Thursday, October 28, 2010

Photos from MDI

I mentioned in my race recap of MDI that I wish I had my camera while I was running! The views along the course were stunning and I really wanted to share them with you. I came across Dana's blog (she's running 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Check her out!) and her recap from MDI. Dana was the smart one who did bring her camera and stopped to take lots of pictures along the way...or continued running and took lots of pictures, I'm not sure which. Either way, she was able to capture many awesome sights along the course. With her permission I am sharing them with you here! Enjoy! They are in no specific order

The rest of the photos were taken by Kate's mom! We were having so much fun...can't you tell!?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MDI Marathon Relay

Sometime over the summer, while super pregnant and not running, I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for the MDI Marathon Relay. I called my friend Kate and asked if she wanted to do the 2 person relay with me meaning we would each run 13.1 miles. After a few weeks of thinking about it, I decided I may not be ready for 13.1 miles 12 weeks after delivering my baby boy. I called her in a panic wondering if she could find another runner and do the 3 person relay. She recruited her cousin Jen and we registered!

Attending MDI High School and growing up in the area, I knew it was a difficult and hilly course. In the weeks leading up to the race I started to freak out a little. Was I really up for this? Was I trying to do too much too soon?? At this point it was really too late and I just needed to do it.

I spent the first 2 days fielding questions about Train 4 Autism at the expo.

At the expo I got to meet some DM people Jamie, Jill, Jim and his wife Patti. That was pretty sweet. I went home Saturday night and had to switch gears from train 4 autism to race mode. Of course my 3 month old is just starting to teeth and he was not having a good night. I was pretty concerned about getting enough sleep that night. I was finally able to get Tyler to bed and I laid in bed staring at the ceiling. It was one of those things where I was so tired but could not sleep. Awesome. While laying there though, I remembered I hadn’t done my football picks yet and certainly wouldn’t have time in the morning to do them so I got up to make my picks (not like it really matters because I missed a week and so I’m not going to win…booo). I got back into bed and visualized myself powering up the hills I was going to be running the following day.

Race Day. My alarm went off at 5:00am. I was surprisingly wide awake and ready for the day. I got myself ready, exchanged a few tweets with Jaime, got Tyler ready and hurried my slow family out the door. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s rushing to the start line. I like to have plenty of time to get there.

Heading onto the island race morning.

Team Project Zach. Kate Jen and I before the start. Brrrrr

My brother Zach and I

I ran into Jim and Patti and then we found Jill. Patti was able to snap this gem of a photo before we all lined up.

I stood next to Jill who flew in from Montana for this race. I asked her why she picked MDI and she said that since it was the runner up for the best overall marathon, she had to check it out! She also said she wants to come back and run
Beach 2 Beacon and I told her this was a very good idea (Jill—registering for B2B is like registering for Boston 2011. You must be at the computer the minute it opens!!!). The star spangled banner was played (Danielle, I still thought of you!) and then ACDC’s Thunderstruck was played over the loud speaker. Everyone was getting pumped and jumping up and down (I was doing it just to stay warm. Did I mention it was cold?!). With that, the gun went off and so were we!

My teammate Kate who is running NYC in 3 weeks wanted to get a long run in so she ran my leg with me before running hers. I have never been one that enjoys running with other people. I like to be able to just focus on my run and not worry about holding my running partner up. Even though Kate is a faster runner then I am she hung with me and never left…well except when she had to pee. I’m pretty sure that without Kate with me that day I would not have done as well as I did. MDI is known to be a tough course. It’s got some killer hills and I knew that it wasn’t going to be long before they came. I don’t actually remember where the hills started but I felt as if I was running up hill for a long time. The one I was most proud of for conquering was the long hill that took up much of mile 2. Yea, that was not so much fun. It was while I was running up this hill that I was super pumped that I was only running 8.5 miles and not the whole thing. I think it was also at this time that I swore I would never run the MDI full. I was feeling great and during miles 4&5 and I even sang to Kate. Yea, you read that right. Glee came on to my ipod (I know Danielle and Jeri will love this) and I couldn’t help but sing. Outloud. Kate loved it…I’m not so sure the other runners around me did. Oops:-)

Somewhere around mile 6 I was feeling like I wanted to stop and walk but then I saw our cheering squad (My mom, dad, brother and son along with Kate’s mom, aunt and cousin Jen) at the top of the hill and I knew I couldn’t stop. Kate stopped in to use the bathroom at her friend’s house (advantages of being a local) and I kept going. When Kate caught back up to me I remember telling her how good I was feeling. I seriously couldn’t believe my legs. 4 weeks prior I had “run” a 10k on a very flat course and I struggled with it…a lot! Here we were at the 10k mark of the MDI Marathon and I felt awesome. Go figure. The next 2 miles I we didn’t talk much (might have had something to do with the fact I sang for 2 miles earlier…I was getting tired) but I just took in the scenery. Even though I grew up here, the views were just breathtaking. I really wish I had my camera. There was one point on Cooksey Drive where we came around a corner and looked over a cliff and out to the ocean. It was just amazing. I am a little disappointed though that Martha Stewart was not at the bottom of her driveway with cupcakes cheering for us when we ran by. Fail Martha Fail!

There were a lot of killer up hills but there were some awesome your quads will hate you for life down hills too. I had the pleasure of ending my leg with a nasty downhill. We came into Seal Cover beach at the 8.5 mile mark. This is where my leg ended and Kate’s began. She had the next 10.1 miles.

We jumped in the car and drove to Northeast Harbor where we watched Kate run by. Damn she looked good for being on her 12th mile. We had a pit stop at Kate’s parents house before heading to the exchange for the 3rd leg. It was here I got to see Jill and Jim run by! I also saw my friend from high school Emma fly through here. Kate came in and picked up Jen and the 2 of them continued on.

We ended up picking Kate up 2 miles later. I saw Jim and Emma run by again and I gave them my best cheer! The last 5 miles or so of this course is pretty much up hill. No joke. Why do you think I picked the first leg?? I’m no dummy. I knew that runners were going to need as much support on this stretch as they could get. I remember one guy who was walking down the last major hill of the course. He looked like he was in a lot of pain. We started cheering for him as loud as we could and gave him some words of encouragement (like there are no more hills, it's flat from here on out, 1.2 miles to the end!) He started running again and looked at us, waved and yelled "Thank you". :-). Our last stop was at mile 25 which also happened to be right where Jen lived. We parked in her driveway and waited for her and then ran the last 1.2 miles as a team. Emma drove by and gave us a nice little honk as we entered the home stretch.

Patti and Jim were waiting for us at the finish line and she got this sweet picture of us!

I had such a blast during this race. I felt great running, I enjoyed cheering on runners when they didn't think they could go any farther and it was nice to do it all in my old stomping grounds. I know that somewhere around mile 2-3 I said I would never run MDI as a full. Ok I lied. Or I already forgot about the hills. Either way, this week I signed up for the MDI Marathon 2011. I am beyond excited. It's going to take some serious training, but heck, I've got a full year to do it. I've enlisted Jamie to help me with a training plan (did I mention he BQ and I'm going to get to watch him run in Boston along with Jill!) and I'm so pumped to make MDI my first. I grew up here and it will be pretty special for me. I already know several people who are going to be running it as well. It's going to be an epic weekend!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

MDI Marathon preview

I'll be the first to tell you I was probably a little overzealous in signing up for the MDI Marathon relay 12 weeks after I had my baby. (you can now say "I told you so"). Maybe if I had been working out all through my pregnancy it wouldn't be such a problem. But no, I quit exercising about 3 or 4 months in. Sigh. So as soon as I was physically able after I had my baby I started running again. I put together an 8 week training plan to get me ready for MDI. Things were going well with the training until I went back to work 3 weeks ago. At that point my training got put on the back burner while I tried to figure out my new daily routine.

So here I am, 1 week away from the relay. 26.2 miles split up into 3 legs. I have chosen the first leg which is 8.5 miles. Kate, who is training for the NYC Marathon is running the first leg with me and then will continue on to run the second leg which is 10.1 miles and then hand off to her cousin Jen who will finish out with a 7.6 mile leg. Kate and I will join her somewhere around mile 25 and finish with her. This sounds all well and good until you take a look at the course. Yeah. It's all hills.

It goes from one side of Mount Desert Island and winds it's way around to the other side. There isn't much of a flat spot on the course.

Looks like fun, huh!? However, the views almost make up for the stupid hills. I drove the course yesterday, even though I grew up in the area. It is so pretty this time of year. The leaves are changing, and the lakes and mountains are stunning. Even though these views are nothing new to me, I hope they distract me from how much fun I will not be having. After all Runners World didn't vote it North America's most scenic marathon for nothing. Check out this YouTube video. For your reading pleasure, mile by mile descriptions

I went out for a run this afternoon after watching the Iron Man Kona last night and the Chicago Marathon today. I had high hopes of a good run. Nope. I wouldn't be so worried if I was running this race on my own. Sure, it still wouldn't be a good race but I would only be letting down myself. Next weekend I have 2 other people counting on me to run well. I would feel bad about letting them down.

I'm just going to cross my fingers and pray next Sunday! Ugh. I'm going to be at the expo again with my Train 4 Autism booth. That will be fun!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Me? Versatile?

This just about made my week!! I was given the versatile blog away by not one, but two people! Yup...pretty sweet huh!? Lindsey and Danielle both loved my blog so much they blessed me with this award (or they ran out of people to give it to and I ended up being the lucky runner up. I'll go with my first idea though)

So here are the rules of this lovely award (because they can't just give it to me. I actually have to do something!)

*Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award
*Share 7 things about yourself
*Pass the award along to others who you think are fabulous

Here goes.
Lindsey...thank you for always making me laugh, your great mommy advice and for being the best twitter friend i've never met. thank you for this award. and we will meet on amazing race someday:-)
Danielle...thank you for always being there for me, being a hardcore runner and awesome coach who lets me eat french fries. thank you for this award and i can't wait to run for real with you again soon

*as mentioned above, i love french fries and won't let anything get in the way of my consumption of them
*i love hoodies....a lot. i have over 20 of them. if you want to send me a present, you can't go wrong with a hoodie.
*since having a baby i'm getting better at typing one handed:)
*until a year and a half ago i hated all things to do with running. that's why i was a goalkeeper in i didn't have to run
*i once drove from maine to nyc and back on my one day off from work--we even had time to catch a broadway show
*i love to sing in the car...and i always feel bad for the person next to me at a stop light
*my goal is to see a game at all 30 major league baseball parks with ruddley. So far we've knocked 5 off the list, 2 more this planned for next summer. kansas city royals and colorado rockies

now for the blogs i love to read...

(even though danielle gave her this award too. i still love her blog)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

all things running...

Holy crap! I'm back to work now after 8 weeks of maternity leave and I had NO idea how hard it would be to find time to blog!! Lindsey, I am so sorry for bugging you to always blog. Now I get it! I've been back for 2 weeks and I feel so disconnected from the electronic world. I'm seriously way behind on reading tweets and blogs!! So this may take me forever to write since I have a ton to update you on and a 2 1/2 month old who wants my attention and is loud and clear about that! So hang in there with me... here goes.

I'm finally back to running! YAY! I'll be honest, it's been so much more difficult then I ever thought it would be. I ran my first race Sept 19. Well...I wouldn't say I ran it…more like walked/shuffled. Haha. It was the Portland Trails to Ale 10k. Danielle was super sweet to stick with me the whole way. I know it was killing her to go so slow but that's why I love her...a lot! Annnnnd she was super crazy to come run it with me the day after she finished the Reach the Beach 200 mile relay. Yeah, she’s hardcore.

This is Danielle’s thought about running today

I don't really know what my official time was, somewhere around 1:18:xx. It doesn't really matter to me. I was proud of myself for getting my ass out there and running 8 weeks post baby. I mean yea, I'm not pleased with my time and I didn't tweet the crap out of it announcing to everyone my slow time but I'm not upset with myself. But for the record I ran this race in 1:01:xx last year. Danielle and I had a good time chatting on our run about running, weddings, baby Ty, and fundraising for Train 4 Autism.

At one point someone was cheering for us and they said "yea walkers!! good job!!!" I looked at Danielle and said "we just got cheered on for walking. That will NOT happen again" and with that we started running again! Nothing like people cheering you on for walking to motivate you:-) I ran the race with a bunch of friends and had beer and pizza at the finish line. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Overall it was a fun time. The only fail was the fact that they ran out of water at the finish. I guess that's what happens when you are slow:-) At the end I didn’t have much in me to sprint to the finish line, but I did see the camera man so I made sure I looked ok for the picture

Here are Danielle, baby Ty and I post race.

The following weekend I went home and ran the Making Strides 5K. I ran this race last year and it's pretty important to me. The race is a fundraiser for my brother's school who is raising money to buy Occupational Therapy equipment for the autistic kids in the school. Last year is ran it in 28:xx, this year 35:xx...haha. Oh well. Again, it was more about getting out and running then my time. As my neighbor Mark said "Sarah you are not going for time right now, just distance" Um...duh!:-). In my hometown you are hard pressed to find any route that does not involve hills. My parents live in the middle of a huge hill so any way you go, you have to run up that hill at some point. The rest of my town is rolling hills. Needless to say, this course was quite hilly. We raised over $13,000 this year and in my book that's all that matters! Also, this year my brother who, if you don't know already, is autistic, ran/walked the entire 5k. Last year he had to turn around about a mile into it and come back. This year he did the whole thing and ran across the finish line with another kid from his school. SO CUTE! I'll admit, I had a tear or two. I'm also super proud of my mom for walking the entire race while pushing my son in his stroller. She has recently gotten into biking/walking and is doing an amazing job.

This weekend I volunteered at the Maine Marathon! It was so much fun!! The weekend was kicked off by setting up a Train 4 Autism booth at the Marathon Expo. Danielle and I told people about Sam, Operation Jack and Train 4 Autism for 6 hours. We met some great people who were very interested in what we were doing. So many people thanked us for being around. A lot of people that came and stopped to say hi to us were special education teachers that work with kids who have autism. We also met a few kids who are autistic themselves. I felt really good about being there and spreading the word. We really hope that we can build up our chapter and get some group runs/training going. So, if you are reading this and are interested in leading some of those runs let me know:-).
A few weeks ago I saw on facebook that the marathon was still looking for volunteers. So I signed up to hand out water at the mile 1.5, 11.5 (half) and 24.5 (full). This was the first time I had ever volunteered at a race and it was so much fun. I saw some very interesting outfits, people that had no clue how to run through water stops, traffic jams, smiles, tears, a runner down at 1.5 with a sprained ankle, and hardcore runners who wanted the jello shots that Elizabeth made:-). I left after the half marathoners went through on their way back so I could get to the finish line to see my friends finish the full.

Elizabeth handing out jello shots:-)

I've been pretty nervous about my upcoming race, the MDI Marathon where I am running the relay with 2 other friends. Watching the Maine Marathon got me a little bit excited about MDI. I’m hoping to run the first leg of the relay, which is 8.5 miles. My mom also wants to bike along side of me for my leg. I told her she could carry the camelbak so that I don’t have to:-)
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