A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Happy Birthday, Momma!

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Today is a very important day. Today is my Mom's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Momma!

Recently, my mom shared a story with me and my SIL and I wanted to share it with you

When my mom was in 11th grade, she moved to Millersburg and was the "new girl". She heard about a club the high school offered called Conservation Club. She thought it sounded interesting because you got to get out of school to do community service in the woods and at Wiconisco Creek. (Things like stocking the creek with fish, etc.)

My mom decided she was going to join the club but fellow students told her that Conservation Club was only for boys. "Oh yeah?" my mom said. She went to the club adviser and told him she wanted to join. And that was that- she was the first girl in Conservation Club! The next year, 15 girls joined. My mom was a pioneer!

I was in Conservation Club in high school and there were a ton of girls in the club. I would say it was 50/50! I am pretty sure I joined just because my friends did. I remember doing a boat safety day at a lake. I also remember stocking the Wiconisco Creek with fish. Afterwards, my friends and I went back to my friend Tessa's car and blasted NYSNC. We made up a dance while we waited for everyone else to finish stocking the creek. I guess we weren't that great at community service!

My mom has always been outspoken and she taught me to be outspoken as well. Here we are at the Women's March on Washington, 2017.

Mom and Dad are great parents and role models!

Can you figure out which one is my momma?
From left to right: Uncle Andy, Aunt Debbie, Mom, Uncle Rick

1985- I needed stitches! My mom was 28 in this picture and I was 3.

32 years later in Philly to meet Hillary Clinton!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Friday, March 30, 2018

I'm signed up for 5 Races!

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Hey all! I am linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5 2.0!

It's kind of crazy, but I am currently signed up for 5 races! They're nearly all trail races and I do not intend to "race" any of them.

Here's what's on my schedule!

1. Buck Ridge Burn. (April) My friend Jen puts on this race in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. I ran it several years ago and I remember it was tough! However, I did a cartwheel as I crossed the finish line. Should I do that again?

2. Ultra Race of Champions 25k. (May) We're spending a weekend in Charlottesville, VA. This race will take me through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I can't wait!

3. Catamount Ultra 25k. (June) My MIL ran this race a couple years ago and had great things to say about it. Paul and I have been wanting to go back to Vermont, so running this race in Stowe was a great excuse to spend a couple days there this summer.

4. Double Trouble 30k. (July) I've been wanting to run the Double Trouble in French Creek State Park for years! If I don't feel like running 30k that day, I can opt for the 15k. This park has a disc golf course, so maybe Paul will come along.

5. Bird in Hand Half Marathon (September) Ana has only good things to say about this race. It's on the road and it's expensive, but apparently it's worth every penny.

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What races are you signed up for?
Have you run any of these races?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Warning: Don't run the Safe Harbor Half!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... After the Safe Harbor Half Marathon (aka, the race from hell!) I decided I needed to alert the proper authorities about the harrowing experience the runners had. I wanted to contact...

1. The organization the put on the race.
2. Local runners so they know not to run it.
3. The police.

I found the race on the New Holland Bicycle page. I didn't know what sort of organization that is or who is in charge, so I clicked on "contact us" and wrote a message to let them know what went on at a race they promoted on their website.

Unfortunately, the person who emailed me back was the RD. 
It looks like the whole thing is his operation. He IS the authority. This is the email I received from him:

"Thanks for emailing us. We talked to the neighbors in the area afterward and have found that they have had great trouble with this person in the past.  He is mentally ill. Compounding the problem, the neighbors have told us he thinks he owns property he does not.  We are rerouting the course for next year.

We are offering a credit (free) to our next run, a 5k/10k in Wernersville, Pa (Reading Area) on May 5th to runners
who were inconvenienced. Please email if you can attend. The run is up and down steep roads only.   You can win a pair of running shoes at this event."

Okay, first of all, they are rerouting the course for next year? NEXT YEAR? Second, thanks but no thanks on the free entry to another one of your races! Third, "to the runners who were inconvenienced"????? INCONVENIENCED!!!!???

I emailed the RD back to ask if he called the police. This is the response I got:

"I was told the neighbor called it in.  Also, one of the neighbors kept an eye out for the runners that tried to complete more than the 13 mile loop re-routed."

This information is just NOT lining up. When I finished my first 4.2 mile loop, the RD told us there was a "grumpy neighbor". How did he know that? There is no cell phone reception. I was with the first group of runners who didn't encounter the grumpy neighbor, so we were the first ones to complete a loop. Yet the RD knew about the angry man before we got back.

I am seriously wondering if the RD sent us past this dude's house on purpose? I mean, his house was actually depicted on the map he gave us!

I bet I know why the RD didn't call the police. I bet he didn't have any permits for his dumb race.

As far as letting other runners in the area know to BEWARE of races put on by this guy, I posted my story in several local running Facebook groups. So far, my blog post about the race has had over 2000 views. I think I was successful in getting the word out to warn people!

The last thing I decided to do was call the police. I heard the neighbors had called the police and the woman who was shot at  told me she called the police. I decided to call as well. The state police has jurisdiction over the area and the officer I talked to claimed they didn't get any other calls about this incident and seemed skeptical of my story. He asked me why I didn't report it on Saturday. He made me feel pretty stupid. I thought it's better to report something than not!?

So that's the story. The last thing I want to say is that from now on I really need to research a race before I run it. If it's the first year for the race (as this was) I need to contact the race director and find out more information.

Lesson learned!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Thank you to everyone who commented on my post about searching for running tights.

And A special thanks to Cheryl, who directed me to the EMS website. EMS had so many different running tights to choose from. I ended up ordering two pairs of the EMS Women's Equinox Power Stretch Tights size medium for $62 each. (Originally $89!!!!!!) The plan was to try them on at home and return them if they didn't fit or weren't comfortable.

The tights arrived Friday afternoon and I tried them on right away. I was surprised that not only did they fit well, but they were very comfortable, thick, and warm! These tights are thicker and have a higher waist than my Reeboks, but that's okay- more warmth, right!?

Here is the description of the pant from the website:

You expect your training pants to assist in keeping you warm and wicking away moisture so you stay dry. Yet, at the same time, it needs to be both light enough and shape-retaining, so that it doesn’t stretch out. Equinox uses Polartec® Power Stretch® to achieve this combination. As you get a full range of motion, the material lets your skin breathe, controls perspiration, and is engineered with tensile resilience, which helps it maintain a next-to-skin feel.
  • Made out of a 48% polyester/34% nylon/18% spandex jersey brushed fleece blend
  • Polartec® Power Stretch® material stays flexible without stretching out, evaporates moisture from the outer layer, and uses a low-friction finish to reduce irritation
  • Moisture-wicking and breathable construction
  • Gives you a greater range of motion
  • With an elastic waistband, cuffs, and drawstring closure

Part of me is hoping for a couple super cold mornings so I can try them out... Wait, no, never mind. I'd be fine with waiting until next year to wear these tights for the first time!

I couldn't be more pleased with these pants! Thank you for the rec, Cheryl!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Weekend Wrap Up! (HIGHLIGHTS!)


Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful couple days! Here are some HIGHLIGHTS from my weekend!

Kicking off my shoes and hunkering down on the couch with a puzzle and a salad after work on Friday. Catching up on the news with Jake Tapper and Chuck Todd was the icing on the cake!

Running the Safe Harbor Half Marathon in Safe Harbor Park on Saturday morning! Race recap here. This was the STRANGEST. RACE. EVER.

Hanging out at Broad Mountain Winery in Elizabethville and seeing my friend Randy perform with his improv group- Safeword!

Traveling to Baltimore with my SIL, Debby, to see School of Rock at the Hippodrome Theater. Tickets and brunch courtesy of my friend, Tracy! THANKS GIRL!

This was definitely the MAIN highlight of my weekend. First of all, the show was so good! Honestly, School of Rock was not on my list of shows to see, but I'm so glad we saw it! The kids in the show played their own instruments. They were so talented and inspiring! Not only that, but I got to spend the day with my SIL. I had a sore throat and headache from laughing and talking the whole way home!
Tell me a HIGHLIGHT from your weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Race Recap: Safe Harbor Half Marathon (WTF!!??)

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On Saturday, I ran the Safe Harbor Half Marathon in Safe Harbor, PA. It looked like the perfect race for me for several reasons:

- It was on trail
- It was 57 minutes from my house
- It started at 10am
- It was only $20 to register

I have run lots of cheaply priced trail races as well as some fat asses that are free, so the $20 price didn't alarm me. I assumed the course would be well marked and it would be a well organized race.

I pulled into the parking lot at 9:30. I was surprised to only see about 5 cars. I walked over to the lone man at a tiny little folding table. The man, who was the race director, gave me my bib and a map of the course. It looked confusing to say the least...

This is basically how our conversation went:

Me: I assume the course is marked?
Race Director: Well yeah, to a certain extent.
Me: Are all the turns marked?
Race Director: Not all of them.
Me: Okay, well I have my cell phone, I should be fine.
Race Director: Oh, there's no cell service out here! *laughter*
Me: Did you bring us out here to kill us!?


I figured that as long as I wasn't in the lead, I should be fine. Only a few more cars pulled arrived, and at 10:00 all of the runners (18 total, some running a full marathon, some running a half marathon) began our journey.

The course was a 4.2 mile loop with some extra road tacked on at the end of the last loop to get the distance we needed. As a half marathon runner, I'd be doing three loops.

First, we went up a power line. The first section was so steep we had to climb. I was glad to have trail shoes. For .6 miles, it was straight up a power line in the snow. There was nothing to do but hike it, one foot in front of the other. The sun was beating down and even though there was snow on the ground, it was hot.

When we were finally at the top, we ran over rolling hills. There were tire tracks in the deep snow, so I tried to run in those. It would have been even more difficult to run had those tracks not been there.

We crossed a road and went into another field... down steep, slippy, snowy hills and up another power line. It was beautiful but it was tough. There was a lot of walking. I had been hoping to make it home in time to go to the March for Our Lives in Harrisburg, but I could tell by the course terrain that I would be out there for well over two hours and probably wouldn't make it home in time...

It was when I was in this field that I heard gun shots. Lots of them. I figured there must be a gun range nearby. There are gun ranges along the AT and it is always a little unnerving to hear them. (I looked it up later and saw there was a gun range 3 miles away as the crow flies. Some friends told me it is possible to hear a gun range from that far away.)

This field was pretty but I had no clue where I was going. I kept my eye on the group of three runners in front of me. At one point they turned left and I followed. We ran until we got to a road. It's always jarring to go from trail to road. We were stuck on that road for at least a half mile. Then it was down a dirt road and onto the first single track trail of the course. 

We were only on the single track for about a quarter of a mile. It brought us up to the Enola Low Grade Trail, which is a rail trail that runs high above and along the Susquehanna River. 

We were on this trail for about a mile and a half. Then it was down a steep embankment next to an old railroad bridge. 

It was so steep, someone had installed a rope to get down!

Then we were off the trail, on the road, and it was a short run back to the race director and his tiny little folding table.

Well, that was the WEIRDEST course I ever encountered. It was barely marked and it was mostly fields and power lines! I would have NEVER been able to find my way if I wasn't following people. I hoped to follow people on my second and third loops.

Before I went out on the second loop, the RD warned us that there was a grumpy landowner who did not want us running through his field. So instead of running through the second field, we were supposed to cut over to the road. I had no idea where the RD was talking about but a dude in front of me did, so I just followed him.

When we got to the field I thought we were supposed to skip, the guy I was following insisted we were supposed to run it following the power line and then cut to the road. That way we wouldn't have to run near the "little house" as depicted on my map above. I trusted the runner dude in front of me and just followed him. 

When we got out to the road, a big white pick up truck with a sticker that said "gas guzzler" came barreling down the road behind us. The road was narrow and windy and the truck did not try to give us room at all. It was quite dangerous the way he was driving!

Toward the end of our second loop, I passed him and ran the third loop myself. I didn't like having to run by myself, but it seemed like there was no one else on the course!

There was something strange about my third loop.... I turned to go into the second field and there was a Posted No Trespassing sign that wasn't there before. I knew it wasn't there on my first two loops. Hmmm... I wasn't sure what to do. My phone didn't have reception so I couldn't look at a map. I continued down the road and ran parallel to the field. Luckily, I was going the right direction and was able to get back on course just fine.

I finally caught up with some other runners (well, I lapped them) at the section near the end with the rope. The gal and the dude asked me if I got shot at. What!?

I told them I heard lots of gunshots but I assumed it was a gun range. They told me that some crazy dude lived in the "little house" and came out in the field and shot at them. They SAW his gun and he SHOT. AT. THEM. They ran to a neighbor's house to call the police. The neighbors told them he's a crazy guy and he thinks he owns all the land there but he doesn't.

WHAT THE FREAK!? I couldn't believe it. Were the gunshots I heard from a range or from the guy in the little house? Did he come out and put up a No Trespassing sign? WAS HE THE ONE IN THE BIG WHITE TRUCK WITH THE STICKER "GAS GUZZLER" ON IT THAT CAME BARRELING DOWN THE ROAD AT US!?

This was the strangest race of all... And to think I am signing up for these trail races so I could have safety in numbers on the trail. To think I was hoping to get home in time for the March for Our Lives and then runners get SHOT AT in the middle of a field?

What a strange, strange race...

On Sunday, a woman who ran the race shared her experience on a local running Facebook group. It was shocking, so I messaged her for more details. She laid it all out for me and gave me permission to copy and paste her experience on my blog. Note: On the first loop, she was in the pack of runners behind me. I was in the first group of runners that must have gotten by the crazy dude first...

"I was running up the second climb and I saw the male and female runner that were in front of me running back down the hill toward me. I thought they were lost at first and maybe we had gone the wrong way somehow. Then they were yelling that we should turn around. I heard a man screaming at the top of the hill and he came walking to where I could see him. Even after we turned around to try to look for another way around he continued screaming and swearing at us, saying that he had a gun inside. When the two runners in front of me got near his house, he came out yelling and they tried to explain that we were just running and weren't there to do anything wrong. He grabbed the male and then the female that was with him tried to stop it. He shoved her.

We ran back down the hill to find another way around and he kept screaming and swearing. He told us that all of that was posted private property and he would go in and get his gun. Once we were out of his sight I think he must have gone back inside. We then ran on the road, but we were worried he could be in a vehicle trying to come after us. We didn't end up seeing him again but we were worried that he would be there when the runners came back around again that had made it by his house the first time. I think it must have taken him a couple people to realize that we were running there. So I know the first couple of Runners got by the first time. After we finished our first loop and got down to the parking lot again, we told the race director about our experience. He said we could route around that angry guy's house, but we decided we were done. It just wasn't worth it. I ended up going to the York Rail Trail to get the rest of my miles in... Safely!"

Guys, I don't even know what to say. I hope everyone made it back safely! All I can discern from the couple accounts I heard was that on the first loop, I was in the group of runners that made it past the house. On the second loop, he was out in his truck putting up the "No Trespassing" sign and then came barreling down the road past us. And on the third loop, I luckily saw the sign and went a different way. What if he hadn't put out that sign? I would have run through that field of power lines again and probably have come face to face with his gun!

I should have gone to the March for Our Lives. I think the universe was trying to tell me something.