2014 Road Races

Here is how the 2014 race schedule is shaping up so far:

January 1 – 1st Run 5k – 23:43 (7:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP

January 9 – Disney Family Fun Run 5k – 32:05 (10:21 min/mile pace) – RECAP

January 10 – Walt Disney World 10k – 1:05:40 (10:35 min/mile pace) – RECAP

January 11 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon – 2:22:31 (10:53 min/mile pace) – RECAP

January 12 – Walt Disney World Marathon – 4:45:57 (10:55 min/mile pace) – RECAP

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February 2 – Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon – 1:55:43 (8:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP

February 14 – Stop Stroke Shuffle 5k *Virtual* – 26:18 (8:29 min/mile pace)

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March 1 – Black Cat 20-Miler – 2:57:59 (8:54 min/mile pace) – RECAP

March 16 – Craicfest 5k – 24:17 (7:49 min/mile pace) – RECAP

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April 19 – BAA 5k – 25:08 (8:06 min/mile pace) – RECAP

April 21 – 118th Boston Marathon – 5:31:18 (12:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP

April 26 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon – 4:42:12 (10:46 min/mile pace) – RECAP

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May 11 – M.O.M.’s Run 5k – 24:14 (7:48 min/mile pace) – RECAP

May 13 – Strides Against Stroke 5k *Virtual* – 26:16 (8:28 min/mile pace)

May 18 – 18th Annual Mystic River Herring Run & Paddle 5k – 24:39 (7:57 min/mile pace) – RECAP

May 25 – Boston’s Run To Remember Half Marathon – 1:50:58 (8:28 min/mile pace) – RECAP

May 29 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #1 – 23:29 (7:34 min/mile pace) – RECAP

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June 1 – Freedom Run 5k – 23:55 (7:43 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 7 – Runner’s World 5k – 28:28 (9:11 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 7 – Runner’s World 10k – 58:49 (9:29 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 8 – Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon – 2:08:52 (9:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 21 – Rock and Run Boston (Obstacle 5k) – 45:32 (14:38 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 22 – BAA 10k – 51:37 (8:19 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 30 – Summer Sizzler *Virtual* 5k – 25:21 (8:10 min/mile pace)

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July 3 – Finish At The 50 (10k for me) – 53:01 (8:32 min/mile pace) – RECAP

July 13 – Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon – 1:57:44 (8:59 min/mile pace) – RECAP

July 17 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #3 – 24:19 (7:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP

July 20 – Iron GirlWebster Sprint Triathlon – 1:26:54 – RECAP

July 30 – F.A.S.T. (Fighting Against Stroke Together) *Virtual* 5k -27:44 (8:57 min/mile pace)

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August 14 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #4 – 24:57 (8:03 min/mile pace) – RECAP

August 17 – Falmouth Road Race (7 miles) -1:00:49 (8:41 min/mile pace) – RECAP

August 24 – Race To The Row 5k – 23:46 (7:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP

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September 4 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #5 – 22:39 (7:18 min/mile) – RECAP

September 7 – Pumpkinman Half Ironman – 6:06:03 – RECAP

September 13 – Big Bad Wolf 5 Mile Trail Race – 41:41 (8:21 min/mile pace) – RECAP

September 14 – Buzzards Bay Sprint Triathlon – 1:27:01.3 – RECAP

September 17 – The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 3rd Annual 30th Birthday 5k Run-Walk Ramble *VIRTUAL* – 26:03 (8:24 min/mile pace)

September 27 – ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon (Cape Cod) – 1:54:17 (8:43 min/mile pace) – RECAP

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October 5 – Oktoberfest 5k – 24:16 (7:49 min/mile pace) – RECAP

October 12 – BAA Half Marathon – 1:52:58 (8:37 min/mile pace) – RECAP

October 18 – Runner’s World 5k – 30:29 (9:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP

October 18- Runner’s World 10k – 1:01:11 (9:52 min/mile pace) – RECAP

October 19 – Runner’s World Half Marathon – 2:10:35 (9:58 min/mile pace) – RECAP

October 25 – *Virtual* Pug Run 5k – 25:29 (8:13 min/mile pace)

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November 9 – Boston River Run 5k – 24:12 (7:47 min/mile pace) – RECAP

November 15 – Spartan Sprint Fenway Park – 58:54 – RECAP

November 16 – South Shore Half Marathon – 1:54:00 (8:42 min/mile pace) – RECAP

November 23 – Santa Hustle New England Half Marathon – 1:52:28 (8:36 min/mile pace) – RECAP Pending

November 27 – Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-Miler – Starts at 9:00 a.m. ET

November 29 – The Ugly Sweater Run (5k) – Starts at NOON ET

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December 6 – Jingle Bell Half Marathon – Starts at 9:00 a.m. ET

December 14 – Yulefest 5k – Starts at 9:30 a.m. ET

 

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Half Marathon & Marathon Results

Half Marathons x 25

February 26, 2006 – Hyannis Half Marathon – 2:20:18 (10:43 min/mile pace)

August 14, 2011 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago – 2:12:15 (10:06 min/mile pace)

January 28, 2012 – F^3 Lake Half – 2:05:40 (9:36 min/mile pace)

July 22, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago – 1:51:43 (8:32 min/mile pace)

August 19, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence – 1:52:58 (8:37 min/mile pace)

October 7, 2012 – B.A.A. Half – 1:48:16 (8:16 min/mile pace)

January 12, 2013 – Walt Disney World Half – 1:48:09 (8:15 min/mile pace)

February 24, 2013 - *Virtual* Half At The Hamptons – 1:58:04 (9:01 min/mile pace)

May 5, 2013 – The Half Of Quincy – 1:44:30 (7:59 min/mile pace)

May 26, 2013 – Boston’s Run To Remember – 1:53:00 (8:38 min/mile pace)

September 15, 2013 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia – 1:44:12 (7:57 min/mile pace) —> PR

September 28, 2103 – ZOOMA Cape Cod Half – 1:47:35 (8:13 min/mile pace)

September 29, 2013 – Rock ‘n’ Rock Providence – 1:54:22 (8:44 min/mile pace)

October 27, 2013 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles – 1:53:19 (8:39 min/mile pace)

January 11, 2014 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon – 2:22:31 (10:53 min/mile pace)

February 2, 2014 – Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon – 1:55:43 (8:50 min/mile pace)

May 25, 2014 - Boston’s Run To Remember Half – 1:50:58 (8:28 min/mile pace)

June 8, 2014 – Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon – 2:08:52 (9:50 min/mile pace)

July 13, 2014 – Old Port Half Marathon – 1:57:44 (8:59 min/mile pace)

September 7, 2014 – Pumpkinman Half Ironman (Half Marathon Portion) – 1:59:22 (9:03 min/mile pace)

September 27, 2014 - ZOOMA Cape Cod Half – 1:54:17 (8:43 min/mile pace)

October 12, 2014 – Boston Athletic Association Half – 1:52:58 (8:37 min/mile pace)

October 19, 2014 – Runner’s World Half – 2:10:35 (9:58 min/mile pace)

November 16, 2014 – South Shore Half – 1:54:00 (8:42 min/mile pace)

November 23, 2014 – Santa Hustle New England Half – 1:52:28 (8:36 min/mile pace)

 

Marathons x 6

September 24, 2006 – Clarence De Mar Marathon – 5:59:27 (13:43 min/mile pace)

November 3, 2012 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon – 3:58:49 (9:07 min/mile pace) —> PR

April 15, 2013 – The 117th Boston Marathon – 4:04:08 (9:18 min/mile pace)

January 12, 2014 – Walt Disney World Marathon – 4:45:57 (10:55 min/mile pace)

April 21, 2014 – 118th Boston Marathon – 5:31:18 (12:39 min/mile pace)

April 26, 2014 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon – 4:42:12 (10:46 min/mile pace)

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2015 Road Races

With 2014 still in full swing, I can’t believe I am already looking at my 2015 race schedule. Here’s what I have thus far:

January 1 – 1st Run 5k – Starts at 11:00 a.m. ET

Run Disney Rebel Challenge

January 16 – Star Wars 5k – Starts at 5:30 a.m. PT

January 17 – Star Wars 10k – Starts at 5:30 a.m. PT

January 18 – Star Wars Half Marathon – Starts at 5:30 a.m. PT

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Run Disney Glass Slipper Challenge

February 20 – Princess 5k – Starts at 6:15 a.m. ET

February 21 – Enchanted 10k – Starts at 5:30 a.m. ET

February 22 – Princess Half Marathon – Starts at 5:30 a.m. ET

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April 20 – 119th Boston Marathon – Starts at TBD

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May 8-9 – Ragnar Relay Cape Cod

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September 26 – ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon (Cape Cod) – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET

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Dani Dishes: 2015 Boston Marathon Goal

I’m wicked excited to run my 3rd Boston Marathon with Tedy’s Team and the American Stroke Association. Shalane Flanagan encourages people to vocalize their goals so here I am sharing what I hope to accomplish. :)

Tedy's Team logo

Donate Here!

 

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*RECAP* Inaugural South Shore Half

The South Shore Half was originally set to take place on November 2 … but that never happened.

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Sweet Swag!

Due to weather advisories, the police and fire department decided to postpone the race.

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Thankfully it was a postponement rather than a full on cancellation. They pushed the race back to November 16. Yay I was free that day. Boo it would be the day after my first Spartan Sprint at Fenway Park. Ummm… ouch?

I wasn’t sure how sore I would be after the Spartan Sprint, but I had committed to do the South Shore Half so no matter what I would be there.

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The morning of the race the alarm blared at 5am and I bolted crawled out of bed. My upper body and legs were sore, but manageable. The wife and I loaded into the car by 5:30 and were off to get her some much needed Dunkin’ Donuts.

According to Google Maps, the ride should’ve taken us about 50 minutes … well on that early Sunday morning we were there in just over 30. Ummm yay extra time in the car? Well it was a real feel of about 22 degrees so I stayed in the car with her until 6:30. At 6:30 I dragged myself out of the warm car and onto the shuttle busses. Participants and spectators would be parking at the Hanover Mall and racers would take the 5 minute bus ride to the Start Area at Norwell High. Spectators would take a later bus to the Finish in Norwell Center.

Congrats to the race crew for having plenty of busses for the runners and my wife said there were enough for spectators as well.

(Note: I did receive complimentary entry into this race, but all opinions are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!)

When I arrived at Norwell High, I headed straight to the gym to meet up with my friend Steph, who would be tackling her first half marathon! Woo! We are teammates on the Slumbrew Happy Soles so it was great to see a familiar face in the crowd.

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We chatted in the warmth of the gym while other runners poured in. I wondered of the original registrants how many would be showing up on the new date. Personally I knew three friends that had originally signed up wouldn’t make it due to other plans. But the gym seemed pretty packed in my opinion.

We made the decision to finally leave the warmth of the gym around 7:10 to hit up the port-o-potties and bag check then off to the Start Line we went. There was just a hoard of people heading that way and as we approached the Start Arch an announcement was made.

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We were told to line up on the opposite side of the Start Arch from where we were all standing. Umm… ok. Can I tell you that was tough with the amount of people. Note the sea of people trying to make their way through the people already standing on the other side. Does that all make sense? Can you picture the cluster that ensued?

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It was frustrating since people didn’t want to move to let others into the corral. I would recommend another tactic to the race director next year, but I knew it was the first of this race so kinks would need to get worked out in the future.

But once we were on the right side, I caught a woman’s unique running outfit.

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Okay I’m kidding. ;) This was a spectator who was walking in the Start Area with her husband. Still not sure why she was there, but I had to snap a pic of the furry boots.

Due to the cluster, the race went off about 7-8 minutes late, which was okay with me as I was still trying to stretch and get my music in order. Yes I opted to run with music for this race since I wasn’t sure how many spectators would be out on the course. I knew Disney music would keep me going. :)

Before I knew it I heard the MC doing a countdown and we were off. Here we go Half Marathon #24 overall and #10 of the year.

It was definitely chilly out. I couldn’t feel my toes during the first few miles of the race.

Mile 1: 8:43

During Mile 2 I made the smart decision to stop and retie my sneakers. Unfortunately it took me awhile to do it since I couldn’t feel my fingers when trying to retie the shoes. Ha. I wasn’t sure how long I would be there attempting to get this done. I was wicked happy to put my gloves back on once I was finally done tying.

We also passed the Mile 12 mile marker and I thought “Man that seems really far away right now.” But I tuned out the negative voice and focused on living in each mile.

Mile 2: 9:21

I had glanced at the course map, but hadn’t seen any elevation chart so I had no idea what to expect when it came to the hills on the course. The website did say it was NOT a flat course. :P There was an interactive map on the website, but I didn’t explore it.

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Mile 3: 8:33

And they were right.

5k Mark: 27:46

Big thanks to Racewire for texting me the 5k and 10k updates during the race. I was then able to tweet them to my followers. :)

Just after the 5k mark, we hit the first hill.

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Ouch! My legs were definitely feeling the stairs from the day before when I started working my way up the hill. I just kept telling myself one foot in front of the other! My mantra for the day.

Mile 4: 8:48

There were more spectators out on the course than I expected, but we were running through local neighborhoods and many folks were standing at the end of their driveways with signs and music. It was cool to see so many kids out cheering for their moms or dads. I pretended that they were cheering for me as well. ;)

Mile 5: 8:42

I loved the amount of water stops on the course. I made sure to take water at each stop and walk for at least 10-20 seconds to let the legs recharge. The Mile 5 water stop would double as a Mile 9 water stop so we were able to get Gatorade twice on the course.

We took an overpass over Route 3 and headed towards the out-and-back portion of the race. As we made our way to another neighborhood, we saw the lead police escort coming towards us! :) I had to snap a pic of the lead runner.

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He was making it look effortless.

It’s always so exciting to see the lead pack during a race. It is motivating, inspiring and fun to cheer them on.

The rolling hills rolled on with a beautiful quaint New England background. During the uphills, I reminded myself that what goes up must come down. But on the downhills, it was what goes down must go up! (Okay folks let’s stay PG ;)) I tried to soak up the downhills as much as possible, but knew I’d be facing another uphill at some point.

Mile 6: 8:40

Racewire had photographers along the course, but I never seemed to notice them until I had already passed. Once I hit the 10k mark, I realized the front of my Sparkle Athletic skirt was stuck in my jacket … and yes Racewire caught it on camera. Oops! :P

10k Mark: 55:09

I had never been to Norwell before so it was a great chance to see the gorgeous houses and cute neighborhoods. The loop we did through Brigantine Circle was adorable. I loved the feeling of this small town race.

Mile 7: 8:29

As we completed the circle, we headed back towards Route 3. I cheered on the folks heading towards the circle and tried to high five some folks. Not everyone was as excited as I was. :P

I stopped at the water stop during Mile 8 and took the opportunity to take a KIND Snacks break. I like using the KIND Bars as half marathon fuel.

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I did a little extra walking that mile in order to eat my snack and stretch out the legs. They were really starting to get sore, but I was ready to push through.

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Mile 8: 9:12

Bravo to the race for also handing out PowerBar Energy GUs. While I don’t use them, my fellow runners were thrilled for the extra fuel.

Mile 9: 8:39

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I checked in with the body and could tell the legs were sore and tired just like the upper body. Apparently the middle part of me was fine and excited to run. It was just everything else that was ready to be done.

I tried to turn up the tunes and just soak up the chilly morning air and be proud that I was out there getting it done.

That is what I love about running – it gives me time to work through issues or celebrate triumphs. Today was celebrating doing an obstacle race on the Saturday and the half on Sunday.

Mile 10: 8:52

Okay a 5k to go. I can do that. It was like my iPod knew what I needed to hear at that moment.

It turned out “Let It Go,” “Go The Distance,” and “Zero To Hero” in a row. I mean what more could I ask for. I was now changing from running to freakin’ jamming! :P

During Mile 11, we turned off Wildcat Street and on to Pleasant Street, which meant we were back on familiar terrain. We would be overlapping some of the early miles as we headed to the Finish.

Mile 11: 8:11

I was needing some support and turned to social media! I called to my peeps for positive vibes and they came out in full force. :)

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We were coming into the home stretch. I could see folks around me walking and I had a debate in my mind about walking. I thought if they could do it I could. While yes I could walk, it isn’t what I wanted to do. I knew if I just kept running I would get to the Finish faster. The image of the free beer at the end put a little pep in my step.

Plus I soaked in the quaint New England feel for the final two miles.

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Mile 12: 8:17

Guess I had something in the tank that I didn’t know about. I was tapping in to some speed in the final 5k.

I need to send a big thank you to the volunteers and cops along the course. They were friendly and encouraging the entire time. I know it was cold for them to be standing in one place for so long.

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With 1/2 a mile to go, it was time to start playing those games with myself. Just a few more sprints to the Finish. It’s like a run around the block. Keep an eye out for the wife as distraction. Etc.

Mile 13: 8:02

I was behind a group of folks and I was ready to buzz past them during the final .1. :) I saw the wife just before the Finish and she even got a pic of me.

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Can you tell my phone had slipped down behind my left knee? Yeah I was just trying to keep it from falling out. I had put it in the back of my pants for the final stretch and somehow it started slipping.

But I was ready to fflllyyy across the Finish… and I did.

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Final Time: 1:54:00

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WOO! My 24th-career half marathon and 10th in 2014 was done. :)

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While my Garmin gave me 13.21 miles, I do know that Garmins can usually be off from the advertised 13.1. (Read more on that here)

I had a tough time catching my breath post-race, but thankfully the wife was there to help me slow down my breathing as we walked. I had to keep moving. If I stopped, I wouldn’t start back up.

I beelined it for the beer line. Priorities, right? Well they didn’t have chocolate milk a the Finish so I had to go for the next best thing. The Finish line featured water, crackers with peanut butter, gummies and a granola bar. I was surprised there weren’t bagels or bananas. I was ready to hit Dunkins after so I wasn’t totally disappointed.

The post-race party was held just past the Finish Line area outside McGreal’s Tavern.

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The Sierra Nevada IPA sure hit the spot. The race also offered free hot dogs and hamburgers to Finishers. I passed, but I loved the gesture.

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Mmm beer and bling! A great reason to run 13.1 miles on a Sunday morning. :)

Big thanks to my wife for getting up early with me, driving me and being my #1 cheerleader.

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Photo via Racewire

I do want to give a big shutout to Steph for owning her first half and finishing a tough course in 2:06:31. Yay Steph!

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Photo via Steph

The wife and I had to head home so we hopped on the shuttle busses after grabbing an extra pint glass and were back to the car pretty quickly.

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Overall the race was very well-organized. I was happy to see a comment on the race’s Facebook page from the final runner of the day sharing how pleased she was with the volunteers and amount of support still on the course when she finished. THAT makes me happy and eager to run a race again when they spend the same energy on runner 1 as runner 1750. Bravo South Shore Half Bravo.

The swag was great. The post-race beer was delicious. The course was challenging.

What more could you ask for?

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Do you shy away from inaugural races or do you like to give them a try?

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Who wants to virtually run a mile of the 2015 Boston Marathon with me?

Did you know: 1 in 3 Americans don’t know how to recognize a stroke? When you don’t know what to look for, you can’t save a life. Tedy’s Team and I want to change that and you can help us!

Download and share American Stroke Association’s stroke warning signs.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:

F.A.S.T. Letter F Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
F.A.S.T. Letter A Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
F.A.S.T. Letter S Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
F.A.S.T. Letter T Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Today, approximately 1,300 Americans will lose their life to, or become severely debilitated by a stroke.

THINK YOU ARE HAVING A STROKE? CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!

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I will be lacing up my sneakers to run the Boston Marathon in 2015 with Tedy’s Team in honor of my Stroke Heroes – my grandparents and my wife’s father – in addition to all of the others affected by Stroke. This will be my third Boston Marathon with Tedy’s Team and I am excited to take on the challenge and hit my fundraising goal of a combined $21k raised to #FightStroke!

If you would like to help me reach my goal AND virtually share a mile with me on that day, a $20 donation to Tedy’s Team would make any mile you want yours!! Sound like a fun plan?

Let’s Do It!

Click here to donate today

Leave a blog comment letting me know which mile you would like to sponsor

Miles Available

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7- Gregg Bard
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13- Samantha Avnet
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18- Sarah McDowell
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20- Dan Foley
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26.2 For ME :)

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Thank you all for your support and remember F.A.S.T!!!!

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*RECAP* I Survived My First Spartan Experience: Fenway Sprint

For years Fenway Park was my second home. Growing up my dad took me to a ton of games, including over 13-consecutive Opening Days. During my senior year in college, I started working for the Red Sox. I was honored to be part of the Red Sox Front Office 2004-2006 and the 2007 postseason. I spent a lot of time at Fenway during baseball season and for a few concerts.

When I heard about the Spartan Sprint at Fenway I wanted to take part … despite being completely scared of the Spartan races!

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So when Spartan offered me a complimentary race entry, I took it as a sign.

(Note: While I was given free entry to the race, all opinions are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!)

I was set to run with my friend Beth, but unfortunately the week before the race she suffered a concussion and was unable to race. The fee to transfer a bib is $25 and I couldn’t scrounge anyone up to take it off her hands so I opted to head to the race solo.

Spartan recommends you get to the race 1.5 hours before you start time (mine was 10am), but I figured that wasn’t really necessary ;) so I had the wife drop me off at Fenway at 8:50am. I am a rebel like that. Plus I knew I wasn’t doing bag check (it was a $5 charge for bag check).

I kissed the wife goodbye, she gave me some final words of encouragement since I was FREAKIN’ out and I headed to collect my bib.

The check-in was set up on Yawkey Way. Step 1: pick up the 3 waivers if you forgot them at home. Thankfully I remembered mine after we left and went back to get them. :P

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Step 2: Look up your bib #. Mine was 4199.

Step 3: Pick up bib.

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I made my way to Gate A to enter Fenway. I was able to skip the bag inspection line and headed to the turnstile to enter the park.

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I set up shop just past the entrance to figure out what I needed to do to be set up. It was 9am and I still had an hour til go time.

You actually didn’t wear the bib for the Fenway Sprint so I stuck it in the back of my pants for safe keeping. :P You used the Spartan headband as your bib. I kinda liked that. The little blue thing was the timing chip. You secured it to your wrist by a yellow band (not pictured).

With an hour to go, I decided to take a lap around the park to see what the field/obstacles looked like. I was sort of jealous of the folks with earlier wave times as they were already done and showing off their bling. ;)

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Ahhh I started freaking out more! There was a rope climb in front of the Green Monster and video of the race being broadcast on the Jumbo Screen. I was hoping that wasn’t the case when I was racing. I didn’t need to have everyone watch me struggle.

With new nerves building on top of the old, I opted to head down to the concourse and just pace. Haha. When alone, I didn’t have people to chat with as a distraction so the minutes ticked by slowly.

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Around 9:50, my 10am heat was called to the Start Area.

I befriended a couple in front of me at the Start Area. They had done a ton of Spartans so they helped calm my nerves. Also the boyfriend was kind enough to help me over the first obstacle. Yes there was a wall you had to climb over just to get to the Start. Thanks buddy!

10am wave was called and we lined up at the Start Line.

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The butterflies were climbing from my stomach to my throat. I was wicked nervous, but told myself to take it slow and to HAVE FUN! I was there to prove something to myself and no one else.

The announcer counted us down: 3 … 2 … 1 … GO!

And we were off. Climbing the stairs of the Gate B concourse to the Grandstand level. I was chatting with an older gentleman from our group as we made our way along the back of the Grandstand to the concourse where we hit our first official obstacle.

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Big thanks to the volunteers who were there to help folks – especially solo folks like me – with the obstacles. Okay one obstacle down and a bunch more to go. :P

Once over the wall, we headed down the concourse stairs to Gate B, where we promptly took a right and headed back up the ramps to the press level. But we didn’t just run up the ramps, we had to crawl up the ramps under the “barb-wire” aka bungee cords. Thank goodness I had my gloves with me as the little pricks on the concourse ground (paint job) were digging into my hands and knees. I do have some cuts on my knees where it went through my pants. Ouch! I am happy it was bungee and not real barbed wire!

On the fifth level, we ran out towards right feel and started doing stairs up and down the sections of the left field roof seats.

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Can’t beat that view! Yes that view made the stairs just a tad easier… well at least at the beginning.

Once through the left field roof seats, we had to carry a weight (wish I had a pic) from one side of the concourse to the other – do 5 burpees – then bring the weight back to where we picked it up. Think large terracotta rolo (yes the candy) looking item. There were two different sizes – one for guys (heavier) and one for girls (lighter). I am sure you could choose whichever you wanted but I happily went with the lighter one.

Yes another obstacle down!

We ran from the left field roof over to the right field roof seats. We again ran up and down the right field seats.

This is where I started crying.

There was Team Believe. They were working with a guy in a wheelchair. He was going to attempt to do the whole Sprint as a wheelbarrow. So his teammates would hold his legs/lower body while he crawled on his hands. WOW! I am gathering the gentleman ended up in a wheelchair after an accident as the team had a shirt with check boxes on it. They included “wiggling fingers again” and it was checked. The final box said “Walk Again” and it was unchecked… for now. Wow! Talk about an inspiration.

Along the right field roof I caught some pretty sweet pics of Boston.

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Once at the Right Field Roof Deck, we had to do 20 overhead slams – again two different weight options available.

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It was time to head back down towards the homeplate grandstands, where we carried a jug of water down a set of stairs, across the ramp above the concourse then back up the stairs to where we originally picked the jug up. The jug wasn’t that heavy it was just the awkwardness of the container that made it sort of annoying to carry.

We then headed across the grandstand and down to the Vistor’s Clubhouse. Boy it had been a few years since I had been in there. :P This time instead of chatting with my Cubs players, I was doing 25 pushups. Between each pushup you had to make sure to release your hands from the ground when your chest hit the ground. I went with the “girlie” pushups and knocked out all 25.

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It was weird to run down the hallway to the Visitor’s Dugout – again I remembered walking down there with Alfonso Soriano the last time I was there. Boy things change. :P

After making our way back up the seats, it was time to take on the Green Monster.

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We ran up and down each section of the Monster.

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Spectacular views again.

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It was a single lane running path along the seats, but folks were happy to move out of the way if others needed to get by.

Once on the other end of the Monster, we took to the stairs to head down to the bleacher concourse. We were met with a weighted rope and a resistance band to put around our ankles. We had to do 25 jump rope swings with the resistance band on.

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I couldn’t get into a rhythm to do more than one jump at a time, but I made sure to count out loud so I proved to myself and others that I did all 25. Note: no one was listening to me counting. ;)

With 25 jump ropes done, it was off to another wall obstacle. This time you had to climb along three walls, which were zig zag (does that make sense), without letting your hand touch the top of the wall or your feet hit the floor.

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Now this would DEFINITELY be easier with a partner, which I didn’t have. BUT I had volunteer Kathleen who basically helped keep me attached to the wall and suggested ways to make it from one side of the other (even getting around the corners) without falling off.

Thanks to Kathleen I made it to the other side, hit the bell and was on my way! But first… Wally selfie!

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Now came the monkey bars. Most folks were putting one partner under the monkey bars and the other partner on their shoulders to “walk” across.

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Again no partner, I opted to skip this obstacle and take my punishment – 30 burpees. Ouch – those were painful. I admit I didn’t do as much any burpee practice ahead of time. My bad.

We headed through the Aramark service tunnel to the loading dock/visiting player entrance to the javelin throw.

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If you didn’t hit the target on your first try, you had to do 30 burpees.

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Not ME!!! I did it. I actually threw my hands up in the air to celebrate when I hit the target. The kid behind me was a little upset I took extra time to stop and take a pic, but I needed the proof.

Just across the parking lot was the next obstacle.

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You had to pull the bag (50 lbs for ladies) up to the top of of the structure and bring it back down nice and gently so no slamming the bag to the ground.

It was time to leave the parking lot, head back through the service tunnel and up the stairs to the right field grandstand area.

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Yes the stairs featured more “barb wire” aka bungee cord.

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It was time to carry a sandbag up and down the right field grandstand area. The ladies’ sandbag was 30 lbs.

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While I carried the bag, I thought about my weight loss journey and how I used to carry 80 extra lbs on this body. I didn’t even like carrying the 30 – keeps weight loss and weight maintenance in perspective.

Now it was time to head down to the warning track.

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I owe a special thank you to a random high school guy who happily helped me over the three walls on the warning track. ;)

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I was envious of the folks who effortlessly hiked themselves up and over the walls, but I knew I didn’t have the upper body strength to do that … yet. Maybe someday but for now I will take any help I can.

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Oh hey Fenway – you sexy beast you!

We needed to get up to the bleachers to get some more stairs in so only one way to do that … cargo net!

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One of the easiest obstacles of the day even for this girl with a fear of heights.

Thankfully years of sitting in the bleachers came in handy. I was able to get into a rhythm to run both up and down the odd sized steps. Once through the first round of bleachers, we were back down in the bleacher concourse to take the largest wall of the day. Ahhhh! I was freakin’ out.

Again I relied on the kindness of strangers. There was a group of 3 guys at the wall and I convinced them to help the two ladies in front of me as well as myself get up and over the wall.

Well I made it to the top of the wall then promptly freaked out!!! I was up high and didn’t feel comfortable falling down the maybe 12  feet to the concrete ground. I was going to have to live on the top of the wall, which wouldn’t have pleased the people behind me.

I yelled to one of the 3 guys and asked if he could help me down. He obliged and with his help I made it safely to the ground. Thank you random guy! We headed back up the bleacher stairs and back down to the entrance to the field.

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We were just three obstacles away from the Finish.

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The rope climb in front of the Green Monster was the next obstacle and I zipped right past that one and took my 30 burpee punishment.

It was an out-of-body experience taking my picture in front of the scoreboard then doing my burpees. I actually was doing those burpees on the same spot where in June 2005 I received my 2004 World Series ring. Again, talk about a different experience in the same spot.

Once I pathetically finished the 30 burpees, I rounded the third base side of the warning track and headed to the box jumps. 20 box jumps on the smaller of the two boxes and I was off to the final obstacle.

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Just a bunch of punching bags between me and the end.

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DONE!! I freakin’ did it! I only dodged two obstacle and tackled the rest.

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WOOO!!!! Look at that bling!

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The 3+ mile course took me 58:54 good for 2,860th overall out of 8,990, 795th among 4,154 females and 131st in my division out of 705. Woo! Not too shabby for this girl whose main objective was to survive and not get hurt! Both accomplished! :) I even had some fun too… ;)

After picking up my medal, I received my Finisher’s shirt. I definitely liked getting this surprise at the end.

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The Finish shoot brought you back down to the concourse level where I grabbed a water, a banana and a CLIF bar sample. I made my way through the folks who had already finished and people waiting for their heats to begin to the exit. I was going to walk myself to the Dunkin’ Donuts in Kenmore so the wife could pick me up.

I opted out of getting my free post-race beer as it was at a surrounding bar and I figured it was probably something I wouldn’t want anyway. I wanted to get a good beer with the wife.

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I am definitely happy I went waayyy out of my comfort zone to attempt the Spartan Sprint even when my partner had to bow out. I loved competing the race Garmin free. I actually had no idea of time or pace or anything while out on the course. I focused on each obstacle when I came to it and truly took in the whole experience.

If I was going to do this again, I would make sure I had a big team of friends to do it with me. I was jealous of the teams of friends out on the course.

I definitely proved to myself that I am stronger than I think … again!

I was beyond nervous before the race, but those nerves turned to fuel when the official horn went off.

So if you are thinking about trying an obstacle race, I do highly recommend the Sprint distance as a starting off point. Shorter mileage, no mud, plenty of water stops and a great test to see if you like obstacle races or not. Plus, the views of Fenway as the backdrop can’t be beat.

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Have you ever tried a Spartan Sprint at a ballpark or stadium?

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Momentum Jewelry Giveaway

And the winner is…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats Bonnie! Thank you to all who participated!

If you are still looking to purchase a piece of Momentum Jewelry: we have a special code INSPIREFIT good for 20% off website orders, but it expires Nov 30th so act quickly!! :)

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Inspiration … motivation … accountability can come in all shapes and sizes. You can find it in a sunrise or looking in your kids’ eyes. Where we find our dedication for our healthy lifestyles will be different for everyone… but let me offer up a pretty fashion forward option! :)

 

Momentum offers hand-crafted, workout-friendly jewelry for fitness-focused individuals. Featuring our innovative MOTIVATE WRAP™ bracelet (patent pending).

 

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Momentum Jewelry is a small women-owned business which produces all of their products in the USA. Momentum offers foot notes, wrap bracelets, suede cuffs, necklaces, headbands and earrings. These ladies are blending the fitness and fashion worlds seamlessly. In exchange for this review/giveaway, I was given complimentary product. But as we know all thoughts are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’! With endless possibilities of sayings for the wrap bracelets I felt overwhelmed, but knew I wanted to go with a custom saying. But what custom saying would push me though a workout or pick me up during a tough emotional moment.

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Soo what do we think I went with?

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Yeah I’m kind of obvious. :P But this blog – this little slice of the internet – has changed my life in more ways than you can imagine. Thinking about sharing my life, workouts and adventures with all of you gives me a huge pick-me-up when feeling own and out. So I knew it was the perfect choice. The above wrap is the oval motivational wrap with custom saying and teal wrap – value $25. A Motivational wrap without custom saying is $20. But with my newfound arm candy my feet were feeling pretty lonely. ;) Momentum Jewelry offers a single foot note ($10) or a pair ($17).

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I went with the Beast Mode pairing.

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Sweet, right? In addition to great products filled with passion and love, Momentum believes in the importance of instilling a healthy lifestyle at an early age. So “5% of our profits are donated to the national effort, Action for Healthy Kids. Founded in 2002, Action for Healthy Kids works with schools to fight the national epidemic of childhood obesity by teaching kids to live healthy, active lives. Learn more at www.actionforhealthykids.org” Pretty awesome!! Now I know you would love to hear me wax poetically about how awesome Momentum Jewelry is, but it’s time to get to the giveaway!! Here’s how to enter:

Giveaway will run from Monday November 10 (11:00am ET) to Monday November 17 (Noon ET)!

Winner will be announced on Monday!

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Bring On The Double-Race Weekend

With the wind howling outside my window, I take to the blog to work through the million thoughts racing through my head.

Hold on a second while I pile on another sweatshirt and a third blanket. Oh and get a puppy to start snuggling me for warmth.

Do you all have the scene? Good.

See here’s the thing.

While I sit here tippity typing on my little laptop, the daunting task of this weekend seems like a million miles away. Oh double race weekends ain’t got nothin’ on me.

Now this weekend is my seventh multi-race weekend of 2014 so I am not so nervous about the back-to-back factor… more of the races themselves.

This is just my second obstacle course and road race weekend of the year.

On Saturday, I will be tackling my first Spartan Race EVER! Now I have been vocal about not really being an obstacle race type person, but when an organization dangles a complimentary entry in front of my face the wheels start turning. Thanks again Spartan for the entry!

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Also whenever a scary race – obstacle or not – comes my way, the “then” or “before” me starts rearing its ugly head. “Why are you even considering doing this race? There is no way you will finish.” “Why even try?”

Oh no you didn’t old me. Oh no you didn’t.

Then the “now” me starts moving my fingers and BAM I am registered. Scared, worried and unsure, but nevertheless I am registered.

So that same scenario happened again during Spartan registration, but the confirm button was set.

Originally I was supposed to race with my friend Beth, but she unfortunately suffered an injury so I am tackling the feat solo. Eek!

Again if anyone will be there please take pity on me while I try not to throw up from nerves. :P Yes I find these short obstacle races more unnerving than the 6 marathons I have completed.

That is the good thing about this Spartan race on Saturday – it is a Sprint and it takes place at my old second home: Fenway Park!

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And we all know my thoughts on bling. Pictured above is the 2013 medal. Pretty freakin’ sweet! Yes I will scare and psych myself out if in the end I get a piece of bling like that.

So again as I type I knew the nerves would be put into perspective and I would feel a real sense of calm.

Well until I actually get there. Then all bets are off! Be prepared for ridiculous photos tomorrow morning on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Now the MAIN goal at Spartan is to complete the race injury free…

… because the inaugural South Shore Half Marathon, which was supposed to take place November 2, is happening on Sunday.

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Now I would really like to be in one working piece for this race. :) I have already decided I won’t be racing racing the race (that make sense?) since I am not in PR form right now, but I would like to enjoy my experience.

Plus I love being part of inaugural races and there is a Finisher’s Medal! Woo!

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So while I go into this race with nerves I am proud of myself for trying!!

I came across this picture on Pinterest and related to it immediately.

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After signing up for and completing both the Dopey Challenge and my Half Ironman that I am more willing to try! Even though these endeavors scare me to the core at least I am putting myself out there. I am giving myself the possibility to succeed. Before this weight loss and fitness journey that wouldn’t have been on my radar. Now it is becoming the norm. And don’t tell anyone this, but I kinda like it.

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Whether I stumble or bumble or fall on my face mid-burpee, I am attacking this weekend with everything I have. All with a smile on my face and pride in my heart.

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Oh and maybe a cute set of braids. Hey! I have to learn to tame this mane as I take the next 10 months to grow it out before donating it to charity.

***

Have you tackled a multi-race weekend before?

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A Fun Fall Day in Portland, Maine…

New England in the Fall can’t be beat!

I love living in the Boston area since the city is a great start point to head to ANY of the other five New England states.

The wife and I favor Maine as the second-best state in New England… after Mass of course. ;)

So when my best friend and her family moved to Portland, Maine earlier this year, Portland has become a once-a-month visit. Portland is just an hour and 45 minutes from where we live in Somerville, which can be a nice day trip with my love.

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We try to get on the road nice and early after a quick stop at Dunkin’ Donuts of course.

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Once we were caffeinated, it was time to hit the highway. Many may think highway travel is boring, but I take it as a fun chance to people watch.. and make the wife play ridiculous car games or have a sing off. I mean she is trapped in there with me so she HAS to enjoy my rendition of Montell Jordan‘s This Is How We Do It!

We passed through Massachusetts on to New Hampshire, reminiscing about previous outings North and finally in to Maine. I always feel a sense of relief when we hit Maine – not sure why, but it is just such a calming place for me.

We arrived at my best friend’s house and were promptly greeted my an energetic 2-year old who was ready to start our adventure! We would be heading to Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook.

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Photo Courtesy of Smiling Hill Farm

Smiling Hills Farm was an adorable place that was offering hay rides, pumpkin patches, a tiny zoo, a petting zoo and cute wooden installations for kids – and adults – to climb on.

It was awesome watching Jo run from sight to sight.

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Entry fee was $5 per adult and $2 or 3 for Jo. My BFF and I each opted to buy some coins in order to feed some of the animals. 50 cents per coin.

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A little Non-Scale Victory here: I was nervous attempting to fit into the kids’ train but I did it!! It felt awesome! Now getting out of the train on these old bones – not so awesome. :P

It was a chilly morning so we all tried to keep moving as much as possible so once all the things were climbed that could be climbed – it was time to see some animals.

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But we wanted to pet some fuzzy creatures!! Off to the petting zoo portion of Smiling Hill Farm we went.

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And then it was selfie time!

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I mean I hhaaaddd to do it. I had to photobomb the goat’s selfie.

Since the morning was turning colder, we opted to skip the hay ride this trip and get some lunch.

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And when at a dairy farm – you try some of their own low-fat chocolate milk.

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Jo loved it and was enjoying the treat. She is one entertaining lunch companion for sure!

While the morning may not have tuckered Jo out as much as I expected, we headed back to their house for nap time. Yes it ended up being nap time for both Jo and the wife, which gave the BFF and I plenty of time to sneak in a run.

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Win-win for all.

After working up a little sweat, we needed to relax and refuel.

So off to Rising Tide Brewing Company we went.

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The afternoon was warming up so we opted to take advantage of the outdoor area and play some bags.

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Or Jo just worked on putting the bags in the hole. :P

On a side note: how adorable is her Wall-E vest??? I want one ASAP.

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Rising Tide has a great selection so I opted for a 4-taste flight ($8).

My flight featured: Zephyr (American IPA), Daymark (American Pale Ale), Ishmael (Red Ale) and Armanda (American Brown Ale). My favorite was Zephyr!!

You could also purchase a beer or growler as well (prices varied). There was a big crowd that day and a great vibe.

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How cool is this local art? Boy I love Maine.

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Doesn’t your table at a brewery normally feature a sippy cup? We know how to roll.

The wife was pretty excited to test out El Corazon food truck, which paired well with her cerveza. ;)

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While we unfortunately had to cut this day trip to Portland short to get home in time for the wife’s hockey game, we had an amazing time.

The day featured nature, fuzzy animals, a run, a nap, local craft beer and lots of laughs. What more can I ask for?

I’m ready to start planning our next trip to Portland…

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What is your favorite way to spend a crisp fall day?

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