Monday, December 22, 2014

Currently - Yep Again

I don't have much to say again so here goes..............


1. Loving that my brother has had his surgery and it went very well.  He is recovering nicely and is beyond relieved that he survived it.  Best Christmas present ever.

2.  Anticipating Christmas. I love Christmas but this year it will be bittersweet with Emily on the other side of the country.

3. Relieved - that the winter storm is over.  We got a lot of snow and had 3 snow days - unheard of. A great deal of time was spent without electricity which took away some of the fun.  But it was a true winter wonderland for over a week. Generally the snow sticks to the trees for a day but this year it stayed and stayed. Of course that didn't help the electricity problem but it was certainly gorgeous.

4. Reading - Jodi Picoult's new book - leaving time. So far I am liking it.

5. Watching Scandal. Totally hooked.

6. Beginning  my half marathon training. I got in by lottery to the NYC half marathon.  I am excited and nervous at the same time.  I did my first speed workout today so I'm on my way!

7. Excited that   I also am signed up for a June half marathon I did last year.  The one I did in Rye, NH which was a gorgeous and fairly flat course.  I loved it.  It's full now much sooner than last year.

8. Loving - how easy this format is.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I'm copying this format from Christy at Planes, Trains and Running Shoes.  I always like
 her posts like this so I'm going to copy!


Feeling...all over the place.  Mosty sad.  My brother is in the hospital pretty sick.  I'm
putting this out there as he could use all the positive thoughts and prayers you want to
send. He was supposed to have surgery today but now it is next Tuesday.  Please please
please don't let him get pneumonia in the meantime. 

Feeling... extremely grateful for the wonderful people I work with.  Last Monday when my brother
 was first admitted to ICU colleagues IMMEDIATELY took over my classroom so I could leave.
 No time spent making plans- just left!  Everyone is willing to help anytime I need to go.

Feeling... even more grateful for my son and all his support. He lives near the hospital and is going
to be able to go visit while  I fight this nasty cold during the coming storm.

Reading... Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde. . She is a favorite author and I needed
 a light book.

Eating... everything....  I'm having a hard time getting my eating under control.  After the
 New Year?

Watching... I recently finished Nashville Season 2.  Love that series.  Love it!  I love
 Declan and Reena.

Working on... getting gifts ready to mail across the country. It's going to be my first
 Christmas without Emily.  Another reason tears are near the surface ready to spill out at a
 moment's notice.  I love Christmas.  Love it.  This year it is going to be so different.

Anticipating... next week when Dennis can have his surgery and move on.

Sorry this isn't a more positive post.

On a lighter note I did the Santa 5K this weekend and that was fun.  It was also fun to drive
to the hospital and walk in in my Santa costume.  I wasn't the only one. There were 1500
Santas around that day!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Three Things To Tell - ONE BIG ONE

I love three things post as they are nice and concise. So here goes......

1. I did the annual turkey trot a week ago. It was so much warmer than the year before.  Warm, no but warmer.  I did okay - slow.  But apparently well enough to get 3 and out of quite a few too.  But I didn't hang around for prizes as they take forever. All racers finish first including the 10K and then it takes forever as they have lots of random prizes.  The prizes are great but I didn't have the time.  Monday I got an email from the race director offering to mail me my medal, which I actually didn't know I had won.  I was thrilled because I hate not getting a prize I have won!  

2. Bike goals - 
C. I stated that I wanted to ride at least once in November - check!
B. I wanted to ride past November 17 which was my last day of riding last year.  Check.
A. I wanted to ride at least once a week in November.  Check.
AA. I want to ride at least once in December. We'll see. I am hoping to ride tomorrow but I don't know.  
I am really hating giving up the bike this year.

3.  Last night I got an email which first caused me to laugh and then just be astounded.  I qualified for the USA Triathlon 2015 Age Group National Championships.  It was from the Pumpkinman when I won my age group.  There were very few of us soooo.  But I'm going to be proud.  First, I am out there doing it. Second, I haven't been doing tris long so hey!  Third, I had a really horrible triathlon experience this summer and I didn't quit that race or let that experience stop me from doing more this summer.  The championships are in Milwaukee and I can't see spending the money to come in last!  The odd thing is I qualified for the Olympic distance which I have never done.  But it's neat to be able to say I qualified for a national event.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back To Maine

I am still a resident of the Green Mountain State but with the number of pictures I post of Maine on my IG account people might wonder.
Stayed in a new hotel. The ocean was right out the window!
I have to say it kept me awake.

I did some night work and got Friday off so my biking friend and I headed to Maine.  We knew it would be cold but we were prepared. We actually lucked out in the weather department. We decided to go two nights instead of 3 which worked out well in many ways.  When we got there on Friday it was raining but after a short stop at Eddie Bauer (and some great scores) we got to the hotel and it was not raining.  Friday became sunny, Saturday was glorious and Sunday was cloudy. All days were cold with Saturday being the coldest. I am not sure if it reached 40 but if it did it was the low 40s.  It was basically 44ish most days we rode.  It was also quite windy on Saturday.
One can't take too many pictures of the Nubble.

Ogunquit Beach

Love the marshes.

Friday we did one of my favorite rides up past Nubble (always go past Nubble - in any direction) and then up to Ogunquit to the beach with a spin around Perkins Pier. We were savoring the salt air and the sight and sound of the ocean.

After some wonderful lobster mac and cheese we fell asleep super early, the theme for the weekend.  Up early, exercise all day, eat, sleep, repeat.
On Short Sands

Saturday I had a WONDERFUL run.  Maybe I can fall in love with running again.  It was too cold to stand at the Nubble for the best sunrise so no great pictures there but I had fun on Short Sands getting some good shots.  When I got back to the hotel we went out to breakfast but didn't hurry because it was still so cold. We really should have hurried more but........ (foreshadowing)  We finally started out BUT I forgot my helmet and we had to go back.  I had my headband on so it "felt" right until I felt the wind in my hair. What?  Oops, no helmet.  Back to the hotel.  We stopped at the suspension bridge where I have run but never "biked" and played a little.  My friend that I was riding with seems to delight in some of the same things I do which makes it more fun.  It was just gorgeous with lots of foliage left. We went on Route 103, a new route  to me, which was just wonderful.  We crossed into NH over the Memorial Bridge, the bridge I ran a race from a month ago.  It helped me know where I was. I have never ridden south from York.
Along the river.

I have run on this but never "biked"

A great blue heron

Our next major stop was New Castle, where I have raced many times, and ridden once. It is a great island, a perfect place for a snack and some viewing of the ocean.  The whole ride south was stunningly beautiful. I didn't take a lot of pictures as I could have stopped all the time.  It was cold but very bearable.
New Castle

Hampton Beach

At some point I realized time was going to be tight but our goal was Hampton Beach and I wanted to get there.  We actually had grander ideas of going farther south for a lobster roll but there was no way. When we reached the turn around we had gone 40 miles.  The most I have been going in quite some time is just over 20.  I knew I'd be tired but we were going farther than I had planned.  But the biggest problem was the time and the DARK!  Cathy said we would have to be back by 4:30. It was 2:30 and I cannot ride that fast.  We were going to take a more direct route BUT.  I wasn't sure how far it was but I knew it was quite a ways. It turned out to be 32.  After a snack and use of a public bathroom off we went. We averaged a good speed for the first section along the ocean. The wind was at our back and it is flat.  No time for pictures!  That killed me but was reality.  I have done lots of races here and it was great to be riding.  We reached Portsmouth which was quite busy and a bridge was out. But we found our way through back to the Memorial Bridge.  We were doing quite well when Cathy lost her chain and had a hard time getting it back on.  Route 103 is more wooded and was getting dark rapidly.  We finally reached 1A.  I told Cathy to take off (she was wearing sunglasses) and I would go on my own from here.  She's a faster rider and I thought she should take advantage of it.  It was a straight shot and I just went carefully.  Once back at the hotel we looked out the window in 15 minutes or so and it was PITCH BLACK.  Yikes.  Lesson learned.
My favorite picture!

One more beach shot on Sunday.

We drove the to the Maine Diner and had a wonderful meal. Then an early bedtime again. I was exhausted.  I ran 6 and rode 72!

Another early run on Sunday and a bike ride back to Ogunquit. Hated to leave but it was cloudy which made it easier!  Love love love Maine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Biking and A Walk Against Breast Cancer

I've been continuing to have some great bike rides and hate to see it come to an end.  Following several days of rain there were two sunny days BUT I  was stuck at school doing parent conferences.  Talk about frustrating. Tonight I got out for a great ride after work but I had to hurry as it is getting dark so early.  And this weekend is daylight savings and it will be even worse.  Woe is me as bike season winds to a close. But I'm not giving up yet!
The beauty continues....from a ride on the bike path.

From a ride near home.

From a run near home....once in awhile I actually run.
From a ride near home.

The following is a note from a student.  We do acknowledgements each week at school where you have someone to "watch" and catch being good.  I find the students do a better job of remembering who they are watching if I suggest they make their person a card. This year I threw myself into the mix and the kids love it. This is my card I received last week.  On Friday we write in the notebook of the person we watched and then share what we wrote at circle. I usually sweeten it with a fun sticker to add to the page.  You could hear a pin drop in the room when everyone is writing.  Has it made all bickering go away? Of course not.  But it's an effort to make kids see positive in others and is worth the time it takes.  When my friend read what he wrote in my notebook on Friday, he pretty much wrote again what he wrote on the card.  He read it as best not beast but I kind of like the idea of being a beast.

This past weekend I wasn't in a race but I was in a very special walk, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. I was on the awesome, Christa's team, and we raised over $13,000 as the team raising the most money there. Christa raised over $10,000 herself.  #cancersucks so the more we could raise for research the better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Got to Race My Bike Again

This was the third year in a row I have done this duathlon. It has ALWAYS been freezing and sometimes raining. So why do I keep doing it?  As the title says I get to race on my bike!
Some nice shots Darlene got of the race area.

This year it was a new course. I think I like the old one better - more scenic - but there is no place to be inside at it. This one was at an orchard and you could get warm.

Darlene came and spectated for the third time and she appreciated the orchard building for sure. Thanks so much Darlene for coming to cheer and taking lots of pics!

The run was shorter. Each run was 2 miles which was a great distance in my opinion.
Do I always look this awkward getting on my bike?

The headband under the helmet isn't a great look but
was really necessary.

I'm just about done the bike. Can I stop now?

I was 89th after the run out of 101 people. I must admit I   was surprised by how few people were behind me.  Oh well, more to pass on the bike.  I did pass 20 + people.  You rode a mile and a half and then did a 7 mile loop twice before heading back. Bad news - the winner lapped me on the bike loop. But barely - it was just before the turn and only him. Good news - I lapped two people on the bike loop.  It was somewhat hilly but not bad. It was windy which is never fun.  I wasn't cold though which was great!  I enjoyed the bike as I always do.

Nope, I've got to run again.

Far from last and I am done.

Then it was time to run again.  Oh well.  I was in much better position and only two people I passed on the bike passed me back. I ended up in 63rd place!  Much better than 89th.

I did win in my age group.  I was the only one in my age group. I was the oldest woman there. But I am claiming that medal. I ran hard. I biked really hard. I earned it. I didn't give into the cold and leave to shop and not bother racing.

I won a medal and a candy apple. The candy apple was nicely decorated but I didn't want it. I took it into the granddaughter of the woman who works in my room at school and she was thrilled.  I won a random prize of hor d'oerves (No idea how to spell that) for 10 at a tavern in Lathem, NY.  Well, sounds great but not so close to where I live. So I mailed it to Darlene who deserves something for all that cold spectating!

I did shop on the  way home. I went to Target which is always a thrill. I made a couple of scores at Eddie Bauer too.  I bought some crack at Target, some very cute capris on sale, some pumpkin products and odds and ends.  In case you are wondering about the crack it was white chocolate candy corn M+Ms.

I was exhausted when I got home but a day spent racing is a good day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Memorial Bridge 5K

Memorial Bridge connecting Maine to NH

I'm always up for a new race on the ocean.  This one started in Maine and quickly crosses into NH for the rest of the race.  It crosses the Memorial Bridge which was just updated two years ago.

We had a hard time finding the race, actually drove over the bridge without knowing it.  It's well marked on the NH side but not Maine where we entered it from.  We found ourselves in Portsmouth and kept driving around looking for Badgers Island. When in doubt find some people who look like runners in a parking lot and yell to them for directions.  It worked. Turned out to be near the bridge, registration, race start.....all that.

There were super clean bathrooms at registration!  That's worth a mention.
Lindt chocolate for swag - a good sign

It was raining and cold, not so great and I wasn't sure what to wear.  Not surprisingly I overdressed.  I knew after we started that I didn't need the jacket I was wearing.
Taken from the bridge before the race

First we ran across the bridge into Portsmouth, NH. This was in the harbor and it's quite nice. I love Portsmouth although I haven't spent a lot of time there.  The race went through Portsmouth which is nice. I have done other races there and went on a couple of the same streets.
I'm in the pink hat being schooled by that little kid.

When I would check my Garmin at mile markers I seemed to be doing well.  These days I seem to have trouble getting under 30.  So I was thrilled with my overall time of 28:48.  It was good enough for a 2nd in my age group and there were 11 of us so not bad.  Prizes were only given for the first though so I didn't hang around in my wet clothes as it was raining even harder and I wanted a hot shower.  I was 233/400 overall, not quite top half but good for me!

I would do this race again especially in nicer weather as it includes  a Maine weekend!

As I said it included a Maine weekend.
Saturday was rainy and sort of cold so after a hot shower it was time to do a little shopping. Kittery was packed so we only hit  a few stores and I bought very little.

By the time we got back to the hotel it had cleared up and it was time to try a bike ride in Wells. When I am riding near the ocean I am certainly in my happy place.  Here are a few photos to share.

That was followed by a never disappointing meal at Maine Diner only to wake up on Sunday to the most glorious day ever. I got one more ride in from York to Ogunquit and back.  That is a ride that feeds my soul like no other.  

Maine......the way life should be.