May 2008

Yep, even I can tell that this post is going to be boring. Sorry!

No running tonight – I had thought of going to the gym to lift weights, but then I remembered – I had manure and top soil at home that need to be put down on my vegetable garden, and since each of those weighs 40 pounds, I figured those could be my weights.  In New England, it’s not safe to put veggies out in the garden until at least the end of May (sad, I know, our summers can be pretty short sometimes.)  Besides, I’d like to try to run about 8 miles tomorrow between the TNT training and my own afterward, so I figured giving my legs another night of rest wouldn’t kill me.   And I just love the idea that I will be eating some of my very own veggies again this summer. Once the farm stands open up, I just hate having to get veggies at the supermarket! The tastes just don’t compare.

My little brother left me a voicemail earlier telling me he just did a 30-miler today to get ready for his Finger Lakes 50 Mile run in July.  My big sis’ reaction – “he’s sick.” 🙂 She’s in South Bend this evening since Steven’s Sunburst Marathon starts at the bright and early time of 6 a.m. I guess his goal is to do the marathon between 4 hours, 30 minutes, and 4 hours, 45 minutes.  She and I were joking that when Jamie runs with me in October, he may need to run ahead and come back or do laps around me if he feels the urge to run faster than I can keep up.

You want to know something that is sick?  I just got my new issue of Running Times magazine this evening. They have an article in there talking about the Kenyans. I guess now the time a Kenyan likely has to run a marathon in to make the team is 2:05. Ok, I would be lucky to do a HALF marathon in that time!

Ok, I’m off to write out some more thank you notes – I am trying to keep up with them as best as I can, but thankfully, I have been receiving a lot of generous donations from folks, so as long as I am always a few behind, that’s actually a good thing, right?!





The first is my reason for not running tonight. My friend Nicole is getting married this Sunday, then leaving me (the audacity!) to move to Florida with her new husband, Kevin. I was over at her house putting together wedding favors. It took us all of 10-15 minutes, so of course I was really there to see her one last time privately before the craziness of her wedding day.  She is just an amazing person, always smiling, always laughing. She and I are the kind of friends where we can go for a while without seeing each other, yet when we get together, we just pick up where we left off with no awkwardness, and it’s like no time has passed.  We rationalized  our eating chocolate cake for dessert, and lasagna, as my fuel for training.  (Hey, I told you in an earlier post that I love food, remember?!)

The second is to my brother-in-law, Steven.  He is training to run a 50K run (if you’re not good with math, don’t worry. Just know that it is equivalent to 31 MILES) at the same time as my nut of a younger brother, Jamie, in the Finger Lakes, in July.   (He’s promised “there will be violence if your brother kicks my ass doing 50 miles while I run 31 miles.”) 🙂 He was on target to run 24 miles this week, so he figured, what the hell, I’ll just run a marathon. Hey at least this way he can get hydration support! He’s running the SunBurst Marathon, and I just noticed on the website – you end up at the end of the race running in the Notre Dame football stadium – how cool is that?  I am very happy for him that they allow headphones.  Why couldn’t they do that at the Maine Marathon, I ask, why, for the love of all that is good and holy don’t they allow it with TNT stuff??!!


Good luck, Annie, my big sis, in not getting lost driving around South Bend, while now doing this with not one, not two, but THREE kids!

The third is to my cyber running buddy, Lisa, in San Diego. She is running the Rock and Roll Marathon on June 1st.  I just know she’s going to do great.  She has the right attitude.  People like Lisa amaze me. To have kids, and to be able to also find the time to train is so impressive to me. I see how much time it’s taking me, and I don’t even have little ones depending on me, unless you count my two cats and my parakeet. I’m so excited to read your blog afterward.

I know  you guys will be busy over the next few days so I wanted to get these shout-outs out there quickly tonight. Lots of positive vibes being sent your way!




The other day I found my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 on Ebay in MY SIZE OF 7.5 and I immediately snatched them up!  They arrived the other day and I am so happy. Yes, this is the point I’ve gotten to in my life, where I feel like I have masterminded a coup by getting my shoes at $35-40 off, even though they are identical to the pair I already own. 🙂

Why buy two pairs of the same thing? My brother used to work at a running store in NYC called Jack Rabbits, and he said that the cushioning in your shoes actually takes 2 days to bounce back – 48 hours, from every run you put them through. Even though it seems like you are putting more money out at one time, you actually help yourself by always running on a shoe with fresh cushioning, and instead of beating the hell out of one pair for three months straight, you can stretch out each pairs’ life for 6 months.  When I put on the new ones tonight, they felt like slippers again. Sooooo-ooo— nice. (True, the “old” ones are only a month or so old themselves, but I noticed the difference!) I’ve heard the GTS 8 don’t have as good cushioning, say it ain’t so!

Anyway, just felt the need to share – thank you to everyone for their input on the water/hydration options out there – I really need to try some of them out! Glad you all liked the pictures too! Wait until fall hits New England – I may be biased, but you can’t beat the colors in New England or the Mid-Atlantic in the autumn  season. I will be sure to take some then…



In keeping with my memoir of last week of getting rid of all the negatives, and keeping the positives, I realized that to ignore a negative, is not to get rid of it. That’s avoidance. Sweeping it under the rug – well, it’s still there, but now you have a bump to trip over.  Over the next week, I am going to do the best I can to rectify the last big negative in my life. If that does not work, then it really is going to be “good riddance” time. 

At one point tonight I even toyed with the idea of not running, that’s how bad my mood became. Then, I decided, “no, that’s not the answer. The answer is to do something that will require a lot of focus to the obliteration of all else.”  For me, that is hills. I ran the Winchester Hills again tonight – the same ones that forced me to walk at the top of most of them after the first mile or so.  The same ones that make me feel as if I’m running a 45 degree angle, but as Chris tells me, are more likely are equivalent to an 11 to 16 incline on the treadmill. Well, tonight I ran 4.01, all hills, up and down, over and over, and I did NOT walk. That felt damn good.

At first I had told myself, just try to run further than 1.03 miles of hills without stopping. That then became 1.5. Then up to 2, then ok, 3 miles. Then I just said to myself “screw it, just do 4, you big baby.”  I DID! (Picture me raising my arms and yelling Hallelujah!)

I came across another blog tonight of someone named Jenn, who is raising money for the American Cancer Society. It’s called My Second First Marathon – I think it’s great what she’s doing, and I like how she has her playlist that starts up when you click onto her site. I am not sure how in the world she found my blog, but I’m glad she did! Thank you, and good luck to you, Jenn!  Like me, she is asking for heroes’ names, regardless of donations to her cause. Her list is getting long quickly – let’s hope that next year at this time, there won’t be so many people dying from such an ugly monster.

I am happy to say I am over halfway to my minimum fundraising goal for Team in Training – whooppee!!




Yes, I am just a blogging fool this evening! Bill teased me after we came home from the Cape, that I must have had all this stuff inside bursting to get outside and be written about, and he was right!

Before I forget, here’s a video/song from the All American Rejects, Move Along. It nevers fails to help me run. I think we can all get some motivation out of it, but this is especially put here tonight for Tamara, over at Eat My Dust, who I think it’s especially fitting for, after having read her 6-word memoir. (Maybe not the actual video itself, but the song itself.)

  Yes, I am also updating my music collection as we speak.

Here are some pictures of my route this evening – I did 2 laps around this lake/pond tonight (with some detours) so the total for the evening was just over 5 miles. It was really hot and humid (ah yes, summer comes early to Boston!) so I did walk a bit in the beginning – with my asthma, it’s always especially hard in the humidity, but tonight I did feel that I am getting stronger, lung-wise, than I was at this time last year.  This is also the lake/pond I ran around last Thursday night in the pouring rain. That night it was 3 laps, and every two miles I toyed with the idea of possibly stopping, but I refused to give up!

These are all from my cell phone, I am very happy that they came out like they did!


horn pond at sunset

Horn Pond at sunset    




horn pond through branches

Horn Pond at sunset through branches (above) and below yet another of the far off island



canadian goose at sunset


Canadian goose at sunset (Robert in Chicago, this one is are for you!)



multiple canadian geese at horn pond

Multiple Canadian geese – there are many little babies at the lake/pond right now but these were all adults (will try next time for you, because they are adorable!)



island far off at horn pond

Not sure if you can see it, but there’s an island in the middle of the lake. Right now, we’ve had a lot of rain, but sometimes you can even see less of it.



Hope you enjoyed the pictures!!

You may have noticed a new commenter by the name of “HM” earlier today on my blog.  Yes, my husband can be so sneaky – that was him! He took some videos of me on our digital camera this weekend, but my blog wouldn’t let me add in .AVI files, so all his hard work was for nothing…;-)

His new nickname for me is HM, as in High Maintenance.  He kids me about being a high maintenance runner, as compared to Jamie. His video showed me rummaging through my pink (girly, I know, but I love it) gym bag to find my headphones.  If you look at the pictures before the race, you can see I’m wearing 2 gadgets (iPod and Garmin watch) and a hydration belt, and my Brooks hat, which was the best $20 ever spent, I swear. It looks and feels like this one, but without the Hanson logo. Jamie, meanwhile, just kind of gets up and goes, with only his Gu and water hydration stuff.

So, now that he and I are running together in Maine in October, we were talking about what I should use for hydration. I’ve been using one of those waist packs. To be honest, it’s a pain in the ass. It hits me on the butt every other step. Jamie suggested I might want to use one of the Camelbak hydration packs, either the 50 or 70 oz. He said those fuel belts with the little bottles never seem to give him enough water to last over time – they only provide 40 oz. of water. He said he “sweats a lot.”  I need to be honest here – he probably just “glistens” in comparison to me. If you don’t believe me, ask Bill how far he runs away from me whenever I walk through the door after a run. 🙂 My brother-in-law, Steven also said he tends to run out before the end of a marathon, also, with those fuel belts. That’s two people I respect who’ve both said the same thing, which makes me worry.

What do any of you use out there – anyone try the Camelbak ones yet and like or not like them?  I know it will be heavy at the beginning, and get lighter as I go. I like the idea of being able to drink whenever I want to, and not having to rely on whatever the race gives me. I’d be curious to hear what others have tried and found out – I know we are all different, of course, but it’s good to hear from other honest opinons. Thank  you!

I am proud, by the way, to be a high maintenance runner!!!!



 So, I have some good news about the Maine Marathon. I was talking to someone in line for the ladies room before the race on Sunday (is there ever NOT a line?) She said her friend ran it last year and that it was one of the most beautiful races she’s ever run. I’m glad to so far have only heard positive things said about that race.

The real good news is that my brother Jamie offered to run it with me, over the weekend.  I thought he had been planning on running the Philly Marathon again this year to move his seeding up for the Boston Marathon next year but he’s not. His time from last year of 2:55:33 will hold for 18 months, so he’s still qualified for Boston in 2009 with it. He said after is 50-mile race this summer he’s not planning on doing another long race (except for with me) until next spring. He’s burned out on doing the races at high speed. I just kept saying, “Are you sure? You don’t mind running it at my slow pace?!”  And he doesn’t, plus it’s a cheaper marathon than most (like $55, I think), and it’s in October, in Maine, so hopefully it’ll be cool out (we both love running in the cooler weather)  so we’re going to do it together.

Now, I KNOW I can do this! I mean, I know I could before, but it will definitely help to have him run alongside me.  There were many times this past weekend when the field spread out, and I found myself running all by myself, and well, I definitely like people running around me, to help stay motivated (even if I do have my headphones on and can’t hear them.)   My mom said “well, that’s good, now you can’t get bored.”  (Um, I seriously doubt the word “bored” will describe me that day, but it’s cool.) Bill was looking forward to having Jamie to hang out with, but now he’ll have to just try harder being a spectator! 🙂

Oh, and here are some pictures of the Cape – I know, I know, not related to running at all, other than that I was on the Cape, and I ran a race, but anyway, here you go!

beach at Green harbor

Beach at Green Harbor (in West Yarmouth, MA)

Nantucket Sound - open ocean

Looking out toward Nantucket Sound and the open ocean

Kennedy house in Hyannis

This house is huge – it’s on the private beach that Bill’s parents’ street own the rights to, even though they are about a mile away.  The guy who owns it is also said to open the Roxy Strip Club in Rhode Island. So, Bill and his brother refer to it as “the house that (I’ll refer to as “boobs”) built” (this blog is PG-13, after all, so you can imagine what words they really use.)

lighthouse and house

I meant to post this picture last night – remember how I said we ran by a lighthouse on our race on Sunday? This is the house right next to it. We looked at it more up close – we really think it’s someone’s private residence – this is right on Hyannis Harbor, in what is referred to as Hyannisport. Think “expensive!!!”

boardwalk at grey\'s beach

This above is the quarter long mile boardwalk on Gray’s Beach, which is in Yarmouthport, MA. It’s on the northern side of Cape Cod, so the water is a bit colder.  It’s a salt marsh also – when we were there, it was when the tide was going out.

storm clouds at grey\'s beach Gray’s Beach around 5ish in the evening.

More of Grey’s Beach – this shows more easily that it’s a salt marsh. salt marsh

marsh sign Self-explanatory, at Gray’s Beach. bill at grey\'s beach Bill, the long-suffering husband. (yeah right)

Grey\'s beach Gray’s Beach again – that’s an osprey nest in the distance – it looks much farther away than it really is.

Oh, and I’m sure you’ve all heard what is going on with Ted Kennedy and his recent diagnosis of brain cancer. This picture below is the one I think is now his. It used to be his mom, Rose’s house. From what Bill tells me, Ted owns much of the compound now – it’s in Hyannisport. The race took us within about a 1/3 mile of the compound.  You might not be able to tell, but they own a LOT of beachfront property, with a lot of it around to the back of his house in this picture. They are very low key when on the Cape, and supposedly very good neighbors. Should be interesting to see what happens to his Senate seat in the next election if he’s not well enough to run.

former Rose Kennedy\'s house

I hope that you like New England – wait until another month or so, then the hydrangeas will be blooming like nobody’s business! By the way, you can think of the Cape as your right arm outstretched, and bent at the elbow. Hyannis and Yarmouth are considered to be mid-Cape, so they’d be right where you bend your elbow. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Boston in good traffic. To be honest, it always feels like it’s another world away from Boston, in every sense of the word. 🙂














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