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Eat, Run, Drive, Sleep?

26 May

Ya know how sometimes you find a thing that you love and you try to do that thing as often as you can? Well, I’m pretty sure that’s the relationship I have with Ragnar Relays.

I ran my first in Washington DC back in September of 2017. And, a couple of weekends ago, I finished my fourth Ragnar Relay, my second time at Cape Cod.

Van 1 at the start line in Hull MA at 5 am! I’m the really glowy one!

If you’re unfamiliar with Ragnar here’s how it’s worked with the teams I’ve joined: 12 people (strangers, actually!) in 2 vans covering 200-ish miles. 6 people per van called, oddly enough, Van 1 and Van 2. Van 1 usually starts pretty early in the morning and runs ‘legs’ of varying mileage. Then they meet up with Van 2 and those runners take over the next 6 legs, while Van 1 grabs lunch, or goes to the next meetup spot (called a major exchange) to meet Van 2 again. Then the whole thing repeats 2 more times so each person has 3 ‘legs’. Unless you are on an Ultra team and then….I don’t know, all craziness happens!!

I was runner 1 in van 1 this time around. Which is the same position I ran last year in this relay. This meant that I took off at the start line at 5:15 Friday morning and covered the first 5.03 miles of our adventure!

So. Elevation 🙂 Finished in the same time as last year and on goal!

When our last runner finished and we had handed off to van 2 for the first time we headed out and had lunch then made a quick stop in Plymouth to look at the Plymouth Rock. Which is VERY small for such a significant part of our history.

There’s some history thing about why it’s held together with concrete, but I missed that part!

Then it was on to our next exchange with Van 2 – only there was no meet up with the other half of our team due to some construction so it was a “virtual” exchange. This meant that when our runner 12 got to the end of her ‘leg’ it was communicated to the start of our next leg and our team and arrival/departure time was posted on a screen (a HUGE improvement over last year!). So Tammie checked in at 4:11 and I took off for my next leg of 4.2 miles at 4:12.

We finished up for the evening around 9 pm – and made the decision to just drive to our next starting point and see if there would be any sleep. On the way we stopped for some folks to grab dinner. Once we got to the high school I put on the clothes I would be running in and pulled on my sweats. I thought I could manage to stretch out over the seats in the van and get a bit of sleep. I thought kind of wrong! But no worries, I didn’t have too long to wait before I set out for my FINAL leg!

At 1:57 I set out for my last 6.9 miles – and this meant I would be finished before sunrise! We ended up meeting Van 2 at the last high school stop on our route and Grant, our 6th runner, came in like a bullet at 10:55! Now, we had until van 2 finished up their longest legs of the weekend. The two guys in our van, Clint and Grant, had gotten a room for Saturday night right next to the finish line so we headed there to shower and change and wait for the rest of our folks.

While we waited we went to the finish line to turn in our crossing flags and grab some delicious BBQ from Big Pig BBQ (their cornbread is AH-MAZing!!) and decided we wanted a cocktail. So we headed back to the hotel, thinking that the lounge was open. It wasn’t. But we somehow met up with the manager of the hotel (I think, I missed this part!) and one of our runners, Chep, said all she wanted was “a little rum and coke with 2 ice cubes!” so this awesome guy said “Okay, don’t tell anyone but…” and we all got a rum and coke (diet for me of course!)

Our last runner managed to get lost along the way, due to some misdirecting signs – either blown down or intentionally moved. But she made it and we all ran across the finish line together!!

Then it was off to dinner and then some runners stayed near the finish and the rest of us headed back towards the start – me to pick up my car and get home and the others were staying overnight and either leaving in the morning or exploring Boston before heading home.

As I mentioned this was my 4th Ragnar. My 4th Ragnar with people who were complete strangers on Thursday afternoon and not at all strangers by Saturday evening!

If you’ve ever considered Ragnar you need to get yourself on a team! It really is the most fun you can have not sleeping in a van, running through the night and coverning 200-ish miles in a couple of days!!

The 2019 Ragnar medal – Cape Cod
And the back —

Up next, I need to find a Ragnar Trail team….

But until then, I’ll stick to the road!

Anybody Home??

6 May

So hey!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been seen around these parts – almost a year or more probably!

Well, it’s time to train for another Dopey which means it’s time to get some structure and accountability back into my world so let’s just start from here. Okay?

This weekend I will be running Ragnar Cape Cod – for the second time. And for the second time I will be runner 1 in van 1 which may just be my favorite place to be. The good news is, my legs are fairly short-ish. The bad news is that my running has been less than minimal in the last few months so lets hope that muscle memory kicks in!!

My team is “Lobstah Rollin’ With My Homies” and I am once again hopping into a minivan with a bunch of strangers for about 40 hours!! And I CANNOT WAIT!!!

I’ll be posting on the interwebs over the few days – Facebook and Instagram mostly but will wrap things up Sunday night after I’ve had a chance to shower. And possibly nap… but probably not!

Some other upcoming fun – Marine Corps Semper Five – I’m doing the 5-miler instead of the half this year but still get the chance to conquer Hospital Hill! The Travelers Championship. This is the one week of the year that I’m a golf fan! This summer I’ll also be back at the Hartford Marathon Foundation X-treme Scramble Series, 3 crazy and sometimes fun 5Ks along the Connecticut River in downtown Hartford.

And of course training. You may have heard me say this before but…my goal for this year is to really and truly stick to my plan! I don’t know how much longer I’ll want to try to run marathons but I really do have to get it right one of these attempts!!

So hopefully you’ll stick around – and bring your friends! – and be the encouragement and accountability I’m gonna need!

Have a great week! See you REAL soon!!

So…Yeah…. About That…. :)

19 Dec

Well. Here we are. Again.

End of the year and I’ve posted, what? 4 times maybe? And generally I’d be all “oh…I’m going to do better” “I’ll catch up” …but not today people. Well, maybe I’ll throw that in somewhere!!

This hasn’t been my best year. Hasn’t been the worst either so:)

I had a fairly light race calendar this year – relatively. I’ll do a summary later (really, I will!) but I think I only “officially” ran 5 half marathons this year, not including the weather-cancelled WDW Half in January. And, no marathon. I did run a Ragnar Relay though which was an amazing experience that I can’t wait to repeat!!

In July I started developing some issues with my feet – the most prominent being a ganglion cyst on the left. This put a big damper on my running/training for the year (which I’m sure contributed to the above 20 lbs) I ended up DNSing at the Marine Corps Marathon which, you all know, is my absolute favorite event all year! For the first time, I decided in advance that it wasn’t going to happen. I actually based this on medical advice for a change! Given my lackluster training there was no way to safely build up the mileage and even just jumping in to 26.2 could get ugly! So, I made the adult decision.

I’m still planning to “run” the 5th Anniversary Dopey Challenge presented by Cigna at Disney World in January – I’ve done a lot of half-assed training and am pretty sure I can get through it. It will NOT be pretty. Not at all. But it most definitely will be fun!! And then there is the Gasparilla Michelob Ultra Challenge in late February. This one has been on my to-do list for quite a long time now so I’m really excited to get to it!

After that I’m not so sure. Of course there are races that I love and really want to do (I’m looking at you Hershey 10K and Marine Corps Historic Half!) and definitely need a real do-over for Marine Corps Marathon.  And I’m sure there will be new adventures showing up along the way!

Here is where I usually will resolve that “next year will be much better” but, since for the last 2 years my “word” for the year has been “Consistent”… at least I’m consistent about that!!

What I will resolve is that I will make much more of an effort to be more motivated – even if I’m not doing a ton of races, there’s so much other fun to talk about! Rest assured though…there will be running!!

Well. This is Embarrassing.

30 Dec



First off, thanks for stopping by — 2016 was not the best for this site. I was MIA for most of it. I would plan a post, get it mostly written out (you should see my draft folder!) and then need pictures from my phone or camera and then…..crickets. Then a couple of weeks later I’d do the same. And again and again.

Then, I would be all “Well, I haven’t posted about June so I can’t jump in to August and now look it’s New Year’s Eve Eve and dang….lost the whole year”. Frankly, I beat myself up a lot about it. Which is dumb but I do dumb sometimes!

And, somewhere along the line I lost ALL my mojo — my running mojo, my eating right mojo, my MOJO! I had little motivation to do much of anything.

Hopefully 2017 will be different – I am hoping to be completely mojo’d out! Or, at least be better than I was in 2016

A friend of mine (probably a few friends actually) chooses a word for the year and I’ve determined that for 2017 my word is CONSISTENCY.


Consistency in everything I think and do.

That means, consistently following through on my plans.

Consistently following a training plan for whatever crazy runs I sign up for this year.

Consistently working towards a much healthier diet

And, consistently posting here – and not kicking myself for days when I don’t. I had hoped in the beginning to use this blog as a means of being accountable to myself and that has just not happened as much as I’d thought.

So, being consistently accountable for my actions (good, bad and otherwise!) is a big goal. Probably the biggest of all.

Of course I also have the usual “lose weight” “get stronger” “do new stuff” resolutions ….but more on that soon.


If you’re here, thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll keep in touch. And if I happen to write something you like, share with your friends.

Hope to see LOTS more of you this year



Time for me to Admit I NEED your Help!!!

17 Jul

Yes yes, I know, I am so far behind. AGAIN!!!

No excuses, no explanations, no nothing!!! But, I need to get back on it!

Part of the reason I started this whole blogging thing was for accountability. And, I really can’t be too accountable if I don’t show up once in awhile right?

I’ve started my training for this year’s Marine Corps Marathon – and I’m already having issues so it’s time for me to ask for YOUR help! I need to check in a few times a week – I’ve got miles on the calendar for 5 days for the next …bazillion weeks!! If you don’t hear from me, I need to be publicly called on it! Email me, post on Twitter or Facebook. Skywriting….

And I have a lot of great recaps to share with you so look for those coming along soon.

Keep your eyes on this space — I hope to share some of the great things that have gone on in the last many many weeks with you. Race recaps, meeting new friends and just a lot of great stuff going on!!

Thanks for hanging in there. It is truly appreciated!!

hang in there

That Time the Wheels Came Off

31 Mar

In honor of today being the day everyone found out if they got in the Marine Corps Marathon, I thought I’d share the post I never published. My 2015 MCM was not my favorite experience, other than running with my girls


As a reminder, I had done the Hershey Half Marathon the previous Sunday and was still in the early stages of my new job – still computer free if I remember correctly…Anyway after a quick trip home and a few days of work, it was time to hop in the car again for another race weekend.

Friday afternoon I took off early from work again to head down to DC for the Fortieth Marine Corps Marathon (and my fifth!) with Phred by my side as usual. The drive down was pretty uneventful which is always a good way to start these things off!

And as usual, I had chosen to stay pretty far out of town in Tyson’s Corner. Before getting to the hotel, I stopped off at Trader Joe’s for some munchies. The plan was to sleep as long as I needed to and head to the expo to meet up with Pam and Kimberlee. And since Team McGraw had put up a team again this year I was hoping I’d run into a few of those running friends as well.

I got to the expo about mid-day and ran into Kristine and Norman at the Metro stop. Kristine was doing some more shopping and we got a couple of pictures (as we tend to do!)

When I got into the expo, I was THRILLED to realize that I was picking up a very low numbered bib for the first time EVER in a big race. It should be noted here that MCM does not number your bib according to pace 🙂


This fine young Marine got me started on my way to Iwo Jima


Whoa!! Corral A!!! Not really – MCM is self-corralling

After picking up my bib I headed to get my shirt and bag. Since 40 is the Ruby anniversary the shirts are a gorgeous ruby red color.


A nice winter weight mock turtleneck –

Then I decided to wander the floor while waiting for Pam and Kimberlee

I stopped by the USAA booth and asked about the Challenge Coins that they used to distribute since I hadn’t gotten on the previous year. Due to costs they’ve stopped giving them out but the awesome lady there gave me a special USAA coin when she discovered I’d been a member for 25 years!


When I eventually met up with Pam I ended up trying out the SparklySoul headbands – another company that promises that the bands won’t end up sliding off of my big round head! There were some on sale so I grabbed a couple and would give them a try the next day. I also went through the Official Merchandise room and picked up a beer glass and a shirt. The line was long but moved pretty quickly so once we finished up there we went back out on the expo floor to do more exploring!

Of course we had to take a picture with Coach Galloway!


We found Kimberlee eventually and did a little more wandering before deciding to call it a day and make plans to meet up in the morning.

On my hunt for meat and potatoes I decided to just call a local diner and grab a burger and fries to go so I picked up Phred from the hotel and after a quick walkies he came with me to get my dinner. Another quiet night in the hotel with plans to get up and get on the first train possible in the morning. Bonus with this hotel is there was a metro station within walking distance! Yay!

I did get out there early enough to grab one of the earliest trains. While waiting I chatted with the one other runner who was there, running his first MCM. We made it out to the Pentagon station with little trouble since the crowd wasn’t too bad yet.

The biggest problem came when we got to the security checkpoint. Here the crowds were really backed up – this is the first time I’ve encountered this at Marine Corps and people weren’t too happy about things. After a wait and a screen with the wand (since my pump set off the metal detector) I made it to the runner’s village. I ran into Jeff McMahon and one of the Team McGraw marathoners on my way to the potty and it was good to chat with him – since the last time I saw him was at LAST year’s Marine Corps Marathon. We chatted a bit then I needed to get my bag checked and find all my peeps!

My Racing the Dream people met up for pre-race pictures and then split up and I had told Pam where we were so she headed that way. We were still waiting for Kimberlee who was stuck in that horrible security traffic jam.


Pam and I heading to the start. Notice the ponchos…

Eventually we headed out to the start area to stake out a spot an luckily Kim made it out before the cannon went off!

Our plan was to stick with 1:1 intervals for as long as we could and then switch over to 30:30’s when we got a little tired. This worked really well for the first five miles or so but once we got into Rock Creek Park we started to slow down pretty significantly – or at least it felt that way. But we were still in pretty good spirits


Lioness in Tantrum, and wear blue: run to remember

Pam started to hurt fairly early on and we could see how far behind we were once we made the turn around at about Mile 7. But our goal was to Beat the Bridge and I thought we were still going to be okay, even though my blood sugar was dropping pretty fast and we were all feeling a little more pain. Once we got into East Potomac park we were doing more walking than running and we stopped off at a medical tent along the way.


Me and Mr. Lincoln — sort of 🙂

Once back out approaching the mall we were actually PASSED by the tail car and realized at that time that there was definitely a possibility that we weren’t going to get to the bridge on time. At mile 19, when we had a mile to go, it became every woman for herself and Kimberlee pushed out ahead first and got in front of the car. I’m not sure how I did it but as I got closer to the Mile 20 marker I managed to get in front of the car and was seriously concerned for Pam but really couldn’t turn around to see if I could see her. I got onto the bridge and was gaining on Kim and finally got close enough to call out so she turned around and held out her hand and we pushed on, wondering if Pam had made it.

About half way across the bridge we heard it! A voice behind us yelling “Anne!! Kim!!!” and turned around to see Pam coming!! We slowed down and she sped up and we made it across the bridge as a team!!

The next 5 miles we knew we could take a lot slower but we still managed to pass a few people. It was fairly disappointing that the remaining fuel stops had already been dismantled but the water stops were still manned and the Marines and others were just as encouraging as they could be!

I was feeling some pain when walking and felt better at a slow jog so I pulled away from the girls but turned around every now and then to check on them. As I approached the final hill I got a little encouragement from this service dog before turning the corner to take on the last hill.


Best character stop ever – and no line!!

Again it was a little disappointing that instead of the usual crew of Marines cheering us up the hill there was …. no one but I totally get it. We were late.

I tuned halfway up the hill to check on my girls and saw them coming so I made the final push and ran the rest of the way to the Marine who was going to put my medal around my neck.


Once out of the chute I waited for Pam and Kimberlee to head to the monument for the all important finishing picture.


We walked together through the finish area where again, there was no food remaining or any of the warming blankets or jackets (we later learned that runners and non-runners alike were taking multiples of all the runner goodies… sad face)

Pam had a flight to catch so we said good bye at the fence and as Kim and I headed to get our bags I saw that the beer garden was still open so we split there, thinking that we may or may not see each other later at our RTD dinner. Which ended up being canceled since people weren’t going to make it on time, yours truly included :/

I went in to the beer garden where a very nice lady handed me a beer she had just got for her daughter but couldn’t bring out into the street. And yes, I then went over and turned in my beer ticket so I double-fisted my drinks and hung out for a bit.

By the time I got my bag and got onto the Metro the crowds had pretty much died down and since I was the next to last stop I had a good rest. I got back to the hotel and took my buddy out for his walk and headed over to WalMart to see what I could find for dinner. What I found was a really good loaf of bread and a cheap bottle of wine that went really well with the cheese I had picked up at Trader Joe’s.

A quick shower and then I hopped into bed with my delightful snack where I pondered what had happened that day and the things I learned about myself.

1. I am now past being able to half-ass my training just because I know I can cover the miles. I’ve never been so close to getting swept in a marathon (except for Paris where they don’t actually sweep, they just close everything down!)
2. I need to put in the work. REALLY put in the work. Just because I know I can do it without great training doesn’t mean I should. I was completely mentally and physically unprepared for this to turn out the way it did.
3. I am stubborn and I am sure that is at least 80% of why I was able to finish this. The other 20% was having the support of my friends and knowing they were struggling as much as I was.

This was quite possibly the toughest 26.2 I’ve done since the first time I ran a marathon. I went through a whole range of emotions during the day but at the end of it all, I’m really proud of myself and my girls for pushing through and finishing. I’m not at all proud of my performance and know I can do better .

All in all, I still LOVE this event and will be doing it again. But I will definitely be more accountable and responsible with my training. It’s the adult thing to do right?


Congratulations to everyone who got in today!!! You are in for an amazing 26.2!!! Hope to see some of you out there!!



New Month, New Attitude!

3 Mar

bright side

Last week I posted about a few things that I think are standing in the way of me doing what I need to do. Or, to use a familiar word, my excuses.

And, the first thing I need to say is thanks for all of the supportive messages I got through various channels — I didn’t set out looking for anything, it was really just a “throw it out there and get it out of my head” kind of post. But every word of support is appreciated. Always.

I really don’t want people to think that I dwell on the negative though. I honestly try not to. I wake up every morning thankful for all the good in my life because I know it could disappear in an instant!

I have some really amazing people in my life, most importantly, my Pop — I am sure when my mom used to tell me “You’re just like your father” it wasn’t *always* a compliment. But it’s pretty true! I also have other family members that I know I can lean on 🙂

To kind of follow up on all that has been (had been?) dragging me down…

  1. That financial thing that was really weighing me down – it’s gotten better thanks to my guardian angels. I have a way to go to feel comfortable again but things are looking up!
  2. My job angst is coming to an end. VERY soon in fact 🙂 I’ll miss a lot of the people I’m working with now, but that is no reason to stay
  3. The body image thing…that’s been around ages so it’s going to take more than a couple of weeks to clear up. But I can definitely change things up a little, at least!!

Every morning is a new start – and I need to start taking better advantage of that!!

Thanks again to everyone who played a part in turning my attitude around in the last couple of weeks — every word and every action, no matter how big or small, helped so much and reminded me that things are not so bad

thank you so much


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