Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Moving Forward Mary-thon is Moving...!

The Moving Forward Mary-thon has a new website!  Please click here and it will take you to our new webpage where you'll find information, tips and inspiration!

The website also contains information on registering for the 2012 Mary-thon!
We're still under construction - but the basics are there!  Please join us!

Don't forget to...
Keep Moving Forward!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Let's Keep Moving Forward in 2012 - with Project Linus to benefit!

"Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes his mind to do. We are capable of greater than we realize."
- Norman Vincent Peale, author

Although our 2011 Moving Forward Mary-thon is not finished - it's time to commit to and prepare for 2012!  No looking back, no standing still...we will continue to moving forward!  

Why has the 2011 Mary-thon been so successful?  According to statistics, only 8% of New Year's Resolutions are kept.  That means that 92% of those who set a goal (or resolution) NEVER finish.  So far, 30% of those who started the Mary-thon have already crossed the finish line, with a projected 70% committed to finish by December 31st!  We have ALREADY beat the odds!  That's why this works!

Originally, the 2011 Mary-thon was created to give me a way to keep myself motivated to exercise throughout the year.  It was to be a 1 year program and I hoped to have a few friends and family join me.  It turned out to be VERY successful - and I was so grateful for the inspiration and help each of you were to me!  As Mary-thoners crossed their finish lines, I received many e-mails asking me to continue the Mary-thon in 2012.  I know that we all need to continue to "Keep Moving Forward" but as I thought about continuing the Mary-thon for another year, I realized - first of all - that I would not be able to purchase and mail medals to everyone.   The "big question" was:  "Would anyone pay to participate?"  After doing a little research, I discovered that, statistically speaking, if you make a commitment and you have secured your commitment with a monetary investment, your chances of fulfilling your commitment are much higher.  So - I created a brochure advertising the 2012 Mary-thon...started handing it out...and the response has been OVERWHELMING!!!  

I knew there would be those who would not be able to pay to participate and I didn't want to leave anyone out of the Mary-thon - so I came up with the following guidelines:

In 2012 you can register as a Premium Full Mary-thoner, Premium Half Mary-thoner or a Basic Mary-thoner.  
A Premium Full and Half Mary-thoner will receive the following "participation perks" for a $35 fee.  Of that $35, $15 will be a tax-deductible donation to Project Linus - our 2012 recipient charity.  

Premium Mary-thoner
 Mary-thon bracelet
 2012 Mary-thon T-Shirt
 2012 Finisher’s Medal (when you finish!)
 Downloadable Tracking Sheet, Pledge, Finisher’s Certificate, Racing Bib and motivational support through e-mail and blog updates.
 Tax-deductible receipt for $15 donation to Project Linus.
 $35 Fee

Basic Mary-thoner

 Downloadable Tracking Sheet, Pledge, Racing Bib, Finisher’s Certificate and motivational support through e-mail & blog updates.
 No Fee.
*Basic Mary-thoners MUST have an e-mail address and the ability to open attachments in order to participate.

There will be no charge to be a "Basic Mary-thoner" but anyone participating as a Basic Mary-thoner will only receive their "perks of participation" through e-mail.  This will include those items listed below under "Basic Mary-thoner".  Due to the cost of purchasing medals and postage, there will NOT be a medal included in this package and the participant MUST have an e-mail address (or access to one) in order to participate.

Most marathons and fitness events sponsor a charity - and I am thrilled to make Project Linus a recipient of our hard work and dedication.  There are so many of our family, friends, associates, and co-workers who would LOVE the Project Linus mission and want to support Project Linus in some way but they simply do not want to make blankets.  What a perfect way for them to "team up" with others (or participate on their own) and commit to 26 weeks of exercise in 2012!  When you register as a Premium Mary-thoner, Project Linus receives $15.  Think of all the children going through a life-crisis who will receive a hug of comfort from a Project Linus blanket as a result of YOUR efforts!  In addition to all the goodies listed below under Premium Mary-thoner, you will receive personal health benefits as a major bonus and completing a 26 week fitness goal will be truly life-changing!  

Back of shirt with our charity listed

Front of 2012 Moving Forward Mary-thon t-shirt

If you would like to participate in the 2012 Moving Forward Mary-thon, please click here to request a registration form:

Good Luck!!!  And always remember...Keep Moving Forward!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Keep Moving Forward!!!

Out of the strain of the doing,  Into the peace of the done.
~Julia Woodruff, Gone

I can't believe it!  Week #26 is here!  4 more days of exercise and I’ve completed my 2011 Mary-thon and I get to award myself my medal!  How does it feel, you ask?  IT FEELS GREAT!!!!!

In looking back over the past 26 weeks I made a two lists that I would like to share with you:
Least fun part:
1.  Finding time to exercise on a busy day…and realizing that late night is the only option left.
2.  Falling down.
3.  Running on the treadmill with our neighborhood woodchuck staring at me outside my window for the entire 40 minutes!  Gives me the creeps!
4.  Lunges and squats.
5.  Sweating profusely.
6.  Mary-thoners who sign up and then disappear into thin air.  Are they in…are they out???   No pressure…just a simple yes or no e-mail and I’ll quit bugging them!  I promise!
7.  Watching the TV while on the treadmill in a gym when someone came in and changed the channel!  How rude!
8.  Trying to recharge my batteries when the novelty wore off…about week #15.  (That’s where your e-mail and words of encouragement continues to keep me going!)
9.  The crazy excuses people gave me for dropping out when in reality I knew what they wanted to say was “I just don’t want to!”

Most fun part:
1.   Trying new types of exercise to fill 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week for 26 weeks!  I tried an elliptical, a stationary bike, swimming, stair climbing, weights, using a stepper, squats and lunges, and even kayaking!
2.   Being able to easily carry bags of Project Linus blankets due to 6 months of arm strength training!
3.   Braving a few “hills” when I run and actually getting to the top.
4.   The feeling of accomplishment when I drive past someone running and I think “I’ve already done my exercises today!”
5.   Reading the stories you have sent me with your accomplishments, the hurdles you’ve overcome, your determination to finish – even after starting over one, two, three or more times!
6.   My own family of Mary-thoners that not only supports me by becoming Mary-thoners, but shared my crazy idea with their friends creating a wonderful network of fitness support.
7.   Buying new shoes and new workout clothes.
8.   Eating Gu and Gu Chomps.  Yum!!!
9.  My wonderful husband who signed up to run another half-marathon with me in December – even though he never really wanted to be a distance runner!
10.The medal!

The finish line is up ahead and congratulations to each of you for making it this far!  If you’re nearing the end – e-mail me as soon as you cross and I’ll send you your beautiful medal!  Then, take a picture of yourself wearing your medal and I'll post it on the blog!  If you’re close…keep at it – I’m still here to motivate you!  If you’re re-starting - BRAVO!!!!  There are still 27 weeks left in the year – plenty of time to finish.  

**Sneak preview:  Some of you have asked about 2012!  YES!  The Mary-thon WILL continue in 2012!  Keep in mind that if you finish the 2011 Mary-thon – you will be considered a Golden Member with the perks that go with that title  :-)  I’ll keep you posted!

Keep Moving Forward!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are You Up to Another Challenge? How about a Mega-Marython?

"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit." - George Sheehan

Here we are – going into the Mary-thon home stretch and we can see the chute up ahead!  YOU are a member of an elite group.  We started the Mary-thon with 177 participants.  55 have dropped out.  122 of us are still at it - still exercising - still committed to finishing the race some time during 2011. Congratulations to each of you!!!

It’s hard to believe that we have been regularly exercising for months!  WOW!!!  Some of us have already finished ¾ of the Mary-thon (or close to it), and even if you started later or restarted – you’re still at it!  What an accomplishment!  Yes – each of us WILL finish the race and we WILL finish strong!  We can see the finish line in the distance and we can visualize OUR medal hanging around our necks.  I hope that those of you who have achieved the status of “half-mary-thoner” are wearing your bracelets each day – letting the world know that you are an athlete who has made regular exercise a part of your life.  APPLAUSE!  APPLAUSE!  APPLAUSE!

Here's the new challenge:
As I finish Week #20, I have felt the need to set some new fitness goals to keep me motivated once I finish Week #26.  So - I would like to invite you to join me in the Mega-Marython!   This is PURELY OPTIONAL – just a way to keep the carrot in front of our cart – if you need a little extra incentive.
Here’s the scoop:  There are two ways to complete the Mega-Marython.  You can participate in a structured twelve week program or you can create your own.  The Mega-Marython requires THREE days per week of 30 minutes per day for 12 weeks!  :-)

I have heard from several of you that you would like to start running - but you've never done it before and don't know where to begin.  If you would prefer a structured program, I have a 12 week 5K training schedule (it’s only 3 days a week) that will help you get started running if you’re interested.   The goal is to be able to eventually run at your own pace (fast or slow) for 30 minutes straight (or 3.1 miles) at the end of 12 weeks.  If you THINK you would like to participate, send me an e-mail and I will send you the information. 

There are a few stipulations to participating in the Mega-Marython: 

1.  You MUST have finished the Mary-thon before you can begin the Mega-Marython and you must e-mail me with your commitment to be a Mega-Marythoner BEFORE you begin your 12 week training.  In order to be a Mega-Marythoner, you must complete your 12 week training by December 31, 2011.

2.  You can use the 5K beginning runner training schedule that I will send you.  You will only need to train the required 3 days per week when you start the 12 week training and you MUST finish by the end of the year (December 31, 2011).   

3.  You can come up with your own training schedule (run, walk, swim, eliptical, weights, etc.) - but it MUST be at least 30 minutes per day and you MUST train at least 3 days per week for twelve weeks.

Is there a prize for finishing?
Of course there is!!!  You will receive a MEGA-Mary-thon certificate and another Mary-thon medal – with a Mega-Marython designation on the ribbon (while supplies last). 

You will have one “free week” during the 12 week training, but ONLY if you need it.

After Mary-thon training for 6 months, I want to continue my fitness program and would LOVE to have you join me.  

Think about it,  let me know and…remember to...

Keep Moving Forward!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pride Cometh Before a FALL!

" No matter how you fall, just think how to get up fast."  Ika Adriani 

Picture this:  It's a beautiful day - the sun is shining and the trees appear to be swaying a bit.  Yes, it's windy, but not windy enough to discourage you from embarking on your weekly "long run".  This week's run:  10 miles.  Yes - 10 miles and you're ready to hit the pavement.  You have on your sunglasses, an ear warmer, a long sleeve (adorable) pink shirt that says "One More Mile" across the front, black capri running shorts with a coordinating pink stripe that matches the color of the shirt, black gloves, white socks and your beautiful white gym shoes.  In addition you have a belt strapped around your waist carrying your water bottle, keys, cell phone, Gu Chomps, Kleenex, Chapstick and an iPod nano.  Earphones from your iPod are delivering the carefully selected tunes that are paced to your stride and on your wrist is your GPS calculating your pace as well as distance.  You are totally prepared for a great run!

As you step out the front door and onto your porch a burst of cold air slaps you in the face.  The logical thing to do would be to go back in the house and put on a running vest, long running slacks, a neck warmer and a hat - or simply stay inside and run on the treadmill.  But you know better and you ignore the promptings telling you that you may not be as prepared as you THINK you are.   So, off you go.  The first mile is invigorating.  The second mile is still good - but you start to get a bit chilly.  Well into mile 3 your leg muscles feel like they may be freezing up a bit.  You wonder, can muscles actually freeze and if they do freeze - will they still work?  By mile 4 they're frozen solid but they appear to be functioning - you're still making headway toward mile 5.  Then something happens that completely takes you by surprise.   As you approach the curb - a curb you've conquered countless times - your frozen leg muscles refuse to cooperate and your worst fear happens.  You fall.  It's not a little "trip" or an "oops, I lost my balance for a second" stumble.  It's an all and out fall and it appears to be happening in slow motion.  Your toe hits the curb, you fall to the right scraping your right knee, shoulder, chin and cheek on the pavement, in that order.  Your left foot makes a valiant effort to compensate for the utter chaos going on with your right side but is unable to gain control and gives up, causing your body to virtually collapse in the street.  Amidst the dazed chaos, you instinctly know that the first thing you MUST do is GET UP FAST!!!  You may have been knocked senseless for a moment, but you have ENOUGH sense to know that the entire world could be watching this fiasco in a few hours on youtube.   

So you jump up with a not-so-confident "meant to do that" look on your face and then take a quick inventory of all your body parts and supplies.  "Did I tear a hole in the knee of my running shorts?" (No.)  "Is my iPod still working?"  (Yes, music is playing.) "Where are my sunglasses?"  (On the curb - get them quickly.)  "Are they scratched?"  (Who cares - just put them on - hopefully no one will recognize you.) "Did I break my leg or my hip, or my shoulder or my cheek?"  (Doesn't feel like I did...they ARE frozen, however - maybe that protected them.)  Did I knock any of my teeth out?  (Nope - they're still there.) "Should I cry, call for a ride home and NEVER run again?" (Absolutely not...although selling your house and moving to Albuquerque does cross your mind for a moment.)  Should I finish my ten miles even though I'm injured, embarrassed and frozen solid?  (Yes...and as soon as you got your wits about you, you did!)

Well, you probably guessed that the poor unfortunate, and somewhat clumsy individual that you were picturing was me and the story is true.  If I could list my most embarrassing moments - and I have had plenty - that experience would probably rank in the top 5.  But I am still running in spite of it all.

Unfortunately, we all have weeks where we just don't feel like exercising. The motivation with which we started dwindles on occasion.  We don't want to do it, we don't care if we do it and we come up with every reason why we don't need to do it.  But the truth of the matter is that we DO need to do it. Our health demands it.  Our bodies crave it whether we believe it or not.  And, if we're honest with ourselves, we DO have the time.  We just need to MAKE time in our schedules.  We may have our set-backs, our falls, but that doesn't mean that should give up.  It just means that we need to take a quick inventory,  re-group and recommit.  

I had a difficult week of exercise last week - my motivation was severely lacking.   I finished my 5 days, but I didn't want to do it.  I just knew I HAD to do it.  I promised myself and I promised each of you that I would.  I did, however, need to take a good hard look at myself and decide what I needed to do to regain my enthusiasm.  I realized that I needed to have renaissance - a rebirth in my exercise program.  Since today is Easter, I decided this day would be the perfect day to renew my efforts.  I hope you'll take this time to do the same if you've experienced a lack of motivation recently.  You may have an occasional "fall", but if you "get back up fast" you'll be able to pick up where you left off and finish what you started.    

When you committed to the Mary-thon, you set a fitness goal for yourself for a reason.  What was that reason?  Did that reason go away - or is it still there?  If it's still there (and my guess is that it is), you owe it to yourself to follow through, no matter what - no excuses.  YOU deserve it so try not to let yourself down.  

There's plenty of time to restart the Mary-thon and finish in time, if you have taken a fall.  I'm here to offer you a helping hand, and I promise - I will NOT put it on!   

I love these words of encouragement quoted on  "Believe in Yourself!  One of the most important factors that leads a person to success, is the belief in oneself. Most people become de-motivated because they do not trust their capabilities to achieve something. One must remember that hard work is the only way to success and in our effort to achieve success, we may encounter failures. This should be taken as a learning experience and one should continue working harder without losing hope." 

Have a wonderful week and remember to...
Keep Moving Forward!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Believe I CAN! I Believe YOU Can!

Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right.”  --Henry Ford

13+ weeks ago, I issued a fitness challenge.  My challenge was:  In order to help me to "keep moving forward" [with my exercise program], I would like to invite you to join me and participate in the “2011 Moving Forward Mary-thon”.  To date, I have received a positive "Count me In" response from 175 individuals.  As news of the Mary-thon travels and others see YOUR success, more people sign up.  Some have just come in the past couple of weeks!  I couldn't be more excited and more thrilled with the response!  THANK YOU!!!   

On December 23, 2010 the challenge went out, and I wanted to share with you a few of the many, many positive responses I received:

“Please add my name to the list. I've been doing better, but you may be the push I need. Thanks for keeping us healthy and happy.

“I’m in Texas walking for 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day on the beach (with a cane).  I used to be a runner before Multiple Myeloma did serious damage to my spine.  I don’t let it keep me down.  I’ll take your challenge since I already exercise almost every day.

“Count me in!  How could I not be on that list?  I love a challenge.

"I decided I'm going to train for my first half-marathon!  Thanks for the incentive!" 

“What a great idea!  I need and want to be a part of this "Mary-thon".  I am wanting to get back on track with my exercise program and this will be a great incentive for me, so, yes I am on board….So, sign me up!

Sign me up! I'm ready to go... this is fabulous!   Thanks!

I have been trying to find something to get me motivated and well, Mary . . . . . YOU did it!!!  I will sign up for your 26 week commitment.

“Your e-mail came at a good time.... I need to be accountable to someone, so if you don't mind.... sign me up!!!  Here's to starting a 26 week journey, one step at a time!!!! Thanks!!

My 3 daughters would like to be part of the Mary-thon if there is room and if you are allowing family members.  Could you please let me know if they can join?  Thanks!”  (Anyone is welcome – and they did sign up!)

“Please sign up my husband and me for the “Mary-thon”.  We commit to 30 min of exercise 5 days a week.  Thanks!”

Mary, I will happily join your Mary-thon group.  I already walk 2.2 miles, usually 6-7 days a week, but don't when vacationing or out of town.  This will encourage me to exercise even while away from home.  Thank you for creating this "mission”.”

“My husband and I just this morning talked about doing something to RETURN TO BETTER HEALTH, cholesterol, weight, etc.  and so I opened your email/blog and I AM GOING TO DO IT !!!!  You are such an inspiration to all of us, and your encouragement and sense of humor will be so valuable.  Thank you SOOooo much....I have to go get on the elliptical now!

“I would love to do this challenge for 2011.  I love how you set it up and am so thankful that you got this going :) I'm excited!!”

“Please sign me up for the 2011 Mary-thon.  I will finish..... I will finish......I WILL FINISH!!!!!!     Thanks for sharing your challenge with all of us.”

Can you feel the excitement as you read the words of other fellow Mary-thoners?  Can you feel their commitment and dedication to themselves and improving their health?  How about you?  Are you still excited?  Are you still committed?   Are you feeling better about yourself? Is your body feeling better?  I know there are a few of you out there who have fallen off the fitness wagon.  You CAN get back on - with 39 weeks left in the year there's plenty of time to find 26 weeks to start again and finish the Mary-thon. 
This week (Week #13) begins a defining moment in the 2011 Moving Forward Mary-thon:  it begins the half-way point.  From this week on, you will be finishing a “Half-Mary-thon” and heading toward the Mary-thon finish line!!! Congratulations to each of you!!! What an inspiring accomplishment!!!  I'm sure those around you have felt the impact of your dedication to yourself and your health!   BRAVO!  Conversely, if you are surrounded by "nay-sayers" calling you obsessed and trying to knock you off the fitness wagon from their perch on the couch, remember:  

"Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated."  
As Henry Ford said – whether you believe you CAN or believe you CAN’T, you’re probably right.  When you think back to the day you committed to the Mary-thon, did you believe that you COULD, or did you think you probably COULDN’T?  If you were the latter, my guess is that you are not currently participating in the Mary-thon and you’re thinking of a way you can avoid ever seeing me or e-mailing me again.   Please don't feel ashamed or embarrassed if you decided this challenge wasn't for you.  It's OK!!!  Some have asked "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?"  I want each of you to know that I am doing this because I care.  I care about fitness and health and eating properly and never having to visit the doctor for ailments related to a sedentary lifestyle.  But most of all, I really care about each of you.  I want you to be healthy and I want you to be happy!  I know how exercise and fitness has totally changed my life and I want to share that with anyone who will listen.  You may have felt that the Mary-thon just wasn’t for you but you have still found a way to keep fit and that’s OK too.  
Practically speaking – I still need to order the 2011 Moving Forward Mary-thon finishers medals and need to know how many of you will be meeting me at the finish line.  So – here’s what I need from you this week:
1.      If you plan to finish the Mary-thon (26 weeks of exercise, 5 days per week, 30 minutes per day with a 2 week “grace” period) by December 31, 2011, PLEASE let me know.  I can only order the medals once – and I want to have a medal for each person who finishes.
2.      When you have finished the first 13 weeks of the Mary-thon (the Half-Mary-thon), please e-mail with your home address so that I can send you a little motivational gift of encouragement to help you through the next 13 weeks.  
Congratulations to each of you for your OUTSTANDING success and I want to sincerely thank you for motivating ME to Keep Moving Forward! 
As always – “Keep Moving Forward”!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Forward! Going Above and Beyond!

"The only way to define your limits is by going beyond them."  Anonymous                            

When I first decided to run a half-marathon, I had already been running 4 times a week for five years and I was ready to do something a bit more challenging.  Fortunately, I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into!  Well - maybe a teeny morsel of an idea...but not a "realistic idea" - which I see now was a good thing.  My 4 day a week running routine consisted of putting on my Garmin tracking device (because I need to know EXACTLY how fast and how far I run on any given day), finding my "running playlist" on my iPod and go.  My route was usually the same - I would leave my front door, run up the street, turn left at the T in the road, run past the park, turn right past the Professional Building, touch the flagpole by the movie theaters and run back home.  2.58 miles.  So, my warped thought process was that if I could run 2.58 miles - I simply needed to multiply my run by 5 times which would equal a 13.1 mile half marathon.  Easy!  I went on the internet and found a twelve week training program for beginning half-marathoners.  I knew I couldn't run the entire distance and was pleased to discover that a "run 3 minute, walk 2 minute" routine was very acceptable in the running world.  So, that's what I was going to do.  The weekly running schedule included a "long run" that increased by 1 mile each week.  Two miles was a cinch, 3 miles was still very do-able, 4 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles - oh my gosh - the miles kept increasing and I kept going.  I was absolutely amazed that I could actually keep up the pace for such a long distance - and still live to tell about it.

Was it easy?  NO!  There were some runs that were worse than awful, and some that were actually relaxing and enjoyable.   Rain was not fun and cold winds were worse but sunshine and 45-50 degree temps were heavenly.  There was absolutely no rhyme or reason as to when I would have a good run, and when I would feel like I would NEVER be able to finish.  That shocked me!  I couldn't believe that I could run 6 miles one day and then struggle to run 3 miles a few days later.  But I kept at it.  I didn't quit.  I trained and trained and trained and then did it!  I made it the entire 13.1 miles and have the medal and picture to prove it.  I personally needed to go above and beyond my usual fitness routine.  I needed to do something that I had never done before.  I needed to prove to myself that although I was never an athlete - and had never run a race before in my life - that I could indeed run with the big dogs if I wanted.  (Of course the big dogs were home, showered, had lunch, a nice nap and probably off to their next adventure before I crossed the finish line...but that was ok...there were a couple of hours when we were actually running in the same race together!)

So many of you have written me e-mails about your progress as you too are going above and beyond in maintaining good health through exercise.  Some have never kept with a fitness program for an extended period of time - until now!  Some of you have exercised for years and continue to do so, without fail!  With Spring right around the corner, some of you are just getting started with your Mary-thon while others are nearing the "Half-Mary-thon" point.  Some have had to start over for one reason or another, but EACH of you have promised me that you are committed to finish!  Remember - there's a beautiful medal waiting for you at the finish line to forever remind you that you did indeed go "Above and Beyond"!  

I received some pictures from one of our Mary-thoners - Sharon - from San Jose California.  Sharon just returned from her vacation - where she was able to keep up with the Mary-thon.  Where did Sharon vacation?  ANTARTICA!!!!  We have truly gone global with the Mary-thon!  Thank you Sharon for taking the Mary-thon to our 7th continent!!!!

Bravo to each and everyone of you as you spring forward - going above and beyond!  

Keep Moving Forward!

Sharon - Mary-thoning with the Penguins!

Sharon (wearing a Project Linus t-shirt!) sharing a Mary-thon moment with a precious baby seal!