Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice storm photo 5

Icy deer...

Ice storm photo 4

Just thought this one was a cool photo. No swinging today! :-)

Ice storm photo 3

One of our trees has a few smaller branches that needed to be removed
from the road. Looks kinda Charlie Brownish now, poor thing.

Ice storm picture 2

The view up the road. Lots of fallen branches further up the road in the
other direction. So many lines down in that direction, that it's probably going to take days to restore power to everyone.

Ice Storm 2008

Some of the scenery around here after a day and night of freezing
rain. It's not as bad as some places further North and West, but we're
without power and have been since 11:30 last night.

This is the scene at the end of the road. No wonder we have no power.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Well, the City of Manchester Marathon (and Half-Marathon) was today... and I actually made my goal: to finish upright and without the aid of an ambulance. WOO-HOO!

It was pretty chilly for spectators (Bill was pretty uncomfortable), but perfect running weather. It was a great run -- lots of spectators along the course (and many near the finish). My IT band started bothering me just before mile 11, so the last two miles were spent alternating between running & walking, but I still made it in at around 2:30 or so. I honestly never looked at my time crossing the finish line because I was looking for Bill and the kids (and found them!), and then Michelle and Mike (a couple friends from work) who crossed the line a bit before I did.

I'm pooped now... took a couple ibuprofin and I'm relaxing on the couch. Would I do it again? Sure! Although I'd baby my IT band a bit more beforehand.

Before the race (Michelle all bundled up for warmth in the background):

And they're off!

Nearing the finish line... and I'm SMILING?! (hee!)

Whew! I've got some more modest runs in mind for the near-term (a five-mile race on Thanksgiving morning, for one... hey, they give out PIES at the end!!). Although I'm eyeballing the half-marathon out in Sonoma Valley... mmmm, wine country. :-)

Edited to add: The results are in!! I made it in 2:28:29! Given the five-minute porta-potty break (figured out by Michelle and her trusty Garmin), that's WAY better than I expected! Woo-hoo!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Random Observations from Mile Ten

Well, the half-marathon is 5 days away, and I've done my longest run yet in preparation. I plan to just take it easy until the big day (with a spinning class and maybe a short run in between, to keep the legs moving), so I'm effectively finished with my training. Wow.

That said, it seems as though once you start crossing the threshold into "distance" running (and I'm sure it's different for everyone), things start behaving differently. Here's a few things I've noted as time has gone by:
  1. I don't really need music, as long as I'm outside. I wouldn't have expected this, being Overstimulated Chick, but there's a nice ebb and flow between enjoying the scenery and just letting your mind wander. No... I haven't kidnapped and hidden the "real Jen" -- why do you ask?
  2. The more I run outside, the more I despise treadmills. Boring, boring, BO-RING! 3 miles, OK. 4 miles, sure. 5 miles and up?... Tedium. 10 miles? Pure torture. I had to grab a treadmill with a TV and watch something on Discovery about the Titanic just to get my mind off the distance counter. No terrain changes, no scenery changes (unless you count the folks swimming laps in the pool), and no breeze to cool you off. Before last year, I'd never run outside... now I think I'll go cuckoo this winter.
  3. My knees have gotten stronger the more I run. THAT surprised me. Happily.
  4. At ten miles, EVERYTHING chafes. Ow.
  5. Running in the rain isn't half bad.
  6. I have officially skipped ice cream (ice cream!) to go for a run. Wait... maybe I have kidnapped the real Jen.
  7. I get all giddy setting all these goals for myself (in the form of registering for various races). I realize I probably wouldn't push myself without the goals, and I get the added benefit of them being fun, too. For the most part.
  8. There's quite a bit of camaraderie among other runners, which has been fun to be a part of... little things like signing up for races together, trading tips (stretching, training, um... bra shopping), and just waving hi to folks as you run past.
And all you need is a good pair of shoes and the outdoors.

This is fun... I think I'll keep it up. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My schmoozing family members (and cute kid pics) :-)

Barack Obama appeared in Londonderry today... I may have mentioned in the past that Bill's been working for his campaign, but he and Kelly got some good schmooze time in. ;-) (Kelly's probably negotiated herself a cabinet position, given her personality)
The group shot: (well, a small group anyway)

Sen. Obama and Kelly having a heart-to-heart ("awwwwww" moment):

And Kelly modeling her new shirt. Heh:

And Ellen got her picture in the paper a month or so ago:

And where am I? Working, of course. Figures! :-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some more pictures online!

We had a visitor this morning!


Also, all the AZ pictures are online now: <>

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The view (one of the less impressive views, actually) on the way to
the museum.

Another desert museum picture

I'm not in New England anymore!

Due to equipment problems, we had an impromptu half day off. A couple
of us went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (with some incredible
views on the drive in that, unforunately, the iPhone camera couldn't

Unfortunately, we don't get the sightseeing time that we were counting
on tomorrow. So this was probably it. I'm going to have to come back
sometime with the whole family. :-)

And another

Another Boneyard picture. It goes on and on.

The Boneyard

"The Boneyard": huge field of decommissioned planes (some commercial
ones too) at Davis-Monthan AFB.

Monday, October 6, 2008

On the road again...

This was the view to welcome me to Tucson. I was almost too tired to
realize the vegetation wasn't exactly what I'm used to. :-)

My room is pretty nice: apartment-type of setup with a king bed. That
I'm going to use immediately since it's 1am Eastern time. Yawn. G'nite!

Friday, October 3, 2008

So, what was all THAT about, you wonder... :-)

In case you're wondering what all the picture activity was about last weekend, Bill and I took a long weekend (the first one away from the kids!) to head to Baltimore for the Baltimore Comic Con. Yeah, I know... geeeeeeeeeks! :-)

Bill's gotten to know a lot of folks in the artist community (through shows and getting commissions, etc.), and through one of the online message boards, friends and fans of Tim Sale (Batman/Superman/Daredevil/Hulk Gray artist, as well as the art for Heroes) decided to get together at the Baltimore show for a helluva party. I got to finally meet a lot of the folks I've only spoken to online, and what a fun bunch!

Did I run at all that weekend? Ha! Funny question! :-P

Some of the more random highlights of the weekend (that may only make sense if you were there):
  • Opening lunch at Hooters
  • 25 (or was it 35) pounds of chicken wings
  • Australian chocolate (Lauren! I love you, but you're EVIL!)
  • Rich(!) Starkings and I geeking out on our iPhones.
  • The sketchtravel book... wow. (lots of beautiful work in there)
  • Sightseeing in the rain on Saturday (and Bill's new pair of shoes as a result)
  • Dinner for 23 at Lucy's Pub. Me with my Guinness and Bill ("Breezy") with his sea breeze. Hee hee...
  • Everyone's pirate booty from the show (some beautiful artwork everyone got... especially the folks who waited in Barry Kitson's line)
  • Singalong at the Hard Rock ("The Looooooove Shack...!")
  • Hanging out at the OTHER hotel Sunday night (and I'm wondering if I should be thankful that I missed the "Saved by the Bell" discussion)
  • Oh, and the most random event of them all: the street gang riding off-road vehicles (dirt bikes and quads) down the middle of the street at dusk. Where do you even BUY dirt bikes in Baltimore? (And I'm bummed I missed seeing the guy fall off the quad... schadenfreude is still alive and well, I'm afraid).
Flickr sets have been posted... lots of fun was had. Next time we get together might be Seattle in April. I'm getting used to this sightseeing in the rain thing. :-)

My Flickr set
Bill's Flickr set

Now I need to break it to the kids that I'm going to AZ for travel next week. Ugh.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bill's first Fastpass sketch!

Matt Baker era Phantom Lady. Tim did a great job on this one!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Presidential Debate Watch Party!

Too much awesome!

Mike, Jay, Randy, Mike

Party Time II

Rich & Darwyn

Party time!

Tim & Richard

The finest in con attire

Kelly & Rich.

To the Bat-Pole!

That's Bill's "serious face"...


Geppi Entertainment Museum


Guess where? ;-)

That blur...

Is a turkey in the MHT parking lot. :-)

We're in Baltimore now. Whee! More later! :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Okay, so vote... willya?

No idea if anyone other than a handful of people read this, but even so... it's worth saying:

I don't care who you're favoring this election: McCain / Obama / Ron Paul / Ralph Nader / Donald Duck... whomever, it doesn't matter. Just register if you haven't. Don't know how? Need an absentee ballot? You can find answers at this site.

Think your vote won't matter? Think again. This race is statistically tight, and we all remember the uproar in 2000 when Gore won the popular vote but not the electoral vote. Your vote counts, and your state could be the one to make that difference.

I do feel strongly about this race, for my own reasons. And I'm willing to chat about them if you want, but not in this post. Just register. Then vote.

And thanks. :-)

Training, Week 6 / Run 1 (Long Run)

I kind of slacked off on week 5... got my easy run in on Wed, and it was beautiful out, so I decided to go out longer than I was scheduled to, and get some speed work in as well. Did 2.8 miles at a 9:31 pace. I was pretty happy.

Then I didn't run again until today. Oops! I was supposed to do a 5-mile run on Friday, but had too much going on.

So this week, I'm moving my runs up a day, since we're headed to Baltimore on Friday. I didn't want to be running on the days I'm flying (Friday and Monday). I figure I can manage to get one run in while we're gone (although it's an 8-miler... Yikes!).

Anyway, today's run was 7 miles (click to see the route). Felt great through the first 5 or so, and went exploring parts of town I wasn't really familiar with. Got yelled at by a rooster at the farm I almost got to before turning around. I may have to run down there again just to see what's down the rest of that road. At about mile 6, my hamstrings were yelling at me, and I was definitely glad I was close to home. My heels have been upset with me all day... maybe I need to get some new shoes...

Oh well. Still, after missing a run on Friday, I managed to make it. Felt pretty good. :-) Having the GPS app on the iPhone was a godsend, basically giving me license to explore since I know how far I've gone (and when I need to turn around).

Hopefully, my heels feel better soon (ow ow ow ow ow). :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Half Marathon Training: Week 5 (of 11), Run 1 (of 3)

Preface: I'll be posting these (semi) regularly in an attempt to stay motivated and honest to myself... You don't have to read them if you're not interested. :-)

The goal: The City of Manchester Half-Marathon on November 2nd. I started actually getting serious about training for it a month ago and went to Runner's World and set up my training plan. My long run days are Mondays (rest/cross-training days are Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I can still teach my Spinning classes), so today started off week 5 with a 6-mile run.

The last time I ran 6 miles, I hated it. It was for the Bill Kelley Memorial 10k in Manchester... in July... during rainstorms. Ugh. I also hadn't trained for it, so it was incredibly tough. I was hoping today would be different. I wasn't disappointed.

The weather today was incredible... it started off humid, but dried out by lunchtime. Nice and sunny, with a cool breeze. Perfect weather.

For the one person out there who's been wondering about this (you know who you are!), I did decide to run with my iPhone this time, after picking up an application for it that is supposed to use the built-in GPS to track distance/pace/etc. The App is "Running GyPSy" (get it: G-P-S... har!). It's WELL WORTH the cost! I also have a wrist worn Garmin GPS that I've used in the past (a Forerunner 201) that has been wonderful, but tends to cut out when signal strength is low. I went through multiple known "dead zones" for my GPS and this app never cut out on me once. There are maybe a few "gold plating" touches I would put on it, but I plan on giving the App a positive review on iTunes (and I rarely ever do that), so that says something, I suppose.

The route itself was nice. After getting through most of the uphill run, it was a nice, gentle downhill for a good chunk of it that helped me get a good amount of energy back. I managed to average a 10:31 minute mile for a 6-mile run (when I'm only supposed to be training at 11:54), so you KNOW it was a good run. :-) The only downside? The goose poop I stepped in right when I got back. $@!&# geese!!

Wednesday is an easy run at two miles, and Friday is my first "tempo run" at 5 miles with some speed work. I shouldn't be as long-winded about those two. :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Making Strides for Breast Cancer - October 19

On October 19th, I'll be walking in the "Making Strides for Breast Cancer" event in North Conway, NH, in honor of my mom (a survivor of breast cancer herself). I've set up a team ("Pat's Walkers"), so if anyone's interested in joining us, the more the merrier!

The link to the team pages is here: Pat's Walkers
You can join us via the link or make a donation if you like. If you want to walk with us, just let me know and I'll figure out where and when to meet.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer - 2008-2009
2008 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of North Conway, NH

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Testing again

Just a test to see how the email interface works... And to show off
the funky snake that was in the barn. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Testing... 1, 2, 3

Okay, I've finally decided to go with Blogger rather than keep my blog at Myspace (I use it for my Spinning blog and like the interface much better). I'll probably finish posting my vacation pictures there and then move on here... more to come.