Apparently, I just had a baby.

I guess I should pass out the cigars and serve up some cocktails with teeny tiny plastic babies floating in them.

I had a baby!

At least according to Shutterfly.

Wait. What did I miss? Apparently, 9 goddamn months of gestation. Oh and labor. And delivery.

Shutterfly sent me this email today:

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Did anyone else receive this email?  Or was it just barren little old, me?  According to Shutterfly, there is nothing more fanfuckingtastic than “bringing new life into the world.”  Lookit me!  I’m a sharing, giving, loving New Mom! Who knew? They’re going to help me in my new role as Parent. Yes! Shutterfly is going To Make Me Be A Better Parent. What did Mother’s do before Shutterfly? Won’t I have the Happiest Baby on the Block now! And their first order of business for me, New Mom?  I’d better get off my ass and send those Thank You notes out lest anyone think I was rude. Or ungrateful. You know, for all of the New Baby gifts I received at my lovely garden baby shower. Somewhere, I am quite certain, Emily Post is beaming.

Really Shutterfly? What kind of data mining does your company do that prompted me to be on the “She had a baby!” list? How about you get out of my uterus and stick to photo books, calendars and Christmas cards depicting Happy Real Families in cute matching outfits. Did women struggling with infertility get your email too?  What about those who have recently miscarried?  Or how about women who are suffering through a difficult pregnancy? Were they on your distribution list?  Did they receive your valuable etiquette tip?

I hope not.

Here’s the thing Shutterfly. I’m not pregnant. I’m not a new Mom. And I’m beginning to think I never will be. Scratch that. I won’t be. For whatever reasons. And that is a constant source of sadness for me. Constant. So. Thanks for the reminder Shutterfly. The 3-Days Post Mother’s Day, “Congratulations on Your New Bundle of Joy!” note was perfect. Timely even.

I’m ready for my cigar.

And cocktail.

The Top 25 Moments on Heartbreak Hill

Elite Feet.

We came. We cheered. We lost our shit.  That pretty much sums up our 2014 Boston Marathon Experience.

We Cheered Boston. And I’ve gotta tell ya. It was EPIC! To be on the sidelines at the CREST OF HEARTBREAK HILL, cheering our guts out on a picture perfect day? Fanfuckingtastic I tell ya! What a day!  What a race!  Although I would have given my front two teeth to have run it (and I’ve got some big ass front chompers), being on the sidelines did not disappoint.

Such a different experience watching a marathon after running a bunch of ’em. Such respect I have. Even more now, than before. Each and every runner- from Meb and the Elites to the wheelchair athletes to those running with guides to the moms and the dads to the Middle of the Packers to the charity runners to the very last person to cross- I have such respect. Every single one of those runners ran the same 26.2 miles.They covered the exact same distance. They pulled themselves up the Newton HIlls. They turned onto Boylston and crossed that line. Each and every person ran their own marathon on Monday. With one single goal- Finishing. The following are pictures I took on Heartbreak Hill. They are what happens when good conquers bad. When light overcomes dark. When the human spirit triumphs. They aren’t Boston Strong for nothin’.

Go Mom!

Go Mom, Go!

For Here All Are One

#truth

Bill Rodgers!

Holy Mr. Marathon! Bill Rodgers in the flesh!

The Women's Wheelchair Leader

The Female Wheelchair Leader

Grit.

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Heartbreak Hill and still smiling.

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Hmmmm. Who’s sign is that???

1516

Viva Les Crocs! (Yes. Crocs.)

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Boston Strong since 1981. Rick and Dick Hoyt. (Cue hysteria!)

1422

Elation!

1410

Get it, Mom!

1400

High fives by the dozen!

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U-S of A.

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Wonder Woman!

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Can’t stop….

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Won’t stop.

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The Message of the Day

The Female Elite!

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Shalane seconds behind the lead pack.

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MEB! Sailing past. SAILING.

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The Chase.

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Of all of the runners I saw crest Heartbreak HIll, this runner, Juli, will stay in my mind for a long, long time. I have never seen such determination in my life. Grit. Strength. Resolve. That was her. All 3 foot 6 inches of her. She’s amazing.

No Stopping Monday. Or Any Day.

A Picture Perfect Trail Run

It’s been a mighty long month or two. And by long, I mean Lord of the Rings on repeat long. Shit has been eternal. I solemnly swear I will finish the two race recaps that happened forever ago- one being the 2013 New York Marathon (awesome!) and the other being the Spartan Sprint at Fenway (off the chain fun!) before year’s end. Pinky swear. Talk about dropping the ball. Nice job Colby. Nice.

Work, LIfe and a Running Hangover. Yeah. That’s what happened. I took a week off after running New York. (Shock! Horror! Gasp!) And guess what? I didn’t spontaneously combust or suddenly become an amorphous, bloated Sack of Lazy either. I simply took a long-overdue, much-needed a rest. Actually My Ankle really needed the break. Shit. She was so thrilled, she sent me an Edible Arrangement. (“It’s about time, Bitch!”) Since The Break, I’ve been happily cross-training. Mountain biking with My Other Half, road running, spinning, weight training, burpee-ing, jumping rope, tabata-ing— A smorgasbord of weird workouts that have been kicking my ass. I love it. I needed to mix it up.

And guess what happened? I have found a new love.Trail Running. It’s been like a jolt of adrenaline for me. Completely energizing. Grounding. Peaceful. Serene. Whoop out loud, shit eating grin FUN. Now that’s RUNNING WILD! What a blast! I feel like I’m 10 again, whipping through the woods with nary a care. I want to harness that feeling. Bottle it up and open it when Work and Life become more stressful than I care to admit.

There are tons of great trails around these parts which I am discovering. Actually, WE are discovering. There is nothing better than doing something you love, with someone you love. It’s perfect. Today we bundled up and headed over to Rockland Preserve in Madison, Connecticut. What a beautiful spot. If you’re near, check it out. Lots of single track for mountain biking and tons of beautiful trails for running. We divided and conquered today. I felt like running and My Other Half wanted to mountain bike. Seeing as how he’s a Demon on a mountain bike, I figured I’d let him shred the gnar, while I got my run on. When we crossed paths from time to time, we laughed and high fived, smiling from ear to ear, love so crazily palpable. “You look great Baby!” He yelled. It was a Perfect Day.

Into the woods.

Into the woods I go.

Right turn Clyde.

Trails! Glorious Trails!

Me.

Shameless Selfie in my new Marmot. I LOVE this jacket.

My Other Half.

Oh hey look who I found! My Other Half, shreddin’ the gnar.

No hacks allowed.

I’ve got no business riding here, but running? I’m all over it.

Swirl.

Swirl. Such beauty you find when you wander.

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Quiet and peaceful.

Trails.

Trails with a side of trails.

Duckface Selfie on the Run.

Duckface Selfie on the Run.

Get Lost.

Such fun to get lost.

Slippery.

Just a touch of ice.

Babbling.

Pretty little brooks pop up from time to time.

Zippy.

So zippy in my bright kicks!

Shhhh.

I took a “wrong” turn and found myself here. Something beautiful about it though.

Give Paws.

Great, well tended, awesome trails at Rockland Preserve. Including this. My favorite find of the day.

Skinny Fat

In short, the progression from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Christ.

Truth

#truth

Oh! And by the way, check out our Facebook page! Like us. Go ahead. You know you do.

Like us on The Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marathonandsprint

Summer Ride – In Pictures

I feel like a blogger delinquent. Yeesh. I can’t believe that I haven’t posted in over a week. I think it has something to do with the quality family time I have been spending with my kids in the car while I chauffeur them to various activities. That accounts for much of my days this summer, although I have been lucky to log some decent time at the beach and pool, too. And as much as I love to write, I’m not bringing my laptop to the beach or the pool. A line must be drawn somewhere. Bad, bad blogger.

I have been running and riding, though, and have a long training ride to report on when I have some uninterrupted time at the computer – maybe this weekend.

In the meantime, I thought I would share some pictures I took on a beautiful ride I took one morning last week. Like many East Coast-ers, I have been in weather misery this week. Going through these pictures and recalling my ride reminded me that despite the recent oppressive heat, the ridiculous humidity, & the relentless bugs, I really do love summer. Especially here. At 6 AM.

Approaching the beach. It's around 6 AM here; my favorite time of day - anywhere, but especially at the beach.

Approaching the beach. It’s around 6 AM here; my favorite time of day – anywhere, but especially at the beach.

I round the bend, and there it is - the beach.  Aaah.

I round the bend, and there it is – the beach. Aaah.

The beach - all to myself. Heaven. The dark line across the water is Long Island.

The beach – all to myself. Heaven. The dark line across the water is Long Island.

One of our town marinas. Our boat is in there somewhere.

One of our town marinas. Our boat is in there somewhere.

The "Minuteman Statue," which reminds us that the bucolic beach featured in the pictures above was the site of a Revolutionary War invasion by British troops.

The “Minuteman Statue,” which reminds us that the bucolic beach featured in the pictures above was the site of a Revolutionary War invasion by British troops.

Our Main Street. Some love it, many criticize it for having too many chain stores. I still prefer it to no Main Street at all!! Plus, it has a Lululemon, so I am assured of periodic visits from Colby.

Our Main Street. Some love it, many criticize it for having too many chain stores. I still prefer it to no Main Street at all!! Plus, it has a Lululemon, so I am assured of periodic visits from Colby.

One of the many small farms in my 'hood.

One of the many small farms in my ‘hood.

My favorite small farm. The tented table at the back of the driveway holds freshly harvested vegetables, price signs, a scale and a coffee can to put your money in. Sometimes Farmer John is out there, but usually it is just the honor system! Best tomatoes in town.

My favorite small farm. The tented table at the back of the driveway holds freshly harvested vegetables, price signs, a scale and a coffee can to put your money in. Sometimes Farmer John is out there, but usually it is just the honor system! Best tomatoes in town.

Stables near my house. My daughter would love to take riding lessons there. And if they ever invent a 48 hour day, a 9 day week or can clone me, I will consider it.

Stables near my house. My daughter would love to take riding lessons there. And if they ever invent a 48 hour day, a 9 day week or can clone me, I will consider it.

My welcome wagon. Tom Turkey greeted me in my yard when I returned home. Not very nicely, either, I might add.  Not the most pleasant animals.

My welcome wagon. Tom Turkey greeted me in my yard when I returned home. Not very nicely, either, I might add. Not the most pleasant animals.

Two weeks from today, Colby and I will be heading up to Sturbridge for the beginning of the PMC weekend. Can’t wait, but I have many miles to ride before we get there….

My Bike Fights Cancer

This is my bike.

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Meet Henrietta Pussycat, my Jamis Xenith Elite. She fights cancer. Pretty badass right?

Sweet right?
She fights cancer.
Like a champ.

I’ve been riding in the Pan Massachusetts Challenge for 9 years. If you want to gain perspective, be humbled, and feel like you’re a part of something wonderful, ride in it.

I dare you.

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Why I ride.

You will be forever changed. I know I am. What you learn as you’re pedaling 193 miles in 2 days in support of cancer research, is that everyone rides for a reason. Some have more reasons than others. Some are Living Proof that cancer research is making strides. Serious strides. I like to think we’re helping, in some small way. My reason has not changed in 9 years, although the list of family and friends riding along with me, sadly, has. Friends and family I have lost, will ride along with me, as they have every year. Every pedal stroke, powered by their memory, their lives, their valiant fight. It makes my heart heavy just thinking about it.

I ride because I can.
I ride for those who can not.
It’s simple really…

This year Tina is riding in the PMC. I couldn’t be happier. I love that she’s been blogging about her “reasons”- her husband Chris, her mother Lily, and her cousin Rick. She’s fabulous that Tina. I can’t wait for her to experience the weekend.

The overall PMC Experience dwarfs the athletic accomplishment. Hard to believe, but true. Riding 193 miles is NOTHING compared to what a cancer patient endures. (Seriously? It’s nothing. Lets be honest.) PMC weekend? You see the best of people. You feel like you’re a part of something bigger and far greater than you. And I think we ALL need that from time to time. Especially today. We need to be humbled. We need to be self-less. We need to gain perspective. Not always, but sometimes. I am so looking forward to Tina’s First PMC Experience. Maybe even more so than she is.

So our ride…

Tina and I did a nice, long, hazyhothumid training ride yesterday. Together. (Finally!) She did great! Totally great. And I would expect nothing less from her, tough wispy thing that she is. We covered 51 miles spanning rolling farmlands to the sweet salty sea. It was terrific riding and chit chatting along the way. (If you follow our blog, You know Us- we love a good chit-chat. Although we would have preferred cocktails to Gatorade, we did manage an iced coffee at mile 30.) She even caught a glimpse of The Angry Walker who was, shock of all shocks, angry. He’s a legend. It was a great time and a great ride. The miles ticked away. Just two friends on bikes. Beautiful. This time next month we’ll be on a beach in Cape Cod, drinking ice cold beer, toasting to Tina’s First PMC and recalling those 193 miles ridden for something bigger than ourselves. I simply can’t wait.

I love cycling. I mean really love cycling. (Earmuffs Newton’s!! I swear my sneakers just gave my bike the finger. ) It’s funny because I haven’t really blogged about it much. That’s really odd now that I think about it. I think of myself as a cyclist more than a runner, but alas, I am Colby. I am both. There is just something about being on a bike. It’s powerful. So very powerful. Especially when your bike fights cancer.

If you would like to support us in our fundraising goals please, do so. Every dollar donated helps. Every single. 100% of donations go directly to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Awesome right? We hate cancer. And we have a long way to go. There’s a lot riding on this.

To donate to Tina: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/TC0204
To donate to Colby: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/NB0049

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Shades of Green.

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A Beautiful View.

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Go Tina! Go! Tina and Trixie enjoying the flats. And the extreme heat. No clouds for miles…

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Henrietta and Colby.

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Ride Colby! Ride!

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Your sweaty, happy, cycling Bloggers! That’s us!

Mr. Kotter’s Brooklyn, It Ain’t

I was in Brooklyn today for a duathlon, and let me tell you, if Mr. Kotter was welcomed back to this Brooklyn, he probably wouldn’t know where the hell he was.  I grew up watching “Welcome Back Kotter” and always had an image of Brooklyn as a gritty place.  “Saturday Night Fever” and the tough talking (but heart of gold!) Brooklyn characters in various other TV shows and movies did little to dispel the image (except for “The Cosby Show” – but the Huxtables seemed to live in a posh oasis that didn’t quite match the Brooklyn I had come to know). Of course, I’m well aware that much of Brooklyn has gentrified over the years, but it is hard to shake decades of media images from your mind. I also recall my family taking a wrong turn in our station wagon leaving Manhattan sometime in the 70’s, ending up in Brooklyn and being scared. Really scared. I think much of Brooklyn was kind of scary back then.  Now, not so much.

The race took place in Prospect Park, which is definitely one of the posher sections of the borough. I have lived in NYC and have been traveling in and out of the city regularly for years, and I don’t know why it always surprises me to see pockets of nature living among the cityscape.  But it does.  So I used my downtime before and after the race to take a few pictures of the softer side of Brooklyn…

This was just across from the transition area.  Pretty little wooded lake.

This was just across from the transition area. Pretty little wooded lake.

I got to watch a family of ducks paddle by while waiting for the race to start...

I got to watch a family of ducks paddle by while waiting for the race to start…

This robin was one of our more popular spectators.

This robin was one of our more popular spectators.

Another sign of spring, just off to the side of the transition area.

Another sign of spring, just off to the side of the transition area.

After the race, I walked down a trail to cool off and noticed that it was a bridle path - look closely and you can see the prints of horseshoes.

After the race, I walked down a trail to cool off and noticed that it was a bridle path – look closely and you can see the prints of horseshoes.

A few teens heading into the park for their riding lesson.

A few teens heading into the park for their riding lesson.

Across the street from the Park - look at this quaint little house!!

Across the street from the Park – look at this quaint little house!!

This beautiful, tree-lined street looks like it could be in London.

This beautiful, tree-lined street looks like it could be in London.

Another pretty little street.

Another pretty little street.

Thus concludes our pictorial tour of Prospect Park and its surrounds!

I’ll leave you with one last picture – possibly my favorite:

3rd Place in my age division!

3rd Place in my age division!

There were a lot of tough competitors today – lots of Tri Teams, Cycling Teams and even a woman in “Team USA” bike shorts with her name on the back (she won overall women’s, not surprisingly).  Though a bit intimidating, I think that the strength of the competition stepped up my game.  I didn’t intentionally try and compete harder, but I instinctively moved faster to keep up, I guess.  I had great runs.  I ran the first (2.1 mile) leg at a 7:04 pace; the second leg (also 2.1 miles) at a 7.11 pace, and I really wasn’t dying at the end of either leg. These times make me really want to push myself in my next 5K to try and break 7:30 for a full 5K and cross 2013 Goal Number 6 off of my list. My bike portion (10 miles) was a 37.16 – not great, but not too disastrous, either.  A friend of mine who is a triathlete is going to help me figure out how to get stronger on the bike.  Of course, her first words of advice were to get clipless pedals and bike shoes.  Or at least cages.  She was mortified when she heard that I rode on plain old flat pedals.  Frankly, I’m surprised that she (or Colby, for that matter) even acknowledges that she knows me.  They must love me very much.

Overall, I finished at 1:09:33. Third in my age division. Tired and happy!

Picture Perfect Run.

I spent last weekend in Grafton, Vermont with The Fam. It really is one of my favorite places to visit. Unplug. Unwind. Reboot. Drink yourself silly. (Ok maybe the last one was a bit much, but, hey, at least I’m honest.) It’s a peaceful. Serene. Far away enough without being FAR. Running here is becoming one of my favorite things to do. Riding even more so. I finished my last 20 miler on Friday, hopped in the car and headed up. I ran this route Saturday, the day The Fam had Easter. Needless to say I ate my weight, drank my height, and laughed my ass off. Everything a holiday with family should be. Here is Saturday’s Run. In pictures…

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Simply a beautiful, crisp spring day. How could I NOT go for a quiet morning run in Grafton Vermont?  I mean really….

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Had I realized there would be this much snow floating around, I would have brought my trusty snow shoes. (Duh Colby. It’s Vermont.)

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Crisp and chilly in the shade. I love running along the river.

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Sans snow, it’s the perfect place to chill. Ok. Maybe with the snow too, but for now, I’m runnin’.

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Tin roof. Rusted….

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There’s a church. And a steeple. Where the hell are all the people? (Sleeping off hangovers. That’s where…)

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Sweet Jesus. Screw the snowshoes. I should have worn a hard hat…

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Right turn Clyde. Goin’ with the flow….

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Fun Fact: The Grafton Inn is one of the oldest continually operating Inns in the country. Neat huh?

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Ain’t much going on. Except a beautiful 5 mile run around town.

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Pups allowed! Leon James and Pearl Anne love it here. This time, they’re at the “Spa”.

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Not exactly sure what the Village Pump is. It’s old though. (And kinda sounds dirty.) I loved the wrought iron sign post. It sits on the river near a pretty little covered bridge.

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There is nothing like a Ye Olde Tavern. Especially one we don’t have to drive to.

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Which way should I go? The only decision I made. Well that and whether I wanted a drink drink or wine. (Answer: Both.)

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Sweet little village.

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Dead Head. ‘Nuff said.

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One of many. In June, Tina, my sister and I return to run the Covered Bridge Half Marathon. So looking forward to it. That and leaves. Gimme some green already!

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View from the bridge. I don’t want to turn back.

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Hurricane Irene devastated Vermont. It nearly wiped out the town. Standing since 1870, this little covered bridge is as tough as nails.

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I could run forever….