meanwhile, elsewhere

Friday’s online finds: Inspirational, educational or just silly. Here is what I found this week…

        

“Sometimes, I have these moments of clarity, usually during lengthy conference calls,” says Lori, 41, a contracts analyst in Charlotte, North Carolina. “This voice in my head suddenly starts shouting: What are you doing? This is pointless and boring! Why aren’t you out there doing something you love? Name one thing you love! Cheese? Okay, great. Let’s get some goats and start making cheese, and we can sell it from a truck. We’ll call it something clever. And then, I spend the rest of the conference call thinking up names for my imaginary cheese truck: Hmm, some pun on a wheel? Fromage on a Wheel?”

Have a great weekend! Let’s make it well worth the wait.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

fallish intentions

10 things I intend to do this season

  1. Finish The Office: I am on S5:E5, so I feel good about completing this one.
  2. Finish my office: The plan was to have my new office space ready for September which did not happen. I’m now aiming for Christmas – gas fireplace and all!
  3. Learn to enjoy red wine again: I took a break from it over the summer after a poor decision (don’t buy cheap American wine, don’t get the flu)
  4. But also… Complete the Whole 30 #Whole30November: I am building a team. We can do this. Who’s in?
  5. Bangs, do it! Why not? How bad can it be?
  6. Get back into daily planking: Fun fact, side planking is good for scoliosis. I have a rod so I don’t think it matters but, I am sure planking has other benefits.
  7. Design print and distribute my calendars before mid-December: Another summer goal that got bumped. Question, should I repeat the Hello theme but with new imagery?
  8. Make use of my Canada Games Centre membership and SWIM! Seriously, David is in the pool three days a week… I need to take advantage of this time.
  9. Pottery, photography, and paint: I have already started my 10-week pottery class and have made a few fun things including a deformed cat dish for my non-existent cat. There’s an online photography course I’d like to enroll in and painting is part of my office update.
  10. Choose a fall uniform: See photo above.

Tell me your goals.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

wineglass marathon recap

Also known as the day my music died.

It’s been a little over a week since the Wineglass Marathon and I’m finally writing a recap. As always, it’s long and painful just like a marathon but I hope it is handy for all the Googling marathoners out there who are looking for their next race and landed here. Afterall, it’s other people’s race recaps that influence me to sign up for stuff like this in the first place.

After running last year’s New York City Marathon, I needed to find something totally different. As much as I loved the big city experiences of Chicago and New York, I wanted to go back to something smaller and less overwhelming but yet a bit bigger than PEI. My sister Erin, who lives in upstate New York, mentioned the Wineglass Marathon so I looked into it and it met all of my requirements:

  1. Smallish (3,000 runners in the full).
  2. Early start (8:15 am) and minimal travel to the start (our hotel was 2 minutes from the shuttle bus drop-off).
  3. Great route (flat and point-to-point). I should clarify that there is no wine on course… a lot of people asked me that! 

With all of these factors in place, I decided to sign up despite being slightly injured in the Spring but with physio, training started off better than expected. I set my goals prior to a marathon:

  1. Sign up, show up.
  2. Finish.
  3. Finish sub-four hours.
  4. Get a new personal best! I would need to be under 3:56.

Unfortunately, early into training I stupidly bruised the arch of my foot doing jump squats on and off a curb and my training got slightly derailed. I cut back on my mileage and went back to physio. There were many times I thought about deferring but kept running as much as possible and decided to show up and do my best. By the end of 18 weeks, I got in a few good long runs and things we feeling okay.

Race weekend

The Wineglass Marathon is in New York (state) and the finish is only 45 minutes from my sister’s house so I was excited about being close to family and the beautiful Finger Lake region of New York did not disappoint!

I flew to my sister’s on Friday morning and with my parents also in town, it was fun and stress-free leading up to the event. Erin’s friend Tara, who was running the half, flew in from England on the same day so we all chilled in Binghamton and went to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning before making our way to Corning. We got our race kits and drove to the small town of Bath where the race starts. Although the Corning is bigger, I prefer being as close as possible to the start line and booked a hotel as soon as I registered for the race. This was a smart decision because there were limited accommodations options in Bath. A not so smart decision was thinking I was the only one with the idea of having a carb-happy Italian dinner in the cute town just a few miles outside of Bath. There were about 1,000 runners with the same idea but luckily we found a great tavern and chowed down before checking-in at the Super 8. My sister introduced me to her friend Nick who was also running the full so it was nice to see a familiar face at the starting line.

Race morning arrived (as usual, with little sleep and lots of anxiety). It was cold (about 1 degree Celsius) but I put on my shorts and tank-top, knowing I’d warm-up once I got going. As I mentioned above, I love this start time. I was able to stay in bed until 6:00 am, got up and took my time getting ready – ate a bagel, popped some Advil, drank a coffee and water and layered up. Erin and mom drove me to the shuttle bus at 7:15 am and I reluctantly left them and the warm car. The bus ride (which is a requirement) to the start was less than 10 minutes. There were tons of porta-potties and they opened-up industrial garages for us to congregate in (heat!). Bag check was super-easy too – with about 5 minutes to go, I pulled off all my layers, stuffed them in the bag and lined up right behind the 3:55 pace bunny.

The goal was to stick with the bunny, eat my chews and hydrate early.

About 1 km into the race I felt great and decided to jump to the 3:50 pace group. About 1.5 km into the race by shuffle died. I spent the next 2-3 km totally distracted trying to get the music to work but also felt great and was pumped to see my sister and mom early on. I threw them my arm warmers but kept my gloves on. It warmed up to about 7 degrees at the sun came out about halfway through. I was grateful that David gave me his lucky hat and promised me it’d give me speed!

About 5 km into the race I still felt great, having just climbed the only significant hill in the race and decided to jump ahead to the 3:45 pace group. Without music, it was nice to listen to the conversations and since it was a very rural course, the crowds were pretty quiet most of the time. I stuck with the group for the next 15 km and I was remembering to hydrate, the road was fairly flat and there were lots of nice country views. As we approached the half, I hesitantly moved ahead of the group but not by much. I just needed some me-space and was excited to see my mom and sister again at 22 km.

The rest of the race went by fast – I still felt good but started walking through the water stations. As per usual, things start to hurt but nothing significant. I never saw the 3:45 pace group pass me and although I was walking the water stations, I caught up to the runner’s that passed me. Without music, I spent a lot of time trying to predict my finish… but I honestly had no idea if it was going to fall apart. Finally, when I thought I still have a few kilometers to go, I realized I was at 41 km and the finish was just over the bridge! Not sure how that happened but I kicked into gear and pushed hard for a strong finish. Now, it was no New York or Chicago but running down the final stretch of Main Street and seeing my sister, mom, dad, brother-in-law, Tara and my niece and nephew in the crowd was awesome. I threw out some high-fives and finished!

The medal is the prettiest yet (glass of course). I saw Nick again at the finish:

They had chocolate milk, coffee, bananas, pizza and soup (to name few) and a PB bell plus a place to get an instant print out of your results.

After catching my breath and calling Mike and David, we made our way home.

Guys, I can’t say enough good things about this race. It was near perfect. If you are looking for a great smallish race that’s early in the fall this is it! There are not a lot of turns, it’s very flat with a few small rollers and there is very minimal congestion. The only small negatives would be the road is not fully closed-off to traffic so the pylons are a little obstructive (a poor guy fell over one and broke his nose…) and there is not a ton of crowd support because of the limited cheering locations. My mom and sister (bless them) were cheering for the half and full, which made for a lot of crazy back-and-forths but still managed to see me three times.

I hope this is helpful for anyone thinking about the Wineglass.

***

Oh, but wait, there’s more! I almost forgot to talk about the swag! A long-sleeve tech shirt, a wine glass and some celebratory champagne. That’s the icing on the cake!

And with my new PB, that’s a check off the forty before forty bucket list! Now I need to think about a spring marathon. Let me know if you have any recommendations. 😉

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

265 days until summer 

It’s been several hours and 5 days since you took my summer away…

Summer is over which means it’s report card time! I know y’all have been anxiously waiting to see how it all went down but before I reveal the results of my 100 Days of Summer bucket list, I have decided to change things up a bit based on my friend Tim’s suggestion of replacing the incompletes with alternative fun things that happened. Afterall, we must remember, it is summer and summer should be fun and spontaneous, even for people like me! So without further ado:

  1. go on a sailboat*** YES! I did not say “sail on a sailboat”. During the Tall Ships festival, I toured a few boats.
  2. watch an outdoor movie*** YES! Erin and I watched Footloose outside at the Chickenburger
  3. see Shakespeare by the Sea*** NO, BUT… Sarah, Amanda and I went to the play Nothing Less at Two Planks and a Passion Theatre. Outside theatre = same thing. 
  4. fly a kite*** YES! It was a last-minute effort with David. We found a plastic kite in the basement and flew it around a parking lot. Not much air but we did it.
  5. ride a slip & slide** NO, BUT… What’s better than a slip & slide? Try riding down a waterslide into the ocean. True story. Did it. 
  6. visit magic mountain** YES! We probably picked the coldest day of summer to do this. Imagine standing in your wet bathing suit on the top of a hill, holding a wet tube that’s blowing in the wind while you wait in line to go down a cold waterslide. 
  7. make homemade ice cream* YES! Thank you Mila for lending me your ice cream maker, it was delicious. 
  8. hike Cape Chignecto* NO BUT… We explored Fort Beauséjour in New Brunswick.
  9. go to a country fair* YES! Amanda rented a car (#10) and drove Sarah and me to the Hants County Exhibition for a goat yoga class. 
  10. ride shotgun in a car driven by Amanda* YES! See #9
  11. have a water balloon fight*  NO, BUT… Goat Yoga. See #9
  12. have fresh flowers in the house always* YES! Not always the freshest and sometimes more weed than flower but they were always there. 
  13. tube down a river* YES! The Lazy River. See #6.
  14. buy a summer dress* YES! 
  15. mow the lawn* YES!
    ***
  16. golf (the real deal golf. not mini) YES! It took us 4 hours to play nine holes. Thanks, Clara, Larry and Mom for your patience.  
  17. go to a concert NO, BUT… I was my mom’s date to a birthday party at Fox Harb’r Resort 
  18. surprise someone YES! My sister turned 40 and we surprised her with a night out on the town.
  19. cheer for someone YES! Team 71. See #20.
  20. hike the Skyline Trail NO BUT… I ran up Hunter’s Mountain during leg 17 of the Cabot Trail Relay
  21. swim in a lake YES! Amanda and I took a dip in Lake Banook.
  22. swim in the ocean YES! A beautiful day in September at Crystal Crescent Beach.
  23. dive into the water YES! How else does one enter the cold water?
  24. go to Eliot & Vine YES! For my birthday.
  25. go to the Shore Club YES! A farewell dinner with Kristin, Josh, and Noah before they moved to Ottawa.
  26. go to Chain Yard Urban Cidery YES! So good, I went twice. 
  27. start a bullet journal YES! 
  28. start designing my 2018 calendars NO, BUT… I created a folder and copied last year’s files to it. I need ideas!
  29. spend more time on my front porch YES! 
  30. host a strawberry shortcake cocktail party YES! I made cocktails and strawberry shortcake but in case you were wondering why you were not invited, it was a very small and unplanned gathering.
  31. host a bbq YES! A few.
  32. borrow Jill’s pizza oven and host a pizza party YES! When my sister was visiting we had a family backyard pizza party to celebrate Edith’s first birthday.
  33. sunrise at the beach YES! Early morning runs by the ocean help make this happen.
  34. sunset at the beach YES! See #22.
  35. have a lunch date YES! A few.
  36. have a brunch date YES! A few. 
  37. have a post-work beer date at the Stillwell beer garden YES! Right after doing #38.
  38. go prom-watching in the Public Gardens YES! 
  39. order a pizza and eat it in a park YES! While waiting for Henry who was at the emergency clinic.
  40. bike across the MacDonald bridge (if it EVER opens!) YES! David and I biked home from summer camp one day.
  41. bike a trail YES! See #96
  42. hike a trail YES! 
  43. run a trail YES! Many times. 
  44. run by the ocean YES! Many times.
  45. run across the MacDonald bridge (if it EVER opens!) YES!
  46. go for a run and jump in the water right after YES! Jenna and I ran around Lake Banook and then jumped in.
  47. pop a wheelie YES! Ha. 
  48. go berry picking YES! Strawberries on the Amherst Shore. 
  49. make raspberry jam YES! It was okay. 
  50. sleep in a tent NO, BUT… I slept in an Airbnb.
  51. ride a roller coaster (or some other carni ride) YES! David and I rode the Gravitron at the Pugwash Gathering of the Clans.
  52. spend an evening on an outdoor patio YES! A few times but not enough times. 
  53. wash and clean my car (inside too) YES! 
  54. run laps on a track YES! At 5:30 am at SMU when no one was watching. 
  55. run with a run club YES! Jenna and I have been running with the BLT Runners occasionally. 
  56. train for a marathon YES! And I ran it!
  57. rollerblade on the Oval YES! I do not like rollerblading but I like the Oval. 
  58. visit the Discovery Centre YES! 
  59. play croquette NO, BUT… I rode a bicycle built for two. 
  60. visit Hope for Wildlife YES! David took me for a tour and it was fabulous. 
  61. night swim YES! An early evening swim. 
  62. drink my morning coffee outside YES!
  63. accidentally get a sunburn YES! 
  64. picnic with a basket and blanket YES! Bike ride included.
  65. celebrate with sparklers YES! In the backyard.
  66. grow tomatoes YES! Thanks to Elissa, I grew three. 
  67. have a campfire YES! At my parent’s house.
  68. dance in the rain NO, BUT… I ran in the rain and I biked in the rain. 
  69. make iced coffee YES! 
  70. run through a sprinkler YES! During the Natal Day Road Race.
  71. make peach pie YES! Twice. 
  72. make rhubarb pie YES! 
  73. make key lime pie YES! 
  74. rent kayaks YES! David and I rented kayaks and a paddle boat in Saint John.
  75. selfie with a lighthouse YES!
  76. selfie with a lobster trap YES! 
  77. selfie in a boat YES! Cruising down the Wallace River on the SS Minnow. 
  78. hear bagpipes YES! Canada Day, Natal Day and I think 2o more times.
  79. watch a parade YES! Canada Day and Natal Day.
  80. leave the province YES! See #99.
  81. leave the country YES! New York for #56.
  82. cut my hair YES! But I chickened out on getting bangs.
  83. tie dye NO, BUT… I did buy the dye and a plain white tee. 
  84. watch fireworks YES! From my bedroom window which totally counts. 
  85. toss a frisbee YES! With David.
  86. clean my office NO, BUT… I started watching The Office.
  87. eat from a food truck YES! I finally tried a burrito from the Gecko Bus.
  88. only use the clothesline YES! Always.
  89. make cedar-planked salmon YES! We had Brie and Rick over for a BBQ.
  90. drink beer from a cooler YES! My mother-in-law had me over specifically to help check this off my list. 
  91. drink beer from a pitcher YES! At Maxwell’s Plum with my sister and her friends. Twenty-five years ago this was the dream. 
  92. go to a yard sale YES! However, I did not buy anything.
  93. go tidal bore rafting NO, BUT… I went wine tasting. 
  94. ice cream on the Halifax waterfront YES! Cows. Of course. 
  95. try hot yoga YES! Hollie and I went to a Friday night karma class.
  96. visit McNabs Island YES! We took our bikes (#41) and spent 4 hours exploring.
  97. take a water taxi YES! We hired a boat to take us to #96.
  98. plant a tree (or shrub) YES! I finally planted a lilac and a rhododendron. 
  99. play hooky YES! David and I tagged along on Mike’s business trip to Saint John. We accomplished #6, 13 and 74 on our 2-day adventure. 
  100. write my 40 before 40 list YES! Here.

Total Score: 87% YES + 13% NO, BUTS.

Summer was pretty great. Thanks to all who hung out and helped me check things off my list. I can’t wait to do it all again in 2018. #100daysofsummer

NOTE: *2016 not complete **2015/2016 not completed ***2014/2015/2016 not completed. + Thank you, Dylan, for the title inspiration.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

meanwhile, elsewhere

(almost) Friday’s online finds: Inspirational, educational or just silly. Here is what I found this week…

           

Have a great weekend! I am catching an early flight to New York to visit with family and run a marathon. Gulp. Lucky number SIX. Here’s hoping the foot survives the 42 km.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg