So we're back from the great state o' Maine. The race didn't go as hoped, which is a long story for later in the week. Still we had a great time with friends from college who live near Bath and did all sorts of Maine-y things. Lobsters were involved. Even the dog got one:


I'm trying to find what few bearings I have. I'll check back in soon....

qotd, interesting times + martini friday

"There's a saying: 'May you live in interesting times.'

To begin, it's a curse. 'Interesting' in this case uniformly means "Oh god, death is raining down upon us and we shall perish wailing and possibly on fire.' If someone wanted to say something nice to you, they wouldn't tell you to live in 'interesting' times. They would say something like, 'I wish you eternal happiness' or  'May you have peace' or 'live long and prosper.' The wouldn't say 'Live in interesting times.' If someone is telling you to live in interesting times, they are basically telling you they want you to die horribly, and suffer terribly before you do. 

Seriously, they are not your friend. This is a tip I am giving you for free."

-- John Scalzi, To Stand or Fall

Speaking of interesting times, Martini Friday is up!

qotd + the return

“It's funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools - friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty - and said 'do the best you can with these, they will have to do'. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”

-- Anne Lamott. This feels particularly apt today.

Also: Martini Friday is back, y'all!


(inter) National Running Day

Yeah, I didn't know that National Running Day was a thing either. But I am so, so glad it is. Running changed my life in (mostly*) positive ways and I'd encourage anyone to give it a whirl or two. This is a good place to start. Again, I'll caution that the first month sucks donkey balls and mention that you should always, always, always run slower than you think you should, especially when you first start. It is hard to do lasting damage to yourself if you keep it slow. And running should be a long haul game. 


The Mother Runners celebrated in their own style, as you can see (and read.)

Here's how I celebrated NRD:


Five miles with one at tempo at 6:30 a.m. at the high school track. A bunch of other BAMRs got their miles in, too.

Even if you don't run, please get up and move around today. You can thank me later.


* My feet frequently cause nightmares in pedicurists.

qotd + race report

“'Would you like me to arrest you?' I asked. That's an old police trick: If you just warn people, they often simply ignore you. But if you ask them a question, then they have to think about it. And once they start to think about the consequences, they almost always calm down. Unless they're drunk, of course, or stoned, or aged between fourteen and twenty-one, or Glaswegian.”

-- Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho. The Peter Grant series is one of my favorites for listening to on long runs because Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's work is so engaging. 

Plus! At long last! A race report over at Another Mother Runner's Martini Fridays.

earn your cider

Every year at about this time, I run the Fly Creek Cider Mill 10K. The prize at the end, as you might have guess, is (sweet or hard) cider.*

It's a wee local race with maybe 150 runners in all. The starting line is a mailbox and a crack in the asphalt. Nope. I'm not kidding. 

This year, like every other year, the day dawned cold. It was 27 when I left the house.


Dubios Martini is dubious. At least it wasn't raining this year. Small mercies.

The runners in these parts are scary, by the way.


Or just very, very cold.

The course goes up and up and up and never really does feel like it comes back down. You're out into the countryside pretty quickly. You pass cows and plenty of scenic vistas. Water stops are in front yards. It's that kind of race. 

I ran with a guy in his 60s who started running three years ago because his doctor told him he'd be dead soon if he didn't lose some weight. He'd just finished a half marathon in March in Ft. Lauderdale. We were joined by a college student whose family was one of the sponsors and got her a free bib. She intended to sign up for the 5K but one of her siblings signed her up for the 10 instead because, well, siblings are like that. 

According to the training plan, I was to do a warm up mile before the race and one cool down mile after. The one before was great. The one after didn't happen because I was full of cider and needed to get home before the Husband needed to leave for a show. So it goes.


According to the online results, anyone who finished after 1:11:00 didn't actually finish, which is irritating, but it's a small race that I'm surprised even has a timing system. If I read Herr Garmin correctly, I crossed the line at 1:15. Given the hills and all of  my training and travel, I'm happy. 

In less than a week, I'll be running Pittsburgh. I have started making a list of gear to pack. It's progress.


* Given that it is a morning race and I have to drive myself home after, I go sweet. And there's a naughty pun in here somewhere that I leave as an exercise for the reader.

on forgetfulness

In less than 30 hours I will be leaving for Arkansas for the Another Mother Runner retreat. To say that I am unprepared would be an insult to unprepared people everywhere. I suspect I'll spent the next 30 hours trying to get as much of my work- and home-life as organized as they can be while flinging random objects into a bag and hoping I forget nothing that can't be replaced but knowing that I'll likely misplace, like, one contact lens or something. Because that's how I roll. 

At the last retreat I went to, I forgot my toothbrush, even though I managed to pack toothpaste. Anyone care to guess exactly what I'll forget this time around?