Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Christmas season in (mostly) pictures

Scott and Me

Mom and Me

Good friend Martyn

Niece Kristin’s first Christmas engaged to Alex

Our dessert table, courtesy of mom’s homemade goodies

All Bella wants for Christmas is her Kong!

Couldn’t get good pictures, but nothing like brightening up the season by supporting my favorite 8 year old Caitlyn at her dance recital!

Meaningful gift from a friend
[**SISU is a Finnish term loosely translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity... SISU is about taking action against the odds and displaying courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity. (Wiki)]

Mosaic Christmas tree (3-D) made by Mom’s artistic and loving hands.  Many of the gems come from my grandmother’s jewelry and my mother-in-law’s china.  Priceless!

Some homemade goodness (3 different pastas!) made for us by niece Erin – this carbo-loading MUST have a magic PR cooked into it!

Our new treadmill!  We had already talked about getting a treadmill, but I hadn’t had time to research to find which treadmill was best for us.  The best part of this gift is that Scott surprised me with doing the research, purchasing, AND setting it up!  I love the treadmill, but I love the surprise and thoughtfulness the most!!!

Happy MerryThon Half & Jingle Bell Half – two holiday half marathons celebrated with old and new friends.  What’s better than a hot cocoa stop at mile 10?

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!  And here’s to a fun, exciting, healthy, PR kind of New Year – where there are hot cocoa stops just when you need them!!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Friends don’t let friends drink and….

….register for races!

We know that alcohol often fills us with courage to do or say things we may not normally do or say.  Race registration can sometimes fall into this category.  Many a gingerbread martini or glass of pinot grigio have contributed to a more aggressive than usual list of upcoming races.

So today, I find myself registered for at least 8 races (with the possibility of a 9th Fat Ass run) that will carry me through May.  And it’s in partial thanks to alcohol.  That and the fact that registering for races is fun and addicting!   

Between working my butt off, getting ready for the holidays, and registering for all these races, I haven’t devoted much time to writing lately.  I do miss it and you!  I’m sure this list of races will provide great content for race reports and other running adventures to share with you. 

Who else is filling up their calendars with races?  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Journey to ultra running

Many people ask, “Why?” or exclaim, “You’re crazy!” when they hear of the distances Scott and I have run.  We might be a little bit crazy, but it’s a craziness that is filled with fitness, adventure, and fun.  So, if that’s crazy, I’m embracing my inner crazy!

But getting to the ultra-distance doesn’t happen overnight. 

Like everyone, Scott and I both started with very short runs that were interrupted by more stopping than actual running at times.  We gasped and cramped our way through those early days just like everyone.  But then something magical happened and it stopped hurting so much.  The cramps in the side or the legs appeared less frequently.  The runner’s high we all hear about was happening.  To us!

After lots of slow races, paces started to improve and so did our confidence.  We each started to feel stronger and with that, started to flirt with longer distances.  10K’s and half marathons became the new google search.  I’ll never forget my first half marathon (Covered Bridges – Queeche, VT).  I trained so hard for that; so hard in fact that I aggravated my Achilles just a few weeks prior to race day.  I was horrified!  Doctor visit, shoe inserts, backing off on running…..I got to the start line.  No world record, but that distance had me hankering for more.  That year, I ran my first marathon (Disney) with Scott by my side!

After many marathons and a couple of years of supporting Scott at StoneCat, I knew I would run this ultra trail race someday.  I remember thinking, “I could do this” as I cheered on runners throughout their 26.2 or 50 mile journey.  Last November, I did it.  I ran the 50 miler with Scott by my side but am hungry once again to challenge myself in a way that only ultras challenge.

A couple weeks ago, we ran Ghost Train trail race (15 mile option).  There was an ultra option as well, but given the craziness that comes with a new job, I opted not to overflow my plate this Fall.  I did have a plan though; run the 15 miler, check out the course (for how easy to follow, etc), and most importantly, scope out how I think I might like running the 7.5 mile out-and-back a zillion times to complete another ultra distance.  Maybe even longer than 50 miles…..

And this is how the journey goes.  Take a little nibble of a 5K…..chug it down with a heap of half marathon…..take second helpings in the form of a marathon….then for dessert, indulge in the ultra distance!  And within the ultra distance, the sky is the limit!   

So I may appear crazy with my marathons and my 50 miler under my belt, but I felt honored and in awe to share the Ghost Train trails with runners who were accomplishing 100 miles within a 30 hour timeframe…Crazy?  Committed?  Should be committed?  Or just doing what they love and celebrating it with each additional mile?  I’ll take the latter.  

We’ll just have to see how many of those miles I’ll choose to celebrate next year at Ghost Train…J
The smiles on us humans AND pumpkins don't lie.....FUN!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

StoneCat 50 - Support/Pacer Report

A few weeks ago, I paced Carrie through her final miles at Smuttynose Marathon.  She blew up her old PR by about 15 minutes J  Saturday, I jumped in at mile 37.5 to pace Scott at StoneCat 50 trail race.  He blew up his old PR by about 35 minutes J  Hmmmm, have I missed my calling as a “professional pacer PR achiever”?
Scott & Bella                                 Scott, Larry, and Andy
Saturday started out crisp and displaying a sky filled with gorgeous stars.  Since StoneCat starts at 6:15 a.m., the stars were joined by a sea of headlamps.  I had Bella with me as I kissed Scott and wished him a good race.  At lap 4, the plan was to join Scott for his “victory lap”.  The buzz of the runners, the sound of the bagpipes, and the distinct whine of impatient Bella told us the start of StoneCat 2013 was near!  Right on time, the runners were off, disappearing into the dark Willowdale forest.  That’s when Bella and I sprang into action!

For the next couple of hours, Bella and I leapfrogged between the aide stations.  The race staff sure got to know us and Bella loved the extra attention.  They provided hot soups, a variety of water, Gatorade, and coke, and of all things, sizzling bacon!  Bella and I cheered runners on all morning like it was our job.
Looking strong Scott!
After we saw Scott at the second aide station, I took Bella to her favorite doggie daycare.  She’d get some great play time with a bunch of her puppy friends and I’d gain some freedom to enable me to pace Scott later on.  Before I knew it, my leapfrogging and general course support was complete and my work as pacer began in earnest.  By the time Scott completed lap 3 and was ready to pick me up, the temperature had risen to well over 60 degrees.  November in New England – go figure.  Fortunately, I had packed running attire for every season.  Armed with Gatorade and Gels, I lead Scott back into the woods.  

Having run StoneCat 50 last year, I was keenly aware of the degree to which the latter miles can mess with the runners.  Hoping I wasn’t sounding like a bossy wife, I doled out advice and commands as I thought he needed.  Scott knows what to do and what not to do, but there is a certain delirium that sets in somewhere after mile 37.5….

Our lap came together nicely, neither of us fell (during that lap), and we made a great team.  I’m so glad I had my own StoneCat experience to draw from.  I think it made all the difference in the world, because…

Scott PR’d by 35 minutes!!!!!

2013:  50 miles @ 9:21 (34th place)
2010:  50 miles @ 9:54 (51st place)

A number of times on the course and afterwards, Scott thanked me.  But honestly, I was so happy to help in any way I could.  For me, what a bonus to get to support, cheer, and pace – all in the same race.

Scott had a great training cycle, was thorough in his fueling strategy, and planned for everything possible (including packing plenty of salt tablets, which were critical on this warm day).  I’m so proud of his drive, his discipline, and his strength.  And once again, as a pacer to a runner achieving a new PR, I feel like I got another small moment amongst something big for my best friend in the world.  So Scott, you did all the work…I was just there to remind you J

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Friends are gifts

Last week, my nieces’ friend/classmate/fellow athlete was killed in a car accident.  She was driving with two other friends in the car, apparently lost control, and hit a tree.  She died at the scene.  Fortunately, her two friends, though injured, are expected to survive.  Unfortunately, it is believed that none were wearing seatbelts.  A beautiful young 16 year old….gone in an instant.

This terrible tragedy brought some sad memories flooding back for me.  Back when I was about 22 years old, I lost my friend Ellen in a car accident.  Driving home alone, she hit a tree located in the highway median strip.  This bright, bubbly, beautiful, funny girl was gone.  I looked up to Ellen.  She was a few years older than I and was just so great to be around.  We worked together, but we laughed together more.  On that Friday, I remember waving goodnight to her and offering the casual, “See you Monday!” It was a week before Christmas and it was far from festive, with Monday never arriving for Ellen.

I have friends who have come and gone through normal situations that are a part of life.  I have friends who I’ve reignited the flame with; I have friends I had to let go of because the relationship had grown toxic.  I have work friends, running friends, puppy friends, and of course, Facebook and Blogger friends.  I smile at the unexpected text from a friend that simply says, “Hi” or “I miss you”.  Through my old and my new friends, I feel truly blessed.  Friends like Ellen were perhaps only meant to come along in a short, but meaningful way.  Others like my nieces’ friend will stay frozen in time as a youthful 16 year old.  Both were gone too soon, but I believe both packed such a punch, that even though their lives were short in length, what they brought us was something big enough to remember for a very long time.

The other night, we had a surprise visit from a friend and her children.  Actually, we technically never saw them.  They knocked on the door and fled.  But before fleeing, they left this –

They made our night.  And I think we made theirs….by not catching them!

When we give ourselves wholeheartedly to friends and receive the same back, it’s such an amazing and satisfying feeling.  Gifts are meant for giving, but with friendship, it is meant to be given and received – at the same time.

Friends are truly gifts. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Paying it forward

A couple years ago, I had my sights on the Cape Cod Marathon.  I trained and felt ready, but by mile 19, the wind had beaten me up..  That’s when Meaghan jumped in!  She ran alongside or in front of me (whatever was needed) to help me get passed that “ick” feeling of the final stretch of the marathon.  It was the best feeling ever to have someone there to help me through those moments that we all have that come in the form of “OMG, why do I do this?!” and “I just want to stop”.  Having her there turned those thoughts into, “I just have to hang on until I see Meaghan”.

On Sunday, I got a chance to pay it forward.  The race:  Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon.  The runner:  Carrie. 

Scott and I set up shop at somewhere between miles 9 & 10.  It was spitting out and a bit windy.  We were dressed for the weather, armed with our cowbells, and ready to cheer.  As runners started approaching, we started watching for our friends.  We saw Karen first, who was running Rockfest Half in preparation for Baystate Marathon in a few weeks.  She looked strong and happy.  Next, a runner approached us and yelled, “Hey, are you Lisa waiting for Carrie?”  I didn’t know this girl, so probably had a big question mark on my forehead.  She continued running passed us and yelled back, “I’m Jen from DailyMile!”.  Scott is aware of all the social media of course, but doesn’t partake.  He was stunned and cracking up at the same time.

Next arrived Carrie – a bit faster than we had anticipated.  She looked good too; very focused.  Knowing I was meeting her at mile 20, I made a mental note of the time I saw her blow by us.  A short time later came Sue and Kellie.  This was Kellie’s first marathon and they looked great!  They were keeping a nice, conservative pace and seemingly had not succumbed to the “going out too fast” bug most newbies (and not-so-newbies) are bitten by.

From there, I started peeling off layers to prepare for my run.  Scott and I ran to mile 20 (double loop, so it wasn’t that far) and waiting for Carrie.  Picking her up just before mile 20, we fell into step with her.  Scott cut through a side street to get back to the car and a group of runners “called him out” that he “cut the course”.  He assured them he wasn’t actually running in the race and continued on.

For me, the 6.2 miles was so much fun!  We talked - and then didn’t.  I ran slightly ahead of Carrie and tried to keep an eye on both the pace as well as her body language.  She seemed OK, so I continued to push the pace.  I didn’t push the pace in a dangerous/bonk kind of way, but just tried to keep her from slowing down.  I know full well how miles 20 – 26.2 feel, so I rode the clutch a bit – pushing, then easing up a touch, pushing some more.

As we approached the finish, I peeled off to the side and she finished her race.  She obliterated her old 3:56 PR with a brand spanking new 3:42 PR!  Did I contribute?  Probably.  Does she owe me anything?  Hell no.  I got such a charge out of pacing her.  The fact that she got herself trained and prepared, both physically and mentally, to run a marathon was ALL HER.  I was thrilled to be a small part of something big.  And now that I’ve been the pacee and the pacer, I see that both roles are equally rewarding.

Looks like Carrie sees it too, since she will plan on pacing Karen in her final miles of her marathon in a few weeks.  Paying it forward….

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tapering sympathy pains

My goal tomorrow is to achieve a “supporting PR” at Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon!  Sue, Kellie, and Carrie are running the full; Karen is running the half as preparation for Baystate later this month.  Meaghan’s off to tackle Wineglass Marathon.  All are eagerly awaiting the start of their races….

And so am I!!!

Seriously, you’d think I was running tomorrow.  I’ve got course maps, cow bells, extra waters for our friends, and my own running stuff that will enable me to help run Carrie through that final 10K part of the race.  

And with that, I’m pretty sure I’m having taper sympathy pains….
  • This morning, I felt achy knees
  • After achy knees came an achy right hip
  • I craved pasta today and shoveled it in like it was my job
  • And I’m just overall cranky today.

Yep, sure fire signs of a tapering marathoner. 

I’m guessing I will over-carbo-load later as many do the night before, have a terrible bout with insomnia (what’s new), and awaken tomorrow with butterflies.  So, my running friends, I am experiencing it right alongside you!  I’m excited for you all to have great races and can’t wait to celebrate your awesome accomplishments!

Have fun!!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

“You can’t always get what you want……"

…. But if you try sometimes, well you might find you get what you need”

This past Wednesday, Scott and I anxiously awaited word from BAA to tell us if our qualifying times would be fast enough for 2014’s race.  After reading lots of conversation online about the tighter than tight times and the larger than life number of registrants, we braced ourselves and hoped for the best.  What’s ironic is that Scott, who is clearly a much faster runner than I, had less of a chance of getting in because his time was under a minute of his qualifying standard.  While I, the slower one in the family, managed a 1:20 window of wiggle room.

And at the end of the day, neither was good enough.

I called Scott to tell him the news.  A few minutes later, he called me back and just about yelled into the phone, “18 seconds Lisa….you needed 18 seconds!”  Yes, I know.  I had done the math in those few minutes since we first hung up. 

Sure, I’m disappointed.  But I get it.  They have to draw the line somewhere.   And through Facebook and Runner’s World forums, I read of many runners who had a 3 second window that determined they would sit out 2014’s race.  3 seconds is a whole lot more jagged of a pill to swallow than 18 seconds.  It’s all relative.

Like the Rolling Stones verse at the beginning, I didn’t get what I wanted, but I have emerged from this experience in a good place:

  • I’m so glad they invited last year’s runners who couldn't finish due to the horrific bombings to return to run AND FINISH.  If I lost my spot to one of them, I’m more than OK with that.
  • I’m grateful and fortunate to have run 3 Boston’s thus far and body/mind willing, will be back for more!
  • There are so many great races out there; I’ll try a new Spring race on for size
  • My ultra appetite has been suppressed for long enough; this change in plans might be just what I need to conquer some BIG plans.

OK, OK, so maybe I sound a little too glass-half-full here, but I do mean it.  I’ll celebrate this sport I love by volunteering again or by supporting from the sidelines, but either way I’ll celebrate.  And for Boston 2014, I’ll celebrate the hope that this race will now symbolize for all who were injured or lost as a result of last year’s tragedy.  And maybe that’s all I need for now.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Two 'Halfs' DO Make a Whole

Over the last month, I have happily run a couple of no-pressure half marathons with friends.  Some old friends, some new friends….all fun!  Although I have one more race planned for this Fall, Ghost Train 15 Mile trail race, all of my “heavy lifting” races are in the books!  I’ve truly been running for fun and it’s been perfect.

Two weeks ago, I took the bait from Carrie and registered for Applecrest HalfMarathon.  I was a little hesitant at first, since Applecrest ran only 2 weeks after Quebec City Marathon.  But I found my legs to be quite cooperative and just as importantly, my head was excited to join in.  By race day, we had a fun little posse headed up to Hampton Falls to run. 

The day was warm and the course was packed with rolling hills.  My 3 comrades were using Applecrest as a training run for various October marathons, so the pace stayed generally comfortable and at times appropriately cautious – didn’t want anyone injuring themselves!  The race was very well organized, the shirts and medals were cool, and the after party had something for everyone:  face painting, food, music.  Great New England atmosphere!

Merging friends - Meaghan, Me, Carrie, and Karen
Soon after Applecrest came the bait from Meaghan, “Any interest in running the Wicked Half Marathon in 2 weeks?”.  After an appropriate amount of whining about the early start (7:00 am, which meant a 4:30 am wake up!), I succumbed to the peer pressure and registered for this coastal run through Salem and Marblehead, MA. 

Not as hilly as Applecrest, Wicked Half took us through Salem and out to beautiful Marblehead neck.  Although the clouds kept the sun away (thanks!), the views were still gorgeous.  The homes in that area are something else altogether –

Just as Applecrest delivered, Wicked Half was also very well organized, had good traffic control (those streets can be very busy on a Saturday!), and again, offered cool race bling.  After we finished together, we made a bee-line to the Inn on the Square to dive into some of this post-race goodness –

Yeah, we look miserable, huh?

And the collective bling for all our work –

Although 2 half marathons most definitely do not make a whole marathon, 2 halves of my runner self certainly make a whole Lisa!  My more serious/driven side who focused on managing the race at Maine Coast Marathon and who broke through a PR time that seemed ready to settle in for a long winter’s nap welcomed my impromptu/fun side who focused on having fun and enjoying the company of old and new friends alike on some of our more beautiful New England half marathon courses.

Even though it’s only September, I am finding myself already thinking ahead to 2014.  Not to rush 2013, but I have a few ideas marinating and am excited to see how it all plays out!

Anyone else already thinking about 2014?  Anything you want to share?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Running knows best

Why do I do this to myself?  Why do I toss aside the one thing that I need most when things get stressful?


This week was crazy.  It was chaotic and everyday felt too long and too hard.  And I believe the moment I allowed my running to go by the wayside, that’s when things felt suddenly too big.  On Friday, I hauled my very tired self into work and, upon entering the building, fumbled with my umbrella.  SPLAT – a big fat raindrop hit me in the forehead.

Queue lump in throat.  Seriously?  I’m suddenly THAT fragile?

Fortunately, I packed my bag with a steadfast plan to run at lunch.  I had the time blocked off and I refused to over think it.  So what if I hadn’t run all week?  It would be easy to continue sliding into yet another run-less day, and so on….  Of course I wondered if my legs would remember what to do after four days and miraculously, my legs remembered what to do after four days.  I was pleasantly surprised when I glanced at my Garmin early on and saw –

I didn’t feel like I was working that hard, but those were some good numbers staring up at me.  Cool, the legs are cooperating.  But I knew I had a long run with Scott the next morning, so I pulled back –

Riggghhttt.  Fail on the pull back.  OK, this time I was going to pull back for real –

So, there’s that.  Fortunately, it’s not like I was throwing down 7’s (in my dreams) and I honestly felt so energized that the run felt effortless.  I guess that’s my reward for inviting running back into the fold.  The moral of the story is this; don’t stop running. Ever.

The End.

Friday, September 6, 2013

There’s a sticker for everyone!

After shamelessly adding a new running related sticker to my car sticker collection (the 42,2K from Quebec City), I found myself driving in back of a car today with this gem stuck on the back:


Saturday, August 31, 2013


You’ve registered for the race.  You’ve created your training calendar.  You’ve followed your training calendar as close as possible.  You’re now injured with not enough time on the calendar to make up the mileage.  Enter “disappointment”.

Mom and I have had the Portland Marathon on our calendar ever since Mom committed to walking her first marathon.  So exciting!!  If you remember, I registered and then later found out Mom registered me as well.  The Portland Marathon race peeps were super helpful and understanding, and removed/credited back the duplicate registration.  Since then, Mom’s been walking up a storm in preparation!  She also bought a Garmin and some cute workout clothes (isn’t that why we do this?).  Then she got sick and lost some time.  Worse, when she got better, she may have done too much too soon and is suddenly unable to walk very far without pain.

She thought it out and we talked it out and decided that trying to move forward with only 4+ weeks remaining was probably not a good idea.  Even knowing this is the right decision, it’s still hard.  A number of years ago, I registered for Hartford Marathon and never made it to the start line.  I had done the physical training, but at the time, had so much going on that I felt mentally injured.  Even though I knew it was the right decision at the time, it was still a lousy feeling to be home on race day and not in Hartford. 

Missing a race because of injury (or anything really) is a mental blow.  But we’re already thinking about a Plan B!  I’m a big crybaby when I finish a race; I know it’s not a given that I’ll finish or that I’ll always be in good enough shape to run.  So, I’m always grateful and humbled when I'm able to cross another finish line.  I can’t imagine what a blubbering mess I’ll be when I get to cross the finish line with Mom at her first marathon (sniff)!!

What I ultimately said to Mom was this, “Hey, at least you injured yourself during an athletic activity and NOT by reaching the wrong way to retrieve the remote control while lying on the couch!”.  I think that helped J

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quebec City Marathon - a race report

Quebec City sure knows how to put on a great race weekend!  We thoroughly enjoyed our first time visit to Quebec City and found the people super friendly – both on and off of the race course!

We arrived Friday by car, got situated at our hotel, and took off by foot to explore the city.  Grabbed our bib#’s and found a great place to have lunch around the corner where we immediately began carbo loading –

Friday evening, we spectated at the Fun Run held just about at the base of our hotel.  Lots of families with younger children donned their race event caps that were equipped with clip-on head lamps and took off at 8:00 pm.  Always cool to watch little kids running a race, faces flushed, and huge smiles as they gathered their medals.

Fun Run via headlamps!

View from our hotel room!

Saturday morning found us taking a little run around the city.  We took this opportunity to find the ferry and the Finish Line and make our plan where to meet up after we each finished the race. 

But as we know, the lure of walking all over a new/old city is not best practice when it’s the day before a marathon.  So, we had a picnic and did some chilling in the park, watching people and listening to some cool bluesy music. 

The 2nd event of the weekend took place on Saturday afternoon – the 5K run.  It was later in the day, so we were able to cheer the runners on as we walked to the hotel that hosted the pasta dinner.  Saturday was also the day to get my head on straight about my goal and my Garmin-less race day I was facing.  There were a few differences running a marathon in Canada that required some “reframing of my picture” –
  • Dead Garmin.  Turns out, it was the charger, not the watch itself.  But on race day, I had to rely on my Timex.
  • All splits were in Kilometers.  Not necessarily surprising to me, but something I needed to wrap my brain around.
  • The splits counted down; not up.  So when we started the race, we saw 42K, then 41K, 40K, etc.  Now THAT was tough.
Race day was a beautiful, clear, and sunny day.  The ferry and bus rides to the start were well organized and seamless.  Funny side story:  As we walked to the ferry at 6:00 am, we literally almost bumped into someone we know from home who was also running the marathon!  Crazy small world!  

Of course any race held in August reserves the right to be hot.  For me, it felt very hot from the get-go.  Salty sweat in eyes and immediately soaked, I couldn’t run fast enough to get to the shade.  There wasn’t much of it, but when I reached shade, I celebrated.  There was a bit of a breeze, so that was obviously helpful too.  From the start, I was already in a different and better space than I was at Mad Marathon.  Win!

My primary goal for Quebec City was to simply have a better day than the one I had at Mad Marathon.  For a time goal, I figured a 9:00 pace would be a good pace to shoot for.  Scott calculated what a 9:00 pace looks like by kilometer, so I knew I should stay in the 5:40-5:45/kilometer range.  I still started out too fast like many of us often do, hanging onto the 3:45 pacer group for awhile, and paid for it in my later kilometers.  Overall, I averaged 5:47/kilometer, so mission still accomplished!  

5:47 looks much faster than 9:16 :)
The heat definitely got to me during the race.  In the latter miles, I experienced some major dizziness.  Thankfully, the awesome volunteers handed out cold, soaked sponges at a few places along the course.  Add gels, salt tabs, an orange slice  and some mist from a few hoses meant just for us, and I stayed upright.  Once I collected my medal and goodies, I met Scott at the funky fountain where I attempted to collect my head.  That took longer than ever before, but eventually, my head and I reunited. 

Check out the runners icing their legs in the fountain
I highly recommend Quebec City Marathon!  Everyone was so friendly (even to us non-French-speaking tourists!) and the race was very well organized.  The drive was easy enough (just long) and once we arrived, we quickly realized Quebec City was clearly a walking city.  The course was generally flat, but did have a few stinging hills and a bad a$$ bridge that brings runners back over the St. Lawrence River at approximately mile 14.  I also highly recommend you bring a camera like Scott did :)  

The finish line is literally lined with a red carpet and feels very Boston-esque with its crowds cheering everyone on.

Talk about feeling welcomed!
We will definitely go back, but until we do, I needed something unique to reflect the differences of this particular marathon –

Quel beau voyage! 
(what a great trip!)

Monday, August 26, 2013

How far was this marathon? 42.2K or 26.2M.....

Just a quick teaser to let you know I ran Quebec City Marathon on Sunday!  Had a great long weekend with Scott exploring this beautiful city and covering 42.2K!  And more to come on the title of this post :)

For now, some unabashed posing....

...with my very first flashing medal!!!
Race report to follow!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bringing back the fun in the run – Step 3 (a running “blind date”)

(Recap of Step 1 and Step 2)

Find a running buddy.  Better yet, find a new running buddy you’ve never met before AND have your first run together amount to a 20 miler.  True story….

Two weeks ago, Scott was on his long run and bumped into Carrie.  Ironically, they were both at the same point in their mileage and struck up a conversation.  Scott returned home and relayed how he thought she and I might run at approximately the same pace and better yet, because we live in close proximity to each other, perhaps we might help each other on long runs or trail runs.  On a lark, I took the little information I had and found Carrie on DailyMile.  I hesitated on what to do next because after all I did not want to be viewed as some freaky stalker runner.

I quickly threw caution to the wind and emailed her via DailyMile and introduced myself.  What could I lose?  You only live once, right?  We emailed a number of times and somewhere during the email conversation, we planned to run our next long run together.  We didn’t start small; oh no, that would be way too safe!  We went for 20 miles!  As the week progressed, Scott commented, “Maybe you should’ve gone for a shorter distance for your first time out together?”  To which I replied, “Naahhhhh!” 

We had our “blind date” today and it was great!!  It was greater than great J

We immediately got talking and getting to know each other and before we knew it, we were done.  20  The pace was much faster than I would have maintained had I been alone and the time just flew.  With a steady few weeks behind me consisting of “blah” runs and diminishing motivation, this was the kind of run I needed.  Refreshing.

I hope we’ll have future running dates, but for now, it’s safe to say my first “blind date” run was a huge success!  Thanks again Carrie!