Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lahey Health 5K Cancer Walk and Run 2016

Yesterday was a perfect summer day. The temperature was in the high 60's, low 70's around race time and the turnout was phenomenal. Team NED has never been so large in numbers or in spirit. And yet somehow I came home without a photo of the captain fail.

 The race itself was great, it is much easier to run without a belly full of buttercream frosting! I ran better than I thought (can still get under 8 min/mile for a 5K). But, what was so great was all the people out there in the Team NED tshirts. My parents, my boyfriend, my good friend from elementary school, her sisters and their children, my good friend from middle school, my track teammate from college, her husband and their children, and a couple of great Lahey Dietitians and Speech Language Pathologist thrown in for good measure.

My sister in law and brother organized an amazing turnout of virtual runners online. I got to spend the rest of day with a constant stream of updates from folks supporting Team NED and going for runs from Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania (a strong presence in PA).

 How great is that? Support from around the country and lots of people going for a run!

Because of all the Team NED participants, our bake sale, and generous donations from family, friends, and the Kelly Care's Foundation Team NED raised over $3,600 for the Lahey Cancer Centers. This, I think is the most money the team has every raised.

I am grateful for everyone who came and out, those who virtually ran and all those who donated.
Thank you for making yesterday such a great day and having an excellent celebration of all things NED.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Naked Toe Nails

I have painted my toe nails since I started running competitively (since I was a freshman in high school). I have some pretty ugly runner's feet and have long had weird or missing toe nails. Sometimes when a toe nail would fall off, I would paint one on with multiple layers of nail polish and no one would be wiser. I would occasionally go the winter months without polish on my nails, but for at least 9 months out of the year there would be some color on there.

Post chemo, I sill had black spots in my fingernails even a year after treatment; for almost an entire year I painted my finger nails too. During this year, I was investigating all of my food sources looking for potential causes of harm, looking at sunscreens and lotions, handwashes and toothpaste. It never occurred to me to look down at my nails.

Last October, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Duke University released a study using 26 women (small number, would have like to see more than 30) on chemicals in nail polish. In particular, the study was looking at Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP). TPHP is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor. This study tested the urine of the 26 woman after they painted their nails and found an increase in the TPHP levels within half a day. That is a pretty short turn around to be able to find it in the human body. TPHP is also the same chemical used as a fire retardant and is used more in polishes that are chip resistant.

The EWG compiled a list of all the nail polishes that contain TPHP here. Knowing that there are possible endocrine disruptors in cosmetics does give me further pause before I put anything on (which is a very rare occasion anyways). Knowing that I was spending a week on vacation where I spend most of my time in bare feet, I let my feet stay ugly. I threw out all 24 bottles of nail polish prior to vacation. It freed up a whole drawer. Maybe busted runner's feet will become the next big thing for summer? A girl can dream. But, for now they will stay unpainted.