Running with Bronchitis

As mentioned in my previous post, I felt pretty awful before and after the Marathon, but thankfully not during. I went to bed after an amazing Marathon Monday convinced I had pneumonia and had done irreparable damage to my body.

I woke up around 7am, and got dressed and planned to go to urgent care. Fortunately, I had the mind to call ahead and found out they weren’t taking walk-ins (my doctor’s “urgent care” clinic is kind of weird) and no one could see me until 10am. I took my time getting ready and forcing two eggs and a cup of coffee down my throat, and limped to the bus stop. I got to the doctor’s office about 20 minutes early like they had suggested, and was able to get a few minutes later.


Forced to wear a mask lest I infect anyone else.

The medical assistant made me wear a mask. This immediately caused me to panic and then just get more grumpy. When the doctor came in, she said, “Oh good – you’re wearing a mask.” The appointment was long. We talked about my symptoms and how I ran the Marathon the previous day and then she listened to me breathing for a solid 2 minutes. I was wheezing on all of the “out” breaths so she sent me upstairs to get a chest X-ray. Fortunately that came back normal – no pneumonia. I was diagnosed with a nasty case of bronchitis and given prescriptions for an albuterol inhaler and Robitussin with codeine. I didn’t have to wear the mask anymore, fortunately. Continue reading


I’m a Boston Marathon Finisher!

Marathon Monday was one for the books. It will go down in history as the single best day of my life so far. I woke up still feeling terrible, but I used my Neti-Pot, took the only sudafed I would take all day, ate my go-to English muffin with peanut butter and drank a cup of coffee, and taped and retaped my arches 5 times.


Flat Kelly – I ended up not using any salt pills or ibuprofen but used everything else (Rock Tape, Body Glide and tissues on left, GU x6 on right)!

I walked a block up the street to meet my teammate Katie and her husband Matt. They rented a Zipcar so Matt could drop us off at Hopkinton State Park. We got there around 7:45 and then took a school bus to the Start Line area with other runners. The rest of them kept walking to the Athletes’ Village while all of us DFMC runners went straight to the church that lets DFMC use its parish hall as the pre-marathon refuge. Our volunteers think of EVERYTHING. First of all, there is indoor plumbing. I used the bathroom as soon as I got there and that would be the last time I used indoor plumbing for nearly 12 hours. I charged my phone, put on Glide (prevents chafing), re-taped my arch, had a bagel with peanut butter and some Gatorade and plenty of water plus one Twizzler, and chatted with my teammates to pass the time. We took a team photo which took about 20 minutes in total, and then Western Mass News asked if they could interview some of us, so I obliged: Thousands run in Boston Marathon to fight cancer.

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Team DFMC 2017

I put on sunscreen shortly before we lined up, and as it turns out, I missed a few spots. First of all, I completely failed to put any on my ears so those were an angry shade of red for a few days. I missed the area around my watch/Fitbit because I was too lazy to take those off to apply. I also missed my ankles because I didn’t want greasy sunscreen anywhere near my tape lest it start peeling off. I also missed the back of my calves where my knickers ended, so I have two lines of sunburned skin back there. I put sunscreen on my face and chest but I splashed myself with water so many times it eventually wore off, so I’m less burnt there but still pink. Continue reading

2017 B.A.A. 5K Recap

20170415_125515This race almost didn’t happen for me. If I’m being totally honest, I probably shouldn’t have run. On Tuesday (when it was 80 degrees), I started feeling terrible on my way to work. I thought it was allergies, but it quickly moved from being what felt like allergies/head cold to a chest cold. Every deep breath burned a little. I began coughing up phlegm. I had a fever and chills. My nose wasn’t really stuffy or drippy, but I had an insane headache and the area around my nose hurt to the touch – like it was rock solid or swollen. I went to work all week anyway. I had my little mini happy hour fundraiser at the office on Thursday evening which raked in an extra $105 toward my goal. On Friday, I had always planned to leave at noon to head over to Runner Check-In before the crowds got insane, but I almost didn’t go to work at all. I did though, and powered through like a champ.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. I got up around 5:45am feeling just as awful as I had the previous 3 mornings. I slept for 12 hours, but got up a lot for water and cough drops and Zicam. I was hot and then cold and then hot again. I slept with my windows shut tight (I never do that unless the AC is on) and my humidifier on high. But as the morning went on (and with the help of Zyrtec, Zicam, Sudafed, ibuprofen AND acetaminophen, plus coffee and echinacea tea), I felt less terrible. I got dressed and ready, and my brother and I called an Uber to take us to Boston Common. Continue reading

Tracking Details for Marathon Monday

Thank you all for your support – both toward my fundraising goal and with all the encouragement over these past few months! Here is how you can track me on Marathon Monday. Friendly reminder that Wave 4 (mostly charity runners) begins at 11:15am. I don’t have a goal time and will be stopping a lot along the course to hug friends and family who are cheering me on.

Option 1

  • Text my bib number (25577) to 234567. You will receive up to 8 texts per bib number, which equates to an update roughly every 5K/3.1 miles

Option 2

  • Screenshot_20170412-123629Download the free BAA Marathon app for iPhone or the free BAA 2017 app for Android
    • Select “Participant Tracker”
    • Select the silhouette with the + sign
    • Search by my last name (somehow I am the only Packard in a sea of 26,000+ runners) or my bib number (25577) then select “search”
    • When my name pops up, select the star
    • Now go back to Participant Tracker and once I start running on Monday, updates will be under my name and you can select my name for splits

$8,000 Raised, $2,000 To Go!


I woke up yesterday morning at 5am. I had been mostly awake since 4am (I’ve woken up around 4am every day since about a month before Rags died because he always had to go pee then), but finally dragged myself out of bed around 5:15. I got dressed in essentially what I am planning to wear on April 17 – black sports bra, blue synthetic granny panties, black Athleta “Finish Fast” tank, black Athleta “Dobby Be Free” knickers, my new white Balega “Ultra Light No Show” socks (still on the fence about these), my Mizuno Wave Rider 20 running shoes, and – of course – my DFMC singlet. I also wore my Flipbelt to hold my phone and a couple of GU (I wouldn’t need these this morning but I wanted to see how it felt wearing them on me) energy gels. I headed out on a 3-mile, nonstop run – my first run without walk breaks in about a month – and felt great! It was warm but I wasn’t uncomfortably hot. Nothing chafed and my foot didn’t bother me at all, so I think it’s safe to say I’m out of the woods.

When I got home from run, I saw an email notifying me that I’d received a donation “In Memory of Taty.” Taty is my In-Memory patient, and such a big inspiration for this marathon. That donation got me to $8,0001 – meaning I have less than $2,000 to go to my $10,000 goal and I get to wear a Pacesetter patch on Marathon Monday!

One Week to Go

I know that I am physically ready to tackle these 26.2 miles in 7 days. I have trained well, despite a few setbacks, and I’m both physiologically and mentally ready for April 17. I always thought the training would be hard, but easier than the fundraising aspect.


My fundraising total as of 4/9/17

And I was right. Fundraising was slow in the beginning. I got a few donations between finding out I made the team in September and the end of 2016, when folks wanted to get in those donations for tax write-offs. Fundraising really ramped up for me in February and continued through mid-March, and then dropped off suddenly. Maybe you got sick of my 3 posts a week on various social media channels. Maybe you didn’t, but you don’t think I can/will run all 26.2 miles. Maybe you already donated to other runners or other charities, and Dana-Farber and I didn’t make the cut. Whatever it is, I understand.

I’ve never been financially well off. But I’ve always made conscious, thoughtful decisions about where to donate my money. Remember: you are not donating to me. I am not making one cent off of this. And neither is any third party app or website or funds collector. Dana-Farber donates 100% of every single dollar donated to DFMC runners back to the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. I don’t know of any other charity or event that can say that – there’s almost always overhead cost. And when I say I’m not making any money off of this, I mean it. Quite the opposite, actually. Continue reading

Cleared to Run

After another weekend on the Cybex Arc Trainer instead of pounding pavement, I finally got the “all clear” to run from my physical therapist on Monday morning.

20170402_085445On Saturday, I met my DFMC teammates at Mount Auburn Club. The owner is a former DFMC runner and he was more than happy to give two of us injured runners (both named Kelly!) access to the Arc machines while everyone else ran. We chatted a bit – I had never met Kelly before but she is a pediatric oncology nurse in the Jimmy Fund Clinic – but mostly watched the TVs built into our respective machines for two solid hours. I covered 12 miles and my arch felt great, but my feet overall ached. It was my 4th time on the Arc in 5 days, and my body was like, “This again?”

I iced my foot down afterward – and have been doing so really consistently throughout the work days and before bed – and then a few of us took advantage of the hot tub. Many of my teammates were running another teammates’ 5K that afternoon, but I wasn’t allowed to run yet, so I ran a few quick errands before going home to take a decent nap and then eating an early dinner before going to bed with the Sunday Scaries, as usual. Continue reading