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It Just Keeps Getting Bigger!!!

30 Sep

starting line

And no, I’m not talking about my rear view 😉 Note – if you are trying to find a picture of someone’s rear end, google will show you a lot of nekkid ones….

I’m talking about my list of upcoming races – or as I like to call them “events” (since I don’t actually race much other than my own self!). And since I’m doing all this training I thought a good reminder was in order.

So, in Order of Appearance, here we go:

Hartford Half Marathon – I’m actually also doing the new “One Mile Friday” which is, yep, a One mile run in Hartford followed by a beer 🙂 After the half I’ll get this beauty:

hartford half medal

Hershey Half Marathon – I’ll be doing this one with my friends Kathy and Jennifer. And, we will of course be headed to the park on Saturday before for Roller Coastering! And, I think for this one, we don’t know what the medal will be ahead of time so it will be a delicious surprise!!

Marine Corps Marathon – This is the ‘biggie’ for 2014! You know, the one you can show your support of my efforts by donating to the Tug McGraw Foundation! C’mon! It doesn’t hurt!!

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon – This one we do for “fun” — and the training miles 🙂 And after the miles and before the Food and Wine-ing I’ll get this around my neck (bonus – it spins!!):

2014 Wine Dine Half Marathon Medal

Santa Hustle Half Marathon –  This was a new add (like Hartford) since I’m getting to the point of having some really long weekend runs, I *know* it will be tons easier for me to get them in if I have an event. Not that I don’t love circling my town a few times to get my long runs in…Plus SANTA!!!

TXU Turkey Trot 10K – Everyone should do a Turkey Trot at least once!! This is a nice one – I’ve done the 5K before. And, really, it’s probably best to start the holiday eating season by moving a little!!

Then…after Thanksgiving I’m taking a ‘break’ – from organized events! That is, until I get to the Main Event:

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Dopey Challenge – 4 Races, 6 Medals (Okay, one of the ‘medals’ is a rubber medallion but still…) 4 Races? 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, Half Marathon on Saturday and Full Marathon on Sunday –  I had planned to do the Goofy Challenge this year since it’s an anniversary year and then they went and added that crazy 10K in there!

Aramco Houston Half Marathon  – I deferred this one in 2014 since I was having so many issues even walking! I’ve done this one a few times and it’s a nice course and a really great event! They’ve also added a 5K on the day before so of course I said “What the heck, why not?!

Publix Georgia Half Marathon – So now I’m entering “what was I thinking” territory! This one was registered for when I saw that I could get in for something like 34 or 40 dollars! Really. That’s it. Plus, it’s one I’ve often thought of doing so….there ya go!

The next Biggie — Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris – Another one where I entered a lottery on a whim, et voila! Making this into a fun trip with a friend. She’s even decided to do the Paris Breakfast Run the day before!

And then, my pal Jackie applied appropriate pressure to get me to sign up for the Brand New! runDisney Pixie Dust Challenge! So new it isn’t even up on the runDisney page yet!!

So there you have it. And all I can say is WHOA! If nothing else, I am definitely feeling way more motivated to train than I normally am. Which is to say, I am feeling motivated to train 🙂

liar

 

Run the Rent

30 Jul

Last Thursday I ran the Hartford Marathon Foundation 3rd Annual Rentschler Airfield 5K. This event benefits the East Hartford Police Officer Brian A. Aselton Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc. which provides scholarships to children of police officers and local criminal justice students. Fast and flat through an old airfield — I did this one last year too and it wasn’t just the donuts that brought me back!! Though, they helped that’s for sure!!

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The weather was *perfect*!! There was a tailwind heading out – which of course meant that we would be running into the wind on the way back (booo!!). We were also warned of possible coyote sightings out in the more “wild” part of the course. Didn’t see any of those – and it felt like the course changed a little bit from last year, not as much trail and more runway running. Which is fine with me!!

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My plan was to do my Galloway 45 minutes so I wasn’t too concerned with beating the clock (Not that I am ever concerned about the clock!!) and I stuck to my 2:1 intervals for most of the way. For a couple of intervals after Mile 2 I was more 1.5:1.5 intervals but got back to the 2:1 until I saw the finish arch then just went with running.

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These guys were waiting at the finish line….

Like last year the finish line snacks were burgers, donuts, beer and ice cream – you know, health food!  The burgers were provided by Cabela’s. Beer provided by Olde Burnside Brewing Co. makers of the tasty Ten Penny Ale. And the donuts once more provided by Faddy’s Donuts & Ice Cream. And lucky you, you don’t even have to run 5K to try the great apple cider donuts at Faddy’s since they are there at Cabela’s all the time! This year I just by-passed the burger completely and enjoyed my donut with a beer chaser 🙂

This is one I will definitely keep doing — I enjoy the evening runs during the summer!

What is your favorite post-race goodie?!  Especially in the summer, I like a nice cold beer! 

Race Recap – Hartford Marathon Foundation Red Dress Run for Women (5K)

12 Jul
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Logo courtesy of the Hartford Marathon Foundation

I’ve participated in this event a few times (last year’s recap can be found here!) and really do enjoy it. It’s truly women only and seems to me that it gets bigger every year – which is always a good thing right?!

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I got my things ready the night before and headed to bed pretty early, since I’ve been having trouble waking up lately!!

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The event was to start at 8:30, after the kids race, but parking is about a mile away and there are shuttle buses to contend with so I headed up to West Hartford around 7, coffee, water and Power Crunch bar (Nom, vanilla!) in hand!

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Pre-race breakfast

Got parked, got on the bus and got up to Elizabeth park with no issues at all — not that I expected any!! Got lots of “great skirt” comments which are always appreciated. Hey, I’m out there for quite awhile, people need something pretty to look at!! 😉

Before I headed to the start, I checked my sugars and then dropped off my bag. One of the bonuses for running this race is the rose garden — we know I love my roses!! Some of them were still in bloom even!

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It wasn’t long before we were ready to take off. “Take off” is probably a mis-statement for what I actually did. Slow and steady is my these early days of #Dopey15 training. I’m more concerned with being able to keep to my intervals and avoiding any asthma/wheezing and getting the miles/time in than getting a better time. For now anyway.

As always, a couple folks had sprinklers on. Fortunately today wasn’t as warm as last year, but the sprinkles are still very much appreciated! The course is gorgeous and, as most courses are, a tiny bit hilly 🙂

I did not break any records with my time, though I seem to be getting a little better each time I go out – duh! I guess that’s what training means 😀 I could get used to this improvement thing!! 😉   At the finish line, we were awarded a great little bangle, which was a new addition this year.

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Another great part of the morning was catching up with my RockStar friend Kim — who was, as always, out there kicking butt!! Keep on being awesome Kim!!  And hey, while you’re here hanging out on the internet, go vote for Kim to be on the cover of Runner’s World magazine!

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I hope everyone is out there having a wonderful Saturday! The weather here in New England is just beautiful and I am going to soak it all in!! And tonight? I will be working on seeing that SuperMoon!!

supermoon

 

 

Legends Were Born Here!!

11 Apr
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Exciting to see these signs when I was out walking Phred the week before the race!

This weekend, I was really proud of my adopted hometown.

First off, I have to say, that I LOVE the little town I live in. We’ve actually been voted to have the most romantic Main Street in America. I can’t attest to that but I can say that it’s a really great Main Street!

The race – the Hartford Marathon Foundation, Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon and Legends 4-Miler (phew!)0 was a late starter (11:30 I think!) and when I got to the end of Main Street where packet pickup was taking place there was a really festive atmosphere. I learned late last week that runDisney coach Jeff Galloway would be joining his old college roommate Amby Burfoot and Bill Rodgers in the half marathon so I was kind of excited to say hi!

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Running Legends and Wesleyan alums

Picked up my bib, found Meg and eventually Kim, and we went over to the tent to see the Legends! Now, lately I’ve just been tossing my race bibs (if they aren’t from Disney) but I had Jeff and Bill sign this one, so it’s a keeper!

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And, I committed to #Dopey15 out loud to Coach Galloway so…I’m committed!!

On to the actual race. There was a 4-Miler and a Half Marathon. I live here, so I knew about the hills. And the half had lots of extra hills! So I picked the 4-miler!! Oh…there were hills in this one too. In fact, within the first quarter mile we hit one of the biggies!

 

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Big crowds, big hills!

It was really a pretty course (but I knew it would be!) and there were some folks out watching and cheering. Once we left “downtown” we hit roads that I use for training so it was all familiar terrain. There were a few more pretty significant (to me) hills and I admit that I was was thrilled to get back into town and hit the final downhill. The finish line on Main Street was a welcome sight! Once I crossed and got my medal, I grabbed some snacks (and said hi to Kim who was serving snacks!) I hurried back to the car. My plan was to head home, grab Phred and go cheer on Meg and Sara who were running the half – and the 8 mile mark was right up from my house! Traffic was kind of not great but once I got close to home things opened up and I actually had plenty of time before I saw them heading up the street! Then it was back to the house, hop in the car and back to the finish line!!

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Meg and Sara in the distance!!

And ya’ll know I’m all about the post-race goodies, right?! Well, they did it right this time! NoRa Cupcakes, Eli Cannon pulled pork, Mondo pizza, tasty little baguettes!  In addition to the actual race provided snacks for runners, there were also food trucks lining the street next to the park (we didn’t hit any of those but they all looked really good!!)

Eventually it was time to say good bye to my running pals after another really great weekend! But we’d definitely be doing this again. And again!!

 

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Another Kim Markey original photo!!

Overall, I think this was a great event and I do hope it comes back year after year! There was really a sense of excitement along Main Street, it is a beautiful (but hilly!) course, and the post-race snacks were amazing. PLUS having the Wesleyan Legends there was amazing!! The only thing I think I would change is making sure that someone is monitoring the street closures – LOTS of cars were going around barricades and ignoring speed limits which put runners in danger. I know that the Hartford Marathon Foundation was looking for volunteers as late as Saturday afternoon so hopefully there will be more excitement around this next year and the volunteers will flock to help out!!

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If You’re Lucky Enough to Be Irish….

21 Mar

You’re lucky enough!!

Zazzle dot com

Thank you zazzle.com!!

And even though St. Patrick’s Day has passed, there’s some St. Paddy reporting to be done!!

Each year, the Hartford Marathon Foundation puts on the O’Races! This year, as an added bonus, they added medals. And at the end of it all, if you did all three races, you’d end up with a fabulous “key” to put all of the medals together. So…of course I was doing all three!!

First up was the O’Putnam – the weekend BEFORE the weekend before St. Pat’s Day. Now, Putnam is way up in the Northeastern part of my tiny state! My friend Kim – at Maker Mother Marathon Runner – had just had surgery and was told no big driving so we were going to met at my house and drive up together. So, of course, minutes before she got here (luckily since I had told her the WRONG STREET!!) I went to pull the car out of the garage and it wouldn’t start!! I felt AWFUL – but Kim happily agreed to drive and we decided if she was not up to driving back then I would take care of that.

So after what seemed like a bazillion years, we finally made it up to Putnam, grabbed our bibs and super great hats and decided to hang out in the sponsoring bar to wait for the start. Kathy was coming over from RI and had a much shorter drive. We ended up meeting her at the starting line. By the way, Putnam is a really cute little town with a great bakery/coffee shop and a dive bar or two!

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Me and Kim, reppin’ the Sparkle Athletics!

The air horn went off and we all went on to finish our own races! I didn’t do TOO bad — at least I’m guessing – since my watch wouldn’t work. Side note- I might need to replace my 15 year old Garmin soon…

Now, these St. Patrick’s Day races all have one thing in common — that’s right. Beer. Not green beer. Just plain old beer! And, you’d be surprised (or maybe not!) how tasty a beer tastes at x o’clock after a short run! They were also offering corned beef sandwiches but I passed on that for this race.

After chatting with Kathy and her husband for a bit, and getting in some dog petting, Kim and I headed back home and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate her driving when she thought she wouldn’t be!!

The big weekend is actually the one closest to St. Patrick’s Day is the biggie. A 2 5K weekend!

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Pre-Race hijinks with Meg, Kim and Kathy!

First up – the O’Niantic in…Niantic CT — down on the shore, it’s a cute little town. Kim and Meg (we met her before at Princess but in case you forgot, you can find her at Runaway Royalty — and definitely check out her recap of this weekend! Link down below!) came to my house since it’s really on the way down south and we headed down to the shore. We were there early, got bibs and hats (I missed out on this one  -BOO!) and then went to sit in Dunkin to pass the time. Kathy met us there and we eventually headed to the start line (via the potties – which we ended up asking a store owner if we could use his and he kindly let us!) where there was not a lot of waiting for things to get going!

Meg and I stuck together for the first mile or so…then she was feelin’ it and took off during a walk break for me! I was having some wheezing thing going on which was not exactly new but completely unexpected!! It’s a gorgeous course through a residential neighborhood  with a hill or two thrown in…which means one good downhill!! 😉

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Showing off some more bling! And our great caps!

Kathy finished, then Meg finished and it made me happy to see her face when I headed across the finish line  – then we waited for Kim, who wasn’t too far behind me!  Again, St. Pat’s = Beer so we headed to the After Party at a local restaurant! Today our snack offerings were chili, bananas and some fantastic granola! Which was good to have while we waited in Line. For. Beer!!

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‘Tis the season…the beer season!

Eventually got a beer and found a place to keep warm and enjoy our beers before heading home again!  Kathy was gonna spend the night instead of going home  so we grabbed a(nother) beer and watched some DVR’d shows before going out to lunch at the diner around the corner. It was an EARLY night – cause we’re old and it had been a long day!

On Sunday, we were happy that the race wasn’t starting until 1 in the afternoon. After a relaxing morning and breakfast we headed downtown. Where it was FA.REEZING! Seriously, with the wind it had to be in the  20’s. Thank goodness for another knit hat!! We met up with Kim (and her kids!) and Meg in the XL Center, out of the wind but eventually had to head outside.

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Hey! Where are you? I’m outside in the green cap!!

This race is the biggest of the whole series and it was a sea of green out on Trumbull. Today we all started separately, knowing that we’d meet up at the finish!

I had a fun time, and did a little better than the day before. Slow and steady — I think that’s what will help me improve and get back to where I used to be! The sun was shining and once we got moving it warmed up pretty well.  Lots of people out on the streets of Hartford made for an interesting run too!

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The State Capital — in the right light that dome is BLINDING!

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I love this arch — love it!

Crossing the finish line, I saw Meg in the food line and got a text from Kathy that she was picking up my medal “clip” — see, for the first time ever, for the three O’Races, Hartford Marathon Foundation gave out medals – and at the last one, we got a clip to hold all three together!

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Three Medals — very pretty on their own…

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And when you put them all together…gorgeous!!

Really fun and some nice Bling! Kim and Kathy eventually got in line with Meg while I grabbed my beer and then joined them.

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Freezing cold bling!

We grabbed our corned beef sandwiches and tried to find someplace indoors — trying the XL Center and immediately getting kicked out so they could lock up! Kim ended heading to her car while those of us who didn’t bring our kids (that we don’t have!) headed to the nearest pub!

Had a great time having another beer and chatting with the girls – eventually though, even the most fun weekends have to wind down and that’s what happened to this one. I will say though that I had the MOST amazing time! I’m generally a lone runner but it’s always nice to know you’ve got friends out on the course and, in my case, waiting at the finish! I loved the weekends’ races and can’t wait to run with my girls again!!

And for ANOTHER great recap of our weekend check out Meg’s blog at Runaway Royalty  – she’s got some great pictures too!

Looking Ahead…

12 Jan
homer_running theboringrunnerdotcom

From theboringrunner.com

Well, my running year did not end on a great note. And so far this year is not starting off much better.

But I have GREAT plans!!! And some goals need to be set because my BIG BIG goal is to run the runDisney #DopeyChallenge next January.

Just this morning, I deferred my entry for the Houston Aramco Half Marathon and it makes me sad to do it. This is really one of my favorite events, mainly because  it’s in my hometown, but also because it’s very well done. And Flat. Ish. And if you know me, you know how important that part is!  I’m happy that I am doing it “officially”, though,  because this means I don’t have to go through the lottery for next year (Much more on my next January later!)  I am still going to have take a shot at the 5K  though, even if I have to walk/limp the whole thing!

Up next is the runDisney #GlassSlipperChallenge. This will be a 10K on Saturday and a Half Marathon on Sunday. I’m sitting out Houston expecting to be much further along in my recovery than I am now. To that, I am planning on – finally – making a visit to a *real* specialist on Monday. There’s a walk-in (hahah!) orthopedic clinic right up the street and ortho help is what I need. I hope.

Also on my radar for this year is another shot at the Marine Corps Marathon – another favorite! They’re moving to a lottery this year so in order to make sure I get in, I’m going to get in on the Marine Corps 17.75 – it’s a 17.75 K race just outside of the Marine Corps Base at Quantico VA. Finishing this will give me guaranteed entry to the big show!! There are also a couple other events sponsored by the great folks (yeah, the Marines!) from the Marine Corps Marathon that I may have a peek at!

Locally, I’m in for the Greater Hartford Quarter Marathon, the Solstice Sprint 5K and for the second time, the Hogsback Half Marathon!

There’s also a slew of Hartford Marathon Foundation events that I haven’t signed up for, but you know I’ll be there!!

And the random “special” events…Like the Hartford Run or Dye in July – I’m in!! And there’s a “Run for the Bulls” in Bermuda at the end of March that I’m planning on doing with my friend Sharon – who happens to be a Bermuda expert so it’s going to be a super fun trip!!

Besides running, I’m really NEEDING to get back to Bikram – trying to save my pennies for that one but hope to be ready to sign up by the end of next month – then, since I’m working from home it’ll just be a matter of scheduling it so I can go many days a week!

So, right now it’s a very haphazard plan, but once it’s written down – training plans can be set up and really, the goal is to get me to #DopeyChallenge in good shape and ready to have fun!

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Not me….yet!!

Sunday Funday!!

27 Oct

I do love the weekends! Especially in the Fall – everything seems a little easier.

Spent most of Saturday hanging out with my dog, Phred. A little laundry, a little guest room bed-making, a lot of thinking about getting a lot done! I did manage to make some headway on a craft project I am pulling together for Wine and Dine weekend

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On Sunday, I hit the ground running! Literally 🙂 It seems like all of my pains are definitely going away so I wasn’t terribly concerned about my 5K, The Pumpkin Run, this morning..or rather, this afternoon! A 1 pm start meant I could get some things done BEFORE the run and then come home and putter.

I overestimated my lack of pain, however, so it was a slow 3.1. But I got it done! The weather was beautiful, clear blue skies and the trees are still in the last stages of changing and losing leaves. Lots of folks in costumes so there is definitely some Halloween spirit(s) in the air!!

Before the race, I hit up Target – using their new Cartwheel app on my phone I saved a buck and change. Once I figure it out I am hoping the savings will add up!! Had to get laundry supplies and got some percentage off of those items so Yay! Also got some supplies for making macaroni and cheese in the crockpot! I made this last winter and it is really, surprisingly good! Made the mac and cheese and stuck it in a dish to do the final hour of cooking with melty cheese and crunchy potato chips on top. Tomorrow is gonna be SWELL!!

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Yeah, it doesn’t look like much here…but just you wait!

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Tomorrow, this will be all brown and bubbly on top!!

Then, since I was apparently in some kind of nesting mood, I baked up my mom’s Apple Cake. I used to bake this ALL THE TIME when I was growing up and when I found the recipe again and made it the first time again, it really brought back some great memories. I don’t know why, but I added some glaze to it this time – it’s nice, but really not necessary at all!

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Before the oven….

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And after. With some lumpy glaze. NOMS!!

THEN…I had some thawed chicken breasts and had figured I’d just throw them in the oven and bake them but then was struck with the desire to make chicken piccata –which I have NEVER made before but I just love! Turned out pretty amazing if I say so myself! Cooked up some noodles and broccoli and had an actual proper dinner tonight!

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I may always saute chicken from now on…even without the sauce it was pretty tasty!! Butter does that!

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Full of lemon-y caper-y goodness!!

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A grown-up dinner. It happens every now and then!

So, if you know me – and even if you know me you might not know this – Useless Fact #23432: I don’t like when my house smells like food. I don’t care what kind of food, unless it’s baked goods made with lots of butter – that smell I don’t mind! So, I needed to do something to clear out the chicken smell.

Since I had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge to use up I whipped up a batch of really great pumpkin cookies. Another something that I used to bake all the time growing up. Me and mom would bake hundreds of these it seemed! Her original recipe calls for dates but I could never get into that, so I use raisins!!

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Fluffy sweet cookie batter

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Finished and frosted. Most of them anyway…ran out of frosting!

Now, who’s hungry? 🙂

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