race re-cap! in the path of giants.

Marathon #19 was a fun one, you guys.

Trials Legacy Marathon
Olympia, Washington
July 16, 2016


It was the inaugural year for this historic race: it retraced nearly 85% of the original 1984 trials course when women were first allowed to participate in the marathon in the Olympics.

Wow! Right? 

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Forgive me for marathon-geeking out for a second, but I was running on the same course that Joan Benoit ran on – and won! – in 1984, only 17 days after having knee surgery! Talk about inspiring. That was a historic day for women and this sport, and I totally remember 1984 so let’s move on because now I’m just scaring myself.

Anyway, it was pretty cool.

Mostly I was just looking for a marathon in July so I could get to #19 before my Ironman next month. Call me OCD and you’d be right, but I really wanted the marathon in my IM to be #20. It’s just a nice round number. So that meant that I had to find #19 in July so I just grabbed this one.

I don’t have high expectations for inaugural races because I’ve done several first-year races before and there are always some kinks to work out, God bless ’em. Operating all the logistics of a 26.2 mile race is no easy feat (feet? terrible pun, avoided) so I give new races a very wide berth. But I was hugely surprised in the best way by this one.

Let’s back up, though:

It’s gotten to the point in my personal journey to run 50 by age 50 that I am really used to just trudging off by myself for these things. I try hard to not have my races be too disruptive to family life since they are 100% always on the highly-coveted weekends. I mostly just scoot out to them in the dark of the early morning, do the thing, and get back as quick as possible.

But the planets aligned with this one where my mom was able to join me AND go to dinner with her two favorite kids since my race was in the town where my brother lives.


And by “two favorites” we all know she’s got a real favorite but I’M NOT NAMING NAMES.

Sidebar: if you’re looking for great Thai food, look no further than a random strip of businesses off some street in Tumwater, Washington. The three of us had possibly the best Thai of our lives. It was delicious. I really should Yelp about it or something.

Anyway, Mom and I headed back to our hotel after dinner because I had several deadlines to catch up on plus also I had to do this, naturally:


Unsuspecting Mom + Flat Melisa. Sorry, Mom. Not really.

We were only about 4 miles from the race start, and the morning went off without a hitch.

Except for several hitches, up to and including:

About 2/3 of the way to the start of the race (per iPhone GPS since neither of us had a clue where we were going), Mom wonders aloud, “I should probably have grabbed my phone so I could map myself back to the hotel.”

……pause for dramatic effect……

“You’re definitely gonna need that.”

**Pulls a u-ey.**

“Mom, did you grab a hotel key?” … 

“No, I thought you grabbed a key.”

“No worries, I’ll just have the front desk make me a new key.”

Gets new key, inserts into hotel room door.


Key does not work! Try, try, try, try, rub key on shirt fabric, try…finally! Get key to work. Run in, grab Mom’s cell phone. Return to car. Start driving back to race start.

“Oh. Crap.”

“Mom, what. WHAT?”

“I don’t have my purse. So I don’t have my ID. I can’t drive a car without my ID. But the start is only 4 miles away, right? Maybe that’s OK. That’s not too far.”

“Mom? Do you like the idea of driving 4 miles without your ID?”


**Pulls a u-ey.**

Runs into hotel. Retrieves Mom’s purse. Ponders to self that this is like, the most extensive pre-race warm-up in the history of pre-race warm-ups.

We get back on our way and find the race start without (further) incident. And then.

“Oh, don’t forget you need gas. There was a gas station right around the corner.”

“Alright, but I’m gonna get my race packet and bib first. The race starts in 20 minutes.”

Get race packet and bib. Thank a bunch of friendly volunteers. Run back to car. (I am REALLY warmed up now, side note). Zoom off to the gas station around the corner.

“Pay Inside Only”


Gawh! You guys, the universe was doing me zero solids that morning.

Run inside. Throw down a 20. Pats self on back for actually carrying cash WITH MOM FOR WITNESS EVEN. Runs back out to pump.

Ok, I think we’re ready for the race to start now. We had like 5 whole minutes to spare. Easy breezy. cough.


A trooper, this one.


Obligatory selfie.


Finishing a marathon that day comes second only to the fact that my almost-65-year-old mom was quick enough to catch an action shot. Love you, Mom.

YOU. GUYS. If you’re actually still reading this I have to tell you that this was one of the BEST courses I’ve ever run. It was not too hilly, scenic enough, but mostly it was the one thing that can literally make or break a race: VOLUNTEERS. Oh man, did this race have some good ones. There were not only friendly faces every couple of miles handing out water and electrolyte drinks, but there were also men (and women) in blue all over the place. At every intersection that needed even the slightest bit of traffic control, there they were. Smiling and stopping traffic for us. It was fantastic. They were fantastic. Doing their thing with a smile and nod.

Just, wow.

In terms of how I ran this race, I’m happy with it. I’m a month out from my Ironman and I went into this marathon knowing it was more of a “training” day. I am not a fast runner.

I am, by every definition, a middle-of-the-packer.

But something kinda cool happened around mile 8 or 9 that I felt good about. I had been reeling in this one guy who was about 25 yards ahead of me. Lots of mental games are played over the course of 26.2 and using unsuspecting fellow runners as carrots ahead of you is one of them.

After awhile he had to stop so I lost sight of him. Suddenly he was right next to me and he leaned in and said, “Man, do you ever keep a consistent pace out here.”

What the heck? I have literally never in all my days been complimented on the course for how I execute anything. I usually feel like a newborn giraffe trying to suffer through my first steps of life.

I’m anything but smooth.

But you guys, what I lack in speed and agility, I guess I kinda make up for in my ability to know how to get through. I pace myself like the nearly-42-year-old-mother that I am, rather than the 20-something that my brain sometimes forgets I’m not.

So anyway. That was kinda fun. We talked for a few minutes and he told me that he flew out here from Virginia to run this marathon. It was his 39th. Again, wow.

The rest of the race was fairly anti-climactic. I sort of just hunker down into a mental game and have a system of how I tick off the miles.

Personally, I think it is brutal to count them off one at a time from the start. So my goal is to just get through the first 10 miles. Nice even numbers, see? 

Then I hit a goal of the halfway point. Because if you’ve gone 13.1 you may as well just double it, right?

Then my next goal is mile 20. Because once you hit mile 20, you are IN the 20’s and pretty soon you’re done. But after mile 20, I find it’s best to just tackle this the way you’d eat an elephant: one bite at a time.

You see, if you’re a 10-minute miler (*raises hand*) then getting from mile 20 to mile 26.2 is still OVER. AN. HOUR. That is a bitter pill to swallow. Instead, if you say “just get to mile 21” then “just get to mile 22” and repeat that a few more times, pretty soon you’re at mile 25 and you should think about sprinting.

*insert laugh track*

“Sprinting” is used loosely here, but in my mind, I’m sure that’s what I’m doing for the last mile or so. I am just sprinting my li’l heart out. Except a friend of mine took a video of me at the finish of a recent marathon and it turns out that I just hobble my li’l heart out.

Either way, give it all ya got.


Ahhhhh, FINISH. My second favorite F-word.

In summary, bravo Olympia, Washington. You put on a great show. I will definitely be coming back. Body willing.


Obligatory selfie with finish medal.

Run on, friends!

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the kindness of strangers.

There are admittedly some things in life I just don’t have faith in.

I don’t have a lot of faith in weather reports or my morning coffee having the super powers I secretly will it to, or that such a thing as an 18-hour bra really exists.

I have very little faith that my 9-yo’s answer to “did you wash your hands?” is always a truthful “yes, Mom!”

But humanity.

I have faith in humanity. I always have, and I always will. Even now, in this world.

This weekend was no exception to this unwavering faith I have.

If you’ve been here before, you might’ve read that I’m kinda sorta training for an Ironman. Given that it’s now squarely on the calendar for next month, you could say that the S-H-I-T is gettin’ real. But a lot of other things are real, too, like life and family and work and etc.

So sometimes we gotta be creative with how we get the shi…stuff done.

Case in point:

My daughter had an out-of-town swim meet this weekend, and my coach had an 80-mile bike ride on my schedule. I’m not familiar with the area where we were headed, but I knew there was no way I was going to get this ride done if I didn’t just suck it up, buttercup and figure something out.

So I headed over to Google and searched for cycle shops in Wenatchee, Washington. I figured if anyone would know good rides, it’d be bike guys, no? I found a shop called Cycle Central. It was the 4th of July so I didn’t think I’d hear back for a few days, but I shot them a note on Facebook anyway, asking them if they might know of any good routes.

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Well, the owner (Greg) replied to me WITHIN THE HOUR. On a holiday! His shop wasn’t even open. He was like, “I have the perfect ride for you – call me tomorrow when we’re in the shop.” So, I called him up the next day and we both pulled up maps of Wenatchee and he walked me through a great ride over the phone.

I was thrilled. Done and done. 

But then I started thinking about being out there all by myself for the better part of 5 hours and a little bit of dread settled itself in. So, I wrote Greg back and was like, “Soooooo, by anyyyyyy chance… might you know of anyone who would want to ride that long with me?”

Again with the immediate response. He goes, “Sure, my wife will probably go with you – I’ll let you know tomorrow.” Just like that.

Next day, boom: Greg replies and says, “My wife Carmen will meet you at our shop at 7am – and what the heck, I’ll join you.”

SUH-WEET, you guys. Can you even? Oh, but wait. It gets better.

I write back and am thrilled – natch – and tell him that my hotel appears to be about 2.5 miles from their shop so I’ll just pedal my way on over!

Nope, not good enough for my new BFFs. He writes back again and says NOT TO WORRY, WE WILL MEET YOU IN THE LOBBY OF YOUR HOTEL….!!!!


Sure enough, morning of the ride comes and there they are – Greg and his wife Carmen – waiting for me right at 7am with their bikes and their smiles. It almost made me excited to sit on a bike for 5 hours.

I said ‘almost’…

I just can’t thank these kind strangers-turned-friends enough. As it turns out, Greg and a buddy that joined him had to make their ride a bit shorter so Carmen and I went all girl-power on ourselves for the entire haul.

And this girl, you guys. She was so fun. I asked if she’d mind stopping along the way for a picture. Well, that did it. From then on she was ALL. OVER. IT. Never letting me miss a good photo opp.


Not pictured: the winery just up the road. So. Tempting.


Gorgeous scenery but I feel like they went a little ominous with the name here.


Not pictured: a family with their bare feet in the cool river behind us. Again, So. Tempting.

At one point we stopped and she said, “OK, now I’m going to ride ahead with your phone and get an action shot. When I yell “action!” you start coming towards me.” And then when I passed by her I could hear her say, “aaaaaaaaand, cut!” So much fun.


I told Carmen I was going to try and do my best to look professional in case my coach sees this picture. True story.

Caring about each other.
Human connection.

It still exists. Have faith.


Now if only I’d had someone to do my long run with the next morning! Le sigh.

Run on, friends!

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race re-cap! hot as h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

My marathon goal became a legal adult last Sunday when I hit #18 in my very own hometown.

North Olympic Discovery Marathon
Port Angeles, Washington
June 5, 2016


You guys, it was downright h-o-t HOT that day. Unseasonably crazy hot. At least for a native PNW’er who’s not used to such shenanigans from the sun. Here’s what it says it got up to on the day of the race:

PA_tempBut I’ll get to all of that later. Let’s go back and talk for a minute about how this race finishes up in the town I was born and raised in. That always makes the race itself pretty special, but it’s also so fun to run into people I grew up with who are out there being crazy with me.

The hub and 9yo were going to camp at a local beach while I got a good night’s sleep at my mother-in-law’s house. It was fun to hang out with them for awhile since the weather was, after all, so amazing.


Alright, let’s be honest here. I spent a little while with them at the beach and then promptly took a nap in the tent. Let’s move on.

For best results, it’s important to carb load before a race so that’s just what we did. For dinner, we hit a childhood favorite – Gordy’s Pizza & Pasta. When I was a kid, we’d go here often and I would always spend the evening drawing pictures on napkins. Glad to see the 9yo carrying on the tradition.


I got to the race shuttle in the morning and found a good friend of mine. She didn’t grow up with me – I actually met her online in a running group – but she’s just one of those cool people that becomes an insta-friend the moment you meet them. And obviously she loves hugs as much as I do.


When I got on the bus, I was SO EXCITED to run into one of my oldest friends who was a huge part of the best memories of my childhood. We sat together on the bus and caught up as if no time had passed. It was so great.


That’s us on the left in English class 25 years ago. Thankfully we’ve outgrown our bangs, not our friendship.

When we got to the race start, I kept running into people that I’d known for years, which was great fun. Naturally more selfies ensued.


Like last year, I ran this race as a proud member of Colton’s Army. You really should take a minute to read about this young hero – he has battled leukemia FIVE TIMES in his short life and is still winning. I grew up with his mom in Port Angeles and am so proud of her brave boy.

The full marathon started at 7:30am and my goal was to find the 4:10 pacer and hang on for dear life. At around mile 2, we ran through the campground area where the hub and 9yo were staying so it was fun to see them and the hilarious sign the 9yo made for me:


After that, I was able to hang on to the 4:10 pacer for about 4 whole miles. She kept asking me questions and I was like “I’m sorry but I really cannot do any talking at this pace”. Well, pretty soon I couldn’t do much running at that pace either.

It was already getting hot. I was proudly wearing my Colton’s Army shirt but it was 100% cotton which is seriously a rookie move but I was determined to represent for that amazing young man.

Needless to say, I started gaining about a pound a mile between the sweat and all of the water I was dumping down my back at the aid stations. Cotton is like a bitter, disgruntled spouse: it don’t let go of nothin’.

Anyway, I continued on with my cotton torture device and just tried not to think about it. All I really had to do was look down at the words on my shirt: COLTON’S ARMY and think about the fight that Colton has had to do so many times against his will.

I run marathons for me. No one makes me do it. The pain I endure is self-inflicted. That’s not true for everyone, and that truth is never lost on me.

You guys, it was getting so hot. My body was feeling strong but my energy was totally sapped. I wasn’t hungry at all so I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about taking in fuel. At about mile 10, I realized that the next 16.2 miles would be all about staying hydrated and not over-heating. That became my #1 focus.

At every aid station, if I was lucky enough to find ice, I would shove handfuls down my shirt into my sports bra to keep my core temperature under control. It felt about as insane as I’m sure it looked, but I didn’t care. I just could not find relief from the relentless sun and was willing to do anything.

My coach also has had me start testing out salt on longer runs and rides so I had a canister of BASE performance salt that I would take a lick of every few miles. I’ve never used salt before but I definitely didn’t have any cramping or GI distress so I think probably it was working.

Around mile 17, I came up on a young man – around 19-23 years old I would guess – who was really struggling bad. We looked at each other and just started a running stream of F-bombs directed at the sun and heat. He said that he was cramping up really bad so I offered him my salt. He put out his palm and took it gladly. I wished him well and was on my way.

And that got me thinking about how wacko distance runners can be: this dude didn’t know me from Adam and willingly took this salt from me that I had been licking on for the last 17 miles. I am as germaphobe as the best of ’em but when you’re sufferfesting through 26.2, you tend to throw caution to the wind.

At around mile 21, this course brings you towards the waterfront and you begin to have some sweet, sweet shade cover from the trees. It felt amazing but I was still feeling so sapped that I couldn’t really enjoy it for the relief that it was. I just wanted to get through this thing.

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Ain’t she pretty?

I got a little emotional around mile 25 because I could see the waterfront of my childhood and I also knew that my family plus a couple of good friends were waiting for me at the end. I did the best I could to kick in what I had left and pushed to a 4:36 finish – :26 full minutes off my initial goal.


Almost there, almost there, almost there…

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I probably could’ve just skipped the re-cap and shown you my face, which pretty much says it all.

And that’s how these things go, you guys. Just like life: you can go into it with a set goal, but you’d better not be too tied to the outcome because anything and everything can change on a dime.


So, I didn’t run the race I WANTED to run that day, but I did run the race I had in me.

And we live to run another race, no?


And of course, don’t forget to re-hydrate!

Run on, friends!

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race re-cap! mayday, mayday.

I put #17 to bed on May Day and luckily didn’t have to put up any distress signals.

Tacoma City Marathon
Tacoma, Washington
May 1, 2016


Now that I’m running these puppies on a fairly regular basis, sometimes I have to just fit them in around all the other stuff we’ve got going on in life. I try to do some creative juggling to make sure my races aren’t too big a pain in the asphalt (horrible pun alert™) for my people and this race was no exception.

The weekend was pretty jam-packed with several activities: hub had a CrossFit competition on Saturday; the 9-yo had a swim meet on both Saturday AND Sunday; and I had the marathon on Sunday. It was gonna take some orchestrating, to be sure.

Luckily the 9-yo’s meet was also in Tacoma so Friday night was all about the girl time. It’s not often that she and I get a night to ourselves and we made the most of it. And by “making the most of it” I obviously mean never leaving the hotel pool. We even had pizza delivered poolside.

The 9-yo wouldn’t leave the pool for anything, seriously.


She serenaded me with ‘Ode to Joy’. She is my ode to joy, that one.

But it was a ton of fun and we went to bed pruned and happy.

Saturday was all about the swim meet and then a quick dash through the race expo to pick up my bib and shirt, plus get my requisite Bart Yasso pic, of course. If you don’t know Bart Yasso, pause here and go Google that dude. He is a running legend and I’m not too proud to admit I get pretty giddy when I spot him at races. He’s like the Where’s Waldo of marathons.


Anyway, fast-forward to Sunday morning. Hub and 9-yo would be spending the day at day-2 of the swim meet so I let them sleep while I bumped around in the dark, getting myself to the race start solo.

Tacoma puts on fantastic races. I always love running in this city. It’s the people, the scenery, the course layouts. They just know how to do it right. Plus this marathon takes you over the Tacoma Narrows bridge, aka “Galloping Gertie” and it’s a pretty cool experience.

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I did not take this picture but I’m positive this is exactly what a mid-race pic would look like if I attempted one while moving.

This was the second time I’ve run this race so I felt pretty comfortable with what it would take to get through. Last year I ran it in 4:45 and this year my coach wanted me to come in at 4:30. I stayed with the 4:30 pacer but kicked it in at the end because I’m a kiss-ass and wanted to impress my coach.

The race was pretty uneventful in the way that I’m not even sure it’s blog-worthy, but I’ve committed to documenting these things so if you’re still with me here, thank you.

At about mile 23, I gotta tell you about one thing. I had my music on pretty loud the whole race but around this time, I started to hear the oddest slap-slap-slap on the pavement and I could not figure out what was up. Turns out this woman who was running just behind me was trying to KILL the road with her feet. I have never in all my days heard someone pound the pavement with this level of intensity. It was insane.

The deal is, at mile 23 there isn’t exactly a lot of gas to dial up your pace – at least not for me – but I was hell-bent on distancing myself from this nonsense. I can’t speak for anyone else running 26.2, and I’m sure she’s a perfectly lovely person, but I run real low on patience after about 4 hours and just was not having it.

She was relentless. I would surge ahead with whatever I had left in me and she would come right up on my tail. It was clear that she was reeling me in with her persistence and lead feet so I just sort of had to resign myself to some meditative zen bullshit and pretend she wasn’t there.

It was nothing if not motivating and pretty soon I was at the finish line.


I had to beat feet outta there – literally – because swim meets (and life) go on.


Thank you, random stranger, for taking this quick pic to prove I was there.


And a selfie, natch.

Annnnnnnnd, back to life, back to reality:


Run on, friends!

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race re-cap! sweet sixteen.

I ran my Sweet #16 on April 16th, ’16. You guys, I JUST NOW realized that it was my 16th on the 16th in ’16. Don’t pretend you don’t dork out on number coincidences too, come on.

Wenatchee Marathon
Wenatchee, Washington
April 16, 2016

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Anyway, I hadn’t been in the marathon saddle since November and I was 100% unsure how the dice was gonna roll on this one.

Since January, my training focus has been on my Ironman (which is on August 21st but I mean, who’s even tracking that that’s LESS THAN 3 MONTHS AWAY OMG HOLD ME) so I’ve been dividing my time between running, swimming and biking.

Between injury recovery + not being familiar with this sort of cross-training noise, my expectations were pretty low. I just wanted to finish in one piece and come in under 5 hours. Fairly arbitrary in the goal department, but I feel like I have *somewhat* of a handle now on the marathon drill to know that I could *probably* pull that off.

The race was held in the super-cute town of Wenatchee. It’s really charming and I haven’t spent much time there so I was looking forward to getting to know it better over the course of 26.2 miles.

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Quaint, right?

It’s also home to my husband’s aunt and uncle so we had the added bonus of spending some time with them plus getting a hot shower after the race (thanks again, Uncle John and Aunt Karen).

This is a well-organized but SUPER small race. The “expo” was literally just two tables set up in downtown Wenatchee: one for your race bib and the other for your t-shirt.

That process took about 2.3 minutes but I still had to grab a couple of pics:


Don’t mind me, just standing in the middle of the road setting great safety examples for my child, no big.


Total photo creeper behind me.

Normally I try not to drag my family out in the early morning for the start of races since I’m kinda doing a lot of them now and why should they have to suffer at the crack-of-dawn with me? But they were nice enough to cart me to the race start so I got a quick family photo while I waited for the gun to go off:


And an obligatory selfie, natch.


Ready, set, go time. Never mind that none of us appear to be ready.

Like I said, the race was tiny. Virtually no spectators which I’ve gotten used to with all of the small races I’ve been doing. I listen to music a lot when I run, so that helps pass the time in the absence of cowbells.

The scenery was really gorgeous but I sort of felt like we were just running the same loop several times. I don’t mind the monotony of that usually, but since it’d been awhile since I’d done a race, I was really starting to ache around mile 17 and was kinda ready to just be done with the whole deal.

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I did not take this photo nor are any of those fast people me.

Luckily I was looping through a park that my family was at because I really needed some help. The hub had some Advil in the car so he was able to make a dash for that and catch me for the hand-off before I “ran” out of the park area (kinda using the term “running” loosely at this point because it was looking more like an ouchy shuffle, if we’re keeping it real).

The Advil helped a lot and I pushed on. It was getting pretty hot but there was aid every couple of miles so at every station I would pour a cup of water down my back and sip a cup of Gatorade to stay hydrated.

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I have a terrible habit of making a peace sign whenever there’s a photographer in sight. At lease I make a two-fingered gesture though, right?

I can’t say that I’ll ever be what you might call a fast runner but one thing that’s kinda cool now that I’ve done a few of these suckers is that I know how to pace myself. I know how to avoid going out too fast and using up all my gas before sh*t starts to get real around mile 20 or so. This is something that has taken me many years to learn, and it feels good to be able to settle into a pace by around mile 18-20 so that I rarely get passed.

Let’s be clear: I have been passed by hundreds and hundreds of runners over the course (pun) of my marathon journey. But to me, not being passed in those later miles is a decent way for me to gauge that within MY abilities and my own personal pace, I am able to quasi pretend that I know what I’m doing. That feels kinda cool.

So that’s about it for this one. Fairly uneventful, I finished under 5:00, and have lived to tell about it.


The medal was in the shape of an apple because some of the best apples in our state are grown in Wenatchee. The medal was sadly not edible.

Onward + upward.

Run on, friends!

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irons in the fire.

Hey guys. Long time, no talk. How’s everyone?

I’m still here, plugging right along. I’m back on track with this goal, but you might recall I had a couple of setbacks that forced a bit of a pause in the action.

In late December, I woke up with this Flintstone-foot-aka-tendinitis that *literally* stopped me in my tracks:


Around that same time, I had gone in for my very first mammogram and they “found something”. Turns out it was a tumor in my left breast (thankfully benign) but it needed to be removed because it was kinda big.

Since I was already sidelined from the Flintstone foot, my surgeon thought the timing would be great to do the surgery right away because it would force me to actually allow myself the time necessary to heal. During my pre-op appointment he was all, “Distance runners are dumb. They’ll run even if they’re in pain so let’s stack the deck here.”

Gotta love an honest doctor. 

Basically, we all know that life doesn’t happen in a straight line. It twists and turns and sometimes it even goes backwards before it goes ahead again.

But one thing is for sure: it goes on, life.

And that’s what’s been happening around here. Life has gone on. I’m running marathons again, and will recap those soon, but I wanted to tell you about a Big Fat Hairy Audacious Goal that I set for myself even though when I say it out loud it makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit:

I’m doing an Ironman triathlon. For those keeping score that consists of a:

2.4 mile swim
112 mile bike ride
26.2 mile run (aka marathon)

In a row. On the same day. WTF.

Yeah, I don’t know. I’m a masochist and/or I like a challenge and/or I’m an idiot. Let’s call all of this rhetorical.

So anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of running.


I had my daily reminder tattooed on my arm: begin from here. Because there’s a real good chance I effed something up yesterday. But right here, right now. A chance to start again.

And cycling.


I don’t always ride a bike but when I do, I try to make sure it doesn’t move and is in an empty room so no one can see me looking like an idiot.

And swimming.


Not pictured: the nose clip I can’t swim without. It feels like you might think I’m joking.

And possibly some bitching and moaning. Mostly the other stuff though.

I have a coach who listens to me whine all day/e’ry day and still somehow he believes in me. So I’m gonna keep at it and see what we got.

Stay tuned.

Run on, friends! And other stuff.

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crawl, walk, run.

Phew. I almost forgot how to log into my blog, it’s been so long since I posted.

You guys, we all have setbacks sometimes. I’ve told you a little bit about what I’ve been dealing with lately, but I’ve also had some other nonsense going on that I haven’t even talked about because I was starting to feel like I might be one setback away from turning into a 93-year-old man on a park bench complaining to the pigeons about all my myriad ailments.

For inquiring minds, I danced around the topic here, and, while it ended up being a bit more of a deal than I originally thought, it’s (thankfully) rearview mirror now.

But for awhile there, it wasn’t. And it kinda sucked, but then it started to get better. And that ‘getting better’ is the stuff I want to focus on right now.

Because, here’s the deal: for the better part of 2015, I was on a pretty good roll. Slowly but surely, one step at a time, I put 8 full marathons and 9 halves under my belt throughout the year. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. And I was really proud of myself.

But then things came to a screeching halt and overnight (literally) I wasn’t running anymore. Or even walking for that matter. I did do my fair share of crawling, though. Possibly some scooting as well. Plus LOTS of sitting. And eating. And drinking.

And oh, WOW. Is it ever easy to fall into that deep, comfy rut. 

But pretty soon I was healed enough to start running again. My doctor green-lighted my return to this sport that I had pushed so hard for over the last 12 months and my mind was suddenly like OH SHIT.

Now what? What if I lace up my shoes and get out there and it hurts or I get injured again or? I’m basically starting over, let’s be honest. What if I get out there and…



Guys, I was scared. At my healthiest, I’m a lazy runner at best. I am a professional procrastinator/excuse-maker and a shift in the wind can be reason enough to delay a work-out.

So now I was supposed to run again, coming off an injury AND surgery, combined with my lazy-ass tendencies? I was as skeptical as you are.

I did my first return-to-running adventure on the treadmill. I figured that if I was going to crash and burn with epic flair, at least I could do so in the privacy of my own home with only Don Draper on Netflix to judge me behind his Lucky Strikes and glass of scotch.

But I finished the damn run and might’ve given myself a quiet little ‘attagirl’. And possibly an air-five while no one was looking. (Hi, Don.)


This picture appears under “hot mess” in the dictionary.

And then the next morning I got up and dug out my dusty yoga mat and trudged off to my favorite bikram class that I hadn’t shown up for in many, many months.

It was hard and I felt like a rusty tin man, but it also felt really great. And, at the risk of being called a new age hippy, it felt … cathartic? Like the release of a weight I’ve been carrying around for what might’ve felt like forever.

I got done with that class and hurried out to my car, in a rush to get to work, to life, to the next thing.

I put the key in the ignition and I cried. I just sat there, alone in my car and cried and cried with the kind of reckless abandon that is surprising to your own ears.

I cried for the time I’d lost
for the mistakes I’ve made
for the slipperiness of the slope
I can so easily slide down.
I cried for the lack of faith I have
in myself.
But I also cried because I didn’t want to run,
but I did it anyway.
I cried because I didn’t want to come to that class
and look stupid.
But I showed up, regardless.
When I got done crying, I cried some more. Sitting there alone.

And then I said thank youTurned the key, and drove off.


I don’t always go to yoga, but when I do, I hug my sweaty mat when I’m done.

It’s been a couple of weeks since that day in my car in the yoga studio parking lot. I’ve continued to struggle and make excuses and procrastinate my way out of a few work-outs.

But I’m still at this thing. Whatever this thing is. I’m not “back to normal” quite yet (aside: is anyone?) but that old adage is true: just one day at a time.

I’m gonna keep taking it, just like that.


And keepin’ it real in the process.

Run on, friends!

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houston, we have a problem.

Oh heyyyyyy, Happy New Year.

Can you still say that on the 28th of January?

Well anyway, I’ve been gone awhile. I mentioned this li’l unexpected setback I woke up to around the holidays and, well, I haven’t really been doing much since.

I mean, come on. Do you really need to hear about the shows I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix or the permanent ass-shaped indent I’ve made in the couch the last month?

No. No you do not.

But I’m starting to come out of the fog and I’ll tell you more about that later. Right now, I want to tell you about this really amazing marathon that I went all the way to Houston not to run.

Wait, what?

Sure, I signed up to run the thing months and months ago.
I had a flight booked.
Accommodations were made.

But then I got the solid “uh, hell no” from my doctor when I begged and pleaded with her to let me hobble through it since I had ALL MY PLANS MADE AND LIFE IS ALWAYS NEAT AND TIDY.

Ha ha ha, pause for laughter.

Yeah, we all know how the saying goes: sh&t happens.

It just does. And I was pretty bummed out about the whole thing, to be honest. But then I started looking at the Big Picture™ and I realized that while I wouldn’t be able to run the race as planned, I would get to spend several days making memories with a big group of internet strangers who have become actual, IRL friends.

The back story there is that a group of about 40 random knuckleheads who had met on a weightloss/fitness site decided to start a Facebook group together and the rest has become, as they say, history.

Along our journey to support each other in our health and fitness efforts, we have become this tight-knit group of lovable misfits who has been there for each other through dating, marriage, divorce, ups, downs, laughter, tears, and everything in-between.

There will always be skeptics who scoff at what’s become of society since the advent of the internet + social media.

No one connects anymore!
We live and die by how many “likes” we get!
We have lost all our social skills! 

Alright, I might be somewhat guilty of that last one but I was socially awkward way before it was cool.

The point is, sometimes our plan goes off rails. And sure, it can be a real drag but that’s just called the rollercoaster of LIFE, no? When we keep our mind and our hearts open, some pretty cool stuff can happen.

I went all the way to Houston and didn’t run a marathon. But I won big time, y’all.

Run on, friends!

(Oh, I’m sorry. Did you think I’d end this post without pictures? That’s just plain silly.)


One of our fabulous hosts made race bibs for this warm-up run that everyone did. The girl in the jeans and ballet flats did NOT run. But she still wore a bib because, go team.


It’s a good idea to drink large volumes of adult beverages for hydration purposes prior to a race. It’s an even better idea to never listen to me.


We were treated to true Southern hospitality by our gracious hosts. Here we are at brunch the day before the race. Sure, I was only going to be a spectator but that requires carbs too, guys.


Boston qualifiers. Cat shirts and rainbow legguns. This group has it all.


Just because I couldn’t run doesn’t mean I couldn’t support my peeps with toilet paper finish line tape because EVERYONE’S A WINNER, YO.


I totally wasn’t mad that I couldn’t run. Not one bit.


And here we have a random armadillo because, Texas.

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just show up.

I wrote yesterday about an unexpected setback that’s landed in my lap this holiday season and sure, I’ve been pretty down about it if we’re being honest.

I don’t really have any idea how long recovery is going to take or what running’s gonna look like when I return to it, and I sort of downward spiral into anxiety and worry when I focus too hard on the unknowns here.

So I was texting with my personal trainer yesterday about the sitch and she was like “just come in tomorrow at your normal time and let’s do what we can.”

Listen, guys. This injury happened on the 21st. That’s like 10 solid days of all-day-pajama-wearing-couch-laying-wine-drinking-pity-partying. I wasn’t even sure if I could find shoes to put on, let alone remember how to start the car.

And 6:00 in the a.m. is really early, and it was all icy and stuff.

But still, my trainer was expecting me and it would be more embarrassing to bail on her than to hobble into the gym with crutches and a look of “what now?”

I made it in, begrudgingly. I felt dumb and incompetent and like I was totally starting over and was sure I looked like a newborn giraffe on roller-skates but still. I did some stuff. For 30 minutes I tried my hardest. The self-doubt was still sitting right there. The insecurities of how I looked hobbling around the gym didn’t go away.

But I showed up.


I’m not huge on New Year’s resolutions per se, but I do like to set some mindful intentions for the coming year.

In 2016, I’d like to make an effort to just


to the gym (or trail).
with my family.
to my friendships.
…even to my deadlines.
to life.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 1.19.41 PM

What would you like to focus on in 2016? I’d love to hear from you.

Run on, friends!

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’tis the season for setbacks!

I guess technically setbacks can happen in any season but everything seems more festive when you add “’tis the season” to it, right?

Well anyway, I somehow managed to get a stress fracture for Christmas even though it was totally NOT on my wish list.

How did it happen? Your guess is as good as mine. Let’s take a look at some clues, shall we?

On December 19th, we had a Feliz Navidad-style party at our house. It was super fun and merry and I even decided to shower and wear some fancy shoes instead of slippers.



I don’t really think it was the shoes, though. I have worn these puppies tons of times before and I don’t recall tripping or twisting my ankle during the party. But then again, we did have a pretty mean margarita punch going at all times and my red Solo cup overfloweth.



The next day I had an 18-mile training run scheduled. When I woke up, I had a weird twinge in my left foot but at this (0ver) 40 age o’ mine, if I decided not to do something just because of a twinge or creak, I’d never get out of bed.

Youth is wasted on the young. <—- true statement.

So, I stalled around until about 1:30 before finally deciding to just get the damn thing done. But first I pulled out a brand-new pair of running shoes that I’ve been wanting to try because they say you should never ever try something new on long runs and I enjoy living on the edge and throwing caution to the wind.



These shoes are called “Hokas” and what they lack in looks they make up for in cushiony comfort. They’ve developed a bit of a cult following in the running community and my hub found a good deal on a pair so I decided to try them out. I really don’t think this injury was from these shoes either, though. They felt great on the run and gave me no problems.

But, whatever the reason, I woke up the next day with a foot that looked like this:


My coach told me I looked like a character from The Flintstones. He’s very supportive that way.

Holy what the heck. My foot was NOT HAVING IT. I couldn’t walk on it at all and it just throbbed like an SOB. I iced it, I elevated it, I took Advil, I prayed.

But it just continued to get worse. That night (Monday) I couldn’t get ahead of the pain at all. By 2:30am, I just felt nauseous. I thought I must’ve broken it somehow, but I’ve never had any breaks or fractures before (I was a very inactive child) so I wasn’t sure what was going on.

Since it’s my left foot, I can luckily still drive so I carted myself into the 24-hour Urgent Care here on our island (no sense in dragging an 8yo to the ER at 2:30 in the morning).

They took X-rays and it didn’t show a break but they gave me a Vicodin to help with the pain. I was able to sleep that night and went straight to my regular doctor in the morning.

Way too long of a story short: she tells me it’s either a very bad stress fracture or tendonitis. The treatment for both is the same (stay off it, ice, elevate, Advil) so now it’s wait-and-see.

I’ll go back in a week to determine what’s what but she’s guesstimating it will be about 4-6 weeks of ix-nay on the unning-ray. <<insert sad face here.>>

This means missing two upcoming marathons for sure (one on New Year’s Eve and one in Houston – although I’ll still travel for that one to cheer my friends on from the sidelines).

What it also means is forced perspective.

This is just life, and life happens. It’s a drag, to be sure. Sometimes I feel frustrated and sad and irritable and generally bummed out about it, but ultimately “this too shall pass” like my mom always tells me.


If your kid wants you to watch her ride the scooter Santa brought her but you can’t really walk per se, you grab a camp chair, a glass of wine, and figure it out.

For now, I’m going to focus on healing up and enjoying time with friends and family. One slow-moving day at a time.


Yes, this really happened people.

Run (or hobble or crawl or limp) on, friends!  


Look at this cute ornament the hub got me. Pause for irony.

How was your Christmas? I’d love to hear about it!

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