Tag Archives: adventures

My #1 Tip for Beating the Running Blahs

Happy Monday (is that a thing? I hope it is for you!)

Today’s post is a recap from my mom of a beautiful, scenic run she had a couple weeks ago!

Running along the Marginal Way. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I have a confession to make. Although, I love running –  sometimes it can be boring. It’s easy to get tired of running the same loop every other day. Eventually you just feel blah about your run, and it becomes something you’re forcing yourself to do rather than something you actually enjoy.

How to Beat Running Boredom

My #1 tip for beating that bored, “bleh” feeling? Run in a new place.

Nora and I had always wanted to   run the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine , and never quite managed it. But coming back from a friend’s home in Biddeford recently, I was determined that I would stop and do just that.

It was Halloween morning, a nice 50 degrees and cloudy, perfect for a run along Ogunquit’s beautiful and rocky coast.

Ogunquit, Maine

I parked on Perkin’s Cove road, just across the street from Barnacle Billy’s. It was early and because it was cloudy and cool, few people had ventured out. After chatting with the parking lot attendant, I walked to the end of Perkin’s Cove , doing a little window shopping , all while looking for the coffee shop, Breaking New Grounds, that the parking lot attendant had recommended. (I wanted to purchase my post- run coffee  before setting out.)

Marginal Way.I found the shop in a lovely little cottage down near the end of the road, and after some friendly service left with a coffee and big slice of pumpkin bread.    A quick stop at the car to shed jacket and handbag and to grab headphones and I was off.

Marginal Way, Ogunquit, MaineThe entrance to the Marginal Way is about 30 feet from the parking lot, and well-marked. It was low tide but this only added to the dramatic beauty of the rocky coast. As the paved but narrow path meanders up the coast  for  about one mile, there are great views of the rocks below to one side, and incredible views of the beautiful homes (or mansion in this case!) 🙂

Marginal Way.Every now and then, there was a bench or two tucked in amid a few scrubby looking bushes . Perfect for sitting and enjoying the view!  The Marginal Way is only one mile long, so I crossed the street and ran up a lovely wooded road for a bit, before hitting what looked like a main road and turning back.

Marginal WayBack on Shore Road, I turned left, to do a little more exploring before getting back onto the Marginal Way. This took me past more charming shops and eventually down Beach Street where I crossed the Ogunquit River and found myself on lovely, but pretty much deserted, Ogunquit Beach.

Marginal Way

Had the beach all to myself!

(Just before the bridge, I passed The Above Tide Inn, where I had – many many years ago –  spent a lovely weekend with my family!)

On the way back, I decided I should probably take a selfie or two, to show I actually was here, but  there were more people around now and, embarrassed that someone my age was indulging in this “youthful” behavior,  I nearly tumbled onto the rocks! But here it is!

 

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Photographic proof.

I really was here, and it was a great way to end what had been a wonderful visit with a longtime friend!!

So every now and then, pack up your running shoes and explore a new trail! A change of scenery is honestly just what I needed and I highly recommend it. 🙂

Have a great day! 

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My Mom’s Thoughts on the Roc Marathon

Hi again!

Sorry for the long break, once again. Between classes and my toenail probs, finding the time to post has been tricky! I’m pleased to report however, that the toenail is on the mend, and I was even able to run a nice easy 3-miler this morning! 🙂 But without further ado…

Rochester Marathon Recap

When I was 25 I occasionally ran with a neighbor who was training for  the NYC marathon. ..he and I would run about 5 miles together down to Huntington Harbor and back,  and then he would take off to do another ten miles –or more. I was a bit in awe of Bill, who was 55 a the time, but I never  considered joining him, and I never, EVER thought that, at 55,  I would run my first marathon.

So, if you’re out there Bill P. from Huntington NY, and you happen to read this blog, I thank you for being an inspiration, (even if it took me 25 years to act on it) and I hope that wherever you are, you are still running!

And now to pick up where Nora left off:

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Somewhere   along the canal it began to rain and though it was a pleasant drizzle that cooled me off, the sky to my right – the direction the course would take me – looked  very ominous and I was sure this pleasant drizzle would turn into a monsoon before I got to the finish. (It would, but more about that later.)

I am pleased to say, I kept to my plan, of running a mile, and walking a minute, and managed to do this until mile 21. At that point I realized I wasn’t going to be “busting loose” or dropping the walking breaks, in fact, I started to walk a bit more.  At first I felt guilty about this, but as I started to see more and more runners on the side of the road (some obviously feeling much worse than me), I decided there was no shame in the walking, and reminded myself that this was my first marathon and that the goal was to finish, and to enjoy the experience, and that was what I decided to do. I started to walk as fast as I could, (my slowest of these last few splits ended up being 12:46 so not too bad), running for short stretches, and taking the time to thank volunteers and spectators alike. Like Nora, I really appreciated the fun signs!

Finally, I was making   my way back into the city,   relieved to know the end was in sight.  I also noticed there were some large puddles and one officer had hung his rain jacket from the window of his patrol car. It flapped as I went by and he smiled and said, “Trying to get it to dry out.”  I realized it had rained here, but that somehow, I had been spared. (It was my marathon miracle!)

And then I was crossing the finish line!! Nora was there with her boyfriend and they were a welcome sight. 🙂

I quickly realized I had no fine motor skills left and could not unlock my phone to stop Mapmyrun, (the app I use on my phone to log my miles) so I handed it off to Nora who took care of that. I was pretty excited and wobbly, and a gentleman came over with a wheel chair, just in case I toppled over.  I didn’t but it was close!

After walking about and drinking some chocolate milk, Nora and I realized we really didn’t feel like eating anything (never a problem after a half marathon!)  and we  decided it might be best to get back to our hosts’(my sister and her husband)  house, and relax there.  (It never occurred to me to check the results in case I had placed in my age division. Later I found out, I PLACED THIRD!)  We began to walk to where Nora’s boyfriend had parked his car. And then it hit: a veritable monsoon of wind and rain that moved like a wall of water across the streets, whipping down the fences at the finishing chute, and drenching us, and the runners we saw making their way to the finish! By the time we got to the car we looked like drowned cats and I texted my sister that we would need towels! Now cold and wet, I couldn’t help feeling badly for the runners still on the course, and hoping they would not have far to run.

Celebrating our first marathon

After hot showers, and a celebratory glass of champagne, we headed to the spa, for our much anticipated, and much needed massages. It seemed somehow inappropriate to take our phones into the relaxing atmosphere, so we left them in the little lockers provided so sadly, we have no pictures of the lovely facilities. 😦 But needless to say, it was the perfect antidote to running 26.2 miles! (Though I did have to jump off the table because of a cramp in my calf, which was slightly embarrassing.) Nevertheless,  Nora and I have decided that this will definitely have to be a post marathon tradition.

So a big thank you  to our hosts, my sister and her husband,  who made their home available, who fed us, and cheered us on; to Nora’s boyfriend for driving out to support us, and shuttling us around; to the city of Rochester, its  police force, the volunteers, and the great spectators, who came out despite the rain.

Rochester Marathon Recap

To all of you, thank you for helping Nora and I check off the great state of New York in spectacular fashion!!

Running Tattoos

P.S. one of those tattoos isn’t real… 😉

 

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The Rochester Marathon

We did it.

My Mom and I can both officially say now that we are marathoners. After months of training and reading anything and everything about marathons, we finally went out and completed 26.2 miles. There was uncertainty, crazy weather, and blackened toenails, but we made it.

Let me start from the beginning though. 🙂

Late in the afternoon on Friday, my mom made the long drive up and picked me up from school. It was fantastic to see her again and we chatted the whole time as we made the drive into Rochester. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle, so it was a great mini-family reunion. Friday night, we just relaxed, ate pizza and visited, before turning in for an early bedtime. We wanted to make sure we got plenty of rest in preparation for Sunday.

Saturday, we slept in a little, before going for a gentle 2-mile jog, as prescribed in the training plan my mom and I followed. We were also keeping a close eye on the weather that morning, as the forecast for Sunday was looking awful. There was a strong chance of severe thunderstorms from 6 am on throughout the whole day. In the paper, there was an article that explained that if there was thunder at the start time (7:30), then the race would be delayed ten minutes. If the thunder continued – the race would be cancelled. My mom and I were freaking out. At that point, I felt like I would gladly run through the pouring rain, as long as I got the chance at my marathon.

So obviously, we were pretty concerned. We went to pick up our packets as usual though, hoping for the best. Packet pick-up was held at a local running store, Fleet Feet, and it was hopping when we arrived.

At packet pick-up for the Rochester Marathon

My mom and I loved the race shirts, but we were also excited to pick out another commemorative, first-marathon-ever shirt! We both went with these awesome long-sleeve Nike running shirts.

Rochester Marathon Shirt

We tried to stay relaxed on Saturday, but the weather reports continued to predict strong chances for thunderstorms. We organized our running materials that evening – putting pins on our bibs, packing our GU’s in our fuel belts (I wanted to do one every 5 miles through mile 20, at which point I was going to switch to Sports Beans aka jelly beans for runners). With the predictions for rain, my mom and I both made sure to bring hats to help keep the rain off our faces.

We had a simple meal for dinner that night to round out our carbo-loading routine – grilled chicken and baked potatoes. After that, it was a little TV and then bed time.

While I had a little trouble falling asleep, I was shocked at how well I slept until the alarm started ringing at 5 am. My mom and I quickly got up and started prepping the coffee and bagels (with almond butter and raspberry jam of course – our favorite!). It was a little hard to stomach at such an early hour, but we knew it was important to eat early so we would have time to digest a bit before the race began.

A friend of mine from school was running the race as well, and she got dropped off at my Aunt and Uncle’s so that we could bring her to the start with us. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather as we drove into the city of Rochester – a little cloudy, but warm with no rain!

We checked our bags (complete with all the necessary post-race items, including sweats, Snickers bars, and a hairbrush. All completely essential.), and made a last porta-potty stop. Kudos to the race organizers for having enough porta-potties to accommodate all the runners, as this always seems to be problematic!

At the start of the Rochester Marathon

Then, we excitedly went to the starting chute. Of course, there was time for some pre-race selfies.

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

We stretched for a few minutes and I reveled in the fact that it was not raining on us. I think all my worry about the weather left me feeling more excited for the race than nervous. Then, the race announcer led us with a moment of silence for a Rochester police officer, Daryl Pierson, who was shot and killed three weeks ago. It was a touching moment, and so important for us as runners to show our appreciation, as the entire Rochester police department was out, directing traffic and lining the course to help keep us safe and the race running smoothly.

Next, the National Anthem played… and we were off and running our first marathon!!! Ahhhhh!

Along the course of the Rochester Marathon

With all the excitement, the first few miles flew by, but my mom and I did a great job pacing ourselves and sticking to our Galloway method-inspired strategy: run a mile and walk a minute. I really enjoyed checking out the beautiful 19th and early 20th century mansions that we passed along East Avenue.

Mansions along East Avenue. Rochester Marathon

Absolutely beautiful. We continued along, sticking to a pace around 10:30 minutes/mile. Just before mile 5, we came up on our cheering section who surprised us with this awesome poster. 🙂

Of course, we had to stop to take a picture.

We had to stop to take a picture.

As we continued along, my mom started telling me to take off. I was feeling great at the pace we were running, but she wanted to dial it back a little because of the humidity we were dealing with. We had planned on staying together longer over the 26 miles, but with her blessing and some good luck wishes on both our parts, I headed off.

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Around Mile 6 or 7 (I think… it’s all blurring together a bit), we turned off and ran along the Erie Canal bike path, which was pretty, despite the clouds rolling in. Soon thereafter, it started to rain – and I thought to myself, “This is it. It’s going to pour, and I’m either going to have to run another 15+ miles soaking wet or it’s going to thunder and they’re going to pull us off the course.”

Thank god that’s not what happened. It rained lightly for maybe 15 minutes, just enough to cool me off, and then it stopped! It was a marathon miracle. 🙂

I was feeling great, and got super excited when I reached the 13 mile marker – halfway done! And I kept feeling great through mile 18, and that’s when it truly started to feel like a marathon. My big toe was starting to hurt (ironically, not on the foot where I struggled with my EHL strain – that foot held up like a champ.). I was running behind someone with a shirt that read “Black Toe Racing”, and I remember thinking a lot about the foreshadowing and symbolism of that. 😉

I kept chugging along though, desperately looking forward to each 1 minute walking break whenever I completed another mile. While I cherished those breaks, I noticed that after about 19 miles, it hurt just as much (if not more) to walk as it did to run. Ugh.

Around mile 20 of the Rochester Marathon

I certainly wasn’t the only one taking walking breaks by this point though.

The last 6.2 miles were the most challenging miles I’ve ever run. I knew I was close to being done, and I just wanted to cross that finish line and for the RUNNING TO STOP. Thank goodness for all the fantastic spectators along the course, and for the people who cheered for me, reading my name off my bib and encouraging me that I was almost done. I also loved all the creative signs –

  • Toenails are for sissies (so true.)
  • Keep Calm and Don’t Poop Yourself. (Also excellent advice.)
  • You’ve been training for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married. (gotta love humor at the expense of the Kardashians.)

FINALLY, I was turning off the canal path, back onto the major roads, and knew I was close to being done. I passed the 26 mile marker, and I pushed it into high gear. Next thing I knew, I was crossing the finish line in 4 hours, 36 minutes. I look pretty damn good for having just run 26.2 miles, right?!

Finishing the Rochester Marathon

Marathon complete.

I was so happy to be done, and to see my boyfriend at the finish. It was good that he was there, because I kept losing my balance and tilting over. Also, my fine motor skills were shot, which made texting interesting.

I couldn't text at all after running a marathon

I tried to type “I’m done” and autocorrect thought I was trying to say “I’m conspiracy”. So that shows you how successful I was. 😉 After that, I made my boyfriend send the texts. We also took some snapchats to send to my friends at school, who had been amazing about sending me congratulatory and good luck texts-

post marathon

And some regular pictures. In between bites of a bagel, obviously.

After finishing the Rochester Marathon

My mom also ran an incredible race (SHE GOT THIRD IN HER AGE GROUP!!!) and finished in 4 hours, 58 minutes.

What an amazing race. After so much concern over my EHL strain and the fears about the weather,  I feel so lucky that I was able to run my marathon. After 9 half marathons, it was time, for both my mom and I.

More marathon reflections are coming, but this post has already gotten ridiculously long. Thanks for reading it and also, thank you SO, SO MUCH for all the advice, and good luck messages sent our way through this blog. It meant the world to us to have so many people rooting for us.

 

 

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I’m Back!

Hello again! 🙂

Sorry for being gone a few days, I was visiting a certain someone in New York!

My Visit to New York

It was a fun trip filled with  scenic views-

Chittenango Falls

this moment

And goats. Because they’re cute.

Cute little goat!

After a few days away (and more rest for my foot), I was excited to try running again. Confession – I ran 3 miles last Monday (well, ran/walked every few minutes), and it felt fine. So I was feeling hopeful.

I set out on Sunday morning with my mom to attempt 5 miles (she was running 13). I felt really good initially, and decreased my walk breaks to one minute every mile. Well, it didn’t work unfortunately… At first, my foot felt fine, but then around mile 2 and a half, it  just felt sort of uncomfortable, like something was not quite right, but not exactly painful. By mile 3, it was painful again.

So possibly I tried for too much too soon. But it’s incredibly frustrating, because the marathon is just over a month away. And I can barely run 3 miles right now. Not good. 😦 I don’t want to dwell on the negative stuff though! I still have more physical therapy, I’m planning on getting some new running sneakers to better accommodate my high arches, and I’m still getting in plenty of workouts. So we’ll just have to wait and see what September brings.

My mom did great again with her 13 miles though! Check out how consistent those splits are!

Consistent mile splits during marathon training

Now, she’s just got to keep that up for another 13, and she’ll be golden. 🙂

 

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So Why Now… (My Mom’s Decision to Sign Up for the Full Marathon)

Hey there!

So, about a week after my mom was swearing she would never run a full marathon (and making me double-check that I had registered her for the Rochester HALF and not the full), she made the decision to take the plunge and transfer her registration to the full 26.2 miles! I asked her to write up a little post explaining what had changed, and this is what she said. 🙂

Why My mom decided to run a full marathon

I guess it’s because when you run with someone who is always looking ahead for the next challenge, you can’t help but feel a little of that excitement that comes from taking on a new challenge. Last year, Nora took on a sprint triathlon, a whole new adventure for her.

Nora at the Wild Cat Sprint Triathlon

Nora finishing the biking section of the Wild Cat Sprint Triathlon

But that’s how she is, always checking out new things, considering possibilities, and then taking that educated leap in the pursuit of a new goal. Just like with the triathlon, she’s willing to try new things and to work hard to reach those goals. So in the end, even though I’m the parent and should set the example, I find myself inspired to follow. Needless to say, I took into consideration the fact that I have now run 9 half-marathons without injury, and that it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that I am healthy enough to pursue this goal! And of course, though we run together, we will each run our own race, with our own plans, our own paces, and our own individual goals, but always finding each other at the finish.

findeachother

And who knows? In the end, I might become one of those impressive souls I meet at races; someone who despite discovering running late in her life, now runs all kinds of races – including a few marathons a year – making friends as she travels and runs, always remembering what Helen Keller said – “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

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Volunteering and Running at the Dirty Girl Mud Run

DISCLAIMER: Dirty Girl Mud Run comped our registration fee in exchange for reviewing their race. All opinions are our own.

Happy Friday Everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, this past weekend, my mom and I participated in an awesome new race for us- a mud run! I wish I could say I ran it, it looks like it would have been AMAZING. I joked to my mom that I feel like this race was designed for me, because as a little kid, we used to go on family hikes and I always thought they were boring, unless there was, as I liked to call it “an adventure crossing”. By that I meant, having to cross a little flooded area on a fallen tree or other similar obstacles. I thought they were exciting.

So I will have to do a Dirty Girl Mud Run at some point, because last weekend, I opted to get a different taste of the race experience by volunteering at bag check for the race. At a race like this, checking a bag is pretty much a must, because you get super muddy out on the course, and it’s not all that fun to drive home like that. This race did have shower and changing stations set up to help solve that problem too.

I didn’t really know what to expect as a volunteer. I was a little nervous about it honestly! While it was a bit of a long day, it actually ended up being pretty fun (and I learned a few tips for the bag check process that I’m putting together in another post!). My job was to help out runners who came to check their bags, making sure they had filled out and attached the bag check tags to their bags with a safety pin, and then putting it in the proper area by bib number. After that, I got a new “job”, where I was responsible for directing the runners who had completed the race over to the side entrance of the tent where they would enter to collect their bags. That was kinda fun! I just had to keep an eye out for anyone who was extremely muddy and point them in the right direction. 🙂 I also helped out when runners had difficulties finding their bags.

Volunteering at a race (instead of running in it) was definitely a new experience for me! There are so many small details that go into putting on a great race (water stops, bag checks, and parking just to name a few…) and so many of these aspects are taken care of by volunteers. Running a race can be such a wonderful and empowering experience – if it’s well-done. And that quality can come right down to the volunteers. So next time you race, shoot a smile at your volunteers and thank them. It’s a small thing, but it goes a long way. 🙂

It's always a good idea to smile and thank the volunteers at a race.

And what my mom had to say about actually RUNNING the Dirty Girl Mud Run~

So the Dirty Girl run in Amesbury, Mass was my first experience with an obstacle course event.   Originally, I thought this race was kind of expensive, but after seeing  what the “course” entails, I realize all the work that goes into setting up an obstacle course event, compared to a regular “5 or 10k,” so in hindsight, it actually is pretty reasonable (if you’re looking for an obstacle-course type race!).

My mom posing after the Dirty Girl Mud Run

Also, this is a really great race to do with a group of friends (or even bridesmaids!), or an activity to do during a family reunion weekend. Then you have tons of stories and pictures to look at and laugh over later on.  (Because Nora had already signed up as a volunteer, I was tackling this new adventure on my own, and thinking, as I reached each new obstacle, “Nora would love this!!”  (Ok, at some of the obstacles – like the really tall rope net – the thought process was more like, “I’m too old for this…why am I here when Nora would love this…” but those are just details.

Conquering the ropes net at the Dirty Girl Mud Run!

Conquering the ropes obstacle at the Dirty Girl Mud Run

So that being said, here are a few tips just in case you – being either young or old, daring or squeamish,  ever want to become a Dirty Girl:

IT'S best to arrive early to a dirty girl mud run

Because Nora was scheduled for an 8 AM shift, I set off with the 8:15 wave of ladies. A new wave sets off every 15 minutes, and this went on until 2 PM.  My wave was small compared to some of the waves that set out later, and those waves were all pretty full, until the last few, so that means lots and lots of participants. This is a popular event, so try to aim for an earlier wave!

Even at the early hour, there were enough ladies for great camaraderie, but not so many of us as to make things too crazy on the obstacles themselves, some of which you really need to have a bit of space between you and the next person.

Also, things really backed up at the “shower” station – the portion of the parking lot set up to help you rinse off the worst of the mud.  Things moved along pretty quickly when I was there about 9:30, but by 11:30, there was a huge line and I heard someone say they had waited an hour before getting to the hoses! By this time, I imagine things in the changing tent must have been pretty crowded, too. Still, they didn’t run out of water, which would have been the real disaster! (Trust me, you do not want to get into your car until you have had a chance to clean up!)

What to wear to a Dirty Girl Mud Run

There were a lot of tutus and costumes of all sorts, which made it fun to see, but I noticed some interesting accessories and afterwards I understood why.

Some of the ladies had duck-taped there sneakers on – and eventually I realized this was to make sure they didn’t get “sucked off” in the mud.  (If you were to lose a shoe in some of those mud and water filled basins, finding it again could prove difficult.)

Climbing through Mud at the Dirty Girl Mud Run

Also, some of the ladies were wearing gloves. Some of the course involves crawling on your hands and knees in mud that is full of small stones, as well as doing rope-net obstacles, so I realized pretty early on that those gloves were a really good idea.  And if it’s not too hot, wear long, or capri length pants, to protect your knees and your bottom as you slide down that 20 foot inflatable slide into a basin of water and mud. (I was wearing shorts and when I saw one of the staff photographers under the rope net, I really REALLY wished I had worn long pants, but luckily none of the pictures were too embarrassing.)

So overall, it was a fun and challenging event – one I know that Nora would love as well as all the other adventurous runners out there! So, have we piqued your interest enough?! If you’re excited and ready to give this fun race a try, I’ve got a special offer just for you guys! 🙂 When you go to register, use the code BLOGFRIEND at checkout for $10 off your registration.

mudrun2READY

Have a great weekend! 🙂

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Mad Half Recap Part II

Need to read Part I? Get it here.

So remember how I said our room was an excellent bear-spotting location?

the view from our room at the White Horse Inn

Well, as my mom and I were snuggling down in our beds the night before the race, we heard a metallic banging sound. My mom excitedly looked out the window and spotted the silhouette of a bear running back into the woods! She was pretty psyched to have seen it, and we went to bed dreaming of friendly Vermont bears (the kind who don’t attack innocent runners who stumble into their midst). 🙂

Some of my best friends are runners.

Before I knew it, it was 5:20 and the alarm was going off. We dressed quickly and headed down to the dining room to check out the early morning spread for the runners. While there were plenty of freshly baked muffins, raspberry oat squares, bacon and pancakes, we sadly opted for bagels with a smear of peanut butter, a breakfast we know works well for us on long runs.

At the start/finish area of the Mad Half.

At least we knew there would be coffee nearby at the finish.

Excited to run! (Not at all scared about those hills, no not us!)

Excited to run! (Not at all scared about those hills, no not us!)

We then headed out to the starting area, about 5 minutes down the road. The race had only 1,000 runners, split between the marathon and half marathon distances. The great thing about there being so few runners – parking was a breeze!

After a little stretching, it was time to go. The National Anthem was sung, the gun went off, and we headed out! There was excitement in the air, and it was a sunny beautiful day to run. We crossed the first of several gorgeous Vermont covered bridges-

Crossing the first of several covered bridges in the Mad Half

and then the hills began.

My mom and I did our best to alternate power-walking with a light jog up the worst of the hills, and this seemed to work well. We weren’t setting any speed records, but we were enjoying the moment and the prospect of bagging another state (as a sidenote, we met many other runners who were also attempting to run a marathon or half in every state! So maybe we’re not that crazy…?)

You don't run the World's Most Beautiful Marathon without stopping to take a few pictures!

You don’t run the World’s Most Beautiful Marathon without stopping to take a few pictures!

Another beautiful view of the mountains from the Mad Half

Another covered bridge.

Another covered bridge.

We kept climbing and climbing- but what goes up must come down! While I deeply appreciated the fact that I was no longer running uphill, we had hit a fairly steep downhill stretch that must have lasted a good ten to fifteen minutes of running. I love me some down-hills, but this was brutal on the quads and ankles after a while.

Eventually we passed this sign, which made me laugh out loud (and pause to take a picture).

A sign along the Mad Half course read "Keep running, cows are watching"

Keep running cows R watching. We did see plenty of cows along the course, and many DID appear to have an ominous glint in their eyes. We successfully avoided all dangerous cow-runner interactions though! Phew… 😉

Our run-walk strategy worked pretty well, although we definitely modified it on some of the hills, walking a little bit more than the 6 minutes run-1 minute walk plan we had agreed on. Nevertheless, we managed to maintain a pace right around 10 minutes/mile.

Our mile splits from MapMyRun

On one of our uphill walk breaks, we fell into step with a young woman, commiserating over the ridiculous hills. She was running her first half-marathon with her boyfriend (who was running ahead). After chatting for a few more minutes, we wished her good luck and continued on.

Another view from the Mad Half

Just after mile 10, we hit another beautiful downhill section, and my mom and I were able to turn on a little more speed. My mom showcased her abundant energy in this crazy pic-

Running the Mad Half with energy to spare

At the bottom of the hill, we had only a mile or so left, and feeling strong, I pushed the pace a bit more, getting back down into the 8 minute/mile range.

Finally, after 2 hours and 14 minutes of uphills and downhills (and stunning views), I crossed the finish line, my mom only moments behind me.

the Medal from the Mad Half Marathon in Waitsfield, Vermont

Post-race treats-

food4

Cold apple cider and cider donuts. They were AMAZING after such a long, sweaty run.

While we were hanging out near the finish, waiting to cheer on the first finishers of the marathon, who should come over to us but our new friend from earlier in the race! She was very excited to have completed her first half marathon (and much faster than she had expected!)

alison

Congrats Alison!

Runners World writer and speaker, Bart Yasso was also at the race, having run the half marathon.

Bart Yasso at the Mad Marathon in Vermont.

What a great race! It was definitely one of the smaller ones we’ve run recently, but it was well-organized and fun. The views truly were gorgeous, and I had a blast, despite my griping about all the hills. I’m not sure it’s the race I would choose to run 26.2 miles (those marathoners looked tired!), but it was perfect for 13.1 miles. 🙂

After cleaning up back at the White Horse Inn, my mom and I drove into Montpelier to walk around a little bit. Not too long given how tired we were though! We did a little shopping, then headed back into Waitsfield, where we had a great dinner at the Akes’ Den.

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We shared salmon with a sweet potato crust (top) and crispy fish tacos (bottom). Both were insanely good. 🙂

That night, we watched a little tv and then zonked out pretty early.

Monday morning, we slept in and took advantage of being able to eat the wonderful breakfast provided at the inn.

Breakfast at the White Horse Inn

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French Toast from the White Horse Inn

Popover eggs scrambled with Vermont cheddar and French toast. And more bacon, naturally. 🙂

After the crazy-good meal, it was time to head home. Hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th weekend, and ate some yummy food too!

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Filed under Half-Marathons, Races