Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rest is good

What does one do with her time when her weekend isn’t spent running? Rest!  I'm not injured, but just felt like my mind and body needed some chilling out.  So I heeded.  Rest comes in many forms and was quite enjoyable -
Movie Afternoon
The afternoon started with ‘Pretty Woman’ and rolled right into another 'Where The Heart Is’.  It was a perfectly lazy, chick flick afternoon of long, feel-good movies.  Add a furry pup and a pellet stove, stir, and repeat…

Christmas Decorating
We brought up our Christmas tree from the basement and got’er decorated.  Fortunately, the dead mouse that had called our tree home since last year stayed behind in the basement...ewww (Scott disposed of)!!  Our niece gives us an ornament each year since she was a child and last year’s ornament has a special place in my heart:  Scott hugging me seconds after I completed my 100 miler last year.

Family Hike
I may have completed few running miles this weekend, but I kept moving.  Scott, Bella, and I took a long walk/hike in some nearby trails.  We almost always see some form of wildlife and Bella usually gets some solid sniffing/playing with other dogs. Today we had both, though picture of only one -

Take-Out Treat
We treated ourselves to some of our favorite Chinese take-out.  My fortune cookie message ironically read –
Ain't that the truth!
It’s a late Sunday game, so it hasn’t happened at the time of this posting.  We’re hoping for some Patriots magic, despite their string of injured players lately.

With rest comes a craving to do something (like sign up for a race J).  Soon, wise grasshopper, soon. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

A little bit’o this; a little bit’o that

Thanksgiving Day meant a little bit’o this and a little bit’o that….

Feaster five family tradition
For the last five years, a few of us gather to walk the Feaster Five.  We catch on life, politics, you-name-it.  This year, our group was rather small, due to work schedules and due to some pre-Thanksgiving imbibing.  So, Scott, cousin Rusty, and I ventured out.  We couldn’t help but joke about how Rusty made it to the race after a late night, but not his kids (refer to imbibing).  That lead me to my hilarious hashtag moment:


(It’s mostly hilarious because I don’t tweet J)

Trail family run
After our 5K walk and the mile to start and back to car, Scott and I grabbed Bella and his Go Pro and headed out for some family trail miles.  After 25 years of marriage, I’m so grateful that my husband digs me enough to a) run at my speed, and b) try to make me a youtube star!

Thanksgiving Dinner
We’ve always spent Thanksgiving at Scott’s brother’s house.  It’s a nice afternoon of family, comfort, laughter, and food.  Lots. Of. Food.

Erin outdoes herself….

Not a bad looking brood  (and a bit silly too!) –

Day after
I love that REI is closed for Black Friday!  Love it, love it, love it.  I hope this #optoutside catches on with the world.  Frankly, I’d rather shop online after a good run outdoors, but that’s me.

And I certainly don’t look at physical altercations over toys as “fun” –

Health, family, friends, love…..thankful for it all.  Oh, and 60+ degree weather here in New England the day after Thanksgiving?  Most definitely thankful for that!

Hope you're all having a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Stonecat Trail Marathon race reflections

I ran StoneCat Trail Marathon yesterday and it was a good day. 

Start of the 50 mile race
The weather was warm but no sign of bees/wasps/hornets that often come out on a warm November day when a couple hundred runners take to the woods.  The course was perfectly marked and incredibly well supported by fun and crazy trail runner people.  I personally enjoyed the reversed direction of the course this year, especially the downhill final mile.  And best of all, I had my trusty running partner/informal coach/BFF with me for the entire journey.  Scott runs considerably faster than I, but wanted to hang out with me for 4 hours and 56 minutes to run and make me laugh.  Who’s luckier than me?

Right about mile 20 (where we all know the marathon begins!), I came closest to “the wall” than I’ve ever felt in a marathon.  I was caked in salt, was losing my focus, and just felt off.  At marathon #23, I know when things are off and know I need to address something.  And quickly.  With the warm weather, I took extra salt tabs with me and ended up taking three  – most ever for me in one race.  At the final aid station with just about 3 miles to go, this exchange happened:

Race peep:    Hey, are you eating enough?
Me:                  Oh, you’re referring to my salty face?
Race peep:    Yup.
Me:                  (stuffing Pringles in my mouth)
Race peep:    Real food might be better; grilled cheese?
Me:                  I don’t eat grilled cheese on a good day..thanks!

He was totally right and I knew it, but Pringles were all I wanted at that point.  I moved on and kept it slow and steady.  Much like Ghost Train, I kept moving one step in front of the other.  This period of time left me reflective.  I thought about my training and where my head has been over the last several months and had this not-so-extraordinary epiphany:  Our training is what it is.  Life happens and it sometimes affects our training.  We do the best we can with what we’ve got.  Some of us are working crazy hours or frequently traveling for business; some of us have heavier home/children responsibilities; some are struggling with health challenges.  

Ultimately, we get the race we trained for.  I’m thrilled to have finished Stonecat!  I’m ecstatic I was able to meet a very loose goal of a sub-5 hour finish!  And I’m so lucky and grateful to be able to run.  There are things I want to be different for my next race, but for today, I celebrate the gift of being part of an extraordinary running community and the ability to tackle the miles and achieve my goals.  And since my goals do not include grilled cheese sandwiches, I’m doing AOK!

My wearable finisher's medal!