Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

After the jam packed day I had yesterday, I’ll admit it was rough getting up early this morning. But in the long run well worth it. Today was just one more emotionally rewarding day. (I promise I’ll be funny again soon!)

A while back I mentioned in this post that I had signed up for the Tunnel to Towers 5K and the reasons why I wanted to run it. Well, I’m happy to report that my missions have all been completed.


In memory of James “Vinny” LaGuardia


into the tunnel • outta the tunnel • freedom tower • remembering the 343

1. Ran my first official 5k distance (after 3 marathons and close to 20 half marathons and a bunch of 10ks, 5 milers and 4 milers)

2. Tackled my fear of tunnels by running through one which was actually not as scary as I thought. I think it helped that there were so many people cheering. I didn’t dilly dally though. I ran pretty hard to get to the other end as soon as I could. I got a shot entering the tunnel and exiting the tunnel but didn’t take any IN the tunnel. FAIL! Also, take a look at our beautiful freedom tower and the amazing firemen all lined up for what felt like forever holding banners of the 343 that perished that day and giving us all high fives as we exited the tunnel. So amazing! I actually was running FAST because of the excitement of it all. I’m more tired today than yesterday after running 18

3. Got my picture taken with firemen!


Sally, Lisa and Elvia-photo courtesy of JD • Sally with Firemen-photo courtesy of Elvia • Sally finishes-photo courtesy of Elvia • Sally and Elvia all fuhklempt when they played God Bless the USA-photo courtesy of JD

4. And the most important mission—running to honor my friend’s dad who was killed last month so tragically. I talked about it in this post and this post. His name was James “Vinny” LaGuardia. And he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was a hero to his family and so it felt fitting to acknowledge him today.

From the pre-run performances of God Bless the USA and the Star Spangled Banner, to the sights of so many firemen running in their uniforms, reading all of the messages on the back of peoples shirts remembering loved ones, to my personal thoughts of my friend and her dad’s recent passing and my friend Lisa running in memory of her friend who was killed in Afghanistan, it was quite emotional.


photo courtesy of Lisa


As Frank Sinatra’s “New York New York” played…photo courtesy of JD


Lisa ran for Dario Lorenzetti, a friend killed in Afghanistan. photo courtesy of JD

Many tears streamed down my cheek. Meanwhile I have to admit when I got dressed this morning I was giddy that I was ONLY running 3 miles. I even put on some eye makeup and didn’t wear a hat or visor so that I might actually look like a girl in my pictures for once. Well, I learned my lesson. I cried away the makeup and it was quite stuffy in the tunnel and I think I sweat MORE than  I do during a marathon. =)

My friend happened to catch me on TV. If you want to take a look go to this link and scroll down to the second video. I’ll wave to the camera at about 1:50. But it takes so long for the page to load you can just pretend and lie to me. It’s not that big a deal.

And now it’s almost 6pm on Sunday and I’m DOG TIRED! Heck the DOG is DOG TIRED too!
Apparently taking a nap outside on my driveway seemed like a good idea.

dog tired

dog tired

Appropriately enough I found this quote in my Facebook newsfeed today:

I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom. —Thomas Carlyle

Well, it’s off to get some cleaning done and clear my head and ice my tired achy legs after covering over 21 miles of running and about 5 miles of walking this weekend.

Question: What songs make you cry? Have you ever been so tired you just laid down right where you were even if it was a cold concrete driveway?

WOW! What a day!

I started bright and early running 18 miles by the ocean!


can’t beat the feeling of being by the water



18 miles and a boxer photo bomb. In South Dakota I saw buffalo while running but in Staten Island I only saw a street named buffalo! LOL!

Bumped into my friend and her dog just as I was finishing the 18 so I walked an extra mile or two with them while eating an apple. Then I had a quick snack of nice salty potato chips with the best hummus ever. It tastes like an everything bagel!



best post run snack….Tribe Everything Hummus is the BOMB!

Then it was off to my friend’s house for a doggie photo and video shoot. (she owns a pet sitting/dog walking company and they needed duncan for the shoot. I also had a glass of wine, some more chips with dip and a couple of brownie bites.



Say biscuit!

And then straight to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk to support a friend.


photo 5-2

And now it’s off to bed. I’m beat! Plus, tomorrow is the Tunnel 2 Towers 5k.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Question: anyone have a busier day than I did? What did you do?

Well, I’ve made it through 5 half marathons in 5 days AND 5 recap posts in 5 days!!! I feel pretty darn proud of BOTH accomplishments. Ha!

If you want to read my previous recaps for the Center of the Nation Series just use these links:

Part 1: Mt. Rushmore and North Dakota race
Part 2: South Dakota race
Part 3: Wyoming race
Part 4: Montana race

This brings us to our final marathon/half marathon in Chadron, Nebraska.
We drove straight to Chadron after completing our marathon/half marathon in Montana and checked into a glorious Hampton Inn with some desperately needed FREE WiFi and a nice little restaurant next door called the Country Kitchen (where I had my one and only serving of pancakes the entire trip!). It’s the simple pleasures!

After a good night’s sleep we were off to Chadron State Park which was just about 10 minutes away.


This was our first “loop” course of the week. Many runners initially were worried that we wouldn’t get to see as much of each other as we did with the “out and back” courses which had become one of the best parts of the week. But then Clint, the most fabulous race organizer said we could switch directions! How awesome is that?! And so our big happy family still had multiple opportunities for cheering each other even as we ran at different paces, directions and lengths.

A couple of pre race photos:


Getting ready to run the final 13.1 (Hey that rhymes!)


Mike and Lisa

Let me go back to Wednesday for just a moment. After completing their 26.2, Mike and Lisa took their shoes off and planted them into an ice bath that had been set up using a child pool filled with ice and water.

a lovely ahhh turned into a horrific AHHHH

a lovely ahhh turned into a horrific AHHHH

All of a sudden Mike realized he had a very big blister on his toe right under the toenail. OUCHIE! It was so bad that he actually went to the medical area where an EMT tended to it and gave him some gauze.


He later added duct tape to his arsenal of “dressings” as he was told that it is a great way to protect compromised skin and good thing because there were more than just the 1 blister. After further examination he had more of those little suckers. So now fast forward 2 days (and about 50 miles later) and with less than 3 miles to go the pain got so unbearable that he decided he just HAD to remove his shoe. We were all in AWE that not only did he run with one shoe off and one on for the last couple of miles, but we couldn’t keep up!

minimalist running shoe: AKA the duct tape thong

minimalist running shoe: AKA the duct tape thong

Roger, Mike and Lisa were ahead of me after the first loop but waited at the aid station for me so that we could run together for the final day. I am so glad that they did. This course was very hilly! I mean we’re talking Mt. Killamanjaro steep! (ok slightly exaggerating). We walked up the hills and then ran everywhere else. The course went through a wooded area that we called “the enchanted forest”

The Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forest

At the top of the big hill we got to see our “turnaround crew”. Lisa gave them a hug on her final loop to thank them for all that they had done to help.

Finally! The "turnaround guys" (AKA the "ice guys")

Finally! The “turnaround guys” (AKA the “ice guys”)

I finished my half with the same time as the day before (2:38) and then went to collect my goodies….


and this time i am REALLY FINISHED!


HAPPY GIRL! 5 half marathons in 5 days COMPLETE!


a bumpersticker…

65.5 miles done!

65.5 miles done!

and the final state medal as well as a bonus crystal medal for completing all 5…

Nebraska....finish time....state medal...crystal medal

Nebraska….finish time….state medal…crystal medal

oh, right, and my celebratory cupcake…

I love sweets!

I love sweets!

When the rest of my team was coming up on their last loop (the loop that Mike ran with his duct tape thong) I jumped in and joined them for their final miles. I ran ahead to get some really great finishing photos…


Roger, Lisa and Elvia DONE! 131 miles in 5 days…they are DA BOMB!


this hug says it all!


Elvia and Lisa with their new friend Clyde


They DID IT!!! 5 FULL MARATHONS in 5 states in 5 days!

Duct tape thong. The new trend for next summer!

Duct tape thong. The new trend for next summer!


that’s a long medal!


the fancy shmancy crystal finishers medal

There was one last thing to do before driving back to our cabin to pack…


all done….lay down dead and head back to South Dakota


Nebraska was a great day!

We returned to the cabin, drank some champagne and packed up. What a sense of accomplishment!

a toast to reaching our personal goals!

a toast to reaching our personal goals!


Back at the cabin and after a glass (or two or three) of champagne I started to do a cheer routine until I realized I’ve never been a cheerleader. LOL!





a vignette of memories

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the week. I laughed. I cried. I reached personal goals and I was inspired by so many. I made new friends and found out more about the amazing friends I traveled with. With just 5 weeks to spare before turning 40 I squeezed in seeing Mt. Rushmore which was on my bucket list, and proved to myself that I AM an endurance runner. Not just a recreational hobby but a deeper thread that makes me who I am. It’s taken a while to get here. Always felt like I was impersonating a runner. But now I truly feel it. I look forward to many more wild and crazy journeys.


Question: Do you like adventurous vacations or more relaxing ones? How many State line signs have you had your picture taken at? Bucket list items?


Today was my first run since getting home from the Center of the Nation series.

doodlebomb watch pic

doodlebomb watch pic

I’ve been basically following Hal Higdon’s novice marathon training plan (which I have used for my 3 other marathons) since July 4th to prepare for the NYC Marathon but knowing I was also planning to run the 5 consecutive half marathons I added in a few really long runs a bit earlier than the schedule called for so that I would get used to running on tired legs. I still have an 18 miler (gulp! tomorrow!) and a 20 miler to conquer in 2 weeks before the big day on 11/3.

Now here’s where I’m so confused. Thursday’s are supposed to be my tempo run. That means a hard effort but not all out race pace. Only problem is I’m not 100% sure what my race pace will be. I’m hoping to finish in 5 hours but it could be longer. Except that would mean my tempo runs should be in the 12 min/mile range and honestly that’s my long slow distance pace. I feel like my tempo pace hovers around 10:30 min/mile. But I know i can’t hold that pace or even faster for a full marathon. Sigh!

Anyway, I’ll have my last recap up shortly but just wanted to share a funny story. The other day I came home from work and got the dog where we intended to walk about 1 mile up the road to my car. I park there to catch the bus but coming home I get a different bus that drops me closer to my home. Anyway, as we’ve done numerous times we walked to the car. Then I discovered I forgot my car keys!!! So we just walked home. Duncan was SO confused!



And then to really get on the poor dog’s nerves I sent him in to the groomer for a haircut. But like a true dog he loves me unconditionally!

from shag to chic

from shag to chic

We took a walk at the park and found some nice graffiti…



And then we were off to chase squirrels. Happy Friday!

Question: Anyone have a good “I forgot my keys and now I locked out” story? Any good Inspirational messages?