Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Running Update:
11/29/2017
Run
5.0 mi
49:52
12/2/2017
Run
5.1 mi
46:10
12/3/2017
Run
5.1 mi
46:44
12/5/2017
Swim
1700.0 m

12/6/2017
Run
5.0 mi
44:43
12/8/2017
Run
5.0 mi
47:22
12/9/2017
Swim
2000.0 m

12/10/2017
Run
14.0 mi
2:24:10
12/12/2017
Swim
1200.0 m

12/13/2017
Run
5.0 mi
46:57
12/15/2017
Run
5.0 mi
48:23
12/16/2017
Swim
2000.0 m

12/17/2017
Run
5.0 mi
45:37
12/20/2017
Swim
2100.0 m

12/22/2017
Run
7.6 mi
1:17:22
12/23/2017
Swim
2000.0 m

12/24/2017
Run
14.1 mi
2:21:54
12/26/2017
Run
5.0
50:28

It’s official!  Another year of running done, over 1000 miles a year, five years in a row!  Here are the totals:
2013:  1010.4 mi
2014:  1010.2 mi
2015:  1010.2 mi
2016:  1056.9 mi
2017:  1084.5 mi
No more running in 2017 for me, as we’re off to the Great White North for the remainder of the year (and I’m too much of a wimp to run in the snowy, below-zero temps!)  However, I’m starting to plan out my races for 2018.  The fall schedule is fairly set, but I’m having trouble deciding on spring events.  Running friends, I’d love your input!

1.       Possibly Little Rock Marathon in early March.  I've continued training since the Marine Corps Marathon this fall with the thought of running a local marathon (in Hyannis, Mass) at the end of February, but it just seems like it would be so cold then!  Arkansas in March would be warmer, plus it would be an official Children’sTumor Foundation race.  The only problem with this race is logistical—coordinating travel to a far-away marathon with my work, three kids, and a husband who travels for his work is tricky…
2.       The New York City Half Marathon with the Children’s Tumor Foundation.  This would be my fourth NYC Half with CTF.  I was almost going to skip it this year because the route has changed significantly, but I don’t know how I could give up running a race through Times Square and Central Park!
3.       A friend suggested the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati in early May.  It’s the event’s 20th anniversary. I already know two other CTF-affiliated friends running this race, though it’s not an official CTF race.  I think this would my third choice of all the May/June races I’ve listed (see below).
4.       The Vermont City Marathon at the end of May.  This is not an official Children’s Tumor Foundation event, either, though I could still use it to fund raise for CTF.  I really enjoyed it last year, despite the hills.  Plus, Meb Keflezighi, the beloved long-distance runner, is running it this year!  I suspect this will be the late spring race I pick.
5.       The Manitoba Marathon in June with MBNF, the Manitoba Neurofibromatosis support group?  This marathon is in Todd’s hometown, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and is completely flat.  The website boasts, “Our route is so flat we’ve earned bragging rights and don’t require an elevation map! With a maximum elevation change of only 3 metres (10 feet), well, look at your table top and that’s what you’ll get!”  Again, logistics would work against this one.
6.       The New Haven Half Marathon on Labor Day (it will be my 10th year in a row!) with CTF.  This is a definite.
7.       The Marine Corps Marathon in October, again, with CTF.  I loved that race this year!  I want to run it one more time before moving on to Chicago for 2019 :)  It's such a shame so many good races happen in October.  I want to hit them all before I have to retire!
8.       Depending on how the rest of the year goes (and how tired I am at that point) I might even try to do the Philadelphia Half or Full.  (Emily?  Tobias?  Any interest?)  It's been on my radar for a few years, but it always comes a little too soon after the October races.  However, they have the coolest medals--little Liberty Bells that actually ring!  Plus, it's driving distance from CT.

I have a week or two to think about all these options, but hope to have a plan in place by early January.  Watch this space!

Jane Update:
It’s been a busy social media year for Jane and NF Awareness.  This spring, Jane was featured in the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Research Center’s Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month posts.  This fall she has figured prominently in the Children’s Tumor Foundation holiday campaign!  Check out their website here, and see some of their social media posts below.





And here is the link to the speech.
I'm so proud of her!
<3

NF Update:
I’ve never quite been able to articulate exactly why making people more aware of neurofibromatosis is so important to me, but educator Sam Drazin, in an article for the Boston Globe, summed it up perfectly for me:
“Awareness is the foundation for empathy.”

I’ll end the year on that note.  Happy New Year, everyone!  See you in 2018!


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Running Update:
10/29/2017
Run

5.0 mi
48:47
11/1/2017
Run

5.0 mi
48:56
11/3/2017
Run

5.0 mi
48:54
11/4/2017
Swim

2000.0 m

11/5/2017
Run

9.1 mi
1:31:33
11/6/2017
Run

2.0 mi
17:00
11/7/2017
Swim

1200.0 m

11/8/2017
Run

5.0 mi
49:04
11/11/2017
Swim

2100.0 m

11/12/2017
Run

10.0 mi
1:40:42
11/14/2017
Swim

2100.0 m

11/15/2017
Run

5.0 mi
50:43
11/17/2017
Run

5.0 mi
49:30
11/18/2017
Swim

1700.0 m

11/19/2017
Run

9.1 mi
1:33:11
11/21/2017
Swim

2000.0 m

11/23/2017
Run

5.0 mi
42:11
11/25/2017
Swim

2000.0 m

11/26/2017
Run

13.2 mi
2:17:22

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  We had a lovely holiday at home, sharing it as we usually do first with our dear friends, Neil and Marcia, then with my Mom and Aunt Anne.  On Thanksgiving morning, it is our tradition to attend the Madison Turkey Trot—it was our ninth year in a row!

Neil and I have run four half and NINE full marathons together. As a result, we own many of the same race shirts.  When Neil showed up for the Turkey Trot dressed in his Hartford Marathon and NYC Half shirts, I had to copy him :)

The Constable Family

Photo op before the race

Neil and Marcia

Todd trying on Helen's hood

At the start

With Jane after the race



Another sign that the holidays are here—this weekend I hit 1000 miles of running for the year.  It sounds crazy, but I’ve run 1000 miles per year for the last five years.  Here’s hoping for another five.


NF Update:

For several years, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been called #GivingTuesday, a day for charitable giving.  If you are looking for a worthy cause to which to contribute, look no further than the Children’sTumor Foundation!  You can give right here, through my website:  

Monday, November 13, 2017

More photos from the Children's Tumor Foundation New York Gala 2017
(Courtesy of CTF.  For all the photos from the gala, click here.)

The Constables on the red carpet


Showing our bidding paddles

Auctioneer Christopher Aslanian welcoming Phillip and Jane to the stage









Gabrielle Pegg sings

All the NF Heroes onstage



Master of Ceremonies Raina Seitel of NBC



Dancing to the Grand Finale


Dr Annette Bakker feeling the music!












Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Children’s Tumor Foundation New York Gala 2017



The New York Gala is one of the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s largest fundraisers of the year, with more than 300 guests in attendance.  This prestigious event is a gathering of friends and supporters, whose participation helps to continue funding the programs responsible for the progress we are seeing today.  This year, our family was invited to attend so that Jane could speak about her success on her clinical trial with the MEK inhibitor, selumetinib!

The Constable Family, all dressed up :)

Jane with her bidding paddle

Raising funds to fight NF!

We have a winner!



One of the highlights of the evening for me was finally meeting the Moss Family.  Phillip Moss is 12 years old and has the same type of NF tumor in the same location as Jane, and he is participating in the same clinical trial as Jane!  Phillip’s mom, Renie, and I have corresponded over the last several years and have even spoken on the phone a few times, but we’d never met in person!

Renie and me

Phillip showing Jane how to put a glow stick into her balloon

Success!
We also got to meet Gabrielle, a 10th grader from Long Island who also has NF, and has the voice of an angel.  She entertained us with two songs that evening, including “Perfect” by P!nk (the lyrics of which were “perfect” for the event, in my opinion: “Pretty, pretty please, don't you ever, ever feel like you are less than, less than perfect…”)

Our Helen, Gabrielle, Jane, Phillip, Helen (Moss), and Alec
During the event, Frankie and Olyviah Moriguchi were honored as the 2018 Children’s Tumor Foundation Ambassadors, an award bestowed upon young adults living with NF to recognize their courage living with the disorder, and their personal efforts to further the Foundation goals of research, public awareness and patient support.


The Moriguchi's story:
“Frankie’s family was once told he’d never walk, talk, or even make it to his teen years.  He just turned 22 and, despite all of the pain and discomfort, has a happy disposition and is an absolute joy to be around.  As a baby, it was discovered that Frankie had a tumor on his optic nerve that grew to erode part of his skull, which led to the removal of his eye. In 2016, Frankie had surgery to remove all the remaining eye systems, including tear ducts, his eyelids and eye lashes. He can now comfortably fit glasses on his face and no longer suffers from ongoing infections. Frankie also experiences developmental delays as a result of all of the complications from NF.
Unlike her older brother, Olyviah is less noticeably affected by NF. She has multiple cafĂ© au lait spots and has had several surgeries to remove painful tumors.  She also has ADHD and receives accommodations at school due to learning disabilities resulting from NF; nonetheless, she is determined not to let NF prevent her from achieving her goal of traveling the world. Olyiviah speaks Japanese and dreams of visiting Japan.”

The best moment of the night was the speech by Jane and Phillip <3


I was one proud Mama!
~~~

We spent the next day being tourists, visiting the Statue of Liberty, despite the biting wind and cold.


With the old torch

A full sized model of the statue's face


And foot!

The sign next to this display said "Please do not stand on the foot."

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus <3

City girl

A view from the pedestal.  Brrr.

So windy!  Trying to get Helen to huddle with us.

Family photo op



Taking a rest



On the ferry ride back to New York


Approaching the Battery

~~~


On a different note, on Friday the Childhood Tumour Trust released a short, animated, highly informative video explaining neurofibromatosis in simple terms.  It’s less than 4 minutes, but answers most basic questions that people have about NF.  Enjoy!  Here's the link: What is Neurofibromatosis?