Que Feriez- Vous? What Would You Do?

La chose importante est de tendre vers un objectif qui n’est pas immédiatement visible. Cet objectif n’est pas la préoccupation de l’esprit, mais de l’esprit. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

me on bike

Excuse me.  It has been a while since I have written in French. I figured this would be something different to spice things up.

Excusez-moi. Il a été un moment depuis que j’ai écrite en français. J’ai pensée que ce serait quelque chose de différent pour pimenter les choses.

I haven’t been confessing much, so I figured I would mention that I studied French for a while.  I lived in France for a little while too.  I miss it.  Sometimes I feel like I am just lost here.  I remember the days where I would walk to school and pass over the Loire.  It was amazing.  I even had a bike.  It was a piece of crap, but it was fun to say I biked in France. 

I have been off from work all week and I have been sorting out things and consolidating so I can get ready for the school year.  I also have to decide by next Sunday if I am moving.  It is a hard decision for me to make because I am a single mom and it is a lot of work for me.  Moving sounds simple, but my knee has been bothering me and I have moved a lot.  Do you ever feel like you just don’t belong?  That is how I feel a lot.  I hate to admit it but I took those stupid quizzes on facebook to see where I belong and imaginez-vous????  I belong in a different century.  Quel Surprise!  C’est vrai de temps en temps.  Je pense que quelqu’un tres vieux.  I think like someone old-fashion…I am not sure how to translate that right so I did the best I could.

Okay moving on….I don’t really know why I am sharing all of this with you but I guess my point is that my knee has been keeping me from running so I have had a lot of time to think….c’est une catastrophe!  I should never think it is bad for the mind.  Ce n’ai pas bonne pour la santé.  It is not good for the soul.  I would like to tell you that I am happy…that  I am strong…but not today.  I think that it is normal to be fable…weak…maybe it is more worrisome to be strong all of the time…being weak shows I am only human.

The truth is…this sucks…I hate hate hate…not being able to run.  Running is the love of my life besides Lilly.  It is driving me crazy that I cannot do the one thing I love to do the most when Lilly is not here.  I cannot bike either because it is raining so much.  It is making me crazy!  I don’t really care for television and I am not a huge fan of the computer….but I guess I have loved running for so long it is hard to find something else to do.  On top of that I am on vacation from work and I cannot even plan.  I do not know where I am teaching and what I am teaching….

me on lI miss Lilly.  I miss running….you have no idea how stressful work is right now!!!!!!  When I am at the starting line…I think about all of the things that make me angry.  I am angry right now….because it sucks to be injured, alone, and uncertain of the future on many levels.  I think I belong in a different century because I don’t do well with this modern day stress.  I am too old fashion on many levels….

I wish I could go back and change from being a teacher to being an ambassador…I wonder why I was so afraid to take that leap…with languages under my belt, I think I could have been good…but now I will never know….

I haven’t ran this week…not sure if I can…I have biked 33 miles and it was great…but I need my running.  I think I will not make Boston and I am not sure I will be able to get past that…It is hard to have such a big goal and have it shattered…it would be easier if there were someone there to pick me up and say it will be alright…but I am looking down at Lilly…so I need to be strong….

So What Would You Do??????????  Try to Go For Boston or hope it is there for the taking next year?

A Moment of Thought

Originally posted on A Twin Thing:

“Dream as if you could do anything!”

ice cream

I am not sure what to write this week.  I did a little jogging and I went to see my family in Northern Maine…what a tiring drive.

It was a little sad to hear that Robin Williams died.  I remember how funny and smart he was.  I think it scares me a little that someone can be so talented and have so much to offer, but cannot go on living.  He also left behind a wife and some children.  It just goes to show you that depression is serious and it can happen to ANYONE!!!!!

I think we look up at these actors and professionals as if they are somehow super human.  I am sure at times it appears that way…but we are all just people, living out our lives and hoping to be happy.  It is clear that he was pretty good…

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Fifty Half Marathons

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist    

me on horseYou might ask why I wanted to do 50 half marathons?  You might think this was something I have been dreaming about since I was a little girl, riding a horse.  I wish it were that simple.  The truth is I was not a runner.  I apologize for the length of this post, but I have a lot to say.  Why did I decide to do it? 

delaware canalI guess it started here.  This is half number 32.  If you have been following my posts, I randomly signed up for this race after I was dumped the week of Halloween.  I won’t go over the details but you can read about it in my previous posts. 

 

     I went to Pennsylvania and decided to run the Bucks County Delaware Canal Half Marathon.  When I received my medal, there was a heron on it.  It reminded me of my grandfather.  I felt like he was there in a sense and he would have been proud of me for finishing.  It was hard to run a race with a playlist of music that reminded me of a guy who felt I wasn’t good enough to break up with in person.  I am over him now, but it is hard when someone breaks your heart so easily.  I had a hard time running but it kept my mind off of life.  I was debating on telling you this, but the last hill was really tough on Saturday.  I guess I was just hot so maybe I was a little delirious.  I felt like I could hear Grandpa calling to me saying, “come on you can do it.  You have got this.  You are almost there.”  He had on his white shirt and glasses.  I guess I was just making it up because he loved to wear his red hat!

 

lilly frog hatThis is Lilly.  My friend, Christina Wall, took these.  You should have her take your pictures!!!!!  Moving on, Lilly is my life.

me and lillyI think you can agree that children are the resemblance of (for the most part lol) innocence. 

lilly and me a wreckI look awful in this picture.  I am still losing weight and I am not happy.  My marriage, was not happy.  I was miserable and I could not breathe.  He wasn’t nice to me and there is a lot that wasn’t ever right.  Our marriage was dead.  I will leave it at that.  I had to get out for Lilly. 

 

     I wanted Lilly all to myself, but unfortunately, it isn’t that easy in most cases.  I only get to see Lilly every other weekend and always on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  I guess you call it 50/50…though it doesn’t seem fair since I spent most of the time with her and he didn’t.   So I got out and running helps me keep my mind off of missing her!

 

me unhappy schoolThe truth is that I was that shy girl in school.  I didn’t have many friends and I worked hard to succeed.  I did not have much time to be active.  I was on the swim team and the track team.  I wasn’t very good and I don’t think people took me too seriously.  I was big into Foreign languages and Math.  I wanted to do something amazing with my life.  I traveled to Ireland and was hooked on travel.

 

shannon high schoolThis is my twin sister…this is her senior picture.  She was popular and everyone loved and still loves her.  I am sure she keeps in touch with a bunch of them.  There is a lot to like about my sister and I just wasn’t that outgoing.

me high schoolI am a good person and I think school was hard for me because my sister was so popular that people looked at me and wondered what happened.  I actually had a guy ask me once, “how can your twin be so pretty and you be so ugly?” I still regret to this day saying, “I don’t know.” 

 

I think this is why I became a teacher.  I remember how awful kids can be and how immature.  I could go on with the stories, but let’s just say there were nicknames and I gave up eating in the cafeteria because I could not stand people.  I am proud that I don’t care what they are all up to now in life.  I keep in touch with maybe three people from school.  Life is too short to waste it thinking about the people who never gave me a chance.

 

Why am I bringing it up?  It is totally relevant.  When life throws a pile of shit at you, you have to find a way to defeat it.  Running…running totally does it for me.

 

I went from being that shy, nerdy girl in school, to someone who could run.  It did not matter how fast I ran, it just mattered that it made me feel good and I kept doing it.  Every mile I ran was not easy.  If it ever felt easy, I was not pushing myself enough. 

 

my bikeBiking I could say the same but I have never really found my true love in life…and I may never…but I guess you could say running is the closest thing to it.

 

emotions of number 50When I was finishing my half marathon on Saturday, it was really hard because of my knee.  I feel pretty emotional in this picture because it was hard to not give up.  My knee is still bothering me, but had been feeling better.  I remembered all of the races I have been doing and all of the heart I put into logging the miles.  I like the saying on this medal, “Pain is temporary.  Pride is forever.”  I have felt a lot of pain over the years, especially the past few years.  Divorce is never an easy decision and no one can decide it for you.  I am glad I had support from my parents and I am proud to say Lilly loves me just the same, even more.  I was in a dark place for so long.  When your husband says he no longer finds you attractive and you do not hear the word “love,”  it is not a marriage.  You start to lose confidence in yourself.  I love Lilly with my whole heart and she is my world.  I had no confidence left and I was not treated like a human being.  It is nice to come home from work and not clean and not have to worry about dinner and if it is satisfactory.  It is nice that I do not have to wonder if he is drunk or high.  It is nice that I can just be free. 

 

     I chose to run these 18 races to reach 50 this year because when life sucks, it is good to have a positive goal.  Running is free therapy.  I am not allowed to move and Lilly has to attend FM school district.  I am free but I am also very much trapped for now.  I am often asked why I do races far away?  There is your answer. It makes me see the beauty in our country and even though I cannot move to these places, I can still enjoy them just as much.

 

we look coolThank you Rachel for running with me!  You are an amazing cousin and I hope I get to visit you in England and make you run a race.  I think the next goal may be to save up and do the 7 continents…Cross North America off the list!!!! 

 

I still want to run the Boston Marathon.  I am hoping my knee feels better and I can make it but I am just trying to enjoy life.

my poor kneestupid knee…good thing tape solves all problems.

 

I am also laughing about it now.  I got to Rachel’s house at 7:30.  My car didn’t have the visitor pass on it because it was closed at the office so I figured whatever.  So we went to the race in Rachel’s car and then showered.  We went out to eat and got coffee.  I realized my car wasn’t there and we had to track it down.  It was towed at 1:15…I think it is ridiculous that it got towed because the office was closed so it was impossible to get a pass.  I couldn’t even get ahold of them to get another pass so we had to park my car at Rachel’s work so I would not get towed again.  It cost 275$ to get the car back.  What a load of SHIT!

mypoor car

I am sad that my goal has been reached more than I am happy.  Fifty half marathons was a big accomplishment for this small town girl!  I know you can do anything with a little determination.  I need to keep reaching for my dreams to maintain a positive life.  I think this was great.  I have to be honest and confess that I was in a dark mindset for a little while in life and it is good to not be depressed. 

 

I still get sad that there are so many people who come out and watch their loved ones race but I have met a lot of great people along the way and I am glad that I have had some relatives come see me.

 

number 50My once empty rack is now full.  It is time to get another medal holder.

 

I had to defer the Marine Corps Marathon because of my knee and I have dropped out of Pacing the Rochester Half Marathon and the Wine Glass Half Marathon.  I know that I reached my goal, but I also realize Boston will never be possible if I do not let my knee heal.  Duct tape is a good idea, but it is not a solution!  I hope that  I can run soon because I truly enjoy every minute of it!

 

     Besides running my 50th half marathon, my goal was to gain confidence and “fall in love” with myself.  I think that I am not 100% there to be honest, but I have gained a lot of confidence.

    I think it is hard that I am just naturally skinny now.  I love to run so it is hard to put on weight but I love to eat.  I think I am also to be honest, wishing I had a bigger ummmm chest.  I guess I did not wish enough when I was a kid.  I have to tell you something funny.  I saw my ex boyfriend one day and he questioned if I was pregnant (real nice)!  I said I wasn’t and wondered why he would ask.  He said because my chest looked bigger.  I said, “He must have wished for me to get bigger breasts but his wish only came true because he dumped me.”  I think that was pretty funny! 

 

So without further ado or some saying like that, I wanted to share some pictures that have made me feel really confident.  I can still be surprisingly shy…I don’t think people realize just how nervous I get but when I talk a lot sometimes it is because I am really nervous…I have worked hard on it…but I feel like I have come a longggggggg way from being that scared, nerdy girl! 

 

me1 Christina took these too by the way!!!!!!!!  She is amazing!

 

 

me2

Checklist:

50 half marathons DONE!!!!!!!!!!

Confidence- Gained!!!!!!!!!

 

What is next:  7 Continents, enjoy cycling and do some bike races!

Big Goals:  Overcome my hydrophobia and do a half and full ironman

For now:  Duathlons baby!!!!  Challenge New Albany

 

                                      QUALIFY FOR BOSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Confession:  I want to take dancing or to go dancing…

 

 

 

 

Ben Moore Memorial Half Marathon #50/#18!!!!

ben moore bib and medal

“Pain is temporary…Pride lasts forever.”

On Saturday, I finished my 50th half marathon.  I choose to run the Ben Moore Memorial half marathon in Annapolis, MD.  My cousin, Rachel, lives in Annapolis…When I realized this would be my 50th half I wanted to have Rachel with me.  This was our third half marathon. 

 

It was definitely a roasty one with a lot of hills!!!!

ben moore time ben moore elevation ben moore paceI finished in 1:57 but it was only because I really had to use the bathroom…I am not going to lie.  I was having trouble at the beginning of the race because of my knee.  I wanted to just do the 10k but there were so many emotions going through my mind knowing this was my shot at number 50.  I decided to stick it out…however, there were no bathrooms along the course (porta johns I mean).  I had to start going faster so I could get the idea out of my head.  However, I decided to give in and ran into the bushes at about mile 8.  Oops!!!!

 

rachyRachel did awesome!!!!!!  She was really busting it out there and she loved the hills.  She wishes there had been more ha ha ha !!!!!

 

rachel earShe was getting really hungry I think…ha ha  But we had a great time and we were looking forward to our pretzels from the British restaurant I think called ???  Union Jacks?

 

rachel katie Rachel is so good at the jump flash photography but it was clearly an epic fail for me…I can’t believe I am showing you this picture of me!

ben moore medalI liked the medal.  Ben Moore was a marine and a member of the Anne Arundel County Auxiliary for 20 years.  The proceeds went to the police!

eating medalsAlso making a guest appearance to cross of state number 10 in her 11th half marathon was Miss Jessica Feiden!!!!  Go Jessica!!!!  Jessica had a great time and just loved the hills too!  I am being sarcastic.  This race reminded me of the Syracuse Mountain Goat.  This was rather hilly, especially at the mile 12 marker…where it went uphill for quite a while.

 

eating our ben medalsI had to do that classic cliché photo where we eat our bling…sorry I made you girls play along!

And finally, here is my lovely, post race picture….finishing my 50th half marathon.

50This was a great race, though my knee officially wants some time off.  I am not sure where to go from here…but I will give it some thought.  I was a little sad that I did not end up with bib number 50, but it is not the end of the world!!!!!

Thanks for the great race and all of the volunteers!!!!!

 

 

 

 

From Start to Finish…Counting down to Half Number 50!

Originally posted on A Twin Thing:

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
Ashley Smith

travel quote

This seemed the most fitting to start off with. 

 

     It is hard to believe that this all started on June 14, 2009.  I remember running my first two miles in a row at the Trillium Gym in East Syracuse with my friend Gina Moore at the gym.  I was so excited I think I almost fell off the treadmill.  I set my goal right then and there to run a half marathon.  I remembered hearing about how “Katie” ran a half…and that Katie wouldn’t run with me.  I was told that I might not have the “runner” type body…I think that made me angry enough that I was not…

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Rock The Canyon! PA Grand Canyon Series

Reach for your dreams and never look back!!!!!

I have been rather discouraged lately because I found out I have a small tear in my meniscus and a bruised bone…Needless to say, my knee hates me right now. I did not know what to do so I have been taking it easy and my doctor said I could run but I should take it easy. I had this race series I had been training for. It was Rock the CAnyon, which is located in Wellsboro, PA. Everyone seems to be out of town for the Lake Placid Ironman and I wanted to do something challenging because I do not think I could ever swim 2.4 miles due to my hydrophobia.

pa3
But look at it here!!!! It is breathtaking.

This small town has so much to offer. It is an old town and it was like going back in time. movie
The movie theatre looked so old fashioned and there were even lamp posts on the streets.

italI ate at the Italian restaurant my first night and it was great. I asked for a table and some runners let me eat with them. I met some girls from a different town in Pennsylvania and one girl was doing the full and one was doing the half. They were camping and sounded like they were having a great time.

carThere was also an antique car show…Like I said, it was an old fashioned town. The Penn Wells hotel was supposedly really nice. I didn’t stay there but my new friends liked it…though the one girl I met from Skaneateles said her kids were scared because it looked like the halls from the movie “The Shining.”
pennw

The half marathon was well organized. I got on the first bus at 4:15 because I was nervous about being on time. I met seven other people. One girl had slept in a van at the hospital. I felt bad. It was dark out and we had a great time. The race started at 7 and we were off. I was third female and it was cold so I had to stop and take my bib off and put it on my half top. I should have known better but it was really cold. So I ended up slowing down and taking my time. I finished in 1:58….I wanted to be under two hours and not hurt my knee. I succeeded.

After the race, we were given nice medals and had to take the shuttle bus down the mountain. One guy wanted to run but that is just nuts!!!!!! I went back to the hotel and laid in the hot tub for a while. I went to lunch at the bagel shop, where I met a nice lady named Susan from Arizona. She lived in town and was all alone so I asked if she wanted to have lunch. The bagel shop was amazing and had the most amazing coffee…I loved it there and would love to go back.

After lunch I went to the grocery store and ran into another runner from Pittsburgh and was invited to dinner with a bunch of runners. He was nice and we were mostly running the full the next day. We went to the Wellsboro Inn. At this point I felt like I was eating my way through the town but it was all very delicious.

I went to bed and got up at 4 for the next race. I was on the second bus this time. I met a girl named Anna and her mother. It was her first marathon and her mom had run the half. Anna had never ran a marathon, yet she had ran a 50 miler…I found this amazing. Most of the people I talked to were ultra runners so I was excited and Pennsylvania has a lot of ultras!!!!!

So I rocked the canyon even though I hated life at mile three. I relaxed and took it easy. My knee is okay. I am sore but not really in the knee…it feels the same which means I was smart, though I am sure I would have been smarter not to run. I finished in 4:29…It was nice to see so many nice people and volunteers. This was a well organized race and I liked the runner’s packet. It is a beautiful course and definitely hilly. I like the hills though it was tiring after yesterday.

If you are into Ultras, I think you should try out this series!!!!!
Oh and here is the nice finisher bling:
pa

I would like to take Lilly here to see the canyon. I also have to warn you that there is no GPS signal. I got lost on the back roads and managed to find the state of NY…but had to figure out how to get to Ithaca…it was not easy and there were a lot of Amish children on the way….oh and this was half number 49/17 so one more to go and I am asking the director for bib 50…and marathon number 3 (all have been hilly and in PA)

Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon- Portland Maine: #48/16

Run fast take chances?

I am excited to say I successfully paced for the Old Shipyard Half Marathon in Portland on Sunday. This was a great race and I had an amazing time!!!!!! I got to pace with another girl who lives in Boston, but is originally from Albany, NY. Her name is Jessica Feiden and she is also aiming to do her 50 states for running. Congrats!!!!!pace

Jessica and I paced the 2:15 pace group and we loved it! I had fun and I liked when the lady wanted to stay ahead of me so I asked her if she wanted me to hit her with the sign if I caught up to her? She thought I was funny!!!! I think there were a lot of wonderful people there and we all had a great time!!!!

pace2

This race has a beautiful course. I think both races I did this weekend had a great course. I liked running by the ocean even though I am not used to the salty smell.
oceans

impk

Our time came in as 2:15 on my strava, which is not accurate because I followed my garmin 910x and it was 13.1 miles on the nose and the watch time read 2:14:33…so we made it in our pace goal time!!!!!!
oldport

For pacing I was given a hat, shirt, glass, free race entry, and a pacer shirt. I thought that was pretty sweet!!!!
re

I think number 550 brought me good company and good luck at this race!!!!! Everyone was so nice and I learned some good pacing tricks and it is bizarre because Jessica and I realized we are both signed up for a random race in Maryland and we will both be seeing each other soon! It is definitely a small world!

um
We both thought carrying the sign would be hard but I honestly forgot I had it at times. IT was a little slippery because it got hot out and we were sweaty. I think that my shirt was soaked at the end and I definitely need to work on wearing more clothes for pacing. I enjoyed the shirt and was excited to have an official “pacer” shirt!!!!! Jessica was an excellent pacer and we took turns carrying the sign and making sure we stayed hydrated. There were two guys who ran with us the whole way and I am so proud of them. I looked up their names but I do not want to share them without permission.

done
We were so proud of our work but I think we were both more proud of the finishers we helped. I made the one guy sprint the last half mile so he would beat his previous half marathon finish time. He saw someone walking at the last mile and said it isn’t worth walking. I told him I wanted him to finish ahead of the 2:15 because he was ready so I told him when he had half a mile left and said I want you to run. I made the other guy run too so they would both finish ahead of their goals. I did not see them after that but I am proud and so thankful that they had a great time. Pacing in a race has been a dream I have had and I am glad I can finally say I have accomplished this!!!!!!!! What a wonderful feeling.

This is the second time I have done this race. I have just realized this is the fourth half marathon I have done in Maine. I love Maine. I am glad I came for this and I look forward to coming back to MAine for more. There is one in September but I am trying to cut down a little for the sake of my knee.

This race had a lot of perks. When you finish, there is a live band, ice cream, kind bars, fruit, bagels, and pizza. There was even food for vegans!!!!! I think that is a plus. There is also Shipyard Beer! It is really a great race and I think it was a decent price. You get your bang for the buck. I think this was the fourth year they had this race and it just keeps getting better. I would not change a thing. There were plenty of volunteers and I think the pacing added some fun to it! I might be slightly bias but I think it went well and we had a lot of people smiling. It did get a little hot but they had misting tents along the way which is a definite plus!!!! The course was changed since I had run before and I liked this course better and even the hills. I love hills ha ha!!!!!
ship1This is my shirt, medal, and water bottle from the 2012 year. I think this is one of my favorite running shirts…I have not considered it for a throw away and I never will!!!!!

Here is from this year… I would never throw this shirt away!!!! The boys had different shirts and this is not going to be used for pajamas!!!!!
ship2

There is nothing not to love in this picture!!! I use the glass for my water (I am not a drinker). I love the shirt and I absolutely loveeeee the medal!

I was slightly jealous the other pacer had her friends with her. Next year I want to take people with me and I hope they will consider having me pace again!!!!! us

Here are some more pictures of us pacing!!!!
mepacing

jesspacing

And here is a picture of the finish area, which I thought was cool!!!!!! This is a good reason to do this race!
party

Here is the part where you see what goes into running:

So Saturday I ran with just shoes. I chose not to wear socks because I took them off during my last race and I even contemplated taking my shoes off at the end of the race. Here is the aftermath of my feet and this is about four days later ha ha ha
feet

feet2

It isn’t just about the medal that you win…it is all the work and effort you put into getting to that finish line.
medalsearned

I also went to the physical therapist tent at the expo for the shipyard and I had the lady look at my knee. I have a baker’s cyst so she taped me up!!!!!bakercyst

I don’t think some people realize just how much goes into running. It is a lot of work and we cannot afford to slack. When you are out there on a long run, it is just your mind keeping you going. I love biking, but when I want a break, I just let the wheels do the work. When I want to stop, I have to ignore the “I can’t” that goes through my mind. It is a big battle. For every blister, every ache, it just makes it that much harder to get to that goal of a finish line.

This past weekend I had my dream of pacing come true. Now there is only one other dream I really want with running besides my fifty half marathons, which should be coming up soon (and that means I have completed my New Year’s Resolution)!!!! I want Boston with all of my heart….

My medals are filling up and I am not sure how many I have but I know I want that Boston medal and I wont stop until I have one!!!!
meds

I also got my oiselle singlet in the mail which is quite nice :)
oiselleeee

Here is the new recipe I made this week: It is vegan!!!! Chocolate Chip, peanut butter banana oat cookies:
You can comment for the recipe because I have to look it up…
coook

On a final note, Jessica and I are famous! I rented an awesome locker at this race. It was nice to not have to walk back to my car. I was getting my stuff and we got to get our picture taken for their website!!!!
famous

What questions do you have for me? What are your goals? How are you working to meet them?

boot

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