Blown away Thursday

As I’m writing, I can hear the winds whistling past my windows at 25 mph.  Gusts of up to 40 mph expected today!!  Yikes.  Small poodle alert! I laugh because the half I am running this weekend is ALWAYS windy.  It’s been pretty calm around here lately, but sure enough, rolling in just in time for our race this weekend, here come the strong winds.  Ugh!

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Quite the opposite of yesterday.  It was a great to have a mid week day off!  Hope you all had a good Veterans day and gave thanks to all who serve our country and protect us.  I started off my day with a run at the park with Alan.   As promised, we saw several deer.

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The trails were beautiful with the Fall leaves and color.

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Even though I had a great run the other day, my run today felt like a total struggle!  Maybe it was the hills.  Maybe it was the humidity?  Maybe I shouldn’t have wasted my energy trying to capture a jump?

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Well, who knows, but it was a beautiful morning and I was happy to be outside, running, and with Alan 🙂

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In addition to a variety of short trails, the best part of this park is going over the hanging bridge.  There is just no way to correctly cross this bridge without bouncing all over the place!


You should see how out of control that bridge is on the “group runs” we have at the park!  After those tough 7 miles we had some bagel sandwiches.  Just the perfect mix of a ton of meat, and salty deliciousness.  Yummm!

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After dinner I decided it was time to dust off the Just Dance game and get moving.  My favorite song is One Direction “One Thing”.  I love the song, but also, I’ve danced it a lot so it’s pretty much the only song I can crush the kids with!!!  Victorious again!

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Q:  Do you play any video games?

I totally suck at using the controller, so I’m pretty bad at Mario Kart and Mario Bros.  I do pretty good on Just Dance, and the Wii Fit games though – ski jump and the other ones that use body motion and not hand eye coordination!

Q: Favorite sandwich – cold cuts, or something grilled?

Q: Have you seen any animals on your runs lately?





Happy Monday!

Howdy everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend.  I sure did!  My Friday started out with being productive and swapping out the summer clothes for the winter clothes.  Yep, it’s that time of the year again.  Tank tops and shorts are being replaced with long sleeves and hoodies in my kids’ closets.  Always fun to find all of the dirty shirts that my son has just stuffed back into his dresser drawers all season!!  My husband and I met an old friend for lunch, and after that I even got around to washing the windows outside.  It was beautiful outside!!

Saturday morning I ran with Jamie on our last training run for the upcoming Churchills half marathon.  I decided I should actually revisit the hills that are on the course since I haven’t been training any hills!  I was relived to find they weren’t as bad as I remember.  Although they will still be challenging since they hit around mile 10 or so.  The run went well and we had to cut it short at 9 miles instead of the planned 11 miles due to schedule issues, but I think it was a perfect amount to end on.  We saw many other runners out on the course.  Everyone getting ready for the big race!

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On Sunday morning I decided I needed to burn off some calories because we were going out for donuts for breakfast.  I LOVE donut mornings!  When I peeked out the window in the morning, there was frost on the ground.  It was a lovely sight and I wanted to get out there.  Then I remembered my compression socks, which I haven’t had much chance to run in yet, so I wore those.  They kept my calves nice and warm, but at 29 degrees the rest of my legs were freezing and by mile 2 I was wondering if it was a bad outfit choice!! Oh well, keep it going.

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The super awesome thing about my run is that it turned into one of “those” runs.  You know – the kind where you end up kicking butt, your pace is fast, and the run just feels right.  YES!  Love when those happen.  Ironically it was happening at the same time I could have been running the marathon I decided not to do, but we all know 4 miles is a heck of a huge difference from running 26.2.

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When I go out for a run, unless I have some specific speed workout, I typically just go for a half mile and then look at my watch.  Often it will show a pace around 9:00ish.  Sometimes, it will be 9:20, or if I’m sluggish, something more around 9:30 or slower.  All perfectly fine paces for my “whatever” running.  But that morning my pace was 8:20. 8:20!!  One look at that and I knew I could pick up the pace and really run it fast.  My paces ended up being:


I like how that small .05 sprint to my driveway came in under 7:00 pace.  Woohoo, thank you number 6 for being on my paces today!! 😉

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Love those sprinkles!!

I’m looking forward to this week because I get an extra day off (Veterans Day, bank holiday!).  I’ll be enjoying a run with my husband on that day and going out to lunch with him.  A perfect day I think.


Q: Does anyone else have the day off on Wednesday?

Q: Favorite donut style?

Creme filled, frosted with sprinkles, and glazed!  

Q: Have you had a great run lately?  Do tell!

Happy Halloween Highlights!

I hope you had a great Halloween!  I started out my day with a 12 mile run.  6 were done on the treadmill because it was dark out, but then I did the other 6 miles outside.  My pace was much faster outside, but it was also painful due to stupid glute pain still 😦  Then I spent a large part of my day shopping with my daughter for clothes.  It was mostly successful, but I was exhausted with all of the walking around!

When night came, it was time for holiday fun!  My kids dressed up as a vampire and an unknown phantom.  Even though it got dark at our house shortly after trick or treating started, my son was able to wear that face cover the whole time.  Pretty cool!

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Our neighborhood is great for Halloween.  One of our neighbors was passing out Reese’s (my *favorite*) AND Jello shots!  That rocked.  And, I had no idea my Athleta shirt zipper was reflective.  Good to know!!

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We had quite the ghastly set up on our porch.  The fun part was the RIP tombstone was sound activated and would light up the eyes and make wailing sounds when people approached for candy.

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My kids got huge bags of candy.  Mostly because they were out for the entire 2 hours.  What a haul!  We tracked the night on our Garmin and it was 3.19 miles of walking!!

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Making candy twins is a tradition now.

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Even my kitten was exhausted after sorting through all of the candy!

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On Sunday we were quite lazy with the daylight savings time change and we watched the New York City marathon.  I cheered on the runners I knew (Go RaPearce and SoonerStef!!).  It looked like a great day to race, so I hope all had a good run.  Especially liked seeing the elites cross the finish.

After taking our first journey into beer making (more on that later), we got the family out for bike ride on a beautiful new trail we have by our house.  Perfect day for a ride!  We tricked the kids into riding 13 miles.  Hey, it’s good for them 🙂

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Q:  Did you watch (or run!) NYC marathon?

Q: Did you have a great Halloween?

Kids haul was an average of 9 1/2 pounds of candy.  Yep, they scored.

Q:  Have you ever brewed your own beer?

We have made wine, but this was our first batch of beer.

Why it’s not safe at work

This week I’ve been working at an office that I don’t typically work at.  And it’s just not safe to be here!  I mean, let’s talk about yesterday.  It was apples, caramel topping, and pies.  Both pumpkin pie and apple pie!  I could not let the day pass without a sampling of the apple pie.

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Today I tried to be good and avoid any temptations.  But new ones appeared!  A cake, donuts, bagels and other things I tried not to look at.

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And these were located way too close to my desk.

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And somehow they ended up here in front of me!

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Those M&Ms are filled with peanut butter.   Those are my favorite.  Yum!!!  Luckily I will be out of that office after this week, so I’ll just try to resist.

One fun event I need to share this week is that we ran a night time 5K.  It was hosted at one of our local metroparks and it was timed with the full moon happening.  But, it was too cloudy to see the moon, so we were in total darkness!  Well, darkness except for our headlamps and glow sticks.  I’ve never run in the complete darkness like that, so that was a lot of fun.  My daughter was my running buddy and she didn’t let me slack.  Official time, 26:40.  Whew!  That even included a stop along the way to investigate what Sydney thought was a cat… but turns out it was a raccoon.  I was just happy we didn’t fall down on the trails!!

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Back at home we are getting all geared up for Halloween.  We tried to encourage our kitten to make new friends, but she was having nothing to do with that idea!!

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Q:  What is your favorite M&M variety?

Q:  Are you good at resisting treats?

I’m not at all!!  That’s why I try not to be around them.

Q:  Have you ever run a race in total darkness?


Halloween happenings, and another loooong run

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I sure did!  My work days got switched up this week so I had a 4 day weekend.  Saturday was a bit rainy, so we just hung out all day then watched Jurassic World. I love a lazy day every now and then!  The movie was really great too.  I highly recommend it!  On Sunday, we made a last trip to Cedar Point, the amusement park close to us.  They have “Halloweekends”, which is holiday themed for family fun, and also scary stuff for the big kids.

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It was a bittersweet moment for my daughter, who was technically too big to be trick or treating based on their height guidelines, but luckily they let her participate.

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It didn’t stop her from having a good time… even though the activities were a bit too little for her!  Heck, they were small for Zachary too 🙂

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We took the kids to their first haunted house.  It was WAY too intense for Sydney and she buried her head in my back the whole time.  Not a great idea, because then she really got picked on by the spookers.

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While the kids went on a roller coaster Alan and I got to go to another every scarier haunted house together.  It was fun, just like date night in the old days!

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NOT Alan! They do have some really great scary people working the attractions.

They had a social media game with some really good prizes.  We just had to tweet and put a picture on Instagram and we got some free passes for next year, and a “Fast Lane” pass to the new roller coaster that will open in 2016.

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It was a beautiful Fall day at the park, and we stayed until it closed.  On a school night!  Crazy stuff 😉  But for me, Monday was a day off, so beyond dealing with slightly tired kids in the morning, it didn’t bother me one bit!  I decided I would go for a long run on my day off.  Originally it was going to be 16 miles.  No time goals, but just to get the run done.  I got to visit a new metropark that just opened near our house.  It has a beautiful trail and I saw 10 deer while I was running there!

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I took my family to check out the new trail in the evening. It is so beautiful!

It was also the first time I had to wear full tights this season.  It was chilly!!!

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By the time I got back to my house I had gone 16.5 miles, so I couldn’t stop there – I went for 18 miles.  It was downright painful in my glutes from about mile 11 though, so that was a bummer.  I could barely bend over after the run!  And when I finally stopped, I was *starving* so I made a recovery drink with bananas, milk, peanut butter, and whole lot of chocolate syrup.  Yummmm!  But too cold to hold the frosty mug…

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And to end my afternoon, I took a nap with my kitten in a big warm blanket in my sunroom.  Ahhhhh.  It was quite a lazy afternoon.  My list of chores for the day will just have to wait, because I could barely move off the couch!!  Whew.   What a great day off!


Q: Do you like haunted houses?

I do!  I haven’t been to one in a super long time, so it was a lot of fun doing that again.

Q:  What’s in your favorite recovery drink?

I didn’t even have an iced coffee after my run.  What is wrong with me??

Q:  Is it cold enough to wear tights where you live?


TRRC Fall Officers Bash

This week we went to the Fall Officers Bash, which is the Fall event for our local Toledo Roadrunners Club.  The TRRC is a great value for our running family.  They host several free and cheap 5K’s for members, have monthly newsletters, discounts on bigger races, and have a great Fall meeting which is 50% running and 50% social get together!  It’s their monthly meeting, but also a 5K with dinner.   Yep, all of that for only $8 for our whole family to attend!  I like deals 🙂

The 5K was also Sydney’s first opportunity to test out her XC training at a 5K.  She hasn’t raced one since summer I think.  The first time she ran this course it was measured incorrectly and it ended up being 3.62 miles.  Oops.  Kinda funny something like that would happen at a running club’s race!  It wasn’t quite so humorous for my daughter who was only 8 years old at the time.  Her pace was 10:53 a mile.  This year, she had a smoking fast pace of 7:37 a mile, for 23:43!  Glad I wasn’t her running buddy because I would not have been able to keep up with that pace!

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Zachary was my running buddy and he also has run this course before, with around a 28:00 finish time as his previous best time.  This year he finished in 26:03!!  He didn’t even complain once during the race.  I was impressed!  At mile 3 he told he was going to sprint to the finish.  I let him go.  No way I’m sprinting fast and hurting myself before the race on Sunday!  You GO kid!!

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We ended the night with pizza, lasagne, salad, beer (for the adults!) and lots of cookies.

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I was quite surprised when they told us the kids got a fleece jacket for running that night.  Nice!!  They also got tech shirts for winning in their age group, and the adults got socks.  Socks are always a great gift for runners!

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I’m spending the rest of my day getting ready for my trip to Columbus tomorrow for the marathon (it’s the half for me!).  First, a quick trip to the church rummage sale to find some throw away clothes for the race!!  It’s supposed to be a chilly morning we need to layer up.  I got a sweatshirt and a hat.  I’ll be styling 🙂 Hmmm, now that I look at my picture I see some soccer cleats I could have needed too!  And what about those snow boots…  So much stuff, so little time to shop.

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Q: Are you a member of a running club?

Q: Do you ever run with your friends at races or pace anyone?

Q: Best post race food – pizza or lasagne?  Or just beer and cookies?

Q: Are you a thrift store / garage sale/ bargain hunter?

 I just love finding deals.  No better deal than a 50 cent shirt!!

The rush of XC!


I had some other things to ramble on about for today, but that will just have to wait because I have the most exciting story to share with you!  It’s all about the last Cross Country meet of the season for my daughter.  I may have mentioned a million times that my daughter is running her first year in XC, and she has been doing well.  At the beginning of the season she got to run “varsity” for the Jr High, which are the top 7 runners for her school.

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There are only two meets that use a varsity group.  For the other meet, which was their final meet of the season, she did not get selected to run varsity.  I have to admit, that broke my heart more than hers!!  She seemed OK with it, but I was a bit sad.  She was selected as the “alternate” varsity runner, just in case they needed her.  When I finally got over it, I assured her that it might be even better because she’d have more of a chance in the Open division because she’d be one of the faster girls out there!

This past weekend we checked out the course.  It was being held at an old fort in our area.  The fort is along the river, up high, and it has a flat area down below which would be the meat of the course.  Down a winding hill, two loops in the flat, up a long steep hill, and then about a half mile to the finish.


The fort up high, with flat lands below

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“short” uphill #1

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“long” uphill #2!

When the girls took off, Sydney was in the mix of them all.  They headed off to go down the hill, and we went up to the top of the fort where we had a clear view of the open flat area.  Soon the runners came into sight.  We were shocked and amazed when we saw Sydney in front of all of the girls!!  She was actually in the lead by quite a bit!  There was another girl from her school behind her, and then the rest of the pack was behind them.  WOW!!!  There were 9 schools participating, so there were at least 100 girls in the Open division.


Even after rounding a few corners, there she is all by herself!!

She kept up her lead for the entire flat area that we could see.  Then, she headed up the hill.  Sure enough, at the top of the hill, which was closed in to a narrow strip by the cheering spectators, was Sydney still in first place!!  We cheered her on and made our way to the finish line.

We could see her in the distance approaching the finish chute.  Her team mate was still the same distance from her, but as she got closer we saw it… another girl was coming speeding up behind her!  That girl was cruising, and came out of nowhere.  I had not even seen her on the last half mile to the finish, up until now.  What the heck??

We yelled as loud as we could to give my daughter some sort of indication that she had another runner right on her tail, but it went by so fast, she never got to even see us.  The girl caught up to her in the last seconds of the race – and from our vantage point – it looked like she stepped on the finish line at the same time as Sydney did!!  I’m not sure what it really looked like at the finish, but first place was given to the other girl.

It’s hard to describe the excitement of it all, so here is a very poorly recorded clip of the finish line.  Crazy, right?


Despite the shock she had when she crossed the line, it was a great race.  I’m so proud of her!  She finally got her goal of sub 14:00 for her race (13:58!) and basically crushed this course.  And that second place finish could have easily been a first place if she knew that girl was there.  As a reward for her great efforts this season, she finally got the brownie bites she has been eyeing up every time we go to the grocery store 🙂  It was the perfect end to her first XC season.

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Q: Is there a favorite treat that you like to reward yourself with after a job well done?

Q: What has been the best part of your week so far?


Thankful Tuesday

On the eve of what is going to be a bad day for more than a few people out there, I thought I would talk about some things that I am thankful for on this day before Boston Marathon cutoff declaration day!

But first, a quick recap of my camping weekend…  It was beautiful weather!

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We found fuzzy critters!

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We had fun fishing.

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The big one got away…

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Here’s funny shot of what I found in the morning – my son’s toes on my daughter’s pillow!  Yes, she is under the blanket, and he somehow stretched across the bed without Sydney noticing it!

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… despite these colorful shoes, I did not run one bit.

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My week of rest is paying off so far.  My foot appears to be on the mend.  I started back to it with two running dates this week!  Yep, TWO!  And one was a new running friend : )  (Yo Jamie!)  And a bestie who is trying to get back to it (Yo Jennifer!!)  You know who you are.

Thankful for =====>  Running friends!!

Thankful for =====>  Delicious desserts made by my husband!!

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And also this love note in my car this morning…

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Thankful for =====>  Being back to running, after that one very long slow walk on my treadmill this week!  Woohoo, almost 2 miles!!

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Thankful for =====>  My happy family!!   This totally would have looked authentic if it wasn’t for Alan’s elbow sticking out…

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And one more set to get some good vibes going for tomorrow… for EVERYONE who registered.


Stop on back to see what Wednesday brings!!  Have a great Tuesday 🙂





What’s cooking around my house

While I’m not running this week (resting!!), I thought I’d catch you up on stuff.  Now that the kids are back in school, my husband and I are finding one nice quiet day a week, on my day off.  So far we’ve gone out to lunch a couple times, complete with a ride in the Mustang convertible and a beer (so deviant, a beer at noon??).

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But another thing we’ve done is some cooking!!  One thing that drives me crazy is not having a plan for dinner.  When I don’t have a plan, I find myself going to the store 4 times a week because I didn’t plan ahead and I forgot something.  What a time and money waster!  So when I saw a freezer crockpot meal plan in my inbox, I decided to give it a try.  Note, this is NOT a sponsored post, but just some ramblings about my day….  The plan promised 20 meals in under 2 hours, and for $160!  Sold!


I made a couple shopping trips to Sam’s Club and the grocery store to get the supplies, and then we were ready to go!

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There were lots of veggies to cut.  LOTS.  I have to say, the plan was very well organized.  We had recipes with chicken, beef, hamburger and pork chops.  We bought a lot of stuff in bulk at Sam’s, so we had some leftovers (onions, lots and lots of onions!).

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We didn’t quite get this all done in an hour like I expected.  I mean, if one person can do it in 2 hours, we should have crushed this in an hour, right?  Nope, I think we were in the kitchen for 3 hours that day.  But, we did get our 20 bags of meals to put in the freezer!  And by my records, we spent around $135 because there were some things we didn’t need to buy.

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Are you wondering what crockpot meal included that watermelon??  Uh, I’m just lazy and couldn’t find another place for it.  That’s why this isn’t a cooking blog 😉

We have tried two of the meals already and they were good.  So far I think it was time well spent.  Did you ever wonder what your parents did while you were at school?  I’m sure they were doing a lot of this.  haha!


Q:  Have you ever done any “freezer cooking”?

I do it sporadically.  But I typically have some bags of pasta sauce, soups,  or Cincinnati style chili in the freezer at all times.

Q:  What would you like to do when you have a day off?

I’ve got it all

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If I’ve learned anything from running Boston this year, it’s that you can never be too prepared!!  Or overpacked!  So, this time I’ll be ready for it all.  2 pairs of shorts (not sure which to wear yet), 2 tank tops (ditto), capris, 2 t-shirts (in case it’s chilly), bunch of GUs, pins, gloves, undies, hat, throw away shirts…. you get the picture. (yep, there it is!!)

The forecast for Erie looks pretty good right now.  Let’s hope it doesn’t change!  This week the forecast has gone from pretty warm (78) to really rainy.


Tomorrow it’s off to see my daughter run at a huge XC meet (and she’s running varsity for her team!!!).  Then off to Erie.  Enjoy romantic pre-race pasta dinner with Alan (it’s our 23rd wedding anniversary on Saturday!).  Hopefully we’ll see a few friends.  Get a good night’s sleep and then IT’S ON!!

See you on the other side!!  🙂


Q:  Do you get the pre-race jitters?

I sure have in the past day!!

Q: If it’s sunny, do you wear a hat/visor or sunglasses?

I’m not even taking sunglasses.  The course is mostly shaded, and quite beautiful because it’s a state park.  I’ll take a few pictures for you!