Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Day of 3rd Grade

Where has the time gone?  Seriously.  When did I become a mom to a 3rd grader? 

One of the things I hate about teaching in another district, is that I am never going to be around to see Tucker off to school on his first day of school and I have to rely on the husband to take horrible pictures.  I guess I shouldn't complain, at least we got one, right? 

But, hey, at least Tucker got a ride to school in the cute little Austin Healy (see the plate?)! 

Monday, August 29, 2011


I started to write this yesterday, but just as I finished typing, we lost power!  Ugh.  Thank goodness for autosave.  Here it is....

So far, I've been super lucky to not have any chaffing with my long runs.  Last week I did have a little rubbing on my collarbone area from my camelbak.  I didn't even feel it, just happened to notice it in the mirror the day after our run!  

Yesterday I did something silly.  I wore different shorts.  I usually wear my Nike tempos, but for some reason I put on my New Balance shorts.  Although, it could have been the pad I was wearing too (I had just started my period 1st thing in the morning).  Sorry about the TMI.

When I was in the shower, I noticed a little burning in the "area" and sure enough, I had some chaffing going on there.  Ugh.  Not a lot.  I didn't feel a thing during the run and I don't feel it at all today.  

Perhaps it is time to try out some anti-chaffing glides/lotions.  Have you used any?  What do you recommend? 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The 1st Twenty

This morning was the day Jess and I took on 20 miles.  It was supposed to be tomorrow, but that darn hurricane is coming our way and we thought it would be better to get it done earlier just in case she hits earlier in the day.  Ugh.  Personally, I wanted it to be tomorrow because Ward had to work today & I really wanted him to be here with me so he could be the parent and make me food.   That's exactly what I did for him when he was marathon training, so why wouldn't I want it?  I guess I'll have to make sure he's home for the next 20 miler I have on my schedule!

Anyway, those plans were not in the cards for today, but the 20 miler was for sure.  A special thank you goes out to Jill and Wade for taking the kids today so I could run!  Jess and I opted to take our favorite (and super easy) rail trail this morning.  We actually went up the trail, through downtown Augusta to Mill Park and came back into Gardiner.  This accounted for 15.5 miles.  We had our potty break at Hannaford - gotta love not peeing in the woods - and then finished up the next 4.5 miles in Gardiner.

Remember the eagle I saw on my 8 miler on the rail trail?  Today Jess and I saw two eagles!  They were flying over the river making this screech that made us stop in our tracks and watch them fly by.  It was an incredible sight.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Check This Out

Jen & Terry at Yoga To Run have been featuring each of the athletes in the marathon program.  Today is my turn!  Check it out HERE!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bradbury Hike

Yesterday was another glorious day and with a little over a week left of summer vacation, I felt I had to get Tucker out for a hike so he could use his new Sprout backpack.

Of course he wanted to bring his best-buddy Jackson. 

Off we went to Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, Maine.  It's a cute state park, close to Freeport, which meant a nice little hike with the boys, then lunch and some shopping in Freeport.  Win win.

We ended up doing a 2 mile hike.  The boys had so much fun with their hydro-backpacks.  Tucker had his Sprout and Jackson was using Ward's Camelbak.

Next week is my last week before school starts.  We have LOTS of fun to accomplish!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

16 miles (and change)

We did it!  That's right, Jess and I took on the 16 mile run Monday afternoon.  It was a drizzly type of day, and about 65 degrees.  It actually felt perfect for running.  Jess met me at my house and we took off on our run.  The cool thing about this run is that Jess lives about 8 miles away - so we ran to her house and had a potty break and then ran back to my house.  We also altered our route so we didn't run on the same road out and back, and we ended up making a big circle instead.  

Leg #1 

The entire route

The highlights:
- We went over the highway - two times!
- We passed by two farms with cows - stinky
- We tackled some pretty nice sized hills and we actually walked two hills near the end - oh well
- We did stop to stretch out our legs because we felt our calves tightening up and both of us nearly fell over and made some horrible grunting noises trying to reach down.  That was a sight.
- We came home to my house to pumpkin scones, chocolate milk and pizza.  Ward is the BEST!  Because I baked him so many delicious goodies when he was training for his marathon - I am now getting the same rewards.  Yay me!  When I asked him where he found the pumpkin scone recipe - he said "your blog!"  Too cute.
- We got to listen to Jess's shoes squeak and squoosh for the last 8 miles when it started getting a bit more wet.
- We brought our beloved Camelbaks along and were hydrated the entire time - little sips of water works wonders!
- At Jess's house - I did eat my Shot Bloks.

On of the midway hills - doesn't look like much - but it's brutal

When I came home, I didn't feel like dying.  But I didn't want to be sore on Tuesday, so I took some ibuprophen, rubbed some muscle rub on my legs, and did some stretching.  (Guess what? no pain on Tuesday!)   It was a great feeling to take on a new challenge of 16.5 miles!  We are so ready for 18 miles on Sunday.  Bring it.

One of the cow farms

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I think training for a marathon is going to kill me

Okay, probably not.  I'm sure it won't. 

Today was supposed to be a 16-miler day.  BUT, since my running buddy is out of town, we are going to do our 16 miles on Monday.  I know I could do the 16 miles on my own, well, at least I think I can.  I just didn’t want to. 

My plan for next week was Monday -  5 miles, Tuesday – rest/x train, Wednesday – 8 miles, Thursday – 5 miles, Friday – rest/x train, Saturday – 18 miles, Sunday – rest/x –train. 

Since I completely suck at following plans, (I am sorry Jen and Terry!)  I opted to swap out the midweek 8 miler with today’s 16 miler and then push back next Saturday’s 18 miler to Sunday. 

So, now my plan looks like this…Monday – 16 miles, Tuesday – rest/x-train, Wednesday 5 –miles, Thursday – 5 miles or x-train, Friday – 5 miles or x-train, Saturday – rest/ eat, and Sunday – 18 miles. 

 What was I thinking when I signed up for a FULL marathon?  Jeez.  Is this the point when I’m supposed to start getting nervous, because I sure am!  Ward asked me today if I was going to be completely unbearable the week before the marathon and I said “yes, of course”.  I am getting super nervous about the 16 miles coming up on Monday, too.  I’ve only done two 14 milers before, so 16 will be embarking on new territory.  I know I have it in me.  At least I think I do! 

Anyway, as I said before, I did 8 miles today.  I went out at 10:30 so it was already quite warm and I didn’t want to overdo it knowing I have to double this distance in just 2 days, so I set my mind at a 9 minute pace.  I headed down to the rail trail and focused on an easy run.  There were tons of bikers down there and only a few runners.  About 3 miles into the run, there was a man on his bike sitting in the middle of the trail.  As I approached him I was feeling a bit nervous because this is a secluded part of the trail.  He kept looking up in the tree about 15 feet above him.  When I looked up, I saw the biggest bald eagle ever.  Well, it looked like the biggest one because it was definitely the closest I have ever been to one.  That eagle just sat there looking down at us- appearing to not care at all.  I’ve seen an eagle around that spot before – but closer to the water and on the other side of the train tracks.  It was amazing.  I stood there for a moment, said something about “today would have been a great day to have my camera” and the man agreed.  Then I took off running again.  I little bit further down the trail, I saw this huge shadow of a bird going over me and when I looked up, it was the eagle again.  What a spectacular site! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Loving My New Shoes

Today was day 2 in trying out my new Merrell Pace Gloves. Actually, I've been wearing them to school the past 2 weeks, but I haven't run in them until yesterday.  

Run #1 was yesterday.  I took them out for the 1st mile of my 4-miler, came home changed into my Brooks St5's for the remaining 3.  I really could have gone a little further in them yesterday, but I was still feeling a bit sore from B2B and didn't want to overdo it.  It was funny how I felt like my Brooks were so soft after the Merrells- they actually felt like pillows.  Other than the achy calves and quads I felt before the run, I didn't feel any ill-effects from run #1.  

Run #2.  I wasn't going to run today.  Today is scheduled to be a cross training/yoga day.  I did do my yoga, but I was feeling quite overwhelmed, so therapeutically I had to get out for a run.  I only went out for 3 miles and it wasn't a fast one.  But I did take the Merrells out again.  I know you are supposed to start out slowly with them and I don't want to overdo it.  But they are so much fun, so I just went for it!   While running, I felt great.  Not tightness or pains at all.  I am scheduled for a 7 mile run tomorrow, but I don't think I'll push my luck with the Merrells.  I think I'll save them for the next shorter run and stick with my Brooks for the longer runs.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

More B2B Pics!

This year we finally had some spectators come to the Beach to Beacon - Joe, Jess, and Nichole - AND they took some pictures!  Now I get to share with you....

 I seriously need to get him some fun running shorts -
do you know how many nearly balding men wear black shorts and run shirtless?  

Me!  A little blurry - but I was just too darn fast to catch.  Ha!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beach to Beacon

Yesterday was the Beach to Beacon and boy it was a hot one.  It really wasn't so much the temperature, it was the humidity.  At times I was able to feel an ocean breeze, but those moments were very brief.  As always, several incredible spectators offered the runners relief with their hoses and I took every opportunity to run through them.  I even took water at the water stations, took a small sip and then poured the rest over my head.  

photo courtesy of

Anyway, I am not complaining.  I love this race.  As I said before, it is Maine's largest road race and is organized by my running idol - Joan Samuelson.  While I didn't get to see Joanie at yesterday's race, I have seen pictures and news clips that prove she was there running the show.  I also love this race because the finish line is at my mom's most favorite spot - Portland Head Light.  And again, I teared up again coming in to the finish area when thoughts of my mom overcame me.    

photo courtesy of

I did bring along my older camera so I could take some pictures of pre/post race; however, I completely forgot to check the batteries because I took 1 picture and then the batteries died.  Oops!  

Oh well.  At least Maine Running Photos was well represented at the race - at mile 5 and at the finish line. (Thank you Maine Running Photos!)  Here is one good one of Ward with a finish time of 38:46 (20 seconds slower than last year), but still looking awesome.  He was 208/6000(ish) and 13/335 for his division.  

photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos - Joe Hyatt

And here I am with a net time of 49:10.8 - an 18 second improvement for another PR!  

photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos - Joe Hyatt

Post race is always a bit overwhelming because there are so many people but we had a game plan this year and it worked!  I even got to meet Danielle.  We've run quite a few races and our times have been very close to each other's but we have never met.  Yesterday was the day! It was equally awesome to meet up with Carrie and Sarah - two more of my blogging friends AND Wade, Jill, Stacy, Ward, Mark, Christine, Kate, and Matt.  That's quite a group.  (I did have my friend Jess take a picture of this fine group - I hope she emails it to me so I can share!)  

This race is fantastic.  I love the energy and excitement it brings out in the spectators and the runners.  I cannot wait until I (try to) register for the race again this March!  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Great Bloggy Exchange

P at An Average Athlete put together this incredible bloggy exchange & today I've been featured at Sophia's Tales of An Ambitious Slacker.  

Please head on over to Sophia's blog and check out her running adventures too!  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Absolute Craziness

I was just looking at my data tonight and realized that last July (when I started using the site for my running log) - I ran 52.1 miles.  (I need you to know that back then I thought that was a lot of miles!  Silly me!)

And this July I have logged in 102.1 miles.  That's nearly double the mileage!

Then I looked at my 2010 year totals and my 2011.

Ward suggested I figure out how many miles I run a day, so I added both yearly totals together to get 1211.4 then divided by 396 (365 + 31 for additional month for all of July) and my daily average is 3.06 miles!  Basically, I run a 5k a day.  (well, just a little shy of that)

What a great pick-me-up while I sit around "resting" for the B2B!  And I was feeling bad that I didn't run today.  Nope, not anymore.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I've been featured

Please check out Stef's blog.  Her blog is hilarious AND I am her featured blogger today!

Bloggy Exchange - Introducing: The Pace Of My Life

Hi, I’m Marisa and I blog over at The Pace of my Life.  I am a wife and mom of two wonderful kids, as well as, a full-time teacher to 32 six-year olds, and I love to run (among other things)!  I am currently training for The Giant Race, a half marathon in San Francisco and will be running my first marathon in December, Rock n Roll Las Vegas.
This summer my husband and I were able to get away together a few times and believe it or not, we used that time to run together!  It doesn’t happen too often, so we can take advantage of it when we can.  
Last month, we hit the Dipsea Trail.  If you aren’t from California, you may not have heard of Dipsea.  It is a historic trail that travels from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach.  It is a little over seven miles long and travels some pretty tough terrain.  Included in that terrain are nearly 1500 steps and about 2,200 feet of vertical ascent and descent.  Sounds fun, huh?!  Well, we decided to do a double...Mill Valley to Stinson Beach and back!  14 miles, 4400 feet of ascent and descent!

Dipsea was tough!  Very....TOUGH!!
We started around two and didn't finish until after five.  You can do the math, it took us a long time!  During the first mile we climbed nearly 700 stairs.  I felt SO out of shape!  And I am pretty sure, I'm in fairly good shape.  When we hit three miles, I thought for sure my Garmin was wrong and we had gone at least six miles...not so!!  The trail just climbed and climbed and climbed some more.  There were sections we ran, but there was a lot of hiking.  We went from sunny weather to fog rolling in to the Ewok territory where it was misting heavily back to the sun peaking through in Stinson Beach.  The second half was a little easier, but our legs were spent.
The trail is very neat, it is beautiful, but it is brutal.  Like I said, it was tough.  We had nearly 4000 ft of elevation change in 14 miles.  It was good...we made it, we did it!  If I had a bucket list, I could cross it off my list!  It was bad...I asked myself more than once how I was going to make it back to Mill Valley and why didn't we just go run in Golden Gate Park.  It was husband's quads were cramping up so bad on the way back, I could watch them twitch!  And some sort of bug stung or bit my back on the way back and it hurt like heck!!  I haven't had something hurt that bad since I stepped in a wasp nest while playing soccer when I was 12.  And once we were done, we enjoyed a great dinner at the Buckeye Grill topped off with some S'mores Pie and headed back to a nice, comfy room at Cavallo Point.
Would I do it again...not for a very long time!  Would I recommend doing it, yes!  It is an experience!!
A big THANK YOU to Jennifer for allowing me to invade her blog for a day!!

Thanks for reading and if you'd like to read more about me and my life as a wife, mom, teacher, and runner, come on over and check out my blog!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gearing up for B2B

Saturday is the day: we are running the Beach to Beacon!  Because it's the largest road race in the State of Maine - there's quite a bit involved with this race.  Not only for the organizers but for the runners too.  We can't just show up 15 minutes prior to the start of the race at all.  This will be our (mine and Ward's) third year running this race and I think we have a plan in place.

First Year Mess Ups 
The first year we ran the race, Ward and I were stuck on the Casco Bay Bridge for at least 45 minutes.  I remember being so panicked about making the race AND having to pee so bad.  We parked at the high school just as the VERY LAST shuttle bus came through and we had to sprint to the bus to make it.  Our warm up consisted of the sprint to the bus and the run from the bus to the starting area. Since we got there so late, we could not "self seed" - and were stuck in the 9:45 pace.    Okay pace for me at the time, not an okay pace for Ward. The start is also mad crazy.  The first year, it took me at least 4 minutes to get to the starting line after the gun went off.  After the race, it took me forever to find Ward.  

Second Year Improvements
Ward and I (and my brother-in-law, Wade) dropped the kids off way earlier at my in-laws house and flew down the high way.  The directors had added a new satellite parking option that did not involve the bridge - so that is where we parked.  SOOOO much better!  We got to the starting area with plenty of time.  We found our friends Mark and Christine.  We had tons of time to warm-up, stretch, use the port-a-potties before the line was a mile long, and self-seed.  We even had a meeting place arranged and it worked!  We were able to find each other super easy this time around.  

This Year
The only thing that we really needed to improve upon was NOT getting the kids up so earlier.  SO, the plan for this year is this:  my mother-in-law is going to sleep at Wade and Jill's house (because Wade and Jill are running the race as well!) Friday night.  One of us may sleep over there with our kids and one will stay at home with the dogs - trust me, this may be easier.  We will leave Wade and Jill's house no later than 5:45, pick Stacy up in Richmond and we'll be off!  This should land us at the satellite parking by 6:45 again allowing plenty of time for peeing, stretching, checking bags, and warming up!  

I even made out a map to share with the group about our meeting spot!  Mark and Christine - please meet us here.  Actually, Christine - my goal will be to keep up with you again this year, so I'll just follow you to the meeting spot.  Okay?  

Maybe my new blogging friends will meet me there too?  I'd love to see Emilie, Jenn, Carrie, and Sarah there!  (Danielle - are you running?)   Did I miss any other bloggers?