Deceptively simple, endlessly complicated.

Showing off my badass baton twirling sklls while golfing.

Golf never really piqued my interest. I didn’t understand the allure of walking around for hours, working just to hit a ball into a faraway cup. But now that I’ve played?

Yeah, I still don’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a great time playing with my husband, and it was lovely to be outside, and I enjoyed being active. But I always have a great time with my husband, I’m hard-pressed to find a time that it isn’t lovely to be outside, and I generally enjoy being active.

So, why did I bother? A few reasons:

  • I’m always saying that I don’t like golf … but it felt a bit immoral to express my vehemence for something I had never tried.
  • There’s a beautiful golf course right by my house … and its affordable … and we had nothing else to do that day.
  • It was on my “15 in 30’s” bucket list. Because, why not?

Although I can’t picture myself ever becoming a “golfer” (although really, who knows), I did enjoy the afternoon enough that I’ll likely go again.

And who knows, maybe I’ll take up the sport when I’m older and just looking for ways to hang out with my husband, spend time outside and be active.


Crushing 15K

OK, OK. So it wasn’t the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. But after three failed attempts for entry, my name was drawn for the Nike Women’s 15K in Toronto.

And it was awesome.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a Nike fanatic – I don’t run in Nike’s, I’m not particularly partial to Nike clothing, and I don’t have a strong opinion on the company’s political or cultural practices … But damn, Nike knows how to put on a race.

The Crystal Coliseum, Nike’s floating barge/workout studio on Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy of Nike.
The Crystal Coliseum, Nike’s floating barge/workout studio on Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy of Nike.

From beginning to the end, they made the entire race an experience. The Nike Training Club workouts were held on a floating barge on Lake Ontario. The Nike Run Club shakeout runs coordinated with local running specialty stores and took us through the city streets. And the race itself was held on Toronto Island, which essentially became “Nike Women Island” for a full day.

Crushing the shakeout run. Photo courtesy of Nike.
Crushing the pre-race shakeout run. Photo courtesy of Nike.

“Nike Women Island” featured food trucks, music, DJs, massage therapists, organized stretching sessions, and even an entire tent packed with yoga mats, foam rollers, and tennis balls to really work everything out before the race. #bliss

Once we got started, the race wound through every type of terrain imaginable – on a road, on a trail alongside a lightnouse, on the tarmac at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, even along a boardwalk nestled between crashing waves and trees. Check out the video for a peek at the full course. 

Running along the tarmac of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Photo courtesy of Nike.
Running along the tarmac of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Photo courtesy of Nike.

And Nike made sure to keep the 10,000 runners motivated by placing drum lines, gospel choirs, kickass signage, and plenty of spectators along the route.

Maybe it was all the excitement or my new playlist (typically I listen to podcasts, but Ellie Goulding was guiding me through this 15K), but I performed well, finishing 378th out of the 1677 in my age category.

And lest I forget, the “finisher’s medal” is a sterling silver Tiffany necklace, with a pendant emblazoned with the Nike Women’s 15K logo.

It was, quite simply, the best race I’ve ever completed.

Why do race photos always look so awkward? Photo courtesy of Nike.

Run Free or Die

WMMSo, I’ve wanted to run a half-marathon for awhile.

I’ve done 5K’s, 10Ks, Ragnar (Adirondacks and Cape Cod), and recently the Jay Peak Trail Running Festival “Runners with Issues” race. But the half-marathon has eluded me.

Most notably because I don’t really love running on the road. Don’t get me wrong, I love running. And I’ll run on the road,  if necessary. But my passion didn’t come to fruition until I discovered my nearby trail.

There’s just nothing like hitting the trail, surrounded by iconic New England scenery and (importantly) no cars in sight. It’s just me and my running buddy, Zealand.

And ever since I stumbled on this trail, everything has fallen into place nicely. My legs don’t hurt (I’m prone to shin splints and knee pain). I feel stronger (which I love).  Zealand is loving life (its way better than our suburban cul-de-sac, in her opinion). And I finally felt ready to run a half-marathon!

So on Sunday, October 26, 2014, I tackled the White Mountain Milers Half-Marathon in North Conway, NH. Not only is this a beautiful course, but net proceeds support the Gretchen B. Hatch Scholarship Fund.

So how was it? Here are some things I learned while training for (and running) 13.1 miles:

  • Diversity really is key. Apparently I should have trained a bit more on the road and a bit less in the woods. (Damn, concrete is hard.)
  • TrailThe White Mountain Milers course is definitely gorgeous… It just isn’t as stunning as my daily route. I mean, look at that. >>>
  • All the race runners were positive and nice and a joy to run with. But I won’t lie. I missed running with my girl, Zealand.
  • There’s nothing like a playlist of Joy the Baker and Uhh Yeah Dude to get you moving, no matter the race or pace.

And even though I ran wayyy slower than my recent (trail) pace, I’m stoked that I finished. And I enjoyed every moment of those 13.1 miles. But, maybe more importantly, I adored every moment of training leading up to those 13.1 miles.