I turned 35 in June. It's an age that felt both momentous and ominous to me. I'm not just an adult, I'm an ADULT. I've never been bothered much by aging because I've felt like I knew who I was and where I was going. Now at 35, a point where it seems like I should be settled, it's so much less clear who I am and whats next.

Image result for 35 birthday memesAt 25 I had a career. I made good money. There were clear steps for advancement. Now, I don't just have one career, I have multiple jobs. I like each of them infinitely more than what I used to do. I am grateful to get to spend so much time with my son while he is small. But I make a quarter of the money I used to. Because I work part time at so many places, I feel like I'm not a part of the group at any of my jobs. It's hard always being the outsider, always feeling like you need to work extra hard to make up for the fact you aren't there all the time. I am starting another part time nursing job soon that I'm really excited about. But at the same I know that I won't be there enough to have it define me. It's just another job, still no career.

I always knew I wanted to be a mother. Now I am and it is so much harder than I expected. Having a small child is relentless. I love Cooper so much. Nothing in my life has ever meant this much to me, and yet so many times each day I just want 10 minutes alone.  So many times each day I run out of patience. So many time each day my heart wants to explode because I love him so much. I always thought I'd have 2 kids, but now I just don't know. Can I physically/emotionally/financially handle another one? It's not clear anymore what the next step should be.

While life in general seems unsettled, each day seems too routine. Exercise, feed the dog, walk the dog, get Cooper up and dressed, put Cooper down for a nap or for bed, change diapers, make food, clean up food, plan activities, pack for activities, clean up from activities, work. There is no spontaneity, no adventure. I always used to have my next trip, my next adventure planned.

I was hoping that 35 would just take some time to settle into. More than 2 months later, I'm not feeling like that's true at all. Maybe this is what 35 will be. Unsettled.

A New Name

I've decided it's time for a new name here. I'm still a runner of course, but that's such a small part of my life. Running is an hour or two of each day, but I'm a Mom and wife 24 hours a day. So my new title, Mainely a Mom Running, reflects that. I've also really been feeling the urge to write lately, but not so much about running. So hopefully you'll be hearing more from me soon!

Tri for a Cure 2019


I did a triathlon on Sunday and it was hard, hot, and wonderful. Tri for a Cure is women only triathlon that raises money for the Maine Cancer Foundation. I actually did it 2 years in a row (6 or 7 years ago?) but haven’t done it since. I have been wanting to do it in memory of my mother in-law, Marnie, since she passed away in 2016. This year I finally got up the courage, signed up for the lottery to get in and got selected.

Transition opened at 6 am and I got there around 6:15. I’d always rather be there early than stress about being late. It did make for a lot of sitting around though, because the opening ceremony was at 8, and my swim wave didn’t start until 8:50. I used the bathroom a million times, rechecked all my stuff in the transition area (triathalon= SO MUCH stuff), ate my PB&J around 7:20, and chatted with all the ladies around me. I cried my way through the opening ceremony, thinking about Marnie, and hearing the stories from the cancer survivors racing that day.

The swim is, by far, the hardest part of this race for me. I did a few triathlons in my 20’s and got to the point where I was comfortable pool swimming, but open water swimming in a pack is a totally different ball game. I did one of the swim clinics that the race puts on in mid June and it was terrible. The water was so rough and cold and it made me feel worse about the swim rather than better. I tried to do some swimming on my own, but I just hated it every time.  Eventually I just decided that race day was going to be hard no matter what, so I was going to stop torturing myself with more training. I went in expecting it to be absolutely horrible, and was pleasantly surprised that it was just pretty bad. We lucked out with calmer waters on race day and the water had warmed up to a balmy 61. SO the main thing that bothered me was just being in a huge pack of people. I never really found clear water, so I just did the crawl when I could, and breaststroked or flipped to my back when I got overwhelmed.
Swim time: 13:35

the swim course at 6 am

I was so happy to finish the swim and get on my bike. I actually got in a lot of bike training despite getting a late start because of the cold, wet spring. I did put on my Garmin for the ride, but didn’t look at my pace at all and went off effort. I felt SO good on the bike and had so much fun. The time flew by. I took one energy chomp at 5,10, and 13 miles (120 cals total) and made myself drink a bottle of water and a bottle on Nuun over the course of the ride because it was HOT and by the time I started the ride I’d been out in the sun for more than 3 hrs with very few fluids. I love the last mile of the course because its mostly downhill or flat and there are so many people along the course. I felt like I was in the Tour de France and wanted to keep going.
Bike time: 49:23 (17.9 MPH)

checking my bike in the day before the race

And then I hit the run and it was the complete opposite. I was probably a bit overconfident about the run, thinking it was “only a 5k,” and I run a lot longer than that normally. But of course it is totally different when the run comes at the end of a triathlon and it is HOT. I felt terrible from the very first step and the run seemed to take forever. I started off with 2 other ladies in my age group and for the first mile I tried to stick with them, but eventually I had to let them go because I felt awful. I took water at every stop, drinking some and dumping some on my head. However right after mile 2 I started feeling chilled, nauseous, and seeing black spots. I walked for about 30 seconds and then resumed running, just trying to keep my feet moving. Even though I know no one else cared about my run time, I cared the most about my run time because I am a “runner.”
Run time: 25:07

Final time: 1:35:10. Division Place: 12/115 Overall Place 67/649

I truly feel like I went as hard as I could in the race and I am so happy with my reults. But at the end of day, so much of this event isn’t about your time or place. This event has such an amazing sense of cooperation, encouragement, and empowerment. I had to remind myself of this as my competitive spirit showed itself, particularly on the bike. I’d get annoyed with slow riders that weren’t keeping to the right. I tried to remind myself that you don’t know anyone’s story and that everyone is doing the best they can. Instead I tried to say something positive to everyone I pass and who passed me. You know what? I got so much more energy from encouraging others than from being annoyed by them. I also wrote Marnie’s name on my arm and every time I was scared or hurting I used her as my inspiration to keep moving. Racing is hard, but not as hard as cancer.

I do this so Cooper will never have to lose someone he loves to cancer

And even though I said a million times this spring during my fundraising and training that I was never signing up for this again...... now I want to sign up again!

An Ode to Running for Global Running Day

I started running almost 20 years ago, but for the wrong reasons. I started running to burn calories at a time when that was the last thing I needed. But it was running that then saved me. Running helped me reconnect with my body, helped me feel strong again, and taught me that in order to run, I needed to fuel my body.

In college, running helped me find my people.

After college, running helped me keep a sense of adventure and purpose during the monotony of working in a cube every day. It helped me see the world.

Now, almost 2.5 years after having my first child, running means more to me than it ever has. I usually run alone, very early in the morning. I don't often run with people, and I rarely race, but that's okay. Running is the only time in my day that it just for me. Nobody is asking anything of me. I can run as fast or slow as I want, and go where I want to go. I can listen to a podcast uninterrupted. It is the time when I feel the most like my pre-child self. A time when my body is my own; it doesn't have to carry a child or walk a dog. It gives me time in nature and time to appreciate that nature. It clears my head and strengthens my body so that I return ready to care for my family and my patients at work.

Something that I started to punish myself has turned into one of the most wonderful things in my life.

Long may you run friends!

2019 Maine Coast Half Marathon

On Saturday I ran a 1:55:07 half marathon, which is a 4 minute PR!!!!

But let’s back up. Last time I posted I had a possible stress fracture. I meant to post an update soon after that, that the imaging didn’t show evidence of a stress fracture (yet). So, with the doc’s approval, I decided to try for the race since I was already through the bulk of my training. However, I focused primarily on my 2 remaining long runs and cut out most of the shorter runs and cross trained instead. In that same time span, our family was hit with several nasty colds followed by spring allergies. And it was basically cold and rainy every day.

All of this to say is that I had low expectations going into this race. I threw out my hopes of lowering the PR I set last year and just wanted to finish. This year they moved the full to be on the same day as the half, where is previous years it was the after. I left my house the same time as last year, but this year I sat in traffic FOREVER waiting to park. I was feeling frustrated and rushed by the time I finally parked. Luckily bib pick-up was quick, but I still felt rushed trying to get to the bathroom and ready to run. I managed to get myself together and ready by 8 am………. And then I waited and waited. The race started more than 20 minutes late. I always expect a few minutes delay, but almost half an hour is not okay. I had taken my caffeine (still going with the caffeine pills instead of coffee to lessen the bathroom trips) and fuel expecting an 8am start.

Finally though we were off and thankfully, I was in the first coral. The amount of runners around me felt just right. After the first ¼ mile or so I had plenty of company, but it never felt too crowded. My plan was to just run by effort. I set my watch for 6 minute run, 30 second walk intervals. I missed the first walk break, but took all of them after that. I realized about 2 minutes in that I had forgotten to use the inhaler I had spent a lot of time trying to get in the week leading up to the race (my lungs had never fully recovered from a nasty chest cold I had in April). Oh well, too late now. Luckily my lungs felt okay as I settled into a comfortably hard pace, but my legs just had no pop. They never hurt, they just felt flat from the very beginning. What did hurt however, was my right foot. This was entirely my fault because I was wearing new shoes. The Wednesday before the race I did an easy 6 miler and my feet hurt so much at the end. As I took off my shoes, I looked at the soles and realized they were so worn down. I hadn’t been paying attention and totally forgot to switch my shoes this spring. I was running in shoes that were almost 6 months old. I chose new shoes over the completely worn out ones, but ended up feeling a hot spot under the ball of my right big toe less than a mile into the race. I’d just finished Meb’s new book so I tried to think about the time he raced with a Breathe Right strip in his shoe.

I had also worried about the weather. I did all my training in weather under 40 and race day was 60 and sunny. But between the shade on the course and the sea breeze it wasn’t too bad. It was a strange race, nothing felt terrible, but it also didn’t feel good. I just kept plugging along, occasionally glancing at my mile splits, but not looking at my overall time until mile 10. At that time I realized that, as long as I didn’t implode, I’d set a significant PR. Last year I felt so good in the last 2 miles of this race and really pushed hard. This year I just hung on. I did take a couple extra short walk breaks because all the hills are in the last couple minutes. I crossed the line in 1:55:07, which is way faster than I ever expected.

Post race I immediately took off my shoes, enjoyed the free gelato, and then headed home to an overtired and over-hungry toddler who was in full meltdown mode. #Momlife.

This race was such a reminded to never count yourself out. A hard training cycle can make you tougher and stronger.


Scientifically I know the importance of rest days, yet I don't take them. I try to justify it by saying that I have a well rounded workout routine, its not like I'm running every single day. I run 3-4 days a week, spin once, do a kickboxing class, do a bootcamp class, and then mix in some yoga and strength training. Deep down though, I know it isn't good for me to go hard every day. 

This week the universe sent me some pretty strong signs that it is time to back off. Monday night I couldn't fall asleep because my left shin hurt so much. I finally admitted to myself that I was injured and it was a bone injury (aka not anything I can run through). 
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As hard as it was, I didn't run at all this week. I did some spin, some elliptical, no impact. But I still went hard at every workout. Then last night I woke up in the middle of the night with terrible stomach pain and spent the rest of night and the morning violently vomiting. Over and over.

Okay universe, I hear you. And I definitely took today off. 

Its so hard to explain to others why taking a day off is so hard, it's deep seeded. It's partly, I'm sure, a remnant of the eating disorder I had in high school. It's about control and getting time for myself. It's a long standing habit, and those are the hardest to break. But as soon as I have a healthy leg and a healthy GI system I'm going to try. 

The Moon is a Thing

disclaimer: This post has zero to do with running, so if thats what you are here for, feel free to skip this one.

I was talking a fellow Mom at a playdate recently and we both mentioned that we had noticed the moon the night before. There had been this beautiful, bright, full moon that we both saw from inside our houses. Sadly it wasn't the beauty of the moon that we noticed- instead we both realized that neither of us had even seen the moon in months. The bright light streaming in our windows made us realize that, oh yeah, the moon is still a thing, it still exists."

Deep in the trenches of raising a small child, I don't often get to leave my house after 6:30 pm. I don't often get to see the moon. I can live with a lack of moon sightings in my life, but it's harder to be without all the other things I used to do outside of my house after 6:30pm. I used to go to evening yoga classes, out to happy hour or to dinner, to wine tastings, to concerts, to the monthly Portland art walk. I used to be able to run to the store if I wanted ice cream.

I have a husband who works nights and weekends. In some ways this is great. It allows us to have opposite work schedules so we don't have to pay for daycare, which saves us a LOT of money. But it means that I solo parent most evenings, that I'm not free when the rest of the world us usually free. The one or two nights a week when we are both home, I have to choose between having time as family or getting to go out and do something for myself. I"m only working part time right now, so that I can have more time with Cooper. It's a gift to get this time, but it also means we don't have a lot of extra money. Meaning that paying a babysitter so I can go out is rarely an option.

I know these years with small kids are short when you look at a whole lifetime. I love snuggling and reading books and singing before bed with my little boy. But right now I'm also feeling a little like a prisoner in my own house. It gets awfully lonely and boring. I default to TV and ice cream every night because I'm too tired and too stuck in my rut to do anything more productive or fulfilling. But I guess I can at least step out onto the deck and look at the moon, now that I've been reminded that it is still up there.


I turned 35 in June. It's an age that felt both momentous and ominous to me. I'm not just an adult, I'm an ADULT. I've never...