Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Saturday, June 23, 2012


There’s something so gratifying about taking this –

And turning it into this –

I love summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Life Lessons from Mom

Last week was a busy week for me.  It was my birthday and wedding anniversary.  Wow, 22 years of marriage flies when you’re having fun!  Birthdays and anniversaries fuel the reflection in me;  who I am, why I am….

Deep topic huh?

In 46 years of life, I’ve seen a lot, felt a lot, learned a lot.  I have my health, my husband, my home, and my family & friends.  I have a job I love in a great company.  I never go hungry and I never “have” to go without.  I have lots of people and experiences in my life that have contributed to the wonderful things I’ve been able to do or have or experience.  Thanks Mom.

Mom always kept us grounded.  She wanted to raise 3 kids who cared about other people.  She wanted us to be respectful, to never treat someone badly, to not judge.  She wanted us to understand that there are more important things than money or “things”.  I thought a lot about that this past week.

On Tuesday, I volunteered for a "clean river project" in my region.  My company provides us 52 hours per year to perform volunteer or charitable activities and they encourage it by also providing bus transportation, snacks, and lunch.  How can you go wrong??  I figured this particular project matched my desire to be outdoors and be physical.  Oh, I got what I asked for.  And more.

We arrived and were quickly acclimated to our new work site for the next 5 hours.  The leader announced a few rules:

Please don’t head that way.  It’s not safe
Please stay in groups or at least with a buddy
Please note the police detail is here for your safety
Please call me over if you should find any needles


This area was an active homeless camp site.  I’ll admit I was terrified a little intimidated and nervous.  The guys we encountered were friendly enough and some even wanted to help us clean up.  One guy was gutting a fish he had caught in the river.  There were lots of flies waiting for dinner as well….sad.

As our crew cleaned up clothing, cans, glass, plastic, bags, you name it, I thought about the people we were cleaning up after.  When they returned, would they marvel over the cleaned up area?  Or would they feel their “home” was violated and feel only anger towards this crew who was just trying to do good?  I felt very heavy while I cleaned and I continued to feel heavy days later as I reflected on the day.

I can’t fathom the stories of how a homeless person becomes homeless and ends up living along a river in the city.  I don’t presume to understand alcoholism or mental illness – two very big issues that plague many homeless people.  I don’t judge the homeless because they don’t live like I do or work hard like I do….how do I really know if that’s true anyway?  I don’t.

Thanks Mom for instilling the importance of compassion in me, for teaching me the value of putting myself in others’ shoes, and for always demonstrating care for people rather than for things.  These lessons allow me to walk the talk and I am grateful.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Wow, that was the smallest, fastest, most exciting race registration I’ve participated in awhile.  I’m talking about this race –
I’ve been eagerly counting down the days for the gun to go off for today’s 8:00am registration.  Much like Boston of old, Stone Cat advised that their race would likely fill up within the day.  Er, uhm, maybe more like 2 hours???

My rock star Scott has offered to help me train for my first ultra and most importantly has offered to run alongside me on race day!  As I’ve talked about in previous posts, I would get lost – very lost – without him, and it would be dramatic (and traumatic).  Scott and I have so much fun when we run together and I suspect that this will be no different.  It’ll be a long day and obviously a challenging day, but I’m anticipating a successful and rewarding day as well.

I’m not worried about time, except for the fact that I’ll have to reach a certain point on the course by a certain time in order to continue for the full course mileage.  That’s my only concern.  I’ll have 12 hours, 30 minutes to complete 50 miles.  Wow, I don’t even think I’ve ever slept that long before, let alone run.

I’ve already started a training calendar for Stone Cat to include a handful of races (road and trail) and another marathon.  I’m excited to see how this training plays out, as it’s so much different than typical marathon training.  Scott bought me a little piece of equipment I’ll need on race day –

This should hold all my necessities on race day;  extra shoes, socks, body glide, food, my will…..KIDDING!!!!

Can’t wait!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Falling…is practice REALLY necessary??

OK, so no one told me that when one decides to start running on trails that falling would become a regular occurrence or some sick right of passage.  In all of my running years, I’ve fallen fewer than a handful of times.  Over the last two-ish weeks, I’ve fallen twice – once on the trails, and today on the sidewalk.  Today's fall produced the worst road rash I’ve ever had, more than a few tears, and most definitely an f-bomb or 7.

After a couple of long days working out of my VT offices, I took to the great outdoors for a mentally cleansing run.  I usually use the hotel treadmill when I’m in VT, but today was a gorgeous day and I figured a fairly straightforward out&back would give me a safe 3 miles before heading back indoors for the evening.  Armed with a bottle of water and my pepper spray, I headed out.  All seemed pretty benign until I got tangled up in what looked like a misshapen wire hanger.  I never had a chance.  I went down so fast and slid across the sidewalk so hard…, it hurts just typing it.

Right leg & elbow.  Left side just a few bumps - not nearly as photogenic!
I sat for a minute, not believing what just happened.  I got up, limped about, and gathered up my water bottle and pepper spray which had flown in different directions upon impact.  Since I was on a very busy main street, I had plenty of spectators.  The driver closest to my personal “ground zero” yelled out, “Are you OK?” (afterall, I am in VT) which I waved “yes”.  Not to be overly dramatic, but I was just so stunned that I couldn’t find the words.

I told myself that this falling/recovering regimen is all good training for my developing trail running career.  So I took a deep breath and, once I knew nothing was seriously injured, continued the remaining short distance to my hotel.  And thanks to my Scott, I always travel with a solid first aid kit.  A shower to clean out the rubble (literally), healthy application of antibiotic ointment, and a couple of big band aids should do the trick.  Not “good as new”, but I'll heal.

My goal now is to try to avoid getting blood all over the hotel towels as I work on cleaning the wounds.  My mentally cleansing run could end up looking like a hotel murder scene if I'm not careful!  Though I imagine that might keep the housekeeping staff wondering….

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mold be gone!

The sun came out today.  No, you don’t understand…it’s been raining since well before last weekend.  I started to feel like I was growing mold!  The house seemed dark and dank, the office seemed dark and dank, and I seemed dark and dank. 

Today was a whole different story!

Today there was 5 miles of this –
And ~1 acre of this –

Some new landscaping ideas started taking shape –

And some R&R for all that hard work -

I’m looking forward to another lovely day tomorrow, filled with much of the same as today.  Sun, I heart you.  It’s amazing how bright and cheerful everything is when you show up to the party.  Mold and mushrooms, you’re just not invited.

And as a good Bostonian…..GO CELTICS!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Head over heels

Today’s drenching downpour of a Saturday started out with a family trail run – how fun!  With Scott off from work and Bella ready to run free, we were off!  Since this was our first run since Vermont City marathon, I opted for the 3 mile loop to start off with.  These trails were mostly single track, so between the moisture laden greenery and the quickly forming puddles, we were wet and muddy almost immediately. 
Definitely a few spikes on this run!
About half way into the course came the “head over heels” part of the run.  I saw the rocks/stream, approached with caution, and slipped anyway.  It was very wet and falls can happen on the trail on the driest of days.  There was blood, but I was a big girl.  I didn’t cry, but instead shook it off and thus learned my first lesson of trail running; how to fall.
Note the muddy shoes and the roughed-up knee!
Once we peeled our muddy shoes off and scrubbed up, we headed to a late breakfast.  Mmmm, nothing like a hearty post-run breakfast.
No caption really necessary, right?
Our adventures weren’t over yet.  We next headed to one of our running stores to “just look at” trail shoes.  Oh yeah, you know I walked out of there with some new shoes, along with a handful of other new running items; pair of shorts, cap, bra, and socks.  On an economic note, I got the trail shoes on MAJOR sale, and because we had our friend Martyn with us, the store owner gave us 10% off.  There’s a reason we call Martyn “the Mayor”!
These should hide the mud well!
I’m head over heels over a Saturday where I get things done (on the run of course) without any pressure of time, where I get to play in the rain like a 10 year old on a fun trail run with my favorite peep & pet, where I get to grab a quick snooze with aforementioned pet, and where I get to jazz up my running wardrobe in time to launch my summer running.

Now off to sign up for some summer races.  All this running talk and new running wardrobe is making me feel fast!
Time to dig out my credit card!