I ran the Marathon du Médoc- the world’s craziest (and most fun) marathon

I heard the singing behind me getting louder and louder. Suddenly a man, singing loudly in French, squeezed between my friend and me. We laughed when we realized he was wearing nothing but a wig and thong along with his running shoes. I moved over to give him more room, but quickly jumped back over as I realized that I was about to get run over by a large number of people dressed as chickens pushing a giant chicken float. And this was just the first kilometer! Welcome to the Marathon du Medoc, I thought as I smiled and picked up my pace.

My friend Amy and I for years would joke that the Marathon du Médoc was the only marathon we’d ever run. It’s 26.2 miles through the vineyards of Bordeaux, France featuring 23 stops for wine tasting and food like oysters, steak, and ice cream. Oh, and all this has to be done in a costume based on the year’s theme. I mean, if you’re going to run a marathon this should be the one, right?!! Then last year the joking became serious; let’s do it! we said to each other.

Continue reading “I ran the Marathon du Médoc- the world’s craziest (and most fun) marathon”

Ironman 70.3 Traverse City race review and why you too should do a relay

Guys! Traverse City is going to host a half Ironman next year! Who’s going to sign up?

That’s the text message that started it all over a year ago. Nicole, my trainer, had just found out that Traverse City, Michigan would be hosting an Ironman 70.3 in 2019 and wanted a bunch of us who train with her to sign up. But most of us, having never completed a half Ironman before, weren’t too quick to jump on that and, as it was Traverse City’s inaugural Ironman, the race sold out very fast. Nicole was in, we were out.

Fast forward to June 2019 and we received another text from Nicole:

Continue reading “Ironman 70.3 Traverse City race review and why you too should do a relay”

Hiking the magical Lauterbrunnen Valley Waterfalls in Switzerland

The day had begun misty with low hanging clouds, concealing the mountains all around us. But by late afternoon the clouds had lifted, once again revealing the majestic Swiss Alps. It was time to hike!

Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. It was also my favorite hike that we did in Switzerland. It’s a hike we’ll all remember the rest of our lives.

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the most romantic picnic spot

It’s difficult to find a more beautiful place than the Smoky Mountains in June.  Spring’s lush green is everywhere.  Colorful wildflowers blanket the hillside.  The sun sets late, slipping slowly behind the mountains as lightening bugs flicker in the evening sky.  The heat and humidity of later months has yet to arrive.  And, best of all, the rhododendrons are in full bloom.


Catawba Rhododendrons, native to the Southern Appalachians, bloom in late-May at lower elevations and in mid-June higher up. The purple-pink bloom lasts only for a short time but is beautiful. One of the best places to view them is at the Roan Mountain Gardens on the North Carolina side of the NC/TN state line.  

Here you can wander through a naturally occurring rhododendron garden high up at an elevation of over 6000 feet. The main path is paved so it is accessible to most people. The bushes are dense and, when in bloom, make for a magical hike.


But the best part are the picnic areas. Tucked away in corners of the park are picnic areas. Moss covered tables nestled under pines and the rhodendrons. As the flowers fall they cover the ground creating a pink carpet. A fairytale setting for a romantic picnic!

You can find more information about Roan Mountain Gardens, including its exact location, here.




someday (soon)…

My baby sister got married this past weekend.  It was such a fun weekend and the wedding was perfect!  She’s 13 years younger than me and it’s hard to believe that she is now married.  Makes me feel old.  It also encouraged me to finally complete this list, a bucket list, of things that I would love to do, see, and accomplish in my life.  Time goes by so quick!  Not that writing down a list necessary makes them any more likely to happen, but it is fun to dream and start the “how’s” of accomplishing some of these.  We have also started a “Family Bucket List” which we, as a family, are writing down things that we want to do together (I’ll share it sometime as well).

I encourage you to do the same, either a personal list or as a family, because it is so much fun!  Here’s my list… Continue reading “someday (soon)…”

why we race

I’ve noticed something in the past few years about many of my friends and acquaintances that are around the same age as me.  We have all suddenly developed a desire to compete in some type of physical activity that requires training!  Marathons and half marathons, triathlon, mud runs, bicycle road races, Masters swim meets, even a first 5K; you name it, my friends are training for it.  What is it about this stage in life (mid 30s-40s) that suddenly makes a person have a strong desire to compete in a race that, just a few years ago, was not even a blip on their radar? Continue reading “why we race”