Monthly Archives: July 2012

Rhode Island Rhodetrip!

Some of you may know that Lil Sis and I have an ongoing competition to see who can run in more states, countries and continents. You may also know that Lil Sis is currently engaged in a “12 Running Goals for 2012” challenge she concocted at the end of last year. Bored of regular training plans and chasing PR’s, she wanted something to spice to up her life (can I please tell you that ever since the Olympics started, I cannot get Spice Girls songs out of my head even though I have never been a fan of them and they have nothing to do with it!!) and the way she decided to make that happen was this: she took 12 slips of paper, assigned a goal to each one and at the beginning of every month pulls one out of a hat and has to complete it by month’s end. Check out her Facebook album documenting this quest and see how she managed to run in costume when it came up as her January goal 🙂

Anywho, July’s goal was “run in a new state”. Her schedule is crazy busy these days and she only had 2 states that are within a weekend drive away, so the choice became RI or WV. For a variety of reason, RI won out and a short Hotwire hotel search later, we were all set to rack up a new state! Well, I should say she was all set to but also grudgingly resigned to the fact that I would be too. I am currently on top of the state standings and since neither of us had RI, it would be a net zero gain for her in the competition. BUT neither of us can resist the lure of a sister trip, so she put her competitive fire aside and off we went!!

That makes the trip sound a lot faster than it was. Although we left early in the day (12:45pm), there is no winning against summer traffic on Friday. Connecticut pummeled us with 55 miles of traffic (that is not a typo – not 5 miles or 5.5 miles, but 55 MILES!!! It was insane!). We have now declared a personal war on CT, since although the way back was traffic-free, it was not easy due to the torrential downpour (< 1 miles past the state line) that forced us to slow down to “hazard lights on” speed for miles!  God bless the people who live and travel around Rt. 95 in CT, you guys deserve a medal or a beer or that surgery from Eternal Sunshine to erase the memory of that mess!

Upon reaching Providence, the quaintness of the city usurped our bad traffitudes (that’s a new word to describe an attitude that comes from traffic. Yup, I made it up) and we soon found ourselves fawning all over it. We had booked a room at the Biltmore, a historic hotel downtown. We got in the room and Lil Sis immediately switched on the Olympics. We didn’t want to miss any more of the opening ceremonies, so we ordered an awesome delivery meal from Luxe Burger and happily chowed down as we contemplated whether Paul McCartney was finally losing his touch or if he was choked up at the beginning of his set (choked up – whew!). By midnight, we turned out the lights in our hot box, making the best of it by assuming the lack of working air conditioning was part of the historic experience of the hotel.

Room 720, where it was as hot as the 1700s

Dinner! Guess who ordered the Gorgonzola tater tots?

We woke up the next day ready to get a big check in this little state! I had not mapped out a route as I am apt to do, so with nothing to guide us but Laur’s innate sense of direction,  a Garmin and an iPhone (“the devil’s instruments. you’ll rot your brain with those crutches!” shouted the ghosts of the colonists), we set off. We had a glorious run, enjoying the cool morning air and the picturesque sights. Here is what we saw:

An action shot at Burnside Park

Lil Sis tackles stairs at the Rhode Island College of Design

The Carrie Tower built in honor of one man’s deceased wife. I fully expect one of these if I go before GD.


Brown University was great to run through! I believe at this moment we were debating whether or not Michael Jackson was actually guilty. You can see the impacts of an Ivy League school on our intellect already!

Post-run sister self-portrait! We have more pics like this than we can count and I treasure every last one.

Upon our return to the hotel, we got cleaned up and went to do a bit more exploring:

The waterfront where they conduct WaterFire.

Chowing down at Tazza while we watched some impressive and not so impressive teenagers do Parkour.

Going for a tour at the John Brown House and ending it by making the decision that Lil Sis must buy an old house to fix up and live in.  I will do my part by visiting her and heaping compliments on her restoration and decoration efforts.

We both repeatedly remarked how much we enjoyed the feel of this city. There is just something about immersing yourself in historical places that makes you appreciate what you have and how far people have come. I mean, when the people of the 1700s wanted to check RI off their run list, they had no Google Earth, Garmin or iPhone to lead the way! They just put on their wool suits and set off into the great beyond! Seriously though, from dealing with their children dying, to no plumbing or electricity, to the very tumultuous political climate, they were clearly made of mettle far stronger than what I possess.

On the flip side, Lil Sis and I also spent time wondering what the people of the future will think about our way of life today. For example, we both think there is a lot of room for improvement in traveling and we like to picture people hundreds of years from now walking through a museum showing the fuselage of a plane and the docent saying “Yes, in their day, these people would strap themselves into one of these tiny seats and then sit for up to 16 hours with nothing but reruns of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and teeny bags of pretzels to get from one country to another! Can you imagine??”

We both loved Providence and would like to come back one day to do a race. However, unless teleportation suddenly becomes an option (can someone get on that? it is the 2000s now, the stories of my youth led me to believe my cells would be zapped from here to there and everywhere in no time by now!), we can guarantee it most definitely will not be on a summer weekend when traffic in CT will inevitably lead to us cursing the day it was ratified as a state!

Who is your road trip buddy?

How many states, countries and continents have you run in?

Where do you think the museums of the future will focus on about today?



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Mug Run – Another Round Recap

I was super disappointed to miss the first Mug Run since I was living in the lap of luxury in Brazil courtesy of Peet’s (cue the world’s tiniest violins) but I perked up when I learned that Beth wanted to organize another one before she headed home to Florida.  We set the date for 26 July, spread the word through Stalkbook and soon found ourselves on a sultry July evening, ready to take the Cape by storm.

We met at the Ugly Mug,  where we reviewed the race plan, which focused heavily on the critical parts of the run – the beer orders. Leanne had 5 pieces of paper in a folder and on each paper was the name of one bar, with all their beers listed (I know, smart, right? These ladies had it down!). We checked off which beers we wanted at each stop, gave Leann $5 for each (she knew that all the beers ranged btw $4-$6 so figured if we all gave $5, it would work out in the end and it did! Yahoo, math!). She also collected $2 from each person or team to go towards their poker hand (a poker card would be distributed at each bar so that by the end, you would have a full  hand to bet with). She then hopped on her bike, with her trusty sidekick  Scuba (Beth’s son) at her side and rode off to the first bar to place the order, ensuring frosty brews awaited us when we arrived. This was our pattern throughout the night, and it worked extremely well. It meant that none of the runners had to fuss with money and there was no time lost waiting to get the bartender’s attention. It was excellent motivation to keep going since you knew there was instant beer gratification waiting for you at the end of every leg!

With our homemade shirts (thanks Lil Sis!!) and one last group shot, we were off!

From upper left: Beth, Chris, Carrie, Kashi, Lil Sis, Donna, Christy. Bottom row from left: Lisa, GD, Emily. Not pictured here were Scott, Leanne, Scuba and Tom.

The Muggers begin their trek, heading north up Washington Street. It was about this time, approximately 10 seconds into the run, that we were all drenched in sweat.

After a sweaty mile, along which we  serenaded Scott out of his house with the always popular chant “Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott, Scott” (lyrics courtesy of Meg) we found ourselves at the C-View Inn.

Here are the previously not pictured Scott (careful readers will note he is now wearing the shirt that Donna was at the start. Share and share alike!), Leanne, Scuba and Leanne’s bike.

Just a bunch of runners chugging some brews, no big thang.

This is where the game really began. As is the case in all race plans, different runners employed different strategies. Instead of traditional questions such as “should I even pace this thing, or go for a negative split?” or “when should I have a GU?”, we concerned ourselves with Mug Run specific ones like “Do I want the glory that goes with downing a beer at each bar or should I postpone drinking til the end?”. If you had any hopes of completing a 5-beer challenge, you had to start here, and many Muggers did.  It was a tough call and to have to make it in the heat of battle just reminds us all that having a race plan before you set out is really key to running success!

With bellies full of beers and the temperatures still kissing the upper 80s, getting cracking on the next leg was a mental challenge for the Muggers – but isn’t running 90% mental anyway? So we steeled ourselves and off we went for the next leg, the longest of the night. It was hot and sticky but as we made the turn onto Beach Ave we finally felt a summer breeze, delighting us with its presence. Post-race, most Muggers reported that this stretch was the hardest – they had not yet gotten their beer legs, and felt kinda queasy at times. Apparently, though, the mind of a Mugger is a formidable thing, and as we traveled on, their stomachs settled (minus GD whose belly rebelled the whole time – his solution was to rebel right back, continuing to drink a beer at each stop and was fine by the end!). Scott and Carrie pondered making drinking an actual race day strategy. Shots before the gun goes off remains an untested race plan, but I believe we will have some data in the near future, thanks to these two pioneers.

Our next stop was the bar at the Ocean Club Hotel, a gorgeous bar whose seating is around a pool with views that look out over the ocean. This is probably also a good time to key you in on someone you may be wondering about, which is the man on a stick (or perhaps you weren’t wondering at all because men’s heads on sticks is part of your average day. Kudos to you for living such an open-minded life). The man is Chris, and he is Leanne’s husband. When they learned the real Chris could not make it, Leanne and Beth said to themselves, “no matter, we will simply put a picture of his head on a stick and it will practically be the same thing.” I have never had the pleasure of meeting the real Chris, who by all accounts is a great guy, but I will tell you that head on a stick Chris was hilarious! Man, can that guy drink! He handled the beer better than the rest of us and you just could not wipe the smile from his face. So happy he joined us!

The group gets swanky at the Ocean Club Hotel Bar

Although it was her first Mug Run, Carrie’s extensive race experience allowed her to come up with the genius idea of listing all the beers she ordered on her hand, so she would not forget which were hers! Well played, Car, well done.

Kashi sidebar – Seeing my husband and my lil sis laughing together just warms my 7 whole grains heart.

We moved on to our next bar, The Inn of Cape May where our raucous laughing may not have been the most welcome addition to the Victorian atmosphere, but we enjoyed it! Hey, Victorians probably had some fun, right? This was practically a reenactment of a typical night in the early days of Cape May. Everyone knows how wild they were – I mean, they must have been – who could handle all those rules without getting a lil antsy? This is also where we met the photographer from Exit Zero, so keep a lookout for us in a future issue!

As you can see, the woman in blue to Christy’s right was absolutely delighted we were there!

Lil Sis spreads the Cape Island Runner gospel. If you ladies are reading this, Hi! Hope to see you at a group run soon!

Chris could be oh so coy!

As evening fell, we took off to our next stop, The Rusty Nail. This indoor/outdoor bar, with its live music and firepit, was my favorite of the bars we stopped at.

And here I thought my ponytail was jaunty! I love this picture of Christy as we navigated the busy streets of Cape May.

I am so impressed how fresh everyone still looked – this is about 2 hours and 4 beers in!

“Nothing better than a cold beer hand delivered by a Mugger” says Chris

We were getting pretty hungry at this point, so we headed back to the Ugly Mug for some chow. The leg between the Nail and the Mug was fairly short, so many of us sprinted it, dodging in and out of confused onlookers on Washington Street. Lil Sis tried to educate them by yelling “Mug Run coming through, you should be running with us” but frankly I think her outreach efforts were in vain, as she mainly resemble a half-drunk crazy woman, lol.

Lil sis and Donna share some end of the road love.

Once inside the Mug, there was one last task to complete – poker! As you can see, GD and I had a can’t be beat hand! Well, if you imagine some of those cards to be totally different, it would have been unbeatable! Each person was given the opportunity to fold or bet and you can guess what we choose to do.

In the end, only Lisa and Beth decided not to fold. After a minute of anticipation…

Chris can hardy wait to see what happens!

Lisa’s hand was declared the winner! Congrats you two, try not to spend it all in one place!

After the excitement of the game, we settled our stomachs with some fried, greasy bar food.

We stayed at the bar until about 10:30 and then headed home, happy as bugs in a rug fresh from the Mug.

I hope that this recap  gives you a sense of what Cape Island Runners is all about. Yes, training hard and racing hard are definitely going to be a part of it – but playing hard is just as important! Having nights that are all about getting to know each other and being silly is really one of the best things about being part of a running community, and I hope you will join us for the next one. We brainstormed all sorts of great CIR runs for the future, so keep coming back to the blog and look out for events that you can be a part of. In addition to regular group runs on Wed nights, our August social run is planned for the night of 8/31 – a full moon run! It will be a little different than a Mug Run, so stay tuned for details!
Thanks again so much to everyone who came out and made it a memorable night, especially this guy:

Run on, friends!


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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

Helllloooo gorgeous! What a morning! It was the kind of day that reminds you how much heat and humidity actually do impact you – even for a humidity lover such as myself, I have to admit that its absence this morning was a welcome reminder that I am not slow as molasses. It was a joy to look down at Garmy and see numbers that have been strangers as of late. I hope you got out for a run today because that was a true gift. Here’s what I saw:

2 points if you can name where you have heard this – “But keep a weather eye open, mates, and hold on tight… Thar be squalls ahead, and Davy Jones waiting for them what don’t obey.”

If you like craft fairs and lighthouses, the state park was the place for you today!

Got to run the paths at the state park, which I had not been able to do since spring because we close some of the access points to protect beach nesting birds this time of year. Sadly, their nesting season is wrapping up, but happily this sea of flowers welcomed me back!

Top of the morning to ya, favorite part of the trail, how I have missed you!

Love, love, love the sweet roadside stands this time of year.

If you find yourself on Lighthouse Ave on a Saturday morning, be sure to stop in this one for baked goods. They open at 10a and you best get there early because they are usually sold out by, oh, about 10:08a.

I reluctantly wrapped up my run and headed off to work where these amazing things happened: I got to see one of our banded piping plovers at 2-Mile Beach (who was banded in Stone Harbor), a nest we had given up for dead hatched a hail mary chick and, best of all, we got word that the  injured chick from Cape May Point SP nailed rehab and is releasable! And then I started to learn to knit, so everyone get ready for hats and scarves in your future (thanks Emily!! Knitting is even more fun than I thought it would be, esp messing up while chatting away with you and Christy). Perfect day 🙂

Hope to see all of you tomorrow at the Mug Run!

What did you do to enjoy today’s weather??

Do you pretend that you are a Princess when you run through a valley of flowers? Just me?

What is your favorite little place to stop on the side of the road near where you live?


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Fall Race Plans!

Figuring out a race schedule works the same as clothing selections in department stores – just as they are months ahead (I mean, really, who wants to shop for winter jackets in August?!) so too are we with our plans. Ours is for a very good reason though – the training it takes to prepare for a long-distance event is months, so plans must be laid accordingly (my heart is skipping a beat with the sounds of “plans” in the air!). In addition, the popularity of many races means you have to register early before they sell out – and to register early, you have to make a commitment in your own mind (and wallet!) far in advance.

As I was training for the ultra, I found myself getting a little discouraged looking at my long-run splits. I am no speedster, believe you me, but we all have our own personal spectrum of where our runs fall. And during many of these runs, I felt more on the Dennis from Run, Fatboy, Run (totally recommend this feel-good movie)  than Paula Radcliffe side of my speed-o-meter. I keep detailed notes of my long runs, splits for each mile, so I knew just how much slower I was going than when I have trained for marathons. This wasn’t actually a bad thing, most ultra plans do not recommend speed or tempo work for your first time out of the gate. I had plenty on my hands running 50 miles without worrying about how “fast” each of those miles were. But worry I did… well, not worry, more like felt frustrated. I realized that this was something I had to let go and the way I did was to tell myself “look, train for this puppy properly and in the fall you can train to race a marathon to your heart’s content. now chill the f* out!”

It’s hard to ignore yourself yelling in your own ear so I took my own advice and had a fantastic Kashi Classic. But now my running mind is like “time to pay the piper, lady. let’s run!” So it’s time to start getting geared up for fall racing season. And that is what I am calling it this year, rather than “fall ‘hey let’s just do this and whatever happens happens’ season” or “fall, ‘who cares what my time is as long as I have fun’ season”. Nope, I wanna race.  Many times in my past (esp as a youngster), I have been afraid to push my self, to make it mean something to me if I fail, to actually race (sad as those splits might be, they are still gold to me!). Over the last few years I have gotten over that hump, and now I actually like to see what my legs can do. At 35, my fastest years are starting to be numbered but I’m not out yet! By the way, I think that running races just for the fun of it is also super important, and something I often do, but other times I just wanna get a ‘lil serious and let the rubber meet the road. This is one of those times.

I was looking for a fall marathon that would help me check off another state, but still offer a flat, fast course. I found a few options, but then realized that my vacation days and budget were not gonna be able to support it. Luckily, I live in the northeast where there are scores of close fall marathons to choose from, but I am going back to an old friend – The Philadelphia Marathon. This was my first marathon in 2005, and I have run the half and relays (which I don’t think they offer anymore)  numerous times. It has always been kind to me – great weather, awesome course, wonderful organization and PR-city. Of course, I am definitely due for a disastrous time there, since nothing can be perfect forever, but I am going to risk it since I trust that Philly has my back, come what may. Training starts next Monday, so look for an upcoming post detailing my training schedule. You can bet it includes slapping Mayor Nutter’s hand at the start, though! Love that dude!

To prepare, I will also likely run the OCNJ half as a tune-up race (and to cheer on Kat!). Other than that, any races I do will be more for fun or training than for racing. I plan on doing the Coombs/Douglass run on 8/4, a Schalick Alumni vs HS students race in October (likely 10/13, if you are an APSHS grad, come join us! It is going to be awesome – sure, those teen dreams are gonna wreck us, but it will be fun going down! Contact me or Laur for more details), maybe the Bone Run, likely 10/27, at Parvins (if it is open by then) and maybe Tale of Two Cities on 11/3 to run the whole span of the new bridge (missed is last year while on smoochymoon).

So although it’s only July, I say “You ain’t got nothing, fall!”.  And you know why? “Because the race is long, but it is only with yourself”.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me,

What later summer/fall races are you planning on?

Do you like to race or run for fun?

Want to do some long runs together?? I love training buddies!

PS Just so you know, I am now singing “Philadelphia Freedom, I love you; yes, I do!” Now it can be in your head, too 🙂

“Shine a light, shine a light, won’t you shiiinnnnne a liiiiiiight?”


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Running from the Reaper

Today, I would like you to meet the front of our refrigerator:

“Hello, people of CIR!” says our fridge

As you can see, I love a fully decked out fridge front. I can be quite particular about organization and neatness, but not when it comes to this! I think it is because a beloved family friend, Mrs. King, had the most busy fridge face I have ever seen (to this day!) and getting lost in it was a favorite pastime when we visited them as I was growing up. Oh, the excitement of finding my school picture up there, among all the others who loved this woman as much as I did!

In any case, ours generally functions as most do – a snapshot of what is happening in our lives and who we are. You have your wedding invitation/save the date/bridal shower/baby shower invites, your family pics, your New Zealand kiwi postcard, and, of course, a myriad of running odds and ends. Currently, I have my marathon training plan for Philly (training starts on the 30th!!!! Yahooo!!! Nothing better than a plan, says Kashi) a pace chart, some running quotes, this cartoon my dad sent me aways back that always makes me lol:

and this picture that I ripped out of a Runner’s World magazine years ago:

This is a statue of a famous long distance runner, Johnny Kelley, at two stages of his life –  27 and 84.

The first time I saw this picture, I stared at it for a long moment. In fact, I find myself still doing that quite often. I  find the image striking and tender and it makes me want to cry and be happy at the same time. I’ve thought a lot over the years about why it strikes such a chord with me and I think it is because it is an honest, yet sweet, reminder that the time we have on earth is short and that while we are here, we are in constant flux.

I am not a person who comfortably lives with the notion that death is a part of life. Instead, I find myself in an uneasy relationship with it – tiptoeing around it, hoping not to wake the sleeping monster. I hate the idea that one day everyone I love will be gone. That I will be gone. It is not so much that the world will miss me, but how much I will miss the world. I want to stay on our blue bubble for as long as possible.

So I run. I run to keep my heart healthy, my knees and joints in good working order (it’s true! read this ), my brain active. I run to remember that every day counts and we don’t get any of them back. I run so that my 27 year old self will be able to meet my 84 year old self and share the road, hand in hand. I run from death, a hopeless pursuit that I whole heartedly engage in just the same, year in and year out, with my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to outpace ‘ol Mr. Reaper, if only for a few extra miles.

Note: Although it is being posted tonight, in a strange coincidence I wrote this blog just before the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. I for one will be hugging GD even tighter tonight, grateful for one more day together. My heart is heavy for the victims and their families tonight.

What does your fridge face look like?

Are you on good terms with Mr. Reaper or live in fear of meeting him?

What do you run from?



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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

Decided to make it a two-a-day (this AM and the group run tonight)  since I am oddly enjoying the crazy humidity during my morning runs. Sure, I felt slow and was drenched within .1 mile of starting (ok, who am I kidding, I was drenched within seconds of walking out the door!) but there is just something so lovely about running on  a summer morning. I am trying to put my finger on exactly why something that should be so unpleasant is actually the opposite for me. I think it is a combination of a few things. The first is that I have been running on summer mornings for 20+ years and I think I just like feeling that connection to summers past. The second reason is a little harder to explain,  so bear with me. You know how in movies, they depict life in a way that doesn’t usually mirror reality? I remember watching all the John Hughes movies as a kid and thinking that was what high school was going to be like. Then I got there and it was like “huh? what is this??”cause it bore so little resemblance to what I expected. And man was I surprised to find out that there was no pouring rain or a chase through an airport before the first time I said the words “I love you”, lol.  But I feel like movies nail summer on the head – they convey the languid feeling, the hazy skies, the sound of insects abuzz, the sunbeams through trees …and as a movie lover, I think these morning runs make me feel a little like I am cruising through a movie set from Stand By Me or Man In The Moon or Fried Green Tomatoes. Does that make any sense?

This is what passes for a busy street in my neighborhood at the height of summer. Love!

Our post office, straight out of Mayberry (RIP Andy Griffith)

GD and I will never be able to afford a house here (and maybe that is a good thing considering sea level rise!) but if this place ever went up for sale, I might have to sell some organs or become a bank thief because it has been a favorite since I first saw it in 2001. I wonder if I pulled an Oprah and just knocked on the door and offered, oh, I don’t know, like $10 if they would sell it?

Cape May Red Store – the only business in Cape May Point. It was recently taken over by new owners and the store and restaurant are top notch! Definitely check it out!

My go-to turn around touch point at Sunset Beach. Oh, the breeze there was a delight today!

One run down and one to go! Come join us for round two tonight! Meet at the Cape May Point State Park entrance at 6 pm…. and bring a bathing suit cause this one is definitely going to be followed by a dip in the ocean!

Do you like summer running?

What is something that others find unpleasant that you like to do?

Favorite movie with summer as a backdrop?

What did you see on your run today? If no run, what did you see while out and about?


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Mug Run – Another Round!!

So maybe a few weeks ago you saw my post for the first Mug Run and you thought to yourself, “hey, that looks fun, I should go do that!”. But then perhaps you were a little worried that you would not know anyone or that you would not be able to keep up and before you knew it, you talked yourself out of it and stayed home watching reruns of The Real Housewives of OC in your jammies while chowing down on nachos . Well, guess what? You get another chance to overcome those silly “I want to, but I am too scared/anxious to” thoughts! What is the story with those kind of thoughts anyway? Hmm, fodder for another post… Anyway, I am pleased to announce that the first Mug Run was so fun that Beth is organizing a second! Mug Run – Another Round is planned for next Thursday night, July 26th, at 7pm. Same deal as last time – meet at The Ugly Mug Bar in Cape May at 6:30pm to check-in, sign a release waiver and get to know your fellow Muggers.

426 Washington St, Cape May, NJ

The 4 mile course will then stop at 4 more bars. At each bar you can choose to have a beer, or not, and you will get a poker card. There will be a bicycle chaperone to help in the event anyone needs it, but mainly to ride ahead to the bars and place our orders so that your drink is ready when you arrive 🙂 The run finishes up back at The Ugly Mug and the person with the best poker “hand” wins. We also encourage you to make your own tee-shirt – just put “Mug Run – Another Round” on it somewhere, but otherwise get creative!

The course

No race clock, no age group awards (so don’t get your hopes up for a hokey trophy!) and no registration fee (the only money you would need is to cover any beer or other drinks you may want to imbibe)! What’s not to love?!

So if you regretted not coming out last time, here’s another shot. If this is the first you are hearing about it,  join us. I promise, we are not scary, the run is not fast paced and the beer is cold! Group runs are one of the best parts of running and now it is time to see for yourself!

Friendly faces await you!


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Birthday Run!

Today is my birthday and I am one of those people who loves to celebrate it! This is not to be confused with making other people make a big deal of it (I am just having some dinner and a truckload and a half of ice cream later today with the fam) though I am not opposed  at all to people who like to do it up like that! My point is, for me and my personal history, this is a big day and I like to acknowledge it. The rest of the world spins on, as this is not a major day to anyone else  and this is as it should be. But for me,  it’s a good time for reflection, to take stock and to eat a ton of ice cream!

And that is exactly what I did on my morning run (minus the ice cream – that would have been ill-advised in this humidity but otherwise a good idea that I am tucking away from a later date).  I got up pre-dawn to beat the heat, and the early hour combined with the cloudy conditions made for an almost pleasant run (still VERY sticky!). I started with the idea of doing 10 miles, but tacked on an extra for good luck (this is the runner’s version of birthday candles).  As the miles clicked off, I reviewed my life at 34…

And it was a doozy! Gonna be hard to top this one, 35 may have be what sports folks call a “rebuilding year”.  As a 34 year old, these things happened to me:

1. Bachelorette party, such a fun time.

Bachelorette Dance Party

2. Moved to Cape May, leaving my home of 10 years,  Ocean City

At our new digs in CMP

3. Got married and was overcome with more love than I thought possible!

4. Went on a spectacular honeymoon to New Zealand

Milford Sound

5. Celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary!

This was a crazy convergence of random bachelorette parties, guys weekend drinking party and my parents celebrating their anniversary in Epcot! It’s a very funny story and an even funnier pic! You can see Lin and frank in the middle with their mouse ears 🙂

4. Ate at Per Se, thanks to running husband’s business relationship with them!

4. Went on a running road trip to New England

Post race in Maine!

5. Completed my first 50-miler

6. Got to hold a plover!!!!

7. Went on an incredible trip to Brazil with my sister -in-law

And that does not even count all the little stuff – the great meals with friends and family, the holidays, the evening walks GD and I take around our neighborhood, watching lil sis get into grad school and start the New Deal, seeing two of my best friends continue on their path of mommyhood with ease and beauty.  It was such a good, golden year.

So what of 35? We learned a few days ago that GD was laid off his job. While we knew this was coming (the work he was doing was starting to dry up) it is still a bit of a shock. Normally, this type of thing would throw me for a spin – I love routine, knowing what to expect, etc. But this has had almost the opposite effect on me. Instead of stressing about it, I feel like it is reaffirming what I felt on our wedding day (9 months ago today!) – that we are a team and come what may, we are going to be just fine because we’ll take it on together. You hear so many jokes about the ennui that marriage evokes, the drudgery, the staleness of years together. And after 9 short months, I am hardly one to comment, but I have been around for three and half decades and I can honestly say that making my vows to him was, and continues to be, one of the most satisfying life experiences. I ran past our ceremony and reception sites this morning and was filled with that same joy I was overflowing with last October. I jumped in the ocean after, floating on my back in an endless sea of calm,  grateful for everything I have in my life and looking forward to whatever comes next. And you just can’t ask for more than that, can you?

So bring it, 35! I’m ready!

How do you celebrate your birthday?

Do you ever run to mark the occasion?

Favorite birthday indulgence?

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Runner’s World Review – Running on “E”

I’m an avid Runner’s World reader and have been for many years. Each month  I will pick one article from the magazine (suggestions welcome!) to discuss and we can kick around thoughts, opinions and reflections. We’ll stay one issue behind the most current so that non-subscriber’s can read along on the RW website.  It’ll be like a book club, except less Jane Austen and more sweat.  So grab a cup of Joe or tea (see, it is just like a book club!) and jump into the fray!

July 2012 – Running on “E”

Yeah, I was totally fooled too. After seeing the title, I was mentally already halfway through a post about how running on ecstasy might interact with the natural runner’s high and what the starting line of a major marathon would be like with thousands of people running their hands over each others silky shorts and exclaiming how amazing they feel. Then I read the first paragraph and was all “Ohhhhh, they meant running on empty, as in no fuel. Riiiight.”

The article reports on a recent training technique whereby the participants purposely drain their tanks and keep running. The idea is that you will teach your body to burn more fat and “boost your body’s capacity for stored carbohydrates” , ie make you more efficient. This would hopefully translate to faster race times, since you would only employ this method while training and would run on a full glycogen tank while racing.

I admit to being a sucker for the latest running trends – I have embraced compression socks like nobody’s business and happily walk around in a pair of Five Fingers (have never made the transition to running in them, but love just hanging out in ’em!). I love coconut water and GUs and ShotBloks and I mix protein with my carbs now, rather than the straight carbs of my youth.  I’ve even been know to don a running skirt. But this one holds zero appeal for me.

First of all, eating is one of the greatest things about being a runner. Food literally never tastes as good to me as it does after a long run – that deep, aching hunger being satiated is such a primal pleasure. Second, the feeling of running while fueled properly is lovely – you effortlessly tick off the miles and your body happily complies, confident that you will keep it supplied with the good stuff. A bonking body is not a pretty sight and a cliff I like to aviod falling off.

One of the methods suggestedto get to a fasted state is to do a hard run in the morning followed by an afternoon run – this is tough enough on its own, but their suggestion of no carbs in between? Well, I think they sum it up best with “that’s a challenging and unpleasant approach”.

So why would I want to do that? I love how pleasant running is. I love the feel of a running skirt swishing behind me, the simple pleasure of  a chocolate mint GU at mile 10, the way my ponytail jauntily bounces along with me, the way my shadow seems to be playing a never ending game of tag with me… and I’d want to change that why? To *possibly* get faster?? I think I’ll stick to my Yasso 800s , thankyouverymuch.

Finally, I question the science behind this technique. Anyone else out there a RadioLab fan? There was a great episode a few years back that I would recommend to every endurance athlete out there called “The Limits of the Body”. In it they discuss the fact that your body gives you signals that it is close to depletion far sooner than when that is an actual issue. It’s like a built-in safety measure to prevent a catastrophe – and probably why scientists have also found that just swirling glucose around in your mouth and then spitting it out gives you a similar result to actually ingesting it (but don’t be stupid and not hydrate, people, this is just to prove a point!). Your taste receptors send a signal “all clear, boss, help is one the way!” and your body can handle a little more pressure without shutting down. Anyway, I wonder how “depleted” you actually are using the fasting technique, making me even less interested in trying it!

What are your thoughts on fueling and running?

Would you try this technique?

What trends are you a sucker for?


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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

First group run back from Brazil was super fun and reminded me how much I love running in my hometown 🙂 Tonight we had a great turnout and ran as a group talking about everything from Amanda’s brother making it into the Olympics (!) to our favorite comfort foods (Christy and I were solidly sweet freaks, everyone else was more savory except GD who had a hugely specific concoction involving Honey Nut Cheerios, cocoa powder, ice cream and agave nectar). Come and join us next week, we are not scary, I promise!

Boss baby got an upgrade – new wheels and a sweet poppa to push him!

There are starting to be enough of us to qualify as an actual posse!

News coverage for Cape Island Runners? How nice!

Oh,right, they were there to cover the ladies lifeguard competition. Guess that makes sense, lol.

GD horning in on my running husband action! Hmm, they might have to become brother husbands. Like sister wives with less religion and more running.

Monkey replenishes his electrolytes post-run

And we got to meet Beth at the end! Next time, we’ll run together 🙂

Topped the night off with the Brother Husbands making ‘lil sis and I an amazing seafood dinner (scallops, halibut, tomatoes, asparagus, green beans and then watermelon for dessert). It’s good to be home!

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight, it was a great time! We are getting into our groove now!

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