Leaf Peeper Half Marathon: Rise.Run.Retreat

Running up and over the beautiful Vermont hillside.  The fog lifting up off of the peaks of mountains in the distance.  Cool, crisp fall air and overcast skies made for the perfect running weather.  All around me, the colors of fall gently painting the leaves of the trees-rusty oranges, deep fiery reds and sunny yellows.  The Vermont Leaf Peeper Half Marathon was the perfect finale to an incredible weekend at Rise.Run.Retreat


The Views along the road in mile 2-3

When ten women, including myself, get together for a four-day retreat because we love to run and blog about running, it seems only fitting to end the retreat with a scenic, but hilly half marathon!  Our mutual love of running brought us together, so why not celebrate each other and the retreat with a 13.1 run, up and over hills, dirt roads and a grassy trail. Of course, after having spent a majority of the four-day retreat-eating, drinking wine and having some serious fun, I am not sure we were over zealous to run on the final day of the retreat!  The comfortable house overlooking the mountains,on a cloudy chilly morning seemed to be inviting us to stay and chat a bit longer.

Sunday Morning-Late Race Start!

Wow!  An 11:00am race start!  I have never started a race that late in the day!  However, I am not a super, duper early morning riser, so it was okay.  It allowed for time to eat a great breakfast and slowly get moving.


Fueling with Stonyfield, Pete and Gerry’s and Blissful Eats!

I chatted with everyone at the table about their race plans/goals.  I remember talking with Sandra about race fueling, which I must say, I have not been very consistent with for my half marathons!  My plan was to focus more on refueling -carbs/glycogen, during the half marathon!  I knew that I wanted to use this race as a strong long run, keeping some strong and steady paces throughout the race.  I wanted to take advantage of being able to run so many hills!


Packet Pick-Up and -Ready.Set. Go-My 9th Half Marathon

So. . . packet/race bib pick up went smoothly.  That’s the beauty of small town races, tucked away in quaint little mountain towns.  No crazy long lines!  Every runner received a long sleeve cotton shirt and a “made in Vermont” jar of pasta sauce!  Since it was a bit chilly and overcast, many of us chose to stay warm in the cars-Allie and Sandra had driven us all to the race that morning in their cars.  There was plenty of time for dashes to the porta potties and some easy warm-up miles and dynamic stretches!  Ten-to fifteen minutes prior to the start of the race, we all gathered at the start line.

Here Come the Hills!


The first mile went smoothly and I was holding a steady 9:00 minute pace.  I had Christine just to my left.  She looked strong as we headed into mile 2.  The temps were perfect!  I think I have finally learned not to overdress, I alway warm up within the first mile, even on really chilly days.  I felt comfortable with my pace.  I focused on on not going out too hard in the first two miles, because I knew there would be some hills early on in the race.

The road ahead started to curve and wind upward on a steady incline.  Runners around me started to slow, a run/power walk form going into mile 3.  I looked ahead of me and saw Christine still powering through the hill.  So impressed with her grit on those hills!  I kept pushing up the hill, I didn’t feel alone though in that struggle up the hill.  I could hear heavy breathing and other runners encouraging each other to keep pushing through the hill.  My lungs were burning and my quads were straining!  I just kept telling myself, “what goes up, must come down”!  It seemed like a never ending incline up that hill, which actually had a name-Perry Hill!!  That is some serious hill status-to be named!


Still Trying to Smile through Perry Hill-Photo Credit Vermont Road Runners

Slowly Christine began to pull away from me.  I tried to keep her in my sight through mile 3, but my pace had slowed significantly.  I was struggling to maintain a strong pace.  Then, my garmin beeped at mile 3-12:14.  Wow, super tough hill!!

This quote sums up my feelings of the hills on this course- “It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top”-Henry Ward Beecher, American Writer

There was so much beauty around me on this course.  The fog hanging along the tops of the mountains in the distance.  The vibrant colors of fall scattered throughout the leaves on trees.  It was all so breathtaking.  I couldn’t resist the chance to snap a few pics along the course. I didn’t have any time goal for this race, I just wanted to use it as a strong training run.  Some of the course was hard dirt and gravel.  Somewhere between mile 4 and 5, was a dairy farm with black and white cows grazing in the field, against a backdrop of rolling hills and mountains in the distance.  Just so much beauty on this course!

Mile 4 beeped on my garmin-9:08- I was cruising along a good pace now, just taking in the beauty around me.  I was starting think about seeing Jes somewhere near mile 6.  She is 6 months pregnant and had run up ahead earlier, before the race started to get a good spectator spot.  I knew I only had about two miles to go before seeing her along the side of the course!

Miles 5 and 6- 8:27 and 8:20- I gained some good momentum on the slight down hills. I was feeling strong.  I walked/jogged through a water stop and chewed on some Gatorade Endurance Energy Carb Chews one of the sponsors of Rise.Run.Retreat  I need to focus more on my fueling options during half marathons because I always feel like I sputter out in mile 10-11.  I washed down the energy chews with some water.

I was so excited to see Jes as I turned into the end of mile 6.  Seeing her out there on the course was so motivating!  I waved and smiled as I past her and focused on the next several miles to come along the course.  The course is an ‘out and back’ course, so I knew there would be a ‘turn-around’ at some point!

Miles 7 and 8- 9:48 and 9:04- There were some more hills in mile 7 and then some downhills in mile 8.  I kept focusing on maintaining a strong and steady pace.  I was feeling a bit tired from the hills on the course.  I swear it’s the hilliest course I have ever run!  Finally, I saw some of the first place runners coming back towards me, on the other side of the road!  I started to keep my eyes open for some of the other Rise.Run.Retreat women!  Sure enough, first I saw Allie and she looked strong and fast!  She would actually win her age group!  Then, coming towards me, from the other side of the road was Sarah, in her neon yellow shirt!  This is one of the perks of the ‘out and back’ course, you eventually get to see runners who were ahead of you during the race!

Seeing the other women out there on the course was so motivating.  Those are the moments that I cherish most in a race-the motivation, encouragement and support from other runners.  Their energy and strength and determination are contagious!!  I waved to Laura,  Sandra and Angela as they past me on the way back, after the turn around!  I think the orang turn around cone was at mile 8.  I remember seeing and hearing Natalie and Sue cheering for me and snapping photos as I passed by them going into mile 9.  They were so sweet to actually slow up and take pictures of all of us out there on the course!

Miles 9 and 10- 8:35 and 9:40 –  Lately, in races, I have had bladder issues. I try to “hold it”, but it just gets too uncomfortable!  It’s probably due to age, but I have had to stop and pee in the porta potty.  So I dashed off to the bathroom for a quick pee break somewhere along mile 10.

Miles 11-12 8:28 and 9:37-I saw Jes again, waiting at mile 10.  She was going to run/walk the last three miles of the race with Natalie and Sue.  Then, I continued on through mile 10. I was feeling pretty good and energized to finish this race.  I remember chatting with some other runners along mile ten and we encouraged each other to push hard and finish strong.  Then, just as I am thinking that I will “dial in that last gear”, here comes one more uphill battle in mile 12.  Mile 12 was an uphill that then turned onto a grassy trail.  I had to really push to maintain a steady pace.  I just kept thinking about mile 13, which be a great downhill to the start!

Miles 13 and .22-8:06 and 6:50- The final stretch of this course was a gently rolling downhill back to where the race had started.   As turned into the parking lot of the finish line,  I picked up speed and finished strong through the finish shoot!  I could see Sarah, Laura, Christine, Sandra and Allie waving on the other side of the finish line!  My final finish time was 2:01:30-


Celebratory Pic-We conquered the hills of the Vermont Leaf Peeper Half Marathon!

The Finish Line- It was cloudy and chilly.  My long sleeve shirt felt moist and chilled with sweat.  It didn’t matter though, because my heart was warm from being surrounded by strong, talented and amazing women at this race.  We had all gone out there on the course to run our own race, at our own pace, but we still were there for each other.  Cheering and encouraging each other on through the hilly course.


Sue, Natalie and Jes-finishing strong with smiles on their faces!

At the end  of the race, it was about celebrating each other’s accomplishments and inspiring each other.  That’s what we do-lift up, motivate and inspire.  For me, that was the theme throughout the whole retreat.  The pics from this race, our final event together, sum up what the whole weekend was about-channeling each other’s strengths, talents and inspiration.  Our hearts were full.  We celebrated returns to running from injury, a huge age group win, nailing a hard tempo run during the race and sticking out the tough parts and finishing!


The Vermont Leaf Peeper Half Marathon was the perfect ending to an amazing four days at Rise.Run.Retreat All of us out there pushing hard and doing what we love-running.  The very sport that brought us together and wove friendships! This race and being surrounded by these women, reminded my of why I love to run and race.  It also reminded me of what I am capable of on a tough course.

How do you tackle tough hills during a race?  

A Huge Thank You –Headline Sponsor Dr. Cool Recovery and the following Event Sponsors for supporting and pampering us with amazing products and gear! Rise.Run.Retreat has the best swag bag!

Cabot Cheese Vermont
Blissful Eats
Stonyfield Yogurt
Gatorade Endurance
Propel Electrolyte Water
Vermont Made Garuka Bars

Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs
Tiger Tail Recovery
The WTFactory
Moji Mojo
Eureka Healing Balm
Skins Compression Gear
Kuhl Lifestyle Clothing
Darn Tough Vermont Socks

Llbean and LlbeanPR

Rise. Run. Retreat-Uplift, Motivate and Inspire

These three words-Uplift, Motivate and Inspire.  That is how I can best sum up the four days spent at Rise.Run.Retreat  A surreal four days spent with an amazing group of women-each of them possessing great strengths, talents and the warmest of hearts.  It amazes me how running has led to such experiences and opportunities to connect and create friendships.

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Photo Courtesy of Many RISE.RUN.RETREAT runners/bloggers

Running is at the core of my heart.  From the moment I began running track and cross country in high school (26 years ago) and now, in my forties, running has been a huge piece of my life.  Running has been the constant thread that stitched the pieces of my life together.  It has been through running, that I have forged some of my greatest and lasting friendships.  I’ve become part of a community of runners that uplift, motivate and inspire.


It is not easy, to put into words what an incredible four days it was, spent in the mountain valley of Vermont at RISE.RUN.RETREAT. The air was cool and crisp, fall was showing all its vibrant colors among the trees that crested the hills and mountains.  Running led to social media and blogging, which led me to an amazing group of women at this retreat.  Sarah from RunFarGirl and Jess from RunLadyLike are two extraordinary women who had the enthusiasm and passion to create and organize this event, which is now in its second year! They took a dream and made it a reality!


The views of Camel Hump Mountain in Vermont

As my plane landed in Waterbury, Vermont last Thursday, I was excited and nervous at the same time.  I was meeting up with nine other women-who for the most part, I only knew through their blogs and other social media outlets.  It was a bit surreal to actually be meeting so many of these women, for the “first time” even though I felt like I already knew them through their blogs and social media sites.

Priceless moments shared and life long friendships created

There is so much to share about this wonderful retreat.  Some of it will have to be broken down, bit -by -bit into other posts.  The most important part of this retreat was the time spent with everyone!  SO much nonstop chatting and sharing stories about life and running, marriage and motherhood.  The ease in which we all gathered and mingled throughout the weekend was magical.  There was such a strong flow of warmth and positive energy from each and every person.


Chatting and wine and cheese on the deck

It was truly incredible and wonderful how easy it was to just chat and share so much about running and life. The love of running had brought us together, but we also had so much more to share as moms, friends, and just being women.

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Yoga Pose on the Deck

Incredibly grateful to be in the company of these incredible women.  Their strength, motivation and perspective on life is empowering.  Surrounded by these women who inspire me, yet reminded me of my own strengths, as I witnessed their strengths and grit!  The deep, honest conversations we shared about life-blogging and running, left me feeling very reflective on my own goals as a blogger and runner!  Each of these women, so talented, strong and creative.


So many beautiful smiles!

Rise.Run.Retreat was the perfect four day-weekend for ten women to come together and share their love of running, blogging and life!  We ran, stayed up late chatting, had amazing food, laughed and simply enjoyed the moments as they unfolded.  Sarah and Jess did a fabulous job of organizing guest speakers, catered breakfast, lunch and dinners. It all came together seamlessly!  

Oh, the ways that running has been the thread that weaves these moments and meaningful experience through my life!

This retreat reminded me again, how running has led to these connections that lift you up and give you the energy to keep going!

Stay tuned for more highlights from this incredible retreat!

So much more to share in regards to the guest speakers, the fitness and yoga sessions and of course the Vermont Leaf Peeper Half Marathon with stunning views of mountains and killer hills!!  On Sunday, as a final event for everyone, we ran the half!!

Check out these incredible runners/bloggers on the social media site!!

Angela – Happy Fit Mama

Allie- VitaTrain4life

Christine- Love Life Surf

Sandra- Organic Runner Mom

Laura-This Runner’s Recipes

Natalie- Nat Runs Far

Sue- This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

Co Creators/Organizers of RISE.RUN.RETREAT-  (The Creative Duo Extraordinaire)

Sarah- Run Far Girl and Jes- Run Lady Like

Uplift-Motivate and Inspire-  Have you attended a running retreat?  What memorable life experiences have you gained from running and blogging?

Chasing 13.1-Fall Races and Celebrating Autumn!

13.1 – Half marathon-Not just half of anything.  This is the distance that challenges me and pushes me to my limits.  This distance is a combination of speed and stamina over a period of 13.1 miles.  

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2016 Navy Air Force Half Marathon 

13.1 – Goals-  Since this past spring (2016), I have been building base mileage, increasing my weekend long runs and working on my mental stamina and speed for this distance.  Last fall of 2015, I ran my 7th half marathon-back in November (Annapolis Classic Half Marathon)  and prior to that, the Navy Air Force half marathon, last September.   Both half marathons were sub 2 hours.  Earlier this summer, I ran the Portland Maine Shipyard Half marathon-an early July race that was cool and cloudy-very hilly course (1:59xx)

Break Down -Navy Air Force Half (2015, 2016) September races

  • 1:55:31:31-  cool morning, low humidity
  • 1:58:18- warm morning, extremely humid

Break Down-Annapolis Classic Half Marathon (hilly course)  Early December and Late November Race (2013 and 2015)

  • 1:57 in early December of 2013-cold start
  • 1:56:46 in late November of 2015-chilly start

Looking back on my last several fall marathons- I see consistency, steady pace and overall strengths.  Looking back at my individual splits for these races, I see that I go out strong in the first 6-7 miles, then slowly my pace declines and I “sputter”.  I feel that I am still working on and training for that combination of sustained endurance and maintaining speed.

Training this past summer and early fall- I have been focused on “long runs” of 10+ miles every week.  Also, adding some tempo runs of 6-7 miles, along with breaking up my 3-4 mile runs with 400s and 800s for speed.

Two More Half Marathons for Fall 2016

I have two more half marathons on the schedule for this fall racing season.  A very hilly, new to me race in Vermont-Leaf Peeper Half Marathon which I am running as part of the Rise Run Retreat weekend, hosted/created by Sarah of RunFarGirl and Jessica of RunLadyLike !  Vermont is going to be another strong, tune up race!! Some good hills to work in that race!  Vermont Half is next weekend-October 2nd!!

Then, I have the Annapolis Classic Half Marathon in mid/late November.  This will be my “goal race”!!  This will be my third time running the Annapolis Classic Half Marathon!!  I feel ready to shave off 3 minutes-(aiming for 1:53xx)  Join me on November 19th in Annapolis for this awesome race!  1 dozen oysters and beer at the finish line!  CODE MAINEGIRL2RUNS16 for a discount at REGISTRATION  


Image Credit: Found Here

Okay!!  Time to celebrate fall weather, autumn related activities and cooler, less humid weather!!  Fall is my absolute my favorite time of year!!  I love the 70 degree days and the 50 degree nights!!  I am a jeans and sweater kind-of-girl!!  Hoping for one more trip north, to Maine, before the end of October! I am looking forward to –

  • apple picking
  • bonfires
  • wine on the deck
  • wearing all my Ll Bean Sweaters!!
  • A/C off-windows open and fresh air in
  • Enjoying those gorgeous fall colors in the trees

And-this time next week, I will be spending time with some amazing women!!  SO excited to meet some fellow runners/bloggers in person, for the first time!!  I am attending Rise Run Retreat  in beautiful Waterbury, Vermont!  Even though I grew up in Maine, I have never been to Vermont!  This retreat is going to be the highlight of my fall season!  Running has brought me the incredible gift of –experiences, meeting other women, and creating lasting memories.  I am looking forward to a long weekend of running, laughter, sharing life stories and learning so much from this experience!!  The retreat is hosting some great guest speakers/companies that will be presenting on topics related to nutrition, recovery and overall wellness! The Sponsors at RiseRunRetreat are amazing companies/brands!!  A few months ago, I posted about my blood work analysis –Training, Nutrition and A Blood Test  and so I am really “pumped” to meet the faces behind Inside Tracker at this retreat!


So-there you have it!!  Happy Friday!  What’s on your fall race schedule?  What are you celebrating?  

Running is Both Solitary and Social

 I have always felt that running has been both solitary and social.  Solitary in that sense that many runners train during the days, weeks and months leading up to races, alone-out there on the roads and trails, putting in the miles in solitude.  Whether it is solitary by choice or just circumstance.  The social aspects of running bring with it many benefits and rewards.  It is a sport that thrives on encouragement, motivation and the celebration of hard training. 


Solitary miles can be soul searching and therapeutic.  Out there on the roads, trails or track-hearing just the sound of your own breathing and your stride hitting the pavement.  This is where you are not just strengthening your body, but your mind as well.  Willing yourself, motivating yourself to put in the work, even when no one else is around to push you through the workout.  Getting up in the early dark hours or getting out there in the late evening hours, no one but yourself to push and motivate.

It is in these singular/solitary moments, that you remind yourself that there are others out there at this very moment, training and putting in the early morning or late evening runs.

Running is a social sport, in the sense that it brings camaraderie and  common goals together through training programs and on race day.  Social Media has also made running a social sport, virtual cheers along the way during training and race day.  Runners sharing their ups and downs with training and celebrating their accomplishments on various social media outlets.    Even in those dark, solitary hours during training-thoughts of other runners motivate you to keep going.  Running can can connect people. Running grows friendships among individuals, through training, blogging and racing.  


A celebration of hard training on race day

On race day, runners celebrate together.  It is a social event of ‘cheers and high fives’ along the course, everyone moving towards the finish line.  Out on the course. runners giving each other words of encouragement.  The sense of belonging-every runner out there for the same reasons-to be strong, trust their training, and be the best of themselves.  We are all out there-feeding off the energy of each other on race day! 


That moment when all runners toe the line on race day.  All of us waiting to give our best. 

Whether you train alone on a regular basis or meet up for regular training runs with a partner/group, running straddles the line of both solitary and social.  There are those common threads that connect and motivate us through the training miles and on race day.  Miles of sweat, moments of doubt and trusting our training.  Knowing that we are all out there giving our best effort and sharing the celebrations of hard training, connects us.


A Quick Look Back, Update and Summer Memories


Geez!  I totally fell off the blogging wagon this summer!  Summers are usually my best blogging months too, because I am not teaching!

Okay, so here it is in a nut shell!   I ended up in Maine for the entire summer!  I rented a house on Peaks Island, Maine for two weeks in July, then stayed at my parents’ new beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  (OOB)


Peaks Island, Maine

Backstory-  I was born and raised in Maine until the age of 13.  My parents are from New Jersey, but met up in Maine during College.  They raised my brother and I in Alfred, Portland, and Gorham, Maine until January of 1988!  Then, we moved to Upstate New York, along the Hudson River.  A year later, my parents bought a second home, a condo in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  So we would spend summers and holidays at the condo in Maine through my high school years. (End of June through Labor Day, because my mom was a teacher)  Maine was always our second home, but first in our hearts.  My parents would own that condo in Maine, until the fall of 2003.  Life happens, things change and my parents sold the condo in Maine, just after my daughter turned two years old.

My parents eventually ended up living in southern New Jersey.  I ended up going to college in Baltimore, Maryland where I met my husband-he is from southern Maryland!  I have taught in an elementary school in southern Maryland for the last 18 years.  My Redhead (Daughter) is now 15 years old and a sophomore in high school.

Fast Forward- My parents are now retired, well my mom is definitely retired from teaching, but my dad still works, for now.  As of right now, southern New Jersey is still their permanent residence, but this past July 4th –they bought a seasonal beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.(six months out of the year)!!  So. . . I spent 6 weeks in Maine this summer!  Excited that once again, Maine is home-at least 6 months out of the year for my parents!!

Summer Was. . . magical. relaxing, and rejuvenating!

  • two weeks at a beach house on Peaks Island, Maine-then headed to my parents’ house in Old Orchard Beach
  • tons of days spent on the beaches
  • evenings sipping wine and watching the Olympics with my mom
  • running my favorite roads and beaches that I grew up on
  • seeing old friends and new friends in Maine
  • Running two Races
  • Simply unplugging and enjoying the salty sea air

Took my mom back to Peaks Island by ferry for a day!

So many times, I wanted to type a blog post-a ton of thoughts swirling through my head, but in the end it just didn’t happen this past summer.  I was just enjoying so much “down time” and honestly living out a dream, that just a year ago seemed unlikely.  I had wished for so long for my parents to own back in Maine again.  I know it’s only 6 months out of the year (May through end of October) but, it’s ‘one foot back in the state of Maine’-my happy place.

Here are my summer memories in pictures!


Lobstah Supper on the Beach


Cuddling goats at Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook, Maine


Evenings included Wine at my Parents House


Sunrise Runs -Old Orchard Beach, Maine


Paddling out to sea-Pine Point Beach, Maine

Running Update-

I had a good, solid summer of running.  Running to stay in racing shape for 10ks and half marathons.  Logging weekly mileage of 25 to 30 miles a week.  Some good hilly running through the Cape Elizabeth, Maine-near Portland Headlight and sandy beach runs!  In July I had run the Old Port Shipyard Half through hilly Portland, Maine.  In August I ran Beach2Beacon for the 5th time/year in a row! I haven’t really put in the time to write race recaps for both of those Maine summer races.


Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon-Portland, Maine


5th Time Running Beach2Beacon -Cape Elizabeth, Maine

My weekly training looked like this-

  • weekly long run 10-12 miles
  • easy 6 miles runs twice a week
  • 8 mile progression run 1x a week

Upcoming Fall Races: 13.1 is the Lucky Number!

So excited for Rise Run Retreat in Waterbury, Vermont!  An amazing weekend of running with some awesome running/blogger women at a lodge overlooking picturesque mountains in Vermont!  Stay tuned for more on this event!!

Share your summer highlights!  What fall races are on your schedule? 

Fall-“Must Run” Half Marathon or 10k-Annapolis Running Classic


Save with Code MaineGirl2Runs16

Running with the A-Team!!  Excited to share the news that I was chosen as an ambassador to represent the Annapolis Running Classic Half Marathon and 10K!

This will be my 3rd year running the the half marathon for the Annapolis Classic Running event!!  Come run with me-use CODE MAINEGIRL2RUNS16 to save 10% on race registration for the half marathon or 10k!

Race Details: Annapolis Running Classic save 10% on registration with code MAINEGIRL2RUNS

When: Saturday November 19th, 2016 at 7:00am

Where:  United States Naval Academy Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland

Race Course-Scenic, but a bit hilly!  Part of the course takes runners through historic downtown Annapolis near the water!

United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

Why Run!! –

  • Great Race Premium -last year was a dark navy half zip long sleeve shirt!
  • Finisher medals
  • Hot soup, beer and oysters!!
Enjoy fresh oysters and a frosty beer at the finish!

Enjoy fresh oysters and a frosty beer at the finish!

Beautiful Fall Weather!- Cool, crisp temperatures!!

Me and LiveFreeRun!  Gorgeous autumn colors!

Me and LiveFreeRun! Gorgeous autumn colors!

Hotel- Stay at the Loews Annapolis Hotel 1 mile from the start and finish line!  

Hope to see everyone in Annapolis for this race! Save money and use code MAINEGIRL2RUNS16  for race registration discount!

Summer Update: Run, Relax, Repeat

So. . . where do I even begin with this post!  After school let out on June 16th, I made the trip North from Maryland to New Jersey and then onto Maine!

Maine is my “happy place” and full of so many great memories from growing up in this gorgeous state!  As I a kid, I spent so many summers on the beaches of coastal southern Maine, however, I had always had one life long dream!

I had always longed to stay on one of Maine’s many islands.  So, for two weeks this summer I lived in a beautiful 1900s victorian on Peaks Island.  Two weeks of walking and running from the house, to the beaches, and the ferry.  It was a relaxing, blissful two weeks of unwinding, spending time with great friends and my daughter! {My Redhead)


Ferries take people,cars and other cargo from the city of Portland, which sits along the Casco Bay, to many of the surrounding Maine Islands.

Island Life-Maine Style

Peaks Island, Maine  is truly a magical island.  You won’t find palm tress, white soft sand beaches or tropical music, but you will find a quiet, relaxing lifestyle.  This island is a twenty minute ferry ride from the city of Portland, Maine.  Maine’s largest and most populated city.

The island is about 4 miles around and 2 miles wide.  Along the island are pockets of inlets, little nooks and crannies of rocks to sit and watch the ships, sail boats, Sup boarders and kayaks go by.  There are some areas along the shores of the island that have a sandy stretch of beach at low tide.

Maine summers can get warm along the coast, but there are many weeks at a time when the humidity is very low and the day time temps barely reach 78 degrees.  The water temps  in Casco Bay are usually hovering around 60 degrees!

And days were spent. . . 

  • Running around the island
  • walking to the beach from the island house
  • hopping the ferry over to Portland for lunch, dinner or walks in and out of the shops!
  • Caught sunsets on the island overlooking Casco Bay and the city of Portland
  • Ice cream at the local store on the island
  • Beer and wine-loved not having to drive anywhere for pretty much two weeks!


During my first week on Peaks Island, my good friends-Colleen and Jim stayed with me!

Sharing the fun with friends. . . 

Over the few last years, with running and racing and social media, I have developed some great friendships!  One friendship in particular has been with Colleen, Live Free and Runs she and I have just clicked!  It was great sharing the first week on Peaks with her, her husband Jim, her mom and daughter!  Me, Colleen and Jim, got in several gorgeous “sight seeing runs” around the island.  We also just enjoyed some quiet time on the rocks and beaches.  I loved having a buddy to run with, chat with and sit on the docks drinking coffee while watching the boats and ferry come in to the island.


July 4th Fireworks-Spectacular Views!

July 4th Fireworks were viewed from Peaks Islands.  The fireworks are set off from a barge out in Casco Bay!  Colleen’s husband, Jim, took some great pics of the fireworks that night! The night was breezy, clear and perfect “sweater weather”!!  Love summer nights in Maine!



Lobster Supper on the Rocks! 


My Redhead enjoying some beach time on the island!

Running Along the Shores

So many gorgeous views on my runs around the island.  Even the warm days were still filled with cool breezes off of Casco Bay.

Two Weeks of Running, Relaxing, and Reflecting

I needed these two weeks on Peaks Island to just unwind, unplug and recharge.  I even forgot about tv for two weeks.  Even now, I am realizing that TV isn’t that important to me! Time spent running, actively walking, sharing moments with friends and my daughter.  Maine is truly my “happy place”.  I soaked up the quiet beauty of this Maine island and treasured the old and new memories I have in Maine.

Where has summer taken you?  Share your summer happenings!