Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trek, 2009: strong and growing!

8:00 am on Thanksgiving morning, this group of Turkey Trekkers gathered in the City Forest for our 3rd annual event, a 4-mile trail run (or walk). My friend Susan and I organized the event together, asking runners and walkers to bring a non-perishable food donation for a local food pantry. We provided water, bananas, zucchini bread, cranberry muffins and raspberry oatmeal bars. We got a donation of 60 cups of coffee from Tim Hortons, and we baked pies for the top 3 winners. The forecast called for rain, rain, rain, but instead it was just foggy, and not even too muddy. Yes!

Here is how the Turkey Trek has grown.

2007: 11 participants
2008: 32 participants
2009: 70 participants!!!

Sam said that next year we'll have hundreds of people, huge banners and a gospel choir at the starting line. Not a bad idea, actually.

BEFORE shots:

Susan and Catherine

some St. John's mommas: Nancy, April, Emilie, Jenn, Anne-Marie

heading to the starting line....

I can't resist noting another difference from year to year: my time!
2007: 49 minutes
2008: 44 minutes
2009: 38 minutes

AFTER shots:

Doug, April and Sam

Students, past and present: Catherine, Sam, Tyler, Grace

Sam, Lisa and Grace: A well represented Barnett family!

This is Kristin, the other Nike Marathon Team in Training runner from Maine/ my San Francisco hotel-mate, who drove 2 hours with her husband Charlie to run with us this morning.

The co-director Susan, with the clipboard!

my friends Kristin (whom I teach with) and Natalie (who was my student my very first year at Bangor High, and now she is an ENGLISH TEACHER!)

My mom and her friend Jo, both looking sporty in purple.

speaking of purple, Steph and Chris (and pups Jackie and Steve)
This is my third race with Steph in a month! (What's next, girl???)

Coffeeing with Meredith, my bestie.

We dropped off some of our food donation, (our grand total was 225 food items that filled the trunks of 3 cars!!) to Manna this morning. Skyler thought this was very cool. That grocery cart represents less than half of what we collected! Thank you, everyone. The director of Manna says: "God bless you."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving lesson, kindergarten style


"The pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock on the Mayflower. There were 66 of them! And do you know how many days they were on the boat? 66! And do you know WHY they had to come to California? Because of the king! He was crazy. And bossy! Do you know what the king said when the people told him where they wanted to go to church? He said 'NO!' Can you believe that?"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

To the beach?

Sunday was a super weird weather day, warm, balmy and foggy. Sam was at a swim meet in Portland, and we needed to get out!

We drove to Sears Island beach, which is kind of a weird beach at low tide, and with the fog it was extra eerie, but warm and nice and the kids did what makes them happy.

Reed got super wet walking in the water, and Skyler filled a bucket with shells.

On our way back to the car, we met Finnigan and borrowed him for another hour!

throwing the ball

over and over and over. Perfect!

On the drive home, the sun broke free! Look at that fog on the bay!

Then Reed fell asleep so Skyler and I entertained ourselves in the grocery store parking lot for a while before waking him up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The results are in...

Remember last summer, when Sam swam a timed 5K at the long course pool in Michigan?

We recently received the results in the mail, and check out his standings (double click to enlarge):

For his age group, he is number one. In the nation.

National Champion.

When Sam gets psyched up for swim meets, it's because he's competing for the top spots among some of the best swimmers out there. It's just so different than what I do when I run. I'm just trying to finish the race and still be standing upright. Thank goodness my sport gives medals to all of the finishers, because I will never get an age group award at any race, which is fine, I'm just sayin', I think it's pretty cool to be so good at something that you have a patch to sew on your backpack that says National Champion.

Sam is a very naturally talented athlete and he can do well at everything he tries (though his sister Lisa and I swear that he could not complete the step-aerobics class we went to this summer; he had much to say about that!). He ran a 1:49 half marathon without trying at all. And you should see him rock climb, roll a kayak, telemark ski down a mountain, or do a reverse one-and-a-half off a diving board. I'll go on record saying that Sam could have been an olympic swimmer, skier or diver if he had decided he wanted to at a younger age.

With swimming, his natural talent means that his strokes are beautiful and he has a real efficiency in the water, but what you may not know is how hard he trains to reach the level of success that he has. For the last few years, he has been swimming 6 days a week. He pushes himself incredibly hard, writes all his own (often grueling) workouts, and almost always swims alone. His dedication is amazing. I guess what I'm saying is: his work is paying off.

Isn't that right, National Champion?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Maine Coast Half Marathon photo

The finish line shot. More pain than glory.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Turkey Trek Time

Thanksgiving Day is our annual 4- mile trail run and food collection for Manna Ministries.
In case you are a local reader and we didn't send you an email or facebook invite, here are the details (make sure you read about the prizes this year!):

3rd Annual Turkey Trek
Group RUN or WALK

in the Bangor City Forest

Join us to BURN SOME CALORIES before your

WHEN: 8:00 a.m. Thanksgiving Day (rain or shine)
WHERE: Bangor City Forest (Tripp Road parking lot)
WHAT: 4 mile Trail Run OR Walk (West Trail to East Trail ending at same parking lot)
WHO: Anyone who wants to join us!
COST: Please bring a donation of non-perishable food to donate to Manna Ministries, Inc.

PRIZE: NEW THIS YEAR! First three runners to finish
win a PIE for your Thanksgiving meal (or to eat on the way home from the run).

Please contact Emilie Manhart ( or
Susan Thibedeau (
if you have any questions or want to help.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2 funnies

On my way home from Portland, I called home to let everyone know what time I'd be there. I spoke with Skyler who didn't want to let me hang up:

"Okay mom, hurry home, and every time you get to a red light, give me a call."

Good thing Skyler loves me:

When I tried to get in on some Reed and Daddy snuggle time, Reed pushed me away and said:
"Don't you have to do laundry?"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Maine Coast Half Marathon

Bless you if you are actually going to read all of this. Turns out I had a lot to say and show!

Meredith and I spent the night in Portland (after an obligatory stop at the Banana, Gap and Nike outlets in Freeport) and drove down to York in the morning (the southern-most part of Maine), arriving with over 2 hours to spare. We got our bib numbers and shirts and sat down to stretch.

I found Steph (my friend and former student) who was trying to get psyched up (or calm down) to run her very first half marathon.

I think that man with the orange shorts wants to be our friend too.

While Meredith and I were sitting in the gym stretching, I looked over and said: "ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh! It's Marathon Mama!" You know, we are devotees of her blog, and there she was, getting ready to run. She is a wicked-smart mom who runs fast and gets paid to blog about it, need I say more? She is a beast with a potty mouth and we love her so. We went over and introduced ourselves and told her how awesome she was. We were psyched to find that we got a shout out in the race report on her blog! And I was glad that even she called it a challenging course, because it was hillier than I expected. More on that later.

As long as Meredith and I have been running together, due to prior injuries/pregnancies/recoveries from childbirth, this is the first race we actually ran together from start to finish. We needed a "before" shot!

This post has so many photos thanks to Sandi and Steph's Chris, both of whom got great shots during the race. Thanks to both of you!

Getting ready to go:

Mindy, Me, Mer, Suzanne

Lining up at the start!

Pausing to talk about Steph's tattoo, a glimpse of which is shown here:

I'm thinking of another tattoo in the same spot.

Okay, refocus! Time to race! Off we go.

It was an UNHEARD of 66 degrees and unlimited sunshine for the race. I was actually very over-dressed and sweating like a madwoman by mile 2.

This photo, taken after the race, shows a good portion of the race course, which followed all along this road and out along the cove you can see in the distance.

And here you can see Nubble Point (the tip of land to the right), which was a turn around point for the 2nd loop (miles 4-7 ish). That was the part of the race that was surprisingly hilly, no crazy steep, long ones, but tons of up-and-overs that stung a bit and slowed our otherwise-steady pace.

Here is Steph running tough in her zen-like zone.

And here we are doing our happy golden retriever impressions:

Look at that sky. When I look at this photo, I can still feel the sun on my face.

Meredith and I got into a really good push-and-pull routine and sustained it for the whole race. There were times I needed to be pushed, and she would be 2 steps ahead of me (as shown) and times she needed to be pushed and would be 2 steps behind me. We did this dance the whole way, up and over hills, all along the ocean, prodding each other along. After about mile 6, we didn't talk much; we were grinding it out. I ran it about as hard as I could have, and felt very good about my efforts. After the marathon 3 weeks ago and a half-hearted training schedule since, I was pleased with my results.

This photo captures everything that is Suzanne. I mean really, my friend, could you try to have some fun or show a little enthusiasm?

The last few miles were tough, but pretty soon, we saw the end.

My favorite photo! Suzanne finished 5 minutes ahead of us, and look at her here, bringing us home. I was digging deep to finish strong and Meredith, who came up with some serious kick at the end, was pulling me with her.

A kind of shadowy/sunny after shot! Love the lighthouse race medals!
This is after we sat on the grass in the sunshine and ate the post-race food: pizza, veggie soup, pita chips and cider.

Little miss first timer ran a 2:02. Quite impressive, Steph.

Before heading home, we spent a few minutes walking the beach.

And using the great Atlantic for a quick ice-bath for our aching feet.

Yes, we are still wearing our medals.

Me taking a last minute assessment of the world before heading home: quite pleased.

Let's pause for a quick reflection on my half marathon race history:

Boston Half Marathon, May 2008: 2:45 (pain and misery)

MDI Half Marathon, Sept 2008: 2:30 (better!)

Big Lake Half Marathon, May 2009: 2:21.40 (I was happy with this)

MDI Half Marathon, September 2009: 2:25 (at the height of marathon training)

Maine Coast Half Marathon, November 2009: 2:21.02 (a 38 second PR? That's it?)
I think I could have broken 2:20 if it had been 10 degrees cooler and there were more water stops on the course (my one complaint about this race), but I'm happy with this finish 3 weeks after the marathon.

On the 2 hour drive home, I felt strong, sore, and satisfied with this last season of running, and I felt the pull of Sam and the kids waiting for me at home. I'm ready to settle in to a less hectic schedule for the holidays, and then I'll be ready to pick things up again in February.