Monthly Archives: December 2009

>I’m a "Featured Runner"

>Just wanted to share the blog Richard Hefner posted about me on his blog I’m so excited to have someone help get Jog for Joubert Syndrome out there. Thanks Richard!!!

Runner Profile: Laura Buchanan

Written by Richard Hefner No Comments
Last Updated: December 28, 2009


Laura Buchanan is considerably younger than 50 years old, and so is her daughter Haley, but I’m happy to share her running profile on the Old Runner blog (I’ll do the same for you if you ask). Haley is now 22 months old and has been diagnosed with a rare genetic brain malformation called Joubert Syndrome. It affects her balance, coordination, and muscle strength as well as causing abnormal eye and tongue movement, affecting her speech. Joubert Syndrome is extremely rare, affecting approximately 350 people in the United States and only about 650 worldwide. Currently Haley undergoes numerous therapies five times a week. You can read Laura’s blog, My Reason to Run, for more information, and visit Jog for Joubert Syndrome on Facebook and the official Joubert Syndrome Foundation website.

Name: Laura Buchanan
Residence (City/State): Dallas, North Carolina
Date of Birth: June 19, 1978

Question: What year did you begin running?

Laura: I have been an on again off again runner since high school, but started back again seriously in july 2009.

Question: What has been your motivation to continue running?

Laura: My daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic brain malformation, Joubert syndrome. I wanted to start a running charity group to help raise money for the Joubert Syndrome Foundation. Also, because she lacks the ability to even walk yet at 22 months old, I run in her honor because she can not.

Question: What kind of training do you do?

Laura: Unfortunately I spend a lot of time on my treadmill. My windows of opportunity to run without having to run with my daughter in the jogging stroller are limited to when it is still dark outside and I’m too big a scaredy cat to run in the dark by myself :)

Question: Have you worked with a trainer or coach, or just on your own?

Laura: Just on my own.

Question: How many miles do you run each week?

Laura: I’m still having a hard time building up my mileage, but it varies with my schedule. On a good week 10 to 15.

Question: How many days a week do you run?

Laura: Again, depending on my schedule — on a good week 4 days, bad weeks 1 or 2 days.

Question: Have you decreased the miles you run as you have gotten older?

Laura: Haha, if I decreased my mileage much more, I might as well sit on my couch.

Question: Do you do most of your training running with others or by yourself?

Laura: As a general rule, I do not like to run with others. I am very self conscious about not being able to keep up or go the distance, but occasionally I will run with my best friend. This is actually a running New Years resolution for me to become a more social runner: if I want to run in races for my charity I need to get used to being surrounded by others!!!

Question: Has running helped you lose weight or control your weight?

Laura: Definitely! I am 6 feet tall and I weighed in at 185 pounds before I got pregnant. After having Haley I got back down to 173 without diet or exercise, but since i started running again, I am now down to 155 and still losing weight gradually.

Question: Do you use any particular diet program or regimen to help control your weight?

Laura: Not really. I just try to eat sensibly most of the time. but I do NOT deny myself something if i really want it.

Question: Are there any running books that have been especially helpful to you?

Laura: I haven’t read any books, but Runner’s World helps keep me informed and motivated.

Question: What is the longest distance you have run in a race?

Laura: I have yet to run a race, but will be running the Cooper River Bridge 10k in March.

Question: Have you had any injuries during your running career, and if so, how did you deal with them?

Laura: I have dealt with minor shin splints and turf toe, but nothing that kept me out of running for long. Over the last two months I have managed to catch five different colds (thanks to Haley bringing home daycare germs) which have been just bad enough to keep me from running consistently since November. It is very frustrating. Just when I start to build up significant mileage I come down with another respiratory infection and I have to start all over again. But I just have to keep looking at the bigger picture: this is a long term investment for me, and a couple of missed runs here and there will not stop me from achieving my goals. I will just have to train a little harder once I am healthy.

Question: What are your future running plans and/or goals?

Laura: First and foremost, i want to make Jog for Joubert a successful charity. i would also like to complete a half marathon by the end of 2010.

Question: How long do you plan to continue running?

Laura: For as long as my legs will carry me!


>Can Anybody Hear Me????

>Me again….two posts in one night!!! I was just wondering how much traffic I was really getting. Because I visit the blog like a million times a day, constantly looking for new comments or followers, I end up skewing the hit counter (consequently, I took that down). So I wanted to ask a small favor of you all. If you could make just a small comment on the latest post that is up…just a quick “hi” to let me know you came by, add yourself as a follower (by clicking on the link on the right side of this page), shoot me a quick email…..anything, I’m begging!!! It helps me know that I am making progress in my efforts. Someone recently told me that in order to make this thing work I will have to be obnoxious, constantly talk about my cause, ask for favors, etc. So here I am, being obnoxious….hope you can help me out!!!!


>Our First "Break"

>Getting the word out about Jog for Joubert to people beyond the immediate Joubert Syndrome family has been a daunting task. One that I am really starting to focus on but coming up with dead ends. I have sent out a couple of emails to local runners who are in a more public spotlight in hopes of getting some publicity. I have been following this blog Old-Runner for a while. It is very inspirational to me….makes me feel like one day I can run in the bigger, longer races. Early this morning I sent the writer, Richard Hefner, an email and by late this afternoon I got a response, my blog was listed on his blogroll and I will be a featured runner soon!!!! I am so excited!!! I visited his blog earlier and saw the link to “My Reason to Run” and just about teared up. Although he said his site doesn’t get a lot of traffic, maybe we will get a few hits which will lead to more hits, and it will get out slowly but surely through word of mouth. He also suggested maybe organizing my own local 5K. I had thought about doing this earlier this past summer but was afraid it would be too much to tackle. But I am definitely going to give it some thought. So, YEAH for some publicity and a big shout out and thank you to Richard Hefner….YOU ROCK!!!!!


>On the Road Again!!!!

>This has been just a horrible week for training. I got ZERO running in this week. We were all in Maryland at the National Institutes of Health last week. Haley was involved in a research study looking at her liver and kidneys. Long story short, everything checked out OK, and we won’t have to go back anytime soon.

I had totally intended on running at least twice while we were up there, packed my cold weather running clothes and everything. They even had a small gym where we stayed. But with that nagging head cold mixed with the fact that we were beyond exhausted everyday from running back and forth to appointments I just couldn’t manage a single run. I am very dissappointed!!!! I was just getting back into the grove of running and working out again after that nasty 3 week cold we all had. Now I feel like I’m having to start all over again and it makes me nervous that I won’t be able to reach my goal of running the entire 10K. But then I realize that this is not entirely about whether I can run the entire 10K, this is about why I am running…..for Haley and for JS. Running the whole thing (and in a reasonable amount of time) is just a secondary goal for me now.

As of right now, we have 79 members on the Jog for Joubert Facebook page and have raised $100!!! That is a pretty good start I think. I have asked people to let me know specifically how they want to be involved. My type A, control freak self wants to have all my little ducks in a row and know exactly what is going on. I know that is near impossible seeing as how I don’t even know 85% of the members of the group.

I have posted some new links on the right hand side of the blog to help people locate and event in their local area and also a link for training tips for those who are new to running or veterans looking to step it up. Runner’s World is also a great place for tips and advice. I get their magazine and really enjoy it and find it very useful for inspiration!

Thank you for your support, I am overwhelmed with the response that I have gotten so far….you guys ROCK!!!!! Have a Merry Christmas if I don’t post again before then!!!!

>Getting the Ball Rolling

>Hi everyone!!!

I am starting to get some things set up and gathering some team members. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be!!! You will notice that I have put up some new links for the team. I have tentatively named our group “Jog for Joubert Syndrome”. I am still open to suggestions on a better name, I’m not entirely sold on this one, I just needed something so I could set some things up.

I’m not a huge fan of Twitter, I’m not even sure how to really use it, but I am trying to take advantage of any avenue for publicity!!! This is a place for just short blurbs on what is happening at the moment with the team. We’ll see how that one goes.

The Facebook Page is still a work in progress. I want to add some more detailed things to it later on. It is linked directly to the Joubert Syndrome Foundation and is ready for donations. Feel free to join the group even if you don’t plan to run in any events. It will help spread the cause and hopefully bring in more team members and donations. You can post this cause to your wall, invite others to join us, post comments on the cause wall, etc. This will be a tool that will be used more later on to solicit for donations.

Speaking of donations, feel free to start asking for pledges if you plan to run the Bridge Run or any other event. I probably will not start to really concentrate on gathering pledges until after the first of the year, a little closer to event time. But if you feel like it GO FOR IT!!!! Just ask that if people make donations online to specify the donation is for “Jog for Joubert Syndrome”, and if people write checks have them make them out to Joubert Syndrome Foundation with Jog for Joubert in the memo area. This way we can track how much money we actually rasied with this specific fundraiser so we will know how successful this was and maybe how to improve for the future.

As of right now, 13 people have joined the cause on Facebook, I have 2 team members running with me for the 10K, and $0 donated 😦 My initial goal will be to raise $500. I am the eternal pessimist, I don’t want to set my goals too high because if I don’t reach it I will be crushed. But the tiny optomistic voice in my head says “we will reach and exceed that goal”. I sure hope we do.

And you don’t have to necessarily run the CRBR in order to be a part of the team. You can choose any event local to you to run/walk/bike/etc and form your own little team. This was just a way to help form a unified front for a stronger fundraising effort. Strength in numbers!!! If we can eventually get our name out there as an organization that people recognize it will definately help bring in more donation dollars!!!

As far as how my personal training is going……I still have a long way to go. I just finished up running a little bit ago. I made the mistake of running shortly after eating lunch. I know better than doing that, but I couldn’t drag my butt out of bed at 6am today and its too hard to run with Haley in the jogging stroller. My windows of opportunity are very short. I only made it 2.5 miles today, but I will have a better day next time!!!!

Thanks for your support and please email or make comments here if my vision is not making sense to you. I have had a couple people say they aren’t quite sure what I am trying to accomplish. Hopefully as time passes I will be able to articulate a little better what it is I am trying to do. Heck, I’m not even really sure what I’m doing sometimes!!!!

>The First Mile

>Hi everyone!!!

I have been brainstorming for months now on a way to do some fundraising for the Joubert Syndrome Foundation that would be fun and enjoyable. Some of you may know that I have gotten back into running over the last few months. My friends and I have talked for years about running the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in Charleston and it just never seems to happen. Well this year I really wanted to run it and a light bulb went off, what better way to really commit myself to actually following through and running this race than to turn my commitment to run into a fundraising effort.

So, the next step… do I actually do that??? Well some people may know about the Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I had a friend in college who did two marathons with them in San Diego and she raised a ton of money. Of course, this is a very large worldwide program…..I am thinking on a much smaller scale to start off with. I am still doing some research on how they do what they do, but it seems to be (and this is a very simplified explanation) that a team of runners decide to run a particular event, take pledges while they train and sometimes do small fundraisers during their training to help cover the expenses of travel, accommodations, and registration fees for the race.

What I need right now is team members. Runners, whether you are a seasoned athlete or can’t run a single mile yet, you are all welcome to join me. I am the first to admit that although I have been running for several months, I am no where NEAR ready to run the complete 10K (which is little over 6 miles). And even if you don’t think you could ever be ready by the end of March to run, they offer a run/walk race too. Although I am still in the early planning phase of this, I don’t think there will be too much work involved for my team members. I will be making a Facebook and Twitter page for the fundraiser that will link directly back to the Joubert Syndrome Foundation website’s donation page, which accepts automated payments via Paypal. It will basically consist of you sending out emails periodically asking for pledges, posting a flyer at work maybe, posting on your Facebook page, word of mouth, or whatever else you could come up with to get pledges. I know its sometimes uncomfortable to ask for donations, so I will try my best to make this a passive effort where we put the information out and hope people respond. I am sure there are much more sophisticated ways to go about this, but being that this is our very first event, its kinda rudimentary right now.

I am also open to suggestions on how to make this any easier, better, and more successful. Especially looking for input from those who may have run charity races or even been involved with Team in Training or similar program.

I plan to use this blog to post news about the upcoming race, my training progress, and fundraising progress.

Please feel free to make comments on this blog or email me directly for questions or to let me know you are interested in joining my cause. What better way to get in shape and raise money for a good cause all at the same time???? I hope you will join me!!!