Exploring the world one word…and one mile…at a time

We know how many miles per gallon we'll get on the road, but we have no idea how many words per gallon we'll write while we’re out there. Come along for the ride!

Latest

4 Things I Learned From Today’s Running Mix

MWC2014wp

L to R: Me and J pre-race; Me at mile 5; J at the finish line; Me “penning” this post

Today was my first road race of 2014, the Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler in Cape Elizabeth, ME. While I was working through the last few miles, I thought about this blog post to avoid thinking about the fact that I was pushing my legs harder than they wanted to be pushed. In many ways, this post is for me, but I think there’s something universal about it, too. It’s a point of reflection as I consider my goals for the remainder of the year.

I’m poised to take several new risks in 2014. J and I will grow Destination Fitness in ways that will test our merit as small business owners. We’ll contribute our time and effort to organizations that we believe in; we’ll resurrect some of the skills we picked up in our prior professional lives; and we’ll put our creative output into the world to be sometimes accepted and often rejected.

As I ran today, I listened to the songs on my iPod, and I realized that there’s a lot to be learned and applied from what I chose to put on today’s mix. Read the rest of this page »

An Inspired Run with Six Women Who Weren’t There

Me, after this morning's run, and the six ladies I had the pleasure of "running" with: Meg, Sam, Suz, Mary, Heather, and Mona

Me, after this morning’s run, and the six ladies I had the pleasure of “running” with: Meg, Sam, Suz, Mary, Heather, and Mona

I just returned home from a chilly, hilly 10-mile run on the winding country roads that blanket the New Hampshire seacoast.  It was a planned run, capping Week 2 of an extended marathon training plan and testing my readiness for a 10-mile road race I’m running in two weeks.

The first mile of a long run is about waking up the body, shaking off the cobwebs, and getting a feel for the road.  It wasn’t until somewhere in the second mile that my mind started to wander, and I remembered that today was the #megsmiles event I had read about online.

When I set out this morning, I had no intention of logging my miles as part of the event.  I didn’t print a bib or share the details on Facebook.  I didn’t seek out new running buddies or organize a group run.  I’m a bit introverted and not a natural joiner, so jumping on the bandwagon in the wake of a tragedy seemed inauthentic.  The idea floated away.  I kept running, but my thoughts kept returning to Meg.  Read the rest of this page »

Back to the Alternative Grind

L to R: Threesunset scenes in Florida; 5K racing on my birthday; my October photo project; and M's new poetry blog

L to R: Three sunset scenes from Florida; 5K racing on my birthday; my October photo project archive; and M’s new poetry blog

We realized today that we haven’t posted an update in close to two months. How does that saying go? Time flies when you’re exhausted, confused, and energized by new ideas? We arrived home from Germany at the end of September, having traveled for 12 of the 15 preceding weeks. Six weeks spent road tripping across the Canadian and American west followed by six weeks in Europe, with three weeks at home in between to do laundry, repack, and taper for the marathon. By the time we finally returned to our cozy apartment in New Hampshire eight weeks ago, we were jet-lagged, burned out, and ready to slow down. And we were supposed to leave in six days for our next adventure: two weeks of national park hopping in the Pacific Northwest. Read the rest of this page »

Revisiting Rothenburg

n

L to R: The streets of Rothenburg; The famous wall; Delicious Schneeballen!

I’ve spent four months of my life in Germany. I visited my family here for one month when I was ten years old, another month when I was sixteen and about two months spread across three visits over the past three years. The large time span between visits has allowed me to experience the strange intersection of memory and reality. Nowhere was this more evident than when I visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber last week with T, S & J. Read the rest of this page »

Brötchen and Handball: Our German Stay-Cation

L to R: The TVG handball team; morning along the Main; garden scenes and fresh bounty.

L to R: The TVG handball team; morning along the Main; garden scenes and fresh bounty.

We’ve been in Germany for more three weeks, and our spoken language skills have progressed to the point where we can order dinner and drinks in a restaurant (confirming that things are meat-free as needed), handle travel on the bus and train (including reading the many signs indicating the once-mighty German rail lines are running late again), decipher pop songs on the radio (and Adam Sandler movies), and make (limited) small talk.  I can also rattle off most fruits and vegetables and kitchen verbs, thanks in large part to cooking several dishes from a German recipe book. But the true test of our German skills is tackling the morning visit to the local Bäckerei for fresh breakfast rolls (Brötchen). Read the rest of this page »

Wandering Around Wϋrzburg

L to R: Riding the rails into Wurzburg; street scene on our way to Kult; tasty vegL to R:gie finds; Bavarian beer; posing with the locals (it's election season here...)

L to R: Riding the rails into Wurzburg; street scene on our way to Kult; tasty veggie finds; Bavarian beer; and posing with the locals (it’s election season here…)

A few days ago, M and I took advantage of a regional train pass that allowed us to head anywhere in the state of Bayern (Bavaria) for a combined fare of €26.  We first rode the bus to Aschaffenburg where we boarded a two-hour local train to the city of Wϋrzburg.  We hadn’t done much research before selecting it as our destination for a one-night adventure (inexpensive, interesting, and semi-local were our main requirements), and we weren’t sure what to expect.  Perhaps for that reason, we were quickly captivated by the place. Read the rest of this page »

Runner’s High, German Style!

blah

L to R: Ummm…this way to number pick-up, I think; The Start/Finish (Ziel) line; Team “Partner Look” pre-race; The socks post-race; Our race swag.

J and I run a lot of races. However, since many of our races take place while traveling, it’s rare that we get to run with friends. Yes, running is an individual sport, but taking on a race with friends is much better than going it alone. While J and I are always each other’s personal cheering squad, a bigger group means even more positive energy.

Today, we joined T & S for a 10K race in Elsenfeld, Germany, a small town near Groβwallstadt where we are staying. In some ways, the race was like most American races: there were timing chips, a DJ, t-shirts, water stops, etc. In other ways, it was totally different: Read the rest of this page »

Grüße aus Deutschland! (Greetings from Germany!)

L to R: Our flight from Dublin to Frankfurt; practicing my German;

L to R: On our flight from Dublin to Frankfurt; practicing my German at 38,000 feet; the main street in the town where M’s family lives; exploring the Johannesburg Castle in Aschaffenburg; and the cast of “Spring Awakening”…auf Deutsch.

We’ve been in Germany just ten days, but it feels like a lifetime…in a good way.  We left Ireland last Tuesday after a fantastic week, capped off with two active days in Dublin.  It was a short, productive flight to Frankfurt; M worked on the poetry book he’s co-editing, and I practiced my German (which needs a bit of practice).  Our flight landed nearly an hour late, but M’s uncle and cousin were waiting patiently for us just past customs.  We had initially planned to take the train, but after a long week of travel, we were grateful for their offer to pick us up.  We chatted all the way back to their house in a small town along the Main River south of the city of Aschaffenburg.

We stayed local the first few days, getting used to another time zone and catching up with M’s family.  We’ve traveled here each of the past two summers, but in prior years, our visits have been planned around M’s cousins’ weddings.  It’s a nice change of pace to be without a formal agenda on this trip. Read the rest of this page »

It’s All About People (Even for an Introvert Like Me)

These pictures illustrate the places where we met them, but this post is about the various people we encountered in Ireland. L to R: the Achill Ultra starting line; the village at Achill Sound; the Galaxy Bar; Gallagher’s Boxty House; and the Yeats exhibit at NLI.

Greetings from Germany…specifically from our cousins’ home south of Frankfurt.  We’ve only been here for one full day, but we already feel settled in and are so grateful for their hospitality and friendship.  We tackled our first post-marathon run together (six scenic miles along the Main River) and enjoyed our first German beers of the trip, including a specially-formulated alcohol-free beer with added vitamins designed for consumption after sports.  Running just got even better!

But before we fill our minds and hearts with new people and adventures here in Germany, we wanted to give a shout out to some of the wonderful folks we met in Ireland.  Read the rest of this page »

11 Things I Learned on Achill Island

AU1

L to R: Signage just before crossing the bridge into Achill Sound; J and me battling our nerves on race morning; race course signage (the roads were open); the start and finish line as the ultra runners began; mile marker near the finish line showing all three events.

The Achill Ultra race series on Achill Island in Ireland consisted of three events: a half marathon (13.1 miles), a full marathon (26.2 miles) and an ultra-marathon (a whopping 39.3 miles). There were just over 200 runners across all three races, making this a very personal affair. While most of the runners were Irish, we met folks from Ontario and New Jersey as well. And of course, we were in from New Hampshire. Read the rest of this page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 95 other followers