Liebster Award

Liebster Award

We were so pleasantly surprised to receive a notice from theoldfellowgoesrunning that he had mentioned our blog and nominated us for a Liebster Award in his Blogiversary post. Thank you, Carl!

This award has six simple rules that I will attempt to follow successfully.

I have gratefully acknowledged the blog that nominated me so I will move on to answering the eleven questions he posed.

1.  What possession do you prize the most? – The possessions that I prize the most are all ones that have emotional connections. But the one that comes to mind first is a book that our daughter, Hannah, made for me as a Mother’s Day present when she was a tween. Things could be a bit “prickly” during that time, so when she presented me with a book entitled “The Top 50 Reasons I Love You”, I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

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2.  Who was your favourite cartoon character? My first thought was Road Runner but then I realized it is truly The Pink Panther.

3.  What is the earliest memory you can recall? I don’t remember which of my memories would be the earliest. But an early and very happy memory is being at my grandparents’ house and waiting in the early morning for my grandfather to leave his slipper at our bedroom door to signal that we were allowed to get up.

4.  How did you come up with the name for your blog? Mike came up with it by combining our age (decade) and our quest to run in 50 states. I, of course, was toying with much more confusing titles. His was perfect, I think.

5.  What is the one food or beverage you could never give up? Red wine!  Well, I could, but I’d rather not!

6. Which day of the week is your favourite, and why? I like Thursdays because I love the anticipation of the upcoming weekend.

7.  If somehow you could put money aside, what would be your dream career or job? A writer or a gardener.

8.  What is your best blogging advice? Don’t publish your post until you have slept on it.  I almost always think of something I want to add or word differently.

9.  How do you like to spend your free time? Gardening, cooking, traveling, and of course, running.

10.  Which blog post are you most proud of? A Very Special Run

11.  Which is your favourite season? Spring.  Although we are currently soaking up every second of warm sunny summer weather after an atrociously cold and snowy winter, I truly love spring.  It can be maddeningly slow to arrive, but when it does I adore watching spring emerge.

OK, on to #3 which is to give 11 random facts about yourself. Since this blog is about both of us, I will include some random tidbits about Mike, as well. Our “About” section actually lists 10 Tidbits About Us which covers a lot of the basics so here are eleven additional random facts.

1. Thanks to our girls’ passion for horses, which evolved into us owning and “free-leasing” various horses, I have gained a myriad of “horsie mum” skills (trailering, bathing, catching, braiding, etc.).

2. Mike can fix anything, hence his super hero persona, Fix-it Man. We live in a house that is more than 160 years old so there is always something to fix.

3. I am an expert at golf etiquette.  Although I never played much and haven’t played in years, I accompanied my grandparents and father when they played.  My grandfather was a stickler for carefully following the etiquette rules.  The last time I played I was sweating from darting back and forth across the course at a run in an attempt get to my ball and hit it quickly so I wouldn’t hold up the group that I could just make out at the hole behind us.

4. Mike and I met the first week of college when he showed me how to use a coin-operated washing machine.  More details here.

5. My extended family engaged in a truly incredible event for several years that we refer to as “The  Cookie Bake”.         cookie bake 094           cookie bake 089

It started out reasonably by baking several dozen cookies together the day after Thanksgiving. Over the course of a decade it evolved into a mammoth event where eventually my sister and I and our girls baked more than 10,000 cookies in a single weekend!

6. Mike was the rec director for our town for a number of years. He organized a 5K race that was run several years as part of the department’s activities.

7. I’m scared of heights.This means there have been family hikes where I have frozen at a precarious point and claimed I wasn’t going any further (I did). I was terrified to try parasailing and zip-lining but after family peer pressure I acquiesced. And when Mike and our daughters climbed Mt. Washington, I felt vertically challenged just being driven up the Mt. Washington Auto Road by Matt (who thankfully shared my feeling for caution at precipitous drop-offs).

8. Mike loves pie!  Name a pie and he likes it.

9. I was a member of our school board for nine years which I truly enjoyed.

10. Mike makes the most incredible vegetarian chili. We won’t settle for anything but his.

11.  I am superstitious…not just a little “stitious”. As a result, I do a lot of knocking on wood.  A few years ago, Hannah made us our own little block of wood to carry with us on a key chain so we would always have access to real wood. Brilliant!

Blog nominations:  These are blogs that I truly enjoy following. Some of these I have learned of through other blogs and some I have found initially through Instagram which offers it’s own variety of connection with others who are engaged in a similar endeavor.  I hope you will take a look at these, as well.

My First 5K and More

Running ‘N’ Reading

Running Out of Wine

Skinny Running

Deb Runs

Flexitarian Filly

Run Doodle Run

Crazy Mama Runner

3 Generation Collaboration

Hot Tea, Travel, and Thyme

Wear to Knight

Finally, here are my 11 questions to my fellow bloggers.

1.What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

2. Where would you choose to live if you did not have any restrictions on where you were?

3. Have you crossed something off of your bucket list?  If so, what and if not, tell us something that is still on your list.

4. If you could time travel, would you chose to live in a different time? When?

5. What was a favorite childhood book?

6. Can you speak a second language? If so, what and if not, which language would you like to be able to speak?

7. What is your favorite holiday and why?

8. What would a perfect vacation be?

9. Do you have a recipe that you are famous for making?

10. I’m also going to ask a question I was asked.  What blog post are you most proud of?

11.Who inspires or inspired you?

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you will enjoy posts by these other terrific bloggers.

Favorite Summer Drinks-Friday Five

This is my first time participating in The Friday Five.  I’ve enjoyed reading other bloggers’ posts for a while and decided to jump in today after being inspired by Tara at Running’N’Reading.  She has linked up with Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia of You Signed Up For What?!?, and Mar of Mar on the Run today to discuss today’s Friday Five theme- favorite summer drinks.

So here are my five favorite summer drinks.

Water is definitely my go-to drink anytime of the year but especially in the summer.  This new water bottle from S’Well is pretty much life-changing!

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Aroma Joe’s Iced Coffee! Alas, for most of the world, this amazing beverage is not available to you.  However, we are lucky enough to have an incredible small local coffee company that makes the BEST iced coffee.  The baristas are so amazing that they always remember our order and make it perfectly every time. If you live or are vacationing in the NH/Maine Seacoast area you should definitely stop by one of their locations to experience their fabulous beverages for yourself.

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Although I generally prefer red wine, a glass of white wine is more appealing on a steamy summer day.  Luckily for me, we still have a partial case in our wine cellar (well, it’s wine that we keep in the cellar) left from Amelia and Matt’s wedding.  I think this glass that we got when we did the 13.Wine Half Marathon in Baroda, Michigan is one of our favorite race swag items.

Tea is my mainstay drink in the morning.  Unless it’s really hot, I love a cup (or more) of tea every morning.

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Having my tea in this mug from Red Drum Pottery reminds me of our terrific trip to the Outer Banks two years ago.

And finally, a Black and White Milk Shake is my favorite ice cream indulgence.

What are your favorite summertime beverages?

Do you have a terrific local coffee shop or ice cream stand?

Tibbetts Point Run 10K- Cape Vincent, NY

When Mike and I started making plans to run our New York race, we decided we wanted to do a race that was not in the city. After scanning our trusty Running in the USA website, Mike found the Tibbetts Point Run. We were drawn to the location which is on the St. Lawrence River where it meets Lake Ontario. My mother and her parents and grandparents used to summer on the St. Lawrence Seaway, so being in that area had an additional appeal. We signed up for the 10K but there is also a 5K that is run at the same time.

We had the luxury of stopping to stay with my sister, Kate, in Vermont on our way from Maine to New York.  That visit and the picturesque views made the long drive much more pleasant.

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We stopped in Sackets Harbor, NY where they happened to be having a Canadian-American Festival. We had no idea we would be lucky enough to witness the fire truck pull!

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It is a charming town with beautiful views of the lake.

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Cape Vincent, where the race is held, is about 25 miles north. After reviewing the somewhat limited lodging options in town I had chosen the Buccaneer Motel for our accommodations. The fact that I had chosen it is significant, because it meant I couldn’t complain. There is a rumor among my family that I have been known to emphatically voice my, shall I say, “not always enthusiastic” opinion when our room didn’t meet my discerning (they say fussy) standards.  You would have to confirm that with them.

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Although the motel itself was not fancy and offered limited frills (such as soap or shampoo), it was just a few blocks from the race and it was right on the water.

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We loved watching the boats on the river heading to or from Lake Ontario and I was completely enthralled with the wind turbines across the river on Wolfe Island.

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As we finished dinner the night before the race, I realized that there would potentially be wonderful sunset views at the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse that we had stopped at earlier that day. We raced over just in time and joined lots of others who were there for the same reason.

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It truly was stunning.

The race the next morning traveled on a flat course through town and out to a gorgeous route right along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. The 10K was an out and back course that looped around the lighthouse. After the race we returned to the lighthouse for a few photos

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and then decided to take the ferry across the river to Wolfe Island in Ontario.

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Fifteen dollars and 10 minutes was all it took to get us and our car across the river and voila’! We were in Canada!

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Wolfe Island is the largest of the Thousand Islands. We loved the quiet, rural feel of the island and the transfixing wind turbines that have such a majestic presence on the island

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We wished we had brought bikes to explore the miles of bike-friendly roads.

On the ferry ride back to Cape Vincent we met a cyclist who was heading to Acadia National Park in Maine (our favorite place) and we excitedly shared our suggestions for his visit.

The next morning we followed this small furry creature for a bit

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on our way to this coffee shop.

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After a tranquil start to our morning, we ended our visit to Cape Vincent and headed home.

State: New York

Date Run: July 21, 2013

Quest Race #: 13

The Bottom Line: This relatively small race features a flat course with a stunning view of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Its proximity to Wolfe Island, Ontario provides an opportunity for a fun, easy trip to Canada.

Pittsburgh in Pictures

We stayed in Pittsburgh when we ran our West Virginia race.  Here are some photos of the city.

We loved the view from our hotel room.

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I was enthralled with the bridges…

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and this building.

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As we enjoyed a beer in Market Square, Mike researched traditional Pittsburgh food.  We were pleasantly surprised to realize we were sitting at an iconic Pittsburgh establishment.

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This famous Primanti Bros. sandwich has the fries and coleslaw inside the sandwich! It’s a perfect combination.

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Amelia and Matt brought us to this terrific brew pub.

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We savored the wonderful BBQ we got at this tent while we sampled a number of beers.

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The next day, Amelia took Mike to a “beer cave” to pick out his Father’s Day gifts.

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Not an easy task, but Mike accepted the challenge.

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We spent some time in the Strip District.

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strip market

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Too soon we were saying good-bye.

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We managed to console ourselves at the airport when our flight was delayed…repeatedly.

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But eventually we were on our way home.

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Fours on the Fourth

In my post just before the Fourth of July I suggested that it might be fun to celebrate the day with a variety of fours.  We gave it a try.

Mike and I started our Fourth with our new traditional “Independent Four on the Fourth” (i.e. we ran four miles on our own instead of running the local race that we’ve done for decades).

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It was cloudy and cool when we arrived at Short Sands Beach in York, which was perfect for a July run.  We have chosen this route the past few years because we love the views and being there makes us feel like we are on vacation, even when we’re not.

Nubble Light is a highlight of the route.

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These beach roses are a frequent sight along the course.

After our run, which felt great, we changed in the spiffy new public bathrooms at the beach and headed to the second most important part of our 4 on the Fourth run-breakfast at The Goldenrod.

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It is a quaint, nostalgic restaurant and candy shop.  The food is traditional and excellent.

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They are known for their salt water taffy which they make right there.

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We returned home to continue our celebrations with Hannah and Todd who conveniently made it four of us enjoying the day together. The weather was not conducive to more outdoor activities so our plan to do four outdoor games did not transpire. But we began preparations for our evening’s refreshments. Hannah and Todd created these delicious sangria drinks inspired by Gimme Some Oven. Luckily we had just the right size star cookie cutter to make way more than 4 stars.

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Drink photos courtesy of Hannah.  Thanks, Hannah!

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Well, this one is my photo of the entire picture of sangria.

Four glasses were filled (at least once) with this delicious sangria.

Next on the menu was a fruit pie so I, of course, filled it with four different fruits-rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries and these perfect star apple slices leftover from the sangria stars.

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The 4 on the Fourth theme concluded with the 4 lobsters that we enjoyed for dinner.

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We were content with our “Independent 4 on the Fourth” and plan to continue the idea next year.

A good time was had by all (four of us).

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Did you do any “fours” on the Fourth?

 

 

(Independent?) Four on the Fourth

4th on the boxMike and I think we have run the York Four on the Fourth about 20 times. It’s tradition!  Listening to “The Star Spangled Banner” sung by a local vocalist at the start of the race never fails to give me chills. The course along the beach, lined with enthusiastic spectators, is beautiful and festive.  And it just wouldn’t be the 4th of July without our post-race breakfast at The Goldenrod.

But a couple of years ago, for some reason, we hadn’t signed up for the race when the Fourth approached. We knew we still wanted to run 4 miles on the Fourth and we definitely needed to eat breakfast at The Goldenrod, so we decided to do our own independent 4 on the Fourth. We drove to York, parking in an area away from the race, and ran four beautiful miles along the coast and past Nubble Light.  It was a wicked (the Maine term for “really”) hot day so we ended our run with a plunge into the Atlantic.  After a quick change we happily continued our decades old tradition of breakfast at The Goldenrod after our 4 mile run.

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We will be continuing our new 4 on Fourth tradition tomorrow.  This gave us an idea, though.  Anyone could do “4 on the Fourth”!  It doesn’t have to involve a formal race or even running at all. We certainly support running in a traditional “4 on the Fourth” event. But if you don’t do that, we encourage you to consider doing your own “4 on the Fourth”.

We’ve been brainstorming some possible “4 on the Fourth” ideas.  What about….

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  • lighting 4 sparklers?
  • doing 4 cannonballs off the dock?
  • walking 4 blocks?

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  • playing 4 different sports (our family’s other  favorite Fourth of July activity)-croquet, badminton, ping-pong, horseshoes, anyone?

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  • reading 4 chapters in your book?
  • running 4 (tenths) of a mile?
  • swimming 4 laps in the pool?

A few other more indulgent ideas spring to mind but we’ll leave it at this!

We wish you a safe and festive 4th of July!

Will you be doing 4 on the Fourth?

If you decide to do a “4 on the Fourth” we’d love to hear about it. 

Leave a message in the comments.

You can share your adventures at #independent4onthe4th on Instagram and tag us at @runningfifty.

Have fun!

Happy 4 on the Fourth!