Monday, May 28, 2012

Jam Packed Weekend

I seriously think I need a day off to recover from this crazy weekend.  I'm completely wiped right now!

Saturday was packed with working at the gym (love this job!) and then a BBQ with my college friends.  I love that we have been getting together for 12 years.  As we caught up with each other about the happenings in our lives - I came to realize how many runners we have in our group.  I really do not think a single one of us ran in college and to see us transforming into runners is absolutely amazing to me.  I love this!  

Sadly, I didn't take many pictures at all - I am a bad blogger

Sunday was a long run with the girls and we had a special guest join us for a bit of it - RTB teammate Andy came down to the trail to join us.  Technically, he was already there running, so I guess we joined him?  He ran with us for about 30 minutes before he had to head out ditched us.  It amazed me that he was showed up because this guy biked 100 miles the day before.  He is badass.   Anyway, I should add that coming into this run, I had taken two days rest because my foot was feeling a bit sore.  Not the entire foot, and not a plantar fasciitis thing - more like the tendon on the side of my left foot.  I felt great Saturday so I thought I was much better.  For the first 7 or 8 miles, I felt great.  Then I started to feel a little sore.  Then by mile 10, it was definitely hurting.  For the rest of the day, my foot, calves, hamstrings and glutes were in some serious pain.

Apparently Izzy didn't think it was an ice bath - but I sure did!

Thankfully, the rest of Sunday was quite relaxing because we went to my inlaws cottage.  The water is still quite cold, so I sat in the pond and called it an ice bath.  Close enough and I think it helped.  I also had Ward massage my foot and legs.  He is the master of massage.    My workout plan for the week - yoga, biking, rolling.    I do not want this to lead to a full blown injury.

loving us some s'mores by the fire

Today I was itching to do some kind of physical activity, so I went biking for an hour on my new bike.    I only stopped once because I had to get a picture of this beautiful lupine hill.  I'm thinking it's pretty early because this hill is normally 100% covered with those gorgeous lupines.  

After that, we headed downtown for a local 5k.  We went down to cheer on my brother-in-law and some friends while I took pictures for Maine Running Photos.  

Wade coming in 3rd overall (AG winner), Ward trying to keep up on the bike -
 after running the Sugarloaf Marathon last Sunday!  

Then we were off to watch the Memorial Day Parade.

Jackson, Tucker, & Izzy with Grammie

and Scoutie & Wade

And then Jill and I thought it would be a fabulous idea to garden.  6 hours later, we have many rows full of seeds for tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, squash, lettuce, kale, spinach, onions and more.   Gardening is tough work!

please grow!

The entire time we were planting, I was praying to the garden gods that everything comes up and we have a kick ass garden.  We'll see!!!  At least we'll have 6 tomato plants - because Stacy was super sweet and brought over her extras for us.  

I am beyond tired right now.  I hope you all had a glorious Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And why don't we do this more often?

Last night the girls and I took Hallowell by storm.  Yes, we are wild like that.  We set out for a night on the town to celebrate slightly belated birthday for our gal, Stacy.  Life has been a bit busy lately and that was the only night the majority of us girls could get together.  Each time we got out, we end up at the same place - Slates in Hallowell.

the best margarita hands down

Before we could even look at the menu we were asking our waitress about the drink specials, more specifically margaritas.  She barely finished uttering the words "Blood Orange" when we said just about simultaneously, "I'll take that."  

I think Jill needs some aviators, don't you?  

A little backstory here, last weekend, our teammate, Andy was wearing some sweet aviators for our relay race.  Unfortunately, for him, he misplaced them somewhere in Jill's truck.  After some searching on Jill and Andy's behalf, the glasses were still missing.  But by some minor miracle, Jill's husband, Wade found them in the truck.  Yay for Andy but first we were going to have some fun with them.   

And then here we are, all dressed up.  Who knew we owned "normal" clothes?   We had a fabulous night, with tons of laughter.

The next round of birthdays is in August, but I seriously do not think we should wait that long until we go out.  I'm thinking once a month.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One Heck of An Experience: RTB

Last Friday/Saturday was the Reach the Beach:Massachusetts relay race.  It's Wednesday and I'm finally feeling rested/focused enough to put this together.  It was an amazing experience and I can only hope my recap can capture these feelings. 

Being a huge ball of nervousness, I was up well before my 4am alarm.  Great, just great.  Starting this sleep deprived weekend with even less sleep!  I got up, had my coffee and showered knowing it was going to be quite a while until I was able to shower again.  I made my rounds - kissing the kids and husband goodbye while they slept ever so peacefully and then laid out some small gifts for the kids with their notes and a sweet little note for the husband, wishing him luck at Sugarloaf on Sunday.  Then I was loading up the car and heading over to Jill's house.

Do you think that maybe I packed too much???
 I did share the water and the cooler space. 
I told Jill I would be at her house around 5.   Again, because I was so anxious about this, I was at her house around 4:45 loading up the truck.  Ooops!

We met Stacy and Carrie at my inlaws house.  As we were getting closer, I realized I had forgotten to ask my inlaws if the girls could park there.  Thankfully I had paper with me and left them a little note in the door explaining why there were random cars in their driveway.  Oooops again.

Wachusett Ski Mountain
We loaded up the truck and were off!  First stop was Starbucks (priorities people!) and then we picked up the guys.  We arrived at the start and hung out.  I was mesmerized by all of the fun team outfits and van decorations. 
I think this was my favorite group!  ha! 
When van 1 finally got to the start, we hung out for a bit,  went through the safety check, attended the orientation, got our team sweatpants, bib #s, shirts, and then had our team pictures taken.

photo courtesy of Megan Swanson aka Van #1's driver

  Before we knew it, we were heading to the starting line to watch Rudley take off for the 1st leg. 

checking out the huge hill he gets to start with - poor guy!

As soon as Rudley took off, we said our goodbyes to van 1 and headed to the 1st van transition area - where Jill would start our van off with our "legs" of the race.  Before we got there, we stopped at a great little sandwich shop and ate lunch.  We had plenty of time before we started running and a real meal was so nice to have.  We arrived at Assumption College with plenty of time to hang out and relax. 



us girls - waiting to send Jill off on her 1st leg
Soon we got the notice that Christy was on her way. Jill got ready and we headed off to the transition area.    Christy came around the corner, handed off the slap bracelet to Jill and she was off!  We loaded the van to follow the course, checked out the hills Jill had to run (ouch!) and headed to the next transition area, where Jill would hand the slap bracelet off to Andy. 

While we were there, we saw our friend, Danielle.  She and Andy apparently coordinated their outfits. 

Andy & Danielle in coordinating outfits

Without boring you with all of the legs we ran, I'm just going to focus on my 3 legs and some of my favorite moments.  If you'd like full recaps, I have links for Carrie & Christy's recaps below. 

Not sure what I'm doing here.  Praying that I make it through? 
Photo courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

The start of my 1st leg
Photo courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

My 1st leg started around 7:45 pm Friday night.  It was definitely beginning to get dark when I started out my 1st run.  I wanted to run this as hard as possible and knew I could, but I didn't want to completely exhaust myself for my next two legs with who knows how much sleep.  I was beyond happy when I entered Hopington State Park and wished it was daylight so I could have seen how pretty it is.  6 miles/48:39/8:05 pace. 

My support team - giving me some water a
few miles into my 1st leg
Photo courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

After this leg we headed off for some dinner, and ended up just grabbing Subway in Hopington.  We did head off to the next Van transition area with hopes of getting some sleep.  But between the doors slamming, people smoking, and people talking/shouting - sleep did not happen for me. Grrrr.....  We didn't have much time to sleep because Jill was going to start running sometime around 1am, but I was hoping for some. 

2nd leg 4:45 am Saturday morning.  The sun was coming up, but not fast enough.  Carrie came zooming around the corner and handed off the slap bracelet to me. Within a few hundred feet I found myself deep in a dark trail with large, loose rocks and holes.  Thankfully there weren't any roots because I had the hardest time with my footing and I could barely see the ground.  My navigation through this section was a series of blinking lights beside the RTB arrow signs. This was my first experience ever with trail running and I am greatful the trail portion only accounted for 1.6 miles of this leg.  When I finally got out of the woods, I saw my "van" driving by.  We couldn't have timed that any better.  A couple of miles down the road, I came to the next transition area and saw Rudley standing there anxiously waiting for me to hand that slap bracelet to him. 

The two luckiest guys in the world who got the share the van with us - Andy & John

After this leg, I was able to go inside the school and use an actual bathroom that had sinks and a mirror.  I took advantage of this time to change out of my disgusting clothes, use the shower wipes, reapply deoderant, and wash my face.   3.5 miles/29:01/8:24 pace. 

After this leg, we loaded up the van and headed off to the next van transition area where we thankfully got about an hour or two of sleep.   While we hung out here, it was the perfect time to do a little rolling with John's foam roller and then the girls and I did some yoga on the lawn.  Doing this helped quite a bit with our sore, tight muscles and I think it really helped. 

photo courtesy of Danielle Sterling

I had seen this guy several times throughout the race.  Little did I know that he was from Maine and he is the race director for MDI!  Pretty freakin' awesome.  (by the way, on Monday, I did finally take the plunge and registered for MDI) 

I want his abs
Photo courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

3rd leg.  I have no freakin' idea when I started this run.  It did start at a sweet little ocean side park with some great views.  I was too tired/hot to care at this point and I was wearing Stacy's garmin because my battery died.  I don't even know how hot it was at the time, but I'm guessing it was in the 70s. I drank tons of water waiting for Carrie to come in and kept obsessing about my zipfizz.  I contemplated drinking several of them because I seriously doubted that I had enough energy to get me to the finish line.  In the end, I only drank one.  I usually never run with water for distances less than 10 miles, but I thought it was absolutely necessary on Saturday.  I started off running with plastic water bottle for the first 3 miles, finished it off by the time I saw my team and then grabbed another one for the remained of the race.  I was suprised that I wasn't really bothered by carrying something in my hands and I really enjoyed the water pouring down my front when I took a drink of water.  It definitely helped to cool me off.  7.2 miles/60 minutes/8:14 pace. 

about 3ish miles into my last leg - Stacy is taking this picture, Carrie is taking another &
 I think Jill's swearing at me? Telling me to go faster or something.  Jeez!
 Is that Andy hanging out of the truck? 

As you can tell, I was too tired because here I am taking in a little rest when I supposed to be out there running. 

Courtesy of Eric's camera/Andy was the photographer 

As I came up to the beach area, I thought for sure the race would never end. I had to go to the bathroom so badly, I was in pain.  But there was no where to go and it was against the RTB rules.  I didn't want to get the team disqualified at this point.  Heck, I was running the final leg.  We've come this far, surely I could hold it.  Right?  I ran through some more loose rocks (lots of fun, not really), then the dunes and then some sand.   I was quite happy when I rounded the last corner and saw tar and my team.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Emerson

 I also thought my bowels were going to explode (tmi, sorry).  When I eyed up the finish line, something happened inside of me and I completely took off and left my poor teammates (who were waiting to join me).  I feel so badly about this.  I really do.  I need to let go of the finish line sprint.  Lesson learned, next time I will slow down.  Sorry team Need For Speed! 

John, Carrie, Eric, Sarah, Rudley, Jill
Andy, Jen, Stacy, Emily, Christy, Gia

Our fun sweatpants - mine are actually capris now since they shrunk when I washed them, but oh well! 
They are super comfy. 

Things I learned about this relay. 
- ask team members when they would like to see you on the course, but remember finding a spot to pull over at those exact spots aren't always going to happen!
- people who need a lot of sleep really shouldn't do this race
- perhaps I packed too much food! 
- I can actually survive without internet for 2 days
- trust the Tom Tom
- Nuun worked wonderfully for hydrating between legs
- bring extra sunscreen
- bring earplugs
- bring more compression gear
- having my outfits in baggies did help quite a bit

Is this Bruce Springsteen?  I didn't know he ran relay races.

It's going to be a little bit, but I definitely will do another relay race again.  I have some marathons I would like to focus on and check off that bucket list first.  Maybe I'll do RTB: MA next year but the timing isn't great because it is usually the same weekend as the Sugarloaf Marathon and it was my goal to run Sugarloaf next year.  I suppose I could find another spring marathon.   Decisions do not need to be made today.  I have plenty of time to figure out what will work for me. 

Ronald McDonald & the Hamburgler even ran

What I do know is that next time we do this, we have to have fun outfits and creative "van" decorations.  I have tons of ideas floating around in my head right now.   I might be a little obsessed with it actually.  Most of my morning conversations with Stacy this week have been centered around "next year".  We are crazy. 

thank you No Sleep Til Horseneck - I had Beastie Boys
 streaming through my head the entire time

Team Need for Speed finished this 200 mile adventure in 30 hours, 4 minutes, and 23 seconds & we had an 8:59 pace.  I'd say we did a pretty awesome job, wouldn't you agree? 

If you'd like to read some of my teammates recaps - check these out! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meet The Team

As you know, my Friday and Saturday will be consumed by a 200 mile, 2-day relay race otherwise known as Reach The Beach.  My friend, Sarah, also our team captain, assures me that this kind of thing is fun.   We shall see.

Of course I'll be taking tons of pictures before, during and after the race that I'll be sharing with you after the race.

In the meantime, I'd like to introduce the team to you.

Team Need For Speed! 

Sarah and Rudley

Aka Captn Fancypants and Mr. Fancypants. Sarah has bounced back like a crazy lady. Sarah was on a RTB team last spring but couldn't run due to an injury. However, she had the necessary surgery and listened to her doctors and here she is! Ready to take on RTB with her incredible husband! 


Hey look, I'm putting Eric first!  He is Andy's twin but was the 2nd born and has been trying to catch up since.  Today, he's first. ( Just because I'm married to a twin that was born 2nd.  I feel for you Eric! So, back to Eric - he and his brother are in the midst of training for the inaugural IronMan NYC this August.  Check out his blog here.


Andy would be Eric's twin.  Andy will be in van #2 with me.  I am quite grateful for Andy being in the van because he stepped up to the plate and took the longest "leg" - coming in at 22.47 miles.   Isn't he awesome?  I mean, this will just be great training for that IronMan he is doing in August, right?  Oh, and I do believe he does have a 1/2 IronMan coming up in just two weeks.  He's got this!  He shares the blog with his brother.  You definitely should check them out.  The both of these guys are hilarious.  Especially the latest post. 


From Emily's blog "Hi! I’m Emily! I recently graduated from Northwestern University and I’m currently on the job hunt. I love running, albeit slowly, especially half marathons! I also love cooking and eating! I’m a big fan of cheese and FRO YO and broccoli and salad. Also cookies and peanut butter and truffles. I’m a big fan of the Middle East and Africa and passionate about social justice and global health equity. (Check out!!) If you’re reading, leave a comment! Or come run with me! or eat! Or cook!" I can't wait to meet her on Friday. Check out her blog over here


From Christy's blog "I'm a runner. I started running right around the time I started this blog and have since run several half marathons, a couple of marathons and a number of shorter distance races."  She has one super busy week - she has had two graduations, is coming up from NY for the relay and then rushing off to DC for Monday.  Oh to be young again!  Check out her fun blog over at Twenty Five Before Twenty Five


Only the bestest friend anyone could have.  This amazing woman started running just a little over 2 years ago.  She has taken on the 1/2 marathon challenge like a champ and is so ready for this relay this weekend.   I would be horrible if I didn't mention that she is the proud momma to three incredible kids and the wife to a local race car driver.


"I have been addicted to what I thought was distance running for a long time. I ran my first half marathon April 2011 just days after my son was born. After the half marathon I vowed I would never run a full marathon. Two to three weeks later I started training for my first marathon. I ran the Maine Marathon in October 2011 and I am totally hooked. I am planning on running a second marathon this fall and if that goes well a 50K in December." - John   

"I also really enjoy drinking craft beer and I actually worked for a brewery and distributor during college. In January of this year I started a beer running club called Pioneer Beer Runners." - John


It is a year of firsts for Carrie who blogs at Maine Mom on the Run.  She recently completed her first half marathon and will run in her first full this fall. While relays are nothing new to this former
track athlete, a 200-mile 24-hour relay is. She'll be sporting her trademark compression sleeves and running skirts in this year's Reach the Beach: MA as runner #11.


Gia of RUNgiaRUN is a marathon runner, twin mom and running coach in New York City. She has run 5 marathons, but this is her first foray into the wild world of relays.  Always looking for the next adventure, Gia is most excited for: wearing matching outfits while obnoxiously cheering on my fellow teammates. The inner cheerleader in me thinks we should have megaphones … too much? Biggest fear: getting caught snoring in a van full of strangers!  You can also follow her on twitter @rungiarun. 


Jill, At Life with Scout, is "freaking out" about running her first relay race.  While she has run numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons, running  200 miles in 24 hours as part of a relay team, is a scary proposition.  Perhaps, even more frightening than running will be returning to her home after being away from her son, Jackson, daughter, Scoutzilla, and husband, Wade, for more than 24 hours! Yikes!  Does anyone have some Prozac?  


And then there's me.  Who is quite nervous about this new adventure.  I guess I better get packing for this thing!

Wish us luck! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lookie Here!

Ward has got the be the greatest husband ever!  Look what he came home with for me -

Of course we don't have that kind of money just laying around, or I'd be driving a 
nicer car for sure.  We're just super fortunate he works at LL Bean 
has great benefits (like the eStore) - so we got a fabulous deal on this bike.  

A Specialized Sequoia Elite road bike.  Yippie!  
 I see a lot of biking in my future.