Wednesday, July 2, 2008

from Veena about my upcoming marathon and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Hi there,

In about 3 and a half months, I'm flying out to San Francisco with about 15 other runners and walkers to participate in the Nike Women's Marathon. We are doing it to raise public awareness about blood cancers and the victims who suffer with any one of these many diseases.  As you probably know, some examples of blood cancers are leukemias, lymphomas and myelomas. Then, of course, there are additional syndromes related to the classifiable diseases. I am learning about most of this via The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's website. But, in addition, I am getting some first hand information from the dad of my Honored Teammate. Joseph is 3 and is in remission from myelodysplastic syndrome. Joseph also has Down's Syndrome and his dad, a radiologist at Mainland Hospital, says that slightly predisposed him to this syndrome. You can read an article about Joseph and his family at Even though Joseph's dad is a doctor, had good insurance and therefore didn't need the financial assistance The LLS offers, he says that his family is thankful for The LLS because the website and office provides a wealth of information. In their case, on the website, he read about adjunctive chemotherapy that was not initially offered to them- he was able to bring that info to their docs at MD Anderson and Joseph was treated with that method. It spared him from having to have a bone marrow transplant. From what I've heard from another leukemia patient who suffers from graft-vs-host disease, it is a heavy cross to bear. So I interpret this as incredibly good fortune on little Joseph's behalf.

I'm writing to you to bring you information about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to ask you to help sponsor me in my efforts. I have never been athletic, but I'm training right now to go beyond what I might have ever imagined for myself. It has been an amazing experience so far.

Please consider a donation of $40. I would need 98 people to make that same donation. Actually, scratch that- I have an anonymous donor who's going to match donations. So, I'll take 49 donors at $40. YOU can skip the gym, skip the twice a week half hour runs and the long runs on Saturday. This week- it's 10 miles! I will do that part. Your donation is 100% tax deductible. According to, the average yearly claim of charitable donations is $1,620 or 3.2% of income. Until this year, my husband and I fell short of that. If you're a two-income family, your tax credit MAY be 25% of your donation amount. Given all this information, do you think you can spare $40 or $10 or $100?

Be assured, the money is not for me- I will run the marathon regardless. However, I must say, I am enjoying this experience of meeting remarkable people and pushing myself. I put a short story up on my fundraising page about just that

I also designed a website with an easier-to-remember URL- that's We have quite a few events coming up. There's a spaghetti dinner, bunco nights, bingo and family events. Let me know if I can get you some tickets! Please go to to make credit card donations. A check made out to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society can be mailed to me at 2016 Caravel Dr. League City  TX 77573.

I'm so thankful you've read my whole email. I hope it has been understandable. I have two kiddos in the house vying for attention, plus, we all have pink eye, and I've started and stopped this email more times than I care to count. I will go ahead and sign off with a wish that you're doing well and are hopefully in a position to be generous.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like to come run with our team. Our coach is open to that and I assure you you WILL find someone your speed since we're a diverse group. I'm somewhere in the last quarter trudging along but never giving up. :-)


Veena Smith

I'm raising money for the 785,000 Americans that are living with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood cancers. Chances are, you know one of them! Please visit to help honor them. Your $10, $25 or $100 will help! For events and updates, check our fun site!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

So blah

This is the time of day where I've finally spent all my mommy money. I've got no more mommy money! Check back with me tomorrow, kids. I might have some mommy money left if I would have been paid SOME of the baby money that I was negotiating to get in exchange for more TV time. I got none! Scammed by the best scammer in the house.
best scammer in the house
best snooper " "
best (only) cook " "
best instant coffee maker " "
most consistent chronic cougher and bugbite scratcher 'til it bleeds " "

Ok, I can only take one of these titles. One family member gets two of the awards, but it looks like no human in the house is left a loser. I'll have to reveal what the dogs and cat have won later.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Yesterday's run of 4 miles through Seabrook Trails was really fun. I'm afraid to say things like this because I'm afraid people will hate my newbie enthusiasm. I don't want that to happen, but I don't really see how curbing myself will please anyone, either.

That's why I think I'll play with this for awhile

So, yeah, getting back to the run, I liked the suggestion we were given to try alternating 7 minutes of run time with 2 of walking. I remained feeling strong and the pace was fast compared to what I've been running.

I had some fundraising ideas during the run. I had the idea that I needed to junk all the music on my mp3 player and start over. I have all kinds of folky and indie-alterna-rock stuff that wasn't pulling its weight. I'll get to that for sure this week. Also on the agenda:
Monday- 20 minute easy run
Tuesday- I'm going to try to pick up a shift at work
Wednesday- 30 minute easy run and I'll have veggies at the co-op
Thursday- 20 minute easy run
Friday- 30 minute crosstraining
Saturday- 4 mile TNT Run

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I want to wake up and have donations in my account

This is a notice of intent- I'm being the change I want to see. I want to wake up and see that my first attempts at fundraising will get noticed.

Veena's Team in Training Website

Saturday, May 10, 2008

First Practice today

We got together at 0730, just across the street from Aimee's block. We talked a bunch, warmed up with some short intervals of running/walking and then did some active and static stretches. We were given a 1 mile loop to do 3 times. Walk it, run it, whatever. I found that it seemed like a LONG mile. And it was a loop, so I'd see people coming back the other way and would automatically assume they were just ahead of me, when it turns out they were kind of far ahead...

I have the thoughts go through my head that are all about "shoulds" and others' impressions. They busy my mind, but I think they're not the healthiest choices. Another not-the-healthiest choice was dipping into the clearance cream cake I brought home from Kroger, just after practice in the car. However, I came home and made some delicious steaks for lunch. I was pleased with myself that the $16 I spent on the steaks would not have bought a steak for one person had we gone out to eat them at a restaurant.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

PedEgg and the Team in Training Kickoff Party

Holy Mama, I'm hungry and especially thirsty, so this post is going to be a short one. It's almost midnight, and it will be past midnight when this sentence is through. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be indulging in bedtime pizza. The only sense that makes is that I'm hungry and it's past my bedtime.

I should be ashamed of myself for writing about PedEgg in the same post as the Team in Training kickoff party. Ashamed. But this is how it goes. My loving husband came home from Fry's Electronics with the as-seen-on-TV PedEgg for me. I've been battling my callousness for about a week now by-- nevermind, this is getting to be TMI. PedEgg has NO batteries. I looked for them. It was sold at Fry's. I thought it had to be an actual appliance. No, this is a manual device for shredding callouses- it makes a fine powder out of them, which is trapped inside the egg until you try to use the egg in a convenient but verboten position. PedEgg works great, but when I get paid, I'm going to order my replacement files. My callouses are bad and even PedEgg will eventually lose to them.

Team in Training Kickoff... How can I write about this without offending somebody? Let me try this: Every, I mean EVERY individual I met was exciting, enthused and great to meet. I am thrilled that I got to meet our team's honored member, Joseph Novick. He's a cute little bubby just a month older than my own Benjamin.

However, I'm disappointed because I thought all of tonight's business was going to be accomplished by schmoozing. Schmoozing! I wanted to be able to stand around, drink punch and talk to people. The fact that I had my rat with me gave me a good excuse to not stay seated during the various presentations.

Not boring was listening to our coach. I was still chasing my rat, but I know that we're doing 3 miles on Saturday morning. I can do that....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Plans for this week

I would like to blitz my bedroom. Remove everything. Put back stuff that belongs to my husband and I. Not the children. Not the children's stuff. And certainly not stuff that doesn't belong to any of us.

Take Taco, the dog, to get neutered.

I'm attending the Team in Training Kick-Off Party at 50 Waugh and I'm going to get busy with getting into mode of woman-in-training.

Preliminary fundraising stuff for the thing mentioned immediately above.

The stupid dog is barking and so my thinking ceased. Now, he's stopped and I can think again, I hope. Well, now he's started again. The end/.