Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Monday, November 28, 2011

Having some blog design fun!

You likey?  Here’s a little context to go with the new pictures at the top of the page:

The picture on the left is of Scott and me at the top of Mt. Lafayette up in the White Mountains of NH.  It’s a decent day’s hike that traverses 3 peaks with some fantastic viewpoints.  That remains our favorite hike and we try to get up there as often as we can. 
I put aside my fear of heights for this awesome hike with my favorite guy!

The picture in the middle is also in NH, but this is at the top of Mt. Washington.  I shot this photo as I waited for Scott to run the Mt. Washington Road Race – you know, a mere 7 mile run UP the mountain (or 6288 feet high).  That day was a perfect weather day and I even got sunburned!  Some race days of past were cancelled or cut short because the weather was too dangerous.  I love how the clouds seem like a marshmallow sea.  I probably should’ve included the youtube of “Stairway to Heaven”, huh?
What's the big's only ONE hill!

Lastly, the picture on the right is of Scott and me at my first appearance at the Boston Marathon – as a runner!  ‘Nuff said J
Bustin' with excitement!

I hope you like the new design!  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Real or Fake?

Christmas tree assembled – check.
Windows open for unseasonal warmish weather – check.
Checking off To-Do’s while listening to hundreds of songs shuffling thru my iPod – priceless.

Scott headed off to a cross country race this morning with Martyn at a local country club, while Bella and I stayed behind to spend some quality time together.  Translation?  Bella laying at the front door watching the world go by and me doing a bunch of random things.  Match made in heaven.

I like to take advantage of the long weekend to assemble the Christmas tree and get organized for the Christmas holiday season.  A few years ago, we made the big switch to the fake tree.  It’s working for us.  And we still lose a handful of “pine needles” during assembly, so it almost seems like a real tree!  Now, where did I put that “Evergreen” Yankee candle from last year……

No run today.  Still having some shin splint issues, so I’m opting for an every-other-day schedule for the time being.  I changed my mind at least six times this morning, but it felt right to stick with my plan.  Besides, I’ve gotten lots of cross-training in over this long weekend in the form of leaf raking and painting.  I feel OK about it.

Almost done renovating our new spare bedroom!  Today also finds me priming the closet door.  It’s a perfect day for it, since I have doors and windows wide open for ventilation.  It’s warmer than usual and there are no bugs =

Bella should be careful;  she doesn’t realize she’s involved in one of the things on my to-do list:  Give Bella a bath.  I won’t get many more opportunities to literally hose her down in the backyard without it being 10 degrees out!  Now, where did Bella’s shampoo go?  Maybe it’s with that Evergreen scented Yankee candle I still haven’t found…
I wish this was Bella in our bathroom!  She hates anything with the word "bath" in it
Now wasn’t that fun getting a little sneak-peek into my exciting Sunday To-Do list?  Back to my list before Scott returns home and I check off my final To-Do for today:  Become a couch potato while watching the Patriots game!

Real or fake?
(and c’mon, you know I’m referring to Christmas trees!)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Six Spontaneous Saturday

1. Running in shorts and NO mittens in late November….priceless.

2. My rosebush is confused.  Late November….one lone bloom.

3. Found a great book via Kindle, called “The No Complaining Rule”.  More to come on that!

4. Did you know that females can get hernias?  Also more to come on that!

5. Went iTunes shopping last night.  Did you know that there’s a HUGE difference between Pearl Jam’s songs “Just Breathe” and “Breath”?  Yeah, that’s $0.99 I can’t get back.

6. I’m now a strawberry blonde (tapping into my inner funky). Weeeeeeee!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Small But Mighty

Here we are, Thanksgiving.  I have loads of things to be thankful for:  my health, my husband, my family, my friends.  I’m so grateful for all my new blogger friends and have a special place in my heart for the small group of friends who I feel I could share anything with and know they would support me (or give me a good shot of tough love) – whatever’s needed!  At a time when we’re all feeling thankful, I thought it would be a great time to highlight one of my friends.

I’d like to introduce you to my friend Sue.  We’ve shared over a decade of long runs, marathons, bottles of wine, and afternoons on the beach.  Our shared running has provided free therapy for both of us as we weave our way through our daily lives.  She has a great husband and two terrific teens, has a special position at a school where she works with students who have a variety of special needs.  Like all of us, she has her ups and downs, her successes, her challenges; but there’s something about Sue that inspires me in a different way.

First, a picture I shot of Sue as she finished her first marathon at Jacksonville – and BQ’d at that!  Don’t you think NIKE might want this in their next Ad campaign??

She had one remaining lap around this track to finish when I took the picture.  Funny side story:  We were in the stands, completely focused on the finish line clock that was counting dangerously close to 4:00.  We went crazy, cheering her on and willing her to finish in time for her (then) qualifying time.  Suddenly, one of us remembered that her chip time should be faster than the gun time (so she had more time than we thought) – but it was still such a rush thinking she was qualifying within one second of her BQ time!!

But it’s not the completion of that marathon or the BQ that inspires me, it’s what happened approximately two months after this day…

A brain bleed.

Technically, that is a stroke.  However, to this day, I find it hard to use the word ‘stroke’ because for me, it conjures up all sorts of images of weak and dragging and disabled.  And that is NOT Sue.  On that Valentine’s Day, Sue went out for a run with my husband – using part of the Boston Marathon course as their training run that day.  They were both excited to run Boston (it would be Sue’s first Boston!) and what better course than to run THE course.  By the next day though, everything had changed.

Sue, her family, and we friends all dealt with the shock of acknowledging what had happened.  Fortunately, she was seen fairly promptly, diagnosed, and then left to digest what this all meant.  She initially experienced the weakness I mentioned above.  And sometimes still has a slight dragging in one leg after a 20 mile training run.  I won’t be presumptuous and say “she was lucky” because who considers themselves lucky to have had a….brain bleed.  It’s just that one of my classmates in my Bachelor’s program also suffered a stroke in his 40’s and fared much worse in the impact to his cognitive strength and abilities. 

But there would be no Boston for Sue that year.  Like anyone injured in any way, it’s devestating to watch YOUR race come and go and not be a part of it.  A few of us went into the Boston Expo that year (Scott was still running, so had to pick his bib, etc up) and Sue joined in.  Afterall, she was able to defer her number for the next year.  She was a trooper and, if there were tears, I never saw them.  She had every right to feel sorry for herself, but she turned that energy towards healing and getting stronger.

Going on six years later, Sue is….well, Sue!  For those of us around her, she seems no different than life pre-stroke.  She continues to manage her busy household, do an amazing job with some challenging students in her classroom, has run many more marathons, and when she does experience that dragging leg after 20 miles, she usually refers to it as her “silly leg” and just moves on.   I hope that, if something like that ever happened to me, I would handle myself in the same way Sue has.  She has been and still is an inspiration.  I’m so thankful she’s healthy and so glad we’re friends.
There's always time for a goofy pose!
(Derry 16 Miler, Jan'10)

And just for the record, don’t we all start dragging after 20 miles anyway?  Just sayin’…..

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Think Pink (a race report)

Yesterday, I ran through the woods of Framingham.  A very low key trail race caught Scott’s attention and he coaxed, “Come on, we’ll run it together and you know you won’t get lost!”  So, we signed up.  As I talked about previously in my PMS post, I’d love to put an ultra on my running resume.  Yesterday’s trail race was another step in that direction.  And man, was it fun!

By the time we got to race day, I had picked up two of my friends who were also interested in running.  Actually, one was really interested, while the other was not so excited but took the leap anyway.  I hadn’t seen or run with these friends in awhile, so it was great to dive into this unknown trail world together.  I ran a trail race last year with Scott, but it was only 4 miles.  This was 10 miles and had some pretty decent hills –

The weather was beautiful, climbing into the 60’s early on.  This found most runners in shorts in mid-November – sweet!  I have been feeling a little lazy post-Cape Cod and this race, as low key as it was, really recharged me.  The hills were tough and there were plenty of rocks and roots to jump up and trip us, but the course was terrific.  It was so clearly marked with pink ribbons, that even I wouldn’t have gotten lost.  Now that’s saying something.

The volunteers were happy and silly and helpful at any point along the course where a runner might get confused.  There were spectators who ventured through the woods to cheer us on, including their dogs who at times tried to run alongside.  There was a girl riding her horse along the same trails as the race, so that presented a little challenge as we approached from behind.  We passed the horse, but not before checking with its rider to make sure we weren’t going to scare the horse.  All clear, and we continued on.  Not more than 10 minutes later, we heard the horse suddenly crashing through the woods behind us and jumping – yes, jumping.  We all dashed over to the side of the trail as the rider calmed her excited horse.  If our heart rates weren’t already max’d out, they were at that point.

One of my friends took a tough fall, but she was a trooper.  She assessed the damage (knees looked like they wouldn’t be happy later and some blood – tough chic!) and kept going.  A few minutes later, Scott got distracted as he was talking to another runner, and BAM, he went down.  Fortunately, no real damage done, no evacuation from the trail, no hoof prints from the horse, and lots of smiles during and after the race.  I’d say the day was a success!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Six Spontaneous Saturday

1. Nothing better than a Saturday where the only to-do’s I have are whatever I put on my own list.  To-do #1:  Be.

2. The 100’s of times I throw Bella’s Kong (and she retrieves) is a great way to keep my arm firm.  Now I just need to remember to use my left arm occasionally.

3. Anyone else notice that some men get more handsome as they get older?  I watched an interview from when Tom Brady first started with the Patriots.  Yeah, he’s definitely improving with age. 

4. The leaves we haven’t raked yet are serving to cover up the muddy skid marks the pups make when chasing after the Kong and each other.

5. It took just shy 3 weeks for my Cape Cod Marathon ear ache to finally go away.

6. You know the song “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”?  Well, the whole “don’t spit into the wind” concept….makes total sense.  On my run this morning, this novice spitter thought there was appropriate clearance and solid wind assessment.  Just as I spit however, the wind shifted and blew it back up into my EYE!  Are.You.Kidding.Me.  I couldn’t help but laugh out loud J

Happy Spontaneous Saturday All!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wish I was a battery

Ever notice how easy it is to feed off of negative?  Why don’t we feed that quickly off of positive?  I wish sometimes I could be a battery, where I could just flip myself around – moving the negative to the positive position – and voila, energy would return.

Seasonally speaking, it’s hard to stay positive when it’s dark, well, all the time it seems!  I haven’t wanted to run and I quite honestly just want to sleep.  I know this will pass; it does so every time we turn the clocks back.  I’m annoyed at having to gear up with all things bright:  a reflective vest, a blinking light and/or my headlamp, and a dose of courage to actually get out there amongst the crazy, high-beamed cars and the boogie man.

The holidays are creeping up fast, and although I enjoy them enough, I find them fraught with too much stress and frenzy.  Not for me directly, but for those around me - it’s catchy nonetheless.  I honestly don’t get too stressed about Christmas shopping or cooking for holidays.  I know my limits and I’m no chef.  So I do what I’m comfortable with and buy the rest.  I do enjoy shopping for family and friends, especially when I have special ideas.  When I find myself resorting to Plan B (the gift card), I get discouraged.  Don’t get me wrong, gift cards are great and I love receiving them.  It’s just when I have absolutely no idea for a gift for someone and have to go that route that bums me out.

I’ve got some other things brewing that are not feeling all that positive right now, but I actually don’t want this post to turn negative.  I just wanted to address the negative.  Make sense?  So, because I’m physically incapable of recharging myself literally as a battery, I would like to take steps to recharge myself figuratively.  First step, focus on the positive.  Second step, repeat First step.

And maybe, just maybe, I can turn some negative into positive and pay it forward J

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Woof - A Guest Post by Bella

Hi, I’m Bella!
My human mama has been crazy busy lately, so she’s letting me guest post for her.  I thought I’d introduce myself and tell you about a day in the life of me, Bella.

I don’t ask for much.  A warm bed, regular meals, a few treats now and then, and some play.  OK, maybe some isn’t the right word.  LOTS of play. LOTS and LOTS of play.  I have terrific human parents who give me lots of love and attention and provide the kind of play that leaves me tired at the end of the day.  I’m almost 4 years old, but continue to act like a puppy – as I’m sure you all know.

I have lots of friends.  Just this morning, my boy toy Murphy came by to play with me.  Actually, I think he enjoys peeing in my yard even more than he enjoys serenading me.  But whatever, he’s kinda cute and he’s spastic, so we have fun.  My sister even lives right across the street from me – how lucky!  Her name’s Bauer and her mama got her just after mine got me.  I guess I was so cute that she had to have a yellow lab pup too.  Now we get to play together all the time.  She barks though.  A lot.  Gives my human parents and me a headache.  But we play tricks on her, so we get the last bark laugh.  For example, my human parents put my pool away for the winter, but Bauer continues to go over to that empty spot, walk around the area the pool used to sit, and plop down, expecting to be cooled off by the pool water.  It’s too funny for barks words.

Sometimes my human mama takes me along with her on her run, but honestly, I get bored.  She just wants to run straight for long periods of time.  Me?  I try to show her all the cool things I can smell or hear, like squirrels or dead frogs.  I guess I’ll just keep trying to show her what she’s missing.  For now, she takes me for a 1 mile jaunt, drops me off at home, and then she goes off to do her longer run.  We’re both happy.

My best times are when my human parents take me on the power line trail near our house.  I get to run free, climb some rock “mountains”, fetch some big sticks, and before we turn around to go home, I get to swim.  I love to swim!  My human dad throws the stick far upstream and I retrieve it every time.  There have been a few times where I’ve gotten stuck briefly in the thicket and my human dad has gotten nervous.  Afterall, he doesn’t want to have to jump in to save me.  And how would I ever explain that I, a Labrador Retriever, needed saving?  Bauer and Murphy would never let me live that one down.

Well, there you have it.  I hope you’ve enjoyed a brief peek into my canine world.  I’m not sure I get this “blogging thing”, since we dogs have a very easy way of getting to know other like minded dogs.  It involves sniffing butts.  Hey, it’s what we do.  Don't judge.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Lately I feel like I’m just not getting anything finished.  I’ve started many things, but lately am just not taking the steps to bring things to completion.  Just a few notable mentions:

  • Recently renovated bedroom – 3 walls are completely painted; 1 accent wall needs another coat.  And don’t forget the closet door needs priming and painting.
  • Patio furniture – We’ve already had snow and our patio furniture is only partially stowed away for the winter season.
  • Leaves/Pine Needles – Look like they’re going to stay there til next Spring

I know what the problem is.  Remember that post about being super busy in October?  Well, they’re you go.  Just about every weekend found us either racing or supporting a race or other activities with family or friends.  Totally not complaining, but it has left me feeling like my universe is one big laundry pile waiting to be folded (how’s that for a visual?).  Yeah, you know what I mean.
OK, so this self-professed list maker has one giant list to create.  On the cusp of yet another somewhat busy weekend, I need to start taking some steps towards completing something.  Anything!  Part of the problem is that it’s much more fun to start new things, right?  For example, I’m dying to start a legitimate training calendar to get me through the winter months of training for Boston.  I’m also dying to pick my guitar up and finally start strumming it and, if the music gods are with me, even hear something that resembles a tune.  I will admit that my weekend away with Mom helped me start my Christmas shopping, but folks, we’re already well into November.  Lots more shopping needs to get done!

I guess what I’m describing is probably most peoples’ everyday life, right?  And again, I repeat, I’m not complaining about having a life!  But as a perfectionist, these chaotic, frenzied, messy times really clutter my zen-like mind.  I’m so lucky that I have a husband who is my teammate, so I know I don’t have to worry about everything all by myself.  He’s already told me he’ll take care of the patio furniture.  And you know what, soon the pine needles and leaves will be conveniently covered by snow.

The wall painting though, that’s all me.  Trust me on that J

Monday, November 7, 2011

So THAT’S what 4am looks like

My weekend was heavy on spectating, light on running.  It began on Saturday, bright and early.  Early, as in a 4am wake up call and out the door by 4:45.  Scott had all the appropriate gear:  Hydropel, change of socks/shoes, nutrition in all forms, and headlamp, to name just a few.  StoneCat is known for its wet spots along the course, and since Scott ran the 50 miler last year, his packing skills for the marathon portion were fairly fine tuned.

The start of StoneCat is surreal.  Everyone dons their headlamps and plants their drop bags near the transition/check-in area.  This year, there were a handful of friends/neighbors participating in either the marathon or the 50 miler, giving me plenty of opportunities for cheering and for cowbell ringing.
Andy, Larry, and Scott just before the start

Headlamps are a must at this race!
Even when I didn’t see Scott, Andy, Larry, Sara, Linda….I cheered.  I put myself to good use and helped the volunteers at the aid station, pointing out precariously rooted boulders that might jump up and trip a weary runner at any moment.  The GAC Running Club is very entertaining and don’t take themselves very seriously at all.  They do take their role in supporting runners very seriously and provided food (hot and cold), drinks, candy, and most of all, humor and inspiration.

I misjudged my timing as I darted back and forth between the aid stations.  It’s actually a pretty easy course to support, since major roads surround the forest area the runners cover.  But it was hard to figure out when I might see Scott and Andy without missing them completely.  So when I stayed in the Finish area for the last hour of Scott’s race, apparently I was missed at one of the aid stations.  Scott told me later that the volunteers remembered me, that I was with him, and asked Scott, “Where’s your cheering wife?”  Aw, they liked me.  They really liked me!
A little Sally Field blast from the past

Scott and Andy stuck together through the end of Scott’s race.  Scott gave Andy a few parting words of advice and we left him to conquer two more loops to complete his 50 mile quest.  On went his music, down went a sandwich, and off Andy went – back into the forest.  Several hours later, Andy called us to report that he had completed his race in 10:10.  Awesome accomplishment! 

Sunday found me spectating at the Manchester Marathon.  Meaghan ran as part of a relay team, so I hung out with my favorite 6 year old Caitlyn.  We got an early start (though not as early as Saturday!), a quick drive through Dunkin Donuts, and we were off.  I was armed with my cowbells, camera, and some snacks for Caitlyn and me. 

I had only met one of the relay team members before, so I was happy when this bunch of strangers felt like old friends by the end of the day.  The host’s house was literally 2 houses from the race course, enabling us to simply walk outside and almost immediately start cheering.  And even luckier, Meaghan’s leg went right past us!  Caitlyn was so happy to cheer her mama on.
Caitlyn, armed with cowbell

We jumped into one of the cars and headed to the 13.1 mile mark to drop some runners off and pick other runners up.  I was so relieved to know that no one was going to rely on me to navigate around this city I don’t know.  Caitlyn and I had our eagle eyes focused on bringing Meaghan in, so she could pass off to the next team member and so Caitlyn could hug her mama.  So sweet.

After two long days of cheering and cowbell ringing, I’m tired!  But it’s a good tired.  I love cheering on runners and I love knowing that I might’ve helped a runner get out of their head for even a minute.  I love the excitement and renewed motivation I feel when I spectate at a race.

Better hide my laptop and credit card.  I’m liable to sign up for…..something!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Post-marathon badness

Something tells me I need to get running again.  I need a plan.  Yeah, this was dinner tonight.

Baaaaad Lisa.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I've got some bad PMS – (Post Marathon Syndrome, that is)

Yep, its already set in.  Although my ear ache continues to linger, my legs are just about recovered and my head is already looking forward…..but to what?

Boston’s already on the calendar for April (yeah!), but I feel like I want more.  I don’t want to overdo and end up injured or burned out, but this great post-race feeling has me hankering for more, more, more!

Which has me thinking…..Could 2012 be the year of the ultra? 

After supporting Scott at his ultra last year (StoneCat 50 mile trail race) and applauding an impressive 9:56 finish, I’ve been wondering ever since if I have what it takes to complete one.  Things seem more attainable when someone you know and love has completed the event and didn’t die J  Scott also offered to run it with me, should I decide to take the plunge.  Cuz here’s the thing:  most, if not all, ultras seem to be held on trails.  And that’s one sure fire way for this chic to get lost in a big way. 

Scott + Lisa / Ultra = Finishing Without Getting Lost

I completed my first trail race last Spring (yes, with Scott as my compass partner) and loved it!  It was muddy and messy and a minor ankle sprain served as my battle wound.  It was only 4 miles, but it was a good taste of what might come in future trail races.

So now that I’ve revealed my ultra “bubble” that’s been floating over my head, it might be time to actually commit and construct a race calendar.  Hm, what should it look like ~

January        Derry 16 Miler
February       Hyannis Full or Half
April              Boston Marathon
May              Pineland Farms 50K or 50 Miler
Fall               StoneCat 50 Miler

This weekend, I will be back at the StoneCat ultra to support Scott and our friend Andy.  This year, Scott’s “only” doing the half (26.2 miles), while Andy is taking on the full 50 mile route.  Scott’s plan is to help pace Andy; my plan is to support them both and to do a little recon at StoneCat as a possible ultra race option.

StoneCat 2010 - early morning start

 So what do you think?  Anyone else caught the ultra bug?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cape Cod Marathon – Part II (a race report)

A little introduction….

Cape Cod wasn't my first Fall marathon choice.  I've been intrigued with Mount Desert Island Marathon ever since it started, but this year, it was run on the same day as the Donohoe 5K race that I volunteer at.  So, Plan B was Cape Cod.  I was looking for something hilly and thus, challenging.  Both races offered hilly terrain with gorgeous water views.  So, Cape Cod it was!

Nobska Lighthouse
Scott and I travelled to Falmouth, MA on a rainy Saturday, just as the Nor’easter started blowing in.  We found a great Mexican restaurant to have lunch at, picked up my race bib and goodie bag, and headed to check out some of the course.  Scott was able to scope out what would hopefully be some easy routes to see me at a few spots on the course to hand me Gatorade and most importantly, to offer me support.  I was able to get my head around the hilly terrain.

By the time we finished our course tour, it was time to check into our hotel.  Talk about the best hotel strategy ever….we were literally a 3 minute walk to the Start/Finish area.  Quick dump of the bags and we were off shortly to dinner.  The Cape Cod Marathon peeps provided great restaurant suggestions, so it was easy to find what we needed.  Chicken picatta with linguini was my “last supper” before the race. 

Sunday morning began with hard boiled egg white and a bagel we brought from home.  I went through the outfit frenzy the night before, so I knew exactly what I was going to wear.  We made the quick walk to the start and I warmed up.  At the portopotty, some guy said to me, “You’re not running that geared up, are you?”  Don’t think I didn’t look for him later to trip him!  (kidding!)   As the race start grew closer, the clouds began giving way to blue sky.  Blue sky, folks.  After all that rain from the day/night before, we weren’t going to have rain (or snow) for our race.  But as I already provided in my teaser post, we were to get lots of wind. 

Let the race begin!

BOOM went the cannon….we were off!!!!
This cannon packed a LOUD punch!

My first 7 miles went something like this –

1        8:34
2        never saw mile marker
3        never saw mile marker
4        25:15 (which means I averaged 8:38’s for miles 2,3, and 4 – TOO FAST!)
5        8:31 (didn’t I hear myself…TOO FAST)
6        8:45 (finally something remotely close to my goal pace of 8:50)
7        8:42 (really Lisa???)

Missing those mile markers made my pace management very difficult, especially given the early miles when it’s hard not to go too fast.  For all I know, the signs blew away!  What I did know was that my first 7 miles at a pace in the 8:30’s and low 8:40’s was not a good start.  The good part of those first 7 miles is that I got to see Meaghan and Sarah twice and Scott once.

I continued on, trying to manage my pace as well as I could.  The hills, I expected.  The wind was a different story.  Back in 2009, I ran Baystate Marathon and had blowing cold rain, some sleet, and major puddles.  So I knew it could be worse and I felt like I was handling the weather challenge pretty well.  However, my energy level seemed to really take a dive much earlier than ever before in a marathon.  I’d venture to guess the wind had something to do with it.  Regardless, I found pace management almost impossible, between the hills and the wind.  Man, I was tired.

Scott had a lot of difficulty maneuvering around the course due to traffic control, but finally caught up to me at mile 11.  He handed me a fresh bottle of Gatorade (I always carry) and an extra GU and headed off to mile 20ish.  He wasn’t taking any chances on not getting to mile 20.  Love that guy J

Somewhere between 19 and 20, I heard a bellowing of “Let’s go Lisa!” and I knew Meaghan was close by.  She had gotten very creative in getting herself through the snow and tree covered roads and down to Falmouth to support me.  Seriously, can you get better friends?  Meaghan was dressed and ready to run me into the finish.  And boy, she couldn’t have come at a better time.  Did I mention I was tired?

Meaghan kept me distracted with lots of stories and I chimed in when I could.  She gave me good dose of “atta girl” and equal doses of tough love to help me through this tough race.  Somewhere in the late 20’s (maybe mile 23?), the head wind was gusting so violently that Meaghan started running sideways with elbows out, trying to make herself big to shield me.  Since my efforts at using drafting behind bigger dudes never panned out, I was left to my own petite frame to battle the winds for most of the race.  Regardless of how effective her shielding was, it sure made me smile.

Puddle management was also a challenge.  I did pretty well at keeping my feet dry.  Late in the race, I noticed a man running with head completely down, as if willing his feet to keep moving.  Because he wasn’t looking past his feet, he almost ran right into a deep puddle.  I interrupted his focus to alert him of the puddle – crisis averted.  At Nobska Lighthouse area though, the road was completely flooded at one point.  And with the Atlantic Ocean on one side, there was only one way to go – enter slight “trail running” moment up onto the resident’s yard to get us through that flood zone.  I remember hearing Meaghan ask someone, “What, no red carpet to get us over this?”  Another Meaghan induced smile.

And to summarize….

Great day, great race, great experience.  Just the challenge I was looking for.  The volunteers were just where I needed them and supportive along the course. The spectators were fantastic and the number of them was a pleasant surprise, given the weather conditions.  I couldn’t have done it without Scott to support me well before race day, during, and after.  He is my rock.  I heard him yell my name at the finish and was so happy he was there with me.  And Meaghan.  Those last 7 miles were so hard and Meaghan dove right in and did/said whatever I needed to get me through it.  She’d pick someone out for us to pass at mile 23, and once we’d pass, she’d pick someone else out, and so on.  Scott’s my rock; Meaghan’s my rockstar.  Thank you both soooo much.

I have some work to do on my pace management, but plan to have plenty of marathons to practice.  I am very pleased with my race, how I adjusted pace and attitude along the way, and my final time.  I feel like I left nothing on the course, and best of all, I met my primary goal (as evidenced in this picture heading into the finish) –

I finished with a smile J

P.S.  Post race went something like this -

Frozen strawberry margarita accompanied by nachos