2016 BAA 5K

First off: Happy Marathon Monday!! It looks like a beautiful day for the runners and spectators. Good luck to everyone running!

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This past Saturday I ran the 8th annual BAA 5K. It was my first year running, and it ended up being such an amazing race.

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Dad and I at the Boston Common before the start.

The race had about 10,000 entrants, so you can imagine the crazy crowds as we tried to line up. Dad and I were around the 9 minute line, although we could have done better getting closer to the front because we ended up behind some walkers.

It was a bit crowded at first but it started to open up after the first mile. I was also FAH-reezing and my finger tips on my right hand were white. My legs and feet were also a bit cold so I think that helped me run fast, since I couldn’t feel them. 😉

The best part of the race though is when we crossed over the marathon finish line just around the 2 mile mark.

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It was at this point too that my dad caught up to me. He thought he had passed me at the beginning and was surprised to see how fast I was going! I was losing a bit of steam but kept him in sight just a few paces ahead of me. I did have enough in the tank to bolt across the finish line but unfortunately the chute was too narrow for me to really get my strides in.

Stats
Time: 27:38
Pace: 8:54
Gender (F): 1395/5033
Division (F 30-34): 236/785
Overall: 3411/8708

I had SUCH a wonderful time at this race. And it has definitely boosted my confidence with running at a faster pace. Even though I have no races on the calendar, I’m certainly going to continue my running about 2 to 3 times a week and see where my fitness can take me. I’m contemplating another half marathon, actually, but it’ll be a year or so before that happens. 😉

Was there a race you did that gave you that “I can fly” feeling?? 

Holiday Celebrations & Welcome, 2016!

Happy New Year everyone!! I’m sure it’s no surprise that I haven’t blogged that much over the past few weeks (or months even!). Work has been surprisingly busy, even during the holiday season. Although our occupancy isn’t very high, there have been a lot of transient guests who have a lot of questions for the concierge. Always happy to help though! And it helps that the guests have been pretty great as well.

So where have we left off? In terms of the garage build, here’s the latest:

Driving In

We can finally park inside! The garage doors have been measured and ordered. There are just a few things that David and I have to complete before they can be installed. But we’re finally out of the elements for the winter! Yah for no more shoveling off snow! 🙂

I recapped Christmas with my parents, and then David and I had a wonderful celebration with my in-laws.

We enjoyed mimosas, cinnamon buns and my overnight French toast bake.

And of course, there were presents! I received Cards Against Humanity, Seth MacFarlane’s jazz CD, Adele 25, Straight No Chaser’s Christmas album, coconut pancake mix, compression shorts and socks, and a gift card for DSW for some new boots. Overall, another wonderful celebration with family.

Ah, I almost forgot the night before! To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Sheraton offered each employee a chance to stay in the hotel for a complimentary night. We chose Christmas Eve, and the hotel gave us a really nice junior suite! And of course, I was having fun with my new camera.

Now back to Christmas! After a lovely afternoon at the in-laws, David and I headed up to Bangor for my cousin’s baby shower. We stayed at the Four Points by the airport and it was the perfect accommodations. The staff was really nice and the rooms were extremely well stocked and comfortable! And despite being right at the airport, the noise was very minimal.

We had a lovely time celebrating Angie…and doing the annual puzzle!

We left Saturday night and spent all of Sunday working on the garage.

The following weekend was just as exciting as well! I worked the whole week, and on Saturday my brother in law and I headed into Boston for the Celtics game. But we weren’t watching it in just any ol’ way. We had court-side seats baby! They were gifted from the most generous owner of Strega restaurant. (Side note: If you’re ever in Boston, you must try Strega Waterfront! Such a great restaurant run by a great group of people.)

Even though the Celtics lost to the Brooklyn Nets (100-97) it was still such an exciting game. I’m not the biggest basketball fan (I’m all about the hockey!) but even my heart was racing near the end of it. In addition to the seats, we had admission to the Putnam Club for food and drinks; the buffet was delicious, and the service was very friendly. 🙂

Overall, quite a busy few weeks for myself! Things should start quieting down, even though work may remain steady. There’s always birthdays to celebrate and families to gather with, so I know I won’t be bored for long. 🙂

And in terms of racing for the year? Still nothing scheduled yet, but I may sign up if my schedule permits. I still want to run the BAA 10K however! That’s always a favorite.

How were your celebrations? Excited for 2016?!

An Exhausting (Yet Fun) Weekend

So, yeah, I completely fell off the “Seasons of the Holiday” bandwagon. I’m still enjoying wrapping presents and listening to Christmas music, but I haven’t really put a whole lot of thought into what I do each day. Ah well. 🙂

I am so completely sore, and full, after the weekend David and I had. It was go, go this weekend to get the insulation blown into the attic of the garage. I ended up having to move 165 25-pound bags from the garage (where it was being stored) to the truck where our neighbor was manning the hopper. David was in the attic, using the hose to loose fill the space with 3 feet of insulation. Here’s a photo of me in front, for reference:

insulation

That’s three feet behind me and only 1/4 of the attic was filled. With our neighbor’s help, we were able to get it done in about 3 and a half hours. In the end, I carried a (literal) ton of insulation. Actually, twice that amount. Needless to say, my shoulders still hurt today. At the end of the day, we had quite a beverage selection to choose from to enjoy.

gifts

Just getting to help people is the perk of my job, but I’d be lying if I said Christmas does get me a bit excited. That’s the time of year that vendors will come around and gift the concierge with delicious treats and bottles of wine and champagne. David and I tasted the whiskey and both agreed that it would be best as part of a mixed drink. We ended up with a ginger beer and whiskey concoction. It was perfect. We enjoyed that alongside rotisserie chicken and Ruffles potato chips, because we’re classy like that. 😉 Hey, we deserved it after our long day!

Thankfully Sunday was more laid back, but we still had work to do. Our goal was to tape the seams of the sheathing on the side of the garage. I had to climb up and down ladders and move them in order to get all the spots. I use my shins to balance myself on the ladder so they’re pretty sore today too. And I have bruises in places that I didn’t even think I hit. Sore central indeed!

Our work day was shortened though because we went to my parents to celebrate Christmas. We exchanged presents and enjoyed a delicious roast dinner with mashed potatoes, veggies, and a lemon blueberry pound cake for dessert. The highlight of my evening was getting this!

best gift

It had been on my Amazon Wish List since 2012, and my parents decided it was time for me to get it! I can’t wait to test it out at Christmas and my cousin’s baby shower this weekend.

And here it is, Monday; another work day. I’m working tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday, and then I’m off for the holiday weekend!

Hope you all have enjoyed a wonderful holiday thus far! What has been your highlight?

2015 Pell Bridge Run

Almost 2 weeks later and I just realized that I never recapped my most recent race!

For the 5th year in a row (along with my dad and the 5th year of the race!) my parents and I made the trek down to Newport, RI to run over the beautiful Clairborne Pell Bridge.

This year we stayed at the Homewood Suites in Middletown, which was just a few miles from the shuttle pick up location. The hotel was great, and it had all the amenities that we needed for our stay, including a buffet breakfast in the morning! For dinner that night, we went to the White Horse Tavern (after reading a glowing review by William!), and we had a wonderful time. I had the ham and lentil soup to start, along with an amazing peanut butter stout(!) and the duck with beet couscous for an entrée. Everything was delicious and would certainly return!

Our alarm went off at 5:15AM and we got ourselves ready to make it to the shuttles. Because we registered early, we were on the later shuttle. And being that Newport doesn’t have too many public lots, we left a little early to make sure we got a spot on a side street. Thankfully we found one easily and were at the shuttles well before our 6:30 departure.

The only thing I don’t really like about this race is that they shuttle everyone over so early and then we have to wait about 45 minutes before we start. Thankfully the weather has been tolerable each year. This year there were more clouds and wind, but the race was still an enjoyable one.

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This was the only picture I took! I was trying to get the bridge behind me but there was no way I was going to stop to do so. The first half was slow and steady mentality. Since I’ve done this race before I saw no need to stop at the top and take pictures. And I made sure to have enough energy to coast down the other side. I was determined to get sub 10 minute miles, and I’m happy to say I succeeded!

Stats
Time: 38:39
Pace: 9:54
Division (F): 427/1856
Division (F 30-34): 65/215
Overall: 880/2829

Another successful race in the books! As of right now, I have no other races planned or signed up for. We shall see what 2016 brings! 🙂

Too Busy

Can I breathe yet??

It has been such a crazy time these past few weeks. The second to last weekend in July, David and I went on a road trip to Canada and Ohio. I still haven’t had time to sit down and write everything up! But here are a couple of my favorite pictures:

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Toronto was to visit his aunt and Ohio was…within a reasonable driving distance. 😉 Hopefully I can get some time to share all of the pictures I took and tell you about the trip.

Right now I’m just trying to breathe and relax. Within the last 6 months we’ve lost two people at the desk and one is down to part time. I’m essentially the only real “full time” concierge, and that’s translated into long hours and long weeks. Thankfully I’m not completely drained by it because I love my job, and I’m more than happy to help out when I can. And once we hire some new people, I’ll be number three in the roster! I’ve never risen up so far and so fast at any desk. And once I’m eligible, the hotel is sponsoring me to go for my Les Clefs d’Or. I just have a couple more months until I can apply, but now I’m get all my paper work lined up to start the application process.

Otherwise, life has been good for myself and David. We just received word that the town is allowing us a special permit to be able to build a new garage on our property. (Because we have no road frontage, any new construction/foundation has to go through the board of appeals.) Last weekend was busy, busy as we attended a Red Sox game on Friday night (they won!) and spent an afternoon in Providence with my mom’s side of the family on Saturday. Sunday was a 12 hour shift at the hotel. It was busy in the afternoon but the evening quieted down a bit.

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Providence

I love the fact that today and tomorrow I have nothing on my schedule. Next week will be 6 days of work, with one day of hanging out with my mom at her company’s work outing. I expect the week after to be the same (on the work front), but I’ve been assured that they’re working diligently to find replacements. It’s a BUSY desk to work at so they have to find the right fit.

Running has taken a bit of a back seat, but I do have a training schedule planned out for my next 10K in October (the Tufts 10K). It’s an intermediate plan that has more running days so I’m hoping it works well with my schedule.

I guess that’s all the updates I have so far! I hope to “talk” to you guys more on the regular, but things may stay crazy up until October.

How has your summer been so far?

10 Years Ago

Ten years ago today, my beloved Grandmama, Laureanne, passed away from pancreatic cancer. She was only 70 years old. I can honestly say that not a day goes by where I don’t think about her. She was such a wonderful grandmother to her 6 grandchildren. She loved her oldest grandchild (21 years) with the same intensity that she loved her youngest (11 months). I remember fondly the holidays and celebrations in their house in Bangor, ME and the summer weeks spent on Moulton Pond in Dedham, ME.

Myself and Grandmama at my high school graduation in 2002

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Grandmama and Grandpapa visiting me in college in 2003/2004

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Goofing around at my cousin Aimee’s high school graduation in 2004

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My last photo of Grandmama at my cousin Mae’s christening in 2004

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I’ll always have the memories of eating her delicious “food…good food”. Or when she would stock pile ice cream and cake cones at their cottage for me and my cousins to enjoy. Some of my favorite meals were her lasagna and ground beef over mashed potatoes (beef scallop? Is that right Mom?). But nothing stands out more to me than when she would set up breakfast with everything you could possibly imagine (cereal, bagels, fruit, pastries, OJ, yogurt, etc…) It’s no lie to say that I always ate extremely well when we visited.

Holidays, especially Christmas, were always the best. They had the fullest tree, set up in the living room next to the baby grand piano. They would illuminate orange candles in their windows, and even though they may be out of fashion now, I would love to put them up during the holidays (if nothing more than for nostalgia). At Easter, they would present us with carefully crafted baskets filled with chocolate and stuffed animals. And at every holiday, as a family, we would all walk to church; a community in which my grandmother was a beloved member. She had such a boisterous singing voice that I can still hear today. I can smell her too. And she always gave the best hugs.

I could, quite honestly, write an epic essay on how much I love and miss my dear Grandmama. She was one of a kind, and I am so grateful to have these wonderful memories that I get to recall anytime I want. My family and I still tell fond stories about her, and we laugh and smile. I’m sure we’re all thinking of her on this day, as we do every day. She is constantly with us, looking over us, and watching out for us.

Je t’aime Grandmama.