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.

Clear Your Schedule

What are you doing July 20, 2013? Supporting cancer? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

ImageOn July 20, my husband Kris will paddle 20+ miles as a fundraiser for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. The paddle is known as the Blackburn Challenge, and it’s an open water circumnavigation of Cape Ann, Mass. He is doing it for himself (Kris was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011- it was successfully removed later that year), his grandfather (pictured at left, with Kris), his grandmother and everyone else affected by cancer. Learn more, and donate to Kris, here.

ImageNot into water sports?

My cousin Heather has organized the  third annual Dan Duggan’s Ride to Find the Answer for Cancer, a motorcycle ride through scenic New Hampshire, for July 20. In 2010 my uncle, Dan Duggan (pictured at right), passed away after an eight year battle with prostate cancer. Since Heather organized the first Ride, they have raised more than $11,000 for cancer research in Uncle Danny’s name. Learn more, and view donation and registration details for the ride, here.

Cancer is tough. Do your part to help defeat it.