Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The day after

I received this text from a friend who knows me (and the process) so well:

It was in response to this text I sent with a narrative of:

                                     Oops, this just happened!

Registering for Ghost Train 100 miler in December is the easy and exciting part.  It’s easy to jump aboard as friends post their news of race registration on social media.  But a lot can and does happen during the ten months between now and race weekend. 

I’m excited to ride the Ghost Train again.  My first and only 100 miler was at Ghost Train in 2014.  I haven’t had the desire to train for this distance since then. Until now. 

Like most “first” races, I had no goals for Ghost Train 2014, but to finish (and finish healthy).  I knew I had 30 hours to complete, so if I finished in 29:59, I’d be thrilled.  I finished in 29:06, so not really that much time to waste!  Also being my first go at 100, I was ill prepared for things like sleep deprivation.  I’m still not sure if I can fully train for that, but at least now I know what it looks like, feels like, etc.

I hope to train for Ghost Train 2017 in a way that will find me stronger during the race.  This includes better management of the night running (I’m pretty sure I walked more than I ran during those night miles), keeping a cool head during the sleep deprived hours, and of course, tackling that dreaded mile 75 moment.

As excited as I am to name my A race for 2017, there’s always that “day after” moment that follows.  Sometimes it’s not the literal day after, but days or even weeks later.  It’s that moment that hits, “Holy crap, I just registered for what?”  And that’s often followed by, “OMG, I have to get serious about my training!”.  And then after the first bad run occurs, “What the $#@& was I thinking?!?”.  And so on.

Fortunately, I’m accustomed to this “day after” syndrome.  And apparently, so are my friends.  We get through it.  We support each other.  We enable each other.  Best of all, we remind each other that we are strong enough to get through the training and make it to the start lines.  Then we wrap ourselves in Christmas lights or sing songs to get each other to the finish lines.  

Meaghan during Ghost Train 2014

So here I go, onto the day after the day after....let the training begin!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

I did not know you had curly hair!

This was an exclamation made at a fun “Cookie Swap” I attended today.  Granted, I am still getting to know everyone, but the person who said it was my running partner from this morning! 

After a group of us finished the 12.5 mile run this morning, we were talking about the Cookie Swap where many of us would be meeting at later in the day.  I joked that I wasn’t sure we would all recognize each other without our running gear on.  Turns out I was right!

Not only did I hear “I did not know you had curly hair!”, but I also heard, “OMG, I had no idea that was you!”.   We all joked about how different we all look when we’re dressed in street clothes and don’t have our hair tightly pulled back or hidden under a winter hat.

Back to the Cookie Swap…So.Much.Fun!  In all my years of baking cookies, I had never attended one before today.  I met more new people, enjoyed some appetizers, shared in some cookie swapping (haven’t tasted them all yet), and had some good laughs.

I’m glad to have spent a few hours running and then sharing cookies with this group.  I’m also glad they have now met the “non-running Lisa” as well as the “running Lisa”.  After all, I haven’t even broken out my winter running face mask yet.  I’d hate to have to start wearing a name tag!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nothing good happens after 2am….

I would normally agree, and not being a morning person, I think any time before 6am is too early.  For anything.  Never mind for running.  But today, that changed.

Today, I finally joined the 5:30 am crew who meets at a local trail for a 6 mile run in the woods.  I’ve heard of these die hard runners; they roll out of bed and onto the trail and complete their run at about the time I would normally get out of bed.  Today, I was one of them!  And today wasn’t the easiest day for my first time.

Tap…tap…tap drummed the rain on the window sill.  Waking to that sound always presents a risk to a planned run.  The early hour along with the darkness provided a true test for this non-morning runner.  Luckily, I had laid everything out I needed for the run.  We took the short drive to the trail head and waited a couple minutes while the others emerged from the darkness.

Hitting the trail, two things immediately happened.  First, my headlamp decided it was still asleep and wouldn’t stay lit.  Second, some major puddles ensured no one would finish this run with dry shoes.  A third miraculous thing happened within the first mile; I WOKE UP!  I actually enjoy running in the dark and even more so with friends.  There are usually a number of dogs who come along for the run for the treats everyone brings.  Today, I got to meet Bacon, the golden retriever.  Baconnnn!!!!

By the end of 6 miles, I was soaked, refreshed, energized, and extremely proud of myself for getting out there.  Having both my running gear and my work clothes ready was a huge time saver and I even got to work before 8:00…win!  Mentally preparing myself the night before was also key to following through with the plan. 

So go figure, some good things DO happen after 2 am…a good run, good friends, and a good lookin’ sunrise.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

My tribe grows!

It was clearly meant to be that we would join Scores Running Club.  In the temporary house my company placed us in when we first rolled into town, we found ourselves living on the Clarence Demar marathon route – right about mile 13.1.  How appropriate.  Towards the end of a particularly hard run one day, I bumped into and hung onto Susanne and Brian (part of Score's).  That run ended on such a good note and punctuated my decision to join this club.

Since that day, I’ve joined a number of group runs; on roads, on trails, dressed like Robin Hood (for Halloween of course), and soon to dress in an ugly sweater as part of a fun run/food drive for the Keene Community Kitchen.  Runs can end with pancakes, with beers, or just a high five.  But they always end with encouragement, positivity, and camaraderie.  

Today’s run had six of us traipsing through the trails for a couple of hours, enjoying a day that found a few of us peeling off layers (not me of course).    We found lots of hills – both ups and downs – and some dizzying switchbacks:

Post run, we grabbed a seat at Brewbaker’s for some coffee, hot cocoa, muffins, quiche….all well-deserved!  Food and company thoroughly enjoyed.

I’ve run solo.  I’ve run with others.  This is the first time I’ve joined a club.  Not only has it been great to have others to run with, it’s been the perfect way to meet people and get involved in our new community.  Let’s face it, runners are just naturally awesome.  Meeting like-minded, fun, and really nice people in your new town is also awesome.  Adding those like-minded, fun, and really nice people to your already awesome tribe….priceless.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

My Fifth Lap

Running TARCkey Trot 6 hour trail race was all about finding my footing.  It wasn’t easy.  This 5K loop originated from the lovely Wright Locke Farm in Winchester, MA and wound us through Whipple Hill in Lexington, MA.  It was runnable, but included a number of decent hills and countless rocky/rooty sections.  The weather was perfect:  chilly 7:00 am start, and onward to a warmer, 60 degree finish.  Finally, throw in chickens, goats, and the supportive and chill vibe of the ultra/trail running community, and you’ve got yourself a good day!

My goal heading into the last-minute trail race was wishy-washy at best.  Somewhere during the 1.5 hour drive to the start, I decided on the following:

1.  End the day with the feeling in my legs that I’ve worked.  Hard.
2.  Complete a minimum of 4 laps.

Mission accomplished!  I completed 5 laps and ended the day with hard worked legs.  Goals met did not come without challenge and obstacles.  I haven’t practiced my longer distance fueling in some time, and it showed.  I knew early on that I wasn’t fueling enough, yet couldn’t seem to find the right recipe.  My jelly sandwiches just weren’t cutting it.  The aid station had its usual buffet of everything imaginable, but still, nothing looked good.  I didn’t feel sick; but because I wasn’t eating or drinking enough, I felt off most of the day.  That lead to some sloppy feet, when…..BAM, I fell.  And with that fall came a double calf muscle cramp…OUCHHHHHH!!!!!  I didn’t lay there for dramatic pause, but because I needed to let it pass so I could get up.  A fellow runner stopped to make sure I was OK, helped me dig my bottle out of the trail, and wished me well.  I went on to finish that lap and went back out for my fifth lap.

At the end of my race, I was happy that I met my goals, but definitely hungry – for both food and for the command/confidence of the trails I used to have.   Reflecting on this race, I feel like this past year has seen a lot of my “finding my footing” as well. 

This year started out with a number of big changes:  accepting a new job in NC, selling our home in MA (where I had lived for 39 years – gulp), moving to NC, starting new job, and then deciding the area wasn’t for us.  Next stop?  NH!  I started yet another new job, and we bought a home.  Typing all of that in one paragraph was easy.  Living it was not.  Much like my race yesterday.

During this transition time in our lives, we encountered different hills too high to run.  Missing our family and friends was a big hill.  The culture was another hill.  The new job just didn't fit.  I couldn’t find my footing.  All the hope and promise of this new place felt like my fall on the trail.  But each time I “fell”, I got back up to try again. At the end of the NC “race”, I came to a realization that my goal wasn’t NC; it was the experience of having tried.  And the reward? I will never wonder, “What if…”

I’ve learned important lessons throughout my different “races”. 
  • Falls will happen; get up and continue on!
  • If you get lost, find another route!
  • Accept help; whether in the form of encouragement or of digging out your bottle from the trail!
  • It isn't always about the time/distance/destination, it's about the experience!
  • And most importantly, be open to the matter what the end result!

Having completed my fifth lap at yesterday’s race was a bonus.  I headed home grateful for the experience and for the ability to run.  This year has been an experience I never thought I’d have.  Whether setting off to run a new trail or to live in a new state (or two!), it took a confidence and a bit of courage I didn’t know I had.  The fact that I tried (and keep trying!) represents my ultimate fifth lap, where I finally found my footing.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Living in a heads down world

I’ve always heard “keep your head down” as it translates to a “stay out of trouble” sort of message.  Keeping your head down shows focus, right?  Keeping your head down shows determination, correct?  What happens if you keep your head down too much?  I’ve been thinking about what we miss when our heads are down, deeply entrenched in our phones, in our focus, and in our routine.

When we think “heads down” in the most literal sense, I immediately think of many of us “head down” in our smart phones.  Monitoring social media and reading or responding to text messages or emails.  And we know what happens when we try to walk while head down in our phones….

Aside from the funny moments of someone walking into a pole or a fountain because they’re so transfixed by their phone, what about what we’re missing when one or all are dialed into our phones at dinner or other functions that typically depend on physical interaction?

As we go through our daily grind, our drive to/from work often becomes so routine that we may not notice what seems obvious.  Recently, I showed someone a picture my husband took of a beautiful bridge.  The person asked where that was; I replied that it was right down the street.  On her next drive into work, she realized she had been passing that bridge every day and had never noticed it.  I know for me, the drive in to work is a time for thinking and for resetting my brain (getting ready for the workday or decompressing on the ride home).  I can easily find that I don’t remember the ride because I’m on autopilot.  Wonder what I’ve been missing on my daily drive…

Let’s face it, when running or hiking, it’s fairly important to keep our heads down to watch our footing.  Even when we focus on our footing, we still stumble and fall.  As important as it is to keep good footing, it’s equally important to see and appreciate the beauty around us.

This is not something I’m preaching about.  Nosiree…I have just become increasingly aware of how much I don’t want to miss.  I don’t want to miss a beautiful stone bridge on a New England Autumn day, great conversation over dinner with my husband or friends, or the chance to hike a mountain in time to view a gorgeous sunset and a super moon – while sharing hot cocoa at the summit with new friends.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016


The sun setting a touch earlier each day is a sure sign of the ending of summer…

Empty boxes are a promising sign of moving into our new home…

An important unpacked sign of celebration…

An exciting sign of an upcoming race…

A grateful sign of the love of friends….

A welcome sign of our new “home sweet home”…

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ode to the 20 miler

No matter how many marathons or ultras  I run, the 20 miler always symbolizes “legit training”.  Since I’ve been trying to make myself a morning runner lately, I’ve racked up more weekly mileage than usual.  I’ve had a couple of 18 milers, but today was the big 20 miler.

This training cycle has really had more of a “get back in the saddle” focus.  Today’s 20 miler was the first of that distance (or greater) since my accidental ultra in January.  After that, all hell broke loose (in a good way of course) in the form of our move to NC.  And then our move to NH.  So this cycle has found me rebuilding not only fitness, but muscle – including mental muscle.

There are times when I feel like I’m painfully plodding along a 5 miler and I think back, “C’mon Lees, you ran Ghost Train 100 in 2014… can run 5 now”.  It’s great to reflect and even to use that reflection to further fuel today, but it can also be a bit of a downer when it reminds you that your fitness/stamina have taken a nose dive.  It sure is a journey.

Fret not!  Enter today’s 20 miler.  It wasn’t super fast and not my strongest, but hey, long runs aren’t supposed to be (not in my world anyway).  Today was about the basics:  getting up and out early, eating/drinking to prepare (I opted out of the free hotdogs at work on Friday – yay me), and most of all, keeping myself moving through 20 miles.  I nailed all three components and have the spent legs to show for it. 

Add all the recent Olympic moments and my first run this week in a group run setting and I can’t help but get jazzed about running again.  Getting back in the saddle has had its frustrating moments, but overall, I’m enjoying the journey and believe that that enjoyment shines through.  In fact, I found myself smiling during today's run.  Can't beat that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


There’s nothing more recharging than unplugging.

Tonight, this was our backdrop to an evening walk/hike.  There’s no real elevation, but the trail is rocky/root filled, so that’s why I feel like “hike” is appropriate.  What isn’t seen in the picture (too far away to capture), was a beaver swimming mightily across the pond, and a loon hanging out a short distance from the beaver.  We later heard the singing of the loon. 

We also came across this tree.  After the other night’s ferocious storm, we wondered if it was struck by the crazy lightning.  Check out the vertical “stripe”

The trails are Bella-approved! 

Trail time is the best time.  Time to unplug, to talk, to swim, to think, to reflect, and to recharge.

OK, ready to tackle tomorrow!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Checking the Box

I’m extremely task oriented.  Right down to creating nice, neat little checkboxes on my myriad of lists.  Yup, that’s me.  It serves me well for the most part, keeping the last couple of inter-state moves organized for one.  Checking the box feels like winning to me and provides a sense of satisfaction that I’ve accomplished something.  

Trying to balance the “to do’s” with other more “warm and fuzzies” is a constant challenge I often struggle with.  It’s not that I don’t want the warm and fuzzies, but the checkbox is enticing.  It begs to be drawn neatly, only to be checked off with a bold checkmark.  Some warm and fuzzies from this past weekend...

Mom and Kenny came to visit and stay the night on Friday, so we jumped into my car and headed to dinner. 

After a nice dinner, we were ready to show them our new house, until this happened –

Apparently, I should have had “Change original car battery” on my to do list!  Lucky for us, a nice family pulled into the restaurant lot and, before heading in for their dinner, tried to help us via jumper cables.  Also lucky for us, we have AAA, so when their jump didn’t work, AAA took care of the rest.  With so much bad behavior in the world, it’s reassuring when strangers try to help strangers and AAA goes out of their way to get you a new battery and get you on your way.  Even without the neat checkbox.

Later on in the weekend, Scott and I were returning from working on the new house when we were distracted by the sky.  We were tired from the day, but oh that sky!  We chased down the sunset, knowing it would be a brilliant one.  It was worth the chase and the time spent –

Warm and fuzzy isn’t supposed to fit neatly in a check box, so I will continue to balance my need to “check the box” with continuing to capture and live in these moments.  Moments much more beautiful than a check box!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Doing, dirt, and demolition

I love doing things around my house.  Whether it’s weeding, painting, planting….I love doing it all.  Very rarely do we hire people to do for us.  This weekend found me reveling in my new yard, including weeding and cutting grass.  This weekend also found me agonizing over paint colors for both interior and exterior.  This included a couple of last minute color changes for a bedroom and a knock on a stranger’s door.

Driving to work each day currently, I pass a house that has the color scheme I want.  Scott took a picture of it and we proceeded to try to match the colors.  After a number of color samples purchased, we weren’t close at all to matching the magical colors.  I may love to paint, but I find the paint color choice process extremely frustrating.  After all, it’s a big commitment and not cheap.  Scott decided to knock on the door of this house that I want to emulate and asked if they wouldn’t mind sharing the name of the colors.  The owner took Scott to his garage and let Scott take pictures of each label of the paint cans.  Scott thanked him profusely and added, “I’m pretty sure you just saved our marriage!”. 

Thank you for sharing your colors!

The weeding and grass cutting is a lot more natural to me than picking out paint colors.  I can spend hours weeding – I just find it relaxing and immediately gratifying.  Add a freshly cut lawn and that’s home.  While I was weeding and getting my fingernails grimy with dirt, I came across this little guy.  And I mean little.  He was maybe 1 inch long.  Cute, in an alien sort of way.
Cute Newt!
In preparation for the paint crew (we ended up hiring a company since the job is huge), we demolished the kitchen counter top.  

Cross training!
Since the cabinets will be painted, it made sense to remove the counter top now.  Once we add granite counter top and new hardware to cabinets, I expect this kitchen to go –

No weekend would be complete without a good run.  Scott and I ran 15 miles yesterday in the rain.  It’s hard to focus on running, since we have so many other things tugging at us right now.  But there’s this matter of a couple of races coming up that require some sufficient training.  And the running helps keep the head clear while we tackle the house tasks.  So, “doing” continues to include the all important running! 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Climb

I recently stumbled upon this quote on someone’s blog (can’t remember whose, so forgive me!) and it hit me like a ton of bricks. 

“The summit is such a small piece of the mountain. Most of the beauty and wonders are experienced during the climb.”

Last I wrote, I was working hard to acclimate to my new surroundings and my new job in NC.  I was excited about new adventures, new friends I would meet, and the new home I would eventually retire to.  Well, to make a long (or maybe three months) story short, it just didn’t fit.  We did have some fun adventures and we did meet some new friends, but something just wasn’t there for us.  Not sure I can or ever will be ever to fully articulate it, but honestly, I don’t need to.  It wasn’t a bad experience; it was just that – an experience.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Because that move from North to South is what ultimately brought us back North to a place that feels like it was patiently waiting for us to arrive.

…and we have indeed arrived!

In late May, we packed our stuff once again and headed home.  We had some scary mechanical problems that could have been disastrous (lost brakes & steering!) had Scott not taken command of the truck when he did.  Phew!

Since our move back North, I have jumped into a new role at my new company, have found a running club (about to join!), have found some lovely running routes, have registered for a trail race and for Clarence Demar Marathon.  And as of last week, we closed on our new home! 

What’s so interesting to reflect on is how I didn’t feel like I had to work as hard this time (refer back to beginning of post “I was working hard to acclimate”).  The pieces have and continue to fall more naturally into place.  It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns (wink to Bonnie on this reference if you’re reading this!).  It’s uncomfortable starting a new job and meeting new colleagues and figuring out your dance with your new manager.  It’s hard to learn a new town again and have to use your navigator/phone to find your way home. 

What isn’t hard is letting yourself be in the moment and not having to try so hard and feeling like you belong to a community again.  What isn’t hard is being closer to our families and friends.  What isn’t hard is feeling relaxed enough to sit and write – for the first time in three months.  

So while there are many beautiful summits to reach, I’m truly embracing and enjoying the climb from my new perspective and from our new home.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Own Private Holiday – Marathon Monday!

I’m pretty sure my new manager and coworkers would not understand if I profess Monday the holiday I know it is.   After all, I’m now living in NC, where Patriots Day is not celebrated and the Boston Marathon is not as highly revered.  No fear, I’ll be representing Boston even though I’m physically far away! 

  • I’ll wear my jacket from my first running of Boston in 2010
  • Better yet, when I enter work that morning, I’ll place my jacket on the back of my chair for all the world (or at least my immediate coworkers) to see
  • I’ll most definitely run on Monday! 
  • I’ll likely find myself super motivated and sign up for Umstead 100 some little race
  • I’ll peek in on live streaming whenever possible (thank you technology!)
  • Most fun of all, if I can’t be running….I’ll stalk runners who are running Boston this year via the Athlete Tracker J
And although there won’t be any Boston Marathon fanfare where I’m living now, I think my company does have a little Boston Marathon in them……at least based on the blue and yellow flowers planted at the front entrance AND this car parked in the lot today (get it….BQ###!!!!) –

Happy resting and hydrating friends who are running!  I’m excited for you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Crawling my way back!

April 4th signified one month since uprooting ourselves from MA and moving to NC.  That month included the road trip to NC, my first days/weeks at my new job, a business trip to IL on my first day, finding my/our way around our new city, and helping Bella acclimate by finding some areas that she loves to romp around.  That month did not include the endless list making, the packing, and the anxiety over what we were tackling.  We’ve been in go-go-go mode since late January, when we listed our house in MA until just recently when we unpacked our final box.  With all of that go-go-go, running took a back seat.  Let me rephrase that:  running took a seat in the trunk!  I am now in that uncomfortable place of crawling my way back to a fitness level that makes me feel strong, both physically and mentally.  It’s not easy and it’s not fast, but it will happen. 

Last night, I re-watched the great video Scott put together of my Ghost Train run.  Not only did re-watching it give me a good shot in the arm from a running perspective, but it also gave me an incredible lift as I reflected on my awesome friends who were such a big part of my success there, and who I miss terribly.  Watching it also awakened some hunger pangs.  I thought back to how strong I felt, how confident I felt, and how positive I felt.  I’m hungry for that.

Which then lead me to registering for some races!   In a couple weeks, we’re running Rocky Fest10K, which is a trail race intertwined with a music festival.  This past weekend, a new work friend and her boyfriend invited us to join them on a ‘trial run’ of the course.  It’s a decent course, with quite an ascent up a bald face section, culminating with a breathtaking view from the top.  I may bring my phone, since the view is too nice not to capture.  

As we’re becoming more acclimated to our new area, we’re discovering more trails, more races, and more like minded people who don’t look at us running and gasp, “What are you running from?!”.  We’ve also become friendly with the local Fleet Feet peeps (and have contributed generously to their profit margin) and joined them on one of their Saturday morning training runs.  Today, I registered us for CharityChase Half Marathon which takes place in our new city.  This will likely be my last race before I turn 50.  I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself to win the thing, but I’d love to leave my 40’s on a high note. 

TableRock Ultra is another race I’ve had my eyes on.  They’ve done away with the 50 miler this year, but 50K with ~6000 foot climb is still a pretty daunting challenge! 

So, there’s plenty to do, see, explore, and run.  Oh, and crawl.  Lots of crawling going on as I build back up to where I know I feel and operate best.  Sore, tired, hungry all the time…..combined with happy, clear headed, positive, peaceful.  Yup, I'll take it. 

I hereby embrace my inner crawl.

Friday, March 18, 2016

City Tour…by Ambulance

I’m typically pretty low maintenance.  No prescriptions, no health issues, no real complaints.  This week however was not a low maintenance week. 

To back up, I spent last week (my first week at my new job) flying to Chicago.  I conquered O’Hare like a champ, didn’t get lost (though the car rental place almost sent me off with an expired registered car!), and had a good week getting to know my teammate and partners I’ll be working with.  I didn’t really have time to explore Chicago, but I’m sure there’ll be other opportunities.

So this past Monday was to be my first day in my NC office.  Ah, but my “low maintenance” body had other plans.  Enter:  Kidney Stone.  Evil.  Pure evil.  As if the excruciating pain wasn’t enough, I didn’t know what was causing it and that was scary.  And, I was in a new city.  And, we didn’t have a doctor or any idea of best hospital to go to, etc.  When you’re in that much pain, vomiting, and shaking in a sweaty mess, you call 911.  Or, you yell to your husband to call 911.

The inside of an ambulance is not where I expected to be touring as a new resident of NC.  But there I was at 3:00 am Monday.  I remember the EMT asking questions of Scott and of me that were going down the path of heart history….what??    Fortunately, there was no issue there (though they had a hard time getting temperature and blood pressure) and it was later confirmed through CT scan that the little bastard kidney stone was there.  I spent Monday in bed and NOT at work – yes, that felt like a sure fire way to move up the corporate ladder (not!).  They gave me pain medication and anti-nausea medication, since my kidney stone was too small to actually do something more invasive about it.  I went to work Tuesday, feeling exhausted but without pain.  Once the pain stopped, it was over.  As if it had never happened.  Oof.

Tuesday, though, brought on a head cold.  Now, I don’t get sick too often, but here I was throwing down kidney stones and a nasty head cold back to back.  What happened to “low maintenance Lisa”?  Like a good new employee, I worked the rest of the week, stoically sitting at my desk, fully drenched in leaking eyes and nose.  Yeah, I was pretty hot.  A hot MESS that is.

Tomorrow, Scott and I are registered for the Get Your Rear In Gear 5K for Colon Cancer Coalition.  I’ll probably walk it with the girls I’ve met at our apartment complex.  I’m grateful the kidney stone episode passed quickly and I know this cold will too.  I’m also grateful the kidney stone episode didn’t hit while I was travelling to IL and Scott was road tripping it to our new home in NC.  Even if I crawl at this 5K, I’ll be grateful to be out of bed and moving again.  Touring our new city by foot is much better than touring by ambulance!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Different Kind of Calm After A Different Kind of Storm

About one and a half months ago, I accepted a job offer that would relocate us to NC.  Our news came as a surprise to many, but Scott and I had been talking about changing things up for some time.  We couldn’t have fathomed the intensity and velocity of this change.  During this brief period, we –
  • Listed our house we've lived in for 26 years (for me, 39 years!)
  • Celebrated Scott's 50th birthday by island hopping Marco > Sanibel > Captiva
  • Sold our house
  • Packed and purged (did I mention 39 years?!?!?)
  • Made impressively monstrous to-do lists
  • Connected with as many family and friends as possible
  • Resigned from our jobs
  • Prepared for new job
  • Found/secured temporary housing in NC
  • Completed first road trip to NC
There were things we missed, things we had to reprioritize, and things we simply had to let go of.  Running took a major back seat.  Eating well was a challenge (we celebrated any meal not found between two pieces of bread).  Due to the crazy pace and moving parts, sleep was hard to come by.  We were extremely lucky to have engaged a phenomenal broker who helped sell our house so quickly, and to find an apartment that fits us as well as it does.  We are so grateful to have family and friends so supportive of our adventure – even though it meant we’d be farther away.
As I write this post, I am curled up on our only piece of furniture in our new apartment.  And I’m actually hand writing it because I have no computer and no internet (to post later).  The apartment is completely quiet; no TV, no internet, no Scott, no Bella.  I went for my first solo run earlier, ate dinner in solitude, and at 6:00 pm, ran out of things to do.  Weird.
This will be short lived.
Tomorrow, I start my new job.  I begin by jumping on a flight to Chicago.  Hey, if you’re going to live out of suitcases, does it really matter which city or state you’re in?  For now, I will soak up the solitude and quietly celebrate having survived the last one and a half months of a hectic, emotional, scary, and exciting rollercoaster ride.  Tomorrow, I meet new people in another new city and start a new chapter in my career.  Friday, I return to NC, where Scott and Bella will be waiting for me.  And the solitude will be replaced with the wonderful sounds of home.

Friday, January 8, 2016

You really DO get more with honey than vinegar!

Last week, we did a little shopping online and on Wednesday, everything showed up.  As I went through the 3 packages, I quickly realized that something was amiss with the REI package.  What we ordered?  A birthday present (so not revealing!) and a couple of other things.  What we got?  Not what we ordered.  Bummer.

I called the REI customer service number first thing this morning and got a personable and helpful person to help me.  Through our conversation, I realized it might be easier for me to return the wrong items to the local REI that’s on my way home from work.  The customer service representative also checked the store inventory and confirmed our items were in stock.  Win!  Furthermore, she let me know that she was sending me a $10.00 REI gift card for my troubles.  Win X 2!!

A quick stop at REI on my way home today, I kept my fingers crossed that all would go smoothly.  It did!  The cashier apologized for the mistake and went out of her way to make things right.  I walked out of the store with exactly what we wanted and in plenty of time for that person’s birthday.  Win X 3!!!

I’m not perfect and certainly don’t always handle things perfectly, but I’m so glad I didn’t go into this with any curt attitude.  Everyone makes mistakes…even REI.  Solid proof that you do get more with honey than vinegar…including some fancy new VT Darn Tough Socks!