.

45 minutes before the race, Dad and I got in a port-o-john line, one last time, then smooshed our way into the starting coral. We chose to run with the 4:30 (10 minute mile) group. We stood there. We waited. We heard the star-spangled banner. We waited and waited. The wheelchair group took off. The elites took off. We waited, our line shifting and buzzing. Then, the shuffling feet started moving faster, so we started moving, faster and faster and suddenly, we saw the Start Line. Dad looked at me, we high-fived, and off we went.

In the beginning, it was really hard not to run fast. It was so exciting, and you couldn’t help but feel just a little competitive. But thanks to Andrew, with his consistent coaching and mantras, I remembered that a steady pace wins the race. And I had to keep reminding my dad to slow down. He was so happy. Dad smiled for the first 10 miles, and the 16.2 that followed, even. He never seemed to tire. He fed of the crowd’s energy. He was SO enthusiastic and optimistic and fun.

At first, though, I had to keep reminding him to be careful not to elbow me in the boob, which he kept doing, accidentally. He swings his arms a lot when he runs. I'm not sure if I eventually just went numb, or if he was more cautious, but I don’t recall any elbowing past mile 10.

Sabina, Andrew, and my mom stationed themselves at a few spots along the course. I saw my love Andrew at mile 8ish (?), then again at 12, along with Sabina and my mom, who was wearing a lavender jumpsuit. (We called it the Elvis jumpsuit.)

They were easy to spot: my mom’s super-Polish jumpsuit, my sister’s huge smile and loud cheers, their tall yellow signs, Andrew’s bright red shirt. Having people there is almost better than water. You’re tired, but you’re running towards them—you’re running for them, and they’re waiting for you, to hug you and nourish you. They pulled us towards mile 12, and after that, we could look forward to seeing them at mile 22.

I didn’t start feeling “unpleasant” until mile 22. But what was worse than feeling tired, or sore, or spent, was the anticipation of it. See, pain doesn’t hurt. What is pain? Aside from breaking a leg, or having a limb torn off, or child labor, I guess, the pain of running isn’t really pain. At times, it’s the opposite of a pleasant feeling, but it’s not really pain. You wait for the feeling, which is the exhausting part. And when it comes, the best thing to do is just either explore, or FEEL it, and realize that it isn’t so bad. And then, you just keep running.

The thing that did suck was that the temperature in Chicago got up to about 85 degrees. We’d been chilling in 60/65 degree weather before then. When you’re at mile 22, and you’re tired, and grouchy (me, not Dad), and thirsty and your feet have blisters and you know you’re still four point two miles from being done, hot weather is no joke. Although, Dad’s tactic for the hot weather, aside from constant refueling of Gatorade and water, was to make a joke out of it. “I love this sun! I love the heat! I’m so happy to be getting my vitamin D fix!” In fact, he never complained once.

Around mile 20, I had asked him how his knee was doing (it was a problem knee). He smiled and dodged the question. After the race was over, he limped and said it had been hurting him since around mile 5, but he just let it be. How does one be so positive? Running this race, running a marathon, doing anything that is hard and painful and not easy really strips a person down to their bare essential being. I know I get grouchy and still find reasons to avoid pain, or things that are difficult, or MIGHT be difficult, to put it more accurately. But my dad is so pure, and has a disciplined drive to be good. And he is good. He loves people, he wants the best for people, and that seems to be what fuels him. Not his own problems, his dilapidated knee, his pains or sorrows or reasons to quit or complain. He just loves. And he just keeps going.

Dad practically cheered for the crowd, who, at times, was flaccidly clapping along the sidelines, and at times, some were smoking. I will say that Boy’s Town was my favorite place to run through. Those guys went all out: a stage with go-go dancers singing to “It’s Raining Men” and other disco hits. The course was great: flat, clean, at times dull, but more often than dull, FUN. There was an Elvis impersonator, a Chinese gong/percussion band, a high school marching band, cheerleaders in uniform, dogs, elderly people, street bums, Salsa music . . . then, we get to mile 22, where low-and-behold, we see the best sight for sore eyes (and feet): Mom, Sabina, Andrew, my aunts and uncles and cousins, all red-faced (it was hot out. And they were excited), teary-eyed, giant smiles, laughs . . . everyone had a moment where their hearts were just plain happy to see one another, and there was a reason for the gathering . . . but I’m not sure what it was underneath the reason of it being a race. They came to watch the race, to cheer us on, but it was for something more than that. Love? Family? Support? I think it’s love. Which is complex and cannot really be explained.

Andrew ran with us from mile 22 – 25. He was in jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and a backpack. He ran to support us, and of course, I was grouchy. Can I get you water? NO. A banana? NO. Gatorade? NO. NO. NO. I just need to focus on running. I was bitchy, and luckily, he was used to it. He knew I was tired. Thought it was funny. As did my dad, who was still chipper.

But it was so freaking hot out. And we were running in the direction of the sun. And were in a desolate area on the route, where no one was cheering, and the buildings were ugly. Then, we turned a corner, and things picked up. I grabbed a cup of Gatorade, and a volunteer cheered, “only 2 more miles guys!”. TWO MORE MILES! We had accomplished 24. All we had to do was get to 25 and it’d be a breeze. We hit the “dig deep zone”, a spot that the marathon organizers set up with loud music, cheerleaders, banners, excitement, etc. etc. The fact that it was called the Dig Deep Zone actually inspired me to dig deep. See, during the run, you pull out these mantras that you’ve picked up along the way. My favorites: Make every step count. YOU ARE HERE NOW. (Be present). Trust your training. But Dig Deep really did it for me. It’s all I could do: focus on each step, yes, but I was numb. So all I could do was dig deep.

Then. Mile 25. We see Mom and Sabina and the rest of the gang. I see my Aunt Mary with a bouquet of flowers from my agent Cheryl, who is one of the first non-family members who really believes in me, and also, is a marathon runner and animal rescuer. Seeing the flowers and my family and their bewilderment that we actually were alive at mile 25 pushed us forward. We said hi and goodbye (to Andy), and then, it was just us. Just Dad, me, and 1.2 miles. “This is it!” We looked at one another again. We smiled so big, and ran. The crowd wasn’t cheering as much as watching. Watching these people, crazy people, finish the LAST MILE of their journey. Thousands of journeys and reasons and accomplishments were one mile from being finished. It was almost like they were watching people right before they went into heaven.

Ahead of us, a road. At the end of the road, a right turn. Point two miles to go. We hear music, an announcer, cheering, and look up, and see . . . a hill. A hill right before another turn. We run up the hill, and Dad runs past a very obese woman. He shouts, “Wow. Look at this guy,” and while I’m sure Dad was touched and proud of the person, and not making fun, though he didn't realize that it was actually a woman. Luckily, she didn’t hear him. But I’m confused and wondering how she beat us to the last leg of the race. We ran the entire time, ran it in less than 5 hours. She didn’t have a wheelchair, and couldn’t have started with the elite runners. So now, I’m a bit confused as to how she got closer to the finish line so much faster than the rest of the runners. My aunt told me that a lot of people cheat at the marathon—there are corners to cut, and paths to take to get ahead. But what would be the point of that? Isn’t the purpose of finishing, not to finish, but do have endured and embraced the process?

At the top of the hill, we took a left, and we saw it. “FINISH LINE”. Our feet started to move fast, on their own—I didn’t tell mine to pick up the pace. “We did it. We just ran a marathon,” I said and grabbed Dad’s hand. “We’re not there yet!” he said. But then, 20 seconds later, we were. We were done. We finished. It was over. It was over. It was over.

Then, there were the Mylar blankets, the beer, the mass-produced medals, the bagels and bananas and water and pretzels and photographers. And lots of hugging.

It had been awhile since I had felt so connected to my dad. Ever since I grew up, I’d been missing feeling like his kid, a daughter, and him, my dad. I get sick of being a grown-up. But being with him, I felt like I had a leader. A role model. A beacon. A light. And having him be that light guiding me through something so metaphorical: a painful path—filled me with so much joy. I felt so close to my Dad, too. We had endured something so profound and tough, and we felt the same feelings, and confronted them, and got through it. And that feeling of accomplishment and joy lasted for the rest of the weekend, through the many, many meals we ate after the race (all in 24 hours), and into the days that followed. I feel closer to my dad, more of a bond. Like we went deep into a dark place together and came back out, just for the sake of going into a dark place and coming back out. Just for the sake of the journey.

We both lost a child. We couldn't have seen it coming, or planned for it. I never would have wanted to have had it happen—have lost Julian, or lost my own child—but I had no choice. And I didn’t exactly handle it in the best way. I got depressed, angry, I nearly gave up. But it’s past. And I think by choosing to run, it was like a simulation of a painful experience: like an invisible experience, one that I chose to embrace and defeat for the sake of feeling the pain, and conquering it. I feel like I won. I feel like I can accept what happens, and will do better next time something might hurt. I feel like I know how to turn grief into something good. What life delivers to us forms us all, but as surely as random and sometimes tragic events shape our lives, so too does our response to those events. Something happens, something horrible and unfair (whatever that means). So what are we going to do? Give up? Shut down? The question isn’t “will something bad happen to me?” The question is “what will I do with what I’ve been given?”

Dad voluntarily does the dishes when we get home from the marathon . . .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicago Marathon 2010: Still Not Finished!

Mira digging deep at mile 24.

Hey all!

Thanks for all your support during our training for and running the 2010 Chicago Marathon! We finished it in 4:55. BUT WE ARE NOT YET FINISHED: We still need YOUR help.

Please consider donating to our fundraisers. Look to the left side of the screen for our chip-in fundraiser info, and if you'd like to donate, please email MIRA here: for more details of how you can help.

THANKS! and I'll be adding a post soon about the marathon weekend experience!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Marathon is THIS WEEKEND!!!!

I can't believe it.

So. I'm excited and nervous, but mostly just looking forward to sharing the experience with my dad.

Sabina, Andrew and I will be flying to Chicago on Saturday, and departing on Monday afternoon.

Dad and I will be wearing yellow tanks that read "Good Grief" on the back (and our names on the front), just in case you'll be attending the race. And yes, we'll be with the latter bunch of runners, not the elites :) If you won't be able to watch the marathon, you can stalk my dad and me during the marathon: My bib is #15496.

Life got really busy this week, and I've barely had much of a chance to even THINK about the race, let alone prepare for it (do I bring band-aids? what should I eat this week? do I have a private moment with peanut butter ice cream and let it know we'll be seeing less of each other soon?) . . . tomorrow I hope to steal some moments to just meditate before the big day, to think about what I've learned, accomplished, slacked on, etc. etc. before the moment passes. Although, I'm thinking about running another marathon next year. . .

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

4 Days Until the Marathon!

my first "good luck" card. Thank you, Mandi!

Hard to believe it's almost here . . . basically, I'm thinking:
- 4 more days until I'm finished with the relentless training
- 4 more days until my dad and I endure pain for an extended period of time (we're talking more than 4 hours, most likely) together
- 4 more days until my dad and I share a transcendental experience together!

I'm keeping things simple for the next few days. Lots of eating and sleeping, shorter runs, lots of ice cream. Duh. Here's a quote from the editors of Runner's World Magazine:

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.
-- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

I'm just ready to be done and take some time off! My feet could be extras in The Hobbit. Lately, we've been taking Huckleberry and Maybe (our dogs) on our shorter runs. Both Maybe and I will be very happy when to take a break from running . . .

Also! Our team Good Grief uniforms arrived! We'll be wearing yellow, in honor of Julian. Why yellow? It's from a poem of his we found a few days after he passed away:

What the Yellow Had To Say
by Julian Ptacin
I am the joy of a flower
the singing of birds
I am a promise
the happiness that fills your body
I am the delight of friendship
the feeling of being with someone
I am the light shining through your window making you warm
the sight of someone you love
I am the peace keeper
the never ending joy.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fifth Avenue Mile

So the other week, a friend of mine asked me if I'd cover her in a race she had signed up for. She had to go to a wedding and didn't want to miss the race completely: One way to get in to the NYC Marathon is to run a certain amount of races via the Road Runners club in NYC, and if she missed this one, she'd have to make it up in another race . . .

Anyway, she was one of my inspirations for becoming a runner, and she's been very good to me, so I figured I'd do it. Why not? It was only a 1 mile run, AND, I'd be registered in her age category, which was the womens' 40 - 49 category. I figured that since I was 30, and since I've been training for Chicago, I would KICK ASS. I thought that women in my start corral would look at me and ask, "wow, what's your secret for looking so young?" and I'd get the opportunity to promote vegetarianism. But no one asked me and no one looked at me funny, AND no one ate my dust. These women were FAST. Check out how awesome they are:

Being the youngest one there (my little secret), I felt pretty competitive, and when the gun went off, I couldn't help but TAKE OFF, but I forgot to pace myself and by the time I reached the 3/4 marker, I was completely out of breath and regretting that I let my ego get the best of me (once again). Note to self: steady pace wins the race. Even though I was out of steam, I still finished strong. My time was 7:20. I'm not sure if that's good or average, but it was sort of a reality check. . . just because I was younger didn't mean I was automatically fitter. Nonethless, it was fun, and brought back memories of the Presidential Physical Fitness Tests back in the day at St. Phillip Elementary School . . .

Anyway, the Chicago Marathon is in NINE days. It's time to taper, eat a lot, rest up, and get excited. AND RAISE MONEY FOR MY CHARITY (ahem ahem, hint hint). . .

My dad is in Greece right now with my mom and some friends. They'll be checking out Marathon--the actual PLACE--soon, too.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

22 Miles, I Love/Hate You.

So. I did it. Sort of. I mean, I ran for most of it, walked a couple of times, sprinted, powerwalked, trotted, dragged ass, hobbled. . .

On Sunday, I attempted and completed a 22-mile run in Central Park. It was not easy, it was not fun. I almost cried a couple of times, but looking back on it now, I'm not really sure why. Sure, it wasn't a soothing experience, nor would I deem it "pleasant", but it wasn't really painful. I didn't die from exhaustion. I wasn't bleeding, nor was I screaming in pain. I think after about mile 17, my brain was like, "Seriously, Mira. This is stupid. Why are you running? You're tired. Just stop, you moron." But there was no good enough reason to quit, other than just wanting to. The fact that there was no good reason to quit made me grouchy.

suck it, Pheidippides

But I started off the run feeling pretty confident and strong. I had a good music playlist on my ipod, was well-fed and hydrated. I wore wedgie-proof undies and good socks that cost $11, so I was sure they would prevent blisters. Then the sun started to pierce, and the track got crowded. And my $11 socks did not stop my feet from getting really hot, sweaty and soggy. Then there were the hills. Almost all of my runs have been in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, but on Sunday, Andrew suggested that, since this was such a long run ("you'll probably be out there for 5 hours"), I try out a new spot, one that I wasn't quite as familiar with. I thought this was a good idea. It WAS a good idea. But it was a bad idea to do the whole 22-mile battle in Central Park. Little did I know (or did he remind me) that Central Park has a LOT of uphills. Like, it seemed that there weren't a sufficient amount of downhills to match the amount of ups.

damn slopes . . . grrrrrr.

The hills kicked my ass. They made the run MUCH more difficult, made me hate it, and everything that crossed my path. And the fact that I was running uphill for my longest run made me realize quite early in the run that it was much less likely that I'd be able to conquer it. Which I pretty much didn't. I didn't own that run. It owned me. I just wanted to get it over with. I was grouchy, and felt duped. "Hey look! Another hill!" was pretty much all I said to Andrew during the 5 hours we were in the park (he was on a bike) other than a grunt here or there. It wasn't pretty.

At a certain point, say mile 12 or 13, I stopped listening to my ipod, too, because after a certain point, the music stopped motivating me and just started to annoy me. I told it to shut up.

Maybe I was talking to myself--to the thoughts running through my head of how much I hated running. Maybe I was telling my ego, my weakness, to shut up and just let me run. I had to finish, and as much as I hated that damn run, ("hey look! another hill!"), I had no good reason to give up. There was no blood, no broken bones, no heart attack, no heat stroke . . .

I'm about to vomit here.

So I finished. I'm obviously still angry at this run. Maybe when I get over it (and myself), I'll dig a little deeper into some meditations on what happened that day. But right now, it's time to recover.

Regardless, I still love running. We didn't break up. Andrew forgave my bitchiness, too. And oddly, I wasn't sore at all the next day.

I did an 8-mile run this morning, and have a 7-mile run scheduled for tomorrow. My parents are stopping by on their way to Greece, and they'll be visiting the actual city of Marathon, where this damn race began. For the story of how the marathon is said to have started, click HERE

The marathon is in 16 days! Time to taper down, rest up, eat a lot and start getting excited to have pretty feet again some day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This Ain't Kansas, Toto

none shall pass.

I didn't complete my 5 mile run on Thursday and I have a good excuse: there was a tornado in Brooklyn.

I've always wondered if it was possible for a tornado to go through a big city like Manhattan, or Brooklyn--what a juxtaposition that would be: skyscraper. wind funnel. And on Thursday, it happened. Sort of.

"I was in the kitchen, doing the dishes . . . "

Here's our recap: The dogs and I were on our way to Prospect Park. The news had mentioned the possibility of showers, or even a thunderstorm. I brought my raincoat. But halfway there, the sky grew dark. Lightning started to strike rapidly, like every 50 seconds. Maybe (my dog) went what we call "dogatonic" (like catatonic) after she heard thunder, so we went back home. Seconds after I closed the front door, the windows in our apartment started shaking. The sky outside was greenish black. It was fascinating and a little scary, and the three of us--Maybe, Huckleberry and yours truly--took to the hallway for shelter. As tree branches swirled around outside, we crouched in the hallway, cross-legged with our heads between our legs, just like I learned in my Midwestern elementary school tornado drills.

Check out this crazy video that was shot just around the corner from our apartment.

That night, after the storm, Andrew, the dogs and I went to Prospect Park to investigate the damage. It was pretty insane! Here are some pictures that I took on Friday morning during the dogs' park squirrel patrol:

Maybe poses to demonstrate the scale comparison (for length, not girth.)

Huck and Maybe check for squirrel fatalities.

In an hour or so, I'm off to do my longest run yet, and I'm very intimidated: 22 MILES!!!!

My dad will be running his 22 today as well, back home along the Michigan cornfields. I'll be running mine in Central Park, for a change of scenery. I'm not sure how to brace myself for this, other than to JUST DO IT. Wish me luck!

P.S. SOS!!!! I'm still only 31% of the way into my fundraiser. For the love of dog, PLEASE HELP! If you could be so kind to spread the word of my fundraiser (or donate!) and the charity I'm running for (they're called Ready for Rescue)--send it to friends, family, post on facebook, twitter, ANYTHING--I'd be much obliged. And THANK YOU to everyone who has sponsored me: you're helping neglected animals get the love and care they deserve! Here's the most recent rescue in need of a home:

This dog Murphy was taken to my vet's my his owner to be euthanized because she just didn't have enough time for him. He was sweet, they couldn't do it so we are now looking for a foster or forever home. I took him on a walk today and he is indeed a very nice dog. He's a neutered 5 year old Weimaraner mix. Please let know if you would like to help him.