Monday, January 28, 2013

38,000 Feet

As we speak, I am almost 38,000 feet in the air, currently over Detroit on my way back from Boulder. I have been in Colorado for the last 5 days for the Rev3 Team Summit.

I left Denver International Airport just as it was starting to snow. I guess the East Coast is getting a snow storm as well and I was thinking that it was possible that my flight would be cancelled. (NoSuchLuck) Another day to play in CO would have been pretty cool. Instead, I hung out in the airport all afternoon with my team mate, Kate, and all was well. We will find out if all is well on the ground in New Hampshire soon enough...

The month of January has been one filled with adventure, new friendships, and bonding experiences like I have never had in my life. I am so blessed that I am able to literally live a dream and live this life that I am living right now.

I could not do this without the love and support of my family and for that I am forever grateful.

So on the heels of an amazing experience in Florida with the FFtFL team and running Ragnar, I just ventured out to Colorado for the Rev3 Team Summit. 

Team Rev3 Summit

WOW>This was amazing. Awesome. Incredible. Exciting. FUN.

Getting to spend several days with the team--old and NEW--was certainly such a different experience than racing or working an event. We got to meet with our sponsors, have some great team building exercises and had a lot of laughs!

While you wait for the entire summary of the Rev3 awesomeness that was the summit, did you know I am doing a little sock giveaway?

Go check it out! Easy to enter!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm a Sock Snob-Wanna Win Some?

I am an admitted sock snob.

For years, I would only wear Balega's. 

Then I discovered Swiftwick and LOVE 'em. That is all that covers my toes. 

Recently, I was asked about Injinji socks.
I have never worn them. 

I have no opinion about I ask you-
Have YOU tried them?

Do you WANT to try them?
One lucky MMM reader will win some socks from Injinji. All you have to do is visit the Injinji site and tell me ONE thing you learned.

Earn a bonus entry by sharing this post!!


"friends don't let friends wear crappy socks"

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bienvenido a Miami! RagnarFLK Part II

Bone chilling temperatures came to Maine just as I was getting ready to head south to Florida. The timing could not have been better! I had been looking forward to this trip for so long, it seemed like Mother Nature was giving me the perfect send off to make sure I REALLY enjoyed the Florida sunshine!

I opted for a late night flight and would not arrive into Ft Lauderdale until 12:30am. I figured I'd just sleep on the flight (not really) or get some work done or read. I found a Starbucks in the airport and with my own little bit of Rocket Fuel, I was really ready to FLY!

I arrived in Ft Lauderdale to this!

My darling team mate John holding up my before/after magnet that would grace the van during the race!
I was so excited to finally meet John, he was one of those people I just connected with immediately and knew that we would get along famously!

Of course, me being me...we had go get slightly inappropriate in the airport in the middle of the night!

It was a quick drive to our hotel in Miami and I was ready for sleep!

Woke up the next morning to this view from my window

So naturally I dragged my room mate Carly, kicking and screaming  out into the sunshine for a cup of coffee and a quick walk just to see what the temps were like.

It was a gorgeous Miami morning and our quick walk turned into a leisurely 4 mile walk along the water. The day was starting to warm up and Coach has given me a run to complete so it was time to lace up and get moving!

I spent the next 8+ miles checking out the area of Route 1 and then Bricknell Key and then Miami River walk area. It was getting hotter but I was just so happy to be out RUNNING in this amazing sunshine! It had been years since I was in Miami and it was refreshing to see it with THESE eyes and on foot!

sweaty miles-taking a break at the Mardarin Oriental  

I had a couple hours to kill before I had to get ready for dinner and filming with The Today Show for our team dinner so I chatted with one of the local guys who was working on the film, Billy. Billy was heading out to take care of some film business and so kindly offered to take me down to South Beach. All I wanted to do was chill by a pool or by the beach!

After I walked around South Beach a bit and then settled into some calm reverie at the Ritz Carlton

So as you can see, life was NOT sucking sitting on a cushy lounge chair on South Beach-enjoying first class service and yummy iced tea!

I got to swim in the brilliant turquoise water and dig my toes into the white sand beach. I'm not quite sure why I even came home...

Billy was nice enough to come and pick me up later in the day, just in time to jump in the shower and get ready for our team dinner!

We were going to be filmed by the folks from The Today Show for a New Year New You piece they were doing--and they would be with us for part of the Ragnar Relay as well.

Dinner was being hosted by a place called Randazzo's Little Italy in Coral Gables. After a long 24 hours with not a lot of healthy fare, I was hungry and excited for a nice Italian dinner with my team mates!

After some filming business, we "wrapped" for the day. The owner came over and said a few hello's and shared with us how he started his restaurant-he was a former boxer and liked to eat. Then he disappeared  not to be seen again that night. It's really funny how awful the whole dinner experience was...and I almost feel bad for the people at Randazzo's (but not really).

Within a minute of sitting down--now mind you it's the 12 team mates, several spouses, and an entire film & production crew trying to get settled--we were asked by the tall blonde with a demanding Eastern European flair what we wanted for dinner. "You get 2 pasta and 2 salad. What do you want?"

Now first, we had to set up and arrange all of our own seating from small four-top tables (there must have been 35 of us) and we were not even given a menu so we had no idea what they ever offered. We were all kind of shocked and laughing like "what the heck is going on" and tried to figure out what we were doing. We have some team members who are very particular on what they eat, we have some that are gluten intolerant, etc. so getting a menu together for a group based on "2 pasta and 2 salad" was going to be an experience. We then discovered that the restaurant had been generous enough to offer our dinner gratis but apparently it was based on the "2 pasta 2 salad" deal and if we wanted anything other than that, we would be paying for our own dinner--and that was just fine with us!

So we got a veggie pasta dish, a chicken pasta dish and a vegetarian salad and one "meat salad" (as they called it). We finally had a server, got our orders figured out and wanted to EAT! Ada and I were going to split a chicken picatta dish and we'd have some of the pasta and salad.

The salad came out relatively quick compared to how the rest of the night's meal would progress. The salad was actually fantastic too-both of them!

They were antipasti style salads, the veggie one with tons of veg and artichoke hearts (love 'em!) and the "meat salad" had mozza cheese with salami chunks. Delish! They also served a crusty bread with a fantastic hot pepper & garlic olive oil. I could have had this as a DRINK it was sooo good.

It is a good thing that I liked the salad and the bread so much because it would be a LONG time before we say any other food...or plates.

The veggie salad-yummm

the "meat salad" equally yumm
my very empty plate-we would spend A LOT of time together

with Team Captn Rik

The service was just down right horrible. The waiter who had our section just seemed pissed off whenever we asked for anything. I mean, really...we did not have any plates other than our appetizer plates. We were never asked for drink orders (though we did have water). I'm find with water but an iced tea would have been nice.

It was taking SO long for our dinner orders to come out that one team member John finally spoke up and asked. John explained that we had been waiting a very, very long time and we were so hungry he did not really care WHAT they served at this point! I think we had been waiting close to two hours by now. We did not order any appetizers other than the salad that was offered so no idea what the problem would have been.

Pasta was finally delivered to the table. Now, one of my team mates--Jersey Jen--is gluten intolerant and they had been made aware of this long before our visit. They even said that they had gluten free pasta just for Jen! What a happy surprise when they remembered and brought out the special plate of gluten free pasta topped with....

wait for it

The chicken was covered in flour and sitting on top of the gluten free pasta.
At this point we just had to laugh. So we made jokes about it and Jen continued to eat more salad and eat around the Gluten Covered Chicken Chunks.

Then Katie ordered chicken lemone and asked that it be prepared sans butter or oil. Not only did the waiter give her hard time about it, but it came out swimming in...

wait for it

OIL. You can read about Katie's take on our team dinner on her blog Runs for Cookies.

So really, dinner was just SO BAD it was comical. We ended up making jokes all night and even invented our own word.


Randazzo'd-getting totally frickin screwed on something that could have been really good.

Regardless of the disaster that was dinner, we laughed and enjoyed spending time with our team mates. It was a good night and a great way to be starting to sleep!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I'm Home-Ragnar FLK Part I

**written just I got home from Florida, jacked up on NyQuil and feeling quite awful** 

All I know is it is going to take several posts to put together my experience with the From Fat to Finish Line crew and the whole Ragnar experience. It was one in a lifetime I tell ya!! What an adventure.

We laughed.
We cried.
We ran.

We swore. A lot.
We got really hot.
We loved every single moment.

Where to start? I have no idea. My mind and heart are just flooded with the images and moments from the last 6 days in Florida; I am a little overwhelmed (in an amazingly good way) by the whole experience now that I have a moment to sit down and breathe.

Actually, the breathing isn't going to well at the moment as this little chest cold is the one thing I brought back from Florida that could stay there...but what else could I expect from staying up for nearly 40 hours straight, feeding my body "food" it wasn't used to and running a 197 mile relay in hot humidity? I knew I'd come home and get sick.

What I am walking away from this experience with is a full heart and 11 friends that will forever have a place in my heart. Doing a Ragnar Relay has been on my "List" for a long time, since I started taking running seriously, so when I got the invite to do this project it was an easy YES! I am so grateful that THIS was my first Ragnar! Yes, FIRST. You bet your running shoes I'll do more!! What an experience...LOVED IT!

I am actually struggling to put into words all that I experienced this weekend. I think I need a few more days to let it all sink here is a little note from Team Capt'n, Rik, aka Captain Crunches. He says how I feel right now so much better than I do!

As we drive north, I am seeing landmarks from the run. And I am struck by how far we have come, in so many ways. 

First and most obviously, we ran a long, long way, doing something together that none of us could have done alone. And it was truly amazing. And so big, physically and emotionally, that I know I will be months processing it all. 

Then I think about how so many of us have never seen this part of the country, and how, if it wasn't for this team, we may never have. 

Then I think back about this team coming together: how we were all just acquaintances at first, then teammates, and finally, a family. We made that huge and wonderful transition in less than one year.

And then I go back even one more level, back before we knew each other. At one point, we were all sitting on our couches, fat and miserable, thinking this was our lot in life. And one day, each of us decided that wasn't going to be the end of our story, and we each got up off that couch and figured it out. We each found our own path, and we each found our way into a pair of running shoes. Then we found other runners, and a new community, and a new way of life.

And then, we were ready for all this to happen.

From Fat to Finish Line. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gate C14 - Florida Bound!

No time like the present to keep up on my promise to blog more! Here it is the second day of the New Year and I'm blogging already! (ha ha ha)

I am currently sitting at Gate C14 of Logan Airport in Boston, waiting for my flight south to Florida where I will embark on one of the most exciting adventures to date. If you have been a reader for a while, you know that I am headed to Miami to run the Ragnar Relay to Key West with 11 other amazing people. While we are running, we will also be filming a documentary film--From Fat to Finish Line!

Make sure you check us out on Facebook and Twitter to follow along!

Time seems like just yesterday I was being asked to be a part of this amazing project.
I spent a lot of time in South Florida. During that time, I was in a very different mind set and my priority would have been more party focused than anything else. Having left that part of me behind quite a few years ago, it is going to be a very interesting experience being there--and running from Miami to Key West--with a very different, healthier set of eyes.

I am certainly expecting some tears to flow. Not sad tears, happy tears.
Happy that I am where I am right now.
Has it been easy? NO
There have been some tough times and struggles. But everything happens for a reason (or so I believe with all my heart) and each and every step brought me HERE.
To this moment.
To right now. 

To fully embrace the NOW and the NEW and THIS LIFE, I have to be thankful for the hard times and the pain. IT just makes it all so much sweeter NOW.

Every step I have taken has brought me right where I need to be.

I am so excited and ready for this. I have said before I started this blog to inspire others to change.
Now, being able to be a part of something so much bigger--to inspire and motivate MORE people through this film, it is just so awesome!!

So in a few minutes, I'll jump on a plane and head south.
And run a bunch of miles.
And make a movie.
And enjoy every minute of it.