Dog Poop and Racing Boats

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Yesterday my parents, my dog Samson, and I took a little adventure up to the White Mountains. We wanted to do a short day hike up Mt. Monadnock for fun. My dad and I biked past the entrance on our bike trip and got lunch in Jaffrey a couple weeks back. We thought it would be a fun mountain to hike since it isn’t super far away. So, we packed ourselves some hardy lunches and drove the 2 hours up to the mountain. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned.

After driving into the parking lot and greeting the ranger, he told us that apparently dogs aren’t allowed to hike up this mountain. WTF? Apparently Mt. Monadnock is a very popular hiking spot. He told some story about how in 2008 there were a bunch of dogs that hiked up the mountain and some of the owners didn’t pick up after them, blah, blah, blah. Therefore, no dogs are allowed up this mountain. I’ve never heard of a mountain not being dog friendly, but apparently that’s something I’ll have to research next time I go hiking!

The ranger pointed us in the direction of another trail that was dog-friendly and we headed on over there. We didn’t realize that this other “mountain” wasn’t actually Mt. Monadnock until we got to the top. This other place was Pack Monadnock that only took us an hour to hike up, LOL! There were plenty of people with their dogs on this mountain and many others who shared similar experiences of being turned away from the other mountain.

Nonetheless, we still had a great time! I’ve felt a bit deprived this summer living in a place that doesn’t have those beautiful mountain views. I used to take being able to see Mt. Mansfield and Camels Hump for granted since I grew up with those. Although things didn’t go quite as planned today, it was still loads of fun.

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Mom, Samson, and I at the top

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Dad, Mom, and Samson

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Dad and I on top of the fire tower

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On another note, I thought I’d share a funny story with you guys. I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a pretty competitive person. What can I say? It’s hard to run races without that personality characteristic! Although I’m pretty good at hiding it or keeping it under control in situations that don’t need to be competitive, I had a little bit of fun today.

I was doing an easy run on the Charles when all of a sudden this boat starts to pass me. It wasn’t going all that fast, but just a bit faster than my own pace. For whatever stupid reason, I decided to race this boat. Let me just point out that I was definitely at a disadvantage. We were coming up to a curve and in track talk I was in the outside lane WITHOUT a staggered start. This boat probably had no idea that I was trying to race it, but I had a little fun before stopping at a water fountain and reminding myself that I should be taking my easy run easy.

Have you ever raced a boat? Gotten competitive in a stupid situation? Have you gone on any hikes recently?

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Friday Roundup

We made it to the weekend! Hooray! After a long week of physics classes, running, and more physics I seem to have survived. Apparently you did too since you’re reading this post! Just four more weeks until I don’t have to hear another word about chahges (charges), pahticles (particles), and vectahs (vectors). My current teacher has a very strong Boston accent…

Today started out with me coming within an inch of running straight into a sign. No, I’m not joking. Somehow I managed to do this while running up a hill, so I wasn’t going at full speed. Things could’ve turned out a lot worse if I had been running down the hill. Luckily, all I came away with was a bruised ego. I also met a fellow UVMer at the November Project this morning. What were the chances of that happening? It’s such a small world. Luckily, all was made better after getting some high-fives from two little cuties!

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The November Project runs on high fives and hugs!

The November Project runs on high fives and hugs!

To top things off, here are a few of my favorite reads from this week. Check them out!

  • Laurel from “To a 5k and Beyond” wrote a hilarious post about the difficulties of dealing with hair and running. I agree with her that sometimes it is tempting just to shave it all off! Plus, she shares my name so that automatically makes her awesome!
  • Scott from “Piratebobcat” shared a funny discovery about a certain search term someone used to find his blog. It made me take a look at the own search terms you guys have used to find me! None were quite so funny, though.
  • Lauren from “Will Run for Boston” wrote a heartfelt post about her decision to change from the marathon back to the 5k. I appreciate her honesty about her new decision and the insight she shares.
  • Sandra from “So What? I run?” wrote a recap about “The Evolution of Crazy” AKA how she came to love running. It’s a pretty incredible journey, so you should go check it out!

How was your week? Run into any signs lately?

Things are looking up!

Guess what? I won a prize!!!! Fellow blogger runnerunderpressure was doing a giveaway for a Sweatyband and I was the lucky winner. Thank you! I looooove pink, and I already broke in the headband. Unfortunately, I got caught in a rainstorm today on my run and returned thoroughly drenched. At least the rain cooled things down so I didn’t have to deal with the heat. We’ve had a fair share of that this summer!

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I’m loving the pattern!

Maybe my hair isn't just a boring brown.

hmmm… maybe my hair isn’t just a boring brown.

In other news, I wanted to give you a little heads up about an upcoming race since I know that a lot of people that read my blog are in the Jericho/Underhill area. On Saturday, July 26th MMU will be hosting the first annual Cougar Chase at Mills Riverside Park. All ages and all speeds (runners and walkers) are welcome! It’s a great idea – the girls start 3 minutes before the guys to turn the race into a game of chase. There’s a special grand prize for the top three finishers as well as division and male/female prizes. If you’re around and want to run a fun race then go give it a shot.

Happy Running!

The Little Things

a pic I took on my run tonight

a pic I took on my run tonight

Tonight on my run I felt especially grateful to be out there. It wasn’t a particularly fantastic run. My legs felt kind of creaky from being in the car all day, but there were a few miles in the middle that felt so smooth and effortless. I got the feeling only other runners can understand – the feeling where you think you could just keep going and going. I don’t get that every run, but when I do I feel so grateful. It’s the little things in life that matter.

My uncle died unexpectedly last week. Nobody saw it coming. He was a great man – the type of guy that you just couldn’t say anything bad about. He was a farmer through and through. Gentle, yet strong. Soft-spoken and kind.

When something unexpected like that happens it makes me stop and reflect about my own life and all I have to be grateful for. Although my life isn’t perfect, there’s a lot that is going right for me. I’m at a school that I love studying something that I love. My grades are good. I’m surrounded by incredible family and friends that love me. I have stability in my life.

Although my running definitely didn’t go as planned this spring, I’m still so thankful to be out there. I’m thankful for my new 10k PR. I’m thankful to not have any injuries holding me back right now. I’m thankful that my brother joined me for part of my run tonight.

Most importantly, I’m thankful to be happy. Good grades and running PR’s are one thing, but what I really want out of my life is to enjoy it and be happy. Thanks Uncle Stan for making me pause and think about the little things in life. After all, those little things are actually pretty big things.

What are you grateful for?

Bike Mission Accomplished!

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We did it! Around 8:00 last night my dad and I made it back home from our bike trip. Over the course of 3 days we covered roughly 242 miles, fixed some flat tires, and learned a LOT.

The last day we ended up covering the biggest distance. We biked from Keene, NH back to Boston. There were some huge hills in New Hampshire including a 2.5 mile one! Once we got onto route 119 we started to tick the miles off pretty quickly and made a lot of progress, though. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm hit us around 4:00 and we quickly ducked into a Mexican restaurant. At least the guacamole tasted good! All in all, we made it home dirt, grease, and sweat-covered.

stopped for some great lunch!

stopped for a great lunch!

waiting out the thunderstorm

waiting out the thunderstorm

our legs covered in dirt and grease when we got back

Our legs covered in dirt and grease when we got back – check out those sock tans!

My butt and shoulders are pretty sore. I may be in pretty good aerobic shape because of my running, but my body isn’t used to staying in that biking position for hours on end. I’ve got a bit of a sunburn that’s worse on the left side of my body… very strange, and some awkward chafing. All in all, though, I’m doing good considering what we did the past few days.

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My dad is a pretty awesome guy and it was so nice to be able to do this with him. Two qualities of his that I greatly admire are his patience and ability to stay upbeat in a difficult situation. Those are two characteristics that we definitely needed on this trip. I wish some of his patience would brush off on me as that is not one of my virtues! I was so grateful to be able to do this together. Thanks for going with me, Dad!

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Rail Trails, Airplanes, and Pancakes

Dan and Laurel’s biking adventures definitely didn’t go as smoothly today as we would’ve hoped. Today started out perfectly with beautiful weather and a short run. My legs were feeling surprisingly okay! We then got a fantastic breakfast at a little dinner.

I spotted a deer next to the lake. You can just barely see it scooting away if you zoom in on the picture.

I spotted a deer next to the lake. You can just barely see it scooting away if you zoom in on the picture.

I found a track! Legs weren't quite feeling up to a track session after yesterday's ride, though.

I found a track! Legs weren’t quite feeling up to a track session after yesterday’s ride, though.

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yum yum yummm

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My dad likes peanut butter on his pancakes as well. It may look a little weird, but I swear it tastes delicious!

However, things soon turned downhill. After a few solid hours of biking, the GPS took us on a rail trail. Little to our knowledge, that rail trail was dirt… Let’s just say dirt and road bikes don’t mix too well. We saw this plane and considered hitching a ride back to Boston. 😉 There was a little airport out in the middle of nowhere!

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All in all, we made it to our destination and are so grateful to be able to take a rest. Here’s hoping that tomorrow goes more smoothly. Just 87 more miles to get back home!

Let the Biking Adventures Begin!

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Biking Adventures of Dan and Laurel Day #1 = SUCCESS! Our day started early this morning leaving Boston. We got a few puddle-filled miles in on the Charles before leaving the city. It was a bit slow going at first between all the turns leaving the city and the branches down from the storm. We went through some of the towns that the Boston Marathon goes through including Hopkinton (the start) and Newton (where the hills are at).

in Hopkinton!

in Hopkinton!

After making a pit stop at my sister’s house we felt recharged and ready to go again, though. Especially after seeing this little guy!

my patriotic little cousin!

my patriotic little cousin

Unfortunately, my bike got a flat after lunch… ugh. With some help we were up and going pretty quickly, though (thank you, Cesar!).

Things we’ve learned so far

  • There are tons of roads named School St, Main St, Church St, and Washington St.
  • Almost anything tastes good after biking 88 miles
  • When your GPS guide starts flipping out, don’t panic. After all, it’s a long ride for them too.

Our bike route so far has led us by a variety of different places in Mass. From the ultra-rich to the not so pretty, the country to the city, we’ve seen some big contrasts. We’re looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

Wachusett Reservoir

Wachusett Reservoir

found a cool random building. Can you spot me?

found a cool random building. Can you spot me?