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From Kona to Leadville Part 1

 

In Love with Kona and in Love with my Medal xo

Before I tell you about one of, if not, the most beautiful marathons in the world, The Kona Marathon. I will quickly tell you that I just successfully completed one of the hardest marathons in the world, the Leadville marathon. Here I am on top of the world: This was taken on the top of Mosquito Pass. Elevation 13,185 feet. Now I feel like I can do anything. In fact I think I just did. Before I go on I would like to mention that in my last blog I thought there was a 50/50 chance of a stress fracture. I am happy to report there is no stress fracture, I just tied my laces to tight and was to stuborn to stop and loosen them. Lesson learned. Number 11, the Kona marathon was like running in heaven. Here I am getting off of the plane and stepping into paradise.   Above…The first sign I see. Above. The second sign I see.. Gecko- Our welcoming committee We get our rental car and as if I needed another sign that I am on the right track here. Take a look at the license plate on our rental car. Now to some that may not mean much but the fact that it had a 262 on there blew me away. 262 (26.2 miles in a marathon) That was a sign from the universe. I am reminded of the quote: There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle- Albert Einstein. I prefer the later. Hele on to the Sheraton resort bay in. The Kona Marathon was so welcoming and extremely generous. The room was provided by the Kona Marathon and the Sheraton, complete with swan towels, a basket of goodies and UCC Kona Coffee on the Lanai. The Kona marathon and Family Fun Runs put on an Aloha Friday fun run. I didn’t run it, I just walked around and met everyone ,indulged in an Orange Julius, which I haven’t had in years. There was great sponsorship. Subway, sushi, ice cream and lots of yummy treats. We had a nice evening till I put a yellow flower in my hair that was infested with bugs, and I had to rush home to the showers. Thanks David lol. Saturday David and I were scheduled to speak at the expo. David is a brilliant speaker. I have never spoken in front of a crowd before, so I was terrified. Even more terrifying then running 52 marathons in a year. David did fantastic as usual and I did pretty good for my first time. The crowd seemed touched and inspired by my story. Here are some pictures of the expo: The Kona marathon did a fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network with a screening of the Spirit of the Marathon. We were supposed to watch a special screening of The Spirit of the Marathon 2 but they didn’t get it edited in time. But stay tuned. I know someone in that movie. Yours truly. That was so generous of them. Mahalo Kona Marathon You guys rock!! After the screening we had a beautiful carbo load dinner overlooking the ocean while we watched the sunset I did another speech at the dinner. I was much more relaxed. Except for I couldn’t get the pages of my speech to turn, but I worked it out and ended up doing great. Some people even told me they were in tears and even someone came up to me after the speech to share with me how they had recently lost someone to this ugly disease and with hugs and tears they made a donation right there on the spot. It was really very sad. But happy that I am up there taking a stand to end this madness. It’s time head back to the hotel and get ready for the marathon. I get out my shirt, my race bib, my socks and my shoes… but where are my shoes? I left my shoes out by the jacuzzi the night before and we went back out there to get them but they are gone. Not in lost and found, not in the car. Thankfully I had a back up pair that I had never worn before. Pearl Izumi was so nice to send me some running clothes and shoes so I thought I would bring them along for pictures. But I ended up wearing them in the race and they were fantastic. My left foot was happy too. Thank you Pearl Izumi, I couldn’t have done it with out you. Well I could have run barefoot but that may have hurt. Race morning had arrived, I was hanging out in the finish line area having coffee and chit chatting when I hear that the race had started. Oh my… I ran up to the starting line and I was off, pretty much last again, but that’s ok. What an unbelievable course along the Alii drive and onto Highway 11. I ran with a new friend Rodney for 16 miles and we took it nice and easy. The race support and staff were so friendly. It almost seemed like there was a water station at every mile filled with smiling faces and alohas! Coming in to the finish was nothing short of Amazing. I was greeted by David and his camera of course, David the awesome race director, hula girls and so much love. A friend I met in Kona after the marathon came up to me with tears in his eyes after the finish, because he too had lost his father to Pancreatic Cancer. I am in shock of how many people are affected by this horrific disease. It is so sad but I am glad I am out here making a difference. We went to Magic Beach and met some awesome friends: They knew me from the newspaper article that came out in West Hawaii Today that weekend. I also was named Hawaiian Energy Shotz July Face of the month. What a weekend. I am so grateful. Below are the links: http://www.hawaiianenergysports.com/journal/2012/7/1/july-2012-face-of-hawaiian-energy-shotz.html http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/sections/sports/local-sports/weiss-running-cause.html New friends Happy at Magic Beach 🙂 I dedicated this race to Amanda Steins Mother, Deborah Joan Spry. 1950-2007, so young, so beautiful and faught pancreatic cancer for 18 months. It’s heart breaking. I thank you all for your support and following me along on my journey. Please tell your friends and share with them what I am doing. I am doing all I can to make a difference. This severely underfunded disease has gone on for too long, taking the lives of so many amazing and beautiful people without even giving them a fighting chance. For Amanda’s mom and all those affected please help me make a difference. Stay tuned for part 2 when we go from Kona at sea level to Leadville at over 13,000 feet. Oh Boy! We Got this! xoJulie

Aloha Kona, until we meet again xo

 

Kona Marathon Number 11, Running in Heaven!!!

Aloha Kona! So happy to be arriving in Paradise. I feel like I am home. Here I am getting off the plane, I may be the happiest girl on the planet 🙂 Here is our welcoming committee at the airport, not quite as huge as Grandma’s marathon, no news camera’s but we did have our new friend below: First sign I see of the airport. Love it.              
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San Diego to Lake Placid, Number 8.5!

Here we are, on my way to number 9 already. I can’t believe it’s going so fast. I can’t believe I’m still standing?! Wasn’t it just yesterday I ran San Diego? It sure seemed like it. I can’t write about number 9 without at least a quick synopsis of number 8, Rock’nRoll San Diego Baby! We arrived into San Diego a little late due to over 30,000 people cramming into downtown SD for a marathon and not to mention the 20,000 people there for a Padres game as well. But it’s all good. I love the energy and the crowds. We had 30 minutes at the expo before it closed. I met Rudy from Compressport USA who outfits me in the cutest pink glittery compression sleeves you have ever seen. They have been great, keeping my calves happy and injury free. We also bumped into Rod Dixon at the expo. Rod is the winner of the 1983 New York Marathon, Olympian Bronze medalist and coach of the LA Roadrunners and LA Marathon. Got myself a cute picture with both Rudy and Rod. I am a lucky girl. Thank you to David for taking the picture and being so understanding. We met up for dinner at Nobu with my friends from my favorite running group who came to run with me, The G6! Yay G6!!! Also, a special new friend, Leighan, from Connecticut arrived to celebrate our awesomeness together. Leighan is a friend of Dino from Project Purple another great charity for Pancreatic Cancer. I ran the 1st of the 52 with Dino in Boston. We are all running to end pancreatic cancer. I missed her at the start line, but she finished her first marathon like the Rockstar that she is. We stayed at the Hard Rock hotel, so fun to have RocknRoll music playing as you enter your hotel room. Rock on! Alarm goes off at 4am, slept great and it’s time to run. Everything is laid out like clockwork I think I am finally getting the hang of this. We arrive at the starting line right on time. The energy I felt from our fellow 30,000 plus runners was out of this world. The gun goes off and we are off, singing, smiling and loving it. It was awesome to run with my G6 again. They were running the half marathon, so we ran together for 4 miles of fun. We were mid-song when the half marathon split came up so I actually ran an extra half-mile to finish our song. Miles 4-9 I struggled with my bib number. Yes, you heard that right, I struggled with my bib number. You see, I had this purple sparkly ribbon stapled to it and tied around my waste but it was falling down. Oh no, what is a marathon goddess to do? Safety Pins? Brilliant. I saw 2 LA Roadrunners ahead kicking but around mile 7 and I knew they had it together and they offered me a safety pin. I was saved. GO LARR! I felt fantastic until about mile 14, and then I realized I was running low on energy. It may have been the fact that I completely changed my diet last week. I went totally gluten free, vegan and I started eating all the foods I could that are best known for reducing inflammation. I was a walking Whole Foods. but a skinny one. I had lost 6 pounds in one week. That was too much and boy by mile 17, I was feeling it. As I learn more about nutrition such as: super foods, cancer killing foods, and a high anti-inflammatory diet I am sure to get stronger and healthier. I just needed to ease myself into it a bit more, hence the tired marathon goddess picture below. What marathon is this? Where am I? lol As I neared mile 20, I knew I wasn’t breaking 5 hours that day and that’s ok. My number one goal was to stay healthy so that I could run the next marathon and that I did. So since I wasn’t breaking any records, I decided to take advantage and stop for these awesome photo ops along the way. I couldn’t help myself. Coming into the finish was such a blur, but I remember seeing my best friend in the whole world, Tina. As I approached the finish line I heard her call out my name and I looked at her with such love in my heart and she captured it in this photo. It made my heart sing. Talk about making my heart sing, TEAM 52 was there in force at mile 10, 17 and at the finish. They were handing out post cards, support and so much love I can’t even describe. They are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts to help support me and reach my goal for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. When I offer them money, they won’t take it. They put on events, make flyers, t-shirts, they come to my races, they feed me, as I am typing my jaw just drops to the floor in awe and complete gratitude. They make donation boxes and set up tables in front of super markets. Have you ever heard of such a thing??? I mean really, this is love. Xoxox Here I am on the plane to Lake Placid flying solo this time. I really feel like it’s taking off (no pun intended, ok maybe a little). If I ever needed a sign, enter Ivy at American Airlines check in. I mentioned to her I would like a window seat, because I need sleep and that I am running a marathon tomorrow for Pancreatic Cancer. I handed her my card and she starts crying. Her husband has stage 4 lung cancer. Ivy has wanted to get into running. I start crying. Then I tell the flight attendant my story and wanted to get a message back to Ivy that I will run for her husband tomorrow and the flight attendant informs me of a gentleman on the plane going to see his brother Sam Brown, 43 with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. I went to introduce myself to him. The whole plane is now crying. Tomorrow I run for Ivy’s husband and Sam Brown. I am still praying for a miracle. I will keep running, keep on believing and will fight until I drop. We are going all the way, you know why? Because we got this!!!   Number 9, Lake Placid NY.   Please donate today to help put an end to this stupid cancer that has taken the lives of so many beautiful people. Thank you for your support. http://netcommunity.pancan.org/52foryou
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My run for Denali- Pasadena May 20, 2012. Number 6 of 52!

Here we are, Marathon number 6 already? We made it this far, and there is no stopping us now. Having no soreness from my marathon in Colorado last week, I was ready.I think my body has finally settled into the weekly pounding of 26.2 miles. However this is not the case for little 11 year old Denali Botolino. I just found out today is his birthday. He is fighting to hang on to his life, battleing Pancreatic Cancer. Denali, my heart is with you and we are sending you so much love today. I hope you can hang on. This run was for you xo           In every marathon, we as runners fight to hang on, whether it’s to a PR or just to finish. When you set your heart on something, you can do anything. Sunday I did just that! I completed marathon #6 on another hot day, about 80 degrees with hills to boot! I was grateful to have been welcomed by the Pasadena Marathon so graciously . The day started off in style,VIP access and all. The announcer shouts out Marathon Goddess, where are you? OMG me? Yes You! I was asleep on the couch. But I got up and it was time to go!   I ran with my friend Alex from the group that I pace lead, (The LA Roadrunners “G6”). He pace lead me on Sunday. It was awesome. We ran together to Mile 8. We had a blast. It was so good to be running with him again, even if he did forget to train since March (sorry Alex). It was a blessing in disguise though because we walked , we ran, we sang and had fun. Thank you Alex, you saved my race! It was a slow first half, but perfect thanks to Alex, it kept me injury free and I had tons of energy left for a faster second half. Yay!   I saw a lot of friends on the course. I even did an interview with the Marathon Show and Steve Mackel( head coach of the Sole Runners). Two interviews, one marathon, very efficient if you ask me. The more awareness we can spread the better. That is half the battle. I ran into Marathon Mitch, or shall I say he ran into me. Such a great guy. He was running his 100th Marathon that day. I was honored to cheer him on. I also had the pleasure of meeting up with the beautiful Yolanda Holder. She is known as the “Walking Diva” Guinness World Record holder of most marathons in a year by a woman. I think she completed 106 in one year, Wow! I only hope to do half of what she has done. What an inspiration!   I ran the second half 18 minutes faster than the first. Talk about a negative split. My Mom, David and Alex were at was at the finish line. It was my Mom’s first time coming out to the finish line. She was so proud she almost cried. We are not finished yet, oh no, not even close. It’s time for Zumba. Yes, you read that right. An amazing group of friends got together to put on a special Zumba class to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. They are known as TEAM 52.They worked night and day for weeks, putting together this event together. Banners, flyers, DJ, food, T-shirts, venue, flowers and more. They got together with their hearts, their friends, family and so much LOVE words can not describe. We raised over $1,000 this weekend. Amazing! I ran, I danced, yes I did join in the Zumba after the marathon. May not have been the brightest idea as the tops of my feet were really hurting the next day. But I had fun and after a few days rest and recovery, I am almost ready for Number 7 : Coeur d’Alene, Idaho here we come   We Got this!!! xoxo
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Marathon #5, Palisade, Colorado, God’s Country!

      Well it didn’t quite start in God’s country infact it was quite the opposite. I got off work at 4, pack and I’m ready to go, but where’s David? Our plane leaves at 6:15, it is now 5:00 on Friday in rush hour and still no David. I was practically in tears, already looking for another flight or another marathon, but nothing is available. Uh oh, what are we going to do now? We miraculously made our flight with not one minute to spare. They almost didn’t let us on the plane. Thank you God and thank you United! We fly into Denver, of course our plane was delayed so we had to sprint to our connecting flight to Grand Junction, Colorado. Good thing we are runners. We get to the plane and realize David left his cell phone and keys at the TSA security check point. Go David! The plane waits and we are off. We made it in at midnight and need to get up at 4:45, this is my life?! WOW. Well at least I had 4 hours of sleep this time, better than last weekend. So I am thinking the race starts at 7, so we have a nice leisurely breakfast, get to the starting line and realize the marathon started at 6:30. I took a deep breath and thankfully the kind race director says I can still run, so off I go without a bib number. I am all alone somewhere in the middle of nowhere, but it was beautiful and I had my road ID in case I took a wrong turn so I was good to go. I was running along the Colorado River. Even though I was all alone, the race course was well marked and I knew which way to turn. I am at a mile 2 and I see some guy running in the wrong direction towards me. Oh, it’s David. Aww he has my bib number for me and he even brought me safety pins. Yeah!! Thank you David. Bib #1000, I like it. There were less than 50 people in the marathon, 350 total in the 5k, 10K, half marathon and full. This marathon did not have timing chips. Too bad I didn’t start on time, I may have won my age group, not for my time, but because I was the only one in it. A big giant hill greets me at mile 4 and with my stomach acting up, the thin air and the fact that I had 22 miles and 47 marathons to go I decided to walk the hill. I finally caught up with a nice lady named Ingrid. She was awesome, probably about mid 60’s and run/walking the marathon and doing an ultra next weekend. She rocks. She told me to go ahead so I did and “Yay” I wasn’t last anymore, not that it matters but Thank you Ingrid! So I am running along in God’s Country amazing views, finally running free and happy. Then I see the signs: Winery this way….> Marathon…> that way. Why? Decisions decisions. That was such a tease. I continued on and passed a few more people, turn around at 13.1 and head back. I finished over 5 hours today, but I didn’t care. I dedicated this race to a friend of a friend who lost his battle to Pancreatic Cancer last week. It was all about Spirit. After I finished, we ran right into the Colorado River. Me and David sat on a rock and he told his story about the Grand Canyon, it was a long story and we sat in the river for over 40 minutes. My body thanked me for that. We didn’t have time for the wineries, but while waiting for our taxi we met Skip. Skip is about 67 years old with a straw hat on his head and straggly beard but some serious runner legs. Very athletic looking. Come to find out this is Skip Hamilton, a legend. He won Leadville 100 in the 80’s , not once but four times. He told us war stories of him and Prefontane, Frank Shorter and test shoes from Bill Bowerman. His title was passed to a Tarahumara runner and Skip couldn’t have been more pleased to pass it on to him. It’s time to go home. Grand Junction Airport is like night and day compared to rush hour traffic at LAX. It was the most laid back airport I had ever seen. David and I stretched on the floor in the carpeted lobby with funny looks from people but we didn’t’ care. We arrive into Phoenix, have dinner, play on facebook and take off for L.A. Touch down in Los Angeles at 10pm Saturday night. We are home, we pick up Jessie (my dog) and life is good. I am turning off all alarm clocks. What a gift. That was the most intense 24 hours ever. Wait did that really just happen? I think it did, I have the medal to show for it, new friends and have now made a decision to dedicate each marathon to someone who has been affected by Pancreatic Cancer. If you know someone, let me know. I will run for them. I will run for you.
52 for You. We got this!
Happy Mother’s Day.
xo
Julie
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J’s Run 5k – Run/Walk May 12th

Here is an awesome 5K my friend is putting on for a cause close to my heart. J’s Run 5k – Run/Walk in Bethlehem, PA on Saturday, May 12, 2012. J’s Run is a fundraiser in memory of two women, Joan Stein and Jennifer Reeves who both lost their lives to pancreatic cancer, the same awful disease that took the life of my number one fan, my father. There is no early detection for Pancreatic Cancer, limited treatment and still no cure. The race is May 12th so there is still time to train, even if you have never run a 5k and have little or no training. Follow these easy steps and in just 5 weeks you will find yourself finishing a 5k and having fun: -Start by walking, and add a little run every so often as it becomes enjoyable, then increase the length of the run. -Do this workout for about 30 minutes every other day and you will accomplish two things: 1 increase health and fitness and 2 you will finish a 5K! Awesome! Sign up for J’s Run through Active.com the price is just $25.00 until May 8th then it goes up to $30. Have an Amazing run! www.jsrun.org http://www.active.com/running/bethlehem-pa/js-run-5k—run-walk-2012  
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Viva Roma- The Rome Marathon

Tomorrow morning I am off to Rome. I am so excited. I will be running the Rome Marathon on Sunday March 18, the same day as the LA Marathon. Some of you may not know that I am a pace leader for the LA Roadrunners. The official training group for the LA Marathon. I call them the G6 as in Group 6 . When the opportunity came along to go to Roma it was a chance of a lifetime. I will unofficially start my 52 for You journey in Rome. Then I have 3 weeks to recover for Boston. After Boston the marathons will start rolling in. Since my training was cut short due to an injury, my marathons will not be about speed. They will be about spirit and truly that is what it is really all about. My amazing coach/fiance is holding me back to a 4:40 Marathon, as I beg and plead to him to let me run at least a 4:39. I must remember the bigger picture, this is about spirit, this is about my love for running and the love for my father and for the people. Most importantly my mission to spread hope, awareness and money to help find a cure for Pancreatic Cancer. The awful disease that took the life of my father, my number one fan. So off I go, feeling a little anxious, a little scared and a little sad as I leave my LA Roadrunners to go do the LA Marathon without me. It’s ok they have two awesome pace leaders who will get them to the finish and I am even taking a few runners from our group with me. Stay tuned for more as the G6 represents in Rome and the Maratona de Roma becomes a Movie: The Spirit of the Marathon 2. Ciao!

The Challenge!

I’ve learned that if people think your crazy, more than likely you are on the right track. The challenge: 52 Marathons in 52 weeks to raise over $1,000,000 to help find a cure for Pancreatic Cancer.The contender: Julie Weiss a Real Estate accountant by day, a Marathon Goddess by early mornings, nights and weekends. Risking her job, her dog, her amazing life in Santa Monica for a deranged assignment of greatness (good thing her kids are all grown up and can confirm their Mom has lost her marbles). This blog was inspired by Julie & Julia. Julie’s challenge was to cook a Julia Child’s recipe every day for a year, while my challenge is to run a marathon every weekend, sometimes two. That doesn’t sound too hard, but she is faced with a giant obstacle, with her 1st marathon less than 50 days away she has a knee that won’t let her run. Is this the Universe’s way of making her rest up? Could be. Oh my, this is crazy and absolutely PERFECT! 50 days to take off……

The Plot Thickens

Call it a blessing in disguise, or call it what you will, but the bottom line is I have a LCL pull in my right knee. First we were treating it as an IT band injury (it had the same symptoms). But no, this is an LCL pull that may have occurred during a yoga class of all places, not even running. Many thoughts come to mind, Can she do it? Can she recover and get strong enough to run 52 Marathons that begin in less than 53 days? What is going to happen? Depression, anxiety and fear set in. But not for long. I turned my attitude right side up today. I may only be able to run 2 miles this Saturday and that’s ok. The realization is that I GET to run 2 miles this weekend. Then next week more, and more and more. My PT says I could take a month off and run a marathon without missing a beat. I am grateful for it all. Maybe this is the Universes way of getting me to rest and get strong for the 52. Well whatever it is Universe, it worked. Now I am on a mission to get stronger and more flexible than ever before. If I can’t run, then you better believe I will be rowing, and cycling, and strength training like there is no tomorrow. Thank you Universe, I am listening. More soon.xo

Spirit of the Marathon 2

We just started filming for the Spirit of the Marathon 2. The Rome Marathon becomes a movie. I will be able to spread my love for running marathons, the love for my father, and spread awareness to help find a cure for Pancreatic Cancer through out Rome . It is really unbelievable I have been given such an amazing gift to shine my spirit all over the world. I feel like I am living my dream. I am not going to lie, I am freaking out a little, how am I going to run all these marathons, keep my 9-5 job, my dog, my fiancé and my life together? But I know I have an unstoppable will and with enough faith and strength together we can make this happen. Also, I was a bit torn to find that Rome was the same day as the LA Marathon. My first reaction was there is no way I can do this. But with the amazing support from my friends and my running group The G6 and the love and excitement they expressed for me to go and shine in Rome, it was hard, but I am going for it. I even have a few of my runners coming with me. It is awesome. Life is about opportunity, and seizing it is pleasure. So off I go, and seriously, it just goes to show that when you do what you love, and follow your dreams, miracles do happen. Wow! XVIII ACEA ROME MARATHON 2012 | Rome Info