Well it’s now eight nine eighteen because I kept getting distracted yesterday when I started writing this post! But let’s just pretend:

I just love today’s date 080818. I felt it deserved a blog post title and so I’m writing this post just to make it happen 🙂

I’m making such progress in clearing out my house before the closing. Tossing, donating, packing….

bubble wrap is my life right now

Said goodbye to the late hubby’s skiis (and most of his other stuff too)…I can vividly remember watching him ski out of the trees up in Vermont. I never felt comfortable enough to attempt skiing through the trees. Donated 3 car loads of stuff so far.

who saves drawers from a dresser they haven’t owned in 20 years?

Shredding years of paper

My attic is now officially empty and I’ve shredded almost 20 years of important docs. Seriously what was I doing? Clearly I didn’t need tax docs from 1997! I did save this one page from my 1999 taxes.

As of now it looks like I’ll be closing at the end of this month. But this weekend I’m going to officially move into Mr. SOTSS’ house. I want Duncan settled and out of this house before I really start dismantling stuff. He’s definitely starting to wonder what the deal is.

Yesterday my piano went. I donated it to a nonprofit called The Society of the Unique Artists.

I had to explain to Duncan they are only taking the piano and not him. He was confused for a second.

Other than packing and purging I’ve been doing the usual. Walking, working, a little running and a whole lot of Duncan cuddling. We have just 2 more nights to share a queen sized bed just the two of us! It’s a luxury I’m going to miss as we double that count….And Chester is an 85 pound lab which basically means he’s like another human.

A 3 miler the week before last

And a 4 miler last week! Yep, I went an extra mile because i was having such a good run. And then I took what will probably be the last sweaty selfie post-run at this door. I was reminded on this run that I can always count on 2 things: How i feel about running and how Duncan feels about me 🙂

Last weekend Mr SOTSS and I went to a hot air balloon festival.

I was being such a pain about getting a good selfie that we ran the potential of the balloons leaving the frame before we snapped the pic. Sometimes you just can’t dilly dally.

Well, we actually just sat in the parking lot with our picnic dinner and drinks to watch them all take flight.

French fry face!


Last year we paid the $35 entry fee each (and we had his two daughters with us too) and realized there wasn’t much to do and really we just wanted to see the balloons at the end of the night. We noticed people in the parking lot with lawn chairs and thought that was genius. And last year was too windy so they balloons never left the ground. It was a bit depressing. But this year was quite spectacular. A beautiful sight.

Oh yeah, and I got stung by a bee! I hadn’t been stung in about 35 years and apparently I am allergic. My ankle swelled up and was painful for about a week. Thankfully my breathing was not affected.

While I’ve spent many a day and night at Mr. SOTSS’ place, I’ve never been there more than 4 days consecutively. So everyone will be needing some time to get adjusted to the full time “roomies” situation.

Mr. SOTSS built me this awesome room last summer and it’s supposed to be my private oasis kinda thing….like a she-shed. But apparently everyone just flocks to me. We’re all squeezed into the 7×7 room. HAHA!

Chester will love that I can feed him at 5pm sharp now so he doesn’t have to wait for his dad to get home for dinner.

I’ve gotta drop the doodles off at the groomer. Hope you’re all having a good month.

What’s new with you? Do you have a date like eight eight eighteen that you like? I remember 9-10-11, 10-11-12, 11-12-13 and 12-13-14 like they were yesterday 🙂

I thought I’d share some tips compiled by myself as well as some of my teammates that will help you to have the best overnight running relay experience ever! First, if you’re not familiar with these type of events, you can go here for a little background info specifically about Ragnar Relay.

Without further ado I present to you my 10 tips for the best overnight relay race experience


1. Pack your running outfits in plastic zip close bags (I use freezer bag versions because they are stronger and have an area to write on) for each individual leg you are running. Then write on each bag which leg that outfit is for. For instance, you might be running the first leg early in the morning when it’s cooler but not so sunny so you might want a warmer top and not need a visor. But perhaps your second leg will be mid-day with hot sun. You wouldn’t want to pull the wrong bag and end up with your morning outfit for leg 2 now would ya?

packing for Ragnar Relay

2. Pack non-perishable meals and plenty of water. You can’t count on having the time or the resources to locate restaurants or grocery stores on the way. And trust me, there’s nothing worse than getting ready to run your 2nd or 3rd leg of the journey at the crack of dawn and be so hungry people start to resemble chicken drumsticks like the cartoons. Hard boiled eggs and turkey sandwiches kept in a cooler or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are some good options. Maybe a few pieces of fruit, some chips, trail mix and candy! You gotta have candy! I usually bring a small backpack/hydration pack so I always have access to my food and water but we usually also have a huge cooler in the back that we stock with water and gatorade the night before the event.

3. Bring double the amount of sun screen, bug spray and baby wipes and TP you think you’ll want. At night the skeeters can really bite you up and during the day you’ll be running with long stretches of sun on your face. Don’t risk getting burned because that’ll make you really uncomfortable. Oh, and Trust me on the baby wipe thing. You might step in mud or even worse, dog poo on top of just wanting to wipe sweat off your brow. And that leads me to #3.

you'll be using these for a long time....don't expect there to be TP, take your own!

you’ll be using these for a long time….don’t expect there to be TP, take your own!

4. Pack a backup pair of sneakers. If it rains, one pair might get really wet or perhaps you didn’t have enough baby wipes AND you stepped in dog poo. (this happened to me my second relay and i tossed the poo’d pair.)

5. Pack a beach towel and a hand towel. This will be great if you need to sit in the van sweaty. Also, it allows for some “modesty” if you opt to change out of ALL your sweaty clothes.

6. Pin your race # to your bottoms or use a running belt with those clips that hold race #s. This one is mainly if you think you might want to change your shirt after each leg but keep the same bottoms. It’s one less thing to think about. You have to have your number on at all times and wouldn’t want to rip off a sweaty shirt after your leg only to realize the number is still attached.



7. Team spirit is everything! Christi, who was our team captain for one of the relays had this to share: It’s all about who is in the van and their attitude towards the whole endeavor. It will only be fun if everyone in the van gets into it and supports each other, especially cheering along the course as you wait for your teammate to come into the check point.


props! are fun when you’re getting into the team spirit.


relay teammates that enjoy sunrises with Dunkin Donuts coffee together finish happy!

8. Decorate your van inside and out! Christi also suggests powering up a couple of strings of Christmas lights inside the van. It makes the van easily recognizable to the runner and makes the van feel cozy in the wee hours of the morning. (you can plug into the power adapter in the van. Many have them in the back of the vehicle) And using soap crayons to decorate the outside is a must! We’ve even created a little chart to fill in as each runner finishes their leg they can write in their finish time and cross that leg off as DONE!

Dusk was the perfect time to decorate the van with lights.

Dusk was the perfect time to decorate the van with lights.


soap crayons and markers are SO much fun!


9. Magic fun bag! OK, so Christi is also a grade school teacher so you see why fun is such a big emphasis from her contributions to this post. But really, if you’re not having fun then it’s not a successful relay. Coordinate with your teammates to make a magic fun bag that has items everyone will need or use — baby wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, noisemakers, snacks, sidewalk chalk to write messages on the path for the runners, bandaids

10. Film everything so you can make a video and remember what a good time it was years later. Here’s the video Roger made of our team when we did Ragnar New England.

And some bonus tips…

Jorge says: If you are doing the “ultra” category, respect the distance… Big difference— 200 miles is quite different between 12 runners and 6 runners… You can be quite festive with 12… With 6, it’s exercise AND discipline- you are either running, sleeping, driving, navigating, preparing to run or eating

Lisa adds: interact with the other teams, review the plan repeatedly but be flexible as it will probably change. She also says #RunningistheEasyPart

Roger adds: Don’t take yourself so seriously because it’s not really a race, but an event with friends and/or strangers. If something goes wrong, like you lose an MP3 player, don’t freak out but just laugh it off… Wear a horsehead mask or something else stupid to keep everyone (or at least yourself) laughing.

photo courtesy Roger (horsehead) Wright

photo courtesy Roger (horsehead) Wright

Oh yeah, the most important part of the relay is to know how to easily pass off the “baton” which is really a slap bracelet. I have to say I had a hard time with that. =)


successful transition at exchange 31

Any other tips? Share in the comments! =)


First let me apologize that this post has limited pictures. It’s more of a brain dump for me.

It’s just before almost 4 pm and I’ll be on a plane in 4 hours headed to San Francisco I JUST finished packing and I’m headed out the door for doodle drop off in 15 minutes.


She said I don’t fit in the suitcase. Hrumph!

photo 3

one last selfie with the pup

I spent an hour last night just trying to resurrect my iPad. Apparently it was so uncharged it took being connected to the computer for almost a solid hour before it started charging. Crisis averted and i’ve downloaded the newest issue of Runner’s World for the plane.

So last night I left work after a VERY hectic day. The usual ad agency client requests. I was frazzled a bit during the day because after checking in with the San Francisco Marathon about how to move forward with switching from the full to the half I received a reply that said that I must get to the expo as soon as they open on Friday at noon as the events are sold out and there is truly limited availability. I’m assuming that it’s first come first served and if someone beats me to the punch I’ll be sh-t outta luck. And I know myself….I will refuse to run no race at all so I’d end up trying to attempt the full.

Anyway I walked to the bus stop and apparently stepped in some fresh gum which I didn’t know until I sat down on the bus and crossed my legs. Plus it was 85 degrees out so needless to say this gum was quite messy. I did the best I could to deal with the situation and laughed that my vacation has officially started off on the wrong foot a bit sticky…

Then I went straight to physical therapy and explained my new ailment. I got super high voltage electrotherapy…I spent 20 minutes watching my leg twitch uncontrollably. LOL! (I wanted to video tape this for you guys but i was too embarrassed to) And then my PT did some direct laser treatment on the calf and massaged it for a while. His theory is that this is actually sciatic nerve from back that is going down the back of the leg and causing calf issue. All I know is that i miss having two legs that feel strong. The 6 1/2 hour plane ride should be fun.

Meanwhile Lisa is going through her own injury stuff. She started to have some hip issues about a week ago and has been to her doc 3 times this week. Her issues are around the sacroiliac joint and she’s also prepared to make a game day decision. Yowsah! This is not exactly how we anticipated this trip to be. Let’s do a quick replay of how this trip came to fruition…

Lisa (the friend who changed my life by introducing me to running) has a sister Valerie. Valerie lives in San Francisco. Valerie started running (probably because she was inspired by her sister like I was) and started completing a half marathon a month….until she decided she wanted to run her first marathon….the San Francisco Marathon. Then Lisa said she wanted to go and run with her for support and then I said “wait! me too!”….And then Roger mentioned he’d be going to raise money for Cystic Fybrosis by running the full TWICE (yes 52.4 miles). And our friend Michelle said she was running the half too. Holy running peeps PARTY!!!

OK, so my braindump is complete. I’m off for an adventure. It’s just one adventure in a lifetime of adventures…It’s not a sprint….it’s a marathon I need to keep in mind that I want to be running for the rest of my life and I need not stress about one event or risk injury.

photo 4


Next time you hear from me I’ll be on the left coast!!!!

Anyone else have a race this weekend? Anyone traveling? 

While I’m waiting for the calf/ankle stuff to settle a bit and since it’s taper week I skipped my run today. I’ve been substituting some Starbucks to “sip out the small stuff” for now. I admit, a nice hot Caramel Macchiato eases my mind. And a little shopping never made anyone’s tendonitis any worse =)

Sip and shop: it's the easiest form of cross training

Sip and shop: it’s the easiest form of cross training

I keep thinking about my last convo with the physical therapist 2 weeks ago. I said I felt so good I didn’t need further treatment. He advised to come at least once more time since my referral would expire at the end of the month anyway. And so I made the appointment with the expectation that I’d cancel. Well now I’m so desperate I can’t wait to go there tomorrow. I’m going to have to put my tail between my legs and beg for his help and hope he can work some miracles on the calf now in addition to the ankle. Lesson learned.

This morning, since I had some extra time, and it was fairly cool, I took the doodle to the park for a walk. He loves those unexpected morning trips in the car. (I know this because I understand non-verbal dog language of course =)

My pre-caffeinated, bedhead and puffy eyes joined

My pre-coffee look: bedhead and puffy eyes

I’ve only got 2 more nights with the furrkid before I’m off to San Francisco. I miss him already.

And it takes a lot to pack for a running vacation. Lord knows i’ll be unpacking and repacking and swapping in and swapping out stuff until the last minute.

Meanwhile, I’m getting a little nostalgic about my trip to Cali last year.

How are you at packing for running vacations? Do you need to match your race outfits?