Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 Kicked Ass!!

Spartan Super and Hurricane Heat, Miami
Peak Snowshoe Half Marathon, Pittsfield
Summer Death Race, Unofficial Finisher, Pittsfield
Moosalamoo 14 Mile Trail Race, Goshen
Spartan Sprint and Hurricane Heat, Amesbury
Team Death Race and Spartan Ultra Beast, Official Finisher, Pittsfield/Killington
Spartan Beast, Trifecta, Sacramento
Run Your Can Off, 23 Miles, Winooski


January started with two death race camps. Cold and snowy and crazy.

ready for Death Race Camp #1
Andy, Don and Peter at sunrise
hauling Joe's holiday sleigh all over Pittsfield fields to his house.
Death Race Camp #2
Guys crossing the river with sleds full of wood

February, a crazy 60 hour road trip to race 8 hours in Miami. Part one of the Spartan Trifecta done by completing the Spartan Super and participating in the Hurricane Heat.

80s in February. LOVED IT.
Hurricane Heat after 30+ hour drive from Vermont and 4 hours of sleep!

March, Peak Snowshoe Half Marathon in Pittsfield. The first 6.5 miles were so fun and then the second 6.5 I carried a car tire for Death Race training....still fun!

Jack Cary and I. Jack was out there for the 100 mile snowshoe race!

April and May, many trips to Pittsfield to run and train on Joe's Mountain, preparing for the Summer Death Race. I also paced my friend, Michelle Roy, who was running the 500 mile race...I was with her for mile 360 and 370. Inspiring.

Michelle and I at Pittsfield General Store.

June, Summer Death Race. Unofficially finished after 76 hours and met people I will be friends with forever. The experience changed my life and I blasted over a huge hurdle in the grieving of my daughter who died 8 years ago. "I AM strong enough to push the heavy load of grief aside and move on."

August, Moosalamoo 14 mile Trail Race. Came in 3rd for my age group! Fun! Also hiked a couple more 4,000 footers, number 40 and 41. Getting close to completing the 48 in NH! Finally, I completed the second part of the Spartan Trifecta by finishing the Amesbury Spartan Sprint and another Hurricane Heat.

Hurricane Heat #2!
Patrick Verrico and I after the HH
Patrick buddy carrying me...he is 6'4"...I was way up there!
Mt. Carrigan, #40

September, hiked two more of my 4,000 with Tara Roch, Mt. Adams and and Mt. Jefferson. Only 5 left to get next year!  My two decade quest of bagging those peaks will come to an end!
Then, I officially finished the Team Death Race which included the Spartan Ultra Beast! Amazing, crazy weekend.

Tara Roch and I on our way to Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams
Mt. Jefferson
Kevin, Michelle, Bob, Margaret and I before Team Death Race at
Pittsfield General coffee and breakfast before we head out for
57 hours.
DONE Team Death Race
Finish Line at Team Death Race

kisses for Skull!

October, I flew to Sacramento to visit Craig and Sharon Pannell and finished the final piece of the Spartan Trifecta, the Spartan Beast.

November, I participated in Run Your Can Off in Winooski, VT. Ran 23 miles.

December, I am training for the Winter Death Race in January 2014 and planning other 2014 events, such as the Peak Snowshoe Marathon and HatRun 50K in Maryland, both in March; pacing Michelle, again, at Peak 500 in May and then Summer Death Race at the end of June.

What a friggin' year it has been!!! A year of breaking down barriers and creating amazing friendships.

I love you, Seth and Aida, for supporting me this year!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2005....the day I first felt like a Mom

Eight years ago today, we had Faye's memorial service.

It was a beautiful, cold, crisp, blue sky day and there was fresh snow on the ground. The day prior, Seth and I met the cemetery crew there and buried her. (Seth and I put her urn in the ground 3 months after she died. We needed to process what had happened first, not rush it). The next day, we were to remember her with 40 of our closest family and friends. It seemed so strange, but I was surprisingly joyous that day. 

After she was taken from us at the birthing center, we left, we were grieving, and I was in physical pain from having an emergency c section from my belly button to my pubic bone. We left empty handed, watching for four days as couples were having babies around us, leaving with their newest member of their family. But, Seth and I kind of just....left. We were going to pick up our child in an urn "in about a week" they said. 

We went home to an empty house and tried to heal physically and mentally. 

We picked a day...December 3, to memorialize her tiny life. We sent invitations out. We printed up a "program" with how the service would flow. We are not religious in the traditional sense but we meet with a minister to help us "run the show." She was wonderful.

We picked out poems for friends to read.

I wrote a letter to Faye that my friend COURAGEOUSLY read in front of sobbing family and friends.

But, there I am. I am standing there with Seth crying on my left shoulder with my arm around him and my mom crying on my right shoulder, my arm around her. I could hear everyone sobbing around me, behind me, in front of me.

But, I had a smile on my face. No tears. I felt at peace. I was listening to the words of what I had written, the poems, the tears and sobbing all around me, yet I had a big smile. I knew I was loved. I knew Faye was loved by everyone there and that she would never be forgotten. I felt like her little life was being remembered and that I was a Mom for the first time in that three months since she died.

I remember thinking "So THIS is what it is like to be a mom
and to love something greater than life".