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Hartford Marathon Weekend!

14 Oct

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This weekend, I ran the Hartford Marathon Foundation’s Half Marathon – definitely one of the best small fall marathons out there

I went to the expo on Thursday evening – hoping to score some new shoes but came away empty handed- I had heard a rumor that the new Skecher Nite Owls would be out – they weren’t and the guy in the booth was a…well, not as helpful and friendly as the Skecher reps tend to be usually.  The whole event seemed kind of small to me and not much to look at that I was interested in so I only spent about a half hour there at most.

But I got the most important items — my bib  and my shirt!!

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I really wish there were separate shirts for the 5K and the half….

The plan was to get to downtown Hartford as early as possible on Saturday morning – to avoid road closures and find parking. I managed to accomplish both and parked in one of the state lots near Bushnell Park — super tiny parking spots and really crowded at 6:15 in the morning but VERY convenient!! I hung out in the car for a little while then gathered my things to start meeting up with my friends!

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As usual I was running with no belt since my shorts have pockets and I made the last minute discovery that my jacket has a HUGE pocket in the back!! Carrying my ID, a lip balm, 2 packets of GoGoSqueez applesauce, my external charger for my phone (because it dies SO FAST!) and a cord to charge. My plan was to do 30:30’s since that had worked out so well at Disneyland when I ran with Kim.

I met up with Kimberlee at the VIP area (she was the VIP not me!) and then we hunted down Pam and Diana – eventually all 4 of us were in the same spot near the start, waiting for the signal to go. I decided to hang with Pam and Diana doing 30:17 intervals and we started off with a great pace – not too fast, not too slow! Pam and I were looking at this as a training run for Marine Corps Marathon in 2 weeks so the idea was definitely not to push it since it was definitely more important to get in the miles that break any records!

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A gorgeous fall New England morning at the start line

Things were moving along smoothly til somewhere between miles 4 and 5 – this is when, of course, I felt a pull in my right calf, like someone had just reached in – very gently – and was ripping the muscle down the center.  Not quite a cramp and not a full on incapacitating muscle pull, just a bit of a strain. This slowed me down for the next mile or so but the girls stayed with winning some awesome friend points!

Then, in general, I just started slowing down – partly to compensate for my calf and partly because of my usual lack of pushing myself too hard. Around mile 9 or so, Pam decided to stay with me but Diana had things to do!!! She ran on a head and we finished up the last 4 at a little slower pace

The new half marathon course (new the last 3 years I think) is beautiful – we spend a couple of early miles winding through downtown Hartford then move out to West Hartford and at mile 9 head into Elizabeth Park and out the back side to head back into town. Something new this year was a Candy Station at the entrance to the park – and you KNOW I love this concept! Especially since right before Mile 8 my blood sugar had dropped quite a bit and I was working through my snacks (and Pam’s!) trying to get it back up – 3 gummy bears, 1 packet of Vanilla Bean GU and a pouch of applesauce steadied things out but I grabbed a caramel apple Milky Way mini just to be sure!

We finished strong and saw our friend Kimberly just as we crossed the line – she had been going for a PR but missed it by 5 minutes or so (but still kicked some serious butt!) and after getting a heat blanket, Medal, our Finisher’s water bottle (an awesome way for races to “Go Green”) and our snack back (with a reusable bag!) we found Diana – or she found us – and we headed into the Finisher Festival in Bushnell Park

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I love that they give us a water bottle!!

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And a new lunch bag with some treats!

After trying to find Kimberlee, and failing (since she wasn’t feeling great and headed home) we went to the food tent. Now, one of the places that HMF excels is the post-race festivities — the tradition is chili and apple cobbler. Over the years I’ve done this event, the menu has expanded to include holiday breads baked by local schools, fruit, cornbread, and, I think this year, mac and cheese. We didn’t see any of the mac in the tent but it was wandering around on plates!

Did our chowing down and then headed over to Mile 27. That’s right. The Harpoon Beer Garden. Because what better way to finish things up than with an ice cold beer.

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Eventually it was time to call it a day – or at least a morning!

All in all it was a great morning!! This is becoming one of my favorites!

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Nice course

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Some pretty decent splits along the way…

Up next, the Hershey Half Marathon this coming weekend!!

Singalong Saturday and a new Challenge!

3 May

It is a BEAUTIFUL day in New England today!!!

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Which brings this song to mind:

 

It’s gonna be an outside kind of day – hoping things dry up enough to mow the lawn, but even if not, I need to get out and start farming!!!

And, even though we’re already a few days into May, I’ve got a new fitness challenge lined up – adding this to my marathon training will be a big help! Feel free to play along and report back on your amazing progress!!!

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A NYC Kind of Day

23 Mar

I have to say something first off, get it out of the way…

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When I was in college I had dreams of graduating from law school and being a big city International Lawyer  in Manhattan.  I ended up instead teaching school/working computers/Project Managing in Southern California. Yeah. I know!! 🙂

Eventually, I needed a change of scenery. So I did what any normal person would do. Sold my house, quit my job and moved back to my parents’ house on my way to relocating to the East Coast! I didn’t end up in NYC (I stayed with a friend for a month and realized that maybe I *didn’t* want to live in the city!) but I am close enough to go down whenever I want.

And whenever I can motivate myself to go! I’ve been saying for the last several weeks that I needed a day in the city — maybe I’d see a show, do some shopping. Just enjoy the city!

So finally, yesterday, I went on down!!

I knew I was going to see a show but didn’t know what I wanted to see. I figured I’d hit the TKTS booth and see what they had. Somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to see “Cinderella”. However, the ticket gods were against me — even the TKTS discounted price was more than I was willing to pay. While I was trying to decide what else I’d like to see, someone was shouting for “Jersey Boys” — when I asked how much he said “45” and I was …SOLD!  He couldn’t sell on the street and when we started walking up Broadway I got a little nervous. But we went into a very neat little storefront  and introduced me to Thomas — my new theater connection!   The Forty Five dollar price included ALL fees and ALL taxes as well as the ticket itself!

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My new ticket connection — everyone, meet Thomas!

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Note the face value on the ticket….yeah. I KNOW!!!

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And when I got to the theater and looked in my ticket envelope…

I had some time to kill before the show so I stopped in at my favorite shop in NYC — The Hershey Store thankyouverymuch! It was a big day for free samples (no picture since I ate them on the train home!) –but let me tell you, coconut Kisses? Oh yeah. #LoveandKisses for sure!! Then I headed to Rosie O’Grady’s for a pre-show beverage.  There was a nice Irish boy behind the bar, and lots of friendly folks who had the same idea as me!

Since time flies when you’re having beer, before I knew it it was time to head up the street to the theater –

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The Theatah!

where my plan was to have another (overpriced) beverage during the show! And, it’s like they knew I was coming – spillproof beer cups!

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Yeah. I KNOW!!!

I have a few friends who have seen Jersey Boys” and all gave it rave reviews – and they were right! I LOVED the show! Loved it. And I had a pretty good seat!

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Not a bad seat, except for the really tall guy sitting in front of me…

When the show ended I did some more NYC wandering. Took a detour through Macy’s but nothing really caught my eye. It was beautiful out so I just really kept walking around, popping in to random stores until I was getting tired and ready to head home.

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Macy’s Flower show starts this week I think — the store turns into a floral wonderland for a couple of weeks…

All in all, it was a really nice day — I haven’t had one like that in a long time. Now I have to just hope to hurry up and get a new job so I can do it more often!!

Hope everyone has had a great weekend whether you were running or relaxing. Or both!!

Singalong Saturday! The Disney Edition

22 Feb

Okay…Genie was on the course today and now I cannot get this out of my head!!

You’re welcome 🙂

Oh heck — here’s more Disney Friendship!!

Hope you’re having a Magical Day!!

Singalong Saturday is back!!! And a bonus!

1 Feb

And I know you missed it as much as I did 🙂

The other morning, the traffic woman on the news started singing this (really well, I might add!) and well, it’s been stuck ever since. That means I get to share it with you!!  Go Bobby!!

Have a SUPER Saturday!

Oh, and did I promise a bonus?!

With a special shout out to my girl Kate A!! 

Silver Bells

21 Dec

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The Carol of the Bells is one of my favorites (yeah, really, they’re ALL one of my favorites!) and when I woke up today with it ringing in my head – haha! Get it? Ringing…bells…-anyway, I went searching for a version. And there are SO many great ones!

It really was tough for me to choose – but I think one is the best reflection of what I hear in my head when I hear this song

And, today is the first day of Winter so everyone who has hated it getting dark so early, the turnaround has arrived!!

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Singalong Saturday!!!

21 Sep

I’ve had this in my head all week…so now I’m sharing with you!!! And it’s a two-fer – Pitbull AND Tim McGraw (not to mention there’s even a little A-Ha in there!)!!

And, in other happy Saturday news, the Post-It’s are back!!  It seems like the only way I can get things done is to be able to throw out tiny pieces of paper when I finish something!!

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Disclosure: Not the actual list for today 🙂

Happy Saturday!!  Make it count!!

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