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Travel: A Swiss Getaway

Hello everyone!

I'm back from another extended holiday in Switzerland, and boy did I have a wonderful time exploring new places.

Look closely at this photo - can you see the small lighthouse, with a bench, at the end of the pier? One morning I was sitting on the bench to watch the sunrise over the mountain top and was startled by a naked woman.  She stood up to dress after taking a swim in the lake. I'm not sure who was surprised more, me or the lady swimmer.  When I started walking back I passed the woman, in a sundress, sitting on a blanket, smoking, and talking with a friend.

With temperatures ten degrees (f) warmer than usual, in September, locals were enjoying every minute, swimming in the lakes, fountains, sitting in the sun, BBQ's at sunset, and more.  Even I jumped into the lake for a swim! Sorry to disappoint... I stepped out of dry clean only shorts but left everything else on :). 

A lunch date in Zurich
Imagine taking the train for 2.5 hours to meet someone, enjoy lunch and a stroll through a new city.  I met Kim through a virtual running group while training for the London Marathon. 

Introducing Phoebe

Meet Phoebe. I call her zen puppy because she's so laid back and lovable.

She weighed just nine pounds in this photograph.

Joining our family
A week after returning from our July holiday in Boulder, the World Traveler sent me this email:

I found a nine week old puppy on Craig's List. Do you want to call the breeder and see if she's still available for adoption?

It was 3PM when I received his email. By 6PM I had driven almost two hours, to Woodstock NY, and was holding this sweet puppy for the first time.

Phoebe is one of a litter of twelve, and loves to cuddle!  She slept in my lap the entire drive home.

Two months later...
Puppies shake up daily routines.  Learning her schedule, praying she's a good sleeper, potty training, etc...  it took two weeks for Lily to like the puppy but so worth it.

I'm thankful we used Cesar's Way to introduce the dogs, letting Lily lead the way.  We now have three dogs that love each other immensely. 

I wonder if carrying Phoebe for two weeks helped create a love bug.  She is by far the sweetest, most loving, social, calm dog we have owned. A quick study, Phoebe has imprinted off the older dogs.

At four and a half months old, she weighs about 22 pounds and is all legs. It's fun to watch her body grow so quickly.  The breeder tells us Phoebe will be close to 80 pounds.

Photo love... look at this face! I post a lot of photos to IG and hope to get a good photo of Jessie, Lily, and Phoebe soon.

Well, it's time for a morning walk with the love bug.
Much love, Mari

Summer Vacation

Hello friends,

{Pinch me - I have been to Boulder two times in the last eight weeks} My visit in May was for a women's retreat/board meeting.  This visit was an amazing long weekend in Colorado, with my husband and friends. I hope my travel hangover lasts for weeks. 

We have been visiting Boulder, in July, for almost a decade.  Bill plays in a golf tournament while I hike, spend time with friends, and enjoy a break from technology.  Over the five day visit, we see little of each other yet the energy from tournament activities and daily adventures make up for time apart.  It's a bit of a boondoggle!

Retreating to Boulder

Hello Friends,

In twenty four hours I will be in Boulder. A short trip that let's me unplug.  Literally. I lose connection to the outside world thirty minutes before getting to my friends home.

In addition to hiking, reading, sleeping, shopping at a few of my favorite local shops, and exploring...  I'm having lunch with a friend tomorrow, and will meet Denise Dollar, founder of Heart Strides, to drop off a donation on Thursday.  Thursday night I have a casual social, Saturday night a formal dinner/celebration.   

Look at the books I'm bringing with me to read, all courtesy of netgalley ARC. {whoop!}

Have you read any of these titles?  I started FALLING last weekend and made myself stop until settled on the plane.

Maybe I should step away from my laptop and start packing... I have so much to do before getting leaving for the airport early tomorrow morning.

Do you have any fun travels planned this summer?

A fortnight in London

Hello friends,

Can we time travel back a few months, to April?

We traveled to London to run a marathon.  I had just one must see on my list, touring The London Tower.

We planned our trip to arrive a week before the marathon, to adjust to the timezone, and allow time to explore the city. 

Regents Park served as our home base.  We took the red-eye from NYC to London. Bill had meetings within hours of our arrival so I grabbed my umbrella and walked every inch of Regents Park. The flowers were spectacular but expected since this is home to The Queen's Walk. It's absolutely divine.

Primrose Hill is connected to Regents Park.  I didn't realize Primrose Hill is a hill with vast open space for concerts, filled with dogs and children playing, and people taking time to relax.  It reminded me of Stephen's Green in Dublin.

I walk everywhere when we travel. This let's me get lost, discover, and feel the city.  One day while walking from Covent Garden to our hotel I spent an hour walking in circles at Seven Dial Corner.  I did master navigating Seven Dial which sends you in seven directions and serves as a shortcut.

Right: Covent Garden, Neal's Yard, and Seven Dial.

Covent Garden: I walked through this place several times to absorb the energy, shop the outdoor market, take in the performances, and people watch. Make sure to find Neal's Yard when you visit London, it's a hidden alley with shops, coffee, and food. 

The Underground... we were a bit reluctant to use it but it's SO much easier to use than the NYC subway system.

We even spent 24 hours in Birmingham.

London Marathon

Hello Friends,

Back in 2014 I left this comment on a photo posted to fb, just days after running NYC2014: For the first time ever I teared up at the end. The conditions were tough, I was so happy with my run, and knew this was my last 26.2... but seeing blind runners and a 89 year old on the course inspires me to never say never. I would love to run London.(click to read my NYC 26.2 recap).
-  I didn't realize it at the time but I was adding London to my bucket list.   
-  Last April I entered the lottery - which was open to International runners for the first time.  Seasons change, Spring to Summer, Summer to Fall.  At the end of October I received a number.    
-  Last weekend I ran the London Marathon!  
My last long run was a half marathon in May 2015 so I started training in December, to build up my endurance.
  • I joined a marathon training club that provided a training plan, and a virtual community for support/accountability (Another Mother Runner).   
  • London Marathon provided me access to a personal coach to customize a plan that worked for me. Living in a VERY hilly area, running 3x/week is best for me.   
  • Time trials: I provided a few to my coach, running 10:30-11MM on the hilly trails resulted in 8:50MM at the track.  I was running 8:06MM 10K's (gulp.. too fast)
When my coach told me they predicted a 4:03 finish for me I started to get nervous.  I didn't want to run three minutes over BQ, the pressure... and I meant it when I said this is my last marathon.  I wanted to take a few photos if the opportunity arose.  I'm in London!