Tri # 2

Weekends at home are just too short! Friday was busy with unpacking, laundry, and errands. One stop was a follow-up with the podiatrist for my heel. Bad news on that front. It is a little better but not much. He wants me to rest completely for 2 weeks. That is not going to happen. So I have to wear this lovely boot at night (which is a major pain-o to lug to California) and spring for the very pricey custom orthotics.

Immediately ignoring my take it easy and always wear sneakers order, Bryan and I went to sky zone Friday night. It's a huge room full of trampolines. You can even bounce off the walls. We were the oldest people there by at least a decade, but still had a blast.

Saturday was a double header at the gym and then off to volunteer at the soup kitchen. There is a Wheaton volunteer group that goes twice a month and I've been wanting to go for awhile. I feel like I am so incredibly fortunate, and I need to remind myself of that. I am also working to increase my comfort with the homeless. It is just something I was not exposed to at all growing up. They are just people, and I tried to treat them that way. Then Amy, a college roomie who I haven't seen in years came for dinner. We ended with these cookies- that I just had to make. Chocolate chip cookie wrapped oreos!Your arteries will not thank you, but your mouth will.

Then, today to wrap things up I had a tri. Outfitted in my new tri suit, I thought I was ready for open water. How different from the pool could it really be?? Very. It was awful. I got kicked in the face and huge gulp of water up my nose in the first minute. I resorted to backstroking and side stroking for the rest of the swim. It seemed endless. But the bike was heavenly, and I was moving faster than I've moved in awhile on the run. 8 minute miles!! I finished in 1:14, good for second place in my age group.

If I am not tired enough to sleep on the plane today, I will never be!

Weekend in Sonoma

I had to stay over the weekend in California for work, which was a bummer because I had to miss the Trek. However, we didn't actually end needing to do much work. So we got to enjoy, a lovely and HOT weekend in Sonoma county. Saturday afternoon I went for a long hike in Annandel State Park. I couldn't believe the number of people, especially mountain biking out on the trails. This is a huge park, with hundreds of trails, and I saw people on every trail I was on. Then, I met the other consultants and we went to an interesting Euro soul food place called Lokal in Sonoma.

Sunday, I managed to hook up with the Santa Rosa cycling club. They were fantastically nice, and managed to round me up a bike, helmet, and gloves. We did a lovely rolling ride through the Russian River valley. I couldn't believe the sheer number of vineyards. The roads and scenery are just so amazing- you could probably do a different ride every day for years.

Then we hit up a couple vineyards. Matanzas Creek where the lavender fields were just coming into bloom. Then to the fancy Ledson, in a Normandy style castle. Long bike ride + heat + lots of wine in a short period of time = rest of the night conked out on the couch!

Birthday musings

My birthday is this week which always makes me reflective. Lately, my life has been feeling pretty redundant and boring. I feel like I’m doing the same runs at the same pace on the same roads, like I’m wasting days sitting for hours staring at a computer screen, like I’m wasting nights watching the same TV shows on the same couch. But then I thought about what I’ve done in the last year
-I went to Ghana and saw poverty and sickness like I’d never seen. But at the same time I saw faith and gratitude like I’d never seen.
-I changed jobs. It was scary leaving a secure position where I great potential, but where I was unhappy.
- I went to Antarctica and ran a marathon. I got to see incredible natural beauty, meet incredible people, and learned that I do have what it takes to dig deep and finish something really difficult.
-I got my master’s degree in public health. For me this was harder than my undergraduate degree because I did it while working full time and paid for it myself.
Looking at it this way, I had a pretty spectacular year. So why I am ending it feeling unfulfilled? I’m coming to the conclusion that, in the end, life is not about the big moments. Life is the everyday: seeing a perfect sunset on your morning run, the first sip of coffee, a conversation with a friend, a hot bowl of macaroni and cheese on a cold night. So I am making that my mission for this year- to recognize, appreciate, and savor the little minutes. The moment I savored this morning was the cool splash as I dove into the pool after my long birthday run. If I had to be away from home and working on my birthday, at least I still got to do a long run along a path by a lake and then jump in an icy pool at the end.

Martha's Vineyard

The problem with being from an island in Maine, is that I tend to spend all of my vacation time on that island. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it has kept me from exploring all of the other amazing places in New England in the summer. So when I saw a Groupon for ferry tickets to Martha's Vineyard, I decided to change that. So glad I did, what a great place.

Friday was the best day we've had in 2 weeks- sunny and not humid. We took the 9:35 slow ferry, and as soon as we got on the boat I started to relax. We landed in Oak bluffs and headed right out on the bike trail to Edgar town. The path was flat, smooth, and ran right along the ocean. The miles of sandy dunes and warm air made me feel like I was in the tropics instead of Massachusetts. We stopped and walked on the beach in Katama before heading back up-island to Vineyard Haven for a stop at the famous Mad Martha's ice cream. This section was less scenic and hillier, but the bike path was still great! Fueled up by ice-cream, we did the last short section back to Oak Bluffs where we had just enough time to take a swim (I couldn't believe how warm the ocean was!) before the ferry back. Then it was fried clams in Hyannis for dinner before heading home. Summer is glorious.

Slow and steady heals the heel, but doesn't win the race

I've been in the new orthotics now for 3 weeks. I think I'm getting better, but maybe that's because I'm just not running much. I've averaged like 2 runs a week, and I feel like I'm getting slower and slower. This morning I was struggling to keep a 10 min mile pace. Maybe I'm tired from the weekend? On Saturday, I did a 50 mile ride with the AMC that was pretty hilly. I was dead tired at the end. Also pretty discouraging, since 2 years ago I was doing centuries. Maybe it's a good thing I have to work and can't do the Trek across Maine this year. If I was that tired after 50 miles, how would I manage 3 days in a row of 60+ miles? I feel like I'm working harder, and yet have nothing to show for it. I weigh more, I hurt more, and I'm slower.


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...