Saturday, October 11, 2008

Treat Yourself

To assist with my fundraising, Serene Haven Spa in Sherman Oaks has donated gift certificates for customized facials and manicure/pedicure packages for auction. The Fundraiser show was very successful, but I still have some of these gift certificates left. So...

I am having an E-MAIL AUCTION starting today!

Here is a little information about this lovely spa:

Serene Haven Spa
13511 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, California, 91423

Serene Haven's Zen atmosphere was designed to pamper
and ease clients into a state of peace, relaxation, and tranquility.
Serene Haven offers customized facials, nail treatments, and waxing.
Clients can also enjoy a cup of jasmine green tea to aid in rejuvenation.

Here are the items up for bid:

1. Manicure / Pedicure Gift Certificate - $35 value - Starting bid: $10 - SOLD!
2. Customized Facial Gift Certificate - $110 value - Starting bid: $50 - STILL AVAILABLE!
3. Queen for a Day Package (Includes 1 facial gift certificate + 1 mani/pedi gift cert.) - $145 value - Starting bid: $75 - SOLD!
4. Girlfriends Package (includes 2 facial gift certificates + 2 mani/pedi gift certs) - $290 value - Starting bid: $100 - SOLD!

- I also have a nice bottle of chardonnay autographed by Fleet Mickwood of Fleetwood Mack up for auction. Starting bid: $25 - SOLD!

*Instructions for bidding - email me at with the following info:
1. The item you are bidding on
2. Your bid amount

3. Your full name, address and phone number (so that I may mail the items to

I will send you a follow up email to let you know if you've won the item and send you the link (which is also below) to make your online donation. Once I have receipt of your donation, I will mail the items to you.

My goal is to have these items gone by next Thursday.

Please place your bids by Sunday. The auction will close on Monday morning.
I will let you know if someone beats your bid so you have the opportunity to make a higher bid.

Brian is faster than me, so I want to beat him on the fundraising. He is at $5439 right now. Let's pass the $5500 mark!

my email address:

Thanks guys!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Where was I at the beginning of training? If you do not remember, I was on what I like to call the stupid bike. The first month of training yielded an ankle injury and too many trips to the gym riding the stupid bike while my team ran outside in the fresh air with each other. After trips to 2 doctors and a specialist, I got myself running again. I remember being so grateful to be able to run. I have a confession...I started to take that ability for granted.

"I don't like to run" I told somebody recently. "I just don't think it is what I'm good at". I found myself just trying to get through with the runs so I could relax. I was getting grumpy on the trails. I was tired, winded, in pain, and what was worse, I had a bad attitude. Whenever we forget to be grateful, we get the gift of a gentle (or sometimes not so gentle) reminder.

After our 20-mile run, I was having pretty severe pain in my groin. I have become used to experiencing pain after long runs, so I didn't think much of it. Brian and I went for our 5 mile run on Monday and that pain was there again. This time, it wasn't submitting to my will. Instead of getting better after I warmed up, it got worse. I had to stop at 3 miles. I wasn't really worried, I knew I had just run 20 miles. I waited as Brian completed his 5 miles and we went home to ice packs and election coverage.

I stayed home and rested Wednesday night and Brian went to meet the team for a short 5 mile run. I had to finish a paper for school anyway. I neglected my stretching and supplements for most of the week. "I'm fine," I thought. We are in our taper phase. In the taper phase, you decrease mileage to let your body rest for the big day.

By Saturday (two weekends ago), I felt ready to run again. We headed to the park for a mere 8 mile run. This seemed like nothing compared to what we had just accomplished. Tina, my running buddy, found me and we ran together. She is at the same pace as I am, so we have bonded. She was kicking my butt, though! I felt so tired. Again, I was just trying to 'get through it'. My groin was full of complaints, but I ran through it as I have done with other pains. At about mile 7, Tina started feeling severe pain in her knee. She tried to run through it, but I suggested that we take it easy and walk it in. With the marathon this close, I didn't want her to take any chances. Inside, I was grateful for the walking. I was in pain too. We took that time to have conversation that is usually impossible when we are huffing and puffing during the run. It was a nice change of pace. I started to remember what I liked about training in the first place.

Brian and I headed to North Hollywood park for our usual Monday night run. This time, I could only run 1 mile. I was feeling a good amount of pain. We agreed that I shouldn't push it, so he did another mile and we walked for a bit. I kept the ice routine and thanks to my lovely friends, Brendan and Aarti, I have a rice bag (you heat it up and apply it to sore areas to help them heal). Ice and heat and ... worry.

I called Jeff Waldberg on Tuesday to ask about my groin. He believes it's a muscle issue. He suggested I...ride the bike. Wednesday, Brian was off to meet the team and I layed on the couch in a puddle of self pity. There are two kinds of pain when dealing with a sports injury; the pain of the injury, and the pain of the depression that sets in because your body can't do what you want it to. Did I ride the bike on Wednesday? Nope. I sat and wallowed.

Saturday, the team was running 6 miles. Brian was up at 5:30 to head to the park. I told him I was going to get up at the same time to go to the gym, but I slept until 9:30. It took everything I had to get myself to the gym and on that bike. I sat there with a scowl, pedaling. I was so angry at being back where I started.

Tuesday night, the team met at California Pizza Kitchen to have a send off dinner. We got there late (the debate was on). When we arrived, I saw a girl with crutches. I looked closer and realized it was Tina. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. "I have a stress fracture at the top of my femur bone," she said. That is a pretty major injury. This is what caused the pain in her knee. The femur is the largest bone in the body, and if you remember from one of my older blogs, I broke mine too a long time ago. This really struck a chord with me. I was face to face with my own demons. All the fear I felt at the beginning of training because of my previous femur injury came rushing back. My heart really went out to Tina. She has been training for five months! Now she can't run the marathon with us. I hope she runs again once she has recovered. She has been such an amazing running buddy.

What a lesson.

This week has been a battle for me but one good thing has come out of it. My appreciation for running has returned. I am still healing, but I feel better every day. I am taking my supplements, applying ice and heat and changing my attitude (which is the hardest part). I do like running. It is hard and painful, but that is part of what makes it great! I feel like one tough chick.

The marathon is 9 days away. I am so grateful for this renewed vision of my quest. I can't believe it is almost here!

Such an incredible journey.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

20 miles

Since Brian and I were away in Santa Cruz, we missed the 20 mile run with the team. This meant we had to run it on our own the following weekend.

Bright and early, we kicked ourselves out of bed to beat the heat and prepare for the longest run in our training. With two cars filled with back up Gatorade and energy gels parked on opposite sides of Balboa park we were ready! The weather was cool and our water belts were filled. One loop around the entire park is five miles. It is best during a long run to break it down into manageable laps.

Lap #1: I would now like to compose a poem dedicated to my water belt.


Ode To My Water Belt
by Jamie Moniz

Devil belt
Why do you slide up my waste
like the greedy fingers of a teenager?
Jiggle jiggle, bounce bounce
You ignore my pulls and tugs
My constant adjusting and re-adjusting of your velcro strap
You seem happiest when bouncing high upon my waste
You get pleasure in my chafed skin and bruised hips
If I could make one humble request, it would be"
YOU STUPID BELT!!! When this is over I will

The End.

Lap #2: See lap #1

Lap #3: This was the lap where I parted ways with my beloved water belt and agreed (after much arguing) to share Brian's gatorade for the remainder of the run. We had two places to refill the bottle, so it wasn't too bad. My groin started to hurt on this lap, perhaps because of the 2-hour wrestling match I had with my water belt. I tried not to pay attention and kept going.

Lap #4: The "cool down" lap. This run was particularly challenging. I almost always gag and throw up when I force those energy gels down my throat. They bounce around in my stomache for ten minutes and I have visions of my face in the nearest trash can. So I had to develop a mantra for these trying times. In rhythm to my feet I silently repeated the phrase, "I feel like a million bucks, I feel like a million bucks". I started talking to my legs, "One more lap guys! Take us home." My green truck marked 2/3's of the way to the finish. It looked so beautiful! It sparkled in the sunlight singing, "Come to me! I have Gatorade." During the long runs, stopping for too long is a death sentence. If you stop running for more than a minute, your body thinks it is time to send you all the back pain messages it has been saving so you could survive the run. Getting started again is painful. So we stopped for a quick second and forged on. Brian asked how I was feeling. I puffed, "I feel like a million bucks (LIE)". The good news was that my body was sort of numb as long as I kept moving. Brian, running at a slower pace the whole way to stay with me, seemed to be doing great. I asked him how he was. He said his calf was cramping up and hurt pretty bad. I felt better that I wasn't in pain alone. I was starting to believe he had super powers. There it was. The end of our run. As we jogged toward the finish, Brian grabbed my hand. We crossed the finish line together! Whew. It took us a total of 3 hours and 41 minutes.

After the run, we walked around for a bit. I knew if I tried to sit, I would fall since I had completely lost the ability to control my legs. We stretched and got in our cars to return home. When I tried to get out of my car, I felt severe pain in my groin. How do you limp with a groin injury? Every part of your leg is attached to that area. I looked like a zombie. I welcomed the ice bath and slept like the dead. Overall feeling, ACCOMPLISHED.