So I am in Portland, Maine after a 3 year hiatus to compete in the Zone Urban Epic. It’s the second year for this race and my sister Anjie and Borther-in-law Jingles have welcomed me to their home.
It’s great being here in Portland again. I use to compete in an event called Lobsterman each september when we still lived in NYC. But this year, since I haven’t seen my sis in a while, let alone Portland, I figured I make the trip up during the WARMER times and have fun at a great festival race before heading back to Charlotte and planning my training for Clearwater.
I am without Gina this trip since she couldn’t get away from work, and it won’t be the same. Traveling on a plane and coming up here where it is a bit cooler, yes I miss her already.

I have been training good the past few weeks since coming back from Texas, but haven’t heeded G’s warnings to “take a break”. Listen to the Sherpa dude. It sunk in a few days ago and decided to try and have some fun while I am here and hopefully get my mind off a few things and just breathe a bit. Understand young one, listen to the voice. She was sure to weigh me too and will do so again upon my return. My bag is full of “power” brownies.  

Thanks to the crew over at Ship It Here, I once again shipped the Black Widow via UPS and saved big time. I have been working on getting some projects off the ground at work, and both Dana and I conducted a shoe clinic for Cross-Country for Youth camp while bringing out the CRC box truck once again. I am also conducting cinics for Aquaphor and have 2 more in mind when i return. Many a customer have come in already with some serious skin blisters/callous but not treating it. I have samples at the store folks. Use it!

Jetblue was my flight and the terminal at 5:30am is quiet enough to get a jog in. G dropped me off and with a kiss and hug I was on my own. I forgot JBlue has the TV terminals so i didn’t have my headphones, but the flight to JFk was quick when you toggle between CNBC,ESPN,ESPN2, AND ESPNU (awesome!!) They also have the NYC news broadcasts so I got to see how they have changed.
My layover in JFK was only 45 minutes but once I got off and walked to the connecting gate, I immediately had to but my Brooklyn face on. Mind you it’s only 8:30am and it was as crowded as the R train at 59th street. I was like “What the..???” Back in the hood – at the airport no less. Bring it. From the food vendors, newspaper stands, kiosks, it was a scene. I just stood back against the wall and took it all in with laughter.
Back on the plane for a one hour finish to Portland. Kudos to JBlue here – they hand out min water bottles and soome chips or cookie. That’s it. No dragging of a cart or anything. The seats are comfy and leg room plenty. Perfect. A great flight experience once again.

The air in Portland was in the 60′s and fresh. Just the way I remember it. Nice cool breeze and just plain breathable. jingles came and picked me up and we took the drive around the Back Bay area where he showed me where they have been building things up. We then when to Whole Foods where I drank the strongest iced coffee in my life. YEAH!!! I picked up some staples that I would need and we had a quick bite before heading to the house. That’s an awesome place to shop. No joke.
Another is Big Sky bakery where we had to rack up on the goods and the necessary whoopie pie for the post race grub! Maine was just like I last left it.
I put the bike together and went around the hood for an hour to get a good ride in and make adjustments. Anjie came home and we chilled out on the porch and then went for a walk to talk about things and catch up. Their dog Scarlet is adorable and never stopped licking. From there it was off to a local pizza joint where we just shared some stories and caught up some more. A great travel day all around. Anj and I got to chat a bit more before crashing just before 11. Scarlet made her spot next to me on the futon and off to sleep we were.

Ever hear a dog snore? Dudes, this dog can conk! I must have woke up 3-4 times cause this little girl was making noise. But it was fine with me. Hilarious actually even if I didn’t get a solid sleep. But Anjie gets up at 5am for her walks so I had until 6 before my aarm went off. But the sun here comes up at 5:30! In Charlotte, it’s after 6 so sure enough I was ready to rise before the alarm.
It was misty and foggy and looks like it may rain tomorrow. But its in the 60′s so it’s very comfy. Went for an hour run around the hood and checked out the grounds. Didn’t get lost either. Then it was off to the pool where Jackie was lifeguarding and got to catch up a bit. The water was warm so an hour to loosen up was worth the time in the water. It felt real good and the pool wasn’t crowded at all, meaning a lane to myself. Almost was able to get Anjie to join me but maybe another time. Jackie’s been trying for months apparrently.
We do all the race stuff later this afternoon but we’ll see how the weather turns up. I plan to stop in the Maine Running ompany store to meet John Rodgers who is a good friend of Scott’s and whom  met at 2 conferences last year. Anjie gets her sneakers there and it’s right near the house. I also will meet up with Amy who is the VP of Marketing for the event and who interviewed me for one of their stories this year. It’s on the event website: www.urban-epic.com so check it out.

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