Monday, May 31, 2010

The countdown begins....

Tomorrow is June 1 - and in a mere 12 days, the F.A.B. 5K will be here and then gone. Many with experience in planning events such as these and even some of us have likened the experience to planning a wedding and I can't think of a better comparison. So many small details to come together, so many things out of our control. As the day gets closer, I have to keep reminding myself (I'm not sure about my co-conspirators) not to stress out too much and remember why I'm doing this....why we're all doing it.

However, this isn't too difficult because I encounter people almost every day throughout this process who remind me that we are far from alone in our experiences. The dry cleaner who has four sisters, three of whom had stage IV breast cancer; the clerk at Ann Taylor Loft who has an aunt who has been fighting Stage IV breast cancer for 16 years (without remission); a teacher of one of our children who sent an email detailing her experience with her mom; a volunteer who shared a moving story about her two sisters with breast cancer; a friend's daughter who flew from Alabama to the NIH in D.C. one day per month for 9 months for Stage IV experimental treatment. The stories go on and on and I fear I've left many important stories out - so many to tell. It's important to share these stories because we are a community of people with potential connections. We can help one another, share information, and motivate breast cancer research. For all of you attending our run, some very beautiful little girls (Girl Scout Daisies from Patton Elementary) will be providing signage boards for people to share their stories and love. Don't forget to stop by, read and sign!

Every time I encounter one of these people or their story, I'm immediately motiviated to check off the next task on the to-do list or come up with another "to-do". I'm doing it for Sarah, my mom, Barb, Charmaine, Christine and all these other people and their families. I know many of you are coming out for these same special people. Who else? Let us know.

It's so worth every bit of planning; each possible sanfu, each unplanned obstacle. Because, in the end, why am I doing this? I'm doing it for a bigger purpose and I can handle it. Hope to see you there...rain...or shine!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Guide to the Race Course....

When we first starting planning the F.A.B. 5K, I thought the race course design would be the easiest thing. I have now learned that I have taken that aspect of running races for granted for many years. There’s lots to consider – measuring the course to a precise distance (no guarantees on that for our course – it’s all about how you take the turns!), busy streets, minimizing turns, Police coverage, scenery, etc. However, for our first year, I think we managed to put together a pretty respectable course.

Many marathons now have videos that take you through the whole course so you can prep for it. The F.A.B. 5K team is not at that level of technology yet, so I thought I would give you a narrative tour, you can also see the attached link for a preview:

The 5K begins and ends at Patton Elementary…you will be running out of the driveway, heading south on Patton, keep your eyes open for curbs and watch out for parked cars --- our course is open and this will be prime parking for race attendees here. Hang a right onto Maude for a short distance and then you will head north on Yale – note that there is a course cross-over at the intersection of Maude & Yale, so look for the faster runners making the turn to go south on Yale, be sure to cheer them on! You will pass Yale Court – this is the one mile turnaround for the fun run/walk. Right after that is the next turn, Lillian Ave, just a short jaunt on this and then you will head south again on Chicago for a short bit and turn back onto Maude. Now you can wave to the slower runners and walkers behind you at the crossover ;). Turn south on Yale, now you have a nice downhill stretch ahead of you with lots of shade. Be sure to wave and say ‘thanks’ to our volunteer course marshals and the Village of Arlington Heights Policemen who are helping to make sure you don’t get run over or go off course. At Elm, head east…look out for the water stop coming up at the Blue house on the corner of Princeton and Elm (this is at about 1.8 miles). Right after the water stop, head north on Harvard. This starts to begin a bit of the uphill portion of the route. You will run through scenic and shady Sherwood. Next turn is at Marion and then you will hit Yale again and the course should look familiar. Head north on Yale – you are in the home stretch, less than a ½ mile to go, time to turn it up a notch! Cut right onto Lynnwood, then make a quick turn onto Harvard, and then onto Maude. You will hit Patton Ave. and Patton School will be in your sights, there is no excuse to not sprint at this point. Head right past Patton, turn into the north parking lot, you should hear the crowds by now. Congrats…you are a finisher of the inaugural F.A.B. 5K!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Sneak Peek at the Race Day Raffle...

The F.A.B 5k Team decided to put together a raffle for race day as an added incentive to get people out for the race, add some excitement and raise money. None of us are raffle or fundraising experts, so going into this we really had no idea of successful we would be in gathering items to even raffle. Thankfully this has been easier than we anticipated. Most businesses that we have approached have been very responsive and willing to help, for which we are most grateful!
For every $20 you donate to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, you receive one raffle ticket (you must be present on race day to participate). We thought we would give you a sneak peek of some of the Race Day Raffle items:

* A Droid from Motorola
* Gift Certificates from Running Unlimited in Palatine
* Teeth Whitening from Westgate Dental in Arlington Heights
* Lots of running gear from Mizuno
* Wine tasting classes from Urban Harvest
* Cubs Tickets
* Yoga classes from Willow Yoga
* Massage gift certificate from Athletico
*Gift certificates for rounds of golf at Arlington Lakes & Nickol Knoll from the Arlington Heights Park District

If you are reading this and think you might have something to donate for our raffle, we would love to hear from you…please email us at Thank you!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why We Run...

The F.A.B. 5k Team all have different sorts of reasons that we run, some of our favorites are: for our health; for sanity; to try and stay 'young'; the ability to eat a generous slice Portillo's Chocolate Cake; to occasionally escape our households; for the social aspect of it and we realize it's cheaper than therapy!

One of my favorite blogger/writers, Kristin Armstrong, recently wrote a great article in the May 2010 Runner's World issue on a very simple reason why we should run, see this link:,7124,s6-243-297--13480-0,00.html

This drove home a simple realization that we are organizing this race because we have the ability to do this for those that cannot.....and we hope you join us in running or walking because you can!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Race Day Weather

We did consult the Farmer's Almanac for potential race day weather. It is showing 'Pleasant Conditions'. We will interpret that as 60 degrees, partly sunny at start time and zero humidity! The race is scheduled to go off rain or shine. So we hope you will all join us despite what Tom Skilling may forecast for June 12th.

The F.A.B. 5k Team has two general rules for skipping outdoor runs: (1) when the thermometer approaches single digits and wind chills go below zero and (2) Driving rain (although we have found ourselves in the middle of a run with rain like this). With the help of a higher power, neither weather rule will be invoked on June 12th!

What are your outside running/walking 'weather rules'?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why aren't we just having a bake sale?

We have all participated in and supported various methods to raise money for charity....from car washes to selling wrapping paper to holding a bake sale. There are lots of arguments for which is the most effective way to raise money. For us, it was a pretty simple decision...we are runners....let's do a race.

In giving our decision some thought, there are some good reasons behind this choice. A race is an event for the community and like minded folks to gather, something that friends and family can do together. Events generate support, awareness and publicity and which are all good things for our cause.

Getting out for a 5k is great exercise. Exercise is good for the body and good for the brain. We are all firm believers in this. We also think its a perfect opportunity to challenge yourself and set a goal. Showing up for a race requires a little more thought than writing a check and from time to time, that's good for us!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This is Christine, an inspiration

This is Christine. My Mom is a three time breast cancer survivor over the course of 18 years. Despite these disruptive life events, Mom has remained focused on raising her three children, spoiling six grandchildren (soon to be seven), tending to her gardens and creating quilts which are works of art. Cancer has not slowed her down. Mom's first occurrence was in 1991, diagnosed as Lobular Carcinoma in situ. Mom had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy. As I was still a high school junior living at home at this time, I can hardly remember the radiation treatments Mom went to for six weeks. she made this a non-event for myself and my sister and brother, handling this with grace and a quiet determination. During this time, my Dad played a critical role in my mother's recovery as a generous source of support and love. Unfortunately, as Mom was approaching the 5 year mark when it can be said you are in 'remission', some remaining affected tissue was found and removed. Mom started hormone therapy, as well. Thankfully, 13 cancer-quiet years passed after this. At the end of the summer 2009. Mom found a lump in her breast and made the trek yet again to the Ohio State University Medical Center. The diagnosis was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. As this is a more aggressive form of cancer she previously had, the doctors prescribed 4 course treatments of chemotherapy and a 7 week radiation therapy stint. Mom handled these months with courage and faith. She was determined not to miss our family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations due to the Chemo treatments. When we arrived home for Christmas, the house was decked out like it always is and all of the requisite Christmas cookies had been made. Mom did 'allow' her son-in-law to prepare Christmas Day dinner, though! A few months ago, Mom bought a treadmill because she felt like she was getting her energy back after finishing the chemo and radiation treatments. Little did she know she would be 'training' for the F.A.B. 5K! Mom is excited to be walking with us on June 12th!