P's Not-Yet-Memorial Fun/Run Walk

Friday, May 23, 2008

Road ID

I ordered ID tags to attach to my running shoes the other day. I constantly think about how lucky I was that I had my running buddy with me on That Fateful Day. Now when I run alone, I carry my driver's license, my defibrillator card, and my cell phone. Unfortunately, I often leave my license in my running pack or on the kitchen counter or in my jacket pocket or any number of places besides my wallet. Imagine explaining that to the nice officer--not that I'm a road hazard or anything.

To solve this problem, I ordered the Shoe ID from Road ID. And don't you know, they sent me a cute email that gives you, my friends/family/acquaintances, a discount. The sample email I should send my friends is shown below. So order up, people, and enjoy that extra dollar.

**********Begin Sample Email**********

Hey Everyone,

I just ordered one of the best products ever. It's called a Road ID - perhaps you've heard of it. If you haven't, go to their website and check it out. Road ID is a great product that could save your life someday.

When I ordered, they gave me a coupon that I could pass along to my friends. Here's the coupon number:

Coupon Number: ThanksPaula375127

The coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order placed by 06/23/2008. To order, simply go to RoadID.com or click the link below:


If you prefer, you can call them at 800-345-6335.

You can thank me later,


Oh by the way, their website is awesome, the customer service is outstanding, and the owners are very smart and good looking.

**********END Sample Email**********

Saturday, May 17, 2008


To everyone who came out and joined me in my little celebration, thank you so much! It has been an amazing year in which I learned how strong I can be when I need to be, how supportive and wonderful my friends are, how strangers can make a difference in your life, and how incredible, fantastic, wonderful, magnificent, wonderful, marvelous, formidable, terrific--you get the idea--my family is.

It was very special and meaningful to share my one year celebration with my family and friends, but just as important, several people used the event as an excuse to increase their activity and for that I am thankful. I'm on a mission, you know.

And so now I'm on to the next challenge. I'm looking for some women to join me and my pals at the Tufts 10K on October 13. You can run or walk or run/walk it, but I promise you'll be moved! So let me know if you're interested.

As for the picture above, starting from the back row left, going clockwise: me, the J-Man, Double D, my mom and dad, my sister Phyllis, my nephew Carlton, and my sister Sandy. Now why do those two sisters look so alike, you wonder? Those two are actually part of a threesome--yep, triplets. From back before it was fashionable. Sandy made the shirts. They have a heart that connects to an ICD. And some of us are wearing "Not Dead Yet" buttons from Spamalot.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


For those of you who are looking for more opportunities to get out and walk/run, try the Foxboro Against Diabetes 5K on May 31 at 10:00. It's a fun race with a flat course and real prizes, real t-shirts, real water stops, and real entertainment. You'll also be helping to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It's a very family-oriented event. All three of the elementary schools in town have children who train for the race and participate in it.

I'll have a few sign up sheets available, but the easiest way to sign up is to go the website.

Some last minute information

If any of you are planning on joining us for the fun run/walk, we're meeting at the Taylor School in Foxboro (196 South Street). Carpool if you can because the parking lot is small. We'll start at 9:00. The route can be viewed at the bottom of this page. I have the route printed on small pieces of paper if you need it. Big red hearts with arrows will be posted, too. I have red dress pins from the Go Red for Women organization to give you so be sure to grab one before you leave. And in spite of my promises of no frills, water will be available after the race along with a drawing for a couple of prizes. No trips to Aruba or anything, but just my way of saying thanks.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Live Longer!

There are so many reasons to get out walk or run or do some kind of physical activity. Stress reduction is one, but according to the American Heart Association, studies show that adults may gain as many as two hours of life expectancy for each hour of regular, vigorous exercise. Joining us for a 3.4 mile walk could add 1.7 hours to your life! (You can thank me later.)

This is such a key component to heart health that the American Heart Association has launched a Start Walking America campaign to get people moving.

So get out there! Get moving! And live longer!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Run 100 miles

If you get really inspired or really crazy, you might want to check out ultra running. The idea is to run very long distances, often in the woods. I did a 30-mile race one year and a 50-mile one the following year (the Umstead 100) and paced friends in other races, usually running the last 16 to 32 miles with them, often in the dark. Like a lot of things, running an ultra requires convincing yourself that you can do it and then doing it (sounds too easy, right?). There are great moments and sucky moments, but you push on. You learn a lot about the reserve capacity of the mind and soul, how much we can actually survive as human beings. I also learned to swear like a sailor.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Shout Outs

I have a couple of shout outs today.

First to PK from Foxboro for finishing her first marathon. Her perseverance, diligence, and discipline in training for this event inspire me, if not to do a marathon then to at least take on a physical or mental challenge and see it through to the end. And though I don't know her marathon partners, DT and WN, I applaud them, too. These three remarkable women crossed the finish line within moments of each other.

Another shout out to PV who also ran a fantastic race. His running partner was unable to join him because of an injury and he had to endure the whole 26.2 by himself. I guess a shout out to Apple is due here for the invention of the iPod!

And to all the Wamps and Bettys. I have run with this incredible group of people twice so far and I can tell you they are one of the most supportive, encouraging, and friendly group of runners you could hook yourself up with.

Finally, to SF for getting out there and putting her run together--a few steps, a few steps there. It will all add up. Walking or running, that's how you do it. Just ask my super-inspirational friend KR from Sudbury!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Support a Runner

On Monday thousands of runners will show up in Hopkinton, MA, for the start of the 112th Boston Marathon. You may be one of those people or you may wish you were one of those people or you may be certain that you will never be that crazy. If you live in the area, you certainly know someone who is running it. Be sure to send a word of encouragement to them before the race, donate to their cause if they are raising money, and maybe send them some ice packs for their legs after the race!

Another way you can support local runners is by waving to them when you see them out there pounding the pavement. One of several things will happen:

  • The runner will wonder who the heck you are.

  • The runner will be glad to know that people know who she is--even if she has no idea who you are.

  • The runner will be glad to know you are not going to run him over.

  • You will feel part of the community of runners and walkers who wave to each other.

So spread the love!

Friday, April 11, 2008

What If I Can't Finish the Run/Walk?

If you are new to walking/running, you may be asking, "What happens if I can't finish?"

Well, you could try getting a ride with this guy (click on the picture for a better view). But I don't recommend it.

Instead, I suggest that you can, in fact, finish it. This is 3, maybe 4, grocery store trips in one day. And you know you've done it. You can do it again. Trust me.

If all else fails, though, bring your cell phone.

Monday, April 7, 2008


If you are new to running or walking, you may be asking, "What jewelry should I wear during a race?"

Well, I'm notorious for losing earrings and my fingers swell when I run or walk so my answer would be none.

However, there are many pre- and post-race events at which you might want to show off your new Go Girl earrings, handmade by Julie. You can view (and purchase) her work at Julepin Jewelry.

You can also check out the jewelry available in the shop at Go Red for Women. I proudly wear my red dress necklace--too bad I lost one of the earrings or I would have one of my rare moments of fashion coordination.

If nothing else, pick up a red dress pin from me on race day to wear later. Go to the Go Red for Women site to find out more about the red dress.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


If you are new to walking or running, you may be asking, “Should I have my hair done on race day?”


Running/walking is one of those sports that totally screws up the best hairdo. The only people who look the same before and after are the ones with crewcuts, ponytails or hats, or their name is Rosie Ruiz.

Running with my pal Kim has taught me to let go of my inner fashionista (actually I didn’t have one, so it was easy). Your running/walking partner is the one who sees you before you’ve had shower, with no makeup, with your hair all greasy or covered by a hat. They’re the one who knows that your butt looks gross in spandex, that you blow your nose every half mile, and that you develop a stink while exercising that could clear out entire stadiums. But they love you anyway. And if not that, they run with you anyway. And sometimes there’s no difference.

And no matter what you look like at the start of the run, you’ll probably look pretty yucky at the end. But you will be proud of that sweat. You’ll know that those un-sweaty people at the Stop and Shop (where you go after your awesome run/walk because errands still have to get done) are jealous of your fabulous bod! (BTW, endorphins help create hallucinations.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just One More Step

Did you know that the average American walks somewhere between 1.25 and 1.5 miles per day? If you add up all the steps you take walking the kids to the bus stop, zipping through Target, shopping for groceries, getting the mail, and so on, you'll realize that you're more active than you thought. So it shouldn't be too hard to had just one more step and then another and so on. Before you know it, you will have significantly increased your daily mileage. The next step is to put it all together and walk 3.4 miles at one time. That will be easier when you recognize that you have already been doing that distance, just spread across the day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


If you are new to walking or running, you may be asking “What kind of shoe should I wear?”

If you are a walker, I recommend either a walking or running shoe. I find that my shins sometimes hurt when I power walk in my running shoes, but that my runners are okay for less vigorous walks. The key is to wear a shoe that is comfortable for 45 minutes or so along with a good pair of socks.

If you are new to running, I recommend a running shoe (duh). These come in various styles, flavors, colors, and price ranges. When you try on a shoe, walk around the store a lot. Make sure your arch feels supported, your ankle bones and your heel feel good, and your toes don’t feel either squooshed or too airy. And make sure your wallet feels okay. Most of the time you’ll do fine choosing a shoe that feels comfortable in the store, but sometimes you will go wrong. Very wrong. It’s like a bad relationship—cut it short and move on.

But if you’re already a runner, you probably have a pair of shoes you swear by (Asics Kayano for me) and the perfect pair of socks (Balega for my tootsies).

You’ll know you are a real runner or walker when you have accumulated several pairs of shoes in various stages of wear. You will designate some of them to be rain shoes, some to be mud shoes, some to be rotated in, and some fit only for Halloween costumes. And some will be called “losers."

If you need help with shoes or socks, I highly recommend my pals at DB Sports. IMHO, there is no better running shoe store in Southeastern Mass. Of course, it helps that it’s only 1.87 miles from my house, according to MapMyRun.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Can I Get Started?

Some people have contacted me, wondering how they can get started. They are worried about equipment, clothes, routes, training schedules, hair styles, and so on. Don't worry about all those things. First get yourself MOVING.

Silly as it is, that's my basic advice. Use every excuse to MOVE. And count every MOVE.

Did you walk to the mailbox today? Woohoo! That counts. Did you park one extra spot further away from the door to the store? Yep, that counts. Now start calculating how many ways during the day you can add a MOVE in. Drop the kids off for soccer practice or dance rehearsal then take a walk. Cleaning the house? That's MOVING, baby. Count it! Stairs instead of escalator. Double MOVE, if you ask me. Did you wash the dishes while on the phone organizing a fund raiser for the school? You're a MOVER!

Once you see yourself as physically active, it becomes that much easier to add more physical activity to the day. Check out the Choose to Move program for more inspiration and help.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What's It All About?

Last May I was out running with my dear friend, Kim, when I went into cardiac arrest. If not for her quick reactions and the fact that I was one block from the fire station, I would not be here to write this today. For that I am extremely grateful, as well as for the many firemen, paramedics, doctors, nurses, friends, acquaintances, and family who saved me and got me through the experience.

The doctors didn't quite figure out what happened to me--they suggested that it was a freak electrical occurrence. Or maybe it was a celestial storm. Whatever. They declared my heart to be fit as a fiddle. After implanting an Implantable Cadioverter Defibrillator, they sent me home and said I could go back to my normal activities. And for me, that meant running. (You can read more about it here.)

Since my event (as we euphemistically call it), I have educated myself much more on the heart and heart disease, which is the #1 killer of women. So I've been trying to encourage all the women (and men) that I know to take care of their hearts. A significant step on this path includes increasing physical activity.

So, to celebrate my survival and give people an excuse to add more physical activity to their lives, I am inviting everyone to join me on May 10 at 9:00 a.m. at the Taylor School. The route for this run/walk is my regular route, the one I was on when I went down. It's 3.4 miles long (just slightly longer than a 5K). A map of the route is at the bottom of this page. I can't provide water or prizes or timers or t-shirts, but I won't charge you an entry fee either. Instead I'll give you a hug and thank you for helping me celebrate and for doing something good for yourself.

There's no official registration, but email me at pjbishop @ comcast.net if you want to join us or need more information. You're also welcome to join us the day of the run/walk. And stop by here often for encouraging words.