Holy guacamole! It’s been a while (2 years, to be exact) and a lot has changed…the abridged version is as follows: I became a “real” aunt, then got married and became a real aunt x5 (that’s 6 in total), traveled to the other side of the world to hold a koala, got a brandy new kitten, Betty Boop (pictured below in her “going to camp” outfit) and then finally settled back into normal life where my *husband* and I made our marriage goal, which is what this post is about. That should pretty much catch you up.
After thinking long and hard, we decided that together we will run a race in every single town in our home state of CT – that’s 169 races! I also want to disclose that I thought this was a COMPLETELY ORIGINAL idea – it was not, but I still think I should get creativity points, because I really did think I came up with this idea. I even told Ben that at races we should make sure we tell every person we meet our plan so a few months from now people will see us and say “Hey look, that’s that power couple who is running races everywhere in the whole state”. Obviously by this point we would have been on the news a few times, probably have a book deal, and definitely would have at least 2 body guards (we needed those ever since our appearance on the Ellen Show). I mean lets be honest, we only have so much time to shake hands and sign autographs.
Anyways, since we have been dating we have run about 10 races together, but the trouble is they were ALL in either Hartford or Manchester…so we are pretty much starting from the bottom. I have personally run races in about 20 towns, before I started dating Ben, but I figured it was a good idea to get really out of shape, fat and slow before starting this challenge with Ben – you know, to boost his confidence. The good news is that the only place to go from here is up. In the past week we have also added two more races to our repertoire: Milford and Enfield.
Race 1: Hartford Scramble Series. We ran this series together when we first started dating. The Scramble series was a cool race where you ran through the woods and also in urban settings and finished off with a free taco and beer. (you’ll come to see that races that end in beer are our favorite).
Race 2: Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race. We ran this race when we were engaged in 17 degrees. Frankly, it was one of the more horrific events of my life, but decided to do it that year instead of drinking at my brothers – stupid decision.
Race 3: Milford Road Runners 5K. We ran this race last week on the 4th of July on the face of the sun, a town also known as Milford, CT. I ran into an old friend, who told me at the starting line that it was a hilly course, and I’ve never heard a more true statement. The first half mile was directly uphill…somehow I made it, but it wasn’t pretty. While Ben pranced through the course waving an American flag like a true Patriot, I barely slogged over the finish line. I think its clear that the sunglasses were weighing me down.
Race 4: Enfield Celebration 5K. We ran the Enfield Celebration 5K on Saturday, and it was literally even hotter than the 4th of July. Perfect. My only goal was to keep up with the 83 year old man who (obviously) was drafting off me. At mile two we turned onto a hill similar to Mt. Everest – that’s where I lost Tom. I hope in 50 years I’m still as ambitious as he is.
Anyways, per usual, since all the registration information and reminder emails harped on the importance of bringing your ID, I forgot mine at home. This has happened to me on several important occasions, including a brewery visit for my dad’s 60th birthday and also at my own sister’s Bachelorette party. So I had to do the usual – rely on my charm to get me to the other side (except for the brewery time when my mom got me in by “pulling a JoAnne”). Luckily, I was able to get into the beer tent. Unluckily, we parked “inside” the parade route, so also had to sit through 40 minutes of boy scouts, wheely-popping shriners, karate kids, home improvement companies, and no less than 4 million sirens. cool.
If you have gotten this far down the page, god bless! Going forward, I’ll update more regularly with Do Every Blessed Town In Connecticut (debtiConn) updates! I may even pop in with other fun and interesting things that I come across, because after all, Erin (still) Has Thoughts.
Typically throughout the spring and summer I spend many a weekend morning up early to run in races. Some of them are for fun, and some of them are for causes. This past weekend I did a race much different than one I’ve ever participated in before called the Fight For Air Climb. The Fight for Air Climb is a unique type of race that took place in downtown Hartford at City Place. Its not a road race or a trail run, but rather a “vertical race” where we ran up 34 flights of stairs at City Place. A good friend asked me to do this with them and I was was intregued, partially because I have never run in a “stair race” before, but mostly because the money raised goes to the American Lung Association, which is an amazing organization that works to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung diseases, like asthma, emphysema and lung cancer to name just a few. This is something close to my heart as my mother lost her mother to lung cancer years before I was even born and I currently have other family members suffering from the same disease. No one should have to struggle to breathe, something that most of us can do so easily and naturally.
The race itself was…interesting…to say the least. There was a few hundred participants, all raising at least $100, but some over $1,000 for the American Lung Association. How it works was that everyone lines up and every 20 seconds a person starts up the stairs – this minimizes the “stampede” effect. I thought, since I work out frequently and am in pretty good physical healthy, that this would be easy. I mean really, whats 34 flights of stairs?! (That’s totally obnoxious to say, right? Don’t worry, I “got mine”). The stair climbing portion, was in fact easy…What was not easy was breathing.
I’m going to say this in the nicest way I possibly can…whoever thought that having hundreds of people tramp up 30+ flights of stairs in a completely 100% enclosed area with absolutely ZERO ventilation is an absolute idiot. No, seriously. If I knew who the person was that made this decision I’d tell them to their face. My legs were fine, but for about 10 hours after the race my throat and lungs burned with every breath I took. I literally had that irony-blood taste in my mouth for the remainder of the day (I finished the race before 10AM), and consequently 3 days later I’m still coughing so badly I’m literally hacking things up. Its not pretty. I’m sorry for the detailed description, but its the only way to really paint a picture for you! Apparently this is “how it feels to have lung disease”. I’m sorry, but I really don’t think it benefits anyone to make lung disease more prominent. I thought we were trying to raise money to prevent lung disease, not spread it!!
Though the actual race has passed, I still have a few more weeks to collect donations. If you’d like to support the American Lung Association (or my horrific experience this past weekend), please click HERE and click on the “make a gift” link underneath the thermometer. I’m sure just about everyone knows someone suffering from a lung disease, no matter how big or small it is, and any donation to this amazing cause (even if it’s just a few bucks) will really add up and help make a difference!