45 Hours On The Cape...

The Summer 2014 can NOT be described as the summer of getaways. Between local races and training for the Half Ironman, we have had very little free summer to take advantage of the awesome scenery New England has to offer. I mean we put up with the dismal winter for this very Summer!

So when I received a race bib through New Balance to take part in the Falmouth Road Race on August 17, we thought we would make a weekend out of it.

Okay okay... 45 hours!

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That's right. We did as much of summer on the Cape as we could in 45 hours ... including sitting in New England traffic. :P

Why 45 hours? Well I led two Weight Watchers meeting on the Saturday morning, which delayed our departure to the Cape to closer to 11:30/almost Noon.


So the dogs and I attempted a selfie while the wife got us much-needed Dunkins (aka Dunkin Donuts) for the traffic trip.

We were setting our for Sandwich, MA. My parents have had a camper there for two years and because of my race and training schedule I've never been there before. #DaughterFail Note this would be the pups third visit to the Cape. Yeah they have a rough life.

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I was surprised there wasn't more traffic seeing as how probably half of Boston would be on the Cape for the race. But I guess most were heading down either Friday or morning of.

Now I am not really a Cape person. I feel most Bostonians are either Cape people or Maine/Vermont/NH folks. Any Bostonians agree or disagree? Well I tend to head to Maine when given the opportunity, but free housing on the Cape helps. :)

So we arrived in Sandwich just before 2 (stellar time even with my necessary bathroom break) and were excited to see my parents' camper.


How cute? My dad built the porch himself. :) It is SUPER spacious inside. I couldn't believe it. We got a little tour of the campground and their camp friends before heading out to see Sandwich.

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And they are just six steps from this great pond.

Well, first the pups needed to see the water.


Apparently the world revolved around them.

I lucked out and a Tedy's Team-mate Allie was able to pick my bib up for me so we didn't have to take over an hour out of our Saturday afternoon to go and pick it up. Thanks again Allie! :)

My parents took us on a tour of Sandwich starting with lunch at Cafe Chew (which was not a hit with me) then we took a walk along the Sandwich Boardwalk.

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How cool are the dedications on the planks along the Boardwalk? I tried to read every single one and I may have missed some, but I didn't notice one "WIll You Marry Me?" plank. I was shocked.

After a lovely walk on the Boardwalk, we headed back to the campground to relax. Oh folks! It was the first afternoon in I don't know how long that I just chilled. It was fan-freakin-tastic. It gave me A LOT to think about for next summer.


Oh and Harpoon decided to join me for the occasion. ;)

I did this while the wife took my dad's kayak out for a spin around the pond.

The dogs really have the handle on the "vacation" thing.

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Am I right?

Big thanks to my parents for dog proofing the porch.

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I am so thankful for this wife of mine who puts up with my crazy running adventures. She was the happiest with this trip - well excluding Disney of course. ;)

I am working on revamping my Fall once the Half Ironman is over to get us back down to the Cape at least a couple of times before their campground closes for the winter.

Now Sunday morning called for a 5am wake-up call for the Falmouth Road Race so Saturday Night we decided to grill in - steak tips, corn on the cob, veggies, potato salad, etc.

Mmm I love weekends.

My mom stayed back with the pups while my dad, the wife and I piled in the car to head to the race. Between the race and the after-party Tedy's Team BBQ, we ended up back on site about 2pm.

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Thanks Tedy for a great party!

We could've headed right back to Boston then and there. Sit in lots of traffic. But we didn't want to do that. So we decided to hang around for one more peaceful evening and get up at 5am on Monday to head home.

Best decision we could've made.

It was a lovely relaxing Sunday afternoon.

The rain started after we got back so the wife and pups went for a nap, while I checked out bad TV. Sometimes I miss having cable. :P


Once the rain cleared, the wife was ready to get out and move.


Tori was able to take a fellow camper's Sunfish boat out on the pond, while I sat back on the porch and vegged. I really can't put into words how awesome that felt. Again thinking about how I would shape my Summer in 2015 (hint: more relaxing).

Before we left the Cape, I wanted to make sure the wife got a Lobster roll so we headed to Sesuit Harbor Cafe.


It was a bit nippy sitting outside, but a great atmosphere. I wish my mom had told us it was BYOB. I was jealous of the people around us with their solo cups and wine. ;)

My food wasn't good, but the wife loved her Lobster roll so that is all that matters.

We had a low-key evening in the camper before calling it an early night.

5am came too soon.

But it was a great choice.

We had zero traffic heading home. A beautiful sunrise. And were both at work on time.


I remember checking the car clock when we pulled into our driveway and it was before 8am... hence the 45 hours (or so) on the Cape.

Sometimes you never know how recharging 45 hours away can be on your soul.


Do you do mini-vacations during the Summer months?

My quest to 1,000 Miles in 2013!!

2013 Total Mileage To Date: 1,150.00

January: 75.39

February: 102.22

March: 140.5

April: 76.89

May: 83.00

June: 72.01

July: 80.29

August: 129.00

September: 128.90

October: 65.40

November: 54.50

December: 141.9


Happy running!

Women's Triathlon Recap

FORGIVE ME BLOG READERS FOR I HAVE SINNED. I allowed too much time to pass before posting this recap. Almost a month.



I need to start by thanking the Hartford Marathon Foundation for offering me a complimentary entry into the Women's Sprint Triathlon in Farmington, Connecticut on September 8th. But as you all know I do not let a complimentary entry sway my thoughts on a race!

It was pretty clear after finishing my first triathlon - Boston Sprint Tri on August 4th - that I was hooked. So I was happy to get another triathlon in before the season came to a close.

Now I registered and got all excited and THEN realized the race would be a good 2.5 hour drive from Boston ... on the day of the race.

The race began at 7:30am.

I will let you take a moment to do the math.

Got it?

If not, that meant a nice 3:30am wakeup that morning.


Not. :P

Okay it wasn't the ideal pre-race conditions, but we had no other choice. We couldn't leave the pups the night before so day of travel was our only option.

The alarm went off at 3:30am, I leaped out of bed and immediately the pre-race jitters set in.

Thankfully I am a tad OCD and everything was already packed and ready to go the night before to help make the morning a smooth transition.

We hit Dunkin Donuts for some much-needed caffeine and we were on the road.

Shockingly we hit zero traffic. ;)

We arrived at the Winding Trails in Farmington, CT with plenty of time to pick up my packet, get numbered and set up my transition station.

My transition area worked so well at Boston Triathlon that I decided to duplicate it at the Women's Triathlon.

The transition area was set up by bib #s, but in each lane you could put your bike wherever you wanted. So I just picked one as close to the front as I could, but I pretty much ended up smack in the middle of my lane.

I did a once over and headed out of the transition area to hang with the wife until it was time to suit up.

It was amazing to walk around and see a race entirely made up of women. It felt great, comforting and welcoming.

There were women of all shapes, sizes and athletic abilities taking part. For many, it was their first triathlon. There were women wearing just bathing suits, women whose bikes had baskets/bells/kickstands and some who were clear Ironman finishers. It was a wide variety, but everyone was cheering each other on.

I also throughly enjoyed that during all the announcements when they talked about spectators they mentioned wives of competitors. Yay for being super supportive of the lesbian racers. It just made me smile. :)

Before I knew it it was time to head back to the transition area to pick up the wetsuit and head to the beach.

While standing on the beach, a blog reader came over to introduce herself and say hi. It was such an awesome feeling. I love meeting people who actually read these posts. :)

I decided to take a quick dip into the water before heading to the Start area.

And it was time.

The nerves were high. I was so busy doing Dopey Challenge training that I hadn't been on the bike in over a month or in the pool all that much so I had no idea what to expect. I just wanted to go out there and give it my all.


Swim - 1/2 Mile

For this race we started IN the water. I was in the first corral of ladies in the water. I tried to put myself farther up in the pack since I learned at the last tri that I needed to do that. I was a stronger swimmer than I gave myself credit for.

The gun went off and we were in.

But from the get go something was wrong. I couldn't breathe. It felt as if someone was trying to choke me. I tried to loosen the neck area of the wetsuit slightly to see if that would help, but I couldn't get in a groove.

I felt as if I was swimming in place. I had no idea what was going on so I just kept trying to move forward.

I ended up breathing almost every single stroke, but I figured I would do anything to try and get to the Finish.

Thankfully we were in a calm pond which I can say helped.

I got to the halfway mark and wondered how the heck I would make it the rest of the way. I just thought about my wife on the beach and swam towards her.

I could tell my sighting had gotten much better from the first triathlon to this one. My wife said I was the only swimmer in my group that came straight towards the Finish Line after the halfway point. Woo! I think I was probably the 10 or 12th swimmer out of the water so I guess I was moving faster than I thought.

After coming out of the water, we had to run all the way up the beach, along the outside length of the transition area and THEN entered the transition area. It was a long way to run barefoot, but I did the best I could to get that wetsuit down to my waist as quickly as possible.

There were a good number of volunteers (lifeguards) out in kayaks on the water which put me at ease in case I really couldn't breathe at any point.

Total Time: 17:42 Overall Place: 44/442


Transition 1

Time: 2:07

Since I was still trying to catch my breath, I took my time during the transition. I was worrying about that so much that I fell right over while taking off the wetsuit. Yes I need to focus on one thing at a time. :P

I was able to grab some Gatorade, some pieces of KIND Bar, switch into my Team Refuel singlet and lace up my sneakers. I also made sure to really dry my feet off before putting my socks on since I ended up with very wet feet last time. ;)

(See how we learn something from each race!)

I slapped my helmet on and I was headed out of the transition area.

Yes this should've been faster, but I was just happy that my breathing had started to return to normal.


Bike - 12 miles

Now for some reason I thought this was going to be a flat course. Not sure where I got that impression but boy was I WRONG!!! Holy hill Batman. I am a weak biker anyway, but throw in hills and I wasn't sure what I was doing.

I definitely know I will be getting some clips for my bike so I can wear my Spin shoes before my next race because I was losing some force having my sneakers on.

All I could do was push forward though. I had the cyclometer on my bike and my goal was to try and stay between 17-19 mph the best I could.

I pushed faster than I had before and tried to use the downhills to my benefit. The roads were open to traffic so we had to stay as close to the right of the road as we could.

I was actually able to pass some people, but was definitely passed my more. :)

It was one amazing experience coming back towards the transition area as both sides of the course were lined with spectators. The cheering was loud and the faces made my smile grow. I felt like a freakin' rock star. All these people were cheering for lil old me. It was awesome!

Plus just as I was about to dismount the bike, I caught a glimpse of the wife - just what I needed to see since I hadn't seen her when I left the water earlier.

I know that the bike is the portion I need to work on the most, but I was pretty pleased with how I handled my first hilly bike course.

I didn't really see too many volunteers out on the course itself for some stretches, but they were there at key turns and when we exited and entered the lanes near the transition area.

Total Time: 40:09 Overall Place: 88/442 (can we tell it’s my weakest area)


Transition 2

Time: 1:07

Much more respectable transition time the second time around. But really all I had to do here was ditch the bike/bike helmet, throw on my visor/sunglasses and put on my race belt with bib.


Run - 5k

As I left the transition area, I ran by the wife and said "I can't breathe." Not sure what was going on with me that day, but as I headed out for the run - I once again just tried to focus on my breathing.

Since triathlons don't allow headphones, it was really easy to tune into my breathing and correct it.

I had just a 5k between me and the end of my second triathlon.

Now again I somehow was under the impression that this would be a flat easy run.


As I rounded the second turn, there was a large trail incline in front of me.

It is at that point, that I realized I was in for a rough terrain trail 5k rather than an easy run.

I stopped to retie my sneakers, buckled down and focused on trying to pass any runners I could pass in front of me.

I got my breathing under control and just tried to enjoy the scenery around me. We were in one glorious forest.

Every volunteer I passed, I said "I was lied to about this being a flat course" and all they could do was laugh.

Thankfully my GPS was pretty spot on and before I knew it we were less than 1/2 a mile to the Finish.

I tried to speed the body up as best I could.

With a few hundred yards to go we emerged from the trees and there was the Finish Line.

I gave it the rest I had and it was over. The 5k was done.

Water stops were well covered, but other than that it was really just the runners on the trail. Not sure what I would've done had I gone down with a cramp or injury while in the woods since I didn't know where the next water stop or volunteer would be.

Total Time: 24:45 Overall Place: 15/442



I completed the course in 1:25:48 and couldn't have been happier.

As soon as I crossed the Finish Line, they announced my name (Ahhh I love when races do this) and was given a gorgeous wooden medal.

Cool, right?

I found the wife and she presented me with an actual cycling jersey for me to use next year during training rides.

Can I pull it off?

We then headed over to refuel with some chocolate milk. It was like they knew I was coming! ;)

After my chocolate milk and water, it was obviously time to grab a celebratory beer courtesy of Old Burnside Brewing Company! I love when races are sponsored by local craft breweries. Drink local friends! :)

As I walked away from the beer area, I noticed a massage tent with no wait. YES!! Whenever these are at races by the time I finish there is a huge line so I had to jump on this opportunity.

It was GREAT to get stretched out by a professional! I wish I could have this treatment after every workout.

Thank you Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers for providing this service!

Before I go any further I want to thank my wife for being my #1 supporter, calming me down along the course, getting up at 3:30am, driving hours to the race and being an overall wonderful sport in this crazy racing world I am in. :) I couldn't do this without her.

We had planned on meeting up with my friend Martinus from 300PoundsAndRunning.com for lunch so we headed back to the transition area to get my stuff and headed back to the car.

I wouldn't find out until hours later that I had actually placed in my division. Whaaa??? I KNOW!!

I had finished 31st overall out of 442 and 3rd in my division.

How cool is that? I was shocked and amazed. Since I had left, I missed receiving my prize. A prize? Yay!

So I actually sent $8 to the Hartford Marathon Foundation and they sent me the prize. An amazing hand-painted marvel.

Overall, I was extremely happy with how the race turned out. Do I know exactly what happened with my breathing during the swimming portion? No, but that is something I will work through on my training in case it happens again.

I really loved the Women's Triathlon atmosphere and would highly recommend this race to any of my friends.

I hope to return next year to take on those rolling hills of Connecticut again! :)


So when can I do my next triathlon? ;)

Boston Triathlon ... aka My First Tri


Oh did you want more of a recap?

Well then let's do it! :)

I think everyone knows I was a tad wicked nervous for my first triathlon. I mean check out my T-minus 12 hours post for the jist.

I mean Hello look at all the numbers attached to this one race.

So let's get right to it!!


5am - Alarm Goes Off

I sprang out of bed. I knew I had laid out all my clothes the night before, but there was still so much to do before we had to leave the house. I let the dogs out so they could take care of business while I hectically got ready and attached the bike to the bike rack (which I thankfully put on the car the night before). Sometimes being slightly OCD can help one out on the morning of the race.

After leaving the house without my Garmin on the morning of the Boston Marathon, I made sure to check that I had that about 17 times before we left the house.

I had my big bag of stuff for the transition and I made sure the wife had her back-up ready with extra clothes, snacks and any other odds and ends we would need that morning.

We met my dad on the porch and...

5:40am - We are out the door

I was told by my Triathlon coaches (and fellow Tedy's Team members) Jackie and Cat to be on site by 6:15am for the 7:45am start time because there is so much more to account for before the race than a regular running race.

Since my dad and wife were getting up so early for me, I made sure we stopped at Dunkins on the way to the race. They deserved and needed the caffeine. :P

In the car I felt oddly calm. This is extremely weird for me before a race, but I was hoping to take it as a good sign. Also I knew as soon as I was on the site of the race, it would be a whole different ballgame.

6:15am-ish - We pull into a parking space

Annddd cue the butterflies. As we pull into a parking space, I start to see the other athletes with their professional bikes and looking like they knew what they were doing. In my head panic. I wanted to turn around and leave. But wait a minute. Not happening. I freakin' worked my butt off to be there too so self pull up your spandex shorts and get out there.

(Timing after this is a blur so time to go general with titles ;))


The air was crisp, the sun was shining and the water looked calm - one gorgeous Boston morning! We really couldn't ask for better weather conditions.

I headed over to the transition area to get my bike checked and to set up my area. Thankfully I had watched some transition videos on Youtube the day before so I had a better idea of what I was supposed to do. I also took a picture as people suggested so I could go back after the race and see what I would change - if anything.

After racking my bike and getting everything in place, I realized that Ace Wheelworks (where I bought my bike) had tents set up and were putting air in people's tires for free. So I went back in and got my bike. I didn't want any chances of getting a flat just because the tire wasn't filled up enough. Tires perfect and back to the transition area Roxie went.

I stopped a volunteer to ask exactly how the transition would work - where do we enter from the swim, how do we exit, etc. I wasn't taking any chances of doing something incorrectly and getting slapped with a penalty.

Well by this time there was still well over an hour before the race so I went with my dad and the wife to find a location for them to set up camp for awhile. Since Tori was two weeks post-knee surgery, we needed to make sure she could sit as much as possible.

I nibbled slowly on my KIND bar, which was delish (Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt)... Mmmmm!!

I went to hit up the port-a-potty and finally ran into people I knew. Yay! Chelsea and Ally, who I both knew through twitter but had just met on Wednesday in person, were also first-time triathlete folks so it was great to share this experience with them.

Chatting with them and seeing familiar faces calmed my nerves before heading back to see my crew.

The transition area closed at 7:30am so I needed to make sure I got back in there in plenty of time to get my wetsuit, swimcap and goggles for the swim. I also had to pop my ENERGYBits then or I wouldn't have them and that wasn't happening.

Around 7:15ish, I bid farewell to my dad and wife (trying not to cry) and headed into the transition area. I was walking over to my bike when I noticed a familiar face. It was my friend Howley, who I probably hadn't seen in a good 6-7 years. She was there doing the tri relay as friends needed someone to do the bike portion. Again, seeing a familiar face distracted me from the nerves.

I made it back to my bike, grabbed my necessary tools, gave the transition area one more check over and was off to the beach for the pre-race meeting with the officials.

I decided to walk through the water to get to the pre-race meeting. It was starting to get hotter while in the wetsuit and I wanted to see how the water temp felt. It was calming to be in the water. I was ready for the race to start, but we still had a good 40 minutes or so until my wave would set off. I was in the women's 25-34 heat which was Wave 5 of 10.

Thankfully I found Chelsea, Ally, other Zoom Multisport friends and Cat from Tedy's Team on the sand near the start area. It felt good to be near people I knew. Are we sensing a theme here?

Before I knew it, the National Anthem was playing and Wave 1 (Elite Athletes) was getting in position. There would be 2 minutes between Wave 1 and Wave 2 then 6 minutes between the rest of the waves. There were 10 waves in total with novice being the final group.

I thought about putting myself in the novice division, but felt I was a strong enough swimmer to be with my age group.

Swim - 1/2 Mile

Robin had told me to line up near the front of the wave because of my practice swim times, but I ended up being about 1/3 of the way back. I readjusted once I saw the division included the mid-to-late 20s as well. I assumed they would all be faster than me so I wiggled my way back. (Hindsight? Stupid decision)

All of a sudden they were counting down, in my head I just said: "Like Tedy said - it's the party! Have fun!" and we were off.

It is a running start, which means you run from the sand into the water to about your knees/low thighs then start swimming.

As soon as I started swimming, I instantly got kicked in the face. I thought - okay got that out of the way - let's get it. I had remembered Robin saying in the Ironman she swam on the outside to avoid getting kicked so I did try to find myself a little niche in the water to avoid people ... which was challenging.

I felt as if I was swimming in place. I didn't feel like I was making good time. I tried sighting as best I could, but still found myself drifting while swimming.

But, at no point did I feel tired. BONUS!

I am thankful I did a test swim in the water before the race so I had an idea of what to use for guide points.

Before I knew it we were making the final turn (we swam in a trapezoidal pattern) to the shore. I kept reminding myself to swim until my hands swept the bottom of the water THEN get up and start running.

My dad was able to catch me "gracefully" exiting the water. Man those rocks felt like needles under the feet.

Total Time: 16:35 Pace: 1:53/100 yds Overall Place: 175/630 Division: 12/52


Transition 1

Time: 1:51.1

This was my first attempt at taking the wetsuit off quickly (should probably practice that more for next time).

I tried to make the switch as methodical as possible. I used my mini towel to wipe off my wet/sandy feet and quickly put on my shoes/sneakers. Yes I raced sans clip medals/bike shoes because I wasn't comfortable enough on the bike yet.

I also made sure to click my bike helmet on as soon as I put it on since you can be penalized for an unclicked helmet.

I actually more my bike/run outfit under my wetsuit so I didn't have to do any wardrobe change. It was actually a great idea because the weather was heating up but the damp singlet kept me cool on the next two legs of the race.



By far this is my weakest part of the race and the one I dreaded the most. The goal for this leg was to not fall off the bike. Do you like how I set big goals for myself. ;)

But seriously after talking to Robin (sensing another theme with this ;)) we decided that my goal was to keep my bike pace around 17-19 mph.

The bike portion was 9 miles, which is short for most sprint tris - but perfectly fine for me.

I merged onto the bike portion (it was a loop which you had to complete twice) so I had to be aware of other bikers completing their second loop.

The bike portion and run portion were on the same road with the runners separated on the right by cones. There are so many rules about passing and not drafting on the bike that I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

I remembered them saying if you were going to pass you had 15 seconds and had to get 3 bike lengths ahead of the person/person being passed had to drop back 3 bike lengths.

I did my best to follow the rules, but really I was just focused on not falling.

I slowed down on the turns as those scare the crap outta me (again fear of falling). But I felt pretty comfortable out on the course since it was nice and flat AND I was able to cheer for some people I knew already on the run portion.

I just kept looking down at my cyclometer to make sure I was staying on point ... and shockingly I was!!! WOO HOO!

I also had to wipe my nose/mouth still from the swim, but I haven't mastered that taking the hands off the handlebars thing yet so I finally wiped my nose as I slowed for a turn. Sexy I know. :P

As I finished up the second loop, I was instructed to go to the right back to the transition area. I realized that my friend Cat was right in front of me.

They even had a line drawn on the ground telling you where to dismount the bike. Score!

I know I would've biked faster with 1) more practice and 2) actual bike shoes/clips - but that is for later events. (foreshadowing?)

Total Time: 28:57 Pace: 18.2 MPH (just what we wanted!!!) Overall Place: 388/630 (can we tell it's my weakest area) Division: 30/52


Transition 2

Time: 1:21.2

I followed Cat right into the transition area...

This was a pretty simple transition for me since I didn't have to change shoes like most people. I just made sure to put my race belt, which displayed my bib for the run, on first because you NEEDED it to finish. I popped a couple sport beans, fixed my hair, put on my Sparkly Soul headband, took a hit of Nuun Hydration water I had mixed, put on my running shades (thank goodness I made the last minute decision to bring them) and was off.



I started my Garmin late because I had no idea when the run was actually supposed to start. Oops. Thankfully I asked someone once on the course what they had and realized I was about .1 mile off from everyone else. Okay doing that math would also help distract me during the run.

I had been looking forward to the run all day (did I seriously just write that? :P) and felt great to be on the pavement.

There were cones separating the runners and the bikers on the street. The cones seemed to leave a really narrow running area so I ended up passing people on the left and entering the bike area. Thankfully bikers were giving enough room for runners to do this successfully.

It was great having the run be and out and back set up because I was able to high five some friends on the course, while simultaneously cheering for friends doing the bike portion.

Win-win-win! :0)

My goal was to keep a sub 8:15/8:20 pace. I didn't know how the legs would feel for the 4.4-mile run and the weather was getting warmer and warmer so I wanted a realistic pace. (Also how is this my "realistic" pace? How times change!)

My shoes and socks felt damp still from my not-totally-dried feet so it felt a little heavy lifting the feet. Also the timer that goes around your ankle felt like a police ankle bracelet (not like I've ever worn one). I could feel it on my leg, but tried to zone it out.

There are no headphones on this course so I had been training without music for a couple weeks and it paid off. I was really able to zone out on the mileage and focus on taking the whole experience in.

SouthBoston is a beautiful part of the city and it was a perfect day. I had a great time cheering on other runners as we moved along.

There were two water stations on the course so I made sure to drink water at both AND take an additional cup to pour on my head.

At the turnaround point, I started getting sad - the race was going to be over in less than 2 miles. Wow! My firs triathlon would be in the books. I had no idea of my time, but I knew I was having a blast and didn't want it to end.

So I soaked in every step I took.

Around Mile 3, I thought I wasn't going to make it. I saw a lot of people walking and thought I could too. But my inner voice screamed HELL NO! I was not about to start walking.

I was going to give it everything I had on that course then I could walk. So I just kept trucking along. I smiled at other runners, I cheered for people struggling and I freakin' ran. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

There it was - the Mile 4 marker. We had just .4 left.

It was time to give it all I had. I just willed my legs to keep moving forward and to NOT let anyone pass me. I was going to pick people off it I could, but I would hold strong.

Total Time: 36:16 Pace: 8:15 min/mile Overall Place: 255/630 Division: 15/52



As I approached the Finish Line, the announcer said "Dani Holmes-Kirk from Somerville, MA" and in my head I said "is officially a triathlete!" :)

I couldn't stop smiling.

I swam. I biked. I ran.

Final Stats

It was everything I could've imagined and more.

Could you tell I was a little excited?

I can't even put into words how excited I was crossing that line and picking up my Finisher's Pint Glass. Not a medal, but better than nothing!!

I immediately started thinking about how I would do things different the next time, but quickly banished those thoughts. It was time to relish in the now.

I owe a big thanks to my dad and wife for getting up at 5am and coming to watch me in person. Bigger thanks to my mom who stayed back home to make sure someone was with the pups.

I spotted my favorite sign from the course and the designer let me take a pic.

Please note I am smiling because I love the sign NOT because I did what is written on the sign. :P

I was able to get some water in my pint glass right after receiving it, but then bottled water was nowhere to be found. Are you serious? I grabbed a banana, but looked all around and no water anywhere. Planning FAIL!!

The post-race celebration was sponsored by Michelob Ultra (BOO!) so we decided to head home. I would recommend a local race go with a local brew (Harpoon, Sam Adams, etc) to celebrate rather than a blah beer like Michelob Ultra. I bought Slumbrew so I could have my own party at home. :)

I headed back into the transition area to clean up my stuff. I was really pleased with how I set up my transition area.

I wish I had been able to meet up with more people afterwards - thankfully I did see some ZOOM folks and Tedy's Team folks - but I forgot to take any group photos. Oops!

I really can't thank ZOOM Multisport enough for welcoming me into their group. I thank Robin, Hank, Tara, Darcie, Jackie, Cat, Greg, Lisa and so many others for letting me text or FB you with numerous questions/pictures/thoughts during training and race prep.

So the question remains: will I do this again?


I'm ready for the next adventure as I go from morbidly obese couch potato to Boston Marathon Finisher to Triathlete to ???

My Makeshift Monday Morning Triathlon...

On Sunday while driving home from Suzi Storm's wedding in upstate New York, I was tracking my friend Tara from A Life Changing Journey OWN her first Half Ironman. At the same time, Krysten from The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail was ROCKING her first Triathlon. How could I not be pumped and inspired by all of that awesomness?

So what did I decide to do yesterday morning?

Attempt my own personal Sprint Triathlon at the gym.

On March 3, I somehow landed on the Boston Triathlon (Sprint Tri) website and registered for it (happens August 4). Don't remember, check this out to refresh your memory!

Training has been slow. I finally bought a bike on May 5, but getting the running-biking-swimming training schedule down has been tough. I am trying to train for the Sprint Tri (1/2 mile swim, 9 mile bike and 4 mile run) while also keeping up with training for a slew of half marathons, marathon and Dopey Challenge - which are all on the horizon.

But with all the awesomness that happened on Sunday, I woke up yesterday morning and committed to attempt to do this whole Sprint Tri at my Boston Sports Club location.

I didn't really want to tell anyone what I was going to attempt in case I failed. I confided in Dacia from Run. Ride. Repeat. since she is a non-judgmental cheerleader! :)

I made sure to get #PoweredByBits before embarking on this endeavour thanks to ENERGYbits!!

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I got to the gym about 10am dressed for the swim with a backpack of clothes for the bike/run.

Thankfully between google and my math degree I was able to figure out that I would need to swim 32 lengths of the pool or 16 laps in order to reach the 1/2 mile swim the Boston Triathlon has.

I popped my X-1 Audio waterproof headphones on the back of my goggles, started my timer and I was off. I was going for nice and even strokes and hoping not to go out too fast.

Boy did the music help keep me focused on the swim and on the correct lap number. :P

I finished the 32 lengths in 15:04.

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Can you tell I was excited?

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My arms felt GREAT! And I owe a huge thanks to my wife since the bathing suit, swim cap and goggles were all borrowed from her. :P

I quickly headed into the locker room to change for the bike.

It has been AGES since I used a regular gym bike...

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... since I normally get my bike on either outside with Roxie or in Spin class!

It was an awkward bike experience, but I was determined to finish the 9 miles on the bike no matter what.

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I definitely know the bike section will be better 1) in the moment, 2) with more practice and 3) on a more comfortable bike!

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My legs were feeling a little tired - I think from the awkward motion from the oversized bike ;) but I was ready to hit up the treadmill for the 4 mile run.

As I was running, I decided to keep myself at a nice 8:30 pace. I obviously was not doing this little experiment for time, but to prove to myself that I could.

But, as the run got to the 5k mark, my legs were feeling good so I started upping the pace a little each tenth of a mile. Because why not, right?

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I ended up with a 8:31 min/mile pace and I was A-ok with that!!

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I DID IT!! I successfully completed a swim-bike-run in that order and with minimal time in between each one.

I know the actual Sprint Tri will be a whole different experience, but boy did completing each distance within a 2-hour timeframe make me feel a tad more prepared!

I ended up finishing my challenge in 1:21:33.

At least now I have a jumping off point for the rest of my training. I have about 5 weeks before actual race day.

Now I need to work on getting outside and swimming in the open waters, bike on the street and put the sneakers on the pavement.

But for now, I will bask in my own awesomeness and inspire myself to get out and do more!

Weekly Workout Wind Up (6/13-19/13)

Weellll I wanted to return to swimming this week, but apparently the pool had a different idea and it was closed everytime I headed to the gym. But, I am going to get over my fear of swimming outside and embark on that endeavour next week! Eek! I hurt my ankle at the Ruckus Boston race on Saturday so I took it easy on Sunday and Monday and made sure to have an ankle brace on. But, starting Tuesday I was brace free and feeling okay!

Thursday, June 13: Day 25 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

June 13

Friday, June 14: REST DAY


Saturday, June 15: Ruckus Boston (4-Mile Obstacle Run)

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Sunday, June 16: Walk/Stairmaster/Elliptical with Lindsey

June 16

Monday, June 17: Day 26 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, 3.2 Mile Run, Bike To/From Work, 5k Run and 50-Minute Spin

June 17a

June 17

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Tuesday, June 18: Day 27 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, 2.5-Mile Run and 45-Min Stairmaster

june 18

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june 18-3

Wednesday, June 19: Day 28 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, 4.1-Mile Run and 10-Mile Bike Ride w/ my dad

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Feelin' STRONG this week!! :)

Running The Freedom Trail & Giveaway!

Annddddd the winner IS:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you to everyone that participated and big thanks to our Sponsor!!!


For kids that grew up in the Boston area, the historic Freedom Trail was a given field trip multiple times throughout school. For those that don't know, the Freedom Trail:

The Trail takes the visitor to 16 historical sites in the course of two or three hours and covers two and a half centuries of America's most significant past. A red brick or painted line connects the sites on the Trail and serves as a guide.

Sometimes history can be boring ... I don't think I am alone in that. Soooo once you elevated to the age of 21, some people would do a Freedom Trail Pub Crawl ... similar results, right? ;) Well, a few weeks back I noticed that you could actually run the Freedom Trail. Aptly titled: Freedom Trail Run.

Freedom Trail Run is the active way to tour Boston's historic Freedom Trail! Our unique running tour will show you the sites in an up-close and detailed way that's unlike any other tour!

With a description like that, I had to give it a try! :) The Freedom Trail Run is offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8:30am ... ALL YEAR ROUND! You heard that right folks. It is a great experience for tourists AND locals alike. The whole experience takes about 2 hours and in the end you run just about 3 miles.

We meet on Boston Common (at the corner of Park & Tremont St.) and run a 5K course that passes some of America's most important historical landmarks. We don't just "run-by" the sites, we stop and explore them! And since we stop so often (16 times), even beginners can participate!

The organizer, Eddie, who also runs the amazing Cambridge 5k series, offered me a chance to check out the Freedom Trail Run for free ... and even bring a friend along. :) I asked Becki from Fighting For Wellness, a fellow Boston healthy-living blogger, to join me and thankfully she said yes. This was going to be the first time we would really get to hang out - outside of social media - so I was excited. We met the group just before 8:30am on one corner of Boston Common (Park St & Tremont St). The group has four guides: Eddie, Shelly, Ginger and Sean!

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Eddie gave the group the overview of what to expect during the morning and a little history about Boston. And I must admit I grew up and have lived here most of my life and I learned things within the first 5 minutes of him talking!

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1-2-3 FREEDOM and we were off...

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The first stop was just about 0.2 miles from where we started so it was a good test of what we would expect along the run. Short runs in between the 16 historical stops.

Our Group




(Photo Courtesy Freedom Trail Run)


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Isn't the State House beautiful? From there, we headed to the first of three burying grounds. Oohhh...

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Paul Revere has 2 headstones


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How funky is the last headstone? No one knows who it's for, but it has a funky design and has withstood years of Boston weather. When we stopped at the Old South Church...

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...we turned to our right and found the place where Benjamin Franklin was born. (Again, I forgot that from school!)

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Obviously, the street has changed since he was born, but Boston had to claim some ties to being his hometown and the above was created.

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Did you know that there was just one spring that gave the city of Boston its water? Since it was the only source of clean water, it drew people to it to live ... and hello downtown Boston!


We stopped at the memorial for the Boston Massacre and the old State House:


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Before heading to the North End to see some great Paul Revere spots.


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Paul Revere's House


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We are #BostonStrong!


After visiting the final burying ground of the tour, we were able to see the thinnest house on the East Coast. This little house is just 10.5 feet wide. Can you believe that?


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So far this had been the most fun I'd had on the Freedom Trail ... and we weren't even done yet.


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The next stretch of the run was the longest straight running section, which was about 1/2 a mile. We were heading from the North End to Charlestown.


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As we neared the Bunker Hill monument, we came to the largest hill of the morning. The group did a race up the hill. Before the "race" began, it was announced that 2 guides had never lost. *Challenge accepted* Thankfully our group had a high school cross country kid in it (YES!), so Anthony was able to defeat the guides and take reign as fastest up the hill. :P


And as we hit the top there it was ... the Bunker Hill Monument!


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All of a sudden, it was time to head to the final stop ... the U.S.S. Constitution!


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Wow! That time flew by.


We ran to a nearby convenience store to collect our t-shirts and free drink! Of course, I had to refuel with #myafter of Chocolate Milk! :)


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In total, it was a 3-mile run. I stopped the Garmin whenever we stopped at a location so you can see in total it was about 30-or so minutes of running.


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After everyone in the group had their awesome shirt and drink, we headed over to the Ferry to head back to the Faneuil Hall/Start area.


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As we toured back to where we started, we got some beautiful views of the city!


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Photo Courtesy of Freedom Trail Run


The entire Freedom Trail Run was 2 hours start to finish. Thank you Eddie for being right on time.


The group included people of all ages and athletic abilities. There were even a set of girls there on a bachelorette weekend. It was a mix of locals and tourists.


The Freedom Trail Run is $40 a person and includes the guided tour, a t-shirt, your drink of choice from the convenience store and the ferry ride back to the Start/Faneuil Hall area.


But what is that? You want to try the Freedom Trail Run for free?


Well ... OKAY!! :)


Eddie is giving me the task of giving away a tour to one lucky winner and a guest of their choice (this can be used anytime this year so you can be an out of towner and win!!!).

Here’s how to enter the giveaway: Giveaway is open from June 11 (Tuesday) to 10am June 14 (Friday)!

The winner will be announced on Friday!

I'm an X-1 Audio Team Member!

I owe this amazing opportunity to being a member of Team REFUEL with Got Chocolate Milk!! In March, I received an offer to test out a pair of X-1 Audio headphones.

Of course, I couldn't pass that up! :)

So I worked with Dana from X-1 Audio to get a free pair of the women's sweatproof headphones ... hello check out all the colors here!

I opted for the blue pair (of course) and patiently waited to receive them in the mail.

So what makes X-1 so special? I didn't know so to the website I went and found:

Inspired by the Bell X-1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, the team at X-1 set out to perfect a line of products that break down the barriers of sound, allowing athletes to harness the power of music regardless of sport or climate. Whether you’re a triathlete, swimmer, runner, kayaker, snowboarder, climber, weightlifter, or a gym goer, X-1 offers audio solutions that can withstand everything from trekking through the mud to running in the rain to diving 12 feet underwater.

Well that all seems pretty cool.

I have tested out a LOT of headphones so I was ready to give these a try.


Especially since these were designed ESPECIALLY for women.

You don't train in the same clothes or shoes as male athletes - why should you settle for headphones made for men? X-1 For Women headphones were built specifically for female athletes. They were designed to fit smaller ears and are integrated with features that keep you safe, without sacrificing the performance you demand. The X-1 For Women line is the result of female athletes designing features and functions for the needs of female athletes, from smaller, ultra-light earbuds to ambient noise allowance that keeps you aware of your surroundings. You are strong and powerful - and now you can have a sports audio system that works as hard as you do.

After the first run, I was hooked. I love that the X-1 Audio headphones:

*offer multiple 5 different ear tip sizes to get just the right fit

*are reflective for safety - the tangle free cord illuminates with light for extra visibility and safety while working out or running in low light

*designed to withstand heavy perspiration, they can be used in all types of weather and they can be rinsed after use

*have a clip that attaches to the top of your jacket, shirt or tank to lower the annoyance factor (one of my pet peeves is flappy headphone cords)


At the beginning of May, I was approached by Dana to apply to be a member of the X-1 Audio Team. I love their brand, product and message so I went for it ...

... and I was accepted!

WOO! :)

Thanks Dana for the amazing opportunity.

So what was my first purchase after being accepted?

A set of headphones for swimming of course!

Headphones for swimming?

I KNOW! I was shocked at first, but had to give it a try.

There were so many options, but I opted for these ...


Interval 4G w/ Blue Apple iPod Shuffle

I gave them a whirl on Tuesday (May 21) for the first time in a quick 30-min swim.

It was wicked cool to be listening to music, while in the pool. It is so easy to get bored during a swim workout, but I don't think I will from here on out.

The iPod goes inside the plastic case which secures to your goggles. So it looks like this:

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I thought the whole thing would be too bulky on the back of my head, but I didn't notice it at all. It didn't impact my stroke or my breathing in the least.

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As you can see, I need some new goggles, but that is my own thing and nothing to do with the device. :P

The headphones fit nicely under my swim cap.

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I do need a silicone swim cap so that the water doesn't seep in which again happened with my swim cap that is about 6 years old.

Yes I need to do some upgrading. ;)

I cannot wait to hit the pool - for longer next time - and rock out to the Wicked Soundtrack again. (Yup, definitely listend to Wicked/Adele/Pink combo the other day!)


Have you tried X-1 Audio headphones? Do you like listening to music while swimming?

My First Relay Experience: 26.2 Challenge Team Relay

And I am a race pushover. What does that mean? Well, it seems when a friend brings up a race and I have the time/funds - I sign up.

Plain and simple.

It happened ... again!

Last Wednesday (April 24) while at The Dubliner in Cambridge with friends for the launch of the latest Slumbrew brew, I asked my friend George what he had coming up for races over the weekend.

George and some members of his running club - The Most Informal Running Club Ever or TMIRCE - was taking part in the 26.2 Challenge Team Relay on the Saturday (April 27) in Plymouth.

And they were looking for a 6th member for their team.

**Interest Peaked**

Over the next 24 hours, we got confirmation that they did indeed need a 6th runner ... and BAM! All of a sudden I am signed up for my first relay race.

The 26.2 Challenge Team Relay is set up a little different from other relays I've heard about.

The 26.2 Challenge is a team relay race for you and five of your friends. It's an out-and-back style course, one member is running their butt off while the other teammates party, dance and enjoy the entertainment provided at our transition area.

Each member of your team will run an equal portion of the 26.2 distance. As one runner heads out the next relay member waits for the exchange. The whole event is one big party; live DJ spinning tunes as the runners take off and come in. Vendors line the exchange area offering samples, goods for sale and sage advice.

I picked up two of my running mates for the day - George & Jen - at 7am and we were off to Plymouth. The website told us to be there at least an hour before the race started (which was 9am) so we cruised into the parking lot just before 8am. Perfect.

We claimed a part of the parking lot - like the other teams were doing - and waited for our teammates.

Everyone else on the team was a member of TMIRCE so I was the only newbie. But, it is always nice to meet new runners!

As the members of the group talked about the paces they hoped to attain that day, I just kept hoping I wouldn't be the person that would slow down their overall time. They were hoping to place and I didn't want to ruin the chances. I was 12 days out from the Boston Marathon so I wasn't sure what my legs would produce.

After getting acquainted, picking up bibs and having some pre-race snacks, it was time for our first runner Jen to hit the Starting Line. It was so odd to have the race begin and not be at the Start Line. I was slated to run the 4th out of our 6 legs on the morning.

Thankfully our teammate Erin had a stop watch so she kept it running throughout the race so that we could all be prepared in enough time for our legs of the run.

We were each set to run 1/6 of a marathon or 4.36 miles.

Jen (34:04), Christina (31:27) and George (33:38) all OWNED the course.

As I saw George turning the corner, I was in place at the Start Line - ready to FINALLY kick off my leg of the race. :)

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Photo Courtesy of RaceMenu

Quick hug from Alain at Racemenu and I was off.

I didn't know anything about the course except some quick snippets from the teammates that had already run.

I think my legs were just a TAD happy to be out running because I ran the first 3/4 of a mile at a 6:45 min/mile pace.

YEAH - those isn't my normal pace in the least so I immediately told my brain and my legs to sllloowww it on down!

This wasn't a 5k - this was 4+ miles so I couldn't get burnt out too quickly.

Oh I also almost went the wrong way about 1/4 of a mile into the race - yeah, I missed a sign, but thankfully righted my ship quickly.

We had to go around the first water stop twice - once at the beginning of the run and once at the end. There were plenty of volunteers out on the course, which made the odd transition a little easier.

So thank you volunteers!! :) :)

Once through the first mile of the race, it was a clear out and back along the water in Plymouth. The sun was shining and the water looked beautiful.



The sun was beaming down on us, but I tried to stay committed and focused on the goal of keeping a sub 8 min/mile pace. That was my only goal of the run.

I could feel my body starting to get tired around the 5k mark so I buckled down. And as my Tedy's Team Running Coach, John, would say "Just Run!"

So that's what I did.

I pushed through the final mile and can say taking my ENERGYBits before the run helped.

I crossed the finish line in 31:18 - HELL YEAH.

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I will gladly take the results.

I grabbed a water and rejoined my team to wait out our final two runners.

Our last two runners - Erin (29:57) and Nathan (24:31) - DOMINATED the course. Nathan ended up being the fastest person of the day. YES, his slip said 1/473 - hot DAMN.

So as a group we finished the 26.2 mile course in 3:04:57...

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... and headed inside to grab a beer while we waited for the official results to post.

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With the $25 entry fee, you had entry to the race, a 26.2 Challenge beer mug and one free Mayflower Brewing Company.

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Me, Alain (RaceMenu), Steven (26.2 Challenge Organizer)

I drank my beer, ate a yummy chicken caesar salad and had a great lunch with team as we celebrated...

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... our 3rd place finish in our division (running club).

In the end we were the fifth team overall out of 79 teams. Not. Too. Shabby!

I had a GREAT time participating in this relay. It was a change of pace from normal races.

And I will definitely look to do something like this again!


Have you participated in a relay race before? If so, what time? Did you love it?

A Pretty Sweet Saturday Afternoon...

After kicking off Saturday, April 13 with a great shakeout run with Runner's World that morning, I had a big afternoon planned. The wife and I headed back into town to enjoy lunch with a couple of my favorite bloggers: Colleen from TheFitBee.com and Samantha from RunningAndCupcakes.com. We had planned on MJ O'Connor's Pub, but it was so much easier to just head to Whiskey's across from the Boston Marathon Expo - since everyone wanted to head there afterwards.

Yes, I was planning a second trip to the Expo. :P


I owe Twitter for bringing me together with these two lovely, amazing, inspiring and just overall kick ass people. They push me to be a better runner, person and blogger every day. It is so fun when online relationships turn into real life friendships. :)

Samantha lives in Rhode Island, but was volunteering at a water stop along the Marathon course on the Monday. While Colleen was going to rock a 50k the following day then run - sorry own - the Boston Marathon the next day.

Rock Stars!!

After a great lunch and some yummy beer, we headed back over to the Expo. We were walking around as a happy little group until I saw something shiny and of course got separated from everyone else. Oops!

The wife and I did another loop around the Expo before having to head home to get ready for our evening plans.


We had just enough time to get home and change before heading back into town for the Tedy's Team Pasta Dinner, which was being held at the Lenox Hotel.


The Lenox Hotel would be our post-race reunion location as well. Such a great feature offered by Tedy's Team. Plus it was RIGHT by the Finish Line, which meant we wouldn't have to walk too far following the race.


(Note: We obviously didn't get to enjoy The Lenox Hotel as a post-race location because of the bombings that took place, but I thank the Hotel for all the help they offered for my teammates and their families on that day!)

It was great to be surrounded by the whole team.


Photo Courtesy Of Tedy's Team

Aren't we one good-looking group? :)

We had a delicious pasta dinner in the Dome Room, which sported a beautiful blue ceiling.


The centerpieces were plants cradled in the official Boston Marathon Sneakers from New Balance.


After dinner, Zack (our fearless leader), Tedy's wife and son, and two of my teammates (Christine and Nate) all gave moving, motivational and inspiring speeches to get us pumped up for Monday's run. With tears in my eyes and pride in my heart, I was ready to face that Boston Marathon.

I was ready to make myself, my family, my Stroke Heroes and my team proud.

The team dinner wrapped up about 9pm and the wife and I headed over to the Runner's World party, which was being held just a few streets away.


Do you think my KT Tape went with my black dress? ;)

We walked the 0.4 miles to Lucca Back Bay to attend the Runner's World party.

runner sign

I loved seeing large blowups of the magazine around the restaurant then seeing the people from the cover there in person. Surreal.


Since I had an early morning the next day - running BAA 5k - we hung around for about 30 minutes or so then headed home. It was cool to see so many running celebrities in one room.

It was a great day being surrounded by motivating friends and fellow runners!! A great pump up for the BAA 5k on the Sunday and the Marathon on the Monday!