Tuesday, April 27, 2010

fun fact friday

(i posted this on friday april 30th but for whatever reason it says i wrote and posted it on a tuesday. fun fact friday fail.)

so i think i want to start blogging more than i do right now (which is approximately once a month). i got to thinking monday night (well 2am-ish tuesday morning) at work about what i could do that wouldnt be boring. i started looking back through some of my old blogs to see if i could get any inspiration... what do i do besides run? i drink. i cry (a lot, mostly when running a road race, when im tired, or while watching re runs of old greys anatomy episodes). those things wouldnt really be fun to read about, per se.... but, they are true facts about my life. and throughout almost all of my posts ive had **fun facts** strewn here and there.

thus, heres my new idea.....


(im a loser.)

so here it will begin. a few **fun facts** about me that you may not know. from here on out i will use fridays as days to just tell you things that may have happened to me throughout the week or just stupid things i think are fun. (you dont have to think theyre fun, it wont offend me)

fun fact #1: my mom found out she was having twins only five hours before they were born. i cried cuz i thought we had to give one back

fun fact #2: my fiance donated the right lower lobe of his lung to his brother in 2003 when he needed a double lung transplant due to cystic fibrosis. please please please consider being an organ donor. it truly saves lives.
fun fact #3: every february i run a race in my hometown, the cape elizabeth midwinter classic 10 miler. this race is always on superbowl sunday. i do this race ever year pretty much so i can eat as many chips/dips/chicken wings/beer as i so desire on that day

fun fact #4: (you might have already figured this one out) i dont particularly care for uppercase or punctuation

fun fact #5: ive had my camelbak for over a year now and i just last week figured out that i can hook the straw part to the other strap in front instead of having to hold it in my hand while im running. so smart.
fun fact #5a: i gave up eating potato chips for my 2009 new years resolution. and i made it. 11:59pm december 31st 2008 to 12:06am january 1st 2010. it was a very.long.year. (and i now pretty much eat chips every day)
fun fact #5b: my favorite chips are red doritos

fun fact #6: my new years resolution for this year is to run a road race every month. at the very first race of the year i found 2 other runners whose new years resolution was the exact.same.thing. 12 in 2010 baby.

fun fact #7a: the mdi (mount desert island) marathon was recently voted 2nd in best overall marathons in runners world. thats in maine. come visit. k thanks.
fun fact #7b: im considering running the maine marathon (10/3) AND the mdi marathon (10/17). this would be 2 marathons within 14 days.
hardcore? <---click it

and finally... fun fact #9: i hate the ipod headphones. with a passion. they fall out. i dont think they are very loud (probably cuz they are constantly not staying in my ears). apple brilliantly came up with the idea to put the volume and play buttons on the headphones themselves. fail. i LOVE these headphones... first, theyre pink. second, they actually stay in my ears. however, they only work with my ancient ipod that i cant add any more songs to.
why a fun fact? cuz i found this lovely gem.
thank you belkin. $19.99 at best buy. i can now wear the headphones i love with BOTH ipods (and yes, im bringing both with me to sugarloaf on 5/16).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

volunteering, the BOSTON MARATHON(!!!), and Operation Jack

this blog entry has the potential to be fairly long. please feel free to browse pics and if something looks interesting read a few lines. it may also be scatterbrained. this will not be due to the lack of sleep this week or the glass (read: bottle) of wine im drinking... my thoughts are just so scattered on how to adequately write about everything i did/saw/learned this weekend. ok, you are now pre warned.

on sunday i did something i have never done before.... instead of running a road race, i volunteered. fluorescent vest, flag, and all.

and it.

seeing it from this other side of the race was such a different and an incredible feeling. i know that i personally say "thank you" to many of the volunteers along the course of the races i do, but i didnt know just how many people would say that to me! sure, i stopped cars from hitting them (and let me tell you, a few definitely tried! scary stuff...) but i was just trying to give back. and it felt really good.
here is melissa, me, and rebecca before the race... bet you cant tell which one is me! ;)

im lovin that flag!
i got just a little too excited i think.....sunday was followed by monday (mmm duh), which brought on yet another thing i have never done. melissa, sarah and i got on a bus at 7:30am and headed to boston for the 114th running of the Boston Marathon!! (ps- if you live anywhere outside of the boston area, the bus/train/subway is absolutely the way to go! no traffic. no parking. not having to drive home after having the best/most tiring day). if youve never heard of this race, youre probably living in a box somewhere. if youve never attended this race, plan to go at some point. you will never ever regret it, whether you are a runner or not.

friends. mothers. daughters. fathers. husbands. sons. girlfriends. boyfriends. blind men/women. the young. the old. a man with one arm. cyclists with no legs. soldiers. a runner with a prosthetic leg.

the definition of a marathon reads something like "the triumph of will over reason". we saw that on the faces of each and every person that passed us. and we were at mile 26(point)something. runners had passed their "wall" and the finish line was within sight. we witnessed an incredible neck and neck wheelchair finish. we witnessed the top male finisher look behind him to find he was all alone on boylston st as he crushed the course record. we saw smiles. we saw tears. we saw legs that were screaming they couldnt move one more step but found the will to keep going. we saw a puke and rally. we saw a woman fall down and another runner pick her up and walk with her arm around her holding her up until she started running again. if this isnt what a marathon is all about, i dont know what is.

there were ads all over boston for the marathon... this one from New Balance was in the subway. (i love NB, so heres my plug for them... and the outlet is in skowhegan, maine)
after volunteering on sunday, i realized just how much went into putting on a local race... i cant imagine what it takes to put on a race like the boston marathon!
and of course, bostons finest came out to help maintain order and safety. below is "our friend" tom!

(**FUN FACT** everyone was "our friend" today. including ryan hall. and we decided tom was still awesome, even though he wouldnt cross the street to get us french fries). quote of the day from tom went something like this: "if".... its what makes up the middle of "life". remember that.so we got a super kick ass spot right after mile 26 on boylston st within sight of the finish line. directly across from the prudential center, partially sunny at times, and right up against the fence. this is where we met denton (his wife heather was running) and kelly (whose husband, art was running). here is a pic of (LtoR): some random dude we didnt know, kelly, denton, me, sarah, melissa
(**FUN FACT** i couldnt remember kellys name, but i am happy to report that kelly did one of my all time favorite things and facebook stalked denton to get my blog to find my email to write to me and thank us for cheering on her husband! oh the joys of technology. thanks, kelly, and again, congrats Art!!! ART ART ART!)
long story short about the posters (ill explain more in a bit), we were following @mainerunnerguy and @operationjack for the race, but at&t text updates was a major fail so we had no idea when we would see them. ended up finding them both. loved cheering for them.

we werent even out for a half hour before the wheel chairs started coming. the race for first was so close!. the strength these men and women showed was unbelievable.
then came the women. Teyba Erkesso from Etheopia finished in 2:26:11.
like i said above, the lead man Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya (finished 2:05:52) looked behind him to find that he was all alone and cruised to the finish to crush the course record. denton was able to perfectly capture this moment. incredible.
from the boston marathon site interview with Cheruiyot: "Of his $175,000 pay-day, Cheruiyot proffered that he would probably buy some more cows. And a few sheep." what would you buy if you won $175,000 today for running for 2 hours and 5 minutes?
(so... i wasnt kidding. you might want to have a glass, we still have a ways to go. and this is just so good... so good... so good)"so my friend, ryan hall...." ....finished FOURTH!!! so amazing to see him (in general) and to see him finish top 4!!! woooooo hoooooo!!!!!!
here is a great pic of one of the soldiers in the race. thank you for all that you do/have done for our country!!you might look at this next pic and think, why did she take a blurry pic of half of toms face? well of course, we love love love tom, BUT the blurry runners... more importantly the one in white, is what were looking at here. and the man in white is Sam. i needed to add this in cuz Sam had just given us the thumbs up after seeing our poster, and i was able to quickly grab my camera and snap this shot.
and here comes heather! sarah snapped this awesome shot when heather came up to hug and kiss her loving husband, denton, who we shared the last 4 plus hours with. we just met denton when we got to our fence, and will now be BFFs! (best fence friends). you guys come to maine we will come to oregon? just a thought :) (Heather finished in 3:49:04. 12,519th place out of 25,000! un-freaking-believable. way to go!!) and i hope you guy found a good lobster roll... just not at mcdonalds!
if you have ever watched any race (not just boston) you know how crazy it is to try to find one specific person. youre standing there in one spot only moving your head back and forth, screaming and clapping your hands. your body is mentally drained and worn down from standing in one spot for hours (haha, im the one complaining and i didnt even run the marathon!). at one point it started feeling like the road itself was moving! so crazy. after we saw sam, heather, and jason, we decided it was time to go eat. having only breakfast and a coffee, standing out in the sun without moving, having barely any water, and not moving for 6 plus hours, we neeeeeeeeded food. bad. sam had texted us to come meet at a pub so off we went.

so who is Sam?
glad you asked.
im sure you know im on twitter. mostly for running reasons... i find people that run, enjoy seeing what they do for training (usually a whole lot more than me). i like finding out that many of these runners drink beer and eat chips and french fries and ice cream like me and dont care what they weigh or how well they do just that they love running. i found Sam (@operationjack) through someone who follows someone who follows someone who follows him. and he was doing this crazy (read: super awesome) 60 marathons in a year thing to raise awareness for autism. i was intruiged to go to his website. (you should too, so ill share the link) http://www.operationjack.org/

anyone who knows someone with autism or whose life has been affected by autism will read this blog until they are in tears. so i followed him. and then i told sarah to follow him. and i made him a poster. it was pretty simple. we just loved what he was doing. then he wanted to meet us. so we had lunch with him.
and now sarah will be forming a train 4 autism to raise money and awareness and she will be running her first marathon next year and Sam said he will come to maine and run it with her. ummmm SO AWESOME!! (or in the words of a mainer, "WICKED awesome!!")

although a lot of words written above describe the past weekend, it does no justice to what the experience was actually like. melissa, andrea (who was just across the street from us at the marathon) and i will be running the Sugarloaf Marathon in 27 days and this is just what we all needed to pump us up for that run (*fun fact: melissa is trying to BQ at sugarloaf, and it will be on her birthday next year!!!!)... Sam also pointed out that melissa is going to be 27 next year on the day of the marathon... which is 3x3x3.... and he did finished boston in 3:03..... its.gonna.happen!!!!!!!! :) (ok, ok, knock on wood)

(*****addendum- rebecca will be running sugarloaf with us too! and shes gonna rock it, and hopefully she will be at boston next year too! )

**FUN FACT** i learned how to add links to websites in this blog, hence why there are just a few too many.

and for those of you wondering, the bottle of wine is gone. my 20 miler tomorrow will be fun, probably should have drank beer. more carbs.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

great bay half

race #4 in my 12 in 2010 series was great bay half in newmarket, new hampshire. this year was the third year ive done the race, and for the third year it was fairly uneventful haha.

im slowly developing a nice collection of race shirts, and got my first finishers medal of the year at this race. not quite sure what im going to do with all the shirts just yet... maybe ill make a quilt or something?

there werent that many great professional pics taken this year (not that i really get many good ones at any race)... maybe ill have to start scoping them out and put on a dance or something. see where that gets me. a hot pink tutu perhaps?! (idea courtesy of http://www.chicrunner.com/)
this pic was taken directly at the top of the most ridiculous hill on the course at mile 7ish. the three of us were having a great time cursing that hill when he snapped this shot.

there were a few shots at the end and the progression of shots show me kickin' this guys ass right at the finish line :) i always like to give it all ive got at the end of a race, and with this finish being on a downhill and with that guy just trotting along, i definitely enjoyed it.

overall it was a great day for a race. it was hotter than i thought it was going to be (when i saw the weather at 64 apparently i thought that was chilly.....fail.), so by the second mile i was less than pleased with my choice to wear a long sleeved shirt underneath my race shirt. i had also sprinted the first two miles (about 7:50's for both) to catch up with my friend melissa who i hadnt seen before the race started. also not a good idea.

so i decided to attempt to take my long sleeved shirt off but tried not to stop running while doing so. wearing a belt, headphones, and carrying a handheld water thing did not make this an easy endeavor. clearly looking like some sort of inexperienced fool, a guy running behind me asked if i needed any help or could he carry something for me. probably not shocking to anyone, i said i was alright. eventually this whole process got the best of me and i just ripped off both shirts, one of which i ended up dropping on the ground. lovely.

after all that ordeal, i was finally a lot more comfortable and cooler. but now i had my shirt to deal with. lucky for me there was one random house on this backroad we were on and the people who lived there just happened to be out in the driveway cheering us on. so i went right up to them and asked if they would just keep my shirt in their yard. they just smiled as i dropped it by their mailbox and took off running.

i did not PR at this race. it was over 70 degrees and i am used to training in 45 degrees. my headphones, handheld water, and fuel belt bothered the everloving heck out of me. but i am still smiling and still giving it two thumbs up. why? because i love to run. period.

and for those of you who are curious, the friendly spectators hung my sweaty shirt on the tree in their yard for when i returned.

next up: MARATHON MONDAY(!!!!!!!!!!!) and a report on being a race volunteer! :) good luck to all runners in boston!