Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Virgil Crest 100

This is a race report of George's incredible weekend accomplishment. It is written and reported by him following is his awesome experience. I am so proud and in awe of his amazing determination and focus!!

Keep Dreaming!

Annie.....now on to the report!!

Virgil Crest 100 Race Report

First off, congrats Emma and Ian for a fine race on a super tough muddy course. Emma, wow, first 100 and second woman. It was fun sharing this race and seeing them on the course. Simply great peeps.

I never planned to do the VC, but after I quit on myself at VT, I felt the need to do a Fall 100. My two choices were VC or Grindstone. I went for the shorter ride and went for VC.

The course is an out and back once for 50, twice for the 100. The course had a whole lot of muddy, twisted trails, if you lost your focus you were going to do some serious damage by falling off a cliff or steep incline. Each leg was basically 25 miles which was broke down into 5 sections. The first section was the most runnable with basically access and double track trails. The second section starts off mildly enough, but then turns into this crazy up and down ''O'' trail, crossing through brooks where you had to, because of the mud, crawl down and crawl up. It ended with about a mile of road section down hill (uphill on the way back) to the second Aid Station, Lift House. The third section runs you up down, up down, the Greek Peak Ski area with many 35 degree ups and down which were very muddy. This reminded me of the Loon Mtn. Race which is fun once. Torture 4 times. After completing the first Alpine Loop, I ran into the RD from the Finger Lakes 50, who I had met at his race, StoneCat and Pinelands. After some small talk, he asked what I thought of the loop and I jokingly told him, "that's not a hill, in Maine we consider that a speed bump." You can add that to the life long list of smart remarks I would pay for later. After doing the Alpine Loop, you head to Section 4 which rewards you with another muddy single track climb up the back side of the mountain. From there, you continue on all single track. With many sections, you had to watch your footing or pay dearly. The last section to the turn around is alot more of the same except for one section it climbs up a mountain where you need ropes to get up and get down. This wouldn't have been so bad, but the trail was very greasy and not giving this respect when you were tired or at night would have been serious. So to sum it up, slow goin'.

I knew from the onset, I was in for a fight. The first 50 went by pretty uneventful except for one time where I was sent down the wrong path by an aid station worker resulting in an extra 2 miles and a loss of 25 minutes of time that I would have liked to have at the end. I am not totally without blame, I should have known I was going back down the trail I came from, but I was at a low point and trusted the aid station worker. Putting that behind me, I came into the 50 mile mark at a jaw dropping 16 hours. Here I vented a little to the RD who was very nice about it and picked up Annie for some night running. She kept me company for the next 2 sections until Alpine loop #3, where I convinced her to go back to the hotel and get some sleep because I knew I needed her more the next day to pick up the pieces. I was not going to be in as good a shape as after the McNaughton 100. The rest of that loop was pretty uneventful. I bumped into Ian and Emma who had about 20 more miles to go and they looked great. This part of the race was just about keeping forward motion and getting through the night. I was moving toward the turnaround, day light was coming up and all and all I was not feeling too bad. I got to the turnaround mile 75 and was informed that I was a few minutes from being cut off. At this point, I had to go back on my attitude that I wrap my mind around going into this race before I started which was finish or hospital. I know this sounds crazy, but for this distance, I have to be all in with no wiggle room. I didn't come all this way to be cut off because of my slacker running habits. With renewed vigor I set off, on the final 5 legs. First part, I actually felt good and was running like it was mile 1. I got to the aid station and was informed I just picked up a good amount of time on the Aid Station cutoffs. Energized by that, I started heading off on the second section passing people, and feeling OK, but fading fast. About half way through this section, (83 miles) I noticed, I was starting to see things that weren't there. Ferns looked like tent sites and logs looked like people until I got right up and focused on them. Nothing too crazy, just things that weren't there. I wished I had some tunes, so I could fully enjoy this diversion. A couple of squirrels crossed the trail and I started asking the squirrels if they knew Mindy and if they would keep me company. I was riding on the crazy train, but still moving OK. On to the last Alpine Loop. At this point, it was about 12:30 sunny and 80. Starting up the climb, I had nothing. Not only was my mind starting to get wacky, but my body was at it's lowest point. The sun was making me sweat profusely, dizzy headed and nauseous. I was in trouble and in danger of passing out. Being a man of loose beliefs and not comfortable with asking for help, I started asking, begging and praying for help. I repeated that I need some help. This went on for about 10 minutes. Finally I started to come out of it and continued with the climbs and even more painful descents. At one point, I stepped in a muddy section and lost my shoe. When I pulled it out, it was full of mud. Scooping the mud out and rinsing it with my water bottle, I jammed it back on my swollen foot. For some reason, I actually thought this was funny. That fourth loop was flat out painful. Ever aware at any moment on the 30 degree decline a cramp could seriously hurt me. Getting done with that 4 1/2 mile loop in a jaw dropping 1 hour 40 minutes, I was actually still moving OK and I was OK on time. Back to the final 4th leg, you walk about a mile of uphill road to the Finger Lakes Trail, which again, you are rewarded with more time zapping wet twisted trail. Finally, making the last Aid Station in OK time, I knew I had it. The last section which is the most runnable, I was in get it done mode. Running as much as I could despite my feet causing me sharp pain from 35 plus hours of wet shoes, blisters (which I ignored to the point they broke apart on their own) and pounding. The course finishes with a wrap around the lake walkway where I could hear Annie, Ian and Emma cheering. It was over. I never thought, it would take 35 plus hours, even for a back of the pack slacker runner like me. Kudos to you guys running 100's with more than 20,000 feet, that was plenty for me. All and all, a good race though I am definitely more beat up than from McNaughton. The course was well marked. The Aid Stations were well stocked. The RD had it together.
I would actually like to do it again under drier conditions. I feel good about my performance, because I know I spent it all. Next up Stone Cat 50, where you may find me putting some effort into it or dropping to a fun run marathon and hanging in the woods by the keg. 100's are crazy events, but I definitely get something from wrapping my mind around a goal and not giving in. But be forewarned when you are sitting on the couch reading the blogs and it all seems so doable. I was so trashed after this one, I had to curl up on the bed still muddy where I shook uncontrollably for about an hour. Thanks to TM Nation for all the help and positive vibes. Maybe they came through for me on that fourth Alpine Loop.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


''O'' for the O Trail and for Old unpublished Bradbury Breaker Race Report

OOOOOOOooooooooooh, I should be so happy I am the proud owner and wearer of a Bada$$ hoodie, but why didn't I feel happy. Could it be I didn't feel Bada$$. I didn't fall and get bumped and bruised in any of the races? I for some reason felt I don't know what. It's taken me awhile to come full circle, but everything finally comes around.

The Bradbury Breaker fell on 9/11 this year. A few days before the race, the company I work for published some stories from associates who were working in our New York office on the 30th Floor of the North Tower 1 of The World Trade Center on 9/11. One in particular really made an impression on me. I've never met anyone who was actually there, his story was incredible. He described how he stood there holding the door and taking a head count and a sweep of the floor to make sure everyone was out. As he got to the 27th Floor he stopped and was asked to wait with a coworker and another coworker who was a quadriplegic in a wheelchair who were told by security to stay put and they would come get them. He wrote, ''nobody knew what was going on and we just thought it was a fire drill...I was happy to help.'' After receiving a frantic call from his wife who was watching CNN pleading with him to get out, he had to make a decision. He offered to carry his coworker down with the help of the other coworker. But because security told them to stay put they wouldn't leave. He had to let them know he was leaving. Shortly after getting out the building, as he was walking away, he turned around and saw the building collapse. As I finished his story, I reached out to him via our company IM and thanked him for sharing his story. I silently vowed I was going to run my race in tribute of this man.

Before the series started, George let me know he would run this race with me due to my fear of the ''O'' Trail. He had Virgil Crest coming up and was just fine to run with me. I really felt safe and secure and wasn't nervous at all. I was pleased when Ian took a few moments of silence in tribute to 9/11 before the race. I appreciated having the time to focus on my 9/11 survivor. We were soon off and we jumped in at my usual back of the pack and it felt great running. We seemed to move along and the twists and turns felt fun. I continued to have fun and felt great throughout. And then, ''O''. The first few ups and downs were great. At some point, Kate popped on by and then she was gone and then were we lost, we were seeing people, I heard Linda yell and then we saw or heard no one. Oh wait, there's Natasha, what????? Seeing her strained face and she was walking was shocking, she had been lost for an hour or so, horrors! Were we going the right way, had we circled the same taped area 2, 3 times? I whined. Poor George. He said something at the end like, ''usually I'm following someone''...This made me chuckle..because I'm usually never following anyone. :)

Although I was a few minutes faster than in the past, I felt defeated by the ''O'' and frankly not Bad at all. I kind of felt like I let my 9/11 survivor down by whining.

Still searching from my feelings of defeat of the ''O'' Trail, my thoughts shifted to Cortland, NY a few weeks later. George was running the Virgil Crest 100. Ian and Emma were also running. Adventures!!

I played spectator and planned to do some miles with George. The plan was to meet him after his first 50 and provide another set of eyes for night running. The glow sticks can get a bit memerizing at night. VC used reflective tapes which were better than glow sticks and as the race director described enviromentally friendly as they can be reused. George came into the 50 mile point later than expected and he was a tad worked up due to some extra miles he did through direction of a volunteer. I could tell he was at a low and did my best to run with him but most of all to get his thoughts shifted away from the mix up. I told him how Val had a bad fall at Bradbury that day. He asked if she hurt herself and what happened. I also filled him in on TM Nation and how everyone was following the run. I told him about Ryan's funny posts and everyone else's support and comments. I think this really helped him work through things. We got to an aid station and I was looking forward to going up the ''hill'', although typical George style, he was worried about me getting back to the start area to get to my car, so I could get some sleep and as he said, ''pick up the pieces in the morning.'' He sent me off with some kind relay runners who were heading back. As I left him, he was stuffing his foot into Inov's with a great grip, but really not the best width for his beat up feet. I was sad to leave thinking about him running by himself. Although he took great pains to ensure I had good directions getting to and from the hotel, I took a wrong turn back to the hotel and drove up and down 81 hoping no drunk drivers were out. I finally figured out how to get back, although I felt like the town sign for Marathon, VT was mocking me in a wierd way

I headed back the next day and it's hard to describe how inspirational and emotional it was to see Emma and Ian finish. The end of the run is both toture for the finishers and for spectators. There's tons of anxiety waiting for a runner to pop out of the woods and then to loop around the lake to the finish. I could barely take pictures of Ian and Emma as I was chocking back tears.

As I waited for George, it started to really heat up, the temps were maybe in the 80's. I somehow got in my head, they were shutting down the aid stations and he would have no water. Of course this wasn't the case. I paced, I moved my chair to about 10 different locations, took to standing on the picnic table for an ariel view and was even getting special delivery updates from the kind computer timing guy and a kind woman volunteer. I FB'd a special friend and told her I think I was going to die waiting. Thanks special friend for your encouraging words, I didn't die waiting. I finally saw him coming from the woods and he was on the final loop around the lake. I yelled and yelled that he had it and he got into get it done mode and finished! I was so happy and quite surprised he didn't look as beat up as I imagined. Note to self..''gotta have faith.''

So my full circle is, I'm really not a Bada$$. I realized this when I was talking to some home schooled kids out doing a science project in our neighborhood and felt the need to fold my arms to cover the Bada$$ on my hoodie. Maybe the ''O'' will always terrify me. I know I'll always cry when I see others accomplish an amazing challenge. I'll also continue to think ridiculous things when George is out there. And I'll always be humbled by stories of folks who are really Bada$$. But how can you not love it, trail running rocks! It's always filled with adventure and fun. It's about being in the moment and most of the time for me, surviving the challenge whatever it may be. I guess maybe, I'm a little Bada$$.

Keep dreaming!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Luckily the stick broke

Luckily the stick broke!

Sunday we ran the Bradbury Breaker. The race capped at 160 and a friendly and excited sell out crowd was on hand. It was great seeing everyone prior to the race. I even purchased my first pair of Inov's from Ian. Hopefully, I'll be running like Emma soon! :) It was also nice to see Diana and Syn from NH. I introduced myself to Diane at Loon Mtn. after seeing her at the Mountain Series races and I mentioned to her the Bradbury Dirt series. I was pleased to see they made the trip to Maine to run!

After a week with a weird motion sickness thing going on, I was told by my drs. office not to run. During the week, George volunteered to run with me because of it. Fortunately, it was gone by Friday, so running it was. It's also important to note, my drs. office called back Monday, my regular dr. wasn't in last week. She advised as long as I was feeling better I could run and didn't realize the race had past.

Luckily the stick George found to swat me with when I slowed down during the race broke before we started. We started back of the pack and coincidentally finished the same. :) We ran with Kate for awhile. She and George talked about their trip to PEI and the exciting year ahead for her and Jamie. The first loop seemed to go by pretty well and I was surprised I recognized some of the course from the Snow series and past years.

The second loop was a bit tougher, wishing I had remembered Gu or something because I felt like I could have used something during that loop. Although I was thinking more a sandwich and a Coke, Gu probably would have helped. The most fun on that loop was running with Linda and especially her cries to George to carry her up the mountain. Unfortunately he didn't hear her yelling for him. If he had heard her, he would have happily carried her up! I don't think there are any rules against muling in this race, so I'm sure it would have been fine. :) Towards the end, despite George's urging to run faster, I seemed to be out of anything that could have fit into that category, but was happy to finish with no bumps, bruises and particularly no bee stings. Poor Kate, she was for sure attacked by an angry bee!

As all the races in this series, it was a great time and challenge. Many peeps had really great runs that day. Thanks always to all the work that goes into to putting on the race and providing the best tee shirts of any races around! Maybe next time, I'll run like Emma! :)

I did eventually get the sandwich and Coke after the race at the famous Edna and Lucy's. Totally yum and totally fun to spend time with best of the best people!

Keep dreaming!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wicked Awesome Sandwiches, Wicked Awesome Tote

Wicked Awesome Sandwiches, Wicked Awesome Tote

My wish for today was to remain upright. I accomplished this.

We ran the Bradbury Scuffle today. Capped at 160 trail runners, it was a sell out crowd. Ian and Ryan put on, as always, an excellent race. In the past, I've had some decent bumps and bruises at Bradbury. In 2009, I was contender for the best bruise on this course. During the Bruiser in 2008, I got so lost. Only after begging the park ranger by telling him my husband would be worried, he agreed to drive me to the finish line. So I was pleased today to walk away today bruiseless and making it to finish line. I ran today for a while with some great running partners, Chandra and Kate. Kate powered up hills with a vengence and Chandra consistently picked away at the course. Overall, I finished after them and back of the pack, but the race couldn't have been any better. George won a Wicked Awesome Bradbury Series tote which he immediately gifted to me Yay me! And randomly, we swung into Edna and Lucy's and got Wicked Awesome Sandwiches.

Next up in this series is the Breaker.

Keep Dreaming!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday!

Although today is Saturday, I find myself awake at my usual time. I feel excited for so many adventures coming up. Tomorrow is the start of the Bradbury Trail Running Series. It will be fun! The race tomorrow is a special one, as it is dedicated to Linda's son, Chris Douglass. I feel honored to be a part of it! I am fortunate to know of Chris' story through both Linda and Bethany. I've literally run/walked for miles with both of them and they have shared amazing stories and memories. It is truly incredible how one young person has connected with so many and truly left his mark on this wonderful place we call earth.

Next up will be the Vermont 100. I committed yesterday to volunteer at the Pretty House aid station from 6:30 to 10:30. I am really looking forward to this experience. Inspiration will be everywhere!

NYC will follow and George and I are again looking forward to the hustle and bustle and the big city exploring. I must say, I love New York. It's alot like trail running. We start our day early, walk for miles and miles with no real plan. We have a loose plan of the direction we are going to explore. Something always happens exciting along the way and we make food stops throughout our travel.

After that we will be attending a graduation party for my nephew. Seeing my fam will be fun, so much going on with all my nieces. Holly will be back from India and it will be a treat to hear all about it. She's great at narratives, so I am looking foward to her sharing her experiences. I secretly hope she brings me back a scarf.

On the crafting side, I am trying to figure out what to bring along with me to work on. Stitching, knitting...who knows. Hopefully I'll do my packing today. I have a couple of books I'm bringing along. Amazingly, I randomly found a book set in India. It's an Oprah Book Club book and I am sure I wouldn't have been drawn to it, if it wasn't for Holly's trip.

So, much dreaming going on in my world today. I think I'll sit here for a little longer, listening to the birds chirp and continue dreaming for awhile!

Keep Dreaming!


Keeping warm thoughts today for Val and Bruce.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Dreaming of Bradbury and India

Because of the Monday holiday, I am working today! Instead of 10 hour days, though, I have been working 8 hours this week and it seems like each day flies, although I wouldn't want to go back to 5 (8) days! So today will go by fast I am sure! I am looking forward to running Bradbury on Sunday!

For my faithful followers, here is my niece's blog link, http://memorialinindia.blogspot.com/

I meant to post it earlier, but the week has just gone by so quick!

Keep Dreaming!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Loon Mtn.

A whole lot of hill and one shoe!

George and I set out early this morning to run the Loon Mountain Race. The Loon Mountain Race is 5.7 Miles to the summit of Loon Mountain. This is an ascent-only race. The race averages approximately a 10% grade with some sections of over 40%.

Conditions were perfect, 60's and a bit of rain. The first mile went by really quick. Although, I thought I remembered from doing it in the past, the whole race to be only uphill, there were some good downhills. I guess it's probably around mile 4 and the climb is really tough. I wonder if anyone runs it. I reached the top of the mountain and literally bumped into George who was finishing. George had a great race and said he felt great throughout the whole race.

At one point during the race, I remember literally praying to keep moving forward and up and at another point wondered if my progress up would be better on hands and knees and almost dropped to my knees to try. Looking back praying and on your knees do sort of go together. When the climb was just about unbearable, I could hear George yelling to me to keep going. He ran down and then dragged me up the steepest part and then pushed me to run the downhills. This turned out really well, as I was able to pass maybe 5 people. I finished the last killer little bump to the finish and we took the Gondola down. Since it was raining a bit and overcast, we grabbed a bagel and headed to the car. Due to the lack of oxygen to my brain, I must have left one shoe outside the car, because I came home with only one. Although, totally bummed, I'm glad I have another pair as back up. Running Bradbury next week with one shoe would certainly be a challenge. I've been thinking of trying the Inovs, maybe this will give me a good reason. I haven't been happy with any Asics for more than a couple of years, since they ''improved'' my favorite model. Since I figure, everything happens for a reason, I'm getting over it pretty quickly.

We stopped at the little farm store and again got strawberries and biscuits for a treat. An added bonus this time we also got the farm's lemonade. I do love that little store..I wished it was mine. There I go dreaming again!

So all and all, a great way to spend our day!

Timewise, back of the pack, but before at least 5 other people! :)

Keep dreaming!


3rd of July!

3rd of July!

Happy 3rd of July to my loyal readers and trail runners..oh yes, you are probably one of the same!

After a 6 mile run, I spent Friday getting together some stuff at one time I had to have, but no longer needed. My neighbor's daughter was having a yard sale and I joined her. Most of my stuff went and anything left over I brought down to the church for their White Elephant sale at the end of the month. I made about $70. Since we had so much fun, she's going to have another one in August. I'll start getting together some things now. It feels good to get rid of things. One girl bought quite a bit of my stuff saying she loved primitive things. She has an old house in Parsonsfield and she said everything would look great in her house. Since I was wanting things to go, I was selling everything cheap, cheap! She hoped I didn't regret selling some of it. It was funny, she asked me if I had a shop. Now that's sayin' I do have ''stuff''. I was so pleased it was going to a good home, where it would be well loved!

I better start getting ready. Off to Loon Mtn. this morning! It's only up from here! Have a great day!

Keep Dreaming!


My niece is off to India and has a blog for her students (she's a 4th grade teacher). I'll post a link later, it may be fun if you would like to follow her on her trip!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cranmore Hill Climb

What goes up, must come down X 2

I forgot how much we enjoyed the Cranmore Hill Climb. We didn't run it last year, but ran it in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Each year the course has changed. 2008 was really interesting as it had an extra fun factor of thunder and lightning at the start. I remember thinking, just the place to be, at the top of a mountain. The 2011Cranmore Hill Climb consisted of three 3.87 km laps up and down the mountain for men, two 3.87 km laps for the women and junior men (19 and under) and one 3.8km lap for junior women (19 and under). The course is primarily grass ski slope and double-wide track with some small sections of single track. There was alot of serious running going on as the top six U.S. men and top four women all earned spots on the2011 U.S. Mountain Running Team.

The day was a perfect day for a mountain run, perfect temperature and overcast during the race. The men started 5 minutes before the women. After a small sprint to the base of the mountain the climb begins and continues to the top and then the real fun begins on the down. I loved it and literally felt as though I was flying. Then comes the fun to do it all over again. For me it was one of the races of totally being in the moment. There isn't much time for thinking when you are trying your hardest to go up, so you can come down to start again. Although still back of the pack, I was able to set my sites on a couple of people to get past and I did. I also found it pretty fun to try to keep pace with different runners on the ups. I just felt really good and quite happy throughout the whole run. Suprisingly there wasn't much mud, but when there was I chose to run through. I finished and shortly after, George came in looking very strong. He thought he had a slow race, but because the course is so different every year, it's hard to compare it to anything. I think he did great! As for myself, no matter what I placed I felt strong throughout and couldn't have asked for anything better. The race is a great race to challenge yourself and I'm so happy George thought to do it again this year. Next up is the Loon Mtn race which we have done once and talked about for days after. I can't imagine the experience will be as amazing as the first time around because we know what to expect, but I'm sure that one incredible steep up will still make me laugh and say, ''are you kidding me, we're going up there?''

We stopped at the little farm store on the way home and got strawberries and biscuits for our after race treat!

Keep dreaming!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Follow the Yellow Brick Road - Pineland Farm 50K

Follow the Yellow Brick Road - Pineland Farms 50K

Pineland Farms is always such a great event. It seems like the break out event to celebrate the end of a long winter. During the few months prior to the race, I sometimes wonder if the snow will be gone by race day. This year for sure I was thinking that, but what usually happens, it ends up to be one of the hottest days we've gotten so far. This year proved to be no exception. Throughout my run it seemed to me like a trip down the Yellow Brick Road. I collected inspiration and encouragement that I would get ''home'' as there is no place like the finish line to get the cow bell.

A few days before the race, I checked the entry list to see who I could look forward to seeing throughout my day. I noticed I was listed as part of the Trail Monster Team. Although, I was incredibly honored to be a part of the team, I was horrified. My races are usually alot like Dorothy's, filled with ups and downs and sometimes wondering if I will ever get there. I checked with Eric as I didn't want to mess up chances of the Trail Monsters being the winning 50K team. Eric assured me it was fine he and Ian had discussed it. I humbly accepted the honor and appreciated his words, "please don't worry about your time or the team. Just focus on finishing your own run."

Like most races, I have my clothes ready the night before, go to bed early, get up early and then run around the house the last minute looking for something. Usually, at that point, George will say something like, "let me find it, why don't you continue getting ready." This morning was no different, I didn't seem to have just the right socks I wanted to wear. Of course, moments later, he found the right socks. Thank you Georgie!

We arrived at Pineland and we saw Ian. He was ready for a long day, cowboy hat and all. We then bumped into Bob Poirer. I had contacted him months earlier to have him make a birdhouse for George's birthday. We walked back to his truck and George had no idea why we were doing this. I can't believe I didn't tell George ahead of time. He was totally surprised and loved it! Bob's carpentry work (as well as his running) is great, the bird condo is awesome.

We then headed to Camp Val. We saw Kate and Ryan. Kate was on camera duty and Ryan was there and I am sure he would have loved to be running this year. A few years back I remember seeing Ryan crank by me as he was off to finish his race looking strong and going fast but still took the time to say ''hi''. Danielle did run and she finished with a 25K PR. We chatted with Kate and Ryan for a bit and headed to Camp Val to get ready. Bruce was no where to be found. (I call Rick Bruce. Val posted some pictures of their earlier years and I think he looked like Bruce Springsteen.) He arrived in a bit. Val had forgotten her water belt and he drove home to get it. It seems, Val's list did include this sort of important item. Val's race is always an exciting one. Val ended with a strong 50 mile race all smiles along with her pacer, my Stone Cat idol, Mindy. We talked with Bruce as we got ready. I adjusted my ''best'' ever North Face water bottle belt. I wore it in VT while running with George at night during his 100. It was the best. Fit perfect. No bounce.

We made our way to the start. I enjoyed looking around and seeing alot of familar faces. Pineland seems to be a Memorial Day staple for many trail runners. Then we're off. It feels great to be running across the street into the woods. Although my water belt felt wierd, it was bouncing all over the place. Before I know it the water bottle falls out. How embarrassing we just started! Some nice runner behind me, stopped and picked it up for me. Thank you kind trail runner! As I trotted along, I settled in with some of the usual peeps I recognize from past years. I don't wear a garmin and never know how far I've gone or have left to go, so I was happy to see the ''K'' markers. I was good about stopping at every aid station drinking water and eating salted peanuts. During my Stone Cat run, for some strange reason my calves cramped unbelievably and I certainly didn't want that to happen. Trucking along was alot of fun and I felt really good. Because I felt so good, I got the super smart idea, that I needed to eat a banana to balance the sodium. Don't ask me why I think of these things, because I know nothing about such things. But, what I should have known is I did this at the Five Fingers race last summer and my stomach was not happy about it.

It didn't seem much later a cyclone began brewing in my stomach. I continued on and then I saw Linda. I was so happy to see Linda coming my way. We hugged and encouraged each other. I was tempted to turn around and continue on in her direction, but I didn't. She went on to a strong finish in the 25K.

Just as I was at the "on no" stage of stomach issues, along out of no where comes what seemed to me like a little angel. The little angel was offering me some of her ginger. The little angel was Emma and I graciously accepted the ginger. We chatted and just as she had arrived, she was off and quickly out of sight. Emma finished as second woman in the 50 mile race.

Along, the way, Stephen passed me, told me how great it was to see me out there and asked if George was running too. As he passed me, he glided along, purposely brushing his hand along the higher grass. He seemed to be enjoying each step. This reminded me to enjoy the run. I continued to have more sightings, Jamie ran by looking very strong and I asked him how he was doing and he motioned his hand saying, "so, so". I thought well if he's so, so it's not so bad that I feel so, so. I continued along and Jamie continued to a course PR.

A highlight for me whenever and where ever we do long races, is seeing Amy Lane. Amy is always just one big ball of positive words as she effortlessly runs past me. I didn't see her name on the entrants list and was happily surprised when I heard her coming behind me saying "hi", maybe even something about seeing George along with her usual words of encouragement. Amy went on the win the women's 50 mile race. Somewhere along the course, I begin to wonder when Amy's boyfriend is going run past me. In true fashion, at some point, we for a split thousandth of a second run side by side. No different today. He went on the win the men's 50 miler. My shuffle along continued throughout exchanging words with other 50Kers, 50 milers, and being offered a salt tablet from a couple I kept meeting along the way. I was also seeing my usual peeps here and there who were ahead of me this year.

I neared the last five mile loop, I was greeted by Chandra with all sorts of shouts and cow bell ringing and I saw George. I could tell he was searching for some sort of encouragement which told me my race time wasn't too good. He eventually said, "you look smiley." Well, not all bad, it encouraged me to tackle the last part. I found out later, George finished a PR 50K. Yea George! The much appreciated encouragement on the final loop mile always come from Alan and Karen and this year was no different. I asked Alan how his race was and he said it was really great.

As I neared the end of the race, I thought how I really earned my cow bell this year and I am going to kiss that thing. I finished to cheers and kissed the bell. Amazingly, just as Eric had said, I finished my own race and didn't worry about my time and thought to myself, "another 50K completed, click, click, another 50K completed".

A few days later George put up the bird condo. It seemed appropriate blue birds immediatly took up residence and I thought of the song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow....
"If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?"


Keep dreaming!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Long Weekend, Run and Knit

Long Weekend, Run and Knit

I hope taking today off finds me running long(ish) and enjoying time knitting.

I will be ''attempting'' another snowshoe race Sunday and a bit of new snow predicted for tomorrow, perfect! This race is 5 miles. The previous race was 4.25 and was a nice challenge! For me personally, race isn't quite the right word, rather I think of it as another finish. The last finish found me ''not quite'' last...thankfully my only competitor took a tumble, so I was able to comfortably come in before him. I guess I should have helped him or at least asked him if he was alright, but hey, I had to stay focused. All and all a fun day, outstanding challenge and people. I also won a gift certificate to Frontier in the after race raffle.

I am planning to vist a knitting event in Freeport in hopes of purchasing some sort of unique local yarn!

Keep dreaming!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Productive Snow days, with and without Snowshoes!

Productive Snow days, with and without Snowshoes!

I've been enjoying snowshoeing and will attempt my first ''race'' this weekend. I'll keep you posted.

On the crafting front, I have totally enjoyed making hearts for Valentine's Day. I have revisited knitting and I am loving it. I also knitted an Easter Egg! To some this may silly, to me a masterpiece and such an accomplishment! I've never been able to knit with 4 needles and now I can. A snow day, spent with my neighbor guiding me through ''how to'' was the best use of a snow day before my snowshoes purchase!

Keep Dreaming!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dreaming Snowshoes!

Dreaming Snowshoes!

We've had tons of snow, so snowshoes seem like a logical choice of outdoor activity. No more dreaming! I ordered a pair of Dion's. Hopefully they will arrive today or tomorrow, just in time for the weekend! More to follow!

Keep dreaming!