Thursday, November 23, 2017

Yellowstone North - September 2017

After Holly ran the Bozeman Marathon we left the city to spend two nights in the northern part of Yellowstone. It took about two hours to reach the first major attraction - Mammoth Springs. The ranger at the visitor center suggested taking the ten minute walk over vs. struggling to find nearby parking. Taking his advice was probably a mistake since Holly just ran 26.2 miles and it was kind of warm. The hot springs didn't help with comfort levels and the multiple stairs and ramps weren't doing us any favors. Of course, there were several nearby parking spaces. Holly almost died. At least the springs were nice to look at.


Enroute to Canyon Lodge (our hotel) we encountered a traffic jam caused by buffalo blocking the road. The buffalo were not as annoying as the stupid tourists in front of us who wouldn't move their cars when the opportunity presented itself. Stop taking your pictures... the thing moved and the road is clear.

Along the way we made a few stops that included Tower Falls and a quick sighting of a bear.

We made it to The Canyon Lodge just before it got dark and met up with Mike and Jan (they left Bozeman when Mike finished the half marathon) for drinks and dinner. The lodge was nice, but nothing was well-marked and all the dining options are in one big food court. The ice cream booth closed way too early.

The next morning the four of us hit the falls. Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist Point. We must have left earlier than most people since we accomplished everything before the food court opened for lunch.

We spent the afternoon heading south to Yellowstone Lake. On the way we stopped to view buffalo and more stinky pits of bubbling mud and steam. Last time we visited Yellowstone Lake we were on the south shore under overcast skies. Today's weather held up much better.

On our way back to Bozeman the next morning we got a chance to see the Roosevelt Arch. Between this trip and last year's trip we saw most of the Yellowstone's highlights.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 Maine Marathon Race Report and Video

Here's Holly race report for the (Portland) Maine Marathon. Be sure to check Dave's comments because we had some "issues" this trip. The video is at the end.

This was not my first choice for the marathon I wanted to do in Maine. I wanted to do the Mount Desert Island Marathon, but due to scheduling this one worked out better for me and I’m glad it did. We arrived in Portland around 11:30am and went right to the Expo. The expo was a bit chaotic with a long line to pick up your goodie bag. Thankfully that was the only negative of the weekend. We met up with our friends Brad and Nicole at the Expo and it was great to see them after a few years. Brad would be running the full with me and Nicole would be race chasing with Dave. After the Expo we met our other friend Laura for lunch. Laura would also be race chasing with Dave the next day. We had a great Italian dinner at Corner Room with everyone and then back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep for the race.

The race started and finished in downtown Portland. We got to the start and it was chilly. The weather was absolutely perfect, a crisp, cool New England morning. The port of potty line was great. There was a guy with a megaphone directing everyone and he was really keeping everyone in line. Every big race needs this guy! I was really a bit nervous for this race because Bozeman went so poorly just three weeks before. I was hoping for a much better day. The grossest thing happened at the start. I went to put down by half empty water bottle by a corral fence and some other runner asked if I was done with it. I said yes and she picked it up and drank from my same bottle. Yuck!

After that weird moment the national anthem played and we were soon off and running. This is an out and back course and it’s been awhile since I’ve run one of those. The beginning was very scenic by a lake and then by the coast. Brad and I were feeling good and we were chatting away and getting to know each other better. If you ever want to get to know someone, run a marathon with them. It’s a great way to pass the time!

The course was hilly. Very hilly. And since it’s an out and back you knew the hills you were running down would have to be run back up on the way back. Thankfully I was feeling good and didn’t have the dead legs that I had in Bozeman. Brad was feeling good too and we just kept chugging along. Our race chasers did a great job as usual and kept us entertained. The entertainment on course was great. Lots of homeowners were out cheering and quite a few bands as well. The weather continued to be picture perfect. I started to tire around mile 23, but who doesn’t get tired by that point? We pushed through and soon enough we finally got to the finish. We got a cute medal and delicious chocolate milk. Organization and communication for this race was first class. I highly recommend this one for Maine. I’ll just have to go back someday and run Mount Desert.

Dave's Comments

Flying to directly Portland from Chicago is not the cheapest route. Instead of flying to Portland we decided to fly into Logan (Boston) and stay over night on Friday. We used a free hotel night to get near the city center. Our evening started at (wait for it...) a brewery. Beerworks had a location a block from the hotel. Lucky me. Our dinner was a 15 minute walk to the North Side/Italian Village area. We chose to eat at North Square Oyster because Dave had to have the Lobster Bolognese after seeing a picture of it on the website. An added bonus was getting to see Paul Revere's house next door.

We visited the famous Mike's Pastry and bought way too many baked goods. On the way back to the hotel we decided to visit one more place and chose The Greatest Bar. Their name, not ours. Really not that great.

The next morning we made the two hour drive through rain and fog with no issues. While The Jones Family visited Kennebunkport we toured the Portland Head lighthouse and historic downtown with Laura. We had fun touring the harbor area with its colonial buildings and cobblestones streets. The fun quickly came to an end when we got back to the car and realized I locked the keys in the car (first time ever). Oopsies! Fortunately I had AAA and we were saved in less than an hour.

Race Chasing was fairly easy as it was an out-and-back course following a major highway. Our spots for the first half became our spots for the back-half. After the race we hit a few establishments in town: Sebago Brewing for lunch, Liquid Riot for drinks, and The King's Head for more drinks. Once again, this town has a great beer culture!

Monday we made the trip back to Boston with our obligatory stop at Harpoon in Fort Point. For lunch we headed over to the hole-in-the-wall Yankee Lobster for the meatiest lobster sandwiches ever served.

Here's the video

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Charity of the Month: Helping Heros of America

Charity of the Month is a way Team Tizzel is helping to support some very worthy organizations. As part of this program, we will dedicate a post to a charity that we will sponsor through the month by donating Holly's training run money.

In October we supported several charities aiding British Virgin Island victims of Hurricane Irma. Funds included Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society, Virgin Unite, and Cow Wreck Beach Fund Page. We attempted to give money to the Perfect Pineapple Inn Fund Page but their crowd sourcing page was not working. We have seen some updates and businesses are on their way to welcoming guests for the winter season.

Novembers Charity:

Helping Heroes of America

We weren't really set on a November charity to support. Luckily we made a stop at the grocery store for a last minute item and ran into two men standing in front fundraising for Helping Heroes of America. They explained that they were collecting funds to assemble care packages that go to veterans in VA hospitals, active soldiers, or an entire unit. With a $116.75 donation we provided a package for a unit.

From their website:

Helping Heroes of America is dedicated to assisting our veterans and their families in the Indiana and Ohio area in a number of ways.We work to:

Provide hospitalized veterans with basic needs and wants for them and their families during time of treatment.

Provide direct funding and services to meet the needs of service members and their families during time of deployment.

Raise awareness and enlist the public aid for needs and wants of deployed, injured, or retired service members and veterans.

Check their website for more information.