Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Friday, September 30, 2011


My brain is full.  I have no more disk space.  The noise is so loud…..

No, I’m not cracking up.  And no, I’m not in need of any medication.  And no on the padded room either J I think I just need a really long run to quell the noise in my head.  And maybe a little sunlight too.  And if I’m not being too greedy, some solid sleep would be great too, thanks.

Running wise, I’m doing the right thing by resting and easing back into it.  The legs are healing and I feel ready to attempt a longer run this weekend.  Yay me!  But life wise, wow……the absence of running sure has impacted my sanity lately.  It doesn’t help that October is one of those chalk full months, where every weekend is filled to the rim.  I don’t mean to complain, because honestly, it means I have a life!  Running just reminds me to breathe and acts as free therapy and/or free Prozac, allowing me to enjoy the busy-ness October is preparing to bring on.

For October, we have –

  • Scott’s marathon weekend
  • Meaghan’s marathon (I’m sadly not catching a flight to Chicago, but will be fully engaged remotely!)
  • The Mike Donohoe 5K race – we’re on the race committee and will dedicate the day to this great event
  • Weekend away with Mom – looking forward to this, as we haven’t spent much time together recently
  • My marathon weekend – EEEEK!

Then, add a recently more crazed work atmosphere, a new office (yay) with no window/sunshine (boo), and the normal household and Bella related “stuff”.  It’s all good; it’s just that I’m accustomed to a little more breathing room.  And running, which again, reminds me to breathe.

I’ll get through it; I always do.  Maybe I just need to block off time to breathe on the calendar…. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A picture is worth......1000 calories

I am incapable of making a small bowl of popcorn…..(note the watch set by the bowl to give you true size of the enormous bowl)

So I guess I’d better keep running!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The 6’s have spoken…I’m going to Boston!

Thank you BAA.  Thank you Mohawk Hudson River 10/10/10 for my PR and BQ.  Thank you legs.  Thank you…..sixes!  After being away from my desk for several hours, I came back to a busy InBox, including this little gem –

Phew.  I had a Plan B for a Spring marathon, but I was really hoping not to have to use it.  Thanks for all the ‘good luck’ wishes everyone!

I wasn’t kidding about the sixes….

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Getting to the Start Line

Remember when the New England Patriots had their perfect 16-0 season, only to get beaten by the Giants in the SuperBowl?  While a perfect winning season is something to behold, losing the final game – the ultimate in football – took that perfect season and slammed it into the ground.  That’s how my training season is feeling right about now.

I’ve talked about my training for this Fall marathon as one of my best ever and I still believe that.  Regardless of my strained Achilles back in July or my most recent overuse scenario that includes my right calf, right Achilles, and right shin (hm, does anyone else see a pattern?), I still feel very strong and confident that I will be ready for my race.  However, based on my run this morning, it’s time to readjust once again to avoid my perfect season from being slammed into the ground in the form of a “do not start” [shiver].

I’ve only run twice this week and have been icing and taking ibuprofen.  My right calf is firmly wrapped in a compression sleeve and right now it feels pretty good.  I was hopeful for some progress when I went out for a little jaunt this morning, but my leg was not having it.  This leads me to a tough decision of what to do with my long run this week.  I’ve got 20 slated for Sunday, but clearly this morning’s 5 miles was 5 miles too much.  Stabbing pain in my calf and a throbbing shin are sending me a very strong message.  My leg’s not ready. 

I talked it out with Scott a little while ago and he strongly suggested I bag the run.  I was on the fence about it prior to our conversation, but as we talked it out, I realized that I would be risking getting myself to the Start Line of my marathon.  Like the Patriots’ perfect season, what good is running a 20 mile long run if it leaves me broken and unable to run the race I’ve been training so hard for?   For where I am right now and how fragile my leg still seems to be, I’m going to forego this 20 miler.  There, it’s decided.

I have one more long run in two weeks and then my official taper begins.  I’m determined to learn from the Patriots and not get hung up on my “perfect training” at the risk of not meeting my ultimate goal.  I’m throwing the dice (c’mon 6’s!) that this decision will allow my leg to heal sufficiently enough to get to the Start Line.  I’m confident I can take it from there…..

Thursday, September 22, 2011


We all know how important it is to properly prepare for a big event.  A party requires cooking up delicious food.  An exam requires hours of studying.  A marathon requires weeks of running miles and a sufficient taper.  The taper provides the much needed rest a few weeks prior to the big day and includes shorter distances and less intense workouts for the most part.

So, who says we can’t have TWO tapers?

Here I am, 39 days from my marathon, feeling like many runners training for a Fall marathon:  slightly broken.  This training season has been, by far, the best one ever.  I’ve pushed harder in the number of miles and the speed at which I've run those miles.  That speed element is what lies behind my “broken-ness”.  I can’t complain much, but it is a bummer.

Presently, my right calf has a big, black bruise on the “meaty” part of it.  My Achilles are still pulling at the slightest movement.  Worst of all, my shins are screaming.  And the screams come even at rest.  I haven’t had shin splints since running cross country in high school.  I guess this is my private high school reunion.

OK, so not to panic.  I’ve definitely had a couple of days this week where I thought, “All this great training and now I can’t run?”, but I refuse to stay there too long.  I’ve got 2 long runs left before my official taper, so although this week is not panning out as originally thought, I’m reframing my picture.  It’s a little early to be tapering, so I now dub this period my Pre-Taper.

My Pre-Taper is consisting of….
  • Resting
  • Icing
  • Stretching
  • Massage
  • Visualization of a fantastic race day
  • Pushing negative thoughts out of my head (I will heal!)
  • A slower pace when I do resume running

….which I hope will all lead to a solid last long run and well-earned official taper in the next few weeks!

So don’t be too jealous of my Pre-Taper, but if it goes well, feel free to borrow this concept.  After all, it’s better than wallowing in injury-land and losing all of my blog followers!

Monday, September 19, 2011

All signed up and nowhere to go….

Like many others taking part in this last wave of Boston registration frenzy, I have now registered.  It’s official – I’m nowhere near being an official entrant.

With a full week to wait until I hear if my time is fast enough to squeak through the magnified lens of the BAA, I contemplate what my first official Boston as a qualified runner will feel like.  I’ve been very lucky to run this marathon twice, but something about having reached the goal of the BQ (cue heavenly light beams)….  I deserve this no more or less than the rest of the salivating qualified runners, but here are a few reasons I really, really, really, really want to run the 2012 running of the Boston Marathon:

- I love it….the energy, the course (yes, even the downhills), the anticipation.
- The BQ element (I know, I’m obnoxious in my overstating...forgive me, I’m excited!)
- Scott’s running it – family affairs are fun!
- This year’s race has some key numbers in it:    116th running of the race, held this year on 4/16

99.9% of you are thinking, so what’s up with the last bullet?  6 is my absolute favorite and luckiest number.  I’ve got tons of 6’s in my birthday, I was born 6 minutes ahead of my twin @ 6 lbs, my younger brother was born 6 days later (on the calendar), I graduated in 2006 as part of the 66th commencement at my college… goes on and on (please, no devil comments!).  It makes perfect sense that I should run this year’s Boston, right? J

Now you know how I will spend the next 5 days…..waiting for word of either acceptance or [gasp] not, and counting the 6’s that float in and out of my life.  6’s bring me good karma, so I’m hoping that’s how BAA rolls….

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Paying it forward

My friend Sue is helping a group of friends/coworkers get to the start line of their first half marathon this Fall.  She’s been running with them, often doing double duty, as she checks on runners who might be having trouble or just a little bit slower than the others.  She has excitedly told me how their long runs have been going and that she “thinks they’re ready”. 

In 2009, I ran with Sue during her first marathon at Disney.  Ironically, through all the cold and harshness of our New England weather, we got a terribly humid marathon weekend that year.  It was a tough race that year and the weather took its toll on the runners.  We saw too many runners down and out, being tended to by EMT’s, whisked away just a couple miles from the Finish, and just looking like death.  I remember looking at Sue at about the 23ish mile range – in the Boardwalk area – and saying, “That’s why we walked when we did”. 

I’ll never forget the gratifying feeling I had that day, that I had something positive to contribute to my friend’s first marathon experience.  She didn’t need EMT’s or supplemental oxygen.  She didn’t break.  She finished and, if my memory serves me correctly, she finished smiling (though she was screaming for a Diet Coke!).  Sue did all the work;  she trained all Fall and some of Winter, she gave up her weekend mornings for long runs, and she carried herself 26.2 miles.   I merely served as someone who had been there/done that and who could confidently assure her “You’re fine” and “You WILL finish”.  

So when Sue told me she was “coaching” her friends’ first half-marathon training, I exclaimed, “Hey, you’re ME!”  And she replied, “I know, cool right?”

Paying it forward….

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I want to leave this world exhausted

I heard this statement on the radio recently.  Though I don’t recall what it was in reference to, it has stuck with me.  With a finite time on this earth, I too want to be so engrossed in and so engaged in the living that I am thoroughly exhausted when I leave this world.  

I’m not anxious to leave this world quite yet, but here are some ideas to achieve this –

Get moving

Get thinking

Get loving

Get laughing

Get playing

Get singing

Get dancing

Get writing

Get learning

Get adventurous

Get strong

Get living

And when all THAT is accomplished, then….

Get tired....

A good, fulfilling, satisfying tired.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No Scott, I don’t need a taser…

….my pepper spray will do.  Funny title perhaps; serious topic.

I’d have to describe my area of the world as bordering on rural, however it includes plenty of homes, businesses, industrial parks, major roads, etc.  But I’m definitely not in the city.  With that said, I always choose my solo long runs with safety in mind.  I’m careful with avoiding secluded areas and I’m careful about not placing myself too far from home (should I become injured).  And I always carry my pepper spray.  I don’t believe my pepper spray makes me invincible, but I do believe it’s a means of buying me some time should I ever have to quickly escape a bad situation.

Saturday, I was half way through my 20 mile training run when I observed a car that seemed to be slowly trailing me….

Yeah, super.

The thing is, the car seemed to be so obvious, that for a second, I rationalized that they were looking for a business address (I was in an industrial park).  It was late morning, there were people/cars/delivery trucks all around, but hey, sometimes bad things happen in the middle of the day with people around.  So I quickly threw that rationale out the window and trusted my gut.  I was already looking for an escape route or anyone around who might help if I should need it.  I had a plan.

The creepy car backed off and seemed to be settled in for a minute or two as I continued to put more distance between me and them.  Next, I was approached by a woman in a different car who pulled up next to me and said, “Hey, that car back there seems like they’re following you… you want a ride or something?”  OK, if I wasn’t freaked out before, I was now.  I declined (and let me add, she was a little creepy herself – enough to make me wonder if she wasn’t part of the creepy car team) and realized I needed to get out of the creepy car’s line of sight.  I ducked into the parking lot of a business and hid amongst the parked cars.  At least creepy car (or creepy woman) wouldn’t see which direction I was heading.  Major paranoia had settled in at this point. 

After a few minutes, I took off and boy did I fly.  Who knew I had some speed in my legs after 10+ miles!  I guess adrenaline is one of those untapped fuel sources that you’re able to tap into when you’re nervous.  I spent the next several miles running a faster pace and craning my neck to make sure no creepy cars were following me.  

Boy was I happy to see Scott at mile 15ish!!!  I knew I’d see him, but didn’t know exactly when.  He pulled up, just as I was retrieving my planted Gatorade from the poison ivy patch shrubs.  I told him what had happened and right then felt like I might cry – but not because of fear or being a girl; it was because of the feeling of frustration.  I was so angry at creepy car and creepy woman for making me feel vulnerable.  Damn them!

Scott leap-frogged me for the remaining 5 miles home.  While he sat at a school entry waiting for me, a cruiser pulled in.  He flagged him down and explained my experience back in the industrial park.  The officer advised that I report it to the local police (he was technically in a different town) in case others have had a similar experience.  By the time I got home, I started to feel a little silly about it all, but called the police anyway.  I provided what details I could (description of the driver, the car) and was glad I called.  If anything ever happened to someone else and I hadn’t called, I would never forgive myself.

I’m still a little freaked out about it all.  I carry the pepper spray and I take my precautions because I REFUSE to be a victim.  However, there are still people and situations that sadly make us vulnerable no matter how well we prepare.  I will not be arming myself with a taser anytime soon, but I will continue to carry my spray, choose the safest routes possible, mix up my routes so I’m not predictable, and always let Scott know which route I’ve chosen.

I'll never know if they meant any harm or if they were just lost.  But to all my real life and blogging friends, please use my experience as a reminder to take precautions and most importantly, to trust your gut.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

You've heard of a run/walk? How about a run/sniff....

Bella’s back on the board!!!  And she made my run tonight so much more fun J

And this is where she plopped down immediately following our run….

She's seriously the best dog.  Ever.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Magic ponytail

This summer, Meaghan asked me what the source was of my newfound “fire” lit under my running butt…I wasn’t really sure.  I’m still not sure, but I know I’ve had probably the best training season in ten years - both physically and mentally.  Here are my thoughts on the topic:

I’m drinking more/better
I discovered PowerAde Zero by way of Scott.  I’m not overly worried about calories, however this drink gets me the fluids I need without all the sugar and calories.  Considering how much I loathe water, this has become a perfect antidote to my previously consistent state of dehydration.

General nutrition
I’m always more focused on nutrition when I’m training for a marathon.  However I have recently tried to pay closer attention to portion control.  I do realize that marathon training does not give me license to scour the cabinets and countertops as if at an all-you-can-eat-buffet…..
Improvements lead to confidence
When I ran Mohawk Hudson River Marathon on 10/10/10, I pushed – for the first time in a marathon.  It hurt and I slowed at times, but for the most part, I felt like I shifted into some new gear.  That marathon remains my marathon PR to date at 3:56:36 and the memory has served as a reminder during all my training runs and races since then.

Scott’s been motivated
Let’s face it, when your husband is motivated and also training for a Fall marathon, it’s catchy.  Scott’s been a great help to me in pushing me to test my limits, supporting me, and coaching me.  In addition, I supported him during his 50 miler (which took place 2 wks post Mohawk Hudson River Marathon) and was amazed at true endurance in the making.  
Even though I'm not quite ready for a 50 miler and the 18 miler several weeks ago pushed my Achilles limits a bit too far, running with Scott was another confidence booster for me.

Remained fairly injury-free
Other than the testy Achilles issue, I’ve been injury-free….

Magic ponytail
My final thought is the magic ponytail.  For the first time in decades (maybe since I was in 3rd grade), I have long hair.  The kind of hair I can easily scoop up into a ponytail.  A magic ponytail  (yes, those are my natural curls).  In fact, I’m giddy at the thought of wearing a ponytail elastic around my wrist – cuz isn’t that what all the cool girls do?  And the idea of being able to don a baseball cap and have a decent length ponytail to stick through the back?  Priceless.

So yeah, it’s totally the ponytail Meaghan.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Boston’s a-comin’

For the first time evah (quick display of my finest Boston accent),I am qualified to run Boston.  I’ve run the prestigious race twice now, but both were via special application.  You know, the kind where you have to trade your first born for.  Or at least a $300 application fee.  This year, a magical combination of turning 45 and having that 45-year-old BQ time grandfathered for 2012, provides me this opportunity.  Next year, everything changes as I, along with everyone else chasing the elusive qualifying time, must run 5 minutes faster in order to qualify.

So now that I’m here, the question is:  Will I get in?

The BAA has a helpful calculater on their website to help us determine which date to register.  Or attempt to register.  Last year’s record registration left us all scratching our heads.  Who knew the race would fill in just under 9 hours?  Who knew so many people would commit at such an accelerated pace to run a race 6 months out?  Well, we all know now, don’t we.  There’s a reason the site states, “If space remains after the first week of registration…”  Which is why I might need a Plan B for the Spring.

There’s nothing like having a Spring marathon on the agenda.  It provides just enough pressure and motivation to run through the cold New England weather; battle the snow, the ice, and the darkness that never seems to end.  If I can’t get into Boston, I’ll be disappointed of course.  But I will still run a Spring marathon.  And regardless of my Boston registration success or failure this year, I’m humbled to have run it twice now and proud that I can say that this mere mortal, middle of the pack, 45 year old has attained the ultimate BQ - for this year anyway!

Good luck to everyone trying to register this month!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mid-Race Adjustments (a race report)

Today was the Race Around the Cape 25K and it was a hot one.  Not only was it hot, it was humid.  And the sun….oh that sun.  I love the sun, but it was just too strong and served as the icing on the cake – the kind of cake that falls mid-way through its baking.

I don’t really bake much anymore (since my market has the best cupcakes and cookies), but I do remember what happens when a cake “falls”.  The middle of it starts to sink inward, slowly imploding on itself.  It’s not even yummy to lick the pan after.  It’s just a mess.  (Bear with me, this analogy will make sense eventually!)

Today’s race had all the ingredients for a fallen cake.  My goal for today was to practice my marathon pace, which I’d recently determined was approximately 8:50.  As a reminder, today’s race was chosen for its hills.  Period.  Since I’m training for the hilly Cape Cod Marathon, today’s race fit in well with my ultimate marathon goal.  So why not use it to also practice my pace?  Sounded great on paper.  Then the sun rose.  And the cake fell.

Fallen cake...not too appetizing
OK, it didn’t really fall (figuratively speaking), but it could have.  I started out on pace for the most part.  An 8:48, a 9:10, a couple of higher 8’s.  By mile 7, I knew I had to readjust my goal and my strategy on completing this race.  My readjusted goal was now to try to stay steady – at whatever pace I could manage that at.  The race began at 9am, so most runners were exerting the race effort during the hottest part of the day.  The sun made an early appearance and never ducked behind the clouds.  I had some dizzying moments that had nothing to do with my being blonde.  Later, there was a stretch of oceanside running that blessed us with a refreshing ocean breeze, so you know I promptly cursed Mother Nature in one labored breath, and thanked her in the next.

Some really good stuff that happened out there today:

The course/race logistics –
It’s a really pretty course that loops around Gloucester and Rockport, giving us ocean views, marsh views, and.... 

....did I mention, lots of hills?


Post race found a truck bed filled with Gatorades and waters, amongst tons of ice.  If I were volunteering for this race, I would take THAT job for sure!  A couple of us overdosed on what seemed like an endless supply of popsicles as we watched the awards ceremony.   

My stats –
Finished        2:26:20 @ 9:26 pace
AG                 25/70  
Overall           270/516

It’s not my marathon pace, but more like marathon training pace.  I’ll take it.  With a smile.  Quick side story:  My 60+ neighbor came up behind me on the course.  We exchanged hello’s, she complimented my cute shorts, and then she steadily broke away from me.  For the life of me, I could NOT catch her.  I honestly wasn’t trying to catch her, since my readjusted goal (if executed) would allow me to finish this race.  She went on to finish a few minutes ahead of me and placed 2nd in her age group.  All the power to her.  She owned that race.

Race support –
Scott was absolutely amazing!  He brought a cooler filled with waters, Gatorade, Coke, and a face cloth.  That face cloth become my best friend.  Each time I was lucky enough to see Scott, he would have that face cloth saturated with ICE cold water.  He’d drape it on my face, head, elbows, teeth…..whatever was sweating!  I found out later that he did this for our other friends and running neighbors he saw along the course.

In addition, neighbors along the course set up their sprinklers, while others set up extra water stops, and one lovely woman handed out (gloved, I might add) ice cubes.  I wanted to kiss her.  Instead, I thanked her, stuffed one in my mouth, and the rest down my shirt.  Aaaahhhh.

I can’t really label anything as bad about today’s race.  Other than cramped toes on BOTH feet at the SAME time at mile 14ish, I can’t complain.  The cramps were a first for me and a very odd sensation, but I didn’t panic and just let them relax so I could finish.

So as much as I love cake (vanilla with vanilla frosting for all of you who don’t know me well enough yet), I passed on a big heaping slice of fallen cake today.  I’m very satisfied with how I ran, but more importantly, how I adjusted my mid-race strategy to ensure I didn’t implode.  Just as a fallen cake is messy, a fallen Lisa would have been even messier.  And that face cloth Scott brought would’ve been way too small to clean me up off the pavement.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I am woman, hear me ROAR!

Talk about waking up on the wrong side of the bed.  Or maybe the planet.  Scott might’ve said ‘good morning’ and I snapped at him.  Bella might’ve asked for a simple jaunt outside and I snapped at her.  What’s a girl to do?  Go for a run, of course.

With my race/long run tomorrow, I went out for an easy 5 miles this morning.  No time worries today, other than ensuring I don’t do anything fast.  No need.  It was humid (whoa, there’s a surprise) but for 5 miles, not a huge challenge.  There were very few people out, few cars, so few distractions.  I used the peace and quiet to dredge up every little annoying thought I had and promptly worked through them in my head, placing a virtual checkmark next to the box.  Check…Check….

I don’t really know what the source of my evility was this morning, but the run definitely helped.  Along with checking off each annoying thought, I visualized my bad mood oozing out of me through each sweaty drop.  Gross?  Yep.  Effective?  Totally.

Scott and Bella have both forgiven my momentary crabbiness and I’m sure appreciate the fact that I ran my bad mood out of my system.  You know what they say, “You always hurt bitch at the ones you love”.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Road We Know

I’m so, so thankful for my family.  It hasn’t always been easy and it hasn’t always been fun, but when I look back at our experiences (separately and as a unit), we’ve done OK keeping  ourselves “together”.

Mom (my BFF)
Mom raised three of us kids very much alone in the early years.  That’s one set of twins and a third right behind us.  She sacrificed so much during those years to make sure she gave us everything we needed – love, devotion, respect, humor, and music. I could write a book on the countless things she’s done for us and with us.  She truly is my BFF and my hero. 

Talk about teaching by demonstration….Mom always wanted to run; so she did.  She’s the one who got my husband and me engaged in this new, fit lifestyle.  I used to go watch her run 5K road races and wish I could do that.  Mom always wanted to be an RN; so she did.  And she did this much later in life, when many start thinking about winding down or retiring.  Every day she helps people feel a little bit better, even through painful treatments, with her nurturing ways.  I could never do what she does.  The world needs more people like her.

Tim (my twin – aka my little brother)
Tim is my twin brother.  We were born 6 minutes apart in the 1960’s, when twins were far less common.  I fondly tease him every chance I get that he’s my LITTLE brother because I am 6 whole minutes older.  I mean, that’s like a lifetime, right?

More than just being a twin, he’s a very loyal and devoted person.  He and his wife Dianna started a family that grew, and grew, and grew, and grew.  Today, they have six beautiful daughters who are adorable, loving (to others and each other), fun, courteous, polite, and grateful.  I’ve always been so impressed with the father figure that’s developed so well in my brother.  He is quiet by nature, but even in the most stressful times, he has maintained an even demeanor that I see reflected in his children.  Oh, those kids can be loud, but it’s always in the form of laughter (giggles mainly).  Anytime I have sad moments about not having children of my own, I just take in his family vibe for myself.  Scott and I try to grab at least half of the six-pack (the girls’ collective nickname) during the summer and get a healthy infusion of them.  We haven’t been able to coordinate it during the last 2 summers, but I’m hoping to reinstate our little tradition. 

Scott (my actual younger brother)
Scott is two years younger than Tim and me.  As a typical younger brother, he had to keep up and often did.  Today, he is the most amazing guitarist I’ve ever heard.  The music runs through his veins and he has made it his career to write, perform, and teach music to anyone who has even a fraction of his passion.  Even more importantly, Scott wins people over with a simple 'hello'.  During an interview with our local cable station a couple years back, I was in awe at how calm and sure of himself he appeared, yet never cocky.  I guess it’s a no brainer; when you love what you do and you get to talk about it, you exude all of the love you have for the topic.  In fact, here is a sample of his very own "The Road We Know".  I hope you enjoy it!

Click here:

Scott has a son and daughter and all live fairly close, which is nice.  His son is like a mini-Scott and his daughter is an A student.  Scott’s always helping someone and is always trading a service for another (ok, keep your minds clean folks) – such as trading a guitar lesson for repairs/parts for his bike.  I’m proud and envious that he does what he loves everyday.

I've often said that we should’ve been another “Partridge Family” because music is such an important part of our lives.  We’ve always known music in our house.  We grew up with Mom playing her guitar and singing.  Tim and Scott both play guitar (all 3 can seemingly pick up any instrument and figure it out – piano, violin – super jealous).  My instrument is my voice – I love to sing.  In fact, Tim and I had a band in high school and had so much fun with it.  I learned to let go of my shyness and sing in public, and Tim and I have those memories for a lifetime.
Tim on the left, our friend Neil in the middle, and yep, that's me belting out some Pat Benatar!

Families aren't easy, but they're all we've got if we're lucky enough.  And I'm extra lucky to have a close relationship with Scott's family too.  My mother-in-law used to say to me, "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your relatives" and I'm totally OK with that.  In fact, I'm more than OK with that.  Because the road we know is one paved with the love and memories of family.