Thursday, December 1, 2011

31 days, 31 dollars, 131 people

It’s almost 2012 and Tracy and I are more determined than ever to help find a cure for ALL cancers. We are IN IT, TO END IT! That is why we are taking on the Boston Marathon in April 2012. Tracy will be running and I will be volunteering and together we have set a goal to raise $8,000 to benefit the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Here is our plan and we need the help of all our family and friends. Today is December 1st and Tracy and I want to get 131 of you to donate $31 (or amount of your choosing) over 31 days in December. In this Christmas season why not give the gift of a donation in honor or memory of a friend or loved one. It is also perfect timing for that end of the year tax donation for 2011.

Visit to find out how this opportunity came about and to find out more about the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

31 days, 31 dollars, 131 people giving us hope that a cure will be found in 2012.

Thank you in advance for helping us to reach 50% of our goal.






Boston Marathon 2012-Here we come!

Tracy and Catrina are ready for 2012 and are taking on a new challenge. Believe it or not they are taking on the Boston Marathon, April 16, 2012. Tracy will be running, Catrina will be volunteering and both will be fundraising for Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

The Boston marathon has been a lifelong dream of Tracy’s and in fact she had qualified this year with a time of 3:44:23 however, entries from applicants in her age group were accepted through and including the time 3:43:46. She missed the cut off by 37 seconds. She was very bummed to be so close but yet so far. Then she came across the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Marathon Team. She mentioned it to Catrina and that if they applied they would have to raise a minimum of $4,000 for Tracy to run. Catrina knew instantly that this was what team J&S4EVER was meant to do together in 2012 to raise funds and awareness for Cancer research. They applied and of course were chosen!

Tracy and Catrina are IN IT TO END IT! and continue to not only challenge themselves but all their friends, family, and co-workers as well. They cannot take this journey without your help. Please visit their Dana Farber Cancer Institute team page and make a donation to Support Tracy & Catrina. Any donation large or small makes a difference in the fight against cancers.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 3: 2011 Dallas 3-Day

I woke up much to my displeasure earlier than I had planned on Sunday morning. I’m a light sleeper so the first noise I hear I’m wide awake. Sunday we turned back our clocks only apparently a few people (I won’t name names) didn’t get the memo:(  Soooo at 4am I was awake and had nowhere to be until 6:30am when the first busses would take us to our starting point for the day. I took my time packing and putting away my tent and then I went to eat breakfast and have a few cups (3) of coffee.

We got in line for the bus about 6:10 and there was already a pretty big line. Those of us that have done the walk before know you want to get in line early or you end up having to wait quite awhile for a bus. I’m not big on crowds and waiting so I like to get up and out on the route as soon as I can.
They changed up the lunch break this year which threw us for a loop as we had planned to make our Starbucks stop before lunch like we did last year. Instead we made the Starbucks stop and kept on walking as instead of 2 miles to lunch we still had about 5 miles. We weren’t happy about the change until we got to lunch and realized that it was so perfect for us mentally. Knowing that we were at lunch and only had 2 miles left after that was such a relief. I have to admit by lunch Sunday we were all feeling pretty tight, sore and ready to just be done!

We ended up in holding at about 2pm and closing ceremonies was at 4:30pm. I had lain down on the cool cement for a bit (it felt really good!) and then all of a sudden it just hit me, “I have to go cheer my team in.” Maybe it’s just me but to come through the finish line and see people you know and have sweated, trained and fundraised with is very rewarding. Seeing the looks on the rookies faces, knowing they just completed what they once thought was impossible is priceless. I saw so many people that I met and talked to on training walks and clinics and to see them cross the finish line with tears streaming down their faces, overcome with joy for the accomplishment and sadness for those they are remembering. I share in their joy and their sorrow as I know what the 3-Day is all about, the family we are, and that one cause brings us together and bonds us for a lifetime. I wore myself out cheering them in and almost lost my voice but it was worth it!

Highlights of Day 3: A Team of four ladies recognized my fluffy hat and said we love our bags. I recommended the Nike Varsity Girl Gymsack available for $12.99 at Academy to them at a New Balance clinic. I absolutely love my bag so I talk about it to every 3-Day person. I really think Nike and Academy need to pay me a commission: Our 2 year Starbucks tradition. It’s a well deserved treat: Crossing the finish line with all my PSIM teammates. They are more than just a team, they are family and I love them all.
Oh yes! I almost forgot to update you on my feet (the four letter F word). Call me crazy but believe it or not they feel better than they did before the walk. I’m not saying they are healed but they feel better. Maybe all that walking is just what they needed.

Stay tuned as I have many things in the works for next year!

In It To End It!

Day 2: 2011 Dallas 3-Day

Day 2 started bright and early as the route would open at 7:50am and we wanted to be up and ready. My friend Gail Gallegos and I decided it would be fun to wear our costumes that we had worn for out last training walk, which we call our “Halloween Walk.” I’m not sure how the idea came to me but one day while at work I thought… Thing 1 and Thing 2 or in our 3-Day world Boob 1 and Boob 2. I think Gail and I got big heads that day as we felt like we stole the show. We had several walkers and even people at cheer stations wanting to take their picture with us. We also kept hearing people say “Boob 1 and Boob 2, how cute." We were just eating it up. I’m not sure what we will come up with next year as we have set the bar pretty high.

The cutest thing about the whole thing was at lunch when I saw a little girl wearing a Thing 2 shirt. She was very shy but agreed to take her picture with me. I knew this photo op would make my best bud Tracy Wetherbee happy.

On a side note I have to tell you that even though Tracy wasn’t with me on this walk, memories of her kept popping up everywhere I went. I knew she was with me in spirit and together we continue to fight to find a cure. Here are a few things that I remember seeing: BooBee-Hive sweep van (WeatherBEE); Pirates of the CURE-ibbean Pit Stop(she’s an ECU Pirate fan); and of course the tree she said she wanted to climb, told me she couldn’t get up and then the next minute she’s yelling at from the tree to take her picture. Love you Tracy! J&S4EVER.

This was definitely the longest and hardest day of the 3. They told us it was 21.3 miles, however, several people told us their GPS said it was 25 miles. We made it back to camp around 4:00pm a little more tired and sore than the previous day but we had survived and we knew it was down hill from there.

Highlights of the day: My friend Kelly Ninemire came out to check out the craziness and cheer me on at Cheer Station1: My little Adyson came out to see her Aunty Cat at lunch and brought two of my favorite people mom and dad Davis: Teammate Amy Snyder came out 9 months pregnant to show her support only to go into labor (or so we all thought) and have quite the exit. I will never forget that moment as I know how important it was to her to be there for us and how much it meant to all of us that she was there. Her new little girl waited until Monday the 7th to show her pretty little face. Congrats Kelly and Amy: At just the right time in the day my good Friend Judy came out with not only a diet coke for me but a frozen diet coke. Wow! Did that hit the spot!!: Special Dinner and dessert for the Pink Soles top fundraising team. We were served a very big Texas Cake and washed it down with a nice glass of milk.

Day 1: 2011 Dallas 3-Day

Every 3-Day is a new experience and this one started by meeting the bus at 5:30am to take a short ride with my teammates to Collin Creek Mall and opening ceremonies. Four Pink Soles in Motion team members had been chosen to participate in opening ceremonies and I happen to be one of them. I was so honored to be chosen. I carried a future flag representing “Our Achievements” and I did it without falling down the stairs!!!
Before the walk started I was really worried about how my feet would handle the next 3 days. I have been fighting plantar fasciitis since May and struggled through it in Boston. I had hoped it would go away but it only seemed to get worse. I chose not to dwell on it and even told my teammates that we would not mention the “F” word (FEET) on this walk. I’ve learned that if you continue to talk, complain or dwell on something you can mentally defeat yourself. I would say half of the ability to complete 60 miles in 3-days is mental and the other half physical.

I use this same philosophy when dealing with the cold. I no more than stepped on the bus and was asked, “Aren’t you cold?” and my quick response was “NO.” The minute I admit to myself that I’m cold I know I will be cold and miserable until it warmed up outside. I was wearing a short skirt, long sleeve shirt, gloves and scarf. I hate carrying to many things in my bag the entire day. The morning was very very chilly but warmed up quickly and I was shedding my gloves and scarf within a few miles. It was a beautiful day.

The amusing story of the day was at our first pit stop. I came out of the porta potty and was joking about how mine wouldn’t flush and that it was broken. As we moved on down the road I heard people talking about how the porta potties now flushed and about fell down mortified. I thought the little blue thing on the floor was some kind of air freshener and I was trying to avoid stepping on it. Turns out it was the little pump that flushed the porta potty. So my joke about my porta potty being broken wasn’t funny at all and it turns out I didn’t flush. YIKES! Too late to go back now! The rest of the 3-day it got all confusing as some flushed and others didn’t so I now had to pay attention to which type I was in. Walking 60 miles is hard enough without having to think about flush or don’t flush!!!!

My little group that I was walking with made it back to camp at about 2pm and thanks to some camp angels, (Larry Allen) I didn’t have to go get my bag and he helped set up my tent. I got to experience a tent by myself this year as we have some teammates that prefer to stay in a hotel. I learned there are good and bad things about tenting by yourself. Good: I have all kinds of space and can put my bag inside the tent as opposed to outside and that makes it much easier to get things. Bad: I’m all by myself. I do much better waking up in the am if I know someone is in my tent with me. I’m more motivated to get up as opposed to rolling over and going back to sleep.

The highlights of day one: My co-worker Kelly Carney came out to opening ceremonies and recorded me carrying my flag. Her mom is a breast cancer survivor so it meant a lot to me to be able to share my shining moment with her. I walk for her mom!: Pink Soles in Motion was recognized for being not only the largest team in DFW but also the top fundraising team with over $190,000 raised for Breast Cancer Research.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Boston 3-Day in a nut shell

Boston Arrival
My flight arrived Boston Logan about 2 hours prior to Tracy so I waited for her so we could both catch the Framingham Express from the airport together. We decided this year that we would stray from the Thursday night hotel the 3-Day suggested and find our own cheaper hotel. I found one right near where the bus would drop us off and across the street from a fairly large mall. I thought how can we go wrong? That was my first mistake.
When we got off the bus I pulled up my GPS on Google maps and located the hotel we started walking, me with my rolling duffle bag and Tracy carrying her bag. We quickly realized 1) it was hot 2) our bags were awkward and heavy. While strolling through the parking lot Tracy had a brilliant idea… we borrowed a shopping cart that was in the mall parking lot! Awesome idea that is until we ran into mall security and he nicely asked us how far we were going with our cart. We told him not far and promised we would bring it back.

We came to a road that we needed to cross but noticed there were no cross walks on either side of the road. Yikes! I’m sure at this point Tracy was thinking, “Why did I let Cat make the plans?” We watched the lights cycle through a few times so that we could determine the best time to cross (I’m sure this was against the 3-Day rules but it didn’t really start until Friday). We finally thought OK, this is it so off we go. Wait, Stop! The light cycle was different that time. Grr! Next time around we did make it and no casualties. Shoo. On to the hotel we go.

As we turn into the hotel Tracy’s first comment was “is this the Bates Motel,” very creepy and not the best hotel ever. Needless to say I think we may just stick with the 3-Day hotel in the future or at least one we have heard of before. They sure can make a hotel look nice on a website!!

Day 1
The alarm went off at 4:00am and we got up and around and our cab was right on time. We arrived really quickly and there was not any traffic at all. Tracy and I asked the cab driver to drop us off at the row of trucks we saw as we assumed they were the baggage trucks. Boy was that a bad decision. We found out that the baggage trucks were up the hill about a half of a mile. Boo,:( it was already hot, humid and our bags were still heavy and awkward. This time I had the brilliant idea. I noticed 2 3-Day workers sitting in a golf cart with a truck bed (for lack of a better name). I thought why not ask, after all it was the 3-Day and the 3-Day spirit has never failed me yet. I batted my eyes and gave our sob story and sure enough they loaded up our bags and off they went to find Truck F. Our biggest fear was that our bags wouldn’t make Truck F and when we got to camp that night we wouldn’t have luggage but we put that fear to rest as once again we reminded ourselves everyone has the 3-Day spirit!!

To kill time until opening ceremonies began we found some coffee to drink. We later found out that it was decaffeinated which makes sense but so not want we needed that early in the morning. Opening ceremonies finally started and we were introduced to the new 3-Day spokesperson Dr. Sheri Phillips. She did an amazing job all through the 3-Day. She had some big shoes to fill as we so fell in love with the previous spokesperson but she did it with flying colors.

The temperature kept rising and they kept telling us to drink our liquids. It was drilled into our head that we should be stopping at every pit stop to 1) rehydrate 2) relieve ourselves and 3) refuel. Tracy and I were doing just that as we were making our own pit stops in between the planned ones. We were taking the heat seriously and had no plans to make a trip to an emergency room. After leaving Pit Stop 3 11.5 miles into day 1, things started to get a bit confusing. We were told by a Road Crew member (volunteers that keep us safe on the route) that the route had closed and that our Lunch stop at mile 13.7 was being moved to Pit 4 and they would bus us there. We got to the Lunch stop and they still had some lunches so we grabbed one and went and got on the bus they told us to get on. Someone came on and told us we could keep walking to Pit 4 (17 miles) if we wanted to and you are talking about Tracy and I so of course off the bus we came. We continued on our way and I have to tell you the route was very lonely and hot, hot, hot. We did make it Pit 4 at which point we were told the route was definitely closed for the rest of the day. Everyone was being bused back to camp from Pit 4.

We made it back to camp I think around 4pm and found our bags (Yeah!!!). We went to set up our tent but were told that we couldn’t as they didn’t want anyone crawling in their tent and passing out. Oh, and we just happen to be camping on an Astro Turf Soccer field. Yikes, now that’s a hot house.

At the camp show that night we were told that this was the 2nd hottest day on record in Boston, it was 102 with a heat index of 105. I realized that night that on all 4 of my previous 3-Day’s I had never heard any ambulances and this walk I had already heard 4 or 5 and a couple were even at camp. Sleep that night was in between runs to the porta potty. Tracy and I got up at least 4 times and maybe even 5 or 6. We definitely were hydrated!

Day 2
We were up at 5am as they were going to open the route at 6am and we wanted to beat the heat as much as possible. We had heard there might be a chance of rain that day so we put our cover on our tent just in case and then we headed out. Not far into the day the drizzle started. Hmm, Tracy looked at me and I looked at her and we thought, “How smart are we?” We thought to cover the tent up but the 6+ ponchos we brought, we left in the tent. The rain slowly got more intense along with some thunder and lightning. We made it to a Pit Stop at mile 6.9 and they were handing out ponchos just in time as the rain had started coming down hard. We thought they might pull us off the route here but they said we could keep going so on we went. About a mile or so down the road we did get word they were pulling us off the route and having us hold up in a Lawn and Garden business while the storm passed.

Funny thing is by the time we got there and used the restroom they had sent us all back out. The rain was done for the rest of the day and the sun was back. It didn’t take us long to dry back out.

I think the longest part of the 3-Day was right after lunch. It was a stretch of about 3miles that we just felt like we were out there alone, the sun beating down and going up and down hills. I was pleasantly surprised at the community (although few in numbers) as they realized how hot it was for us out there. Many turned their sprinklers on just enough that we could walk through them and get sprinkled on. It’s amazing what will make your day when you are out walking 20 miles.:) They even brought us ice pops and sprayed us with mist along the way. I thought it was very cute how the little kids would ask us for permission before spraying us.

We made it back to camp sometime after 3pm I think and found out that they had closed the route down again for anyone that made it to Pit Stop 5 after 3pm due to the heat. I have to admit that last 2.1 miles was hilly and in the sun so probably a good idea as the heat index had sky rocketed again. Tracy and I hung out in the dining tent out of the sun. We didn’t want to shower that early or eat dinner so we decided to go get a foot/back massage at the Bank of America Tent. It was a machine and was only about 10min but it felt pretty good!

At camp show that night we heard the inspirational story of fellow walker and breast cancer fighter Maurine Turcotte of the Tough Warrior Princesses and the Youth Corps. They have just gone nationally but were started in Boston 10 years ago by the father of a daughter that lost her mom to breast cancer but wanted to help. Very touching.

Day 3
This was the first 3-Day walk that we didn’t have to get up extra early to stand in line to get on a bus for the start of Day 3! Wow, we were actually walking to our final destination from camp. The route opened at 6:30. We packed up our tent and bags, ate and then got in line to start the day. We were told it would be 80 and partly cloudy. Finally the weather we had all thought we would have in Boston. Hmm, but as we stood in line it started to drizzle. Really? You’ve got to be kidding. As you can probably guess our ponchos were in the bags we packed and put on the truck. We stopped at the first CVS and bought some just in case the rain got worse. Luckily, it just stayed a nice cool drizzle and then stopped.

Day 3 took us into Boston and we wound around MIT. I felt smarter just walking through there. OK maybe not! We walked through the park and finished up with a nice walk along the beach and into holding for closing ceremonies.

Every 3-Day brings new experiences (weather this year) and new friends. I met Dan, Steve and Randy of the 60- Mile Men, Rebecca (survivor of 4months) and her friend Jacob of Louisville, KY, and also Debra and Maggie of Tampa, as well as many others. The one thing I will take from this 3-Day is the picture to the left. I don’t think I even need to tell you why I continue to walk.

Now on to training for the Pink Soles 5k in the Park, Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer and the DFW 3-Day.

Until There is a Cure!

Day 4

We didn’t think we walked enough over the weekend so Tracy and I headed out on Monday to walk around Boston. We then took in the Red Sox vs Royals baseball game at Fenway Park and don’t you know it rained and of course we had no ponchos once again. So we bought some more:) Game was delayed but we still had a great evening and end to our Boston journey.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Off to Boston!

Just a quick update to let you all know that I am off to Boston on Thursday for my first 3-Day 60 mile walk of the year. Below is a brief description they gave us for our route. They make it sound like a nice relaxing stroll! Oh and if you are adding up the miles in your head (58.7), trust me we walk way more than 60 miles when it is all said and done. The below are just estimates and don’t include the distance we walk at pit stops, lunch, opening and closing ceremonies, camp and the occasional stray from the route to cross the street to get to Starbucks!!!

Friday: Approximately 20 miles
The Boston 3-Day will begin with an inspirational Opening Ceremony at Farm Pond. We'll walk through several quaint towns filled with interesting architecture, as well as many unique shops and restaurants. As we head towards Boston, the route will travel through many residential neighborhoods filled with typical New England style houses. Just before arriving at camp, the walkers will enjoy a stroll through Waltham, the city known as “Watch City” due to the Waltham Watch Factory established there in 1854. Today, this town is also known for its diverse restaurants. We’ll wrap up our day arriving at camp, your home away from home for the weekend.

Saturday: Approximately 21.2 miles
On Saturday morning, we'll rise and shine, ready to hit the trail. This day is filled with New England history, including Arlington and Lexington, both known for their historic landmarks and beauty. We'll enjoy walking along Mystic Lake and then Woburn Parkway, a walking path surrounded by water on both sides, before heading to lunch. The day will come to a close as we pass the Minuteman Statue, the Old Burying Ground and the Lexington Battle Ground. Then it's back to camp for another night of community, camaraderie and fun. 

Sunday: Approximately 17.5 miles
The final day of our journey will begin with a tour through Cambridge. We'll enjoy the neighborhoods of Brattle Street as we walk through Harvard Square, and then along the border of Harvard University. From there, we will head to MIT before crossing the Charles River. Once in the center of Boston, we will enjoy a stroll through the famous Public Gardens. Continuing through the Financial District we will exit the center of Boston and head to “Southie,” located south of the Fort Point Channel and abutting Dorchester Bay.  Following a walking path along the bay, the route will wind around to our final destination, the University of Massachusetts, where our long, beautiful weekend will end with a celebratory Closing Ceremony.

Can’t wait to get to Boston and I am ready for whatever this 3-Day 60 Mile Journey has in store for me. Never losing site of the reason I walk. Remembering, honoring and fighting for a cure for all our friends and family.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No time for rest!

I continue looking for and finding new ways of helping to find a cure each year. This year I ran my first Half Marathon for the Cure (13.1 miles in 2 hrs. 40 min.) and will once again walk 6 days and 120 miles.

Tracy and I, Team J&S4EVER, will be walking Boston, July 22-24, just a short 13 weeks from now (Yikes!). I will then walk Dallas with my team, Pink Soles in Motion. Last year we were the #1 fundraising team in DFW, an accomplishment that we don’t take lightly. Every year we aim to raise more than we did the previous year. This means lots and lots of fundraising events. Already this year I have worked concessions at a cheerleading competition as well as the NFL Super Bowl experience, had a garage sale, am selling Raffle Tickets for a smoker, holding an on-line Pampered Chef Fundraiser (30% of orders go to my 3-day), and helping my team plan our BBQ Cook-Off (May 14), Golf Scramble (June 3) and 5K run (TBD).

I have also volunteered to be a 3-Day training walk leader. As you can probably imagine you can’t just go outside and decide to walk 60 miles and succeed. It takes weeks and weeks of training (24 actually) and when you get up past 8 miles it can get pretty lonely if you are by yourself. Not to mention the difficulty of planning a route that goes 18 miles on sidewalks with rest stops. It’s much easier when someone has it already planned out and all you have to do is show up and walk. I’m going to be that someone this year.

All of these things keep me very busy but I never lose sight of why I do it. I don’t do it for recognition, I don’t do it because I have to always be doing something, I don’t do it because I need exercise. I do it because I can.

You see, I understand not all of us have the time to spare, the athletic ability to walk, or the funds to donate. But each of us together can play a part in finding a cure whether it’s walking the miles, spreading awareness, encouraging someone to have a cancer screening, supporting a fundraiser, or a direct donation. Whatever you choose to do, I encourage you to just do something. I know that alone I can’t find a cure but I do know that what I do makes a difference and will one day lead us to a cure for all cancers and with your help we will be one step closer.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement and allowing me to share my journey with you. To see my story and donate please visit

Catrina Gibson

For all you did, for the life you lived!