Run Where I Live: Connecticut!

hello kitty tour bus

We’re busting out the Hello Kitty Tour Bus and hopping on board the Run Where I Live Blogging World Tour hosted by the lovely Danielle at Live, Run, Grow!  Grazie mille, Daniella! Though Tina and I both live in Connecticut, we live on opposite ends of the Connecticut Shoreline.  And though Tina and I both are runners, she does NOT enjoy running trails. She’s a city gal. She prefers pavement to dirt. And she’ll tellyou herself- bugs, snakes, and prickers ain’t her bag. Like at all. That being said, I’m going to cover one of my favorite running spots in Connecticut- Westwoods Trails.

I am lucky to live within running distance to the Westwoods trail system which is chock full of trails- 39 trails on 1,200 acres! All for the running! Or hiking. Or even mountain biking. It’s the largest recreational area for hiking in Guilford, Connecticut. And it’s gorgeous. I have blogged a few times about running in Westwoods up in here.  So when asked to join the Run Where I Live World Tour, it was a no brainer. Westwoods would be my place of choice.  It’s a total gem.

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Bimbler’s Bash Trail Race in Westwoods. That’s me!

The ownership of the land is a combination of Connecticut State Forest, Guilford Land Conservation Trust (GLCT),  the Town of Guilford, and private ownership. All trails are maintained by the Westwoods Trails Committee of GLCT. And maintained they are. The first trails in Westwoods were blazed in 1966 and have grown ever since.  What I love about Westwoods is that it is absolutely beautiful-  caves, water falls, carved rock sculptures and rock formations pepper many of the trails. There are also salt and fresh water marshes and even a lake.  It’s so pretty.

Don’t let all that beauty fool you or lull you into a false sense of security. The trails ain’t easy. Many are quite technical, but really well marked and maintained. They are perfect for running. And racing. Back in April, I ran a trail race here, The Bimbler’s Bash. Relive the glory, HERE. If you recall, it was the day after my birthday. {Read: I ran it hungover.} When I run here, I do not feel like I’m in Guilford, CT. In fact, forget Guilford, I don’t feel like I’m even in Connecticut. Even though I can pick up a trail head a stone’s throw from the center of town, I feel like I’m running in some beautiful far away place. If you do find yourself with your trail shoes on the Connecticut Shoreline this summer, check out Westwoods. It does not disappoint. See what I mean? 🙂

Lost Lake. I found it! Westwoods, Guilford, CT.

Lost Lake. I found it! Westwoods, Guilford, CT.

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From Westwoods in Guilford, Connecticut and on to New York City! Head over to Kellie at Will Run For Ears and see where to run in The Big Apple! 

Want to join the Run Where I Live world tour, or visit the cities we’re “running in”? Check out Danielle’s complete link-up list HERE

Trail 2 Trail Series: Kettletown State Park Race Recap and a Zombie Pinky

T2T SeriesI’m just FINALLY recovering from my weekend which consisted of a “Wine and WOD” Ladies Only Crossfit Night (Stay Tuned!), a 10K Trail Race (EPIC!) and a kick ass training ride that turned into a time trial after I played cat and mouse with a disgruntled dude on a bike (Winner!). The weekend was fantastic. And left me totally glycogen depleted. Oh. And with a broken pinky finger but I’ll get to that in a few. Nothing an ice pack, a massage and copious amounts of beer couldn’t cure. That’s for sure.

The Start Pre-Monsoon. Photo: https://www.facebook.com/Trail2TrailSeries

The Start Pre-Monsoon. Photo: https://www.facebook.com/Trail2TrailSeries

I (happily) discovered the Trail 2 Trail Series, a competitive racing and endurance trail running series, a few weeks ago. Ever since I fell in love with trail running, I have been on the lookout for local races. The transition from road to trial for this broad has not been, shall we say…Graceful?  Yeah. No. Girlfriend needs practice. And confidence. Enter Kettletown. These races are fortunately right in my backyard. Well, not exactly. The T2T Series is in Connecticut. Which is practically my backyard as nothing is really more than an hour or so away. Their slogan is “We Won’t Do Easy.” And?  They’re not lying. Easy, it wasn’t. Fast, winding trails, very decent climbs, lots of rocks, single track and simply BEAUTIFUL. I suspect it would have been ABSOLUTELY beautiful if Saturday’s race wasn’t in the midst of a monsoon, but there you go. Trail Running is the Original Obstacle Mud Run. Hands down. Thank god I love mud because Saturday’s T2T Series Race in Kettletown State Park, was a greasy, challenging mud fest.  And I loved every slippery second of it. How could you not? Look how pretty it is.

Photo: www.facebook.com/Trail2TrailSeries

I would have snapped my own photos, but I feared my iPhone’s life in that rain. Photo Courtesy of T2T’s Facebook Page. http://www.facebook.com/Trail2TrailSeries

I decided after eyeballing the forecast, that I would run the 10K. They had other options available: 5K/10K/20K/50K all of which consisted of partial or multiple full loops of the 10k route. I was happy with my choice. Kettletown-SP-10kEspecially seeing as how I bit it crossing the one river on a patch of ice rock. After a string of profanities and a potentially broken pinky, I brushed myself off and continued on my merry way. Let’s be honest. It’s not trail racing unless you fall and have some sort of flesh wound. (Trail, 1. Colby, 0.) There were several pretty steep climbs coupled with leaf and rock strewn descents which the rain and humidity had made pretty slick. After my earlier fall, my Pinky and I turned into total Chicken Shits and were a bit more cautious. It is the 1 Year Anniversary of that long run where I fell and wrecked my face, so you can imagine, I was in full yellow-flashing-light mode. Feel free to relieve the horror here.

Along the route there was also really scenic, pretty views of Lake Zoar. The place where as a kid I learned to water ski. Ah. Nostalgia. The best part? I didn’t get lost. The course marking was excellent. Red flags on your left and you were golden. The only time they were on your right was if you were taking a sharp right turn, then then they went back to left. Very simple to follow. The race was sponsored by Energybits and Hammer Nutrtirion, two of my old favorites. I love Hammer Nutrition’s Enduralytes. They have saved my dehydrated ass on many occasions. There was plenty of grub afterwards and a swag bag with a few odds and ends. I think if you pre-reg’d far enough in advance, you could have gotten a race t-shirt. But as a Last Minute Nelly, I was shirtless. (Not topless, shirtless. Silly Fools.)

Such a great course.

Such a great course.

The thing I love most at trail races- even trail races in far less than optimal conditions like this one- is the general vibe. Trail runners are chill. Competitive, but friendly and relaxed. It’s been my experience that there is zero to very little pre-race hysteria more commonly found at road races. You know what I mean, right? The high knees. The sprints. The obsession over Garmins. The occasional attitude. I’ve never experienced that at trail races. And this race was no exception. Everyone here from the race directors to the runners themselves was just plain nice. Gotta love that. In fact, I registered for their next race as I was tending to my wounds from the first. I’m hooked. (And next time I’m getting a t-shirt!) This race very much seemed like it was for trail runners, by trail runners. It was well done and well run. Well, it would have been run well by me if it was drier and I was gutsier, but that didn’t even matter. I loved it. Busted zombie paw and all. See you next time guys!

Have you ever run a trail race? Do you have a local trail racing community? What’s the worst fall you’ve ever taken while running? I think we know mine! 🙂

Zombie Pinky conveniently obscured by awesome Janji singlet.

Zombie Pinky conveniently obscured by awesome Janji singlet.

Fever, Frenzy and Hometown Pride

America has crowned the next American Idol.  

Nick Fradiani. WINNER!

 AND HE’S FROM MY FREAKING HOMETOWN! 

Can you even stand it?!?! 

*beams with pride*   

Big Pimpin’ American Idol Style!

I don’t even like American Idol. But seriously, how could I not watch and root for Guilford, Connecticut’s Own Hometown Hero, Nick Fradiani?!?! I’m so stinkin’ proud of him. The best part?  Handsome Italian dude can sing. Guilford has been in a full-on Fradiani Frenzy for Weeks and it’s been so exciting to be a part of.  They even filmed a concert on the green which aired a week ago on the show. It was AWESOME. We took our old Schwinn Cruisers down to the Town Green to hear him. The town went ALL FREAKING OUT. It was fantastic.  

Waiting for Nick!

  

The closest I will ever get to being on American Idol.

  

Eeeeeeeee!!!

Everywhere I run and ride around town there are signs rooting for him. The local businesses have been so supportive. Such excitement. Such a wonderful community.  Especially among the kids. You couldn’t go a day without seeing a kid in a “Team Fradiani” shirt.

Nick Fradiani LIVE!

The kids really seem inspired. And that’s wonderful. Why shouldn’t they be? Here’s a talented local guy who can sing and play guitar and has strong sense of family.  He’s smiley, appears humble and while he’s an ‘Italian Guy from Connecticut’, he embodies ZERO of the Italian-American stereotypes that lately exist everywhere. (Note: I am an ‘Italian Girl from Connecticut’ who might embody some of the Italian-American stereotypes portrayed on TV. Either way? I’m qualified to make that statement. Capisce?) Around town, people are smiling! They wave! Hi! The kids are inspired! They chit chat! GO NICK! 

The Guilford Green Pre-Frenzy.

There’s been this palpable energy around town that has really brought out the best in Guilfordians. Wellllll actually…Maybe not all Guilfordians. The Exception being some broad who laid on the horn, screamed obscenities and scared the snot out of me while I was riding my bike through down town last night.  

Post-Road Rage Frenzy in my new Betty Designs Kit. LOVE!

She doesn’t have The Fever. She has The Irrational Road Rage and needs an intervention. Or maybe a Fradiani Frenzy ice cream cone. That’ll take the edge off of her. 

Congratulations Nick! May you be 10,000 times more famous than Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken and Fantasia Barrino combined!!!! You’ve made us so damn proud!!!  🙂

Bishop’s Orchards, Fradiani Frenzy! Yum! (Photo: foxct.com)

Let Sleeping Giants Lie

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There is nothing like a hike on a perfect fall day with your Best Guy to make you smile. Really smile. Like with all your teeth sparkling.

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Yesterday we took a ride to Sleeping Giant State Park, in Hamden, Connecticut, for a lovely walk in the woods. I hadn’t hiked The Giant in years. Years. I was excited. Many, many, moons ago my friends and I would hike it every chance we got. In high school. On breaks from college. Even thru that ‘After College What The Hell Am I Doing With My Life’ transition period.

We hiked.
And chatted.
And laughed.

And perched our cameras on rocks, hit the self timer button and scrambled back in a panic trying to get the perfect shot in the nick of time. Inevitably the picture would get taken 100 times- until we ran out of film. We’d always get that one great shot. Genuine smiles. Memories captured. Real, life-long friends in the making. It was such a wonderful time. I think we even knew it then. I have lots of fond memories hiking Sleepy G, and I took great delight giving My Lobster years of scoop. 20141013-202013-73213381.jpg

He and I hiked.
And chatted.
And laughed.
And took selfies with our iPhones.

Same. But different. The views haven’t changed. They’re still beautiful. The trails haven’t changed either. We hiked the toughest one, over the Giant’s chin, a route I have climbed too many times to count. I thought the people there hadn’t changed either, but sadly, I was wrong. There were groups of 2 or 3 or 4 friends, all slowly ambling up to The Castle. 20141013-202018-73218262.jpg

We bumped into the Day Walkers on our way down from the Tower, towards the end of our hike. Only instead of chatting and laughing, they were glued to their iPhones. Updating their Facebook status. Instagramming. Tweeting. Commenting. “Liking.” Creeping. Texting. Checking email. Googling. Match.com-ing. Yelping. 20141013-202014-73214713.jpg

You fucking name it.

They did everything. Except hike, chat and laugh with the actual human being beside them. It made the both of us sad. Why bother being outside? So you can post that you were? I felt like saying something to one of The Texting Dead who walked into me because she wasn’t paying attention. But I figured what was the point? What was I going to yell?20141013-202019-73219825.jpg

Hey you! You in the yoga pants, reeking of Thierry Mulger’s, Angel perfume, put down your goddamn phone! Make eye contact with your girlfriends! And use your words! It’s a beautiful day! Look around, Fool! There is so much beauty! AND YOU’RE MISSING IT!

Yeah.
No.

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I let it go. It wouldn’t have made a difference. It saddened the both of us. All ages, all clinging to their smart phones. Like lifelines. It’s rampant. How do you tell your own Sleeping Giant stories years later if you’re tethered to your iPhone? Do you tell it in retweets? Can you text it in emoji? Are you minimally taking pictures? At least then, after you’ve photoshopped them, you can say: Damn. That was sure pretty. Huh. Funny, I don’t even remember this. And maybe then it will occur to you. So many beautiful memories to be had. So much life to live! Only it’s not as thrilling when you’re peering at a screen.

Shut down. Log off. Unplug.

You’re missing so much.

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What a Difference a Day (or Two) Makes

A view from one of the snowshoe trails at Mt. Snow

A view from one of the snowshoe trails at Mt. Snow

There’s an old saying that goes, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a minute.”

Two days ago, I snowshoed up Mt. Snow in Vermont under a gently, but steadily, falling snow.

Snowshoeing under a steady snow...

Snowshoeing under a steady snow…

Yesterday, I took the same snowshoe route up the mountain under clouds and mild air, only to snowshoe back down and find myself in slush and a freezing rain.

A mere 24 hours later and snow has stopped...layers are being ditched by the minute...and although I don't know it yet, it will be raining by the time I get back to the base of the mountain.

A mere 24 hours later and snow has stopped…layers are being ditched by the minute…and although I don’t know it yet, it will be raining by the time I get back to the base of the mountain.

Today, back in my corner of Connecticut, I went for a run under sunny skies with temps in the mid-50’s. Shorts. T-shirt. Sunglasses. Sunscreen. Sure, I still ran alongside massive snowbanks (those suckers aren’t melting any time soon), but…but…Shorts! T-Shirt! Sunglasses! SUNSCREEN!

New England, you are one crazy, temperamental bitch.

No wonder I love you so much.

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.

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Warrior Dash Connecticut. The Recap.

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Question: The list below are all titles of what?
Answer:
A. ) OPI’s latest nail color palette?
B.) The 2013 AVN Nominees for “Best in Porn”?
C.) The 12 obstacles at Warrior Dash Connecticut?

Road Rage.
Barricade Breakdown.
Iron Crossing.
Deadman’s Drop.
Giant Cliffhanger.
Great Warrior Wall.
Hard Rain.
Pipeline.
Mud Mounds.
Two X Fall.
Warrior Roast.
Muddy Mayhem.

If you said “C!” You win a turkey leg, a face full of mud and a belly full of laughs. “A” was close. And “B” was dirty. Piggy.

Tina and I were silly, filthy participants in Warrior Dash Connecticut, a mud filled obstacle race in Thompson “Are-We-Still-Really-in-Connecticut?”, CT. I’m clearly late with the race recap. The Dash was in September. But honest to christ, between the 9 Half Marathons, 2 Five Milers, 2 20ks, a 10k snow shoe race, a few handfuls of 5ks, several duathlons, a 200-mile Pan Mass Challenge, and soon to be 3 marathons between us, we’ve been distracted.

Shit.
We’re exhausted.

Where was I? Oh. Warrior Dash.
That shit is FUN.

If you haven’t considered jumping on the trendy obstacle mud run train, DO IT. At least once. (Don’t however jump on the high waisted shorts train. That’s awful. And not fun. On anyone. Yeah, I’m talkin’ to YOU Taylor Swift. ) This is my 3rd Red Frog Event. All have been of the Warrior Dash kind. Each one has been different. All have been roughly 3-4 miles with about a dozen obstacles. All have been incredibly well run. All have left me laughing and caked with mud. Mud, Fire and Turkey Legs. That’s the Warrior Dash Cliff Notes. It’s a blast. And unlike our previous 2 races (read here and here), we REALLY WANTED to run this baby. Why? Because sometimes you just shouldn’t take yourself so seriously. So “I am a Serious Runner, Who Runs Marathons, Dammit.” Bitch please. Lighten up! And that’s just what we did.

The Dash.

We haul our Warrior Asses to Thompson, Connecticut in time for the noon heat. Debate whether we have crossed state lines more than twice, tie bandanas to our heads, grab our “You May Die” signed waivers and head over to packet pick up to grab our bib, T-shirt and Hagar the Horrible Horns! Yahoo!! Lets do this!! On our way, I bump into several friends. Tina decides I am the Mayor of Warrior Dash. I laugh, wave, and mouth “Call Me” to my peeps. She closes her eyes and slowly shakes her head.

I double knot my sneaks. Tight. I start to think I should have brought duck tape to strap those suckers on. [Note: last year I lost my right shoe in the La Brea Mud Pit within the first half mile of the dash. I Warrior-ed on, with one shoe. The. Whole. Damn. Way. Badass? Yes. Although I did need a farrier and 3 pedicures to mend My Right Foot.] We find Diva Cindi and Her Fast Kids and head to the start. You’ll hear more about Diva Cindi. She’s a riot. And she’s known me since I was born. Literally. Love, love her.

Boom! We’re off and running! Tina and I are together! Kid 1 sprints off and Kid 2 is with us. Diva Cindi is just behind us. We hit the first obstacle. My sneaks are on. They’re actually cutting off the circulation in my feet but whatevs. I fling my legs over the Deadman’s Drop I slip. I somehow manage to avoid dying and chipping every tooth in my head. I catch myself. I’m hanging in an iron cross a la Mitch Gaylord circa 1984 Olympics. I am practically quartered. OUCH. I am bruising by the second. Holy hematoma. Onward Warrior! Over! (Non-bloody) Chin Up Buttercup! We scale walls! Walk planks! Crawl under barbed wire! Jump over cars! Get soaked with ice water! We watch a guy have a total anxiety attack and fall off of a wall mid climb, petrified in the fetal position! GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER PAL! We toss Xanax at him and…WARRIOR ON!

We Finish, hands clasped! Dash Complete!!!

We ran.
We laughed.
We drank copious amounts of bad beer.
We didn’t take ourselves seriously- and we still kicked ass.

Well, we ARE Warriors after all.

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Bad Beer. In cans. Free and delicious. Cheers!

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Warrior Colby.

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The Turkey Leg. In all of its splendor.

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Just a couple of Warriors. Nothin’ to see here people. Keep it movin’….

Cloud 9

Love, Love, Love!

Love, Love, Love!

Got to run on clouds this morning. At least I felt like I did. Nothing better than running in a brand new pair of kicks!

I just bought another pair of Brooks Glycerin 10’s. I started running in the Glycerin 9’s two years ago and fell in love. When the 10’s came out, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Brooks managed to improve a shoe that had seemed pretty darn perfect to me. I don’t know what magic they work into this shoe, but it fits my feet perfectly and is so comfortable. I ended up running around 14 miles this morning – in a brand new pair of shoes – and finished without so much as a tender spot on my foot. Incredible.

I am a “neutral” runner. (I’m assuming this fact does not surprise anyone who knows me in person or through my blog. Yes, even my feet fail to be edgy.) I don’t pronate, have a regular arch and have a normal stride. The bottoms of my running shoes never even become worn looking, I suppose because they wear so evenly. Colby pointed this out to me once when she took a peek at some of my old shoes. She assumed they were my new ones. They were, in fact, ancient and about to be retired. So, the main thing I need in a shoe is decent support (but not too much – stability shoes hurt) and cushioning for my higher mileage runs. Brooks Glycerin 10’s fit the bill and do an awesome job.

My blissful run was a good reminder that although running is a low-maintenance sport when it comes to the amount of gear you need, it is so important to get quality gear for the few things you do need, especially when it comes to shoes. For me, shoes and sports bras have always been the two items that warrant spending whatever it takes to be comfortable. I have slowly learned that socks are a close third.

Spring has sprung here in the Northeast, and although the brand new shoes were what really made my run great, the perfect weather didn’t hurt either. All the spring scenery and smells have returned to the Connecticut Shoreline, and it is simply gorgeous. Colby, you’re not even going to recognize the joint when you get back from California!

Read. Believe. Repeat.

I wonder how long it will take for me to actually warm up? I am chilled to the bone. I have a beagle on my lap who is the temperature of a small tricolored furnace. And yet, I am freezing. I ran 18 miles this morning in wet, light snow. When I finished, I started shivering and haven’t stopped yet. That was 3 hours ago.

Training for a spring marathon is hard. Especially when you live in Connecticut which received roughly 3 feet of snow last week. Who needs Warrior Dash? There should be a “Abominable Snowman Dash” with obstacles like Plow Dodging, Snow Pile Jumping, and Slush Running. Screw those hot stinky sweaty mud runs. (I would totally medal in Plow Dodging by the way. I am good.) I had an “ok” run. It wasn’t my best, it wasn’t my worst. It was long. I’ll give you that. My body felt a little sluggish today, a little “old” feeling if you will, which got me thinking….

A while ago (Back when Tina and I were Baby Bloggers), Tina had written a piece about body acceptance entitled Your Body Is a Wonderland. Read it. It was honest. It was authentic. It was genuine- just like Tina. She had asked me a question in that blog post- a “Ok Colby. Gimme the Top 10 Reasons YOUR Body is a Wonderland.”

MY body? (Hey! Not fair! You started this shit Lady!)

I immediately began sweating. She wanted me to actually LIST what I LIKED about myself?! Oh Poodle. (Sweat beading.) So I really thought about it. I wanted to be honest. Genuine. Authentic. I wrote my Top 10 List in a reply. Ten things I LIKE about myself. The list was harder to complete than today’s 18 mile run. The list entered my mind today the same time I decided that I hated my body. That my legs need to be stronger. That my core needs to be tighter. That I need to be 7 pounds lighter. (Yes. 7. A nice prime number.) I just dragged myself out of bed on a snowy morning and ran a boatload of miles. I should be HAPPY with myself. Why all the self-loathing? I’m not quite sure. I was uncharacteristically hard on myself. And it bummed me out. I was sure I needed to drag out my “reply” and revisit it. I need to keep reading it until I believe it. So. No more hiding in a reply.

Top Ten Reasons Why Colby’s Body Is A Wonderland:

1. I have a huge mouth. And an awful lot of teeth. My smile is massive. My laugh comes from my core. It’s bigger than big. And loud. Really loud. I happen to love laughing and smiling which works out quite well under the circumstances. Oddly, I don’t have laugh lines….yet.

2. My stomach is flat. Even at my heaviest weight in college, it was flat. Cap’n Crunch, wings, beer, nachos….still flat. Never an apple, more like small pear. Now I’m balanced and lean.

3. I have a pin in my ankle and do not have eversion or inversion in my right foot. Yet I have run 4 marathons, 15+ half marathons, and logged 1,000s of miles running and it has not given up on me. Ever. Sometimes she let’s me know she’s there, and I baby her. My ankle isn’t perfect, but she behaves perfectly. The scar that tattoos much of my ankle and foot only make me look tougher. Bad ass even.

4. My back is very muscular- even when I’m not lifting. Arms and shoulders too. My colleague told me I was “jacked”. It made me smile. (Then I challenged him to arm wrestle.)

5. I have a crooked middle finger. So does my mother and her mother. I love that.

6. My eyes are brown. Not the perfect piercing blue of my sister, the gray-blue kind eyes of my mother, nor the beautiful green of my brother. They are brown like my father’s. But mine are light brown. Sometimes amber. They are sensitive, soulful and smiley all at once.

7. I have strong legs. They carry me everywhere. They are short, but man they are mighty. I KNOW my 40 year old legs can kick the snot out of my 25 year old ones before they even knew what hit them.

8. My crow’s feet have hummingbird’s feet. My face is not weathered but it does look older than when I was 30. (However, it looks better at 40 so I’ll take the trade off.)

9. Because John Mayer told me so. (Honest!)

10. My body is a wonderland because despite how hard I am on her sometimes, she never disappoints. She works as she should, free of complications. For that I should honor her more.

Read. Believe. Repeat. Today and always.

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Make-up long run…in pictures

Seeing as how I flaked and left my camera on the coffee table prior to venturing out for a run in snow shoes, post record breaking blizzard (Epic. Fail.), I decided I would bring it with me on today’s “Make Up Long Run.” That damn Blizzard, and the monsoon freezing rain that followed it the next day thwarted my long run.  And promptly stressed me out.  I have never “missed” a long run. Thankfully I had ample time on my hands today. No cure today. Work is closed. The City is STILL paralyzed from the amount of snow. (Score 1 Long Run!)  Although not quite as peaceful–dodging pay loaders, plows, snow banks and Anxious Audi Driving Soccer Moms isn’t exactly Zen–it sure was pretty.

As the miles ticked away, I started to relax, look around and realize just how beautiful the day was. Lucky. So lucky. I’m starting to get to the point of marathon training where bundling up, lacing up my Newton’s, and dragging my ass out the door in below freezing rain, snow, sleet and wind is feeling like a chore- a chore Cinderella would balk at. (Thank God I’m not Cinderella. Although I wouldn’t mind a pair of clear heels. Just saying.) I hate when running becomes a chore. It should never be a chore. It should be a release, a welcome respite from the otherwise daily craziness.  Mother Nature has not been a runner’s friend here the past 2 weeks. She made up for it today- even though I swore I ran through a 7-11 Slushie. Today’s Make-Up Long Run made me realize just why I love running around my town.

A view across the Town Green as seen through MOUNDS of snow. It’s a huge beautiful hub, lined with big old trees and vast expanses of green. I like to think it’s the heart of the town.

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There are cows grazing here in the summer time. This morning there wasn’t a cow to be found! Just a pretty tangle of branches, snow and crystal blue skies. Love it.

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Today you couldn’t smell the sea. That’s one of my favorite things about living near here. Summer time early morning runs are gorgeous. This morning was somehow prettier to me.

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I love it when the salt marsh freezes up. Beautiful.

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Those duckies were definitely chilly. Although I’m pretty sure they were as happy as I was!

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Now if only that damn groundhog saw this. Damn vermin.