Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Sunday, February 16, 2014

10 Steps to One Badass Adventure

Step 1 – Signing up
Back in August, I signed up for this little 20 mile race called Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler.  Yep, nothing fancy about the title and nothing to underestimate either, when you’re talking about a 20 mile race…in February…on an island…in New England.  Right, perfect recipe for one badass adventure! 

I put the teaser out on Facebook “who’s in with me?” and got 2 friends to join in on the fun. Of course it was easy to sign up in August when it was still 80-90 degrees out!  Having grown up in New England, I knew the shock of February would come soon enough.  Unfortunately, Sue couldn’t make it so it was just Carrie and me.

Step 2 – Trying Funky Foods Part I
After arriving at our hotel on Friday afternoon, we ventured out to explore Falmouth.  I spent a weekend there a few years ago when I ran Cape Cod Marathon, so I knew a couple of places that we might want to eat at.  We browsed shops, talked with some of the shop owners (got a lot of “There’s a race on the Vineyard?  Who knew?”), and found the perfect place for dinner.  I’m usually a plain pizza girl or plain with some simple chicken, but Carrie zeroed in on a funky pizza.  I was game.  After all, this was a badass adventure…. I couldn’t order plain.  We shared a yummy salad and then devoured this amazingly badass pizza.  I may need to go back just for that pizza.  Perhaps they’d do takeout from Falmouth to Georgetown??

Step 3 – Blizzard Warning in Effect
Saturday morning would come early, so there were no drinking shenanigans on tap for Friday.  We had an early wake-up call so we could manage breakfast and ferry transport over to the island.  First stop:  The Coffee Obsession (you know I don’t drink coffee, but someone needed caffeinating stat!).  I should also mention at this point, we’re now acutely aware of a blizzard watch for the exact part of the state we’re in.  Super.  Look stormy from this early morning view?  I think not, but time would tell…

Hype or real deal??
Step 4 – The Ferry
Ferry crossing = check!  However, there was a little bit of drama initially around this step.  I don’t really know the Cape very well.  With that said, I initially made hotel reservations in Hyannis.  I saw the ferry was only minutes away so figured it was a win.  What I hadn’t figured on was that they aren’t running a Hyannis-to-Martha’s Vineyard ferry.  That could’ve been a big faux pax!  Fortunately, I discovered this early enough to make other hotel arrangements closer to our ferry.  Crisis averted.

Step 5 – The Race
By the start of the race at 11:00, we already felt like we had put in a full day!  That’s the tough part about races that start later in the day.  But since this was a badass adventure weekend, we snacked on peanut butter, bagels, and bananas and focused on the 20 miles ahead of us. 

The race was very well done.  We always felt like we knew where to go, what to do, and where to get our stuff.  There were shuttles available, locker rooms with showers, food, and even live entertainment.  The crowd support was found in pockets, but honestly, I didn’t expect much of that on this little island in the winter.  We did benefit from a woman who was running behind us, since her husband and two kids drove every mile or two ahead and stopped to cheer.  So, they cheered us on too!  We gave them high fives and thanked them along the way for all their support – even if it was truly for their loved one!  Later in the “bag pickup” line, I saw this family and thanked the woman for her family’s support.  She responded with, “Yeah, you and a lot of other runners!”. 

We finished with a 3:00:46 on the clock – perfect!  This is right where we wanted to be.  Using this as a training run for a Spring ultra, we didn’t want to bring on any injuries and not be able to continue training.  So I think it was a pretty decent finish time.  And the medal and shirt were very cool!

Step 6 – Facing Down a Blizzard
Not wanting to take the later ferry, we quickly changed into warm clothes and headed for the bus.  By now, the snow was steady and the winds were howling.  And we were tired.  So when the bus dropped us all off at the ferry shuttle lot .5 miles from our hotel, we channeled our inner “badass” and walked back to our hotel.  We knew we’d be warm very soon and would be celebrating with one of these in no time…

I hadn’t eaten much that day except for a half bagel with peanut butter and this most delicious post-race snack that I got on the ferry ride home…

The man who served me this pretzel asked if I wanted salt.  I answered “extra please”
and the runner next to me chimed in with “all the salt you’ve got”
We did have to venture out one more time in the storm to get to the restaurant for dinner, but it just added to our badass adventure.  Why drive when you can “hike” through a blizzard?   And yes, we wore our medals.  We were feeling very badass and wanted everyone to know it!

Step 7 – Trying Funky Foods Part II
I had the most deliciously badass tostado ever…

We had big talk about drinks (in the plural sense), but honestly, it had been such a long day, we headed back after only one to the hotel and zoned out to the meteorologists warning us of the 14-18” we were expected to see when we awoke the next morning.  We were considered in the “jackpot” area.  No worries though because we were done venturing out and were now hunkered down in the warmth of the hotel. 

Step 8 – From Badass to Benign
The last of the food-a-palooza came in the form of a very hearty breakfast before venturing outside to assess the snow situation…

Luckily, we awoke to just a few inches of snow with brilliant sunshine!  The winds had been bad, but no loss of power and no 2 feet of snow to shovel the car out of.  We did have to remove some mini branches and twigs found sticking out of the snow encased car.  But overall, our badass weekend ended on a fairly benign note weather-wise. 

Step 9 – No Weenies!!
This was the motto of the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler.  Always fun to be around other badass runners, listening to and participating in the familiar race chatter (“Are you training for Boston?” or “I ran StoneCat the year that…”), and just hanging with a badass group.

Step 10 – Appreciating the Journey
We had a great girls weekend, ran a solid 20 miles, scored a new medal and shirt, and achieved a new level of badass attitude!  And now we’re one step closer to Salomon Trail Running Festival 50K in May!  Let the badass adventure continue…


  1. Sounds like a fabulous adventure! I'm so glad you had a great time and didn't let a little snowstorm mess things up for you! :)

    1. Thanks Michelle! You know up there in north country that ya gotta roll w/ the weather in these parts :) Never know what'll get thrown at you!

  2. Another great race report for the books! Nice work, ladies. Hope I'm still around when you're looking back on these "Good 'Ole Days."

    1. Oh you better still be around young lady!!! :)

  3. Another great race report for the books! Nice work, ladies. Hope I'm still around when you're looking back on these "Good 'Ole Days."

  4. Sounds like a great weekend and great job on that 20 mile race!! Glad y'all had such a badass weekend - hopefully you made it home safely with no weather issues!

    1. Thanks Kim, it sure was fun! Pretty drama-free return home :)

  5. You are badass!!!! That sounds like a race I want to do!!!!

    1. Thanks Jennifer!! it's one to do for sure!

  6. What a wonderful weekend! This sounds like a fantastic adventure :)

    1. It was definitely an adventure Amy! But I see why the "no weenies" gotta get your head around it all!

  7. nice that is one badass adventure and I swear it's a requirement to wear your medal the entire day of the race!!