Sunday, September 26, 2010

65 roses

a little background info:
when i saw a woman promoting the 1st annual 65 roses 5k at the beach 2 beacon expo back in august, there was no question i would be running this race. "65 roses" is what some young children who have cystic fibrosis call their disease because thats how they hear the words to pronounce their life threatening illness and its easier for them to say. in the description from the CF foundation- "making it easier for children to say does not make CF any easier to live with". no kidding.

i am a respiratory therapist for a reason. his name is aaron. back in 2006 i started school (again) in hopes of becoming a nurse. i was on the waiting list for nursing clinicals and taking pre-reqs when i met tyler and his brother, aaron. within the first 6 months of dating tyler, a bout of pneumonia got the best of aaron and he was hospitalized in the intensive care unit at mass general, basically on life support. for most, a small pneumonia is just a bump in the road. but aaron has CF. he had already had a double lung transplant at that point in time. this pneumonia could kill him.

spending a few days with the sterling family in the hospital i learned a lot about nursing, a lot about myself and their family, and a lot lot lot about respiratory therapy. we all have our very own "aaron" in our life, but i immediately felt in my heart that i wanted to help more people like him and his family, and the rest is history. (good thing things worked out with ty, huh?) :)

the 65 roses 5k was a huge success, bringing out 200 runners, walkers, friends and family for a great cause. im surprised i somehow managed to stay awake, but im glad i did.... i won my age group AND got a new 5k PR! i knew i wanted to run fast because, well, the faster i ran the sooner i would get to go home and go to bed (i worked the night before). little did i know that by running as fast as i could would actually keep me there longer, haha.

the course itself was pretty hilly but having lived in portland i knew the roads and what i was capable of. i started right on the starting line and took off, staying close with the front of the pack. there was one woman ahead of me and about 5 or 6 men. a few more men passed me along the way, and then an older woman. i knew i was still in the lead for my age group (19-29). then, it happened. i got passed by someone i knew was too near my age not to be in my age group. so oh well, there went my chance at #1 (i was actually more concerned with staring at her as she ran by and being jealous of her body... helped me keep pushing along... not that i hate mine... really just kept me awake.... my fiance seriously thinks i like girls).

as i neared the finish line, i knew i was within the top 20 runners. i looked behind me and saw a girl gaining on me, so i stepped it up a bit to make sure i finished before her (gotta get competetive at the end!) the last part of the race was a downhill to the finish so i gave it all i had and crossed at 23:24. a new PR!! i was runner #15, so i got a red rose when i finished (the first 65 finishers got a rose... i felt like i was on the bachelor! yes i will accept this rose). i cheered on the rest of the runners and walkers, including my friends elizabeth and rachel (her first 5k ever!!), and then we all went on down the hill for water, an apple, and pizza! (at 10am, go figure. still so awesome. clearly i had a piece).

when the results started printing out, i checked to see how i did. as i had thought i was #2 in my age group. best ive ever done in a race, but only the top runner wins an award. i didnt really care, but i stayed around to see the ceremony because i am very interested in the cause and wanted to support as much as i could. much to my surprise, they called my name when they did the top age group award.... what? i went and picked up my gift certificate, still pondering what had happened, when the race director announced the other chick the overall womans winner of the race with a time of 21:00. holy fast! but thanks to her, i was the winner of my age group since she couldnt win two awards :)

this will definitely be a race i will do every year if i can, and i will recruit and try to make it huge!!! i am very passionate about helping people with CF as it is so close to my heart.

wedding update: invitations = longest.process.EVER.
make sure guest list is complete (like really complete, cuz im not adding anymore. if you havent made the cut yet, sorry. feel free to crash after 7pm though... two words: open bar). collect addresses that somehow youve lost since sending out save the dates. collect addresses of new people that have been added to guest list that didnt get a save the date (sorry about that... if you really want a STD and didnt get one we will be happy to give you one... er... um... never shortening SaveTheDate again). number the rsvp cards incase people forget to write their names on them (im not a mind reader here people. that big M followed by a line is not just for show. tell me who you are thats coming to eat my $50 meal). develop spreadsheet for who is number what on said rsvp cards. print off spreadsheet incase my computer crashes (wouldnt that suck?!). are you coming to the rehearsal dinner? super, you get a separate invitation! stuff proper envelope with RD invitation. are you from out of town and havent checked our website? you get an extra card with hotel info.

totally worth it. and im really really excited to get mail for the next few months.

me? versatile? sweet!
(for the record, i had to look up the definition of versatile. whatever.)

so the 5k prize was not the only awesome thing about my day... lindsay from sent me "the versatile blog" award and i must say i am SO pumped for this first blog award!! to me this pretty much means my blog is full of random shit that people continue to read but probably care as much about as the fact that many of their salad dressings in the fridge are probably expired.

so thanks lindsay!! ill continue to try and keep you somewhat entertained.

rules for winning this award:

*thank and link back to the person who gave you the award (lindsay... see above link. or if youre lazy like me just click here!)

*share 7 things about yourself (this blog doesnt tell you enough random crap about me? isnt that what this award is all about?....)

1. i have almost perfected my homemade alfredo sauce. its got LOTS of ingredients in it that are horrible for you. yummy.
2. i went to the bathroom at work tonight around 1am and realized i had my underwear on inside out. this happens to me approximately once a month.
3. i went from 12:00am on january 1, 2009 - 12:06am on january 1, 2010 without eating a single potato chip. this is probably one of the first new years resolutions ive ever made that i stuck with. im pretty sure it backfired on me though because i have probably gone only a handfull of days this year without eating chips.
4. chips are not complete without some sort of dip, or cheese, or avacado slices. hellllllo weight gain. its a really good thing i enjoy running.
5. when i take my tshirts off to throw them in the laundry basket i pull them off in such a way that they become outside in, and i dont fix them. it drives tyler insane when he goes to fold the laundry and has to inside out them before folding. this may or may not explain the underwear issue.
6. i begged and begged to get my new verizon cell phone early (before my 'new every two' contract was up, even though it meant paying extra) for the sole reason i was madly in love with the 'pen' option (little drawing pad where you use your finger nail to draw out the letters you want to write in the text). i got the phone early. i have never once used the 'pen' option.
7. i keep checking our registry. on a daily basis. and i will continue to do so until the "want it: 1, got it: 0" reads "want it: 1, got it: 1" next to our kitchenaid.

*pass the award along to other bloggers who you think are fabulous
andrea- tri and catch me
jeri- jerbear shares
katie- run this amazing day
courtney- i can do this
jess- jess runs
jenniferleah- miles, muscles, & mommyhood

happy monday everyone!! 6 days til the dreaded 26.2. i may or may not only be doing the full distance because katie told me i would be her hero having not trained for it. im hoping my legs dont fall off at the hip.

Monday, September 20, 2010

how i ran 26.55 miles in 45hrs 37mins 55secs

my 1st ever marathon took me 4:43:13. my marathon PR is 4:15:25. so why did it take me over 45 hours to run the same distance? where do i even begin....

race #9 of my 12 in 2010 resolution was this past weekend, the reach the beach 200 mile relay in new hampshire. for those of you that have never done this race before (or something like it), its an extremely unique/insane experience. for those of you that have done it before, we all know were crazy. its that simple. but its awesome. and i recommend you add it to your list of "things i should do before i die". (ok maybe not, but its pretty sweet)

total distance: 209.06 miles
oldest runner: 77
youngest runner: 18
average age: 38
males: 2752 (55.78%)
females: 2182 (44.22%)

winner: "washed up NH XC all stars"- 19:53:31 (pace- 5:42) (in-freaking-sane)

i packed all my stuff on thursday night since we were leaving very early friday morning. i had to lay it all out so i made sure i didnt forget anything. the apples i had got left in the fridge. whoops.

it sure takes a lot of crap to run a 24 hour race

still not sure how i got it all to fit

in the rtb handbook they map out the elevation chart for the entire race. doesnt this look like fun? (if you split the page down the middle from top to bottom, the left side is van 1, the right side is van 2)

read: shoot me before i even start running

last year we met up as a team and drove up together with both vans but this year was different because i had to drop my car off along the way so i could drive home after my 3rd leg to attend my brothers wedding saturday night. i picked up lee in scarborough at 5:45am and van 1 runners met at the york maine park & ride and headed up to the mountain. as we were driving along the highway, lee (sitting in the back seat) casually said "guys, i think our stuff just flew out of the top carrier". um... WHAT!? we looked behind us to see all of our sleeping bags and the contents of mistys tote bag all over the highway.


nothin like dodging highway traffic to collect your stuff

we eventually made it to cannon mountain and went inside to stay warm and wait for our 12:40pm starting time. it was about 49 degrees and raining. gross. we entertained ourselves with some pizza and people watching. this was one of my favorite team outfits we saw during the morning

our team before the start

andrea, kelly, and misty modeling our sweet team shirts

run faster finish sooner

fortunately for me the rain subsided and at 12:35 they announced the team names for those departing in the 12:40 wave. with ten seconds left they did a countdown..... it was go time!!

only 209 miles left to go!

elevation chart for my first leg

taking off from the start line was really exciting, but scary at the same time. i didnt want to disappoint my team so i wanted to run real fast! but shortly after leaving the start we ran down a very steep hill which was all muddy from the rain we had all night/into the morning. i literally creeped down the hill so slow because i didnt want to fall. i figured that was a safe decision and i could explain later. there were a few little hills throughout the starting mile or so, and then it was smooth sailing after that. since we couldnt have headphones for this race i tried to sing to myself. unfortunately the only song i could think of was ke$ha "your love is my drug" and i sang it over and over and over. i could not for the life of me think of the lyrics to ugh! but overall i loved this leg of the race. i even did a little dancing for matt as he took my picture coming down the road.

note to self- dancing really tires you out

special thanks to my teammates for the water stops along the way

attempting not to choke on my water

leg 1: 7.95
difficulty: moderate
time: 1:07:07
pace: 8:26

at the first transition area after i handed off the slap bracelet to jason (oh yeah, we had reflective slap bracelets as our relay batons!), andrea showed me what she had done to the van while i was gone! clearly we needed to promote ourselves (and it proved helpful at the finish line.... you will find out about that later)

this is the view from the third leg of the race, which i ran last year. it was so foggy last year you couldnt see any part of mount washington. this year you could just see a little bit of the bottom. i think this hotel (mt washington summit hotel) and the scenery along this road is beautiful

at one transition area early on someone went around and drew a bicycle on everyones van. they must have thought they were pretty clever.

last year jason and i took a picure infront of mount willey...

so we thought we sould take the picture again this year

and then we went into the lake for a little ice bath. this lake was freaking COLD!!! i thought the ocean was cold enough, but i swear this lake must have been 10 degrees colder. it was ridiculous. but like i said before, people who run this race are crazy in the first place, so of course we were in the lake anyway.

at the next transition area i saw this guys hat and fell in love!! of course i asked to take his picture (who wouldnt want a pink dunkin donuts fleece hat?!). he was happy to comply with my request, and then we starting talking to his team and soon became friends. he was a part of a 4 man ultra team (c.r.a.z.y) and we ended up seeing them a lot over the next 12 hours. we lost them somewhere along the way but it was great to meet up with them and chat when we could.

*fun fact: after posting this pic below in my facebook album, my step brother wrote a message saying it was his friend josh! small world.

seriously though, who wouldnt want a pink DD fleece hat?!

we continued to add things to the van as we went along... thought this was a good one, just incase
luckily it didnt open again... including when i left. forgot my sleeping bag inside.

van 1 finished almost exactly 5 hours after we started, which had us at an 8:00 pace. we were off to a pretty good start! once our 6th runner handed off to van 2 we headed into north conway for some dinner at a little cafe. we then headed to the van transition area to try to rest before our van started again. our dinner was SO good and i recommended it to Rebecca ... but i couldnt remember the name of the cafe. fail. we also got ZERO rest at the TA due to us girls in van one getting giddy and having middle school sleep-over like conversations. good times.

i was pretty sleepy at this point but alas, i had to get out of the van at about 10pm and head out for my next run. last year at this time my knees were absolutely killing me, but i felt really good this year and was pretty excited for my night run.

getting the handoff from our van 2 member

on paper this leg looks pretty tough but it really wasnt that bad

leg 2: 3.91 miles
difficulty: easy
time: 32:04
pace: 8:12

after finishing my 2nd leg i tried to fall asleep in the van. definitely wasnt happening. i was really hungry so i was looking forward to getting to the end of beckys leg where we would be able to get some american chop suey at the community church. this was definitely the best TA of the whole race... clean bathrooms, hot food, homemade cookies... score! andrea took off from this spot and we followed her in the van. she was not pleased with all the hills on her leg. ill just say there were a lot of swears in what was supposed to be a "quiet zone". (im pretty sure she wont be doing her same legs next year)

we met up with van 2 at lakes region community college at about 3:40am and headed inside to get a few hours of sleep. last year this place was packed... we were seriously the ONLY team sleeping inside. was there a memo that we werent supposed to do this? oh well...

6am came VERY early, and off we went again. we brushed our teeth and packed up the van and headed to dunkin donuts before meeting up with van 2 at the bear brook TA. they have an awesome firemans breakfast here full of coffee, eggs, sausage, pancakes... but of course i had to run right from here so i unfortunately did not partake in this breakfast. in hindsight its probably a good thing because this leg was the most difficult run i have ever had in my whole life.

leg 3: 8.49
difficulty: hard
time: 1:18:34
pace: 9:15

sad to say, i left shortly after i finished my third leg due to my brothers wedding starting at 4pm back in maine. but my team pushed on without me (i know, i know, i didnt think they would be able to either... hehe) and reached the beach a little after 6pm.

my total miles: 20.35
time: 2:57:45
pace: 8:44
team total miles: 209.06
"run faster finish sooner" finish time: 28:51:27
pace: 8:16
place: 168th out of 430 teams

remember when i said our twitter advertisement on our van helped out at the finish line? i had been tweeting back and forth throughout the race with @sarahhodges and she saw our van and went over to meet our team! sadly i had left for the wedding, but she took her pic with andrea for me :)

i was also texting a friend of mine from high school as well as the twin sister of one of my brothers friend all throughout the night, but sadly we never caught up to them (both of their teams had earlier starting times that we did). it was really great to keep in touch with them throughout the race and hear how they were doing!

my drive home was tough... running on just 2 hours of sleep it was tough to just stay awake! but i made it to the wedding on time and had a great time with family and friends

so you might be asking yourself… "your reach the beach distance was 20.35 miles… where did the other 6.2 miles come in?" well, if you have been reading my blog for awhile you know i dont usually make the best decisions. this weekend was one of those times. i ended up running a 10k race on sunday morning. yup, not so smart.

this was sarah's first race back after having her baby so i told her i would go and run it with her. i figured it would be a good cool down for my legs. i woke up at 7:30 completely regretting the decision i had made.

whether i was ready or not, off we went along the coast of portland maine on a beautiful september morning and the finish line was none other than the beach!!

10k finish line...i reached the beach!

post race with my biggest fans :)

portland trails to ale 10k:
pace: 12:34

so there you have it. 26.55 total miles from 12:40pm on friday afternoon to just 5 seconds before 10:18am sunday morning. lucky for me there was free pizza and beer at the end of the 10k race!! needed that. a lot.

9 races down, 3 to go. coming up: maine marathon on october 3rd! i had decided to do the half a few weeks ago but im gonna go for it. hardcore, baby. (read: probably not a good idea but im gonna do it anyway)

94.45 miles down, 32.4 to go

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

why september is wicked awesome

i love september. actually, i love the fall. i know, technically its still "summer" but september in maine means warm days followed by cool nights. perfect sleeping weather. leaves on the trees are changing. jeans, uggs and hoodies come out of the closet once again. my ideal home would be in a place where it is september/october/november maine weather on repeat. seriously, if there are people out there that dont enjoy fall i dont think we can be friends.

but this years september/beginning of fall is different for a few reasons.... and heres why.

1. these came out this week and are now in my possession

2. big brother 12 finale was tonight. i wont ruin it for anyone if you havent seen last nights dramatic (read: lame but still highly addicting) episode. this season was nothing short of a train wreck, but i obviously watched religiously 3x/week as 13 house guests competed to win half a million dollars. this season was all about the "social game". yawn. although a few of the house guests were awesome eye candy, nothing will ever beat the past two seasons. i seriously want to be on this show.

3. pumpkin EVERYTHING. i know thats not specific to this year, but i had to throw it in there because im truly obsessed

4. race #9 of my 12 in 2010 series (read about that here) is this weekend!! reach the beach 200 mile relay in new hampshire. i did this race last year and!! well honestly a lot of it really sucks but thats all part of the whole experience. 12 runners, 24ish hours, 200 miles, barely any sleep... you get the idea. overall its super sweet and im excited its already here. last years race report can be read here, but ill write a new one next week so id just wait for that one if i were you.

i designed these shirts for our team this year and my friend andrea got them made. i think they came out pretty sweet. (our teams name is "run faster finish sooner"

5. theres only 107 days to go until our wedding!! which also means his month we will go into double digits!! clearly im a little excited. (!!!!!!!)

6. speaking of weddings, tyler and i were in a wedding this past weekend of some good friends of ours, and my brothers wedding is this weekend (after i run the race im headed right to the wedding.... with barely any sleep.... yippee!) here are a few sweet pics from this past weekend. we had perfect weather which made for a beautiful day for a wedding on the coast of maine.

the rehearsal dinner kicked off the weekend with a maine lobster bake

it got pretty chilly, so these warmers were key

late night game of checkers anyone?

september 11th, 2011.....never forget

i have to wear these for how long?

im a little obsessed with her shoes.... and if i could walk in them, id be wearing them on january 1st

i might be a little biased but i think we were quite a good looking bridal party

who wouldnt love an open bar that looked like this!? mmmmmm pumpkinhead

"so hold on to me tight, hold on to me tonight... we are stronger here together than we could ever be alone... so hold onto me, dont you ever let me go"